|312||The Dark Backward|
Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
|TV Listings Teaser||Trance runs through a series of possible outcomes to save the crew from a scourge.|
|Guest Stars||Michael Roselli (Scourge)|
You might say reality is the result of complex negotiations between the observer and the observed. But that is simply a point of view.
-- Michio von Kerr, "The Apotheosis of Reason", CY 11542
The Dark Backward
Andromeda's slipstream runners open, and she starts to tumble out of control. Beka is lying on the Command Deck, dead. Andromeda is sounding the intruder alert. Tyr and two other crew members are lying dead in a corridor. Harper, with a serious wound in his chest, is up against a piece of machinery, being electrocuted. Dylan is slumped on a catwalk, dead. A large, black, spiked alien picks up Rommie and tosses her into the slipstream core, then turns to the slipstream controls. Andromeda explodes.
Somewhere outside normal space and time, Trance observes that "that didn't work". She clips a branch off her bonsai tree, and says that she will "try again". The world rewinds...
Andromeda comes out of slipstream, and Beka asks Dylan if he noted the performance improvements from the adjustments she has been making to the controls. Andromeda announces that she has detected an object approaching at a high rate of speed. She cannot avoid it, so Dylan orders her to fire defensive missiles, but the missiles pass right through it, with no noticeable effect.
Harper encounters the alien in the corridor, and sees it rip open a panel. He protests, but the alien proceeds to damage the ship's systems by pulling out wires. Harper pulls his gun, but Dylan tells him to back off, and orders a security force to the location. Trance tells Dylan that it is important to stop the alien, and Dylan sends Tyr to join the security force.
The alien disappears, and re-appears on the Command Deck. It shoots Beka.
Time stops, and Trance wonders if the alien had specifically targeted Beka. She refers to Beka as "the one". She clips another branch from her tree, and the world rewinds...
Andromeda emerges from slipstream, and events play out much like before. When Dylan sends a security team, Trance suggests that they should wait and see what the alien does, but he sends Tyr and the security team anyway.
Rommie indicates that she is having trouble tracking the intruder with her sensors.
The alien starts to meddle with the AP rods. Harper shoots at it, but his bullets have no effect, and he runs out of ammunition. The alien shoots him, just as Tyr and the security team arrive, but the alien disappears.
The alien appears on the Command Deck. Beka ducks out of the way, and she, Dylan, and Rommie shoot at it, with no appreciable effect. Rommie tries to close for hand-to-hand combat, but the alien backhands her, sending her flying across the Command Deck.
Dylan orders everyone to switch to plasma bursts. They all fire, and the alien disappears.
Andromeda reports that Harper is still alive, but there is not much she can do for him. Trance tries to treat him, while Beka agonizes over losing a crew member, remembering Vexpeg, who died before Trance came aboard the Maru. Trance says that she is sure that there is a way that no one will have to die.
Rommie is analyzing fragments from the alien, and discovers something odd. The fragments seem to be 12,000 years old, but they are getting progressively younger, as if they are moving backwards through time. Dylan wonders how they can deal with something that (if it is moving backwards through time) can know in advance what they are going to do.
Harper dies, much to Trance's distress.
Trance remakes her bonsai tree, trying several times to save Harper, but is unable to do so. Eventually, she clips off another branch, and the world rewinds...
Andromeda emerges from slipstream, and events play out much like before. When the alien appears near Harper in the corridor, Dylan tells him to get out, and not confront the alien. Trance reinforces this command, and Harper does so.
Dylan sends Tyr and the security team to deal with the intruder. They encounter it in the corridor, and it quickly kills the security personnel. In the course of the fight, Tyr's gun (which has been largely ineffective), is knocked from his hand, and he draws his knife. The alien overpowers him, and snaps his neck, one-handed.
The alien goes to the slipstream core, and destroys the ship.
Trance clips yet another branch from her tree, and the world rewinds...
This time, when the alien comes on board the ship, Trance gives Dylan a straight, unambiguous description of the danger the intruder poses, and its capabilities. She tells him to get Harper out, and to set their weapons to full plasma blasts. When they are starting to act, the alien appears on the Command Deck, and quickly kills Dylan, then appears in the corridor with Harper. Trance, seemingly in shock, watches the alien kill everyone, and destroy the ship, but she seems to have an idea.
Trance clips yet another branch from her tree, and the world rewinds...
In the corridor, Harper shoots at the alien, and the alien shoots Harper.
Trance wishes that she had more time, because "all [she] can see is death."
Harper dies. Trance is distraught, but allows the timeline to continue. On the Command Deck, Dylan and Trance talk. Dylan says that he cannot believe that Harper is gone, and asks Trance to reassure him that everything works out for the best. Trance says that she cannot promise that. Dylan philosophizes that they can each control their own choices, but that is all, the rest is fate.
Andromeda announces that the alien is back, and Dylan calls for battle stations. Andromeda locates the alien in the slipstream core, and Dylan sends Tyr and a security team to deal with it. Dylan thinks he can make the alien re-appear, by taking the ship into slipstream. Beka is worried, because the alien has been tampering with their slipstream drive, but she takes the ship into slipstream anyway.
The alien appears, and Tyr starts to shoot it. Although his shots still have no effect, the alien seems to be unable to phase out. Dylan theorizes that this is because, in Slipstream, the physical laws are different.
The slipstream controls are damaged, so they are "flying blind". Dylan tells Beka to take the Maru out (with its intact systems) to tow the Andromeda to safety.
Tyr and the security team switch to plasma charges, but the alien keeps coming. Tyr closes for hand-to-hand, but the alien quickly takes him down. The alien then turns to the AP rods, and starts to open a slip portal inside the Andromeda. From Command, Dylan tries to eject the Exotic Matter Pulser, but Andromeda has lost control of those systems, and Dylan has to go to the slipstream core to do so. While he is on his way, Tyr revives, shoots the alien and the controls, and stops the overload sequence. The alien, however, manages to open a slip portal within the ship and the Andromeda explodes.
Trance says that that was the last scenario, they have failed, and she is out of time – but one more possibility occurs to her. She can trust Dylan. She cuts the last branch from her tree, and the world rewinds...
As the alien approaches the ship, Trance warns Dylan that it is dangerous, and they must avoid confrontations with it. Dylan takes them to slipstream, but the alien gets aboard anyway, and attempts to initiate an overload in the slipstream core.
Dylan rushes to the core, and tells Harper to try to prevent the overload from elsewhere. Harper tries, but finds he is locked out of the controls, and the overload sequence has progressed too far. Dylan gets to the core, and opens the ejection hatch, but he, too, finds the systems locked out, and he cannot eject the core.
The alien attacks Dylan, throwing him off the edge of the catwalk, but Dylan grabs onto the railing. The alien turns to the slipstream controls, but Dylan draws and extends his forcelance. He shoots the intruder, and levers it over the railing, out the hatch.
With the hatch still open, Dylan's grip on the railing slips, but Trance is there to catch him and pull him to safety.
The alien appears again, in the slipstream core. Trance grabs her forcelance and aims, but the alien disappears. Rommie reports detecting it off her starboard bow, and Trance says that she thinks it is gone for good, because, from its perspective, it still has not found them. Dylan is confused by this statement, but accepts it, because it is Trance.
Later, Trance has explained to Dylan that, in a very short amount of time, she experiences millions of possible futures, and each feels completely real. Dylan asks her how she knows what is really real, and she concedes that she does not.
Dylan: It's chasing us. That is rude. Let's teach it some manners.
Rommie: If you please, sir, the target is locked.
Dylan: Thank you, Rommie – Fire.
Rommie (looking up at the alien intruder): Right. Time to pick on someone your own size.
Beka (to Rommie): OK, smarty-chips…
Tyr: Do you think you're the first one to try and kill me? You'll have to work harder.
Beka: We're not dead!
Rommie: Don't be so surprised.
Dylan: Beka … I'm about to eject the Exotic Matter Pulser.
Beka: What's that? You say you've gone totally nuts?
Tyr: You want to kill me? I'd prefer you give it some real effort, and stop wasting my time!
Dylan: Didn't I order you to stay on the Command Deck?
Dylan: Well, thank you for completely disobeying me.