|317||Vault of the Heavens|
Gordon Michael Woolvett
|TV Listings Teaser||A mysterious voice summons Dylan to a far-off planet.|
Aleks Paunovic (Agio)
Helene Joy (Alien Queen)
I can no more endure to view;
Wondrous sight of so celestial hue.
-- Final Diary Entry of Capt. Oswald Pierce, CY 1116, Regarding his only love.
|Trivia||This episode was written by Gordon Michael Woolvett, who plays Harper.|
Harper is in Command, for a night shift. To make things more interesting, he is racing a Nietzschean between slip points. The Nietzschean is named Agio, and he and Harper seem to have some history racing ships against each other. Agio is from the Cygnus drifts, a disreputable corner of the galaxies, where a number of displaced Nietzschean prides have come together.
Harper uses a trick to supercharge the engines, but injecting extra anti-protons. However, the AP valve gets stuck which they are in slipstream, causing a bumpy ride and waking Dylan.
Andromeda starts to receive a signal from a little-traveled star cluster. The star cluster is far away, but somehow the signal seems to be recent.
In his quarters, Dylan hears a female voice, speaking of "fire and ice", and calling him to "come to me".
Travel to the star cluster will take several days, through dangerous territory, but Dylan wants to go. He calls for a crew meeting, during which he continues to hear the voice, speaking of "fire", "ice", and "a cloud". He asks Rommie about any planetary systems with twinned planets or moons that might be associated with "fire and ice". Rommie says that there is one planet, Emir, that is fiery with an icy moon, Burrie, and there is a cloud of charged particles in orbit around it. Despite the reservations of the rest of the crew, Dylan decides to go to Emir to investigate.
With Beka at the helm, they make the trip in less time than expected. They discover that the orbits of the moon and particle cloud collide every 800 years, causing spectacular auroras, and the next collision is due in 36 hours.
Rommie locates the source of the signal – it is on the moon. They wonder what will happen to the people on the moon when the cloud hits it. Dylan hears the voice again, telling him he has "done well", and calling him to "come to me". Beka, beside him, does not hear it. Dylan, Beka, Rommie, Harper, and Trance take the Maru down to the moon, leaving Tyr in command of the ship.
On the moon, the voice calls again, but, this time, the others hear it. In a complex of icy caves, they find a "cocoon", large enough to hold a person, but open and empty. Trance says that there was a life form in it, and there is more than one. She says that the life forms are dying. Dylan concludes that this is linked to the cloud in some way.
Rommie has determined that the signal they were receiving was automated, and timed to be sent when the cloud and moon were about to collide. Dylan contacts Tyr, on the Andromeda, and tells him to find some way to divert the cloud, but do it in a manner that can be reversed, in case he is wrong.
Dylan and the others find a large fortress, and enter. Beka and Harper are nervous, but Dylan assures them that he can feel that they are not in danger. Rommie says that she has detected several atmospheric systems, but only the oxygen atmosphere (the one suited for them) is active.
They find a number of humanoid figures that seem to be frozen. Suddenly, they start to glow and come to life. They emit bursts of energy, and, one by one, the crew falls unconscious, Dylan last. Their guns and forcelances have no effect on the figures.
Tyr is crawling in the conduits on the Andromeda, attempting to rewire the systems, with Andromeda's guidance, to use the artificial gravity generators to divert the cloud. As his frustration builds, he smashes a panel with his fist. Andromeda protests that he has damaged her controls for several systems. He does manage to re-configure the artificial gravity systems, but, in the process, shocks himself unconscious.
When Dylan regains consciousness, he finds he is tied down. The voice tells him that she is a "queen", who needs to ensure the survival of her race, and to do so, she needs to procreate. She observes that Dylan is strong in both mind and body, and says that he is the best specimen of his lifeform within reach.
Tyr revives, and Andromeda informs him that their plan did not work. She has also lost contact with Dylan and the others. Tyr decides to try to destroy the cloud, despite Dylan's earlier instructions. He instructs Andromeda to use an EMP bomb, but she says that she has lost control of the required systems because of the damage Tyr did to the controls.
A Nietzschean cruiser emerges from behind Emir. Andromeda observes that it is armed with a Gamma Ray Burster.
Rommie, Harper, Beka, and Trance are being held together in a separate area of the cave complex. Rommie has determined that they have been disoriented by increasing the serotonin levels in their brains.
Dylan asks the alien queen to release him, promising that he will help, and not try to escape. The queen says that she cannot take the risk. She needs to mate when the cloud intercepts the moon, and the being she mates with will determine the shape of her race until the cloud comes again. Dylan realizes that diverting the cloud will cause the death of her race.
The Nietzschean cruiser hails the Andromeda. Before accepting the communications, Tyr prompts Andromeda to "follow his lead".
The captain of the cruiser is Agio. He insults Tyr for submitting himself to Dylan. Tyr warns Agio that the moon and cloud are under the protection of the Drago-Kazov. Agio falls for the bluff, and uses his own EMP weapon to destroy the cloud, then fires a low level Gamma Ray burst at the Andromeda as a warning shot.
The queen realizes that the cloud is gone. Dylan tells her that he has diverted its course, and tells her that if she will restore communications, he will fix it. She says that she cannot risk his refusal, but he reassures her that he will help if she gives him the option.
Rommie breaks free of her bonds and overpowers their captors.
Andromeda is experiencing difficulty fighting the Nietzschean cruiser because the Gamma Ray bursts disrupt her systems temporarily. She detects that an escape pod has left the ship – Agio has set the weapon to fire automatically to keep the Andromeda disabled while he goes to the planet.
Rommie and the others move in to rescue Dylan, but he tells them to stand down. He asks the queen to free him and let him volunteer to help her. He points out that this will set a better standard for her race than forcing him to mate with her. Finally she agrees, and releases him, telling him he is free to go. He agrees to stay, and sends the others back to the Maru. He contacts the Andromeda, telling her to put the cloud back, but she informs him that the cloud has been destroyed, and she is engaged in combat with a Nietzschean cruiser. At this point, Agio arrives, gun drawn. He says that he would welcome the opportunity to father his own race.
Agio and Dylan fight. Dylan starts to get the upper hand, but Agio pulls out a remote control device. He threatens to use his Gamma Ray Burster to destroy the moon. Dylan quickly shoots the control out of his hand. He notes that an overloaded Gamma Ray weapon will vaporize the ship – leaving a cloud of charged particles.
Andromeda rams the Nietzschean cruiser, causing the weapon to overload, and a new particle cloud envelops the moon.
Dylan knocks Agio out, and the queen mates with Dylan.
Back on the Andromeda, with Agio in a cell, he and Tyr exchange taunts. Agio accuses Tyr of letting himself be "declawed", but Tyr insists that bone blades do not make a Nietzschean. Agio speaks of the importance of Drago's bones, and says that he knows Tyr stole them. He insists that they belong to all Nietzscheans, and they want them back, to use them to unite the smaller prides against the Drago-Kazov, and create a great Nietzschean Empire. Tyr indicates that he thinks that the current Nietzscheans are too inferior to do this.
Tyr gives Trance one of the seeds from the Dragonia vine. He asks if she has any "intuition" about it. She says that she does not.
Harper tells Dylan that Andromeda is detecting that the moon is now populated with humans.
Harper: "Harper's Afterburner" – acronymonomically know as "HA!"
Dylan: Who is curious about this voice?
Trance: I'm always curious when I hear voices.
Harper: Finally, I'm not the only one with voices in my head!
Rommie: So, Tyr, how do you propose we divert a giant cloud of charged particles?