Episode Five


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 All in the Mind


In a little girl's room there is a scene of devastation. Lots of fluffy toys are now lying still on the ground, bullet holes littering the carcasses of the various animals. At the other side of the room a girl of about 8 stands with an assault rifle smoking in her hands. Another girl of about 14 comes into the room and exclaims.

"Fey Fitzpatrick what on earth do you think you are doing? Only last week you ruined Siobhan's air bike. I tell you this young Fey, if you ever touch anything of mine like that then there's going to be trouble. You got that young lady?"

Cue Music .....

Nathaniel came back and as the crew were discussing about taking on more passengers he told the group that there may be a reason to put that on hold. It seemed that the hospital had let him out and had told him that they could not cure his headaches. He would need to go to a secret location (that he couldn't tell everyone any more about) where he could get his headache problem sorted out.  

Some discussion continued and it seemed that Nathaniel was trying to protect the others from the mysterious people that ran the place he needed to go to into the black. The less the group knew about where the were going the safer they'd be. It was agreed that the crew would not ask about the location and that they would drop Nathaniel off there.

The Serendipity took off and Pinto immediately went to his cabin to hide from his mother. Delores tried to talk with him but Pinto wouldn't listen. She met Bau in the corridor and she asked why Pinto would not talk with her. Bau said he would need time and advised her to try getting into the things he liked (horses, women and guns). She told him that it was strange as she was just about to retire to her parents ranch before her amulet was stolen as she was not getting any younger. Her parents had died seven years ago on Athens and left her the family ranch in the will (16 acres). She hadn't been back there since and was going there she got Brin as a client. Later when Pinto sneaked out of his room to visit his horse and spied Delores grooming his horse. He bolted back to his room and shut himself back in, getting Eleanor to take his meals to him.

Later at dinner the next day when Pinto still hadn't made an appearance Delores burst into tears and headed off back to her room. Eleanor went after her and tried to talk to her. She was upset her son wouldn't talk to her after all these years apart. Eleanor promised to go and talk to Pinto but didn't promise that she would be able to bring him round.

Louis Wu had meanwhile been using his new lab. He checked the 100 samples in the test tube and found that they all contained DNA from partially human samples. The few spoiled samples the DNA seemed to have broken down. The others seemed to be mainly human DNA with other things spliced onto it, though Louis did not have the experience to know what. Then he checked his and Bau's DNA and found that they were both human but had a different set of genetic defects in the DNA strands. Also surprisingly he found that he and Bau shared enough DNA to make them siblings.

As they approached the co-ordinates that Nathaniel had been given he sabotaged the short range comms, set the course for Santo and disabled the navigation log, taking components out of each. He intended to head off in the shuttle but noticed that the ship engines were speeding up. The ship was being pulled by a tractor beam. Earlier Nathaniel had sent a Tell on 6 hour delay to let the others know where he was hiding the parts and why he was doing this. He was headed off in the Icarus towards the co-ordinates with maximum burn.

At around this time Bau awoke, feeling instinctively that there was something going on with the ship he headed to the engine room to check. He noticed the various problems and used the short ranged communicators to wake everyone up. In the bridge he briefed Captain Flint and they noticed that the ship was using burn to stay still.

Looking out the windows they saw the Icarus disappearing off. Attempts were made to use hard burn to escape the tractor beam, but calculations showed that the five minutes of burn would leave them without the fuel to get to safety. Captain Flint ordered that they be left to drift.

Nathaniel approached the space station with its hanger doors open. He commed the station telling them that the Serendipity didn't know the position and could be released. The shuttle entered the hanger and the doors closed, repressurising the area. Inside the huge hanger were two robots armed with an assault rifle attached on either side. Instead of shooting him a dart came out and hit Nathaniel in the chest. As he was slumping to the ground he saw the door on the other side opening.

On the Serendipity there was nothing to do but wait now that the engines had been cut. They watched as the shuttle was swallowed and the doors shut. They continued to move towards the Space Station.

Nathaniel awoke on an operating table in a surgery room. A middle aged man in surgical gown and a woman (presumably a nurse in scrubs) were around him. The man (Dr Weir) spoke to Nathaniel in a Scottish accent.

"I think the power supply in your chip is failing. We're going to have to open you up and fix that before we can do the test. The backers will be pleased if we can finally move into phase 2."

"You don't need the others. Let them go, they don't know anything. I've stopped them knowing the position of this place." Nathaniel pleaded.

"Oh they are quite expendable." Dr Weir replied before he administered the anaesthetic.

As they approached the doors opened again and Captain Flint manoeuvred her in. They saw the two robots, the crates and the huge tank near the shuttle with an open door. Eleanor in her best dress decided they would have a war coffee in the ready room. As they began to discuss getting past the robots they heard a clunk on the side of the ship. A small bot with a hose had come out from the side and connected it to the air inlet valve. A second clunk and the inlet valve was punched through. Wisely mainly of the crew decided to put on Space suits at this point. Eleanor and Fey held out to the last possible minute. Louis Wu analysed the air and noted the traces of Cyanide in the air. Captain Flint decided to manoeuvre the ship around to face the other way, dislodging the pipe in the process. The robots moved out the way to the side. They began using the engines to burn through the rear door, and they could see two further robots down a long corridor. 

Nathaniel awoke to see Dr Weir close by. Dr Weir declared that the operation had been a success and that the problematic battery was now replaced. Now was the time to put phase 2 into operation. He declared that the backers would be pleased. It was only now that Nathaniel could see the figure of a woman sitting in the corner of the room. Dr Weir took up a black box and typed something into it. He then took up a gun and typed something else in saying to Nathaniel that he needed to do a little further test.

"This little test will get you to deal with those troublesome friends of yours." He said.

"I'll never do that" Nathaniel declared.

"Oh I think you will" Dr Weir replied.

Dr Weir began to untie the straps from Nathaniel who then tried to grapple for the gun. Still groggy Nathaniel failed to get it and the girl came out from her seat and grabbed him strongly. He tried to get away and he fainted.

Meanwhile back at the Serendipity the ships engines were starting to work on the second door of the airlock. There were several plans formulated and one of them had them rescuing the second shuttle. Fey and Bau flew the Buckley's Chance over to the Icarus and docked them together. Bau checked around the Icarus and could find nothing wrong with it or the missing parts. Meanwhile Dr Wu was putting a surgical mask connected to an oxygen tank on Horse whilst Pinto kept the horse calm. Then Bau and Dr Wu began working on some air scrubbers to try and get the Cyanide out of the air. After some time they had completed the device and started scrubbing the air. Then they began working on customising the mule according to Pinto's design to run it down the corridor to take out the robots by remote control.

Nathaniel awoke again to see Dr Weir and the woman he called Sinead. Dr Weir told him that it was time that they left as things were starting to get a bit hot around here. Dr Weir had some folders in his hand and Nathaniel could see that there was a computer smashed in the corner. Dr Weir disappeared through the airlock with the woman Sinead. Nathaniel struggled with his bond and managed to free one hand after ten minutes. He then freed himself and tried to struggle against the compulsion to go and kill his crew mates. Looking around the area he  was in it seemed to be have living quarters, a dining area, and a corridor leading past some robots to a door with a glowing ring of ring. Realising the air was tainted with Cyanide he ducked back into the living area. He then checked out the other rooms connected to the operating room, finding a prep room with the nurse with her throat slit. The other room had a security panel and a seat. He commed the others and told him that Dr Weir had left him and that he was at a comm panel. Not being in full control he was unable to tell them that the station was armed to blow up in 41 minutes.

Bau suggests that they ransack the base and take what they can from it. First they need to complete the changes to the mule though.

Eventually after another 20 minutes Nathaniel managed to break free of the conditioning and he commed the crew of the Serendipity and told them about Dr Weir leaving and the bomb going off in another 21 minutes time. He told them that the tractor beam was no longer enabled and that they would be able to leave as soon as he'd freed the hanger doors. He very soon managed to work out the controls and open the doors for the Serendipity to leave. Then quickly he picked up a body bag, an oxygen tank and mask, the black box and the remains of the computer before zipping everything in the bag and launching himself out of the airlock.

The Serendipity cleared the hanger and the ejection from the other side of the station was noticed by the crew. Captain Flint thought it might be a bomb and refused to take it onboard. A debate ensued as to whether it was Nathaniel, or it was a bomb. Even if it was Nathaniel, Flint didn't really want him as one of her crew. The argument was solved by Nathaniel using the short range comm saying "It's me - don't trust me".

Basic humanity took over and they picked Nathaniel up. Pinto entered the airlock fully armed and Dr Wu X-Rayed the bag confirming it was a body and then pushed a needle into his arm. Gingerly they opened the bag and took Nathaniel out, tying him up with duct tape and making sure that his was drugged up to the eyeballs. The crew questioned him whilst monitoring his brainwave activity and managed to work out using the needle when he was lying and when he was resisting the compulsion. When he was successfully resisting Nathaniel told the crew everything that had happened to him. Captain Flint felt that he had lied to her and did not want him on the crew anymore. Bau agreed with her.

Bau managed to get a fair degree of information from the computer hard drive. There were four files of test subjects on there. Nathaniel's file had information stating that the Mark 1 chip was inserted 7 years ago, and it was to stay in place to try and prove that the chips were stable for a period of time. There were files for Miles Norris and Frederick Van der Hondink who seemed to have Mark 2 chips inserted some two years ago. A final file on Belinda Kirkross showed a different story. She had had a "complete rebuild" as she was found near death. Finally parts of a letter from Sinead Fitzpatrick to a man called Jacob Rawley. It stated that Phase 2 was almost ready to begin as the final tests on Phase 1 were beginning. Bau showed the file remnants to all the rest of the crew.

Bau managed to fix the black box up in the next six hours whilst they were journeying to the moon of Meldoran to refuel. Pinto was concerned about Horse who was sickening due to a small dose of Cyanide poisoning. It was then that they found the dead body of Nancy in her cage.

After leaving Meldoran Dr Wu managed to tap into the Bios of the machine and work out the cancel sequence for the last command. This was tested on Nathaniel using the brainwave device to see if he was still under the compulsion. Under several tests it showed he was now clean, although there was still not certainty amongst the crew that he was cured. It was felt that Joe's contact on Santo might be able to hack the software further.

A day or so later the ship landed on Santo....