|Original air date||
November 19, 2001
humans are often forced to rely on
a "state" or a "nation" for support. Pity them."
Approx CY 7956
"Home Fires" is episode 8 of Season 2.
A ship enters the system and approaches the Andromeda, unimpeded by the Castalians. It is a High Guard courier ship, piloted by Lieutenant Jamal Brown, who is wearing a High Guard uniform. He informs Dylan Hunt that he has a message for him, from Sara Riley. When Dylan protests that Sara has been dead for 300 years, Jamahl says that it is a very old message.
Dylan views the message; it is a recording made by Sara hundreds of years ago but several years after the fall of the Systems Commonwealth. The message is Sara letting him know that she got on with her life, got married, and had children. She thanks Dylan for giving her the information she needed to survive. Dylan is clearly somewhat shaken by the message, as she is visibly pregnant, although he says that it is the best message he could have received.
Jamahl tells Dylan that he is from Tarazed, a world in a remote corner of the Triangulum Galaxy. He explains that Sara gathered together the crew that escaped from the Andromeda before she went into the event horizon of the black hole, and the crew of the Starry Wisdom, the Andromeda, as well as their families, and started a colony in a distant part of the known worlds to preserve Commonwealth civilization. The planet has the same system of government as the old Commonwealth, with a Triumvirate, High Guard fleet, and Commonwealth civilization at the time of the Fall, excluding the Vedran Empress. She did this to prepare for his return and the renewal of the Systems Commonwealth.
The Andromeda travels to Tarazed, which is very hard to get to by slipstream because the route to Tarazed is almost never used, and because of that the strings in the Slipstream are rough and hard to predict and navigate.
Based on past experiences with High Guard remnants like the Pax Magellanic and Balance of Judgment, who were both insane, as well as encounters with other High Guard remnants, Harper is not sure whether they can trust what they might find on Tarazed. Dylan acknowledges his concern, and resolves to be careful, but insists that they are going to go.
On their arrival at Tarazed, Andromeda is greeted by 36 Slipfighters, an honor guard and a personal greeting from the triumvir, Rakel Ben-Tzion. Andromeda, monitoring the planet's radio traffic, finds evidence of free press and elections.
On the planet, they are greeted in style, and Dylan and Beka are impressed. Rakel takes Dylan to a reception, attended by all of Sara's descendants, including Jamal. Also attending the reception is Admiral Telemachus Rhade, the commander of Tarazed's Home Guard, and the genetic reincarnation of Gaheris Rhade, Dylan's former First Officer. Tyr Anasazi states that his father was the near genetic reincarnation of a Kodiak Pride Alpha. Rommie and Dylan state that the odds of genetic reincarnation are over 1-in-a-1,000,000,000,000 (trillion). Remembering his betrayal at the hands of Gaheris, Dylan is reluctant to trust Telemachus. Tyr tells Dylan that he is the only Nietzschean who can be trusted.
An election is held to decide if Tarazed will sign the Commonwealth charter. Trance, Rev, and Harper are discussing it, and they figure it is a given that they will join; but Harper thinks he should meddle anyway.
Rakel asks Dylan to make a speech in support of Tarazed joining the Commonwealth. Dylan wonders why, assuming that it will not affect the result of the election. Rakel tells him that there is actually a strong isolationist movement, wanting Tarazed to stay out of the line of fire, and, in fact, the vote is too close to call.
Dylan makes the speech. Afterwards, Telemachus congratulates him, and asks for a moment alone. Dylan recalls trusting Gaheris enough to ask him to be his best man, and being betrayed by him at Hephaistos, but he agrees to Telemachus's request.
Telemachus asks Dylan what happened at Hephaestus. The residents of Tarazed know only that he did not survive. They believe him to be a hero, but the Nietzscheans claim he betrayed the Commonwealth. Only Dylan knows the truth. Dylan tells Telemachus that Gaheris tried to warn him, but by the time he listened, it was too late. Telemachus interprets this as supporting his belief.
Telemachus informs Dylan that he is the leader of the isolationist movement. Dylan reminds him that the Magog are coming, but Telemachus hopes to delay that, at least as far as Tarazed is concerned.
A message arrives on the Andromeda: The election is over, and they lost. Rakel offers to declare a planetary emergency, call another election, or otherwise circumvent the law. Dylan, however, insists on playing by the rules. He intends to leave, and go where he can actually make some progress. He is not even interested in talking to Telemachus. Rev tries to calm him by telling him that the isolationists are not evil, just afraid.
Andromeda detects Magog Swarm Ships in the outer system. Dylan begins to move to intercept them, when he gets a message from Telemachus, asking for his assistance. He agrees, and Telemachus assigns Rakel's honor guard to his command. Dylan sends a squadron of fighters to intercept the swarmships. Rakel expresses concern about casualties, but the Magog ships turn to leave.
Dylan recalls the fighters, but Jamal, who was piloting one of them, refuses to break off his attack. He destroys one of the swarmships, but before Andromeda can retrieve him, he is struck by a piece of debris, destroying his fighter and killing him.
Andromeda performs an analysis of the wreckage of the swarmship, and finds some unexpected data: The swarmship had no pilot, no slip drive, and no weapons, but was only a decoy. She also determines that it was built-in and launched from the Tarazed Home Guard station.
Rakel indicates that she thinks that Telemachus is trying to take control of Tarazed's government she cannot reach the council, but the Home Guard has mobilized. She says that her agents have intercepted, but not decoded, several messages from Telemachus's office, including right before the "Magog attack".
Dylan plans to fight Telemachus, saying he will "get the military out of the government", and that he is "not going to let another Rhade betray him." While he is preparing, a message comes in from Telemachus, asking for a private meeting with Dylan on the Andromeda, and promising he will bring no troops. Dylan agrees to this, and declines Rakel's request to be included.
When Telemachus comes on board, he tells Dylan that he "understands why he did it". Dylan points out that he is not the one with troops in the streets, prompting Telemachus to shoot at him, and a fight ensues. In the course of the fight, they both realize that the other is not responsible. Telemachus and Andromeda do some research and confirm that Rakel was behind the fake swarmships.
Dylan determines that, if he wanted to, he could make it appear that Telemachus was responsible. This would discredit him, and almost certainly see Tarazed join the Commonwealth. Telemachus indicates that it is what he would do, but Dylan will not, and helps Telemachus arrest Rakel.
A military funeral is held for Jamal, attended by Dylan, Rev, and Trance.
Dylan wonders if he made the right choice. He wonders if one act of betrayal is not a price worth paying to save the universe. In considering this, he finally comes to understand the actions of Gaheris Rhade.
- This episode is similiar to the "Star Trek" episode "In the Pale Moonlight". In that episode Sisko's situation is more desperate and he resorts to deception to win.
- Dylan's decision to not falsely accuse Rhade follows the quote from Napoleon Bonaparte: “It is better to have a known enemy than a forced ally”.
- The quote refers to the fact that once the political structure is destroyed, people turn to their families and communities for survival.
- The title refers to the phrase: "keep the home fires burning".
Harper: Look, Dylan, if you think Aquaman and the Silver Surfer here are going to help you stop the Magog, you may as well baste yourself with steak sauce now and avoid the rush. (The others look confused.) Aquaman? Silver Surfer? Did you people even go to school? No classical education whatsoever!
Harper: Yeah, sure, that explains everything. No chance that they've been left alone because they're a bunch of cannibals, or killer robots, or-
Harper: What? You're gonna say I'm wrong? C'mon, every single High Guard remnant we've encountered has been psychotic, evil, or both; Present company excepted, of course.
Dylan: Of course.
Tyr: You should never trust any Nietzschean except me.
Dylan: (handing a basketball to G. Rhade) You think you can take me?
Gaheris Rhade: Magog! (Dylan looks away; Rhade sinks a basket) Yes.
Rommie: You know what I really want?
Tyr: An avatar unencumbered by cleavage?
Rommie: A real crew. I used to have 800 Lancers stationed on me.
Beka: Magog scampering? That's too easy.
Harper: Hey, I like gift horses!
Gaheris Rhade: About this "Best Man" job?
Dylan: Uh yes?
Rhade: Does it always involve drunken bachelor parties and half-naked dancing girls?
Dylan: Pretty much, yeah.
Rhade: In that case, I accept.