|Into the Labyrinth|
|Original air date||
November 26, 2001
We are all naked, seen beyond seeing."
a.k.a. "The Mad Perseid"
"Into the Labyrinth" is episode 9 of Season 2.
Dylan Hunt is holding a reception for the Commonwealth signatories, with the objective of having them sign a Mutual Defense Pact. An attractive blonde with a Dataport, Satrina Leander, gets Harper's attention, claiming to be a reporter looking for an interview with a member of the Andromeda crew.
Harper is in his quarters, checking on the Magog larvae in his body on a medical monitor, when Satrina interrupts him, and starts kissing him. When Harper tells her about the Magog larvae, she speculates that he would "do anything to get rid of them". When Harper agrees, she somehow reaches into his stomach, removing one, and smiles. She offers him a deal: Give her the data archive that he got from the Perseid Renvik, and she will remove the rest of them. Harper deduces that she is working for the Spirit of the Abyss, and rejects her offer.
Harper approaches Trance, and asks her if she knows were he stored the archive. He forgets (as he forgets much of the data in the archive). Trance tries to discourage him from looking for it, saying that it caused too much trouble the last time he had it. Harper then returns to his machine shop, wondering where he would've hidden the archive, especially from "glowing eyes Magog god and his wall-walking henchmen."
Charlemagne tells Dylan that he is impressed with his plans. He reminds Dylan that the Sabra-Jaguar Pride has a large and powerful fleet, making them both a powerful ally and a dangerous enemy. While Dylan is considering this, Charlemagne casually notes that Elssbett is pregnant, but he has made sure the child is his. He then excuses himself to get a massage. A confused Rommie then repeats Charlemagne's last sentence, to which Dylan doesn't have time to explain.
Harper is continuing to search for information on the whereabouts of the archive, while Dylan is giving several of the delegates a tour of the ship. Hohne approaches Harper, and asks to compare notes with him on scientific discoveries. Their conversation prompts a thought in Harper, and he rushes off, leaving Hohne standing, and jacks into the Virtual Reality matrix. He searches records he created around the time he had the archive, and finds a recording of himself. The recorded version, however, refuses to give him any information and bounces him from the VR. Back in reality, Harper feels the feedback loop that electrocutes him. As he leaves his workshop, Satrina comes out of nowhere.
Dylan gives Satrina her own tour of the ship. Afterwards, she tries to seduce him, but he puts her off, and walks out of the room. After he leaves, she dematerializes, much like Jeger was able to do. She addresses four dangerous-looking aliens, telling them to study Dylan, Charlemagne, and Hohne, with the intent of killing them.
Tyr is jogging in the corridors when he meets up with Charlemagne. Charlemagne offers to arrange for Tyr to marry one of his sisters, and Tyr says he will consider it. As Tyr turns to leave, Charlemagne mentions the he has heard that Drago Museveni's bones have been stolen from the Drago-Kazov Pride and replaced with counterfeits. Tyr claims no knowledge of this.
Trance is trying to talk Harper out of looking for the archive, but he will not listen. He goes back into the Virtual Reality matrix to try to get more information out of the recorded version of himself. The recorded-Harper still will not provide any information, but says that he has confidence in himself to figure it out, if he really needs to. He does warn himself, however, not to tell Trance that he is looking for the archive, because she will not be interested in helping. Before he leaves, Harper notices a button on the recorded Harper's shirt that looks like a sun.
Hohne approaches Harper again. He shows him a symbol on his wrist - the symbol of the All Systems University Special Collections Division. Hohne says that he is looking for the archive, as well, and will take it back to Xinti for safekeeping.
Satrina tries to seduce Harper again. When he rejects her, she phases out and leaves, but he was recording it, and tries to analyze how she did it. He asks Rommie about Phase Density Shifting, which was her theory about how Jeger accomplished the feat, claiming it is a project he is working on with Hohne. Rommie says that she thinks Jeger actually used Tesseracts, i.e., a fourth spatial-dimension.
Trance tries, once again, to talk Harper out of looking for the archive. As she leaves, Harper notices her tattoo, a sun, and has a flash of inspiration: He hid it in a sun. But how?
Harper leaves in the Eureka Maru, telling the others that he is going to pick up some parts and stay out of the way of the diplomatic talks. Trance has stowed-away on the Maru, but when Harper tries to take her back, she threatens to tell Dylan, so he keeps her with him. She insists that she is trying to keep him safe.
Rommie tells Dylan she is trying to keep track of Satrina, but she keeps disappearing. Dylan says that he is not sure where Harper and Trance have gone, but he knows they are up to something, and he is not sure if he can trust Charlemagne Bolivar, but an alliance with him may be useful. Dylan compares the alliance with the Sabra-Jaguar Pride similiar to the Churchill/British alliance with Stalin during World War 2.
Harper locates the archive, encoded in the standing wave of a sun. Trance strongly cautions him that he cannot trust Satrina. Harper reassures her that he does not intend to just give it to her, he is going to include a Trojan Horse virus that will let him know what she is looking for, then erase the archive and crash her system.
Beka tells Charlemagne that she likes his style, but warns him that if he double-crosses Dylan, she will take it personally. Charlemagne counters that he likes her style.
Satrina removes six of Harper's 12 remaining Magog-larvae, then insists that he hand over the data before she removes the rest. He gives her the archive, then she disappears, retreating to a phased-out Magog Swarm Ship attached to Andromeda's hull, without removing the larvae. Both of them seem to think they got the best of the other.
On Harper's computer, footage of the Brandenburg Tor massacre plays. Trance finds him and is amazed that he successfully located the library. Harper then smugly tells her that his virus, codenamed Seabiscuit, is ready for when Satrina accesses his decoy. Trance then asks Harper what he remembers from the archive, specifically information about her. Harper says that he remembers seeing people worshipping a "purple goddess". She is very concerned about this.
Satrina starts to review the data that Harper gave her, but the virus erases the archive. She phases to Harper's quarters, angry. Harper insists that she remove the rest of his larvae, then he will give her a clean copy. She tells him that she was a test, because her employer has taken an interest in Harper, and wants him to join them. Harper says that he is not interested, and Satrina tries to phase-out only to get stuck. Harper gleefully informs her that with information from the library, he managed to set a trap for her by creating an interference-pattern with the ship's artificial-gravity-field underneath her feet. He removes the tesseract-generator from Satrina's data-port.
Harper retreats to the Maru, where he puts the tesseract-generator in his own data-port and attempts to remove his Magog larvae, but he is unable to reach into his own stomach.
Satrina is tied up in Harper's quarters, but she easily breaks her bonds, and calls her thugs to attack. They do so, killing a number of delegates. Bullets are ineffective, as they seem to go right through the thugs. One of the aliens attacks Hohne with a sword, but Charlemagne shows up to rescue him.
Harper goes back to Satrina, and she laughs at his attempt to remove his own Magog-larvae. She tells him that you have to phase your whole body, not just part of it. She offers Harper power if he joins them, saying that they just want to "set things right". She also promises to call off her thugs, and give Harper everything he wants. Harper considers the offer, but rejects it, despite the fact that Satrina's thugs seem to be getting the better of the crew.
Charlemagne runs out of ammunition, but Tyr rescues him just in time, coming up behind the thug, removing his tesseract-generator and killing him.
Harper takes Satrina to her swarmship, sets the power-supply to overload, and phases them out, quickly discarding the tesseract-generator. The ship and generator explode. The alien thugs, deprived of their ability to phase-out, are quickly killed.
Despite the loss of her tesseract-generator, Satrina phases-out and disappears. The bodies of the aliens do likewise. Trance seems surprised by this, claiming that they "cheated".
Harper hands the archive over to Trance, saying that he was tempted, and almost betrayed them. Trance reminds him that, as close as he might have come, he did stay loyal. Harper says that he is going to concentrate on how to remove the Magog-larvae by more conventional means, and Trance promises to help.
Charlemagne Bolivar signs the New Commonwealth Charter. He asks about what will happen to Known Space after their enemies have been defeated. Dylan replies that he is going to wait until after the victory has been won.
- In "On the Genealogy of Morality", Friedrich Nietzsche says, speaking of "bad conscience": "We must be wary of thinking disparagingly about this whole phenomenon because it is inherently ugly and painful. Fundamentally, it is the same active force as the one that is at work on a grand scale in those artists of violence and organizers, and that builds states, which here, internally, and on a smaller, pettier scale, turned backwards, in the ‘labyrinth of the breast’, as Goethe would say, creates bad conscience for itself, and builds negative ideals, it is that very instinct for freedom (put into my language: the will to power): except that the material on which the formative and rapacious nature of this force vents itself is precisely man himself, his whole animal old self – and not, as in that greater and more eye-catching phenomenon, the other man, the other men. This secret self-violation, this artist’s cruelty, this desire to give form to oneself as a piece of difficult, resisting, suffering matter, to brand it with a will, a critique, a contradiction, a contempt, a ‘no’, this uncanny, terrible but joyous labour of a soul voluntarily split within itself, which makes itself suffer out of the pleasure of making suffer, this whole active ‘bad conscience’ has finally – we havealready guessed – as true womb of ideal and imaginative events, brought a wealth of novel, disconcerting beauty and affirmation to light, and perhaps for the first time, beauty itself . . . What would be ‘beautiful’, if the contrary to it had not first come to awareness of itself, if ugliness had not first said to itself: ‘I am ugly’? . . . At least, after this clue, one puzzle will be less puzzling, namely how an ideal, something beautiful, can be hinted at in self-contradictory concepts such as selflessness, self-denial, self-sacrifice, and furthermore, I do not doubt that we know one thing –, what kind of pleasure it is which, from the start, the selfless, the self-denying, the self-sacrificing feel: this pleasure belongs to cruelty. – So much, for the time being, on the descent of the ‘unegoistic’ as a moral value and on the delineation of the ground on which this value has grown: only bad conscience, only the will to self-violation provides the precondition for the value of the unegoistic."
- The title refers to the story of the Greek Labyrinth and how nobody could escape from the Minotaur. Dylan is besieged by numerous enemies and compares the alliance with the Sabra-Jaguar Pride similiar to the Churchill/British alliance with Stalin during World War 2. The only escape from his enemy, the Spirit of the Abyss, requires compromising his ideals and morals.
- In their final exchange at the Charter signing, Charlemagne and Dylan trade lines from Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, paraphrasing the section,
- Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
- The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
- Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
- And by opposing end them?
Dylan: Where's Elssbett?
Charlemagne: She's home pregnant with our first child.
(Dylan looks solicitous)
Charlemagne: ... and before you start feeling paternal: I've checked, it's mine.
(Rommie looks rather jealous and confused)
Rommie: (to Dylan) "I've checked, it's mine"?
Charlemagne Bolivar: There are at least three good reasons why you shouldn't let the Sabra-Jaguar Pride join your new Commonwealth: We are renowned for our treachery; we are at war with the Drago-Kazov Pride; and we will constantly remind you of your genetic-inferiority. Now, here's the upside: We are renowned for our treachery; we are at war with the Drago-Kazov Pride; and, did I mention, we command the third-largest fleet in the known worlds.
Dylan: And, in the case of an emergency, the ship can be piloted from the gunnery-nose.
Charlemagne: Emergency? You mean in the event that the Command-Deck crew is reduced to a fine red-mist and splattered across the walls in a bloody mural?
Dylan: That would qualify, yes.
Hohne: Fascinating! And do such emergencies arise with a degree of frequency, or are they a rare occurrence?
Dylan: (muttering) Not as rarely as I would like...
Tyr: What would you like, Jaguar?
Charlemagne: The usual: Hundreds of grandchildren, utter domination of known space, and the pleasure of hearing that all my enemies have died in terrible, highly improbable accidents that cannot be connected to me. And you?
Tyr: (laughing) The usual.
Trance: Y'know, since we've got a little bit of time here, we might as well find a good way to spend it. I know! I've got this really great game. It's called "Harper tells Trance everything, so she can save his miserable little life." Would you like to play?
Harper: I hate you.
Trance: You're just saying that.
Trance: Harper, you are my best friend, and because you are my friend, I really need you to listen to me: Do not look at the archive.
Harper: Y'know, Trance, I liked it better when I thought you were harmless.
Trance: Yeah, me, too!
Harper: OK, my little Magog buddies: All good things must come to an end, and, unfortunately, for the bad things, it's pretty much the same deal.
Harper: I'm nobody's pawn. I don't even like chess!