|Machinery of the Mind|
|Original air date||
January 12, 2004
Nicholas Lea as Tri-Lorn
there is a culture and a presentation.
Both hold power and sway."
Cuisine of the Lost Empire,
"Machinery of the Mind" is episode 9 of Season 4.
The Andromeda arrives above the planet Galena, the world Dylan Hunt chose for a convention of scientists charged with the task of stopping the Magog invasion. Seamus Harper has been assigned the job of keynote speaker at the convention and is practicing when the ship is boarded by High Guard Bailiffs. They have all the credentials they need to take Dylan off for “debriefing” so he must send Beka Valentine and Rommie to protect Harper in his place. The Eureka Maru leaves for the planet’s surface while the Bailiffs take Dylan to an unknown location and confiscate his comm. unit.
Harper arrives at the conference hall and is approached by Professor Kor-Kavo, a beautiful scientist who charms him immediately. She introduces him and Rommie to a scientist named Lor-Near and Doctor 26-Carol, then leaves to introduce the first speaker. The man takes the podium but collapses, blood trickling from his scalp. Trance performs an autopsy back on the Andromeda revealing tiny passages surgically burrowed into his brain. With more questions than answers, Harper and Rommie attempt to calm the nervous scientists when Kor-Kavo wanders back into the hall and collapses with blood trickling from her nose. She is transported back to Andromeda with Harper where Trance performs a scan on her brain. All appears normal and Harper assists her back to the planet’s surface where they hit it off in the conference hall bar. They sneak away from the crowd to find some privacy in a nearby lab. Harper is about to make his move when he finds Lor-Near lying on an operating table with the top of his head sawn off. Before he can react, Kor-Kavo sticks him with a needle and he falls unconscious.
Meanwhile, Beka and Rhade have finally picked up Dylan’s comm. unit signal only to discover its source is a ship heading straight for the nearest sun. They watch in disbelief as the ship plunges into the gigantic inferno. Sure that he can’t have been aboard, they track the ship’s path and find that it passed the far side of Galena on its route to the sun. Hidden somewhere on the planet, Dylan is speaking with the Head Bailiff and learns the man is attempting to lure him into employment under the Collectors with offers of riches and power. He ultimately threatens him with invasive surgery if he does not comply. Dylan refuses so he is handcuffed and sent to be prepped for surgery.
Kor-Kavo is standing over Harper but instantly changes character when Rommie bursts into the lab. She is sobbing and saying she was knocked unconscious and unable to help. The three return to Andromeda with Lor-Near's body for examination. Trance finds the same surgical brain damage as the previous victim and is suspecting that the higher function centers of the victim’s brains are being stolen for use as a central node.
While guards lead Dylan to his doom, he stumbles, throwing them off balance so he can subdue them, but not before one calls for help. He steals the Head Bailiffs communication unit and ducks into a nearby cell where he finds Professor Wel-Dar, a scientist missing from the convention. The professor speaks incoherently but manages to tell Dylan that the Spirit of the Abyss is behind the chaos at the conference. He tells Dylan he can expose it by asking all the scientists to recite the ten Radical Isotopes. Posed with the question, the Abyss will be forced to respond with the answer. Dylan attaches wires from the comm. unit to the cell bars and taps out a signal for the Andromeda. Beka and Rhade receive it and take the Maru down to find him.
In the conference hall, Trance, Rommie, and Harper are searching for a link between the fallen scientists. Rommie accesses Galena’s database and discovers that they were all working on the Engine of Creation, a device that uses quantum science in order to produce matter from nothing. The only minds left who have the capacity to work on such a project are Kor-Kavo and Harper. Kor-Kavo approaches and suggests they postpone the conference but Harper is busy rallying the scientists to be strong and stay to do their job.
Dylan and Wel-Dar are cornered trying to escape just as Beka and Rhade show up and blast their assailants. They return to the Maru where Dylan contacts Harper and orders him to ask the crowd of scientists about the Radical Isotopes. Kor-Kavo is trying to distract Harper but he manages to get the question out. Kor-Kavo’s face instantly contorts and her eyes glow orange. In a deep voice, she recites the impossible isotopes with negative atomic mass, exposing herself as an agent of the Abyss and moves on Harper. She has him cornered in the lab when Dylan shows up and hits her with his force lance, dissolving her into a puddle of black goo.
Back aboard Andromeda, Dylan tells Tri-Lorn of the attacks at the conference and his own detention. The people behind the attacks knew the day code and the time stamp. They come to the conclusion that there are enemies within the Commonwealth government who need to be exposed. They end the conversation agreeing to give Harper the highest commendation, a Tri-Galaxy medal with Spiral Cluster, for his efforts on the planet.
Andromeda then informs Dylan that Harper is waiting outside his office. Dylan lets him in. Harper explains that after comparing notes with Wel-Dar, he has learned that radical isotopes can't exist in their universe but can in the other one they visited. Dylan concludes that studying radical isotopes may help them defeat the Abyss and tells Harper to keep working on it. Harper turns to leave but stops, apologizing to Dylan for nearly losing his head, literally, over a girl. Dylan admits that his choice in women is not good but he compliments him for his rallying speech from earlier. Harper asks if he's talking about the whole thing or just parts of it; Dylan advises that he not push his luck.
- The title refers to the Spirit of the Abyss attacking the minds at the conference, which are the "machines" being used to win.
Harper: Did you hear? Doctor Professor Kor-Kavo's going to be there. She's got the finest frontal lobes in the tri-galaxies. She would look hot as fusion in a bikini!
Dylan: Yeah, picture that bikini with a Magog stuffed in it.
Harper: (wincing) Hey! Mental Cruelty!
Harper: Do I still have to call you "Doctor Professor"?
Kor-Kavo: You can call me anything you like.
Harper: How about I call you for a weekend in a zero-G love pod? … Was that my outside voice?
Harper: It's no more dangerous than any other place that's had two murders and a kidnapping in 24 hours!