|Slipfighter The Dogs of War|
|Original air date||
November 4, 2002
The night wants tomorrow
The King wants what's far
Outside his sphere of sorrow"
Tales of Queen Kysella
"Slipfighter The Dogs of War" is episode 6 of Season 3.
Trance Gemini is performing some sort of ceremony on the Obs Deck, with the rest of the crew in attendance (although Tyr Anasazi is off to one side, paying little attention). She is mourning the death of someone named Mezmer, although the rest of the crew appear to have no idea who he is. She lights a candle, and passes it around the circle. Each crew member says something vaguely comforting, in their own way, but all are little lost.
When the rest have had their say, Tyr finally steps forward and asks Trance for an explanation. She says that Mezmer gave life to everything he touched, then she extinguishes the candle in her mouth.
Dylan Hunt asks Trance how Mezmer died, but before she can answer, the ship is hit by a series of shockwaves, causing it to spin out of control, and tossing the crew around. When they pass, Rommie indicates that a nearby sun has exploded in a supernova. She detects residual Voltarium in the aftermath. Since voltarium is not a natural element, and it is used in the manufacture of Nova bombs, they deduce that the sun was destroyed by a Nova bomb.
Considering the nearby systems, Dylan, Tyr, Beka Valentine, and Andromeda all conclude that the source of this nova bomb must have been Marduk, a planet that had been a member of the Commonwealth until the government was overthrown by a militant dictator. Trance speculates that Marduk may be "dealing with the dark side, Enigma".
Tyr indicates that he does not think they should risk an attack, because of the "single minded fanatacism" that has allowed them to create a "fearsome" orbital defense system, but Trance protests that they cannot let them continue to use nova bombs. Dylan asks Andromeda to run some simulations, and each ends with Andromeda's destruction.
Dylan contacts Jane Rubenfield and Dorothy Rubenfield, who decline to provide more ships to support the attack. They claim that the circumstances call for diplomacy. Dylan offers them plausible deniability, acting as if this conversation never took place, and they agree. However, the sisters show him that a previous mission to Marduk ended in the destruction of the commando force. Dylan is frustrated by the lack of support, but Trance insists that no one should have the power of a nova bomb.
Dylan decides to use slipfighters to attack Marduk.
Harper sets up the Virtual Reality matrix to allow Tyr to practice his slipfighter piloting. Tyr is distracted, and tells Beka that he is "preoccupied", and does not feel that he can currently perform as well as he needs to for this mission. He does, however, do well in the simulation.
Dylan, Beka, and Tyr take some real slipfighters out for training exercises. Dylan guides them through various maneuvers, including a spinning dive he calls the "numshavat", or "headache". Tyr has difficulty pulling out of this maneuver, but in the end, he does.
Back on the Andromeda, Tyr is upset by his shortcomings, and decides to go back out in the slipfighter and practice some more. While he is out, Andromeda detects another nova near Marduk, which has upset Trance. Dylan calls Tyr back in. Tyr is currently practicing the "numshavat", and straining the limits of the slipfighter. In fact, his maneuvering causes the slipfighter to break up, but Tyr ejects in time.
Andromeda notes that after 2 successful tests, Marduk will likely be ready to attack other systems as soon as they have enough voltarium to make more nova bombs.
Andromeda notes that she does not have reliable intelligence on the exact location of the voltarium reactor, so they will need to verify the target before they destroy it.
Beka meets with Trance and Rommie on the Maru. She admits to being nervous about the mission, and wonders if it is worth the risk for "a couple of stars". Trance insists that even if there are a lot of stars, each one is valuable, just like each person is valuable.
During final preparation, Tyr tries to back out of the mission, claiming that they cannot win. Trance volunteers to replace him, but Seamus Harper tries to talk her out. He reminds her of her attempt to pilot the slipstream that resulted in their presence at the Battle of Witchhead. He is forced to admit, however, that that "mistake" turned out for the best in the end. Tyr protests that the mission is insane, but Dylan insists that they need him, and talks him into it.
Trance manages to sneak into Dylan's slipfighter before launch. Dylan accepts her presence without protest.
The 3 slipfighters manage to evade the orbital defense system and laser sensor networks, which Beka compares to "jump rope". They are detected on approach to the city, and come under defensive fire. They are engaged by fighters, and manage to shoot down most of them, but Tyr's fighter is hit, and he goes down.
Rommie is about to send a message to the Commonwealth, to call in a Search and Rescue team to rescue Tyr, but Harper picks up a broadcast in which the Commonwealth denies any foreknowledge (or approval) of Dylan's attack on Marduk, calling attention to his previous "wildcard" actions. They use non-denial denial to further claim innocence.
Dylan and Trance's slipfighter is hit, and they begin to go down. Dylan tells Beka to continue the mission to destroy the voltarium reactor, while he and Trance will try to find Tyr.
On the ground, Dylan and Tyr are surrounded by citizens of Marduk. They give them the few food rations they have, to try to demonstrate their good intentions. Soldiers arrive, and attack them. Dylan and Trance fight back, killing the attackers.
Beka discovers that the expected site of the voltarium reactor is a children's hospital and comments on winning the "public relations war".
Dylan and Trance are under attack again, when they hear strains of Wagnerian music, and Tyr comes to the rescue, with the music playing from his personal unit.
Using her intuition, Trance locates the Voltarium reactor, claiming that it makes her ill. Dylan guides Beka to it. She destroys it, then arranges to pick up the others.
Back on the Andromeda, the crew wonders if they did enough, since they did not free the people of Marduk, and another reactor could be built. Dylan says that they did what they could, and what they had to do.
- Coming later in the famous "Friends, Romans, countrymen" speech by Mark Anthony in "Julius Caesar", the title mangles somewhat the imagery of the lines.
- "And Caesar’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
- With Ate by his side come hot from hell,
- Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
- Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
- That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
- With carrion men, groaning for burial." Julius Caesar III i 285-90
- The Dogs of War has famous media uses regarding renegade military operations.
- Gallaphron and Marduk are similiar to North Korea, the government has a starving population and is focused on the military. However, the Andromeda goverments have a military that is capable of fighting a prolonged war.
Tyr: I'm sure you'll agree we should no further consider this.
(Dylan declines to answer.)
Harper: He's considering it.
Harper: Well, at least the slip drive's not broken.
Harper: Trance, no offense, but I think we all remember what happened the last time you tried to pilot the slipstream. You took us back 300 years in time, into the middle of a humongous space battle where we, uh, fixed the course of history…
Trance: Lucky for us!
Trance: Is there an official word for "Phew!"?
Dylan: (to Trance, in combat) Any words of wisdom?
Trance: Um, always be nice to your parents.
Dylan: Sound advice.