|The Fair Unknown|
|Original air date||
April 15, 2002
"The Fair Unknown" is episode 18 of Season 2.
Rommie investigates the wreckage of a Kalderan ship. She manages to access the ship's remaining logs; apparently, the Kalderans were tracking someone. Just then, every Kalderan is suddenly killed by a super-speeding object. They slow the footage, revealing a blue skinned, four legged humanoid. Dylan recognizes that being as a Vedran, a species missing since the fall of the Commonwealth.
Arriving, Dylan, Rommie and Trance head down to the planet to search for a missing slippod. However, upon arrival, they are confronted by the Warders, the protectors of Ral Parthia, armed with Force lances. To get them to stop firing at them, Dylan creates a line in the sand, to assure them they are friendlies. Then suddenly, Kalderans attack, forcing both sides to form a truce. As the battle goes on, the Vedran appears, using some form of teleportation to move at hyper speed.
One of the Warders, Maia, leads them to the Vedran, who is known as Uxulta. Barely getting away from Kalderan-reinforcement, they fly away on the Eureka Maru. They arrive back on Andromeda as Kalderans pursue. Dylan is very much excited that he could go home. Analysis determines that Uxulta is infected with a bio-agent and it is spreading. The medical bay has limited resources, so she cannot be cured. However, Dylan knows a few friends who can help; he asks Uxulta to open a Slipstream portal to Tarn-Vedra. She refuses and tells him to return to Ral Parthia and give her Voltarium. He asks her what she wants to do with that, but she refuses to answer. She warns him that her equipment is nuclear, armed with a self-destruct and it is foolproof. She identifies herself as a High Guard Vice Admiral and demands he comply, or she will have him thrown in the brig and assume command.
Dylan talks with Rommie, wondering whether to comply or disobey. Rommie deduces that Dylan is very angry that the Vedrans did not tell him they returned. He is angry and believes he deserves better; this is not about the Commonwealth or Uxulta, this is about him. Nonetheless, she reminds him that he is High Guard and must follow orders.
He returns to Uxulta, still demanding to know what she is planning. Still, she refuses to disclose and tries reasserting her command code. Dylan retorts that the Commonwealth has been dead for over 300 years. Although his career and training demand that he follow orders, his experience and instincts tell him otherwise. Uxulta then asks to speak with him in private. She asks about how well his military history is; it is very good. She asks what he remembers about Admiral Munro. Monro was the first humans promoted to Admiral, he led a High Guard fleet into battle against the Pyrians; the entire fleet was destroyed, but the Commonwealth won. Uxulta points out to Dylan that Monro won not just because he was "one hell of an admiral", it was because he trusted his Vedran superiors even though it resulted in his own death. She's not asking him to throw his life away, but to let her die.
Dylan has a Lancer Drop Pod readied for Uxulta. Maia wishes to go with her, but Uxulta declines, as there is room for only one individual. She promises Maia that Ral Parthia will always live in heart, although there'd be a bigger universe for her to explore. She then turns to Dylan to inform him of something that he deserves to know; Tarn-Vedra is well aware of his attempts to restore the Commonwealth, and they are very proud of him.
Beka is very sad that she did not even get to meet Uxulta. Dylan assures her that the admiral knows best. Uxulta then sends her final command: run. Andromeda manages to escape into slipstream as it disintegrates behind them. Ral Parthia and the other planets soon are engulfed in slipstream portals. Later they find the slipstream routes have been destroyed. Yet, Maia stills believes that Ral Parthia is out there somewhere.
- Beka says, "Ah- Ral Parthia. I've been 'round the moons of Nibia and through perdition's flames, but, uh... never heard of the place." This echoes Khan's testimony in "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" and is borrowed from Melville's Moby Dick. "Aye, aye! and I'll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition's flames before I give him up."
- The motto of the High Guard Argosy Special Operations is una salus victis (nullam sperare salutem) (The only safety for the conquered is to hope for no safety.).
- The title derives from "Le Bel Inconnu", Sir Gingalain, a popular figure in the chivalric versions of the Arthurian tales.
- The Kalderan biological weapon of their rifles are similiar to the Jem'Hadar plasma rifles and disruptors. The disruptor burst left an anticoagulant to worsen the bleeding.
Harper: These hands have been touched by God, not to mention a few other things.
Beka: Trust you to find the cloud around the silver-lining. It's called "faith", Tyr, have some.
Dylan: How long has the Vedran been here?
Maia: Since the Fall.
Trance: The Fall of the Commonwealth?
Maia: Since the Autumn, nine months ago.
Tyr: You could have told me.
Beka: What, and ruin the surprise?
Tyr: You're picking up some very unamusing habits from Dylan, do you know that?
Beka: We sure stirred up the hornets' nest this time.
Tyr: True, but now there are fewer hornets.
Harper: Look, betting my life-savings on a game of Yesheedono is a chance I'm willing to take, except against Trance. However, accidentally setting off a nova-bomb, isn't.
Dylan (to Beka): What are you doing up there? I could see your 'low profile' from the planet. So... who made the star?
(Tyr points at Beka)
Beka: Um... they started it?
Uxulta: Captain Hunt; My final order - Run.
Beka: Running like hell, aye.