|Original air date||
February 16, 2004
Light of a new star.
But she is the other.
Touch her, and you will know death."
"The Others" is episode 14 of Season 4.
The crew is watching a re-creation of their battle with the Commonwealth fleet created by Seamus Harper from their sensor data. Telemachus Rhade and Harper are teasing Beka Valentine, but, at the same time, complimenting her piloting ability.
Andromeda Ascendant detects two ships at the edge of sensor range. They are both very old models, damaged, and drifting, but there is one person on each ship. Both are calling for help, and calling for the destruction of the other ship. Dylan tells Andromeda to bring them into separate hangars.
Andromeda identifies the ships as originating from the planet Trillin, which has a long history of bloody, ruthless conflict, with each side making slaves of the other. The first ship contains an unconscious woman. The second contains a man, Tearlach, with a rash on his face. He says that the woman's name is Zara and that she stole the ship she was in. He accuses Zara of disease warfare (responsible for the rash on his face), and demands that Andromeda refuel his ship and release Zara to his custody. Dylan is put off by his attitude, and when Lach makes a move towards Dylan, Rhade intercedes and throws Lach to the ground. Dylan orders Lach thrown in the brig.
Trance Gemini and Harper are treating Zara, but she is not telling them anything. Dylan sends Harper to retrieve historical records from Zara's ship. Trance tells Dylan that Lach's disease is not contagious, but can be spread by blood contact. She is trying to find a way to treat it.
Zara begins to talk to Trance, and says that she is "not accustomed to kindness". She tells Trance that she is not a criminal, as Lach claims, but a hero to her people. She has led the fight for her people's survival, and escaped Lach's custody to look for help to save her race. She explains that that the war on her planet began 10,000 years ago, and it was started by Lach's race, who drove hers south.
Lach, meanwhile, claims that the war was begun by Zara's race, who drove his people north. He repeats his claim that Zara's people used biological warfare, and says that he wants Andromeda to come and save his people.
Dylan, Beka, and Trance discuss the situation, and decide to talk to both Lach and Zara together, to see if that may shed further light on the situation. They have both of them in restraints, but the discussion quickly degenerates into a shouting match, with insults and accusations hurled both ways. Eventually, Zara manages to head-butt Lach, and a short fight ensues. While separating the two Trillins, Dylan is bitten by Lach, drawing blood.
Trance treats Dylan's wound, but finds that he is infected with Lach's disease. She also discovers that, because of his Heavy Worlder metabolism, the disease is progressing very quickly; in fact, he is already beginning to feel the effects. Rommie suggests that they go to Tarazed, where the best medical facilities exist, but Dylan counters that he, and the ship, are wanted there, and suggests that they go to Trillin, where the disease originated. Rommie observes that both sides in the Trillin war are searching for a cure: The Northerners, Lach's people, are affected, but their slaves are OK, so they can build weapons. The Southerners, Zara's people, are not affected, but their slaves are, so they are unable to build weapons. Therefore, both have incentive to find a cure, but they are not willing to share their research with each other.
With Dylan physically unable to command, Beka directs them towards Trillin, but is prepared for a fight. When they arrive, Andromeda scans the planet. She finds a great deal of ash in the atmosphere, and that each side of the war has been reduced to a single settlement, near each other. Beka orders Rhade to take Lach to his people in a slipfighter, while she and Harper take Zara down in the Maru. As they approach their respective destinations, both see a huge wall between the two settlements. Both Lach and Zara claim that their races are responsible for building it, but Beka and Rhade both see the wall as a product of hatred.
Rhade arrives in Lach's city, where everyone is showing the effects of the disease, and they are cooperative in providing him with the information they have gathered on it. He sees Northerners using Southerners as slave labor, but sees no children. Lach informs him that the children were the first to die from the disease. Rhade is introduced to a doctor, the leading expert on the disease, but the doctor seems to have lost any hope that the disease can be cured. Lach pulls a gun on Rhade and "thanks" him for the Slipfighter.
In Zara's camp, Beka and Harper find her people reluctant to share their findings on the disease, as they are afraid that a cure would help the Northerners against them.
Trance Gemini concludes that the disease is, in fact, natural, and was not developed as a weapon.
Andromeda reports that she has lost contact with Rhade, and Dylan sends Rommie to find him.
While Beka is talking to the Southerners' doctors, who insist that they had nothing to do with the disease, one of Zara's lieutenants reports that a second slipfighter (Rommie's) is approaching the Northern camp. Concluding that Andromeda is assisting the Northerners, she takes Beka Valentine and Harper as hostages.
Rommie infiltrates the Northerner camp, and finds Rhade bound and gagged among bodies of the disease victims. She frees him, and they discover that the Northerners are preparing for an aerial attack on the Southerners, using a napalm-like weapon.
Zara has fighters, and is prepared to defend her people against the Northern attack.
Dylan's condition is deteriorating, but he thinks he has discovered an answer in the historical records, having to do with the slave children.
Lach is leading the attack in Rhade's slipfighter, with Rommie and Rhade in pursuit, and Southern fighters in the air, moving to intercept. Rhade contacts Andromeda, but she is unable to get a target lock on the fighters, and they lose contact. Lach orders the incendiary bomb dropped, but Rhade intercepts it in flight, and shoots it down.
Zara orders the Southern ground troops to attack the Northerners, but a squad from Andromeda arrives, and surrounds all of them. Rhade orders them to lay down their weapons, and they comply.
Trance explains that her study of the disease has revealed that the artificial separation of the two races weakened the Trillins' gene pool, and made them vulnerable to such diseases. It is just a coincidence that the Northerners were affected first, the Southerners would be affected by a similar disease sooner or later. Their only hope for the future is to have children of mixed blood. Lach and Zara are both unhappy with the idea of intermingling the races, but Trance performs some tests to demonstrate that her theory is correct. She uses blood from both of them to develop a cure for Dylan.
Dylan leaves Lach and Zara to work out the differences between their races for themselves, but before leaving, he has Andromeda destroy the wall built between them.
- A potential Friedrich Nietzsche link, as in "The Gay Science" section entitled "We Fearless Ones", Nietzsche says: "A distinguished intellect and taste, when it wants to communicate its thoughts, always selects its hearers; by selecting them, it at the same time closes its barriers against " the others." "
Harper: Wait a minute! How come we always have to be the ones to rescue people?
Dylan: Because I love to see you squirm… Mr. Harper, it's not our job to avoid trouble.
Harper: It's a good thing, because it's sure got a way of finding us.
Beka: Just once, I'd like to rescue an ugly woman.
Harper: What? And ruin my chances of being smitten by or smoting a beautiful woman? Leave me alone – I can't love straight when I'm in think.
Trance: History is full of lies.
Dylan: Ain't that the truth.
Beka: Ever feel like it's your lucky day?
Harper: Uh-huh. Funny thing is, usually whenever I do, it hasn't been a very good one.
Dylan: No one can move me.
(Rommie pokes him with one finger and he falls to the floor)
Harper: What are you two, idiots?
Beka: Why didn't you catch him?
Rhade: I thought you had him.