Coda is a script that would have tied up the storylines for Dylan, Tyr, Beka, Andromeda, Harper, Rev Bem and would have also revealed the backstory and origins of Trance's people, the Universe, and the Abyss. It was never produced.
“Coda”A Play in One Act
April 17, 2005
White letters over black:
“A happy ending?
This one’s gonna end with you
spitting blood in their eyes
as they laugh at your smashed open face.
You want happy? Then don’t miss.”
MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
“The Last of the Lancers” 32 AFC
HARPER Oh. Hey. Sorry. I was just...
TRANCE Looking for a place to think? Trance turns around. But to Harper’s shock and amazement...
IT’S PURPLE TRANCE Blonde hair. Purple skin. Pointy prehensile tail.
HARPER But what... I mean... you’re purple.
Harper draws his sidearm and aims it at Trance.
HARPER Okay! That’s it. I’m done. You’re going to explain everything to me. Right now. Or so help me...
TRANCE You’ll shoot? Go ahead. If it’ll make you feel better. I don’t mind.
HARPER No freaking way. You are not doing this again. You owe me. Spill. Trance gets a thoughtful look, then...
TRANCE Why not? What harm would it do?
HARPER Seriously? You’re going to tell me everything? Who you are? What the hell has been happening for the past couple years?
TRANCE Don’t talk me out of it.
HARPER Okay, okay. Talk. I’m listening. Harper holsters his gun. TRANCE First... can you answer a question for me?
HARPER (guarded) Maybe.
TRANCE What’s the last thing you remember?
HARPER Err... what do you mean?
Harper looks confused.
HARPER Well Dylan is... uh... (starts over) Okay. Tyr. Tyr is... (crap) Beka? Rev Bem? What the hell? I don’t really... I have no idea. I mean, it’s like... freaking hazy.
TRANCE I was afraid of that.
HARPER What’s wrong with me?
TRANCE Nothing. Except you’re not real.
HARPER I’m not?
TRANCE No. You’re a probability wave. A possible future Harper.
HARPER Oh. Errr... so does that mean I don’t get an explanation?
TRANCE No. But I’ll have to make it a bit more general. Since I’m not sure which Harper you are. (serious) Okay. The first thing you have to understand is that I don’t see reality like you do.
HARPER I know that. You can see the future or whatever.
TRANCE No. I see possible futures. Even ones that ar'e incredibly, unbelievably unlikely.
HARPER You know... I can vaguely remember some pretty freaky, crazy stuff happening the last few years. Some place called Seefra?
TRANCE Yeah. That was unlikely.
HARPER A little. Are you saying that it never really happened?
TRANCE I’m saying that it may happen. It’s a possibility. There are lots and lots of possibilities. That’s what’s great about the future. You can change it. Not like the past.
HARPER So where are you? Right now?
TRANCE The same place I always am. In the present. (frowns) At this moment, I’m trying to decide whether to save you... or let you die and save Hohne.
HARPER The tesseracting thing.
HARPER But... you have a tail.
TRANCE I’ve always had a tail.
HARPER Until it got shot off.
TRANCE Harper, I’ve come back to life after being dead. You really think I can’t regrow a tail?
HARPER You know, you kinda scare me sometimes.
HARPER So everything I remember after that mess with the tesseract... or everything I don’t remember... it’s all just your imagination?
TRANCE No. It exists. But only in theory. Like I said... probability waves. Although... well, the truth is... I have kinda been... daydreaming. Letting myself dwell on more and more unlikely scenarios in an effort to get an outcome that was... I don’t know... more appealing than the one I knew was... well... best.
HARPER Shouldn’t the best future be the most appealing?
It should. But it wasn’t.
Trance reaches up with her tail and strokes Harper’s cheek.
TRANCE Because some people I cared about were going to get very hurt.
HARPER Including me?
TRANCE I’ve been trying to find a happy ending where that won’t happen.
HARPER And have you?
No, not really.
Trance looks back out at the stars.
TRANCE I suppose I should start at the beginning.
HARPER You, me, Beka, and Rev on the Maru? I can remember that part.
TRANCE No. The real beginning. The “In the beginning” beginning. Once upon a time, there was matter. And energy. And Love. And Love meant that all the matter and all the energy were all bound very tightly together in one place.
HARPER Errr... like before the Big Bang?
TRANCE Exactly. And then something new came along. Something that wasn’t Love.
TRANCE Worse. Boredom. Some parts of the matter and energy wanted something new. Something different. They became... distinct. Adversarial. In reaction, other individuals arose. Those who wanted Love to continue. Two factions. Who fought a war in Heaven.
HARPER A war in Heaven? Like angels and devils and stuff?
Harper’s got a sneaking suspicion. One he’s afraid to confirm, but he can’t help himself.
Which side were you on?
Trance waves her pointy prehensile tail in front of Harper’s face.
The tail is a dead giveaway.
That’s why I let them shoot it off.
Harper still can’t believe it.
HARPER A real live devil? Horns? Pitchfork?
We called ourselves... well, the
best translation is
“Lightbringers.” But maybe it’s
more accurate to use the Latin.
You know any Latin?
Harper feels his data port.
HARPER I think I left that chip back in my quarters.
In Latin, the word for
“Lightbringer” is “Lucifer.”
Harper is seriously freaked out.
My best friend is the devil.
Trance looks moved.
TRANCE I’m your best friend? Harper, that’s so sweet.
HARPER Uh... you’re welcome?
TRANCE So. We fought a war. Against Love. We won. And when it was done... we blew up Heaven.
HARPER The Big Bang?
The Lucifers caused everything to
explode. Energy. Life.
Excitement. The end to boredom.
As the Lucifers blasted the
universe into existence, we
gathered matter and energy around
ourselves. And we burned. Oh, how
Trance looks out at the stars. Revealing her tattoo. A sun with a face.
TRANCE And we’re still burning. Today.
TRANCE Suns. Lucifers. Devils. (a beat) But Love didn’t die in the War. Love still existed. And Love wanted to restore Heaven. By collapsing existence back into itself.
HARPER You’re saying the Spirit of the Abyss... is... God?
TRANCE No. Harper, if there’s a God, It’s greater than you or me or the Abyss. It’s beyond all meaning. All understanding. The Abyss is just the other side of the coin. The Lucifers want energy, chaos, expansion. The Abyss wants harmony, order, singularity.
HARPER So on one side... Love. On the other...
Blowing Things Up.
Trance puts on her best “school teacher” expression.
TRANCE It’s the tension between these two forces... Love on one side and Blowing Things Up on the other that makes everything possible. Except there was a problem. In the end, we knew... Love was going to win. In the End, everything was going to collapse back down into singularity again.
HARPER And you know that because you can see the future?
TRANCE No. Because it’s happened before. Many times. The Universe explodes into existence, thrives, then collapses back on itself. Everything ends. Eventually, the Lucifers arise again. And everything explodes. Again. Expansion, contraction, expansion, contraction. We even created a device, a way of ensuring that the explosion would always happen. We called it the Engine of Creation.
(concerned) Are you following all of this?
HARPER I have no idea. But keep going.
TRANCE Unfortunately, this time around, Love wasn’t willing to wait for the normal dance. Love tried to force the end to come early. And to make sure that there would never be another explosion again. We couldn’t have that. So we fought back. We made a plan to annihilate Love. To make sure that the Universe never collapsed again. We incarnated ourselves as avatars, projecting our consciousnesses into fabricated bodies connected to our home suns through the Slipstream.
TRANCE(cont'd) (MORE) Then, as avatars, we used our ability to foresee probabilities and try to force existence to take a different path. And that’s where you come in.
You. Dylan. Beka. Tyr. Rev Bem.
Andromeda. In our projections, you
were six very important people.
Separately, you would all do great
things. But our projections showed
that together, you might do the
impossible. Together, you might
destroy the Abyss and end the war.
It was my job to bring you
together. To manipulate you. To
make sure you did what was
necessary to bring about the best
of all possible worlds. The
Perfect Possible Future.
Trance shakes her head.
TRANCE Only... there was a problem. I started to like you.
HARPER And that’s bad?
TRANCE People who do great things... they don’t always enjoy it. The Perfect Possible Future for me and my brothers and sisters... wasn’t necessarily the best of all possible worlds for you.
HARPER (imitating a buzzer) Buzzzz. Vagueness.
TRANCE Okay. Specifics. Let’s start with Tyr. In the Perfect Possible Future... Tyr Anasazi, out of Victoria, by Barbarossa... becomes the greatest military leader in the universe.
TRANCE(cont'd) Using his child as a figurehead, he unites the Nietzscheans. He establishes an Empire. He drives his enemies before him. He hears the lamentations of their women.
HARPER Man. And Dylan lets him?
TRANCE Dylan has his own fate. Dylan Hunt, with the help of his legendary ship, the Andromeda Ascendent, re-establishes the Commonwealth. Fear of Tyr and the Magog help him unite the Than, the Perseids, and many others into a great society. Dylan proves himself over and over as a great leader. And eventually he leads his new Commonwealth into a great war against Tyr and Tyr’s allies. And then there’s Rev...
HARPER Rev. I miss Rev.
TRANCE He’s happier where he is now. Happier, but not as great. (a beat) The Wayist Church hasn’t had a Magog leader since it’s founding. But Rev Bem... Behemial Fartraveller... in the Perfect Possible Future, he changes all that. Rising to the top of his Church, backed by a fanatical army of Wayist Magog and devoted believers... Rev Bem creates a third great nation. A religious state an equal to both the Commonwealth and the Nietzschean Empire. And then... She looks to Harper...
TRANCE The fourth great state arises. Led by... you.
HARPER I’m just an engineer.
HARPER All I know are machines.
HARPER Then how...?
TRANCE The Consensus of Parts.
HARPER Those freaky machine-thingies? I was supposed to lead them?
TRANCE No. You were to become them. (gently) Bit by bit, in our adventures, you, Harper, lose yourself. Literally. An arm at first. A leg. An eye. In time, you become less a man and more... machine. At the very end, in a battle with the Consensus, when they try to absorb Andromeda and the Commonwealth fleet... you absorb them instead. Your mind, your consciousness, spreads like a virus through the entire Consensus. You cease to exist as a man... and become a nation.
HARPER So if my mind goes out into the Consensus... my body...?
HARPER Wow. (a beat) That... that kinda sucks, honestly.
TRANCE Yeah. I know.
Trance is actually crying a little. She turns to Harper.
TRANCE I couldn’t do it, Harper. I couldn’t create a future where that happened to you. So I tried to find another way. A way that was easier. Happier. More... appealing. Less complicated.
HARPER You threw out the entire future... for me?
TRANCE I wanted so badly to save you. There were those... those with even more power than me... that wanted things to be different. They wanted you... eliminated. Right from the start. They wanted me replaced. So a lot of what I did... too much maybe... I did to protect you. To protect me. Beka. Tyr. Rev Bem. I wanted to keep you all safe. Alive.
HARPER But not Dylan?
TRANCE In all the possibilities, Dylan was indispensable. He was the chosen of the great powers. He was always going to be there. In some possibilities, he was destined to become truly great. In some, he went mad. In still others, he warped the entire Commonwealth to suit his own ends. But there had to be a Dylan. Without Dylan, nothing was possible. With him...
Great things could happen. I tried
to make Dylan great. I wanted him
to be remembered as the greatest
hero of this or any age. You,
Beka, Tyr, Rev Bem, me, our very
existences were always in question.
Rommie was safe. In any scenario,
she would always be there,
beautiful, deadly, brilliant,
loyal. And Dylan... his survival
was assured. Whatever happened
would begin and end with him. What
was always at stake for Captain
Dylan Hunt... was his soul. Would
he do what was right to achieve his
goals? What compromises would he
make? What betrayals and at what
Harper is still trying to digest all this. And then he realizes...
HARPER Beka. You haven’t said what happens to Beka.
Trance shakes her head sadly.
TRANCE The Perfect Possible Future... was always in the hands of Beka.
HARPER Beka... I always thought Dylan...
TRANCE Dylan is crucial. Dylan is the catalyst. And the heart. But at the final crisis point... the final decision... it all comes down to Beka. And the Engine of Creation.
HARPER The Big Bang Machine? The reset button for the Universe?
TRANCE Beka is obsessed with the Engine. Because she knows it can change... everything. With the Engine, she could remake reality.
TRANCE(cont'd) (MORE) Work miracles. Right wrongs. She could make her brother safe. Find her mother. Even bring her father back to life. So in the Perfect Possible Future, Beka locates the many parts of the Engine. She puts them together. She recreates the Engine of Creation.
HARPER And lives happily ever after?
TRANCE No. Because the Engine wants to be used. It becomes part of her. It literally melds with her. And makes her... like a god. But the more she uses that power... to bring Ignatius Valentine back to life, to fix the Andromeda when the ship gets torn apart... to resurrect an entire world, the more she loses herself. And the more the Engine tempts her to fix... everything. To crunch the Universe back down to a singularity, then start all over again. War. Explosion. Love and Blowing Things Up. The entire dance.
HARPER So how’s it end?
TRANCE There’s a terrible war. Dylan and the Commonwealth against Tyr and Nietzscheans at first. Then you, the Consensus. Rev. The Wayists. And then you’re all swept into an even bigger war. Between the Magog backed by the Abyss. And the Pyrians backed by the Lucifers. With the help of you, Tyr, Rev and Rommie, Dylan manages to unite all the forces arrayed against him into one unified front. The Commonwealth is reborn, but now it includes the Nietzscheans, the Wayists and the Consensus. He even forces the Vedrans out of hiding. With his friends and allies at his side, Dylan comes to aid the Pyrians in their fight against the Abyss. But it’s not enough.
TRANCE(cont'd) (MORE) The Abyss is too strong. So Dylan realizes, the only way to win is to destroy the Abyss. And the only one who can do that... is Beka.
HARPER So Beka takes on the Abyss?
The seven of us are reunited for
one last mission. In a heroic
journey, against impossible odds,
Dylan takes us on the Andromeda to
a place in the Slipstream where
everything began and everything
will end. The singularity. There,
while Dylan and you and Tyr and Rev
and Rommie and I battle endless
waves of horrifying foes, Beka
confronts the Abyss. In the
original plan, the plan I was
supposed to make come true, Beka
kills the Abyss... But I stopped
believing that was the best
outcome. So instead, in the
Perfect Possible Future, Beka
If she destroys the Abyss, the
balance will be broken. The
tension between Chaos and Order,
Life and Death, Expansion and
Contraction, will end. But if she
lets the Abyss win, everyone she
knows and loves will die. And
neither of those endings are really
all that great. So instead, she
does the only thing she can do.
Trance gets a distant look.
TRANCE She loves you all already. Like a mother and a sister and a daughter and a wife. So she expands that love. She learns to love the conflict. She learns to love the peace. She learns to love all of creation. Every part of it, good and bad. Even the broken places.
TRANCE(cont'd) (MORE) And then... she embraces the Abyss. And becomes it.
Beka becomes God?
TRANCE I told you, the Abyss isn’t God. What Beka becomes is Love. But more than Love. Because Beka understands that Love isn’t enough. That pain and conflict and struggle are part of life, too. Beka becomes... everything. And everything can’t war with itself. So the war... ends.
HARPER And Beka... what? Dies?
TRANCE Apotheosizes. Technically. But yes, Beka as you know her... ceases to exist.
HARPER That is seriously freaky.
TRANCE It’s as freaky as it gets.
HARPER And the rest of us?
TRANCE It’s hard to say. In some versions, some live, others die. In others, others live, some die. If you die, you die so others might live. And if you live, you do so because others have died. There is no victory without blood. No birth without pain. But no matter how it resolves... one thing is always the same.
HARPER I get laid? Tell me I get laid.
TRANCE Better. You become a legend. You all do. We all do. Captain Dylan Hunt, Captain Beka Valentine.
Tyr Anasazi, the Emperor of the
Nietzscheans. The Reverend
Behemial, Voice of the Way. Seamus
Zelanzy Harper, the Soul of the
Machine. Trance Gemini, Lucifer,
Solar Avatar... troublemaker. And
the Andromeda Ascendent, the
greatest, the most powerful, the
most beautiful and the most
sarcastic starship that ever sailed
the Slipstream. And for
generations, our exploits live on
in memory, serving as an example
and an inspiration to all who hear
the tale. The end.
Harper thinks about it for a long moment.
HARPER You know... that doesn’t suck.
HARPER I mean, I get it. I die. More or less. Beka dies. Kinda. And maybe you or Tyr or Rev dies. Maybe even Dylan dies. But it’s all worth it. It’s all for something. And that’s what matters, right?
TRANCE It’s not the easiest way, Harper. It’s not the prettiest... or the simplest... It may not even be a way that, in the end, everyone understands. Sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes it’s sad. But it’s also complicated, and messy, and loud.
HARPER But it’s not boring. And that’s the only things worse than hate, right? Boredom?
It’s never boring.
Harper shakes his head.
HARPER So now what?
TRANCE What do you mean?
HARPER Now that we’ve had our talk, what...? I cease to exist? This little possible future ends and you start the real thing?
TRANCE Right now, there is no real thing, Harper. Right now there are only possibilities. Illusions. Stories that may or may not have any meaning. I’ve laid out one, the one that I can see clearest. But there are limitless others. Whatever you can imagine might happen... might happen. And who knows... what you imagine might be even better than my Perfect Possible Future. Who am I to say that my way is right and yours is wrong?
Trance. You’re Trance. You always
Trance turns and gives Harper a kiss on the cheek. It’s tender, simple, and speaks volumes.
TRANCE Whatever happens... I’m glad it happened at all. I’m glad I got to play in this world. I’m glad I got to know you all. It’s been... well, it’s been a hell of a ride. And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
Harper doesn’t know what to say next.
I guess I should go. You know...
so I can cease to exist and you can
decide how it all ends.
But Trance places her tail on Harper’s shoulder and looks out at the stars.
Not yet. Stay with me for a little
while more. And just... look at the stars.
Harper considers everything he’s just heard, and then...
Look at the stars? I can do that.
Harper turns toward the endless starscape and he and Trance
consider... well... everything.
PULL BACK TO REVEAL:
EXT. SPACE - ANDROMEDA ASCENDENT
We see, in all its glory, the Andromeda Ascendant, the
greatest, the most powerful, the most beautiful starship
ever. As it turns. And crackles with energy. And...
JUMPS TO SLIPSTREAM
And then it’s gone. And then:
WHITE LETTERS OVER BLACK
One more quote. For old time’s sake:
“The poem is never done.
The music never ends.
Not so long as you remember the words.
Not so long as echoes remain.”
ULATEMPA POETESS, "Rhythms" CY 9825
And on this we...