|Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way|
|Original air date||
April 9, 2001
Machinery or Navigate The Slipstream
While Under the Influence
Of This Beverage."
Sparky Cola (label),
"Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way" is episode 17 of Season 1.
Trance Gemini and Seamus Harper are on a "goodwill mission" to various Drifts. Harper, naturally, is using it as an opportunity to meet women and, in fact, he has invited one on board the Maru. However, instead of the expected woman, Gerentex shows up. He holds Harper and Trance at gunpoint and asks Trance "Aren't you dead?", and Trances replies "I got better." He then demands that they take him to meet a lovely lady that demands his punctual attention.
An alien bounty hunter, "Reaper", appears at the airlock, looking for Gerentex. He says "Give it up, Gerentex. You're coming with me. Dead, alive, or otherwise". Gerentex finally convinces Harper to launch the ship from the drift.
Rommie is cleaning up Harper's workshop when Beka Valentine comes to talk to her. As Rommie throws another empty can in the garbage she says, "Sparky Cola. It has no nutritional value, rots the teeth, and slowly dissolves the digestive tract. And yet he imbibes at least three thousand millilitres of it every single day". Beka replies, "Yeah. Harper's twin muses, chaos and caffeine". Beka has noticed that Dylan has been "brooding" lately, and wonders if Rommie knows what is bothering him. Rommie tells Beka that it is almost the end of what would have been Dylan's scheduled tour of duty as Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and he would, under normal circumstances, be preparing to turn the ship over to Gaheris Rhade, his first officer, who betrayed him at the Battle of Hephaistos.
Unfortunately, Beka has more bad news for Dylan Hunt.
When Gerentex threatens to shoot Harper, Harper tells him that he has the Maru linked into his life signs if he dies, the Maru explodes. Gerentex, however, has a "Plan B" using a dart gun, he injects both Harper and Trance with "micro generators", which he can activate remotely to give them a painful shock.
Gerentex ties Trance and Harper up, telling them how he is trying to recoup his rather substantial losses from his attempt to recover the Andromeda. He claims that this latest plan is even bigger than the Andromeda.
Beka gives Dylan her bad news: Xinti, the Perseid planet, is considering withdrawing from the new Commonwealth, because a faction of the Xinti High Council believes that Humans will screw up the new Commonwealth. They have to try to convince them to stay.
Harper and Gerentex bluster back and forth with threats and "tough talk" until Trance intervenes, expressing sympathy for Gerentex and Nightsiders in general. Harper takes advantage of the distraction to take the Maru through a series of barrel rolls that cause Gerentex to fall, breaking the remote for the micro generators. Trance quickly frees herself from her bonds, and unties Harper, after making him promise not to kill Gerentex.
Harper beats Gerentex around a bit, but Gerentex refuses to tell until Harper says,"Gerentex, this is my nanowelder. It can cut through a starship like a Magog at a puppy farm. Maybe it can jog your memory, huh?", while holding it near his groin. Which instantly convinces him to tell them his plan. Gerentex says that he has located the Diary of Hasturi, "The Mad Perseid", who claims to have found the route to Tarn-Vedra, the lost capital of the Systems Commonwealth. Harper plans to take the diary, although he is undecided whether to take it back to Dylan or keep it for himself.
Rommie and Dylan discuss how to convince the Perseids to stay with the Commonwealth. Dylan is having a hard time coming up with a way to convince them that it is in their best interest.
Reaper, in his own ship, attacks the Maru. Reaper's ship is faster, more maneuverable, and better armed than the Maru, and he is able to prevent them from transiting to slipstream. Gerentex suggests that Harper fly the Maru straight at him, while a collision would destroy both ships, he knows that Reaper is not suicidal since he wants the bounty money, so he will get out of the way. The plan works, and they escape.
Tyr and Beka discuss how they might assist Dylan, who is making little progress in swaying the opposition. Tyr suggests "nuking the planet", but he knows Dylan would not approve. He states that talking sense into the Perseids is similiar to appealling to a Nightsider's generosity. Beka says that diplomacy and threats will end in failure. Tyr asks what is left to use. Beka has a flash of inspiration, and says that she will use "Valentine-ology".
Harper and Trance go to a casino drift, where Gerentex was to meet his contact, Andulasia. She proves to be untrustworthy, as when Harper offers her payment, she says that she has raised her price to ten times her original price. Harper is upset by this, but Trance says that they can easily get the money by gambling. Trance goes on an impressive winning streak at the game of Yesheedono, but this draws the attention of the casino management, a Chichin and his guards.
Trance and Harper make the exchange with Andulasia, but Andulasia notices casino security approaching them, and runs, taking Trance's purse, upsetting Trance. The confrontation with the security guards is interrupted by Reaper, who has just arrived at the casino, guns drawn, looking for Gerentex, and a firefight breaks out. In the confusion, Harper and Trance run back to the Maru, where Gerentex, who has broken free of his bonds, ambushes them.
Gerentex forces Harper back into the pilot's seat by threatening non-lethal, but painful violence (remembering that killing Harper will destroy the Maru). He seems much more well disposed towards Trance, however, having seen how "profitable" she can be at the gambling table.
Trance seems understanding of Gerentex and the hard life he has led. While she is talking to him, she tries to sneak up and disarm him with her tail, but he catches her. She tries to talk him out of using force and violence, and have the three of them work together instead, but Gerentex is not convinced. In the middle of this discussion, Reaper shows up again.
Dylan has a word with Beka. Beka's idea for convincing the Perseids was apparently to send a message insulting them. She claims that this was to "get their attention", so Dylan would have an opportunity to plead his case. Dylan wonders if the Perseids will ever even talk to him again. While they are discussing the matter, a call comes in from Xinti. It is one of the strongest opponents of joining the Commonwealth, asking to speak with Beka.
The Maru arrives at Hasturi's Asteroid lair. The asteroid is still habitable, even after 100 years, although there are strange and disturbing paintings on the wall, including creatures with tentacles and red eyes. They proceed into the heart of the asteroid, but Gerentex makes Harper go first, to check for traps. Harper is about to walk out on them, saying he is not willing to put his neck on the line for someone else's profit, when Reaper shows up, guns blazing. The three of them run, only to come across the casino guards in another tunnel.
Gerentex wonders aloud how Harper and Trance seem to be able to avoid the gunfire. Trance tells him that it is because of the High Guard Personal Electronic Countermeasure Generators they are both wearing. Given this information, Gerentex takes Harper's for himself. The 3 of them get behind a pressure door, which Harper seals, and vents the atmosphere from the rest of the asteroid, eliminating Reaper and the casino guards.
They find Hasturi's library, containing the body of Hasturi and a Nietzschean who seem to have killed each other in a firefight. Gerentex tells Trance to find the diary, and she does so, fairly quickly. While Gerentex is distracted by this, Harper grabs a gun and starts shooting at him. The 2 of them shoot it out until they end up face-to-face in a Mexican standoff.
Dylan informs Beka that, thanks to her efforts, the Xinti council is back on board with the Commonwealth. Beka informs Dylan that she did not do it for the Commonwealth, she did it for him, because he is her friend.
Harper and Gerentex have been frozen in their standoff for what Trance says has been 20 minutes. Trance suggests that she count to 3, and then they can both put their guns down at the same time and talk it over. They agree, but on 2, they both roll out and start firing again. Trance screams, as if she has been hit, and both Harper and Gerentex stop and run to help her. When they get there, Trance suddenly turns with Hasturi's guns in her hands, one pointed at each of them. She threatens to shoot them if they do not stop shooting each other. She claims that she could get away with it; too, because she is cute she could convince Dylan that they killed each other, despite her efforts to stop them. Gerentex and Harper realize that she is right she could get away with it, so they had best do what she says.
Trance and Harper drop Gerentex at the nearest Drift, and keep the Diary. Before Gerentex goes he asks Trance if she would travel to all the casino drifts in the known worlds, because "'croupiers would tremble at the sound of our names". Trance says no, but then she gives him some of the Ansturian Tundra Flowers that they were distributing they are the most efficient oxygen producers in the universe, and thought extinct until the Andromeda was pulled from the black hole. They are, therefore, very valuable, and giving them to Gerentex is giving him a chance to make an honest living. As Trance says, everyone deserves a second chance.
After Gerentex leaves, Harper asks Trance if she was really going to shoot him. She says that of course she was not, just like he was not really going to shoot Gerentex.
As the sun sets over the beach on Xinti, Dylan treats Beka to a celebratory dinner.
- The title reflects the 1972 Hunter S. Thompson roman à clef "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", which was made into a 1998 film with Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Toro.
Gerentex: (to Trance) Aren't you dead?
Trance: I got better.
Gerentex: Huh. Lucky you.
Reaper: I'm looking for a Nightsider.
Trance: Well, we have one right here.
Reaper: Gerentex, you're coming with me. Dead, alive, or otherwise.
Gerentex: Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you? Let's have old Gerentex take us into his confidence and reveal his latest scheme for wealth and success, and then we'll betray him and keep it all for ourselves!
Trance: We would never do that!
Harper: I would.
Andulasia: I prefer my men strong and silent.
Trance: Well, you won't like Harper then.
Gerentex: Run for your lives, but let me go first!
Trance: I am so sick of this, you two, with your violence and your threats and your shooting stuff. Neither of you gets it, do you? There isn't enough love in the universe as it is, and you're both just helping to kill off what's left. So shape up, because if you don't show each other a little peace, love, and understanding, I'm going to kill you both.
Gerentex: I was on the verge of the big score Harper. Something even bigger than the Andromeda deal. A bonanza of unparalleled plenitude.
Harper: Plenitude? As in cash?
Gerentex: Of course cash, you idiot!
Gerentex: Don't stand there staring like he's the Vedran Empress. Get us out of here! He'll kill us all!
"Fear and Loathing in the Milky Way" was released on DVD in a variety of formats. For more information see:
|Andromeda: Season 1 Volume Releases|
|Andromeda: Complete Season 1|
|Andromeda: Series 1 Volume Releases|
|Andromeda: Complete Series 1|
|Andromeda: The Slipstream Collection|
|Andromeda: The Complete Boxset|