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Soon the Nearing Vortex


Production #


Original air date

November 3, 2003

Written by

Paul Barber and Larry Barber

Directed by

Brad Turner

Developed by

Robert Hewitt Wolfe


Sherry Gorval

Executive Producer

Allan Eastman
Majel Roddenberry
Josanne B. Lovick
Jay Firestone
Adam Haight
Kevin Sorbo
Bob Engels

Production Designer

Richard B. Lewis

Guest stars

Keith Hamilton Cobb as Tyr Anasazi
Nicholas Lea as Tri-Lorn
Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade
Chris Webb as Courier Pilot Kent
Vicky Lambert as Beautiful Dancer
Sonya Salomaa as Aurelia
Ivar Brogger as Pish Tryan
Chris Harrison as Captain Zaynic

Preceded by


Followed by

The World Turns All Around Her

"Once you give into the void,
space itself becomes time.
Once you give into the void,
many are the mouths of reality."
New Century Manifesto
CY 4001

"Soon the Nearing Vortex" is episode 6 of Season 4.


Andromeda is moving to the rescue of a prison transport, which has no markings, but a Commonwealth transponder. Andromeda detects two people onboard: the pilot, and one prisoner. The attacking Nietzscheans are chased off, and Andromeda hails the transport. The hail is answered by the pilot, Lieutenant Commander Telemachus Rhade (who explains that, while he was an Admiral in Tarazed's old Home Guard, he accepted a lower rank in the new Commonwealth). Rhade explains that he is en route to Tarazed on a top secret mission. He must decline Andromeda's assistance, and cannot tell Dylan Hunt anything about his prisoner.

A large Nietzschean fleet arrives, and attempts to disable the transport. Dylan realizes that the Nietzscheans want to recover the prisoner alive.

In his cell, Tyr cuts a small device out of his forearm with his fingernail, and uses it to disable the cell's forcefield.

An escape pod leaves the prison transport, and the Nietzscheans increase their level of force, severely damaging the ship. The Nietzscheans retrieve the pod and leave, scattering in several directions. Andromeda retrieves a second escape pod, containing Lieutenant Commander Rhade, despite Rhade's protestations that recovering the prisoner is more important than his safety. Because of the overwhelming force that was used, Dylan deduces that it must be Tyr Anasazi.

Tyr makes his way to a planet, where he meets with a Collector named Pish Tryan. Their discussion reveals that the Collectors have survived the First Systems Commonwealth Civil War through blackmail and extortion, and that Tyr believes that he can anticipate Dylan's actions. Pish believes that they can make a deal with the Spirit of the Abyss, but Tyr disagrees. Tyr promises to deliver the "Route of Ages", a record of the wars against the Abyss, to Pish in exchange for the Collectors' help.

Dylan has been ordered to deliver Rhade to Tarazed, but he intends to evade the order, feeling that Rhade is being prosecuted illegally.

Most of the crew mistrusts Tyr, but Beka feels that he can be trusted more than Rhade, based on his willingness to risk his life for them in the past. Dylan is certain that Tyr is trying to manipulate them, and his plan is to play along until they know what he is planning. Rhade shares his records of Tyr's capture, and indicates that he views Tyr's treachery against the Commonwealth as a personal insult to all Nietzscheans.

Dylan sends a message to Tri-Lorn on Tarazed, claiming that the Andromeda was damaged in the battle, and that they will deliver Rhade as soon as repairs are complete. Dylan calls it "strategic truth". Dylan notes that he is finding himself mistrusting certain elements of the Commonwealth, and is uncomfortable with this feeling.

Andromeda proceeds to the planet where Tyr was captured, and Dylan, Beka Valentine, Seamus Harper, Trance Gemini and Rhade explore. In the midst of a desert, they locate a small structure, which they enter, finding it larger inside than out. They are greeted by a woman, Aurelia, who shows them a three dimensional map of the universe. Dylan locates Tarn-Vedra, and Harper finds Earth.

Aurelia and Trance seem to recognize each other, and Trance asks to see "that which [she] fears the most". Aurelia shows her an area of space that shimmers black and red, and tells Trance that it is unmapped. Trance declares it a "doorway to the Abyss", and says that she is "ready". Aurelia gives her a large cylinder, and Trance seems to know what it is.

Nietzscheans burst into the room, and the crew, with Aurelia, flee out the back door, only to be confronted by Tyr and his troops. Tyr demands the cylinder, and tries to shoot Dylan, but Aurelia dives in the way, saving Dylan, but she is mortally wounded. Her sacrifice gives the crew the time to chase Tyr and his troops off. As she dies, Aurelia tells Dylan that the cylinder contains the Star Map to the Route of Ages, and Trance knows how to use it.

Tyr and Rhade confront each other, and Rhade challenges Tyr to unarmed combat, calling him an embarrassment to the Nietzschean race; self-absorbed, self-centered, and unaware of his own limitations. They fight, and Tyr flees. He refuses to kill Rhade after being reminded of the legacy of Drago Museveni.

The crew of the Andromeda hold a funeral for Aurelia. Dylan says that it is up to them to make her death mean something.

Tyr and Pish are being entertained by a dancer who is controlled by Pish's woodwind instrument playing. The Collector blames Tyr for losing the Route of Ages, but Tyr says that it is actually to their advantage, as they do not know how to read it anyway, and now they can follow Dylan. Pish shows Tyr an illustration he has from an ancient book, showing Trance being worshiped as a goddess. He says that Trance is a "counterbalance" to the Abyss, "the weight of light". Time is running out for Pish and Tyr.

Trance explains that the cylinder contains 7 species of photoreactive life forms, that need to interact to reveal the Route of Ages. She opens the cylinder and pours them out on the Obs Deck. Particles float in the air, and form patterns, resolving into concentric circles with what appears to be writing on them. She declares that "it will show us the way when it's ready".

Beka receives a message from Tyr: He wants to meet with her, and claims he can keep her safer than she would be on the Andromeda. He promises to tell her "everything". She gives the message to Dylan, who allows her to go, and thanks her for her honesty.

Beka leaves, and Dylan finds that much of the message has self-destructed, but in what remains, Tyr tells Dylan, "you will fail, I will prosper."

Andromeda follows Beka, but stays out of sensor range. Harper mostly trusts her to come back, but Rhade has issues with her "insubordination".

Beka meets Tyr, and tells him up-front that Dylan knows she is doing so. Tyr tells her that his ambitions extend beyond rulership of the Nietzscheans. Beka notes that she and Tyr do not really trust each other.

On the Obs Deck, the Route of Ages has become a star map. When Trance focuses on the area she identified as the "doorway to the Abyss", she finds that it is mapped, and she says that they must go there, to save life itself.

Several Commonwealth ships arrive, one of which is carrying Tri-Lorn. Dylan tells them that their repairs are done, and he was just about to bring Rhade to them. Tri-Lorn says that he has a warrant for Rhade's arrest, and he will take him now. Dylan tells Rhade that they have enough to clear him. Rhade tells Dylan that he knows what Gaheris Rhade did to him, and he wants to earn Dylan's trust and make up for his ancestor's betrayal. Rhade states that Tyr Anasazi was a fool. A true Nietzschean evolves, Tyr is static and is focused on his own legend. Tyr refused the "opportunity of a lifetime" by betraying Dylan. Rhade is transferred to the Commonwealth ships, which leave.

Kent returns, and tells Dylan that Rhade was transferred to a ship with no markings, headed for Laguna Proxima. Dylan, finding this suspicious, checks the Star Map provided by the Route of Ages, and finds a shortcut to this system, and heads in with Battle Blades extended. When he arrives, he is hailed by Pish, in the unmarked ship, who orders him to leave. Dylan says he will go, but insists that Rhade be returned to him. Pish initially denies any knowledge of Rhade, but eventually concedes that he will exchange him for the Route of Ages. Dylan refuses.

During the course of the discussion, Andromeda determines where on Pish's ship Rhade is being held. Dylan and Rommie board the ship and break Rhade out. Pish confronts them, and tries to arrest Dylan, but Dylan reminds the guards with Pish that they are Commonwealth, while Pish is not, and they let him go.

Beka tells Tyr that she needs to make a choice, and she thinks that she stands a better chance with him than on the Andromeda.

Andromeda has traced the Maru's trail. Dylan orders her to take them to pick Beka up and follow the Route of Ages.


Memorable Quotes[]

Rommie: However, Tyr has also been devious an equal number of times.
Harper: And probably more, if you count the times he could have been so devious we never even found out about it!

Dylan: (about Tyr) You still care for him?
Beka: About as much as you can care for a self-centered, self-important Nietzschean.

Harper: Now, except for waking up next to a certain satisfied android, I've seen everything!

Harper: Okay. Let me get this straight. A Commonwealth Nietzschean arrests The Nietzschean of all Nietzscheans, who escapes. The Commonwealth tells us not to go after The Nietzschean but to arrest the Commonwealth Nietzschean who arrested The Nietzschean in the first place. Makes a lot of sense.