Turning in every mouth."
High Senator Bonn,
Fifteenth Congress of Tal
"The Eschatology of Our Present" is episode 5 of Season 5.
Beka Valentine and Dylan Hunt are in the Eureka Maru, transporting cargo vital to the reconstruction of the Andromeda. Virgil Vox, the Seefra System's radio personality, is waxing philosophic concerning Methus-2, when the computer picks up four attack ships heading straight towards them. Beka fell behind on payments to the local crime lord for letting her run goods in this sector and he’s come to collect. As they prepare to evade the ships, Vox pipes up about someone actually fighting the good fight, crediting Beka and her friends, and he dedicates a song to her. She vaguely remembers the song but can’t place it. He speaks of a secret he has for her and tells her to find the old man who sings at his daughter’s grave. Just then, the 4 ships open fire. Beka zigs between the planet’s rings while Dylan shoots back, destroying 2 of them. The remaining two close the gap and hammer the Maru. Dylan has no choice but to jettison the cargo that the Andromeda badly needs for repair, smashing the pursuers to pieces.
The next day, Telemachus Rhade, Trance Gemini, and Doyle join them at the Oasis Bar while Seamus Harper serves in his new duty as bartender. They discuss Vox’s secret and the strange song, which Dylan recognizes as Vedran. It comes from a town on the other side of Seefra-1 called Boyagen. This baffles Beka because her father used to sing it to her. The town is a closed society and ripe with paranoia due to a high disappearance rate. They are prone to shooting intruders on sight, so Beka agrees to give Rhade and Doyle a cut of whatever secret is offered her if they help smuggle her in. Early the next morning, she flies them near the town and waits as they sneak in. They hide in merchants’ stalls while guards pass by before making their way to the Remembrance Wall that Vox spoke of. It is a reverent place with holographic images of the missing locals who quietly tell their story. As they watch from their hiding place, an old man named Avineri approaches a hologram of a little girl brushing her hair back and sings the same song Vox played for Beka. However, they are spotted by guards and are chased through the market. Doyle and Rhade manage to pummel 2 of them and escape with their hooded cloaks.
Back in the bar, they watch the video Rhade shot of the old man. Judging by the age the little girl would be by now and by what Vox has said, Trance suggests Beka may indeed be his missing daughter Mala. Beka decides that will be her angle for gaining the secret. While they talk, Beka’s crime boss RBarton bursts in and collars a man in violation of the technology laws. He delivers sentencing on the spot and electrocutes the man, who falls dead at their feet. He invites himself to the table and accuses Dylan and his friends of the same violation, but offers to forget it for half the take of Vox’s secret. Beka refuses and when Dylan won’t bargain either, RBarton’s thugs attack him, causing a full blown bar fight. Only Beka stays out of the fray so as not to upset her already shaky business relationship with the criminals. Harper finally fires a shot in the air and breaks up the fight. RBarton is impressed with Rhade and Dylan, offering them jobs, but they turn him down before he leaves. He has made Dylan angry enough to help Beka find her secret so he accompanies her and Rhade back to Boyagen.
When they arrive at the edge of town, Dylan and Rhade create a hologram of the an asteroid crashing to the ground and Beka plays the new arrival type, tumbling out of the explosion. She brushes herself off and swears to the gathering crowd that she is Mala and she must be taken to the Wall. Avineri appears and approaches Beka. He doesn’t believe it until she flicks her hair away from her face; his daughter’s tell-tale gesture. He embraces her and Beka is surprised to be overcome with emotion. She hugs him back and he takes her to his home. They talk little of the past, focusing now on their present and future. None of the missing ever returned until now and it brings him great hope in this time of uncertainty, especially with the danger of the failing sun looming on the horizon.
He leads her back to the Wall and they pass right through a holographic false section of it, appearing in none other than Virgil Vox’s hidden studio. Various crystals, programmed to carry his voice when plugged into the proper readers, lay about the place. Avineri gives her a special crystal, encoded with a message from Vox. He then leads her to a drawer that he closes her in and she receives her secret.
She walks in a Virtual Reality matrix version of Boyagen with Vox’s voice guiding her to the Wall where the image of the system’s twin suns appears. His voice explains how the Vedrans came to be and how they built this system and its suns, intentionally isolating it from the violence rampant in the rest of the universe. But their peaceful ways soured over time and after much fighting, most left the system behind, closing it off from almost all escape and entry and bestowing upon the remaining people a fear of the technology that could free them. Vox’s voice tells her to find something called the Methus Plate, blueprints of the twin suns. The scene fades, leaving her alone in her drawer. She calls out but Avineri is gone. They were followed by RBarton and Avineri had time only to lock her inside before he was taken. She escapes through an emergency exit into a system of caves beneath the town while RBarton tortures Avineri for information about her and Vox. Beka makes it to Avineri’s ransacked house the next day to find Dylan and Rhade waiting for her. She tells them Vox’s secret and Dylan is able to raise RBarton on his hand comm to arrange a trade.
They meet at the Wall where Beka can see the beating Avineri has taken, but he hasn’t said a word to them. RBarton threatens his life unless Beka tells him the secret. She agrees to trade herself for Avineri’s life. They walk towards each other and embrace in the middle when Dylan reneges on the deal and fires a shot, wounding RBarton. He orders Rbarton and his thugs away but they draw their weapons, only to be shot down by Dylan and Rhade.
Beka returns Avineri to his home and bandages his wounds. They talk with his head in her lap and she tells him she is not his daughter. It matters little as his trust for her goes beyond that. He instructs her to place her hand on the wall and speak her real name. Twice she says Beka Valentine but with no result. When she speaks the name Mala Propina, the wall opens revealing the Methus Plate. He doesn’t know how to use it, only that he was charged with passing it to her. She asks about the prize Vox mentioned but Avineri has died.
Aboard the Andromeda, the crew considers the plate and why Beka was chosen. Only Trance can offer the idea which no one understands, that she was born here as well as elsewhere. Later, Dylan has Andromeda farther along in the repairs than ever as Virgil Vox speaks in the background. Then, a scene in a dark, cluttered studio where the smoky silhouette of a woman speaking though a voice alterer finishes the signature Vox monologue.
- Eschatology refers to the "end of the world" or the "end time" and the study thereof.
- The title presents something of a contradiction, since eschatology is the study of the end of time, the ultimate fate of humanity and its resolution. However, in the Seefra System, time-space reality is warped.
- Jianna Ballard, who portrays the image of Mala Propina in this episode, also played young Beka in "Time Out of Mind".
- When Rhade at first declines to help Beka search for Virgil Vox's secret, he tells her, "Sorry, gotta wash my hair." In the Klingon language, from "Star Trek", this phrase is used by Klingon women to reject a male Klingon's advances.
Trance: But there are no rules or laws here.
Dylan: Oh, I have one. No one boards my ships without an invitation.
Virgil Vox: No reason to fear. Awareness has chosen you to watch. Listen. Learn. As you know more and more, you'll question more and more, which seems a paradox, but isn't. So. Are you ready now to receive my message? Millennia passed when everything was nothing. Enigma realizes itself. The Vedran mind comes into being. It constructed planets and suns, the nonpareil of their creations. A place of peace. Refuge in the universe caught in the chaos of selfishness. The Seefra System was born. And the Vedrans separated it from all other things, isolated it for it to flourish. But nothing can withstand the corruptions of desire. Inhabitants began fighting for what they already had. The Vedran, almost all, left their creation behind to learn from their mistakes, which were many. And the Vedran creators closed off all escape and entree. Imbued their people with fear of the very technologies that could free them. Centuries later, now, the suns are failing. You are key to their salvation.
Beka: What? How can that be?
Virgil Vox: Because you're from this place, as we all are. You are to secure the Methus Plate, the original architecture of the twin suns. Give them to the one who led you here. But to get the Methus Plate, you must trust, even in the face of your fears.
Virgil Vox: Reveal who you are.
Virgil Vox: Seefra citizens, this is Virgil Vox with the music that rocks while my conscience talks. This one is for all those born before their time, going out to those who pay a price for good advice. Which is all of us after all. Cause everybody’s got demons. All I can say is, do whatever gets you a good nights sleep. It’s up to you and me, each of us, to do what needs doing. And we don’t have to fool ourselves, there’s plenty needs doing. But, and here's the thing, you can’t look for someone else to show you the way, no sir. So my listeners of my heart, this is Virgil Vox, giving you my blessing.
Dylan: Hunt here.
Virgil Vox: Captain Hunt.
Dylan: Captain Hunt. Haven't heard that in a long time.
Virgil Vox: What is time in a place like this, or rank.
Dylan: You’re the one who called me captain. So where are you Virgil?
Virgil Vox: Here, there, everywhere, you know where, my man.
Dylan: Do you ever not talk in puzzles?
Virgil Vox: Not yet.
Dylan: Well then puzzle me this. Why all of us here but apart?
Dylan: So now I get the silent treatment.
Dylan: Yeah. Look you were the one who contacted me, so what can I do for you?
Dylan: I’m going to bed.
Virgil Vox: Sleep tight.
Dylan: How bout something smooth to take me there.
Virgil Vox: Already done.
Virgil Vox: Virgil Vox back on your box, this ray of sunshine goes out to all of us who are castaway, like the late great crew of the Andromeda Ascendant.
|Aired:||October 22, 2004|
|Writer By:||Larry Barber and Paul Barber|
|Directed By:||Richard Flower|
|Created By:||Gene Roddenberry|
|Developed By:||Robert Hewitt Wolfe|
|Executive Producers:||Majel Roddenberry|
Josanne B. Lovick
|Production Designer||Brian Kane|
|Intro||The Universe is a dangerous place. But in our future my crew and I fight to make it safe. I am Dylan Hunt, Captain of the Andromeda Ascendant, and these are our adventures.|
- Kevin Sorbo as Dylan Hunt
- Lisa Ryder as Beka Valentine
- Steve Bacic as Telemachus Rhade
- Gordon Michael Woolvett as Seamus Harper
- Laura Bertram as Trance Gemini
- Lexa Doig as Rommie
- Brandy Ledford as Doyle