|Tunnel At The End Of the Light|
|Original air date||
May 13, 2002
Welcome inky night.
Only in darkness
Can I see your soul."
"Lost Verses of Krrendar,"
"Tunnel At The End Of The Light" is episode 22 of Season 2.
There is a reception for the Commonwealth signatories being held on the Andromeda, for the formal signing of the charter, and to elect the first Triumvirate. There is a popular call for Dylan Hunt to become the Triumvir, but he declines. Tyr Anasazi is disappointed in him for turning down the leadership position.
Seamus Harper is staying away from the reception, working on a large project in the machine shop, when there is an explosion. Beka and Tyr rush to investigate, just in time for Tyr to save Harper from being crushed under a large chunk of falling ceiling.
Dylan is speaking with Madame Prevor, the representative from Ne'Holland. She encourages Dylan to run for Triumvir, but Dylan counters that she would make a good candidate. She tells him that some of the worlds may be reluctant to commit to the Commonwealth without Dylan as Triumvir, and may even try to back out.
Rommie pulls Dylan aside. She tells him about the problems in the machine shop, and that she has discovered problems in her Artificial Intelligence core. She has determined that it is sabotage. Dylan notes that they have selected an uninhabited system for this meeting, specifically to avoid outside interference, which leaves only the crew and delegates in a position to cause problems. He sends Tyr and Beka to search the delegates' quarters.
Trance Gemini and Andromeda are reviewing the records they have on the delegates. They are paying particular attention to the Nietzscheans. Zhukov Pashtun, the Sabra-Jaguar Pride senator, is very suspicious, but they keep looking. Trance asks Rommie for more information on a human representative, James Severin, and they discover that he is actually a Nietzschean who has had his bone blades removed.
Tyr and Beka Valentine find someone sneaking around in the corridors, it is Severin. They corner him while he is accessing the Andromeda's systems, but he makes the internal defenses fire at them, and flees.
Despite reservations about Harper's diplomacy skills, Dylan assigns him to keep the delegates occupied while he helps Beka and Tyr track down the saboteur. Harper starts to perform a magic act, but is rather inept.
Tyr, Beka, and Dylan corner Severin. Dylan wants to take him alive for questioning, but Severin is suddenly attacked and dragged off by a Pocket Universe species member that appears out of nowhere and disappears through the ceiling. Dylan compares this to Jeger and Satrina Leander's Tesseract abilities, but Andromeda says that, based on her sensor readings, it is not the same thing. She tries to use her internal sensors to detect the alien by its mass, and discovers that her power is being re-routed to the Observation Deck, where the delegates are assembled. Dylan, Beka, and Tyr run to get them out.
Harper is still doing his bad magic act, but the temperature on the Obs deck is getting very warm. In the middle of Harper's act, the alien grabs one of the ambassadors, making him disappear. The delegates think this is part of his act. Zhukov starts to feel the radiation, and tries to leave, but the doors are stuck. Tyr forces the door open from the outside, and orders the delegates to follow. As they move through the corridors, there is an explosion nearby.
Dylan tells him to take the delegates to the engine room. Zhukov protests that that is a dangerous place, but Tyr notes that there are extra bulkheads there, affording additional protection from external threats.
Dylan is keeping alert for the alien, and suspects that it will attack a prominent target, perhaps Zhukov. The alien tries to grab Madame Prevor, but Dylan pulls her to safety. Beka shoots at the alien, and it leaves.
Zhukov suggests that the delegates leave the ship, but Dylan says that he feels the aliens are trying to break them apart, and interfere with the formation of the Commonwealth.
Rommie wonders why the aliens do not just destroy the ship, as they appear to be powerful enough. Dylan says that if they want to discredit the Commonwealth, they need someone to tell the story.
Trance warns Dylan not to let the delegates leave. She says that this is the main mistake that she came back in time to fix. In her timeline, there was a massive alien attack, and the Commonwealth was destroyed before it was even formed. Dylan orders Andromeda not to let the delegates leave.
Trance uses Andromeda's computer to show them what the attacking alien ships looked like, saying that they appeared out of nowhere. Andromeda says that to dimension shift a large number of ships like that would take too much power, but Trance says that that is what they thought in her timeline, too.
Dylan and Rommie are walking with Madame Prevor, guarding her, but an alien appears and takes her anyway. A second alien appears, knocks Dylan down, and fights with Rommie. The alien is fast and strong, and is to be a match for Rommie, but Dylan gets up and shoots it. More aliens arrive, and fight with Dylan and Rommie. Eventually they kill or drive off all of them, but Dylan is now convinced that Severin was not working with the aliens. Tyr agrees that Severin was an agent of the Drago-Kazov Pride.
A ship, looking like the one that Trance drew, materializes, fires, and phases out before the Andromeda can react. It continues to do this, at random points around the ship. Dylan asks Trance how they fought the ships in her timeline, but she says that they could not, they lost, and now they have gone too far into a bad future again. Beka suggests that they try to retreat and regroup, and Dylan orders Andromeda to switch to defensive fire and evasive maneuvers.
More alien ships appear and attack. Andromeda is managing to defend herself, but is still unable to counter-attack.
Several Nietzschean ships arrive, Zhukov's fleet, but they do not join the fight. Zhukov plans to leave the Andromeda, and offers to take any other delegates who want to leave with him. Harper tries to stop them, but Zhukov ignores Harper until Harper actually threatens him with a "line in the sand". Zhukov is impressed with this, and says that if they prove that they can fight the aliens, his fleet will assist them.
Dylan decides that, since Trance has already faced these ships, she might have an advantage, so he puts her on fire control. Trance begins calling firing vectors at random, and, on her second shot, hits one of the alien ships as it is phasing in.
After Trance has destroyed one of the ships, the Nietzschean fleet joins the fight. Andromeda is taking heavy damage, but the rest of the Commonwealth fleet arrives and also joins the fray.
Dylan suggests a battle plan. They will lay down fire over specific areas of space, using the asymmetric warfare tactic of carpet bombing. This will prevent the aliens from materializing except in the areas they allow them to. This tactic works, but more and more alien ships keep coming, and they are starting to be overwhelmed.
Rommie detects a "dimensional tunnel" that is to be coming from "another universe", and identifies it as the source of the ships. This is the Pocket universe species from the Pocket Universe. Trance says that they did not find this tunnel in the other timeline, so this may give them a chance of changing the future for the better. Rommie and Harper marvel at the amount of energy that would be required to open and maintain this tunnel.
Dylan reveals that the project that Harper was working on was a Nova bomb called "Rosanne", in fact, it is even more powerful than Dylan asked him to make it. They had intended to use it on the Magog World Ship, but this situation calls for its use. Beka offers to deliver the bomb in the Eureka Maru, but Trance stops her. She says that in the other future, the 2 of them went out on the Maru, but they were the only ones who survived. She says that Dylan should fly the Maru, in order to force the future to change.
Beka tells Dylan that Trance has told her that, in the other timeline, he got the idea to use the bomb to blow up the system's sun, and take out the alien ships in the system with it. She and Trance took it in the Maru, but they released it too early, the Andromeda did not get away, and the Commonwealth died. Beka notes, however, that they are already in a better future, and she knows how to avoid what went wrong last time, so she will fly the Maru. Tyr offers to go along with her. Beka asks him why, but he evades the question.
The Commonwealth fleet is taking heavy casualties, but holding their ground, until Andromeda detects 10,000 more alien ships coming through the tunnel.
Beka and Tyr are approaching the tunnel in the Maru, when an alien materializes behind Tyr. He fights it, while Beka releases the bomb. The Maru is caught in the explosion, and takes heavy damage as a fireball fills the ship.
The tunnel closes, and all of the alien ships phase out.
The Maru returns to the Andromeda on autopilot. As it lands, much of it is in flames. Dylan races aboard, but, in the wreckage, Beka and Tyr are nowhere to be found.
- The title is an inversion of the phrase "The light at the end of the tunnel". The original phrase refers to the person obtaining their objective. In the 1980s an ironic variation suggested the light was an incoming railroad train, that hope might be futile. This variation became a popular joke in modern science fiction. The original phrase refers to an indication that a long period of hardship and struggle may finally be coming to an end, a metaphor of a person walking through a dark tunnel and seeing light up ahead. The idiom dates back to the mid-1800s. By inverting it, it implies that a happy moment, in this case the ceremony for the new Commonwealth charter, is being followed by a long dark struggle. Or perhaps merely the actual interdimensional tunnel.
- Tyr Anasazi shows disdain for a Nietzschean.
- Beka Valentine's comments about the dimensional tunnel's beauty are similiar to "Solar Crisis". The pilot comments on the beauty of the solar chaos while piloting a suicide mission to deliver a massive warhead.
- The storyline is similiar to the "Babylon 5" television movie "Thirdspace". A alien invasion comes from an alternate universe. The heroes are at the "wrong place at the wrong time". The alien invaders have superior firepower and the heroes must rely on a nuclear warhead to destroy the gate.
- The use of the super Nova bomb and the battle resembles the Star Trek episodes "Behind the Lines", "Favor the Bold", and "Sacrifice of Angels". The Federation must commence Operation Return early since the destruction of the self-replicating mines will allow massive Dominion reinforcements to travel through the wormhole.
Andromeda: Critical systems failure in machine shop 17.
Harper: Thanks, I'm aware of that. How about critical systems repair to machine shop 17?
Harper: I'm diplomacy-challenged! I make fish angry!
Trance: (after hitting an alien ship) Yeah, that's it, baby! Scared money walks, sweet sugar action talks! … I heard that one in a casino once.
Dylan: There's only one way to fight a superior opponent.
Zhukov: Well, that I wouldn't know – I've never fought a superior opponent.
Trance: What kind of a life does a Nietzschean mother expect for her son when she names him Ghengis Stalin?
Andromeda: He's said to be a delightful conversationalist.
Tyr: Remember my admonition about becoming complacent? About forgetting what it means to test our will against the universe? Well, now we have two!