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Space: Above and Beyond, episode 4 (1.4)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
After an Alien attack, the 58th is forced to hitch a ride on a civilian cargo freighter transporting 2,000 cryogenically suspended people (including 200 Tanks) from deep space to new posts. Cooper discovers that his "sister" is among the 200 Tanks in section 46. When an Alien attack disables the cargo ship, the Captain orders section 46 shut down to preserve the power necessary to escape the enemy onslaught, provoking a mutiny among Tank crew members and forcing Cooper to decide where his allegiance lies.
Planet Groombridge 34 - SGT. MONK races the 58 back to the Saratoga. Suddenly - Chig ambush! Heavy fire and Monk takes a shot in the chest. Cooper tries to comfort him. Shane tells Cooper that they found transport to the Saratoga on a cargo ship, the MacArthur. She takes Monk's dog tags and tells Cooper to send them to Monk's family. CAPTAIN LEWELYN greets the 58th as they come aboard. Cooper takes particular notice of the cargo - refrigerated units containing unborn In Vitros floating in their tanks. - End of Teaser -
As the MacArthur heads into space, Lewelyn changes course to a faster, more direct route to the Saratoga which takes the MacArthur through "Blood Alley," - a narrow channel between a pair of unstable suns. FIRST MATE POTTER is upset that they are altering their course which puts them in danger. Not only do the hydrogen gasses play havoc with communications, but the solar flares interfere with the computers. Lewelyn overrules him. it's the fastest way to the Saratoga.
In the Captain's Mess, Cooper looks around at his friends writing to their loved ones. As McQueen writes to Monk's wife, Cooper asks him if he ever wondered what it would be like to have a family. McQueen's answer is simple: "The Corps is my family." Feeling totally alone, Cooper jogs down the corridors. He comes to a stop at the engine room which houses a dirty, leaking nuclear reactor. CHIEF PETTY OFFICER J.J. KEATS is not surprised when he notices the navel on Cooper's neck, "Every man down here is a Tank. Tanks get all the dirty jobs, like SORREL and ASHBY in the engine room." Keats shows Cooper the cargo hold and explains that the MacArthur has a skeleton crew of seven humans and six Tanks. Mostly they are transporting humans in cryogenic sleep and one section, Section 46, houses In Vitros being taken to a plutonium mining coloy. Desperate to find family, Cooper asks Lewelyn if he can see the cargo manifest. Potter cuts him down, saying: "How can something grown in a tank consider itself related to any
Just then a sudden burst of energy hits the ship causing the reactor temperatures to spike. Sorrel and Ashby quickly take the reactor off-line and kick in the back up generators. Lewelyn orders Communications to send the distress signal, but all radio and radar are out. McQueen offers to have his unit assist. He orders Nathan to man the radar, Damphousse to the engine room, Shane and Wang to arm the laser pulse cannons and Cooper to work with Keats on damage control. Cooper hesitates, "He's one of us." McQueen reminds Cooper that he's a Marine, not a Tank.
Without the aid of communications or radar, West agrees that the burst must have been a solar flare, but McQueen's insticts tell him differently. Shane and Wang run a weapons check, while Damphousse helps Sorrel and Ashby get the nuclear reactor back on line. Potter completes his inspection of the human cargo. Keats secretly gives Cooper the cargo manifest and wishes him luck in finding family. Cooper checks and rechecks the numbers, turns to find Potter standing in front of Section 46. Before Cooper can force him out of the way, another wave of energy slams into the MacArthur.
Everyone struggles to recover as alarms sound and sparks fly. Reactor temperatures spike and Damphousse quickly takes the reactor off line, but the pressure is too much and one of the auxiliary generators explodes. Nathan spots a dark shadow on the radar screen, but can't get an exact bearing. Captain Lewelyn orders power cut to Section 46, to give the most power for the fewest lives. The choice is simple. Keats and Cooper hesitate to destroy the In Vitros, especially because Cooper discovered he has a sister in Section 46.
Nathan sees the dark shadow coming around again but can't identify it. McQueen thinks it's a U378. An Alien destroyer that goes for the soft kill. It jumbles communications, spikes reactor temperatures and turns around for the hard kill. With the second generator about to explode, Lewelyn again orders Keats to cut power to Section 46, but Keats refuses. "Too many In Vitros have died fighting your wars." Potter comes into the generator room to cut the power, but Cooper helps Keats overtake him. Keats rushes to get Ashby and Sorrel to stop Lewelyn from pulling the plug.
On the bridge, Nathan confirms that missiles have been launched. McQueen orders Damphousse to use all available power to launch the cargo haulers so the missiles will go for them. A hard left rudder and the missiles hit the cargo launchers, sparing the MacArthur. McQueen races off the bridge to find Cooper, but Cooper confronts him first, "How can you let him kill In Vitros?" McQueen explains, "Captain's word is law. It's the only decision he can make." Cooper says he found his sister in Section 46. McQueen says that he'll give Damphousse five minutes to repair the reactor, before he pulls the plug.
Keats and Sorrel drag Potter onto the bridge and demand control of the ship. When Lewelyn refuses, Sorrel fires, killing him. McQueen races onto the bridge and Sorrel trains his weapon on him. McQueen demands control of the ship. When Keats refuses, Cooper steps in the middle, not wanting Keats to kill McQueen or McQueen to kill In Vitros. McQueen says "You can't have it both ways."
As the MacArthur drifts in space, Nathan detects the Alien ship coming in to confirm the kill. McQueen forces Cooper to make a choice. Cooper convinces Keats to let McQueen take control. McQueen tells Cooper that he must decide if one hundred sixty-eight tanks die or they all die. Realizing he has no options, Cooper races to the generator room, closes his eyes and cuts the power. As the power goes out to section 46, the generator and weapons are restored.
Just then a solar flare blasts, scrambling the radar. The U378 can only make visual contact. McQueen plays a fast game of hide and seek, fires the perigee kick motor, sending the MacArthur straight towards the Alien ship. As the MacArthur slides under the U378, McQueen orders weapons fire. Sparks fly as Shane and Wang blast the Alien destroyer. Cheers erupt as the reactor comes back on line and the ship regains full power.
McQueen finds Cooper in Section 46 and congratulates him for doing the right thing. As McQueen leaves, he tells Cooper that he never had the courage to look for his family because he was afraid of what he might feel. Cooper slowly walks into the storage unit and finally finds his sister. Tears well in his eyes. He has so much to say to her but can only say, "I'm sorry. Goodbye."
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