NEW CHARACTERS: Sgt. Solomon Monk, Cpt. Lewelyn - Merchant airman,
Sorreill - Chief Engineer, Nick Potter - First Mate, Harkin - Navigator, Ashby -
engineer (tank), Keats - Petty officer (tank), Mercer - Planesman (tank)
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
---End of Act One--
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
anything, except algae."
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.
--End of Act Two--
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.
--End of Act Three--
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.
-- End of "Mutiny" --
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."