Archive for the ‘Starhunter Reviews’ Category
The Transutopian Entering Hyperspace
Here we have it, fellow Starhunter 2300 fans. We have arrived at the final episode. It has been a good ride, one that suits decided would end prematurely. But may we dwell on the positive, enjoying what we have.
The Transutopian in Hyperspace
It is interesting that hyperspace resembles billowing clouds when a person enters it but looks like the picture above when a ship does. O well, this is another mystery of the Starhunter/Starhunter 2300 multiverse.
Anyhow, the Tulip has entered hyperspace by means of a warp bubble around the ship. You cannot see the warp bubble, but it is there.
On board the ship are three separate and overlapping warp bubbles, each one of which is phase-shifted on the light spectrum.
Percy is in the blue one,…
…Marcus is in the pink one,…
…and Rudolpho is in the green one.
There are some similarities, however. Neither one of them contains Travis, Dr. Xeylon, Caravaggio, the horizon generator, or the people in the other two phase-shifted warp bubbles. Also, the ship risks disintegrating in hyperspace in all three phase-shifted warp bubbles.
And Tristan Catchpole jumps from one warp bubble to the other in search of the horizon generator.
Travis and Dr. Xeylon
Meanwhile, Travis and Dr. Xeylon are off the ship and in hyperspace. Here Travis takes a crucial emotional journey. Dr. Xeylon explains that he must activate the second Divinity Cluster gene fully to save Callie’s life. This, in turn, requires him to experience his emotions fully and control them, not to suppress them, as he has done for so long. So the captain needs to admit his love for Callie and release his guilt over her death, as well as to forgive his mother for her experiments, which have given him such strong Divinity Cluster genes, before he can travel back in time and save the life of the woman he loves. He struggles with this while his crew mates try to save the ship.
The three on-ship warp bubbles exist because of an error in calibration and mass at the point of departure into hyperspace. There was an Orchard ship almost on top of the Tulip at the time, so that fact explains the error. Percy, Rudolpho, and Marcus realize what has happened and how to restore unity to the phasing on the ship and act accordingly.
They succeed. Now they can try to save the ship. They need to drop out of hyperspace, but Catchpole makes that more difficult than it would be otherwise.
He steals the horizon generator and disappears from the Tulip.
Back on Mars, Murchison praises Catchpole for retrieving the horizon generator.
But Catchpole and Roone murder Murchison and announce to the shocked board members that the new agenda of the Orchard is facilitate the resurrection (in human beings) of the aliens who implanted the Divinity Cluster in our ancestors three million years ago. The ability to take a ship into hyperspace has been a milestone achievement, one that marks the readiness of people to become one with the aliens. Presumably Catchpole and Roone persuade the other board members, given the very recent murder in the board room.
Elsewhere, Travis finally succeeds in his mission, changing history and saving Callie’s life.
So Callie reappears on the Tulip Bridge, as if she had been there all along. Nobody remembers her having died. Travis and Dr. Xeylon return almost immediately.
The ship has seven minutes left then…boom. So everybody gets to work. Dr. Xeylon thinks of an untested way to try to leave hyperspace without the horizon generator.
The plan is ready when there are just a few seconds left and the warp bubble around the ship collapses.
We do not know what happens next because of decisions certain people higher up the food chain than actors made. Will Travis and Callie have a second chance at love? Will anybody die? Will the Orchard pursue its perfidious course unchecked? Your guess is as good as mine.
Here ends our Starhunter 2300 journey. Thank you for taking it with me.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 6, 2011 COMMON ERA
I took the screen caps via the PowerDVD program. As always, I encourage the viewing of Starhunter and Starhunter 2300 episodes exclusively by methods consistent with United States copyright laws.
Tanya Allen as Percy Montana
The Orchard creeps me out. It has ever since I entered the Starhunter/Starhunter 2300 multiverse, probably in 2004. I lived immediately outside Dublin, Georgia, at the time, and I found the fifteen episodes of Starhunter (2000-2001) then available on DVD on sale at the local Big Lots. That was a great day. Members of the Orchard are willing to sell out each other and the human race as a whole just to pursue their goal of controlling the four genes of the Divinity Cluster (follow this link: https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/starhunter-the-divinity-cluster-2000/) and the power they unleash. That organization’s perfidy is on full display in the last two episodes of Starhunter 2300, Hyperspace I and II.
An Article from an Obscure Scientific Journal in 2300
Marcus is holed up late one night (ship’s time) while reading obscure scientific journals.
One article attracts his undivided attention.
Sleepy Bounty Hunters
So he assembles the sleep-deprived bounty hunters to explain what he has learned. Rudolpho sleeps the presentation.
This impromptu summons has, unfortunately for Travis, interrupted an erotic dream involving Callie. So he just wants to get back to sleep and that dream.
Anyhow, Marcus has learned that, hypothetically, of course, a negative energy pulse, when fired through plasma conduits in an antimatter engine, should result in the formation of a warp bubble, thereby allowing a vessel to enter hyperspace. This is what Dr. Gregor Laszig, an obscure astrophysicist, wrote in an obscure scientific journal. Marcus, however, does not know how to test this theory, so the others (except Rudolpho) return to their quarters grumpily.
Travis does not fall asleep, though, nor does he think of Callie. Instead, he ponders Dante, his father lost in hyperspace.
Travis in Hyperspace
Then he enters hyperspace, where he encounters a woman who tells him that he is the one who will find her.
A few hours later, Marcus is the only well-rested and non-grumpy person on board. Caravaggio reports that Travis is not on board, but Callie insists on a thorough search of the ship anyway.
Meanwhile, at Orchard headquarters, on Mars, Tristan Catchpole is conferring in private with…
…Roone, another Orchard member. They have a common agenda they are keeping from Dr. Edward Murchison, leader of the Orchard. (Follow this link for a Catchpole-Murchison refresher: https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/starhunter-2300-the-prisoner-2003/). Roone tells Catchpole that Orchard agents are bringing three more people with the first Divinity Cluster gene activated to headquarters. (One gets the impression that they are coming involuntarily.) This news pleases Catchpole, for Stage One people are easy to control. Roone then tells Catchpole that she estimates three years “to hybridize the species.” This is their true agenda, and Murchison has been too busy obsessing about finding a way to get a ship into hyperspace that he has not noticed anything else.
The “hybridization of the species” terrified Eccleston, who tried to prevent it, in Resurrection (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/starhunter-resurrection-2001/). Members of the alien species which implanted the four Divinity Cluster genes inside our ancestors three million years ago were waiting to be reborn in us. According to Eccleston, however, the aliens were terrifying, and the process of hybridization ought not to proceed. But that was the Starhunter universe, parallel to that of Starhunter 2300.
Catchpole senses that two people have entered hyperspace, thereby causing a displacement. He suspects that Travis Montana is one of them yet does not know who the other could be.
Callista “Callie” Larkadia
Callie is searching the ship for Travis when…
…she sees Travis return to the ship via a white light. Callie demands to know where he has been, for she–“we”–have been worried about him. The tone of Callie’s voice reveals that she was the most worried of them all.
Travis tells the others where he has been.
At an Orchard Meeting
Back on Mars, Murchison chairs a meeting of the Orchard’s executive board. He finds the recent events in hyperspace disturbing. How can the Orchard monopolize access to hyperspace with events such as these taking place? Catchpole says that Travis is not a Stage Two yet, so the real threat is the second person, who is a Stage Two; that person’s second Divinity Cluster gene is fully activated. So Catchpole suggests permitting Travis to lead them to the second person. Then the Orchard can “kill two birds with one stone.”
Aboard the Tulip, near Jupiter, Marcus explains to Travis that they need a horizon generator, whatever that is. And Dr. Laszig, who wrote of such a device, has disappeared.
Percy explains to Callie and Rudolpho why she hates hyperspace. Being trapped in that dimension is like “getting stuck for centuries in a cell with no window,” she says.
Yet that ship has already sailed; the road to hyperspace is the crew’s path. Travis and Marcus track down a lead regarding Dr. Laszig. One Dr. Waylon Hersch tells them that he has never met Laszig in person, but has dealt with Laszig’s assistant, Dr. Vienna Xeylon, who is on Io. So the Tulip heads for Io, and Rudolpho, via a “friend of questionable character,” provides a Syn City address for Dr. Xeylon.
Travis and Callie depart in a shuttle. She suspects that she was in a certain dream, given the way that Travis has been looking at her since. And Callie likes that look.
Dr. Vienna Xeylon
The bounty hunters locate Dr. Xeylon, who invented the persona of Dr. Laszig as a cover. The scientist and Travis recognize each other immediately; she was expecting him. Unfortunately, Orchard armed thugs have followed Travis and Callie, so the Dr. Xeylon and the bounty hunters have to escape her home through a broken window. A firefight ensues, and an Orchard thug shoots Callie in one shoulder, after which another thug conks out Travis.
Xeylon and Catchpole
Then Catchpole arrives and two Orchard thugs take Xeylon away.
Travis and Callie
Travis and Callie return to the Tulip with the horizon generator, which resembles a clear glass ball. Callie says that she is fine, but “may never play the tambourine again.”
Travis and Marcus with the Horizon Generator
Marcus notices that “something is up” between Travis and Callie, but Travis does not seem to understand what this “something” is.
Dr. Edward Murchison
On Mars, Dr. Murchison tries unsuccessfully to persuade Dr. Xeylon to join his side.
Dr. Xeylon and Catchpole
Even Catchpole fails–after taking her to a planet 1,000 light years distant. By now Catchpole and Murchison know that Xeylon is Laszig.
Travis, realizing that the Orchard has taken Xeylon to Mars, sets course for the red planet.
Callie dies during the trip when her heart dissolves and her lungs fail, both results of the weapon the Orchard thug used against her.
Callie’s death shocks the crew, with Marcus being the most emotionally overt person. Percy, as usual, is subdued, as are Rudolpho and Travis, who drown their sorrows with a little alcohol.
But Travis suspects that there may be way to change history. He entered hyperspace and traveled back to the time and place of Callie’s shooting as she died. He did it once; he can do it again–and he might be able to save her life.
Darius, in Dark and Stormy Night (follow this link: https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/starhunter-dark-and-stormy-night-2001/), established that the Divinity Cluster enables one to travel back and forth in time. The experiences of our favorite captain confirm this. Aside from this episode, he has traveled through time in Rebirth (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/starhunter-2300-rebirth-2003/) and The Prisoner (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/starhunter-2300-the-prisoner-2003/).
The Tulip arrives at Mars and Travis and Marcus take a shuttle to the surface. They rescue Dr. Xeylon from the Orchard just in time from preventing that nefarious organization from changing her mind against her will–reprogramming her. (I said that the Orchard is really creepy.) The bounty hunters and the scientist return to the Tulip immediately.
An Orchard Vessel
An Orchard vessel, faster and more heavily armed than the Tulip, is in orbit and pursuit. And it has a grapple. So our heroes’ best hope is that Xeylon can activate the antimatter drive and get them out of there very soon.
Dr. Xeylon and Company
Dr. Xeylon gets to work immediately. Meanwhile, the Orchard ship continues to fire to on the Transutopian. The Orchard vessel, almost on top of the Tulip, is preparing to use its grapple…
Activating the Antimatter Drive
…when Dr. Xeylon activates the antimatter drive.
The Tulip enters hyperspace as the end credits roll.
Some of the early Starhunter 2300 episodes are rocky, but the series improves greatly over time. The later episodes draw nicely on many on the earlier ones, thereby creating great unity for the series, which, unfortunately, has just twenty-two episodes.
So this is the penultimate episode. My next post will cover the series finale.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 6, 2011 COMMON ERA
All images are screen caps, the existence of which I credit to the PowerDVD program. As always, I encourage the viewing of any Starhunter or Starhunter 2300 episode only by a method consistent with United States copyright laws.
Tanya Allen as Percy Montana
I take civics seriously. Among the principles near and dear to my heart is the presumption of the innocence of the accused. A prosecutor, no matter how honest or well-intentioned he or she might be, is still human and therefore prone to error. So a prosecutor ought to have to bear the full burden of proof, or else lose the court case. Then there are the malicious prosecutors, such as Senator Calder in Licence to Fill. They manipulate and cherry-pick their evidence for personal reasons. They are disgraces to the legal system.
Licence to Fill
Starhunter 2300 is a Canadian series. The linguists among you, O my readers, know or ought to know that Canadian English is closer to British English in many ways than to American English. So, for example, I have a Georgia Driver’s License yet I would need a driver’s licence in Canada.
I presume that the episode title is a tip of the hat to the 1989 Timothy Dalton movie Licence to Kill, one of the better James Bond films.
This is a clip show, so my analysis will be shorter than it would be otherwise. It is sufficed to say that the use of clips from previous episodes is the least interesting part of this viewing experience. Clip shows save money but to bore viewers, with a few notable exceptions. The Seinfeld clip show was far better than the final episode of that series, for example. And Dark and Stormy Night (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/starhunter-dark-and-stormy-night-2001/), the Starhunter clip show, is essential to holding that series together. More often, however, clip shows are like Shades of Grey, the excruciating and boring last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s second season. Watching Counselor Troi emote while I have to view the same series of clips yet again does not interest me.
Licence to Fill is neither the best nor the the worst clip show. Instead, it occupies the middle ground in this subgenre. Its main redeeming aspects are (A) its continuation of the implications of Callie Larkadia’s past and (B) the return of Percy Montana. Percy and the Tulip are really inseparable, as we learned during the previous two episodes.
Now I begin the recap.
The Tulip docks above Mars. The crew, badly in need of money, must wait a couple of days before working because the bounty hunting license has expired, although the application to renew the license is in progress.
Senator Vidal Calder
Senator Vidal Calder calls Travis. Calder, from the Internal Affairs division of the Security Department, has recently come to be in charge of licensing vessels for bounty hunting. He knows of the lapse of the Tulip crew’s license. So Calder, who is hostile, latches onto a technicality in Martian law.
Calder, accompanied by Mars Federation security guards, boards the Tulip, declares the crew in violation of Martian law, confiscates their weapons (since they are no longer licensed bounty hunters), and confines our heroes to the ship.
Senators Calder and Skaylon
There will be a tribunal. Senators Calder and Skaylon (prosecutor and judge, respectively) agree upon the need to preserve the appearance of impartiality without providing the substance thereof. Since the crew of the Tulip cannot afford an attorney, Calder arranges for the appointment of one Jensen, who is respectable yet far from being the sharpest knife in the drawer or the brightest crayon in the box.
Senator Morgan Rendall
Fortunately for our heroes, Senator Morgan Rendall, a Larkadia family friend and capable attorney, takes the case pro bono. He has “an abiding love of fairness.”
Now I digress to ponder civics in Starhunter 2300. We know that the solar system is divided into planetary federations, such as the Saturn Federation, the Jupiter Federation, and the Mars Federation. There is some sort of solar system-wide authority, for, in Negative Energy (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/starhunter-2300-negative-energy-2004/), Caravaggio mentions transfederation laws. We know also that a warlord state exists on Europa, within the Jupiter Federation (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/starhunter-2300-the-heir-and-the-spare-2004/), but that there is a common authority within that federation. There are also seems to be a monetary union across federations, for currency is always in credits. As to the Mars Federation, we know that it has a president and a cabinet composed of ministers (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/starhunter-2300-just-politics-2004/), suggesting a hybrid of presidential and parliamentary democratic models. However the Mars federal system works overall, senators have other government jobs, such as judges, lawyers, and sub-cabinet ministers.
Back to our regularly scheduled program…
Senator Rendall visits the Tulip and briefs the crew. They have the right to send one of their number to court as a representative, so they choose Travis. Caravaggio, the A.I., will be in court as a witness. A bare-bones computer system will maintain basic ship’s functions (minus communications in or out) during its absence. And there will be a court-arranged audio-visual feed to the Tulip so that those bounty hunters confined to the ship can watch the proceedings.
Rendall also says that Calder “goes nowhere without his ulterior motive.” Calder’s goal, Rendall says, is nothing less than to declare the crew members of the Transutopian unfit bounty hunters and to deprive them of the ship.
Marcus, Callie, Rudolpho
Marcus, Callie, and Rudolpho spend much of the tribunal sitting on the Bridge and reacting. Meanwhile, in the Martian courtroom, Calder manipulates evidence, omits vital facts, and takes evidence out of context to argue that the bounty hunters of the Tulip are untrustworthy menaces to each other and anyone who comes into contact with them.
He even calls Percy, whom he has tracked down and apprehended, as a witness, not that she has a chance to say much between Calder’s questions and the director’s use of clips.
Dawn Stern as Callista “Callie” Larkadia
Rendall has been doing his best to defend the crew of the good ship Transutopian yet without the resources available to Calder. The system is rigged in Calder’s favor. So Marcus finds a way to hack into the Mars Federation crime logs. He discovers that Calder and Devak (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/starhunter-2300-chasing-janus-2003/) were friends. Devak, of course was hip-deep in Mars Federation Special Forces Citadel Squad corruption, which a younger Callie exposed, thereby ending her military career. (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/starhunter-2300-star-crossed-2003/). (The Mars Federation government is quite corrupt.)
Calder’s Secret Exposed in Open Court
Marcus downloads the damning evidence into Caravaggio, who reveals it in open court. This forces Senator Skaylon, hardly a paragon of judicial fairness, to dismiss the case. Security guards take Calder into custody.
Skaylon says nothing as Rendall announces his intention to investigate why she brought this case to tribunal.
Callie, Rendall, and Travis
There is celebration aboard the Tulip.
Percy reveals that Calder had kept her in a mental hospital, but that she got used to and stopped minding the “strappy jacket” after a while. She is much better now, no longer wigging out, as in The Heir and the Spare (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/05/01/starhunter-2300-the-heir-and-the-spare-2004/). The owner of the Tulip leaves the Bridge to unpack while Marcus accompanies her. We still do not know where she spent her vacation, though.
Next we have the two-part series finale, Hyperspace, which ends of a cliffhanger. O well, we enjoy what we have.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 5, 2011 COMMON ERA
All images are screen caps I took via the PowerDVD program. Consistent with previous practice, I encourage the viewing of Starhunter and Starhunter 2300 episodes only by means consistent with United States copyright laws.
Dawn Stern as Callista (“Callie”) Larkadia
The characters aboard the good ship Transutopian began their Starhunter 2300 journey as mostly strangers to each other. Percy and Rudolpho had a common history, and Travis and Marcus had worked together for years. But Travis was keeping parts of his past secret from even Marcus, and the others did not know much about him. Marcus did not know his family background, and his fellow crew mates still do not know the full story. From time to time Rudolpho encounters a former wife or lover, but he prefers that not everybody know certain aspects of his past. (There is nothing wrong with this, for it is good to keep some secrets. We all accumulate them, and many of them are nobody’s business anyway.)
Of the five main human characters (Caravaggio the A.I. counting as a character), Callie is the most open about her past. And she wants to know more about Travis in particular. This point comes up in episode after episode. The fact that Travis is generally unwilling to divulge certain secrets bothers Callie and makes her angry sometimes. This carries increasingly romantic overtones as the series approaches its finale, in Hyperspace II, the twenty-second episode. Travis is all man, down to the strong and sometimes uncomfortable silence, and Callie, despite her tomboyish ways, is all woman. And she seeks emotional intimacy with Travis Montana, who, as of yet, refuses to let anybody in.
The episode recap begins now.
The crew of the Tulip has a serious need for speed. They are pursing shipjackers (hijackers in outer space) yet have to let them go because the other vessel is too fast for them, especially given the fact of its active antimatter drive. This means not receiving a large and needed bounty from the Jupiter Federation. Maybe they could have caught the ship if Percy had been around, but Marcus, who did his best, could not understand Percy’s unique ways of customizing the engines.
Callie, Rudolpho, and Travis Listening to Marcus
The Tulip is one of the few ships in the solar system equipped with an antimatter drive. Yet the main problem is how to use it, and to do safely. Marcus has an idea: Duranium 237. The hellstone from Just Politics (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/starhunter-2300-just-politics-2004/), contained it. Yet, for technical reasons, that Duranium 237 is no longer suitable for this purpose.
Travis pulls up a list of scientists who used to work with the Keres Group. (See https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/starhunter-2300-pandoras-box-2003/ for more about the Keres Group.) Rudolpho recognizes a name, that of Jay Beckers, whom, he says, deals in legal and illegal energy sources. Mr. Beckers will certainly have some Duranium 237, and Rudolpho knows somebody who can help him make contact. Travis approves, and Rudolpho and Marcus leave for Syn City to make the arrangements.
There is one catch in the Marcus plan, however. Transfederation laws (enforced ones at that) require a change of energy source permit, which costs 20,000 credits. Travis authorizes Caravaggio to apply for the permit. But the A.I. does not reveal the mandatory inspection which will follow. Some A.I.s assume too much about humans’ knowledge.
The Tulip is docked at Io Orbital. With Percy wherever she is and Rudolpho and Marcus away on a Duranium 237 hunt, Travis and Callie are alone on the ship. She wants to talk. More specifically, she wants Travis to talk. Callie is enjoying the quiet time and engaging in a favorite activity, picking a distant planet off the galactic map and imagining what it is like. She has done this since she was a girl. Moreover, she tells Travis, it would be good for him to get to know her better and for her to get to know him better. She goes first, saying that, despite difficult patches in her life, she does not regret her journey so far, and she refuses to begin having regrets now.
Travis and Callie
Travis is less forthcoming, revealing only what Callie knows already. She finds this upsetting, and he is about to say something when Caravaggio interrupts him to announce that Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt from the Jupiter Federation is hailing. All that Travis tells Callie is that she ought not to press too hard for his secrets, because she might find what she seeks.
Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt
Executive Chief Inspector Tibbitt arrives to conduct a safety inspection. Antimatter drives can be unstable, after all. He is the ultimate unpleasant, officious, bean-counting bureaucrat from Hell and many nightmares. He quotes minute details of regulations, lacks any sense of humor, and insists that people use his full title when addressing him.
Travis and Callie
Tibbitt discovers Percy’s engine work and declares it unsatisfactory. Travis finds the Executive Chief Inspector especially impossible to tolerate, so Callie decides to accompany Tibbitt alone to the antimatter drive room before Travis says something truly unfortunate in the man’s presence. Besides, Callie says, she has feminine charms, which work on most men. Ouch!
Her feminine charms do not work on Tibbitt, either.
Tibbitt’s Orchard Buyer
Tibbitt opens a channel to his Orchard buyer and receives a promise of a rather large pay off for himself. The Tulip has an excellent antimatter drive, the Executive Chief Inspector says.
Tibbitt, who has summoned Jupiter Federation troopers to the Tulip, tells Travis and Callie that the ship is unsafe, that the government will therefore destroy it, and that the crew must leave immediately. Travis, however, has learned that the Jupiter Federation did not authorize Tibbitt’s inspection. The captain reveals this knowledge to the Executive Chief Inspector, who does not flinch. The matter is academic, he says; what is done is done. A firefight ensues.
So Tibbitt is both officious and corrupt–truly the worst kind of bureaucrat.
Now I turn to the adventures of Rudolpho and Marcus in Syn City.
Karina (“Goldilocks”) and Rudolpho (“Papa Bear”)
Rudolpho’s lead to the whereabouts of Jay Beckers is Karina, who calls herself “Goldilocks” and who refers to Rudolpho as “Papa Bear.” They are former lovers. This is obvious in (A) their kiss and (B) her question, “Who’s been sleeping in my bed?” They met in jail and went on to have many good and bad times. As Rudolpho tells Marcus, “She lied, cheated, and stole from me. It was the best relationship I ever had.”
Rudolpho and Marcus
Karina is still lying, for she tips off Beckers, who arranges an ambush for Marcus and Rudolpho.
Beckers, who, as it turns out is a woman, suspects Rudolpho and Marcus of being federal marshals.
Transgender aliases occur more than once in Starhunter 2300. Do you remember Father Abode from Biocrime (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/starhunter-2300-biocrime-2003/)? And the gender of Bliss from Painless (https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/starhunter-2300-painless-2003/) was ambiguous early in the episode. If one thinks that one might need to look for a man, how likely is one to locate the culprit, who is really female?
Beckers does have the Duranium 237, which will not cost less than 2 million credits or a stake in a partnership with Rudolpho. Her terms are 40% and Marcus, whom she plans to “modify” for her pleasure. Rudolpho agrees, collects the Duranium 237, leaves, picks up a weapon, returns, shoots Beckers, and rescues Marcus.
The two of them return to the Tulip during the firefight I mentioned earlier. Our heroes fight off everyone except Tibbitt successfully.
The Transutopian (Tulip) Leaving Io Orbital
Travis takes the Tulip away from Io Orbital.
The Orchard Vessel
An Orchard vessel pursues and fires on the Tulip. The commander of that vessel thinks that the Tulip is Orchard property. Travis disagrees, so he returns fire. Now there is a running firefight in outer space.
Marcus uses the Duranium 237 to activate the antimatter drive. Tibbitt tries to interfere, but the other bounty hunters subdue him and let him “inspect the inside of the brig.”
The Tulip, About to Engage the Antimatter Drive
The Tulip travels to safety, from near Jupiter to near beyond Neptune almost instantaneously. Marcus notes, however, that, according to theory, the ship should have reached light speed. Yet it did not. He concludes that “there must be a piece missing from the puzzle.”
Anyhow, the crew will still get a nice pay day, for the Jupiter Federation wants Tibbitt back and is willing to pay 100,000 credits for his return.
Callie and Travis
Callie still wants Travis to “say anything” substantial about himself, but he continues to refuse. This upsets her. His problem, she says, it that he won’t really say anything. Yet Callie notices Travis staring at an image of a distant planet and imagining what that world is like.
So ends the episode.
There are three episodes left. Immediately we have the revenge of a petty bureaucrat on Mars. Oh, and Percy returns!
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 4, 2011 COMMON ERA
I took the screen captures via the PowerDVD program.
Watch episodes of Starhunter 2300 via legal methods (those consistent with U.S. copyright laws), please.
And, Percy Montana, wherever you are during this episode, I hope you are having a good and relaxing time.
Travis Montana and Andras Kolzig
Just Politics is the first of the two Percy-less episodes. There is, however, a strong continuity from The Heir and the Spare (#17) to this episode to Negative Energy (#19), so at least the writers show evidence of marching toward a goal from this point to the end (#22). Therefore one episode builds on those preceding it. Furthermore, Percy’s absence is a vital part of Just Politics. Marcus misses her greatly, and a guest character uses Percy’s absence to her advantage.
Shall we begin? Mais oui! Bien sur! Certaimment!
Trade Minister Kolzig and His Party Arrive
The Transutopian is at Mars on a mission approved by Mars Federation Morland himself. The government offers the crew its largest pay day yet: 300,000 credits payable at the end of the mission. Travis, though, feels uneasy. Something does not feel quite right. He is correct.
The mission is to transport Trade Minister Andras Kolzig and his party to the Mannheim Asteroid Belt, near Neptune, for a hush-hush trade negotiation. That much is true, but so is far more, as we learn during the episode.
Kolzig arrives with his party, which consists of Jophe Henrik, his personal assistant, and Hakin Dircott and Gaynor Schon, his security team.
Rudolpho, once enthusiastic about the mission (and its pay day), becomes suspicious when he meets Kolzig. He knows Kolzig from somewhere, but where?
Kolzig, it seems, keeps a low profile. This is important information.
Gaynor Schon overrides parts of Caravaggio’s programming so that the A.I. will take orders from her and recognize her as Percy Montana. This is suspicious and foreboding, to say the least.
Marcus Fagen and Jophe Henrik
Jophe Henrik, however, is exactly what she appears to be: a pure soul and sweet young woman. The daughter of a ship’s engineer, she is also a technology geek. She and Marcus get along well during a tour of the Tulip. During such a walk-through Marcus becomes the first person to notice the effects of Schon’s rewriting of part of Caravaggio’s programming. Other characters also notice it during the episode and become suspicious.
Mars Federation Trade Minister Andras Kolzig
Kolzig tells the crew that neither they nor the ship are in danger during this “sensitive” trade mission. The bounty hunters harbor doubts, however.
Mars Federation President Morland
With the Tulip near Neptune, President Morland calls. He thanks the crew for their “discretion in this matter.”
Hakin Dircott becomes Schon’s first victim. She uses Caravaggio to murder Dircott then diagnose the cause of death as a heart attack. Travis and Callie, suspicious, investigate then conclude that it was a murder.
Jophe helps Marcus explore the computer system in an attempt to explain what is going wrong. She becomes suspicious of the A.I., too.
The Matrix Chamber
So they go to the A.I.’s matrix chamber, where Marcus finds the problem. Then Caravaggio’s self-defense program attacks Marcus and Jophe, killing her.
The Transutopian arrives at a large mining asteroid. One Mr. Reasoner hails the Tulip from the asteroid and arranges a meeting with Kolzig aboard the ship.
Reasoner and Kolzig
Kolzig transfers 20 million credits into Reasoner’s account as a bribe for Reasoner to to delay the delivery of duranium to Mars and President Morland. All of this is part of a plot by Kolzig, who “made” Morland, to sabotage and replace his leader. But Kolzig does not know that Caravaggio is spying on him and reporting to Schon.
Kolzig and Reasoner tell the bounty hunters that trade negotiations have failed.
Andras Kolzig = Carter Berkhan
Meanwhile, Rudolpho has identified Kolzig as Carter Berkhan, a murderer of 57 people (including some of Rudolpho’s relatives) and a wanted man. A hair cut and a change of facial hair makes a great difference, does it not?
Rudolpho does not know, however, that the A.I. is spying on him and reporting to Schon.
The Mining Asteroid
We also learn that the mining asteroid is a hellstone, an asteroid that has entered our universe through a black hole. In the process of its transition it becomes a rich source of Duranium 237, which one can use to produce negative energy, which allows one to enter hyperspace.
This development raises the question as to whether the Orchard is moving in the background of this episode. That organization does seek to control access to hyperspace. Follow this link: https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/starhunter-2300-pandoras-box-2003/ and this one: https://neatnik2009.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/starhunter-2300-the-prisoner-2003/.
A Communication with President Morland
Schon reports to President Morland. He tells him that Kolzig is a traitor and hints at a darker secret with the potential to destroy Morland. The President authorizes Schon to do “whatever it takes” to keep the secret.
One Less Asteroid
Schon uses Caravaggio to destroy the hellstone and kill Reasoner. That makes three dead people–two innocents and a corrupt miner.
Rudolpho and Kolzig/Berkhan
Rudolpho, Travis, and Callie confront and surround Kolzig/Berkhan in a corridor. Then Schon reveals the truth to everybody. The mission was really one to prove whether or not Kolzig was a traitor. But now that she has this damaging secret, the security officer must protect President Morland by setting the Tulip to self-destruct, killing everyone except Schon, who plans to escape via shuttle.
Callie prevents Schon’s departure while other crew members struggle to save their lives and the ship. If the crew of the Tulip dies, so does Schon. Travis is left to reason with Caravaggio, who, at the last second, aborts the self-destruct sequence.
One may assume that the bounty hunters place Schon and Kolzig/Berkhan in the brig.
Our heroes discuss the situation. They could bring down Morland or they could blackmail him into paying them the promised 300,000 credits. They opt for the latter choice, which is “just politics.” I wonder why extort the bad man for only 300,000 credits, though.
The odd fact about President Morland is that, by Mars Federation standards, he has a reputation as a softy. If he is a softy, I do not want to meet a hardliner.
Until I write again….
I have to go away now and monitor Canadian federal election results. We all have our obsessions; Canadian politics is one of mine. I have found myself watching coverage of provincial elections–and I am a born citizen of the United States of America and the State of Georgia! Thank goodness for a good DSL connection and access to the CBC website.
KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR
MAY 2, 2011 COMMON ERA
All images are screen captures I took via the PowerDVD program. As always, I encourage viewing of Starhunter 2300 episodes only via methods consistent with United States copyright laws.
And, Percy Montana, wherever you are during this episode, I hope you are having a good and relaxing time.