Written by Tim saward|
Directed by Bill Baggs and Tim Saward
Post-Production and Music by Alistair Lock
Sylvester McCoy (The Professor),
Sophie Aldred (Ace),
Peter Miles (Projoy),
Adam Bampton-Smith (Milo),
Tim Saward (Gabriel),
Dan Riley (Stephen),
Polly Pritchett (Antoinette),
Clare Macmillan (Calida / Gomera),
Alistair Lock (Bastien).
"Now comes the time! Now the reckoning!"
MILLANNO: a holiday planet of extreme wealth and extreme leisure - on one side. The other side of the planet teems with politicians, administrators, and also criminals. When the Professor and Ace decide to take a holiday, they are unwillingly pitched into a battle for supremacy on the planet.
Separated and suddenly finding themselves on the lost and lonely Isle of Prosperity, they must find each other. But standing in their way is the determination of a mysterious figure from the past to reclaim the Directorship of the planet. As the Professor and Ace explore, a picture begins to emerge of a corrupt past, of political double-dealing, betrayal and vengeance.
Who is Milo, the psychokinetic youth who inhabits the island? Who is Gabriel, who sounds like a machine, but talks like a schoolmaster? And who is the earthy Calida, and why is she out for revenge?
A dramatic meeting of old enemies can no longer be postponed, and there is no way off the island...
This is the third story in BBV's audio series featuring the Time Travellers.
Released: May 1998
A thunderstorm rages across the lonely Isle of Prosperity and Projoy, a fat, elderly man, tells his son Milo not to be afraid. They have a job ahead of them, but when it's all done, they will be richer and better treated than they've ever been before. Milo is scared that someone might get killed, but his father assures him that everything will advance exactly as planned and that he should have faith. Projoy points to a light in the sky, which means a spacecraft is approaching, carrying tourists to the other side of the planet. He gives instructions to his obedient robot Gabriel, who notes that the ship will be in range in thirty minutes. Milo is concerned that the ship will hit the island, but Projoy is certain that it will crash in the sea. He sends Milo to his room and says he'll call him when he's needed.
Far above them, aboard the Millano Service Ship Miranda, Ace is desperate to emerge from her hiding place, but the Professor tells her they must wait until re-entry. Even though no one has passed them for ages, stowaways are executed on ships like this. Ace can't believe they're taking such a risk just for a holiday, but he promises her it'll be worth it once they get to the other side of the planet. Millano is divided into two segments; one side is a holiday complex that's exclusive, luxurious and extremely expensive, and on the other side are all the administrators and machines that make the planet work. The Professor tells her they couldn't afford to buy regular tickets because part of the very high price is that tourists must donate a limb or an organ. People literally give their right arms for a holiday on Millano, although nobody really knows what the administrators do with them. Ace isn't sure she likes the sound of this place, but he tells her to reserve judgement until they get to their destination. There's an announcement advising passengers to return to their cabins, so the Professor suggests they give it another five minutes and then emerge from the rubbish hopper in which they've been hiding.
Director Antoinette is summoned to the bridge, where she learns that some kind of tele-navigation equipment on the surface has taken control of the ship and is forcing them to change course. It seems to be emanating from the Isle of Prosperity, but Antoinette says that's not possible as the area is deserted. The Captain warns her that if they don't get out of its influence soon, they'll crash on the planet. He's already tried everything, but even their communication equipment is being blocked. On Prosperity, Projoy is delighted to hear the Captain's distress call, especially as he knows it isn't being broadcast any further than their own island. He congratulates Gabriel and promises that if he performs his orders well, he will have his freedom.
Ace thinks the ship is making funny noises but the Professor assumes that it's just the entry procedure. He knows they've changed course, but perhaps that's because of the bad weather. Now that everyone is in their cabins, they can look around properly. Ace is worried about the security cameras, but he's sure the crew will be too busy during re-entry. He's heard they have very good golf courses on these ships, so he suggests they have a quick game before they land. The ship is five or six miles long, but if they hurry they may have time for three or four holes.
The Captain tells Antoinette that no one is responding to their distress call. He's tried to link up with the computers on the surface, but whoever is operating the beam keeps breaking their connection. He's done everything he can to stop the ship crashing, but they're still going to hit the planet in ten minutes at a speed of 900 miles per hour. Their retro-rockets have stopped responding to the computer, the back-up signals, and the manual controls, which proves that the ship has been deliberately sabotaged. Even the escape pods have failed. The only thing they can do is use the internal communications equipment to make a general announcement, but as that will cause panic, they both agree not to say anything. The crew already knows the truth, but everyone else will be in their cabins, oblivious to their fate.
Down on the 8th floor, the Professor and Ace are practicing their golf moves, but as the club house was closed they're having to play with an umbrella. Ace thinks this is a waste of time, but there's not much else they can do as even the cinema is closed during the approach to landing. They notice the engine change again, which suggests the ship is coming in for the final descent. Ace succeeds in getting a hole in one, but the Professor's attempt is poor and he claims the ground moved. She accuses him of being a bad loser, but he insists the ground is literally moving -- which means the ship must have changed course again. He begins to suspect something must be wrong as this is one change too many for the descent they should be making. He goes to find his missing golf ball and admits that it's a special one that's been programmed to find the hole and roll in. Unfortunately what they find is a dead body. It's the Captain and it looks like he was clubbed from behind. The Professor begins to suspect the truth and goes to find a window...
On the bridge, the Captain confirms to Antoinette that everyone is in their cabins, and because the lower decks were closed hours ago, there shouldn't be anyone else wandering around. They now only have about six minutes left. They flick through the CCTV screens and suddenly spot the Professor and Ace on the golf course. They're obviously not members of the crew, so the Captain leaves to question them. He suspects they may be the saboteurs, but even if they're not, they'll stand a better chance of survival if he brings them back up to the bridge.
When the Professor and Ace arrive on the observation deck, it's immediately obvious that the ship is crashing. They decide to get off, but as they turn to leave they're confronted by the Captain, who asks them what they know about the sabotage. The Professor admits that they're both stowaways, but he's also recognised the Captain's face from the dead body down on the golf course. Caught out, the "Captain" transforms into the robot Gabriel. The Professor can't understand why the robot is aiming a gun at them when they're all about to die anyway, but Gabriel insists that only the people who shouldn't be here will die. He starts shooting at them and the Professor and Ace dive for cover. Moments later, the Miranda reaches the point of no return and smashes into the planet...
As dawn rises, Gabriel reports that everyone on the ship survived apart from the Captain, and Projoy congratulates the robot on taking on the role so convincingly. The woman they want is currently drifting to shore and will soon arrive on the beach, so Gabriel 'vanishes' to attend to the next stage of the plan. Projoy is impressed by his own brilliant invention and notes how well the robot has served them in the sixteen years they've been here. Both Projoy and his son will be sorry to leave the island, especially as Milo can barely remember a time when they didn't live here. At one time the whole planet belonged to them and everybody on it served Projoy, but then it was all taken from them. Milo can remember coming here by boat and the chains that kept them prisoner. They lost everything they had and without each other they would have died. Milo asks about his mother, but Projoy tells him he never had one. Today will be a day of reckoning and a re-dressing of the past. Projoy tells Milo they will not see each other again until midday as he has a lot to do before they're ready to receive the woman from the ship.
Coughing and spluttering, the Professor manages to make his way to the shoreline and offers a hand to the woman in the water behind him -- Antoinette. He calls out for Ace, but there's no reply, so he hopes she arrived safely somewhere else on the island. It was a miracle they survived, which makes him suspect some sort of deliberate intervention. Antoinette seems pleased that the island is deserted and can't understand the Professor's rush to get back to civilisation. He needs a vantage point so he can look out to sea, so he heads for a nearby cliff with Antoinette, who introduces herself as the Director of this planet.
Meanwhile, Ace arrives elsewhere on the island and begins searching for the Professor. Before long she's joined by one of the crew members, a young officer named Stephen, who fights his way onto the beach, vomiting up salt water. They can't see the ship any more and realise it must have sunk. Stephen sees that Ace's arm has been injured where she was shot, so he provides first aid. He knows she's not one of the crew, and she admits that she was a stowaway and tells him she's been separated from her friend. He says they were lucky not to get killed as the ships have very high security; he was nearly shot himself once when he forgot his badge. As soon as he gets back, he plans to put in a claim for compensation and he's looking forward to becoming a millionaire. He's even thought about sabotaging the ship himself. He has no idea where they are, but it must be somewhere on the southern hemisphere. They stop for a moment on the beach and he takes his clothes off to dry out. Neither of them seem too bothered about what's happened and Ace tells him she's used to this sort of thing. Stephen produces a flask of brandy and drinks a toast to the wreck of the Miranda, but it's full of salt water. Ace hopes they're not the only survivors, so they decide to look for others.
The Professor thinks it's odd that their clothes are already dry even though they only swam ashore ten minutes earlier, and Antoinette admits that she doesn't feel tired, though she must have swum half a mile. He narrows their location down to somewhere in the southern hemisphere, but Antoinette realises this is probably Prosperity Island. She came here once before, a long time ago, and it's not the safest place on Millano. It's not officially inhabited, but she happens to know there might be some people here. The Professor suggests they go looking for help, but she's frightened by what they could find. No air or marine traffic is allowed within fifty miles of this place, so it's going to be difficult to get help from outside. She tells him that the people who live here are criminals; this is a prison island, where people are left to rot. If they're lucky, the prisoners will have died long ago. There are lookout posts around the section perimeter with instructions to shoot anyone found in the sea. Personally, she feels those imprisoned here deserve no better. The Professor says he's seen similar things on nearly every planet he's visited, but this time he'll get a chance to observe it at close quarters.
Stephen decides he might move to an island like this once his money comes through. He talks about a small castle on the prow of a hill and for a moment Ace thinks he's spotted something, but he's just daydreaming. In fact, there's doesn't appear to be any sign of civilisation here, until Stephen points to a building down the cliff and round the corner, almost out of sight. Ace is impressed by his good eyesight, but it's still miles away so they have a long trek ahead of them. He casually asks whether the Professor is Ace's boyfriend and is pleased when she says she doesn't have one. He starts making 'polite conversation' and she can tell he's trying to chat her up, so she tells him to save his energy.
Antoinette tells the Professor she's been the Director here for sixteen years and is very rich indeed. She has people to fetch and carry, she has houses, mansions and castles, and she has a 40% cut on the profits of the planet. When he asks what happened to get her to this position, she tells him it was when she got divorced. What worries him is who crashed the ship, and why? Just then he sees a cave ahead which is clearly man-made and as it's the only trace of civilisation they've seen so far, he suggests they go down to investigate. If the machinery that brought the ship down was operated from here, this could present them with a chance to escape. Antoinette complains that she's lost her shoes and isn't exactly kitted out for pot-holing, so the Professor offers her his.
It's pitch black inside the cave, but the Professor strikes a match that gives them some limited vision. He wonders why anyone would want to crash the ship and Antoinette tells him there could be many reasons. It could have been political rivals (she's made many enemies) or it could be the start of an invasion, or even a botched assassination attempt. The Professor realises the fake Captain could have simply shot her when he had the chance, so he suspects somebody wanted her brought to this island alive and was prepared to go to great lengths to get her. Unfortunately there could be hundreds of suspects. Only recently, Antoinette upset the cleaners' union and they went on strike to demand longer sleep breaks. It could be a conspiracy by her competitors, or even a boardroom take-over, although that's unlikely as she's created a regime of fear in the company and has always made a point of killing anyone who resigns, along with their relatives if necessary. No one would dare get involved in a coup d'etat in case someone betrayed them to her. The last match goes out and Antoinette is reluctant to go on as they can barely see the entrance behind them, let alone where they're going. The tunnel is narrowing and she thinks it's probably a dead end. They stop suddenly when they hear the sound of a door opening and closing. They can see light coming from inside and the Professor insists they head towards it. It's obvious someone is trying to lure them in, so when they go inside and the door closes behind them, they're not particularly surprised. The Professor assures Antoinette it was just a cheap party trick and it's nothing to worry about. All they need to worry about is what happens next... There's a deep echoing laughter and the Professor wonders what he said that was so funny.
Stephen continues to flirt with Ace, which makes her laugh, but before they know what they're doing they find themselves engaged in very physical contact. Ace suddenly stops and points out this is unusual behaviour for her as they've only known each other for about an hour. She's also realises neither of them are hungry. This is a weird place -- why did she suddenly forget about the Professor, and why did they both stop walking for no reason whatsoever? Stephen thinks she's getting too philosophical, but then he becomes tired and starts yawning. Ace wants to get a move on, but by now he can hardly keep his eyes open. Within seconds, he's fast asleep and nothing Ace can do will wake him up.
The laughter continues to echo around the cave and Antoinette starts to panic, suspecting it must belong to one of hundreds of people she's sent to jail. She accuses the Professor of being in on the plan, bringing her here deliberately. She runs over to the door and starts banging on it, but the Professor urges her to calm down as nobody's tried to hurt them yet and whoever brought them here obviously intends them to walk through the caves. He feels his way around the dark room and finds another door, which is unlocked. As he opens it, the laughter starts again...
As Ace calls out for the Professor, a shot rings out and Milo appears from nearby. He playfully shoots at her again, then complains when she won't play properly -- she should be lying down and pretending to be dead, not sitting down rubbing her leg. Ace tells him she was frightened when he jumped out and she tripped over. She asks if his gun is real and he tells her it is, but it doesn't have any real bullets in it as he only uses it for playing. They introduce themselves and Milo admits he was watching her and the other man in the field and he thought the man was being really horrible to her, so he sent him to sleep just by thinking about it. He points to the house where he lives, and when Ace says he's a bit old to be playing with guns, he tells her he's supposed to be playing in his room. His father told him there'd be a woman coming to the island today, but he double-checks with Ace that she definitely is a woman, because he's only ever seen one before -- someone called Calida -- and he's not too sure what they look like. Ace thinks he's the strangest nineteen year-old that she's ever met. He warns her that someone called Gabriel said she was going to have to stay on the island, although he doesn't know why. He uses a small communicator to call the house and tells Gabriel that he's found the woman, but Gabriel insists he must be mistaken as he's on the wrong part of the island. Nevertheless, he agrees to pass the message on to Milo's father and then orders the boy back to his room. Ace is already starting to suspect Milo has mistaken her for someone else, but she's disturbed when he casually mentions that he could hurt her if he didn't like her.
The Professor finds yet another door, but this time it's locked and the sinister laughter now seems to be mocking him. He knocks loudly on the door and calls for attention, much to Antoinette's horror. They hear the sound of a key turning in the lock, but when the door opens they're both blasted by an unearthly voice which swears vengeance on them. Then they hear a succession of other voices, some welcoming them both to Prosperity Island, and some referring to earlier times on the planet when the population celebrated a prosperous new generation, headed by Antoinette, Projoy and their children. The lights suddenly come on and they discover they're inside a huge room filled with filing cabinets. Antoinette recognises where they are -- this is the basement of the Quad Tower, formerly the government offices. The Professor finds a file with Antoinette's name on it, but inside there are only pictures, including some taken at the Quad Millennium Celebrations. Antoinette explains that when this world was first colonised in the year 3000, they predicted it would last another thousand years. Nineteen years ago, they celebrated the Quad Millennium on these very islands and everything was run from the room they're now standing in. The Quad Tower was built especially for the event as it was the first place on the planet to reach midnight in the year 3999. After the 'disaster' the building was dismantled and it only became a prison much later when Antoinette became Director. The Professor asks about the 'disaster' and she's surprised that he doesn't know about it already...
Milo takes Ace into a courtyard and proudly shows her the fountain he made. In fact, he built the whole house when they first came here. He calls for Mr Gabriel... who materialises instantly in front of them. As soon as the robot sees Ace, he rebukes Milo for bringing them the wrong person. He demands to know how she escaped from the ship -- this will be most unwelcome news for his master as everyone else was supposed to be dead. When she attempts to leave he refuses to let her go and tells her that they're not going to let their plans be ruined by a stray stowaway.
Antoinette explains that the disaster was planned to be one of the greatest advances for genetics on Millano. She asks the Professor to dig out the old file on Projoy but it also contains just a tiny photograph. He was the Director before Antoinette, right up to the Quad Millennium, and he used to be her husband! He was a brilliant geneticist and an expert in the fields of astronomy, mathematics, biology and neuroscience. Since that time, Millano has been a holiday planet with very high prices that include their clients' body parts (although Antoinette reveals that they don't do anything with the body parts except sell them to hospitals; it's just their way of making sure people are serious about having their holiday here). Their donation is used as a down payment because the price is so high that they can't ask for full payment in advance; nobody is that rich. In any case, when people reach their destination they don't need whatever body part they've lost as the whole experience is delivered to them straight through the neurones of the brain. For this reason, one of the sciences they developed very fast was meta-neurology: they understood how brains could be made to work better, process information faster and store memories more reliably. The other thing they worked on was tele-neurology: the way the brain influences its external environment. Projoy made a breakthrough in creating a generation of psychokinetics -- children who could influence the outside world just by thought. He was able to breed it into genetic codes so that it became hereditary. The idea was that people could build whole houses, create beautiful drawings and even move themselves around just by using their minds.
Antoinette herself was the first person to be treated with the drug in time for the birth of their son Emilio, who was born three years before the millennium. Then they put the drug on the market at astronomical rates and made another fortune. Unfortunately they couldn't simply give a child an injection from the moment they reached eighteen so the only way to create a psychokinetic baby was to start work on it from the moment of conception. Babies started being born and within the year, all hell had broken loose. They soon learnt it was unrealistic to give that amount of power to an infant and expect them to know the right way to use it. If anyone frustrated these children in any way, they would find themselves being flung across the room. Babies are also very curious, so if they saw something they liked the look of they would automatically draw it towards them. They got burned, scalded, crushed. Lots of them died and one entire tower block was toppled because someone forgot to change a nappy. It was a disaster, and although lots of people -- including Antoinette -- predicted this might happen, the men were so keen on the benefits, they thought it was worth the risk. They thought they could get away with putting a tiny little warning on the packet and let people make their own safety arrangements. After the disaster, the only solution was to have a cull. They collected all the children together and killed them. What else could they do? The whole planet was collapsing and so was the economy. Their brave new world quickly turned into the slaughter of the innocents. The Professor asks what happened to Projoy and wonders if he's the one that brought them here, but Antoinette knows Projoy is dead. She had him shot, sixteen years ago.
Stephen wakes up and calls for Ace, but instead finds himself confronted by a strange woman who warns him not to move or he'll be killed. The woman introduces herself as Calida and demands to know who he is and what he's doing here. When he explains that he swam to the island, she's sceptical as he doesn't have a particularly muscular body. Stephen explains about the crashed spaceship and Calida realises he must be one of the shipwrecked people and not one of the prisoners as she first thought. She plans to get rid of a despot who she regards as a plague on this island, and she sees Stephen as her hero, here to help her take the island back. Calida's revenge on both the despot and his thoughtless son for the wrongs they have done will be bloody, but she offers to serve Stephen. She explains that she originally came from this island, but was cast off and told to stay away. When she saw the spaceship crash, she swam here from her own island five miles away in the hope that Prosperity Island might be reclaimed for her. Knowing the despot watches the island all the time, she suggests moving away to a cave which she dug from the rock with her own nails, where they can plot.
Antoinette explains that she had to have Projoy shot because the populace were clamouring for blood after the cull. She says it wasn't an easy decision for her and she lost her own child too. Emilio had become impossible to live with and the only person he didn't attack was his father. She had them taken out to sea on his favourite yacht and the guards were given strict instructions to shoot them both, then sink the boat and swim to shore so that it would look like an accident. The wreck of the boat was found later, together with the bones of two bodies. Then it was time to claim her inheritance and take the Directorship for herself. The entire government had been discredited and half of them were dead by their own hands, so Millano needed a strong leader. After listening to her story, the Professor can see how she made so many enemies. His curiosity is satisfied, but he still doesn't know why she was brought here or by whom. Antoinette suggests looking for some of the building's old video equipment so they can get in touch with the perimeter patrols. The Professor still believes there may have been a coup d'etat, but she assures him none of her ministers would have the imagination to engineer something like this, nor would they sacrifice such an expensive spacecraft. In any case, the Professor isn't going to find Ace if he stands here pondering ethics.
Projoy is furious with Milo for bringing Ace into his house, especially as he'd gone to such lengths to make sure she was 'occupied' with the low-life crewmember. He reveals that he's been watching her ever since she arrived on the island, but it was only ever his intention that Antoinette make it to the island. He then turns his anger on Gabriel for letting two others slip through, ordering him to go and collect the man Milo left sleeping in the field. He orders Ace to leave, but she refuses to go until she's found her friend. Gabriel returns and reports that the crewman has left the heath, so Projoy sends him to look in the Quad Tower. Milo says he thinks Ace is very nice and he blames his father for making the crewmember touch her and making him jealous. Projoy reminds his son that everything he's done has been for him and he's only ever wanted to protect him, but Milo doesn't want protecting from Ace and as he becomes angrier, the storm outside increases. There's such a short time left before they can achieve the freedom they desire and Milo's disobedience is starting to make his father hate him. Milo becomes distressed and runs out, almost in tears. Projoy summons Gabriel back and orders him to find his son and tell him he's sorry. He can always go and find Antoinette later as there's no way she can get off the island. Projoy and Ace are now alone and he tells her that if she co-operates with everything he says, he may be able to arrange safe passage for her through the Forbidden Zone once all this business is concluded.
Milo seeks solitude on the heath and complains to himself about how unfair his life is. Gabriel arrives to collect him, but Milo orders him to go away. He's angry that his father sent a robot to apologise rather than do it himself, and the storm continues to increase in intensity. Gabriel assures him that now is not the time to argue and that by the end of the day they might be off the island, but Milo doesn't care. Gabriel thinks the boy has always been given everything he wanted, but Milo reminds him that he wanted Calida, but his father sent her away. Gabriel points out that had their child been allowed to live, it would have inherited the same abilities that Milo has, and with Calida as a mother, nothing would have stopped it destroying them. Milo doesn't think Gabriel can understand his feelings because he's just a machine, but Gabriel assures him he's much more than that. Milo also believes his father only ever supports him when it suits his own plans, but Milo's real problem is that he's had nobody to talk to for the last sixteen years except his father and a robot. He knows he has powers other people can only dream of, yet his father has abused him and never given a thought to what he might want in return. Until Calida came along, he thought babies were built in factories and he had to find out for himself that this wasn't true. Gabriel reminds him that without his father's influence, Milo would have destroyed himself as a child. He argues that everything Projoy has done has been to prepare his son for when they leave the island. He asks Milo to return to the house as his father can't continue with his plan until he knows his son is safe. Even though Milo agrees to return, Gabriel notes that the rain is continuing to fall...
Antoinette continues to lead the Professor further into the Quad Tower and the more she hears the sinister echoing laughter, the less funny she thinks it is. It's not one of the millennium recordings that they heard earlier, so obviously someone's using it deliberately to scare them. As they move upstairs, the Professor asks Antoinette why she decided to turn this island into a prison. She tells him there was no better use for it after the celebrations turned sour. It amuses her to think that so many people from her organisation have ended up here over the years and at one time you couldn't move it was so crowded. Now it's the loneliest place on the planet. Antoinette assures the Professor she wasn't always cruel, but it's a trait she's had to learn and Projoy was an excellent teacher. Just as they think they're lost, Gabriel materialises before them and offers to help them. Antoinette attacks the robot, but is swiftly knocked unconscious. Gabriel admits to being a bit lax of late as he was only expecting to find one person here. Projoy has commanded Gabriel to escort them to the house, but though he promises Antoinette will be safe (for the time being), he can make no such promises for the Professor.
Later, Antoinette comes round and wonders where she is. The Professor tells them they've been put in a jail and advises her not to move too quickly as they only have three feet of stretching space. He tells her Gabriel is working for a master who has a particular interest in her. Only yesterday, Antoinette was the Director of a successful planet returning from an interplanetary peace conference and today she's been pitched out of the sky and landed in jail. It's not the kind of treatment she's used to. She's certain this has nothing to do with the conference as she managed to sign an agreement with the interplanetary holiday regulator who were investigating her over the body parts they'd been taking from their clients. Fortunately she was able to convince them the practice was essential and the regulator allowed her to continue, provided she paid 'tax' on the profits from the hospitals. She has no problem with other people having to take a cut in their salary, but it won't affect her personally as she owns the planet and can create whatever tax laws she likes. The Professor suspects her political opponents might feel justified in taking action against her, but she assures him she's done nothing illegal. In fact she's made a success of this planet and if they tried to get rid of her, they'd soon find themselves in trouble. She rescued hundreds of careers after the 'disaster' and has kept safe many incriminating records affecting those ministers who are still in power. Gabriel suddenly materialises outside their cell and Antoinette demands to know who his master is and why she's been brought here. The robot tells her she shall find out soon, but in the meantime, she's to be kept here until his master is ready to receive her. Gabriel turns his attention to the Professor and asks why he didn't drown after the crash, and the Professor admits that he simply held on to his special golf ball which allowed him to float while it sought out the nearest hole, which just happened to be on the shore. Gabriel tells him his master is not happy about his survival and wishes to meet the intruder.
Projoy demands that Gabriel explain why there is yet another survivor on the island, and the robot tells him he had no instructions about how to handle stowaways. The Professor and Ace are reunited, and Ace assures Projoy they're not interested in his business and they just want to get out of here. However, the Professor recognises Projoy's face from the photograph Antoinette showed him earlier and he demands to know why Projoy crashed the spaceship. The answer is obvious -- he wants to exact revenge on his former wife and the lives of everyone else on the ship was a small price to pay. Projoy advises the Professor not to judge him until he's heard both sides of the story, as he can imagine the lies Antoinette has told him. He expects that the government will come looking for his wife soon and that will be his chance to escape, but the Professor declares that Projoy is a dangerous man and he can't allow that to happen. Projoy refuses to let them frustrate his intentions any further and decides that the Professor and Ace will have to die...
Projoy and Gabriel escort the Professor and Ace to the biggest cliff on the island and prepare to throw them off, which is probably one of the less barbaric murders he's committed in his career. The robot ties the prisoners up and then he hands Projoy the Professor's golf ball to prevent his body floating back to the shore again. The Professor and Ace say their goodbyes to each other -- and then on Projoy's order, Gabriel pushes them both over the edge...
|“Let Projoy drown in a mire of blood. Let him chew on the soil of his kingdom. He is a juggler, a malignant conjuror that shows no mercy to his fellow players. He is a leech that sucks out the energy of his servants and grows fat on their misery. He is an unhappy Midas, choked by the bitter weeds of currency. Let the rain fall on him. Let the earth swallow him. Let there be redress. Let there be justice.”
The first dawn of a new millennium rises and Projoy speaks to the crowd gathering for the celebrations. It seems almost inconceivable that they've been here for a thousand years, but now they have a new beginning to look forward to. He proudly presents to them his baby son, the first of a brand new generation of super-children, and announces that news has arrived of the first baby to be born in this new millennium. She's going to be called Millennia, a name that represents hope for their world. As the crowd applauds, Projoy's wife advises him not to make his speech too intellectual as the people don't like it. He brings Antoinette onto the stage, and she tells the people of Millano that she is proud to have set them an example and urges all those who are mothers now, or plan to be mothers in the future, to invest in the Government's scheme so they too can have a child like hers. She officially announces tax relief on the sale of the genetic treatment and urges everyone to invest and become part of the new project. She claims it is the greatest change to motherhood and childcare to ever happen on Millano, and she begins what is little more than a sales pitch on the pretext of raising a wonderful new generation of children.
When she comes off stage, Projoy reminds her that she didn't mention the safety equipment, but she hasn't decided yet whether to put tax relief on that too. She doesn't want people to think they're going to have to spend a fortune; the genetic strain is the main product and everything else is just peripheral. They argue again over the name of their child but it's too late now as Antoinette has already made an agreement with the sponsors that he's to be called Emilio, after the genetics firm. Aware that some of the crowd might be able to lip-read their argument, they stop and kiss. Antoinette rebukes Projoy for his poor understanding of public relations, but he argues he's a businessman rather than a politician and he's made this planet twice the success that his father had. Just then the millennium fireworks are set off, so Antoinette calls for Projoy's brother Bastien, as he knows all about photo opportunities. She taunts her husband that Bastien is working on a way to grab Projoy's title off him, but Projoy knows his wife has been showing too much interest in his brother and thinks she should be ashamed of herself. Their argument descends into abuse about Projoy's mother, who Antoinette had barred from the wedding ceremony because she was drunk -- but then Antoinette mentions something she heard from his mother about how lucky it was that Projoy became Director of the company. He becomes distressed about what she might have learned, but Antoinette refuses to tell him any more.
Calida leads Stephen into a cave where he can shelter from the rain. She tells him that it stinks of her own scent and she's sweated out her fury onto every stone. One rock shows where she was sick with a horrible fever, another shows where she brought up her stomach, and where he's sitting now was where she bled from her belly. This is the cave where her child was born. There is no other part of the island that belongs more to her, but soon the whole island will be rescued from the despot. She's overjoyed by the prospect of cutting her enemy's throat and she proudly declares her loyalty to Stephen, her new master. She asks him about the time when he was aboard the ship and in command of the other men, and she's reassured to hear him say he was never a harsh master. She explains that when the despot first came to the island he was alone with his baby son, so she swam here from a nearby island and tended to his needs. She also nursed his infant because the man was so ignorant of children's needs that the boy would have died. She brought them fish, meat and fruit, but received nothing in return. And although the child was a joy and became her mentor, they eventually betrayed her and cast her off the island, so now she curses them both. She did nothing to deserve it and she even bore Milo's child, Projoy's bastard grandson. Calida weeps at her suffering and swears revenge. She shows Stephen the gold she was given and he's amazed when she allows him to keep it, as it's worthless to her.
Back on the mainland, Gamera addresses the Board of Millano and breaks the news that the ship holding their dear Director has crashed near the Isle of Prosperity and it's extremely doubtful that anyone survived. She formally declares Antoinette dead and the shocked Directors ask what steps are being taken to inform the public. Gamera tells them no announcement is planned and she urges them all not to speak to anyone about this development in order to avoid panic. She assures them the situation is under control and as Deputy Director, she's made preparations to go and search the site for survivors. The Board are concerned that things will fall apart if they have to run the Company by themselves, but Gamera is sure they can manage if it comes to it. After all, how difficult can it be...? Unfortunately only the Director knew everything about the planet and she made a point of never telling them the reasons behind her decisions and how they would be achieved. The truth is that the Board only existed to ratify Antoinette's own policies. Gamera urges them to stay confident in their own abilities to cover for Antoinette in her absence. It now falls to them to steer the planet until they can find her again. They have only one choice available to them -- they must send for Bastien!
The church bell on Prosperity rings to signal midday and Projoy is now finally ready to receive Antoinette into his presence. Antoinette is brought before her husband and is shocked to discover he's still alive. He welcomes her to his home of sixteen years and admits that he's half-dead, but only from anger and bitterness. Now they are together, face-to-face at last, and they can begin to unravel the lies with which she took away his freedom. And now she can taste the fear that she once visited upon him...
The Professor and Ace scramble for the safety of the beach and thank their rescuer for what was a really remarkable trick. Milo is dismissive of their praise and says he only had to think about it and it happened. They're confident that Projoy didn't see them being saved as it looked as though he was hurrying off to see his wife. Milo is confused, as his father doesn't have a wife, and the Professor realises for the first time that this young man is Emilio, the child Antoinette told him about. The Professor introduces himself and then tells Milo he has some news for him about the circumstances of his birth...
Gamera thanks Bastien for meeting her, but he's not impressed by all this cloak and dagger stuff. She asks him if he's been in touch with Antoinette today, but of course he hasn't; he's been informed by Space Control that her ship has been forced to stack for an extra day and they've lost radio contact. He's more than capable of reading between the lines, but he assumes it's just a smokescreen for something the Director doesn't want them to know. When Gamera reveals that she herself gave the instructions for that excuse to be used, Bastien accuses her of being childish and asks her to tell him the truth. She teases him for a moment, then reveals that Antoinette is dead. Bastien is horrified -- this changes everything. Gamera also starts to panic and realises she hasn't a clue what they should do next. He urges her to stay calm and tells her there must be no public announcement yet. As Projoy's brother, the Company will now go to him, although Gamera points out that his appointment will still have to be ratified by the shareholders. Bastien is confident there won't be any other candidates, but then he suddenly suspects that Gamera want to become Director herself. She feigns surprise, but when he asks if she will support him, she tells him that as current Deputy Director she has to remain impartial. She adds that it's possible the chief shareholder might attempt a buy-out, so Bastien suggests they see to the matter before the news gets out...
Projoy realises Milo isn't with him and Gabriel tells him he went into hiding because he was so angry. Antoinette laughs, but Projoy takes Gabriel to one side and says it's crucial he shows his son to his wife. Gabriel knows of a number of places Milo could be hiding, but thinks it might be better if they let the boy come back in his own time. Projoy becomes angry at Gabriel's attitude, but the robot reminds him it's better not to coerce Milo. In any case, Projoy has made many promises to both Milo and to Gabriel which they're both expecting to be fulfilled today. They're both patiently awaiting their freedom, but time creeps on and Gabriel warns Projoy that when Milo is finally unleashed, he may turn his revenge on his father rather than his enemies. They've waited sixteen years, so another few hours shouldn't hurt.
Milo refuses to believe what he's just heard, but the Professor assures him he got the story direct from his mother's mouth. Milo insists that his father 'invented' him, but Ace points out that he's not a machine like Gabriel, so he must have been born. They decide to go back to the house and find out what Projoy's planning. Ace wants to simply get off the island, but the Professor reminds her that no ships come here and their only chance is to persuade someone to give them a lift. Projoy may have tried to kill them last time, but now they have moral support from Milo. Milo agrees to tell his father that he doesn't like him killing people, especially people he likes. The Professor wants to take out some insurance just in case and he shows them a second golf ball that he had about his person. He plans to use the golf ball as a message-in-a-bottle. He makes the necessary adjustments then records a message asking for help. He asks Milo if he can help them get the golf ball beyond the perimeter of the prison zone. With the Professor pointing them in the right direction, Ace throws the ball in the air and Milo gives it a special push -- about 2,000 kilometres worth. Even if it lands in the sea, the Professor's programmed it to find its own way to shore and then connect itself to the nearest piece of AV equipment. All they have to do now is wait...
The rain has stopped so it's time for Calida to set off on her mission to kill Projoy. Stephen wonders if he's expected to accompany her, and she insists he go with her as her champion and that she must leave the killing blow to him. Stephen is shocked, but Calida says this is the only way he can take pride in keeping Projoy's possessions. Stephen thinks Ace would love to be his Queen, so Calida accepts the role of Viceroy, with Milo to be her consort. She reminds Stephen that her child would have been three years old by now, the same age that Milo was when he arrived here, and she doesn't want to wait any longer for her moment of reckoning.
Gamera has decided that Bastien's plan is excellent, but there's still one problem. He's the most unpopular politician on the planet and it will be hard enough to break the news to the population that the Director has died without following that up with an announcement that he will be replacing her. They're bound to take some persuading! Bastien is convinced she underestimates the level of his public support, but Gamera is sure there must be a better way around the problem.
The Professor, Ace and Milo return to Projoy's house and immediately find themselves press-ganged into attending a trial where Projoy is sitting as judge over Antoinette. Gabriel formally charges the Director of Millano with counts of perjury, abandonment, betrayal, unlawful dealings and murder. She dismisses this whole thing as a farce and refuses to offer a plea, which is noted by the 'court'. Projoy offers her the opportunity to speak before he passes sentence, but Gabriel reminds him he hasn't even opened the proceedings yet. Projoy asks the members of the jury if they've elected a foreman and is surprised when Milo steps forward. As his son will be later acting as a witness for the prosecution, he's not supposed to be privy to what the others say, so Projoy asks Milo to sit at the back and keep his eyes closed and block his ears. The Professor objects to the absurdity of this suggestion, but Projoy refuses to listen. Instead, he orders the Professor to step in as deputy foreman and write down everything that is said so that Milo can read it later when the trial has finished. Gabriel confirms that the trial is being recorded so it can be shown to the Board upon their return, then Projoy asks Gabriel to begin his opening statement.
Gabriel announces that his intention is to prove that Antoinette colluded in the mass killing of some three million children, but when he begins to deal with each case individually, Projoy points out that this will be extremely time consuming. Gabriel agrees to deal with the cases en bloc, then adds to the charges against Antoinette that she tried to deny what she'd done, lied to the press and tried to pin it on her husband, who is still serving his sentence for the crime despite never being tried. Projoy orders the court to note sympathy for his poor harried self. Antoinette is also charged with wantonly, and with malice aforethought, making a stinking profit off the back of the business established by her husband, thus becoming the fourth richest person on the planet. In Antoinette's defence, Gabriel reports that she is counter-accusing her husband of engineering the entire project. Projoy orders the jury to ignore the counter-argument until the “appropriate time”. Gabriel plans to call three witnesses: Antoinette herself, but also her estranged husband and son. There is also some additional evidence from the government archives, and in the absence of a reliable representative from that organisation, he plans to take the stand himself and read it. Projoy wonders who will cross-examine Gabriel during that stage of the trial, but when the Professor volunteers, Projoy overrules him and decides to do it himself.
Gabriel calls his first witness -- Projoy, former Director of Millano. Despite the fact that he was just starting to get comfortable, Projoy agrees to take the stand. After establishing his identity, Gabriel asks Projoy why he is living on Prosperity Island, but Projoy is already becoming frustrated with being asked questions that everyone already knows and demands Gabriel get on with the important things. Gabriel asks him to think back nineteen years to the birth of his son, a very unique individual. Projoy agrees that Milo is unique now, but only because Antoinette killed the other three million. He explains that Milo is a psycho-kinetic, which means he can move things by the power of his mind. Projoy achieved this by injecting his mother with a genetic strain invented by scientists working for him at the time. He was planning to undertake further tests, but Antoinette insisted that she wanted the treatment first for reasons of vanity, with no regard for the consequences. After that, Antoinette put the treatment on the market and many more children were born with these powers. However, there was absolute chaos after she vetoed the tax relief on the safety equipment, meaning everyone bought the treatment but not the equipment needed to make it safe. The factory making it even went out of business.
As prosecutor, Gabriel has no further questions, but as defence counsel he has one more issue to raise. Milo was three years old when the millennium came, so was Projoy aware at that time of the dangers in bringing such a child into the world? Projoy says they were, which is why they sold the safety equipment. To Projoy's continued annoyance, the Professor interjects with a question of his own, and when Projoy refuses to answer, the Professor points out that Projoy is currently acting as a witness, not the judge, so he isn't allowed to direct the line of questioning. The Professor asks Antoinette if she's satisfied with the performance of her defence counsel and recommends that she sack Gabriel and employ his services instead. The Professor resigns his juror-ship and begins to cross-examine Projoy. Projoy threatens to have the Professor killed (again), but Milo objects, even though he shouldn't be listening. The Professor asks Projoy to confirm that he was the Director of Millano when the decision was made to release the genetic treatment, and when the decision was made not to give tax relief on the safety equipment, and when it was decided to kill the three million children. In each case, Projoy accepts that he was formally in charge, but he argues that the Board of Directors took the decisions based on Antoinette's suggestions. The Professor points out that Projoy himself was Chairperson of the Board and presided over those meetings -- therefore it was a collective responsibility. Although Projoy opposed the ideas from the beginning, he didn't resign, nor did he publicise the importance of the safety equipment, nor did he offer any alternative solution to killing the children. The Professor wonders why Projoy didn't use his right to veto the suggestions, and discovers that Antoinette had been blackmailing him and threatened to reveal something about him if he voted against her.
Gabriel then calls the defendant to the stand, but Antoinette dismisses the trial as a “foolish pantomime” and refuses to speak until the Professor persuades her to reconsider. Antoinette begins to answer Gabriel's questions, but Projoy objects to her insistence on calling his son Emilio and adds that she doesn't seem all that pleased to see him. Perhaps, he suggests, this is because she's feeling guilty for trying to have him killed. Antoinette announces that Projoy knows very well that Milo isn't Projoy's son -- he's Bastien's! Projoy becomes furious and threatens to strangle her, here and now, but Gabriel reminds him that the trial is being filmed. The questioning resumes, and although Antoinette accepts that she wanted to be the first mother to have a child using the treatment, she rejects the suggestion that she vetoed the tax relief on the safety equipment. She does accept that she ordered the children to be culled, but adds that the situation would never have arisen if her advice had been taken. She also accepts that she had her husband arrested shortly afterwards (although she ignores a question about whether she had the public records amended in her favour) and that she had Projoy and Milo sent to die.
The Professor begins his questioning. He asks Antoinette who vetoed the introduction of the genetic treatment and she tells him the public records show it was Projoy. He asks her again whether she interfered with the public records, and why Projoy stopped vetoing her decisions on the Board. She tells him that she discovered Projoy was not the legitimate son of the previous Director. Projoy protests, claiming that he'd already taken a genetic test to prove he was the rightful heir, but Antoinette knows this was faked and that he'd taken blood from Milo, Bastien's son, and injected it into his own veins. The Professor believes they have enough evidence for a clear verdict. He asks the foreman, Ace, to announce the decision. She finds Antoinette guilty, but she also finds the judge Projoy guilty too. In fact, she finds the entire corrupt system on Millano to be guilty. The Professor states that every single decision taken by both Antoinette and Projoy was done simply to increase their own personal fortunes. Projoy had no birthright to it anyway, and Antoinette only married into it, so in the Professor's considered opinion, neither of them had any right to be Director. Both of them are equally guilty of the creation and murder of three million children, and by rights both of them should remain here on this island. Ace adds that neither of them are bothered about Milo's welfare and are only interested in getting him to work for them. Milo realises this is true as Projoy hadn't told him anything about the outside world. Even when Calida made friends with him, his father sent her away. Projoy insists she was taking advantage of Milo and was going to have his child, and he could never allow another child like him to be born. Milo realises that both his parents wish he hadn't been born and he races out of the room in distress. The Professor says Projoy has a lot of apologising to do, but so far, this has all been relatively easy. He warns them that the tricky bit will come once they get off the island...
Calida and Stephen approach the house, but it all looks deserted. Now that Stephen's starting to sober up, he's not so sure about their plan, but Calida urges him to have courage and think of the gold. Suddenly they hear Milo running in their direction, with Projoy calling out after him. They hide as Milo passes, but when Projoy arrives, Calida emerges and blames him for causing all the problems. Projoy orders her to leave the island, but she no longer serves him. Projoy calls for help, then accuses Calida of raping his son. She denies this, and in turn accuses him of killing her own son. She attacks the despot and forces his head under the water of the garden fountain. Stephen is in shock, but knows better than to intervene. Eventually Projoy dies, but Calida realises her victory is shallow and it won't help to bring her dead son back.
Back on the mainland, Gamera and Bastien have called a press conference to announce the death of Antoinette to the whole world. Gamera praises her as possibly the planet's most successful Director, and Bastien tells of how this is a deeply personal tragedy to him. He claims to have been her only surviving relative and says she trusted him in a way that he hopes to be worthy of over the coming months and years. He blames the less scrupulous members of the media for causing her distress and warns that he will not tolerate such ungenerous coverage in the news media in the future. Gamera announces a memorial service to be held in a nearby cathedral and says everyone is invited to attend. In the meantime, she will act as Director with Bastien as her deputy. The conference is interrupted by one of the subdirectors who hands Gamera a golf ball that's just landed on the roof of the government building. He asks Gamera and Bastien to join the others in the boardroom where he plays the Professor's recording back to them. The subdirector is delighted that Antoinette is still alive and there are calls for her to be rescued, but for Gamera and Bastien this is terrible news. They ask the other board members to leave the room and forbid them to tell anyone what's happened. As soon as they're alone, the two plotters try to work out what to do next. Bastien suspects this whole thing has been a test to see how he would react. He remembers Gamera being junior finance director during the disaster and knows she was absolved of blame only because the inquiry didn't have access to all the records. He begins to wonder whether Antoinette knows something about her that keeps her loyal. He points out that no one ever benefited from any of the decisions Antoinette took and suggests they allow her to remain on Prosperity Island permanently. Gamera realises Antoinette may one day escape the island and return, so Bastien promises to deal with the situation if he can have access to a ship. Every day for the last ten years he's prayed for something like this to happen and all it will take now is a little work from them to turn this disaster into a miracle.
Calida has been discovered standing over Projoy and after the Professor declares him dead, Antoinette asks that the body be removed from the fountain as the blood looks horrible. Calida wants Milo to see this, and when Gabriel threatens to kill her, she tells him he's free to do so as she's achieved all that she wanted to do. However, the Professor insists there should be no more killing. Now that the situation appears to be over, Antoinette is keen to escape, but the others insist they find Milo first and tell him what's happened. Gabriel is concerned about the effect this may have on the boy, but the Professor reassures him that Ace knows how to do this sort of thing gently. Just then, Gabriel spots Stephen hiding sheepishly in the shadows and orders him to come out. The young crewmember explains who he is and asks if it's safe to go home now.
Bastien and Gamera race across the ocean towards Prosperity Island aboard a boat chosen specifically because it doesn't belong to the government and only has a few rooms, so it won't arouse suspicion. Before long they spot Abundance Island on the horizon which means they're just a few miles from their target. Gamera reminds him there are a lot of former government officials imprisoned on these islands and she's worried they might bump into some of them, but Bastien is confident most of them will have died by now. She's surprised that he plans to bring anyone back, but Bastien thinks they can safely accommodate one or two of the Miranda crew to make their story more plausible. If they can claim Antoinette survived for a few days, then starved to death, it would be useful to have a couple of confused crewmembers to back them up if they're paid well enough...
Ace searches for Milo and eventually finds him on the beach. Unfortunately, before she can pass on the bad news about his father, the boy spots the boat coming towards them. With Milo excited about being 'rescued', Ace decides to go back and tell the Professor what's happening. The Professor speaks to Calida, but she wants nothing more than to be left alone on the island. As they leave, Gabriel pleads with him to help carry Projoy's body to the boat.
Bastien and Gamera bring their boat onto shore. Everything seems deserted, but they're confident it won't be long before someone spots them. Antoinette and Stephen are the first to arrive, but no one emerges to welcome them. By the time Ace and Milo join them, the door to the boat has opened up, apparently of its own accord, inviting them to enter. Antoinette realises it's not a government ship and Ace thinks it looks a bit creepy. Suddenly a loudspeaker activates and a voice calls for the Director of Millano. Antoinette tells them they're all here -- although Ace and Milo remind her that the Professor and Projoy are still missing. The voice invites them to enter the ship quickly as it will soon be dark and time for them to return to the mainland. Antoinette recognises Bastien's voice and is relieved to find they're safe. The Professor and Gabriel arrive just in time, carrying Projoy's body, and Milo discovers for the first time that his father is dead. Gabriel explains that Calida killed him and Milo is devastated. Despite assurances that there's nothing they can do for him, Milo insists that the boat go faster, but eventually the boy breaks down in tears. He becomes inconsolable and the boat starts to rock from side to side...
Later, Milo wakes up and Gabriel tells him his actions nearly sank the ship. They're on their way back to the capital and everyone else has retired to their cabins. He offers to help Milo to his own room and tells him he can see his father's body after he's had some sleep.
Antoinette is delighted that Bastien came to 'rescue' her and Gamera assures her they got here as soon as they could. The Director is curious to know why they didn't use one of the government's ships, or even an aircraft, but Bastien is more interested in her son, Milo. The boy's aggression doesn't seem to have improved much -- the last time they had a storm as furious as the one they're currently experiencing was on the day the three-year old child left. Bastien rebukes Antoinette for not telling him the truth about Projoy as he thought his brother was long dead, but the Director points out that neither of them particularly liked him. Antoinette hasn't decided what to do with her son yet and she accepts that the last sixteen years must have been awful for him. Bastien reminds her that Milo is now heir to the Directorship and Antoinette realises he must have been plotting something over the last few days. The storm seems to be getting worse, so she decides to go below deck. Once they're alone, Gamera becomes worried that Antoinette suspects them. Bastien tells her they'll go ahead with their plan as soon as it's safe to anchor the ship, but because they can easily capsize in weather like this, they must wait for the storm to subside. They'll keep Stephen alive for corroboration, but the others will have to be picked off one by one. Bastien admits that he and Antoinette used to be very “close” and for all he knows, Milo might even be his own son. The Professor arrives with Ace and remarks to Bastien and Gamera how odd it is that there are so many claimants to the Directorship aboard one small ship. The Professor has already realised they're drifting in an easterly direction, which means they can't be heading for the capital, but Bastien claims the storm is taking them out of their way. After they leave, the Professor shares his suspicions about their rescuers with Ace. Their dilemma is far from over and they seem to have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. He suggests they persuade Milo to end the storm so their two rescuers will be forced to make a move.
Later, Bastien and Gamera invite all the others onto the deck. The weather has much improved, but the ship has come to a full stop. The Professor openly challenges Bastien and tells everyone they probably won't all make it to the mainland. Bastien admits that since Antoinette left them, a lot of people in the government have been doing some thinking and they're wondering whether they really want her back, or indeed whether she was ever needed in the first place. He's been talking to Gabriel and plays back a recording of Antoinette from her earlier 'trial' in which she admits that Projoy wasn't the legitimate son of the Director. Bastien now knows that his brother wasn't really his brother and now believes he is the only legitimate heir to the position. Antoinette reminds them that if she hadn't hidden the public records of the disaster, neither Bastien nor Gamera would have survived in government. Bastien feels the blackmail has gone on long enough and demands to know where the incriminating evidence is kept. Gamera hands Bastien her gun, but Antoinette insists she lost the data disc during the crash. Bastien refuses to believe her and during a struggle, he shoots Antoinette dead. However, when Gamera searches her body, she can find no trace of the disc. The Professor reveals that he has the disc, which he took from her when they first arrived on the island. Bastien orders him to hand it over, but he refuses on ethical grounds and blatantly puts it in his pocket, planning to make use of it when they get back to the capital. Bastien assures the Professor he'll be long dead by then, but to everyone's amazement, both the Professor and Ace turn and jump overboard, shouting out that they can swim the rest of the way.
The engines suddenly start up and the ship starts to move away, despite the fact that neither Bastien nor Gamera are at the controls. They try to turn the ship around, but nothing will work. Gabriel explains that Milo must be operating the ship using his psychokinetic powers. Bastien storms off, threatening to shoot Milo -- but Gabriel warns him that the boy has the power to turn the bullets and send them flying back into Bastien's face. That's what he did the last time someone tried to shoot him. Gabriel recommends they all get below deck as this boat is about to get a lot faster...
Ace is starting to struggle in the water and realises she can't swim much further. The Professor urges her to hold on and promises her they're about to get some help. Suddenly, the form of Gabriel materialises in the water beside them. He invites them to grab hold of him while he swims to shore. With his classic machine workmanship, Gabriel is able to go extremely fast...and it's not long before they reach safety. The Professor and Ace are extremely grateful and they find they've arrived at the docks ahead of the boat. As the boat approaches, they race out to greet Stephen and Milo, who piloted it to the very spot they'd arranged. The Professor orders Bastien and Gamera to surrender their gun and come out peacefully. Bastien is furious and threatens to have them killed as soon as he becomes Director, but the Professor is confident such a time will never come -- at least, not while they own the data disc. He gives it to Gabriel, certain that he'll be able to find a good home for it. The robot agrees that it will provide very useful evidence for the forthcoming trial. Bastien boasts that Millano won't be able to put them on trial as it's currently leaderless, but the Professor points out that the Directorship now belongs to Projoy's and Antoinette's heir -- Milo. The two conspirators argue that Milo knows nothing of politics, but the Professor believes that makes him eminently qualified. Gabriel returns after contacting the police and reports that guards are on their way to arrest the subdirectors. He warns them not to try to escape or Milo will pitch them across the bay.
Ace tells Stephen that she and the Professor were on their way to a holiday and asks if he wants to join them and show them the sights. The Professor agrees that it's time they enjoyed some relaxation and suggests they might like to try Brighton instead. He thinks it might be better if they returned to Millano at some later date, when the political situation is on a more even keel. He suspects that Bastien and Gamera will be made scapegoats for Antoinette's death and the genetics disaster. The company will pass to Milo and perhaps he'll make a success of it and even stamp out the corruption that seems to have crept in. It may not last forever as there's too much money floating around, but at least Milo is innocent and if he keeps the right people around him, he may stay that way. The Professor hints that it might be nice to pop forward in time and see how he gets on, so Ace says goodbye to Stephen.
Five years later and the Professor and Ace are delighted to see that Milo has replaced every single member of the government. Previously, decisions were always taken by his mother and her followers, but during his time as Director of Millano, Milo has created an independent parliament. Ace comments on his boring speech and the Professor suspects he's been receiving private coaching from Gabriel. Everything looks a lot healthier than it did before and the holiday trade, in which visitors donate parts of their body, has also been outlawed -- although the holidays are still very expensive. No further attempts have been made to create psychokinetic children, so Milo will remain the only one. It's a very useful skill, if used in moderation. The Professor and Ace have seen enough so they leave for their long awaited holiday -- in Brighton!
|Source: Lee Rogers|