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Lexx 2.01 Mantrid
(written by Paul Donovan)

(The last insect drifts through space, towards a small planet)

HDS: Many thousands of years ago, we were defeated by humans in the great Insect Wars. Our human enemies thought they destroyed all insects, but I escaped to live on. I hid myself by burrowing deep into a small planetoid, and there I waited

(A ship reaches the planet - on board, the captain, navigator, and Rockhound)

CAP: Nothing but silicon
NAV: Another complete waste of time
CAP: They're all a complete waste of time as far as I'm concerned, but they does the paying, so we does the drilling
ROCK: I wish something interesting would happen, just this once. Just something a little bit out of the ordinary

(The ship moves in to land on the planet. A space suited Rcokhound climbs down some sort of mine shaft)

ROCK: OK, Rockhound, on the way down

(At the bottom, he examines some rocks)

ROCK: I think I might have found myself something interesting here. Not typically geological. Could be a sign of life
CAP: What do you mean, a sign of life?
ROCK: I don't know, but I'm curious to find out more
CAP: Return home now, and we'll use the finger probe
NAV: Rockhound, we sometimes follow the rules, remember? Come home and we'll go remote
ROCK: Sorry, it's been too long since my brain was put to use. I'm getting - I'm getting a very weird feeling

(At the base of the shaft, there is a blue light. Tendrils and sparks start reaching for Rockhound)

ROCK: There's too much electrical action, I'm outta here

(He starts to climb back up the shaft, but electric sparks knock him unconscious to the ground)

CAP: Hey, Rockhound, we're getting some interference. Are you all right? Rockhound, we do not hear you

HDS: I passed my essence, my soul, my intelligence, my everything into a human host

(A mist goes through Rockhound's helmet, and up his nose. His eyes open - they are black)

NAV: Rockhound, please talk to us
ROCK: Sorry. I was asleep, but I'm heading for the top now. All the way. Here I go

(He starts back up the ladder)

HDS: As the last surviving insect, I knew that I would never be able to defeat the humans, but if I possessed a human body, I thought perhaps I could use humans to defeat themselves. I became His Divine Shadow, the most powerful ruler in the two universes. My power over humanity grew as I passed my essence down through generation after generation of human hosts. My insect body also grew in strength, fed by human flesh gathered from 20,000 unsuspecting planets, all unknowingly enslaved to their enemy
But my order was destroyed by Kai, the last of the Brunnen G. My prematurely reborn body was killed by the Lexx, the most powerful weapon of destruction ever built. Kai crushed the brain of my last human host, but he did not kill me, as I still live on. But he does not know that I live - through him

(The Lexx is floating through space. In the cryochamber, Kai's pod opens)

(Stan is on the bridge)

STAN: I've been thinking. Lexx - there are all kinds of planets. There are planets with nice scenery, planets with happy law-abiding citizens, and planets with good rulers, and planets with intellectuals, and planets with women who are - you know - open-minded. That's the kind of planet I want you to help me find. Understand?
LESS: No, Stan - I do not understand
STAN: OK, OK, how about, er, women who are - available, does that mean anything to you?
LEXX: No, it does not
STAN: OK, how about, er, frisky, loose, low moral standards, and -

(Kai walks onto the bridge, ignores Stan, and walks off down the other passageway. Stan rushes to Zev's bedchamber and wakes her up)

790: Oh disgust! Oh horror! It touches my beloved!
STAN: Zev, it's Kai, he's up on his own

(Kai walks into the bedchamber)

ZEV: Kai. You've reanimated yourself
KAI: Yes. I am experiencing an unfamiliar sense of motivation
ZEV: That is a sign of life. You are not alive, are you?
KAI: No. I am still dead. I am motivated to find more protoblood
STAN: I thought the stuff we brought back from the Cluster was supposed to last you for ages
KAI: The protoblood we have now will last me for a few days at best
STAN: Then why are you walking around wasting it?
KAI: I must be animated to find a new supply. Protoblood came from the GigaShadow. It may be possible to extract some from its offspring, if we can locate one
STAN: What offspring?
KAI: One of the Insect larvae on the underside of the GigaShadow may have come loose when you destroyed the Cluster
STAN: But that was back in the Light Universe, this is the Dark Zone, and we can't go back because the fractal core was destroyed, so how could we go, even if we wanted to?
790: Don't look at me, dead man in black. I also feel no motivation, except to jam circuits with creamy love pudding number one
ZEV: Direct question, number 790 - do you know any way we can get back into the Light Zone?

(790 seems reluctant, so Zev raps her knuckles on his casing)

ZEV: Answer!
790: The fractal core was simply a point where the three physical dimensions of both universes intersect. It does not have to by definition be the only such point of intersection. I calculate that other pathways are in theory possible, but the risk to your angelic life would be -
KAI: I know the way

(His eyes are black. Stan doesn't see this, but is suspicious nonetheless)

(The crew are on the bridge, watching as the Lexx approaches the neutron star)

KAI: The mass of this neutron star is very close to the balance required to connect the two universes
STAN: Very close?
KAI: Yes. First we will let ourselves be drawn into the star's gravitational pull. After that, and prior to the Lexx's molecular collapse, there is a point when we must adjust the mass of the neutron star, using Lexx's weapon
STAN: Well, how do we find this point?
KAI: 790 will calculate it
790: With an unacceptable margin of error
ZEV: What is the margin of error?
790: Between 7 and 84% - 17 times out of 20
STAN: I am turning the Lexx around right now
ZEV: No. Doesn't giving Kai a chance to live mean anything to you, Stanley Tweedle?
STAN: Well, yes, of course - but he's already been around for 2000 years longer than he should, and I want to live longer than the next few minutes, and if we don't turn the Lexx around, like right now, then I'm not 100% sure that I will - 20 times out of 20!
ZEV: Stanley - I will do it with you, if you take the Lexx back into the Light Zone
790: Oh disgust! Zev, nothing is worth sinking that low
ZEV: Quiet, 790

(She gets up on the pedestal, next to Stan)

ZEV: You can have me, naked. My smooth moist skin pressed tightly against yours. Warming you up, heating you up, raising your temperature until you are ready to explode. Don't you want me wrapped around you Stanley? Squeezing you, riding you like a big boy, until -
LEXX: I am now inside the gravitational pull of the black star
STAN: Lexx, I'm commanding you to turn around at once, immediately, right now!
LEXX: Too late, Stanley. The black star is much stronger than I am. We are going faster and faster toward it

(Stan gets down to talk to 790)

STAN: Why didn't you tell me we were getting so close? Why are you putting Zev in danger?
790: Zev's wish is my command
STAN: Lexx, please, I'm begging you!
LEXX: I am sorry Stanley. It's too late. I cannot go back
STAN: This better be the best sex of my life, this better be the best sex in the history of the two universes
ZEV: I have obligation whatsoever
790: I'm a witness. You attempted to pull the Lexx back before the deal was completed
STAN: You! -

(Stan turns to Kai)

STAN: Kai, how come you're suddenly so all motivated to find protoblood? I thought you were dead, I thought you didn't experience motivation
KAI: Something must have come over me

(His eyes are black again. The Lexx is heading into the neutron star)

790: 5, 4, 3, 2,1 -
STAN: Fire, Lexx, fire now, give it everything you got!

STAN: (to 790)You better be on the button
790: I will always do my best for Zev

(The Lexx fires, and dissolves, then reassembles as it passes through into the Light Universe. Stan checks that all his bits are there)

STAN: I'm alive! This is a good thing, this is definitely excellent
790: That's a matter of perspective
STAN: Lexx - where are we?
LEXX: We are in a big space, Stan
790: We are in the Light Universe, security guard class 4
STAN: It's just rocks and Cluster chunks, millions of 'em
KAI: Do not underestimate the ability of the insects to survive in difficult circumstances
ZEV: But how will we even see one, I mean, there's so much stuff out there
KAI: I suggest that we go out and take a closer look. It will take time to complete a thorough search. We must begin immediately
STAN: You're just Mister Initiative these days, aren't ya?
ZEV: Coming, Stanley?
STAN: No. Absolutely not

(But of course, he goes. They each take a moth out to search through the debris)

STAN: Completely, totally stupid -

(He nearly flies right into a larva)

(The larva is lying on the floor in the cryochamber. Kai is stroking it)

STAN: I'm gonna be sick The idea of bringing this insect that is dedicated to destroying all humanity onboard the Lexx makes me completely ill. And I've got a right to say that, because if you wanna be technical about it, I am the only one on this entire bug ship that is 100% human
KAI: You don't find it beautiful, Stanley?
KAI: Strangely, I find it has an attractive quality

(Zev walks in, carrying a large cutting tool)

ZEV: It was His Shadow, and insect, who destroyed your people. You should hate it, Kai
KAI: True, but perhaps that is also why I am drawn to it
STAN: You're drawn to it because you need protoblood
KAI: I do not normally respond to need
STAN: Well, I do

(He's so agitated, he takes his hat off)

STAN: I respond directly to need, and I need to see this larva fired right back out into space and then blasted by the Lexx. And if you don't respond to need, what exactly are we doing here?
ZEV: I want us to be here
KAI: I do not know why I feel this need. I cannot explain it
STAN: You are beginning to scare me, and this thing totally scares me
KAI: Do not fear this larva. It is at best dormant, ready to contain life
ZEV: What do you mean, at best?
KAI: It could be dead. I cannot tell. It is not a functioning life form, as you are, or Stanley is. It cannot live without the insect essence being passed to it, and the last carrier of the insect essence was the GigaShadow, which we destroyed

(Zev turns the cutting tool on, but Kai grabs hold of it)

KAI: No, Zev
ZEV: Why not? I mean, how else are we going to find protoblood, unless we cut it apart?
STAN: I'm not against cutting it into bits, the smaller the better
KAI: It may produce protoblood if it is dormant. It certainly will not if it is dead

(Zev turns the tool off)

KAI: I must spend some time examining it
STAN: Oh boy

(Stan, Zev and 790 are on the bridge)

STAN: First Kai experiences motivation, and now he wants to be alone with the insect. Don't you think he's acting weird?
ZEV: No - just more alive
STAN: No! Not more alive. More weird. Something's gotten into him
790: I agree Kai's behaviour is clearly inconsistent. I suggest that he returns to cryostasis, and we eject the insect into space
STAN: I'm worried, Zev - and you should be too

(Kai puts his hands on the larva, and electricity crackles. His eyes go black, and he growls. He falls onto the larva, but wakes up as the others enter the cryochamber)

ZEV: We are concerned about you, Kai
KAI: Mantrid
ZEV: Mantrid?
KAI: If anyone can help us obtain protoblood from this larva, it is Mantrid
ZEV: Well, who is Mantrid?
KAI: He was once the Divine Order's greatest Bio-Vizier. No man ever had a more insatiable hunger for knowledge and experience. A brilliant scientist, and a truly dangerous human being, so dangerous he was imprisoned by the Divine Order
ZEV: How can we find him?
KAI: I know where he is
STAN: Oh no

(On a snowy planet, a beehive-like structure. Inside the huge dome is a lake, criss-crossed by low bridges. A man falls over on one of them)

VIGO: Take everything I own. Take my jewels, take my gold, take my life!
MANTRID: Should snake venom swell your limbs to bursting, should spider poison cause your brain to explode, should your bodily fluids slowly drain out through pustulent sores, none of this is enough. You deserve worse, far, far worse
VIGO: Yes, yes, but please, please, I cannot wait. Kill me, kill me now
MANTRID: How many have suffered because of you?
VIGO: I must not be allowed to live. I've done such awful things, such terrible things

(He backs away from the dagger at his throat)

MANTRID: So many little boys
VIGO: So many beautiful little children, I couldn't stop myself. I must not live another minute

(The arm holding the dagger is a drone. Mantrid is a head stuck on a floating jar, which contains his internal organs. Two more drone arms hover nearby)

MANTRID: So many innocent lambs. You define vile
VIGO: Please do it quickly. End my life
MANTRID: (laughs) Did you hear me, you pathetic old castratu? You are the definition of vile
VIGO: Please, do it quickly. End my life

(The drone arm hovers away from him)

MANTRID: That's why I like you. But for your sins, the greatest suffering I can impose is to let you continue to live your truly unfortunate life
VIGO: Then I will kill myself
MANTRID: I don't think so, you putrid sack of decaying flesh. You're far too much of a coward

(Then they hear a signal)

KAI: Mantrid, this is Kai, last of the Brunnen G. Mantrid, this is Kai, last of the Brunnen G. I have come to free you

(On the Lexx, the crew see Mantrid's face on the view screen)

MANTRID: What do you seek, last of the Brunnen G?
KAI: We want your help, Mantrid
MANTRID: Want - what a strange word for a dead man to say. But I'm no help to anyone
KAI: Except yourself
MANTRID: So cruel, last of the Brunnen G - and so accurate. And how can you help me?
KAI: We have the Lexx. We can transport you wherever you desire to go

(A moth flies through the snow, carrying the larva. It descends through a hole in the top of the beehive. The moth drops the larva into the water, then lands. Zev and Kai get out)

ZEV: Hello?

(Mantrid appears. Zev waves)

ZEV: I'm Zev. Interesting place you have here
MANTRID: A love slave, with a personality. How peculiar
KAI: And I am Kai
MANTRID: I know who you are. You were killed by His Divine Shadow 2000 years ago, and your body was used by him as a weapon of assassination ever since, and you should still be dead
KAI: I am, but I have recovered my own memory, as well as the memories of many thousands of others His Shadow killed
MANTRID: How peculiar, times two. I'm Mantrid. As you can see, time has not been kind to me. This is my assistant, Vigo

(Vigo joins them. He takes Zev's hand, and licks it - Zev wipes it off))

MANTRID: So, you have found a descendant of the insects from the Insect Wars. Why do you want protoblood?
ZEV: So he can live
MANTRID: I didn't ask you
KAI: I want protoblood so that I can live
MANTRID: You want to live? How peculiar, times three. I'll help you with your problem, and in exchange you will give me the Lexx
ZEV: No, you will help us and we will take you wherever you want to go
MANTRID: He cannot live without protoblood. If you don't give me the Lexx, I'll not help you

(Mantrid pouts sulkily)

KAI: If you do not help us on our terms, I will kill you
MANTRID: Then it seems that I must accept your terms

(A drone arm examines the larva)

MANTRID: I envy it, because the insects could transfer their consciousness from one physical form to another. Not something we humans have ever been able to master
ZEV: Is it still alive?
MANTRID: What do you mean by alive?
ZEV: Well, capable of waking up and killing people
MANTRID: I don't know what the word alive really means. Kai has no heartbeat, he doesn't breathe, much of his brain doesn't function, so he cannot think as we can, and yet he's showing some unusual signs of life. Look at me - am I alive? This drone - is it alive? It has a brain with switches and connections just like us. It can process information much faster than any human

(Mantrid winks at one of the drone arms)

MANTRID: Build Mantrid a hammer to smash yourself into useless bits

(The drone arm quickly builds a hammer out of some pieces of metal)

MANTRID: Now smash yourself

(The drone arm smashes itself to bits)

MANTRID: I am living. It is a machine. But if a machine is given the will to live, then perhaps it should be considered alive. The boundary between nonlife and life is not clear to me. And to answer your question, the insect is neither alive nor dead. It's dormant, and to extract protoblood, I must wake it, at least partially. To be properly alive, these insects must have their vital insect essence passed to them. Without it, they are like a computer without a programme, a human without a soul. As it is, this one shouldn't be dangerous

(Vigo leads Zev and Kai to a structure made of twigs, where a meal has been laid out for them)

VIGO: Mantrid is a brilliant man - not a good man, but a brilliant, brilliant man. If he cannot solve your problem, your problem cannot be solved. Please, sit - this should ease the pain of your visit here
KAI: Thank you, but I do not have a stomach
VIGO: All the more for the lady
ZEV: What's that?

(She points at a small spacecraft, which looks like a four legged spider)

VIGO: A vessel Mantrid's been working on
ZEV: An escape vessel?
VIGO: No - more a vessel for his thoughts. I must work. You - must enjoy

(Vigo kisses Kai on the forehead, then leaves)

ZEV: Mmm, this is tasty

(Kai goes outside and watches Vigo)

(On the Lexx - Stan is on the bridge)

ZEV: Stan - can you hear me?
STAN: Zev?
ZEV: We have to wait while Mantrid wakes up the insect, but don't worry - I think he knows what he's doing. Just hang in for a little while longer, OK?

(A drone arm cuts off a section of the larva's shell, and pulls back a membrane to reveal a blue organ)

MANTRID: There it is, and it's beautiful. The transduction organ, I believe essential to transfer the insect consciousness from one body to the next. An organ only they possess
VIGO: So what are you going to do with it?
MANTRID: I'm going to remove it, but it won't do me any good unless it's working, so I guess I am going to have to wake this beastie up
VIGO: But the insects are man's greatest enemies, they are -
MANTRID: This insect will just be technically awake, without the insect essence normally provided by its parent. It will simply do nothing

(A drone arm pumps some fluid into the larva, which starts to twitch)

STAN: They're gonna wake up the insect, and they expect me to stay up here waiting for them. It's out of the question
790: Tweedle - you give carbon molecules a bad name

VIGO: We should take the Lexx and go ourselves. We've been trapped here for so long, and -
MANTRID: Don't you realise what an incredible gift this is, you ridiculous excuse for a man? For years I've been decaying in this stifling prison, struggling to find a way to maintain my life, with your incessant blithering my only distraction. Soon I would have been nothing, Lexx or no Lexx

(The drones touch the organ)

MANTRID: I'm in a very good mood

(Kai hides nearby, spying on Mantrid. Zev is looking for him)

ZEV: Kai?

(The drones probe the organ)

MANTRID: (hisses) Careful, careful
VIGO: Mantrid, Mantrid, please stop

(Vigo grabs hold of a drone arm)

MANTRID: Vigo, remove your hands
VIGO: No, I -
MANTRID: I have only one chance, and I must be quick
VIGO: No, I, I don't want you to do this
MANTRID: Remove your hands

(Vigo lets go of the arm)

VIGO: I don't want to be alone
MANTRID: When I die you will be alone
VIGO: I will die then too
MANTRID: Don't be a fool
VIGO: Mantrid, I cannot live without you
MANTRID: You're being sentimental, my friend
VIGO: Mantrid, please!
MANTRID: Vigo - I like you. I've enjoyed some of the time I've spent with you. But I don't love you. I don't love anyone

(Vigo runs away, sobbing)

MANTRID: Goodbye, Vigo, goodbye. Eminently forgettable pathetic little man

(Kai fires his brace through Mantrid's jar, which falls to the floor. Kai goes to the larva and 'kisses' the blue organ. Vigo runs over to Mantrid)

VIGO: Mantrid! Mantrid!

(He picks up the head and carries it away. Kai gets up, backs away from the larva, and trips over - Zev is there to catch him)

ZEV: Kai. Kai

(The insect wakes up, and starts to growl - and fly)

ZEV: We have to get away from here
KAI: The insect essence was inside me. I was not setting my own agenda

VIGO: Remove the blue organ from the insect and bring it to me

(The drone arms go after the insect. Vigo heads for Mantrid's vessel)

ZEV: Come on

(She drags Kai away, as three drone arms hover around the insect. Zev drags Kai behind some twigs. Vigo goes up a ladder into Mantrid's vessel. The drone arms pull on the insect's shell. Vigo puts Mantrid's head on a table)

MANTRID: (gasps) Vigo
VIGO: Kai did this. Kai fired the brace through your jar
MANTRID: I should have known. He was acting very peculiar for a dead assassin
VIGO: I will do the transfer
MANTRID: It's too late. I'm dying. You don't know how - how - how to do it
VIGO: I've been watching you. I've been learning
MANTRID: (laughs) Goodbye, you silly old fool
VIGO: Yes, I'm a fool, a fool, I'm a fool, a fool, a fool, a fool

(The insect knocks a drone arm out of the air, but the other two rip out the blue organ and fly with it to the vessel. The insect follows them)

KAI: If the insect lives, it could be the end for all mankind. We must tell Stanley to destroy the planet
ZEV: Do we have time to leave?
KAI: I do not think so
ZEV: Stanley, are you there?
STAN: Zev?
ZEV: Destroy the planet, now
790: Don't even think about it, Tweedle
ZEV: Don't think about us - blow it up
STAN: Lexx
LEXX: Yes, Stan?
790: The rest of humanity is nothing. Only Zev matters
ZEV: Stanley, the insect is alive. Destroy the planet
KAI: The insect has taken my strength, but it will return

(The insect turns back to watch Zev and Kai)

KAI: This planet should already have been destroyed
ZEV: Stanley? Stanley?
KAI: It is looking at you. It does not see me, as I am cold. Run

(Kai collapses. Zev runs. The drone arms give Vigo the organ, and he attaches wires to it and Mantrid. Zev runs along bridges, and the insect follows - until a moth knocks it into the water)

STAN: Yeah, ha ha!

VIGO: Mantrid - Mantrid, please, tell me what to do

(Stan, Zev and Kai are in the moth)

KAI: I was not aware of it, but when I destroyed His Shadow's brain I received an added bonus - some of the insect's essence. The correct survival strategy for it. That explains my motivation
STAN: So you were a Divine Shadow?
KAI: Not completely, but I achieved His Shadow's agenda. I created a new living insect
STAN: Oh that's great, that is just great
KAI: Hurry Stanley. We must return to the Lexx, we must destroy the insect
STAN: Yes, yes, yes, back to the Lexx

(Vigo presses a button. A blue mist from the organ joins a mist coming from Mantrid's mouth. The mist goes into a vent in the vessel)

(The moth heads back to the Lexx)

(Vigo gets out of the vessel. The drone arms hover around it. The insect emerges from the water behind Vigo - but the vessel stomps on it)

VIGO: (kneels) Thank you, Mantrid. Thank you for saving my life
MANTRID: I am alive
VIGO: Mantrid?
MANTRID: Yes it is, my friend
VIGO: Mantrid, is that really you?
MANTRID: You brought the head to me, so I am Mantrid, but you also brought a very important part of the insect to me, so I am also an insect - or maybe a machine, I don't know, a fusion, a new life form, no matter - I exist. I am. And not surprisingly I feel the insect's instinctive desire to kill all humans - starting with you, my friend
VIGO:No, no, Mantrid, I love you!
MANTRID: I now grant you the wish you have so often begged for

(A drone arm stabs Vigo)

MANTRID: Goodbye, Vigo

(On the bridge of the Lexx)

790: Oh, crescendo of delight at Zev's return!
STAN: I'm back too
KAI: Quick, Stan
STAN: Lexx - destroy that planet immediately
LEXX: As you command, Stan

(The Lexx powers up, and blasts the planet)

STAN: Ah - yes! We did it, we killed it!
KAI: We must be certain
STAN: We blew up the whole planet
KAI: We must be certain

(The Lexx moves through the debris, until they see the broken body of the insect)

ZEV: There
STAN: Look!
ZEV: I think that's what we're looking for
STAN: Looks like there won't be another Insect War
790: Excellent observation - for a retard
ZEV: But we did not find protoblood for Kai
KAI: I have sufficient protoblood
STAN: But you said that -
KAI: I lied. The insect essence was controlling me. I have sufficient protoblood

(Kai walks away)

STAN: Hey - I want you to know that former assistant deputy backup courier, and now captain of the Lexx, Stanley H Tweedle, just saved humanity
790: Spare me!
STAN: Yeah

(In the cryochamber. Kai's cryopod closes. Zev kisses her hand, and places it on the pod. Stan puts his hat on)

STAN: Be cool - get it? What do you say we try to find ourselves a half decent planet for a change. Somewhere with good looking women -
ZEV: Good looking men
790: With my head on their shoulders
STAN: Yeah, we'll get right on that. Let's go

(The Lexx moves away. Mantrid's vessel emerges from the rubble. Along with three drone arms, it very slowly sets off after the Lexx)

© Filking Fairy

© LEXX - LIGHT ZONE 2005 HELEN & Trulyalyana

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