The Excalibur visits a planet where Max Eilserson’s IPX team is due to investigate some local artifacts. Gideon is most annoyed to learn that, not having made any prior arrangements (or payments) to the planet’s governor as IPX has, any Earthforce personnel wishing to visit the surface must pay a fee. Thus far, this policy has kept Earthforce away, but the governor has never met anyone like Gideon (who is willing to play poker for permission to send a team down). In the meantime, something goes horribly wrong at the dig site, leaving two of Eilerson’s team members in critical condition, permanently brain-damaged. Dr. Chambers and Lt. Matheson both conclude that the attack, which emanated from behind a locked door, is telepathic. Dureena examines the lock which caused the incident in the first place, and gives her professional appraisal of it as an obvious booby trap – and says it’s not even the real lock. Even Matheson can’t hack the psychic defense mechanism that really locks the door. However, over his game of poker with the governor, Gideon learns that there is a telepath who lives on this planet, someone from whom the locals keep their distance. And with good reason – the telepath is Al Bester, former Psi Cop and fugitive war criminal from the fall of the Psi Corps. Far from being alarmed at the sight of an Earthforce team at his door, Bester cordially invites Gideon and the others in for tea, showing little interest in the dilemma of the vault’s telepathic defense mechanism – until Max starts to talk money. Bester, however, wants something else. He wants transport to the Excalibur’s next stop, and then wants to be allowed to disembark quietly, all without a word to Earthforce. Bester’s request grows in urgency as bounty hunters track him down, and he resorts to blackmailing Lt. Matheson – threatening to implicate the Excalibur’s telepathic first officer in Bester’s war crimes – to get what he wants. And in the meantime, an old enemy of Bester’s is hot on his heels.
written by Fiona Avery
Guest Cast/Characters: Walter Koenig (Bester), ? (Governor), ? (Thug #1), ? (Thug #2), ? (Pilot #1), ? (Shuttle Pilot), ? (Rogue telepath), ? (Pilot #2)
Notes: This episode was never filmed due to the cancellation of the series. This episode would have featured the return of Bester, on the run after the dissolution of the Psi Corps – which, at the end of the episode, would appear to be not quite as dissolved as Earthgov would like to think. Garibaldi, while not slated to actually appear in the flesh, would’ve been revealed by dialogue to be the person trying to capture Bester – no doubt using the wealth, influence and power of the Edgars estate to further his quest.
LogBook entry by Earl Green