Captain Hunt and the others find Andromeda’s sister ship, the Pax Magellanic, still intact with its crew…but things are not what they seem.
Trance is on vacation and Captain Hunt whines like a baby about how his crew goes on vacations all the time without asking. He pines for the old days when High Guard crews did what they were told and worked for the good of the Commonwealth. Beka tries to cheer him up by showing him a list of possible derelict High Guard ships.
Hunt chooses to investigate one of the ships from the list, which is considered a ghost ship by space traveler lore. Hunt and the rest of the crew easily find it in an asteroid field – a gold Andromeda-type ship, the Pax Magellanic.
The Pax Magellanic
Captain Hunt, Rommie, Harper, and Beka board the ship and are surprised to find the Magellanic inhabited by the majority of its original crew. Lt. Jill Pearce, the acting captain, says the Magellanic was in a fight with Nietzscheans centuries ago in orbit of the planet Herotodus; a Nietzschean weapon destroyed the planet, and a side effect of this weapon was that it seemingly made Jill and the rest of the Magellanic crew ageless.
Their slipstream drive was damaged in the attack, so they’ve been stuck for 300 years among the remnants of Herodotus. 300 years! Stuck in a ship and no one’s gone crazy?! Hmm…
It turns out the crew of the Pax Magellanic are all android recreations, and that Jill was really the Magellanic’s AI avatar (like Rommie) all along.
In a flashback, we see that the entire Magellanic crew was on Herodotus during the Nietzschean attack. The captain ordered Jill to self destruct the ship before the Nietzscheans could board, but she felt betrayed by him (they were in a relationship) and refused: “You’re ashamed. You don’t want me to live because you don’t want anyone to know.”
She dumped the Magellanic’s power source, the Exotic Matter Pulsar, on Herodotus, causing its destruction.
Hunt and the others fight off the Magellanic’s android crew, then escape to Andromeda, and get in a fight with the Magellanic itself. The fight ends quickly because Jill lowered her defenses, wanting to die, and the Magellanic is destroyed.
The episode titles in this show have been really pretentious, but this one may be the most pretentious of them all (to date). The band Red Flag has a song called “Mathematics of Tears” that came out shortly after this episode aired…coincidence?
Some slow parts, especially early on, but overall not a bad episode. Jill’s relationship with her captain brought up some decent ideas about emotions in artificial intelligence.
The scene of the Andromeda crew fighting the android recreations of the Magellanic’s crew set to Wagner’s Flying Dutchman overture was charming, though a bit overdone.