An attempt to steal Kairopan from Kairos turns out to be a trap.
The Liberator is being harried by Federation pursuit ships as Avon and Vila are searching for a special rock on an strange planet. Servalan is curious as to why Tarrant hasn't run, but before she can order the attack, one of her aides - Dastor - tells her that a man called Jarvik is questioning her ability to capture the Liberator. She sends for him as she begins her attack.
Avon and Vila teleport back to the Liberator, which begins to run. Avon however, holds up the escape by ordering Zen to analyse the rock, which he says is Sopron - nonorganic, silicon-based, and registering high electronic activity. Tarrant finally gets his way and uses Zen to plot a way out using the battle computers. However, as the pursuit ships close in on his only way out, Tarrant deliberately ignores the computer's advice, and escapes through new holes appearing in the attack.
Javis has arrived in Servalan's control room and is not surprised to see Tarrant escaping. He announces he could capture the Liberator with three pursuit ships. He tells her that Tarrant is a man, not a machine and doesn't always follow the battle computer's suggestions - allowing him to out-think them. He knows that Tarrant would now be heading for Kairos.
Tarrant is busy explaining about Kairos to the rest of the crew. The forth planet in Xymines' system, known for the growth of Kairopan - a very expensive crystal like substance. Every year there is a harvest, which lasts just one week, and the Kairopan is shipped back to the Federation in a small shuttle. No one knows wht the harvest is only one week, but most know there is something dangerous down on the planet. Tarrant's idea is to hijack this shuttle and help themselves to the valuable assets. Tarrant used to work on the escort for the shuttle, so he knows its weaknesses. Everyone seems okay with the idea, except Avon, who is busy with Orac and the Sopron. Orac grudingly admits the rock has a greater capacity for reasoning than he does - something Avon is very pleased to hear. They agree to go for the Kairopan, but Servalan gives Jarvik his three Mark Ten pursuit ships and orders him to capture the Liberator.
The Liberator closes in on Kairos as the shuttle is launched. The three pursuit ships close on her, guided by Jarvik back at Space Command. The Liberator is hit and Tarrant is shocked to find Cally missing from her station. She is with Avon, studying the Sopron. She finds it to be an image of her mother or her father, she's not sure. Tarrant bursts in and grabs Cally, forcing her back to the flight deck. Avon, however, is not impressed with Tarrant, and continues to work on the Sopron.
The Liberator manages to destroy the three pursuit ships, much to Servalan's anger. As the Liberator docks with the shuttle, she turns her anger onto Jarvik, who assures her she will have the Liberator if she is a little more patient. The Liberator's crew begin to load the huge crates of Kairopan into the Liberator's holds, not knowing that Federation guards are hiding inside. After a short time, as Servalan is about to send Jarvik to trial, Captain Shad teleports in. Shad, the Federation guard's leader, has secured the Liberator.
Servalan and Shad teleport across to the Liberator and she quickly heads to the flight deck, where the rest of the crew are being held. She quickly orders Dayna killed, unless she is given voice control of the Liberator. Avon gives in, but insists that before any command can be given, the crew must be taken to the nearest planet with suitable Earth-like conditions and teleported to the surface. It isn't until Servalan issues the command that Avon realises the nearest planet is Kairos.
The crew is teleported to Kairos and Avon heads off on his own. Dayna and Vila stumble across some Kariopan, which Dayna puts into her pocket. Tarrant and Cally find a number of dead bodies, all with their clothes torn. The soon hear Avon calling and the begin to run to his calls. Avon has found a large hanger with a small space craft inside. It appears to be landing module of some kind, designed to move from the planet to a mother ship. Tarrant begins working on getting it into orbit.
Meanwhile Jarvik has teleported down, looking for the crew so he can get their teleport bracelets. After a brief fight, he gets all bar Dayna's bracelet. But as they are fighting a huge Kairos creature advances, looking for the Kairopan it eats. Jarvik and Dayna teleport back to the Liberator, as the remaining crew run for the space module.
Tarrant launches the module as Servalan orders Zen to destroy the planet's surface. Avon begins to simulate his Sopron rock with the control systems and explains that Sopron is a distorting mimic - Zen thought it was a capacity charged brain, Orac thought it was a computer, Cally saw her mother. Now the Liberator's sensors think the space module is a high technology space cruiser with a higher assault capacity than the Liberator.
Jarvik tries to get Servalan to ignore the computer and use her own eyes, but she refuses and orders Dayna killed as she leaves the Liberator. Jarvik tries to stop them but is killed himself. Dayna points out that only she can manage the teleport to get Servalan off, so her life is saved. Servalan is teleported off the shiop and the rest of the crew rejoin Dayna on the flight deck.
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