The Final Amendment
by Joseph Lidster
The Final Amendment
Written by Joseph Lidster
Directed by Gary Russell
Sound Design and Post-Production by David Darlington
Music by Matthew Cochrane and David Darlington

Lisa Bowerman (Professor Bernice Summerfield), Nicholas Briggs (Narrator), Ann Bryson (Fiona), Sara Carver (Kadiatu), Louise Falkner (Bev), Steven Fewell (Jason), Richard Glaves (Howard), Harry Myers (Adrian), Miles Richardson (Braxiatel), Steven Wickham (Joseph).

Forget the war and death and boring stuff like that with another trip to the Braxiatel Collection!

"A welcome return of an old favourite!" – Earth Empire News

"A moving parable on what it is to be human in these ever-changing times." – BFM

"Glorious, crukking filth! Hooray!" – Moonmaker

"Something of a curate's egg." – Fandomania

Joined by friends old and new, Jason Kane returns for his 15th series! Will Benny find out about him and Bev? Or about him and Adrian? What is the mysterious connection between Joseph and Doggles? Will Brax ever reveal his sinister plans?

And just who the hell is Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart?

  • This is the thirty-second audio in Big Finish’s new series of The Adventures of Bernice Summerfield.
  • Released: October 2007

  • ISBN: 978 1 84435 276 0
(drn: ??'??")

“Classic Characters, New Adventures. Excitement. Drama. Music. And lots of beautiful people involved in exciting, dramatic situations. Adventure is his game and he wants to play it with you. Next time in ’Jason Kane and the Terror in the Dark Space’ with special guest star William Shat-”

Howard switches off the TV in disappointment. He’s not sure he’ll bother next week as it doesn’t look like Benny’s going to be in that episode much. His mother, Fiona, tries to stir up some interest and points out that the trailer said Bernice is going to get cancer, but Howard has already read the spoilers and knows they’re going to find an alien crystal thing that’ll cure her and she’s going to be OK. His mother says she doesn’t know why he watches this rubbish, but in any case, it’s time for him to go to bed now. She kisses him and he settles down for the night, planning to dream all about his Benny…

It’s pouring with rain when Bernice finally finds the White Rabbit pub on the planet Bedrock 12. She goes inside and orders a gin and tonic, then compliments the barman, John Wilson, on the old Earth style inside. He tells her the pub’s been in his family for generations and that a distant ancestor shifted the whole thing to this planet during one of the wars. Bernice came here because of a note found on a dead body which was given to her by a shape-shifting alien killer sponge. She has no idea who the note was from, but it said her helps was needed and was signed “an old friend”. The door opens and Bernice is amazed and delighted to see her old friend Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart. They hug and then Kadiatu suddenly slaps a tranquilliser pad on her. Kadiatu apologises and says it’ll take about five seconds to take effect. As Bernice collapses, she hears Kadiatu order the barman to carry her outside…

Bernice wakes up on board a two-man flyer. Kadiatu apologises again for drugging her and Bernice asks if this is how she treats all her old friends. She reminds Kadiatu that she invited her to her wedding, but then she invited Sherlock Holmes too, so it was hardly an exclusive event. Kadiatu says she’s just doing her job and says Bernice has been asleep for hours and they’re nearly at their destination. Kadiatu makes contact with Earth’s orbital space dock and they’re told to head for immigration and decontamination, but she has no intention of going through the normal procedures and dive-bombs the flyer straight down to the planet…

Fiona tells Howard it’s time for them to go and meet their public. The boy complains that he can’t be arsed with all this, but she promises it’ll only take a moment. They step out onto the balcony and wave to the cheering crowd outside. Fiona is the Empress and President of Earth and she addresses her people, promising to protect them with all the might and strength of her Empire. Howard then steps forward and implores the people to obey his mother as he does. The crowd applaud and they go back inside, their routine daily appearance complete. Fiona asks Howard what happened to his guard, Kadiatu, and he tells her she’s gone to get him a present. Just then, the doors open and Kadiatu enters, dragging behind her the struggling Bernice. At first Fiona assumes it’s just a new slave, but then she recognises her as “that woman off the telly“. Howard is delighted, even when Bernice whips off her gag and demands to know who they are. Fiona asks Bernice to say her catchphrase “Gerrout of my pub”, but Howard corrects her and says Benny is actually Jason Kane’s sidekick. Howard tells Bernice he’s taped every episode from all 15 series and has all the merchandise, but he also has loads of questions for her and wants the inside story. As they leave, Fiona contacts Celine and asks her to torture the ’Dragon’ they have in the cell until it dies and then send the body to the Emperor as a warning.

Howard shows Bernice some of the episodes from his favourite TV series and she sits there, completely dumbstruck. One clip shows Jason Kane hiding his lover, Bev Tarrant, under the bed while an angry ’Bernice’ storms into the bedroom, demanding to know what’s going on. Howard apologises as this episode is from series 12, the one that was recorded in front of a live studio audience until the viewers complained. The episode finishes and the announcer says that next on GalNet 4 is “Hollyoaks: Life on Phobos”. Howard switches it off and Bernice controls her anger long enough to ask how the actors look so much like the real people. Kadiatu explains that they’re clones and the producers must have got some of their DNA from somewhere. Bernice thinks it’s an invasion of her privacy, but Howard says it’s how all TV is made now. There was even an Equity uprising when all the actors tried to fight back. He adds that Jason knows all about it and even did some chat shows to promote the series a while back, but he thinks Jason came across as a right tit and says Bernice could do so much better. He shows her the Bernice Summerfield talking action figure, but all it does is swear and order drinks. Howard has the complete set, including Clarence, Emile, Minko and even Peter.

After Kadiatu sends Howard off to get the Braxiatel Bar Mitzvah Cake, Bernice demands to know what’s really going on. She remembers what Kadiatu is capable of, but Kadiatu says that was before she was ’changed’. Bernice asks why she’s been kidnapped and how Kadiatu ended up being the President’s son’s guard, but Kadiatu says she simply fancied a change in career. She promises she’s no longer a mindless creature filled with hate and rage and says she’s fine now, but there’s something strange happening on Earth and she needs Bernice’s help. They can’t talk here, so Bernice asks Kadiatu to take her for a drink.

Kadiatu takes Bernice to the Undercity. There’s not much of the Empress’s light down here, but Bernice says she’s seen worse. Kadiatu asks if she’s going to call Jason, but Bernice is only interested in calling Adrian to make sure Peter’s alright. Just then Bernice’s communicator flashes and it’s Jason on the other end. Bernice is very cold towards him and when he tries to tell her that something’s happened, she says she’s currently with an old friend, catching up on the good old days. She reminds him about the good old days - when you could still trust people. He tells her he needs her, but she says he always does and she‘s always giving him a second chance, despite her better judgement. She’s busy at the moment, so although she resists the temptation to tell him to rot in hell, she asks him to go away. She promises to talk to him when she gets back, but at the moment she’s really upset with him so she switches off the communicator. With that problem sorted, she asks Kadiatu to buy her a beer.

Bernice isn’t impressed by Kadiatu’s choice of bar, The Hag‘s Head, but at least it’s out of the way. Kadiatu orders drinks from the robotic barman and pays by sale card, then they have to suffer a recorded lecture about the dangers of drinking. As they sit down, Bernice is pestered by a fan who asks if she’s going to do what she normally does - get drunk and dance on the table. She assures him that’s not what she does and they end up arguing, then as the fan storms off saying he always preferred Bev Tarrant anyway. Bernice turns back to Kadiatu and asks her what the problem is. Kadiatu asks her to look around the bar and see if she can spot what’s missing. Eventually the penny drops and Bernice realises there are no aliens here. Everyone is human. Kadiatu says all aliens are being “excluded” and it all started after the Draconian War, followed by the Daleks, but things have got much worse over the last couple of months.

Around the corner, the fan who pestered Bernice contacts the Empress Fiona and tells her he’s done as she asked and the device is now on her jacket. Fiona congratulates him and advises him to wash his hands, then tells him to go somewhere and shut down so he can’t be traced back to her. The man signs off and wishes her good luck with the Final Amendment. Fiona checks that Howard is busy watching TV, then she switches on her communicator and listens in on the conversation between Bernice and Kadiatu. They’ve both seen the future and they know the Empire is going to go bad, but it shouldn’t be happening right now. They wonder if Fiona could be responsible and Bernice says she’s nice and pleasant with good teeth, which of course means she’s likely to be a power-mad warmonger.

Kadiatu says the Empress has changed overnight and up until a few months ago she was just crap, but now everything’s going wrong. It’s why things like ’The Jason Kane Show’ have become popular. Bernice lives on a world where there are no taxes or mortgages and everyone gets to eat or drink what they want and she gets to meet aliens. On Earth, civil liberties have decreased a phenomenal level over the last year and people can’t go anywhere or do anything without being monitored. Bernice can’t believe this is all happening again and wonders why people never learn from history. Nazi Germany, Terra Alpha, the Fifth Axis and 21st century Britain - it’s the same old story. People are watched all the time and the authorities know where they go, who they meet, what they drink and, of course, they’re encouraged to keep the foreigners out. Kadiatu says Fiona never used to be like this, but something happened to her and she’s either been possessed or replaced. Bernice is surprised that Kadiatu didn’t feel she could deal with the problem herself, but Kadiatu says people disappear at the first sign of un-cooperative behaviour. They’re not killed, but a surprising number of Fiona’s political opponents seem to have developed an unhealthy interest in children and have been sent to a penal colony for society’s protection. Kadiatu says she needs someone she can trust who can investigate what’s happened. Fiona has heard enough. She always thought Bernice was a sly little bitch, but warns that she’s in for a surprise if she thinks she can stop her.

Howard watches another episode of ’The Jason Kane Show’ - the one where Bernice‘s cancer is taken care of and she tells Braxiatel she feels like she’s been given another chance at life. The script becomes very emotional as the TV version of Bernice pays tribute to all the friends and family that have supported her and how they have a special place in her heart. She prays to her Goddess to bless them all and the TV version of Braxiatel reveals that he’s in love with her and that he wants her to call him ‘daddy‘. The end theme begins and the announcer wipes a tear away from his eye and says there’s a double bill of “Two Pints” coming up next. Howard switches off and says that was beautiful. He also declares his love for Bernice, then realises she’s not there any more. He receives a communication from Kadiatu explaining that Bernice needed a drink but they’re on their way back now. Howard says that when he’s old enough, he’s going to drink a lot so he can be just like Bernice.

As they head back for the Palace, Kadiatu tells Bernice she doesn’t know why she settled back on Earth but it felt like it was the right place at the right time. Bernice admits that it feels weird getting old and it seems like only yesterday when they were travelling through time doing crazy nuts with Chris, Roz and “him”. But now Bernice is all grown up and settled down with a kid. She tells Kadiatu that she’s spoken to Jason about having another baby and they’re working on it. She admits that she still loves Jason even though he’s a bit of a thingy and she could do better. Kadiatu says she doesn’t have anyone special in her life and she’s too busy saving worlds. They head off down an alleyway which Kadiatu says is a shortcut.

In the Palace, Fiona continues to listen in on their conversation. Bernice asks her friend how she’s coping with the rage and Kadiatu is a bit upset that her friend might think she’s taking her down an alleyway just to break her neck. Bernice isn’t even sure that Kadiatu can remember what she used to be like. When they found her she was ’blank’ and wasn’t even human. Fiona is delighted by this revelation and asks the computer to call up Kadiatu’s medical records. Kadiatu remembers being saved and brought back, then being human again, and wonders if Bernice thinks she’s not showing enough gratitude. They start to argue, so Fiona switches the bugging device off.

Bernice is getting upset and Kadiatu wonders what happened to her sense of humour. Kadiatu can understand her friend worrying about her, but she assures her she’s totally sane. In fact, she hasn’t killed anyone in years. Bernice changes the subject, but just then they hear a crashing noise coming from the shadows further down the alleyway. They realise it’s not a cat, so Bernice calls out to whoever is hiding to show themselves. Two figures emerge and Bernice and Kadiatu are speechless when they see who it is. They both turn and run for their lives…

Fiona walks into Howard’s bedroom and catches him undressed. He’s deeply embarrassed by the intrusion, but she’s delighted to see how much her little boy has grown up. She tells him there’s someone here to see him and he hopes it’s Bernice, but Fiona says it’s not her, but someone he knows very well indeed. She introduces Howard to … Howard. Her son is amazed to find himself face to face with a perfect duplicate of himself. Fiona says it’s not really him, of course, but a clone. The clone version says hello and the real Howard tries to work out what’s going on. Fiona crosses over to him and kisses him, then she reveals that she’s not really his mother either, but another clone. She tells him they’re taking over Earth and she asks the clone Howard to dispose of the real boy. The clone steps forward and Howard screams in absolute terror…

Bernice had forgotten how fast Kadiatu could run. They race down the alleyway and take cover in a doorway, then Kadiatu peers out and sees their hunters searching some nearby bins. Incredibly, the hunters are exact duplicates of Bernice and Kadiatu themselves. This explains what must have happened to Fiona - she’s been replaced by a clone. Kadiatu is delighted and thinks she looks great. The clones move closer and then suddenly the real Bernice’s communicator starts ringing. She apologises to Kadiatu as the device begins to play a top priority message from Adrian back at the Braxiatel Collection. Adrian says he doesn’t know how to break the news to Bernice but - and then the message ends as Kadiatu snatches the device from Bernice and switches it off. But it’s too late and now they find themselves facing their own mirror copies. The clone Bernice says she’s going to have to write about this in her diary and the clone Kadiatu says it’s time to bash their brains in…

The clone version of Howard returns to his ’mother’ and she offers him a quick update - his guard Kadiatu has brought an old friend of hers to Earth because she spotted something was up. Fiona has activated the clones of Bernice and Kadiatu and sent them to deactivate the real ones, but it’s looking like she’s going to have to bring her plans forward and will have to announce the Final Amendment tonight. Once they’ve made the sacrifice, she’s going to gather all the ministers together and replace as many of them as she can and plunge the Empire into the biggest war they‘ve ever seen. Howard says he did actually know all of this, but Fiona says it helps her to get everything straight in her head if she says it out loud. Howard is relieved as he thought she was just being needlessly expositional. Fiona has at least one surprise for him though - she activates the computer and shows him the medical file on Kadiatu. She also tells him she’s going to cancel the Jason Kane programme and take it off the air as she thinks it’s giving the humans too much hope. Howard reminds her that the channel GalNet belongs to them, so he may have a better idea…

The fight in the alleyway between the two Bernices and the two Kadiatus is brutal and lengthy. Eventually the real Kadiatu strangles her clone copy and brings the fight to a sudden end. She turns her attention to the clone Bernice, but they find she’s gone into shock at the death of her friend. The real Bernice wonders whether this means the clones are sentient and have feelings, but her clone says she doesn’t know. She regards herself as Benny-Plus as she’s based on the original, but has extra programming. She doesn’t want to die so the real Bernice promises they won’t hurt her if she tells them what’s going on. The clone says that part of her programming means she has to kill on her creator’s command and although she doesn’t want to obey her orders, she can’t stop herself from trying to kill the real Bernice. She pleads with Kadiatu to use her super-human strength to overpower her and stop her doing it. Kadiatu agrees and the clone even apologises for continuing to struggle. They decide to take her back to the Palace.

Fiona and Howard are starting to realise they’re acting more and more like the original people they were based on. Howard says it’s like he can feel the real person inside him and he has to hold him back. He asks his mother to switch the telly on and they watch the latest episode of ‘The Jason Kane Show‘. Fiona complains that they’ve re-cast the Bernice Summerfield character and she says she hates it when they do that, but Howard reminds her that the clone version of Bernice is otherwise engaged killing the real one. Howard says he’s contacted the production team at the studio and suggested a new storyline. Fiona is shocked when she discovers the character of Jason Kane has been killed off.

As they head for the Palace, the clone Bernice reveals that she has all the original Bernice’s memories, but she’s also programmed to accept the beliefs of their creator, who they regard as a god even though they know he’s a real man. The real Bernice realises her clone is torn between the different sets of beliefs she’s inherited from her and from her creator. The clone agrees and says she wants to warn them all about the Final Amendment, but can’t because at the same time she supports it. Kadiatu says a long time ago she made a promise to do whatever she could to protect this world because even though it’s not perfect, it’s her home. She tells the clone that if she doesn’t tell them what Fiona’s plan is, she’ll take her back to the GalNet studios, find the clone of Irving Braxiatel and snap his neck. Then she’ll do the same to Adrian Wall, followed by all Bernice’s students and everyone else she’s ever loved. Then, when the clone is lying at her feet, pleading with her to stop, she’ll find Peter and make him beg for his mummy as she rips him apart. And then, she’ll find Jason, the man she loves, and break every bone in his body.

Fiona is confused and asks Howard why he arranged to have Jason’s character killed off. He tells her to keep watching and it’s not long before they discover Adrian Wall, the Killoran, was responsible for murdering the hero of the most popular programme on GalNet. Fiona is delighted - it means the viewing public will have seen him killed off by an alien and will realise they can’t be trusted.

The clone Bernice explains that their creator was a man called Bernard Jones, a scientist on the Stonehauser Medical Facility which was destroyed two months ago by the Draconians. She spits out their name and accuses them of killing their maker before his dream could be realised. She says he believed the human race was supreme and was the only ’true’ being. He came to Earth and visited the GalNet studios where he found a clone of Fiona Dickens that was made for a TV documentary about her rise to power. He gave the clone his own beliefs that humanity was better than any other species. Jones had some big plan for the clone of Fiona to take over the Empire and start lots of wars, but he also programmed her so that if he died, his plan would still go ahead. When the Medical Facility was destroyed, his brainwashing of the Fiona clone kicked in. She killed the real President and took over. The real Bernice has another thought - Braxiatel isn’t human and he’s too clever to allow himself to be cloned. She’s convinced this is all down to him and that he must have organised all this for some plan of his own, but the clone Bernice says that for some reason the studio couldn’t get Braxiatel’s DNA so the version of Brax who appears in the TV programme is actually a robot. She doesn’t think Braxiatel has anything to do with what’s happening. Kadiatu remembers Howard is still at the Palace and is worried that Fiona might hurt him once she realises what they’re up to. Bernice begins to suspect that Kadiatu is in love with Howard, but she assures her it’s just that he has hidden depths. The three of them race off towards the Palace.

As the latest episode of ‘The Jason Kane Show’ finishes, a clearly shocked continuity announcer admits that he didn’t see that storyline coming. It looks like the end of Jason Kane and the announcer says that he certainly won’t be going for a pint with a Killoran any time soon. Fiona and Howard are delighted and are sure their creator would be proud of them. The TV News broadcast starts and they listen to report of further trouble in the Undercities as crime figures have doubled for the third time this season. Many people are saying the rise in crime is down to non-humans, although there’s no actual evidence to support this claim. The bulletin includes a speech from President Dickens herself in which she says there are criminals in all walks of life so she asks that there be no knee-jerk reactions. She emphasises that there’s no concrete proof that yesterday‘s bombing of the Luxus Casino was down to a Draconian terror cell and until these crimes are proven to be the work of aliens, she urges everyone to stay vigilant. Further reports claim that the military has discovered some kind of new alien threat, currently known only as ‘Project Narcissus’. There have also been riots today in Cairo after it was revealed last week that a non-human couple gave birth to a child that wasn’t human.

Bernice and Kadiatu report to Fiona and Howard in the Palace and reveal that Fiona’s plan to have them killed has failed. They urge Howard to move away as Fiona isn’t really his mother, but there then follows a debate between the three women as to which of them Howard should place most trust in. Howard sides with Fiona, who then announces that she’s been doing some research into Kadiatu’s history and discovered from her biology that she’s not exactly human. She produces the medical records and says they throw up all sorts of anomalies, including traces of chronons energy which show she’s a time traveller. The data suggests Kadiatu was actually ‘made’ and is no more human than Fiona herself is. Bernice disagrees and says that although changes have been made to Kadiatu, the fact remains that she was born not made. Fiona believes Kadiatu has been infected as there are traces of alien inside her, but Kadiatu says she was helped by aliens. Fiona reveals that her creator had already discovered Kadiatu was insane, or at least she was before she was repaired, which is why they’ve been watching her from the moment she arrived. Even worse, not only has she got alien bits inside her mind and body, she’s even slept with them. Fiona reveals that their plan is to show the people of Earth the truth about aliens. They started by blaming aliens for all of society’s faults, which they found surprisingly easy, and soon they will announce a Final Amendment to the laws of the Empire which will confirm humanity’s superiority over aliens and deny them any basic human right to exist. She hopes it will lead to a glorious war.

Bernice insists this will never happen because even if they convince a few people that “someone else” is to blame, once they start talking about war and sending out their children to die, they’ll lose any support. Fiona believes Bernice is wrong and she proves this by killing Howard right before her eyes. She says that when she announces the President’s own son has been killed by aliens, it’ll show the population that nobody is safe. She turns to Kadiatu and asks if she can feel the rage inside her growing? She knows what Kadiatu felt for Howard and says she’s now got the chance to save humanity. Bernice realises what’s happening and urges Kadiatu to stay calm, but it’s too late and her friend starts to lose control. Fiona intends to tell the guards that Kadiatu killed her son, then she’ll tell them she’s riddled with alien DNA. This will convince the populace they can catch madness just from standing next to aliens and Kadiatu will become the reason why humanity will go to fight. Kadiatu screams like an animal and Fiona goes to call her guards … but then Kadiatu’s howls turn to laughter and she tells Fiona it won’t be necessary. Fiona stops in her tracks, confused. Kadiatu says it’s very easy to convince people of the truth and Bernice steps forward to announce that she’s not the original Bernice at all, but the clone version. She knew all along that Howard would be replaced and that Fiona has only killed a clone. Fiona claims that she’s already killed the real Fiona and Howard, but the clone of Bernice knows this isn’t true and that they’re both still alive and being kept as insurance in case Kadiatu ever found out the truth.

Kadiatu contacts Bernice on her communicator and Bernice confirms that she’s found the real Fiona and Howard at the GalNet studio. Howard speaks to Kadiatu and tells her how excited he is to have been rescued by Bernice - in fact he’s more than just okay, he’s feeling brilliant. Kadiatu reminds him that she helped with the rescue too, then they agree to meet up later. The real President Fiona worried about the things the clone has done in her name, but Bernice is confident she’ll be able to sort it out, even though the clone has stirred up so much hatred. She knows they were successful in changing her own clone’s opinions and if there’s one thing she’s learned over the years, it’s not to underestimate humanity. Despite everything that’s thrown at them, people are basically good. Howard is overjoyed at hearing one of Bernice’s “morals of the story” from her very own lips, but she‘s getting a bit tired of the hero worship and threatens to give him a big smack.

Kadiatu tells the clone Fiona that it’s all over and she should give up, but she refuses to back away from her creator’s vision. She accuses the clone Bernice of turning her back on her own kind, but the clone says Fiona is wrong and so was the creator. She says being human isn’t about your biological makeup or your DNA, but about love and making choices and fighting for what you believe in. Kadiatu thinks Bernice is talking shite, but it doesn’t matter as Fiona has lost anyway. She says the clone can either go on trial or be de-programmed, but then Fiona suddenly cries out and then starts repeating the words “through me, his word will be heard” over and over. Her words seem to have a hypnotic effect on the clone Bernice and she quickly urges Kadiatu to restrain her before she looses control. Then Fiona gives orders for the real Bernice to be killed and the clone Bernice starts to repeat the instruction obediently.

Kadiatu contacts the real Bernice and warns her to get out of the studios immediately as Fiona is sending a message to all the other clones with orders to kill Bernice. The real Fiona decides she’s heard enough and tells her son and Bernice to follow her. They open the door and are confronted by the clone of Adrian Wall who repeats the mantra that “Bernice Summerfield must die!”. They race off in the other direction and Adrian strides angrily after them. They soon finds themselves being hunted by the clones of Bernice’s friends and colleagues, including Bev Tarrant and Irving Braxiatel. Bernice suddenly remembers that Braxiatel is supposed to be a robot, not a clone, but he says he can’t help himself and he’s just got caught up in the adventure.

Kadiatu struggles to hold back the clone Bernice and eventually she knocks her out. Fiona is delighted and says Kadiatu is starting to descend into the darkness already, then she taunts her by asking if she plans to kill her. Kadiatu takes deep breaths and calms down. She tells Fiona she doesn’t have to do this and that she should remember that the real President is a good person. The clone ignores her and says she obeys her creator, even when it means sacrificing her son for humanity‘s sake. Kadiatu points to Howard’s blood on Fiona’s hands and says the real Fiona would have done anything to protect her son, but in the clone’s twisted mind she believes she’s actually helping to save everyone. Kadiatu says the human race will die if it goes to war against all the alien races and she tells Fiona her creator was mad. Over the communicator they can hear Bernice’s group, including the real Howard, struggling to survive and for the first time, the clone Fiona starts to have doubts.

The real Fiona and Howard are struggling to keep up with Bernice. They reach the far end of the studio and realise they should be safe soon, but then they find the doors are locked. The angry mob of clones surround them and are about to attack when the voice of the clone Fiona echoes around the building, ordering them to stop. She says she’s realised she doesn’t want all this and it’s suddenly dawned on her that she actually killed her own son. Kadiatu reminds her that the real Howard is alive and well, but Fiona says she can still feel the influence of her creator. Kadiatu says they can get her help and says she knows what it’s like to have the madness inside her. Fiona says Kadiatu is stronger than she is and she knows there’s only one answer. She rushes over to the balcony and opens the windows. The crowd below starts to cheer and Fiona shouts out a tribute to the Empire, then throws herself over the edge. People scream as her body hits the ground of the Imperial courtyard below, killing her instantly.

Much later, Bernice tells Kadiatu that she’s ready to leave. The clones have been housed and given jobs, but she’s still disturbed about the fact that the Jason clone had been murdered. Just before she rescued Howard and Fiona, she stumbled across his body which had been torn apart and it’s upset her deeply, even though she knows it wasn’t the real man. Kadiatu offers to take Bernice back to Bedrock and from there she can go home to her son and her bloke and settle down into a long happy life of tedium. For herself, Kadiatu plans to head off alone, so Bernice suggests she take Howard with her. As they board the flyer and strap themselves in, they agree how good it’s been to see each other again.

Across Earth, the news report of the death of President Fiona Dickens concludes with a statement from her son Howard who says that before she died, his mother named her successor. The new President will be sworn into office later in the week.

Kadiatu returns to the Palace and tells Fiona and Howard that Bernice got off alright. She’s satisfied her friend will be happy and Howard is pleased to think that she has all her mates to look after her. Kadiatu says it’s time she was off too and Fiona asks her if they can both come along with her. It’s obvious they can’t stay here as Fiona is officially dead and in any case she’s left the Earth Empire in safe hands. Kadiatu agrees and even suggests they could travel around together. Howard is excited and asks if they can go to Mars, but Fiona thinks they can be more adventurous than that. Kadiatu agrees and suggests it’s not a question of where they should go, but when. They climb aboard her ship and it dematerialises…

Bernice returns to the White Rabbit pub on Bedrock and orders another drink from the barman John Wilson. Eventually she decides to head back home, pointing out that she’s a responsible mum now, but John says she knows where to come next time she needs to get away from it all. Bernice’s communicator flashes and she says it’s Adrian, no doubt calling to tell her what a bad mother she is. She goes outside to take the call and excitedly tells Adrian that she’s just saved the Empire. John calls everyone’s attention as the TV news broadcast is about to announce who the new President is. The customers sit and watch in shock as ‘Bernice Summerfield’ takes her position and thanks everyone for bestowing such an honour on her. She pledges to protect the Empire but says their world cannot stay the same forever and there are going to be some changes. Suddenly John’s attention is distracted by a howl of anguish from outside the pub and he calls out to Bernice to ask if she’s alright…

Source: Lee Rogers
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