More Than Zero
|The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest|
|"More Than Zero"|
|Airdate||April 16, 1997|
|Chief locations||Venice, Italy - 45.08N, 12.13E (5,525 miles)|
|Guest roles|| Rob Paulsen (Tentacle Monster)|
Clancy Brown (Frederico, Francois)
Michael Gough (Jacobi, Eric)
|Episode sequence||The Robot Spies <-|
Dr. Quest travels to a Venetian mansion to authenticate the claims and machinery of paranormal scientists. The situation turns dire when the machine accidentally empowers a malevolent entity.
Prior to the Quest Compound's destruction, the team travel to Venice without Jessie to verify the findings of two French ghost hunters, the professors Francois and Eric. The target is the "most paranormally active house in Europe", lying on an island off the city's coast. Dr. Quest has held a fascination for the mansion for some time. Upon arriving, Jonny is grabbed by the disfigured and elderly boatman, who warns him that the house has a "deep hunger." He disembarks into the mist as the team enter the house to be greeted by the two scientists, who have hooked up a strange machine directly into the structure's walls. They explain that the machine captures the electromagnetic field generated by paranormal activity and neutralizes it by dispatching a countering effect. Race's earlier fears are confirmed in secret when the scientists reveal their hopes that Dr. Quest will endorse their work—a gesture which shall allow them to sell the machine for millions of dollars.
As Dr. Quest activates the device, faces and protrusions from the walls begin manifesting. Concerned, Hadji discovers a painting depicting the recovery of a black pearl, confiding in Jonny that it seems to reveal and hide something very evil simultaneously. Back in the foyer, the machine triggers blue and green electromagnetic fields throughout the house. The scientists exclaim that more power is needed—specifically, "more than zero", a cryptic phrase that engenders doubt concerning their competence from Dr. Quest. A mysterious entity soon appears amidst the blue fields, laughing that the machine has simply given him more power and promising that none shall escape the house. Tentacles emerge from the walls; one drags Hadji through the structure despite Jonny's attempts to save him, while the other locks the scientists in a room and releases a stone ceiling to crush them.
The storm abates once Hadji is absorbed, and Dr. Quest activates the machine to learn more. Apparently, the increase in power allowed the entity to suck Hadji into the "supernatural dimension" or "dead zone". Hadji's eerie cries for help emanate throughout the mansion's corridors, and Race's attempts to use his cell phone are met with static. The team decide to access the paranormal entity through Questworld, connected via Benton's laptop with the strange machine.
On the inside, Race scans for the entity but cannot find it. A strange, red and beige orb then appears and confronts Jonny and Race, who deflect its lightning with a light shield and attack it with a laser chaingun respectively. Upon its retreat, the pair locate Hadji, who has been confined within a cage. Jonny attempts to free him, but Hadji grips him and laughs in an altered, ghostly voice. Race destroys the cage, and Hadji, taking on demonic, red eyes and auras, notes that he is being controlled and warns the team to get out while they still can. Jonny refuses to abandon Hadji, and is hit by a bolt of electricity. The orb reappears and forms three blades; Race blasts it with the laser gun, but the assault is ineffective. Dr. Quest tries to remove them from Questworld, but the house battles back by knocking him from his station. The orb then consumes Race, who is physically lifted and absorbed into the walls in reality. Dr. Quest again struggles to regain control, but the ceiling caves in as the orb chases Jonny. Just as his son is nearing absorption, Dr. Quest grabs an axe flung at him by the house and destroys his laptop. Jonny returns to reality, and is heartbroken that no avenue for the salvation of Race and Hadji is open.
The boatman then surprises the father son duo, making a dramatic entrance and speaking of two mutually surviving monsters. The boatman formally introduces himself as Jacobi Sporachi, the last of his family. To Dr. Quest's belief, he relates that over two centuries ago, his family controlled the mansion as wealthy harvesters of pearls. The only heir, he hired a partner named Frederico to aid his business. One fateful day, a diver recovered a large black pearl, which the partners found to have a mind of its own as the incarnation of greed. Feeding off Frederico's true nature, the pearl gave him massive power at the cost of his immortal soul, prompting him to curse Jacobi with eternal life—without eternal youth. Jacobi stayed near the house to warn those who would enter. Dr. Quest and Jonny deduce that if they destroy the pearl, Frederico will succumb as well and Hadji and Race will be freed. They begin searching while the orb shocks Hadji and Race, commanding them to yield their eternal souls. Jacobi soon notices that a wall exists where there never was one before—it holds the painting of the black pearl noted by Hadji.
Jonny uses the paranormal machine to smash the wall, and finds the pearl sitting in a sealed courtyard above what appears to be a huge hearth. Benton supports Jonny to reach it, but their efforts are nearly dashed when Frederico, in the form of a green and blue tentacled monster, grabs Jacobi and Dr. Quest. Jonny manages to break the ledge and bring the pearl with him. As he prepares to destroy it, he hears Hadji and Race call out, pleading with him to stop lest he destroy them as well. Jonny knows it is an illusion, and despite a final plea and offering of power and riches from the pearl, he smashes it. The mansion immediately begins caving in as Frederico disappears; Hadji and Race emerge from a shining wall. The door is blocked in a cave-in; Race breaks a window and the team jump into the sea below to escape. With the structure reduced to rubble, Jacobi thanks Jonny and fades into dust.
- The Entity - "Resistance is futile."
- Jonny - "No! It's all lies! You're not Hadji! You're not Race!"
- The Pearl - "I am power! I am riches! I am everything you yearn for!"
- Jonny - "No, you're dust!"
- As the second season finale, this episode was apparently shown out of order with The Robot Spies, which concludes with the destruction of the Maine compound and a dramatic duel between Quest and Zin.
- This episode does not feature a Quest Byte.