Aired on December 16, 2020
Drummer finds Ashford’s abandoned ship, confirming his death. She extracts the recording in which Marco Inaros describes his plan to go after targets bigger than Tycho or Ceres, and sends it to Fred, who then forwards it to Avasarala. Drummer eventually decides against going after Inaros. Naomi travels to Pallas Station, where she reconnects with Belter friends Cyn and Karal. She eventually meets Filip, who is angry at her, and they take Naomi captive. On Mars, the meeting of Alex and Babbage is fruitless. Later, Alex is attacked by two assailants and is only saved by Bobbie. On Tycho, Monica shows Holden and Fred a video of a fight that occurred on Ceres in which Cortazar can be identified. Sakai, the chief engineer of Tycho, identifies the people who purchased the shipping container in which Monica was discovered, but they find them already killed. Bull, the chief of security, concludes they have a traitor on Tycho working for Marco Inaros. The first of Inaros’ stealth asteroids collides with Earth.
* * *
Okay. Listen. A Belter, a Martian, and an Earther walk into a bar. Bartender, he asks the Belter what he wants. The Belter says, “I’ll have a glass of your finest Martian whiskey. Drinking like my enemy lets me think like my enemy.” He drinks his Martian whiskey. Bartender asks the Martian what he wants. The Martian says, “A glass of your finest Earther tequila. Drinking like my enemy also lets me think like my enemy.” So the Martian drinks his Earther tequila. So now…
[Alaoui] Excuse me. Sorry to interrupt. I’m Dr. Alaoui.
Please, have a seat.
What’s your poison, Doc?
That’s a lovely antique.
Yeah, I like mechanisms.
So I’ve heard.
My office said the navy needed help with an urgent matter.
A highly urgent matter.
And highly classified.
This discussion does not leave this room.
Don’t you guys have scientists of your own for this sort of stuff?
We wanted a second opinion from someone in the private sector.
Your colleagues here on Luna were the first to spot the rogue asteroids the UNS Hasami was investigating around Venus.
Yes, that’s correct.
I knew several people on that ship.
What do you make of these readings?
Yes, I’ve seen these.
Size, shape, composition… they’re all over the place.
They were having instrument malfunctions.
[Delgado] That’s one possibility.
What else could be a possibility?
All these rocks have… consistently higher return signatures on one side only.
Could these rocks have been fragments of a single larger asteroid?
Certainly could be.
This string-of-pearls configuration suggests that.
If this were the case, what do you estimate the size of the original asteroid was?
Well, based on these readings, somewhere between 10 and 30 meters in diameter.
[Delgado] If a rock that size hit Earth, how big of an impact would that create?
Our asteroid spotters would easily detect an asteroid of that size.
[Alaoui] Uh, well, with a typical iron-nickel core and assuming a speed at impact of, say, 30,000 KPH, the blast would be about one to four megatons, depending on the impact angle.
That’s a medium-yield fusion warhead, blast radius 13 kilometers.
Uh, I don’t understand. Wh…wh…
Take that for the road, Doctor.
This discussion does not leave this room.
Are you clear?
[Alaoui] Yes, sir.
Higher return signatures on one side of those fragments… could imply that the original rock was coated in stealth tech.
My spy was convinced that Martian stealth composites had been sold to Belters.
Marco Inaros threw a stealth rock at us.
And it broke up.
We got lucky.
You think he stopped at one?
We need to re-task the watchtowers.
Are you out of your f*cking mind, ma’am?
They’re the only thing that can penetrate stealth tech.
Which is why they’re always pointed at Mars.
Mars does not give a f*ck about blowing us up anymore.
You need to make the case to the director of intelligence.
He’ll tell me I’m playing Chicken Little if he takes my call at all.
And if the SG gets wind of it… I have burned all the bridges in front of me and behind me, and I don’t give a f*ck.
We’re right, and you know it.
[pensive instrumental music]
[woman singing in Norwegian]
[engines whooshing softly]
[Serge] Captain, I was just gonna call.
We’re coming up on him.
Give me the scopes.
[Josep] Guns gone.
Look like lot of hull armor gone too.
They stripped him.
Prepare for boarding.
[Marco] Who here condemns me?
[Drummer] I speak for Fred Johnson and Tycho Station.
You are free to go.
That was fire control for Ashford’s stolen Martian PDCs.
He had the best guns in the Belt.
[Oksana] It looks like they took the data cores and the comm buffers.
[Josep] Bossmang. I’m in reactor room.
It is intact, but fuel pallet all gone.
Main water tank empty.
Lot of air scrubber gone too.
Transfer over all water and fuel reserves from Dewalt and Mowteng, then patch hull and repressurize.
When power is restored, search the ship for backup data cores.
Ashford will have those hidden somewhere.
Why would Marco Inaros waste a good salvage like this?
He left it as a message.
“Come after me…and you die.”
[Monica] This was recorded on Ceres a few days ago.
[clamoring and screaming]
[shouting in native language]
That’s Paolo Cortazar, the Protogen scientist who worked on the protomolecule, right?
Where’d you get that?
Your organization leaks like a sieve.
Did you know about this?
According to my sources, Cortazar was taken from a secure research facility and off of Ceres by a Belter strike team.
This was the “other thing” you wanted to discuss?
I left you that message about an hour before I was grabbed.
You get a look at the people who took you?
If your optical mod has any images…
No, they were waiting for me in my room.
I didn’t get a chance to look at anyone.
It felt like I fought off at least two people.
You need to keep me in the loop.
I almost died in that box.
You…you need to wake the f*ck up!
You have got a serious problem on your hands.
[muffled] Someone is after the protomolecule, and you know where it is!
[Fred] Dawes confirmed the video.
Says he doesn’t have a clue who’s responsible.
Whoever did this, they could be coming for you next.
Station’s still in lockdown.
Once we find the skinnies that grabbed her, we’re gonna get some answers.
You should get off Tycho until we figure out what’s really going on here.
I’m not going anywhere.
They want a fight, I’ll give ’em one.
[Holden] If these people were able to find Cortazar, it’s a good bet they know you have the protomolecule too.
Nobody’s going near him.
I’m gonna harden up security, put an extra detail on him.
[Fred] That’ll do.
We’ve handled terrorists on Tycho before.
This isn’t a bunch of idiots bashing in doors.
This is a well-organized attempt to…
I can see what the f*ck it is.
I’ve been doing this sh!t a hell of a lot longer than you.
First things first.
Let’s find the kidnappers.
[dock master] Chetzemoka, you go for dock three.
[pilot] Got some coolant leak and blocked purge line for someone trusted to fix.
[dock master] Any additional service you must pay in advance.
[pilot] Yeah, yeah, we know.
[clanging in distance]
[machinery whirring, clanging]
[all shouting excitedly]
[man] I can work for you!
[electronic music playing]
What do you drink?
[bartender] I see you before, ke?
You’re Naomi Nagata.
I never served famous person before.
Infamous, too many time.
Ah, this drink on me.
Thank you, but I’ll pay for it.
Too good, ke, fo take gift from Belta, copain?
I mean no disrespect.
I know it’s hard times around here.
F*ckiting you know about hard times?
I worked in the refinery, long time ago.
We used to work in refinery too, not long ago.
[Galip] F*cking Ring.
All da job go right back down da well fo da Inners.
Let me buy you both a round.
[laughs] Dat all you think we worth, ke?
How ’bout you buy next hundred rounds?
[music playing faintly]
The Naomi I remember would never have gotten shake down like that.
Probably because you were always around.
– Hey. – Hey.
Couple seats just opened up, huh?
What the f*ck you doing ‘ere?
You work for Fred Johnson and the Inners.
All a sudden, Naomi Nagata come back to Pallas?
You’re here for bounty on Marco.
If I wanted to put you in jail, you’d be there already.
Go easy on me.
I can’t keep up the same way I used to.
Like Royku’s birthday?
And probably last time three of us here together.
You…bought Royku a couple guys from the brothel, trying to kiss his ass for better shifts on the line.
Yeah, you bought him so much whiskey, he never make it to the brothel.
I never got my money back, and you…
And I got the better shifts!
I know Filip’s here.
I came to see him.
Not a f*cking chance.
You don’t speak for him.
He no want to speak to you.
He no want you in his life.
I’ll believe that when he tells me to my face.
Why now, after so long?
The price on Marco’s head is going to get him killed.
I don’t want that to happen… to any of you.
Filip is not a little boy anymore.
I’m still his mother.
You left him and us.
You have to tell Filip I’m here and that I need to see him.
I have the right.
You have nothing.
You waste the trip.
Go back…back to you Inners.
[techno music playing]
It was good seeing you one last time…Knuckles.
He deserves to make the choice.
Sauveterre may be an asshole.
That doesn’t mean he’s an arms dealer.
The man is an admiral,
Sixty years in the service, coming up on retirement…
Who’s still selecting officers for logistics, signing the transfer orders himself, and personally managing supply lines, all while remaining on active duty and teaching at the War College.
That’s what all the old brass do.
They just make as much money as they can before they ride off into the sunset.
He’s our guy.
You of all people, Bobbie, accusing a fellow Martian of treason without any proof.
So get something useful out of Babbage, and we’ll have proof.
[Alex sighs] She just wants to talk about Ilus.
Right, so she’ll lead the conversation and won’t suspect a thing when you ask a few questions about Sauveterre.
It’s just, she seems cool, you know.
And I don’t wanna… I don’t wanna give her the wrong impression about me.
That I’m talking to her to get closer to her boss.
Trust me, it’s the last thing I want too.
[soft music playing]
Lieutenant Babbage. I mean, Emily.
[laughs] Wow, you look nice.
Thank you, and…and thanks so much for meeting me.
Oh, anything to help out a fellow sailor.
Uh, you up for a glass of wine?
On the War College, of course. Research is deductible.
Oh, yeah. That sounds great.
We’ll have a bottle of the Binesi cabernet.
The reserve, please. Thank you.
So Alex Kamal…
What does it feel like knowing that your name’s gonna be in history books?
Oh, well, uh, I never really thought about it like that.
Come on, you have.
Well, y…yeah, I guess.
Maybe. On occasion.
I guess it makes it worthwhile in the end.
But it does make you wonder how many more bullets you can dodge.
What I meant to say was, uh, it is an honor and a privilege to serve the ideals of Mars.
You willingly walked into the unknown.
Not a lot of people can say that.
And you also saw some very weird sh!t.
Yeah, I did… which I guess brings us to why you asked me here.
Did you wanna grab the window?
So Ilus, New Terra…
I read all the reports and I saw all the pictures that were made public, but the RCE reports are classified…
And the Belter accounts are filled with so many inconsistencies.
What I wanna know… is what I didn’t see.
I will do my best to fill in the gaps for you.
When you got there, what did you do to turn the machines on?
Nothing; just a little bit of protomolecule on the Roci.
It activated everything.
And they all came on at once?
No, it was a slow rollout.
See, it started with a swarm of metal locusts, and it ended with a run-of-the-mill, physics-defying fusion shutdown.
Small things first, then bigger and bigger.
That sounds systematic.
Oh, yeah, yeah. It was.
See, that protomolecule, it was looking for something on that planet… that I’m not at liberty to discuss.
[chuckles] It’s okay.
You just described the thought process of an alien technology.
That’s what we said.
How did you turn it all off?
See, Holden was able to communicate directly with the protomolecule, and he convinced it to just shut everything down.
“It” being the “ghost” of Josephus Miller the Belters referred to in their broadcasts?
Human consciousness simulated by alien biotech.
And you know, if it wasn’t for Miller…
That’s the one.
If it wasn’t for Miller, we’d all be dead on that rock.
But, lucky for everyone, we destroyed that last piece of protomole-crap.
So now all those machines on all those other planets, they’re gonna remain inert.
The most amazing thing about that story might just be your modesty.
[motor whirs softly]
Aye! [curses in native language]
[Drummer] It’s taking too goddamn long.
[Michio] Mowteng say no more power modules to spare, also for Dewalt.
Unless you love to float, we must resupply soon.
We are fine for now.
Bertoldt, missiles will replace the guns.
I want mechanical plans for racks fore and aft.
[Drummer] Where are we on the search?
Finish. Search top to bottom.
No backup data core, no comm buffer, no nothing, nada.
What is it?
[Michio] Hydraulic fault in forward airlock.
It needs manual reset.
[Drummer] God damn it.
I’ll do it.
I’ll do it.
[technology buzzes softly]
[doors hiss open]
[Ashford] And you do know, Marco, that throwing rocks at Tycho or Ceres will do little to harm the Inners?
[Marco] I agree.
The only real victims there would be Belters.
Those days are over now.
You still don’t see it.
[Ashford] I don’t see what?
[Marco] Can’t even imagine it.
This has always been a problem for our kind.
Even our dreams are small…
die in darkness, baratna.
[Ashford] ♪ To the execution dock ♪
♪ I have come ♪
♪ Tili go ♪
♪ To the execution block ♪
♪ For to sail ♪♪
What you saying?
Today was a good day, my friends.
A very good day. I could get used to this, huh?
[Josep] Oh, God knows. Always.
[Serge] This make us a fleet? [Michio] A small fleet.
I prefer to call us a small armada.
First full system check complete.
It’s all green.
[all cheering, laughing]
Everyone, well done.
When the Tynan is fully operational, we will put in to Hygiea for resupply.
And then… we will find Marco Inaros and collect the $20-million bounty on his head.
We pirates… in salvage business.
We are pirates in the making money business.
Do you know where Marco is?
No, but he can be found.
People are just afraid to ask where.
Marco defeated Klaes Ashford, the ghost-knife himself.
Ashford had one ship.
We have three.
We do this, and we earn the lasting respect of the other factions, and the bounty will sustain us for years to come.
So we will do it.
First you tell me to hurry up and finish the Roci.
Now you slow me down to do this.
[Bull] Like this makes any f*cking difference.
You got two speeds: slow and stop.
[Holden] The Roci can wait.
We need this done quick and quiet.
The original manifest for the shipping container is gone.
Oh, thanks for telling us something we already know.
But… the container assembler is on Tycho, and their operational security is pathetic.
That specific container was sold to…
“Tamir and Vedasto Duru, employees of record.”
…that moonlights in kidnapping.
Who says Belters are hard up for jobs?
[Sakai] They rent a compartment on dock level B.
[door scrapes open]
[Alex laughs] I mean, she was so mad, she said, “How the hell did you get there so fast?”
And I was like, “We’re celebrities.”
Uh, did she buy it?
Mm, not at all.
Well, this has been fun.
Yeah, yeah. No, it…it has been.
I’ll settle up.
You haven’t told me anything about you.
What’s your story?
A tedious and boring one that will spoil a good time.
No, come on. You’re at the War College.
That right there is more interesting than most stories.
[Babbage] Well, that’s true.
So…so how long have you been working with Sauveterre?
Um, going on five years.
Oh, he’s one hell of a great speaker.
I mean, that lecture he gave yesterday.
I was tempted to reenlist.
Still don’t know how he does it all.
Does what all?
Well, teaching at the War College while on active duty.
And, uh, he’s some kind of bigwig in logistics, isn’t he?
Sounds like you’re more interested in him than me.
I was just hoping that maybe I could land a gig speaking at the War College, you know.
It’d be a good excuse for me to stay close to home for a while.
I’m sure the college would be open to it.
Well, if you can point me in the right direction or tell me who to talk to, I… I’d be happy to give you some contacts.
So, hey, um, how ’bout we get some more wine?
This time, the bottle’s on me.
Uh, I’d love to, but I have to be up early.
Shipping out in the morning.
Oh, that’s a shame.
Where you headed out?
Just a routine supply run.
Oh, on what ship?
I had a really good time.
[laughs] I’m glad you liked it.
Uh, I am this way.
Thank you again for indulging my curiosity.
Oh, well, thank you for being curious, Emily.
And, um…maybe… I don’t know… we can do it again when you get back.
That would be interesting.
Right, I get it.
Oh, uh, excuse…excuse me.
Hey, you’re Alex Kamal, right?
Uh, guilty as charged.
Why? Do I…
[man] Son of a bitch!
[Alex grunts] Ah!
What’d you put… what did you do to me?
What’s a nice, upstanding Martian like you wanna know about Admiral Sauveterre?
Nothing bad. No.
Tell me the truth, hon.
What do you wanna know about Admiral Sauveterre?
Oh, it’s ju…just…
[sighs] If he’s really… selling weapons…
[laughing] To the Belters.
You been talking to anyone else about this, sweetie?
A friend? Just a friend?
[Alex] My friend Bobbie Draper.
Okay. Thank you.
What? No. I think that’s insane.
[Bobbie] Hey, Alex.
[Alex] And then they just jumped me.
They just pushed me through the doorway and started roughing me up.
[detective] Well, they whacked you up with a pretty powerful sedative.
Why do you think they did that?
That is a good question, sir.
They were trying to rob him, officer.
[Alex] Yeah, right.
That’s what they were asking me… to give them my valuables.
And you just happened to drop by?
Lucky for me.
[woman] Bye. [chuckles coyly]
Do you know either of the assailants?
No. Why would we?
Well, they’re former navy petty officers, dishonorably discharged.
[detective] Theft of military hardware.
They’re just a couple bottom-feeders probably looking to make a quick score off a person of note.
We’ll take it from here.
Looks like we shook the right three.
Yeah, well, the trees ain’t supposed to shake back.
What did you learn from Babbage?
She’s not really into me.
What? Homicidal not your type?
Well, she kept dodging my questions about Sauveterre, but I did learn she is shipping out on a supply run tomorrow.
Did you get the name of the ship?
A lot of the arms deals I made went down during routine military operations.
Hide in plain sight. That’s smart.
If Babbage is on a supply run, her ship could easily be full of weapons.
This could be a very big deal.
So what do we do about it?
You have a ship.
I got a yacht.
Well, technically, it’s my yacht, okay?
I salvaged it.
There’s not need to get legalistic on me, Bobbie.
We’ll take the Razorback out and keep our scopes tight on the Barkeith.
Any ships they encounter, we get visual IDs and drive signatures and send the lot to Avasarala.
We could flush out their entire smuggling chain, Mars to Belt.
Unless they spot us. Razorback’s got no guns.
Well, it has one hell of a sneaky pilot.
This is not the homecoming I was expecting.
Well, you’re not a homebody. Hmm?
All right, Gunny. Let’s go prep this ship.
All right. I’ll meet you there, okay?
I’ve gotta grab a few things, just in case.
I’ve felt the same emptiness that you feel now.
[Drummer] If I wanted company, I’d have stayed in bed.
We never realize how much someone is a part of us… until we feel the weight of emptiness when they’re gone.
I can only guess how much Ashford meant to you.
But it is not enough to justify pursuing Marco.
It’s not about revenge. It’s about money.
A good opportunity for all of us.
You haven’t had a family in a long time.
You don’t have to hide your grief from me or from anyone… not anymore.
When Ashford left to hunt Marco, he asked me to be his XO.
I gave him this bottle as a send-off, but he told me to hold on to it.
He said we’d drink it together when he returned.
If you’d have gone with Ashford, you would have suffered the same fate.
Or maybe this bottle would be empty.
I wanted to set my own path.
And you did.
But now you’re grieving your lost friend.
And your pain is bringing you back to who you were before: hard, looking for violence.
But there are better ways to grieve.
[softly] Stay with me.
[softly] I will.
We found the Tynan.
As I feared, Ashford is dead.
He was convinced that Marco Inaros was up to something, and I think he was right.
I’m sending you what Ashford found.
Maybe it will do some good for the Belt.
This is not my fight.
[cork squeaks off]
[cork squeaks back in]
[machinery whirs in distance]
I need to speak…
What do you want?
I needed to speak with you.
Why should I listen to you?
I don’t know.
I just hoped you would.
And I needed to try.
You left and discarded me like a piece of trash.
I abandoned you… and I’m sorry.
But I loved you more than I ever thought I could love anyone.
Then why did you leave?
I’ll never forgive myself for making the choice that I did.
But it was never about you.
When I was little, I used to dream about what this moment would one day be like… what I would say to you.
But that moment never came.
I don’t expect you to forgive me.
But I never stopped loving you…and I never will.
That’s why I’m here.
I came to help you.
[scoffs] Uh, you…help me?
Oh, I don’t need any of your help.
I don’t want anything to happen to you because of what your father’s done.
I can help you before you get hurt.
The ship that I came in on, I bought it for you.
I’m giving it to you.
Take it… and go wherever you want, and when you get there, I will send you all the money that you need.
But please, just take it.
I know what you’re going through.
I…I know this sounds crazy, but…
You don’t know sh!t.
Y…I don’t need you.
I’m just trying to protect you.
Everything my father told me about you…is true.
Don’t go, Filip. Please, just listen to me!
As far as we can tell, someone locked and vented the Duru brothers’ compartment before anybody could ask any questions.
So much for hardened security.
Our mole is proving harder to weed out than I thought.
You can stop digging.
They’re about to reveal themselves.
The container Monica was in…
Sakai and I located the ship that was scheduled to pick her up: a Belter freighter out of Ceres, the Zmeya.
It’s still inbound.
They think Monica’s still in the container.
That’s the way it’s gonna stay, because that information does not leave this room.
We’re gonna let ’em come in and load up the container and then close the door so they can’t leave.
No, we’ll do one better.
I’ll set up a party inside the container, and when they open the door, we’ll take them and the ship.
And let’s make sure we have someone left to talk to this time.
[ship humming softly]
[door clangs open]
[Naomi] What’s going on?
[electric weapon buzzes]
[Karal] Thanks for the ride.
Secure her for flight. She’s coming with us.
Bosslet, she can’t come…
[Filip] Do it.
[Naomi] No! [whimpering]
[Avasarala] You need to see this.
Apparently, when Marco Inaros was younger, he was a slingshot pilot.
Re-tasking the watchtowers isn’t going to happen.
As soon as my contact heard the name “Marco Inaros,” he shut me down, wouldn’t listen to a word I had to say.
Because he knows that you’re using me to get around the secretary-general.
Then find someone else who’ll listen.
Gao’s chief of staff called me directly and said to stop being your mouthpiece and indulging in your conspiracy theories.
Her chief of staff is f*cking spineless and weak.
It is my ass on the line… not yours.
So a cushy retirement is more important than preventing an attack?
We don’t know if it is an attack.
We don’t have enough proof.
You know we’re right.
You believe it as strongly as I do.
It doesn’t matter what we believe.
If you were in charge and someone came to you with this theory, you would laugh them out of your office, and if they persisted, you would reassign them to the farthest outpost in the Jovian system.
Tell me I’m wrong.
I’ve learned to listen.
Oh, give me a break.
Part of this job is knowing when it’s over and moving on.
That’s what we need to do.
You’re the only ally I have left.
I’ve gone as far as I can.
[doors hiss shut]
I know it’s been a while since we spoke, but I just wanted to see how you’re doing.
New semester. New students.
It must be exciting.
It was nice seeing Ashanti and the boys here.
I still remember, when we brought her here with us for the first time, how big her eyes got, looking back at Earth.
We did a good job raising her.
Mostly you, I suppose.
Work is different than before, but I am still needed here.
I hope we speak again soon.
[Ashford] You do know, Marco, that throwing rocks at Tycho or Ceres will do little to harm the Inners?
[Marco] You still don’t see it.
[Ashford] I don’t see what?
[Marco] Can’t even imagine it.
This has always been a problem for our kind.
Even our dreams are small…
[rumbling grows louder]
[resonant digital tones]