Original release date: October 15, 2021
In the past, on Synnax, Gaal Dornick is forced to execute her former teacher, who was caught salvaging books from a condemned university. Disillusioned with the Seer’s Church, she educates herself in secret and enters a math competition. In the present, Dornick awakens after 34 years of cryosleep and finds herself aboard the fully-automated starship Raven, which had been prepared by Raych. She learns that Raych was executed for murdering Hari, and the galaxy believes her to be an accomplice to the crime. After deducing that the Raven is bound for Hari’s homeworld of Helicon, she stumbles across a wounded yet seemingly alive Hari. At Terminus, the Imperial ship Aegis carrying Commander Dorwin enters orbit and detects the Anacreon presence. Dorwin is informed of the captive Phara and demands to speak with her, causing the Foundation staff to bring her from her cell to Foundation Tower. Once inside, Phara disables Terminus City’s fence and reveals her true purpose is to destroy the Foundation in revenge for the Empire’s neutron bombing of Anacreon, which had killed her parents and brother. The Anacreon soldiers storm the city, and their flak cannon shoots down the Aegis.
* * *
[Gaal narrating] Of all the stories my mother used to tell me at bedtime, the black hole frightened me the most. It wasn’t the darkness that scared me. I was comfortable in darkness. It was the idea of an event horizon. Venture into that horizon, and the gravitational pull prevents you from turning back. Escape becomes impossible.
Gaal. Time for morning rites.
[woman] We speak the words.
[all] And the words make us seen.
Welcome forth this child among you, that he should be blessed, loved and cherished, heard and seen, one with the Sleeper’s words.
[all] Upon awakening.
[man, softly] Seer Dominie, we must check the university for forbidden activity.
[Dominie] Acolyte Dornick.
Seer Dominie said there were lights in the windows last night.
But the university’s abandoned.
I heard you had become an acolyte.
You look like your father now.
So pious. Hunting for heretics.
All the nights I spent at your parents’ table, talking while you fell asleep in your mother’s arms.
Ah, they seem a million years away now.
Your parents took another path, didn’t they?
As did you. Quite another path.
You can’t be here, Mr. Sorn. The Seers condemned this building.
All analytic learning goes against the Faith of the Awakening.
What do you deem it, Gaal? You always had a sharp mind.
Stop. Just drop the books and go.
If the Seers find out you’re here, they’ll kill you.
When a planet wants you dead, you die.
They’re just words on a page.
[Sorn] Are they?
Kalle’s Book of Folding.
She dedicated her entire life to writing it.
Furthering knowledge is the most noble work of humankind, Gaal.
I’ll hold it for you.
This “Cleanse” will pass, Gaal.
The tides that rise will ebb.
Not in our lifetime, but someday.
All things have a cycle.
After destruction, rebirth.
Knowledge gives us ways to survive the destruction till the rebirth arrives.
Are a warning from the Sleeper, a challenge we must overcome in order to prove worthy of his Awakening.
No. And you know it. No.
[female acolyte] Gaal?
You need to leave. Please.
We overmined the volcanic vents.
We melted the ice caps. We did this. Not your slumbering god.
There is no “we.”
I’m not on your side. I’m not a kindred soul.
Are you willing to test that conviction against Kalle’s numbers?
[female acolyte] There.
[female acolyte] It’s Dr. Sorn.
Cleanse us, benevolent Sleeper, that we might be one with your words and abide in your Dream.
[all] Upon awakening.
The Sleeper is watching.
[Dominie] For this, he will be cleansed.
This will not stop the sea from rising… or the algae blooms from dying.
Only knowledge can do that.
Ceremony at 6:00. You’ll be assisting Seer Dominie.
I can’t go this eventide.
I gotta venture further out to find green.
Water seems like it’s getting warmer now. Lots of dead algae.
[mother] It’s monsoon season.
Did Dominie tell you when you’d be advancing to votary?
She trusts you more and more, Gaal. I can see it.
Votary comes with a substantial honorarium, doesn’t it?
Two hundred chitons a quarter.
That will help.
It won’t be enough.
The high floods are coming.
Who are you to question the Sleeper’s word?
The floods are coming.
People are gonna die unless everything is raised…
Speak your devotions.
Bless and be seen, O Sleeper.
Thankful for your wisdom and dreams.
I wanna send a tight-beam message.
I was told you could help.
No. Seers don’t brook any off-world contact, unless it’s church business.
Where you wanna tight-beam?
Trantor. Streeling University.
The Seers are saying someone on Synnax has entered an imperial math competition.
You have to stop this, Gaal.
You’re putting us all at risk by pursuing this.
Let it go.
Greetings, Ms. Dornick. My name is Hari Seldon.
I am a professor at Streeling University, on Trantor.
I would like to offer you my congratulations on your novel resolution to the Abraxas Conjecture.
Since you’ve published your solution, several circles within academia have seen fit to cast doubt upon your achievement.
The Conjecture has stood for centuries, after all, confounding the greatest minds.
I suppose the fact that the answer has come from someone on Synnax, and a young woman at that, has made it all the harder for them to accept.
But the beauty of math is that it is pure.
I have studied your solution, and I would like to offer you my support by validating your proof.
It is ingenious, elegant and true.
Bravo, Ms. Dornick.
I expect the doubting will cease soon.
You’ve a remarkable mind.
I would consider it a privilege if you would come to Trantor as my guest.
You could walk my students through your solution.
I know they’d be fascinated to learn how you achieved it.
Undoubtedly, you’ll hear through official channels soon enough.
But, well, I’m rather hoping you’ll accept my invitation first.
Thank you, Sleeper. Thank you.
Someone from our village communicating with Trantor?
They have to be punished.
Even raising everything ten-rod won’t save us.
The math is undeniable.
There’ll be hurricane winds, massive flooding…
Are these the Sleeper’s words speaking through you?
I solved the proof.
I’m the one the Seers are looking for.
Hari Seldon invited me to Trantor. Come with me.
The machine world?
I’d rather my daughter die.
[Gaal narrating] As a child, I had nightmares of black holes.
I used to imagine what it would be like, drifting towards something miraculous, bearing witness to something most minds could never even comprehend, then realizing too late that you had reached the point of no return.
[father shouting] What have you done?
[narrating] Even waking up, the terror continued…
…like an echo, whispering…
…diminishing in volume forever, but never quite dying out.
[whimpers, breathes heavily]
Hari? [breathes heavily]
Hello? Is anyone there?
[whimpers] Please. Please.
Is anyone there?
Please. Please. [whimpers]
[whimpering] Let me…
Let me out of here! Let me out!
Let me out!
Please. Let me out. Let me out!
[female electronic voice] Uploading cryo-session data.
Initiating Raych Foss arrival protocol.
[overlapping voices, indistinct]
[overlapping voices continue, indistinct]
[electronic voice] Command not recognized.
W-What is this place?
Um, this is Gaal Dornick.
Where am I? What is this ship?
Um, who’s the captain? Where… Where is everyone?
Oh. [breathing heavily]
I… I need to send a message to Lewis Pirenne.
Hail the Deliverance.
The Deliverance was decommissioned on 12/11/12,072 E.I.
I-It can’t be. It’s still in mid-flight.
What year is it?
How long was I asleep?
12,102 Era Imperial.
Your cryo-session duration was 34 years, 223 days.
What the hell are they doing?
Spectral cloaking. They’re camouflaging it.
But we already know it’s here.
[man speaking Anacreon]
They’re not hiding it from us.
[Anacreon war cry]
[war cry continues]
[war cry continues]
[shouts in Anacreon]
[Kalin] They’re firing at the western fence.
I count 50 here in the east.
I count at least that to the west.
Hold your ground. They’re just trying to rattle you.
[Abbas] Here, here, here.
[woman] I’m a scientist.
Look, if you don’t take that, you’ll be a dead scientist.
Your Grand Huntress is a liar.
Everything she feels, it’s all curdled inside her.
She comes to destroy, no matter the cost.
You underestimate the rest of us, Warden.
We all bear Anacreon’s scars.
Her game is over. No next move, only a last one.
You may have us outgunned, but you’re desperate.
And desperate people make mistakes.
[shouting in Anacreon]
[all shout in Anacreon]
An imperial ship jumping in.
[Abbas] I’ll be damned. They actually showed up.
There’s an imperial ship orbiting the planet. Just stand by.
I knew the Empire would come for us. I’m sure Hari did as well.
Do you think they’re gonna save us?
Approaching Terminus, Commander.
Pull up a wide-spectrum planetary scan.
I want population, power plants, weapons.
Primary power source is a geothermal cell ten klicks north.
City’s protected by a standard imperial-issue energy barrier…
Commander, there’s something you should see.
There’s three transport ships near that geothermal cell, non-imperial make.
Keep aiming for geosync over Terminus City, but be ready to divert to a landing trajectory.
Open up encrypted channels.
We can’t, sir.
Not enough bandwidth, since we don’t have the communications buoy for relay.
Try a public frequency then. Let’s ring their bell. Say hello.
Terminus City and Foundation Director Lewis Pirenne.
This is Commander Kray Dorwin of the imperial vessel Aegis.
Immediate report, please.
I’m here. I’m here.
Lewis Pirenne, Commander. Director of the Foundation.
We formally request the Empire’s aid.
The Empire will grant you aid.
However, we require information first.
I’d like to speak to your minister of defense.
Oh, we are a small outpost, Commander. We have no armed forces.
A director of intelligence then?
Who knows the movements of the Anacreon troops?
That’d be me, Commander.
Salvor Hardin. Warden of Terminus.
Uh, Commander, you should know that the Anacreon kingdom has confessed to destroying the comms buoy in the hopes that it would trigger an imperial response.
I strongly advise you stay clear until we can determine why they want you here.
Confessed? Who spoke for them?
We have their leader in custody, Commander.
Phara Keaen. Their Grand Huntress.
Have her brought to the tower. I wanna lay eyes on her.
Of course, Commander.
That’s a mistake, sir.
Phara’s been angling for the tower…
They’re jamming our local network.
Ten minutes, Director. Then I want this Huntress in front of me.
[sighs] He thinks we’re a planet of simpleminded rustics.
Who cares what he thinks? We shouldn’t move her.
Your daughter may be willing to defy the Empire based on speculations, Mari, but I am not.
Why wait until now to kill comms?
They were listening in. They know we’re about to move her.
[man shouts in Anacreon]
[soldiers shout in Anacreon]
[Anacreon war cry continues]
The field relays are in the tower.
Get everyone back to the city. I need to get back to the brig.
Phara’s taking down the fence.
I need to send a communication.
I… I need to send a message.
Just authorize me!
Command not recognized.
Set course for Terminus.
Think, think, think, think.
Uh… [sighs] Okay…
Am I authorized to run a search?
“Anything in the imperial public record.” Okay.
Search population of Terminus.
[chuckles] They made it.
Search Hari Seldon death.
Good evening. It is with a heavy heart that I record this message.
On the 8th of the 8th, 12,068 the Era Imperial, Hari Seldon was…
Hari Seldon was murdered.
He died from fatal stab wounds administered by his foster son, Raych Foss, and Foss’s accomplice, Gaal Dornick.
As per Seldon’s mortality directive, his body will be ejected from this spacecraft in a casket he himself designed.
In accordance with the project’s line of succession, it falls to me as senior councilman to assume command of the Foundation.
I believe with all my heart that every citizen upon this ship was chosen for a reason.
We will preserve and build upon Hari Seldon’s legacy.
We will devote our lives to protecting the Empire and all its citizens from the coming fall.
The Plan continues.
May the light never dim.
[female voice] Warning.
Designate Hari Seldon’s life functions have ceased.
[Lewis, on hologram] Raych, why?
Was… Was it… premeditated?
We know you were arguing with Dr. Seldon the night of his death.
You were questioning his… his forecasts just before, implying that they were unstable.
For God’s sake, say something!
The man loved you like a son.
He lifted you out of the heat sinks. He saved you… as he would have saved us all.
What could possibly have possessed you to…
Did Gaal Dornick put you up to it?
She had nothing to do with this. It was all me.
[Lewis] You don’t have to protect her.
[Raych] It was me. I did what I had to do.
Do you even understand what it is you’ve done?
I understand more than you.
Then you admit that of your own free will and with full knowledge of your actions, you murdered Hari Seldon?
[gasps] No. No.
[Lewis] You understand what happens next.
[Gaal whimpering, crying]
[Lewis] Any final words?
I know it’s hard.
I know what I’ve done seems incomprehensible.
But you can’t lose faith in the Plan.
You have the gall to tell us not to lose faith?
You can still solve a puzzle…
…even with a piece missing.
I… I… [sighs]
[groans] I feel sick.
I need a minute.
I don’t think we should stop here.
[Mari] What is she doing?
[Phara] You should have trusted your warden.
What is that?
[man shouting in Anacreon]
You kids get back to the city now, you hear?
Do as I say!
All things have a cycle.
After destruction, rebirth.
Knowledge gives us ways to survive the destruction until the rebirth arrives.
Computer, did the ship just conduct a trajectory correction maneuver?
Are we beginning an orbital insertion?
So we’re slowing down.
Which means we’re approaching a destination.
Identify our destination.
Am I authorized to see a star chart?
How about inertial reference points?
Can you show me all celestial sphere locations of all quasars in direct line of sight?
Highlight the Cloverleaf Quasar.
Simple optical navigation.
Okay, do we have direct line of sight to Swen-Yen 214, Austus 11, Hudson 8,053?
Now show me the angular separation of the Cloverleaf and these three stars.
Okay, display a cone with a 23.5-degree half-angle.
Also, display the central axis.
Computer, can you trace out the surface of possible positions of the apex?
Another cone? Thirty degrees half-angle.
And give me a third cone, half-angle of 62 degrees.
We’re right here.
Which puts us in the Argo Sector, near the Yu Ling Stream.
Now, what direction are we heading in?
Uh, do I have access to stellar spectra?
Show me the current and nominal spectra for Swen-Yen 214, Austus 11, Hudson 8,053.
Relativistic Doppler shift.
I’m going to outsmart you, you stupid ship.
Uh, display a vector, orientation in the galactic frame, bearing 289 degrees, elevation minus 5.3 degrees.
Is that our current velocity?
Um, is the vector parallel to the long axis of the Raven?
Is the vector antiparallel to the long axis of the Raven?
Okay. So that last course correction flipped the ship.
We’re slowing down.
And our final destination… is here.
Computer, is that an actual window or a virtual view screen?
A view screen.
Are you displaying all possible wavelengths that might reveal stars or planets in the region?
So you’re censoring what I’m seeing?
So you don’t want me to see my destination.
Access to primary destination is restricted to Raych Foss.
Doesn’t make any sense.
I have to see it with my own eyes.
[shouting in Anacreon]
[Hugo] Fall back!
Fall back! Go! Go!
[gunfire, shouting continue]
[Poly] Here! Take this!
[Laylo] Mom, let’s go! Get out of here!
[Poly] Hurry up!
She smuggled a field disrupter into the building.
Where is she?
At the curation storage.
She has your mother.
They’ve taken down the imperial fence, sir.
Commence landing. Maximum speed.
Commander on deck!
We make planetfall in five minutes.
I want you to remember this.
The Anacreons brought down the Star Bridge.
100 million dead at the hands of these barbarians.
I know this is personal for some of you, and that means it’s personal for all of us.
[Phara] Right here, Warden.
[Salvor] You okay?
She needs the crew manifest from the Deliverance.
So that’s what you’re really after?
We need help commandeering an imperial ship.
And we weren’t gonna get it until we had a knife to your people’s throats.
So now put that rifle down.
Or what? You shoot her? You honestly think that’s an incentive?
Mothers are mothers. You won’t fire.
Because there’s an invisible cord between us?
Everyone says it. But I gotta tell you, I’ve never felt it.
You want me to throw the Foundation away to save her?
Cry all you want, Mom.
Try to feel it, like when I was four at the Vault, and you crawled on the ground.
I was terrified.
Do it, Phara. Shoot your leverage and let’s start over. Even.
Shut up, or we’ll both be orphans!
Mom, I am so sorry.
You were telling me to drop, yes?
Drop and crawl?
That’s right, Mom.
That’s all you meant?
You did good, Mom.
[softly] Easy. Easy. You can do this.
Breathe. Just breathe.
Destination should be… here.
What are you hiding?
I know something’s out there.
But nothing the naked eye can see.
What could be out here that I can’t see?
Filter for infrared. Okay.
White dwarf, supergiant…
[gasps] There you are.
A dark star. That’s why I couldn’t see you.
A dark star.
We’re hovering. Altitude 1,000 meters.
Open external comms.
[Dorwin] Stand down.
Hey, get out of here! Get out of here!
[Phara] Give it to me.
Take a look, Warden. There.
I understand what it is like to lose everything.
To watch your whole life burn. I really do.
The Empire took everything from me.
And now we take everything from them.
If your people really had nothing to do with the Star Bridge, if Anacreon was innocent,
how could you do the same thing to Terminus?
That’s just it. Terminus isn’t innocent.
Seldon’s predictions inflamed the Empire.
Because of what your prophet said, my whole world burned.
[woman grunts, whimpers]
[Dorwin] If you can see the sky, you are trespassing on His Eminence’s sovereign territory.
By the authority of Emperor Cleon XIII, surrender immediately or face death.
[in Anacreon] Ironwood Leader, you’re cleared to proceed.
[operator] Kinetic weapon alert!
Too close for intercept.
Does it hurt any less? Your brother, your family?
You know what, I thought I might feel empty.
But I think it does hurt less.
[in Anacreon] We should kill her and be done.
We stick to the plan.
[in English] She’ll stay quiet.
There’s only one habitable planet that orbits a dark star.
And there is no way I’m going there.
Computer, I know our destination is Helicon.
Helicon is Hari’s homeworld.
They think I killed him. Change course.
Computer, are you there?