Aired on December 23, 2020
Alex and Bobbie take the Razorback, now named Screaming Firehawk, and follow a group of Martian ships they suspect of weapons trafficking. Amos is visiting Clarissa in a high-security underground prison when the second asteroid hits, triggering a lockdown. Avasarala contacts Nancy Gao, warning her of the stealth asteroids. Gao orders to retask the Watchtower satellites for spotting further asteroids right before the third asteroid hits near her plane, destroying it. Her order still goes out, and the next asteroid is spotted and neutralized. On Tycho, the ship coming for the container holding Monica attacks the station. The traitor is revealed to be Sakai, who assassinates Fred Johnson and helps steal the sample of the protomolecule kept on the station. Filip takes Naomi to Marco’s ship, where she is locked up. Marco, now in possession of the protomolecule, broadcasts a speech claiming responsibility for the stealth asteroid attacks and declaring his Free Navy as the ruling power of the Sol system as well as all the ring gates.
* * *
[pensive instrumental music]
[woman singing in Norwegian]
The only thing on the Barkeith’s current heading is a squadron from the Third Fleet. Maybe they really are on a supply run.
No, that’s just a cover story. Somewhere along the way, they’re gonna meet up with a black marketeer and do a deal. I’d put money on it.
[Alex] You know, I’m willing to believe that Babbage is dirty and that Admiral Sauveterre is mixed up in this too.
[Alex] But this ain’t one ship and a couple of people. This is an MCRN fleet tender and two heavy frigates.
Yeah, which means all three crews are in on it or at least getting paid to look the other way. You know this. It’s why we’re out here.
Bobbie, there is a big difference between knowing something is possible and seeing it happen in front of your damn eyes.
It just means your eyes are open.
[Alex] You spent ten years in the marines. Navy cost me 20 and my marriage. Now to find out it’s all for a bunch of crooks…
Well, I doubt they were when you served, if that makes you feel any better.
How are you so f*cking nonchalant about all this?
I used to have a rat.
Like, a…an informer in… in your crew?
[Bobbie] No, an actual pet rat, when I was a kid. I named her Mouse. White fur, brown ears, tiny, clever little hands. She used to climb up my arm and hide in my hair, nuzzle her soft little nose into my cheek. And she was so smart.
Rats are smart?
Yeah. I used to put things in her cage, and she’d build the most amazing houses out of it. I felt bad every time I had to bust them down to clean it out.
So this is one of those teaching moments, right? M…Mars is like some rat’s house that needs to get knocked down or some shit like that?
[Bobbie] No. Rats only live a few years. In the wild, it’s rare that they die of old age, and when they do, they go out hard. Lots of tumors, usually. One day, I woke up, and Mouse… was laying on her side, panting, eyes glazed over. My mum told me she was dying and tried to take her away, but I demanded that I stayed with her until she passed. I sobbed for hours.
And then I stopped, and then a few hours after that, I was just tired. No matter how traumatic the loss is, you only have so much emotional stamina. Even grief can get used up.
So what did you do?
I built her a small box, and I buried her in it. I was tired of being sad, and I had to do something. It wasn’t going to help the rat, not really, but it helped me.
So we’re building a coffin… for our dying planet.
I went through the exact same thing you’re going through right now.
And when you come out the other side of this, you’re gonna wanna be doing something that matters.
Hey, Barkeith and the escort, they’re increasing their braking burn. We’re gonna need to adjust our course if we wanna keep them in our sights.
You need people to talk you through things like this.
[Alex] It’s killing me, knowing I’m not gonna be that person for my son. I hope he meets someone like you to talk to.
[Bobbie] What is it?
Emergency flight restriction from the UN.
All ships headed for Earth are advised to expect delays as UN traffic control clears patterns for vessels involved in emergency relief efforts.
[reporter 1] We still don’t have all the details of the impact, but estimates put the blast between 200 and 300 kilotons. There’s been no explanation from the UN as to why their orbital spotter network did not detect the asteroid. It is unclear whether this is related to today’s explosion on the Martian Parliament, which happened almost simultaneously.
[reporter 2] We will continue to update you as we learn more about this tragic event on Earth.
[reporter] Authorities are still assessing the extent of the damage from the shockwave that hit Dakar, but all reports indicate that the city has been devastated. 2/3 of the high-density housing units have collapsed…
[reporter] …and hundreds of thousands are feared dead in the rubble. The regional power grid has been shattered, and survivors are relying solely on micro-generators and solar collectors.
[guard] All personal effects, including your hand terminal and any item of clothing with more than seven grams of metal in it, must be surrendered. Your personal items will be stored in a secure locker until your return. While you’re inside the prison, you are subject to reduced civil rights as outlined in the Amended Lucerne Code. Would you like a copy of the Code to review?
I need a yes or a no, sir.
For your own safety, you are required to follow the directives of any guard, corrections officer, or prison employee without hesitation or question. If you fail to comply, any guard, corrections officer, or prison employee is authorized to use any means necessary to ensure your safety and the safety of others. Do you understand and consent to these conditions?
Be careful with that.
Jacket too, sir. Welcome to the Pit.
Please follow me. Stay on the line. Civilians aren’t usually permitted down here. You got friends in high places.
[guard] All right, Konecheck, you know the drill.
[Konecheck] All right, all right.
[Rona] Don’t be nervous.
[Amos] I’m not. You guys have more guards than prisoners.
We have to. This block houses inmates with body modifications.
Can’t you take out their mods?
They still got their rights. Body privacy’s in the Constitution. Some inmates get their mods surgically removed to get transferred aboveground, but the surgeries can be dicey. For some, it’s not an option.
Like that guy?
[Rona] Konecheck? No, he’s what we call a volunteer. He could get his mods removed, but he won’t. He doesn’t care if he stays down here.
Yeah, well, so is Konecheck.
[soft dramatic music]
No exchange of goods of any sort. We’ll be watching, so if at any point, you feel threatened, just raise your hand, and we’ll be right there.
[medical device beeping]
You’re not here.
Yes, I am.
I heard you were on another world… through the Ring.
How was it?
Kinda liked it…at first. Wide-open spaces, clean, not too crowded.
That sounds wonderful.
[Amos] Yeah, till everybody started shooting each other, parasites began eating our eyeballs, and giant alien machines came out of the ground and exploded.
[medical device beeping and hissing]
But you made it back.
I must look like shit.
It’s the blockers for my mod. They have me on a heavy dose.
Can’t you take them out?
[Clarissa] They said that surgery would be difficult, and… life without it would be… even less fun than this.
I get by.
Blockers every morning. Food through a slot in the door. Half-hour walk around the yard. Therapy once a week. These four walls. Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat. Shit. Sleep. Take what they give. Give nothing in return.
…do you want me to leave?
You said you weren’t coming down the well.
I had personal business in Baltimore.
This isn’t Baltimore.
Why are you here?
People like us… the things we do, it’s not just on us. This world is messed up, and it can mess you up. I was lucky. I had somebody to help me.
Did you come here… to help me?
I guess I did.
[scoffs] You can’t.
No one can. Not every stain comes out.
What is that?
I don’t know.
[Avasarala] I don’t give a shit who he is with. I want you to pull Commander Lipson out of that meeting right now.
[aide] Ma’am, I’m not really sure that I can inter…
Shut the f*ck up and listen to me. It wasn’t a rogue asteroid strike. It was an attack. An attack! Get me a goddamn list of every person on Luna with a direct line of communication to Fleet Command. F*ck! [seethes]
A second rock just hit Earth.
About 40 kilometers northwest of Philadelphia.
And we’ve lost communication with New York. At least now they know it’s an attack.
They can’t see the rocks. They don’t know why. We have to get through to the secretary-general herself, tell her directly what we know.
[Delgado] We’ll convince her.
She’ll be in the sit room bunker.
No, she’s not in New York. She’s on some junket, uh, South Asia Trade Zone talks.
Right. Secret Service will have her off the ground by now. We need to contact UN One.
Medics from Fort Weyand and Fort Drum are being deployed to the disaster area, along with 80 MEVs and 50 Clarions for search and rescue. Medical Corps is setting up triage units around Syracuse and Pittsburgh.
I want relief drones around the clock in the air to resupply the first responders, and make sure the UNAID and the Red Cross get anything they need.
Fleet Command recommends that we head to Luna immediately until they can better assess exactly…
We’re not going to Luna.
Nancy, the planet’s under attack.
And I’m not abandoning it. What the hell’s going on with the asteroid spotters?
The Planetary Defense Command says it’s possible the entire Sentinel system has been hacked.
[hand terminal beeping]
[hand terminals beeping]
I went to the academy with half the officers on that plane. Not even one of them will pick up. We’ve been blackballed by her whole goddamn staff.
That’s it. The staff.
[Avasarala] Listen to me. I need you to do exactly as I say.
Ma’am, this is Chef Casey on UN One.
[Avasarala] I know who I f*cking called! You fattened me up for years with macaroons. Now, listen.
Nancy, you have to listen to me, please.
Sir, I’m sorry. She made me.
[Avasarala] The rocks crashing down on Earth are covered in Martian stealth composites. That’s why our spotters cannot see them.
Why would Mars…
[Avasarala] It’s not Mars.
Yes, and I can prove it, but right now, you have to trust me.
What do you recommend?
[Avasarala] The Watchtower satellites are the only thing we have that can penetrate stealth. You have to link them to the spotters. That’s the best chance to destroy any more rocks that are on the way.
How many more are there?
I don’t know, which is why you have to act immediately.
Re-task the Watchtowers and the Sentinels. Just do it.
Thank you. You may have just saved millions.
That’s all that matters.
I’ve always admired your persistence.
[Avasarala] I prefer to think of it as perseverance.
I’ll bet you do.
[aide] Ma’am, get down!
[Avasarala] Oh, my God!
Keep this section clear.
[Fred] How’s it going in there, Bull?
Go f*ck yourself.
I mean, you gotta admit, you in a vac suit in a container, it’s kind of funny that you’re a little claustrophobic, considering your line of work.
I repeat, go f*ck yourself.
[pilot] Tycho, this is Zmeya, here fo pick up cargo.
[traffic control] Zmeya, please transmit your loading permit.
[pilot] Okay. Sending now.
[traffic control] Permit received and verified. Zmeya, you’re clear for pickup. Please proceed as directed into the dome.
Bosmang, we got a security alert.
What the hell is going on?
[security] Sir, we got some kind of disturbance in reactor control. Security units are on the way.
[traffic control] Zmeya, you have not been authorized to slow. Please stay on your designated approach. Zmeya, acknowledge.
[pilot] We got a problem with thruster control. Fixing now. Stand by.
Bull, get out of there!
What are you talking about?
Get everyone out of there now! It’s a trap!
Move out! Go, go, go!
They’re firing at us!
Leveau! We need medics!
Yeah. Let’s go.
They’re firing at us again!
[Monica cries out]
[OPA guard] You all right?
[Monica] Yeah, I’m fine.
Comms are out. The whole net is down.
We need to get him to gravity.
[hand terminal beeps]
It’s… in my…quarters. Stop them.
Get him to gravity.
Oh, what we got here?
[Sakai] No! We take her with us. Get her into a suit.
This is Holden. We need station security in Fred’s quarters now.
[security] Sorry, Holden. No can do. All units are engaged putting down attack in reactor control. We are scramming reactor now so they can’t use it to blow up the station.
What the hell do you want from me?
Nothing, but someone else does.
Harness off. Helmet on. Let’s go.
[Monica and Holden groan and cough]
Too bad. So sad.
It’s gone, gone for good. Bye-bye.
You’re gonna help us get it back.
You lose. You all lose.
He deserved to finish what he was building.
[Avasarala] I just need to hear your voice and know that you’re safe. Please call as soon as you can. I won’t stop leaving you messages until I know.
[knock at door]
So who is in charge down there now?
[Delgado] Still not clear. Earthside comms are a mess. All the networks are swamped. Half of Gao’s cabinet was on that plane with her. The rest were scattered around the globe. No one seems to know who’s next in line of succession.
What about the Watchtowers?
The orders went out. They’re being re-tasked. But no positive contacts yet.
We did everything we could.
We don’t know for certain if it could have been stopped.
I know I didn’t fight hard enough. I know I was a coward. Thank you for not disagreeing.
The fight is not over.
Come with me.
Can’t even believe this is happening.
Misery loves company.
Yeah. So does hope. Hmm. A little trite, I know.
Yes, but that wasn’t what I meant. It just sounded very familiar.
[hand terminals beeping]
The Watchtowers got a fix.
[man] Should be able to see it.
It should be ten o’clock.
[woman] Getting visual.
[man] Sure, over here.
[UNN voice] Target has been eliminated.
[sighs] Time to go.
Where are you taking me? Tell me!
[Marco] My son.
You did it.
[grunts] We did it.
[sighs] This is our moment.
This moment is all of ours.
Naomi. I never imagined we’d be speaking face-to-face again.
If it had been up to me, we never would have.
Still, it’s… good to see you again. Welcome to the Pella.
This is your ship?
Mm, one of many, yes. The Belt needs to be able to protect its own now.
There are other ways to protect Belters than with warships.
Says the one Belter who already has her own warship.
[Naomi] You’ve never cared about anyone but yourself. All you’ve ever wanted is to see your enemies burn.
In some cases, yes, that’s true. But people change, some for the better and some for the worse.
You haven’t changed at all.
No, I know I have. Raising a child gives you a certain… ambition you otherwise never would’ve had, a primal desire to give your child a better world than the one you were given.
Is that why you had our son kidnap me? So I could see the father you’ve become?
You’re still putting yourself first, I see. That hasn’t changed. No, Filip brought you here on his own. Believe me, when he told me what he’d done, I was as surprised as you. [sighs] I thought Filip was a man, but I guess, in some ways, he’s still a little boy who needs his, uh…mother. Such is the… impetuousness of youth. But what is done is done, hmm? At least now that you’re here, we as a family can celebrate the greatest victory in our people’s history… together. Now, this, I did want to be a surprise.
You did this?
It’s everything we ever dreamed of.
You murdered millions, innocent people.
I freed our people…
…and returned the dignity to the Belt that the Inners denied us for generations. We have taken back our place in this system and shown our oppressors a strength they never thought possible. The future of the Belt has begun.
You put blood on our son’s hands, just like you did to me.
He did not make me do anything. I was proud to do my part.
Filip took the stealth tech from Mars.
He helped make this dream a reality.
[Karal] Bosmang, tracking scopes show Earthers destroy three rock. Other three miss.
One hit… would’ve been a triumph! Two proved our tactical brilliance. But after three, the Inners will never perceive us as weak again!
[banging, feet stomping]
It’s time to let the system know who we are.
Filip, escort your mother to her quarters.
You were wrong to leave us.
No! Filip! Don’t lock me in. Filip, open the f*cking door! Open the door, please! [crying] Filip! No. [screams] [crying]
My name is Marco Inaros. I am the commander of the Free Navy. We are the military arm and voice of the outer planets, and we are the ones responsible for striking our oppressors on Earth and Mars. This attack was retribution for generations of atrocities committed by the Inners against innocent Belters. No longer will Belters be persecuted and subjected to the savagery and inhumanity that the Inners have been poisoning our species with. Any further attacks on Earth and Mars will be precipitated by the inner planets’ failure to recognize this new human reality. The Free Navy now possesses the last remaining sample of the protomolecule. Any transgressions by the Inners, and the Free Navy will not hesitate to unleash the protomolecule on either planet. We recognize the right of Earth and Mars to exist, but their sovereignty ends at their respective atmospheres. The vacuum, the Ring Gates, and the Ring Worlds belong to the Belt, to Belters. With the opening of the alien gates, we are at a crossroads in human history. Already, we are seeing how easy it would be to carry on legacies of exploitation, injustice, prejudice, and oppression into the new worlds, but there is a better path. Under the protection of the Free Navy, the society and culture of the Belt will begin again and remake humanity without the corruption, greed, and hatred that the inner planets could not transcend. We will take what is ours by right, yes, but more than that, we will lead the Belt to a new, better form, a more human form. Citizens of the Belt, baratnas, rise up now in joy and glorious resolve. This day is ours. Tomorrow is ours. The future of humanity is ours. Today and forevermore… we are free.
[soft dramatic music]