Original release date: December 24, 2021
Avasarala, with the Combined Fleet of Earth and Mars, takes the war to Marco. Filip and Marco’s relationship is tested. The war becomes more perilous and personal for Holden and Naomi when the Rocinante is suddenly forced into a battle.
* * *
[Hannu] We all come from different places and for different reasons.
Annie’s family came from L-4 with the survey group.
I came from Mars with the fleet.
But no matter where we come from or how we got here, we’re all Laconians now.
And since everyone on the survey group has been here longer, you can help people like me who came later by telling us about anything that seems different or changed, especially in the last few weeks.
And also by paying attention in class.
Cara! We’re gonna play soccer.
You can be on our team.
No, I can’t. I’ll be home for dinner.
Well, can I go with you?
I told you, stop following me.
Come on, let’s go.
[Cara] It’s fixed.
You fixed her.
You fixed her!
You fix things!
Mom, Dad, you’ll never believe what happened…
[Joint Fleet] Attention, all inhabitants of Ceres Station.
This is the Joint Fleet of the United Nations of Earth and Luna and the Mars Congressional Republic.
We demand the immediate and unconditional surrender of all Free Navy forces.
[woman] No response from Ceres Station on any band.
[man] Sector three is clear.
No sign of Free Navy gunships or any Belter ships in the vicinity.
It looks abandoned.
Marco Inaros abandon Ceres? Hard to believe.
This feels like a trap.
[air lock hissing]
[woman] Inner dock clear.
No I.R., no heartbeats.
[MMC Marine] Seeing lots of gear stripped out.
[Ebron] All Marines, heat signatures on level 12.
[Ebron] Everyone get down!
No sudden moves. Everyone get down!
I’m the Chief Administrator of this station.
I’ll talk to someone who matters.
Lose the restraints.
[restraints beep and click]
Do you know who I am?
Is there a Belter who doesn’t?
You worked for Anderson Dawes.
He was a reasonable man.
More comfortable with violence than I would have liked.
But with a keen eye for the possible.
Dawes had a vision. I shared it.
Then why are you working for the man who assassinated him?
I work for the Belt.
[Avasarala] Where is Marco Inaros?
He didn’t tell me where he was going or why.
And I didn’t ask.
He knows the strategic value of this port.
He would not have let us take control of the seat of his government, disrupt his supply lines, and establish a forward position in the Belt with no resistance whatsoever.
You will encounter no resistance on this station.
If I were part of an insurgency, would I have just given myself up as I did?
That would be a clever ploy.
[Sanjrani] Maybe your kind of clever.
If you want my advice, here it is.
Take your people and leave.
[Ebron] Watch your fucking mouth.
Inaros abandoned you.
I chose to remain here to limit the damage your illegitimate occupation will do.
Everything that could be of use to your troops has been stripped.
Ceres has no warships, no munitions, no functioning repair skiffs, no surplus fuel or rations.
And at our current rate of consumption, only enough food and air for approximately three weeks.
Is that clever enough for you?
I suppose we’ll find out.
Madam, if I may.
We have several trained interrogators in our fleet who’d be delighted to squeeze out every scrap of intel that Belter’s holding back.
MCRN Command is going to insist.
But Sanjrani is not to be removed from the Station.
And I expect a UN representative to be present for any interviews.
No coercive methods.
We don’t use coercion, ma’am. We don’t need to.
[air lock hissing]
Release the prisoner.
Keep them and any direct contacts under surveillance.
No one is to be taken in for questioning without my authorization.
The last thing we need is to be seen rounding up Belters like cattle.
There’s no way we can feed and supply a million people on three weeks’ notice.
Our lines are already overstretched.
That’s the whole fucking point, isn’t it?
Inaros knew we needed this port to repair and refuel and stage for Jupiter and Saturn, and he turned it into a trap.
And we’re in it now.
If he were in this position, he wouldn’t lift a finger to keep our people alive.
This is his mess.
And he made it ours.
If we don’t help this station, we will be the ones responsible for a massive humanitarian crisis.
The Belt will see us once again as the oppressor, and Inaros’ power will continue to grow.
[pensive instrumental music]
[woman singing in Norwegian]
Looks like clear sailing all the way to Ceres.
You have the watch.
I really need to get some sleep.
I’m starting to drift off in the chair.
So as of now, you’re in the rotation.
You know I wasn’t in the Navy.
And I was only in it long enough to get thrown out.
All you gotta do is stay awake and keep an eye on things in case of emergency.
I can hold my own on a shuttle, but I’m not rated to fly a ship like this.
It’s just point A to point B from here.
The Roci does that fine on her own.
In that case…
Are you all right?
Mm. Yeah. I’m fine.
It’s been a while since I used my mods.
It’s taking longer to flush out of my system than it used to.
I’m fine. Really.
Hopefully you won’t have to use those mods again anytime soon.
I got them because of you.
At first, I just wanted to kill you.
Then I thought it’d be better to disgrace you.
To make my father look like a hero, I guess.
Which I know he’s not.
I’m not blaming you.
I did it to myself. I take responsibility for that.
I used my mods to kill a man.
With my bare hands.
His name was Ren.
He was a nice man.
He had a family.
He trained me, stood up for me, and was nothing but good to me.
Every time I use my mods, I see his face.
Surprised, and then scared, and then in so much pain.
And then nothing.
I think that’s the real reason I always throw up afterwards.
Everybody on this ship has something they regret.
Including Amos, I think.
You’re in good company.
I have the watch.
Do you believe that prick Inaros just cut and run?
I didn’t see any white flags.
What have you got there?
Package claimed it was food.
You know, I think that Supply Sergeant gave us the bottom of the barrel.
I think you might be right.
Can you cook?
I can reheat a leftover, but that’s about it.
They got some good noodle shops on Ceres.
You’ve spent time there?
When I was on the Cant, the run was pretty much Saturn to Ceres and back.
I haven’t thought about that in a while.
When the Donnie got killed, most Martians blamed you and yours for it.
Was a time I would have jumped at the chance to haul you all back to Hecate Base and have you vigorously debriefed.
I wouldn’t have gone quietly.
That would have been fun too.
That aftertaste sneaks up on you, don’t it?
What else is good on Ceres?
They got decent booze.
And all the brothels are union.
Anything other than noodles, bars, and brothels?
I never looked.
[Luna pundit] The Free Navy is in retreat.
No lives were lost, and a major port is back in our control.
How can you construe that as anything other than a win?
[Earth pundit] How much of our own food will be redirected to start feeding these terrorists, when our own citizens are in dire need?
[air lock hisses]
How’s it going?
Fine is good.
It’s okay to talk about it.
I didn’t want to push.
I froze up.
It came time to go out the door, and for a few seconds, I was back on the Pella in the air lock without a suit.
And I was jumping off the Chetzemoka without an air bottle.
My body just wouldn’t move.
A few more seconds, and I would have pulled it together.
But by then, Clarissa had…
It’s fucking humiliating.
If I’d been through all the things you did, would you be embarrassed for me?
You’d be doing that for yourself.
Can I ask you a favor?
Of course. What?
Is that a ship?
Yeah. One of the rogue Martians.
It might have been involved with Fred’s stolen Protomolecule.
I came across some UNN surveillance video of the Barkeith leaving the Ring Space.
And I asked Bobby if the UN had any record of similar incidents of ships that went missing after Ring transits, and she came through, but there’s a ton of data.
I could really use some help making sense of it.
You’re trying to distract me by giving me an interesting problem.
Show me what you got.
[reporter] There was unrest on several stations in the Belt, as some expressed anger over what they believe was abandonment of Ceres Station.
On Ganymede, an agri-genetics researcher was shot and killed when she attempted to flee during a routine security check.
It is believed the researcher was a spy for the Inners.
On Vesta, Inaros partisans clashed with protestors, leaving several injured, including one Free Navy mechanic dead.
Lauber and Granicus have re-altered drive signatures as ordered.
All ships maintain radio silence, no new contacts.
Did you have a chance to look over my assessment of the Inners’ fleet?
You don’t seem concerned.
Can’t say that I am.
Three new UNN capital ships and two Martian Donnager class.
That’s more than we expected.
They will rebuild their forces quickly.
They will need them.
This is nothing to be happy about.
Why should I be sad?
We will overcome it.
The routes our ships are going to have to take to collect supplies for Medina will put a number of them in close proximity to several Inner battle groups.
We won’t be able to avoid engaging all of them.
This is not the Inners’ kind of fight.
We will hit and run and hit and run and be gone before they know what hit them.
May I have a word, please?
What’s on your mind?
They’re calling us cowards.
Who exactly are “they”?
Dissidents. On the news.
Why do you care what a dissident thinks?
You told the people on Ceres that it was our new capital, that we will make it the pride of the Belt.
And you feel that…
We abandoned them.
Or was that always part of your plan?
We could never hold Ceres against the Inners.
But the people there needed to believe that we could.
So I told the people what they needed to hear when they needed to hear it.
We stripped the station, left them barely enough to survive…
We left the Inners with a problem that they had to deal with.
Tied up their resources and weakened them.
It speaks well of you that you care about them…
…but the Belters on Ceres are not like us.
Generation after generation, they’ve slaved away for the Inners, accommodating their needs instead of fighting for ours.
Caring more for their own comforts than the future of the Belt.
You and I, we’re meant to be out here in the darkness.
In the fight.
That’s who we are.
Who we were born to be.
Never forget what your name is.
The name we share.
[Drummer] So these colleagues of yours…
[Walker] The Galt has three shotgun PDCs and one missile rack.
The Saberhagen is all missiles, but they carry a good load-out.
And you trust them fully?
Well… more like enough.
[Anna] It was easier in the beginning.
When disaster first happens, we all pull together to help each other.
It’s a natural human instinct.
But when things don’t get better, when people stay hurt and hungry and scared, remembering that feeling of caring for each other is hard.
But we have to.
It is the only way we will pull through this.
All of us.
No matter what part of the system we’re from.
Ah, poor, poor Earther.
Doesn’t know where she’ll get her food and water.
Welcome to the Belt.
The supply depot should be around here.
Definitely in this orbit.
More or less.
I remember it pretty well.
Took some doing to spin it up right.
You said Marco had several of these caches.
Could be as many as ten, from what I heard.
For what purpose?
The Free Navy controls most of the major stations in the Belt.
Why go to such trouble to hide supplies like this?
Maybe hedging his bet for when the Inners would come.
Which now they have.
You tell me. Strategy is for generals.
[Josep] I’m not sad to know that some Earthers have to live the way we always have.
[Michio] No one should have to live the way we have.
And maybe now they’ll understand that.
That the Belt poisoned their water and starved them?
That we killed their children the way that they kill ours?
What is the problem?
Nothing. Difference of opinion.
Sorry, Captain. We did not mean to disturb you.
I see why you wanted that one off your ship.
Did I ask you?
Bosmang, two contact, inbound. Requesting tight-beam.
[Saberhagen] This is Saberhagen, speaking also for the Galt.
Captain Drummer, we was Golden Bough.
Now we fight with you.
I’m ready for a fight.
[Sidiqi] We have green zones around all of the main docks, including the refueling stations.
The secondary ports and the maintenance yards will be secured next.
How are the locals taking it?
But they seem to be complying so far.
Maybe Sanjrani wasn’t bullshitting us after all.
I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not, ma’am.
I was being sarcastic.
[Monica] …at all times. We will depart in one minute.
You bet I am. Ma’am.
By the way, I quite liked your last report.
I figured that. You approved it.
The Pastor has a knack for eliciting sympathy.
[air lock hisses]
Well, my next piece will be better.
Tell your Marines to keep a close eye on her.
She has a knack for causing trouble.
What is it?
Captain, scopes pick up one drive plume.
Could be a Duster frigate.
Any other ships in the vicinity?
[officer] Not seeing any other plume near.
[Rosenfeld] They’re headed for Ceres.
[Marco] To rejoin their Inners, no doubt.
We can’t be sure what else is out there without active scans.
And we can’t give away our position.
They are nearly within missile range.
If we divert, it will delay.
It’s just a frigate.
They’re no match for the Pella.
Not even one-on-one, and we are three-to-one.
They have a rail gun.
And by the time they’re close enough to use it, they will be dust.
With Lauber and Granicus, our missile advantage is five-to-one.
You don’t have to do this.
It is not the right time.
You should learn to recognize an opportunity when one presents itself.
Will you take the guns?
[Marco] Weapons to my son.
[officer] Aye, Captain.
I used metal epoxy to fill the cracks so it wouldn’t get any worse.
But I can’t say how well it bonded.
This alloy is tough as shit.
What the hell is this armor made out of anyway?
It’s made of Mars, honey buns.
[hand terminal beeps]
I’m not sure.
Someone sent me something.
Could you be more vague?
Looks like it was all routed through anonymous relays.
Somebody’s trying hard not to leave any tracks.
I hope this finds you well.
Sorry, that was trite.
That’s the plant guy.
[Prax] I know you’re in the middle of a war.
The Free Navy shot a researcher in my lab today.
They said she was a spy.
Her name was Karvonides.
For the past year, we were working on ways to improve crop yields for food grown in the Belt.
Karvonides was developing a new strain of yeast with a robust proofing polymerase modified with organelles that mimic the Protomolecule’s harvesting structures.
It produces a complete digestible protein with micronutrient uptake comparable to unmodified soy.
Give him a second. He’ll get around to it.
That probably didn’t make any sense to you.
This yeast could create massive amounts of food out of a little more than spare carbon dioxide and waste energy.
You know people with power.
Please get this data to them.
I think that’s what Karvonides was trying to do.
Earth could use it now.
Don’t worry about me or Mei or the rest of us.
I can take care of them.
I miss you, my friend.
I hope this helps.
[Amos] He’s got a whole new family now.
There’s nothing in this for him.
He’s just a good guy.
That’s what it always takes.
If Prax thinks it’s important, then it is.
Chrissie’ll know what to do with it.
The Old Lady really loves it when you call her that.
At least I say it to her face.
[gasps] I’m awake.
[Naomi] I think there’s a pattern with these ship disappearances.
It’s happened to different kinds of ships and in different Rings.
But the disappearances seem to be happening in clusters, each roughly spanning the same amount of time.
It’s like a hole suddenly opens in the floor.
And if someone falls in, they’re gone.
But then a minute later, the hole itself is gone, and everything seems normal.
Until another hole suddenly opens up somewhere else, and for the next minute, more people fall into that.
You think whatever happened to the Barkeith happened to those ships too?
I can’t say that.
Not with this data.
And I’m no expert on those things inside the Ring.
But I know someone who might be.
What is it?
Radar pinged three ships vectoring towards us at high speed.
[Clarissa] No transponders.
Checking drive signatures.
Hey, Cap, what’s going on?
Everybody suit up and strap in.
It’s about to get hot.
[Ebron] Leta go xidawang wit mosh gut dago milowda.
Erte unte Maresh xush fo gif xep fo da Belte.
Leta go xidawang wit mosh gut dago milowda.
Didn’t we come here to shoot these people?
Don’t worry. We can edit that out.
Erte unte Maresh xush fo gif xep fo da Belte.
Please. Mi na du nating mal.
Im gut, im gut.
Xidawang koyo to ke?
Ya, nem in Tumang Shenyon.
Im goda unte na du wowk unte mi gif im kowl deting im wanya.
Leta go xidawang wit mosh gut dago milowda.
Hey. Where’s your embed?
God damn it. I’ll be right back.
Take the shot.
[Holden] They got ’em all.
More torpedoes incoming!
We’re out of our weight class here.
I’m heating up the rail gun.
[Naomi] We’re too far away!
[Holden] It’s the only chance we’ve got.
Everybody, brace for a hard spin.
Lauber is hit real bad.
They’re venting atmosphere.
Granicus is requesting permission to disengage for aid.
[Marco] We don’t need either of them.
Flight, maintain distance from the enemy.
Watch out for when they turn.
Filip, end this now.
[Holden] Clean miss. Fuck.
[Bobbie] Four more torpedoes incoming.
We can’t keep this up forever.
We’re damaged! Port PDCs are misfiring!
[Amos] Copy that on the PDCs.
Where are you going?
I gotta fix ’em.
In the middle of the fight?
That’s the job, Peaches.
Did we get him?
Let us know if you need to do that again.
Just get those PDCs back.
Give me fire control.
You got something?
Do your spin again.
I’ll take the shot.
We’re too far away.
They’re seeing us spin and evading before I can fire.
Just give me the shot.
All right. Amos, hang on.
[Amos] Clarissa! Brace!
[Holden] Missed. [Bobbie] Port!
They dodged to port both times.
I get it. Torpedoes?
[Bobbie] Yeah, give them something else to worry about.
Four, converging, and manual PDCs to me.
Copy that. Everyone hang on.
Holy shit. It worked.
They’re down, but they’re not out.
Time to end them.
Hold your fire.
Marco’s better as a prisoner than a martyr.
Yeah, but he’s never gonna surrender.
They’re not gonna be down for long.
Our window’s closing.
If this doesn’t work, you fire.
Power down and send us your control codes.
I’ll see you’re treated fairly.
This is your only chance.
[sweeping emotional music]
I will die before I live at the end of your leash.
Aw, fuck it, we tried.
[officer] Direct hit. But no detonation.
[officer] Reactor’s ready.
God damn it, a dud, now? Fuck!
[Naomi] The Pella’s breaking off.
They’re not pursuing us.
Did we win?
But at least we didn’t lose.
[Rosenfeld] Lauber is in bad shape.
Granicus is engaged in rescue operations.
It’s not a three-to-one advantage if two of the ships withdraw.
All of our decks have been re-pressurized, but we still have a number of breaches in the outer hull.
They baited us with their bullets.
They were smart.
They were lucky.
I want a new pilot as soon as possible.
One who won’t shit himself in battle.
[Rosenfeld] There’s an experienced hand on the Shinkusato.
We fought hard.
Not hard enough.
I fired when you said.
What was I supposed to do?
You were supposed to kill the enemy.
They’re not dead.
What did you say?
This is your fault.
We didn’t need to be here.
We didn’t need to be in this fight.
You are a coward.
We didn’t need to kill James Holden.
That was your pride.
That was you, just you, wanted to kill the man…
You are relieved of duty!
Get off this deck and out of my sight.
[air lock hissing]
Medina Station is pleased to report that RSR-G6 was just received at Laconia Ring gate.
Operational testing will commence as soon as possible and we will, of course, keep you fully apprised.
If this one perform as well as the others, it will be fun.
[dark pensive music]