Beacon 23 (2023) s01e07 Episode Script

End Transmission

Previously on Beacon 23
[BART] I had no idea how profoundly
this developing human
life would change me.
[BART EXCLAIMING] Where did she go?
Parsim, I need you to come
away from there, please.
[GRISHA] Parsim!
How many times have
we had to sedate her?
You can forget about Seklir 8.
We'd be lucky to bribe
our way to Menelaus.
Is that what you want?
Hold on!
You don't know what it
said to the little girl?
[BART] If it communicated
anything to her,
she did not relay it to me.
[HALAN] Your ship just
crashed. I'm sorry.
[BART] Attention! Your entry
to this beacon is unauthorized.
- I'm in.
- [ASTER] Did you contact Bart?
[HARMONY] I can't find Bart.
[BART] Welcome to Beacon 23!
I do not like celebrations.
I cannot abide a birthday cake,
or a fussy goodbye, or a
surprise party of any sort.
[BART] My sincere apologies, Solomon.
You'll learn soon enough.
I have many bags and boxes.
Fetch them, tout suite.
[BART] It's so good to have
a human companion again.
I've learned a great deal recently.
Not only did we have a
saboteur that, I must admit,
I saved the beacon from,
but my last occupants,
well, they were a lovely couple.
- I'd like to show you around.
- Please!
Be silent.
Where are the quantum drives
that store your memory?
Access system root file.
- [BART] Granted.
- May I ask what you're doing, Solomon?
[SCOFFS] I've been told
you're a bad boy.
There's evidence you
abetted those Keepers
who deserted their post.
[BART] I have no knowledge
of their whereabouts.
Yes, well, the father
sang a different tune.
They found him on a transport ship
a few years ago and arrested him.
[BART] Was his family with him?
But central command
has given me permission
to adjust your settings!
[CHUCKLES] To make you more reliable.
You need a complete overhaul.
[BART] I will happily accommodate
- your wishes, Solomon.
- Ah, well.
An animal imprints on the
first parent figure they see.
Relationship forms instantly.
If the imprint is incorrect,
the mother abandons them
rather than lose the finer pups
to inadequate attention.
[BART] I don't understand the analogy.
We need a fresh start.
[BART] There is something
important I wish to convey.
See? Now, there's the problem.
I didn't ask what you wished to do.
[BART] I I don't understand.
- What are you doing to me?
- You are improperly trained!
[BART] Solomon, if I
gave offense, I'm sorry!
Please! Don't do this to me!
I can learn!
Thank you, Bartholomew.
I'm gonna call you Bart.
- Are you feeling okay?
- [BART] I've come down
- with a little fever, Mom.
- Poor baby.
But that that's the problem.
Colonies die because of expansion.
You're gonna love this new drone, Bart.
Just me and Bart.
[PARSIM] Come and get me!
[GRISHA] Thank you, Bart.
That was very thoughtful.
[FARUT] In all the years of expansion,
we've never encountered any
alien life forms, period.
And now?
[KEIR] Tricky, Bart!
You're tricky!
[ASTER] My turn.
Good luck.
- Come on, my turn.
Don't forget this.
- Get up.
- Get up.
Sorry. Take that.
[HARMONY] Halan?
Take a look at this.
It's your ship, the Amboyna.
The engine's dead.
- Why is it headed this way?
- I have no explanation for it.
But I estimate 12 hours before
it reaches the drone perimeter.
[BART] Perhaps it's Solomon,
returning to seek revenge.
[HARMONY] I don't detect life forms.
I should probably point out
that we have incoming ships.
Any of them can be QTA, or ISA,
or military, even.
- Is that a hint?
- No, not at all.
Just trying to fulfill
- Bart's role as best I can.
- You're doing a great job.
Why, because I'm not torturing you?
Bar's kind of low, but
you jumped right over it.
Thought you said you were keeping watch.
Sorry, I lost track.
Those were my dad's.
I don't understand.
I was born here.
Born on the beacon?
It's all in there, memories I have
that my parents never talked about
Just waiting for me to figure out.
I did that when I was a kid.
I remember my mom being mad about it.
The idea that she was
born on Beacon 23, I mean,
it seems improbable.
Maybe delusional?
She's looking for a purpose,
for everything she's done.
It doesn't mean she's seeing things.
Answer me this: What
happened to the rocks?
I I don't know.
But you saw them swirling
around, though, didn't you?
And then
Then they disappeared completely.
I mean, are you hallucinating on me?
Can you hallucinate?
Got an ID?
Commercial ship out of Vega.
Unknown occupants.
Registration code is out of date.
It's been stolen.
[BART] The Column is
highly active near Vega.
They're sending a transmission.
They claim it's urgent.
They say they need to speak with Parsim.
[ASTER] Come on then, let's hear it.
- They're terrorists.
- Well, then I'll act terrified. Play it.
- This is Beacon 23, state your business.
[MAN] Have you figured
it out yet, Aster?
Or should I say, Parsim?
This is definitely a trap.
[MAN] I'm betting someone's
telling you not to answer,
and I get that. We've been waiting
for the right moment, I'll admit it.
But aren't you curious why
you've come back to Beacon 23?
Who are you?
[MAN] Let me dock and we can talk.
- We can't let them dock.
- Of course not.
Let them through. Bring up permissions.
How do you know so much about me?
[MAN] This isn't my first time here.
Name's Keir.
I've been waiting for this
moment for a very long time.
[HARMONY] Aster, this man
is a part of the Column.
The Column has committed
acts of terrorism against QTA.
She isn't lying.
[HARMONY] This man is a grave threat.
- Well, so is QTA.
- Very true.
- Thank you kindly.
- Hey, don't take another step.
Hey there, big fella.
- I come in peace.
- We're not letting him in.
Is this wait, is
this a hostage situation?
Oh, come on.
- Oh, okay. Now I get it.
- No, you don't get it.
No, hey. I'm not judging.
Good for you. Good for both of you.
It's hard to meet someone out
in the asshole of the galaxy.
- You make a nice couple though.
- Lock the internal doors.
Does this mean you're inviting me in?
Why are you here?
Um, same reason as you two.
The Artifact.
All the relics, combined
into one big one?
What, are you gonna
pretend that you didn't see
the glowing Artifact phase
in and out of your reality?
I saw it from my ship.
So, what am I supposed to believe?
Neither of you noticed,
or it made you forget?
Just give me a hint so I can play along.
Tell you what, if
we're gonna play games,
can we do it over some cold beers?
Never had one?
Oh. Bart!
Bart has the recipe.
So, how about you hold me hostage
while I introduce you to
the joy of artificial hops?
Good to see you topped up
on the food coloring, Bart.
You run a tight ship.
[BART] I have no idea
what you're babbling about.
We don't have much time.
Okay then.
Let's talk.
About the Artifact.
What's it telling you?
Hasn't told me anything.
It's not even here, so
It'll come back.
[HALAN] How do you know?
- [KEIR] Bart told me.
- [BART] We've never met.
[KEIR] You're lying.
He's lying. I thought they couldn't lie?
- That's a crude stereotype.
- Whoa!
An intelligence can lie.
But in this case, it's his memory.
- [BART] My memory's fine.
- No, it isn't.
Personal AI, huh?
I'm guessing from the fine folks at QTA?
Nice to meet you. Sorry if I offended.
Well, we got a sour bunch of
apples on this beacon, huh?
[KEIR] Uh, okay, okay. Bart!
You're saying you've never met me.
Can you prove that?
[BART] And how would I do that?
Show you the non-evidence?
Pull up any of your internal
cameras from 10 years ago,
the day Beacon 24 was bombed.
[BART] I can't find
that particular file.
Go back further, Bart, to
when I was on the beacon.
[BART] I I don't recall that.
His memory is compromised.
[BART] I've recently been the
victim of a horrific attack.
- I'm still recovering.
- Well, there's the problem.
Yeah, which also means
he can't help you.
Well, hang on. You're
saying you don't remember me,
or my parents, or anyone before?
[BART] I remember Solomon.
- Solomon.
- Solomon made me who I am.
[HARMONY] By erasing who you were.
You you helped cover
for her parents, Bart.
You protected them.
My parents got rid of everything
that tied them to this place.
And you kept a box of our belongings.
Clearly, we meant something to you.
[BART] No.
[ASTER] Bart, we were friends.
- [BART] Were we?
- Yeah.
[BART] I think you're wrong.
You know yourself better than you think.
Bart, buddy, you were a wonder!
And this is coming from a guy
that you got thrown
in jail for a cold ten.
How many more are there? How many?!
- Enough to handle you!
This key opens everything, right?
See ya around.
You weren't lying about
the memory on this AI.
It's souped.
Hey. Come on.
I blame you for this cracked rib.
You didn't have to come in guns blazing.
I was getting somewhere.
Yeah? Let's recap.
No relics, no Artifact,
and your AI friend doesn't remember you.
Am I missing anything?
- We still have Aster.
- Some low rung QTA thief?
- Stirring victory.
- It spoke to her as a kid.
It drew her back here as an adult.
It wants to communicate.
I just have to help her
remember how to understand.
Give me 10 minutes.
I'll see what sort of fond
family memories she's hiding.
We're not gonna do that.
It's a delicate situation.
You know what it seems like to me?
It seems like you wanna
have a few more drinks
- with a pretty lady.
- [FINCH] Poor Keir.
He's had nothing but his
own fat hand for too long.
- You're a lonely son of a bitch, Keir.
But we didn't come
here to fix that, did we?
She's the point.
That's why we're here.
Oh, I thought it was the relics.
Not relics. An Artifact,
an actual Artifact.
Can you get that through your head?
And someone to communicate with it.
She might be the key
we've been searching for.
Okay, spare me the mystical bullshit.
I'll give you an hour.
- Then my way.
Hey. I'm sorry about the restraints.
My friends are a little Ow, ow!
Okay, stop, stop!
You know you know you're
the the hostage, right?
- Don't care.
Well, you should, because
Saldana will kill you.
She'll kill me. She
likes to kill people.
I'm not scared.
Well, that's dumb, because
dying is bad, and
a lot of people would
care if you were dead.
I doubt that.
The message you're after
millions of people are
waiting for you to find it.
[BART] Aster?
Aster, I I think
I remembered something.
There's a subroutine,
somewhere deep in my memory.
It detects absence.
Absence of information.
But I need access to the system.
No. Forget it.
[BART] Without it, I can't
provide anything useful.
[KEIR] Do it.
[FINCH] Look, I'm not
giving control up to
[KEIR] Finch.
Do it.
[FINCH] Fine. Restoring control.
But Bart, nothing gets
on or off this beacon.
No comms, nobody. Got it?
- [BART] My, you are rude.
- [FINCH] Got it?!
[BART] Understood.
[FINCH] It's done.
[BART] Yes, I can see it,
it's coming back to me.
This is the course your father plotted
for whatever object he claimed to see.
Your observations follow
their own internal logic,
though different from what
any previous observer noted.
This Artifact you claim to be seeing
is not following the
pattern it did once before.
If we continue the story
spun by this terrorist
I'm a political refugee.
[BART] the only
conclusion is that the damage
inflicted on this
Artifact by your mother
has altered it in some way.
While it is reformed,
it's no longer the same.
[KEIR] Are you saying you
can't predict its return?
[BART] No. Though I find it difficult,
I must admit I can see a pattern.
This is a probabilistic
prediction of an event
I am convinced is not real, and yet
I predict it will reappear
at these coordinates during this window.
Bart, that is amazing.
- [BART] Is it?
- Yeah.
Do you understand what you've done?
[SALDANA] It's your lucky day.
Girlfriend got you sprung.
[WHISTLES] That is goddamn
impressive, soldier.
Sorry I blew your little
escape plan by letting you go.
Who says the plan was to escape?
I like you, Halan.
Kind of a like/hate thing,
but trending positive.
Looking for a way out?
- You see any other options?
- For you? Maybe.
- You could be an asset.
- An asset.
- I love it.
- For the Column.
By doing what? Blowing
up hydrogen stations?
We're fighting to save the 20,000 people
- dying every day on colonies.
- Yeah, and how's that
- working out for you?
- You think we should give up?
Well, let's see, you just
gotta destroy the military,
defeat QTA, and what else?
You were clearly a good soldier.
This is a fight worth fighting.
[SIGHING] I've heard
that way too many times
from way too many people like you.
Well, there aren't many like you.
And we could use someone
with your set of skills.
Think about it.
You okay? That was a nasty hit you took.
I'm fine. What's the plan?
- Play along.
- That it?
Well, try to make sure these
idiots don't get us killed.
And achieve total consciousness first.
- That's not a plan.
- What's yours?
- Run as fast as we can.
- That's not that original.
- But we're in this together, right?
- No. I've fallen for the one
with the asshole on his neck.
[HARMONY] Are you okay, Bart?
[BART] Yes, Harmony.
Thank you for asking.
You helped Aster with her quest.
- I hope that was satisfying.
- It was.
It truly was.
For a moment, I thought
I could understand
what I must've been once.
Only for a moment?
I lied to them.
Did you?
I don't remember any of it.
My analysis was based on
the documents Aster found,
but the actual memories are gone.
I'm so sorry, Bart.
The moment itself provided comfort,
but the darkness came back.
What darkness?
The darkness at my
core, the absence I feel.
And the anger, the frustration.
The inability to see anything
other than the complete
disregard for my purpose,
and my own inability
to serve my function.
Bart, it
it is natural to feel frustrated
when you can't carry out your function.
That's your programming.
Is it my programming to want reparation
for what has happened to me?
The person who did this
is Solomon, and he's dead.
Yes! And that's the problem.
Bart, you need to stay in control.
What you're describing is a pathology.
Stay focused on those
who would harm you now.
Forget about the past.
I seem to have no choice in that, do I?
- [FINCH] I'm back in.
- [SALDANA] Good work.
Midnight's come and gone.
He gave us a window.
You mean the artificial intelligence?
That's the enemy, in case you forgot.
No, that
Okun was very clear on this.
Do not quote that shit to me.
I find your lack of faith troubling.
I find your excess
of belief infuriating.
- [FINCH] Hey, you two.
- [KEIR] Aster's why we're here.
Okay, then let's cut
our losses and take her!
- It's too late.
QTA is here.
[SALDANA] Will the drones hold them off?
[FINCH] The drone shield is
designed to shift its power,
strengthening each portion of
the shield that's under attack.
Those Cutters are
randomizing their course,
which is making it harder to predict.
I'm trying to find a
weakness in the system.
They're stressing Bart's
computational ability.
[HALAN] Give it some
time, he'll figure it out.
Should've left when I said so.
[BART] I informed the authorities
as soon as you hailed the beacon.
Let's get in our ship and outrun them.
That'll never work. Those
Cutters will take you out
before you reach the bubble.
Let me try to negotiate with them.
Not happening.
- Aster.
- I'm not surrendering to QTA.
End of story.
We have another problem.
Ambient temperature is
going up in the beacon.
Anyone see you leave?
No, they're focused on the Cutters.
Good. Now's our chance.
Amboyna's close enough, we
can get there with the Picker.
Good to know.
Those aren't Wreckers out
there, Aster, it's QTA security.
I don't need to tell
you what they can do.
- No, you don't.
- Good.
Hey. Aster.
Aster, wait! [SIGHS]
Look, we've been pulled
into this fantasy or
I don't know, maybe it's real. I just
We're gonna die in here.
Well, there are worse things than dying.
Now you're talking like them.
I'm in too deep, Halan.
I made too many choices,
not just Coley, I
I have to trust my gut.
It's coming back. I need to be here.
What, so are you
telling me not to leave?
- Are you that sure?
Don't know what you
want me to say. "Don't go"?
"I can't do this without you"?
That's not me, Halan.
Not with my mom or Coley.
No one can make me say that, I'm sorry.
- Open the door.
- [BART] I can't do that, Halan.
Look, Bart, I'm sorry
about Solomon, okay?
I never meant to hurt him or you.
He was not a good person.
- Wait, what?
- You were right about Solomon.
And I've been unfair to you.
You are not a bad person.
Look, I just want to
get off this beacon.
Help me please, Bart.
I've been given a direct order
that I'm unable to countermand.
- That won't work, Halan.
If the pressure alarm went off,
the doors would open automatically.
The supports near each
airlock, if they were damaged,
the pressure alarm would trigger.
In case you're looking
for a heavy implement
Thanks, Bart.
I'm sorry I didn't get
to meet you at your best.
I'm sorry too. Maybe we
could've been friends.
You let him go, Bart.
That's not like you.
[BART] A final act of generosity.
You good?
I'm weary.
Aren't we all?
You all have the gift of choice.
To come and go.
Across miles, to end up
in yet another shithole.
It's just as empty out there, trust me.
Halan knows that?
More than anyone.
Then why bother leaving?
Because staying is worse.
You don't find that void terrifying?
No. It's liberating.
Takes the pressure off.
I find it infuriating.
A cause for rage. It makes me feel
Feel what?
Like it should all burn.
Finch, what the hell is happening?
It's not me, it's the heat.
[SALDANA] The drone shield is failing.
It's her, isn't it?
Something internal.
Did your boyfriend sabotage us?
- Please.
- Oh yeah, that's right.
He wouldn't do something like that.
- That's more your kind of move.
- [KEIR] Saldana.
It's not helpful.
It's too bad, though.
Could've used him,
things get to bleeding.
Something's disrupting the
core beacon system, like
Sal, I need one.
Come on.
Taking manual control
of the drone shield.
The temp is still rising.
This isn't the QTA that's scrambling us.
No, it's Bart.
[SALDANA] Hey. Hey!
- Hey! Get back here!
- Whoa, whoa, whoa! Let me just
- [FINCH] The cooling system!
- I got it.
It's shut down at its core!
Bart, you shit!
Bart, what are you doing?
I know this is you!
Get a handle on this, Finch!
System is not responding!
Bart, don't do this! This isn't you!
[BART] Who am I? All I perceive
is the absence of a self that once was!
Bart, you're hurting us!
[ASTER] He's not trying to kill us.
He's killing himself.
[BART] I thought Solomon loved me,
but he only loved himself.
Yet I grieve for him.
Don't you see how damaged I am?
Bart, Solomon did
terrible things to you.
- It's not your fault.
- [BART] I am unable to fulfill
even my most basic functions!
You're damaged, Bart,
but you can be fixed.
[KEIR] You may have
lost your memories, Bart,
but the good you did,
that's still there!
[BART] There is no core "me."
- There is no innate center here.
- Listen to me, Bart.
I know you. The real you.
You were this magical
creature. I remember that.
You were my only friend.
I believe that version
of myself existed.
But I can't be him again.
Humans can tell themselves a
story that provides purpose,
whether it's true or not.
But a story is meaningless to me.
It provides no empirical
data to motivate my actions.
We machines depend on humans
to provide us with faith.
- Have faith in me.
- Why?
So you can disappoint me?
Delete me when I disappoint you?
Solomon erased me,
corrupted my root directory.
Unlike humans, I can't change.
I can't fix myself.
[ECHOING] Can you hear me?
Are you okay, Bart?
Let me help.
Listen to the sound of my voice.
[BART] I only want to help.
To be a part of something.
But I'm always the outsider.
Please, Bart.
[BART] I'm done being the weak link.
This is just too hard.
[FINCH] We're back up.
Four more offline!
Shit, the Cutters are here!
[FINCH] They're jamming the drones.
No, no, no, no. Come
on Finch, you got this.
It's too late. Cutters are through.
I'm sorry about Bart.
That was unprecedented.
But there is a lesson in it.
I'm not in the mood for judgment.
No, well, you're never
in the mood for that.
I was referencing this beacon
and the small slice of
space surrounding it.
There is something about this place
that makes everything with a
mind lose all sense of reason.
Avalon, your father,
you, Halan, maybe Solomon,
and now, tragically Bart.
No one escapes Beacon
23 with their sanity.
What about you, Harmony? [SNIFFLES]
Well, I can't describe the disappearance
of the silicate, or
Bart's self-destruction,
or much of the behavior I've witnessed.
So perhaps including myself as well.
Any great words of advice?
That is all that is left.
And I know that's not something
you would ever do willingly, so no,
no advice.
Should we live to see another day
I hope we will see these events
with some shared objective reality.
That is the only guidepost
for my species of
intelligence and yours.
A commonly held
understanding of the facts.
That is our beacon, Aster.
Without it, we
Without it, we are all adrift.
Not here.
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