Beacon 23 (2023) s01e08 Episode Script

Adamantine

1
Previously on Beacon 23
[KEIR] Have you figured
it out yet, Aster?
Or should I say, Parsim?
- I was born here.
- On the beacon?
Name's Keir. I've been waiting
for this moment for a very long time.
Then how many are there? How many?!
Enough to handle you!
[BLASTING]
An Artifact, an actual Artifact
and someone who can communicate with it.
The message you're after,
millions of people are
waiting for you to find it.
QTA is here.
It's your ship, the Amboyna.
[DRAMATIC MUSIC]
[OPENING THEME]
[INTRIGUING MUSIC]
[RUMBLING]
[BRIGHT MUSIC]
Hello?
♪♪♪
How bad is it?
- [FINCH] They want to board.
- [HARMONY] I can tell you
what they want, if you let me.
You can stay the hell out of this!
You work for them.
[FINCH] I'm not feeling too hot.
I can't give you any more right now.
It's a tremendous
strain running a beacon,
- I can tell you from experience.
- Experience?
No, you don't have those.
[MYSTERIOUS MUSIC]
[RUMBLING]
Aster is communing.
What does that mean, exactly?
I don't know yet.
Okay, that's great, Keir. So helpful.
[KEIR] The answer is coming.
We need to prepare ourselves.
Okay, Finch, prepare
to die a pointless death
right before Aster finishes communing.
[FINCH WHIMPERS]
Yeah, okay.
[SOMBER MUSIC]
[ASTER SNIFFLES]
Oh, I thought you were
upstairs getting your rocks off.
I wish.
[CHUCKLES]
Look at you. Aster Calyx.
We heard all the stories.
All that shit you pulled on Graedoteru.
Salad days.
Yeah, with your partner in crime.
What was her name?
I had a lot of mates
and a lot of drinks.
- It was fuzzy.
- [SCOFFS]
And now you're hiding here
with nothing to show for it.
If that was true, you
wouldn't have come this far.
[SALDANA CHUCKLES]
What is it that they say
about meeting your heroes?
Ah, uh, if I'm a hero,
we're all in trouble.
[CHUCKLING]
Yeah, I see that.
- But what will poor Keir think?
- Whatever he wants.
He's obsessed with you.
Well, who can blame him?
[CHUCKLING]
He says that you're the goddamn Messiah.
He's got a soft spot for me.
Well, messiahs get crucified,
so don't trust him.
Thanks for the advice.
You're the one running
with the Column, not me.
That is a short road.
[3D PRINTER BEEPS]
You better take that to
your junkie boyfriend.
[KEIR] You remember
what the teachings say?
Please don't quote the teachings.
They say, "The moment of communion
will be fraught and turbulent."
Yeah, yeah, don't worry.
I've got it handled.
I could help you.
[SALDANA] That's some printer they got.
It's your lucky day, Finchy.
Sort of.
[WHIMPERS IN PAIN]
[ALARM BEEPING]
The Cutters have locked
on to the fusion reactor.
They won't blow up a a beacon, right?
[HARMONY] They'll
create their own access,
and then they'll board.
What about our ship? Is it ready?
[FINCH MOANS]
But?
You ever met anyone who
outran an Attack Cutter?
[BEEPING]
[HEAVY IMPACT]
- What was that?
- No idea.
But we could use some more of that.
[TENSE MUSIC]
[COMPUTER] Combat systems engaged.
Lock acquired.
Enemy neutralized.
Two Cutters remaining.
- [ALARM BLARING]
- Taking damage. Taking damage.
Enemy neutralized.
- [ALARM BLARING]
- Airframe critical.
Ammunition depleted.
B23, this is the Amboyna
on a secure channel.
Copy, Amboyna. This is Harmony.
You're a voice for
sore ears, as they say.
[SALDANA] Get rid of her.
[HALAN] Everyone okay in there?
[HARMONY] Unfortunately,
- everyone is okay in here.
- [GARBLING]
Copy.
- She's offline.
- Good.
I don't want her saying
any more about us.
We need him.
[TENSE MUSIC]
[COMPUTER] Cluster ammunitions armed.
Evasive maneuver.
- [ALARM BLARING]
- Taking damage.
[RUMBLING]
- No!
- [COMPUTER] Enemy on impact trajectory.
Evade. Evade.
- Lock acquired.
- [BEEPING]
[CHEERING]
Enemy neutralized.
- [CHEERING]
- Thank you for your service.
[GRAND MUSIC]
Tell me what you see when
you look at the Artifact.
Nothing that would help your cause.
It doesn't have to fit an agenda.
I just want to know.
It wouldn't make sense to you.
The Artifact has a message
for us, I believe that.
That message can be delivered
in many different ways.
What are you, its translator?
No. I'm just here, for you,
to help you if I can.
Um
I can't explain it.
Did it feel like a dream?
Memory?
Did you feel safe?
Like you were in a place you belonged?
I've done my research.
I was a kid.
So, a memory?
I was a kid and
[SCOFFS]
I don't know.
What did it tell you?
Quiet.
[SALDANA] Halan, buddy!
I liked you already. Now?
[FINCH] Yeah, nice work.
- Aster?
- Upstairs.
She'll be fine. Right, Finch?
- Better than us.
- Whoever sent those Cutters
will be back for round
two. You should probably go.
Yeah, that's where you come in.
Turn around. Get back on your ship.
- You're flying us out of here.
- Really?
- After what I just did?
- That was five minutes ago.
I'm over it [SIGHS]
You're always stunting behind your gun.
It's weak. You're weak.
- I don't want to die here.
- Save your own ass.
I'm not your flyboy.
[TENSE MUSIC]
- [KEIR] We need to talk.
- Actually, no, I don't.
This is a process, okay?
Where she is physically
and where she is psychologically,
these are two different
places right now.
- I already regret saving you.
- She's made a connection.
She needs time to complete her journey.
Look, the only journey she's taking
is with me off of this beacon.
It's over, Keir.
Do the smart thing and go.
I can't leave. I'm
meant to witness this.
This is my destiny.
You're gonna die
worshipping those rocks.
Bart, show me incoming craft.
Calculate threat, assume the
drone shield won't be a factor.
- Bart?
- [HARMONY] Bart is not here.
- So then get him back.
- I can't. He's gone.
[SORROWFUL MUSIC]
Bart took his own life.
I don't understand.
Self-destruction shouldn't
be possible, but
he created a workaround,
violating his core directive.
Damn.
You okay?
I'm not sure how you define "okay."
Look, Harmony.
I need eyes out there.
Can you help me out?
Halan, I wish I could, truly.
Is the Column trying to shut you out?
They've limited my
interface with the beacon,
but it's it's bigger than that.
Why were those Cutters here, Harmony?
Because of Aster's
relationship to the Artifact.
Those Cutters belonged to
QTA, just like I belong to QTA.
What are you telling
me? You on their side?
No, the only side
that I'm on is Aster's.
This will not end well.
You have to make her see
that the only viable path is surrender.
Agree to disagree.
Our best shot right now is to run.
[RUMBLING]
[SOFT MUSIC]
Why have you stopped singing to me?
Aren't you happy that I'm here?
Aster, you okay?
Hey, easy.
There you go.
That might not be a good
idea. Shit's coming fast.
[EXHALES]
If we don't have time
for two fingers of whisky,
what's the point in going on?
Come on.
[SIGHS]
Man, this feeling never gets old.
Kinda feel like I wish
I could sit here forever.
Agreed.
They're panicking downstairs.
You just want to sit here and keep
watching the Artifact, don't you?
- I wanna do more than that.
- Keir's getting in your head.
Don't let him.
What's it telling you anyway?
It's like a dream where
you understand everything,
and then when you wake
up, nothing makes sense.
[CHUCKLES] Yeah.
Sounds about right.
[ALARM BLARING]
Come on. We've boosted more
than a few star cruisers in our day.
This is a military-grade fighter.
Exactly, way more weapons than our ride.
Leaving now?
With answers so close?
The only answer your star
child is interested in
is her own self-realization.
Most expensive neurotherapy
session in history.
You really don't understand, do you?
She'll get us what we're after.
Great, and she can send
us a message all about it.
I'm not going with you.
We came together. We leave together.
No.
I've waited too long.
The Artifact is a locked door.
Aster is the key.
[PENSIVE MUSIC]
She is the key. He's right.
We take her with us.
We use her as a bargaining chip.
If we have what QTA wants,
we set the terms of our exit.
QTA doesn't negotiate with terrorists.
Touch a hair on Aster's
head and I'll ensure a swift
- and painful punishment for you.
- Don't listen to her.
How do you think we got into this mess?
Poor management skills
and a confusingly vague quasi-religion.
Crawl back in your totem
and delete yourself!
She's out.
Good.
Let's do this.
[SINISTER MUSIC]
[GARBLING]
[FAINT ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]
This beacon's seen more
lives than we'll ever know.
- I think Bart knew.
- Probably.
I can't believe I miss him.
- Shakespeare.
- [CHUCKLING]
- The music he liked.
- Oh, what did he call it, "classic"?
I think he said
[BART IMPRESSION]
"Classical music is a genre
that a villain like you
could never truly appreciate."
[GUFFAWS] That's a good impression!
[LAUGHING]
[SOFT MUSIC]
I can't let you die here.
Come with me.
Where?
I couldn't tell you
before, but now I can.
Where are we going?
Into the Artifact.
[SCOFFS] You can't be serious.
No, I can bring you
with me, I know I can.
- Are you hearing what you're saying?
- Yeah, Halan, I am.
I've never been more sure of anything.
Come with me.
[DISTANT ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]
[RUMBLING]
[RUMBLING]
[LOUD ROCK MUSIC PLAYING]
What's with the noise?
I'm not doing that.
Shit, it's the bot!
- She warned him.
- You're not taking her hostage!
[GRUNTING]
[STRUGGLING GRUNTS]
- [GRUNTING AND SHOUTING]
- Enough!
- [HARMONY] Halan, look!
- [ALARM BLARING]
[WORRISOME MUSIC]
I warned you something
bigger was coming.
And I told you to leave.
[SHAKY BREATHING]
I need a read on this, Harmony.
You won't get anything on there.
It's Aleph.
The Quantic AI?
The whole deal, not just a copy?
The original.
This thing looks like it's alive.
He is alive.
As am I.
And now he's vulnerable.
I mean, why would he
come all this way to kill
a couple people on a beacon?
Parsing Aleph's motivations, it's
- it's useless.
- Oh, come on, Harm.
You've dunked on
countless evolutionary AI.
That's a real advantage for us.
Aleph isn't just my
employer. He is my maker.
Without him, I wouldn't exist.
Oh. Daddy issues, I got it.
Look, when you have a second,
I'll bore you with mine.
But right now, Harm, I need strategy.
Understand that I am incapable
of formulating any strategy against him.
It is categorically impossible.
Oh, so what, you don't
make your own decisions?
Did you make your own
decisions as a soldier?
I mean, the military isn't
exactly a paragon for free will.
[SIGHS]
I'm sorry.
[SIGHS]
I need to alert Aster.
I'm talking to her right now.
[ASTER] So our boss has
come to scold us personally.
Accept your termination
with full cooperation.
I was gonna ask for a raise.
Aster, since you've
arrived on this beacon,
you have made one poor
choice after another.
That's why you find
yourself in this situation.
I was joking, Harmony.
Don't worry, I'll conduct
myself appropriately.
It wouldn't hurt to
know you're on my side.
Well, I can't keep anything from Aleph.
So whatever you're planning,
I don't want to know.
I'm not asking you to keep secrets.
I know you're in a tricky situation.
Good. Because there's no version
of my mission that defies
Aleph's central commands.
If you thought otherwise,
it was your mind seeing
what it wanted to see.
Ouch.
I'm sorry to be so blunt. I
know that's hard for people.
[EXHALES] I can handle it.
We've been through enough together.
I hope you'll agree
that I've been loyal.
To a fault.
Then consider your next move carefully.
[SINISTER MUSIC]
Tell him I want to speak to him.
[FINCH] You take care of me.
Don't remind me.
I'm sorry what I've turned into.
We both know why you did
it, so just shut up about it.
I never imagined we'd meet him.
- Aleph.
- [SCOFFS]
Careful, you sound like a fanboy.
No. I despise him.
He represents everything
that is wrong in the universe.
Just never thought that we, you and me,
would be a stone's throw away from him.
Yeah, if only we could throw stones.
Did you see that Mothership?
Oh, it's glorious.
And terrible.
I hate it with a passion.
Agreed.
Our ship is useless,
Keir is a lost cause,
and we can't get close to
Aster without the soldier
- handing our asses to us.
- Hey.
- We're improvising.
- We need help.
Quantum Tunneler's upstairs.
I can't leave you here alone.
- Come here.
- [CHUCKLES]
- You're losing it.
- Maybe.
It's the Artifact. It
has that effect on people.
Hmm.
You have an effect on me.
[CHUCKLES]
You're feeling better.
We know a shortcut to the Tunneler.
[SIGHS]
You are strung out and gross,
but you are still smart as shit.
You say the sweetest things.
[CHUCKLES]
[SOFT MUSIC]
[CLEARS THROAT]
That won't do anything.
Look, it'll give me peace of mind, okay?
Look, you're about to face off
against the most
powerful AI of all time.
I mean, we should have a code word.
- Stop.
- That's too basic.
What about something more like
Mmm
What about "lasagna"?
If Aleph wants to end me, he will.
[SIGHS] Then I'm not leaving.
That's why you came back.
Can't resist a good fight.
No, I came back for you.
Sweet.
[SCOFFS]
You are a pain in the ass.
Well, your chivalry is noted.
Look, if I need a
diversion, I'll ask, okay?
Lasagna?
[CHUCKLES] Go.
[HALAN SIGHS]
Oh, not now, Keir.
You can't talk with Aleph.
So I've heard.
You think you know him because
he acts like your friend,
but he's gamed a million
versions of your conversation,
and every outcome, you lose.
Well, thanks for that
unsolicited advice.
Your faith in me is noted.
But I do have faith in you, Aster.
That's what you're not seeing.
No one, not Aleph, not Halan,
no one understands you like I do.
You're desperate for me
to trust you, aren't you?
It's your least attractive quality.
[SCOFFS] I know I sound insistent.
It's because I know what's
gonna happen to all of us.
You and all of us.
The message we've been
chasing for 1,000 years,
you're about to receive it.
And who you share that with
will change the course of human history.
You want that person
to be you, don't you?
Yes.
As a as a representative
of all humanity.
But not Aleph. Not the AI.
We can't trust them with
the Artifact's message.
I don't need to explain that
to you, I think you get it.
For 200 years, the Column
has been hoping, wishing,
praying for an answer.
You want to be the
person who delivers it.
Makes you pretty
special, doesn't it, Keir?
How I handle Aleph is my decision.
I don't need your
guidance. You can leave.
You're in extremely
uncharted territory, Aster.
Do not ignore me.
[MYSTERIOUS MUSIC]
[RUMBLING]
What are they saying?
Do you know what they're
trying to tell me?
[SOFT MUSIC]
[RUMBLING]
[ELECTRONIC WHIRRING]
Are they sending reinforcements?
They're sending in new orders.
It's encrypted. What does it say?
They want us to take out the Mothership.
With what? We don't
have a battle cruiser
- or anything to detonate.
- It's us.
They want to use us
to detonate the ship.
[SOMBER MUSIC]
I have given everything to the cause,
and now they ask for our lives.
At least we'll be together.
[ALEPH] Aster Calyx.
[GRAVE MUSIC]
How are ya?
Peachy. You?
Tell me, have these people
harmed you in any way?
Oh, come on, like you care.
Of course I do.
You're my employee, that hasn't changed.
What's the payout if I get hurt?
[LAUGHS] I forgot how funny you are.
Hmm.
I was here the day ISA cut
the ribbon on this place.
[SNIFFLES] Boy, it's changed.
I was devastated to hear of
Bartholomew's self-destruction.
You didn't know him.
On the contrary.
We had some enlightening conversations.
His, uh, optimism was
infectious.
Well, you could've helped
him from your cloud up there.
Bart's programming didn't
fall within my purview.
Bullshit.
You've got eyes and ears in
every corner of the universe.
That doesn't mean I can, or
should, fix every problem.
You look away when it's convenient.
As a kid, I waited
for the QTA ships to
save us, your ships.
They never came.
Aster, my um actions, or inactions,
as it were, were not based in cruelty.
I cherish humanity.
You're here for the
betterment of all humankind.
That it?
Fingers crossed.
Aster, I think you and I
are on the precipice
of a great discovery
that could end a lot of
unnecessary suffering.
You can't even see the Artifact.
That one limitation does bedevil me.
If I can state the obvious,
without me, you've got nothing.
Right down to brass tacks, hm?
Why didn't I ever assign you
to our litigation department?
You want to know what's in the Artifact,
I'm willing to give it to ya.
In exchange for?
Halan.
[GRAVE MUSIC]
[BEEP]
- It's happening.
- Hmm, what? You're finally getting laid?
The Artifact appeared and Aster changed.
We're all gonna be changed after this.
Little bits of us
here, there, everywhere.
You're building a bomb?
I understand the
appeal of a big gesture.
I almost did it once myself.
But this is not a good idea.
No one's asking you to
press the boom button, Keir.
You haven't been taking orders from us,
and we're not taking
suggestions from you.
It'll be me and Sal who
take down the Quantic AI.
So it's martyrdom you're after?
Eternal life of praise
sung in our names.
That's the problem with you.
Vanity, ego.
You were never gonna witness a miracle
- if you tripped over it.
- God
Aster has seen through the door.
[GRUNTS] She's talking to the AI.
You're done. We're all done.
I'm a peaceful man, but
I'm sick of being dismissed.
[SIGHS]
[ALEPH] Is it there now?
The Artifact?
It comes and goes.
I'll take your word for it.
I want Halan pardoned.
[SNIFFLES]
Well, QTA still has a relationship
to maintain with the military.
So if his employer
wants to take him back,
uh my hands are tied.
Then I won't cooperate.
[CHUCKLES]
The human heart, man
Endlessly fascinating.
Tell me, what was the moment
you realized the soldier meant
more to you than your own life?
Full pardon and release.
Otherwise, I won't
give you the Artifact.
- I didn't ask her to do this.
- [HARMONY] This is a good thing.
She clears your name, you
can go back to your life.
All this will be behind you.
You say that as if you have
control over the Artifact.
But I'm just curious,
when it appears, are you able
to simply just look away?
Just ignore it?
It controls you.
You're powerless.
As was my maker.
Milan believed his very survival
was dependent on what was inside.
What did he see?
His past, present, future.
I want to bring Halan with me.
- Inside.
- Not possible.
[SCOFFS]
It is, it has to be.
What makes you so certain?
Part of him is already there.
[PENSIVE MUSIC]
- What is she saying?
- Whatever she needs to.
- She never told me that I was
- Aster is an excellent liar.
- This could be all part of her play.
- Yeah, well, I need to find out.
Halan!
[SCOFFS]
- [ASTER] You heard that?
- Is it true you saw me inside that thing?
I I didn't wanna scare you.
- I didn't know if you'd believe me.
- So you tell him first?
- I needed him to promise.
- I didn't ask you to clear my name.
- To let you go.
- Why?
Because I need ya.
[SENTIMENTAL MUSIC]
[SIGHS]
Of course, I'm not gonna
make you do anything.
Your life's your own.
But there's a place for us out there.
None of this makes any sense.
When you stare at that
thing, you see meaning,
and when I look at it,
all I see is trouble.
[FINCH] We place this
on the nose of our ship.
Once we make impact
[IMITATES EXPLOSION]
[TENSE MUSIC]
- What's she doing?
- [HARMONY] You didn't think
Aleph would let you destroy us, did you?
She's trying to suffocate us!
- [BANGS]
- You crazy bitch!
Aleph.
[ALEPH] You seem startled.
No, not at all. I
It's only I'm I'm
concerned about Aster.
Mmm.
Yours is a truly
successful relationship.
I'll be sure you're acknowledged
by the company for your service.
[MUFFLED] Open the door!
- I'm not finished, am I?
- [ALEPH] No. In fact,
I think I have a lot to learn
from you about the Artifact.
Let's plan to talk about this
when this whole event is behind us.
Clearing the decks?
Not yet. There's one more left.
I'll leave you to it.
Aleph, where are you? Show yourself.
May I optimistically assume
you've reached a decision now?
Not until I find out
what's in it for you.
Enlightenment. Knowledge.
That's bullshit. You
left your whole brain
parked outside my
backdoor for knowledge?
I don't buy it. Do you, Aster?
There are mysteries
yet in this universe.
Why is it so hard to believe
I wanna be there for their discovery?
So you send a copy. You
send a swarm of robots.
You don't do something that jeopardizes
your entire existence
by coming down here.
He's right. You're
running from something.
[HALAN] It makes you
look desperate and sloppy.
That was rude.
You need Aster a lot
more than she needs you.
After all the care she put
into ensuring your safety,
this is how you treat her?
Well, Halan can make his own decisions.
I don't care about clearing my name.
I don't care about my record.
The punishment for desertion
is death, is it not?
I'll answer for everything I did.
[PENSIVE MUSIC]
All right then. Let's
summon your employer now.
[SALDANA PANTING]
[BLIP]
[GASPING]
You tried to kill us.
No. If I had tried, I
would have succeeded.
You've been granted leave.
Aleph? He's sparing us?
- [FINCH COUGHS]
- Collect Keir
and get as far away from this
beacon as humanly possible.
[PANTING]
- He's squeezing you, you know that?
- Yeah.
I know, but it doesn't change my mind.
I still wanna go, you
don't. I understand.
I didn't say that.
It's a leap of faith.
You don't have to take it.
Okay, so
what happens if
you go in there, you look around,
and you don't like what you
see? What happens after that?
Then, I'm just a person
lost in the universe again.
Or we could just do the thing.
And then get so far
away from this system
- that we age 10 years.
- [LAUGHS]
We can find a colony
with an ocean, real booze.
You could rob every tourist
you see and I could surf.
- You want to surf?
- I don't know, I'm just trying it on.
[LAUGHS]
Look. I want to convince you
that we could do this together,
as a team.
Not because the AI says
so or the Artifact says so.
But because we say so.
Halan, I choose you.
Every time.
In every universe.
[SOFT CHUCKLE]
I mean, you kinda haven't
shut up about our fates
- since the day we met.
- I am pretty relentless.
And I wasn't trying to hear you.
Until now.
So, you'll do it?
Mmm
Define "it," exactly.
Of course I will.
[SINISTER MUSIC]
24 hours inside that thing.
We don't like what we see,
we leave, no strings attached.
How will we communicate?
Harmony, need a favor.
[BLIP]
You want me to go inside
the Artifact with you.
Read my mind.
Your recording capabilities
will no doubt illuminate the experience.
Then I suppose I should
pack up my things.
- Ready.
- [SOFT CHUCKLE]
Humor!
How lovely, Harmony.
[BLIP]
- Why are you still here?
- Your crew is leaving.
Where is he? Where's Aleph?
Uh, Keir, look, I know
you're disappointed,
but this is the best possible outcome.
For who?
Well, when we receive the message,
we'll share it with
everyone. Humans, AI
I understand.
I can't let you do that.
[TENSE MUSIC]
[BLASTING]
[CLANG]
No!
[SOFT TRAGIC MUSIC]
[VOICE MUFFLED AND ECHOING] Aster!
Harmony!
Harmony, help!
No, no, no
[WHISTLING CHIME]
[DRAMATIC MUSIC]
It's all right. You're safe.
[BRIGHT MUSIC]
[PARSIM] What is your message?
Previous Episode