Earth 2 – Better Living Through Morganite (Part 2)

This second part of the two-parter picks up, as one would expect, where the last one left off. Morgan has activated a geo-lock that petrified a chunk of the planet, and a Terrian with it, and now the rest of the Terrian tribe is going to punish Morgan, Bess, and Yale.

Mary the Human Terrian is back! I honestly didn’t realize that would happen, but it seems obvious in retrospect. She gives the Terrians a human face they can use to talk to the Eden Project group. Anyway, the Terrians send Mary out to tell them that the geo-lock has done bad damage to the planet and as a result, the three humans they have captured are going to be punished at dawn. Devin and Danziger argue about how to deal with this. Devin wants to talk to the Terrians and ask for more time so they can deactivate the geo-lock, which is complicated by the fact that the petrification of a portion of the planet has disrupted the Terrian’s dream-space communications, so Alonso has trouble talking to them. Danziger’s plan is to use the remaining geo-locks to threaten the Terrians that they’ll do it again unless the hostages are released.

Meanwhile, Yale is concerned that he’s gonna go cyborg-violent and he is happy to see a chance to die protecting others. He convinces the Terrians that what happened was his fault (a complete lie) and that Bess and Morgan are innocent. The couple are released and Yale stays behind to accept the punishment. This plan is complicated when Yale learns that the sunstones (which is what the Terrians call the “Morganite”) can help him recall his pre-mindwash memories. It turns out that he was not a vicious killer of innocents. When Yale was a soldier (named Braden Coye or something close to that), one of his fellows was going to shoot on unarmed people, and Braden shot that guy to protect them. Still, he was deemed a criminal and mindwiped into a servant cyborg. I assume this is why he never went bad, though. He wasn’t a violent type even before mindwashing. But learning this, Yale (who isn’t yet prepared to call himself Braden) doesn’t want to die.

When Bess and Morgan make it back to camp, Danziger wonders if it wouldn’t be worth it to just let the Terrians kill Yale. After all, he still sees the cyborg as a risk. But Devon won’t have it and she goes to talk to the Terrians to buy more time. She fails, but luckily Morgan feels pretty darn bad about what he did and he attempts works hard to deactivate the geo-lock, even though it is actively shocking him to prevent tampering. Alongside this, Dr. Julia learns that the sunstone, being a part of the planetary equivalent of a neurological system, is able to communicate in a rudimentary manner such as binary. Using his VR gear, Morgan is able to team up with the rocks and they unlock the geo-lock and unpetrify the land. Even that one Terrian who got got is back to life.

The unpetrification came just a moment too late for Yale, who had been brought into the earth to die. But Mary saves him just after the unpetrification, then Yale tries to get Mary to join the humans. Mary refuses, but the Terrians take away her ability to traverse through the dirt. I can’t tell if this is because she rescued Yale or if they think he’s right that she ought to join the humans, but either way, she still refuses to join and runs off into the woods to attempt to rejoin the tribe.

Stray thoughts: 1) I like that, in all her dealings with the Terrians here, Devon never once says “Well, Morgan did it!” even though it was true. She always tells the Terrians she wants to fix what “we” did, accepting the actions of one of her people as something done under her leadership. 2) After it’s all said and done, Danziger gives Morgan a handshake to show he respects that he helped save the day. Granted this is also a chance for him to squeeze Morgan’s hand, which is covered in burns from the shocks he got, so this is the best of both worlds for manly Danziger. 3) The intended method of killing the hostages for the Terrians is to pull them into the earth, presumably to suffocate and be crushed under the pressure and such. This is quite similar to what the Terrians did to Gaal. And it isn’t that far off from the way the Terrians liked to die during Moon Cross, to become one with the planet again. In fact, in that last one the outcasts who were refused death were punished by not getting to be brought into the earth. Does this mean the death of Gaal and near-death of Yale are meant to be merciful by Terrian standards?

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