When the crew of the Raza makes a plan, they don’t let any space dust gather under their feet. Which is good, since the Multi-corps descend on the miners’ neck of the woods, tipped off that the Raza hasn’t done what they were apparently sent to do. In episode 2 of Dark Matter, the crew of the Raza grapple with questions of identity and purpose – and do a lot of shooting.
The reveal of their (alleged) criminal pasts has shaken the crew. One, aka Jace, and Two, who doesn’t want ot be called Portia, are distraught; Three, aka Marcus, is sarcastic but pragmatic; Six, aka Griffin, wants to discuss their next move. They’re here because someone hired them, likely Ferrous Corp. Not the sort of folks you want to disappoint, Three observes. Four, aka Ryo, says none of that matters, only who they are now. Five is silent, troubled that the recovered files reveal nothing about her identity.
They prepare to deliver half of the weapons to the miners on the only habitable planet in range of a Ferrous Corp mineral strike in the nearby asteroid belt. Six is concerned because their history will make them hunted regardless of how they proceed.
One has a new theory about the pendant he found: they’re not the saviors for the miners are expecting – they killed the saviors. He wants to stay with the miners and fight for their cause. Two says it’s suicide, and that doing it can’t redeem their collective past, so they’ll stick to the plan. “Who put you in charge,” Two snaps. “I did,” Two says, pointing out that everyone else agrees, since no one has challenged her authority. But she softens the blow by telling him he has to come back from the weapons delivery, touching his cheek and making a hip-swaying exit.
The menfolk pilot the marauder to the planet while the ladies stay on the ship.
Tash, the pretty miner, apologizes for not giving them more supplies and asks how they’ll explain the missing weapons. He explains that transport is risky and losses are covered by insurance. “You’re good people,” Tash says, batting her eyelashes. *sigh*
Three is watching the clock and tries to get One back to the marauder so they can return to the Raza. But Keeley has other plans – a song and a drink. And why not? What could possibly go wrong?
While the guys party with the miners, Android calls Two to the bridge because a Ferrous Corp destroyer has just dropped out of FTL and launched a shuttle to the surface. Two tries to call the team back, but they’re at the bar instead in the marauder, where One is making the case that they should put their “unique skill set to good use” fighting beside the miners, who don’t stand a chance. Six is talking him out of it when guards burst in: Ferrous Corp has landed, so it’s too late to walk away.
Two, who has ignored the Ferrous Corp destroyer’s commander now hails the vessel. Commander Neman wants an explanation; Two assures him they have the situation in hand and asks that their shuttle fall back. But no – contingency plans are moving forward, and the commander is boarding the Raza.
The FC team enters the building; a miner fires a warning shot. One tries to avert the inevitable, but its leader knows who One is: “You had a job to do.” One plays hardball, telling the FC leader to take his men and leave. “Tell your bosses we’re with these people now.” FC can’t believe it, but One plays on the Raza crew’s reputation, advising him to find another planet. The FC leader suggests taking this discussion private and One agrees. FC attempts to pull his weapon; Four beheads him and the firefight begins.
Before the Commander arrives, Two tells Five to hide. Five crawls into the ductwork as Android and Two decide whether to fire on the FC ship. They decide not to, and the FC Commander arrives with two guards.
The miners suffer casualties, though they seem to have inflicted more on the FC. As triage commences, Six and One help until Three rounds them up – it’s time to leave. Some miners object to their leaving; Talbor says they’ve done a lot already. One invites them to come aboard the Raza, as “this is a war you can’t win.”
The FC commander offers Two a bonus if she abandons the crew on the planet. They’re going to meet the same fate of the miners, and best if there are no witnesses. The Raza’s landing party assembles in the Marauder only to find the Raza is gone. They have no choice but to fight with the miners.
It seems hopeless, but Four interrogates a FC prisoner and realizes the FC have orders to make the miners look responsible for their own deaths – which points to the settlement’s 50-year-old reactor, an accident waiting to happen.
Six suggests that he take the Marauder and attack the FC ship: soldiers are expendable, but ships are expensive. And this plan could have worked except for miners who join with the FC after being guaranteed safety.
Riiiiight. They capture Six as he attempts to get away with the Marauder.
The Raza landing party and miners make a last stand in the reactor room. When the FC prisoner marches Six in and threatens to kill him if they don’t surrender, Team Raza keeps fighting. And suddenly, the FC are gone. Jubilation from One, until he sees that Talbor is dead.
Whoever will lead them now, Tash frets, hinting that One should stay and lead them. (Let the eye-rolling begin …) He wants her, and has steadily advocated for joining with the miners, but turns her down and heads back to the Raza – and Two. (Eye-roll plus groan.)
Android, Two and Five are on the bridge, and the FC ship is powering weapons. Two advises the commander to stand down, as the Raza is accompanied by two cruiser-class vessels from the Mekei Combine. The commander returns to the Raza, asserting that the FC suffered an unprovoked attack by the miners; the Mekei Combine reps say the planet and miners are under its protection now.
The commander reminds Two that they had a deal. “I got a better offer,” she says. Boom!
When the Raza’s landing party returns, Two explains to the entire crew what she did: FC isn’t the only player. She jumped to a Mekei outpost and made a deal on the miners’ behalf. They have given a 99 year lease to Mekei at no cost – ensuring stalemate between the Multicorps. If the FC finally makes them an offer they like, the miners get 20 percent of the mine’s output.
With this apparently wrapped up, Two suggests they make for the nearest station, refuel, regroup then decide what to do next. It will take several days’ travel.
Five retires to her quarters to draw anime. Two visits to ask why Five is convinced someone stole their memories rather than the amnesia being an accident. Five knows. She remembers waking up in the middle of the night and uploading programs to the stasis core, planting the virus while everyone else was sleeping. They’re not her memories, of course.
Four finds the opened puzzle box in his quarters and discovers a metal logo. Six does pullups, Android flies the ship and Three takes another unsuccessful crack at those huge, mysterious metal doors that Five says hold secrets.
Five tells Two why their memories were wiped: “We’re dangerous.”