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Elijah Ward
Elijah Ward

[S4E13] Coming Home

United Earth is my home. Its citizens are my family. Spent the last twenty years fighting to protect both. That is where my decision to help Booker and Tarka came from. Whether or not you would've made the same choice, you must understand it.

[S4E13] Coming Home


In the end, only Tarka, the character with nothing in this dimension to live for, departed. The ambiguity of whether he successfully transported "home" or was simply vaporized by the hyperfield is very Inception-esque.

Meanwhile, Tarka is attempting to pilot Booker's ship past the orbs the 10-C are dispatching, and asks Booker himself about his ship's morphing abilities. Imprisoned in a forcefield, Booker refuses to help Tarka any further, which confuses the scientist, as he was doing everything he said they would do, and that nothing had changed. Booker believes that everything has changed, and that the cost of their plan meant that this had to be the last resort. Tarka points out what General Ndoye had told them about the first contact team, thinking they could be dead while Discovery was still trapped. Booker firmly believes they were talking to the 10-C, and that their plan was working. He reminds Tarka of what he had told him about anger being productive, but it was also blinding as well. Tarka throws reason to the wind, shouting that he had waited for ten years, and he was going home to find Oros, end of story. He is able to find the morphing controls, granting him greater agility to avoid the orbs. Booker hopes there is a way out of this; Commander Reno, imprisoned with him, doesn't see a way, but points out the "upside": Once they impacted the hyperfield, they would be vaporized instantly. When Booker asks how that was an upside, Reno says only, "We'll die fast. I hate pain." The shaking of the ship pushes an object at Booker's feet: Grudge's collar. "Or maybe we'll survive after all," he says.

Meanwhile, Tarka has brought the ship to the power source; once he has it, he would return Booker and Reno to Discovery, and it would be over in fifteen minutes. Reno points out that another orb could crash them into the hyperfield, but Tarka is confident the 10-C would not risk coming so close to the plasma streams. He then takes a different tack in appealing to Booker, pointing out that Kwejian would be there in his new universe too, and invites Booker to come with him; he could get back his family, Kyheem and Leto. Reno counters that he wouldn't, because the people Booker knew were gone; they might look the same, but they would not be the same. Kyheem, Leto, Reno's wife , and all the others they had lost would still be gone. Booker agrees with her, and tells Tarka to let them out of the forcefield before he does something they will all regret. Tarka says only that it would be over soon, as he returns to work. "It sure as hell will," Booker says to himself, as he continues to use the collar.

The oncoming debris from the DMA has disabled Federation Headquarters' bridge propulsion systems, leaving them stuck in Earth orbit. The starships USS Pathfinder and USS Tikhov report their shields below ten percent, the USS Credence was departing, and the USS Nog was not at capacity but taking severe damage. The USS Yelchin reports evacuation orders are complete. Vance reluctantly gives the order to cease evacuation efforts, and for all ships to depart Earth and Luna immediately; he would provide them covering fire as long as possible. He then turns to his crew and thanks them for their bravery, before giving the order to abandon ship and report to the Mitchell. Meanwhile, Earth's shields begin to fail, and several asteroids begin impacting on the surface. Tilly commends Gorev and Harral on the work they had done; Gorev wishes they could have done more, and Tilly agrees, but it was time for them to go. Both cadets transport to the Mitchell, but Tilly remains behind with Vance. She points out that those were her cadets out there, and it would be all for nothing if the ships didn't leave. Vance points out that there would be no way for them to transport to safety, and Tilly replies that she knows.

Back on his ship, Booker brings Tarka back to consciousness and asks him to help stop the gravimetric beam. Tarka refuses, saying that he was almost home. Booker tells him that Oros would not be there waiting for him, but Tarka is adamant that Booker doesn't know that for sure. Booker understands the pain of loss, "the hole they leave behind", and admits he finds it difficult to wake up some days without them. Tarka, tears running down his face, knows that Oros would have tried to stop him, just like Booker was doing, and asks why he wasn't there to stop him now. As the computer reports sixty seconds to breaching the casement, Tarka apologetically reveals he used a recursive fractal encryption code, and would not be able to stop it in time. Just then, the computer reports a proximity alert: Ndoye's shuttle, heading straight on a collision course. Neither man move to do anything to stop her as the shuttle crashes into the ship, disabling it. Owosekun is able to transport the general to sickbay, and also detects both Booker and Tarka alive, but is unable to lock onto them.

As his ship is ninety seconds from impact with the hyperfield, Booker tries to find a way to beam them back to Discovery, but Tarka knows there is not enough power. He disables the ship's life support to gain enough power to beam Booker out. Booker insists they both go, but Tarka refuses. Burnham, his life, was in this reality; Tarka's was in Kayalise, or somewhere beyond it. Perhaps he would get the interdimensional transporter he built to work, and see Oros again. Booker does not want to leave him behind to die. Tarka sadly bids him goodbye, and activates the transporter. With thirty seconds before impact, Tarka picks up his interdimensional transporter, and begins to activate it. Owosekun detects Booker's transporter signature, and attempts to beam him to the bridge. Before she can, however, Booker's ship explodes on impact with the hyperfield. Burnham stares in stunned silence for a moment, asking if they were able to get him back. The silence is the only response she receives. Breaking down in grief for her lost lover, Burnham is brought back into the present by Rhys, who reports another orb is coming. Attempting to compose herself, Burnham orders the crew to prepare to re-enter the orb, and finish what they had started.

Back in the hyperfield, the orb containing Discovery is being pulled into the gas giant, where Owosekun detects a massive structure similar to the one they found on the dead 10-C homeworld, with thousands of life signs. Saru then reports a new message from the 10-C: "We now understand your request to leave the orb. You are not one. How many are you?" Hirai adds that the 10-C were asking them to join them, and were sending transport as before. Burnham has them report to the shuttlebay; with time running out, she has the bridge crew join her there as well. The egg-shaped transport delivers the crew and the delegates to the "surface", where they see several 10-C creatures approach them. Stamets reports he is beaming in hydrocarbons onto the orb's surface, but Zora would need to project the light map given the size of the space. Adira transmits the updated language algorhythms to Saru's translation device. Stamets looks up in surprise to see Culber enter, thinking he would be on the surface with the others. After what happened to Booker, however, Culber wanted to be with his family. Saru reports that the 10-C are repeating their earlier message. Rillak suggests telling them that they were each an individual "one", and also one as a whole. Their appearances and experiences differ, but they all sought happiness, freedom, security, and equality. "We want that for our children, just as you do for yours," Rillak concludes, adding that there was so much that united them. Hirai sees they are sending a reply, and Saru sees it is a question about Booker and Tarka attempting to breach the casement. Burnham responds that they were once connected, part of the whole, but then they separated. The 10-C ask why. Burnham explains that one (Tarka) had lost someone long ago and thought the power source would reunite them; the other (Booker) had lost his homeworld to the 10-C's device, and didn't want anyone else to experience that. "Is that why you are here?" the 10-C ask, and Rillak confirms it, saying that this loss was about to happen again, to all of them. Burnham adds that they experienced the 10-C's fear and pain when they had to leave their homeworld, leaving so many behind, a feeling they were now sharing. Burnham pleads with them to stop the device, or it would destroy their worlds as well. "Do not let history repeat," Burnham finishes.

In Earth orbit, Vance and Tilly stare in astonishment as they realize that Discovery had succeeded, and drain their drinks to the dregs. Aboard Discovery, Burnham orders Rhys to cancel red alert. Around them, the hyperfield dissipates, and the DMA controller appears before them: the 10-C are using its wormhole one last time to send Discovery home.

As Burnham dictates the events in her log, the crew prepare for much-needed shore leave. Adira works with Linus, Detmer, and Owosekun in keeping tabs on the 10-C's promised work to clean up the effects of the DMA; Nilsson, Rhys, and Christopher are preparing to meet with Bryce, assuming Kovich lets him go; Stamets and Culber are going to Puerto Rico, which Stamets jokingly explains he had planned for himself so he could try mavi not made by a replicator; Saru offers a bloom from one of his plants to T'Rina; and Booker, Grudge in tow, was on his way to a Federation emergency center on Europa. Meanwhile, the Federation continues to reconnect, with Ni'Var back in the fold, Tellar Prime never having actually left, and finally a meeting with the President of United Earth herself. Rillak greets her, and prepares to begin negotiations. The President stops her by saying no negotiations were necessary: she was prepared to have United Earth rejoin the Federation immediately. She also sees Ndoye is recovered from what the general calls a "close call", and half-jokingly asks if that could be her last close call. She then speaks with Burnham in private, noting on how strange it must feel to have come from a time before Earth left the Federation. Burnham is glad to see the Federation begin to be restored, but so many worlds remained to explore, so many people looking for understanding, connection, a better tomorrow. The President sees there is a lot of work ahead, and asks Burnham if she is ready for it; Burnham replies she is, as they rejoin the welcoming committee. The view pans out across the assembled fleet in orbit, ending with a full view of Earth itself. 041b061a72


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