Natural Born Grendlers
Alonzo wakes up somewhere very white and gauzy. Julia's asleep in the bed. He pulls on his boots and jacket and steps out of the tent onto a landing pad. The area is very bright.
As he stands on the pad the distortion typical to the Dream plane kicks in and he turns to see a Terrian behind him. He asks it about a ship that should be present. The Terrian doesn't answer. Alonzo suddenly realizes he's in a dream and starts to panic, running from the Terrian. He comes to the edge of a cliff and jumps off, but the Terrian catches him and pulls him back.
Alonzo wakes and sits up, shuddering. He pushes his blanket aside to expose the makeshift cast on one leg.
Yale narrates about the difference between the light on the stations and the light here on G88. Here the light, like almost everything else, is out of their control.
Devin comes to talk to him. They've come out of their way to a forest they were hoping would have edible vegetation in it, but no luck. The food supply that should have lasted eight months is already one third down after only four weeks.
Danziger suggests people are eating more than they estimated because of the physical challenge of their journey.
Yale continues to narrate about the difficulties of everyone working together.
Morgan is enjoying a feast. He's using the VR function of the Gear to amuse himself. Bess calls him out of it several times before giving up and going away to deal with their luggage herself. Devon comes along to tell her to hurry up; Bess tries to tell her they're almost ready, but since Devon can see Morgan she's not convinced and suggests Bess treat him like an adult for once, which means he should do his share of the work.
In the tent Bess snatches the Gear off Morgan's head. He protests that that's dangerous. Bess doesn't care, giving out about Devon and her highhandedness. She leaves Morgan to finish packing up, returning only to take his Gear away from him.
Julia enters Alonzo's tent to find him still in bed. He's tired of being trapped on the planet and wants her to put him into cold sleep until his leg is better. She asks how old he is and is told 109. He's never been awake for so long at once as he has on this planet. Julia diagnoses depression and explains that she can't make him a coldsleep chamber. The discussion is interrupted when Walman calls a perimeter alert. Julia goes to see what's happening.
A Grendler has entered camp with fruit, looking to trade. Devon accepts the fruit but the Grendler attempts to take some machinery in return. It's damaged in the scuffle and the group is stuck until Danziger can repair it.
Bess wanders through the woods, still complaining to herself. She pauses on hearing a bird but shakes it off and keeps going. It seems the bird is following her, though, and she becomes increasingly nervous.
The Grendler is behind her when she turns. Her accent reappears as she calls him an interesting looking fellow.
Back at camp, True and Danziger kvetch about never getting a day off. Devon approaches to find out if the Rail can be fixed. True jumps in to say that he can fix anything, it's just the time that varies. She guesses a couple of hours for this repair. Danziger corrects her; it'll be overnight. When Devon protests, Danziger points out that she approached the Grendler. Devon suggests they go looking for the fruit while they wait.
Bess reappears with an armload of fruit. She traded with the Grendler for it, she explains. She learned how to do it on Earth. Morgan tells her she should be careful, and anyway what did she have to trade with? Bess attempts to take him to one side, but he figures out that the only thing she had was his VR Gear and stomps off in a huff. Bess follows.
Julia pronounces the fruit probably safe but she's not sure. Uly attempts to try some but Devon catches him. While she's distracted Julia tries some, as her immune system is stronger than most of the others. She feels fine and suggests everyone try a little and see what happens. She heads out to see Alonzo, congratulating Bess on her way. Yale asks if Bess can lead them back to this Grendler.
Julia watches Alonzo hobble around on his crutches. She tells him he's doing well, but he falls and rips off his brace in anger. Julia reminds him she's trying to help, and he tells her the only way to help is to get these dreams out of his head. He criticizes her bedside manner and she goes, leaving him to stew.
Bess goes back to her tent to pack for the trading mission. Morgan is not happy, first because suddenly Bess seems to like Devon, and second because she gave away his VR Gear. Bess refuses to apologize for it; she's sorry he's so upset, but she thinks she made the right decision in bartering it away.
Alonzo struggles to the ATV and heads out of camp. Julia is nearby but doesn't see.
Bess, Devon and Yale have been wandering around for an hour, trying to find the Grendler. Devon is ready to give up and go home, but Bess is insistent they stay a little longer. Yale warns that he might be leading them into a trap, but Bess is certain he's not.
The Grendler is waiting for them, but when he sees Devon and Yale he runs into a nearby cave. Bess convinces them to let her go in alone.
Alonzo is driving recklessly fast directly towards a cliff. A Terrian appears directly in his path; Alonzo attempts to brake, but the ATV tips. Two Terrians watch him.
Bess picks her way through the cave. It's lit by a pool of water. She attempts bargaining with the Grendler, mostly hampered by Devon's well-meaning suggestions from outside. The Grendler shows her some of his stock, much of which has been stolen from the missing cargo pod. Devon sees one particular piece of equipment through Bess's Gear and orders her to get it. With no other choice, Bess trades her bracelet.
Julia finds Alonzo's tent empty.
The scouter Bess traded for is not working. Bess is in the process of offering to go back when Julia arrives to talk to Devon. She hasn't seen Alonzo in almost eight hours. She's worried in case Alonzo has hurt himself. Devon agrees and gets a search started.
Alonzo, still tangled in the wreckage of the ATV, is dreaming. He walks through the Terrian caves to a bed where Julia is sleeping. Behind him, an old woman remarks that once Alonzo had thought her beautiful. He knew her many years ago on a station. Though he hasn't aged in the intervening years due to his cold sleep, she has and is now old. She was happy in her life. Alonzo doesn't want to grow old but she tells him it'll be the best flight he'll ever take.
Bess attempts to comfort Morgan, thinking he's worried about Alonzo. In fact he's worried about himself, with no VR. He's also upset that Bess traded away the bracelet he gave her for something that doesn't even work. Bess agrees that wasn't fair and heads out to find the Grendler and get his VR Gear back.
Back in the cave the Grendler does not seem too happy to see Bess, until she reveals a necklace she's made of kitchen gear. She hooks it carefully around his neck and goes to 'examine' the merchandise, finally coming out with the VR Gear and a Geolock. It's a device that turns land to solid stone to keep minerals from being extracted by anyone but the finder.
Alonzo wakes to see the ATV back on its wheels a short distance away. Unable to walk without his brace or crutches, he drags himself over to it.
Julia, high on a cliff, gazes around, trying to spot him. Turning back towards camp, she sees the ATV parked behind Alonzo's tent. Hurrying down, she finds him practicing walking back and forth. He isn't sure what happened, but whatever it was it's put him in a better mood. He apologizes for his behavior. He had a dream that he doesn't fully remember, but he feels much clearer in his mind. Julia goes to get a bandage for the cut on his forehead but pauses to apologize.
Morgan has figured out how to activate the geolock. He suggests that Bess's father would be proud to think Bess was using it to stake her own claim on this planet. Bess suggests sharing it but allows herself to be talked around. The two agree to test it but are interrupted by Devon as it begins. Bess intercepts her outside the tent. Devon has prepared a list of things to try for on the next trade. Bess is not happy about Devon's assumption that Bess will go trading again. Devon, bewildered, leaves them alone.
Back in the tent they uncover the machine to find a patch of stone in the ground. Morgan suggests sharing, but Bess, still angry at Devon, decides that they will keep it for themselves.
Yale narrates. Once they had changed their world, but here they are changed by the world.
Alonzo is sleeping. Julia pauses to check on him. In a dream, Alonzo sits on the edge of a cliff. A Terrian approaches, but Alonzo assures him that he's fine and that he's not going anywhere.