A gorilla patrol rides into the village of Borak and the leader, Brun, says that they have two meadow people and three of theirs. Brun says that they will serve him well in the mines, and has them brought forward. The gorilla inspects the first two, but the third one, Clim, runs off. Brun apologizes and the gorilla says that they will hunt Clim down and kill him. He asks where his replacement is, and Brun says that they will aw lots for one of their people to take his place.
Galen, Alan, and Pete are walking through the woods and Galen talks about his old life. The gorillas ride up and the trio quickly hides as the soldiers go past. Clim runs up and hides, and Alan tells him to keep down. Once the gorillas ride by, Clim explains that the patrol comes to their village, collects the grain tax, and leaves. He claims that sometimes they hunt a human for sport.
The gorillas return to the patrol where the villagers have chosen Miro to replace Clim. The gorilla lead tells him to have all five tied and waiting the next time they come, and leave with the five prisoners. Brun then tells his son Miro and his men to find Clim.
The trio takes Clim back to the village and he wants them to come into Borak with him so that the people can thank them for rescuing Clim. Miro and the others come up and the trio quickly hides with Clim. Clim says that it's his own people and calls to Miro, and then turns Alan and Pete over to them. When Galen objects, Miro says that the law dictates that he can ignore Galen. He then has his men take Clim and says that Brun is waiting for him at the temple. They take Clim away and Miro says that he follows Brun's orders. Galen demands to talk to him and Miro takes the chimpanzee to the temple while the others take Alan and Pete to Borak.
Everyone goes to the temple and the men tie Clim up to a rack on a wagon. Miro says that Brun can only speak to the gods until Clim is punished. Clim begs for mercy, and a masked Brun emerges from the temple. He takes Clim to the temple gateway and says that the most sacred of their laws has been broken. Brun takes out a knife and says that Clim's punishment is in the gods' hands. Although h doesn't touch Clim, the villager dies. Brun wheels Clim out, and Miro tells Galen that the gods killed Clim. The figure goes back inside and the villagers return to their homes.
Later, Galen visits Pete and Alan where they've been locked up in a cage. He explains the ceremony and how Clim died without being touched, and they tell him to concentrate on getting Brun to release them. Galen warns that Brun frightens him but agrees to try.
A woman, Talia, brings the astronauts food and Pete tries to charm her into helping them. He asks if she'll bring their food that night, but Miro comes over and Talia runs to kiss him. He says that the meadow people have disappeared and wishes that he should have gone himself so they could have captured more than one. The villagers bring the captive up and put him in another cage.
Galen meets with Brun and is shocked to learn that he won't accept his orders. Brun is unimpressed and says that he will obey him in all areas where he is permitted. He tells Galen that the apes gave them the right a long time ago by saying that they could capture any alien humans in their territory a long time ago.. The humans and apes fought, and finally the two sides agreed to let the villagers turn over five humans to work in the mines. Brun offers a guide to take Galen to the garrison, and Galen asks why he wastes the humans via sacrifice. The leader says that gods killed him, and Galen says that he shall remain there until he decides what to do about Brun's insolence. Brun agrees, saying that Galen will be treated as an honored guest.
Miro and his men bring the prisoner out and take him to the fields. He then tells the astronauts that they are to be made ready for the gorillas, and they will cut wood to be made strong. Alan says that they'll work and the villagers take them off.
In the fields, Pete and Alan cut wood and Talia brings them water. Miro calls Talia over and they kiss, and he says that he's leaving on a hunt and will be back in a few days. He assures her that he's never failed and won't fail now, and he then leaves with the other hunters. Talia returns to the astronauts, who say that the villagers are no better than apes. She says that the people who are taken don't last long, and that's why they take them rather than give up their own.
That night, Galen sneaks out of his guest quarters and goes to his friends' cage. He lures the guard away by making noises in the brush and then knocks him out. He releases the astronauts and starts to cut through their collars, but more villagers arrive.
The next morning, a villager locks Galen up in his quarters. Galen summons Brun, who says that the gorillas will believe him rather than Galen.
Talia visits the astronauts and feeds them because they're tied up to the bars. Miro comes back and Talia runs to him. He says that they only captured one prisoner, and he figures that he did something wrong. The hunters bring the prisoner forward and Miro tells Brun that he should have prayed for a father. The prisoner tries to break free, cutting Miro on the arm before the hunters get him into the cage. The astronauts offer to save him, and Talia begs Brun to let them help. Brun finally agrees and Alan applies a tourniquet to Miro's arm. Once he succeeds, Brun says that they learned that tourniquets could cause gangrene, and Alan tells him to loosen the cord carefully from time to time.
That night, Alan and Pete confirm that Miro will recover. Miro figures that the gods cured him because of his father's prayers, and explains that the gods have killed other violators. Talia explains that one day Brun will take Miro into the temple and protect his son while he teaches him the magic. Miro says that the leader must have a wife, and he will only take her. Talia explains that she was the fifth person chosen and Miro hasn't found enough meadow people to replace her. He refuses to fight apes, and Alan says that men have always fought for what was important to them. Miro says that they're trying to put lies in his mind and leaves with Talia.
The next day, Miro visits Brun and confirms that the gorillas will come the next day. He asks to go in Talia's place, and Brun points out that everyone who is chosen has a loved one who wants to take their place. Miro demands that he change the law, and Brun says that in time he will change. He says that he never stopped loving his son, but refuses to bend the law for him.
Miro goes to the cages and relieves the guard, and then frees the astronauts. He asks if they'll take Talia with him and he sets them free. They insist on taking Galen with them, and Miro agrees. However, Miro refuses to go with them or explain why. They go to the village and the astronauts knock out the guard on Galen's building. Miro talks to Talia privately and insists that he's doing the right thing, letting her think that he's going with her. The others join them, and Talia realizes that Miro is staying behind. When she refuse to go, Alan muzzles her and Miro goes to join the others as they discover that their prisoners are gone. Talia warns that they hunters will find them, and Alan suggests that they go into the temple because no one goes there. Galen reluctantly agrees to take them there and Pete promises Talia that nothing will happen to her. She agrees to go with them... so that she can die.
When the group arrives at the temple, Pee enters the gateway to prove that it's harmless. He collapses after a moment and Alan goes to help him, and sees a pit of bubbling liquid. He kneels down and Galen comes up to help him carry Pete out. Once they're clear, Alan says that gas is bubbling up and it's deadly. Pete revives once he's clear of the gas. They figure that there's an exit in the back, and they notice some charcoal in a nearby pit. They crush it and make crude filters, just as the hunters arrive.
The group goes inside and they realize that the inside of the temple is clear. They find an old gas mask built into Brun's mask, and they figure that Brun knows another way in. They go ahead and find a chamber with a crude system to draw up the gas and place it in jars. The astronauts realize that Brun is creating gas bombs, just as Brun comes in. Alan points out that they are still alive, and demonstrates one of the filter masks. He says that they are men just like Brun, and the astronauts explain that the mask was made by other men.
Galen supports them, and Brun says that he will use the bombs to wipe out the apes. He vows to free his people, but the astronauts warn that he can't control the gas. Once the apes find their own gas and make their masks, and the war will escalate just like it did before. They tell him to fight to end slavery, but Brun says that nothing matter but killing the apes. Galen clubs him unconscious and kicks over the fire, and the astronaut grab Brun and head out through the back tunnel. The gas ignites and explodes just as they get clear. Brun wakes up and runs inside, and a secondary explosion kills him.
Later, Miro tells the trio that he's not going to turn anyone else over to the apes. They tell him that Brun thought it was the only way but he hated slavery, and he should be proud of him. Miro plans to meet with the meadow people, and together they'll fight the apes. The astronauts offer to help, but Miro says that it's their fight because it's their territory. The trio wishes Miro luck and leave.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 6, 2016