Director Vera Herrick looks on as her husband Colonel Silas Herrick accepts an award on behalf of his men. Everyone applauds and afterward, General Olin tells Vera that she must be proud. He says that Vera's quick thinking saved them many casualties, and Vera thanks him. Once he leaves, Silas glare at Vera. When they return home, Silas says that Olin is jealous and diminished him when he received the honor of a lifetime. Vera says that Olin was just being kind, and Silas grabs her wrist and irritably asks her if she sees her comrades' lives extinguished before her. He reminds her that he's the one who pilot the ship back to Terra, kisses her, and goes to bed.
Vera goes to her separate room and puts on an oxygen mask to collect herself.
The next day, Silas is making breakfast for himself when Vera comes out . She receives word that Olin is calling an emergency meeting, warning that they have less than five months of air reserves. Silas figures that they have to return to Rexor IV to get HYDRAN to decontaminate the atmosphere, and insists that the Rexorians are a vicious species. Vera points out that they'll doom the Rexorians to the same fate Terra is suffering, and warns that Silas' plan will plunge them into war. Her husband says that he's come to terms with the possibility of dying in service of the State, tells Vera that he'll see her at the debrief, and walks out.
At the debrief, Olin and the others review the satellite transmissions of their last mission to Rexor IV. He says that he's moving up the timeline, and Vera suggests that they should negotiate. Silas objects, saying that without HYDRAN they can't decontaminate their air. He wants to secure it before the Rexorians mobilize, and Olin agrees. He orders Silas to go on a covert mission to avoid detection. Once Olin and Silas leave, Yaro Peterson tells Vera that she doesn't envy Vera having dinner with Silas when he constantly tries to undermine her. Vera thanks Yaro for having her back.
That night, Vera returns home and asks Silas if she can come in. He says that he's busy downloading information for the mission, and Vera goes to her room and dresses for bed. She looks briefly at a negligee in her closet, and then puts on a robe and goes to the lower level Maze wearing a breathing apparatus. Men fight and barter in the contaminated atmosphere, and Vera goes to a brothel and removes the robe, revealing the negligee that she's wearing. The staff aren't surprised to see her, and Vera makes her way through the rooms of people indulging in sex. She joins a man and woman and together they have sex.
The next day, Vera is running through a virtual simulation when Silas comes in and says that she was out late. He tells her that he's leaving and walks out, and Vera closes the door and goes back to her running. Later, Vera calls Silas and tells him to be careful.
Silas is boarding the spaceship and gets Vera's message. He shuts it off without reaction, and Vera watches as the ship lifts off. She tends to her garden, removes her robe and bathes in the sun, and runs in the virtual simulation. Word comes in that Silas' ship is under attack, and Vera goes to the control room. Yaro and the others are watching bodycam video feeds of the Rexorian energy beings attacking, and Yaro says that if they activate the warhead then the ship and crew might survive. Olin gives the order, and Yaro does it. The crew get aboard their ship as the warhead detonates.
Later, Vera sits at home and waits for Silas to return. She waits at the viewport, and Yaro joins. Vera admits that she feels untethered without Silas there, and a bit guilty. Yaro tells her that Terra needs her more than ever, and that Vera should do it for Silas.
Vera walks around her house and sits in Silas' room. There's a hologram of the two of them together, and Vera looks at it. She continues tending her garden and waiting. One day the ship shows up on the sensors and it's carrying reserves of HYDRAN. Sensors detect two lives aboard and Silas is one of them, but Yaro warns that they don't know what condition she's in.
When the ship lands, Olin tells Vera that Silas is in the hospital and saying that he wants to come home. When he does, Vera finds Silas convulsing on the bed. She offers to call a doctor, and Silas begs her not to. The next day, Dr. El Ganol tells Vera that Silas is doing better but he still has heavy fevers. Olin questions Silas, who says that the Rexorians tried to force their way onboard but failed. Silas says that pulled one man, Matthews, to safety and Yaro confirms that Matthews made it home. When Silas says that he doesn't remember anything else, Vera calls an end to the questioning. Olin asks Silas if all of the combat occurred outside of the ship, and Silas insists that they kept them out. As they leave, Silas smiles at Vera.
Vera continues tending to Silas, who looks at her and says that he likes her with her hair down and it's been a long time since she did it. He tells her that she's beautiful, and after a moment she lies on the bed next to him and takes his hand.
Later, Vera goes about her day and decides to leave her hair down. She finds Silas talking with El Ganol, and Silas kisses Vera on the cheek and smiles. El Ganol excuses himself and Silas asks Vera to have breakfast with him. She begs off, saying that they're reviewing the ship's Titan Box footage even though it was thought destroyed. Olin and the others review the footage that shows two Rexorians boarding the ship. Vera says that Silas was in shock and might not recall what happened, and Olin says that they need to find out what happened next.
That night, Silas returns home as Vera takes a bath. He looks out the viewport at the barren Terra, and then goes to the bathroom and looks down at Vera as she submerges her head beneath the water. He pulls her up and apologizes for disturbing her, and says that it scared him. As he goes, Vera asks him what happened out there. Silas tells her that he was one of the lucky ones and leaves.
The next day, Vera discovers that Silas has made breakfast for them. He's bought fresh strawberries from the Maze and invites Vera to try one. Once she does, Silas briefly takes her hand and gets her tea. Vera suggests that he's entitled to a Level One psychologist, and Silas agrees to talk to one. When Vera tries to go, Silas invites her to try one bite of the French toast that he's made. She eats it and says that it's good, and Silas looks at her, hos her hand, and smiles.
Vera is working in her office when Yaro asks if Silas is coming back to work. She asks if Vera has noticed anything since Silas' return, and Vera tells her that Silas is different but she can't describe how but it scares her a little. Yaro wonders if the Rexorians got to him, and warns that they're dangerous and Vera needs to keep her guard up.
That night, Vera returns home and discovers that Silas has made dinner for them. He points out that it's cold and she didn't let him know that she was going to be late, but assures her that it's no important. Vera takes his hand and they start to kiss, and she goes to change out of her work clothes. Silas watches her through the bedroom door and then walks in and kisses her. They fall back on the bed and make love. Afterward, Vera tells Silas that she can't remember him touching her like that.
Later, soldiers burst in and Silas fights them off. They threaten to shoot Vera if Silas doesn't surrender, and inform him that he's under arrest per Olin's orders. Vera goes to the command center and Yaro tells her that there's been a development. Olin and his team are viewing video of an interview with Matthews. Matthews has been talking in his sleep in Rexorian, and goes berserk when the psychiatrist confront him about it. Olin tells Vera that a Rexorian Metamorph has inhabited Matthews, and they suspect the second one is inhabiting Silas. He tells Vera that the Metamorph is not her husband.
The interrogator questions Silas, demanding to know what the Rexorian's name and rank is. Vera and the others watch through the one-way mirror as Silas recites the details of his life in perfect detail, aware that Vera is watching. The interrogator says that the Matthews Metamorph gave Silas up, and Olin tells Vera that they can't terminate Silas without a trial because he's a Level One, and they're counting on Vera's testimony. Vera assures Olin that her loyalty is to the State.
At the trial, Olin testifies that Metamorphs are ruthless beings that destroy their hosts. El Ganol says that the Metamorphs inhabit the hosts' DNA and gives his opinion that a Metamorph has taken Silas' body. Vera says that Silas changed after he returned, and in retrospect she can understand why they arrested Silas. The state advocate asks Vera if she believes that Silas is her husband, and Vera looks at Silas for a moment... and says that she believes Silas is her husband.
The advocate calls Yaro, who testifies that Vera seemed defensive and may have known that Silas was a Metamorph and protected him. Yaro says that Vera has been harboring a Metamorph since Silas returned from Rexor. Silas asks to testify, and the judge allows it. He says that he is Silas, and admits that he's different but the State has reached its own conclusion. Silas offers to confess as long as Vera is exonerated from any and all wrongdoing. The state advocate suggests that the State accept Vera's turn, and the judge agrees.
Vera asks to address the court, and the judge allows it. She says that Olin testified that the Rexorians have no empathy, and points out that such a being wouldn't willingly choose its own demise over another's. Vera points out that Silas possesses sacrifice, kindness, and love, and that is the ultimate test of what is human.
Afterward, Silas is exonerated. The couple goes home and Silas asks if Vera is all right. She asks what the Metamorph's real name is, and he says that she couldn't pronounce it. Vera tells him that she'd still like to call him Silas, and they kiss.
Written by Gadfly on Jan 27, 2018