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The Book of Occupation: Chapter Two: Maryam's Tasbih Recap

The Voice has Maryam describe her medical condition, and she says that she doesn't know how long she can take it. She gets muscle spasms, can't eat, and is falling apart. Her hair is falling out and she begs for help as her eyes bleed.

In Lala's motel room, Lala meets with two men. He tells one of them, Stone Killer, that he can't turn the screen on the case's computer is. Lala insists that the case belongs to Tobias, and Tobias will find him if he has what's his.

Bill holds a press conference for the five service members who died when the Markovians attacked the metahuman processing center. He claims that the Markovians learned about the center from the media, and therefore all media broadcasts have to be cleared by the ASA. The blackout for outside media will continue. Bill promises that the ASA will spare no effort. Gambi is at the Sanctum monitoring the press conference. He then tunes in a broadcast by "Truthteller Johnson" with Resistance, saying that what Bill is claiming is a lie. Johnson interviews Nichelle, who says that the ASA killed Khalil. Gambi recognizes Nichelle's voice because it isn't electronically disguised.

At the center, Odell listens to Johnson's broadcast and confirms that his AI Katie can't trace it. Langley sends a message to Odell warning that the Markovians are preparing for a full-scale invasion, and Odell calls for Williams.

In his cell, Jeff tells Lynn that he's worried about their daughters. Lynn talks about how Anissa is all grown up, and asks Jeff if he wants to go through the data with her. As Jeff approaches her, static fills her computer screen. He says that Odell is playing Lynn, but Lynn insists that she's not going to let the children die. Lynn notes that the testing is making him stronger.

Williams comes in and says that they can't monitor the room, and Jeff tells him that what they're saying is none of his business. Lynn repeats the request more gently, and Williams refuses to say how long they'll be there. When he calls Jeff "meta", Jeff takes offense. Lynn calls her husband off, and she confirms that Williams confirms that their daughters are safe at harm. However, he won't let Jeff and Lynn talk to them, saying that communications at the other end aren't secure. Williams says that he'll have a secure phone brought in so they can record a message, and asks them to come with him.

The couple follow Williams to a chamber and they're both scanned. Once the scanning is completed, Williams takes them into their new niche, stocked with their favorite foods and beverages. Williams says that they're glad Lynn is looking at the data because they need her help to save the remaining pod kids and Green Light babies. After telling them they have free run of the set, he leaves. Jeff figures that Williams is showing them the power they have, and wonders if the Markovians are a pretext. Lynn wants to save the kids, and Jeff tells her that the ASA will abandon their masterplan and leave Freeland if she doesn't help them. She refuses to sacrifice innocent children.

Markovian soldiers take a truck into Freeland and disembark at a warehouse at Wolfbane Mountain. Colonel Yuri Mosin comes down to get them and the soldiers snap to attention. Mosin explains that as a Markovian, he has devoted his life to the service of their nation. He tells the soldiers that it's the greatest mission in Markovian history, and promises them that they will prevail.

At the police station, Bill tells his officers to get Sinzell Johnson off the streets. Williams comes in with his men and says that he's there under authority of martial law. He has his men take Detective King away, and tells Bill that she's a Green light user and a possible metahuman.

In East Freeland, Blackbird tells the refugees that she heals fast and will be bringing in another group. Anaya complains that none of the Perdi deserve trouble, and Blackbird says that she made a deal with Anaya's father Thierry

Odell goes to the Jefferson home and confronts Jefferson. He says that he's going to exempt the Jeffersons from food rationing, and says that she has unique gifts with unique responsibilities, and she should get used to unique perks. Jennifer says that she crashed the surveillance system, and Odell asks where Anissa is. The teenager claims that she's in the shower, and Odell gives her the secure camera with the video from her parents. Odell tells Jennifer that they're on the same side and tells her to let him know if she needs anything. Once Odell leaves, Jennifer plays the video of Jeff and Lynn saying that they're home as a precaution and will be home soon.

Lala and the others drive to where Rayvon and several of his men are gathered. He tells Rayvon that it's time for him and others to start over, and they're going to provide drugs to the soldiers. Rayvon tells him that Sinzell is back and running protection, and he has guns behind him. Lala says that they're taking it, absorbs Stone Killer and the others into his body, and tells Rayvon not to worry about it.

Blackbird is feeding the refugees, and tells Anaya that she doesn't want to bring trouble down on the Perdi. Anaya says that the Perdi need to help themselves, and Blackbird points out that Anaya took her money. When Thierry wonders if she's threatening them, Blackbird says that she is and grabs him by the neck. The other Perdi aim guns at her, and Blackbird drops Perdi. She disarms and knocks down one man, and Anaya says that she's worse than the Sanje.

Bill drives to the police station and finds a soldier outside. The soldier is Gambi, using a holographic face disguise. Bill has him get into the car, and Gambi tells Bill he needs a comm drive to get through the firewall. He explains that Anissa is outside the perimeter, and the ASA will capture her if she tries to come in. Gambi wants the comm drive to get her back into Freeland, but Bill says that he swore an oath and has a family. The tailor insists that Bill is the only one who can help Anissa, and Bill considers.

Lynn examines Maryam, who tells the doctor that she's dying. The older woman insists that she'll help her, and asks what else Maryam has lost besides her hair and fingernails. Maryam says that her eyes bleed, and asks what's wrong with her. Lynn explains that they can't stabilize her cells if she doesn't use her powers. The damage to Maryam's cellular structure is already done, but Lynn promises that she won't let Maryam dies.

The disguised Gambi takes Bill to Williams who has set up at the Club 100. The inspector asks where King is, and Gambi moves away to find a comm drive. Williams says that King is in the center, and Bill insists that he needs King to help him keep order. The soldiers escort Bill out, and Gambi grabs a comm drive and slips out the back. He goes to the sanctum and plugs the drive into his computer.

Lala and the gang find black marketeers selling food at exorbitant prices to people. He loudly protests, and Sinzell shows up. Lala tells him that he's taking it all back, and Sinzell guns him down. Sinzell tells his men to move to the next spot, and Lala gets up. The bullets drop out of his body as he heals, and Sinzell runs in terror. Lala turns to the black marketeers, who all salute him.

In East Freeland, Blackbird points out to Anaya and Thierry they have temporary farm hands and they're leaving at sunset. One meta uses her powers to grow plants, and Anaya says that they might work something out but they'll never trust Blackbird again. Gambi contacts Blackbird and says that he can bring her back into Freeland. He warns that the Markovian Special Forces are patrolling the perimeter doing pre-invasion recon, and they're near the farm.

Blackbird goes to take on the Markovians, and Gambi spots a second unit. She takes out both units and Mosin soon learns what has happened. Blackbird moves in on Wolfbane, dodging the patrols with Gambi's help. Mosin realizes that a metahuman is involved and tells his people to initiate Phase 2.

Lynn has Jeff and Maryam test their powers, and Maryam collapses from the use of her powers.

At Garfield, Jennifer looks at photos of Khalil. A boy, Tavon, approaches her and tries to talk. She tells Tavon that she doesn't want company and walks away.

Jamilah does a secret broadcast, reporting how the ASA have pulled people off the street, beaten those who resisted, and implemented checkpoints. The reporter says that the people's symbol is Blackbird, and she wonders where B lack Lightning and Thunder are. A soldier comes over and Jamilah runs.

At the center, The Voice confirms that Khalil's new software implants are working. Odell gives the programmed metahuman an implanted classical education, and Odell tells him to terminate his mother Nichelle with prejudice. Williams tells Odell that he believes it unwise to send Painkiller after the particular target, and Odell insists that the brain chip is working. If it lets them use Khalil to kill Nichelle, then it proves that the brain chip will let them program humans and metas.

Jeff visits Maryam in the infirmary and asks if she's okay. She says that she isn't, and Jeff shorts out the surveillance cameras so they can talk privately. Maryam realizes that he has powers like Black Lightning's, and tells Jeff that she's seen other metas and the ASA make them fight. She knows another girl whose fingers and toe fell off. Jeff asks her if she's seen Tobias, and Maryam hasn't. He tells Maryam to get some rest and leaves.

Odell checks in with Lynn and asks her about a spike in Jeff's neuron activity that corresponds with an energy flux in the lab. Jeff is in their niche and he sees and hears them talking. Lynn dismisses the energy flux as nothing, and Odell notes that they're detecting the same energy flux now.

Later, Lynn returns to the niche and thanks Jeff for helping her with Maryam. Jeff says that he checked on the girl and says that the ASA are having meta fight each other. Lynn warns that Maryam could get in trouble and Jeff is using her. Jeff tells his wife that he's only asking questions that Lynn should be asking, and Lynn says that he's making it into something that he's not. Her husband figures that Odell has convinced her to help him as long as he gives her lab time, and Jeff accuses her of telling Odell how powers work. Lynn tells Jeff that he should trust her.

Khalil goes home and Nichelle hugs him. He stands there, staring at her, then confirms her name. Nichelle realizes that he doesn't know her, and he says that he doesn't need to. Khalil breaks her neck and drops her body to the floor, then walks away.

The next day at Garfield, Jennifer breaks up two students fighting. She says that they don't have to act like animals. One of them says that she's next, and she tells him it isn't a problem that he wants. The student grabs her purse from him, and Jennifer knocks him to the floor. His friends join in and Jennifer fights them off using her powers. The students cheer her, and Jennifer tells them to stop. She figures that they're all different and so is she.

Written by Gadfly on Oct 15, 2019

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