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Stay with the Dead
Space: Above and Beyond, episode 10 (1.10)
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2006 13:30:03
Nathan is medavac-ed to the Saratoga, badly wounded after a fierce battle against the aliens which has apparently taken the lives of his comrades. As Nathan recovers, his memory returns. He then begins putting together the sequence of events leading to his evacuation, which reveal that the 58th is still alive. Nathan and McQueen then undertake a massive operation to rescue the 58th who still cling to hope while fending off superior enemy forces.
Nathan West is wheeled into an emergency room on the Saratoga, bleeding and clinging to life... and we learn from a nurse that the rest of the 58th Squadron, his friends, are dead.
McQueen sits beside Nathan, laid up and unconscious. Nathan wakes up and asks what happened to the 58th? McQueen gently tells Nathan that he knows what happened to them. Nathan can't remember... In his hospital bed, in a state of delirium, Nathan experiences a FLASHBACK to the past when he and the rest of the 58th - Damphousse, Wang, Vansen, Hawkes and few others - are sitting down on the planet CER to medavac (Red Cross rescue) the 61st Division. The planet has highly-charged ionized atmosphere which makes it prone to many random lightning strikes! The 58th follow their orders and under Vansen's leadership look for survivors. Cooper finds one - Delgado of the 61st. The 58th move to help, but he's been booby-trapped by the Chigs - Delgado explodes! Nathan wakes up with a start! McQueen, who's been holding vigil, holds him down. He gently, and firmly, reassures him that the 58th are all dead. Nathan shakes his head. "No," he can't believe his friends are gone. Later that night, Nathan hears "Taps" coming from a faraway section of the Saratoga. As a twenty-one gun salute is held for the 58th, Nathan watches in agony as their caskets are jettisoned into space.
McQueen sits at the foot of Nathan's hospital bed, trying to cheer him up. Nathan reveals that he keeps hearing a voice over and over... "Stay with the dead. Stay with the dead. Stay with the dead." McQueen tells Nathan that he has to try to move on with his life and forget about the 58th, as it's the only way to maintain sanity. Later that evening, Nathan has another violent flashback, which throws him into a convulsive state. Dr. Kanellos, the physician who has been caring for Nathan, grows concerned with the future of Nathan's mental health. He recommends to McQueen that Nathan undergo Electroconvulsive Therapy to erase his long term memory. When McQueen fears Nathan might not ever remember his own family again, Dr. Kanellos worries he might commit suicide if they don't go through with the procedure. In a last ditch effort to restore Nathan's sanity, McQueen plays Nathan a recording from the Saratoga Transmission Communications Log. In the recording, Nathan calls the Saratoga for help and says that everyone is dead. He's the only one alive. Nathan screams, "It's not true!" He twists and struggles in bed, knocking things over...the nurses have to restrain him.
Nathan lies awake in bed, staring at the ceiling. He crawls out and hobbles down the hall until he reaches the 58th bunkroom. He looks around sadly at everyone's personal belongings until an unknown lieutenant enters and begins removing the 58th's personal belongings - stuffing it all into manila envelopes. Nathan tries to hide but is discovered! Nathan collapses to the ground! As the lieutenant tries to help him, Nathan has another FLASHBACK to the planet CER. Nathan and the rest of the 58th stumble upon Hatfield from the 61st. He's conscious but he's been booby-trapped by the Chigs. The charge is motion-sensitive so rescue is impossible. He pleads with the 58th to please shoot him and take him out of his misery. The 58th argue amongst themselves over whether or not Marines should kill other Marines. In a horrible moment, Hatfield tells everyone to get back and detonates the bomb himself. As the orderlies begin to prep Nathan for surgery, he continues to FLASHBACK. The 58th determine that the Chigs have been intercepting their frequencies, because when the humans call for help, the Aliens triangulate and ambush. That means they're cut-off from the Saratoga. The orderlies continue to prep Nathan - shaving his head, attaching electrodes to his cranium - readying him for the Electroconvulsive Therapy. In the FLASHBACK, the 58th decide to play by the Aliens' rules. "They ambush our Red Cross," Shane says, "Booby-trap our wounded...I say we give it back to them - eye for an eye." They decide to put the bodies of the 61st in their uniforms, make a distress call, and then cover the perimeter with motion-sensory Claymore mines. Ambush the ambush, as it were. Nathan volunteers to be bait along with the 61st. He stays with the 61st and makes a false distress call - the same one McQueen played for him earlier. The call that says he's the only one left alive. But as the Aliens advance on Nathan's position, one of the Claymore mines EXPLODES too close to Nathan! He's knocked out cold with the dead bodies! Nathan awakens from his flashback in a tub of blue restraining gel - a 21st century straitjacket. He screams out, "The tape...it was a trick...SOMEBODY!" No one heeds his cries.
Nathan is now ready for the Electroconvulsive Surgery that will erase his long term memory. Colonel McQueen stands over him. Nathan tries to get McQueen to listen to him - the tape was a trick. McQueen tells him not to worry, as it will be over soon. Just before surgery, Nathan has another FLASHBACK. He sees Shane telling him to stay with the dead, stay with the dead. Nathan awakens, summons all of his strength, fights the anesthetic. He asks McQueen what matters to him (Nathan) most in the world. McQueen answers "Kylen," Nathan's fiancee. Nathan answers, "If you asked me whether she's alive, I'll tell you...I don't know - but I have faith. The 58th? I know they're alive. Now I'm asking you to have faith." McQueen has to make a choice. Back on the planet CER, the 58th have fallen back to supplementary positions - hoping for rescue. They receive an extraction signal but can't be sure it's real until they hear "Stay with the dead" repeated over and over. It's Nathan! Back on the Saratoga, the 58th thank Nathan for remembering them. He tells them how much he cares for them. We close the story with another burial at space, this time with the correct names on the caskets...
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