Quantum and May-What's-The-Weather wake up in some prison camp that might, I say might, be harkening back to the Japanese-American internment camps of WWII. I'm not entirely certain, because an anvil the size of either Fat Man or Little Boy was obstructing my ear canal. They play getting to know you games with the similarly-imprisoned Suliban and learn a valuable "Don't judge an alien by his spots, ridges, or number of orifices" lesson. Al shows up sans Ziggy, but still carries that infernal handheld device that tells him everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
The Ultimate of Props to Niki for all she's done this week to keep everything smooth and functional, despite the efforts of some of the Element. ["Aww, thanks, keckler!" -- Niki]
A cell. May-What's-My-Line groggily wakes up on his very thin mattress and spies a prone Quantum next to him, still down for the count. He lurches to his feet and opens the door. Opens the door? "What kind of prison is this?" you might ask, but I don't want to spoil the anvil-smurfy surprise, so get yourself all Guns 'n' Roses and hope for a little "Patience." Where was I? Axl Rose? No, that can't be right. Wait, May-butt opens the door, steps into a corridor and sees some (gasp!) Suliban ambling by.
I've got a little "Patience" in my head to drown out all the faiths and most of the hearts. But it'll take beer, cold beer to take care of the rest.
May-Why-God-Why dodges some J. Jill-attired Suliban and creeps along the corridor. He sees a whole host of Suliban congregating in a common area, mugs a horrified look, and dashes back to his warm cell. His Captain is just scrounging the sleep boogers from his eyes. Quantum asks him how many Suliban he saw and May-Why-Do-Birds-Suddenly-Appear tells him thirty but thinks there must be more since the place they're in is "pretty big." Now that's a talent I've never had. Being able to look at a bunch of objects and just extrapolate a number. I have the same problem with height or distance. Just doesn't mean anything to me until you can take one of those magic TV pens and circle or mark off the things on the screen, in order to count them or tell you which one is doing his own thing. Like on Sesame Street. Okay, Mathra's now telling me "they" call it "the chalkboard" when "they" do it in the NFL. Well, yeah, if you want to get all technical about it. Quantum dislodges a particularly sticky Sleep Booger of Exposition and asks, "Any idea who attacked the shuttle?" Mayweather tells him he didn't "exactly have time to get a good look." Quantum staggers to his feet -- Sleep Booger of Exposition still on his cheek, by the by -- and says that the energy readings they read emanating from behind "that moon" could've been coming from the Apple Core Helix. Quantum boosts Mayweather up so he can have a look out of a crack in their window. Mayweather reports a wall surrounding the area and something that might be a guard tower, but answers in the negative to Quantum's query about seeing any people.
Quantum and Mayweather take a little stroll, run into a Suliban (woman, I think, but it's hard to tell with the androgynous frog caught in her throat) who croaks, "You're the new arrivals." Quantum and Mayweather are a bit surprised they're not being apprehended, but Quantum recovers enough to ask, "Why are we here?" "Why are any of us here?" the Suliban asks. It appears I was wrong, it was not an androgynous frog, it was a Socratic frog. An alarm sounds, a red light flashes, and a bunch of Suliban line up in the corridor. Several military-esque humanoids march through, looking the Suliban up and down, right and left. A Suliban nervously drops his tin cup, but when he bends over to get it, the head military-esque humanoid zaps his hand with an electric nightstick. The Suliban groans and gets back to his feet.