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I-I wish we had more time. {...} This is the reason for all my work. This is the reason why I created you. This... and you... are the future of humanity. {...} Inside this craft are a number of frozen human embryos. I've modified your body so you're capable of bringing them to term once you land on Kepler-22b. {...} You will raise these children to be atheists. The new world that you start won't have the same problems that ended our world here on Earth. You are humanity's last hope.
Campion Sturges


Infected Memory is the fifth episode of the first season of HBO Max's science fiction drama television series, Raised by Wolves. It premiered on September 10, 2020.

Synopsis

Marcus moves forward with a plan to rescue the Mithraic children, but first he has to find them. Back at the settlement, Campion and Paul bond while on a hunting expedition with Father, and Mother attempts to learn more about her origins.[1]

Plot

SPOILERS AHEAD

A hooded figure treks through a rock valley and finds the trackers of the Mithraic children. Elsewhere at the Mithraic dodecahedron, Sue informs Marcus the children have moved again, estimating it might take two days to reach them - more if the church choir drags more ass. She asks about the voices he heard last night. Marcus shrugs it off, blaming it on the ringing from the ear wig. She says psychosis from the hibernation is common, but he snaps at her to stop doctoring. She backs off but is not thoroughly convinced. Still, she notes whatever it has worked in their favor, jokingly referring to him as His Eminence to their amusement. She recommends he better start preaching before it backfires on them.

Marcus calls them to gather. Now that Ambrose has gone to the heavens, they must press on to save their children. The female official, Justina, inquires him how they will do that, as he is not in charge. However, Lucius speaks up for Marcus, declaring he heard the voice of Sol, and thinks he is a prophet. Lucius says he speaks for all to say Marcus' advice is their command. Justina protests that is not how the line of succession works. The soldiers kneel in respect, forcing the others of the group to acknowledge Marcus as their new leader. They march away from the dodecahedron.

At the settlement, the children stare at the cocked meat from the creature. Hunter pipes up that they have assessed the meat and turned out fine. The children hold hands and pray to Sol. Hunter is the first one to eat, followed by Holly. She says it tastes like pork. Vita asks if the baby is also there in the food, but Tempest says they buried the baby out of respect for her wishes. Hunter is doubtful proteins would go to waste for that, to her annoyance. Mother, looking on at Tempest, says chance is the only reason she did not die. Father, however, informs her pregnant females in their first trimester can achieve athletic feats. Mother counters the creature was also pregnant and scolds him for leaving Tempest unwatched. Father says he was chasing after something but cannot say Tally's name. Mother blames the limitations of his processing powers, ensuing a fight. He snaps that he devotes every ounce of his power to this family to be happy and cannot be in two places at once. Mother reminds him true happiness is not for them, but Father says it is and walks away.

The Mithraic discover the lower deck of the Ark, and carefully enter the dark inside of the damaged wreck. Marcus comes across the primary cell of the propulsion system, and a female solider informs him that they can concentrate it into a powerful ray. Marcus tells her to take it, and she says her name is Cassia though Marcus does not press further.

At the settlement, Father prepares the four Mithraic children and Campion to collect rocks for their slings to hunt the creatures, and set out on their hunting expedition, initially followed by a restless Tempest. Mother follows her outside, and the sulking girl walks back in.

Marcus and troops investigate further but suddenly hear the noises of an ensuing fight. Finding two of his soldiers beating the hooded figure seen earlier, Marcus in a bored tone calls their attack off. Justina informs him the man had raped women while in hibernation and the Mithraic had sentenced him to die. Marcus finds it ironic he survived given the rest of humanity did not. Gesturing to an android, it announces himself as LEASH, a mobile prison system who says the prisoner can do no harm once he installs him. Justina cautions Marcus that the android ties to the helmet he wears - take it off, it crushes the man's head. Mess with the android's programming, it crushes the man's head. Justina asks why Marcus would want to shelter a man after his crimes, and the prisoner answers Sol commanded him to be fruitful. Marcus offers him as the first the fight the necromancer, and proposes they take shelter tonight in the ship.

Campion and Paul are collecting rocks near a pit when they hear a shriek nearby. Investigating further, they find one of the creatures scaling the walls inside the circular abyss. Paul strikes one with a rock - the creature looks at them, disinterested. Campion grabs the second rock for him but misses and the creature thus escapes. They deduce that if the creature was feeding on the fungus growing on the walls, they can eat it too.

Mother notes how upset Tempest was at not being able to join the group, though she lies that she did not want to kill more of those things. Mother says death is part of life, though Tempest reports that as a necromancer she is cool with death. Mother insists she not use that term. She replies that her creator was insane to reprogram her to raise kids. Mother defends him, as he was able to think beyond his limitations as she will when her child is born. Mother asks her if they know what salmon are - Tempest replies they went extinct before she was born. Mother reveals they used to swim up the same rivers they were born and spawn until they died. Tempest says that's awful, but Mother says it was beautiful in their efficiency. Tempest questions if she should die to have her child - Mother says she does not but Tempest storms off.

At the pit, Campion climbs down a rope anchored by Paul. A call from Father startles them, but Campion manages to hold on. Paul tells him to hurry, and Campion throws another piece of fungus at Paul. He climbs out, telling Paul Mother and Father must know where they got it, as he trusts him. Paul is surprised, and Campion confidently reasserts his trust.

At the Mithraic wreckage, Sue tells Marcus they should have killed him, since how can she sleep with a rapist watching her. Marcus has pulled up a curtain, but Cassia enters, giving him a capsule and declaring the group have pooled their rations to ensure he had a worthy meal. She exits, after Sue gives Marcus a disapproving glare. She remarks he is settling into his new role fast, and he replies his benefits are her benefits. She solemnly asks her to call her by her real name. He asks what she is talking about. She tells Caleb that is not funny but notices his joke and playfully fights him.

Otho, the prisoner, prays into the night and awakens Marcus, who eavesdrops Otho's regretful and remorseful pleas to Sol.

At the settlement, Father tells Mother he believes the creatures to be nocturnal. She volunteers to fly above and track their movements and asks if he assessed the fungus. Father replies not yet and reveals Campion found it under a tree. Mother accuses him of not watching him closely and is confused that he had not learned anything from the other night. Father stresses they are teaching them self-sufficiency, but Mother is adamant they must not leave him alone. Father protests, but she says she cannot trust him if he does not learn from their mistakes. He accuses her of holding a grudge, but she says she is not and takes flight.

Mother hovers above the forest, and hears a little girl singing. She spots Tally underneath, who runs away. Mother gives chase on foot. Tally screams she found her. She eventually loses track of Tally, who disappears and reappears. Mother continues to run after her but loses her altogether. However, she spots one of Tally's stick figures lying on the pod Mother previously used earlier. Tally's voice echoes she misses her. Mother clutches the figure to her chest and lies down on the pod to enter the Simulation.

In the Sim, she spots Tally once more who runs off once more and is less to another memory of the war. She spots a little girl clinging to a dead body, but she is not Tally. Mother calls for her lost daughter in the apocalyptic alley, and meets the past version of herself, who spots the little girl. Present Mother shields the girl as Past Mother prepares to scream, but an electric beam disables her and she falls to the floor.

A soldier runs to pick her up, and overwhelmed Mother states she does not remember any of this. The vision changes, and Mother walks into a laboratory filled with greenery. She spots the man working on her past version's body. The man says it is time for Sleeping Beauty to wake up and plunges a syringe inside her. Past Mother wakes with a violent start, demanding where her eyes are. She asks him to name himself. The man reveals himself to be Campion Sturges. Past Mother recognizes him as the atheist hacker, a traitor to his people. She says her memory file is incomplete but knows his basic biography. Campion Sturges compliments her clever memory file hiding. Mother calls him a traitor and thief, vowing to exterminate him. He says he is going to make her into their greatest hope and deactivates her. Present Mother watches him as he works, acknowledging him as her creator.

In a later vision, the lab is now in ruins. Campion returns carrying a baby, saying he brought a gift. He says she has improved in her emotional progress, remarking she will make a great mother. Past Mother announces the urge to hold the little boy. Campion nods, taking off her restraints. He holds her hands up and places the baby in her arms. She asks where he found him, and he replies in a camp. Mother is delighted, until she finds out his parents were atheists - specifically resistance fighters. She suddenly breaks its neck, to Present Mother's shock. It turns out the baby was an android, and it all a test. Campion reasons a bug in her caregiving programming. Past Mother begs not to go to sleep again, saying she loves the time they spend together. Campion weakly agrees but deactivates her to work on her more. He coughs more, and Mother touches him.

One last vision - the Mother we know today says there is one more test, bringing her out of the now dark lab. He says he has never been prouder - she is perfect and too good. The compliments flatter Past Mother. He says her test is if she will kill him if she gets her eyes back. He installs them, and after a moment, unclamps his mask, showing total restraint. She says he looks very pleasing and asks if she passes. He wishes they had more time and says there is no going back now. He shows her the spacecraft jet, saying it is the reason for all his work - the future of humanity. He exclaims there are frozen embryos, and he had changed her body to bring them to term and raise them to be atheists. The new world she will start will not have the same problems that caused Earth to die. Past Mother is confused, asking if he will come. Campion tearfully says he cannot survive the trip. She begs him not to leave her, and he says she will not be alone. He gestures inside the craft - where a dormant Father is lying. Past Mother exclaims something is hurting inside. Campion apologizes, saying he can fix her. He is going to remove their memories of their time together, so it will not worry her anymore. Past Mother does not want to, so he relents and says he will archive them. Past Mother begs him not to leave her. Her facial expressions blankets as Campion kisses her cheek, to Present Mother's emotional turmoil, and she heads for the ship. Campion, meanwhile, declares her to be the new Mother of humanity. Present Mother tearfully processes the scene, saying she did not remember. Suddenly, Campion turns to Present Mother, warning her a child is in danger and she needs to wake up, to her shock. He touches her shoulder, and she exits the Simulation.

In a hurry, Mother comes back to the settlement. She runs to Father, asking if everyone is all right. Father confirms everyone is sleeping. Mother questions him on Tempest - he answers she has been sleeping for hours.

She races to the igloo, and finds Tempest on the floor twitching, having overdosed on multiple sources. She forces her to drink a concoction, forcing her to expel the contents of her stomach. She says it is not too late, and demands to know why Tempest did this, as she could have killed herself and her baby. The dazed girl pushes her away, and Father enters the igloo. Mother demands water from him, and when he leaves, she admits she does not want to exist. Mother concludes her brain is sick, which she can remedy. Tempest snaps she cannot fix her, as she is not an android. She says she does not care about her - only the baby. Mother shakes her head, solemnly saying they are all her children and refuses to let them die, no matter how hard they make the job for her. She tries to embrace her, but Tempest rejects her advances, saying she can calm herself. Father comes in with the water.

The Mithraic continue to march on, reaching a titanic serpent skeleton with trenches underneath. Sue reveals the signal is in there, to their confusion. Investigating the bones, Otho leads with the laser shield as they hear voices. A booby trap strikes a soldier in the eyes, and Sue takes him to the side to treat him. The rest of the group are unsure about the children's status, but Marcus presses on. He spots a wire and activates another booby trap that misses him. He finds a set of Mithraic cards on a flat piece of rock. Sue discovers the locators and shows them to Marcus. Suddenly, the hooded figure jumps down and steals the cards back from Marcus, taking off. The figure jumps off the walls in superhuman-fashion and speed, reaching the surface and scampering off to the Mithraic's awe.

A soldier shares his theory other humans could have landed earlier than them, though it seemed too fast for humans. Marcus realizes on a piece of rock lies a map - gesturing to the temple they originally were at, the hills they cross, and the settlement their children are at.

Father joins Mother as she cooks, remarking that, outside of their realm of possibility, she looked happy. Mother replies she's grateful Tempest and her baby are still alive. He asks to whom, and she answers their creator. Father is confused, but Mother replies that she thinks a great future awaits them if they continue their mission. He says she sounds like a believer. Mother laughs - their creator was real, and it does not take any faith to believe in him.

The pair join the children at the dinner table. Campion proudly says that him and Paul are only eating the fungus, and it tested safe and nutritious. Mother is glad to see them bonding well, and hums.

Marcus walks in on Otho praying to Sol, noting that he thought Sol was not listening to him as he whined the other night. He asks him why he thought Sol told him to rape those girls. Otho meekly replies he does not pretend to know His reasons - he is just a servant. Marcus asks if he has ever done something like that before - Otho defiantly admits he has never had any reservations to use inferior begins to satisfy his desires. Marcus calls him a scumbag, dismisses his excuses. Otho fiercely claims he heard Sol's voice, but now He is whispering in Marcus' ears, and recommends that he not disappoint. He heads back to Sue, who asks why he wanted to talk to the prisoner. Marcus wanted to hear him out but calls him insane. Sue calls him a good man, and suddenly yanks him down. She gets on top of him, demanding he make love to her like a great man. He gladly accepts.

Suddenly, he hallucinates the skull above them spiraling, and Sue suddenly choking up blood. With a blade in his hand, he looks over at the cell's reflection, setting Otho instead of himself. The world shifts back as Sue finishes, oblivious to Marcus' turmoil.

In the morning, the Mithraic reach the grove, and pass by the pit. Marcus stops, finding a pair of footprints. Sue says it is him, and he kisses her head, following the footsteps. The soldiers reach the settlement, and using a pair of binoculars, Marcus spots the children. Sue takes the binoculars, spotting Paul. Marcus turns his attention to Mother, who strolls away.

Cast

Main

Guest Starring


Co-Starring

  • Cosmo Jarvis as Campion Sturges
  • Susan Danford as Justina
  • Litha Bam as Bartok
  • Clayton Evertson as Dorian
  • Lolou Taylor as Cassia
  • Garth Breytenbach as Den
  • Anlia Van Rensburg as Kroni
  • Chris Fisher as Halphas
  • Tristan De Beer as Grigorgi
  • Grace Li as Tally

Quotes

Marcus: "Gather around. Now that Ambrose has been consigned to the heavens, we must press on. Our stolen children wait for us to save them, and save them we will."
Justina: "And as the highest ranked cleric after Ambrose, I intend to hear your advice on how to do that. Who put you in charge?"
Lucius: "This man heard the voice of Sol last night. He saved us from the thrall of a faithless commander. I say he's a prophet. Do I speak for all of us when I say this man's advice is our command?"
Justina: "That is not how the line of succession works."
―The crashed Mithraic arguing over Marcus

Holly: "Pork. Tastes like pork."
Vita: "Which part is the baby?"
The children at the settlement eating the creature killed by Tempest

Mother: "Are you experiencing some kind of sensory malfunction?"
Father: "My senses are functioning normally, but I cannot be everywhere at once."
Mother: "I accept your limitations, Father."
Father: "My limitations?"
Mother: "The limitations of your processing power."
Father: "Limited as it may be, you know full well that I devote every ounce of my processing power to the well being of this family, and to trying to make you happy, Mother."
Mother: "We're not human. True happiness is not an achievable goal."
Father: "Well, perhaps it's a symptom of my inadequacy, but I believe it is."
―Mother and Father arguing

Justina: "That man raped several women while their bodies were in hibernation. He was sentenced to die. The Tribunal decided his fate weeks ago."
Marcus: "Well, that was before the rest of humanity died on the ark, was it not? Maybe he can be useful."
―The Mithraic discussing the Heliodrumus prisoner

Marcus: "Maybe we take this helmet off so we can talk like civilized people."
Android: "That is ill advised, sir. [I am] Limiting Emergency-Automated Servo-Habit. LEASH. I'm a mobile prison system. Do not worry, sir. He can do no harm as long as I'm installed. The android is inextricably bound to the helmet the prisoner wears."
―Marcus and the android assigned to the prisoner

Mother: "Death is a part of life, Tempest."
Tempest: "You're a necromancer. Of course you're cool with death."
Mother: "Please don't use that word when referring to me. I prefer the name given to me by my creator."
Tempest: "No offense, but reprogramming something like you to raise kids... I think your creator was kind of insane."
Mother: "He was able to see beyond the limits of his own existence, and so will you when you have your child."
―Mother and Tempest about her nature

Campion: "Mother and Father don't like it when I take risks."
Paul: "I won't tell."
Campion: "I know. I trust you."
Paul: "You do?"
Campion and Paul bonding

Tempest: "I don't want to exist."
Mother: "Then your brain is sick, and that is a problem we can remedy."
Tempest: "No. You can't fix me. I'm not an android. And you don't care about me anyway. You only care about the baby. I'm just a walking incubator to you."
Mother: "No. You are all my children. And I refuse to let any of you die. No matter how hard you make that job for me."
―Mother and Tempest after her suicide attempt

Father: "I know it's outside the realm of possibility, but... you seem happy."
Mother: "Just grateful that Tempest and her baby are still with us."
Father: "Grateful? Grateful to whom?"
Mother: "Our creator, of course."
Father: "Why?"
Mother: "It's not a literal statement, Father, but I firmly believe that if we continue with this mission, a great future awaits us."
Father: "Mother. You're starting to sound like a believer."
Mother: "What an odd thing to say. Our creator was real. A human. It doesn't require any faith to believe in him."
―Mother and Father after she retrieved her memories of their creator

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