With a lack of airplanes on the planet, the crew and the Sparrow work for the mining people. A strange magnetic fluctuation leads to a small research expedition to a crater on the planet, where a large black obelisk sits embedded in the ground. Rory touches it, and it it sucks all the power out of stuff. It also sends a hugely powerfull signal into space.

The crew learns that combustion engines can be a good thing.

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