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The Zeta Project episode
"Ro's Gift"
Airdate: April 27, 2002
Production Number: 17
Airdate Order: 18
Animation Services by: Sun Min Image Pictures Co., Ltd.
Written by: Hilary J. Bader, Joseph Kuhr
Teleplay by: Joseph Kuhr
Directed by: Rob Davies
Episode images (5)

"Ro's Gift" is the fifth episode of Season 2 of The Zeta Project.

Plot

As Zeta and Ro stop in a suburban town, Ro spies a leather jacket on display and asks her friend how she'd look in it. Zeta misinterprets the question, and morphs into a copy of her wearing the jacket; nonetheless, Ro uses this to confirm her decision to buy it, as the jacket makes her look tough. After giving her the necessary creds to buy it, Zeta waits outside while Ro purchases the jacket.

Before Zeta can change back to his usual disguise, however, a malfunctioning robo harvester goes on the rampage. Zeta quickly takes action, hopping on top of the robot and interfacing with it to shut it down. The rescue is witnessed by a mysterious man and woman. They decide to intercept this miracle child, but Zeta has already changed back to Zee, and the two assume she has disappeared on them. Seeing Ro leave the store to join Zeta, they naturally assume she was the girl they saw; at the woman's orders, the man telepathically links them with their associate, Edgar.

At a barn not far from the town, Edgar plays a game of chess with a boy and girl when he receives their call. The woman informs him of "finding another one" and suggests taking emergency procedures with the "girl who can communicate with machines". The kids try to take advantage of Edgar's momentary distraction by swapping chess pieces, but Edgar sees though their trick and tells them to set them back.

Zeta, trying to understand Ro's claim that clothes can make a person look tough, tries out various different outfits trying to repeat the concept. After watching several failed attempts, Ro tells Zeta she's going out to eat. But outside, the man and woman abduct her, drawing Zeta's attention. While the kidnappers manage to get away, Zeta "bought" a motorbike from whom he thought was its owner and chased after them. When the woman tries halting his advances with an electrical blast, she strikes a milk truck instead, and Zeta is forced to stop and save the driver from crashing. As a consequence, he loses track of the kidnappers.

When the kidnappers arrive at the barn with Ro, they "invite" her into an "exclusive club", not really giving her a choice. They also claim to have seen her communicating with machines, and to reflect on her apparent powers, they nickname her "Relay". As a first task, the Bombshell instructs Ro to fix a broken thermal device with her technopathy. When Ro denies having any such powers, the woman refuses to listen, threatening her should she not comply. Under pressure, Ro is seemingly able to fix the bomb, but this was Transita's doing despite Amp's insistence that they could get in trouble for it. After the adults leave, Transita admits to Ro that she fixed the device, because she had broken the device in the first place.

Back in town, Zeta tries getting help from the police in his "little Zee" persona, but he knows it would cause even more trouble when he sees the office has wanted posters of the Zeta and Ro. He manages to slip away while the sheriff was distracted by his deputy telling him about the milk truck incident.

Back at the barn, the girl introduces herself as Transita, as she could alter states of matter, and the boy as Amp, because he could boost other people's powers. They give her demonstrations of their powers when the adults are away, though Amp is reluctant because they weren't allowed to use their powers without permission. Transita and Amp explain how their families had been tricked into believing they were signing them up for a school to help them with their powers; they remained unaware that they'd never see their children again until it was too late. Ro asks them why they simply didn't use their powers to run away, but they point out that they would always be outnumbered. Ro promises to help them come up with an escape plan.

Zeta tracks down two bikers who helped with kidnapping Ro and adopts the "tough leather jacket" look to his Zee disguise. When he interrogates them on where Ro had been taken, the lead biker refuses to talk until he begins demonstrating how tough he is, finishing off by pinning the biker to the ceiling with his extendable arm.

At the barn, Bombshell explains a radio tower nearby gave off "ultraband radiation" that supposedly increased psychic powers; she believes the tower was what gave "Relay" her "gift". The "club" plans on using the thermal device to overload the tower, bathing the town in ultraband waves to awaken the powers in dozens of potentials. When asked why she simply doesn't use her powers to blow the tower up, she adds that they'd need be far away by the time of detonation. Anyone caught in the waves that doesn't have the potential or already had it tapped would be killed instead.

At this point, Zeta has arrived disguised as the biker he's interrogated, momentarily dropping his disguise to show Ro who he was. When the woman demanded an explanation of what he was doing there and Zeta kept his mouth shut, she turned to Schiz, and asked him to "help Earl find his tongue". To prevent their cover from being blown after Schiz realized he couldn't read Zeta's mind, Ro improvises and pretends to use her "powers" to discover Zeta's deception and shut down his hologram. Upon being "exposed", Zeta attacks the adults on Ro's covert instructions, but he is subdued by Edgar. Ro claims to have read Zeta's mind, learning that he worked for the government. But despite her insistence that they should abort the plan, the woman claims this instead meant they should hurry them along. The group leave Zeta for scrapped.

Upon reaching the tower, Bombshell instructs Ro to shut the security off with her powers. She pretends to do so as Transita melts away the gate to let them through. Upon entering, Bombshell trips the alarm and realizes Ro has tricked her, and she attacks Ro for her treason. But Edgar warns her that they need to finish the job first, so she blasts the alarm to silence it, and they continue as planned. The police, meanwhile, pick up the distress just as Earl had been trying to tell them about the robot's interrogation of him.

Zeta, having survived the assault, arrives just as Amp helps Edgar levitate himself up and place the bomb. The group scrambles as Zeta tries to defuse it, and Bombshell instructs Schiz to watch the kids as she attacks the robot. Despite this, Ro, Transita, and Amp are able to slip past Schiz's sight by tunneling into the Earth. The police arrives at this point, recognizing Zeta from the wanted poster. However, seeing the thermal device in place, they decide to analyze the situation before taking any action.

The kids, meanwhile, help Zeta by getting Edgar stuck in quicksand. Realizing what they are up to, Schiz telepathically searching for them while Bombshell, continues assaulting the synthoid. Transita is able to block one of her attacks by breaking off one of the mini antennas which intercepted her blast as it fell. By this point, Schiz manages to find the kids when he hears them trying to hush each other up. However, this turns out to be a trick; once Schiz contacted Bombshell and Edgar with his powers, Amp overloads them, causing the three to be thrown into a telepathic vortex that knocks them out. Zeta, meanwhile, interfaces with the bomb and deactivates it.

As the adults are taken into custody, the police assure Ro and Zeta that Transita and Amp's parents would be contacted and they said their goodbyes to "Relay". When the deputy asks what do with the fugitives the NSA put up wanted posters for, his sheriff turns a blind eye in return for their saving the town, pretending not to recognize Ro as the girl from the poster because of her leather jacket.

Continuity

Background information

Production inconsistencies

Trivia

  • Edgar Mandragora's and Bombshell's appearances are different from their original look. Whilst Edgar is still an albino, he has a rounder look and different skin color to match the design differences between Batman Beyond and The Zeta Project. Bombshell has a different shape head, and a completely different haircut and hair color.

Cast

Actor Role
Diedrich Bader Zeta / Zee
Julie Nathanson Rosalie "Ro" Rowan
John Rhys-Davies Edgar Mandragora
Jeff Doucette Sheriff
Taylor Gifaldi Amp
Phil Hayes Earl
Kate Jackson Bombshell
Phil LaMarr Schiz
Deputy (uncredited)
Eli Marienthal Young Zee
Francesca Marie Smith Transita

Quotes


Previously produced episode:
"Hunt in the Hub"
Episodes of
The Zeta Project
Next produced episode:
"Quality Time"
Previously aired episode:
"Hunt in the Hub"
Next aired episode:
"Lost and Found"

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