‘Beacon 23’ takes place in the future at a time when humans have unlocked the secrets of traversing the universe and come into contact with plenty of sentient and non-sentient species. The thing with humans is that they easily make friendships with animals, even the ones of alien kind. This leads us to the protagonist of today’s post, Cricket. Let’s see everything there is to know about this bizarre animal.
Editor’s Note: This post contains massive spoilers for the upcoming show ‘Beacon 23’ and the source material, read at your own risk.
How did Digger come across Cricket?
The story of how Cricket ended up in Digger’s care is tragic as much as it had a happy ending. Cricket was in the possession of Bounty Hunter under the name Mitch O’Shea, who came looking for a runaway fugitive on Beacon 23 due to the location’s isolated spot in the universe.
As soon as Mitch stepped away from the ship, a huge animal started trailing close behind him, and he introduced her as Cricket.
The runaway fugitive turned out to be Mitch’s old flame Scarlett, someone who he used to know from his days in the war, and she actually used Mitch’s ship to reach Beacon 23 and hid there, with Mitch having absolutely no idea of what transpired. Mitch was soon joined by two other bounty hunters. Vladimir Bostokov and an unnamed female bounty hunter stayed silent throughout the whole ordeal.
Scarlett managed to talk Digger into helping her out, but this violated several federal laws, and during her escape, Digger’s attempted escape from his beacon operating duties suddenly turned violent. Mitch was forced to attack them, and the fight turned physical, with Digger being forced to turn off gravity in the Beacon, knowing that Mitch was unused to such an environment.
The fight soon moved to Mitch’s ship, which did have gravity, and he threw a grease at Digger, but the grenade malfunctioned and exploded near Mitch, killing him instantly.
It was only after Mitch was dead and Scarlett was taken down by the unnamed bounty hunter that Digger noticed Cricket, Mitch’s animal, licking a protein pack, seemingly unaffected by everything that transpired.
Cricket is a Warthen & they are empaths
Digger and Mitch described Cricket as belonging to a species of aline animals called Warthens. Warthnes have the tendency to be highly aggressive, and they are quite large, with Cricket being described as weighing 50 kilograms or 110 lbs.
Cricket was also described as being a cross between labrador and leopard, which means that the whole species is predatory and they function more or less as cats native to Earth.
One unusual feature of Warthens is the fact that they are empaths; Cricket would follow Digger around; she could sense when he was having dark thoughts and often growled at him to stop him in his tracks.
She also hated when Digger put himself in dangerous situations, and she could often sense intentions when something shady was about to take place.
She was a highly valued animal, and I can honestly see why the bounty hunter had her as his assistant. Warthnes are not only mighty beasts with considerable physical stress, but Mitch most likely used Cricket to read the intentions of his suspects and to figure out whether they were hiding something.
Digger wanted to find out more about the Warthens in general, but he was afraid of NASA figuring out that he was hiding something, so he kind of guessed most things about this strange species based on his observations.
All in all, Cricket was, for the majority of the book, the closest thing Digger had to real company unless you count Rocky, who turned out to be a hallucination.
What happened to Cricket?
Obviously, NASA didn’t allow pets at Beacons because exotic alien animals can be carriers of several dangerous pathogens and diseases, so Digger was often stressing about the fact that NASA was about to discover that he was using up 50 % more provisions and emitting 50 % more CO2 than ordinary.
But luckily, NASA never figured it out or didn’t really care in any case. Cricket spends most of his days with Digger, and when Beacon 23 and Beacon 1529 are attacked by the Ryph ships, Cricket manages to evacuate along with Claire. They escape via a lifeboat to a nearby asteroid, where they can hide from the incoming Ryph fleet and wait for help.
What’s interesting is that Cricket couldn’t figure out what Digger was planning because he seemingly learned how to hide thoughts from her.
When both Cricket and Claire were captured by the Ryph army, they went unharmed, with Cricket providing minimal resistance to her captors. She survived the events of the book.
She ultimately found herself on Earth, in her new home, the lighthouse that Digger was remodeling. She is mentioned toward the end of the book, along with the fact that Claire and Digger are expecting a baby boy. We can assume that she spent the rest of her life on Earth.
We don’t know whether Cricket will be featured in the show, but she might be an interesting addition. The animal was never a part of the important plot, but she played a huge part when it comes to Digger’s sanity overall.
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