COUNTER/Weight 32: Through The Crosshairs

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

Now that they've secured their entrance into The September Institute, The Chime has one last thing to do before investigating the campus: making sure their two newest bells are safe. The storm stays steady as night falls on September, is searching for Orth and Jacqui really worth the risk...? Of course it is! Cassander relies on his tech, AuDy makes themselves a target, Mako is reminded of a very bad day and Aria tries her best to help.

This time on COUNTER/Weight: Through The Crosshairs

Remember to pull the trigger!

Opening[edit | edit source]

"You move like a soldier. You a soldier?"

She asked a lot of questions but Orth answered only in short, noncommittal grunts. In his spectrum of modes, stuttering appeaser on one end and a sharp monosyllabic fire iron on the other, Orth had wound up somewhere right in the middle.

A light rain had started but that didn't dissuade Ms. Green from prodding away at him. "So where are we going exactly?"

He'd never been to September before, but he'd heard rumours: somewhere surreal, a floral quarry, the unification of the physical and the digital, a real worker's paradise in an empire devoted to the pastiche of the thing. Others were horrific: noises in the dark; wet, grey, soft laboratories; the sort of special ops programs that could drive a man to disappear himself.

"How well do you know AuDy and them? You guys seem pretty close."

He stopped and turned around with a sigh, ready to let Jacqui down with a well-placed look, but he saw something strange in her face. The rapid questions had led him to expect a sort of childlike inquisitiveness, a big grin, teasing eyes, but that’s not where she was, he realised.

"I mean, like, do you trust them?"

And suddenly it hit Orth too, how deeply they'd been dragged in, that they were on September with no backup and they were doing a job for Ibex who, as far as Orth could tell, was halfway to becoming a puppet for a very powerful computer devoted to being a bit of a prick. The rain sped to a torrent's pace and Orth's breathing followed suit. One breath, then another, then a number more, and Orth's face slowly came to match Jacqui's. What the hell were they doing?

And then suddenly, mixed in with the hard slaps of thick rain against the pavement, feet running in what could only be paramilitary step. Orth's breathing relaxes and he nods to her as he reaches into his jacket, producing his old service revolver. "Yeah, that's right. I'm a soldier."

And then Orth added a new syncopation to the rain and the tactical march, a black powder rhythm that he'd forgotten he knew how to play.

Plot[edit | edit source]

AuDy search Liberty and Discovery’s database for information on the Tzadik unit, but can’t get access to the conversation where they discussed it with Ibex. Thinking back on punching Ibex, Mako realizes he has strength-enhancing muscle grafts that have, for some reason, only kicked in as they approached September.

The Chime heads to the library, which is where Orth and Jacqui are supposed to have gone first, near where they first entered the city. Cass spots a sniper aiming at Mako, and tries to fire first, but with their Rigalia broken, misses. Mako is hit, and panics as Aria tries to get him under cover. AuDy purposefully draws the fire of the sniper away. Cass rushes through the residential building the sniper is perched on and up to the roof, throwing a flashbang. The sniper shoots back, catching them in the shoulder, and as she makes her escape, is revealed to be the receptionist they met earlier.

Aria manages to get Mako under cover now and does what she can to treat him without first aid equipment. AuDy takes the sniper rifle from the roof. The Chime cuts through a park and AuDy hides the sniper rifle under a car before they enter the campus.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Other Characters[edit | edit source]