COUNTER/Weight 35: A Knock at the Door

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

Though the rain seems to clear over the September Institute, The Chime move with well-learned caution. Mako Trig walks familiar steps, only to find something very askew. AuDy and Maryland spar, first over the notion of leaving the planet, and then about more... esoteric things. And Aria and Cass find themselves facing the cost of brief, innocent indecision.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: A Knock at the Door

Light showers continuing throughout the day!

Opening[edit | edit source]

An excerpt from These Mundane Gods: A Treatise on the Diasporan Divines in the Golden Era by Dr. Jace Rethal.

Throughout the length of the Orion arm, even the most ambitious academics and hobbyist historians have long accepted that there is no way to know the truth about the so-called Divines that tower over the history of the Automated Diaspora. What were they fundamentally? Tools of labor or war put to the supposed public good? Machine gods worshiped at the most naive of altars? The first true alien life? Or something even less knowable than that?

The answer, I propose, can be found in the work done by Dr. Maryland September and Attar Rose, also known as the Candidate Ibex. This remains a complicated matter. On one hand, their invention laid the foundation for the abuses and tragedies of the late era September Institute. We cannot shrink from this point. But with notes and other materials made recently available, we can now also say that their work has provided the most valuable insight to date about what may be the single most important invention since antiquity. No point is more important than one laid out by Dr. September herself in a private memo sketched soon after Attar Rose left the institute for the final time.

“The Divines,” she wrote, “have always been little more than the shadows of the Automated Diaspora itself. Their metallic bodies the physical infrastructure of the state. Their bright eyes the policy plans that shape the daily lives of Diasporic citizens. Their weapons a reflection of the nation's xenophobic elitism. And their pilots, dressed up in rhetoric, symbolic sacrifices so the average Diasporan dare not take the blame themselves.”

Over just a few months September and Rose sought to invert this on its head. If there had to be mechanistic deities of democracy, they figured, then the gods themselves should have a voice.

Plot[edit | edit source]

AuDy scrubs through conversations between Ibex in his early days as a candidate and Liberty and Discovery, where he reflected on his relationship with Maryland. They literally play the audio as though they're a speaker. Maryland is unphased. AuDy hears the old conversation come to a close as Ibex speaks to Quentin, and a strange hum is audible.

Aria and Cass have a conversation about weather over coffee before Aria gets ready to leave the cafe. Two Tzadik unit agents who appear in the mesh as school security guards knock down the door. At the same time, Aria finds herself in a House Blueworld uniform and Cass finds themself in a House Whitestar uniform. Cass shoots one of them. The second, however, avoids Aria’s shots and puts a gun to Paisley’s head, telling them to drop their weapons. When they do, he shoots Paisley. Cass chucks a flashbang at the agent, stunning him, and Aria kills him.

Cass uses future medicine to keep Paisley alive, and Aria braves the mesh storm outside to bring him to a hospital. A girl she “knows” through Mesh memories, Maritime Lapel, helps her carry him. She reports to campus security while Aria gets him signed in. Cass goes after AuDy. Along the way they meet their “friend”, Maxine Ming, who shows them a shortcut to the woods.

The campus goes into lockdown due to the shooting. Mako sees Maritime Lapel outside his dorm and looks her up on the mesh, finding out that she died young. He’s very confused. Cass and Maxine keep just ahead of the sniper following them. AuDy and Maryland talk, on her porch, about Divines. When Cass and Maxine arrive, they see that at the cabin it’s still raining; for their part, AuDy can tell that Maxine’s arrival has brought another Divine.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Other Characters[edit | edit source]