COUNTER/Weight 39: Just Another Machine

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

As the only clock that really matters ticks further and further down, The Chime find themselves facing one sealed door after another. But do the doors protect something precious or keep something dangerous locked safely away? AuDy makes one final attempt at convincing Maryland that the planet isn't a safe place. Mako finds too-brief refuge in the arms of another. Aria Joie’s investigation into Maritime Lapel leads her to a dark truth about someone close to her. And Cassander Timaeus Beranice walks alone into a large, dark room.

This week on COUNTER/Weight: Just Another Machine

What's the worst mistake you've ever made?

Opening[edit | edit source]

Twenty five months after the September Incident.

It had to be more than a coincidence. A heavy transport of surplus rations re-routed to hungry refugees on Ionias; a rampant defence matrix on Archonic reprogrammed into a mobile laser light show; an assassination attempt on Vox foiled by a synthetic barista being remotely puppeted from halfway across the quadrant. Each event, like the others in recent memory, all shared his flare for the heroic and absurd. And that’s why Addax Dawn and Jamil Quartz-Noble of The Rapid Evening had finally tracked him down, to a Constellation Café on Counterweight.

AUSTIN (sternly, as ADDAX DAWN): Mr. Trig, how have you been?

KEITH (hesitantly, as MAKO TRIG): Err… I’m, like… I’m good… I’m OK.

AUSTIN (lightly, as JAMIL QUARTZ-NOBLE): You’ve been busy, certainly...

MAKO: I’ve just been hanging out, mostly, just doing my thing? Um, just thinking about stuff, doing a lot of thinking.

ADDAX: The thing is; we know what you’re capable of, and what you’re capable of is very impressive. It’s almost…

MAKO: Oh, thank god! Let’s talk about that; alright. I’ve been dying to talk about this, like: I’m really good at this stuff. At the stuff that I do.

JAMIL: We know.

MAKO: Yeah!

JAMIL: And we’d like to help you do more of it… For us.

MAKO: Will you keep telling me that I’m doing a good job?

ADDAX: Well, we’ll see how you do.

MAKO: OK… Alright!

ADDAX: I just... have one question for you. How exactly is it that you are on Archonic and Vox at the same time?

Plot[edit | edit source]

Mako forgets about his intent to find Maritime in favor of dancing with Tower Chalet. Aria uses the Mesh to follow Maritime away from the dance, into a control room, and then into an underground hallway.

Meanwhile, Cass replaces a part on their broken Rigalia, and can temporarily see through walls; they see the other Mesh views of the area, and something inside the warehouse. AuDy learns from Maxine and Maryland about Voice, the Divine which empowers everyone in Mode City. They again try to convince Maryland of the dangers of Rigour, but she remains unphased. The Chime decide to just leave her and focus on Rigour.

When Aria catches up to her, Maritime is surprised that Aria is a real person, and explains she’s trying to investigate something she saw. Mako joins them just as Maritime looks inside the final door and flees, crying. They see a huge room filled with vats of blue liquid, filled with many Maritime Lapels, Mako Trigs, and, in the center, Maryland September. Mako realizes that he and Maritime are experimental variations on Maryland’s genetic code. It’s hard to know how many clones there have been, or how long this has been happening. Maritime screams outside: there are countless echoes of her in the Mesh running from the room and being shot in the back. Mako follows the one that managed to escape.

Cass slips into the warehouse alone. Inside, covered, is Apokine, the first Apostolosian mech, and it resonates with the collective minds of its people, and with the Mesh. Maryland rushes in, but doesn’t stop them from connecting to the machine.

Maritime always dies on prom night, but one Maritime managed to escape into the city before she was killed, and that’s the one whose death was in the news. Much of the September Institute is an experiment on stratus abilities, and many people here aren't real (though Tower and Maxine are). Mako was let go as a different kind of experiment. Larry helps use the Mesh to move the clone tanks out. In the sky, ships are visible as the storm revives. The illusions blanketing Mode City begin to break as Rigour rises from the quarry to the north.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Other Characters[edit | edit source]