This page contains information that is by its nature a spoiler. If you do not wish to know the secrets of the Golden Branch Sector, please turn back.
Chital was a Candidate of Liberty and Discovery millennia before the events of the main COUNTER/Weight storyline. During the events of An Animal Out of Context, he was middle-aged with a receding hairline and fondness for caps.
Before becoming a candidate, Chital went by the name "Jim," derived from the call sign of his Mk. VII Juggernaut-class Rigger- JMVII. He worked as a logger for The Orion Conservation Conglomerate on a snow planet under the administration of the Rigour System.
After noting that his rigger's OS changed name from Exploratory Systems Discovery Program to Exploratory Systems Liberty and Discovery Program, Jim realizes that he can pilot his mech outside of his usually limited work quadrant.
Following a strange indicator on his GPS that tells him his rigger requires servicing, Jim heads south and clears brush by starting a fire. The fire attracts an alien creature which Jim manages to scare away by creating a bellowing noise with his saw blade. The encounter is a surprise because he and the other workers were told that there were no living beings on the planet except themselves. Continuing to follow the indicator on his HUD, Jim is forced to start another fire to light his way through the planet's dark night- an environment which his rigger is not equipped for.
Arriving at the indicated location, Jim finds at a mountain where he saws into a crack that opens up a passageway into a hidden hanger. The hanger holds other riggers where Jim decides to park his own and disembark to explore. He notices shoes, bracelets, old meals, and blood stains in the facility, but his attention is drawn to a monitor that is lit up with the a logo composed of the letters "L" and "D." The monitor shows that his rigger is being repaired with a new, projectile saw blade pulled from one of the other mechs, as well as showing his image with the name "Chital" displayed; Jim adopts the name.
The Liberty and Discovery Rig
One day, Chital notices power lines where they shouldn't be. His HUD gives a directional notification that follows the lines, so he moves along them. After managing some rough terrain he finds himself in a desert where a magnetic wave shuts down his navigation equipment. As the power lines stopped where the desert started, he is without direction and decides to exit his rig and do a manual reboot. The reboot works, but the screen is now in a language he neither understands nor recognizes. While he is able to intuit navigation and continue, the desert environment is punishing on a rig equipped for extreme cold. Singing a work song, he manages to pilot onward through the heat.
Eventually, Chital comes upon an oasis where he finds a rigger smaller than his own Juggernaut, but more articulate. Approaching the new rig by foot, it lifts him and places him inside the cockpit. Inside the rig, the OS boots up with two distinct voices describing the process; it identifies itself as Liberty and Discovery and refers to Chital by name. He takes the projectile saw blade from the Juggernaut then pilots home as his old rig finally overheats and catches fire.
One night, Chital climbs into Liberty and Discovery and explores the map, trying to see all that he can. He notices that he can unlock Rigour's navigation locks on every other rigger, and does so.
The next day, Chital starts piloting towards the oasis again. Chital's latest activities- changing his call sign, using a non-standard rigger- have drawn the attention of his boss, who sends five riggers after him. During pursuit, the pilots realize that they no longer have the movement restrictions they once did. Two of the pilots stop in their tracks, another dashes off, and the last two- cousins Vanessa and Vanelle- join Chital on his journey.
When they reach the desert, Vanelle's mech starts breaking down and abandons his rigger to ride along with Vanessa while Chital tries to shade them from the sun. Further along, the pilot that had dashed off resumed its pursuit as it's now aggressively coming after Chital. Chital disables the rigger's air circulation system and cockpit-hatch lock, leaving the pilot exposed to the heat.
Chital then reaches a mountain with another crack on it. Sawing it reveals a passageway with a locked, metal door where a security camera hanging above it watches him. Chital speaks to the camera, telling it that he has come to "discover new things." The doors open to a facility very much like the first he encountered, but with only two riggers docked in the hanger. Further in, Chital encounters an old woman who hands him a disc with the title "righteousness.dat" on it. Running the disc on Liberty and Discovery's reader, Chital observes that it operates better.
Vanessa and Vanelle each take one of the combat riggers and start walking back with Chital. Following a new icon on Chital's screen, they end up back at the first mountain facility, where a tent city populated by workers has been established near the mountain.
The Mountainside Battle
One day, the earth near the camp quakes, causing an avalanche on a side of the mountain. Out from the ground, Rigour sits up and stands still.
While the camp is preparing for a dance on their day off, twelve lines shoot out from Rigour and attach to the floor. On each, an armed figure slides down.
A battle ensues between the camp residents and Rigour and its soldiers. At one point Rigour manages to grasp Liberty and Discovery with Chital still inside an then pitches him far away. Chital ends up in a lake on the opposite side of the mountain. Chital decides not to return to the battle, but still hears the sound of it from this distance.
A Better Tomorrow
When Chital finally returns, a navigation point appears on his screen saying it's leading him to "a better tomorrow." He follows the point and arrives at a group of camp refugees. There, Vanelle eagerly explains that Rigour will allow them to return. He also informs Chital that Vanessa was killed and hands him the celebration wreath she had made.
Chital attempts to place the wreath on Liberty and Discovery's head, but the divine brushes him off and then launches itself away, having decided it does not want a candidate. Whether from exhaustion, battle wounds, shame, or a combination of all three, Chital lays there watching the divine fly away, then dies.