"Listen, you saw what happened. I need feet on the ground. I want to make sure this doesn't get turned into an excuse for things to heat up around here."
The camera opens on five Rigs hanging in a semicircle formation above what looks like a Class V planet—an orb of blue skies, streaming clouds, and the glow of life. But the scale... it's all wrong. The Rigs are too large in the frame of the camera, and you can tell that their boost packs are straining to keep them aloft in the gravity of Counterweight.
The would-be globe, blue and alive, isn't a globe at all. It's only half a sphere, sticking up above ruined earth and illuminating the cratered ground for miles around its soft glow.
The Rigs are, mostly, heavily modified Minerva Rooks, the backbone of the OriCon forces during the Golden War. One of the Rigs on the far side of the semicircle has a sort of flat obelisk for a head with a camera attached to the side. It pivots inwards towards the center of the group and it brings the unit's comms alive with a crackle.
"Tea, uh, I mean Queen-Captain?" His voice is hesitant, but before he can actually issue any sort of complaint, he's cut off.
"Bishop, you wanted to step up and start running ops. Well here we are. Save your commentary for debrief."
Bishop turns his Rig back towards the orb. "Yes, ma'am. Understood."
The group takes a moment to check their gear, and then shrieks across the sky in wide arcs, slamming into the BluSky Dome with tactical precision.
And then, explosions. And then, sirens. And the camera zooms in just a little bit closer to the dome, and the blue skies, and the clouds, and the glow of life—it flickers and fades, replaced by the pulsing red of emergency klaxons.
The Chime investigate the abduction of roboticist Cene Sixheart at the behest of Orth Godlove. Orth pulls strings with the Consolidated Counterweight Technocracy in order to grant them access to the top-secret BluSky Dome development site where Cene was taken. The dome itself lies in shambles.
After some poking around, the Chime learn that the attackers used Minerva Rooks to swoop in, and intentionally sowed confusion by destroying structures beyond normal collateral damage. Amid the tension of investigating OriCon and Diaspora forces, the Chime seek out Jamil Quartz-Noble who is on scene collecting data for a report.
Unable to find out more at the dome, the Chime head to Cene's apartment in cosmopolitan section of a Diasporan dome. The small apartment leads to a large laboratory, strewn with various projects Cene had been working on.
Mako searches Cene's computer and sees he isn't the only one to do so. Someone had been looking for data on the planet Ionias. Mako is able to trace the location of the intruder, who mistakenly stayed logged in with a burner account they used to collect data off Cene's computer. The mysterious individual recently checked in at the Rethal-Addax Spaceport.
The Chime decide to split up—Mako and Cass head out to the Spaceport while Aria and AuDy retrieve the Kingdom Come with the intention of meeting them there.
Mako and Cass meet up with Jim at the Spaceport, and ask to be let past security. Jim is hesitant at first and discuses compensation in the form of a bribe, but Mako appeals to Jim's friendship with Cene.
Aria and AuDy get the Kingdom Come and fly out to rendezvous with the others, but on the horizon they see they are being followed by three Riggers. They're able to piece together that these are some of the very same Riggers that attacked the BluSky Dome. One of them fires on the ship, and Aria prepares to launch her mech.
Once past security, Mako persuades the AI in a convenience store kiosk to give up information about its last check-in, revealing the man they've been searching for: Shell Lotz, a chief OriCon technician during the War, who was a compatriot of Jace Rethal and worked on the war hero's Rigger. Lotz disappeared after the war ended.
Aria launches her Rigger from the Kingdom Come's bay, and AuDy rapidly decelerates to drop out of view of their enemies.
- This episode established Jim as the all-time greatest character from whom all other good characters spring. Forever may they reign.