"We're just basically robot gods, right? Which is horrifying."
—Jack de Quidt
The Chime's sometimes employer Orth Godlove has gone missing and the group is on the hunt...but the mysterious Netted Wave is just a few steps behind them. A key witness, who is both familiar and strange, leads them to a brand new line on the Starlight Straights MagLev System. Will they find Orth out in the desert wastes of Counterweight...or will they run into something else altogether?
This time on MechNoir: "I Am Not Allowed"
Keep your head down, Orth!
The Chime head back to the Kingdom Come—passing through a calmer protest—and head towards Dome 7. Arriving at the small spaceport where the food package was delivered, the group begins to question one of the port’s loading bots. The J-m 144 model is resistant to questioning at first, Mako fogs the bot into thinking he is Orth. They learn that Orth had already picked up the package and that it was loaded onto a rail headed towards the Metta Dome. They also learn that members of the Netted Wave pass through this port once every two weeks.
The Chime arrive at the rail station and discover that the line which the delivery was loaded onto is down for maintenance due to a derailment. As night falls, the crew follows the disabled track trenches and run into the first of the derailed cars.
Upon inspecting the car, Cass, Aria, and Mako notice that the train has a small hole blown out the side of it. Mako flies in on his fly-board and sees tossed food, gambling machines and scorch marks from weapons fire. Outside the train, Cass and Aria note vehicle-wheel tracks heading around the wreck.
The Kingdom Come is suddenly hit with a shot from a group of vehicles kicking up dust and approaching the crew. A battle begins between the Chime and the five vehicles. While the Chime manages to crush the attackers, they are caught off-guard when a woman on an attacking free-lev train holds Orth hostage with a gun to his head, demanding them to stop. Though Mako manages to shoot the gun out of the woman’s hand, she still holds Orth in her hands, forcing the Chime down to her level.
As they gather, a silver skiff approaches with three Hoplite mechs accompanying it.
- The gambling machines aboard the train car are due to Jorne, who stole the idea of putting them there from Aria and Mako.