A note echoes through the halls of the September Institute's two vacant laboratories, repeated once, and then again, and then again, shifting in tone until it becomes an old song from the days of Earth, somehow passed down countless millennia. And Sinner Twelt, Provost-Regent Twelfth, whistles it as he goes about his work.
As fog rises above the tanks of liquid coolant, a metallic cylinder injects data itself into flesh. Twelfth opens v-screens around him, trying to tune in to what's happening across the sector. But with the storm raging on September, he can only get splotches of the goings on: a fleet moving here, a new treaty there, a refugee crisis, a gala, a quake.
See how they run.
He doesn't need a clearer picture to know that everything's moving according to plan. Everyone else in the sector is running blind through a maze. He's the only one with real perspective. His whistles turn to singing as he slips on gloves. And deep below Mode City, it sings too.
Ibex contacts Kobus to set up contact between himself and Vicuna on Sigilia. Kobus agrees and opens up a portal for Ibex. Ibex convinces Vicuna that Rigour is real and suggests that it may be necessary to destroy a large swath of planets to prevent it from moving forward. The threat of Rigour is enough to make both Vicuna and Kobus consider Ibex’s offer of alliance. Ibex hands Vicuna the schematics for a new Divine weapon and leaves.
The Minerva Strategic Alliance- aware but not fully understanding the threat of Rigour- move their consolidated fleet of merchant and military ships to September, though they’re blockaded from landing.
The Rapid Evening attempts to set up a base on Minerva, but their intentions become known. Kiva’s Hellsingers manage to resist an orbital bombardment from the Minerva Strategic Alliance and set up a subterranean base.
As Ibex walks through the portal away from Vicuna and Kobus, he is surprised to find himself face-to-face with Sokrates in his throne room. After an incredibly tense conversation, Sokrates and Ibex agree to a short-term alliance to deal with Rigour. Sokrates activates the Netted Wave cells on Counterweight.
The Odamas Fleet continues toward Kalliope, though Ionias lays in their path.
On September, Voice sets off a series of controlled explosions in an old mine which Rigour is trying to escape through. In the storm, the explosions sound like thunder. Natalya- let loose by Rigour- finds on old terminal in the tunnels and counterhacks Voice.