Episode 8

Episode 8: The Last Song of the Desert

As the Carnivale approached Arzin space, the team met up with Rachael in the captain’s chamber.

Rachael explained that Arro and Janet were kept within the Arzin Intergalactic Containment Facility in the Great Desert of Arzin. Rachael explained that the facility was quite large, containing a military base and a prison facility.

The prison itself was considered maximum security, but the actual man power staffing it was considerably lower than the average facility of its size. She explained that the facility contained roughly 300 staff, but primarily relied on the harsh environment and a unique structural feature to prevent escape.

The prison itself has 80 floors, which were subsequently divided into four different blocks. The first block was used to contain low risk criminals, and each block afterward was higher and higher a security risk.

Rachael then began to explain her plan. As a benefit at the request of the Coalition morale committee, Chesed had been scheduled to before an on-base concert for the soldiers stationed on the facility.

Tesla was a bit taken aback. She had difficulty accepting that Rachael, a seasoned member of Mendel Race, was actually formulating a plan involving a pop concert. After some ranting and a verbal bitch slap or two, the meeting came back to order, and Rachael continued her plan.

During the concert, based on information provided by a mole within the prison, the guards on the first two blocks would be cut down to a mere 10 units while the others attended the event. During this time, it would be incredibly easy to infiltrate the prison and find Janet and Arro.

Chesed then spoke up, and stated he would be able to provide them more than a distraction. He had obtained a rare and considerably valuable power stone that could be used to further aid the infiltration. The stone contained memories of old Horan arts that could be used to cloak the invading party so that they could not be detected. This would be particularly important in regards to sneaking past any guards who might be roving the halls of the first two blocks.

However, in order to better disguise the effort, they would need to jam the orbital psionics detectors surrounding the station. Tesla stated that such devices are unable to function properly in proximity to high end alchemical reactions. She reasoned that it would be reasonable to expect them to malfunction if Mauta or Tuona used their abilities within a close enough proximity.

But in order to do so, they would need to be elevated high enough to get into range of the detectors and be able to fire off an alchemical reaction without seeming overly conspicuous.

So, a plan was devised: Rachael and Tesla would provide support via the Carnivale’s computer while Kolibri and Roth broke into the prisoner. Rachael requested that ASURA-04 accompany them in case they encountered any combat. Meanwhile, Chesed would disguise the other Arkovans as back-up dancers and take them onto stage. He would keep the audience’s attention, and the two Arkovans would be able to try and disguise their spellcasting as special effects during the performance, thus allowing them to disrupt the detectors and allow him to discreetly cloak the infiltration team so that they could enter the prison.

The plan went off very well, and the team worked their way through the prison in secrecy. Tesla obtained a map and a prisoner roster, and discovered that both Janet and Arro were within the fourth block. Janet was locked away on the 75th sub-basement, and Arro was on the 79th.

Once the team reached the 42nd level of the facility, the effects of Chesed’s cloaking dispersed, which caused the team to rely on good old fashion stealth skills and Kolibri’s unique powers to get through the rest of the facility. After some careful navigation, they managed to break Janet free, but were unable to do so without entering combat with a prison guard.

The alarm was sounded, but they had not yet located Arro. Disguising themselves as staff (and having Roth hide in the shadows in the rafters), they came up with the ruse that they would be escorting Janet to a higher security area on a lower level, and misdirected any staff they came across. They finally came to the 79th floor, where they found Arro.

Arro was in the custody of a slender human male who was contentedly torturing the Mendel prisoner. Kolibri and ASURA-04 cornered the torturer, who merely chuckled derisively and stepped into the shadows when challenged to battle. Arro explained, as he was freed, that the man was Major Jack Jennison, an old Academy friend of his and a subordinate to Major Armandag. Arro and Jack had always shared an uncomfortable history, and it seemed that Jack had personally requested access to the fallen lieutenant once word of his execution made it through the grapevine.

Arro was weakened greatly by his weeks of captivity and Jack’s torture. Additionally, he had been fitted with a chip that suppressed his mutations, so it was necessary for him to be carried out of the facility. Tesla located a secret staff exit on the 34th floor, and the Mendel Race mole had been ordered by Rachael to meet them there and secretly escort them back to the Carnivale.

The group made it back as the concert broke apart. Chesed, Mauta, Tuona, and Chesed’s crew were locked in the Carnivale. Security did not suspect Chesed’s involvement, fortunately, but it made it difficult for them to escape as easily as they had planned. They snuck the infiltration team and the prisoners aboard, and Chesed managed to negotiate clearance to leave the facility.

They flew outside of Arzin space, thinking they were in the clear. However, before they could begin to formulate the next plan of action, a robotic anti-aircraft mech attacked the ship, and broke through the hull into the hangar.

Kolibri, Tesla, and Rachael repelled the assault- Kolibri holding the assault back while the other women disabled the robot’s main computers. However, they were unable to stop Chesed’s ship from being boarded by Coalition soldiers, who were under the impression that Mendel Race had stowed away on the vessel.

The heroes quickly boarded the Disa, and flew for a safe haven- the Mendel Race base on Macada II.

Episode 8

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