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The Apple & The Amp

Amanda gets a text and leaves him sleeping; Clarice calls somebody and asks her where she is. Amanda walks through the park, to meet someone; Clarice pulls out a knife, to meet someone. Amanda walks past a stand of trees; Clarice stalks someone past a stand of trees. In the sunlight Mar-Beth's hair is nearly as bright as Amanda's. Clarice slits her throat from behind, drops the knife; Amanda retrieves her new tech from the bench where Jordan left it. Olaf and Nestor dispose of the body while Clarice walks the baby home in its pram, his mother's blood still staining his mother's hands.

Singh notifies Jordan that Mar-Beth has been murdered, and with the other side of his mouth asks if he's heard from his CI. Jordan admits he hasn't heard from her, and with that same mouth says, "Heard from Clarice Willow, though. She reported her wife missing. Apparently, there was a fight. Mar-Beth stormed out. Clarice chalked it up to postpartum depression, but hasn't seen or heard from her since." Singh tips his hand, promising he had nothing to do with the murder. Jordan looks directly into his eyes and they can both hear the ticking of this clock as they close in on each other and he says, "We're all in this together, sir." It only sounds like a lie because it is one.

Lacy settles in and joins the cocktail mixer already in progress as they welcome the new recruits. Diego has her marked as one to watch; the fake Poly hijacker joins them -- Kevin Reikle, STO Praetor -- and she apologizes for what she can only think to call "beating you." He grins, he hears her; she is one to watch. Everybody heads inside to the meal and Odin looks over at a battlement, heart beating in his chest. Take a bite of this apple; hear it crunching in the machine.

Down below, in a courtyard, with the whole STO dining happily, down below where nobody can see but them: All the ones who failed to martyr themselves. All the faithful who failed. On their knees, shivering; noses dripping snot as they sob in fear. Taken out by a gunman past a stand of trees. "Never forget who these people are. And what they're capable of." She won't. She's one of them. That's why she continues to watch; she's earned that responsibility. Whatever happens next is entirely up to her. This is the answer to the question of why she's come to Gemenon: One more good intention and justice for our lost innocence. An end to grief.

Or if not the whole answer, at least part of it: Once Odin's gone inside the executioner appears, gun in hand, red eye racing; she turns to look up at Lacy. Gears shifting, gyros whining, hydraulic legs pumping, bringing her closer to her prey. Almost a ton of pressure on each pivoting, piston-fed foot. It's cold as Vancouver on Gemenon at night, your breath makes clouds. In the absolute silence all you can hear is that footfall, loud as whole worlds falling. And when the executioner stops, and looks up with something akin to recognition but closer to love, you can't even hear that. Maybe one of them is smiling, if you could see it. If you knew what to look for.

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