Team Awesome Force is en route to Scarback Necropolis (and doesn’t that sound like a joyous locale?) in order to honor their dead, specifically the ones lost during and at the end of Attack the Rack.
Dutch is…well, let’s just say she’s not in a very good place. Basically, she’s haunted by the fact she murdered Banyon and is trying to bury her pain in booze. Knowing it was an honest mistake doesn’t take the sting out of the loss or regret. Honestly though, considering how Khlyen trained her from childhood to be a cold blooded assassin, it’s notable that she takes this so hard in the first place. Khlyen no doubt would have just let it go.
Dutch ends up in D’avin’s quarters, filled with doubts and remorse and he takes a break from his ritualistic dress uniform preparations to tell her straight up: knock it off. The team needs more from her than to give in to self-pity and doubt. It’s harsh but just the kick in the pants Dutch needs.
She’s so motivated in fact that she gives him a nice big smooch. And of course, Johnny catches them in the act. Whoops.
Dutch takes off and Zeph contacts D’avin over the comms but he’s too busy groaning internally to listen to what she’s saying. And that’s a shame because it’s pretty dang important. Hang tight dear Zeph. Your moment will come.
They land on the station and are in full dress uniform with Turin as the Nine arrive. Turin points out they need the backing of the Company in order to end the war against the Hullen as quickly as possible. Johnny’s not worried because he knows people. And by people I mean Pawter’s sister, Louella Seyah Simms whose now Head of House Simms.
Turin informs Dutch she’ll be doing the Final Salute, something she’s clearly unnerved about doing. She ignores D’avin’s attempts to discuss it though, or anything else for that matter.
Johnny heads over to where Louella is sitting to reconnect and lay the foundation for his ultra smooth move to get her on board for the war effort. Unfortunately, Seyah Simms is completely immune to his charms and gives him the coldest shoulder I’ve seen on TV since Jon Snow first met the White Walkers on Game of Thrones. How she can be so harsh to Johnny “Puppy Dog Eyes” Jaqobis is beyond me, but there you go.
The ceremony finally begins on Scarback Necropolis and Team Awesome Force is forced (awesomely of course) to listen to a bloviating dickwad go on and on about how eternal the Nine are in their stewardship of the Quad. His name by the by is Kalla Seyon Trus but bloviating dickwad fits better, no?
Dutch goes up after him to do the Final Salute and freezes. Her mind is trapped reliving the nuances of Banyon’s death over and over. Thankfully D’av is there and ready to save the day and gives the Final Salute to the five admirals and all the RAC officers who perished at the hands of the Hullen. Alvis follows D’avin with a prayer to the trees and he eats a seed and feeds everyone there a seed too as part of the ceremony.
Then they sent the bodies they had on hand (most likely Banyon and the other RAC officers who died on Dutch’s RAC ship) into the sun.
Meanwhile in Hullen-land (aka the Hullen Armada), Aneela and Delle Seyah Kendry are getting much closer to each other. Kendry is trying to keep Aneela in bed with her for some more evil sexy times but Aneela has to pass on her offer. She plans to return to her lab. D’avin Jaqobis’s samples which the Fell Squad delivered to her opened up new ideas for her project. It’s then that Kendry notices a blonde woman she doesn’t recognize in Aneela’s room. She’s been there the whole time. But that’s okay because that’s her job or something.
Actually, in a development surprising to no one, Kendry doesn’t mind one bit because that’s how she rolls.
Back at the ceremony, Dutch and team are trying to get Seyon Trus to listen to reason. To warn him about how serious a threat the Hullen are. Trus in total dickwad mode, doesn’t care. Ah, he’s a true leader among men, isn’t he?
D’avin is puzzled and asks a pressing question. The Nine are just as vulnerable as everyone else so why aren’t they getting involved, if not just as a means to ensure their own survival?
Johnny tries again with Louella and she shoots him down again. But he’s persistent and stays with her. Meanwhile, Dutch, D’avin and the rest of the Nine board the elevator back down to the loading dock. Dutch uses that time to rail on the Nine, much to Seyon Trus’ irritation. As far as she’s concerned, they owe a debt to the Quad and need to pay up. Just then, the elevator halts their descent part way in and the lights turn off. When they turn back on, one of the Nine are no more. Melek Seyah Rinn has kicked the bucket in a very bloody manner. Talk about an inconvenient murder! This certainly isn’t gonna open up any of their wallets for the cause!
Dutch alerts Johnny with the not-so-awesome news and he continues trying to get the elevator to work as Seyah Simms is tasked to try to figure out who amongst the Nine is a killer. Dun dun duuuuun. Back in the elevator, the investigation begins. Trus immediately shifts attention to Alvis and D’avin graces Trus with an epic nickname that puts “dickwad” to shame: Sir Pompus McDickbag. Hahaha! My love for you only grows, D’avin.
The search on Alvis is curtailed as he immediately reveals he has a blade. Dutch proverbially drags him by the ear out of there and tells him that of course she doesn’t think he did it but he’ll have to take the blame until she figures out who did. She presses him as to the confrontation he had with Seyah Rinn earlier (the one Sir Pompus McDickbag *heh heh* noticed). He tells her Seyah Rinn wanted “tolerance,” which sounds a lot like going to confession. Except she wanted to buy her way out of penance, not only for herself, but also the rest of the Nine as well. For what? No one knows and super dead Seyah Rinn sure isn’t spilling the beans.
All Alvis could say was that it was bad and that they haven’t done it yet. So to emphasize, they are pre-paying their penance before committing sin. Fully intent on the wrong doing but free from any spiritual obligations for their actions. Nice one, Niners!
Johnny, in the meantime, is getting precisely nowhere with the antiquated systems. Lucy alerts him there’s some sort of freaky distortion signal causing all the problems with the elevator.
Meanwhile, Aneela is continuing with her experiments when she hits a breakthrough! Gander is so thrilled he…leaves. He tells Brynn (the blonde woman from earlier) it’s time to proceed and ominously heads toward Aneela’s quarters and Kendry. Now look, as much as I detest her for murdering Pawter, I hate Gander just a skosh more, especially given what he does next.
A short time later, Aneela finds herself entirely alone. No one’s there, not even Kendry who she left in her quarters with only her green slime to whisper to her. Uh…whispering slime? That’s never a good sign.
Gander in the interim is schooling Kendry on what’s really going on, at least in part. Aneela isn’t in command at all. She is in fact a prisoner. Gander and the others are there to watch her and study her. They are interested in her powers because they’ve never encountered anything like it. But because Aneela blew up the RACs, they sped up their game plan. Now they’re done with her. He orders the others to take Kendry to “treatment” which sounds…bad, I’m not gonna lie.
Back on the elevator, Dutch tries to get Seyon Trus to see reason about Alvis which is impossible and another Niner bites the dust. They report this info back to Johnny and he suggests the cause is biological but his hands are full with the elevator issue and Louella. As he works, Louella approaches him, looking a little worse for wear.
Dutch takes her conundrum to Zeph. How does someone die of a gashing wound when no weapons are present and everyone saw it happen? Zeph needs her to be her eyes and perform an autopsy. (I may have closed my eyes sometime around the point Dutch was to make an incision in the victim’s lower abdomen.) There was something about intestines…blah blah…and there not being anything but some soupy substance or something…yadda yadda (ICK) when a mechanical something emerges from the corpse, buzzes around and cuts Dutch in the face before hiding away.
Trus think she’s lying or shifting blame until one of those mechanical bug things fly out of the second victim’s mouth.
They figure out pretty quickly that the bugs are being ingested some how. But how? And that’s when it hit them: The seeds. Everyone ate one of the seeds. Yikes.
Johnny starts researching the bug and learns a truth he didn’t want to know. Who created the bugs? None other than Adaline Simms, Louella and Pawter’s mom. I’m pretty sure he was going to say something utterly brilliant except in that moment Louella cattle prods him in the back. Double yikes! It takes awhile for him to wake up and find himself cuffed to the wall with Louella crouched over him. But he gets her to admit to the truth of it all. She stopped the elevator and she’s behind the murders as payback for Pawter and for her parents. She hates the Nine and she’s doubly angry at Johnny for getting Pawter caught up in something that killed her.
Thankfully she leaves Johnny to his own devices and he alerts his team of what their next move is. Get the elevator out of range of Louella’s signal by dropping it. They only have a 10 second window before they crash and die. That sounds like one of those “what could go wrong” plans if ever there was one, doesn’t it? But 3 times of gravity and a few blown shots aside, Dutch is able to shoot the control for the clamps and reengage them just in time. Whew!
Aneela, meantime, enters the green slime and dreams? remembers? Maybe a bit of both. And she finds Khlyen waiting for her there on a beach somewhere. They speak for a bit and she’s about to tell him about her big scientific breakthrough when she hears Kendry’s voice crying out. She ignores it at first and tries to tell her papa about her Jaqobis discovery with the green but another voice rouses her further. It’s Brynn calling out to her! Khlyen keeps pressing Aneela about memories that are missing and that’s when she realizes this isn’t really her papa after all. She knows who it is though she doesn’t tell us. Thanks Aneela! I love being left in the dark.
Back in the real world, Brynn is dragging Aneela from the green and being punished by Gander for going against him. And when Aneela rouses, she deals with everyone present except Brynn who alerts her that whatever she discovered in her lab, that’s the reason Gander took Kendry. Aneela goes on a tear, willing every Hullen in her path dead.
Johnny catches up with Louella and calls her out as a murderer and admits he was the same after Pawter was killed. It takes quite a bit of doing but finally he breaks through to her, getting her to see Pawter would never subscribe to these actions. That the thrill of revenge dies but the pain remains. And that she can’t go through with letting him die in front of her because he loved her sister. Finally she relents and turns off the signal.
Now with the mission over, Dutch is back at the Royale with Trus and she tells him she figured it out. The Nine want Tolerance because they plan to leave the Quad behind and set up a new power base somewhere else in the J.
Dutch concedes the Nine’s ancestors didn’t have any good choices but these people do. He does. He doesn’t buy her hope-y change-y plea so she resorts to blackmail: fund us and have a chance. Leave and if the Hullen don’t get you, I will.
Trus leaves her to her thoughts when D’avin shows up. He just wants them to talk about what happened that morning and finally she agrees. Except she runs into Zeph who fills her in on something earth shattering. The substance within the Remnant is part of a brain where memories are stored and that brain is similar to Dutch’s. Both leave to investigate what that means and how they can use it before D’avin knows where they went.
In the final moments, we learn what Gander did to Kendry.
Necropolis Now was important that it set up things to come, what with the brain matter Zeph uncovered to Aneela’s discovery to Kendry’s new condition. Add to that were some pretty meaningful moments for Johnny and Louella and I hope she’ll now have the chance to really mourn Pawter and find better, less murder-y ways to deal with her pain.
I give Necropolis Now 8 dreadnoughts out of a possible 10.