Episode 1: Everything Has To Start Somewhere.
The episode introduces two of the main characters: Cyrus Alecto and Zoe Delphin, two people who have both lost something in their lives which they are trying to retrieve.
However, there’s no time for that – as defenders of the Jovian Orbital Inhabitants, they both have a job to do – for the near century that humanity has occupied the moons of Jupiter, no-one has known true calm. Their lives – much extended through use of the Soul-Pulse device – have been peppered with conflict that the Helios Union has struggled to reign in – never quite succeeding at the task.
Now, things are set to deteriorate even further. With pirate raids, colonial invasions, and frustrated protests, how many stop to consider the fiery prison where it all leads?
Cyrus Alecto, along with a team from Thebe’s Solstice Armed Enforcement Unit, has to deal with another of the many pirate raids that have been occurring lately. He’s more than happy to cause these immoral aggressors pain without end. It distracts him from the frustration of a fruitless search for the pirate who had his boyfriend falsely imprisoned. The raid is neutralised without incident, although there’s one hell of mess to clean up afterwards.
Our focus switches to Zoe Delphin, a soldier of the Helios Union who is probably far too kind for her own good, a trait that might be ill-suited for her work, although it has never stopped her in her endeavours.
She and the rest of the Metis battalion have to deal with a different calibre of attack. Where the raid of Amida Neos was concerned with causing chaos and gaining bounty, Sinope’s aggressors seem more interested in wiping the colony of Soloi Genis from the map altogether – but why would mercenaries be so invested in the complete destruction of a colony?
Zoe doesn’t find out, but once the attack is quelled, the mercenaries’ leader is taken in for questioning. Maybe they’ll find out more later.
There’s no rest for Cyrus, as almost straight after they return with the detained pirates to Thebe, they’re called out again to monitor a protest that is building in Midas City, the capital of the Jovian Orbital’s flagship moon – Ganymede.
The protesters stand under their banner of a motto ‘One Life Per Life’, referring to themselves as ‘Mayflies’, a rather apt title considering their demand: that the Soul-Pulse Device be removed from public use, even to the point of its complete destruction. While the atmosphere of the protest is tense and angry, it remains nonviolent. However, the officers grow even more uneasy when a reluctant Diken relays an order from the Helios Union: ‘Open Fire’.
The officers take aim, but none have the heart to fire. Some moments later, there’s an interruption that makes them forget reason. Six simultaneous shots originating from the Mayflies’ end that slams into the Soul-Pulses of six officers, killing them instantly. Permanently. One of the dead is Thomas Johnson, a close friend of Cyrus’. The enraged officers immediately comply with the repeated order, decimating the Mayflies’ numbers. Most are killed or captured, while the rest escape into the skylines and subways. The officers decide not to make chase.
It’s not until the fighting has ended that Cyrus realises the Mayflies had no weapons capable of the accuracy displayed shortly before the violence broke out. He also remembers the shock on most of the protesters’ faces when the shots hit their targets. It occurs to him the Mayflies may not have been responsible for the death of his friend.
Although Zoe was aware of the possibility of a protest, she has not yet heard of the catastrophic results. It’s likely for the best.
Besides, the Metis battalion have been called in to take care of another attack, this time in one of the several underwater cities present upon Europa. Europa is a popular target for invasion due to its plentiful oceans of water. While it has a strong defense system set up to prevent such attacks, the attackers just get clever about it instead. Usually this involves sneaking aboard and doing some kind of tomfoolery to allow entrance to the rest.
Same drill as usual – kill the attackers, save the citizens – however, this time, Zoe gets separated from the rest of her company, and not on purpose, either (explosion or the ceiling falls in. Perhaps both. And when the walls are sealed to prevent a flood… she gets cut off). While trying to find her way back to the soldiers, she comes across another Mayfly poster. She figures she may as well find the conference room or public house that is written on the poster while she’s finding her way out – she can just say she got lost, after all.
While searching for the room, she comes across something in the floor, a bomb attached to a container filled with unpleasantly coloured liquid – perhaps a bio-weapon to pollute the waters of Europa. She doesn’t know a damn thing about defusing bombs. Luckily she runs into someone who can (Marcus, Elijah, or someone else) and does. She follows this person back to the rest of the company and they all go home.
Cyrus accompanies the group who are transporting the captured pirates and protesters to Io. However, unlike the rest, he has been requested by Diken to capture one of the scientists or one of the wardens of the prison and discreetly bring them back to Thebe for questioning, because she is concerned about the goings on inside the prison and wants to know more – plus, she is aware that he has had interest in the prison for quite some time.
He travels to Io and the prisoners are processed as planned. Cyrus is concerned about how he’ll find and grab someone working at the prison without anyone else noticing. Then a riot breaks out inside the prison. Lucky him!
While dealing with the riot, Cyrus succeeds in subduing one of the wardens, rendering her unconscious, sneaking her out of the prison while the riot is ongoing and hiding her in the transport vehicle. He returns to the riot, helps bring everything under control, and then heads home. He returns to the transport with the warden inside and sets off. Home free.
Cyrus gets the warden into the interrogation room, but before they can get to work on her, she escapes – she doesn’t pulse out because her pulser has been restricted (or she just chooses not to) somehow by Diken and Cyrus, she actually runs out of the interrogation room while they aren’t looking – and Cyrus has to find her before she can get off of Thebe. When he does, they interrogate her (or Diken interrogates and he watches).
They don’t get much information out of her, so Diken shatters her soul-pulse device and tells Cyrus to take over the body and go back to Io undercover to do his own research. He agrees to the mission and prepares to leave the planet.
However, when he reaches Io he’s hit by a stray fireball and crashes. The episode ends here.
written by Jenny Steiert, August 2014