FADE IN: The open ocean, foredawn. It has taken Costa's little fishing boat most of the night to get from the docks outside Rome to Sicily, even with the not-inconsiderable modifications Luka made to the engine, but as the eastern sky begins to lighten, the island looms before the crew. In the distance airships, autogyros, and variations thereupon shuttle enormous pieces of machinery around the island. Costa steers for the drainage spout on the far side of the island, and by the time the sun inches above the horizon, they are disembarking on a narrow bit of concrete where the tunnel meets access passageways underneath the Enlightenment manufacturing facilities.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: 20:46:30
Onofrio and Sparling take the lead and Pavel brings up the rear. No one has bothered with disguises because, well, what's the point? Everyone is heavily armed, but Onofrio has assured them they should be able to make it to the central boiler through the underground corridors without being apprehended.

Costa stays behind with the boat, ready to make a hasty getaway as soon as the team returns. ((He is not in on Onofrio's deception.))

However, soon after the team is out of sight, Costa is suddenly grabbed from behind, a gun to his head!

CUT TO: The Team.
Though the rebel operatives are several hundred meters underground, at all times the thrumming of machinery can be heard. The concrete walls are warm from boiler excess. Distant clanking echoes through the labyrinth. Onofrio seems to know where to go without consulting any maps or diagrams.

Luka Arlexi: Luka is examing the piping as they pass.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: The team stops at a four-way junction. "We should be directly underneath the main boiler cluster," Onofrio explains in a stage whisper. "The lift is to the left, but I doubt we can all fit. Someone should stay here to keep the escape route clear." After a brief discussion in which Onofrio suggests Luka (being the smallest, and easiest to overpower on his way back down) should stay and Sparling insists they'll need her to destroy the boiler cluster, Pavel volunteers to stay. The others press on, and squeeze into a lift that's little more than a clockwork dumbwaiter.

Unknown Character: After they're out of sight, Pavel is suddenly grabbed from behind, a gun to his head. He slaps the gun away and punches his captor in the face. He yells to warn the others, but a blast of whistling steam from a nearby valve drowns out his shout. Meantime one of his captors manages to pistol-whip him to the back of the head, and he drops to the floor like a ragdoll.

Newton Falk: "Not again…" - Pavel

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Onofrio throws the lever that will close the oddly ornate doors of the lift and they ascend, about as loudly as such a thing could possibly operate. Sparling clears her throat. "Well, if they didn't know we were coming before—" Onofrio shushes her.

Unknown Character: "Shh! They'll hear you!"

Luka Arlexi: Luka facepalms.

Newton Falk: "It wasn't me!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: The doors retract to reveal a vast chamber, cloudy with steam and smoke, but the odd current uncovers fragments of towering copper and brass machinery, crankwheels the size of a man, pressure gauges whose needles forever hover at the edge of the red line, and kilometer after kilometer of pipe.

Luka Arlexi: Luka isn't quite drooling, but she does look intrigued by all of this.

Newton Falk: "Oh I could so break this…" Newton has a long bundle slung behind him that looks suspiously like a rocket launcher.


"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn is sitting at her desk drinking tea and leafing through some papers.

She does some calculations and writes them down. We see what she's working on. To the audience it looks like a bunch of numbers and well, equations because that's what they are.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: In the shadowy recesses of the catacomb, a swirl of red cloth moves gracefully from hiding place to hiding place. It is accompanied by a glint of curved metal.

Evelyn scribbles away, but adds something to her tea subtly. It bubbles quietly.

Carefully, silently, the vengeful daughter of al Richtofim makes her way to within a few meters of Higgenbotham's desk and readies her scimitar.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Before you move, I'll have you know, I can melt your face off with a flick of my wrist," Evelyn says not moving.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: The Red Sharifette pauses mid-spring. "I can see why your heathen captain keeps you around."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Evelyn smiles, sets her pencil down, picks up the cup and carefully turns around. "So, Scarlet, what brings you to my lair?"

Unknown Character: She sheathes her scimitar. "I need you to drop whatever godless pagan thing you're doing and come with me," she says.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Not possible."

Unknown Character: "We don't have time for this, you hideous daughter of Shaitan. The other infidels are walking into a trap, and only you and I can rescue them!"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "I seriously doubt I'd be any help, but you can keep calling me hideous, that'll help your cause."

Unknown Character: "Hideous and infuriating! The man Onofrio works for the Enlightenment! He told me of his plan to betray your friends before he left, offering me my freedom if I would lend him my help. Of course I turned down; I may hate…most…of your ridiculous band of rebels, but I'm no friend of the Enlightenment."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "You keep calling the woman with the scarring cup of acid hideous. This seems short sighted."

Unknown Character: "I'm sure you're quite fetching by godless Occidental standards. Now, are you going to help me rescue your friends, or are you going to make me look more like yourself?"

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Oh, that would take months of surgery. Plus, your hair is too coarse to take dye well at all. But back to the point at hand, I am not going anywhere."

Unknown Character: "I swear to you on the soul of my father, the Bloody Red Sharif al Richtofim; I speak the truth. Your friends are in danger. Come with me if you want them to live."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Do you swear on the soul of your father, the Bloody Red Sharif al Richtofim, that you will not harm anyone from the crew of the Aether?…including the Captain…"

Unknown Character: "Including the pilot? You ask a lot, heathen Doctor."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Yes, well, I'm crazy like that. Including the pilot."

Unknown Character: "In the interest of furthering my own goals, I will agree to this *for the time being,* until after our safe departure from the island. So sworn."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "Excellent," Evelyn puts the cup down, reaches under the desk and pulls something out from underneath it. She slaps it over the wrist of the Red Sharifess. We see it is some sort of metal bracer-thing.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "This, is a weapons system. I'll explain it to you later," she moves behind the Red Sharifess and pulls something out from underneath her cot. It is a rocket pack. She straps it around the RS and cinches it tight. It says Scarlet on the back. "This is a rocket pack, if you haven't guessed. I'll also explain it."


Captain Genevieve Sparling: The giant boiler chamber thing with all the stuff.
Onofrio has handed out sticks of dynamite to all the crewmembers, and Luka is coordinating which ones go where for maximal explosivity.

Newton Falk: Under his breath, "Ha, ha, chamber pot…"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Felix has been hanging back by the lift, and just as the last stick is put into place, the filligree door clatters shut and the lift starts to descend. "Uh, captain…"
Onofrio turns, sees the departing lift, and directs the crew down a side hallway as he lights the first fuse.

After a quarter mile or so, they emerge into the nexus of several passageways. Onofrio catches up, panting, and signals for the crew to brace themselves.

Newton Falk: Newton looks looks down the hallway, ponders some calculations and steps back clightly. Glancing down at his feet he pulls a cigar from his pocket and holds it out at arms length toward the passegways containing the explosives.

Luka Arlexi: Luka places a hand on the wall, catching her breath, and looks up. She begins counting backwards to herself in Russian.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling's back is against the most solid-looking wall and her eyes are on her pocketwatch.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Around the time everyone's personal countdown reaches zero, they plug their ears and open their mouths and make all the necessary preparations. And nothing happens.

Unknown Character: Thick metal blast doors drop out of the ceiling on each side of the nexus; the one to the side nearest the boiler room strikes Newton's cigar out of his hand and, clanging into place on the floor, squashes half of it flat (the cigar, not the hand). The group is trapped in the middle of the nexus!

CUT TO: Higgenbotham and the Red Sharifette.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: "This," she pulls out a phial, "is for the Inter-Nuclear Fueled Incineration and Death-Efficiency Launcher."

The Red Sharifess scowls, but says nothing.
Evelyn screws it into the bracer. "It allows you to shoot liquid fire. I thought about making it alcohol based, but you know…You only have enough fuel for about an hour or so of moderate use. Don't fall on your arm. It's very volitile. You'll likely explode and kill us all."

The Red Sharifess looks irritated, but examines the bracer with mild appreciation.
"Really?" Evelyn says, "That's all that it took to impress you? Fire? Oh dear me. Hold on to your proverbial hat because it does so much more…"

CUT BACK TO: The stranded crew and Onofrio.

"Oh darn," says Onofrio. "This is certainly an unexpected turn of events."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: From somewhere beyond the blast doors, a distant rhythmic pounding can be heard, which could best be described as the sound of dozens of steam armored feet striking the concrete floor in unison. Sparling starts to look queasy. "What is this, Giovanni?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Onofrio straightens from his crouched position against the wall and moves to the center of the chamber. He clears his throat and readies himself to project. "This is revenge, Genevieve."

Newton Falk: Newton looks confused. "I wanted a boom…" He mutters to himself.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Oh, you'll have one, my obnoxious Scottish friend." Onofrio starts to pace, but manages to keep himself at least three-quarters facing the gathered crew at all times. "I've spent too long in the wings these past few weeks, Sparling, watching you take over and run La Resistenza on your… English… terms. I let you have your little victories, your minor strikes against the Enlightenment, because it was good for morale. But I knew sooner or later you would grow too ambitious, bite off more than you could chew, and it would be the end of us all. So I found a way to stop you." On the other side of the blast doors, a metallic screeching can be heard. "I made a deal, you see. Oh, don't worry—you and your crew will be remembered as heroes, martyrs in the finest Italian tradition. When I return this evening with Costa's fishing boat in tatters and a gut-wrenching story, La Resistenza will go on to do great things in your name, Sparling. It's a shame you won't be there to see them."

Luka Arlexi: "Палочки ебать."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: CUT TO: Higgenbotham.

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: The Red Sharifess is all decked out and ready to go. She turns to Evelyn, "Where is all your stuff?"
"I already told you, I'm not going."
The Red Sharifess scowls even furthur, "You cowardly dog! Your fr-"
"Don't call me a coward," Evelyn says quietly, "you don't know of what you speak."
The Red Sharifess says nothing so Evelyn continues.
"I've just handed you a very powerful weapons system. I'm trusting you to your word. I'm trusting that you will honor your oath, though you've shown me no reason to believe it previously. No, I'm not a coward. A fool, perhaps. That's up to you, but I can't come with you."
The Red Sharifess looks into Evelyn's eyes, leaning in, reading her. Evelyn stands steadfast, unblinking. Finally, satisfied, the Red Sharifess nods, turns, and leaves.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: CUT BACK TO: The crew.
"You pathetic little man," Sparling sighs. "You think that because you can put on a passable drama you're fit to run what ought to be the most active underground rebellion in the world, but what do you do? Raid the bloody vineyards once a month! And you must have been proper fucked to think you could actually make a deal with the Enlightenment. You think they're going to cut their way in here and shoot us, but leave you doddering back to Rome? I tried to get along with you, Giovanni, for the sake of the Resistance, but bloody hell, you're dense."

Luka Arlexi: "Shall I hit him with a wrench, Captain?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: The metallic screeching has grown much louder and closer. Shouted orders can be heard faintly.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling sighs. "Нет, Лука, я лучше стрелять ему в голову." She readies her pistol.

Luka Arlexi: Luka nods. "понимали."

Newton Falk: Newton swings the long cloth wrapped bundle around and begins untying it…

Captain Genevieve Sparling: She puts the barrels of her pistol against Onofrio's temple, then pauses, because a gap has just appeared in the blast door nearest the boiler chamber and sparks are beginning to fly into the nexus from a very large rotary cutter. "Oh, hell." Sparling pulls the trigger.

Onofrio has years of experience with theatre fight choreography, and while Sparling is distracted he ducks nimbly away from her pistol and shoves her arm away. The shot goes wide and the bullets embed themselves in concrete, close enough to Felix that he swears meekly. Onofrio sprints for the widening gap in the blast door and the relative safety of the Enlightenment personnel.

Newton Falk: Newton has the cloth laid out of the ground and a few metal parts arrayed around a large military looking rocket launcher. He's currently referencing the open instructions and assembling the device.

Luka Arlexi: Luka glances at the architecture surrounding the blast doors, and watches the way the metal buckles. Her eyes narrow.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: While there are sounds of rotary cutting behind all the blast doors, the one closest to the boiler chamber is the only one that has actually been opened enough for a person to squeeze through. After Onofrio exits stage right, a Gentleman in Black enters the room. He carries an umbrella jauntily over his shoulder. It is, in fact, the Gentleman the crew captured at the Isle of Man, who subsequently blew up the Aether's cargo hold in his escape. He looks pleased to see them again.

Unknown Character: "Lovely day, whot?" he says.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I've seen lovelier," Sparling grumbles. She is casually reloading her pistol.

Unknown Character: Whistling, the gentleman twirls his umbrella upright, and with a twist of his wrist he opens the umbrella. "I'm told this is dreadfully bad luck to do indoors," he says apologetically. "Mostly for you lot, I'm afraid."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Several things happen at once.
Sparling finishes loading her pistol, snaps the hammer home, and replaces it in her coat pocket. She eyes the Gentleman and his umbrella, which hasn't started doing anything dangerous just yet (at least not that she can see), and without warning she charges the black-suited menace, throwing her shoulder into his gut so forcefully that anyone who doesn't know better might assume she has played rugby at some point.

The Gentleman wasn't exactly expecting that, but he has just enough time to tighten his grip on the open umbrella as he is bowled over. There is a scuffle; Sparling goes for her pistol but the Gentleman knocks it to the opposite side of the room, where Felix retrieves it but can't fire on the Gentleman because Sparling is in the way. Even with an umbrella in one hand, the Gentleman's augmented strength is formidable, and he gets to his feet with his free arm around Sparling's neck, facing her toward Felix, the handle of the umbrella at her temple like the barrel of a gun, which for all anyone else in the room knows, it may well be.

"Hell," Sparling says, a bit out of breath. "It was worth a try, though, eh?"

"Quite," agrees the Gentleman.

Newton Falk: A wrench flies from the left and strikes the gentleman upside the head, taking his hat off. He drops Sparling, who tucks and rolls away.

"I went ahead and threw the wrench, Captain." Luka calls from the side.

"That," says the gentleman, stiffly jerking his head back upright, "was you cue to stop fighting and come peacefully. I apologize for expecting sense from you at this late a juncture."

The gentleman opens the umbrella in front of him and a it begins to spin, quickly gaining speed. The sound of a small motor is joined by the tearing sound of the blade that extend from each spoke. The gentleman leaps at the Captain as she dives back, pushing Felix aside and almost tripping over Newton. Her foot catches a component of the rocket launcher and it spins wildly over the edge of the catwalk.

"Bugger." Says Newton looking up. He takes a pencil from behind his ear and crosses off a bit on the instruction manual.

The melee gets into full swing a moment later, but Newton hardly seems aware. Luka reaches down and takes a long threaded rod from the cloth bends it over the head of one of the Enlightenment attackers.

Newton looks up with an exasperated face. "Bugger, again." He says as he crosses out another component.

Several moments pass by before he stands and shoulders the weapon.

The melee stops as all eyes watch him point it toward the gentleman. Sparling looks quickly at the gentleman, then begins to inch away. Newton pulls the trigger…


-click- -click- -click-


Newton pitches the rocket launcher over the edge.

"Hey, Luka! Save some for me!" He rushes forward, drawing the Autopilot.

Luka Arlexi: Luka gestures for Newton to wait, her eyes on the gentleman. "Tell me this, ложных жизни. What happened to Kresah?" The gentleman inclines his head.
"I'm afraid I don't know of whom you speak, Miss Romanov."
"The one who was assigned to bring me in for Luitpold. He… left rather abruptly last time we met." The gentleman's lips curl up into a small, mirthless smile.
"Repairs are underway." He frowns slightly when this seems to put Luka at more ease. She shrugs idly.
"What can I say, ложных жизни, your friend grew on me a bit."
"And this is why you call him a rat?"
Luka, growing tried of banter and exposition, answers, "Yes. It is." A sudden explosion from below causes the walls and the catwalk to shake, which impedesbut does not preventthe Captain's efforts to get Felix to his feet, and herself re-armed.
"I got to blow it up anway!" Newton exclaims. He has never looked happier. Smoke begins rising from below, black and thick. "And I think it hit something important!"
"Newton," Luka puts a hand on his shoulder. Their eyes meet. He hands her a grenade. "Thank you." She pulls the pin and chucks it at the ceiling in front of the blast doors. There is flash, and following the expected bang comes the groaning and screeching of metal on stone. The ceiling begins to collapse between the two parties in great, jagged chunks, and the catwalk begins creaking under the added weight of falling mortar, stone, and metal. Smoke contiunes to pour up from below. Genevieve takes in the scene, and then looks to her crew.
"I suggest we run."
"Aye aye, Captain!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: The crew head for one of the other blast doors, which now has an almost-human-sized hole in it as well. The Enlightenment operatives behind that door have paused in their efforts upon hearing the explosion in the chamber beyond, and while they're stunned the crew thread their way through them, followed closely by the Gentleman, who is shouting orders to the steamguards, who eventually do come to their senses and turn to give chase.

The tunnel leads into yet another vast chamber, where immense pipes stretch from floor to ceiling at regular intervals. The crew is traveling north; from the west they hear a sound that is familiar and yet altogether foreign. Half a dozen ravenous beast-things, obviously crafted from the same experiment that created Daniel's alter ego, lope toward them.

Unknown Character: "More relatives of yours I hope, Ms. Arlexi?" asks Felix.

Luka Arlexi: Luka gives Felix a look. Ironically, perhaps, it is a similar one to the look the beast things are giving him.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Just as the pack of malformed wolf-creatures nears the crew and ready themselves to leap, a plume of fire shoots horizontally into the pack and incinerates two or three of them instantly, sending the others into a retreat in various states of charredness.

CUT TO: Commercial.

And now, back to Cogs!

Michael Harrel: The Red Shariff, (or "Scarlett" hereafter) hovers in a jetpack-flamethrower-destructo suit. (INFIDEL, according to Evelyn.) The werewolves are all covered in flames and liquid fire. The Red Shariff, already an attractive lady, has never seemed…hotter. Yeah, that's the best I could do. Sorry.

Michael Harrel: "Thought you all could use some help," she says.

Luka Arlexi: "I believe this is the first time I've been happy to see you."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "I second that."

Luka Arlexi: "Carry on."

Newton Falk: "Still not happy. Friendly fire and what not…"

Michael Harrel: She glances upwards, where a large exhaust shaft leads towards the surface. "I wonder how much weight Dr. Higgenbotham's invention can hold?" she says. "I could try to carry you all one by one out of here."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Surely there's an easier way out of here," Sparling grouses, glancing around the vast chamber. "And it would be nice to retrieve Pavel from the corridors, rather than have to spend another several months searching the continent for him."

Michael Harrel: "All right. What do you suggest then?" she says. (Clearly disappointed at not being able to drop Newton from a great height, or have her arms around Luka)

Luka Arlexi: (Is still oblivious)

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Can your giant robotic destructo-suit cut through this floor? Onofrio will have taken the boat back, but there are bound to be others."

Michael Harrel: "I can try," she says.

The Shariff aims a blast at the floor. The fire melts through the metal and rock, tunneling into the level below. As she cuts off the flame, the crew catches a glimpse of surprised Enlightenment workers and a few armed guards. Scarlett has apparently cut a tunnel through to the Sub Level 15a Rec Room. "What the hell!" comes a shout from below. "You nearly killed us!" "Who's responsible for this? I want your names and the name of your supervisor immediately!" "How fucking inefficient! They should take away your vitality."

Luka Arlexi: "I suggest we run."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling grimaces at the shouts. "After you," she says to Scarlet, and gestures at the outraged Enlightenment cronies.

Newton Falk: Newton charges.

Michael Harrel: Scarlett aims her flamethrower at the steamguards, who are by now climbing out of the hole in the floor to get at the crew. A spray of flame leaps from the mouth of her suit's weapon — and then sputters and dies. Immediately thereafter, her jetpack sputters out and she falls to the floor with a loud THUNK.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Hell."

Michael Harrel: "This makes me glad I didn't try to carry you all out of here," she says weakly from the wreckage.

Luka Arlexi: Luka pulls some debris off of her.

Newton Falk: Newton charges into the room and doesn't stop until he's standing atop a table. Lifting a tankard he scooped up on the way he spies the table full of people who are too damn badass to even look up when a wall melts (you know the type). He throws the tanard + Ale at the back of the nearest ones head and shouts, "Why are they all assholes? You're an asshole!" and kicks the nearest person.

There is a moment of perfect silence. The world hangs in the balance before tipping to one side…

"Who says we're assholes?!?" A back table erupts into a wall of angry meat and table splinters as the surly miners and grizzled guards turn to face the assorted rabble of the rec room. Newton is already under the table he was standing on, as though he dropped straight through it.

"No one says you're assholes!" Yells a frightened man, who suddenly realizes there's no one near him.

"Oh? Well their wrong." Says the man with arms like an ox's leg. You can practically hear the gramatical mistake in his voice, and he knows it's there, "We are assholes. And we're gonna show you why you shouldn't forget that."

Chaos ensues.

Like a wave from the back it washes on a sea of pain and rebounds off the walls. The steamguards burst in a moment too late and are sucked into the rip tide of pure brawl.

Newton manages to flip his table over and rides the initial wave of assault back out of the room by literally surfing onto of the table. He reaches the rest of the party and gestures frantically that they should make their way to the exit. Using the table as a shield they work their way along the wall until they reach the door…

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Somehow, a steamguard gets thrown bodily across the room when Sparling dodges the oncoming mass of metal, she's briefly seperated from the others. The time it takes her to catch up is long enough for an Enlightenment goon wielding a bit of construction refuse that looks suspiciously like the Autopilot to swing it wildly in her direction. She raises her left arm and the rebar collides with a nasty crunch. Sparling curses, loudly. The man with the metal freezes when he realizes he just hit a girl, and starts to stutter, "Oh Jesus, I'm sor—" when Sparling shoots him in the gut and hurries to catch up with the others.

Luka Arlexi: Luka nods appreciatively at the use of table-as-defense, and follows Newton towards the exit. A rickety table topped by two men dueling with tankards catches her eye, however, and she makes a slight detour to attempt to kick one of its legs out. This goes surprisingly well, at least until the table collapses on her leg. She cringes, swears under her breath, and begins trying to extract herself. The two tankard fighters fell off of the other side, and seem oblivious to her presence. Luka picks up a piece of broken metal, leverages the table up, and tries to quietly scoot away.

Newton Falk: They all exit the rec room and manage to close the door behind them. Now standing in a quiet hall Newton turns the the rest, "I love crowd surfing!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling grimaces as she cradles her shattered left arm. "Yes, that was thrilling. Let's never do anything like it again."

Luka Arlexi: "Agreed." Luka limps up last.

Michael Harrel: Scarlett lands beside Genevieve. "Can we go now?"

Newton Falk: "Sure, anywhere you like. But first we have to figure out where we are."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Felix joins them, bleeding from a cut over his ear. "This way is east. We docked on the west side of the island; there should be more boats as we get closer to the main dock."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling looks back at the still-brawling rec room. "And Pavel's that way. But if they find the bastard, he'll probably tell them we kidnapped him and go back to his life of turncoat luxury." She heads east. "Or he'll meet us on the way there. Let's go."

Newton Falk: "I bet he'll be at the dock, ready and sell us a boat."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling starts to grin, but it turns into a grimace.

Luka Arlexi: "I could go for some crutches. And some vodka."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "He'll have at least one of those in his coat pocket."

Michael Harrel: They head east.

As they pass a corridor to the left, they distinctly hear Pavel's voice, shouting "Genevieve!"

Newton Falk: "There ya go."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling skids to a stop and turns down the corridor, her pistol at the ready.

Michael Harrel: From behind come the sounds of clanking metal pursuit. To their left, Sparling eyes a long corridor sloping downward. A sign reads "Interrogation and holding."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling curses in Russian. "Bloody fool."

Newton Falk: "Looks inviting…"

Luka Arlexi: "Hrm. Captain?"

Newton Falk: Note: Newton is helping Luka walk. He could make a splint with the autopilot (he's very skilled at that) but he's chosen not to.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling proceeds down the corridor, but stays quiet, hoping for another call from Pavel that would better indicate where he is in the area.

Michael Harrel: There's silence, and then the sound of Pavel screaming in pain.
Luckily, this shows the crew the general direction that his voice is coming from.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling hurries in that direction.

Luka Arlexi: Luka, leaning on Newton, hobbles after.

Michael Harrel: Sparling hurries down the corridor, the rest of the crew following her. "Wait, the dock is this way..!" shouts the Sharif, but she follows anyway. Sparling turns a corner, into the Interrogation Dept.

As she rounds the corner, she runs into five power-armored steam-guards, smoking cigarette near a ventalation grate.

"Who the hell are you?" they snarl, bringing their weapons to bear on her

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling stops short, then straightens, and adopts her best Gentleman impression. "What the bloody hell are you doing here?" she demands. "There's a riot in the mandatory recreation facility—get down there before I report you!"

For one brief, glorious instant, the steamguards glance at each other uncertainly, cowed by the force of Sparling's will. Then they notice her general disshevelment, the pistol inlaid with the wheat stalk of the Russian resistance, and the fact that she's not wearing a bowler hat. They cock their weapons in unison.

CUT TO: Commercial!

…And now back to Cogs.

Luka Arlexi: "Hands in the air," the guard in the shiniest armor orders. The Captain looks at her battered crew appraisingly. Newton reaches behind his back with one arm, and chucks a grenade defiantly at the steamguards, who watch it fall and roll past them without comment. The Captain looks at Newton, and then the guards.
"I may have forgotten to pull the pin," Newton muses. Luka leans into him. "It could be worse," he adds.
"Стреляйте в гранату, пожалуйста," Luka whispers to him. She turns quickly, smashing a fusebox on the wall. The lights begin to flicker and alarms begin wailing in discordant tones as the fire suppression system activates, and then… Nothing. She stares at Newton in the erratic strobe lighting, and makes an encouraging gesture. He looks at Genevieve.
"Did she forget that I don't understand any Russian that isn't vulgar? Or profane?"
"Probably. But I think I get the idea." The Captain shoots quite well at the grenade, but it doesn't go off. The guards are making rather distressed noises in their armorwhich was fortunately flash-frozen by the overzealous fire suppression systemand a certain tang in the air indicates that one of them has wet himself.
"Captain… we only have a minute or two, but I have an idea."

Several minutes later, five dead guardsicles are locked in a closet, minus some metal parts appropriated for the most badass looking cast and splint that a Captain and a mechanic could want. Also, they can probably stop bullets.

Luka Arlexi: Elsewhere, Evelyn is humming and playing with something shiny.

Newton Falk: "So, the little switch on the side of the cast pops the blade out? Damn, I wish I broke my arm…" Newton muses as Luka finishes her cast.

Michael Harrel: "I can help you with that," says the Shariffette.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling flexes her arm in the cast and nods approval at Luka. "On we go, you lot."

Michael Harrel: They find Pavel in a cell a few doors down, chained hand and foot to the wall but otherwise looking no worse for the wear. "Ah, Sparling," he says. "I'm glad you're here. Could you by chance reach the flask of vodka in my left coat pocket?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: She retrieves it, and hands it to Luka, then goes to work on picking the locks on his chains.

Michael Harrel: This takes but a moment. Luka hands Pavel the vodka. He takes a swig and replaces it in his pocket. "That's good, then. Let's go," he says, and moves toward the door.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "How exactly did they find you, comrade?" Sparling asks as she follows him.

Michael Harrel: "I believe they found me rather difficult to capture, my friend Captain. But I suspect that someone told them we were coming."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "You're right about that much."

Michael Harrel: "Thought so. I notice that scientist you hang around didn't come for this mission." Pavel pounds his fist into his palm menacingly. "Never trust a woman in a lab coat!"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Under normal circumstances, I'd be inclined to agree, comrade, but I'm afraid Giovanni was responsible for this."

Newton Falk: "I never saw it coming… What an actor!"

Michael Harrel: There's an explosion and gunfire from somewhere nearby. "Er..let's plot our revenge on the way back, comrade," says Pavel, ducking.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Quite. Felix, which way to the docks?"

Michael Harrel: "This way," says our intrepid sidekick. He leads the way down a series of corridors, finally kicking open the final door to reveal the docks. The dock workers all stop what they're doing and stare at the intruders. Several steam guards start up their hydrodynamic engines. And the four gentlemen in black standing near the boats glance over in the direction of the door. "I say…" says one, adjusting his monocle. "What splendid luck," says another, and he doffs his hat at Sparling.

Luka Arlexi: Luka gives him the finger.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Hell."

Newton Falk: "NO." Says Newton. "No fucking way. I'm done. Fuck you guys." He starts walking back down the tunnel.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Perfect time to lose your bloody spine, Mr. Falk."

Newton Falk: A moment later Newton screams and charges out of the tunnel directly at the closest man in black. He swings madly with the Autopilot and brings it about at the side of the its be-bowlered head. The gentleman casually raises raises his umbrella to block it, but Newton shifts his weight into a kick that catches the gentleman in his midsection. He topples over with Newton on top and both roll free and raise to find themselves in a face off. The gentleman begins to dust himself off nonchalantly, as Newton raors at him.

"Knock it off!" The gentleman stops and regards Newton.

"Oh? You aren't done?" It says cheerfully, a cold glint in it's beady eyes.

"Yeah, I do. I'm sick of you." Newton looks around to include the surrounding gentleman and Enlightenment workers. "You operate on fear, so you try to be someone to be afraid in. But I'm done with you. I don't have any fear left, just rage. I'm done with your shit, and I'm done with your Enlightenment. So I'm going to kick your ass and see what you do about it."

"Dr" Evelyn Higgenbotham: Scarlet's INFIDEL makes a whirring noise. Her eyes widen. The metal on her right arm rearranges itself with violent clicks, jerking her whole body. Raising it to inspect it, a claw like object opens up, inches from her face. Smiling wickedly she points it at a gentleman.
She flicks her wrist and the steel claw attached by a cable launches forward and imbeds itself into the gentleman's chest. He chuckles and looks down at the line protruding from him. Suddenly, an electric current travels down through it and he spasms, smoke coming from his now agape mouth.
"Higgenbotham!" it roars before the cable snaps back, yanking out his primary power source from hi chest. He slumps forward with a gurgle and falls to his knees, then his forhead. He doesn't move.
"This doctor, I'm starting to understand her love of harpoons…" Scarlet's eyes gleam with a strange light.

Luka Arlexi: Luka nods. "I see the appeal myself."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling, Pavel, and Felix make identical stunned faces

Newton Falk: Newton looks around and notices the three other Gentleman working their way around to flank him. One steps through the semi circular line of steamgaurds to take his conrades position. He's He looks down and half headedly sighs, then begins to chuckle; a slow hicupping mechanical sound. It looks up and raises it's umbrella to Newton and the crew.

"You are angry. And anger serves no one. Reason is the path to efficiency, and you'll come to see reason again soon." The gentleman points his umbrella point at the corpse, "This one will be repaired, and renewed he will serve the cause." He raises it, and points to Felix, "As your freind there was, and will again." He spreads his arms as though to embrace the crew, "You'll all understand, and in due time you will sing our praises to these people who do the work of the Enlightenment." He finishes with a flurish to include the workers who have stopped their labors and are beginning to take positions behind equipment and away from steamguards and gentleman.

"Oh, man." Newton says, chuckling himself. He looks up, "You shouldn't have reminded me."

The last silibal is barely out before he charging again. Making the same mad rush, the gentleman bring the umbrella up to block a swing; but Newton reels, swinging the Autopilot over his head and throwing it at the gentleman has he bullrushes. Caught off guard the gentleman catches the tip of the rod in his forehead with a wet crunch; he jerks spasmodically for a moment before Newton barrels into his unresisting form. They fly backward and stop against a stack of cargo with another sickening puncture. Dropping to his feet and yanking the Autopilot unceremoniously free, Newton steps back from the gentleman who is looking with empty eyes at hi-lo fork projecting from it's chest.

"That was a foolish move, my boy." Says a third gentleman stepping through the line of increasingly agitated steamguards.

"No, that was proof." Newton says, a smile of maddness and triumph on his face. He turns his back on the gentleman and looks at all the faces peering out from their hiding places around the docks. "They can be killed. They aren't immortal, they're machines. Clockwork and meat, but machines that need repairs." He turns back to the gentleman and takes a step forward, bring the bloodied Autopilot down into the palm of his hand as he does. "If there's none left to repair them, if there's no one left who will do it.. they don't exist. A world without the gentleman. A world without their Enlightenment." He glances sidelong and catches a worker in his glare. "You think about that while I kill this one." He turns back to the gentlman and ducks to charge again, but stops. The gentleman is looking in his direction, but over him. Rising, and turning, Newton looks behind him to see a rank of steamguards, their piston rifles raised and aimed past him to train on the gentleman. A tinny voice comes from the middle one with the captains bars welded to the shoulder.

"Men, your target is the gentleman in black. Aim for center mass and lets try to keep bystander death to a minimum. Sir?" He says, appearing to notice Newton for the first time, "Please step away or we'll be forced to kill you as well."

Newton looks confused for a moment, then throwing his hands up stalks off to join Luka and the others.

The Gentleman looks equally confused. Leaning on his umbrella he raises a ginger and opens his mouth to speak. A moment later there is a cacophany or thunder and he is reduced to a battered form missing it's head and the majority of it's chest. The tinny voice speaks up again.

"The man who brings me the head of the last one gets a field promotion." The steamguards lumber quickly off across the docks as the workers step out into the open in stunned silence. The captain remains behind, his visor opening with a hiss of steam to reveal the face of a middle aged englishman. "I had been wondering about those things ever since they took my sister. There's not a man I know that wouldn't turn to a life in the woods if it meant not living in fear of those things." He salutes the crew with a clunk and a hiss, "Captain Nathan Brightmoor, hundred and forty second mobile armor regiment; at your service. Thank you for showing us how to kill them."

"It was nothing," Newton starts, but gets cut off.

"Not you, son." Capt. Brightmoor says dismissively. "The young woman in that magnificent armor." Looking at the Red Shareifette, "My lady, may I ask your name?"

Michael Harrel: The Shariffette starts to speak, but then the INFIDEL on her back explodes, sending her into the air, across the dock, and into the water. "HIGGENBOTHAM!" she screams angrily as she flies past.

The dock workers and steam guards stare in shocked silence for a moment. Then, the captain raises his gun. "All hail Higgenbotham!" he shouts. "All hail Higgenbotham!" the workers rejoin.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Damn it, those are three words I never wanted to hear," Sparling sighs.

Luka Arlexi: "Should we correct them?" Luka whispers.

Newton Falk: "Nah." Newton says, turning to stand next to her. "Let's let Evelyn find out on her own."

Michael Harrel: Scarlet crawls back out of the water, soaking wet and having ditched the INFIDEL. The workers hoist her over their heads and parade her around the dock, still shouting the praises of Higgenbotham. Scarlet looks rather confused.

The workers deposit her with the crew, and then scatter off to begin their hostile rebellion and take-over of the entire island.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: As she watches the rebels depart to cause mayhem, Sparling feels a surge of pride at a job well done, even though she had practically nothing to do with it.

Newton Falk: "Oh," he says, turning to a crate next to the door. "Tell your men to stand down."

A scruffy looking man raises from behind the crate and cups his hands to his mouth. "Oi!" He shouts, and around the docks dirty, haggard mean begin to step out of shadows and doorways. Nodding at Newton, the man turns and walks away as the hobo army begins to file out of the dock area.

Newton looks at the rest of the crew. "You didn't think I'd do that without backup right?"

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "How the hell did they get here?" Sparling demands, mostly rhetorically.

Michael Harrel: "Hitchhiked, probably" says Felix.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Well, I guess we need to steal a boat big enough for… all of them…" Sparling sighs.

Newton Falk: "Oh don't worry. They get around."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: Sparling shudders.

Newton Falk: "Just know, they're right there when you need them. Always. Right there."

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Yes, congratulations Mr. Falk, you're king of the human rats." She picks a boat.

Newton Falk: "I am."

Luka Arlexi: Luka pats him on the arm. "You were doing so well. Please stop talking."

Michael Harrel: "Can we get out of here?" says Scarlet.

Captain Genevieve Sparling: "Let's."

Newton Falk: "I'll drive."

Michael Harrel: They board one of the boats and head toward the mainland.

CUT TO: Higgenbotham, in her lab. Doing things.

Suddenly, the sound of a steam-cycle roars to the entrance of the hideout. Which is strange, considering the hideout is in the sewers. A man wearing boots and a boss-of-the-plains hat strides through the door, which Evelyn could have sworn the others had locked on their way out. "Ma'am," says the man, tipping his hat at her. "If you're Dr. Higgenbotham I reckon you ought to come with me. There's somethin' you need to see."


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