Hey all! Carrie’s illness has been a bit more than we were expecting, but she’s on the mend! This week we bring you Markesha’s destination: The King and Queen Towers of Outer Trinity.
Largely a tourist trap for Inner Trinity denizens looking for an exciting place to slum it, the King and Queen towers are the tallest buildings in the Outer City. Located in East Gate, these towers are owned by two separate landlords who have kept trying to outdo the other. One builds higher, then the other retaliates. The taller is called the king, the shorter the queen, and the titles swap about every three months as more and more building material is added.
Hiatus Time! This go around it’s Carrie’s turn to be ill. We have some exciting news though, this weekend we will be debuting the 2nd Print Edition of Kamikaze Volume 1! If you want a copy of your very own, head here and get yourself a copy! We will be shipping them out next week. If you can’t wait that long and you’re in the Washington DC area this weekend we’ll be (health permitting) at the 2019 Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD.
The second print edition comes with a new pass on the colors, (slightly) less foul language, and a shiny new cover design. Reserve your copy here!
With a solemn promise made, Markesha strikes out on her very first mission.
Over the years Orson’s worked with a plethora of people who’ve had a wide array of call-signs. Comm-line communication has been a staple throughout his career. The process of finding a call-sign is a personal one, and Orson’s detailed attention to each assignment endeared him to many of those under his leadership. His own call-sign, Odyssey, has never been explained to anyone on his team, but few have had the courage to ask. The only person whose come close has been Audrey. Orson considered answering the question, before he realized she wasn’t asking about its significance. Rather, she didn’t know what the word meant. His response was predictably laconic, “It means a very long journey, Miss Dalma.”
The last few adjustments to the suit are made as Audrey and Markesha have a heart-to-heart.
The magnetic locking system that attaches the gravity pack to the suit is the result of countless hours of trial and error by Audrey. Earlier systems used mechanical locks, which had several critical problems. Dust and other debris would often jam the release, or only allow the lock to close partially. Not only is the current magnetic lock airtight and resistant to failure, it has a surprising quirk. In an emergency situation, Audrey can reverse the magnetic lock’s polarity, causing the pack to violently jettison away from the recruit. She has yet to find a recruit brave enough to field test this feature.
Markesha’s made some striking modifications to the suit.
Past recruits never made any alterations to the suit beyond hardware. Link’s suggested “tricking out” suits on multiple occasions, but no one’s had the desire, creativity or much less skill to do it. In Orson’s opinion adding patterns or color wouldn’t provide function of any sort. The black and grey matte colors of the suit are purely utilitarian for covert work. Putting a striking pattern on the suit would be a risk, especially with the bright colors Link suggested.
The gloves are integrated into the suit, but Markesha has one more modification to make.
During her time working for Franco’s Delivery Service, Markesha was never a fan of Franco’s unique method of advertising. Advertisements for the shop were spray-painted onto any empty flat surface Franco could find. When deliveries were slow, runners were sent to the streets with stencils and cans of spray paint. Franco favored a specific color of permanent spray paint called “Midnight Purple.” Since Franco would never KNOW who put what ads where, Markesha blew off the guerrilla advertisement work. Instead she’d use the spare time and paint to mark her running routes on the rooftops of Trinity. She never bothered to return the paint to Franco.
Audrey provides an electrifying conclusion to her crash course, and finally makes the apology she’s been dying to make.
Given the experimental nature of both the gravity pack and the infiltration suit, Audrey prefers to fabricate each component individually with room for individual modifications as the situation changes. Under normal circumstances, the extensive training and onboarding period for new recruits gives her ample time to integrate these components together and run through a full suite of tests. One of the most basic integrations is a set of controls which allows the agent to directly alter the energy input and output of the gravity pack while in the field.
Link and Audrey explain the plan for infiltrating the Wall, but Markesha’s got questions.
Cut the wall in half and you could read it’s age and structure much like a geologist could read soil. Newer construction is expanded up and around the older structures. Due to simple practicality the Wall had to be smooth on outward facing sides to protect from food thieves and thrill seekers. As the Wall has gotten impossibly taller, the smoothness of it’s surface became less of a factor. Expansion projects from the last 60 years have left craggy uneven surfaces on the outward facing structure. Most citizens of the Outer City aren’t aware of this simply because they can’t see these details from so far below.
Audrey gives Markesha a crash course in the gravity pack power systems, leaving Markesha with something new to think about.
With every iteration of the Pack built, Audrey tries to make adjustments beneficial to the user and the team as a whole. Drain rate is one improvement she’s managed to consistently improve. Past versions of the Pack had recruits stranded in some areas for several minutes after performing the most basic maneuvers. Other adjustments she’s created have been cooling systems to prevent over heating, software upgrades for easier controls, and most recently, it’s smaller size – a feature catered especially for Markesha.
Markesha learns more about the Pack while Audrey practices her English (and interpersonal) skills.
The Venting feature has been a standard function of the Pack’s design for each iteration. Exactly HOW the pack is vented changed from user to user. Part of the on-boarding process is Audrey and Orson working on the best possible multi use mechanism for the wearer. For each new recruit Audrey created a specific “vent” catered to their individual needs, fighting styles and, to some extent, personality.