Now that Markesha’s made her grand entrance, a few wrinkles in the plan start to emerge.
The sudden and violent arrival of Markesha and the commandeered Wall Bug has caused a bit of a stir!
The cavalry has arrived, and they’ve got concrete!
In the times since the Withering, weather patterns have gotten more powerful and unpredictable. Massive hurricanes aren’t only a problem to those crossing the oceans, but a serious danger to those on land as well. Trinity is roughly two hours from the coastline, but a Category Kamikaze storm making landfall can still have the same effect as a High Cat 3 or Low Cat 4 Hurricane today. Flooding, especially on Riverside is virtually guaranteed, where as other parts of the city will face massive wind damage. Houses on the outskirts of the Outer City are rarely left standing, leaving scores of citizens homeless. In the past, the Halo’s lower levels have been flooded, and the Inner City has seen serious damage to not only their cropland but their high-rise buildings.
Orson calls out Ifrit’s desperate move for the hilarity it is.
Historically the HSF Headquarters was housed within the Inner City itself. As the Wall grew, and viable building space became scarce, the HSF was relocated to the Halo in 2154. Over the years as the Wall became taller so did the HSF HQ. The foundations of the original offices are now laundry facilities inside the Lattice itself. Now, major HSF offices are at every cardinal point of the wall, but the main HQ is stationed above the Lattice. Recently renovated, thanks to a substantial amount of money from House Pierce, the new HQ is something the Halo has taken great pride in. It sports everything from state of the art forensics labs, HIVE security archives, a Hoverport, and of course an interrogation chamber. The observation gallery was included by Logan’s suggestion.
Everett asks Constance some pointed questions about Orson.
The Apple Tree is one of four crowning jewels of the Halo. The others are an Oak Tree, a Peach Tree, and a Maple Tree. Due to the Withering such plants are exceedingly rare, and were given to the Halo as gifts from the Inner City to mark historical or important events in the city history. The trees are placed at the Halo’s true North (Peach), South (Maple), East (Oak), and West (Apple). Residents of the Halo will attribute their directional tree as a reference for where they live, as in, “I”m from Maple, but they’re from the Peach area.”
Everett and Constance have had enough “law and order” for one sitting.
(Content Warning: Torture) Orson tries David’s patience and everyone suffers for it.
Prison bonds used by the HSF have been quietly upgraded over the years. The current model used is outfitted with a shock interrogation feature that allows officers to find new and creative ways to “enforce compliance.” The bonds wire system locks into a floor, wall, or ceiling-mounted power source, and is activated via remote. Exactly what power setting is actually safe for continued use versus effectiveness is still hotly debated among the HSF ranks.
With Markesha’s help, Link’s found the asset they’re extracting is on the move.
The vast labyrinth of the Halo is built out of reinforced concrete, steel, and high durability composites deep within the great ring Wall of Trinity. Due to the dense construction of the Wall, any would-be spyder has to rely on the Halo’s internal communication systems to relay data back and forth. By using the wireless communication hubs throughout the Halo, Link is able to bend the network to his will and triangulate Orson’s tracer signal.
Orson and company are taken back to the interrogation room.
The view of the inner city is one familiar to everyone in Trinity. Not for seeing it with their own eyes, but through media. Trinity has no problem showcasing their beautiful city amid the waving leaves of green crops as an example of their power and bounty to everyone inside and outside the Wall. Even prisoners are given views of the city, as a means to inspire intimidation and awe. For Orson, it doesn’t inspire either of those feelings…
Markesha runs into an unexpected resident of the Wall!
The ARKN-78, otherwise known as a “Wall Bug” were originally built not as masonry repair bots, but as Wall security droids during the Waycross war. After the war, the droids became less needed after ballistics cannons were installed on top of the wall. So, the fleet of ARKN-78’s were retired and thrown in storage. Years later the wall was in desperate need of repairs, and with no volunteers, the ARKN-78’s were repurposed. Trading their ammunition for masonry tools these bots can be seen crawling on the outside of the wall like bugs, hence their name, “Wall Bugs.” Their reputation as fearsome guardians of the Wall hasn’t changed much in Outer Trinity, and the High Houses aren’t in much of a hurry to change the impression either.