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.
Audrey gives Markesha an overdue formal introduction to the gravity pack, and some important rules to go along with it.
Given the number of times Audrey has had to introduce new recruits to her technology the “Rules Speech” (as Link likes to call it) has gone through some significant changes. Originally it was a 73 image slideshow with 18 key points, and it required 2 hours and 38 minutes to slog through. One recruit nearly bailed on the whole deal after the first 40 minutes. Over time, Audrey has learned that a simpler introduction is more effective, and has slowly and painfully slimmed down the presentation.
Markesha’s on board for the rescue mission, now there’s the minor matter of actually planning it.
Located high in the Halo along the Wall, the Lattice is situated on relatively prime real estate for a prison. Given the high profile, joint nature of the Halo Security Forces, this is perhaps not that surprising. After all the HSF needs someplace intimidating enough to detain miscreants, but polished enough to assure the leaders of Trinity that Justice is indeed Being Served. There are rumors of other less pleasant long term detention centers far lower in the the Halo. These jails are rumored to be the private dungeons of powerful Houses, who have the means and motive to make individuals disappear unpleasantly for long stretches of time. Given alleged location and ownership, it’s not surprising that there’s never really been any solid evidence uncovered to prove their existence.
Markesha has several dangerous options, but there’s a clear choice.
Let’s say that the proverbial shit has hit the fan and you’ve got to get out of town before daggers decorate your back. The tried and true way is finding room on a trade convoy to your safe destination with the help of a coyote, like Rio. If a coyote can’t be found, bribing a convoy worker to stow away is a viable option – until you’re found. Stowaways aren’t welcome travelers and you’d be dumped amid the wastes for the offense. Traveling thousands of miles by foot is difficult in the best of conditions, but in a world that’s turned into a dustbowl it’s a guaranteed death sentence. Happy trails!
The engineer’s returned, which means Markesha has to face her coworkers.
Whenever Markesha’s about to head out on a job, Toshi has a simple ritual she must follow: touch the pendant of the necklace worn around his wrist They’ve done this for 11 years. Toshi doesn’t think of himself as a superstitious man, but he can’t argue that when Markesha touches the pendant he manages to worry less, and she manages to stay out of trouble (for the most part). In fact, Toshi can remember the few times Markesha didn’t touch the necklace and how disastrous the consequences were – muggings, falls, fractures, broken ribs, a lacerated kidney, a stabbing. The list goes on. Toshi doesn’t mind Markesha’s grumblings as long as she’s safe, and in his mind this little ritual seems to keep her that way.
Orson gets returned back to the holding cell, definitely worse for wear.