New theme song – Midnight Cityby M83.
New Credits sequence described (see separate document)
Episode begins in the astral plane as seen by Malenkka. Fawkes & Kirsten the Cat entertain Mal at a picnic with tea and crumpets. Fawkes wants Mal to see a show the dragons are about to put on. Kirsten wants to give Mal two gifts. She summons a spirit who is a ghost from the Northern Tribes of the world of Atavar (within the Five Shards game). This ghost’s beard rings are transformed into silver & diamond battle axe cuff links that Mal is instructed to give to Salo, Mal is also given a rabbit’s foot fetish with which she is told she can call to Kirsten for help. Kirsten makes several oblique references to an upcoming event in the North.
The dragon’s activity is shown to Mal. 13 days prior the three freed dragons are in the Rajateria in London, UK. Cirrushorn, the white dragon, appears to really have a hankering for Indian food. However, they are soon attacked by a Smiley-drone and a fire elemental, which they subdue and then Cir suggests that they build a Fortress of Solitude at the North Pole to avoid human contacts, since someone is obviously out to get them. They fly off in that direction, their claws full of Indian food.
Mal startles everyone, awaking from her dream crying “Fortress of Solitude”. Callie was just heating up some Indian leftovers and the Microwave chime coincided with Mal’s awakening. Salo is deeply immersed in the online world, as is Rosie, however Rosie rouses himself to get some of the heated Indian food.
Mal attempts to get everyone’s attention, however this requires tapping on Salo’s VR goggles. We flash into Salo’s world, as he brings about the triumph that is Dongpocalypse, scoring yet another legendary victory for the Bastard Squad guild. (See Salo’s document for full description of this Epicness). Darren Trilby is introduced as a nemesis, head designer at Homophone Software, game designers.
Mal gives Salo his cuff links and Salo, Rosie, Mal and Callie discuss some aspects of Dongpocalypse. Salo receives two calls in quick succession. First from Cheese, who commends the Guildmaster of Bastard Squad on Dongpocalypse and then also lets him know that Liebnitz will now be attending a conference in Beijing in 7 days to discuss Shard and its impact on society. This was a reschedule after the events at NIH caused a security reassessment.
Next Shining Rainbow calls Salo. Shining an eco-shaman of sorts, still involved in The Eventide, asks Salo if he’s going to the big event, Freezing Man to be held up at the North Pole. This was thrown together after a mysterious cold snap suddenly returned to that area of the globe after decades of temperate weather. She chides Salo to use yoga to maintain good posture as Salo blatantly ignores this advices. Salo and Shining come to a tentative agreement to see each other at Freezing Man.
Rosie idly asks Callie about Lotho’s health, which has been extremely slow to recover. Callie doesn’t seem too worried about it. The Indian food is slightly old but yummy.
Ay lies in his bunk, sullenly bouncing an old racquetball off the ceiling and wall of the below-decks bunkroom. Connor keeps in company. Their reverie is interrupted by a horrible-looking Lotho who has dragged himself down to their room from the Auto-Doc bay. Lotho describes some dreams before falling unconscious.
Connor and Ay return Lotho to the Auto-Doc and Mal joins them when she hears Lotho is unwell. Astrally, Lotho and especially his prosthetic arm are giving off significant magical signatures. Back in the chair, Lotho is sedated but his brain activity is very high even when unconscious and his face looks strained. Ay discovers that Lotho has a disused crystal jack in the back of his skull too.
Connor messes around with Lotho’s mechanical arm and discovers a serial number that Nairt is able to tell belongs to Liebnitz from 10 years ago. Mal looks at the arm astrally and pokes it, causing some kind of warning spirit to keen an alarm based on the wrist of the arm in astral space.
Nairt receives an encrypted message from the UK, postdated by two weeks saying to look for a message in a bottle. At nearly the same time, the group downstairs hears the sounds of bottles hitting the Popeye. The ship is surrounded by the bottles. Each bottle contains a message with an ad for Freezing Man and a handwritten message from the three dragons on the back saying that they need help and are trying to avoid human contact, but this festival is going to cause problems.
Disgusted at not receiving the memories promised him by the green dragon, Ay kicks several bottles back into the sea, and he heads back down to his bunk to throw his racquetball.
A search by Mal and Nairt reveal that Wheatgerm Corp is a big backer (and perhaps instigator) of the Freezing Man gathering. Mal hears about a new soy pop beverage and Nairt finds video footage indicating that the blue dragon might be on the massive cargo ship headed to the North Pole from Australia, the base of Wheatgerm.
Salo gives Callie a detailed slideshow on the many crimes of Darren Trilby. Callie notes how many naked women Salo has in his “research”.
Connor decides to remove Lotho’s arm to research it further and recover a screw from it. He notices that Lotho’s arm “socket” is the same as everyone’s crystal skull-socket. Eventually, Ay decides to use his datajack to jack into Lotho’s arm. He’s instantly playing the 5 Shards game, as a full on 20th level Ayundil.
When he comes back he’s soon seen by Connor and Mal to bleed from the nose. Suddenly Ay falls into a wracking seizure. His memories are flooding back to him, his life as a yakuza. Connor and Lotho get Ay into the Auto-Doc seat. When he awakens, Ay is a pained but changed man. Connor is none the worse for wear, having sustained a thrashing from the unconscious Ay.
Darren Trilby is noted to be appearing at Frozen Man, as is the mystery assassin who attacked Callie a couple of episodes back.
As Connor starts a philosophical discussion on the perception of reality and parallel dimensions, Niart notices that 3 Thunderbird ships with Chinese government markings are closing in on the Popeye. Mal notes that these folks also have spirits and potentially shamans with them.
A final cutscene shows Connor’s mother in Long Beach, hiding with the Russian mafia, especially Boris. Boris reveals dealings with some Chinese gangsters when gunfire erupts. Connor’s mother moves to hide in the “safe room” that Boris pointed out.
End of Episode 1.