Elections having been duly held, the only new persons on the Council are Ida (mayor) and Eric (Expedition in place of Ang, who took Power Liaison — uncertain whether that’s a Council position).
In the aftermath of the attack by Gigantor, the Council has come to the agreement that equipment does need to be put in place for Langston to continue his research into the nanobot virus and the situation with burgeoning Powers. Toby has been sticking around in the hopes of learning everything he can about his father’s pattern scan, which was obtained on the last run to the Tower, and Maddy has been planning to return to Guardians Tower anyway. So a meeting commences in Maddy’s room.
Flashback: Ang learned at Guardians Tower what vehicles would be repairable and what was actually on hand. There were two boats, 1 jet, and 1 helicopter that might potentially be candidates for bringing equipment back with us.
The team agrees that returning to the Tower is in fact the best option. During the course of this discussion, Maddy attempts to explain singularity to those of us who aren’t sure of the meaning in this context; that she wanted a human host, but melding to Warden might just be enough to content her. Maddy offhandedly mentions that certain other bodies had been discarded as options, and although that is briefly queried, it’s not followed up on.
Flashback: After returning to Refuge Point from the Tower last trip, Ang checked on everyone who used to be a Power that we are aware of to see if any of them were experiencing power reactivation flares of any kind. The answer was no. Elana has continued to train with both Ang and Natalie, and she can control it pretty well when things are calm. Like most new Powers, when her emotions are heightened, control is inconsistent.
Ang approaches Elana in the garden about accompanying the team to Guardians Tower for a second trip. She agrees to go. Meanwhile, Langston talks to Toby about transport and Maddy goes to Eric to procure weaponry; we need heavier weapons for this trip just in case of a larger-than-usual threat. He agrees, but he wants to come along. He and Ang talk, and Ang eventually acquiesces. Toby teleports everyone to the outskirts of the Tower.
Maddy begins talks with Sandra about allowing us to enter. Sandra is fixing herself a new home in the building. Ultimately, a trade is agreed upon. In return for allowing us to take a list of equipment and a vehicle for transporting the equipment home along with access to our own quarters, Sandra wants Maddy (and the team) to retrieve some parts for her that she does not have access to in the Tower itself and cannot obtain.
The group is going to take turns hitting their quarters.
Maddy, Natalie, Elana: Vehicle team. These three head for the boats, one of which Sandra has agreed to let us have. One of the boats is in pretty decent shape but has no fuel; the other has fuel, so the women siphon it off into the good boat and that’s all set pretty quickly. The boat runs, but it’s really rough after sitting there for a couple of years. It’ll serve its purpose, however. Maddy dives into the water of the boat’s mooring to try to swim out to the tunnel that opens to the river, but she cannot swim! She starts going under, and Natalie tosses her a life preserver. Maddy misses the mild snark that comes with it. They let the others know that transport for equipment is set up and ready, and then they trade off to go to their own quarters.
Ang, Melody, Toby: First Quarters Team. While Melody and Toby go into their home to fetch personal belongings (pictures, music, clothes, some of Mel’s uniforms, some of the canned goods, etc.), Ang focuses on one item that she really wants — her armor. When she gets to her quarters, the armor pieces that she needs are not where they were left, and she suspects from the signs in the room that they were carefully removed by a robot. So Ang heads for the armory, where she is stopped by Sandra inquiring as to what she needs. When Ang states that she wants her things that were taken from her quarters, Sandra allows her entry to the armory and tells her where to find the gear in question. Along with her armor, Ang also lucks out and finds a couple of her hilts with her gear. Sandra even apologizes for taking it. It’s clear to Ang that Sandra is stockpiling weapons and equipment in the armory, and there are two new security cameras in addition to the two that already existed. She touches nothing except what she claimed she came for, and thanked Sandra for it (through gritted teeth) while making mental notes of offensive and defensive capabilities and placements, what gear is here, etc.
Langston, Eric: Medical and research labs. While they are in the medical lab sorting through the equipment that will be useful, Sandra offers her help to Langston as a gesture of good will. He accepts this offer so long as it’s not going to cost him anything, and Sandra reactivates Eric’s power. Come to find out, he’s able to merge with the tech in the room! This speeds up their ability to sort through the equipment significantly and they get to work trying to make sure they find everything on their list and get it into working condition.
The vehicle team and first quarters team finish up at approximately the same time and begin heading toward the labs to start transporting equipment. On the way up, the vehicle team makes their own stops off at their quarters to round up their personal gear. And Natalie is called specifically called to medical for Langston to scan her. Eric has to remain to power the machine while Toby and Langston deal with the scans.
The full-body scan verifies the pregnancy and its duration (roughly 6-7 weeks by now), that the fetus seems normal, and it also discloses something troubling — Natalie’s physical processes are going harder than usual for a normal pregnancy. Langston appears to have several thoughts on the process: 1) could be just what Nat’s body does when she’s pregnant, but there’s no way to know that because she’s never been before; 2) could be that there are some effects of the nanobots or viruses in the atmosphere that her healing factor is protecting the embryo from; or 3) could be something even worse, like the idea that maybe there HAVE actually been pregnancies since D-Day that no one knew about and whatever it is that Nat’s body is fighting off could be the reason no one’s had kids that we’re aware of (sample size admittedly confined to Refuge Point and allies). No real way to know anything about it as yet, but Langston does make a point of pulling Melody aside to tell her to make SURE that Natalie is eating — and eating even more than previously advised because her healing ability being constantly on could potentially be a huge energy sink and she’ll need the calories.
In addition, Maddy asks Langston to run a full scan on her as well for the location of all metal bits and pieces that are now bonded into her body. Up to this point, she had no way of knowing how deep within her body the machinery might have penetrated, so now that the scan is accomplished, she can better understand her own physical situation.
The last bit of information gleaned from Sandra is that she expects to restore the Tower to its full working potential.
The team is given leave to stay overnight at the Tower. Toby and Eric are sent back to Refuge Point to obtain the trucks and personnel, then meet the boat at the docks in the morning and complete transport of the materials. Lab will be set up in a conference room of the hotel.