A lovestruck Tony Chu was the focus of Chapter 3, as he tracked down both his crush, food reviewer Amelia, and Evan Pepper. What does Chapter 4 have in store for Tony and the others?
There is no ‘official’ Prologue for Chapter 4. Instead, there is a few instances of time-hopping.
It starts with Mike Applebee at his desk, taking a call from The Baltimore Bureau. He has info on some “chicken runners”… and gets the word that there’s a hit out on Tony.
This pleased Applebee tremendously.
Drat, the “Overwhelming Paperwork Concern” overrode the “My Employee Will Die!” warning. Applebee reluctantly yells for Tony….
… but Tony and Agent Savoy aren’t there. They’re… in a wrecked Astronomy Lab? And… “Vampires”?!?
Flashback Time. And needed explanation time.
A couple of days prior, Tony and Savoy were investigating the death of a prominent Senator. They visited a morgue to ‘examine’ the body. The Coroner (I’m assuming) is very put off by the two, shown by her quote: “Inspect”? Is that what you call it?” Remember, both Tony and Savoy are Chibopaths, so you can understand her disgust at them, since it seems like she knows what they are.
Instead of a body, she hands them an urn. “Do whatever you want with the ashes”, she says with a smirk. Savoy opens the urn and turns on a fan.
Savoy has to mentally nudge Tony a little bit, but Tony eventually “samples the evidence”.
Fire… and sex… and stars? Was the senator getting laid under a night sky, near a bonfire? I don’t know but Agent Savoy apparently had a clue, because he immediately sent Tony home to pack his warmest clothes for a trip, the following morning. “It’s imperative to stay off your phone and do not open any of your emails.
We now head to the Arctic Circle. On the flight up there, Tony pours over the evidence, including the fact that the lab hosted a senator from 4,500 miles away.
Savoy is sleeping.
Until Tony tried to make a call, in which Savoy snapped away. He explains why there’s a no phone warning: Applebee (and friends) can track him via an automatic ping. It would have been worth the risk to use his phone, though. Tony’s brother, Chow. Chow got in too deep with some shady characters and needs Tony’s help. Instead, Tony and Savoy are on digital “silence” until they transfer from a plane to a helicopter, where they have another 4 hours to go until they reach their destination.
The helicopter pilot drops Tony and Savoy off at the telescope… where they walk into a mess: trash all over the place, icicles and ice everywhere, and a group of people in various states of dress, hygiene, and inebriation. A scientist, standing behind a bar, isn’t exactly surprised to see the federal agents. He thinks that they are there because of the misappropriation of lab funds: the lab gets $34 million to operate, just from the U.S.
It only costs about $3 million to operate.
That money was not spent wisely.
The scientist says that Uncle Sam had them looking at the same planet for years. As he explains more of what’s been going on, he finds a bundle of dynamite. With 1 second left on a timer.
Suddenly, two very scantily-clad women, speaking in Russian (I’m assuming), pop up from the couch, armed with machine guns. Some of the scientist try to reason with them but they are mowed down in a hail of bullets. Tony pulls his weapon, trying to stall one of the shooters….
…while in the background, Savoy has finished taking a bite out of a bullet-butchered sheep.
He knows what the women are saying but not why they’re doing what they’re doing… which includes setting off another explosion, killing one of the shooters.
The 2nd woman runs off into the Arctic, wearing only a bathing suit. The story comes back to the “present”: the first panel of the Chapter (the one at the top of the post).
Tony wondered about the fate of the place. Meanwhile, an unofficial epilogue takes you back 24 hours… to Altilis-738, the planet that the scientists were supposed to be monitoring. The people are going about their daily lives, when there is a bright light, and some kind of light-based writing in the sky. There’s an explosion, and the planet is no more.
An already weird story took a left turn into “The Outer Limits” weird. You now have exploding planets, bored scientists with way too much money and time on their hands, and dead senators. And Russian assassins. Oh, there’s still the missing Evan Pepper. That’s a lot! I still don’t know exactly what Tony saw in his vision; was the scientist having sex on the planet that blew up? And what were those assassins saying? Will Chapter 5 answer any of these questions? Stay tuned to find out!