It Doesn’t Have To Be Like This
The crew is fulfilling their promise to take the fight to Ryo but first they need to find the Blink Drive, which means sending Five on a trip down memory lane. She discovers that Ryo is likely keeping the drive on a super secret, hidden research station parked in a radiation-heavy nebula, but before they head out they have one last debate about whether the plan to kill Ryo is the right choice. Two and Three say yes. He killed Nyx, so he must die. But Five and Six aren’t so convinced murder is the right option. Then again, not even Six will stand in the way of Two when she’s this pissed off.
They make their way to the research station, firing upon it immediately before launching the Marauder with a boarding party of Two, Three and Six. This less-than-subtle assault gets Ryo’s attention, who sends a Transfer Transit clone of himself to the station to confront his friends himself.
Back on Zairon, Misaki and Teku resume their verbal sparring. Misaki tells a story about being bullied at the academy. She was too good, you see, and some of the boys didn’t like that so they cornered her after class to teach her a lesson. Years later, she would teach them all a lesson of their own and her version involves eye gouging. The way she leans into Teku while telling this tale makes it obvious she means it as a threat about what happens when you threaten her plans and I would kind of respect her if she didn’t straight up scare the crap out of me.
On the station, Ryo demands his scientists use the Blink Drive to get away from the Raza, despite the fact that it is not ready. They comply with predictably disastrous results. Instead of sending them to an alternate reality, though, they’re stuck halfway in and out of reality, in a big white void of space-time, which is not somewhere you really want to be.
On the Raza, Five and Android are worried about their friends, but their efforts to find them are hindered a bit by the fact that Five is having some issues of her own. She keeps blacking out and traveling into her own lost memories where she discovers that before joining the Raza, she had a friend and mentor. She was working in a repair shop for an older guy, which is where she learned all her mad skills. He was so taken with her, and so concerned for her future, that he offered to pay to send her to a tech college. It’s a very happy little memory, but bittersweet because you know where the story ends: amnesia on the Raza.
Two and Three blast their way onto the research station and begin hunting for the Blink Drive before being headed off by Ryo. At first, this seems like a good thing - they can kill two birds this way – but nothing is ever so simple. That void? Yeah, it’s shrinking and you do not want to be there when it catches up to you. Two and Three try to convince Ryo to let them help evac the crew in exchange for the Blink Drive. He’s not having it, so Three shoots him only to discover it’s not Ryo at all, but a clone.
They convince one of the research scientists to take the deal Ryo would not, but when they get to the pod where the rest of the crew is holed up, they’re too late. It’s been eaten by the void. They head to the lab to grab the Blink Drive and find it missing, the friendly scientist dead, and the other threatening to throw the drive into the void and kill them all. That simply will not do, so Two and Three make quick work of her, grab the drive, and head back to normal space.
Five has taken a turn for the worse and the only way to save her is to wall off the crew’s memories and hope it doesn’t fry her brain. There’s time for one more memory, though, where Five learns from her new/old friend that she has a long lost sister who was adopted by some wealthy folks when she was a baby. She doesn’t learn more, though, because Android starts the procedure and saves her life, removing the memories, but leaving what she’s learned from them.
Oh, and Four found out that Misaki killed Nyx and he’s NOT happy. He threatens Misaki’s life but she says that his feelings for Nyx made him weak and soon he will have to “deal with” the rest of his former friends the same way.