Combine Exchange ProgramEpisode 11: Biotics Inbound

Antlions swarm the beach near Nova Prospekt as a voice says the thumpers are down and tells everybody to gear up. We then see legs of Combine soldiers rushing through Nova Prospekt.
Nattie leads the charge, surrounded by Danny, the soldier JTO2309 and three Nova Prospekt guards. They run towards a weapons armory where everyone gears up: Danny picks up a submachine gun, JTO2309 and the rest pulse rifles. They stand at attention, staring towards Nattie.
One of the Nova Prospekt guards asks Nattie what happened. She replies rebel sabotage, most likely, and says the Citadel tried to warn them, but it was too late. Another guard asks what the rebels are trying to do and Nattie retorts she has no idea, they could be attacking or just causing havoc. Either way, they need to reactivate the thumpers before the antlions overrun the place.
Nattie says let's go and leads the Nova Prospekt guards out. Behind them, Danny turns to JTO2309 and says sorry that they can't finish their conversation right now, but if he still wants a name, they can pick one out for him when that is over. The soldier nods in response.
Danny says okay, let's go and runs off. Outside, Nova Prospekt guards fire emplacement guns at the swarming antlions.
A horde of antlions rushes through the beach towards the Combine guards. One of the guards, TTS8114, informs Nattie that they've halted the biotics' advance for now, but with their sheer numbers, it's only a matter of time before they break through.
TTS8114 says if they can get the thumpers online, that'll cut off the infestation on the beach for the rest of the colony and they should have an easier time cleaning up after that. Nattie thanks him and calls him Tits, to which TTS8114 says under his breath to stop calling him that. Nattie asks Laz if he thinks he can get the thumpers online. Laz simply lifts up his shotgun and heads off in response.
As Laz walks off, Danny asks if he's doing it by himself. Nattie asks if he wants to help and notes he's their guest, so she can't order him. Danny notes he does owe Laz for earlier and raises his gun. JTO2309 simply stares at them. Everyone else in the group stares at JTO2309, waiting.
JTO2309 shouts fine and follows Danny and Laz, but states for the record that he never wanted to come there in the first place. Laz, Danny and JTO2309 rush through the beach as the Combine emplacement guns fire over them.
Antlions rush through the beach towards Laz, Danny and JTO2309, who shoot at them with a shotgun, submachine gun and Combine pulse rifle, respectively.
Laz, Danny and JTO2309 fight through a large swarm of antlions towards a disabled Combine thumper.
As Laz, Danny and JTO2309 run and shoot, an antlion gets dangerously close to JTO2309 and attacks.
JTO2309 says crap and stops the antlion by sticking his rifle between its fangs.
A shotgun blast kills the antlion holding JTO2309 down. JTO2309 looks up at Laz and simply states thanks.
Next to the thumper, Danny tells the two others to hurry up while he covers. JTO2309 says he'll climb up, then notices his pulse rifle is bent from being stuck in-between an antlion's fangs and tosses it away.
JTO2309 climbs up the ladder while Danny and Laz hold off the antlions. He pushes a big red button that turns green and the Combine thumper starts creating shockwaves in the ground that force the antlions away. Danny says oh, thank God.
Danny takes a moment to catch his breath. Watching from afar, Nattie notes it looks like they're struggling a bit out there. She shouts Tits, to which TTS8114 sighs, and tells him to come with her. He asks where they're going and she dramatically declares to retrieve the secret weapon. Two Nova Prospekt guards gasp and state it hasn't been tested yet and it's dangerous.
TTS8114 incredulously asks that thing and starts calling it just a bunch of something, but Nattie cuts him off with a shout of silence, telling him they'll hear them. TTS8114 asks who, the antlions. Nattie declares no more questions and that it's time for action.
JTO2309, Laz and Danny stare at the antlions held off by the thumper. Danny says on to the next thumper, I guess. JTO2309 notes he doesn't know what he's going to do without a weapon, to which Laz simply hands him his own shotgun and runs off. Danny asks where is he going as Laz heads to one of the Combine bunkers.
An antlion jumps Laz, who simply punches it away.
Laz walks past the antlion he just punched to death and enters the bunker, where he approaches the emplacement gun.
Laz walks triumphantly out of the bunker holding the Combine emplacement gun as a minigun.
Laz starts firing the emplacement gun at antlions, completely annihilating them. Danny and JTO2309 stare at one another, then casually join Laz as he clears the way.
JTO2309, Danny and Laz rush past all the dead antlions.
Laz gives the two others suppressing fire while Danny and JTO2309 rush to the thumper.
JTO2309 climbs the thumper while Danny covers him and turns it on. The thumper starts repelling antlions, then a loud growl is heard from close by.
A massive Antlion Guard appears, growling. Danny shoots it and says he doesn't think the thumper is going to work on that one. The guard rushes forward.
Laz tries to slow down the Antlion Guard while JTO2309 tells Danny to climb out of reach. Danny starts to climb the thumper and almost reaches the top when the Guard smashes into the thumper.
Danny is tossed back down onto the ground and breaks his ankle in the fall. He screams in pain on the ground.
The Antlion Guard roars menacingly over Danny. JTO2309 screams no and shouts that's my friend.
JTO2309 leaps down onto the Antlion Guard and falls on its head. He shoots it point blank with the shotgun.
JTO2309 stands triumphant in front of the dead Antlion Guard, shotgun over his shoulder. He asks Danny if he's okay. Danny sarcastically retorts he had him right where he wanted him. JTO2309 replies that's a funny way of saying thank you and Danny asks if it isn't.
JTO2309 and Danny overhear a vehicle approaching. Nattie and TTS8114 show up in a makeshift vehicle with large wheels and sawblades in front, shooting flamethrowers from its sides. Nattie shouts there they are and the vehicle stops.
Nattie and TTS8114 drop down and Nattie says oh my goodness. She asks Danny if he's okay as JTO2309 helps him up. Nattie tells Tits to go with Laz and take the last thumper. TTS8114 says got it and the two head off to fight antlions.
Nattie tells Danny and JTO2309 to come on, let's get them back. Morning dawns. An antlion is seen dead on the beach.
The carcasses of multiple antlions and one Antlion Guard lie dead and bloodied on the sand. Nova Prospekt calms down.
Nattie and the Nova Prospekt guards stand with Danny and JTO2309 in front of a Razor train. Nattie says she hates to see Danny go, but she supposes she can't keep them any longer now the railway's fixed. Danny, holding a crutch, says not to be ungrateful for the hospitality, but he'll be glad to get back to the city and get some rest, adding that, between the pigeon lord and that place, it's been a wild week. Nattie says not to worry, they'll make sure that crazy human doesn't get out again, then adds she has so many questions for him.
Danny turns to JTO2309 and asks if he still wants a name, then, since he's JTO2309, suggests the name Jato. JTO says he'd like that and all the Nova Prospekt guards scream yay, with Nattie saying he's Jato.
The Nova Prospekt guards lift Jato and chant his name while Danny, Nattie and TTS8114 watch. TTS8114 says he doesn't get what the big deal is about names, to which Danny notes neither does he and asks Nattie if he can ask her something. She replies of course.
Danny points out Nattie is so obsessed with humans, yet she used to be one, so why make new names and not use their original ones. Nattie replies she doesn't know her old name and adds that none of them do. Danny incredulously asks if she doesn't, to which she replies Our Benefactors took away the pain of their past. Danny asks if they erased their memories, but Nattie corrects him that they relieved them of their burden. Danny asks even their childhood.
Nattie pauses for a moment, then simply states Our Benefactors are so kind, aren't they. She notes she's surprised Danny didn't know all this, asking if he's spent all this time with Jato and he never told him.
Danny looks over at Jato and says it never came up. Nattie says oh well, she's sure he'll get to it, then pats Danny and says she hopes he come visit again, otherwise she might have to come visit the city, saying she hears there are humans all over the place there just walking around. She calls it fascinating. Danny says um, right, yeah, then says they'd better get going.
The Razor train departs Nova Prospekt and makes it way through the coast. Next episode: malcompliance most foul.

1 thought on “Episode 11: Biotics Inbound

  1. Man, Nattie and the prison folks are crazy. But I guess that’s what you get when your memories are wiped and you are tasked with detaining regular humans.

    What an episode. It’s impressive how you keep the editing so simple yet so distinct. The novelty and freshness never wears off.

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