Beyond The Farthest Precinct
Five years after the events of the Smax mini-series, Precinct 10 is celebrating another year of hard work done at their annual labor day picnic. The festivities are broken up, however, by the appearance of a large avatar in the sky, nicknamed the Hell Ditch Pilgrim (after the supernatural crevice it appeared above). The next day, as new officers are paired with veterans, Toybox goes looking for the Rumor, anxious to thank him for rescuing her from Ultima years ago. Unfortunately, she cannot find him, but new officer Hoodoo Priest informs he knows of the Rumor and alludes to his divine role.
Officer Joe Pi is reconfigured as a lesser form to investigate a new strain of robot drug that seemed connected to the Hell Ditch Pilgrim. After giving Joe Pi his new assignment, Captain Traynor is called to the mayor's office, where he is summarily fired and replaced with the more hawkish Sean Cindercott. Cindercott soon initiates a number of sweeping reforms, instituting radio check-ins every quarter hour, less focus on street-level crime in favor of "rooting out subversive elements," no non-essential visitors at the station (meaning loved ones), mandatory overtime with base pay, no contact with the media, and ceasing of routine maintenance of officer's personal equipment. Finally, all officers are asked to sign a ten page "loyalty oath." Needless to say, the officers are polarized by these decisions, with a large number signing a letter of resignation, until Hyperdog convinces them all to stay.
Joe Pi reports back, after accidentally having experienced the effects of the dark energy capsules firsthand. The "darkshots" create a direct mental connection between any cybernetic intelligence and some extra-dimensional entity. Where these drugs are being created is a federal lab called Project JOOTS, where Irmageddon's husband just happens to work. Investigating the lab, Irma's husband, Ron, explains the basic goal: the scientists investigate "superspace" the underlying region that seems to bind all timelines in the multiverse. In superspace, dark energy is the force that holds the multiverse together, as well as having other properties. It seems a robot worker, named Rikby-2001, has been using dark energy to create and distribute the drug, but he purposefully overdoses and transcends this plane rather than talk.
After the precinct thwarts a minor attack by a group of anarchic "derridadaists," they have to deal with the Hell Ditch Pilgrim spreading his influence and destructive insanity through all the entities in Neopolis, including fellow officers. While Cindercott wishes to make a beeline for city hall to protect the mayor, the officers know they have to attack the problem at its source: superspace. But without any means to breach superspace, they cannot fight the Hell Ditch Pilgrim; until the Rumor shows up. He informs Top 10 that Andy "Airbag" Soames, who five years ago contracted S.T.O.R.M.S. (Sexually Transmitted Organic Rapid Mutation Syndrome), was so radically altered by the disease as to become a creature capable of entering and controlling superspace. The Rumor says that Toybox is the only one that can harm Soames, because she carries her mother's gift: Pandora's Box. The Rumor helps the officers bridge the gap left by Project JOOTS technology and send Toybox into superspace. When Toybox faces Andy alone, she unleashes all of her toys to protect herself, and then reveals the final thing left in Pandora's Box that can heal Andy Soames desperate mind: Hope. Smax rushes through the makeshift portal to grab his partner, escaping just before the effects backlash throughout superspace.
A few months after the events of the Hell Ditch Pilgrim case, Hyperdog is Traynor's replacement as Captain of Precinct 10, Robyn Slinger is no longer Toybox, and the fascist Mayor Famaille and Major Cindercott are out of power, casualties of the reality warping by Andy Soames, who now peacefully overlooks Top 10 as they once again celebrate survival and hopeful perseverance in a crazy and confusing beautiful world.