Salvatore: Arcus Iudicium Part III

Creator: Stefano Pavone
Age rating: 17 and older
In the final chapter of the trilogy, Salvatore and his allies, including his longtime nemesis Claude Pascal, must all stand together in order to thwart Electra Daimler's plans to resurrect the Federation and rule the world with an invisible hand.
Synopsis: The ARCUS team, now wanted worldwide, take up refuge in Luxembourg as they head for the main hospital. The doctors are just barely able to save Salvatore’s life, although his augmentations have been damaged, requiring the use of a medical robot to restore his bioelectric energy. Vladimir contacts Holly and asks her to investigate the DIVIETO organisation on Salvatore’s behalf. In a secret DIVIETO facility in Norway, Electra is reprimanded by Rosh for abandoning Grigori to his fate – he orders Project Gladiator suspended while he manipulates the media from behind the scenes.

3 months later, Salvatore fully recovers and regains consciousness. Holly and Himika receive an anonymous tipper emailing them to head over to Osaka, Japan. Holly calls Jenna and instructs her to meet her in Japan. With no time to waste, the journalistic pair broadcast an emergency report warning the people of the Earth of the DIVIETO cult, clearing Salvatore’s name and exonerating the ARCUS rebellion. Claude assumes command as he shows the others the identity of the tipper thanks to his cross-referencing and private investigation. The tipper is a member of DIVIETO called Katashi Takara, Himika’s father. He contacts Salvatore and asks him to come to Japan, agreeing on a mutual temporary alliance. Miranda is reunited with Salvatore – she thanks him for saving her life and for freeing her from Electra’s brainwashing. Reinvigorated, Salvatore and the crew leave Luxembourg City, departing from the Benelux region.

The ARCUS operatives head over to Japan. Salvatore is reunited with Holly for the first time in more than five years. Holly agrees to protect Katashi in exchange for the information. Katashi informs them of a DIVIETO operative named Ivan Popov – this news causes Vladimir’s mind to temporarily snap, as Ivan is his father. Salvatore radios Tobias for extraction before ordering Holly and Himika to rendezvous with Claude and Jenna. Vojislav seemingly abandons the group, much to Salvatore’s displeasure and disbelief - he forces Katashi to help them escape on pain of death.

Electra uses both her and Hermann’s (stolen) research to create a techno-warrior clone of Miranda – Miranda Alpha – a silver-coloured fusion of flesh, nanotech augmentations and plasma, based on the Scandinavian beauty’s DNA, augmentations and combat data. Rosh learns that Electra has continued Project Gladiator unauthorised and reprimands her for her callous behaviour. She warns him that her actions will someday save him, as they are for the greater good, or rather, her perception of it, which does not align well with Rosh's well-intentioned extremism.

In Russia, Claude and Jenna interrogate Hermann and Katashi over their roles in DIVIETO. Hermann quickly reveals all his knowledge about Project Gladiator, while Katashi cracks only when realising that Rosh may come after him for his defection. That night, Miranda suffers a nightmare, where she relives her capture and cryogenic incarceration at Rosh and Electra's hands. Upon waking up in Salvatore's arms, she confesses to him why she took up the life of a femme fatale: her overprotective upbringing caused her to leave home and live on the road with her older brother, Håkan, which led to her stint in Interpol. It was her meeting Salvatore that reawakened the kind and gentle woman underneath the cold and hard seductress. It was also her insecurity and susceptibility to suggestion that made her an ideal candidate for Project Gladiator.

Based on information provided by both Hermann and Katashi, Salvatore and the ARCUS operatives infiltrate the city of Munich with the intention of taking out Rosh and Electra, who are apparently visiting the city to recruit new members to replace the fallen co-founders. The rebels decide to plan a surprise assassination on the media mogul and roboticist. The team are poised to attack, ready to surround and apprehend the corrupt cultists. Rosh, however, is aware of the ploy. An explosive device in the hotel room kills Katashi, and a second one in the subway injures Claude and they are forced to escape. Salvatore and Vladimir are able to save Claude's life, who tells them that Rosh knows Holly before passing out. Interrogating the woman he considered a friend, Salvatore is sickened to learn of her duplicity and comes close to killing her, only to be mollified by Vladimir's stand against him and Holly giving him an overdue reprimand. After some soul-searching, Salvatore forgives Holly for her deception.

Hermann confesses that the resurrected Vojislav is an early experiment for Project Gladiator until it was decided that a fusion of both robotics and genetic engineering was deemed the perfect combination – he even confirms the location of the DIVIETO hideout – a subaquatic domed city on the base of the Norwegian Sea, known as Star 1. Rosh's futuristic alchemy (synthesising precious metals) led to the world collapse in 1996 and the genesis of the Sol Federation. The rebels leave Germany and plan a desperate final assault on the underwater fortress, heading for Norway – the destination: Star 1.

Salvatore's squad head into the town of Bodø on foot, taking the direct route, while Miranda's team infiltrate the base via an underwater incursion. Miranda is knocked out by a torpedo and is rescued by Jenna. Holly and Himika work on gathering as much evidence as possible for their news scoop while Miranda and Jenna head further into the subaquatic fortress, intending to reach a laboratory housing the heart of Project Gladiator. Holly and Himika are captured and tortured by Rosh and Electra.

Salvatore rescues Holly and Himika with Jenna's help. Rosh finally takes a stand towards redemption and fires Electra, who shoots him before fleeing - Rosh is escorted to safety by Jenna, Holly and Himika, who leave the city via airport as Jenna returns to help Salvatore. Miranda destroys her alter-ego while Salvatore disables the base's protection grid, engaging in a final fight with Vojislav, who begs Salvatore to kill him. After killing Vojislav, Salvatore destroys the underground mainframe before returning to the surface to evacuate - he is incapacitated by Electra but Miranda, thanks to Vladimir's covert hacking skills, rescues him. Electra escapes as the heroes evacuate the doomed installation.

6 months later, in 2017, Salvatore and Vladimir track down Electra's hiding spot with Holly's help and infiltrate the Millennium Tower in Vienna, Austria. They learn that a more powerful clone - Miranda Omega, made of liquid gold - has been created as they confront the evil scientist. Hermann stands up to Electra, who shoots her former mentor. Miranda takes on her gold counterpart while Jenna tends to Hermann's wounds, Salvatore and Vladimir pursuing Electra to prevent her evil from spreading over the world. They shoot down her helicopter but she escapes, crashing through the window of her suite, where Miranda defeats her robotic doppelganger. Miranda Omega malfunctions and drags Electra out of the window but is saved by Miranda, who wants to see Electra pay for her crimes. Realising what Rosh's philosophy truly represents, Electra states that she has no future before committing suicide.

The rebels leave Europe, their final mission completed as ARCUS is disbanded. Returning to Australia, Salvatore agrees to take a long break with Miranda, and he and Vladimir part ways after a decade of ice, fire and steel together. In Israel, Rosh visits a memorial dedicated to his parents as he openly weeps before their graves, baring his soul for the first time in almost 40 years. Salvatore pays him a surprise visit and the two men share some important life lessons with each other - to live their lives not as heroes or villains, but as men.

That Christmas, Salvatore receives an epilogue-like letter from Vladimir, who tells him what's been going on. Recalling Rosh's words, he starts a new life with Miranda, ending the story.

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