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When the Mesan Alignment initiated Operation Houdini and began to evacuate its core personnel from the planet Mesa, Arpino was assigned to escort two scientists, Anastasia Chernevsky and Joseph van Vleet. They travelled to the Balcescu System where they boarded the slaving vessel Luigi Pirandello. However, before they could leave the system, the Royal Torch Navy arrived and forced the ship's captain to strike the wedge. When Arpino was convinced that there was no way of escaping, he personally killed Chernevsky and van Vleet and then initiated the Luigi Pirandello's self-destruct sequence. The vessel blew up, destroying all traces of Arpino and his subjects. (CS3)