The party finds itself in a second prison in nearly as many days, this one is a few levels above ground and audibly near a flight path.
John Hubble comes in to speak with the prisoners. He explains to the party that the entire invasion was designed to end the Third Succession War – which obviously back-fired. He explains that the Clan assault isn’t an invasion, it’s a retreat. He says that the human race probably only has five years left to it. As he leaves, he mentions that even if humanity had a few centuries to prepare, it may not be enough. The team infers from this that the Clans are being driven home by an alien race, perhaps the Consu that the party had previously encountered.
During the subsequent conversation, Millet reveals that the League base on Persephone 2 was researching ruins believed to be alien in origin. She mentions that she was told of them by Ian.
That night, the voice of Mr. Case comes from the intercom in the cell block. He explains to Janks that the key to the data bomb could be found on “Sub-level 7, locker 9″ and that it’s a small gold jewelry box, approximately 6″ by 2″ by 2”.
The next day, the roar of LAM engines precedes the hand of a Phoenix Hawk tearing open the wall – outside, two Phoenix Hawks painted in the black of the Black Knights with Star League insignia begin laying into the surrounding area. A tilt-rotor craft hovers into position, and a squad of marines piles into the cell block, tossing smoke grenades and laying down covering fire. Sergeant Major Barret strides into the fray and works to break the party from their cells. As they begin to retreat for the aircraft, an unseen soldier with a handgun begins firing out of the smoke. Three marines drop with three shots. The team retreats into the aircraft and flies clear under cover of the Phoenix Hawks.
After a few moments, Lance Geers mutters, “Oh…oh hell…”, and dies quietly in his seat from small arms wounds.
They arrive along with several other similar flights in an empty field outside the city. Colonel Vail is there, directing the evacuation to a number of small military drop-ships. Stella is given a small interceptor to fly escort. The party boards a dropship piloted by Rance along with Vail and the evacuation takes flight and makes orbit. In the distance, the party catches sight of a McKenna-class battleship and its distinctive centrifuge. Vail identifies it as McKenna’s Pride – Kerensky’s flagship. He says it was brought in a few months after the battle.
Vail notes, “the way I see it, the motherfuckers owe us a McKenna-class battleship.”
The dropships are pursued by a number of system patrol craft and a squadron of superiority fighters. Stella attempts to fend them off, but her fighter is severely damaged.
Vail activates one of the Clan gravity devices, and a few moments later, as the dropships are about to be overcome, Alabama jumps in ahead and begins laying down covering fire. The dropships make emergency landings in Alabama’s recovery bay, and Normandy swoops in and rescues Stella. Both ships jump free of the combat.
Aboard Alabama there’s a warm homecoming celebration, and the team is debriefed by Vail and Montenegro. After telling their story, they’re informed that a sizable fleet has been gathered from many of the houses of the Inner Sphere, but it’s still not enough to break the siege of New Samarkand. With so many heads of state involved, the situation has become extremel political and it’s very possible that the message of unity in the face of invasion would fall on deaf ears. Also during the conversation, Millet reveals that she has a majority of her memories, but had stayed silent.
The team decides to split off from Alabama in the Normandy and head to Cromwell to pursue Bigend’s key.