Colonel Becker makes it to the CIC and gets a report from Captain Millet, who ordered the reactors scrammed in order to prevent the ship from jumping. She had detected that the ship’s computer was attempting to trigger a jump. Becker orders the computers to be kept offline and the reactors restored to service.
Meanwhile, Mitch and Jack, aboard the Thermopylae and burning at 3Gs for thirty hours, arrive at Persephone 3. Mitch takes his fighter to search for Stella’s flight and Jack descends with a lance of Land-Air-Mechs to search McTavish’s Hope. Mitch finds Stella and her wing aboard the remains of the Dervish, having cannibalized an air tank to stay alive.
Jack finds Jonah’s body guarding the settlement’s longhouse, in which seventeen of the settlement’s children had been sealed with an underpowered air recycler against the increasingly hostile volcanic environment. The Thermopylae recovers Stella’s flight and the children and heads back to the Agamemnon.
While en route to pick up the Thermopylae, Becker has the ship’s computer cores scanned thoroughly and isolated from the most critical systems. Captain Millet suspects, based on the computer logs, that something involving the carrier signal from Natasha Kerensky combined with Millet’s own hack of the computer’s security apparatus triggered a deeply-embedded dead-man’s-switch in the Agamemnon that caused the loss of control. The offending code was isolated and removed. Becker remained dubious, however, and had the Ares expert system RASPUTIN examined more closely. Chief Fagan reports later that the expert system simply processes input and makes tactical suggestions – and those don’t seem to be very good. Millet reports that Fagan is “beating the thing at chess fairly consistently”.
Becker also briefs the crew on the current situation and her intention to protect the Inner Sphere from the invading Clans.
The crew finally chooses to cut into Locker 17 and evaluate its contents. The cylinder from Cromwell seems to be a self-contained computer – Mitch attempts to discern its use to no avail. Millet assigns staff to investigate it more closely.
During a particularly passionate rendezvous, Corbett notices that Fagan has been writing on her arms and other places covered by her uniform. He notices ticks, as if she had been counting, and the words “DON’T SLEEP” and “GET OUT”. He checks with Cottle on Fagan’s overall mental health but doesn’t learn much that is new.
Becker convenes her war council to discuss strategy.
The session ends with the Agamemnon jumping from Persephone.