The man on the screen introduces himself as Roderick Black, the chairman of the Outworlds Alliance, and after some tense moments, both sides accept that neither side is looking for a fight – in fact, Black has a proposal for the Agamemnon.
Colonel Becker, Stella, Mitch, and a small detachment of marines take a transport to Black’s jumpship, the Hard 8, along with all of Black’s people from Persephone who wished to remain in his employ. He offers the officers dinner and explains his proposal (between attempts to seduce Colonel Becker). It seems that two Clan assault frigates had pulled into Prinis Prime a few months previous and have kicked the Outworlds Alliance off the planet, securing the H3 fuel refinery there. Losing the refinery is forcing the Alliance to import fuel from the Draconis Combine, which could collapse the Alliance economy and cause starvation. Black offers the Agememnon fair Outreach rates for a force of their capabilities to reclaim the refinery.
During the battle for Prinis Prime, Black did manage to capture one of the Clan elementals. Becker attempts to question him, but receives only a fanatic statement that the Agememnon crew may “be of the people, but you are not of the chosen”.
Becker agrees to the terms of the contract, and after charging the K-F drive, Agamemnon jumps to Cerberus, the capital center of the Outworlds Alliance. They lay over there for two weeks while Jameson and Sims head to the capital and acquire supplies and recruits. Sims returns with consumables and a number of valuable Battlemech components, and Jameson with a hundred and fifty elite recruits who had formerly been dispossessed. While in Cerberus, the Agamemnon crew also pays their last respects to Master Chief Fagan.
Agamemnon jumps to Rushaven, where the new recruits train. While in-system, Becker arranges for a large quantity of the holocaust data to be stashed in deep space, to be found in case the ship is lost.
After charging her K-F drive, Agamemnon jumps to Prinis Prime. As they approach the single small planetoid, Stella recognizes it as the same planet she retrieved Alexsandr Kerensky from two hundred years previous – the fact that the planetoid hosted a pre-Exodus cache and now the Clans have secured it is far too much of a coincidence.
Agamemnon closes on the two frigates, identifying themselves as Clan Ghost Bear frigates Claw and Ghost Dancer – however the ship’s computer recognizes the drive signature of the latter as the SLDF Alabama, which was a member of the 9th Fleet at the time of the Exodus. She has a brief flashback, remembering a moment when Major Summerville had proposed to her after receiving a commission to command Alabama. As they approach, it occurs to the staff that it’s likely that Captain Millet’s security system hack could possibly still be in place on the Clan vessel, and Summerville attempts to establish a communication channel with the ship’s computer.
As both sides deploy fighters and approach weapon’s range, Summerville exclaims….
“Holy shit…I think I have control of the Alabama.”