The party returns to the Agamemnon and begin to unload. More than half of the air bottle is used to bring the great battleship back up to its proper pressure, and the food brings a welcome meal to the awakened crew – who get briefed on the mission from Becker and the others. While they were away, the secondary reactor was brought online and Agamemnon’s power systems refurbished and inspected. The crews also performed make-ready work on the Coyote, the twelve Shivas of Alpha squadron as well as Stella and Mitch’s fighters. Furthermore, Summerville mentions “a curiosity in the CIC” to Becker and informs her that she may want to investigate it at her convenience.
Captain Millet and Chief Fagan had inspected the K-F drive. A drive filament could be fabricated in sections using a nanofiber loom in the ship’s workshops. The loom would require a pattern not currently stored in the ship’s archive, as well as roughly half a ton of Strontium 7. It would take several weeks to fabricate, install, and splice the filament sections, but it would at least be possible without a graving dock.
Becker orders several other people woken, including the entire crew of the Coyote, Sergeant Major Barret, Colonel Vail of the Black Knights, and three of his mechwarriors, and a platoon of marines – as expected, some heavy losses occur during the thaw process.
The next morning, Jack has a flashback.
Becker briefs the assembled crew on the mission to secure the food supplies from McTavish’s Hope and protect the settlement from reprisals from Cooter’s men. The Wild Card with Becker and the entire marine contingent and the Coyote with Ives, Mitch, Vail, and his mechwarriors depart for Persephone 3. Major Summerville, Sergeant Major Barret, Captain Millet, Chief Fagan, Chief Kim, Doctor Cottle, and Petty Officer Torres remain behind on the Agamemnon.
Colonel Becker’s log, 3020, May 25th
This is it, I suppose. Soon we will know whether or not we still know how to fight, after centuries asleep. It will be quite the test, and we have already lost so many. We knew, we _must_ have known, how dangerous it would be. Still we had no choice, from what I’ve learned.
Just as we have little choice now. Without the drive filament, we cannot leave the system, and without food, we won’t last another week. I wish this wasn’t necessary, but it is. At least we will pay them, and take no more than they can afford to sell. But we will still be taking it, leaving them no choice in the matter.
And there is another thing; we’ll need more people. At the rate our people are dying, we will need to recruit. But at least we have something to offer. That might help. Still, that is something we can consider when the fight is over.
Or rather, the fights. This is just the first one. When the team goes missing, Cooter will most likely send more people. We need to find a way to stop them, permanently. We have an … interesting time ahead of us. And we need to find a pattern to fabricate the drive filament. I just hope it is possible to find.
And I forgot to check out whatever ‘curiosity’ major Summerville wanted me to take a look at. I just hope it wasn’t too important, but I will have to remember to take a look at it as soon as I get back.
For now, though, I just hope we are ready for this. We’ve taken heavy losses already, without a shot being fired, and that hasn’t been the only shock to the men. But it is our only chance. We need that food, and I am not willing to leave the colonists defenseless against Cooter and his people. That would not be an auspicious start to our new lives.