The party travels to Persephone 3, where the Wild Card and Mitch and Stella in their Shivas land several miles from McTavish’s Hope. The Coyote stays in orbit to perform orbital surveillance in order for Colonel Vail to plan his ground assault. Janks and the marines assemble the long-range drone and Mitch makes several surveillance passes until the party identifies the likely home of Sims and Richter.
Janks, Corbett, Ives, and Sergeant Gerst hike in to McTavish’s Hope under cover of darkness and attempt to secure the home. They prevent the men from using the radio and capture Sims, but Stella is forced to kill Richter when he produces a submachine gun.
While Stella was lining up a shot, she has a flashback.
The gunfire wakes the citizens of the town, and Becker and Mitch race to the scene in the APC and explain to Jonah the situation. When searching the house they find a set of four frequencies written on a scrap of paper, three of which correspond to the tracking devices that Janks found planted on the Wild Card their previous visit.
They proceed to interrogate Sims with the aid of a drug cocktail from Corbett and learn the following:
- Cooter was sent to Persephone by Roderick Black to find a League Holocaust Archive rumored to be held in a secret facility predating the Ares Arms mining operation and isn’t likely to spend the astronomical expense to send a jumpship to retrieve him until he’s found it.
- Cooter feels he and his men may not survive another year on Persephone 2 – their only hope would be to settle Persephone 3 and try to survive their radiation poisoning.
- Cooter’s unit consists of “150-200 men”, six Leopard dropships, six to eight fighters (though one may be broken down), and a company of Battlemechs, the heaviest being a Warhammer assault mech.
- Cooter plans to report back to Black via an emergency HPG in the now-defunct jumpship anchorage at the nadir of Persephone’s gravity well.
- Cooter’s people usually call in when they’re on their way to pick up the supplies. He has been expecting the call and says it should just be days until it’s made.
- Sims mentioned that Cooter’s people monitor for jump signatures in system – which makes him suspicious about where the party came from.
Colonel Becker’s log, 3020, May 28th
Go in, take out Cooter’s two spies, then talk to McTavish. That was the plan, at least. Well, I suppose it worked, sort of. It had been better had we taken both alive, and if we had done so quietly, but at least none of my men were killed or seriously injured.
And we have one of them, after all.
We landed far enough away from the settlement that they wouldn’t notice us, then sergeant major Janks took a small team to take out Cooter’s two men. The hope was to take them out without anyone noticing, and then go talk to McTavish again. I suppose as battle plans go, this did not do too badly, all things considered.
It almost seemed as if the two men were waiting for our guys. Or at least for _someone_. The shots were enough to wake the entire colony, or so it seemed, at least. McTavish was not pleased, not that I blame him. And for us, it was pure luck that Sims, the survivor, had somehow gotten his hands on a piece of Flannery’s underwear.
Our luck, in more ways than one. It gives me more to bargain with; Sims will not have an easy time should we hand him over to McTavish, and it will be at least a week before Cooter’s people arrive. Cooperating might make his life easier. And possibly longer.
It seems they report in once a month. Cooter’s men will call in when they’re on their way. I think we can use that, if we can convince Sims to cooperate. I’ve offered him a way out, both of the situation and of the system. Which is more than he has now, unless Cooter’s men find what they’re looking for. It seems noone has been able to find the Archive yet.
I don’t have the exact data, but it should take the signal at least 15 minutes to reach us, considering the position of the two planets. Meaning it would take about 30-35 minutes from they send a message until they’ll expect an answer. So, time enough to record an answer from him and play it to them, just in case he decides to stay loyal and try to warn them.