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.