In the aftermath of the battle, Jonah informs Becker that, in exchange for continued protection until Cooter is neutralized, McTavish’s Hope offers ten crates of miscellaneous foodstuffs. The implication is there that they do not intend to sell the additional five hundred crates that the Agamemnon survivors were hoping for.
After stashing the Dervish and the Rusty Bitch (the cargo-hauling Leopard) in a field several kilometers away from the settlement, the party heads back to the Agamemnon, leaving behind Vail and his three mechwarriors as well as Warrant Officer Spunkmeyer to pilot the Dervish in defense of the settlement if necessary.
During the trip back to the ship, Becker questions Cooter’s men, their de facto leader, a man named Rance, speaks for them. Becker offers a trip out of the Periphery in exchange for their help. After an exchange, he informs Becker that he needs to speak with his men about their willingness to betray Gentleman Roderick Black before he’s willing to offer up any additional information about the disposition of Cooter’s forces.
Upon arriving at the Agamemnon, they do not receive a response from the crew in the ship. Upon further investigation, Jack discovers a small interplanetary craft docked with their home. The party docks the Coyote at the Agamemnon’s ventral dropship collar and leaves Lieutenant Ferro in Mitch’s Shiva on patrol outside and five marines on the Coyote to guard the prisoners (who Corbett sedates for good measure).
The party is ambushed in the embarkation area and a spirited firefight with a dozen well-armed intruders ensues. The party comes out victorious, but Stella is seriously wounded, and Becker leaves her and an additional marine behind to guard the Coyote. The party moves off towards the primary power plant.