While waiting for the crew members to wake, the party loads Bernie’s Twat (which they find out from Cottle is officially named “Wild Card” despite it’s current paint job) with an air bottle and compressor from Agamemnon’s forward bay. They also load some small arms and two long range remote aerial surveillance drones.
During the loading process, Mitch has a flashback.
The new crewmen wake and and spend the remainder of the day and night being briefed and adjusting to their situation. The next morning, Major Summerville visits Becker to get instructions for her plans for the ship and crew, and appears to have an intimate flashback about his previous relationship with the Colonel.
The crew departs on the Wild Card, leaving the Agamemnon in the hands of Major Summerville and Captain Millet and heads to Persephone 3. After a forty-hour burn, they arrive and find that the planet has become home to a small agricultural community in the time since they’ve been asleep. The community appears to be producing an exces of foodstuffs, and the crew lands to negotiate with the people of McTavish’s Hope.
They meet Jonah McTavish, the great-great-grandson of the settlement’s original founder, and his daughter Flannery. A very strange and uncomfortable conversation occurs over a meal of rich foods, including:
- Jonah is immediately suspicious of the group’s motives – notably because they call each other by rank and they have appeared at the very edge of human space with a thousand hungry people.
- McTavish’s Hope produces and preserves more than enough food food for twice their number, but all of their reserves (and more) are negotiated to a seedy fellow named Cooter who arrived in system a few years ago with a few hundred men, mechs, and assorted equipment to find some specific artifact on Persephone 2. Cooter is in the employ of Gentleman Roderick Black – a pirate price who rules this area of the Periphery. His men are also beginning to suffer from radiation sickness. It’s unclear why Persephone 2 is irradiated (it was uninhabited during the sleepers’ time).
- Jonah calls out the gas bottle in the Wild Card’s hold specifically – noting that it must go in an immensely large ship or station, the likes of which simply “aren’t around anymore”.