Sometimes…just sometimes…you run into a genuinely good man.
I met Danny Feldman some years ago. The then-Captain was skipper of a Guardian patrol boat charged with interdicting smugglers in and out of Korolev. He’d called the Indomitable for help chasing down a gang that had taken to trafficking in children. He didn’t sleep until we had chased down every ship, pulled every thread, found every child. And his crew…his crew had such fierce loyalty to him.
I don’t know what divine provenance brought my friends into his care, but I am eternally thankful. Sadly, the good deeds of good men rarely go unpunished.
The Memoirs of “Gentleman” Jack Cartwright
16 February – 2 March, WY602 – Myrr, Roberts
While the rescue of the Marines is happening in orbit, several bits of research and investigation take place:
- Daniel doesn’t find anything noteworthy in the scuttlebutt of the base personnel. They’re understandably gossipy, but little else.
- Aidan investigates the logs from the Hamster. The ship’s computer reported a mass shadow and surfaced from subspace. The turrets were positioned perfectly to overlap their fields of fire precisely on the point of exit. This is alarming for a number of reasons: first, the precise path of the ship in trans-dimensional space would have to be calculated, requiring fastidious observation from when the ship went under in Grove; second, that information would have had to make it to Roberts in enough time to deploy the trap. All things being equal, both are impossible.
- Julian inquires with base personnel and gets introduced to the Chief of the Watch from the Myrr Guardian ops center at the time of the attack. Together they pull sensor logs from the cutter in orbit as well as some other facilities and confirm the temporary and extreme gravity disturbance – ruling out any tampering with Hamster’s computer.
- Angelica attempts to correlate the data so far. She concludes that if there’s an agency with super-secret communications and/or gravitics technology, the crew taken as a whole could appear to be extremely threatening. Angelica was a Bureau investigator who researched illegal arms smuggling into Grove, Aidan had experienced a gravitics-related accident in the Scout Service, Dirk was an expert lawyer, and so on. She also noted that the University of Laurel on Grove had a fairly advanced gravitics lab and a high concentration of the experts in the field in the Reach.
Colonel Feldman lets Cara know that the Marines have all been rescued, but one of them couldn’t be resuscitated due to damage to their pod. All twenty survivors are shuttled down over the course of the afternoon and settle in to the barracks after brief medical review.
Angelica, Tomoe, Julian, and Aidan take a shuttle to the HiGro-UTex city of Jarillo to pound the pavement.
- Tomoe is recognized almost immediately. She eventually settles in at a music store and does a small concert where she extolls the virtues of the Guardian troops who came to their rescue.
- Aidan visits the physics department at the University of Laurel and is also recognized immediately. He’s given a tour of the research lab. He eventually is introduced to a fairly ostracized scientist whose body of research mainly centers on the hypothesis that some of the systems in the Reach, and specifically Roberts, were artificially manipulated. As part of this research, the scientist has a network of extremely sensitive sensors scattered around the system that recorded the gravity event that pulled them out of subspace. The readings gathered match the ones that Aidan encountered in Solace during his time in the Scout Service.
- Angelica does some research and meets and amateur astronomer who captured the battle between the Hamster and Dauntless in orbit. Angelica gets a copy of his recordings.
The crew settles in for the next two weeks, and at the beginning of March start to feel apprehension that news has had a chance to reach Whistler and a response to make it back. As expected, Colonel Feldman arrives and states that WDF Endeavor has arrived in-system with orders directly from Fleet Admiral Halsey’s office to retrieve the crew and the Marines. He states that it’s incredibly unlikely that Halsey’s staff don’t truly know what the state of Dauntless is. He also informs Cara that the Swamp Chicken has required maintenance and has had its transponder removed.
The crew decides to “steal” the transport under cover of darkness and leave the base to avoid being handed over to Endeavor.