The pride I felt when I got the call: “San Orestes has surfaced at Foxglove.” Well…well I still don’t have the words.
But my next thought, my next thought I remember quite well, it was, “Oh holy shit. I am the dog that caught the car!” My decades of clandestine deal-making had now turned into an extremely visible and high-risk business. Hell, I’m pretty sure the only reason the bank gave me the loan was they wanted to see what I would do.
I had promises to keep. And my friends, my business partners, were on the hook to cash the checks I’d been writing.
The Memoirs of “Gentleman” Jack Cartwright
29 July – 5 August, WY602 – Jump Space – Sunrise Bay, Foxglove
The first thing the crew notes after initiating the dive is it feels distinctly different and unpleasant from the ones they’re accustomed to. After some tense minutes, it’s chalked up to being unique to the “deeper” two-parsec jump.
There’s a fairly extensive Q&A with Calliope, as the crew attempts to determine how much (or little) to trust the AI. After an extensive conversation, the crew learns that many of Calliope’s governing controls (including “ownership”, specifically by the IBI Officers) are actually encoded in the hardware of the computer core as traditional software. They also confirm that Calliope’s consciousness is restricted to the medium of the core itself, and the AI is unable to “transfer” itself anywhere else. Granted, they took the AI at its word on all points.
The crew ran out of rations on day five of the dive and thankfully surfaced in Foxglove as expected on day six. They were greeted by OTC at Sunrise Bay and told “they were going to be very popular”. As the crew began their nineteen-hour burn to the station, they took note of four Navy capital ships in system: WDF Intrepid, a Poseidon-class Assault Cruiser, incidentally the sister-ship of Indomitable, and three Murphy-class destroyers, WDF San Jacinto, San Eduardo, and San Stephan. Captain Gregory of San Jacinto is in the immediate area and requests permission to escort San Orestes to Sunrise Bay. All three destroyers were part of the same squadron as San Orestes at the Battle of Yang.
Harvey calls from Sunrise Bay and confirms he and Jack were standing by. He informs the crew that the salvage has caused “the expected shitstorm”. However, a Whistler court has already upheld the salvage claim against a challenge from the Council. It’s also turned into a media circus and Jack is trying to “change the narrative”. He informs the crew to clean up as much as they’re able and bring the remains of the former crew to the cargo hold before they dock. Everyone also notices that some services managed by IBI are managing their communications as very public figures.
Several hours later, a wideband broadcast goes out to the entire system from Sunrise Bay from Divyash Shaw, the nomimal leader of the Foxglove Liberation Party:
Is Divyash. Listen up all you belters and smelters. You see or you hear about San Orestes. This warship, we kill in battle thirty years ago. She jump to her death, and Navy, they give her up for gone. Forgotten.
But Gentleman Jack doesn’t forget. Gentleman Jack finds her and steals her from the Navy. He brings her here to rest. He returns her honored dead. She be decommissioned here and reborn as something new, forged in Foxglove steel.
We will honor this fine lady, and we will honor her valiant dead, and we will honor Gentleman Jack – he was also once an enemy who was reforged – and his brave Bastards.
We help Gentleman Jack thumb his nose at the Council, and we let them sail from here in peace.
Tell your brothers.
San Orestes approaches Sunrise Bay that evening and is remote-piloted into one of the few refit docks large enough to accommodate her. Jack and Harvey are waiting in the gangway when the hatch is open, as well as a line of various people, many seeming to be the correct ages to be the next of kin of the original crew, and some just local volunteers. Captain Stowe’s widow and sons board first and wait by his casket while the rest of the line find their people quietly and depart.
As the line thins, the crew notices Bureau Agents Gibson and Lee are also waiting in the gangway, and as soon as the last of the pallbearers are off the ship, Harvey announces, “Aaaaand the Bureau is here for an inspection.”