Ivy and Delores spent the better part of 3 days together. When they came out for meals, Delores looked haggard and Ivy looked exhausted, but informed everyone that the process was moving along well enough, while Delores simply nodded and ate mechanically. After the third day, Ivy came out, told the Captain that she’d done all she could, and collapsed onto her bed roll after making sure the eggs were OK. The following morning, Delores woke up and joined the Captain at breakfast, looking a bit better, but drained and hollow-eyed. She explained that Ivy was an amazing child, albeit a bit rough around the edges, and thanked the Captain and her crew for the service she’d rendered. The Captain graciously accepted the gratitude and rather morosely explained that they had some experience with this particular issue.
Delores explained that she needed to know what Chu had done in more detail and would it be possible to glean that info from Chu. The Captain called for Hart who said it was certainly possible and not particularly difficult, though not necessarily gentle to the “interrogatee”. Delores gave the Captain a list of key questions to ask, the Captain gave it to Trevor (who expanded the list a bit to make it clearer). When Ivy awoke, the Captain asked for her assistance. Everyone put hats on and Hart brought Chu into the lounge and doped him up on a VERY potent uninhibitor. Trevor proceeded to ask him questions and he answered them somewhat evasively (indicating he’d had some training and overcoming interrogation), but Ivy picked him apart trivially, tossing out data for Trevor to collect.
His original mission was to secure Iskellion for Blue Sun. He was assigned to Delores to sway her in business decisions and make sure her interests were Blue Sun’s interests. However, when she started showing interest in the Shan Yu stuff and actives, and especially when the name “Ivy” showed up, his orders changed, and his objective was to lay low until he was able to ascertain the location of subject Ivy, secure her if possible (at which Ivy giggled) or report her position of not. The interrogation took a couple of hours, with Delores adding follow up questions, Trevor mercilessly pressing him, and Ivy sweeping his mind clear of any additional data. Eventually, Chu collapsed into unconsciousness. Hart returned him to the infirmary and “boxed” him up. She then took Delores to the infirmary and installed her Faraday cage, at her request, to help protect her from further violations.
Delores took the rest of the day to chew through the data and plan, then approached the Captain and indicated that she needed to get back into the world, and asked her if she still wanted to see her ship (to which the Captain happily agreed). With Hart, Abi, Ivy and Mikki remaining behind, the rest of the crew headed out of the asteroid field and plotted a course to Meridian. As they crossed the Meridian perimeter, they were hailed by an inspection frigate, the Justicar, and boarded by a customs team. The team was surprised to find Delores there and promptly gave her every courtesy imaginable. She explained she needed to remain aboard the Hephaestus but could use an escort to the Iskellion station on Burnett, which they happily provided.
The Iskellion station was a huge affair, with multiple warships in various states of being built or repair and a lot of traffic going in and out. Delores explained that they’d need to take a special ship to see the new ship, as the Hephaestus would never survive the trip. Brian and Valis remained behind as the rest of the crew filed into a small, sleek, windowless shuttle and felt it pull away from the station. The journey took just under 3 hours until they docked and debarked onto the Iskellion Stellar Foundry, a massive installation orbiting the sun, collecting the energy of the stellar body and focusing it into the generators and crafting systems. The noise generated by the sun made the foundry virtually impossible to find, and the proximity of the star made it impossible to reach without dedicated vessels.
Sitting in one of the docking bays was the sleek, shiny Locksley, bristling with guns. Delores escorted the crew aboard, where they were met by a team of eccentric, possessive, socially inept engineers. The crew spread out and enjoyed the tour, making comments and requests for changes (pull out the mass drivers, replace them with large EMP cannons) while the engineers looked down their noses at them and frowned that the ship needed any “improvements”. The Captain gave Delores a list of changes she needed made and Delores indicated they would happen and that the ship would be delivered in 2 weeks. The crew loaded back up onto the shuttle and returned to Barnett then onto the Hephaestus and back to the asteroid field. En route, the Captain got a note from Conner explaining that he was going to be a bit longer and that he loved her and hoped everyone was doing well.
While they were gone, Hart and Abigail had managed to create a large quantity of the goo and were ready to try hatching an egg. The plan was to put the egg in the goo in one of the larger rooms and see if it reacted. The engineers rigged the area with explosives and everyone who could be armed was armed. Hart placed the egg in the goo and everyone stepped back, but nothing happened. Ivy suggested using trinkets, since the eggs sat in a grid of yellow trinkets, and the egg seemed to respond (at least to Ivy) to the yellow material, but no change occurred. It was eventually agreed upon that Ivy needed to touch the egg, and since Ivy had been asking to touch the eggs since they arrived, she did not object. With everyone standing ready, and with a rope tied around Ivy and held by Gale, Ivy reached down and touched the egg while kneeling next to it.
Ivy froze in place and the egg slowly parted, revealing another egg-shaped object within. The object began growing and shifting, and as it grew the amount of good in the container went down. Over the course of several hours, the object grew and changed into a bipedal form, over 2m in height. It opened its bright green eyes and stared about in confusion, hunched over on all four feet and not standing upright. It stared into Ivy’s eyes and Ivy stared back, then cried out as if in pain. The crew rushed in but Ivy waved them back, explaining that it was just very very intense. She couldn’t quite understand him, but was trying. As people came in, he glanced at them for their movement, but didn’t seem to register their presence, until the Captain took her hat off. He looked up suddenly at her, stood up and approached her slowly, tilting his head as he stared.