The Locksley arrived at the asteroid and the crew immediately began working to make it a home. Hart (with Sasha’s help) configured the infirmary, including moving the MRI into it, as well as put the final touches on the kitchen. The Captain stretched out into her new, luxurious cabin and decorated it and Ivy threw her stuff in to her room and went to play with Rawn. Rawn and Sasha were both given cabins, though they were also given a “hole” to hide in when they were out and about, just in case.
During a meal later that day, Rawn politely asked if it would be possible for the crew to stop on a planet on their way to wherever they were going to get some fresh air. Mikki cheerily recommended Blackwood, and Gale happily agreed (any excuse for more beer) so the Captain agreed. Later that day, the Capt received a note that was secured and encrypted, her eyes online, from Delores. She opened it in her cabin and it contained two things. The first was that Delores wanted to arrange the transfer of the artifacts, at the Captain’s convenience, and to let her know when/where. The other piece was a bit of news she had picked up unofficially that she thought the Captain might want to see…the Calypso was destroyed in an altercation, and the survivors had been brought to Meridian and were awaiting trial. She had no additional information, but wanted the Captain to know about it as quickly as possible. The Captain quickly hit the ‘tex on it, but even with Trevor and Valis’ aid, she was unable to find additional information off of Meridian.
Leaving no one behind but the Hephaestus (secured, powered down, hidden and booby trapped), the crew lifted off for Blackwood. Upon settling down, the crew split off to go their various ways. Ivy took a shuttle with Gale, Rawn, Sasha, the Captain, Abi and Trevor off to an uninhabited area where they set up a picnic. Rawn ran around in the trees and eventually came back with a deer that he dressed, cleaned, and cooked for the group, making a tasty banquet. Sasha appreciated the break but was obviously less a “nature lover” than Rawn. Grace and Mikki spent the next two days fixing the landing gear, which had torqued on landing, because her delicate majesty the Locksley didn’t like landing on gravel pads. Hart wandered into town to visit the Abbey.
After a couple of days on planet, the crew regathered and lifted off for Meridian. The journey there was uneventful, but the closer they got, the more comms traffic they detected and the more actives Ivy sensed. The comms traffic was very high tech military and indicative of a fleet on high alert and Ivy confirmed that she sensed at least one active on each ship, several of them “heavy hitters”, which was a change in the OpPlan for Alliance Fleets, obviously in reaction to the Exuperian presence in the CiW fleets. Gale engaged the covert system and suddenly the ship was extremely difficult to detect. Everyone but Ivy and the cats hatted up, and the cats moved into their “hole” to hide.
Gale carefully guided the Locksley into the Meridian system, utilizing blind spots in the sensor net and wasn’t spotted until they were deep inside the perimeter, where they were hailed instantly by a cruiser named the Scimitar that aggressively demanded they stand down to be boarded and inspected. A Lt Cmdr Andrews comes aboard armed to the teeth with 4 marines armed likewise, obviously expecting resistance. Met at the door by a lovely lawyer in shoes that cost more than the Lt Cmdr made in a year, the officer was taken aback. Going over the paperwork, he blanched, apologized, bid the crew a good day and dismissed himself and his men, undocking quickly and getting out of the Locksley’s way. The ship had no issues securing a landing spot on Meridian and settled carefully down onto the tarmac without issue.
Hart tossed a dufflebag over his shoulder and headed into town, as did Ivy. Mikki went into town to buy supplies and parts and Grace went to go barhopping. Trevor checks the police and military networks but fails to find anything on the crew of the Calypso or Conner specifically. The Captain, Trevor, and Gale head into town to investigate on foot while Hyacinth takes a more covert method and sneaks around for a bit of spying.
Meridian had changed significantly since the last time they were there. The Alliance had turned the area into a thriving metropolis, the hub of trade for the Frontier, and appeared to be taking the area seriously, as opposed to how they used to treat it when they still had possession of the Border and Rim worlds and left the Frontier to neglect and abuse. Alliance officers were visible everywhere and the quality of life appeared to be increasing daily.
Hyacinth met back up with the group later in the afternoon and reported his findings. The system commander was their old friend, Admiral Shaun Rainier. The head of Alliance Intelligence was Col Allen Marsden, the gentleman they rescued from the zealots prison. They were located in a new installation on the outside of town, with a new landing pad, buildings, etc. Hyacinth was certain the prisoners were being detained there, but could get no further information on them.
Finally have a face to contact, the Captain tried to contact Adm Rainier, ending up with his personal assistant, Lt Joselyn Juarez. Explaining that she was an old friend of the Admirals, she set up a spot on his schedule for lunch and arranged a “date” to catch up.