The next morning, Rhone has a memory of seeing the chaplet resting somewhere within the ruins of the Ghost City despite having been told by Commander Tubal that he brought it back from the city as a younger lad and left it in the city’s treasure trove. Based on the drone telemetry they are getting, two possible sites are identified as being the place from Rhone’s dream. Despite the temptation to press deeper into the complex, Chief Engineer Schmidt decides to bring the team back to the minehead to spread word about the Orion infiltration.
Back at the minehead, Commander Jubal has been a busy beaver; he’s requisitioned a communicator from the capital city capable of punching through the atmospheric interference and establishing a link with the Hamilton O. Smith.
The team plans their next move; Dr. Alan Everett brainstorms a plan to supercharge the lanthanide deposits in the Theodosus Ridge in a manner that should disrupt any Orion activity in a fairly decisive fashion. However, the consequences of this action on any anchored wormhole which may or may not be located in the vicinity are unclear. A hypothesis emerges that the Ghost City may harbor some sort of mentality which has been implanting subconscious impulses in those who come into contact with it (first Commander Jubal with the plasma cannon, then Dr. Everett with the plan that makes use of it) to arrange a given chain of events.
The team feels that there are too many unknowns floating around in the equation to implement the plan safely; with the potential Orion base under the Theodosus Ridge seeming a little daunting, they decide to make a second expedition into the Ghost City in the hopes of learning more about whatever lurks there. Chief Engineer Schmidt, Doctor Everett, Sgt McMahon, and Doctor Hiroko head back up to the ship while the away team is reinforced with additional marines (Gamble, Wats Huyler, Luke Zelick, Salman Aslakhanov).
Piloting the shuttle, Bishop drops the away team off in the outskirts of the Ghost City’s temple district. He remains in the ship along with a group of guardsmen that Jubal was kind enough to send along as added manpower. Upon first inspection, Blanchard remarks that the ruins appear to be the most similar to the Cygnian B civilzation; a conclusion also applied (somewhat controversially) to the structures found on F313 before its disappearance.
A survey of the first suspect site in the Ghost City shows a tangible “cold spot” that warrants further investigation. Rhone attempts to psionically examine the area and gets a clear impression of both Jubal and Dr. Everett standing in this very spot. While experimenting with the effects of certain abnormal walls on Rhone’s psychic perceptions, Zelick becomes convinced that Rhone is an Orion agent and he immediately lets Johnny Five know his suspicions. Johnny Five, in his signature way, deals with the situation head-on by insisting that Rhone disarm himself and submit to interrogation to get to the bottom of this.