The synthetic prisoner identifies herself as, but is unwilling to provide much other information of import. She will volunteer that her ship was the free trader ; a cursory search of the infosphere discovers an competent fake data trail across several crowded ports of call.
The interrogation turns to the topic of the containers salvaged from the Pheidippides; Marya repeatedly insists that they are too dangerous to tamper with and insists that the crew should throw them overboard to be recovered by “appropriate persons”. The crew disregards this and agrees (with Conundrum dissenting) to open one of the containers in a safe environment.
In conference after the interrogation, TCU research facilities dating back to the failed memetic unification campaign. Conundrum confirms the presence of ruins at the planet coordinates provided (from where?) and a landing party is organized.happens to mention that it would be Just Great if they could find out what’s in the encrypted file regarding the planet that he found in the ship’s databanks. Sharon takes him up on the offer and cracks the file; it reveals that the planet holds a
Dr. Blanchard, Swarm, Rhone (impersonating a marine), Gamble, Estray Cold Ocean, and Zhaitsyev head down in a shuttlecraft. Ground Control contacts them, not expecting guests. Unable to provide proper authentication, they are told to land at “field ultramarine” and await further instrutions.