1100 – 005 – Regina Starport, IISS
1415 -1445 - After receiving the call from Gyllyan's captor, Madeline orders everyone up to the ready room, states that the VES team will handle the exchange of kidnap victims, and hands mission planning for the operation over to Martaan, asking Fitz to stand down and follow Martaan's lead. She tells the group they have 45 minutes to make a plan.
Madeline engages the folks at TekImport, in the person of Dandelion, to provide a communications network and imagery support for the exchange; Pinkie will stay behind and provide communication support for Dandelion. (Leah has already tasked the Partners' drones to Grace Park as well.) Garrivan del'Zed requests Madeline's permission to station a platoon of Imperial Marines in battledress (known colloquially as "the Heavy Mob") nearby to control the situation if it gets out of hand, and Madeline agrees.
Martaan quickly tasks all VES team members, sending Fitz ahead to the park as an advanced scout. Martaan splits the team into two vehicles— van #1 (Leah driving, with Soto, Pascal, and a heavily-sedated Dagratha) and van #2 (Elwen driving, with Froge and Martaan). Pascal knows Gyllyan and will be responsible for negotiating the exchange; Soto will be present to handle Dagratha and treat Gyllyan. Froge and Martaan, armed with body pistols fitted with tranquilizing rounds, will be responsible for providing tactical support for Pascal. Madeline decides to also be on site, as ultimately this is Madeline's team and her responsibility; Saegang volunteers to drive her. The team leaves for the rendezvous at 1445.
1432 - Fitz arrives at Grace Park and lucks out, findng a recon position in a tree fort built for kids visiting the Park.
1445 – 1500
TekImport reports imagery surveillance of the Park is in place. Dandelion remarks that the Park's tree cover will place limits on visibility. They have also located Gyllyan and her kidnaper by geolocating her comm device and then identifying the comm device nearest to hers for the period of the previous 45 minutes. By tasking a drone to track this signal, Dandelion is able to match the face of a young woman with her student ID photo from the University of Regina- it is in fact Gyllyan.
In addition, through retroactive network analysis of comm traffic from Strangka's and Dagratha's devices, they are able to locate three other likely associates—Gyllyan's kidnaper, someone in a 200 ton Free Trader at Regina Downport, and a third individual, also in the port, approaching the Free Trader.
1452 - An alarm is raised in Regina Downport about shots fired in or near the 200T Free Trader that Dandelion has identified as the source of signals for at least one of Strangka and Dagratha's associates.
1500 - The VES team members arrives on station at the Park. Madeline and Saegang are able to ID the kidnaper and Gyllyan in an autocab headed to the Park. They see the kidnaper, his face furious, through a comm device out of the autocab's window into traffic.
1503 – Dandelion notes movement of two of the comm devices she's tracking— the two belonging to the individuals in port at Regina Downport— and notes a final static position away from the Free Trader.
1506 - Regina Downport police, investigating reports of shots fired, arrive at the Free Trader The Golden Fleece and report that its owner, Arkassa Ushir, has died from gunshot wounds.
1515 – 1615 - Martaan and Froge take up position in the crowd. The kidnaper is reluctant to let Gyllyan go, trying to force the Partners to release Dagratha first, even drawing his blade, but Pascal negotiates the exchange of Gyllyan, whose arm is apparently broken. As the captives are walking towards each other, Martaan seizes the initiative and tranquilizes the kidnaper, and Madeline calls in the Heavy Mob to secure the scene.
Soto triages Gyllyan, and Madeline drives her and Pascal to the Imperial Navy base. Saegang rides with Martaan and Froge, having secured a bottle of Menorbi Bluebreast 12 Year Old Whiskey. The Heavy Mob takes the kidnaper (identified as Sikashuud Undua, who is wanted for piracy) to the brig there, along with Dagratha (who seems traumatized, and periodically bursts into tears), and Strangka, who is transferred from IISS. Garrivan del'Zed debriefs the participants, discussing what they found at The Golden Fleece crime scene: an epic (if inexpert) firefight ensued aboard ship, one of the two participants shot up the ship's computer, and significantly, one of the participants was genetically Zhodani.
After the briefing, the VES members scatter—
- Pascal goes to Gyllyan's room in the Naval hospital;
- after asking and receiving Leah's permission, Pinkie and Elwen go to Pinkie's friend's apartment to get his stuff and stay aboard Leah's Delight until the An Lang leaves for the Djinni system;
- Fitz also asks permission to borrow a cabin aboard Leah's Delight, and after receiving permission, promptly falls asleep under the briefing room conference table;
- Leah buys Dandelion pizza, which they share, as Dandelion pulls overtime on forensic analysis of the recovered comm systems;
- Martaan and Jelph take a trip to the crime scene aboard The Golden Fleece;
- Strangka and Dagratha return to the Naval brig, accompanied by Soto, who wants to make sure they are OK;
- Madeline is saddled with a variety of forms, reports, and filings associated with the days' events, especially as she has to justify the group's criminal activity (two kidnappings) in the context of both operational parameters, Imperial law, and Regina law;
- Froge returns to his room at the Travellers Aid Society to prepare for his date with Arbellatra, only to receive both unwanted advice and unasked-for information about her. It turns out she is none other than the Lady Arbellatra van'Leyth, of a prominent family related to Duke Norris. Dandelion, who anomalously knows of their dinner plans, advises Froge that "ladies like flowers," while Saegang presents him with a little box of candy as a present for his dinner companion.