1100-04 – Regina Starport
1530 -1630 - Settled at a table in the IISS cafeteria, the Partners caucus on the Phizab job. Leah leverages AI and machine learning to interpret the data the Partners have acquired, messaging Dandelion at TekImport looking for specific data and other preparatory elements.
1630 – 1700
Sitting at their table in the cafeteria, the Partners see Madeline ap-Corserra enter IISS with the same slender, fit-looking man with a dirty-blonde forelock that they met earlier that day in the PodThinkers conference room. Martaan, curious, slips downstairs to the range ask Pug if he knows anything about this stranger, but Pug does not. Intrigued, the Partners wander back up to the team's ready room; Froge chats with Saeagang about the newcomer; she seems a little concerned. They see Madeline interviewing the stranger for the position of Tactical Officer on the An Lang's crew, and he accepts. Madeline introduces him as Fitz Gandrell. Fitz introduces himself to the rest of the crew, and goes to work cleaning and preparing a curious item- a Gauss rifle made entirely out of plastic, making it invisible to most weapons detection systems.
1700 – 1800 - As the workday ends, crew members begin to drift out of the ready room; the Partners invite Dr. Pascal Lentevi to dinner with them at the Travellers' Aid Society. At a nearby table sits Count Quinlan ap-Corserra, deep in conversation with some dinner companions. Over dinner and drinks, Dr. Lentevi is briefed on the Phizab mission, and joins the Partners in conspiracy.
1800 – 1900
During dinner, the manager of the Travellers' Aid Society discreetly informs Froge Brison and Martaan Anders that their rooms were burgled earlier that afternoon, between 1430 and 1500, by two men in gorilla suits. A number of other details emerge- the burglars were able to defeat some of TAS's countermeasures, but not all of them. It turns out that nothing was removed from either Froge's or Martaan's rooms, and there is no indication that anything was tampered with. The Partners tell Count Quinlan, who whisks them, and Dr. Pascal Lentevi with them, off to TekImport, using his private grav vehicle and driver.
1900 – 2030
The Partners introduce Dr. Pascal Lentevi as part of their team, brief the irritable crew-cut man and Dandelion on what happened, and later present him and Dandelion their plan to break into Phizab as well. The crew-cut man then fills in the conspirators on the nature of the break-in- TekImport, which is "loyal to the Duke and the Emperor" is conducting a counterintelligence investigation; they have evidence that Phizab has unwittingly become involved with something that they don't understand.
In the middle of this, Jelph returns from a bug sweep of Froge's or Martaan's rooms, where his team found only commercial-grade surveillance devices, which would have to be manually serviced. Dr. Laria, reasoning about the break-in at TAS, suggests that the cleaning staff at TAS should be investigated, as they could easily retrieve and service the listening devices the burglars left behind.
2030 – 2100 - The conspirators accept a lift home from Count Quinlan. Dr. Lentevi is left at his apartment, Dr. Laria at IISS and Leah's Delight, while Martaan, Froge, and the Count himself return to TAS.
2100 – 2230 - Fitz contacts Dr. Laria, asking if he can borrow a stateroom aboard Leah's Delight.
Pinkie messages the crew: "Hey, amigos! Pinkie here, on the secure VES channel. Some asshole broke into my buddy’s place where I was sleeping on the foldout and went through my stuff! Can you believe it? I didn’t have anything of real value— mostly portable prospecting gear, but what the Hell! Regina used to be a pretty safe town! Nothing was taken, but I hate putting Aliz through this kind of bother. Skipper, any idea if this is related to our mission? Should I call the law? Comp sci docs—- any chance you could check the calibration on my gear? This is spoiling a perfectly good day! Yours in ever-increasing annoyance, —Pinkie"
Madeline reports to Leah that she did let Fitz know about Leah's Delight. She also reports to the crew that Soto's place was also burgled, and that her brother, and "Station Chief del'Zed" (?!) informed her that Martaan's and Froge's rooms were broken into at TAS.
Fitz turns down a berth on Leah's Delight, looking instead for a cheap place to stay where he could conceivably ambush a burglar.
Saeagang checks in with the crew, sending her sympathy for the recent spate of burglaries. Lieutenant Commander Elwen ap-Floran also reports in, just to let everyone know he is OK.
Leah points out that the crew must meet immediately tomorrow to establish a duress code and an authentication code for future interactions; Madeline regretfully agrees.
The day ends on the following note from the Referee—
"In their rooms at TAS, Martaan and Froge shifted uneasily under their high thread count sheets, weapons on the nightstand. Gazing at his comm, Pascal read about the break-ins on the cheap couch in the messy living room of his apartment, as his roommate Gyllyan pwned n00bs in Interstellwars, and wondered what in the Ten Thousand Suns he had gotten into. In the fresher aboard a 100 ton Sulieman scout ship, Leah brushed her teeth, thinking of phrases that were unique enough to be uncommon in general conversation, and yet still innocuous. Assuming the lotus posture, Dr. Soto straightened his back and gazed resolutely at the featureless wall of his room, seeking why Bodhidharma had come from the East. Saeagang, brushed her tail, fretting about Madeline. Rooms away, Madeline quivered with exhaustion and frustration, as a tiny, elfin, curly-blonde-haired woman briefed her over a heavily-encrypted link. Lt. Commander Elwan ap-Floran rolled over in his rack into a dream where he apprehended a miscreant and felt, for once, a little confidence in his own abilities. Across the city, grinning wolfishly, Fitz checked himself into Cheaphotel, requesting a room on the end of a hallway on the fifth floor. Bantering and bullshitting his way through the ID check, his left hand closed reassuringly on the handle of a long, slender, razor-sharp knife."