Arec and Roth spend some time with Professor Kahlil. Realize that he doesn’t actually like working for Phorlorn. Cement their position as reps for the High Council and get permission to bring him with them as they go to the planet. They proceed to convince the professor to go AWOL and join them.
Away team befriends some natives and gets invited back to their village for dinner. The spend the night there and learn a bit about local customs, including: each village has an ancient, non-functional robot that they treat as a totem. They offer fruit and meat to the totem so that the demons never return. Apparently the natives also don’t like the Phorlorn military thanks to its policies of indiscriminate theft and murder.
Group meets up the next day and proceeds to an area where the jungle has collapsed to reveal a massive cavern formed by ancient city ruins. Inside they find an intact robot and some evidence of the network. They also start uncovering tiny traces of what they suspect was the fuel source for the network and robots (unobtanium).
An emergency recall is sounded by the Phorlorn base ship. Much debate about what to do results in everyone going back to the base ship (away team in the Beetle, Base team via Phorlorn). They plant seeds about the professor going missing so they can have him declared KIA later.
The base is being reduced to skeleton crew with 6 escort ships (3 Vipers, 2 Long Deaths and a Wild Weasel). The remaining forces have been recalled to Phorlorn in response to the bombing of the Senate on Dundene.
After Phorlorn’s forces disperse, our heroes return to the planet and spend a few weeks doing some archaeology. They uncover several more robots in various stages of decay as well as a major node in the ancient planetary network. They take the robots and some tiny samples of unobtanium.
Return to Souris to meet Marcellus. En route Mishka surgically removes tracer devices from the professor who is now a permanent part of the crew. Marcellus thanks them for the info about the base in Nylig and they agree to stay in contact regarding a possible assault of same. Rothschild makes a number of threats in response to other crew members expressing interest in selling the robots and/or network technology. Mishka ignores him and mentions both to Marcellus, who has other things on his mind right now.
Head to Carthane hoping to find ships coming from Xanadu with traces of unobtanium. They find one. Arec seduces the captain and she tells him about her employer on Carthane who they make contact with. They agree to carry cargo with them and head to Xanadu where they plan to contact Zeke’s cousin.
They successfully jump to Xanadu and Toffee figures out that unobtanium exists on an asteroid in the system.