The crew arrives to Diave after a couple of months (and couple of jumps). The system is just about to enter the gas cloud and the skies are magnificient to behold. As Alexander is aware that the inner system of Diave A is an organized space, the crew decides to stop by at a more reclusive lithium and hydrogen refinery in the moon of Diave A4.
While travelling, the sensors of Lennie Small pick up an unpreceded amount of incoming warp bubbles. Alexander and Gunther wonder if this means some kind of an invasion, but attempt no contact with the incoming vessels.
After and while arriving at the refinery, the private security enterprise Black Nebula begins to take form in the minds of the crew. The dropships are painted red-black desert chrome and the mechs and tanks red-black razzle dazzle. When the paintjob is done and the docking mechanism to Lennie Small is improved (with a hefty cost), the crew covers up their glamoflage and accepts a deuterium-tritium cargo to take to the inner system, where they intent to meet Alexander's 'friend' Mihail Nemsov.
Diave Central is a large, densely populated cold world with an orbital elevator (the only one in Diave) and a lot of traffic. The crew descends to the surface and takes a train to meet Mihail, who appears to be an amiable, well-connected fellow. Mihail offers to connect Black Nebula to a potential employer, but the information has its cost. After the crew decides to pay, Nemsov sends a message to Fuub-Ark, a representative of Barka Heavy Industries, an old, local conglomerate allied with Reek-Tep Orbital Resource Exploitation, who both fear action from a larger competitor with more global resources (Teask-Dumar United Heavy Industries).
All characters spend the night out in the city. Both Heem-Lyeh and Gunther attempt to dig some information about the present political situation, and while Heem-Lyeh is unsuccessful, Gunther finds out that a large mercenary unit originally formed in Diave, Karamat-Via, is pulling all of its assets from off-system back to Diave for unknown reasons. The players suspect that Teask-Dumar might be buying the services of Karamat-Via.
The next day the players depart for Diave B2, where they are supposed to meet the contact. The negotiations go smoothly and Fuub-Ark hires them to defend assembly facility delta on the surface for the next month.
While still preparing for the high life of mercenary garrison duty, the players face combat, which, for many, is the very first time. The opposing sides are Black Nebula and a small mercernary company called Weiss&Son against an unknown, modestly equipped enemy. The players' mechs suffer considerable damage, but their tanks are unharmed. Eurich plays a hero and gets hit in the head by a punch from an enemy Highlander.