While Alexander and Huug-Gun are busy consolidating their newfound resources and owerworking the repair teams, Heem-Lyeh takes the night off to set up hidden cameras and microphones to both Meek-Ria's quarters and the container she uses to interrogate the prisoners. No specific reason is given, but as a semi-paranoid person, he has been suspecting her of something new every day.
The next two mornings open with lengthy interrogations as Meek-Ria takes the prisoners and meticuously questions them. Fortunately it does not seem as if she notices Heem-Lyeh's spycams, and they are able to record the conversations unmolested.
Josef's and Ivan's days are mainly spent in creating new content for Black Nebula's webpages and inventing new slogans for T-shirts. "Don't be like Steffan" is a new favorite. This practice is eventually interrupted as Teask-Dumar's forces shoot down the last geocentric communications satellite and internet speed plummets. Additional wires being dug all the time, but it is unknown how long it will take until the customary level of service is restored.
Eventually Meek-Ria finishes her task and surrenders the prisoners to Ivan and Josef with the orders to a) get more high-ranking prisoners next time and b) to ferry the current prisoners into BHI headquarters for a more through questioning, he picks up the data and then accompanies the brothers for a trip to town. Dropping the prisoners themselves is uneventful, but the Girya brothers want to visit the company they found from Doris's supposed employer, or at least the company listed in her business cards.
The brothers' excursion proves to be interesting. The company is in a smaller city about two hours of a drive away, but with a hovertank, this time can be cut down somewhat. The company, "ElectroBeaver" resides in a completely ordinary-looking incubator facility in the outskirts of town and the person opening the door for them identifies with an estonian name and asks for their business. Nobody in the company has heard of Doris whatsoever, and even though the employees are baffled by the authenticity of the business card, nobody recalls anything relevant. Josef tries to dig a bit deeper, but the company does not seem to have any real connections with security services, has not done high-profile jobs and declines to have done installations in any relevant targets. Before his actions get too suspicious, Ivan drags his brother off and suggests a nightly raid to the premises and an outright theft of any relevant information. Josef is merely content with his initiative. Heem-Lyeh wants no part of this and has business of his own, so the russians drop him to downtown train station.
Because direct and simple is always better, the brothers simply wait a bit, knock on the door and tell the nightguard that if he wishes to stay healthy, it would be in his best interests to leave. Then they go to the door, break it and carry a couple of computers and the archive cabinet to their tank and drive off. The simplicity of the whole operation is ridiculous, and the brothers do not waste time thinking about whether they will be caught, as they deem it extremely unlikely that the police would come after them for stealing less than 200 credits worth of equipment.
While this is going on, Eurich has been going around socializing with the other mercenary corporations situated on the camp. He mainly manages to confirm that, as before, the players are on good terms with Weiss&Son, and that they are a bit too small to be of any special interest to Karamat-Via. Cracked Mask Battle Group, on the other hand, is relatively well informed of their exploits and respects the work they have done up to this point. Being the tactival genius he is, Eurich remembers to offer consultation help about tactics and strategy, but apart from Weiss&Son, the other mercenary corporations are not particularly convinced that this is in their best interests. Unbeknowst to them, this worsens their standing in his narcissistic mind, but whether this leads to anything either, remains to be seen.
Heem-Lyeh, on the other hand, is looking for translation services in shadier parts of town, where he thinks he can buy silence cheap. The trek eventually ends up with a trio of working girls who collectively can tell him that one the prisoners is his tapes talks greek, one italian and two seem to be serbian. A painstaking effort by all is required to litterate the conversations, but Heem-Lyeh's generous payment and promises of more work make his new contractors very co-operative. While one of the girls knows a little bit of serbian, the conversation is too advanced for her to make sense of it.
The morning dawns on all of the Black Nebula personnel on their meeting room, reading piles upon piles of conversations and work orders and blueprints from the archival cabinets, and with Heem-Lyeh digging through the captured computers. Several seemingly relevant pieces of information come to light:
1. Meek-Ria is excellent with languages, positively sublime.
2. She is mostly interested in what the enely knows about Fuub-Ark and his colleagues, and the rest of the BHI leadership, not about the enemy itself.
3. The archives and computer systems of ElectroBeaver do not contain anything of interest with regard to espionage or Doris.
4. It seems that the company's security infrastructure is not particularly fastidiou. It is likely that the design files of the company business card and other stuff have been freely available on the net.
Josef finds the last item particularly disappointing, and refuses to believe the conclusion that Doris's facade might have been chosen as random. Both brothers regret that they acted on Meek-Ria's orders and let her off so easy at the time. Regarding the former points, while especially the awese find Meek-Ria's motives interesting, the russians note that the whole thing seems to be way above their pay grade and that being too concerned about it is bad for ones health (also bad for business). Josef reiterates his earlier position that while it is always good to know what is happening, acting on it is a different matter entirely.
For the heck of it, the russians set out to return the filing cabinet and the computers, but they have barely left when Andrew Weiss rushes in to meet Alexander and Huug-Gun, wishing to show them something.
And there it is. On the first page of new anonymous contracts on Merc.net, there is a 35-million credit bounty on Alexander and Huug-Gun's heads, with Black Nebula's de facto destruction being another condition of payment. While Andrew thinks this is the coolest thing ever and his respect for Black Nebula is further reinforced, Alexander mainly thinks about investin more in personal protection. Josef is considerably less worried and instead writes a reply post promising a stupendous hundred credits for whoever finds out who put a contract on their heads.
Regardless of this, Huug-Gun and Gunther have finished their restructuring plan of the company and have put their extra assets on sale, but are convinced that they need better, larger transport equipment. For this, they head down to the BHI headquarters to hire a dedicated drone pilot in order to obtain some more information of their enemies' assets especially transport capacity. The task is not easy or cheap, and countless drones are lost to flashes of defense lasers before the players are able to find out more than what BHI already knew. It seems that Teask-Dumar has hired some other mercenaries besides Sybaris, and two large Suvak-designed dropships are found on the premises. Moreover, it seems that an increasing number of troops are being brought planetside, which definitely seems worrying. Huug-Gun and Gunther are nonplussed by this and focus on thinking about how to capture one of the dropships.
While the drone flights are going on, there is an emergence of a strange sect of female awese missionaries in the mercenary camp. The discovery is especially interesting as religions are no longer prominent in the culture in the first place. The humans aren't particularly interested, but both Huug-Gun and Heem-Lyeh dig a bit into it. As the nuns openly interact with young males present, it is very easy to ask around.
Unsurprisingly, the mission appears to be upheld by the resident Suvak awese, but with a considerable number of local recruits. All its members seem to be women, and while the history of the religion is partially buried in time, it seems to originate from before the space age of the species and has survived in Suvak space to this day. It is focused in mitigating the necessary evils of war by helping the wounded, but also in rewarding any brave and accomplished, but dying warriors with "Continuity", which is also both the de facto name of the sect. The religion seems to believe that rewarding and nourishing bravery has been better for the species throughout the ages.
While a strange combination of temple prostituion, eugenics and battlefield medicine seems creepy, it is by far creepier that after passingly witnessing the speech and demeanor of the cult's local leader, Ibia-Myak, Huug-Gun has a feeling of innate spiritual companionship accompanied with a compulstion to associate with the religion itself. Scared off by this, he vows to keep clear of the nuns and warns Heem-Lyeh to do the same. He, however reports having the same experience passingly and less intensely.
As a last larger event of these days between battles, the encounter trouble in recreational activities. While it is to some extent implicit that the nights of any mercenary are clouded in drunken stupor, sometimes they lead to a more significant event. While taking a leak in the back alley of a bar recently profiled mainly as a mercenary watering hole, Josef hears an unkown voice, which regretfully informs him that the following is nothing personal, then promptly shoots him from point-blank range. Subsequently, the man is baffled when Josef does not die immediately, but instead turns to face his attacker and puts up a serious fight. While the russian's physical condition would probably prevented him from winning said fight, the emergence of everyone else from inside the bar forces the attacker to flee. Gunfire rings in the night, the fleeing figure is hit, but not critically, and manages to escape into the darkness.
Josef is taken into the hospital and treated. The bullet seems to have glanced the skull and caused serious damage, but miraculously is not lethal. Full recovery is expected, but not soon.
The session ends with a call from Fuub-Ark and the declaratiof of another grand briefing.