The RNS Affirmative, holed and limping, needs to pull in somewhere for repairs after the battle. The only port within range is a Berian supply fort on a small island a day’s sail away.
The team abandon all of the prisoners save one on an island, with enough supplies to last until they are rescued. The other, Corporal Cynthia Bell is someone who Walker knows from a past life.
He takes her to a separate part of the island and interrogates her as she digs her own grave. She was part of a team attempting to save him from a shapeshifter known to us as Christopher Saax. She failed, and everyone under her command was killed. That’s why she has his pistol and his diary.
Walker offers her a chance – is she a woman of her word? She gives her word not to interfere with Walker or his friends. He returns her pistol to her.
Back at the Affirmative, she reports to the senior military commander – Shae. On Walker’s recommendation Shae puts her in charge of the second marine fire team.
On arrival, Walker, Commissar Ciaphas Shae, and Calaqueia Ravenhorn find the Commissars are already there. And three ironclads arrive – bearing the flags of Old Ber, the sigil of Baphomet with Dragon Rampant.
The ironclads blockade the port. Built to the same design as the RNS Coaltongue, they have a powerful main gun and are built of Goblin Steel.
Penetrating the fort, the team find that there are three factions now on the island:
- The BBA, who want to capture them for the recent naval battle
- The Commissars, who want Fresia Blackstone alive
- The Old Berians, who want Fresia Blackstone dead
Attempting to turn the factions against one another, Shae and Walker dress as Commissariat Troopers and attempt to “liberate” some gunpowder. But as the battle begins Walker, still suffering from the loss of confidence when Fresia threatened his fiancée, froze and broke from the scene, leaving Cala and Shae to deal with it.
Under cover of night, Walker, Cala, and Shae used Heron Submersible Suits to sneak onto the three ironclads, in an attempt to use Azure Rods to destroy them, much as the Coaltongue was attacked last year.
They succeeded, and the ships were destroyed (as, unfortunately, were the suits). But as they were about to return to the affirmative, they saw Commissars advancing on the ship…