Lilly feels great once they are out of Saffron walking around on Dead Man’s Rock. It could be the drugs Imogen gave her to deal with the pain from Neiman’s sniper shots. Or it could be that Narud is finally out of their hair. This planet has pretty crappy spaceports, but Narud is satisfied with the one they leave him at. Imogen gave him a business card before he left, but he placed it right in his pocket without looking at it. One of these days, he is going to pull it out and read the fine print at the bottom where their names are. Only then will he realize that he was in L. Washington’s presence this whole time.
It is early evening on this part of the planet. In the fading light, Lilly and Imogen poke around the area near their target, looking first for local intelligence. In this neighborhood, most residents are scavengers. Imogen finds one willing to talk about fancy strangers from off-planet. Like everyone in this sector, he wants remuneration, and none of the random items Lilly offers from her own salvage work appeal to him. Imogen reluctantly dips into their dwindling ready cash and forks over a handful.
Norm’s group has indeed arrived only recently, so there is no long-term Moebius facility here. The warehouse-like space Imogen saw psionically turns out to actually be the hold of a crashed dropship. Its front door is an enormous corrugated sheet on rollers that gets dragged across a gouge in the hull. However, the dropship is part of a larger pile of trash, and the scavenger knows a route through that to another access point. Lilly is a little dubious about being able to fit in the tight spaces he describes, but he insists they should be able to squeeze through. He has used this tunnel personally and can describe the interior of the dropship. It really is just one big room.
“They’re not hanging out long,” he warns Lilly and Imogen. “I heard them saying they were planning on packing out late tonight. They were looking forward to leaving this rock. Most people are.” From his description, though, the dropship itself is inoperable, so flying it out of here is not an option. Norm’s group will need to move the artifact to a spaceworthy vessel. As for the makeup of that group, the scavenger reports one person with a rifle—and power armor—who looked like they knew what they were doing, as well as several greener underlings, all with a military bearing. There were also a couple people with gadgets, who must be the technicians Egon mentioned. “And the fancy-pants fellow in charge had a pistol as well,” he adds. That tracks with what Imogen and Lilly know of Norm’s resume. Jefferson Duke said he could shoot a gun.
The scavenger leads Lilly and Imogen to the entrance of his tunnel and describes the route through. Then he heads off to enjoy his fifty credits. From just inside the pile of junk, they watch him go. That is when they notice their tail.