Upon returning to Earth the crew of the Sumo were not sure how they would be received. One of them was now a robot, all of them had implants and technology given to them by the Belt AI’s, and they were no longer in the government’s or military’s good books. Someone in the military was still interested in them though, an Admiral Erin Bayer requested a meeting with them at the military shipyard at Decatur.
Admiral Bayer didn’t care that the crew ignored procedure back in the belt, she didn’t care that Manny was a brain in a robot body, and she seemed totally unfazed by Captain Ron’s sweet shades. She made it clear she wanted a capable crew to do “odd jobs” for her, mostly off the record. The admiral claimed she represented a group of powerful interests within the government that wanted to make sure the influx of technology from the belt is absorbed by society with as few problems as possible. She also claimed to be in direct contact with the Belt AI’s and was operating along with their advice and guidance. Captain Ron and the senior crew all agreed to this arrangement, but many of the crew were eager retire after years of time on the ship and the stresses of the Mars mission.
With a smaller crew the Sumo took on its first job for the admiral: scouting and securing an abandoned factory with disputed ownership before the Free Colonies did the same. But when the Sumo arrived at the factory they found a complication in the form of squatters, sort sort of cyber-cult pushed out of the Free Colonies Although the initial encounter did not go well, with Manny shooting his net gun at one of the squatters who was reaching for a weapon, the crew was able to get the squatters calmed down and talking eventually. After discussing the situation with one of the admiral’s contact, the squatters were to be given their own small habitat in exchange for peacefully leaving the factory and helping secure it. Giving the squatters their own station was an expensive trade for the factory, but still worth while.