In which the Pathfinders join the conversation.
Chernak and Stost are welcomed back with some of Clarence’s baking — more maize buttons?
I note that neither Theo, this chapter, nor the Bosses, last chapter, have agreed with my assessment that taking time to reach a solution would be advantageous. I suppose that, like Val Con earlier, they would prefer an unstable situation to be settled as soon as possible. I still think that a quick resolution is only to be desired if one can be sure of the direction in which it will be resolved.
Though Chernak and Stost recognise the name of Aberthaz Ferry, I don’t believe it’s mentioned anywhere in the prequel duology. Presumably we will get more of its story later.
On first reading, I took “they say a universe ended recently” to be a sign that the Old Tech fleet are new to this universe, like Chernak and Stost are, but that doesn’t fit the idea of them having been held in reserve by the Department for a long time, and also Theo would probably not have been puzzled by that. On reflection, I think they’re referring to the intervention by Ren Zel and Tolly at the end of Neogenesis.