In which there is a free and frank exchange of views.
In all the excitement, I don’t think anyone got around to reading the emergency pinbeam message. It should be okay, though; most likely it was just a heads-up about the thing that happens at the end of the chapter, which went okay anyhow.
At first, I thought — and I suspect the authors intended us to think — that the ship attacking was one of the arrivals from Sye Mon’s group, and that their announced intention to add their voices to the discussion was revealed as a euphemism.
But no, it seems they are sincere about wanting to discuss what happens next.
It also seems that Sye Mon’s group consisted of only six individuals. That fits with what Sye Mon said at the beginning of the book about the devices being organised in pods of six, and the fact that he’s only ever mentioned making a connection with one, but I hadn’t put it together before. It’s a good thing they didn’t end up having to go head-to-head with the rest of the Assembly.
It looks to be a settled thing now that Chernak and Stost are part of Bechimo‘s crew, with the time they spent on Surebleak being casually referred to as them being “on leave”.