The Ghosts of Eden
RobertRobert decides to run some statistical correlation programs on symbols found on Beekhu, Eberhavn, general Indian architecture and the proposed "Ancient Site" in India. Andi does this for him. The results say that Beekhu, Eber and Earth styles are all distinctive. Statistically speaking the Earth "Ancient" site is closer in style to Earth symbology than the others however it does have some bits that correlate to Beekhu symbols. Similarly much Masonic symbology (The triangle with the eye) correlates with some Beekhu symbology. However the general outcome of the statistical simulation is that such correlations are as likely to be coincidence as not. Clearly symbology alone can not be used to classify the site as Ancient. However the presence of Silicon Carbide at the site does make a link.
Robert is invited by Sam Houston to dine with he CEO of forethought (a hard science research company). He accepts.
Roberts starts trying to donate his Beekhu folk music recordings to a museum but then decides to set up a web site instead.
Trilon, influenced by Andi's ex, is increasing shipping costs to the asteroids, including Thisbe. This is putting the squeeze on margins across the asteroid belt, but the ability of colonies to deal with it varies from place to place. Also Thisbe is nearing the end of its viable life. Options available include:
Andi receives a message from her ex-husband asking for a meeting. She also receives and invitation from Sam Houston for dinner. He has sent a chartered spacecraft to convey her. Andi works out that with the chartered ship she can make both dates and return to the Joyous Venture on time. She accepts both invitations.
Andi's simulations of the current financial situation suggest that either Trilon intends to buy into the asteroid belt or that the resource costs have genuinely risen and Trilon is attempting to keep its own costs down. Andi leaves her family in argument about how to respond to the price rises.
AntonioAntonio goes to his meeting with Kea from Kurita, ostensibly in order to take advantage of the free lunch. Kea apologises for the earlier attack on Antonio's life and offers him a job. Kea considers the trip of the Joyous Venture to be some sort of "deep reconnaissance" mission. In particular he notes that the war with the Kafer must be coming to an end and Trilon will need to find some way to occupy its battle-fleet. The crew note that in this respect either Kurita directly or a Beekhu Jihad could well provide a suitable opponent. Kurita would like to be kept informed of the Joyous Venture's activities but offer no retainer. Antonio raises the issue of the experimental vessel that fired on the Joyous Venture. Kea claims that it was a response to a perceived threat from Trilon and that Kurita were currently disappointed by the teething problems encountered on its maiden flight.
Antonio goes for a walk with Kea. He is delivered a message by a "pick pocket" which suggests he is under surveillance. Kea gives him an address but there is no time to act on it. He has also been invited to meet Sam Houston.
Miho's nephew (actually son), Keisuke, has been having problems at school. Suggestions have been made that it might be Asperger's, but the symptoms don't really fit. In some ways it is the opposite - Keisuke seems too aware of other's emotions.
Miho visits her mother to discuss the problems with her 'nephew' and her sister, Sumiko. Sumiko has been seeking guidance from Jose Wroclavitz, who claims to be a fortune teller. In later conversation with Sumiko it turns out that JW wants to meet Miho. She goes along to a meeting, which Sumiko seems very nervous about. JW feels talking to Miho is important for Sumiko and Keisuke, the matter having turned up in an earlier reading for Keisuke. JW asks Miho to think of a question and does a tarot reading. Miho's question is "Does the relationship that Robert has noticed among us extend to JW or Keisuke?" The reading is:
JW's interpretation is:
Miho also receives and accepts an invitation from Sam Houston. She leaves Earth with samples of DNA from Keisuke, her sister and her sister's spiritual advisor.