(22) Twenty-two

221-1118 to 229-1118

221-1118 (cont.) : ? (0607) / N / ?

Like last time (154-1118), the nearest planet is the P2 gas giant, 7 hours away. They perform the usual system scans for the first hour, until 22:00, then set off.

221-1118 : ? (0607) / N / ?

At 05:00, the Anastasia arrives at the gas giant and starts refueling, which is completed at 08:00. They immediately leave for P2-15 to check on the air and food situation there. The Captain is apparently not fond of the generic food they obtained from the slime last time they were at Nexus.

At 11:00 they arrive at P2-15. They scan the planet from orbit for a while. The planet is size 6, thin tainted atmosphere, average temperature about 8 degrees, hydrographics of 30%. The planet has a great deal of volcanic activity and apparently a fairly high concentration of heavy metals. It is decided that it is not worth filtering, and so they head out for a jump to Nexus (O-0207).

They reach the jump point at 20:00, but of course still have 9 hours of fuel refining left.

222-1118 : ? (0607) / N / ?

At 05:00 they try to jump for Nexus, but there is a serious jump drive failure on preparation and they need to fix it. Repairs take six hours. At 11:00 they try again to jump. After a little modification of the repairs, they jump with the drive in perfect shape at 11:30.

229-1118 : Nexus (0207) / O / ?

The Anastasia arrives from N-0607 at 11:30. Last time they were here was from 130-1118 to 146-1118. They arrive nearest to P3, so the trip to P3-15 should not be too long, and in fact it takes 11 hours to enter orbit around the planet, where they arrive at 22:30. It has been decided to refuel on the planet while replenishing the atmosphere, rather than waste time at the gas giant itself.

On entering orbit, they are hailed by the Sir Walter Raleigh. They respond and exchange pleasantries. The Sir Walter apparently did not do anything interesting in the intervening time, but did get their engines checked out while the battle damage was being repaired. Captain Delaney says they're headed back for a maintenance check themselves. It is suggested that the major officers from both ships get together to update.

The Sir Walter Raleigh is currently down at the north pole near the beacon. It is rather inhospitable up there, so it is decided to rendezvous at an equatorial lake at 01:00 tomorrow morning.

229-1118 : Nexus (0207) / O / ?

At 01:00 the two ships set down in the water 200m from the shoreline. It is currently mid-day here.

They start replenishment of the atmosphere right away, as this will take three days. The officers of the two ships meet on the Anastasia in the Ward Room on B Deck. Representing the Sir Walter Raleigh are Commodore Judith Watson and the Chief Engineer, the two ladies they first met from the ship all that time ago.

So, what's the news?

The cockroaches, it turns out, were sneaking ships in to Faranu, the system which had not had contact regained at the time the Anastasia left the area. Last time they were at Dulu, though, they did see some cockroach ships moving through the system, so they could have been heading there. The facilities on Dulu, of course, could have done nothing to stop them -- if they even noticed in their efforts to inform their own public.

The ships were gathering at Faranu starting to build up to an offensive.

Staru, of course, was well held by the TradeMain Foundation forces. Once the Anastasia had demonstrated to the TMF (and ex-Scorpionis) leaders the benefit of scouts, the navy sent in scouts to Faranu, found out what was going on, and the Navy dealt with the threat. The cockroach forces were defeated, although some ships did escape.

The TMF have now stationed a good number of ships in Dulu to guard the approach to the sector. Despite the abhorrence of the ex-Scorpionis Navy for jumping out of a system with a general warning, this time they seem to have learnt from their mistakes and the Dulu fleet now has the duty of warning the rest of the Foundation.

This, anyway, was the information as of the Sir Walter Raleigh leaving Dulu.

So it seems that perhaps the Emperor's original predictions were right? They predicted a break-through in what, ten years from now?

The Captain says that what they need to do now is to head for Karakus. As for what they do after that, well...