(23) Twenty-Three

229-1118 to 270-1118

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

Food and atmosphere replenishment starts immediately after the meeting.

231-1118 : Nexus (0207) / O / ?

The food supplies are now replenished.

Helen, Brock, Mich, and Jenny take the pinnace and go out with a case or two of bean juice to party naked on a rock. The pinnace conveniently provides heat through the open doors while they sunbathe.

232-1118 : Nexus (0207) / O / ?

The atmosphere is now replenished, and the pinnace partiers are un-drunked. The two ships take off at 12:00.

As the Anastasia leaves the planet, Brock tries to produce some pretty pyrotechnics with a nuclear missile or two, but the interlocks are in place and it doesn't work. Avon tells him what he thinks of this breach of procedure.

The ships arrive at the jump point at 15:25 and jump for O-0405.

239-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

The Sir Walter Raleigh comes out at O-0405 at 15:30.

240-1118 : Jump space

The Anastasia is still in jump. The crew are starting to get worried. There is a trickle of crew members visiting sick bay with symptoms of nausea and general illness.

241-1118 : Jump space

Everyone is now starting to show symptoms of jump sickness, some more than others. Most of the primary crew are coping OK for the time, although morale on the ship is distinctly dropping.

242-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

It is now day ten of the jump, and the Anastasia's officers are seriously concerned about the situation -- but of course there is nothing they can do.

Two of the marines are now sufficiently ill to require continuous hospitalization.

At 18:00 Anastasia comes out of jump. The first question asked is "Where?" By 19:00 they have determined where they are -- they are in fact in the destination system O-0405, although 40 hours travel short of the 100d normal exit point. They start on the journey towards the system.

Meanwhile, the engineers try to find out what went wrong with the jump drive.

244-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

At 12:00, a mere 5 days late, the Anastasia reaches 100d.

As for the jump drive, the engineers have found out that there was a fluctuation in the matter inverter calibration just as the ship went into jump. They set to work trying to find out how they can fix it.

245-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

By 00:00, the Anastasia reaches orbit around the P7 gas giant and start refueling.

The full diagnosis on the jump drive failure is complete at 03:00. The problem is essentially a reliability problem rather than a component failure, and they just "lucked out" on the last jump. It is possible the engineers could put together something to improve the reliability, but they don't have the necessary materials on board the Anastasia. There may be the right stuff in the Sir Walter Raleigh's drive...

The failure was possibly contributed to by the long running time, but it's basically "within engineering tolerances." They consider quite seriously adopting the practice of dimming the lights before entering jump.

Refueling is complete by 06:00, but refining continues. In the meantime, they have of course been scanning the system. They have also been contacted by the Sir Walter Raleigh, and will meet at a jump point before leaving the system.

246-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

Fuel refining is complete at 00:00, at which time they proceed to the jump point and rendezvous with the Sir Walter Raleigh at 12:00.

Before jumping, Mich asks the Sir Walter Raleigh if they have the material he needs for the Anastasia's jump drive. "Can we borrow a cup of parts?" They have some in their stores, so Helen takes Mich over on the pinnace to fetch it.

Mich estimates it will take about four days with the jump drive shut down to complete the repairs. He starts work at 16:00.

250-1118 : O-0405 / O / ?

Work is complete at 16:00 on 250-1118. Fostriades checks it, and by 17:00 it is cleared to jump. Steve Howard also checks it, but can't understand it -- well, when Mich explains what he was doing, Steve can see that he did it right, but Steve doesn't understand why Mich did it in the first place.

At 17:30, the two ships enter jump for O-0803.

257-1118 : O-0803 / O / ?

At 17:30, the ships arrive at O-0803. Scans, which take until 18:30, reveal that the system is much the same as the last time they were here on 113-1118. There are radio signals from P2, which last time had a ground base and ships in orbit.

This time they are closest to the outermost gas giant, and decide to refuel quietly there.

258-1118 : O-0803 / O / ?

They arrive at P6 to refuel, starting operations at 08:30. The Anastasia completes at 18:30, but has to wait for the Sir Walter Raleigh until 20:30. Even so, by 22:30 they have reached the jump point.

259-1118 : O-0803 / O / ?

The fuel is refined by 08:30, so both ships jump for L-0110 immediately.

264-1118 : L-0110 / O / ?

The Anastasia comes out of jump from O-0803 at 08:30.

There are more ships in this system than last time they were here. Unfortunately, they have to refuel here; neither they nor the Sir Walter Raleigh would have enough fuel to jump to any nearby system. The signals they are picking up are not "civilian" traffic control signals, but are like the signals they have picked up from military cockroach ships in the past.

266-1118 : L-0110 / O / ?

The Sir Walter Raleigh finally arrives from O-0803. The two ships cruise in slowly and quietly towards the mainworld, which is the only place to refuel in this system. This is the place they met the large ship last time.

269-1118 : L-0110 / O / ?

After a gentle 3-day cruise in, monitoring all the way. the ships reach 3/4 of way in. More scans are performed.

There is some ship traffic in the system. They see a group of five ships leaving: three are 1kt, probably BOXERs, the other two are 10kt. There is also, arriving, one 40kt ship which comes in to land on the planet. There are two ships, about 10kt each, in equatorial orbit and nothing much else in the area.

There is only one place where an ice cap meets open water, and so they descend at the north pole at 20:30, and go to the same place as last time, where the northern ice cap meets the sea. They start to refuel immediately (at 22:00) and perform atmosphere replenishment in parallel.

270-1118 : L-0110 / O / ?

Fuel refining and air replenishment are complete at 22:00. The scans have shown that the two ships in equatorial orbit have remained there, but the 40kt ship is now running a slow orbital scan of the planet. These orbits have not yet intersected with the landing site, and of course they will plan their take-off carefully to avoid the ships.