Marquis Marcus Crestworthy is leaving his ship here, and taking commercial passage back to Mora to resume his studies in residence at the University. Starting with the TAS facility here, he can do the whole trip on free High Passage tickets. Everyone else is remaining on board the Third Eye.
Finally, the TNS item of 129-1120 has caught up with them. It states that the Arden Federation has stood down their military at the border. Apparently the crisis there, which started when they were on Digitis, was resolved soon after they left the area.
The ship is well funded at present, with several
million Imperial Credits
on board. Nevertheless, the Marquis pays for the restocking, preventive
maintenance, and so on out of his general account.
Mich Saginaw produces a list of spares he wants, and it will be filled before they leave. The list includes four zuchai crystals -- two to repair the drives, and two to replace the spares. They certainly don't want to do an annual maintenance when not necessary, given the cost -- 350,000 Cr. for a Zodiac class ship like this one. He also checks for any new papers on jump drive design, or astrogation, but there are none.
Vonish Kehnaan replenishes the ship's food supplies; he too has a long list that is filled using the Marquis' account. He does of course have an outstanding offer of a job as the personal chef to Sir Geoffrey of Adabicci, but he has decided to stay with the ship.
Robert Morris taps into the local Navy computers. He checks for any patterns that might be similar to the stuff they got from Digitis. He doesn't expect to find anything, and in fact that is the case. There are no new cryptographic techniques -- after all, Robert has the new Imperial Navy systems that haven't been deployed here yet. All in all, there is nothing of interest here.
There are other loose ends they could follow up.
There was Brandon Asu, the guy who sold out Mich -- if they can find out
who he was working for, perhaps they could find out who wants Mich.
Also, there's the issue of Robin Sherwood -- who is she really? There are no new reports of her activities in the news, however, and no description or anything on record.
Then there's all the crew members who were missing after the Anastasia's misjump -- Jill, Brock, Joe, and a bunch of marines, and an air/raft. That would be a useful pirate crew!
That brings up another loose end -- what happened to the Anastasia? There was an antimatter explosion, of course, but whether it destroyed the ship or not is merely hearsay at this point. Now Norris believes the ship has been blown up, but whether he had good information or no is another matter entirely. Also, making that antimatter explosion itself is something Mich would love to know how to do -- dispersal is a serious problem. Of course, they could just start with a hunk of matter and shift the phase of every other atom...
Ed "Shark" Teeth checks with local representatives
to check if there's anything new going on. The Arden situation is
the biggest problem facing them. They totally failed to anticipate
the crisis, and they're now trying to rectify the situation. Unfortunately
infiltrating the Arden Federation is near impossible, and will take years
They have no information for him on Wonstar. He contemplates starting trouble for the Wonstar Development Corporation -- the information that they're funding a non-real operation on Mora is surely interesting -- but what would it do to the Marquis' funding? After consulting with the captain, he decides to let it slide.
Back on the ship, Ed talks with Robert about the
untranslatable data stream. Advanced encryption with advanced technology...
It could be Imperium, suggests Ed, but Robert says it's not. Ed wonders
aloud why the Imperium knows about it but doesn't want it investigated.
Perhaps they want to reserve it for critical applications, suggests Robert.
Ed in turn points out that if it's the Imperium that's using it, then Digitis
is an Imperial Research
He also checks to see if there are any operatives in the Hinay Protectorate with whom he could make contact. He is told that there is a representative on Hinay itself, but that the area is really out of their jurisdiction.
He returns to the ship with the latest "most wanted" list. There's no-one on it that they know.
While they're planning the route, the Marquis asks
Teri Cralla if there's anywhere she doesn't want to go in Foreven.
She replies the only place she's concerned about is Plague -- if you go
there, you die.
Marc offers Teri citizenship of Pallique, if she wants to be a citizen of the Imperium, but she declines. She's a native of Sting, and wants to keep it that way.
The first voyage under the command of Captain Misha Ravanos start flawlessly. Helia pops the ship into jump for Raschev.
Mich examines the data from the jump and finds that there is something very interesting -- the jumpspace vortex generators might in fact be having a slight effect as intended. It'll take several weeks to start to devise any sort of improvements, and probably they'd need some downtime to implement.
While here they relax for a couple of days.
Raschev seems quite
pleasant, although not very interesting. They have local beer, which
is enough to satisfy Ed anyway. Food is quite good here, with lots
of fresh seafood and local agricultural products.
Clothing styles are natural fabrics, produced locally, but don't offer anything special over normal Imperial clothes. The towns are quite small -- eight to ten thousand are the most in the largest cities.
There's no real news. There's a slight drought in the north-east; yardley root prices are expected to go up as a result. News outside Raschev is almost non-existent. Mail packets come in from Garoo every month or two.
Vonish takes the opportunity to stock up on seafood and vegetables -- they can eat well from Raschev supplies for quite some time to come. He has even commandeered one of the module labs as a large freezer.
Diagnostics show no problem. At Helia's request, Mich runs diagnostics on all the ship's systems and they show no problem either.
Meanwhile, Helia is slowly feeling worse. She asks to borrow Mich's psi shield helmet, but it doesn't improve how she feels.
They are in a system. It is definitely not