The party members meet up for one last breakfast at the Celestial Chariot and then head up to their rooms to pack before checking out.
They then head off to the dock where the Forine Rover is waiting for them. As they come aboard, they meet up with their travelling companions for the next couple of weeks or more. First they meet the Owner and Captain of the vessel, Aebath Guuluung. He offers everyone a warm welcome; he’s a friendly chap who genuinely seems to be looking forward to the mission and the party members’ company. Next they are introduced to commos and computer geek, Jiman Saarluuth who looks up from his handcomp upon their arrival and smiles shyly before taking another slurp on his Mountain Dew Big Gulp and going back to the computer. Finally they are introduced to their instructor for the grav/belt and stun carbine, Sergeant-Major Brandt Chaanlaar. He rolls his eyes and sighs when he sees what he has to work with – particularly in the case of William and Max, but greets the others with a stiff salute.
While the others settle into their staterooms, William and Jie head for the bridge to familiarize themselves with the controls while Grim heads for the engineering department. He sees that the Rover is one of the oldest ships that he has ever travelled on before. Few of the parts are original though; a lot of money has been spent on replacement parts over the past few years and the ship is now in a good condition.
William soon gets to grips with the controls despite the fact that it’s been quite a while since he was piloting. Aebath is in touch with the Port Authority and is given a departure slot just after noon.
At the allotted time, William pulls back on the controls as the Rover leaves the docks. Aebath keys in the coordinates through the busy shipping lanes of Collace and William follows the trajectory heading out to jump diameter.
The Type-R isn’t built for speed and so it takes six hours before the Rover reaches jump distance. Aebath gives William the nod once the old girl has finally made it and William eases her into hyperspace. With the engines now ticking over nicely, Grim pops to the galley and whips up a welcome meal for everyone, for which Aebath and Jiman are very grateful. Aebath breaks open the several bottles of brandy from the stores and he plus the party members spend a very pleasant evening swapping stories about their life in their respective services. Jiman listens on, lapping up the party members stories of their finest hours. Max, who has done little in his career except making phone calls and talking feels a little left out and so just makes some stories up. Jiman listens attentively, but the party members are used to Max’s bullshitting now and don’t believe a word of it. Sergeant-Major Brandt, however, does not join in with the meal, preferring to keep himself to himself, eating alone in his cabin.
The party members spend much of the evening and into the small hours drinking before staggering back to their staterooms.