It was a tiring two days for the entire party members – especially Grim – as he once again has to oversee the task of putting the Patroller back together once again. Taeva looks after replacing the armor that was shaved off during the combat, using up all but a few sheets of titanium armor in the process. Stian once again has the responsibility of repairing his turret. Fortunately one of the triple laser turrets on the downed Veng was more or less intact and so he has all of the spares that he needs – it’s just a case of reassembling them.
Repairing the sensors proved to be a more difficult process, requiring the efforts of both Jie and Will for much of the two days. They manage to scavenge parts from the sensor array that they rescued from the Cutter which, after a great deal of trial and error, manage to get functioning, although it does not give them the same range as the Patroller’s original military grade sensors.
Once again, it’s the M-Drive that gives Grim the most amount of grief and takes up all of his time. The M-Drive was so badly damaged during the combat that Grim worries that, no matter how much he tries, he is not going to be able to get the ship up and running again. Salvation comes from Htaoyukhea. She tells him that the M-Drive from the grounded 300-ton freighter that serves as their base does still have a little life left in it although it has not been maintained in years and that he is welcome to strip it for any spares that may be useful. This proves to be the lifeline that Grim needs and he finally manages to get the drive working again, albeit nowhere near as effectively as it was when it was new.
“So is there anything else that we need to do while we’re here?” asks Stian.
Will shakes his head:
“No,” he replies. “Off to Walston it is.”
“You heard Capn’ Will, Stian. Enough questions, it’s on to Walston, Gunner,” says Grim with a chuckle.
“Besides, all the evidence we can get seems to point to the pack in the Veng as having acted alone. Even if they didn’t, we don’t have any time right now to investigate further. As the Capn’ says, maybe we’ll find some more answers at Walston. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m gonna retire to my self contained StimuPod™ in my bunk; all these repairs have wiped me out. Oh, before I forget, Capn’? I ouldn’t find those Peed on Tweed holovids you wanted for the StimuPod™ I’m making you, do you have any alternates I could use?” asks Grim.
And so, after two full days of work, the party members are ready to make their departure. By now Will and the Vargr medic have managed to get all of the injured in a stable condition and the Aslan are able to keep watch over the Vargr captives.
Htaoyukhea and the other Aslan seem to be sorry to see the party members departing.
“The second Cutter was despatched from Flexos a couple of days ago and so should be here in another three days. The Flexos Avenger is also on its way to pick up the captives, although it will be well over a week before it arrives. We should be OK to hold out until then though.”
She pauses for a moment before continuing:
“We are eternally grateful for the assistance that you provided to us,” she says. “Had you not intervened, then we would have surely been killed or taken captive by the Vargr due to their superior numbers.”
“As a way of saying thank you, I would like to give you this.”
She hands over a talisman, similar to the one that Taeva received in thanks for rescuing the Shining Path’s missing dustspice.
“This talisman recognizes you as a friend and ally of the Wu’kihiykhiy’tang – or the Wu-Tang Clan as we are known by most of Humaniti. If you are ever in need, show this talisman to any members of the Wu-Tang Clan and we will help you as if you were one of our own.”
The party members accept the talisman graciously, deciding to refrain from making any mention of the fact that their previous loyalties in the on-going Wu-Tang versus Aokholkhtyeilik/Wahtoi turf war were with their enemies. They then say their farewells and head for the Patroller.
Will starts up the engine, which results in a loud clanging noise coming from the M-Drive. Grim sighs deeply once again and starts hitting parts of the engine with a monkey wrench, seemingly at random. Whatever he did though seems to have done the trick and the Patroller lets out a shriek from it’s engine bay before seemingly reluctantly lifting itself off the ground and into the dark skies above Gugh. Will puts his foot down to get to jump distance as soon as possible, but soon realizes that the Patroller is in no hurry and is going to take its own sweet time to get there.