Autumn has her work cut out looking after the passengers who are, not surprisingly pretty shook up by the near miss that they had the previous day.
Eneri, the banker, seems to be the worst affected. He takes to drinking heavily to try and deaden his shattered nerves. He is also very irritated at the amount of additional time the whole matter is taking, regularly shouting at Autumn that the ship needs to “hurry up” as he is on a tight schedule until he falls into a drunken stupor again.
Jasya, the holographer, once the initial shock has died down is really angry – but with herself. She is furious that she missed the battle, bemoaning the fact that she would have been able to shoot some ‘awesome footage’ had she been conscious. She sulks for much of the next day.
Seeing Jasya’s disappointment, Arvor comes to speak with her:
“I’m sorry that you missed the fight,” he says. “But I can offer you a copy of the feed from the turret gun cameras, and the recordings of the integrated position system from the bridge, and the sensor files. Between these, you can probably re-create most of the battle, and the turret vids would provide verisimilitude. Couple that with some live footage of the ship which you can take before and during the repairs and you should be able to reconstruct the entire battle.”
Jasya beams a broad smile:
“You’d really do that? That would be incredible. I am sure that I can edit all that footage into an interesting docufeature.”
After getting all of the feeds that Arvor is able to provide, Jasya sets around interviewing all of the members of the crew regarding their part in the battle and also pleads with Jie that she lets her interview M’tanga and the pirates, which Jie agrees to. The pirates aren’t terribly forthcoming with admissions of their guilt though.
Once she has all of the footage she can think of, she busies herself in her cabin editing the material together.
The party members can hear her putting the soundtrack to it:
“Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?”
Autumn comes to Arvor and thanks him for his help with her.
“Thanks, Arvor, you really did me a big favour there,” she smiles broadly, as she fiddles with her long blonde hair. “You really turned around an unhappy customer into a happy one. Thanks again.”
Valencia is more shaken up than anyone else. She demands that Max consoles her in her cabin personally, after remarking how much she loves his new aftershave.
Jan, the life support engineer, is the only useful member from the passengers. After checking that the cargo of equipment was not damaged in the fight, he relaxes. He potters around the ship tutting at what a shoddy job Grim and Taeva are making of the temporary repairs. He offers to help the pair of them and turns out to be a highly proficient mechanic, which speeds up the repairing process quite considerably.
Grim spends all his time in the engineering bay nursing the M-Drive which keeps dying on him. Together with Jan, he goes through the four tons of spare parts that were scavenged from the Interceptor. It takes the pair of them eight hours, but finally the engine splutters into life as they return the ship to full power.
“Nice work,” Will calls down from the Bridge. “Unfortunately that’s not the only pressing problem that we have though – we’re leaking fuel quite badly. We’ve got enough to get us to the gas giant, but we won’t have enough to get from the gas giant to Noctocol.”
“I’ll have to fix her when we land on the moon then,” Grim replies. “It’s too dangerous to make the repairs while we’re on the move.”
It’s 5.00am when the ship reaches the closest of the gas giant’s 12 moons and Will carefully brings the Princess down to land on the surface. Autumn tells the passengers that, although there is no danger, the ship is just putting down on the moon to repair a leak in the fuel tank and that the Princess will be back on its way in a few hours.
Grim and Jan don their vacc suits and use some more of the plates that they took from the Black Panther which they use to weld up the holes in the fuel tank.
While Jan is preoccupied with this, Max, Taeva and Arvor sneak off in the air/raft where they start to take the containers of pheromones and drop them off in a nearby container, a job which takes less than an hour.
It’s quite a major job to weld the plates covering all of the holes in the fuel tank, but after five hours they have managed to fix them all. There are some pretty ugly scars elsewhere on the hull where the Interceptor’s lasers raked it, but both Grim and Jan are of the opinion that the ship is in no danger and so their repairs can wait until the ship gets to Noctocol.
Everyone heads back to the ship and then Will takes off once again. As he gets a little closer to the gas giant, he opens the fuel intakes and fills the tanks with gases. Once the tanks are full to the brim once again, Jie gives him the coordinates to Noctocol and Unguin’s Princess heads off.