The party members get together for their regular breakfast meeting.
“So what does everyone have on their agendas for today?” asks Will.
“I need 50m2 of crystaliron to patch up the armor,” says Grim. “And three tons of other spares as well. Once I have the crystaliron, Jan and I will get started.”
“I’ll order that first thing,” says Max. “Then I need to get those starship parts delivered and sell the petrol engines.”
“I’ll get the life support systems regassed and new filters,” says Autumn.
“Jie and I are going to look for missiles and sandcaster barrels,” says Arvor.
“I’m going to find some metal detector and to see what else they might have for checking that the passengers aren’t going to get up to any more mischief,” says Taeva.
“Splendid,” says William. “I’m going to my stateroom to read a book. Let’s all meet up for dinner to find out how we’ve all got on.”
The party members set about their tasks for the day and then everyone meets up again for dinner at 20.00.
“What? Are you people back already? I only got to the chapter on Elixabeth’s magnetosphere. Oh well, a captain’s work is never done.” Will adds, “I don’t think there’s anything else for me here unless you think med supplies would be cheaper here Max. I doubt they’d have much in the way of fast and slow drugs. Where’s that damn list I put together awhile back…”
“I don’t think you’ll find too much of interest here, Doc,” Max replies. “They ain’t even got Viagra yet, let alone Fast an’ Slow drugs.”
“So how did everyone get on?” asks Will.
“I managed to buy a metal detector arch and also an NBC Alarm,” reports Taeva. “So this should warn us if anyone tries to smuggle guns or more tranq gas weapons onboard. They won’t pick up body pistols though. I’d really like to pick up an Anti-Personnel Equipment Scanner, but we’ll need to wait until we get back to Collace or some other high-tech location to find one of them.”
“They have sandcaster missiles here plus standard missiles,” reports Arvor. “I was hoping that they might have some homing missiles as well, but I’ve been told that they are only available at Class-A starports. If we want to pick some of those up, then we should head for Grote just over the border into Glisten subsector.”
“How many standard missiles and sandcaster missiles should we pick up just for now?” he asks. “I would say 24 missiles and 40 sand barrels. I want a few more than one load, but I will replace them with smart missiles as soon as we can.”
The others all nod, seemingly happy with the quantities.
“The life support systems are all refreshed now,” reports Autumn.
“Grim’s crystaliron plates and other parts that he ordered should be delivered in the next hour,” reports Max.
“That’s good,” says Grim. “I think that it will take Jan and I a couple of days to cut and fix them.”
“So shall we set our departure date for the morning of 323?” asks Autumn. “That gives you another 12 hours in case you need them and it means I can start looking for passengers to Talchek.”
“Fine with me,” agrees Grim.
There are nods all round.
“Great. I will start looking for high and mid passengers tomorrow then,” Autumn says.
“I did so-so with the petrol engines,” reports Max. “I got standard wholesale for it – 100k – so we made 15k on it. Nothing to get too excited about.”
“If we want to make some quick cash, then we need to sell the fighter,” he continues. “But it will probably take me more than a couple of days to find a buyer.”
“I’m havin’ a job trackin’ down the buyers of the starship parts though. I called the CEO of Imports at Elixabeth Yards, Ltd., Mr. Imjan Ussuri, but all I got was a recorded message saying, ‘A family emergency has come up back on my homeworld. I am taking administrative leave until this is resolved. Please refer your calls to my deputy, Ms. Janis Demasque.’”
“I went around their offices just before I came to this meeting but they are all closed for the day. I suppose that I’ll ‘ave to try them again tomorrow an’ ’ope this Janis is available.”
With all of the immediate business having been attended to, the party members talk about more long-term plans:
“Do we need to go back to Collace from this delivery?” Taeva asks. “All of a sudden the prospects for this sector seem unfriendly.”
“I was kinda thinking the same thing, Taeva,” agrees Grim. “Been looking at the maps- maybe we should head into the Imperium by way of Grote and Mithras or Grote and Smoug?”
“Yeah, it certainly might be better to wait a while until our fame in this area dies down,” Max agrees.
“The only reason we want to go back to Collace is that it’s high-tech, isn’t it?" asks Max. "In that case, why don’t we ‘ead for Glisten instead after Talchek? It’s higher tech than Collace and is four jumps from Talchek via Lydia and Weiss, while Collace is five jumps away, assumin’ we don’t want to go to Forine.”
" Glisten eh? If its a quick stopover, OK, but I will need to keep a very low profile," says Taeva. “Keep my name off all the paperwork-you’ll have to sign Max. Just to let you know there are at least two contracts pending on me at Glisten. I won’t be going out much.”
“Well you’ve still got those snide Pavabidian IDs that the Collace Secret Service ran up, haven’t you?” Max asks.
“Chances are that Glisten Customs have never seen a Pavabidian ID before so they should be good enough to get you in. Then Glisten is a big ole place. Should be safe enough to keep out of trouble.”
“You and Arvor have been home since we’ve been out on the road. Maybe Will and Grim would like to go home for a visit. And Will should be able to get a good price on implants because of his connections there.”
“I’d like to go home for a visit,” says Will. “Maybe touch base with my old mentor. I vote for the Glisten route and then maybe we can head back towards Collace. The attraction of the frontier is that it’s, well, the frontier. Lots of excitement out here.”
“I’m good for Glisten,” agrees Arvor. “A change is as good as a holiday! We might also find a better place to resell the fighter en-route.”
“Glisten it is then!” says Grim, all the while thinking to himself, ‘I ain’t going home, this is just another system.’
“All agreed then,” says Max. “Glisten it is then. With a bit of luck, we should be there for Christmas and the New Year. We got to be somewhere decent for the holiday season. We can’t spend it on some primitive shithole.”
“Talking of primitive shitholes,” Max continues, “Anyone fancy joining me for a pint? I fancy checking out thee Elixabethan chicks with their big hair and shoulder pads.”
Max heads out with the party members who fancy a night out, having a pretty decent time in the night clubs of Eos highport, before heading back to the ship in the small hours of the morning.