Not wanting any trouble with Lorton customs guards – as much for Mayor Parkes’ sake as the party’s – Max follows the same route out of the city state as he did to enter it and arrives in Mareksport without incident. He then sets the cruise control to keep just inside the speed and altitude limits and follows the highways east, driving through the night while the others snooze as best they can in the back.
A little after 6.00am, just as the sun is rising, Max brings the AGC down at a KwikBite Express attached to a gas station and the party members get out to stretch their legs and to have some breakfast. Jie is really starting to acquire a taste for the rabbit burgers and and flavored rice cakes and asks Autumn to stock up on them when she next stocks the galley.
After they return, Autumn takes over the driving, changing the Chamele-On paint job to match the navy blue she is currently wearing and spends the rest of the morning continuing with the drive to the border with Parlek.
At the border crossing, Jie asks the guard nicely if she can have her body pistol back now that she is leaving the country but is told in no uncertain terms that she definitely can’t. They go through the vehicle looking for contraband but don’t bother checking everyone. Parlek customs just stamp their passports and let them go through.
Max and Autumn squabble over who will drive the last leg now that they can take the AGC up to top speed. Max eventually gets his way and floors the accelerator, taking her up to top speed in a matter of seconds. In a little over an hour, they are back at Parlek Port and everyone is glad to be back inside the Princess.
“Right girl, time to earn your keep,” says Max. “Here’s the number of Mayor Parkes P.A. Give ‘er a call and find out when our cargo is coming in and get it ’ere as quick as possible. We’ve already spent way too much time ‘ere an’ time is money.”
“I’m ‘eadin’ out to try and find some buyers so we can move it all as soon as it arrives.”
“Time for monthly maintenance duties on the drives,” says Grim as he puts on his boilersuit and tracks down his favourite oily rag. “…could be maintaining a brand new Tradewinds™ 2G manuever unit, but no, ‘we need the bloody cargo space what wiv’ to make the money like, see?’ Like a little extra speed would hurt our profit margin.” he mumbles as he walks off to Engineering.
“How much longer are we going to be here?” asks Jie.
“Dunno exactly,” Max says. “Depends on ‘ow quickly I can find buyers offering a decent price an’ some new stuff to sell. Three days – four days, max, I hope.”
“In that case I think I’ll make a visit to the Tidewell Maritime Research Institute tomorrow,” Jie says. “I’m missing the seas of home and there’s nothing else I need to do here.”
“Anyone want to join me?”
Everyone moves back into their staterooms and unpacks. After all of the adventure of the past few days, everyone is glad to just relax and watch a few holovids to unwind a little before getting an early night.