There was an air of celebration among the people of Walston. They had survived a disaster in better shape than might have been expected and the crew of the ShakenVacc were, for now, heroes. The previous night had been a riot of celebration.
Paddy had taken the ship in hand, and was utilising the resources of Walston’s tiny starport to bear on making the scout ship flyable.
Although the town of Salbarii might have to be abandoned in the long term, at present it looked like this might not be necessary. The volcano was 20km away and the center of the eruption zone pointed away from the town. Lava was likely to flow south and west, down to the sea rather than northwards to Salbarii. Ash and dust was blowing across the island but the prevailing wind was taking it mainly out into the ocean. The eruption itself was winding down now that the pressure had been released, but it seemed likely that the mountain would remain active and if so, living so close was not really desirable.
Over lunch they spoke to Paddy, who seemed to have fixed it in his head that the group would fly the ShakenVacc to the scout base at Flamarrion. Max and Taeva looked at one another.
" ‘Old on there Paddy mate" said Max, " A favour is one ’fing but we got a bleedin’ ship to run. We can’t afford to spend months running errands for you: we ain’t in the IISS."
“Yes.” agreed Taeva. “We’re not bankrupting ourselves to do you any more favours Paddy. Time is money for us, and we can’t afford to spend months with our ship sitting idle. No dice.”
“Your scout ship, your responsibility mate” said Max. Will diplomatically went to the bar.
“Of course” said Max, “once we’ve collected the Princess we’ll be stopping off back ’ere again. If you want to make it worth our while we might consider operating your tub in tandam with ours. We will probably head for Flammarion anyway.”