Even with the M-Drive working perfectly now, it’s a long haul to the gas giant, Talos, which takes six days to reach, with an additional day to get from the gas giant to the jump diameter.
At least the long journey to the gas giant gives Grim and Taeva enough time to work on running repairs to the hull.
“She’d just collapse in jump like a crushed tin can if we didn’t patch the hull up,” Grim tells the others.
It takes four days before he and Taeva have finished patching up the hull, using up all their spares in the process.
“That should do,” Grim says, looking at their handiwork. “Fixing up Jie’s turret and the armor will have to wait until we reach Grote – same thing with fixing the old M-Drive.”
Autumn is worrying about the situation with the supplies.
“We didn’t have time to restock with supplies while we were on Talchek,” she says. “Although we aren’t going to starve, we’re going to have to ration the fresh food or else it will run out before we get to Grote. So from now on, we will just have to have one main fresh meal per day which I will prepare. Same goes for alcohol – no more than half a pint a day.”
“There’s plenty of protein mulches still in the ship’s locker though for anyone who are hungry though.”
“I dunno which is worse,” Max moans. “Dying of starvation or eating protein mulches.”
“Oh well,” he sighs. “At least we don’t have no passengers. At least we can have a stateroom to ourselves… unless you fancy sharing with me, Autumn.”
Autumn rolls her eyes.
“It is a good job we don’t have any passengers though,” she agrees. “The filters aren’t going to last the whole trip either and so things are going to get pretty smelly here before we get to Grote.”
And so it is relief when Talos the gas giant looms large in the viewscreen and Will opens the fuel intakes to fill the tanks which, by now, are almost completely empty. It then takes the best part of another day to take the slow ship to jump distance, before Unguin’s Princess slips successfully into hyperspace.