Characters: Darrurz, Joe, Arthur
NPC: Mazun, Captain Azafaghur, Commander Thaedznou, Vuksaerz, Aerrak
Location: Orruengoerr
System: Tsougak

1202.19.4 - 19:37 IST, 13:00 Local Time (25:43 day)

After the conclusion of the meeting, the group is introduced to the other two crewmen: Vuksaerz and Aerrak. Both vargr are amicable enough. Judging by their builds, they're added muscle for the group.

When doing a skills comparison, Azafaghur is the technical one with engineering and similar skills. Thaedznou is the back up pilot and navigator. Vuksaerz and Aerrak are gunners with ground combat training and vehicle operation skills.

Besides tools and an old 3D fabricator for parts, the ship will be bringing survival gear and twice as much life support refurbishment materials as should be required for the trip. The same goes for provisions.

The rest of the local day is spent prepping for departure, familiarizing oneself with the ship, Mazun going over every square centimeter of engineering, and everyone getting a good night's sleep.

While Joe is securing his weapons and armor in the ship's locker, he takes a closer look at the other weapons stored there, taking mental notes of capabilities and ammo compatibility. There are auto rifles, pistols, and shotguns. All of the weapons look newly manufactured. Their weight and features indicate TL-8 origin, which happens to be Tsougak's tech level. The auto rifles are 7 mm, pistols are semi-auto 9mm. Ammo appears evenly divided between DS & HEAP. There are also some grenades and plastic explosive charges.

The rest of the time Joe spends getting acquainted with Vuksaerz and Aerrak. They're friendly enough, but a long ways from Rrokoth and Doukhken.

19.5 - 15:20 IST, 07:00 Local Time

Wake up. Final preparations for ship departure.

Mazun warms up the power plant to thruster output levels. Darrurz reacquaints himself with the pilot interface. Thaedznou does a systems check while Azafaghur oversees everything. Joe, Arthur, Vuksaerz, and Aerrak make sure everything is secure before strapping themselves in.

16:20 IST, 09:00 Local Time

Captain Azafaghur gets clearance from the air traffic tower. Once all systems check out and Mazun gives his approval from engineering, Darrurz gently revs up the thrusters. Not feeling any abnormal vibrations, he provides the boost of power the ship needs to lift off.

The ship is slow, but she steadily rises up from the ground and through the atmosphere into space.

19:55 IST, 12:35 Local Time

Thaedznou had prepped the nav computer for the jump to Gvoksaedo's innermost gas giant, which is the furthest from the mainworld. All four gas giants lie closer to the sun than Gvoksaedo.

But when Joe learned of this he correctly pointed out to Thaedznou that the gas giant was within the massive star's gravity well, and that they would precipitate out of jump space before reaching the gas giant.

Thaedznou looked irritated when Joe confronted him with this. "I know, but it's what the captain wanted."

At that time, Captain Azafaghur arrived. "I overheard the two of you. Is there a problem?"

Joe told the captain what he told Thaedznou.

Azafaghur's ears drooped. "That is entirely my fault. I forgot to take the star's gravity well into account. Joe is correct. Commander Thaedznou, if I make a navigational blunder like that again, please feel free to point it out to me."

"Yes, sir."

It turned out that all but one of the gas giants lay too deep within the star's gravity well to jump directly to. That gas giant's orbit was the closest to Gvoksaedo, but it's current position put it at 75° off the line running from the star to Gvoksaedo. Considering the tremendous distance between the two planets' orbits, the added radial distance should make the arrival of the Orruengoerr exceptionally difficult to spot.

The ship has performed just fine for the ride out to the jump point. Mazun has warmed up the jump drive and once the power plant has charged up the jump capacitor, Darrurz engages the jump governor.

There's that familiar rush of stars and pink glow as an aperture opens and the Orruengoerr dives into jumpspace.

All systems report a normal transition to jumpspace. No one feels queasy either.

Getting to Know the Orruengoerr Crew

Characters: Darrurz, Joe, Arthur
NPC: Mazun, Captain Azafaghur, Commander Thaedznou, Vuksaerz, Aerrak
Location: Orruengoerr
System: Jumpspace between Tsougak and Gvoksaedo

1202.19.4 - 20.4

Over the course of the week you get to learn a bit more about each of the crew.

Captain Azafaghur studied engineering at the naval college, learning as much as he could about the old systems from textbooks and wolves who actually worked on starships. His father is a businessman who was instrumental in providing weapons and munitions to the resistance effort and is now a big player in the rebuilding of Tsougak. Azafaghur is quite proud of what his father has done for their homeworld. However, he still seems to be a bit wet behind the ears to be a starship captain. Azafaghur isn't incompetent, just inexperienced. Aerrak confirms these suspicions in private. Azafaghur has only been a captain for a dozen weeks. His promotion seems to be a political one, something to keep his father, a definite VIP, happy.

Commander Thaedznou can be a bit grouchy at times. Aerrak explains that it's because he's been charged with puppysitting Azafaghur. He's older than Azafaghur by at least twenty years. He won't let personal feelings get in the way of his job. He's a good soldier, but it seems it's all he knows. He's a veteran of Tsougak's purge of the old 17th Disjuncture regime and the defense of the world from vakh ships. The Disjuncture made him an orphan. He has a sister who made him an uncle, but he has no mate nor pups of his own.

Vuksaerz and Aerrak are a little older than Azafaghur. Aerrak is the talker. Vuksaerz listens. He only talks when spoken to. While Azafaghur was in school, they were in boot camp. They've had experience in starship combat, but have never engaged vakh robots in ground or shipboard combat. Neither resents Azafaghur; they get the politics. If this mission goes well, they stand to be rewarded. But they're not blind to the risks. They believe the captain is book smart. They hope he's got the real world smarts to get them back home in one piece. If not, they expect Thaedznou to steer the pup on the right path.

Next: Arrival in Gvoksaedo System