Slade Visits Jon Hillman

Characters: Slade Trask
NPC: Jon Hillman
Location: Aerlay Craver, parked at the Larkarda Starport

1125.6.5 - 08:30 / 12:30 local time (18 1/2 hr day)
Wanting no part of wandering around aimlessly, Slade decides to check in on Hillman next door. Slade can check to see how he's doing and maybe ask him a couple of questions about traveling in vilani space.

Slade leaves the Miishakaal with the same stuff he had yesterday. Slade makes an immediate left and heads to the gate for entering the Aerlay Craver. The door's closed. No surprise there. Slade rings the comm to see if anyone's up.

"Aerlay Craver."

"Hi, this is Slade Trask from the Miishakaal, I was here yesterday helping out Jon Hillman down in Engineering. I was just stopping by to see how he was doing with his re-calibration."

"Just a moment."

A couple of minutes pass before the comm operator gets back to Slade, "Mr. Hillman will see you. Please wait for him to escort you."

A couple more minutes pass. There's a whoosh of compressed air as the door opens. Hillman is standing there to great Slade. He smiles and offers his hand for a handshake. His eyes look sunken though. It would appear that he didn't get much sleep last night.

"Slade! Hi. How are you doing today?"

Slade shakes his hand. "Fine thanks. Just wanted to check in on you, see how the ship-wide calibration was going."

"Oh it's going fine. Do you want to come in and have a look at the data?"

"Yeah sure."

Slade follows Hillman down the gantry arm to the starboard airlock. Once on board, the two hang a left and head on down to Engineering. They don't run into the crabby 1st officer, Miss Jonnhum. In fact they don't run into anyone at all.

Once in Engineering Slade asks Hillman, "Awfully quiet on board. Where is everyone?"

Jon looks a little embarrassed, "The captain gave them extended shore leave while the ship's systems get recalibrated."

"Ahhhhh."

Slade spends the next hour reviewing the calibration data. Already Slade can see spikes at certain frequencies that would cause some of the problems that the Aerlay Craver experienced.

"Looks like you're on the right track Jon."

"Great! Thanks again Slade. Couldn't have done it without you."

"No problem Jon."

"If there's anything that I can do to repay you for your help, just ask."

"Well Jon, there might be something."

"Sure, just ask."

"Do you know of any ships that use vilani transponders?"

"No, but the captain might. Let me ask him. Captain McKibben sir."

There's a momentary pause, then the captain replies, "Yes Mr. Hillman."

"I've got a question here from Slade of the Miishakaal."

"Sure, what is it?"

"He wants to know if we know of any ships that use vilani transponders."

Slade adds, "Captain, Slade here. After we deliver your cargo to Gishinridu, we have some business to attend to in vilani space. We've learned that we've got to swap out transponders. Our captain is worried that we'll not be allowed back into Imperial space without our original one. We're trying to find out if that's true or not."

"Well Craver doesn't operate outside of Imperial space but I know of guys who do. As far as I know, the Imperium hasn't given them any grief about running with the vilani transponders. Does that help?"

"Yes it does thanks."

"How soon before your departure Mr. Trask?"

"The captain wants to see if she can fill up our hold. Either way I imagine we'll be off tomorrow morning at the latest."

"Smooth sailing Mr. Trask."

"Thank you sir."

Turning to John Slade says, "Thanks Jon." Changing the subject Slade asks him, "Ever do any work on transponders?"

"No, strictly engines. But I do know a little something about them from the Academy."

"We're trying to figure out if we can run a dual-transponder setup or something," Slade says.

Jon looks perplexed, "But there isn't room in the compartment for two of them. Where would you put the other one?"

"Nearby."

"Well, technically you could do it, but if the navy ever caught you they'd probably impound your ship and throw you in the brig."

The transponder conversation isn't going anywhere so Slade switches topics, "What do you think of the vilani?"

Jon shrugs, "Never really gave them much thought. I hear they're not big on innovation. If something works, leave it alone. As far as politics go, I don't pay it much attention. I just want the war to end. I hear stories about how perfectly good ships are getting mangled over this mess and it's such a shame."

Yep. Jon Hillman has a one track mind: Engineering.

Slade stays and chats for a bit. After an hour Jon seems like he wants to get on with his own business. After thanking him for having an opportunity to talk about transponders, he reciprocates by thanking Slade for checking in on him. He shows Slade to the hatch and, after shaking hands, Slade departs.