Characters: Gvarokh, Slade, Lakir
Location: Bridge on the Miishakaal, at the Gishinridu Highport
Slade and Lakir make their way to the bridge.
Once there, Gvarokh asks, "How bad is it?"
Slade replies, "Bad. The fuel scrubbers are toast. The compression pump looks shot too. I might be able to rebuild it, but I'd rather wait until we were in jump space to do it. Meanwhile we've got a load of fuel that needs purification, unless you and the captain want to risk driving with dirty fuel."
Gvarokh shakes his head, "I don't think she will. Anything else?"
Slade adds, "Yeah, the filters are completely clogged. They're easy enough to get cleaned though. I might even have some cleaning fluid lying around."
Gvarokh nods, "Well at least there's some good news. How did that transponder investigation go?"
Lakir and Slade both reply, "Good."
Slade gestures for Lakir to fill in Gvarokh. Lakir relates their story, "To make a long story short, a couple of traders bought us lunch and filled us in on who we need to talk to here for the transponder."
"Good," Gvarokh finally notices the bottle of wine in Slade's hand, "And that?"
Slade smiles, "A thank you for a good laugh."
Gvarokh cocks his head to side, confused, "Explain."
Lakir explains, "Apparently, we caused a stir when we arrived. That Lieutenant Drilimmi is a real hard ass. We made her look bad so they showed their appreciation by buying us lunch and a bottle of wine."
Gvarokh nods, "Ok, let me see if I can get the captain." He fires up the comm, "Captain, this is Gvarokh. Are you there?"
She replies, "I'm here Gvarokh. What's up?"
Gvarokh let Slade explain the fuel purification plant problems to her. The Captain listens to what has happened and you think you notice a little irritation in her at the news. She leaves the pump purchase entirely in your hands. She asks for you to coordinate with Gvarokh if necessary and leaves you to it.
Then Slade talks to the captain about the transponder. He lets her know that the Starport Authority has to be the place to supply it and that it should go off without a hitch. Vilani transponders seem to be acceptable in Imperial space and reinstalling the old one doesn't appear to be necessary. There are still two things that need to be taken care of though: registering the cargo and getting licensed to operate a vessel in the RVE.
She replies that she spent the morning getting the cargo registered and that it's all taken care of. She acknowledges the good news about the transponder.
Lakir adds, "But we'll still need to talk to the Port Master about getting it done and getting that license."
She sighs, "I'll handle that. What's this port master's name?"
Lakir answers, "Hiaani Jighar Killic is his name and the guys at lunch spoke very highly of him."
Gvarokh interrupts, "Yes I remember him. We talked as the ship docked. He was very polite, especially for a bureaucrat."
Lakir continues, "He's also Darrian, if that matters. Our contacts seem to think that he might be able to speed up the process, but they didn't know for sure nor did they know by how much."
She sighs, "Staying here for a month isn't something I think any one of else would care to do. I'll see what I can do. Thank you guys. Shiraamer out."
Gvarokh contacts the Port Authority to arrange a time for the transponder conversion and to see if they can buy a pair of fuel pumps of the specifications made by Slade. It turns out that the Starport Authority is the only place that has a compression pump, but they are only willing to sell you one. They have two that will fit in your purification plant, but don't want to be completely out of stock. They will sell you about 70% of the parts that would make another one though. They are willing to fabricate one for you but the fabrication plant is running on a two week backlog at the moment.
The cost of the pump is $10,000. Buying the parts they've got to make one yourself will cost $12,000, and you still won't have a complete one, unless you intend to merge it with the broken pump you own. The fabrication plant model will cost $9,000, though it might not be as good (TL10) and there's that two week delay.
The scrubbers will cost $8,000. They have one set to sell you. No parts are available to piece meal something. The fabrication plant can make them for $6,500, though there still is that delay and the tech level to consider.
Slade lets Gvarokh know that these prices are high.
As for the transponder they can come and fit one almost immediately (in the next work period) following authorization by the Port Master's Office.
Gvarokh says, "Since we have to fix it, we need to go ahead and get the pump and scrubbers now. We should skip the faber stuff, because of the time factor, and the parts, and try to get the spare parts/components at Hrun. It may not be any cheaper, but we already know it's expensive here." He pauses before asking, "What do you think?"
Lakir isn't so sure, "I'd wait an' see how the Cap'n makes out. If we've got two weeks of waitin' for licensing, that faber tech may be a better way to go. At least til we can get proper units downstream."
Gvarokh counters, "Well, the faber units won't save us much money, and the unit for sale is the proper tech."
Slade agrees, "Roger that. One complete manufacturer pump and the scrubbers. We'll save any non-destroyed parts of the old pump, and when we next hit jump we can try and salvage the old scrubbers. Maybe we can get them good enough to serve as an emergency backup. Who knows?"
Gvarokh nods his head, "Sounds good, Slade. Go ahead and arrange for it, and I'll sign for the parts."
Slade makes to leave the bridge, "Right. Since we've got plenty of time, I'm gonna go down to engineering first."
Characters: Slade and Vincent
Location: Engineering on the Miishakaal
1125.7.6 Standard Imperial time: 10:20, Standard Vland time: 10:18, Local time: 8:40
Slade leaves the bridge and returns to engineering. He finds Vincent in the process of cataloging the parts he's got on the floor and comparing them to what's in the manual.
"Hi Vincent. I just wanted to fill you in on the game plan."
"Okay, we're going to get one new pump and a new set of scrubbers. We'll save any salvageable parts from the old pump, and when we hit jump we'll see if we can make the old scrubbers serviceable for backup use. I'm also going to look around for some solvent to clean the filters."
"Ok." Vincent gets up and starts looking for some tape to label the parts and a box to put them in.
"I also wanted to apologize for being such a snot before. Keeping these engines going is everything to me."
"It's ok. I understand."
They shake hands. Although Vincent's is still covered in grease and grime, Slade doesn't mind.
"While you're doing that," Slade gestures to the parts, "I'm gonna call up the port authority and get our new parts."
Vincent gets back to what he was doing while Slade double checks the model numbers of the compressor pump and fuel scrubbers in the engineering computer. Satisfied, he makes the call.
The call goes smoothly. Parts will be delivered shortly and are C.O.D.. Slade texts Gvarokh that the new equipment is on its way and starts looking around for a suitable solvent to clean the filters.
Location: Lakir's Quarters on the Miishakaal
1125.7.6 Standard Imperial time: 10:25, Standard Vland time: 10:23, Local time: 8:45
Lakir returns to his quarters on the upper deck. He sits down for a moment and ponders what to do with the rest of the day. Not wishing to be bored, he takes out his PDA and composes an email to the captain.
"Hi Cap'n. Do you need some help with the Port Master, what with us bein' both Vilani, and all... maybe it'll help."
After sending it, he sits and waits for a reply, staring at the walls. He stands up and looks out the windows. He can't see much but the station. A few minutes go by and his PDA chimes. He has a reply from the captain.
"Hi Lakir. Thanks for you offer but I have to handle this one by myself. I have an idea but it's risky. If I'm right, we'll be out of here alot sooner. If I'm wrong, the rest of the crew is going to need your skills to see this thing done right. SS."
Not exactly the answer Lakir was looking for.
Lakir calls the bridge, "Hey Gavrokh, you there?"
Gvarokh growls, "Slade's equipment is here. I have to go pay for it. Meet me in the lounge."
Lakir heads down to the lounge to meet Gvarokh.
Location: Bridge on the Miishakaal
1125.7.6 Standard Imperial time: 10:30, Standard Vland time: 10:32, Local time: 08:50
After Slade and Lakir left the bridge, Gvarokh resumed his vigil. Minutes later, a chime sounds, indicating email has arrived. Gvarokh checks communications. Slade has forwarded the details of the compressor pump and fuel scrubber purchase to him. They will be arriving in a few minutes, C.O.D.
Gvarokh decides to email the captain the good news.
"Shiraamer, Slade has secured a new compressor pump and fuel scrubbers for the fuel purification plant. The parts are expensive, but we have the money for it. They will be arriving in the next few minutes and Slade and Vincent will begin the installation right away. Hope things are going well at the Port Master's Office. Gvarokh."
A few minutes go by and there's a chime again. An email reply from the captain.
"Gvarokh, That's good news. I don't want to alarm you but if I'm not back in 24 hours, I want you to leave this place. I'm working on something to get us out of here sooner rather than much later. If it doesn't go well, then I'm entrusting the ship to you and you'll find a holocrystal in my quarters on the meeting table with instructions. I hope it doesn't come to that. It'll be up to you if you want to continue on with Mersshon's mission or not. Don't let anyone go out on the station. I don't want to put anyone else at risk for my actions. Take care old friend. SS"
Gvarokh is troubled by this note from the captain. It's not like her to do anything risky.
Before Gvarokh has any time to contemplate the captain's email any further, the comm chimes. The video shows two guys wearing Port Authority jumpers at the station side airlock waiting to come across. Gvarokh can see that one of them has an electrocart with packages on it. One of the men holds a clipboard.
"Delivery for the Miishakaal from the Port Authority."
Gvarokh says with authority, "Acknowledged." He then leaves the bridge with the ship's bank card and makes for the starboard airlock.
Location: Various spots on the Miishakaal
1125.7.6 Standard Imperial time: 10:40, Standard Vland time: 10:38, Local time: 09:00
Before Gvarokh can leave the bridge, Lakir's voice comes in over the comm.
"Hey Gavrokh, you there?"
Gvarokh growls, "Slade's equipment is here. I have to go pay for it. Meet me in the lounge."
Gvarokh finally leaves the bridge and makes his way to the starboard air lock. As he passes through the crew lounge, he spots Simrii and Vlad eating a snack of pepperoni and crackers. Chuck is reading something in an e-book.
He pages Slade over the comm, "Slade, it looks like the parts are here. Please come to the starboard airlock so that you can verify the parts."
Slade sounds a little annoyed, but he says, "Be right there."
Lakir has descended the lift to the lounge by this point.
Gvarokh turns to the guys in the lounge and says, "Guys. I know this is completely unnecessary, but please grab a weapon and head for the starboard airlock for guard duty. We are receiving a delivery, and it should be just a normal delivery. Stay out of sight, but be ready just in case."
They all note that Gvarokh looks a little spooked and each gets up and heads to the weapons locker. Lakir, who still has his from his earlier jaunt, draws his piece, sets it to full auto, and moves to the far side of the lift for cover.
Upon arriving at the airlock, Gvarokh notes that the docking collar is already extended and that the port authority guys are waiting for him. Gvarokh feigns having difficulty with the mechanisms. "Just a minute. This thing tends to jam up."
Vlad darts past him, low and out of sight, with his combat rifle and enters the starboard turret. He leaves the iris open.
Simrii grabs his Ma-90 and follows Vlad down the corridor. He continues down to the starboard lateral cargo lock.
Chuck grabs a shotgun and guards the entrance to the bridge. That iris is closed.
Meanwhile Slade has arrived, looking a bit perplexed at the others running around with guns.
Gvarokh grins and says, "Guess it's my turn to be paranoid."
Simrii smiles, "A little paranoia is always healthy, it's a lot of paranoia that's a problem."
Gvarokh cycles the airlock. The smell of the station is distinctly artificial, meadow in a can. It's not enough to rile the nose of a human beyond a sneeze, but to Gvarokh, and probably any other vargr, it's laughable. His smile doesn't appear to upset the delivery guys though.
Slade inspects the crates. The pump is bolted to the pallet that it rests on. It's also shrink wrapped. The scrubbers are boxed up in crates. They look like the right size and the serial numbers match. Neither looks as if it's been tampered with.
Since he can see the pump clearly, Gvarokh is not worried about it. After looking at the scrubbers momentarily, he says to Slade, "Does it look like there are enough scrubbers for our system?"
"Looks good to me," Slade replies.
The delivery guy with the clipboard hands it over to Gvarokh to sign. He scribbles his signature on the screen and then slides the ship's bank card through the reader. He notes at the end of the transaction that the account is down to one hundred thousand and change.
The crates look heavy. And they are. It takes all four men to unload the compressor pump. The scrubbers are two man jobs.
The guy with the clipboard says, "You ought to get those airlock controls looked at. They could be a problem down the road. Be a bummer if they got stuck in a life and death situation."
"Rrrrrright," Gvarokh replies.
The delivery guys depart after unloading the crates and Gvarokh closes the air lock.
Gvarokh shouts just loud enough for the guys in the lounge to hear him, "All clear! Sorry for the paranoia guys. Now come over here and give me a hand with this stuff."
Vlad emerges from the turret. Simrii and Lakir come next from opposite directions. Chuck is not far behind Lakir. When they get there, Gvarokh stops them.
"Hold on. I have an idea." Gvarokh contacts Engineering, "Vincent?"
"Your stuff is here and I'm about to make things alot lighter."
Gvarokh whips out his hand comp and accesses the main computer. "I'm going to drop the gravity to 1/3 along this corridor and in engineering. That should make these crates easier to carry."
The sudden drop in gravity is unsettling on your stomachs, but it's nothing that you haven't experienced before [so there's no need to roll against Zero G queasiness]. Despite the reduced gravity, it still takes two men to carry each item [just so we don't risk dropping stuff] Simrii and Vlad carry the pump down to Engineering. Lakir and Slade share a fuel scrubber crate, as do Gvarokh and Chuck. Once the equipment is in Engineering, relatively close to where they'll be installed, Gvarokh returns ship's gravity to normal.
Slade and Vincent get to work on installing the new equipment.
Gvarokh turns to Lakir, "So what did you need to talk to me about?"
"Hey. Sounds like the Cap'n might be doin' somthin' stupid without us. She talk to about it'tal'? Almost sounded like she expected trouble, either with our departure as a complete group, or like this might turn into an E' n' E, and I ain't too keen on that, not aboard this station..."
Gvarokh pauses for a moment, then says, "Yes, that is what has me concerned."
Addressing Vincent and Slade, he says, "You guys will want to hear this."
Gvarokh then says to the group as a whole, "I sent the Captain an email letting her know about the pump problem and solution. She emailed me back. In the email, she said she was working on something to get us out of here sooner rather than much later. She also explicitly said that if we don't hear from her in the next 24 hours we are to pack up and leave. She also said no one was allowed to leave the ship and enter the station.
"Immediately after getting the message from her, our parts were delivered. The timing was a bit too much, and I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry. Fortunately, the parts really were the parts." Gvarokh grins a bit and finishes, "At least one thing seems to be working out rrrrright."
Gvarokh pauses again, then, looks up and asks, "Vincent, do you think you could hack into their net and see if anything is going down? I don't want to disobey the captain and make anything worse, but I also don't want to leave her hanging, either. And we can't make good decisions without any information."
"No problem, let me just finish the work on the pump and I'll try and hack the net." Vincent replies.
Simrii smiles as he stows his weapon, "Just be careful, remember what happened last time you hacked the net. It was like a not so secret ball for the police."
Slade requests help in hauling the compression pump into position. Once in place, he talks to Gvarokh privately for a couple minutes. Afterwards he begins to inspect the innards of the pump.
When Gvarokh has finished his discussion with Slade, Vlad asks, "How long ago did our 24-hour countdown start?"
Gvarokh replies, "She didn't say directly, but I took it to mean when I got the message, which was immediately prior to the shipment arriving."
Vincent looks confused, "So, what do you want me to do Gvarokh? Stay here and help Slade install the new equipment or get out my laptop and hack the local net?"
Gvarokh responds, "Go ahead and work with Slade. Let's not risk the hacking yet." He then heads back to the bridge to do some thinking.
Next: The New Fuel Purification Plant Parts Are Installed