(26) To Be Named

The Crusader Campaign (127-1123 to 130-1123)

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127-1123 : 0601 / Tardele / Foreven

   Nightshade has just jumped for 0401 / Urnian at 21:30.
    Robert Morris is still very sick from the misjump, but he resolves that when he is well again, he will study the parameters that were entered for the jump and compare them with the actual results and where the simulation says they should have ended up.
    The ship is still perfect according to Mich Saginaw.

128-1123 : 0401 / Urnian / Foreven

    After three hours, Helia Sarina says they're ready to come out.
    At 03:00 Helia does her thing, with Mich observing, and Nightshade comes out of jump.  It's a perfect transition -- not a rumble, not a shake, not a hint of trouble.
    Mich checks the ship and declares it perfectly red.  Not a single adjustment is required.

    After 45 minutes, Helia announces that space has stabilized.  Callisto then takes an hour to verify their position, reporting that they are indeed where they expected.  They are ready to jump.

    At 02:15, they jump for 0202 / Five Sisters.

    It takes an hour and a half for the jump to stabilize this time, and Helia pops them out of jump at 03:45.

(still) 128-1123 : 0202 / Five Sisters / Spinward Marches

    At 03:45, Nightshade drops out of jump, finally back in the Spinward Marches.  They are way behind their planned itinerary.
    Space stablizes in an hour, and then Callisto takes an hour to verify their position.  Mich reports that the ship is all red.
    They jump for Karin / Five Sisters at 05:45.

    It takes a long time -- five hours -- for jumpspace to stabilize.  Helia doesn't think this is anything unusual, just normal variation.  It's 10:45 when they are ready to come out.
    Shark is still concerned about coming out from a fast jump at a class A starport system, but Jack assures him that her people will ignore them.  He has reservations about it, especially with Robert still sick and not available to hack systems, but grudgingly gives his approval too.
    Helia pops them out of jump.

    This time, fortunately, it only takes 30 seconds for space to stabilize, and that's the length of time before Helia puts them in stealth mode.  In addition, the mainworld is the other side of the sun right now -- along with most of the system's traffic -- so their chances of being picked up are very slim.  Shark breathes a sigh of relief.
    By 11:15, Helia has them in position locked in a hollow just above the surface of Lianne, a short way from the entrance to the Imperial FarSpace Service base.  This is where Jack requested that she be dropped off so she can take the gcarrier.

    Jack originally wanted to go alone, but Sir Misha wants to go with her.  Jack is happy to have him along.  Teri Cralla adds that if their Captain is going, she will come accompany them as bodyguard.
    Jack takes the driver's seat, and they leave Nightshade from the main cargo lift.  She drives them close over the terrain to the front entrance -- the same way they've come in before.  She makes a call and the front door opens.
    They pull inside and park as the door closes behind them.  They are alone here, with no-one else in sight.  Warm air fills the area and they all disembark.  Teri stays in her battledress.
    Callisto follows them through with remote sensors and tries to stay with them.
    Jack says she's headed for her office.  They set off, through doors, passageways, and an inertial compensated elevator.  Eventually they arrive at a small lounge.  Jack's office is through a door at the far end of the room.  The commdots were blocked some time ago, although Callisto is still able to follow her on the remote viewpoint sensors.

    The office is bigger than the lounge.  There are computer terminals around the edge, but the room is dominated by an extremely large holodisplay unit in the center of the room.
    Jack sets to work.  She plans to make some queries to see if any IFSS operatives have come up with anything, and she says she has some other lines of research to look into.  She asks Sir Misha how long she can take.
    Sir Misha tells her she has four hours here before they need to leave the base.  It's a reasonable compromise between the crew's extremes of "as little as possible" and the half day that Jack wanted.
    Tapping away at the keyboard, numbers and text flash by on Jack's screen.  Soon she starts pulling up results on the holodisplay.
    Sir Misha tries to follow what she's doing, but it's beyond him.  Jack is also moving too quickly for Teri to follow.
    First she's brought up a detailed starmap.  Teri tells Sir Misha that it's Foreven, and points out her homeworld as well as where they just came from.  She also points out Karakus, the IFSS's big public base there.  Clearly the map is marked showing various IFSS ships and other points of interest that Teri either doesn't recognize or doesn't consider important.
    Jack drops the astrographic display and starts bringing up holograms of various places.  She blips through a couple of what look like internal rooms, metal walled, then pulls up what is clearly a ruin of some sort.
    Eroded and collapsed stone walls are overgrown with vegetation and mosses.  None of the structures are taller than a meter and a half, most under a meter.  Jack walks into the holodisplay and looks at one particular rock sitting in the middle of what would have been a room.  This rock has an odd glow to it, a pulsing light, symbols, and Jack takes a particularly close look at it from all angles.
    "What's that?" asks Sir Misha.
    "I'm not sure exactly," Jack says.
    "Where are these ruins?"
    "I... don't think I should tell you that."
    "Why are you interested in them?"
    "Because of this rock here."
    "What does that have to do with us?"
    "That glowing stuff there?  I think that might be... a help.  It might help us figure a few things out.  I think... or vice versa, we might help figure this out.  I imagine the ship will have no trouble bringing up a display like this if I bring a recording with me?  OK, I'll do that."  She walks back to her console, taps a key, and the holodisplay vanishes.  "I'll try a few more places," she continues.
    Jack starts bringing up other pictures -- old ruins, ancient artifacts, things like that.  She blips through a whole sequence of them quite quickly.  Every now and then she pauses on a particular one and walks up to take a look.  Nothing is as spectacular as the first one, and most of the time she soon walks back and moves on to the next one.
    The next one she settles on and starts moving through looks very much like the Ancient site on Victoria where Marquis Marcus Crestworthy is headed.  There is nothing glowing there, just somewhat organic mostly, but there was a room with some stones sticking up about a meter in a floor of mist.  They seemed to be arranged in a pattern that Sir Misha could not quite grasp -- it didn't look regular whenever he tried to figure it out, but he kept getting the feeling that it was a pattern of some sort.  That is the last of the scenes she's looked through, and she's clearly added that to her download too.
    Jack has spent about three hours going through the scenes.  Next she is obviously downloading assorted stuff from the computer -- text, pictures, files.  Suddenly she looks over at Sir Misha.
    She says, "The good news is that we calmed down Hinay.  They're OK with us now.  Our diplomatic arm defused the crisis.  It should be safe again now for Imperials, although I wouldn't try to push the authorities at all."  She pauses, then says, "What do you know about your pilot?"
    "She's good at piloting."
    "Do you know where she's from?"
    "She's a larian.  That's all I know."
    "Got a few legends that might hook into that.  I'll pick those up too.  Anything else you might want from the IFSS data banks?"

    Back on board Nightshade, they have of course been following the conversation.  They don't, however, have any way to talk back to the Captain since the commdots are blocked.

    Sir Misha suggests they ask Kalida.
    Jack says, "Let me see if I can hook up a tightbeam with the ship.  I'll have to bounce it off a few things and hope I have it in about the right place.  Perhaps Callisto or Shark can pick it up if I'm close enough."

    Callisto picks it up.  It's much easier when they can hear what Jack is saying and know it's coming.  Mich takes the signal and hooks it in to an active link.

    "Got it!" says Jack.
    "Hi," says Shark.  "You rang?  What can we do for you?"
    Jack looks at Sir Misha.
    Sir Misha says, "Can we talk with Kalida for a minute?  Jack would like to know if there's anything we would like to know that might be in the IFSS database."
    Shark asks, "Have you pulled everything you know about the Arden Society?  Rumors, legends...  Sorry to interrupt."
    Kalida wants any information on anything that could threaten the Duke of Adabicci, either internal or external threats.
    Shark asks if there's any information on something like the Library of the Ancients, or anything like that.  He adds that if Robert was here, they might just suck the IFSS's computer dry.
    "That might take a while," says Jack dubiously, "There's an awful lot here, and it's not always in the best organization."
    Shark then asks for all the information they have on Goose and Digitis.
    Jack says they'll probably have more on Goose than Digitis, of course.  "Looks like we've visited Goose occasionally, but it looked kind of... dull.  Haven't done a lot with it.  I'll bring what we've got."
    "I'm sure you already have anything about script language, or anything with script-like symbols."
    "Got it."
    Sir Misha adds, "Ships or other things that look like ours.  The Maltese Cross symbol, for example."
    "That's a thought," says Jack.  "Like that?"
    She has brought up an image on the holodisplay.  There, rotating, is an asteroid with a red maltese cross symbol on it.  "I think that's the only one we've got.  It hasn't been linked into anything yet."
    Shark asks where the missiles that were on Anastasia came from, since they came through her organization.
    Jack says that if they came through her organization, they would have had to come through a part that she would have to deny exists.  She adds that there won't be a lot of useful information on that here, and she won't put it over a comm link.  They can talk about it later.
    Sir Misha asks her to add anything they have on Zett.
    Shark asks for anything that's not in public records for Santanocheev.
    Jack says he was off their radar.  Internal politics aren't their concern -- external politics, sure, but not internal.  Foreign organizations, anyway, the politics of the Imperial borders.  Not anything like the Sword Worlds, Darrian, or Zhodani, of course, those are under the jurisdiction of regular Imperial agencies.  Only if they moved into Foreven or other outlying areas would they become of interest.
    Shark wonders aloud if the territory of the cockroaches overlaps with black tech territory.
    Jack says only her father has been into the cockroach area -- Mich and Bridgehead know more about that subsector than the IFSS did.  She adds that they have about ten minutes left here, and if the crew don't have anything more to request, she'll just pick some things at random.  Some more tapping, and she says she's done.
    Shark asks if she has any information on a former employee called Helia, a mathematician who worked with Professor Farol.
    Jack pulls up Helia's record, and says she's missing presumed dead in the Brod system.  Everyone at that base, or in orbit around it, was lost when the disaster hit.  She says that the IFSS has no idea what happened.  It looked like natural causes, but it didn't really match with anything.  Perhaps a big impact, but nothing was detected, and the ships in orbit should have been able to get away at least.
    Shark asks for all the data on that.  He'd love to see it, he says.
    Jack asks for another 15 minutes for that, and Sir Misha agrees.  Finally she says, "Got it.  Maybe you can make sense out of all that data, Shark."
    "I think I have a shot," says Shark.
    They've been in the office for 4-1/4 hours now, and by they time they get back to Nightshade it's added a total of 30 minutes travel time.  In the whole time they did not see another person at the station.  It looks like it's occupied, but more like everyone just stayed out of the way.  After all, someone operated the door, and Jack talked to someone to get them to do it.
    As usual, it's easier for Helia to move the ship over the stationary gcarrier than it would be to talk Jack in.  That's simple enough, and soon they are on their way from Lianne to a jump point.

    Shark asks Helia if their misjump in Dawnworld could have polluted the space in this area, perhaps causing jumpspace to not stablize so well in their last jump.
    Helia says the effect if any would be vanishingly small, and it wouldn't affect anything.  She's not sure exactly what it would do, but it's well within normal -- if you can call it normal -- bounds.  Then she pauses and says, "That's an interesting question.   Should I do the jump first, or figure this out now?"
    "How long would it take you to figure it out?"
    "A few days.  I should really talk to Sally and Helia about this one."
    "Then we need to jump.  I'll quit posing interesting questions."

    At 16:30 they jump for 0304 / District 368.  They really don't have much of an option, and after this jump they will have to make the decision to go to Adabicci or Tussinian.  There is no point in going anywhere else given they're this far behind schedule.  Sir Misha decides that they are going to Tussinian.

    Once they're on their way, Shark asks Kalida how big an expander would have to be to make the damage on Karma.
    Kalida says it was way too much damage to be an expander.  It would take much more energy than that.
    Shark asks about the weapon on the other type of black ship, the one with the larger power cube.
    Kalida simply points out that they know nothing at all about that weapon except that it's in working condition.  The damage from the expander is limited by whatever physics governs it to a certain size.  It's not the size of the gun, it's the size of the effect.  An expander could not do that damage.  Crashing a large asteroid into the world at high speed would produce enough energy.  The crust has been fractured and stuff ripped out out of it, but it's not the result of an impact, just of something with that kind of energy.  It was not an impact -- nothing was thrown up into orbit.  It's just that an impact is the only thing they know of that could cause this much damage.
    Shark resolves to figure out how that damage could be done with an expander, multiple shots or something.  That's going to be hard to do because they don't really know how it works, they can only observe the effects in simulation.  Still, what he's really try to do is come up with a potential threat level of their enemies.  He is convinced that with enough expanders firing in the right way, a wave could be set up to peak the energy at a particular point.  What is clear, however, is that whoever did this had some sort of very big ship to do it.

    After 6 hours, Helia tells Captain Sir Misha that there's a problem.  Jumpspace is not stablizing, and she'll need to talk to Mich about it.
    He thanks her, and asks if there's anything they can do to prevent this happening again.
    "No, it didn't happen again," she says, "It was definitely something different."
    "So it wasn't a problem with the calculations?"
    "I don't know what the problem was yet, but it wasn't the same problem.  The previous one was caused by not accounting for the nanogravity fields of the ships around us that were moving rapidly in relation to us, and so close to them.  Let me go talk to Mich."

    In Engineering, Helia tells Mich about the problem.  She asks him to go into sparkly pink with him, and she'll show him what's going on.
    Helia says, "See, what we've got here... you see how jumpspace is not stablizing?  We have a response going on.  If we flip... this is just a three-dimensional projection really, not enough to see what's going on.  Let's try and flip a few more dimensions into it.  Do you think we can do that?"
    "We'll try," says Mich.
    The two of them tweak things a bit, and then Helia says, "Look, there!  We have a multi-dimensional standing wave running across here.  It's not stablizing, and it's not going to stabilize."
    Mich says, "We need to dampen it."
    "I'm not sure we can do that from here.  I think we just have to make the best of it we can, and respond to it.  It's going to be kind of hard."
    "Well, our vortex generators are designed to interact with the jump field, along with the whole jump grid."
    "Yes, and it's responding.  It's doing what it's supposed to do, but it's not quite... we can't drop us out here, not under these conditions."
    "No, but what I want to do is dampen the standing wave.  So if we set up a complementary wave and build..."
    Helia ponders this.  "I don't think we have enough energy.  Well, we don't, but there might be enough energy."
    "There's always enough energy, just not here."
    "Yes, yes.  That was Quilton's problem, he was thinking of it as a closed system.  Of course it's not.  Let's take some time and figure this out.  If we have enough energy and can throw in a cancelling wave, we might be able to affect jumpspace enough."
    "We don't have to cancel it on the first..."
    "Oh, but we do.  See, if we..."
    "Right.  If we don't, we're..."
    "The whole thing will get seriously unstable."
    "We only have one shot at it.  Or we can ride it out.  Shall we go talk to the Captain?"

    Mich and Helia walk up to the Captain, at his station on the Bridge.  Helia has already asked Mich to talk to him, as she feels he can relate to his level a little better than she can.
    So Mich says, "Well, we have another misjump in progress.  We don't know when we'll come out if we just ride it out.  We think we have a possible solution to terminate the misjump section.  We'll have to spend some time working out the calculations as to exactly what we do, but we think that it would be possible to do so.
    "Now, coming out is going to be risky, but we've messed up our timetable and we already know what health effects we've had riding out the other misjump."
    Helia interrupts, "But we have low berths, and the ship will run forever.  The ship can wake us up."
    Sir Misha says, "What are the risks?"
    Helia says, "We could just kind of..."
    Mich says, "We wouldn't exist anymore.  That's in simple terms."
    Sir Misha says, "So if we just ride it out, what are the odds that we will reach Tussinian in time?"
    Mich and Helia exchange glances but say nothing.
    Bridghead says, "Actually, we do have a way to tell.  We can determine how long we have between now and the time it takes to get to Tussinian.  Assume it takes -- once we come out -- less than a day to take the jumps to get there, and allow a day to do the breaks between them, so deduct two days plus a regular jump from the time we believe the fleets will reach Tussinian.  That gives us the margin of time we have now.  We believe Santanocheev will hit Tussinian at 138-141, so we would have to be on our way at 132 at the very latest.  That's four days away."
    Shark points out that really means they have three days to be out in normal space, and no further from Tussinian than they are now.  "I think we have to make a decision to force ourselves out of jump in 48 hours, if we're actually going to make Tussinian.  If we're forcing our way out, I'm going to assume there's going to be some damage to the ship.  We should give Mich a day to fix that, assuming he can work miracles.  So let's give Mich and Helia two days to get us out of jump without damage."
    Helia says, "If we're going to push out of jump, it won't be without damage.  There's so much energy it will take..."
    "With minimal damage."
    Sir Misha says, "What are the odds that if we ride it out, we can reach Tussinian in time?  And the answer is, zero."
    Shark says, "Best possible outcomes, ..."
    "Is a misjump to Tussinian," chimes Helia immediately.
    Shark gives her a look.  "The odds of that happening are very slim.  Next best thing is this misjump is just we have a non-stablized..."
    Sir Misha says, "OK.  What are the odds that we can get to Tussinian if we force ourselves out as soon as we can reasonably do that."
    Helia says, "We don't know where we'll force ourselves out."
    "So the odds don't actually improve, but it improves the time.  Is the area we might end up in larger if we force ourselves out?"
    "Yes," says Mich.
    Helia agrees.  "This is a whole different league.  We're looking at affecting jumpspace itself."
    Shark says, 'If you don't do anything, the best option is that this is just a jump where you can't do your 'normal magic' and we just come out in the six or seven day range.  That might be too far away.  That still puts us too far out time-wise."
    "Unless we did a non-stealthy jump into Tussinian," says the Baron.
    Sir Misha asks how much larger the possible area would be if they force themselves out.
    Helia and Mich look at each other again.
    Shark says, "If we come out within 40 parsecs, we've got about a 25% chance of being no further away than we are now."  He goes on to explain his reasoning, which seems about as sound as possible given it's a misjump.
    Sir Misha says, "So what do you guys want to do about it?"
    Shark suggests, "Let's give them two days to think about it, work on it, come up with a plan and some potentially better estimates about what this will or will not do to us.  Will you have those numbers in two days?"
    Mich and Helia chorus, "Yes."  Mich adds, "Jump will not stabilize in two days, so we can't do a fast jump.  We might as well work and try and look at this, and we can make a decision as soon as we have one.  We don't have to implement the plan immediately, just let everyone know."
    Shark points out one final thing, "Even if we don't show up at Tussinian, they're going to be defending for us. They're going to be wasting their time shooting in random directions looking for us.  We have in fact helped in that battle no matter what.

129-1123 : Jumpspace (from Mora / Mora / Spinward Marches)

    Mich and Helia set to work and make a good start, but then realize that what they really need is some sleep.  So at 02:00, the crew turn in for the night.

    Robert has not improved.  No-one's even told him what's happening yet, as he's under Bridgehead's care and the Doctor insists that he have complete rest.

    Mich and Helia spend the day working things out, and come up with the right way to do it.
    The principle is to pull the energy the same way they do when they throw themselves out.  This time, however, they'll need to feed that energy back in to the jumpspace around them to cancel out the wave in at least the local -- well, there isn't an "area" in jumpspace, it doesn't work that way, but at least into the local parameter field.  If that can be cancelled out enough locally, and then they twist the field, flip it again, and grab the energy to flip them out...  But that will cause an interaction between the two fields, and an energy burst like this, with these equations here, and there'll be an unpredictable interface here, and there will be some blast feedback.  It will damage the ship, but they should come out in the same shape, those who survive.  They can't really channel the blast effect, because all the energy is blowing them back out of jumpspace.  If they're lucky, they'll shed some of that energy as they come back into normal space, and alleviate it a little that way.  If they can get it exactly right.
    It will need two people doing this.  Helia will trigger the wave cancellation, and Mich will trigger the one to bring them out, and they will have to coordinate it perfectly.  Pulling out too soon will end up with a ripple, and too late and the wave will be back pounding on them before they can come out.
    They have the equations.  They have the timings.  They just have to pull it off.

    Helia and Mich agree on a night's rest, and to make the attempt tomorrow.  They go to inform the Captain.
    Mich explains, "We've come through, and we know what it is we need to do.  We have the maths appropriately.  What we can tell is that we can probably bring the ship out of jump tomorrow.  We won't know exactly where we are, we can't predict where we'll come out of jump.  But we know that we can come out of jump without jump sickness.  There is a very high probability there will be damage to the ship.  There will be some shaking about, people could get hurt.  As Helia says, we'll be in the same shape."
    Mich pauses to let that sink in, and continues.  "We will come out with a bang, very similar to the time we shedded the fog.  It will be different, though.  We will have to be shedding a large amount of energy, and it will cause a big bang..."
    "It will cause some space ripples around us," says Helia helpfully.  Sir Misha doesn't look like that helped at all.
    Mich says with confidence, "We should get a good night's rest and try it first thing tomorrow."
    Sir Misha nods, "That sounds good to me."

130-1123 : Jumpspace (from Mora / Mora / Spinward Marches)

    After a good night's rest, Helia and Mich are ready to bring the ship out.  The crew enjoy a hearty breakfast, then make preparations for the operation.
    Everyone gets into vaccsuits, some into battledress.  Zack wearers slip that under their vaccsuit too.
    Shark organizes the crew to be spread out around the ship.  He adds that everyone should pair up.  He suggests that Jack should mirror her data on the ship, just in case something happens.  Jack refuses.
    Shark himself will take Vonish and get on board the launch, so they will be able to pick people up if that is required.
    Sir Misha and Teri take up station on the Bridge.
    Kalida and Jack settle down in the Armory.
    Baron Bridgehead and Callisto strap down in Sick Bay.  At the Baron's insistence, Robert is placed into a low berth, with Robert's permission.  Bridgehead explains just enough of the situation to justify it, telling him that as long as the ship has power, he'll be fine.  Robert adds that it will also free up beds in Sick Bay to handle any other casualties.
    Finally, Helia and Mich will of course be in Engineering at the consoles.

    At 10:00 everyone is ready.  Sir Misha gives the word -- Shark retorts, "Captain, I bet you I lose that arm I just grew back!" -- and Mich and Helia do their thing.

    Helia twists the jump grid into extra dimensions, pulling in energy from elsewhere, and simulataneously shaping it with the grid into an inverted wave that cancels out the jumpspace ripples in the local parameters.  A fraction of a second later, as Helia lets go of the grid with not even a moment passed, Mich twists the grid into other dimensions and feeds the energy into squeezing Nightshade into normal space.  It's perfect coordination, exactly as they'd planned.

(still) 130-1123 : Wonstar / Five Sisters / Spinward Marches

    Nightshade comes out of jump.
    A large explosion rocks the ship heavily towards the bow.  Sir Misha and Teri are thrown to the deck as the shock goes off under them.
    As soon as the ship settles, Shark checks in with the Captain first, then roll calls the crew.  Everyone is fine.  The ship is holding air in all sections, so apparently the hull has not been breached.

    The explosion was in section 1 of E Deck, two decks below the Bridge.  Mich reports a blue area low in the nose of the ship, with damage to several internal ship's systems.  There's damage to sensors, to the ship's screens, and to the stealth system related to the sensors.  That is all that is damaged.  There are no hull breaches and all internal bulkheads are intact.  Life support and gravitics are fully operational.  The hull took some shocks, but nothing it wasn't designed to take.  The shock wave came together and concentrated at one point, fortunately where none of the crew had taken up position.
    Screens and stealth are completely offline.  Sensors are limited.  Other than that the ship is red.  Mich reports that he won't be able to give a full assessment until he's had a chance to go forward and look at the area himself.

    Nightshade is in a star system, with no distortion around them.  Callisto starts visual readings right away, making a big show of using handheld gear to calculate their position and to characterize the local system.  It's a binary system, with a red main sequence primary and a red dwarf in far orbit.  Around the primary are two worlds and an asteroid belt, all quite close in.  It doesn't take long for her to identify it as Wonstar.
    Shark suggests they switch to alternate color scheme, all black with no visible windows.  It's the best they can do right now to avoid attention.  He is pleased to see that this will not really cost them much travel time, with a good sequence of empty areas for their jumps along the way.
    Shark's next questions, of course, are for Helia: what went wrong, and how can they prevent it happening again?
    Helia does not know yet.  She's still excited by the procedure she did with Mich to bring them out, flushed with pleasure at executing it so perfectly... and she's still too fascinated with the maths of getting them out of the situation to start considering what put them into it.

    Mich stays suited up and goes forward to see how it looks up there.
    The sensors are not bad at all, and it won't take long to get them back online.  He figures that he could be done with them in an hour and a half, by noon.  That's well worth doing, so he starts on that before paying too much attention to the rest of the mess in that area.

    As soon as the sensors are back up, Shark asks Callisto to scan for any ships that might have noticed them, might be on the way, and to tell him how long it will be until they're in sensor range.
    Callisto tells him that there is one trader and two System Navy ships headed in their direction.  The communications indicate they're responding to what they think is an emergency from a jump mishap.  They're broadcasting in their general direction, hailing and asking if the ship at the center of this is OK.  She believes the naval vessels will be able to pick up Nightshade in an hour or two.
    Shark is disturbed that they will be able to see them if they jump out.  A ship appears, jumps straight back out, and they'll wonder what the heck is going on.  But then, Wonstar has seen events attributed to Alien Space Bats before.  He tells Mich they'll need to jump within the hour.

    At noon, the ship is ready to jump.  Even so, Mich spends another quarter of an hour running a diagnostic of the jump system.

    At 12:15, Nightshade jumps for 0305 / District 268.

    As soon as they're in jump, Shark tells Mich his priority will be to get shields and stealth online.