(1) Change of Command

The Misha Campaign (277-1120 to 301-1120)

277-1120 : Emape / Five Sisters / Spinward Marches

    The H.M.S. Third Eye is finally back in the Imperium.  Helia Sarina brings the ship into a landing at the downport.  Emape is an Amber Zone, probably because the whole of the Five Sisters subsector is under Naval administration.

    Marquis Marcus Crestworthy is leaving his ship here, and taking commercial passage back to Mora to resume his studies in residence at the University.  Starting with the TAS facility here, he can do the whole trip on free High Passage tickets.  Everyone else is remaining on board the Third Eye.

    Finally, the TNS item of 129-1120 has caught up with them.  It states that the Arden Federation has stood down their military at the border.  Apparently the crisis there, which started when they were on Digitis, was resolved soon after they left the area.

    The ship is well funded at present, with several million Imperial Credits on board.  Nevertheless, the Marquis pays for the restocking, preventive maintenance, and so on out of his general account.
    Mich Saginaw produces a list of spares he wants, and it will be filled before they leave.  The list includes four zuchai crystals -- two to repair the drives, and two to replace the spares.  They certainly don't want to do an annual maintenance when not necessary, given the cost -- 350,000 Cr. for a Zodiac class ship like this one.  He also checks for any new papers on jump drive design, or astrogation, but there are none.
    Vonish Kehnaan replenishes the ship's food supplies; he too has a long list that is filled using the Marquis' account.  He does of course have an outstanding offer of a job as the personal chef to Sir Geoffrey of Adabicci, but he has decided to stay with the ship.
    Robert Morris taps into the local Navy computers.  He checks for any patterns that might be similar to the stuff they got from Digitis.  He doesn't expect to find anything, and in fact that is the case.  There are no new cryptographic techniques -- after all, Robert has the new Imperial Navy systems that haven't been deployed here yet.  All in all, there is nothing of interest here.

    There are other loose ends they could follow up.  There was Brandon Asu, the guy who sold out Mich -- if they can find out who he was working for, perhaps they could find out who wants Mich.
    Also, there's the issue of Robin Sherwood -- who is she really?  There are no new reports of her activities in the news, however, and no description or anything on record.
    Then there's all the crew members who were missing after the Anastasia's misjump -- Jill, Brock, Joe, and a bunch of marines, and an air/raft.  That would be a useful pirate crew!
    That brings up another loose end -- what happened to the Anastasia?  There was an antimatter explosion, of course, but whether it destroyed the ship or not is merely hearsay at this point.  Now Norris believes the ship has been blown up, but whether he had good information or no is another matter entirely.  Also, making that antimatter explosion itself is something Mich would love to know how to do -- dispersal is a serious problem.  Of course, they could just start with a hunk of matter and shift the phase of every other atom...

    Ed "Shark" Teeth checks with local representatives to check if there's anything new going on.  The Arden situation is the biggest problem facing them.  They totally failed to anticipate the crisis, and they're now trying to rectify the situation.  Unfortunately infiltrating the Arden Federation is near impossible, and will take years to achieve.
    They have no information for him on Wonstar.  He contemplates starting trouble for the Wonstar Development Corporation -- the information that they're funding a non-real operation on Mora is surely interesting -- but what would it do to the Marquis' funding?  After consulting with the captain, he decides to let it slide.

    Back on the ship, Ed talks with Robert about the untranslatable data stream.  Advanced encryption with advanced technology...  It could be Imperium, suggests Ed, but Robert says it's not.  Ed wonders aloud why the Imperium knows about it but doesn't want it investigated.  Perhaps they want to reserve it for critical applications, suggests Robert.  Ed in turn points out that if it's the Imperium that's using it, then Digitis is an Imperial Research world.
    He also checks to see if there are any operatives in the Hinay Protectorate with whom he could make contact.  He is told that there is a representative on Hinay itself, but that the area is really out of their jurisdiction.
    He returns to the ship with the latest "most wanted" list.  There's no-one on it that they know.

    While they're planning the route, the Marquis asks Teri Cralla if there's anywhere she doesn't want to go in Foreven.  She replies the only place she's concerned about is Plague -- if you go there, you die.
    Marc offers Teri citizenship of Pallique, if she wants to be a citizen of the Imperium, but she declines.  She's a native of Sting, and wants to keep it that way.

284-1120 : Emape / Five Sisters / Spinward Marches

    The Third Eye is restocked and ready to leave.  The Marquis waves good-bye to his ship as Helia pilots the vessel up towards a jump back into Foreven.

    The first voyage under the command of Captain Misha Ravanos start flawlessly.  Helia pops the ship into jump for Raschev.

290-1120 : Raschev / Reidan / Foreven

    The Third Eye arrives from the Imperium.  Raschev is an Imperial client state, and has a class C starport.  There's nothing here about the amber zone at their next stop at Wendas, except for the tech level 3.  They don't need to land there, though, they can refuel from the gas giant when they get there.
    They'd like to change Imperial credits to Hinay Protectorate dollars here, but that isn't possible.

    Mich examines the data from the jump and finds that there is something very interesting -- the jumpspace vortex generators might in fact be having a slight effect as intended.  It'll take several weeks to start to devise any sort of improvements, and probably they'd need some downtime to implement.

    While here they relax for a couple of days.  Raschev seems quite pleasant, although not very interesting.  They have local beer, which is enough to satisfy Ed anyway.  Food is quite good here, with lots of fresh seafood and local agricultural products.
    Clothing styles are natural fabrics, produced locally, but don't offer anything special over normal Imperial clothes.  The towns are quite small -- eight to ten thousand are the most in the largest cities.
    There's no real news.  There's a slight drought in the north-east; yardley root prices are expected to go up as a result.  News outside Raschev is almost non-existent.  Mail packets come in from Garoo every month or two.
    Vonish takes the opportunity to stock up on seafood and vegetables -- they can eat well from Raschev supplies for quite some time to come.  He has even commandeered one of the module labs as a large freezer.

294-1120 : Raschev / Reidan / Foreven

    The Third Eye takes off and heads out of the system.  They jump for Wendas.

296-1120 : Jumpspace (from Raschev / Reidan / Foreven)

    It's two days into the jump, and two of the antimatter units are misbehaving.  Taking them off-line makes no difference at all.  Mich sets up the heat pipe which he had ready; it helps for a while.  Soon, though, it's clear that the units are going to continue with the same behavior as last time, and Mich constructs good heavy shielding around them before any damage occurs or alarms go off.  Since everything is now stable and there's nothing more to do, Mich doesn't worry about it and sees no reason to bother anyone else about it.

298-1120 : Jumpspace (from Raschev / Reidan / Foreven)

    Helia notices that something feels odd.  She immediately calls Mich and asks him if there's anything wrong in the engine room.
    "Not appreciably, no," replies Mich.  He keeps dodging the questions as Helia tries to get information out of him.  "How can you tell?" asks Mich.  "Look at all the engineering readouts here, nothing's out of place."
    "You know how I can get us where we're going in six days flawlessly?  This is not a normal six day jump."
    "It's only been four days."
    "Yeah, but something's wrong now.  Everything was fine and now it's not.  I don't know if it's your engines -- it probably is -- but it has to be something.  There was a problem with the engines?"  Mich's look tells her everything.  "What's wrong with the engines?" she continues.
    "Can you explain how you can tell there's something wrong?"
    "It doesn't feel right."
    "There's a feeling that you get?"
    "The data doesn't feel right."
    "The data doesn't feel right?  What data are you getting?"
    "The feedback."
    "There isn't any feedback.  You set the jump coordinates and you push "go", and six days later you're there.  There's no navigational points."
    "There's molecules blowing by the ship and something's wrong with them."
    "You can sense the molecules going by the ship?"
    "Call it woman's intuition, but something's wrong.  What was wrong with the engines?"
    "There was a power cycle glitch that was automatically corrected."
    "Can you tell me a little bit more about this?  Too much power, not enough power, power was cycling up and down?"
    "No, there was, uh... I can't say that there was too much power or not enough power, there was both simultaneously."
    "Mich.  We're in the jump and something's wrong."
    "And you're along for the ride."
    "That's fine.  I want you to run every single freaking diagnostic you have."
    "OK, that's fine, I will."
    "Dim the lights if you have to, take the air off-line if you have to.  Something's not right.  You know how someone's trying to read your mind and you get that hair raising on the back of your scalp?"
    "You just don't feel right.  You don't feel nauseous, you just feel wrong?"
    "It could be we're going through something weird, but I want to make sure this ship is OK.  I don't trust this ship as much as I used to.  Maybe I should have got off with the captain."
    "Jumpspace itself is pretty weird," Mich observes to himself as he leaves to run diagnostics.

    Diagnostics show no problem.  At Helia's request, Mich runs diagnostics on all the ship's systems and they show no problem either.

    Meanwhile, Helia is slowly feeling worse.  She asks to borrow Mich's psi shield helmet, but it doesn't improve how she feels.

300-1120 : Jumpspace (from Raschev / Reidan / Foreven)

    After six days in jump, Helia is really mad at Mich.  He knew there was a problem and didn't inform his captain or the astrogator or pilot, and that's (according to her) not how an engineer should behave.
    Mich points out that there is nothing they could do about it.
    Helia insists that they should put the ship into dry dock and bring everything back to normal before they jump again.

301-1120 : unknown / unknown / unknown

    The Third Eye finally comes out of jump.  Mich is outside the hatch to engineering when the units explode.  It's a very hefty thump felt throughout the entire ship.
    On the bridge, Helia shuts down all non-essential systems to conserve energy, while getting into her vaccsuit.  The displays indicate that hull integrity has not been compromised.

    They are in a system.  It is definitely not Wendas.