(59) The Journey Continues

The Misha Campaign (316-1121 to 339-1121)

322-1121 : Bowman / District 268 / Spinward Marches

    Nightshade arrives from jump in six days.

    During jump, Mich Saginaw has been sparkly pink to feel the jump grid.  He's making progress, definitely.
    Edward "Shark" Teeth has been under Grand Admiral Baron Bridgehead's care, having his prosthetic elbow replaced with a real one; he has to spend four days unconscious in sick bay, and a further day of light duty to recover.  The Baron says he could do it quicker when he gets the hang of the medical equipment -- Shark as a patient is being very useful in that regard.  After the procedure is over, the Doc shows his student what he did to build him a new joint.  By the time they come out of jump, Shark is back to full strength.  The Baron did a very fine job.
    The crew of course have been training for a long time.  It has finally started to pay off == most of them are better than they used to be at their chosen.
    The day before they come out of jump they have one of the crew's famous parties.  Vonish puts together a spectacular spread -- it's clear why Sir Geoffrey of Adabicci wants him as his personal chef -- which is nicely complemented by large quantities of North Whipsnade whisky.  The Baron briefly considers buying the bottle of Blockade Bourbon himself, but concedes that it could make an excellent present for the Duke of Adabicci to intercede on their behalf.  The Duke certainly carries a great deal of weight with the Archduke, and they might do better that way than contacting the Archduke personally.  Not to mention that the Duke's youngest son, Sir Geoffrey, is a close personal friend of Marquis Marcus Crestworthy.
    Their social resources are actually pretty good.  They have a Marquis on board, another on Mora, and of course Grand Admiral Baron Bridgehead, whose supposed death even netted him a TNS obituary.  Mich and the Baron have had a personal audience with Archduke Norris, although it could not exactly be said that they were personal friends, no matter what Bridgehead says.  Then if Count Fostriades turns out to be still alive (as Shark believes) he's another noble who can represent their case.
    They also discuss the demise of Anastasia and the city on Pimane that was evacuated to hide her recovery.  Jump astronomy could let them observe the explosion flashes, but they don't have a big enough array to get much resolution.  At this point it's not worth spending the time and effort, but it's something they can consider for a later date.
    The established crew -- not the newcomers who aren't aware of it -- discuss the Third Weapon and whether it could produce effects similar to antimatter bombs.  They have run it in simulations, but never actually used it on anything -- at least, according to Helia (who should know) they haven't.  It didn't look like an antimatter explosion in the simulations, and apparently the characteristics just aren't similar enough to mistake it for one.  The larian strongly opposes the trial use of the weapon, even on some apparently lifeless rock -- you never know if there might actually be life on such a rock.  All arguments fail against her stubborn insistence.

    At some point they still need to get somewhere they can catch up on news.  Here it would come in with the scouts from Flammarion, taking four to six weeks to get here from the xboat route link there.
    The asteroid belts occupy two orbits in this system, blending into one enormous contiguous belt encircling the inner worlds.
    Searching all the asteroid belts in Spinward Marches and Foreven would probably take them at least seven years.  Here in Bowman, they'll spend two months -- eight weeks -- searching the belts.  Even Helia's expert astrogation and piloting can't save them any time.
    Then they have an appointment at Digitis to meet with someone on 075-1122.  Helia says it'll take just four jumps to get there.

    While performing the tedious scan, Callisto is very busy.  As pilot and astrogator, Helia too is quite busy.  Mich keeps an eye on the ship's status, making sure it's all red.  Everyone else practices.  Shark continues working with his zack, and wants to improve in sensors in sparkly pink mode -- he wants to be able to fly his point of view around.  Unfortunately for him it's hard to do much at the moment, as Callisto's using most of the sensors' bandwidth to get this belt scanned in two months.  So instead of working on sensors, he plays with his robot dog, installing the gravbelt; Kalida helps him.

    Misha decides it's time for the Captain to try sparkly pink mode again, in addition to his regular zack work.  He wants to study everything he can about this ship.  The last time he tried it, it was a very disorienting experience.  He thinks it's worth asking for advice again.  Everyone else tells him all he has to do to get into sparkly pink is sit down at his chair and think about it.
    The Grand Admiral says he's doing a long term study on the effects of sparkly pink, but it's too early for even a preliminary report.  He adds that going into sparkly pink, or just attempting to, triggers Shark's football sensors.
    Misha does as he has been told.  He is surrounded by sparkly pink light.

Misha in Sparkly Pink
(Referee and Misha Ravanos' player only)

    Everyone but Kalida is surprised when the laser fires into open space.

    Misha looks rather disoriented and dizzy as he drops out of sparkly pink.
    Helia says to the gunner, "Did he make you do that?"
    Kalida replies, "He didn't make me."
    "Apparently he did.  You had an urge to do it, and you did it.  So it's either him or mind-sucking joes."
    Misha says, "Did anyone say there was nothing there?"
    "We didn't scan anything there.  Why?"
    "I heard you."
    "Did you make her fire there?"
    "Yes I did.  Or, I made myself fire there.  I figured firing was safer than messing up the scan than moving the ship, or changing the scanners.  So what did it feel like to you?"
    "That was cool," says Kalida.  "I just suddenly wanted to fire the laser in that direction.  Then I thought about it and figured it must have been you."
    Misha is still feeling a bit dizzy.  He settles back in his chair and says, "I think I'll just go with the flow for a while.  How's the scanning going?"

    After a while Misha feels much better.  He asks Kalida to go train long blade with him.  She accepts eagerly.

    Nightshade flies on through the Bowman Belt, scanning asteroids.  Every day Misha practices with sparkly pink, and adapts to it quickly.  The dizziness goes away after the second time, and he can switch back and forth easily.  He finds he has to be sitting on a chair on the command dais for sparkly pink to work.

336-1121 : Bowman / District 268 / Spinward Marches

    14 days into the scanning, Sagan falls ill.  Sie reports to the sick bay, where Bridgehead works on hir with Shark watching.  Sie spends two days there, then recovers somewhat and goes back to hir room.
    In the doctor's opinion, it's just some hiver illness, perhaps a bug or some biochemical imbalance, or a benign something that turned funny.

339-1121 : Bowman / District 268 / Spinward Marches

    17 days in, Callisto gets something interesting on the sensors.
    "What is it?" asks Misha.
    "I don't know," she replies.  "Whatever it is, it's artificial."  The thing is on or in an 80 km diameter asteroid, and it's not an object in stealth mode.
    Misha orders everyone to their stations, drops into sparkly pink mode, and commands that they change course towards it.  It is clear to him that it is not an immediate threat.