The only person with a problem right now is Mich
Saginaw, who's still in sick bay being treated for radiation sickness by
Grand Admiral Baron Bridgehead. The engineer could go about his duties,
but the doctor's advice is complete bed rest. Mich wants to go through
all the data from the power units, but even that would be against medical
advice. He has compromised by staying in bed yesterday, and today
raising himself up enough to examine his data.
Mich's first task, of course, is to run diagnostics and check the status of the ship. Aside from the two boxes in engineering -- one producing radiation and one at absolute zero -- the rest of the ship is fine.
Examining the data just indicates that one unit reduced power output until it was sucking power -- at which point the data stream stopped -- while the other unit increased power output until it vaporized. Switching off the fuel supply and disconnecting the units had no effect. Everything else appeared perfectly normal. Everything in the previous jumps was perfectly normal too, and there was not a thing aside from the sucking and pushing to indicate that anything was different this time.
Since the last voyage, Marquis Marcus Crestworthy has loosened up the security procedures on board ship. With no additional science team or any other hangers-on, he's allowing free access between the crew and module sections.
|Fine:||Vonish Kehnaan, Ed "Shark" Teeth, Grand Admiral Baron Bridgehead|
|Sick:||Helia Sarina, Misha Ravanos|
|Worse:||Mich Saginaw, Robert Morris|
|Bad:||Sagan, Teri Cralla, Marquis Marcus Crestworthy|
In Sagan jump sickness is manifesting itself as clumsiness and uncoordination. Hir gastric opening is "loose", and digestion is disturbed. Sie is also getting mild hallucinations in all hir senses -- flashes of light, strange scents, strange touches with no-one there (very disturbing for a being with 360 degree vision).
Baron Bridgehead sets up some emergency sick bays
in the labs of the module. He's preparing for things to get much
He decides to visit the captain. At Marc's insistence, he comes alone. He asks Marc if he would like to move to a sickbay -- the captain agrees, but only if he has a private room, and can take his football sensor with him.
Bridgehead locks the door behind the Marquis, and informs Misha that the captain is incapacitated, and that as First Officer it is now Misha who is in command. They discuss the crew situation, and how bad it might get. Bridgehead confirms that there are eight emergency low berths, and several an additional medical low berths. He bemoans the primitive medical facilities on this ship -- on his last ship, he could have set up a low berth to accommodate the hiver as well.
|Worse:||Mich , Robert, Helia|
|Critical:||Sagan, Marc, Teri|
Misha remains in command of the ship, even though he's rather ill. Bridgehead has also fallen sick today, but continues to perform his duties.
|Worse:||Helia, Misha, Bridgehead|
|Critical:||Marc, Mich , Robert|
|Low Berth:||Teri, Sagan|
Bridgehead says that he's ill enough to not be able
to do his duties, but he insists he remains at his post. He pumps
himself up with drugs to keep going.
Misha is no longer capable of commanding the ship. Bridgehead relieves him of command, and informs Vonish that he is now acting captain of the H.M.S. Third Eye.
Teri has been placed in low berth. Sagan will die if not in low berth, but of course no facilities are available; Bridgehead improvises a chemical equivalent to keep hir under enough to stay alive.
|Worse:||Helia, Doc, Misha|
|Low Berth:||Sagan, Teri, Marc, Mich|
Vonish checks the sensors and determines that the
ship is not in immediate danger. He decides to leave the ship drifting
for the time. He takes a short break to relax, then starts work on
the ship's location and predicted path.
Vonish works carefully and painstakingly, and finally comes to an inescapable conclusion: they are not on their charts. At least they're in a system -- there's clearly a main sequence white star nearby.
The next question is clear: the ship will not run into anything for quite some time. The current vector would spiral into the sun after several hundred years.
Vonish then starts the task of examining the system. He confirms that there are two gas giants in the system, and therefore they will be able to refuel here. They are not stuck here.
Ed just intends to look after his patients for the next several days, with the occasional call to remind Vonish to make sure they're not going to hit anything.
Vonish records himself as acting Captain, and Ed
as acting First Officer and Medical Officer. It will look good on
Ed checks with the computer about the status of engineering. The computer reports conditions as normal in that area, except that excess pressure of one atmosphere was bled off and recovered several hours ago.
Ed goes down and checks engineering himself. The boxes are gone, and there's some debris scattered all around the place. Still, everything seems to be working. He is astonished at how lucky they are.
In honor of that, Vonish names this system "Roulette."
|Low Berth:||Sagan, Teri, Marc, Mich|
Vonish starts his location survey by checking for
local galaxies, just to see if they're still in the same one. He
is relieved to find that they are not only in the right galaxy, but aren't
too far from the Spinward
Ed runs the sensors and finds no transmissions in the system. So not only are they safe from running into anything, but no-one should come after them here either.
Vonish continues to name the system. The gas giants are Black and Red... He also sets the system doing a survey of the system and the area. Slowly the information about the system will expand...
|Sick||Helia, Misha, Sagan, Doc|
|Bad||Robert, Teri, Marc, Mich|
|Critical:||Robert, Teri, Marc|
Sagan, with his explorer background, helps with the location dilemma. Sie determines that there are quite a few nearby systems that they could meander through. Helia assists hir, and those two are a formidable resource to throw at the problem.
Ed tells Mich that the atmosphere was bled off in
engineering, and that pieces of the boxes are embedded in the wall and
consoles and so on. Ed will accompany Mich until the latter has recovered
The two of them go back to engineering. The boxes are not there, but pieces of them are scattered around. Mich quickly determines that the pieces are embedded in unimportant consoles, mostly routine test equipment that can be replaced trivially in about half an hour. He does need someone to sweep, and scrape off molten metal deposits from the walls too. Of the units themselves, there is nothing recoverable -- he will, however, collect all the pieces to put them together and try to figure out what happened.
Ed, with his forensics skill, offers to help. He works with the undisturbed pieces, and after several hours comes to a surprising conclusion. All the pieces came from a single point. The pieces do indeed represent both boxed units, but the source of all of the debris came from a single point exactly between the two units. He then helps clean up and collect all the debris.
Sagan and Helia have gathered substantial information about the system by now. Misha decides they should proceed immediately to a gas giant; Vonish suggests Black, and Helia starts them on their way. Against Ed's advice, Misha keeps the transponder unshielded as it should normally be.
Ed decides he's been very busy for the last several days, and it's time for a break.
Mich checks the engineering logs, and finds that the boxes exploded exactly on coming out of jump. There was no temperature, radiation, or other changes when it happened -- just pieces all over the place and the air came back.
Sagan and Helia have begun to get some key star pattern
matches. It would put them outside the Spinward Marches by five to
twenty parsecs. It's a long way from where they were.