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Last Updated    January 2 2018
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Passing Through
      The Yori System

Getting Gone

Yori     The weapons specialist who installed it told them not load the gunnery training software until they could stay dirtside for 24 hours, the crew called Regina port control saying they'd launch as scheduled, despite the last-minute work.  After finishing that, and securing everything else, the IMS Pilot Error lifted for the sky.  With free fuel from the port, thanks to the Seneschal's orders, the crew burned for the 100-diameter limit and jumped for the Yori system, as a first step to Inthe.  The week in jump went as most weeks did, with little to pass the time except practicing skills, studying their interests and watching entertainment vids.  There was a muted party on 138-1112, to celebrate Mikah's birthday.  During the run, Ms. Vik and Dame Mikah studied ship's electronics with Sir Brian's help.  Mikah also did her best to drop in to learn a bit of piloting from Aiden.  Aiden Radetsky started learning navigation from Zach Wood as the merchant studied piloting from the pilot.  Sir Zimzod set up his grav vehicle driving simulator and Emkir got to know the new guy, Rol, as they studied sensor ops.

Planning to skim fuel from a gas giant in the Yori system, Aiden figured he'd run the system's diagnostics on the fifth day in jump.  But when he did, the scout got an alarm and flashing discrete, showing a fault with circuits in the ship's fuel purification plant!  This was important because the mainworld was a desert and port fuel was harshly overpriced.  Sir Brian dove into the issue, pulling control boards and running diagnostics for the remaining days of the trip.  Finally, Brian announced he couldn't get the system working and would need parts they didn't have to try and fix it.  On that news, the crew decided to land on Yori-Prime after emerging from jump and see if they could find what he needed.

Curiouser And Curiouser

     The Yori system was also not without its surprises though.  The alarms from the drive sounded and the crew donned vacc suits for emergence from jump.  Precipitation went normally, and the crew turned their ship in-system.  But, as they neared the mainworld's outer orbits, they began tracking a massive vessel!  Soon it was clear there was a 200,000 ton Plankwell-Class Imperial Battleship outside Yori-Prime's orbital paths!  They closed range as more of the battleship's escorts came into scan, and realized there a major Imperial naval fleet element was in-system.  Even more odd, they couldn't detect "any" communication from the vessels.  That suggested they were all on tight beam laser comms, including all patrol fighters!  The battleship had a CAP deployed, and it looked for all the universe like the fleet was in combat mode.

Still, the crew entered orbit far from the fleet element and weren't hailed or hampered at all by the military ships.  It simply proved one of those awesome sights only spacers working a bridge got to see in person.  Contacting the Mainworld port got the standard set of advertisements and offers, and Dame Mikah sent the required introduction to the system port and waited for a reply.  Eventually, the crew were welcomed to Yori system, invited to land and told there was no need for any assistance.  When Dame Mikah asked about spare parts, the port offered to find a list of vendors of the proper part for a nominal fee.  Mikah unhappily accepted, having her hopes of a "free part provided by the port" dashed, and ordered the ship down-well.  Dirtside, the port had many offers, such as connection to the global data-net.  Dame Mikah refused that but accepted the prepared map of vendors and then took Sir Brian, having Zach drive the air/raft, in hunt of parts for the purification plant.

While they hunted parts, Ms. Vik, Aiden Radetsky and Rol did "the tourist thing", wandering outside in the desert sun.  They learned that the surface of Yori, home of salt miners and exporters, was BORING!!!!!!  Outside, it was hot, dry and completely of no interest at all.  Mikah's party visited a number of places, finding repaired parts, parts that could be replaced and parts that looked as if they were ready to fail before finding parts Brian felt were good.  Paying Cr 65 for the parts, they returned to the ship to find they'd been invited to the port station for drinks.  Interested in what they could learn, the crew accepted and, except for Zimzod, donned vacc-suits, at the port master's recommendation before taking the air/raft over.  Remaining behind as "security aboard", Zimzod didn't know Brian had activated the 'install' for the gunnery training program before leaving, since they expected to be on the ground for longer than a day.

After they were in-station, the crew enjoyed drinks which started with the local tradition of several rounds of pure water.  While they drank in a bar, Zimzod started seeing odd flashing lights coming from the ship's systems!  making sure he wasn't seeing things, Zimzod radioed the others, asking if they knew anything about it?  Getting the call as they were "schmoozing", Brian said he'd started the program.  Aiden offered to go back to the ship, but that would leave the others on the surface station without the air/raft.  In the end, Dame Mikah called Zimzod, telling him to 'keep an eye out' and they went back to the party.  Zimzod did a walk around of the whole ship, and found nothing out of hand except the computer having "gone nuts" in his computer "unsavvy" opinion.  When Mikah radioed to check in, he said nothing else had changed and they speculated this was why the tech warned them to be sure they could stay dirtside when they ran the install.

The party finally paid off with some information when Rol found a talkative port worker.  The worker said the Plankwell and her escorts were likely in-system because of the research station.  When Rol asked, "What research station?", they learned Imperial Research Station Beta was on the system's fifth world, and a regular supply vessel visited it every month.  While the supply vessel had returned and gone about her business, the Plankwell and her escort element arrived in-system recently.  The fleet dispatched two Atlantic-class heavy cruisers and escorts right off, in the direction of the research base.  Since then, the battleship just sat there with her escorts, not talking to anyone at all!  It was very odd, but no one could contact the vessels for an explanation.  Despite this, the station personnel didn't seem to care about the flotilla, letting it become a non-issue, slipping off the news.

That said, the crew adopted the same attitude and enjoyed the rest of the party before retiring back to the Pilot Error.  Once there, Brian checked the program and said everything appeared normal for an intensive and invasive installation process.  After that, the crew racked out except Aiden, who stood watch for half the night.  When Mikah woke and relieved him, Radetsky retired to his bunk to be awakened by his stateroom alarms shortly after slipping into a deep sleep.  Reacting to the alarms, Radetsky found he was the victim of 'random system events' caused by the software install.  After that, Aiden worked to get back to sleep again, despite the adrenalin rush.

Surprises At The Start And Finish

     The morning came with a change in the news.  The Plankwell and her flotilla seemed to have left orbit and disappeared from sensors!  The crew waited until the install finished, handling a number of basic shipboard chores.  After the software was done, the crew decided to spark it up and test out what Cr 30,000 had bought from the Regina military?  With Zach and Zimzod in the turrets, they turned the simulation software on and watched as the program put the gunners into a "beginner - difficult" level battle.  The two were still no match for the difficulty, lacking the correct skill sets for the exercise.  As that happened, Aiden watched the ship's boards in case the software "accidentally" activated the real systems and threatened the port.  Zach didn't know how to lead targets correctly, or estimate fire lines and timing, much less understand settings he never had to deal with when learning missiles.  And Zimzod had never directly fired weapons before, having only done "acquire and fire" through the gunnery AI of the lost INS Dawnstar Horizon

The many settings, alignments, power shunts and other options were a complete mystery to them.  And the turret operations they had to control at the same time were also foreign to them.  Barely able to accomplish the turret ops, if haltingly, thanks to the unfamiliarity, Zimzod got frustrated much sooner than Zach.  It was only after hours of trying, and after Zimzod had given up in frustration, that Zach managed to get a single hit!  The elation at some kind of success buoyed some of the crew as they secured the program and rigged for launch.  Their original plan to skim the gas giant scrapped, they'd fueled up from the port before lifting for space.  They passed by the gas giant, burning out to the jump limit.

The crew stood by their stations, or waited in the lounge, as the ship lifted and made their run.  But, only an hour into the trip, they picked up a sensor hit ahead of them and started getting ready for bad news.  That changed soon, when they saw it was the Plankwell ahead.  They were faster, and catching the slow-moving flotilla up!  Figuring 'sneaking up' behind a ship almost 10,000 times their ship's size would be a bad thing, they signaled her with their presence and intentions.  The reply was not what they expected at all!  Suddenly, the battleship responded with a challenge, recognizing the smaller craft but warning her to be prepared to stand to for inspection!

As they waited and wondered, a realization dawned on them...  They'd signaled as soon as they'd spotted the battleship with their 'military grade' sensors.  But the battleship crew only saw a merchant which "shouldn't have sensors as powerful as theirs".  Receiving the signal from the Pilot Error just as she came on their sensors told them the merchanter was modified with a sensors suite much more powerful than expected.  The kind a pirate or privateer might carry!  Comms traffic back and forth had Emkir gathering the crew's data and sending a "full status with crew and compliment" to the warship.  The Admiral hoped that having three Imperial Knights aboard would back the situation down.  As the Pilot Error closed on the battleship, her signal came back with "clearance to pass".

Still, the crew were firmly warned they had clearance to pass below the battleship on a "straight and unchanging", if slowing, vector.  They were also told they would be under the ship's guns, in case of perfidy.  Another of those amazing sights unfolded for the crew as they slid slowly under the battleship's belly in slow motion for over fifty minutes!  Finally, they passed the monster, having been repeatedly bracketed by fighters on and off.  They then made their way toward the system's designated Trailing/Riftward outbound jump zone.  Hours later, the IMS Pilot Error had left the Plankwell behind and burned clear of the 100-diameter limit.  And after confirming their status Mikah gave Aiden the go ahead and they jumped for the Inthe system.

Next: Bad First Impressions In The Inthe System
   Or: The Tale of the INS Quasar Viper