Chapter 6 - The Wind at my Back, Stars at my feet
"Can we make a jump into the system on the reserves we've got? I don't want to spend the next few years riding in." Diamh asked.
"Let me check my notes..." the Chief did some checks. "We can provided whatever ****** us the first time doesn't ****** us the second."
She turned to Amanda, who was studying telescope data from the target system. "Cadet?"
"Um...based on spectra and observable motion? I...It should be an easy jump, the system's got a handful of planets and a large, main-sequence star, mum. it should have a jump limit in the Sol-Normal range."
"Eh, let me check your figures then."
They cross-checked it, then ran a sim on the cutter's relatively primitive jump plotter. Kowloon's cutters, unlike the LCN versions or the export models, didn't come equipped with the Harmon Safety protocol that comes standard on most jumpship drives, if they had, they wouldn't be able to plot a low-coolant jump in the first place, much less perform some of the maneuvers that have become signature of the Coast Guard's operations in the Lyran Periphery.
"One more check for anomalies on the drive itself. Maybe we hit some kind of wormhole or something the first go." Diamh ruled.
The crew-mostly cadets with a handful of Veteran officers, set to work. What was supposed to be a familiarization cruise in the outer system, had turned into the mother of all graduation exercises.
"Chuan, Hui, get down to the missile magazines and set up our ready loads." Diamh ordered. "We're in indian country with no backup. Lees and Parkhurst, get our fighters loaded with live rounds and verify munitions counts, Trang, unlock the armory."
"We're in hostile territory, not just Clanners, but Clanners have their own kind of bandits, I want this ship ready to fight if we have to."
she turned to Amanda, "Ngo, what's the proximate dating based on star charts?"
"We're within five years of when we left, I can't get a better fix than that without another reference point, mum."
"Work on it."