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Chapter 8 - The Advisor[]

FSS Kentares NR-001
Kentares- Class Corvette / Ram Ship
Durna System
Lyran Commonwealth

[On the Bridge, FSS Kentares, approaching the Duran Zenith Jump point...]

Commodore Palmer watched as McCoy stood, looking over the shoulder of Major Foche at the nav console.

It's been seventy hours since leaving the Shipyard, and she'd said maybe a dozen words since departure.  This isn't to say she didn't communicate.  The onboard network mail had a type-text functionality thanks to Apple's intuitive interfaces. Anh McCoy loved to send inquiries and responses by text, his own inbox had swelled to a dozen times its normal load with her observations and comments.

Some of those commentaries showed how severe the differences in equipment were.  The Lyran wore her skinsuit in full atmosphere. With the helmet ready to be donned in a moment, even out of combat, & even up here on the bridge. With her duty uniform being an overgarment worn over the skin suit, because constant wear was part of the Lyran regulation-as was constant maintenance.

He watched her as she hesitantly tapped Major Foche on the shoulder to get his attention, and then shook her head.  She pantomimed a request to touch the text-only keypad.

He nodded, and she started typing out a complex set of formulae, bringing up the Nav-chart and making corrections step-by-step.

"What's going on, Paul?"  the Commodore asked.

"She doesn't like the jump plot the computer delivered for our first pass-through."  Foche said.  "She's suggesting an alternate that shaves ninety hours off our travel."

"Nahnny saex." two more words after seventy hours.  The fuel calculations scrolled, as well as a visual diagram of the course changes.  "Nahnny saex hawrs off'n et, ang'lar entry, y'see et?"

She pointed at a broken rock sixty kilometers across.  "Trans'tion thar, cuts y'burn tahm bah nahnny saex hawrs, poahnt's a good two hawrs wahde...eff'n y'alls short-burn et startin' in fahve minnets..." she swallowed, and slowed down, "Four minutes & thirty seconds. Run the burn for twenty at one-point five gees, coast in at the end of the twenty minute burn at these angles. At this velocity, at this time, you'n's have a two-hour window that cuts a week off the trip to the commercial point.  The actual window will be four kilometers wide by four deep at the intersection Ah plotted heah.  We'll arrive at the next point almost a week early, traffic through there's sparse an the arrival point is several thousand kilometers wide, bein' as it's the stable point in that system."

"Do the numbers pan out, Foche?"

"Yeah, if you disable the safeties." Foche answered, "Two hour points are hard to plot, but..."

She held up one of her scant possessions, a chronograph-a stopwatch.  "Ain' thet hard." she said, "Three minnits."

"Why do the numbers pan out if we have to disable the safeties?"  Palmer asked

"It's a shipper's trick but, insurance companies hate it." Foche allowed, "So standard safety protocols disable anything smaller than a ten hour window.  Our systems were contracted through Boeing interstellar. So they're compliant with insurance regs-we're just fortunate enough to have the ability to disable the safeties-new production ships don't."

She tapped her crowbar, "Kin allus disable them safeties." she said.

"I'm going to make a command decision not to this time, Commander McCoy." Palmer said, "We're on a diplomatic schedule but, keep that math warm for when we're past the Lyran border, okay?"

"Aw'reht." she nodded.

"How often do you guys do these...short transitions?"

"Yus." she said, "Unless th' assahnmet specs patrols on th' stable poahnts, we'uns do 'em as reg'lar business-stretch them fuel bladders, git thar faster.  Belt p'trol 'speshly, git a distress, ain' got tahm t'look fo' a nice tin-hawr winder. Stannart's saex minnits, ah did a recahd shot in Tin secons, din't git the record, did Kitch th' Pirate dropper with his pants down."

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