Author's Note: The previous segments need to be said, but have pushed plot of The Gentlemen's Agreement back several steps. Therefore, we're going to tell this story, A Gentleman's Duty, first. Enjoy!
Ipa Sam, towered over the Navigator, Raku Mat. With a height difference of over half a meter standing, Mat’s being seated and hunched over in her characteristic stoop made the difference all the more obvious. Zag Essuru, the Scoundrel’s Pilot and 1st Mate, was also shorter than the Engineer, but her rail-straight posture and the quills her people used instead of hair made Zag appear taller than she was. The trio was focused on Raku’s display, a collection of CRTs and underlit tables that covered most of the cockpit’s starboard wall. Above them, the second level viewports showed a starfield hazed with the glowing aurora of repelled particles. The wavering, blue-green light made the cockpit appear underwater.
“There!” Ipa jabbed a finger in the direction of the map table. “What about there?”
“I dunno…” Raku Mat’s small voice trailed off, as it usually did. “It’s awfully far…”
“That’s not the problem.” Zag indicated another point on the map table. “This jump off the Janus main, at Carzulla? That’s a Type - B2 star. After that fight with the patrol cutter, our forward armor’s too thin to stand the radiation. We won’t be able to find a Rabbithole before we fry.”
Ruku shrugged. “I can find -’
“- What about here?” Sam indicated another system.
“No,” Zag said. “Too many Rabbitholes between the Janus and there. We lost too much NegMat with the shuttle.
“I have the charts -” Mat began.
“There’s gotta be somewhere with a gas giant refinery!”
“There is,” Ruku began again, “I just need time to -”
“I don’t know that there is.” Zag responded. “It pretty barren out here. We may not -”
“Listen!” Both women looked down at that rarest of sounds, Ruku Mat’s raised voice.
“I have all the navigation charts for this subsector loading on the computer! I will plot us a course that doesn’t either bake us alive or use too many Rabbitholes! And you two will stop looking over my shoulder while I do it!” With that, Ruku Mat left her station and scurried into the Computer Room.
“What got into her?” said Zag Esseru. Ipa shrugged.