After a relatively quiet past four days, the QLoK is a hive of activity as the ship prepares to take off again after two and a half weeks in port.
With Sinclair confirming that he has more than enough passengers to fill all the staterooms, all but one High class, Dev buys in more luxuries. With 14 sentient crew members and just 11 crew staterooms now there is a fair amount of grumbling during the morning about which six are going to have to doublebunk. The Vargr are particularly sensitive about such matters and there is a fair bit of snarling going on between them as they all think it below their charisma to have to share. Dev and Vllae manage to sort it all out in the end though, with Nick agreeing to share with Helmut.
The Pink Panda Pelts arrive late in the morning in unmarked containers so as not to upset any animal rights activists. Dev pays COD and arranges for the containers to be put on board, filling the last vacant area in the hold.
It’s mid-afternoon when Tom reports that Sinclair and co are back, leading a procession of taxis to the ship, with a minibus containing the lower berth hoi-polloi bringing up the rear.
Sinclair, seemingly still as high as a kite, does seem to have done a good job in recruiting passengers. There is some eyerolling though as he sees the procession of upper class twits and nouveau riche clientele that he has managed to attract from his diligence in constantly trolling the casinos, night clubs and oyster bars of Denkeny. Francois has his work cut out bringing all the luggage aboard, while Dev gladly takes Cr. 10,000 from the passengers.
By 18.00, all of the passengers and their luggage is finally onboard. Nick takes up his position for the first time in the pilot’s seat, fortunately having had the past few days to familiarize himself with all of the somewhat strange and randomly ordered Vargr controls. Dev sits beside him in the navigator’s position, with Helmut to his side, still trying to figure out how all the scanners work.
Dev’s request for clearance for take-off is quickly granted and Nick pulls back on the control stick, smoothly bringing the QLoK up before sending her soaring over the ocean and up into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, before breaking through into the darkness of space.
With the course for jump space programmed in, Dev heads down to the passenger staterooms to see what’s going on. Sinclair is clowning around, as usual, living up to the promise he made everyone of leading a seven day party all the way to Ruby. Francois rushes around trying to look after everyone, with Gaan helping him out wherever necessary. Sin-Sasha casts a discrete but watchful eye over all of them to make sure that no one gets up to any mischief. None of them look as if they’re going to be too much trouble though, she thinks – only Lieutenant Cahuenga, Imperial Marines could put up much of a fight if so inclined, but he seems harmless enough.
It’s just before 22.00 when Nick hears CARL’s voice announcing that the QLoK has reached jump distance and he smoothly launches the Packet into hyperspace. Downstairs, the party in the passenger common area looks as if it’s going to last well into the night as the Hooray Henries chortle and guffaw in response to Sinclair’s endless succession of antics and anecdotes.