After refitting the weapons on the turtle, Theridon immerses himself in conference with one of the sages of the Shambrath Court. He discovers a series of ritual meditations designed to give him greater power and control psionically. The downside is that it will involve being encased in a psi-active crystalline matrix for a period of several weeks. While in this trance state he will be completely focused inwards and will not be aware of his surroundings at all. In fact eating, breathing and sleeping will not be necessary during the metamorphosis. (This denotes the transition to Mindscape ruleset by Bruce Cordell)
Down on the docks, Dugan is approached by a female Shou who expresses great interest in meeting the captain. After a moments thought Dugan realizes that the best way to aggravate Drake would be to interrupt his lunch. He brings her to Hermes Rest (the local restaurant drake usually eats lunch in), plunks down in a chair and yells across the dining room, “Bring me something expensive and put it on HIS tab!” After a brief discussion they agree to meet her the next day with Tavist, who handles a lot of the crew hiriing.
The next day Ozzy, Tavist, Dugan and Drake meet up at Hermes Rest and interview the Shou, who introduces herself as Etsuriko. Unbeknownst to them Theridon tries unsuccessfully to scan her thoughts. That evening, after heated debate, they decide to hire her for the helm room guard detail. They also decide to keep a sharp eye on her. Kaolin upon hearing part of the conversation shrieks, “You DO love me!!”
Tavist meets Etsuriko the next day for a final interview. They go to an isolated part of the palace grounds, and talk over tea. Tavist makes her aware that she is not completely free of suspicion and tells her to “reassure,” him. She replies that he is right to be wary, and that he has brought negative attention to himself recently in ShouTown. She also tells him that she is not there to do him or the crew any ill, but also that she cannot say more.
Over the next several days Drake and Tavist become obsessed with the idea of having uniforms made for the crew. “Make them look professional,” says Drake. At great expense they search the city for a tailor crazy enough to travel with them into a war zone and do the work en route. Finally they find one just as work on the ship is finished, of course it only took a hefty down payment and a total fee in excess of three years normal wages. Killroy’s Folly and The Door cast off for GrommSpace and have a generally uneventful trip, except for being passed at flank speed by a trio of EIN Warbirds.
They zip through the Sphere from portal to portal, not even stopping to atmosphere skim. In order to freshen the atmosphere envelope Drake summons an air spirit, only to find that he cannot communicate with it (he does not speak Auran). He summons another one and Kaolin uses her gift of tongues to explain that they want to revitalise their atmosphere. The elemental responds with a massive blast of clean, fresh air.
A final scrying by Kaolin reveals an image of Galas the Grommam in a cave with the survivors of the Random Access’ crash. Suddenly moving into view comes the figure of a scro with dark blue skin and hair. It waves a crystal studded staff in front of him and the view is cut off. No further attempts at scrying are successful.
The wall of the GrommSpace sphere looms before them, stars aflame on their massive pedestals, as they activate the portal opener and chart a course for WinterSpace.