Hollen's Prize calmed down, the commotion settled.
"Kids, get ready for the jump, we'll be ascending in ten minutes!" Yulo patted his belly as he sat in the cockpit, obviously tense.
"We'll be hyper for five days, four if Quan can take her up to Delta layer."
He patted the arm rest of the captain's chair, then - was it a caress?
"I'll patch through the most recent news, so enjoy - we'll not go anywhere remotely civilized in the next month."
The screen in the common room flashed to life, bright with the most recent courier's broadcast.
The disctinctive hammerhead shapes of League dreadnoughts floated across the screen, searing the black satin of space in coherent light. The speakers boomed with electrical sizzling noises and explosions. A small sign appeared in the lower right corner - 'Sound added for dramatic effect'. The Solar League Navy has forced a withdrawal of the Elerian invaders at Arcturus, reinstating the integrity of Solan borders. Travellers are advised to be on the lookout for scattered Elerian ships, and report them to the nearest navy outpost without delay. Do not engage - the enemy is armed, and of considerable psionic capacity."
Helia sat there, focused on the screen, sipping a glass of aquavit.
The screen switched to a pyre with heaped bodies, and a reporter in a hazmat suit. Droids were hauling more corspes towards the flame, hideously malformed and bloated with tumorous growth. "Another outbreak of teratomatic plague has struck Ursa II, with estimated thirty thousand casualties, and an unknown number of asymptomatic carriers. The Ursa system has been classified a red threat zone. Travellers are advised to seek alternate destinations."
Gaudy music sought to alleviate the sombriety of the previous reports, and a likely gaudy reporter with spliced bird-of-paradise feathers instead of hair reported that the xenotransdiva 'Adore' was staging a release concert for her latest album, no farther than Tau Ceti.
An exhaustive list of hunted criminals and missing persons followed - the former section showed predominantly hundreds of Veradani war criminals, women with the disctinctive head tentacles and fractal patterns under their eyes, while the latter displayed various strays.
"Look Minerva, you're there" Sunny smirked bitterly. "I see you're still ...desired. But a measly fifteen thousand Nuyen?"
Fifteen thousand was not measly. And it was three thousand higher than the last time Minerva saw the missing persons report.
The Prize ascended to the Alpha layer of hyperspace with a kick, spinning and losing all her thrust.
"Don't break her!" Yulo yelled.
Quan was confused, briefly - until he realized that Hollen's Prize did not automatically synchronize with gravitic waves in hyperspace. Good to know - it might give her a much needed boost someday, or rip her sails of if he wasnt more cautious.
He'd know next time.
"Speed her up and go to Beta, I'll be back in five."