Previously on Nautilus…
After coming back from the Bouncing Betty, the crew of The Blackbird plots a return trip to Crossroads Station. On the way, James Albright and Esmerelda Malik go over the contents of the laptop in the classified section of the Bouncing Betty, as well as the personal data of the crew and recovered ship logs. Meanwhile, Yuri Slavin begins to clean up his newfound prize, the unnamed fighter. En route, Grey “Amelia” Star suggests an idea for the next mission, which is to explore an uncharted system.
When The Blackbird arrives at Crossroads station, the crew sells recovered items from the Bouncing Betty and purchase supplies for the long voyage to the next destination. Yuri contacts Sgt. Lotter for information about the bombing that occurred last time. Lotter informed Yuri that there was no new information. Joan Darnell talked with Penny O’Hara for tips of how to handle long-distance travel and then purchased a car. James communicated with Captain Monroe, giving him all data collected from the Bouncing Betty, then contacting Frank Sinatra, trading a collection of (good and bad) Italian movies for Military license for equipment and Yuri’s unnamed fighter.
After finishing buying, the group went off to Pi Mensae B, the second planet in the unexplored Pi Mensae star system. The crew occupied their time in different ways, with James crafting electronic devices for sale, Yuri installing the new engine parts, landing skids, and fixing the structure of the fighter, and Joan consuming a large amount of media. Also, the crew played lots of ping-pong, which Yuri had unfortunate luck with despite his superior reflexes.
When The Blackbird arrived in Pi Mensae B, they discovered that the planet had a nearly inhabitable surface. Also, they discovered two space stations. One station was fully functional, and the crew hailed the station. The person responding identified the station as Station 81, which had been present for 25 years, and wished to remain unknown. Based on various clues, The Blackbird crew guessed that the station was inhabited by Lai. The second station was extremely damaged and seemingly uninhabitad.
The crew proceeds to explore the station. The station appears to be more alien than on the outside, with strange undulating corridors, a glowing light that followed the party, cryptic and indecypherable alien writing, and floating globules of liquid.
To be continued…