I grabbed Bella's favorite cat toys, packed her extra food and and treats in my bag and we headed down to the hangar. My girlfriend, Jean was meeting us there in 30 minutes. We arrived and I settled Bella into the ship, she loves space travel. Jean shows up to see us off, we will be gone for a few days. I finish my exterior pre flight just before Jean arrives. She walks up and gives me a big hug and a kiss. "We shouldn't be gone more than 4 or 5 days, it's not that long of a run" I tell her. hoping that I actually do it in just three days so that I am back for the weekend with her.
"I want you to keep a close eye on the new system monitor that I installed" she tells me. She has designed as part of her engineering studies, a new upgraded systems monitor for the DeLacy family of ships, and the "Prodromus" my Krait Phantom is her test bed. This is why we have been asked to take the new tech out on a run of at least 5k ly, to give it a good shake down. "Astra will let you know if anything goes south with it" she quips.
She boards the ship with me and I walk over to the galley ahead of her and then suddenly turn around with a bouquet of flowers in my hand. "These are to remind you of Bella and I while we are gone" I tell her, she gives me another kiss, this time a lot more passionate than the previous one.
If the new systems monitor works as expected, DeLacy is going to fast track it to production and she will get the credit for it's design and a commission from the company for creating it. More importantly it just about guarantee's her a spot in the companies system design office once she graduates with her engineering degree in a few months.
I walk her to the exit at the front landing gear and give her a goodbye kiss she is not likely to forget for a while and we say our goodbyes. She clears the hangar and Bella and I have the ship moved to the flight bay. All checks good, Astra gives me the green light and we launch.
We are out of the station quickly and I make the final module checks to make sure our system heat is set for doing constant fuel scooping. We make the first jump, then the next, and next and so on until a short time later we are clear of human occupied space and out in the deep black. We put about 1300 light years between us and Ray Gateway and find a nice .11G planet to settle on and we power down the flight systems for the night. I look over the report from her new systems monitor and it is operating slightly less efficiently than she had hoped. I send Jean the system monitor report and she quickly sends a reply to add this line of code to this part of the main screen.
I add the line of code where she told me and the system takes it. Tomorrow we will test it out and see if we are where she wants the system to be.
For now, Bella and I head off to our respective beds and we plan for even more progress tomorrow.