We finally reached our next hyper-jump point. Since nobody seemed to want to talk to me, I had been spending my time in my cabin or down in the bowels of the ship where nobody but me would likely go. I split my time between maintaining the ship (as per my "I don't want to die" policy), and studying our nav system. Sure, I could already repair and test the nav system - it was one of the first systems I mastered when I came aboard - but things like reading the nav data, plotting a course, or calculating a hyper-jump were all things that Pete had always done. I hadn't learned about those things. When I started digging in, it occurred to me that it wasn't so smart of me to rely solely on Pete for all these thing. If something were to happen to him, I would have been screwed.
My other reason for learning the operator side of the nav system was slightly more nefarious. Pete had told me we were heading to the edge and beyond, heading for the 'rus home world. I didn't know where that was, but it didn't sound very safe. The edge is there because nobody goes past that line. It's the edge of "known space". If nobody goes there, there has to be a reason right? The location of the 'rus home world was not in our nav data, which didn't surprise me since Pete had said it was "beyond the edge". What did surprise me is that the hyper-jump point we were at was also not in our nav data. At that point, we were still well within the known universe so every system, planet, moon, asteroid, and hyper-jump point should have been there. While we were at the last station, I had made sure to download the latest updates to the nav database. I consider that to be part of basic maintenance. Before I came along, this was yet another of the many things that Pete had been lazy about. I have no idea how he survived without me.
I added data about the jump point to an encrypted file and stuck it in my file storage. It didn't seem right to not add it to the nav system, but I could tell that Pete had entered the coordinates to this place manually. If he had wanted the hyper-jump point added to our nav data, he would have done so. If I did it now, it would be obvious and I would have to answer some uncomfortable questions. I was being nefarious remember? Getting caught sneaking would have been embarrassing. We had long established that Pete really hates sneaking, and he's been extra grumpy lately.
One sneaky thing I did do was to add a bit of code to the nav system to dump info into an encrypted log in a way that shouldn't be found by anyone who didn't know to look for it. If we were going somewhere, I wanted to be able to read that log later and figure out where we had been. Don't get me wrong, I trusted Pete, but I wasn't liking the idea of flying off into the beyond without at least having an idea of where I was or where I was going.
The comm signaled that the ship would hyper-jump in 30 seconds. I rushed to get to my station, noticing the distinct lack of monks on the bridge. Good, I won't have to clean up any puke this time.
"The board is all green again Capitan!" I nearly shouted. This was two times in a row. It's exciting enough to see that happen one time, I had certainly never seen it happen before. Just like hyper-jump is hard on human brains, it is also hard on equipment. It's so common for ship systems to go down during a hyper-jump, that having to effect repairs upon reaching the end is considered "normal".
A peek at the nav system made me think the all-green of the engineering panel was false. When a ship does a hyper-jump, the nav system has to re-calculate the ship's position so that the ship can safely navigate. This is usually helped along by the nav database having end-jump coordinates that get plugged in so the re-calculation has a starting point. The nav system then fine-tunes the ships position. In this case, Pete only put the coordinates of the starting hyper-jump point and left the end-jump coordinates blank, so the nav system has to calculate the ship's position starting at zero. I know this sounds like a big deal, but usually it isn't. The nav computer is pretty efficient, so it can usually establish a position fairly quickly. This time, however, it did not.
"Sir, there is something wrong with nav!"
"Don't worry about it kid, it's saying exactly what I expected it to say." Pete replied.