Often, the engine rooms of cargo cruisers were a huge mess. Most were cobbled together with parts purchased or traded from all sorts of areas. Many assembled parts were bartered from the Jackai Sifter salvage ship, or from other cargo cruisers. It was not unheard of for a Vulpine freighter to have the neutronium coils from Pantheran cargo cruisers. But Lionid ships were a different matter. Considering the engineering of these ships were dictated by monks of the different monasteries, the ships themselves seemed quite disciplined themselves. They were immaculate.
When Snowy took Hardy into the engine room, Hardy had to stop and look around for a moment in wonder.
“Ya know,” she finally said after she looked over the pristine engine. “The Vulpinian Trade Coalition could learn a thing ‘r two from the Lionids.”
“I know, right,” Snowy said with a chuckle. “Sort of like my dad’s ship when we first arrived on Canin. The Lionids thought we were in a battle while on route. Come on. I think the worst of the damage from that fire fight is in here.” Snowy lead Hardy down through the long corridor of driver coils. The engine itself was massive, even for a cargo ship. Two long tubes that seemed to glow, encased in a clear housing of transparent titanium shielding. Tough as nails to break through, which kept the engine safe in case of an attack. “Here it is,” Snowy said as she pointed out a snoking panel.
“Ah that shouldn’t take too long to fix,” Hardy replied as she took out her tool kit. “This is nothin’ like what my instructor at the military college talked about.”
“Military college?” Snowy said as she pried the panel off the control box. “You guys looked more like fighter pilots than military. Which is another thing I was going to ask. You’re with Main Authority, but I never knew of Main Authority taking on your type.”
“Well, we are fighter pilots,” Hardy replied as she inspected some of the burned out fuses with a calibrator. “At least, we attended the Chattingham Academy after military college.”
“Wouldn’t you guys be with the 76th, though,” Snowy asked as she gently pulled out a control rod. “Gimme a hand with this, would you?”
“That was the plan,” Hardy said as she helped with the control rod. “But, I think ya heard Left-tenant Felix’s voice. There was a decision that she’d be unfit ta be a pilot.” Hardy looked up in time to see the look on Snowy’s face. “I know, I know exactly what yer thinkin’.”
“That’s just a bunch of bob-tail,” Snowy said, matter of factly. “Sorry for the language. Hand me that operator bar, please.”
“Oh, no worry about language,” Hardy said with a chuckle and handed over the tool for Snowy. “I guess General Gerring caught wind of it, found it to be an injustice and next me an’ Clarry knew, we were recruited into the service of the Main Authority as well.” They gently placed the spent rod into a holding container and began to place a brand new rod in its place. “I think General Gerring must of looked at my file and figured one look at the Nighthawk and I’d swoon madly over her.”
“She is an impressive looking ship,” Snowy said with a chuckle as they began to carefully insert the new rod. “Careful. Gotta make sure that it’s flush when it’s in place. Then the engine should run smooth again.”
“She is an impressive ship. Brand new systems, complete with the latest in weapons technology, sensor capability, an’ even fly smooth,” Hardy said, boasting about the Nighthawk’s finer points. “We’ll have to look over that fuel problem, mind you.”
“If you don’t mind, maybe after supper I can give you a hand with that.”
“Oh, I don’t see why not,” Hardy said with a smile. Always a chance to show off the Nighthawk and this would be the first biggest chance. “Just haveta clear it with Senia and I don’t see that bein’ a problem.”
“There we go,” Snowy said as she closed up the panel again. “Now we just have to clean up and she’ll be good until we get to Critainian space dock.” Snowy looked to Hardy and smiled. “As Urial says, a clean engine is a happy engine.”
“Well,” Hardy replied as she perked an eyebrow. “Words o’ wisdom that strike home and heart to me.”
“When we get to space dock, we’ll probably put her through the basic repairs,” Snowy said. “Urial and Nadia will no doubt oversee all repairs. This ship is like their third cub, after all.” She looked up and took a sniff. “We best hurry. Smells like Urial’s cooking his finest again. He likes to try new things all the time, and I have to admit, he can make some delicious food. Come on. Give me a hand cleaning up and we can make it in time for supper.”