They got the information that was needed. Jax did help, but only in an indirect fashion. He did get a vague hint of what it might be about, but nothing anywhere near certain. Mainly he made guesses. Jithro wouldn't tell him anything much about it, nor would anyone else from the Dog. Despite the fact that he knew next to nothing, they ordered him not to discuss the matter at all with Jacen. He obeyed.
They left that night, and got to their next destination late the next day. Jax and Jacen had been kept in the dark about where they were going. Jithro and Sean were on the bridge when they arrived, but the other Partners were sleeping. Jax and Jacen made a point of being there.
Sean turned at the sound of the bridge door opening. "Lads, what're ya doin' here?"
"What're you doing here? It's late, and it's not your shift," said Jax.
"Well, we're arriving now... It was important I see to this personally. You should go, this business I'm takin' care of is rather... delicate... But I'll ask you again what yer doin' here."
"Alright," said Jacen, "we knew we were stoppin'."
"How did ya know that?"
"Well," said Jax, "first I tried breaking into the ship's computer to see if there was any information on our destination. Usually there is something... a flight plan, or whatever. But this time, there was nothing. Not where we were going, not the direction or speed or ETA... nothing."
"So," said Jacen, "we figured it was a bigger secret than usual, which only made us curiouser and more determined. We thought about it for awhile, how to figure out where we were going. Finally, we decided we couldn't find out in advance, but at least we could be sure we knew when we got there. We thought maybe we'd just wait till th' ship stopped. That's easy enough ta tell, e'en after just a short time on a ship like this. Sounds change, balance changes, just a bit."
"But of course we realized we couldn't tell the ship was stopped if we were asleep at the time," said Jax, "Or if we weren't paying close attention. So I decided to build myself a little motion detector, link it with the ship's systems, and have it notify me when the ship stopped. Worked as a bit of an alarm, a few minutes ago, and woke us up. So here we are."
"Sure has been a shorter trip than usual, Uncle Sean," said Jacen.
"Well now, I s'pose I should toss ya both in th' brig. It's just too bad we don't have a brig. But I'm sure somethin' could be arranged." He sighed. "Or, maybe I could offer you a permanent position on th' ship. You'd both be a great benefit to the crew, I think. Well, I'll let ya stay here while we conduct our business. You lads just sit quietly in a corner, don't say anything, don't make e'en a sound. Think ya can do tha'?"
"Yeah, well, I doubt tha'. Ah, well..." he sighed.
Jithro said, "We're being hailed."
Jax and Jacen scampered off into one corner, determined to be completely silent. "Open channel," said Sean, turning to face the screen.
An image appeared on the viewscreen, and Jax and Jacen gasped in astonishment.
"Greetings, Captain," said the image- though Jax was more aware than usual of the universal translator operating.
"Greetin's yerself, Captain. We have th' data. Are ya prepared ta accept transmission?"
"I am prepared, Captain. Transmit when ready."
"Mr. Skuial, transmit data, super-coded, tightest band."
After a pause of about a second, "Transmission complete, Captain."
On the other end, someone behind the captain of the other ship said, "Transmission received, Captain."
"Good luck, Captain," said Sean.
"And to you," said the Tholian captain.
The screen went blank. The Dog turned and left, as did the Tholian ship.
"Berengaria next, I think," said Sean, turning to face his friends. "Good night, lads; Jithro," he nodded to the boys and then to the Saurian, before walking off the bridge.
Destiny Dog part 10