The Time Bomb had a crew of 19 when it left Ix, which was about as many as it could hold in reasonable comfort -- it was designed for 40 Ixian ant-people, but their requirements for personal space were... small. And none of them were among the crew. They had a few people from the Brushfire who'd been transported with them (notably, Magnus and Billy), a few other Burmecians, and some male manis who were native to Ix but less content.
They didn't have a chart. They had Cane's memory of an old chart, so they headed for the nearest beacon, which was probably going to be sort of near either Ree (good) or Paladine (bad). There was a fainter beacon that they thought was near Thanatos, the moon of death -- no one on the crew wanted to choose death.
They did a tarot reading, which told them to trust in luck. This also suggested just heading to the nearest moon, so that's what they did.
On the way, Cane mixed up some transformation potions for use after he and Kyngeah turned back into horrible useless forms (a Menhir for him, an air elemental for her). She chose burmecian for the base species, Cane decided to go with manis, but he was still a Zox by the end of the trip since the 'transform back' effect lasted longer for him (the duration is random).
And Nico spent the time installing vanes on the Time Bomb so that they could shut off the damn, deafening rocket engine.
Luckily, the moon they arrived at was Ree -- the bunnies and squids (lapines and kwii, technically) were from there, and they were the main force opposing the Empire and Enka.
Custom Agent: "What's your reason for visiting?"
Cane: "We need *charts*!"
...it went on longer than that, with Cane segueing into babbling summaries of their recent hardships. At any rate, they landed in a skyport near the capitol city, and released the crew for shore leave while they went shopping. One of the crew was originally from Ree, and went to contact his superiors in the military. "Don't worry, *I* don't want to be arrested for mutiny either, I'll just tell about recent events."
He came back a little later with some news -- they were scheduled to meet with the Commander in Chief of Ree's military that evening. That left time for him to take them to a mall for somme *real* shopping. Digital watches! CB-radios! Lightweight camping equipment! Properly prepared alchemical ingredients lovingly mislabelled from the new age store!
The meeting was pretty grim -- Ree was losing the war, although Midas and Morpheus sort of kind of fighting on their side had kept them from losing already. Unfortunately, Midas was licking its wounds (they lost several lords and most of their fleet in the battle at Jaxom) and Morpheus, in addition to not being officially allied, didn't have any sort of real military and may have already been conquered by the Ythonian forces. (They were certain it was still *there* because they could access their bank accounts, at least.)
So their only hope was for someone to convince Morpheus to participate (or lend funding for Ree to participate) in the upcoming Drakivolki mercenary auction, which was still going to happen since Jaxom had been saved. If they could hire away the drakivolki forces (or at least convince them to stay neutral, eg if the Nightmares hired them as a defensive fleet for Morpheus) then the war would be winnable. Since the party had 'contacts' on Morpheus, and a small ship that they were pretty sure they could make really fast by adding more vanes, the CIC wanted them to go.
It wasn't a hard mission to agree to, since they were heading that way anyway, to try to reconnect with the Brushfire, or at least find out if it had survived the battle after their teleportation.
But they needed convincing evidence, since the nightmares were still uncertain about which side was telling the truth. Ree was happy to provide reams of supporting documentation, a large box full of videotapes (with a camera to demonstrate how they were made), and a young, innocent child who'd had firsthand experience with the war that the nightmares could read the truth from and hopefully believe.
After a large dinner on the government's dime, they went to bed in a posh hotel, and woke up in the middle of the night -- the building was on fire!
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