Expect To See Dawn
Radiation levels had been negi for hours, but subsided right around launch time. The fleet headed for the launch pad where Eyeball was inducted and Flasher christened a powerful new ship called BirdOfPrey, sporting a new Flasher-(hopefully)-bend-proof fork design.
The fleet headed for the arboretum, but less than 1/4 light years from launch, Waltor took a nasty spill when his front thruster locked up and caved under his massive body. A nearby civilian came to make sure he was OK, and after some resting, the fleet continued. The fleet headed towards the Cental System when they encountered a second setback. BirdOfPrey experienced retro-rocket failure. This caused Flasher to be without any braking power, resulting in a rather nasty spill. Some quick repairs by the crew and a local got the ship back on its feet, but Flasher, experiencing some body damage, decided to head to the fort with Maddog as his guide.
The remaining batallion followed a wormhole along the 590 nm line to the JP System, and met up with LeftyLucy and Cosine. Upon arrival at the Arboretum, the fleet went into stealth mode following the spiral arm through heavy negi g-well with laser-sensors off and the sonic disruptor array brutally muted. While in orbit, the crew experienced minor secondary irradiation from the indigenous flora and some nebular activity. However, this did not deter three pilots from chopping donuts sans spacesuit during the extended shore leave.
NoWay was riding Annihilation in this manner, when he experienced ram failure in the bow...er, annihilation did - and he strategically abandoned ship but still got some injuries worth bragging about. The ship beyond repair was swapped for MadRabbit. This was not the only mechanical in deep subspace. SkyLab suffered from a tacoed thruster, luckily it was temporaily repaired by Waltor's thighs.
Despite the mechanical setbacks, pilots gathered to celebrate SCUL's birthday of 8 earth years. Some pilots spacewalked a fuel run to Fort Asticou and came back with some Earth TANG-analog fortfied to super-premium levels. There were scattered outbreaks of boppin' to chopper groove. And several pilots mysteriously disappeared into deep subspace.
The return voyage was uneventful; TorqueBox took video footage from Scrub and was given a medal of strength for his brutal climb and camera work during the mission.
The sky turned blue during the post-mission debrief.