"Explain to me," Deets held up a blackened and cracked crystal so Edward and nominal chief engineer could see, "What this means. Please."
Edward didn't want to look pleased at what he'd found while inspecting the envelope. He really didn't. "It means I was right in suggesting our retrieval team go their own way. We''ll be lain up trying to grow a fresh replacement and test it."
"An' if this ship Jack's on isn't goin' where you think it's goin'?"
A shrug from the big man. "Then they meet up with us when we're able and we go with your suggestion of a ship to ship assault. What I'm worried about is where we go after."
Deet's voice was somewhat scornful. "Now don't go borrowin' trouble. That's about three paces ahead of what we need to worry over."
"Later. Right now I want you to tell me why this little thing, that wasn't anywhere near the engines, would've caused such problems." Deets shifted in his seat as he looked up and across his desk. "Well?"
Edward sighed softly as he seemed to do a whole lot of nothing for a minute or two. Then. "Short answer?" Deets nodded and motioned him to continue with more tha na little impatiance. "You know how with a wire based electrical system if you have a short in the line and try forcing power through anyway it can cause a fire right?"
"Imagine this crystal," He tapped the crystal Deets had put on the desk, "is a power line. Only instead of a few hundred volts, like you'd get in an average home... apartment, whatever. That?" He again tapped the crystal against the desk to emphasize what he was talking about. "Millions."
The wheels in Deets's head turned. "So crystal gets power going through it and causes what.. the engines to go up?Anyone near any of the mains getting fried. Probable ship-wide explosion?"
"We'd be a grease stain." Deets started to say something before Ed cut him off. "On Mars." Edwrd spread his hands across the desk and leaned foard. "There's systems we've installed I haven't even done enough testing on to feel safe about bringing online."
Headshake from the big man. "No, but if I can get a replacement crystal grown and tested then make sure bringing the VIR system up we can likely get in and out without them seeing us. Probably. If something doens't fry mid-trip or if they haven't figure otu out some sort of countermeasure... wouldn't put that past them."
Six people rode on. Their target was in sight but well out of reach. They could do nothing but ride and hope they could get close enough.