The team, with the help of two hired Vargr, made it to the ship after a long, exhausting day of hiking and climbing, and decided to stay the night in the shelter they'd borrowed from the adminstrater of Salabrii, setting it up on the shore of the warm crater lake. The ship had been landed on the island, about 100m out from them, and the next morning they swam across, bringing the buoyant components cases across zipped inside the (mostly) waterproof tent with the rest of their belongings.
The ship was a mess, but mostly intact. So much of the equipment from inside it had been inexplicably strewn about the island, and what was left of a heap of food packs was torn to shreds by the canine left behind – clearly domesticated, as evidenced by its collar, and also clearly starving. Hal made nice with it while the others started to work on repairing the ship, which still had enough fuel to make some atmospheric flight.
Later that day they set the seismic charges, left onboard, to complete the survey of the volcano that the other crew had failed to do, and during the tests the mountain began to rumble, then shake, then erupt. Certainly the charges hadn't done that…certainly. Regardless, in short order the mountain was beginning to smoke and spew ash, then lava, which computer models showed would soon engulf the nearby hamlet of Barvinn. The crew got in contact with the local government, which began evacuation operations, in which the crew and ship played an active and vital role.
The small town was devoured by molten rock but with no loss of life, after a few rescue flights by the Highndry.
After the day's excitement, the crew was treated to a heroes' welcome at Walston, the capitol, provided with a full tank of refined fuel on the house, full provisions for 12 weeks (the standard for a Scout/Courier), a few days of appreciation, and finally as swanky a dinner as humble Walston could muster. The locals assured the men that they'd always be welcome on the world.
Four weeks later, upon arrival at the Scout waystation at Flammarion, the ship was repaired and refitted to standard, and while waiting for that maintenance to be completed Hal received a message, by X-Boat, from and old Army friend, Shara Drake, now living on her homeworld of Tarsus. The short text-only message was as follows:
"Hal – Sorry to come at you from the black; hope all is well. Weather's right for another patrol, although the rubber's are a little thin. Working with my family to get things back to standard; plenty of time until a flag visit, though. See you around sometime. – Shara"