The mouse girl is Mitzy Murphy, Astrogator, first class. She also has forth dan combative skills. (Probably the smart,level-headed one.)
The equine man is Dutch Bolt, Chief Pilot, weapons officer, first class. He specializes in un-armed combat, Master class. (Someone you'd want at your back in a fight.)
Dark space is the trans-dimentional "contrast" of Dark matter. We used to call Dark matter something else a long time ago.
We called it "ether."
This rat man is Neville Ravencraft. He's the Science Officer/Engineer - an all around egghead. He has the unusual capability of understanding and being able to use any weapon created. A sort of specialized mechopath. If there aren't any weapons available, he'll put one together out of what he can find. (He once cobbled together a directed energy weapon out of a cellphone, a chewing gum wrapper, and some belly button lint. He's better than McGyver. Seriously!)
This is just one of the connecting panels for the story.
All the surfaces surrounding Dutch are control surfaces. All of them, even the "manual" controls are all "virtual" matter.
They are all a part of the anamorphic technology of every surface in the ship. From a computer key to a chair or table, everything is replaceable and interchangable.