After a good night’s sleep, the party members assemble for breakfast in the Offworlder’s Hotel together with Miranda and The Connoisseur.
It is during breakfast that the party members notice that they are starting to receive stares from the hotel staff who whisper to one another. By the time that they have finished, the notoriously cool attitudes from Noctocolians to offworlders seem to have reached outright frigidity for no obvious reason. They are particularly nervous around Will and attempt to communicate with Grim using a series of growls.
Max sets to work on looking for someone to buy the magnesium while Autumn heads off with Miranda and the Connoisseur to the starport terminal in order to find out when the next ship heading in the direction of Mertactor is departing. They are escorted by Taeva and Jie in case there is any trouble.
With nothing else much to do, Will and Stian stay in the hotel lounge where they check the library data for Flexos on their handcomps to see what they can expect there.
As they are staying there, Will notices with some amusement that the waiters who approach him are now all wearing homemade hats constructed of tinfoil. Despite these precautions, they are still very nervous of being in his presence and scoot away from him as soon as is possible.
Stian, from the comfort of his secure hand comp messages Will:
“Will, now that I’m pretty much a fully fledged crew member of the Princess, is there something you feel you should be sharing with me? The staff here seem uncomfortable with you and Grim is acting stranger than normal, that’s nothing to do with you is it?”
Autumn and the Hokalites return a couple of hours later. The next ship heading in the direction of Mertactor is the Noctocol Conveyor which is heading for Dallia on 241. The party members realize that they are going to be in for a fairly long wait on this less than welcoming planet. The party member set a departure time of an hour after the Noctocol Conveyor so that Autumn can start looking for passengers to Flexos and so Max knows how long he has to sell the magnesium and buy more cargo.
Taeva together with Grim approaches one of the lower paid hotel staff in private and slips him a bung:
“Look. Why are the staff all being terminally obnoxious and wearing stupid hats?”
The waiter looks extremely nervous:
“We know all about you,” he stammers. “Everyone on Noctocol knows all about you. It’s not often that Nocotocol is featured in a documentary. It’s still playing at some of the movie theaters here.”
“It’s your lover that we’re all most nervous about – raping our minds and learning all our innermost secrets.”
“Errm … can you tell him. If he caught me thinking about having sex with a grote, that doesn’t mean that I actually did have sex with a grote. I was just thinking about how bad it would be for someone who had had sex with a grote if they ever encountered a real Zhodani mind-fragger.”
Taeva rolls her eyes:
“That movie is a pile of shit and the only connection with fact is that we fought those Pirates. As you have probably noticed Grim is, in fact, not a Wookie. Nor is Will a psi – he’s a middle aged academic. He is also NOT, nor has he ever been, nor is he likely to be, my Lover. If I ever catch up with the bitch that made that film I’ll cut her fucking liver out. Understand?”
“As Taeva’s betrothed, I’m personally offended with the notion that she’d have anything to do with our tweedy Captain,"adds Grim. "Aside from last new year’s celebration, where she was patently drunk, I’ve never seen her naked with another man.”
“In your dreams Grim”.
The waiter really doesn’t know what to say.
“I thought that maybe you’d had a good shave since the documentary,” he adds. “And I thought that you and the Captain made a nice couple. I was crying at the end of it.”
“If it’s OK with you, I’d still rather keep my hat on though, even if it was just a movie.”
The rest of the day is rather uneventful and somewhat frustrating as the hotel staff seem to be using every excuse to stay away from the party members as much as possible.