David Brock and Chiang Ho go out into the town and find the local bar -- the local drinks are mostly strong spirits. They go on to look for martial arts books in local stores, and on bribing a bookstore owner are directed towards the Order of the Reptilian Black Things that Spit (known in the local language by the acronym TDS). They go to a back room of the one-story building on 2-storey stilts, are knocked unconscious, and wake up in some place open to the sky with some burning vegetable matter waved under their faces while dancers (ritual fighters, perhaps) cavort around them.
Sir Bridgehead is deported to the starport (with his visa permanently revoked) via the Bureau of Personal Identification, the Bureau of Military Secrets, and the Bureau of Deportation. "What is the reason for this?" he asks. "I'm afraid that to find that out you will have to fill out a form from the Bureau of Information, and as a deportable alien you don't have the right to fill in those forms," say the polite gentlemen with the sawed-off shotguns. As he is carted off in a box-like compartment in a car, he keeps ranting about complaints he intends to make with the authorities.
The traders spend virtually the whole day working through the horrendous red tape. They are a bit worried about the others not coming back, so try the administration building but it is closed until morning.
The ships will be loaded at 09:00 tomorrow. After dinner, Chiang Ho gives all his silverware to the Hermes--it seems that the TDS guys don't like these "barbaric weapons."
Chiang Ho and David Brock find the bar, accompanied by the TDS pair. The (only) bar is a fairly rough-looking place, as might be expected in a prospecting base--it serves good cheap drinks and fights are broken up quickly. Their idea of an exotic drink here is a beer and a whisky. Routine, DEX, EDU, Negative SOC to get in unmolested!
From the Hermes, Mich Saginaw and Sir Bridgehead go ashore--Mich to the bar (this looks like just his kind of place!) and Sir Bridgehead looking for "companionship" and a "good time."
Chiang Ho, meanwhile, has politely declined the weak stuff they serve up to visitors and has acquired a bottle of "home brew" that resembles 120 proof dark rum. It looks like the place was built in more prosperous times. The clientele is definitely miner/prospector, with an occasional argument breaking out but rapidly calmed down. Chiang Ho mentions the survey on Ianic, and a man (with a bottle in his hand) approaches him and intimates that he might be interested in dealing for the information. Chiang Ho tells him a few (careful) details. The man says his name is Ivan Putski, and they make an appointment for early the next morning.
On the way out, Chiang Ho and NoName are attacked by someone with a throwing knife, but NoName pushes Chiang Ho out of the way, and by the time Chiang Ho gets there the attacker is dead--Chiang Ho later says NoName did something with one of his hands, and the other chap fell to the floor. They start to leave, but then go back to the bar to collect David Brock and his shadow (Joe), and head back to the Woodstock past the dead body.
Threasis Fostriades has spent the whole time on the ship dealing for goods through the computer.
Mich is still in the bar. At about 15:00, Sir Bridgehead arrives with a lady (Helen Merrick) in tow. He sits down with another customer, William Avon, and buys all three a bottle of the home brew. He then goes over to Mich (who has joined Ivan Putski) and buys everyone another bottle of the "brew." Gerard Delaney, clearly an ex-Navy man, joins them subtly. Sir Bridgehead questions Ivan Putski closely about what he calls the "rebellion" (the Porky's Raid).
Delaney and Avon have been working for a while as "rock movers" on asteroid clearing duty. William Avon had been severely hurt in a gunnery accident (his turret blew up) and wounded out of his home System Navy with a severe injury to his left leg.
After a while everyone reaches the Hermes. Mr. Delaney, Mr. Avon and Miss Helen Merrick (very good as a Steward) join the crew. It turns out that Sir Bridgehead has involuntarily (but with his knowledge!) financed the supplying of a large amount of the Home Brew to both ships.
Delaney has been serving as Captain of the Ethelred, the 3000t Midu Agashaam class destroyer on covert operations in this system. He has left the service, but is under "voluntary instructions" to check anyone weird in this "sensitive" system.
By 15:00 both ships are loaded and ready to go. When they reach orbit, Chiang Ho is hailed by the Tao, an 800t airframe starship with Ivan Putski as Captain--he heads off for Ianic, the Woodstock and Hermes soon jump for Spirelle.
Sir Bridgehead operates on William Avon's old leg injury. It is quite a long operation, and Avon should rest for a couple of days to recover. By the time they come out of jump space it should be OK, but Sir Bridgehead will insist on him using a crutch for a few days after that, especially in any sort of gravity. They will arrange his stateroom to start him off at low G and acclimatize him to full gravity by the time they reach the next planet.
Meanwhile, the TDS guys have set up a fermentation vat (beans, mostly) and a still on the Woodstock, in Engineering and the "attic" storage area. They encourage Chiang Ho and Brock to look at the little books they gave them, and practice a lot on their combat skills--they are starting to learn some of the simple blocking maneuvers.
The Tao arrives at Ianic and starts his mining operation--he lands "heavily," supposedly damaging his landing gear, leaving the lower surface of the hull on the starport surface; from the already open large underside door, the mining operation starts under complete cover from the starport. If he gets away with it, Ivan Putski could be a rich man...
The ships have arrived at about 04:00 and both shut down Engineering for the long stay. The passengers disembark, and Fostriades checks on selling goods and getting new passengers--he says they need to wait a week to sell for a profit.
Chiang Ho, David, Joe, and NoName head for the local starport bar-- maybe they'll look for a beach or mountains or something to do while the engineers check over the ships. Chiang Ho orders fermented goat's milk and gets something remarkably like it. Fostriades and Mich stay on the ship, while everyone else from the Hermes (lead by Helen) join the scoutship's crew at the bar. The place is a bit lacking in character, but modern and quite pleasant. There are some active duty scouts from the base, but there's no-one else at this awfully early time in the morning. They have a few drinks and discuss plans.
After looking at a brochure that describes the delights of Allys Hollow--beauty of the mountain ranges, the quiet tranquillity of the lake, beaches, hotel, all inclusive, 1000Cr per day (not cheap!), airship tours of the mountains, skiing, submersible diving, two days flight away from here by luxury airship (free if staying for 3 days or more) -- they decide to take a three-day vacation (anticipating airship out (dirigible, solar- powered, 80-90 knots speed), skiing, scuba diving, water skiing, submarines, casino), and inform the engineers on the Hermes. They will leave this afternoon on the 17:00 flight, after meeting back at the bar at 16:30.
Sir Bridgehead visits the Medical School at the University by electric taxi (6-year old young lady driver--apparently not bribable), and goes into the 2-storey building (all buildings here are no more than 2- 3 stories). He sees the 25-year-old receptionist, and goes down to see Dr. Philips on the 7th floor below. He seems to have some problems coping with all these young people working--he talks to the 13-14 year-old secretary for a while about the voting age, people's right to determine their own careers whenever they want (allowed to work as soon as they can vote--but each job has certain requirements). He discusses medical matters with Dr. Philips, and tries to pass on some tips and find out about the society here on Spirelle--but communication is somewhat hampered by his views on what he sees as child labor. Sir Bridgehead talks to some students (they think he's stuffy but his medical scanner is neat).
The engineers find some things to work on. They're not sure quite what's wrong yet but they are sure something is. Eventually they manage to bring the inertial compensators and thruster control circuits (overloaded a bit by Delaney's landing) up to full Imperial Navy specs. The job takes 60 hours and cost 3000Cr, plus another 100Cr processing fee for the paperwork.
Back at the bar, Fostriades arrives to call dog breeders, looking for a pet that can help in anti-hijacking and things. David Brock asks Helen what she sees in the old man. "He's real good in bed," she replies, which certainly shuts up any further inquiries. Breakfast is ordered. Fostriades gets sweet black coffee as the closest they can do for Turkish coffee; he finally works out how to use the phone and manages to locate a suitable breeder.
David Brock and Joe go out into the street and take a taxi to the 40-storey shopping mall. It seems that the taxi drivers here are ALL young? The city is a sort of like an idealized Paris, and the local language on Spirelle is a mildly accented Galanglic. They check out the store that sells weapons for the internal (this planet) market (they have shotguns, knives and larger bladed weapons--the definition of shotgun is stretched a little with "target-cutting" bullets) and the export-only store.
In the internal weapons store, anything they sell is legal to carry here. Joe says this shaft with an ugly- shaped sharp thing at the end looks good to him (he says there are civilized ways to use it) -- it's one of those short polearms you could stab with, chop off heads, and catch and twist and break weapons, and parry with, and maybe disembowel a horse or something--it's about 4' long. They buy four of them at 100Cr apiece, to be delivered to the ship (and won't charge tax, which is about 50% of the price--local purchase tax is high).
The export weapons shop is only allowed to deliver at the starport. They have everything up to and including TL8, including heavy weapons, howitzers, stuff like that, all at standard prices.
They then go to buy some clothes and have them delivered too. There is a great variety of fashions, catering for a great range of styles. It is all good quality. They select some outfits from the New Romantic line--several dinner jackets, stuff like that (100Cr).
They then see a movie in one of the 4 or 5 movie theaters (1 per 6 or 7 floors). They select a spy movie, behind the line action, Iron Eagle type stuff--somebody takes his father's starship behind Sword World lines, defeats a plot to overthrow the Empire, etc. Good action sequences and special effects (but 2D only).
Liquor store next--complex local stuff (brandies, scotches, etc.). Once again, there is a great variety. They follow that with the pornography store. There's some interesting stuff here, but Joe for one is not interested--he's beyond that, he says.
Meanwhile, Chiang Ho goes to the Woodstock, works out, then contacts the scout base to arrange a bank deposit to be run down to Weiss in four weeks by J6 courier. The chap he talks to says he hasn't flown a courier in 8 years, and thinks the prospect of going to an Amber Zone sounds fun. He thinks the Hermes landing was pretty neat. Chiang Ho then goes to the mall and does some clothes shopping, bookstores (local fiction, local history books), some (vegetarian!) treats for the dog. He arranges kennel accommodation for the vacation period. He gets some loose-fitting robe-type formal clothes--good cloth (50Cr for the outfit).
Fostriades buys a pair of dogs--two young adult Italian Greyhounds, one red fawn male, the other blue female. He buys some food here, but the dogs are accustomed to a variety of food types. They will be delivered by the breeder tomorrow, but he takes back crates and stuff to get the place organized.
Everyone meets back at the bar at about 16:00 before leaving for Allys Hollow. They take a taxi to the airship port--the airship has a solar array on the top, with back-up batteries to take it over the clouds. It's a spectacular flight over a brown wasteland desert-- they pass over a couple of cites on the way, but there are no roads between them because they use airships as transport to save the environment, and after all what would need such a hurry (they have no fast aircraft here).
The vacation group reaches Allys Hollow in early evening after passing through the spectacular Janakra Pass, which cuts through a 5km mountain range. The lake at Allys Hollow itself is below sea level.
Various money is won/lost in the casino that night. Sir Bridgehead and Helen go for a walk on the beach before spending the rest of the evening in the casino.