Despite Max’s reassurances that it will be a ‘piece of piss’ to get the trading done quickly, he soon finds this is rather optimistic. He is still feeling rather unwell from the effects of the narcotics and so is not really up to wandering around the city’s warehouses looking for new stock, trying his luck on the phone instead while Autumn arranges the collection of and payment for the foodstuffs they brought from Overnale.
By noon of the following day, Max throws in the towel. He then picks it up again, wipes his sweaty brow and declares:
“I fackin’ give up. There’s ain’t nuffink on this shithole planet that a Mertactor merchant would give you a bent penny for. You know us Mertactans are the best frickin’ traders in the whole subsector. I ain’t gonna be able to palm no crap off on ‘em like I could a bunch of carrot-crunchin’ yokels like I get on other planets.”
There is no smug retort from Autumn:
“I can’t find any passengers either,” she sighs. “It seems as if very few people get off at Egypt – for obvious reasons – they all book through to Glisten from Overnale. At least we have the Horkalites booked through ourselves.”
“Shall I give them a call to see how soon they can be ready to depart?”
“YES!” is the resounding response from the other party members, anxious to get off this planet as much as the others.
She gives then a call and then reports back.
“They say that they will be able to get back with their purchases by late afternoon. So shall we go for a 19.00 departure slot?”
“Perfect,” says Max. “Just in time for them to start making us dinner.”
Will calls the SPA and gets the slot easily as there is so little activity at the large port and then Max and Autumn start making preparations for departure.
The Horkalites arrive, as promised, around 16.00, bringing with them another 500kg of produce that they managed to find somewhere in the city. Jie helps Max secure the cargo, stopping it from rattling around in the now vast and empty hold.
Major Savory Miranda greets all of the party members like long-lost friends, returning to the staterooms which they occupied on the previous leg of their trip. They seem a little disappointed that there are no new passengers who will be joining them, but head for the kitchens to rustle up dinner for all of the crew members anyway.
The Princess pulls away from its berth just before 19.00 and then, right on time, Will blasts off at the appointed time, heading for jump distance from the large planet, another long journey of 10 hours.
It’s another huge feast that the Horkalites provide and a good time is had by all until the Horkalites call it a night just before midnight. The other crew members head off for their bunks a little later, leaving just Will, Jie and Arvor to manage the bridge until 05.00 the following morning when the Princess successfully slips into hyperspace and they can all get some rest.