The belters’ base is far from a pleasant place to be. All of the belters are male and the place is a bit of a shambles; filthy and heavy with the stench of testosterone and stale sweat. There’s no fresh food in the place – only vitamin mulch which is barely palatable. The base was struggling to cope with 50 people inside it, so it is really struggles to cope with more than 70.
Once the initial shock of their narrow escape with death has subsided, tempers start to fray. Granzh is moaning constantly, continually giving Andrea a hard time, demanding to know what McClellan Factors is going to do to compensate them for the hardship and ‘mental trauma’ that they have put upon him and his family.
Medic Hargz, Will and the belters’ own medic are constantly rushed off their feet looking after all of the injured, trying to ration out the limited amount of medications and bandages that the belters have available, as the Sick Bay was not really equipped to take care of this amount of injured for any length of time.
May and Renee are getting hit upon constantly by the belters, most of whom haven’t seen a woman for several months. As the day wears on, the belters are getting more and more pushy and desperate in their attempts to get the girls into their beds and the air in the base gets more and more tense.
Andrea is trying to calm everyone down as best she can, but the situation is getting more and more trying for her, especially as she is constantly asked to, “Make us a sandwich will you, love.”
The only person who doesn’t seem to mind the situation is Kaspar. A former belter himself, he gets on well with the others and is constantly seen in their company rather than spending time with the other survivors. He can often be seen whispering with them conspiratorially, going silent when any of the crew or passengers enter the room that he is in.
Andrea is on the radio for much of the time that the satellite relay is visible. She tells everyone that the Rescue Ship has turned back as the ship is not towable any more and that, instead, the police have arranged for an A3 Fast Trader to come to collect the passengers, while a Hauler will come to pick up the wreckage of the Duchess Selene. The A3 should arrive in three days, while the Hauler is due in four and a half days.
The information does little to calm everyone down. Everyone is desperate to get away from the stinking, crowded belters’ base as quickly as possible now.