Traveller: Sinharaja Sector (in-character thread)

Dumarest

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"Welcome to Sinharaja Sector! From the orange skies of Saffron to the golden sands of Rajasthan, from the azure seas of Serendib to the warm tropical climate of Xenochrophis, there's something for everyone in Sinharaja Sector!"
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So reads the travel brochure angrily discarded by one of your fellow travellers aboard the Princess Priyanka, a long-haul cargo freighter hastily converted for passenger transport with no eye toward creature comforts.
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After the stalemate, after the ceasefire, none of the belligerents had much desire for large numbers of combat veterans--seasoned, ready warriors, walking wounded or otherwise--to be dropped at the very doorstep of civilization to remind them of the barbarism of modern warfare and the limitations of modern medicine. Thousands upon thousands of restless men, cool under fire and accustomed to violence, presented a threat to the solace of the status quo and a burden on the conscience of their leaders. Better to unload the discharged servicemen on any number of backwater worlds on the fringes, where, if they stirred up any trouble, it would be someone else's problem requiring someone else's solutions.

Even though some of you may have fought for different reasons in the War of Secession, you find you have more common cause with your fellow veterans than you do with your own distant governments that you had sworn to uphold and defend. Being dumped at a starport on Xenochrophis in Sinharaja Sector (where?!) rather than returned to your homeworld is just the latest in a series of broken promises, nullified agreements, and rescinded guarantees you've suffered at the hands of ignoble civilian politicians. They called it pragmatism. Some called it dishonorable. Either way, here you are aboard a chartered free trader with dozens of men and women like yourself, making a turbulent entry into the atmosphere of a world you know only by its name: Xenochrophis.
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From the viewport, all you can see is a lush and verdant jungle valley as the freighter descends and you approach the only city of any size on the entire planet, imaginatively named Tropicana by its founders.
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At least you got to keep your retirement benefits and pensions. Apparently they couldn't find a legal--or at least popular--way to weasel out of that! And what a war: no actual treaties signed, merely a cessation of hostilities with hard feelings on all sides despite the fact that it was tantamount to impossible for the Federation to govern, police, protect, or secure a territory where it took years for communiqués, directives, and laws to travel from the Federation Commission to the outer worlds, and where it often transpired that by the time the news reached the far-off colonies it purported to effect, orders had been countermanded, statutes had been rescinded, and decisions had been overturned on appeal, resulting in galactic confusion and borderline chaos.

As the Princess Priyanka makes its final approach to Sivananda Saraswati Memorial Starport, you can see the sprawling city on the piedmont overlooking the enormous jungle valley. After a rough landing on the pockmarked tarmacadam, the large cargo ramp opens and lowers to the ground for disembarkation. Customs officials wait in the scanty shade provided by canvas shelters. A number of heavily armed guards seem ill at ease. Beyond both groups, you can see the electrified riot fence that secures the perimeter of the landing field and separates it from Lowtown. You know from experience that nearly every world has its own Lowtown at the edge of its starport, the rundown section of the city where poverty is entrenched and everyone is on the make or on the mend. Just feet from the exterior of the electric fence a large number of people loiter near their squalid pup tents with mosquito netting, their communal vegetable garden planted on disused city land, and their portable oil stoves where putrescent meat burns and noxious stews boil; all appear to be waiting to panhandle and beg charity from new arrivals to Tropicana. Too poor to buy passage on a departing starship, they exist in a civilian no man's land.
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Even from here, you can see Lowtown: the hostels and fleabag hotels, the dive bars that have the nerve to style themselves taverns, the cardrooms that have the gall to call themselves casinos, the pawn shops, the whorehouses, the employment agencies that offer little more than a subsistence wage to people who amount to little more than slaves. Beyond and uphill from Lowtown is obviously where the more affluent live and work and look down their noses at Lowtown: the shiny new high-rise apartments and office buildings speak to the inequities of life in Tropicana.
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Lines form in the sweltering heat before each of the customs officials, who wait for you to present your identification and state your business on Xenochrophis. Blood-sucking insects the size of hummingbirds flit and buzz about you, landing on whatever exposed flesh they can find, seeking out a meal.
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You overhear a customs official laugh after she mentions something about disease carriers, but you're not sure if she is referring to the insects or the unfortunates living outside the perimeter fence.
 
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Séadna

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Nils casts his eye out to the valley as he steps down off the ramp holding one hand up to block the sunlight, adjusting the strap of his toolkit with the other and took in a lungful of air.

It looked like a nasty place and some might call the odor a bit foul, but any amount of variety and colour was welcome at this point. Days confined to a rust bucket with little to do except walk to the common room for freeze dried rations and back to his confined quarters, with a dull shade of grey shared between both, would make even one used to the confined life of a starship grow dull in the head.

He had spotted his old squad commander Volodimir on the Princess. Impressive man with a revolver. He remembered the ship they'd boarded by drilling into its hull from a microjump. Usually opposing forces are spaced by the resulting vacuum. This time though they had prepared and already depressurised the ship, three guys were waiting for Nils and his squad on a gangway overlooking the cargo hold. Volodimir had charged ahead, downing them with pinpoint accuracy before repressurising the bay for Nils and the rest of the grunts. He smiled remembering it, he hadn't seen much action in the last stages of the war, or for most of the war in fact. There were often months between missions.

Eager to explore, especially the food, he walked forward towards customs. The shotgun over his back gives an added sense of security, but he knows he mightn't get to keep it. He approaches the customs officers.

"I'm declaring a class-B standard shotgun" he says wondering if he should have gotten a Xenochrophian phrasebook back in the last port or if there even was such a tongue.
 

Stan

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As he lowered the ramp on the ship and watched the passengers exit, Dave Shekter looked out and sighed. This was his life now.

Dave had always dreamed of having his own ship and piloting it to wherever he wanted to go. That dream had never come true. Not particularly keen on getting shot, Dave had opted for the civilian route off world, joining a major shipping and passenger company. Unfortunately, as is much of life, ability is secondary to who you know. Dave hadn't gone to the right schools and his family didn't move in the right circles. He got a commission but promotions came slowly. Instead of the pilot training he wanted, the made him learn how to do EVAs to see what crap was stuck to the hull. The closest he came to piloting was driving ground vehicles in ports on supply runs.

Realizing that his dream was never going to come true, Dave decided to stick around for a few more years until he got a pension, then cutting out. When he put in his notice, the company gave him one last screw job. They had scored a sweet government contract. They were paid high passage prices to haul a bunch of soldiers out to nowhere. The company saved money by cramming them onto a ship that they were about to sell for scrap - the soldiers wouldn't be able to complain. The skeleton crew was made up of employees like Dave about to retire, They would serve their final days overseeing the scrap sale. It was a one way trip for everyone involved, with his tenure putting him in exile. The company would not have to pay for bringing anyone back. If Dave quit before the trip he would have lost his pension.

It wasn't all bad, He commiserated with the soldiers. Passengers and crew were all being gotten rid of. Dave thought he could put something together with a few of them. The had the muscle and he knew his way around starports. Once the ship was empty he would be able to hit reset on his life.

Dave listens in to the customs proceedings. If the law wouldn't allow large weapons, he'd volunteer to keep them on the ship. After customs went back to their holes, he'd get them back to their owners. Small smuggling jobs on the side were what kept Dave from dying of boredom runs to boring planets.
 
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AsenRG

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"A charming place", Volodimir Aso-Drumev mused, before approaching the customs. "Now...roll-call, guys, before we even settle the formalities! In such a charming place, we should stick together, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by the local curiosities, I say. Who's with me?"
 

Voros

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Eloise steps off the ramp, stone faced and wary. She looks blankly past Lowtown, the same kind of place she had become a Scout to escape from, towards the steaming and alien jungle.

She became a pilot to explore and map the more distant planets, always attempting to stay one step ahead of the advancing wars and restrictive civilized worlds she had no taste for. More comfortable with rundown, lightly populated and chaotic rimworlds, she dropped out of legit employment and developed a taste for gambling and psychotronic drugs that connected her with shady characters on both sides of the law. She soon found herself mixed up in smuggling and other semi-legal pursuits.

Every new planet was an opportunity to either start fresh or return to already old habits. Having come here to get away from those she knew she realizes she still had best find some new partners both for protection and profit. She notices three military looking types milling about not too far from the ramp and landing area.

She watches from a distance, considering her options, which may become few all too soon as customs officials gaze bored and suspicious from their canvas tents.
 

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Volodimir looked at Eloise, and nodded briefly. An invitation? Recognition?
Who knew?
 

Dumarest

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As you wait to be processed and rubber-stamped for entry, a high-ranking customs official directs new arrivals to form two separate queues. Anyone unable to provide a credit stick genetically keyed to his identity and showing an account of 8,000 credits (the price of a Middle Passage) or more is shunted to the longest line where a sign, to say nothing of the automatic rifles of the watchful guards, sternly informs them that they are only permitted through the gates to Lowtown; anyone with an account with sufficient funds can choose to visit Lowtown or be directed to the underground "Cannonball" high-speed rail system that zips like its namesake directly from Sivananda Saraswati Memorial Starport to Tropicana's city center, thereby entirely bypassing the unsavory and insalubrious sights, sounds, and scents of Lowtown.

Meanwhile the cargo bay doors of the Princess Priyanka open and the handlers begin to unload their contents: what few dry goods and exotic trinkets the trader captain could stow for potential profit, as well as livestock traveling Low Passage. As the livestock are being revived from their cryogenic slumber, it's no large matter whether they make the odds and survive the 15% mortality rate of Low Passage; whatever doesn't live can be sold as meat and insurance will make up any financial losses for the buyers and sellers. More disturbing are the casket-like containers bearing human cargo: poor fools too desperate to get from one world to another, individuals who struggled, scrimped, and saved to scrounge together only 1,000 credits and the hope that they would not counted among the 15%. Unfortunately such souls were usually malnourished or in poor health as a factor of their circumstances, which did nothing to improve their odds of survival. You see a few cargo handlers giving each other the thumbs-down signal to indicate which passengers didn't live to see Xenochrophis. The handlers waste no time turning off the cryogenic units whose occupants' final destination will likely be a potter's field.
 

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Dave shows that he still has enough credit to count as acceptable but waits to see if those he'd wanted to set something up with were going to be able to get through before heading for the Cannonball.
 

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"Nils?", Volodimir called, remembering the name of his pal. They didn't associate much, since in the Marines being familiar with the higher-ups was...frowned upon.
But he remembered his name and face. As a back-up, he didn't back-up...and that was going to matter here, Volodimir could just smell it.
"Have you got the funds? Or do you have an urgent need to visit Lowtown?"
He also looked at the woman again. There was something about her, but he wasn't sure whether he remembered her, or the look in her eyes.
War had produced many women with such a look, he mused. Maybe they had met after all?
Maybe he needed to ask her. As long as she didn't take the attention the wrong way.
 

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Nils grimaces at the poor unfortunates who didn't make it out of low berth and hopes none have a friend they travelled with, who now must face the news of their demise.

He turns to see Volodimir calling him and walks up briskly enough toward him.

"Sir, hello..." he thinks quietly about make the 'not Sir anymore' joke, but decides it'll probably go down badly and besides he respects the guy, 'Sir' seems more natural.

"...no I'm in decent shape credit-wise, I can make it to the Cannonball. No need to visit Lowtown, a desire maybe, but best to get set up in the safer part of the city and then go exploring I think"

He looks in the direction Volodimir is to see the woman watching them.

"Hey!" he waves.
 
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Bunch

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Trip gathers his stuff and walks down the ramp into the throngs of exiting passengers. Unlike so many of the passengers he's happy to be here. Apparently winning too much from your superiors is not a good way to get a promotion. At least he got to keep the credits and didn't get sent onto some frontier planet with a shooting war going on. For a fellow with his education and experience a job should be easy enough to find. Besides you're supposed to see the universe when you're young. Plenty of time to be settled down on some core planet with 2.75 kids later.

The long period of inactivity suited him just as well. Even before joining the service Trip had found an online gaming community that supported play by post and patient patrons. Almost like the local pub. A true godsend in a universe filled with impatient or hot headed players that filled so many other online communities. He had his own fantasy rpg he ran for the world's most patient player. A few concurrent games of Ogre a relic from the pre spaceflight era and few of the latest 5x games.
It made the long periods of boredom tolerable.

Looking around at the menagerie of people milling about and heading out he spots a group that includes a lady. "One lady in a group is generally enough to discourage the worst behavior in men." He says to himself and head's over to introduce himself.

"Howdy folks! Captain Trip Green formerly of 35th Infantry Division. What's the plan of attack?"
 

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Nils grimaces at the poor unfortunates who didn't make it out of low berth and hopes none have a friend they travelled with, who now must face the news of their demise.

He turns to see Volodimir calling him and walks up briskly enough toward him.

"Sir, hello..." he thinks quietly about make the 'not Sir anymore' joke, but decides it'll probably go down badly and besides he respects the guy, 'Sir' seems more natural.

"...no I'm in decent shape credit-wise, I can make it to the Cannonball. No need to visit Lowtown, a desire maybe, but best to get set up in the safer part of the city and then go exploring I think"

He looks in the direction Volodimir is to see the woman watching them.

"Hey!" he waves.
"Good", Volodimir nodded. "Now...do you see any friends? People you would trust away from regulations? Call them over here! It's better to stay together for a while."
Trip gathers his stuff and walks down the ramp into the throngs of exiting passengers. Unlike so many of the passengers he's happy to be here. Apparently winning too much from your superiors is not a good way to get a promotion. At least he got to keep the credits and didn't get sent onto some frontier planet with a shooting war going on. For a fellow with his education and experience a job should be easy enough to find. Besides you're supposed to see the universe when you're young. Plenty of time to be settled down on some core planet with 2.75 kids later.

The long period of inactivity suited him just as well. Even before joining the service Trip had found an online gaming community that supported play by post and patient patrons. Almost like the local pub. A true godsend in a universe filled with impatient or hot headed players that filled so many other online communities. He had his own fantasy rpg he ran for the world's most patient player. A few concurrent games of Ogre a relic from the pre spaceflight era and few of the latest 5x games.
It made the long periods of boredom tolerable.

Looking around at the menagerie of people milling about and heading out he spots a group that includes a lady. "One lady in a group is generally enough to discourage the worst behavior in men." He says to himself and head's over to introduce himself.

"Howdy folks! Captain Trip Green formerly of 35th Infantry Division. What's the plan of attack?"
"Nice to see you, too, Captain Green. Marine Force Comdr Volodimir Aso-Drumev here. The plan, in my book, is to have a roll-call and set up a defensive perimeter before we start gathering intelligence. Would you like to help us carrying that plan out?"
 

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Having no interest in entering Lowtown I approach the ex-soliders and say ‘ Hello Gentlemen, would you care to join me in a game of cards over a drink?’ I’m willing to hand over my Laser Carbine to customs for safekeeping but have carefully hidden my dagger in case I end up needing it.
 

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Dave walks over to the marines and their companions. "Does anyone need a bit of a loan to stay out of the slums? We need to stick together so The Man doesn't screw us again."
 

Dumarest

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Having no interest in entering Lowtown I approach the ex-soliders and say ‘ Hello Gentlemen, would you care to join me in a game of cards over a drink?’ I’m willing to hand over my Laser Carbine to customs for safekeeping but have carefully hidden my dagger in case I end up needing it.
An officious customs agent raises an eyebrow quizzically as she relieves Eloise of her laser carbine and hands over a receipt that indicates the weapon can be retrieved at the security office at Sivananda Saraswati Memorial Starport between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, any day of the week, but only when a valid passage on a departing starship is shown or a valid starship crewmember ID is scanned. "Nice piece of hardware, sister," she says with a sardonic smile. "Use it for target practice?"
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Voros

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“I’m a guide for Big Game Hunters on other worlds,” I say. “If you know anyone in town who may be interested, and has the credits, let me know. There could be a little something in it for you.”
 

Dumarest

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“I’m a guide for Big Game Hunters on other worlds,” I say. “If you know anyone in town who may be interested, and has the credits, let me know. There could be a little something in it for you.”
"You should visit the Grand Tropicana Palace Hotel. A half-dozen idiotic noblemen from Serendib are eager to get themselves killed in our jungle acquiring impressive specimens to mount at their hunting lodge. They've brought back nothing they can brag about. I hear they want a fanged ape and a nāga for their taxidermist. Now what's in it for me?"
 
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Bunch

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Trip sees the confiscation and return requirements for Eloise's weapon he asks the others 'Should we perhaps keep our gear a while and explore lowtown' and in a lower voice 'and possibly options to keep our equipment and still enter the city'
 

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"I can also provide a loan, should anyone need it", Volodimir states, adding to Dave's words. "0% interest, but short-term only. I agree with you - once doesn't count, but let's avoid being screwed again!"

Then he turns towards Trip.
"I think one of us has misunderstood the local guys in uniform...but I'm pretty sure that we have to declare the equipment regardless of whether we're going to Lowtown or not. Either way, I would advise against that: it's never a good idea to attract the attention of the local law enforcement that early after arrival on the planet. In fact, I think we should show cooperation".
He never says anything about cooperating later.
 

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Trip smiles "Fair enough. I'm not going there alone that's for sure so if everyone is heading downtown I'm going too"
 

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You're all scanned with handheld weapon detectors but the only item prohibited outside the starport perimeter is Eloise's laser carbine, which has been duly checked and confiscated by security. She can retrieve it by showing proof of departure either as a passenger or crewmember on a starship leaving Xenochrophis. Outside of strictly military-grade weapons, the local laws are laissez-faire with regard to firearms and blades. You've noticed that starport security is heavily armed with automatic weapons and all indications are that other planetary security forces are equally well-armed.
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Voros

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"You should visit the Grand Tropicana Palace Hotel. A half-dozen idiotic noblemen from Serendib are eager to get themselves killed in our jungle acquiring impressive specimens to mount at their hunting lodge. They've brought back nothing they can brag about. I hear they want a fanged ape and a nāga for their taxidermist. Now what's in it for me?"
“If I get a deal you’ll get your cut, no worries. See you soon.”

Turning to the others. “Well fellas shall we find a place to crash and sleep off the long haul and then head to the Grand Tropicana for some drinks?”
 

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Dave nods in agreement. "Works for me. Once in town, I'll connect to their public system and see if I download local maps. If I'm lucky, I can find some hunting tips on where to go so we sound like we know what we're doing. Even if we don't do this long term, we'll make contact with people who have money to throw around."

Dave looks at the people he's sort of known for a couple of weeks. "Um, please tell me that one of you has done actual hunting. I'm not an especially good shot. I can get us a vehicle and handle logistics but starport bars are about the only wildlife I know."
 

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Trip pipes up "Only hunted humans but fairly handy with a rifle."
 

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"I have done some guidework for Big Game but really that was just a bluff so we know where the wealthy are in this jungle pit," I say. "What we do from there depends on what you fine gentlemen would like: we can hunt or seek out employment in more enriching if less legal pursuits."
 

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Dave adds, "I'm not thrilled being a big game hunt company but maybe we should actually do one hunt to establish a cover for driving around with weapons. Unless someone has other ideas."

Dave looks around to make sure no one is around before adding. "The real money is in ships. Those things are like hovering piles of gold. But we need to be careful on choosing who needs to have a ship liberated and we'd have to know where to go afterwards. That is, if you are up that level of risk."
 

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"I've done hunting as a kid", Volodimir offers. "Birds and small game, mostly. And I wasn't the best shot, but I can tell you something: a trained observer, or one who knows the local flora and fauna, is worth three snipers that can't spot a target. Ships, though? That has some opportunities. At the minimum, those ships would need security detail...and we've got experience."
 
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Séadna

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Nils looks toward the vast jungle and imagines what massive beasts it might provide a home to and then turns to look at the starships on the tarmacadam with the heavily armed starport security about them. Nils knew how to take a ship, where to shoot, what doors locks to fry, pretty much all he had done for the last few years was board and secure ships, but that was with a team behind him on equally matched targets. Hunting with some rich folk seemed easier, especially given the ex-scouts experience. Still if they had a ship...might be a good idea if there was a remotely safe way to do it.

"Grand Tropicana once we get settled up sounds great"

He leans into Dave as he walks toward the Cannonball.

"We might have a conversation regarding shipping passage when we get to the Tropicana"
 

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[It sounds like everyone wants to take the Cannonball to the city center; if I'm wrong we can backtrack but nobody said otherwise in the out-of-character thread so...]

You're guided by a conductor to a sleek and shiny monorail train, which he proudly informs you is fully automated and makes no stops between Sivananda Saraswati Memorial Starport and Tropicana City Center. The sliding doors whisk open with a pneumatic rush and as you step inside you can see that there is no operator. The control car is separated from passenger seating by a small maintenance hatch. The passenger section of the train has small circular tinted windows on either side, resembling portholes on a sea vessel, with bench seats divided by a narrow aisle. Each bench seat is comfortably cushioned and numbered, with a correspondingly numbered overhead bin for luggage. There are leather-strap handholds dangling from the roof so excess passengers can stand in the narrow aisle. Fortunately the Cannonball is not overly crowded today as a large percentage of your erstwhile shipmates are making their way through the starport gate to Lowtown, either by choice or by fiscal necessity. The passenger section is only half-full as you select your seats and the doors hiss closed behind you. The remarkably quiet train vibrates gently beneath the floorboard as the power revs, then with a sudden jolt it zips forward at a breakneck pace, down into an opening leading underground and beneath the electrified fence and under the tents and shacks and hodgepodge of buildings that make up Lowtown. A train traveling the opposite direction on a parallel rail rushes breathtakingly close as it passes your own conveyance in the dark tunnel, the trains' respective berths having been calculated to within inches. You'd hate to see what could happen if a train derailed at such a speed. Suddenly the train climbs back into daylight.

An automated voice, tinny yet programmed to sound mildly feminine, announces in an altogether mechanical cadence, "Arrival at Tropicana City Center. On time. Local time is now 12:05 p.m. Next service at 12:35 p.m. Local temperature is 30° Celsius. Local weather is sunny. Arrival at Tropicana City Center. On time. Local time is now--" as the sliding doors open of their own volition to disgorge the Cannonball's passengers. A conductor checks to make sure all passengers deboard, and then a sweeper enters the train to collect any refuse or personal property left behind. An electronic sign announces the next Cannonball to the starport leaves at 12:35 p.m., or 27 minutes from now.
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Tropicana City Center is a pedestrian-friendly plaza surrounded by tall office and apartment towers, the ground levels of each occupied by businesses of all sorts: pizza parlors, pharmacies, stationers, air/raft parts stores, florists, pubs, media parlors, bathhouses, you name it. A broad boulevard busy with ground cars rides perpendicular to the plaza, ending at metal stanchions. Parked along the edge of the plaza are taxicabs, some automated but others the old-fashioned human-operated type. It's lunchtime and the midday hustle and bustle of people on their way to work or lunch or home or a lunch-hour rendezvous is exaggerated as a result, but everything about the city center stands in stark contrast to the misery and hopelessness of Lowtown. A passel of cloth-armored policemen armed with submachine guns attempts to look casual as they maintain constant surveillance of the area.
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Séadna

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While on the train Nils can't help but admire the precision engineering of the Cannonball line. He's quite happy to see the level of development in the city center once they arrive.

Stepping out into the plaza, he turns to the others.

"Pizza? Drinks?"

He quickly looks for a tourist board or similar to find the Grand Tropicana, the policemen don't look like the type to approach for directions.
 

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"Pizza. And then a real meal", Volodimir answers. "Feed your bodies well, people. We might need to put them to a test in the near future...call it a gut feeling."
He approaches the cops and stops outside of getting in such proximity as to make them nervous.
"I'm sorry, Mr.* Officer - me and some friends just arrived from the Starport. Can you point us to a quiet place where we could have lunch without attracting trouble?"

*Obviously he'd say Ms. or Mrs. instead, depending on obvious personality of the cops.
 

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I pardon myself, "I'll see you boys at the Tropicana tonight for drinks and we can discuss more then."

I hop into a cab and ask the driver to take me to some cheap but clean lodgings. I don't trust these fellows enough to let them know where I sleep yet.
 

Stan

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"Yes! Let's get some food that hasn't been reconstituted."
 

Dumarest

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I hop into a cab and ask the driver to take me to some cheap but clean lodgings. I don't trust these fellows enough to let them know where I sleep yet.
Eloise opens the rear door of a human-operated cab emblazoned with a logo reading GENIE CAB: Your Wish is Our Command and feels a surge of cold from the air-conditioned interior. The passenger compartment is plushly upholstered and clean and the driver, a burly bearded man wearing a turban bound by a fake ruby decorated with an upturned peacock feather, says, "Welcome to Tropicana! Madame, your destination depends entirely upon budgetary considerations; to wit: how much would you like to invest in your accommodations? My cousin Aarav has exquisite lodgings for hire at a mere 10 credits per noctem, whereas my brother-in-law Madhavaditya's establishment is only slightly less comfortable at 5 credits per night. If you desire companionship, however, my niece Maryam can provide both a sanitary suite and a boy--or girl!--in your choice of age, color, and size, for but 15 credits a night. Your wish is my command!"
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Dumarest

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He approaches the cops and stops outside of getting in such proximity as to make them nervous.
"I'm sorry, Mr.* Officer - me and some friends just arrived from the Starport. Can you point us to a quiet place where we could have lunch without attracting trouble?"
A pair of tough-looking policemen look over Volodimir, Dave, and Nils as if taking your measurements and then one grunts to the other and tilts his head down the street to the west. The other officer jerks a thumb that direction as well and just says, "Madame Boccaccio's. That way. Stay outta trouble." Not far down the plaza you see a sign bearing the Boccaccio name. Out front of the pizzeria is a plasboard cutout of a stereotypical Italian chef with a black handlebar moustache throwing pizza dough into the air. A sign in the window certifies that Madame Boccaccio's has been voted "Best Pizza in Tropicana" for five years in a row.
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AsenRG

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"Thank you, Mr. Officer. We'll do our best to stay out of it", Volodimir nodded, then turned to the others.

"Let's see the best pizza in Tropicana. Whatever else one might say about pizza, this one shouldn't be reconstituted...and we can ask the waiter about places to stay".
 

Séadna

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"Thank you officers" Nils then turns to Volodimir. "I'm happy to eat anything real"

As he enters he has a quick look at the menu and tries to find one topped with the meat of native species.

"Sorry Sir, I just landed from offworld in a cramped ship. Do you know of anywhere with spacious rooms, a bit of luxury, but isn't a complete rip off if I can be blunt?" he asks of the nearest waiter before ordering pizza.
 

Dumarest

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"Signores, permit me to advise you to select the Albergo di Petruccio de Migliolo," replies an oily, overly attentive middle-aged waiter. "They will accommodate you as well as cater to your every whim if you tell them Fabrizio sent you. Of course, I wet my beak a little, you know, if you give them my name. I scratch your back and you scratch mine, capisce? As well, if you are new to Xenochrophis, you must not fail to try pterosaur meat with pineapple and black olives." Fabrizio holds out his open palm expectantly while being sure not to look at you or his hand.
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In the midst of his spiel, a tall dark, shapely woman of indeterminate age briskly walks past and slaps the back of his head, shouting, "Eh, Fabrizio, am I paying you to wait tables or to get kickbacks from your friends? Ragazzo stupido!"
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"You're in luck," Fabrizio says with a grimace, "Old Lady Boccaccio is in the ristorante today."
 

Stan

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Dave was on the verge of making a small donation - that's how the galaxy works - when the woman appears. He smiles at her and laughs slightly.

Once they've ordered, Dave will try to connect to their public computer systems. Nothing fishy as Dave doesn't have that kind of skill, just public info on the world, some maps, and tips for hunting and buying stuff.

ooc: I assume they have some sort of wireless system that can be connected to. This also gives IC reasons to know the planet codes.
 

Voros

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Eloise opens the rear door of a human-operated cab emblazoned with a logo reading "GENIE CAB: Your Wish is Our Command" and feels a surge of cold from the air-conditioned interior. The passenger compartment is plushly upholstered and clean and the driver, a burly bearded man wearing a turban bound together by a fake ruby decorated with an upturned peacock feather, says, "Welcome to Tropicana! Madame, your destination depends entirely upon budgetary considerations; to wit: how much would you like to invest in your accommodations? My cousin Aarav has exquisite lodgings for hire at a mere 10 credits per noctem, whereas my brother-in-law Madhavaditya's establishment is only slightly less comfortable at 5 credits per night. If you desire companionship, however, my niece Maryam can provide both a sanitary suite and a boy--or girl!--in your choice of age, color, and size, for but 15 credits a night. Your wish is my command!"
10 credits please. Assuming the accomodations are acceptable I shower, rest and head out to the Tropicana Hotel once it is evening to meet the others for drinks.
 
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