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   Chapter 22 Soirée (1)

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 10008

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

Daniel came into his apartment again. He carried a large package. The trip to the clothes shop had gone well, the final fitting of the new clothes was swift, and Arvin had also sold him a pair of new shoes.

"Do wear them today, sir, and take them off a few hours before you will be going to the soirée tonight."

Daniel had no idea how much this purchase had set him back financially. He still had not figured out how much he had to spend. As long as nobody complained, he assumed things would be fine.

After hanging up the new suit he stripped and stepped into the small bathroom. Carefully he rubbed his forearm. Very good, he thought, the painter lady knew what she was doing: the colour did not yield. Carefully despite that, he showered. The colour held.

He spent most of the day walking around his apartment in his new shoes, reading a few newspapers he had picked up earlier, and chatting to Tomlin for a few minutes. The hydger surprised him: he was using it many times and there was no indication it needed to be recharged. Hooray for puzzling technology.

As he had not the faintest idea until what time the soirée would go on, he took a nap for a while. After waking up from a disturbing Rhonda-filled dream, he took another shower, as most of the day had already gone by.

Putting on the suit, Daniel wondered what he was going to encounter that evening. The princess of course, he thought with a snort. And the mouse was probably going to be there. "Do not use that word, stupid ass, " he scolded himself. It would be too easy to let that slip out in a conversation. If he had to go through this, he would do it as well as he could.

Daniel looked himself over best he could, using the small mirror in the room. It would have to do. He locked the door, unlocked it, went to fetch the invitation, and then went out to the street.

He opened the hydger and switched it on. It spluttered and crackled at him. "Oh no. Not now." He closed the cover and slapped it. Then it worked. "Percussive maintenance, " Daniel grinned, remembering the expression from a star base mechanic from so long ago.

The carriage came to pick him up. He used his revived box and the vehicle got in motion. As it left the Skarak city limit it suddenly picked up its pace. Daniel had never thought these things could go so fast, and he admitted to himself that the velocity worried him. The carriages did not exactly strike him as being built for speed.

The need for it became clear however, as the trip took some twenty minutes. Clelem's house was located in the Zoroon Community, where the high society of this area lived. The houses that the carriage took him by proved that, and after slowing down upon entering Zoroon city itself, the houses became mansions. Daniel was amazed by the size of the homes.

The carriage stopped and the door swung open. Daniel left the cart and was greeted by two men in red uniforms. They stood near a small platform that was circled by many torches. He h

aid, bowing to him. "I'm afraid that I am not made of the material of heroes."

Daniel grinned. "We are not all the same, sir."

"And that is a good thing, " Warlem shared, only then releasing Daniel's hand. "After all, what good are acts of heroism if there are no poets to recite their achievements?"

"Uhm, I guess you're right, sir, " Daniel said, rather out of his field with that remark. He nodded and faced Gaguran.

"Mr. Zacharias. Good evening. Welcome."

"Good evening, Mr. Slindris." That and a nod completed the round of introductions.

Daniel stepped away and positioned himself near a large plant, out of the crowd. He took his time to get a feel for the people who were there.

"Are you feeling out of place, Mr. Zacharias?"

To his surprise, it was his host who addressed him. "Oh, good evening, Seigner. I am just trying to get in the proper spirit. I am not used to venues like this."

"I understand." Clelem nodded. "Have you been treated well during your stay in the hospital? I worried about you, Mr. Zacharias. It was a fortunate occasion that the medical person from your former location was present to assist. Our Glandrine skin is becoming you."

"The staff of the hospital was wonderful, Seigner Dandra ko Galem, " Daniel said, as he caught Gaguran trailing after Rayko who was disappearing in the crowd. "I hope to be able to reimburse the people who paid for my stay there."

"No need to worry about that, Mr. Zacharias. The Ship Owners Society has provisions for incidents like these, " Clelem said.

Then Warlem, his son, cut in. "Father, the senator has arrived, would you please join us?"

"Excuse me, Mr. Zacharias." The two men walked off to greet a thin guest who wore a remarkable green robe. The man had long, wavy blond hair and a large nose. That was a senator?

Daniel frowned and sipped some more of his wine. Then he slowly walked into the large hall, to satisfy his curiosity. He had to know where the arches of water ended up.

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