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The Regency Campaign (257-1123)

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257-1123 : Nakege / Jewell / Spinward Marches

    Nightshade arrives at noon in stealth mode, the land of Kalida Siena, Marchioness of Nakege.  It has been five and a half days since they left Boughene.
    Edward "Shark" Teeth has been working on teaching medical to Kalida, and practicing his pistol.  In return, Kalida has been instructing Shark in Tactics.
    Lucas Fuentes has been catching up on the logs.  Lucas finds a number of works by this person called Helia Sarina, who describes short jumps.  She calls them Quilton Jumps, because they bypass the Quilton Limitations.  Mich Saginaw has finished off the revisions to Zen and the Art of Jumpspace, ready for Lucas now that he's gone beyond Jumpspace for Dummies.
    The crew have an energetic discussion about where to go now that they're here.

    In the system right now are one outdated Destroyer and three Destroyer Escorts.  It's decided to avoid them, although Nightshade could easily eliminate them.  Getting all four before they jumped out would be difficult, however.  One of the smaller ships is in orbit around the mainworld, but the rest are elsewhere in the system.

    Shark asks Kalida what the protocol would be for the arrival of a ruler who's never been here.  She really doesn't have any ideas about that, especially considering the blockade.  If it was a visit to a vacation home, she'd send word in advance, but she doesn't even know where her property is, or who is the head of staff.  Shark eventually agrees that just turning up for a surprise visit should be fine.
    Sir Misha Ravanos asks what negative consequences there would be if they seriously damaged a blockading ship.  It's explained to him that they have serious power -- they could step up the blockade here, with their own private navy Vemene, or they could even act politically since they have Aramis in their pocket.  It is not likely to turn out well.  As Misha point, there are better ways to break the blockade.
    Kalida reminds them that ships are allowed to bring things in, but are searched on the way out and everything not nailed down is taken.  The only practical way to get around this is to go through Creative Imports on Mongo.
    Mich suggests building a black tech ship and filling the "fuel tanks" with bourbon, but of course that wouldn't get the bottles out.  Shark says what they really need is a white tech portal.
    Misha asks if, from a practical perspective, there's anything Tukera is interested in anything more than the exported bourbon.
    Kalida says that the original reason for the blockade is that they claim they were supposed to end up with 40% ownership of Traditional Heritage Craftworks, which is strongly denied by the company.  Then also they're making a paper profit on the interest, and making around a gigacredit a year that translates into real profits in Aramis subsector.  Tukera doesn't want the blockade to be settled, because the blockade is what is making their money.
    Shark asks how big the debt is.  Kalida tells him it's around 10 Gcr by now.  Tukera owns the Bank of Mongo, and is extended the debt to the company they're blockading.  Shark shouldn't think of this as a blockade, but as an accounting problem that can't be solved by shooting down the blockading ships.
    Misha asks if having the Marchioness of this system on board would be enough to keep Tukera off this ship.
    Kalida says that it would not.  They would expect to go over the entire ship and remove anything that could possibly be speculated to come from Nakege.
    Mich points out that they have a paper saying "don't bother these people."
    Shark points out that might work on the Imperial Navy, but probably won't work on Vemene.
    As Kalida says, even though they're in stealth, if they contact a significant number of people on the world, then Tukera will know they're here if they're doing their job.
    Mich suggests hiding the ship in a hangar so they can ship materials to it rather than a gcarrier at a time.  There are seas on Nakege, but loading the ship underwater isn't as practical.
    Misha wonders what Tukera would do if she just appeared on the planet without any visible means of getting there.  Land in stealth, and arrive under the name of the Marchioness.
    And, as Mich laughs, forward all their bills to the Bank of Mongo.
    Kalida says that it's not in the interests of the company to announce their presence.  They don't have to hide from the locals, just Tukera.
    Sharks says any Tukera agents would have to be either outsiders or turned clan members, and in either case the head of the family would know who they were.  They can come in as the Marchioness, just to the boss.  They won't be a smuggler to him then.
    Misha says the difference is whether they check into a hotel under the name of the Marchioness, or under his name.
    Kalida says she has a place to stay.  She doesn't know where it is, but she does know it exists.
    Misha says he'll follow her lead in this matter, but he suggests that she does not want to be coming to her planet in secret.  They also don't know who to check in with, and it might be more productive finding out who that is if they check into a hotel under the name of the Marchioness.
    Shark suggests landing out of town in stealth, then coming into town on the gcarrier.  They can land in the woods, and come in flying the flag of the Marchioness.
    Misha says that on this trip they shouldn't do any smuggling at all.
    Kalida says she will be bringing a case of bourbon, although she's not sure how to pay for it.
    Misha laughs that the Bank of Mongo would write her a loan for it.
    Shark says that Chuck will want to hunt, but they'll have to check about permission for that.
    Mich is sure Kalida will have a gamekeeper on her estate.

    It takes an hour to reach the mainworld.  Lucas slips them into orbit so they can scan for important places and where to land.
    For Robert to hook into the local network, they'll have to get very close to a ship to piggyback the tightbeam.  Unless they have city-wide wifi, says Shark, but Robert says that even then they should relay through another ship to avoid being indentified.
    Then they realize that Nakege is tech level 2.  They won't have local wifi.
    Misha is actually sort of a resident expert at this tech level, and Shark says that Chuck's muzzle-loading rifle is about the right level too.  They'd at least probably recognize a gcarrier, however.
    There seems to be only one major population center.  There is one town, with outlying farms around it, perhaps small villages of a few buildings in the farming areas.
    Shark works the sensors, looking for any scatter off the tightbeam communications between the local destroyer escort and the ground.  He quickly determines that there are no such communications going on.  The gcarrier could be picked up on passive scans if there's no other background sources.  The lowest emissions craft they have is the Launch, of course, and the nose of the Wandering Pearl is still on the cargo lift in the way of getting the gcarrier out.
    The two vehicles are actually a similar size.  The catch is that the gcarrier is technically a gravcraft, while the Launch is a ship's boat -- they take different skills to fly them.  Lucas can handle the ship's boat flying, and for that matter so could Chuck if he was actually a full crew member.
    The Launch won't look that remarkable.  Yes, it's a very different shape from Imperial vehicles, but it's certainly plausible that it's just a custom gcarrier.
    Shark has reservations about taking the pilot off the ship, however.  He will stay on board with Lucas, and can also keep an eye on Chuck at the same time.  That way they can respond to the panic button if needed.  Robert is showing no interest in going ashore to communicate with backward monkeys.  Misha, Mich, the Marchioness, and Teri can go ashore.  Between Misha and Teri, no-one will mess with the Marchioness, and Mich will fly the Launch.
    Misha is finally getting used to the idea that a boat flies through the air and a ship flies through space.  Where he comes from, both boats and ships float on the water.

    The next step is be to find a place to land Nightshade.  There are plenty of woods, but not much in the way of clearings.  There is a river running along the side of the town into the woods, as well as a lake.  There's also a class E starport, basically an open field.
    Nakege has a tainted atmosphere, but supposedly not tainted enough to cause problems.  They shouldn't need filter masks or respirators.  Gravity is a third of a g.
    It's early autumn, possibly late summer, in the sense of the star positions which dominate the climate.  It should be quite pleasant.  At the town, noon tomorrow will be pretty much the same as Imperial noon.  It's late afternoon now, perfect to go into town and find somewhere to stay for the night.

    The starport is northeast of the town.  Most of the farming area is to the southwest, with a couple of lakes near the farms.  The town is to the west side of this area, alongside a lake.  The southeast area is woods.

    Lucas brings Nightshade down over the woods 150km from the town.  They can hover over the woods and can bring the Launch out while they aren't observed, then move the ship over the town later.  It's raining, however, so they'll eventually have to bring the ship up over the clouds so they don't make a rain shadow.

    Mich flies the Launch over the starport.  They find that the boat does have a special two-way black tech communications link, to his surprise, but then they haven't really examined the Launch in detail before.  It has no shields, no stealth, and no weapons.
    At the starport, there's a single building with two people sitting on the porch, and a rail link to the city.
    Shark speculates that the train is probably horse-drawn, or possibly steam.  Misha smiles that maybe they cheated and it's more advanced than that.
    The train is at the starport end, and indeed Misha is right.  The engine looks fusion-powered, with the local tech building cargo containers and a couple of passenger carriages on top of the high tech car platforms.
    Mich flies them over the rail link, out of sight of the starport, and follows the path of the rail link into town.

    Shark has provided a rough map of the town for them.  He's been looking for the castle, or at least the biggest building.  The biggest building clusters are to the southwest, perhaps storage, other buildings, not residential at least.
    There is no castle.  There is a market square inside the town to the south.  There looks like there's a large town hall.  He's not used to analyzing towns like this.  A lot of the buildings are wood, but the major ones are stone.  He's expecting people here to be relatively tall with the low gravity, since they've been isolated here for centuries.
    The streets are wide by medieval standards, about 6 meters wide.

    Where the rail link reaches the town, there is a train station.  The most promising place to land is the concrete paved open area that looks like a cargo area.  Mich brings them in there.
    The air indeed is a little rough to the throat, but not too bad.

    A single figure watches them from the station platform.  The Marchioness and her entourage walk up to them through the rain.  They are dressed fairly casual, although for Misha that means his zack, cape, and sword.  Teri would have preferred battledress, but she is wearing her special suit that Shark helped put together; special shades that she keeps on all the time, and a restricted and discreet but useful arsenal that are deliberately not totally concealed.  Kalida is in a raw silk outfit, and looks (and is) unarmed.

    The station official greets them, and says that he wasn't told there was a ship.  He asks in confusion if the train is broken.  If not, how did they come here?  It's not allowed!
    Misha asks him to direct them to a hotel.
    "A what?" the offical says.
    "A place to spend the night."
    "I'm... not sure, I'd have to check.  Are you allowed to?"
    "We are allowed," says Misha firmly.
    "I don't think you are.  I think you might have to go back to your ship and we'll have to sort it out that way."
    "How about we go to a hotel and sort it out there?  An inn?"
    "Oh, an inn!  I don't think you're allowed to.  You're off a ship.  You're not from around here.  OK, but I'll have to check.  If you'd like to wait in the waiting room, I can check.  This way, please."  He directs them towards the waiting room, which is down the platform immediate before the passage leading to the gate to the town.  He opens the door for them.
    Misha leads the group right past it towards the gate.  The official protests, but he ignores him.  They walk up to the gate, but it's locked.  There is a guard asleep on the other side of it.
    The official has followed them and makes protesting noises, looking very disturbed.  They have to wait in the waiting room, he can't let them out.
    Misha simply picks the lock as if it was never locked in the first place, but the bar on the other side of the gate keeps it in place.  It does not open.
    Misha turns to the official, invokes the Marchioness's name, and demands that he opens the gate.
    The man is dumbfounded.  He splutters and stutters, "Who?  What?  You said what?  What?"
    Misha says patiently, "The Marchioness of Nakege."
    "But we're not ready!  When's she coming?"
    "She is standing right here."
    "Oh my gosh.  Um... um... I'm sorry.  Yes, my Lady, I'm sorry, I did not recognize you.  Immediately I shall make preparations!"  He bows and drops to one knee.
    The Marchioness says, "I'm just looking for an inn."
    "That won't do at all!  No, that won't do at all!  If you'd like to come this way to the Royal Waiting Room I shall send for a carriage."  He points at an unlabelled door on the other side from the Waiting Room.  "I shall send for a carriage immediately!"
    The Royal Waiting Room is sufficiently royal.  Heavy carpet, gilt everywhere.  Misha signs subtly for Kalida to go through, and quietly says to Teri that she is not to let the door close.
    The official bows and scrapes as the Marchioness walks by.  "If you will excuse me, my Lady, I must send a message."  He runs off to another room, in the passage between the Waiting Room and the gate.

    Nightshade is by now over the city.  Shark does not see any communications from the ground to space.

    The Marchioness and her entourage wait about ten minutes, and then a large bell rings across the town, followed by a number of other bells from other locations.
    The official, after getting permission from Teri at the door, enters the Royal Waiting Room and bows.  He tells the Marchioness that "The Gravella is on his way, and should be here soon.  Sorry to keep you waiting."
    Kalida explains that Gravella is the name of the family who owns THC.

    More time passes, the ringing of the bells continuing.  Misha is getting impatient, and is ready to go back out to the Launch and fly it into town.  Still, given their point in coming here, he is willing to let it play out.
    Eventually there's a clatter from outside.  The station gate bursts open.  Teri's eyes widen but she doesn't reach for a weapon.  Inside the room, they wait.
    A man stops at the door.  He is wearing an elaborate jerkin embroidered with trees and bottles, a small crown of wood, a cape, and is carrying a staff.  The head of the staff is carved very delicately into a tree shape with branches and even leaves.  Striped purple and yellow hose bulges out from his legs, above bright red shoes that come to a point.  With a big sweep, he bows theatrically and says, "Welcome to your world."
    "Thank you," nods the Marchioness.
    "If you would care to come with me, I would be grateful if you would be a guest at our Hall."
    "That sounds wonderful."
    The Gravella bows and backs out from from the room, avoiding turning his back on her while he exits.

    Outside are two very ornate wooden carriages.  They are being drawn by what is best described as horse sculptures, with wheels at the end of each leg.  They must be high tech, because they are not steam powered or with any other apparent source of power.
    The Gravella gestures the Marchioness to the first carriage, while he turns to the second.
    The carriage is enormous as well as ornate.  It has room for about a dozen people.  Elaborate wooden scrollwork along the side of the carriage proclaims it to be for "Her Ladyship the Marchioness."  The Gravella's carriage is ornate too, but not a patch on Kalida's.
    Misha enters first, with Teri last.  In fact, Teri does not enter the carriage but climbs up beside the driver, scanning the surroundings for threats.  (On Nightshade, Shark nods with approval in between fits of laughter.)
    Once inside, Kalida says, "I didn't really expect anything, but this is really not what I expected."
    Misha agrees.  This is more than he expected too.

    Over the commdot, Shark asks Misha if this is a level of grovelling that doesn't even happen on his homeworld.
    Misha says that this does happen on his homeworld too, but it's not what he expected from the highly civilized Imperium.
    Shark turns to Chuck and asks what he thinks of it.
    The vargr says he finds this very impressive.
    "Much like your home?" asks Shark.
    "Not quite," he says, "But I can see their point.  It has definite good points."

    The townspeople come out to the street to wave as the Marchioness goes by.  They are mostly dressed in fairly simple fabrics, shirt and shorts or full trousers, blouses, skirts, full dresses.  Through the video feed from Teri's glasses, Shark notes the gender roles in dress.  Not all the women wear skirts, and for that matter some men are in skirts too.  There are no weapons in sight.  The escort is not armed either, not even ceremonial weapons.
    Mich is most astonished by the simple fact that no-one has asked for ID.

    They travel through town to the largest building in the residential areas.  It's more a manor house than a castle.  It has a courtyard around it, and the streets are wider around it too.
    The carriages pull up in front.  A flunky runs out and opens the door for the Marchioness, as stairs deploy smoothly from the carriage for her to descend.
    The Gravella walks over from his carriage and addresses the Marchioness.  "Welcome to my Great Hall.  My home is yours."
    The large heavy double doors to the Great Hall open to a tall hallway.  The Gravella leads while not appearing superior.  Several closed doors line the hallway, and at the end another set of heavy wooden doors are swung open to reveal the Hall, which has obviously been prepared for a feast.  A high table awaits.
    The Gravella leads them to the High Table.  A chair higher than the rest is in the center, clearly for the Marchioness.  A 3D Imperial Starburst crowns her chair, which is carved in abstract patterns.  To her right, the Gravella's chair is the second highest, and is carved with tree designs.  He places his staff in brackets carved to hold it.
    Once seated, the Gravella is careful to ensure that the Marchioness is ready for dinner and does not wish to do anything else first.  He enquires politely about the status of her companions, and then calls over a servant to whom he explains that they are, as Kalida described them, the Marchioness's companions.
    The seats at this table all face the lower hall, except for a seat at each end.  Teri is directed to one of the seats on the end, where she has a fine view of everything.  Everyone else is placed at other seats, alternated with what must be local celebrities.
    Misha is much more comfortable with this level culture than anyone else, although he's seen it rather than participated on his homeword.  He notes the similarities and differences, and compares them to situations he's seen on his way here from his homeworld, and fits in well.  Before he takes his seat, he quietly asks the Marchioness if she wants him or Teri nearer her.  Kalida is comfortable with the seating.
    Misha is the other side of the Gravella.  Mich is to Kalida's left, with a local noble between them.
    Those at the high table are dressed like the Gravella only without the fancy embroidery.  Lots of color, flounces, cuffs, and ruffs.
    On the floor level, the people are wearing normal cloths.  More brightly colored than those on the street, but similar designs.  Colorful headbands and hairbands are common.
    There are thirteen at the High Table including Teri, and about sixty on the lower floor.

    On Nightshade Chuck nods with approval at the scene in the video.  Shark asks him if he wants to give Teri etiquette advice over the commdot, but Chuck says no-one will be watching her anyway as she's obviously the guard.  He points out that the seat at the other end of the table is being left deliberately open, showing the Gravella's trust in the Marchioness that he does not need a corresponding guard of his own.  He approves thoroughly.
    Shark passes on Chuck's opinion to the rest of the group.

    The meal is primarily meat and bread, a great variety of each.
    Misha finds the Gravella seems a little awkward, and the person to Misha's right more so, as if intimidated by the situation.
    The room is noisy enough to make private conversation possible.  Misha politely asks the Gravella if this is a special occasion, or a nightly occurence they just happened to stumble upon.
    The Gravella tells him that this is a feast in honor of the Marchioness.  It follows the pattern of feasts that are often held to celebrate various events, but this particular one is for the Marchioness.
    Misha through the conversation carefully tries to determine the power structure.  The Gravella owns the company, Traditional Heritage Craftworks.  THC owns the world.  The Gravella is essentially CEO of the world, which he runs in what is essentially a corporate feudal society and in effect his word is law.  The company owns everything.  People own their houses, but the land on which they are built is owned by THC.  The leadership of the company is hereditary and has been in the Gravella family since it was founded in 735.
    Both Misha and Kalida are very interested in how much the Gravella actually knows about the company, whether he's just a figurehead or knows how it works.  It quickly becomes apparent that he knows the company in great detail: not just the accounting, but the production figures, trends, seasonal considerations, transportation, and so on.  He is clearly well informed and interested, and makes sure everything runs smoothly without micromanaging.
    The Gravella makes it clear he's very willing to engage in conversation with either of his neighbours at the table, but at the same time does not push.
    Over the course of the conversation, the Marchioness makes it very clear that the man to his right is Sir Misha, Imperial noble and Captain of her yacht.  The Gravella smiles and nods at this revelation.  She mentions that at some point during her visit she wants a more business oriented conversation, but not over this meal.
    At that, the Gravella visibly relaxes.  A slight edge of tension evaporates, and he asks pleasantly after Sir Misha's trip as if he'd come from just a few clicks away rather than across star systems.
    The Marchioness apologizes for it having taken so long for her to get here.
    The Gravella says they are simply glad that she is here, so she can see for herself what they do.
    Sir Misha says he regrets that the nature of the situation made this trip a surprise.
    Again, the Gravella responds politely, saying it was a very pleasant surprise, and says that in future perhaps the situation will change.
    The Marchioness says she sincerely hopes so.

    Meanwhile, via Teri's video feed, Shark is doing a lot of work back on board Nightshade.  He's cataloging, people (by face) and seating position; cataloging human physio-type for the planetary populace, and how it might differentiate from the Imperial norm; cataloging security by the natives;
cataloging any obvious medical issues common or visible.  He is also feeding the language to Robert to analyze speech pattern uniqueness for the planet.
    The most surprising thing is that there appears to be no security.  This makes him very suspicious.  As for the local language, it's solid Galanglic but does have some local accents and speech patterns.  He should have enough to pick out any non-locals.

    Conversation at the table has turned to the weather.  It's just beginning autumn now, so the trees should be turning soon.  The Marchioness has arrived in what is probably the most comfortable of the seasons.
    The hunting is very fine here, apparently.  Today's meat was all hunted in the forest, and of course the Marchioness is welcome to hunt in their forests as well as her own.
    She says that some of her crew are interested in hunting, so she will want to arrange it at s ome point.  (The Marchioness of course has never seen her forests.  She doesn't even know where it is.)
    The Gravella says he would be glad to arrange this for her, or of course she has her own staff for her own lands.  He apologizes that they do not have a rail link to her property, so she'd have to use her own transport to get there in any reasonable time.  It would take a couple of weeks otherwise.
    The Marchioness says she imagines there is not much travel between here and there.
    The Gravella nods.  He says they will be glad to build a rail link if she wants, but of course it's a little difficult getting the materials.
    She says that is not necessary.  Her ship's boat will be adequate.
    The meal winds down through the courses, and as dessert arrives, so does the Blockade Bourbon -- on every table, being consumed as a routine matter.  Teri is very careful to enjoy only the aroma.
    Soon people are starting to leave.  The Gravella asks the Marchioness if she would like to stay here -- where she would be a welcome guest! -- or if she wants to move on to her own lands.
    The Marchioness says that she would like to stay here, at least for tonight.
    This clearly pleases the Gravella, who says that their rooms have been prepared.  He asks about luggage, although Sir Misha quickly assures him they can handle that.  Teri and Mich will fetch it, and the Gravella will provide a carriage for them.
    Mich won't be going anywhere, however.  The bourbon has struck home hard, and he's face down on the table.  So once Teri has helped Mich to his room, she'll fetch the luggage herself.  Sir Misha has been studying the Gravella's state of inebriation, and he seems to be only slightly affected.
    The Gravella asks after the Marchioness's plans.  She asks what they do with their evenings usually after an event like this.
    The Gravella says that he personally likes to go and relax by himself and look out over the town.
    The banquet has taken about three hours, and the Marchioness says she would like to retire to her room.
    The Gravella offers to escort her, leaving his wood staff on the chair as he gets up.  The others have their own staff members to escort them.
    Sir Misha is fine as long as his servant is going in the same direction as the Marchioness, which they are.  They are heading up to the third floor of the building.  As they go, he looks around for security -- of which he sees none -- and assesses how secure the building might be.  All the main doors open outwards and have fixtures for bars.  The house itself is built of solid stone, without any real openings on the lowest floor.  There are plenty of balconies and roof areas that provide positions to look down on anyone approaching.  Inside, it could also be blocked off and defended in sections.
    They end up at a single corridor, with Sir Misha's rooms adjacent to the Marchioness's and sharing a door in the heavy wall.  The door is locked and barred on both sides.
    At the far end of the large lounge room are tall windows of Imperial tech glass, leading to a balcony which looks over the town to the lake beyond.  A gate separates the balconies for the Marchioness and Sir Misha, locked on both sides.  The two suites -- mirror images around the shared wall -- also have several bedrooms and dressing rooms, with a kitchen tucked back out of the way.
    The Gravella says the Marchioness can use her own staff if she wishes, or he can provide staff for her.  She accepts his offer.  He says that if she needs anything, she can use the intercom.  The intercom appears to be Imperial tech.
    Once the Gravella leaves, Kalida and Misha both unlock their sides of the connecting door.
    Teri eventually arrives with the luggage, fetched by a cargo wagon driven by a couple of horses.
    Mich has the first suite along the corridor, Misha the next, then Kalida, and then Teri.  There are no doors in the other side of the corridor.  This is the guest wing, and their rooms are on the top floor of the building.
    Misha asks the servant if he knows if there's anyone from the Marchioness's staff here in town.  The servant says that there is not.  He asks Misha if he wishes her staff to be informed of her visit -- they have not done so in case she wanted a surprise visit.  Sir Misha says they do not with them informed at this time, but he would like the coordinates of her estates.

    As evening arrives, Shark scans for signs of life out to 3-400km.   Several hundred kilometers to the west of the town he sees some light and smoke.  He calls down and tells the team that is probably the Marchioness's estates, as it's about the right distance for the travel time the Gravella mentioned.  He asks if they want a flyover now or whether to wait until morning -- morning will be fine.
    The map that has been provided shows this town, Crow, fairly near the equator.  The areas around to the west, starting about 200km west of Crow, are shown as the Marchioness's estates.  Those lands spread around about a quarter of the circumference of the planet, extending north and south for a substantial distance.
    Misha takes the map to Teri so they can both study it, as well as the people on the ship through her sunglasses.  They then both visit the Marchioness so she can see it too.

    Several lodges are marked on the Marchioness's lands -- one of these must be what the Gravella was talking about -- as well as her main estate which is in the center of her lands, just north of the equator.  The forests occupy the eastern section of her property, but soon tail off into what no doubt is native ecosystem.  Plains, savannah, hills, lakes.  Shark says to Chuck that he might be able to find somewhere in that part of the world.

    The kitchen is stocked with breads, cooked meats, various dairy products, butters and cheeses.  The storage looks like a low tech pantry but it's clearly kept cool, although not down to refrigerator levels.  There is running water, beer, and half a dozen bottles of bourbon.  Misha is astonished that there are a couple of dozen megacredits of bourbon in their rooms.

    But everything can wait until morning.  The team settle down for their first night on Nakege.