Threebottom Fangsnapper is an interplanetary influencer. Who loves big game hunting. So it was a high stakes negotiation to get them to the Royal Dukes of Iapetus Grand Lodge.
I was assigned to Threebottom during their stay, guiding them through a series of highly choreographed events, and reining in their more random impulses as best I could.
“Shouldn’t this be a job for a more experienced… customer service advocate?” I asked. I really didn’t want to give up this opportunity, but I’d had hardly any contact with the extraterrestrial guests.
Apparently not. So, I've learned how to hop out of the way of their long, segmented body when they suddenly shift on a whim.
"Whoops!" I leap up over a leg and on top of one of their sections. Maybe I should just try riding Threebottom.
We're at one of the hunting blinds. Threebottom doesn't like riding Ice Worms so we took a ground vehicle. It rolled out over the weird brown landscape and pulled up next to something like a big mushroom, with windows above and a docking port on the stem.
Threebottom doesn't have a lot of questions, except for things like "Are we there yet?" and "How do my antennae look?"
"You look great," I answer. Having no idea what a nine-eyed, mostly-mandible alien insect face is supposed to look like.
Once we were in the blind, Threebottom took the controls of the big laser harpoon mounted to the top of the mushroom. Then we scanned the screens, and waited.
We didn't have to wait long. Soon enough, one of those blurry outer-space animals appeared on the screen. It was shy, peeking around a boulder, then suddenly jumping out into the open, like it had just been bitten, or shocked with a stick.
"Computer, lock on" Threebottom said in his high-pitched chirp.
The computer zoomed in on the animal. It had four long legs coming out of a hairy rectangular body, a long neck, and a tusked head that looked like... @Nald
. Totally @Nald
's face on top of that long long neck. But with tusks. And he looked freaked out.
"Computer--" continued Threebottom.
"Noooooooooo!" I cried and knocked Threebottom away from the controls.
Three bottom coiled, their dozens of spindly legs splayed out to make themselves look even bigger. And hissed.
Even my Intro to Exo-biology class at Psyhigh was enough to tell me this was trouble.
Working in the marketing department for the Royal Imperial Dukes of Iapetus Grand Lodges Inc. is my dream job. Ok it's more like an internship. But I've been wanting to apply my psychic abilities towards getting a degree in marketing and this is perfect for my list of Psyhigh extracurriculars.
So I get to write advertising copy, which then gets translated into hundreds of different galactic languages and printed on brochures which are distributed to rest stops all over this part of the Milky Way. Stuff about all the multi-species amenities and the room service and the pool.
What I don't get is the part about the hunting, because they claim a huge variety of native animals you can hunt, and have some blurry pictures of them. But Iapetus is, well, a small moon, with no real atmosphere, and an average temperature of around -160 °C. Which doesn't seem like a place that should have such a wide range of interplanetary fauna. But hey I'm just here write the exciting words! Not ask pesky questions. I mean, not if I want to ask for a recommendation when this is over.
The Grand Lodge of the Royal Imperial Dukes of Iapetus is soooo awesome. Visitors arrive via the teleportation pad in the center of the Great Hall, in front of a fireplace so big you could drive a car into it! There are huge vaulted ceilings, and stuffed alien monster heads and skins mounted all over the walls. Which is kind of gross but they did say it was a hunting lodge of some sort.
So we trickled in all day, me and @Nald
and @melanie moo
and the Cave Twins and others. I'm not sure the Cave Twins -- Ook and Mook -- are really going to be cut out for this. They started by climbing the walls to get a better look at the stuffed alien monster heads, and then when the HR person in charge of our orientation appeared in her spiffy orange uniform they wouldn't stop touching her hair. Melanie seems to have a way with them though.
Anyway, transport lag wasn't that bad since they've got the artificial gravity on here in the lodge, but it always takes a little bit to adjust when you're displaced this far. Still, the first couple of days I've been woozy here and there. Orientation is just about done. They told us all about the history of the Grand Lodge of the Royal Imperial Dukes of Iapetus and about the kinds of guests we'll be serving, and what the different kinds of jobs are. We get to pick but ultimately they decide where to put us, based on their weird personality tests, which have some kind of historical connection to the Dukes.
We get our assignments tomorrow. Can't wait!!!!
Hey in the back of the school paper I found an ad for a summer job from one of the Royal Imperial Dukes of Iapetus. Best view of Saturn in the solar system it says.
Sounds like working at a dude ranch or a national park... it says "food service, cleaning stables, subspace folding experimentation..."