Things to See, Places to Go (11)

One of the taverns located inside Paltraeth Down’s extrality zone, the Sages’ Stomping Ground has the unique distinction of being both a brawler’s bar and an enhanced-privacy facility. In a traditionally kaeth twist, the proprietor, mor-Tanaz Vivek, defines “privacy” as ignoring anything going on outside the common bar – where weapons are requested to be kept sheathed or holstered, and appropriate waivers can be signed for a longer stay – short of wall-penetrating explosions without prior arrangement. Even official records reflect that this has extended, in the past, to rival mercenary groups staging pitched battles in the more spacious upstairs rooms.

Naturally, furnishings and decor are carefully chosen to be sturdy, cheap, and eminently replaceable, so we cannot recommend the Ground as a place to stay. However, the drink selection is excellent, even for those who like their strong liquor at less than kaeth-strength and scrubbed of radioactivity, and the food is also good if your tastes run to bloody-roast meat with a soupçon of heavy metals.

Before you leave, don’t forget to ask mor-Tanaz for the card of his specialist cleaning service. While expensive, there’s no-one more skilled or experienced at removing any portion of other patrons that may have spilled on you in the course of your visit.

– The Longest Crawl: Dodeciad Worlds, Dodeciad Drinks

Hidden Maintenance Costs

“This year’s work list at Planetary Management: Redirect an estimated dozen hurricanes. Lance a supervolcano. Perform injection lubrication of five fault lines for controlled tectonic stress release. Reinforce the bedrock of a major regional aquifer. And orchestrate a thousand-year river channel shift.”

“Why are you even reading that?”

“Reminding my mother-in-law that while space may be trying to kill us all the time, at least it doesn’t do so by surprise.”

– overheard on Sulavé Station, Istelrith (High Verge)


(Because when talking about the maintenance needed to prevent your space colony from killing people in droves, no-one talks about that needed to stop your planet from doing the same. Status quo bias much.

Speaking of maintenance, incidentally, my 3D printer still needs some, by which I mean replacement. Help a broke author out?)