MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 35

    The crew followed the escort transport piloted by someone who had absolutely no fear of dismemberment.
    "If this guy doesn't slow down, we'll be part of the landscape." Hiret said, in a loud anxious voice.
    They were dodging small and large chunks of debris at what seemed to be an ever-accelerating rate of insanity.
    "I'm stopping now." cried Hiret.
    The crew came to the proverbial white-knuckle winding stop.
    "Jeesh." said MB looking at the debris wising by the ship.
    "This does not look good." declared Semma.
    "Trent, can you monitor the best way out of this mess?" asked Hiret.
    "There is a lot of useless chatter, but nothing of value." Trent replied.
    "Somebody should do a documentary on this place."  Emerr quipped.
    "Somebody should send this place into the nearest star." Trent added.
    "That sounded like a preference.  Do you actually have a preference, or is that statement related to what you calculate we would like to hear?" quizzed MB.
    "I can not actually feel a preference as you know, but I am developing a system of protocols categorizing unnecessarily hazardous conditions." Trent replied.
    "Next up, Laytae." said Hiret.
    "That is the one with no technology.  It should be refreshing." said Trent.
    "For your edification we will take a look.  Personally, I like hot water and indoor plumbing." Emmer jokingly quipped.
    "You turn indoor plumbing into bio-hazard zones." Semma announced.
    Emmer made a jester with is head implying she was just nit picking.
   A short time later, they passed the space-based monitoring station and were landing at the reception area.
    "For a planet with a brochure touting low tech, there sure seems to be a lot a space worthy vehicle parked buzzing around!" Cree stated.
    "Most beings require rest-bits from their multi tasking lives." said MB.
    They were greeted by a trolley like transport pulled by a large slow moving and smelly animal which make it look like a fire as the breeze whipped its long yellowish hair in all directions. 
    Milling around the gate were dozens of primitive and destitute looking beings with pronounced anxiety in their body language.
    "Are we site seeing, or being fed to the hungry locals?" asked Cree.
    "They do look under nourished." declared Semma.
    "Perhaps these are the Bolts." stated Emerr.
    "To hygienic." MB said.
    Everyone got a laugh out of that.
    "Do we have to walk from here?" asked Emerr.
The driver nodded, and they slowly walked into the crowed of scroungy looking rabble.
    "This is the first time I have actually been among beings in this state of living conditions.  It's much different then seeing them on the link." said Semma.
    "Gauging by the rather expensive transports in the parking area, I would say someone wants these beings in this state." Trent said.
    "Now that's another jump there Trent.  This excursion is really working." said Cree.
    The troop continued through the small ramshackle village fending off the many beggars and merchants hocking animal parts and beads.
    "That looks like an up-scale business like stand." Emerr said, looking toward a shack with a hinged door.
    "Excuse me!  Is there anyone there?" asked MB.
    There was groaning sounds coming from within from what sounded like the death thralls of an aged something.
    "Let's get out of here before." Emerr was interrupted by a hairy male dragging the door open.
    "Lost?" said the occupant.
    The crew looked at each other.
    "Ah, ya.  Ah, we need directions to a, oh, a, place to stay for the night.  Were touring your wonderful country." said Cree.
The man walked a few feet, looked around, and side with relief.
    "For a second there I thought I might be somewhere else.   It happens when I drink that cheep noglip." he said.
    The crew was at a loss for words, but they were thinking they should be moving on.
    "Nobody around here has room for all." the man said.
    He looked around in a jerking like motion.
    "Come on." he said squinting into the sunset.
    They made their way to three huts on the outer perimeter of the village.
    "Loop!  Visitors.  Need mats for the night." said the man as he turned and walked back to his home.
    A very old man and woman came to the entrance.
    "Got inks?" the man asked.
    "These?" Hiret asked, holding out his hand holding the silver-colored coins.
    The couple scurried to Hirets hand.
    "Yes.  Yes, these will do.  Yes, yes." the woman stated.
    "You can use that one and that one." the man said pointing the huts on the ends.
    "Anybody have a preference?" asked Semma.
    "I'll take the one with the dirt floor." said Cree.
    "Me to." Hiret sighed.
    "Trent, how about you.?" asked MB.
    "Either.  I would however like to be placed in the window so I can watch their rituals." Trent said.
    "Their rituals maybe cooking electronic devices." Emerr said.
    "Or. us!" said Hiret, with a comically grimacing expression.
    The team was too tired to complain.  A mat on a dirt floor was just fine.
    Emerr was the first to awake.  He immediately noticed that Trent was missing.
    " Cree!  Cree!  Wake up!" Emerr said in a loud whisper like voice.
    Cree rolled over on her stomac, and pushed herself up and off the mat.
    "I think my back fused." Cree said with a squeaky quick voice.
    Cree looked around.  "Did you check the other hut?" 
    "Of course." said Emerr.