MENTAL ESSENCE
PAGE 58
    "Partially.  It seems they encrypt most of their records, and I have not encountered mention of Ventan." Trent answered.
    "Well, let's have a little fun." said Hulmara as she scurried through the crowd.
    "I'll take that place over, do you two want to try one of the theres?" said Aukous asked Pace and the Doc.
    "We'll give it a shot.  Hay Trent.  Can you manipulate the electronic games?" asked Pace.
    "I do not think I should." Trent replied.
    "I was just kidding." Pace added, then said, "Just in case, could you?" 
    "I have not been able to manipulate anything.  I can only try and understand what I am bonded to." Trent said.
    "That is a shame." said Pace.
    "Why cheat?  Your technology makes it a snap attain all the precious metals and gems you could ever want." Hulmara stated.
    "I was thinking that if the situation were to arise, we could bet for information were as we might not be able to buy it, or trick some being out of it." Pace said.
     "A rock upside the head should work." Hulmara laughed.
    "That looks like a gone." Pace announced.
    "Lots of lights." said Hulmara as they pushed their way into the mass of real happy beings.
    "They seem a bit too happy." said Pace.
    "Whatever they're having, I want a double." said Hulmara.
    They entered the party.  Back at the casino Aukous choose, things were not so light hearted.
    "We don't see many like you here." said the being spinning a wheel that made a whirring sound as it spun.
    "Like me?" asked Aukous.
    "Your skin color.  Your a bit on the blue side." the man said with a smirk.
    "Ah.  I have seen bluer.  In fact, your color is quite unique.  In fact, I never seen a pale orange coward before." Aukous stated with a slow and low-pitched voice.
    A management type being interceded.
    "Perhaps you would like the action across the street." the man said, making a jester with his hand.
    Aukous left.  Orin on the other hand, was having a great time.
    "Looken good there." Aukous said to Orin.
    "Feelen good." Orin replied adding, "Ya odda jump in while this guy's cold."
    "Think I'll jump into that all you can eat deal." Aukous said, gazing at a heap of meat with an irresistible aroma. 
    A few hours later Hulmara approached Aukous.  With her was a man who looked like the typical supper wealthy being, or someone in show business.
    "Aukous, this is Wai Oue.  Wai Oue, this is Aukous." Hulmara said with a wink to Aukous.
    "Hi." Aukous said, offering his hand.
    "Mr. Oue is in the military supply business." said Hullmara
    "I noticed you when your group was standing in front of the Tower Casino.  You are of a color I not familiar with, and you are obviously of sturdy physical stock.  Then you confronted my game operator, and he is twice your size.  I thought perhaps your species might be amenable to worrier recruitment." said Mr. Oue.
    "Not at the moment, but I will keep your offer in mind." said Aukous.
    Mr. Oue bid his adieus, and left.  
    "That guy might be useful down the road.  How did you meet him?" asked Aukous.
    "He said he seen us talking, and asked me to introduce him.  By the way, how come you're  blue?  I don't remember ever seeing your species before.  I don't know why that didn't accrued to me before." replied Hulmara.
    "There is no species like me.  I had my color changed so no one would recognize me as Wulion." Aukous said.
    "So what is so different about Wulions?" asked Hulmara.
    "Nothing really.  It's a way to disguise myself should Ventan be looking for a Wolion looking for him.  That is why I did not go through the changes you did." said Aukous.
    "Yes.  Except for the chin notch." Aukous said.
    "Do the others know?" asked Hulmara.
    "No.  No one asked." said Aukous.
    "I think you should let us know all about yourself.  If you don't, there will be little trust." said Hulmara.
    Orin approached with a less then energetic gate.  "I lost." Orin announced.
    "Your a being of few words.  I like that." Aukous stated.
    "How are Pace and the Doc doin" Orin asked."
    "Don't know, but let me tell you about one Mr.  Wai Oue." Hulmara said with a pretentious grin.
    A few hours later, the group had decided to try their luck on a planet called Multainia.  Hulmara had learned that Multainia had suffered little during the wars.  Perhaps through the influence of a few powerful beings, and that seemed like the kind of place Ventan, or his associates, would be lurking around. 
    "Why do beings gamble?" Orin openly asked as if he didn't know.
    "The aspects of easy gains, reinforced by invoking increases in hormonal levels through sounds, lighting, aromas, intoxicating drugs, and a sense of social acceptance." Trent answered.
    "I thought as much." Orin said with a shrug.
    "So, how many times have you asked yourself that question?" Hulmara asked.
    "Lots." Orin said with a grin.
    "There are several hundred planets in the Corridor advertising themselves as having similar gambling motif." Trent added.
    "I try and restrain myself." Orin replied.
    "Here are the stats available for Multainia. "  Aukous announced leaning over the control panel for the display screen." Notice the number of listings for luxury estates. "
"Where?" asked Hulmara.
    "Not one listing.  Nothing in property over a entry leaves quality.  I therefore assume the market is tightly controlled.  Why I ask myself.  Because the beings with money don't want neighbors they do not approve of.  And sense they control the property market, they must have control of construction, and thus the political and judicial aspects of the planet." Aukous stated.
    "So don't make anyone angry, or we might end our quest here." said Pace.
    "Correct." Trent injected.