It’s never quite dark on Alta III at night. The moon cluster just appears to be three closely orbiting bodies from space, but on land they are two huge moons and a smaller moon in a ‘cluster’ that reside stationary in the sky throughout night giving the land a ghostly glow.
It was an uneventful trip down. I landed the pod unobserved. Its cloak took on the look of the landscape so effectively that I GPSed the location so I wouldn’t miss it upon my return.
I would hike into Kadear from here, make my way to the palace of the ruling family and use the ‘secret’ password Furgus gave me to get Aldobi-rand’s guard to admit me. I felt like I was in an adventure vid or one of Daniel’s action games. It was fun until I hit the outskirts of the city.
It seems these nomads have a plethora of dogs – watch dogs, stray dogs, mongrels, and mutts. They all bark and announce your presence. You can’t go anywhere unnoticed. I am so glad Cassie dressed me properly. It took twice as long to get from the pod to the palace as I thought it would. I ducked up allies to avoid dogs and the masters they had aroused. I hid in shadows waiting for dogs to quiet and burly men to pass on. I skirted a fountain only to run into a pack of sleeping, staked dogs that would have taken my leg off if I hadn’t moved as fast as I did in order to avoid their snapping jaws. A black bearded man stuck his head out of a tent pitched nearby and threw a shoe at the dogs to demand quiet.
I heard one of them yelp with the impact and the laughter of several men as the man rejoined the others in the tent for what sounded like heavy drinking and gaming.
I was greatly relieved when I reached the walls of the palace even if the two guards at the gate looked formidable.