Negotiation! The crew of the Mynock has finally arrived in the Roach system, where they plan to contact master shipsmith Barracks. However! Considering their hostile history of interacting with service employees, will they be able to bargain with these bugs?
The Mynock comes out of hyperspace into the Roach system, an asteroid system littered with space junk. Everyone goes to the cockpit to see what’s going on. Tryst wants to fly dangerously close to the asteroids and space junk to use the gravity to slingshot them to their destination, Carbon 15. Lyn cautions everyone that verpine communicate through radio waves, and they should take care not to say anything insulting. An argument ensures about whether “junk” is an insulting term or not. (They give it an acronym: jettisoned under necessary konditions).
The Mynock is hailed when they near Carbon 15 and Leenik answers, giving the name of their ship and their purpose. Leenik comments that the verpine doesn’t have hold music so he doesn’t know if they were disconnected or not. The verpine tells Leenik they were not disconnected, and asks Leenik to explain “hold music.” Leenik likes how receptive the bug is; Bacta and Tryst agree. Leenik asks to do a survey, and gives an explanation after the verpine shows confusion.
Tryst doesn’t understand how to use the third person single pronoun “they,” and keeps trying to use it to replace “you.” He also thinks that “see you on the asteroid” might be how the verpine say “goodbye.” Lyn reminds everyone again that the verpine can probably hear them, and tries but fails to explain hermaphrodites to Tryst.
The Mynock pulls into a hanger with no breathable air. The crew does not have enough rebreathers and vacuum suits for everyone to disembark. Tryst hails the verpines and explains the crew’s situation. This time, the verpine on the line offers Tryst a survey at the end of the call, saying “how bset should we have constructed a survey?” Tryst gives the verpine a breakdown of how surveys usually work, and rates the bug’s customer service as 5 and the bug’s personability as 4. The verpine asks how to improve, and Tryst explains this was just the bug’s first time and a 4 is not a bad score.
Everyone except Neemo disembark from the Mynock. Bacta, Tryst, and Leenik comment that Lyn should get a violin case for her sniper rifle, and try to learn her birthdate.
A 6’4” green verpine comes up to the Mynock with a cart that transport them into the complex safely. The crew tries to engage the verpine in conversation, but get no response. Tamlin comments “it’s spooky in here,” and the crew scolds, explaining that it’s rude to call someone’s home spooky even if you think spooky is cool. Tamlin doesn’t understand. The adults tell him to say “this is very nice” instead of saying something is spooky, just for this mission. Tamlin calls this suspicious, and Tryst tells him to say “this is very nice” instead of saying suspicious. The crew say Tamlin should use inflection and context clues; they will wink at the boy to show they understood him.
Following the silent verpine, the crew passes through an open area and then through a square door to something that looks like a waiting room. The verpine leaves them in this room. The crew speculate that this verpine was a worker drone.
Grumpy Tamlin threatens to seethe. Bacta tries to explain that the crew is in a social situation they are not equipped to deal with. Tamlin is upset that he cannot express himself. Tryst realizes that Tamlin has never been a guest of someone before. He kneels beside Tamlin and tries to explain being a guest, going over the concept of white lies. He tells Tamlin that it’s important to “smile and pretend like you are having a good time while you are a guest.” Tamlin doesn’t understand; the child prefers honesty. The crew votes on “smiling and being very polite” and Tamlin is outvoted. The child asks what he should do if he wants to say something he thinks is a compliment. Lyn tells Tamlin to, for this mission only, to tell them silenty using the force. Tamlin agrees, but says that he will also dance.
The crew looks at the brochures put out by the verpine which contain hilariously incorrect information about safe sex. Tryst pockets them when another verpine comes into the room. This bug is 6’6” and has a slightly shiny quality; they wear a silver synthetic sarong.
The verpine opens a screen which flashes “RHMADACAFTWNTHM.” They introduce the crew to the “Roachi Hive Mechanical Apparatus Design and Construction Activity For Those Who Need The Hive’s Machine, ship division,” and asks about the crew’s desired specifications and price range.
Leenik asks for granite countertops, open floor plans, dark hard wood cabinets, etc. Tryst and Leenik discuss decoupage, and Bacta asks for “galactic standard sillouette, five.” The crew explains that they are wanted criminals and have no money, but are willing to barter with the verpines. Leenik performs close up magic, and the verpine asks how to show approval in galactic terms. After learning about clapping, the crew hears the entire hive briefly applaud.
The crew offers their skills to the verpine, including improving the hive’s PR and name. The verpine turns them down on PR work, as “you are bad at managing your own image” and “Zav says you are not wise.” Leenik asks if they need someone killed, and the verpine responds “you hit it on the nose.” Leenik tells the verpine they have no problem with that, and hits Tryst on the nose to demonstrate. The verpine is put off by this.
The bug explains that the Empire is using mining outposts to spy on the Roach system, and asks the Mynock to get rid of the Imperial threat. This job will only cover making additions to the current Mynock, however. The crew agrees to the job, and plans to steal from the Empire along the way to get enough money for a whole new ship. The crew compliments the verpine and Tryst adds “it’s an honor to be working for ROACH, the Reliable Option for Astrogation and Capable Hardware.”
- Leenik speculated that the worker drone was in fact an "avox," which Tamlin explains is a reference to a series, which would placeThe Hunger Games in kanan.
- Johnny does a real card trick at the table in order to upgrade his roll to succeed at Leenik's close up magic.
- It's explained that if Tamlin gets 28 good guy points, he'll receive a quarter of a merit, and if he gets 8 merits, he gets a jawbreaker. No word on what happens with bad guy points.
For perhaps the first time in their lives, the boys try their very best to be polite.
The letter deals with a woman who is tired of BDSM with her husband. The ensuing conversation makes it clear that Blue does not understand the nature of the relationship. The group likens it to Blue and Zero's relationship, but doesn't make any headway in explanation.