Sunday June 1, 2003
Book 3: Under New Management — Part III: Board of Accidental Tourism


Narrator: Uncharted waters - a navigator's nightmare, an explorer's challenge. . . and a fugitive's friend.
Ennesby: I've done a passive scan, and now have answers to our two most pressing questions
Ennesby: First, on our current course we're not going to hit anything, and nothing is going to hit us.

Second, it looks like we're alone here, so this is probably a good place to hide.

Tagon: Okay, then. What else can you tell us about the system?
Ennesby: Well, it has two rocky inner planets, two gas giants, and a pretty impressive debris ring.
Tagon: You mean an asteroid belt, like the one in Sol System?
Ennesby: There are asteroids in it, but no, that's not what I said.
Ennesby: Sol System's asteroid belt isn't visible to the naked eye.
Tagon: So what is it? Gas? Ice crystals?
Ennesby: It's a melange.
Tagon: I didn't ask what color it is.
Ennesby: And I didn't tell you.
Tagon: So. . . melange isn't a color, then.
Ennesby: No, it means 'mixture,' and implies random variety.
Ennesby: As in "your vocabulary is a curiously small melange of quick grunts and words of not more than three syllables."
Tagon: You could have picked a more useful sentence, you know. Like one that tells me what the melange-colored ring is made out of.