I opened my eyes to find myself looking at the ceiling. For a moment I though that I was back in my bedroom at home on Earth, and that all of my adventures in Ecos were just a fantastic dream. Then Malagor leaned over to look into my face.
“I have slept, gotten up, explored the city, eaten, and slept again. You are just now waking.”
“How very nice for you,” I replied.
I sat up, and then climbed out of bed, noticing a distinct disadvantage to the Amatharian beds. Yet I felt so refreshed that my gravity enhanced muscles sent me bounding up onto the floor. I started toward the washbasin, but noticed the doorway just to the left. Passing through it, I found the bathroom. It was a huge room. The bathtub was a small pool, designed to look like a thermal spa, with water constantly flowing from a waterfall into the pool, and then out at the other end. The room also had the other features that one might expect, and they were similarly fashioned to resemble natural features.
I hopped up into the bath and floated in the hot water. The little pool was large enough for me to swim around in, and when I stood up, the water still reached the middle of my chest. Beside the inlet waterfall was a small shelf with a variety of brushes and cleaning agents. I found something that seemed close to shampoo and washed myself from head to toe. I hopped out just long enough to retrieve my knife from beside the bed, then hopped back in and relaxed in the water as I shaved my ragged beard. When I exited the bath a second time, I felt presentable enough for polite Amatharian society. Malagor was waiting for me with some new clothes— a black Amatharian body suit, a plain white tabard, and a pair of boots.
“At Norar Remontar’s direction, I got these from the clothier on the first floor,” he said. “I had to have my own clothing specially ordered.”
I was interested to see how the bodysuit was put on. I found that it had an open waist in the back. Still it took me several moments to discover how to get my lower portion in, and still be able to insert my upper half. Fortunately the material used by the Amatharians was extremely flexible. Once I had it on, it seemed not so much to stretch to fit, as to shrink to fit. It covered every inch of my body in a cool embrace. It was extremely comfortable. The tabard which I put on over it was, as one would expect, slightly encumbering, though no more so than a light jacket or sweater. It reached just below my knees in front and in back, but was open on the sides. Finally I put on the boots, and found them to be the most comfortable footwear that I have ever tried on. All that remained was for me to strap on the weapons belt beneath my tabard. Malagor had also seen to it that I had the appropriate sheaths for my swords. I looked like an Amatharian that had somehow been deprived of his beautiful blue skin.
“Where is Norar Remontar?” I asked.
“He left to see members of his family,” replied Malagor.
Just then an ethereal voice spoke seemingly out of nowhere. “Nicohl Messonar is waiting at the door.” The two of us looked around the room expectantly for a moment, and then at each other.
“Must be a kind of doorbell,” I offered. Malagor shrugged.
I walked out of the bedroom, followed by my alien friend, and opened the front door. Outside, stood an Amatharian woman. She looked to be in her early fifties, and possessed a more mature form of the beauty that was apparently common to all Amatharian women. Her silky black hair cut straight across her forehead, and reaching the middle of her back, was touched with grey, but her dark blue skin remained flawless. She wore a white tabard with a crest— a flaming sun supported by a pedestal— indicating that she was a knight. But instead of the black bodysuit of a soldier, hers was light lavender. She carried no swords; just a satchel slung over one shoulder.
Stepping confidently into the apartment, the woman looked me over, coldly, for a moment before speaking.
“I am Nicohl Messonar,” she said.
“So I understand,” I replied. “Nicole is a common name among my people.”
“The name is Nicohl.”
“Yes, and my name is Nicohl Messonar.” She arched an eyebrow. “It is impolite not to use both names. That is only for husbands and wives, sharing an intimate moment.”