Some time later Edgeifsir and surpreme leader Thenrug were on their way to Lacedin, where Thenrug hoped to win the favour of a new engineer for his infrastructure projects. Here, on Lacedin - a planet of ice and snow - lived Hurlbind and made her experiments at low temperature. Hurlbind was one of the best engineers on any of the known worlds, but winning her for a project did always come at a price. You had to proofe to her that you were worthy of her service.
Edgeifsir's and Thenrug's ships reached the white planet carefully watched by surveillance satellites. They left their ships in orbit and descended to the planet in two shuttles. When Edgeifsir, Thenrug and his advisor Naghe emerged on the shuttle pad in their long white cloaks and hats, they were greeted by some of Hurlbind's assistants, who led them on. As they walked to the huge laboratory which stood on a rock like a castle, snow was crunching under every step. The wind blew ice crystals into their faces. Edgeifsir pulled his faux-fur cap lower and put on his golden snow goggles.
Hurlbind greeted them in the large entrance hall, wearing a long white lab coat. She was tall, blonde and had a stern look on her face. Around them everyone seemed to be busy, people of all shapes and colours wearing lab coats hurried from one door to the other.
'Tell me what you want. Hurry, I don't have much time.'
Edgeifsir and Thenrug explained that they needed an engineer for Rubygund.
Hurlbind nodded gravely, 'I will come with you if you compete with me in a fair competition. If you win I will come with you. If you lose however you will be in my service for five years. Cleaning the floors, letting the cats in and out, things like that.'
It was at this moment that Edgeifsir noticed the floors were absolutely spotless. He gave Thenrug a reassuring smile. Naghe however looked doubtful.
'Tell me your terms, we are not afraid,' Thenrug said.