Not Entirely a Pleasant Time at the Canteen Edit
Slaves were expected to take what food was given and to be grateful but in the canteen even if he chose the free dishes Purple still had a choice. Plain boiled kelp was rare treat for Purple, kelp was nourishing and cheap even away from the coast but cooking staff at the mansion where Purple had been before hardly ever provided it. The canteen worked better than the dispenser in his room, soon Purple was taking a portion of boiled seaweed with a tasty sauce to an eating place and looking forward to his meal. An unsteady Centaurian wriggled tentacles and asked Purple if he wanted to know where he could get something to make him feel really good.
“I don’t do drugs!” Purple replied emphatically and shook his tentacles in disgust.
“I’m not a slave anymore, I shouldn’t be intimidated.” Purple thought, then Purple turned his eye stalks round to get a panoramic view of the room and noticed any number of sickly Centaurians who looked like addicts shaking tentacles at him.
“That Purple-eyed Centaurian insulted me.” the unsteady Centaurian who’d suggested drugs complained and some of the Centaurians were preparing to get up, a few were nearer the exit than Purple was. One of the druggies emptied Purple’s seaweed over his head then Purple tried to wrestle but was outnumbered. Two others pulled his soft tentacles and as one might guess that was extremely painful, Purple groaned!
A distant group of Centaurians all in the robes of Galaxy Shipping Company engineers watched what was happening and then an engineer who had unusual tentacles, mainly black but with an odd gold sparkle activated an alarm. A second Centaurian whose tentacles were far straighter than the average also started his alarm and belatedly security arrived.
The Centaurian with the straight tentacles came over with a few friends and they helped while Purple hobbled with difficulty over to where they all had been eating, next was the standard greeting.
“I see you are newly started as a seafarer, welcome!”
"Welcome indeed!" Despite his soreness this time Purple didn’t mind the trite ritual so much as he began to see sincere concern for his wellbeing behind it.
Several warned Purple that he had been eating in the wrong part of the canteen.
“Only junkies use that part of the canteen,” Straight Tentacles told him. “Why in the name of Our Lord the Sun didn’t you just eat in your own apartments?” The Black and Gold Centaurian asked.
Purple explained that his food dispenser wasn’t working properly and all complained about drugged maintenance workers who weren’t looking after things.
“In future you just sit here and no Centaurian will pester you to buy any intoxicants.” The black Centaurian with an intelligent gold sparkle to his tentacles advised. Others added unpleasant stories about mistakes they had made when they were new to this establishment, Purple didn’t feel so much in the mood for eating any more.
“I’ll get you some stuff to eat,” Straight Tentacles offered,  “what dish would you like?” As he got up, Straight rubbed comforting tentacles over Purple. Then Purple wondered, was there a hint of a seductive flash in the colour of Straight’s, tentacles? Did Straight find Purple sexually attractive? Purple’s appetite began to return a little.