Thrae is not Earth. There are similarities, yes, but they are purely coincidental, an innocent by-product of probability and the vastness of the universe.
When the greatest Informatrix supercomputer on Thrae, Carbon Sykes, gets a death threat, it chooses five/six people to make a back-up of all the information in the world. They are the Datateam, the most badly suited guys, angels and birds for the job, but they're the only ones Carbon can afford. Now they have to set out on an epic quest
Somewhere on the warm coast of Fireland, under a tangerine tree, a figured shifted uncomfortably in his dark cloak and hood. He had been waiting long enough, and there was no sign of the one he was to meet.
“It’s too warm, I can take these off for a while”, he assuaged himself as he slipped his hood back over his completely shaved head, and took off the cloak. Underneath he was only wearing a light vest and checkered knickers.
His rendezvous chose to show up at that precise moment.
“I though you’re never supposed to take the uniform off.”
The previously cloaked man looked at the newcomer, furious at being caught in this rather embarrassing situation. He barked out, “Those rules won’t be around for much longer. Did you get what I need?”
The new arrival, dressed in a simple silken shirt, and denim pants, took a small package out of his pocket and handed it to the knicker-wearer.
“The Quest of the Datateam, on HDVD. It’ll tell you everything you need to know.”
“I thought you said you were going to walk me through it.” The knickered one mumbled, the anger and shame of a few seconds ago forgotten.
“You forget, the finer points of your little plan still need to be worked through. And did you think your chessboard shorts were going to do it for you?” He was enjoying himself, needling his employer.
“Oh yes, I mean no, you’re right, go ahead. That reminds me, umm…don’t mention this particular situation to anyone.”
The other man shrugged his shoulders, and said, “Who would believe me? Most of the people on Thrae still have a lot of healthy respect for you, Thade. You’re not the Power of Death for nothing.”
The other man nodded, relieved in a way, as he picked up his cloak and his scythe, and began to wear the cloak.
“Thank you, Badaluk.”
“As long as you pay me right, the pleasure’s all mine.”
Both of them walked away as soon as possible.