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Author Topic: SS Iscariot - Episode 2  (Read 48 times)

Description:
SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« on: September 04, 2019, 06:17:27 PM »
Location: Sector 2

Loki entered Iscariot's newest attraction, Valhalla slowly taking in every detail.
A smile spread across his face as he soaked in his surroundings.

It took some time and a lot of coin to make his dream a reality and he was ready to enjoy every moment to come...

He walked across the brightly lit dance floor stopping in its center.

Loki glanced around the room witnessing his staff clearing and setting tables, and polishing every surfaces all around him.

He let out a slight laugh that reverberated off the walls that surrounded him.

Loki raised his hand an sapped  his fingers, which caused music to begin playing loudly from the deafening sound system.
Loki lowered his hand slowly in a gesture that seemed to control the volume of the music and lowered it.

As he continued his journey across the room he laid his hand on the smooth marble surface of the bar caressing it slowly and sliding his hand down it as he walked to the end of the bar and entered behind it.

He pulled a small crystal glass from behind the bar and gently filled it with a bottle of scotch returning it to he top shelf of the beautifully lit display behind him.

He brought the glass to his lips and set out small grin whispering

“And so it begins. A new day and a new beginning.....Let them come like moths to the flame”

Loki continued to sip his drink awaiting his establishments first patrons.

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 06:18:01 PM »
**THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP**

"Aw, screw it!" Maxell's regimented bootfall slowed to a weak, civilian limp as his cartilage deficient knee stopped cooperating with the veteran's attempt at pursuit. Max's lungs may have still been good for it due to years of heavy conditioning but when the wheels go out it doesn't much matter whether you've got fuel in the tank. "Hmph. What kind of cǎobāo just runs off and leaves his wallet when someone's trying to hand it to them?"

Maxell's eyes roamed around to check for the aforementioned idiot one last time, noticing at once the wide berth offered to him by the shoppers, workers, and usual suspects going about their dailies. The glanced down at the rifle he still carried before shrugging and offering a view of the grip while maintaining trigger discipline and pointing the business end toward the floor. "What? Safety's on!" Maxell barked, then shrugged while shaking his head in obvious annoyance, and continued about his business.

Whatever that business actually was, these days. "Artifact collector? Do artifact collectors usually go running down semi-crowded corridors with assault weapons and shouting at strangers? He shrugged non-commital, ultimately considering the trade as fulfilling as ever. Maxell pulled a thick pair of standard, Alliance issue spectacles free from his jacket pocket as he half-limped along the corridor, thinking to himself he might uncover the idiot's name inside. He expected the pocket folder to contain the typical worker's ID card issued to Iscariot's varied crews, but found instead a strange set of tools that looked more adept for opening lockboxes than fixing electrical panels. He also didn't plan to find a scribbled note bearing the name of his own shop and a woefully misinformed address for same.

"I guess I would've run too." Max's eyebrows scrunched in thought behind the spectacles. "So they thought they were cutting my power..." Maxell turned on his heels in that crisp, Alliance formation fashion and attempted to double time it back the way he came. If half a carton of bad eggs just tried to rob him, he ought not continue running about with the front door wide open.

============
Some time later...
============

The end of the pencil-shaped stylus tapped pointedly across the tablet in Max's hand as he tallied up the last of his counts and breathed a sigh of relief. "Xič tiān xič dě! Nothing missing..." Max tapped the stylus against his bottom lip, considering what that actually meant for his business's profitability, sending the numbers fluttering by in his fore-mind he finally came to an inevitable conclusion. "I need a drink."

Maxell stepped back to his desk, laying the tablet - a common place item in his time that stood in stark contrast to the punch-key type writer it came to rest beside - in place before perusing a large flat screen connected to Iscariot Station's local cortex hub to act as a bulletin board for residents and vendors. The man's weathered face grimaced at the list of available taverns and food stands. He'd tried almost all of them, and while he preferred whatever Good Dogs pretended to serve over MRE spaghetti, nothing yet matched the level of cuisine he once enjoyed in the Officer's Hall on Londinium.

Maxell once hoped to enjoy the finer things once again as the security officer aboard The Allure, though that ship had long since sailed. Or rather, it hadn't. This far away from his adopted home, he often wondered where he'd ever find a feasting hall fit for an old soldier like himself, where mead flowed like a river and the meals and revelry never seemed to end. Maxell's steel grey eyes fell upon a word he knew, but didn't recall from the registry. "Valhalla."

Location: Sector 2

And so it turned out that Maxell Graves stepped into the club and took a seat at the bar across from Loki, teeth clenching for just a moment at the bartender's shock of red hair. "Hnng. Vodka. Chilled. No ice." Max looked the place around as he waited. "Well, I'll say this decor is quite refreshing compared to most of the dumps into which I've been unfortunate enough to stumble since the last time my feet left the dirt." Maxell cast a gaze of scrutiny over Loki, imagining the hair a little more wild, with a mangy beard to match, and thought for a moment he noticed a family resemblance to the Big Red Bastard. "You new to Iscariot, Mister...?"
The bugle sounds - the charge begins, But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horse's breath, As I plunge on into certain death


Iron Maiden, "The Trooper"

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 06:18:34 PM »
Location: Sector 3

Thin coils of incense wound their way through the lobby of The Lady Magdalene, thick candles flickering from intricate golden stands, casting their warm glow against the scarlet velvet drapes lining the perimeter of the main room. A crimson chaise lounge sat pressed against one wall, a jewel of a woman sitting upon it with an elbow resting over its one arm, blonde braids coiled up atop her head like golden ropes, small curls framing her pale face as she looked out through the gilded door of the House. Much like any other Companion house, clients came her by approved appointment only. It was a collaboration between the Guild and Iscariot, meant to extend the reach of the Guild as well as promote 'tourism' and increase the economic boom on the station itself, with some clients visiting only because of The Lady Magdalene.

Another woman entered the lounge from deeper in the establishment, her sapphire silk dress rustling around her legs as she glided across the floor. Pale ivory skin peeked through at the shoulders of her dress, the sleeves draped off around her mid bicep and fluttering with sheer chiffon around her arms. Her chocolate tresses had been arranged into almost a perfect replica of an Earth That Was golden age starlet. Red lips quirked up at the corner in a gentle, hidden smile as she made her way to the exit. "Would you like me to tell him hello for you?"she asked the blonde who smiled and nodded, crossing her feet at the ankles, "Tell him we miss him," she answered, laughter sparkling in her eyes. The brunette smiled warmly and nodded, exiting The Lady.

Elena Marsailles moved across the way to visit Maxell, a brow raising as she noticed his retreating figure rounding a corner. She glanced at his closed shop before following after him.

Location: Sector 2 - Valhalla

Bright eyes looked over the entrance to the newer night club, a soft look of curiosity floating across her porcelain features. Hands clasped together in front of her navel before she entered, gaze scanning the bar until she spotted Maxell, a genuine smile lighting up her face. She approached, waiting politely for him to finish his question to the man behind the bar before she settled gentle fingertips atop his upper arm, "Maxell," she greeted in a soft murmur, just loud enough to be heard but gentle enough to encourage those listening to feel the need to lean just a little closer to her. Her attention shifted to the new face on the Station and she tilted her head in a welcoming nod, waiting to hear his answer to her companion's question.

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 06:20:51 PM »
Location: Sector 2 (Valhalla)

Loki smiled at the gentleman sitting across from him as he leaned over and reached into the cooler behind the bar. The man’s dark gray eyes pierced Loki as if to get read on him by peering into his very soul.
He removed a chilled bottle of vodka and simultaneously reached for a glass.
As the lights from the ceiling reflected off the crystal Loki replied to the man’s compliment.
“I thank you sir for your kind words. Yes, I have made considerable effort to ensure that Valhalla shines far brighter than my competitors’ establishments.”
Loki poured the liquid from the chilled beverage into the glass as it begins to chill and illuminate as the bar surface begins to light softly under the man’s glass.
“Your kind words, and you being my first patron of the evening have warranted you a free libation, this one is on me…”
Loki reached his hand across the bar slowly, knowing the types around here can be skittish, however he noticed that the man sitting adjacent from him held no fear and took his hand in his own firmly, never breaking eye contact.
“The name is Loki, and I am the proprietor of this establishment, if there is anything that you ever require of any manner or sort, night club related or otherwise, I am your man. You may come to find that I can be quite resourceful in many areas one needs help with out here in the Verse.”
Loki lightly glided the chilled glass to the man and stepped back smiling.

Loki had noticed a woman entering the room slowly taking in her surroundings she was clearly looking for something or someone.
To his luck, Loki noticed she had recognized his new acquaintance seated across from him and was thrilled that he was about to be given the opportunity to meet the beauty.
He noticed she moved with such grace that he had no doubt she was a professional, or at least was one at one point in time.
She politely glided behind Loki’s first patron and gave him the slightest of nods, of which sent a pleasurable shiver down Loki’s spine.
He held his composure and politely returned the gesture.
Loki smiled at bowed to each of them stating “If I am needed, I shall be over here, please enjoy your privacy,”
Loki stepped off to the side of the bar inspecting his display ensuring that it was placed correctly and according to his strict instructions.
Privacy was something Loki ensured here in Valhalla and hoped that as time passed the people of Iscariot Station would find Valhalla synonymous with the word.
He took another discreet glance at the two of them and saved their encounter it to his memory.
He took one more glance to save the woman’s beauty for his own enjoyment.

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2019, 08:12:35 PM »
The bartender thanked Maxell for his pleasantries and proceeded to present a bottle of vodka kept in a frigid cooler as if the man knew Max intended to step into his establishment that day. The liquid poured into the glass, bringing the vessel's temperature down along with it. Something Maxell never witnessed before, but found interesting enough. Then the glass sparkled to life as the surface of the bar began to glow warmly, and Maxell wondered where the theatrics might end. "Why go for the show? A nice, stained oak would present a more powerful, classic presence." Max thought as the bartender finished filling his glass.

Quote
“Your kind words, and you being my first patron of the evening have warranted you a free libation, this one is on me…”

"I'll give you libations..." Maxell grumbled internally, but only a grunting, raspy "Eeehhh..." stumbled from his throat like a great bear awakening from hibernation as he accepted the man's handshake with a most reassuring squeeze.

Quote
“The name is Loki, and I am the proprietor of this establishment, if there is anything that you ever require of any manner or sort, night club related or otherwise, I am your man. You may come to find that I can be quite resourceful in many areas one needs help with out here in the Verse.”

"Loki." Maxell recalled the name from a book in his disappointingly minute collection of Earth-That-Was graphic novels, particularly the one he named his ship after: Journey Into Mystery. Max glanced down at the glass and then back up, hoping the name surmounted the whole of similarities between this man and the character with whom Max became familiar as he studied the faded images and read a script he barely comprehended.

Thinking better than to continue judging a man he just met by the actions of a fictional character, Maxell rose the glass in a silent toast to the bartender. They exchanged a cursory nod before Maxell poured a mighty swig down his throat and let the cold burn flow down his throat and set his chest afire. Graves exhaled a satisfied "Ahhh" and nodded his approval toward the proprietor, but noticed Loki noticing something - or someone - else in the club. Maxell's muscled tensed briefly as he felt someone approaching him, but relaxed almost immediately when he recognized the grasp and the soft, airy voice that accompanied it.

Quote
"Maxell,"

Max almost spit the drink in Loki's face but forced himself to swallow and nearly set into a coughing fit as a result. He adjusted his collar in an attempt to regain his composure before addressing a woman for whom he imagined himself marching into the inky blackness of the abyss as a simple favor between friends. Elena stood above and beyond what any civilized and decent man expected of a companion, composed of such grace and wit unrivaled in the orbit of a sun of any color. Of any woman who bestowed the honors upon Maxell as a quest to the host of Alliance military galas the officer begrudgingly attended over his years of service, Elena, while considered by some as short in stature, stood head and shoulders above them all. Why she continued to endure his company beyond their initial arrangement Maxell never quite figured out.

"Elena! I wasn't expecting to see you out and about. With the recent influx of ships in Iscariot's docks I assumed you'd be a bit too busy overseeing your charges. This here is Mr... Loki. He's new here."

Maxell's jaw clenched only slightly as he watched the exchange of nods between Elena and Iscariot's latest entrepreneur.
Quote
“If I am needed, I shall be over here, please enjoy your privacy,”
Max turned back to Elena and forced a friendlier expression. "To what do I owe the pleasure of your company? How's business? Is something wrong? Ah... Can I get you a drink?" Max pointed a finger into the air as if to instruct Loki to place Elena's order on his check, however the man already swept through the room instructing his serving staff about their tasks. "Well. I do like the way he takes charge of his subordinates, questionable tastes aside." Maxell regarded Elena with a slightly embarrassed chuckle as he drummed his fingers across the bar top, wondering what to do next.
The bugle sounds - the charge begins, But on this battlefield no one wins
The smell of acrid smoke and horse's breath, As I plunge on into certain death


Iron Maiden, "The Trooper"

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2019, 09:15:57 PM »
"Elena! I wasn't expecting to see you out and about. With the recent influx of ships in Iscariot's docks I assumed you'd be a bit too busy overseeing your charges. This here is Mr... Loki. He's new here,” Maxell introduced, ever the epitome of polite protocol. The Companion turned her head to look the newcomer over curiously, “A pleasure to have you aboard the Station, Mister Loki. It’s always a joy to have new faces and new establishments on board. It breathes a certain life into Iscariot that I thoroughly enjoy. I look forward to a symbiotic relationship between us,” she hoped cheerily.

“If I am needed, I shall be over here, please enjoy your privacy,” the man said before backing away and leaving them to their conversation. Elena offered him a thankful smile, the kind that softened the eyes and seemed remarkably genuine.

"To what do I owe the pleasure of your company? How's business? Is something wrong? Ah... Can I get you a drink?" Maxell asked.

Her hands ran over the fabric of her dress at her rear as she sat, smoothing it out to maintain modesty and a seamless appearance as well as to prevent wrinkles. She smiled at him warmly, always finding the way he spoke to her endearing and sweet. To still his worry, Elena lifted her hand ever so slightly, just enough to indicate that things were fine and he didn’t need to fret, bracelets jingling softly with the movement and chiffon fluttering around her arms like a soft glimmering fog.

“I had a spare moment, and thought you might like to get some tea,” she explained, “When I arrived at your shop, I saw you leaving so I thought I’d join you wherever you were off to. Fleur says hello,” she added, her eyes alight, remembering that the Companion still at The Lady Magdalene had asked her to pass on her greeting to the man. “Business is doing well, although the new ship that docked did not have any of our clients upon it,” Elena explained, not having been expecting the Alliance-apparent vessel that had docked and created a bit of a buzz aboard the station.

“A drink would be lovely,” she answered, looking toward where Loki had vanished and raising her brows a little, trusting that the man would either see their need and attend to it, or hav one of his staff do it for him. She doubted a man of his apparent skill and preparedness would not notice an empty table setting before a potential customer. “Wine, white, if it’s possible,” she told the air kindly, certain the order would reach the proper ears.

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2

Re: SS Iscariot - Episode 2
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2019, 04:15:13 PM »
It was the wee hours of the morning when Devon jolted awake.  She woke in a cold sweat and she knew that she’d been dreaming about The Reliant again.  She forced herself to slow her breathing, trying to make herself breathe normally again.  She was trying to stop this from turning into a full-blown panic attack.  She licked her lips, trying to moisten her mouth. She could taste the rich coppery taste of blood; she’d bitten her tongue during the nightmare. But she could taste it, and that was real.  It reminded her of what the last therapist had said when trying to help her focus on what was real to head off a panic attack.  One thing she could taste.  Another breath, this one less shuddering. 

Two…find two things she could smell. She drew air in through her nose. She could smell the acrid smell of her own sweat, sweat and the smell of the recycled air on the space station.  Yes, she was on the space station. Another breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Three things she could hear…the fans circulating air, fluid coolant pumps, the steady hum of life support.  She could actually feel the hum of life support through the floor of the cabinet.  She was in a cabinet?  Wait. Yes, she remembered now. 

Four things she could feel, just needed three more.  She could feel the hardness underneath her, making her right hip ache.  She reached out tentatively, feeling the inside latch of the cabinet door before pushing it open and crawling out with a groan.  She could feel the floor underneath her and she drew a more solid breath.

The panic that had been threatening was receding now as she remembered where she was and that she was safe.  She didn’t need to “feel” the rest or to see five things.  It was pitch black in her room anyway.  She stood slowly, stiff joints unkinking and made her way to the wall, arm outstretched.  She found the switch and turned the lights on, blinking in the halogen brightness. 

She made her way to the sink, splashing a little water on her face and scooped a handful into her mouth, rinsing out the blood taste before spitting it down the drain.  She ran her hand over her face and the top of her head and the close-cropped hair.  She forced herself to study her face in the mirror.  Dark hair kept buzzed short, large hazel eyes and a thin face.  Mostly she looked tired and drawn.   She felt like she could use a drink.  It was unlikely she was going to fall asleep again without a drink or two.
She grabbed her pants from the foot of the bed, drawing the black cargo pants on and then sitting on the foot of the made bed to put on the well-worn combat boots.  She left the tank top untucked, then grabbed her duster from the back of the door and slipped it on as well.

She made her way out of the sleeper room, heading into the main area of the space station.  She wasn’t sure she wanted to be around a bunch of people but she sure as heck-fire didn’t want to be alone.  She wanted a gorram drink and had enough credits to ensure she could get one.

Time didn’t have much meaning on the Skyplex.  People were out and about at all hours of day and night, perhaps because ships docked at all hours.  Out in the Blackness that was the ‘Verse time was relative. Even though planets might be terraformed to be as close to Earth-That-Was as they could be, not all of the hours and days and seasons synched up like they should in a year.  Even if she could look at a watch or at the Cortex and know, out in the Black, well, out in the Black time was relative. 

She sighed, scrubbing one hand over her head, the feeling of the soft buzz cut soothing in its own way.  Which bar she drank at didn’t matter, as long as the booze was real enough to help her forget the nightmares. She stumped down the corridor, once highly shined combat boots now dull and scuffed from neglect.  She passed several shops and finally found herself in front of a bar.

Valhalla. She sniffed, more a sound of dismissal than anything. It would do.  It looked a bit more fancy than the usual Hoi Palloi dives that she frequented but she didn’t really care.  She made her way to a small booth in the corner and took a seat.

She didn't pay too much attention to the others in the bar, just settled in, back to the wall where she could see anyone who approached her, close to the entrance.  Was she planning to drink and dash or just making sure she couldn't get pinned in? That was anyone's guess.


 

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