Open Tapcafe on the Borderland (Social/Character Intro)

Discussion in 'Expansion Region and Mid Rim' started by Xilti Jeks, Sep 25, 2018.

  1. Xilti Jeks

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    KEOWE VII, ON THE EASTERN APPROACH TO THE PLANETARY SPACEPORT.

    Xilti Jeks stretched her long, lithe frame, rocking her head from side to side to pop the vertebrae in her neck. She did the same to her knuckles, and bared her teeth slightly as she glared down at the being sitting up against the rust-streaked ferrocrete dividing barrier that marked the center of the highway.

    "So what do you say now."

    The being, a human or near-human male of some description, tried to push himself further back against the divider, staring up at the 1.7 meter tall Cathar female standing before him. She wore a black synthleather jacket, as well as a pair of old ceraglass driving goggles slung down around her neck. Her feline form cut an intimidating figure, even in the bright tropical sunlight.

    "Th-The Jetters will stay off your highways!" The man blubbered. He was battered and bruised, his safety equipment badly scraped from a tumble off a speeder bike, which floated a few meters away, baring its own scars from a collision with the highway barrier. "The spice, the cantinas, the tourist cars, the east exit to the spaceport! It's all Black Imperator country now!"

    Xilti sighed, and knelt down in front of the terrified man. With a cool expression, she reached out to lay a hand on the bruised cheek of the fallen biker, and then smiled mildly.

    "Good boy."

    The man blinked uncomprehendingly, before he shrieked in pain. Xilti, with a growl of anger, had raked her extended claws savagely across the man's cheek, drawing five long gouges that already began to ooze blood. The man whimpered, clamping a hand to the side of his face and cursing loudly as he looked up at the Cathar, who stood, calmly flicking the red off her claws and retracting them.

    "That's to kriffing remember this conversation by." She told the human, a snarl in her voice. Her long tail flicked in agitation behind her. "Now get back on that junk pile you call a swoop, and make sure all your little friends understand! Next one of you we catch around her pulling kark, we put them and their bike in the sea!"

    The man sat there, stuttering and seemingly unable to move for a few moments. Xilti rolled her eyes, and made as if to lunge at him; this drew a squeal of fear, and the man scrambled to his feet, running to jump on his speeder and ride away. A thin plume of black smoke from a damaged turbine exchange streamed behind him as he dwindled in the distance along the highway. Before long, he was gone, leaving only Xilti, the other members of the Black Imperators, the splash of waves against the highway pilings and the cries of the seabirds.

    Xilti's cold, angry expression faded, and she sagged visibly, breathing a heavy sigh of relief. She muttered to herself.

    "Oh thank kriff that's over."

    Turning back to her small, motley group, Xilti summoned up a triumphant grin, raising a ragged cheer from her circle of childhood friends turned fellow road warriors. She reminded herself that it was okay to betray the relief she felt to them; she ridden with them for four long years, she had no secrets from them, nothing to prove. They were closer than any family she had ever had.

    And of course she worried for them, but now wasn't the time for that.

    "Back on your seats, Imperators!" She called. "We're going to Xander's for this! First round's on me!"

    XANDER'S BAR & GRILL, OFF THE EASTERN EXIT TO THE KEOWE VII PLANETARY SPACEPORT.


    Xilti lead a triumphant cavalcade of swoop riders through the doors of Xander's Bar & Grill, the dingy tapcafe which sat just off the exit that connected the Keowe VII planetary spaceport to points east via the oversea highways. Being so close to the port, the old road house had managed to weather the great tourist drought which had closed many such places across the planet over the last few decades.

    The construction of Xander's, like most establishments on Keowe VII, spoke to a more prosperous, busier age. Long ago, the place had been built to serve the shiploads of tourists leaving the spaceport in rented speeders and groundcars, a place to eat and drink that was less expensive than the restaurants in the spaceport itself, and in the resort towns. The interior space was cavernous, decorated in a faded tropical motif, and almost entirely empty, save for a few sullen locals sitting in booths or at the bar, which seemed to be the only part of the place that got much use anymore. As Xilti and her gang entered, only a few looked up, some of those that did raising a glass in not-quite-friendly acknowledgement, before returning to nursing them in sullen silence.

    Xander's was Xilti's bar, in fact if not in name. Long ago, she and the Black Imperators had driven off a rowdier gang, and in doing so had earned the gratitude and grudging respect of the owner. So long as they didn't cause trouble, Xilti and her friends were welcome to come and go as they pleased, without the risk of the police being called on them, as sometimes happened at other places.

    "Barkeep!" Xilti called grandly. "Pints of your best bitter. We celebrate victory!"

    There was a cheer from the rest of the gang, and they all filed to a table. The bartender nodded in acknowledgement, beginning to fill pint mugs with foaming ale. When it was delivered, the group toasted the young man - the original Xander's great grandson, and the place's latest owner - and set to medicating the stress of the day.

    Xilti, though she sipped for appearance's sake, drank little; there was a lot on her mind. She looked around the tapcafe, considering the notions that were swirling in her head regarding the future of her gang...

    ...when suddenly, she noticed that not everyone seated around the tables and booths was a familiar face.

    Off-worlders? Rare sight these days...

     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
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  2. Oria Solstice

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    Oria sat quietly in one of the many booths that lined the walls of this tropical themed establishment. The usual cloak she wore was put aside revealing the light drifter armour she so commonly dawned. Even her blindfold had been taken off as she relaxed from a days work, revealing her grayed over eyes.

    Two empty mugs of ale and a half drunk third rested on the table in front of her as she 'looked' around the mostly empty place. It was strange being in such a desolate place compared to her usual hangouts on Nar Shaddaa, but that's what can happen when you take a job that requires you to go off planet.

    A moderately sized rowdy group caught her attention as they made their way to a table somewhat close to her booth and ordered drinks all around. Oria chuckled to herself lightly as they all cheered and toasted their apparent 'victory' over something.

    Oh this could be fun to watch. Let's see just how plastered these guys can get.

    Oria noticed a Cathar female that was part of the group, the leader maybe, looking around the establishment as well. The feline eyes even passed over her, and if Oria actually had to actually turn her head and use her eyes to see they would have made eye conyact. Still, she smirked anyway and took another sip of her ale.
     
  3. Xilti Jeks

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    There was a strange human sitting in one of the booths.

    Xilti took a sip of her Lomin ale, conspicuously having not yet finished her first mug. The Cathar wasn't opposed to getting kark-faced on occasion, but the day's events had her on edge, and she preferred to keep a clear head. There was much she had to consider; mainly, that she and her little gang now found themselves in control of a lucrative stretch of road, and it would only be a matter of time before someone bigger and badder decided to try and take it from them. In all her years on the road, it wasn't a situation Xilti was very familiar with; the Black Imperators tended to stay out of trouble, if they could help it.

    And so outsiders in "her" bar were enough to put Xilti on edge.

    Sitting up straight, Xilti looked at the human, studying her. She wore armor, proper armor; that by itself set her apart from the sorts of beings that tended to visit Keowe VII. Vacationers looking for a getaway off the beaten path tended to wear floral print shirts and backpacks, not military fatigues. The Cathar decided that whoever this person was, it would be worth her while to find out.

    So she did something spontaneous.

    "Hey you!" Xilti called, waving her mug in the air. "Come join us! Sucks to drink alone, y'know??"

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  4. Oria Solstice

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    Oria's turn her head in the direction of the Cathar's call, though as per usual she didn't look directly at the people talking to her. When your sight wasn't centered around your eyes it made facing people directly a little unnecessary. Not to mention Oria didn't like to easily give away the fact that she could see just as well as anyone else.

    "What? Me?" she said knowing full well it was her and a smile spreading across her face. "I'm going to assume it is me."

    She shifted herself out of her booth, picking up her half drunk mug of ale before she started making her way over slowly. Her hand moving from side to side in front of her as if finding her way. She really had a sadistic love of playing up her blindness...

    "Not often I get invited over to drink. Especially to join a large group from the sound of it," she said with a smile as she reached the motley group.

    "But you are right. Drinking alone isn't very fun. It's even worse when I have blindly find my way back alone," she cheekily smirked out.

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  5. Xilti Jeks

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    It took Xilti a moment to recognize that the human was blind; she hadn't quite turned to face her until she stood up, and now the Cathar could see her pale grey pupils and irises. Of course the way she waved her way over was a giveaway too, although Xilti couldn't shake the feeling that there was something not quite in character about the way she navigated.

    Xilti tried not to let it phase her.

    As the newcomer reached the table, one of the Black Imperators pulled a chair out for her, and everyone raised their glass as she sat. Xilti grinned, joining them, and chuckled at the stranger's words.

    "Ahhh I'm sure one of us can give you a lift when you're too drunk to stand!" She replied. "And we're not so many... just a bunch of friends who never stopped playing hooky, right guys?"

    The others gathered around the table laughed and cheered, although there was an undercurrent of sadness to it; the Black Imperators weren't so many as they had been, and nearly everyone had lost something or someone over the last few years. That day's victory over the Jetters had not been typical of the group's interactions with other gangs.

    "Anyway, my name's Xilti... I suppose I tell these good people what to do. Sometimes they even listen." She grinned again. "And who might you be? We don't see strangers around here very often!"

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  6. Oria Solstice

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    Happily she took the seat offered to her and sat down amongst the Black Imperators. She couldn't quite recall the last time she had sat down with a group of people as large as this, even though as Xilti pointed out there weren't many. Maybe it was for the better she couldn't remember the last time.

    Being this close now she was better able to study those who sat around her, especially Xilti. Though the Cathar said she was basically the leader of this group she still seemed to be dressed in a similar fashion. Compared to the gangs on Nar Shaddaa where the leader is always decorated in wealth it was a nice change of pace.

    "Oh I remember the days of playing hooky," she said with a genuine chuckle. "And it's nice to see that some of us never stopped."

    Her thoughts quickly drifted off to all the times the masters scolded her for being late to lessons or skipping entirely to see Master Demora.

    "I'm Oria, and it's a pleasure to meet you all." Her mug raised in a general greeting before she took a few gulps. "I'm just passing through and picking up some freelance work as I trying to get away from the usual hustle and bustle of Nar Shaddaa for a while. That planet can really take a toll on you."

    In reality she wasn't trying to get away from Nar Shaddaa itself, just the memories of Herrith and her on the smugglers moon. Quickly she took another gulp trying to force the memories out.

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  7. Xilti Jeks

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    The rest of the group raised their glasses, giving various words of greeting. Xilti raised her eyebrows at the human's mention of where she was from. The Cathar had never been to a high-rise metropolis, at least not one that was abandoned and dilapidated, and certainly not one that encompassed an entire moon. She took a sip of her ale, nodding.

    "Nar Shaddaa... out in Hutt space, right?" She grinned. "Well, you've certainly come to the right place to get away from it all... I think the old Department of Tourism slogan used to be 'we've got your place in the sun waiting,' or something like that."

    Xilti leaned back in her chair.

    "Although if this was meant to be a working holiday, you may find yourself hard pressed. I don't know there's a lot of call around here for... what." She looked the newcomer's armor up and down speculatively. "A bounty hunter? Mercenary?"

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  8. Oria Solstice

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    Oria 'eyed' the woman carefully. She definitely seemed to be picking up on that Oria was more than she was acting to. Maybe wearing her low grad armor around wasn't the best idea then, but then again you can never be to careful on a new planet. Even one as nice as this.

    "Smuggler mostly," she said very nonchalantly. Mostly because it was true. "It's really easy when you're blind funnily enough. No one suspects a poor young blind girl of doing anything so dastardly as smuggling."

    She laughed a little to her self thinking of all the times she'd played the blind card to make herself look innocent. She took another sip of her ale.

    "Though I would be lying if I said I hadn't fired myself out for mercenary work before, and one or two bounties. But I haven't really done any of that recently all things considered."

    That was a flat out lie, and hopefully she hid it on her face well enough. Being alone for nearly half your life didn't really help with your ability to lie to others.

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  9. Xilti Jeks

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    Xilti raised her eyebrows. She got the sense that Oria wasn't being entirely truthful; even so, the swoop rider didn't actually have much reason to doubt her story. Keowe VII likely got more smuggler traffic than legitimate; her own gang met with a ship out at one of the old resorts every few weeks, taking deliveries of the spice, booze and other items they trafficked.

    "Heh... hadn't thought of that. I suppose that might draw attention away from anything else you might be doing."

    She sipped her ale again, and shrugged.

    "Me and these fine motorists do a bit of smuggling ourselves... mind you, we don't have to worry so much about stuff like hyperdrives and such. Swoops are more our speed."

    She chuckled.

    "Although if we start comparing engine sizes, we might come up short. Still, it's not how big your turbine is, it's how you use it."

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  10. Oria Solstice

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    "You my friend," she said laughing hard."You are truly a woman after my own heart."

    Still slightly giggling to herself, she put her glass to her lips and finished off her ale. The familiar warm feeling spread across her body as she thought of the last time she had made a similar joke. Oddly enough she had made it with another Cathar, though he was Male and a Jedi. So needless to say her joke wasn't as appreciated then as Xilti's was now.

    "Swoops are always a fun experience. But they tie you down to one planet, and I've had way to much of that in my life."

    She realized her words may have come off as slightly insulting to the group around her, but she had already said it so there was no taking it back. The alcohol was also starting to finally hit harder and was maybe at the point at which she should stop, but that wasn't going to happen.

    "Seems like I'm tapped out. Care to order me another one my feline friend?" she said looking over towards Xilti with a playful smirk, not realizing what she had just said.

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  11. Xilti Jeks

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    Xilti grinned over at the blind human, or at least ostensibly blind; the Cathar couldn't recall telling Oria her species, and she couldn't think of any way she would have been able to find out. This raised a red flag, the swooper supposed, but even so she raised a hand in the air, waving over the bartender.

    "Another ale for our new friend here!" She called.

    After a few moments, another foam-capped mug was put down in front of Oria, and the old one was taken away. Xilti propped her chin on her knuckles, peering over at the human contemplatively.

    "Sounds like you've got a story to back up your opinion." She remarked. "Is it one you'd be open to telling? We all love stories!"

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  12. Oria Solstice

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    Oria thanked both the tender and Xilti for the new mug of ale before happily took a large gulp from it. She was still chugging away when Xilti asked about her story, which made Oria cough in surprise.

    "You want to know," she started, stilling coughing and setting her mug down. "About why I dont like being stuck on one planet?"

    She started to tense up at the idea of telling these strangers, but what would be the harm in telling them? She didn't have to tell it completely truthfully in case they weren't big fans of Jedi. Might even feel good to say it out loud for once...

    "I was umm, " she stammered out uncomfortably. "I was on my first 'job'. I was just a kid, thirteen years old, and I was I guess you could say apprenticing under a well trained smuggler." It felt wrong calling her master that. "But it went wrong and we were shot down by pirates, or was it slavers I can't remember. We crash landed on an uninhabited planet they occasionally used as a waypoint or something. My mas... My teacher didn't survive long..."

    She could feel her hands shaking as she remember all of it. The horror of waking up blind and losing the one person she cared about.

    "I managed to survive for eleven years on that planet alone before I was able to smuggle myself onto a ship that had landed for repairs and get myself off that rock... Not really much of a story I would say," she said with a sad smile before starting to chug away at her ale again.

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  13. Xilti Jeks

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    Xilti blinked as Oria began to tell her story, and as she did, the others clustered around the table slowly began to fall silent. The Cathar shifted uncomfortably in her seat as the tales finished, and someone coughed.

    "Um... wow. Uh, you win story-time, I guess."

    She gave a brief shrug, looking around at the others gathered around the table.

    "But I guess you've survived this long, right? Got that in common, which is nice..."

    She sipped from her ale...

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  14. Oria Solstice

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    "At least we are still alive," she said raising her mug in a slight cheers.

    Oria couldn't help but chuckle lightly to this whole situation. Meeting up with a random gang, on some random planet, in an almost empty tropical themed bar. Then getting the leader to buy her a free drink, and finally bringing the entire mood down with her life story. She really knew how to make small talk...

    "If you like that story enough you should hear the ones I tell at parties. I'm loads more fun then. I even do magic tricks."

    She laughed at her own dumb words hoping others would join in and lighten the mood a little. Though in all honesty if she got drunk enough she was prone to start using the force regardless of if she was in a safe place or not. And tonight seemed to be getting close to one of those times.

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