The sky outside was dark but clear, a deep ebony blanket dotted here and there with brilliantly shining white dots of stars. There was a breeze on the air, light and crisp, bringing in just enough chill to make Alym shiver slightly as it hit her skin and found its way to shimmer up her spine. Alym held a cigarette loosely in her right hand, though she hadn't hit it in a minute or two. Her mind had been elsewhere as she walked and looking down she noticed that the breeze ended up smoking most of the cig for her. Classic.
Rolling her eyes, Alym flicked the butt into the gutter and pushed the distracting thoughts from her head. There was always so much to do and such little time to get it done. Oh well, that's not what she was on Serenno for. Alym had been so caught up in her own bullshit as of recent that she really just needed a couple days to turn her brain off and just relax. Although she would be the first to admit that she was kriffing terrible at relaxing.
Looking up the street, Alym's eye was drawn to one sign among many that littered this part of downtown Carannia. She wasn't sure exactly why her eye was drawn to this place out of all the rest but Alym had managed to live this long trusting her gut so there was no need to start questioning herself now. The sign flickered in starting-to-dim neon colors and read Flipside.
Passing through the door, Alym couldn't help but let the corners of her mouth curl into just the hint of a smirk. As usual, her gut was never wrong - Flipside was exactly her type of place. Making her way to the bar, Alym found and caught the attention of the bartender.
Whiskey double, Alym said, holding up two fingers. Rocks.
It didn't take long for her to get the drink, and after sliding the bartender a couple credit chits Alym turned to look at the bar proper, leaning her back on the bar. There was a pazaak game going on a couple of tables down that looked quite lively, maybe she'd drop in and take some drunk morons for all their credits. For now though, she was content to sit and observe.
Alym was sure a good time would show itself eventually.
After his little adventure on Ruusan with Alyse Ti'Varnus, Jido needed a much needed reprieve from the dark sided arcane studies. The Nagai liked crazy, which is why he got along with the blonde, but the way she commanded the Force gave him the creeps--at least that's what the goosebumps on his body had conveyed. A gambling run augmented by the three W's--winning, whiskey, and whipping--was just what the doctor ordered, however, before jetting towards Cantonica, Jido liked to wet his whistle, resupply and refuel on Serreno... if only because it was less expensive than the delightful Canto Bight. In truth, there was a bartender at the Flipside in Carannia that he'd like to flip on his side.
Jido had strutted straight passed the bouncer at the front, giving him a wink, an air kiss and a finger. No, not that type of finger, but he did get that one back. The Sith had pointed at the lightsaber that hung at his belt and mouthed, "Jedi business." Although, it was a complete lie as he was neither a Jedi nor had he any official business to tend. Unless one counted the lofty goal of obtaining free drinks at the behest of the fierce looking mixologist. Perhaps Jido did have important work to do at Flipside.
The first order of business was to make sure he looked presentable. Done! It was that easy because the man loved to look good, and he knew he did. At least in his own fashion... black leather pants, metal spiked shoulders and low 'cleavage' shirts probably fit the bill for many danger seeking women, but Jido rarely played the conformist. He added a black collar for that extra uniqueness.
Secondly, he refused to buy a drink tonight, so the first attractive Twi'lek he found, he walked confidently towards her and broke into a smile accompanied by a series of extravagant hand gestures. It was quick but before anyone truly knew what happened, Jido mentioned something along the lines of: "Oh sweetheart, you look ravishing. Why don't you two get someone else to buy you a drink, while I liberate you of yours." Of course one of those hand flourishes had been a mental manipulation to lube their resolve to align with his own. As the two scampered off, Jido took a swig only to spit it all out. "Kriff! Does anyone know how to drink a proper cocktail anymore?" The remark wasn't to anyone in particular, but needless to say, the pale man ditched the glass by pitching it into some other Flipside patron. So much for finding a proper drink. Perhaps he'd need to actually work for a drink... which led him to the third task.
"I've got a sister that can shoot better billiards than you," he yelled in the general direction of the tables. Was he talking to someone in particular? Nope, but there were a few heads that turned. Excellent. Jido wasn't one to abide by social distancing. Like a dog, he wended through the various shooters, examining their faces and smelling them. A few backed away from him, but it was the BIG MAN at the last table that had stood his ground. That was his target. "I take it you disagree with me and my sister, then?" Not that his sister was there to defend her title, nor had she shot a game in her life, but hey, a shark had to chum the waters--or something like that. Jido puffed up his chest and widened his wild smile, making sure to bare all his teeth before breaking into a maniacal laughter. "Do you got the balls, Mister?" He hoped the Trandoshan was game, but before he wasted anymore time, grey eyes scanned the bar for two things: the familiar feeling of the Force and his bartender. Only one was present that night.
Byron sat on the hood of his rented air speeder. The vehicle's headlights shot out over the cliff edge into the night sky. The aspiring jedi had purposefully opened up both the passenger door and the driver side door to make sure the music added to the ambiance that had been continuing for the past hour.
The man had only arrived on the planet a day or two ago. But it reminded him a lot of Contruum Prime in many ways which was probably the cause of his melancholy. Taking a deep breath and pushing off from the hood, he slid off the hood of the vehicle and closed the doors to his speeder before getting behind the controls.
Having torn off into the night, Byron would eventually arrive at the Flipside. It was obvious cards and other table games based on chance were allowed. The padawan wondered if he would find the same kind of underground shock boxing here as he did on Fondor or other planets.
First things first, he needed a drink. The bartender was just putting away a whiskey he recognized and his hand raised along with his voice. "Can I uh...actually get a couple fingers of that." he held up two fingers to emphasize his interest in the whiskey. "neat please."
The loud hoops and hollars from one end of the bar was more entertainment than what was on the holo-projectors. Byron looked to see if this was the type of establishment that began asking patrons to leave once they began getting rowdy. But no staff came and that gave him an idea of the place they were in. No complaints from the man, but he would wait for his drink and pay more tip than was necessary since he rarely got to drink in the places he traveled.
Regardless of where business brought Kel, the scoundrel never passed up an opportunity to visit the seedier places that the host planet had to offer. As he walked through the streets of Carannia, a not-so-bright-anymore neon sign caught his attention. Flipside. Something about the place felt enticing; it was as if Kel's gut was giving him a tip to drop by. The scoundrel wasn't in a habit of ignoring hunches.
What Kel found inside was a typical "hive of scum and villainy", pretty much like many those on Nar Shaddaa. Dryden, you're home. The scoundrel looked around, but caught nothing out of the ordinary: an eccentrically-dressed guy causing a ruckus, drinking patrons oblivious to it, some Pazaak players. And then...
THIS IS IT. The reason why his gut had driven him there and then, at that very moment. The young man couldn't believe his eyes how anyone else in the room hadn't noticed yet. But no matter; it was their loss and the scoundrel's gain. Unlike the rest, he wouldn't just sit and wait for his chance. Oh no, he'd go straight for it, and come what might.
A shade of the confident smirk on the lips? Check. Comb through the hair with one hand for just a tiny bit of scruffiness in his look? Check. A drink? No, two drinks! Check. Tossing a few credit chits to the bartender, the scoundrel grabbed the 2 glasses and headed straight to the destination, before anyone else could get ahead of him.
Slow down as you approach, Kel. Confident look, keep it up. The scoundrel would take an empty seat opposite to his target, putting the glasses on the table next to him. "You look like a regular here," he opened a conversation with quarry with a smug smirk. "Up for a little fun?"
FOR A BRIEF MOMENT, SILENCE FILLED THE SPACE AROUND THE TABLE.
"As long as you've got the credits, hotshot," the fat bearded Besalisk replied with a bodily chuckle, shuffling a Pazaak deck with all 4 hands. "Would that suffice?" Kel's smirk got wider, as he tossed a handful chits between them. "Just so you know in advance, I've seen all possible tricks that your kind could play with your extra hands and the cards. So, are you still game?" Both Kel's and the Besalisk's grins got wider, as the alien called the bet and started dealing cards.
Alym watched with interest as several more patrons entered Flipside. It seemed that this place called to all sorts of denizens, but one in particular seemed to stand out from the rest.
Whether that was because of his inherent natural charm or.. because he was the most obnoxious and loud person in the bar at the moment, Alym wasn't sure. Either way, the young Sith was intrigued enough to leave her place leaning against the bar and head over to the billiards table.
As she approached @Jido Mar and the Trandoshan, Alym eyed the big lizard up and down before rolling her eyes and laughing a bit. Everybody knows lizards don't have balls, Alym said, pointing towards the Trandoshan's crotch. This guy is wearing skin tight bantha leather pants and he's flatter than the plains of Dantooine down there.
The Trandoshan, clearly upset at the slight against his manhood, hissed loudly, bearing his razor-like teeth and went to swing his pool cue to smash it across Alym's face. Before he could bring his attack to fruition, though, Alym shook her head as she locked eyes with him. You don't want to do that, friend. She said calmly, waving her hand dismissively. You'd end up as not much more than a new handbag.
Despite the tense situation, Alym's face did not betray any emotion outside of malicious confidence. Tricking the minds of the weak willed was easy and came naturally to her, and this Trandoshan was far too stupid to shrug off the hold Alym had on his mind. You can leave now, She said, holding her hand out. The lizard gave her the pool cue before turning away from the tables and heading out the door.
Turning to face Jido, Alym flashed him a smile before racking up the billiard balls. Care for a game?
The establishment was lively enough with multiple conversations culminating to form a din that competing with the background music. The noise grew plenty loud as others found reasons to exclaim. Byron took his brown liquor and sipped it first to see just how bad it might be. But the padawan was pleasantly surprised by the quality and also the fact that the glass in his hand was actually glass and not made of plastic like some of the dive bars on Tatooine.
A shock boxing match was playing on one of the projectors that turned his attention away from the lively game of billards. "ooo" He instinctually grimaced at seeing one of the boxers land a might blow. His drink would be gone soon as he began watching the boxing match more intensely.
Byron pulled his eyes away from the screen again. His instincts told him to not get too absorbed in anything. This was still rough territory as far as Serenno went. Even if the planet had a sort of fantasy element to it, it didn't mean he should drop his guard any less than another planet he was visiting. So his eyes brought him to look over his shoulders around the Flipside but nothing caught his naked eye that seemed out of the ordinary.
A smile came across his face though as he stood near the bar alone still. He felt like a spacer in that moment. The guy who went to the bar and had a few mysterious and brooding moments over some hard liquor with a tough crowd. It tickled him since a few years ago he would have thought twice about even traveling to Serenno let alone entering a bar as sketchy as this one. But it definitely had a fun, wildness to it that Byron couldn't put into words. The man decided to throw back the rest of his drink and get a refill.
They say that Pazaak is a game of chance. But don't we make our own luck? So, when life gives you poodoo in the form of bad cards, is it so wrong to use some better ones that you already have up your sleeve? I don't think so. Everyone does it, including my current opponent. So why should I let the others get ahead?
I play just the card that I need. What a comeback! The fat bearded Besalisk sitting opposite to me can't believe his eyes. He scratches his wattle with his upper left arm, while the remaining three hold to the table. I drop a "Well played" and scoop the credit chits towards me, and into my pockets. One of them slips through my fingers.
As I reach for the last bit of my winnings, a "backup" Pazaak card falls down from my sleeve onto the table. Kriff. So, I stare into the Besalisk's eyes and slowly pull the credit chit and the card towards me, like nothing happened. Obviously, he doesn't see it my way, and his wide grin promises a world of hurt.
"I think you owe me my credits, and some extra for the trouble." I notice how deep his voice is. Slightly less calm and more menacing. "Or else..." he cracks the two of his knuckles. "You've only got two arms, you know." My consciousness tells me to defuse a situation somehow. Maybe claim an honest mistake, refer to "Hutt Space Pazaak Rules"—it ain't cheating if you ain't caught during the game—and return the credits? Even the Besalisk would probably laugh at that one.
However, people around the table are looking at us, a couple of attractive Twi'leks among them. Am I to scuttle like a womp rat, humiliated and without credits? The two consumed glasses of strong stuff tweedle me into facing up to the opponent. The alcohol even suggests a witty reply, which I utter calmly and confidently: "So grow some more arms, and then it'll be an even fight."
Next moment, the table and everything on it gets flipped over and flies into the center of the room. Before I can react or even get scared, the Besalisk towers over me and lifts me up. His lower arms start pummeling the chest, sides, and stomach. But when the guy tries to reach for my holster with one of his kriffing hands, I know that I have to do something. It turns out, a knee to the bearded wattle works well. The Besalisk bellows in pain and throws me. Quite far, I might add.
A short flight, a scream, and then my back lands on a billiards table with a loud wham! Balls rolling in all directions, people looking at me, you get the picture. Apparently, I've just ruined someone's game. There's that freakishly-dressed troublemaker and a girl who seems attractive, but... Cold, you know? Actually, both of of them feel off.
Anyway, I only manage to slip in a quick "Sorry" before I see the Besalisk coming at me for more. So, I grab the nearest thing I can get, and smash it across that four-armed kriffard's face. The thing turns out to be someone's pool cue, and it breaks with a snappy CRACK! Knocks the alien down real good. The alcohol in me adds "Not sorry" as I briefly stare at the consequence of my actions.
Oh, forgot to add. When the whole thing started, the entirety of Flipside got flipped. It is like a chain reaction. A fight starts. Someone spills the drink over someone else's suit. And suddenly, everyone has a valid excuse to whack some faces they don't like. Or smash a bottle across the said faces for good measure. There's something deep and fruity about the sound of people pummeling each other.
Anyway, I try to get off the table, hopefully before the billiards couple can get back at me for ruining their game. The pain helps somewhat... Gives me focus. It's a free for all now, so I throw a few punches and take a couple myself before I end up by the bar counter. Looking for an escape way or a path out of that whole mess...
Byron enjoyed the rest of his drink, occasionally looking over at the other patrons. Some of them seemed to be a bit rowdier than the others but that was a given in an establishment like the Flipside. Serenno was classy enough it would seem to have matches for lighting cigaras. Byron didn't smoke but he picked one case up and looked it over before setting it back down.
A chirp from his belt made the young jedi look down and fish out his commlink. "Please don't tell me somethings broken." He asked his astromech on the other side. A moment's pause and Byron's brow furrowed for a moment before a chipper beep and warble came over the line. The Engineer had been dusting off his binary rather than rely on the ship's translator or another droid just to understand the sassy BG unit. +Well I could stay silent or I could just let you know what's broken..+
A hand rose to rub his stubbled chin for a moment and the green eyes stared at the alcohol. "Alright, I'm on my way." Pocketing the commlink again he replaced the .device with his drink and finished what was left, making him clear his throat slightly at the burning sensation. Making sure he was settled with the bartender the man headed to the bathroom first before leaving. The last time he had a report of a broken component on his ship it had been the fresher's plumbing.