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Tales from Aiken's Bar, Port Drum

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Hi all.


Ok - this is simple, old school, forum based roleplay.


Play nice, give people chances to take actions, don't power play, all that type of thing.


I've deliberately set it over 100 years ago so people can play whatever character they like without having in-game character issues etc. It's all for fun. Please only post in-character - any out-of-character questions etc, start a new related thread please.




<<Datetime: 24240124-19360000Z11>>

<<Location: geo:-31.2,136.816667>> 


Over one hundred years ago...


It is a dark and stormy night when you arrive at Port Drum. If you are a regular of the three day trip to or from from Armstrong Crater, you know this is always the case, a side effect of some 20 moon-shots and returns a day.


Port Drum is one of the world's busiest lunar transit sites, handling most of the non-commercial traffic bound to or from in-system. As a transport hub, it is intensely busy, and one would be forgiven for not realising that not even a kilometre away was the end of a teeming transient populace and the start of desert for as far as the eye could see, until one eventually hit Perth some 2500 kilometres (around 1600 miles) away. Originally it was a military testing range, this sprawling space port covering an area larger than England named Woomera by the original inhabitants – now gone centuries past when the Australian mainland had become too damaged by climate change to sustain human settlement. Perth, the closest real urban centre, was now the most isolated (and subterranean) city in the world – a last stubborn holdout against a Southern Hemisphere summer which would kill an exposed man in under an hour. People finding themselves in Port Drum aren't like the huddled masses scratching out an existence in the camps around the Arks - people here have stories to tell.


Aiken’s Bar is typical of the drinking holes one finds in places which people never really call home. Dark, smoke filled and possessed with the quiet murmur of people who don’t like or trust the general patronage, and prefer to huddle in their own small cliques, talking amongst themselves.


You pause at the top of the steps, wondering if you are making the right choice entering. This was not your place, not your world. Your mianzi – your social standing and reputation, mean nothing here. But it doesn't look at first glance that those within give a tinker’s cuss about saving, or losing, face, or indeed, what level of social influence they exert at all. These people are Belters for the most part – miners and spacers who provide much of the raw materials required by a high technology society, let alone the Project Rebirth, which can not be sourced natively on Earth.


As you descend into the darkness, the details of the bar become clearer. Behind the bar stands the bartender, a short, skinny and mostly toothless Latino who you take took to be the bar owning Aiken in question, (by simple virtue of his black tool-jock’s shirt with his name stitched in cursive white over the pocket). He nods at you uninterestedly.


Scattered throughout the crowd are the obvious Alphas, easily spotted – off duty ship-security types, mercenaries, one or two off duty UMF officers, some escort pilots and more than a few of what you are pretty sure are pirates of various shades. Violence has remained, despite the calm of the world, surprisingly common place once one leaves atmosphere.


In other corners you spot Ethereans, discussing art, philosophy and politics, Emporeans cutting deals and more than one drunken Luminous academic debating with their peers, and every other representation of humanity one can think of.

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Sorry to not add anything to the actual thread, but I think this would be better placed in the 'Agora' section.


That aside this looks interesting, and I hope you and others keep expanding on it!

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Never before have I felt the urge to do something stupid this much. I'm not your average, sane human being. No, two years ago, I wondered whether I was even human. "Perhaps," I thought, "perhaps, I am a robot that has lost consciousness of being a robot."

It sounded crazy, even to me, but after hours of searching every part of my body for screws, locks, metal or even silicon, I was back at square one - plus a few dozen bruises and cuts across my body. Now, I look round this bar and suddenly feel like thrashing the whole place. I walk over to the counter and give the best smile I can manage at the bartender. It was one of those smiles you see models flash on commercials that advertise the newest toothpaste. He looks at me with the usual disinterest that's found in most of these sorry people, before his eyes go wide and he moves back on instinct.  


"What? Is there something in my teeth?" I ask, feeling my teeth with a weathered hand. He keeps his distance, eyeing with me with a strange expression of caution and impatience. Ignoring him, I rise from the desk and lean over the counter to stare at my teeth through the reflective glass bar on the other side. The bartender moves back a bit more, knocking over a man's glass of beer and pushing another customer's drink off the table and unto the melancholy man's trousers in an effort to save himself from falling. 


"There's nothing wrong with my face." I mutter, checking the somewhat long canines to see if they grew shorter. Perhaps, that's what ticked him off?


The man with the wet trousers is about to sit down when I snatch the stool from under him and take a seat. He falls down to the ground like a sack of potatoes and I signal the bartender to bring me a drink. The man just stares at me with wide eyes. 


"A drink. Getränk. A cup o' ale. Boisson." I enunciate, making the drink gesture with my left hand. 


He looks beyond me at the source of the big shadow and points at it, slowly. Instinctively, I turn round to face the Sack of Potatoes with the wet trousers glaring at me. 


"A Moravian cocktail. Shaken, not stirred." I say to him, taking a seat.


The man stares at me like a raving banshee about to howl. Does anyone here speak English at all? 


He grabs me by the collar and pushes me against the counter, bringing his face an inch away from mine. His eyes are narrowed like flint, his face is red, his mouth is narrowed to a scowl and his breath could exterminate a colony of termites. He is...angry...I guess? What did I do? But his mouth is way too close to mine for comfort.


"No, thanks. I'm not into men." I say, raising my two hands up, then thinking the better of it and trying to push him away, lest he steal a kiss and transfer that odious smell into my mouth.


Without a word, he growls and slams me against the counter. In that moment, I notice a small fly on his trousers. You know that spot where they the crotch is, no? I wonder what its looking for there, but I should do this man a favour and get rid of it. I move my leg back and with all the strength in me, I kick the fly. My leg makes contact, just catching the fly and the man howls. Very loud. Like a banshee. 


He sinks to his knees holding that spot like a child clutching a teddy bear. He's still howling like a crazed spirit: making "Aaaaaw! Oooo-ooo! Aaaaaw!" sounds and the noise is attracting attention. Perhaps, I should make him quiet? 


I look round the counter and find a heavy looking mug. It looks wonderful for the job: it's around eight inches tall and three inches across, with a rim half an inch thick. The edges are rough and remind me of the granite stones in the Armstrong Crater - why - it seems like the mug is made out of rock itself! Splendid. I pick the stone mug and with a decent amount of effort, bring it down on his head. There is a deep sound, like a bass guitar turned down to two or three decibels and the bar is totally quiet. Satisfied, I face the counter and take a seat. The mug has served it's purpose, so I toss it behind me and there's another quiet and deep bass guitar like sound followed by what must be the stone mug falling. I face the shaking man who has the "Aiken" name tag on his chest.


"A Moravian cocktail, bartender." I say and quickly add: "shaken, not stirred."

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Aiken regards you with the baleful glare that only annoyed bartenders can muster and leans over the bar and looks down at the large man out cold on the floor. "Should make you pay for that ya tool." he mumbles before straightening. "Oi! Charlene. Grab a mop. N' tell sunshine over there to do his fuckin' job while you're at it. Mick's come a cropper."


The young lady in question (lady being a generous label) is already moving, the altercation not having gone unnoticed, despite the noise of the bar starting up again as any show that was on offer is obviously not forthcoming. She drops a little yellow "wet floor" A-frame sign next to the man and starts picking up the remnants of the mug carefully. At the same time another figure appears through the press of patrons. The man is of average build and from a distance he is what springs to mind when looking for a definition of "nondescript" other than the darkened welders goggles he wears, not an uncommon piece of street wear in a place  like Port Drum. To the trained eye, he is someone who is otherwise practiced at not drawing attention to himself.


His build belies his strength as he lifts the unconscious Mick from the floor and into a fireman's carry with seemingly no effort, and carries him off to a corner booth where the poor drunk can sleep off his misery. The man, obviously a bouncer of some description, pointedly returns, and taking a seat at the far end of the bar where he can keep an eye on you as much as the rest of the room, picks up a new tablet and starts flicking through it. 


Aiken finally acknowledges you. "Ya choice is what's on tap, or basic spirits." he states, seemingly unimpressed, or unsuprised at the incident. Customer service is obviously not a strong point with him.

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I slowly stumble up from my seat among the luminous and declare

"You're all aware of Project Rebirth, I raise 2 tickets 3million apiece who wants ?" The formerly oblivious crowd rushes like a juggernaut towards me including the bartender. Oh dear.

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