Week 9 - Casablanca Station and the Party of a new Generation

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Week 9 - Casablanca Station and the Party of a new Generation

Post  Admin on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:09 pm

Casablanca Station, the most popular vacation spot in the universe. Outside of IR control, it was a Free Station open to all, with strict enough rules and competant law enforcers to make all visitors safe. It was also the heart of the information brokerage trade in the Polar Expanse.
It was controlled by the eccentric Administrator Duncan Stewart and was considered en vogue by the neuvo-rich of all factions.
So it was not surprising that two of the most talked about parties in the Polar Expanse were happening at Casablanca Station.
A very private and exclusive dinner banquet hosted by Prime of Unity for the illustrius Grand Admiral Layne Yr of the Kasanthian Federation was in the Grand View banquet hall. Another party hosted by the downright strange Da'uhnb Merchant, Goots Macbride, was in the largest dance hall the station possessed. Already music from the second party was filling the shared hallway.

Childeen Blackheart, C.E.O. of Blackheart Security Solutions arrived by Manta starfighter. It was one of the few craft in his fleet he hadn't been trained on. He stripped off his flight suit and underneath was a fine nightmare hide suit. The hide was extremely fine reflective scales that seemed to shimmer as he moved. He had a black tie that looked like it had at one time been a lanky black snake. His black hair was slicked back and he had used some of the fear he had consumed over the past few months to give him a blush of health.

After he docked, he went to the spacer bar just inside the airock and saw the news. Terrorist attacks on Mars. He quickly went to a comm terminal, where he was given another shock. Leon Simmons told him about the E-strain outbreak in hushed urgent tones. He had heard it spread past the IR to almost every faction. Childeen gave instructions to his man and sent out a stream of messages. What a bad week to throw a party, he thought.

Still if he left for his nearest holdings he would be out of the loop for a bit more time than he liked. So it looked like he was going to have enjoy the party as the galaxy fell to the fires. Seeing the waiter bring a tray of the kasanthian distilled fear and binber wine toward the private party Childeen quickly intercepted and took a glass.

He looked around to see who else was in attendance. There were a huge variety of Banking Guild representatives and people of interest from the Polar Expanse. He saw Ven Daydor of IG Capital entertaining a pair of Planetary Governors from the Esiroh System.
Across from them caroused a group of Earthers that were twenty deep, mugs full of frothy ale held high, and singing a space pirate chanty.

At the Bar an insectoid Tzira bartender was sitting on its thorax flipping bottles between its six sets of limbs. In front of the bar, he recognized his own former employee, Akrea Montoya of Moonrisen Trading Company, who was entertaining the Planetary Governors of Quanat and Redux. He made his way over to her to see how the job of middleman was treating her.

As he did, Damien Ettondira, owner of Terrovea, and his date, Lanaedra, entered the dance hall from the main doorway.

Lanaedra sighed.

She had her arms around his right arm as they walked, so Damien reached across himself with his left hand and gave her a gentle poke in the side. She jumped slightly, and looked at him disapprovingly. "Stop it, sir."

"You stop," he replied. "We're at a party. Look happy. Or at least content. And I told you not to call me 'sir'. We aren't working right now."

"This is why i didn't go to assist the Grey?" she asked. She looked down at herself, at the flowing, azure blue dress she was wearing. The neck was cut lower than she would have liked, and the fact the her long, blond hair had been pulled up into a bun wasn't helping hide what the dress wasn't. And, at the current moment, she was sure she was wearing more make-up than she had at any point in her life. She sighed again.

She looked up at Damien. He was wearing a suit designed so that he could wear it, and the back wouldn't be completely open. A white undershirt, a light blue vest, to match to color of her dress, and a black overcoat. Black suit pants and dress shoes completed his attire for the evening. That, coupled with his dark grey wings, shoulder length black hair, and silver eyes, he was a sight indeed.

He looked down at her. "What's wrong now? As i said, we're at a party. Relax."

"It's difficult to relax when i feel like everyone's staring at me, Damien."

Damien chuckled. "And why wouldn't they be? You look amazing."

"I don't like this dress," she said quietly.

"You should have said something before we left. There were other ones."

She freed her right hand, reached up, and smacked him on the shoulder. "I did say so before we left. Six times, actually. And another two on the way here."

"And this time makes nine," he said. "I can count." She hit him again. "Besides, this one looks good on you," he continued. "Matches your eyes."

She blinked, and looked back up at him. "That's the only reason you picked it?"

They stopped walking, and Damien looked around. Then, he looked down at her. "Yeah, pretty much." He looked back up. "Now, what say we socialize. I wonder who's here."

Lanaedra sighed again. Damien poked her in the side again.

The Diminutive Childeen spotted Damien. He strolled over casually, he certainly had a beautiful though obviously uncomfortable piece of arm candy. Childeen realized he may be the only one without a date, he was completely fine with that, he had no desire to love again.

"Damien." He said reaching up to shake his hand. "Its a pleasure to finally meet you in person.".

The first thing out of either Damien's or Lanaedra's mouth as Childeen approached was from Lanaedra. "Damien, look at this dress. I think i look like a whore."

Damien chuckled. "Relax. You do not." He then turned to greet the small man. "Childeen, it's a pleasure," he said as they shook hands. "May i introduce my escort-"

She hit him. Again. Hard.

"Ow. That hurt," he said to her as she scowled at him. The Baribur straightened and re-started. "May i introduce to you to the Admiral of my personal fleet, and my friend, Lanaedra Adessa." She waved, sorta, and smiled nervously. "She's not very social, as you can see."

He cleared his throat, and continued. "So, my friend, how are you?".

As they traded pleasantries, more ships docked with Casablanca station. One was the freighter carrying Orleos Sacrenine, the Art Collector and owner of Sacrenine Fine Arts.

Looking at himself one last time in the mirror so as to make sure there was not a hair out of place, Orleos sighed. He had traded in his normal Victorian attire for something a bit more of the Ancient Eastern Earther fashion or what one may find in the Markets of Chooru on Refuge. It was a zhiju, made from fine black silk with real silver thread lining the edges that would arc out into the dark middle and end in elegant spirals, yet cut short enough so that he could dance or duel should he find the need. The zelan whip that he was so often seen with had been woven into the fabric of a formal belt to complete the attire, but still accessible should he need it.

Upon his feet were matching black silk slippers that offered enough support for an event such as this, but soft enough to still be light and comfortable. His hair was pulled back into a pony tail at the nape of his neck and held in place with a black opal pinwheel clasp and in the center of the clasp was a punched hole in which a preserved black rose sat.

Orleos disembarked from his personal Freighter once it reached the docking bay of Casablanca Station. Cumbersome though the vessel may have been, it contained all the personal affects he needed when he traveled, whether for business or pleasure, but both were often the same in his mind. When he entered, he scanned the crowd and picked out Childeen speaking to a Baribur with an annoyed looking woman clinging to his arm.

The Baribur, he noticed, was quite handsome indeed, an amused expression playing across his features and the woman was quite lovely, especially with the seemingly permanent blush across her shy face, but she seemed put out with the dress she was wearing.

He walked over to where the trio was conversing and waited for their conversation to stop before speaking to Blackheart, "Childeen, it is good to see you again, especially after that fiasco with Ironsbane. Dreadful circumstances those were, but fortunate nonetheless."

The two of them shook hands, "And I see you have already made some new friends. May I ask who the handsome man and charming lady are this evening?".

Damien clapped his hands together as best he could, as Lanaedra was still holding onto his right arm. "See, Lanae, already we're meeting new people."

"My apologies, but if i may introduce myself-" He attempted to extend his right hand to the man, but it didn't happen as planned. He looked to Lanaedra. "Are you going to stick to me all night?" he asked her.

"At least until i'm comfortable here," she responded.

Damien sighed. "I'll take that as a 'yes'. Move to my left side. I need my right hand for handshakes."

As she re-located, he held his, now free, hand out. "Let's try that again. I'm Damien Ettondira, president of Terrovaea Industries. And this," he gestured to Lanaedra, "is my good friend, and fleet admiral, Lanaedra Adessa. Pleased to meet you, uh...".

Orleos chuckled at the actions of the woman at the side of the Baribur, one Damien, before extending a hand towards his and shaking it firmly, "Pleased to make your acquaintance Damien, if I may call you that? I am Orleos Sacrenine, Director of Sacrenine Fine Arts, but just Orleos is fine."

His turned towards Lanaedra before gently taking her hand in his and shaking it, "Pleased to meet you Miss Adessa. I daresay you look lovely in that dress, it suits you rather nicely." Then he smirked, "I'm sure all the women in attendance will be jealous though that you have the arm of a fine gentlemen such as this, I know I would be. Best to keep a tight leash on this one he he." And for extra emphasis he winked at her.

He chuckled as her face turned an even darker shade of red at his words. He proceeded to grab a glass of Non-Instilled Binber Wine from the nearest passing waiter and sipped while looking at the two, then he brought a hand to the side of his face in a gesture of false contriteness, "Ah, I forget my manners, I hope you enjoy the festivities. I know I plan to. Worry not, I'm sure no woman or man will try to steal him away."

Damien actually had to try not to laugh. "Damien will work just fine, my good man. And, Lanaedra, you might want to calm down. The embarrassment you're suffering from has turned your face a shade of red that i didn't think was possible for a face to turn. It doesn't go well with you're dress."

She tightened her grip on his arm. "I take that back. If everyone here is going to talk like that to me, your arm is mine. And it will be off somewhere there aren't any people."

Damien began to laugh. "Lanae, please, relax. I'm sure he meant nothing by it. And if he does, well, i'm honored that he thinks you'd be at all interested in me." He turned back to Orleos. "Please, you'll have to forgive us. We don't often attend gatherings such as this. Hell, this one doesn't even want to be here."

Lanaedra muttered something under her breath that brought Damien to laughing again. She looked up at him. "I need a drink," she mumbled.

"Yes, a drink." Damien held his hand out again. "Orleos, i apologize, but she seems intent on hunting down a waiter." As they shook hands, Damien leaned in to speak so that she couldn't hear. "And, between you and me, the way she is now, i'm going with her to see to it that she doesn't end up strangling someone." He righted himself, and half-shrugged his left shoulder. "That, and with the death grip she has, i don't think i have much of a choice. It was nice meeting you."

He turned to look at Childeen. "Childeen, my friend, it was good to finally meet you in person. Also, i'll need to talk to you later. However, it doesn't necessarily have to be tonight." And then to the both of them: "I hope you enjoy the festivities."

As the pair walked away, Damien looked down at Lanaedra. "See, isn't this fun? Maybe we should dance...".

Childeen had stepped to the back to watch the spectacle suddenly glad he hadn't thought to bring a date. As Damien was pulled away Childeen shouted back, "No worries, after this E-strain outbreak is under control I am sure we can find the time to talk."

He nodded to Orleos. "I can live with the conclusion of the Ironsbane fiasco. Everyone walked away from it eventually. Thank you again for the help. Unfortunately my time at the party is going to be a little limited. Why don't we go make the rounds of our hosts." He motioned for Prime and Yr's private hall.

Orleos contained himself so that he did not laugh outright, but still shouted good-naturedly after the receding pair, "Try not to drink to much, you will want to remember this night I assure you, and I doubt you want to wake up in bed next to a warm body!" At the indignant glare he received from Lanaedra he simply held the wine glass in front of his lips to 'hide' the fact that he was smirking, but the look in his eyes said it all.

Turning back to Childeen, he smiled at the further mention of Ironsbane, "True. We should not keep them waiting for to long, it would be rude." Placing the empty wine glass on a passing waiters tray, he folded his arms into his sleeves andheld them in front of him, he set off with Childeen towards the private ballroom where they would meet with their true hosts, Admiral Layne Yr and Unity Prime.

He walked at a reduced pace so his diminutive friend need not overexert himself, but briskly enough so that they were not at a crawl, by 'average' standards of course and in record time they reached the private hall. The hall was nothing short of grand and their hosts were already waiting for them.

In the banquet room, Layne Yr had arrived early in a stunning ballgown studded with actual diamonds.
She wore smaller heels so she could dance if asked and brought a bottle of the finest Kasanthian distilled fear mixed with the best binber wine.

The room Layne Yr had entered was thoroughly unimpressive. Oh it was beautiful but so civilized. One entire wall looked to be made of glass, giving a breathtaking view of space. The room had a long table with two beautiful settings, one across from the other. The table was dominated with what looked to be a thick hunk of animal flesh, with think dark char lines along it.

It was well prepared and even smelled good. Interestingly, it had a delicate and almost floral aroma. Surrounding the roast were a number of strange looking smaller dishes. Some looked to be like gels, or frothed custards. Others were delicately prepared vegetables cooked lightly to bring out their natural flavor.

Prime walked in moments after Layne Yr, from another door. He was wearing a black dress military uniform with a single onyx pin where medals would normally hang. The uniform fit his muscled frame well, but Yr noticed that Prime's frame had changed slightly. He was still about 5'10, and was still bald, and his severe face was still criss-crossed with scars. However, his eyes did not have that slight glaze to them which Yr had noticed soon after Prime became mortal. If he were a more frivalous man, Layne would have suspected stimulant use.

"Prime,My favorite partner in mad science.
What are the courses of the meal? I did bring a bottle of wine and a strong hunger."

Prime motioned for Yr to sit, took the bottle, and poured two glasses. Taking one, he sat.

"You look stunning, Layne Yr. Perhaps even more than usual. I've invited Trilat peoples of interest for a proper dance downstairs, but I wanted to enjoy a moment of relative peace with you first. If the battle-reports go well across the new front with the E-strain, this might be a proper victory dance.

Initial reports suggest, though, that this will be a week to remember. We have victory against the Fleets of Fate, and Ar'Yay's hive has gone hippie. The Iron Republic moves ever closer to us, and with the virus sample you gave me...we are in good shape. Once I'm done with the psychic plauge, we can keep the Quall at bay, and not just to ensure that they have hunting grounds. Its disgusting that any would accept that kind of alliance, but there you have it.

But enough of politics. How have you been, Yr?"

Prime took some food from the table, filling his plate. He sat down, sipped the wine, and readied himself to enjoy some fantastically unproductive, yet therapeutic, conversation.

For Layne, who enjoyed being the center of attention, hearing more "people" would be showing up gave her a deep sense of annoyance. It was like going out on a date and learning you would be joined by your partner's friends. Instead of an intimate dinner where you can speak freely, you end up surrounded by HIS hangers on and HIS horny libidinous crew who are more interested in banging you behind his back than any actual interest in what you have to say. None of this crossed her face. In fact anyone watching would think she was delighted by the news.

"It has been a pleasant month in many ways,Prime", said Layne, "With contracts through Maehl Holdings the TRILAT groes stronger. The TRILAT can now compete on equal footing with the IR in the polar expanse. This will guarantee our rebellion is not a flash in the pan. It may take decades but we have created an empire that could last a millennium. Our greatest threats are within our own ranks.
Like this Fleet of Fate situation.
I have been busy at work. While I do not have a grand lab like you do Prime, I have been testing things in their own right. Studying ancient cultures and what destroyed them.
I do look forward to a quiet relaxing meal."

Right as she said that the first two guests arrived, and neither were members of the TRILAT.
Layne smiled bigger, but inside she sighed. There went any hope of an honest communications, she thought.

The bastard Director Childeen Blackheart walked over to Layne Yr. "Admiral Yr, I have spoken to you many times but never in person. Its a pleasure to finally meet you. This distilled fear and binber wine is quite the potent brew."

At his side stood the ingenious art collector Orleos Sacrenine, who bowed at the waist in greeting, "How nice it is to see you again so soon dear Layne and may I say that your dress is stunning, but not so much as you." He took her right hand and kissed it.

Layne's dress made her appear to be one large jewel that threw light every which way, but the ambient lighting of the hall did not make her seem glaringly so. 'How deceptive to appear so bright, but be so dark on the inside. Then again, it's like that terrible cliche of a rose having thorns, but in her case it's a rose and some deadly demonbeast...or disease.' Orleos thought.

"Eternal Greetings from the court of the Kasanthian Federation and the TRILAT,"Layne replied,
"It is so nice to see you gentlemen. Thank you for your kind words. When Prime told me we might be getting foot traffic from the party down the hall I must say I was concerned.
However if we are celebrating there are few I would have at our side like you most supportive gentlemen."

She turned to Childeen and smile seductively and said, "The Distilled Fear isn't just from a ripe source deep in the Kasanthian Kingdom. It has been aged in casks for centuries. It is a strong and old variety of beverage consumed only by the highest nobility in The Kasanthian Kingdom on Refuge.
I could have a few crates of bottles sent to you if you desire?"

Childeen realized he would need to be very very careful how much of the distilled fear he drank. It was almost as addictive as being on a last stand world in its death throes. A powerful and narcotic fear he still couldn't look himself in the mirror and admit he enjoyed.

"Thank you very much Admiral." Childeen sniffed the brew again enjoying both the murmured screams and the heady fruit flavor. "I would absolutely love a few bottles though I doubt they will come cheap."

"The best things in life...and death, rarely do," replied Layne Yr.

Then she turned towards Orleos and said "Mssr. Sacrenine I am happy to introduce you to Prime of Unity. Prime, this unexpected man has his finger on the pulse of the illicit art trade in the polar expanse, and a eye for interior design like few before him. You are always looking for people to help teach the Choirs and few men are as wellread on the subject of modern Art as Mssr. Sacrenine."

Orleos bowed again slightly and smirked at her words, especially when she came to the words 'interior design', "You are to kind. Though I do agree, art is most definitely a powerful conduit with which one can express the colors of the soul, no doubt many could find it enlightening if they did but look."

The beauty of the statement was that it served a dual purpose, one being the philosophy that all would blatantly see, and the other was the hidden meaning beneath that only one such as Layne was currently privy to, "Speaking of artwork and interior design, how are the planet's that I have visited? Still breathtaking I hope?"

They were interrupted as a waiter came to Childeen with a pair of beautiful typed messages on exquisite paper. Childeen had to laugh that the message from other party patrons, all the way around the universe and then to him as he stoof in front of them. He turned to Unity Prime, "I got your message with regards to Druzi. Can you please provide us with indepth scans of Druzi for possible infections? I am hoping to contain this quickly before a horrific loss of life occurs. Thank you for your help on this, something horrible is going on. Please excuse me I need to talk to our other host, Mr. Gootes."

Childeen left Orleos, Layne and Prime to their discussion as he returned to the dance hall down the corridor.

Orleos turned to Prime, "As I said before, it is indeed a pleasure to meet you Ser Prime, but I must say I am intrigued."

At this Orleos examined Prime more closely, "You are not what I expected, at least not from my past 'dealings' with the Unity or from the shots I've seen of you."

Prime had a strange look to him. Orelos was a master of reading the motivations of people, but had a difficult time with the strange looking fellow before him. He was strong looking, but the heavy scars on his face would forever keep the label of “handsome” off of him, excepting in some circles. His eyes, though, were disconcerting. For a moment, it was as if Prime was not there at all, and that Orelos might as well be a glass window. The moment passed, and Prime’s eyes re-focused on Orelos and he spoke.

“Delightful. Of those who I thought might come, aside from Layne Yr, I had hoped you might appear. You sell art, yet, I suspect there is more to it than that. We must speak of the methods you employ for more of your expensive services.”

Orleos's face immediately became one of quiet contemplation at Prime's words. Prime was observant and sharp, that much was certain, but it was that glossy eyed look he had, it was not missed by Orleos, but he doubted Prime would be brazen enough to try anything here with this many people. Not to mention that Prime was no longer a part of the 'old' Unity...right?

He stashed away his doubts and concerns for the festivities at hand, he'd look into it later, but for now, "You are most astute Ser Prime, things are not merely what they appear to be, more so with some than others."

As they talked in the banquet hall, the dance hall was turning into a full blown party.

Gootes Macbride finally thundered in wearing a bright Orange vest and looking like a blue reptiliod member of the Village People. As a time traveler he had partied with the Village People, he knew how to get down!

"I, Gootes Macbride welcome you to the celebration. I have finally cornered a market, so I can now afford pronouns!! Success feels good but Gootes wants to share so he threw party here at Casablanca station. "

Gootes goes to the bar first, does a line of shots. The strong K'iou Vagna Liquor burned good.
Then Gootes hits the dance floor.

After seeing Gootes enter and start doing shots, "A drunk Dahumb...this is going to be a crazy party." Childeen noted offhandedly.

"Remember everyone, Drinks and Food is my treat, its time to party like it is Year 1".

Childeen walked over to Gootes before he hits the floor, "Gootes I know this is a festive occasion but I am going to need your help on Druzi. I need you to help find the source of the infection as well as find any magnavores that slipped our nets on Druzi".

Gootes picked Childeen up in a hug saying, "Little man didn't drink enough. Tell Gootes again tomorrow. Tonight for partying."

As Childeen was put gently back down on the dance floor, he wondered if it did make a difference. After all Gootes was a Da'uhnb, and they were a race of time travelers. Waiting still troubled him.

Su Maehl of Maehl Holdings walked in, thinking he was late. When he got the message from Prime regarding his situation with the E-strain, Su pretty much knew he had no choice but to go. While he was a busy man, this party was the biggest event he could possibly attend as it would be attended by a great deal of Maehl's clients. Su smiled, happy at the opportunity and hoping beyond hope that this wasn't a bad idea.

Dressing for the event was easy; after a several hundred year absence, he chose to utilize a specific type of formal wear, the tuxedo. Black fibers so finely woven that it had a natural sheen to the material. The jacket was cut perfectly to his measurements, allowing mobility around the back and shoulders but still flat on the body so that no material was wasted. He wore shiny black shoes, material unknown, and a crisp white shirt underneath his jacket, contrasting marvelously to the black bow tie and pants he wore. When he got dressed earlier, he once again mused that after thousands of years, a suit and a tuxedo hadn't changed much. Some things look so good it wasn't worth changing.

As he entered the room, the first thing he noticed was the blue lizard alien in an orange suit. While he knew exactly who the creature was, he chose purposely not to engage Goots directly. He made his way out and down the corridor to the banquet hall.

Damien watched Su leave the dance hall with interest. His date was far too distracted by more mundane things to realize.

Damien sat for a moment with his head resting on his right hand as he watched Lanaedra finish another drink. "You know," he started. "Hangover or not, you're going to have to work tomorrow." She dismissed his comment with a wave of her hand as she ordered another drink. He sighed. "Ah, well. C'mon. It's time we went and met Prime. We should thank him for the invite."

This time, Lanaedra sighed. She put her glass down and stood up. Damien held out his arm so she could take it, which she did, and they started walking. Not four steps into the journey, however, and he had to catch her to keep her from falling over. He sighed again. "Ok." He slowly walked her back to where she was sitting. She put her head down. "Change of plans. I'll go thank Prime. You stay here. Try not to drink too much more. I'll be back in a bit."

As he started to turn away, Lanaedra raised her head, and grabbed his arm. "No no no no no. No. You can't just, leave me here. By myself. No."

"And why not?" he asked.


"Yeah," he said, watching a blue reptilian man in an orange vest dance around the room. "There are quite a few of them here. And some things that i'm not too sure of what they are. Lanae, what is that?"

"They talk, people do. Bad things." She pointed over to where they had met Childeen and Orleos earlier. "Like them that we talked to. Orleos implied."

"I'm honestly impressed that you said his name right."

She pulled his arm so that he had to crouch, and continued in a hushed voice as if she hadn't heard him. "Implied. Me, a-and you. Th-that we..."

"That we..." he said.

"Sex," she stated, turning as red as she was earlier.

Lanaedra let go of his arm, and put her head back down. Damien stood up again and blinked. "Well, after i thank Prime for the invite, i'll have to track down Orleos and thank him for breaking my admiral." He then put a hand on her shoulder. "Relax. I won't be gone long." He walked away.

That was when Lanaedra noticed a handsome Earther enter from the main door to the dance floor. She was amazed when she realized she was staring at Field Marshal Jeremiah Strykker, one of the leaders of the military of the planet Refuge. She politely stopped staring.

Jeremiah wore a dark suite with a vaugely martial cut while not actually being a uniform. He serveyed the room as he snatched a drink from a passing waiter. The da'humb know how to throw a party, he had to give Gootes Macbride that. He could also just see the entrace to Prime's private party and he knew he'd need to make an appearance there as well.

He resigned himself to circulating and making chit chat around the room. If nothing else it might give him a chance to mend some fences in the Free Systems.

Initiate Tiduk stepped into the party room nervously, this was his first test before he could become a full member of the Church of Dawn's New Light, he hated to leave Druzi during the emergency but he knew that they needed to start mending the broken bridges of the past and begin anew. This would be the first step in trying to reach out and try to create bonds where only mistrust and hatred previously existed.

Priority would be Trilat members and Free Systems representatives here. Tiduk would be polite and try his best to extend his good will to all.
He took a drink and sipped it cautiously, his heart we thumping in his chest. He saw the people of Su Maehl....he sighed to himself, yes they would have to be treated with respect too, that burnt bridge would have to be mended as well, or at least an attempt had to be made as well.

This near impossible task would be his, he wished he had been started on something easier rather then attempting to build a diplomatic foundation with seemingly half the universe....he would need another drink, but he stopped himself. He had no larva within him, he didn't want to get drunk and make a fool of himself.....well one more couldn't hurt and it would calm his nerves he hoped.

The Tzira bartender was more than happy to help him. As Initiate Tiduk stood there drinking, he saw a most beautiful and strange creature enter.

A tall, willowy woman strode into the grand ballroom, wearing a striking forest green Kasanthian designed bodice and skirt ensemble. From a distance it seemed that the fabric had a unique texture, but as one closed the distance it became apparent that all of the clothing was covered in miniature ferns, growing through and over the fabric. The lustrous hair of the creature was not dead strands of protein, but filamentous lianas bursting with tiny red and purple flowers. Her large eyes were discomforting, deep pools of solid jade, with no pupils or whites. Marianette, the mostly-human-looking choate of Oleifera, stared around the room, awed but not frightened, and her exquisite features brightened into a smile as she glimpsed the mass of twirling dancers.

She flitted towards the swirling group, arms extended in joy, and matched the pace and steps of the group perfectly. As the song ended her vivacious demeanor and stunning looks had attracted some attention, and more than a few men had approached to offer her various beverages. She accepted none, but thanked each one profusely, with glowing smiles and feathery touches of gratitude.

She caught a glimpse of a blue-skinned alien, the Builder mind informed her that it must be a Da’uhnb, and very likely the host of this engagement. As she moved towards the orange-vested figure, she felt rather than saw the presence of Unity Prime, and resolved to speak with him at some point… although his thoughts seemed slightly preoccupied. Layne Yr would most likely be near him. A very embarrassed-looking woman in a stunning blue dress was sitting nearby, Marianette flashed her a smile of encouragement as she passed by. A nervous man wearing the insignia of the Horned Dog cult had entered, but had gone un-noticed by the buoyant Marianette.

Upon reaching the cavorting Da’uhnb she smiled brightly, joined him in dance and said, “Many thanks from Oleifera for this invitation, Honored One, this one has never seen such revelry! Is this part of a religious ceremony? Or honoring the close of a certain season?”

Gootes was boogieing down and saw all his guests having fun.
It made the blue reptiliod alien feel really good.
Right as the best part of the song came on, there was a pretty little forest maiden trying to talk to him.
He tried singing the words of the song to get her to join in. Two hanger ons come in close singing with him.

Meanwhile in the docking bays of Casablanca Station the valet was having a freak out.
Garmin Fe dusted off some rubble from off his shoulder. He had just had his regalia finely cleaned and pressed and he already had concrete dust marks nearly upon the entire thing. Perhaps entering via high-speed drop pods was not always the best means of travel.

"Oh well", sighed the General. At which point he summoned a host of specialized nanites which picked away the dusty particles and disposed of themselves in the nearest trash bin. He tipped the valet 5 ghaz as the poor boy was struggling to figure out how to dislodge the capsule from the lot, which had to be done well before he could even think of how he would park it.

He made his way up to the maglift and walked past the dance hall entrance and continued to the banquet hall, where Prime and Layne Yr awaited him. Walking in he found Su Maehl, and a pair of business men, one of whom was a Baribur talking with Prime. Layne Yr raised a glass to greet him as he entered.

Garmin entered the hall in a suit of fine gold trim and navy blue cotton. His beard was white and frosty and he bore a few scares across his brow. Through his suit one could see his bulging left arm which was forged entirely out of crystal. His Left hand was covered with long black glove, concealing the clockwork device beneath it.

Su Maehl nodded courteously as he traversed the room to the second person he noticed, the beautiful woman seated at the table with someone who may or may not be Prime, based on holocomm meetings. You can never tell in person, these days.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen and pardon te interruption. please allow me to introduce myself in case we may or may not have met, I am Su Maehl, the CEO of Maehl Holdings."

The Baribur waited until Su had finished speaking, and then started himself. "I, too, will require an introduction, as i've only met three of the five people present. I'm Damien Ettondira, and i ask that you forgive my intrusion."

Prime smiled to the newcomer…who had wings. He had not seen one of the children of his birthplace in a long time, and it did him well to see Damien. It brought back memories from his time as Kal’Shek, making his first forays into the science of the mind. Things were simpler then.

“Damien, hardly. It is good to meet you. I have been hearing of an upstart new IRLC in town, and I was interested to meet the persons responsible. If you are interested, we should speak later. I do a surprising amount of business in the polar expanse and elsewhere for someone who detests the idea of money. Depending on what you are offering, we might be able to use you in some of my more…aggressive business ventures.”

Prime turned to Admiral Layne Yr, and kissed her hand before turning to Su Maehl and Garmin Fe to speak on matters regarding defense. Small nanites crawled from his body to hers, moving to her ear. They set up a microscopic shadow gate, through which Prime spoke, so quietly only she could here.

“Layne Yr, I am sorry we didn’t have the time to speak more, but I adore giving you presents, and so I’ve saved the last one as a bit of a surprise. This party, you see, is a trap. For more than one group…actually. On the surface, this seems like a desperate attempt by Prime to impress the stunning Layne Yr with his connections. What better place to plan an assassination? The pain, chaos, and fear which may soon infest this place might well be particularly lovely for you. Second, I’ve been hunting the being Quiet, and it is in this sector of space. If I can track it, I can trap it in my own body…possibly getting its power. My scouts are making a net and preparing a few traps as we speak. I figured, if he does come, this mini shadow network can keep us from losing one another.

Before I switch gears, I just wanted to say it has been lovely having you as an ally thus far. You are truly building something magnificent, and you handle those under your command with a grace I envy. I’m working on a few designs that might have applications for you. Let us speak after whatever comes next. You will always have my respect and my regard”

During Prime’s quiet conversation, he was actually having a second one, this with Su and Garmin Fe.

“Gentlemen, I’m glad you could make it. I will come to the defense of Druzi Prime, and the planets under Su Maehl’s purview, but not with scans. If I know anything about those creatures, it is that scanning is largely useless. I have been gifted with a large number of hunting hounds by the Kassanthian Federation some time ago, as well as a few Mangavore samples by Angel D. Between these two, and prodigious use of infantry, we will get this situation under control.

Interestingly, these has been resistance to my trade with Druzi from, of all things, the populace. What is happening on your planet, Mr. Maehl?”

As Prime spoke, his traps were being prepared. Not all of the guests at the party were foreign dignitaries after all. Tiny spider meks in the vents were preparing tiny passive scanners, giving Prime eyes on most of the station. Energy signature detection and metal detection could reveal much, if Hunters would approach directly. As for traps, the spider meks could convert themselves to shaped charges capable of doing significant harm, if Prime wished it. He had them wired to a private network, and had made them by hand, making the chances of anyone hacking them or knowing they were there vanishingly slim.
A number of probes detached themselves from Prime’s private skiff as it approached the Casablanca station, putting thousands of probes into the Free Systems space. They spread out, searching for the hiding place of the being known as Quiet.
In one moment the defenses of the station activated and all of Prime's meks were disabled. To Prime's shock, it was Leyas-based Chill that did it. In that moment of survellance he was sure that none of the cyborg hunters were aboard, and that there was something strange going on at Casablanca station.

He was distracted from that by the signal coming from Su Maehl. Prime began scanning him upclose, and realized that Su's communicator linked to his desk back home was echoing Quiet's signal. Somehow, Su Maehl had Quiet in his possession, but Prime could tell that Su didn't know it.

Seeing a perfect chance for true privacy, Garmin looks across to the stunning Layne Yr and invited her to dance. At which point he called upon a table and conversed with her. They spoke at length about the Shards of the Crown of the Forgotten and the strange dreams they shared.

Across the banquet hall from them, Damien shook hands with Prime. "Well, now that you mention it, i was hoping to have a discussion with you at some point. However, now isn't the time. I'm here now, only to thank you for for the invite, and i hope you enjoy you're evening."

As Prime turned away, so did Damien. Walking out of the room, he looked around again. There were a few new faces since he had left the room. Amongst them, a young man, who was drinking at the bar, a tall woman in a green bodice and skirt combination, and she was dancing with a man wearing a gold-trimmed blue suit.

The Baribur knew no one else who had shown up since he had gone to meet Prime, so he decided to go find Lanaedra. On his way across the room, he passed the dancing pair. Now that he was closer, he could see that the woman's outfit appeared to be made of, or at least decorated with, a large number of tiny plants. As he passed, he tapped her on the shoulder. "I like the outfit. Creative."

He continued his way across the room to where he left Lanaedra, and found her still at the table. "Have you moved at all since i walked away?"

"Mmmmn, no," she replied, without raising her head.

"Had any more to drink?"

Still not sitting up fully, she shook her head.

"Ah. Good." He sat down. "Drunk is bad. Especially since, at some point, i'd like to dance."

Lanaedra shot into an upright sitting position. "What?"

Damien started laughing.

Orleos had left the Banquet hall earlier, greeted Su on the way through the corridor and had entered the dance hall again.
Standing in a spot to long made his legs itch, he had the urge to go about to meet others

From Orleos's vantage point he could make out Damien at the bar from his wings, he couldn't see who was in front of him, but he'd bet it was Lanaedra. He scanned the sea of faces and noted that nothing was of particular note...he narrowed his eyes, dancing with the Da'unbh Gootes was a willowy looking woman, with what appeared to be flowers in her hair, and from what he could see, she was quite beautiful.

Not beautiful in the sense like Lanaedra or Layne, it was a unique beauty, one that was strangely intriguing. She was apparently trying to talk to the host of the dance, Gootes Macbride.

The tall blue-skinned alien barely had a chance to reply to all of Marienette's questions before the two were swept away by the gyrating crowd. Through Marianette, the Oleifera delighted in the freedom of movement, the beat of the music, and the multitude of races all celebrating together. When that particular revel came to an end, she caught a glimpse of the Da’uhnb from across the floor and gave him a wave of recognition.

“Would you care to dance?”

Marianette looked round, and came chest to face with a broad, stocky man; his military bearing, white beard and scarred face announced his age and determination. She recognized him instantly from the various TRILAT teleconferences and personal communications – General Garmin Fe. His presence was much more commanding and potent in person than she had anticipated, while she was a good head taller in height she couldn’t help but feel felt slightly intimidated by him. His eyes and shoulders carried the weight of many years’ warfare and responsibility – Oleifera privately wondered if he ever put such cares aside, even for an evening for enjoyment. Well, he was here…

She gladly accepted his arm, and found that he was a passable partner. She was able to blithely dodge any possibly calamitous missteps, and her elegant silhouette against his broad form turned more than a couple heads toward the dance floor.

When the song came to its conclusion, she curtsied gracefully and he solemnly bowed.

Orleos resolved himself to walk over to her and ask her to dance, as he got closer he noticed that her dress was covered in ferns.

Upon his approach she turned towards him and two shades of jade met one another, "If I may? Would the lady join me for a dance?".

He noticed that General Garmin Fe was standing just offside as the woman curtsied and bowed slightly to him in greeting, and Fe nodding in response. The man was certainly more intimidating in person than over commchannels.

The general motioned them towards a table, but before she could sit she was approached by an eye-catching man, dressed in an impeccable black and silver outfit. His green eyes caught hers, and hearing the orchestra strike up a delicate air she acquiesced to his offer to dance. She turned back with a small toss of her living locks, and smiled at the stocky Garmin Fe, saying, “This one will return shortly – we have much to discuss!”

Facing her new partner, she grinned cheekily and introduced herself, “I am Marianette of Oleifera, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance. I do not believe that we have met – what is it that you do, good ser?”

As the woman turned back towards him, a small smile slid onto Orleos's face as she accepted his proposal to dance and grew even wider as she announced herself, 'So this is a 'child' of Oleifera.' he thought.

The orchestra began to play a waltz as their next piece. Not missing a beat, he bowed in greeting, "I am Orleos Sacrenine, Director of Sacrenine Fine Arts. I run a company of the IRLC dedicated to unearthing treasures of the past and creating new works to please the senses. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Lady Marianette."

He held out his hand to her, "If I may?" She took his hand in kind, as the music picked up signaling the beginning of the dance, he spoke up quickly, "Do forgive me if I preform badly...it's been a long time since I've done something like this, so I apologize in advance if I make a fool of myself."

“Ancient art, you say? You should come visit ZEIST of Zahaz sometime soon, we have a whole department dedicated to studying Oleiferan art and culture, you might especially be interested in our Myriad pieces…” Oleifera was really getting into this whole “dance” phenomena. Perhaps the sudden consciousness shift from a potentially tens of thousands of years old massive lumbering tree form to a two meter tall lithe and apparently attractive creature was turning its… canopy?... slightly.

As Gootes turned back to the tiny forest maiden she was dancing with Orleos. He made sure not to cut in but tried to get them to join him in a group dance.

"Hi all Gootes Macbride, just staying alive."

"Having a good time, having enough wine, just tell me what you need, no there aint no greed. Just people of all species, playing for the eve."

"Hi Marianette how is Oliefera?
Hi Garmin Fe how was your day?
Hi Sacrenine, another glass of wine?
Hi Damien, who's your pretty friend?"

Frantic questions flowed while the Da'uhnb tried to dance.

The entire group whirled and spinned.
It was beautiful and it was a win.
It was a time for Love and a little sin.
But only the good type that can happen between friends.

Despite his reservations Initiate Tiduk's nervousness had caused him to down one too many glasses of wine, when he saw Gootes announce a group dance. Initiate Tiduk lost himself in the excitement and began to dance.

Gootes walked over to a person he didnt recognize who was drunkenly dancing but had a good rythm.

To Initiate Tiduk, he said, "Feel it in your soul
You got lose control
Till it hits your toes
And music and the beat
Makes you move your feet"

Gootes teaches Initiate Tiduk a few steps and some Pop and Lock moves and then the pair dance together in the center of the circle.

The big reptiliod put an arm around Tiduk after next pair of dancers walk up and says, "Gootes likes your style. You Gootes friend now!".

A tiny SUARM scooted into the main party, unnoticed in the great hubub of what appeared to be a well choreographed dance. Claptrap activated a holoprojector within his chest. Beside him appeared his mistress, the Lady Lil'ye'ahn. "I managed to make it to the ball, better late than never." Her image looked down at Claptrap, laughing. "Does this make you my fairy godmother?"

Claptrap made a sour buzz, almost like the human equivalent of a razpberry. "I've downloaded enough earther fiction to know that your sense of humor is transmitting well enough." Claptrap had been on extended leave for programing upgrades, and was glad to be back to work at his friend's side -so to speak. He had taken the time to have his 3foot chassie polished to a high chrome sheen with the crest of Ft Lendill etched upon the left of his chest.

Lil'ye'ahn's hologram was so solid she appeared to actually be there in the flesh. And there was a lot of flesh showing. Her dress shimmered green and silver, the color changing as the fabric moved. Low cut in both the front and back, high cut slits along both sides. Her lovely red locks in an intricate braid that encircled her head, with a single lock escaping to curl down and frame the right side of her face, where she allowed the rosebuds of her mask to show. The heart pendant from her brother hung just above her cleavage, other than that she wore no jewelry. Her crystal spike heels added another 5 inches to her lithe 6'2" frame. Though she could not duel in her holographic form, she still wore her razorvine whip wound along her arm and fastened at her wrist by a rose.

"Well, shall we go mingle?" She spied the door to Prime's private party and headed inside to meet and greet....

Ragman walked in, looking like a normal earther businessman. Looking around, he saw Lady Lil'aye'ahn.

Walking over, he stopped and gave her a little bow. "Lady, it is good to see you. We are trying to keep your forces safe. but if you'll excuse me i could really use a drink."

with that he turned and walked over to the bar and asked for a bottle of whiskey. Cutting the top off the bottle, he tipped it back and drained the bottle in two gulps.

Damn, but he hated trying to be diplomatic when he just wanted to kill everyone standing against him. 'oh well, for this once, i will leave the problems to a different me to deal with,' he thought.

Looking around he decided to just relax and have fun for one night before he had to go deal with all th crap of reality again.

walking over to a random young lady, he asked her to dance and proceeded to just ignore his problems for a bit. Dancing with different partners all evening sounded like a good plan.

He was swept up as was claptrap and Lil's hologram into the swirling group dance number.

Garmin nodded to the enthusiastic Gootes, and said, "My days are filled with serious matters, I appreciate your attempts to lighten up our collective dispositions." Pausing slightly, Garmin continued, "and just in case I don't get the chance to say it later on, I'm sorry about the mess." With that he left the Da'uhnb with a puzzled expression.

And so it began. Garmin Fe in a spectacular display transformed himself into a large ice breathing dragon made of crystal. At first he snarled and roared throughout the transformation. Then, without warning, began the group dance once again. His clumsy forward legs keeping pace with the music. Truly, it would be nothing one could have ever expected. He wrought great destruction with terrible glee.

But the dance continued, whirling and spinning towards the crescendo.

The dance was most enjoyable, he had to admit. While he would misstep every now and then to the delight of his partner, if her giggles were anything to go by, it was rather non-disastrous. Twirling through the crowd, he noticed Layne and Prime not to far away dancing with one another. The two were precise in each step and turn they made, perfect dancing partners.

A small gesture from Prime as he entered the dance hall made him curious, but with a sudden turn, Prime was blocked from view again. It was odd, but then again it could be nothing and Orleos was being overly paranoid.

As the group dance number ended, Gootes was breathing hard. He needed another drink and flagged down a waiter.

"Gootes need Sex on the Beach!".

Initiate Tiduk bowed before Gootes "I thank you, you are a goodsh guy, I hope we can havesh peacsh between ush, I think I drank a bit too mush"

Garmin Fe got himself drink from the bar. By the time he had finished he found himself once again in the presence of the lovely Marianette. "My pardons my lady, I did not treat you to all that fair of a dance last time. Let me try once again. A general can often get very rusty when his days get as busy as mine."

Motioning to the band, "Can we get a fine waltz?"

Su was lead back into the Dance hall as he talked with Layne and Prime. There was something off about Prime's behaviors.

Su smelled a trap, but then again, he always smelled a trap. He was, after all, a pirate captain. As he made small talk with Prime and Layne Yr, being sure to compliment her outfit, suddenly more guests came in to make their presence known. Before being able to make small talk with many more individuals, Prime and Layne Yr got up to dance.

It was time for Prime’s gamble. He smiled, and moved back to Layne Yr, offering to dance. As they danced, Prime silently signaled to his agents amongst the guests to be ready with a simple, easy to miss gesture.

Orelos had a sinking feeling that something was very wrong.

Some short time after Prime’s dance with Layne Yr, two members of the Unity in suits made from constantly swirling silver material drew swords, and the sound of a soft chime echoed in the room; it was a signal that a duel was to begin. Members of the Unity made a circle around the two combatants, who bowed gracefully to one another.

There was a moment of utter stillness, heavy with anticipation; and then the two duelists ran at one another, their light harmonic blades seeking flesh. The duel itself was like a dance, and the combatants move so quickly it was hard to even see their blades. The blades never touched over the course of the breathtaking duel, and blood had not yet been drawn.

Prime silently signaled to his other operatives in the room, who did not know about his spider meks in the vents. They would watch for hunter operatives or assassins, who would likely take the opportunity to strike. Prime considered that one of his operatives was the likely assassin, and so had some of his spider meks give him eyes on his operatives. Prime noted that many of his scout meks across the station were disabled by Administrator Stewarts unexpected defences. Prime had wanted to be aware of any saboteurs or assassins acting in this moment of confusion, such that he might ruin their bodies with kinetic force, but he was left to his own senses.

Prime continued to take in data from his scouts as he stood next to Layne Yr, hoping for a chance at eating the being known as Quiet. It would be dangerous, and he had no idea as to what would happen…but that was part of the joy.
He turned to her and grinned, whispering into her ear “Do you have a weapon? If anything will happen, it will happen soon, dear.”

Marianette beamed as the dance began… then felt a slight shift.

Suddenly Gootes got a strange look on his face and said, "Gootes needs to use the Rest room, be back after draining the lizard. Hahahahaha Gootes crack himself up."

And then Gootes left the people dueling but only for a few moments while he went to use the rest rooms. Even Da'uhnb need to pee once in a while.

A being Su Maehl knew must be an Oleifera was waltzing with Garmin Fe, and he wanted to make sure to introduce himself once the dance was over. Su was about to make small talk with Damien and his date when something was afoot.

Instincts kicked in, and he got out of the way as the chaos unfolded around him. He didn't go for his weapon yet, but he was ready to do so if needed. His back did not face an entryway and he was ready to jump behind a table or the bar, whichever was closest, for cover.

Su couldn't help but notice that Prime's men had surrounded him during the duel.

There was a flash of blue light as the entire Casablanca station teleported across space and time.

Walking out from the bathroom was Gootes Macbride followed by Grand Admiral Thei'Gann of the Da'uhnb.

"Leaders of the Polar Expanse," announced G.A.S.T., "I am sorry to have to kidnap you all so rudely. While we have all been entertaining ourselves the FoF have prepared to assault the hidden space station known as Unity Core. Look and See the end they have in store for you!"

Through the displays that lined the walls of the dance hall, the assembled heroes and villians could see a true threat.
Twenty FoF Motherships with four hundred thousand warframes were ripping apart the Iron Republic vessels that were tasked with protecting the rip in reality that lead to the Unity Core.

In the depths of space was a rip in space-time, many miles across. In front of it was a final I.R. Space Station trying to hold back the Fleets of Fate. Beyond the rip was darkness and a glittering black diamond of a space station, the forbidden Unity Core, which had been locked away two years before by the united forces of all factions.

G.A.S.T. announced, "They will reach the Unity Core, and when they do, they use it to reprogram the brains of all your citizens. Every living sentient being in this reality will become uplinked to the FoF network."

There was a flash of blue light and the station was returned to its original location, and G.A.S.T. was no where to be seen.

Gootes Macbride walked over to the bar and had a final set of shots poured.

"To Life"


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Re: Week 9 - Casablanca Station and the Party of a new Generation

Post  Admin on Sun Jul 31, 2011 10:12 pm

Rewards for this mission

Fist Full of Tokens- 1 Million Ghaz in Tokens that can only be used to gamble at Ryuk's Casino


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