A favorite freak on Ungstir gets drunk and gets delusions of maternity…
This cavernous chamber in the natural rock of the Ungstir planetoid appears to be some kind of converted mining operation facility, with large, rusty ore grinders, separation platforms and storage silos arrayed throughout. Automated ore-hauling bots – still functional despite age – whir and clunk overhead, following tracks set into the ceiling that weave around the antiquated mining equipment.
Metal-seated stools border a semicircular bar counter which is about one hundred feet long from end to end.
The bartender is usually clad in mining gear – complete with hardhat and overalls – and it doesn’t always appear to be just for purposes of keeping in theme. The Rockhopper’s Haven has a reputation as a rough spot among rough spots, with fisticuffs and gunfights erupting on a fairly regular basis – thus keeping the civilian constabulary on their toes (when they aren’t actually involved in the fights themselves).
Tkagorth arrives from City Commons .
Tkagorth has arrived.
Tkagorth stomps into the bar, and glances around.
LeBeau arrives from City Commons .
LeBeau has arrived.
Tkagorth is moving towards the bar, still looking around.
LeBeau walks in the bar and gives it a once over, making note of the inhabitants for the time being
Vampire is in his hoverchair near the bar, laughing outrageously at a joke from a chittering Odarite. He pours champagne into a shot glass, cries out, “And the mandibles got caught! I love it!” He gulps the champagne.
Tkagorth stomps up to the bar, and sits a few seats away from where Vampire is, and orders his usual firewater, he glances at Vampire and the Odarite.
N’Sha-El arrives from City Commons .
N’Sha-El has arrived.
Vampire is at the bar, hovering in his chair, holding a champagne bottle in one hand and a shot glass in the other, laughing and talking with an Odarite.
“…And NO Hua, that cat ain’t s’pposed t’eat engine fluid however much it’s coagulated!” The ominous, sharply husky tones of a rather annoyed young female sift through the doorway into the Rockhopper’s. Through the door, black-clad as ever, beaded braids swinging with copper cacophony, comes the petite figure some might recognize as a certain Sha. She looks as annoyed as she sounds, briefly glancing over her shoulder as the large, towering hulk of an Asian man looms briefly, then disappears as he replies to her queries with surprising gentleness and soft tones, lost amidst the hubbub in the place.
His laughter stutters to amused silence as Vampire pours another shotglass of champagne. He glances toward the arriving N’Sha-El and smirks.
Winterfall arrives from City Commons .
Winterfall has arrived.
Caladar arrives from City Commons .
Caladar has arrived.
Caladar zips his jacket half up as he walks in.
Vampire sips champagne from a shotglass.
Tkagorth is sitting at the bar, drinking from a glass filled with a clear liquid.
The soft hum of the pale bald man’s hoverchair mingles with the clinking of glasses and the rattle of the mining equipment on the tracks overhead.
N’Sha-El hasn’t noticed Vampire yet as she gives the as yet unseen Hua a wry, crooked half-smile. “Thanks Hua,” she calls and stalks into the tavern proper, looking rather broody.
Caladar wanders up to the bar, taking a seat. He turns to the bartender, “Beer, when your free, take your pick on sorts mate”
Winterfall heads into City Commons .
Winterfall has left.
Vampire sticks out his pinkie as he finishes off the champagne in the shotglass, then sighs pleasantly, and glances toward Caladar, the barbed wire tattoo over his eye arching just a bit. “Well, well.”
There is no mistaking Vampire’s voice of course, or the hum of that hoverchair. Sha glances over towards the bar as an almost automatic reflex, and at once her moody expression vanishes, replaced by a very mischievious grin. “Hey Vampy hon,” she calls and saunters over with a deliberate sashay to her hips.
Caladar keeps a keen eye on the bars other patrons.
Vampire makes a kissy face at Caladar when he’s not looking, then hears Sha calling and huffs. He glances toward her, and his smile goes blazing again. “Bitch!”
Caladar looked at me
Tkagorth snorts at Caladar, then goes back to his drink.
Caladar glances sideways at Tkagorth.
N’Sha-El’s eyes dance. “Sweetcheeks, take y’so long t’come callin’?” she returns, her own smirk a mirror of the gaunt scarecrow in the hoverchair. She wends her way past chairs, tables, then as soon as she’s within range, makes a pounce for Vampire, grinning madly.
Tkagorth grunts, “What?” at Caladar.
Caladar shrugs slightly, “Nothing”, He turns back to his drink.
Vampire tries to hang onto the champagne and shot glass as he gives N’Sha-El a hug. He grins broadly, releases her, then pours himself another glass of champagne. He raises it before Sha, shouts, “Salud, ya loudmouthed, pushy bitch!” And then chugs the drink.
Tkagorth snorts again, and takes a generous drink of his beverage.
N’Sha-El cocks a brow, squinting one eye as Vampire toasts her. “Y’been drinkin’ a while sweetcheeks hon?” she enquires as she plants a deliberately resounding and sloppy kiss on his cheek, then eyes him again with a chuckle and undisguised affection amidst the tough-chicka facade. “So how’s you been doin’ kissy-face?”
Jasra arrives from City Commons .
Jasra has arrived.
Vampire smirks, tossing the shotglass over his shoulder and listening to it shatter on the rock wall with mirth plastered across his inebriated face. He then drinks champagne straight from the bottle and says, “I been doin’ fabulous!”
Jasra steps into the tavern, glancing around intently looking for someone.
Jest’liana arrives from City Commons .
Jest’liana has arrived.
Tkagorth is sitting at the bar near Vampire, drinking his usual.
Jasra winces and ducks a little at the sound of the breaking glass, casting a annoyed glance at the source of the noise. She walks on to the bar.
N’Sha-El /eyes/ Vampire again, then firmly reaches to take hold of the champagne bottle. “Hon, lemme share some of that, m’k?” she notes with a laugh and tugs. “C’mon. Fab’re not y’ain’t drinkin’ th’lot wit’out sharin’ dammit. Or if y’don’t m’gonna get on that chair wit’cha,’ she threatens mildly.
Vampire begins to sing, loudly and off key: “When I was boy/not sixteen years old/my mother warned me, be not too brash or too bold/so what did I do right away after that/I bedded a sailor in sixty minutes flat!”
Vampire quits singing and waves the champagne bottle around, sloshing the contents. “I come from a loooong line of cabin boys,” he whispers conspiratorially – although everyone around him can hear.
Jest’liana walks in, brushing her hair back behind her face as she makes her way to the bar. The sound of singing makes her cringe. Or rather, the sound of off-key singing. She raises her eyebrow at Vampire and snorts. She murmurs something about cruelty to animals.
Stopping next to the Zangali at the bar, Jasra orders a scotch from a passing bartender, and sits on an empty stool beside him, looking at him saying, “Hey Tka.”
Tkagorth glances at Jasra, “Where Jasra been?” he asks.
Tug of war eh? Well, that’s no problem. Sha grabs the end of the bottle, getting herself a good faceful of champagne while she’s at it. “Vampy, don’t waste th’stuff,” she notes sagely and sighs. “If y’gonna give it to th’floor, lemme get up on th’chair. Move!” That last is an order almost as she keeps firm hold of the bottle’s end.
Jasra shrugs and just smiles as she removes her gloves and places them on the counter in front of her. “Just around.” she says softly.
Tkagorth grunts, “Go Mars softskin visit?”
Jasra looks around the bar, then back at Tkagorth, “Shss.” she whispers.
Vampire blinks, then hands her the bottle and grips the controls of the hoverchair. “Oh, no, no. You’re not qualif…qualif…” His eyes get a bit wide. “Excuse me…” He whirs backward, then arcs around, heading through the crowd, his cheeks puffing out. “Excuse me! Out of the…uh…uh…way!”
Tkagorth grunts, “What?”
Jasra frowns at the Zangali, “Tka let cat out of bag, Tka shut up!”
Jest’liana makes sure she is well out of Vampire’s way, and calmly hops to sit on the bar top. “Eddy?” She calls, looking over her shoulder for someone to take her order.
N’Sha-El, left with the bottle so abruptly, almost takes a tumble into the counter. “Sweetcheeks, what th’HELL!” is her vituperation as she blinks down at her new burden, then takes off after the fleeing scarecrow in the hoverchair. “Y’been spikin’ this with cat’s pee again??”
Tkagorth scratches his head, “Cat? Where cat bag? What cat?” he asks obviously lost.
The hoverchair zigzags through the crowd, and Vampire pays little mind to anyone he happens to be slamming through, as he desperately whirs toward a receptacle. He finds one in the form of an old ore bucket. “Thank Gawd,” he mutters, then leans over the hoverchair and upchucks loudly and wretchedly. It makes a slurping, glooping sound.
Teel arrives from City Commons .
Teel has arrived.
Vampire is currently hunched over the side of his hoverchair, retching into an ore bucket.
“…never mind.” Jest says dryly, apparently having lost her desire for anything to drink or eat. She settles back to look over Sha a moment.
Accepting her drink from the bartender, Jasra lifts the glass and downs the it in one fluid movement, setting the empty glass on the counter, she turns to Tkagorth, her voice low she says, “Jasra put Tka in bag with cat, if Tka no shut mouth.”
Vampire glances up from his own fluid movement, wipes his mouth, and then stares at the ceiling, glassy eyed.
N’Sha-El knocks over two chairs, bludgeons bodily into a startled miner at one table and bruises her shin before she finally gets herself beside Vampire and sighs, muttering creative invective sentences that include cryptic utterances like “…Blazin’ bloody cats an’ Sanaen piebald hooters…” She eyes the bucket, unfazed by the snortling, retching mess and observes, “Sit tight hon. Gettin’ y’some water.”
Tkagorth stills is confused, “Tkagorth no see catbag, what Jasra mean?”
Teel ambles into the tavern, nodding to a few miners. She gets this big eyed look of surprise on her face at the sight of a certain man in a hoverchair, and bellows cheerfully, “VAMPIRE!!! Y’ol hubby stealer, how are ya?”
Vampire waves a slender hand at N’Sha-El. “Don’tcha worry bout it none, bitch. Probably just the mornin sickness.” He swings his drunken face toward Teel, smiles stupidly, waves, and promptly loses his balance, falling off the hoverchair and sprawling on the floor.
“No see catbag, Tka.” Jasra mutters, “Silly lizard.”
Jest’liana laughs softly and slips off the bar. “Sha, you dropped things as I asked right?” She asks cheerfully, already headed towards the door.
Tkagorth scratches his head, then declares, “Stupid softskin…..” he looks around the bar at all the commotion.
The petite girl with the cornrows and braids smacks her palm to her forehead hard, muttering most unladylike things to herself as Vampire takes a dunk onto some rather hard rock. “Sweetcheeks, y’drunk,” she understates in the extreme and kneels down, concern creasing her face as she reaches to haul him into a sitting position. “Y’ok, bitch?’
Vampire rises slowly, staring up at Sha, smiling at her as if it was his mother or something. “Hey, bitch,” he says dreamily. “Start knittin booties! Vamp’s with child!’
Teel laughs and laughs. “Aw, Sha, Vampy’s jus’fine. Probly drank half th’bar an hit on half th’men.” She ambles over to the bar. “Gimme glass a water for th’new mother.”
Between Teel’s loud and cheerful greeting and Jest’s query, Sha replies to each in the same sentence so the actual answer itself is a bit incomprehensible. “SIS! Y’doin’ ok wit’ th’buns in th’oven an’ yeah I dropped it lik’ a hot p’tato but I ain’t happy ’bout it so…Vampy, y’been suckin’ crack wit’ Noc’s bro, sweetcheeks?” She gives Vampire a rather anxious scrutiny from avian-tilted head. “Yeah, I’ll knit y’some, what color y’want?”
Vampire seems to consider this question as if it is the most important query ever posed, worthy of great deliberation. And then he burps. And laughs.
“Better unhappy then dead. Thanks for coming running at the alarm though, Sha. I appreciate it. And, I’ll talk to you later..” Jest weaves past Teel and gives her a smile. “The scent of vomit has a bad effect on my own control.” She apologizes for her… hasty retreat.
Jasra follows Tkagorths sight towards the comotion, shrugs and pokes the Zangali with her elbow, “Tka.” she says to get his attention.
Tkagorth looks down at Jasra, “What want?”
“Want tell Tka,” Jasra says, “Jas leave note crewquarter for Tka.”
Spasko arrives from City Commons .
Spasko has arrived.
Tkagorth grunts, “What note say?”
Jasra smiles, “Tka read.”
Vampire is sitting quasi-upright on the floor next to his hoverchair, with Sha hunched over him. He’s smiling stupidly and appears quite drunk. Something noxious seems to have been dumped in a nearby ore bucket.
Vampire sees Spasko enter, and his jaw drops, and he points, shouting, “That’s the father! That’s the father!”
Jasra sits at the bar next to Tkagorth, not paying any attention to the usual chaos in the tavern.
Tkagorth grunts, “Tkagorth gooderer readerer.”
Teel nods with a smile. “No prob, Jest. Take care.” She takes the water over to Vampire. “Here, drink this. It’ll keep th’edge off th’hangover an y’really should drink a lot of water.” She looks up at Sha. “Th’twins are wonnerful, sis.”
N’Sha-El sighs and reaches both arms around Vampire. “C’mon. Up. Git up lover. Gotta gitcha sittin’ back ‘gain. Dammit y’drink so much next tim’ I’ll brain yer ass wit’ glass.” A soft snort and a growl to emphasize the threat.
Spasko says dryly, “You got the wrong guy. I don’t got no kids that I know of, mate.”
Volanta arrives from City Commons .
Volanta has arrived.
Jest’liana is heading out the door. “Careful, Spasko. I don’t pay you enough for you to do alimony…”
Vampire huffs indignantly, then pats his belly and says, “You *will* support our child!”
Jest’liana heads into City Commons .
Jest’liana has left.
Volanta walks into the tavern, ducking through the doorway before extending to his full height. He glances around slowly.
Jasra glances over at the guy in the hoverchair, then at Spasko and breaks out in uncontrollable laughter.
Vampire is on the floor, with Sha trying to heft him back up into his hoverchair, though he seems to have become quite determined to argue with Spasko about matters of maternity.
Spasko scratches his chin and says, “I sure ain’t got no kid with you, pal. I don’t even know if that sort of thing possible short of some gene splicer doing something or other that I didn’t pay attention to learning back in school.”
Jasra leans over to Tkagorth whispering something to him.
N’Sha-El glances over at Teel and rolls her eyes. “Glad t’hear th’twins’re good lil’ sis…Ferd’nand you are gonna be GOOD or else. C’mon now alimony’s s’pensive an’ I ain’t got th’cash t’help wit’ raisin’ yer triplets.” With that she hauls bodily at the drunk tattooed man, muttering, “Lover I swear yer ass is TOAST. Toast y’hear?”
Vampire narrows his eyes, the barbed wire tattoo inching downward into the furrows. “Just you think twice about denyin our love child, John Henry! Don’t make me hire that weasel Gettleman! He’ll get me my money!”
Teel looks Spasko up and down. “Huh. Vampy, whacha drink t’hookup with /him/? S’good thing I din’t. Who knows what I coulda married.”
Spasko says, “Yea? Well, I’ll hire me a Nall trial lawyer to off you before I accept forking money over to pay for any of my love childs.”
Tkagorth looks at Jasra, “Why no?” he asks.
Vampire gazes up at Sha. “John Henry took me out on a schooner. He wooed me, bitch, wooed me right off my feet. He asked if he could be my rudder. How could I refuse his charms?”
Volanta shakes his head slowly, “Too tired for this…” He mutters and moves back towards the door.
Volanta heads into City Commons .
Volanta has left.
N’Sha-El has by now managed to haul Vampire halfway up so he’s hanging from her arms like a disjointed marionnette on crack. “Sounds ’bout th’same reason y’gave Gestalt when y’took him int’ Lil’ Sal’s Hot Bar an’ Love Shack,” she returns caustically. “An’ if y’don’t remember gettin’ pink feathers stuck in yer ears an’ ass, yer drunker’n I thought. C’mon, git /up/ bitch!”:has by now managed to haul Vampire halfway up so he’s hanging from her arms like a disjointed marionnette on crack. “Sounds ’bout th’same reason y’gave Gestalt when y’took him int’ Lil’ Sal’s Hot Bar an’ Love Shack,” she returns caustically. “An’ if y’don’t remember gettin’ pink feathers stuck in yer ears an’ ass, yer drunker’n I thought. C’mon, git /up/ bitch!”
Jasra lifts an eyebrow and turns again towards Sha and the strange guy as she overhears this latest. Laughter sparkles in her eyes as she trys hard not to break up again. She distracts herself by looking at the Zangali beside her, and asking him, “Tka hear Jas?”
Vampire just sort of hangs there, despondent. “Look at him,” he moons, staring with wide eyes at Spasko. “So devil-may-care. I love him. God help me, I love him.”
Teel scoots over and supports the drunken Vampire on the other side. “Ooof, y’heavy. Hey, can I be a bridesmaid?”
Tkagorth nods, “Tkagorth askeded why no?”
Spasko grins crookedly, “Always the ugly jokers that fall head over heals in love with me. I got it so good they fall down before I get into the room. It’s the devil-may-care force field that does it to them.”
“Jas no hear,” Jasra says, she shrugs, “Why no? Jasra stay, is why.”
Vampire waves drunkenly at Spasko. “John Henry, I’ll never forget our night of passion! And I’m naming our child Schooner!” He rubs his belly some more as the females try to hoist him aboard the hoverchair.
Tkagorth grumbles, “Stupid softskin no good sayed why.”
Spasko grins crookedly, “Schooner? What kind of name is that? What if it’s a girl? Or a boy? It just don’t do no love child of mine no honor. Got to have a name like Atto.”
Jasra grumbles back at Tkagorth, “Silly lizard, no need good say why.”
N’Sha-El’s eyes kindle at Spasko’s comment and she narrows her eyes, turning her attention from Vampire to him. Her rejoinder is dulcet sweet as she notes, “Why takes one t’know one, joker. Now why don’tcha leave th’boy be an’ hope y’don’t get t’a point where y’drinkin’ th’same an’ moonin’ over a grandfather clock y’thought was a bitch?” Heave. HEAVE. And she gets a quarter of Vampire into the chair, floppy arms and all.
Caladar finishes his beer off and stands up, heading toward the door with another brief glance about.
Teel grunts and hoists. “Leastways, y’ain’gonna name th’kid Rudder. Now /that/ would be kinda embarrassin. Wonner if th’kid’s gonna have his nose or yours, Vampy.”
Vampire grimaces and shouts at Spasko. “You don’t want him, you don’t get no say, John Henry! If you love me, if you love this baby, you c’mon, we’ll settle down on a ranch on Sivad, with a view of the bay, remember the bay? I remember the way it *rocked*,” his voice growls toward the end, and he makes a pistoning motion with his body.
Caladar shudders after a brief glance toward Vampire and continues on his path.
Volandar arrives from City Commons .
Volandar has arrived.
Volandar walks into the tavern and moves toward the bar.
Vampire is hefted aboard the hoverchair by Sha and Teel. He seems to wobble for a moment, as if he might fall over.
Caladar stops just before the door to answer his comm-link.
Spasko grins crookedly and yells back, “If I’m paying for your drunken nights on the town, you best be naming him what I say to name him, mate! I telling you that no child of John Henry going to have no name like like Spoon or Goon or Schooner. You know I ain’t no farmer. I’m made for the life at sea on Sivad. I want to move to Castori. You don’t listen to me. You never listen to me. I’m always trying to talk, but you never let me. I ain’t going to deal with this sort of stuff once we married. I’ll leave you lying in the tub for two days if you don’t get your act together.”
Caladar snaps his comm-link shut and steps outside.
Caladar heads into City Commons .
Caladar has left.
Vampire blinks at Spasko’s proclamation, then burps and looks at Teel, brow furrowing. “Is that guy drunk?” he asks, seriously.
Tkagorth shrugs and takes a drink of his firewater.
Spasko laughs and walks to the bar.
“Sweetcheeks, y’missed yer claim,” Sha shoots back at Spasko with a deliberately provocative smile. “Th’last person in /his/ bed was yours truly an’ t’weren’t half a night wit’ th’boas an’ wild animals. Uh-/huh/.” She hangs onto Vampire’s arm grimly, keeping him in the chair forcibly even as he totters and wobbles. “Y’need t’/not/ shave next time lover, y’hear me?”
Volandar takes a glances at Spasko and turns around.
Volandar heads into City Commons .
Volandar has left.
Teel wrinkles her nose at the burp. “Don’t think so, he’s jus’throwin fertlizer. But. /You/ are drunker than a skunk, whatever that is. An y’stink, too.”
Vampire hunches over the controls of his hoverchair. “I think…I’m gonna go get some sleep. Baby needs rest, you know. I’m saving a nice college fund. Gonna raise little Schooner right.”
Jasra orders another scotch, and waits as the bartender fills her glass, then takes a good size drink, setting the glass on the table. She glances over her shoulder at hoverchair trio, laughing softly and smirking at Spasko as he approaches the bar.
Spasko grins crookedly, “Beat them at their own game is what I always say.”
Jasra grins at Spasko, “Whatever you say… Papa.”
N’Sha-El appears to be humoring Vampire at this point, even though she rolls her eyes every few seconds or so. “C’mon, baby’s gotta rest, yeah. An’ y’gotta like, eat properly. Nootrishun an’ all that y’know? C’mon now lover.” Unmindful of her friend’s rather sottish state, she carefully reaches up to wipe the last traces of vomit from his mouth with her fingers, gentle the whole time.
Spasko waves over a bar tender and says to Jasra, “You too old be one of my brood.”
Teel grins as Vampire finally gets settled, then ambles over to the bar. She tosses money on the counter. “Papa’s first drink is on me.” She winks at Spasko, grabs a few bar napkins, then heads back to Sha. “Here.”
Vampire leans on the controls and whirs toward the door. “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” He squeaks to a stop, then scratches his bald head and looks in the direction Caladar went. He shouts: “JOHN HENRY!” And whirs out.
You head into City Commons .
Carved from the ancient rock of this planetary chunk, this chamber is about sixty yards in diameter with a domed ceiling that is one hundred feet tall at its highest point.
In contrast to the spaceport facility, which glows as if illuminated by a supernova thanks to high-powered lamps, this commons is more subtly lit. Shadows fill much of the higher reaches of the dome, while soft bluish-white lights provide a twilight glow to the rest of the chamber.
Archways lead to the spaceport, a tavern, and the planetoid’s commercial and residential districts.
Vampire whirs out of the tavern on his hoverchair, hunched over the controls and looking particularly inebriated as he zigzags toward the residential district, shouting: “JOHN HENRY!”
Antigone is just passing through, headed towards the landing pad.
Vampire waves an arm, crying, “John Henry, come back and take care of our love child!”