The first official roleplaying scene on our OtherSpace Slack site. It takes place on Ungstir between private investigator Vechkov Prague and a mechanic named Fedya:
Vechkov Prague sits on a stool at the counter in the dimly lit Rockhopper Tavern, watching the latest holovid news from beneath the brim of his battered gray fedora.
Fedya slips through the door of the Rockhopper, loosing a furtive glance without before heading towards the counter. He nods to the bartender as he steps up and settles into a stool to wait for the woman to have a free moment.
“Membership in the Stellar Consortium is for closers,” announces Jeremiah Busby, president of the Stellar Consortium Council, on the holovid display above the bar. “First place is a shiny seat at the table. Second place is screw you, goodbye, there’s the door.”
The commentator, a Castori identified as Oomkin Durb, takes front and center as Busby’s audio fades: “That in response to talk of Ungstir possibly joining the Consortium in the coming months.”
The scruffy man in the fedora and duster sitting at the bar just gives a dark chuckle and takes another sip from his smudged glass of liquor.
“Keep your vyrugal Consortium,” Fedya mutters with a quiet snort of derision. Once his order is placed, a short, wide glass of clear liquid on ice is placed before him, which he sips with a satisfied shudder.
“Not a fan of our friends on Earth?” quips Prague as he looks over at Fedya.
“Must be a reason we leave, no?” Fedya replies with a smirk, “If everyone wanted to be like earth, we would have stayed there.” He glances around the bar before asking in Mierz, “Do you speak the Mother Tongue?”
“Of course,” the private investigator replies, brow furrowing in possibly feigned offense. In Mierz he says: “But so do most of our neighbors here. Why?”
“My Terran is less than fantastic,” admits the mechanic-turned … pirate? Trafficker? Who knows, anyway, he continues with a grin, “Never did well in school, you see. Hard-headed.” He raps symbolically on his temple for effect.
Vechkov chuckles. In Mierz, he says, “I spend too much time on Earth for my own good, I think. Too slow there, me. Almost got me killed once. I try not to go back. Still.” He glances back at the holovid display showing coverage of a Consortium Council meeting. “We are vulnerable here, not so far from Nall space. Pirates from Fagin’s turf. Help from the Vanguard doesn’t sound all bad.” He shrugs. “Maybe just a little bad.”
“Maybe,” Fedya admits, shrugging noncommittally, “but nothing’s free, and everything’s a trade. Maybe we trade pirates for Vanguard. Suppose it all depends what you want, no?”
“Maybe,” the pudgy man in the fedora agrees. He extends a hand to Fedya. “Vechkov Prague. Am private investigator when I’m not holding down bar stool, turning brain to mush with too much news and…” Holds up his glass. “Whatever this is.”
“Hate to admit it, Terran Vodka tastes better,” Fedya replies, shaking the extended hand for a moment, then holding up his own glass with a grin, “But this … this is what makes us Ungstiri. Fedya O’Dell, mechanic. Among other things.”
A smirk from Vechkov. “What sort of mechanic? Sometimes, in my work, I need things fixed. Fixed sometimes means ‘conveniently broken.'”
“I work freighter engines mostly,” Fedya says, casting an evaluating glance over the PI, “but it’s been said I’ve spent more time breaking things than making them past few years.”
The detective grunts. “Ah. Good to know. O’Dell. Long line on Ungstir?”
“Mostly. It’s… complicated,” the Ungstiri says with a wry chuckle. “Mother’s great, great, great …. something, who knows anymore. Woman never told a true story in her life.”
“Some of the best stories are total lies,” Prague says. He raises his glass in salute. “To mothers and their great, great, great somethings.”
Fedya returns the gesture, shaking his head in amusement as he tips more liquid down his gullet. “And all the best lies,” he adds, taking another sip, “You finding much work these days?”
“Is quiet lately,” the investigator admits with a shrug. Turns his glass on the countertop. “Of course, I have been on what I call sabbatical. Some odd jobs here and there. Missing husbands. Absent wives. The occasional runaway.”
“Sabbatical?” Fedya replies with a bit of joking incredulity, “Sounds fancy. But yes, quiet. Like people aren’t sure what’s going to happen.”
Another chuckle from the man in the hat. “Sabbatical. Very fancy. Sometimes I even wear pants and leave my hovel.” He glances around the pub. “Is nervous time, to be sure.” Nods toward the holovid. “Relieved, actually, that our diplomats don’t seem close to any kind of agreement on this Consortium deal. Nall Vox got her eyes on Busby. We throw in with him, chances are she pays a more attention to our little bubble of air here.”
“Makes sense,” Fedya says, considering this as he taps his glass, “A Vannie base here could spit and hit the Parallax. Fagin’d pitch a fit, too, no doubt.”
“Yes and no,” Vechkov replies. “Lord Fagin might see it as good for business, either way. Those Sortie folks are some of his best customers. Plus, if you’re the Pirate King, really ups your chances of getting hands on stray military hardware.”
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