Jump to content

  • Log In with Google Sign In
  • Create Account
Photo

The New Sin City

- - - - - Maena Walkabout

  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1
Reverance

Reverance

    Lust

  • Writers

    • Character Bio
  • 2774 posts

Coruscant...Nar Shaddaa...Maena...

 

He wondered if they were all the same. The Underworld...The Slag Pit...The New City.

 

Towers of alabaster and burnt mahogony, steel and stone, stretched upwards towards the edges of space with sparkling tops and great glass columns. It was the purity of hiding in plain sight that attracted the more nefarious, the pristine dessert that hid the rotting carcass several layers down. Just a single step in its direction was all that was needed to show that no assortment of ornament or decoration could hide it from the curious. These were the places he found himself, first on Annaj and then on Coruscant, and now on Maena. It wasn't that far of a stretch, given her affection for places such as these. It was easy to toil and probe and excise the tumors when the cancer was so abundant, so primed for surgery.

 

He had found his way to the top of these towers, to Matsu Xiangu and her raven haired friend, Irajah Ven. But he was a beast by all measurements, wild and hardly kept. Standing on spires that looked down, he could feel the cogs of corruption and crime spin nearly off their axis. Not unlike Point Nadir, his element was deep below, in the kidneys and liver of this city - where the toxins could be found. The haggard, the criminals and lower overlords, the drug dealers and the peddlers and filth, those were the ones who had earned his attention. By low station and desire to stay that way, they had unknowingly painted crosshairs across their chest.

 

With a shut of the door, the elevation caught him as a single eye gazed down through the vertical thoroughfare of New City. Bridges spanned the distance and he couldn't help but wonder if this place was once solid, rotten and eaten through by its own depravity. Those who considered themselves wholesome clung to the top as the untouchables slithered down the sharp steppes of the volcanoes interior, collected at the bottom in some thick sludge. The sort of sentient entity that clung to those who stepped too close, dragging them in and soiling them all the same. Maybe that was what he wanted. He missed the smell of smoking carcasses and decay.

 

The elevator moved with a modicum of purpose, filling his mind with ambient soothing sounds that had him wishing he had just jumped from the top. Would have been faster, would have been quieter too. As the doors slid open, he stepped out not to sunlight, but instead to dimly lit corridors that seemed acoustically muffled by dampness and unknown residue. Cavernous walls, slick in the dark, guided his path as he moved through an elongated duracrete coffin. A graveyard turned over, shafts connected together and lined with the dead, to serve as transport between one vice and the next. As he moved, pathway guided by neon arrows and depictions of crimes in simplistic stick figure drawings, he wondered on the litany of this practice. Why not just come out and say it?

 

Take a left turn here, join or watch the pit fights.

 

Take a right turn here, drop off slaves for sentient trafficking.

 

People, by and large, were useless. Except in their experience of pain. So he took a left.

 

Music was the first thing that heralded his entrance. Not introductory music, but instead the slow thump of bass and the flash of lights across a sea of people. People of varying sizes, people of varying species, people of varying alignment. His hand caught the tones of sensitivity, carbuncle countenance on his voxyn palm opened wide to the feast of senses. As the lights flashed across, strobe and energetic, he caught another sign that led him down another path. He simply parted the sea of those who stood in the way, shimmying in or pushing where it was needed. A bear, rustling the leaves of a thick moving forest, as he made his way to a more important location.

 

"You looking to take bets?"

"You looking for a bookie?"

 

Hands and cloaked figures moved towards him, all looking for a chance to take bets for various entities. Two came first, working in tandem, and he ignored them until they left. Even in the low light, the intensity of his gaze on the cage likely dissuaded them. That was his quarry, that was where the smell originated. Tables lined the underground stadium, all elevating as they moved back towards the terminal walls. In the center, a cage big enough to fit a transport ship. Links in the fencing were rusted, dinged, or missing altogether, which gave him the impression that there might be opportunity for group participation. 

 

Taking a seat, he pulled out a cigarra and waved to a waiter with two fingers.

 

"Light?"

 

The waiter leaned forward and produced fire. With a puff in and out, Reverance leaned back in his casual clothing and nodded towards the stage.

 

"What's the next scheduled fight?"

"Three time champions, the docile giants. They're up against a Rancor, fresh from Dathomir."

"Dathomir's pretty far away, can't be too fresh."

"Well, about as fresh as they come."

"What are the docile giants?"

"A mercenary group of Zabraks. Big guys. Can I get you anything to drink?"

"Whiskey." He made a gesture with his thumb and index, detailing amount. 

 

Just as the waiter left with the order, the lights shifted, indicating that the match would soon begin.

 

Aria Vale



Posted Image



#2
Aria Vale

Aria Vale

    Animus

  • Factory Judge

    • Character Bio
  • 1511 posts

The lower levels of Maena's New City were not a place her wanderings usually took her to, but Aria Vale knew how to blend in when she needed to. She was clad in black, dark hair pinned up loosely; her petite frame lacked the rigidness of one in new territory and instead she looked downright at ease. The only thing branding her a fish out of water was the wariness in her eyes (the windows to the soul, they said), the way they seemed almost unblinking, sharp amber gaze twice as alert.

 

Small mercy that the lights were low.

 

She drifted down the corridors, regarding the signs curiously, eyes apprasing of the neon-lit indicators. Pit fights, slaves, trafficking. She had her share of the latter two whenever she wanted simply through her relationship with Darth Imperia; though Aria preferred simply not to think about her paramour's livelihood, she could admit caring less about its uglier aspects than she used to have. But there was an undeniable element of beauty to even the ugliest fights. She wasn't one for needless bloodshed, but she didn't shy from it either - and she certainly appreciated battle. Fighting in its purest, rawest form?

 

Aria turned to the left and started down the corridor, footsteps brisk and light.

 

The ocean of sound and light and people didn't add to her comfort, but Aria ignored the buzz in her head that crowd created (music and laughter and shouting and talking and people, so many people) and pushed past.

She could handle crowds. The trick was in having something to focus on.

 

And her focus was currently on finding a fight to play spectator to. She ignored the hands, the words, the figures, gritting her teeth against the instinct to fold into herself as she found her way to the stadium - she hadn't expected comfort, but she'd be happier sitting down and with a drink in her hand. People exhausted her, made it loud in her brain. But she was by far used to it enough to press on.

 

She found a table that wasn't yet crowded with onlookers and took her seat, leaned against it casually. In many aspects she was an inept liar, but pretending at comfort was second nature. A signal at a nearby waiter called him over ("scotch, please") - she'd have asked about the match, but it was already starting and Aria was happy to infer. 

 

Eyes flickered briefly to nearby spectators, curious - then she took a sip of the scotch set before her and focused on the match.

 

Reverance |


arianewsig.jpg


#3
Reverance

Reverance

    Lust

  • Writers

    • Character Bio
  • 2774 posts

A nebula of smoke swirled in the snifter, spinning and churning and turning over on itself. A sky of grey fog, above a sea of burgundy, all captured within globular glass. Lifting pursed lips from the rim of the cup, he placed glass against his mouth and released that amorphous environment into the stratosphere that he occupied - a plume for every sip. Satisfied with the harshness of it, minimal expectations of quality in such a place, he found a cleaner part of the table cloth to rest the drink when it wasn't in use.

 

Hungry and dulled, his gaze moved across the crowd with every strafe of the show lights. Moving to the sound of introductions, the mercenaries came through a small duracrete walkway that could have housed nothing bigger than a speeder. The former wrath toiled over their namesake, feeling that he might have been sold one thing and given enough. These Zabrak mercenaries were hardly giants, though one did tower over the rest. On the other side, chains dangled from the ceiling and from the floor. Metal, pock marked, they found clasps against arms as thick as trees and legs even thicker. A large shock collar stood, hot to the touch, as it constantly scorched the neck of the Rancor with ephemeral zaps and prods. Eye sight narrowed as he caught the dance of a single arc, coursing from neck up the cheek and into the eye.

 

The beast let out a monstrous wail, the sort that might have been mistaken for a moving train on the surface of New City. 

 

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!"

 

The announcer paused, skin wrinkled and upper lip shielded with a grey mustache that was neatly trimmed. Reverance absentmindedly rubbed his jaw, well aware of his tendency to let things grow out.

 

"AND THE REST OF YOU HEATHENS!"

 

The room was once quiet and now the raucous near the cage grew with every moment that followed the announcers proclamation. 

 

"We've got something special planned for you tonight. A true testament to the power of the Giants. A gambit...if you will. You might be wondering what such a venture could be, to exceed fighting against a MIGHTY RANCOR!" The crowd grew loud and then hushed, anticipation for the bits that mattered. The announcer knew how to work, how to build the crowd up. Even the way he moved, pacing along the white lining of the arena, showed the time and commitment to showmanship. "What if I told you this was a...thinking Rancor?"

 

Reverance leaned forward as some boos and mocking chortled through the front rows. "I know. I know. I said the same thing. A rancor...that can think? No." He shook his head. "Not possible. But..." He held his hand up. "We'll let the arena decide. Without further ado, I give you...The Docile Giants in the right corner. Against...Resnara, of the Singing Mountain Clan!"

 

Reverance called the waiter over as the match began, chains dropping to the floor in a clatter. 

 

"What happens if the Rancor wins?"

"How do you mean?"

"Well, it's clear the caging wouldn't contain it."

"Oh yes. We keep the shock collar on to subdue her following the match."

"Of course."

"How is the drink?"

"Satisfactory."

 

He shifted his attention back to the fight as it would soon, as he expected, get quite interesting.

 

Aria Vale

 

 



Posted Image



#4
Aria Vale

Aria Vale

    Animus

  • Factory Judge

    • Character Bio
  • 1511 posts

Aria would admit that she hadn't been certain of exactly what to suspect when she'd slipped into this audience to play spectator, but her mind had formed an idea unbidden. Cheap fights, dirty fights; the sorts of seedy brawls that crime holoflicks showed beneath dim lighting. Quick, mindless gore for the entertainment of those who enjoyed that sort of thing.

 

What was presented instead was...different. Interesting. A rancor that could think. Exotic, unusual. No less violent than it had been in her head, but almost like thought had gone into coordinating the fights. Like there was more to it than empty bloodshed. There wasn't, not as far as she cared to know. But for a moment she could watch the fight as though it held meaning, as though she could put any sort of value to this violence. 

 

Behind her glass, she half managed a smile.

 

Shifting in her seat as she set her drink back down, Aria fixed her gaze on the match. The fight broke out in moments, crowd's volume echoing the rising level of violence. Absentmindedly, she traced a finger over the rim of her glass. Hostility was raw, so palpable in how it radiated from the Zabraks within the cage that she couldn't help but drink it in.

 

Truthfully, she was far from a stranger to violence, but watching bloodshed ensue was oddly different to being in the midst of it. Aria fought with calculated precision, letting emotion fuel each stroke of a blade without ever fully taking hold. She was hardly unaware of what suffering she caused as she caused it. But there was something to be said for watching from the sidelines, for being able to appreciate the fight without the lens of fear or of rage or of bloodlust. 

 

Was this what she looked like, she wondered as she surveyed the mercenaries, when she crossed blades with Jedi in the haze of battle? So determined to hurt, to maim, to kill? So utterly focused on her target's destruction that it could be her very world?

 

She supposed not, in truth. To her mind this was violence of a very different sort.

But it was more thinking than she cared for, so she picked her glass back up.

 

"Who's your money on?" Aria asked lightly, words directed to the taller man sitting close by; curiosity, polite conversation to contrast the roaring antics of the audience closer to the cage. If she was the sort to bet money she'd have bet it on the mercenaries, of course - they were practiced warriors, knew how battle worked, knew how these battles worked. She'd always liked the idea that knowledge was power.

 

| Reverance |


arianewsig.jpg


#5
Reverance

Reverance

    Lust

  • Writers

    • Character Bio
  • 2774 posts

He chewed on the whiskey as gleaming crimson eye scoured the arena. The way the mercenaries moved, the way the Rancor held back and seemed to calculate movement. Big orbs of gold resting against nearly impenetrable skin, large teeth exposed and dripping frothing swathes of saliva against the blood stained matting. Lights from the ceiling moved to pinpoint the mercenaries, to blind the rancor, and did little to allow strategy of stealth and maneuvering.

 

Then his attention was captured by words spoken through the haze of his own cigarra.

 

Who's your money on?

 

Attention turned to her, cigarra rolling through the blackened fingers of his Voxyn Hand. While he wore the clothing of a man, white button up shirt and black slacks, it might has well have been a human suit he fashioned in the depths of some abominable lab. The ire of his expression, quiet and aggressive, returned a look that mixed irritation with interest. "Neither." He murmured as he leaned forward, resting the cigarra on the rim of the tumbler, as he took another sip. Drawing back the muscles his lips in a wince, it was clear that the harshness only got worse as it grew warmer.

 

Pointing a finger towards the cage, from the edge of the rim, he smiled as he looked over from either the corner of his eye or the bridge of his nose, emphasizing the scar churned over his missing right eye. "The Rancor isn't aggressive. Relatively uncommon unless they have achieved sentience. So if I were betting on this, I would wager on the Rancor. She'll win. And then she'll break free of that collar and this cage."

 

Smirking, he turned in his chair towards the stranger. Such was a particular specimen, misplaced in a world such as this, though she reeked of the darkside. Power was far from ostensible, resting beneath delicate features and what he suspected might be a deceptively kind smile. As he spent time on Maena, he was learning to appreciate the underestimated. "That's when things will get interesting."

 

Aria Vale



Posted Image



#6
Aria Vale

Aria Vale

    Animus

  • Factory Judge

    • Character Bio
  • 1511 posts

Neither. Interesting. She could safely guess that he'd seen fights like these a few times before - or at least more often that she had, not that she set the bar high - so she had to imagine he had good reason for his prediction. An eyebrow lofted as she turned to look more closely at the taller man, expression clearly curious for his explanation.

 

Casual amber gaze shifted between him and the fight he spoke of as Aria studied the stranger with faint intrigue. Whether he seemed the sort that blended in in parts like the lower New City was beyond her but it was plain to her that his aura was painted with the dark side - and she easily decided that he must be far stronger than she was. 

 

But the fact didn't register in her head with any sort of fear. Not because she didn't think he was a creature to be feared. She knew he was. But Aria didn't fear power in itself until it was turned towards opposing her. No weapon was dangerous until its owner wanted to wield it, wanted to draw blood with it. And until strength was directed towards striking her down, she appreciated it. She could appreciate his strength without a trace of concern, with a look of interest and a calm sip of her drink.

 

"A passive rancor." A smile of mild amusement curved her lips at the thought. "Can't say I've ever heard of one of those."

 

"So, the rancor that's not aggressive breaks out of its cage." Eyes went back to the rancor in question and weighed the fight. Aria supposed she could see it now; the creature was calmer than the few she'd seen, far from tame but less hostile than she assumed the beasts to be. She hadn't defeated the mercenaries yet, but the Zabraks were starting to tire, starting to show when they were hit instead of pressing on seamlessly, not breaking a sweat. Soon, perhaps. "That would be interesting, yes."

 

"Aria," she offered, an afterthought.

 

Reverance


arianewsig.jpg


#7
Reverance

Reverance

    Lust

  • Writers

    • Character Bio
  • 2774 posts

"Mmm, not passive..." He countered, a smirk and glance towards the cage. Tumbler in hand, his noncommittal gaze transitioned to one of focus. Pointing with a blackened index finger, tone inherent in the voxyn prosthetic, he indicated towards the rancor. "That would truly be something rare. This is a matter of biding time. Her eyes are fixed yet she doesn't strike. This is a matter of patience." He leaned back, crossing his arms with tumbler in hand. The roar of the crowd followed a significant event.

 

The beast moved, gangling arms swaying back and forth as the Zabraks attempted to circle around her. Like a pack of dogs, aware that they fought a greater being, they would dismantle her with distraction. With the evident distraction, the Rancor lashed out, swinging in a wide angle side swipe that nearly clipped two of the Zabraks. Behind her, the mercenary saw his opportunity and took it. Stabbing forward, he aimed a long spear at her haunch. Instead, what it landed on was nothing but air. The Rancor was agile, expecting the attack, and had turned just in time. Catching the shaft of the spear, she pulled the weapon and the man came with it. Now, resting between her hands, enveloping him, she turned towards the other two mercenaries.

 

He could have been mistaken, but Reverance could have sworn that he saw a smile creep across her face. Especially as she gripped the man by his arms and ripped the limbs from the torso.

 

The uproar was nearly deafening as the ragdoll body fell to the ground, spraying blood out from the cage and across the lower seating audience. But they were the rabble now and based on the reception, they hungered for more. The rancor turned towards the two remaining Zabrak, hands bloodied with their comrade, and took on a statuesque stillness.

 

Reverance took a long draw of the cigarra as he shook his head. He wasn't sickened by the visceral display. Far from it, a fire was ignited beneath the glow of his crimson eye. He was disappointed with the performance. Shifting his attention back to the woman, he nodded. "Aria." He would remember it if he simply repeated it. "Reverance. What brings you to this den? Spectacle?"

 

Aria Vale



Posted Image



#8
Aria Vale

Aria Vale

    Animus

  • Factory Judge

    • Character Bio
  • 1511 posts

”A patient rancor, then.” She smiled, and her voice turned the words over, as though she were studying them curiously and with great care. “How...novel.”

 

His name: Reverance. She'd have no trouble remembering that name.“A pleasure.”

 

What brought her here?

 

Her smile curled, an amused thing, but beneath that her mind and her eyes contemplated, thoughtful.

 

She didn't often go places like these - but then, in a way she'd seen this a hundred times over. Battlefields. Dimly-lit streets. At the end of her blade, as she cut foes down piece by piece.

 

Somehow, violence was never far away.

 

Part of her chased it. Another part of her was indifferent, aloof. The side that rejected it had been chased out long ago.

 

Truthfully, violence had always had a certain draw to it that was hard to find elsewhere. Aria appreciated the destructive, coveted something so perfect and messy as battle. On some level, she supposed destruction had always fascinated her, even in her days of the light side and doing good. It certainly wasn't something that had been handed to her with the dark, passed through handfuls of passion and fury and freedom. Nobody had ever taught her the beauty of war, or to find her contentment in chaos. That was just Aria.

 

“This is a more comfortable setting than the middle of a war,” she replied behind her glass, still smiling (not her usual smile. Her usual smile was predatory, amusement and bared teeth. This one simply enjoyed itself). Aria was certain that the setting for what was written clearly enough between spoken words. It wasn’t the drinks, after all, that pit fighting and a warzone had in common.

 

“Besides, I don’t go this far down the New City often enough.”

 

Reverance


arianewsig.jpg