A Night Out
Characters: Mazun Contreras, Darrurz
1202.12.6 - 19:10 Local Time (26 hour day), 19:10 (IST)
Aegazae knocks on the door before entering. She's still dressed in her work
clothes: generic hospital scrubs.
"Ready to go?" she asks.
"Yes! But..." they gesture to their hospital issued athletic apparel.
"Don't worry. Where we're going, you'll fit right in."
The group leaves the room, walks to the elevator, and heads down to the lobby.
You pass a non-emergency admissions desk and Aegazae waves to someone working
there who, in turn, waves back.
In the middle of the lobby, a four-story affair is a three meter wooden statue
stands atop a three meter pedestal. The statue is of a female vargr physician
tending to a wounded male soldier.
Once outside, Darrurz takes in the scent of the city. It lacks the acrid taste
of industry, but the surrounding countryside isn't dominant. There's still
asphalt, ozone, HVAC effluent, and other assorted urban scents, but they all
denote a city that's healthy.
No one pays you any mind as you walk two blocks to Edzgzoerrghueradze. It spans
a corner, offering its patrons a view of two streets. One side is a bar with a
few tables while the other side is all tables. The bar itself is a dark-stained
wood with plenty of lacquer. The tables, chairs, molding all share that similar
style. What little wall space is present is painted tan. Decorations appear to
be antiques. The place is about 2/3 full and almost half of the clientele has
the easily identifiable hospital clothing on. 90% of the crowd is vargr.
Mazun smiles and nods appreciatively, then scans for groups of humans and mixed
groups. There don't seem to be any exclusively-human groups. At most it's 50/50,
with 3:1 a more prevalent ratio. Groups tend to be two, three and four sophonts
OOC Carlos: Silly question. Can Mazun tell, by casually looking at a Vargr,
whether it is male or female?
OOC DED: Yes, to some extent. Females tend to be smaller and better
groomed than the males. Some wear jewelry or dye their fur. Their features are
softer. Sometimes their teats are noticeable underneath their clothes. Females
tend to have narrower muzzles and foreheads, thinner necks, slightly shorter
legs and less massive shoulders than males.
OOC Carlos: Any of the humans in hospital clothes?
OOC DED: Yes, about half.
Aegazae heads over to the bar and sits down. Mazun and Darrurz follow suit with
the latter sitting closest to her. The bartender, a male vargr, briefly howls a
hello and asks in Gvegh, "What would you like?"
Behind him is a full bar. It looks like 60 different bottle of liquor, 18 taps
for beer, and a couple wine chillers with maybe two dozen bottles each.
Aegazae orders a LLARRAER Pale Ale. It appears to be a local brand and whose
varieties occupy 1/3 of the taps.
Mazun gestures Darrurz to order first and meanwhile looks around to see what
kind of beer other human patrons are drinking. There doesn't seem to be a
consensus. Most of the female patrons are drinking wine, evenly split between
white and red. The rest appear to be drinking beer, mostly golden-colored, but
there's an amber, brown, and what certainly must be a stout or porter. Among the
men, only a couple are drinking wine. Most are drinking beer though there are
few cocktail drinkers. For the beer drinkers, it seems an even mix of color.
Meanwhile, Darrurz orders a LLARRAER Pale Ale.
Mazun points at the amber beer one of the humans nearby is drinking and says,
"I'll have one of those."
"One LLARRAER Amber Ale."
Afterwards, once all have their beverages, Aegazae raises her glass, a wide
mouth bowl really, designed to accommodate the vargr snout. "Welcome to Tagan,"
she says in Gvegh.
"Thanks!" says Mazun, and after drinking a sip, he adds, "And thanks for the
drink." It's a smooth blend of hops and malt. A good session beer.
Darrurz adds, “Yes. Thank you for the welcome and the drink. When we’re back in
town, I’ll repay the favour.”
"I look forward to it."
Darrurz says, "Remind me to get your number before we leave." And he smiles.
She smiles in return.
Darrurz enjoys the pale ale. It's fresh and crisp, but not overly hoppy. A
slight hint of fruitiness and a clean finish.
"So how are you wolves adjusting to these strange new hunting grounds?"
Mazun smiles. "Too early to tell. Except for a walk in the park, this is our
first time out of the hospital. Just hoping my Gvegh is not too rusty."
Darrurz just smiles showing the slightest hint of teeth.
"Do you have any plans? Rumor has it that Pack Security recruited you to forage
in the Wilds."
Mazun arches an eyebrow, then laughs: "Wow. Not that much of security if rumor
already has it! Where did you hear that?"
Darrurz’s right ear goes up and his head tilts to the left slightly as he
listens to what Aegazae has to say.
"It's hard for people not to speculate. It's not like Pack Security made any
attempt to hide their presence when they came to see you. Every staff member on
the floor when they went in and out of your rooms saw them. And we all know
the government is paying for the Cryogenics team. I like Doctor Aegzgorr but
without that money she wouldn't be here. She'd probably be on Igodosakfell."
"Are there other cryogenics teams on Igodosakfell or is this the only one? And
do other agencies come looking for old timers?"
"As far as I know, Pack Security is the only agency looking for 'old timers'.
And, so far, the facility here on Tagan is the only one they're using. The
cryogenics work on Igodosakfell is catered more towards short term low berth
work, not years like you wolves. The military feels that for long range
missions, it might be worth it to keep as many personnel in low berths to
minimize resources and keep crew morale high. Keeping a contingent of soldiers
on board a ship could lead to boredom. I mean, how do you keep people
entertained for those long periods of time in jump?"
Darrurz answers, "Fitness, damage repair drills, training, skills, cleaning,
maintenance, books, films and time consuming hobbies...that worked for me," and
he smiles. "The last engineer I was with used to strip parts of engineering like
the fuel filters down to the bolts and call it routine maintenance. Although
they say that frozen watch is the hardest watch to do. You either lose your
life—getting killed in low isn't all it's cracked up to be by all
accounts—lose a bunch of time, stuff has happened and you weren't a part
of it (a case in point with us), or you wake up in an emergency and have to
respond immediately having just been revived from low. My friend who was in the
Navy said that they had to do special emergency reaction training before being
put into frozen watch because in all likelihood they would either wake up in a
Navy base normally after the mission where nothing had happened, or they would
wake up in a ship that was about to explode due to battle damage unless they
could fix the jump sinks.”
Mazun sips his beer. "Sounds about right. Great thing of being an engineer,
though, is you almost never get frozen. The second the brass threatens with that,
you give them a lecture on all things that might go wrong if you are not there
checking, and that's the end of it." Mazun laughs. "There's always a component
which happens to be a little shaky just in time."
After her answer, Mazun adds, "Actually, we don't have much of a plan yet apart
from the job. Would be nice to round up an apartment and have some place to go
back to. What are the nice living areas here?"
"You can't go wrong for most places and a Den Agent will steer you away from
one's that don't fit your status. Everyone here treasures and appreciates what
we have. We were raised on news video showing the destruction on Igodosakfell.
With such a high demand for living here, if you break certain environmental or
property laws, like stealing for instance, you run the risk of being deported.
So even the poorest among us has an incentive to maintain what we have." She
pauses to show she's quoting. "Better to be a poor wolf on Tagan than a rich
wolf among the ruins."
"So is the crime rate on Tagan very low?"
"Yes, it is." She nods her head for emphasis.
Mazun keeps looking around, taking the locale in. Curious about how the music is
piped in he eventually spots a few small speakers but the volume must be turned
down because he has trouble hearing it. Above the bar and on high patches of
wall there are a couple of screens. There's some business news channel with
tickers scrolling by and the commentators words are displayed in Gvegh as the
sound is down. A couple patrons have holo displays at their tables. Those are
tuned to sports news. Mazun good-naturedly looks at other customers, making
brief eye contact and smiling, trying hard not to show his teeth. He is trying
to gauge the general mood and how open people in this planet are. No vargr growl
at him. The humans make eye contact back. Many people from both species are
laughing and having a good time.
"So what did you two do before you were frozen? Did you know each other?"
Mazun answers, "Nope. Fact is, Darrurz here was even alive and kicking for four
years longer than me. I was in the Imperial Scout Service. You know, the bold
space explorers from the holoseries? Er, sorry, don't know if you have those
here." Mazun smiles and pauses.
One of Aegazae's ears flops and her head tilts to the side. "No, never heard of
"Anyway, it was nothing like that. More like a cartography, information, and
infrastructure service. I was a Starship and Starbase engineer. I basically kept
stuff humming past its expiry date." Mazun winks. "Darrurz here is a real
frontier trader, the stuff of adventure books! Ain't it so?" He turns to Darrurz.
Aegazae looks to Darrurz to elaborate.
Darrurz laughs heartily. "Yup, in the same way that you were a 'bold space
explorer'." And he laughs again.
Mazun laughs with him, genuinely amused.
Darrurz continues, "I made some money trading between the Imperium and the
Extents. Trading cross border is much like any other trading, although you get
the added danger of corsairs. It's certainly not 'the stuff of adventure books';
it's more like the humdrum of the merchant service punctuated by your worst
nightmares. Corsairs left me with this," and he points to his scar.
Mazun nods. "Laser burn, right?"
Darrurz rubs his snout. "Yes. Took out the follicles so it can't grow back, and
I was never on a high tech world long enough to get it treated. And to be honest
I don't think I'd get it treated now."
Aegazae cocks her head to the side in confusion.
"It's a reminder of why not to trust corsairs, and of course I need something to
attract a mate. I mean the ladies all love a good scar, right Aegazae?"
She laughs good-naturedly. "Oh yes. A wolf with scars is irresistible." She
On that, Mazun merely grins and sips his beer, which is near empty.
Aegazae finishes her glass and sets it down. "Well gentlewolves, I've lapped my
thirst. Thank you for sharing the tales of your lives. You can find your way
back to the hospital, right?"
Both nod their heads.
She gives Mazun a small hug. For Darrurz she gives the traditional deep sniffing
of a long goodbye. She rests her forepaws on Darrurz's shoulders as she inhales
on both sides of him. "Here." She hands him a small card with her name and an
odd square filled with seemingly random black dots placed within. "Any comm with
a camera can scan it and will translate the dots into my contact info."
Darrurz takes the card from her.
Mazun does his best to prevent his eyes from rolling.
With that she takes her leave of the pair.
Mazun nurses the rest of his beer (there isn't much left) and looks around.
With a wink at Darrurz he says, "So we are kind of famous at the hospital.
Interesting. Let's see how the locals tick, shall we?" Before Darrurz can reply,
he stands up and chooses a group of four sophonts including one or two humans
in hospital clothes. He walks casually past them, and then, as if in second
thought, stops, turns, and says, "Excuse me, but you gents look familiar. Have
we met at the hospital?"
The humans study his face while the vargr take in his scent. They all agree that
the answer is no. "It's a pretty big place," one of the humans, a male, says.
The female vargr asks, "Are you a patient?"
The male vargr sniffs and says, "He hasn't drank much."
The female human says, "Maybe we should get you back there, anyway." She rises,
"Do you remember who your doctor is?"
The human male takes out his phone and starts dialing.
Mazun grins. He already knows what he wanted to know. "I guess I was mistaken,"
he says and turns around without a further word, completely ignoring the bunch
and walks back to Darrurz.
He sits down with him, sips the last of his beer, and says, In Galanglic, "Nope,
not an open society at all, they are just trying to sell us that. Total
distrust of strangers. Don't think I will be wanting to settle here after all."
Darrurz laughs for quite a while. "That's it is it? One conversation with a
bunch of hospital workers you have never met before and you form an accurate
assessment of the whole society? Llallaeknuez's whisper! What type of society
are you from? The most friendly and generous in Chartered Space?
"We're in a bar, in a pleasant environment, with vargr and humans interacting
happily, as obvious workmates. That's not bad on the scale of things already,
but no that's just not good enough for you. Lucan would be proud!"
Mazun laughs with him. "You are right, of course. But I call it the 'stranger
test.'" Mazun lowers his voice. "One of those guys was already calling to have
somebody 'take care of me', and I had just asked if we had met. That's pretty
aggressive if you ask me. In most societies, you are just politely ignored.
Especially in a friendly environment as a bar.
"Anyway, I am dry, and we have no funds. Time to move."
Darrurz finishes his ale. "Ok. Where to? Back to the hospital or somewhere
The pair depart the bar and walk back to the hospital. They return to their room
and go to sleep.
Next: Leaving Tagan