Post 37: Off the Well Lit Streets
The Waiting Game
Location: Court of Hyminri; the Cultural District
Timeline: Day 87; 2245 hours
Timmoz had a nose for it. He had the instincts- the skills that these V'draysh had long since put behind them. There were signs- even in paradise. The exploitation was done away with ages ago. Sex positivity blanketed the modern approach. But underneath its dressings and rebranding, the Orion could still sense it. Sex.
Follow the energy. Know where to look. They were always tucked away, where Paradise met the locality. No tourists here. No kids. Risa was good enough to contain it all in neatly understood quarters. This was a different kind of paradise. This was a paradise that Timmoz could glean some understanding of.
The first sign came at the change of the music. That, he sensed like a beat in the ground and it was what led him to water. When Timmoz laid eyes on the plain front of the building, cast in the fertile green-blues of the Risan "Pleasure Districts" he knew he had a winner.
Timmoz could feel the music run through the long-dry veins of his body, such seediness. It was a lick of Orion hedonism up a too-long neglected, dry throat. A hint of caudifaree- how sophisticated of the Risians to use an Orion herb as well. And wafts of snakeroot scented the humid night. Sublime. Timmoz smirked into a cheek.
He tapped his commbadge in his pocket, "Lock on to my location and transport," he murmured honeyed amusement into the com line. The scout had found something. Now he waited.
The first thing Irynya noticed as the world coalesced around her was the plain side of the building, followed promptly by the deep green that arranged itself into the shape of Timmoz. She had taken the time to change, favoring a pair of tight black pants which clung to her curves started at her waist and tapered down to end at her ankles. Red strappy heels graced her feet and an off white cropped tank flowed hung loosely from her shoulders, ending high enough to provide ample view of her midriff, but not so high as to allow onlookers to see the bottom of her chest. A light breeze tickled the bottom edge of the tank.
Materializing to the Risian's right, Kodak and Andrew looked around as the sparkling sprites faded from their eyes. "Who knew Risa, of all places," the Chameloid chuckled, "had places like this. Have you been hiding them from me?" he mischeviously asked of Andrew, the man who'd agreed to be his partner and come away with him to the Delta Quadrant in the morning. The luau had been a wonderfully fun time but, when Timmoz had brought up the idea of visiting Risa's seedy underbelly, the two men just couldn't resist saying yes. And so here they were, the Captain of a Starfleet vessel about to hit up a strip club full of who-knew-what kinds of clientele.
Like Irynya, Kodak, too, had taken an opportunity to change after the party. Gone were the floral print shirt, cargo shorts, and flip-flops that'd so become his customary attire during his Risian stay. Instead, he wore a pair of tight denim blue jeans and a black muscle shirt. While the Chameloid -- in his current appearance, at least -- wasn't a bodybuilder, Kodak's furry arms were still well-toned and on display for the enjoyment of his partner. He also wore a ball cap made of soft leather with steel grommets, matching and accentuating a pair of leather black combat boots with silver buckles and fittings on his feet.
All-in-all, Kodak looked nothing like the stereotypical image of a Starfleet Captain. And as this was his last night to enjoy not being such (to a degree), the Chameloid was happy not to look the part.
Andrew had opted for a similar combination of jeans and combat boots although his were all black and quite plain. A leather waistcoat hung open, leaving his tanned hairy torso and arms visible, and a leather wrist-wallet accented his right wrist. He hadn't sought out such a place before, but hoped that his choices would visually convey that he was neither lost nor employed there. Truth be told, he was eager to get inside. He wasn't sure if Timmoz had found his earlier innuendos to be lame or tame, but he was ready to be shown what the Orion's idea of sleaze was.
Nico appeared but remained to the rear of the pack. He had donned his usual cuffed shorts, squared tanktop, and a loose unbuttoned shirt. He was already inebriated from the luau and didn't trust his judgment around Timmoz, who Nico still had on punishment.
Timmoz pushed off the plain building and smiled at his compatriots. "Did you bring the Latinum?" He asked. They'd need Latinum for entry. They were back in the base realm of exchange now, the exchange of coin for the right to peruse.
"Some," Kodak rasped, the brim of his hat casting his startling eyes and face in shadow. "Hopefully this will be enough?" he asked, handing five strips of the gold-pressed currency over to the Orion. Living in the Federation, there was often so little need for actual money but, over the years, Kodak had learned the value of cultivating a stockpile for off-book occasions such as these.
Timmoz turned and approached the plain door. He looked about and then placed his foot just so- likely he triggered some kind of laser sensor? A slot of the door dematerialized. Timmoz flashed Latinum like it was a hand of cards with his Cluros smile. Then with a flash a portion of the wall completely erased to show a wide doorframe. Timmoz gestured for his compatriots to follow.
They were met by a very broad and muscular man with a Risian symbol in the middle of his forehead, and diminished features that marked him as at least partially Klingon. His arms were folded across his naked chest. "Welcome to the Court of Hyminri. What you see is ours to give, and our pleasure to do so. Do not touch the dancers even if they approach or touch you. Respect them as you would respect art. Questions." The man scanned the crowd.
"None," Kodak shook his head slowly. Grasping Andrew's hand, he turned to smirk at the somewhat-portlier man beside him. "Just know that, no matter what we see in here, I only have eyes for you," the Chameloid chuckled, feeling his companion squeeze his hand back in playful acknowledgement.
Timmoz chuckled darkly, "Rules of Acquisition number five, Za'tahedri." He mused, dark eyes swinging between them. "With endnotes in 242, 243... I'm guessing you've already done 272." He glanced between the two men. The bouncer cleared his throat behind Timmoz, who then dutifully handed over the shining pale gold bars of Latinum.
"Always inspect the merchandise before making a deal," Björn offered to Andrew in explanation, his eyes mischievously dancing first down to the man's fuzzy chest -- showing through that open shirt -- and then sliding down the man's torso before peeking back up. "Let's just say...you were worth the price of admission," Björn grinned madly at his partner before flicking to Irynya. "And to think, I didn't even need a statue," he chuckled to the woman. "Guessing they aren't standard issue here, though?" the Chameloid asked her, eyeing through the open door as they passed through.
Andrew felt the heat radiate from his cheeks as he blushed at the compliment. He'd never been good at accepting those, but resisted the compulsion to deflect it with a joke about not charging or not giving refunds. The big bear could be so sweet and charming and he really did appreciate it. Grinning back at Björn, he added "I'm hoping you pick up a few ideas for that admission too."
Irynya chuckled, a slightly devious sound that fit the environment a bit too well. "Yes and no. Certainly be more cautious of anyone who isn't Risian with a horga'hn, but most of the Risians can be trusted. We take our cultural experiences somewhat..." she paused, thinking, "...seriously. As well as the boundaries they include. That's why you won't see any horga'hn symbology on the dancers. The proprietors don't want their performances to be misunderstood as consent to something more."
Eyes slowly roving to drink in the sights, the Chameloid carried himself with an ease that seemed to denote extreme comfort in such a place. Had the Captain of the Sojourner perhaps been a regular patron of such places at one time or another? As the music blasted and the lights flashed, Björn deferred to Timmoz to lead them further into the club, wondering where the Orion would park their motley party. The bar? A table situated in a well in front of the dancer's stage areas? Somewhere in between? "Where to?" he asked The Verdant One.
Timmoz looked around the surroundings that were more native to him than anyone else in the crew. And what would have been perfectly comfortable to him would have been difficult for someone else. He smiled, "Oh I just got you in the door, Za'tahedri. For now, you are on your own. I will check back later," He patted the man's shoulder and sauntered with full Orion swagger in a backward walk, "Don't get arrested." And he promptly disappeared- save for the occasional glimpse of his frizzy hair- into the crowd.
Nodding, Björn followed but hung back slightly, turning to one of the youngest members of his crew. "First time in one of these places?" He'd noticed Nico had stayed towards the back of the group, so the Chameloid made an effort to hang back and engage with the man, possibly misreading the engineer's punishment of Timmoz as environmental discomfort.
Nico shook his head, "Not exactly, Captain. There are a few clubs on Earth, mostly holograms, of course. My friend group at the Academy went a few times, but it wasn't exactly my thing." He smiled, giggling slightly, "You probably won't be surprised to hear I spent most of my off time in the Castro District." Eyeing the bar, he bobbled his head a little, "Well, I better go see if they can make a decent Caipirinha here." With that, he bounced away into the crowd heading for a free bartender.
"Alright, enjoy then," Kodak replied, nodding in parting. He did, indeed, know what Nico had meant about the Castro district of San Fransisco. To this day, his favorite coffee shop in the area was one that'd been taken over centuries before by the bear crowd. During his Academy days, he's spent many a night studying there and enjoying the sights. Speaking of bears, Kodak smiled over at Andrew, who'd found them a table to people watch from. He couldn't help but admire how handsome the man was as he approached, settling in beside Andrew for a night of whatever might come their way.
A Post By:
Lieutenant JG Irynya