Opening Night (Open)
((OOC: The grand opening of Terminus has been big news in Nachton for weeks. The complex is huge and puts a new spin on night clubs and gaming establishments. The owners have spared no expense in advertisement and entertainment. Come join us. Enjoy the show! ))
Opening night had finally arrived. They were doing their best to make it an event to remember. They had a big pre-show that began around mid day for the crowd that had begun to form before the doors opened. Around dusk several live bands began to play for the much larger audience as the sun set and the doors opened.
Then Evan began his magic show. Normally he was not fond of big stage acts. He preferred more up close and personal illusions but you just couldn't beat big and flashy for keeping the attention of the crowd.
He appeared on stage in a puff of smoke. That was the mandatory magician's entrance wasn't it? He was dressed all in white: jeans, boots, shirt and trench coat. The coat and shirt had a thin line bright blue PVC piping to add a futuristic flair. Evan had his hair loose and with a few white owl feathers braided into one side. A white band of face paint ran in a horizontal strip across his nose and eyes.
His performance began with taking one of the white feathers from his hair and transforming it into a small owl that flew from his grasp. Evan then produced a little replica contraption of an early flying machine. It rose from his hands and out over the stage before disappearing. Next a full scale version of of an old Vega prop plane was rolled onto the stage. He made it vanish and reappear with a woman dressed in an early aviation outfit at the helm.
Further illusions included more modern planes leading to space shuttles and eventually to a futuristic space craft.
Evan disappeared in a beam of light to be replaced by Kiyoshi.
He had worn his uniform all day so that he would be easily recognizable in the white and neon blue of his area of Terminus, rather than try to wear a flashier outfit. He had picked out more than one style of uniform and while they were all white with blue piping, they were in different styles. Tonight he had deviated from his normal banyans and gone with a look that was a little less 'straight off the island' and slightly more modern. His chest was bare, his hair bound back in a long braid to keep it away from the very real, very incendiary poi flames. His pants were hung low on his narrow hips, cargo pants in style but seemingly made of strips of white fabric going in different directions. The pattern was subtle, but the fact that the swatches of white were sewn in the neon blue of the rest of his uniform made it stand out. Kiyo had considered wearing a shirt, but he was afraid the white fabric would stand out too much in the darkness and detract from the spinning blue poi. Instead his shirt was folded up under the bar.
Kiyo was a little uncertain how to live up to Evan's magic act. He'd never seen illusions like those the vampire presented, and he certainly could not make planes vanish. How was he supposed to compliment that? He did love the fact that he got to appear as Evan disappeared in that beam of light. His poi were already lit with blue flames and as the light died down he set them in motion without a word. His music was a cross between tribal and techno, easy to move to, and his hope was to get the crowd moving, dancing, and, of course, drinking.
The fast paced beat lent itself well to a combination of 3, 5, and 7 beat weaves, which were what Kiyo began with. He had about three and a half minutes to set the crowd in motion, so he didn't waste much time warming them up, really. He jumped right into an energetic performance, mixing weaves with wraps and stalls that made the flames of his poi seem to fly wildly around in the air and then stop suddenly or move as in slow motion before bursting into spins and twists again.
Kiyo's own movements were a unique mix of tribal and martial. While normally he tended to remain subtle behind his poi, moving himself into position with efficient use of energy, tonight he spun, leaped, and jumped all the while using his body as an obstacle for his poi to wrap around and bounce off of. He had to be very careful of his hair, but he had been doing this for quite some time.
As he headed into the last minute of his performance, watching the faces around him, the people who did seem to enjoy it and were, indeed, dancing, Kiyo hooked both poi into one hand and spun them while he knelt and retrieved two more from the back of the stage. In a move that replicated the same slow-motion stall he swung the two new poi up with the others and gently kissed them all together at the top of their arc. The two new poi burst into blue flames as well and Kiyo set them in motion, twirling all four fire poi to the beat of the music as he danced with the crowd.
Normally he went off into his own little place while spinning but tonight he couldn't afford to. he was supposed to be performing, so he did, engaging the audience, men and women alike, smiling a brilliant smile that felt like someone else's because he didn't normally use it. Times like these, though, he could be who he wished he was, and he had always wished he were vibrant and outgoing. He ended his act wearing a grin, kneeling on the stage, swinging his four poi in a flat plane over his chest and face as he bent backwards to the floor. As the lights went out and the music ended Kiyo extinguished his poi with the cloth that had hidden the third and fourth and let the festivities continue as he quietly left the stage to take his place behind the bar.
((ooc: Music is by Plejik... Watch here to get an idea of Kiyo's performance.))
((Also /ooc, we swear Kiyo picked out his outfit before seeing that video but I'll be damned if he isn't basically wearing the same thing in white, with blue. Huh.))
With a little bit of goading and grumbling he'd been talked into at least wearing white with a little blue as an accent. Navid had muttered something about Captain Picard but once he had that out of his system he'd settled in behind the bar. Ordinarily Kiyo or Evan would handle the bar but as they were both preforming he'd had the honor.
Between pouring drinks he'd caught glimpses of both shows and had been suitably impressed with them. Perhaps Kiyo especially. The quiet were had really turned it on and could be quite the showman when he wanted to, or needed too.
It didn't surprise him at all that Kiyo would immediately take up his position behind the bar.
"Good show. I'll just finish up the orders I have and get out of your hair." She grinned to himself before adding, "all of your hair."
He would never be able to manage his hair that long, but both his packmate and his mulo friend seemed to manage. They were busy enough that Guillaume couldn't keep up with that line of thought, he had orders to finish. When they were done he slid out from behind the bar and wandered out to the fool to circulate and make sure there were no opening night issues.
The place was lavish and extremely well-appointed. It was huge - much larger than he had expected, and he assumed the owner or owners were loaded with cash. The place was smartly laid-out and it seemed to have everything one could want in an entertainment mecca. The owners should be proud at how impressive the establishment turned-out.
He quickly reigned-in his senses: so many people with so many emotions could be overwhelming to an empath, but he had learned long ago how to protect himself from the ocean of emotion. He quickly created a mental 'buffer' that kept his senses from being overwhelmed.
But the lady next to him, his Miya - she stood close enough to him, that he could sense her excitement and curiosity both as if they were thick waves of velvet brushing slowly against his skin. He smiled. He liked to see her happy and positive.
"May I have this dance?" he asked - and he had to ask again when she gave him a puzzled look. She smiled and nodded, and he let her lead them over to a spot on the dance floor where they could both sink in to the beat of the music and the crowd around them, just another pair of dancers worshiping the beat and cadence of the music filling the area.
Scott wasn't a professional dancer by any means, but he knew how to 'cut a little rug' and could do it well. He wasn't completely 'up' on contemporary dance, though, so he watched the guys around him and incorporated a lot of what he saw them doing into what he was doing now. Miya didn't seem to mind.
"My god, why do I even appear in public with you?"
Red turned to JT and did a rather robust 'running man' move. "Jealous!" he sang loudly.
"So Terminus, huh? Wonder what kind of place this is supposed to be."
JT had noticed that some of the establishments in town seemed to cater to particular species. At least, from what he had heard from Vivienne, the vampires had their haunts and their kind had theirs. The Pipers had been warned to stay away from "House of Pain", but really, with a name like that, he couldn't imagine himself going anyway.
Club Eternity was, as Red put it, too high falootin' for them.
Shades on the strip appeared neutral, as well as Babylon. JT assumed, and hoped, that Terminus was as well, but for the moment he ignored Red and moved toward one of the illustrious looking bars and ordered a coke.
"DDing?" Red asked hopefully.
Leaning on the bar counter, JT narrowed his eyes at Red and shook his head. He always DD'd for the Pipers - he didn't drink, not even socially. Tugging at his long sleeve button up, JT settled down on the bar stool and rubbed his hands on his jeans.
"Yes, dear," JT replied looking around the club.
Leaning onto the bar with both elbows, Red hollered at the bartender. "All the girly cherry cokes my friend here can consume and can I start a bar tab for all ye ale, my good tender of bars?!"
There were two men behind the bar, both wearing the apparently uniform colors of Terminus - white with blue accents. He looked around at what everyone was wearing and then down at his Oreo t-shirt and carpenter jeans.
"Why do I always feel so under dressed in these places?"
"Because you are?" JT offered.
"Oh right, I am." Grinning, he dusted off a piece of errant flint on his fashionably worn white shirt with black rings on the sleeve. "My jeans are clean, at least."
Red watched as JT settled into a chair and began looking around the room. They all did the same thing instinctively; it's what Red had done coming in and dancing ridiculously. No one noticed him checking for exits if he was looking like an idiot, which was the best cover ever, he thought to himself.
JT had incorporated himself into the Pipers with only a little encouraging. Red was glad to have someone to talk with, what with Charlie in DI, and could easily say that JT was one of his best friends now, despite being so painfully quiet at times. Even more so than Marko. The new Piper rarely spoke first, never gave his opinion on anyone (and the other Pipers gossiped like girls, good lord), and was already establishing himself as a formidable Piper. Red wondered if it had anything to do with his biological father's heritage when he brought his attention back to the bartenders.
"Could we get a drink?" What Miya was really asking was could SHE have a drink. Scott knew her well enough to know that even one drink would make her giddy - her alcohol tolerance was just too too low. And she had to be taken care of after more than one drink. She was so happy at the moment and nodded at the two men at the bar. They were kinda buff and definitely cute. She then glanced up at Scott, hopefully.
Guillaume tended bar, Kiyoshi thought, like a demolishing crew. Where was the other bartender on duty? Oh well... it was Kiyo's job to make bar tending flashy, not Guillaume's. He did so with no delay, as the line of patrons wanting drinks was not short.
Contrary to his private nature, he flashed a smile to the people waiting, and with no fanfare began to spin bottles and glasses, assembling 3 and 4 drinks at a time as the orders came in.
He grinned at the redhead and nodded. "One tab. No problem."
Then he noted the tall dark-haired man with the redhead. Don't stare, he reminded himself. Damn, he was cute. "And a cherry coke... sure."
He worked the coke into his current drink lineup, tossing the cherry into the air and spearing it on a plastic sword as it came down, then sending the drink down the bar into the man's waiting hands along with his pal's. "Drew the short straw tonight huh?"
It was his job to make small talk, and Kiyo could do it when he was here behind the bar. This was just a role he played for the night. Later when the bar closed in the early hours of the morning, he would shut his mouth and revert to blessed silence but he'd promised Evan and Guillaume he would be the best flairtender he could be... jobs that understood his monthly issues were rare.
In the meantime Kiyo juggled bottles and glasses with ease, enjoying the rapid drink orders that came his way, growing more and more complex as patrons realized what he was doing. More than a few of them tried to stump him with odd requests, but Kiyo wasn't in this business for nothing... he knew what he was doing.
"No straws, I'm just his alcoholic enabler."
Drinking his coke, he looked over at Red and noticed his friend's dirty look.
"Oh now you're chatty?" Red asked as he reached for his beer. "Gimme that!" Red grabbed the speared cherry and ate it with great malice.
JT shrugged silently. This was as friendly as he got with strangers, but it was not beneath him to be polite. Leaning closer to the bartender, he inquired about the new place.
"So what is this place? A club with magic shows? Vegas style?"
He caught Red looking back toward the crowd at a couple approaching the bar. JT flicked his eyes in that direction and noted the brown skin female. Looking at the male with her, he immediately dismissed them and looked back at the bartender.
He leaned down to talk loud enough for Miya to hear. "Drink whatever you want. I still don't drink much, myself - especially if I am driving." He had to repeat part of it so that she could hear it over the music.
He glanced around, feeling under-dressed himself. Noting one of the men at the bar in an Oreo t-shirt and carpenter's pants actually made him feel a bit more at ease in his dark jeans and Starman t-shirt. Scott almost wanted to thank the guy for making him feel a little less out of place.
At Miya's turn with the bar-keep, she ordered her drink, and Scott ordered himself a diet-something. He paid the tender in cash with a generous tip and turned to Miya, taking a sip of his own drink.
"What next?" he half-shouted to her, so she could hear him.
Part of Navid's problem was he had a habit of watching every one, trying to keep track of things. For instance the two guys who just sat down, in another situation it would pay to be aware of them. He half smiled at the cherry coke order though. Although, he appreciated that they had a DD. He -hated- drunk drivers.
"Opening night." Guillaume said simply as he slid an order over to another patron. "We thought it might pay to open with a flash there is a lot of competition in town."
The more enthusiastic of the two, the red head had more or less asked for a beer but he hadn't picked one. They had a lot on tap, several local micro brews some of the more standard American beers (which he couldn't stand) and some good imports. And since Guillaume figured pouring a beer was beneath Kiyo's talents he asked,
"Ale, stout, porter, hefewizen it all goes on the same tab. What can I get you?"
'Interracial' he whispered with an exaggerated, wide eyed look.
JT snorted into his coke and covered his chuckle with a fake cough. He knew Red was joking - look at Vivienne and the Commander - but Red had knack for being an ass in very opportune times. Both he and JT nodded politely back at the male and waited for the other Pipers to show up.
"Oh, uh," Red leaned onto the counter, holding his hands up dramatically as he answered the bartender's question. "I would like...something horribly offensive, like a blond golden ale, preferably with a subtle aftertaste for my potential, and hopefully gigantic alcohol binge."
JT covered his eyes and sighed.
"I have to be respectable if and when I make my appearance at Nachton's Finest drunk tank, you see."
Their numbers had been reduced drastically, but there was always more coming from the Unkulunkulu's seemingly unlimited supply to fill the ranks. Oringo Ramsey's name carried weight within their mercenary core and it surprised the Second to see how fast one would jump up to replace a fallen Nakubili. There were three of them with the Second that night as they entered club Terminus.
The Nakubili were normally of African decent, but it was not uncommon for other races to filter in. Tonight it was his three oldest: two brothers and a white. The only thing separating his lighter skin brother was his skin color and even that was ignored, as well as gender. No females with them tonight, but they were out to try and enjoy themselves since the Unkulunkulu was out and about doing whatever it was he did on his own.
"Magic?" one of his Nakubili asked.
"Might be fun," said the other.
"Let's see," the Second replied.
"Hmm," he said thoughtfully, "the Vegas bit is mostly for the opening, like Guillaume said. "Mostly it's a seriously upscale internet cafe, lounge, what have you."
Pausing between rounds of drink orders Kiyoshi pointed toward the hallway that led to the other concourses. "Down that hall you're going to find different areas, color-coordinated so you know exactly where you are and who your staff are."
He indicated his white and blue uniform, the colors of their current area and Kiyo's domain. He looked around for Evan, who was mingling with the crowd as the PR face of Terminus. He pointed him out, as he wasn't hard to spot. These guys were tall but so was Evan. "That's the man in charge," he said, his eyes resting on his friend for a moment before turning to nod at Guillaume. "This one, too."
"There's a video gaming concourse down that way," he continued, "then traditional gaming, and a dining concourse. You should check them out."
Then he shrugged and smiled. "Of course, you're in the best part now but I'm biased."
"Listen," Red started in a hushed voice, "are there strippers here?"
"And here we go," JT said with an eye roll.
"Not for me, mind you, I have a girl, but he doesn't," Red said pointing at JT. Pushing his accusatory finger away, JT shook his head apologetically at the bartender and sighed.
"This does sound nice. We've been seeing the advertising around town - we're usually up at the Howl, but this is a nice change."
The bartender had extremely long, light brown hair, much like the other Manager in the crowd. JT damn near towered over him, even sitting, but at six foot six, he did get that a lot.
"I'm sorry. I'm JT, this idiot here is Red."
"Pleasure!" Red said with a wave.
Looking at the other bartender, JT added, "Very nice looking establishment and it looks like you're getting quite the variety of people."
"Need more women, if you ask me," Red contributed. JT flashed him a dirty look. "Just sayin', is all."
He said but at the same time he smiled quietly appreciating the humor in the order. Well why not be obnoxious about your beer. People were doing it with everything these days and at least it wasn't just a Bud or a Coors or something equally generic.
Turning away he poured an Ipswich Summer Ale into a glass and set it in front of the red head.
"Strippers? I knew we forgot something."
But he was pleased that the advertising had been seen. Obviously it had or the place wouldn't be as busy as it was but it was nice someone would say something.
"I've see The Howl but not been in."
He'd been meaning to check it out, from what research he'd done they did a good business but in his scouring of bars and clubs in Nachton Navid hadn't been in just yet.
Nodding as introductions were made he preformed the other half.
"Guillaume, this is Kiyo and the other one is Evan. Welcome to Terminus."
Well Red apparently had a one track mind for all he professed to have a girl. He half laughed.
"It is a traditional problem with gamers... male to female ratio is less than idle. But I'll see what we can do about that."
That was actually something he'd not thought about, attracting single females. Something to think about.
Miya -loved- DDR. And she knew that Scott wasn't terrible at it, either, but he always seemed to like to watch her. Miya could challenge whoever was the local king of it, after watching them and getting some rest and sipping her drink. Playfully she offered Scott one of the pineapples that had been soaking in the rum and fruit juice. It was speared on a plastic sword and she giggled at the absurdity of it.
" A pretty girl like you with a tropical drink like that needs a flower or two to let everyone know she's special"
Waving empty fingers at them, he then held out his hand to her and displayed a small clip with a couple of silk Hawaiian flowers, one yellow and one pink. Evan had re-purposed the bright flowers from a lei that had come apart; he added a few small blue beads and a couple tiny sea shells to finish off the beach themed accessory. It would look lovely in her auburn hair and he hoped that she would like it. It always made him happy to see his little trinkets find a good home.
He glanced over at the bar and noticed that Guillaume had received aid in the form of Kiyoshi. However, their bartender's flair filled bartending style was creating quite a bit of attention and that was adding to the number of orders. He should probably make his way back to the bar and swap places with Guillaume. His partner could serve a drink or two but he was going to have to leave the complicated orders up to Kiyo. It would help to have another experienced bartender on hand. The Frenchman could be sociable just as well as he could, perhaps more so with that accent that the women all found so delightfully seductive.
Returning his attention to the couple that he was standing near, Evan smiled. "Are you looking to play some of the games or would you like something to eat? We have electronic games and more traditional ones, like pool or darts and the final concourse" He pointed down the main hallway that led out of the dancing area. "is a nice quiet restaurant with a place to sit down and eat."
((OOC: The clip is a couple of hibiscus flowers in the middle with some tiny beads and shells on the end. They are glued to a metal clip that pinches open and closed at one end so that it could be slid into a person's hair or onto a shirt or something. It is only perhaps two and half inches long. ))
He smiled widely seeing Miya's reaction. "Nicely done!" Scott said, loud enough to be heard above the music, nodding his thanks to the man. "Thank you!" he cried out to him.
"Hear that Miya? I'm not the only one who thinks you're pretty AND special. Proof!" he chuckled, nodding again to the stranger.
In response to the man's questions, Scott shot a glance at Miya, then back to their visitor. "She's really into a dance-game called DDR. I've been practicing and was hoping you had one here so I could show her how it's done! Do you have one of those around?" he asked, loud enough to be heard above the music.