07.15.3013: A Puzzling Meeting
Summary: Reena plays at not being noble, and runs into Temple, who makes her question the divide between the nobility and the citizenry.
Date: 15 July 2013
Related: None
Reena Temple 

The Violet Siren — The Westend, Landing
The entrance into the Violet Siren gives the illusion of a squat, round building with very little character or flair. It is only when one walks through the ellipse-shaped tunnel, under the glowing black lights, do they realize that the Violet Siren is far more than it seems. The foyer is at the top level of a vast silo that tunnels underground for several stories. Its transparent-composite floors look down through the various mezzanines ringing the interior of silo all the way to the expansive dance floor at the bottom. A series of staircases hug the walls of the cylinder, leading patrons past balconies that supply seating away from the loud thumping and madness of the dance floor and a series of bars to wet ones whistle.

The entire lower level is nothing but dance floor with platforms to provide varied elevation to the bumping, grinding, and thrashing of the vigorous dancers. Scantly-clad waitresses maneuver carefully through the dancers with shotglass vials of neon-colored liquor.

15 July 3013

The Violet Siren is relatively quiet this early on a weekday. Most of its patrons have day jobs. Reena Khournas usually does, but Princess Ophia had private family meetings today, so she was released from her duties until tomorrow. The Lady is seated on one of the lower levels, in a dark booth, actually reading on her datapad and drinking water. She looks a bit tired, and she's dressed casually in leather breeches and a pale blue silk blouse. Her hair is down for a change, and she's drawn on booted foot up onto the booth seat, to rest her chin on her knee as she peruses the news.

Temple doesn't frequent bars or dance clubs, but he was on Landing and needed a drink. The Rose was a bit too prissy for him, so he dropped by here. The music isn't nearly as defeaning either. The former soldier is dressed ruggedly: canvas pants, old boots, a sleeves black shirt, and an old leather jacket that's probably seen better days. He's currently with a few other people at the bar, who're pondering over various mind puzzeles. Multi-colored blocks, metals rings hooked together, that sort of thing. Most can't solve them, so they've come to bet on just how fast man from Khar-Mordune can finish them, since the man seems to have a knack for puzzeles. When the timer stops, a few cry out in anger, having to turn their credits over.

"Thank you, thank you, you've been lovely today." Temple grins, taking his share. "Been a pleasure releiving you have your money. One more?" Most shake their head, leaving Temple to tip an imaginary hat, grab his drink and start to move towards a table.

Reena's eyes flit up from her datapad at the bar commotion. She fixes Temple with a curious gaze, through half-lidded eyes, her lips pursed slightly. It's hard to tell if it's a look of invitation, or disdain, but it's a look at the very least. Her eyes slip to the seat across from her for a moment. He can take that as he will.

And Temple catches that silently. At first, he looks behind as if she was looking at someone behind him. Someone more important than a Citizen locksmith with a questionable background. So, taking a cautious step forward, he tilts his head to peer into that booth. "You were looking at me, right?" Beat. "Er, my Lady." No, seems like he doesn't do much talking to the nobility, tone just mildly awkward. Out of place.

"I was. I wanted to ask what all that ruckus was about. And I'm bored," Reena gives him a half-smile, one side of her mouth lifting in a lopsided grin. "Also, I'm pretending I'm not a Lady today, so Ree will do just fine."

"Ah." is Temples mono-syllable reply. "You sure you want to be seen around the unwashed masses, then? Espeically this unwashed mass?" He might look a dishevled, but he certainly smells clean. "But fair enough Ree, I can play along. Don't meet too many nobles that play as not one. Unique." But, drink in hand, he sits down. "Nah, they're…" he pauses. "friends, I guess. Though I use the term loosely. Friends as about as far as I can throw them. Anyways, we have bets on who can solve our little mental and hand puzzeles the fastes. And they hate it when I'm on my game, like today. Keeps the mind sharp and hand dexterous."

"Oh please, I am Khourni. We are the unwashed masses," Reena notes with a small smirk. "And every once in a while I like to have a conversation with someone who isn't trying to sway me for some political purpose." She cocks her head to the side. "Have a seat. Tell me about these puzzles." She sets her data pad aside and leans her forearms on the tabletop to listen to him.

Welp, I wouldn't call a pretty lady apart of the unwashed masses, but hell, that's just me." Temple casually notes. "Temple." he introduces, though that doesn't sound like his first name, surely. Out of his pocket, he deposits two of the said puzzeles. One is a series of four metal rings linked together and other is three small bent peices of metal. "These are just a few. Both of these can be seperated into singular peices." Then a gesture at them. "The bet is usually how fast someone can do them. But go ahead, try one out."

Reena plucks up the rings puzzle, and her eyes narrow as she studies it thoughtfully for a moment. Then the young woman's fingers deftly begin manipulating the rings, passing them through each other and such until they're all released from their brethren. She sets the freed stack on the tabletop and looks across it at Temple, arching a brow.

Temple sits back, watching silently, eyes more on her fingers than on the peices of metal. His lips move every time a peice falls free, as if keeping mental track of the movements and how long she's taking when she finishes, he drinks from his beer. "One minute, twelve seconds. Not bad." Odd to be so accurate given he wasn't looking at watch. "Not bad. Hone that down to forty seconds and you'll be doing well for yourself."

Reena slides the rings across to him. "Show me how fast you can do that," she requests. She might even be smiling a faint bit, something that has been absent for the last week or so. She draws her knee up again as she watches, wrapping her arms around her shin lightly.

"I'll do you one better." Temple says taking the peices into his hands. "It's one thing to take apart a puzzle in the shortest amount of time. Putting it back together some think is harder, because it makes you think backwards and it prevents falling into patterns. Keeps you loose. Keeps you ready." And at that point, his finger flicker, assembling it back into it's original form. His fingers have a deft kind of movement, well-practiced, and the way he looks down, it doesn't seem like he's the one that's making the hands move, more like they're doing it themselves. And it's fast, setting it back down onto the table. "Thirty-two seconds. That's about average for me doing it backwars. Twenty-five seconds is my record for putting it back together."

"That's impressive. You have good hands, Temple. What do you do for a living?" Reena asks. She gestures to a waitress to bring him another of whatever he's drinking, on her. Her water looks mostly untouched, the lime bobbing in it a sad testament that she probably had to overpay for that drink to be able to sit here so long.

"I really want to make a lewd comment, but I'll spare you." Temple chuckles, fingers rolling into a fist then outstretching, stretching them tendons out. "I'm a…locksmith. Electronical and analouge locks. If it's not working, I can usually crack it, repair it, or replace if it needs to be done. Also design locks and offer them to labs, military compounds, noble and company offices. It doesn't bring all the credits in the world, but…well, it's a living and I'm good at it."

"It's an honorable living," Reena agrees. "Has the call for your services increased since the Hostiles have arrived?" she asks. "I expect there are those who think the end is night, extinction is at hand, thus the rules no longer matter. Looting and the like?"

Temple shrugs. "Considering I grew up homeless on Khar-Mordune, yeah, I'd say I've upgraded my life since then." he replies. "Eh, it varied a little in an upwards trend, but not really. A lot of people already have locks, and many who already live in the larger megacities rely on the city guard for defense. Usually, it tends to be people who have either something to hide and keep secret or the paranoid." Beat. "I once installed a door with eleven different locks because he was certain the 'other aliens' were coming for him." He blinks at the second drink. "Oh. Hey, thanks."

"The otheraliens. Interesting," Reena murmurs, toying with the second puzzle but not attempting it yet. "Aren't the ones trying to kill us all bad enough?" She smirks. "It sounds like the lock he really needed was the one to a padded room in a mental facility somewhere."

"Not for me to say. He paid -really- well." Temple notes. "Yeah, the 'other' aliens. Hostiles are a known thing, but he believes there's other aliens out there, watching us. And to him, an unknown is a lot more frightening than a known threat. Granted when on this really long tirade about how it's being covered up by the government. I tried not to listen, I didn't want to catch crazy."

Reena rolls her eyes and chuckles. "Gods, we have enough trouble on our hands. Now the crazies are coming out. Perfect." She sighs and slides her finger through the condensation on the glass. Her eyes move over his upper body and she hms softly. "If I were more like my sister, I'd be trying to get you into my bed with muscles like that."

"Eh, most are harmless. They don't like to leave the Infoesphere all that often. Y'know, afraid of social interaction. And people. And women. From what I noticed, they play a lot of those role-playing games. Spend hours on them." Temple notes, humored. What does take him offguard is totally being eye-humped by a noblewoman. There's a blink. "Wait, you're talking to me again, right?" This causes him to look down at himself. "I..uh, stay in shape? Did a stint in the Arboren military before being discharged. But..thanks. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't lucky to be talking to a smoking hot Khournas noble. I'm wondering when the guards are gonna jump out of the corner and pound me into the pavement."

"You're a citizen, Temple. You don't have the plague," Reena notes. "Who so deeply scarred you that you think nobles and citizens can't mingle? We do it all the time, you know. We even have, dare I say it, citizen friends!" She gasps, theatrically, for emphasis.

"Heh, well, you're not like other nobles then." Temple notes. "And I'm not saying they can't, but you're not exactly looked fondly upon when you're considered the dregs of the Citizenry. Homeless, scruffy-looking, neredowell. I'm used to getting down on from both societies simply because how I grew up. I didn't have a lot, but damnit the alley I lived in years ago was mine. And you can make a decent living scraping by as a street artist." Mimicing her shock, he dramatically hushes her. "Don't say that too loud, people will get ideas."

"Ideas indeed." Reena looks at Temple in amusement and stands, rounding the table to stand behind him. She leans forward, over his shoulder, and slides a card into the collar of his shirt. "Keep in touch. Some locks need picking, and they aren't all of the physical variety." On the card is her Infosphere mail address. Then she's slipping back to the lifts and out of the bar.

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