Log:A Handbag for Hex
Foyer - Art Gallery - Corellian District, Nar Shaddaa
The Art Gallery foyer is a crisp, white canvas in which to display art for a traveling show or even for local artists. A large area rug and a few small, cushioned stools put a pop of sea blue into the space. Right now it's full of the owners' private collections, including many different styles of paintings from modern to classic. Hidden among some of these are a few by the owner himself. They are quite the view. It's obvious these personal works are flawlessly cared for, tarnish-free and tucked safely alongside some of the other paintings. They seem to just fit in with the rest of the room perfectly.
A small rack to the left of the entrance showcases a few handbags for sale, stitched by hand from slick, black fur and some pebbly, yellowish hide. There's no sign to tell what creature(s) was sacrificed in their making.
There is a door in the back leading deeper into the art rooms, another door which remains closed and locked, and a polished, black ramp ferries visitors to a second story. Under the ramp is a glossy, white desk where the proprietor(s) can keep an eye on folks or happily make transactions.
"Kee'tch balahesk. Ghun te wah wah neh." It's a peaceful evening setting in the Muse. A few 'VIP's are being entertained upstairs to the gentle tune of music and chiming glassware. Other guests have since left the lower portion, leaving the droid free to pose idly about like a chrome statue. That is, until his mistress beckons from the west room. Rheisa's dusty. The pigment she's been busy grinding has since settled about her arms, face, clothing...it's a close match to her natural skintone, but not quite. "Hehk'na sa'an." She gestures a thumb behind her, directing Kee'tch'ka to a new task while she carries a partially contoured block of wood (the size of a toddler) on one hip towards the desk, where it thumps down heavily.
Who normally buys art on this planet? Probably people who look like they can afford it, which the tall drink of head-tails walking through the gallery door does not. He looks like someone who, even if he doesn't go /looking/ for trouble, is probably receptive to its advances. How else does one lose a hand like that? And yet, he's got the look about him, the Buyer Look, that gaze that's slightly more alert, the steps more purposeful and committed, than those who are browsing. He's obviously not wandering off from the VIP crowd, and upon spotting Rheisa, heads that way. "Ke'nata ni," Hex greets. "You're one of the artists here, right?"
Rheisa straightens up from the desk to the tune of clattering beads and swivels her head to look upon the newly entered...Twi'lek. The next place her eyes turn is admittedly, and unashamedly, the cybernetics. Then back to those brown eyes. Maybe he is one of Raim's patients? She can't help but to feel she's seen him somewhere before...maybe.
"Yes," she answers back in heavily accented basic, "I am." Two fingers tap at her perspiring brow. "Rheisa Dirleel," then a point to the name plate on the desk, letters marked above another word 'curator'. "You want I make something for you?" She absently dusts both hands off on the supple hide of her skirt, leaving a faint trace of hand prints. It's a far cry from the wardrobe the brothers dressed her in for the charity event. "Or see something here you like?" Marbled eyes widen with an encouraging nod as she gestures about. "More in there," a point to the other room. "In here are mostly paint." Indeed, there are many paintings on the wall...a couple of which depict the mighty 'Civil War' between the Rebellion-turned Republic and the Empire.
Feeling a twang of sudden worry about that very fact, she hobbles aside to block one such graphic thing with her frame while pointing to the west room again. "Better, in there."
Hex doesn't seem to mind being visually inspected in this fashion, but his gaze has wandered to the art nearby, the tips of his lekku twitching thoughtfully back and forth. "We met once before, sort of," he grins when she introduces herself. "My name is Heksash'kuri," she gets the full name treatment, once she said it correctly, she occupies a special and limited category of persons near to his heart forever. "I bought a painting at an auction. I like it. It's by a Wroonian? Anyway though, I was thinking maybe both... I came looking for a commission, but, those are some deeply intriguing bags." He tilts his head, and a smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. He's fishing for an answer he's hoping to hear, though it's not clear what, exactly, he hopes. "Did you make those?"
Rheisa follows his gaze intuitively with her own and before he can ask, she's taken a couple steps nearer to stroke fingers over the sleek, black-furred one. A faint ripple travels down the last third of her left montral and she works hard to stifle a proud smile. What gets revealed is but a mere twitch on otherwise serene lips. "Yes, Hehksash'krri," it ain't perfect, but probably closer most humans or the like may get on their first go. The first syllable is heavier, coming from the depths of her chest while the end more or less rolls together in trilled form. "I remember you, now. You find nice place to hang it?"
Hex brightens up with a perk of lekku and the joy unique to someone who usually talks about art with people who don't want to talk about art. At least not his art. "I got a place. Or, well... I share a place. But it's got enough wall to call my own that I could finally hang the painting on it, and it's still the nicest thing I own, and I look at it sometimes and look at the way it's not in a storage unit anymore, and think, 'Hex, you're moving up in the world.' Can I look at this?" He's already reaching for the furry black bag, so she'll have to swat that robot hand away if she doesn't want him to handle it. "This is a very interesting hide." Again, that tug of a smile, crooked, just a bit.
Rheisa tries to keep up with his rambling, but finds better luck at just freeing the bag's strap from its hook and passing it off for tactile inspection. She's a hands-on girl herself, so she understands. At least in this place, that sort of curiosity won't warrant trouble. Usually. It's a simple bag, small/medium as far as ladies' purses might go, and with just a flap to fold over the top, attaching via loop and wooden knob, which very well may be a polished piece of stick. The strap is braided leather, braids upon braids of pale, pink leather. As he pets the bag, he may notice that the grain of the fur is not uniform throughout, but rather broken into a few hand-sized patches that cross-cut one another. The color, at least, is flawlessly uniform. On this one. Others have some variety. And some, no fur at all! Just a pimply texture...
"Is not hard to find," she confides, tapping a nail against the hide in question. "Just most people afrrraid to get. Make them feel..." she screws her facial expression into something grotesquely humorous, as though she's about to gag. "But feels nice, yes?"
Hex does pet the nice black fur, using his left hand to do so, as though trusting the tactile feedback more from the non-cybernetic limb. "Well, most people spend too much time afraid of things that they decided ahead of time are gross, ka? What is this made of?" He grins, a grin that broadens when he points to one of the pimply yellowish hide bags. "What's that one made out of? And how much are they? I'll get one, either way, just got to make the choice."
The Togruta hesitates to reply. The reason for this may be the swankily dressed woman sashaying her way down the ramp from upstairs, behind her. Donning what humans view as a most acceptable smile, Rheisa turns around to offer her a courteous bow and wave of her hand. "Thank you," she addresses the exiting patron, "Please see us again."
She listens intently for anymore movement in their direction. Hearing, feeling none, she turns her full focus back to present customer Hex. "Rrrat. The kind that burrow in walls, here. Eat...what is. Duracrete? Yes, kind that chew walls." 'Crete rat. A well known pest of any urban environment. "I hunt to eat, when first come. Have to. Still do, sometimes. But is silly to waste parts I do not eat, yes? They are verrry soft." Her smile fades, eyes turning a less than appreciative look upon the pebbly, sallow hide bags. Instead of wooden buttons, these have colored stones or glass beads, and the straps are either woven from cloth or match the hide precisely. One is a polished, brass chain.
"These, too, I eat. Much more hard to get...just one time. They bite back, but I bite harder." A smug, albeit brief flash of a fang as she recalls that afternoon. "Jax, Kadi want be sick, to see me and Grrra cook them outside ship. But taste okay. You try Mohn-key leezard, before?"
Hex waits patiently while the well-dressed woman leaves, brows slightly lifted and making an effort to look like he's not someone with an undue interest in bags made of creatures Rheisa ate. When the other patron is gone and the Togruta drops her revelation, he looks at the furry bag in his hands as though seeing it for the first time. "Really!" There is abject appreciation in the tone. "I wondered, based on the small pieces stitched together, if it was made of a small sort of creature. They're not bad, the rats?" He shrugs. "They're not that good, either, but they could be worse." The second revelation gets a surprised twitch of lekku in response, and he reaches for the sallow, pimply bag. "Monkey lizard?"
And then.... eating them. Hex looks up sharply, and grins. Rheisa has made a friend for life whether she wants one or not. "I haven't. But if you can get me one someday - for eating, ka - I'll pay you whatever you want."
Rheisa's cheeks dimple with a grin to mirror Hex's own before she's really sure she ought to be that excited. Those pearly chompers are soon veiled behind pale, grey lips as she fixes him with a more serious, studious look. Gauging his sincerity, perhaps. Or concerned.
"I learn after this happen that they belong to Hutt. Come off ship, were being carried away to new home, but...get loose. All of them." Her cheeks puff with an exasperated sigh at the memory. Absolute pandemonium, that was. Shaking her head, she taps the bag he holds. "I think these will be first and last I get to catch. But some day, if I find some wild to hunt, I will remember what you ask." And she extends a hand for the shaking, emulating the 'professional' business dealers that line this strip.
The Twi'lek's sincerity is perhaps evident in the way he looks a little crestfallen, a slight slackening of lekku, at her description of exactly how hard it is to get Monkey Lizards to eat. "Ah, well. Understandable. If the opportunity should ever come up again though, think of me. Or any other exotics," Hex insists, reaching to shake on it. "I'll leave my comlink information just in case. You get something new in that you're making a bag out of and it's big enough to share -" He shrugs, and grins.
"You can make some extra money off me. I like adventure. As for these bags... I'll take this fur one. /I/ like the monkey-lizard one, but it's for a human." He shrugs, like, humans, what can ya do? "How much?"
"Mm," Rheisa wags her head, her own version of an empathetic shrug. Humans did have odd taste...in that they had taste for very few things. The 'fact' that monkey-lizards allegedly possess some degree of sentience probably hadn't helped her case when trying to convince the Waywards crew that her personal menu of the day wasn't gross.
"Like say, rrrat is easy catch. Take much time to skin and tie the tails, though," she strokes one finger up the half length of strap. "One hundred-twenty crrredit." And she's already moving behind the counter to rummage for some paper to wrap it in.
Hex has come prepared, and fishes two credit chips out of his pocket - high denomination, 100 each. "Extra. For you," he insists. "I've crafted things out of very small animals before. I was a child and they were lakata on Ryloth, not crete rats - and I was not anywhere near this talented at it - but I remember that it was tedious. The legs. The tails. I haven't thought about that in years, and I've lost what skill I used to have at crafting from animals that way. So 120 for the purse, Rheisa Dirleel, and the rest for respect."
"I...thank," Rheisa slowly emerges from behind the counter, montrals first, to look at him, the creds, then him again with big eyes. Big eyes that may look a little extra wet and shiny all of a sudden. It's not the monies - she takes those easily enough though, stashes in box behind counter - so much as it is the words explaining them. Respect! For /her/ art. There's a trace of guilt coming on, chiding her own self pride in this moment, but she offers a gracious bow of her chin nevertheless.
She smoothes some crinkly paper on the counter top and gestures for the bag. "I hide in this, make look nice? Keep it secret, this way. Surprrrise." The imagine conspiracy is already relighting her smile.
Hex's lekku settle themselves over his shoulders in a way that seems pleased, satisfied. "Perfect," he appreciates her wrapping plans, and hands over the bag. Whether she does a tidy job or not, he's stoked either way, obviously imagining the delight the recipient must surely feel upon opening it! Once it's all done, he accepts the package back with a swap of the promised com link info, and nods his head to her in a manner that suggests the formality of a bow. "Arni'soyacho," he says. "Thank you very much." Then the Twi'lek straightens, grins, and winks. "You'll see me again. Don't forget about the food, I'm serious!" And then off he goes, precious package clutched safely... secret, safe, and definitely a surprise.