Log:Circus Food for Thought
The Lost Circus - Corellian District, Nar Shaddaa
An entire facility perhaps once used for manufacturing something large or storage has been gutted and transformed into a mini-paradise. From the neon lights and bustle of the street outside the doors, one enters the foyer of a rather industrial looking building. All metal and dirt, greeted by volunteer or hired security and a usually eccentric doorman manning a ticket kiosk that dispenses clear prism like 'tickets'. Down a hall, and to the left...welcome to the Lost Circus. A large expanse of transplanted grass and dirt to simulate a large field...filled with colorful tents, exotic performers and show heralds...the enticing scent of spices and forbidden sweets in the air and on good days, the roof of the complex opened partially or completely to let in the sunlight and show glimpses of the night sky.
The tents are weather resistant flexible metal structures, more like small one-two story structures, made to expand or move when the need be but build securely enough to not blow away or be knocked over. There are six colored tents, Red, Orange, Yellow - Green, Blue, Violet, that seem to form a perimeter around the largest tent, the big top, that is prism like hue that seems to shimmer and change colored depending on the lighting or direction someone looks at it. There always seems to be a mixture of side show performances and freak show displays that focus on the delicate line between exquisite beauty and the macabre, and blurring the lines between them going on in some side tents, while the others house traveling/guest chefs or vendors serving up fun delicacies or peddling their wares.
There's something surreal about stepping from the stormy weather outside and into the almost paradise/other worldly setting that is The Lost Circus. There's no doorman just yet, but from the 'foyer' one can hear the soft music and see the lights...walking down and to the left to that transplanted field of grass and some flowers. One day, there will lots of customers, and entertainers but for now, there seems to be some special event involving tastings. Vendors from all over have gathered and set up little booths, preparing their dishes and setting them out for special gusts to try as the perfect circus foods must be selected. The lights are down low, soft woodwind music playing, blankets scattered about with soft cushions and low tables as people enjoy their dishes and there's a slender androgynous figure who is sauntering along...behind him slithers a six foot long black boa constrictor, no doubt, almost following the rhythm of Nae's steps as he toys with a slender flute of something bright orange and bubbly, sniffing it and taking a delicate sip. Lots of skin on display, make-up and hair done impeccably...it is a special night.
Suoh comes to the entrance of the tent and if on cue the lightning flashed behind him. He smirks with white sharp teeth. A dragon's entrance for sure. He follows the enticing scent of spices and forbidden sweets, into the tent and makes his way around, looking at the structure from the inside. The vendors who have gathered, and a familiar sauntering shape. He lays low in the background and watches for a moment, steel eyes watching the snake.
Rheisa has never been to a circus. In fact, until the construction and advertisement of this encampment of oddities began, the word didn't exist in her vocabulary. But, she knows good food when she smells it, and recognizes this hub of excitement for what it is - potential supply of entertainers to enhance her own occasional event and gallery business.
By the time she gets inside the pretend outside, she's positively soaked. Her feet stop short, toes wiggling through bristles of real grass while her eyes take in the splendor of it all. When she does finally proceed, it's with caution. This is still Lehtera, after all, and after sending a few souls into the afterlife on this very street, she's probably reason for worry.
Naelyn pauses slightly, looking over his shoulder towards the entrance and tilting his head to the side before his lips curve in a small smile and he lifts a clear little datapad he's holding to tap something with his thumb. The sparkly orange fizzy drink is sipped once more before he sets it down to blow a kiss to Suoh and wink. The snake behind him really just follows when he moves, and stops when he stops. Rhesia's entrance is noted as well and he bows his head politely before raising his voice. "Come and join me, there are warm drinks...and a large hairy individual is going to drop some living mammals into hot grease and somehow remove all the hair from them and create something crispy. It will prove to be quite interesting!" He points somewhere else. "And then that one has sugared fruit." He gives a tiny bounce and sighs softly. "We have to find a raw vendor as well...so much to do. Welcome, welcome."
Suoh has been spotted so quickly by the slinky Naelyn. He catches the blown kiss and pockets it for later. He is being flattering. He doesn't notice Rhesia as he walks up to Naelyn slowly. "Nice place. I see why you are busy." He peers around. "Mind if I smoke?" When dropping animals in hot grease is mentioned it stirs his hunger and his attention is pulled at way.
Rheisa returns the bow silently, her stare unwavering as it tracks the boa's hypnotic glide. There is a mighty water spirit to be feared, where she hails from. A serpent so large that its tracks shaped the rivers and streams cutting through the home valley. A mouth so ravenous that children were oft forbidden to swim, lest they never resurface. But there are small ones, too, like this creature, that deliver death in other ways. Her mouth waters, nevertheless. For a predator can also become prey. And make many a decorative band or belt.
"Leave away the grrrease and you will have your rrraw," the Togruta suggests once she's abandoned all slithery thoughts and accepted his invitation to approach. This of course lands her at Suoh's flank. There's no need to announce herself to him then. He'll simply see and either flee...or hold his ground.
Naelyn's gaze flicks from his baby, aka the boa, then to Rheisa and then back down to his snake and he lifts an eyebrow slightly. "My manners...have escaped me in the excitement." A nod to Suoh."You may, but nothing too fragrant, tabac can...dull senses." Then he nods down to the large black boa constrictor (six feet) who has started to coil up under a table. "This is one of my daughters...Eclipse." He pauses and glances back to the Togruta. "Some people do not enjoy raw, so we must have both for snacks wouldn't you agree? What would you enjoy nibbling on while watching a tightrope walker or acrobat?"
Vendors from all over have gathered and set up little booths, preparing their dishes and setting them out for special gusts to try as the perfect circus foods must be selected. The lights are down low, soft woodwind music playing, blankets scattered about with soft cushions and low tables as people enjoy their dishes.
Suoh hears a familiar accent. He turns with cold eyes, upper lip curls at the Togruta in silence. However he is able to tame it down. he has a cold dead expression. He frowns at Naelyn, he won't smoke for now. He eyes the snake. "Daughter??" He raises a white eyebrow at him. "I didn't know you had children, Tiny Dancer." He wasn't even wearing his glasses. Hard to tell if he is squinting or just pissed off.
Better late than never, right? Ax makes his way to the Lost Circus, a shiny new astromech following along behind him. Perched upon his shoulder is his pet tailring, Adder. A leather cord linked the sand dragon to Ax's wrist. The Echani leader of the Waywards was dressed, sans helmet, in bright crimson armor, complete with a flowing cape that hung from his shoulders almost all the way to the floor.
Ax makes his way through the crowd, his silver eyes finally settling on Naelyn and he approaches, a slim smile forming on his face. Upon seeing the much larger reptiles, Adder stirs a little, his predator/prey instinct kicking in, which is likely why Ax went through the trouble of tethering him.
Daughter? Rheisa eyes the shelter-seeking snake skeptically, but does not question the how or why. Suoh's chilly reception doesn't stir a flinch out of the curator, though sadness soon haunts the weak smile in her eyes. "Of course," she replies belatedly to Naelyn. "I will eat many things, living or dead. But never frrruit." And then a familiar form - a coupling of forms, really - is in motion behind. Her head turns 'round to meet Ax and Adder before the former has need to make a sound.
"You have returned." Observant Togruta is observant!
Naelyn rests a hand on Suoh's arm lightly before squeezing gently. "A turn of phrase, I raised her and Eon from eggs." He clarifies before noticing Ax and Adder and he smiles softly, bowing his head and ooing softly at the Droid that follows them. "Such Handsome fellows...and beautiful ladies, my eyes feel spoiled." Then he exhales softly. "Too many options."
Suoh sees the white hair first in the corner of his eye and turns, supposing he is hoping it is his twin. But, no wrong echani. He grimaces again, less sulky now, more a boiling rage under the surface. His finger twitch and he drums the side of his leg. "Hey Ax." He up nods to the echani. He turns back to Naelyn, softening just a hair. He completely ignores Rhesia's presence like she is a dark void in space. His eyes go to the fried foods though. Is an odd child being brought up on foods from Nal Hutta.
Ax offers a smile to Rheisa, "I need to talk to you and the doctor at some point in the very near future. I think you'll be happy to hear it." He then looks to Suoh, offering his fellow Echani a polite nod.
Of course, it's Naelyn that Ax has come to see. "I brought you a present," he says. "With the opening of your new facility here, I thought you could use a good droid, so I bought you this one. I made sure that it had the ability to pilot as well. While not as good a pilot as me, it should suffice well enough for piloting your new shuttle. It's still in my hangar at Parmac's. Figured a means of transporting personnel would come in handy for you."
Dusty, orange toes curl defensively into the trampled grass, clinging tightly to whatever tiny memory of a soul the blades possess, so far from their original roots. Fragments are better than nothing, for grounding one's self in a crete'n'steel jungle. But maybe there's hope for a future far from this stinking moon...maybe there's a hope for home.
Ax's few words to her ignite that spark within, pupils dilating as she considers the meaning. She raises a graceful hand and brushes her brow respectfully. The dangling teeth and beads tinkle together softly. "I am ready to listen, at any time." Excusing herself from immediate company then with a little bow, she moves past Suoh with a rigid spine. Silks and linen whisper against his own clothes, creating just the briefest hints of contact, en route to investigate the food.
Naelyn gives Suoh's arm another gently squeeze and tsks softly as he watches the interplay between Suoh and Rhesia with lowered lashes. Ax's announcement however catches his attention and his lips form a tiny 'o', eyes dropping to the droid and then back to Ax and then back to the Droid and then back to Ax, and then to Suoh...then the Rhesia and then back to the Droid, and back at Ax. Give him a moment.
Rheisa Dirleel whispers something in passing to Suoh.
Suoh cold eyes follow after the Togruta, following her with his gaze. Then glances to Ax and Naelyn having a moment. His eyebrows furrow. "Excuse me. I need a smoke." He goes in the opposite direction to the exit so he can fill his lungs.
Ax just chuckles at Naelyn's reaction, then looks towards Rheisa, smiling to her. He was in a good mood at least. Then, his attention goes to Suoh. "How's business on your end? Things here on the Smuggler's Moon going alright for you?"
Naelyn's lips part as he exhales shakily and turns to smile to Suoh with excitement but the smile fades as he watches Suoh head off...to take a smoke. He turns slightly to blink and collect himself before offering Ax a small smile in gratitude. "I do not...know how to...express my gratitude, so I will say...thank you. I...thank you."
Suoh pauses in his tracks when Ax speaks to him. He had already fished out a cigarette and pressed it between his lips. He turns on his heel. "Business is good. I'm not really hands on as of late.. but that's going to change soon. Tabac business is up. I'm sure the gallery is still doing well. What has been going on for you?" Has been laying low in the underground he has no idea what is going on lately. He eyes Naelyn's new toy.
"I recently purchased a winery on Naboo," Ax says. "So, considering the costs involved in that, I guess you could say I'm doing well." He then looks to Naelyn. "A thank you is all that I'd hoped for. I just hope it serves your cause well."
The muffled sound of scrabbling claws and squealing rodents has captured Rheia's attention and lured her away from talks of prosperity and transactions. She's a simple girl who prefers simpler things in life. Like a full belly. Instantly, she can safely guess that the large individual bustling around these captive critters - and a vat of hot oil - is likely the "hairy" man Naelyn had been referring to. Granted, most humanoids are hairy compared to a Togruta, but not all have a penchant for frying animals alive.
Suoh nods slowly and thinks about it to Ax. "Sounds like a nice place to take a vacation." Suoh never gets a vacation, just headaches. He rubs his temple with a sour look in his eyes. "I'll be sure to stop by Naboo and check it out." He flicks his lighter. "I need to get going business to attend to." Since he has double the work load now. He waves over his shoulder. "Dancer.. it looks good, you should be proud." He leaves as he puffs on his cigarette.
Naelyn's tongue darts out to swipe over his bottom lip as he tentatively steps towards the droid, kneeling down to reach out for it, touching it tentatively before looking to Suoh and nodding slowly. "Be safe..." He murmurs before looking over to where Rheisa is about to get a show and then back to Ax. "I...find myself without words, for once. I do not believe that is a common occurrence for me."
Ax gives Suoh a nod, then looks back to Naelyn. "Well, I take that as you being happy about it, which is good for me. Of course, I do have ulterior motives. Charitable work makes me feel good, so it's all selfish of course." There's a grin on his face as he looks over to Rheisa, chuckling.
Rheisa's lip wrinkles a bit as the pungent scent of the oil singes her sniffer. It's hot. She doesn't have to get nailed by the occasional burp of molten lard to know that. Or to imagine what it must feel like to be fully submerged in such. Another glance casts downward to the poor, doomed munchies clawing over one another with vain attempts at escaping their box. Her belly rumbles and her heart pangs. Such is the woe of an empathetic predator.
"How much?" she inquires of the master chef.
Naelyn ahhs softly and bows deeply to Ax. "Then you should feel extremely well." Then he looks back to Rheisa and the critters and raises his voice. "No charge, tonight, just enjoy the tastes and tell me if you like them or not!"
"Alright, now that we've gotten that out of the way, what's up with the foods here? Anything you can recommend? Should I have a case of booze or three delivered, or do you have that too?" Ax smiles, looking towards the Togruta. "Looks like Rheisa found something, though I am quite sure that our taste buds are quite different."
"I may?" Rheisa points to the rodents, seeking affirmation just once more before reaching to select a little furry from the swarm. Rather than wait for the fry cook to toss it into its sizzling grave, she cups it in her palms, lifting up to examine the frightened, beady eyes. They appear clear and free of disease. Whiskers dance across her nose as it also partakes in study of her. A little smile parts her pallid, grey lips. And then?
Ax's statement is verified with the unfurling of fangs. There's barely time for the creature to shriek before its brainstem is pierced, then severed by an expertly placed bite. It's hands free for now, Rheisa releasing it from her grasp to shoo a biting fly away from her self while it twitches its last between her jaws.
Naelyn nods slowly. "We have all these different street vendors and small cafe cooks and volunteers from all over the moon who have come to share what they have, so that we can choose what will be the regular vendors, the mainstays of available snacks and goodies." He explains softly before an eyebrow raises when Rhesia...consumes...her treat and his lips form a tiny 'o'. "Well, that is one way."
Ax doesn't shudder or gag, as he's used to seeing Adder do pretty much the same thing. Still though, it's not something he wants to actually witness and turns to look at Naelyn. Adder, however, perks up as the crunching and squealing of the creature being consumed. "Well, that's going to be difficult, considering the diversity of species on this moon. I don't envy your having to make the decisions. If you'd like, I can have some crates of Blossom wine delivered."
This snack comes with its own refreshment. A sip, at least. A little suction and swallow keeps the blood from trickling over Rheisa's chin and staining her 'nice' clothes. A satisfied thrrrum hums forth and she nods around the polishing off of this meaty morsel. The head goes down whole after just a couple chews. And the rest? A quick slice and peel with her fingernails ditches most of the furry skin, which she offers up into the air for you know who. The remaining corpse is eaten is just a few heaping mouthfuls.
Naelyn cannot look away, really, he just watches with a slow blink and a curious 'hunh' before grabbing a napkin from a table as he replies to Ax softly. "It will be challenging...but yes, Blossom Wine would be a lovely beverage to have." He waits until Rheisa looks like she is finished and he offers the napkin with a soft giggle. "Here you go dear, you have an excess of...blood right here.." He points to his chin. "What are your thoughts? Good quality?"
Ax looks over the vendors, then back to Naelyn. "I'll have some delivered. You'll have to come by the winery on Naboo at some point. We have some further business to discuss concerning such." He looks back to Rheisa, "Remember, bring Maeve to see me next time you get the chance. The three of us have some discussions to make." He then looks to Naelyn. "If there's anything you need, let me know. I should get back to Parmac's. Having two facilities to handle keeps me overly busy."
Rheisa's tongue snakes out to do the honors. Well. Most of it. She takes the napkin politely to dabs off the rest. "Better than 'crete rat. Not so sweet as thimiar." Any feelings previously hurt by the sulking Suoh are pacified with a rush of endorphins in the wake of so fresh a meal and she gives an easy smile, about to say more 'til Ax moves to depart.
Attention turns briefly back to the armored Echani. "I will try." EEE, he has a DROID! Naelyn doesn't quite bounce, but he is somewhat vibrating with excitement, barely contained...that is, he twitches a bit every now and then as he bows again to Ax. "Of course...be safe. Hug your beautiful wife for me." Then he looks back to Rheisa. "We shall have...both fresh and fried options then, and perhaps provide some sort of bib...or covering with it, in case people do not wish to wear evidence of such a delicious meal."
Ax just chuckles. "I'll hug her for you. Maybe we can hold some kind of benefit as well, have your performers entertain an audience who wouldn't normally venture to this side of town, maybe bring some more money and opportunities to the poor here. Anyway, that's something we can talk about at a later date." Ax then looks to Rheisa. "Enjoy your meal, Rheisa. Good evening." And with that, the Echani is off.
Yeah. Fried. Rheisa's expression turns uneasy again with another look to the living sampler platter there, then that vat. She probes some bits between teeth with her tongue. "Is no good, cook alive," she cautions, taking a tiny step forward to peep back into the box. "Not a good death. Also...will put bad taste into the meat. Fear. It is a smelly thing." Says the woman who just ate some random creature as street food, guts'n'all.
Naelyn considers this quietly for a few moments, hmming softly. "Fresh meat is somewhat safer on this moon than meat that has been frozen, as there is no way to check or verify that...it is good to eat." He points out before sighing softly. "I will perhaps save the frying for the insects and odd pastries people favor, and have roast meat and live meat as options, but try to choose creatures that are not so..." He eyes the mammals/rats for a moment and then looks back to Rheisa. "Thank you. I...am not used to choosing things like this. It is all a lot...to take in."
Rheisa's hairless brow furrows, contorting the stripes into serpentine shapes. "I...no." She shakes her head gently and reaches forward to pluck another critter from the box. Rather than chomping into it this time though, she simply whips it deftly once 'round by the tail and cracks its head against the side of the cook console. If /that/ didn't kill it, it's at least too stunned to comprehend what happens next.
- Splash*Sizzle* into the oil it goes.
"Is okay to put in here. Just kill first." A toothy smile beams proudly at this certainly intelligent demonstration to explain what words failed to do. "I think you will choose many fine things. You have a good eye." She addresses his choice in wardrobe as example then with a little gesture.
Naelyn ahhs softly and nods. "Well." A pause. "I suppose that will be appropriate as well." He then blinks at the compliment and smiles softly, bowing his head in quiet appreciation. "I am used to /being/ a fine thing...Mistress Rheisa, but I will do what I can. Food is a tricky thing when there are options." A pause. "You will need to be patient with Little Dragon." He finally offers. "His manners are...lacking, it is why I do not fully understand certain aspects of attachment between individuals. But, I just urge you to be patient."
Little Dragon? The quizzical flick of Rheisa's eyes to movement around them comes up empty with an answer to her silent question. Then it dawns on her. This was not a literal name. Suoh's snarling visage comes to mind and she relaxes her lips into a thin, somber line. "Leetle Drrragon has work to do. He should be man and not let self feelings get in way. I am know what is to be not seen. For peoples to look other way. For peoples to be unhappy with me. Yes, this is no strange thing," she asserts, chest puffed and headtails flexed subtly outward from their bases, stripes bold. A bit riled, one might say, if her sudden stumble backward in the Basic language is any indicator.
"This is brrroken," she gestures to herself as a whole - her body. "But this is not," and points to her temple. "He need know this. Be at peace with this." Flared nostrils deflate, a touch, her rant as over as quickly as it began. "But he is not my concern. Not now. I come here for other reason."
"Even that which is broken, is infinitely beautiful. There are just more pieces to appreciate." Naelyn replies after a few moments. "If you give your heart to that which you seek to hunt to claim, and you are not strong enough to maintain your claim, then when it is proven false, however that may be..." He trails off. "People's hearts, minds, and eyes wander. That is not a condemnation, but a trait. I was sold to multiple masters for these reasons. I have been fought over, for most of my life and I know how to wrap someone around a finger, give them what they believe they want without ever truly giving them me. That is why I know when someone like the Little Dragon may never heal from this sort of wound. But in time, he may grow accustomed to the pain." He falls quiet. "I would like your assistance. Here. Whenever you wish to give it. Your feedback is quite valuable and I hear you are an artist."
"..." There's a thought for rebuttal on Rheisa's tongue on the topic of Suoh and his angst...but she swallows it back down. Lest she become an example of that which she condemns. Proverbial hackles lower, colors soften.
"You need only make request, and I will give it," she answers respectfully, hands passively folding over her concave belly. Still hungry. "Some would say I am master, of some craft...but I think always there is room to learn. I have made teacher friend in Theed, city of Naboo. He too old to give life to stone, anymore. So he begin to teach me his style." A small twinkle lights her eyes. "I think we can be help to one another. In time, more soon than late, I wish the Muse to host another event. Much more big - have arranged with the theater to use it as space. We will need performers, artists...all types. I know some of these peoples. But I think here, you know more..." She takes a long look around. "Some of the monies will be sent to help the families of those murdered in big fights in...in Hutt land. Distrrrict. Is for good." A solemn bow on that note and she takes a small step back. "If this would please you to do."
Naelyn seems to muse something over for a few moments before he nods and returns the bow, turning his head to make a soft hissing sound that draws Eclipse from her hiding spot. Then he looks back to Rheisa and nods slowly. "...we will speak on this matter later. In private. I will provide you with fresh meat and I will give you an opportunity to change the universe. Be safe, I must get Eclipse back to her tank before one of the vendors here decides she will make good sausages..." Another polite bow and then the man-woman and his snake take their leave.