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Old January 23, 2018, 07:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
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[ZA] The youth of today have no honor or valor or soul [Makael]

Continued from here.

The entire atmosphere of the club changed from day to day, depending on what activities might be taking place. Makael had happened to wander in on one of the calmer days, the air hazy and thick with smoke as a gentler crowd sat at their tables, smoking their wares, sipping at their glasses, and listening to the smooth licks of the band that was playing. Depending on his appetites, it might have been more or less entertaining if he'd come on a different day - a wilder one, the music a little more frenetic, the air a bit hotter, a bit more skin on display. But at the very least, that meant that today it'd be a bit easier to talk to a bartender about the possibility of employment.

"Well that would depend, sir," the bartender behind the bar spoke, a young man named Andre. "What sort of employment do you seek?"
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Old January 24, 2018, 10:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The elf leaned forward and placed and outstretched hand onto the bar top as he considered the question. "I noticed that you have quite a number of tables in this establishment," Makael replied, waving is free hand to gesture at the space behind him. "And, considering this fine city's finer tastes, I daresay you see a fair bit of traffic once it starts to get dark."

The elf jerked his head to emphasize his point before continuing. "I can provide manual labour, including waiting tables and serving food and drinks to guests. And if need be," he paused and ran a hand through his short hair, conveniently also flexing his admittedly wiry musculature as best he could. "I could also...entertain our patrons with my companionship."

A wink, to convey confidence, and then Makael stopped to look at the bartender before him. The dark elf knew that wealth comes in many various forms, and the gold he'd earn from this job would pale in comparison to the knowledge he'd gain of the upstanding citizens of Ziel Aerca.
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Old January 24, 2018, 05:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Mmhmm. Andre didn't seem all that impressed, or at the very least, his facial expression didn't change as he continued to wipe the glass he'd been working on. It wasn't as if Makael was the first man to come in seeking employment - and not-so-subtly note that they were available for 'entertainment' work as well. The club didn't necessarily have a shortage of workers or anything, either, the benefits that were provided to employees were really quite impressive.

Supply was high, demand was... well, lower than supply, for sure. Sometimes these kinds of people were more trouble than they were worth, when they found themselves busing tables more often than anything else, or not getting shifts on the wilder nights. Sometimes people were under the impression that this was all the club was, getting to sleep with attractive wealthy people and get paid to do it. It was easy to get caught up in the glamour of that sort of lifestyle while ignoring all of the potentially undesirable day-to-day interactions. Not every customer was attractive. Not everybody tipped well. Sometimes people got violent, sometimes people were rude - and while the club did have bouncers for that sort of thing, sometimes you had to get slapped first before the bouncers could throw the offender out. At the end of the day, though, staff worked to indulge the customers, not the other way around. The right attitude was important in properly serving the role.

Maybe Makael got that, maybe he didn't. It wasn't up to Andre either way, whether or not the dark elf would get the chance to prove his worth. Still, he could at least do a little bit of vetting, for the Mistress' sake.

"Do you have any sort of prior experience which would be useful for working here?" the bartender asked. "Any skills that would make you stand out? The club has many unorthodox roles that come along with it - and should you not find success here, the Mistress owns many other businesses that you may find a part in."

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Old January 25, 2018, 09:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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A flash of doubt crossed the bartender's face. It was very brief, so much so that if Makael was not used to the look of uncertainty that was often directed at him, he would have passed it off as imaginary. But he was vysticchi, and his people were used to being judged twice as harshly. He breathed quickly, once, twice. With careful control of his voice, he replied, "My family was of a modest background, and we had owned a tavern in Vortex before the war. I am able to provide proper service to your patrons."

The dark elf paused then, unsure of what to say next - and how much to say, as well. He deemed it irrelevant to share the eventual fate of his family's properties; pity was not something of which he was particularly fond. But his ordeals in the aftermath, surely that could help his case? "Of course, my expedition to Ziel Aerca was no easy feat. Even the roads can be dangerous. You can expect that I will be able to lift my fair share of burdensome guests, should the need arise."

At this, the dark elf stopped to flash another reassuring smile. He decided to keep a few things to himself, but gave enough, he hoped, to sway the critical bartender.
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Old January 25, 2018, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well all right then, Makael at least ostensibly had some experience in this sort of thing. So that already put him leagues ahead of most of the other riffraff that came in here looking for a job. Then again, the Mistress was somebody who hired all sorts of riffraff to begin with, so maybe it would have been fine either way?

Granted, there was no real way to verify, unless they wanted to spend the time to send somebody out to Vortex or something. Who had the time for that?

"Hm." Andre set down the glass, taking out a few flasks, mixing together a little something. A martini of some sort, poured into the relevant glass, which the bartender put on a tray and gently put down in front of Makael. "The rest, I suppose, is up for the Mistress to decide. Take this tray up to the second floor... mm, she should be the only person up there right now. Follow the noises and deliver it to her."
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Old January 26, 2018, 12:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Whatever he said, the bartender seemed impressed. At least, he seemed less dismissive of the dark elf in front of him. He took his time, however, to reply. From behind the bar, he took out a handful of flasks, the contents of which he started to mix and pour into the glass he had previously been wiping clean. "Follow the noises and deliver it to her," he said as a farewell, gesturing at Makael to head up.

Carefully ensuring that the glass was at the center of the tray, Makael deftly slid it off the bar and onto his dominant hand. This, he assumed, was a test, and the elf was determined to at least appear knowledgeable. Balancing the tray carefully with his fingers, he went off towards the grand staircase that led to the upper floor.

"Follow the noises," was what he was directed, and so Makael stood at the second floor landing and listened. It was quiet, no doubt due to the time of the day when there were less patrons going this way and that around the Club. The sounds eventually led him (admittedly, after getting lost twice) to who he assumed was the Mistress. Right before he spoke, Makael ensured that he still looked presentable, with his posture straight and a glass on a tray balanced delicately on one upheld hand.

"Serale, Mistress. I am Makael."
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Old January 26, 2018, 07:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The initial vision of the club had changed over time. Originally the premise had been rather similar to the going-ons of the current day - booze flowed freely and narcotics were openly distributed, but the entertainment was more along the lines of bands, or acrobatic shows, or other things of that nature. It was terribly inappropriate for customers to indulge their more carnal desires on the floor in such circumstances, and so that was what the second floor was for. Club on bottom, bordello on top. With an eventual shift towards wilder entertainment, there wasn't always a need for such restrictions. But today wasn't such a day, which meant that Andre's advice to follow the noises served Makael rather well. It was a bit of a classier affair downstairs, as these days tended to serve a somewhat higher-class of clientele. Upstairs? It was obvious to the dark elf that somebody was at least utilizing the 'bordello' aspect of things to great effect, and given that there didn't seem to be much of it going on, tracking it down was much simpler.

It was mostly just hallways and rooms, rooms specifically outfitted and designed to cater to the people who wound up here. Beds, drawers full of goodies, all manner of instrumentation to enable interested parties. And so the sounds did lead him, down some hallways and in front of a room. All he had to do was knock, and a woman inside granted him permission to enter. Good on Makael for trying to look presentable, because it was a bit of a mess inside. He'd be blasted by the warmer, damper air inside, sweet smelling smoke indolently rising from the incense that burned in a corner. There were a number of individuals in the room, and so it could be a little difficult for the dark elf to figure out who, exactly, the Mistress was supposed to be, in the throng of bodies atop the large, heart-shaped bed.

Okay, so it probably wasn't the big black dracon, right? Or the dorin, with the horns and the spade tail? You didn't really call males Mistress, now, did you? Which meant that it was one of the three ladies in the room, right? Was it the young woman with the auburn hair that the dorin was very effectively choking with his... uh, instrument? Was it the shapely dark elf who was currently working away between her legs? Was it the one with the massive chest, fluffy fox ears, and three luscious white fox tails? Hmmm. One of those options did stand out a little more from the others, even as the dracon seemed to be savagely attacking her from behind.

At the very least, they made it easy for him. Namely, upon introducing himself, the foxy one perked up as she spied the martini. "Ooooooh, a drink! Gimme gimme gimme!" She beckoned him to come closer with a hand, before taking a moment to notice that, hey! This was a new face. "I don't recognize you. Did you just start?"

The dracon seemed to take a little offense at the fact that her attention was elsewhere, and Sliucha giggled as he pushed her face into the sheets and started getting a little more vicious. But, no, seriously, come here! There was a drink with Sliucha's name on it!
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Old January 28, 2018, 11:04 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Makael made sure that he remained calm and composed amidst the...activities around him. Or, at least, he attempted to appear calm and composed. Surely, this was nothing compared to what he would normally be subject to once he began his employment. And had he not seen (and done) more lewd and daring acts before? Vortex was no city of saints, after all. But it was different, he supposed, when it was done in the presence of a a non-participating audience such as himself.

"I don't recognize you. Did you just start?"A fit of giggling, brought about by the renewed assault of the black dracon behind her, drowned out further responses from the fox-eared woman. The dark elf waited for a moment for the coupling to subside before approaching the huge, crowded bed. He bent, took the glass from the tray with his free hand, and offered it to the woman.

"I am Makael," he repeated, because he highly suspected that the Mistress may be too distracted and need some reminding. "One of your bartenders downstairs appraised me and suggested I take this to you for consideration. Of myself," he clarified.

He straightened up and composed himself once again, but ensuring to flash a quick, reassuring smile at the foxy Mistress.
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Old January 31, 2018, 01:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Waiting for the coupling to subside might prove a bit of a challenge, as it didn't seem like anybody particularly cared to do... well, that. The other trio seemed to have no problem with the fact that they now had something of an audience, the dorin sparing Makael a glance before going back to the task at hand, the others too occupied in their work to even spare that moment. No, the Mistress had said it was okay, so he could just come forward, you know? Still, the dracon did seem to ramp things down a little bit so that she could actually take the offered glass without spilling it everywhere. Have herself a little sip. Her tongue flicked across her lips, yum! Just one more sip, then, before she reached back and poured it across her back for the dracon to have a sample of the rest of it.

"Andre," Sliucha purred, as the dracon's tongue laved away. That bartender, she could never really tell what he was thinking. There tended to be a method to his madness, though, and he was good at what he did, so... you know, whatever!

"Take this back to him, then," she noted, "and tell him I'm fine with whatever and that the rest is up to him to figure out." Very laissez-faire about this sort of thing. Give everybody a chance, you know? Probably a dangerous way to go about business, but business was pretty successful for Sliucha... so surely she knew a thing or two about what she was doing.
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Old February 2, 2018, 09:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Makael delicately took the now-empty glass and placed it once more on the tray, just as it was when he entered the room. With a bow of his head, he said, "Thank you, Mistress. I look forward to being in your employ."

With that, the dark elf stood straight and glided out of the room. He closed the door and paused. Out of sight of the bawdy crowd, he quickly ran his free hand through his hair and breathed a sigh of relief. The Mistress, though quite unusual, was pleasant enough. He found her boisterous attitude quite amusing and impressive, truly. Certainly, Makael did not doubt why the Club Vibrato appeared to be a great success, what with the Mistress at its reins.

It was with these thoughts that Makael found himself at the main chamber once more, facing the bartender he now assumed was Andre. The dark elf placed the tray with the empty glass on the bar and inclined his head towards the man. "The Mistress asked me to inform you that she is quite fine with whatever arrangement we can agree upon. She is...something," he added. Clasping his hands behind him, he awaited Andre's reply.
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Old February 3, 2018, 03:17 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Buh-bye! By the sound of things inside of the room, Makael's departure had only led to an escalation of matters within. Hopefully they were having fun.

Back downstairs, then, where Andre was still where the dark elf might expect him to be. Talking with a server and handing over a bottle of wine, before glancing over at Makael as the tray was set down. He reached out to grab it, putting it underneath the bar while he got to work on cleaning the glass.

"So now you've seen a bit of her," Andre spoke. "I think it's important you know what sort of person you're going to wind up working for. Despite what she might look like, she's one of the most powerful people in the Empire. That's not a good person to make an enemy of - but that's also a person who has enemies as well." And an excellent ally, of course, if things went well.

"Signing up for a job here means stepping into the thick web of politics that permeates through everything she is involved in. Maybe it won't affect you at all, maybe all it means is that your boss is remarkably flirtatious and promiscuous. But maybe it goes downhill and somebody tries to make an example out of you to send a message. She can afford to be a little carefree, but you might need to be careful and watch your neck." The Mistress was very lenient about who she wound up letting work for her. Somehow that hadn't resulted in any mishaps yet, as a bad employee could easily tank a business' reputation or sour its relationship with clients. Then again, the owner was pretty good at making it up to people. But it was still something that could be rather nerve-wracking for those who weren't quite so happy-go-lucky about the way they did things, and in lieu of that sort of screening?

The least Andre could do was better inform Makael about what exactly he was getting into. "Understanding this, it seems you have been granted the opportunity to work for us as a server - although we still have the right to reassign you. Do you still want it?"
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Old February 4, 2018, 08:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"So now you've seen a bit of her," said Andre. More than a bit, in fact, was the first thought that sprang to Makael's mind. But the dark elf paused. He carefully considered the next words from Andre, about how the Mistress was one of the most prominent citizens of the Empire, and the many allies - and enemies - her position brought her. He decided that perhaps he did, in fact, only saw a small portion of the Mistress.

The bartender's cautionary words were not something to be taken lightly, Makael knew. He knew exactly how brutal politics could be, how unforgiving it was to anyone and everyone who dared venture into its ruthless arena. But he also suspected that the Mistress was wrought of steel despite her very feminine appearance. After all, he thought dryly, anyone who could take that amount of pounding is certainly a force to be reckoned with.

"A server, I certainly accept. When do I begin?"
And so the die, proverbially, was cast.
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Old February 4, 2018, 04:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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"Theoretically whenever you want, although there tends to be a bit of work that leads up to it," Andre explained. "Employees get certain benefits, after all, and one of those is free housing. Do you have accommodation in the city? If it's not something regular, then you're allotted an apartment unit all for yourself."

There was a brief explanation of what else he got - free medical care chief among them - but really, it was a matter of whether or not Makael wanted to take the time to get himself free lodging and set himself up first. Beyond that, he could start whenever he was ready.
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Old February 5, 2018, 10:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Lodging was not something Makael had anticipated, and he was delightfully surprised. Although the dark elf was not dirt-poor, cutting costs wherever he can was still a constant theme of his day to day life. "I would certainly appreciate accommodations by the Club, yes," he replied to Andre.

Ziel Aerca was, after all, a major city of the Empire, and wealth held great power here. Makael understood, however, that being affluent and looking affluent were not explicitly mutually inclusive. The money he could save from not paying rent (as well as the other necessities that the Club, according to the bartender, could provide) could instead be funneled into his more...personal pursuits.

The degree to which the Mistress provided for her subordinates only increased her stature in Makael's eyes. She would certainly be a powerful ally, thought the elf. Best to prove useful to her, in any case. Bowing slightly to Andre, he concluded, "Once all that is done, then I am certainly ready to serve."
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Old February 5, 2018, 04:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Very good, then. Whenever the Mistress might be finished with her stuff upstairs, she'd get to securing Makael a place to live, then. It wasn't something that should take too long but, just in case, did Makael have a temporary address that he could be found at?

In the meantime, Andre gave the dark elf a brief explanation as to how things worked. Mistress Sliucha Sindosa was the proprietor of the business but the day-to-day running was overseen by her administrative assistant, Amber. The club had an event manger who was responsible for scheduling the entertainment, and a variety of bouncers, servers, and bartenders.

The entertainment provided by the venue changed on a day to day basis, and with it came a wild shift in clientele. Makael needed to be prepared for that. On a day like this he was expected to be professional, polite, and demure - a 'soft' day, where the entertainment tended to be smooth licks of music, perhaps an acrobatics show, something of that nature. But there were also the 'hard' days, far more carnal and hedonistic, where his outfit might only consist of oil and a loincloth, where the entertainment was titillating flesh, where he'd need to take care not to get too caught up in the festivities to perform his duties sufficiently.

When it came to serving, the club provided quite a few things on its menu. Some food, which went to the kitchen. Drinks, which went to the bar. Narcotics was the interesting one - they had supply rooms in the back filled with the drugs, and Makael needed to know what was what. Bad form to give an upper to somebody who had asked for a downer, after all. And, naturally, unless it was a particularly 'hard' day? Use the second floor for other types of requests.

Any questions? They'd probably give Makael a rundown on the narcotics later, if there was time.
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