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Forums » Sci-Fi Roleplay » Summer Soiree: Space Race Spectator BBQ (Closed)

Xa'Taren (played by Riik)

The Illui Space Race is an annual spectacle where the sector's most talented endurance racing pilots compete in a week-long rally across the Illui system, starting at the urban planet of Gooaid. The race is primarily long stretches of deep space, interspaced with various challenges positioned along the way in the form of checkpoint rings that the ships must pass through. Some of these rings form safe corridors through asteroid fields, others are placed in the midst of hazards that must be overcome to reach them. Most notable from a spectator standpoint, however, are the rings that form point-to-point courses through the skies of the system's planetary bodies.

One such planet is especially popular for its party atmosphere during the race. Arditoar is a spectator magnet and such an iconic part of the space race that the scheduling for the race is based around its calendar rather than that of Gooaid. It is always during Arditoar's beautiful summers that the race occurs; and around midday when the first competitor is expected to take on the planet's snakey canyon course.

Beside the most open section of the canyon course, where a checkpoint ring floats above the canyon to give the spectators a full view of the passing ships zipping by at near top atmospheric speeds, is an area of pink-grass meadow shielded from potential crashes or supersonic blasts by a powerful invisible energy field. Sunbathers here enjoy the party atmosphere. Race fans sit with their eyes fixated on various phones and tablets displaying the race's progress. Food and drink is served from popular stands and music is provided by live bands for the entire week.

It is such a fantastic atmosphere that occasionally, some of the more eccentric privateer ship managers choose to watch their ships in action here rather than the VIP lounge at the space station near the start/finish gate. Perhaps helped along by the fact that the overly formal atmosphere at the VIP lounge is overly saturated by corporate backers of the manufacturer-owned ships and their rich guests. One such privateer manager is Xá'Taren, whose pilot thus far has gotten themselves well placed amongst the front-running manufacturer ships, and second of the privateers in the rally.

* * * * *

Xá flipped over one of the Hadlian crescent fish that were currently cooking away at the top of their barbecue, a radio feed from his favourite commentators just about audible over the top of the general buzz and the ever-present music from the live stage. The jam-packed refrigeration crate sitting not too far away revealed the extent of the stock of food that Xá had brought along with him, whilst a sign set up beside the barbeque clearly stated 'Free barbecued food, courtesy of Free Spirit Racing Team. Please ask nicely. Taking from the barbecue without permission is still stealing!'.

The first competitor in the order was expected to come into view within the next few minutes. According the commentary, they were predicted to be about seventh place overall - it was hard to tell, given some of the other front runners were still a good few timing checkpoints behind, and anything could change within such a distance. It was a surprisingly competitive race this year.



OOC STUFF:

Welcome to my summer soiree event! Get involved by asking Xá for something from his barbecue or simply taking the opportunity to discuss the race with him, given he is one of the ship owners!

The rules are pretty simple: this is a sci-fi RP, so practically any species goes! HOWEVER! No magic that can't be explained away as some sort of sci-fi innate ability, please! Energy creatures that can manipulate auras to shoot laser beams? Cool. Wizards who summon demons from the infernal realms? Ehhh... not so cool.

If you're not into the concept of space racing, why not just enjoy bringing your character along to a summer barbecue in the middle of a festival-like party for a spot of barbecued food?

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Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

OOC: She's no wizard that summons demons, and I don't necessarily view her as 'magical' per se. But I hope my rift jumping girl, Petra, is okay within the scope of sci-fi since I tend to lean more toward superhero, cyberpunk, or sci-fi settings with her.

"Oof-!" came the forced air from the girl that fell out of a temporary rift that had opened and spat her out into this new area. However, it seemed that her thud and maybe even her noise just then could have been drowned out by the music that was playing. Pushing herself up and getting herself oriented, Petra looked around before getting back up onto her feet.

Long gone were the days that Petra worried about her mismatched clothes. She probably was not going to be here for long before jumping another rift and seeing where that led her. In the meantime, it was probably good to get some food and resupply on stuff that she could use before the next jump to another potentially unknown location. Hopefully it was not, but knowing how her rifts were at the moment, everything was unknown.

Walking around, Petra took in the sights and sounds, pushing away any anxieties to the best of her ability so that no potential rift could scoop her up and bring her elsewhere without so much as a moment's notice. After some time, however, it was not just the sights and sounds, but the smells as well.

Following after the scent, Petra eventually ended up at a barbeque where there was a sign that she could read -- much to her surprise and delight. Taking the time to read and reread the words to make sure she got them, Petra looked to the person that was tending to the foods that they were cooking. Meandering just a little bit closer, Petra placed a hand on the strap of her bag and cleared her throat to announce her presence.

"Um... excuse me?" Petra said, making her presence hopefully a little more pronounced with her words. She then pointed to the grilled foods; "The food is... free?"
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

((That's totally fine!))

Xá offered a big toothy grin, his large pointed feline teeth on full display. If not for the goofiness of the smile - and his fairly short stature - it might have been intimidating. He waved a gloved hand at the large grill in front of him.

"The only cost is good manners," Xá said softly, a degree of approval in his tone at Petra's manners thus far. "Anything catch your eye?"

Aside from the crescent fish - which were a staple open-air grill food for a civilisation not but a few solar systems away from here - there was a wide variety of food on offer. Multi-coloured patties, juicy-looking sausages, vegetarian shish kebabs each made up of a rainbow of vegetables... and then there were the more exotic-looking foods. Large purple tentacles, eyeballs the size of baseballs, some sort of bright blue broccoli-looking plant that turned the flames around it a vibrant purple. But then whilst there were plenty of humans present at the race, they were most certainly a minority. And the diversity of the barbecue's range reflected that.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

OOC: Hurrah! ^_^

Petra's eyes darted from food item to food item that was available, swallowing back any hunger that had grown during her travels. Taking her hand from her satchel strap and placing it over her stomach, she gave the food items a once-over, a twice-over, even a thrice-over before looking to Xá questioningly.

Tentatively, Petra raised her other hand to start pointing at some of the options. She was not sure how much she could have, though she might as well have been able to see what she could get before jumping another rift. So long as she was polite, maybe she could have had her own little feast -- something that she often did not get the chance for.

"I'd... I'd like one of those. That, that... and, um... those.... Please," Petra started, pointing to one of the tentacles, a green-coloured patty, the sausages, and the blue broccoli or cauliflower looking vegetable along with the kebabs. She glanced around briefly before putting her attention back onto Xá, then asked: "... what's this event for?"
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

"Someone's hungry..." Xá commented. "Bring over a plate from that table over there and we'll see what I can do."

The plates were a pale blue colour, apparently naturally so, going by appearance. They seemed as thick as paper plates, but as strong and flexible as plastic ones. They had an odd coldness and waxiness to them, almost like leaves, yet left no flavour or residue on anything that came into contact with them. Each one was pentagonal in shape with a short lip around the rim.

"As for the event... well I'm surprised you don't know," Xá continued. "You're at the annual Illui space race. You can probably guess from the sign that I have a ship that's currently taking part. I'm an alright pilot, but not world class racer level, so I leave the actual flying to the rest of my team. The racers should be coming through soon... my ship's sixth in the order, though it's currently estimated to be in ninth position in overall time - it's a staggered start rally. Hopefully, we'll get ahead of current fifth place though, as that's the first of the privateer ships. The top manufacturer ships are going to be well out of our reach though. And we'll probably get overtaken by one or two of the corporate vessels too - none of them are doing as well as expected yet though."
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

Doing as what was asked of her, Petra brought a plate over, only observing it briefly before setting it before Xá for ease of access while she listened to what they had to say about the event and what was going on within it. She looked around again to see what there was in terms of markers or details that showed anything about the ships within the race before looking back to the host of this generous barbecue.

"That's really neat. I hope your ship pulls through," Petra said. "I never really get to watch too much stuff like this. I'm, uh... always seeing new things, I guess is the best way to say it."

Thinking about it for a moment, Petra then continued on her train of thought, asking Xá: "but since you have a ship, I'm betting you get to see a lot of new things, too, right?"
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

Xá started piling the requested food onto the plate. "Actually, I have a couple of ships. Most of them are old relics of lost civilisations. When people say 'they don't build them like they used to', they're usually a few millennia short of the real golden age of ship building." Xá chuckled to himself. "Of course, I reckon back then, they had the same thoughts about even older civilisations. Time marches on, eh?"

Xá seemed to go distant for a moment. Over two centuries of lifespan would do that to an individual. Especially someone who remained in their physical prime throughout.

"Oh and uh, save the Jumbfallan alpa fruit until last," he advised, pointing the tongs at the broccoli thing. "It's sweet and works best as a dessert. If you need a drink, there's a self-service stall giving away free water beside me. Part of the reason I set up in this spot in the first place. They had a lim'bni stall last year, but I guess the supplier decided providing free lim'bni was wasteful. Capitalism, eh? You'd think one festival like this would be a drop in the bucket for a sector-wide corporate body like most of the big soft drink brands, but when you're hoarding quadrillions of credits, every penny counts, apparently."
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

As Xá spoke of ships and the current day of building ships versus old, Petra could really only listen. She had no real idea of that kind of stuff in the end. She had ended up on a few ships in her time, never really of her own will, but enough to know that usually she was an unwelcome guest that very often got mistaken as a stowaway and not some rift jumping anomaly that could not control where she ended up after a big jump.

"Time definitely doesn't seem to stop for anyone, or anything," Petra commented, glancing to the food before looking back at Xá. Taking a bottle of hand sanitiser from her bag and getting a bit slathered onto her hands, she had to make do with that way of having clean appendages for eating. She had to be grateful that she learned what that was when she had a visit to one of several intergalactic hubs.

"Thanks for the food. A-and the recommendation on the Jumbfa... Jumbfallan fruit," Petra said, taking the plate back once it was piled up with the foods she asked for.

Taking up the sausage, Petra took a bite and listened on about the past event's lim'bni stand and their apparent situation. Water was more than fine in her opinion, though. At least it was not prone to going bad like juice, milk, or soda that she could remember. Alcohol was something she would never want to touch again, so there was no knowledge there on if it went bad or not. Something that gross honestly had no room to be remembered as far as she was concerned.

"Do... do they do anything with the credits or money?" Petra asked. She was still ignorant to the ways that corporations worked -- not that a girl just looking for a way home necessarily bothered with those kinds of details when she was sometimes a fifteen minute visitor. However, a lot of things seemed to have a particular pattern in behaviours when she went place to place. Maybe it was worth learning about.
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

The sausage was both familiar and alien to most tongues not native to the local region of space. Certainly it would not be unpleasant to the typical human tastes, but it wasn't exactly pork either. Certainly though, if one enjoyed most of the typical human meats, the taste was still pleasant; and the infused herbs and spices as well as the rest of the preparations involved were within human tastes as well. It was also cooked very well, too.

Xá began taking a few additional items from the barbecue and placed them on a gently heated tray to one side that would maintain optimal temperature for as long as possible without further cooking the food. "The corporations? Not really. Unless you count hoarding it in accounts hosted in unaligned regions with no taxation rates. Or gambling it away in the various share-trading systems. I suppose occasionally they invest in things that then generate them even more money as well. Like space race teams. I'd rather eat an EVA helmet whole than have any corporate sponsorship on my own ship, though. Which is why the typical advertising space on the livery is taken up by charities instead." He placed his hands on his hips triumphantly. "Free Spirit is mostly crowdfunded by race fans who want the winnings to benefit the needy. Of course, we can't afford the same level of development as the corporate and manufacturer teams. But we do have the advantage of some pretty exclusive ancient alien technology. Say what you want about not sharing it, but I'd rather keep it in my own hands that let it fall into some military's arsenal. And even if everyone ends up eventually getting hold of the tech, it'll take away the edge me and my crew have in our efforts to make the galaxy a better place."

Xá started adding more food to the barbecue. Mostly, it was more of the same to replace what had been removed. "Sorry for talking your ear off, as you can probably guess, I enjoy conversation."
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

There were certainly no complaints from Petra as she continued to eat the food that was piled onto her plate. She put the half-eaten sausage back onto the plate, and then picked up the tentacle, taking a bite of that -- though being a little more unceremonious with that piece. Not that eating without utensils was often considered 'ceremonious' in the first place most of the time from what she had learned. Regardless, she kept her attention on Xá, listening to what they had to say.

Some of the words used, however, might have been foreign to her. Petra took mental note of words like 'sponser-ship', 'liver-ree', 'crowd-funded', 'man-new-fact-chairer', 'awrs-an-all'. Weird words, but there was sure to be significance in them.

It seemed weird that people would want to hoard money without spending it. Surely they had to eat, buy clothes, or pay for other necessities. Granted, that felt hypocritical when Petra had to steal most of the time just to survive -- sate her hunger, quench her thirst, bundle up for the cold -- those kinds of things. Only... she usually got away with it. So far, no prison or detention centre she had been put into had been able to keep her for long... if she even got there in the first place.

When Xá apologised, Petra awkwardly shook her head to dismiss the notion that there needed to be any apologies that had to be made.

"It's okay," Petra reassured Xá. "I... mm..."

She paused to consider her words. Her grasp on the Novi'Viho language was much better than what some would call 'the common tongue'. Pursing her lips together, Petra continued: "I can always know more things."

A thought came to mind as Petra took up one of the patties this time and took a bite from it as well. She looked around again.

"Do they have books or, uh... reading tablets at these kinds of events? Pref-er-ah-blee," she enunciated that word with more thought and careful consideration to it, "something in Novii or English?"
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

Whilst the tentacle was reminiscent of squid, there was almost a red-meat-like texture to it not unlike beef. The patty was almost like someone had taken a meatball and made it larger, mixing it in with stuffing.

"There's nothing really publicly available out here, I'm afraid," Xá explained. "Though there's an entry fee for spectators for the duration of the event, most of the facilities out here were brought here by vendors and spectators. Almost everyone brings their own tablet for any details, though some booths provide free downloadable information and links to specific cybernet domains. You'll have to ask one of the other spectators if you want to take a look. Though if you're after race details, you can always listen to my radio. I have it tuned into a human commentary team. Normally I prefer thasian commentary - more specifically, Dilitian. But this particular commentary team is actually very witty."

He gestured to it as excited commentators declared the first ship was approaching a famous section of the Arditoar portion of the course. At around the same time, the noise from the spectators grew louder, and people started gravitating toward a specific direction.

"Hmm... seems the first ship is on its way. Should be visible for a moment soon, before it'll disappear back into the canyon for a while and emerge nearby," Xá explained.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

Petra continued on eating the varying meats, taking in their flavours and textures more than anything. She then took up one of the kebabs and started on the item at the end of it as she listened to Xá explain more of the event. Though the explanation on the tablets and booths was a good thing at the very least. Maybe she could find a new tablet, or see if she could charge a dead one she got a while back.

When Xá motioned toward the radio, Petra made an effort to listen a bit, inching closer as the area permitted. Then she noticed the crowds of people growing louder and starting to move. That was when she paid attention to them and where their sights were drawn. Xá's comment seemed to add to the buzz that the crowd generated when it came to the excitement of the race overall.

Though Petra heard the word 'canyon' and kept her eyes peeled all the same while mindlessly eating more of her food -- even starting to eat it just a bit quicker as she was drawn into the anticipation of awaiting the first ship to make its appearance.
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

The kebabs were much like the rest of the food. Delicious - at least, if the specific item of food it closest resembled was to one's personal taste - yet different. With that little edge of strangeness that reminded one that it wasn't an Earth food. Of course, even amongst humans, Earth food was a minority, thanks to space travel and colonisation.

A sound of rumbling in the distance alerted to the fact that something was approaching. There was an odd muffled dullness to it - a reminder that the defence shield was in place and doing its job, apparently also filtering out damagingly loud noises. Xá reacted by heading over to his supplies and pulling out a foot-high stool, which he stood upon to negate his height deficit and get a better view over the other spectators.

After a moment, a speck of colour emerged over the horizon high in the sky, far enough away that its size was impossible to work out. After a point, it swooped upward, then dove into a distant section of the canyon, disappearing from view to the sound of excited cheering. Spectator eyes glues themselves to screens, Xá turned his radio up a little, and even the live band seemed to react, a blip in the tempo of their music and a couple of bad notes suggesting that they were also distracted by it.

Xá brushed his hands together. "And now we wait," he said, as a squadron of something much smaller than the ship that had appeared took off from a small landing pad somewhere further up the canyon and dispersed into the air. Those in the know could clearly identify them as camera drones. "It'll be a couple of minutes before it reaches us," Xá explained.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

For once, a small 'mmm' of approval seemed to come from Petra. As she worked on the kebab, a wave of nostalgia hit her. There were flavours there that were reminiscent of a dish from her childhood -- from before she left Earth -- hobakjuk. She chewed slowly and made another mental note to ask for more kebabs before jumping another rift. Just to have something for later to relive that moment of nostalgia.

The vibrations that rattled throughout the area made Petra stop eating her food and swallow for a moment and watch. She did her best to listen to the commentary to know more of what was going on, but for a moment, her head seemed to have turned to cotton. That cotton drowned out some of the surrounding noises and even some of her visuals as she tunnelled in on the speck in the distance. It was interesting, though once the camera drones set off did the cotton seem to lift from her senses.

"S-sorry... what's... going to reach us in a couple minutes?" Petra asked after the numbness faded. She was just holding her plate of half-eaten foods (save for the Jumbfallan fruit -- which she did fully intend to save for last as was suggested) in one hand, the rest of the kebab in the other, and staring at Xá with piqued interest for an answer.
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

"The ship," Xá clarified. "First of many. There are a couple hundred taking part this year. The ship'll currently be navigating the canyon for a minute or two before it jumps through the ring over there."

He gestured toward a large floating ring that hovered above the canyon. The ring was visible above the crowd and was large enough that a passenger jet could probably fit through it comfortably. The race ships weren't that big of course - certainly, they lacked the length and wingspan, though their hulls were bulkier.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

"Oh..." right, the ship. That should have been obvious to Petra the more she thought about it. Maybe a stomach that had been on the verge of growling for food had clouded some of her mind as she was finally getting food into her stomach. Though, she looked in the direction of the ring that Xá pointed out before looking back to the ships in the distance.

"That sounds like it takes some training," Petra commented. "Just to get a ship through a ring like that. I guess they have to so they can stay in the race?" Petra asked, finishing off the rest of the kebab that she had. It seemed clear that one out of what she asked for was her favourite. But she went back to the last bit of sausage and finished that up as well, taking a moment to look around for a napkin so she could wipe her fingers off from sauce and residue.
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

"Well I mean if they miss it, they can just go around and try again," Xá pointed out. "Though that would cost a lot of time. Actually getting a ship through a ring isn't that hard. Doing it at speed, however, is. I could probably do it at full throttle," he squinted toward the ring as though confirming what he was saying. "But I wouldn't be able to take the trickier rings anywhere near as quickly as the professionals. Or my own pilot for that matter."

The fact that Xá hadn't provided a napkin with the plate perhaps indicated that he wasn't the most hygiene-conscious being in the cosmos. Primarily because of his cybernetic immune system. Thankfully, he at least tried to accommodate others; thus there was a box of napkins on a table to one side (along with condiments and utensils), which dispensed its contents in a style not dissimilar to a tissue box.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

"Huh..." Petra thought to herself for a moment, picking up the rest of the green patty and finishing that up. "That sounds like it would really slow down whoever missed it. Would you say that getting through it is a test... testament? Yeah, testament to their skills as a pilot and navigating a ship? And what does it prove, exactly, if they can get through it?"

Somewhere in the back of her mind, Petra was thinking on how she could relate the training it took to get through the rings to her own dilemmas of rift jumping. Maybe there was an answer somewhere in there that she could apply to herself. Eventually, anyway.

Petra reached over for one of the napkins that she spied after a moment and wiped her fingers off. All that was left was the Jumbfallan fruit. She tentatively sniffed it before taking a small bite. Anything that smelled sweet or tasted sweet, even if it was good, was to be wary of. She had learned the hard way that sometimes sweet things make you feel incredibly awful -- and not the 'nighttime binging on candy' kind of awful.
Xa'Taren (played by Riik) Topic Starter

"The rings are there to make sure the ships follow the course," Xá explained. "Some of them are also timing checkpoints so that you can compare how well a ship is doing compared to others. The ships start a few minutes apart from each other to prevent crashes. Getting through doesn't actually prove anything. This particular ring is mostly so spectators get to see the ship go past close-up. It didn't used to be there, as this is a pretty straight section of the canyon with rings at each end of the straight, so there's no way to cheat; but a famous pilot once used it as an opportunity to leave the canyon to perform a trick for the spectators. It cost her the win, in fact. There was only about a second or so in it, which accounts for the lost time performing the aerial loop she did. But ever since, the organisers put a ring above the canyon for the show. Of course, the only people who do a loop through it are those who know they're not going to place very highly in the ratings. In fact, there's a human stunt pilot who sometimes attends - including this year - who always puts on a show here. I think he's somewhere around fiftieth in the order though, so it'd take a couple of hours before he shows up."

The fruit had a caramel scent to it. And indeed, biting into it was akin to biting into a candied apple. The skin had gone hard and caramelised, making it sweet. The insides were softer than a raw apple, however, due to being cooked. There was a potato-like quality to it and a mild sweetness throughout from the sugar that had yet to caramelise.
Petra Hyeon (played by FreeJayFly)

OOC: Sorry for the delay! Been having to pack up for my move on the 10th.

As Xá explained, Petra seemed a bit confused on the general goal of the race. If pilots were still following the course, even without having to go through the ring, then that should have been fine, right? It was just strange to her that the rings meant nothing more than to make sure that pilots were keeping on track.

And here she was, thinking that there was something profound in likening it to her own power in hopes of being able to better control it. Maybe Petra still could have applied some of what she was thinking to it, but for now, she ate the Jumbfallan fruit and enjoyed both its taste and texture while keeping an eye out for the rest of the ships.

Knowing that a human pilot was in the race admittedly did not mean as much to Petra as a lot of people might have thought -- having mostly grown up among and around the Novii, anyway. Knowing that they were a couple hours out also meant that Petra could have jumped a rift before they even got here. With or without meaning to.

"Oh yeah," Petra started, mouth slightly still full before she swallowed what she had. "Thank you for the food. All of it was really good."

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