The board hummed slightly as the pieces began to move in an elaborate dance, circling eachother before finally settling on their decided places, the pearly white, carved figures surprisingly detailed, almost alive, but frozen in motion. For the first mate to have brought something this down... unless the Covenant of Roses had money to spend on these kind of things, he seemed to be the real deal, if there had ever been any doubt. The first mate of a Rogue trader.
"Galactic Standard rules, ten second thinking time for each mo-" he was interrupted by his nephew, who stormed in on the conversation, throwing accusations and spittle around. He looked almost... patient, no, satisfied with his kin, leaning back and letting his finger trail down his cheek a few times in thought...
Mae, however, seemed to dislike the tone of the intoxicated Red and crossed her arms, a light frown creasing her forehead as she looked about to speak at any moment, but instead simply shrugged and turned her attention back to the board. "If it is the will of the First mate of the ship," she mused to no one in particular, "then the words of a septo-cleaning void-drop's hardly going to matter." the insult wasn't said with any emotion or tone, just in her usual calm, almost serene matter. Aator gave her a glance, the large man clearly surprised by the, for her, unusually lengthy speak, and then looked around, seeming as if he was expecting trouble.
Nothing came, however, except for a particularly wet chuckle from Voorhees who had picked out a pipe from one of his pockets, filling it with dried leaf and removing the glove of his augmented hand. There was no skin-grafts or anything concealing the mechanisms at work in his machinated limb, and with the flick of a wrist a small flame appeared at the tip of his pinkie, which he used to lighten his pipe.
"Oh, I've got more spawns in my bloodline to keep me hopeful," he said with a nod and a deep breath of flavored smoke, "but it's irrelevant. The captain promotes on qualities alone, and the next one to fill my pointy shoes is, as of yet, undecided. Now, we were playing?"
Red, meanwhile, was joined in his grumpling by two of the lucky landing party, tall and scrawny Lisbeata, heart of gold and the face mangled in a mechanism some fifteen standards ago (she'd taken it remarkably well), and Largo, who seemed to have found the exchange between the Dusties and Red most amusing, judging from the way he was still laughing when the pissed (in more ways than one) scum joined them.
The volume of music and frivolty subsequently rose steadily as the game was left to its own device but for a few observers, the least drunk ones, and another servitor soon rolled in on beaten treads to wipe up the smear of sick and serve another round of drinks.
"Wozzat all'bout din?" Largo said between coughs, rolling up a lho-stick and putting it in between his lips. His pallid skin had taken on an almost yellow hue on his hands and around his lips from years of hard smoking. It wasn't improbable that the man hadn't had a lho-high in years.
"'s prolly cuz Li'l Red'z got a fancy for moon-skull dere." sniggered Lisbeata and nodded to Mae who pointedly ignored them. Neither of the two had listened to the conversation between the First mate and Cristan, but had instead used the opportunity to snag a few extra drinks, and drop a lho-butt in the glass of Arnak Thorn, a particularily disliked security officer, who was too busy watching the game to notice.
The game, was at foot. Voorhees hadn't been lying when he said he was a good player, and the way he moved his pieces hinted at a strategy that relied on initially random-seeming patterns of movement that broke conventions, sacrificing a few of the less valuable pieces to secure a strong front far from his own regent.
Cristan, however, was no fool, and soon saw that he'd have to be more inventive in his gaming, cutting Voorhees off repeatedly and grabbing a few minor victories. After five rounds, Voorhees grinned and blew out a ring of smoke. "Said they were going to Khorz V." he grinned, jewels twinkling in the dim light, "ain't that a coincidence?"
The first mate seemed to realize what opposition he was facing, and soon began to play more defensively, ultimately leading to a long series of counter and counter-counter moves, where not much was achieved, but barely any losses were sustained. Soon enough, ten rounds had passed, and as promised one of the girls sidled up to the mute warrior and handed him the brooch, giving him a quick and shy smile before returning to Voorhees's side.
The rounds passed uneventfully, Voorhees trying to grip his opponents skills, which inevitably differed considering the differating playing environment the two were used to, and after another five round Mae was too handed a brooch. It was obvious now that his opponent was disgruntled by the surprising skill, or luck, of Cristan, and began to play even more aggressively, which for a while seemed to work. Cristan was forced to sacrifice a number of pieces to the advancing Voorhees, who seemed to regain his humour, passing the occasional joke to the adept.
Then, however, came the turn-around. Distracted perhaps by the events around him, Voorhees played a piece completely wrong, and Cristan seized upon the opportunity like a hawk. In just a few rounds, Cristan had put Voorhees's regent at a knife's edge and the Regicide was a fact, White had claimed rulership.
The first mate looked unrealistically angry for a short second or two, veins appearing in his pale face and his fists clenching, only to relax suddenly and a jovial, if exhausted, guffaw emerged from his throat.
"By the Throne! I haven't had such a game in years!" he barked, looking to all around him, "I would have won of course, eventually, but for my own clumsiness." he dug into his pocket and took out the brooch again, sliding it over the board. "We leave at the rise of the sun in two days. Of course, with these you can come and go as you please until then. I'd suggest not losing those golden tickets," he said with a wink, "unless you want to sell them of course."
Then he slammed his fist in the board, the remaining pieces falling over, "The void damn it all, where are my drinks!? My lho!?" the servitor-board quickly scooped up the pieces, put them back in the trays and rolled away, the door sliding open for another servitor with drinks and other refreshments. "Now enjoy this victory, and would you kindly tell me your names, already! I want to know the name of the man that beat me, Granald Voorhees, at regicide!" he beamed at the three.
(Long post is fucking long. Cristan won by one point, with a real whizbang in the end when I rolled 99 for Voorhees!)