Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tales of Vidar: Coming Home

Originally written for the MindGames universe on DreamCollectivelier
--

Behind the maze of air locks and service doors, hidden and unmentioned to the visiting tourists, lay the realms reserved for permanent residents of Nanna. These catacombs, ratways, and mineshafts, though predominantly frequented by the teenaged youth, were open to all who knew how to find them.

The Greater Cave was the busiest of the hollows on Vidar, and it held a maze of its own. A mess of shipping-carrier-like trailers daisy-chained onto each other, providing an ad-hoc network of water, sewage, electricity, and net access, occupied the space with room for growth. There were few rules in the Greater Cave, all of them mutually agreed upon and punishable by the wrath of your neighbors, and they were: no blocking access to the network, no trespassing on your neighbor's spaces unless invited, one trailer per person, and if you have a party, everybody is invited.

With a few friends and a couple of spare hours, anybody can add a new trailer to the Greater Cave, and the maze regularly grows. Only those who very nearly live on Vidar, spending most of their free moments there, can consistently find their way around. However, with the lack of malls and shopping centers on Nanna, that applies to all youth on Nanna looking for somewhere to hang out.

--

Midi didn't just spend most of her time on Vidar, she literally lived there. An orphan at  an early age, and Nanna with minimal housing and poor conditions for the abandoned young, it was the best option for those who could handle it, and Midi felt better on her own.

She had her trailer, though less equipped with computers than most of her neighbors, it had enough to ensure she could survive comfortably without relying on the welfare of others or a foster family.

Midi shuddered at the thought, bad memories starting to well up. They assured her that there were none of the horror stories about foster families like floating around Three, but it was a lie. The system was flawed, and I was lucky to have this to escape to. She shoved the well of pain shut again, and resumed her studying.

--

The entertainment on Vidar for locals wasn't merely limited to the Greater Cave.

Within the maze of warrens lay a broad selection of entertainment selections, from low-gravity adaptations of one-gee sports, to age-restricted intimate past-times. Some of the age-restricted areas were open flesh pits, visitor be warned, and some were private rooms. They say you haven't really had sex until you've had it in zero-gee.

Duplicate options lay open for the public and tourists, and even some of these are frequented by Nannans for a variety of reasons, including seeking new competition or easier competition, as well as making money off of tourists for playing guide or partner.

--

Tern's trailer was lined with computer screen crammed together. Some were scavenged, older LED displays, one was a mirror HUD, and the rest were newer fabric displays. They were oriented in every which way with most of them running dynamic feeds of the political governments in the known universe. She wore a spandex body stocking and chorded gloves that fed wirelessly into her computing system.

She hummed tunelessly to herself, while paging through stock notes coming in live (minus the transmission delay) from Omr. The numbers were flowing through expected fluctuations, and she tagged a few promising ventures for future review. There was a tap on her door, and she toggled control over to her local betting book screen, the only display that was duplicated, with one inside and one outside her trailer.

She eased herself over to the door, and slid it open, admitted a face she didn't know. "What's your poison?"

"What's the book for the Prime Minister election on Three?"

"Which one?"

He paused, ignorant of the fact that there were four of them currently running, and another half-dozen in the coming months. "Uhh... the one with Joh Aldams."

"Oh. Sure, just a moment." Tern turned her head to face the display, though it was currently upside-down in relation to her body's orientation, and scrolled through the list. "Two to three for Joh, one to six for Sil, and one to six for Mal. No minimums. What's your bid?"

"Can I get two hundred on Mal?"

"Two hundred down on Mal pays out twelve hundred if he wins. You sure?"

He swallowed heavily, his adams apple sticking out like a sore thumb, and hesitated a moment before nodding.

"Put your thumbprint on the sensor." She gestured to the fingerprint detector hanging beside the door jam. A quick keystroke as he did verified his funds and transferred the appropriate amount to her holding account. "Payout next week. Good luck."

"Thanks."

She shut the door and went back to work.

--
Character: Midi Krisedjinn | Tern Mevit
Series: Tales of Vidar
Location: Cups system | Vidar moon | Greater Cave || Swords system | Omr planet

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