Ichante sulks through the tunnels of the Ork Underground. Outside, it's raining. Underground, it's raining. The week of rain had saturated the earth, leaving the water nowhere else to go. The Underground didn't have proper drainage, so miniature rivers formed in the middle of tunnels. Ichante was not fond of water - except as part of strict grooming regimen - especially water that covered her ankles and sloshed into her boots. She levitates herself across the more ridiculous puddles that were more like little lakes.
Pale Horse must used to this but I'm not, she thinks to herself.
"Why did you move to Seattle?" Chaim had asked a while back. "Have you ever been through a Sioux winter?" she had answered. "Or a Sioux summer, for that matter."
That's why she lives underground: to get away from the weather. Seattle rarely got snow, and rarely got scalding hot. Thanks to thermal inertia, the Underground was a reliable 12 C year-round. Cool, but comfortable. She can live with that. It made things easy to spot with her thermal vision, if nothing else. When the world was cool, it was simple to see the devil rats.
Ichante lives near The Big Rhino, at Second & Seneca downtown. She longs to move to a larger unit near Lorstrugns, the luxury department store chain about eight blocks away. That way she could window shop all the time, even if Lordstrungs didn't carry much for petite dwarven women. She knows just what she wanted: The Ace of Coins! Black juggernaut hide with platinum thread stitching and solid gold accents. She aches for it, the juggernaut hide reminding her warmly of home, even if home was only ever stupid hot or crazy cold, never just warm. It would be so perfect for this club we're going to. But first I have to take care of this, what, almost forty grand of debt, she thinks to herself, rounding it up in a moment of self-pity.
She reaches the staircase leading up to an exit. There were a few stalls around the bottom of the staircase: an ork noodle lady, a Skraacha selling maps of the Underground and/or protection services that may or may not be optional. She stops by a dwarven tech and throws down •100 for the micro-transceiver that her team has been bugging her to replace. She plugs it in just in time to catch Chaim asking <<Anybody else here, or am I the first one at the prom?>> The signal is scratchy because she's still underground.
<<Untwist your knickers, I'll be right there>> she answers peevishly, still put out about the weather. She grits her teeth and goes up the stairs and out into the rain.
Why didn't I learn that barrier spell? she thinks to herself as she races across the street. Forget bullets; I need an umbrella.
Crossing the street, she looks around for Eddie's Thundercloud Morgan. It's an ATV that's ridiculous for city driving (unless you're in the Barrens) but on days like today it could actually be helpful for navigating flooded streets.
Ichante gets to the awning in front of the club and spends a full minute trying to correct her black hair. Pouting, she paws the water out of it while she studies the crowd lined up, waiting to get in. With some jealousy, she notes how much better dressed they are than she is. Her chemically-treated armor jacket keeps her safe and repels acid rain, but it would never be confused with high fashion. Yearning for the Ace of Coins grips her again as she flips the ARO invitation to the bouncer.
Clubs are not the best environment for dwarves, especially thin dwarves. Dancers and druggies and drunks are oblivious and dwarves getting knocked about is the default. She bypasses the coat check, knowing that she'll be bumped at least half a dozen times before she crosses the club. The armor jacket protects her from the bruises, but her pride still stings.
<<Alright, I'm here>> she says, switching to assensing to scan the crowd. Against her wishes, the aura of the crowd actually improves her mood. The happy revelry is infectious, especially on the astral, and she suddenly finds herself wanting a hit. She wasn't into Bliss or Zen. Novacoke should have been a good fit but she didn't have a taste for it. She liked Cram, but she was here to work, not dance or fight. Psyche would be fun, but I'm on a budget, she thinks. Grudgingly, she settled for a stick of betel chewing gum, staving off the craving for something stronger... for now, at least.
<<I've got you>> she says, spying the men by the bar. <<Watch your six: that Aztlaner with the pomade hair likes the look of one of you.>>