Tuesday, February 19, 2013

050: The Legitimate Bar

ENTRY 050: The Legitimate Bar

Early space colonization did not prioritize the creation of places to socialize and drink alcohol; such activities were generally constrained to mess halls or private quarters, and involved small bottles of imported booze or whatever the colonists could cook up in their stills. When the human diaspora did reach the level to support the creation of such recreational spaces, few of them focused entirely on alcohol—instead, they offered a variety of legal chemical and digital stimulants, narcotics, and associated products in a social setting designed to encourage their purchase and use.

Then there is The Legitimate Bar—the first and longest-lasting pub in the solar system off the homeworld. Tucked into a small corner of Erato, the Legitimate is a tunnel-like affair. A brushed-aluminum bar curves along the edge of the dome, with enough space for transhumans to squeeze by single-file behind the bar stools, and then descends into a porous underground chamber (“The Lower Bar”) with a dozen tables and a small stage for live music. Patronized mainly by the miners of Erato, the Legitimate mainly serves ethanol, mixed with distilled water to taste—clients will order a “70/30” for example, and receive a shot of 140 proof. Those interested in a bit of flavor can order tinctures made from various local-grown extracts, including gene-derivatives of marijuana and opium, and “stone wine,” which is made by dissolving various minerals in ethanol.

The owner of the Legitimate is Malik Ó Maonaigh, of the New Mumbai Maonaigh clan, though as a splicer he isn’t on good terms with the rest of the family, are all flats and proud of it. Rumors have circulated for years about some of the shadier bits of Malik’s business. They say, for example, that he has the most expensive and extensive collection of Terran alcohol in the entire solar system in cavern levels below the Lower Bar, funded by illicitly trading Helium-3 for exotic pornography, as facilitated by his criminal contacts. Malik enjoys this sort of reputation, but publicly denies any such rumors.

Using the Legitimate Bar

The bar is a venerable roleplaying location because it is a semi-public social setting where minor psychoactives are served—therefore, people can talk without being noticed, have a bit of fun, and if someone has too much fun strange things can happen. The Legitimate Bar isn’t the only place in the solar system where PCs can still do these things (you would be hard pressed to find a habitat without some social release mechanism/location), but it is one of the most traditional, and it has a few unique qualities beyond its dedication to serving alcohol. Erato is a hub where Lunar banking and mining interests overlap and mingle, and when they do rub cybernetic elbows together it is often over a shot of “50/50” at the Legitimate Bar, either to do or discuss business, revolution, criminal activity, sexual liaisons, or anything else. More importantly perhaps, the Legitimate Bar is one of the few places in Erato dedicated to having fun.

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