Syrene At The Blown Valve Bar

This is the story about Syrene by me that is part of the role playing story by @Descartes about The Blown Valve Bar.

I had the story in that thread, and I’m fixing it here, so anyone can play! And there’s some help, too, if you don’t know how to play role-playing games in forums. I’m still not sure exactly how to do this, but I’m looking to learn more about how to play in forums.

So here is Syrene’s story, and I hope you link your characters in my story and in Descartes original story too!


Off planet is so much nicer , thought Syrene as she walked the narrow street that was barely illuminated. Off planet means no vermin, no stink. But off planet isn’t better. It has cameras that work, not the fake boxes. No one cares what happens on planet, and that is how I like it.

A hundred solar cycles ago, the city was alive. It welcomed visitors and commerce. It welcomed vacationers and traders. Everything was bright and clean. Even in the working class district, it was at least not filthy and infested. Wanting to keep the bad people away from the beautiful city, they decided to build a big spaceport to orbit the planet.

When the planet’s spaceport became fully operational fifty solar cycles ago, the cost of stopping before landing on the planet changed everything. For the cost to land on the planet then break atmosphere again, a tourist could see all of the planet’s moons and visit the colonies there then shop the arcade and watch the planet from high above. No need for travel vaccinations for a planetary visit. No need to have a visa and enter through customs and be held for any number of questionable reasons. The convenience of not landing on the planet ended the tourism trade completely over the next ten solar cycles.

All goods were quarantined on the station before shippers exchanged them between the planet and the station, and holographic tour of the planet was as good as the real thing–according to the moon colony and space station tourism board. Once crime skyrocketed in the dying city, only the people unable to break atmosphere and the people desperate to enter it visited.

Syrene had a name in mind. A special delivery hidden in her cybernetic enhancement. Losing limbs had been a tragedy. She was abandoned, discarded. Then she was reborn. Working as a courier, given cybernetic limbs which carried secret cargo and a sense of purpose. Her normal cargo, legal summons and other documents which required a witness. She traveled all over.

The city was dim, sad, filthy. Nothing like the pictures from a hundred or even fifty cycles ago. Long before my time, though Syrene as she trotted up an alley in the steamy rain. Without any alcoves, this was a perfect location on a rainy day or night. Of course, the city was shrouded nearly all of the time, and the thick, dark clouds from belching smoke from sweat shop manufacturers and badly maintained generators created the precise, toxic environment where people who wanted to get lost could get lost.

Under the flickering B, she rang the bell and waited. Then she knocked. He must not be planetside, thought Syrene. I’ll ask around. Come back tomorrow.

She looked up at the camera then squinted at it. Syrene laughed. A fake security camera, probably put in to jack up the price of the property. Whatever was behind that door under the flickering B was going to be a great place to work from.

Carrying the legal summons she had for a small-time importer to show up on the spaceport and give testimony against a competitor who had crossed an interstellar corporation. She walked beneath the B and traveled onto a broader street, where the destitute and needy huddled in long-abandoned doorways out of the relentless rain.


Of course it had gone wrong.

The small-time importer was either long dead or had disappeared when Syrene arrived. The remains, if anyone could have called whatever scorched mess she had discovered under the desk of the import office remains, made it clear that Syrene wasn’t going to get her summons bounty quickly and was going to get a lot of trouble trying to chase down the next link in the chain if it was his body or the runaway importer if it wasn’t.

Having to go through the process of filing a gene test order from the planet’s punitively slow government was a blessing in disguise. She could afford the bribes to expedite it, but letting the grinding and screeching gears of the injustice system meant Syrene had a good reason to stay in the decrepit settlement and set herself up as findable behind the door under the flickering B. To hopefully get work there under the excuse that she didn’t have enough charisma or money or looks to exit the gravity well.

She was disrespected. Underpaid. Overworked. That’s what the fixer had said when Syrene caught up with it on another ruined planet behind a door much like that one. She’d let the fixer go, dropped the summons, said her target had left just before she arrived–and no one knew where.

She knew where.

The fixer was waiting on her to find a place just like that one, so she could settle in as a fixture and set down a safe harbor for the fixer’s clients. For the fixer to work from and leave when another courier carrying another legal summons came for the fixer.

Even better, the gruesome end of the importer or whoever the importer left in his place gave the fixer time to leave at its leisure. With no one willing to pay the unsaid fees, the fixer could stay on the planet long as it wanted and come and go as it pleased.

More and more she convinced herself this was exactly right. The planetary government was a collection of dirty, greedy beings that controlled their own dirty oversight committees. The door was easy to find, right under that B. No alcoves meant no homeless witnesses to bribe. The fake cameras on the alley meant real cameras were only where money to make the government work traveled. That meant there had to be at least one unmonitored path to that door from the edge of the city.

Once she found the path out of the city, the right people had a path into it. In the middle of shocking poverty, Syrene would gain the right reputation, the kind she needed to become more than just a process server bouncing around the planets and moons.

It was the kind of reputation she wanted.


I love this character and can’t wait to read more!


This is definitely an interesting direction for this story. I will be watching what’s happening in this Cygnus galaxy world between you and @Descartes, @Libbie.

I don’t really have time to join in :cry:, but I definitely want to see more.


Wonderful character. Keep it coming!