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Tarkana Kitan

A Rathkan woman that's been given a foreman position by the Collective, she tries very hard to keep the miners happy.

0 · 223 views · located in Sauracia, Orion Arm, Milky Way galaxy

a character in “Sauracian Survivors”, as played by TheRose202

Description

Physical description: She stands at a height of 5 foot 3, with a thick tuft of orange feathers upon her head and intense, piercing eyes. She has a small yellow beak which is naturally curved up into a bit of a "smile", and her figure is sleek and lean. She generally wears a stark white tank top and grey shorts, along with a toolbelt carrying many assorted mining tools, from small picks to pens and pencils for writing down quotas and complaints and whatnot. Her talons are generally uncovered, and she has well-preened wings, which are wider than most.

Personality: She is generally kind, though she's a bit rough in her ways and liable to outbursts when she's pushed over the edge. She particularly dislikes Kanar for their innate ability to annoy her.

Equipment and Abilities: She always carries a heavy plasma scattergun on her back to ward off any deep predators that may confront the miners, and she always carries a large black leather satchel about with her, full of clipboards and medkits and other essentials.

Historical background: Tarkana grew up on the J.C.C Lionheart, the colony ship that brought the miners to Sauracia, and so has had a fairly difficult life. Growing up on a ship wasn't easy: there were many long-sleep cycles and not as much room to play as she'd like, and unlike her native Rathka Prime, there was nowhere to glide about and test her wings. As a result, she never quite got the hang of the short flights most Rathkan were able to accomplish, and has restricted herself to glides due to being bullied for it growing up. She started off an ore appraiser and was always a good worker, and the Collective has given her the position of Foreman in the Northern Mines given her closer connection to the miners and fairly low-risk psychological profile. This is all anyone really knows about her, as she doesn't have many friends among the miners, seen mostly as a puppet of the Collective instead of someone who actually wants to look out for them.

So begins...

Tarkana Kitan's Story

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Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan

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"Skaata.." mutters Tarkana angrily as she looks over the ore quotas for this semester. Productivity had dropped twenty percent in the past month due to the collapsing of one of the largest shafts in the Northern Mines, but quotas kept rising despite the difficulty, and they were way behind schedule. Obsidian would have her defeathered for this for sure. She stands up from her iron desk within her dimly lit Foreman's office, which has been built into the wall of the main cavern of the Central Chamber, and walks to the window, looking out over the mining chamber. The mine is bustling and busy as usual, the lights of the city of barracks and workshops twinkling in the otherwise dark cavern. Though it is lively, many of the workers' faces are dead and worn. She sighs at the sight of this beaten kingdom she's been forced to rule over and steels herself for the discipline she must soon deal out. She hated this part of her job more than any other.

She moves over to the door of her office and opens it, spreading her arm-wings out and gliding softly down to the ground, talons clicking on the stone floor as she lands.
"Listen up!" her authoritative voice rings out in the common tongue over the intercom. All of the miners and lifters and appraisers that had been working stop and look up, waiting for what is to come.
"This mining division has fallen far behind schedule. This is not acceptable. As a result, work-for-ration ratios will rise by half, and all miners are to double their output. We need to catch up, people. You remember what happened last time."

She turns her commbadge off and sighs to herself. Last time they fell this far behind, food and equipment rations were cut to the Northern Mines for a week, and Tarkana was given a secret punishment of her own; she received fifty lashes to her bare back, just in case she had been slacking off. She could still feel it sting sometimes. She shudders at the memory. Definitely not something she wanted to reproduce. So she had to do something about it, even if it made her even less popular. She's about to turn to the levimodule and go back to her office when an all-too-familiar voice rings out over the noise of drills, macro-forges, and other various mining equipment.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Frank had been in the midst of an argument when Tarkana had flown down to a dress the miners he so vigilantly watched over day in and day out. It was easy to tell by his solid build and dark green body armor that he was a part of the underground security detail thats main job was to watch over and 'protect' the miners, what that actually meant though was mostly making sure production continued and breaking up the occasional fight along with, god forbid, fending off the rare Rhigdol attack.

Before Tarkana had flown down to grace them with her presence Frank had been in the middle of kicking a rather uppity Kanar in the backside, the damned orange eyed bastard insisting that “He was on break.”, which in all honesty simply made Frank kick him harder. The years of working under one of the most stubborn Solarii in the force had turned him into a rather harsh and cold hearted security member. Taking a long drag from the cigarette that hung loosely in his lips illuminated his dark colored skin and sharp, almost handsome, features among the meager cave light. He had just been getting ready to 'aggresivley' negotiate with the Kanar when Tarkana spoke up

As Tarkana spoke to the almost army sized group of miners Frank had instinctively turned and snapped at attention. Cursing himself for turning his back on the small Kanar he quickly turned back around, only to see that the damned thing had disappeared into the sea of faces. Frank had to admit the damned things sure were sneaky.

He tightened his strong grip around the large menacing looking black gauss rifle he held in both hands, deciding that after Tarkana finished speaking and he got a moment free he would indeed track down the Kanar foolish enough to hide from him. Nonetheless he listened closely to Tarkana's words, memories of just how bad the last time they had been cut off from supplies flashed through his mind-back then had been a tough time for him and his fellow security officers, fights becoming commonplace from the reasonably stressed out workers. Frank decided he'd have to do his best to make sure everyone was working in the coming week.

But all those thoughts and worries didn’t distract Frank from the fact that Tarkana was within ear shot of where he stood, and not being able to resist himself he shouted out to her. He had of course waited for her to finish speaking and for the tired looking miners to return to their jobs but his voice sounded deep and cheerful as he spoke despite the bad news. “Tark!” He boomed. “When are you finally going to let me take you out for that drink?!” He shouted over the noise of the busy miners expecting yet another daily rejection. Over the past year or so it had become a joke among Frank and his superiors that Frank constantly asked Tarkana out, originally Frank had simply wanted to see just how a 'bird person' as the Terans offensively called them, would take a shot of whiskey, but over the years had evolved into an almost betting game among the Security Force, and one of these days Frank was determined to win the the daily pot of credits by getting Tarkana to agree to a drink with him.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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As Tarkana hears the voice, she groans agitatedly and turns on her left talon, giving Frank her signature glare. She was born a predator, and her eyes showed it. When she speaks, it's with her familiar harsh tones.
"Bleeding hells, Frank, when are you going to learn that I can't drink on the job, and I wouldn't go with you to do so even if I could." She's about to turn back around when she has an idea. She definitely needed someone to talk to, and maybe it would get him off her back for awhile. "How about instead we take a walk. I have things I need to talk with you about anyway, including orders from Obsidian that might not have reached everyone just yet. Orders that I'd rather keep from prying ears. You get me?"

She runs a hand over her bright orange mane of feathers, looking about at all the "progress" at work. Damn, this place was dismal. Even if Frank wasn't the best conversational partner, anything was better than looking at this for another minute. She'd much prefer the dim light of the crystal caves. So she gives a half-smile to Frank (as much as she can with a beak) and beckons for him to follow as she walks off in that direction, aiming for a side-passage to the caves.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Getting the 'im a predator and could hunt you down with my bare hands and kill you' look yet again Frank decided it was probably a safe bet Tarkana meant business, so for that reason Frank immediately dropped his constant attempt at taking her out for a drink. Besides the mere words 'Obsidian' had made Frank raise an eyebrow as he jogged up alongside Tarkana and began to walk next to her. Frank wouldn't admit it but he honestly had never trusted that whole pile of scrap the was The Glitch, despite what history showed. To Frank any piece of machinery should have a clearly labeled 'on' and 'off' button, which these days The Glitch had no such thing, at least to his knowledge anyways. Nonetheless he put aside his idea of finding the Kanar he had been previously arguing with and listened attentively as he walked beside Tarkana. As he walked with her he wondered if the face she'd given him when she waived him over was that of a friendly smile or a 'im going to tear your head off with my beak', it was honestly hard to tell with the bird faces.

"I get you, mam." Franks voice spoke as quietly as it could as he finally fell in line next to Tarkana, following her as she lead the way. "Just how serious is this information?" He asked professionally with a clear hint of curiosity. As they walked along Franks eyes darted two and fro, keeping an eye out for all types of 'prying ears' Tarkana had mentioned and Frank himself knew all to well. He especially had his eyes peeled for any innocent looking Kanar, having over the years decided the more 'inocent' a Kanar tried to look the more 'guilty' he probably was.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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As they enter the tunnel, a creeping darkness begins to fold around them. The deeper they go, the worse it gets, and Tarkana is forced to turn on the electric lantern on her side, the light casting strange shadows around them. She takes a long, thick black stick made of some sort of mild hallucinogen native to Rathka Prime from one of her pockets, places the closed end in her beak, and lights the other end, the tip glowing an odd blue colour as smoke rises from the tip.
"Bleeding hells, this place is a mess." she mutters, half to herself.

After about five minutes, they breach the end of the tunnels, and end up on a small man-made platform overlooking the crystal caves. The view is beautiful. The caves are massive, and seem to stretch for miles, glowing crystals protruding from the ground and the walls and even some in the ceiling all around. They're complimented by bioluminescent fungi and ferns which rest about the area, and a few skittering salamander-like creatures with bioluminescent neon blue stripes down their backs and tails. Tarkana places the lantern behind them to illuminate the entrance to the tunnels, moves to the edge of the platform and sits, taking in the view as she takes puffs from her Rathkan Spiderweed cigar.

"Sit, would you? We have a bit to discuss. And I'd rather we not be away too long, just so your blockheaded Sec buddies don't start any rumours." Her voice is still rough, but it's softer than when she was yelling.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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"Rumors?" Frank asked jokingly as he took a seat next to Tarkana, the strange things that filled the caverns and their seemingly endless beauty of lights were not lost on him. From the random lizards to the fungi that sprouted about and the very crystalline rocks that poked out here and there almost made the site Frank and Tarkana stared at worthy of a painting in his opinion, or at the very least a cheap Polaroid.

These thoughts and Tarkanas words bounced around through Franks head as he reached into one of the few pockets that adorned his combat armor, pulling out a small rectangular shaped red and white pack of cigarettes simply referred to as 'reds' among his people. Popping one of the short white sticks into his mouth as he made himself comfortable on the man made platform Frank began speaking again as he pulled the unlit cigarette from his lips, now knowing that they were now well out of ear shot of any miners he had no qualms about making jokes. "Don't want your uppity Director thinking your down here doing lord knows what with the most handsome and good looking security officer in all the northern mines, eh?" Frank asked, a toothy white grin spreading across his dark face as he spoke, his voice dripping with obvious sarcasm. Quickly popping the cigarette back in his mouth he spoke up again not waiting for a reply to his obvious sarcastic comment. "You gotta light?" He asked, the cigarette clutched in his lips slightly making all the words run together into 'yewgotalight?' He leaned slightly towards Tarkana as he asked the question, expecting her to light his cigarette.

Despite his obvious jesting it was clear by his body language that Frank was listening intently to whatever Tarkana had indeed brought him down here to talk about, having draped his Gauss Rifle across his lap (the barrel purposefully pointed away from Tarkana) he was still ready to spring to action at a moments noticed. If years working in the mine had taught him anything it was that you never should truly feel 'safe'.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Tarkana rolls her eyes at all the jokes and gives Frank a withering look. "I couldn't give less of a damn about the Director. These orders come straight from the top. Obsidian has heard about talk of a revolution in the mines. Now he wants all security personnel to be extra vigilant."

She pulls out a butane lighter and lights the cigarette with a jet of blue flame before continuing, stuffing the lighter back within one of the many packs on her belt. She looks out over the brilliant natural display before her and, for once, feels somewhat at peace. "You know, being down here can almost make you forget about all the shit you have to deal with every day. I try to help the miners, but they just resist more and more. It's hard, man. Why'd I get this job, anyway?"

She sighs and takes another drag off her cigar, holding the bluish smoke in a bit before shooting it from the nostrils atop her beak. The caves really are beautiful, and it really did help somewhat, but she still felt dismal, and it shows in her almost scowling face. The Northern Mines, she heard, were the most productive in the whole city. Why, then, did Obsidian continue to raise the quotas? Damned fools, she thought, if they want to stop talk of revolution, this certainly isn't the way. She seems to be rather lost in thought now, staring at an orange crystal directly below them as she pulls her knees up to her chest.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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"Yeah, almost make you forget." He said in response to Tarkana, making sure to rather exaggerate 'almost'. As she spoke he caught himself staring at her strange looking cigar having honestly always wanted to try one but never having the courage to do so. He also thought it was rather funny for some reason whenever a Rathkan would blow smoke from their upper nostrils, he didn't know why but the site normally made him laugh inwardly so he was hoping if Tarkana did it he wouldn't miss it.

As they sat there Frank inhaled deeply on the cigarette he clutched in his right fingers as he listened to Kartana vent, or that's what he assumed she was doing anyways. "Cant say why you got the job but they probably keep you in the position cause you get quotas met for the most part?" He asked her, quickly taking another drag of his smoke before speaking up again. "And believe it or not the miners have some kinda respect for you. Think that's just cause your not a total slave driver? I honestly don't know." He let his words hang there for a moment as he simply soaked in the scenery. Finishing his cigarette he tossed the dying ember off of the platform, the faint glow disappearing quickly among the many other far brighter glowing objects.

"And if they're so worried about this so called 'revolution'" Frank slurred the word revolution, obvious disdain in his voice. "You'd think they would lay off on these ever growing quotas?" He asked Tarkana, even though it was more of a rhetorical question. It was almost like Frank had read her mind on the subject, but the truth was he had honestly been thinking the same thing. With a final heavy sigh Frank quickly added "But what do I know? I'm just paid to shoot things. You want me to quietly spread the word around Sec to be extra careful?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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As Tarkana finishes her own cigar, all the glows seem to get brighter, and she relaxes somewhat. The Spiderweed doesn't effect you as much until the very end, and that's when it really hits you. Not so much a "high", perse, as an intense relaxation...and an amplification of colours. Very fun times. She flicks the nub of her own smoke off the side of the platform and sits back on her clawed hands, watching the two glowing nubs disappear into the light.

"They should've picked a slave driver," she mutters, "at least they wouldn't feel bad for what they were doing. And I don't know if I can make this quota, man. It's too much. Five hundred tons of unprocessed silver, nine-hundred bars of forged iron, and forty tons of gold ore? Especially with our biggest vein collapsing, I'm not sure how we're gonna get through this. You could give me all the Solarii on Sauracia and I'd still be unsure." Her voice raises the more that she speaks, turning into an angry trill near the end.

"And yes, if they're trying to stop revolution, they're doing a mighty crappy job. But orders are orders. Spread the word, and make sure this talk doesn't turn to action. The last thing we need is more deaths." she speaks a bit quieter now, sighing heavily. At least she felt a little more relaxed than when they started, though that could just be the Spiderweed. She looks out over the now vivid crystal caves, gaining a new appreciation as the bloom effect given by her smoke intensifies. "I bleeding love this place." she mutters, "So peaceful...and to think that Obsidian restricted mining here. Maybe he does have some sort of appreciation for beauty. A little bit."

She falls silent then, simply looking out over the caves. It really was beautiful. You didn't even need a lantern down here to see. It was truly...alien. Especially compared to Rathka Prime, where the only bioluminescence found on the planet was at the poles, in massive colonies of bacteria. Then, she has a thought. "Did Terra have anything like this?" she asks, turning her head to Frank. "It's so different to me. The Tropics of Rathka Prime never were great for spelunking...or at least from what I know of the holodeck simulations of them. And that's where I come from, sort of. So I guess this sort of thing isn't in my blood. Another reason I don't understand why I was picked for the job."

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Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Frank let a long sharp whistle escape his lips after listening to the amount of various ores they were expected to obtain for the upcoming quota. "That is quite the fuckin quota to meet, especially that gold." Frank said in response, he could tell she was rather stressed over the situation so he tried to lighten the conversation "Maybe one of those crazy prospector adventuring types will find a new vein sometime soon? I mean, they’re always runnin around up top and underground looking for the next score, right?” He tried his best to cheer her up a bit but it was clear he wasn’t the best at playing the optimist.

Quickly Frank made a mental note to alert as many of his fellow Security guards as he could to be extra vigilant without alerting the miners. He then continued to silently listen to Tarkana, who seemed rather lost in thought staring at the surrounding scenery. Years of working security had made Frank rather adept at reading body language, and he could tell here now sitting next to Tarkana that when she stared around the Crystal Caves she was visibly more relaxed. Or was it the drug she had just inhaled? He wasn’t sure but he decided it was probably a mixture of both.

After a moment of silence Tarkana had chirped back up, asking if there was anything like the caves on earth. “Caves in general or the glowing?” He asked her back, not that he himself had ever seen earth, or Terra as most called it. Although he'd never seen his home planet he read books on the subject almost obsessively when he got the chance, and although he didn’t particularly like holo decks on occasion he would enter them to 'visit' a specific location he'd read about from time to time. “Well, we've got plenty of caves back home. Hell, I've even read about some caves that are large enough to fit a city into. As for the bio illumination there’s not really anything like that I can think of...” He trailed off for a moment before almost shouting “Oh!” moments later, clearly excited about whatever he was about to say “Oh! That's not true! Aurora Borealis!”

He seemed to realize just how excited he sounded so he let out a nervous cough, before speaking again much more calmly this time. “Yeah, uh, Aurora Borealis. Something that naturally occurs in the Northern parts of our world, its kinda like a multi colored light show in the sky that’s all.” He waved his arms around in a weird extremely comical looking gesture, it was a safe bet the thing he tried to describe looked nothing like the strange waving arm gestures he was making but it was a rather hilarious sight nonetheless.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Tarkana nods in affirmation. "Quite a quota indeed." She snorts a bit at his attempts to cheer her up, though. Prospectors would try and keep the veins to themselves until they were forced to reveal them. She knew that type. They cared not at all about the common miners, just for their own profit. Useless. She sighs and shakes her head.

She does look at him a little curiously, though, when he mentions Aurora Borealis, and lets out a small, trilling giggle at his attempt to illustrate it with his arms. "Is that so?" she asks, humming for a moment. "Auroras are pretty, yeah...back home we had big, super bright blue ones in the north. Couldn't even sleep when they were acting up, or so I've heard. Later I learned that it was because our planet had an especially strong magnetic field or something, or maybe it was because our sun had really big solar emissions? I never was the sciency type, ya know. And in the arctics, there was a bunch of bioluminescent ancient bacteria. Made the whole ice caps glow at night. It looked damn pretty from space, and even cooler on the ground. Sometimes I wish I was born there instead of on that godforsaken ship. Actually, not sometimes. I usually wish that. I mean, damn, I've not even got any damn friends on this damned rock. Half the people I know are people I've had to discipline, and the other half are the ones who tell me who to discipline. It's bleeding maddening." At first she sounds placid, but then it sounds like she's working herself up again. She falls silent once again, and tries to enjoy the caves. Tries to, but fails. There's just too much on her mind.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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At this point Frank was honestly running out of things to say having this been the most he'd ever literally talked to Tarkana. That's not to say he didn't like her, quite the contrary in fact. But he had quickly decided it would be better to leave this conversation before he said something dumb, he also decided he needed to look up a holo program of Northern Rathkan, Tarkana had really made the place sound like it was worth seeing.

"Welp boss, we should probably be getting back now don't you think?" Frank asked with a grunt as he awkwardly pushed his heavily armored body upright, he had to use he Gauss rifle as a semi walking stick to completely pull himself up. Sure, battle armor would save your ass a good part of the time but sit down in the blasted things and you'd sometimes have a hell of a fight getting back up. Finally standing upright Frank let his gauss rifle rest against his leg for a moment, his now free hand immediately fishing around in a pocket. In mere moments Frank had a cigarette lit and dangling from his mouth, lighting the thing with a cheap disposable lighter he'd apparently had the whole time. "Oh and Tark, no joke here man, you ever need to vent feel free to take me up on that offer to take you out for a drink." He grinned and let out a slight chuckle. "Hell I wont even tell anybody."

Taking a quick drag from his cigarette, the red amber glow slightly brightening the features of his dark face, Frank didn't hesitate to quit speaking again. "Now if you'll excuse me boss, I've got a date with a particularly uppity Kanar." He did a mock bow to Tarkana, yet another sarcastic gesture. before quickly turning on his feet and heading back the way they had come. The main reason he had decided to not wait for Tarkana was because to him, she really seemed as if she needed a minute alone.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Tarkana Kitan Character Portrait: Frank Delano

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Tarkana sits alone now, the only indication that she had even heard Frank a small nod of her head. She sighs softly and looks off into the distance, getting lost in the blooming glow of the crystal formations. What a day, she thinks to herself. Things would certainly get worse before they got better, if they got better at all. She sighs and pushes herself up, lifting her glowing lantern as she walks into the darkness of the tunnel, moving slowly as her mind fills with deep thoughts, enjoying the moment to herself before she must get back to being a tool of injustice.