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Author Topic: Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre  (Read 1010 times)

Dr Rotwang!

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« on: November 21, 2006, 07:03:10 AM »
...the things you think of when you wake up at 4:00 AM with an upset stomach...

Anyway.  Chances are, you've seen Casablanca.  If you haven't, dig this: Humphrey Bogart plays Rick Blaine, an American ex-patriate in North Africa, who operates a place called Rick's Café Americain,
Quote from: Wikimapedia!
...[an] upscale club and gambling den in the Moroccan city of Casablanca which attracts a mixed clientele of Vichy French and Nazi officials, refugees and thieves.
The café is a place of intrigue, skullduggery, and foreigners.  Then Ingrid Bergman shows up and there are some transit papers and some history between bogart and Bergman and Peter Lorre schleps around etcetera, just see the movie already, it's aces.

Hereby I propose this:

Change Rick to an Earthling expatriate on Foreignon IV or some other alien world,  and the Café Americain to a Café Terrestre, i.e. Terrestrial or From Earth.  Vichy French to alienses, Nazis to Space Bad Guys, and the refugees and the thieves can stay put but be aliens.

Who's hanging out tonight?  What're they up to?  What's the place look like?  Who are the bad guys?

Think a gentle mix of space opera and hard SF, maybe like a Star Frontiers-type melange.

Go nuts, suckas.
Dr Rotwang!
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JamesV

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2006, 07:07:44 AM »
Raymond 'Ace' Anderson is a rounder. He's been bumming around the galaxy playing cards for a living for the past ten years. In those ten years he's played at every card joint as his fortunes have waxed and waned, from the finest gambling house to the shoddiest dive bar. He's heard and seen almost everything, and he's at his old friend Rick's right now to rebuild his stake.
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TonyLB

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2006, 08:01:20 AM »
Well, Peter Lorre was practically a little bug-alien to begin with (and I say that with love!) so his character just gets juiced, not fundamentally changed.
Superheroes with heart:  Capes!

Dr Rotwang!

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 09:03:10 AM »
Grint Laxa A burnt-out bounty hunter who's losing his edge

Grint came to Comra (the planet, why not) after an easy mark.  It was all he could get, any more; his name was starting to wear out, and his rep was failing.  Catching Botrun Milne should've been easy enough, and might've bolstered his reputation a little.  Easy-in, easy-out.

But Holt Feng Zhou got there first.

Feng Zhou was faster, smarter, and not sloppy.  He bagged the mark right in front of Laxa, and in public no less.   Laxa hasn't lived it down.

He sticks around on Comra, and haunts Rick's in particular, hoping to pick up a job or just do something.  He feels like he can't really do The Job anymore, like maybe he's just fronting or, what's worse, deluding himself.  Maybe some luck will come his way...he's too lost in his own disillusionment to bother going out to make luck on his own.
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KenHR

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2006, 09:43:09 AM »
Donnie Sylos is a bright kid, if a bit idealistic, with bright eyes and bright teeth to match.  His family's not hurting, but they're not well off, either; they were unable to send him to university on their own, and his grades weren't good enough to get any help from the government.  The only prospect he has is to work in the platinum mines like his father and his brother did before him.  "Did" being the operative word; both were killed in work-related accidents.

Donnie wants something more out of life than betting when ol' Fate will cut the string.  He hasn't got the money to make anything happen, and his mother's been stingy with the handouts lately; the compensation she got from the mining company is running out.  So he's been hanging out at Rick's, hoping to find a ship that will take him...somewhere else.  Says he'll work to earn his passage, but a brief conversation will show he can't tell from port, starboard or a cheap shot of whiskey if his life depended on it.

Just about every ship captain that's come through Rick's has had to put up with Donnie badgering them for a job.  Every one of them has told him the same thing: "Kid, you're not cut out for this life.  Settle down dirtside, find a girl, raise a family.  Spacing ain't all it's made out to be."  But he keeps on trying.
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jrients

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2006, 10:05:42 AM »
Unit BX-652 is an old, barely functional robot.  The BX line was one of the first humaform service-bots.  652 has gone through numerous owners and been reprogrammed with many jobs over the years.  But his motivator is on the fritz and replacement parts are hard to get in this sector.  And now his positronic brain is starting to degrade due to a computer virus he picked up two owners ago.  652 has been all over the galaxy, trading owners three dozen times or more.  He only half-remembers his life since his last memory wipe, but it was full of excitement and adventure.  Rick got the old bucket of bolts for cheap and keeps him around because he's too much of a soft touch to scrap him.  

If 652 is given your tray of drinks you'll be lucky if he spills them before he reaches your table.  But if you're willing to listen to him drone on for hours in his boring singsong voice he may mention things like the quadranite strike that was abandoned because of an Imperial Fleet moving through the system or the little package that was hidden in the engine room of the free trader Beagle just before the entire crew succumbed to Delbirean Space Flu.
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Abyssal Maw

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2006, 10:39:12 AM »
There should be a piano player... or more likely, an organist.
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James J Skach

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2006, 12:51:26 PM »
Being a bit of a fan of the film, I would only suggest one thing (to augment the already great ideas).  The characters in the film were desperate. Every. Damn. One.

And not just a little desperate - sleep with anyone, sell dad to slavers and sister into a harem; whatever it takes to get me out of here desperate. Nobody was in Casablanca by choice - they were all there in an attempt to escape the horrors of the life they were leaving behind.

Just a thought, ignore at will...
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Pebbles and Marbles

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2006, 02:24:56 PM »
My only contribution is to suggest that Rick's real name should, in fact, be Orville.

*waits*

Nice idea, Rotwang.  I wish you'd been the guy who was constantly proposing SF games for our group.  This sort of quirkiness would have been so much better.
 

fonkaygarry

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2006, 02:36:12 PM »
Second Lieutenant Burton's at Rick's again tonight.  He hates the place: the drugs, the whoring, the mixing of species.  The whole bar reminds him of  an infected boil: swollen and ready to rupture; he'll tell you as much if you sit near him.  

Most patrons give him a wide berth.

Burton wears his uniform jacket tonight.  The middle bulges comically around his gut, the seam of the left sleeve has worn itself open.  Medals from an army no one remembers glitter on its breast.

Burton remembers.  The Sons of Man.  Even the name sends a tiny shiver down his spine.  The Forces of Purity and Sanity who, in the name of the Human Race, marched through the black infinity of space to free Mankind of His alien parasites.  

Every medal on his jacket is another beautiful story.  QaaAAaaT Orbital: fifty thousand Pudgies launched into cold space when he'd vented all their "air" at once.  The colonies on Dorgan's world: he and his boys blew a Raathide hatchery sky-high, incinerating two million baby birds in one instant.  "I hope you brought some barbecue sauce," Private Carter had yelled.

Burton allows himself a tiny smile.  Now his part in that is finished.  All he can do is sit in his personal Hell and wait for an old friend, any old friend, to recognize the uniform and welcome him back to the fold.
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Spike

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2006, 04:13:24 PM »
I'll steal an idea from Santiago, if you don't mind.

The Bard. No body cares about his real name, they just think he's crazy, but they leave him alone. The Bard wants to hear your story, if you don't want to tell it, that's fine, he'll tell it to you instead. He collects stories. If your's is interesting he'll add it to his song. If it's really interesting you'll get two stanzas, if it's barely above the norm you might get a line.

The Bard only has one song, but it's said to be a million lines long now, and still growing. Most folks know their favorite bits to it by heart now, and if you want to know who someone is, check the Bard's song, you just might learn something. Some folks fear that the Bard will turn his blind eyes on them, afraid that their secrets will be exposed to the galaxy, or to themselves.

The Queen of Hearts wrote her own stanza once. She has two now, the Bard likes her brass so much he kept her addition, making it official. Of course, her little addition got her killed eventually, but that's just what the Bard said would happen.

If you ask the Bard when the song will end he'll tell you it's over when all the important stories have been heard, when the meaningful tales have all been added. He's been at if for forty years now, at one bar or another, and he shows no sign of stopping.



Ok, so it may not be entirely casablanca, but if you don't like it... don't use it.
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Dr Rotwang!

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2006, 10:08:45 PM »
Quote from: Spike
Ok, so it may not be entirely casablanca, but if you don't like it... don't use it.
Man, I don't see a single idea in here that's not useful.  This is good stuff!
Dr Rotwang!
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Spike

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Brainstorm: Rick's Café Terrestre
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2006, 10:11:15 AM »
Quote from: Dr Rotwang!
Man, I don't see a single idea in here that's not useful.  This is good stuff!



Sadly, I can't take any credit for it. Like I said in the beginning I pretty much lifted the entire idea from Santiago! by... um.... Reznik?  Tweaked it a tiny bit for color I think.

I just steal from good sources. :D
For you the day you found a minor error in a Post by Spike and forced him to admit it, it was the greatest day of your internet life.  For me it was... Tuesday.

For the curious: Apparently, in person, I sound exactly like the Youtube Character The Nostalgia Critic.   I have no words.

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