Setting: You have just arrived in a shady part of a large city, after arranging this meeting with someone over the phone. A tour of Juridia, so to speak.
The bar was definitely one which would be generously called 'no-good', and could quite accurately named 'seedy'. Unfortunately, the title of the place was a missed opportunity - simply named "Trash". For a bar that threw its own reputation into the shredder, there were quite a few patrons scattered around this evening, drinking various concoctions, jabbering about this and that, and generally having as good a time as the somber and slightly dangerous atmosphere would allow. Trash was as much a fixture of this part of the city as were the brothels, the free clinics, the fortune tellers, and the straight-up druggie dens. The saying ran in this part of Karai that you could get Poked for change, Changed for pennies, Probed for cents, and Fucked for life. Even so, there were certain tastes that ran in the blood of some very strange people - and this was the place to indulge those tastes.
One of those strange people was the monarch of a bit of land far outside of the slums, far outside of even the city limits. He wasn't an everyday fixture, sitting at the bar and staring off into space. Fine clothing lay underneath a coat even more ragged than the beggars outside the establishment, and sported bits and bobs hanging out of the pockets. A holster complete with strap and gun peeked from underneath that jacket, on top of a neatly-pressed white-cotton-blend shirt that didn't seem to match the rest of the picture. The guy looked haggard - tired, unfocused. His attitude fit the place - most of his clothing did not. Neither did the simple gold-and-black band around his middle finger, studded with a rainbow of precious stones circling around the edge. He looked rich.
The man's gaze wasn't toward the door, where visitors new to the place would enter. Instead, he had those oddly-colored neon-green eyes fixed solidly up onto a screen projected on the wall in crystal clarity. What was obviously a news report was on, scrolling text up both sides of the image, with a young, pretty, blonde woman sporting calico cat ears reading off of some papers in front of her, while a smaller image flashed brief glimpses of what looked like a building and a bomb. There was no audible sound. Even so, the stranger was paying rapt attention, and continued to do so until a young female emerged from the back of the bar, and touched his hand. Startled, he quickly looked up, reaching up to tap a space in the air in front of him - what looked like holographic blue headphones appearing for a moment, then disappearing into nothingness.
"You've got visitors, Your Majesty." the woman - a slim brunette with the ears and tail of some sort of wild cat - said quietly, flipping her black hair behind her. "I'd imagine these are the guests you were speaking of earlier?"
A groan followed that announcement, followed by a sigh, as the man put his head in his hands. "Oh gods above, I told you not to call me that awful name, Marisette." He said, turning in his stool to face his visitors. "Sorry you caught me here. I know I was supposed to meet you at the Station. I guess it just slipped my mind. I'm the one you spoke to on the comms... er... phone. My name is Aaron Arrikanez, and welcome to Juridia. I'm sure you have a lot of questions, but hold them for a moment."
He downed the rest of the drink he'd been nursing, and tapped an object on Marisette's wrist, before sliding off the stool, and starting toward the door. "Ah, you're probably wondering if I'm going to pay. Well... I just did. Here in Karai - the city you're in, we don't use a physical currency system. We go off reputation and a clean record. What you can get in this city is based solely on how well you behave. The Council of Twelve set that up years ago."
Pausing, he opened the door, and leaned against the wall when he'd stepped out of the bar. The outside was just as dingy as the inside - but the streets were pristine. A solid strip of an asphalt-like material stretched straight across in a quasi-diagonal pattern, holographic compasses every half-mile or so. Since the bar was set in the middle of the street, there was one straight across from them - showing that North was to their left. Aaron continued in his explanation. "The Council of Twelve is our ruling body. Composed of the twelve 'best in their field' individuals. Mostly, this is a career-based thing, but it's not supposed to be. It wasn't set up that way."
Starting to walk down the clean white sidewalk, he passed by two younger kids, racing down the side of the street nearest the buildings. One was devoid of ears and tail with bright red hair, and the other had the ears of a dog, and some sort of long prehensile tail that was carting what looked like a gun. They were laughing. "The way the Council was originally set up, was to uphold the Twelve Wisdoms. Nobody's left that knows what those originally were, and we haven't managed to uncover any documentations of this.... So it's generally who's the best at things. To say we have a pretty slipshod, seat-of-your-pants way of doing things in this city is.. well... accurate."
He made a broad motion to the surrounding area. "This part of Karai is the Slums. The worst of the worst dwell here. Those kids probably have parents that are whores, fortune-tellers, or worse. The city is kept pretty, but the underbelly's still got a lot of dirt. This particular street is part of Redlight Alley - a small subsection of the massive S District. You can use your imagination as to what 'S' stands for, and it would probably be accurate. There's a song on your world... Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. That sort of applies to most of this area, from districts S to Z. Whatever you're looking for, whatever you're willing to trade... you can probably find it here." He shrugged.
"I hang out here, because I was born here. Back when Karai was just a baby-city. Gods, that was over..." Biting his lip, he closed his eyes and considered. "Three.... hundred... seventy? Maybe? Years ago. Yeah, I'm older than you think. That's because we natural Juridians... well, we 'freeze' at the age we hit mental maturity." With a laugh, he gestured to himself. "I grew up quick."
Starting down the street again, he turned around, starting to walk backward and brushing some of his auburn hair behind his ear while fixing his unnatural neon gaze on his visitors. "Listen to me giving you history lessons and stuff. I'm here to talk about what YOU want to talk about, and to take you where YOU want to go. We're pretty limited right now - Skyway One's the best bet to get anywhere in the city that's not walking distance, and that's going to be crowded for another hour or so. There's a couple of places of interest we could visit from here. You wanna head to the Exploration Museum in the center of District R? We could also hit up a coffee shop I know about back in District W. Sleazy place, but sweetest couple you ever saw. Best food, too. Or, we could check out the Archives in District Z. It's a bit of a walk, but if you want history, you're gonna find it there."
He paused again in his walking, and crossed his arms, giving a smirk. "So, where to? What we doin'? I'm yours to explain all this, so have at. The world - as they say - is your clam. ... Wait, is that oyster? Fuck, I'm bad at human customs and slang. I'll get better, I promise."