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La Félicité

"Welcome to La Félicité! If you can't find the drink you want here, then it probably doesn't exist! Come in, find yourself a spot, and enjoy the music and company. We have booths for those desiring a little bit of privacy, and a dancefloor for those who don't!"
  In The Pit Edge, a free port where the phrase 'laissez-faire' is considered an understatement, there is one place where even that is considered too much regulation. La Félicité is reknowed across the station as a place where one can find someone willing to buy or sell literally anything, no questions asked, for the right price. Most of the station also knows it as 'the place to be'; an exclusive nightclub and bar that sells almost every drink known to mankind. For the average inhabitant though, entry is difficult. Without an invite from someone who knows the management, the waiting list to get in can be several weeks long. Stories persist that people have put themselves on the list in their youth, and have died of old age before ever getting to the top.  

Lower level of La Félicité
by Xah via SketchUp

Purpose / Function

Whilst to the general public, the majority of its patrons, and the wider station of The Pit Edge, La Félicité is nothing more than an exclusive nightclub. It's other purpose is to act as a place of trade, for those willing to deal in things that might attract the wrong kind of attention. The management make no pretense that this goes on inside their establishment. In fact, they charge a 1% tax on every transaction conducted within La Félicité, with ominous threats for those who attempt to deny them this.

Design

Part of La Félicité's allure is its location and its design. The more upmaket parts of Pit Edge project out in kilometer high towers, towards the middle of the ring, so that occupants can get a view of space, despite the engineering complexity. Situated at the top of one of Uptown's most prestigious towers, and with a domed transparent roof that faces the black hole at the centre of The Pit Edge, it can boast a view that few other establishments like this can claim. The venue is circular in form, with a bar in the middle, and booths arranged around most of the walls; those on the lower levels are open to the club, and anyone is free to sit where there's space, but those on the upper floor can be closed off, for more privacy. A large dancefloor sits on the far side of the club to the entrance, and the establishment prides itself on not only having one of the most talented DJs in Pit Edge as its resident, but also can boast guest DJs from all over Known Space. Any DJ who wishes to make a name for themselves has to have played at La Félicité.  
The VIP Lounge at La Félicité
by Xah via SketchUp
Upstairs are the booths that can be closed off, and made soundproof if necessary, and most of the dealings that makes La Félicité not just an ordinary club take place here. This is also where the reknowned VIP Lounge is, a place where only the most famous and important of individuals ever get an invite. If you're in the VIP lounge, then you know you've made it.

Denizens

Current Pit Doge:
Nassim Chavoshi
by Xah via Artbreeder
The owner of La Félicité is widely assumed to be the all-powerful Pit Doge of The Pit Edge, Nassim Chavoshi, but she rarely steps foot in the establishment. In a station as large as the Pit Edge, the Doge has many concerns, and she instead delegates most authority regarding the venue to management. Of course, no one is under any illusion that she doesn't know exactly what goes on in her prize jewel of venues, and rumours persist that the punishment doled out to those who dodge the transaction tax on any agreements made in La Félicité are conducted by her personally.
Manager of La Félicité
Baptiste Latour
by
Xah via Artbreeder
The General Manager is an individual called Baptiste Latour, a man with a keen eye for business, who is almost single-handedly responsible for turning La Félicité into the commercial hub it is today, along with its reputation for the best drinks menu on Pit Edge. Whilst generally considered not as ruthless as his boss, people have learnt the hard way that Baptiste is not one to be trifled with. His friendly, Gallic demeanour, and strong accent tends to put people at ease, and some of the more prestigious guests to La Félicité credit the man for their enjoyment of the venue.
 
Bartender
Karita Lajunen
by Xah via Artbreeder
Many deny it, but a lot openly admit it; one of the attractions in La Félicité is the bar tender, Karita Lajunen. Both attractive to look at and, by all accounts, a pleasant and friendly character, Karita is efficient at her job and can mix almost any drink requested. Despite the amount of attention she receives, Karita remains aloof and supposedly single, a target for many who think they can be the one to crack through her professional exterior and into her bed. No one has yet succeeded, or at least, no one has succeeded and told anyone about it afterwards. Rumours persist that she's not entirely human, and that she's artificial; crafted at the genetic level by scientists in the Federation of Xah, and one of many beautiful and charismatic individuals sent to infiltrate locations of importance. Of course, jealousy tells many tales.
Mystère
Dëborane Zogjani
by Xah via Artbreeder
The drinks might be the best in the sector, the bar tender might be the most beautiful woman in Known Space, but if the music is wrong, then no venue is going to succeed. This is where Dëborane Zogjani, better known by their DJ name, Mystère, comes in. No one remembers hiring them, one day the DJ booth had someone new in, someone who had a talent for filling the dancefloor and getting the room going, and the rest is history. Content to occasionally give up their place to famous guest DJs, Mystère can be relied upon to turn any quiet night into a festival of music and dance, and the management know it, and pay well enough for it.

History

Beginnings
The venue that became known as La Félicité did not begin as an entertainment venue. It's original purpose is unknown, but based on its shape and geodesic roof, speculation has been made that it was perhaps an observatory. No records exist of this however, and it faces into the middle of the station, towards the black hole, blocking the view of most of the stars. Whatever its original purpose was, it very soon became popular for other reasons.   The first recorded name is 'Cube' (undoubtably an ironic name), and it was a place for construction workers to relax and get a few drinks. As the station neared completion, the zone that Cube was located in became more and more upmarket. The customer base changed from lower class workers, to more upper class residents and the venue was redesigned and rebranded as 'Venus'. It quickly gained a reputation as a place where one could purchase the affections of a wide variety of people, and if rumours were true, the owners had very little moral qualms about the state of those being purchased. Whilst the unofficial rulers of Pit Edge, the Ghost Council, could put up with a lot of things going on on their station, some things were beyond the pale. Venus was raided and shut down, with dozens of people spaced for their actions.  
Quiet times
The venue sat idle for a few years, but was soon picked up and named Club Cobalt. The reputation of the location lingered though, and business struggled for a couple of decades, with its name changing as often as its owners. From to Club Reply, to The Blossom, and then Deviant. This latter one took on the infamous nature of the location in its styling, and became widely successful, although the authorities kept a tight eye on the activities going on.  
Renaissance
When Nassim Chavoshi took on the role of Pit Doge, one of her actions was to gain ownership of Deviant. Whether the owners at the time sold it voluntarily is unknown, but the official line is that they made a lot of money from the sale and promptly left Pit Edge for places unknown. Nassim was looking for a location to act as an unofficial marketplace for those things that most reputable traders preferred to avoid dealing in, particularly in public.   She handed over management of the venue to an old friend called Baptiste Latour, who renamed the club La Félicité, or 'Bliss' in his ancient mother tongue. Under Baptiste's management, the club has thrived, and is now widely known as one of the best places to be seen. VIPs from not just the station, but from neighbouring systems can be seen here, and it's a rare time when there's not at least one famous name spending some time in the VIP Lounge, informally named 'Extase'.

Maps

  • La Félicité layout
    Floor plan of the (public) areas of La Félicité.
Type
Bar
Parent Location
Bar Staff
  Karita Lajunen
Zhen Hanying
Hakim Hanin
  Other staff
Mystère - DJ

Drinks

Not all drinks at La Félicité are alcoholic, although most are, and it's not uncommon for drinks to contain other psychotropic substances as well. Chemists as well as brewers can find a trade here.
 
  • Rude Tremor: Served in a tall glass, chilled. Named for the involuntary shiver that happens with every taste.
  • Wonderful Fluffy: Only ever served to patrons sitting down. Causes a lapse of consciousness for a few minutes, in which the drinker experiences vivid but pleasant dreams.
  • Brandy Mud: What one would expect - a thick brown, highly alcoholic sludge, that has been served since the venue catered to the very first construction workers.
  • Coriander Fluffy: Another drink that causes a lapse in consciousness, the vivid dreams experiences are often highly sexual
  • Imaginary Sip: Apparently tastes fabulous, but contains substances that erases a few seconds of one's short term memory. You know you've had a drink, but can't remember doing it.
  • Red Ticker: The initial rush of pleasure the drinker experiences is not the main reason people get this drink. Instead, drinkers get another, stronger rush, some time after. The time period is entirely random, usually a few minutes, but it can be hours.
  • Cherry Blossom Scream: As expected, tastes of cherries, causes an almost instant, strong, involuntary, whole body reaction most equate to a sneeze, but better.
  • Tiny Fluff: The loss of consciousness with this drink is only a few seconds long, but the drinker often experiences sharp insights that, unfortunately, tend to be total nonsense.
  • Calm Brandy: Full of pleasant chemicals that make the drinker just want to chill out, and go slow. Popular for serving to those who've perhaps had too many stimulants.

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Comments

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Mar 10, 2022 17:07 by Michael Chandra

I really like the structure of the article, the staff, and the illustrating images. Out of curiosity, so basically current criminal activities aren't at a level that the authorities want to bother?   I do notice a lot of really-long sentences, that might be a nice thing to look at in an editing run. And while the sections are perfect at their current width, the empty space on the right seems a bit wasteful. Maybe park a few images or quotes in there?


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Mar 11, 2022 10:20

Thanks for your kind words! I've gone through and tried to cut the length of my sentences down, it's a recurrent habit of mine I just can't seem to shake. I've also tried to solve the blank right hand side issue by putting my denizens in columns (shortening the length of the main section) and putting some stuff in a sidebar.   As for the crime, it's now owned by the de facto dictator of the whole station, so it gets a free pass, so to speak, regarding its activities. Also, Pit Edge is pretty much an anarchy, so laws are more like guidelines at the best of times :D

Mar 17, 2022 14:46 by Mikael Jokela

I love it! The visuals of the page are beautiful and where many sci-fi themed articles are just plastered with all sorts of colours, these are nice and smooth. Making reading possible and easy! The only drawback I were able to notice was that the music you have chosen for spotify (This is rather subjective) made it difficult to read and focus on the article. Usually I would go for something a bit more instrumental and with possibly less of "loud noises" as they often interrupt the thought process, especially as one is reading something as long as this!

Mar 22, 2022 15:21 by Racussa

Although the music is not my cup of tea, I like the style and the detailed description of owner and staff. Also the fantastic drinks and the explanation of their intensive psychedelic effects is breathtaking!

The world is not enough.
Mar 23, 2022 15:55 by Soulwing

Love it! How you integrated the FÉLICITÉ in its surroundings via the interesting characters depicted here is interesting and how the ‚cube‘ grew into the trading pub of today is fascinating. Good job and well executed presentation :3   interesting way of the DJ to get hired: „This is mine now, capishe?“ :p

Creator, artist and writer of the science fantasy world Kingsmaker.
Mar 27, 2022 07:27 by Ezra Aldrich

Between being a boppin' nightclub, the fun drinks, and even a...black market?, this sounds like quite the interesting place. I wonder what sort of specific wares might be sold here. The drink effects are nice and varied; it makes me also wonder what ingredients would cause them. One thing I noted is that there doesn't seem to be any credits for the images you've used, unless I've missed where you might place them.

Mar 28, 2022 07:50

I've added credits for the images, thank you for the pointer. Although it did spark some interesting discussions about formatting :D

Mar 30, 2022 23:09 by Secere Laetes

Hm, I don't know 100% why, but it reminds me slightly of the cantina in the space station of SWTOR. It also had two levels, one open downstairs and one more exclusive upstairs and VIPs, the ones with the Collector's Edition, I think had an extra merchant there. Been a long time since I played it, maybe I should do it again sometime.   Anyway, a good tavern that I think has the importance of music right. After all, if you don't like it you really go somewhere else. But I also like the idea of the special trade and that the owners of the facility earn money from it. And now even without anyone running the risk of ending up outside without a suit.   I also found the drugs, err, drinks, some of which are really chemical clubs, very interesting. But there is really something for some tastes. What I would have liked, however, if perhaps briefly indicated which of the drinks alcohol and which also contains chemicals. And then maybe one, two conventional with one without alcohol and chemicals (and an interesting story, why the with there is on it). But that is asking on a very high level. Thanks for the article ^^.