Cain had been left by the girl Alia a while before, but he, too, found himself gravitating toward these "gardens." In a place like this one, he knew, nothing could be considered safe by any means, and yet he sauntered in, his new knife already coated in the appropriate poisons and strapped tightly to his thigh. The scents and colours played across his perception, a hearty mixture of debauchery and allure that would tempt the best of men to at least take a look at what was being offered to them by the rat-nosed little men with soft hands and grubby hair.
Met with specimens of rare beauty, dancers that suspended themselves on the tips of their needle-pointed shoes, smoky gypsy girls behind crystal balls wearing less than what covered their table, and exotic and fantastic races Cain had only begun dreaming of since arrival on the station, what was a boy like him to do? Almost tranced, he wandered into one of the lavish tents covered with elaborately woven gold and silk, removing his hat as he did so.
Before he realized what was happening, he was being touched by fingers that glittered with silver and jewels, and his cheeks flushed immediately in the light smoke that permeated everything inside the tent. A woman with bared breasts that were painted in an outward gradient from yellow to purple and a veil covering the bottom half of her face sat lounging on a luxurious, overstuffed couch in the center of the tent, surrounded by lavish silk and satin pillows and mattresses; with a snap of her fingers, the three similarly-clad and -painted girls that had swarmed him assembled in front of her.
"Welcome to my den, young stranger. I am called Tsuchilbara, the Red Goddess, and these are my Djinni. You may choose any of them as you please, as long as your coin does not run dry, young stranger..." she said, curling her fingers into her hand in a "come closer" manner. Cain felt himself moving forward, but only after it had started, in a sort of delayed-sensory state.
He knew that this was caused by narcotics or similar chemicals, and while his mind connected that the smoke might be the source of said chemical, he could no longer control enough of his conscious brain to say any different. One step, two steps, and then he was assaulted by those soft, glittering fingers once more, buttons on his vest magically coming undone, his gloves sliding off, one girl slid her simultaneously warm and cold hand under his shirt, ran her fingertips against his abdomen. He could feel the blood rising in his body, beginning to fill those places which were empty, but then...
As his belt was loosened and his shirt unbuttoned, someone started to slip the crisp white fabric off his shoulders. Suddenly his face was hot, his hands clenched into hard fists, and he'd brought one of them hard into the ribs of the girl who was behind him. The scars that marked his skin, those crimson and white streaks that lay across his back like badges on a captain's shoulder, he would allow no-one to see. No-one but the one he trusted the most, but his servant had not been brought to this place with him. No, this was the secret he would not divulge.
Consequently, the three girls recoiled, and each of them showed the purposes of those intricate and beautiful bangles and rings they wore as they popped open or twisted out to form needles and blades. Here stood Cain, partially drugged, and now grasping tightly the burnished brass hilt of the long knife he'd just so recently purchased, facing three lithe figures bespecked with blades he'd sooner not deal with. The choice, in his mind, at least, was obvious.
Seconds later, with only a scratch to his cheek and a slightly damp and stained knife, Cain dashed clumsily out of the tent, his shirt still open and his belt flopping around open by his waist. They had his vest and one of his gloves, but he could replace those. Leastways, he still had his coin purse, and they had not gotten any of that. He touched his abrased cheek and winced a bit, and then buckled his pants back up.
It seemed those girls would not follow him outside their tent, so he felt at least a little safe. Safe enough, at any rate, to button up his shirt, wipe his knife on a scrap of cloth tied to one of the rose bushes, and begin stumbling back out of this "garden." If he could remember the way back out.