790/Heaven or Hell Saturday Luncheon

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Heaven or Hell Saturday Luncheon
Date of Scene: 11 October 2014
Location: Boston-666
Synopsis: Just a good ol' Heaven or Hell lunch gathering. Now including Karaoke.
Cast of Characters: 183, 253, 395, 591

Psyber (253) has posed:
    This is a seafood social scene! It would normally be a pizza social, but this is Boston and Boston is famous for seafood and not pizza. That means that the location is a pretty decent seafood restaurant that manages to serve buffet style, with things like boiled clams, seafood pasta, crab cakes, and all sorts of other seafood dishes. Fancier stuff like Lobster is available at a premium. Psyber is paying for the base buffet.

    The half-angel himself is currently sitting at the table, chowing down on some steamed clams in butter sauce with a tiny fork while he has a nice beer sitting next to him.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    It is extremely easy to lure Aoko with promises of food. Especially a buffet. When she sits down next to Psyber, it is with a plate filled to the brim with a two-layer plan for eating.

    The first layer is a pile of cocktail sausages and fried chicken. Atop this layer rests the opener, a mountain of fries. To access the first, eating the second is necessary.

    "So! Is this going to be my life now? Free food every day, I wouldn't complain. Sure offsets the requirements. I like meddling in things that turn sour anyway, so I'd have probably gotten involved for free to start with."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    To glean more about a person, it is often wise to learn more about their origins. Here, though, that's just Mizuki's prettily worded way of saying 'invading Psyber's privacy by skulking around his hometown'.

    So imagine her surprise when, completely by chance, she happens upon a certain seafood bar in said town. And when, quite coincidentally, it happens to be the one that the half angel himself is dining in at this moment. All of the overt insinuations to the contrary aside, though, it's a bit easier to believe when you remember that she's an author with an affinity for the unlikely, and an uncanny ability to predict things. So uncanny, in fact, that you could almost call it a power of sorts.

    But I digress.

    Naturally, Mizuki ordered the premium, and spends some time collecting various confections of refinement inclusive of lobster tails, iceberg lettuce, and popcorn shrimp (which she hides). Afterwards, she fixes herself a salad nix dressing, secures a glass of water, and makes her way to Psyber's table. After setting her tray down, she greets him with the standard curtsey. "Good evening, Mister Psyber. And thank you in advance for suffering my company for a spell~." Never one to shirk the needlessly polite greetings no matter how incongruous it may be with the atmosphere and situation.

    Oh, but there's one other thing I'm forgetting...

    ... oh, yes. On another camera, Palora is playing the role of supplementary peanut gallery. Unchecked by her sister, she is likely running amok, filling her tray with desserts and shoving other people who are too polite to protest out of her way in line. Eventually she'll come and be derp over here to, but thankfully that moment is not this moment. Yet.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    It's not out of the ordinary for Amalthea to chill with Psyber. And. Well Seafood is KIND OF vegetarian. Though after the last dinner at Red Lobster, this time should hopefully be with less intense family reunions. Nevertheless, Amalthea's here! And she's working away at a shrimp salad, her own beer held in hand. It's pretty great.
    Just to taunt Psyber she orders a coke again.
    "Thanks for having me over. Believe it or not, Tacos get a little boring after a while. Not always, I mean they're pterry great but sometimes I could go for a salad."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "It's all my wallet's plan to seduce you after you hit on it a couple days ago. What can I say? It and I are both head over heels," Psyber teases to Aoko, reaching into his jacket. He pulls out an envelope and hands it to her, "Seven hundred dollars for your work yesterday, by the way. I figured you'd want your paycheck in cash," He adds with a smirk.

    Mizuki gets a wave and a nod, "Please, Mizuki, do come join us. I like to take office members out for lunch in the city sometimes. My way of thanking employees even when they're not working with me all the time." He explains to her before giving Amalthea a laugh.

    "Happy to have you out, too, Amal. You're always welcome at office outings, you know that," He notes, digging into his own plate of clams before he asks, "So how's everyone's week been, anyway?"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    'His wallet's plan to seduce her'. Pfff. That earns both an eyebrow raise and a grin from Mimi, but she abstains from comment for the time being. If he allows her her regalisms, she can permit his cheesy romantic tidbits. Or at least not say anything about them. Either way, she nods as he welcomes her to the table, setting her plate down. "Thank you much." A grin now, and a playful widening of her eyes. "... and a seven-hundred dollar check, you say? I won't ask for anything like -that-, but I don't suppose you might feel inclined to cover my bill this evening?" She covers her mouth with her sleeve, as she is wont to do, trusting that that is ample indication that she isn't being serious.

    Then she takes a seat, too, organizing her lobster tails into dainty little bits which she then picks up with her fork, and maybe a few bits of lettuce. She gives Amalthea and Aoko both nods of acknowledgement as well; she had at least -seen- the former a few of the times she had been to Priscilla's world, but the other one? She gives Aoko a lingering look of curiosity, but at least tries to be inconspicuous.

    Then, at some point when her mouth isn't full, "My weekend has been going quite well. Aside from some of the usual assorted apocalyptic phenomena, things have been fairly restful." She tilts her head faintly. "But if you may indulge my curiosity as well, how have you fared of late? Or dare I ask, lest I mistakenly traipse upon some dark and secretive lore~?" She smiles, and takes another sip of her water.

    Now this -may- not be a Red Lobster, but the boisterous pinkette who had until this moment been making a mess of the otherwise halcyon background scene arrives in a flourish of butter and garlic laden pastries all the same. She sets a whole plate of them down in front of a seat that she pulls from another table, along with what would appear to be a large glass of soda and yet more popcorn chicken. "Hey, people! I'll just be over here, munchin' on my biscuits while you guys eat your gross fish. Never did see why in the heck anyone likes that slimy crap, honestly." Then she crams one of said biscuits into her mouth and props her feet on Mizuki's lap, looking perfectly content.

    Mizuki, however, does not, and gives her a small death glare.

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    One metal thumb up, and Amalthea sips at her beer. "Figured I'd do something other than 'be surly' and 'Sit on my King Under The Mountain' throne." Of course she perpetuates the wallet joke. Especially after last time:
    "Careful. She might try and elope with it."
    A lighthearted tease? From Amalthea? Is the world ending?
    But she waves her bottle. "Choppy week. Had to set Dex straight, a bit. Ainsley was having problems too. Then I thought we were gonna wreck a Red Lobster. I might take this weekend off. Shut my brain down and play videogames or something."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Well, I'd say your wallet might get to first base before the end of next week at this rate," Aoko grins towards Psyber, before snagging the envelope and barely managing to restrain making a cash register noise with her mouth.

    But you can tell she REALLY wants to.

    To Mizuki and her cohort, the magus just beams a smile. "Hi, hi! Name's Aozaki Aoko, I laser for money. Blue's a fine nickname too."

    And now to absolutely stuff her face full of fries so she can reach the chicken and sausages. She just hopes she measured right and didn't put too many fries, then when she makes it to the good stuff she won't be hungry anymore.

    It'd be awful.

    "So, Psyber! ... I thought I would think of something to ask as I said that but I didn't."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber smiles at Mizuki, "I was paying Aoko because she worked with me on a mission last night. Though I can't tell if she actually likes me or not," He notes, jabbing her in the side with his elbow, "She's very elusive about it. It's like being in high school. Maybe I should do notes with checkboxes," He pauses and then answers Mizuki's other question, "Of course I'll cover your lunch. Sit down, sit down!"

    "Palora, I see you're doing alright. And enjoying yourself already. People love fish because it's fucking delicious. Steamed clams in butter! Lobster rolls. Sushi. Good stuff," He says with a wag of his finger at her and then looks back over to Amalthea.

    "Vegging out for the weekend doesn't sound bad. Maybe we can see if this place does Karaoke. I could rendition some sick classic rock and serenade you ladies while you eat," He jokes and rubs his hands together, taking a swig of his beer.

    And then he looks to Aoko, "Knowing you, you were gonna ask how much I make a year. Or if my business has a spare bed. Or where we were eating tomorrow."

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    "'Laser for money', she says." She folds her hands. "Quite a succinct occupational summary. Regardless, it is good to meet you Miss Aoko. As you've likely gathered already, I am Mizuki. I don't have a career, quite, but I am fond of timepieces and stories. You may make of that what you will." Palora chimes in, too, once she's taken her sweet time to nom that delicious wad of carbs. "Yo, Blue." She flashes her usual, toothy grin. "Hafta say, I gotta respect somebody who can eat like that. Even though I could still ~definitely~ beat you if we had a fry eating competition or somethin'." Was she trying to goad her into an eating contest? Look out, 'History' Channel -- a challenger appears.

    Mizuki sighs, shrugging. "Oh, dear. I haven't stepped into a lighthearted respite chapter of a dramatic romance novel, have I? I've read so many of those already that I'm afraid this scene's appeal may be lost on me if that's the case." She is shit at tongue-and-cheek, QED. "But. Erm. I was being facetious when I mentioned covering the bill, you know. I have enough local currency to pay for myself, so don't fret over it." And before he can say anything else: "Really."

    Then, back to Palora. This time she doesn't bother swallowing before she starts talking. "Yeah? Well, if this guy says so," Gulp, "miiight be willin' to give them another try. But man, the first time Callia gave me fish it was -rotten-. We're talking months old, and cooked on the freakin' sidewalk. Kinda scarred me for the next hundred years if you know what I mean." Her eyes bulge out of her head at the mention of karaoke, though. "WHAT? KARAOKE?! Shit, yes! I love hearing people make mincemeat outta songs!" She rubs her hands together. "-Score-! Man, this was /sooo/ worth a week of pretending to be nice."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Oh! Can I just say all of those? That'll make me sound smart, if I say I was going to ask you three questions at once," Aoko answers, between bites, still trying to mentally gauge the state of her plate proportionally to the room in her stomach. She may have just pulled this off after all.

    Then to Mizuki: "I like stories, not timepieces. I don't carry a watch at all, the tick tock drives me up a wall. It's like someone is counting down to something for you, but you don't know what and when." Or, well, she knows what. Just not when. "And hey, hey, I'm not fat! Or, really, that much of a food junkie. But I travel a lot, so when I get to sit down and eat, you can be damn sure I sit down and eat, 'cuz I don't ever know when the next time I'll be able to is!"

    It would probably help if she could show up places without making a scene, in her world, but at least with company it's easier now.

    Then back to Psyber: "You sing? Having a hard time picture that."

Psyber (253) has posed:
    "Is this a challenge happening?" Psyber asks incredulously to Aoko and Palora, huffing a bit, "I don't make mincemeat out of songs! And yes I sing! I just don't usually indulge because the Union has so many performers, why not leave it to people who want to show off all the more. I keep my singing as a special treat for friends." He says, slowly pushing out his chair and grumbling.

    "And yes, Mizuki. You showed up on the front end of the budding romance of myself and Aoko. I'm several flag events down her path already," He says in a playful tone, showing that he's not ACTUALLY that annoyed and is just playing along with the two women talking about his singing ability.

    "Yo barkeep! Set up the Karaoke! I'm singing some classic ROCK."

Amalthea (395) has posed:
    Uh oh. Is there a karaoke challenge?
    Amalthea buttons right and dives into her salad.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    "Then it might be prudent for you to avoid my favored place of dwelling. I live in a gigantic clock, you know. The ticking is quite omnipresent." She cradles her glass of water in her hands and smiles in some bizarre iteration of reverie. "I like to think of it as something of a celestial, undying metronome. Many a good poem have come of my listening to it. Many a good story, too, I would have you know! But. Erm." She takes a breath. "... yours is certainly a valid perspective as well."

    Palora wavers a hand. "Ehhhh~. Whatever you say. I guess it's a little different for me since I get to sit on my ass and do practically nothing most of the time. Not a lot of travel to make me hungry when the furthest I walk is my TV room, you know?" With that, she retracts her feet and hops out of her seat, folding her hands behind her neck and stretching. "So, I'm gonna go raid the food bar and see if they have any of those lobster burrito whatevers that the red-haired dude was talkin' about. You guys want anything while I'm there?"

    Then Mizuki turns back to Psyber with an almost cinematic swish of her bangs. "And a noble sacrifice that is, my angelic friend." Her countenance does ease from its station of haughty humor for a bit when he mentions that his singing is a thing 'just for friends', though, if just a little bit. "... but I would be delighted to hear what you are capable of, if you are willing to share. Ah, but before you do --" She turns back to Palora and sneers. "Do -not- interrupt him with some moronic quip while he does so. Consider this a lesson in restraint, since Callia is not with us this evening."

    In return, Palora -groans- emphatically. "Uuuugghhh. Fine, whatever." She crosses her arms and murmurs, but she emerges from her pout long enough to grin at Psyber's remark. "Oooohh, -God-. You play ~those~ sorts of games. And here I thought I had you pegged for mysterious rockband dude." Then he calls out to the barkeep. "... welp~."

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Sure, sure, it's a challenge. Rock us!"

    Innuendo possibly intentional.

    "And oh, yeah, several flags. Critical junctures he could have said no and not given me free food or cash! Or asked me to pay for that one time at the bar. Those flags're tripped, you can't untrip them."

    Aoko turns her head to look back towards Mizuki and Palora, shrugging lightly. "It's okay if you like clocks! I have my reasons, they're kind of dumb but ah, that's a story for another time. Secrets're fun, but keeping them from people like you guys, it's just not worth the effort." That, and they could technically just go ask the Mage's Association who the hell Aoko is, and get a fair chunk of the deal straight out of them, so it's not like she can keep things under her metaphorical hat forever.

    "Get me iced tea!"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    It actually does not take too long for the Karaoke to get set up. Normally Monday Nights are for Karaoke, but Psyber is kinda famous in this city and Halloween is coming up, so he gets some special treatment for the day. A small stage, with a screen and a karaoke machine appear in short order.

    "You are a bizarre and puzzling woman whom I do not fully understand," Is all Psyber really says to Aoko before heading over towards the stage, "Cherish this moment! You're going to be three of only five Unionites to ever hear me sing. The other two are Hastur and Kyton." He wiggles his finger a bit and then goes over to the machine and starts keying in a song. We'll make the singing all one pose, just to simplify and not drag out.

    What comes out of the speakers is not what people are used to when they hear 'rock'. It's more piano-y and slow, with instrumentals in the background! But Bob Seger was still a rock artist, so it counts. Psyber starts singing and he's... surprisingly good. Not a trained professional, but angels are known for /singing/ for the Lord, so, "Think in terms of bridges burned. Think of seasons that must end. See the rivers rise and fall, they will rise and fall again. Everything must have an end. Like an ocean to a shore, like a river to a stream. Like a river to a stream, it's the famous final scene."

    Psyber takes a deep breath breath while the guitar plays in the background and he lifts the mic up again, singing softly and deeply, "And how you tried to make it work. Did you really think it could? How you tried to make it last. Did you really think it would? Like a guest who stayed too long, now it's finally time to leave. Yes it's finally time to leave." He rocks back and forth a bit, "Take it calmly and serene. It's the famous final scene."

    The bridge starts almost immediately, and Psyber actually has to belt out some vocals a bit, "It's been coming on so long! You were just the last to know. It's been a long time since you smiled, seems like oh so long ago. Now the stage has all been set. Girl, and the nights are growing cold. Soon the winter will be here and there's no one warm to hold." Psyber slows down a bit, "No there's no one warm to hold."

    He pauses for a few moments as the song shifts again, "Now the lines have all been read. And you knew them all by heart. Now you move towards the door... here comes the hardest part. Try the handle of the road, feeling different feeling strange. This can never be arranged." The song is clearly fading to an end as Psyber softly sings, "As the light fades from the screen... from the famous final scene."

Song Link (ignore shitty clipart): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk1d7zsDl2U

    With the music fading out, Psyber actually looks somewhat awkward, not sure what people thought. All in all, the affair took about five minutes to sing.

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    If Mizuki gets this whole romance game gag, she isn't showing any evidence of it. Still, she smiles, squeezing a lemon into what is left of her water and taking a sip whilst listening to her extrapolate a bit about clocks. She nods to her. "Ahhh, yes. Maybe some embarrassing childhood incident, or something traumatic as with Palora and the fish. Or maybe your greatest rival uses a clock as their personal insignia or some such." She waves a hand, again. "Nor do I care enough to pursue it, really. It will come to me if am patient. All history falls into my grasp in due time~." Palora leans over and whispers, 'Cause she's the greatest hag who ever lived. Seriously, she has the 75,000 books of finished crossword puzzles to prove it!' Mizuki gives her the eerie murder glare. "Now what did I say about your quips, Palora..."

    And that's her cue! Palora gives a quick two-finger salute to Aoko. "One iced tea comin' up! Or two, actually; you didn't say whether you wanted sweet or unsweet, so I'll just nab both. But ~yup~! Ciao!" She scoots off to peruse the buffet again, probably knocking some poor, unsuspecting bystander over. Let's just hope there aren't any cops in here.

    Mizuki, meanwhile, folds her hands over her tablecloth as the lights dim. She's genuinely surprised for a few moments at his apparent affinity for theatrics, which only helps assists her in entering an appropriate 'quiet listening' mode. She lets the smile fade from her face as she's fairly confident that no one would be looking during the performance, and lets out an inaudible sigh. Romance songs are something that she usually finds pretty banal, but in this specific instance -- and with this specific voice -- she doesn't mind all that much. Maybe, just maybe, she's even tapping a foot along with the music under the table. Hell if you'll ever know.

    At the end, she hesitates a moment before joining the likely large group of people applauding. Her expression evens back into a more reserved sort of smile. She could never have fathomed being in such a mundane but somehow whimsical scene just a few months ago, and yet...

    And yet then there's Palora over there, taking advantage of the collective hypnosis to grab the last piece of carrot cake, a bunch more fries, and those iced teas for Aoko. She probably comes back around the time that Psyber finishes, rolling her eyes and clapping along as well.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Keep thinking that!" Aoko shouts as Psyber wanders off momentarily. She's a lot more interesting if people think she's puzzling and mysterious, it's true.

    "Hahaha~. No, no, nothing quite like that. I guess you could say I've had my life-long supply of being able to tolerate the passage of time handed to me in one sitting and just kind of blew right through it on the first day of having it. Really, if I knew how to take things more slowly I might be fine!"

    A statement her rapidly diminishing amount of food stands to back up. She has no inhibitions whatsoever. Omnomnom all you can eat.

    Of course, she stops long enough to watch Psyber apparently being able to sing. Well, what do you know, that's a real skill he has. She clearly put too much value into thinking of him as a supernatural hunter and little else. Or maybe he had to learn as part of hunting down a creature vulnerable to singing.

    But really that's a fringe case if it's true.

    She applauds when he ends, sipping from her newly acquired iced tea. "Nice, nice! You might have just tripped another flag there, Romeo!"

Psyber (253) has posed:
    Psyber makes an embarassed laughing noise, looking quite awkward at the compliments and then wags his hand a bit, "Oh psh," Is his response to Aoko embarassedly before looking down at his beer again, "Just happy to entertain you three. Now don't ever tell anyone it happened," Psyber says firmly, sticking out his tongue at them.

    "So Aoko, something I've been wondering for a long time," He asks to her curiously, "What's with the aura of calamity around you? I mean, Hastur has one too, but that's because Hastur. I don't really get why you do."

    He looks over at Mizuki, trying to shift this topic off of himself and onto Aoko, "You feel it too, right? Mizuki and Palora?"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Mizuki gingerly clamps a pair of fingers together, sliding them over her lips. 'Zip'. "I'll never breathe a word to a soul. I do so relish secrets that I can be coy and omissive about, naturally." She gives a narrow-eyed smile. "Naturally, any addition to my collection of them is a gift I'll not easily forsake."

    Ah, but the next question invites some sobriety. She nods to Psyber, folding her hands over the table in a distinctly communicative fashion. "Mmhmm. I have an affinity for these sorts of things. It's part of what initially made me interested in you, in fact. But..." She looks to Aoko, studying her a moment. "... if you'll pardon my saying so, you seem a fractured soul, or at least very desensitized. Or is it just disinterested? I'll not press things if you would prefer discretion on the matter, but I am nevertheless interested. It is not often that people exhibit such an apparent lack of caring when they radiate feelings like yours. A bit incogruous, you know. Eerily so." Palora remains unusually reticent for the time being, chowing on her cake.

Aoko Aozaki (591) has posed:
    "Eh? Oh. I don't know. There's a loooong list of people who asked me that question and I still don't know. Let me think... some creepy, pale guy with long black hair, I think he said his name was Roa... some forest monk guy, we trained together for a while. That... zoo guy. What was his name. Nero Chaos? Ah, ah, he was just a replica though, not a real Dead Apostle Ancestor... Night of Wallachia, the True Ancestor..." She shrugs. "Apparently I'm not human! Pft, what would they know, right? Monsters, the lot of them. Still people! But definitely not human, physically, I mean."

    She tugs on her arm's skin, as if to show it. "See? Flesh and blood. I'm human. I don't hate sunlight, so I'm not a Dead Apostle. Not much else I could be! If I figure it out, I'll tell you, promise."

    She looks towards Mizuki, raising a brow. "What, you mean someone being an aloff goofball when they fell like the end of the world up close? I dunno what to tell you. Fractured, that's an interesting word! I don't think I'm like that though. I'm me, whole and complete! Maybe a bit more. Can you be 110% yourself? I bet that's the problem, I'm too amazing."

    She chomps on fried chicken, nonchalant.

    "Besides, you talk like you guys don't feel like big deals too. I can see magic and weird stuff, you guys aren't anything to scoff at!"

Mizuki (183) has posed:
    Palora turns and quirks an eyebrow at the 'I'm too amazing' bit. If only she was a liiitttlllee more oriented toward breaking things and being generally mischievous, she might've had a kindred spirit in her! Ah, well. She still might. Just gotta try to draw her toward that demonic flame in the tempest of her soul and some other poetic BS, yadda yadda~. That's the sort of thing Mizuki would say, right?

    "Hey, whatever. I think it's cool if you don't have some big melodramatic sob story about your past to cry to us over, seriously. Mizuki drags enough people like that into our house on a daily basis and it gets -reaaallllyyy- fuckin' old listenin' to it after a while, believe you me. But Mizuki never gets sick of it. In fact, that's like her only real special power: she can never get sick of romance nov -- MMPPHH!" Mizuki slaps a hand over Palora's mouth. By now, her eyes have been darkened by a mystically appearing aura of gloom. She's clearly in for it later, but for now she's able to recover long enough to address Aoko.

    "Vulgarities aside, I agree with Palora. Your perspective," She smirks, "and perhaps your 'confidence' are rather endearing, if that doesn't sound pretentious. Though I will hold you to that promise. If you ever learn anything, I would very much like to know. My curiosity is insatiable." She releases Palora now, who vaults forward with an exaggerated 'BWAGH'. "And if we act as though we do not acknowledge our own... 'narrative prevalence', if you will, I assure you that we do in some capacity. Just, I, and Psyber as well I trust, have moods that we lapse in to where we prefer to fade into the background -- behind the words on the pages of life's chronicle -- and listen for any errant voices of conjecture we might find. That is what we are doing here. Nothing more, nothing less."