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Burgers and Crickets
(2013-02-09 - 2013-02-20)
A small gathering for burgers and milkshakes, and a lovestruck cricket chasing a barmaid.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart has been moving between the two bars alot, not to mention the mercenary work. The cheongsam in the land of dragons was pretty neat thought, she should look into getting one of those for herself.

Either way, she's manning (or is it womanning?) the bar today, in the Cloud Nine. She hasn't been here in a few days, so she makes sure nothing is missing. Plus there's food to ready.

There's also a cricket in love on her shoulder, still holding on the the 4 leaf clover, and singing.
Ping It's like the man said, road hard and put away wet. Throw away the bad news and put it to rest.

Those are the words to the country song that would be playing for Ping if there were a cowboy to play it for him. After brushing his horse and putting him into the stable, he's gone to the local tavern to relax. He knows its a local landmark, too, and has told a few people to look for him there, should he need to be found.

He helps himself to a stool at the bar and leans against it, smiling warmly to anyone that would look his way but failing to disguise the weariness he feels.

It seems his comrade has arrived ahead of him, though Ping doesn't notice the cricket on Tifa's shoulder immediately. The little bug seems quite smitten with Tifa and plays a cricketty melody with his legs to serenade her from her shoulder. He tucks the little lucky four-leaf clover into Tifa's hair, at her ear, a good-luck charm from a good-luck charm.
Vespa Vespa enters the Cloud Nine bar, it been and while since she been here remeber the food and drinks are pretty good here! She walks over to the bar wincing a bit as she sits down still a bit sore from the fight she as in the other day. She can't help but smile to herself hearing and seeing the cricket on Tifa shoulder, someone got an admirer!
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart waves to Ping and Vespa as they enter, smiling. She looks concernedly at Quistis as she seems cold, and she can't have that really. She hands her the menu with a smile, and then goes in the back, and up the stairs leading to the inn area. She has a room there, and a few belonging.

She coem back moments later, and ofers Quistis a set of jeans and a shirt for the girl, offering them with a smile so she's not stuck in a bikini the entire evening when it gets even chillier "Here, you can use these for now." ( ) "This is Mercade's HQ, he opened up here after Manhattan closed up, and offered me a partnership to handle the bar part of it. I had a grant from Xanatos to open more bars, so this fit in well."

She looks at the cricket on her shoulder <.< "You're still here?"
Ping The little cricket folds its hands over its heart and bats its eyelashes up at Tifa.

Ping reaches into a pouch at his belt removes several colorful pins, laying them out on the bartop. Content to entertain himself, he busies himself by sliding the pins against each other, as if playing a modified form of marbles.

Glancing up, he smiles at the kindness Tifa demonstrates to the poorly clothed woman down the bar before going back to practicing his 'Slamming.'
Mercade Alexander Speaking of Mercade, here he is!

The Detective pops down from the second floor, walking through the bar. It's been busy ever since opening, but bars tend to do that.

Bars also attract people with problems. The TDA solves problems. It's a simple arrangement that works out for everyone. "Hello everyone." He says, as he sits down at the bar itself. "Tifa, can you get me a hamburger and fries when you have time? And a soda. Thanks!" He pauses for a moment. "Tifa, why do you have a cricket on your shoulder? He seems to like you."

He looks over at Ping, and arches an eyebrow. "Hey there. You look like you've been travelling a long way."
Vespa Vespa blinks watching the cricket have no idea what it doing now. She does her best to ingore the cricket. She looks to Tifa. "Can I get whatever you have on tap?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart turns around to start on the hamburger for Mercade, waving to him and smiling "Yeah, this cricket been following me around since yesterday... Not sure what's up with it, but it keeps singing and gave me a lucky clover too." Well, that is nice of it at least.

While the hamburger is cooking, she turns around and serves up Vespa's beer in a mug, from the tap of course, smiling "Here you go~" She slides it over, wondering if Ping wants anything to eat or drink now.

She nods to Quistis "I'm not sure either, I heard that he was a self-made billionnaire, so I guess that he can toss his money at thinsg that he believes will be useful, or indirectly profit him, without too much issue."
Ping Ping flicks one of his Pins expertly, a tiny explosion of fire errupting out of it and flipping several nearby pins over. He smiles broadly at this before lifting his head and greeting Mercade.

"Gallopping hooves do fly
through the Breach between the Worlds.
I wish you were here.

Ping smiles warmly and nods his head, though the evidence of wear is obvious. "Yes, its been quite a journey, I guess." He chuckles to himself, though there is little mirth in it.

Seeing that he has the barmaid's attention, he raises two fingers, "Can I have two, Miss?" He points at himself and then to Mercade.

The cricket hops down from Tifa's shoulder as she busies herself about the bar but he keeps pace with her, bouncing up and down along the length of the bartop, marvelling at her peerless grace.
Evja The doors open and Evja steps into the establishment. Today, the criss-cross dresser was rather simply dressed... a loose robe of sorts that left him covered in addition to the typical opaque veil from his nose down, long hair otherwise actually not tied back for a change. Looking around to see who was where, he steps towards one of the tables and takes a seat, mostly keeping to -- was that a bug on the counter?
"Do you normally allow insects to roam the countertop?"
Vespa Vespa takes a sig from her beer. Did the Cricket just talk?!?! Yup it talked. That's something new. Thought she seen alot of odd things around here. "Insects don't normally talk either... Thought from what I've seen I'm not surpised one can talk.", she wonders where a insect goes to learn how to speak. Or is it natural? Her mind wanders on that train of thought..
Vespa Vespa takes a swig from her beer, watching the cricket "That cricket, it seems is specal to someone.", she doesn't think it a normal cricket either. She looks over at Evja as he makes his way to the table.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Ping and puts on a second meat patty on the cooking plate. Its a large, black plate that covers the entire counter in that area, pretty useful for restaurants like this. She smiles and waves to Evja "Normally no, but, this one seems friendly." She puts a hand down, keeping the cricket from jumping unto the hot plate "Careful there." She doesn't know who's cricket this is, but at least won't get cooked up by her fault.

She nods to Quistis with a smile, adding yet another burger to the plate then. She's glad Quistis took the clothes too, more comfortable. Since Traverse is always night, its always a bit chilly after all, but its perfect for a bar.

Mercade's burger finishes cooking first, so she flips it into the bun in a plate for him, sliding it over along with the plate of condiments so he can personalize it. Its a plate with ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, mustard, spicy sauve, and sliced vegetables like pickles and onions. Its made specifically for this really.
Mercade Alexander "This one seems special." Mercade says as he comments to the approaching Viera. He looks over his shoulder, and blinks for a moment as Evja sits down, thinking for a moment. "Hmm." He looks back to Tifa. "Well, if you like crickets, this one seems okay." He rubs his chin. "Though if it starts singing to you..." He shrugs, chuckling to himself. Such a thing is impossible, right?

He looks to Ping, nodding. "Poetic. Nice. From your look, you're from China, right? I've seen armor designs like that in books." He doesn't mention that those designs are a thousand years old in his world. "Well, it's certainly never a dull moment around here. Between the Heartless and other ruckus going on, the worlds need more brave people out there."

He looks over to Quistis, thinking for a moment, as if trying to place her. He picks up the burger, nodding in thanks to Tifa as he puts on the works, and sets to.
Evja "I suppose that is simply this reality we are in now." After all, Faruja was strange enough, but now bugs that are... well, there always were the antlions back home. Maybe this is like a miniature Ant Lion? Then Quistis spoke. "Ah, yes... you were involved with those who helped the Judges Mark... yes?" Suddenly seeming a bit out of place, Evja lowered his head a bit and said softly, "Thank you for helping act against them. I am unsure if the Judgemaster ever stated why, but they were thought to be working on obtaining a weapon that could have potentially targeted only Judges by abusing the laws of our land. If such happened, then it would be a disaster. We needed someone from outside the Judges order this time to apprehend them."
The soft-speaking Viera leaves out the bit about himself being a target of theirs. Though he does say, "Thankfully my ears were not too damaged."
Ping The little cricket is so used to being overlooked that he's getting a bit bashful from all these comments. He bounds down the bar and hops down Ping's shoulder and hip before dashing into the little wood cage he wears tucked into his sash. It would be silly for a bug to have curtains, but there they are. The cricket pulls the curtains closed to get some privacy.

Ping nods his head at Mercade's question, "That's right, Wei providence." He lifts his eyebrows and glances down at Mercade's nondescript clothing, "And you're from... someplace I've never been, I'm sure. That's the wonder of this place, though, I guess. So many people from so many different places. I used to think China was big... now, its like a Mote in the Moon's eye."
Vespa Vespa takes another drink from her beer keeping quiet for now. She just listening to the converstaion, that burger did look good thought. She look to Tifa. "Once your done with the rest of the orders could I have one of those as well?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles to Vespa, and flips another patty on the cooking plate, as she slides the other ones for Quistis and Ping as they are finished. "Sure thing~" She always seem to be at ease and cheerful behind the counter, as if it was always fun to work as a barmaid/innkeeper. Well for her it is.

She looks over to Ping "My world used to be limited to a mountain village, it got expanded when I moved to Midgar. And now, its just impossible to measure among the different worlds. I visited so many places since the cataclysm/world merge/darkness appeared." There's no real name for that event, just a bunch of people being tossed around and world getting shoved together.

Turning to Mercade "Well its not that I like crickets, but its not like its doing any harm right now." She lifts an eyebrow as it curtains up like that.
Mercade Alexander "Well, keep him around, he's kind of cute. Make him a mascot, maybe?" Mercade chuckles to Tifa. "Make him a little box he can hang out in." He munches on some fries as Ping asks his question. "I'm from Manhattan." He pauses. "It's not there anymore. We're hoping to fix that though." He nods to Ping at that. "I felt a lot of the same way when I first lefy my world." The Detective says. "Have you seen anything interesting in your travels?"
Kim Possible Meanwhile, the doors open, and Kim Possible walks in. Her hands are clasped behind her head, and her eyes are rolled back as well. "Well, what's the sitch here?" She asks to nobody in particular, which states that she's quite bored and has most likely wandered in here with nothing to do.
Evja Stepping up slowly, Evja makes his way over to where Quistis was and sits next to her so he can speak without shouting across the bar or interrupting other conversations. "I... assume you are speaking of the rogue clan, yes?" As far as what they intended? And as for the Judges, we do not enforce the law... we reward the obeying thereof. If one follows the law, and is an Adjudicated clan, we can provide things such as magical enhancements in fights, rewards for completing targets and marks, and protect them from receiving lethal blows. It is only those who seek to twist the magic of Law to their own benefits which the Judges are entitled to come down upon, those who would use the Judges to trump others in an otherwise fair environment."
Evja Evja also adds towards Tifa, "Could you give me some form of wine? Perhaps something from strong fruits?"
Ping The little cricket at Ping's hip pulls back its drapes to glance up at Tifa, giving her a bright smile. He blushes, though, and quickly closes the curtain, again.

"Crickets?" Ping asks, looking a little confused. His little good luck charm flies under his radar most of the time and he hadn't even noticed him bounding around on the bar just a few moments ago. Looking up at Tifa and Mercade, he nods his head in agreement, "Yes, it's just like that. It's like climbing to the top of a hill you'd been looking at your whole life, only to find there is a whole other world behind... or dozens of worlds. It's dizzying!" He sways a little in his seat, looking dizzy.

To answer Mercade's question, though, he hooks a thumb at Tifa, "Me and her clobbered a panda the other day."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Evja with a smile "Some elven wine should be to your taste, they usually use some very good fruits for their wines." She goes to the back to get a bottle of it, sliding it with a glass to Evja, and then uncorking the bottle like a barmaid knows how to do best. They open tons of bottles after all.

"A mascot huh? I dunno, might already belong to someone too." She smiles and waves to Kim "Hey there, welcome to my bar." She's not sure Kim is of age to drink yet, but she can hang around and eat too if she wants. And there's always other kinds of drinks too. She serves up the last of the burgers sicne its done cooking, sliding it over to Vespa.
Vespa Vespa ahs and smiles as she get her burger. "Thank you.", she looks over at Kim giving her a welcoming nod, then she take a bite out of her buger. Very tasty.
Kim Possible Kim gives a nod and a slight smile to Tifa. "Oh hey Tifa. Kinda boring right now, and I've got nothing to do so I decided to wander around this area." She looks around at the environment and frowns a little. "Oh, I hope that I didn't enter a place I'm too young for. That would be totally uncool!"
Ping Ping digs into his hamburger and enjoys a glass of beer, too. This is a beverage he wasn't familiar with back in China, though he'd heard of monks that had dedicated their lives to brewing it. Its a delicious sandwich and from the looks of him, he's famished. That burger enjoyed a very short existance, but as they say, 'Only the Good get digested Young.'

He lifts his head to look up at Tifa, knowing the woman to be much more than a mild mannered short-order cook. He'll have to make a point of thanking her for her help at some point. For now, he thanks her for the burger.

With his mouth mostly full, he says, "Mmmph, tonks for borgor, Moss Tifa."
Evja "A clan is simply a group who wishes to associate with one another officially." That's certainly something new for Evja. Marital sense. It's enough to cause him to chuckle as he picks up the glass of wine and brings it up beneath the veil to drink from it contently. Thankfully, one good thing about not being in his armor... don't have to try and maintain a tough appearance. Wine generally isn't good for that.
"Verda... used to be my clan."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart giggles at Kim, shaking her head "Its a bar, but since its not only a bar, minors are accepted, just no alcohol sales. But I got juices, milkshakes, food, and sea-salt ice cream too." She hmms as she picks up the empty plates and glasses, bringing them over to clean up with a smile. She keeps busy, might not be hourly paid, but things don't get done if you let them pile up either.
Evja Evja looks up towards Tifa and asks, "Do you have any thing with carrots in it? Vegetables? Or just meats?"
Kim Possible "Well, why not?" Kim says as she takes a seat at the bar. "I'll take a Chocolate Milkshake. That sounds good." She grins, but then pauses as she remembers what Tifa said. "Wait, did you say 'sea-salt ice cream?'" She makes a weid face, before looking around and giving a nod to Quistis. "Hey there."
Mercade Alexander "You should keep exploring, there's a lot to do out there." Mercade laughs. "A panda, huh?" He scratches his head. "What was this panda doing that needed it to be clobbered?" He glaces between Ping and Tifa. "You look like you can handle yourself, Ping. Adn having Tifa there to help is great. She's tough and dependable."

He raises his glass to the two. "To your health and safety." He toasts.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart grins at that, and goes to get a Sea-Salt ice cream bar for Kim "Don't diss it before you try it, girl." She offers it to her, as she turns around to start on the chocolate milkshake. She has a manual method of doing it, which involves the shaking and the mixing of the ice and flavoring.
Vespa Vespa finishes up her burger. "I think I'll have some sea salt ice cream as well. I havne't had any for a while..."
Evja Evja blinks and turns to look towards Quistis. Sure, she didn't giggle, but the expression confused the Viera. "Are you well? And I am not sure how to explain it other than a clan. A clan is just that, a group of peoples who work together, sometimes for the gain, sometimes for the adventure. Funny... I have not thought so hard about how to explain a clan since I first asked someone as a child what a clan was. Maybe this is what they felt like."
Ping Ping lifts his head and relates the story to Mercade:

"The panda was using a magic stew to turn men into half-man, half-creature monsters under his control. We tried to negotiate with him peacefully, to lift his enchantment, but he attacked and we were forced to fight. In the end, we discovered that the secret ingredient in his stew was some kind of shard. People smarter than me called it a 'World Shard' but I don't know what that is. Evidently it's important to another world, one called 'The Pridelands.' I think there is a sortie being planned. I'm hoping my captain will release me into the detail. Wherever this shard came from, it got a little too close to home for my liking."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods to Quistis "I've heard the same term used as well, like the 'clan Lockhart' would be my family. It usually points to very large family groupings though.
Kim Possible "I'll give it a try some other time, how's that Tifa?" Kim says as she waits patiently for her milkshake. Once she gets it she takes a sip and nods. "Now this is better than what I'm used to. I'll definitely have to come back here more often!"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles to Kim, nodding as she finishes shaking up the drink for her, and then she pours it down into a tall glass, along with a straw. Its chocolaty smoothy. She offers the ice cream bar to Vespa instead, so it doesn't go to waste either "Here you go for you then~"
Vespa Vespa says, "Thank you. A great way to finish off a meal.", she takes a spoonfull of ice cream. "Good as I remeber it.""
Mercade Alexander "Ohhhhh, that's what Avira was talking about, then." Mercade looks confused for a moment as he works it all out in his head, and then nods. "I'm glad you solved that problem. You must be pretty strong to deal with stuff like that, and well... Another World Shard..." Mercade thinks, saying quietly to himself, "We need Sora here... Or Mickey."

He's suddenly paying attention again. "Wherever you go, I hope you are successful." He grins, and flicks a hand, producing a business card, offering it to Ping. "My name's Mercade. Mercade Alexander, with the Twilight Detective Agency. If you need anything, let us know and we can give you a hand."
Evja "Alright. I can understand such." Even if it's strange, the concept is at least reasonable. "You... also asked why." Finishing off his glass of wine, Evja sets it upon the counter and asks for another before saying, "It was a matter of revenge, and trying to use me as a means to an end to lure the Judges to a fight they would have been at a major disadvantage in. Without the Judges, they would have been able to twist the laws of our world how they liked, if the rumors we had been hearing were true. I mentioned they used to be my clan. When I first joined them, they were regular types. Kind, or so I recall. But things changed when they began to corrupt our clan Judge, and when I realized it, I turned the clan in and sided against them. So... in the end, it was my fault they turned out like this."
Ping Ping takes the card and smiles warmly. Inspecting it, he repeats the name of the organization. "Twilight Detective Agency." His eyes flash open and he glances up at Mercade, "Twilight Detective Agency. Oh, I think I've met another agent from your organization. It was an Emi or Umi or Omi or something like that... Anyhow, seems like a nice enough group." He slips from his stool and stretches his arms up over his head before tucking the card away into his sash. "If you see this Emi, tell her that Ping says hi. We've crossed paths a few times but haven't had a chance to talk."

Ping bows to Mercade and leaves a few coins on the countertop to pay for his meal. He scoops up his Tin Pins and waves goodnight. "Be well, everyone. Dream well." He heads for the door and back out onto the street.
Kim Possible Kim finishes the drink and then nods to Tifa. "That was mighty cool, you know that? I'll make sure to stop by more often." She tips Tifa an extra gil (or whatever they use here!)
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles to Kim, nodding "i'm glad. I always try to make people feel at home while in the bar. They need to relax, not more worries after all." She cleans up the glasses, taking a cloth to dry them up one by one.

She smiles to Quistis "You mean a marguarita, hm?" She takes up one of the glasses, making the salt stick tot he rim, and then filling the glass up with a mix of tequila, lime and lemon juices. She slide sit to Quistis "If not mistaken at least.
Mercade Alexander "See you later!" Mercade waves to Ping as they leave. He turns, setting to his food as he brings his attention to the other conversations going on around the bar, thinking as he considers what they're saying. Though that advice from Quistis makes him chuckle a bit. That sounds familiar.

"So wait." Mercade interjects as Evja explains something. "What do you mean, twist the laws around? And can't they just... not follow the laws if they are that bad?"
Evja "If one wishes to not follow the laws, they can simply not. The laws are not as they are here... I find it hard to explain to one who has not seen such in action. The laws that I speak of are a magic set upon the land of Jylland that allows the Judges to reward those who follow them in order to keep warfare, be it casual engagements or more serious, fair. Our land used to be very... warfilled. Such was an attempt to put order to it. So yes, they could simply ignore the laws, and get no benefits of being Adjudicated, but this clan in particular tried to twist the Judges and Laws to their favor and by doing so became dangerous."
The pat got a smile from the Viera, albeit smsall, hidden in part by the veil. "Could I get another?" Evja asks, nudging his glass forward.
Kim Possible After finishing her shake, Kim looks at the time and stands up. "I'd love to stick around more, Tifa, but I promised Ron I'd hang out with him. So I'll see you later, OK?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart siles and waves to Kim "Of course, come back soon for more ice cream and chat, hm? I have a bar in Goug as well if you go there."
Mercade Alexander "Magically enforced laws..." Mercade says with a hint of distaste. "Then again, if the laws reward those who follow them, I can see how it works. Carrot and stick." He rubs his chin. "So they wanted to find a way to pervert the laws to allow themselves to reap all of the benefits. I get it... Though really, you don't need magic for that to happen. In my world, it's happened before as well."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles and refills Evja's glass with the wine, nodding "Of course sir." She wonders about the adjucation as well. She doesn't know the whole story about it.
Evja The 'sir' remark gets a cough from Evja, looking up at Tifa with a flat look, "Just because I have no bust does not make me a sir." Unless he was simply slipping off in his crossdressing so bad that he totally wound up forgetting something obvious. Which would bring the Viera to one of those odd situations... like with Rinoa realizing he was padding his top to try and look more natural.
"It is more serious than that... in our land, those who follow the laws, an Adjudicated clan, are protected from even death while in an engagement. If you were in a clan, Adjudicated, and everyone in your clan followed the laws during that engagement - you would not be at risk of being struck down. Even if you are unable to fight, the magic upon the land prevents you from being finished. If that were to be twisted by others..."
Mercade Alexander "The law gives you immortality? That's a hell of a benefit." Mercade says. "On the other hand... There are things worse than death out there... Like the Heartless." He frowns and takes a drink of his cola. "It would be a hell of a situation. Thankfully it's been averted though, right?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart oops at her mishap with the judge "I'm sorry, its the armor, its so bulky I keep thinking you're a sir." She smiles, not meaning badly. She moves to the side, picking up more empty glasses and plates to wash out. She keeps listening. She doesn't think its that easy to be immortal though.
Evja "No... it only stops you from being struck down. You can be struck down outside of adjudicated events, as well as if you break the law during one." With the new refill, though, Evja happily downs a good portion of the glass. "Well, I do attempt to come off as male when in the armor. Business and all."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles "No offense meant of course." She leans on the counter on her elbows toward everyone present, relaxing. "So many worlds, so many different people.
Evja Evja nods. "If they can twist the laws, or nullify them, one day they will learn to make them. And when that time comes... I fear another war will break out. Stil... hold that thought." And with that, the rabbit quickly hops up and trots off in the direction of the restrooms. Briefly he pauses, then ducks into the womens restroom.
Mercade Alexander Mercade squints. Something's... off about that Judge. Oh well. He shrugs. "Anyway..." He looks to Quistis. "I think I remember seeing you before. You were at the battle on Dias Plains against Baron, right?"
Mercade Alexander "Yeah, well." Mercade gestures. "We probably just got off to a bad start. I'm sure he's not that bad." He smiles. "Good luck though with your work!" He shakes Quistis' hand. "Mercade Alexander, of the Twilight Detective Agency. It's a pleasure to meet you."

This scene contained 59 poses. The players who were present were: Mercade Alexander, Tifa Lockhart, Vespa, Kim Possible, Evja, Ping