adel_icon.gif sable_icon.gif

Scene Title BATTLE
Synopsis Sable calls the newest member of her band out for one! Sort of.
Date November 29, 2010

Kingpin's Bowling Alley

The desk at the front accepts players' money and rents out the flat-bottomed shoes used in bowling alleys anywhere. Plaques from past tournaments held at Kingpin's line the posts on either side of the counter, along with an assortment of pictures and posters.

Thin red carpet covers the floor as far as the broad, shallow stairs leading down into the bowling pit. An assortment of vending and arcade game machines line the back wall; a counter and corresponding line of stools provide places for people to watch the games while they eat. Snacks are not, of course, allowed on the floor.

Below the stairs are the computers controlling the lanes and the games, with groups of chairs clustered about. Beyond them are the hardwood-paneled lanes, just waiting for pins to be set; behind, in the shadow of the counter, are shelves and shelves of bowling balls in all sizes and colors.

There's something at least a little perverse about renting a pair of shoes. Something obscene and weirdly luxurious about the notion that gives Sable the willies. Everything else about bowling, though, Sable's pretty much okay with. The beer, the greasy food, the sublime un-college tackiness. The gentle thunder of the balls rolling down towards, with any luck, the percussive clatter of pins being felled.

Maybe it is for this background noise and its toneless but distinct beauty that Sable chooses to summon Adel Starkey to Kingpin Bowling. She is not wearing shoes, instead leaning against the wall by a vending machine, a Twix bar in hand. She snaps off half inches, popping the bit of candy into her mouth, occasionally having to drag her teeth across her lower lip to clear it of whips of caramel. She's wearing her faded BU hoodie, the hood itself hanging down at her shoulders, head clear, riotous dark hair breathing free.

There's an expression of lazy, indifferent boredom in her weird yellow eyes, tinged with the slightest sardonic amusement. She looks 'cool' in that way that bad kids do, like she just walked out of a peer pressure educational video. A performance, like any other, but one that helps her enjoy time spent waiting amidst the sporting rumbles of the alley.

For someone of her relative age, Adel looks mystified as she walks into the bowling alley, startled at the loud sound of the balls rolling and the pins crashing, as well as looking around at everyone. Perhaps, in all her years, this is the first time she's ever been summoned a bowling alley. It may just not have been her thing.

It takes a few scans of the area before she spots the young woman who stands out in a crowd, even lazily leaning against the wall. With a hurry, she makes her way closer, smiling widely. "Hi," she says, before pausing. "This place is as loud as my drum set," she adds on, raising her voice a bit, something she's used to when trying to talk over loud music, no doubt.

"Then you gotta hit harder, hon," Sable quips, sliding the last bit of Twix into her mouth and crumpling up the wrapper before dropping it on the floor and giving it a small kick under the vending machine. Really getting into the role of nogoodnik, it would seem. "Thanks f'r makin' it out. 'course, I dunno where yer stayin', but gettin' 'round ain't quite like it used t' be so…" she shrugs, "yeah. Thanks. Like I said."

The yellow eyed girl pushes herself up from her lean. "I ain't a bowler," she confides, "but I did enjoy m'self a little Killer Instinct, 'n' I spied m'self a machine here so…" she tips her head towards the machine in question, resolute in scuffed black plastic. "Le's kick out a few 'rounds while we shoot th' shit. Figure like mebbe y' c'n tell, sort 'f a whole- complicated- 'thing' that's goin' on, bandwise. I mean, seein' what you seen durin' recordin', figure y'd be dumber th'n a bag 'f hammers not t' notice."

"Oh thank god, I was worried you wanted me to bowl. Only thing I know about bowling is that you gotta toss balls down lanes and hit things," Adel says, looking relieved and relaxed now that she knows she doesn't need to try to perform a completely hopeless task in front of the bosslady of the band. "Video games are so much more my style," she says, as she looks toward the machine, and checks her pockets, as if to make sure she has small bills or quarters.

"I got enough for a few rounds of getting my ass kicked, at least," she says, taking the other young woman as being a little bit better than her. The complicated thing… "You mean about how Magnes was dating Elaine, and Elaine's sleeping with you and maybe Quinn both and then they broke up because he's involved in stuff that involves dressing up and hanging out in places you don't talk about in public." And she doesn't mean strip or drag clubs, either.

"Yeah, I kinda got a bit." Not dumb as a bag of hammers. But. "That is what you meant right? Cause if it's not I'm going to be so embarassed…."

That's actually substantially more than a bit - rather a lot and almost suspiciously so if Sable's assumption of a priori celebrity didn't neatly account for this. The rock star has no personal life or, at least, what's truly truly personal you keep locked up in the deepest caverns of your being.

But still, a lot, and this leaves Sable with only so materially and factually inform Adel of. It does not, however, obviate the need to talk, nor even to talk about aforedetailed 'complications'. Sable listens to Adel recount how much of the series she's watched as she sidles over to the Killer Instinct machine, drawing a decent sized fistful of quarters out of her pocket and dropping them in a jingling clatter on the console dash. "Don't hide those hands," she says, waving one of her own dismissively, "y' ain't payin' f'r this. Y'all just stop that thought right there."

Sable slips quarters into the machine with something that isn't deftness. It's, rather, the halting half-deftness of something you used to be good at, but aren't any longer because you're out of practice. Maybe Adel will have a fighting chance after all.

"All that's true 'n' everythin'," Sable admits, like, okay, good job with that, "but that's all still jus', like- that ain't nothin' y' have t' worry 'bout. Th' sordid type details. I mean, shit, this is rock and roll. Naw, it's that, like, there's somethin' runnin' a little deeper, that ties in with all that 'n' how it may play out if we ain't smart."

"Thanks," Adel says, removing her hands from said pockets as she siddles closer to the game, looking it over as if trying to find out what all the controls are. Video games may be more her thing, but that doesn't mean she's gotten to play this one in particular. The way she squints a bit she might be having a difficult time. When she looks up, she catches the words and tilts her head to the side. More secrets!

"Well, I know a bit about what's going on with Magnes, but there's probably still a lot I need to know… I have few secrets too. I told him, cause he was in share-mode, but I haven't told you yet… Like I couldn't take any public transportation to get around, if you understand that." Public transportation requires registration ids.

"So what's the secret?" From the looks of things, she's eager to find out.

"Aw, hell, it ain't no secret like- like that," Sable says, tapping the control stick with quick, purposeful blows from the heel of her hand. Tap tap tap, click as Sable selects her character. Sabrewulf. A big werewolf lookin' fella. The glowing box for player two's selection gleams on the screen as well, and Sable glances at Adel, not impatient but rather simply curious. Who will she pick?

"It's jus' that, like, what ties us all t'gether is Fate," Sable explains, which isn't the first time she's alleged as much, only now it isn't in the context of grandiose exposition and intimidation, "like, I ain't kiddin', we all've dodged through time 'n' space t' make sure we all got t' be here, where we are. But, see, Fate ain't what's gonna happen for sure. It's what's meant t' be, as th' universe wills it, dig? But we got free will, so we gotta be true to our Fate 'n' believe in it and in each other t' be sure it comes t' pass."

Which is all to say, what exactly? Sable doesn't yet go on. She wants to make sure Starkey follows - she's obviously quick, but quick doesn't mean open minded in a way so as to easily accept cosmic perspectives. We are all raised to be squares, and squarishness dwells in every heart, a dark seed of boring conservativism.

Plus she also want her to prepare for arcade-style BATTLE.

"I can get that," Adel says with a soft sound to her voice. Nothing that the other young woman says seems to really phase her, but perhaps that's because she's carefully trying to choose who to send agianst the beefy werewolf. She seems torn between the sketelon and the token fanservice chick, and ends up picking the token fanservice chick, B. Orchid.

"I know I'm showing up a little late in the game, but… I do think I belong here with you." One part determination, one part will, and another part 'did I make the right choice on my character?' "All of you, really," she adds after a second, breaking her eyes away from the screen to smile.

"Aw, playin' th' chick, th' fast option," Sable says, in a 'isn't that typical' voice, shooting a sidelong glance and a grin at Adel, "thass okay, Starkey. You take all th' advantage y' like. Button mashin' ain't gonna get y' far in this contest." And the fight is on. Suspended on a flimsy bridge over some unfathomable gulf, the absurdly proportioned woman and the absurdly proportioned canoid face off.

"So good, y'all are on board, 'n' God knows I am. I've known what w's meant t' be f'r years 'pon years," Sable carries on, tapping the control stick upwards and side to side, making Sabrewulf do a jitterbug worthy of a Monster Mash. A tap of a button and he's slashing at the air. Sable seems just to be effing around at the moment. Overconfidence is her weakness?

And as for faith in her friends… "Magnes 'n' Quinngirl don' always see eye t' eye. Mostly its Magnes, does some fool thing, 'n' Quinn jus' fumes. While there her lady friend w's agitatin' t' that end, but I lay down th' law, far as that shit was concerned," Sable gives a huff at this, "but thass tied up with th' whole dressin' up thing y'all mentioned, it bein' 'bout the highest expression of his foolishness. Plus add Elaine t' th' mix 'n' y' c'n see that what's meant t' be ain't never certain. I do m' best t' play peacekeeper, but that ain't my callin'. I'm a trouble maker not a trouble breaker.

"So," Sablewulf shimmies over to Adel Orchid and offers a claw of agreement… or at least that's what Sable's trying to make it look like as she claws the space between their characters, "y'all think y'll be able t' help me keep this fuckin' crew t'gether? 'cause I gotta be steerin' th' ship straight, 'n' I only got so much attention, dig?"

Button mashing only gets people so far, but Adel certainly is going to try, even if it makes silly things happen, like kicks that hit nothing, and attacks that end up running her right into a claw-attack. Such is life. She's going to need to learn how to deal with it. "I can be a trouble breaker! Well, in a fashion. I'm good at keeping things together. Kinda had to be with my upbringing. Chaos would be a word for it, crazyness, but I kept everything together. I mean, not like totally together… But enough."

Ow, one of those attempts to shake hands with a clawy paw ends with the poor miss proportioned woman getting hit. There's a visible wince on Adel's face, as if she were the one getting hit instead. Or she's just empathically imagining how it would feel if it happened to her.

"I definitely think I'm here to keep you guys together and make you a good band. It'll make coming here worth it, definitely. Cause I definitely didn't come here for the schools, or the affordable housing."

"Gal, I ain't one t' poke 'round in no gifthorses mouth 'r nothin'," Sable says, backing off from B. Orchid and hopping a few more times, taunting, "but what th' hell didja come here f'r, b'fore y' met ol' Magnes 'n' heard th' Call?" This asked, the werewolf charges in. Sadly, Sable's hideously out of practice and even when she was any good at this game (circa 2002) she never really got into that whole 'blocking' thing. However mashed those buttons, a kick to the snout is a kick to the snout and Sabrewulf is knocked clean over. Sable growls in lupine sympathy.

"I came to try and figure out where I belonged. Found the advertisements you guys still had on campus, and that's how I ran into Magnes," Adel explains, visibly flinching and losing ground as she does, perhaps because talking and paying attention to what all the buttons do isn't quite within her forte. She's got wonderful hand eye cordination, but that doesn't save her in everything! "I did want to find a band I could join. I figured someone's got to be looking for a guitarist or a drummer somewhere in the big city, I'm glad it was a drummer, though. Else I'd need to pick a new last name."

"Good on y'," Sable says, nodding her commendation even as she hammers at her buttons and manages to score a KILLER COMBO!!!, mauling the poor green clad digital girl to within an inch of her lifebar. This seems to satisfy Sable for the moment, and she backs off, making Sabrewulf flip back and forth in place so fast, it looks like he's pirouetting. At least that's what Sable thinks. "Changin' yer name 't all's a good sign, I figure. Gotta reinvent. Speakin' from experience, that is. But damn if y'all didn't choose th' most royally fucked up city in th' good ol' US of A. Where d' y' hail from originally? Don't smell an accent on y' so I ain't guessin'."

"A suburbs outside of Boston. Nothing worth talking about, really," Adel says with a shake of her head, wincing when one of those blows finally manages to knock the character on her butt and leave her ready for a finishing move. That's when her hands drop away, knowing good and well she's going to lose at this point. Like there was any doubts. "But I picked here cause I figured it's easy to get lost in a city this crazy."

"So yer out t' get lost?" Sable inquires, canted brow combined with sidelong look, "same sorta reason as keeps y' off th' buses? I ain't gonna pry int' shit y'd rather keep t' yerself, but if yer playin' close t' th' vest, I beg y', jus' lay 'em out, hon. If yer t' be our comrade, ain't no secrets that ain't shared secrets, dig?"

It's to be No Mercy, then? Sable bites her lip, but is ultimately forced to check the printed moves pasted into the very arcade machine. She carefully presses the correct sequence of keys, and the werewolf pounds his opponent so hard she flies out and smacks against the fourth wall. There's no whoop of victory from Sable. "That weren't nothin'," she says, "y'all play me again, 'n' don't you fuckin' hold back. Y'all know I c'n dish it out, but it ain't no fun if I don't gotta take it."

"I told Magnes, so… I'm not registered," Adel says, keeping her voice down a bit, even as she waits for the rematch. She still picks the chick, the fast choice, which is because she's just started to get used to her attack options, so maybe she can do better. "I'm like him in a way, too, but if it will make things hard on the band, I'll get myself signed up with kind of a shitty description of my totally primal power."

As she says that, she smiles a bit, before waiting to launch into a series of… less than primal attack strings. She has absolutely no concept of how to block, either. It just doesn't even pass her thoughts. "Until I have to, though, I like to keep that to myself. The government has no right to know that stuff."

This time around, Sable chooses Spinal, the reanimated skeleton chappy. Her focus on the game is marginal, and though her eyes are fixed upon the screen, her words and attention travel perpendicular to her line of sight, over to the young woman beside her. "I got my ass registered in a spell 'f bad luck 'n' bad thinking." And she also misrepresented her ability, though she sees it more as a reclamation of the terms of 'ability'. Though those would never be the words she would use.

Blockless herself, the attacks, however lacking in primality, do their work, hammering the bone man across the screen before Sable can lash out in return. She gives a grunt as she attempts a reversal. "Don' you worry 'bout that. We'll keep th' man off y' long as we can. 'course, I'd like t' know what y' c'n do. Might be somethin' c'n help th' stageshow, eh?" This, to her, is the most important application of Evolved gifts, secondary always to the gift of music as such.

"Nothin' really flashy about my power unless you want to try shooting me with lasers or something," Adel says as she starts to try and throw herself into the fight, becoming rather animated in the face, even as she flinches and moves about. There's more animated people out there, but she isn't the sit there in silence type.

"Basically I make this sphere appear around me, I kinda call it my 'sphere of influence'. It's kind of a joke, but I can keep anything from getting into it, for the most part. Including lasers and light and sound and anything really. Everything I want stays out. And anything I want to go in, goes in. But it's always a sphere— so I'm essentially…" She looks away from the fight and nods her head towards the bowling lanes. "I can be a human bowling ball. One of my friends used to joke about it all the time. About rolling me down a street and taking things out, or shooting me out of a giant cannon. He's kind of an ass, though."

"Shit, that schtick's already taken," Sable says, wrinkling her nose as Adel's redoubled assault knocks her back on her boney heels, "Flamin' Lips got that big ol' hamster ball. Still, come in handy we get mobbed by fans 'r somethin' eh?" Already thinking about mobs of fans, despite the fact they have had not one full gig. Sable thinks of this deluded optimism as 'vision'. Sounds better said that like, certainly.

"'N' who don't got at least one friend's 'n' ass, 'r at least a pain in yer own, eh?" comes the commiseration, "but thass cool. Bring th' kid by sometime, eh? Word 'f mouth's best advertisement we got right now, plus I figure - cool with you is cool with us, eh?"

"I can do that, sure— I'll make sure he knows about our first performance," Adel says, with a wide smile at the idea of getting to play in front of those friends. "He's an interesting guy. Not sure if you'd like him, but— I do most the time. Except when I want to kick him in the shins." But who doesn't want to do that to their friends sometimes.

After a few more rounds of punches being exhanged, there's a wince and she sees her defeat once again. "I'm going to have to practice so you don't kick my ass next time!" she decides. Cause there will be a next time.

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