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Spinda Cafe

R8 – Luz drinks Kate under the table?

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz made her way inside Spinda Cafe with her usual, beaming, fanged smile. She'd only visited the cafe briefly one night before, but she'd liked what she'd seen.

"Don't worry about costs," she told Kate, the sneasel newcomer to the posse, "everything's on God Squad's tab, so we can treat ourselves. What's yer poison, partner?"

She cracked her knuckles. Ultra shades couldn't get drunk, what with not having a nervous system, but Kate didn't know that yet, and perhaps she'd be willing to go a few rounds of arm-wrestling, loser takes a shot...
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz made her way inside Spinda Cafe with her usual, beaming, fanged smile. She'd only visited the cafe briefly one night before, but she'd liked what she'd seen.

"Don't worry about costs," she told Kate, the sneasel newcomer to the posse, "everything's on God Squad's tab, so we can treat ourselves. What's yer poison, partner?"

She cracked her knuckles. Ultra shades couldn't get drunk, what with not having a nervous system, but Kate didn't know that yet, and perhaps she'd be willing to go a few rounds of arm-wrestling, loser takes a shot...

Kate followed the Shade down the steps of Spinda's Juice Bar, taking a moment to size up her surroundings. Even though the bar was a literal hole in the ground, the proprietor had shelled out for a hardwood floor and there was some manner of contraption in the corner playing music... perhaps a relic of Cibus' humans?

The Sneasel wasn't fully sure what to make of the strange bar, which occupied a strange gray zone between a dive and a respectable establishment. The whiff of fermented berries hung thick in the air, but she couldn't pick up on any standouts that would hint at its specialties.

Perhaps it was for the best to just cut to the chase and get a feel for just how similar or not the fare was back from her native Varhyde...

"So what's this place serve anyways? I don't suppose the bartender knows how to make a decent glühwein, does he?"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz raised a brow. "That one's new t'me. It's a funny thing, though. Whatever ya ask for, they seem t'know how t'make somethin' that passes fer the same experience. I reckon that's somethin' t'do with the translation."

She smacked her head. "Right, plain forgot. We can speak with the locals 'cause Diyem translates fer us. The service is a bit dodgy sometimes. Fer one, all the local names sound like foodstuffs fer some reason, you'll want an alias to blend in. I go by Zest, my host Brisa goes by Brisket. Anythin' works."

She shrugged expansively. "The upshot is, you ask fer a whiskey, they give ya somethin' which sure tastes like whiskey despite bein' made from local berries or whatever."

She called the spinda who was both proprietor and staff. "Howdy, bartender! We'll have two glühweins, on Maple's tab!"
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz raised a brow. "That one's new t'me. It's a funny thing, though. Whatever ya ask for, they seem t'know how t'make somethin' that passes fer the same experience. I reckon that's somethin' t'do with the translation."

She smacked her head. "Right, plain forgot. We can speak with the locals 'cause Diyem translates fer us. The service is a bit dodgy sometimes. Fer one, all the local names sound like foodstuffs fer some reason, you'll want an alias to blend in. I go by Zest, my host Brisa goes by Brisket. Anythin' works."

She shrugged expansively. "The upshot is, you ask fer a whiskey, they give ya somethin' which sure tastes like whiskey despite bein' made from local berries or whatever."

She called the spinda who was both proprietor and staff. "Howdy, bartender! We'll have two glühweins, on Maple's tab!"

Kate raised an ear curiously at the mention of a 'translation' and wondered to herself what sort of sorcery could that confounded Charizard be exerting on this world. It was hard for the Sneasel to imagine how the Spinda would manage to put together a drink that had drawn a blank from even her host, let alone one that most Pokémon in Varhyde didn't bother ordering outside of the winter months, but eh. She was in no rush, and it'd be interesting to see what spin the Spinda would put on his work as a mixologist.

"So does that party trick work on everything around here? Or just drinks?" Kate asked. "And what's with that music box in the corner?"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz took a sip of her drink. Hot, fruity, notes of some spices she wasn't familiar with, served with nomel berry slices, and definitely alcoholic, not that she could get the benefits of that. (Nor did she need them!)

"Mm. Yeah, I can't say I dislike that. Very pleasant. Taste much like yer 'glühwein', Kate? Anyhow, with the exception of the foodstuff names quirk, translation works pretty much intuitively. Folks tend to know what outworlders mean. Even translates accents! Now that's the part I ain't able to get my head around..."

Luz paused for a moment to text a quick update to the posse.

"So tell me, Kate," she asked with a sharp grin. "What's yer profession back home? Anythin' dangerous 'n' excitin'?"
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
"Oh, the Sky Jukebox? That's actually something from Shaymin Village! A lot of Legends are pretty up and up when it comes to technology, at least, the ones that didn't isolate themselves for so many ages before this one." Spinda placed the drinks down, well-prepared all things considered. "Just wait until you see Destiny Village!"

Kate tilted her head at the proprietor, wondering how it was that this little dive could've been gifted a treasure so precious by a Legendary. Though perhaps things were just different with Cibus' Legendaries and aside from obviously all being alive, they were a bit more attuned with normal Pokémon. As the Sneasel took the drink, she inspected it before motioning off at the jukebox.

"So... how's a 'mon change the song it plays? Or does it only ever play one song like a music box?"

Luz took a sip of her drink. Hot, fruity, notes of some spices she wasn't familiar with, served with nomel berry slices, and definitely alcoholic, not that she could get the benefits of that. (Nor did she need them!)

"Mm. Yeah, I can't say I dislike that. Very pleasant. Taste much like yer 'glühwein', Kate? Anyhow, with the exception of the foodstuff names quirk, translation works pretty much intuitively. Folks tend to know what outworlders mean. Even translates accents! Now that's the part I ain't able to get my head around..."

Luz paused for a moment to text a quick update to the posse.

"So tell me, Kate," she asked with a sharp grin. "What's yer profession back home? Anythin' dangerous 'n' excitin'?"

Kate sipped at the 'glühwein' and blinked. It was hard to believe that it had just been fashioned from local berries, but it'd captured the taste of the ginger and cinnamon used in the same drinks back home. She couldn't peg what the base wine had been made from, but it was probably Grepa, or else something that didn't taste that different. Why the only standout difference at all was the Nomel Berry that gave it tart punch versus the Pomeg or Oran she usually preferred.

The Sneasel gulped down the rest of the drink and wiped the corner of her mouth, turning to Luz at her question. The Sneasel thought the matter over a minute as to how candid it made sense to be about her livelihood, before opting to test the waters.

"Meh, I'm a bit of a drifter. 'Hired muscle' might fit, given that I've made some Poké going around to raise some hell," she answered. "I was always going around to different places with some friends and picked up a thing or two about finding goods that fell off the back of a wagon. Happens more often than you think."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz nodded, still smiling away, and sipping at her drink as Kate spoke.

"Sounds like y'know how to handle yerself. We need more of that in the posse, if'n you ask me. Think of this as another of yer jobs, with pay in the form of all-inclusive bed 'n' board fer the duration. And get used to cultural differences. And emotional breakdowns."

Luz gave an exaggerated roll of her eyes, but she was still smiling good-naturedly. She put up a paw for the bartender and called for a pair of sweetened pecha-and-apicot ciders.

"I like yers, but let's see you try my drink next. And say, how 'bout we take turns? Y'got a question to ask of me?"
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
"Ohh, you just walk up to it and play around with the buttons a little! It's supposed to be easy and intuitive to use." Spinda wobbled back to the usual spot to clean the dishes. "I think it was designed in case you had a little too much berry juice."

"Heh, sounds like some clever design," the Sneasel said. "I'll play around with it after getting a little buzzed."

Luz nodded, still smiling away, and sipping at her drink as Kate spoke.

"Sounds like y'know how to handle yerself. We need more of that in the posse, if'n you ask me. Think of this as another of yer jobs, with pay in the form of all-inclusive bed 'n' board fer the duration. And get used to cultural differences. And emotional breakdowns."

Luz gave an exaggerated roll of her eyes, but she was still smiling good-naturedly. She put up a paw for the bartender and called for a pair of sweetened pecha-and-apicot ciders.

"I like yers, but let's see you try my drink next. And say, how 'bout we take turns? Y'got a question to ask of me?"

Kate took Luz's drink and gave a sip, giving a smack of her mouth as she savored the cider's flavors before cracking a grin.

"Heh, you sure know how to make a pitch, and your taste in drink's not bad either," she said. "Though for that question..."

The Sneasel scratched her chin and thought the matter over a moment, before stirring her drink and turning back to the Ultra Shade.

"You Ultra Shades take a form based off a Pokémon that's a buddy with you right? So who's your friend, and what's the story behind him and why you're a Zeraora and not a puddle of goop like the shade that hangs out with Vix?"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz laughed at that, and there was an electric spark to the sound.

"My host is Luxio Brisa Escarpa, a ranger from a world far behind this one in technological and societal development. She's a brave lil' soul, but no friends back where she's from. I have no real counterpart. I'm a myth."

Luz flashed her teeth and downed most of her drink. "Ultra Shades can be anythin' from a friend, family, or hypothetical person who has no real counterpart. I'm somethin' of the mythic folk hero Luz, and somethin' of Brisa herself. And a little somethin' of Cibus, I s'pose. I sure sound like I'm from Brisa's world, but I'm a Cibus native through and through."

She leaned forward with a smirk.

"My turn. Greatest achievement, Kate Quickpaw. Let's have it out."
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz laughed at that, and there was an electric spark to the sound.

"My host is Luxio Brisa Escarpa, a ranger from a world far behind this one in technological and societal development. She's a brave lil' soul, but no friends back where she's from. I have no real counterpart. I'm a myth."

Luz flashed her teeth and downed most of her drink. "Ultra Shades can be anythin' from a friend, family, or hypothetical person who has no real counterpart. I'm somethin' of the mythic folk hero Luz, and somethin' of Brisa herself. And a little somethin' of Cibus, I s'pose. I sure sound like I'm from Brisa's world, but I'm a Cibus native through and through."

She leaned forward with a smirk.

"My turn. Greatest achievement, Kate Quickpaw. Let's have it out."

"Hey, hey, no need to get all formal on me," the Sneasel insisted. "Just 'Kate's fine. But greatest achievement, huh...?"

The Sneasel thought to herself a moment, her defenses starting to get lowered by the alcohol entering her system.

"Why, I'd say it'd probably be the time I managed to get one of my crew's hauls back from the middle of an army base on my own with a bottle of Razz Berry schnaps, a slightly used Blast Wand, and some quick talking."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz clapped lightly. "Oh, I like the sound of that. Were you the one drinkin', or the guards?"

As Kate replied, she signalled Spinda for some razz brandy liqueurs.

"Afore you ask, I've only existed fer a few weeks. No time fer achievements that ain't shared with the whole team. 'Course, the 'real' Luz was said to have done everythin' from stealin' lightnin' from the gods fer the first Escarpa clanners, to runnin' the breadth of the continent to win a bet, but I ain't done any of that, and I ain't gonna. I'm more interested in hearin' what folks like yerself have accomplished, since we're workin' together."

Luz' grin didn't falter. Who cared about expectations, competitiveness, and legacies to live up to? She was having a great time.
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz clapped lightly. "Oh, I like the sound of that. Were you the one drinkin', or the guards?"

As Kate replied, she signalled Spinda for some razz brandy liqueurs.

"Afore you ask, I've only existed fer a few weeks. No time fer achievements that ain't shared with the whole team. 'Course, the 'real' Luz was said to have done everythin' from stealin' lightnin' from the gods fer the first Escarpa clanners, to runnin' the breadth of the continent to win a bet, but I ain't done any of that, and I ain't gonna. I'm more interested in hearin' what folks like yerself have accomplished, since we're workin' together."

Luz' grin didn't falter. Who cared about expectations, competitiveness, and legacies to live up to? She was having a great time.

"I mean, I took a little sip, but nah, the stuff I brought was rated for larger Pokémon like Tauros so I'd have gotten blackout drunk if I tried to drink all that. Fortunately for me, with pay as dodgy as it is, the soldiers back home don't ask too many questions about the "gifts" they get. So it was just a matter of finding a few guards on watch with a 'mon about my size on duty, egging them on to help themselves to that bottle of schnaps and they got nice and plastered in short order."

Kate took the razz brandy, and drank it, her eyes starting to get glazed as an observant 'mon might detect hints of her face starting to flush red under her fur.

"After they got wasted... gods I'm terrible with faces right now, but I think it was a Perrserker. But anyhow, I helped myself to that 'mon's armor and pulled a switcheroo with our scarves, and strolled onto base as a common grunt that'd just come fresh out of bar after a good time. After playing dumb and getting a couple stink-eyes and lectures about being an embarrassment to his royal heinie later, I stuck on-duty loading up spent crates and barrels and other trash to be shipped out."

The Sneasel sloshed her drink around as she turned up a her muzzle into a contented smile.

"Man, the places I was able to get to on that excuse... but anyhow, eventually I figured out that our haul was being held in storage in a warehouse along with a batch of Orbs that had been brought in. I went and checked it and there weren't any easy places to sneak in that were big enough for me to fit in without getting spotted by the guards... but there was for a good ol' gout from a Blast Wand. One well-aimed fireball later, and the entire place becomes a wreck of broken glass and about a dozen separate weird effects with the guards none the wiser. Now, while the higher-ups were fuming about sabotage and playing whodunnit, somebody had to clean up that mess. And who better than little ol' me who was on trash duty to begin with?"

Kate finished the brandy, setting her glass down against the counter with an audible clink as she leaned back with a beaming grin.

"So there I am, loading up heaps of glass and broken wood, all the while spiriting about five or so chests of Poké and other fenceable goodies underneath and a few orbs that didn't break from the mess for good measure. From there, it was just a matter of loading them up onto the trash wagon, hitching a ride off-base, and then steering the gang towards it. By sundown, we'd caught up and after convincing the wagon-puller to take a hike with a little bit of gentle persuasion, got our payday, plus a set of royal armor and interest!"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz listened attentively, nodding and adding the occasional "uhuh?" and "y'don't say?" to encourage the story along. This Kate lass really was something. Diyem had picked a good one this time, if she could be counted on to use that wit and boldness in the posse's best interest.

"That's quite the yarn y'got there, miss," drawled Luz. "I dare say y'got plenty like that left in ya."

She rested an elbow on the table and her cheek in that palm.

"I got another question fer ya, Kate. Would you believe me if'n I told ya you have what's called a Hero's Aura?"

She tapped out a couple laconic updates to the groupchat on her badge. Brisa replied urging her to ask about Diyem. Sensible enough suggestion. She'd get to that next. In the meantime...

"Two honey meads, please, Spinda, there's a good fella."
 
Last edited:

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz listened attentively, nodding and adding the occasional "uhuh?" and "y'don't say?" to encourage the story along. This Kate lass really was something. Diyem had picked a good one this time, if she could be counted on to use that wit and boldness in the posse's best interest.

"That's quite the yarn y'got there, miss," drawled Luz. "I dare say y'got plenty like that left in ya."

She rested an elbow on the table and her cheek in that palm.

"I got another question fer ya, Kate. Would you believe me if'n I told ya you have what's called a Hero's Aura?"

She tapped out a couple laconic updates to the groupchat on her badge. Brisa replied urging her to ask about Diyem. Sensible enough suggestion. She'd get to that next. In the meantime...

"Two honey meads, please, Spinda, there's a good fella."

"I'd believe you were doing a good job at trying to flatter me," the Sneasel teased. "There's not a whole lot of 'mons in Varhyde who could wear that title honestly, and most of those are in fairytale stories. So I'd be a bit skeptical trusting anyone who said they could spot a hero by some aura or the like."

Kate grabbed the honey meade, and ran a claw around the rim with a smile.

"I don't know what sort of world Cibus is like, but in my world, heroic or not, fortune favors the bold. And I've certainly got that in spades if I say so myself," she said. "So if you don't mind my asking, what's the story behind that badge you've got there? You seem to be fidgeting with it an awful lot for simply just keeping touch with your friends. Does it do something special for these missions we're supposed to go on?"
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz kept up her smile, but something tugged at it just a little.

All these folks with Hero's Auras, practically none of them willing to own it, damn near all of them shady or broken or full of painful secrets. Why was that, anyway? And how much more ironic could you get than Luz, eager to be a hero, with no such aura herself? No, once the Blacklight Crisis was over, she'd be reduced to showy battles in the Colosseum, relating stories of her time in Team Spectrum, and waiting for something to go badly wrong enough to be interesting.

She hadn't asked anyone yet if it would be possible to send her away from Cibus to somewhere that needed her, after all this.

They might say no.

"I look forward t'seein' plenty more boldness from ya, Kate," she said, with a bright chuckle. "I believe ya when ya claim it. As fer the badge..."

Luz passed it to Kate with a gentle under-arm toss. Let's see what her reflexes were like four drinks in.

"Everyone gets one. We used to communicate via Diyem's telepathy, but he's been cut off since our enemy started gettin' serious. My host is mighty keen to find out what you know about yer last moments with Diyem. We reckon he might've been attacked just as he was recruitin' ya. Anythin' y'can tell us would help us put the pieces together."
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz kept up her smile, but something tugged at it just a little.

All these folks with Hero's Auras, practically none of them willing to own it, damn near all of them shady or broken or full of painful secrets. Why was that, anyway? And how much more ironic could you get than Luz, eager to be a hero, with no such aura herself? No, once the Blacklight Crisis was over, she'd be reduced to showy battles in the Colosseum, relating stories of her time in Team Spectrum, and waiting for something to go badly wrong enough to be interesting.

She hadn't asked anyone yet if it would be possible to send her away from Cibus to somewhere that needed her, after all this.

They might say no.

"I look forward t'seein' plenty more boldness from ya, Kate," she said, with a bright chuckle. "I believe ya when ya claim it. As fer the badge..."

Luz passed it to Kate with a gentle under-arm toss. Let's see what her reflexes were like four drinks in.

"Everyone gets one. We used to communicate via Diyem's telepathy, but he's been cut off since our enemy started gettin' serious. My host is mighty keen to find out what you know about yer last moments with Diyem. We reckon he might've been attacked just as he was recruitin' ya. Anythin' y'can tell us would help us put the pieces together."

Kate snatched the badge out of the air, fumbling it for a second before clasping it tight with both sets of claws as she raised it to her eye. The Dark-Type played around with the badge before it suddenly snapped open and a screen of light filled a void opened up by the top and bottom halves. The blank air suddenly lit up with images of Pokémon's heads and runes in neat boxes to their left and right, and even though her own literacy had always been a bit shaky, Kate could see as clear as day that they were Varhydian runes.

The Sneasel stared blankly and reflexively opened her mouth to ask how such a thing could be possible, only to think back to the earlier comment about the Spinda barkeep having orders translated. Was something similar afoot here too? If 'glühwein' had struck Luz as strange, it would be hard to believe that her world somehow used the exact same writing system down to each rune happening to represent the exact same words and ideas...

"They certainly don't make badges like this at home..." she murmured. "But as for Diyem, I wish there was more that I could say, but admittedly things are a bit hazy. I don't know how long it's been since I talked with that Charizard, but after he pulled me under his wings, I wound up floating in some sort of haze surrounded by some sort of barrier. I couldn't tell up from down when I was that place, it was like falling without feeling yourself being pulled down. The entire time, there were these weird things- creatures without features floating around in it that were watching me, or maybe guarding me somehow. So it's admittedly hard to say how much of that was real and how much of it was all in my mind."

The Sneasel paused and frowned a moment, before sipping at the remains of her drink.

"... I don't know if it's the drinks getting to me or not, but there actually are a couple things I remember," she said. "I know that right when the tremor hit, right before he pulled me under, he looked spooked. And that right before I staggered out of that haze and came to in this town, I was suddenly flung from the barrier and saw this room full of strange gray and silver contraptions..."

The Dark-Type glanced back at the badge's display, before she shook her head and carried on.

"Or at least I think it was a room. Again, I realize that it all sounds ridiculous and, it could've just all been a bad trip," Kate insisted. "Since after that, the last I remember before getting up was pinwheeling through the air and seeing the ocean go by below me. Not sure just what room I could've seen if that really all happened."
 

unrepentantAuthor

A cat that writes stories.
Location
UK
Pronouns
they/she
Partners
  1. custom/purrloin-salem
  2. custom/sneasel-dusk
Luz's smile didn't falter, but it did grow harder.

"Bad trip. Could be."

She leaned back in her seat and appraised Kate again, as she'd been doing since the sneasel had pulled herself from that crater. Had Diyem rescued her at cost to himself because he'd thought her sufficiently valuable as an asset to justify the cost? Or because he'd genuinely repented his past malevolence? Luz just hoped Kate would handle the pressure of battle when it came to it.

"Well I sure 'ppreciate the tale, at least. We'll see what the team make of it. I'm sure ya had more questions of yer own, though, right?"
 

Spiteful Murkrow

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Luz's smile didn't falter, but it did grow harder.

"Bad trip. Could be."

She leaned back in her seat and appraised Kate again, as she'd been doing since the sneasel had pulled herself from that crater. Had Diyem rescued her at cost to himself because he'd thought her sufficiently valuable as an asset to justify the cost? Or because he'd genuinely repented his past malevolence? Luz just hoped Kate would handle the pressure of battle when it came to it.

"Well I sure 'ppreciate the tale, at least. We'll see what the team make of it. I'm sure ya had more questions of yer own, though, right?"

"Well, I don't think you've really said much about this Brisa cat. Other than that you're based off her folk hero," Kate answered. "What's she up to now and what's her story of how she got here? And what's the story of these food-themed names here anyways?"
 
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