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Hey There! Want to join the Character Mountain Resort? That's great! Just be sure to read this post and the guidelines on the main CharacterDevelopmentThread and the Ngadi Mountain Resort pages, then jump right in!
Welcome to the next casual Character Development Thread! These shared story exercises help budding writers develop their characters alongside the characters of other budding writers. No formal sign-up is necessary; one can simply jump right in. Just make sure to review the OP and the last few pages first. If the length of the thread has become a bit daunting and you need a recap, or if you need any questions about the threads answered, just post in the discussion thread and well do our best to help you out.
Nestled high in the transdimensional Himalayas lies a remote sanctuary, the "Ngadi Mountain Resort". A best-kept secret among remote explorers, it has only recently opened for public visitation. Owned and operated by the mysterious weather goddess Santi, she has offered a free stay to any weary travelers who arrive there. She is assisted by the bartender Mark, activities specialist Takumi, and visiting trader Ila Locera, who is operating a demo interdimensional gateway (PartnerPort). In addition, the resort's magical setting is aided by thousands of fairies, who help maintain the grounds, and tend to the guests. Sporting a long list of amenities, including: full bar, dining, skiing, hot spring, snow tubing, ice slides, ice skating, sauna, gym, game room, roof observation deck, ice hockey, movie theater, and underground parking - it has been designed to foster a casual, relaxing atmosphere for a respite among natural beauty. Of course, fighting or other disparaging behavior is not allowed, except safely in the fantasy rooms in the basement (or maybe the hockey rink). In addition, it is conveniently accessible through the main interdimensional door, as well as by car, horse-and-buggy, or atmospheric-capable spacecraft. Open for visitors now - no reservations are required.
See the map here!◊
Current Time: Mid Morning
Current Weather: Cool and Clear (-1ºC, 30ºF)
The snow outside was perfectly groomed, nothing but solid powder on this clear day, and the ice was crystal-clear, almost like glass. The temperature outside was just below freezing, as comfortable as could be, without anything showing signs of melting. The hot spring was bubbling with warm natural mineral water, and the halls were heated by numerous smokeless fireplaces, ensuring plenty of toasty comfort.
Santi walked around, inspecting the grounds and rooms of the resort. She was about 1.8m/6' tall, with snow-white hair and matching skin. She wore a dark gray dress, which fluttered slightly with each gliding step. She looked both young and old, and had a thoroughly undefinable ethnicity.
Walking into the bar on the hardwood floor, she inspected the polished wooden tabletops, and ensured that the marble bar was spotless. "Everything looks perfect as usual, Mark," she said to the bartender.
Mark, the bartender, was an 2.4m/8' tall yeti, with snow-white fur, and a surprisingly gentle demeanor. "Thanks!" he said, "just making sure everything looks the best for the new guests!" A few small fairies flew around behind him, checking that all the glasses were spotless and in perfect rows, and that the considerable stores of beverages on display were in tip-top shape as well.
"Yes, we haven't been to this nexus before," Santi said, "so let's make a good impression."
Entering the lobby, she saw Takumi at the front desk, organizing the maps and travel brochures. He was about the same height as Santi (1.8m/6') and had short, spiky black hair, and brown eyes. He looked vaguely Japanese, in his 20's, and at least slightly androgynous. He was wearing a business outfit, sans tie, with a sky-blue button up shirt and black slacks. "Ready to go here!" Takumi said.
"Excellent, I'll activate the interdimensional door, and with any luck, our first guests should be arriving moments later," Santi said. She walked up to the main interdimensional door in the lobby, and with a wave of her hand, the door was now active, and could bring guests from anywhere in the multiverse to stay at the Ngadi Mountain Resort. She stepped aside, and said, "I shall leave them in your capable hands." And with that, she vanished from sight.
Takumi watched the door, to see who would be the first to arrive.
edited 2nd Apr '15 7:18:43 PM by Sonzai
On the back of each, perched a humanoid figure. The riders' features were obscured by sleek helmets; their bodies clad in durable garments.
They travelled in formation one at the front near the centreline of the road, one about a second behind it near the shoulder of the road and one about a second behind that near the centreline again except for when they approached corners, when they would change formation to single file as they moved to the outside of the turn then to the inside at the apex of the turn and again to the outside, using the entire width of the lane to make the corner less sharp, before resuming their staggered formation.
At the front was Kris, riding a blue and white dual-sport motorcycle with matching pannier cases. The curved narrow mudguard set high above the front wheel looked almost like a beak and gave the machine a hawkish profile.
Next was Teri on a metallic-red motorcycle with gold-anodised fittings. This bike was a pure street fighter, hunkered down on the road like a Big Cat about to pounce.
At the rear was Wolfe. He was also riding a dual-sport motorcycle, this one black, fitted with pannier cases and a small tail rack.
Although the resort had a fully functional dimension gate of its own, Kris, Teri and Wolfe had elected to use the gate in the Capital to dump them some 200 kilometres away from the resort just so they could "take the bikes for a bit of a run".
Someone else must have had the same idea, as a bike another street fighter like Teri's, but black with blue-anodised fittings sped past, inaudible above the sound of the wind around their helmets.
The rider, in the spirit of fellowship, held up his left hand in a wave of acknowledgement as he passed. The arm was a dull grey and the hand appeared to be black metal.
Kris, Teri and Wolfe waved back and watched the bike gradually leave them further and further behind.
They weren't in any hurry and they were making good time anyway. Despite the winding road, having to pass through three towns and stopping once for a "comfort stop", cigarette and coffee, they were averaging around 100 kilometres per hour.
The road winding up the mountainside was well paved, the scenery was spectacular and it was a great ride. Life didn't get much better than this.
The first thing Camille did upon stepping through the interdimensional gate was blink in confusion and take a look around. Eventually, she just shrugged before taking a few further steps into her new surroundings.
She appeared to be a human around eighteen years of age, a little over five feet in height, and Caucasian in ethnicity. She had long, wavy blonde hair coupled with vivid green eyes, with a black hairclip holding a lock of hair over her right temple. She wore a red dress with short, poofy sleeves paired with a black vest that both looked vaguely like something from late 19th century/early 20th century American fashion. She was also barefoot.
She couldn't help but be a little apprehensive. She wasn't exactly expecting to wind up here, and wherever here was looked a lot nicer than the place she was originally at. Where the owners going to be receptive to unexpected guests?
On the other hand, this was a lot nicer than where she originally was. She was here now and not in any hurry to get back to home, or rather the closest thing she had to one. If the owners were willing to have her, she might as well make the best of her situation and take a look around.
[Lobby —> Game Room]
"Uh, sweetie, I appreciate the gesture, but doesn't meandering into a strange portal seem like a bad idea for a romantic getaway?" The speaker, Izeri, was a light skinned, somewhat Japanese looking woman in her late twenties with golden eyes, dark hair arranged in a simple, practical ponytail and a practical but well-made tunic and pants in earthy reds and browns.
She was speaking to Qal, a taller, slightly younger, dark-skinned, vaguely Inuit woman with short black hair and eyes similar to but darker than Izeri's. She was pretty but forgettable, wearing a Eastern-looking suit of dark grays and blues. The woman had an easy, disarming smile, and a way about her that managed to only just stay on the legal side of the line between "charming imp" and "check your pockets". "Relax," she said, "my source is good to trust. They said as long as we avoid any... 'green hummingbirds', we should have no troubles."
Izeri looked briefly alarmed and said, "sorry, what's this about...?"
"Oh," Qal said, holding up a hand, "don't worry! I hear they'll be as eager to avoid us as we are them. Just, something about bad things coming from conversations." She sauntered up to a window and grinned widely as she added, "ooh, looks like my kind of place."
Izeri shook her head. "Oh dear," she said. "Did you know it was going to be so... cold?"
Qal wrapped an arm around her girlfriend with a wry grin and said, "don't worry, I'll keep you warm..."
With a sigh, more fond than annoyed, Izeri slipped out and headed towards the game room, Qal following behind.
[Lobby —> Lounge]
Shortly after the door had closed behind them, another entered, passing by the game room and heading straight for the dining room. Dr. Isaac Rose was a lanky African-American of about forty, with thin, square glasses and very slightly graying cornrows. He wore loose jeans and an old labcoat with a green hummingbird silhouette emblazoned on the back over a black T-shirt with the words "Roko's Basilisk" on it in bold white block letters.
This would be an interesting visit. Sigmund and Alice had given him a single, simple, explicit order: "socialize." This was a chance for him to work on dealing with people who didn't understand the basics of biochemistry without long-term consequences.
The only thing bothering him was Alice's warning. Even by her standards, it was bizarre, something about cosplayers. Still, he'd known Alice for over thirty years; in all but blood, she was his (tiny, white, adorably insane) sister. He knew that when she was this serious, it was vitally important to listen to her.
Shaking the odd advice out of his mind, he took a seat at the bar. With a self-deprecating grin, he said, "yo! Rum 'n' coke, hold the rum!" The fact that the barkeeper was a yeti failed to faze him.
edited 3rd Apr '15 6:10:12 AM by KillerClowns
"Hello and welcome to the Ngadi Mountain Resort!" Takumi said enthusiastically to the newcomers, "the room and board is on the house, so feel free to take a map or travel brochure and enjoy your stay!"
Please feel free to assume he greets other newcomers similarly.
[Lounge / Bar]
"Sure, no problem," Mark said, passing Isaac his drink.
Inside the dining hall/lounge, off to the right of the bar, stood a most unusual woman. She was Ila Locera, and looked generally normal from afar, with the exception that she had translucent butterfly wings on her back. Her appearance seemed to match that of a human female, about 20 yrs old, 5ft/1.5m tall, with very pale, almost pure white skin, and bright blue shoulder-length straight hair. She was wearing a tight spandex suit, white with blue lines and alien text, which fit her perfectly, but did not reveal any anatomy. Upon closer inspection, however, she appeared far too perfect in appearance to be natural. Her form was immaculate and sterile down to the most minute detail - not a single scratch, speck, or hair out of place. Her wings were intricately formed - the way they refracted and iridescence the surrounding light created a fantastic display of color down to the smallest visible scale. She looked like a moving work of art, more than an actual person - something that one would expect to be on display in a great gallery of the galaxy, not standing around here.
She was next to another odd sight, a blue door, encased in a futuristic blue frame, which really didn't match with the rest of the decor. Next to it, on the side Ila was standing, was a blank display screen, and a control panel with a large assortment of knobs and buttons. A plate said above 'PartnerPort Interdimensional Gateway Demo'.
Certainly, if one were to ask Ila about this strange door-device, it would open opportunities for all sorts of mysterious mahyem. But she would not approach any others on her own, just stand next to the door, waiting - as she and her door both were an anomaly, a mystery, and an opportunity.
Feel free to ask Ila about the door. Or not. One can also consider her part of the scenery, and there's certainly no rush. :)
edited 2nd Apr '15 8:32:20 PM by Sonzai
from: ARVIN POGOSYAN <firstname.lastname@example.org> to: MEDEI REVIA <email@example.com> date: Wed, Jun 12, 2041 at 11:10 AM subject: Ace This message has been digitally signed by firstname.lastname@example.org and the signature is valid. This message is encrypted. Your certificates are valid. Decrypting message...
He's on leave, but BH's analysis of his latest psych eval is not promising. We don't want a repeat of last time. I'm making the call. Bring him in.
from: MEDEI REVIA <email@example.com> to: ARVIN POGOSYAN <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Wed, Jun 12, 2041 at 12:25 PM subject: Re: Ace This message has been digitally signed by email@example.com and the signature is valid. This message is encrypted. Your certificates are valid. Decrypting message...
Roger. Please be aware that I pulled his travel records and compared them to the flight manifest for the flight he reserved. I could be jumping to conclusions but I don't think he got on his flight to Sapin. I will get more details and let you know.
from: ARVIN POGOSYAN <firstname.lastname@example.org> to: MEDEI REVIA <email@example.com> date: Wed, Jun 12, 2041 at 12:27 PM subject: Re: Ace This message has been digitally signed by firstname.lastname@example.org and the signature is valid. This message is encrypted. Your certificates are valid. Decrypting message...
At the bar sat a caucasian man with short but unkempt sandy blonde hair. He had tanned skin, and the stubble on his cheeks made it difficult to judge his age, but he looked young, maybe in his mid or late twenties. A dark brown leather jacket was slung over the back of his chair, and he wore a pair of jeans, hiking shoes, and a long-sleeved blue and brown plaid shirt. In one hand he held his drink, the old-fashioned he'd ordered a few minutes ago. In the other he held a smartphone that he seemed to have forgotten he was holding.
Quietly he watched the goings-on in the lounge. His expression didn't betray his thoughts; on the contrary, he wore a blank stare. His eyes moved between the decorations on the wall and the patrons of the lounge, but he didn't appear to actually be looking at anything, or at least he didn't seem to be thinking about any of it. Clearly, his mind was far away.
edited 9th Apr '15 8:44:23 AM by SolipSchism
Two kids entered via the ornate, blue door. They both looked like they were thirteen years of age.
The first one had boyishly messy, silver hair with matching, bright eyes. His clothes were composed of a long-sleeve t-shirt, with which the main section was a sky blue, and the sleeves a bright red. The rest of his appearance were a simple pair of jeans and red sneakers. He handled a large, wheeled suitcase and a maroon backpack.
The other boy had whitish-brown skin with turquoise eyes, which matched his shoes. His hair was a curly black, and was cut shorter than his friend's. His apparel was very different; a green hoodie with grey slacks. He also handled a large, wheeled suitcase, but instead of a backpack, he had what appeared to be a laptop case slung around his shoulder.
The silver-haired youth looked out the window, at the white snow. He sighed gratefully at their fortune. "Okay, looks like we actually guessed right in which way to enter the place. That could've ended badly." He looked down at his apparel, "'Cuz I'm definitely not dressed for this weather right now."
He turned to his friend. "Y'know, Kyle, even if it was two days in advance, I still kinda think you dropped the news on me about this place a little suddenly."
"What?" His companion innocently asked, "Hey, lighten up, Zak; this is our break, we're s'pposed to enjoy ourselves. And two days is plenty!"
"We're at a crossroads between...whatever it is!" Zak argued back to the other boy, "I'm pretty sure that calls for more preparation than two days."
"Hey, we had no trouble getting here, right? There, problem solved." Kyle approached the desk and gave a wide smile. "Two, single-bed rooms, please."
There was a rest area ahead so Gwion signalled, pulled into it and rolled to a stop. He kicked down the side stand as he was shutting off the key and swung himself off the bike in a leisurely fashion.
He took off his helmet, revealing long dark hair with a few streaks of grey, tied back in a pony-tail. His face was, for once, cleanly shaven and his skin was tanned and weathered but had few lines other than some crow's-feet at the corners of his eyes.
The rest area was a lookout point that gave a great view down into the valley and of the road winding up. Gwion's eyes the left, blue-grey; the right, blood red took in the view. In the distance, further down the road, he could see three dark dots in staggered formation the three bikes he had passed earlier.
He looked down at his right arm. It was covered in goosebumps and the forest of black hair was practically standing upright.
His left arm had no such problems as it was mechanical and encased in rigid plastic. The casing had sustained damage over the years and had been crudely repaired a rectangle of plastic had been epoxied over one major break, strips of duct tape had been placed over others. The arm had, at some stage, been spray-painted grey with a cheap "rattle-can", but the paint had worn off on the underside of the forearm, revealing the original not-quite-flesh-coloured finish, and numerous deep gouges elsewhere on the arm revealed the true white colour of the plastic. A robust waterproof digital watch had been fixed to the upper part of the "wrist" using self-tapping screws through short stubs of the watch strap and straight into the casing.
The hand was of a contrasting style and had been finished in glossy black powder-coating but it, too, had been seriously gouged, revealing the silvery metal underneath. Gwion grinned as he recalled how the hand had sustained that damage.
Gwion wandered back to the bike and unhitched the bungy cord that secured his jacket and pack to the back. The jacket was a half-size too big for him in order to accommodate the slightly bulkier left arm, which meant that the adjustment straps on the right arm had to be cinched down as far as they would go. He slipped the jacket on then secured his pack to the back of the bike with the bungy cord.
Before zipping the front of the jacket, he took his cigarettes from out of his vest pocket and lit one then perched on his bike seat to enjoy the view out over the valley and savour his cigarette.
He watched the progress of the other bikes as they drew closer. Sometimes they vanished behind an outcrop or a turn in the road to emerge a few seconds later even closer.
He had almost finished his cigarette when they arrived and, with the faintest squeal of brakes, decelerated and rolled to a stop at the rest area. Side stands thunked down and gravel crunched as the three riders dismounted.
Gwion observed them as they took off their helmets. Two women and one man.
The man, who had short greying hair and a neatly trimmed moustache and goatee, waved out and hailed him with a cheerful, "g'day."
Gwion slipped smoothly off his perch and wandered over. "G'day, yourself. It's quite a coincidence meeting another Kiwi up here, of all places."
"Two Kiwis," corrected the woman with short brown hair. She extended her hand. "I'm Kris."
Gwion took her hand and shook it. "G'day, Kris. I'm Gwion."
The other woman, of African lineage with a shock of dark hair, stepped forward, extending her hand. "I'm Teri. An' I'm a bloody Pom." Her accent was unmistakeably Cockney.
Gwion shook her hand as well. "Well, we won't hold that against you..." he looked past her at her motorcycle, "Teri Walker."
Teri's eyes widened. "What? 'Ow'd you know my name?"
Gwion smiled. "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
Teri laughed. "You could kill me, but then they'd 'ave to kill you." She looked at Gwion's bike and noticed that it looked identical to the one she had seen in Capital City when she bought her own bike.
"You can call me Wolfe," said Wolfe, extending his hand.
Introductions over, Teri, Kris and Wolfe fished their cigarettes and lighters out of their jacket pockets and lit up.
"Off to the Resort, I gather," said Wolfe. It was a safe guess the Ngadi Resort was the only thing up this road other than ice and snow.
Gwion nodded. "I'd better push on through. I only stopped to put me jacket on and have a ciggy. No doubt I'll see you all up there." He fished in one of his jacket pockets and extracted a single riding glove which he put on his right hand.
Kris, Teri and Wolfe waved as he headed off up the road.
"Did you see his left hand and right eye?" Kris asked.
Teri and Wolfe nodded. "There's got to be a story or three, there," said Wolfe.
Lobby -> Dining/Lounge
The receptionist's general greeting answered her question about what exactly this place was, and yet raised even more questions. In particular, Camille couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at the claim that stays were on the house. If that was the case, then how were the owners supposed to pay the bills?
She quickly decided that it wasn't worth worrying about. It didn't sound like the owners were going to object to her or anyone else's presence, and she didn't need to part with a penny to boot (which was good considering she had no money whatsoever). All the more reason to stay a while, she supposed.
She grabbed a map off the desk before heading further into the establishment. As she walked, she opened up the map and looked over it, while at the same time keeping her eyes on where she was going for the sake of avoiding embarrassing accidents.
The next room she entered appeared to be a dining room of some kind. She looked up from her map to take in briefly, occasionally looking back down at the map to judge her position relative to everything else. After a few moments, she was about to move on to the next room, if that wasn't also the point that she noticed who was standing behind the bar. She took a second glance and blinked in confusion. Unless her eyes were deceiving her, the bartender was none other than the Abominable Snowman.
Well, that nicely explained just what sort of place she had found herself in.
Strutting through the portal that led inside the resort was a woman who looked to be in her early twenties with long rosy pink hair and ocean blue eyes. The woman was tall and lean and wore a long poofy black sleeveless dress that trailed around her ankles and a black faux fur coat to keep herself warm. She was very beautiful or at least thought of herself as such.
Stepping further inside she looked around with delight. "This place definitely looks promising for a nice relaxing vacation." she said to herself and spotted the bar. 'Even better' she thought. She gave a polite curtsy to the man who greeted her (who she assumed was a host) and walked towards the bar, her black heels clacking softly on the floor.
Taking a seat at one of the bar stools she turned to see the bartender and her eyes went wide. An abominable snowman? She knew this place was magical but didn't know unique creatures would be here. Leaning on the bar with the top of hand holding her chin she called out, "Can I get a martini please bartender? I'm a tad thirsty from my trip here." Her lips formed a smile at him and her eyes sparkled playfully.
edited 3rd Apr '15 8:07:00 AM by Sphinxyness
[Lobby -> Dining/Lounge]
A white man arrives through the portal, with two hands clamped around his arm. He pulls them through, and a woman followed.
"See- not bad at all," The man said, laughing as he stepped over the threshold, facing his partner.
"No- you gotta admit that was terrifying," the woman interjected. She stumbled a bit, but took a good look around. Her eyes seemed to light up immediately.
The man was aged around in his mid thirties and around 5'7'' in height. He called himself David (although the name on his birth certificate was Virgil), and had bright blond hair, which was short, but long enough to appear fluffy. To match his already American appearance, he was Caucasian with bluish green eyes. He wore a brown military-style parka with faux fur sticking out from the hood, but was undone a bit to show a bit of a white button-up shirt. He carried a suitcase that didn't seem too heavy for him.
Almost like a contrast, the woman, named Mariana, was African American with light brown eyes. Her skin was of a lighter shade and warm undertones. She was a bit shorter and younger than David. She had prepared for colder weather as well, as she wore a light gray pea coat, and a black scarf. Her hair was also short, as her curls were recovering from a haircut that left her bald. She carried a backpack over her shoulder.
David, upon seeing her reaction, followed in awe. "Well, ask Kommissar how these portals work later. We're not here for that," He walked on ahead, and shouted behind him, "I wanna check the rest of this place out."
"Well, I want to go skiing soon," She grabbed a map that her partner forgot to take. "Wait, David, should we go take our stuff in first or-"
The blond man already shoved past a couple of teenagers and went into the dining area. Mariana sighed. She opened the map to find were the guest rooms were. "Oh no. More teleporting." She decided for the moment to follow her boyfriend.
David saw the yeti at the bar, and was amused. Mariana followed behind him. "Ok, should we eat first, or go over game plan?" He said.
"How about we sit down first?" She demanded. "I just went through time and space, all right?"
"Ok, we can," The blond man sighed. He found a table and sat down, setting his suitcase down beside him. Mariana followed, and took a deep breath.
Solip, is Virgil really David from a alternate, different universe? I'm kind of afraid at the resemblance. and yes, they're from the same story as Kommissar. I'd like to think this is happening simultaneously or after Capital.
His eyes had alighted on one of the windows looking out down the mountainside; pristine snow, bright ashy clouds, and speckles of green from the trees hiding in the snow for as far as the eye could see. It was happening again; memories that might be his were superimposing themselves on his surroundings. Not literally, of course—he wasn't insane—but it was getting harder and harder to keep his attention on the present.
He knew she wasn't out there, lost, alone, afraid, and hunted. He knew it. But the landscape was so very familiar, and—
The glass slipped out of Virgil's hand, clattered on the bar and splashed. He swore, snatched at a napkin and wiped his hand off.
"Sorry, sorry," he said to the yeti behind the bar as he dabbed at the spilled bourbon and the edge of the glass, which mercifully had not tumbled off the countertop. "I was miles away. I'll clean this up. Sorry."
"Hey! Wha" Zak yelped as a blond man rushed by, almost pushing him over. Recovering himself and strengthening the grip on his load, he looked after the man that had marched right between him and Kyle.
Shaking his head, he went into the lounge. And there was his next surprise.
Wide, hairy, white, tending the bar, and a height that looked twice as much as his. Zak's mouth hung the slightest bit agape at the beastly-looking bartender.
Shortly, Kyle entered the room also, with room-keys in hand. His reaction was much different.
"Wha A Yeti?? You gotta be kidding! I can't believe this!"
Walking right up to the bar, Kyle claimed the seat next to someone who seemed much more interested in the wallpaper than the bartender.
"What's up, big guy?" Kyle cheered, offering a brofist to the towering beast.
edited 3rd Apr '15 9:57:49 AM by TroPartner
Mark served up the drinks everyone had ordered. Feel free to assume you've been served drinks/food. I only need to reply if someone asks Mark something directly (that's not an order) or something unusual happens.)
Then, turning to Virgil, he said, "don't worry about it, honest mistake." Mark took out a dishcloth from under the counter, and wiped up the spilled drink in an effortless motion.
And to Kyle, he returned the fist, and said, "not much, just serving drinks. And this is our natural habitat, although we're quite friendly once you get to know us."
Virgil bowed his head politely and moved his hands out of the yeti's way, still embarrassed. Dropping things and spilling drinks was embarrassing at the best of times, but especially in a bar, where there was always the unspoken expectation to be extra careful to avoid being seen as a drunk and thrown out. Not that it had ever happened, but Virgil was becoming a little hypersensitive to others' opinions of him these days.
"Could I, ah, get another of the same?" he asked quietly. "I'll be more careful with it. Scout's honor."
The drink was forthcoming almost as soon as he'd asked, and he raised it slightly as if toasting the bartender's health.
He glanced over at the kid who'd sat next to him and involuntarily gave a half-grin. After only a few seconds, the kid's demeanor and attitude was already reminding him of an old—
The grin faltered, but he shook off the memory. He didn't need to get lost in another one so soon after the one that had cost him a drink. He turned back to the bar and stayed quiet.
Zak now joined his friend at the bar. Laying his burdens on the floor, he smiled in an apologetic fashion. Now that he thought of it, with how high-profile this place had gotten since it was announced, it'd only make sense for the owner to ensure in quality employees.
"Well... I guess we haven't seen enough to really know for sure, Mr." He started looking for a name tag.
"Cryptozoologists would kill to meet someone like you!" Kyle stated humorously. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that the man he was sitting next to had brought his attention over. The stranger raised a glass to the tall creature, and smiled at Kyle.
Kyle's attention suddenly shifted as he saw his face fall and eventually shake his head, as if he was getting dizzy. He faced him with some concern.
"Um..." He looked down at where the drink had spilled, "Have you had a lot of that?"
edited 3rd Apr '15 3:29:02 PM by TroPartner
The drink should be cleaned up by now—it was really just a little puddle on the counter.
Virgil looked up in surprise. Apparently his reminiscence hadn't been as subtle as he'd thought.
"No, that's—was—my first," he said. "I'm just a little out of it—been having a bad couple of weeks, came up here to unwind. But you don't want to hear about that. Sorry if I seemed a little leering just now. You kind of remind me of someone I used to know."
Xia sipped her martini quietly, her eyes glancing over at the man who spilled some of his drink. She was glad he wasn't that close to her so the contents wouldn't get on her dress or that would have put her in a fowl mood. He seemed a bit out of it and out of curiosity she listened to him speak to another man at the bar who was a bit of a funny one. His friend next to him wasn't saying much. She would have been interested in chatting with them but they looked too young for her. Which brought up a question, why were they allowed to sit at the bar?
A pair of scarred hands thrust through the portal briefly flailing about until the owner fell to the ground with a strangled, "Oof!"
"More portals." grumbled the man from the floor. "I do not know how you manage to keep doing that." a slightly hoarse female voice said as the portal rippled again revealing a woman, she stepped to the hardwood floor much more gracefully than her companion.
Estimates would put her at 5'11" and at, or in her early 30's. Dark brown eyes and slightly wavy hair to her shoulders, brown like her eyes but with a noticeable rust colored component. She wore a thick woolen maroon sweater under a heavy greatcoat, a v-neck revealed a few faint scars and blemishes on her upper chest. A pair of fitted black cargo pants ended in worn combat boots. A new ushanka of some greyish fur sat on her head. She thought for a second and remembered to smile at the amusement of the man's fall.
He was about 6'1", wavy hair gone prematurely grey judging from his approximate age of early 30's, eyes were a steel blue. Thick sweatpants ended in a similar pair of combat boots. A blackish shirt peeked from under a heavy grey jacket. He picked up the small dufflebag and sallied over to the window.
"Ohh I missed this." he muttered glancing over the pristine snow fondly. Behind him the woman gave a deep bow to the greeter and politely refused his offer to take her coat.
edited 3rd Apr '15 4:36:26 PM by Slysheen
Gwion slowed to a safe speed as he approached the Ngadi Resort. It certainly looked fantastic, the main building hugging the side of the mountain almost seeming to grow out of it the beautifully groomed powdered snow and clear ice surrounding it.
If he had used the portal, he would have missed this sight. Further proof, as if any were needed, that motorcycles were the ultimate form of transport.
The entrance to the underground parking was well sign-posted so Gwion followed the signs and rode his bike into the cavernous parking area. It was made to take a large number of vehicles but, probably due to the popularity of the interdimensional portal, it was practically empty.
Gwion let out a whoop inside his helmet and twisted the throttle. The bike rose up on one wheel and he sped across the open space, then he brought the wheel down and swung the bike around in a tight circle and took off again, rolling the bike from side to side so that he described a wavy line across the parking area. He straightened up and jammed on the back brake, causing the back wheel to break out and slide sideways. He slid to a halt and then, with a grin from ear to ear, sedately rolled the bike over to one of the powered parking slots and parked up. He fastened his helmet to the bike's helmet lock, unfastened his small pack from the seat and then pulled out the bike's charging lead from its compartment behind the left side-cover and plugged it into the appropriately-shaped socket on the wall.
He looked at his bike and helmet and mused that he could no longer fit all his worldly possessions into his pockets and pack. I'm getting hooked up in this materialism shit, he thought, shaking his head. Still, it wasn't exactly a three-bedroom house full of furniture and he still owned everything freehold.
There was some kind of portal nearby labelled "Lobby" so he stepped through it, instantly emerging into the lobby as if it he had merely stepped through a door into the next room, even though he had been on the far side of the underground parking area, well away from the resort's main building. Saves a walk, I suppose, he thought.
"Cheers, mate," said Gwion. "I was hoping to check into a room, first, and put my things away."
The man directed him to the check-in counter so Gwion checked in and was directed back through the portal to get to the guest rooms.
It took him no more than five minutes to locate his room, strip off his riding jacket and leggings - leaving him in Flectarn trousers, black t-shirt with a humorous slogan in white and red across the front and battered green sleeveless vest with multiple bulging pockets - then stow his bag and head out again.
He had heard that the resort had some sort of anti-violence field to prevent any problems of the kind he had encountered on his last holiday, so he had left his cyberlinked 30-shot Umarex SP 902 and its thigh holster and spare magazine in his pack. However, just to be on the safe side, he had the Walther P99 that had belonged to his father tucked into an inside-the-waistband holster and covered by his vest, a spare magazine on the magnetic clip on his belt, his automatic extendible baton in its holster beneath his vest and a fresh charge of Oleoresin Capsicum in the vial inside his left forearm. If the field failed and things turned pear-shaped, he wouldn't be found wanting.
He approached one of the portals in the hall, wondering how he would find his way to the bar once he got back downstairs. Then he stepped through the portal and found himself in the dining area and approaching the bar. A man could get fat from lack of exercise, if he weren't careful.
He strolled over to the bar, slid up onto the seat, looked up at the towering white-furred figure and said, "single gin and lemonade, please, lemon, no ice."
The yeti gave a pleasant nod and deftly poured the drink.
edited 3rd Apr '15 10:18:30 PM by Wolf1066
After a couple of moments of standing there dumbly, Camille shook her head before quickly returning her attention to her map. It was amazing that the Abominable Snowman hadn't noticed her staring at him, which as just as well considering she didn't want him to notice that she had been staring at him.
Now that she was done standing there like an idiot, she should probably go back to exploring. However, as she looked around the dining area, she noticed that it seemed to be becoming quite the popular spot. Maybe now would be a good time to try and meet some people rather than having to worry about that later. If nothing else maybe she could have some company for future exploration.
Her eyes flicked from person to person as she looked to see who caught her interest. The first was the pink-haired woman sitting at the bar, who gave Camille the distinct impression of trying too hard to be attractive and an accompanying bad feeling. She also decided against the group speaking with the Abominable Snowman simply because she wasn't in the mood to put up with kids. There was the couple sitting at a table, though they looked to have a lot on their plates.
That left her with two options: simply not bothering and carrying on alone, or the black man with the labcoat. She seriously considered taking the former route, but chances were it'd be a while before she met someone else. Besides, her usual life was lonely enough as it was. While she wasn't entirely sure what to make of the black man, she at least wasn't getting a bad impression from him.
She shrugged before approaching him. "Excuse me," she said to him once she was close enough, "You don't mind if I sit here, do you?"
Isaac observed the others, stirring the ice in his glass as he considered. He first noticed the winged woman in the form-fitting future-suit. Probably beautiful by certain standards, though her small size and paleness mostly reminded Isaac too much of Alice for him to find her attractive. Plus that perfection was kind of Uncanny Valley, at least to his tastes. The couple at the table, American as far as he could tell. They seemed extraordinarily ordinary for this realm, though he doubted this would last. Probably werewolves or superheroes or some such. The klutzy blond guy, lost in thoughts. Dangerous place to lose one's self, though in this bar it was his right. The kids... another oddly common breed in these places, and usually not scarred child soldiers like Amu either. Maybe something about imagination drew people to this nexus, and innocent (or innocent-ish) children possessed more of it? The odd-eyed cyborg. Isaac himself had some genetic work done, perk of being Western Amalgamated, but there was still something to envy about a serious augmentation. The tall woman with the pink hair, who walked around with either confidence or perhaps vanity. Reminded Isaac a tiny bit of his favorite frenemy, Aseyu ul'Valmoth vashon'Suela; he secretly hoped the resemblance did not end there.
And... the woman who decided to start a chat with him. She seemed nice, and much like he, she'd been considering the group thoughtfully. So a good start, even if she was paler than Alice — that could not be healthy. Putting the thought aside, he said, "sure, I ain't savin' it." Then he offered a hand. "Dr. Isaac Rose, Western Amalgamated." Back home, those five magic words could instantly turn someone into a new friend, an implacable enemy, or an obsequious suck-up. Here, just an introduction. "First time in a Goldbe— in a trans-dimensional resort?" Small talk, but a start. Hopefully they'd find their way to interesting topics in time.
edited 3rd Apr '15 7:25:48 PM by KillerClowns
While Isaac was distracted by his conversation, Izeri and Qal found their way into the lounge. Ostensibly to make new friends and maybe grab a snack, but really because Qal didn't want to receiving another embarrassing defeat from Izeri. (Isaac didn't notice them, and because he was facing towards them, they didn't spot the telltale sigil on his labcoat.)
As she looked around the room, Ila caught Izeri's eyes. "Excuse me," she said, walking up to her, "but..."
Qal interrupted, "what's that thing?" She was more fascinated by the Gateway than the woman, and studied it. "Ooh," she said, eyes sparkling with childish glee, "looks like trouble". A compliment. Her hand moved very slightly towards the control panel, only barely resisting the temptation to push a button to see what happened. (If it weren't for Izeri, she might well have done it.)
Izeri supposed it was as good a way to start a conversation as any, and said, "Izeri, and my girlfriend over there is Qal. A pleasure to meet you."
edited 3rd Apr '15 8:12:35 PM by KillerClowns
"Camille," Camille said simply, before returning the handshake, albeit noticeably reluctantly. The mostly likely reason for the hesitation was the fact that her body temperature matched the room's and was considerably cooler than what would have been expected from a human. She hoped Issac wouldn't be too awful concerned about it, even as she tried to think of a good excuse for it. Fortunately he seemed friendly enough.
Afterwards she sat down next to him. "First time in any kind of resort, really. Never could afford it." She frowned thoughtfully. "It's kind of odd that guests here can stay for free. I mean, I'm not complaining or anything, but it raises the question of where they're getting their money from."
She wasn't feeling particularly hungry or thirsty at the moment, but it'd probably be a good idea to get something to drink anyway. Hopefully this bar offered something that wasn't alcohol; she did not fancy getting drunk. After some consideration, she turned to the bartender.
"I'll have a cherry soda, please. Hold the ice," she said after a moment's hesitation. She still couldn't believe she was talking to the Abominable Snowman.
"Oh." Kyle uttered, "Well... Yeah, I hope you can get it together. Actually, you do look kinda wound up." Returning his attention to the Yeti, he made his order. "Orange juice if you got it."
Zak opened his mouth, as if to make his own order.
"And my friend's interested in some cocoa." Kyle automatically added.
Zak closed his mouth back down and rolled his eyes. Of course he knows what I want.
While they waited for their order, Zak thought over the stranger's words. He looked up from his thought, at the man's face. "Well... What makes you think we're not interested?"
If he was honest with himself, Zak would admit that it felt odd of him to ask. Sure, he had already done quite a bit to help his hometown, but he was starting to sound like some psychiatrist. In his head, he smiled at the coincidence.
[INTERDIMENSIONAL DOOR-OUTER SIDE->LOBBY]
Two figures emerged through the portal's outdoor side, in the snowy outdoors.
The first was a tall figure with a large build. He had black skin and a bald head, which he covered with the hood of his dark-brown parka. On his eyes, he wore a pair of shades that had a golden tint in the lens. He also wore dark pants with equally dark snow-boots. On his hands, he handled the luggage for both of them; two wheeled-suitcases.
Th other figure, a girl who was obviously much younger than the other man, wore an orange coat with the hood up. Small wisps of raven-black hair peeked out of her hood, framing her brown eyes. On her lower body, she wore tight-fitting jeans, and snow-boots identical to her companion.
"Hey, we're here!" The man announced, rather boisterously, "It's something, isn't it?"
"Yeah. I suppose it is." The girl confirmed after a short silence. After that, she nudged her companion. "Can we go inside now? It's freezing."
"Yeah, I guess. I just wanted to see the snow first, since that's what the place is about."
The two then walked back though the door, this time ending up in the lobby.
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