(Setting) Claritea Cafe & Bookstore

| >Scents of various earthy herbs and flora flood the senses of any who enter the shop, making folks feel at one with the Earth even here, hundreds of floors above the bustling city below in the Cloud District. Compared to the city below, paradoxically this place feels even more grounding, a sense of peace and warmth seeping from the deep, forest green walls of the Claritea Cafe & Bookstore, a small building located on one of Venturi University's island-pavilions between skyscrapers.

| >Stepping through the front doors leads you to the ordering counter, with a large menu above the register and a small glass case filled with pastries and small cakes that would go well with coffee, tea or the like. On the menu was a wide variety of selections, various styles of teas and coffees from around the world's cultures, as well as smoothies and milkshakes. On the right past this was the restrooms, with the left taking you around the counter to the rest of the building.

| >The interior had a lot of design features that were made from a faux wood paneling meant to look like smoothed out oakwood. The goal, it seems, was to make the place look homey and comfortable. To the left of the ordering counter was large bar of stooltop seating, that circled around the order counter and through the dining area, which had deep forest green carpets and a selection of both booths and hightop tables, complete with electrical and ethernet outlets for patrons seated.

| >The stooltop seating continues its circle through the dining area and behind the order counter, and on that side of the building is the other half, a large paperback bookstore filled with a few rows of aisles made specifically for books, everything from university textbooks for students to both fiction and nonfiction sections, ready for those who wish for their information in a more organic form. There is also a small island for various bags of tea and coffee, made from the cafe.

| >At the moment, the Cafe wasn't too busy, with only a few university students sitting in the bookstore section, reading a few books together and talking. Behind the counter were two university students employees, one taller guy and one shorter guy, with the taller guy running the register and the shorter guy running the brewing machines. The taller guy had short blonde hair and blue eyes, while the shorter guy had short black hair and green eyes. There was, seemingly, no back room.

| >In the air above the bookstore and on the wall was a large holographic display of the entire solar system, except with the perspective of Earth being in the center and everything else spinning around in relation to it. The entire system was divided into 12 segments, which each had one of the western astrological symbols and the name of the sign, colored in its respective element with its respective modality listed beneath it. A large holographic table was listed beside the Earth:

| >Daily Numerology:
>Year Number: 4 (2+0+X+X=4)
>Month Number: 11 (Master)
>Day Number: 7 (1+6=7)
>Universal Month Number: 6 (4+11=15, 1+5=6)
>Universal Day Number: 22 (11+7+4=22, Master)

>Daily Astrology:
>Sun in Scorpio:
>-Sun sextile Jupiter
>-Sun sextile Saturn
>-Sun sextile Pluto

>Moon in Sagittarius:
>-Moon square Neptune

>Mercury in Scorpio:
>-Mercury opposition Uranus

>Venus in Libra:
>-Venus square Jupiter
>-Venus square Saturn
>-Venus square Pluto

| >Mars in Aries:
>No alignments.

>Jupiter in Capricorn:
>-Jupiter sextile Sun
>-Jupiter square Venus
>-Jupiter conjunction Pluto

>Saturn in Capricorn:
>-Saturn sextile Sun
>-Saturn square Venus

>Uranus in Retrograde Taurus:
>-Uranus opposition Mercury

>Neptune in Retrograde Pisces:
>-Neptune square Moon

>Pluto in Capricorn:
>-Pluto sextile Sun
>-Pluto square Venus
>-Pluto conjunction Jupiter

| (Oops 20XX not 2020 ;)

| >The open sign is lit, and the cafe is open for all to come!

| >a tired woman, with a heavy backpack wheeling behind her walks in.
"Fucking finals..."

| >She walks up to the counter
"Can I get...."
>she looks at the menu
"...the most caffeinated thing."

| >>716415
>The taller guy, another University student, likely an underclassmen, stood ready at the counter for the order, with an overly enthusiastic smile on his face. His nametag said "Clint" on it.
"Hey Mike, get this girl a venti quad-shot, its finals week!"
>His eyes look like he's been hopped up on a few quad-shots of his own for the past few nights in order to crunch some finals of his own. Who knows what the kids are taking to stay awake these days...
"Anything else for ya?"

| >>716485
"A gun to shoot myself. Don't report that I'm not serious."
>she says with a slight smile.

| >she pulls out her University ID to pay for it on the meal plan.
"Thanks Clint."
>her dark brown hair covers one side of her face obscuring her copper colored eyes. She rolls her shoulder and a small whir is heard

| >>716736
"No problem, no problem at all!...So, uh, what degree are you studying?"

>You could tell he was struggling, poorly, to think of something to talk about.

"Oh yeah, that's *totally* the one thing any girl at this University, or guy for that matter, is gonna wanna talk about. Nice pickup lines, Clint."

>The guy named Mike, without looking up at all, began making the caffeinated cure and made sure to robustly roast both Clint and the beans in the process. He was...bitter.

| "Hey, man, t-that's not-"

"Aw, cool it Mike, you bloody downer. Can't you shine a ray of sunshine for once in your life?"

>Suddenly, a significantly older female voice, that of the one running the place, seemingly came from behind the counter itself, though with no clear source making it..

| >>716952
"Electrical Engineering mostly."
>she says rubbing her eyes.
"So yeah Jaquilen Hall my home away from home."

| >>716954

>Clint looks back to Mike, shooting each other equally venomous glares, as he looks back to the customer.

"Mmm, part of the JHEE club. I don't envy you guys, your program is one of the most rigorous I've seen. I definitely don't have the brains for it, but I admire those who do."

>A receipt printed out as the Uni ID scanner beeped with a quick rainbow flash of light, and Clint handed it to the student.

"Your caffeine potion will be right out. What's left for the day?"

| >>717283
"Thank you."
>she taps her id to a scanner till a 'ping' is heard
"For the rest of the day I sit here, drink that and memorize phrases, equations and scenarios."
>she rolls her augged shoulder again
"Then, keep doing that until I can do it my eyes closed. I hate that Negative Mass had to come to play this year because of the NMASC. 'A historic moment, this is like watching Edison invent the lightbulb remember this' thanks Dr. Derms..."

| >Someone enters the cafe
>Wearing some kind of police uniform, although the AR bands and displays attached to it make it VERY clear that they are off-duty
>A lilim with ivory plating, and a black jaw mod, long black hair and green eyes, along with two antenna mounted on their head, like horns, She seems to be an old model.
>She approaches the counter with a wave
>She gives the billboards and writings around the Cafe a look

| >>717301
>the tired girl steps aside for the lilim to order and waits for hers

| >>717313
>The lilim gives the girl a look
"I wasn't interrupting anything was I?"
>She voices concern

| >>717315
"No no. Besides its a cafe so I should make way for next in line."

| >>717317
"Ah, okay, gotcha"
>She smiles a bit, or well what could be assumed to be a smile, her face is not very expressive

| >Two people enter the cafe, the one at the front is a woman, either in her late twenties or early thirties, with flowing black hair and a pair of sharp blue eyes. She is dressed in a black and white two-tone sweatshirt and a pair of grey trousers, as well as a little sling bag slung across her shoulder and a black fleece beanie on her head.

| >Following her is a man, most likely of around the same age range, although his face seems somewhat older and he gives off a certain air of confidence. He is dressed in a hoodie and a pair of blue jeans, as well as an olive green cap. He carries a pistol openly by his side, in a holster firmly strapped to his leg.

| "Can we maybe not do this?"

>The man says, groaning as they enter.

"Red, we've agreed on this. You took me to the range, now we can have a nice, peaceful time together here."

>The woman replies as they get in line behind the lilim.

"Fine, atleast the coffee will stop me from immediately falling asleep."

>The man mutters, which makes the woman turns around and jokingly slaps him in the arm and they both giggles.

| >A figure in a baseball cap and a jacket ill-suited to protect them from the face-numbing cold of winter on the earth far below, wanders into the lobby housing the jarringly organic entrance of this cafe. They look around for someone loitering-- someone who... appears worthy of the handle "Captain Heart Attack".

"... Hm."

| >>717699

"You lost luv?" >You hear a voice behind you- the gruff man looks to be in his mid to late forties and has a salt and pepper goatee to match. His getup looks like something crossed between a Vietnam War era G.I. and a 90's era grunge/punk band wannabe, between his denim jacket festooned with patches and homemade badges, baggy, worn cargo shorts, and an oldfashioned looking full metal helmet... which even has a pack of cigs attached to it via a headband. The three thicccc looking "leather" jackets slung casually over his shoulder completes the ensemble.

| >>717706
>... Okay, there's no way this dude could be anybody /other/ than Major MI, considering that simply giving the guy a once over could probably send you into cardiogenic shock. Talk about a fashion disaster...


>The urge to quip dryly: "/I'm/ not, but maybe /you/ are," is so strong that they end up clearing their throat to shake it.

"... Nah. Think I'm right where I'm s'posed to be."

>They gesture towards the pack of cigarettes on the man's helmet.

"... Handy."

| >>717710

"Mm?" >He reaches up to touch the pack of cigs fondly.

"Lucky Strikes. Vintage." >He says with a grin.

"You seem like the kinda gal who'd want to look stylish *and* not get geeked?" >He says, patting the jackets over his shoulder.

| >>717326
>Looking at the writings on the walls of the cafe leads to observation of various paintings, all looking to be different artistic renditions of various esoteric symbols, numbers & pictures, namely from astrology or the tarot among others.

>The man at the counter observes the newcomers & turns to the Lilim girl now at the front of the line.

"Welcome in! What can I get for ya?"

| >>717295
>After a minute, the other man who's making the drinks turns and sets the first guest's finished coffee on the counter for her, to the left of the cash register.
"Here you go. You're welcome to take a seat anywhere in here."
>After looking around at the room, scanning the newcomers, he walks over to the second cash register and motions to the new couple that came in.
"What can I get started for you guys?"

| >>717725
>The woman smirks, and shifts her weight from foot to foot, eventually ending her fidgeting by cocking her hip.

">>>Deff don't wanna get>>>geeked... care 'bit less 'bout whether'r not I turn heads when I chomp it."

>Despite her flat dismissal of his claim that the jackets he carries are fashion-forward, she eyes them with growing interest.

"You... Captain Coronary, or whatever...?"

| >>717744

>He guffaws!

"You flatter me, kiddo. Close enough." >He heaves the leather coats from his shoulder into a bundle in front of himself.

"Let's get in dere, unless you like playing dress up in this damnable cold." >He says, nodding to the cafe's general direction.

"I kno de wey anywey."

| >>717745
>The woman gives a good natured shrug, and follows his line of sight.

"You're the boss, omae. Don't got any ranks 'nfronta >>>my name."

>The salute she follows her reply with is surprisingly crisp for one that's meant to be so informal.

"Get the door for ya."

>Her speech might be rough and perhaps a little rude, but she's not totally without manners. Besides, it's kind of hard to get here and there carrying something so unwieldy.

| >>717754

"Thank ye kindly." >The "captain/corporal/totes military" dude walks in and makes a beeline for the elevator, tapping the button with a free elbow. Moments later, an elevator arrives playing some awfully vintage music that, coincidentally, seems to fit his get up somewhat.

| >>717756
>The woman intones:


>Then, zips after the guy, parking herself in the corner of the lift opposite him as it's heaved skyward. She winces.

"... So... been to this place before?"

| >>717758

"Ya. Nephew used to go to school here." >He replies, as the Inkspots play through the speakers in high definition remaster. The elevator's fast, but still has a minute or two left to go.

| >>717760
>Asking strangers about family is always risky. You don't know who's alive, who isn't, and who your new acquaintance is /wishing/ was in that second category. Best not to probe too deep... she does her best to keep skimming the surface. A little more than talking about the weather, but not by much.

"Place a big deal, or whatever? What's it-- 'ivy league', or somethin'? Never heard of it..."

>She'll have to check out the courses they offer, later.

| >>717763

"Ivy League?" >He asks, not understanding what you mean.

"Its one of da few 'ere and his parents no want him going ta no script kiddie school, or Matrix course... so's they said they'd send'm 'ere, and I said, 'aight i'll help pay fer it,' and the rest was... whats what." >He says, ending his thought a bit awkwardly, like a VHS tape being abruptly cut.

| >>717770
>She rubs at her chin as she tries to figure out... exactly what it is that makes an "Ivy League" school attain that prestigious status. She'd never really had that explained to her, so... she fills in the gaps as best she can:

"Uh, they're... like... famous 'cause they churn out geniuses 'n shit? Then, celebs 'n their kids enroll; make the name even bigger... that sorta thing."

>She rolls her eyes, then rubs the back of her neck.

"Big overseas, guess."

| >>717779

>He grunts and pulls aside his helmet for a bit to scratch his head.

"Sounds like corp drek to me." >The elevator finally reaches the cafe level and opens to (see OP's description).
"Sure as 'ell 'ope I warn't participatin' in fundin' dat."

| >>717781
>The woman hums and raises her head in agreement. Lord knows those universities don't need any help, what with all the family legacies being upheld within the walls of their lecture halls... She breathes a sigh of relief when they reach their floor, and stumbles a little as she exits the elevator.


>She grimaces while she tries to hurry up and get her bearings. She's not here on leisure-- it's strictly business-- there's no time to be wasted.

| >>717784

>By comparison, Corporal Heart Attack swaggers into the cafe as if he owned the joint, and gives a quick wave to whomever happens to be manning the counter.

| >>717740
>The couple walks over to the second counter. Still smiling, the woman orders.

"Um, hi. We'll have a london fog and an espresso."

| >The Police-woman lilim simply cocks an eyebrow at the new arrivals, but then orders as well
"I'll get a, uh, black coffee"
>She felt so boring, but hey, cant go wrong with a classic.

| >>717821 >>717784 >>717801
>Mike taps the orders into the register screen, looking down for a second before looking back up to the couple, catching the other newcomers out of the corner of his eye and somewhat eyeing them.
"Alright, coming right up for ya. Card, stick or paper?"
>Meanwhile, Clint looked up at the officer as he rang up the black coffee.
"Coming right up. Had a long night or something, officer?"
>He says as the order rings up on the register.

| >>717849

"Paper, chummer." >Colonel Cardiac flips out some grimy looking notes of questionable value.

| >>717849
"Oh, um, stick. Thank you."

>The man replies, fumbling around in his pocket for a little while before handing you a credstick.

"I'll go take a look around, see if I can find something interesting."

>The women says to her companion.

"Alright, better start with some lullabies."

>The man replies with a grin. The women gives him another light slap before walking over to the bookstore section.

| >>717849
"Long and rough"
>The Police-woman says, smirking
"I just moved offices and I already clocked in 20 hours of overtime just this week, I wish I was some king class with augments to deal with that"
>She chuckles

| >>717871
>The man continues to keep his eyes on his female companion. Only turning back to the counter once she has disappeared around the corner into the fiction section, browsing around through the endless novels presented in front of her.

"Moving offices, that always sucks, I feel ya. I used to do that a lot."

>The man chimes in, having overheard the conversation.

"I'm Red, by the way, Redford Bell."

| >>717849
>The woman, having managed to stagger through the door, now faces the second obstacle standing between her and the outerwear she seeks: picking something off this damned menu she's actually heard of. What kind of joint /is/ this? Definitely seems like a place BA's would flock to...

"Uh... c--"

>Bad idea. What's the point in hiding your face if you're gonna fork over something that hints at your identity, anyway?

"... C-credstick."

>What a pain it is, to think twice.

| >>717916
"Yeah, tell me about it"
>She sighs deeply, her eyes closing as she does
>She restores her posture as she hears the name, she stops and smiles before extending a hand with graceful movements
"Nice to meet you Red, I'm Madeline, its a pleasure"


| >>718645
>Red takes her hand and shakes it. One firm shake, and let go.

"Likewise, Madeline."

>Red is a man in his thirties, clean-shaven and his hair slicked back. His clothing are casual, but his movement suggests that he in or has been in some kind of military organizations before. He is openly carrying a pistol, and seems to know how to use it.

| >>719109
>Madeline's demeanor seems to relax after the handshake, she definitely noticed the way Red carries himself, having a similar way of acting herself.
>She looks behind her, at >>717959
"I shouldn't be hogging the line, have a go... mister?"
>She seems unsure, her eyes dart over you, before a sigh and a dismissing shrug relieve your body of her augmented stare.

| >>719248
>Red also realize he's standing in the line as well.

"Oh, whoops. I should probably make way as well. Again, glad to meet you."

>Red chuckles as he steps out the way.


"My bad, sorry about that."

>He says as he gestures you towards the counter to order his drink. All the while eyeing your get-up, especially the metal helmet.

"Damn, brother, where did you get that helmet? Not trying to be rude or anything, but that helmet looks... vintage."





Total number of posts: 63, last modified on: Wed Jan 1 00:00:00 1607000696