(Setting)"Dang! Pad Thai" Stall

| >Dang's Thai food stall has been reopened on the busiest streets of Downtown, right across from the Bizarre Beefeater, which is getting progressively busier as the evening goes by and slowly turns to night.
>The food stall itself is also bustling as people drop by for their evening meal, what's better than a hot meal after a long day of work?

| >A young man of average height wearing hospital scrubs and a green PVC canvas jacket two sizes too large for his frame lazily slips though the crowd and up to the stall then lights a cigarette using a spark from a large crude prosthetic thumb.

"Yo! what's the cheapest thing on the menu? I'll take one of those."

| >>755889
>Dang, the man behind the stall, is a fairly tall Caucasian figure in his late 30s. Black hair, brown eyes, a short beard and an overall friendly look, dressed in a casual hoodie and sweatpants alongside a plain apron.

"You sure, buddy?"

>He seems slightly confused at the request of the young man, cocking his head to one side as he finishes garnishing a curry on rice of some kind, the smell of spices hitting you full-force.

| >He serves up the dish to another customer before coming back to you. He reaches over to the side of his stall and put some rices on a plate and put it in front of you.

"That's the cheapest thing on the menu."

>The man hold his expression for a while before letting his face twist into a cheeky smile and taking the plate of plain rice back.

"I'm kidding, of course, go take a seat, I'll fix something up for you."

| >>755910

>The man in the green jacket, takes a long drag from his cigarette and chortles followed by a short coughing fit into his arm. Now red in the face he looks back up.

"I assume these are on the house, yeah? I didn't expect a free appetizer. Thanks man."

>He finds the nearest empty seat while poorly attempting to hold in further coughs.

| >>755930
"Nah, those ain't free. Don't worry, I'm sure you can do the dishes if you don't have money on you."

>Dang replies nonchallantly as he gives his wok a wipe down in preparation for the next dish.

| >A shortish woman approaches the Stall, her long white hair being ruffled by the breeze.
>She wears a large red coat over a green button-up shirt and tight fitting white jeans
>She hails the man behind the counter
"Hey, is there anything spicy you can serve up"
>She asks

| >>755936
"Of course, how spicy do you want it?"

>Dang replies, flashing you a friendly smile as he pours some oil into the wok and putting it over the fire.

| >>755934
>The man jumps, caught surprise by Dang's answer before clearing his throat and puffing out his chest

"No disrespect but I didn't end up here in GC to wash dishes."

>He says, eyes wandering around the area nervously fiddling with his metal thumb. Until he lets out a groan and relaxes

"Look man. I can pay, but only in real scratch for now. I know you've got a business to run so if that's not cool, I can wash dishes"

| >>755942
>Falschen sits down, resting her head unto her palm as she does
"As hot as you can make it"
>She flashes a grin of her own

| >>755943
>Dang lets out a hearty laugh.

"What? No, I was kidding!"

>Dang starts dropping in some ingredients, some cabbage, some pork, then starts stiring it around the pan in the oil.

"You see, there's this joke for us Thais that you would need to do the dishes to pay for food. I forgot you bunch don't get that."

>He explains as he continues to stir the meat and vegetable and starts seasoning them.

| >>755944
"Roger that, ma'am!"

>Dang does a quick enthusiastic salute, but then quickly snap back to stiring around the food. He finishes up with a little more seasoning to his taste and serves it up with some rice to the man in green(>>755943)

"Also, you can pay in cash, I don't mind."

>He says to the man as he serves up the dish.

| >>755948

>The man sighs in relief as he puts out his cigarette by pressing it on his thumb

"I'm sorry if I caused you any trouble. Name's Step by the way. I've only been in the area for a couple of days so I've gotta start trying to create my image if I want any business... at least that's what I read on the net, In any case. Thanks for the grub."

>Step says before attacking his meal

| >>755958
>The woman sitting at the counter, Falschen, gives the man next to her a stare
"Yeah, you haven't been here long if you're still holding on to scratch. I'd advise you get a credstick or something soon"
>She says, with a wide grin, chuckling
"Name's Falschen, as a veterant Glitch City resident, lemme welcome you to the worst city on this side of the world"

| >>755959

>Step puts down his utensils and almost speaks before swallowing before looking over and making a huge grin

"Happy to meet you Falschen, That's the first warm welcome I've gotten since I've arrived. I've got my reasons for waiting on a credstick, fear mostly. I'm not sure if that's something that makes a trail and I'd like to lay low for a bit. But hell, there probably isn't a transaction in this city that isn't being watched in some way or another."

| >>755966
>Falschen lifts an eyebrow at the man's insistance to stay off record, but doesn't comment on it.
"Well, if that's your issue, you could always get one associated with a fake SIN ID, I'll tell you though, they ain't cheap"
>She chuckles
"Not as cheap as the warm welcome is, that one is free"
>She jokingly adds

| >A girl walks to the stall with a refined gait
>She's dressed in what seems to be a loose fitting purple school uniform that some might recognize
>Her face seems a bit stiff as she sits at a vacant spot, her crystalline blue eyes taking stock of the other clients as she passes a hand through her long dullish blond locks
"Now this smell is quite appetizing... you got anything with some real meat to it?"
>Her words are friendly, but her face remains stiff

| >>755970
>Step chuckles back

"I'm gonna doubt I'll be able to get a fake SIN ID from washing somebody's dishes. I think I'll be cool to get a legit credstick after a bit. Say, Falschen; if you don't mind me asking, How do you make your way in this city?"

>He says before resuming stuffing his face

| >>755978
>Falschen thinks for an instant
"I usually walk, or take my truck out, most people use the subway or the train."
>She shrugs
"I don't move around much these days though"

| >>755979

>Step stops eating for a moment to inspect the new patron while continuing to speak

"...Huh. I never would have pinned you as someone who isn't about much or one that drives a truck for that matter."

>Step laughs to himself about it

"So I guess it's safe to assume you work around here then, yeah?"

| >>755986
>Falschen laughs
"I used to be out and about, but I got responsabilities now."
>She pauses for a beat
"As for working near-by, Well, I tend to a garden in Temple-1, it's a nice spot to be in this concrete jungle"

| >>755958
>The food is fantastic. There's none of the fancy spices, but the meat and the vegetable is cooked just right and with just the right amount of saltiness to them.

"No worries, make yourself comfortable."

>He replies with the same smile and then turns to Falschen.

"You make yourself at home too, I'll get something cooking for ya."

>He continues as he walks back to his stall to prepare another meal.

| >>755972
>The other people eating mostly seems to keep to themselves. Some took notice of your uniform, but says nothing.

"Of course, what do you want to try out, little girl?"

>Dang calls out as he starts to boil some water to prepare the order.

| >Another pair of people arrives at the stall, one was a highschool girl bearing the same air of grace to the other girl(>>755972), impeccably wearing the indigo uniform of the prestigeous St.Mariam's High School.
>The second newcomer was different yet similar to his younger companion. The man appears to be in his mid-20s, he wears a waterproof jacket and a pair of army trousers, a respirator hanging by his belt. Yet, together, they shares the same auburn hair and glossy black eyes.

| >The newcomers were having a conversation as they arrives without paying much attention to the people around them, as such they didn't immediately take notice of the other girl inside the establishment.

"...and that's why I think the guy from The Wars of the Worlds has PTSD, Wells just didn't know what those are yet. Shellshock isn't even a word until like a decade later."

>The girl explains to the man.

"Alright, Sam. Enough literature lessons, I'm hungry."

| >>756001

"I might have to check it out sometime once I settle in, I can't remember the last time I saw anything green."

>Step says while making a mental note

>The man walking in catches Step's eye as he begins sizing him up, his eyes drawn toward the respirator and back up to his face. Before quietly laughing with a small huff from his nose (>>756150)

| >>756030
"Does the chef have any recommandations? I'm not too well versed in cuisine from these parts."
>The girl says, a look of curiosity on her face as she stares at the cooking utensils

| >>756173
>Falschen nods
"Anytime is good, if you do end up visiting, I'll throw in tea as a special offer."
>she says.

| >>756234
"Well, first you'll have to tell me how spicy you like your food."

>Dang says as he throws in some aromatics into the water, followed by a brown-ish paste. Once the paste is properly dissolved, he adds some other ingredients and seasonings.

>Once it's done, he pour it into a bowl and serves it to Falschen alongside some rice.

"Kaeng Tai Pla and some rice, enjoy."

| >>756173
>The man paid you no heed still, instead making his way over to the stall behind the other highschooler, still paying no heed to anybody else.

"Thought of what you want to eat yet? Sam?"

>The man asks his companion, Sam, who stashes away a red notebook in her hand into her satchel.

"Uh, Pad Thai? It's a >Pad Thai stall, Mav."

>She replies, quite sarcastically. Mav shrugs at the reply.

"Alright then, kid."

| >>756294
"Spices... spices..."
>The girl seems to fiddle with something near her ear
"Ah yes, I'll take it very spicy, but not scathing hot if you could. Thank you."
>Her speech is still noticeably stiff, and so is her face... it's like she's holding back a smile

| >>756505
"Right-o, I'm on it."

>Dang replies with a warm smile, pouring some more water in another pot, which is followed by some chicken and a green paste, before taking it to a boil. He lets it boil for a few minutes.

>While he's making the dish, he calls out to the two newcomers.

"Alright, what can I get ya?"

"Uncle noooo...*please*."

> A large man practically radiating with energy booms from half a block away. Massive and ripped are words that can be used but are nothing short of an understatement. The man wanders forward, his long and wild black mane fluttering in the air along with the sway of his waist draping yukata top. The hakama under it bellowing with each step.

| > Following behind him was a young woman with short black hair, a leather jacket over a white t-shirt, with a simple skirt and boots. Not very fashionable, but perhaps a bit too eye catching to not stick out as she wished.
> She groaned as she was practically dragged over, because this man was simply too big to stop. Her dainty arms couldn't hold him back.

| >>756545
"Uh, I'll have some stir-fried basil with pork plus a runny egg on top. Oh, don't make it too spicy please."

>Mav says to Dang. The girl snickers at the reply.

"Since when is big brother Maverick scared of spicy food?"

>Sam comments.

"Just shut up and order."

>Maverick coldly replies.

"Fine, I'll have a pad thai."

| >>756269

>Step nods at Falschen with a smile
"I'll have to take you up on that. I've got one more question for you here Falschen seeing as you seem to know your way around. Any idea where I can catch some fights around here? Legal or otherwise, as long as there's money."

| >>756762
"Alright, take a seat, both of ya, I'll get your order served up after this one."

>Dang enthusiastically replies, adding coconut milk to the mixture inside his pot. Followed by some kaffir lime leaves, thai eggplants, and sacred basil. Once it's done, he pour the finished dish over some rice and serves it up to the other girl.( >>756505 )

| >>756716 >>756718
>Once the green curry is finished, Dang immediately throws some oil into a pan, preparing to start up another order. He turns to address the newcomers.

"Hello there, and you are right! We serve Thai food here! How can I help ya?"

| >>756764
"If you're into Wrestling, we got some good matches in town, might of heard about it before, sometimes bears are involved"
>She says with a smirk
"As for the less than legal type, you're gonna have to ask someone else... But while I don't know about fighting, street racing is huge around the Motor districts, lots of accidents too if you're into that kind of stuff"

| >>756768

"Bears huh? That definitely sounds entertaining. But, I'm looking more for business rather than pleasure. Though, I'm willing to bet there's people involved with street racing that have their hands and their wallets in a ring somewhere."

>Step says before pumping his fist

"So! I've got a place to start. Thanks Falschen, I owe you one. Even if that 'one' is just a meal or a beer sometime."

| >>756817
"Don't worry about it, I'm sorry I couldn't help much more than that anyway"
>She gives you a broad smile, there's a hint of apology in there.
"And about anything you owe me, how about getting a credstick first, it would help."
>She chuckles

| >Hark! A vagrant approaches!

| >>756766
>The girl smiles very awkwardly and bows a little
"Lerchis... uh... thanks?"
>She sounds unsure of her own words as she fiddles with her ear again

| >>756843
>Dang nods back with the same warm smile.

"Green curry on rice, with real pork. Enjoy your meal."

>He promptly replies before going back to cooking.

| >>756862
>The girl nods and begins eating
>Soon enough, her face blooms into a smile... and oh god, it's awful
>Bared teeth, with sharp molars, all black and glistening like crystals
>Her eyes narrow and her expression takes on a powerful glare, like a predator that's found it's prey
>... seems like her awkward facade is her trying not to scare away literally everyone else
>It's failed now, she looks very scary

| >>756890
>Falschen looks impressed
"Goddamn, look at that"
>She mumbles, quietly nudging Step

| >>756890 >>756895
>Step pulls his head out of his meal to look over at Falschen, following her eyes over to the girl. What he sees nearly startles him out of his chair.

"Hooo-ly shit! What kinda work did *she* have done?! I've been on the street for TWO DAYS with something like THAT running loose?!"

>He says desperately trying to keep his volume under control

| >>756905
>Despite the attempt, the girl seems to notice the commotion, she shuts her mouth and looks down with crimson cheeks
"A-apologies... my face is quite strange... I'm doing my best to conceal it."
>She seems thouroughly embarrassed that she let her real face show

| >>756914
>Falschen stiffles a laugh at the reaction of the girl, something with a mouth like that, blushing like a little girl?
"Nah, don't worry about it, it was rude to stare anywho, our bad really"
>She says

| >>756929
>The girl fiddles with her ear again, muttering something
"Don't be sorry... I'm the weird one... weird face... sorry."
>She hangs her head low

| >>756933
>Step now visibly embarrassed himself pipes up
"Nah, for real. I shouldn't've went off like that. Besides, I'm probably the last person whose opinion you should care about."

| >>756933
>Falschen straightens out her back
"Nah, girl, mind well what I say: I've seen weirder, way weirder"

| >>756940
>The girl stays blushing for a bit before raising her head
"Is that so? Then do not mind me, please. Thank you."
>She fiddles with her ear again
>Or more accurately the small device connected to it, some sort of translator

| >>756890
>The smile seems to unnerve Dang a little bit, although more in a worried way than a disgusted way.

>Nonetheless, he continues to cooks up the next order. He throws in some garlic and chilli, which is promptly followed by some pork. Once the pork starts cooking, he seasons it and throws in some sacred basil. Once those are done, he put it over some rice. He also fries up an egg, making sure to keep the runny yolk, then serve it forth with the dish.

| >>757110 >>756762
>Mav nods in appreciation, but his face remains cold as he digs into the dish.
>Meanwhile Sam looks around, noticing the small commotion around the girl with sharp teeth. She takes notice of the uniform and calls out at the girl.

"Hey, you, uh, from St. Mariam's?"

| >>757112
>The girl hears your words and tilts her head, as if she poorly understood what you mean
"Sorry, don't understand."
>Her uniform looks similar to yours... with a similar colour and design, but it's noticeably different once you pay it closer attention

| >>757195
"Nope, nevermind."

>Sam immediately turns back, seemingly already lost her attention.

"Samantha, you started a conversation, not very polite to leave them hanging now, is it?"

>Mav calls out before shoving a spoonful of the food into his mouth.

"Oh, just shut up Mav, since when did you care about what's polite."

>Sam snaps back.

"Well, I just thought you might want to talk with somebody while I go do my actual job."

| "What?"

>Sam snaps back again, surprised.

"I told you I'm supposed be on a job"

>Mav replies, taking another bite.

"Just take me with you then."

>Mav snickers at this, almost spilling out the rice in his mouth. He finishes eating before replying;

"Not a fucking chance."

>Sam stands up, hands on the table, disturbing the plate a little.

"Why not?"

>Mav sighs.

"You're kidding? People have bounties on their heads for a reason, kid."

| >>757207
>The girl simply tilts her head some more, the faintest hint of a smile on her face as tension mounts
"Cet arrachi la truke? Kerde."
>She mumbles in an unknown language as she fiddles with the small device behind her locks

| >>757112 >>757207 >>757208
>Meanwhile, Dang prepares a dish of pad thai, boiling up some noodles and putting some oil in another wok, which is followed by some tofu and egg. He put some sauce in with the noodle and stir-fry them together. Some final additions of seasoning, roasted peanuts, and mung bean sprouts, and he serves it up with some extra ground chilli and a slice of lime on the side.

| >A cat boomer woman approaches the stand, her black hair lightly bobbing with each step.
>She wears a black jacket with an off-white t-shirt just underneath. Her hands rest in front of her, a faint clicking muffled by her gloves.
>She waits patiently as Dang cooks, deciding not to disturb him as he works.

| >A young girl approaches the stall, with shortish brown hair, green eyes, and pale skin.
>She wears a black, oversized, rain coat and a large plastic flap covers the front of it, attached solidly with metallic buttons.
>She sits down slowly

| >>757428 >>757431
"Alright, g'day, both of you. How can I help?"

>Dang calls out as he cleans up some of the cooking utensils.

| >>757534
>The girl nods her head
"Anything mild you can get me? something light, not greasy"
>She asks in a whispering voice, she sounds quite young, befitting of her appearance.

| >The woman stiffly raises her hand in greeting.

"Something warm and filling, if that is available. I assume that synthmeat is all that is available, therefore I will take your beef, the chicken always has an unpleasant aftertaste."

>Her eyes stuck to Dang as she ordered before she broke them off to look over the others at the stall, her lips turned downward into a light frown.

| >>757542
"Yep, sure. Make yourself comfy, eh?"

>Dang cheerfully replies, jumping into action, already heating up some water in a pot to cook the next order.

"You as well, take a seat. We have real meat as well, mind, if you want that."

| >>757317
>Sam allows Dang to serves up the dish but continues to argue with Mav.

"Please, I'll just wait in the car or something. I promise I'll behave."

>Mav remains stoic.

"No's still no, Sam. Come on, eat and I'll get you back to school."

>Sam frowns, sitting down, defeated. She slowly picks through the food, completely ignoring the other girl now.

>Mav turns to you.

"I'm sorry about her, she's a bit irritable."

>The apology sounds genuine but his tone is cold.

| >>757558
"I will, thank-you"
>The girl takes a seat slowly, deliberatly so.
>She looks around as well, her eyes set upon >>757543's frown and she simply lifts an eyebrow
"Do you have anything cold to drink, I could use anything to get rid of this feeling in my throat right now"
>She asks Dang.

| >>757571
"Of course, what do you want? There's water, beer, and a bunch of other drinks."

>Dang gestures towards the menu above the stall and the counter, which lists out a bunch of drinks; mostly herbal drinks and juices, but also some other Thai drinks like Thai Tea, Sala drink, and Cream soda.

| >>757572
"I'll have anything that's not alcoholic, I'm not of age yet."
>She says, matter-of-factly
"hmm, Cream-soda is it? i've yet to have tasted such a thing; I'll take it."

| >>757574

>Dang replies. While he waits for the order to cook, he starts pouring some syrup from a half-filled bottle — labeled "Hale's Blue Boy" — into a metallic cup, which is followed by some soda. He pours the mixture into an ice-filled glass and serves it.

"There you go, cream soda."

| >>757580
>The girl smiles and nods

"Nifty way of making it, I expected a plastic bottle; this is way nicer"

>She takes hold of the glass with her small, pale, hands before taking a tentative sip.
>An expression of surprise, followed by more sipping, she seems to like it.

| >The girl in the purple uniform seems to have finished fiddling with her earpiece and has resumed eating.
>She's much more proper about it this time, but sometimes her face reverts to her evil grin before going back to anxiety

| >>757558
"In that case, I'll take real meat. I did not imagine I would be able to find any here."
>The woman took the time to look over the stall and its occupants once again before opting to focus on Dang as he cooked.
"I will take a cup of tea, also. Any will do, but I would prefer lightly sweetened and with a creamer."

| >>757600
"This way people can decide if they want to use soda or just water. I know soda cream without soda sounds weird but it's still good."

>Dang answers, adding some minced pork to the pot of water. Once the pork is cooked, he adds some carrots as well as some cabbage and seasoning, followed by some egg tofu. He pours the finished soup into a bowl and serves it up alongside a plate of rice.

| >>757627
"Is thai tea fine? It's much sweeter than the milk tea you guys are probably used to. Otherwise we've got the herbal stuff; chrysanthemum, butterfly pea, rosella."

>Dang asks, taking some of the char siu pork hanged on a hook inside a glass case, as well as some chinese sausage and crispy pork belly. He slices each of them and neatly arrages it onto some rice, then pours some reddish-brown sauce over them and serves it to you.

| >>757678

>The girl simply states, putting the glass down, she taps the glass slightly as she does, producing a high pitched sound. She then wipes her finger across the aperture of the glass, causing it to "sing".
>She smiles

"There is something nice about glassware, I much preffer it to plastic bottles or aluminum."

>She nods to herself, as if that declaration made perfect sense

| >>757682
>Dang places her ordered food in front of the girl.

"Well, there's your food, enjoy."

>He promptly turns back to his stall, fumbling through some boxes to find something.

| >>757680
"Butterfly Pea would be perfect, actually. Hold the cream in that case, and add a slice of lemon to it if you have it."

>The woman carefully inspected the meal laid before her before carefully lifting her utensils and taking in the smells.

"Thank you for this meal, it is suitable and pleasing."

>Carefully, the woman got a spoon full of each ingredient before taking a bite, her face stuck in its light frown as she ate.

| >>757803
"We have one mixed with lime if you want that."

>Dang replies.

| >The woman carefully swallowed her bite before wiping her face with a napkin. She set her spoon down and nodded politely.

"Very well, we shall proceed with the lime mix. That would be suitable, thank you."

>She resumed eating after a brief pause when remembering to lay a separate napkin within her lap.

| >>757700
"Many thanks."

>The girl says, before taking her utensils, a quiet, almost imperceptible clink occurs as she does.
>like a teacup being struck.
>She doesn't seem to notice it, simply blowing over the heap of food to cool it down.

| >>757932
>Dang nods, picking up a glass jug and pouring its content — a drink with a bright purple-ish hue — into a separate glass with ice. He garnishes it with a thin slice of lime and serves it to you.

| >Meanwhile, Sam and Mav works their way through their meal in silence, until Mav sighs and takes a book out and hands it to Sam.

"What's this?"

>Sam asks, hesitantly reaching out to take the item from Mav's hand.

"Of Mice and Men. It was out last time I checked so I had to wait a few weeks for them to restock."

>Sam looks like she's about to cry, but kept it under check. It takes a while, but she mutters out;

"Thanks, Mav."

>Mav does a dismissive gesture and continues eating.

| >>758116
>The woman set her utensils down politely before lifting and sipping at the tea. The taste was pleasant, and she gave a nod of approval.

>While she resumed eating, she allowed her eyes and ears to focus on the conversation nearby. The people of this city were always interesting to her, all of them had unique stories of their own. It was better than the plastic corporate officers she dwelt around.

| >The small girl takes her time eating, and carefully sipping her lemon-lime, she seems unused to eating out like this.

| >>758403
>*Cream soda, it was cream soda.

| >Meanwhile, while Dang waits for more customers or for anybody to order something else, he boots up a holographic chess board and starts up a game against AI.

| >>758458
>The girl gives the chessboard a curious glance.
>She seems interested but doesn't speak up, simply observing.

| >>758461
>Dang seems to get sucked into the game, focusing on the pieces on the board as they moves around. A few minutes after he starts, he finally notices you looking.

"Do you want to play?"

| >>758471
"If you're okay with it"
>The girl says, getting up and approaching slowly.

| >>758500
"Yeah, of course! I'm always down for a game of chess."

>Dang seems enthusaistic to have anybody else other than the AI to play against. He quickly reboots the board, restarting the pieces on the board.

| >Maverick and Samantha finishes their meals. Maverick stands up and heads over to Dang, not really caring that he's playing a game of chess with the other girl. He hands over a card, not saying anything.

| >Step finishes his meal, gets up and digs up a pile of wadded up bills from the inside of his jacket.

"I really oughta get going. Thanks again Falschen; When we meet again I'll have my credstick, I promise you that."

>He makes way over to Dang as well

"Hey! Thanks man! The food was fantastic, I'll definitely be back"

>He slams the wad of bills on the counter, enough to pay for his meal plus tip then lights a cigarette, turning towards Mav.

"Yo, tough guy! You smoke?"

| >>758775
>Maverick looks at Step, coldly eyeing him up and down. He hesitates for a few seconds more before replying;

"...I do. Sometimes, but not when that girl's around."

>He gestures towards Sam, who is immersed in her new book at the table.

| >>758526
>The girl sits down before looking at the board, she takes off her coat, revealing a bland black dress underneath.
"A word of caution, I'm not very good"
>She says to Dang.

| >>758775
"Hope you will pal, not for my sake alone eh?"
>Falschen says, in a good humor
>She then turns to watch the chess game with an interested stare.

| >A vintage looking "chopper" styled motorcycle rolls into a stop nearby, and a tall, blonde person with messy hair gets off- they're wearing a worn, faded white long coat with the collars stuck up to shield most of their face, buttoned to just below their neck. Across their shoulder is a small backpack that looks like it was designed for a gradeschooler.

>They stand just outside the bar, and will take any seats that are available, or if they make themselves available.

| >>758838

"...a bowl." >The person says, with a slightly feminine, husky voice.

| >>758838
>Falschen gives the newcomer a look, and a whistle.
"Chummer, that a real chopper ain't it? mechanical?"
>She seems really interested in it, so much so that she didn't even bother introducing herself.

| >>758841

"Eh?" >The woman says toward Falschen, raising an eyebrow. Beneath the messy, overgrown blonde hair and tall collar, her eyes glow a slight blue.

"...oh." >She looks back toward the chopper.

"'spose so."

| >>758846
>Falschen nods, still looking towards the bike
"Hey you're the one who rode in on it, surely you'd know better?"
>She turns back to face the woman, her red eyes focused on her, a moment passes, and a smile dawns on her face
"Well, even if you don't know, that's still a styling ride, wish I had one like that."

| >>758848

>The woman nods, her eyes shifting when you mention "knowing better."


| >>758849
>Falschen notices the shifting gaze, maybe she hit a sore spot?
"You drink lady?"
>She asks, still smiling
"If you do, lemme get you one. I'm in a jaunty mood tonight."

| >>758854
>The woman softens visibly at the mention of "drink."


>At the next opportunity, she takes a seat at the stall, presumably next to you. She doesn't set down the "children's backpack," choosing to keep it slung over her shoulder even at rest.

| >>758856
>Falschen nods hapily
"Now we're talkin' hey, Dang, give us somethin' good, Leaving the specifics to you"
>She asks rapidly, setting down her cred stick
"Oh, and before I forget; I'm Fal, Falschen, sorry about how rude I was back then, bit of a gearhead in my days."
>She says, extending a hand forward towards you.

| >>758858

"No problem." >The woman says, extending her own. Her white fingers are a mix of callouses and "taut" skin, with one of the fingers hiding a small tear that reveals something chrome within. There's a small port underneath her wrist. The handshake is gentle all the same.

"Call me... J."

| >>758860
>Falschen's hand is definitely softer than yours, but it's easy to feel a web of scarring on her palm, light burns probably.
>She shakes with some vigor, not much.
"Alright J, pleasure to meet you"
>She means it, her smile is genuine.

| >>758861

>"J" nods her head and offers a slight smile of her own. She pushes a few of her bangs out of her eyes.


| >A young man in a blue trenchcoat "enters" the stall, taking a nonchalant look at his surroundings. He quickly scans the area, his aug eye slightly glowing in the evening light.

| >>758913

>You spot a chopper style motorcycle that would have been common in the early twenieth century. How it arrived here in anno domini 207X is perhaps a mystery for another time. Your target isn't trying to hide- they're sitting here, right next to another familiar contact.


| >>758915
>He slowly approaches the pair, his eyes widening a moment as he realizes who is seated together.
"Wow I uh... this is not the pair I expected coming here."

| >>758835

"You turned down my IOU for free booze or food so I'll show my gratitude by not being dumb about this."

>Step says to Falschen waving goodbye

>Looking back at Mav, Step takes a puff from his cigarette

"Heh, Alright. Thought so. I respect that."

>He glances over at Sam with a smile then back to Mav.

"Judging by your get up, I'm gonna guess you're not just a pencil pusher. So stay safe for her too, okay?"

>Step says with a somewhat melancholy expression

| >>758767 >>758775
>Dang quickly takes both of your payment, he then returns the card to Mav and nods a thanks to Step.

"That's alright, it's just for fun anyways."

>Dang smiles encouragingly.

"Go ahead, do the first turn while I get this order."

>>758838 >>758839
>There are plenty of seats still available at the counter.

"A bowl? You'll need to be more specific than that, lady."

| >>758923

"Um... a bowl... of noodles." >J clarifies.


>"J" turns around to glance at the newcomer before looking back to Dang.

"...did I wake you?"

| >>758925
"Well no... mostly cause I was already up."

| >>758926


>"J" continues to look forward, staring past Dang into nothingness.

| >>758927
"And what brought you all here...?"

| >>758928

>"J" shrugs.

"Just met..."

| >>758925
"Any preferences? Some people like it dry without a soup, some people like it spicy."

>Dang continues, boiling some rice noodles in a large pot.

"...and what about you, anything I can get ya?"

| >>758929
"So just came for the grub?"

| >>758930

"...spicy soup, then." >J responds.


>She sighs.


| >>758930
"Um... do you have a house special?"
>He scratches his head
"Doesn't really seem that is the case."

| >>758936
>Dang nods, putting the cooked noodle in a bowl, before adding the spices and other ingredients, then pouring some stock over it. He serves it to you with a spoon and a pair of chopsticks.

| >>758938
"Not... really. What do you feel like eating? Something spicy? Savory?"

>Dang asks.

| >>758942
"Probably something savory..."
>The man scratches his chin
"Not much for spicy stuff this time of the day."

| >>758944
"Got it."

>Dang puts his wok over the fire, pouring in some cooking oil and garlic, which is then followed by some pork. He stir-fries them together for a little while before adding some broad rice noodle. He seasons them with soy sauce and sugar before adding an egg and stir-frying them again. Once the egg is done, he adds some chinese broccoli and stir-fry it one last time before serving it up.

| >>758858
"You've got it!"

>Dang gives Falschen a thumbs up before turning to bring up two cans of beer from a small portable freezer. He sets them down in front of you, allowing you to see the words 'Singha' and a icon of a golden lion.

| >>758928
>Falschen nods along as she watches the newest patron talk to one she was entertaining.
"Yep, yep, Saw the kickass motorcycle, knew I had to talk to her"
>She says, a soft chuckle escaping her lips

| >>758923
>The girl nods, and begins playing
>She's... very good, but not in a conventional sense, you'd realize soon enough that the way she plays is almost identical to mechanical opponents; she even falls for the same traps as they do.
>She obviously knows what the moves do, and to some extent what to do, but she doesn't seem to consider past a few turns.
>It's like playing a high level AI opponent rather than a human being.
>She stays deadpan throughout.

| >>758949
>Dang is also pretty good, despite cooking and taking orders in-between turns. He was somehow able to keep track of what's going on in the board. (Roll a d20 for game results)

| >>758952

| >>758953
>You put up a good fight, but Dang still nonetheless managed to beat you. He streches his finger before proclaiming;


| >>758960
>The woman watched the chess game intently, although her ears picked up bits and pieces of the nearby conversations. The presence of the game shifted her frown to a minute look of surprise.
>As the game progressed her frown returned and she began to drift away from the board back to looking at the other patrons until the game was resolved.

"You could have won four moves ago if you didn't compromise your knight, girl."

>The woman resumed eating.

| >>758961
>The girl simply looks at the board, still deadpan.
>She scratches her head after a short bit
"Good game."
>She says, still looking at the board, the call out from the woman makes her neck snap towards the customers once more
"What do you mean? that was the optimal move in that board state..."
>She says, frowning

| >>758962
"Optimal if you were fighting a computer. You didn't account for your opponent's inability to judge the perfect move each round."

>The woman looked up from her food to look at the girl before refocusing on the dish in front of her.

"It was entertaining to watch, at least."

| >>758964
>The girl's frown only deepens, she seems to have been sent deep into thought.

>"Why would anyone not play optimally?"

>She mumbles to herself as she sits still
>She seemingly can't even grasp the concept of someone making a "bad move"
>She shakes her head

"Thank you for the game still, I have much to learn."

>She extends her hand so Dang can shake it

| >>758917
>Sam didn't notice the smile, on account of still reading her book. Mav gives a silent cold nod back as an answer before taking his card back and shouting over to Sam.

"Come on, kid, let's go! Catch up, or you're going back to school on your own."

>Sam quickly gets up, shoving the new book into her satchel alongside her red notebook, and follows Mav out of the place.

| >>758938

>"J" sighs.

"...I wanted to get out of the house."


>"J" looks over the chopsticks with a confused expression on her face. She clacks the sticks together and then starts entangling it in her fingers, as if trying to relearn how to write.

| >>758965
"Well, you're not bad yourself."

>Dang replies as he shakes the girl's hand.

| >>758946
"Thank you."
>He takes the food and then sits down next to the woman he's been talking to. He takes a taste, savoring it for a moment, before continuing his meal.
"Well Merc always knew how to travel in style. Safe? Not so much. But with style."
"The house or just your room?"
>He says between bites of his meals

| >>759024
"Thank you very much"

>The girl says, she seems a bit embarassed at receiving praise.
>She stands up, but as she does she notices the new arrivals, the man and the woman.
>She had completely missed them as she was engrossed within her game.
>She jolts up.
>There it is again, that high pitched sound.


>She blushes a little bit, and sits back down before her plate, meaning to finish it

| >>759035
"Style's half of what matters in life, the other is staying alive long enough."
>Falschen says with a wink as she cracks open the can of beer with a single, obviously practiced hand
>She looks to "J."
"Are you the kind to drink to fancy concepts, or do you usually skip that part?"
>She asks, half-joking, half-serious

| >>759035

>"J" eventually gives up trying to use the chopsticks as you're intended to, and instead takes to... uh... twirling the noodles around both sticks as if she was making a meatball skewer. Once the noodle ball is the size of a baseball, she crams the resulting thing into her mouth, and swallows it.

>Tears follow, but if she's otherwise pained by the Thai-spice, she doesn't show it, her face looking pouty instead.



"I'll drink to anything." >She replies.

| >>759047
>Falschen lifts her can
"Then, let's drink to something grand."
>She says with a smile
"Feel like joining in?"
>She asks CN who is sat next to them

| >>759047
"Still not good with spicy stuff I see."
>He shrugs, using his chopsticks normal enough in an almost laughable contrast
"Sure, what do you want to drink to?"

| >>759060
>The woman grumbles and dives in for another helping!


| >>759060
"Man, I dunno, something big for sure, how about..."
>She strokes her chin with closed eyes
"How about a toast to Friends, lost or otherwise, all the good ones"
>She says after a bit, chuckling

| >>759060
>The small girl sitting some distance away eyes you, her eyes barely closing to blink
>She seems to have taken a liking to the blue coat you wear, her eyes lingering on it as she ignores the noodles still hanging onto her own chopsticks
>She stares blatantly at it.

| >>759061
"You're going to breathe fire again like that one time in BP's party at this rate..."
"I like that, let's go with that!"
>He flags Dang behind the counter to order a sweet drink.
>The man pays no mention to the girl for the moment, focused on his companions and ordering a drink.

| >>759066
>Oh, and she keeps watching, the noodles are falling off her utensils now.
>The staring is strong, bordering on uncomfortable.

| >>759066

"Ah haf no ahdea wut yer on aboot." >"J" says as she forces herself to *chew* another scoop of the noodles...

>Annnnd her face is red now. She chomps down her teeth like a vice grip and you can feel physical pain watching the woman swallow the load of centuries worth of carefully bred scoville units made manifest.

>Indeed, this was the last bite left, before-

"S-seconds?" >She meekly asks Dang, lips trembling uncontrollably.

| >>759066
"Can't help the genius I was born with"
>Falschen winks... before noticing the small girl and leaning closer
"... Fella... don't tell me that's another one of yours"
>She says with resignation in her voice

| >>759069
"Woah there, don't kill yourself J, wash it down with the beer eh?"
>Falschen stops leaning towards CN and faces "J." while doing her best to contain her laughter

| >The girl with the sharp teeth has finished her food, and puts a credstick on the table, face still stuck in a awkward grimace
"Thanks for the food."
>She mumbles her thanks and then begins looking around, focusing on the rowdy three guests, she then stands up and bows to Dang before taking her leave
>As she leaves, she nearly collides with someone approaching the stand, a shortish woman with aqua blue hair and a smile on her face
"Oh, sorry, little miss."

| >>759073
>The one with the blond hair bows and mumbles an apology
>The blue haired woman simply waves her off with a smile before taking a seat
"Yoooo fella, got some good smell wafting off of your stuff."
>She's wearing a faded green coat, covered in pin badges, most of them read: "New Land Park Grand Opening! 2008"
>All of them seem very antique
"Been about ten years since I had thai food, y'see. Was stuck in outer space for a while, long story."
>She laughs at her own words

| >>759069
"Merc please wash that down first for the love of Solar..."
>He turns around and looks in the direction of the child Fal is looking at and gives them a little wave
"No Fal... I swear do you think I know every kid in the city?"

| >>759085

"Just aboot." >"J" grumbles as she awaits a can of beer.

| >>759085
"I mean, going back to the old days... you know the rumors"
>Fal says with a wide grin, she hands the second can of beer to J
"Oop, sorry didn't hand it over, well now we're both good to go aren't we?"

| >>759085
>The child is a small girl with brown hair and green eyes, there's a see-through slit made of clear plastic in fron of their black nylon coat.
>She does not return the wave, instead still staring, before finally turning back to her noodles; a frown on her face as she notices they slipped off her chopsticks

>"Lucky they didn't fall down on the floor"

>She mumbles to herself as she picks them back up and starts to eat once more, giving side glances to the coat.

| >>759087

>"J" nods and pops the cap.

"Cheers. To... friends."

| >>759091
>Falschen brings the can up in the air
"To the good ones, gone or otherwise: love y'all"
>She says before taking a large swig of cold brew
>She slaps her knee as she pulls the can away with a "puahh!"
"Good stuff, haven't had a drink in so long!"
>She seems really happy about this.

| >>759086
>The man rolls his eyes at the comment.
"Even so that doesn't mean we need reminding... though it is a bit weird she's here by herself."
>He raises his own drink, taking a swig from it before getting back to his meal
"Well nothing better than drinking with other."

| >>759092 >>759094

"Me neither." >The blonde says- but why stop at a sip? She chugs the booze in one meticulously slow act, before wiping her lips. If content were a living thing, today it took J's form.

| >>759094
"Well, sorry about that then, it *is* weird though eh?"
>Falschen sounds actually apologetic
>She looks at the kid with a raised eyebrow before shrugging
"True that too, drinking alone sucks"

| >>759095
>Falschen gives her a thumbs up along with a wink.

| >>759096
>The girl doesn't even notice your stare, instead looking towards the coat with renewed vigor, she's analyzing it's seams... or atleast she might be, it's hard to tell what she's doing with how blank her face is.
>She nods twice, thrice, four times
>And then, she smiles, it's a cramped smile.
>She finishes her plate rapidly, and lays a credstick unto the table.

"Thank you for the chess game mister."

>She says to Dang with a bow.

| >>759096
"Well you two were here before I was, did you see if she came in alone or something?"
>He glances back at the child... just what is garnering him all the attention?

| >>759103
"Yep, that she did, played a mean game of chess too, not that I'd know much"
>Falschen says, her mind still focused on the beer as she takes another sip
"... I think I heard a weird sound when she sat up, that's about it"
>She shrugs, not the weirdest thing she's seen all day.

| >>759105
"Weird sound...? Like what?"

| >>759106
"A clinking noise, like a huh, like"
>She racks her brain before snapping her fingers
"Yeah, those high quality teacups!"

| >>759105
>The child in question already turned away, she starts to walk off into the shadows.
>But, before she does completely, she stops and turns back one final time.
>She taps her neck twice, deliberatly, a resounding sound of porcelaine reaches your ears.
>She smiles widely, and waves, slowly sinking into the shadows.

| >>759103 >>759105 >>759106

>"J" just shrugs and doesn't seem all that concerned with the child. Even so, one of her hands disappears back inside her trenchcoat...

| >>759109
>Falschen points towards where the girl was
"See! she did it again!"
>She sounds excited

| >>759111
>Well *thats* not concerning.
"H-Hey Merc can I get a ride with you back after this?"

| >>759111

"Did wot?" >"J" responds, looking off toward where the girl was.

| >>759113
>Falschen looks at you
"Didn't you hear it? she tapped her neck and did the sound again, probably some augment under there or something"
>She shrugs

| >>759115

>She shrugs in return.

"Prolly just dermal plates."

| >>759117
>Falschen nods along with a muttered "nifty stuff"
>She then returns to stuffing her face in between drags of her beer can

| >>759112

"Naw." >"J" says.

"You'll haf ta catch a bus."

>A beat.

"...what do ya think?"

| >>759112
"Hey, not even asking your old pal Fal for a ride, how cold"
>She says with a good-natured smile
"But also, why? you scared of walking alone? weak to booze?"
>She asks, curious

| >>759120
"H-Hey please no more bus rides for me."
>He stops then hears the question
"Well we live in the same place."

| >>759125

>"J" nods.

"... Jia'd murderize me 'neway."

| >>759125
"oh, is that so"
>Falschen says, noticing her plate is empty
>She grumbles a bit
"Can I get more of that, the spiciest you got"

| >>759069
"Of course, you need something to help with the spice?"

>He asks, quickly preparing another bowl of noodle soup.

>>759073 >>759075

>He goes through the transaction and returns the credstick as well as waving goodbye to the girl before greeting the one that's just arrived.

"Hey, what can I get ya?"

"Yep, no problem."

>He goes through the transaction and return the credstick.

| >>759129
>Dang quickly gives you a refill of the rice and poured some of the prepared curry over it.

| >>759176

"No." >"J" says, pouting.

>A beat.


| >>759178
>Dang lets out an amused smile before he pours you a glass of oliang, Thai iced coffee.

| >>759179
>The woman in the black coat gently raises her hand, attempting to catch Dang's attention.

"Pardon, I'm going to pay for my food now, but I will be returning to finish it. I'm stepping away for a smoke."

>The woman sets her cred stick on the counter before stepping away from the stall and a few feet from its occupants before retrieving a cigarette from one of her pockets and lighting it up.

| >>759176
>The blue-haired girl smiles
"Well, you seem like a pretty good chef, know any really exotic dishes? Like, reaaaal weird, the kind that people would see and go 'Damn, that's INSANE!'?
>She speaks in a very, very friendly tone, even making her voice lower near the end to add some flair to her speech
"I tend to like crazy stuff over the boring, normal alternative. Adventure's my GAME, friend."
>She has a huge grin on her face, throughout

| >>759193

>Dang takes the credstick, going through the transaction and returning it to the woman.

>Dang thinks for a moment before answering.

"Well, we have stuff ranging from like pork intestines, hearts, blood and curry made with fish intestines to fried frogs and red ant eggs in a light soup or an omelette."

| >>759126
"Oh come on Merc you can say you do it cause you like me too you know."
>He gives her a shit eating grin.
"Yeah she's my fiance's sister."

| >>759179

>"J" knocks back the drink slowly, washing out the majority of the spice in the process, or so she hopes.



>"J" makes a show of scowling as if she had just bitten into a particularly nasty package of natto.

| >>759202
"That last one sounds like a riot."
>The girl seems genuinely excited about all the mentioned dishes
>She eyes the crowd around her before grinning again

| >>759260
"Damn, is everyone getting married in this town?"
>Falschen says, surprised
"The way things are going I'm sure one day you'll tell me John has a wife or something"

| >>759280
"Well? You want to try it?"

>Dang asks with a grin.

| >>759284
"I don't think I can ever picture that dude settling down with *anyone*. Well... maybe there's someone like John who's female, who knows."

| >>759525
"That'd be scary somehow"
>Falschen says.
"So, what are both of y'all doing after this?"

| >>759527

"Taking dis nerd back home before his waifu rearranges mah spinahl column." >"J" says as she fishes through her coat for change.

| >>759531
>CN pulls out his credstick to pay for both of their meals
"I'll cover it, consider it my taxi fee for back home."

| >>759534

>"J" shrugs and gives a slight grin.

"Ash you wish, gentlegeek."

| >>759388
"Hell yeah, friend, hit me up."
>The woman smiles widely

| >>759537
>The man sits up
"Ready to go?"

| >>759591

"..." >"J" looks away from you, as if considering whether or not to bolt on her own. She reaches up to grab a cigarette from her mouth, before realizing that she doesn't have one in her mouth.

>Instead, she turns to Dang.

"Thanks fer the grub."

>Then she nods to you and rolls her eyes.


| >>759534
>Falschen smiles
"Thanks for that then, oh, and lemme follow you guys back for a bit, s'that alright? I got some things to talk about nerdboy, catching up yeah?"
>She adds, putting her jacket back on and shoving her hands into her pockets

| >>759559
"Alright, you've got it. Do you want anything for drinks?"

>Dang asks, firing up his stovetop and putting a pan over it. He cracks a few eggs and mixes in a good amount of small white bean-shaped eggs. He pours some oil in the pan and fries the egg mixture in it.

| >>759534
>Dang quickly takes the credstick and go through the transaction before returning it.

| >>759606

>"J" shrugs.

| >>759606
"Sure thing, long as you don't tell anyone where it is afterwards."

| >>759778
"This gal's tight lipped, don't you worry about it"
>Falschen says with a smile
"Plus I'm worried about that girl..."
>She admits before shrugging
"Let's get goin'"

| >>759779
>He simply nods, leaving with the other two

| "Lemme ride that bike eh?"
>Falschen says as she joins up with "J"
>She winks

Total number of posts: 212, last modified on: Mon Jan 1 00:00:00 1621218018