(Setting/bar) Capsule Corner

| > Another weeknight in the sleepy bar nestled amongst the quieter parts of the Motor District. Seems the races were happening close by, judging by the various improptu road barriers in the streets around the bar.

> Inside, many of the TVs were tuned to broadcasting streams of these, as if people were going to be betting on them

> Dusty, for her part, sat behind the bar, dutifully working on fixing one of her motorcycle helmets and not paying attention to the bar itself.

| > She worked with a spread around the end section of the bar. Seems like she really knew what she was doing, only pausing to help out other people before prodding at some other plate before stopping once more.

> Hope for someone to come and give her a hand had been long gone, so now she just hoped for someone to save her from having to keep on her self-appointed task

| > A scowling black-haired catboomer walked into the Capsule. Her black jacket was slung over her corner as she approached the bar and sat down.

> She rested her arms on the counter and looked around the room, highly conscious of herself.

> Tierra sighed before she rubbed the back of her head and waited for Dusty to come over. She needed something to drink, maybe a few drinks.

| >A short girl with long cream-colored hair and an oversized GCPD uniform enters the bar, Two red horns adorn her forehead.
>Chanka says in her usual childish voice as she sits down.

| >>805348

> Dusty hears the voice, moving her focus towards it. Her hands wrap around the screwdriver in her hands as reflex, before she relaxes and spins it instead. Her hand raises, pointing it towards the oni

"Hey yourself, kid"


> She then notices Tierra and points to her as well, shifting her weight even to get a better position on her aim.

"Hey Tierra. Be with you in a second"

> The name rolls out of her with the sounds of the spanish she assumed it was from

| >>805352
"How rude!! I was just saying hello!"
>The Oni puffs her cheeks and gives the counter a few good taps

| >>805348 >>805352

> Tierra turned her head to Chanka and smiled, or at least she attempted to.

"Hello, Major. It's a pleasure to see you again."

> She then raised a hand in greeting to Dusty, her gloved hands out of place without her long jacket sleeves.

"That is fine, take your time as I plan to relax here for some hours now."

| >>805355
"Oh! Its the big cat lady! We meet a lot don't we!"
>The Oni reciprocates the smile, hers is wide and warm
"Its good to see a familiar face!"
>She seems to be in a good mood

| >>805353 >>805355

> Dusty walked over to stand in between their seats, smirking at her own little joke that worked to get under the officer's skin. She grabbed three cans of beer and opened them all in a fluid motion of her arm, the screwdriver proving to be a true masterkey.

"Well, glad to have both of you here, I guess. Here y'all go."

> She slides each of them a can of beer before grabbing the third and taking a swig from it

| >>805357 >>805358

"Likewise, Major. It appears we have similar taste in bars and restaurants."

> She watched Dusty approach and offered a trademark Tierra smile to her as well.

"Ah, thank you Dusty. This will do nicely."

> Tierra took her can as well and opened it before taking a polite and somewhat reserved sip from it to test its flavor, and then taking a heavier draught afterwards.

| >>805363

"Shit girl, you gotta tell me where you normally go to drink that isn't here. Looks like you'd be a fun person to go out with."

> Dusty takes a small sip and keeps her eyes trained on Tierra, impressed with the composure she's seeing.

"How's the beer squirt? Or you usually like sweet stuff right? I can make you something else"

> her attention now shifts back to Chanka, tentatively

| >>805370

"Ah, I have been to a few other locations here in Glitch. The Midnight Drifter, this placed called Midnight Hideaway, Lily's Place, and the Karaage joint. Chanka and I have also met at a food truck."

> Tierra gently counted off on her fingers, trying to remember all of the locations she'd been. If only her author had as good of a memory.

"I believe we could arrange something. I have a lot of free time in between freelance operations."

| >>805372

"Oh yeah! I totally know about those places. Forsure."

> Lying came as second nature as breathing, but nobody really needed to question that.

"I didn't know you did freelance stuff. Guess it would be the polite thing to do and not ask, since I know how that all goes."

| >>805380

> Tierra nodded softly, then shrugged as she took another drink from her can.

"Ah, yeah... I considered my retirement and... was offered a freelancing position with a sponsorship. I had some of my old equipment returned to me."

> Tierra rolled the can around in her hands.

"I do not mind if you ask, I have nothing to hide in regards to my work."

| >>805411

"Old gear coming back is always nice. I wish I had that kind of luck. Any way, work is just work y'know. not that what I'm doing here is work i mean but, y'know. How you make your schmoney is your deal, so long as you don't come hunting for me"

> Dusty took a drink from her can and quickly went over to her "project" in order to relocate it so she can talk and work at the same time

> She drags over the helmet and tools, setting them on the bar where she was standing

| >>805418

> Tierra smiled and nodded politely at Dusty as she watched her bring the equipment over to the two of them.

"Ah, do not worry. I am no longer in debt acquisitioning, and I doubt that you have any debt with Himura anyways..."

> She cast her eyes over the helmet and the tools and gently took both of her gloves off to flex her fingers.

"What are you working on, does this involve the power armor you said you were building?"

| >>805370
"Don't call me a squirt! I'm a lady you know!"
>Chanka said, popping the top of her beer can with some force, before downing it in a few short gulps
"But I will have something sweeter!"
>She declared
"Oh! Yes that would make more sense thank to think you were following me!"
>The little oni says, smiling widely
>She seemed to be thinking worthless thoughts again.

| >>805454

"Power armor? what? no i never said that"

> She looked around nervously, as if that was just some kind of joke that got out of hand.

"Nah this is just revamping an old helmet that I had lying around. I think the internals got a little damaged after... well... an accident"

> Dusty picks the helmet up to show to Tierra what she means. She shows off the heavily damaged left side, which looks like it was sanded on the side of a cliff

| >>805730

> Tierra 'smiled' and nodded at Chanka again before gently patting her head.


"Ah, my apologies then."

> Tierra leaned in to inspect the damage and nodded softly.

"That certainly looked like a painful... accident. Unfortunately, I only know how to perform routine maintenance on my equipment except for my own personal augmentations. And even then I often require an expert for more sensitive repairs."

| >>805735
>The Oni leaned into the pat while closing her eyes, like a cat would
>She seemed to always be warm to the touch, like she had just been in a dryer, her silky cream colored hair was as comfortable to pat as always
>She seemed to enjoy this action thoroughly, despite her usual prickly nature.
>She really did seem like a child when acting like this.

| >>805735
"It looks a lot worse than it really was. High speed chase, then I got lasso'd and dragged for a mile or so; The bike I was on got turned to ash. Jobs, y'know."

> She gives a playful shrug and sticks out her tongue to look even less serious than normal. She quickly goes to mixing... something up for the Oni, eventually sliding over a pink looking drink to Chanka

"I call you squirt as like... a codename. Why do you think I use a different name when Pete's around"

| >>805803
>Chanka's eyes open into small slits as she gives Dusty a suspicious look, bubbling with frustration.
>She doesn't say anything though, enjoying the headpats along with a few mutterings in a low tone.

| >>805803

"Ah... I have never been lasso'd off of a bike before. I have not had... jobs such as that myself. I rarely operate on foot, and when I do it is typically non-engagement."

> Tierra watched her expression, then quietly looked down at the can of beer in front of her and tried to mimic Dusty.


> Tierra gave a few more pats upon Chanka's head before pulling her hand away and tapping the counter in thought.

| >>805825

"You're not missing out. It's more dangerous. Luckily, that's why i wear my helmet and the rest of my gear. Safety first."

> She gives the helmet a hard knock with her fist, which knocks something loose on the inside. A plastic, muffled thunk echoes out, which Dusty looks at with apprehension.

"Well, this thing *is* being fixed for a reason. Not that it'll see the road any time soon"

| >>805998

"Ah, I often wear safety equipment when riding mine... vehicle as well. Although I do not wear a helmet, as that interferes with piloting."

> Akii glanced down at the helmet when it thumped quietly. She raised her own hand to thump a finger against it.

"Is... that okay?"

| >A couple steps into the bar, hand in hand. One was a young woman with long back hair, dressed in a hooded sweater, a pair of sweatpants, and a beanie. Following her was a man with black, slicked back hair, dressed similarly to the woman.

"Yo, Dusty!"

>The man waves at Dusty. It was Red and Alix.

"Hey! Dusty!"

>The girl, Alix, calls out and waves enthusiastically as well.

| >>806243

"I mean, not really. I think that might have just been a board"

> She lifts up the helmet. Sure enough, a piece of material rests on the countertop. It looks like it might have been charred at some point


> Dusty notices the couple and waves with the helmet. More rattling can be heard, but nothing has fallen out yet

"Howdy y'all. Grab a seat and I'll get yous a round"

> Upon hearing herself, she bites her lip. How lame.

| >>806855
"Long time no see, eh?"

>Red says as he takes a seat.

"How've you been?"

>Alix asks as she follow suit.

| >>806862

"Yeah, it has been a while I guess. I've been fine. Just keeping myself busy while some um... legal issues... get worked on. What are y'all drinkin?"

> She sets the helmet down, hiding the fallen piece of the helmet as she does so.

| >>806873
"Piledriver, Pete still swear on that?"

>Red replies, turning his face to his girlfriend.

"I'm thinking Blue Fairy, a little karmotrine wouldn't hurt."

>Alix adds.

| >>806911

"As far as I can tell. He's been wanting to cut back for the baby. He was here briefly actually. Sends his regards and all."

> Dusty takes another swig from her can of beer and whisks off to mix the drinks up. She's gotten decent at the whole gig, not stalling once.

> She gets the drinks finished and delivered soon enough. She takes a small drink once more to celebrate

"Drinks up."

| >>807116
"Oh, good for him then! Tell him I said congrats!"

>Alix replies almost too enthusiastically as she takes her glass.

"Unlike somebody here, he's thinking about his family and taking care of himself."

>She continues teasingly, stiffling a fit of giggling as she turns toward Red.

"I'm trying, alright?"

>Red answers, taking and setting his glass of drink down before pulling his girlfriend into a hug, smiling.

"I know."

>Alix simply answers and a peck on the cheek.

| >Chanka is busy enjoying her beer, the lack of headpats seem to not have affected her much, although for a few moments after Tierra pulled back her hand, she did frown a little.
>She watches the couple with disinterest, before tapping the counter
"Give me something stronger!!"
>She demands

| >>807133

> Dusty gives a nod, the half-kind where one means to be polite yet it's barely enough ass to be called half.


> Dusty's ears perk up and she decides to get to work instead, mixing up a moonblast, and a big one at that. She gently places in front of the officer

"Here you are Colonel."

| >>807430
"I'm a major! Colonel are higher than that you know!"
>Chanka shouts as she grabs the drink, sipping on it.
>her expression morphs into a smile as the karmotrine works its magic within her tiny body
"Colonels are impressive you know! they deal with people all the time, and they don't forget them either!"
>She seems to hold a lot of respect for her superiors

| >>807430
"You know, I wouldn't mind having a baby myself."

>Alix says as she breaks away from the hug and turn to Dusty.

"Yeah, well, both of us agreed that we're not really ready for a kid right now. Plus Fenrir's already got our hands full."

>Red interjects nervously. Alix shoots an amused look at him.

"I'm not saying that we should have a kid right now, dummy. I don't mind it with just us two and Fenrir either."

>She continues as she takes a sip from her drink.

| "Plus, I wouldn't want to do something you're not comfortable with, you know that."

>Alix continues, taking her partner's hand.

"Yeah. Anyway, what are you working on, Dusty?"

>Red says, trying to change the subject.

"Don't think we haven't noticed you waving that around. That thing's in rough shape."

>He adds.

| >>807442
"Oh, I actually didn't know that. I just know Corporal and Colonel. Pete was the first and said he'd break the other's legs if he ever had the chance to. You'd have to ask him more about that.

> A smirk and a shrug before the next question

"Ugh. Babies are weird. I'm glad I don't have to deal with them. Anyways, I'm fixing up this old helmet. Maybe I can make some money if I sell it once it's repaired."

| >>807453
"Babies are cute though, their glossy innocent eyes, their sweet little smiles. God I just want to scoop them up and sing lullabies until they're asleep so I could watch their peaceful sleeping faces."

>Alix replies adoringly, maybe too adoringly, at the imaginary babies.

"Yep, they're cute little things, up until they take a shit, that is; then they're cute little bio-weapons."

>Red says jokingly, which earns him a punch from his girlfriend.

| >>807457

"Yuck. If y'all want kids so badly, I think there's a love hotel like, over the bridge I think. I don't think they charge that much, not that I've ever had to pay for them anyway"

> Dusty flashes a grin, knowing she had the upper hand in this situation. In her rush, she gives the helmet a nice knock, her version of a mic drop. Another piece can be heard hitting the countertop

| >>807465
"Oh no, we don't really want a kid, not right now, atleast."

>Red replies after another drink, but also grin at Dusty's remark.

"Might check out that hotel later though."

>He adds, earning another knock from his girlfriend. Although Alix was also smiling when she takes another drink.


| >>806855 >>807465

> Tierra quietly clears her throat at the sound of the helmet falling apart before the lot of them.

"Are you sure that the helmet is worth fixing? Perhaps it is better on a mantle and a new one would suit your purposes."

> She scratches the back of her head and takes a swig from her can, setting it down once empty. She pointedly ignores the couple nearby.

"How about something stronger for me too, Dusty? Double the karmotrine in whatever you make."

| >>807480

> Dusty gives a thumbs up and works on mixing up a drink, pouring various things into her shaker as she talks

“I know a few boys who were wanting a helmet like mine. They’ll pay up for it. Some serious tech went in here. Er… serious for a gear head. You might think it’s a little too basic for like, any military application.”

> Good call to keep it close to your chest. They don’t need to know the illegal software hiding inside

| >>807481

> Tierra smiles, it looks more genuine than any she's attempted before.

"You would be surprised how basic military gear is. It is honestly the cheapest bidder for most of it... Not Himura, though. Our equipment was always top of the line and well-funded. It's why we always operated in small teams..."

> She never had a high opinion of any military. Conflict with Nu-Saka military corporations not withstanding.

"It is an interesting design, I think."

| >>807482

> Dusty quickly dashes to a bag on the other side of the bar, returning just as fast with another helmet. They look similar in design, with the intact helmet bearing a few extra contours

“Here’s *my* current headgear. It’s really meant for like, motorcycle racing. It’s got top of the line specs handled by me. Pete handled the shell and glass. If you’re telling me this is better than military gear… I’m a happy girl”

> she pours out the cocktail. It’s very blue.

| >>807482
>Red's ears almost perk up when he hears Tierra mentioning equipment.

"Ha, I can't tell you how true that is. It's all old worn-out shit they keep trying to 'modernize' for the grunts."

>He chimes in.

"That's one thing that's definitely an improvement when you do PMC job. Getting to choose what you use is god-send."

| >>807489

> Tierra inspected the helmet when Dusty brought it over. She lifted it and rolled it around in her hands before setting it down.

"It is good quality. I do not know if it would stop a bullet, but... It makes me wish I could wear a helmet. It looks snug."


> Tierra finally turned her head to acknowledge Red and Alix, she lifted her drink and sipped from it while she listened.

"I never had to experience that. My equipment was also top. I do get my own now."

| >>807641

"It'll stop shrapnel and the elements. Maybe a bullet or two with a lot of luck. This thing has kept my pretty face whole enough at least"

> She gives a big goofy smile. Anyone with eyes good enough to see beyond the dim of the bar would be able to see just how true her words were

"Wait, why can't you wear a helmet. I mean like, yeah it's snug but it's not like, unbearable. It's set up for people who'd have augs... at least if I didn't disable that"

| >>807641
"Well, obviously, you were with a corporate type from what I can tell. Of course your gear would be top, it's not like they're hard-pressed for cash."

>Red replies with a glance over to Tierra.

"It's simple, you sell your soul, you get top of the line gear to keep you alive so they can exploit you better. You stay alive, they get their job done, win-win all around."

>The last part earns him a glare from his partner.

"Okay, maybe not all around."

| >>807453
"I see! I can't say I agree with wanting to hurt superiors though!"
>Chanka says, gulping the drink down
"They have a lot on their shoulders you know! I do too! Because I'm an adult!"
>She puffs out her chest with pride, showing off the small pin on her left-side lapel, the oak-leaf mark of a major.
>She laughs boisterously, obviously in a good mood.
>That's when she catches the word "baby" being used, and suddenly clamps up, her face twisting into a sour expression.

| >>807717

> Tierra turned away from Dusty and gripped the back of her head, parting her hair to reveal a metal disc with a hole in the center of it at the base of her skull.

"Neural uplink for controlling my... vehicle. I cannot wear a helmet or it interferes."


> She turned back around and glanced at Red with a frown, lifting her drink and sipping it.

"I served Himura well, and they took care of me. I was not exploited, you seem to misunderstand how corporations work."

| >>807991
> Dusty quickly eyes the expression and moves to defuse the potential bomb

"Major, we're in the same boat. Anyone calling us that'll get boots, yours being the first."

> Dusty then eyes the aug port and flinches hard. She flexes her fingers, shaking out her nerves

"Now that... yeah. That's something else. I uhh... wow"

> Only now does Dusty notice that she'd been rubbing between her hairline and spine like some kind of charm

| >>808277

> Tierra looked up at Dusty and nodded softly. Most people reacted that way to her, she wasn't sure how to respond to it.

"It is indeed something else... It allows for greater control than anything else, though."

> Describing it, that might work. That makes sense.

"It is akin to turning the machine into an extension of yourself, a part of your body. Move it as easily as you would move your own arm, less input lag."

| >>808278
> Dusty giggles a bit, moving her arms to cover her mouth now. At least she could feel herself doing that much

"You sounded like the old man just now. He always said that whenever it was time to practice. I love my flock of birds, but I don't think i could ever want to connect literally to one of them."

> She relaxed herself, losing tension with every following exhale. No new holes would be made in her body yet

| >>808281

> Tierra raised her brow and sipped at her drink before scratching at the back of her head, probably at the port.

"Ah... I sound like an old man? That is... concerning. Perhaps it is the reason why people say I am so stiff in conversation. Perhaps I should try to speak like you."

> Yes, this would work. Dusty is normal, talking like Dusty would make her more normal.

"It's a feeling like no other, to be connected in such a way."

> She already messed up, this is hard.

| >>808282

“Oh gods no! I mean, you sounded like Pete. He’s not *old* but he is older than me. He’d get along well with you, I can already tell.”

> She pulls her phone out to hide the embarrassment. Maybe showing her own embarrassing things would even out the blow.

“Look. He’s the smiling dork and I’m me. He’s my old man and my baby boy and the closest thing I have to family. I love him.”

> she passes the phone over. Many pictures of Dusty and Pete together fill the screen

| >>808129
"Look, maybe yours are just that exotic that don't work the same, but most corporates definitely exploit some people. If not normal folks then their own staff."

>Red simply replies, turning fully to Tierra.

"They pull you in with their sweet words, then they just use you like a faceless pawn in their masterplan."

| >>808277
"W-what? No I just!"
>Chanka is... Flustered, this is a very rare thing indeed.
"Forget it!"
>And... She's back! That smug smile really is how a Chanka aught to be.
"Gimme something else to drink!! I'm thirsty!"
>Chanka eyes the neural uplink suspiciously.
"Why's everyone got those but I don't?"
>She ponders before revelation dawns upon her very small brain.
"Oh! It's like how I have horns and others don't!!"
>Yes, exactly.
>Wait, no.

| >>808404
"Major, major, that's because you're special~"

>Alix mutters out adoringly as she takes a drink.

| >>808387
"All right, all right, peel off there fly boy."

> She digs in her pocket and slams something on the counter. She keeps her hands over the 'something'

"The girl ain't looking for a fight so quit tryna start one or else I'll be the one that finishes it."

> She balls her fist up and quickly pockets them once more. She sharply exhales, her own version of a mic drop in the absence of a magazine

| >>808404
"You got those horns, girl. I'd rather have those, since I ain't got neither."

> She goes to mix another drink for the major, throwing in many things into the shaker. The drink is just as hyperblue as the drink that Tierra has. She serves it plain, and it smells like it's got kick

"Here you are"

| >>808387

> Tierra glanced at Red for a moment, then shrugged and drank from her glass.

"I care not for your opinion on corporations, if your words come from a place of experience then perhaps they have value. Otherwise, you are speaking nothing but assumption."

> She set her glass down, but slid it back and forth between her gloved hands.

"Perhaps Himura was unique, or perhaps corporations in Japan are simply better."

| >>808579
"My horns? Why would anyone want those?"
>She half-closes her eyes, taking the drink with both hands
"They're a huuuge pain! they get stuck on things and get me off balance all the time! and people touch them, and the itch and... and and!"
>Chanka machinguns words out of her mouth as she flails around like a...
>well like a child.

| >>808583
"Counter-point: they look cool. Plus, it would make my headbutt *actually* lethal instead of just really painful for me and the poor bastard on the other end."

> She takes a drink of her beer and gives a nod to Chanka. Grass is always greener, even if it's not real grass.

| >>808584
"Headbutting with those actually hurts! I had to do it once to stop some big guy from running! My head rang for a day and a half!!"
>She doesn't mention how the "big guy" who took it is still in an hospital bed , her superior got on her case real bad for that.
>She drinks from her glass with long gulps
"And plus people use them as an excuse to throw beans at me!"

| >>808580
"Suit yourself, you don't need to believe me. I won't force it on you. If you're offended, I'm sorry."

>Red says, holding his hand up.

"Corpos really do some really shady shit though, and that's from experience."

"I'm not... trying to start anything?"

>Red replies with a questioning glance.

| >>808586
"Aw, but beans are nice! They are so good for a lot of food. Especially red beans, they make lovely filling for steamed buns."

>Alix continues.

"You'll have to try some. I'm sure that'll make you like beans better."

| >>808586
"throwing... beans..."

> Dusty remembers something like that happening to her thanks to Fox. Sauna buns? Cinnamon-something?

"Maybe... maybe I like my head then as it is."

"You fuckin better not be."

> She finishes off her beer and belches. Nobody was gonna question her authority on this night, it seemed, and that's just how she liked it

| >>808593
"You can't cook with beans that are thrown on you and hit the ground!! Only bad people eat food off the ground!"
>The tiny oni growls!

| >>808595
"You're the boss."

>Red replies, before at last returning to his girlfriend, who was still in the conversation with the little major.

"I guess so, and getting thrown at you is not nice. But still, beans themselves are nice. Delectable little dishes you can make out of them."

>Alix says.

"I'll have to make something for you to try someday."

| >A tallish woman walks into the scene, her greyish hair unbrushed and swaying behind her as her steel grey eyes scanned the room
>Dressed in a shirt and loose fitting pants, topped with a lab coat, she cut a strange figure... but despite the somewhat messy appearance, the woman exhuded some sort of gravitas, her gait so light one could barely hear her move
"Nice little place."
>She said towards who she could only assume to be the owner, before seating herself at the bar

| >Behind the tall woman follows a petite young woman wearing business attire. Her dark hair hangs short in a full fringe bob with what appears to be a chrome circlet fixated around her head.

>Her posture is closed, with her arms tucked in close to her chest; gripping a small notebook in one hand and an ornate fountain pen in the other. She shuffles in slowly and quietly sits at the bar. She presses the pen against her tongue and begins to scribble on the pages of her notebook.

| >>808648
> Dusty stifles a giggle befre giving an answer

"Pfft this place? It's a hole in the wall but it's mine for the night. What are ya drinking? We got the usual bar stuff, or I can get you whatever. Take yer pick."

> She then paints the other person with a finger gun, training like she was hunting a mark

"You, miss, you'll be next, got it?"

| >>808592

> Tierra gives a small grunt in Red's direction before facing the bar. She was finished with the conversation.


"It is fine, Dusty, it is not the first time but I appreciate your concern."

> Tierra lifted her glass and sipped from it again. The flavor was nice, and she could certainly taste the alcohol.

"...How much karmotrine did you put in this? I can almost feel my augs kicking in."

| >>808725
"Not enough karmotrine!"
>Chanka says with a scowl, showing off her identical looking drink from her own glass
"It looks good but it could use a bit more! Also, Blue is a stupid color for drinks!"
>She HATES blue things.
>That or she's just ranting for the sake of it, again.
"Give me the bottle I'll pour myself some!!"
>Chanka says as she puffs out her chest

| >>808707
>The woman levels her gaze at the one adressing her
"I'll take a White Russian, that or a Gin Tonic."
>She then looks around once more
"Well, the good thing about this city is that you always find places tucked into the deepest alleys... so long as you're willing to look."

| >>808725
>Red shrugs.

"Tough crowd."

"That's the spirit! Major!"

>Red cheers on Chanka, downing the rest of whatever was in his glass before continuing;

"Blue's stupid! Red's better!"

>That actually got a chuckle out of Alix.

| >>808707

>The girl startles when talked to snapping her out of her scribbling. Looking up you can see she has noticeable dark circles under her eyes.

"Oh... okay. It's no hurry. Thank You."

| >>808737 >>808725

"Thems got enough Karm to make me not want to even smoke near them. So, there's that. Come back here and take the bottle and we'll have problems too, Chanks. Don't do it."

"Uhh... I dunno what that first one is but a gin tonic sounds self-explanatory so..."

> Dusty grabs a glass and bottle, adding clear spirit and ice before topping it off with something fizzy. She slides it over with no flourish or garnish. Not that the latter was an option

| >>808800
"Oh! I think Sniffer told me about it once, actually."

>Alix speaks up enthusiastically.

"It's Black Russian and cream, if I recall correctly. Then Black Russian is vodka and coffee liquor, because vodka is Russian and coffee makes it black... that's how I remember, at least."

>Is that... womansplaining? Anyways, she seems happy to finally be able to sprout something she knows about.

| >>808801

"Oh... yeah I have vodka... somewhere. Don't know what that other stuff is, but I know we ain't got coffee here."

> She gives kind of a shrug and moves towards the newest person, doing her best to square up and get a better read on them as she does.


"All right girl, whatcha need? I'm assuming you're old enough, so"

| >>808800
>The woman accepts the drink
"Hm, that's fine, I'm not terribly picky with drinks."
>She leans back and drinks with gusto, before putting down the drink
"This is fine, yeah, thanks. Has a nice edge."

| >>808805

>The woman nods in affirmative then ponders for a moment tapping her chin with her pen.

"No... coffee...?"

>She goes silent for a second.

"I'd might like something... spicy then? Or... bitter maybe?"

>She gets lost in thought again.

"Something to keep me... alert."

| >>808807
"Cool cool. If you like, need another, let me know. Our source can get us this stuff so don't worry about it running out any time soon."

> Dusty nods and then crouches under the bar. A fridge opens and bottles can be heard rustling around. She comes back up with some kind of energy drink can and sets it in front of the girl

"Well, we have this stuff. I drink it sometimes. It's okay"

> the can says its GH0ST-NRG. 83mg/fl in the 12oz can

| >>808817

>The woman cocks her head to the side.

"Is there anyway I can spike this with kamotrine? Or would that be... dangerous?"

>She chuckles quietly.

"It may sound ...strange but I'd like alcohol too. I don't want people to think that I'm... a 'square'."

| "Dusty, can I have another Piledriver?"

>Red asks, putting down his empty glass.


>Red says, cocking his head.

"Where'd you get your vodka from, want to share? Because Krinkov would love that shit."

| >>808819
"Hey, you don't need to be embarassed about not having alcohol, I rarely drink them myself."

>Alix speaks up to the woman.

"Anyways, sorry to interrupt, I'm Alix, what's your name?"

| >>808819
“I mean, I’ve done that before. Give me a second.”

> She grabs a pint glass and fills it with some pure karmotrine. Definitely not enough to be more than a spike. She slides it over, tapping the can ever so lightly

> She then fixes another piledriver for the merc.

“Ask me no questions and I will tell you no lies.”

| >>808822
"Fine, I guess we'll just keep draining Impulse's stock."

>Red replies as he takes the piledriver, shit-eating grin stull on his face.

| >>808823
“To be honest, I’m really not sure where the stock comes from. Never really thought about it since that’s not why I’m here. I can tell you I brought the energy drinks in since sometimes I stop here while
I’m out doing… stuff. Yeah”

| >>808824
"Oh! Never knew you're into energy drinks. Can I try some?"

>Alix says, finishing her previous drink.

"Yeah, you didn't strike me as an energy drink kinda gal."

>Red replies.

| >>808821

>She takes the kamotrine and carefully pours it into the can keeping her head level with the bar and one eye closed.

>When she sits back up, she straightens her hair.

"Hanabi... nice to meet you, Alix. To be honest, the alcohol is to create... intimacy? No... camaraderie maybe? I find that people are more comfortable if you're sharing drinks with them."

| >>808825
> Dusty goes back under the bar and pops out just as quick with another can of energy drink. She pours some out into two small glasses. Satisfied that she divided them up, she hands over the two glasses and has some for herself

“Oh, yeah. I mean, I don’t always drink them. Maybe like, once or twice a week? They always give me a tummy ache if I drink more than that. Not sure why”

| >>808821
"Hey! that's pure karmotrine! why can't I have that!"
>Chanka protests loudly, puffing her cheeks
"I knew it! You're a meanie! You're making fun of me and keeping me from the good stuff!"
>She seems highly dissapointed

| >>808830
“Okay, she got like, an ounce, tops. You got like, a lot more than that in that devil swill. You’d cause an explosion if I even gave you more!”

> Dusty took a slightly more defensive position, pushing up her jacket sleeve as a show of force. Maybe she wanted a fight more than she was letting on

| >>808826

> Tierra suddenly perks up at the name, turning in her seat to look over at Hanabi.

"Ah! You are the woman I met at... The Midnight Drifter, was it? The one with the mutual-emotion enhancing aug... It is a pleasure to see you again."

> Tierra finished off the last of her drink and gave another of her standard attempts at a smile. It looks incredibly forced, almost menacing, but her heart is definitely in it.

| >>808826
"I guess. I don't know much about that. I rarely go for a drink these days. But I know someone who does."

>Alix replies, elbowing(and startling) the man next to her.

"This is Red, my boyfriend. He's always going out for a drink with his friends, I swear he enjoy being with them more than his own partner. Isn't that right?"

>She continues with a sly smile. Red speaks up to protest.

"No, that's not true. I love being with you. Anyways, hello."

| >>808831
"I-I would???"
>Chanka seems terrified at the thought of exploding.
"No way..."
>She's dejected now, mumbling about how weak the liquor is... and how surely one sip won't make her explode.

| >>808827
>Alix takes the glass and try drinking one of them.

"Hmm, weird, maybe there's some weird chemicals that don't do well in your stomach? This is kinda nice though."

| >>808817
>The woman simply looks at you, a look of pure appraisal on her face before becoming uninterested
"I see, I'll ask if I need."
>She looks at the other customers, her gaze settling on >>808832, or more precisely, her arms
>Her stare is hard not to notice, but she says nothing, and seems to care very little about being perceived as strange of impolite

| >>808836

> After some time, Tierra eventually notices her stares and fidgets in her seat before clearing her throat loudly.

"Excuse me... please do not stare at my arms. Do you have something you want to say to me?"

> She sounded defensive, and in truth she wished she brought her jacket today, maybe she shouldn't have picked today to work on her aug-embarrassment.

| >>808834
"Oh, major, you don't know? People combust if you let them have too muc-."

>Red teases Chanka, and get cut off and when his girlfriend put her hand over his mouth.

"Don't worry about what he says, major."

>Alix turns to Red with a death glare and fiercly whispers to him;

>"You remember how she is when people tell her stuff like that. You remember the tampons?"

| >>808834
“Yup. And I don’t want Ground Control calling me up asking what happened to Tom any time soon.”

> She gives a dumb smile, hoping the joke would land safely.

| >>808839
>Chanka seems uncertain and keeps mumbling
>She obviously doesn't get it.
>Who's Tom?
"W-what??? I'm??"
>She completely out of it now
"You're just saying nonesense now!"

| >>808837
"It's a nice piece, not the kind someone can just afford that easily... seeing the look of you, I'd wager you have jacks too, maybe even full organ replacements... I'll say that you're around 70% metal, likely lots more."
>She looks you in the eyes now, her gaze still level, calm and relaxed
"Ah, sorry, I'm a doctor, an augmentation doctor. It's a... occupational hazard, you know?"

| >>808841

> Tierra paused, and looked the woman up and down before clearing her throat.

"Ah... yes, you're right on most accounts. You'd be closer to... 82%, actually... maybe a little lower. I feel as if you've just deconstructed me with your eyes."

> Tierra nods softly, rubbing the back of her head as a sense of anxiety bubbled up in her chest. She didn't like this interaction, not involving her augs.

"I see that... makes a lot of sense."

| >>808832

>Hanabi gives a warm smile and takes a sip out of her can.

"Tierra! It is nice to see a familiar face... I'm out doing more research... Or shirking my responsibilities in the office, probably both?"

>She herself turns red in embarrassment.

"I apologize for my actions during our last meeting... I'm still... figuring things out."


>She gives a lazy wave toward Red.

"Hanabi, pleased to meet you... I can tell... you care for your partner."

| >>808846
"That's pretty high, guessing these are proprietary as well, japanese make though, I can tell that much."
>She keeps staring
"Must've been intense getting all of this stuffed into you... whoever did the job's amazing, I'll agree to that."
>Something is off about her stare and attitude, she isn't looking at you or anyone else like a person... more like chunks of meat or metal

| >>808848

>Hanabi raises her hand in a wave to get the woman's attention and flips her notebook open.

"H-hello, miss... why are you looking at Tierra like that...?

>She looks back at Tierra and yawns.

"This lady doesn't feel anything like the man from the Drifter..."

| >>808847
"Very much so, thank you for that."

>Red nods and smiles as he answers. He then throws his arm around Alix's shoulder as he turns to her.

"See, even she can tell."

>He says. Alix stays silent but smiles at him. Red plants a kiss on her cheek and then her neck, which finally got a word out of her.

"Okay, fine! Stop! That tickles!"

>She says with a giggle and throws her arm back around her boyfriend and pulls him close so he stops.

| >>808854
"Oh, don't mind me, I'm just intrigued by the craftsmanship."
>The woman tilts her head as if her looking was natural
>She looks back to Tierra and cranes her neck
"I can't help but think about how to fix these things, how they function and how they all fit as part of a system."

| >>808848 >>808867

"It... certainly was intense, but I would prefer you don't stare at me in such a way. It is making me uncomfortable. These are proprietary, and unfortunately without the proper licensing I cannot allow you to look at any of these deeply."

> Tierra gripped her glass a little tightly, but not enough to crack it in any way.


> Grateful for the change, Tierra turns to Hanabi.

"It is a pleasure, Hanabi. Thank you for stepping in.

| >>808860

>Hanabi smiles and laughs at the playful banter.

"I'm glad I could help! Even if it's a little... I still don't know what the purpose is for my augment... but they seem important."

>She says, playing with the metal band around her head.


>She scribbles down in her notebook.

"Corporate says I need to be wary around people who want to inspect me. They say my naiveté is...'dangerous for the project'"

>She lazily air quotes.

"So, I recognize that feeling."

| >>808868
"Aah, sorry, I'm not too god with the whole social deal... I tend to work and work and nothing else, and since my job is constantly staring at augs... Well, I get caught up."
>She pulls back and goes back to her drink, her gaze just as cold as before, her voice just as level
"The name's Illya, I own a clinic in Neon, though I suspect you haven't heard of it."

| >>808869

"Ah, yes, pleasure ensure to follow standard procedure when testing a new one. It is always unpleasant if the aug fails..."


> Glancing back cover, Tierra relaxed her grip on the glass and sighed quietly.

"I see, it then explains why you stared at me as if I were an object... My name is Tierra, Illya, I do not know of your clinic as you expected."

> She looked down at the glass and then back up.

"How long have you been in the business of augmentation?"

| >>808973
"Twenty odd years... or so. I worked as an engineer before that building robots, something that definetely had common ground with the aug business."
>She looks very young for someone with two decades of work experience
"Worked corporate for the longest time under CRI, then I went freelance after retiring."
>There's no nostalgia in her voice, it's like she's reading off a script rather than recalling anything
"Well, I've seen a lot in the line of duty, so we can say."

| >>808973

>Hanabi rubs her eyes before reaching for her drink.

"Sorry if this is something you can't answer... did Himura make all of your augs? Bell Fore specializes in neural implants and uplink... I would hope they don't intend on having me test more than one."


>She waves at Illya.

"And I'm... Hanabi. I apologize for calling you out."

| >>808989
"Hey, uh, sorry to interrupt, but do you have like a map of where your clinic is?"

>Red interjects.

"I might point some of my friends there later. I'm sure they could use a hand with some of their augs and stuff."

| >>808989

> Tierra nodded as Illya spoke. She could understand some of what she meant.

"I too, worked under a corporation for many years and now operate in a freelance position. So I understand where you are coming from."


"Ah, I can answer that. They are all Himura specialized, although I believe some parts may have been ordered from other companies, or IP's purchased..."

> Tierra shrugged and rubbed the back of her head.

"So.. yes, they're all Himura I suppose."

Total number of posts: 119, last modified on: Wed Jan 1 00:00:00 1638335225