The Kid arrives at the Cannery Saturday afternoon about 1:00pm.
He goes inside, pulls glasses and a couple name cards out of his back pack. Next comes the bottle of real, authentic, Whiskey.
He calls out for the rest of the crew to gather around as he starts to pour. One for Haze, Tiny, Kit, Kenji, Princess. Then he puts the name cards by the three other glasses, Maverick, Roland, Fraguire. He pours the last three.
The Kid looks around making sure all the crew members got a glass and says “Here is to Brother Roland, he could talk his way out of anything, anytime, anywhere. He was a good guy, and a friend. He had my back when it counted and I am gonna miss him”, Kenji downs his shot.
Picking up the bottle and pouring another round “Here is to Maverick, hope he takes care of his business and hurry’s back “, the Kid downs his shot.
The Kid thinks for a sec, he isn’t exactly sure of the rules of this whiskey night thing, he only heard the stories of the last one. Is it for anybody who goes down in combat? Or just for the guys who are actually critical? Screw it, let’s drink…
Pouring again, “To Haze, Tiny, Princess, and the beautiful Kit! You live to fight another day!! Woohoo!!” Kenji downs his shot and then gives Kit a big hug.
Pouring one last time “For Fraguire, where ever she is”. The Kid drinks, then puts the bottle on the table. He looks at the rest of the crew and points to the bottle, in case any of them want to make a toast.
Kit jogs over to the table and the assembled glasses with glee evident on her face.
She joins in shot after shot, periodically grimacing before calling out:
“To Roland. He could really piss me off but lots of my friends can. And he was a good singer.”
“To Maverick. Hope the fam’s well and glad we didn’t lose his stuff.”
“To us. Woo!”
“To Fraguire. Here’s hoping there’s nothing wrong and she just got pissed at us.”
She sets the glass down with a loud smack and picks up the bottle. Pouring another for anyone who wants one, she says, “To Kenji. The best tour guide and T-bird-crashing, cybereye-wrecking, whiskey-buying boyfriend I’ll ever know.” She knocks the shot back, then gives Kenji a giant hug.
Happy and quite well on her way toward being soused, she wonders what people looked like in astral space when they were drunk. She decides to find out.
Haze joins in, matching shots with the others. “To Roland. He can’t finish this bottle, so we’re going to have to do it for him. As for Maverick and Fraguire, they were both still kickin’ the last time I saw ’em, so I ain’t drinking anything for them until I see the bodies. No sense wasting good whiskey on ’em if they ain’t dead yet.” Haze’s aura is alive in way it never has been before, with some inner glow slowly pulsing and silhouetting the darkness of cyberware running throughout his body. It shimmers with emotion; sadness and guilt prominent.
When it comes time for Tiny to speak, he initially looks a little awkward and unsure of himself.
“To Rolo,” he says, expressing little emotion. “Comrade and Brother. You died in battle on your feet, spitting in the enemy’s eye. A good death.” He says something additionally in what presumably is Or’zet and then drinks his drink.
The second he raises high in the air as if offering it to some god above. Again it is a thick Or’zet phrase but this time Biscuit translates. “To my enemies, who have shown me my weakness so that I may grow stronger.” whiskey disappears once more.
The last he holds up and regards each team member. Again, in Or’zet, but he translates once more. “May we smile upon the bodies of our adversaries still to come and bath in the glory of Mayhem.” Whiskey? Gone.
“And Haze is right. Cowboy and Fraguire ain’t gone yet.”
Her voice slightly lilting, Kit says “It’s not a waste; I just thought we should also drink to health ‘n good wishes ‘n thanks ‘n… and … mayhem,” she raises a hand in Tiny’s direction, “and… stuff.”
With a satisfied smile on her face, she turns her attention to the space just around Kenji. She peers, smiles, and slips her arms around his torso. “You’re good people,” she mutters, and looks just around Tiny. Her lips quirk and she shakes her head with a small smile.”Yeah, not seeing it today,” she says.
Still smiling, she looks at the space just surrounding Haze. Very slowly, her eyebrows drop into a frown and the smile slackens. She closes her eyes tight, blinks a few times, and then looks again. Her head swivels toward the whiskey bottle. Picking it up, she closes her eyes for a moment, looks it over. She replaces the bottle on the table, blinks purposefully once more, and examines the space around Haze again. “What the fragging hell?” she slurs.
Frowning back at her, Haze wipes his face. “What, do I have red on me?” Sipping his whiskey he looks around, unnerved by Kit’s strange behavior.
“You,” she starts, then open and closes her mouth a few times. She crinkles up one side of her face in incredulity. “Your aura,” she says, peering all around him but never at him. “It’s … got …” She leans back and raises her eyebrows. “Magic.”
“Kit, I think you’re a bit drunk, and this ain’t the time or place for that sort of thing.” Haze looks around, embarrassed by Kit’s sudden declaration. He fills his glass and raises it again…
“No,” she says, moving away from Kenji to stand next to Haze. “Well, yeah, I’m getting there…” The words tumble out. “But no, seriously. Just look at- ” she cuts herself off with a growl. “No… I can see it,” she says. With a finger, she traces lines and points out spots that are invisible to Haze. “Here… and here…” she trails off and finally looks directly at Haze. Regarding him curiously, she backs up a couple of steps.
“Dude.” She folds her arms. “You’re magic.”
Haze looks down at himself, taking in his worn clothes, scraped, battered, and even melted in places. “What do you mean I’m magic? I’m me.” He takes a prophylactic sip of his whiskey and thumps his chest. “I went someplace weird when I touched that statue, but I’m still me. I ain’t no illusion. Maybe that blood mage is screwing with us again?”
“No way is that blood mage screwing around. I got protection,” she says, hitching a thumb toward herself. “And that,” she says, pointing at the space around Haze. “Is no fragging illusion.”
She narrows her eyes as she looks at what is presumably Haze’s aura. “Wait… You just said you went someplace weird— Holy fragging hell!” she shouts suddenly, slapping a hand to her forehead and gaping at Haze. “You went to the metaplanes! That’s, like, where we go to initia—” Her eyebrows dip into a scowl and her jaw drops open.
“Holy fragging mother of drek,” she says slowly. She clasps a hand over her mouth and starts to chuckle nervously, shaking her head. She looks to the others for some backup, some recognition, anything.
Haze wiggles his fingers experimentally. “So does that mean I can light things on fire with my mind now?” Haze looks around for a handy piece of garbage, but the Cannery’s transformation leaves him with little in the way of expendable debris. “Shouldn’t I know if I’m magic? I mean, don’t you get like a pet dog or something that tells you what to do? And I don’t mean in a ‘boil the neighbors brain in a soup’ way. I ain’t seen any Disney critters lurking around trying to catch my eye. I don’t feel no different either. Why not?”
Kit’s nervous chuckles turn into giggling. “‘Pet dog’… Yeah, you go ahead and tell ’em that when you see ’em… I don’t know, man. If you’re like people I know, someone either tells you you’re magic and then trains you how to work it – and don’t look at me, ’cause I ain’t a trainer – or you just get pissed or get scared or fart or something and magic just kind of happens.” She looks pensive for a second, and then grins. “Maybe you oughta find a trainer – magic just kind of leaking out of you could be dangerous. Better you part with a few nuyen than we have an accident here. Oh drek! Tiny, I got that nuyen I owe you!”
“Haze, Tiny, sorry if I did it wrong,” the kid slurs. “I’m not too sure of the rules for whiskey night, I missed the first one”.
Kenji staggers over to grab the bottle to pour another round and doesn’t quiet get the bottle. He grabs a handful of air instead, spins around and drops to the floor. He lies there, laughing.
“Hey Biscuit, we need a new name for magic man over there” he laughs some more.
Kit, in the process of holding out her commlink toward Tiny, gawks and lets out a loud snort of laughter. “Oh my God,” she manages as she stumbles toward the Kid. “Are you okay?” She can’t stop laughing and laughs even harder as he laughs.
Biscuit perks up a little bit after having totally lost in the magic/non-magic debate. He had been drinking from his jug of Löbrau branded whiskey as Biscuit-sized shots lean toward the 16oz pint glass variety. “Me?” he asks Kit, little confused. “I thought that was one of those whiskey dreams I keep having.” he frowns at his jug and says absently to himself “….maybe I ought to dry out a little.”
To the Kid he adds “I don’t know about all that hoodoo nonsense, but Haze don’t seem to think he has the hoodoo Mojo.”
Kit, wiping at her eyes and still chuckling, turns back toward Tiny. “Yep you. Afraid it weren’t no dream, man. I most absolutely owe you some scratch. However,” she straightens and points her index finger toward the sky. “I might have to reconsider if you wanna call my mojo ‘hoodoo nonsense.’ Wait, no,” she says and looks at Haze with a grin. “*Our* mojo – damn tha’s weird to say…”
Her eyes get big and she quickly finds a chair to flop down in. “Hooo! That was an awful lot of thanks and mayhem and remembering and stuff at once, wasn’t it?” she mutters, and fans herself with a hand. “Oh yeah,” she says, and looks down at the Kid, tilting her head to one side. “You still okay down there?”
“Well, yeah I think I am ok, you guys are all blurry and spinny though…”
The Kid tries to stand up, but doesn’t quite succeed.
“Maybe I just stay down here awhile.”
“Hmm…” Kit takes a long time ‘humming. Perhaps she forgot she was in mid-sentence.
“I don’t have a detox spell. That’s too bad,” she says dreamily.
She looks back down at The Kid. “That doesn’t look comfortable. You should have a pillow.”
The Trog, towering above you both, shakes his head and downs a large gulp of Löbrau from his jug. He mutters something to himself in Or’zet.
Kit peers up at Tiny, squinting as the overhead lights silhouette his form. “What’d you say?” she slurs.
Aurora arrived very late to the party and walked in hoping the defenses had been turned off for her. She was wearing her leather pants, knee high boots with no heel, and her leather jacket with a tank top under it. If one got close they could still smell the perfume from the function she was at. Looking to the floor and seeing The Kid drunk, and Kit by his side, and then nodding to Kit, Haze and Tiny.
“Sorry I am late guys, I had to finish something up before coming here.” She sighs. “Why are you all drunk?” she asked looking at the bottle and then to them. “I…have missed something it seems.”
“It’s an old tradition. When someone nearly dies they get a bottle of whiskey to drink. When someone else dies they still get the bottle, but their friends have to drink it for them.” Haze pours a glass for Aurora and continues, “This is Roland’s bottle.” He raises his own glass and toasts, “Roland was a good man to have at your back, and gone too soon.”
Kit clambers down out of her chair and crawls on the floor to sit next to The Kid. She motions for him to use her leg as a pillow as she leans back onto her outstretched arms.
She regards Aurora dazedly for a moment or two. “Oh! Hi, Aurora!” she says cheerfully. “When’d you get here?” She giggles. “Oh, hey, take a look at Haze in astral! He’s like one of … well, I don’t know yet, but he’s something else, that’s fer sure.” Her giggles overcome her.
The Kid rolls over to Kit and gladly uses her as a pillow
“Yeah, that’s what I’m talkin bout.” big smile on the Kids face.
Tiny sets down his jug of whiskey folds his arms, and with a rather stern looks asks “So who broke security protocol?” as he juts his head toward Aurora.
Kit frowns and looks between Aurora and Tiny. “Hmmm…. I don’t think it was me.” She screws up one side of her face. “What was the protocol again?”
“Whell, whhen nobody sshots anybodys in the backin the face of of the Fraguire’s van, I thought wes all decided shes was safe.”
“So I added her pic to the facial recognition system on the smartlink sys for the sentry guns.” “System”
“We didn’t want to blows up Princess did we?” “I didn’t” “I don’t think.” big drunken smile on the Kids face.
“Huh, I always wondered how those guns knew not to shoot me. Anyway, we can worry about who should or shouldn’t be shot in the face by autonomous gun platforms and who is or isn’t a mage some other time. Right now it’s Roland’s time. He gave his life defending us, and I for one am proud of him for it. He probably could have talked his own way out of an arrest, but instead of thinking of himself he raised his weapons to defend us all and make sure the job got done. To Roland, he got the job done.”
“Good on ya, Roland. Thanks for everything, man. I know you ain’t really gone, and I hope you’re havin fun running with your pack out Beyond.” Kit descends onto her elbows, looking up at the ceiling. “I don’t ever wanna take cram again, but if I did, I’d do it in your memory. So instead, we get drekfaced.” She lays down flat on the floor and mutters. “I hope you approve. And I hope you found your person on that photo. This floor is nice and cold.”
ZZzzzzz ZZZzzzzz the Kid fell asleep.