Shannon - Pizza Palace Chatter

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  02/19/2009
RL: 07/10/2011

Pizza Palace -- Albuquerque

  Pizza Palace is a bustling restaurant filled with all types of people -- an interesting and thorough cross-section of humanity. The low prices and frequent specials attract everyone from hungry college kids to curmudgeonly old people; from pasty late-night nerds taking a break from MMOs to families with screaming, marinara-smeared toddlers. Pizza Palace is open 24/7 except for holidays, with a happy hour from four to seven, and offers just about every topping commonly or uncommonly found upon pizzas. The menu also includes a variety of non-pizza food options such as pasta, sandwiches, and salads, for freakish pizza-haters dragged here by their friends. Eat in, get it to go, or call from home for delivery!
  The restaurant has a reputation for hiring stoners and slackers, but it's a mostly clean place with booths and tables on the inside, plus an outdoor patio area for smokers and people with dogs. The floor is a checkerboard pattern of black and white linoleum squares, and all the chairs and booths are red. Each table is covered with a fresh sheet of butcher paper and is equipped with a little cup of crayons along with the napkins, parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Neon signs in the restaurant windows announce PIZZA! and BUDWEISER!, and CORONA!, along with the always-lit OPEN! sign. Video games both archaic and current tempt children to scream at their parents for quarters, and a karaoke area reminds tipsy customers that beer makes you an excellent singer.

~*~places are available here~*~

Obvious exits:
Out <O>  

Current VR Time - Thu Feb 19 19:00:54 2009 - Night - Dark - Waning Crescent Moon

You step into the pizza parlor.

Help is not forthcoming from Karin, who instead takes a sip from her drink, watching as Zack and Cleo apparently do math homework together. The bond of learning.

"Five," Cleo says, triumphant. She and Zack sit in a booth next to each other, bent over a sheet of paper, while Karin sits across from them and apparently just watches. Pizza Palace is otherwise empty. "That's stupid, though. Who figured that out? It's too easy."

Empty is good. It means no line-ups! Sasha comes in and saunters towards the counter, but she sees the only occupied table and notices someone she knows. So she makes a detour towards said table, sneaking up behind Karin... sure, Karin's tablemates would see her, so Sasha assures their silence by pressing a finger to her lips....

Shannon pushes the door open and steps into the pizza parlor just a moment behind Sasha. The blond woman closes the door behind her, careful not to let it bang against the guitar slung across her back. She glances toward the table of three as she moves into position in front of the ordering counter.

"I donno. I figure Pythagoras figger'd it out," Zack offers his companion with a shrug. "Works all the time too. Kinda neat," he is forced to admit. He looks towards the door as Sasha then Shannon arrive into the pizza joint. Their both giving brief, friendly smiles before notices Sasha's subterfuge. He surpresses a wider smile and looks back at the homework.

Poor, oblivious appearing, Karin. Although, empty does mean coming in the door makes one a tad bit obvious, there's always the chance Karin expects Sasha to get food before getting her stalk on. Or, she's hypnotized by Zack's mathemagics, adding in, "The calculations behind circles are the ones that always break my brain. Also, never say Pi is exactly 3."

Cleo glances at Zack's smile, then looks up at Sasha and back down to the sheet of paper, scratching the side of her face. "Yeah? I guess he must of been some sort of math genius or something. What's pi?" And then she holds a hand up to stop Karin before she starts. "Never mind, I think I had about all the math I need for a Thursday night."

It is currently a winter night. The stars shine down through the cloudless night sky. The ground is dry and dusty. A soft wind blows to the south at about 6 mph and the air is chilly at 39 degrees.

Sneaky success without a +roll, ha, ha! Once Sasha comes up behind Karin, she slaps down both hands and clasps, one each on Karin's shoulders. "Good morning, DAVE." She announces in Karin's ear, having leant down so she can speak directly into the other girl's ear. And just to be polite and stuff, Sasha adds a quirked smile towards Zack and Cleo.

"It's a number used fer math with circles," Zack gives the cliff-notes version of Pi. "I donno when y'all get into that," he spares her any further information on the subject. Then Karin is surprised and makes a huge mess (hopefully) or maybe just screams (still hopefully). He lets out a laugh now that the jig is up.

Zack's smile is returned by Shannon before she turns her attention toward the menu above the ordering counter. She gives the list a brief once-over but seems to already know what she wants to order. "Slice of onion and pepper, if you have it? Cheese is fine if not... and got any orange soda?" The woman speaks with a light, Texas drawl.

Karin's started jump comes just a little too late to be natural, as if she's remembering she's suppose to be started by such things. "Smutsiga lilla hora!" she calls out over her shoulder, obviously hiding inappropriate terminology in another language. "You owe me a drink for spilling this one." Which means it needs to be spilled, so Karin pours just a little bit out into a napkin. No big messes. Sorry.

They're distracting Zack from finishing her homework! Cleo sets her jaw and leans over again. There are like five problems left, and the rest of them involve balancing equations. "How about this one? I tried that one but I can't make it go. There's like a slice of cheesecake or something in it for you." So get balancing! She smiles sweetly at Zack.

Sasha releases Karin's shoulders and pokes the girl in the back of the head. "It's your eyes at the back of your head, man. Don't you know they're illegal in New Mexico?" Yes, nobody's invited Sasha to the table, so she has to do it herself by pulling a chair out to sit down. "So whatcha all doin'?" She asks, folding her arms on the table, and peering at the homework laid out.

"Geometry and algebra," Zack explains the excitement that is this party. "I'm helpin' Cloe out," he adds, in case he's mistaken as someone in high school. It could happen! "So what I always do is first try an' get the thing I want isolated. Like the equal sign is a teeter-totter. You gotta keep it balanced." He starts working on #5, deliberately writing out every step, and drawing little arrows to show how things are being moved around. "I'm Zack, by the way," he adds to Sasha before he catches wind of Shannon's accent. "Sounds like we got another Texan," he himself says with a similar drawl. Don't mess with Texas!

Shannon pays for her order with several rolled up singles before she steps aside to wait for her slice and soda. The young lady removes her tinted sunglasses and carefully stows them into her satchel. The occupied table draws a glance or two during the minute it takes her to get her pizza. "Thank you, sweetie." Shannon murmurs toward the clerk before she takes her plate and soda to an empty table. She props her guitar against the side of the table and then takes a seat. Time to eat!

"Your mistake lies in lack of cover," Karin tells Sasha with a sagacious nod, being all polite by not making space in the booth for her. Chairs exist for a reason. "Are introductions needed? Sasha, this is Zack, the CrystalMonsger, and Cleo, the best bouncer this side of the Aftermath." Each one gets pointed at in turn, so there's no mistakes. "Zack, Cleo, this is Sasha, the best thing to happen to Gareth in forever. And eventually the worst, I suspect." It... sounds like praise, at least?

"Hi, Sasha." A fist-bump is offered -- apparently Cleo's graduated from hand-shaking. She isn't paying a whole ton of attention to what Zack's doing on the paper, by the way -- she's being paid to run out shit-disturbers, not learn math. "Hey," she shouts over Zack, hooking an arm on the table. "I like your guitar." This is evidently meant for the only guitared occupant of the restaurant.

Sasha shoots a sidelong glance at Karin's introduction. "Ouch." She winces dramatically. "The worst? Dude, you realize you are comparing me to genital blisters, right?" Turning to the folks being introduced, Sasha reaches out to fist-bump with the underaged bouncer, followed by a wide wave at Zack. "School, huh? Heard about those places. Scary." She stops to glance over her shoulder, following Cleo's attention to the guitar girl. "Yo, come sit with us? It's boring sitting by yourself in an otherwise empty pizza shop."

"Nice to meetcha," Zack offers back to Sasha at the introductions. "Are y'all datin' Gareth?" he surmises at her relation. The problem is solved and the pencil set down. He looks back to Shannon to see if she'll take up the offer of joining the group. It's also a good time for him to start eating his pizza which has been sitting abandoned by his side.

Oh what bad timing! Shannon had just bitten off a large bite from her pizza slice and is in the middle of chewing when Cleo compliments her guitar. The blond Texan lets out a quick grunt and clamps her hand over her mouth, resisting the urge to talk with a mouthful of food. She chews quickly, then swallows and washes it down with a tasty gulp of orange soda. Now she can reply! "Why thank you, honey! I've had it since I was seventeen. Still as good as news." Sasha receives a curved smile before Shannon rises. She takes two trips over to the other table, one to bring her plate and soda and the other to bring over her guitar which she leans nearby. "I've gotten used to it lately, all my friends seem to be moving 'way. I'm Shannon, everyone..." She drags a chair over from an adjacent table and sits.

"Genital blisters? Obviously, G does not tell me everything." And it sounds like Karin would like to un-learn that little detail. As Shannon joins them, Karin goes through the introductions again, "Zack, Cleo, Sasha, Karin," pointing at each of them in turn. "Welcome to our table. I think we can bring this meeting to order."

Cleo's expression goes stony at something Shannon's said, but she's generous enough to give her another chance. "I'm Cleo," she repeats, in case Shannon missed Karin's introduction. "I work here." Which is technically true, even though she's not wearing a uniform and is sitting down watching Zack do her homework and looks all of eleven or twelve years old. She turns her attention back to the homework, impatient for Zack to keep working, and then she notices something -- and takes up the pencil to write in a number. Shortly she's got the piece of paper in front of her and is working on it herself, mouth twisted in concentration.

Sasha scoots over some to make room for Shannon and her guitar. "Texas, huh? Better save a buck. You owe Petra." She nods sagely, then turns an awkward 'uhm, ah' to Zack's question about her relationship with Gareth. She ends up not answering, but she does turn to Karin with a confused frown. "Dude, how many people know? I thought Petra is the only one."

"I'll take that as a yup," Zack says with a lopsided smile. Then Shannon arrives and he gives her a wave of greeting. "Howdy, Shannon." He peers down to Cleo's homework, monitoring her progress. "I don't work here. But a friend of mine does. Well, I guess two friends of mine do now." D'aww, Cleo's a friend! "I'm just here fer the food."

Shannon settles into her seat and she picks up her partially eaten slice. Cleo's comment recieves a hushed, "Oh..." before the woman's attention is drawn to the others. "Mmm Hmm, Texas born and raised... just northwest of Austin. Though I moved here from Boston." She flashes her curved smile at the other Texan. "I just come for the food too. And to get in from the cold. Chilly one tonight, yeah?"

Karin shrugs slightly, delaying answering Sasha by taking a nice, slow, drink from her beer. Mmhmm, beer. But one can only stall for so long via alcohol, so she finally admits, "I don't know. Hell, I didn't know until Valentine's, you closed mouth satkärring." Although Karin's tone sounds playful, so odds are she's not calling Sasha anything too bad. "But your... uhh... skills and assets... overwhelmed his self control."

If Cleo were prone to d'awwness and paying attention and had a genetic predisposition toward blushing, she'd totally be red-faced by now, but she's on a roll. And then she's finished, and she turn her pencil over and runs the eraser over Zack's work, filling in the appropriate numbers in her own handwriting. "Put /that/ in your pipe and smoke it," she says, slapping the paper down in front of him. Shannon gets a look. "When'd you move here? I just moved here too."

'Satkarring' receives a suspicious, narrow-eyed peer from Sasha, but it's the rest of Karin's comments that gets a proper response. "Okay, two things: One, there was absolutely no... using skills and assets to overwhelm anyone's self control! I don't know where you hear these lies from. Lies, I tell you." Her eyes are now attracted to Karin's drink. "Hey, is that a beer? Can I have a closer look?"

Zack looks at Cleo's work, checking to make sure there are no mistakes. "Put in pipe and smoked," he confirms with a wide smile. "Nice work, Cleo." A fist is pointed in her direction for a celebratory fist-bump. "I grew up in Houston," he adds over towards Shannon.

"Yes, it..." The bottle is upturned, allowing Karin to get the last few, precious, drops poured into her mouth for consumption. "...was a beer." The empty bottle is set infront of Sasha, for her viewing pleasure, leaving Karin's hands free to fish out her cellphone and begin typing away.

Cleo fist-bumps like a boss! "Shit yeah," she says, satisfied, and packs it away not-very-carefully along with the dog-eared copy of /My Brother Sam is Dead/. And homework is over. "You're okay," she tells Zack, as though she hadn't been especially convinced of this until this very moment. She leans over his spot at the table to shout at the kitchen. "HEY! Can I get like a piece of cheesecake over here? You want cheesecake, right, Zack?" The kid behind the counter rolls his eyes like Cleo is the most obnoxious thing ever.

Shannon nibbles on another biteful of pizza and washes it down with a sip of orange soda. She answers Cleo with, "I moved hear last May with my ex when he found work, so it's been 'bout nine months." The blonde bobs her head enthusiastically at Zack, "Right on, sweetie! What part? I grew up in Magnolia. Go Bulldogs!"

Sasha steeples her fingers together, eyes slitting and teeth baring, at the empty beer bottle Karin set down in front of her. "Oh you fiend, Jezebel." She turns abruptly to the others at the table, particularly Cleo. "Does this place sell beer? I didn't think so, but I could be wrong."

Marlena makes her way into the restaurant, looking a bit tired and red - eyed the way that someone who's working all day cramming for a test or getting that paper due tomorrow properly cited might look. She pauses, taking gauge of how raucous a crowd is already in the place as she removes the wool cloak she had on over her shoulders and reaches up to carefully fluff her hair, pondering seating options.

It had better sell beer, or Joel is a filthy liar. None the less, Karin picks up her jacket, perhaps hoping to escape before Sasha's wrath reaches fruition. "I need to jet," she says, holding up her phone like it is at fault, before tucking it away. "Good show on tag-teaming those fractions, they had it coming."

"I like cheesecake," Zack confirms, smiling widely at this impending payment. "Is it any good here? Never had dessert here..." but then there are questions! "Oh, where in Houston? Houston Heights." For those who know the area, it's a poor part of town. If it's not a poor part of town RL, please don't sue me. "Been here near two years now m'self. With my sister."

"You are not wrong," Cleo says to Sasha. "They got a liquor license. They do karaoke too." She looks at Karin and goes for a fist-bump, then glances at Zack. "Yeah, it's fuckin' awesome, it's like food- service cheesecake, but you know." A piece of cheesecake is delivered, and Cleo offers a couple of bucks to the employee who brings it over. "Keep the change," she says, and it must not be much, because he rolls his eyes again before he walks away.

Shannon offers a quick, "Nice to meet you." toward Karin along with a quick smile before she returns her attention to Zack. "Well, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one out this way." The blond Texan resumes eating her pizza slice. She chews quietly while watching the Cleo's exchange with the parlor clerk.

Sasha reaches over and attempts to spank Karin on the backside when the other girl stands to leave. Hey, it's all in good fun! "Laters!" She calls to Karin, but is quickly distracted by Cleo's reply, as well as the arrival, and imminent departure of the waiter. "Hold on, Speedy Gonzalez." She even grabs hold of the kid's sleeve to stop him. "Be a Santa and bring me a Coors, why don'tcha? Thanks."

Marlena bites her lower lip a bit, and then with the practice of someone who is not terribly outgoing in social situation, she skirts around the edge of the group to make her way up to the counter, rehefting her bag on her shoulder halfway because apparently it isn't at all light.

Cheesecake delivered, Zack snags a fork to dig in. "Mmm, that's actually purdy good," he's forced to admit. "Y'all wanna bite?" he asks Cleo, gesturing towards the plate. "Y'all should swing by our store sometime," he suggests towards Shannon. "We're just down on Lomas."

Cleo's fist bump gets returned, before Karin finishes getting out of the booth, only to get spanked. "Harder next time, daddy." All in good... no, it's a little creepy. "I'll see you all around, I hope. Especially you," Shannon gets a finger-gun pointed her way. "I think my current guitarist is gone on another binge, and rumor has it your Texans are good at whatever you put your minds to." A hypothesis to be tested another time, as she makes her way towards the door.

The employee looks at Sasha in disbelief and then turns a baleful gaze on Cleo before he stalks off, presumably to en-Coors Sasha if he knows what's good for him. A minute later the beer is delivered, and he waits for payment. Cleo is conveniently ignoring him; she has eyes only for her current homework hero, Zack. Those Kings could make a killing tutoring reluctant eighth-graders. "Yeah," she says, and glances up at the employee. "Hey, can you get me a fork too?"

Shannon finishes that delicious slice and she wipes her greasy fingertips on a napkin. "What's the name of your store, honey?" Her orange soda is killed with a drawn out sip that ends with her noisily sucking on an empty straw. Shannon turns her head toward Karin and mimicks the finger-gun gesture with her free hand. "I've never heard that rumor, but we can find out next time, yeah?"

Sasha eyes the disgruntled employee when the Coors is delivered. "What the hell is with customer service in this town?" She grumbles, while fishing out her wallet to pull a few bills for the beer. But with a beer in hand, Sasha eagerly pops the cap open on the table edge, squealing to herself. "Oh holy water, man!" Gulp! Gulp! Gulp!

"Laura's Herbal Apothecary," Zack relates the store name to Shannon. "Can't miss it. Across the street from the Lomas shoppin' center. Kiva Coffee's next door," he says with a vague wave of his hand as he describes it. He half-slides the cheesecake towards Cleo so she can dig in more easily. But then he spots Marlena and offers a wave. "Oh howdy. Marlena, right?" Sucked into social encounter kicking and screaming!

"There's not really table service," Cleo explains to Sasha, as the employee stalks off for the last time. She seems to have a realistic idea of exactly how likely she is to get that fork, and wipes down a butter knife instead, cutting off a chunk of Zack's cheesecake and eating it with her fingers. "I don't know what he's so pissed about, I kicked out a kid who pissed him off earlier. You'd think that would be worth running around like my lackey for a few trips." But apparently not. Thoroughly cheesecaked and full and with her homework done, she makes shooing motions at Zack. "Get up, I gotta go, I got school tomorrow."

Marlena was just pulling herself up to a seat on the counter when suddenly, her name! And then she turns and looks to see where it was coming from. Yes, the vaguely recognizable person. She returns the wave with a small, shy smile and a little nod. "That would be me, yes." she offers in return, raising her voice up loud enough to be heard. "Hi." She does not seem displeased to be noticed.

"An apothecary, huh? Maybe I'll come by and have a look 'round." Shannon flashes Zack her curved smile again. The smile is directed toward Marlena next, then her attention drifts toward Cleo. "Ya'll got someone to walk you home, honey?"

Sasha cups her beer bottle greedily with both hands, but the cheesecake is eyed as well. Still, Cleo's explanation of the pizza boy elicits a lopsided grin to Sasha's face. "You're my kinda gal, cookie." She notes to the girl. "It's never too early to start developing sassiness." Pausing, Sasha turns and upnods at Shannon. "I bet she's an asskicker in her own right. Wouldn't worry about her." The 'hi' from behind makes Sasha turn to look over her shoulder, finally noticing Marlena. "Hey, nice get-up!"

Zack slides out of the booth to let Cleo make her escape. At Shannon's suggestion he even offers, "Oh, I could give y'all a ride if y'want." Then back to Marlena, he offers a smile. "From the motorcycle shop. When I got my bike tuned," he helps put a context on his face. "I'm Zack," he reminds her, to spare her having to ask.

"I can kick /so/ much ass," Cleo says, not even dignifying anything else with a response. She climbs out of the booth, dragging her backpack with her. Fist-bumps for everyone! "See you. Thanks, Ryan!" she shouts at the employee, who flips her off but doesn't look all that serious about it. She vanishes outside and is gone.

Marlena nods to Zack's explanation. "I remember. I'd say we hoped to see you again soon, but Beck would freak out if any work she did on a bike didn't last almost forever." she says with a bit of humor before turning and making her order.

Shannon watches Cleo leave with a widening smile before she turns her attention back to the table. With Zack and Marlena talking, the blond musician focuses her amber eyes on Sasha. "And how long have you lived here?" She gives her soda cup a shake. Yep, still empty except for the ice.

"There's still hope somethin' new will break," Zack replies with a wide smile and a wink. "Oh hey, she was expectin' last I saw. She a happy mother yet?" He stays standing while he talks with Marlena and the other two chat with each other. He loops a thumb into the belt of his jeans.

Sasha quirks her brows as Shannon asks her a serious question, because let's face it, the redheaded gothling hasn't been serious all night. "Moi?" She asks after taking another gulp of her precious beer. "Three months, maybe a bit more? I got a bit of a wanderlust in my blood, kinda like a gypsy, y'know? Drifted into town and decided to stick around, see what happens." Her eyes go back to Shannon's guitar again. "So you play the guitar, huh? You got a gig somewhere yet?"

Marlena laughs and shakes her head. "No, she's still an extremely unhappy near mother. Due date is next week and we are /so/ ready for that to happen." she says, clearly opening up as they talk about Beck and her baby. "The nursery is all set up, and there's been a lot of food making and setting aside so that no one has to cook for a while afterwards."

Shannon follows Sasha's gaze to the acoustic guitar leaning nearby. "I do, yep. And the piano too, though I'm a bit out of practice there." She gathers her plate and empty soda cup as she continues, "Only gigs I've been doing are in the parks and sidewalks, though I was thinking 'bout trying to set something up at the Three Fools Tavern." The young woman briefly rises from the table so she can throw away her trash. The talk of an impending baby draws a glance but nothing more.

"Y'all know if it's gonna be a boy or a girl? Got a name picked out?" Zack wonders as he picks at his cheese cake while still standing. "I got this image in my head of Beck makin' a monkey-wrench mobile to hang over the kid's crib."

Marlena laughs to that. "Tiny little monkey wrenches, yes. But I bet Natsuki will make some amazing clockwork toy that will keep the little one interested. And Beck wanted to be surprised, so we don't know yet. I wasn't even allowed to look at the ultrasound lest I find out."

"That's a good spot for a gig." Sasha bobs her head in sagely agreement, then flicks a finger with the hand that's holding the bottle. "Make sure you avoid some of the places in the Warzone. Trust me on this one, sistah. Don't make the same mistakes I did when I first rolled into town." She, too, glances briefly at the Zack and his new friend Marlena, particularly all that talk about babies.

"Already making that mistake, I guess..." Shannon says in her lazy drawl. "Put in for a place right 'bove the Sharkbite, but haven't heard back yet. What places should I avoid?"

Zack lets out a light laugh at Marlena's prediciment. "Well that should be real excitin' for y'all. I hope everythin' goes great." Then, he seems to remember he's been negligent in his hospitable duties. "Oh, hey. Marlena, this here is Shannon. She's from Texas. An' this is ... Sasha? I just met 'em. Shannon, Sasha, this is Marlena."

Marlena bites her lip again as Other People get involved. But she copes and offers a little smile and a wiggle of her fingers. "Hi there, Nice to meet you.. Sasha, Shannon." It is clear that, eventually, she will get these names mixed up, but the girl is trying.

Sasha winces at Shannon's reply. "Too late. But if you're stuck there, make sure you avoid some of the locals..." She starts to impart some local knowledge, when Zack calls back to them. Yup, she'll turn in her seat to wave a hand at Marlena. "Hey man. Y'know I'm a part-time gothling myself."

Shannon raises her hand and waves her fingers at Marlena, "Howdy there, Marlena, it's nice to meet you." She rises from her seat again and collects her acoustic guitar, slipping her arm into the strap and letting the instrument rest against her hip. "I'll try my best to avoid the bad types." The young woman says to Sasha. "Well... it was good to meet ya'll. Hope we meet again." Zack, Sasha, and Marlena each receive a warm smile before the blond musician moves toward the door.

You exit the restaurant.