"I don't assume that all...blue people know each other."
<NYC> Pandemonium Games - Lower East Side
Two floors of geekery, Pandemonium Games in the Lower East Side is, at first blush, a bookstore rather than a gaming store, small and cozy with aisles dedicated to sci-fi and fantasy books. The glass counter opposite the bookshelves, admittedly, does hold a wealth of cards from various collectible card games, though binders of Magic cards predominate. Bins of dice in a wide variety of colours stand at one end of the counter. It is the lower level of the store that is usually the busy one, though. The stairs leading down to the basement head first into shelves and shelves of games; board games, RPG sourcebooks, Warhammer figurines, battle mats. Beyond the shelves of goods, a much larger room is mostly bare save its many wide tables, filled at all hours with people playing tabletop games of all kinds.
There's a M:tG sealed deck tournament winding down in the basement of Pandemonium -- a weekly Sunday afternoon event, people getting ready for the open baord gaming that follows. One tiny blue shark is lingering to watch the end of the tournament, right now, leaning up against a games shelf nearby the table. Dressed in very heavy stompy metallic boots, black skinny jeans, a purple and silver corset-styled tank top, black and silver armwarmers, B is drawing as many looks as the game is -- almost. Almost -- given that one of the contestants at the moment is a rather small and overeager child who seems to be doing /very/ well by himself. Even if he can't seem to sit /still/ in his seat, bounce, bounce, bounce. B has her eye on him, moreso than his opponent, arms crossed over hir chest as she watches the final match.
The child's opponent is not doing quite so well. She's as still and poised as he is bouncy, and doesn't seem bothered by her obvious impending defeat. She's wearing a black cloak trimmed in purple and pink, her face not easily visible in the shadow of the hood except maybe to the boy sitting across from her. After tallying up the attacks and blocks and counters from that round, she reaches out her with a flourish and bleeds the rest of her life counter dry. "Well played," she says, a little shyly, dipping her head to the child in a bow before gathering the cards and pushing her chair back.
The boy bounces again in his seat (which he's only half-sitting on anyway, half standing, his other sneaker planted on his seat), grinning broadly across the table at the young woman. "You too!" he chirrups, and then, brighter, across the table: "Hey I /won/! They're going to give me /money/! I can buy a /game/!"
B wanders over to the table, one webbed-clawed hand dropping to squeeze the boy lightly on the shoulder. "Yeah? What game?"
"Mysterium," Spencer answers /immediately/, though just as sure and decisive changes his answer: "No, Gravwell! There's spaceships. Hey I like your cloak. Where do you get /cloaks/?"
Blink looks up abruptly from the wreckage of the game when she hears B speaks. Well, she's still looking /down/ really, being half a head taller. "Oh, hey!" There's a brief hesitation. "Small world, huh?" Her huge green eyes look to Spencer, then back to B. "Your brother?" She looks down at her garment, looking suddenly much less reserved. "You can get cloaks...all kinds of places, I guess? Mostly the Internet and Renaissance fairs. But I made this one." She tucks her phone away in a purse that had been hidden by one of her cloak's pointed flaps.
"You /made/ it? That's so cool! She made it," Spence relates earnestly, as though B were not standing right there listening. "I don't know how to make things like that. But I /do/ go to Ren faires. Sometimes. Not all the time they're not always open all year." /This/ is said like a great disappointment.
B's mouth quirks up, quietly amused as she starts to shuffle Spence's cards away. "My brother," she agrees, though with a trace of puzzlement: "Small world?" Hir head shakes, though, glossing over that. "Dusk could teach you, I'm sure. If you wanted to learn to make cloaks."
"Do you make /lots/ of cloaks?" Spence wants to know. "Do you /sell/ them? Do you go to lots of faires? I have so many costumes for when we go to cons. Once I was Jack Frost and once I was Zuko and once I was Liara T'Soni I like," he confides, "to be blue."
This makes B's smile twitch jut a little more.
Blink blushes, lowering her head. "This kind is pretty easy to make, actually." She spreads out her arms to show the shape of the cloak. It's mostly just a huge square of fabric with a slit from the center to one of the points. "Only tricky part is the hood. I could give you a pattern if you want to learn, but you can also find them online." She's blinking rapidly at B. "I uh...we've met. Last month. At the Bat Cave?" She sounds increasingly uncertain and fidgets as she squares her deck against the table. "I make...well, it depends on what you mean by 'a lot', but I don't sell them. I /do/ costume, though!" She brightens, awkwardness overlooked for the moment. "Oh wow, Liara is a /tough/ costume! Did you have headtentacles? Oh sorr...uhhh, lo siento, I'm keeping you from your prize."
"Wait like before you went back to Boston? Or were you /here/ last month and you didn't /tell/ me?" Spencer looks /abruptly/ accusatory at B, eyes widening.
"I was not," B huffs. "I wouldn't visit and not visit /you/."
"Oh, well, then." Spence is back to bouncing -- up out of his chair now, standing and collecting his cards back from B. "And yeah!" His eyes light. "I had a whole molded cap and everything! /This/ week I'm going to be Mega Man for Purim. /He's/ blue too. But my friends help me with my costumes a /lot/. What costumes do you make?"
"Sweet!" Blink nods, impressed. "What're you doing for armor? I'm no good at propmaking, mostly just sew. My sister helps me with makeup a lot." She tilts her head, considering. "Mmm, last Dragon Con I was Merrill, from Dragon Age. The one before I was Link. Had to get friends to help me with the sword and shield. Not sure about my next one." She shrugs, tucking her cards away.
"You go to Dragon*Con?" Both the Hollands say this in tandem, more excited now.
"We're there pretty much every year," B explains, more shyly.
"B gave a whole /talk/ this year!" Spence sounds so proud of this. "There were /robots/. And Merrill is /awesome/ I want to be Fenris. Maybe this year! Maybe. Oh wait! My prize." Very promptly, he vanishes.
Blink nods enthusiastically. "I've been going...three years now? It's really something else!" She pauses briefly, tilting her head. To Spence's dizzying series of comments she only succeeds in asking "Who's B?" just as he disappears. This doesn't startle her...nearly as much as it seems like it should. In fact, she smiles and nods...kind of knowingly? "/That/ is a useful skill at Dragon Con."
"It's nuts," B agrees, twisting around as Spence vanishes, though she seems unsurprised as well. "The crowds just keep getting bigger and bigger and it's /awesome/ but --" Her nose crinkles; she gives a small shrug of one shoulder. "Oh /man/ it's crazy useful he and our other friend just never had problems getting through the Marriott -- or back up to our room no matter how long the elevator lines were." Her smile is a little crooked, now. "Oh! I'm B." She extends a webbed hand with this greeting, kind of shy. "My name. I mean. Just B."
Blink chuckles, "Oh, yes, I'm...not a fan of the crowds, but I /kind/ of have the same advantage he does." She tilts her head at where Spence had gone to claim his winnings. "Last year one of my friends paid for my ticket and my share of the room just to shuttle him around." She looks down at the hand B offers, but accepts the shake without hesitation. "I'm Blink. Wait, you gave a talk at Dragon Con? About what?"
"That's -- /definitely/ convenient." B's hand is cool and firm when it closes around Blink's, shakes once quickly. "Um -- it was," hir gills are fluttering, brief and quick along the side of hir neck. "About evolutionary robotics, it -- wasn't very exciting, people mostly just..." Hir nose wrinkles, head shaking. "Wait, /Blink/? The teleporter? Oh! /Oh/-oh-oh. Oh that /is/ a small world."
"I admit I'm no expert, but that sounds fascinating. The only robotics track events I usually go to are the fights..." Blink sounds only a little bit guilty about this. "You've...heard of me?" She frowns, looking a bit puzzled. "My little sister's going to be so mad if I get famous before she does." Her huge green eyes study B again, more closely. "Do you know Shane? I mean, I don't assume that all...blue people know each other but I really thought you were him at first."
"Well /you/ know Flicker," B stifles a giggle behind webbed fingers, "and now Spence too so I can assume all teleporters know each other and call it even." She glances over towards the other side of the room, keeping an eye, still, on her little brother before looking back to Blink. "Shane's my brother. We're twins. He said you were going to play laser tag some day."
Blink laughs, too. "Ohhh, ok! Twins! I feel less bad about...thinking you looked the same, now." Relieved, maybe a little embarassed, judging by the flush of pink in her cheeks. "It's so strange, ever since I ran into Flicker that one time I just keep...bumping into his friends. That's good! Just...unexpected, in a city so big. But yeah, I like playing...all kinds of games, really. Would be wicked cool to play with people who don't mind the..." She makes a two quick open-close gestures with her hand, moving it in between.
"Well. Less strange when you think about it. The /city/ is huge, but the number of stores that'll let people like us in --" B's hand seesaws in the air. "Really ups your chances, honestly. Plus, Flicker's kind of like. Crazy popular, he makes friends pretty..." B trails off here, hir smile fading away for a moment. Gills fluttering again, brows furrowing. Hir tongue darts out to wet hir lips, and she pulls in a quick breath, forcing hir smile back onto hir face. "Yeah. Yeah, no, that. That'd be cool. Plus you should come by our... they have Game Night. During the week on... Tuesdays. At home. Like this --" She gestures to the board gaming that is starting up in the basement, "but more, uh, freaks."
"Good point, I hadn't really thought of it. I get by in some shops by wearing stuff like this and keeping my head down, but..." She shrugs. "Yeah, I'm still trying to feel out where is best for..." She pauses, biting her lower lip. "Freaks. But. I mean. Flicker is...pretty amazing." Her eyes open wider at the invitation. "Wow, a game night! That's be great. Is that also at that place...Harbor Commons?"
B nods. "Tuesday evenings. Seven. At the big -- main house. I'm in college out of state so I'm not -- there a lot but sometimes." Hir nose wrinkles, hand rubbing at the back of hir neck. "But my brother is. Flicker organizes it. The people who come are cool. My pa usually makes tasty snacks. Well." She frowns again now, deeply. "Usually. I -- I should collect my brother. Um. But maybe I'll see you around there?"
Blink has pulled her phone back out and is swiping in a few quick notes with one thumb without doing much more than glancing down at it. "Thank you so much. Can I bring my sister? She's not a mutant, but she's an ally and kind of freakishly good at some games." She sounds kind of fondly resentful of this as she drops the phone into her purse again. "Yeah, maybe! Nice to meet you, both."
"Sure. It's never short on food. Or games, either," B says with a small smile. "See you." Hir fingers curl in a small wave before she scurries off after Spence.