NFG Season Two - Mermaid Pool Party

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Description: Rodrigo decides to throw a bit of a get together for the members of the NFG. There's food, drinks, music, and... chaos?

The sun has gone down on the Sun Deck of the Mermaid and now is where Rodrigo hosts a party of his own. He's on the deck coordinating details with the staff clad in swim trunks with a wave design on them.

A large portion of the deck chairs have been removed to create a bar area for drinks with bar tenders encouraged to make NFG fighter themed cocktails and mocktails for those underaged or who don't drink, and buffet sections dedicated to Greek, Spanish, Jamaican foods. Greek section had foods like souvlaki, fish, calamari, courgettes, feta cheese and the like. The Spanish section had things like paella, patatas bravas, gazpacho, and jamon. The Jamaican section had jerk chicken, curry goat, beans and rice, cabbage, and greens. There are tables set aside for eating and kept separate from the pool area with signs saying that food and drink is to remain in the designated eating area.

Rodrigo had made preparations based on the things that he's observed or been told and he's also tried to anticipate needs of his guests. He's arranged for for it take place at night due to seeing how Zarine wore lots of clothes to keep the sun off of her, arranged for meaty foods to address observed dietary needs for Ishida, made sure that the paella included prawns along with the shrimp, clams, chicken, chorizo sausage to address Tanwen's noted enjoyment of the food, DJ area for Sarah to set up her ones and twos should she make an appearance to spin but can play music via Bluetooth without, and plenty of Lucky's Fiery Ale for Hawksley. Rodrigo had also attempted to anticipate needs that he hadn't been informed about. Gluten free and vegan options are available if needed in each of the buffet sections.
(OOC Note: If there are any foods that can conceivably be from any of the sections not mentioned, they can be assumed to be there.)

Hawksley Moore has heard that there's a party taking place on the Sun Deck of the Mermaid Cruise Ship. Within minutes he has made his way towards it, stopping only to change into his swim trunks, since there's a pool there and he's bound to end up in it at some point of the evening. Rumours are that Rodrigo is hosting the shindig so that season one and two NFgers can socialise and suss each out with a view to setting up potential partnerships for the rest of the year. He knows that Coco has already claimed the young recruit she wants but he hasn't got his heart set on anyone in particular.

The aforementioned swimming trunks have an Ombre design, with the top of them coloured dark blue, which then lightens to royal blue, followed by turquoise and finally mint green. They fasten at his trim waist with a white drawstring. On his feet are a pair of dark blue Adidas sliders with three white stripes across the front. He'd look pretty presentable if it wasn't for the two black eyes, swollen nose and scabbed over chin, the souvenirs of his brutal brawl with Buford.

"Rodrigo! How's it going, fella?" He calls out to the Spaniard, approaching him from behind. He's heard a lot about the cape user in recent weeks and is well away of the chatter about his style, sex appeal and fighting skill. "Thanks for organising all this. You've done a grand job."

He looks at all the food and drink on display, his appreciation only growing when he notes that his own brand of alcohol is amongst the options. Heading in that direction, he cracks open a can and takes a substantial swig. "Cheers."

Rodrigo's party was as prepared as it was going to be. Now he has no choice but leave everything in the hands of the staff and try to have as much fun as possible in the meanwhile. Rodrigo makes his way to the bar to have the bar tender make his signature cocktail, El Matador Caliente (tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice, and cointreau as an orange liqueur, but it had a slice of jalapeno to add a bit of spice to it and a small watermelon wedge as a garnish along with a plastic sword toothpick).

It is at this point that Hawksley makes himself known and greets him. Rodrigo raises his plastic glass in greeting with a bit of a smile on his face.

"I have to. I have many shortcomings, I'd rather not have bad host be one of them. I didn't have a chance to do so until now, but I'd also like to wish you a happy belated birthday."

Rodrigo raises his glass once more, this time as a toast, and when Hawksley takes a swig, Rodrigo drinks a bit more of his particular Matador variant.

"If you serve people enough booze they don't really notice." The Cork fella comments. "You've obviously gone to a lot of effort though. I'll try some of that food in a bit, once I've worked up an appetite."

He runs a hand through his short dark locks and leans against the bar. "I appreciate the birthday wishes. It seems like fecking ages ago now. I appreciate the shout out in your pre season interview too. You're right, I do know how to have fun and I reckon you do too."

He grins at the matador man and downs some more ale. "You've been putting in a solid performance in the contest so far. It looks like you've been having a grand old time with the ladies." He raises his thick eyebrows, teasing the other lad a bit. "How are you handling all the screaming fans? Have you had any really weird ones to deal with yet?"

Splish, splash. Chevelle Beaumont -- clad in a teal bikini with white trim -- has been in the pool ever since Rodrigo first started setting up. It's far from unusual, really -- the waterbender has been spending so much time swimming in the Mermaid's pools that it's probably more of a surprise that she hasn't grown fins. She's working on staying underwater as much as possible, though occasionally she does surface to offer friendly smiles and waves to new arrivals. The area around her right eye is, however, still a little discolored from her last bout.

- - -

Ishida was on Cloud Nine as he strolled through the hallways of the Mermaid. He'd probably be heard before seen: he's strumming out a rather fast-paced tune on the black-and-white bass guitar strapped over one shoulder. From the detached look on his face, he seems to be trying to learn, or possibly remember, the song in question. He's sporting an unbuttoned silk shirt this evening, pale off-white in color, over a pair of charcoal gray board shorts.

He's still trying to work out the song as he arrives at the designated party deck. A cheerful smile on his face, he trails off from his song upon noticing Rodrigo and Hawksley. "Hello!" Raising his hand in a greeting wave, he ambles on over.

"Gallardo-san! Thank you for inviting us. This is quite the spread."

Letting his bass hang by the strap, he presses his fist into his palm and bows at the waist -- though, he turns, shortly afterwards, and repeats the gesture to Hawksley.

"Moore-san. A pleasure to meet you at last. I, too... Wish you a happy belated birthday."

Ishida rests his left hand upon the body of the bass to steady it, smiling.

Roxana has been sitting in her cabin deciding whether or not to attend the gathering on the Sun Deck. She has heard that it's serving partly as a place to spend time with the Season One competitors and see if any of them would like to mentor the new generation of fighters and she's already sorted in that regard after an interesting evening with Coco Coalbridge in the casino bar. It's not that the black-haired beauty doesn't like parties, it's just that they tend to drain her. She knows if she attends at some point she's gonna need to recharge that energy by resting and reading. It would be nice to see the other members of the New Fighting Generation though. Other than that first day in the atrium, she's not really mixed with them besides the ones she fought during her matches and that was a very different thing. Sure, she'd chatted a bit with Ishida about bassists and been polite with Arisa and Rodrigo but she'd spent most of her time as a scorpion or playing a part. Sometimes both.

After much humming and harring, she decides that on balance it would be best to stop by. She can always leave if she decides it's not her scene and it will be a good excuse to wear her new swimsuit. The costume in question is a rather striking sight. It's a light gold one-piece with diamante detail covering the front. The neckline plunges low and the back has crossover straps. Laces run along the sides and fasten in a bow at her hips. The legs are high-cut which gives the effect of lengthening her legs. On her feet are a pair of pretty diamante sandals with espadrille wedge heels. Her toenails have been perfectly pedicured and painted in pale gold with diamante tips.

As she walks into the bar area, she gives a shy smile to all those gathered and then spots Chevy in the swimming pool and extends it to her too. "Hi, everyone. It's lovely to see you all." Her voice is soft and if anyone is hard of hearing, they'd likely struggle to hear her speak.

The host gives the mostly submerged red head a smile and wave before returning his attention to the Cork brawler since he is the closer of the two. Of course, Rodrigo does agree with Hawksley about the booze to a point.

"Of course the difference between a decent party and a good party is plenty of booze and good food. And the difference between a good party and a great party is having all those things and good people. I'm aiming for the latter. So far it seems like I'm off to a good start."

Rodrigo takes another sip of his cocktail as he watches Ishida as he approaches, strumming on his bass. He nods in appreciation of the music not expecting Ishida to play at that moment. He's filing it away for later. This could be useful for future parties after all.

"Ahh... Senor Ishida. Good to see you again. I hope you enjoy the food and drink."

Rodrigo notices Roxana out of the corner of his eye and his glass in greeting to his former opponent before eventually finishing his glass.

Hawksley's brown and currently also black eyes wander the way of the pool and settle on the redhaired figure having a grand old time in the water. "Chevelle Beaumont as I live and breathe." He bellows to his buddy, making one of the bar staff flinch with the volume.

For anyone who looks closely, they will notice that in addition to his facial injuries, the Irishman is also sporting several angry looking cuts across his upper arms and torso. Buford's blade had really done a number on him and although he's a faster healer than most, the scars still mark his firm flesh.R
"Thanks to you too, fella. The pleasure is all mine." The brawler beams at Ishida, noting the bass guitar. "Are you gonna put a show on for us later? I don't suppose you've brought the rest of the band have you?" He looks around in expectation.

Rodrigo's words earn his approval and he slaps him on the back with enthusiasm. "You're a wise man. Booze, food, great music and grand company are all the best ingredients for a party."

He recognises Roxana as she makes her way in and lifts his can in aknowledgement. Despite her being Coco's protege, he has yet to have a conversation with her.

Chevy had been resting her elbows on the ledge of the pool as Hawksley called out to her. She weathers the bellowing in good nature -- loud voices are kind of a thing she's used to from her hometown. "Haha! Well, if it ain't Mister Hawksley Moore!" she calls back, with just as much eagerness. Though, as she runs her fingers through chlorinated hair, she realizes... it's a little asymmetric to be talking from such a low vantage point. "Hang on a sec, lemme dry off..."

Ishida, meanwhile, nods in reply to Rodrigo. "Yes, of course! Though I am here for more than that, of course." He bows to Rodrigo once more, and to Hawksley. As for the question, he glances down to consider that.

"If the mood strikes. I was just... feeling nostalgic, for a moment."

His thumb thumps lightly against his bass as he turns to address Roxana. His chest swells ever so slightly as he turns to her.

"Good evening, Rox. The last time we met, you were also Rox. But I am no longer that King, thankfully."

He smiles -- a bit awkwardly -- and thumps the bass again. "It is good to see you. I hope you are hungry, there is a lot to eat."

By this point, Chevy has managed to make her way out of the pool. She's run a towel through those auburn locks of hers; it's now draped around her shoulders; she's also tied a about her hips.

"Hey, y'all! Sorry for bein' all swimmy and such, Mr Gallardo... I guess I just got a bit too much 'in the zone' an' all." She nods to Rodrigo, Roxana, and Ishida in turn -- "It's nice to finally meet you all! Congratulations to y'all for rockin' out in the Odyssey!"

Grinning ear-to-ear, she turns to Hawksley with a smile. And then suddenly draws in her breath as she notices the cuts and bruises. "Ooh, geez, he really -did- do a number on you, didn't he?"

"I thought you played the part of the king wonderfully." Roxana responds, returning Ishida's smile. "As did Rodrigo with Orion. I have been blessed with my opponents. As for my hunger, it has been some time since lunch, so I believe I could be tempted. I suspect there's some options that I've never had the chance to sample before, so it will be good to expand my culinary experience."

As Chevy joins the gathered group, Rox's face lights up. "It's so lovely to meet you!" She gushes. "You were such an inspiration to me last season when I was a viewer and now I'm a part of things, even more so. I thank you for your congratulations. I've been having a really wonderful time. I still can't believe sometimes that I get to be in the competition. I could pinch myself." She giggles girlishly and then looks towards the bar.

"Do you have anything fruity?" She wonders of the barman. "I find I like that kind of drink. Or perhaps, if the whispers are true, you may have a signature cocktail for me?" She's incredibly curious what such a thing would be named and how it would taste.

"Nostalgic for what?" Hawksley wonders of Ishida.

He's enjoying being amongst new faces but it's wonderful to see a familiar one too when a smiling Chevy sidles up besides them. "He fecked me up, cailin." He admits with a grimace, as she notices his injuries. "He pushed me right to the very edge. Luckily for me, it's a place I'm comfortable being."

Despite the damage he's taken, it doesn't seem to have chipped away at any of his usual good cheer. "I saw your performance as the sea monster against Coco on the stream. Magnificent, the both of you. I would have been there but I had some business to take care of."

He gestures to the can he's drinking from, implying that it's connected to his sponsorship deal. "The pool looked like it was treating you kindly. I'll have to drag my arse in there for a swim later. Or at least a bit of a splash about."

"Of course!"

Rodrigo doesn't specify whether he's responding to Hawksley or Ishida. At first he hangs back letting conversations happen around him and then Chevy dries off and approaches the group.

"Ahh... Senorita Beaumont, you don't have to apologize. If I didn't want people to be 'swimmy,' I wouldn't have held the party here."

He overhear's Roxana's request of the bartender for a fruity drink. He raises an eyebrow before he responds.

"I don't know about the other drinks but I believe the Matador variant and Scorpion variant that make here do have fruit flavor."

He looks at the gathered fighters. A thoughtful expression appears on his face. He decides he wants to put a finger on where people might be looking in terms of forming teams.

"I have just been trying to put on a good show. Apparently, I had been doing a better job than I expected. Have there been any fights this season that you haven't participated in that you found memorable?"

Ishida grins -- though as drink orders are given, he simply asks of the barman: "Coke, please."

He seems more than pleased with Roxana's performance, nodding along quietly. "I had seen your previous fights, so I had known what to expect, but facing you in person is..." He clears his throat, keeping his eyes locked upon Roxana's. "... Disarming." He considers for a moment, adding: "I did learn quite a bit. I look forward to our eventual rematch."

He unslings the bass from his shoulder, seeming content to prop it up against a group of folded-up chairs as he considers his response for Hawksley. "... Nostalgia, yes. I used to watch Kasumoto-senpai's 'Ichikast' recordings religiously. And as she has just released a new Ichikast..."

Chevy, listening in, turns to look at Ishida with wide eyes. "Wait, she did?" Grimacing, she rubs the back of her neck. "Gosh, I done forgot to check my phone lately..."

Ishida smiles faintly. "Y-yes. So I began to practice one of the songs she likes..."

Chevy: "Oh, yeah! I knew that sounded familiar for some reason..."

Miss Beaumont is more than happy to receive Roxana's praise, bowing her head with a faint blush on her cheeks. "Well, thank you! I'm flattered! I'm just glad to get out there and give the fans somethin' to cheer for. I'm glad you're really gettin' into this NFG thing, too! Best thing that's ever happened to me, no doubt!" She turns to look at Ishida and Rodrigo, including them within the scope of her praise, as well: "Y'all are gonna do great!"

Of course, she can't not make the 'clack clack' gesture with her hands when she continues to Roxana: "Me an' Buck love watchin' you fight, 'specially when you break out the armor and the pincers and such! You look super-slippery to grab hold of, what with those lil' leggies on your back..."

Of course, Chevy can't -not- address Hawksley's fight with Buford. "... Haha, yeah, he does tend to, uh, bring out the -best- in people, right?" She raises the towel to her face again, fluffing up the last bits of water as she experiences a moment of self-consciousness. It's clear from the unmistakable scent of waterproof suntan lotion that she's taken last season's comments about her farmer's tan to heart.

As for Rodrigo's question, Chevy seems to have a quick answer, gesturing a hand between Roxana and Ishida. "Oh, these two had a real good fight. I was half scared they was gonna take a tumble right off the mountain! But aside from y'all... I really liked watchin' Henry and Skye fight. It seems like they both have really come into their own, and are free to just bounce an' bob all over the place."

She rubs the back of her neck. "I was a -bit- scared about Buck fightin' Zarine, but ... Wow. They both just continue to impress me with how much *hurt* they can soak up..."

Ishida, nursing his cola, had been mostly quiet through those exchanges -- but once Chevy stops hogging the oxygen, he quietly speaks up.

"Cadwallader-san's fight with you was... illuminating."

He smiles faintly. "It is fascinating to see how each of us approaches fighting in... his or her own unique way."

Chevy, realizing she might be the last person without a drink, waves over to the barman. "Oh, Amaretto and cola, please? Thank you!"

Of course, the invitation to a nighttime party on deck did eventually reach a certain german farmboy, too. Here's the truth, though: Albert Braendel has never, not even once in his life, been to a party that took place night.

Actually, he's not been many parties to begin with. But that just makes the idea twice as exciting then!

And you know, the fact that it happens to be held on the sun deck makes it easy to decide on what exactly he should be wearing.

For the new arrival now, there's not much to draw attention to them. Some might notice a sound of rapid footsteps over the deck, but otherwise, the only declaration of arrival comes when it's already too late...


There's only two seconds of time after that loud shout to see someone in dark blue swimming trunks flying over the air above the swimming pool, with knees tucked to his chest.

And then, impact at the deep center of the pool. It comes with a loud and wide SPLOOSH, water blown up in a pillar-like shape first as if a stick of dynamite had just exploded under the surface, followed by waves rippling out all across the pool, and probably ending up splashing water into the legs of anyone unfortunate enough to stand close enough to the edges.

A second or so after the water has settled again, the one responsible for this incident bursts up into view to the surface, shaking his head to shake off water gathered to brown hair that only ends up sticking to his skin right after. It might be hard to recognize this one without the cosplay armor and stuff, but...


All that energy from the muscular german farmboy in the pool is unmistakeable. Albert has made his entrance.


"But I can't have a nap, Winn. I might miss the exposition!" Tanwen whinged and pouted.

"You won't, Tan. I'll wake you before, I will," Winn reassured her. "Now, don't be getting chopsy, like. You've been up all night writing, you have. If you don't have a nap now you'll be falling asleep at the party, you will."

"Okay," Tanwen relented with something between a yawn and a sigh as she gathered her papers into a neat pile on the cabin's desk. "But you'll be sure to wake me in time, won't you?"

"Of course," Winn said with a smile.

Then, once the girl had curled up on the bed, Winn quietly tiptoed over to his own bedside in his flip-flops, where he collected a pair of sunglasses and bottle of sunscreen.

==*== PRESENTLY ==*==

A frenetic amber-haired girl in long blue-and-white robes that the more astute Dungeons and Dragons players amongst those present might correctly identify as those of a Cleric of Bahamut (complete with artificial chainmail for a medium-armour class) stumbles hastily onto the pool deck, a satchel slung over her shoulder and a bundle of paper in her arms.

"Sorry! Sorry! I'm so sorry, I am!" she apologises with profuse volume to any who can hear. Then, spotting a sunburned middle-aged Welshman in sunglasses lying on a sun lounger next to the pool, her expression turns into a scowl. She storms over to Winn, stamping her booted feet as she reaches his side.

"Winn! You prooomised! I'm sure I've missed the exposition now!"

She kicks one of the struts of the sun lounger with the toe of her boot. The sleeping Welshman snores loudly.

"Oh, not again!" Tanwen says with a roll of her eyes.


Two seconds is just long enough for Tanwen to turn around toward the pool, cock her head to one side, and start to ask, "Are we rolling initiative already...?"


Suddenly, Tanwen finds herself shutting her eyes tightly as water splatters up over the side of the pool. To her surprise and relief, none of it hits her face.

"Oh, phew! I was worried for a moment -"

Then, she looks down and realises that the stack of documents she's been clutching tightly have been thoroughly spattered, the ink blurring and the sheets growing soggy with each moment.

Tears start to well in her eyes as hours of reading, writing and arithmetic rapidly funnel down the drain.

"Ohhh nooooo!"

Rodrigo finds himself laughing in amusement at Ishida's recounting of fighting Roxana. Chevy's account of watching Roxana also bringing him some of amusment as well.

"I assure you that Roxana is as slippery as she looks. I had difficulty in getting a hold of her at the end of our fight in particular."

When Ishida mentions Rodrigo's fight with Tanwen, Rodrigo finds himself coughing on his drink unrelated to the slice of jalapeno in this particular variant of the Matador.

"Illuminating is an interesting way of putting it."

Rodrigo is about to respond further when he hears the cheerful shout of 'NIGHTTIME CANNONBALL!!!' followed by the sounds of a distressed 'Ohhh nooooo!' Rodrigo turns around to see Tanwen clutching wet papers post German farmboy cannonball.

"It looks like I'll have to step away to perform my hostly duties.

Rodrigo finishes off his El Matador Caliente and places the plastic drinkwear on the nearest table so that he can approach the poolside empty-handed. Staff are quick to move in to retrieve the 'glass'. Say what you will about the staff but they are good at what they do.

"Tanwen. I'm glad you could make it to my party. Is there anything I can help with?"

He glances down at the stack of papers all blurred and splattered.

Ishida waves at Tanwen as she arrives. They'd gotten along well at the initial onboarding, and they'd gotten along well during their fight. It's a happy time, all around, so he's got a pretty big smile on his face as she arrives.

The footsteps, though... that changes his expression to more of a frown. He... has a pretty good idea of what's coming next. And quietly steps to his side.

Meanwhile, Chevy was stopped to talk to the man behind the bar. She hadn't really noticed Tanwen until the diminitive Welsh dragon had kicked Winn's deck lounger -- and only then, had -just- turned to notice. "What the..."

The waterbender's eyes go wide as the splash comes towards her. She'd -just- dried off, too! She throws her hands up, letting the refreshing wave crash against her forearms -- and sparing the barman and his drink prep table.

And she's -cracking up- as the water drips off her. Shouldn't she have been able to... -stop- that, maybe?

"Oh, hey y'all!" she calls out -- with only a -little- concern spared for Tanwen and her papers. Why would someone bring important papers to a poolside party?

Ishida, though -- well. Maybe he blocked the water for someone! Maybe not! The point is, he got soaked too -- but that's in the past, and the present sees him pacing up to Tanwen's side, holding up his hands. "No, wait, don't... don't separate the pages. That will peel the ink up. You just want to spread them out as best you can so they can dry evenly."

He's had some experience in the matter of wet textbooks, it would seem.

"The Scorpion?" Roxana's perfectly arched eyebrows shoot upwards. "Surely that is my drink. What's in it?" She checks of the barman.

"Lemon juice, orange juice, light gold rum and cognac." He responds.

"Oh yes please. That does sound fruity!" She enthuses, smiling warmly at both he and Rodrigo.

The Spaniard's question regarding memorable matches has her pondering. "I enjoyed Zarine and Buck in the last round. The setting on the beach by night and the atmosphere beautifully combined to create a pleasing visual. In the first round I found the dynamics between Coco and Hawksley fascinating and there was much to enjoy in the three way match with Sarah, Genie and Zarine. My favourite in the second round was probably Kenzo and Buford, as it was wonderful to see my favourite fighter defeat his enemy again."

Tilting her head towards Ishida, she listens to his assessment of their confrontation carefully. "Disarming. I can accept that. I'd be honoured to fight you again one day. Perhaps next time you can be yourself or we can get to dress up as rockstars and you can dance around like Flea."

She's back to giggling again. It's partially nerves at the social situation and also a little giddiness at spending time with such a great group of people. "I find myself questioning which rockstar I would like to play in such a scenario. Someone with a wonderful and extravagant wardrobe I think."

The attention rewarded by Chevy has Roxana focusing on the redhead. "I love that you and Buck have been watching me." Is that perhaps a blush on her honey coloured skin? She mimics the hands gesture demonstrated. "I suppose I am super slippery." There's a brief look towards Rodrigo as he agrees with the Southern girl's summary. "I'll be even more so when I get this swimsuit wet in the water later."

Albert's arrival has Roxana giving him a warm welcoming wave. "You're very loud." She observes in her super soft voice, though it's likely her words are lost in the sounds of him splashing into the swimming pool. His demeanor is so very different to that of the calm and composed Nebraska girl's but she enjoys the contrast. Being around so many different personalities is one of the best parts of this experience.

As for Tanwen, her entrance has Rox feeling rather confused. "Initiative?" She inquires. Apparently Dungeons and Dragons didn't make it to Sand Hills. Or at least the scorpion-girl's section of it

"My favourite fights were the ones I was in." Hawksley admits to Rodrigo. "There's nothing better than actually being in the brawl. As it happens though, I did check out the rest and probably paid most attention to the new genners, since I knew I'd be teaming up with one of you at some point. I already met Xander and Tanwen before the cruise ship, so they both caught my attention more in the first round but in the second round yourself against young Kim Kardashian minus the arse implants was pretty memorable." He steals a glance towards Roxana to see if she's noticed his assessment of her but she seems to be busy chatting. "I mean, you were fighting a fecking scorpion, fella. Then there was Ishida here taking on a dragon. I'd be very surprised if Tanwen and Buck don't end up as a duo, since she seems to be seeking other fire breathers out and I just confuse the hell out of her."

There's a long slurp from his can before he continues. "In the last round, I was loving that whole madness with Max and Albert. It was grand to finally see the girl in action. I'd have been gutted if I didn't get to fight in my first two matches."

No sooner has he mentioned the German boy than he's made his bold entrance to the party. The Irishman lets out a whistle, cheering on his showy antics. He likes a lad who knows how to have himself a good time. He's about to go over and join him but something Ishida says catches his attention. "Ichika's back in business? I'll have to have myself a watch of that. She's a grand girl, so she is and much missed around these parts." There's a glance given to Chevy, who surely feels her absence more than any of them.

He doesn't linger long on this though and besides, she's having a laugh with him about Buford. "He's alright you know. I said I'd go for a drink and a karoke session with him sometime." Apparently he's sticking to the Canadian's correction of his pronunciation of the word.

Tanwen turns up, armed with a bundle of paper this time instead of the book she had presented to him to sign on their last encounter. She seems to be in some sort of fancy dress too. He's not sure what she's talking about most of the time but she's a sweet natured girl if ever he saw one. "I can help you dry those off if you like?" He offers, glancing down at his hands. "Just give me a chance to set myself on fire and it'll all be grand."

Tanwen is sniffling by the time that Rodrigo arrives to assist her. She's trying to carefully peel the pages apart when Ishida shows up as well to offer his input.

"O-oh?" the Welsh lass wonders wordlessly at the queries and comments. She's too discombobulated to even explain a simple concept like initiative (and all of the possible modifiers that could apply to it). Then, Hawksley puts forth his own suggestion.

"O-oh! You're right! I can dry them off quick, like!"

Holding up the soggy sheets and keeping them together, she draws a deep breath in, then, with the most daintiness that she can muster, gives a little puff toward the pages. A tiny plume of flame escapes her lips, engulfing the sheets in a warm glow.

"It's working!" Tanwen exclaims excitedly.

Within seconds, the pages start to blacken and curl as the carefully but insufficiently-moderated draconic heat ignites them.

"Nooooo!" Tanwen shouts, throwing the bundle into the pool in a panic to put them out.

It works.

It also leaves the sheets totally ruined.

"Ahh! Cachu hwch!" Tanwen exclaims, slapping the sides of her head.

"Language, Tan!" Winn says, sitting up reflexively at the exclamation.

"Sorry!" Tanwen apologizes meekly, before looking around at the others. Her expression shifts from dejection to curiousity. "Didn't anyone else bring their character sheets or costumes? How are we supposed to have a party if we don't know what everyone's class is, like?" she asks, scratching her head.

Rodrigo cringes as first he sees the flames leave Tanwen's lips and then cringes once more upon seeing the sheets go up in flames and subsequently into the pool. He ends up looking for a pool skimmer since he was probably going to do it himself. Something not completely unfamiliar to him. Once again, the ship crew show that they were worth every penny that NFG and Rodrigo (due to throwing the party) spent on them by coming up and skimming out the burnt papers.

The host is stunned silence as he watches the pool get skimmed and the chlorine levels get checked and then the pool goes back to normal. It's not until the last pool crew member moves away that he can pull himself back into host mode.

"Different type of party, I believe. And certainly a different objective."

He glances to the other attendees in their bathing suits. Some of whom carrying refreshments while situated in the designated eating area, another of whom is in the pool himself. He then looks at Tanwen and Winn once more.

"The type of party I was aiming for was a social gathering for conversation, entertainment, and refreshment."

Amidst all the post-cannonballing tidal waving and such, Albert most likely did not, indeed, hear any of Roxanne's words meant for him. Probably wouldn't be the first time someone told him he was being loud though, in all fairness.

But, quickly realizing he is the only one making use of the pool, he does come wading his way through the water in a casual paddle up to the edge facing the core location of the party proper, where he hauls himself up enough to prop himself up into view, with his bare arms folding along the edge to keep himself anchored there.

"Hey did everyone get done swimming already? Am I late or something? Come on, the water's nice!" He doesn't really sound so much complaining, and more carrying the tone of a child trying his best to encourage (or dare?) his contemporaries to come join in on the revelries. Completely unaware of the chaos and potential damage he already caused with his disruption of the calm waters. "Someone come race me!"

His eyes *do* sweep over to Roxana, however, and the farmboy's eyes slowly, slooowly sweep over the dress she is wearing. The energetic smile on his face fades away pretty quickly, to something more ashamed-- as if someone who had realized he just came to an extremely fancy dinner party wearing just shorts and a t-shirt.

"...I guess that's too pretty to get wet though," he mutters, his form suddenly sinking just enough to partially hide his face behind his arms while adding in, more quietly, "....damn..."

But come Tanwen's sudden (well, sudden to him anyway) tossing of previously-wet-now-burning papers into the pool, his attention snaps over to them, blinking his eyes rapidly in confusion at the sight.

"Uh... what'cha got there?" He asks, completely innocently, and with absolutely no awareness still of the fact that he is technically primarily responsible for her even ending up like this with her character sheet. And then his eyes turn up over the dragon-girl herself. Or more accurately the robes over chainmail she's wearing. "...Guess you didn't come here to swim either?"

"Oh, neat --- that's a swimsuit too? It's pretty!"

Chevy seemed a bit surprised that something as fancy as what Roxana's wearing could double as swimwear. As opposed to her own swimsuit, which, despite the frilly trim, is pretty much as utalitarian as it gets. Of course, just as she's talking to her 'kouhai', Hawksley ends up making a sideways comment about her in his answer to Rodrigo. "Hey!" she retorts, tossing Hawksley a smirk before turning back to Rox. "Don't you mind that 'fella' much, he's just mommickin' like usual." She nods along, encouragingly, though she grows a bit quieter as Roxana turns her attention elsewhere.

Something -else- Hawksley says catches her ear, for a different reason: the thought of Tanwen and Buck ending up as a 'duo' jars the perennial smile off her face. It takes her a few seconds to puzzle through and realize: no, her Irish friend just meant they'd be teaming up for the next event. The realization has her coughing out a laugh afterwards.

Ishida nods back in a reply to Hawksley, expounding on his earlier statement in his role as the messenger of good news: "She has been... spending her time in quiet contemplation, if I remember her wording. And should be returning to the world of professional competition."

And then, of course, there was a rather loud splash.

Ishida, having done some research on roleplaying games after his fight with Tanwen, notes as he absent-mindedly wrings water from his shirt: "... Ah, if it's not a table setting, perhaps it would be more in-character to keep character information in a notebook?"

At first, Chevy seems puzzled by those papers Tanwen's carrying around. But the more the Welsh dragon speaks, the more the Carolinian is able to piece together. After a brief sip of her amaretto and cola, her face lights up with a smile. "... Oh, do we even -need- character sheets for that? I mean, we're -all- Fighters, ain't we?" She gives off a brief laugh -- sure, Ichika and Buck may have rolled their eyes when she'd said that before, but maybe this audience will approve?

When Albert asks if everyone's done swimming, Chevy calls out, "Yeah, I'll get back in, in a sec! Just gonna check out this spread Mr Rodrigo's got laid out for us..." ... And when he mentions that Roxana's outfit might be too pretty to get wet, she belts out a reply to that as well. "No worries! It's a swimsuit!" She said so herself, right?

Ishida walks up to Rodrigo's side as he returns to host mode. "Oh -- thank you for keeping everything running smoothly, here." He nods towards the food. The wide array of meat options has not gone unnoticed. "You've given thought to everyone here, I'd say. Good work..."

And with another sip of coke, he cranes his neck for a second look at the food...

Roxana doesn't like to see Tanwen in such a state of distress. It seems like it's just a few papers to her but they are obviously something very important if their destruction is causing such a reaction in the Welsh girl. She knows how important possessions and personal items can be and she treats her own with care and consideration.

As soon as Hawksley's suggestion had spilled out of his lips, she had realised the possible problems with it. Apparently Tanwen had no such qualms however, as she was soon using her own fiery talents to try and dry the documents.

Sighing in sympathy at the inevitable outcome, Roxana calls out to her, which is still not very loudly compared to most people. "I'm sorry for your loss. Let me know if I can help you. I didn't bring a character sheet but I'm in my swimming costume. Doesn't that count?"

As for the question of class, she's totally lost. "Class isn't really an issue in America from what I understand. I know it is of more concern to British people though."

Rodrigo seems to have a good handle on the chaos, playing the part of party host with ease. He's obviously done this kind of thing before. For her part, she's not really been to a proper party before, be it social or roleplay and despite the serene smile on her face, every now and then she has an urge to slip away. Sipping from her Scorpion cocktail she stands her ground, determined she will stick it out and spend more time with this lovely and lively group of people.

"This really is delicious." She comments to nobody in particular, savouring the blend of booze and fruit juices. "I suppose I should take it easy though, since I'm still new to the world of alcohol."

The conversation turns to her clothing with both Albert and Chevy chipping in. "Oh yes, it's definitely a swimsuit even though it's got diamante on it. I was a little unsure myself but the woman in the store assured me it was fully waterproof and wouldn't get damaged from me taking a dip. I mean, it would be pretty silly for them to be selling swimwear that people couldn't swim in. I will need to take my shoes off though if I go in the water."

As for Chevy defending her against Hawksley, Rox doesn't seem to mind his words too much. "I have heard such comments before." She confesses. "Though perhaps not phrased in the same way. There is also someone named Nicole that people have compared me to but I believe that both these women are comfortably old enough to be my mother."

Apparently Tanwen is an independent sort of girl because she's happy to provide her own flames. Once he realises his skills aren't needed, Hawksley focuses on a different kind of fiery and finishes off his can of ale. "Go on then, what's my cocktail?" He asks the barman. "I'll have whatever it happens to be and don't skimp on the measurements."

"Luck of the Irish, sir." The fella informs him. "Jamesons whiskey, peach schnapps, pineapple juice and a drop of green food colouring."

"Grand with me." The dark haired lad agrees. "You had me at the Jamesons."

He watches the unfortunate incident unfold with a cheery grin on his face, finding it hard not to laugh as the soggy papers become scorched. "Don't you have that book with the pictures in?" He suggests to Tanwen. "You could pick who we are all supposed to be and we could pretend to play the parts."

He has no real intention of getting involved in any such antics but perhaps it will lift the lass's spirits a bit. Racing Albert is much more his style. "I'll take you on in a bit, fella. I'm just gonna have another drink first. I swim better when I've had a few. Or I'm more likely to fall in the water at least and have to swim."

His dark eyes shift to Roxana as Albert comments on her costume being too pretty. "I've pushed girls in pools or the sea in fancier outfits than that. I'm sure she'll be grand if she gets wet." He doesn't mention that the last female he threw in some water was mad at him for days.

Hawksley can tell he's bothered Chevy by his choice of words and whispers to her. "Not like that." He follows this up with a friendly squeeze of her shoulder. He wouldn't worry his dear friend for the world, especially when she's seemed so happy recently. He tries to meet her eyes as she coughs out her laugh, giving her a reassuring smile.

"Quiet contemplation, huh?" He comments to Ishida. "It sounds pretty boring to me but I know our Ichika is a serious sort at times, so whatever works for her. It'll be grand to see her back in action though. I wonder if she'll be joining us or if her ambitions lie elsewhere."

"Different kind of...?" Tanwen seems to have gone a bit boggled by the barrage of experience. The sheets are well beyond salvation after their impromptu viking funeral, but they can at least be removed for the purposes of poolside hygiene. Tanwen doesn't bother to retrieve them.

"Oh. You mean like a birthday party? Is it my birthday?" The bronze-haired lass brightens at the prospect.

"No, Tan. Your birthday is in December, it is. That's another eight months, yet."

"Cachu hwch," Tanwen says with a sulk.



"It's like a birthday party without the cake and candles, Tan," Winn explains. "I mean, there might be cake anyway. Is there cake, like?"

"But Dungeons and Dragons parties can have conversation, entertainment and refreshment as well!" Tanwen points out. "I was going to be Tip-Tup, the kobold cleric of Bahamut."

"I thought Tip-Tup was a bard, Tan," Winn comments as he makes his way over to the Greek buffet.

"Well, I didn't want to bring my lute in case it was too noisy and people were wanting to sleep," Tanwen says, folding her arms across her blue and gold Bahamut tabard.

Albert's address draws Tanwen's attention, and she turns to inspect the pool.

"Oh! There's swimming! I don't think I can swim in this, though..." she says, looking down at her robes and faux armor. "They probably give a minus ten to swimming, and I've only got a six to begin with."

To Ishida, she answers, "I wanted to do them in scrolls, I did, but they didn't have any parchment on the ship. I was going to get some when we stopped in Egypt, but then the ship had to leave early for some reason after Buck and Hawksley fought at the palace."

To Chevy, Tanwen gives a confused look. "Are we? I don't think a party of all fighters is a very good plan, I don't. We'll have no one for traps and healing and incorporeal enemies!"

She turns to Roxana and gasps.

"Is that a chainmail bathing suit? It looks like it's made of mithril, it does! I want one, too! Winn!"

"I'm eating, Tan," Winn calls back.

Then, Hawksley makes his suggestion, and Tanwen's eyes light up.

"Oh! You mean I would be the dungeon mistress? That would be lush! If nobody brought their dice anyways then we can just say there's to be no fighting and I can help everyone choose their character."

She sniffs the air.

"Is that prawns I'm smelling?"

"The party's just started. I'll have a chance to jump in eventually, I just want to make sure that everything's running smoothly before I hop in."

After directing that comment to Albert, he manages to hear Chevy say something about them all being fighters. Said fighters comment goes completely over the Spaniard's head as he doesn't have the context required to think anything other than 'of course we're all fighters.' As a result, he remains silent, seeing as he is incapable of making a joke about having rogue and/or ranger levels.

When Ishida approaches him, he smiles after all, it is nice when his attention to detail is noticed. "I try to pay attention. It is hard to maintain a reputation for throwing good parties if you don't."

Then Tanwen mentions cake and Rodrigo barely keeps himself from drooling.

"I know that the Jamaican section has rum cake and hummingbird cake, no it does not have hummingbirds in it. The Spanish section has an almond cake. I haven't seen the entire catering list so there might be other cakes and assorted dessert items."

Chevy grins as Roxana mentions taking it easy. "Oh, uh... somethin' Dev told me was to just give it time, and make sure you get you somethin' to eat if you ain't already. You drink on an empty stomach it's gonna hit harder."

She pales, as her stomach takes personal offense to that comment. She looks back at her glass... and shrugs!

"Oh, yeah, I figured that's what you'd meant, Hawksley!" She rocks into his shoulder amiably. "Okay, so... tell me about this Jameson stuff! I heard you mention it before, but what makes it different than the other whiskeys?"

She blinks back at Tanwen, tilting her head to the side. "Oh. It was a joke! I didn't know we'd be playin' right *now*." She laughs cheerily, casually starting to make her way over to the food. Once there she seems a bit alarmed at Rodrigo's disclaimer:

"What? No hummingbirds? That's false advertising!"

Ishida, though -- he's a bit more laid back in his responses.

"I am not sure. I would love to meet her." His lips curl into a brief smile. "There are... many questions I would ask."

He eyes the bass he had set down earlier. He considers playing it for a moment, but decides against it, and gravitates towards the Spanish meal selection. He starts to ready himself a plate -- pretty much as Rodrigo would expect.

"Ah. I have never been in charge of one before. Every event I have attended has been related to... school."

He glances over towards Tanwen.

Chevy laughs. "I mean, heck, I -would- need help pickin' a class. I just know I wouldn't wanna play Wizard. Like, they can only cast -one- spell a day to start? And you don't even learn Magic Missile up front?"

Ishida shudders, with that particular memory, but keeps it to himself as he adds a couple prawns to his plate.

"Are you a sagittarius or a capricorn?" Roxana asks Tanwen before looking down at her costume in response to the gasping girl."Oh, its a mixture of polyester and elastane." She explains. "I'm not sure I know what mithril is."

She listens with appreciation to the conversation between Rodrigo and Ishida. She too believes in the importance of paying attention to detail and she can see how much the matador man has considered his fellow competitors. It shows class and kindness. Two things that she rates very highly in someone's character.

It also means that there's a delightful array of delicious food for everyone to enjoy and Chevy's wise words about lining the stomach before booze are taken to heart. "You know, I think I'm going to get myself a plate of something." She starts to wander over in the direction of the buffet, inspecting the options. Eventually she opts for a mixture of culinary cultures. Some tortilla de patatas, jerk chicken and souvlaki, none of which she has tried before. As she starts to tuck in, her tongue tingles with the tantalising flavours. The dishes aren't probably meant to be eaten together but she can't resist combining them, sampling which selection she favours most.

She follows Ishida's glance towards his instrument, dearly hoping he will play for them all at some point. She doesn't want to push him though. She is confident he will perform if it feels right for him to do so. "This is my first party ever." She confesses to the Japanese teen. "I've been to concerts but a gathering like this, never."

"Nobody wants to sleep at a party, Tanwen." Hawksley assures the dragon girl. "If they are getting some shut-eye, then it's usually because they're wasted and they won't wake up anyway if you make some noise. Not without a good shaking anyway."

He looks amused at her comments about he and Buck's Egyptian escapade. "Ah we were doing no harm, so we weren't. What can they expect giving an Irish fella permission to be there on Saint Paddy's Day?"

When he realises how excited the Welsh fighter is at the idea of playing her game, he almost feels bad for teasing her about it. "Go on then, you can choose a character for me to play. Just let me know what I have to do. I'm sure it'll all be grand."

He tests out his cocktail, nodding his head in approval. He's relieved he didn't upset Chevy and is happy to talk to her about his favourite tipple. "Jamesons is what my da and uncle Sean always drink, so it was the first whiskey I ever got to try. Me and our Sammy stole some from the drink's cabinet when I was twelve and she was thirteen. She spat it out but I didn't mind it at all. I went back for several more samples before my da caught me and gave me a clip around the ear. Then my mammy gave him a clip around the ear for laying his hand on me." He grins. "I'm not saying that the original blend is the best whiskey I've ever tasted and you know me, I'll drink pretty much anything. I tell you something though, that stuff that your fella and I had at the Christmas party was like fecking nectar, so it was. That was a 1975 Single Pot Still Whiskey from the Old Middleton Distiller in Cork. It tasted like berries, star anise, ginger, hazelnut, malt, oak and possibly heaven." His dark eyes go dreamy at the memory. "You have to try it sometime, Chevy. I'll get my magic mug out for you sometime. You and Buck can share some. I know he loved it too.

Winn's plate is already piled high with salad and meat and moussaka, but the portly Welshman gives a thoughtful look toward the Jamaican section at the promise of rum cake.

"No hummingbirds in hummingbird cake?" Tanwen echoes Chevy's bemusement with perhaps a hint more sincerity, or perhaps a hint less.

She brightens at Chevy mentioning needing help picking a class and starts to shuffle over in her direction, nearly tripping a couple of times over her own robes.

"Oh! A wizard can learn Magic Missile if you like! And Wizards can even cast it more than one time a day now, they can! They learned how about twenty-five years ago, when I was just a young dragon. There's not very many water spells, though. You're very good at balance and swimming, though, so you can be a Rogue. They have lots of skills. An Aquatic Elf rogue, so you can swim all you like."

She tilts her head at Roxana's question. "Um, I'm a dragon," she answers it. Then, she straightens it and smiles. "Maybe mithril is made of polyester and elastane!"

Tanwen looks dismayed at Hawksley's revelation that nobody would be wanting to sleep at the party. "I mean, there might be people sleeping below the decks! I know what it looks like when someone drinks so much that they get sleepy. Winn used to do it all the time, he did."

She brightens when Hawksley agrees to play as well.

"Oh, yes! Alrighty! The party will need a tank, so you can be a Paladin. A Dwarf Paladin, because dwarfs love to drink and scrap." She nods her head once to herself. "Very good. Now we just need a Wizard and maybe a Druid."

Now that the attendees are starting to settle in, Rodrigo dives into the pool with as minimal a splash as could be expected from someone not actually trained to compete in swimming or diving events.

When the Spaniard comes up for air, he takes a moment to observe the others. In terms of the OGs he gets the feeling that he's more on the map of Hawksley than Chevy who had mentioned Ishida, Roxana, Henry, and Skye in particular. Of the original cast currently here, Hawksley might be the best fit for him anyway.

He swims over to Albert and waves.

"It's good to see you had made it to the party. Enjoying the water?"

Ishida chuckles in response to Roxana. "It... may not surprise you, but the only concerts I have been to were for... school." He returns a self-effacing smile, as if he'd just received notice of his candidacy for the Person With The World's Smallest Social Footprint. Though, with the mention of concerts, he seems contemplative for a moment. "... Hmm. I want to try something. I hope you don't mind if I go ahead and get a seat. ... If it is too loud please let me know."

He does pretty much as he's said: he sets his plate down on the table, and takes a seat while he hauls his bass into his lap, and then begins strumming a mellow, low-key tune.

Meanwhile, Chevy has been distracted from her own suggestion of getting something to eat, by Hawksley telling stories of his youth. "Haha! Man, y'all sure got into some hijinks together!" She seems... to be questioning what's so great about Jameson's if it's something he's straight out saying isn't the best he's ever tasted, and yet, after a moment, something clicks in her head. "Ah, yeah, well... I mean, you cain't forget your first, right?" She winks back, taking a sip of her amaretto and Coke. "... Surprised Coco didn't show up, actually. I think she may have suggested a new favorite."

The redhead is completely into Hawksley's story, grinning and nodding as she works on her drink. "Ah, wow! A nicket a'this and a'nicket a'that all adds up to a winner, yeah? Buck told me about that magic mug -- I might try it out, but I think I'll need to work myself up to that '75 you're talkin' about. It was a *doozy* from what I'd heard..."

It's an approaching Tanwen that gets her to look away from the Irish brawler. Chevy's eyes light up at first when she suggests Magic Missile might be an earlier purchase now -- but, on further thought, she seems to cool to the idea once the lack of water spells is mentioned. "... Ooh, I might do -that-."

After a beat, though, she leans close.

"Wait, ain't rogues the ones that have to be sneaky and lie and such?"

Of course -- at this point, she's distracted even more by Rodrigo entering the water. She pins her fingers in her mouth, letting out a loud whistle! "Oh yeah! That was a sweet dive, Rodrigo!" Of course, she waits until he surfaces for all that. And she gives the others a brief look, as if she might just be considering whether to jump back -into- the water!

Ishida, by this point, may have finished his warmup, for he reaches over to the table and snags one of the prawns, finishing it off rather quickly. But, oddly, his toe never stopped tapping. He's still counting measures, like a metronome. And he picks the neck of the bass up again, preparing to play.

The strings squeal. And then the strumming speed rockets up to 205bpm, as he starts to jam out the -true- beginning -- the bass part, anyway -- of Babymetal's 'Road of Resistance.'

By now Roxana has devoured what's on her plate and has decided to go in for dessert. She selects a bowl of tropical fruits and starts nibbling away at a piece of pineapple. As she enjoys the sweet and exotic flavour, she nods her head towards Ishida as he goes to fetch himself a seat.

She makes no attempt to try and join in Tanwen's game. She's still not sure what is actually happening. It seems a bit like they may be playing parts, such as those assigned to them in their Odysssey matches but she's content to remain in the position of observer, at least until she finds out if it's something that looks like fun.

Rodrigo's well executed entry to the pool is met with polite applause by the Nebraskan. If he happens to look her way, he will earn himself a smile, though her attention is soon back on Ishida when he starts to strum. By the time he has worked himself up to the Babymetal intro, she is already moving to the music. They aren't a band she particularly follows but rock music is rock music in her mind and any excuse to dance is fine by her. Even without the extra flourishes that a full band would provide, she can still get into the groove just fine and she closes her eyes, letting herself feel the rhythm of the bass.

"Chevy being cast as the villain again." Hawksley teases. "Sneaking and lying about like her life depended on it." It's so obvious to him that this idea is laughable, that he's not concerned about it being taken seriously.

As for his own casting, he couldn't be happier. "Oh grand. Those dwarves know how to have themselves a good time with their drinking, scrapping and gold. Wait, this isn't supposed to be a leprechaun dig is it?" He pauses for a moment before letting that one slide. "The only problem I can see is that those fellas are always Scottish and I'm not sure I can pull off the accent. I mean, we are all Celts I suppose but still." He shrugs and is still smiling, so apparently he's not overly concerned about the accuracy of his performance.

Rodrigo joins Albert in the pool and Hawksley drinks some more of his gaudy green cocktail, eager to join them in the turquoise water. Surely he will have time to squeeze in a swim before it's time for him to slip into his role of paladin? As for his role of mentor, Rodrigo has crossed his mind on more than one occasion. He can't help but notice they have a few things in common, although the Spaniard is a lot more smooth around the edges than he's ever been.

Returning his attention to the redhead, he gives her a grin. "You don't know the half of it, cailin." Then suddenly for some reason, his thoughts drift to Aisling Fitzgerald and a party in the summer of 2017.

"I've not seen Coco Pops since this morning." He tells Chevy. "She'll probably pop along at some point but knowing her it will take her a while to choose what she's wearing. How about Bucky Boy? Is he planning to come to the party?"

He doesn't seem overly concerned about the North Carolinian's ability to handle the ultra expensive whiskey. "Put it this way, if you fall over, you'll be with your fella, so you'll have the perfect person to pick you up."

The sound of the rock music starting has the Irishman looking over to the young lad playing. "Fecking yeah!" he calls out, clapping his hands. "Now the party is really starting."

"Oh, yes. Rogues are very sneaky. And good at spotting traps," Tanwen tells Chevy. "And disarming the traps! So you have to have a rogue." Unspoken is the insinuation that Tanwen may have foisted this responsibility on the first available target because of its importance.

Ishida's bass kicking up a gear causes Tanwen to literally jump back with a start, starting to fall over as her boot lands on her robe and the tail beneath swishes frantically to try and maintain balance before ending up cushioning her bottom from impacting the deck. Tanwen grimaces, then smiles.

"Oh! Ishida can be the bard, he can," Tanwen supposes aloud. "And a dwarf, too. Dwarfs love rock music. It's why they're always digging. Me mate told me so."

She picks herself up carefully, smiling at Hawksley and nodding as he supports her choice of class for Chevy. "Oh, I'll let you be an Irish dwarf," Tanwen offers amicably. "I only play Welsh characters, because I'm no good with accents. Sometimes you'll have to pretend when I'm the Dungeon Master that all the characters aren't really Welsh girls. Or dragons."

She looks thoughtfully at the pool, then turns around and sidles up to Winn, who's now sitting and eating his food at one of the tables.

"Winn, is roleplaying in the pool allowed?"

"I don't see why not, Tan," Winn says with a shrug.

"Okay!" Tanwen says with a suddenly renewed zeal. She runs over to the poolside and starts pulling off her chainmail-covered robes. The tinkling sound of them hitting the deck causes Winn to widen his eyes.

"Wait, Tan! Did you remember to wear -" Winn shouts with a mouthful of moussaka, turning a horrified look toward the poolside.

Fortunately, the young dragonette has been wearing a one-piece swimsuit under her robes all along - one that previously made an appearance in her battle with Ishida. It's a bit snug-fitting, but it's at least been designed to allow her scaly red tail to stick through a gap at the back, and not suffering from quite the same issues that it had when subjected to Tanwen's rapid resizing and reshaping between miniature dragon and teenage humanoid.

"DRAGON TIME CANNONBALL!!" Tanwen shouts before jumping into the pool, sending up a violent splash. She starts paddling under the surface, emerging next to Albert and Rodrigo.

"Hello! Which one of you both wants to be a Wizard, like?" she asks, before brushing her wet hair out of her eyes.

Rodrigo's more than happy to let Ishida rock out as he relaxes in the pool and the others eat, drink, and be merry. With things going as well as they were it allows Rodrigo to hang back and observe, ready to intervene if required.

"I see no reason not to allow it. I assume one would need a good memory or a simple system to make it work."

Rodrigo gets up in the splash zone and just barely has the presence of mind to close his eyes. When the water settles, the Spaniard opens his eyes once more and looks at Albert for a moment and then Tanwen.

"We're probably the two worst possible candidates for wizard here. Based on his fight with Henry he hasn't ever heard of chi and confuses it for sorcery and I, while having seen chi before, can't use it."

"Honestly, I could probably make a case for me being a rogue instead of Chevy."

Kenzo steps out from behind the bar. Did he just show up or was he there the entire time? No way of telling for sure because, ninja. Kenzo steps further in, waving to Chevy and Hawksley as well as Roxana considering that she did say he was her favorite fighter. He then makes his way towards the Jamaican buffet section where he can make himself a plate of jerk chicken and beans and rice with some greens.

"That being said, I'd probably prefer being an Artificer over being a Wizard or Rogue." He then moves towards a table close by to where Chevy and Hawksley are located and sits down to eat.

Ishida gives Roxana an appreciative nod as she approaches with her meal. He may have been somewhat talkative while playing the role of a merciless king on the battlefield... but now that his attention is largely focused on playing the correct notes of a fast-paced song, he seems to be even less to talk about than usual. Which might be alright, since Roxana seems to be content to listen.

Maybe he just doesn't have a whole lot to say in general. He does, though, share a smile with Roxana -- breaking into a smile at Hawksley's raucous cheering.

Chevy, unsurprisingly, has a bit more to say in response to Roxana's bowl of fruit. "Oh, hey, that looks good..." Once again, she's tempted into considering food -- only to get distracted by Hawksley's teasing. "... Oh, there you go mommickin' me again..." she chides, grinning. A few months ago she might have taken the accusations personally -- back when Coco was -literally- accusing her of such behavior. But now, the Southern belle seems to have grown some thicker skin.

"Oh, we both kinda stayed up late chit-chattin'! When I went past his room to check on him a little while ago he sure was sawin' some logs..." Acknowledging that her accent might make that harder to understand, she rests her cheek on a palm and pretends to snore for a moment. Fake-yawning her way out of that gesture, she adds, "I reckon he might swing by later, though!" Once it's noted that Buck would likely rescue her from a fateful fall, she can't help but snicker. "Well, I guess there is that, yeah!"

When Hawksley cries out, Chevy's quick to chiem in: "... Oh, hey, I recognize this. It's the song Ichika had picked for her intro durin' the Finals! Rock on!" She throws up the horns with one hand!

Tanwen's talk about the role of a rogue does draw her attention. She nods with interest: "Oh, yeah! Disarming traps! That's where, like, I gotta say that I want to look for traps, and then you get me to do like, uh... a 'perspection' check, right?"

Ishida's response is, admittedly, a bit more distracted: "Sure. That sounds fun." He knows what a dwarf is. He -thinks- he's down for playing the role of a bard.

Chevy is starting to get a bit hungry though -- and as she starts over to that side of the party, -narrowly- missing getting splashed by Tanwen's entrance, she finds herself drawing to a stop as her suitability as a rogue is questioned. "... Hey, I'll have you know I did pretty dang well at pretendin' to lie and cheat. The Chevaliers cain't keep runnin' their yaps about that! Besides, ain't this roleplayin' s'posed to be about pretendin' to be someone you -ain't?-"

And then, suddenly, there's a new arrival!

"Oh, wait a minute! It's Kenzo! When'd you get here!" Finally, -finally- she makes her way to the food tables, reaching out to bump elbows with the first-gen ninja! "How's it been goin', 'fella?'" she asks. From her broad grin it seems Hawksley's use of the word has rubbed off on her. "And hey, congratulations! Finally snuck your way past me on the leaderboard, did ya?"

Now that he's partway through the song, Ishida is... anchored. It's a long song! But, amidst nodding his head to Kenzo in greeting, he glances over towards Albert -- "Would Braendel-san... enjoy being a wizard?"

Roxana continues dancing, lifting her free arm above her head and moving it through the air. She's oblivious to any spectators, should they happen to look her way. She'd attended all the concerts she went to in Metro City alone, so she's used to making her own fun.

She can't help but notice Tanwen Cadwallader's cry as she enters the pool though. Her black eyes blink open as if she's just come out of a trance. Looking between the dragon girl and the bassist, she tries to get back in the zone but for now the spell has been broken.

Speaking of spells, apparently the role of wizard is up for grabs! Rox wonders which of her fellow fighters will make the magical role their own. Rodrigo has a good point in that neither of the men in question appears to have an affinity for such skills.

All this is forgotten though when Kenzo speaks up and the Nebraskan sees the ninja emerge from behind the bar. She claps her hands together in delight. If Coco hadn't already claimed her as a mentoree, then she'd definitely be stating her case to partner with her favourite fighter of the first season.

When Kenzo goes to join the other more experienced competitors, Rox turns her attention there too, responding to Chevy's comment on the fruit. "It's delicious. All perfectly ripe. Like eating sunshine itself."

She pops a piece of mango in her mouth and smiles back at Ishida. It really is a treat to enjoy some live music.

It appears that Tanwen has come up with the perfect solution. They can swim and roleplay at the same time. Now if they can just work a race into the story then all will be grand.

"Dwarf buddy!" The Cork fella calls out to Ishida as he's assigned the same race. "I feel like we could probably do with some bushy beards to play the parts properly but I'll have to make do with my stubble." He says, running a hand over his chin and almost causing it to bleed, when it brushes against one of his many injuries.

"You're a star, Tan." He compliments the Welsh woman as she allows him to keep his own accent. "Although your man Sean Connery has Irish blood in him, so maybe I could swing being a Scot."

What follows is a woefully bad impression of the acting legend as Hawksley holds up his drink. "Shaken not stirred." It seems the scrapper would be best suited to sticking to the day job.

Thankfully Kenzo arrives to distract everyone from the dire display. "Good to see you, fella." Hawksley welcomes him warmly. "You've been on fire in your fights so far. Though not literally like myself."

Chevy gets a grin. It's a compliment that he's teasing her in a way. The closer he is to someone, the more likely they are to find themselves being bantered with. "Chit-chatting? Is that what they're calling it these days? Well it'll be good to see him if he manages to recover his energy."

Someone finally joined Albert in the pool! The farmboy does give an energetic wave to Rodrigo's way in mirroring of the other man's gesture. "Hello!!" He chimes out eagerly too. "The water's nice! I mean, it feels a little different from how it was in the lake by the farm... Arisa said it was something to do with chlir... chlora... something?" He frowns deeply over his failure to remember the exact word for this mysterious substance that apparently makes the poolwater different somehow.

But before he can try to wrack his brain further for the answer on just what that thing is, a sudden call catches his attention, peering towards the direction of a dragonette sailing through the air.

"...What the heck is a 'dragon ti-'BLRBLRBLR?!"

Water splashes over the german boy's face as a result of Tanwen's entry into the pool. Which, hey, he was already wet to begin with, but it does interrupt his words and force him to squitn his eyes shut briefly while the wave passes through him.

Once recovered from *that*, and the cause of the sudden wave wading up to him and Rodrigo, Albert tilts his head curiously at the question she has presented. He doesn't say anything at first, allowing Rodrigo to point out the quite obvious in the meantime.

...Even if his eyes *clearly* glaze over while chi is spoken of again, just politely staring at Rodrigo for that short brief moment-- only to suddenly perk up and whisper out, "Sorcery...?!" the instant... well, the word 'sorcery' is brought up again.

He *does* hear Ishida over there wandering if 'Braendel-san' would enjoy being a wizard. He looks to Tanwen, thus, with a thoughtful frown while he floats in place within the waters.

"Nnnnnnn..." You can practically hear the gears struggling to turn in his head. "I mean... a wizard needs to memorize a bunch of spells, right...? I've never been good at memorizing stuff from books..." The confession (as unsurprising as it might be) comes with a shameful pursing of his lips.

"But!!!" He suddenly perks up full of energy again, enough so that it might almost seem like he is about to rocket right out of the water!

...Which he doesn't. Because laws of physics say 'no', obviously.

"I will try anything once! I won't know if I'll like it or not otherwise, so I'll try anything!!"

His expression does suddenly snap into something much more somber right after though.

"Save for a very short list of things of which I will absolutely refuse to elaborate on until such a time comes where it will become relevant and I sincerely hope they absolutely never will."

The thousand yard stare continues for a few more seconds after that declaration. And then, with a sudden shake of his head, he's flashing a smile to Tanwen all over again.

"What's it take to be a wizard?!"

Probably an INT score higher than he is currently in the possession of, let's be honest.

Rodrigo wouldn't describe himself as a genius unless maybe (and this is a big maybe) in the context of his ability to pick up the sword arts or learning the craft of bullfighting but he wasn't exactly stupid either. If anything, his intelligence was more directed towards social purposes. Because of that, he's not exactly sure how to deal with Albert.

He watches as Albert's eyes glaze over at the mention of chi as well as perking up at the word of sorcery even though both words were said in reference to Albert's own words. He's willing to let that go. What really gets a reaction out of him was try anything once comment with the subsequent short list of items not elaborated upon. Rodrigo blinks twice and leaves a space of silence before saying, "Right."

As for what it takes to be a wizard, he can only shrug. Never played before.

"I was here for a bit."

A smirk forms on the nin-gineer's lips after having answered the question without actually answering the question. There's a little awkwardness in the way he handles the fork and knife but it doesn't look too awful. It probably would look significantly worse if it wasn't for the time spent in both Sunshine City and Metro City during the first season. He eats a bit of rice and beans before looking at Chevy.

"It certainly wasn't easy. Buck certainly gave me a few scary moments."

He sure as hell wasn't going to mention Buford. Especially since he knows the less he talks about the counterfeit samurai, the easier it is to live rent free in his head. Instead, he turns to Hawksley.

"I suppose that to most people it would be a shock considering how I started the last season."

"Oh, you don't need to know how to do magic for real to be a wizard in Dungeons and Dragons," Tanwen addresses Rodrigo's concern as she floats lengthwise in the water in a manner vaguely akin to a crocodile, perhaps owing to the appendage trailing behind her along the water's surface. She turns her head as Kenzo appears. "And you can be an Artificer if you like! I haven't got my books with me, but we're just winging it a bit anyways, we are."

She gives a somewhat bemused look to Chevy as she tilts herself under the water to a more upright position. "Has Buck been doing carpentry? Is he going to make his own boat?" she asks curiously. Then, answering Chevy's question, she says, "It's a Perception check! Or Notice, or Search, depending on the rules. But since we've no dice, you can just say 'Is there any traps?' and the Dungeon Master can just say 'Yes, there's traps' or 'No, there's no traps.' Of course, they'll say there's no traps even if there is traps if you didn't notice the traps, 'cause Dungeon Masters are allowed to lie sometimes."

She turns to Albert with a smile.

"Yes! You'll be a lovely wizard, you will. You can have a familiar if you want. That's like a wee rabbit or something that's your pet. You don't have to memorize the spells for real; I can help you with that. You'll need lots of Intelligence, so you'll want to be saying things smartly. And you'll be wanting a big stick, probably, and maybe a wizard hat, but you can just pretend if you like."

She looks around, then raises her hands to her mouth and calls out, "Is anyone else wanting to play??"

The nice thing about Road of Resistance is -- aside from the big shifts, the bassline is repetitive enough that Ishida can put his fingers on autopilot for a bit. This allows him to pay a bit more attention to Roxana as she dances like no one's watching. A faint smile appears on the laconic qigong fighter's face as he strums along through the song.

His attention drifts towards the roleplayers -- particularly to Hawksley, who seems enthused about the idea of his playing a dwarven bard. "Ah... yes, all dwarves have beards, right?" He chuckles softly. And then he asks, to no one in particular: "Hmm... does... drinking go well with... bard-ing?"

He seems somewhat amused that Mr Braedel is showing interest in wizardry, nodding in agreement. Everything he'd read about roleplaying games suggested it would be -good- to play something different. And for him -- a 'bard' is definitely different from his brute-force, apply-directly-to-the-forehead style of fighting, so he's down with that.

Of course, it's easy for him to notice when Roxana shifts her focus to Kenzo. And then he remembers her interview... and nods with a grin.

"Rox," he notes quietly, to draw her attention. He'd thought about bringing it up before, but with Chevy in immediate proximity, it seemed a little uncouth.

"Are the rumors true, that you had settled on Coalbridge-senpai as a mentor...?" He smiles faintly. "I had not... actually brought up the question to Jaegerbrud-senpai yet, but..."

The idea of training under the Odyssey points leader -is- an attractive one. Weapons have been the qigong fighter's bane throughout the Odyssey. And there's only a few potential mentors from the first season who use an -arsenal- like that...

Chit-chatting? Is that what they're calling it these days? Chevy... doesn't even recognize that as a tease at first, just chuckling in return. "Well, I mean, -yeah-! We were up late talkin' the other night, since each of us wanted to catch our parents before they'd gone off to their shopping trips and whatnot, and then we caught a movie, and..."

The exact moment in which Chevy makes the realization of what Hawksley was getting at is made pointedly clear when her cheeks floods red. "Hawksley Moore! My word, do you -ever- give it a rest?" Of course, from the way she laughs afterwards -- and gives him a very brief wink -- it's clear she's not -actually- offended by his implication.

Blue eyes shift back to Roxana as her freckled cheeks return their usual tone. "... Yeah, I'm fixin' to grab me some! Thanks!" Chevy finishes off her drink, and starts to load up her plate with fruits and veggies as she listens to the impromptu formation of a roleplaying party. As Albert chimes in, she adds, "Yeah, see, that's the spirit! You might find out you like it a bunch!" To Rodrigo, though, she notes -- "And y'all don't -have- to both be wizards either! There's also sorcerors -- I ain't read up much on them though. And there's clerics! The group might need someone to keep everyone good an' healthy!"

As she walks over to the pools' edge with her plate, she answers Tanwen: "... Well, I mean, he knows his way around a barn or two, but I don't think he's buildin' a boat..." She grins -- not really saying anything to talk her way out of the misunderstanding. She can tease, too, after all.

She does seem a bit puzzled by the next thing Tanwen says though. "... Oh. Is that... why rogues are good at finding traps? 'Cause they can just pretend to stop looking for traps when the DM pretends that there warn't any?" It might seem like she's still teasing here -- but she -is- trying to make a bit more sense of the issue, more than trying to start a long campaign of rules lawyering.

The waterbender glances back to Kenzo. "Y-yeah. 'Specially the snake heads. Though I've been tryin' to conquer that -particular- fear after mah fight with Coco..." She masks some of her embarassment by consuming another couple of mango spears.

"You talked any with Djamila lately? How's she been doin'?"

Roxana doesn't really know who Sean Connery is but she is familiar with the catchphrase that Hawksley is trying to pull off. Ever since she discovered the casino cocktail bar on the cruise ship, she has been curious about Bond movies and the spy's preference for how he likes his martinis to be served has been mentioned on multiple websites. As for the Irishman's teasing of Chevy, it mostly goes over her head but she can tell from the twinkle in his eyes that he's probably making mischief.

Albert catches her attention with his excited enthusiasm and at the mention of Arisa, she smiles slightly, recalling the rumours that Tom and Lou had discussed about the pair on their broadcast. She likes Arisa a lot and found her an entertaining oppponent in their match together. "It's chlorine." She tells the German boy helpfully.

With Tanwen's call for more participants, Rox does consider the offer. "I suppose I could." She says with some hesitance. "What role would you suggest for me?" She's intrigued by the girl's swimming style and finds herself transfixed by it for a few seconds.

It's Ishida saying her name that snaps her out of it and she turns her head to look at him and gives him a slight nod. "Yes." She confirms softly. "We have reached an agreement and I believe she can be of great assistance to me. I recall that you had referenced Braun in your interview. He seems powerful in both his fighting ability and presence. Is there anybody else that interests you as a mentor?"

"It isn't a shock to me, fella." Hawksley assures Kenzo. "I remember fighting you and you were hard to handle. Coco had to put her nurse costume on afterwards and everything." He reaches out to clap the ninja on the shoulder with a grin. "You're doing grand."

He lets out a loud laugh as Tanwen gets confused and thinks Buck has been testing out his carpentry skills. Although to be fair, the lass seems to be bewildered by a lot of things. She apppears to be bright and bubbly enough though, so there's probably no harm in it for the most part.

"Drinking does go well with barding." The man from Cork confirms to Ishida. "It goes well with most things in my opinion, though not driving or looking after kids." It seems that the lad does have some limits.

Hawksley winks back at Chevy and throws in a playful nudge for good measure. "Your cheeks are as red as your hair, cailin. As for me giving it a rest? Maybe when I'm dead. It's doubtful I will before then."

Like Chevy, Hawksley is curious about Djamila, so he looks towards Kenzo again when she asks her question. The Irishman has heard no news from the season one champion and he'd been surprised when she didn't show up for season two. The last he'd seen, she'd seemed to be pretty seriously smitten with Kenzo at the Christmas party.

There is a late arrival to the party. The vampire, who is absolutely not cosplaying, Zarine. She is dressed differently than usual, and seems uncomfortable because of it. Instead of a slightly frilly dress that shows lots of leg, she's wearing dark red, wide legged trousers that fall to her ankles. Covering her torso is a long sleeved black turtleneck. She's even wearing thin, black leather gloves. Capping it all off is the fact that her usually long, luxurious hair is much shorter, falling to the nape of her neck, though a great mass of it is covering half her face. On her feet are low heeled ankle boots. Basically every inch of skin that isn't her face is covered. Unusual.

A closer look at her face shows the signs of burn scarring, though they seem to be fading. Given the footage of how she was immolated in an instant by Buck's fire breath, it's a shock she's even alive, much less most of the way healed. She must be drinking a lot of blood. In fact, she's carrying a travel mug, a tall metal one. The kind used to keep coffee warm. She takes sips from it and only it. Don't ask what's in there, you don't want to know.

Like usual, she's keeping to herself because despite everything she is still incredibly solitary and kind of shy. The moon keeps her attention, though. It seems to be a comfort.

Kenzo shakes his head with an amused expression on his face.

"I didn't have to deal with snake heads in my fight. Just a lot of close calls that could have changed the outcome type of scary."

He then turns to Hawksley in order to respond to him.

"I meant that a lot of people would have looked at how Bouvier-san beat me, and how much difficulty I had in the triple threat match with Kasumoto-san and Coalbridge-san and dismissed me. And in fact, a lot of sports writers and fight bloggers /did/. Our fight happened after a significant amount of growth when compared to where I was during Fightfest."

Then Chevy mentions the topic that he was trying hard to avoid. In fact, it was a topic that was only second to Buford in how much effort put into not talking about in interviews. The look of amusement vanishes much like how he would if he used a smoke bomb at this very moment. A cringe appears on his face.

"I got what I believe is called a 'Dear John' letter. It said she had to go and it told me don't look for her, she didn't want to be found. Imagine that. I got out ninja'd by her."

As other possibilities are listed, Rodrigo shrugs.

"I suppose I don't care what class I would play as long as I get to use a sword."

As Chevy moves closer to poolside the Spaniard swims closer to the edge to meet her.

"I apologize. If it were my pool, I wouldn't care but Mermaid's crew would give me trouble about people eating or drinking while next to or in the pool."

Quite frankly, Rodrigo is shelling out a lot of money for this party. He doesn't want to shell out any more than necessary for everyone to have a good time. He looks up and sees Zarine.

Rodrigo hops out of the pool and heads to a pool chair with his towel on it and dries himself off, taking a moment to look at the new arrival. Turtleneck, pants, and gloves all indicate someone trying to keep themselves covered with some scarring on the face. It's easy to guess that she probably won't be swimming.

When he is finished drying, he places his towel back on the chair and strides towards the most recent arrival.

"Ahh... Senora Cernik. I'm glad to see that you could make it here tonight. I had scheduled it for this time considering your... Err... Difficulties with a daytime schedule as it were. If there is anything I can do to make your time here more enjoyable, let me know."

"I don't think that drinking goes very good with barding," Tanwen chimes in to Ishida and Hawksley's discussion like a slippery wet blanket as she floats in the water. "You might fall off your mount if you drink too much, like. I suppose the mount will be safe, though, if it's wearing the barding," she concludes her musing on the subject.

"Oh! I was going to be the cleric!" Tanwen says, turning to Chevy with wide eyes. "I suppose it's hard to tell now that I've left me robes by the poolside, like. Maybe I'll just be the Dungeon Mistress, then, since I know all of the rules."

She gives the redhead a funny look when she says about Buck knowing his way around barns, then starts talking about rogues pretending to stop looking for traps.

"Is Buck building a barn on a boat? Are there sheep on the boat?" she asks with a gasp, looking perhaps a bit too excited by the prospect. "And, umm, no," is her answer to the other part. "It's because they have special talents, and lots of skill points. Don't worry, I can make your character sheet for you, I can."

She looks toward Roxana when asked about a role to play. "Umm, you can be... a fighter! Since you've got the right armour for it," she says, nodding at the girl's definitely-not-mithril swimsuit.

She starts paddling over to the side of the pool, leaning up against the edge to have a think about all of the information that she's now holding in her head in the absence of character sheets. She looks up as she detects another potential player approaching and smiles excitedly. "Oh, hello, Miss Zarine! We're going to be playing Dwynsinau A Dreigiau! Do you want to be the Dungeon Mistress? I was going to, but I think you're a much better roleplayer than I am, you are! Don't worry if you don't have your books, we're playing in the pool with no rolling."

Tanwen then adds, turning to everyone in general, "What's everyone's names going to be? I'm going to be Tip-Tup, unless I'm the Dungeon Mistress!"

It's a challenge for Ishida to keep strumming, but he seems to be willing to keep it up while he talks. For now.

Roxana's query has him nodding his head slowly. "I have really enjoyed watching Kuroiwa-sempai," he notes, while quietly looking over towards the person in question. It's almost as if he's expecting the ninja engineer to flit out of sight as he's being spoken of.

Still -- he's more or less rooted to the spot as long as he's strumming away through the song. He smiles and nods to Hawksley: "You would definitely pull off the accent better than I would. But perhaps it is something I can pick up as we go."

He glances over to Tanwen, as she mentions drinking while mounted. "... Hmm. I do not think that we will be allowed to ride a mount into the pool. So perhaps I will be safe."

He offers a brief wave to Zarine as she arrives. He seems to appreciate that she is a quieter sort, though; he resolves to make a bid for her attention after she's had some time to acclimate.

Once Kenzo is able to respond to Hawksley, Ishida attempts to lean sideways to catch his eye.

"Kuroiwa-san -- greetings! If I might trouble you for a moment...?" He coughs lightly, waiting until he gains the engineer's attention.

"You mentioned... difficulties in your early days of fighting with the New Fighting Generation, and I ... find myself in what might be a similar situation. I was wondering if you might have had an opportunity to see any of my fights?"

"Well, good!" answers Chevy, "Kiddin' aside, I know I can always count on you to make me laugh!" The Carolina girl's rapport with Hawksley has always been strong, and she's delighted that the two have been able to find the time to interact within the fast-paced NFG schedule.

The thought of joining the fantasy roleplaying party is, well... still a bit confusing to her. "Oh. I thought you were going to be the DM, and... a bunch of other people who speak with Welsh accents, that we're pretending ain't Welsh accents. Ain't you gonna be takin' on a bit much like that?"

She laughs softly at the thought of Buck building a barn on a boat. "Nah, I don't think he'd do anythin' like that, hee." And as Tanwen suggests a role for Roxana, Chevy seems to take a liking to that: "Oh, yeah! You'd probably have fun with that!"

Chevy is -just- about to respond to the idea of Zarine being a 'roleplayer' -- which most certainly does -not- jive with her own fighting experience with the aged vampire -- when Rodrigo flags her attention. Her face shows a carousel of emotions as she tries to process the things he's saying. First, doubt, as to what he might be apologizing for. Then confusion, as to why he's saying it's not his pool, when of course it's the Mermaid's. Then skepticism, as the Mermaid's crew seems to have been nothing but friendly in her memory. But, after she has a moment to consider the aggregate of those thoughts, she understands she's implicitly being asked to take action. A lightbulb winks on as comprehension dawns upon her -- that her tendency to walk around while she thinks has led her uncomfortably close to the pool's edge. "Oh! Right! No problem, man, thanks!" Sheepishly, she edges closer to Hawksley and Kenzo so that she won't accidentally drop fruit into the pool.

Here though... she feels a -little- guilty as she sees Kenzo's amusement evaporate. Drawing her breath through closed teeth, she bows her head in a meek apology. And while her first impulse might be to lean forward and give him a side-hug in apology, she throttles back on that idea. "Ah, well -- maybe? I'd always had trouble figurin' her out. I'm hopin' she swings back into your life before long. Y'all looked so cute together!"

With Rodrigo emerging from the watery depths to greet Zarine, Chevy turns to her as well. The difference between the two is pretty stark: while Lady Cernik has chosen to keep her skin hidden, Miss Beaumont's swimsuit shows off much of her tanned curvaciousness. It's a good look for the redhead -- and goes well with her bright smile.

It also matches well with her vapid ideas at small talk, as she gets a closer look at the travel mug.

"Oh hey, is that one of those Stanley mugs? I done heard a ton of good things about them!"

Zarine is, well, kind of mobbed when she arrives. She looks a little overwhelmed, her one visible red eye widening as she takes a step back, trying to buy herself a little space. It's honestly like the initial reactions of an injured animal. Trying to ensure it has an escape vector so it doesn't have to risk its already taxed energy in self defense. She shouldn't be surprised, though she always is.

"I ... what? Role...playing?" The vampire asks the Dragon. "I not understand what you mean, I am sorry." She pauses for a moment and frowns, the hand gripping the steel cup flexing, making the leather of her gloves creak, possibly even denting the vessel. "Right. The standard line by the NFG staff," she snorts, suddenly imperious. "Why is it that a dragon is acceptable, but I am not?" She leers at Tanwen, eye seeming to glow in the moonlight. "I am not cosplaying. I am not pretending. I am not -roleplaying-. I am what I am, and I grow weary of the ruse."

That burst seems to take a lot out of her, and she seems to deflate, swaying on her feet. "And I do not know what 'Dwynsinau A Dreigiau' is." She smirks, a certain kind of mirth crossing the visible half of her face. "And the kind of Dungeon Mistress I am familiar with is ... inappropriate."

Rodrigo gets her attention next. She inclines her head to him slightly. A courtly gesture, the nod of a superior to a lesser noble. Those vampires. "I do appreciate the thought, Seņor. I wish I was in ... better condition to enjoy all of the amenities," she says. "Buck's ... technique left me greivously wounded. When I regained my senses, my first thought was to be amazed that I still maintained my existence. Still, I so appreciate the thought. Truly, I was prepared for such a party, but the scars have not all faded yet, and I am ... self-conscious."

When Chevy inquires about the cup, Zarine lifts it, blinking. "I ... am not sure. Staff acquired it for me and filled it with ... my beverage of choice." Oh god it's full of blood. FULL OF BLOOD.

Albert did apparently manage to actually hear Roxana this time. But unfortunately all that results in is the faux-knight giving a blank, confused look her way over the attempt at clarification.


Nope. Still not right. But closer, maybe?

Tanwen, though, quickly draws a shockingly *invested* look from him, "Could..." He starts to say, though he hesitates for just a second before deciding to finalize that question on his desire: "...Could the familiar be corgi?"

All the attention given to the way of Zarine does pique Albert's curiousity too, at least by the time Tanwen is making her way to the edge of the pool to address her. So Albert, too, comes wading up to the edge of the pool, propping himself up there by arms folding over the edge proper while listening and watching--

And oh. That little burst of emotion from the vampire makes his eyes widen out a bit. But he still finds himself staying there anyway, watching the vampire with some great curiousity and small measure of concern.

"WHo says that?" He suddenly asks, in a tone that sounds sincerely confused, "You look perfectly acceptable to me."

Yes, Albert does manage to sincerely sound like he is attempting to offer reassurance there. To be fair, he probably has *no* idea that she is a vampire. He has that kind of naive air about him. But at the same time, he does seem sincere enough in his sentiment that he might very well not find any issue with her even if he did know.

"If it helps, I don't really know what Dwyn... Um..." Beat. Albert frowns. "Dwynsiiiin... Dreigi is, either." Apologies to any welsh speakers. After *attempting* (and failing) to pronounce the two words, he lowers his head down to prop his chin down onto his folded, bare arms, frowning in some deep thought. "Or what a Dungeon Mistress is either..."

Zarine's arrival on the sun deck, causes Roxana to look over in the vampire's direction. She's curious about her change of style, in both clothing and hair and cranes her slender neck to get a better view of the petite woman. She makes no attention to converse with her however. She can see that the supernatural sword fighter is already somewhat swamped with attention and she doesn't want her to feel overwhelmed. Besides, she has already got a much treasured selfie with her. Which reminds Rox that she needs to add Chevy and Hawksley to her collection of first season fighter photos! Perhaps she can grab one with them both, like the one she had taken with Kenzo and Braun, though this one should be a lot easier, since they are a lot closer to each other in height!

"A fighter?" She repeats, after Tanwen makes her suggestion. "Yes. I believe that will be most suitable." When the Welsh girl initially mentions Rox having the right armour, she thinks she means her scorpion form but her brain soon catches up and she gives out a giggle. "Oh yes. I'm sure my swimsuit will protect me perfectly in battle." She tugs lightly at the flimsy fabric. "As for my name, I believe I will go by Soraya."

Ishida's other consideration for mentor meets with Rox's approval. "Ooh, good choice. He's a real class act. I'm sure you'd be in very capable hands with him." As the Japanese boy bravely makes a move to approach Kenzo, she gives him an encouraging nod. It can be tricky to make the first move after all!

Stepping towards the Irishman and the North Carolinian, she asks. "Can I grab a photo with you both with me in the middle?" Where on earth she's hiding her phone is anyone's guess!

As she awaits their answer, she gives Albert a sympathetic smile. It's challenging to learn a new language after all and it's not like chlorine is a simple word.

"Hello there, Zarine!" Hawksley hollers across the area, throwing in a wave for good measure. He makes no particular judgement on her appearance, since he's not one to talk with the state Buford's sword has left him in. It's rare to get out of an NFG match without at least some cuts, bruises, bleeding or burns. Sometimes all of the above.

As Kenzo returns his attention to him, Hawksley nods. "That's fair. You had a rough ride in your opening match against Genie but there's plenty of fighters who got off to a rocky start and then went on to rise through the ranks. Plus knowing you, you've been working your backside off studying and practising to improve. You're a very disciplined fella." These behaviours are something he's happy to praise but not put into practice.

As talk turns to Djamila, the Irishman shakes his head in disbelief at her doing a disappearing act. "From what I can gather the girl had a lot of trauma before she came in to the contest and then there was that lunatic da of hers fucking things up for her. Maybe once it was all over, she just needed some time to escape and get her head together. She might be back at some point and come looking for you. That's if you want her of course. I'm not sure if I'd forgive and forget if someone pulled that on me, but if you could, fair play to you, fella."

Tanwen earns herself a questioning look from Hawksley as she mentions the barding. He's obviously not familiar with the word. "Who the feck mentioned horses? I was on about Ishida playing an instrument. Anyway, I'll be called Lucky. That's a good name for a dwarf isn't it?"

He can't help but chuckle as Chevy is chided for her party food etiquette. "Causing trouble again, cailin." He murmurs. Apparently he's not gonna quit this evening. Thankfully for the redhead's sake, Rox comes over to save her by suggesting a selfie with them both. "Have my picture taken with two gorgeous girls? Grand." He readies himself to put his arm around the scorpion female once she gets into position.

The dreaded topic did seem to change the mood. Or at least his perception of the mood. The last thing he wanted to do was to be a wet blanket.

He can see Chevy's drawn breath and then the subtle shift in her posture like she was considering a hug. He can see Hawksley shaking his head and all he wants to do is pull off a vanishing act. To be honest he's not sure if he would forgive either. Forgetting was not an option.

Thankfully, Ishida gave Kenzo a conversational out from the topic of his love life. Kenzo smiles at the other Japanese fighter.

"I did! I mean I have to make sure I know the capabilities of my future trainees or future opponents. Was there something you want me to go over specifically?"

As it turns out, the vampire is not the only person who decides to make a fashionably late arrival. Dr. Maeda's entrance onto the sun deck is likewise quiet and unassuming. It isn't that the scientist is going out of her way to be stealthy but she does nothing to draw attention to herself as she makes way over towards the buffet. With all of the commotion centered around Tanwen and her attempts to cobble together an impromptu adventuring group it wouldn't be impossible for the small woman to simply get lost in the background; in fact, she would much prefer it. Dealing with other people has never been her strong suite.

The wide selection of exotic cuisine gets a quick once over before Eiko reaches for a simple sandwich. A cursory inspection of its contents reveals nothing too strange and she unceremoniously starts the process of converting the colorful meal into calories. Being a picky eater is something she's never had time for, there was always too much work to be done. Such a luxurious spread is all but wasted on her impartial tongue. Tastes good, tastes bad, it's all the same to her. Just fuel for the bio-engine that is her body.

With her own nourishment addressed, the quiet scientist turns to watch the unfolding chaos by the pool in her usual manner. Content to observe and learn, gleaning what information she can from the mannerisms and interactions of those who have unknowingly become a part of her grand experiment. Her first encounter with most of these individuals produced a mixture of unpleasant results. Her efforts to warn them about the dangers of dealing with an unknown variable apparently stepped on a few proud egos. Whether it was the manner in which she presented that data or simply an unavoidable side-effect she cannot say. In either case, Max seemed to have a far easier time dealing with such boisterous personalities so she has resolved to let the Gear speak for herself for the most part.

And speaking of the little troublemaker, there are two things that stand out as immediately odd to anyone who might have noticed the taciturn doctor's presence. Firstly, the noticeable lack of her ward's presence, particularly with such a grand feast on offer. When it comes to food, Max has proven herself a veritable black hole of calorie disposal. That she would miss out on this much free food when her dour guardian herself has emerged to partake seems strange.

Which leads into the second point - that being the doctor's complete lack of concern that Max is not within immediate visual range. Anyone who's observed their interactions would be familiar with Dr. Maeda's constant attempts to keep the energetic hellion on a short leash. That she is here and the teenager is not likely means one of two things. Either the good doctor finally got tired of the girl's antics and chucked her overboard or the Gear managed to slip her leash and is now roaming free of supervision.

Which of those possibilities is more concerning is up to personal opinion.

While Rodrigo wasn't trying to overwhelm Zarine, he still felt it was his duty as a host to greet the new arrivals. When she steps back, Rodrigo matches her step back with one of his own to make sure she has the space she needs to be comfortable.

He gets a front row seat to the vampire's frustration at not being taken as she truly is by NFG crew. A slight cringe appears on his face.

"I think we have a bit of a miscommunication here. Tanwen is trying to start a game where people apparently take on roles and go on adventures."

He then looks over to the Welsh dragon before saying, "It might be best to let her sit the game out for now and leave the option open if she wants to join later."

And a new visitor arrives! The host's eyebrow raises as he sees Dr. Maeda without her charge. His duties as host and his curiosity won't allow him not greet her. He turns to Zarine and Tanwen and nods to each of them.

"Excuse me for a moment. Like I said before, I'll be around if you need anything."

Rodrigo waits for the doctor to get her food and sit down before he approaches mindful about giving her enough space to not feel crowded.

"Welcome! Hope you're enjoying yourself so far. How is your charge doing?"

"Well, I was thinking that Rodrigo would be the Dungeon Master, since he was the one who suggested a party," Tanwen explains to Chevy, "but then it turned out he wasn't meaning that sort of party."

The dragon-girl shivers a little when Zarine's gaze levels on her, and the vampire explains that she isn't cosplaying, or pretending, or roleplaying.

"Um, it's 'Dungeons and Dragons,' but in Welsh!" she manages to squeak out in explanation. "But you don't have to play if you don't want to! I'm sorry!" She then tilts her head in bemusement. "Oh, do you only know how to Dungeon Mistress in other games? That's okay! We aren't using dice anyways, like. They'd just get lost in the pool."

She turns her eyes to her side, smiling at the knight-to-be who's moved up alongside her. "Oh, yes! A Corgi familiar would be lovely! Just like the Queen of England!" She suddenly lets out a gasp. "Do you reckon the Queen of England was a wizard with corgi familiars?"

Having already clarified the meaning of the Welsh from before, she adds, "A Dungeon Mistress is the one who makes up what happens so everyone else can decide what their character does about it!"

She nods approval at Roxana's decision to be a fighter and choice of name. "Soraya sounds like a good name for a fighter lady!"

Tanwen looks confused when Hawksley says the line that he does to her. "Umm, barding is what horses wear! And dragons, sometimes, but I'm not allowed until I'm older, Winn says. And yes, Lucky is alright for a Dwarf, I think. A bit like Sleepy or Dopey."

A mighty rumble comes from the petite dragon-lass's stomach as her eyes wander toward the buffet. "Oh! Sorry, I'm getting a bit hungry, like! I'll need some food before we start playing!"

Propping herself up with her elbows, she shimmies her way out of the water, wiggling up onto the deck and up to her feet as her tail trails after her, flicking water about. Once she's on her feet, she starts stalking swiftly toward the Spanish section, tail on end and hands raised next to her chest in anticipation like a predatory lizard from the silver screen. She sniffs the air a few times before roving to the paella. Collecting a dish, she starts piling it on, making sure to get as much seafood as she can. She nearly bumps into Dr. Maeda as she wanders along the buffet line to prospect for more food.

"Oh, hello, Max's mum!" the dripping dragonette says, looking up at the doctor. "Is Max coming to the party?"

Verbing is just... a fact of English speech that he's had to just get used to. So when Hawksley had referred to 'barding' earlier, he hadn't even batted an eyelid. It isn't until Hawksley works an explanation out of Tanwen that he realized 'barding' already had a meaning that didn't have anything to do with the role of a bard.

This earns... a lighthearted chuckle out of the laconic Nara native. And of course, as he hears Roxana mention her own name, he's reminded to pick one for himself.

"... Oh. My character will be 'Flea.'"

He smiles briefly, grey eyes seeking out Roxana's for a moment.

"Thanks," is his answer to Roxana before he turns to address Kenzo, who seems to be relieved for the sudden change of topic.

"... Ah, excellent. Thank you. Ah... let's see." He hums for a moment, before speaking. "Fighting against three armed opponents while I myself am unarmed has been... difficult." He frowns, lowering his gaze for a moment. "I feel like I am learning." He raises his eyes again, forming a self-effacing smile. "But it is difficult to assess if I am on the right track with my emphasis on momentum."

The discussion with Albert, Tanwen, Rodrigo, and Zarine catches his eye -- though he finds himself nodding along the most with Rodrigo's statement. Zarine -did- seem beset by questions, and as someone who talks... less, he can definitely appreciate the host's sentiments.

"Yeah... he can be a bit rough!" Chevy might not have had any official fights with Buck on the books, but it's probably a safe bet that she's an ardent follower of her boyfriend's fighting career. "It's good to see you up an' about... I was down for a few days after my fight with Coco!" Thankfully, the worst of that brutal strike looks like it's close to fading away from her face.

Of course, as her query is met with a gesture to the mug, Chevy nods slowly. It isn't clear if she's made the connection to what's inside the mug. Probably better that way, considering her initial reaction to the sight of blood.

Ishida's arrival seems to bring a renewed smile to Kenzo, and she breathes a sigh of relief there. She's fine with small talk, but getting her own foot out of her mouth is a bit tougher.

Freed up for the moment, she happens to catch a bit of Albert and Tanwen's discussion with Zarine. The little Welsh dragon doesn't seem to be -anything- close to the kind of 'dungeon mistress' Zarine was talking about -- which brings about a mischievous snicker from the freckled redhead. Though, at the mention of names, she pipes up: "Oh! My rogue will be called Evie!" There's a good chance she picked the rogue class just to be contrary.

And, speaking of contrary, she side-eyes Hawksley. "... You ain't -seen- trouble yet, Mr Moore, but g'wan, keep mommickin' me..." With a scheming grin, she moves to finish off the rest of her fruit before Rodrigo happens to catch her stepping closer to the pool again.

Which... might happen, once Roxana asks for a photo! Setting her now-empty plate aside, she leans in closer so that she and Hawksley can frame the Nebraskan. Whatever 'beef' she may have had with the Eire lad, of course, evaporates with the change of topic. She holds up her free hand in a wave to... whichever camera presents itself!

And then... she notices a new arrival! Chevy had been staying apart from the latest generation of fighters so as to keep from being a distraction -- but she -was- aware of Max, and she'd heard plenty of rumors about the feline fighter's mommy figure. Unfortunately, Chevy tends to speak before she thinks, as some nearby ninja can attest.

"Yeah, where's that lil' scamp run off to?" From Chevy's friendly demeanor it's clear that the term's meant with the best of intentions, of course...

There's someone else here. She might be a little late to the party, but wherever there's fun and socialization to be had, you know there's a certain barefoot disk jockey who will be showing up shortly.

It's Sarah, also known as DJ Supernova on the party circuit!

Arriving at a bit of a swift jog, Sarah comes to stop on one foot and then the other. She takes off her cap and spins it around on her finger briefly before putting it back on, all while keeping that trademark smile on her face.

"Hi everyone," She says, her English accent noticeable as she speaks. "Sorry I'm a bit on the late side, but it's better to be late then never, right?"

If she is pleased to be proven wrong about the crew's desire to speak with her, Dr. Maeda shows no outward signs. The charming host and the excitable dragon both receive equally neutral looks as they make their way over towards her. Chevy receives her own brief glance as the scientist quietly munches on her sandwich, her expression offering no insight into how she feels about the Southerner's choice of words. Though each has their own motives, their questioning almost immediately all converges upon a single point of interest: the whereabouts of her tiny ward.

Taking her time to properly chew the mouthful of food she was working on, Eiko inclines her head silently to Rodrigo in way of answer to his question. When she eventually speaks, her reply is as taciturn as the gesture.

"I am," she says, her voice a soft monotone as she sets the sandwich down on her plate and turns her full attention to the small group. "Max is as energetic as ever."

As for the second query, Tanwen earns a sidelong glance from the scientist which eventually makes its way over to Chevy.

"She is."

Pursing her lips, Dr. Maeda seems to think for a moment as if carefully choosing her words.

"Max is... making preparations."

The sandwich is once more lifted and another bite taken, a clear indication that the doctor plans on offering nothing more to clarify that statement. The little Gear's reputation as a troublemaker is likely a matter of common knowledge at this point, particularly her love of trying to catch people off guard. Though she spoke them with the same dull inflection as always and there is no obvious signs of worry in her mannerisms, Eiko's words manage to come across as somehow slightly ominous.

"I see..."

The Spanish swordsman raises an eyebrow at the mention of 'preparations.' The tone of voice and the time taken to carefully consider their words before coming up with that response indicate a low likelihood of elaboration. The bite of the sandwich only serves as confirmation.

Considering that he hasn't had much in the way of interaction with either the doctor or her charge, he has a few questions to ask but with the arrival of DJ Supernova, he has to at least temporarily put them aside or hope that one of the other partygoers have that same question on their minds and ask it for him. Either way, he's keeping an ear directed towards the doctor in case any useful information is given, whether it's the specific question he has or some other question yields knowledge he wouldn't have had otherwise.

"I'll be around if there's anything I can help you with."

Rodrigo gives Dr. Maeda a nod and then moves towards the capoeirista with a smile and wave as he greets her.

"Senorita Kuzumi. Welcome to the party! Better late than never. There's food and drinks and when Ishida is finished with his guitar, there's a space for you to set up your ones and twos should you wish to spin."

Kenzo lends a listening ear to Ishida's situation with a difficulty in fighting armed opponents with a thoughtful expression. After that he replays the fights he watched in his head.

"It hasn't been all negative though. You have a victory over one of those armed fighters. Because of that, you have information on how each fighter was different, what worked well for you, and what didn't. Were there techniques or strategies that used that worked for you or do you think you need to tweak them to make it work?"

Kenzo leaves a pause there to allow for Ishida to consider those things.

"I also know this solution isn't for everyone but I often used film to go over my fights and because of it I noticed things that I missed in the heat of the moment because I was either too close to the action or needed time away from it to think about what happened. For example, I noticed that in a majority of my fights, I had a tendency to get into advantageous positions at the start of my fights and then lose control of the fight near the end. I also noticed that one of my attacks had a major telegraph in the beginning and made some changes to address both of those problems."

Roxana positions herself perfectly between Hawksley and Chevy, seeming at ease with the man's arm draping around her shoulder. As Chevy waves to the camera, she gives a subtle smile and holds her phone at the right height to capture them all at the most flattering angle. "You can put the bunny ears down from behind my head." She comments casually to the Cork brawler, her expression not shifting for a second.

Once the phone's camera has been clicked a few times, just to give a few options, Roxana thanks Hawksley and Chevy and lets her attention wander to Dr. Maeda, also known as Max's mother. She brings to mind the conversation with Coco, where the English girl had suggested that perhaps the scientist could help her find out more about herself and the origins of her ability to transform. It's perhaps not the right time to approach her though at a party and she'd prefer to have her partner here for support. She instead settles for a wave, wondering what these preparations of Max's may be.

Rodrigo is being the host with the most, making sure all his guests feel welcome and are well fed. His easy charm is endearing and appears to be somewhat effortless. He also seems to be stepping into the role of diplomat, diffusing any possible tensions around the reality of Zarine's identity. Apparently Tanwen had him in mind for an additional position too!

"You'll probably be best in charge, Tanwen." Rox comments to her. "You are obviously very experienced at this kind of thing. I'm glad my name meets with your approval."

Ishida's name definitely gets Rox's approval! Meeting his grey-eyed gaze, she gives him a grin. "Excellent. I think I'm going to find this fantasy fighting party very fun."

Sarah showing up on the scene has her smile spreading further. "Oh hey. Are you here to play music or hang out with us? I wonder what would be a good soundtrack for dungeons and dragons."

The Doctor's entrance is noted by Hawksley but he has no particular reason to approach her at present, so he simply settles for a sweeping glance across the room to observe where she's going. Besides, Rodrigo is around to greet her and Tanwen is talking away to her too.

The dragon dungeon mistress' comparison of his nickname to one of the seven dwarves has the Irishman letting out a loud laugh. He's probably fit the name of five of them at various points in his life but he's got no medical qualifications and has never been known to be bashful.

He responds to Chevy's playful warning with a loud whistle. "Are you threatening me, Chevy Beaumont? That seems like a dangereous game to be playing. Plus, you must know by now that it will only encourage me further." He's very tempted to push her in the pool, fruit and all but he has a feeling that it won't produce quite the same outcry as if he pulled the trick on a certain purple haired posh girl.

Instead he takes out his teasing on Rox, shifting two of his fingers to form a pair of bunny ears above her slicked back black locks. He's caught in the act though as soon as she points the camera their way and she handles it far too calmly for the lad's liking! Shot taken, he saunters over to Sarah, saying. "Good to see you, cailin. I trust you'll be serving us up some solid sounds as always." That said, he puts down his empty cocktail glass on the nearest table and makes a running jump into the swimming pool, splashing both those in and out of it.

"Actually, yes, I am planning to get the party started," Sarah says as she does a quick twirl. (Amazing how she can do that in her bare feet.) "I figure once the performance is over, I can get things going!" She giggles. "I've got some new records I'm just itching to perform!"

There's a pause, then she adds, "Also, no need for formality, you can just call me Sarah... or Supernova if you like." She tosses her cap in the air before catching it again. "Either way, there's gonna be some fun times to be had!"

A pause. "Oh yes, for Dungeons and Dragons... Hmm. Good question." She bites her lip. "I'm not sure about that actually."

"Oh, okay! I'll try to remember, since water eats paper," Tanwen calls to Ishida as he selects a name for his character. "I only have two arms, though!"

She plops her bottom down on one of the available chairs next to where Winn is enjoying a post-dinner beverage and starts to spoon up some paella, dipping and diving her utensil through the air as the little dragon flies into the cave, before crunching on a mouthful of shrimp and rice and sauce with a pleased groan. She nods a couple of times when Chevy announces her rogue's identity. Then, she turns her eyes to the arrival of DJ Supernova, to whom she offers a pleased sound along with a completely muffled greeting as she attempts to deliver it while also chewing with her mouth closed as she's often been instructed by her guardian.

She finishes her mouthful, and looks curiously up at Dr. Maeda again. "Preparations? Is she going to cast a spell, like?" the imaginative dragon asks. Then, a moment later, she brightens, and follows up with: "Oh! Or is she baking a cake?"

She's in the midst of maceration again when Roxana suggests that she be in charge, and the dragon smiles and puffs up her chest while continuing to crunch away. She swallows again just in time to answer Roxana's wondering, as well as Sarah's consideration: "Dragonforce is the best band for Dungeons and Dragons. They even have Dragon in the name and everything, they do." She flinches as Hawksley crashes into the pool and leans instinctively away in her chair. Fortunately only a few stray droplets hit her leg and the devouring of her paella can continue unabated. She's a remarkably slow eater, for a dragon; after all, she ought to be able to swallow a bowl of paella more than two size categories smaller than her in one six-second round, but she's a rather thorough chewer.

The party has helped Ishida find his voice a bit more than usual. But now that he can talk and strum bass at the same time, he happens to catch Dr Maeda at a disadvantage against a barrage of similar-sounding questions. The clipped nature of her response stands in contrast to the Nara fighter's disposition for the evening.

Still. He -is- a bit concerned by that, wondering if Dr Maeda might be helping to draw everyone's attention away from an ambush from the pint-sized Gear.

His ears also pick up Rodrigo... calling his bass a 'guitar'. The online streamer he's watches for inspiration would be -most- unpleased with that term; Ishida bears the unintended 'insult' with a diminished smile.

But, that's all in the periphery for the moment, as his gaze remains locked on Kenzo.
"Ah... that is true."

Ishida nods back in reply. He waits until the engineer pauses for a moment before offering a fuller response.

"The fight against Cadwallader-san was close -- one more blow from her would have easily finished me off. I was able to pace myself best in that fight, I feel. Against Smithson-Powers-san, I ran out of steam early. And spent most of the fight... out of breath."

He glances over towards Rox, smiling faintly as she snaps a few pictures with the two mentors. "...Against Rox-san, here... I feel she was just better, to be honest. The only tactic I had in my favor was pressure. But she knew how to pick my assault apart piece by piece."

He listens as Kenzo makes further suggestions. Footage... and a major attack. He starts to speak, but falls silent as the Southerner chimes in.

Nodding with Chevy, he notes, "Ah, yes.... 'Unworthy swordsman / Falls to his knees, remembered / as false samurai.'" Ishida smiles, having committed the exchange between Kenzo and Buford to memory.

"I have not yet found any similar trends in my attacks. I will look again, with your advice in mind."

He seems... pleased, at that.

He smiles, hearing the splash as Hawksley leaps into the pool, but turning slightly to welcome Sarah to the party. He looks down to his 'guitar,' finding his fingers quite merrily strumming along on their own -- and decides to give them a break. He lowers the bass, letting the strap bear the weight for the time.

"Welcome to the party. I am happy to defer to the professional." He smiles -- though, as his fingers begin to twitch, he kind of wonders how long he had been playing that -particular- sequence, having lost track of the actual measures in the song itself...

He's confused, hearing Tanwen's response though. Only two arms? ... Oh right. He had spoken of three armed opponents, not three-armed opponents.

This brings about a rare chuckle from Ishida.

Though, then she mentions Dragonforce, a band known not for its bassist... but for the guitarists' insanely fast riffing. It's enough to send a shudder through his spine -- and his fingers.

Probably for the best that he's already lowered his bass.

Chevy is... a -bit- chilled by Eiko's expression. Not because it's bad, or dour -- it's just neutral. And that reads as 'concerned' to the Carolina girl.

She looks to party-starter Rodrigo for help in interpreting that look, and soon finds her attention drawn to the newest new arrival, Ms Kuzumi! "Oh, hey girl! How's it goin', Supernova?" ... Though, in the next few moments, Chevy finds herself even more lost than before in a sea of cyphered words like 'preparations' and 'ones and twos' -- things that sound like they -should- make more sense than they do. Context is for kings, and Chevy is about as far from royalty as imaginable, so she finds her attention wandering even further...

To Kenzo. At which point, she seems to catch him saying something much more familiar. "Oh... Oh yeah, -that- one? With the way you kept buildin' up speed on that chain I knew it warn't gonna be a love tap..."

Hawksley's teasing pulls another laugh out of her though. "Well, yeah, that's a given! You've been takin' shots at me all night...!" Picture-taking takes priority for the moment, though. The photogenic farm girl puts on her toothiest grin for Rox's camera, lingering behind -just- a moment as she tries to catch up with conversations...

A moment later the sound of a splash alerts her to Hawksley's entry into the pool!

"Huh," she notes with a curious smile, starting to walk along the edge of the pool. Having made short work of her fruit plate, the sarong-clad waterbender seems like she's lining up a new target...

Rodrigo happened to be looking around and upon seeing the diminished smile on Ishida, his own smile dims a bit. Why? Because it was at this moment, Rodrigo Gallardo knew he fucked up. In fact, his mind performs a quick flashback to him and Ishida talking in the Herbs Restaurant and remembering the conversation about it specifically being a bass. Upon finishing that mental flashback, the host cringes but then quickly recovers.

"Well, DJ Supernova. I'll let you set up your turntables."

With a nod he moves away to the buffet area to grab some pastries and then he stands to the side within the eating area mainly to observe the conversations that are taking place. Ready to intervene if require but mainly to enjoy the music. Mostly head nodding. He was not about to risk those pastries falling to the floor.

Kenzo had to admit that Ishida had made quite an impression on him just from talking with him. Willing to go over his fights to learn from his mistakes and was honest with himself about where things went wrong. Willing to take advice but seems to look at it with a critical eye to see if it is useful before taking it on board.

"Based on what you were saying, pacing was only particularly problematic in the first fight. Did you feel the improved pacing served you well in the fight against Roxana?"

Chevy then mentions that the chain picking up speed meant it wasn't going to be a love tap. He smiles and shrugs.

"It was actually the fight with you, Beaumont-san, that was the catalyst for changing that particular move. With it only having success against the faux-nin, I knew I had to change the initial delivery. Both versions ended up working on him."

He did think that his ability to make Buford go tilt in their fights had played a part in both of his victories against the Canadian. He remains quiet as Ishida recites the haiku used while he performed the improved version. He shudders when the image of the aftermath of that move comes to mind. In Kenzo's opinion, there's not enough brain bleach in the world to clear out that memory.

"I wouldn't mind going over fight film with you or helping you with your training if you would have me as your mentor. Though our styles of applying pressure are different, I don't feel the need to change you to fight more like me. I'd be more focused more on giving you extra tools work with."

The terse scientist offers another nod of her head to Rodrigo's offer of assistance. Tanwen's strange ideas for what sort of preparation the little Gear might be getting up manage to break the woman's mask of indifference for a brief second, her nose scrunching up in displeasure at the idea of Max ever learning how to use proper magic. The amount of trouble she could cause is enough to make even Eiko's stomach do a few flip-flops.

Fortunately, attention is quickly drawn away from Dr. Maeda by another late arrival before she has to fend off too many questions. The spotlight is fickle at such chaotic gatherings and she's happy to have it shine its rays elsewhere so that she can finish her small meal in peace. She's never been a people person, any ways.

She only gets a couple of bites further into the sandwich before a small beep emanates from her side. Lifting her arm, she peels back the sleeve of her labcoat to reveal a small wrist watch. After a quick check of its display the scientist calmly places the remains of her food back down on the plate, sets the plate in her lap, and reaches into the open folds of her coat.

From within some concealed inner pocket Eiko withdraws what appears to be a set of large head phones or perhaps ear muffs. Without a word of explanation, she quickly dons the gear and settles it snugly into place, taking extra care to make sure the seal is secure. With this strange ritual complete the woman sits back in her chair, crosses her arms, and stares out into the middle distance.

And that is all the warning that anyone gets.

A shrill squealing cacophony explodes through the air, obliterating all other sounds in both volume and intensity. An unholy fusion of screeching cats, nails on a chalkboard, and that bizarre rattling sensation associated with trips to the dentist all combine into a single tortured electronic wail that drags out for several agonizingly long seconds. When the audial assault finally ceases its attempts to violate the ears of those present, a girlish cackle quickly rises up to fill the silence.

"Nyahaha! Prepare yourselves, mortals, for the goddess of ROCK has come to grace you with her epicness!"

Those who have managed to recover their hearing well enough to follow the source of the voice find it easy enough to locate. Above the sun deck on the balcony overlooking the buffet the culprit stands proudly atop its railing, her lip peeled back in a wide fang-filled grin.

Max peers down at the gathering with bright feline eyes, her slender fingers tipped with long claws that rest on the still warbling strings of an elaborate electric guitar, its black polish decorated with imagery of flames and skulls. Her usual simple attire has been abandoned for an eccentric ensemble that can only be described as a member of KISS being rolled through a Hot Topic like a katamari ball, all black leather and polished metal with an excessive array of spikes, chains, and jewelry tacked on just about anywhere it could fit.

In place of her usual short punky hair-do, the Gear sports a long spiky mess that hangs almost down to her waist. Glitter and black dye suffuse the majority of this majestic Glam rock mane, a pattern that is mirrored in the haphazard application of what can only charitably be considered make-up. A thick streak of black runs across both eyes, casting her face even further into shadow and making those inhuman neon eyes pop all the more.

After giving everyone time to bask in the radiance that is her incredible fashion sense, Max unceremoniously leaps off the side of the railing. If the fall of nearly thirty feet from the upper floor wasn't concerning, the fact that she's just gone feet first into the buffet probably is. However, at the last second, the small Gear's long fuzzy tail darts up and wraps around the banister, arresting her downwards plummet and shifting her momentum sideways. The glittery teen swings like an acrobat on a trapeze, looping around beneath the overhang until her feet touch the ceiling. For a brief moment she hangs there, upside-down, as if standing on the roof like some kind of vampire rockstar, one tiny fist thrusting up - or down, rather - with index and pinky extended in the universal sign of rock and roll.

But, as she is not actually able to walk on vertical surfaces, a sharp kick sends her forcefully swinging the other way as she starts to fall. The Gear rides the pendulum of her tail until the angle is just right, her body catapulting forward in a low ballistic arc as she lets go of her tail grip. With a shrill squeak of excitement, she zips right over the top of the buffet, extending her tail out to flick it across Tanwen's face in a fuzzy drive-by.

"Coming through, tiny!"

At first Max's landing looks extremely rough, coming down hard on her knees rather than making a graceful landing on her feet. However, after a couple moments of sliding across the slick wooden deck it becomes obvious that this was intentional. The girl's claws dance across her guitar in a flurry of motion, shredding a slightly less ear-violating power chord into its strings as she skids forward like a hockey puck.

The combination of water and wax prove to make for an exceptionally effective surface for this particular stunt. Combined with her unhealthy amount of momentum, Max's trajectory seems like it's going to carry her straight into the pool - and through anyone who happens to be in her way.

"Power sliiiiide!"

"Oh fantastic. Which records are those?" Rox perks up, silently hoping there's some rock music in Sarah's selection.

On the subject of suitable sounds, Tanwen seems to know exactly what would work well. "Dragonface." Roxana repeats. "Are they friends of yours?" It's probably about as likely as the Nebraskan hanging out with the German band, The Scorpions.

She catches Ishida looking her way but is unsure of the topic of conversation he and Kenzo are discussing. Instead she settles for giving them both a soft smile before heading towards the swimming pool. Her entrance to it is a lot more subtle than Hawksley's though. She walks towards the steps and starts to descend them slowly and elegantly before sliding into the pleasantly warm water and starting to swim. She's unlikely to get far, since it's mostly being used for fun rather than sport at present but she will persist nonetheless until she is unable to proceed any further.

The rhythmic movement is soothing to the scorpion-woman but this is not to last. Suddenly she is startled by a horribly jarring sound. She attended plenty of rock concerts in her time in Metro City and has been known to turn her music up to eleven but this is a whole new level of loud. She stops mid swimming stroke and looks in the direction from which the noise seems to be coming. That's when she spots the glam rock version of Max!

Her first thought is what a fabulous outfit. It may not be something she'd wear herself but she can't fault the other gear's courage. She finds herself applauding, even as the chaotic creation comes hurtling her way!

Once in the water, Hawksley is no less rowdy. He splashes about, ducking his dark head under the water and then reemerges with a satisfied sigh. "Come in! The water is lovely." He invites the rest of the guests who have yet to take the plunge.

At Chevy's playful accusation, he forms his fingers into the shape of a gun, pointing them her way. "I've got plenty more ammo yet. Don't you worry." He watches as she walks along the edge. It would be so easy to just grab her ankle and pull her in to the pool. Somehow he resists the urge, though he is sorely tempted.

Roxana swims past him, brushing against his back and he turns to give her a quick salute before his attention is stolen by Max's big moment. "Well would you look at that. The girl knows how to make an entrance, so she does. If she's at this now, what's she gonna be up to once we get her into an arena?

He's oblivious to the discussions between the two Japanese men as Kenzo seeks to make Ishida his mentoree but if he was a party to the conversation, he'd definitely give it his approval. The men seem suited in temperament and his peer is sure to have a lot to teach the younger fighter.

Back to the new arrival though! "Hello there, Goddess of Rock." Hawksley calls out to Max. "It's grand to have you with us this evening. I think your makeup might get messed up if you come in this water though. I mean, even more than it is already."

Having dispensed her draconic expertise to DJ Supernova and the other players-to-be and turned her attention to the task of devouring her prawn-y paella, Tanwen soon finds herself in need of a fresh plate and shuffles over to the starting end of the buffet. Knowing that Max is going to be arriving soon, she decides to take two plates instead of just the one. After all, Max will certainly be wanting to try the prawn-y rice too. She's busily filling both dishes up - which will probably give the appearance that she's intending to eat quite a lot more paella - when the squealing cacophony suddenly breaks through the air.


Tanwen narrowly resists the urge to adopt a defensive form, which would have almost certainly had disastrous repercussions for the dishes in hand, and instead looks up to the balcony above, her mouth going agape with wonder.

"Oh! It's Max!" she cries out in delighted recognition, before suddenly frowning. "Umm, I know it's roleplaying, like, but you can't be a goddess, Max! That's too high level, it is! But the glitter is lovely."


Tanwen is dumbstruck when Max's tail smacks her in the face. Her face crinkles up, her nose wiggling, eyes scrunching shut -

"Oh, dear," Winn says, the corners of the Welshman's lips bending downward.


What starts as a sneeze like any other sees a jet of flame and plumes of smoke billow forth from Tanwen's mouth and nostrils. Fortunately, she tilts her head back just before it happens, avoiding setting the buffet (or any bystanders) on fire in the process.

Blinking her eyes a couple of times, Tanwen peeks about, then finally relaxes the cringing curvature of her mouth and hunching of her shoulders. She sets both dishes down next to Winn and turns to run after Max.

"Wait for me, Max! I want to power slide toooo!"

She may be forty-seven in human years, but somehow, the teenage-looking girl seems even younger than she appears with the arrival of the three-year-old Gear who seems to be her match in social development.

Dragonforce fan or not, Tanwen doesn't really know what power sliding is all about, though, so she improvises: following after Max by flopping on the deck and using her lingering wetness to slide like a slippery plank after the fuzzy rock goddess.

Rodrigo never does hear the beep. Instead, the harbinger of chaos is the moment that Dr. Maeda took to put headphones (or are they earmuffs?) on. The Spaniard is suddenly filled with a sense of dread.

As the shrill sound fills the air, the swordsman covers his ears which unfortunately pales in comparison to the protective qualities of the doctor's ear coverage. He sees people in the nearby residential quarters reacting in horror. As he watches the descent towards the buffet, a look of horror appears on his own face. The look of relief at seeing Max changing direction is short lived after hearing the mention of glitter then seeing Tanwen get tail smacked and the resulting flames. Upon seeing the gear power slide into the pool, his features take on a look of resignation.

He has seen the damage that glitter can do to drainage systems and is preparing himself to see the party go over budget. To add insult to injury, one of the crew whisper something in Rodrigo's ear. His response is more audible, "Yeah, I know..."

Ishida steadies his bass with a hand as he nods quietly in reply to Kenzo.

"I feel that it helped, most assuredly -- though, of course, the results varied. I feel that dealing with the toxins delivered by my opponent may have proven a more formidable challenge. I am not sure what... the correct approach would be."

He pauses for a moment, glancing over to Dr. Maeda -- and starts to reach into his pocket. He continues, seemingly absent mindedly.

"The... toxins created a time constraint. But, having studied her earlier fights, I did not feel confident about my capability to land harder-hitting attacks at the beginning of the fight when they would have been most effective."

As Kenzo talks, Ishida gives him his full attention, his grey eyes intense as he nods along. He... had initially considered Braun as a mentor, but the more he talks with Kenzo, the more he seems to warm up to the analytical, thinking-man's approach to combat. He offers a thin smile and a nod, as Kenzo mentions the possibility of mentoring him.

"I think I'd like that very much. Though... Please forgive me, a moment..."

He withdraws his hands from his pocket.
And dons a pair of bright orange, day-glo earplugs.
Why does he have earplugs in his pocket?
This ship is -much- noisier than his home in Nara.

Ishida offers another nod, and a smile, restoring his full focus upon Kenzo. He hears the self-declared "Goddess of Rock" speak -- but only looks to follow her if the nin-gineer does so first.

Chevy snickers at Kenzo's account of his fight with the 'faux-nin.' She might not have the highest opinion of Buford, but she can certainly respect that the Canadian swordsman has certainly been doing his homework as of late. "Haha..."

She doesn't stay long though -- as it seems he and Ishida have more to discuss. She keeps a thin smile on her face as she tiptoes along the edge of the pool, fully mindful of Hawksley's probable intent to drag her into the depths. It's that mindfulness that keeps her focus locked to the water molecules on the area immediately around her, to try and give her some advance warning that the Irish lad might make his move.

She's so focused, that it isn't until Tanwen and Hawksley start to respond to the call of the 'Goddess of Rock' that she turns to look.

She loses some of her focus as she draws to a halt.
She loses more, as Max hurtles towards the buffet.
Rodrigo's -not- gonna like that.
Forgetting her position, she stretches her hand out towards Max. "Whoa, whoa, waaaait!"
She steps forward to steady herself.
And she pitches forward -- having forgotten entirely that she was going to do something to get a "step" of water in place for herself before doing so.

Chevy's eyes go wide as her heel lands on a couple inches of stilled air in Roxana's recent wake, before the Southerner turns fully downward. One knee and one elbow split the water's surface, plowing the way for her to plunge into the depths.

While other people might have something intelligible to say as Max is power sliding towards the pool, Chevy's answer is just some surprised bubbles of air rising to the surface.

A moment later, the soaked redhead resurfaces, both hands sweeping drenched auburn locks out of her eyes as she coughs out in laughter. If there's something bound to happen -- well, she's in the water, right? Should be totally safe!


Time seems to dilate as Max taps into her magical reserves, focusing her bestial senses to their sharpest in order to fully appreciate her work in the short span of seconds until she seems destined to go plunging into the pool in a most epic fashion. Almost everyone on the sun deck near jumped out of their skin as her initial chord blasted out. Startling someone might not be a high bar in the trickster's playbook but it has yet to lose it's amusement value for the young Gear.

And getting an entire party of battle-hardened warriors to visibly leave the floor? Perfection.

The mischievous smirk that the little prankster sports widens considerably as she takes in the aftermath of her cacophonous debut. Tanwen's reflexes manage to save the food but at the cost of her own defenses, earning the rock goddess a righteous pyrotechnics display to add yet more flare to her stunt. At least one person goes into the water in surprise, always a nice bonus though it would have been more funny if they weren't already at a pool party. Her mother seems completely unfazed but she's been putting up with these sorts of shenanigans for years. It takes some truly Herculean effort to rattle the scientist these days.

Every eye in the room is on her - well, almost - which is pretty much heaven for an attention seeker such as herself. Now that she's got a captive audience, she can't afford to mess up!

Max's gaze shifts back to the fore, her attention focused on the ever approaching lip of the deck pool. Since going for a dip would no doubt be very bad for her -electric- guitar, not to mention her painstakingly crafted leather ensemble, the little Gear flexes some of her inhuman power to avoid that fate. Long talons emerge from tiny slots on the front of her boots that were too small to notice from afar, digging into the slick surface of the deck like pitons. This no doubt is particularly bad for the wood's finish but proves quite effect at the purpose of bleeding off momentum in a hurry. With literally centimeters to spare, the faux rockstar skids to a halt right at the cusp of going face-first into the pool, the resonating warble of her power chord slowly fading out as she jiggles the whammy bar for effect.

"Smoothest landing in histo- eh?"

With her Gear senses keyed up, the small girl's hair suddenly stands on end as a detail she hadn't accounted for makes its presence known. Whipping her head around like an owl, Max's eyes widen in an equally bird-like fashion as she realizes that her dragon friend has decided to join the show in an impromptu stunt of her own. While she's tickled pink - or would it be purple? - that someone wants to join in on the fun, the fact that Tanwen is currently sliding towards her like a penguin torpedo-ing across an iceberg is somewhat problematic.

Under normal circumstances it wouldn't be much of a challenge to roll out of the way. However, weighed down by a heavy costume and with a fragile guitar currently in hand, her options for avoiding this red-headed batter ram are limited. Thinking fast, she comes up with something that just might work.

A bone-crunching series of cracks fill the air as Max's right hand rapidly shifts from human to cat-gorilla. With moments to spare, she slams her now massive palm down against the edge of the pool. Though the decking cracks from the impact, its proves sturdy enough for physics to takes it course and the opposite force sends the Gear blasting straight up into the air in a little 'hop' that lets Tanwen pass right underneath her.

Landing with a heavy thud, Max stares quietly at the congregation for a few seconds... then swings her clawed fingers over the guitar, strumming out a rapid victory lick on the strings!

Seeing Max and Tanwen is like observing two kids at play. Stopping her swimming for a few seconds, Roxana stares at them in awe. Even as a child she doesn't remember running wild. Her parents always taught their creations to be very disciplined, though admittedly some of her siblings didn't stick to this, having naturally more boisterous natures than herself. As the glittery goddess and the fire breathing Welsh woman run riot, she rests against the edge of the pool, soaking in every second of the social gathering.

Rox has had a wonderful time so far. It's a shame that Coco hasn't made it yet but maybe she will be along later, and the two lasses will have plenty of time together as the season moves on, being tag team partners. There's been music, delicious food, great company and there's still Tanwen's game to come, if she doesn't get distracted by her playmate. Despite initial reservations, the scorpion-girl is quite looking forward to stepping into the shoes of Soraya the fighter.

She can't help but feel sympathy for their host though. Rodrigo has gone to a lot of effort to make everything go smoothly and yet, as often is the case with parties, something unexpected has come along to throw a spanner in the works. Hopefully the crew of The Mermaid will look kindly upon him.

From the body language between them, Ishida and Kenzo appear to be bonding. It seems that they may be forming what is likely to be a formiddable partnership. Chevy is chattering to them a little but she's soon on the move, making her way closer to the pool area. Resuming her swimming, Rox glides through the water, this time using a butterfly technique. She's so in the zone, that she doesn't react as the redhead slips beneath the surface!

"Fecking brilliant." Is Hawksley's assessment of the situation unfolding. There's flames, there's smoke, there's glitter, there's people power sliding! It reminds him of a twenty first birthday party he went to a couple of years back.

As for Max's landing, it may lack grace but the gear somehow manages to style it out, shifting into her fighting form. She damages the deck in the process but better a couple of cracks in the cruise ship than one of her fellow competitors. Hawksley can't help but clap as her celebratory chords sound out around the sun deck.

As the Irishman moves his hands together, a splash of water smacks him in the face, courtesy of Chevelle Beaumont plunging into the pool. "Ah, would you look at that. I get to see you fall in the pool without having to be the villain who does it." He grins gleefully at the farmgirl. "Now I'll be kind enough to let you catch your breath before I duck you under again. It's only fair, so it is."

Tanwen continues her tummy-glide across the deck uninterrupted, closing her eyes and pulling a face as she thinks that she's about to crash into Max. As she does, a pair of curving horns sprout and twist at either side of her head, preparing for ramming speed in the most literal way possible as a last-second form of draconic defense. Fortunately, Max manages to handstand over Tanwen, allowing the dragonette to penguin-slide right past and headfirst into the pool.


The angle of entry results in a rather muted report - at least until the dragonette pops back upright above the water's surface with a splash, spluttering and spraying water everywhere as she shakes water out of her hair. The ruddy horns persist at either side of her crown.

"That... was... amazing," Tanwen says as she bobs with her shoulders above the water's surface, legs kicking beneath it. She grimaces. "I don't think dragons are made for powersliding, though," she adds, although, judging by the manner in which she tenderly wraps her arms across her chest, a more probable conclusion would be that teenage human girls aren't made for penguin-sliding.

Propping herself up on the edge of the pool with her elbows, she gazes up in wonder at Max. "Hiya, Max! I thought we were going in the pool, I did! That's a lot of glitter! I didn't know you played guitar, I didn't! Do you want to be in a band? I can play the harp, I can! Oh, but first, we're playing Dungeons and Dragons! Do you want to play too, Max?"

Of course, everybody pretty much jumps into the pool at the same time.

Well. Not exactly. Some are trying to just calmly get their swim on. Others are being violently (and dastardly, no doubt) being tripped into the water. There's nail screeching rock music, and beasts dive-bombing the refreshment stand. And more beasts, doing a maverick slide right into the pool. All of this on a boat which -- well let's put it this way. 'Come on in, the water's fine' is actually no longer really very relevant. There's a lot of waves. And more than a little splashing here and there. And that's when an uninvited (or invited-but-probably-threatened-by-a-particular staffmember) shugenja makes an untoward appearance.

It's during the climax of some of this tomfoolery that there's a big wave rippling over the edge of the pool -- and with it, comes a very, very wet boy, splashing up onto the deck on his back with a surprisingly muted entrance. It would be really quite impressive, if it weren't in the midst of a full on Rock Concert Movement #6 - The Madcap KISS Katamari. As it stands, with the dial turned to 11, Homura's appearance is surprisingly subtle, a wet rat of a boy washing up on the proverbial shore with a cough and a spit of water. Of note, he is actually still in full monk regalia, and is not at all wearing attire for swimming. He's even wearing his shades, his swirled spray of hair and dripping sneakers giving him the appearance of a very trendy looking dislodged clog from the pool filter. He might even get a little bit of glitter dust sprinkled on him in his moment of weakness.

"Itte." It's about all he can utter for a second, or two. "Ah~ -- I really hate the water," Homura complains resolutely, while laying there sopping wet.
But wait. Did he actually fall in the pool?
... how long has that boy been DOWN there?
Maybe nobody will notice while he elects to just dry off. Urrp..

Rodrigo continues to watch in horror as Max continues to move to the edge but then he realizes that her momentum is bleeding off. He never gets a chance to inhale in preparation for a sigh of relief before seeing Tanwen penguin slide at the gear causing horror to return.

When Max transforms in order to avoid the dragon, Rodrigo begins to make even more financial calculations that now include the cracked deck flooring. They don't yet include the gouges from claws slowing down Max's slide. A relatively laid-back pool party kick-back getting more and more expensive as the party continues. If he ever throws a party again, Max is staying off the list if only to keep costs down.

After all of this, the appearance of Homura barely registers and so while under normal circumstances, he would greet the new arrivals, he can't bring himself to move from his location in stunned silence.

Chevy rests one edge on the lip of the pool as she surveys the battleground for a moment. She seems heartened that Max is still above deck, and happens to have surfaced right before Tanwen penguin-slides in with a splash. The freckled farm girl seems amused -- though from her angle, she can't see how much of the wooden decking has been chewed up by kitty claws.

Hawksley Moore is there with a reminder to live in the moment, heading towards her with a mischievous aura. As she pulls her eyes away from Tanwen, she mirrors the Eire lad's grin with one of her own, smacking the water with a playful palm in order to send a miniature wave his way.

"Well, that's awful sportin' of you, Mr Moore..."
The hint of a snicker can be heard in her tone.
"But you'll have to catch me first!"

Her feet press against the wall of the pool, as she grips the edge with her hand. Cupping her free hand, she delivers another playful blast of water at Hawksley's chest -- nothing more a light distraction to cover her escape as she plunges deeper into the water! Paralleling the pool's floor, the waterbender barrel rolls about so that she can survey the pool's inhabitants above: Hawksley treading water; Roxana butterfly-stroking overhead; Albert splashing around; the churned water left in Homura's wake; and, of course, the Welsh dragonette beckoning Max to join the questing party. The Carolina girl's sarong isn't made for easy travel through the water like her curve-hugging bikini, but anyone who looks down can see that the graceful garment is far from an impediment to her travel.

Despite her quick submersion, Chevy is the very definition of stealth as she surfaces -- her auburn crown first -- on the far side of Tanwen. She barely makes any sound at all, until her freckled cheeks pop up out of the water. The Southerner's outdoorsy twang, then, might come as a bit of a surprise when she starts talking suddenly!

"It's been lots of fun, pretending to be other people for this Odyssey! So this'll probably be loads of fun!"

An impish grin crosses her face as her shoulders and arms rise to the surface as well. Here, she does lower her voice a little as she looks to Tanwen.

"I did have a question, though, afore we get started with the roleplayin'..." Her blue eyes twinkle with interest. "Have you picked out one of us first-genners to tag along with, yet?"

Here, Chevy adopts a bit more of a relaxed pose, glancing around the poolside, smiling cheerily back to listen to Tanwen's answer.

She does, however, pale slightly once she notices Rodrigo, curious as to what's got him so worried. And then Homura... who says he -hates- water? For a moment she considers using her abilities to help speed the drying process. And then she remembers the one time she'd tried drawing the water out of a sopping-wet sponge.

She draws in her breath with a shiver. Maybe human trials can wait.

"Ah, you've wounded me, so you have!" Hawksley cries out to Chevy, making a dramatic show of clutching his chest when the wave of water rushes against the bare skin of his tanned torso. For someone who is claiming injury, the Irishman is still seeming very smiley.

As the redhead makes her retreat, he's happy enough to let her go and wise enough not to take the waterbender on in any serious way on her home turf. He watches her for a moment before another wave washes over him, bringing a familiar looking boy in its wake. "Hello there, Homura!" The Irishman greets him. "It's good of you to join us and that's a grand pair of shades you're wearing. It's all a bit mad here as usual but we're having plenty of fun, so we are." He eyes the damaged decking. "Perhaps I should fetch those tools you bought me for my birthday and get to fixing things." He's definitely joking here. There's no way he's gonna stop partying in favour of doing something practical.

Heading towards the bar, Hawksley tells Tanwen. "Give me a call when it's time for me to be a dwarf. I'm after fetching myself another one of those 'Luck of the Irish' cocktails. It'll help me get in character for someone called Lucky."

As he makes his way over there, he walks past Rodrigo and clasps a hand to his shoulder. "Chin up, fella. I hope it didn't all get too wild for you. Though to be fair, with us lot involved, it could have been a lot worse."

As he speaks to the Spanish lad, he realises he's no further forward in picking another fighter to team up with. Perhaps he will just let fate decide where the cards fall.

Granted, Kenzo has been paying more attention to Ishida and so he misses the initial signs of things having changed. He does notice that Ishida has paused to go for his ear plugs causing him to raise an eyebrow and that's when he notices the doctor covering her ears. As he returns his attention Ishida as he reaches into pouch to pull out ear plugs.

Why does Kenzo have ear plugs ready to go? One, Though the both non-combatant and combat version of his specs both come with bone conduction speakers they also came with ear plugs for moments when one wanted to focus on the audio. Two, one of his notable traits is that he is prepared. So of course he has ear plugs.

His attention then suddenly shifts to the chaos as he watches the insanity unfold with sentient beings either coming close going into the water or ending up going into the water in ways that probably weren't fully intentional. The host is not looking he like he's taking the damage to the ship all that well and so he sends a sympathetic look towards Rodrigo as he pulls the ear plugs out.

"I'd imagine that the toxins would be troublesome, along with her ability to punish those who wish to jam her attacks with attacks of their own."

It would appear as if Kenzo seemed content to continue the conversation as if the loud entrance never happened. To be fair, fight analysis is something he loves doing and talking about fights gives him the opportunity to do so.

Max basks in the praise heaped upon her by Hawksley and Tanwen, seemingly oblivious to the collateral damage caused by her tomfoolery. The dragon's enthusiasm in particular makes the little Gear's chest puff out proudly, though she is quick to swing the fancy guitar around on its strap to rest on her back so as to avoid any of the splashing water.

"That's because you did it wrong, silly," she says, crossing her arms over her midriff in a mimicry of the stance that her mother always takes when pointing out something she did wrong. The glitzy hair and glitter probably make it a little harder to take her as seriously though. Then again, maybe she looks like exactly the kind of person you'd take seriously on this subject. "You're supposed to slide on your knees! Or, that's how they always did it in the videos, anyways..."

Her confidence bleeds out as she ponders the rules of what does and does not count as a power slide. The people in question always seemed to have an instrument in hand so as to emphasize the awesomeness of their stunt with a rockin' power chord to accompany the sick power slide. It seems, at the very least, impractical to try such a maneuver while sliding on one's belly.

This contemplation of a deep and important mystery is interrupted as her fellow youth bombards the budding rockstar with an onslaught of words. Being a fellow wellspring of eternal energy who seems to go through life on 1.25x speed, Max absorbs her new friend's many statements and questions without so much as a blink, responding to each of them in turn.

"Hey! Pretty sure getting a guitar wet is a bad idea! And I'm not exactly dressed for swimming."

Grinning, she shakes her floofy hair like a dog casting off fleas, sending a spray of sparkly pixie dust flying out in all directions.

"Right? I didn't know how much would be enough so just dumped the whole can on myself! No such thing as too much glitter!"

Probably not the words their host was looking to hear. A quick glance at the path she carved across the deck proves this statement to be unfortunately believable, the entire clawed-up surface of the deck and a decent portion of the buffet sparkling like constellations in the night sky.

"A... band?" Max blinks owlishly then looks thoughtful, tilting her head to one side and depositing yet more stripper dust on the floor. "I've never seen a harp in a rock band but it might work!"

As for Dungeons & Dragons, Max has naturally poured over the entire book that was so graciously lent to her on their first meeting. Fortunately, her mnemonic imprinting includes the ability to speak and read most known dialects so deciphering the enigma that is the Welsh language proved no barrier to absorbing the fantastical setting. It had a lot of pretty pictures too.

"Of course! Um... that means I need a character, right?"

After a few moments of pondering, the Gear's eyes widen and she grins again. Hopping to her feet in a shower of sparkles, she reaches over her shoulder and the guitar is hoisted up into the air by its neck. She poses like something out of a cheesy cartoon from the 70s, the instrument held aloft as if beseeching the gods of the sky for a mighty thunderbolt to empower it.

"I shall be Xam! Barbarian queen, wielder of the mighty axe of Ragnarock, and champion of all things epic!"

Like Kenzo, Ishida had taken Dr. Maeda's subtle warnings to heart, and thus his eardrums were spared the loudest of Max's transgressions. While her loud arrival is a bit at odds with his quiet conversation with Kenzo, his broad smile shows that he isn't a -total- stick in the mud. That -- and very subtly, he moves his bass around to a more forward position with his right hand as he removes the earplugs from his left.

It'd be kind of hard to hear what Kenzo's saying, otherwise. Plus, it means he can hear all the -other- things that have happened, between the folks in the pool, and the folks catapulting out of the pool, and whatnot...

Homura, for instance, might receive a surprised look from the bassist. How long -had- he been there, anyway?

"Mm... Yes. The only way I could think of that would be the 'rock' to her 'scissors' would be a string of attacks that are difficult for her to counteract. Perhaps... Literal rocks." He smiles, faintly, at the idea of chucking literal boulders at his opponent.

"It does not seem as sporting, though. Or as viable, outside of a rock quarry..."

He smiles faintly, as he notes Max in his peripheral vision. And when she unleashes a power chord... Well, she might just be able to hear that he's playing a complementary tone on his bass.

"Hmm," he continues, grey eyes locked onto Kenzo. "You've observed her fighting style. How would you fight her with your techniques?"

The Spaniard then turns to the buffet, now rendered inedible by the deluge of glitter. There's a moment of stunned horror on his face. There's a pause as his stomach growls as he stares longingly at the now twinkling paella. He had been making sure everyone was being taken care of that he didn't look out for his own needs.

He walks over to one of the crew members staffing the event with an expression of rage on his face and leans in close.

"I'm not happy with this party, but I want to make it clear that I do not blame any of you for this. In fact, I'm making sure everyone who worked this party is well compensated for it. I /partially/ blame myself. Have the crew take the all of the food away. I can't serve any of this to my guests."

Left unsaid is, 'I can't eat any of this either.' Destruction at one of his parties is something that while he frowns upon it, he can forgive. Fights, he may frown upon depending on the scenario. Messing with the food or drink whether intentional or the result of collateral damage is an unforgivable party foul in his eyes. Especially when one accounts for food allergies as well noting that some fighters have very specific dietary needs.

Crew member after crew member step forth to clear the buffet tables. Back and forth they go removing the food from the buffet under the watchful eye of Rodrigo, arms folded across his chest.

Roxana has finally caught on to the fact that she's being discussed by Ishida and Kenzo and looks at the pair with amusement as she climbs out of the pool and grabs a fluffy aquamarine coloured towel from goodness knows where. Drying herself off delicately, she looks towards the ninja with curiosity. "Yes, do tell me, Kenzo. How would you handle my techniques?"

As she awaits his answer, she looks around at the other partygoers. The chaotic energy in the air coming from the likes of Max, Tanwen and Hawksley is almost palpable and yet she remains calm in the centre of things, simply observing what's occuring. Homura catches her eye and she waves at him warmly. She's not made his acquaintance so far but she's certainly seen him fight and finds him rather fascinating. His attire is eccentric but as someone who is a fan of eyecatching outfits, that's no bad thing in her view.

Disposing of her towel, courtesy of a kind member of the Mermaid crew, Roxana makes her way closer to the two Japanese men, sharing a smile with any other guests she passes en route. Once in position, she will perch herself on a sun lounger, sitting on the edge of her seat. From here she is in a perfect place to hear Kenzo's response and to watch as the collection of cusine is carried away for the crime of being too glittery!

Tanwen's eyes go wide as she suddenly realises that she's being flanked by a red-headed rogue. She quickly turns about in the water to face Chevy, her tail propelling her twist so that she swiftly meets the American girl's twinkling eyes with her own. Her face goes pink, then breaks into a smile.

"Oh, yes! Loads of fun! You're very good at pretending to be a rogue!"

The dragonette tilts her head a little as Chevy starts asking about which first-genner she wants to join forces with.

"First-genner...? Oh! Yes! Well, no. I've not picked one, because it's hard to be choosy... I was sort of wanting to be teaming with Mister Buck, because I thought he might be a secret dragon. But maybe we could be a team! That way, if they're weak to water, then you can beat them, and if they're weak to fire, then I can beat them, and also, I could powerslide better with your water helping. I guess it would be easier for you to choose if I had my character sheet like I'd planned..."

She looks over her shoulder toward Hawksley as he calls out to her, gives a nod, then turns back to Chevy, murmuring conspiratorially, "I was thinking he might be a dragon, too, but he's not. He's only Irish."

She tilts her chin up toward Max and smiles. "Oh, that will be the problem, then! I'll be sure to be sliding on me knees next time, I will!"

She claps her hands together when Max announces the character that she's going to play.

"Oh, how lovely! A barbarian!"

She bobs in the water, turning toward the buffets that are getting taken away, and frowns. "Oh no! I wanted to have some more of the prawny rice! Especially now that it's got all the glitter on it! It looked so tasty, it did! Did I wait too long? Wait for meee!"

She's already clambering out of the water and chasing after the crew members escorting the sparkling paella, dripping water behind her and leaning into that same slightly-reptilian run that some may be familiar with as her tail flicks back and forth.

The Dungeons and Dragons game, it seems, may be forgotten for now, at least by the would-be Dungeon Mistress.

"I would've eaten it, too," Winn admits ruefully to no one in particular.

Oh boy.

Kenzo does love his analysis but he was trying to be careful of going into strategy against an opponent while close by. It makes even more awkward when he's being asked to do so when said future opponent has admitted to being his fan.

"I think our host had a fairly sound strategy. He just had trouble pinning you down near the end."

Kenzo closes his eyes for a moment allowing himself to picture the fight in his head. He then continues.

"Either one of us would have to tweak it to make it work. I'm not as good at staying in the pocket as he is so I would need to rely more on my movement to keep myself safe. Just as you, Ishida-san would have to tweak it to rely more on your ability to stay in the pocket since he is a bit more reliant on movement than you are."

He then turns so that he's looking at both Roxana and Ishida.

"What remains the same is that we'd have to pressure with attacks that are either quickly delivered and/or quickly rechambered and force you to deal with attacks that difficult to avoid or counter. If we find it necessary to jam an attack, it would have to be at a moment where it is hard to give an adequate response to it. Now..."

A mischievous smirk appears on the nin-gineer's face.

"Short of putting me through arcade machines, how would you deal with my technique? Turnabout is fair play."

The freckle-faced farm girl grins back at Tanwen, pleased that her stealthy approach was recognized for what it was. "Mm-hmm! And an *aquatic elf* rogue at that, right?"

Chevy nods quietly as Tanwen rattles through her rationale for each of the first-genners in her frame of mind. Buck, of course, gets a hearty nod. A secret dragon? "He might be, it's true." She doesn't try very hard to hide her smile.

The suggestion of teaming up, though, that seems like fun also. "We -could!- I was kinda thinkin' the same thing..."

She doesn't get to stay on that particular topic long though, as Hawksley is eyed by the Welsh dragoness. "... Mm... yeah, he -might- be, but I ain't ever seen him sprout wings, so..."

She glances over to Max, taking note of the clouds of glitter spilling away from her. That... causes her smile to fade, particularly as she can -also- notice Rodrigo's expression. It's true that Hawksley's already talking with him, but she feels -some- sense of responsibility. Particularly as Tanwen starts to rise in pursuit of paella. Chevy makes her way to the steps of the shallow end, wringing excess water out of her sarong as she rises from the depths.

And then she sees the -rest- of what Max has done. Dropping a few slices of mango into the chlorinated water seems like a drop in the bucket in comparison. The redhead fetches a towel and starts to dry herself off as she walks towards Dr Maeda. She stops just short of the scientist, bearing a half-smile.

"So, uh... Hi." She coughs lightly into a balled fist. "I think you mentioned somethin' about... wanting Max to fit in, yeah?"

She might not -want- to adult -- and not right in the middle of a party that's still going on. But despite her earlier run-in with Rodrigo, or perhaps -because- of it -- she sure doesn't want Rodrigo to be the only one dealing with the situation.

Meanwhile, what's been going on with DJ Supernova?

Why, she's been getting set up so she can add some music and excitement to the whole thing!

Once all is said and done, Sarah is set up with her turntables and speakers and whatnot, and is getting the party started with some of her favorite tunes!

Ishida frowns as he watches Tanwen chase the food-disposal crew out of the area. Had he not been enjoying the company so much, or strumming his bass, he could easily have put a bigger dent in the food supply. But... it's not like he'll go hungry aboard the Mermaid though.

With everyone else moving so quickly to and fro, he seems oddly at peace with the idea of staying in place with Kenzo, joined by a curious Roxana. He nods back to the Nebraskan with good cheer; his stoic expression always seems to grow a little softer when she's around.

"Hmm..." he adds, in contemplation. It's true that no one had managed to best Roxana in combat -- though, yes, Rodrigo did come closest. He flinches, though, at the notion that Mr Gallardo is -more- reliant on motion than he.

%"... Ah. I should study his fight more, then... yes."

He nods along to the idea, with his smile growing slightly off-center at the idea that the winner of the Odyssey is just watching eagerly from the brim of her seat, quietly taking in any ideas that might be brought to light.

The follow-up question, though -- answering -that- gives him an opportunity to speak more freely.

"Much the same -- stay close, strike hard, and strike often." He grins, the faintest hint of good humor in his grey eyes. "While remembering to stay grounded."

He drums his fingers against the body of his bass, taking in the sights and sounds. The night's been a perfect symphony of chaos so far -- but for once, the Nara native finally feels glad to be in the middle of it all.

He turns to Rodrigo. "Gallardo-san... thank you for gathering us all together tonight. This has been the most fun I can remember having." Ishida speaks with warm sincerity as he bows his head in thanks.

Though... his head only begins to lift with the beats coming from DJ Supernova's table. He smiles gratefully towards Sarah -- thanks for bringing the perfect segue to kick back and relax.

So Chevy and Tanwen then? Another thrilling pairing looks to be created. Perhaps the American woman's natural sense of authority will rub off on the dragonette but hopefully not too much. Her playfulness is pretty fun to be around, despite it being at odds with Roxana's more placid presence.

Turning back to the two gentlemen before her, Roxana rests her chin on her hand as her dark eyes dart between them, finally fixing on Kenzo when he starts to speak. "Pinning me down." Rox repeats. "Yes, it probably would have helped Rodrigo if he could have done that." Her gaze wanders to the stressed Spaniard and then back to the ninja. "I'm not sure of what these pockets are that you speak of. I certainly don't have any in my costume." Is she joking? Perhaps a little. There's definite signs of her full lips starting to curl up at the corners. "As for covering me in jam? Surely that would just make us messy." She's warming to the whimsy now and by the time Kenzo mentions arcade machines, she's outright giggling. "Oh, Kenzo! That was classic. You were so concerned for the machines in that match. You have a great respect for people's property, yes? I think it is a good trait. I would be very cross if people were to break my belongings."

She beams brightly at the bassist, listening as he chimes in with his thoughts. "You pushed me pretty hard yourself, Ishida." She comments. "Neither you or Rodrigo gave me an easy ride. As for you, Kenzo..."

She smoothes down a stray strand of jet black hair that has become loose from her braid. "I don't talk tactics, especially in public at parties. It will be an honour to fight you at some point though. Maybe myself and Coco will get to take both of you on."

With that, Rox is rising and making her way towards the dancefloor, now that DJ Supernova is in session. Approaching her booth, she asks. "Do you have anything by the Red Hot Chili Peppers?"

"H--hiii," Homura manages, waving weakly to the Irish bon vivant from his rather sorry position on the ground, rendering words that are probably, in all honesty, ninety percent pool water. And maybe a bit of glitter. It's kind of dusting everywhere in short order, and soon Homura is tarred -and- feathered, his sopping wet and very-much-so-not-a-swimsuit streetclothes glittering -fabulously-. It's going to take hundreds of years to get that much glitter out. Possibly thousands.

"I-- see that ... that lady cat-friend... thing.. is ... extra, ahem-- uurp! -- spectacular today .." Homura observes, recovering by slowly sitting up. Well, it's a strange kind of thing, that boy. He's not ... actually talking to anyone in specific. Then again, he does seem to talk to himself a lot. And he's very distracted. Specifically, with the strategic conversation going on between Kenzo and Ishida, though he takes a full second to notice Ishida was watching him too. It's really almost like he's out of time with the unlicensed mayhem going on around him, like his mind is running on full tilt and he's encountering a full on buffer underflow. It even takes him a second to realize he's being waved to. O--oh, noo. The young boy shoots a hand up like a rocketship, returning Roxana's wave with an uncharacteristic exuberance, even if it is literally more than a minute since it happened. At least he's sort of getting away with being soaking wet. And not being mercilessly dehydrated. Imagine Homura's reaction to that one.

"Yeah... oo -- okay..." Homura trails off, finally getting up to his feet and shaking a bit of the water out of his pristine whites, squishing some out of his shoes, and puffing his little carnations. Interestingly enough, it doesn't -actually- take Homura long to dry out, even if the wet rat look seems to stick like an awful paint. "Hm, I wonder who all's already mixed up... oh, but I heard there's food, isn't there? I guess I am pretty hungry. Excellent. Everything is according to plan, and Myo'o is smiling on me." The glittery, soggy shugenja finally turns to the delicious food table.

And finds it completely empty.

One of the staff makes a grimly satisfied face at him as she carts the last of the greens away.
Homura frowns. He "...a... ano.."'s sadly.
There's no worse fate than this.

Rodrigo lets his arms fall to his side the moment the last bit of food has been removed. A sigh comes from his lips.

The sword fighter gets shaken out of his thoughts when Ishida speaks to him.

"Thank you. I appreciate your kind words."

A smile that doesn't quite reach his eyes shows on his face. The fact that he had to throw away the food like that dropped his view of the party in his eyes. After Homura asks about the food, Rodrigo frowns.

"I'm sorry had to throw away the food since glitter got all over it and since I doubt that it was edible glitter, I felt that it was unsafe to continue serving."

He looks after Tanwen running off after the food.

Max is quick to step out of the way as her water-logged compatriot clambers out of the pool and takes off in pursuit of the quickly disappearing buffet. Now that she's been reminded that there's food to be had the Gear suddenly becomes very interested in the glittery vittles being hauled away. Even if no one else wanted to partake of Rodrigo's well planned out spread, the tiny bio weapon might as well be a mobile trash compactor and she has other ideas of how the 'ruined' fare should be disposed of.

"Ahhhh, save some for me! Xam requires a mighty feast to fuel her mighty muscles!"

Slinging the guitar across her back, Max scampers off across the deck, hot on the heels of Tanwen and the unfairly maligned remains of dinner.

Through the entirety of the sparkly debacle, Dr. Maeda has remained quietly seated at the edge of the deck apparently content to simply observe as her ward ran amok. A somewhat contrary attitude to the fussy helicoptering she's done over the little Gear since their arrival some may note. By the time the two youngsters of the group take off on their crusade to claim a bounty of glittery vittles the scientist has mostly finished up with her own dinner. Munching idly on the last few bites of the sandwich, she almost doesn't notice the approach of the Southern belle until she's practically right next to her.

The Asian woman's almond eyes shift to regard her visitor with a placid, if calculating, look. She chews quietly for a few awkward seconds, her expression neutral as always as she contemplates how to approach this subject. Thus far, no one has shown any direct interest in assisting the Gear integrate socially. Considering the unusual fuss that was thrown up when she broached the subject initially, she'd figured it would be better to let things play out naturally. But, now that someone has walked right up to her and asked about it, it would be rude to brush them off.

Wiping at her mouth, Eiko crosses her arms and leans back into the chair with a soft sigh that makes her sound like an old woman despite her obvious youth.

"That is correct. One of the primary goals for enrolling Maximus in this contest was to expose her to human culture. There is only so much that she can learn from reading books and watching movies."

Chevy hadn't really gotten the chance to meet either Dr. Maeda or her charge before. But it didn't take much of a leap of intuition for Chevy to figure that out; likewise, it wouldn't take a doctor to figure out who the redhead might be.

So she just... dispenses with the need to play out the trivialities of 'introducing oneself', and waves a gesture at the barman to get another one of the drinks she'd gotten earlier. The party may have been going on for quite some time already, but in other respects, it's just getting started.

The blue-eyed farm girl looks back to Eiko with a friendly bless-your-heart smile. "Mm-hmm! Lots of opportunity to make friends... and make enemies, if she ain't careful about it."

Chevy glances over her shoulder to check on that barkeep -- seeing that he's about half done with her drink. Turning back, she flashes a thin smile back at the doctor.

She steps a bit closer, lowering her voice -- as she knows that with some of the loudest voices having run off, sound could carry a bit.

"I didn't start off on the right foot with Rodrigo here. And I don't think Max did either. But if she wants to start sorting out this mess..."

She tilts her head quietly over towards the torn-up decking. And offers a sincere smile.

"She'll have friends. All she's gotta do is ask."

Chevy claps both her hands by her side -- and bows. She may be an American -- but she knows the ways of the Japanese.

"Nice talkin' with you, Maeda-hakase."

And with that, she spins off to retrieve her drink -- and smooth things over with Rodrigo and a purportedly 'wounded' Hawksley Moore.

Homura's hands raise, the rattle of the beads wrapped around one arm sounding in the sudden quiet following the parade. Solemnly, sadly, the boy tucks both hands into the opposing sleeves of his oversized jacket. It's a slow, contemplative motion, which should rightfully be accompanied by a sigh that really never comes. Homura is mostly just content to stand there, watching the food get carried off.

It's really weird that the boy can wear that many layers and yet be almost dry after a dunk in the pool. That's the power of shugendo and clean living, apparently.
But no matter how much of Homura's HP and MP is restored, he's still hungry. Or is it more seasickness? He really can't tell.

Even so. The monk blinks some fantastically red eyes behind his shades. Despite his ill fate, the boy is coming to grips with the revelation that he's probably going to have to deal with the saltines, or whatever that demonic woman on staff feels fit to provide him. He's going to have to make some headway with her, one way or another, or he just might starve. Or... well, be forced to fast, is probably the better thinking. One can almost see the boy's mind drift as he thinks about the issue, when the classy Destreza explains. Oh. He looks sad.

Homura looks a little confused about what to do about that.
It really does take him a moment to come to a conclusion, and there's way more of an awkward silence to follow it, probably way more than is comfortable. It takes him that long to figure it out. And to wit, that boy very awkwardly takes a hand out of his sleeve... and leans over to pipat Rodrigo's shoulder.
"A--ah...forget it, Gallardo-san. It's New Fighting Generation."
Oop. There is a girl coming over. Homura is going to find someplace else to be, pronto.
This whole team thing is going to be very awkward. Maybe Homura will luck out and find a nice, quiet, peaceful guy to team up with.

After receiving the pats on the shoulder from Homura, he looks at the shugenja with a smile that seems to be both appreciative of the effort to cheer him up and a bit sad. It was a point of pride that no one has left his parties with an empty stomach so he feels as though he's obligated to make it up to the partygoers who didn't have something to eat.

"Senor Homura. I owe you a meal on me for you not having an opportunity to eat tonight."

He is willing to the let the shugenja go where he might, whether it is to procure food or to dodge the incoming woman. Rodrigo looks at the pool party as those remaining swim, lounge, or dance to the music as the mood hits them. With food literally off the table, Rodrigo makes his way to the bar to both mix his signature variant on the Matador as well as have the bartender set aside a bottle of Cidra for him when the guests eventually make their way to their quarters. For now, the Spaniard is going to sit down for the first time since the party had started and let the others have fun.

Log created on 08:19:54 04/18/2024 by Rodrigo, and last modified on 02:52:41 05/11/2024.