Alan - I Gotta Get My Fortune Told?! Screw You!!

Description: Rose, fortune teller to the stars, has set up shop in Southtown. More curiously, she is moving her shop from day to day, appearing in random locations and charging nothing for her work. This has piqued the interest of the Illuminati's Paranormal Acquisitions and Manipulation division of the shadowy Illuminati, and have contacted their most subtle agent to investigate. Unfortunately, as he turned out to have been dead for weeks without anyone noticing, they are forced under protest to turn to Alan R.B..

Doop-de-doop... doodle-eep-doop doop-de-doop... doodle-eep-doop doop-d-beep

"Heya, toots. Whatcha wearin'?" -- "Ahh, Christ, don't send me on a fuckin' milk run, get one-a the new guys for that shit." -- " shit? How possible?" -- "Arright, fuck. I'll scope it out, see if she's legit. Am I a rube or are we goin' Man of Mystery?" -- "Damn. Got it. Hey, send me a pic a'yer ti--"

Alan laughs as the phone call clicks off without even the customary farewell, and he taps a button on the screen's face and drops it in his pants pocket. He tilts his neck to the side with a light pop, turns on the heel of his shoe, and starts walking in a completely different direction in the streets of Southtown. He swipes his hand through his hair, folding his trademark lightning bolt back into his hair, and slips off his sunglasses.

A scant ten minutes later, a strikingly handsome blonde pokes his head into the Mysterious Fortune Teller's Booth, glancing around with an expression of honest - if cynical - curiosity. There is an odd tension around him - but also a deep control. The surface of his thoughts and emotions have an electrical chaos to them that serves to obfuscate something further within.

The booth is shadowy, with no internal sources of light. There's no roof to it, and so a little light from the street comes in, falling in a sodium-warm column on a dark spread cloth.

There's a smell of perfume, at least, from the woman inside.

"Good evening," comes a faintly foreign and extremely wise-sounding voice from within. "Are you curious to find out what your future holds? If so, please - just have a seat. I can guarantee you'll find the results enlightening."

Alan's eyes light onto the woman's veiled face. His eyes flicker around, trying to discern some clear detail, but eventually settles down. Her voice is pretty good, so he's just going to make some assumptions. Alan's half-smile has a definite biting edge to it. "Well, I'm curious to see if this is all bullshit, if nothing else." He pushes his way in and dips his hand into his pocket, pulling out a cigarette case, his thumb covering some blue gem on the front. He snaps it open, revealing about six long, red, black-filtered cigarettes stamped with an obscure brand. "Mind if I smoke?" Without answering, he lights the cigarette and drops down into a seat. Fragrant smoke wafts in a small spiral around him, a spicy, herby smell, almost entirely pleasant. Those smokes must cost a fortune.

"What're yer rates?" he asks, stuffing the case back into his pocket.

She has lips! Definitely lips. And eyes of some kind. This is probably posture to build mystique.

"In a certain sense, I'd say all of it is bullshit, but I suppose at a certain point we are not talking about divination... but philosophy."

Those visible lips quirk up into a smile. "Feel free," she says. The unusual herbal aroma that is not the usual sort of herbal aroma one might expect doesn't get much of a remark from the fortune teller, though.

"It's a special today," she says. "If you will promise to tell three of your friends about your experience - good or bad - then the reading is free. What do you say?" Her hand moves for a deck of cards, which she raises and shuffles, idly, mixing the cards.

"Three, huh." A quiver, but not much more. The vague smirk on his face doesn't flinch. "Do they gotta be friends, or is it fine if it's just some assholes I work with?" He grins, dangling the cigarette from his hand, smoke curling out of his nose. Definitely tobacco, /probably/ legal. "Arright."

Alan gestures toward the cards, sending a small cloud of smoke wafting forward. "This is that tarot stuff, right? I had a girlfriend that was nuts for that shit." His grey eyes flicker a little. "But, y'know. Chicks, right?"

"It is the tarot, indeed," the woman says with amusement in her voice. "And I do know, I suppose; but can we ever truly know ourselves?"

She places the cards down, shuffling them like a proper Vegas dealer. "I think your friends at work would be quite adequate for this purpose... but if you want to tell a fourth as well, I won't complain. I have your promise?"

Another shuffle - and then she turns the cards towards Alan, sets them down with a 'pap'. "Shuffle them once while you speak your query aloud. Then, cut them and hand them back to me."

Alan snatches the cards from the cloth with dexterity, tossing them from hand to hand for a second in a pattern that would cause the average person to get them everywhere. "Yeah, sure. Worst case, it'll be funny." He lets the cards hit his right hand and starts doing a rapid one-handed shuffle, scratching his chin. "Hmm hmm /hmm/."

"Let's go with the standard career shit. Can I expect success with my place of employment in the future?" He flicks the top half of the deck to his left hand, slips it beneath the top, and holds the deck back out to Rose with two fingers. He replaces the cigarette between his lips.

The woman takes the deck back and deals out the cards.

Three of them. The light is strange, but the cards are clearly labelled, the first two eerily harmonious with the sodium-vapor lamp. The last is cast in strange greenish colors.

The first: The Lovers, reversed.

The second: The Knight of Wands, reversed.

The third: The Moon.

"Have you ever had a reading before?"

Alan glances over the cards. The quiver returns when his gaze falls on the reversed Lovers and he swallows - face remains in iron control. "Yeah, sure," he continues, glancing across the cards. "Like I said, I had an ex that was crazy for this shit."

He takes a deep drag of his cigarette, the tip throwing a cherry-red light over the proceedings.

The woman's lips curve up in a smile. "Yes," she says, "an ex... exactly."

"The Lovers is reversed, and it stands for your past. Normally, the Lovers indicates an openness to inspiration, intuition, and second sight. But in this pattern, reversed as it is, it would stand for a divorced perspective... childish indecision.... triviality, perhaps. These factors figure profoundly in your past - the past that has led you here to this moment."

A pause. The woman's voice becomes slightly more casual. "Are you 'with me' so to speak, thus far?"

Rose's enhanced perceptions will tell her one thing - the absolute lack of change in Alan's faintly chaotic mental state can only mean that he knows full well what the reversed Lovers mean. The tension around him ticks upward as he focuses a little harder on not relaxing. He puffs on his cigarette.

There is a long moment.

"Yeah, sure. You're saying I fucked up somewhere." He exhales, the thick cloud and the gloomy lighting giving him a dark cast. "Ain't sure how I should feel about that, but whatever." His gaze is now locked onto Rose's, an expression completely separate from the smirk on his face - remote, somewhat more calculating than it should be. "Guy with the stick next, right? Or do you wanna stick around on this topic?"

Rose's enhanced perceptions will tell her one thing - the absolute lack of change in Alan's faintly chaotic mental state can only mean that he knows full well what the reversed Lovers mean. The tension around him ticks upward as he focuses a little harder on not relaxing. He puffs on his cigarette.

She reaches for the next one. "The Knight of Wands... it's a bit different, perhaps, from the deck so commonly used. It reprsets an active, fierce man. Of course that isn't all there is to it, is there? It's reversed as well... showing evil mindedness, cruelty. Brutality."

The woman taps the figure, lightly. "You must know, my querent, that this is the present - not the person. Do you understand?"

Sure it doesn't.

Something about Alan is starting to slip. He has /already/ accomplished what he came here for. The mysterious fortune teller is officially verified, and he relaxes subconciously. The smoke trailing from his cigarette and his lips frames him, forming a dark haze over his head, dappling the light that passes through onto his skin.

"Well, that's interesting, ain't it? I'm not sure I'd call what I do exactly cruel and evil." He flicks his ash, but at least does Rose the service of aiming it off of the fine cloth beneath them. "An' obviously I'm a stand-up guy. Should I be steppin' carefully from here on out? Talk me through this one."

"I don't know," the woman says. "Perhaps you should be cautious... shall we consider what the future holds?"

Yes, we shall.

"The Moon... and it is not ill favored. Deception. Hysteria, dreaminess. The brink of truly important changes... the darkest moment before the dawn."

"Perhaps your situation will be worse before it is better. But," the woman adds, "the Moon is not a card of pessimism. Perhaps the cataclysm it suggests will be a positive one."

For a moment, Alan sits quietly, exhaling from his mouth and inhaling through his nose. Aromatic smoke makes a circuit. It's a little gross.

"Huh," he says.

"Well, that's definitely portentious, innit?" There's a single beat, and he breaks into a sudden grin, waving his hand through the stormcloud of smoke over him, putting his hands on his knees and getting ready to stand up. "If, you know, it ain't all bullshit. I like the setup though. Nice and atmospheric. The end's a bit of a slip, though, there's not too much room for cataclysm when yer a macroeconomist."

Lie. But then again, of course it was.

"I would imagine that depends on who receives your policy pronouncements," the woman says, with a sly-looking smile. "Perhaps there is another economic downturn in the offing? To one who lost their fortune, macroeconomics could be quite... cataclysmic."

"Ha!" The blonde points at Rose with his cigarette. "Yeah, I'll give you that, I've handed down more than a couple cataclysms in my career."

Ringing truth.

Alan flicks his cigarette out of the booth and pulls another one out, lighting it as he brings it to his mouth. "Want one?" He holds the case toward the fortune teller - she will have to rise to accept one. "I've been checkin' out different brands. They hand-harvest the tobacco here off a mountain in Madagascar or somethin', only place. $300 a pop."

"I'm quite tempted," the woman says, "but that would be payment, wouldn't it? I appreciate the offer very much, my dear fellow. That's quite an origin, and quite a price, for a cigarette."

The cards are gathered up again into a stack, and slid around as they are put into the deck. She shuffles them, but loosely. "Are there any other thoughts, which may have come to your mind during the reading...?"

The origin is a little deeper than that - the leaves grow along a leyline, the harvest of which is completely under Illuminati control. "You sure? Whatever." The case clicks closed, and Alan stuffs the case into his pocket and glances outside of the booth.

"Ehh, nothin' really related to the 'reading'," he says, actually airquoting with one hand. "Why are you movin' around so much, though? I coulda sworn I saw this booth over by the park the other day, so either yer bouncing around or there's someone snapping up all that hot occult territory."

If Rose couldn't sense a tight attention to him, the question would've come off as completely casual. As it is... it is less so.

There's a second's thoughtful pause from the woman.

Then she laughs, a little rustily, a little low. "Bouncing around. I like it. Like a ball in one of those pachinko machines... yes, that's what I'm doing. I am sure before long, I'll be able to lower the veil and satisfy everyone's curiosity... but for now, you can think of it as promotional work."

Disappointment. Alan knows dissembly when he hears it - he practically lives it, himself. "Huh," he says, half-smiling. "You'd think some flyers'd do the job, too." He pushes the flap aside, already halfway out of the booth, hand dipping into his pocket for his phone, but he pauses and glances over his shoulder.

"Maybe I'll show back up and take a peek after you do that. Those lips'a yours have me awfully curious." He fires off a leering wink.

Then he's out, not expecting any actual returns on that - more of a harassment than a flirt - and taps at his phone, waiting until he's on the end of the block before dialing.

"Hey, isn't it weird how vagueness works? I swear, a good sheer set of lingerie's almost better than nothing on a nice dark night." -- "Yeah, yeah, you need me too much to kill me. Anyway, listen - she's legit." -- "Full-on. All three cards, right on-point. Sounds like big things are coming." -- "Yeah, I'll let him know."

Log created on 01:42:02 11/08/2014 by Alan, and last modified on 05:30:48 11/08/2014.