An Evening at the 'Oak

June 18, 2017:

Aesh checks out the Silveroak Inn & Tavern and meets one of its regulars at the bar.

Taproom – The Silveroak Inn & Tavern

The Silveroak Inn & Tavern sits nestled off one of those side streets no one ever quite thinks about until they happen to be there. It's like a hidden gem in the city, really. Red brick fa?ade accented by green painted wood in an old English pub style. There's no writing over it to proclaim its name. There's just a wooden sign that hangs on a copper bracket over the street, painted with a silver tree, a tankard inscribed on its trunk.

Pushing inside the red-painted door leads one to the warm, golden tap room. A long bar sits against the far wall, the shelves behind it laden with popularly recognizable through to entirely obscure bottles of alcohol from all around the world. A full sized keg, the sort one might expect to see in a period movie, sits at the far end, an oak tree like the one on the hanging sign burnt into its face. It houses the local house mead, widely rumoured by those in the know to be the best in the city… if not the world. The smell of rich and homey foods can be detected wafting from the kitchen, though getting through to that kitchen is a challenge to anyone not part of the staff.

There's a large stone fireplace at the far end, a handful of overstuffed leather armchairs clustered around it. A deer skin rug sits before it and, when Dana Maddox-Hunt is at home, it's not unusual to find an oversized, white german shepherd dog lounging before the fire.

The place is owned and operated by a small, silver-haired woman, apparently in her 60s, with merry eyes and a tacit demeanour. She is at once everyone's kindly mother and fierce landlady, a genuine force of nature. Her name is Wassea and she is not lightly crossed in this place. The main bartender is a slender, red-haired Irishman known simply as Paddy. Generally friendly, full of mischief, and a bit of a flirt, like Wassea, he's more than he seems. This is a neutral meeting ground. Dark, light, or wild, it matters not. All that matters is that the peace is kept and food and respite are enjoyed to their fullest.

Characters

NPCs: Paddy the Barkeep

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

A red-haired man makes his way into the warm tavern. Aesh looks around for a moment, sharp eyes searching for any familiar faces. Not finding any, the youth makes his way to a bar stool, taking a seat. He breaths a happy sigh. His week has been difficult, both of his jobs really took their tool on the young man. He's happy to be back to his city. Here at least he knows his way around. This mood is reflected in his posture. He sits relaxed, shoulders slumped. He has heard of this place and has decided to check it out. He signals Paddy over. He orders some mead, an usual order for the young scientist.

***

A huge white dog sticks its head through the door to from the kitchen. Biffing the solid, heavy portal, the animal shoulders his way through and, just like he owns the place, pads over to the hearth and flops entirely unceremoniously onto his side on the rug in front of it. Before the door closes, Dana Maddox-Hunt follows through, her slim hand catching the door just before it swings back.

Paddy pours the mead for the young scientist, selecting a well regarded craft brew of the stuff for him, before he raises a hand to wave to Dana. "Tea?" he asks her, his Irish voice a playful lilt, "or do ye want a real drink for once?"

"Tea," the half-fae woman replies, giving him a grin and wrinkling her nose at her. "I need my wits about me for a while, yet." She glances over to where Rex has flopped and the grin fades into a fond smile. That's her boy, he is. Instead of joining him by the hearth, however, she moves towards the bar, not that far from Aesh. "Wassea's got the supper stew nearly done," she notes to the barkeep. "I think she's expecting a rush." The innkeeper has an uncanny way of knowing what the traffic of the place will be, Dana's learned.

***

"Thank you." Aesh says to Paddy as he receives his mead. He quickly pulls some bills out of a pocket, neatly folding them and paying the man. The youth notices the dog enter, giving a curious glance to the animal, the glance followed by a small smile. Noticing the woman who seems to have sat not far from him at the bar. He also offers her a smile and friendly wave, her words to the bartender also having been noticed by the young man. Aesh's HUD flashes several times, information being feed directly to his brain. Despite the general quiet of the place, the ambience is rippling with energy, Aesh's sensors detecting a lot of it in the air, just like the usual radio waves and internet signals. The young man blinks, wondering as to what could have that much energy.

***

Magic sometimes has that effect on technology. Just as iron has that effect on fae magic. Dana has spent enough time at Stark Industries not to be too surprised by technological strangeness. Even androids or cyborgs don't really phase her. She returns the young man's smile and wave with a smile smile and light nod of her own. Her gift of True Sight is such that she can read the true nature of a person and this fellow's aura doesn't scream 'dark', 'broody', or 'evil'. Still, his momentary confusion is evident and her head cants some. "You alright?"

***

Aesh nods easily at the woman. "Yes, of course." The youth's voice is soft and warm, his tone being calm and even. "I just noticed this place has.. An unique aura about it." He says meaningfully. "Its.. Interesting, to say the least." He moves a hand, long fingers picking up his glass of mead. He sips his drink, his eyes reflexively closing. He puts the glass back down, releasing a couple of coughs. His HUD displays a warning for toxic agents. The youth only ignores it. Today, he only wants to have a normal life.. Or as normal as possible, considering the mix of technology and biology that he has become. "Now I understand why this stuff is famous." He obviously refers to his mead, his words being spoken with a grin.

***

Dana chuckles at that. "And that's not even the house mead," she comments. "The house mead is enough to knock an Asgardian on their ass." Because it's strong enough to knock the Sidhe on their asses, and their constitutions are just about robust. "Where are you from?" she asks curiously now. It's no more than small talk. Paddy comes over with a steaming mug of some sort of herbal tea that's rich in both colour and fragrance. "Thanks," she tells the Irishman. He tips an invisible hat at her and retreats to take care of another customer.

***

"Me? Oh I'm a local." Aesh answers simply, his tone casual. "Perhaps, next time, I'll try the house mead.. I don't wish to have my brain fried just yet." He jokes lightly. "If you say it, I have no reason to doubt it." He gazes at the woman for a moment, taking special notice of her lightly-pointed hears. His gaze, tough, isn't invasive. "And you, where are you from?" He asks her curiously.

***

"Queens," Dana replies, her accent a mix of Queens drawl and a hint of Gaelic. She doesn't pursue the young man's locality further; she understands what he doesn't: the Silveroak's door opens to many different destinations, New York, Metropolis, and Gotham only three among them. The Oblivion Bar isn't the only metaphysical establishment in the Tri-Cities. "Though I call this place home, these days."

***

It finally clicks. The large quantity of 'unknown' energy, pluz this place's atmosphere.. "When I said I was a local, I was referring to the city of Metropolis." He explains softly. "It took me a while to realize what sort of place this is, that's all." He continues in his soft voice. He should have realized it sooner. "Oh, so you are from New York, huh? How interesting.. I was there just yesterday.. Went there to take care of some business.. Hopefully, I'll be able to go back there soon." He still hasn't lost his calm exterior, his hand coming up to once again take his glass. The youth sips from it, starting to get used to the strong mead.

***

"Mm." Dana takes a sip of her tea as the metaphorical light bulb ignites over the young man's head. She smiles. "It's always an adventure," she says, no sense of irony to her words. Rather, sage experience. There's a beat. She offers a new smile and says, "I'm called Dana. You are?"

***

"I'm Aesh." The young man introduces himself, unsure if he will or not be recognised. It wouldn't be the first time people he didn't know recognized his name. "Its a pleasure to meet you, Dana." He says honestly. "And life is always an adventure, isn't it?"

***

It'd likely be easier to recognize him with his last name attached to the first, but there aren't too many cyborgs out there with that name, nor with the industry background he has. Being fae, she probably wouldn't recognize him were she not a photojournalist and sometimes associated with Stark Industries. So, it takes a few moments for Dana to make the connection. "Hamilton? No. Amilton… yes? Gentech, isn't it?" She purses her lips slightly. "I don't remember a lot about it, but the name is familiar."

***

Aesh nods vigorously. He's still surprise when people recognize him, despite his position. "Yes, that's correct.. Gentech is an enterprise that put simply specializes in robotics and cybernetics." He explains simply. "I still am not used to other people recognizing me." He admits, grinning, a little embarrassed, bowing his head for a brief second before his attention returns to the woman.

***

Dana nods faintly. "To be fair," she notes, "I sometimes run in tech and journalistic circles." A beat. "Not often, mind, but I do have connections." She takes another sip of her tea and turns slightly as Rex's head comes up beside the hearth and his nose twitches. She chuckles. "I think Rex knows supper's on its way."

***

Aesh grins at the dog, his eyes gazing at it for a moment. "Dogs always do, don't they?" He says softly. "Oh, so that'd explains how you know about Gentech.. We have never been in the spotlight, to tell you the truth.. And for me, that's how it should be." He bites his lip for a moment, a thought bothering him, the youth thinking of the people who'd prefer to weaponize his technology and sell it. The change in his expression is minimal but its certainly there.. After a beat, his expression returns to its normal calm. "I've got to admit.. I wasn't expecting to see this when I walked through that door." He motions to the place in general. "I really like it.. I'll certainly be coming back."

***

Dana looks around, a pleased smile on her face. She is entirely relaxed here, in a way she is almost no place else. "The 'oak is one of those places that tends to find you just when you need it," she says. She nods. "You must have needed the place." If for no other reason than its relaxing ambience.

***

Aesh nods a couple of times. "I certainly needed it.. The last couple of days were.. Stressful for me, to say the least, considering I've had to manage my business at New York and tried to take care of some of the place's violence." The youth's thoughts flash, briefly to whole nights without sleep, flying around the city, trying to help people. "Just my duties, I guess."

***

"It's New York," Dana says in the way only a true New Yorker can. "There's always something going on, not all of it happy." She's spent her own sleepless nights on the streets there, fighting this, that, and the other… thing. Definitely 'things'. The joy of being a witch. "It's rougher than Metropolis, but at least it's not Gotham." She hates Gotham. Though, really, there are members of the Unseelie Court that just love the dark city.

***

"Everywhere has its darkness.. Its part of life.. There has to be a balance between such things." He says in a reflective tone. "New York's rhythm, plus my work which is being.. More difficult then the usual.. The mix of these things tired me, that's all.. Still, I go where I believe I'm needed." He takes another sip of his mead, enjoying the alcohol as it hits his system.

***

Again, Dana nods. "Which is likely why the 'Oak opened its door to you." About that time, the door to the kitchen opens again and Paddy, who had disappeared through it moments earlier, returns with two plates of stew and a good portion of freshly baked bread to go with it. Dana smiles as the Irishman places them plates before both her and Aesh. "Lucky you," she says to Aesh. "Dinner on the house."

***

Aesh chuckles. "Yes.. I knew that my plan to get free food would work!" He exclaims. By his grin, its clear he was joking. "Seriously tough. Thanks. This looks delicious." He looks at a particular large piece of bread. He raises a finger for a moment. His finger starts to change, quickly morphing into a small, sharp-looking blade, the blade isn't made to be used as a weapon, clearly. He looks around for a moment before he uses it to cute the bread. The blade starts to heat, the heat sterilizing it, before with a low *shrikt* it turns back into what it had been before, a long finger.

***

"Okay," Dana says, laughing outright, now. "Now, you're just showing off." She, too, is joking. But, really, it likely would have been just as easy for him to use the utensils that came with the plate. She picks up a knife and a bit of butter from a small dish to spread over her own bread. Then, she dips the bread in the fragrant stew.

***

Aesh laughs. "I certainly am not!" He exclaims in mock indignation. "I just find it easier to do things with my own hands." He says sarcastically, grinning. He picks up his bread and, just like the woman beside him is doing, puts a bit of butter on it and to finish, he dips it into the stew. He shews his food, nodding as he swallows. "Marvellous!" He says happily.

***

"I don't know a better cook than Wasea," Dana confesses. "Not even my mother." And her mother has some skillz, too. She enjoys several bites of her stew. By the hearth, Rex rises lazily to his feet and wanders over toward the bar, weaving between tables until he reaches Dana's side. He's a big dog, standing nearly waist high on a tall man. He causes a small stir, though not enough to truly interrupt the diners. There, beside Dana, he sits and his large tail thumps meaningfully on the wooden floor.

***

Aesh nods at Dana's comments. "I agree.. The food is really good." He says after he swallows a bit more of his food. He looks at the dog as he moves to sit down besides his owner. "Is it me or is he trying to communicate something?" The youth points at the dog, staring at the way in which its tail thumbs.

***

Dana chuckles. "He's telling me he deserves a plate of stew," she tells Aesh. "He had half a haunch of deer, earlier this afternoon, but he's a bit of a bottomless pit." Don't let the friendly look of the dog fool you. He's actually a hellhound from the Wild Hunt of the fae Summerlands. He's got appetite for days.

***

Aesh nods. "Well, he certainly likes to eat a lot.. Isn't surprising, considering the food he eats." The youth means this as a soft compliment. His eyes focus on Dana for a moment. "So, what is it that you do, exactly? I mean.. You live here but.. What else?" He gazes at her with openness and curiosity.

***

"I'm a photographer," Dana says, "and sometimes-photojournalist." She's been featured in some small New York galleries and in a few major publications in the Tri-Cities and Eastern Seaboard. Enough to keep her in rent money, so to speak. What buzz there is about her is mostly in art and journalism circles or in online photography art niches. She hands the dog a small chunk of bread. It disappears almost instantly.

***

Aesh nods. "Photographer, huh? That must be interesting.." He's about to say more but his HUD blinks once more, showing him the time. He stops in the middle of forming a word. "I'm sorry Dana but the world calls.. I have to go, unfortunately." He sighs. "Thanks for the good talk and for the food! I'll come bye often, from now on." He stands from his seat, calmly making his way towards the exit. As he opens the door, he gives a wave to all who are still inside, leaving the place, now in a much better mood then when he entered.

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