Team Building Exercise?

May 07, 2018:

Thor, Hal, Karen and Caitlin all share some after 'duty' drinks.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Metropolis and after hours. Not far from Tomorrow Avenue and the Hall of Justice itself is a simple square structure, dull red and about as plain as one can expect with a name like 'The Brick', a pub and grill. Lately Hal Jordan's favorite after 'work' location.

A JLA coms send of, "Drinks at the Corner and Nine, on me. Show up or… be lame. We'll call it a team building exercise so the stiffs don't get extra… you get me." That was all, Jordan is always great on words.

It's a warm nice night in Metropolis, a clear sky and the city is surprisingly quiet, after the deserts of Qurac and monitor duty for 24 hours, the Green Lantern is more than eager for a civilian downtime and lately, he is lacking on friends outside of costume, so time to bridge that gap with some.

The bar's interior is a single long L of a counter with a tender behind, a small empty stage along the north wall, stools along said polished oaken bartop, lined in black and booths along the opposing wall. The center has been cleared out and is littered with bits of straw, beer nuts and scuff marks. They like their country music here but the jukebox is loaded with plenty of other genres.

Hal in a typical flight jacket sits at a booth close to the short stage a chair pulled up to the side of and hes reclined back, listening to a couple in the corner play a horrible game of darts. The only board in the room, situated next to two pool tables and one pinball machine that is clearly lopsided.
In one hand Jordan is lifting a beer to and from his mouth, long chugs. Hes eager for a head start to the night.

"I would hardly wish to be seen as 'lame', I am quite able to walk. I shall attend!" Thor's voice booms through the comms, just after Hal's message. For a time, Thor was obnoxious on the communicators, he tended to shout into them. Someone, fortunately, has lowered his input volume, and while he is clearly still projecting, it doesn't rattle eardrums at all anymore.
And so it is that Thor is reasonably on time, and dressed entirely in civilian wear: T-shirt, with a tight button-up tan plaid long sleeved shirt that he didn't bother to try to button, and ended up rolling up the sleeves on, jeans, heavy boots. The front of his blonde hair is tied back in a half-ponytail, so just the lower part is loose on wide shoulders. He pulls open the door and strides inside with purpose and a total lack of subtlety, though. Blend in? Not really.
He scans the place, smile bright. Thor is genuinely pleased by the bar, and doesn't mask any emotions. No sense starting now. He gets distracted by the dismal darts game and makes a slight face.

Karen Starr left Starrware in New York, alone, despite what Mongo has warned her even since their first encounter that named him her 'Sensei'.

Heels click down the sidewalk as the call from Hal, and response from Thor rings through the comms causing confusion to crease her brow, but does not hesitate her movements to have her step into an alley and saunter through the gathering of lay-abouts.

"Hey, toots!"
"You know, that sway needs a 'New Way'…"

The alley is left empty. Of both Karen and the two who rose to try and Say Something Witty.

The streak of bright yellow light traces across the dark skyline over Metropolis, and somewhere along the speed-of-/lay-abouts/ they can be heard crying out that they "… Didn't mean it, honest! … Behave…"

"Better make that a promise." Stated from Karen as those Dolce & Gabbana heels take her out of the Metropolis alley and her briefcase is untucked from beneath her arm to be clasped in hand, while her other hand pushes her sideways skewed glasses back upon her nose.

Entering 'The Brick', she smiles, despite the disarray of her hair that was in a bun not 2 minutes ago and suffered a fast paced flight with two hitch-hikers Karen made tuck-and-roll…. Into a dumpster on the Alley beside Corner and 7. "Am I late?"

Caitlin's running a bit late.

It's not entirely her fault, of course. …It's /largely/ her fault, but one can hardly blame her for being diligent about her work obligations. Calendars, work reports, audits, engineering approvals— there's a lot to be done as an assistant to one of the most prominent billionaires in the country.

So, instead of taking a cab, Caitlin jumped out a window at Starr Labs. The new propulsion belt— an experimental design— helped her soar over the city below, and once she got the trim and pitch stabilized, she soared north. Karen made an easy figure to follow, a streak in the air that might as well have been a signal fire.

Seconds behind Karen, Caitlin alights on the sidewalk in front of the bar with a wobbly step. She wears sensible low heels suitable for the office and a deep navy skirtskuit, but a quick glance in a window reveals her hair's in a bit of disarray. She grumbles and hastily pulls her neat ponytail apart, letting shoulder-length red hair unfurl with a defiant amount of volume.

She's in the door a second later, maneuvering her purse with a hand on it, and beams an enthusiastic smile at Hal and Thor when she spots them. "Hi guys!" she says, waving— and then quick-steps forward, catching up to Karen with a friendly smile and joining the party.

"Hey big guy." Jordan remarks from his spot, the front legs of his chair 'klak' down and eject him from the seat to stand upright, "Glad you came. I actually expected nobody to show."

Door swing behind the man and there is Karen, one he really didn't expect flanked by Caitlin.

"Ladies." He grins and motions at the booth. "Night just got that much better." Though the dark eyes of Hal study his ex before he reasserts that lip quirk of a grin.

"Pick your poison, first rounds are on me and no… no one is late. I didn't feel like drinking alone tonight so you guys are all right on time."

Caitlin is the first of the familiar faces that Thor picks up on, as she's right next to him. "Caitlin the Fairest, well met," Thor smiles to her, naturally offering a smooth warrior's clasp of hand, treating her as he recalls her being from the time with Sif.

"I see you have certainly begun already!" Thor says with a booming laugh that carries as Hal speaks up, as Thor approaches Hal's table. He slides all the way into the booth's far end, after loosely tossing his bag in with a weighty thunk. "I suspect we will require multiple pitchers, order what you will," Thor 'challenges' Hal, but kindly, as he scoots in and settles his heavy forearms on the tabletop, stretching his legs out slightly. He's a snug fit in the booth, but hardly complains: the big man is all smiles tonight.

Karen, though? A curious and polite smile is granted to Karen. "I do not think we have met. I am Thor Odinson, prince of Asgard," Thor says, overly formally, checking in an obvious fashion that there is enough space for her to sit. Thor probably will be mushed against /somebody/, whoever draws the short straw. Or long straw, depending on how one may feel about the Asgardian.

Cait is running no later than Karen, only by a couple minutes that matter nothing when it breaks down to 'MPS' on a Speed Test site for Internet relay. So the Tube didn't load immediately, but when it does, there is the disarrayed visual of Cait and Karen approaching the booth with Hal and Thor.

Side by side with Cait she mutters to the other woman. "Did the new board pass *this time*?" A quick update on the newest progression in Starrware, and latest pressure to the Corporation.

The lowered smile lifts when she slides into the booth with a sideways step to slide her hips into the booth, that pencil skirt smoothed as she scooches to make room for Cait beside her. "Poison?" Her look is amused as the glasses are slid to rest on the mess of pinned up blonde hair.

Looking from Hal to Thor, there again is the curiosity and some familiarity, perhaps? If only by a database, the exchange between the Prince of Asgard is mirrored, but her smile broadens. "Kara Zor-L. Power Girl of Krypton."

It seems both willing to be mashed, across from one another at the booth her hand extends stiffly towards him as he did Caitlin, for a shake. "Or Karen Starr. Hal can explain." And if they shake, it is after she also burdens him with a stare and then clears her throat. "After he names this Poison for me, unless you know what is good here?" A plea in her gaze towards Cait, brief to Thor and Hal as this is not her familiar territory.

Caitlin moves to greet Thor, hand meeting his for a quick but gentle shake. "Lord Odinson," she says, remembering her manners and stepping back. She beams and tucks something almost like a curtsey, head bobbing and one ankle crossing behind the other. She straightens, giggles at herself, and steps forward to give him a quick hug and a companionable peck to the cheek. "It's good to see you again!"

She disengages from Thor and moves to give Hal a hug. Caitlin's a hugger and an enthusiastic one at that— fortunately, she leaves Hal with his ribs uncracked. Hal gets a fond smile and squeeze of his upper arms, and she wiggles into the booth a little awkwardly. She's nearly tall as Thor and weighs about as much, putting some serious structural strain on the bench.

She looks at Karen, and her green eyes roll expressively. "Oh my GOSH, yes, /finally/," she mutters back. "You're not gonna believe it— there was a firmware corruption on the PCB. Had an aberrant function call— I was down in Lab 4 with Juengling and her team and we /finally/ found it," she clarifies. "All test boards returned correct values, so I sent assembly line four into overnight production. We'll make the June ship date," she assures Karen.

Tidily, Caitlin puts a little bar napkin across her lap, unbothered by wedging in with Karen.

"I'm not much of a drinker," she apologizes to Hal and Thor. "Probably just a ginger ale for me," she explains. "Liquor's probably a lot more fun when it can, y'know. Get you drunk."

Caitlin gets a return hug, Hals never one to turn away a good squeeze from a busty woman, redhead or otherwise! A chuckle escapes him at Thor's challenge, "I survived your Hog Many thing… Hedge Manger… something that was days of excessive drinking with Syn, J'onn Jonn and Amora. I should be blind right about now."

Pitchers are delivered by a portly yet attractive woman who smiles large, bounces and drops them down. One for each side of the booth.

"Karen, just drink and enjoy. Lets not get too far in to work talk in either direction." He winks and then considers, "This isn't just any place, this is the Brick. It's like Bruisers in Astro City, they sell special drinks for metahumans, strong stuff that the Metahuman Wrestling League guys down. The kinda stuff that comes with crossbones and skull style warnings… aka poison, like I said."

"Not that I am trying to get everyone drunk, I feel like I am getting a rep lately… Just ask Witchdo… Alyse."

"Which title would you prefer to be addressed as?" Thor inquires of Karen Starr, with zero judgment. It is a clarification for his memory. Although he may still mangle the name, as he did with Caitlin's. He gets close! A- for effort and accuracy.

"It is excellent to see you as well, you appear to be in great health and spirits," Thor smiles to Caitlin at her very warm greeting. He looks surprised by the peck to cheek but hardly resistant. It's clearly acceptable. "Does /no/ liquor you imbibe create any sensation for you? That is truly a horrible fate. Is it all ales and wines? Have you tried beyond Midgard's offerings?" Thor says with feeling to Caitlin, with an honest stare of deep compassion for her plight.

"Hogmanay," Thor helps Hal with the pronunciation, amused, and distracted from the horrible problem of Caitlin's lack of drinking with the mention of the holiday, and the arrival of the drinks. He reaches out to pour from the pitcher he was given. "And you have full permission and encouragement to attempt to bring me to being drunk, Hal of Jordans."

Karen had removed her glasses, her hair already falling from the tight bun, she did not look the CEO she is, but she also sounds /nothing/ like what she looks when the Poison is offered to be picked instead of just given over. At her rate, she should be sipping Everclear like water at her desk to simply keep sanity!

The exchanges between the trio is watched, fingertips drumming polished French Tips on the table before her after the shake and greeting with Thor. If studied it can be seen she likely bit a few, or broke them on someone… something! Lips part, then seal at Thor's question of what to Name her.

Distraction! Cait gives her response about the latests engineering level of issue and the pinch to the bridge of her nose comes. It is her way of giving thanks for the name-dodge! "To which card, or was it the Board itsel—-," But then Hal poops that party? Right?? And Karen clamps her lips shut but when Cait says Ginger Ale, there is a slow… glance… Nevermind!

"Karen, right now, once we get to know one another, that changes." A smile to him, sincere and warming, but when she hears the exchange between Hal and Thor she narrows her eyes in that loft of a single brow.

Leaving it be she nudges Cait with her elbow. "I think he is claiming that this can happen here to those like… us.." A gesture between them… and then to the men across from them.

Caitlin makes a face at Hal's suggestion. "Ginger ale," she confirms, again, as the waitress swings by. "I've never really gotten drunk before and doing it in a bar probably isn't the best idea," she says, delicately demurring. Maybe she's been spending too much time with Carol Danvers lately.

Caitlin sits with her back square to the bench behind her, hands interlacing and resting on the tabletop. She seems a little proprietors, despite it being 'after hours'— there's a sense of careful attendance to the blonde sitting beside her, with a little deference as well. She's not dressed as extravagantly as Karen, but she's not wearing a cheap off-the-rack suit, either.

"I haven't met Alyse yet," Caitlin tells Hal, leaning towards him across the table with a curious interest apparent on her face. "She seems nice, though, from what I've heard. Is it true she's a vodoun? She can whistle up spirits and stuff?" she inquires of him.

Jordan can't help but laugh at Thor's apparent sympathy for Caitlins plight, it's so genuine its painful. "Serious?" He chortles.

"Spoken like a true prude. Clark and Diana would be proud of you Cait." The off-duty Lantern taunts, then motions towards the peppy waitress, "One of your Heavy Weight drinks, wouldja? Let big man here have a sample of it. See how it weighs against his stuff."

A blink," Thats what I said, bro, hoof money." A headshake at the man and he brushes it off, "Tell me my words. Asgardians these days." A long swig of his beer and he studies both Karen and Caitlin, scrunched together in the booth and looking hesitant to let loose, "You two…"

"A vodoun? I suppose, I mean she does magic things. Good drinker and friendly. I don't ask a lot of questions about that kind of stuff."

The ginger ale also appears on the tabletop. Soon just after it a frothy thick liquid of burbling brown and foam right after. IT smells potent enough…

"So, if you can't bench-press a city bus do NOT drink that." He warns everyone at the table.

Thor has no problem with falling quiet conversationally as topics wander as he partakes of whatever is in that new pitcher, relaxing back fully in something of a sprawl, putting one arm back onto the upper section of the seat, though not into anyone's personal space. Just a mild way to fight feeling a bit mashed into the booth; tall (and wide) people problems, but no complaint. Thor listens to the conversation, downing most of his glass all at once fearlessly. Warning? Ignored. But for good reason.

"Far stronger than the usual watered down rubbish, but it is all relative," Thor asserts of it in judgment, reasonably pleased. "Hmmmm. I cannot identify the aftertaste," he considers. Thor, god of drinking ridiculous things, seems to find it decent. "Perhaps it will come to me." In further drinks.

Karen, on the other hand falls silent herself, watching as their tender comes and goes to leave them with the ale, and the Ale.

One has a scent that causes her to inhale sharply and exhale slow.

A curious lean towards the drink before Cait. No, not the culprit. It is what Hal warned them about and Thor takes in heartily. "Is it warming?" Karen asks Thor, as that has only been experienced after many upon the Watchtower with the crew that stumbled away from a game of Cards while she was only just beginning to gain a flush. No, Karen still did not understand drunk either.

"What about me and Cait?" Karen seems truly questioning to Hal's light jest, glancing towards Cait before she leans back upon the booths rest. "We can handle it."

Taken as a challenge accepted! The waitress is given a wave and a point towards the drink Thor just demolished. "What is that Poison, where from, and bring more." Beat. "If you will."

A moment and she is speaking to Cait. "If the vodoun is not here, should we be speaking of her?" A *tink* as Karen flicks her glass in a hint to let "business" go - even if she wonders herself.

"Should I challenge an Asgard to a Poison drink contest?" And finally the briefcase at her side is released to the floor.

"Iiiiii think that's probably not the /best/ idea," Caitlin tells Karen, carefully. "But like I said, I'm not much of a drinker," she reminds her boss.

She sticks her tongue out at Hal, tbbhting at him. "I can bench /several/ city busses," she reminds him. "It's probably safer for everyone if I stay sober— I really don't wanna deal with getting the business from the senior League members over being publicly intoxicated," she admits, wryly.

"But, don't let that stop you. I don't mind just having something else," she assures her companions, taking a sip of her own ginger ale. "I'm not trying to be a buzzkill, honest. Just… better safe than sorry, y'know?"

"Guess is as good as mine, Thor. I hear it takes a special license to serve that stuff legally." Hal Jordan stares at Thor openly as he drinks the brew it like its nothing, an exasperated noise escapes the pilot. "Impossible. Glad I didn't put a bet out on that being able to knock you on your ass."

A tip up of a new beer towards the Asgardian, "Cheers, heres to… " A look at Caitlin and Karen on one side of the table and Thor the other, himself on that side chair, "…team building exercises that don't involve punching one another in the face or listening to Batman raspy lecture us."

"Yeah, I have no idea Karen. Alchemists from the Great Beyond? I figure its some sort of super sludge right out of Ace Chemicals. Thats my guess."

Caitlin gets a headshake, "You nerd. You're fine, no one is required to get smashed, especially when all you know… prude and fearful of Leaguer scorn."

"Did I miss out on team building that involved punching?" Thor asks, sounding dismayed and saddened. He also adds, gesturing with the mug and what is left inside— small as it may be— sloshing in the bottom a little. "Enough of these and you MAY see me 'on my ass'," Thor offers generously, smiling. His goal is not to resist such sensation, of course, but to seek it.

"But I am glad to drink to camaraderie of the team!" Thor says, a loud proclamation as ever from the thunderous one, seeking to toast. He kicks back what's left of the drink, and slams down the mug— but not hard enough to break anything. Thor is excellent at checking his own strength: at least, when he isn't entirely drunk. There might be holes in things if they get to that stage! Perhaps at least one sober hero is good idea after all.

Karen had never met an Asgardian before,so to her is was a challenge from another planet to a … Yes.. Team Building/Developing exercise. As Hal said, so when the glass is set before her and she grabs it, Cait's words have her sighing. "It's been a long month, a project is now over." Relief is in her voice and Cait get's a genuine smile.

"I'm taste-testing to that victory." Her own glass of that Ale is knocked back, drained and set back on the table with only one lower eye lid tic'ing for four pulses. "You know that sewer under Manhattan's main strip between Starbucks and Coach? I got slammed into that once. Tastes the same. Warmer though."

The glass is slid away as she rasps. "Water, please."

"See, /I/ have ginger ale," Caitlin tells Karen, managing not to sound smug. "And it's delicious." She slides the cool drink towards her mentor, and looks to Hal while Karen recovers. "Does it really take a special license here?" she inquires, curiosity getting the better of her. "I know anyone with a fast metabolism is pretty resistant to toxins. Bart can basically drink ethanol," she says, wrinkling her nose. "I've never found anything except Asgardian mead that'll even get me a little buzzed," she admits.

Thor's bemused and silent stance takes him from the booth to wander the bar, maybe show that couple how to truly play darts. Who knows. Hal is intent on staying seated and polishing off another beer or three, "I would not know. From the smell, I can only imagine it fuels some form of high speed super car." The grin reappears on the space cop at Karen's response to having downed some. No attempt to look for water as Caitlin has it covered. "You'll live." He promises.

"You're also not trying anything else, I had Asgardian Mead, worst best forgotten two weeks of my life. I woke up wearing Conan's clothes carrying a frying pan. Great times… I took a break from drinking for a while."

"If guys like Gator Grant and Red Zeppelin approve of it… it's got to be something extra special."

"It has and oxidation level that attempts to melt my taste buds a—-" Cait's offer is THE lifesaver as she downs her Ginger Ale and nearly hiccups the carbonation out in a manner that tears up the inner corners of her eyes.

"If an Asgardian finds this with just a bit of /odd/ flavor, I only wonder carefully…" A small hiccup-burp and her fist thumps her chest just above the blazer's closure.. "About what you two speak of." A glance between them and her apologetic look goes to Cait, but a light leer goes towards Hal for the Red Zeppelin name-calling.

"I do not approve." Her briefcase is gathered then and her hip is bumping Cait's towards the exit-edge. Scooch-scooch!

"*ESPECIALLY* if it stops Hal Jordan from drinking, unheard of in all hist…" Her words fade into a mumble but her tone is low and measured.

Karen did not like the Red mention, and for good reason in regards to herself.

"I should go home. Thank you all for the wonderful night." BusinessSmile!

Oops! Caitlin hastily vacates her seat so Karen can get out, and with a professional-mindedness, makes sure Karen didn't forget her briefcase, phone, or anything else important in the booth. She tugs at her skirtsuit, flickering at a wrinkle, and then flashes a smile when Karen looks at her, and offers a quick, affectionate hug.

"I'll see you tomorrow?" Caitlin ventures. "There's nothing on the schedule, so if you want to take a personal day, you totally can," she tells Karen, laying a hand on the other woman's arm. "If an emergency comes up, I'll call you, of course."

"I should get going, too," she tells Hal regretfully, and moves to give him a hug as well. "See you around the League, though, huh?" she inquires, resettling her purse on her shoulder. She flickers a wave farewell at Hal and moves to follow Karen out, a redheaded celestial body perpetually in orbit around Karen.

"Do not approve? Thats a real guy I wasn't taking jabs at my favorite redhead… " Jordan fends off Karen's scorn.

"This just means Thor and I win. You two ladies have a great night." Caitlin gets a returned hug and a large crooked smile, he is buzzed and tilting, "Don't worry, I won't fly home drunk."

Hal watches the two women leave, as lecherous as expected in his lingering gaze before flipping around wildly and yelling with Thor's usual volumes of talk, "Come on big guy, lets play some pool!"

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