Cocktails with Gloom

Cocktails with Gloom

Cocktails with Gloom

“This is not the cleavage you were looking for,” is what he told the guy at the bar who was staring at him. And this was not a pickup joint, anyhow, nor a place to meet clients; this was his favorite neighborhood dive, or close enough. So Gloom took his third? Fourth? Hypnotini back to his table–maybe a bit unsteadily–and sat again at the booth he had to himself.

Shan, the waitress came by to tell him that he didn’t have to get his own drinks.

“But I’m trying to save your poor feet. Now I think you have to sit and talk to me.”

She sighed, but sat. Gloom usually got his way, and he seemed pleased that she sat, giving her a charming smile.

“Now,” he said, gesturing with both hands–somehow not spilling his drink before slurping up half in one go. “What’s on your mind?”

Shan blinked at him, being as he’d asked her to sit, not vice versa. “Just checking up on you. You know, you’re in by yourself tonight.”

“Indeed I am,” he said conspiratorialy. “Brothers have their differences sometimes, you know? If Hesperos knew I was out here getting shit-faced by myself, he’d have kittens.” He straightened up at that, taken by the notion. “You know, I’d like to see that. I’ve always wanted a pet.”

“Why haven’t you had one?”

“Keep scaring them,” he said, and arily waved the arm that was encased nearly to his armpit in the cyber-prosthetic. Little staticky balls of essence-lightning rolled off his fingertips, and Shan looked like she suddenly understood why he couldn’t keep a cat: it was making her hair stand up.

Now, one didn’t usually ever ask Gloom his business, but she felt bold, since he was forthcoming–and she’d been serving the brothers for years in this joint. So, she asked, nodding at his arm, “That conduct or generate it?”

“Conduct. I get my own.”

“Oh…” And that meant that even though he looked Gaiain, he certainly wasn’t. “Um, then you’re not Gaian. Rakshasa?”

He leaned so close she could smell the liquor on his breath mingling with the scent of his soap–and a faintly musky odor–not because he hadn’t washed, however. It was faintly minky, but it told the story. “We,” he confided, “Are half-Chidimbari.”

Shan made herself smile. Well, mystery solved as to why they brothers got their way in the cafe, and why they were so secretive. Chidimbari-hani (male Oni of the Chidimbari nation) were considered weapons-grade biologicals. And Gloom, here, he was a sorcerer, too. Oh yes, there was suddenly a lot that made sense, now.

And he cocked his head, beautiful eyes nailing hers, soft, rough voice very quiet. “You’re a friend, Shan. But if you breathe a word of that, I’ll eat your heart raw.”

She just nodded. He was cute when he was trashed…but he was still Gloom, and ever so dangerous.

Production notes: Surreality’s Equinox character with shaders adjusted to use Poser Pro2012′s SSS nodes; Coflek-gnorg’s RazorRider diner; cocktail glass from Powerage Hype bar, but with other shaders; Cyberpunk M4 cyberarm and pants; Nagase for M4 with a PD-Gothic texture applied. Postwork done in Photoshop for hair, a bit of touch-up, and some light f/x work.


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