| A long line of clubbers snakes along the narrow railway tunnel admitting people to the Underground. The name, it seems, is entirely appropriate. Two heavy-set bouncers in zebra-striped shirts stand in front of the door while a girl with a leopard-print braw, heavy jacket, and gold-studded hat and lipstick takes the 5 quid cover and slaps wristbands on people. The music inside is already spinning an out of control rhythm, the throbbing base pulsing up through the ground.
Cairn is there and she's got the look of someone who doesn't want to be there, but she's brought herself down to the Underground anyways. The Moros is in jeans and a black corset that is laced over a black tank top. Her top hat is cocked to the left on her red hair and she is waiting patiently with her tattooed arms folded across her chest. Green eyes are peering at people as she waits at the end of the line as if expecting someone. She's quiet just watching for the moment.
Epikoros wades into the Underground, leaning on the Space arcanum to keep from crashing into someone amidst the crush of the crowd. He's not dressed in his usual drab suit-- the camouflage of an academic trying to appear non threatening-- but his look has an air of artificiality, like the costume of a man trying not to appear in costume. It's certainly not stylish, by any stretch of the imagination. He's not sure why Cairn asked him to meet here, but is glad to do her a favor if he can-- as soon as he can find her in the crowd and figure out what's going on here.
The square-shouldered Nordic man, Wulfdun, stands somewhere within the long throng of people. He wears a pair of durable dungaree pants, a green knit long-sleeve shirt, and work boots. Anyone who has been watching him would note that he's checked his watch several times in the past few minutes and seems to continually look out from the throng of people towards the parking lot.
He shuffles forward a step as the line moves. One of the overeager clubbers behind him jostles him a bit and earns himself an ungrateful look. Soon enough he's at the front of the line and with another long look to the parking lot he forks over the quid and enters..
"Five quid," calls the girl in the leopard-print bra, a stack of flimsy pink bracelets spilling out of her pocket. She challenges anyone who tries to sneak past her inside or to cut the line. A sullen pair of hipsters slouch in as she pockets the fiver notes inside that huge jacket, and jabs a thumb at the next people. "ID out, five quid. One drink minimum tonight," she recites by rote. She takes Wulfdun's money with an arched eyebrow. "Bit underdressed, aren'tcha? Mind you don't step on no toes."
Organization is hard to come by when you're acting on your own initiative. Lacrosse stands elsewhere in line, dressed in jeans and a leather jacket. As the throng shuffles forward, he unzips the thick jacket revealing only bare skin beneath. Waiting patiently for his turn to exchange quid for bracelet and admittance.
Gaheris watches the line from across the street. After a few moments, he takes a deep breath and moves to the end of the line. He shoves his hands into his pockets, fingering the ID in it.
Cairn pays the five quid when it's her turn and then manages to shuffle through to the inside. The Moros giving a glare to the dude that just elbowed her to get in quicker. She cast her eyes about until she finds the academic trying to fit in with the club goers and the scarred woman heads over to him and tips the hat to him, "Epik." she whispers out. But it's close enough that she can be heard by the Mastigos.
Inside there's no room to breathe, let alone dance. Overflow from the bar weaves down the tunnel. Bodies press tight together on the dance floor as limbs writhe and pulse to the groove of a DJ up on the stage. Music pumped through speakers everywhere inundates the club to a fever pitch, forcing conversations to shouts and howls. Electronica, Scottish style, churns up loudly. Coloured drinks are being slammed back, a few half-dressed girls throwing handfuls of glitter into the air.
For his part, Wulfdun doesn't have a quip for the woman in the leopard print bra. Her comment does cause him to hesitate for a moment, money still in his hand, as he squares his shoulders look her up and down real slow.
Wulfdun then turns money over to her then and raises his wrist so she can affix the armband to it, "Thank you." Is all he says to the whole exchange and then steps inside.
At the scene within he blinks and is just tall enough where he can see over much of the crowd with his back straight. To his credit he doesn't seem disturbed by the revelry - merely out of place. If nothing else he does recognize where the alcohol is flowing from and shouldering his way into the crowd he begins to push his way that direction.
Epikoros turns to face the Necromancer with a look of relief. "Cairn, thank Christ you made it through the grinder outside."
Lacrosse cycles through to the interior, stripping his jacket off and checking it at the overloaded coat check. Who wants to wear winter gear once you've gotten inside? Judging by the amount of flesh on display, few. He had thought ahead to remove everything from the pockets, just in case it went off without him. Looking about the throng, he smiles, his foot tapping along with the beat as he begins the slow dance across to the bar.
Gaheris waits patiently in the queue for his turn to come. He cranes his neck to see what the bar and how many people could have possibly stuffed himself into the underground tonight.
Cairn's half painted face quirks into one of those rarely seen grins, "Aye. Surprised you got in before me. But glad you're here." the woman forces out with a breath. Her fingers rubbing over the scars on her throat. Then she looks to the rest of the place, "Oh god..glitter." she hisses under her breath.
That primal beat escalates a few notches as the lean guy on the podium bends and sways, coaxing a thrashing synthesized beat, twisting knobs, spinning a record around. Flashing green laser beams illuminate the low ceilings, spectral dancers raising their arms like pagan worshippers greeting their god under clouds of glitter. Bouncing, jumping girls howl like beasts, men's deeper voices a basso roar of response. To stand still is to be crushed."
Epikoros spots a familiar face from across the room. "I've got one of those cat-hair tape rollers in the car-- Hey, that's Lacr--oof!" He gets the wind knocked out of him by an errant mosher's shoulder.
- > OOC: Skye says, "For the record, +help damage."
Epikoros drops Omnivision and, with a moment of concentration, replaces it with Untouchable, for a meager protection against the crush of the crowd. Too bad it won't also help eardrums.
The bartenders are about the only people still functioning at their jobs. Plastic glasses full of beer or mixed poisons and ice are pushed across the sticky counter after money's handed over. Bodies are five to six deep, swaying and moving.
Wulfdun has managed to make some progress towards the bar when suddenly the music changes and the howling begins. As the establishment erupts he is momentarily pushed but cannot withstand the pulsing music. Having spent time amongst some raucous dancing sorts he knows that its better to cut loose than get pummeled. He joins in until things die down and he can continue his trek to the bar.
Gaheris has paid his way to get into the dance and moves into the place. He doesn't take off his jacket, which means, he'll soon start sweating, but he will certainly start dancing. Full on mosh.
Shirts are loosened, headgear whipped around for a failed attempt at a breeze. The hot and crowded club thrums with noise and gyrating dancers. Hands grab at Cairn's hair, pulling without care for pain. A pair of half-naked office blokes bodycheck one another, bouncing off Lacrosse as they go, guffawing, into the dark. It's hard to see far in the strobing shadows, harder to hear. More than a few strangers couple up in the middle of the mass. Others slam back one drink after another, shoving twenty and fifty quid bills, liquid running down their faces and chests. Someone flings a cup back when done, hurled straight at Wulfdun.
Cairn growls out roughly as Epikoros is jostled and her hair is pulled. There's a bit of a glare thrown at the guy that did it. She's built to take a hit or to and she reaches out to grab the Mastigos with a bit of a look, "Would you like me to get us over there?" she asks him. A smile coming across her lips. Then she's starting to move across the room. If she's gotta bash people..she's gotta bash people!
Lacrosse is facing the wrong way to see Cairn's tophat or Epikoros beside it, so continues his bouncing dance toward the bar. There's nothing magical about the movement, just years of practice moving with the flow while chasing a little ball across the field. Feeling that sense of deja vu that bespeaks of supernatural activity, Lax works a simple primal mudra into his moves as he draws his own power down to take a peek about.
Wulfdun continues bob up and down in tune with the music. He is forgiving of those who brush into him and any who actually collide harder with that are assisted away to spare them both from injury. If any try to apologize in the process here just grins and nods as if to say 'no harm done'.
If he gets a clear look at the cup he tries to bend a bit and look away so-as to not take the thing in the eye. Beyond that one misplaced cup is not so disconcerting in this frenzy.
Epikoros turns to Cairn, still the only island of familiarity within this tempest: "This is... fascinating. Has everyone gone mad?" Anxiety has turned to enthrallment as an academic's interest kicks in, reframing the hedonistic crashing, fondling, quaffing madness as quantifiable phenomenon. This is a powerful local zeitgeist, this is pure Id, this is the partygoers' unconscious being let out to play. And just like that, the protective barrier is in place-- Epikoros has walled himself off from the throng, the observer tapping the cage holding the specimens. Order is restored.
He allows Cairn to grab him by the arm-- "Sure, let's go!" He's not even sure where, but he's in a headspace that works now, and eager to observe.
Dancers don't give a fuck for your personal space or your fancy clothes, your tophats or your ripped designer jeans. Hands reach and grab as patience gives way. Some of them slam themselves through the throbbing noise, moving almost as one living being. On the whole, the young, rowdy crowd swallow up resistance by pressing close, twisting around the resisting like serpents, groping, licking, dripping sweat. Only a barrier of two-foot-thick stone is going to keep them back.
Gaheris begins to get carried away with the music, though he doesn't really know this band. Moshing is fun. You just let the music direct your body and your rhythym. He'll give as good as he gets.
Lacrosse leans over the bar, nearly shouting to get his order across to the bartender. Before terribly long, he's handed a hurricane glass full of what looks like antifreeze, trades a bill for it, then sweeps his gaze back over the club. Epikoros stands out more now, which lets him spot Cairn's tophat slowly making progress to the bar. He holds up a hand to sign 'oy' if she glances his way.
Someone else comes pounding up against Lacrosse in a lunge for the bottle of blue curacao used to colour his drink. The bartender makes a noise of protest too late, and an arcing splash of the coloured liquor licks up Lacrosse's back, stains the floor and other dancers. The guy doesn't seem to care, guzzling until he practically chokes and aspirates on the stuff.
"As mad as the hatter, Epi." Cairn whispers out to the Mastigos that she is leading, a bit violently, through the dancing crowd. She takes hit and she gives hits. Not really caring about the tingle of pain. She signs something back to Lacrosse as it's easier and they aren't in speaking distance as it is. Plus she was cheating. When they get to the bar she maneuvers herself to where she's standing to protect Epikoros from hits from behind. She also takes a moment to laugh at Lacrosse and signs, 'Did they not like your shirt?' to him.
Having finally decided his need to imbibe spirits is currently greater than is need to dance; Wulfdun continues to move with the crowd but is now making his way towards the bar again as best he's able.
A girl throws herself at Wulfdun's chest, arms winding around his neck. She laughs up at him, eyes huge, torso falling and rising as she gasps for breath. His shirt is tugged, pulled, sawed, like her slender sweaty fingers could rip the fabric apart. Given time, she might. The noise escalates, pitching to a faster threnody.
Lacrosse's attention focuses on the guy gargling blue curacao, taking hits from the crowd without reaction. His feet even stop tapping. Usually one doesn't need to repeat signing, put at the moment, Lax is oblivious to Cairn's jibe.
More bar-goers grind up against Lacrosse while he's stopped moving, some of those gestures indecent enough for adult film awards.
Gaheris pushes his way from the heart of the pit and towards the bar. He's alight with the dance. Maybe this is what he is needed; maybe he'll be a bit too rough pushing his way through the crowd. He's not going to have to worry about them bruising him; he's gonna bruise first.
Epikoros holds up a protective hand to prevent a small crowd from clawing him in the face on the way to the dance floor. He's watching Lacrosse staring at the curaco-swiller, hypnotized. To no one in particular, he remarks: "Something weird's going on here; that can't be normal, can it?" His gaze scans the room, dissecting it, pre-diagnosing the people within for various gradients of weird behavior.
Grinding, dancing, the bodies aren't letting up unless literally dropping back with exhaustion or distraction. Maybe it's kissing or throwing caution to the wind and having a smoke right there. Maybe it's trying to burn Epikoros' pants with oooooh pretty flaaaame.
Wulfdun stoops just slightly as the slender arms wind about his neck and grins at her as she laughs up at him. As she pulls at his shirt he reaches to press her hands against his chest with one wide-palm so-as to slow the speed they work at his shirt before leaning in, "Come, girl, first we drink and then we dance." After gauging her reaction, if favorable, he would then pull her hands away with his then attempts to move his brawny arms across her shoulders and pull him in close to him so-as to shelter her from the fray should she allow this. If she's not into that he won't press the issue.
Epikoros glares at the firebug. "I -see- you doing that, and it is -not- appropriate." He puts on a pretty good scowl.
The skinny girl trying to destroy Wulfdun's shirt is not easily distracted from her attire-destroying ways. She squirms and half-crawls up his torso, but if he's guiding her wherever then she hardly is one to protest. Wulfdun can steer her how he will. It's a totally different story with curacao-man, guzzling his drink to the point that blue tentacles are sprouting down his neck, chest, and chin. Lacrosse gets another splash shot as he pours, and splashes more booze into the open, hungry mouths of other bar-goers around him. Gaheris might be able to squeeze through at this rate.
Cairn also catches the firebug..she also sees that the firebug is not listening to Epikoros. So the Moros removes her hat and hands it to the Mastigos, right before her hand snaps out to catch the firebug with a glancing blow. It's enough to get their attention and it's enough to set the lighter right into Epikoros' pants. Damn!
Epikoros, eyes wide, frantically begins beating the flames on his trouser-leg with Cairn's tophat.
The rather spellbound firebug barely notices until it's almost too late. He roars when Cairn smacks him, jamming his lighter into Epikoros' trouser leg and then stumbling back.
Lacrosse shakes his head as if clearing it of cobwebs, his drink long since lost to a grasping hand in the press of bodies. a slow turn focuses back on Cairn, and he signs slowly once she looks his way, (something influences this all. abandon indulgence spirit? I see nothing here)
Epikoros struggles to put out the flames, then checks to make sure he and Cairn are not in the middle of a brawl. Not seeing the man she punched, he assumes that fizzled out. Noticing the hat in his hands is singed and slightly rumpled, he frowns-- these things are probably expensive.
It's becoming pretty clear that something's up; none of these people seem to have have normal, human inhibitions.
Cairn's eyes go to Epikoros as he's beating the flames with her grandfathers tophat! Her face is a stone mask for the moment and then she frowns just a bit before she reaches out and takes it from him. Signing a quick flourish of aggravated sign language at the other Steel Legion that she knows she tells him to get out. "We're leaving Epik." she whispers out to the Mastigos.
Epikoros hisses to Lacrosse: "You're a target; we need to get out." He turns to Cairn to begin an apology, but she's already leaving-- he begins to push through the crowd to follow her out. He'll follow up later with Fabhatrix, but suddenly, his awareness is making him feel incredibly uncomfortable being in this club.
Wulfdun arrives at the bar with his female companion. He's moments too late to witness the fire through the crowd though the faint acrid smell of burned trouser is perhaps barely detectable amongst the sweat and alcohol. The girl's continued insistence with his shirt forces him to continually move her hands away from it and that, if nothing else, seems to have him mildly annoyed.
"What do you want to drink?" He asks her distractedly having a better view of the crowd now that he's not jammed at its center. Perhaps catching the interplay between Cairn and Epikoros and sensing someone as equally out of place as he by the man's age and burned suit, "This is madness.." He exclaims with a furrowed brow.
"Anything's good," happily hisses the girl, ignoring that she's having her hands slapped away. She grinds against Wulfdun instead.
More dancers throng and twist without a care around the mages, too caught up in their own insanity.
Lacrosse can't hear Epikoros over the throng, but understands Cairn's gestures easily enough. Trying to leave is fighting upstream however, and slow going. Fortunately the he's a Legionnaire, and running gauntlets is the morning routine from 6:00 til 8:00.
Cairn hears the hiss from Epikoros to Lacrosse and the woman sets her jaw as she starts pushing people out of the way roughly to get a clear path for the other member of the Legion, thankfully he could understand her sign language so the main goal was for him to get the hell out of the place. Right now she's working her way back out.