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Sparrow The Diner has had a very special delivery today. Some lucky S.O.B. popped a Deathclaw auspiciously, and maybe a little scarily, not far from town.

But that means Deathclaw meat and there are some people who enjoy a little anger in their delicacy once and a while.

The Diner's done good business today, the waitstaff a little overworked and tired looking but that's nothing new.

Sparrow has come in for a cup of coffee after a day of Saving and getting things moved to the old farmhouse. She'd needed Muscle and brought Stockton along with her and promised him a meal for his troubles.

She's sitting at the bar along the diner picking at well.. the days special while dubiously watching Stockton and his 'Deathclaw Steak.'
Jude After a day of working on projects at his shop in Vault City, Jude has decided to venture above ground for some unrecycled air and something that'll pass as a dinner. He steps jauntily in, humming a little tune. He's dressed in his usual vault 30 jumpsuit, sans the toolbelt and wrench today. His new knife is proudly on his hip, however.

He spots some familiar faces, so beams some smiles and gives a little wave as he finds a spot on the counter. He orders the special and something to drink, glancing at the others, not feeling quite familiar enough to interrupt.
Bane      Sometimes he needs to eat somewhere a little bit different. The food wasn't bad at the saloon, at least when the robots were preparing it and not Miss Kitty. So Bane walks into the diner the man smells of gunsmoke and oiled leather. His eyes quickly scan the area a couple of nods being given to those he has met before, then he moves to sit down. Chances are he will be ordering the special.
Ironface Jones The call of food after a mighty battle has Ironface Jones at the diner. He's not the one who killed the deathclaw, but he has been out hunting quite recently. It's pretty evident in the fact that he's still a bit bloody from his adventures. Regardless of all that he needs something hot to eat and he'd just given away pounds of ant meat to the less fortunate people in Shanty Town and forgot to save some for himself. "Greetings people," he calls out after taking a look around the interior of the diner and checking over the folks there. Once the politeness is out of the way he heads for the counter and the chance to get some grub.
Stockton Stockton has been out hunting all day, and a guy his size needs protein. Why not the irradiated remains of a Deathclaw? He's chowing through that big serving of meat with fork and combat knife. His beard is a bit greasy but he's beaming at Sparrow with a kind of gleeful pride that can only be found in a wild man. "And what have you busied yourself with all day, hm?"
Sparrow Sparrow's hat is next to her on the counter, sunglasses mounted on the brim and angled the direction of the door. She nibbles the pasta and 'mystery meat' she's chowing on but is really incredibly curious about the Deathclaw Steak, but nearly so brave as to try it. She's seen questionable untested meat come out with some strange results.

When folks come in Sparrow looks back at Jude and lifts a hand to wave at him, "Hey, Vault." She says as cheerfully as she can, which is to say it's at least not monotone. A nod is given to Bane as well and Jones is given something of a once over and she nudges the Merc next to her.

The servers move to clear a table and try to get everyone situated into a seat. It's busy though, with the 'catch of the day' being so exotic and unusual. So guess what? People are being forced to sit together. It could end up all right or there could be a brawl int he Diner this evening. If one doesn't want to share a table? There's the Diner Bar open.
Nikki There is never a rhyme or reason for where Nikki goes, just that she goes places, and does things and then she goes other places and does even more things. She does all this, until she gets hungry or thirsty - then the hunt begins. In El Dorado - it's the Diner that draws the most attention. One could get food and drink there - and likely for what she's got on her cap wise. Though when she enters the diner, she notes just how crowded it is and she slinks a bit back towards the door. Not spotting anyone familiar at first, she looks to Dink. "M-maybe Nikki try to come later when it's not so busy. She doesn't...she doesn't feel.." A sigh and she dances on her tip-toes a little before letting her blue gaze dart around a bit.
Jude Jude glances at the place filling, so swaps to a seat a little closer to the most familiar faces, Sparrow and Stockton. He gives a nervous smile and returns Sparrows wave. "Howdy, Miss Sparrow." He dips a nod to Stockton then, since he's closer. "Stockton." He's served his food and drink then and he just sort of stares at it for a moment and then laughs lightly. He shakes his head, almost disbelievingly before tucking in and braving the food.

He hears the door open and Nikki's voice catches his attention. He peers a moment and asks loudly to make it fill the room, "Nikki? Is that you?" He peers a little more and half stands to try and peer against some unfortunate mess of a man that takes up a whole lot of room.
Bane      It isn't long before the special appears before Bane. It is not the first time he has eaten Deathclaw, but they somehow always manage to taste a little different. Maybe it is the way it is killed. He saws he blade through his rather thick and tough piece of meat, but it has plenty of protein and rads everything a man constantly in combat needs. For once however the man isn't drinking alcohol instead sipping from a bottle of what looks to be genuine Nuka Cola.

     The man looks like he is about to speak to Sparrow and Stockton until he hears the low ding as another person enters the Diner. He looks over Nikki he hasn't seen here since that day in the Saloon, and he did have to leave from their rather abruptly. His hand drops unconciously to his revolver, when he is called upon it is usually for one thing.
Ironface Jones Being made to sit with strangers? It's not something that Ironface minds at all. He grabs one of the spaces the servers suggest and leans back in his seat to relax as comfortably as he can as he places his order for the special, ready to try to get some delicious apex predator in his belly. The sound of Nikki's voice catches his ear and Jones turns to look at her, offering her a wave and gesturing towards one of the few empty spots, that being one of the seats at his table, "Greetings, friend Nikki! How are you and your Dink?"
Sparrow Sparrow spots a familiar colorful head that she witnessed in the midst of the cray-cray the other evening. Spotting Nikki, Sparrow nudges one of the servers to go get the nervous looking young woman guided over to the clear stool on the other side of her from Stockton.

The stoic Cowgirl turns her attention back to Jude when she's done that her hair out of its usual tie today so mussed and slightly road-dusted honey blonde hair. "Here for the Deathclaw Special?" She wonders of the Vaultie Gearhead and then glances to check and see Stock's reaction to the strange meat. Stockton gets a stare, "You were helping me move. Did the sun melt your brain?" She looks back towards Jude and Nikki and smiles a bit more relaxed once it seems that Nikki isn't all by her lonesome in the en masse feeding frenzy. That's not to say that the ever-paranoid cowgirl isn't keeping an eye on Bane, who she's familiar with and Ironface, who she's not. To bane though she spots the check and the movement and whistles his direction. "Ya all right?"

The bustling and somewhat frenzied cook calls back from the back to make sure they change the sandwich board to say they've only got a few servings of the death claw steak left, after that, it's Potted Meat Penne and Mutfruit Oatmeal.
Jude Jude shakes his head with a laugh at Sparrow's question. "No, ma'am. I ain't sure my constitution would deal so well with somethin' like that." He pauses and adds with a shrug, "I ain't eaten up here but a handful of times, if'n I'm honest. Ain't gonna be every day that I'm home for dinner though, so I reckoned I should get used to it. Longer scav runs are usually worth more, yeah?"

He stabs at his potted meat pasta and chews a couple mouthfuls. He swigs his warm beer and pulls a face. He glances back to Sparrow and Stockton, "Y'all ever been down to Vault Town?"
Nikki Nikki blinks hearing her name not once, not twice, but three times thanks to a no-name waitress who comes to check on her? She scans the crowd, and carefully reaches to grab Dink and holds the eyebot close against her before she's looking around again. She needed a safe space, where could it be...and then she finds Jones and she shifts close to him, giving him a smile. "Hey Jones. happy to see you.." She speaks, but her eyes are still scanning the diner and she wonders..."Uhm..maybe...maybe Nikki goes to eat at the Saloon. Miss Kitty can make some decent food..." Besides, she'd never eaten Deathclaw before, and she knows Kitty's food. A breath before she glances towards Jude and shakes her head. Even if he recognized her, she'd of been the talk to Vault Town for a little bit. How they finally got rid of that crazy trash digger. Either way, she was going to cling to Jones for a moment, focus on him, even if she had a very wild look in those blue eyes.
Bane      Bane nods to Sparrow, his hand moving conciously away from his weapon as he returns to his tough steak. Good thing the wasteland veteran had taken care of his teeth or getting through this steak could be an issue. "I am fine. Just not used to being in a city again yet. Kept to the wastes for awhile before getting here, still fighting instincts."
Ironface Jones Catching someone watching him out of the corner of his eye, Jones turns towards Sparrow and looks at her questioningly for a moment before giving her a polite nod and saying, "Good day, lady."

"You are safe here, Nikki. Sit near me and food will come for us," Ironface tells the young girl with his expression softening a little. "I do not think anyone here wants to do anything to you." There's a great deal of patience in the big guy when it comes to dealing with people. He's even polite to the waitress, "Please feed us the flesh of the deathclaw and bring us Nuka cola."
Sparrow Sparrow hmms softly to Jude. "Yeah me either." She agrees to glance again at Stockton who's still eating the tough greasy meat. "Naw, I've never been to Vault Town. I hear they've got a nice little diner set up for them. Supposedly some folks going to hunt some pig for it too." The cowgirl says as she finishes up her own potted meat pasta and then sips her coffee.

Sparrow checks to make sure Nikki's doing all right and then looks back to Jude and Stockton.

The waitress who was trying to help poor Nikki at Sparrow's behest bounces her head and scurries off for one of the last orders of the steak to be offered just before she's set off by another ding of the chef's bell.

Sparrow chuckles and nods, "I suppose it's pretty weird to be in civilization after everything and it's mother is out to murder you." She laughs and then turns back to Stockton to see him stuffing his face and turns to talk more directly to Jude. "What's it like?"
Jude Jude flicks a sidelong glance over to Nikki. It's been a long time, although the girl has the same name and sounds fairly similar. He shrugs though as she sits with the rougher looking fellow. He slips his gaze back to Sparrow, smile reasserting itself on his lips. "Yeah. Has a pretty nice restaurant. Robot band plays prewar music and everything." He grins, waxing a touch nostalgic. "The ribs and chops... gracious, Miss Sparrow. I'm trying to get my cookin' bot to hack on in for their recipe." He can't help but let a giggle slip at that. That makes his blush and clear his throat. "You ever wanna try out the restaurant, lemme know. I can get some reservations for ya or for you and Stockton or whomever." He leans in and whispers, "If I make em, they'll treat ya good."
Nikki Nikki sits near Jones and gives a nod of her head. "Nikki thinks this will be alright. She thinks it's a little busy in here and maybe she should have waited to come. Or...left Dink at home..." Cause...yeah. This was a little much. She feared for her own safety and that Dink would get ruined somehow. All the noise too, it was a lot of noise. Nikki prefered it quiet. "However...Nikki might get some good stuff from the trash bin in the back after she's done here..."
Ironface Jones "I am to be hunting the big pig for the vault people's diner," Ironface says when he hears what Sparrow is talking about, more than happy to elaborate on that subject. "I will be taking a hunting party to find it soon." In slightly more hushed tones he goes on to say, "It is said to be the largest pig in all the land. Large as a brahmin, even."

His attention returns to Nikki and he nods carefully, looking at her closely to make sure that she's okay, "You will be good here. I am here and you and dink are okay." And then he'll nod again, "Yes. The trash here may provide you with things of value. It is good that you put things people do not think they need to use."
Sparrow Sparrow sips her coffee as she considers Jude. "Stockton can make his own reservations with you if he wants." She mentions since the big Mixed-Breed Merc has moseyed off outside to chew on a stogie and not ruin everyone's appetite. "Way he's charging me he can afford it." She laughs and shifts to lean against the edge of the counter. "Prewar music?" She sounds a bit surprised, the Wasters eyes shimmering somewhat dubiously. "I've always wanted to see it though and maybe try some of these ribs and chops? So it's a yes to your offer and double so if they treat me half as nice as you're promisin'."

She glances back at Ironface and Nikki and back to Jude. "You know the touched one over there. Gave Skittles a good fright the other day, diving into wreckage headfirst." She explains to Jude over the brim of her cup.

When Ironface explains that he's the one who's on his way to find the bacon Sparrow turns blue eyes his direction. Bright and too young for her weather aged face. "Yeah? That's a .. pretty big pig. Seems like a good money makes for the Vault diner too." To Jude, "Can you make the arrangements for after that's done?"

Since the steaks are about gone, a lot of people re-filtering out and with the sandwich board being wiped off the 'daily special' and replaced with the usual humdrum far fewer people are inclined to crowd into the slowly dissipating mass of customers. People can even have their own tables again.
Jude Jude beams over at Ironface's proclamation of how massive the pig he plans to hunt will be. "Goodness! As big as a brahmin," he chirps excitedly!

His attention flits back to Sparrow, but he is struck speechless a moment as it occurs to him that Stockton works for Sparrow. He lets out a fairly smooth, "Uhhhh," before he gives his head a shake to kick it back into gear. "Yeah," he confirms a little more coherently. "If'n you want, I can accompany ya. I fix up their robots now and then, so I have some markers to call in." Sometimes knowing a nerd pays off.

He glances at Nikki when Sparrow nods in her direction. He gives a little nod, an unsure smile. "If it's who I think, we knew each other when we was younger. Like... eleven or twelve maybe?" He shrugs then, unable to control a slight shiver. He wets his lips and confirms, "After the great pig hunt. Gotcha. I'll talk with the manager in the mornin'. I'll see about a table where you can get you a good look at the band."
Nikki Nikki suddenly gets even more freaked out and she holds the eyebot closer against her. "Jones. Nikki wants to stay but...but she...she should go..." Saying this much as she slips from her seat and moves towards the exit. Nope. Not today.
Ironface Jones "I hope to earn many caps by bringing in the pig and I shall cut in the others who help me with it fairly, but the diner down there will be able to serve many people," Ironface explains thoughtfully. He looks over at Jude and nods, "That is what I am told. I hope that it is true because it is good to eat one of every animal that is larger than you."

Nikki's suddenly declaration has Ironface furrowing his brow in concern, but he nods understandingly at her, "That is okay. I will see you soon, friend Nikki, in a quieter place. I can show you the power armor if you would like to see it."
Sparrow Sparrow blinks at Jude lifting a brow at him as he tries to make the cogs start to work again. "Uuuhh? Cat got your tongue, there, Vaultie?" She drawls curiously before setting down her empty coffee mug and waving the Waitress aside. "Sure, sounds great. Seems like if they know you and you're there they'll treat me even better." Far be it for a Wastelander to turn down a once and a lifetime opportunity. Or at least, the first time in a lifetime. "I wonder what pre-war music played by an actual band sounds like. I've heard some recordings on an ancient player Uncle Grant had but he only had two records. Spurs that Jingle Jangle, and Big Iron."

She glances at Nikki, "Be safe." She tells the girl but makes no effort to stop her. Her expression, other than some rare smirks and fleeting smiles tends to remain stony "I dunno, I got told the bigger the beast the tougher and harder on the old guts. But.. Hey, I'm willing to try just about anything." She coughs, "Well, maybe not Deathclaw, and Cazador's definitely off the plate."
Jude Jude laughs a little and nods. "Yeah. I just... you and Stockton... I misread something... I guess." He clears his throat and stirs his 'food' around the plate a little and sips his warm beer. "Yeah. They'll treat ya good if'n I'm there." He thinks a moment and shrugs. "Folk topside talk about upworld folk bein' treated a little different. They ain't lyin', if'n you want the truth of it."

He listens to Sparrow reminisce, gray eyes genuinely curious and attentive. "Those are some good un's. I like The Wanderer and Ain't That a Kick in the Head best I think," he offers thoughtfully.

At the comment about meat toughness, he murmurs idly, "Has to do with how much the critter moves. More use the muscle is gets, the tougher it gets. Big ass hog that just lays around is gonna be tender, but if'n it terrorizes villages all the time, it'll be a little tougher. Nothin' a smoker can't melt out though."
Ironface Jones "Sometimes that is true, but if you eat the bigger beasts you are proving that you have more value than them in some way," Ironface explains his theory on eating bigger animals. "Remember that if you did not kill it yourself then you paid for it to be killed, like the deathclaw here. Or someone provided it to you because they saw value in you, like when I fed the giant ants to the poor people of Shanty's Town." He pauses to take a drink before continuing, "It also honors the spirit of the great beasts to be eaten. Being eaten shows the animal's value."

Speaking of eating large animals, Jones digs into his meal heartily, putting the food away rather quickly even though it might be a bit tough. It's probably obvious that he's eaten worse in the past and seems to like this particular meal. Or he's just really hungry. After putting his food down his throat he looks at Jude and nods his head a few times, "I think that is right. Brahmin is better than gecko and they are much larger, but they do not move as much." He's done eating in a moment and washes down his food with a drink. Once he's all done he says, "It is good to talk to you two, but I must leave to start preparing for the hunt."
Sparrow Sparrow smirks. "We know each other pretty well, he's the one who taught me to roll cigarillos and the best way to hold a Revolver. Did you meet Tobi the other day? Another childhood pal. Guess it's not that way down below, huh?" She wonders. Having mentioned a cigarillo the itch in her fingers has begun and she's turning a bit more towards the flat of the counter to stow a box so she can roll a quick tight packed cigarette for herself. "Yeah? Well, tell me about it from your point of view. I've only got the Wasters life myself. Raiders, Ghouls and the occasional friendly face that you only hope you'll see again."

"Aint heard neither of those. They things the band will play at the Vault Diner, you think? I'd be interested to give it a listen. Maybe a couple times so I can try and sing it back to my Aunt and Uncle." She considers this for a moment before being drawn back to Ironface Jones who she considers more intently now that the stern-faced Cowgirl won't be scaring poor Nikki away. "Well I mean I can understand that for Mirelurks, they're decent eatin'. Brahmin too. Radchickens and Radrabbits. But there are some things I don't know that I'd pay to eat. I can just go outside and stand behind Bluebelle if I want to feel like I got kicked in the stomach. You eaten a lot of strange beasts?" She pauses and holds up a hand. "Another time, maybe over a beer at the Saloon. Nice to meetcha. Name's Sparrow Drake." She finally introduces herself and tips her head and lifts a hand in mimicry of tipping the hat currently resting on the counter.
Jude Jude quirks a brow at Ironface getting all spiritual on him. He frowns a little, almost as if he hadn't heard of spirits in that context before. He ends up shrugging and just smiling at the end though. He gives a nod and little wave as the man takes his leave. "Be safe out there, fella. Good ta meetcha."

He ahhs at Sparrow's explanation, piecing it together. "I could tell you and Stockton was close, but I didn't piece together how ole Tobias fit in. Figured he was jus' a tech fella like me that done showed on up." He pauses a moment and squints a little. "We have childhood friends and whatnot down below." He pauses, really reflecting on Vault City life. "It... I guess there's somethin' that bonds folks more when ya gotta count on em to survive. Easier life makes folk a little... hmm... mean with a smile, I reckon. I've only been comin' topside a coupla years though. I was doin' the schoolin' and workin' for my folks mostly til I was... shit, sixteen?" He shrugs. "It's different down there. Always cool. Air ain't so dry or wet. Not fresh either though. Water runs clean. Hot and cold. Hell, I even got me an icemaker in my fridge. Beer is served cold. Food warm. Shower." He shrugs. "It's sort of a different world. Out here... seems almost like them old entertainment vids. John Wayne and Clint Eastwood and stuff."
Ironface Jones "I have eaten very many strange things, some that do not even have names that I know, but rarely have they made me sick," Ironface explains to the woman after a moment of consideration. "I have even eaten a yao guai, which was very large and very delicious." And at the introduction he's polite as he usually is, "I am Ironface Jones, hunter and explorer of the El Dorado tribe and Brother of Steel. Son of Snake Puncher Jones and Spears Badly McCoy of the Sand Lizard clan. It is good to know you, Sparrow Drake." And to Jude he nods deeply, "You do the same." Then he's on his way out the door, ready for whatever comes next.
Sparrow Sparrow watches after Ironface and then looks up to spot a Waitress giving her the eye and she sighs, puts down some caps and gestures to her coffee. She's still a customer. See? She glances after Ironface and back to Jude, "Well there' different levels of Wasters too. Folks like me and Tobi, we're more of the whole rural development folks. Farmers and the like. You get out to the real Wates and folk have to dow hat they can to survive. Eat what they can." She taps her brainpan. "Touches 'em."

When she hears about the vault luxuries though Sparrow's brow creeps towards her hairline and she takes a long pull off her black coffee before sliding off the barstool and moving to take a seat closer to Jude, not forgetting her hat on the way. "What's it like? Out here it's dust baths and rainwater if you're lucky and it's not a radstorm.."
Jude Jude bobs his head as Sparrow says her piece on Wasters. "It's... it's a weirdness to me. How different folk can be. Tribes and Legions and NCRs and Wasters and Vaulties." He thinks then on what it's like, living in a veritable lap of luxury. He starts as honest as he can. "It's hard for me to describe, cause it's what I've always known really. I ain't ever lived anywhere else." He thinks a moment and offers, "It's like this, I guess. If you didn't have to fight, if you could just stay underground, have a robot cook for ya, fix up some machines, and just be... safe... sippin' cold drinks and taking a hot shower when you want... what is important enough to come out? I know why I come up here: I wanna make the upside as safe and comfortable as downside." He shakes his head a little and shrugs. "Folk deserve more'n survivin' and dust showers if'n they can see their way clear to stay civil and civilized, I reckon."
Sparrow Sparrow shakes her head swirling the dark liquid in her mug. "And everyone within those groups. It can get pretty wild." The hard-faced young Drake replies as she leans back in her seat. "I take it there's not a whole lot of variation down there?" She wonders of the people as much as the place. There's no gleam in her eyes, no secret desire to raid the Vaults for her own gain. If the odd looks the Vaulties get around her are any indication she might even distrust them just a little bit. She sips her coffee and focuses on Jude with the intentness of someone used to focusing their interest. It means that there's probably an -uncomfortable- amount of eye contact.

"Sounds a little too much like Heaven for me. Only dead folks belong there. Besides, like Uncle Grant said, hardship builds character." She looks at her almost empty coffee and nods towards the door. "I'm gonna step outside for a smoke. Yer welcome to come along if you like."
Jude Jude thinks a moment and shrugs. "Oh, there is. I mean, you have your folks that do security. Then the more technical like me to make sure it all works right. Leaders. People to make things. People that grow things. It's... sort of like up here, just with more machines to keep stuff clean and doing the little things."

To his credit, Jude doesn't seem to recoil from the intensity that Sparrow shows. He might be young and green, but he truly has a remarkably powerful spirit. He rises to escort Sparrow out for her smoke. "I'll come along, since you offer. Don't look like ole Stockton is comin' back." He smiles a little more and shrugs. "I dunno that it builds character, so much as showin' the stuff folk are made of. Like when them ghouls was rushin' us. We got a good look of the sort of folk we was truly with." He scuffs his boot on the ground. "You know, if'n you want to drop in, y'all are welcome. You've saved my hide more'n once and I reckon it ain't gonna be a rare thing."
Sparrow Sparrow chuckles quietly, "Well, ya ain't fightin' the varmints, and the rads, and the dry soil and the lack of water. But yeah, otherwise, totally the same." It comes off a bit gruff and she's not exactly smiling but the premature crows feet at the corners of her eyes have crinkled a bit around the bright young eyes. "And up here we don't usually have robots to do the little things." She pushes up to stand and pulls on her hat but hooks her glasses into the inner pocket of her duster.

"I don't imagine. He's none too happy with me at the moment. Doesn't like owin' people." She moves towards the exit of the Diner tipping her hat to the cook and making sure to leave a couple extra caps to cover tip and anything extra.

"Drop in, you mean at Vault Town, for visits? Uh, you seem nice and all and I will gladly visit you but.." How does one nicely say 'Vault Dwellers are weird' without just -saying- it like that?

She doesn't try. Instead, she leads Jude outside, "Like you said, we gotta stick together right. And you're part of the people of El Dorado and so I'm happy to give you a hand whenever you need it. Someday, might be you who saves our hide or fixes our wagons."