The Gambler is sitting at a table with a bunch of smaller dishes of food set in front of her and a row of bottles on which she's written numbers with a grease pencil. She's also got a stack of small cups. She munches on what looks like a pickle and contemplates her set up, then sits back, fidgetting with the grease pencil as she thinks.
Today, she's wearing a t-shirt that is a cartoony model of the solar system except all the planets have been replaced by dice and a slightly-below-the-knee skirt printed like a roulette wheel. All black and red and two green wedges down each side with the numbers and gold edging between the wedges.
Into the dining room from the dispensary comes the infrequently-seen Fatalist. He's maybe in his late 20s and looks like he hasn't slept in days, his brown hair is standing straight up, and there are dark circles under his eyes. He's got on a ratty black t-shirt with a picture of an incensed Daffy Duck raising up his index finger in protest or something, and stained-looking red sweatpants. There's a chipped coffee mug in one hand, a smouldering cigarette poking out from his fingers there. He looks at The Gambler for a long moment and grunts, like he hasn't decided what to say to her yet.
The Gambler looks up and blinks for a moment, then smiles brightly. "Hey. I don't think I've met you, yet. I'm Flick! What should I call you here? Want to play mystery drink? Or another game? I have a couple of games out in the parlor and could go get different ones." She looks so hopeful.
"'Fuh-lick'?" The world rolls off Fatalist's tongue like he's just tasted something bad. His face is all scrunched up now, but he wanders closer, drinking from his mug. "Call me...I don't know. Mark. Call me Mark." He squints again, like he's not exactly sure where the name comes from, but there you go. He wanders closer still, not answering her questions, and stares down at the stuff in front of her. "What the hell are you doing, anyway?"
The Gambler grins. "Okay, Mark, it is. Nice to meet you." She glances at the table. "Well, I was trying to figure out a way to play mystery drink here. Which... you can't really do proper mystery drink, because properly it involves going to a grocery store which stocks international food of some kind and picking bottles labelled in a language you don't read or called something you've never seen and then trying them and first trying to figure out what they are and then if you like them or not. But here, you can't really do random, though you can get other people to get you things. So... I figured I could set up mystery drink for other people. I got a bunch of things I've tried... or remember, kind of, having tried. Or... whatever. It's confusing. Anyway, I got a bunch of things I figured other people migh not have had and I was going to let people try them and then... well, it's really hard to award prizes here, but people would get to try new things, which is its own reward, right?"
The Fatalist sniffs, taking a drag off his cigarette. "Oh, yeah. Trying new things is always its own reward. Rewards like STD, permanent disability, maybe dismemberment..." Despite all that, he pulls out a chair next to her and plops down, sighing. "I'll try your stupid game. Why the hell not. Not like there's anything else to do." He looks like maybe he's been up for awhile...trying to find something else to do. Like a way to claw out of the cage of his own mind, or something else equally fun.
The Gambler shrugs. "Well, it is best to know the potential downsides to something going in, yes. That said, unless you're allergic, I promise none of the drinks will be fatal or start turning you into a vampire. Or lead to blindness. Though... given that some of the other people like to drink things until they die in the parlor and then they're back the next day, I'm not sure that would actually be a problem, really." She considers her bottles and reaches for one, pouring a small amount into one of the little cups. "Let's start with this one." The liquid is a very clear soft yellow color, just edging towards amber. Slightly sweet, a tiny bit floral, but gently so.
Mark himself smells a bit like the inside of a distillery. Probably not just coffee in that mug. He does put said mug down and lets the cigarette dangle from his lip as he reaches for the little cup. "So, what am I supposed to do exactly? Drink this thing and try to guess what it is/'
The Gambler nods and grabs a little fried ball of something from one of the plates. "Yep. Guess what it is. Well, and decide if you like it. But that's more so you can know to order it in the future, if you do." Then she pops the ball into her mouth and munches.
"Chances are, I ain't gonna like much." Well. At least Mark knows something of who he is, right? He gives Flick another dubious squint as she wats whatever that mysterious fried ball is, sniffs the little cup, and then tosses the whole thing down the hatch, wincing like he expects it to be alcoholic. Which it decidedly is...not. He smacks his lips, still making a face. "It tastes...I dunno. Floral? Floral and weird. Like I have grass stuck in my throat or something." That face, while dubious, also looks a bit blank. He clearly doesn't know what it is on first try. "Jesus, I don't know. This is some hippie shit."
The Gambler laughs. "The balls are takoyaki. And... not hippie shit. I mean... they totally would, but it's Chinese. Floral isn't a bad guess really. but do you like it? You don't have to like it." She considers. "Okay, do you want another non-alcoholic thing or something with alcohol?" She grabs a cucumber slice with some sort of reddish powder sprinkled over it, next.
It's clear Mark doesn't know what takoyaki are, either. "No, I don't like it." He says that like it should be obvious, sliding the cup away like it's personally offended him. Without a second thought he says: "Alcohol. Need to get the taste of flowers out of my mouth. Blecch."
The Gambler hmms and considers the bottles before her, then reaches for one about half-way along. She pours a little. This time the liquid is a deep red. Definitely alcohol, though wine, rather than anything harder. It's fruity, but not grapes... something darker, a hint more bitterness, but also more acid sharpness, with a hint of sweetness at the end.
Once again, Mark pretty much chugs it, then smacks his lips several times. Maybe he's holding the liquid in his mouth...or maybe he isn't and just doesn't care that much. "Huh. Kinda like wine?" He gives her a quizzical, almost skeptical look. "Wine, but...different. It's not port, is it? I feel like it's not quite port..."
The Gambler shakes her head and grins. "Not port, no. It's wine, but not from grapes. Port would be stronger. And how do you like it?" She grabs a chicken wing while he answers, though it's covered in a sauce that looks like it might be made from peanut butter. Maybe?
"Eh. It's too...I dunno. Fruity for me. It's better than the hippie tea." Mark licks some of it off his lips. "So if it's wine, and it's not made from grapes, what the hell is it?" He scowls and takes a drag on his forgotten cigarette, then drops it into the little cup. "I'm apparently shittastic at your little game. Sorry." He doesn't sound terribly sorry.
The Gambler laughs. "You're actually not doing badly. Honestly most of the time people have no idea what things are. I mean, if you've never tasted something, why would you know what it tasted like. And it's pomegranate wine. Okay... alcoholic or non-alcoholic for next round? And feel free to have some of the food, if you'd like." She's all smiles, clearly enjoying this.
"Pomegranate wine? Huh." He sounds a bit intrigued, but mostly disgusted. Like he clearly thinks it's a bad idea. "Alcoholic." An eyebrow is raised at the food. "I mean, I don't know what half of /that/ is, either. Wherever the hell we are, apparently it's left me with no great knowledge of weird food and drink. Which, honestly, I'm fine with."
The Gambler shrugs. "My... the person I was in Lake Havasu liked trying new things and had spent a bunch of time at loose ends in San Francisco. Though... if Dare's right, some of thise may already have been in there from my sort of core personality anyway." She scrunches her nose and considers the bottles, then takes the last one in line and pours a small bit out into a cup, handing it over. This one is... defintely boozy. Like the alcohol scent hits your nose as soon as the bottle is opened boozy. It's clear. Not quite everclear, but definitely in the 'someone decided that normal vodka wasn't strong enough' range. It's harsh and very alcoholic and has a sort of backnote of... sweat socks? Yeah, kind of like sweat socks. Flick hands the cup over and watches him carefully on his reaction to this one.
"If who's right?" Mark has a look of cynical confusion on his face for a moment. "I barely remember Lake Havasu. I barely remember anything. I sure as shit don't remember you. Which is why I think I'll keep drinking." He downs this new glass and coughs a little, thumping his chest. "Okay, at least THAT one has a bite. And not a delicious one, either, which makes it even better."
The Gambler hmms. "Hector in Lake Havasu. I'm not sure which other events? Encounters? Whatevers there have been. He goes by Dare, here. And I'm not really clear on the order for the other things. I'm new. Anyway, if you want more of that, it's called Maotai, though... I think... baijuu is the more general term. It was, apparently, one of Richard Nixon's favorite drinks." Pause. "I have no idea why I know that." She considers her bottles. "I think that's the strongest thing I've got. Though I have a couple cordials which don't taste as alcoholic, but can get people in trouble because they're way boozier than they taste like."
Mark shakes his head. "It's all fuzzy to me. Like, I know I was there...but it's like I lived those memories through a fishbowl. I was somewhere else before that." His hand crawls over to the mug he set aside before and he takes a drink. "Space or something. I should be more bothered about it than I probably am." Once again, though, he wrinkles his nose when she explains maotai to him. "Knowing that Nixon likes it makes me never want to order it. Which is too bad, because I think /I/ actually /liked/ it, for a change."
The Gambler snickers. "Well, I'm sure plenty of other people liked it, too, who weren't Nixon. I mean, it's always around in Chinese grocery stores, so someone else must drink it. Order it if you like. I won't tell anyone." She considers. "If it was space, I think he was Angel there. Though he apparently wasn't very fond of that life. So..." She shrugs again. "Anyway, it was nice to meet you. Hopefully we can meet again. If you let me know your favorite boardgames, I'll try to have a copy out in the parlor in case you stop by."
"Thanks, but I'll probably just stick with bourbon." Mark scuffs his chair back, scraping it against the floor. He squints and scratches his stubbly chin. "Angel. Sort of rings a bell. I doubt anyone remembers me, either. Why would they? What's the point?" He grunts again, beginning to wander away. "All boardgames are rigged. Just like everything else in life. See ya around." With that, he disappears farther into the Facility.