Believer – Scene 3c

“Well, like he said,” Marcus explains, motioning to Jones, who goes back to his tinkering, “This is just the official club time; not much really happens here.  We tend to run games on Sunday afternoons, like about noon ‘til whenever we get done.  Usually have enough for at least five-verse-five, though I think…  Umm, Jonas, was Dave’s bunch coming tomorrow?”

He shrugs, fiddling with the game controller in his hands like it’s a nervous habit.  “I don’t think so.  Dave’s coming but his buds are at some programming tournament or something.”

“MPAIC,” Jones contributes from afar, pronouncing it like “Empayk” means something as a word.

“Right, right, yeah, MPAIC,” Marcus affirms, nodding slightly as he glances as the pause screen behind him.  “So yeah, we’ll be a little short, but it’ll be fine.  Did you want to come, or, I mean, you got your own gear?  We can loan you some if you need it.”

Cecile glides into the room, for a brief moment just looking around and remembering the old days spent in rooms just like it, fighting to stay awake and taking incomprehensible notes she could later always read but never understand.  “Oh, no, I don’t play.  But, I think I can play; my finger can pull a trigger, so, I’ve got that on my side.  Is that the new sequel for this year?” she adds, pointing to the projector on the wall.

Jonas follows her finger and is quick to respond; the question is clearly within his personal wheelhouse.  “Nah, it’s last years; heard they didn’t really change much this year so I skipped it.  Friend picked it up, though, so it’s all good.”

“Mmm.  I heard they really went crazy with the unlockables on the new one.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me; it’s how they stretch it out, justify calling it new, y’know?”

“I suppose they have to make money,” she comments positively, sighing a bit as she sits down on a nearby table.

“Man, don’t even get me started on that, girl,” he fires back, sitting back down on his own chair and spinning the controller in his hands.  “Hey, you want in?  Marc and I were just messing; new folks get priority, you know?”

She shakes her head, maintaining a pleasant smile.  “Oh, I don’t play this either.  I just wanted to see if you’d catch me.  Guess not.”

Both Marcus and Jonas give her an awkward stare, rather different than the polite-yet-interested one they’ve been giving her ever since she entered the room; she is a girl within the realm of men, after all.  Stuffing his hands in his pocket, Marcus calls out, “Hey Jones!  We found you a girlfriend!”

“And I’m finding like a pound of sand in your gearbox,” he replies, unfazed.  “I told you crawling around on the beach like that was gonna cost ya.”

“Hey, that match was awesome!”

“Awesome, yes.  Cool, no.”

{Returning back to Believer again; slow but steady progress, bit by bit.}

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