IC: The Red Tavern I.   Posted by Eye of Harmony.Group: 0
Eye of Harmony
 GM, 198 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 00:04
IC: The Red Tavern I
The nausea after the time vortex jump lingered a little, the disorientation also. It took a moment or two to adjust, so that the time travelers could take stock of their surroundings. It was a less than inspiring experience.

During the day, it had rained. The ground underfoot was that of a cobbled yard, but one strewn with mud, and the occasional lump of decaying vegetable matter, as if they were kitchen leavings. A compost heap stood to one side in the sizable yard, easily large enough to take a carriage. A small brick building at the end of the yard was undoubtedly an outdoor privy.

It no longer rained. Instead, the air was heavy with a thick, rank fog. Far from being just water vapour, there was a reek that spoke of something other, and it infiltrated the lungs like a burning poison at first. The hour of the day was ... uncertain. It was after nightfall, for certain, given the darkness, lit only by a single, guttering gas lamp on the yard wall. But with no visible sky due to the smog, there was no way to tell if it were eight in the evening or three in the morning. It was cold, however, but not bitterly so. A brisk March, perhaps, or a sprightly October... it was impossible to say.

Nearby, there was a lot of noise. From the streets beyond, were footsteps, the sounds of hooves, and of carriage wheels. Beyond those, the occasional honk of a horn that had to be a riverboat. Amidst it all, voices, near and far, some pleasant, others, less so.

Inside the building came more cheerful tones. A piano, excruciatingly out of tune, was being hammered on with psychotic zeal and very little talent. Nevertheless, voices were raised in song, proclaiming that some very lucky fellow had broken the bank at Monte Carlo. Other voices added a lower, ambient tone to the place. There was a distinctive smell of roasted meat, pastry, and the malted fragrance that could only be good, British beer.

There were only two real options, when it came to exploring further. Brave the pub, or the alley beyond the yard. Each required passage through  a door or gate. But which would be the most profitable?
Bernice Summerfield
 player, 21 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 01:04
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
The nausea was, fortunately, short lived. So soon after a stomach of rich food, it might have gone rather badly, but Benny had some experience of traveling through dimensions by inappropriate means. She took a moment or two to get her stomach under control. That would usually mean a deep breath or two, but the stinking fog made that difficult. She hacked, choked, and gagged a little. Eventually, she managed to get back in control of her functions, and took stock of their surroundings.

She walked up to the gas lamp and examined it, being careful not to touch, as she had no doubt it would be very hot. After that, she considered the noise, and the appearance of the pub. She was something of an expert on pubs, having been thrown out of some of the best the universe had to offer. Indeed, she was barred from so many that she was almost the proverbial unwelcome customer.

It all made a reasonable picture. But she needed more evidence. They were in London, she was sure of that, but when? She patted her pockets down and pulled out a couple of things. One looked rather like a space-like tube, flickering with leds and other high-tech gubbins. She held it up and tried to take some readings. They confirmed her suspicions. "Excessive levels of hydrocarbons, fossil fuel waste, and don't even get me started on the sewers. Ladies, gentleman, we are not in Kansas any more. There's only one era in history, and one place, that could produce this sort of reading. We're in Europe, the dawn of the Industrial Epoch. Not the most hygienic place, and definitely not the healthiest, given how paranoid and reactionary the locals can be, but it could have been a lot worse. The Seventeenth Century was far, far worse, and we could have ended up in one of the first three world wars. Actually, we could have landed in the first years of the Dalek invasion. This is definitely better than it could have been."

The second item she had produced from her pockets was a large silver flask. She opened it and took a good swig, followed by a gasp of breathless satisfaction. "Haarrgghhh... Now that definitely blows those temporal cobwebs away!"

This message was lightly edited by the player at 01:58, Thu 18 Dec 2014.

Victoria Waterfield
 player, 146 posts
 Proper Victorian Girl
 Friend of the 2nd Doctor
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 02:07
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Victoria opened her eyes, shaking her head, then let go of the ring to turn around, looking around.  Her face lit up with joy as she twirled in place, ignoring what Beatrice was saying as she took in the scene around her.

"I am home!" she proclaimed, almost giddy with joy and clearly paying no attention to the smells, mud or fog.  "Or I should say, very close!  I have never been here, but I know we are in England, and it is the nineteenth century!  It must be!"

It was almost comical, the change from the frightened young woman to one who was almost giddy with happiness.
The Brigadier
 player, 102 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 02:34
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
A shrug.

"A 120 year time span it's possible. London certainly. Depending on how late, this might be quite close to my own time span." A pause. "Be careful with the smog though. Could prove fatal." He didn't expand much, though he kept a close eye on Destrii - if she wasn't human, and all she'd heard had been from books or TV, she might prove the most vulnerable out of any of them.
Ace
 player, 79 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 02:58
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Ace sneezed.  She didn't look to perturbed by their bumpy ride or the landing.  Then again, she had endured more 'interesting' methods of time travel in her life.  "Gas, which means it's not too early.  Place like this you're not expecting electrics until well into the 20th so that's not much help.  Phew, smells worse than the boy's loos."  Her nose was scrunched up in distaste, but she did not have the look of one about to lose her chips any time soon.

Looking around at the group of them, she let her eyes stop on Destrii before glancing down at her own jeans.  "Sorta nice not to be the one with most clothing issues for a change.  She grinned.  Ace's knowledge of history wasn't exactly indepth, she had mostly picked up bits from first hand experience and occasionally listening to the Doctor when he got into lecture mode.  To that end, she left her own offerings about when exactly they were and let the archaeologist and the local girl get on with it.  "Definitely London though."  Uncurling her fingers from the time ring, Ace headed over to check their two options for further exploration.  If one of the doors happened to be locked, that would make the decision easier.  If both of them were, it would just take a little more time once they made their minds up.  "Victoria...you might wanna...We've probably not landed in the sort of areas of town you visited very much..."  It was a weird protective instinct kicking in, this one was the sort to get herself attacked or kidnapped.  Probably didn't have Mel's lungs on her when it came to yelling for help either.
Destriianatos
 player, 47 posts
 Ensign Destrii
 Starfleet Redskirt
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 03:07
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Destrii had ridden the space–time vortex before, and she was made of sturdy stuff. But she'd been in a capsule then, not hanging onto a ring for grim life. This was bad, and worse for her than for a human. Her better eyesight let her see flashing lights and colours the humans couldn't imagine, fins that let her sense water currents let her feel every movement and change in speed, and a sense of orientation attuned to swimming in three dimensions made her feel dizzy in all of them.

Reeling, she tried to steady herself, to take a deep breath through mouth and gills. Then she got a gill-ful of the reeking fog, heavy with rot and smoke and sewage. Smelling it was bad enough, but tasting it? Feeling literally green around the gills, Destrii clutched her stomach, her unseen barbels drooped, and she doubled over and retched. It was perhaps a good thing she'd had a salad for dinner, else she would've lost it again right now. 'Eurgh! What is this, a toilet? Worse than the slums back home.' she gagged.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:39, Thu 18 Dec 2014.

Ellie Higson
 NPC, 1 post
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 03:49
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
As Ace tried the door to the pub, it suddenly jerked open. But rather than moving under her power, it was pushed open from within, and a figure stepped out into the foggy night. She pushed the door closed behind her, and gave them all a glance that was extremely critical, and not especially impressed. This was odd, given the manner of arrival chosen by the time travelers, and how they were dressed.

When she spoke, it was with an East London accent, but not one that was coarse. It had a degree of intelligence and insight behind it, and the woman, who was probably in her mid or late twenties, combined this with a certain beauty. She was never going to be a society belle, but in a buxom, peasant lady meets English rose manner, she was really quite attractive.

As soon as the door was closed, she spoke in hushed tones, quickly, and in a manner that brooked no argument. "Honestly, look at yourselves! Turning up here at this hour, of all the times to pick! We're packed three deep at the bar as it is, and that privy door hasn't stopped banging all night. What if someone walks out and sees you here? Look at how you're dressed!" She ran her eyes over them all, not missing any details. To Benny, she grudgingly gave a nod. "At least you're respectably covered, if dressing like a man is respectable. I don't know about that sort of thing, not sure I hold with it, meself. As for the rest of you..." The three ladies were skewered with a gimlet eye. Ace obviously seemed to be dressed in clothes that were fit only for navvies and the like. She was dismissed with a shake of the head.

Victoria was next. "You look like a respectable, well turned out sort of girl. You can't go about showing your legs like that! This isn't the music hall, you know. You'll frighten the horses. And as for you..." She rounded on Destrii with a degree of incredulity, "This is not that sort of establishment! I don't hold with it under my roof, you hear me? You can go sell your wares in Covent Garden if it pleases you, but this pub won't be having it, right?"

Finally, she eyed the Brigadier, with some approval. "Still, you're all with a nice, proper gentleman. I do like a man in uniform, and one with a good few pips, at that. Since you're with him, I'll overlook your appearance. But if you're staying, we'd best get you something to wear..." she shot Destrii another loaded look. "At least for her. The rest of you will pass, but you'll get attention. We'd best get you inside, before anyone else wants to head down the yard."

She checked the door, and looked inside quickly, to see if the coast was clear. After that, she turned to Ace, who was closest, and spoke, more as a statement, than a question, "Once we're upstairs, I suppose you'll want to see the Professor?"

This message was last edited by the player at 03:50, Thu 18 Dec 2014.

Victoria Waterfield
 player, 147 posts
 Proper Victorian Girl
 Friend of the 2nd Doctor
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 12:26
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Ace:
"Victoria...you might wanna...We've probably not landed in the sort of areas of town you visited very much..."  It was a weird protective instinct kicking in, this one was the sort to get herself attacked or kidnapped.  Probably didn't have Mel's lungs on her when it came to yelling for help either.


Victoria curbed her enthusiasm and nodded.  "Of course, you are right, 'Ace,'" she replied, still getting used to the other woman's name of choice.  Of course, with this many, it might not be too difficult to stay safe, but who truly knew?

At the tavern keeper's comments, she blushed.  She looked down at her clothing, being very glad that she had chosen the longer skirt that went below her knees.  Of course, this outfit was practically underthings compared to what she wore as a child, so she could understand the woman's dismissal of her clothing.  She smiled briefly, remembering how scandalized she had been when she had worn her first short skirt... and how appreciative Jamie had been!

She looked up suddenly at the comment to Ace.  "Professor?" she repeated.
Destriianatos
 player, 49 posts
 Ensign Destrii
 Starfleet Redskirt
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 12:31
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Too sick and disoriented to protest, Destrii simply stared blankly at the new arrival. The woman was frankly lucky she didn't throw up on her shoes. Destrii couldn't even guess what she was going on about. 'Wha—? You don' like gardeners?' she began. But the effort just sent her stomach reeling again and she groaned with fresh dry heaving. 'Ugh. You got water?'
The Brigadier
 player, 104 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 21:51
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
He nodded calmly to himself, then when the 'Professor' is mentioned he nodded quickly.

"Yes, yes. Quite so. We're hear to see the Professor." One thing he'd noted about timelords, is when they hid in human society, they liked academic disguises; allowed them to show off. Sure, this Mortimus fellow might like monks as a rule - but a monk had problems; in that, at least in the latter part of the human history, they didn't have the authority or the respect to get much done. But a professor though...
Bernice Summerfield
 player, 23 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 21:57
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
The arrival of the woman made Benny whirl and hold the light-flashing tube like a weapon, although what a multi-purpose archaeological scanner could do that was remotely defensive was a total mystery. Perhaps she could ram it up someone's nostril and make their eyeballs glow. Beyond that, it was just so much shiny Christmas decor.

It seemed, however, that this was a friendly face. Well, not friendly, exactly. But not hostile, either. In fact, the response was about as far from the expected as it could get. Did this woman get so many time travelers popping out of the vortex in her yard that she was utterly blase about it all? Rather than being shocked at the appearance (especially at Destrii, what with the legs and remaining slime marks) she seemed more irritated.

Something was fishy. And it wasn't the Star Trek ensign, for once.

On that note, she went to try to help Destrii, offering her an arm to lean on, and holding out her flask of what could possibly be neat industrial solvent, given Benny's tolerance for alcohol. "Try this." Well, it might not help, but it will take her mind off feeling nauseous.

As the woman said the name "Professor" Bernice turned and regarded Ace carefully. In years to come, their relationship was .... complex. This was in Bernice's past, but in this version of Ace's future, so Benny could not let on what was to come to pass. Their complex relationship was more than a simple friendship, but Benny had never been able to put a label on what they were to one another. Ace had been her bridesmaid on the day that she plighted her troth to Jason Kane - and boy, had that been an interesting weekend!

But if anyone knew Ace, it was Bernice Summerfield. This Ace was younger, almost charmingly naive in some ways. That was going to change, and soon. The Doctor would see to that. Benny knew the pain Ace was going to experience, but could not warn her. It was a little heartbreaking, but the timelines had to be maintained.

So she watched Ace carefully for her reaction to the situation...
Ace
 player, 81 posts
Thu 18 Dec 2014
at 23:38
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"You mean...you've got him here?"  Ace boggled at the woman before looking around at her companions to make sure they had heard the same thing she had.  "Then what the bleedin' hell are we doing being told to hop around the time stream finding who had disappeared him before the entire universe vanishes up its own arse because he's not around to sort it out?"  Her voice rose in both volume and pitch as she went on, ending practically on a shout as she stepped towards the suddenly appearing woman.

"Professor."  She repeated to Victoria, far more quietly.  "The Doctor, pretty much the same thing right?  It's sort of a long story."  She seemed to have run out of steam on her anger, at least temporarily.  Once she had got her breath back it would be a different matter though.  She was fully determined to give the Doctor a piece of her mind, swiftly followed by Drax (again), and that Romanawhatsit who was apparently responsible for dumping her in this whole mess.

"Hang on.  Are you saying you did the red gunk and kidnapping riff?  Because if that's the case, we are going to have a problem."  Problem.  Possibly the understatement of the past hour at least.  Although she maintained a calmer tone, the look in her eyes should have had Ellie dropping in her tracks.
Ellie Higson
 NPC, 2 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 00:03
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"Of course he's here! This is usually where you'll find him - when he's not off poking his nose into somebody else's business. Him and his constant companion, been regular here since I don't know when, he has." Her tone was filled with yet more exasperation.

Ellie did not seem to be remotely intimidated by Ace's response. She locked her eyes on that of the younger woman, and there was for just a moment, a tiny moment, something in there. It was hard to pinpoint, but her iris seemed too red, the pupil a little elongated. And then, it was gone. "Wait here. I'll get you some clothes and a mug of water for your friend, then I'll take you upstairs. Don't wander off. It's thick tonight, you'll be lost before you go half a mile."

She slipped back into the pub briefly, and within a couple of minutes reappeared, as quietly as she had left. She bore with her a mug of water of dubious provenance (this was, after all, hardly the era of hygienic drinking water) and a gown that was obviously that of a working class woman, possibly one of Ellie's own. She held them out to Destrii. "Here you go. Now, get a move on, we've wasted enough time as it is!"

It was almost as if she had been expecting them. However, she also hadn't answered any of their more probing questions, either. She was not being evasive. She just hadn't even tried to give an account of herself.
Destriianatos
 player, 50 posts
 Ensign Destrii
 Starfleet Redskirt
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 01:05
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Gratefully, desperately, Destrii took the proffered flask and took a large swig — and gasped, choked, and spluttered as it (a) most definitely was not water and (b) seemed to burn out her throat and gills. Well, it removed the taste of sewage in the air, but she wasn't sure this was much better.

'I call him Doc.' Destrii added feebly, placing a heavy hand on Benny's shoulder for support and passing back the flask. 'Thanks.'

Then the woman had come bag with a mug of what looked like water and some kind of peasant's dress. 'You want me to wear that?' Destrii was aghast, taking only the mug. She sipped it, screwed up her face at the taste of the water, but seemed able to keep it down.
Ellie Higson
 NPC, 3 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 01:16
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"Well, I don't want you to bleedin' eat it, do I? You ain't coming into my pub naked, I'd lose my licence! You can put it on, or you can stay out here!"

Ellie had a degree of formidable personality that suggested she was not someone to be trifled with. Despite that, there was something about her... along the jawline, and her build. It was slightly familiar. She bore a passing resemblance to Professor Summerfield - though only in dim light would anyone ever be able to mistake one for the other.
Destriianatos
 player, 52 posts
 Ensign Destrii
 Starfleet Redskirt
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:01
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
'I'm not naked, I'm wearing a top.' Destrii protested. She was stubborn enough to stay outside, but that meant staying outside in the airborne sewage. And she was too sick to fight over it. 'At least we're not going to catch our death of cold, right?' she said, eyeing the woman and what was different about her.

So, grumbling and complaining, Destrii passed her toys to Benny and peeled off her Starfleet uniform. This she wadded up and tossed to the Brigadier. Amphibians, usually needing to change clothes somewhere inconvenient, had no embarrassment. Hands on hips, she was left standing proudly in the middle of the yard in her only her red bikini and boots. The holographic envelope conformed to the contours of her body, revealing her athletic, statuesque form and physical perfection. 'Enjoy the view, folks.' she invited before grudging taking the dress.

Roughly sorting out the raggy dress — think of it as cosplay — she pulled it on over her head. But she used to have maids to dress her in this kind of thing, so she soon got stuck, lost, and tangled in the sheets of fabric. 'Help!'

This message was last edited by the player at 02:06, Fri 19 Dec 2014.

Ace
 player, 87 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:07
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"You know she wouldn't let you in 'cos she thinks you're a hooker right?  You're not helping."  Despite her words, Ace didn't seem inclined to object to Destrii's determination to display her assets.  She quirked an eyebrow at dying of the cold though, her own jeans were plenty warm for most situations and the jacket helped.  She might stand out a bit among the locals but that was nothing new.

Her steely gaze shifted only briefly from Ellie, she did not trust the woman in the slightest, especially not after her comments about the Doctor or the insistence that he was a regular here.  It wasn't like him to lie to her about utterly unimportant things like which pub he frequented.
Bernice Summerfield
 player, 25 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:15
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"Oh, for Pete's sake!" Benny went to Destrii to help her get into the dress. "You don't need to make such a song and dance about it all. It's better to blend in like a local than wear that outfit and get us into trouble. They'd have you locked up in a compter at light speed if you went around dressed in that outfit."

She fiddled with the buttons and generally tried to make her look decent. She did not seem bothered about bare flesh, but she was a 26th Century girl. By her time, nudity and sexuality were far from being taboo subjects. She even had a cross-species child, which was about as odd as it got, when it came to that sort of thing.
The Brigadier
 player, 111 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:25
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
THe brigadier; whilst he caught the uniform and put it away, quickly averted his eyes. He looked thoughtfully at Ace though - she obviously knew the Doctor as 'Professor'; but he highly doubted it was the same person. No good saying anything about it for now though; just annoy her.
Destriianatos
 player, 54 posts
 Ensign Destrii
 Starfleet Redskirt
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:40
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
'She thinks I'm a gardener or something. What's a hooker? And what's she got against Star Trek anyway?' Destrii complained, voice muffled through the cloth.

Admitting defeat against the damn dress, Destrii surrendered and let Bernice sort it out for her. She was used to being dressed up others, after all. Somehow, Destrii had gotten the dress backwards and her arms in the wrong holes. Getting it the right way around and the holes sorted out, her head popped out, gasping for air like a fish out of water.

'Hey, Drax should have let us change into new duds.' she deflected blame as Benny straightened it out and did the buttons. Destrii still had a feminine build, so she didn't look like an Ogron stuffed into a suit, but the dress didn't really suit someone who could arm-wrestle that Ogron. She was uncomfortable and self-conscious for someone who moments before had posed in public in little more than underwear. Inspecting herself, she looked disappointed at the faded, worn, rough fabric. 'I look totally daggy. I'm used to seriously high fabshion.' She looked down in horror at the long skirt, all the way down to her boots. 'How am I supposed to kick anyone's arse in this?'

This message was last edited by the player at 06:38, Fri 19 Dec 2014.

The Brigadier
 player, 113 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 02:47
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
"You don't. We are here to talk to people; not start a pitched battle. If such is absolutely required, you can leave it up to others."

This was the Brigadier well before he started becoming more mellow. THis was the one still very much in the mindset of "Zoe, would you mind getting a cup of tea." He'd recognised early on that such wouldn't go down well with Benny, Ace or Destrii, but that didn't meant he thought it entirely appropriate to be getting them to fight.
Ellie Higson
 NPC, 4 posts
Fri 19 Dec 2014
at 03:34
Re: IC: The Red Tavern I
Ellie gave a frown, but considered the outfit to be sufficient. "Better. Come on."

She led them into the tavern via the kitchen. Then, up the stairs at the back, usefully avoiding the packed bar. Once at the top of the stairs, she opened a door to one of the rooms, which appeared to be a parlour of some sort - probably that of the actual pub resident owners, rather than one meant for paying guests. The parlour was much as one might imagine. Inexpensively furnished, with most of the contents being decades old. The gaslight resulted in a gloomy glow, but it was enhanced by a warm fire that turned the dingy room into a cheerful sort of place, a whole world away from the reeking, clammy world outside.

Two men graced the room, sat in armchairs beside the fireplace. The first was a well turned out gentleman in later years, his now-grey hair carefully cut. His clothing was expensive, but not ostentatiously so, and while he was clearly a man who took care with his appearance, he was no follower of fashion. His face sported a moustache that was neither overdone nor ridiculous. He seemed to be well into his fifties, but there was a degree of fitness and animation in him, for he was trim of build and bright of eye. He might be long in years, but he was definitely still able to hold his own against what the world threw his way.

The second man was a remarkable contrast. His face was large, jowled, and florid. His nose had the redness that came from drinking too many bottles of ruby port and good, British beer. His paunch indicated that pies and puddings had accompanied the drink, and in good quantities. His eyes, however, suggested intelligence - and a ready wit. In his forties, perhaps, as his hair was only just starting to thin at the temples, and was still a good, dark brown. His clothing was the opposite of his compatriot. Ostentatious, almost ludicrously so, his garb was that of a younger man trying to be fashionable. On him, it seemed far too much, but he did not appear to mind one jot.

When the party of five arrived, both men rose to their feet and gave polite head bobs of welcome, especially to the ladies. They did not seem remotely surprised by the odd outfits worn by some, nor by them being here at all.

Ellie spoke, as if to present the visitors. "Professor, Mister Jago, this here's them what I told you about. And a right rum lot they are too, if you don't mind me saying so."

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 03:35, Fri 19 Dec 2014.