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Nadya Lunălescu last won the day on April 25 2019

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  1. Nadya strutted into the party arm in arm with Dane as though it belonged to her, as fluidly and naturally as a bird of prey in the air. She could feel every note of pounding, energetic music bouncing off her bones, scintillating, flashing lights reflected off her silver-grey eyes. Her mouth was wide in a shameless grin as she wove through the press of bodies, the TikTok Witch 'casting' her witchy spells spells and curses and hexes with a swat of a wand from her wicker basket, a bump of her hips, or a slap on the ass, iTeru III out snapping pics. The Romani Witch and the Scandi-Californian quickly parts ways to circulate in their own fashions. Nadya scoped a drink from the bar being served by a man with a jackal's head - or maybe it was his actual head - something green and bubbling and sweet, then downed a pair of Skittles that certainly were not Skittles, giving every impression she was subsuming herself into the debauchery of myth and mortals. The first time she'd gotten drunk was at Mercedes' place, swiping some of the good stuff from her parents' liquor cabinet. Mercedes had taken a few sips, but she'd been bolder - or maybe just less concerned with consequences - and taken more than just a few sips. She hadn't regretted at the time, didn't regret it, but she had certainly regretted her first hangover. Her father had thought it a good lesson. She'd been here before, but the mansion seem so much... more than she remembered. Maybe it was because it'd been a few years, maybe it was because she'd changed, or maybe because the place had changed, rather due to the influence of the fantastic or not. Still, they were here for a reason beyond fun. As she danced deeper into the mansion, her thief's eyes circumspectly cased the place with experienced regard, trying to suss out where something precious, something needed might be hidden or guarded. At the same time, she tried to notice if any of the women she knew - assuming the witches weren't so progressive as having possessed a boy's body - were acting out of the ordinary. "Child of Bastet," said a voice in greeting, just barely audible above the music. It was deep, almost reverberating, and accented, maybe Middle-Eastern, by way of schooling at Oxford. Nadya glanced back, then up. The man was tall, a foot or more taller than her, even in her heels, slim and sallow skinned, with a long, ascetic face and narrow beard. She couldn't put an age to the guy, but that might have been the bird head mask (or not mask) he was wearing. He seemed to emanate bemused ennui. "My man!" Nadya called back. She had little inkling of her divine heritage, maybe it was time to learn? Some anyway. "Cousin?" She gestured towards the drink in his hand with her own. "How do drink with the-" She raised her drink so it was in front of her face, then extended it forward, alluding the the vicious curved beak."-y'know?" "With great difficulty," the man - god? - intoned wryly. His heavy tumbler was nearly empty, but his shirt was dry. "As for cousins, perhaps, somewhat removed. I am Khenti-Khas." Nadya blinked. The man sighed in a way that suggested he was used to his name not being recognized. "I protect the noses of the dead, so that those who pass to the afterlife do so whole." Nadya blinked again. That seemed rather niche to her. Then again.... "God of nose-jobs, gotch, dude. There a god of boob-jobs, too? Just asking." She nodded down at her corset doing a damned good job of presenting her chest. "Sometimes I think I could use another cup or two to make an outfit really pop, y'know?" Khenti-Khas mumbled, grumbled, "Every, bloody time. No, there is not. Mine was a noble endeavor, a blessed a charge." Nadya nodded along in agreement, not seemingly mocking the tall man. She considered herself Romani, Reform, maybe. She understood tradition... And she understood that it had to adapt, or at least, that it should. "I don't doubt, Khenti-baby. Some people have hideous noses. They need the help. But serious dude, you ever think of expanding your, erm, operation? Modern times, man. People aren't building pyramids anymore. But plastic surgeons are building better noses, faces, boobs, and most of the rest, every day. Just got to redefine what you think of as a temple."
  2. "He ain't Coach Fingers, but the Arch-man don't coddle much, even if he understands," Nadya added to Austin's words on Mr. Syracuse. She raised her chin in greeting at the taller girl. Nadya sort of recognized her from school, if only to put a name to a face, and that was mostly from having been in detention at the same time, once or twice. "'Sup, Val. Great costume, bit too much pink for this girl. We have to get a thing before some witches use the thing to do a super bad thing with the thing. Then kick the witches out of bloody Mercedes and her minions, and send them back to Hell, or Hades, or whatever. Put 'em back in the ground." She paused for a beat, then clarified, "The witches I mean, not Mercedes and her minions... Although..." Grim gave the impression of pinching the bridge of his nose without actually doing so, just by the tightening of his eyes. "The bougie bitch does have great booze though." Nadya turned and smirked up at Grim, whose gaze had begun to drift again. She jabbed him in the ribs with an elbow. "You don't really think that's Laurel's real costume, do you? That's the decoy." Silver-grey eyes turned to the prim Apollo-donna. Always so proper, Ms. Poppins must be a total freak in private. "Gonna at least give us a peek of what you're really packing to the party under the blue coverup before you jet off, Ms. Poppins?" She'd seen the movies. There was no way Mary Poppins didn't pop a cornucopia of pills from the bag she carried. And Laurel seemed one for verisimilitude when she put her mind to something.
  3. "No point in saving world if you not having fun along the way, no, oh Grimmest of Ones?" Nadya crooned, thickening her Eastern European accent - that hadn't quite faded entirely away after more than ten years living in the US - for thematic effect. She strutted down the crushed rock walk, high-heeled, over-the-knee boots and a glammed up, twisted blackwood swagger stick that would make Madonna proud clicking with each step as she joined the others, giving a spin to show off for the boys. It seemed the impish Romani girl had the same idea as Grim about doing her utmost to irritate the witches. Though instead of a Witchfinder, she'd dressed up as a Witch. A slutty, tacky witch, even for Halloween. Her sequined black dress was cut low in the black, cinched tight about the waist, the laces of the bodice pushing her curves up, and slit down the sides to reveal fishnetted thighs. She wore fingerless, elbow-length mesh gloves along with silver costume jewellery that ranged from passable to ostentatious at throat, wrists, and fingers, and an 'athame' on her hip that probably would have trouble with butter which contrasted garishly with the smartphone holstered on the other side. She topped it off with a tall, black, pointed witch's hat, a silvery-grey eye glittering with mirth and dark red lips spread in a wide, careless grin peeking out from under the broad brim. The boots - towering heels, a thick sole, going up almost to mid-thigh, with neon-pink laces - were all Nadya's though. She pointed at the burritoed one, voice shifting back to her natural tones. "Dane gets it." ~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~ With the last of the goodie-bags she'd spent all day making handed out, Nadya locked up the pawn shop. She walked over to her father sitting behind the counter. The lights in the shop were atmospherically low, her father's face cast in shadows, the tip of his cigarette glowing orange-red as he idly whittled, slivers of pale wood decorating the glass top counter. Nadya set down the basket she'd been using to hand out the goodie-bags then shrugged out of the shapeless black dress she'd been wearing to add a modicum of modesty to her costume, revealing the most immodest version she had on underneath. "Done and locked up, Papa," Nadya said with a demureness that would surprise almost anyone. It didn't last, of course. "Off to my party now." László snorted, twin plumes of fragrant smoke flaring from his nose, nearly invisible in the low light. "This party, Little Nadezhda, it is for play or work?" "Both." "Dangerous." "Oh, Papa," Nadya sighed, scooting around the counter and giving her father a tight hug. "I think danger's always going to be part of my life, now. All the more to live life to the fullest. Better to burn bright and all that." László grunted, his daughter's deceptively strong arms making his ribs creak. He gave her a quick hug back, and pressed his lips to her forehead. "There is something to burning low," he said, raising his brows to indicate the low lights. "But I understand. Just be keeping an eye out for escape if the Tarot hands you a bad card, so you can be burning bright for a while yet. No father should have to bury a child. Now now, let me do, my mortal bones are to frail and brittle for your young strength." "Liar," Nadya protested, letting her father go. "You just grow harder every year." She nodded up the stairs to their apartment above the modest shop. "I just need to grab a few more accessories before I head out. You need me to get you anything?" Not so hard as you think, Martiya, just resigned that I can't stop you from the path that you are on, nor can I follow you on it. Just able to keep an eye on you from the side, for a time. He reached down and thumped the floor with his cane. "Old and wounded, but not an invalid yet, Little One. Have fun, live large, and come back." ~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~+~~ Nadya turned the eye the manor, watching the other party-goers, both mortal and not, mingling and partying, a wistfulness curving her lips. Once, she and Mercedes had been friends, not great ones, but friends enough that she'd been here several times before. She wondered if myths had walked the grounds like this before she'd been Visited and had her eyes opened to the Truth or if this was more due to the Witches' influence. If it was, Nadya still had to grant them they new how to through a party even after being several centuries in the ground. From the black, wicker basket she was carrying, she pulled out a leash and a studded collar. She'd already seen more than one slooty black cat, and at least one was definitely more cat than human. "Think I can find someone or something willing to be my familiar for the night?" Her smile this time revealed very white teeth. "Unless one of you guys want to play the part?" Nadya's irrepressible insouciance took a hit when she noticed a particular someone slouching himself onto the manicured grounds, eyes narrowing in dangerous mischief. "Todd is here?"
  4. [Nadya] Not gonna lie, Nadya was expecting... more. A pentagram burned into the grass or black candles partially melted on the boulders, maybe a creepy scarecrow or two or some abstract thingamajigs hanging from the trees about the clearing, or even a skull somewhere. An old one dug up from a grave or something, not a new one, with bits of meat still on it and a patina of blood, dry or still wet, because ugh! Something! Instead, it was just a bucolic scene, the only pall over it coming from the overcast skies and dry leaves fallen early crackling under their feet, the colour of the trees just beginning to turn. Hardly witching weather at all. But there was nothing! Or, at least, there appeared to be nothing. "That's what the Witch-Bitch wants us to think, Rae-Rae," Nadya countered, burying doubt behind brashness, a finger tapping her temple, her other hand patting a pocket, feeling the Goddess-granted knife inside. Through the pang of resentment and disappointment the wiry Romani offered the Aesir Athlete a scoffing smirk. "You don't think she'd make it that easy, do ya? Let's look 'round a little. Maybe old witches aren't good at math and messed up on the coordinates something. Can't expect them to figure out GPS that quickly right?" This was a totally fantastic and insightful idea, and while Nadya hadn't really expected it to be that easy, how awesome would it have been if she'd been proven right just as soon as they had stepped into the clearing? Rachel snorted doubtfully. "Riiiight. I think the baddest things we're going to find here are some broken beer bottles and some stubbed out joints." "I betcha we find something more than that," Nadya said as she began padding out into the clearing on the balls of her feet, silent and sure-footed despite her chunky heels. "If I'm wrong, I'll take your next turn at giving Wolf a bath, if I'm right, you take mine." Rachel blinked, then followed after her Moon-touched - in more than one sense of the word - friend. "Hey! You haven't washed him once yet." Nadya flapped a dismissive hand behind her. If wasn't her fault that it just very, very conveniently fell out that way through precisely factored machinations of her own. She wasn't a tracker, but her sharp, silvery eyes knew what a crime scene looked like, what it felt like, and what it took to cover it up. She looked for disturbed dirt, where something may have been buried or dug up, sniffed at the air, for traces of burnt... anything, sage or patchouli or eye or newt or whatever else witches might use in their spells. "You heard what Archie said 'bout this place. Beasties and baddies hiding here, just waiting to be stirred up, seems like just the place for a witch to cause some trouble for Salem. Y'know, rile up a... wicker man and a swarm of bees," Nadya said softly, listening for any sort of possibly riled up beastie. "Or a Nemean Skunk or something. At least none of the guys are with us, right? Might've been been pestered by one of the Nymphs on the way if we were." "C'mon, Nads, be serious," Rachel growled, gloved hands balling into fists. "I am. Those nymphs are worse than the Plastics in Mean Girls, not to mention making a girl question her own quite evident hawtness." She flashed the blonde a quick grin over her shoulder. "Not me, of course." Nadya turned back to the near picturesque scene, idly continuing her blather. "Do you think there might be unicorns in these woods." She couldn't quite quell a childhood squee at the thought of riding a Gods honest fucking unicorn. "Probably aren't prancy horses that fart rainbows though. Badass mofos that go berserk at the scent of wap, ya think?" Rachel sighed. "Let's just get this done and meet up with the others at the cemetery, 'kay, Nadya?"
  5. Okay, Nadya had totally not intended to let it go that far dealing with Adrianna, especially as she was someone who could tie Dane up in knots like that. She'd just been curious what Grim would do or say when put on the spot. He'd done... fine, maybe a little bland, in her consideration, but totally props for the possible flirt. But then Lite Bright sunbeamed her way in and Nadya couldn't help but think about her failed attempt at pulling a fast one on Marius and failing utterly. Risk. Reward. Sometimes for a big payoff, you had to gamble. Problem was, she hadn't been the one to pay the forfeit. It had been their loved ones. She could have cried about it not being fair, but she knew what he father would have said about that. While she did believe that there was a tendency towards Balance, no one ever said it was timely or didn't need help at times, nor that it couldn't be cheated. She hadn't needed Lite Bright's excoriation, having felt enough of a shitheel. She couldn't thank Dane enough for coming to her dad's aid. Then Fisher mentioned the Nekyia and Nadya had felt the air sucked out of her lungs, like her death's breath slipping inexorably through her lips. She'd thought she was over being trapped inside her own mind, but it seemed it wasn't the case, the trauma lingering in the dark corners of her head. The Romani girl couldn't help but wince in sympathy and feline delight as Grim icily tore into Fisher for his blunder. Grim laid out his plan of action and left, followed by Laurie, sunlight after shadow. Fisher trudged out a moment later, looking like death warmed over at the prospect of telling Archie what he'd done. After him, Dale slunk out like a dusky, busty cat on her growling motorcycle. And finally, it felt like Nadya could breathe again. Basking in the deliciousness of the confection Darcy had bestowed on her - it was more of a hot milkshake with several pumps of vanilla and raspberry syrup than mere coffee - she pondered where they'd already gone and where they were going, trying to track down the bitchy witches as they witchly bitched about town, trying to fit the pieces together, enough to get an idea of what the con looked like. She got a text from Fisher, updating her about the dead birds being found at the pier. She furrowed her sharp brows, then swiped to Google maps, pinning locations. One point, a second... The Rule of Three, three witches... "Then we should go in pairs, at least, Aquaboy," Nadya countered, with a grin, draining the last of her 'coffee' and popping up to her feet. "You go join Fisher at the pier. Rae-Rae, you're with me." "Why am I going with Fisher?" Austin asked, not that he was opposed, just out of vague but habitual caution whenever Nadya proposed... almost anything. Nadya gave him a silver-eyed stare of seeming genuine puzzlement. "Dude? Pier? Water? Splish-splash?" She pointed at him with a pair of fingers. "Aquaboy. Kinda obvious, don'tcha think?" Austin sighed and began to shrug on his coat. "And where are you girls going?" he asked just as Rachel said, "And where are we going?" "Not sure, yet, but I'll let you both know when we get there. C'mon, Rae-Rae, we have our own sleuthing to do before joining the others at Harmony Grove. We can get Wolf on the way." Grunting in belligerent resignation, Rachel followed the short, wiry felony in oddly silently clomping heels out of the Drip. "Seriously, Nadya, where are we going?" "Three witches, right?" Nadya said, flashing her phone at the taller Scion. "Right..." "Two things of the weird the others are checking out. We're gonna look for a third. The other two happened here and here." Nadya showed the points on a Google Map on her iTeru III. "Looking for patterns and shit, I figure they are witching themselves a triangle. Why else hit places as random as the pier and Mrs. Cunningham's garden - I mean, unless that's where they are hanging out and they are oozing out radioactive protoplasm or junk. If we're looking at a roughly equilateral triangle, the third point would be here, or here. The middle of Salem Harbor seems unlikely, so let's try the other one first, hey? It that doesn't pan out, well, Aquaboy can check the other. Or at least get us a boat." The tall blonde gave the sleek brunette a weird look. "What?" "You know what an equilateral triangle is?" "Oh, go drown yourself in the sludge of the Nile. I'm fine in math. You got a nose for guilt, I got eyes for crime scenes, and Wolf just has a nose. For smelling stuff. Let's see if we can scrounge ourselves up a clue on what's going on."
  6. Even Nadya was at a lost for words, for a moment at least. Dude was big. True, Spearfinger had been taller, but super fugly, with stony, scaling skin that desperately needed some top line moisturizer. But Maurice looked way more, er, human, which made his sheer mass even more imposing. He kinda looked like a bigger, buffer, Terry Crews, y'know, except for the dreads and single eye. And Nadya couldn't help but wonder with fascinated unease what he was packing in his cargo shorts that were entirely too close to face level. Good on you, Archie, good on you. Maurice wasn't a dwarf, but Nadya wasn't disappointed. Nadya gave herself a little shake then craned her neck to meet his eye, a cheery grin spreading wide on her face. What did he use for a pair of shades when he went out in the sun? "My man! Maurice!" Nadya crowed, holding out (and up) a hand for a fist bump. Maurice seemed bemused, but obliged, the disparity in sizes of their fists delightfully ludicrous. "We da - we are the kids, fer sure. Archie gave us your name, but neglected a few details. I'm Nadya, and these are my Band mates." She quickly gave the Rastafarian Cyclops the names of the rest of the party, then reached into her satchel and pulled out one of the bigger shards of what appeared to be pure ruby, and letting him see there were more. The shattered remnants of the heart of Cherokee myth that had been way too real. But then again, all the myths seemed to be. "And we're here 'bout this, big guy," Nadya said, holding up the shard for Maurice's inspection, though ready to snatch it back in case he tried to swipe it. "The Heart of Spearfinger. Archie said you're the man to make something out of it."
  7. The delight on Nadya's face wasn't just for picturing a hive-ridden particular daughter of Aphrodite. If Fisher - and most others - thought study was anathema - another word-a-day word - to her, that was more than fine with her. And was the intent. While admittedly, her studying at school was... inconsistent at best, you couldn't pull off a good con or heist without at least some planning, even if you had to expect to adapt when things inevitably went wrong. “Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.” Nadya glanced back over her shoulder at the ancient arithmetician. "Just one more teensy thing, Archie, Maurice, yeah, Titanspawn, got it, but what exactly is he?" The svelte and wiry young woman perked up on her perch on the edge of the table, giving the impression of clapping excitedly without actually moving her hands. "Is he dwarf? Like an actual dwarf, not a little person? He's a dwarf, isn't he? We should at least bring him a case of beer or something."
  8. In which Eddy and Dixie talk to Ian A. A. Watson about his latest projects, including some more details on the recently-announced Trinity Continuum: Anima! Faxanadu on NES Streaming video games on Twitch More farty horns and Dixie’s Wikipedia Corner Ian reveals his middle names! We remember the rough times we had recording episode 4 How things have been in the past couple of years Ian is still a well-known shitposter Trinity Continuum: Anima The Crash Surprising inspirations Internet shit MMOs have their own language and cultural impact The Glass brain implant Different things to try in Trinity as a result The importance of media touchstones Why it’s not set during the Aberrant War M20 Victorian Mage How Ian’s evolved as a creative Interpreting Matthew’s dreams Impostor syndrome and making something with your hands LINKS: Faxanadu: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faxanadu Matthew’s Twitch: https://twitch.tv/matthewdawkins Jay and Miles X-Plain the X-Men: https://www.xplainthexmen.com Mamoru Samuragochi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamoru_Samuragochi Trinity Continuum Core Rulebook: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/260788/Trinity-Continuum-Core-Rulebook?affiliate_id=548232 Otherland: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otherland Mass Effect Franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Effect X-Com Franchise: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-COM Technocracy Reloaded Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/m20-technocracy-reloaded
  9. Nadya gave the newest member of their Band a quick once over, impish grin on her face and silvery-grey eyes alight. Chin cupped in her hands, elbows propped on the makeshift table, her hips rolled fluidly from side to side as she shifted her weight. "Don't mind Grumps over there, Dale. Grim doesn't know how to party and is now getting thrown into the deep end." Her grin widened and she flashed Grim a teasing wink. "Sink or swim time, Loquacious One." "Loquacious?" Grim drawled. His other eye was as grey and barren and unyielding as an overcast sky over a coal-mining town in winter. "I read," Nadya asserted with the slightest pout. Grim's grey eye seemed to convey extra... greyness. Nadya chuffed in irritation. "I have one of those word-a-day calendars, 'kay?" Grim's chin lowered, his gaze unwavering, as though looking at her over a pair of bifocals. Nadya rolled her eyes as she stood up and stretched. "So, I only got to February fourteenth, what about it?" Nadya sauntered lithely about the table, chunky-heeled boots barely a whisper, and sidled up to Dane. She hooked an arm through his, and reached up with the other to ruffle his blond mane. "It's a good thing you're yummy-cute and have the best herb, Burritosson." Dane smiled as though he'd just won an Oscar. "Wanna go with me, Moonbaby? We can do the couples thing like Darce and the Fishman. You'd make a foooine taco." Nadya laughed, then leaned around him to stick her tongue out at Grim. "I ain't figuring out nothing, Grim." Fisher snicked and Nadya shot him a friendly finger without looking back. "I have my costume ready to go. And yes, it is tight and super slooty. And has a hint of Salem folklore, for that little bit class. I'm going as Abigail Breslin-" "Williams," Fisher and Darcy said in saccharine synchronicity. "-Williams, one of Salem's most famous witches." Nadya's grin barred some teeth as her turned her attention towards Dale and Rachel. "And I aim to misbehave. So whaddaya say Rae-Rae, Dale, wanna join me in painting targets on our backs to try and draw out these wicked bitches?"
  10. Nadya's pencil beat a rapid tattoo on her binder, eagerly waiting for the last class of the day to end. Her page of notes had devolved into a hieroglyphic representation of some Rube Goldbergian monstrosity used to purloin... something. Nadya wasn't a particularly good artist. It might have been a document stating she owned Amazon entirely or a reverse giraffe. Her eyes were on the clock rather than her doodles. She swore she'd seen the minute hand move backwards a tick - which would have been far from the strangest thing she'd ever seen, especially recently. The bell rang and Nadya was out of the door before the chime finishing chiming, a dusk-coloured sirocco in chunky heels, her phone practically materializing into her hand. The teacher was death on students who played with their phones during class, and Nadya hadn't been about to risk having a gift from her mother taken away, even for a few hours, maybe a day. Beyond that, no phone! Shudder. Neither she nor Grimes had a shift at From Dusk Til Pawn today, and she was pretty sure the rest of the Band was free too. They'd better be, or they'd miss out on Big Fugly's broken ruby heart. It was time to talk to talk to Archie about the shards leftover from their take down of the Cherokee Spearfinger. Okay, okay, it was waaaay past time. She hadn't been hoarding them for herself. Really, honest. She'd just been... y'know, trying to see if she could figure out what to do with them on her own. Independent Study. It hadn't gone too well. Okay, it hadn't gone at all, since all her ideas about research on this stuff lead right back to Archie... which was right where she was ending up going, anyway. <We got some mats. Gotta find out where to go with them to make them into stuff. Meet up at Archie's> Nadya tapped out briskly on her phone then texted to the Band. Actually, Grimes hadn't even been there, but it would seem kinda rude and backhanded to uninvite him now, especially since she was his ride today. Can you say awkward? He could get the smallest piece of shattered ruby monster heart. When Nadya started getting close to the rather too impressive library for Salem High, she slowed her brisk pace to one more lackadaisical and aimless, them slipped inside while no one was looking. She couldn't be seen to be wanting to go to the library, even if she had been going there a lot more often as of late. She ghosted through the stacks to where Archimedes laired. "Hey, Archie! You around?" Nadya trilled lightly as she looked around for the erstwhile librarian and god. "You said come see you if I - we - wanted to start on that 'independent study' you mentioned."
  11. I was about to post or PM for details about said guy. If you had already sent me some, I'll admit to completely forgetting about them.
  12. I'll stick around. As an aside, guys, Artemis might be just a tad, a smidge really, miffed, about something that may or may not have gone missing, that in a roundabout way, if you squint really hard, could be considered the fault of someone in particular. I don't wanna name names...
  13. Nadya's lips twitched in a small smirk when Grim's eyes went back to the phone, but her pale gaze lingered on the pale scar over his eye, wondering again how it had happened. She opened her mouth to ask, but when Grim looked back up at her and nodded, proclaiming his satisfaction, she nodded back, mouth spreading in retail grin. She enjoyed browsing as much as the next girl, but the best customers were the ones who knew what they wanted and didn't dither of decision for a thousand years. You usually couldn't upsell them, but on the other hand, you could make ten sells for every dithering. "Alright then, good choice," Nadya said. "Let me grab you some of the accessories and get you rung up." Nadya disappeared behind the counter for a moment, then popped back up with a cardboard box full of electronic brick-a-brac. "Charger for the phone, phone case - do you want Minions or Bedazzled?" she said, holding up a case in either hand for his inspection, grin broad and eyes sparkling. Grim's stoic bland expression still seemed to radiate affront. "Nah, I'm kidding, I wouldn't wish these on Mercedes and her Pink Slip Amazons... well, yeah, I totally would. Here, black." With practiced motions, she slipped on the textured rubber and plastic over the phone and handed back to Grim, then began digging in the box once more. "Power-cord for the Chromebook." She plugged it into the Chromebook to make sure it fit. "Oops, not that one, this one-" She was interrupted by a rap at the cash counter. She and Grim both looked around to find László hanging his cane on the counter once more. "No, be giving the boy the newest Chromebook we are having. Same price. He is missing much, and is having much to catch up on." Nadya raised her brows in surprise. "I swear, he has hearing like, um - I don't know who the Egyptian Heimdall is, so, like, Heimdall's," Nadya whispered. The shop was quiet save for the soft skirling of violins over the speakers, but they hadn't been speaking particularly loud. "He always knows everything going on in the shop." Grim gave Nadya a muted shadow of a smile, then met László's gaze directly. "I appreciate the offer sir, but it isn't necessary. This one is sufficient." "Bah!" László waved a dismissive hand. "I am expecting more than only sufficient from my daughter, and I am thinking you are expecting more from yourself, boy." He gave Nadya an assertive, pointed nod before his eyes shifted back to Grim. "Speaking of the sufficiency, my little daughter-" "I'm not that short," Nadya huffed, putting away the two Chromebooks she had brought of for Grim's inspection and pulled out another, a little bigger than the others, and while clearly a newer model, the lid showed the scuffs of hard use or little care. She pulled out another box, slim, the corners beaten and opened it up, showing neatly arranged cords with twist ties, and styrofoam packing, leaving a perfect fit for the laptop. "-is not being sufficient to be helping me with the shop, she being often busy with other... things." Nadya blew a raspberry. "I am thinking I am needing more help. Are you being interested? You are being the growing boy still, I am seeing the signs, and I am thinking you can be using more of the money. Some of your wages, it would be going to make up the difference."
  14. "Just so. It is being best not to believing half what you are reading, and little more what you are seeing," László agreed with amiably gruff amusement, a sage nod, and a twinkle in his eye. Behind him, Nadya shook her head vehemently over her father's shoulder, trying to convey silently to Grim that her father wasn't in the know about Gods and Titans and Monsters, but Grim suspected László caught the motion, though he gave no sign of it beyond a slight curve of his mouth. The elder Lunălescu picked up his cane and swung it behind him without looking, giving Nadya a light swat on the thigh. "My milaya doch', help the boy finding the things he is looking for," László to his daughter, hanging his cane off the edge of the counter once more. "Me, and am doing the sorting of the jewels for what to sell, and what is for the keeping, so that those they are meaning much may recover them." He gave Grim another scrutinizing glance, then looked over his shoulder at Nadya. "And you, Nadezhda, be a good host and be offering him a sandwich. You are being as skinny as the rail, boy." Nadya rolled her eyes in exasperation, but when her father shifted, a demure expression came over face so quick, Grim began to doubt he had even seen the roll of eyes. She swiftly finished her sandwich, then picked up the tray. "Of course, Tată," she said docilely, and her father snorted, clearly not fooled. She skipped down the two steps from the counter area, and offered the tray to Grim. "There's egg salad, tuna, and ham and swiss," Nadya said, indicating each lightly toasted sandwich with a nod. Only one half of the tuna sandwich remained on the wooden tray. "Grab one, oh Grim one, and let's see about getting you hooked up and online." Grim hesitated for a moment then picked up the other half of the tuna sandwich and flashed the Lunălescus his reserved, understated smile. Nadya gave him a mock pout before she slid the tray back onto the counter, then beckoned him to follow her with a pair of waving fingers. "Someone has good taste. This way." Nadya led Grim to a counter at the back of the shop, what passed for the electronics section, and took the two steps up in a hop. She glanced down the glass counter top, then gave a Grim a quick, considering look that almost made him want to check his pockets to find out what was missing. Then she pulled out two transparent trays of cellphones. Strips of masking tape indicated the price range, 40-99 dollars in one tray, 100-199 in the other. Nadya walked further down the counter and leaned on it, the two steps up bringing her eyes up just a bit higher than Grim's. "What're looking for in a laptop, Grim? Video games or video editing, big screen, or just something for homework and wikipedia?" "Research and homework mainly," Grim admitted. A shrug. "Entertainment secondary, I suppose. Why?" "Dude, you are so wrong 'bout that, but I got you. I could get you a good deal on a gaming laptop. Great specs, 19 inch screen, whole buncha games on it still, but it's almost as thick as a phonebook and weighs as much as Wolf, with a battery life of about two minutes." Nadya tapped on the glass counter pointing out the beastly laptop with a biohazard decal on the lid, then she pointed to two other smaller, slimmer models, one newer than the other. "But it sounds like what you want is a Chromebook. A hundred for this one. They're perfect for surfing the net and youtube. And homework, I guess. They're kinda between a tablet and a PC. Talk to Beth at school, and she get even get Netflix working on them, probably update the operating system on the older models," "I don't have an Netflix account." "Pshaw! I don't either. Lotta people do though and don't even come close to their device limit. I can get you a password or two." She pulled out the Chromebooks for him to look at then reached and slid the trays of cellphones over between them. "And these are probably our best deals on phones. The newest stuff is practically full price 'cuz fanboys are gonna iPhone, no matter the price. The Nokias might be old, but are nearly invincible. We actually have a pair of Blackberries left, if you want buttons, then a whole bunch of touchscreens." She rifled through the cheaper tray and pushed one of the smartphones with a bigger screen to the side. "If you don't mind a crack on the screen than you can barely see unless you look at it at the right angle, we got a newer Samsung for under a hundred." Nadya tapped the wall behind her, at product hanging from pegs. "I'll even throw in an SD card for more storage. Give them a look over, I'll be right back." Nadya scooted back to the cash counter, grabbing another half of sandwich, ham and swiss this time, and her mug of coffee, then sauntered back to the electronics counter and her newest Bandmate.
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