(2020-09-28) Something Completely Different
Something old is new again, in the Old Spanish Fort.

The Sanctuary, Calaveras
Mon Sep 28, 2020

There is a rustic feel to the place, having some decorations left from it's time as a more fancy restaurant. Though a lot of the walls are now covered with banners with different symbols from pop culture. From Star Wars symbols to World of Warcraft and several others. Parted up into sections. The general feel of the place is more towards a classic inn feeling. However interspersed with modern. With the modern games, as well as arcade games and other more modern things such as air hockey being towards the area where the more sci fi elements are present. Pinball machines and similar also line the wall.

Other areas have a bit more varied with bookshelves with board games and piles of sheet for pen and paper games. Even behind the bar, where several different spirits are present there also seem to be more things one can ask staff of. The menus have some food served, and all things seem inspired by pop culture, or geek culture. Even the drinks. The lighting kept bright enough to easily see, but with lighting that create an ambience. Such as a orange neon string lining higher up and casts down a warm color. Giving the fantasy inn feeling. The usual music being a variation of medieval, Viking, and some more fantasy stuff.

Off towards the long end of the room, in the corner, is a small scene. Which seems to be set up for different events. Be it sing-along nights, or trivia. Or anything else really. A simple set up but has a screen nearby and also large enough for some live music. The platform of the scene being slightly raised compared to the rest, allowing one to look out over the crowd.


The place has started to get the word out, having been open for a little bit now. The lighting is slightly dimmed to give an atmosphere, but still enough light to be able to play games. Some of the tables have living light as well, for those just relaxing in here. A few people currently sitting at a few tables and the old games of pinball and perhaps one or two arcades are busy. But other than that most things seem able to be played with.

At the bar is Grant, humming along to the music that offers ambience to the place. There is a menu for drinks, but also a list for what games are available, for those that don't want to go through the physical games themselves. A glass of coke getting sipped by Grant as he waits for people to come over. Watching those present with a small smile on his face.

It's not often that either one of the Wrights siblings end up at the Old Spanish Fort, but in this particular case it's Celia Wright — sans Hayes — on the prowl. With her little brother in the care of a trusted friend (neighbor) back at their complex, the elder sister is out on a mission to buy a couple of winter hoodies for said little brother. After coaxing her old car to life, the redhead is already disgruntled to find that it was a wasted trip. Not only can she not find what she needs for Hayes here at the Fort, but she wasted gas and 'energy' in pleading with (and alternatively cursing at) her car to 'please oh please for fuck sake PLEASE' make the trip.

So here she is. May as well have a walkabout as she simply hasn't been to the Fort in a long time.

… now THIS place is new to her. Celia can't help it, the sounds and lights draw her in… and as the beginnings of a veritable cluster of 'regulars' enjoy all that the Sanctuary has to offer, a waifish woman sloooowly steps in, brow furrowed as if wondering to herself if this was a Good Idea. Celia isn't hard to miss; not with that fiery mop of hair and her haphazard attire. She prowls her way over toward a row of arcade games, startling briefly as someone exclaims over the air hockey game. She looks bloody lost!

Grant does let his gaze go to the door as the new face shows up. A smile on his face still. Noticing how lost she seem he will clear some and wait for the area to be calm before trying to make his way over.
As for Celia. If she has a good memory she might remember this being a well respected restaurant. Some of the place still has that feeling to it, but having been remodeled to this new feel.

Not wanting to scare Celia as he comes over Grant clean off a few nearby tables. "Feel free to give me a shout if you need any help." A small but warm smile offered. Letting her continue on her quest for now then as he takes away some plates before reclaiming his spot at the bar.

Responding quickly to being both looked at and greeted, the wisp of a redhead startles and turns gray eyes 'round to the proprietor of the place as he wipes tables. Though he is a local who has come home after being away, incomprehension in alive in Celia's gray eyes. This is perhaps on account of either their age difference, or how she is generally pretty aloof! Either way!

She looks like a cat that was caught in the act of something! Hooking her thumbs into the pockets of her skinny jeans, Celia gives the room another onceover before looking back to Grant as he takes some plates away. She pads along after him, still looking a bit… confused. "Hey there, ah…" Cough, now she's catching on to what is confounding her. "This place used to be…." She utters the name of the restaurant that the space had been, in a previous life. "… how…. long have you been here, anyway?"

Grant does glance over to her, listening as she follows and talks. "Ah, yes. It used to be a restaurant. Some of those that worked here are still around. It was my parents' restaurant, but I don't know much about restaurant stuff, but didn't want to close it. So changed it a little but wanted to keep it a good place as they would want. Did you use to come here?" He asks, trying to see if he can recognize her, "As for an answer to the latter, born and raised. But I have been gone for about 15 years or so. Came back a little while back." He explains. "I'm Grant. Want something to drink?" He asks, ready to pour something to drink. Sipping from his own coke.

While this town seems full of them, 'Mom & Pop' places are dear to Isaac's heart. He would much rather patronize those than any sort of chain or corporate conglomerate. He's been kept rather busy with some weird shift rotations, but once he had a little bit of time during 'normal' hours, he decided he wanted to explore a little more. Coming across the bar that might be about as new to town as he is, he decides to give it a peek. At least it doesn't have the immediate feel of a Sports Bar; he tries to stay away from those.

Stepping in, dark eyes glance around at the decor and when he notices the arcade games, he can't help but grin. "I haven't seen those in forever!" He digs into a pocket to see if he has any quarters…but no change. However, he finds a bill and notes someone who seems to know what's going on…as well as someone he recognizes. "Please tell me you make change for these games…"

Oh, just look at her.. she is flipping through that rolodex of memories in her head. Celia's gray-blue eyes lift to once again rove the walls, and perhaps there is an 'overlay' of memory there as her gaze lingers on one particular corner. Something dawns then; her lips quirk once at one corner and she peers back 'round to Grant. "Fifteen years…? I was just a mite, then, when you shipped off…" Celia says quietly, trying to remember. ".. but… I remember what this was, yeah…" She is about to mention that her mother brought her here once-or-twice when Grant's parents ran the eatery, but she just can't. Celia does not see fit to bring up Arabel Wright very often.

"It.. looks great now." Celia offers, "It's nice to meet you, Grant." Still a bit careful in her words but being cordial. She is just ruminating a drink and this is when another arrival shows up!

Vague recognition dawns in her eyes; she remembers Isaac despite their super-brief meeting in the alleyway, saving a kitten. She gives him an amused half-smile as he comes forth with a bill, questing for quarters.

Grant ahs and smiles, "Indeed, been awhile since I've been here. Except for being back one or twice perhaps for holidays. It is quite nice to be back though. A bit nostalgic." Glancing over Celia's shoulder to spot the newest arrival. Offering a smile and nod before looking back to Celia, "Pleasure to meet you as well." He assures her with his smile still there. Then hearing Isaac which causes him to look for something before taking up some change. "Yup, here you go. I also do give some for free with the first order of the night." He assures Issac. He does offer change for the bill though. Ready to offer more if he wants. Celia getting a few coins as well, if she would want to try. "Welcome in and do feel at home. Don't fight and we should all be great." He assures them both. Leaning some on the counter.

"I am not about to fight someone who crawls under dumpsters to save kittens. Talk about badass," Isaac offers to Celia with a grin. The meeting was quite unique, so he's certainly going to at least remember her face if not her name. At the mention of 'First order of the night', he looks to Celia, "Can I get you something? I'll even split the coins…" back to Grant, "Assuming that would be the first order of the night." He'll take the change for his bill and stick them in a pocket for later arcade game use. "I think this place is big enough for the three of us…" is offered jovially.

"My head rung for days after." Celia remarks, that half-smile slooowly pulling into a proper smile. "Should've called the kitten Lumpkin after what grew on the back of my skull after that adventure." A bark of a laugh then, at least she took it in stride. Then it occurs to her that she didn't quite introduce herself during or after the kitten fiasco… she owes Grant an introduction too, as he was so jovial… but isn't that what proprietors are supposed to do?

"My name's Celia.." She offers to Grant, and swivels her gaze 'round to Isaac next, "Thanks again for the help with the cat.. I heard tale it went to a good home—" Wait, there's 'something' being offered? Celia headshakes gently, hair bobbing, "Thanks anyway, I'd like to watch though.." She looks briefly wistful, "I.. mean… I.. huh." She snorts, finding herself with some.. coins?! She turns next to Grant, "Thanks, really. This is.. heh, unexpected. I.. actually wouldn't mind trying a game or two. What would you recommend?" She asks of Grant.

Grant listens to Isaac and smiles over to Celia as well. "Well then, brave souls are always welcome here." Adding a bit of a voice to that sentence, trying to give it an uplifting feel, as if the other two are adventures taking a break at an inn. Chuckling at Isaac last words, "That it should be. And do not hesitate to ask anything. I am Grant by the way." The last part offered to Isaac.

Hearing Celia's story has him smiling and nodding a bit, "Still seems to have been worth it then. And it a pleasure to meet you, Celia." An amused smile as the girl seems a bit unsure of what to say. "Ah, well. I do enjoy several of the arcade games. I do think we have golden axe, or it might be one of the ones I am waiting for to come in." Grinning a bit to himself about that. "But also, it is free to play the consoles and VR or board games. The cost for the arcade machines in just to keep that authentic feel, you know?" He says and chuckles. Might explain why he doesn't mind giving some coins with the orders.

"You probably should have been checked out…you could have gotten a concussion from that," and he tried to offer then but was distracted by the kitten. "Isaac," is offered in introduction to both her and Grant, "And I mean, I'll take a beer…if you have anything local, even better." To Celia, "You sure you don't want anything?" but when she's asking about the games, he glances at the options. "Well, Pac Man is a classic…can't go wrong with that. There might be some two-player things on the console…I admit, I'm less familiar with those. We had an arcade back home that had a bunch of older, classic games, but we never had a gaming console growing up." There's another look to Grant and a chuckle at the Gamer-y greeting, "Board games? Really? That's kind of fun…" There's always checkers. "We're not going to be sucked into some magic Fantasy or Video Game world and have to rescue the Magic Gem in order to return home?" Someone saw 'Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle'.

Back to Celia, "I almost offered to take the kitten, but I'm not sure I should get a baby for my first cat. I don't have that much experience with them and thought an adult would be better. Also, everyone loves kittens, right? They're easy to find homes for."

She is not used to such generosity… maybe she's used to paying in hard-struck coin for what she needs and wants out of this life…. simple things, really. Celia looks down at the coins in her palm, "I have a kid brother…" She blinks, peers up from beneath her lashes as she ruminates. "He'd love this place…" Spoken mostly to herself. It's easy to see the redhead's reverence in what she holds in her hand. She looks up and hears out all of the recommendations, and something in the mood of the place.. and in Grant's inclusive greetings.. it's nice. She pauses to allow for further explanations of the games to be conferred to Isaac, her gray eyes looking between the two of them.

However, the young doctor's good-natured reprimand earns a sheepish smile, "Heh… I think I was embarrassed and wanted to get my ass home…. I didn't wake up seeing stars or puking my guts out, so I lucked out. But the next time I'm belly down saving cats, I'll be smart about it. It's a pleasure, Isaac." A beat, it's.. tempting. "Maybe a Coke… can't be drinking anything harder than that. Have to drive home in a short while…." She trails off, tilts her head at further talk of cats and kittens. She looks interested, "Kittens get adopted easy… if I'm in the market for a kitty, it'll be an adult." Ah, she's one of those 'give older cats a chance' peeps!

She blushes a bit, "M'thinkin' Pac Man… why not retro."

Grant nods and smiles, pouring a beer. Which seems to be local. "There you go." Nodding a bit about the choices of games. "Should be one or two cooperative games. We do have streets of rage, in honor of the fourth one coming out recently. Also been looking to add some more stuff. Double dragon and house of the dead." Laughing a bit at Isaac's words about Jumanji, "I really hope not. Would be a hassle to have to run in after you." He jests.

As Celia speak of her brother it causes Grant to smile and nod. "Feel free to bring him by. I do try to keep this place open for everyone." Pouring a coke for her as well. "I believe cats can easily find homes cause they do make things clear, if they like you they will stick around." He offers and chuckles softly. Nodding about the older cats. "Ah, yes. Perhaps look to a shelter and try and get one at some point. Perhaps I should get one." Rubbing his chin some before shrugging. Letting the two of them go enjoy themselves if they want. "You could try and beat the records on the games. If there is a game that isn't around do tell and I will see about adding it in the future."

"My thinking as well. Maybe even a senior cat…one who's been there a while. Everyone deserves a second chance, right?" Grant gets a grin as he picks up on the Jumani reference and then a nod, "I plan on going to a shelter once I feel settled enough. I just moved here myself and am still getting used to my schedule," and being a real doctor and not a Medical Student. "Maybe you could get a Cafe Cat? Although that might not work with food and drink." The beer gets a "Thanks," and he takes a sip before nodding, "That's nice!" He'll make sure to cover his drink, Celia's, and add a tip. He then takes the beer and gestures for Celia to lead the way to Pac Man.

There's a pause as Grant mentions possibly willing to add to the games, "Gauntlet. My friends and I used to love that game."

The redhead isn't too much unlike a skittish cat herself, looking all around at the plethora of games — all types — that have replaced tables and booths and all of the things that once comprised a restaurant. Gray eyes once again flit back toward a corner of the room… maybe it's a sort of instinctive memory or draw; maybe that's where she sat as a kid, once. She doesn't remember all-that-well. But suddenly the flashing lights and sounds from the screens.. it's a comfort. Cats needing homes, indeed! She turns back to Grant, "I'll have to figure out your hours… this could be a good reward for Hayes, if he keeps up well with his schoolin'.." She trails off, already planning. "Are you open late, Grant?" She will ask politely before embarking upon the pilgrimage to Pac Man!

Receiving the coke, she nods to Isaac, "Thanks a lot… that's really kind of you." A little grin, "You settlin' ok though? It's one thing to come to a new town, and tying in the hours that you medical professionals have to navigate.. I couldn't do it, myself. Props to you." Said meaningfully. Pac Man can wait a moment as questions are answered and conversation is had.

Grant nods at Isaac's suggestion. "Perhaps I should." Nodding a bit. "Wouldn't want to scare of those that are allergic though." Shrugging some. A nod about Gauntlet. "Ah, yes. Been forever since I played that." Writing it down right away. Perhaps by now noticing Celia glancing to the corner several times. "Oh, feel free to come whenever. I am looking to try and keep it open twenty-four-seven. However need a bit more help for that. Right now we have about a two or three hour break for cleaning up and such, but if so just knock." He offers, answering her question. Glancing back to Isaac. "How long have you been in town?" Is the last he will ask before letting them head off, since he did mentioned being new.

Isaac is certainly more than happy to have conversation. Indeed, Pac Man can wait. He also listens for the hours, noting them for later use. To answer Celia, after another sip of the beer, "I'm settling in all right, I suppose. The hours aren't awful yet, but I'm fairly certain there's going to be some overnight ER scheduling in the near future." Does the Medical Center have an ER?

Grant's point about the allergies gets another thoughtful sip, "Fair enough. They have them in bookstores sometimes… I wonder if there are signs up about bookstore cats?" But anyways, "To answer your question, not quite a month. I got here the beginning of September."

"Twenty-four seven…" Celia echoes, nodding gently. Hmmm… very interesting~

A germination of an idea, maybe? Something to do with how and when to surprise Hayes with a wonderland such as this? She considers briefly, files the thought away for later. A little bit of a smile again. "I'll remember that… this…. this is really neat.." She trails off, clears her throat. It's not her way to be too emphatic about things but her body language is open and curious. A good sign. Meanwhile she opts to remain close to the bar — Pac Man can indeed wait — because the conversation-at-hand is very interesting.

She turns back to Isaac again, sipping the Coke gingerly. Everything she does is… careful, maybe? No no; she just takes her time. Sip the drink, taste it, enjoy the bubbles. Celia does not behave like a wealthy girl and she sure A.F doesn't dress that way: aforementioned dark skinny jeans that (thank god) still fit two years after buying them; an oversized off-the-shoulder sweater. She gives the young doctor a sympathetic look, "I hope things smooth out and you find your routine." And that her bombastic arse doesn't end up in that ER one night. c.c

Grant smiles and nods to Celia, "Glad to hear. I am hoping to make it a place people can relax and just forget their worries for a bit. I know my parents would like it as well, even if they weren't much into games." Looking to Isaac as well, "Oh, a doctor? And welcome to Calaveras, hope you enjoy it." He says and offers his usual warm smile. Trying to not blurt out a bunch of trivia facts and scare the patrons off. Listening to the conversation but helping some other patrons that either want drinks or just asking for a game. Having him bring it out to them before returning to the duo near the bar.

"24/7 seems like a lot…can this town support that?" Isaac hasn't been here during high tourist season yet. "And thanks. I came from a fairly small town-ish place too, so it's not unfamiliar." There are definitely some major differences, though. Celia gets a grin, "If I wanted that much of a routine, I'd have gone into Law. I know, at least, for the next few years, things may be kind of erratic and that's all right. It's why I'm not considering getting a dog." They need more routine than he can give right now.

There's so much earnest care in Grant for his business and for his patrons' comfort that Celia can't help but smile again, in earnest. It's nice to see people who love what they do and what they're working on becoming. She turns and gives a glance around the establishment again, noting others who may be partaking in the various attractions and activities. Is that a group over there playing a board game?! Heavens, what a lost art that is… Hayes would love it immensely. Her old soul baby brother.

She turns back 'round and gives Isaac a little smile, "The place explodes during the tourist season… the ski resort rakes 'em in in the Winter and they spill over into places like this, the Fort…. they'll find their way here, sure as kittens find their ways into awkward spots." Another playful nod toward the dumpster-kitten-fiasco. "Do you like to ski, Doc?" Asked with earnest curiosity. "If so, if you can carve out the time… you'll be in for a treat with what's around these parts…."

Draining her coke, she hands the gifted coins back over to Grant. "Why not save these… I'll come back with Hayes, and we can try everything out proper. Fun as Pac Man'd be tonight.. I gotta get on home to relieve my sitter."

Grant shrugs, "We shall see. We have been well off while it was a restaurant. While it might not be as much traffic through the night we keep it somewhat open. Usually it's just me and most things turned off unless someone is here, so it is just like me keeping the light on at night at home." He suggests and shrugs. Who knows how much Grant actually sleeps or rests. Nodding a bit as he learn more about Isaac. "I can understand that. Though I am sure in time there is always ways if you would want one." Shrugging. Glancing to Celia as well. Nodding as Celia speaks about tourist season, "Oh, yes indeed." He agrees with her. Taking the coins and nodding to Celia. "Of course. And take care." Offered to her, and Isaac as well if he seems to be heading out as well.

"I bet that's when my ER rotation will come," during the Tourist season. "I don't ski yet…maybe I'll sit this season out and see how it goes." Isaac finishes up the beer and sets the glass…wherever it should go. "Good to see you again, Celia…and a pleasure to meet you, Grant. This is a great place. I'll be back, I'm sure." When his schedule allows. It's at least a bar without sports playing. Air Hockey can be dealt with. "If the kitchen's open, maybe I'll see if we can pop in for a midnight snack from the hospital sometime…" during those overnight shifts.

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