|Ria|| The glow of the arcade machine reflects off of Ria Richter's face, casting the grim determination in her features in a pale light. Her tongue probes out from the corner of her lips as she mashes the orange buttons in front of her with her right hand, working the joystick roughly with her left. The anthropomorphic turtle she's controlling on the video screen battles valiantly, but a purple-clad ninja manages to outflank the hapless mutant and catch it with both arms. Another purple-clad Foot soldier takes the opportunity to start punching the turtle in the gut, the yellow shell apparently providing little protection. As the orange life bar dwindles to nothing, the turtle collapses to the ground and blinks before disappearing.
"GODDAMMIT! Why didn't you save me?! We're going to run out of quarters at this rate!" she yells at the player next to her.
The little boy starts to cry and storms off with tears in his eyes and his hands to his face.
"Little pipsqueak isn't ready for this shit," she mutters under her breath as she takes one of the kid's quarters and rolls it into her coin slot.
|Alisha||Alisha doesn't seem to be that experienced with playing video games, despite spending a fair amount of her teenage years hanging out in this arcade. She is attempting to portray a convincing Raphael though, between taking sips from a can of Pepsi, through a hot pink straw. "Am I doing this right?" she yells at Ria, trying to make herself heard over the music and sounds from the machines. She gives a sympathetic look to the little kid who just let down the good name of Donatello. "Geeze Ria, you don't pull any punches. He only looks about nine."|
|Trixie||Trixie steps away from the drink counter and starts across the floor toward one of the outer doors. In spite of the distortion of the arcade machine's screen lighting, she recognizes the bartender and her companion from the day before. The latter seems less drunk and more grumpy today. Seeing the child flee the cabinet in tears, she blinks, then steps up to the machine. "Wow... you must play for keeps," she observes, taking up the kid's abandoned 'toon Turtle and dropping in a quarter. "Hello again, Madame Bartender. Better hope I remember how to play this one." She taps one of the buttons, and Leonardo lays into an approaching purple-clad ninja with twin swords.|
|Ria|| "Gotta learn the way the real world works sooner or later," Ria mutters as Michaelangelo comes back to virtual life on the arcade machine's screen. "If he's not old enough to take the heat, he should stay out of the kitchen."
Nunchucks spin before pummeling the ninja that caught the turtle unawares before, exacting revenge on the turtle's slayer. Or knocker-outer. These games are supposed to be kid-friendly, even if the players sometimes aren't. "You know what I don't get? Why don't the turtles just hijack an armory? They're friggin' ninjas. That means they're sneaky. The purple guys never have guns. This would be so much easier if we all had AK-47s." Ria's playstyle is demonstrated to be clearly reckless; she's pretty good, but she charges into situations where she's outnumbered and has no qualms about using her health bar on special attacks.
|Alisha||"Oh don't worry, girl. I totally suck at this shit" Alisha admits to Trixie, with a laugh. "It's kinda fun though, maybe I was missing out all those years, when I just came here to check out the guys." She mashes her fingers some more on the buttons and adds "Madame Bartender, that makes me sound all kinds of grand. I think I like it." Her brown eyes flit between the screen and her fellow players, perhaps trying to pick up some tips on their gameplay. "Ria here is the real deal" she tells Trixie. "I'm guessing the only reason she hasn't cursed me out yet, is that I keep her in booze."|
|Trixie||Trixie rolls her eyes at Ria's reply, and almost gets sworded for doing so by a passing ninja. She demonstrates a tendency to hammer the buttons too quickly, but that doesn't seem to be a serious issue in this game. "Yeah, this one jumps, then... yay, me! I /do/ remember this one. Pity I was never that good at it." She grins at Alisha. "Good. Now I don't feel so bad about being sub-par. Oh, look out! You're gonna get surrounded!" she cries, moving to carve up the back of a Foot ninja trying to get at Mike's back. Unfortunately, he had friends, and Trixie can only beat up one of them at a time.|
|Ria|| Michaelangelo leaps into the air, smacking one of the foot soldiers in the head with his nunchakus and taking the ninja out in one hit. "She's right. Not that I say anything about it, 'cause I'm putting my quarters in here instead of paying my tiki tab," Ria remarks as Michaelangelo whips around to hook another foot clan member with his nunchakus and swing them over his head, slamming them into the ground and finishing them off just before they were about to punch the turtle in the back. The turtle is then struck in the back by a ninja star.
"Goddammit why don't we get ninja stars?! This is bullshit," she declares loudly, hammering buttons in the vain hope it'll get Michaelangelo back on his feet faster. "Hey 'lisha, wanna spot me a quarter? I'm almost dead again and we're close to the boss."
|Alisha||Alisha lets out a startled cry, as Trixie gives her warning. "Oh man! My heart can't take this, I'm not cut out for stress!" Taking a step back from the machine, she holds her hands up in surrender and then empties her pockets of quarters, passing them over to Ria. "I'm gonna go get my bikini on and catch some rays, before my shift. You two have fun flexing your turtle powers." As soon as she moves away, another kid steps up to the machine, this time a girl of about eleven.|
|Trixie||"I /hate/ it when they throw stuff at us," Trixie grumbles, as Leonardo is hit by two stars, almost at the same time. She executes a leaping kick and knocks down one of the throwers, but has to maneuver to beat up the second one. "See ya, Alisha. Thanks for trying!" she calls after the bartender, maneuvering to carve up several more Foot Soldiers entering with knives held ready to throw.|
|Isabel||Blinking owlishly as she goes from full daylight to the darker inside of the arcade, Isabel Welsh steps to the side of the door in case anyone's coming in behind her. She's clad in denim shorts and a pale green tanktop under an open white blouse, her feet in sandals.
The shouting draws her attention to the TMNT arcade machine, and the figures there. Only one looks vaguely familiar, and she can't call the name to mind just now. But she steps closer for a better look, dark eyes thoughtful.
|Ria|| "Oh sure, make us fight the boss without you to soak hits up," Ria bitches, too rapt with the game to give the bartender a proper send-off. "...'course, the quarters are probably just as good." She gives the little girl stepping up the side-eye. "Oh, it's /you/ again," she grumbles before turning her eyes back to the arcade screen. The kid sticks her tongue out at Ria and steps up to slot in a quarter for the Donatello controls.
"Twerp," Ria says as the purple-bandana'd turtle blinks into existence and starts to lay waste to the Foot clan.
"Bitch," the little girl answers.
Ria just snorts and starts pushing on to the right hand side of the screen. "Dibs on the pizza," she declares as Michaelangelo strafes for a box of pizza on the ground. Another ninja star takes Michaelangelo down out of nowhere, and Donatello dives past to grab the pizza.
"Oh come on, you were at full health!" Ria yells with a scowl. "You better hope somebody picks the red spot so there's someone between us, kid.
|Trixie||"Geez... this is gonna turn into World War T," Trixie murmurs, trying to beat up a crowd of newly-arrived Foot before she gets beaten up herself. And just like that, with a cry of 'Do not resist us', two wheeled robots burst in and circle around the screen, prompting her to dodge and try to kick the nearest one. "Less infighting, more Foot fighting, please?" she says, louder, as Leonardo gets lasso'ed by an electrified cable from one of the robots. "I /totally/ hate these guys!"|
|Isabel||Isabel stifles giggles, stepping up into Raphael's spot. "That sounds like a cue to me," she says quietly. "And the Turtles always worked better as a team of four." She slips in a quarter and Raph arrives to save the day!
Which he does: Isabel is a little rusty, but it looks like she's also an excellent player. Flying-kicking her way into a group of Foot Soldiers, she scatters them with repeated sai-strikes and gets clear of a backstabbing Foot Soldier with a diving roll, kicking down one of the Roadkill Robots.
|Trixie||"Good think there's no friendly fire on this game, or we'd be out of quarters in /no time/," Trixie murmurs, trying to figure out how Isabel pulled that neat dive-roll-kick maneuver. "Hey, Izzy. Didn't expect to see /you/ around here. How'd you do that, anyway? That roll and kick thing? Oh, /crap/!" she cries, just as Leonardo is hit with a throwing star! He rolls to the ground and fades away with a groan of, 'Shell shock!'
She hastily fishes into a pocket of her shorts. And another. And then the back two. "Oh, you're kidding... you're totally kidding me, right? I /know/ I had more quarters!" She sighs. "I need change... be back in a bit." With that, she all but jogs deeper into the arcade.
|Ria|| Ria's eyes narrow as the state of her character's life bar prompts her to fight all the more viciously on-screen. She sidesteps one of the robots trying to lasso her with some apparent practice. "Foot-fighting, huh?" she says as she raises one of her boots, threatening to stomp on the young girl's toes just before Isabel pushes in between them. She drops her foot down again.
"Oh, good. You don't suck," she observes as Isabel starts playing. Now that numbers are starting to favour the turtles, Michaelangelo starts to act more opportunistically, moving in to finish off enemies that are distracted by the other players. A lot of this involves stealing 'kills' (and therefore points, presumably), especially from Donatello.
"You're never going to get on the hi-score list anyway," the 11-year-old remarks from the other side of Isabel.
"Would you mind dumping my drink on her head?" she asks Isabel, indicating a cup of what appears to be alcohol near Ria's elbow.
|Isabel||"Sergeant?" Isabel says in surprise, seeing Trixie... but she's already dashing off in search of more change. "Good luck! I think there's a machine in there!" she calls. Hopefully it's not out of order.
She nods to Ria, shrugging as she swats aside another Foot Soldier. "The old arcade in my hometown had this game. It wasn't new then, but I played it a lot after school. I was better with Leonardo, but Raphael was my second-best."
She stifles a smile, glancing at the girl playing Donatello. "No. She might step on my foot," she replies, apparently having seen that raised foot on Ria's part. She also refrains from engaging in kill-stealing, but she does do her best to keep her teammates' backs clear.
|Ria|| "Guess you know her better than I thought," Ria says as the turtles engage the first stage's boss - the mutant Rhino Rocksteady. "And she'd get away with it, too. Kids these days get a free pass."
Under Ria's reckless command, Michaelangelo dives right in on Rocksteady, over the stream of bullets firing from the super-henchman's machine gun, only to then be knocked over when the rhinoceros lowers its shoulder and charges through the turtle and across the screen.
"See! Why does he get a damn gun and we don't?" Ria complains as her character blinks off of the screen, only to reappear a few seconds later as her life counter drops by one.
Meanwhile, Donatello easily sidesteps the charge and starts thrashing Rocksteady with his stick. "You should just stop attacking when he's in the charge animation frames. Haven't you played this game like a hundred times?" the little girl chastises Ria.
"Shut up," Ria says. Then, aside to Isabel: "Sergeant, huh? You a coworker of hers too?"
|Isabel||"I'm wearing sandals. Getting your foot stepped on in those hurts," Isabel replies, not without some amusment. "But it's true that kids today get away with a lot."
She avoids Rocksteady's charge, though it wasn't by much. "I'd almost forgotten about him," she murmurs, joining in on the Rocksteady-rocking with the kid. She winces as the kid gets kicked away, opting to dodge to avoid that fate. "Wait for him to finish the charge, then hit him," she advises. "If he charges, jump over him if you're in his way. You can do that."
She shakes her head at Ria's question. "Just an acquaintance, from back in the States."
|Ria|| "Oh, sure, if you want to save quarters, I guess," Ria mutters as she weaves past the stage boss's bullet pattern and starts to beat on him again. The rhino is starting to blink red under the coordinated turtle assault. "Oh hey, red rhino. That means -"
"We know what it means," the pre-teen interjects, eyes rolling.
"- that it's time to take a drink," Ria finishes her sentence, knocking back the by-now-warm beverage in the cup at her side, using one hand on the joystick to navigate the fight, but becoming otherwise useless in the meanwhile.
"Are you drinking in the middle of the day? My mom used to do that, 'cause she's an alcoholic," the girl says.
"Probably your fault," Ria says as she empties the cup and tosses it at a nearby trashcan. It's one of those push-door ones, though, and the plastic cup bounces off the lid and rolls away.
"She's probably better at video games than you, though," the girl says.
The commentary causes Ria's focus to slip, and she ends up getting smacked by Rocksteady. "Ugh! Shut up!"
|Isabel||"Are you two always this companionable, or did I catch you on a good day?" Isabel remarks wryly, giving Rocksteady a vicious stabbing with the sais and dodging away. She manages to make him blink red faster, though she can't quite escape being kicked aside. "Sometimes this game can be pretty cheap."|
|Ria|| "It's because the companies that made these wanted people to spend a bunch of quarters on them," the little girl states matter-of-factly as she goes to town on Rocksteady. It doesn't take too many more thwacks with the turtle's bo staff before the boss goes down, and the next stage transition starts. "X-Box is waaay better. New games are balanced around story progression and playability, not how many coins they can make you spend."
"So why aren't you at home playing X-Box, kid?" Ria grunts as she starts counting her quarters while the next level loads.
"Got grounded," the precocious youngster replies.
"What'd you do, steal your mom's smokes?" Ria wonders.
"Spent all day playing video games," says the pre=teen.
"Lame," Ria remarks as she gets ready for the next level, rolling her shoulders. "I don't even know this kid's name. All I know is she likes Donatello because he's easy," she tells Isabel. "So, you here on vacation? You from Raccoon like what's-her-face?"
|Isabel||"I know," Isabel replies, with a touch of regret. "The old arcades were something wonderful in thair day. The home systems have all but replaced them, aside from specialty machines for places like Dave And Buster's." She has to smile, hearing that. "So... to discourage you from playing video games, she made you stay home where you could play more video games? Someone didn't think this punishment through."
She nods to Ria. "In a way. I couldn't stand another day in Bolivar. I'm not from Raccoon City, but I was in town when the zombie plague hit, like the Sergeant was."
Her musings on the matter are interrupted by the arcade manager, who has apparently gotten tired enough of the squabbling to pull the plug on the machine. Giving the man a disgusted look, she shakes her head and looks back at Ria. "I guess I'll catch you another time. I should be around, trying to find some kind of video to put into my next piece," she says, managing a smile for both her and the kid. She heads for the door.