Many meetings

who: Jack and Open
where: The Bar
when: Evening

He hadn't opened the bar for a couple of days. It was strangely surreal, with most of the other businesses in the town closed down. Bethany's bright sign looked particularly lonely, and he wrinkled his nose as he unlocked the door.

The alcohol was still up there. He didn't know if that was a good or a bad thing. He wasn't considering making people pay for tonight; there were more important things to worry about. Flicking on the lights, he wrinkled his nose when the juke box came on, wandering over to turn it off, rolling up his sleeves.

He was nervous, really. He had no idea if anyone was going to turn up, or how people were going to react. He wasn't looking foward to being in charge of this, and was hoping that someone else might take the position. He was willing to give people a place to talk, where he could listen, but he didn't want to actually have to make any of the big decisions.

Not that anyone'd listen to him if he did anyway. Sighing and running a hand through his hair, he made his way over to the bar, waiting for anyone to arrive.

 - .

Nate had had every intention of going to the meeting, and, as such, was amongst the first to arrive, trickling in with some others who'd turned up at the bar. He was reserving judgement on the fact that the town did, in fact, appear to be abandoned and what that meant for all of them. And, of course, what it meant for him. Though part fo him thought that what it meant for him, and for Arienne, was whatever they made it. It could be an interesting opportunity, all things considered.

 - ...

Arienne came in with her husband, her mind on a lot of different things, as it had been the day prior. nothing seemed to have changed, per se, and she was of an opinion that it wasn't going to. Which meant things had just gotten very, very interesting, if a bit jarring in nature. She went to sit at the bar properly, though didnt' face it, she faced out towards the rest of the room, wondering how many people may show up. In her estimation...less than there should be.

 - .

Everett had been thinking similarly to both Arienne and Nate when he arrived. Unless every person here showed up, it wouldn't be enough people attending. Something needed to be decided, and he was already wondering who was going to make that call. Back in the group house, people had always been content to argue and criticize every idea that came up, and here? Well, Ev was just hoping there'd be more ideas here, and less criticisms. Puffing at a cigar and longing to grab one of the bottles from behind the bar, he gave Arienne and Nate a courteous nod of acknowledgement, leaning back against the bar.

 - .

By the time Bethany arrived, there were already four other occupants, including Jack. The blonde woman entered and immediately bypassed the man and woman she didn't know, bright red heels clicking too loudly against the hardwood floor as she headed straight for the bar. Once behind it, she would feel so much... safer. She was still embarrassed with herself for losing control yesterday. There was a brand new dent in her wall, and she still hadn't found anyone to repair the first one. But she cleared her mind of all that as she nodded to Jack in greeting, edging her way around the bar and dropping her black messenger bag by her feet behind it. She cast a glance at the dark-skinned man with the cigar. She had never seen him before—but then, that didn't particularly surprise her. Half the town, it seemed, was terribly reclusive.

She was glad Jack had gotten there before her—she wouldn't have known what to do with these people. Not that she was particularly awkward in a social sense; she just didn't have much to talk about yet. No ideas had presented themselves to her, except for the obvious ones concerning her superiors—and she wasn't about to share those anytime soon, lest everyone in the city tried to run her out of town, or worse.

 - .

Addison didn't walk in right away. She was practically incapable of it at this point. No, what she had to do was check the doorway, and that meant pushing the door open with the half broom-handle with the sliced up glove rapped around the broken end, with her standing off to the side in case anything fell or there was a wire or something in the way - anything, really. She checked the floor and all the way up the sides to just above her head level - and still ducked when she stepped in. That accomplished, she wandered over to the bar. Addison had her flashlight and a knife on her hip, and her sketchbooks tucked under her arm, and a piece of paper that just read bottle of water? to show whoever showed up to serve at said bar. She had a notebook and a pencil in her pocket, but she didn't need those yet.

 - .

Indira had come armed with her own dowel and rubber for handling doors and light switches, but it was apparent that she didn't need it. She was behind Addison - close enough to see the preparations the other woman went through, but far enough away to bother with calling out or asking her to wait. It did, however, make her feel better about being able to walk straight into the bar. She paused long enough to check her veil, the same she'd worn that morning in dark plum. She shucked her coat as she entered to reveal her black sweater, sweeping the room with a coolly assessing gaze - save her right eye, milky gray and unresponsive. She joined Addison at the bar, reaching into her coat pocket to pull out two bottles of water. She'd figured the other woman would be coming and didn't personally trust anything that she hadn't checked out herself, so she'd brought her own from home. She handed one over with a murmured, "It's safe," then turned so she could keep an eye on the proceedings. She didn't sit, however; one never knew when a pressure plate might be activated.

 - .

Addison gave her a delighted grin - it made her feel better that Indira was there; at least someone was there she could trust. It was one thing to talk to her online, but to actually see her in the flesh? Made Addison feel so much better. She took the bottle of water and, automatically, checked it over. But less so then she would've done if she'd been given one from the bar. Cracking it open, she took a sip of it slowly, and then smiled at her. Thank you. Addison scratched down quickly on the back of the note she had with her, and flashed it to Indira.

 - .

Smiling at her, Jack gave her an absent salute, waving a hand at the people already there, leaning against the back of the bar and tilting his head.

"So. Fancy seeing a girl like you in a place like this." He said, trying to diffuse the tense atmosphere in the room. Until more people showed up, there wouldn't be much they could do, and any decisions made would be kind of a moot point. He looked around at the people in the bar, spotting one or two that he knew or recognised from descriptions, or having served them before.

 - .

Glad for the distraction, Bethany gave him a wry smile. He was very good at making her feel more comfortable. "I drop by, sometimes. For the company, you know." In any other place during the same situation, she wouldn't have dreamed of bantering with someone, but the need to break the tension was almost physically painful.

Grey-green eyes rounded on the woman with the paper and pencil. Water...? Of course they had water. She was about to reach under the bar for a glass when another woman with a covered face produced two bottles of clear liquid out of nowhere. The blonde froze for just a moment before shrugging lightly. That was probably best, anyway. She doubted that the majority of these people would trust her to make their drinks in the first place.

 - .

Jack was more than willing to acommodate. Saluting her and smiling, he leanede against the bar, watching to see who else would come in. He'd served a couple of them, from time to time, but he wasn't too good with names.

"Oh, well that's alright as long as the company is me." He said, flashing her a semi-relaxed grin. He wasn't sure when all of this was going to start, but he was glad people were turning up. Bethany in particular, because it meant he wasn't stuck behind the bar by himself.

 - .

The young artist reached under the bar and produced a can of soda for herself; she always kept some stashed there, just in case. "Only you," she said with a low chuckle. Because she didn't ever take the time to get to know any of their actual patrons—why should she? It wasn't as if the majority of them would remember her the next morning.

As the "meeting" started she fell silent, cracking open the coke and taking a slow sip as she listened to the ideas being bounced around. She memorized key points of everything she heard; the woman named Janie was in charge, it seemed. That was good, since she was rather loud and it was easy for Bethany to hear what she was saying. Stocking a place with supplies was a fair idea, sort of a boy scout thing. An abandoned house, a recreational building, police station, the church. They would all make rather good hideaways. The only problem might be finding enough food to sustain the entire city for however long they decided to seclude themselves.

The blonde shifted crossed her arms loosely when one of the men mentioned a lack of firearms. That didn't surprise her, but she was still a little disturbed by the idea of the entire city being relatively defenseless—and the idea that her superiors were in possession of whatever guns might have been around.

 - _

Trevor did okay at pretending not to give a shit but he was curious about what would go down at this meeting, if they could even called it that. This gathering of people in a place with alcohol. That should be interesting. In any case, his indifference, real or not, didn't keep him from the bar and he strolled on in there eyeing all the people he hadn't met before slipping off his shades. It helped that he liked the bar and he found a seat a little out of the way, but close enough to listen if anything interesting started going down.

 - ...

Janie looked around for a few long moments after she arrived and then figured what the hell. So, she walked over, behind the bar, then climbed up on top of it. "Hey everyone!" she said, clearing her throat as well to get attention. "I'm Janie, I'll be your hostess for this evening. So! We're here. And I've been thinking. So the consensus is we're all fucked, and possibly going to die. Or, we're all fucked, and we're going to be experimented on for another however-the-hell-long. Possibly until we all die. But whatever. The practicality of the situation is we're all in a little town." she said. "So, erring on the side of paranoia, I say we choose a few buildings in town. Whatever buildings are chosen, we start readying them for if the shit hits the fan and we need to gather someplace. Meaning stocking it with food, weatherproofing it, setting it up so that it has things to accomodate several people for a more extended period of time. And who knows maybe we'll never need them but it'd be better to have sturdy panic houses for everyone and not need them than the other way around." she continued.

"There are a few public buildings we could probably do this with that would be suitable, and maybe...I dunno. One of the big-ass houses that are empty on the fancy-pants side of town. Anyone got comments or issues with this idea?" she asked. "Try not to all talk at once."

 - /

Nate raised an eyebrow, though he knew this type and the rest of the types in the room - someone had to stand up and take charge and at least they all weren't just milling around like sheep. But, she could have been slightly more upbeat about it instead of a complete and utter doomsayer. "There's a large boarded up house right on the south edge of town, near us. From the looks of things, I'd say it was at least five bed. That'd probably do for your purposes. There's also the bog farmhouses on the north edge of town - one's boarded up, the other isn't, but they both look pretty big," he offered, his voice coming out loud and clear across the room, enough to be heard by everyone.

 - ..

Gavin was there, naturally, though he absolutely loathed these meetings, and always had. He'd been faintly amused but not at all surprised that it was Janie climbing up on furniture to take charge. Somebody always had to, to lead this kind of shit. His eyes turned to Nate as he started to talk. He wasn't sure that a five bed house would be even near enough for all of them, should they all need to hole up. "If we need more room ... anybody know if there's a kitchen in the rec center?" he asked the crowd at large. "I know there's a small one at the bowling alley, for burgers and shit. I dunno who-all's left, but we need to plan for a lot."

 - .

"Why?" Indira asked, from her spot at the bar beside Addison. "If they couldn't be bothered to show up and help us prepare, why should we give a damn about them? The fewer we have to care for, the longer our supplies will last and the better our chances." Not that they had great chances, anyway, but she was in no hurry to die. "After all, it isn't as if they had anything more pressing going on tonight."

 - ...

Arienne chose to speak at that point. "Because should something happen, people may show up. And I for one won't be party to turning others away when their lives may be at stake should we do so. If we go with the young lady's plan here, there should be several of these places set up around town, so people can go to whatever is closest. If enough of us help--and we can put out the call for that on the journals for those who have chosen not to come--I'm sure we can come up with adequate supplies in a few different locations. As you just remarked--it isn't as if there's anything more pressing for any of us to do now." she said reasonably.

 - .

Already, Ev thought at even the bare bit of confrontation, It's starting already. Not that he'd expected otherwise, granted. "Well, if we need somewhere fortifiable, the police station's a good bet. They've got plenty of room, and I'd be surprised if there wasn't a kitchenette there, most station houses have them. The church might be a good option too, if they've got a rectory. Plus the two are close to each other, it'd be good to have some kind of positioning for whatever safehouses get established." He was stepping light, staying clear of even commenting on how many people showed up or what they deserved for being elsewhere.

 - ..

Seth had been off to one side, listening with his arms crossed over his chest. He'd found that he recognized -- intimately so -- two of the women in the room, and it thrilled him deep down. Addison and Indira. His dear, dear Indira. Sounding bitter and angry already. It was beautiful. He wanted to see her face again, see how it had changed as it healed, what she looked like now. But there'd be time for that. He saw an opening and took it, stepping forward. "Speaking of the police station ... They'd appointed me an officer, due to my past experience. I went to check on the place yesterday? The entire arsenal's gone," he said, glancing around at everyone and sounding concerned about it. "I thought it'd be safe under lock and key for a day, but apparently not. Someone has all the guns. That's probably something we need to be taking care of. Soon."

 - .

Nate mused this over. "What are you thinking?" he asked the guy. "That they were taken by someone in town? Or that they've been removed at some point by someone from the outside, suggesting that we're not completely abandoned at all and they're still keeping a close eye?" he asked, sure that neither option would be particularly welcomed by some parties in the room - which was a thought he found entertaining as he watched for different people's reactions.

 - .

Addison gripped her sketchbooks closer to herself for a moment, then found a little coil notepad in her pocket and flipped that open. Getting shot at would be a change of pace, at least. Bet you five dollars that they're still in town, though. And she tore the note out and passed it to Indira.

 - .

"They were taken by me," Everett said quite bluntly, giving Seth an appraising stare from his lean against the bar. "I wasn't the first one to hit the police station, it looked like. So I can't account for anything missing before my arrival. But I loaded up everything that was still there." He didn't expect anyone to like this, but he wasn't going to back down from his decision either.

"Everett Dupree," he introduced himself with a nod to both Nate and Seth, "Formerly a captain, Atlanta PD. I was house security in my particular experiment, and while I didn't do the best with the job, I tried. Problem back then was that someone in our ranks was being covered for by the overseers, someone dangerous. We never found out who, either. So when shit went down yesterday, I figured it'd be better letting y'all slap me on the wrist for being proactive and making sure the firearms were safely accounted for than even chancing someone unstable arming up. I'm ready to turn them over any time people come to the consensus that I should."

 - .

A police officer. Why the hell one of them would ever sign up for an experiment she had no idea—but she wasn't about to ask, either. Everett. That was such an old-fashioned name. But then, she had no room to talk; Bethany wasn't very common either. It fit him, though. He seemed polite enough, and she had been raised in a household where courtesy was of the utmost importance. The idea that the guns were in one person's possession, though, was more than a little disconcerting.

And already, Bethany could tell that this entire situation called for her two best friends, Jack and Coke. Even though she wasn't much of a drinker—ironic, considering her specialty—the brace would be nice. So she reached under the bar and pulled out a half-empty bottle of whiskey and a clean glass. Half the soda she had been drinking was gone, but it would be enough. She dropped a few cubes of ice into it and then mixed her drink, leaving the can and bottle on the bar top. One go and half the drink was gone, and she let out a low huff of air. She wouldn't say anything unless it either concerned her directly or she formed some sort of opinion. And if anyone wanted a drink, well. They'd just have to ask.

 - ..

Seth had halfway been hoping for an answer to take longer. Paranoia was always much easier to spread when the culprit wasn't right there in front of everyone. Even if that wasn't the only one, if what the man said was true. He looked steadily back at Everett, and then around at everyone else. "I dunno about everyone else? But I'm not that keen on that much firepower being in one man's hands," he said, sounding as reasonable as he could. "Especially since most of us here don't know each other yet. And apparently he's not the only one who got to them. This is a dangerous situation, and not everyone here can really be said to be stable, no offense to present company. Who else thinks all the firearms should be in a central, neutral location again?"

 - .

"And who makes sure they stay secured in a central, neutral location?" Hannah pointed out, having slipped in the back in time to hear about the firearms. She'd been a little late, having had some trouble finding the place, but at least she was here. She wasn't sure who all else was save Everett and people she didn't know, so she was hanging back a little, Anubis on alert beside her. "Can't lock them up, because then who's in charge of the key? I'd rather the ex-cop I know have them than someone the people running this place appointed as security. People who are now suspiciously missing and the entire reason we're having this damn meeting, I might add." Seth was suspect, as far as she was concerned. Anyone who'd been put into a position of power or authority in the town was.