5300/PhoneQuest II: The Search For My Phone

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
PhoneQuest II: The Search For My Phone
Date of Scene: 22 February 2021
Location: Main Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: In which Antonia Monetti learns about what is important in life: Video games.
Cast of Characters: Toni Monetti, Cassie Sandsmark, Mary Bromfield

Toni Monetti has posed:
EARLIER, some time around the holidays, Toni Monetti - occasional Titan associate who has been attempting to avoid getting "too" superhero despite the call to adventure - had gone shopping with Cassie Sandsmark. Her phone was briefly stolen, and worse, infested with malware. She had left it with the Titans, in part because she didn't want to bring it home, in part because the Titans' crime lab can probably bust these guys!

NOW, Toni comes up the elevator to the top view. The elevator opens to reveal Toni slouching against the side with her arms loosely folded. She looks slightly zonked, although she walks out evenly. She has on a pair of black high-waisted jeans and a firmly tucked in navy-blue sweater, and is carrying a checkerboard peacoat over one arm. "Hey CASSIE," Toni calls into the immediate area before looking around, because that's how Toni Monetti rolls in this hard life.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Presumably it is not left to total chance that Cassie will be present somewhere in the vicinity, such that Toni's sophisticated yelling technique might in fact reach her. Then again, she's missing her PHONE, so maybe this kind of sophisticated modern communication is difficult and they've been reduced to smoke signals and shouting. But as luck will have it, Cassie is around and about, hanging out in the front of the main longue-y area of the floor, where the big TVs can be used for high, high, EXTREME high def gaming. She's engaged in some idle pew-pewing, but hears the shout and deploys the PAUSE button.

"Toni? Hey, I'm in here," Cassie SHOUTS back, but also sets controller down on the table and gets up to go over toward the elevators to be some kind of a non-barbaric host. She's in total house slackwear, pink sweatpants and a tank-top. "Cool, you made it. No trouble getting in?" You never know when those tower laser death grids will give someone trouble.

Toni Monetti has posed:
Toni did send a couple of texts ahead of time... she even replied to one! Advanced texting technique - but the truly advanced technique is to leave it on 'Read.'

"Cassie!" Toni says, cheerily, pausing near a table to throw her coat and a Givenchy bag on one of the chairs, hopefully not burying Gar. "Hey! Hey," Toni continues, putting one of her freed hands on her hip and saying, "You look intensely comf. No, not really! I think I froze my entire BUTT off skimming over here, though, and I hope that's like, cool? That I did the thing? I thought I should keep in practice?"

She glances past Cassie. "Is that where the gaming stuff is? Did you get the... it's the five, right? I think we determined that one through like, science."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Oh yeah, it's fine, I'm just joking about the lasers. Someone must have put you in the security database already, or some kinda alarm woulda gone off as you approached the island," Cassie explains, sounding rather nonchalant about the whole thing despite the fact that the existence of said lasers is not, in fact, any kind of joke or exaggeration. "It's good you're practicing with your uh, what do you call it again? The silver stuff. Getting the hang of things? I guess it must be chilly, though, zooming around like that." As she's chattering, she moves toward the kitchen area rather than back toward the land of entertainment.

Soon, the fridge is raided. "Want anything? We got, like, sodas, juice, some flavored waters and sports drink."

Grabbing one of the flavored things herself, she reverses course. "Yeah, we got the entertainment setup in there, it's pretty nice." Though, making a put-upon face at Toni's continued lack of gaming literacy, she explains: "I beat Space Event, like, a month ago. Now I'm playing this cowboy thing, it's the sequel." Who knows where she came up with five!

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Unexpected and unasked for, a head pokes into the room from the doorway off to the women's wing. "Hey, is everything okay?" Mary asks, looking back and forth in search of passing supervillains, monsters, or other threats. "I heard shouting and I wasn't sure if it was the regular kind or the -- oh, hi!"

Spotting Toni, she gives a cheerful wave hello, and steps out into the doorway; jeans, t-shirt, bunny slippers, paperback copy of 'The Mayor of Casterbridge', nothing out of the ordinary here. "Sounds like the regular kind then. At least, you don't look like your own evil duplicate." Here she pauses to consider before admitting, "But I guess it doesn't always have to be easy to tell." Here she winks at Cassie, all very cheerful.

Toni Monetti has posed:
"There's lasers?" Toni says. "Are those..."

She trails off. "I don't really call it anything, I guess. It's just, like... I guess I shouldn't say my mutant power. I don't really do much with it? It's kind of handy if I'm chopping up onions, though." At the fridge, Toni squats to get a good view of the full offerings, and she calls back to Mary, "HEY~. Yeah hi! Wait, what?" To Cassie, she says, "I'm just misunderstood, right? I had a rough childhood. Pass me that mango one?" Rising back up, she asks Mary, "Was there like a shapeshifter guy or something?"

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"So like, when your base is a giant 'T' by itself on an island, it's kind... well clearly you've given up on the whole 'secret base' thing at that point, yeah? So you may as well make it a helluva fortress for anyone who wants to bring trouble." Which is all a fancy way for Cassie to get back to the original fact at question: "So yeah, there's real lasers. Come in handy sometimes, too."

En-route to the entertainment area and passing beneath the stairs up to the women's dorm hallway, she tilts her head back to look up at Mary and gives her a quick, "Hey," in greeting, as well as a smile. "This is Toni. She's a friend who I'm sponsoring to try out here!" 'Try out' might suggest a more formal process than there really is. In the mean time, she tosses Toni her mango drink, while finishing her way back over to the entertainment area and flopping back on the couch there.

"And no, she's not an evil doppleganger, even if she kinda looks like a black-and-white photo," she offers, in what she must assume is a helpful defense of her friend's unusual appearance. "Not that... OK there's really no way to tell who's an evil doppleganger, until they lock you in a car trunk and ambush your mentor. So there's a certain degree of faith here." To Toni, this also prompts an explanation: "So like there's some weird dimension with crappy versions of us and they started coming over and mine caused a whole -thing.- I'll tell you about it later."

Which is maybe code for 'don't really wanna talk about it' now!

Mary Bromfield has posed:
"Hi, Toni! Glad to have you here," Mary says brightly, coming right over to shake hands and/or hug, depending on which her prospective seems most likely to tolerate. "I'm Mary. And I'd explain the evil duplicate thing but Cassie does it so much better than I do. That's about the size of it, anyway."

Finger tucked into her paperback to keep her place, she remarks, "Exactly. No way to tell for sure, but that you aren't here being all crazy and murder-y and stuff is definitely a positive sign. ANYWAY, I don't want to interrupt you guys, but, glad you're here and I really look forward to seeing what you can do sometime!" She's definitely on the 'perky' end of the 'perky-depressive' scale.

Toni Monetti has posed:
Toni opens her drink and listens to what Cassie is saying. Mary may be slightly entertained at the intent look on Toni's pallid-silvery face as she tries to follow along. It involves puckering her lips and furrowing her brow a little.

"That's awful," Toni says. "I'm glad you're dealing with it. Jesus. I had no idea. Lots of weird stuff, right?" To Mary, Toni seems to consider the hug but goes with a free-hand hand squeeze or light tap of fists. "Absolutely. And no, uh, my real dad was an alien which is why I look like this. Basically." After a second, Toni says, "I guess he wasn't THAT alien though, right?!"

(That was a real dog of a line, Toni, thinks Toni, but what am I supposed to say about evil dopplegangers?)

"To explain," Toni says to Mary, "I actually got helped out after I found out about the alien... thing, which is how I kind of got on the radar! That was a while back, though." Her lips purse and she takes another sip of the mango juice, before continuing onwards. "Cassie brought in my old phone because someone jacked it and was using my credit card info to buy Lexcoins. Except they did this in like ten seconds? I was gonna pick up the phone since it had a bunch of stuff I kind of, need, on it. You're not interrupting! I was gonna ask about the cowboy game because, real talk, I am not in a huge rush to surf back over the water? Because did you know it's frigging COLD?"

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"It was pretty strange. But I guess, I don't know, you get used to some of the weird stuff that tends to happen around you when you do this for a while." Whether or not its quite as easy as all of that to shrug off or if she's just playing tough, Cassie seems happy to quickly skim over whatever trauma (or embarassment) of that particular incident and settles in on the couch. Pulling her feet up and sitting all crosslegged, she resumes her prior perch of comfort and snags the waiting controller. As Toni's woes go, she adds, succinctly. "Ugh, super-dads, right?"

Common ground!

"By the way, the phone's all done. Like I said, it wasn't really a big deal." A little malware is no match for their team of geniuses, cyborgs, and artificial life-forms. "I dunno who ended up fixing it even, I just put it down in the lab with a post-it note and it was done by the next time I went down there." True to the stature of the hipster villain behind the scheme, she seems terribly unimpressed by the whoel thing. "So, anyway, this game is like- well, cowboy stuff. It's pretty cool, and the graphics are really good, you can see the horses-"

Then she looks over at Mary and stops herself. Her wholesomeness is a strong force to overcome! "Either of you wanna try? There's ilke an online multiplayer co-op mode kinda thing, we can have a posse."

Mary Bromfield has posed:
"SO much weird stuff," Mary agrees, with a sigh. "I'm just glad I haven't had one of me show up yet. She'd probably wear a really tarty outfit and dress all in black or something. Oh, hey! That's neat." Meaning the dad being an alien thing; she seems unfazed by this, fortunately. "Anyway, nothing wrong with being from another planet. Or, um, being half from another planet. There's lots of cool people from other planets!"

She absorbs the explanation about Toni's phone with a series of blinks indicating she is probably not one of the more technical members of the team, and almost certainly had nothing to do with the fixing of it, but complaints about the cold? *Those* she can relate to. "Right? If I had a nickel for every time I've been tempted to transform just so I can feel warm ... well, I could use the nickels." Hopping up to sit on the back of a convenient located couch, she grins at Cassie, but shakes her head: "No, thanks! I'd rather watch you guys. I'm not really good at these kinds of games, but it's fun to see stuff happening."

Toni Monetti has posed:
"Right? I actually didn't even meet him, or if he was there he like didn't cop to it? It p- cheeses, me off," Toni says, perhaps due to Mary's ambient positivity field washing some of the New Jersey out of her mouth, "kind of, but yeah, like, I just mean, I get it?" She then listens to Cassie, nodding along. "That's good... they didn't like copy the data, did they?"

As they get near the gaming system, Toni leans against the couch and somewhat forward to get a better look at the screen. "Oh, wow, yeah. It's like a movie! I guess. I never saw a movie where it was like, sunny and foggy, but it makes sense, right? That happens all the time." Cassie mentions something and Toni glances to the side, and asks in smaller letters, "yeah really? like they programmed that?"

To Mary, she says, "Hey, black is solid as hell, you can always build off that. But I don't know if they'd know how to do accent colors."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Yeah, my dad definitely did the whole- you know, it's probably best not even imagining WHAT he did, if you know those old stories -but yeah pretty much left me and ran back off to do return to his regularly scheduled jerkass womanizing godhood. Made it real hard for my mom." This is a rare moment of reflection and kindness as regards the elder Sandsmark, who Cassie -usually- just complains about. But apparently her getting hostage-taken has left her daughter with at least a smidgen of appreciation, especially as regards the absentee divine spark donor. "But yeah, that's definitely one of the cool things hanging around here: when it comes to crazy backgrounds, we've sort of got it covered and no one's gonna look at you funny. Aliens? We got that. Absentee genetic donors who nonetheless left you with some cool powers? Join the club. Did I mention the fully synthetic personoid?" What she's saying is that the team would do well on the front of a college pamphlet highlighting diversity.

"You mean like, at your photos and stuff? I don't know. I'm sure it's fine. What, did you have anything -interesting- on there?" Cassie again looks sidelong at Mary, and then back to Toni.

So, game stuff."Its -very- realistic," Cassie agrees, in that softer, confiding tone. And since Mary is apaprently sitting it out, she hops right in. "OK so, you press that, and select- yeah, you can just use Bart's character, I'm sure he'll be fine." This may be some intentional friendly antagonism between friends and teamates! "OK then it'll load us up, and yeah, so like, see how we're in town? We can go over there, and get some horses, and then, well, it's up to us, like we can go rob someone or hijack a train or..." Is it weird the superheroes play video games glorifying CRIME?!

Also, on the topic of costumes and such: "In winter I just wear athletic thermal tights." But Cassie has NO COSTUME STYLE. Or rather, it's all very normal.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary is trying -- really trying -- to fight down her grin when Toni has that reaction to her dislike of black as a costume color. She points the accusing finger of accusation and intones, "You /totally/ wear black in uniform, don't you? Secret supervillain! Secret supervillain!" But she can't keep a straight face and quickly dissolves into laughter, shaking her head in amusement.

"Seriously, though. With your complexion you really need a dark color to look your best, I think, so I can totally see it. I just couldn't see myself in it. I felt weird enough about red!"

Some of her upbeat humor leaches away, though, on the subject of parents, and she's clearly sympathetic to Cassie and Toni both, even if she's only just met the latter. "I used to think /I/ had it tough when it came to my Mom and Dad," she admits, "but seeing all the stuff that some of my friends have had to deal with? I got off super easy." She is not /quite/ going to jump up and go over to hug Cassie, but she's not far off it, either. And luckily, there's video game distractions to rapidly get her mind off it. Naturally, her first question is, "Do they have computer guys who try to rob trains and hijack people so you can stop them?" Because /of course/.

Toni Monetti has posed:
Toni purses her lips at Cassie's elaboration, and then she receives a controller and begins to play Bart's character, or at least she figures out which one it is because she can make that cowboy move around. And walk straight into water. "Oh, crap," she says, before complaining, "I am NOT a supervillain GOD."

Toni glances at Cassie, then away, then back at Cassie, then back at the screen, on the topic of her photos, which is probably an answer in its own right. "So is this game all about being like... a cowboy supervillain or something? Oh, I guess that button sh- SORRY"

"I guess I'm a murderer now?" Toni says. "Or wait, can I like... heal you, hold on."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"There's all kind of computer guys in the singleplayer. In the multiplayer, it's mostly other real people, or just kind of background NPCs," Cassie starts to explain to Mary, eager to ramble on about little game details in proper 'secretly more nerdy than she looks' fashion. "But I don't think there's any single player mission where you have to stop a bank robbery. Maybe in the expansion? You can do it in multiplayer, though, going around trolling other gangs and messing up their heists. Or even better, you kind of wait for them to do a job and then jump 'em at the last moment to take -their- loot!" So robbing from the criminals to give to the... OK, probably not the poor. If Mary is looking for righteousness in this simulated world, she may find it lacking!

"We're not -supervillains-, we're just, you know, tough, independent frontierspeople practicing noble outlawry. These were tough times, you know! And if you know the story from the single player, there's this rail baron guy who's pretty shady so there's some-" While clearly none of this amoral simulation seems to bother Cassie a bit as she leads them toward the virtual hitching post lined with virtual horsies... what does stop her is Toni virtually shooting her in the virtual back. "Ohmygod! Just- no don't press that, you have to go into your inventory and get the bandages and- ohshit you got the sheriffs on us."

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary, probably fortunately, has completely missed the significance of the Exchange Of Glances vis-a-vis photographs. The Wisdom of Solomon, alas -- or not-alas -- only works when she's in her hero ID! "I'm just teasing! 'Course you're not a supervillain. I'd say you're way too friendly to be one, but there actually are some pretty friendly supervillains, aren't there?"

She has a sort of disapproving frown at the duo's on-screen antics. "Hmm," she says, in a not at all judgy (i.e., totally judgy) kind of way. "Well, I guess punishing criminals for their evil deeds is better than nothing," she admits, "even if you do end up keeping the -- oh, ow! That looked like it really hurt? Wait, is bandaging part of the game too? Or do you just push the button and -- oh, no!" The thing about Mary is that no matter how judgy she might be feeling, her sympathy for even virtual harms is always unaffectedly sincere. She even /looks/ pained.

Toni Monetti has posed:
Toni holds a button down to apply bandages. This is kind of boring. "Oh so like... you're a criminal but you're fighting bigger criminals? Like Robin Hood or something," Toni theorizes, before glancing back up at Mary and saying, "... Are there? Like, if you're actually /nice/ you're probably not a supervillain. Unless you mean like someone who has a mob wife or something, I guess." Back ahead just in time for

"Uh! I got stabbed! Hold on let me get the horse, can the horse like, kick?" Toni did not actually get stabbed; she had been meandering around and had gotten hit by an open air blacksmith, who had an apology already. Instead, button press, leap on horse. "... This is a /really/ good looking horse."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Oh, you can do all kinds of stuff," Cassie goes on explaning, as her kind-hearted teamate focus in on the medical aspect. "You can cook food, craft items, play games at the saloon, it's really immersive." Or it would be, if she wasn't currently stumbling around as Toni makes whatever attempts to put back together the damage she just so recently caused! Rather than before, where she seemed really 'dialed-in' to the gameplay, now she's sat back, chatting with Mary while Toni... tries to figure things out. People who play videogames inherently categorize their less-than gamer friends into certain groups or tiers of ability, and Toni has quickly jumped to one normally reserved for when you try and teach your grandma 'how to work the video machine.'

Expectations, lowered!

Eventually, Cassie's cowlady avatar is no longer so injured, and she gets to show off her 'leet skillz,' button-tapping into action at great speed! This involves, among other things that may horrify her kind-hearted audience, immediately shooting an approaching lawman dead (himself aggro'd by Toni's accidental murder of some earlier civillian), leaping onto a horse, and kicking it into motion to rush on out of town where more NPC lawfolk are spawning to deal with this wanton violence. "Yeah, just hold forward and kind of turn the stick which way you want to go to follow- the animations are really great, aren't they?"

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary thinks about Toni's question for a bit, while virtual western violence and the occasional tragicomic accident go on in the background, so to speak. "Well, you might be right," she admits. "Some of them /seem/ nice! Or maybe I've just had my expectations lowered and 'nice' is just not immediately jumping ahead to murder and bloodshed and stuff." Or maybe she's giving even supervillains the benefit of the doubt if they're well-spoken and have good grammar and so on. That would be entirely typical.

She is, however, happy to chatter away with Cassie about nothing in particular while everything gets put back in, er, order. So to speak. She can't help wincing when the poor deputy gets his comeuppance. "You couldn't've lassoed him?" she asks plaintively. "Poor fellow. His wife and daughter'll be crushed when they hear about this." Okay, now that's just going too far.

Toni Monetti has posed:
"I hear a lot of games have like, cooking in them now," Toni says, because she does hear Things even if she's not necessarily good at these games. Nerds. She keeps steering, and on the animations, she says: "Yeah, it's really good. Did they like do motion capture stuff for a bunch of horses? Like I - oh, wow. His hat flew off, jeez."

Toni gets the horse into second gear and seems to be maneuvering the camera around, having figured out it's what that joystick does. "Ah jeez, do they do that in this game? That's kind of sick, right, if they actually put in a wife and daughter and stuff. Especially if they started hunting you down."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
The irony of urging /Wonder Girl/ to be a bit more merciful and lasso-centric in her gameplay is perhaps not lost on Cassie, but she rejects this kinder image, at least for the time: "Sorry, but he had it comin'. Fraid yer just not cut out fer this kinda life, lil' missy." At this point, she's immitating a sort of cowboy drawl, and not especially well. Though she blessedly swaps back to normal-speak before too long: "Plus those NPCs just kinda spawn outta nowhere as soon as you commit a crime in town. So it's not like they have any real background programmed, that wife and kid stuff."

Should this be a consolation? That they are born from a virtual purgatory, existing for no purpose but violence? Such angst!

"Some of the named ones, the story characters, they might have more background," she concedes, eventually riding up into a pacing position off to one side of Toni, once it looks like she's stopped zig-zagging drunkenly on her horse. "But yeah this one really has all the bells and whistles. There's lots of collecting and sidequests and all kinds of things. You can get different kind of outfits and stuff too. I got a whole bunch." Although her avatar at present boasts rather rugged and theme appropriate garb, not the limited edition cartoonish bling that tends to infest these games in the long run!

Mary Bromfield has posed:
The faux Western accent just makes Mary giggle, which she smothers quickly with the back of her hand. "/Cas/sie," she says, packing a whole paragraph's worth of remonstration into one pair of syllables. She is, however, a little disappointed that not all the slain law officers come with families and backstories of their own. "It just seems like they're passing up some great opportunities for emergent narratives, is all," is her only comment, though.

Then she thinks to glance at the clock. "Oh, geez. I have to get back and finish my reading for class tomorrow." Sounding apologetic, she tells Toni, "It was nice meeting you, though! We should hang out sometime. And Cassie, I haven't forgotten I owe you lunch -- it was Indian, right?"

Toni Monetti has posed:
"Oh yeah, great to meet you," Toni tells Mary, turning her head just in time to ride her horse into a ditch. Fortunately, the horse veers away, tossing and whinnying. "Uh good luck! Lemme know where you go! If we take the same class we can -- ah, dammit." The horse has started running away from the ditch, snorting. "Dammit--"

"Oh, so you can build a wardrobe? That's good. Usually people don't bother, especially not guys and it *sucks*. Is it like, armor?" A moment, and she adds, "And yeah like can you play as the Indians? Like Native Americans, I mean."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Well, maybe in the next one. They're doing crazier and crazier stuff with AI all the time in these." Cassie has to pause and think about it. Not the fact that she lives with an actual functioning Artificial Intelligence, but the rammifications on the game: "Though, it might get a little out of hand if every one of them spawned a family and a revenge-seeking offspring. You end up shooting a LOT of sheriffs sometimes." Is she SURE she's not playing a supervillain?!

It is also somehow fitting that it is Mary who brings reminders of real-world responsibility, as her comment about class reading prompts an 'oh yeah'. She has these class things too! It's tough being a superhero and a student AND finding time to rot your brain widowing the theoretical spouses of AI lawmen! However, while Mary remembers her homework and prepares to leave... Cassie seems like she's gonna play a while more. "Hmm? Oh, yeah we could do Indian, or whatever, I'm easy. Have a good night, Mary!"

Then its back to the game! Fortunately the horses are better in this one, than her Witch Slayer game. "Yeah, like, you can mix and match normal stuff a bit, get different hats, change colors, get fancy belt-buckles, all kinds of stuff. Also there's like some limited outfits that are all-in-one." Unfortunately, the game gets a poor rating on the second question: "Well, kiiiinda. There's some in the main game, as NPCs, and some clothes, and the character creator has some features you can use, but it's not like... the most diverse set of choices. Better than the last one, tho'."

Toni Monetti has posed:
Mary slips off and Toni glances after her. Then she listens to what Cassie is saying, but she's doing this partly to let Mary get clear before she asks, "Is she uh, kind of, prude? about this stuff? Because that was like two huge near misses..."

Toni brings her horse to a halt, and ends up climbing off of it by accident. Well, off of HIM. "Whoops," she says, and while she's figuring out how to get back on, she says, "That makes a lot of sense, actually, if like, playing the game lets you shop. I know, /super shallow/, but it's true."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"Haha, I mean, I don't know- she just feels like she has this kind of wholesome vibe to me? Maybe it's kind of mean or unfair, to exclude her from things but it just makes me feel kind of weird talking about some of that stuff in front of her. I don't know why!" Ultimately, Cassie cannot quite put the Golden Age vibe of the Marvel family to words, and she gesticulates a little helplessly with one hand, while the other still manages not to crash her horse, managing with just her thumb on the stick. "But you saw how she was about my even wanting to do rob a fake train, or shoot a fake deputy!" Proof!

Since Toni has inadvertently dismounted, Cassie takes this as an opportunity to draw her own horse up to a halt as well, and promptly do the same. They've ridden wildly for long enough that the legal pursuit has ended, leaving them just to wander the Badlands-ish expanses of the game world, which are likewise rendered in a fairly impressive degree of detail. "Here, lemme set up camp, and I can show you some of that stuff-"

This leads to a whole process where a small tent and fire are constructed, also with some excessively elaborate animations. The camp, once built, includes a trunk, which by some sorcery seems to connect back to her main inventory and collection of stuff. "I know it's a little hokey, but if they made you haul this stuff around manually... you'd need like a whole stagecoach and baggage! Anyway, sec."

And here, she can pull up an expanded version of the inventory, and goes through some of her assortment of outfit bits, modeling them each with the occasional in-game emote. Most, still, are cowboyish, though a sharp eye might spot her quickly click over one that stands out for the distinctly less brown palette of it's inventory icon.

Toni Monetti has posed:
"I can get how it's like, gross, if you didn't grow up around it or something," Toni speculates, shifting her grip on the controller as she slides her feet out of her boots and crosses her legs on the couch. Apparently the Law has disappeared, and so has the swampy trees. After this -

"Jeez, this is like too realistic. No wonder people play this stuff all day, it's like this whole landscape," Toni says. The inventory magic doesn't seem to baffle her too much - it's already like she's watching a video even if she has a controller - and then there's a presentation of outfits. (Bart's cowboy stands still, occasionally adjusting his hat. In fact, Toni figures out what button makes him tip his hat.) Unfortunately, perhaps: "What's that one?" Toni says, almost immediately, when the icon is moved past. As she asks this, her eyes track sidewise again, towards Cassie, and her eyebrows lift.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
And she's caught. While she could probably use her superior mastery of the game to banish the screen and claim not to know where everything went, she wagers this level of denial will make things worse. So Cassie gives a little bit of a sigh, and relents, pushing the stick back the other direction to reverse her scroll through the list. When it arrives on the icon, in less haste it's easier to tell that it's not another jacket, or hat, or set of chaps, but something like the abreviated upper half of a gown. She clicks a button.

And thus the Cassie-avatar is now wearing something just as recognizable from the plentiful history of Western film and popular fiction, an elaborate 'saloon girl' sort of gown, vibrant crimson with details in white lace. Very much not brown. And very much up to video-game standards of dressing a female character, with a whole different set of physics engine technology to show off. Apparently, the outfit is a single top and bottom versus some that let you pick each, but it does not include the head slot, so her hat remains, for the moment.

"It was for this special saloon DLC event..." Cassie mutters.

Toni Monetti has posed:
Toni gazes upon the outfit in question -- its low decolletage, the long frills, the scarlet cloth that speaks of the potential soil factor of the implicit dove - and she says:

"At first I was thinking this was all really boring and it was like, clearly this is mostly just men's stuff they put on women except for those like two boring dresses you flipped through, like, probably super authentic but boring, but THIS: This looks good," Toni says, pointing forwards.

"Like, I would wear that, for real. ok maybe not LITERALLY that. But if it was in black or something. EVEN IF THAT MAKES ME A SUPERVILLAIN NOW." she doesn't actually shout that out, at least. "Does it let you ride the horse in that?"

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
"I mean, mostly it is, yeah. Boring, I mean. But there's always some kind of stuff like this. They like having fancy, limited-time exclusive content that people will be all FOMO and rush to try and get it so they can show it off later once it's rare..." Cassie explains, giving a brief glimpse into the diabolical psychology behind video game micro-marketing. Who are the real supervillains, in all of this? "There's a couple male outfits from that one too, like some kind of fancy high-roller gambler thing with a nice vest and tophat. And of course, it's locked so you can't wear that one on a female char."

Since her character is in the outfit now, and the band-aid has been ripped off, Cassie goes through showing it off a bit, demonstrating a few normal emotes, as well as a unique one apparently from the same event, that has the character lifting and swishing her skirts and leg-kicking like she was doing a can-can.

"There's a dye system, so you could turn it black if you wanted, yeah," she also concedes. Villain garb achievable! As for the horse? Well. "It's a premium one, so yeah, it's got the cloth physics and everything." Up onto the horse goes the saloon-Cassie-cowgirl. And then she hits a button, and produces a rifle, held menacingly across her bussom in its idle pose. "Wanna go do some stylish villainy? Just uh, try and not shoot me in the back this time."

Toni Monetti has posed:
"Sure," Toni says.

"I didn't know they had good stuff like that in here, I thought video game clothes were all like, you know, ghost armor and witch bodices and stuff. I have like one corset and it's honestly kind of lame," Toni says, and then matters fade into conversational, unskilled gameplay.

Whoever's the loaner cowboy will return to no shirt, no pants: just chaps. Also, problems with the law. It won't be the first time for the Monetti family........