Three cigarettes in, blowing smoke rings at the endless, black clouds it finally happened. Word got out. The general motion of the area redirected itself, people rushing in droves to collect gear and rations, preparing to scurry out into the wilds in a desperate attempt to find some sign of what had destroyed our world. I was sure there were still some folk left to watch the city, the wilds aren't for everyone after all, but my city had just become a ghost town. Time to get to work. I stamped out my cigarette and started the long, slow trek back down the stairs.
    I stepped down into the club proper to see Irv pointedly ignoring a table of some of the more excitable patrons talking about the latest open job. Irv is a good guy; big, surly and dumb as an ox who's taken too many blows to the head but as good a listener as any bartender from the old days. His real name is Stephen but he makes us call him Irv because he thinks a real bartender's name should end with a “v”sound... yeah don't think too hard on that one. I slipped past the table of men too old and too drunk to be treasure hunters and sat down at the bar.
    “What's the story, Irv?” I asked as the usual paint thinner vodka landed in front of me. I'm actually more of an umbrella drink guy, but it'd break Irv's heart if I ordered a mai tai. He grunted something unintelligible and nodded at the posturing coots behind me.
    I turned around to assess the situation, scanning the Babel for anyone who would take it as an excuse if I threw these guys out. The ol' place was as empty as could be expected with the potentially free ride still hanging in everyone's mind. The Babel Club was meant to live up to its name when they sculpted it out of the wreckage of World's End, a den of sin and inequity where a guy could go and live his darkest desires. It had ended up the bastard child of an old school gentleman's club and a dive bar, all polished leather booths and sawdust on the floor.

The End

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