The bar - a place known as Fred's Place, though it's real name was Corner Pub - was half empty when Adam arrived. Almost none of the... was it twenty? Yeah, that was twenty people, ignoring the chubby barkeep. Almost none of the people gave him a second glance. Nothing odd about some random dude walking in. They had more important things to think about, no doubt.
Adam took a seat at the bar where no one would overhear anything he might say. Not that he talked about anything secretive or anything, but it was good practice. Plus, you never knew who was listening in...
"Hey there, Adam," Fred, the fat man who owned the bar and worked the night shift for some reason, said. "The usual?"
"Is there anything else, Fred?"
"An entire menu, actually," the bartender replied, not stopping in his preparation of Adam's usual; straight up vodka. "Maybe you should actually order off of it?"
Adam took his drink and made a mock toast. "Now, why would I settle for something less than eighty percent?"
Fred sighed. "Because they taste better?" He started cleaning a glass as he spoke. "Seriously, anyone else who comes here I wouldn't serve that shit. Can't have them killing themselves driving home."
"And I walk."
"And you have that freakish tolerance." As a rule, Fred learned every regular's limit and stopped them before they became a danger to themselves. Adam was the exception because he had no known limit.
Adam gave the man a grin and gulped down the entire glass before slamming it on the bar. Some men around him gave him a glance, but otherwise ignored him. Adam had made a point years ago to prove he was not one to mess with and had no interest talking to anyone other than the barkeeper. Rumors kept that point alive. He was Drownin' Adam, the man everyone thought had lost something big in his life and now lived to drink. It was better than his previous persona, though. Damn Steve.
While deep in the process of attempting to even feel drunk - damn this constitution! - Adam didn't hear the door to the bar open and admit a new figure. It took him a moment to notice the man in the mirror that was set into the wall behind the bar. Adam felt his heart drop at the sight.
Standing nearly six feet tall, the man was bald with a neatly trimmed, yet full, beard. As usual, he wore shorts, though the t-shirt and tennis shoes were a nice addition. Good to see he hadn't changed physically over the years. Did he still have... Yes, he did. Tattoos peeked out from the sleeves and neckline of his shirt. Never changed.
They must have done something to him.
The newcomer walked straight up to the bar and sat next to Adam, giving him a small smile. The kind that says 'I'll deal with you in a minute.' Not far from the truth, probably.
"What can I get for you?" Fred asked the man he saw as just another patron. "Or do you want a minute to think on it?"
The man pointed to Adam's vodka. "What he's having."
Fred gave him an odd look. "Did you drive here? Cause I won't let you get yourself killed getting drunk."
Adam waved to the barkeep. "No worries, he'll be fine. He's an old friend. Right, Sevran?"
Sevran rubbed his head in annoyance. "Actually, it's Kory now."
"Huh, you don't say..."
Fred poured up Sevran a glass of vodka and left Adam alone with him. Probably thought they needed to catch up or something. Well, he wasn't wrong, as far as Sevran was concerned. He had caught up to Adam finally.
"So," Adam said after a moment. "I take it you aren't here just to talk or something, right?"
"You know damn well why I'm here, ya punk," Sevran snapped. He always did get agitated when working. Get him in a good mood and Sevran was as fun as anyone could be, though.
"Can you let me finish my drink, at least?"
"Fine." Sevran drank out of his own glass. The man Adam remembered from so long ago had changed. Not by much, but just enough to notice. Back then, he was a guard who did his work dutifully, if annoyed at having to do it. Now, he seemed more soft. The fact that he was relaxing right now while Adam drank said a lot. If he was still the same man, he would literally be dragging Adam out of the door right now.
He also hadn't aged, which meant they had altered him to be more like Adam. How much, though? Had he lost any of his mind yet?
"Fred! Any good news?"
The large man smiled at Adam. He loved sharing news he found online that he thought no one knew about. It was mostly vague stuff like UFO's or sasquatch sightings, but it was sometimes interesting news the media wanted to avoid or alter. From his smile, Fred had something he thought was big or unique.
"I got something real cool," Fred said, leaning on the bar. Hopefully it didn't break. "They found a giant man on the side of the road in southern Mississippi. From the pictures, he has to be at least eight feet tall."
Adam chuckled. "So a giant twig man? Not too cool, man." That tall? Had to be slim as hell. To his side, Sevran had froze and focused on listening. Was he into wild stories now?
Fred shook his head. "That's the crazy part," the barkeeper continued, "He's got muscle to spare. Looks like some body builder got scaled up a few feet. Here, hold on." Fred pulled his cell, something Adam wished he had at times, and pulled up a photo. "This is the best picture I've found."
The photo on the device was blurry at best but Adam could definitely make out a large figure looming over smaller ones. He made out white hair and a brown robe or something as well. "Maybe it's some costume?"
"I doubt it," Fred said, putting his cell away. He took Adam's empty mug as he went back to working. Oh. Empty mug. Sevran. Damnit.
"Let's go outside, Adam."