“Hey, man.” He said, walking in Alex’s direction. “Where’s Daniel? Wasn’t he working today?”
“He asked off yesterday.” Alex responded. “Trevor called me in.”
“Oh. I was about to say.”
“You coming to hang out for a bit? It’s rather slow right now.”
“Sort of.” Marcus said, pulling out a bag of role-playing dice. “We’re hosting a game later, and I’m a bit interested to see how it works.”
“Really? Which one?”
“It’s a D&D module. 4th edition I think.”
“Nice, and you bought some dice for it?”
“Yeah.” Emptying a few dice from the bag, they were blue with white sweeps. “We had an older set in backstock.”
“Very nice. Have fun then.”
Watching his friend head to the rear of the shop, Alex stepped into the spot where Marcus had been. His scent was still strong in the air, but there was no trace of his fear scent. Breathing an easy sigh, he returned to the shelves as another customer entered.
Until another of his coworkers came, the flow of customers started growing once again. Most of them had dice with them from the clinking in their pockets, but a few picked up reserves and other stock from the register. Ringing up a stack of comics for one of them, between discussions about Green Arrow and other superheros, he saw Gwen, his co-worker for that evening, walk up to him.
“You can take your break, Alex. I’ll cover the rest.”
“Thanks, Gwen.” His stomach still full from lunch, Alex grabbed a soda and headed for the back of the store. Marcus was sitting at the table, along with Trevor and at least three other people. Laid out in front of the group on the table was a collection of maps and figurines, opened sodas and dice. At his first glance, it seemed like a normal encounter. “How’s the game going?”
“I’m getting my ass handed to me.” Marcus said, looking over his sheets and the map.
“He’s got a third of his HP left.” Said another player, a weak smile on his face. He seemed in his mid to early twenties.
“Says the guy who nearly blew us up earlier.” Marcus retorted in jest.
“We’ve got no wizard. What did you expect?”
“Not using that scroll for one.” Said another player as they flipped through a collection of cards.
Listening to the back and forth, Alex jumped in. “At least in Mage, that’s intentional. Trying to blow someone up.”
“I’m a rouge.” The player replied.
“Meaning anything magical is dangerous in your hands.” Marcus said.
As the player mentioned something about using healing, Trevor got Alex’s attention. “You want to join us for a while?”
As he considered the offer, one of the players spoke. “We do need a wizard, and you did mention Mage.”
“Any chance you all can give me some pointers if I do? I’ve never played 4th edition.”
“Certainly.” Trevor said. “Grab a seat.”