This being the Wayhouse, the walk-in freezer and walk-in fridge are both always well-stocked with food and drink, materials for meals being one of the ways the live-in residents can easily "pay" their dues. For this evening's event, however, the food options are as much Hedge-given as mundane, and certain tables are much lower than human-normal to accommodate the needs of Hobs and shorter statures.
A number of Hobs and Hedge beasts are present, circulating through the building or, in many cases, lingering near tables full of food which has been guaranteed as safe. Food. The great unifier.
Waykeepers help ensure that trays never go empty, and that none of the drinks end up spiked -- strictly NOT alcoholic beverages would be the rule for the evening.
November circulates, herself, moving from room to room as need be, in all of her radiant, colourful, crystalline glory.
Poppy makes her way in through the mudroom, leaving her coat inside but her shoes on her feet; the siren is dressed in a pair of dark blue skinny jeans, a dark teal, tunic-style sweater, and a pair of knee-high, black stiletto boots. Around her neck is a long, silver chain bearing a pendant shaped like an inverted triangle. Opalescent eyes flicker idly about the Wayhouse, taking in the hobs and Hedge beasts, as well as the Waykeepers. As she spies November, she offers the icy Fairest a cheerful, if sharp grin. "Hey," she says cheerfully. "Nice fucking turnout."
Widget is /ready/. She's got plans, she's got ideas, she's got her box of tools, she is /go to go/. However, there is food, the shorter imp happy to spend her time at the lower tables with the hobs. She doesn't get to talk to them a lot and sometimes it's nice to talk with people who can be as unhinged and single minded as you. Doesn't even stand out all that much in her boiler suit, but it's recently been cleaned. She spots November and Poppy, giving them a hopping wave. Beaming, the imp is.
Smiling to Poppy when she catches sight of the Siren's approach, November agrees, "So far, so good. I am simply grateful that none of the local Fae have chosen to accept the open invitation to attend..." Who needs Fae when you have people as ridiculously Wyrd as she is? It may be noted that many of the hobs and hedgebeasts treat her with visible wariness and care, some of which borders on caution-induced deference which, it may also be noted, she accepts without any indication that their caution is unwarranted.
The hobs are plenty happy to talk shop with people as skittery as they are, and some of them have English even less intelligible than the gremlin's can sometimes be.
"I mean, yeah, that would be a bit of a shitshow," Poppy says wryly, eyes gleaming with humor. She's acquired some cheese, at least, of the mortal kind, sharp teeth nibbling at the dairy. Widget's given a bright wave in return, then the siren glances back to November. "I'm on call for the bar, so I expect that I'll last maybe a half an hour before something goes to shit and I have to leave," she informs her cheerfully. "So that's fun. But Jake's out of town, so it's me, myself, and I."
Widget tries Spanish, too. It's weird to hear her speak it. Her speech is smooth, her sentences complete. She sounds mature, if not downright intelligent. But if not chattering in English is just fine. She basically, to some degree, speaks Crazy Hob. She's got those snarled and scrawled plans out, the girl gesturing at them with fire in her eyes. See? This goes /here/ but if it rains, that goes /here/ because those little gears don't like water and-
"Out of town?" the rainbow echoes, the slow slide of auroral hues bleeding into teals and soft green-azure-whites with hints of orchid and pale mauve. "For something fun, I hope." Lifting her eyes to scan the room, gaze lingering briefly on each head as if counting the number of visitors there, November decides, "This will do. Peggy?" The latter is spoken over her shoulder, voice raised only slightly, and the pudgy, porcine Changeling, much more down to earth than the rainbow, not to mention more pragmatic and motherly, nods, slipping out of the room and down the hall. Her voice can be heard calling anyone there for the meeting to come find a place out in the living room.
As for Widget's fellow tinkerers, a few of them do seem to understand Spanish fairly well, but of mundane languages, most here only know English, or pidgin English, or French.
The siren looks amused at Widget's enthusiastic interaction with the hobs. "Jake's in and out of town a lot; he's kind of a fucking workaholic, actually. So fuck all if I know if it's pleasure or pain this time." Poppy takes another bite of cheese, then glances about the room before deciding, "I'll just hold up a fucking wall near the door; that way I'm not in anybody's fucking way if I need step out. Or, well. When." An eyeroll.
Widget perks up, gasping in anticipation. It's time! It's time! It's /her/ time! Maybe. She's worked really hard on this. The rusty woman scuttles along after the porcine lady, dragging along her new Hob buddies. It might also be the massive plate of food she's bringing with her, but she likes to think they genuinely enjoy her company. Someone has to! "Novy! Poppy! This way!" Point-point!
Exercise is a good thing -- Marian's always been one of those who likes to go out and do the whole survivalist thing. And, as she was heading home from a recent excursion and crossing a bridge, she saw the signs of something in the wind. And so, there's the sound of an approaching motorcycle before shutting off. Soon enough, she's slipping inside, a little late, removing her bike helmet and otherwise dressed in black denim jeans and a black leather jacket. Her hair is pulled back in a loose ponytail as the helmet comes off, and there's a sign of a hoodie sweatshirt. unzipping the jacket, it's one of those hoodie sweatshirts: about not getting her letter from Hogwarts, so she's leaving the Shire to become a Jedi.
November, being the Waylady, also remains standing, and Marian isn't the only last-minute arrival. A few others, both Changeling and hob, trickle into the mudroom, stomp snow off their boots, hang their coats, and step through into the living room themselves.
Once it seems the majority of people are settled, November claps her hands to get attention, waits for said attention, then begins, "First, thank you all for coming, some-" she glance toward the hobs with evident amusement, "-from a bit farther away than others."
Her colours shift, benign and sedate, and lazily drift their way across the rainbow as she continues. "Second, I know that some of you have sent in written suggestions and offers of assistance, and a representative of the Waykeepers will review them all while we consider the next steps in our growth. Of those we have seen, so far, there have been requests for a small healing fruit garden, a garden for Hedge-oriented herbs and flavourings to better-suit the tastes of our Hedge-born guests, as well as a third wing, built in the Hedge itself, to accommodate those who, for their own reasons, prefer not to be in this realm of reality."
A delicate, transparent hand lifts, palm up, fingers spreading, then curling back in as the arm is lowered. Graceful, of course. Fairests gotta fair. "You have all seen the handout. What are -your- thoughts?"
Poppy shakes her head, pulling her phone out of her pocket and holding it up for the gremlin, likely in an effort to clarify why she can't come closer. Pocketing the cell again, she slinks over to the wall near the exit, leaning back against it and popping the rest of the piece of cheese into her mouth. Marian is given an interested look as she slips inside, then her attention shifts to the rainbow popsicle as she speaks. As November winds down to the end of her statement, she holds her silence for the time being, apparently not holding particularly strong opinions at the moment. Spectator sport for the moment, at least, it seems.
Widget has read it! A lot. A rusty hand is raised, Widget hopping in case she's not seen over an ogre or something. Her! Pick her! Um, oh, she could just talk? Um. Okay! "Safe room? All the plant stuff is nice. Very nice. But maybe...a....bunker? In case something goes wrong. Yes."
"That sounds practical," Marian comments in response to Widget. "Like a safe room. Not sure how big you'd want it to be, though."
November's colours briefly echo Widget's, tacit attention given before verbal encouragement. "Mortals, as a general rule, will not see the driveway, but we've no protections against them within the forests; hikers do occasionally find us here. Against whom would the bunker protect us?"
One of the hobs starts to pipe up with something, looks at the faerie Ancient, then half strangles itself to avoid actually saying it, choking on a piece of asparagus a moment later when its salad goes down the wrong pipe. Its face begins to turn green, and one of its comrades whacks it on the head.
Widget goes over to fuss over the hob, not sure how to fix it but dammit she's gonna try. Head-whacking failed? Oh. Oh no! That was her plan! Stomach slugging? No, she's too twiggy. Ah-ha! Time for her hugging skills. Time to the heimlich despite not knowing what it is! Squeeeeeze.
In the meantime Widget keeps chattering. "Lost can make mortals go crazy. Magic weather. Big /big/ things. Just in case. Rules stop being rules. Yes. Or if everyone comes back mad."
"People don't need our help to go crazy," Marian says. "We just tend to accelerate things, which is part of why I tend to keep a low profile. I would hope that rules don't just suddenly... quit being rules." She glances over at the hob as it starts choking, only to see another hob smack it upside the head. And then Widget goes and... well, it sorta looks like the Heimlich maneuver... maybe? Possibly?
The hob eventually horks up the hunk of asparagus .. and a lot of other things, a wholly disproportionate amount of vomit coming out of such a small body.
Thankfully, not on Widget herself, but darn close.
November tactfully ignores the incident, letting Peggy handle the hospitality end of things, and nods to Marian -- and Widget, though Widget appears to be, ah, busy. "To clarify, the Wayhouse will always be a place of hospitality. Rules will not be suspended on account of conflict. To be specific, what defenses would you find appropriate for the proposed bunker? Against whom, and what, ought it to defend?"
It literally takes every bone in Widget's body screaming at her to not stare at the pile of stuff to see if there's anything cool in it. Instead she lets the hob go and get proper care, drawing herself up. "Um. Anything. But there are safe rooms. Those are good. But...smaller structure? Somewhere not for hiding. Planning, responding, living, travelling. Like...Stoneheart? But in here." The gremlin bits her lip, /really/ wishing she could just speak Spanish. This is where it fell apart. This is where it always fell apart. "
"From the Gentry," Marian says firmly. Blunt honesty, when all else fails. "I don't trust any of them; one in particular, who's likely still royally pissed at me over ruining his 'I'm not bad, I'm just misunderstood' rendition of the Sheriff of Nottingham... and it probably won't help that I've ruined at least one other thing of his since coming back, but that's another story entirely." She shrugs. "Point is, I don't believe they can be trusted, nor should they be. Letting them in here in the name of hospitality is a bad idea, but... that's just me, and I probably don't have much of a voice in that regard."
The faerie rainbow tilts her head, colours muddying somewhat, and mentions, "The Wayhouse is a hostel, lovely. It is a neutral territory, and its strength is in its lack of overt fortifications. Hospitality is a custom, a convention. Especially for the Fae-" she glances at Marian, dipping her head to acknowledge the other woman's concerns, "-among whom not all keep humankind as prisoners, it is to our advantage, and their weakness, that the Wayhouse exist in -this- world."
The herbaceous hob who had vomited all over the floor, shamefaced, quietly and urgently helps make the mess disappear, using elbow-grease rather than magic. Actual grease, from his elbow, mind. It smells oddly refreshing.
"One of the concerns expressed about the possibility of adding a Hollow to the Wayhouse -was- the ease with which the Fae -could- stay there." As an afterthought, she tells Widget in Spanish, "I will understand you. Please elaborate. Your phrasing was unclear."
Oh thank /god/. Widget looks /overjoyed/, whooshing out a breath and centering herself before continuing. "I'm talking about powerful magic. You know what you can do, what Carter can do, Rocco and Damion and the strong ones. Riots and storms and things that if you don't care what happens after, you can destroy the city. The state."
The gremlin nods, speaking more confidently in her native tongue. "And it would be normal, just big. I remember seeing them, going in them. The US built tons of those things, back in the 40's and 50's. Little towns and houses underground. Places to leave it from, get in it from, with radios, beds, kitchens, heating. Nice places, sometmes. War rooms. Gardens. Prufiers. Things to hide in and...rebuild in, too." Widget inhales, shuffling a little. "...That make sense?"
Marian looks a little confused at first -- clearly, she wasn't exactly the best with foreign languages. But once November is kind enough to begin translating for her, she nods in understanding. "Like some of those repurposed missile silos you read about occasionally in the news," she says after a moment. "I like the idea. Almost wish I had something like that, but my family would likely freak if I did something like that. They had enough issues to contend with while I was... over there. I don't want to make it worse."
Whaaaat? Whip up people's emotions until they riot despite themselves? Suuuurely nobody would do such a thing. Suuuuurely. Ahem. November, naturally, gives Widget a bland and inoffensive look while the gremlin describes the (delightful mischief) things powerful Changelings can achieve when so inclined.
For those in the room who do NOT speak Spanish, she translates, yes, and considers the suggestion. "Under the Wayhouse... Widget, lovely, I'm not at all certain that we -could- achieve a structure so large -here-. Were we to purchase a bit of wild land down in the city, certainly, where we wouldn't have a watershed and collapsing cliffs to worry over. A smaller bunker, farther back toward the mountain, could be more feasible without causing rocky upsets. Or leakages."
If need be, she repeats anything Widget asks for in Spanish.
Oh right. Widget was used to things dug out of sandstone in the desert, not the damp and crappy digging areas around here. That was tricky. "...Yes. Old mines. Drainage tunnels under the city. Lots of places to build it. But something? I'm not looking to hurt the Wayhouse any but we always need more safe places." She blinks, looking over at Marian. "They don't have missiles in them anymore?" In Spanish, mind. Pause. Tickticktickticktick-*clunk* "Oh, right. Soviets are gone."
Marian nods at Widget. "Well, yes and no. The Soviet Union is no more -- now there's God only knows how many countries that have broken away from Russia." She hmms. "Honestly, I don't know what else to suggest, but that's mostly because I don't really know what all is here."
Peggy and the hobs have been having their own quiet conversations, bunkers and potential nuclear fallout not precisely their area of expertise.
November, meanwhile, serves as willing translator of Widget's Spanish into Marian's English, and, for her own contribution, suggests that, "Why don't you bring up the prospect of bunkers to the Captain, Widget? The Harvestmen are our militia; they should be aware of security matters, and may have further ideas for you. We are in no hurry; nothing will be decided tonight. This is an exploration of possibilities."
Looking around the room, she asks, "Are there any other suggestions?" to which Yrrh, a large white crow, replies, "YEAH! Make more cheesy poufs next time, snowflake. The crankers ate them all!"
Widget nods, giving November a grateful smile. She'll remember this, in a good way. "I will. Thank you very much for helping me say all of this. It means a lot to me." The gremlin puts her plans away, milling back towards the rest of the group. Even if she does point at Yrrh. This one /gets/ it. All of the cheesy snacks! Marian gets a smile, a tentative touch to her arm. "Thank you. Yes. Very nice." Ah, English. Back to that.
Marian turns and just /stares/ at the white crow for a moment, then shakes her head. "Oh man..." she mutters, more to herself than anything else. She looks at November and shakes her head -- nothing more from her tonight. Then she looks at Widget as the gremlin touches her arm. "You're the one with the ideas. I'm just agreeing with them."