And here's Chapter 2! Sorry for the wait, but homework has been quite thick on the ground as of late. :P
Again, I do not own any of the characters in Poker Night, and there is no Strong Bad/Tycho, so go away if that's what you're expecting.
"Blue sweater man."
"Tycho, then." The hulking form of Heavy leant forward as he pushed a small bet into the pot. "What do you do with life?"
Tycho paused in the middle of calling the bet, taken aback by the fact that such a simple-minded person could ask such a deep question. Normally, the towering Russian gave no indication of anything other than a man who only cared about his enormous minigun and the paycheck he'd receive at the end of the day. But then he'd come out with questions, or say things that caught you off guard and suggested that something more was going on in his head.
"Me?" he asked, just to clarify, before throwing his chips into the pot.
"Yes." Now the Heavy seemed to be looking at Tycho with a sort of sympathy, doubtfully eying the smaller man's slim frame. "What is possible with tiny frail body?"
Ignoring the comment on his stature, Tycho realised he was now in what Gabe often called a "sticky situation". He was being quizzed on his spare time, which involved trawling through online forums and updating the Penny Arcade website, by a man from the mid-to-late 1960's who believed that Purple Rain was new music and owned a walkman. How on earth was he going to explain things like the internet and video games to a person like this? None of his long WoW career had prepared him for this.
"I occupy myself with... simulations of various kinds," he tried, grinning sheepishly. He'd decided to play it safe and use layman's terms, so that his larger companion could understand better.
"Oh, you mean games?"
Tycho jerked as though stung. "Excuse me?"
"You know, like Space Invaders or Pac-Man." The huge Russian grinned disarmingly. "Am I right?"
"But you cannot spend all day playing games, no? Surely you have job?"
"Hey, don't forget Videlectrix's latest releases, man!" This came from Strong Bad, who, having just raised Tycho's bet, was reclining in his chair and looking almost disdainfully at the other competitors. Right now, the wrestleman was in a good mood after winning a sizable pot in the last round, which tended to irritate Tycho even more than usual.
"Strong Bad, you rendered yourself incapable of talking about games the moment you mentioned Videlectrix," sighed Tycho with obvious annoyance – Strong Bad seemed to have a severe case of Nostalgia Filter, which tended to leak into conversations when no-one was looking. "But go on."
"How about Street Masher vs. Snake Boxer for the Pocket Funmachine?" The masked man struck a dramatic pose as he rattled off the title of his latest 30-year-old, 8-bit monstrosity. "Now, there's a game for ya."
"No, it isn't" said Tycho, sharply. He was rapidly getting sick of the wrestleman's refusal to acknowledge the superior quality and power of modern technology, and the tone of his voice said as much. Before Strong Bad could make any wisecracks, however, a chink of glass on wood signalled the arrival of Max with drinks all round – two Cold Ones, a gin fizz and a peach Bellini. The rabbit-thing, having been eliminated by Strong Bad previously, then hopped back up into his chair and listened to the conversation with interest.
"Thank you, little bunny," rumbled Heavy, reaching out to take his glass before turning back to Tycho. "Anyway, what do you do for living, little man?"
"Oh, I run an online comic book business," was Tycho's casual reply as he reached over to scoop up the fizzy beverage, ignoring Strong Bad's disdainful glare. "I write the jokes, and my roommate Gabe does all the drawings. Then we post it up for all the people to read and comment on, and sometimes get angry over some insignificant little detail."
"But looking at comic is free, yes?" The Heavy had a small idea of how the internet worked, and one of the concepts he had grasped was that using it was free as long as you had a computer. "Free" was a thing that the Russian had struggled with for a bit – in RED, he had to pay for almost everything with his sizable cheques.
"Yeah." Tycho sipped his drink, wondering where this was going.
"So how does little man make money?"
Uh-oh. Another bullet that needed major dodging, and fast. Come to think of it, Tycho had long forgotten how Penny Arcade made money in the first place – the bucks just sort of rolled into his bank account without any explanation. "Uh..." he tried, scratching his head as he racked his brains for an answer.
"I'll tell ya how he does it!" Max suddenly jumped up in his seat, brandishing his Cold One like a tyre iron. "Merchandise, that's how!"
Heavy's eyebrows raised. "Merchandise?"
"Yep!" The rabbit grinned even wider, an amazing feat for someone who was smiling all the time. "You hire a company to make a bunch of, say, Tycho plush dolls or T-shirts or something like that, and then sell them to the slavering masses at ridiculously high prices! My pal Bosco does that all the time during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parades!"
Realization dawned. "Oh, yes, I understand," rumbled Heavy, casually pushing chips into the pot. "RED does something like that, too!"
"Yes." Heavy smiled around the table as Winslow drew the flop cards, complete with the audible sound of paper sliding across wood. "We have collection of local stores that sell all kinds of goods, like normal convenience stores. But really, they are fronts for RED Team fund collecting."
Max's eyes narrowed. "That sounds a lot like Corporate Corruption if you ask me. Sam and I usually have to get the crowbar and butter for that."
"Da, but is reliable source of money for team."
As the two argued, Tycho wisely decided not to point out that at least Penny Arcade didn't hire a bunch of goons to kill people. But then again, few other webcomics had tried cornering that particular market. Hmm...
Read and Review, as always. :D