Poker Night at the Inventory belongs to Telltale Games. Winslow and everything else related to Monkey Island belong to LucasArts. Wario, Tatanga, Daisy, and everything else related to Mario or Wario belong to Nintendo. Invader Zim, the series' titular character, and everything else related to the show belong to Nickelodeon (I'd prefer they belong to Jhonen Vasquez, though; he DID essentially create the show). Nami and everything else related to One Piece belong to Eiichiro Oda. Jak, Daxter, and everything else related to their series belong to Sony Computer Entertainment America and Naughty Dog. The Heavy and Team Fortress 2 belong to Valve. Sam, Max, and everything else related to their comics, games, and animated series belong to Steve Purcell.

Let me know, in the reviews, if you want to see more characters. If I recognize the character(s) (and it wouldn't be illegal or out-of-character for the character(s) to gamble), I can put them in this fiction (and believe me, they don't have to be very well-known). Also, for the first part of this chapter, Poker terms will be in all-caps.

Four people sat in the Inventory, all around the Poker table.

But these weren't the four that people had come to expect after Poker Night at the Inventory was released. No, these were four different characters.

One of them was Wario, an obese man wearing purple overalls with white buttons; a yellow t-shirt and cap (the latter of which had a purple, stylized "W" emblazoned on it); comparably (and comically) tiny green shoes with pointed, upturned toes; and a pair of white gloves, each emblazoned with a purple, stylized "W" emblazoned on it. Wario was an ugly customer, having a cleft chin; an enormous grin that emanated greed; a crooked, black mustache that looked a bit like a series of "w's"; a bulbous, pink nose; burly, muscular arms in spite of his overweight torso; sneaky-looking eyes that seemed to suggest that their master didn't get enough sleep; big black eyebrows that complimented his villainous eyes; brown hair, the sideburns sneaking out from under his cap; and pointed, elf-like ears.

Sitting next to him was a short, strange-looking creature. It looked somewhat like a bug, what with the big red compound eyes and black antennae, but otherwise, it was hard to tell what he was. But, in fact, he was an alien, an Irken by the name of Zim. Anyone who had learned this about him would agree that it makes sense; he did, after all, have some typical alien features, including green skin. Zim also had a strange, oval metal object attached to his back called a PAK. This PAK is what kept him alive. Besides these oddities, Zim had a strange set of teeth that looked somewhat like a pair of band saws, and behind the set in the lower jaw lay a tongue that looked like an earthworm. Zim's attire was also strange. It consisted of what looked like a magenta shirt/dress (with pink sleeves and black pinstripes); a pair of black pants; and black elbow-length gloves and boots.

The next player (if one were to go clockwise around the table) was the most normal-looking of the players, and even she had a couple of interesting physical features. She was a girl, 18 years old, who was rather curvaceous (she certainly was a popular girl) and had orange, shoulder-length hair. She was wearing a black, sleeveless shirt with the word "GOLD" emblazoned across the chest, and it bore her midriff (revealed her navel, in case you were wondering). She was also wearing a white pair of jeans, her usual bracelet and Log Pose compass on her left wrist, and high-heeled sandals. Finally, on her left shoulder, one could see a blue tattoo that was meant to look like a cross between a pinwheel and a tangerine.

At last, the fourth character was the smallest one in the group, and an unusual creature indeed. He was a creature known as an Ottsel, an otter/weasel hybrid, and his name was Daxter. He was covered in orange and yellow fur and had big eyes; a small, brown nose; long, oddly rabbit-like ears; and a long, thin body. He wore relatively little clothing (not that he needed it); his entire attire consisted of a pair of goggles, a pair of black fingerless gloves, and a pair of jean shorts.

These four characters from video games (or at least who have APPEARED in video games) were here to play No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em Poker, for tonight was Poker Night.

They were about to place their bets, when...

"Ahem! Gentlemen! Madame!"

The four turned to the source of the British-accented voice.

The source was Winslow, a short and stout, yet somehow imposing man, with the spirit of the Saturday evening radiating from him. His skin was deeply tanned, and coupled with the sailor hat proudly adorned upon his head, suggested he was a man of the sea. His red robe had a crocodile leather pattern, which remained sophisticated despite being so obviously fake, and a white dress shirt was loosely hidden beneath the pompous scarlet. His nose was slightly bulbous, and his cheeks gave the image of him constantly smiling – though it was difficult to tell if this was voluntary or just being a good host, but he was the latter. The man had thick brown facial hair running from his sideburns and across the top of his lips, giving him an excessive handlebar moustache, and his eyes were as dark as rich mahogany.

"I hope there is room at the table for a fifth," he said, indicating the person behind him.

Author's Note: This person is the Player, in case you were wondering.

"Heh-ha!" Wario said in his gruff, Italian-accented voice as he rubbed his gloved hands together, "More-a money!"

As the new person walked up some steps to the Poker table, Winslow announced, "Tonight's stakes will be ten thousand dollars." He turned to the others. "I trust that you all have made the proper calculations?" All the characters came from places that used different currencies than dollars and cents.

"I know how to translate Beri to dollars and cents," Nami reassured the host, putting her billfold on the table, "Don't worry about it." She came from a world that used a currency known as Beri.

"I'm-a wonder how many gold coins I'll-a make offa DIS-a money?" Wario wondered aloud, putting his own billfold on the table.

"Have no fear, seafaring human," Zim said in a melodramatic voice, dramatically putting his money into the POT, "for I have been using Earth's currency for years!" His voice had a slightly high pitch.

"I'm all ready for this," Daxter said in his rather distinctive, hard-to-describe voice, "Jak's got a lot of money on 'im; he won't miss what I'm betting." He then tossed his (and Jak's) own money in.

"Very well," Winslow said. Then he explained to the player, "The game is No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em! I will periodically raise the BLINDS. May the best player win!"


"You're an alien, right?" Wario asked Zim as he CALLED the Player's $200 BLIND.

"Yes," Zim replied without thinking. Then, realizing what he said, he quickly added, "B-But I'm not a threat to your planet! I'm just, er, curious."

As he CALLED the Player's BLIND, everyone else gave him an odd look.

Everyone else but Wario. "Eh, whatever," he replied while Nami was CALLING the Player's BLIND, "You just-a remind me of an alien that-a worked-a for me, that's all."

This seemed to catch Zim's attention; his eyes widened in interest.

"His name-a was-a Tatanga," Wario continued, as Daxter CALLED his own $100 BLIND, "Kept a certain-a plumber distracted while I took over his-a land."

"The alien's?" Daxter asked as the Player CHECKED his/her cards.

"No, the plumber's."

Zim seemed a bit worried. "Hm... Did this Tatanga ever mention wanting to take over the Earth?"

"Nah," Wario replied, "he just-a had his sights-a set on a girl-a name-a Daisy." He rolled his eyes.

"I see," Zim replied. Good, he thought, The Tallest do not need any competition.

What Zim didn't know was that the world Wario lived in was called the Mushroom World, not Earth.

Anyhow, the FLOP was revealed: a 5 of Clubs, a 3 of Diamonds, and a 4 of Clubs.

The Player smirked and made a bet of $1,000.

Wario looked at his cards, and his expression changed to one of disgust. "Wah, I'm-a hate-a the FLOP!" He FOLDED.

Zim, on the other hand, replied, "Zim fears no bet such as that! I CALL!"

Author's Note: OK, now I'll keep the Poker terms in lower case letters.

Nami, being a more cautious gambler, decided, "I'd better fold. See you boys next hand!"

"Nice bet, kid," Daxter complimented the Player coolly, "but I think it could be bigger!" With that, he saw the Player's bet and raised it $600!

The Player wasn't worried; he just called Daxter's raise.

So did Zim. "Call," he hissed.

Daxter cocked an eyebrow at him. "Do you know how to play this game?"

Zim seemed offended. "Are you questioning my ability to learn, little animal?" he growled.

"No! Jeez, I was just asking!"

Then came the turn: a 2 of Diamonds.

Zim looked over at Nami. "Your hair is an unusual color, human."

The Player waited for the conversation to be over; he was interested in these.

"What?" Nami asked, "I was born with this hair color!"

"Interesting," Zim responded, "I've seen other humans with unusual hair color, but in their cases, the color was artificial." He eyed the Straw Hat Pirates' navigator suspiciously. "Were you born near radiation of any kind?"

Before Nami could answer, Daxter decided to butt in. "Hey, mutant or not, I know two things: She's stacked and she's a red-head! Yum!" Yes, even animals were charmed by this girl.

Zim was not familiar with the term "stacked". "Stacked?" he echoed, then jumped up so he was standing on his chair and pointed at Daxter accusingly, "YOU LIE! I see no blocks!"

Needless to say, Nami was embarrassed by this dialogue; she was blushing. "Can we just get back to the game?" she shouted.

The others stared at her in surprise. Zim then climbed back down off of his chair, and he and Daxter simultaneously said, "OK."

Seeing that the exchange was over, the Player made his decision: Check.

Zim cackled. "A check will not stop ZIM!"

Now it was Zim's turn. "...Oh, all right," he muttered, "Check."

"All right," Daxter said, tapping his own checking chip, "Show us the next card."

Now the final card, the river, was revealed: a 9 of Diamonds.

Zim grinned, bearing his bizarre set of teeth. "FEAR MY BET OF DOOOM!" he roared as he tossed $2,000 into the pot.

Daxter looked at Zim's bet, then looked at his own cards. The truth was, he had a pair of 5's, but he had a feeling Zim had a good hand.

Then again, Zim didn't know how to play.

"I'll take you on!" Daxter replied, grinning and calling Zim's bet.

The Player was also put off by Zim's bet. He considered his options.

He decided to call as well.

Now it was time to reveal the hole cards.

Zim had a 7 of Diamonds and a 9 of Spades.

Daxter had a Jack of Hearts and a 5 of Diamonds.

The Player had two Kings; one of Spades, and one of Hearts.

"Damn," Daxter muttered when he saw his hand compared to the others.

Winslow looked at each character's cards. "Zim has...a pair of 9's! Daxter has...a pair of 5's. The Player has...a pair of Kings! The Player wins the hand!"

The Player proudly raked in the money. He now had $20,000.

Zim glared at the Player. "You win THIS time, human... You win THIS time..."


As the next hand was dealed, Nami caught Daxter looking at her, ahem, "merchandise" while Zim called Wario's $200 Blind. Needless to say, Nami was unimpressed, but she put on a convincing smile.

"OK," she told Daxter, "a look at 'them'-"

At the word "them", a man named Bosco screamed from the other side of the room. Everyone looked at him before going back to the game.

"-costs 1,000,000 Berries," Nami finished.

She lost Dax at this point. "Huh?"

"That's $10,000," she explained, calling Wario's Blind.

The Ottsel flinched. "GAH! Nooo thanks, sista!"

To get his mind off of Nami's body, he looked down at his cards. He scratched his ear in thought. "Um... Calling." He tossed in some chips.

The Player then called his own $100 Blind.

Now it was Wario's turn. "I'm-a better keep-a the money I have! Check!"

That's when the flop was revealed: a 9 and a 7 of Clubs, and a Queen of Hearts.

Zim looked at his cards, then at the flop. "Thinking," he said in a mellow voice, and then he shouted in a voice that seemed to be trying to imitate a monster truck commercial narrator, "THINKING!"

Everyone else flinched. "Geez, Zim, chill out!" Daxter advised.

Then Zim made his decision. "I bet...that none of you know enough about your own world! (dramatic gasp) Check."

Nami looked at the flop thoughtfully. "Should I make a bet, then...? Nah, I love money too much to spend it THIS early. Check."

Daxter grinned. "I bet!" he exclaimed, tossing $1,500 into the pot. "Can you guys call this one without goin' broke!"

Surprised, the Player looked at his cards. He folded.

Wario, however, was more confident. "I have-a faced-a monsters-a that were-a goin' to take over the world-a had-a they not-a made-a the mistake of MESSING-A WITH-A ME! I'm-a not afraid of your-a bet!" With that, he called Zim's bet.

Nami also seemed to be pretty confident. "Calling."

Now it was time to show the turn: a 6 of Clubs.

Daxter grinned at the flop. Apparently, he thought he had some good cards.

"Check," Zim said.

"Check," Nami said.

"BETTING!" Daxter announced, tossing $1000 into the pot.

Wario rolled his eyes; it seems Daxter forgot what he told him earlier. "I'm-a call."

Zim called as well, but Nami sadly folded. "Ohh, and these were good ones, too..."

At last, the river came around: a 7 of Hearts.

As Zim angrily folded, Daxter looked over Wario curiously. "You look familiar..." he stated.

Wario had heard this before, and he didn't like it. "NO, I AM-A NOT MARIO!" he growled through clenched teeth in annoyance.

"Huh? No, no, no, you just remind me of Krew if he'd grown a mustache..." His expression turned to one of disgust. "...and...lost a buncha weight... Ughhh... 'Course, that's not sayin' much, considering you're still fat."

"Hey, I'm-a not fat!" Wario protested, then he flexed one of his muscular arms. "This is all-a muscle!"

Taking his mind off of that conversation, Daxter grinned again, and made a bet of $2000!

Wario was shocked. If Daxter was that confident in his cards...then what would it mean for the ugly treasure-hunter's precious money if he called?

"...Wah," Wario sighed, "you drive a hard-a bargain, you little rodent." He folded.

"Daxter wins the hand!" Winslow exclaimed.

Daxter jumped up onto the table to rake in the chips. "Whoo! I dedicate this one to all the ladies!"

Daxter had raked in $10,500, and this topped his wallet off at $12,000!

Author's note: The rest of this will concentrate on the conversations, not the game.


Now the next hand was dealt.

"You said-a you're a pirate?" Wario asked Nami.

"Uh, yeah," was Nami's response.

"And-a you like-a money?"

Beri signs appeared in Nami's eyes, and she grinned. "DO I? Money makes the world go 'round!"

"I'm-a guessin' that includes-a treasures?"

"Mm-hm! Why do you ask?"

Wario seemed displeased. "Bleah... You sound-a too much-a like-a Captain-a Syrup." He then eyed Nami suspiciously. "You're-a not a part o' her crew, are you?"

Nami was surprised by the fact that there was someone so similar to her. "Uh, no! I'm the navigator for the Straw Hat Pirates; just ask my captain, Luffy. I think he's upstairs."

Wario didn't seem too reassured. "Hmm..."


"What manner of Earth creature are you?" Zim asked Daxter curiously.

"Actually," Daxter replied, "I'm not from Earth."

"EH?"

"Me and Jak are from this planet called Haven," Dax explained, standing proudly on his chair, "I'm a hero there, loved by all the girls! Jak is my ever-present sidekick."

"I see," Zim said, intrigued, "I, too, am highly respected on my planet!"

But what Zim didn't know was that he was, in facted, loathed by the citizens of Irk, and Daxter? He was just bragging.

"In fact," Zim continued, "the Almighty Tallest, the leaders on my planet, sent me here on a special mission: to TAKE OVE-" Zim stopped himself, looking around at the surprised players. "Uh, that is, to...take...samples...of Earth's flora and fauna for research..."

Daxter cocked an eyebrow at Zim. Even as aliens go, Zim was WEIRD.


Author's Note: In the following conversation (and ONLY the following conversation), I am the Player.

"Hey, Zim," I asked the Irken, "are there any giant monsters on your home planet?"

"Er, only specimens we take for research, human..." Zim replied uneasily. I had the feeling it was to test weapons out on or something, but I didn't say anything about that.

Instead, I asked, "Like...?"

"I don't know; before I got to see any, the research tanks were destroyed."

By him, no doubt, I thought, considering how clumsy he was back then, and maybe STILL is, not to mention his little rampage in that giant robot.

"Why do you ask?" Zim asked me.

"I study giant monsters," I explained, "like Godzilla, the King of the Monsters; King Kong, the Eighth Wonder of the World; Gamera, Guardian of the Universe (apparently)..." Here, I decided to pull a little mischief on Nami. Damned if I didn't grin. "...Kumonga the giant spider..."

Now Nami had a phobia of creepy-crawlies, and spiders were no exception. Her eyes widened in fear, and I think I saw her get goosebumps. "...G-Giant...spider...?" she echoed.

I couldn't help but chuckle. "I wouldn't worry, Nami," I reassured her, "I don't think Kumonga's real."

"God, I hope not!"

Daxter seemed to see this as a pick-up opportunity, so he coolly said, "Y'know, Nami, if it's any consolation, I happen to be in the bug-killing business."


The Player is now someone else again.

"Zim has been eliminated from play," Winslow stated sadly.

It was true; Zim had gone all in, confident that he could get by with two Pairs, and Nami's Straight Flush had beaten everyone else's cards.

Zim immediately went into Big Ham mode and shouted to the sky, "CURSE YOU, CARDS! CURSE YOOOOUUUU...!" He paused, ashamed of his loss, then walked away and up the stairs, probably to find GIR.


"Daxter has been eliminated from play."

Daxter had been trying to bluff, and this proved fatal to his wallet. Wario had beaten everyone with his Straight.

The Ottsel looked frightened. "Aw, crap. Jak isn't gonna be happy..." Hesitantly, he hopped out of his chair and walked over to another nearby table (the same table that the Heavy would've sat at after getting eliminated). Dax hid behind the walls surrounding the table, probably from Jak.


"Wario has been eliminated from play."

It was a close one this time. Wario went all in with a Straight Flush, but Nami went all in with (get this!) a ROYAL FLUSH!

"NOOOO!" Wario wailed, "All-a that-a beautiful-a money...!" With that, he pulled his yellow cap over his eyes to sob, and then sadly walked away to the bar.

Nami reacted to the scene with a sweatdrop. She didn't know what to make of it.


It was close. The Player and Nami were at what would turn out to be the last hand for the night.

Nami's turn. She grinned. "I believe I'll go all in," she said, shoving her chips forward.

The Player knew that Nami wouldn't go all in unless she had a REALLY good hand. For once, however, the mysterious Poker expert decided to go all in, as well, and this surprised Nami.

"Oh, my God!" she squealed at the sight of all that money, and her eyes turned into Beri signs.

Now it was time to show the cards. On the table were a Jack, King, and Ace of Spades.

Nami revealed her cards: a Queen and 10 of Spades!

"Nami has...A ROYAL FLUSH!" Winslow announced with much aplomb.

The Player was taken off guard. Sadly, he revealed his cards.

"The Player has...a Straight Flush! Nami wins the tournament!"

As Nami raked in the chips, she was laughing happily enough to put a hyena to shame. "Thanks for the money, guys~!" she bid her Poker playmates cheerfully.

The only response she got was a collective and frustrated groan from the four of them.


Bonus Conversation (non-canon to this story)

Now Max was sitting at the Poker table alongside the other five.

"You know," he said, "I noticed something, Daxter."

"What's that?" the Ottsel asked.

"Our voices sound an awful lot alike, and we're both small, furry animals." Here, the crazy lagomorph grinned excitedly. "Do you think we're related somehow?"

"I doubt it, Max," Daxter said, "I live on a planet called Haven, and THIS planet is YOUR home."

Max's smile did not wilt. "Oh, I don't know," he said, "you'd be surprised how many aliens are involved in me and Sam's lives, so I wouldn't rule out the theory that you're my cousin who was taken from Earth by aliens when you were a baby."

Daxter's response was a cocked eyebrow, and, "Oookay..."


END