Logs:Exploring Ravenstone - The Wine Cellar

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Exploring Ravenstone - The Wine Cellar

Characters: Ashton, Prism, Simin, and Jacob (also ST-lite)
Date: 2020-06-17
Summary: A few Lost and a mortal decide to explore the plantation's wine-cellar in hope of future cheese-aging. They discover why some doors are locked.
Disclaimers: Religious references, catacombs/burial grounds


Prism is currently sitting on the living room couch wearing a famcy dark blue cocktail dress ( https://imgur.com/LIYxftM ) with some shopping bags on the couch behind her. Next to her is Simin and she is offering him a nod before she responds, "I tend to not look for trouble. Not on purpose anyway. Doubtful I will be there, like you said." She looks to the leather leggings once more as she responds, "It does make sense. I have leather jacket for rides. Since know so many with bikes now. Thought was good thing to acquire for self. Mine is still new."

Simin has some leather leggings on his lap that he was apparently either repairing or doing some kind of work on while he was talking to Prism, his attention fairly well split between the two tasks, though talking to the acrobat is apparently starting to win out. He nods once at her last observation and adds, "I think it will be good for riding. Bugs at high speed tend to hurt. Much better to have a bit of armor on for such things. But yes, if you are still willing to go look maybe this weekend, something cooler would be good for me to get."

Jacob comes wandering down from upstairs. He lives there, after all. He's dressed in his usual charcoal suit, a silver shirt beneath it, giving him a slightly monochrome cast. His dark curls are damp, indicating that he's likely showered recently, and he's clean-shaven. Either just getting up, or having just freshed up.

As he enters the main conversation area, he heads over towards the mini bar and begins pouring himself a bourbon. He glances over at the other two, then sets up a couple more glasses. He moves towards them, offering them each a glass. "Oh good, it seems the two of you have met. I won't bother with introductions, then." He passes on the drinks, somewhat insistently, and then returns for his own.

He glances at the leather pants, lifting an eyebrow, "Oh, good. That means that Brent sent you away with a motorcycle."

"Hey, guys!" Ashton exclaims, as he wanders into the living room with a black reusable bag swinging from his right hand. The Darkling chases the greeting with a bright grin for everyone, exposing either perfectly white or completely translucent teeth to those present, depending on one's ability to see the Mask. There's no leather in the young man's outfit. Ashton's just in an all-black assembly of t-shirt, jeans and athletic shoes. He also has a sword sheath complete with a sword openly strapped to his back, the only hint of leather anywhere near him.

"Phew! It's extremely hot outside," Ashton says while tugging at the front of his t-shirt. "Much cooler in here. Can you believe that someone actually let me inside again? Thought Sir... errr... Jake would have had me blacklisted after my last visit. No idea why, just a feeling. Apparently, my hunch was -completely- wrong..." A pause. "And Jake is actually standing right there. Hi, Jake. I brought kumquats this time." Ashton jiggles the bag.

Prism offers a nod before she responds, "I should get pants of such for self. And can go with over weekend for silk things like said. Promise." Her bright smile ever present as she gently leans on Simin's shoulder for a moment. As Jacob comes down the stairs she exclaims, "Hey Jake, lovely to see you. And yes, we met out in the garden while I was meandering." She then looks to Ashton as he enters and greets, "And it is so very hot outside indeed, lovely to see you Ashton. Why I went and acquired more pretty dresses for self." She looks intrigued at the slip, just letting her cheeks flush with a knowing smile and just standing up for a moment to scoop up her bags, "Let me um. Clean up." She quickly scuirries over to her door to toss the bags in, she can organize later!

Simin looks up when Jacob and Ashton make their way in, lifting one hand to wiggle his fingers in a bit of a greeting to both individuals. To Jacob first he keeps his voice down, "We decided on a model and he was supposed to deliver it today. I believe he wanted to check a couple of things on it first before giving me the keys." He pauses for a moment to nod along in agreement with Prism's assessment of how they met, "And yes, I met Miss Prism while I was out walking the grounds and found her out working in the garden. I pilfered a bit more of your lemonade."

With that said, his attention shifts to Ashton along with a small nod of agreement, "It is very warm outside. Miss Prism was telling me that perhaps she can help me find some cooler clothing to wear since I will be outside most of the time and my jeans and leather are not going to work very well in heat and humidity." Indeed, the poor Winter will roast like a Christmas lobster. Or melting ice dragon. One of the two.

As Ashton enters, Jake looks at the bourbon he'd just picked up. He sets it aside, giving up on that idea. Instead he goes to rustle up a pitcher of lemonade. There's usually some tucked around somewhere - it's Jacob's favorite, after all. As he locates it, and some glasses, he begins pouring some of that for himself and the newcomer.

"Is it?" He considers the temperature a moment, then shrugs. "I suppose it is." It doesn't seem to bother him much. He doesn't seem to be sweating despite wearing a suit and jacket. That fabric would show sweat, too - he's a brave man.

"Perhaps I should have a pool install. In the meantime I do believe there are sprinklers. We could turn them all and pretend it is raining. And are the kumquats also a Chinese tradition?" He nods to Prism and Simin's words about meeting, and clothing, as well as the motorcycle. "Good, good, I will make sure to settle up payment with him. And like I mentioned before, you will have a uniform budget you are welcome to use as you like."

Ashton looks Prism up and down for a second before giving her a thumbs up. "You look great as usual and the new dresses will probably look great on you too. Or maybe you'll make them look great. I bet that's actually what's happening."

Those same eyes perform a similar scan of Simin's attire, but the response is a bit different this time. "You'll definitely want to dress cooler. I can't imagine wearing leather in the summer heat while you're out patrolling. That's like asking for a heat stroke, unless you have the ability to regular your body temperature somehow, which doesn't sound like the case. I'm in the same boat myself."

Ashton exchanges the kumquats for a glass of lemonade. "Kumquats are even luckier than oranges. It's a phonetic thing you see. The words sound like 'gold' and 'fortune', so your future's definitely going to be golden. If nothing else, maybe you'll make a bunch more money." He takes a sip from his lemonade and sighs loudly. "I needed that... I didn't drop in on a bad time, did I? You said that I can come back and was apparently -not- kidding."

Prism is soon returning to the couch, sitting back down next to Simin as she gently teases, "You sure call me Miss Prism a lot." She doesn't mind, just teases as she lightly pokes at Winter's side. She mentions to Jacob, "Simin says he will take me for ride on it after he does first test run." She is lightly bouncing with excitement on the couch. "Oh a pool would be nice indeed. Could learn how to swim!" She claps with excitement, she has been wanting to learn after all. She looks to Ashton with a smile at the thumbs up and easily responds, "Always so sweet to me Ashton. Thank you for the compliments." She moves to go and briefly hug on Ashton before returning to sit on the couch once again, smoothing out her dress as she responds, "I not think it bad time?" She then looks to Simin and then Jacob to confirm.

Prism's teasing earns her a soft comment from Simin, "A habit of mine with people I just met. I will try to not make it too awkward." He then murmurs at Jacob, "It is a little warm and humid, but then I am used to it being much drier. Give me a couple of months of this and it will not bother me any more." Well yes, once you get closer to Autumn and Winter, go figure, the Snowskin will feel better. He offers a small nod to Ashton and pats the leggings, "These are mostly for the armor protection. I was checking my gear before we take our little field trip, since I was waiting on Brent to arrive with the bike, and enjoying the air conditioning after I spent the morning walking around outside. It is not a bad time at all." Mostly to Jacob, he adds, "You were not exaggerating. The grounds are...very large. I am not sure I even made it to the edge of your property on foot today."

Jacob smirks a bit at Ashton's words to Prism, and it's in a good-humoured manner. He nods his agreement to the attire, however. "Indeed. Silks are nice and airy. I highly recommend them." Unless you sweat, at which point they become torture devices. But as the Helldiver doesn't seem to sweat (or not noticably), it doesn't seem to bother him. He nods to Ashton's words, "Mmmm. Who doesn't need a little good fortune? I accept your gift. And no, it's not a bad time at all."

He takes a sip of his lemonade as he listens to ther others. "I was actually going to take a peek down in the cellar. We explored it briefly before, but since Kai is raising goats for milk, that he hopes Lambert will make into cheese, and because Mingzhu adores cheese, I have decided that perhaps it's time the cellar were converted. And then there's the issue of the catacombs." Because, you know, who doesn't have catacombs beneath their plantation?

"If the two of you have some free time, you are welcome to join." He looks towards Ashton with a playful, if slightly challenging, smile, "And unless you came here for a specific reason, I know for a fact you have time."

Ashton blinks in surprise when Prism hugs him, but also pleased. The young man hugs back and stands rocking on his heels after they detach. "I'm a decent swimmer, so I can teach anyone who doesn't know how to swim. And speaking about protection..." The Darkling dips his chin in the direction that he came from. "If only you'd gotten here a little sooner, Simin. They gave out some amazing party favors at the Summer bash the day before I met you. I got a new sword, an assault rifle, a revolver, a flak jacket -and- a couple of stun grenades. I'm keeping some of the stuff my rental's trunk if you want a look later."

Ashton clears his throat and tries to look coy, which entirely fails because of the flush of excitement that colors his cheeks white. "Hey, I always have time to explore dusty old cellars. Doubly so for catacombs. So you actually did locate some? I'm surprised how quickly you managed to do it. It's only been around two days."

Prism mentions to Simin, "I don't mind it. Just not use to it." She lights up as she responds, "I also like cheese, And Catacombs?" She looks curious but lights up with excitement. THat means maybe exploring! "Oh yes! I have free time!" She looks down to her dress, "But... um. Should change. Give moment!" And she dash back off to her room, the door closing for a short enough period that she is quickly back out with a pair of black leggings and a light pink t-shirt on her form, easily meeting back up with the cellar tour group! OH and she put on her sneakers of course, only a crazy Prism would go shoeless in possible catacombs.

Simin arches a brow when Ashton talks about all the 'party favors' he made away with, already starting to get to his feet and set the leather aside, in answer to Jacob's invitation to accompany them downstairs, "If all of the parties they host here are like that, this is going to be a very interesting stay." But then what Jacob said finally registers and he turns his attention back to their host, "You have catacombs underneath the mansion? As in, burial ground catacombs? Or are they just tunnels?" Its hard to tell if he's fascinated, or horrified, with that possibility. Either way he certainly sounds like he's going, regardless.

Jacob lifts his eyebrow as Ashton lists out all the weapons, and other things, he received at the party. "I wasn't aware you were Summer." He knows Ashton's not, and seems highly amused because of it. "Can you use them all?" He sounds genuinely curious. He's not much of a fighter, himself, but that doesn't mean it doesn't interest him. He laughs, then, "Well, I haven't explored far. I need to take a look to see how sturdy the tunnels are, and what machinery will be safe to use to clear any blocked passages. And, of course, the cheese. The cheese is the most important thing." He smiles to himself at that.

He watches as Prism runs off, chuckling, then looks towards Simin with a shrug. "I have not fully explored them. It's possible they are simply tunnels. Perhaps an escapeway from during the war. Yet, considering some of the other things I have seen around Ravenstone, I would not be suprised if they are actual burial grounds, either. Speaking of, we should go over a map sometime. I can show you what's been explored and what hasn't." And then Prism's back in a flash. Like Superwoman. "Well, then, let's take a little wander."

Ashton grins at Simin. "I know right? I didn't think I'd actually get a 30-pound bag of weaponry just for attending. The barbecue was great too. I wonder how much of Ian's money was spent on that party. Not that he can't afford it. Now I'm extra excited for the Summer Crowning."

"Why do you think I'm a Summer? I think I mentioned that I'm of the Spring Court?" Ashton arches his own brow back at Jacon. He twists from side to side to loosen up. "Ehhh... I don't know how to use all the stuff that I was given, but I'll learn. How hard can it be to shoot a gun? You just have to point in the right direction and pull the trigger. If I can shoot a bow, a gun can't be that much harder. It'll be exciting to figure all of this out. Let's take a look at that cellar. I share Miss Prism's enjoyment of cheese too."

Prism happily cheers, "Cheese for the everyone then! I am sure it would be perfect for Lambert's cooking too. Fresh homemade cheese will just make his stuff taste /even/ better. And I didn't think that was possible. Oh god... I am drooling just thinking about it." She laughs a bit does make sure to swallow and not look like a total dork. At the talk of courts Prism smiles as she responds, "I actually have been trying to get gowns for each season. In case I can ever witness the changing of royalty. It sounds so amazing to witness." The little psychic happily chasing after her virtue of curiosity as she descends down into the cellar.

Oh dear God, the Winter almost sounds excited, "Well, you did say the place was slightly haunted. Perhaps you have dead bodies deep underground you have not found yet and their relatives are angry you have forgotten about them." Simin's seen movies with better premises than this, and it shows, "If you don't have a map, we should make one and start plotting them out. He clasps his hands behind his back, leaning forward as he moves to follow Jacob's lead, while he offers a nod at Ashton, "If someone is handing out free gear, better to accept the free gear now and learn how to use it later...hopefully without shooting yourself in the process. I have never done well with firearms. I like my blades very much."

Jacob lifts an eyebrow at Ashton's excitement, then laughs. "I don't, Ashton. It was a joke. I, too, am excited for the Crowning. I'm eager to see who will be guiding us forward." And who will be inheriting him and his position. "As for the firearms, perhaps I can help you. I am no expert marksman, but I know my way around a gun." He's not a soldier, so one can only speculate on just how he came by that knowledge.

He chuckles at Prism's words, "Now, let's not get too excited. Cheese does take time to age, so there will be no fresh cheese right away. Or, well, perhaps there are fresh varieties that Lambert can make, but the truly good stuff takes time." There's a smile at the gown comment. "Perhaps you will. One is coming up." He turns towards Simin and nods, "Good idea. Do you have a notbook? You can start now." Simin just volunteered to actually work, it seems. He starts back towards the kitchen, and to the door leading down into the cellar. As they head down, it's clear the cellar hasn't seen much use. Dark and dusty, stairs lead down to a room filled with old wine casks and barrels. There's a door at the far side of the room that leads onwards.

"I need to meet this Lambert at some point. He sounds like a great cook, which means he probably enjoys experimenting. I'm noble enough to offer my services as a guinea pig for the good of all. Better make sure all those new cheese dishes are perfectly safe to eat before you guys get to them, especially in case the cheese hadn't been aged sufficiently yet," Ashton states in a perfectly somber voice. Very altruistic.

The young man reaches over to his shoulder and pulls out about an inch of his sword to make sure that it draws easily from the sheath. "Don't worry, Simin. I'm not planning to shoot myself. I'll keep to my own trusty blades while I'm still in newbie sniper mode. But once I learn all of Jake's gunslinger moves... bad guys watch out!" He pauses to sneeze and wave his hand in front of his face. The two Lost would see a large plume of mist exploded from Ashton's mouth and nose when that happens. "Wow, this place is dusty."

Prism looks to Simin curious at the mention of preferring blades to guns. She bounces with joy at the thought of being able to wear one of her newly acquired dresses to the crowning, even spinning in the air before she lands. As she begins to see how dark and dusty it is though, she begins to wait for Simin and grasp onto one of the Winter's arms lightly. She looks to Ashton as she happily and proudly states, "Grreat cook is a gross understatement. And we can share guinea pigging. I haven't yet tasted something I didn't like. And the combinations he comes up with are." She just sighs wistfully, getting herself all hungry again and she gently scolds herself in Russian before offering a sweet, 'I swear I am not crazy' smile to them. She swallows softly as she looks about, "Perhaps should get out candles? Or Flashlights?"

Why yes! Simin DOES have a notebook, causing him to stop and duck down to fish it out of his duffel bag along with the pen, flipping through the battered pages to a clean one to scribble a note. He does at least nod once at Ashton, "I had some of one of his muffins earlier and it was very good."

He pauses when Prism hangs back and latches on to his arm. He seems unperturbed about the dark and dusty however, just ducks his head a little and lowers his voice as he follows the group through the kitchen towards the downstairs, "It should be fine. Though I think I have a flashlight with batteries still in my bag if you have nothing on you? Or..." He trails off and fishes out his cellphone, tapping a few buttons, then turns on the camera flash 'flashlight' function, holding it out where Jacob can take it since he's leading, "Here. I just charged it this morning."

"I am sure you will," Jacob says, referring to meeting Lambert. "And I don't think he has a limit on guinea pigs. He likes the attention." He grins a bit, then laughs at Ashton's 'gunslinger moves' comment. "Mmm. Well, at least we have open fields where no one will get shot. We'll just have to warn Kai not to run around while we're practicing." That's the bad kind of venison.

He looks over at Prism, smirking at her constant enthusiasm, then lifting an eyebrow as she mentions a flashlight. Right, a flashlight. Jacob, the explorer of other worlds, Helldiver extraordinary... did not think to bring a flashlight. Nor can he see in the dark. Thankfully, Simin comes to the rescue!

"Ah, yes, thank you." He accepts the phone. Not because he doesn't have himself, but because it's hard to resist the chance to take a peek at someone else's phone. Just a little peek. But, first things first. They head deeper into the room. It was definitely a wine cellar at some point, and a large one, although abandoned now. Jacob opens the door when they reach it, and it leads into another room. This one looks like it was storage. It could easily be converted into a cheese-againg room and workshop, through. And then, on the far side of that room is one last door, set into crumbling stone. It's stone, itself, heavy, and ornately carved, although much of it has crumbled. There's still the impression of what appear to be angels.

Ashton reaches for his back jeans pocket. "I've got the light covered." He pulls out a smart phone and starts to flick on the flashlight function, only for Simin to beat him to it. The Darkling shrugs and returns his phone to his pocket. "Good idea, Simin. We can use mine as a backup if we're here a while. My battery's freshly charged too and I doubt we'll be using my phone for anything else down here. Reception usually doesn't reach too far underground unless you something installed to boost it. And phew! I doubt anyone installed anything in -this- basement in the last decade."

Ashton the archetype of alertness once the group is fully situated in the basement area. His dark/silver eyes peer around the dusty confines with barely suppressed excitement. A low whistle escapes from his lips. "I have no idea how you guys are going to clean this place. You probably need a couple of crews working around the clock to get the dust and cobwebs out, much less do the conversion." He breaks away from the group to approach the door on the far side, not seeming worried that he's leaving the circle of light coming from the phone held in Jacob's hand. Ashton runs his fingers down the crumbling stone motifs. "Interesting."

Prism looks immensely thankful that Simin thought about using the flashlight on the phone. She swallows nervously but continues to easily move along at a decent pace to not cause for them to be slowed down. A mixture of excitement and nervousness echoing from her. She stays clinging lightly onto Simin's shoulder the further in they go.

Simin's phone MIGHT be disappointing, though there are a few names in the address book Jacob wont recognize, along with Dallas area codes, and then the obligatory spammer calls from that area code since he arrived here. Figures, even Lost cant escape poor attempts to scam from China and India. For his part, Simin seems content with making a few notes as he follows the group in, reaching out at one point to give Prism's arm a light touch - either to steady the girl or maybe just offer something akin to reassurance while he makes notes on how big the room is. Ashton's comments about cleaning the place out has him offering, "a few leaf blowers and a vaccuum will be very noisy but work very quickly. I am more curious about what we might find bigger buried down here, if Jacob has not gone exploring before..."

Jacob doesn't seem too interested in these rooms, indicating he's likely seem them before. Nor does he seem too worried about the dust. He manages to stay suprisingly dust-free considering he's wearing a silk suit, but perhaps it's some sort of ingrained Fairest trick. At Ashton's words, he waves a hand dismissively. "Oh, it will be fine. MacKenzie could probably rig something up to get it cleared out in a heartbeat. She has a knack for things like that."

He sips his lemonade, making his way towards the door as Ashton examines it, pointing the light at it. "The tunnels lay beyond it. I haven't exactly figured out how to open it, however. Not without destroying it. When I looked, I did it in the Twilight. Still, I didn't stick around too long. Long enough to see the tunnels, and... more carvings." And maybe something else. He takes another sip.

"You don't see stone doors a lot. Either this one is pretty old and the tunnels have always been here, or the last owners wanted a playground out of a horror movie underneath their house," Ashton throws out at everyone in a weirdly cheerful voice. He keeps exploring the crumbling stone, tracing each dusty line and depression with nimble fingers. "Man, this is so exciting. So you're able to turn all incorporeal too, Jake? And you didn't say anything when I volunteered to do some exploration for you!" Ashton looks away from the door for a second to ask the other two. "Either of you can do the same, Simin and Miss Prism?"

Being short sucks when you're poking and probing at a door that's several feet taller than you, so Ashton ends up on his tip toes when he tries to reach for the top. He doesn't quite make it, giving up after a few seconds to run his hands along the sides inside where stone meld into stone. Question fingers go lower and lower and then... "Huh... What's this?" Ashton drops to his knees to stick a finger into the gap between what looks like the broken wings of an angel. "Hey! Think I found a button!" His finger sinks deeper and there's a sudden rumbling sound as one side of the door pops free and swings forward about half an inch.


Prism offers a thankful smile to Simin at that light touch, for whatever reason it was given she enjoys it. Her head briefly resting against his arm for a few moments before she is trying to just visually peek inside the rooms, not drawing poking her head or any body part in. She perks up, "I can try to lockpick it!" One of the bobbypins being removed from her slightly pinned up hair, causing a few strands to threaten to fall into her face as she carefully slips a metal pin out of the side of her leggings. Surely there is a keyhole somewhere right! Probably not, poor excited Prism. She then looks curious, "A button?" She then responds, "I can heal fast and sometime read minds. I am getting better but need more practice." Her makeshift tools still in her hands as she curiously watches.

Simin murmurs, "Well, I'm pretty sure that's not a door to a simple root cellar, unless the people you bought this place from thought very very highly of their potatoes." Prism steps forward to try fiddling with the door then Ashton sticks his finger in somewhere and the door itself starts rumbling and pops inward. There's a moment or two of silence after Ashton's comment, before Simin murmurs in the quiet, "This is usually the point in the horror movie where the creepy music starts up and the intrepid adventures charge in with abanndon while the unholy terror begins stalking them." Oh isnt having a Winter on your adventure FUN??

Jacob watches as Ashton messes around with the door, smiling slightly. He may or may not know the trick of the door, after all. At his talk of turning incorporeal, he replies, "It's not exactly that. I can enter other worlds. Usually through doors, but not always. Twilight is easiest to slip into, and requires no door." When Ashton finds that 'button', Jacob looks surprised. After all, he knows the secret, and that's most definitely not it. "Mmm. Well, that's one way to do it."

Prism gets a smile at her effort, and then a curious look as she talks about healing and reading minds. "Reading minds, hmmm? We'll have to talk more of that later." Simin's words get a little smirk. "Well, if that's the case, then at least it won't be a boring evening." He turns towards the door, then shrugs and, since he has the light (and has already been through it, in a way), he steps forward. Beyond the door is (and this may come as some surprise), a tunnel! It's long, made of stone that doesn't match the rest of the cellar, and it's dusty. It leads away, disappearing into darkness. Nothing charges them. Yet.

"I doubt any of the rest of us can read minds. That's a very cool ability, Miss Prism. You can totally practice on me sometime if you need a partner," Ashton offers readily. He steps back to clap his hands free of dust, looking incredibly smug until he sees the pin between Prism's fingers. "Errr... There probably is an actual keyhole somewhere. Now that we have it open, you can take your leisurely time looking for it and figure out if you can get it open in an alternative way. Just in case the super secret button disappears for some reason. Could be a magic door and maybe magic doors can disappear buttons?" The Darkling's getting a bit shifty eyed. Probably because the button -will- disappear after the group stops paying attention for a while.

Ashton glances at Simin. "This does seem like a place that some kid of tentacle horror would crawl out of to strangle you in your sleep, doesn't it? Uhhh... you guys should be careful when you hit the pillows tonight. String some tin cans around your beds to wake you up if any monsters try to sneak up on you." The potential danger doesn't keep him from sticking his head pass the door to peer into the darkness. "Jake, your place is so cool. I think I actually like it better than the CCC. Ian would -never- allow catacombs potentially filled with monsters to exist under his property."

Prism looks curious as she looks back to Simin while she asks, "What are horror movies?" Oh naive Prism. She looks to Jacob as she responds, "Of course, never anyone in the house of course. Only people at the shops and things." She smiles to Ashton as she explains, "I taught it to myself but still need to get better. Want to be able to do amazing things with mind." She then begins to look around for a keyhole or perhaps another button as she asks, "What sort of monsters?"

Simin offers a sagelike nod at first Jacob, then Ashton, as if he was simply agreeing with a wildlife researcher that yes, lions were dangerous up close. Key takeaway being he doesnt LOOK scared at all, just...fascinated, "No, we shouldn't be bored at all. Besides, if there is a tentacled horror down here, then we just solved the problem of where I should shove the bodies I catch sneaking onto the property." Wait, he was NOT smiling when he said that. "Besides, Ian and Spring would find a way to invite the tentacle monster up to a party and let it cheat at a game of tug of war or let the girls braid it's tentacles, and call it 'adorable' or something like that."

But then Prism is asking about horror movies and THAT's enough for Simin to stop and give her a curious look, "You've never seen a horror movie? Or...a monster movie?" He really looks like he might say 'Does not compute' for a moment, glancing at Ashton, then Jacob, then back to Simin, "I...well, we can show you one later. SOme are very good, some are very...well, not scary. Lets see how far we can get before something tries to eat us, first."

Jacob lifts an eyebrow at Ashton's words about the magical mysterious button, then smirks faintly. He doesn't call him out on it. If anything, he's curious. "Mmmm, I was thinking more undead, but I suppose a tentacle monster is a possibility as well. Although if we stumble across a gate to the Underworld, that might be exciting... I haven't been in a while." At Ashton's last words, he chuckles. And as Simin adds to them, he outright laughs. "I think Simin has the idea of it. That poor monster."

When Prism asks about scary movies, he glances over at her. "Mmmm. It sounds like we're due for a scary movie night. That could be fun." In the meantime, there is a tunnel to explore. They continue down it and after a bit they come to a fork. It's difficult to make out where the tunnels lead, but they now have three new tunnels to choose from.

Ashton shares the same look with Simin and Jacob. "Wow... yeah, you've got to show Miss Prism here some movies, Simin. But speaking of not very good movies, some of the crappy ones are actually great for a laugh. Show some of those too!" Just in case there -are- undead or tentacle things in the tunnels, the young man draws his sword from its sheath. It's a very short blade, somewhere between 2 to 3 feet long and very narrow in the way of a classical Chinese jian. The metal gleam brightly under the phone's light, showing just how much care Ashton had put into maintaining the sword. There's a red tassel attached to the pommel too for a bit of classy elegance. "If we don't finish exploring this place today, we should invite Ian to join us on round too. I can totally see him befriending any horrors we come upon. Additional security guards for the place!"

Simin murmurs completely deadpan at Ashton, "If I show her 'Manos: Hands of Fate', she will just be confused. But I think I can find Attack of the Killer Tomatoes....of the Cockroach That Ate Cincinatti." He's craning his head forward as he makes these observations, jotting down another note in his little notebook, pausing to stop and sketch one of the little angel carvings on the paper while the others are talking, then he's off moving again, "I left my blades upstairs, so if we run into undead, remember the first rule is to run faster than the person next to you." Did he smile at that? Oh lets hope he smiled at that, "Jacob, you did not get a map or any paperwork that said how far these go or what they were?"

Prism should maybe be worried about that statement of Simin's but it gives her more comfort than anything. She begins to explain, "I grow up in cirucs, we not want television or movies. I was always practicing or performing. Or sleeping or eatting. Never really thought about much else. Just the rush I felt flying through the air from one trapeze to another." She even leaps a bit in place as she says it, as if to poorly mimic the rush it may give herself before she finds what could be a keyhold and begins to poke at it with her bobby pin and the metal rod. Fidgetting with it until there is a click heard and she begins to step back to see what happens. She does mentions, "Kai and Lambert also want to have chick flick movie night with me." She looks to Simin as he lists of the movies and does indeed look confused at the titles with a mixture of curiosity and mild horror as she asks, "What would tomatoes be killer?" She looks to Jacob curiously then as Simin inquires about the map.

Jacob chuckles at Ashton's words about inviting Ian to befriend the horrors. "And give away all my secrets? Well, perhaps after the crowning and he's no longer my boss." He smirks a bit, amused. There's a glance at the blade and a nod of approval, and then he's looking over at Simin. "Mmmm, or else know how to disappear really quickly." In which case, Jacob is safe. Not that he would ever flee his companions on purpose. At the last question, he's shaking his head, "According to the papers, it goes no further than the wine cellar. Seeing as how this looks older than the wine cellar, I'm guessing someone left out this little detail on purpose. Good thing you have a notepad, hmmm?"

There's another chuckle as Prism asks about killer tomatoes. He lets the others field that one. Instead, he's considering the fork. "Well, when in doubt, left it is." He starts down the lefthand tunnel, still using Simin's phone as a flashlight.

"Huh... a movie that starts out as a chick flick and turns into a horror movie after the midway point could be cool. We should totally market that idea," Ashton muses idly while he scans their surroundings for anything that looks out of place or threatening. His jian remains in guard position while he walks with the group. "Yeah, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes is a classic. I think you'll get a kick out of it, Miss Prism. Hey, Simin. Think we'll be able to find the cartoon they made out of it and do a few episodes too?"

When Jacob picks the left fork, Ashton nods his head and speeds up slightly to put himself at the head of the group with the other man. "Guy with the sword in front just in case. Simin, I'd say you take the back and guard Miss Prism, since you're also combat trained." He palms something from a hidden sheath at his waist and offers it backwards handle first. "Take my knife. It's small and balanced for throwing, but you can use it for hand to hand too." A pause. "Oh! Don't forget that you can use my phone to take a picture if you find something interesting that you can't just sketch out."

Simin tilts his head a little at the idea of a chick flick turned horror movie, as if he's really trying to think of something that would count as that - someone clearly has a project for later, now. When Jacob mentions left, Simin does chime in his agreement, "Left hand rule until you find an exit or where you started. Doesn't really work so well in the Hedge, but I didn't feel us crossing some odd boundary when we stepped through that doorway, so I think we are still...relatively...safe." Famous last fucking words, indeed. But then Ashton's offering him a knife and Simin lifts a brow, looking at him as if to see if he's serious. Almost reverently he takes the blade and murmurs, "Thank you. I will take good care of it while we are down here..."

Prism smiles as she begins to head down into the tunnels with them, her hands returning to gently holding onto Simin's arm once more. "I am up for trying and watching things. It is getting hotter and will not want to perform in French Quarter as much." She looks confused as she asks, "Combat trained? I um. Not combat trained. I am good at getting into places and being fancy acrobat but not um fighty? I not think anyway." She does take the knife though, can't hurt to be able to protect herself should it be needed. Though she isn't really venturing far away from the group, that would be foolish. Her knife-free hand still gently grasping on Simin's arm.

Jacob is not much of a movie expert, himself, so he leaves that discussion to the others. His dark, alien eyes scan the walls of the tunnel as they move along. It's stone, but it's definitely much older than the wine cellar is. It may have been built when the plantation itself was, but it's clear it wasn't upgraded as the rest of the building was.

He smirks at Simin's words and glances back at the man, "I'd know if we crossed any boundary." That's his own area of expertise, after all. "And while it's possible, it's unlikely that there are two gateways in the manor house." Which means there's another one. He takes note of the knife-exchanging but doesn't ask for one, himself. What would he do with a knife, anyway? At the same time, he doesn't seem at all nervous about being unarmed. Is the Helldiver really ever unarmed?

As they continue on, they encounter another fork, and then another. Finally, they come to a more open room. Long and rectangular, with shelves along the walls and what might have been an altar at the far end. And there do seem to be skeletons resting on the shelves.

"Yeah, unlikely doesn't mean impossible. Could be -three- gateways for all we know!" Ashton points out after Jacob probably, totally jinxes things. His own solid silver eyes constantly flick here and there, scanning every shadow for hidden movements and unnatural silhouettes. A soft groan that somehow manages to make him sound excited rather than dismayed comes from the young man when the tunnel finally leads to an open area. " Awww, fuck! It's a black magic altar, isn't it? You took over this place from cultists, Jake."

After teasing the plantation owner for a bit, Ashton actually gets serious and steps forward while waving for everyone else to keep back. "You guys stay put. I'm going to case the area and make sure it's safe. No point risking more than one person." And because he can't refrain from it for long... "If I die. Tell my Fetch that I love him dearly, but he has terrible taste in decor. Lilac is -not- a great color for curtains when the room's painted yellow. Ahem!" With that, Ashton carefully slinks forward to inspect the altar and the shelves full of skeletons.

Simin murmurs, "If there are three gates under this plantation, we need to seriously consider some outside help..." but then they enter in the larger room with an actual honest-to-diety altar in it, and Simin pulls up and blinks, his scribbling stopping for a moment as he observes deadpan, "Okay, you recall that point where I said the horror movie music started..." He quite happily does nothing to stop Ashton from stepping forward to the altar to inspect it, thorugh he does murmur, "Just be careful what you touch. If Grampa Joe gets up and starts screeching about interlopers, we don't have any blunt instruments to beat skeletons into dust with."

Prism swallows nervously as she sees the skeletons resting on the shelves in the room, not yet going to nose about them just yet. She blinks a bit as she looks around and seems to make note of things, "What sort of cult you think?" She was about to protest Ashton go alone but is busy looking applauds at that color combination choice, her nost twitching slightly. She then offers, "Can always use bones of other skeleton?"

Jacob looks over at Ashton and scowls slightly. "As I said, if there were a gate, I would /know/ it." The scowl deepens when Ashton tells him to stay put. He immediately pushes past Ashton into the room. "This is my plantation. My /home/. If you think I'm simply going to stand back while someone else explores it, you are very sorely mistaken." It seems like Jacob's feathers have been somewhat ruffled. He begins looking around the chamber, himself, shining the light first on the altar, and then towards the skeletons on their shelves.

When Simin speaks, he nods, his good humour returning. "Indeed. As far as I know, there was no cult associated with the plantation, but cults don't often make themselves known. Still, the house has been around for hundreds of years and seen a lot of death. Even without a cult, there is reason to be wary." And then he reaches out and does exactly what Simin warned them not to do. He touches one of the shelves, wiping away some dust. He shines the light on it and it appears there are plaques with writing on them. "Latin. Marienne Marquesset. She who lit the path, may God light hers now." Apparently he reads Latin.

Meanwhile, Simin and Prism might note that the corpses are not merely skeletons. They wear tatters of once exquisite clothes, and all of their jewelry is there and intact. No one has robbed this place.

Ashton, on the other hand, is super perceptive. He'd notice that although there's a thick layer of dust on the floor and altar, it's not as thick as it /should/ be if it's been locked up all this time, and there's swirls that might have been footprints at one time. No one's been there /recently/, but they've been there more recently than one might think.

Ashton eyes Jacob when the Helldiver steps into the altar room despite his warning. Of course, it's not entirely unexpected, so he simply shrugs. While Jacob goes for the skeletons, Ashton carefully starts tip toeing around the altar to inspect it from various angles. He doesn't touch it with his bare hands, but he does use his sword to gently poke at places of interest. After a few long minutes, the young man relaxes. "This is just a regular altar. Catholic if I'm not mistaken, which still makes it -evil-, but probably harmless?

The Darkling beckons for Simin and Prism to enter. "Come on in, guys! These skeletons are unlikely to suddenly jump up and attack us after all! I mean, look at Jake touching one of them. Can't say the same for all the dust bunnies... Wait a second..." Ashton crouches at one corner of the altar and narrows his eyes. "This dust has been disturbed at some point. Someone's been here after the place was abandoned, and then the footprints were almost covered up again."

Simin really cant COMPLETELY contain the snicker that escapes him when Ashton says it's Catholic and still evil, but he at least regains his composure quickly and 'ahems' softly, finally stepping into the room. The notebook is back up again as he starts jotting notes, trying to scribble down what Jacob was reading off, because the ice dragon does NOT read Latin. He's tilting his head, shooting the Fairest a curious look when Aston calls out that someone HAS been in here sometime in recent past, and that's enough to draw his steps forward, craning his head over to try looking over Ashton's shoulder so he's not stepping on whatever the man's looking at, just trying to get a better look, "Maybe there's another way out then, if it wasn't someone that came through the house." Oh, that's comforting - unknown ways to sneak into the house.

Prism really should listen, she really /really/ should but all that jewelry just looks /so/ tempting to take. Her steps beginning to draw her towards those fancily tattered skeletons as she softly hums a Romani circus tune. Then when the cost is deemed clear, she is rushing for them. Eagerly trying to remove the jewelry to put on herself! Probably not a great plan but pretties!

Jacob smirks when Ashton mentions Catholic being evil. He seems just as amused as Simin by the comment. When Ashton tells them he's touched the skeletons, though, he says, "Actually, just the plaque..." But then Ashton's pointing out the footprints in the dust and Jacob's turning to look. He catches Simin's glance, his own expression curious. "My security would have caught it if anybody had come in this way. Plus there were no footprints in the cellar." That he noticed, at least. "It's entirely possible there's another entrance, though. And I've only owned the plantation for a few months."

Simin, meanwhile, sees what Prism's up to. How she's making a beeline and reaching for the jewels. Ashton and Jacob, on the other hand, only catch a bit of movement, right before Prism's fingers wrap around those jewels.

And the skeleton lifts its own hand, wrapping its fingers around Prism's wrist in a vice-like grip.

"Yeah, these are recent, but not -that- recent. Could have been a while before you bought this place, Jake." Ashton's brows furrow and he holds his hand up against the faint depressions in the dust to see how large they are compared to it. "It's hard to make out the edges because of the amount of time that passed. And it's hard to see which way they're pointing. Maybe if we..." His head snaps up, showing eyes widened in alarm. "Awwww, fuck! The damn Catholic altar did create animated skeletons after all! Miss Prism!" He jumps to his feet and rushes for the acrobat, though it's likely that Simin would reach her before he does due to the other Lost noticing Prism's intentions first.

Simin gets about as far as saying to Prism, "I wouldnt to..." and then she does. He pauses mid dive for her as movement registers around them, drawing out a soft, "...shit..." from the Winter. He shoots a glance at Ashton since he was heading the same direction and rumbles, "Time to go," while he steps forward and tries to grab at that skeletal arm that's latched on to Prism, while grunting at her, "Let go of the jewel..." yes, the Winter has a knife in his hand, but that's probably not going to do a lot of good against a bone monster. Even he's played D&D, sheesh.

Prism screams as the skeleton grabs onto her and begin to violently shake her arm as she begins to scream out in Russian, <<Get it off me!! get if off no no no no no!>> She begins to try and back away and break the skeleton's grapple.

Jacob nods at Ashton's words about the footprints. At least until all hell breaks loose. He catches the movement about the same time as the others, although Simin's a couple steps ahead of him and Ashton. He watches as the two of them charge towards Prism, staying back himself because all he's really going to do is get in the way. "Holy shit, you weren't joking about Catholics, Ashton." Yes, Jacob actually cursed. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

Simin reaches Prism with no problem and grabs onto that boney arm. That very strong boney arm which has its fingers latched onto Prism and doesn't seem to want to let go, even after she drops the jewel. It's still got ahold of her and is now in the process of sitting up. As are the others, which is what Jacob's currently focused on. He moves towards the group. "Guys. Guys, we really need to hurry. The others are waking up, too." He murmurs to himself, "That explains why that door was locked."

Damn it! Swords really don't work well against skeletons! Why couldn't have been zombies? "Hey, let her go, bonehead!" Ashton exclaims, raising his jian with both hands gripping the pommel. It's a one-handed sword and not suitable for chopping at all. Slicing yes, but that doesn't work well against non-fleshy creatures. The sword comes down on the skeleton's arm, but simply bounces off after leaving only the tiniest hint of a scratch. "Oh, come on! Seriously, why can't it be zombies? I can't stab skeletons!" The sheer frustration in Ashton's voice is at odds with his normal demeanor, but it's exactly the time for that.

Simin swears under his breath as he struggles to get a good grip while Prism tries to fight off the skeleton's grasp and Ashton tries to stab it to death. Of course, he's having a hard time of it since the thing IS in the alcove and that doesn't really give you lots of room to struggle and use your strength in, so there's an awkward dance of trying to brace his feet and PULLing to get Prism's arm out of it's grasp so they can GTFO before it's too late...

Prism is trying to kick and pry the skeleton hand off of her as she is running away with Simin. She exclaims in Russian, << This jewelry not worth it!>> Her steps making her move as quickl as she possibly can to the exit once she is free!

Jacob is focused on the other skeletons that are waking up, empty skulls turning to look in their direction. He can at least act as a buffer, guarding their backs while they struggle to free Prism. Worse comes to worse, he might have /some/ trick up his sleeve. Thankfully, the other skeletons are moving slowly, sitting up as much as they can in their alcoves. One of them swings it's legs down, slipping halfway out of the alcove.

Thankfully, Prism manages to break free! The hand grasps for her, but she's too quick and it doesn't get a chance to grab her away. Instead, it feels around until it finds the jewel and then flops back down again, seemingly content. The skeleton that's nearly out of it's alcove doesn't seem to notice, however, and still seems intent on investigating the commotion.

Ashton heaves a sigh of relief when Prism manages to break free, but the Darkling remains tense and alert due to the presence of the other skeletons. Knowing that his sword doesn't work, he sheaths it and reaches for another tool. His right hand reaches into a nearby shadow and yanks hard, as if he's ripping a piece out of its insubstantial mass. A streamer of inky black flows into his hand, twining around his fingers as the Darkling swirls his hand around like a spindle. He slaps the congeal shadow into his other palm, kneads quickly and pulls both hands apart. The dark mass in his grip suddenly elongates into a black staff that seems to absorb all light. "Hey! Nothing to see near the doorway. Look over here!" Ashton taunts the rising skeletons.

When Prism actually manages to get herself free, Simin reaches out as if to help herd her back, looking around for the others perhaps to make sure no one else has gotten themselves entangled with another skeleton, "How about we go back upstairs and get the sledgehammers? Or at least something heavy to temporarily block the cellar door until we can GET the sledgehammers and pound these things into bone dust?" Ashton seems to have the right idea with creating a concussive sort of weapon, but the Winter doesn't seem inclined to want to remain even with that assistance, "I can slow them down but we need to get our asses out of here."

Prism quickly takes Simin's offered hand, grasping on it tightly as she makes sure to not get entangled with another skeleton. "I want upstairs, need Lambert foods" is spoken in English and she is quickly moving to head back upstairs and beelining for the kitchen. Being grappled by a skeleton means comfort food is needed!!!

Jacob pauses as Ashton puts away his sword and rips one from the shadows. He can't help himself. Even with skeletons trying to stand up and shamble in their direction, he's curious. "Say, that's pretty cool." But then Simin's words are snapping him back to reality. "Wait, no! You can't smash them up. One, their historical relics. Too, you think they don't like their jewels being taken, how do you think they're going to like it when you start pounding their family members to dust?"

Still, he's following the others towards the door, letting Ashton take the rear since he's the man with the shadow sword. Thankfully, the skeletons are fairly slow, even if a second and third have joined the first. It seems they haven't gotten the memo that the jewels are fine. They shamble after the group.

Jacob nods to Simin, acknowleding his offer. "It comes to that, I could give your luck a little boost." Which he should have done when they were trying to free Prism, but he was distracted by the waking skeletons. At any rate, they make it into the tunnel and start down it. "How many lefts did we take?"

"Yeah! Go, go, go!" Ashton urges, totally in agreement with Simin's assessment. The staff's a precaution, in case the skeletons turn out to move much quicker. It has much longer reach than his jian, is buffed by his magic and can be used to perform quite a few tricks that he can't do with his sword. That said, Ashton's quick to follow the rest of the group, but as the rare guard, the Darkling keeps an eye out on the skeleton hoard chasing them even as he legs it. "Agreed, Jake! No smashy smashy unless we have to, because that'll definitely piss them off even more. But I -am- going to do it if they don't fuck off and actually hurts anyone!"

When Jacob asks which way they went, Simin doesn't try to describe, he just hands the Fairest his little hand-sketched map, festooned with his little henscratch notes about things they saw on the walls and the stuff Jacob was reading off of the crypts. Simin can at least draw a map fairly decently, so it's probably not hard to follow. More importantly, with the notebook handed off, it allows him to back up behind the group and hold his arms out, frowning as brambles and thorns that look like they might have come out of the Hedge itself, wickedly twisting out to flood through a couple of yards around the Winter...which ought to be enough to really clog up the passageway as they retreat...and perhaps fortunately have NO effect on our Intrepid Adventurers since they are not enemies. Whew. "Letsgoletsgo...this fucking hurts, lets go..."

Prism isn't looking back, she is just booking it to follow the way out the best she can until she is outside of the stone door again and panting to catch her breath. She shudders as she utters in Russian, <<Gross skeleton can keep their damn jewels.>> A soft whimper before she looks to the others and says in English, "I am going grab shower, need to scrub off where it touched. Will get food after." She isn't retreating just yet but she is slowly moving towards the stairs.

The skeletons shamble after the group and do a surprisingly good job of keeping up, at least until those brambles fill the tunnel. They struggle but even they're not strong enough to break through them. Meanwhile, Jacob uses the light from the phone and the map and leads them back towards the wine cellar.

As they go along, Ashton, Prism and Simin catch sight of something glinting along the tunnel walls, something moving. Lizards. Hundreds of them, clinging to the walls. Were they there on the way in? Probably not - someone would have noticed them. They're there now, though. Maybe the noise stirred them up? Thankfully, they don't seem to be agreesive. There's just /so/ many of them.

Eventually, though, they make it into the cellar. Jacob waits for the others, then moves to close the door. Only, the button is gone. He moves to try and push the door shut, but it's solid stone and he's no muscle man. "Ashton! Bring that button back!"

Ashton flashes Simin's a grin as he jogs and throws in a thumbs. "Good going! That should stop them from doing anything stupid for a while. You've got to show me how to do that one at some point!" His voice trails off when he notices all the lizards suddenly there on the walls. "What the fuck? What kind of place -is- this?" he asks rhetorically, making a face at the strange sight. He has nothing against lizards, but there were so many.

"Uhhh... sure thing, boss..." Ashton replies faintly once they reach the stone door and he hears Jacob's instructions. The young man hides a grimace as he drops to his knees on the dusty floor to rub his hands over the location where the button was previously. His shadow staff remains clenched in the crook of his left elbow while he searches. "It's not here! The magic button is gone!" Exactly like he expected, but didn't tell anyone else.

"Maybe we can shove it closed? Or maybe there's something else?" Ashton gets to his feet using his staff as a crutch and starts to prod and press and nudge every single worth motif on the stone door that he can see.

Simin stumbles his way back through the door as he focuses on keeping the brambles up, possibly about to let the effect drop when he hears the idea that the Button is Gone and they can't close the door, "Ah, can we close the cellar door and push one of the freezers against it for now? I mean just put a sign on it 'dont move this, plz, we'll all die!'?" The frown stays on his face while he tries to focus, maybe even enjoying listening to little lizards screech their annoyance at brambles that lance out and tangle them up, "Or at least all of us together try to force it closed..."

Prism grabs one of the little lizards, at least one of them needs to live! She is clutching the little creature to her chest as she pants and asks, "What mean button gone? Must be way to close. And maybe help lizards?" She giggles as the creature seems to decide to dip into her shirt, the little toes tickling.

Jacob scowls at Ashton, "What do you mean there's no button? Just, do whatever you did before." Yet, they are running out of time. They can hear the shambling behind them. He grumbles, "Fine, fine, but if they break into my kitchen, Lambert will never forgive me." He shoos the others through the wine cellar and towards the stairs. He waits for the others to start up, then looks back at the cellar and murmurs to himself, "I'd better get this fixed before she wants to see the cellar."

Then he's following the others up. Out the door and the crew are looking around for something to block it. There are industrial fridges and freezers in the kitchen, one of those might work. For now. "Maybe they'll go back to sleep?"

"It must be a magic door," Ashton deadpans, trying not to switch from Jacob's scowl. He hurries away from the stone door as the plantation's owner shoos everyone towards the stairs. "Uhhh... you could still move something in front of it to block the opening off. It'll be totally fine!" The young man gives everyone a big, reassuring grin. "Just lock up everything else in between the catacombs and your bedrooms. Pretty sure skeletons can't disassemble and squeeze themselves through the cracks." So says the one person who doesn't live at the plantation.

When the consensus seems to agree with fleeing up to the kitchen, Simin is very agreeable to the retreat, finally letting the brambles go so he can lend what little strength he has into helping move, well, whatever they can manage, to block the cellar door, "We can deal with it tomorrow, we just need to do a little preparation before heading back down. We werent really prepared for Dungeons and Dragons LARP..."

Prism wiggles and giggles before the lizard re-emerges and she catch her with her hands, "Silly wiggly thing." She is up in the kitchen and more watching them blockade the door than anything. "Hopefully Lambert will understand?"

Jacob gives Ashton a skeptical look, but it's something he'll investigate further later. He nods to the others once the freezer is in place, taking a moment to go to another fridge and pull out a pitcher of lemonade and some glasses, pouring them up. He needs a drink. He nods to Simin as he passes them out, "Tomorrow. In the meantime, I can slip into Twilight and see if they head back to bed or not. Maybe figure something out about the door. What's a LARP?"

He smiles at Prism's words, lifting an eyebrow at her new pet. "Alright, then. We reconvene tomorrow. Ashton, you can take a guest room if you want." If he wants to stay in skeleton house. He lifts his lemonade, then takes a long draw.