(even if you aren't vegan)
Chapter 5: Tea & Crumpets Redux
Initially, this Chapter was just "Garfield goes on a date with Stephanie at a place," and which gradually became "Xavier D'Arque is now on Garfield's shitlist, and incidentally more relevant to the Wikihood Krewe than initially intended." While both of those concepts were good, this Chapter had been marred by the fact it was easily the worst Chapter in Wikihood Volume 1, as well as the second-shortest overall. As various Chapters at the beginning had wonky run-times, this had to be confronted in order for the pacing to not be completely school-fed up the bone bulge.
To rectify this, Chapters had to be re-arranged a lot more structurally, so that each Chapter could not only stand out on their own, but not be lower in character count than 25k - additionally, what used to be the shortest Chapter (Odd Job Drow) was given a gym subscription - and consequently, more muscle - in order to hold up to the same standards as Chaos and Garfield Pilots, due to Leigh having always been intended to be a main character leading his own group - The Vagabonds (though most of the Vagabonds were eventually scrapped/remade with different ideas in mind). Additionally, Garfield got his own Chapter earlier on (one of the Pilot Trio) after it was proposed by Sephiroth and Remolay once the first two initial Chapters were sandwiched together. Chapter 2 became Garfield Pilot, and Chapter 5 would in theory be its own thing. Then, No Hall Like Town Hall ended up sequentially making more sense at the time as Chapter 5, which made this Chapter (Tea & Crumpets Redux) the 6th Chapter.
With another Draft of Wikihood Volume 1 in the works, No Hall Like Town Hall would become Chapter 6 (ideally), and Tea & Crumpets Redux would be Chapter 5. This would not be disagreed with, since in Wikihood Redux proper - the original Tea & Crumpets was the fifth Chapter. Likewise, it appears Sephiroth had some ideas for this one that also invoke "The Very Initial Draft," which I find spectacularly cool.
- It begins with Garfield in an ice cream truck, extremely looking worse for wear. He swaps to some fancier clothes, but they do not hide the fact he took an enormous pummeling. He jumps out of said ice cream truck, arriving at the entrance of Giuseppe's Pizza Cabin - a high-end table service restaurant somewhere within Downtowningdale. He scans the general area, seeing Stephanie Young wave at him from a window. The denizens recognize him, and internally Garfield finds this charming - "Sometimes you want to go to a high-end pizzeria where everyone knows your name."
- Stephanie and Garfield play catch-up. Stephanie goes first, describing her tumultuous secretary job. Given the cat's already out of the bag, she divulges snippets of what it's like to be under Xavier D'Arque's employ, and Garfield correctly surmises that it's "turbulent." In kind, he describes having been recently involved in "turbulent" situations himself.
- Before Garfield can go into detail, however, the waitress (who is presumably new and doesn't know Garfield like others within Giuseppe's Pizza Cabin do) inquires what Garfield will be having to start. He answers "Tea & crumpets," much to her confusion, but then corrects himself by mentioning a blend of pomegranate tea, and going for some garlic bread as the closest equivalent to "crumpets." When the waitress leaves, he explains where the idea for acquiring tea and crumpets came from.
- Cut back to earlier in the day, via Flashback. Garfield is getting ready for his intended outing, but there is noise from outside his room. It turns out the noise is from Chaos cleaning things up; however, Chaos also unwittingly tore some of the drywall off and found a titanic Axe-Sword wedged to it. Garfield tries to rationalize the Axe-Sword's presence in the drywall, but Chaos isn't too particularly fond of even Garfield's "collection of magical items" being outside of his room. Additionally, due to the Axe-Sword's make, Chaos makes thinly-veiled jabs at Garfield's expense, though Garfield defends himself by mentioning that the Axe-Sword was a memorial item of high sentimental value. Chaos takes it out of the drywall, lifting it. He struggles, asking how it could be lifted at all; Garfield quips by mentioning that he "doesn't skip leg day."
- Chaos tries to use magic to make it easier to lift the Axe-Sword, but this backfires dramatically and begins disintegrating the Axe-Sword. Garfield mistakenly assumes that Chaos is doing this on purpose, and is tear-stricken and horrified at the disintegration. Chaos and Garfield get into a minor fist-fight over the situation, before Lex arrives in time to stop them from doing any major harm to each other. Lex offers an invitation to take him on a journey in order to help him cool off. Garfield agrees, pointedly remarking that being away from Chaos would definitely be the right judgment call, and admitting to needing to be somewhere else anyway.
- Lex and Garfield exit the apartment. Lex chastises Garfield for attacking Chaos so wildly, regardless of motive, but laments that the two of them (Chaos and Garfield) have been frequently at each other's faces about one thing or another. Lex extrapolates a bit more about what kind of journey he intends to embark on, with Garfield increasingly curious as to what it all entails. Lex sums it up by saying "Tea & crumpets," much to Garfield's initial confusion.
- Both Lex and Garfield drive - via ice cream truck - to a decrepit mansion. Garfield assumes an elaborate undead party will be taking place, and feels he'll fit in given his current attire. He is then proven wrong, by the presence of Jules Rosenberg, whose clothing is far more modern, and the presence of Bling, whom Garfield initially doesn't recognize. Garfield at least finds Jules interesting, and goes over to introduce himself. However, Lex proposes to let himself do most of the talking, and Garfield spies a suspicious hotdog cart Bling is leaning on. Inside the hotdog cart contains a lot of drugs, many of which Garfield would be familiar with by scientific nomenclature.
- Garfield's looking around and surveying is vocally mistaken for "being a fuckin' narc" by Bling. Bling takes out a gun, and points it at Garfield. As Garfield recognizes Bling as Tracy's brother, a shot is accidentally fired, and it hits him in the ribs. Bling briefly pauses, but regains his resolve, as he points his gun at Lex and Jules, and calls for his "Bling Boyz" to take centre stage. As he's doing this, Garfield gets up, and weakly gets into a Battel Stance.
- Lex is extremely worried for Garfield's safety, but with the Bling Boyz closing in, he recognizes there isn't much he can do right now.
- Likewise, Jules initially panics due to the sheer amount of Bling Boyz, before he recognizes them as malnourished hobos. He tries to appeal to them through empathy of their struggles, with this not quite taking due to how fiercely loyal to Bling said Boyz are.
- Garfield tackledives Bling, wrestling for control of the gun. Said gun fires off, hitting parts of the manor. Incidentally, Lex and Jules are given advantages in fighting the Bling Boyz as a result of the debris falling; they manage to do so handedly, though Jules and Lex audibly apologize for attacking them.
- Garfield eventually loses the struggle for the gun, and Bling attempts to coup-de-grace Garfield with a point-blank shot to his head "gangster style." The gun happens to be out of bullets by this point, a fact Garfield cheekily points out, thus ruining a stylistic finish. With the Bling Boyz dispatched, Jules and Lex redirect their attention back to Bling. Lex goes over to check on Garfield, while Jules proposes that they (he, Lex, and Garfield) get all the drugs out of the hot dog cart and into their respective pockets, in exchange for sparing Bling not only an ass-kicking that he righteously deserves, but also humiliation to add insult to injury. Bling reluctantly complies.
- Jules and Garfield introduce themselves to each other, and agree to meet again under less awkward circumstances. Likewise, Jules and Lex bump fists - having introduced themselves to each other during combat, but deciding to hang out again some time.
- Lex and Garfield have a few laughs in the truck, as the latter takes out a heavy first-aid NoxCorp kit and begins applying the necessary amount of bandaging and an attempt to not look horrible. It's at this moment where the story circles back to the current time, in which Stephanie and Garfield converse.
- Stephanie tells an outlandish, racey story of the morning before the Senatorial Campaign announcement from Shiny Crappy People. Garfield quickly recognizes Xavier as "incorrigible," and swears to kick his ass "so hard his ancestors will feel it." Though outraged, he is put at ease by Stephanie assuring him that she will be the one to kick his ass when he outlives his usefulness to her. With Xavier's destruction mutually-assured, Garfield decides to continue the conversation on a much more casual note.
- Cut to Jules who returns to Rosenberg Industries. Through him, we see the initial development stages of an upcoming Fundraiser. He then converses with Leigh, who is among the people working on the Fundraiser. Given a substantial amount of time (re: a week, possibly week-and-a-half) has passed in between Slimy Crappy People, insight is given as to Leigh's happiness with his current state of affairs - he hasn't been fired yet, and it's exceeded the allotted time frame in which the Drow would have been fired already, going by his past experience. Jules is stoked, though he is notably pensive compared to normal, which alarms Leigh. Jules starts retelling the same story Garfield told to Stephanie, but from his viewpoint.
- A few hours pass. Garfield sees Chaos outside of Katyusha's, smoking. Garfield apologizes to Chaos, and offers conversation; while it doesn't quite put them on friendly terms, they at least have a better understanding of each other as a result of the conversation that takes place.