The Vault was the most eccentric bar in Spokane. The night scene had certainly become livelier with its opening and subsequent surge of popularity. It was one of only a handful of bars that hadn't gone belly-up during the Big Crash. It was also one of those rare themed places where the name suited the decor, and was crazy enough to continue to draw a crowd.
The proprietor, a big wall of muscle who looked as if he could have wrestled professionally in his younger days--and often played bouncer when he wasn't doing paperwork--had installed a massive antique bank vault door patrons had to pass through to enter the common room. There was a second such door to the office. The tables were built from old safety deposit box racks, as was the bar itself so it could hold any supplies the bartender could want.
The Vault was an idea place for people with "paranormal tendencies" to hang out for an evening of entertainment after enduring a hard day of hiding their abilities from coworkers and family. Ever since the Big Crash, which had not only screwed with governments world wide, technology, and economy, but also biology--warping genetics of man and beast alike, places like the Vault were widely sought by those whose transformed genetics had given them unique appearances or abilities. It was a unique hideaway in an otherwise suspicious or outright hostile world. There were a few "groupies" who frequented the bar as well, obsessed fangirls seeking to hook up with a vampire, werewolf, or other fantastical being. For the most part, though, it hosted those beings the world preferred to shun and ignore.
Banner was one such creature. Though it was impossible to tell by common scrutiny--most days Banner was happy he looked normal--Banner was a Pariah. That's what the world had named these the Big Crash had changed, anyway. He supposed it was better than freak or mutant or monster or thing, but Pariahs got called those, too, in less official or friendly company.
Banner had what were called Draconic powers. When his emotions got the better of him, his skin would flush to reveal he was really covered in scales. He could use them, too, as camouflage, or to even mimic clothes. He could change faces and skin tones at will, which, if the government found out, would make him a sought-after spy. It wasn't something Banner intended to disclose.
He did have scales he couldn't hide on his back. They ran along both sides of his spine, from below his shoulder blades to the small of his back. They were a dull white like old scars, which is how he played them if they were seen--such as at the gym when he was working out. If women asked, he claimed a bizarre mountain bike accident in Colorado. It was partially true. He had had a bike accident in Colorado while camping with his family--the trip was an annual reunion event, involved the entire family for a week of hiking, biking, skiing, eating, shopping, and catching up with a year's worth of news from all over the United States. It just hadn't been the cause of his scars.
He was the picture of the rugged outdoor type: unruly brown hair, sparkling green eyes, strapping build without being over-muscled. He was attractive enough to be hit on by both normal and Pariah women, and usually he enjoyed flirting back, but rarely went beyond that. He preferred to be picky, especially after seeing his sister's string of romances that had left her two children and no husband, and his cousin's five kids with an equal number of women. His job didn't allow as much time as he wanted to invest in a relationship, anyway.
Guess that's what comes with security detail for a place like this.
It wasn't a bad line of work, especially on a night like tonight--one of his few days off. On top of security to keep the frequent attempts at trying to breach the Vault's office for the thrill of it--there seemed to be no end to them, he thought sourly, and it was rapidly becoming tradition for new patrons to give it a shot within hours of their first visit--Banner often played bartender. Bartending was something of a hobby. Not to mention it allowed him to get a feel for which customers would be more likely to attempt robbery; sometimes he slipped something into their drinks, or had the bouncers remove them under some other pretense. Having Draconic abilities had its benefits; he could literally smell a heist brewing.
Tonight he didn't care. It was his day off. The others could manage without him. He didn't like handing the responsibilities over to someone else, but he'd burn out otherwise.