"Don't you guys think this game's gettin' a little..." Brock let out a sigh, a large cloud of smoke escaping his lips as he ground his cigarette into the nearby ashtray. "Stale?"
"If I had your luck, I'd be thinking that, too," Ash scoffed, waiting for Claptrap to finish his turn, "Luckily, I've been winning the last few rounds." Using his metal prosthetic, he began fondling his healthy stacks of poker chips and sporting a smug look that Brock would love to wipe right off his pretty fuckin' face.
"Besides," chided Sam. His large canine feet were propped on the table, as he was waiting for the hand to be over. "I didn't think poker with anthropomorphic talking animals, killer robots, and time traveling gunmen could get stale."
GLaDOS lowered herself from the ceiling and towered over the players. "And I've been trying so hard to keep things interesting. If you're getting bored, Mr. Samson, I suppose I have a few more tricks up my metaphorical sleeve for you. However, they are much more," she paused, her voice pitch changing slightly, "...deadly."
"Yeah, no thanks." Brock had quickly gotten used to the AI's threats. It was more annoying than scary to him at this point. "I was just thinkin' that we could spice things up a bit, y'know? I mean, we've been doin' this once a week for months, and it's the same thing over and over again."
Winslow suddenly popped in from the side to comment. "Well, if you're feeling a bit adventurous, you could instead play a round of Omaha, or try your hand at our many bounty challenges!"
"Or I could force the four of you to play to the death," added GLaDOS, "Is that the kind of excitement you're looking for, Samson?"
Brock took a shot and slammed the glass onto the table with a loud thud. "You're on the right track, but that's, uhh, not quite what I had in mind. Now, kickin' all your asses has been fun, don't get me wrong, but these tournaments are nothin' like the games I've had during some of my missions."
"So, baby Brock is getting cranky, huh?" teased Claptrap. "Well, why don't you tell us what you have in mind, since you think you're too good for regular poker all of a sudden."
"My other poker games," Brock began, trying his hardest not to wail on the mechanical annoyance, "had greater risk. Instead of money, we'd bet on other things, like, say, an arm or a leg." Everyone else at the table cringed, which brought a chuckle out of the bodyguard. "That's just an example. Besides, Ash can't afford to lose another limb."
Ash rolled his eyes. "Very funny. Are you only bringing this up because you're losing? If we were to play your game, what would we be betting instead of cash?"
Brock lit another cigarette, sticking it into his mouth and shoving the lighter into his back pocket. "Have you guys ever played," Brock looked at each of them and smirked, "strip poker?"
Everyone froze and stared, only moving their heads to glance at each other in confusion. "Er...what?" Sam cocked his head.
"It's self exploratory. When you lose a hand, you have to shed an article of clothing," Brock explained.
Ash chuckled under his breath. "What the hell makes you think that's a good idea? I-I don't even think that's allowed here!" He rubbed his temple and shook his head in disbelief.
"Strip?" Winslow popped back again, as suddenly as last time. "Why, of course that's allowed! That's an old Inventory classic. We just don't promote it much anymore due to an incident we had several years ago."
"Um, not that I'm not excited to see a bunch of smelly meatbags in the nude," butted Claptrap, "but what about players who don't wear clothes?"
"Yeah, like me!" yelled out Max, who jumped up onto the table and started dancing and shaking his hips in front of Sam.
"May I remind you, Max, that you're banned from playing poker, and that you're only here as a spectator? And get off of the table!" Winslow barked, and Max begrudgingly obliged. "As for you, Claptrap, simply removing your robot parts will suffice. Same goes to Mr. Williams in regards to his prosthetic."
Sam nervously chuckled and tugged at his shirt collar. "Are we really doing this? W-We're not really doing this, right?"
Ash leaned back in his chair, making it creak under his weight. "Yeah, I'm with the giant talking dog. What gives, Samson? Why the sudden desire to see us naked? You hiding something from us?" he said with crossed arms and a raised eyebrow.
"I'm just tryin' to make things interesting around here for a change," Brock said nonchalantly as he finished his cigarette, "Or would you prefer to put another ten grand on the table?" He ground the butt into the ashtray and let it sit with the rest of the pack he'd smoked that night. "You're either in or out, gentlemen. Your call."
Ash, Claptrap, and Sam looked at each other, as if communicating telepathically, before coming to a conclusion:
Why the hell not?