I Am Your Daughter

May 11, 2015:

Hope finds Cable's ad for mercenary work and calls him out for a job that does not exist. Cable is far from pleased, but perhaps he is still impressed?

New Troy - Metropolis

"1930's architecture stretched like a rubber band."

New Troy is the largest borough in Metropolis and is where all of the main
city life seems to be established as well as take place. Here is where you
will find skyscrapers that reach the heavens and commerce that spreads as
far as the next business that picks up.

The heartbeat, lifeblood, and veins of The Big Apricot.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Hope looks out of place here, but she is attempting to blend in. First, she raided a jacket to cover some of her futuristic uniform. The jacket is thin, and there is luckily a cool breeze outside right now. It is however not long enough to hide her energy weapons strapped to her thighs, so she actually raided Kate's closet for a scarf to tie about her waist and hide that. She looks like a bloody Goth hippy!

Still, Hope has found the bench she reported to meet on the right corner, and flops down with a grunt, rubbing a hand over her face. She's a nervous wreak! There are stress lines to her face, and her eyes flicker about a lot as if nervous. Her appearance and behavior would likely send signal waves, like mega signal waves of warnings to Cable! But when has that ever stopped him. She takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out, glancing at the sun to estimate time rather than a watch or cell phone. "Almost 3….," which is the time she requested they meet, alone to discuss the job. Public place, no real danger, right?

Among the training provided to Hope during her youth was that of coded communication: you can never tell when an enemy might be listening in, so encrypt whenever possible with whatever means are available. Further, whenever your enemy might be up-to-date with emerging technologies, use those the enemy is likely overlooking.

Thus, it may be no surprise that Hope's search for her "father" results in potential hits not from an Internet forum but from classified ads in print-only magazines specializing in subjects like fly fishing, interior design, and llama breeding.

If you know what to look for, it's almost like a beacon.

From around a nearby corner that had been empty a few minutes beforehand, a large man trudges out toward the meeting place, his head barely moving to allow him a chance to glance back and forth.

Cable is, unsurprisingly, dressed much like Hope — a duster barely concealing his form-fitting suit and armor. The man's left hand is shoved into his pocket, but his eyes are unmistakable — the one because of the scars surrounding it, and the other due to its flickering glow.

As he nears the girl, his mouth forms a tight grimace, but he continues his approach nonetheless. "Waiting for someone, little girl?" he asks in a deep voice that sounds like he's been chewing gravel.

Little girl…her name for years and something Cable still called her. Hope jerks to her feet a little unevenly, but still Cable could tell she was armed. But she didn't appear to be aggressive, actually she looked like she was about to cry at least until she forces herself to swallow and gains the upper hand over her emotions. "Do…do you remember me?" Her voice breaks only a little bit, hope and fear in equal measure in her green eyes. Her red tresses flutter a bit in the cool breeze.

The way Hope stands is with a militaristic stance, her shoulders squared no matter how narrow, and her feet slightly braced apart to keep balance even if there was a sudden attack. She is far from aggressive, rather the stance appears instinctive. Her accent is also odd, not local that is for sure, actually it sounds a little like Cable's. Her hands remain loose at her sides.

The large man looms over the young woman, the hem of his own jacket flapping against his legs. He stares down at her for a long, silent moment, then his eyebrows raise slightly as he responds. "Did I kill your parents or something? Here for revenge?" he asks in a quiet voice.

"Let's not waste each other's time. I thought I had a meeting here that I'm just gettin' my chain yanked for," he continues, his voice hardening a bit. "I don't think you want what I'm selling. It's not conducive to a long life."

And Hope's expression hardens at that, trying to hide her pain and disappointment, but the bench near her shakes a bit which is…odd…it's secured to the sidewalk!

"No. I'm not…," but Hope then takes a deep breath, closing her eyes briefly as she works to regain control over her emotions and the bench nearby stops shaking.

When her green eyes flicker open once more she says, "What is, is." An Askani saying that is not of this time or place. The young woman then offers a hand toward Cable, "I'm….Traveler," as if she just came up with the codename right then and there. There is so much she is not saying, but her lips are sealed. Something Cable long ago taught her to do until it is the right time and place, even then, add in plenty of grunting.

Cable's face drains of color for a moment — just a moment, but it happens nonetheless.

"Where …" he begins to ask in a somewhat softer voice, as he takes Hope's hand to shake. He clears his throat. "Where did you learn that saying?"

Staring at Hope, Cable exhales slowly. "If I was wrong, so be it. But you might be playing a dangerous game here, girl," he adds, a bit more quickly.

Then, he looks about and frowns. "If this is a trap, spring it."

Traveler shakes her head after shaking Cable's hand, but she doesn't let go afterwards, she actually clings to it, "I don't think any of my current 'caregivers' followed me. I just stepped out for a bit. No one was at the house anyway," she states. "So I doubt anyone harass us. Umm….you got any money? I want ice cream." She then smiles a little shyly up at Cable before finally letting go of his hand.

"And it's…a long, long story, but to summarize, you taught me it," Traveler states.

As his hand is freed, Cable lowers it slowly to his side. "I did, did I?" he asks, his eyes initially narrowed, but which soften up ever so slightly after another long moment of staring down at Traveler.

"Doesn't sound like something I'd do," he adds with a sudden clenching of his jaw. Cable folds his arms across his chest and shifts his weight to lean on his right leg, the weapon holstered on it more visible than before. "Sell me on it. Summary's fine. That should cover your ice cream."

A light snort at that, "Surrrre! But ice cream first." She knows Cable is going to freak in his own way, so she totally isn't telling him prior to getting the ice cream! Her arms cross over her chest and she looks at the older man challenging and without a lick of fear! She even dares to raise an eyebrow at Cable as if to say: What you going to do about it?! Yep…she's a teenager still.

"Suit yourself," Cable replies. "I think there's a place down the block." He steps back to let the girl walk first. "You're either too clever for your own good, or you're walking to your funeral. Hope you're already aware which one's the case." His left eye glows again, faintly, before he looks away. With that, Cable begins striding down the street toward the nearest ice cream parlor.

"I trust you," and Hope states that so directly and simply. She doesn't say anything more about it.

Though as Traveler moves, perhaps Cable will notice those aren't normal guns strapped to her thighs, but energy guns. She does idily raise a gloved hand to run through her hair as her eyes dance about to keep alert to her surroundings. "So…what's it like here anyway? I heard Gotham City is fun, throw a stone, and you get a target." Light, casual talk, well…for Hope anyway. Hopefully they find the ice cream parlor soon!

For his part, Cable says nothing, instead opting to walk calmly to their destination with his hands in his duster.

It's only a couple of minutes until the pair arrives at the ice cream salon. Cable, silent, has continually regarded Traveler out of his peripheral vision — an observation that she might easily identify.

"We're here," he notes gravely as he opens the door to let the girl inside first.

In the store, a cheerful pubescent teenager in a paper hat exclaims, "Welcome to Ziggy Piggy!"

Though for once, Traveler is not self-conscious. She is mostly relaxed, nervous yes, but not up-tight or giving off any weird vibes. She moves with confidence in her steps, keeping up with Cable's long stride with surprising ease, as if used to it.

Hope actually laughs at the welcome! "Ziggy Piggy, seriously?" Her eyes seem to light up like a child's, and a grin spreads across her mouth, flashing teeth. She then heads over to the counter while there isn't a line, looking at the menu. "Umm…I want a scoop of chocolate and one of vanilla, and I want…crushed Oreos on the vanilla and crushed butterfingers on the chocolate…," and she's bouncy, happy, excited! And when she looks back at Cable, she grins, "And a rocky road for my old man, two scoops." And she holds up two fingers as she looks back at the clerk. "He's paying."

"Yes, ma'am!" squeaks the ice cream artist, who busily and swiftly prepares the orders for his customers.

"Nothing for me — " Cable begins, but the girl's already placed an order. He grits his teeth and sighs. "Fine."

In moments, the teen worker has finished his sculptures, extending his arms to the pair with one cone in each hand.

Cable produces the right amount of cash, places it on the counter, and takes his cone. "Rocky road?" he asks, almost to himself. For a moment, it looks like he might eat it. Then, his expression grows cold and he tosses it in a nearby trash can.

"Nice try. Now talk," he says coolly. "This has been … fun … and everything, but my time is precious. Something you'll learn when you get older."

"Well, good to know your stubbornness is still the same," Hope grumbles, the light that was in her eyes earlier gone. She then moves to have a seat, eating her own ice cream. "I know about Apocalypse. So much is…strange here. It isn't what I remember. I don't know if it had something to do with the Phoenix or what happened," she says quietly. "Anyway, do you want me to rip it off like it's a Band-Aid? Wait…of course."

Traveler take another bite of her ice cream, lingering on the flavor before she finally says, "Cable, I am your daughter," actually even getting the tone for Star Wars down, all Darth Vader! But then more seriously, she says softly, "You're my Dad."

"So, that's how you want to play it?" Cable asks quietly. "Not a very funny joke." His left hand is removed from his duster jacket, revealing its bio-metallic appearance. The hand clenches into a fist, and Cable raises it to his mouth.

"I can't believe I seriously — " he begins, and then he is silent.

"You understand," he states calmly, flexing his hand gently, "that I don't believe you. At all. And this," he adds, waving his hand up and down the girl's height, "is an insult. You want to play soldier? Fine. I can treat you like one. But family?"

He shakes his head.

"I have no time for family."

Suddenly, Hope's right eye starts to give off a faint yellow glow, and she says, "Then let your guards down and I'll show you. I'll show you that there is no such thing as playing soldier, you live or you die. I'm not real talented with telepathy though, so you got to help me control it so I don't end up showing the entire place my memories." She's daring Cable…but she doesn't expect him to accept.

"Or, you can go run and hide, and I'll find you later and beat some sense into you. That's fine too. For now, knowing you are alive makes me happy," and she smiles softly, wistfully at that. "I am your daughter, and proud to be so."

Cable's eyes narrow again, but his mouth opens just slightly as if in shock. "You…" he begins, but his voice trails off.

As Hope speaks, Cable shakes his head. "I don't … this can't be," he says, looking down for a moment before composing himself. "I don't have time for this right now. But you're right — we will meet again. Congratulations on the tactical advantage. It won't happen next time." Throughout these statements, his voice is once again strong … except as he concludes, and there's a barely perceptible crack to it. He clears his throat and quickly exclaims, "Professor! Bodyslide by one."

Then, he disappears.

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