Happy Hamburger Day

February 14, 2016:

Two friends catch up for a chat, with hamburgers!

Mutant Town - NYC

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…


Having spent the morning trying to come up with an activity for herself that doesn't involve a bar's worth of alcohol and poor decisions, it's barely even lunch time yet, Jesana had decided on seeing if Doctor Beck would like to meet for lunch. M-Town is one of her favourite places in New York and there's a great little hamburger place that also has good salads if you prefer that. And alcohol. She's taken corner table inside that has a view of the exits and a wall to put at her back and side. A good position with a nice view through the window outside. No one will look askance at his hands here, or her eating enough for several people. Jes is trying hard not to glower at any of the overly affectionate lunchtime couples. She'd forgotten today was Valentines day.


Beck hangs his coat over the back of one of the spare chairs at their table, and sits down — still looking like a gentleman or scholar straight out of the early 1900s (a classic never dies, one supposes). Smiling wryly at some of the other couples about the hamburger restaurant, he glances sidelong at Jesana and arches an eyebrow.

"Is there ever such a thing as a holiday that pleases everyone?" he wonders aloud, knowing full well the answer. "Perhaps a 'hamburger holiday' instead? Who would not love hamburgers?" He snorts mildly. "I remember when the hamburger first became popular…"


Jesana smiles at Walker, visibly brightening when she spots him. She gives his clothing an appreicative look. Fenris has worn similar things. Being in Mutant town and not worrying about appearances, she actually never does really, but does sometimes try to blend in, Jes is dressed without any consideration for the cold. A denim skirt just on the side of decency and midnight blue velvet halter top. Her smoky quartz pendulum necklace rests atop the shirt and her leather jacket is slung over the back of her chair. She's also wearing her favorite brown leather sandals. No place to hide her knives but her gun is probably in one of the jacket pockets.

"It's not a bad holiday. If you haven't just.. well. Happy couples aren't my thing at the moment." Jes smiles but there's definitely pain showing in her eyes. "I love hamburgers! I can't even imagine not wanting to eat them. I mean, I could do it if there weren't any but.. choosing not to eat meat?" She shakes her head. It's madness from her point of view, but she's a predator so of course it would be. "How have you been Walker?" Jes asks.


Walker smiles.

"Well enough," replies he, folding his hands upon the table in front of him. He has taken his gloves off; they rest in a pocket inside his jacket. Of Crotchet 'the talking rat' there is no sign. It would appear Walker has left his Familiar at home. "There is always something to do, but I must confess this social excursion is preferable to sitting in a study poring over tomes and parchments."

His smiles turns into something of a sardonic half-smirk.

"There is no end to study." Glancing around the diner and outside, the necromancer purses his lips thoughtfully, and looks once more back at Jesana. "Couples… yes indeed. That has… not found its way onto my list of pursuits, for… quite some time. Complicated, would it not be? Now. Tell me of 'Mutant Town'. The last time I lived in New York… none of this was here."


Jes looks at Walker thoughtfully. "Complicated, yeah. I understand that." She's noticed Crotchet's absence and she'll remember to bring him a treat for next time. She likes the little guy but despite this being Mutant Town, the rat would probably draw some attention. "It's true, there is always so much to do. I have a lot of stuff I'm studying, books on magic Fenris gave me, books about herbs and plants and remedies, I've got to learn Sanskrit and that.. it's all going to take a long time. Unless I'm really injured I don't usually have more than an hour, if that at a time for anything. I like learning new things if they interest me though so it's good. This is a lot better than studying alone at home right now though." Jes smiles.

"Mutant town is great. I love it here. Pretty much everyone and everything is welcome. There's so much diversity. There's good food and shopping and art stuff. Most of the people are great. But, it's also really dangerous a lot of the time. Everyone here is a target and until recently the police didn't always make the best effort at helping. Purifiers, terrorists, every ignorant hate filled bastard for three states around comes here looking to do damage. But the people are tough and there are a lot of those like myself who will defend and protect them."


"Sanskrit, I can help you with that if you like," Walker replies with a smile. "Admittedly, I prefer to remain 'in the field', exploring ancient tombs, ruins, temples… but the 'adventure' proves less fruitful without the study beforehand." He snorts and shakes his head. "And now I sound like a school teacher. Still, I would rather find things than read about them."

He goes silent for a while and itches idly at his beard with a talon-like fingernail. "As for this place… it is most troubling. Tell me of these 'Purifiers'. There are several sects worldwide dedicated to the eradication of all things 'different'. I am not familiar with this one."


Jesana smiles again. "I'd love that. It's.. difficult. Fenris said it would be important though." She doesn't doubt him but it can be hard for to keep patience with something she hasn't seen the benefit of herself yet. "I like adventure too. Studying is really only easy for me when I can't do anything else. Or it's something I'm really, really interested in." Her expression turns more serious and she nods. "I'll tell you because if you're going to be living here you'll need to know. You'd be a target too. I also apologize if I get.. intense. I'm.." Jes pauses to think. It's not an easy admission but it's honest and she tries to be honest with her friends. "I'm like them in some ways. The difference is I would never hurt an innocent on purpose. I don't hate for the sake of hating. But I do hate Purifiers almost as much as I hate HYDRA and I kill every one of them that I can. It doesn't make me a lot better." She's realized this but it's not something she's going to try to change. Some people aren't worth saving, some of them deserve to die.

"They were until recently, humans. They hate mutants and see them as a threat to the human race. They used to just target mutants. Now, they target anyone who gets in their way, mutant or human or otherwise and they hate people with magic and aliens too. They also aren't just human anymore. These idiots are so full of hate that they've started turning themselves into the very thing they want to destroy. Someone somewhere gave them access to some really advanced technology and they made a bunch of human/mechanical hybrid soldiers. We call them Reavers. They're a lot harder to kill than a regular human and usually have laser weaponry. I haven't seen any in awhile, I'd hoped we were done with them but I doubt it. There was a big fire-fight in the Sculpture Gardens the other night. A bunch of Purifiers went after the police, trying to kill as many as they could. I was told it was probably meant as distraction to draw attention to some operation they are planning overseas. Something called "Project Extinction." Jes shakes her head. "I don't know what it is yet but it sounds.. it will be terrible. The last major project they had involved stolen Sentinels."


"Project Extinction?" Beck repeats as he rubs his jaw with an ancient forefinger and thumb of his right hand. "I've not heard of it — nor do I like the sound of it." He releases and breath and reaches a hand over gently pat Jesana.

"You need have no fear speaking to me of death-dealing, Jesana Ravae; it's something I understand… better than most. Ironically, I see Death as almost a 'living entity' in and of itself — a person to be acknowledged, understood… to a point, and even entertained. Perhaps even loved…" He frowns at that.

Clearing his throat, the necromancer shakes his head. "Sects such as these Purifiers remind me of thieves using stolen credit cards — running up massive charges, with no regard for the price… while the true owner of the card comes running after them…" He smiles thinly.

"They will 'get theirs', I am certain of it. Now. Shall we order?


Jesana blinks as she considers his words. "Death as an entity? I think.. there is one. At least I'm sure. When I was in Hell I saw only demons and human souls. And the angel." She frowns. If she ever sees that one again.. it will be a fine fight finding out if who is stronger, a fallen angel or a Native American demigod. She takes Walker's hand for a moment and squeezes it in a silent acknowledgement of thanks. So few people understand. "You are a rare man, Walker Beck. One I am glad to have met." She smiles and nods. "Yes, I'm starving." She's also in a much better mood and forgoes the alcohol in favor of a chocolate milkshake. And four double bacon cheeseburgers with fries. "I burn a lot of energy just sitting." Jes explains. She's used to people looking askance at her eating. "It's sometimes a problem actually. If something happens and I can't eat for a day I start dropping weight. It's easy enough to get back but I never really manage to gain much beyond what I have now."


Beck raises an eyebrow.

"It sounds as though you have a rather peculiar metabolism," he muses aloud. A second later, he snorts in wry humour. "You remind me of myself — particularly after I first put on the Bands. Well, after that and waking up again. I began craving meals that had once been popular in Egypt… during the reign of Ramses II."

He shakes his head and picks up a menu.

"Most peculiar. Of course, it was not really I who felt such cravings, but… ah yes. Complicated. 'Peculiar', I fear, has lost some of its meaning to me over time. Although…" and he frowns at some of the things available to order. "There is always room to be surprised."

A waitress approaches the two of them with a notepad and pen to take their order. Beck smiles and murmurs something called 'The Special' (more or less a hamburger 'with everything and then some'), as well as a cup of hot water.

He smirks at the waitress's reaction (a surprised blink), and looks askance at Jesana. "I bring my own," he tells her.


She grins and nods. "Yeah, teabags from food joints and grocery stores really tend to suck. I'd do the same but I usually order alcohol or pepsi. What kind of food did they eat then? I.. do you mind if I ask more about that? It's a kind of possession, with the Bands, yeah?" She smiles. "Feel free to tell me to mind my own business, I'll understand. But I know a little about that. My Father, sometimes he takes over me. I don't usually remember it when he does and I often don't find out anything of the things he does while he's me but to say it's complicated is an understatement." Jes snorts. "I've learned it's something he's done with many of his children. At least the ones who interested him. I'm one of those apparently." It's a little more than that actually but the new understanding of just how like her Father she is, is a sore point at the moment and Jes doesn't want to focus on it too much.


After the waitress leaves with their orders, Beck turns back to Jesana and smiles. "In ancient Egypt? They — the with the exception of the slaves — ate rather well, all things considered. Meats, bread — not like the bread of today. They were more akin to… buns or rolls. Fruits, vegetables. I suppose the difference lies in how it was prepared — but in my case, after I awoke, I had this overwhelming urge to order my house slaves to the Nile river to catch and prepare me some fish, with honey-sweetened cakes…"

He clears his throat, covering his mouth with a desiccated hand.

"Not that *I* personally had slaves. Timat did. Many. He was… not a good master — but what would you expect of a court sorcerer?" Beck goes silent for a moment and spreads his fingers out upon the table top. He stares at the ancient, bony fingers with curved nails like claws, a frown upon his forehead.

Then the hands just… rotate: one moment facing palm-down upon the table, the next… palm up. "These are his hands," Beck murmurs softly. "Timat's, not mine." He flexes his fingers and makes the hands rotate back to as 'normal' a position as they can manage.

"I'm sorry, what were we talking about?"


Jesana smiles and reaches out grasp Walker's shoulder. "They were his. They're yours now. You use them for a far different purpose than he did." She gives him a reassuring squeeze. "We were talking about food. Fresh honey is the best. I've gotten good enough at getting it and using the smoke that I don't even get stung anymore. Much. It's a lot easier to just get it fresh from a beekeeper though and so I do that most of the time. I use so much that getting it in the wild, it takes time even when you can travel as quickly as I can and I'd much rather spend my time in the wilds hunting for meat or herbs. Both usually." She grins.

That reminds her of something else though. "You remember that evil tree we destroyed when we first met?" Jes looks down and then back up apologetically. She hadn't very nice then. "I've been thinking about that place. How to maybe help it heal faster. I was going to ask Fenris if planting a new tree there might help. Some sort of special.. magical tree or something. Or, I dunno, blessed maybe. It probably wouldn't be a good idea to just randomly mess with magic but I was really curious if I could bring one of the saplings from Giizhigong or somewhere to plant there. I don't know if it could grow though. There are trees and animals that I have no names for in that place. And I'm sure so many things I haven't yet discovered."


Beck smiles and nods.

"You are kind," he tells Jesana in reference to Timat, and Beck's… duties as the lich's 'jail-keeper', as it were. As Jesana continues speaking, the necromancer taps at his chin, thoughtfully considering her words.

"I remember the tree," he replies with a nod. "That kind of experience does tend to linger in one's mind a while… and not merely because of the power I took from it. I can still feel that — it has made certain 'other things' much easier, for the time being. I would like to see that place properly restored…"

He pauses briefly.

"Have you attempted to introduce flora from Giizhigong into this plane, before?" he asks out of curiosity.


"I've wanted to try but no, I haven't yet. I know how bad of an idea it can be to bring a non-native species into an area. I'd want to be really sure it's okay. I think next time I go I'm going to bring back something and keep it in a pot in the kitchen and see what happens. That should be safe enough. I also wondered if there might be something more suitable in Faerie or somewhere."

"I know that some of the.. people and creatures from there live here. So maybe there plants that do too. Or.. I dunno, would a priest bless a tree? I've only really known one." She goes quiet for a moment and looks thoughtful. "I wonder if he's still alive. He was a good man and it wasn't the easiest place for him on the Res. He was always kind to me though, even though his wife hated me."


The waitress returns with their orders, setting them down in front of each of them — including the cup of hot water for Beck. He smiles and thanks the waitress before fishing out a small bag of tea leaves from inside his coat, and a strainer. While he pours himself the tea, he looks at Jesana.

"You are correct about the introduction of foreign plants… but I think we can use magic to discern the things you would need to know, there. As for this priest of yours… I suppose there is only one way to find out. What do you say we visit him soon? I, too, am curious about that tree, and the souls still trapped beneath it. I know we freed many of them (maybe all…) but I want to be sure."

The tea's sweet fragrance fills their little corner of the restaurant, and Beck smirks to himself. Nothing seems to ever beat a good cup of tea — not for him, certainly.


Jesana grins. She loves the sweet herbal scent of the tea and tucks into one her burgers. While she eats a bit more quickly than would be considered normal she manages to have good table manners otherwise. After a few moments she nods and continues. "I think I would like to know how he is at least. I haven't been back home since I ran away. After my family died I didn't see any point and for awhile I was forbidden to go because there would have been some sort of trap waiting for me and I was so over come with guilt I would have walked right into it on purpose."

It's hard to talk about it and it she's still mourning but she's gotten to the point where it no longer sends her into a spiralling mess of grief and rage. They're at peace now and she's accepted it. "I've got to return soon anyway. I need to see about selling the farm and it needs to go to someone in the tribe. I'd appreciate some company, really." She grins a little. "I mean no offense by this at all but your presence.. I think that woman would be so distracted she'd forget to even glare at me. I always felt bad because I knew she gave the poor man hell for being so kind to me. He deserved someone a lot nicer." She'd never understood that relationship.


Beck chuckles and starts eating his hamburger.

After several moments of relative silence — barring the sound of eating, of course — he dabs at the corners of his mouth with a napkin and steeples his fingertips together, elbows at his sides.

"I would be happy to accompany you," he says brightly. "No offense taken. This woman sounds like quite the proverbial thorn… and 'distractions' are something I can manage with ease." He smirks.

"I'll be sure to bring Crotchet. I should also like to visit Giizhigong as well. Most of the alternate dimensions I have visited are merely different versions of that place we call 'Hell'. Giizhigong is far more pleasant, I must admit."

He frowns and reaches for his newly-brewed tea.

"There is a part of me that craves the company of the underworld. I understand it is macabre, but… it has a certain appeal."


Jesana bursts into a fit of giggles at the thought of Crotchet coming along. "That's why she hated me. She knew I could go coyote and thought I was some sort of, I dunno.. magical heathen savage I guess. I didn't really help matters because I couldn't resist messing with her a little sometimes. Then one night I stole some moonshine and.. I don't remember much after that. I woke up to her screaming. I was in the kennel curled around her prized champion bloodline poodle stud and I had one of her prized chicken's feathers hanging from my mouth. I don't know if she was more pissed at the death of the chicken or horrified by finding a naked Indian girl curled up with her dog. We weren't doing what she thought I can tell you that much." Je scowls. So much trouble that had been.

She shakes her head and focuses again on the discussion. "Oh yes. I'd love to take you there. I've only brought my children. Actually, I gave birth to them there. It wasn't as dangerous as it sounds. My Father was with us then. I don't know anyone else who would be interested in going I think. It's a spiritual plane for sure but that hardly seems enough to describe it. It's so wild and.. vast. Maybe unending. I don't know. I know there are many more gateways such as the one I have that go to other places too. Secret places. I haven't found any yet but they are there." She thinks for a moment. "I don't think it's weird, not for you. That's where your power lies so of course it's what you're drawn to and comfortable with."


Beck sets down his half-eaten burger and again dabs at his mouth with a napkin. A smile spreads across his face at Jesana's comments, and he bows his head forward a bit, chuckling to himself.

"You should be aware that uncovering secrets — even secrets hidden in other planes of existence — is something of an occupation, as well as a hobby, of mine. I can scarcely resist. Crotchet is… particularly skilled at it also. It might prove somewhat enlightening to set him loose in Giizhigong and see what he finds."

The necromancer smirks again.

"It might also be troublesome in many and unexpected ways, also." He shrugs as if to say, 'that is always the risk with any discovery'. After a bit of a pause (to eat more of his meal), Beck adds: "It sounds as if this woman has taken quite the issue with you… There is always someone, is there not?"


"Oooh. It would I'm sure but that's the fun in it!" Jesana's eyes light up. This is sounding more and more fun. Adventure and trouble and chaos. It will be a welcome respite from recent events and having the company of new friends only makes it more so. Jes laughs. "She did but he made up for it. There weren't many people in my life outside of my family. That preacher who was our second closet neighbour and the Elder and his son who were the first. I didn't go into town often or to the school, ever. I didn't begin keeping human form until I was around five and I was a very wild child. My brothers didn't think it would be a good idea for anyone."

Jes looks out of the window as she sits back a bit to sip her milkshake. She's pretty much demolished most of her food by now. "I had never seen a city before I left the Res. I walked most of the way from Montana to New York. I got a few rides in the back of open trucks but never for too long. I don't like being inside of cars. But gods, seeing a city for the first time." She shake her head and grins at Walker. "It was the most terrifying, amazing thing I'd ever seen. I'd understood abstractly there would be so many people but seeing it.. it seemed like I was seeing the whole world and everyone in it all at once. I know that sounds dumb." Jes laughs.


Walker smiles.

"Nothing truly does compare with seeing something for the first time, with your own eyes," he says after he finishes his meal. "It is like reading about a succulent hamburger in a recipe book — and then tasting one for oneself. That, more or less, describes the thrill of archaeology to me; I could invest all my time in just the books, but nothing on this plane — or any other — compares with the actual experience."

He goes quiet again to drink his tea, lips pinched to one side in thought.

"No, none of it sounds 'dumb' to me," he tells Jesana with a faint smile. "I can quite understand."


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