I am a *itch

February 17, 2016:

Cheap food and no smoking ban lead to something interesting and a lot of crazy. Also, May wins when she isn't even there.

Cafe in East End

The first impression of Gotham for many is East End, a district notorious
for it's poverty, crime, prostitutes and drugs. The lit up central strip at
night is colorful, bright and looks like something out of Las Vegas with its
innumerable gentleman's clubs, casinos, bars and strip clubs. The
downtrodden feel of East End has been glossed over by these glowing lights
and brilliant signs along with the towering cityscape of surrounding
districts, such as Otisburg, Burnley and to the north the Robert Kane
Memorial Bridge.

Along the East End's southern region the streets begin to be overtaken by
cobblestone alleyways, alleyways that web work throughout a rundown slum
city of shacks, sheds, makeshift homes and decrepit apartments called
Alleytown. A heavily populated district many immigrants and their
descendants call home.

Park Row aka Crime Alley rests upon the other side of the main strip,
dominated by an underdeveloped housing project called Scurvy City by the
locals (it's actual name being the Skirley Apartments), East End Free
Clinic, the Bowery, Tin Roof Club, Sheldon Park, Robbinsville and the GCPD's
9th Precinct.

Characters

NPCs:

Mentions: The_Calvary Fenris

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's Gotham, which means, selective smoking ban. This is precisely why Shift has chosen a greasy spoon in Gotham, named 'The Angry Egg', to grab some midday chow. He's got a double decker on the plate before him, French fries, and a hot coffee and a soda, all of it enveloped in the cancerous second hand smoke of a menthol cigarette burning in his left hand.
His right hand is busy scrolling through an app on his smartphone. The silver-eyed mutant seems transfixed by whatever is on the screen, only occasionally lifting his cigarette to take a drag. Otherwise, he's dressed simply; a black leather jacket, a gray hoodie, dark blue jeans and heavy black riding boots. Must be his Harley Davidson Iron-883 outside, for there's a helmet on the floor beneath his stool at the counter.

The young native american woman who pauses outside to eye the motorcycle is dressed in a similar manner. Brown leather jacket and sandals, faded jeans with holes in the knees but a blue halter top instead of a hoodie. A smoky quartz crystal dangles from her neck on a leather string. "Hmm." Jesana sighs thoughtfully. Frederick would probably skin her if she got a bike and really she doesn't need one but damn, that thing is cool. She shrugs, something to ponder later and heads inside.
Food is obviously mostly on her mind now. She orders three western omelettes, sausage and bacon and french toast sticks. Pepsi and hot chocolate. They look a little askance at her but no one comments as Jes drops into a seat at the table next to Shift's. She glances aside at him, looks back to the waitress, frowns and eyes Shift again. He seems familiar but he'd been a lot different the last time she saw him. It might take her a few moments.

Andy Hart just got off a paramedic shift at Gotham general. He alternates which city he works in, commuting regularly around. Gotham is his favorite, though, because you get the most interesting wounds. Not often you have to deal with people having chemical based seizures or being sewn into pig carcasses in other place. He tends to live and work mostly in New York, but taking a few shifts a month in Gotham gives him a bit of relief.
He took the bus, because he likes to take the bus. So many people! He comes into the diner, a place he comes to semi-regularly. "Morty!" he says to the man wiping the counter, a dull-eyed fellow with tattooed sleeves, stubble and whiskey on his breath. He visibly winces at the sight of Andy. "Top of the mornin' to you! Say, can I get some of that amazing coffee of yours? Throw in some corned beef hash and a side of grapefruit and we're on our way to Flavortown!" he says, plopping down onto a stool. He wears a light jacket, button down shirt and blue jeans. He turns and looks casually out over the diner, "Morning, folks. Everybody enjoyin' this fine winter's day? A bit crisp, but it just puts a spring in my step."

Bright and cheery dialogue from Andy doesn't seem to phase the Ghanaian terribly. He does pause in his scrolling, long enough to purse his lips and stare at the counter, before he gets right back to it. Eventually, he collapses the app and folds up his phone, tucking it away into one pocket of his jacket, and retrieves the double decker he'd left sit.
A few bites later, and he sits up properly, no longer hunching at the bar. In passing, he flags down Morty. "I'll have a refill," he requests, gesturing to both the coffee and soda. "Both, please." During the exchange, his eyes cast about just a bit, taking note of these two new arrivals. However, his eyes linger upon Jesana for a moment longer than perhaps they should have.

"…Morning." She growls the word and then Jesana turns from watching the abnormally cheerful guy. It's way too fucking earlier for that much excitement. She's been out all night on a fruitless hunt and she's starving and frustrated. Feeling eyes on her, she turns and looks back at Shift again. This time there's a flash of recognition. His voice, she remembers that. "You." Looks like he's doing better. That could be good or bad. "If we're gonna fight we're doing it after I've eaten." Seriously. She hasn't tried to shoot him or anything yet so maybe she's not holding a grudge in his case. Her first plate of food arrives and Jes tears into the omelette like someone who hasn't eaten in a few days. Or maybe a bit like a wild animal.

Andy Hart actually has been up all night. He slept for three days straight right beforehand, though, rebuilding his energy reserves from that little action he did in Bludhaven. They probably had to clean that up with a wet vac. It was fun, though - he got to use the knives. Guns were great, but a knife really gave more satisfaction. A good, meaty stab could make Andy's whole day.
He overhears Jesana's comment and turns to look brightly, "Fight? Is there going to be a fight? That's exciting. Not the most proper way to resolve problems - really, you should use your words. But if you fight, I definitely want to watch. Maybe wager. Do you like to bet, Morty? I bet you did a few times when you were in Blackgate."

Yes, there's a great deal of recognition that comes the moment Jesana speaks. It's interesting, of course, for he'd only seen her twice, and once it was through the eyes of that damned voodoo doll. Weird thing to experience, that.
"Guess dat depends," Shift answers Jesana, 'on wheddah or not you plan to take a piss on me."
The answer is touched with something that may surprise her - humor! Yes, following it he smirks wryly her way, then nips his head toward her omelettes. "Or, pahaps I should be more worried about a numbah two." The Ghanaian glances back Andy's way, doing his best to hide that expression that would have otherwise screamed, 'ah yes, the loudmouth'. Instead, he shrugs and goes back to his food, setting the burning cigarette down in its ashtray. "Guess dat depends on wheddah someone throws a punch." A beat. "Or lifts a leg."

Jesana grins at Shift and her posture relaxes. This is a lot better than all the rage and hate she'd read from the doll. "Nah. You woulda had it coming then but you seem alright now. I'm glad." She can't imagine that it was a pleasant experience in any way and she probably should have cut him some slack then but she'd had her own problems going on.
She gives Andy another look, her nostril flaring as she tries to read the man's scent. Is he on something? Or just.. oddly happy? Jes had seen the way Morty looked at the man. Morty doesn't look like to type to enjoy a shiton of idle conversation though so it could have just been that. Her second omelette arrives and the sausage and Jes digs into that too, quiet for a moment to focus on stuffing her face.

Andy probably smells…a little off. Sweat, blood, skin, metal, a little ozone. Does crazy have a smell? If so, lots and lots of that. Eu de lunatique. "Leg lifting? Did you just subtly call her a bitch? I think he's throwing shade! Is that the term? Yas queen girl bye," he says, breaking out into a snicker.
His food arrives and he quickly starts to shovel corned beef into his face, fork after fork, eating like a starving child, cleaning the whole plate in about thirty seconds, "Round 2," he smiles to Morty, the ex-con nodding dully and going to refill the plate. It won't be the last time.
Kwabena's smirk broadens into a grin. "Thanks," he answers Jesana, before reaching again for his cigarette. A good long drag is smoked, before Andy's response has him snorting smoke from his nostrils. "Mmm. No. Not quite." He glances toward the upbeat fellow with a glimmer of mirth in his silver eyes. "Den I'd really be asking for it."
Andy's second portion is noted. He's not going to say a word about being on round two, himself. Morty knows to keep quiet about that.

Jesana rolls her eyes. Great, more crazy. Well then, she'll try not to kill the guy. Generally crazy people get a pass. They can't help that they're nuts and the mentally ill aren't usually clean kills. There are exceptions of course. Like the Joker. Jesana would love to kill that sonofabitch and very slowly too. "I am a bitch." Jes shrugs at Andy but grins at Shift. What she hates is when people get it wrong and call her a witch. Last mistake that elf ever made.

She's on her third omelette now and is so not going to comment on anyone else's eating habits. Despite the amount of food she's shoveling down Jes is lean and muscular. She always is, occasionally she has trouble keeping the needed amount of weight on. She burns a lot of energy while idle, and idleness isn't her usual state.

Andy Hart seems to be on the same diet as Jesana. The second plate of hash is followed by a third, although he adds a side of french toast, biscuits and gravy. He's just ramping up apparently. "Gosh, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a big appetite," he says cheerfully, forking down some more food.
A slight movement of posture would probably let Shift get a glimpse of the guns the guy wears underneath his jacket, a pistol on either side. They're well-concealed enough, but Andy isn't being particularly careful about it.

Well. Guns aren't a big concern for Shift, but what can go through him may not go through someone like Jesana so eagerly. He wears the poker face well, refusing to comment on his own caloric intake. It changes, after all, based on how heavily he uses his metagenetic ability.
The Ghanaian snuffs out his cigarette and decides on coffee. A good, long pull of coffee, before he's leaning on the table and eyeballing Andy. "I don't know how you do it," he remarks. "Eating like dat?" A gesture of indication. "I'm constantly burning off whatevah I eat so dat I can keep de waistline happy."
Jesana may take notice that it seems he's positioning im self bodily between Andy and herself.

Jes doesn't need to see Andy's guns. She can scent them. She's just well aware there are different levels of crazy and ways of dealing with it. If he turns all that on people who deserve it, she won't have a problem with the guy. Besides, he's not shooting anyone now, just eating and talking. She does note Shift's subtle movements but isn't sure if it's because he noticed the guns or because he knows something about Andy she doesn't.
While she's a demigod, Jes is still kinda mortal. She can die, just not easily and she might not be able to get out of the way of a bullet as easily as Shift. She's pretty sure she's faster than Andy though and her reason for choosing this place to eat aside from the cheapness factor is the fact that there's a leyline running just across the street. She can teleport all over this place. "Yeah me too. Hard to keep the right amount of weight on sometimes. I'm so busy, don't have time to go hunting food." She frowns slightly. "Thank Fenris for Lady Pepper." Her voice takes on a reverent tone as she utters the words.

Andy Hart notices the maneuvering, finishing off his third plate and realizing he'd let his jacket fall open, "Whoops! Don't worry, folks, no harm here. Well, I mean, lots of harm, but none for you. That would be rude and unprofessional. And very messy. I like eating here. Spraying the walls with blood would be counterproductive - they might ban me," he says.
"Morty would miss me. Wouldn't you, Morty??!" he says, the ex-con nodding rapidly at the question, quickly presenting another plate for the well-armed optimist.
With a simple glance down, Kwabena looks on while Andy conceals his weaponry. Without batting an eye, he sits back forward, no longer blocking Jesana from the path of a bullet, and reaches to light another smoke. "Well, dat's just 'cause Morty sees some few peopah come and go from dis place," the mercenary quips, before tucking away his zippo and pulling the first few long drags from his cigarette. Now, to finish that double-decker. Two large mouthful is all it takes, before Kwabena is wiping his hands with a paper napkin. Following this, he casts a look Jesana's way, eyebrows raised slightly. "You know him?" he asks, trailing on her mention of 'Fenris'.

Jesana eyes Morty with sympathy. She's going to leave him a big tip. So much for cheap today.
Damn her soft spot for older men. "Good." She nods at Andy then looks to Shift. "Fenris? Sure. He's.." Her lips quirk in amusement. She's aware of the oddity, a native american worshipping the God-Wolf who is either a Norse Deity or an Alien depending on who you ask. "My God." She is actually Fenris most ardent worshipper. That's something she usually only tells his enemies though, as she's killing them. "Kinda a long story really. How do you know him, May?" Jes guesses. May is one of Fen's friends she knows. She'd once mistaken that for something more, thankfully May is unaware of it.

Andy Hart smiles cheerfully, finishing off his fourth cup of coffee and stretching, "Morty has seen some people come and go. He's a peeper. That's what he was in for. Check your bathroom stall, make sure he hasn't drilled a hole in the wall. He pops up from his seat and straightens his jacket.
"Fenris is an awful funny name. I would suggest that his parents are either celebrities, hardcore pagans or methheads. That's just a guess, though - the world is a strange place! I would say see you soon, but I'm a paramedic and so I would only likely see you if you'd been horribly wounded! But if I do, I'll be sure to say hi and get you something from the hospital gift shop. Morty, stay classy and remember, if you ever charge me for any food again, I'll kill your family in their sleep. Bye everyone!" he says.
He strolls to the door, whistling "Let It Go" from Frozen and pursing his lips for a moment. That was a good snack. He should go home and order a pizza for real dinner.

"May," answers Kwabena, nodding his head slowly. Anyone who knows this May person understands why he speaks her name like that, with a great sense of foreboding. May's never really even kicked his ass, but he has a feeling that if she needed to, she'd figure out how to.
Kwabena doesn't speak another word until the fellow has left the front door, at which point, he eyeballs Morty with a scowl. Not a word for the chef, though. No, not a word. Instead, he collects his drinks and cigarette, and walks right over toward Jesana's booth, sitting down across from her. "Do I need to put dis out?" he asks, indicative of the cigarette.

Jesana stares askance at Andy as the man leaves. "Who in all the levels of hell would make that guy a medic?" She shakes her head in bemusement. "Nah, I don't smoke a lot but, I'm indian. Tobacco is sacred." May is.. yeah. Jes nods. "May is.. incredible but so not someone I want to piss off and I know it's gonna happen at some point. Last week I saw her wrestle a gun away from a feral werewolf three times her size and then calm him down without getting a scratch. I was so horrified I couldn't even move. I'd swear she was more than human but I know she isn't." Which really just makes the woman all the more intimidating. Jes eyes Morty a little too but she's not willing to take Andy's words as truth. She'll probably keep an eye on the tattooed man for a bit though just in case.

Thank goodness, another person who doesn't have a stick up their ass about cigarette smoke. The mercenary sets down his things, being mindful of holding his cigarette away and out of the young woman's face.
"Put it to you did way," he agrees, "I wouldn't fuck with hah. And dere aren't a lot of people I'd shy away from fucking with." Points to Melinda May this round.

"I doubt he's a medic," Kwabena clips dismissively. "Everyone has a story. Sometimes, a lie."
She can't help but grin in amusement. May wins even when she isn't there. "That's true. Whatever he is, I'm pretty sure that guy will be trouble for someone." Jesana isn't at all averse to smoke. "And yeah. Same. I really don't wanna be on her bad side and not just because of Fenris." The woman is a good ally but she'd be terrible to have an enemy and Jes doesn't really shy away from conflict or threats. "How have you been?" Jes asks. "I was up all night trying to find out more about what those fucking Purifiers are up to now. I didn't have much luck yet." She sighs and sips at her pepsi.

With a scoff at the mention of Purifiers, Kwabena sets his soda down. "I'm on something else," he tells her. "Some kind of govahnment bullshit, which is de best kind. Apparently dere's some executive ordah dat was passed by Bush, and, as you can imagine, it's given carte blanch to some few govahnment sponsored mercenary teams." He gestures with the cigarette. "Pahforming questionable acts with dere authority."
The soda is lifted and slurped. "Don't think dere's any link with de Purifuckers, dough."

Jesana's expression turns into a bit of a glower. She doesn't trust the goverment at all and that
sounds as if it could be bad. "I'm guessing do whatever they want isn't in regards to catching people who actually need to be caught." She'd heard something about Oliver Queen meeting with the former President and wondered what the hell was up with that. Maybe it had something to do with this. "Those assholes have been quiet for awhile but they hit the cops in New York last week. Apparently it was meant to be a distraction and they're gearing up for something called 'Operation Extinction'. I'm trying to find out what that is."
She scowls further. "Someone high up somewhere had to have helped them make those Reavers. I wouldn't be surprised to find out they had a government connection but I don't think I've heard anything about what you're looking into. I try to avoid anything to do with official people for the most part though. Less trouble for me that way."

Kwabena shakes his head. "Who dey think need to be caught. Because of something dey said, or because of some genetic irregularity. Like de goddamn gestapo."
The African seems troubled as he listens. He's got no love for the government either, but this whole conspiracy seems like something dangerous to unravel. He remains silent for a time, smoking his cigarette and listening to her tale. "Well," he says, at long last and with a quiet murmur, "I'll be going in. Rank of Colonel, US-Army-CIC. Got de covah for it and everything. I learn anything? I'll pass it your way."

Jes nods and then frowns at her empty plates for a few moments. She hates that kind of thing, those kind of people. It's why she hunts Purifiers. Even if she weren't what she is, she'd still be native american, people who were hunted and abused and killed for their differences. "I don't think there's a lot I could do to help you unless you figure out who's doing what and are ready to fight but if you do and need help, I'll be there." She's had a little spy training, a little assassin training but she's too volatile and unpredictable to suit undercover work for any extended period of time and knows it.

A hunt, a trail to follow, she can do that forever. Sitting and waiting and watching, bound by the rules and necessities of a situation to remain hidden.. it's just not Jes's thing. She does respect those who can do it, but really doesn't envy them their task.
Jesana is a native; Kwabena hails from Ghana. His ancestry was similarly affected and as it is, he holds a deep rooted opinion on such matters. He picks up on the offer for help, and it seems appreciated. "Let's hope it doesn't come to dat," he tells her, with no shortage of warning in his words. For it if does, it would be… ugly.

The cigarette is stamped out, and he reaches behind the booth to snatch up a pen from behind the counter, ignoring Monty's scowl at doing so. A phone number is scratched onto a napkin and passed Jesana's way. "Send me a text message," he emotes through his heavy accent. "It is a burnah phone, so, I cannot tell you for how long I will own it." He shrugs. "Comes with de territory."

Jes takes the number and nods. She has a scrap of napkin in her jacket pocket with her own burner number. Why she's carrying it, Jes doesn't explain but hand it over to Kwabena in return. "I change phones a lot too but the old ones forward to a place that then forwards them to my main phone. So I'll get a message even if I ditch the phone." It's been tempting to drop her Jarvis phone. As helpful and seemingly indestructible as the thing is, she's growing increasingly paranoid that it's spying on her. It was a gift from Lady Pepper though so she's loathe to lose the damn thing. "I know it's easier to track but people steal shit a lot when you have to abandon your clothes for a few minutes. So I lose them all the freakin time and work needs to be able to get ahold of me."

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