Themysciran Mall Cops

June 05, 2018:

Diana's Themysciran Arts Center is hosting an event at the Salem Center shopping center, its meant to be a fun day and a relaxing event for the public. She bumps into Drake Riley there for a casual conversation.

Salem Center Mall

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The Xavier Institute has been taking in strays lately. The most recent is Drake Riley, teenager, and with a colored background involving larceny, vandalism, and other assorted criminal behavior. That's not to suggest he was a smug ganger. On the contrary, he's been homeless the past several weeks. While that isn't necessarily the case anymore, he's left at a sort of loss with what to do with himself or how to move forward. Aimless youth. His life feels like a Pink Floyd album.

He hasn't strayed far from the mansion, not counting the 30-mile drive to get there from here. But Salem Center is quite close compared to everywhere else. The mall beckoned him in, and as it happens right now, he's standing in front of a clothing outlet store, peering in at the latest fashions. He may not be wearing his dreaded hobo-clothes anymore, and he's certainly looking pristine, but his attire is rather drab; spare clothing from the institute itself until they get him sorted out. Whatever that means.

Since this was a fairly busy mall in upstate New York, it was a great place for Diana to hold a show for the new Arts Center that she has opened in Manhattan. Its a place for young and old to come to enjoy the art and culture of the Themysciran people and one of the most popular attractions is the combat training. To get to enroll in actual Amazon warrior training and fight with real Amazons who teach the classes on the weekends… its been a big draw and the Center gets a lot of attention, but its great to spread that attention around and today a fighting lesson is being taught IN the Salem Center mall.

So Drake's likely to hear the sounds of the metal on metal clashing and the women warriors who're shouting while slamming weapons to shield and other weapons!

Its drawn quite a crowd too, to get to see the women fight while instructing the audience on what they're doing and even letting some of the audience themselves participate.

One of the major draws is that Diana Prince herself is in attendance, but she's not currently fighting. 2 of her Sisters are fighting in a area separated off for the combatants. Diana is making her way around the audience, greeting people… dressed in her full Eagle Armor with shining metal trim of blues and reds and golds. She's all smiles and laughter from the conversations while her sisters in the 'ring' are shouting out their tactics while acting them out against one another to the occasional applause.

Drake Riley has lived in something of a bubble where it concerns metahumans. His focus has almost exclusively been on mutants and their situation, but even then, it wasn't extensive before leaving the west coast. So the noise and the crowd not far from him? It makes precious little sense. He's more concerned with looking like a person than… whatever is going on over there. But lacking money, there isn't much he can do with that. Moreover, if he's trying to leave his gangland lifestyle behind, it means not simply stealing what he's after.

"Sigh." Yes, he actually says 'sigh'.

With a shake of his head, he turns from the store to meander further into the mall. Wearing a simple, somewhat dingy white t-shirt, sweatpants, and beat-up sneakers, he probably looks like he's in the middle of doing his laundry. Not like someone who belongs in a ritzy, upscale mall. Hands stuff into the pockets of his sweats, and curiosity draws him to the crowd. What he sees through the wall of bodies gets a stunned blink. Warrior chicks with weapons?

"The heck is /this/ about?," he puzzles aloud. An annoyed spectator gives him a look of disbelief, then points in Diana's direction. Drake simply starts towards her.

Wonder Woman has been a public figurehead for peace and love for the better part of a decade now. Having shown up at a very dark time many years ago to help fight back an evil that was pushing toward a destructive sweep over the cities on the east coast of the United States. She'd been a beacon ever since then, and a few years ago became an Ambassador to her people who officially represents them in the United Nations and around the world as a whole, so most people know of her to some degree.

Now though, Diana (the name she prefers to go by) is speaking to a cluster of children a little younger than Drake's age. She's of course answering questions about her weapons, a sword and shield strapped to her back… kids love those kinds of things, especially today with video games and movies glorifying it all. Diana happily speaks to the children about it all as well, but after a moment she takes a few pictures with them and is moving on around the crowd while her Sisters are still fighting in the makeshift ring area.

Diana moves toward where Drake is and she nods toward him, offering him a friendly smile when they make eye-contact. She's somewhere just over six feet tall, so she stands out quite literally in a crowd. Diana approaches a table and reaches out for a cup of ice tea that she lifts up, then she takes another and is offering it toward Drake when he draws near.

"Tea?" Diana asks the young newly appointed Xavier School student.

And yet, the younger generation is hit or miss when it comes to global politics. Drake is one of those misses when it comes to specifics. Blame the schools.

The sword and shield are noted. A bit antiquaited to him, but it's fascinating. Nevertheless, he's bewildered by the display going on here, and there's a question brewing that he just has to ask. So he does, indeed, join her at her table as unassumingly as possible. His mouth opens to speak, then tea is offered. Briefly stunned, he quickly accepts offhand, hands now occupied with a cup.

"So, hey. That sword sharp?," he asks. "Do you actually… y'know… /use/ it?"

And when the question is asked, Diana is in the process of taking a sip of the tea from the clear plastic cup. "It is very sharp." She says with a little grin before sipping from the cup of iced tea. She lowers said cup a moment later and flashes Drake a playful grin. "There is no sharper swords crafted on all of Earth, than those crafted at the forges of my people on Themyscira." She proudly boasts of her heritage. "The forges on our island burn hotter and purer than anywhere on the planet, and this is one key reason that our blades are so strong and so… perfected." Diana's voice is decidedly not American in origin, holding an accent that flavors her words of a multi-cultural heritage, but mostly rooted in Greek… if Drake were familiar with accent origins at all.

Diana nods once toward him then. "The shield is nice too." She then adds, showing a big smile then since she's in a good mood and hoping to be pleasant company for those she interacts with here today, and every day… really!

Drake Riley is not familiar with anything of that sort. But it's a pretty accent, he's decided. But it does nothing to assuage the point of his curiosity. "Yeah, but," hedges Drake, his gaze flitting from her face to the handle of the sword in question, "you /use/ it, right? Does that mean you go around stabbin' people?" It's a macabre question, perhaps, but Drake doesn't often do subtle. And if they're giving a demonstration from a collection of killers, that's something he thinks he'd like to know about!

Diana shows a faint smile at the follow-up question and she takes a moment to consider her response. "Yes." She says to him, her eyes glancing away for a brief second to her Sisters in the ring as they are taking a breaking from demonstrating and walking around the perimeter talking to the crowd.

Diana looks back to Drake then. "But it is only ever in defense of the innocent. I have used it a number of times to fight off those who are seeking to do harm onto others, and only if they give me no choice." She then sets the tea cup down onto the table and uses her freed-up hand to motion toward the lasso on her right hip. "I much prefer to use this… It is an unbreakable rope that can be quite effective in dealing with subduing the average hostile individual, meaning the sword is simply not necessary. But…" Diana glances away again.

"Sometimes, the enemy is anything but average and a little more force is necessary." She looks back to him, her blue eyes on his. "Sadly so. But my people are a warrior people, so we have been trained to wield the weapon with the utmost of care."

Drake Riley just looked at you!
Drake Riley studies her keenly as she explains, brow furrowed. In his attempts to figure out vigilantes and where the line is, it's important to sort out the high profile sort and what lengths they're willing - or allowed - to go. So this has been interesting.

His eyes fall to her hip. It's a struggle to keep his mind from wandering, but thankfully, the lasso is something he's at least familiar with. "Wait, wait, wait. Is that a-.. hang on, does that make you Wonder Woman?," he asks.

Diana listens to this question then and she releases a very light and short laugh at his revelation. "Yes, I apologize." She says then and extends her right hand toward him, its encased in a dark brown leather half glove, so her fingers are still bare but the rest is covered. "Wonder Woman. Though Diana is preferred." She shows another calm smile then and uses her other hand to point toward the banner hanging over the crowds head above them.

"That didn't give it away?" Diana asks him then, since the banner says '! Welcome Wonder Woman and the Amazons !' in bright bold colorful colors!

Diana grins at the young man. "Its hung up there pretty high, I suppose. So I do not fault you for having missed it." And she says that at a slightly lower volume level, teasing him of course, just a little anyway.

Being eighteen, handshakes are still a little foreign to him. So while he doesn't go for it immediately, he quickly realizes what she's going for and sets the tea down. He then takes the proffered hand; an awkward shake follows.

"I mostly noticed the crowd and women yelling," Drake replies. "Like.. female fight club or something. Tyra Durden." Will she get the joke? Does Themyscira have Netflix? He has no idea. "A-anyway, wow. That's cool. It's awesome to meet you." A wide smile finds his face, hampered with a bit of sudden, gawky enthusiasm.

Diana shakes the young man's hand and she shows a little grin… She knows what fight clubs ARE, real ones anyway, as she's busted a few up throughout her days in wandering the mainlands of the world. She's definitely never seen that movie though!

AFter nodding her head once toward him, a pair of young children approach and ask to have their picture taken with her, so Diana tells Drake 'One moment' quickly and she crouches down with the two girls to be between them with her arms around them, one of the girl's snaps the picture with their phone with all three of their smiling faces in-frame and after a second or two longer of words exchanged, pleasantries and such, the two girls scamper off again!

Diana stands once more and glances back toward Drake. "My apologies." She tells him out of reflex. "Are you a student here in Salem Center?" She asks then. "You look to be… eighteen? Graduation year?"

Drake Riley steps back when the kids rush her, turning aside so as to not so obviously be lingering. And once they've scattered, he refocuses his gaze on her. "You're fine! You're a celebrity, so.. that's a thing," he nods. The question, however, gets a quick shake of his head, scattering those hanging rakish bangs. "Nono, I graduated already. And I'm from the west coast. Came out here, because… ah, that's where people go to have a life, right? The big city?," he offers with a weak shrug. No, it's not exactly the truth. But at the same time, it's not exactly a lie.

Diana listens to these words from the young man and she has to smile at them again. "There are many big cities to the east as well… Los Angeles… Portland… Seattle. All very lovely." She looks over to her Sisters who have pulled a few people from the audience to let them try to go over the basics of the Amazonian fighting styles that they've been teaching… with foam swords and shields.

"But I understand. All too well." Diana adds, glancing back toward Drake then. "I once wanted to travel far away from my home to find, adventure, excitement, these sorts of things. Like in the stories that I read growing up. The further you get from home, the more you feel as though you will find those things." And after a short pause, she adds in. "Congratulations, as well… For graduating." And she shows another quick smile.

Drake Riley gives an insincere, "Thanks," to the congratulations. It was by the skin of his teeth and felt token, the whole graduation thing; very nearly the least important thing in his life. Just something he had to get out of the way in order to pursue freedom.

"Anyway, lots of big cities, but come on. New York. Big Apple. It's famous for making stars'n whatever." Naturally that's not why he came here. Diana doesn't need exact details. In fact, the more he dwells on it, the more uncomfortable the topic becomes. What would she do if his background of thievery came out?

"Anyway, what's it like? Doing what you do, I mean?"
Huh? (Type "help" for help.)

Diana nods once at the young man's words and then draws in a light breat at his question. "Oh my." She replies to him. "That is a complicated question." She glances to her right toward him then and she shows a big grin. "Sometimes it is very enjoyable. Sometimes it is very unenjoyable. That is the most polite way I think I can put it. But." She pauses and nods once. "Moments like these, here and now at this little lovely Mall, it is… rewarding?"

People are clapping and laughing at the others in the ring trying to fight one another, while mostly just goofing around, which is to be expected. One of the Amazons in the ring takes a foam sword and slaps a middle aged man on the butt with it, because he was acting particularly goofy… this gets a good round of laughs.

Diana grins at it as well, then looks back to Drake. "We have a Center in Manhattan, it is to showcase the ways of my people to those who are curious about our little island far from here. When I do stuff like this? I am quite happy. When I fight… bad people and things? I am… grateful for the chance to defend others who need it. But, it is a lot of pressure too. Not to fail, you know."

She has his full, rapt attention as she talks. Those expressive emerald green eyes are fixed on her. For what vigilante work he's done so far, he can understand what she's saying. It's mostly been enjoyable. There've obviously been some less-than-desirable times, but they've been mostly overshadowed by the good. The goofiness going on ring-side doesn't even register for him.

"I don't think that's really a concern for you, though. I mean, you're you. I've heard the stories."

Diana laughs softly at this and shakes her head at the young man's words. "You are too kind." She tells him. "But it is appreciated, so thank you." And with a little sigh she lets her shoulders slump for the briefest of moments. "I wish that were so. It would be a lot more easy to maintain the confidence needed to do it all." She looks back at him then and grins. "But. I will strive onward." Diana once again reaches her hand out toward Drake. "It is my turn to head out there and do some talking to the onlookers. It was a pleasure to get a chance to speak to you, Mister…?" He hadn't ever introduced himself, so she didn't have a name to label him with as of yet!

Drake Riley looks genuinely confused when she seems to refute his beliefs, brow knit and head tilting faintly askew. He'd heard all kinds of things about her, up to and including straight up invincibility. The validity couldn't be confirmed, of course, but he was taking it at face value. And why not, given everything else she verifiably /could/ do? Maybe he was holding her on a bit of a pedestal.

He blinks. "Drake! Just Drake is fine," he replies quickly. His gaze falls to her offered hand, and after a moment's consideration, he takes it again for an awkward shake. "Have- have fun?"

Diana would grin at his name and the suggestion of having fun. "Oh, I most certainly will." She says then in her smokey voice. She draws her hand back and gives a little wiggle of her fingers in a wave before she makes her way toward the audience and the little gateway that leads into the central ring. It only takes a moment or two later before she's in the center of the ring to a round of applause and then Diana Prince is speaking to the audience and will do so for a little while longer before she'll spar a bit herself and eventually bring the show to a close.

END

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License