Stranger Danger

September 07, 2018:

Can't an impossibly huge guy buy a bag of chips without being accosted by strange pointy eared girls?

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Wolverine

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Lower Manhattan is indeed that city that never sleeps. All sections, all blocks, all corners, see some semblance of life at all hours and this neighborhood in the Lower East Side is no different despite the hour. It's pretty much business as usual as a result with a nearby club getting an early start on the weekend and the usual assortment of colorful folk about here and there.

A group of teenagers about to enter a corner liquor store find their pasageway blocked as the doors to the store slide open and reveal an absolutely gargantuan figure literally completely filling up the entry. Doing so, so much so via the immense proportions, that the double doors do not open wide enough, basically causing the entry way to be momentarily stuffed with a broad stomach and an enormous chest that casts the startled youths in shadow before they stagger backwards. The stretched out visage of Godzilla looming over Mount Fuji leering at them as the image on the strained tee shirt worn by the behemoth.

For a moment, the vast torso sits there, swamping out the entire entryway, head lost to sight on the other side, but then it begins to eventually mov, ducking lower and lower and lower by the foot, eventualy revealing a brutish looking visage with close cropped red hair as his head comes into view and literally squeezes his astronomical figure through the doors with the ground itself lurching from his steps.

Eventually he arrives in full and straightens up to his full height, holding a bag of chips. Startingly mundane considering the rest of the giant. A wide berth is made for the gargantua as he begins to step onto the sidewalks. Cain Markoblissfully chomps on one potate chip at a time as he makes his way down the sidewalk, ironically stepping past a closed Newspaper stand that shows 'Grammecy Park Rumble: Juggernaut Back In Town!' on the front of some of the offerings on the other side of the security cages.

*

Moments earlier, a shadow touches down onto a nearby street, voluminous hood and feathered cloak drifting gracefully behind the figure in the darkness of an alleyway.

"I can't believe I got sloppy back there," Raven clicks her tongue to herself as she lands like she weighs nothing, casting her clear gaze to make sure no one is around. Once the cloak drapes over her shoulders, everything subtly transforms into normal streetwear: a dark denim jacket with a well-worn hood, ripped black leggings, and black ankle boots may as well make her blend into the background, but they serve their purpose while she starts out into the street again.

There's nothing suspicious about teenagers walking out of alleyways, right? Not like anyone is really paying attention.

The goth continues muttering to herself as she tugs on her hood, allowing it to cover her hair and part of her face. "One second and he's gone? Impossible. Why aren't people asleep right now…"

Upon the turn onto the next street, her words trail off. While she has seen impossibly tall, impossibly imposing people before, the appearance of Cain coming out of a liquor store makes it…well, interesting. And a little surprising. So she can't help but lose her current train of thought and stare.

*

Walking down the streets alone in lower Manhattan is someone that does not… fit quite in, not unlike a behemoth of a man that just walked outside of the corner liquor store. Long, black hair spools down this young woman's back, a soft white top and dress adorns her body, has sandaled feet silently carries her along. At first glance, this person just seems normal, but a second look might give some insight on this being. Long, pointed ears poke out either side of her head out of the back hair that would normally cover human ears, and her eyes are a bright Cyan that shines like beacons in the darkness around her. In her right hand is a large cup of some kind of soft drink, that she just sips as she moves along, rounding a corner just in time to spot the massive man coming out of the corner shop. She stops DEAD in her tracks, and stares at the man for a good moment, but she just cants her head to the side and smiles, this world never stops to amaze her with how wide and varied humanity is. She can feel something in the back of her mind, a thing that might've gotten herself in more trouble than she would ever care to acknowledge truthfully. She would set the drink down on any near by flat surface, and go walking up to the giant man, calling out "Hello there, sir!" Her voice is light, friendly, and has a faint french accent. With her left hand, she offers a big wave as she goes moving up. She stops just short of the man, and just marvels at him for a moment, studying, learning what she can from the cover of this book, but no judgements, not yet. "My, you are impressive! How does one get so big?" She asks, looking up to the man, the earnest nature of the questions quite apparent in her eyes, no sign of mockery.

*

A flick of his finger sends the new empty bag of chips spinning through the air, balled up, and into a waiting trashbin that likely barely reaches his mid thigh. The giant red-headed bruiser pays scant attention to the various stares and comments aimed in his direction. He's rather used to such things after all. One isn't a bodybuilder or powerlifter without being used to others gawking at your physique and Cain looks like he ate the entire defensive line plus the lineup for Mr. Olympia plus the Olympic power lifting team for brunch and is in line for the Sumo championship. As such, his lot in life is his immensity and the gawking stares of others. You should see him when he flies Coach.

As such he's a practiced hand at ignoring the plebians and makes his way down the sidewalk with all the intention of a bulldozer with no working brakes. People wisely get the hell out of his way as a result and he passes by Rachel's position and alleyway like a semi truck rolling past a narrow garage entrance.

..Then Alyndra happens. And Cain notices. "Hmm?" he rumbles, bass voice vibrating through the air like a far away earthquake. "…Say what?" Both the boldness of her question and sincerity of it is enough to actually make him slow down a touch and even pause as if to try and figure out if he heard her right.

*

There's a fracture among the emotional states of the people within the area, and, being an Empath, Rachel wishes the people staring up at the huge man could stop staring and go about their own business. Heck, she should take her own advice; her gaze has been on him for more than a minute now. She still has other things to do. Like not get stepped on. Light steps back her up into the alley again so that she isn't right at the entrance, quietly waiting for Cain to walk on by without any more interruptions.

…Of course, that doesn't happen. The scale of public emotions gets a mite higher with this new fluctuating ping. Happy. Excited? Maybe a little frightened? For some reason, Raven can pinpoint where this is all coming from.

And she grits her teeth. If she knows anything about social rules, she certainly knows you don't ask someone about how they got so big. "Oooh don't," she harshly whispers as she tries to look in Alyndra's direction. Hoping that Cain doesn't notice.

But he does.

A sigh escapes her. "Too late."

*

The young woman just staaare up at the man for a moment, and nods her head! "You are just so… Waaaah!" She moves her arms out to her sides. "It's really impressive! And your voice, I can feel it in my bones." She puts her arms down, and gives him a big, bright smile! She knows NOTHING about the social norms of this world, she thinks she is just being friendly. She would take a step forward, saying "It's nice to meet you, my name is Alyndra Trisrora." While she lacks the size of the man in front of her, nor the Empathic powers of Raven, she makes up for sheer size of her… well, she makes up for in courage and sheer hope. Her emotions grow stronger by the moment, her hands are behind her back now, being held there. Raven might notice something… odd.

*

Marko simply stares. His expression is confused more then anything and it settles on Alyndra with all the intensity of a natural disaster deciding to notice a person while not being quite sure what to do with them.

But he is not without keen observation skills. His confusion and close study of her leads him to noticing the ears and slowly his confusion settles into growing irritation and the mild understanding of someone used to dealing with the occasional bizarre thing.

"..You aint from around here." he says matter of factly. Less a question and more a statement of assumed facts between her behavior and her pointed ears.

He's silent after that, seemingly uneffected by an attitude others might find infectious or capable of pulling their guard down.

"….I work out." he finally answers her in abit of a white lie, while allowing the first sign of a grin to crease the thuggery of his facial features. It's not friendly though, More like that of a megladon grinning at a school of smaller fish at first meeting. Obviously there's no work out regime that would bloat a guy that big on its own.

As to Rachel, he doesn't really take note of her yet. His attention squarely on Alyndra. His mood, however, is easily sensed. Tense and annoyed. The wrong thing said could very well provoke his temper.

*

The spike in Alyndra's happiness is prominent. Nearly solid, from what Raven can sense at this point. It kind of reminds her of Impulse and his brand of happy - the kind that can easily become overwhelming if one lets it be. But she blinks, eyes narrowing slightly as she keeps looking over toward the side past the massive man.

Beneath the flare of happiness, veiled by the excitement that's clear in the elven-like woman's voice, there's something more. Something heavier than what she's already feels reverberating through her skin and bones-

-All of which seems to cut out the moment Marko speaks up to reply. His own feelings are very blunt, very well put for someone who was fine to be left to his own devices. Given how taut the metaphorical string has been pulled, he can probably express and demonstrate his answer physically.

As much as Raven wants to disappear, she feels a strange sense of duty bubbling up inside her chest. Drawing in a sharp breath, she moves out of the safety of the alley and its shadows, raising a hand up as she circles around Marko to catch Alyndra's attention. "Hey! Alyndra!"

(This is the loudest she's been in a while. And that attempt at a smile? It's so very, very hard.)

"There you are! I've been looking all over for you!"

*

To say it was solid would be putting it kindly, she was focused on this, listening to the man and his answers and statements. She nods slowly, saying "Ah, I see. I've seen people reach amazing physical stature, but nothing quite like this. You, sir, must be proud of what you've accomplished with your body. It is just something else. And, yes! I am not from around here, I came here from…" Alyn gets cut off by a new face, someone she's never seen before and yet she knows her name. She does not take into account that she just shouted it to the man.

Her smiles forms on her face, seeing a friend she might've forgotten somehow? Did she get hit on the head and forget? Who can really say. "Hello there!" She calls out to the stranger, the young woman turns to face Rachel. "You've been looking for me? Did Logan send you looking for me? I said I was going to be spending some time out in the city to learn stuff, but I got so wrapped up in everything here I just spent all day here! Days are so short here, I don't know how you ever get anything done." She crosses her arms, and really gets a good look at this girl… not a face she can recall very well at all.

*

Two alien visitors in recent memory. First an alien queen and now..this. Neither of them seem to have any good sense about them where social matters are concerned. He must be cursed. Either way, Cain simply hauls an eyebrow up as Raven intervenes and prevents the conversation from entering the realm of truly annoying him. He got some mild amusement out of his answer but really, he was just minding his own business and was just on the verge of telling Alyndra to start minding hers. While he's not above soaking in the occasional flattery and inflation of his ego..well….ever.. there's still a time and place for those things and if he's not in the mood he's not in the mood.

"Right." he grunts while rubbing his fingers to get rid of the last of the chip crumbs. "Thanks. So. See ya." And with that he starts to step off..that is until he thinks he heard something else interesting..and again Cain Marko stops and the sidewalk seems to rumble.

"..Huh? Didja just say say ..'Logan'…?"

*

"You don't remember? It's me!" She tries to be convincing, tries to play a role that isn't actually her. Bright. Peppy. It hurts her, but she soldiers through it. "Rachel?" To really sell it, she blows at some of the strands of hair that have fallen in front of her pale face. A hand gestures in a fluid rolling motion at the wrist before actively waves the time used for recognition away. "It's okay, it's been a while. Happens a lot."

She should be grateful that Cain Marko isn't all that interested in continuing the conversation with the alien elf girl. The next step is trying to let that space between them grow so that they can all go wherever they need to go. Because time is of the essence.

Another (trying) smile is flashed as she steals a quick sidelong glance at the huge man. "Logan? Oh, no, I was out here on my own until you showed up! Here." Wait, does the guy sound like he knows this Logan person? Because that throws the plan through a loop.

Azar, help her.

"Um." She turns to look up at Marko, brow lifting a bit under the hood. "Maybe she meant another Logan? Because…Logan can be a common name…"

*

Alyndra just stops talking, some things…. they are not adding up, and Rachel might just feel it within Alyn. She turns her head to the strange girl, and over to the big man that stopped in his tracks to ask if she really said Logan. She thinks, and her eyes light up. "Yes, Logan, Short man…" She raises her arm to about a head shorter than her. "Kinda old, big, funny glasses…" She makes a motion around her eyes to show the big glasses, "He's hunched over with a cane, having lost most of the use of his legs with age and the war he fought back in the day. You should see his big bushy white beard, loves to stroll around the central park, feeding the rock doves a mix of birdseed and dried bread crumbs he makes in his oven." She nods at this, her smile large and still as friendly as ever, even telling a bold face lie as that. There may very well be someone like that, but she was just making all of that up off the top of her head. "And… Yes, Rachel? I think I remember you. That guy that tried to mug me, and hit me in the head with that plumming fixture really did a number on my head, I think I might still have the bump…" She would reach up to her head and feel around…

*

Well then. Cain hasn't made it this far in his criminal life to miss certain subtle cues when he's focusing intently on a conversation and the subtle mood shifts and mild nervous cadence in the voices presence is not lost on him even as Alyndra goes into full on invent mode.

"No foolin'!" he responds to Rachel as she mentions that there are, indeed, multiple people out there named Logan. He simply raises his other eyebrow at her in mock surprise but ultimately listens as Alyndra spins her tale of old, short, bushy bearded men feeding.. 'rock doves' food he deliberately seems to make for them.

"Rock Doves?" he questions, letting that hang in the air as he eyes both girls. And then he decides to simply let it all pass, "Yeah..doesn't sound like anyone I know. T'bad. I thought maybe we had a mutual friend.. You know. Small world and stuff. Right?"

He lets that grin return before addressing Alyndra directly, "Don't talk to strangers so much. Everyone isn't as 'nice' as me.."

He holds up a quarter, pinched between two of his massive fingers..and then lightly squeezes. There's a sudden scrunch as he coin bunches up like a wad of paper between his finger tips. Cain grins and then flicks the coin into the air above Alyndra and Raven's head, expecting one of the two to catch it, or not as they see fit, but he himself has turned - preparing to start walking again unless given reason to stop for a third time.

*

Yes, Raven could have been more convincing. Instead, she gets a little distracted by the change in Alyndra's initial mood; confusion and fear roil and ramble, pricking at her skin until she hears the girl speak up with extreme confidence. That confidence then becomes reality underneath the facade - an impressive feat, really, since this is all being made up on the fly. And although Raven nods, she now has to mentally picture this version of Logan she has never met in her entire life.

The boom in Cain's voice makes her shudder, eyes darting back to meet the man's gaze as evenly as one can with such a vast height difference. "…Yeah! Small world." Yet she doesn't feel the need to say anything more once he goes on and gives some advice. Pale hands shift and extend to catch the falling coin between them, the clap over its warped metallic chime quiet and anticlimatic. Her mouth turns into a thin smirk edging on a frown, but she manages to hold onto it until he turns away from them.

A beat passes. "He's right, you know," she says quietly to Aly, offering the pressed coin to her in passing. "Come on, Alyndra. Let's head inside for a bit."

*

Yes, Raven could have been more convincing. Instead, she gets a little distracted by the change in Alyndra's initial mood; confusion and fear roil and ramble, pricking at her skin until she hears the girl speak up with extreme confidence. That confidence then becomes reality underneath the facade - an impressive feat, really, since this is all being made up on the fly. And although Raven nods, she now has to mentally picture this version of Logan she has never met in her entire life.

The boom in Cain's voice makes her shudder, eyes darting back to meet the man's gaze as evenly as one can with such a vast height difference. "…Yeah! Small world." Yet she doesn't feel the need to say anything more once he goes on and gives some advice. While she knows he's playing nice, it isn't too hard to tell that he suspects something. From what she can tell, he's not slow to pick up on their ruse. Pale hands shift and extend to catch the falling coin between them, the clap over its warped metallic chime quiet and anticlimatic. Just feeling it is warning enough already. Her mouth turns into a thin smirk edging on a frown, but she manages to hold onto it until he turns away from them.

A beat passes. "He's right, you know," she says quietly to Aly, offering the pressed coin to her in passing. "Come on, Alyndra. Let's head inside for a bit."

*

As the Juggernaut turns and walks away, Alyn lets out a small sigh of her own, and watches as Rachel fiddles around with the pressed coin. To her, she thinks the ruse went without a hitch, who's to say that she's lying? Well, the woman next to her, but that's besides the point. Her emotions die down to a nice low simmer of contentment of the current outcome of this.

Snapping out of her thoughts, she looks over to Rachel as she passes her the bent up coin. She holds out her left hand, the one without the brand on it, and accepts it with a curious expression on her face as she fiddles around with it in turn. She hmms softly, and pockets it, not wanting to waste it. Well, she does not pocket it, instead she opens a small bag on the side of her hip, and slides the bent up coin inside of it. It could actually come in handy. "Oh?" She finally says, looking to Raven. "Alright, sure. Lead the way." She was just told to be careful about strangers, and now she is being told to follow someone she does not know. So many conflicting feelings, confusion, unsure, but still, she is happy in spite of all of the shifts.

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