Pals and Portents of Past and Present

September 03, 2018:

The oldest X-Man's oldest friend meets one of its younger associates.

Bridgeport, Connecticut


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…


After dropping off someone from the school at his parents' house in Moodus, Hisako Ichiki had a mission on her way back. She needed to stop at this outlet and acquire a range of goods which are neither vulnerable to interception by anti-mutant forces at the Amazon warehouse AND ALSO will be readily available for the weekend, 100 guaranteed. Retail is not dead, yet.

Hisako parked the school hatchback with her usual diligence and walked into Cabela's. She is wearing slightly grungy blue jeans which are probably a fricking mistake because she wore them earlier in the day when she was working out in the same place as a certain gentleman of the Canadian persuasion. The subtle scent of the spiritual beer rests around her, beneath the mid-rank hair care products and the new T-shirt with an obscure logo that has nothing to do with the X-Men and everything to do with a band from back home.

Hisako entered the shop and walked around through the clothing section, lingering momentarily in the women's section to examine a couple of clearance shirts in her size, none of which she chose to pick up. After this, she went down the concrete ramp into the ostentatious freshwater game-fish aquarium display element, where she is looking at a crappie the size of her arm through a glass pane.

The fish does not seem to object to this. It is a fish. It's pretty stupid.

From here Hisako turns to walk up the ramp towards the 'tents and tent-related accessories' section. "Rockslide why did you have to land in the shed," she gripes to herself, since nobody is in earshot - to her understanding.


Once a certain old friend tracked the world's least likely schoolteacher to the luxurious estate in Westchester, things got interesting. There's all sorts of strange people coming and going from that institute, at all hours of all days! Sure, Wolverine's gone native before, but never with a menagerie quite like this one, in a spot that's so obviously not what it so spotlessly seems to be.

Creed can smell a rat even before he gets a whif of the tech and firepower concealed around that fortress. Even before his preternatural eyes see the infrared, his ears hear the ultrasonic whine of the sensors and sheer power concealed within. It's a new-fangled old-fashioned mystery, and suddenly, all the sullen frustration of trekking halfway across stupid America to make sure he's ahead of the game on his pal's birthday presents melts away.

That was a few days ago. Since then, Creed's been taking notes in a little book, old school detective style. Notes like Hisako's fellow student's parents' address. Notes like how much the staff of this schoolhouse love crappy Harry's Hideaway. One problem with spotting Sabretooth when he's in this phase of a hunt is he doesn't even have to follow inside the senses of his quarry, doesn't even have to offer most the -chance- to realize they're being trailed by their car exhaust, their shopping habits analyzed in depth because they wore too much damn cologne.

Sometimes, though, this predator wants to be seen. Sometimes, it's too much fun. That, and Victor's messages never come courtesy of Hallmark. For someone without enhanced senses, telepathy, or some other exotic form of detection, it's like Creed just teleports around, Batman style. Right now, he's just a few strides up the aisle from Armor, looking more or less at home in the worn denim and old leather that dominates his road gear. "That one's a piece of shit." The mountain worth of blonde mutant offers brusquely, but not aggressively, giving unsolicited advice about the tent Hisako happens to be lingering near.

A toothy, wolfish grin comes lopsided to his scruffy face, revealing a large chunk of at least one too-sharp canine. "Material leaks in a drizzle, an' it's like wrapping paper if some kind of animal comes clawing inside." These things happen. He takes a long, inhalation, and can't hide the slight cant to his head. The smile widens.


Hisako, thank God, does not have family in this hemisphere. Well, genetic family. Well, genetic family who are related to her. You know what we mean.

She turns her head to look at the towering, muscular blond man, and in this place and time, she accepts it without hesitation. She lets out a sudden, surprised laugh, before saying, "Really? It looks so good like this, but I guess looks don't count out in the woods!"

She is fluent in English with only the tiny residual traces of an accent. That's probably great intel for this big helpful guy! Hisako turns her attention back to the tent. "I'm looking at the bigger ones… Like for a group of, like, six or eight. I think we want only one tent if we can do it, or two, for everybody, just so we can keep track and stuff. It's kind of a family style situation."

Hisako looks up - and seems to hesitate. Her eyebrows furrow for a moment. Something about the smile. Straightening up, she says, "Do you recommend anything? - Oh; do you work here?"


For lots of people, family is a weak spot. It's a classic. But for others, DNA means less tnan nothing— they wouldn't piss on dear old dad if he was on fire. "Trees don't care about stylish, high-contrast color schemes." Sabretooth casually agrees, taking in the girl's words with the same easy nonchalance.

"I usually camp alone." No keen advice for Gifted Scout trips. "Just patchin' up my gear for a stint up near Westchester. Gonna drop in on an old friend working at a school up that way." What serendipitous happenstance, right?

"I do recommend dedicating at least one sturdy camper's pack for booze, though." So what if they're underage? Kids going camping, Creed's a realist. That, or it's an intentionally ironic touch of sincerity because that's how many shits he gives about legal limits.


Something about all of this makes Hisako — stiffen is not the right word; but Creed can spot some tension. Maybe it was the liquor reference. At least, it could have been the liquor reference. She laughs a moment afterwards, a second or two too long, and looks up at the looming man.

"That sounds risky!" she says. "Even a guy like you, if you were asleep and a bear found you, wouldn't that be pretty bad? You could wake up for breakfast dead." Hisako smiles again afterwards, if with a little more effort.

"It's a temple scouts group so I think we'd just bring one flask," Hisako then says, nodding once, decisively. Her arms fold, guilt at the white lie minimal and easily dissipated. "Maybe a little jug for tradition. What's your favorite time of year for camping? We're doing this in the fall to see the leaves."

who is this guy, Hisako thinks.
am I overreacting?

but what if he eats jean!!


Aw. Creed has so many war stories about his old pal Logan he could share. Hisako's mentor was, after all, a real trooper once upon a time. It's hardly lost on him that she's worried, though. In some ways, creeping the student out is just as good as selling her a bill of sale about war buddies and valor. Almost, at least.

Creed's lupine smile returns, halfway to a smirk this time. "Bad for the bear. I know what I'm doin'." He's not lying. "Good and bad in every season. Always smells a lot better'n the damn city, though." Does he know she's lying to him? He doesn't confront it directly, just in brusque pleasantries and a subtle undercurrent of impatience.

"Not much likely to fuck with you out there, long as you aren't an idiot cooking and eatin' in your sleeping bags. Though they say there's like what, two dozen serial killers in the park backwoods any given time, or something." It's offhand, like that doesn't bother the bestial mutant any more than the bear. It probably helps that he's nearly that size.


"Even if you were asleep? I know about bear bags, though," Hisako says, nodding along. "And that you should get everything important to you off the ground, right? So they don't come around. I heard it's more for the bears than for you, really."

She takes a deep breath and lets it out. Her hands come up and fold behind her head and then she steps forwards. (MAKES herself step forwards.) Past Creed, towards the other side of the retail aisle, nearer to some more boring looking tents.

"They say a lot of stuff. I think it's overhyped. Most people aren't nasty but they sure like seeing shows where people murder a dozen guys before the cops get 'em, huh?"

am i going to actually do this? Hisako thinks.

yes, she tells herself, though she does quarter-circle round the tent first. This puts Creed more clearly in her peripheral vision. She looks at him, asking, "Do you watch those kinds of things? I was into them for a while, but then I thought, ehh, this is all just boring."

She also flicks the side of a tent. "This seems pretty good. It's definitely heavier, but I know we have some strong backs."


Victor snorts dismissively, a harmony of huff and gutteral harumph. "You're talking about campin' in New York, right? Those're black bears, and eight in ten of 'em will flip their shit when they hear a shouting human or barking dog. Most of the rest are the ones that have learned to raid camps and picnic areas thanks to careless or stupid humans." Which obviously isn't a group he adheres to.

"You know those fuckers can rip into a can without any real problem? Anyway. Only dangerous ones are rabid or starvin'. Any animal's dangerous when they're starvin'. Sadly,it hurts the steaks." In short: No, Sabretooth is not afraid of being eaten by bears in his sleep.

He moves when Hisako does, the large man's movements impossibly smooth, supernaturally graceful. Is he going to— pluck a few more weatherproof patches from the shelf in front of him!?!? Gasp.

"Most people are nice when someone's watchin' or they want something." Creed cynically rebutts, like it's simple fact. "Human history's that story over and over. The masses directed at this or that time after time after time. Most assholes are only a justifyin' word away from backing any evil shit under the sun." Civilization is a joke. "Shit like COPS is just about keepin' those same assholes feeling superior to other assholes and stepping in line."

Sadly, it's not like he's entirely wrong. Just looking through some seriously jaded goggles. There's no shame in his conscious rambling, and it's punctuated with a somewhat less menacing grin, and an attempted tousle of Hisako's hair with one large hand. "It's a fucked up world out there, something's more likely to get ya in the city, trust me." Good advice, obviously.


Hisako is for a moment obscurely embarrassed. Had she been confusing bears? She absolutely had been, although it is, at least, the kind of rookie mistake one might make working from Scout guides and the Internet, where the terror of the grizzly bear looms large.

Just like the actual grizzly bears.

Creed moves forwards as he scores some patches. Hisako does not look like she's watching him. "Even if you put it like that, that just means they need a good word to be slightly louder, right?" She had been composing another thought but there is something else that she has to do in this moment - which is lean out of the way of the hair-ruffle, moving down and through the guy lines for the tent she was inspecting to put a length of taut nylon cord between her and Creed.

She looks up at him then, less smiling.

"I'll keep that in mind," she tells him. "Thank you for the advice on the tent." She dips her head forwards, after this.

"I hope you enjoy your trip."

Unfortunately for her, she got a little Creed on her hair despite her best efforts. So it goes.

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