Strangers at a fast food stall

November 06, 2018:

Three strangers meet at a fast food stand. Largely because Nadia is too curious to be polite…

Lower Manhattan - New York City

The southern end of the island of Manhattan is the seat of Wall Street and
City Hall. Bounded by the Hudson on the west, the East River on the east,
and the harbor to the south, it's a veritable mosaic of smaller, storied
neighborhoods that fill in the patchwork south of 14th street.

From the arts-friendly, boutique-laden, gentrified areas of Greenwich
Village, SoHo, and TriBeCa, to the tenement dwelling, immigrant-filled,
working class districts in the Lower East Side, Bowery, Little Italy, Lower
Manhattan is one of the most diverse places in the city. Just about anything
can be found here, and often is.

Within Lower Manhattan are also, Mutant Town, Chinatown, Greenwich Village,
and the Financial District.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

With life in New York slowly returning to normal after all of the chaos only a full on demonic invasion can provide Nadia Van Dyne is finally getting a chance to explore the city she now calls home. And the best way to fuel a high octane sight seeing tour is with an excessive amount of junk food.

She walks away from a street side vendor, her arms laden with all manner of burgers, hot dogs and drinks, heading in the direction of an unoccupied bench.

*

New York is open again! Which is great. After all that demon madness, it's good to get back to some normalcy. Laurie only dealt with that fight in passing, with it mostly happening way above her pay grade. But now, it's time to get into the city and do some quality decompressing. Which is why she's walking in a casual tank and shorts combo through the park.

*

It was a nice clear day. The streets were littered with refuse and busted buildings. Vehicles overturned and the like were everywhere. And some of it had nothing to do with demons! Adara was free to move about without fighting or violence and that was nice. She was also celebrating her reprimand/congrats on being able to save a lot of lab work by staying in nyc and working through all this. As such she comes to the same stand that Nadia was at and orders 4 hot dogs, a pretzel and a large drink.

She turns with her food and blinks as someone sits at her favorite bench. It really is odd to have someone take a spot you were used to having given prior no one would because of demon danger.

*

Nadia meanwhile is already digging into her pile of food with enthusiasm and vigor! "Did you get the hot dogs with extra onions?" she asks brightly between bites with a hint of a Russian accent "They really are best when you get lots of the onions and… Oh! That is interesting. There is a blue lady, I wonder if she is from another planet or perhaps a metahuman."

*

Laurie feels a tingle on the back of her neck, as if she's being looked at. The blue young woman looks about, back and forth, but nothing jumps out at her yet. She heads for that hot dog stand, though, and pulls out a few bills, ordering up some water. She doesn't have a bag with her, so she likely forgot to pack any.

*

Adara Hong blinks at the suddenly forward nature of Nadia and clears her throat, "Oh, yes, I did." She nods her head before looking to Laurie and then to Nadia, "Given the possible variations available to the people of this planet and, especially, New York City, she could be many things." She nods her head, "Anyway, do you mind if I sit at this bench? I have kind've grown used to it." She then looks again to Laurie and then sits if allowed.

*

"Oh yes feel free to sit if you would like," Nadia offers, shifting her tray load of junk food onto her lap. "I am sure she will not mind if I ask, no?" The question seems to be rhetorical as she begins waving the moment the words have left her lips. "Excuse me, Miss Blue lady? May I ask if you are from another planet?"

*

Laurie Tromette had already been eying the two girls on the bench, and now she gets flagged down. Her back straightens slightly as her head snaps over to look at Nadia. Capping her water bottle, she takes a few quick strides over to them. "I'm a mutant," she says, her voice mixing pride and annoyance. Her eyes drop down to all of Nadia's junk food. "Are you a competitive eater?"

*

"You can't just…" Adara trails off and clears her throat before she feels an odd need to apologize but doesn't know Nadia so can't. She shifts uncomfortably and nods to Laurie, "See, uh, variations. And uh hi." Adara states to Laurie, "I am Adara. I do not know her…" She trails a second and blinks, "Oh, I know how that sounds but I don't, we just met. Sorry." She looks to Nadia, "Sorry…umm, but yes. Umm, I am Adara."

*

"Oh! That is also very interesting, although I had been hoping to discuss the theory behind starship drive construction with an alien!" Nadia replies earnestly, beaming a smile. "How can eating be a competition? I am just trying all of the different things." She looks down and frowns. "Perhaps I did overdo my order a little. I have an enhanced metabolism you see!" She shrugs "Would you like a burger?"

Offer made Nadia turns and waves to Adara. "Hello, I'm Nadia it's very nice to meet you both." She smiles and adds "It is so nice to be able to go out into the city again. Especially now I can use my own lab again, it's never the same borrowing someone else's."

*

Laurie's face goes through a series of contortions as Adara and Nadia talk. "It's…." she waves an arm behind her. "They do it on Coney Island, every spring…" she says, then lets her arm flop back down. This girl - Nadia - seems odd, but then Laurie's life has gotten a lot odder the past few years. "Are *you* an alien?" she presses.

*

The look over at Nadia, she nods her head, "It is well to meet you, Nadia." She nods her head, "Wait…" She blinks, "You have your own lab?! How do you have your own lab? Or wait, are you just using a lab and because you use it you call it yours?" She hmms as she tilts her head, "I…I like labs." She clears her throat and realizes she was babbling, fast. She then looks to Laurie, "And umm, neat. What's your name, if you don't mind me asking?"

*

"I've never been to Coney Island, I will have to make time to visit. I moved to America a few weeks ago and then demons appeared and I have not really had chance to explore properly yet," Nadia rambles cheerfully. "But no, I am not an alien." She shrugs. "I have two labs. One in my house and one at G.I.R.L. although that is more of a shared lab space."

*

Laurie Tromette creases her brow and clears her throat, shifting her stance as she stands near the bench. "You're one of those supergeniuses, aren't you?" she says with a tone of vague annoyance.

*

Ignored, Adara frowns a little and then looks down. She shifts uncomfortably before looking up to Laurie, "What's wrong with being smart?" She asks and then looks over at Nadia before frowning again. She wasn't off with her own lab or anything. All in good time, sure, but. She sighs and shakes her head. She then clears her throat, "Having two labs sounds good but what is G.I.R.L.?" She hmms, "I was overseas working on projects so I might have missed something."

*

"I wouldn't call myself that," Nadia muses. "Because it would sound very egotistical but I suppose it wouldn't be inaccurate." Her head tilts. "I'm sorry if I have said something which has offended you." She nods to Adara. "G.I.R.L is the non-profit group I am in charge of. We provide resources, support and funding for woman in science fields. It was only established a month or so ago, so I am not surprised you hadn't heard about it."

*

"Nothing!" Laurie says, raising a flashing blue hand in defense. "It just…I thought *I* was a top student until I started meeting people with brain powers. It sounds like you have brain powers," she says to Nadia.

*

A nod to Nadia and she smiles, "Neat, I am a student at Columbia University. I will have my doctorate in microbiology soon." She then looks to Laurie and then shakes her head, "And being top of your class is still good. Some folks are just really smart…I've been told I'm pretty smart but no powers."

*

Nadia Van Dyne shakes her head. "I don't have any brain powers," she assures. "I am just… me. Both my parents were scientists though. So perhaps that is it. Brain powers do sound like an interesting field of study, albeit one with many ethical issues." She frowns, finishes her hotdog and then after a moment adds "My main field of study is theoretical physics, but I've dabbled in most fields of science at one point or another. Robotics, biochemistry, lasers.. all sorts of things."

*

"I know a few people. It's weird when a ten year old has like five degrees and you've got none," Laurie says with a bit of a huff, blowing some of her hair. "Figure out how to bottle that…" she says. "It's okay, I have other talents, I suppose."

*

A nod to Nadia and she smiles, "Scientific family probably did it for you. My parents just encouraged me to study…a lot." She nods her head, "Discipline!" She states and points her hand at no one in particular before looking to Laurie, "I still don't think I've gotten your name. I hope that I'm not offending by asking again, was just curious."

*

"If you did bottle that level of intelligence you would be unlikely to make yourself wealthy. As every person who bought your product would then be smart enough to replicate it and sell it themselves," Nadia points out with a smile. "The paperwork required for such a product would also be incredibly tedious! Probably more so than creating the serum itself…" She glances back to Adara "I did not actually grow up around my parents, but I was told a lot about my father. It's… uhm… a long story."

*

The blue girl shakes her head. "Oh, sorry," she says, "Laurie," she says. Because being a blue girl with head ridges isn't great for a secret identity anyway, Laurie's never worried about it too much. "I'm…I'm Laurie," she says. "Those are all good points, but I didn't say I'd sell it. I'd want to keep it for myself," she says. She shifts her weight again. "I went to some competitive schools," she admits.

*

A chuckle and she shakes her head, "Either way, it is nice to meet you, Laurie. I think sometimes people focus too much on what they can't do instead of what they can though. Just use what you have!" She nods her head and smiles before she looks then to Nadia and hmms, "I see. Well, I was raised by a pair of immigrants who were big on me succeeding."

*

"Yes it's nice to meet you Laurie," Nadia offers, waving again for good measure. "I can think of several other good reasons not to make such a serum, so I hope you won't be offended if I don't look into it!" She grins. "I do not think I should talk about my own upbringing.. It's… information which could potentially be harmful. Besides it does not really matter. It's the /now/ which is important. And the future too I suppose. Depending on your preferred theoretical interpretation of time."

*

"Yeah, you too, I…" that's when there's a chiming noise and Laurie's shoulders drop visibly. "Parents," she says, pulling out her phone. "Catch you all later!

*

A waves is given to Laurie and then she looks ot Nadia. Adara hmms and then states, "Ya know, why don't you tell me more about G.I.R.L…if you don't mind that is."

*

Nadia Van Dyne nods at Laurie as she leaves, then takes a bite out of a burger. "Oh well, it's a non-profit subsidiary of Pym Industries. We have shared lab spaces in the main Pym Industries, it's not really very busy right now though. Our members and their families were evacuated for the duration of the demonic incursion." She pauses for a sip of her soda. "I wanted a way to help encourage other female scientists. So we do everything from reading programs in schools through to funding cutting edge research."

*

"That's really cool." She shifts in her spot to turn to better face Nadia, "Umm, I'm not really truly finished with school yet but I am a microbiologist." She nods her head, "Just not one holding a doctorate yet. I don't suppose you could use one?" She asks and tilts her head, "I'd be glad to help where I can. I have other talents, too, though, they aren't truly scientific in nature…"

*

"I don't have any formal academic qualifications," Nadia admits with a grin. "Although I probably should get my accreditation, if only to be a good example when we're doing work with schools." She pulls a little notebook out from her jacket pocket and scribbles a few notes. "There would be some paperwork but I don't see why you couldn't join. Membership only has a few limitations, mostly to ensure all our members are doing ethical research that'll improve the world."

*

A chuckle and she nods, "Pretty much all I do lately feels like it is for the world." She rolls her eyes, "All the same, I'd love to fill out the paperwork and here." She pulls out a card and hands it over, "My number. I ought to get back to work really."

*

Nadia Van Dyne looks at the card, then tucks it into the notebook. "I'll write the address down for you," she offers before handing a scrap of paper with the info on. "Usually all the information like that is in the holographic recruitment device but unfortunately I don't have it with me." She gives a what can you do shrug. "That's okay, I should probably eat all this before it goes cold. It's been nice to meet you!"

*

Taking her remaining two hot dogs, she stands up, "Sure, you, too! I look forward to talking to you more." She waves and then starts away, "Have a good day." And then she's on her way back to the school.

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