2010-04-25: Back Alley Introductions


Bruce_icon.jpg Scout_icon.jpg

Summary: Bruce finds Scout in a back alley. They chat for a while before Bruce asks if she would like to be useful to the cause.

Log Title: Back-Alley Introductions

Rating: PG (L)

NYC - Mutant Town - Back Alley

Heavily littered with newspapers, knocked over garbage cans and other unidentifiable pieces of refuse, this alleyway cuts a narrow pathway between two of the older buildings in the neighborhood. The mouth is lined with dumpsters and garbage cans, making it a bit of a deterrent for people seeking this alley as a pass-through. This doesn't stop homeless and fringe elements from using it, however.

Rusty fire escapes dot the sides of the close buildings; they are close enough that one could easily jump from one side to the other but a slip from one of the higher landings could be fatal. Light even during the daytime hours is sparse, though it's easier to see down from one end to the other in the day. At night, it's nearly impossible.


It is darker than it usually is this time of night in the city, but the clouds overhead have kept it dim pretty much all day. At least it has stopped raining for now. Bruce walks into the alley that he usually cuts through to get between his apartment and the bar. He usually doesn't get bothered back here, granted he does look like a big scary Australian. He's wearing the same blue jeans and green jacket he's been wearing all day, his face is hidden in the shadow of his Akubra.
Bruce continues forward past the garbage cans. He walks with a very slight limp, but his battle wounds are mostly healed by now. The man pauses for a moment and fishes around in his pocket for something. A moment later he produces a lighter and a cigarette. Bruce’s face is illuminated for a moment as he lights his cigarette before it is again obscured in shadow.

Alleys, are by nature, places of comfort for the rather young mutant named Scout. It's a two part affinity that both stems from her situation in life and her inherent abilities; often without a place to stay and a close tie to the shadows. They tend to be full of people she's comfortable around too; the low lives and down and outs. Of course there is the occasional traveler that uses it for one of their other intended purposes.
It is one of the many rust colored fire escapes that the teen of Mexican decent happens to be sitting on, her legs dangling loosely over the edge as she puffs on a lit cigarette, the feint glow of the burning cherry in a constant pulse with each inhale. She watches the new arrival, her focus concentrated across the strangely familiar limp. Then it hits her; she saw this guy once outside the mall in West Chester, though they never actually got to talk due to that pesky kid that disappeared. "Still injured?" She speaks out of the blue, her voice echoing softly down the garbage laden alley.

Bruce stops mid-step, one leg still in the air. He doesn't move again until he's had a good look around for the source of the voice. He doesn't see anyone right away, but the alley is dark and he is expecting the voice to be coming from ground level. "Still injured? Like we've met before, eh?" His accent is strongly Australian, but some may think hes British.
Bruce finally sits down his foot and stands there, continuing to look around. "Forgive me fer bein' a bit cautious there er…Miss? But you can see me, and I can't see you. This town can be dangerous for folk." Not that he's afraid of being shot or stabbed, that wouldn't hurt him at all if he was prepared. But there's a possibility he pissed off a female mutant while drunk or ranting. He does that a lot.

There's nothing more enjoyable than knowing she has the upper hand in any given situation, no matter how brief it may actually last. This type of situation is very rare for her, and to bask in it is more than called for. So for several seconds Scout remains quiet, her breath held like her life depended on it. "Yeah, we've /met/, but in loose terms you could say." One more drag is pulled of the cigarette before the tiny stump is tossed down into the alley below her, aimed in just the right way to fall in front of the man with the Australian accent. "Up here." She adds, letting a thick stream of smoke exit through her nostrils.

Bruce does not enjoy being toyed with. He continues to glance around for the voice, but when he sees no one he begins to accumulate rock particles from around the alley. Due to the darkness it will be unnoticeable, also because there is such a small amount back here. He ends up with a basketball sized pile between his feet which changes into a spear and stabs out at the cigarette butt when it appears. Just a cigarette.
Bruce looks up when the girl tells him to look up. He frowns in the darkness, it's a bit hard to see. The man collapses his sand spear and it returns to a pile between his feet. "We met before? Don't think I remember meeting any little girls…Except that ghost kid's friend." He thinks back, "And the girl painting the wall. So are you one of them or somebody who was someplace they shouldn't have been?"

Scout bellows out a hearty laugh as the 'ghost' kid is mentioned, knowing very well exactly who he's referring too, but she's doesn't take to kindly to the possibility of being mistaken for his blond haired friend. The ghost kid was irritating, but amusing in his own little way. The girl, now she was down right annoying with her constant threats of citizen's arrest.
She pulls out another cigarette and lighter, the quick flash of the flame illuminating her face just long enough for her to be identified as the painter, should he remember at all what she looked like. "I was the painter." She says, leaning back and to the side like she's trying to get close enough to someone so they can whisper into her ear, but there isn't anyone next to her. "We… uh, I would never be associated with that ghost kid and his friend."

Bruce seems a little agitated that the girl won't just give out her identity already, but when she finally does he seems to calm a bit. "Alright, yeah I do remember ya. The least annoying of the trio." He does seem to recall her going mildly insane and coming at somebody with a knife, but he's not affraid of knives. "The way you left that place. You disappeared into the wall. Yer of the superior race, ain't ya?"

Scout nods as she inhales smoke from her cigarette, withholding any answers until after the smoke is exhaled back out through her lungs. "As are you, right?" It's hard not to notice something like a spear constructed out of little rocks, especially when it's used to strike at the object she tossed in a not so polite way of revealing her general location.
"It wasn't the wall I walked through." The little teen begins to pull herself up and as with the attempt to demonstrate, though not in a way to help argue her case, takes a step back and falls into the shadowy wall. It takes a few seconds before she resurfaces near one of the dumpsters, taking a couple steps closer to Bruce and then using the dirty metal structure to lean on while show casing a shit-eating grin. "It was the shadows."

Bruce stands there for a moment and puts his hands in the pockets of his jeans, holding his cigarette in his mouth as he continues to smoke it. "Yeah, 'course I am. And if I didn't suspect you were you'd be on the ground right now." He watches as she slips into the shadow and then looks around, suspecting for a moment that she left for good.
Bruce hears the voice and turns to face the girl once more. "The shadows? That's pretty vague." He has a few questions about that ability, but he'll save them until he can determine if she's going to be of any use to him or not. "That seems fairly useful, though."
The sands between his feet shift slightly before dispersing. To the girl it may look as though he's getting rid of his weapon as a sign of good faith. In truth he's suspending the particles in the air around him in a very loose cloud. If she can move that easily through the darkness he'd like to have a way to keep track of her. "So what was your impression of Ghost Boy and his friend?"

Scout, of course, takes the sand dispersing as a sign of good faith. It's not because she feels this guy is the type for friendly gestures, but because she can't see that the little particles are now suspended in the air around him. They're too small, the alley is too dark and she's still riding off her high from her momentary advantage from earlier, never mind the moment having long pasted. "Useful enough to get into places that want me out."
Scout shifts her weight, moving her left leg so that's wrapped around her right ankle, the tip of her shoe pointed straight into the asphalt. "Self righteous idiots." She says between another round of inhaling and exhaling smoke. "Too eager to make everything right, despite knowing very little of the facts." Yeah, she's referring to the girl in the pair, the one that seemed to get off on threatening to arrest everyone and anyone. "If I were to believe them, then that makes you the bank robbing type."

Bruce nods, listening to the girl speak. Into places that want her out, and she completely disappeared from the mall. So maybe she can move larger distances. He'll keep trying to get info out of her. "But you move through shadows, so they could keep you out with enough light, eh?" He puffs his cigarette again, trying to make that sound like a witty comment rather than a question.
He tilts his head back and removes his cigarette, ashing on the ground. "Yeah, I've been having problems with Ghost Boy for a while now. Quick to judge others but not himself. I cought the brat stealing liquor from me bar the other night." He spits on the ground. "And I may be and may not be a bank robber. That's a moot point. I'm a mutant, it was a human bank. I liken it to farmer sheering a sheep for wool. No one questions the implications for the sheep. It is a lesser being and it's loss does not matter."

For all the wit and intelligence she's trying to push out, Scout is horrible at figuring out other's agenda's and views the comment exactly as the guy expected; as wit. There's several seconds of laughter before the teen is able to speak. "If they knew that, right? Ha! Most people aren't smart enough to realize that's how I get in though, so they don't realize how easy and cheap their security system should be. A light bulb." Nothing like just giving up your weakness to a complete stranger.
She leaves the cigarette smoldering and dangling from between her lips as both arms are laced together over her chest. "You don't say? Here he goes around accusing people of robbing stuff and is himself a robber?" There's a pause as the smoking cylinder is pulled free from her lips and placed to rest between two fingers.
"Of course he's a thief, he did steal my knife. You saw that, right? I mean, I'm not like them, I judge no one. Hell, if you robbed that bank, I say good for you. I don't give a shit who owns it, if you have the capability to take what you want, then I say it's yours." She pulls the smoke back to her lips, nodding her head randomly. "If it was from humans, then that's even cooler."

Bruce joins the girl in laughter. That was easy. He likes dealing with kids, they're easy to manipulate and often too dumb to guard themselves. "Yeah. But I found out how to keep Ghost Boy away. So hopefully he'll leave me alone from now on. last time I saw him he was barely conscious and bleeding from the head." He shrugs, seeming not to care about this.
"Well I'm not saying it was me who robbed the bank," Bruce ashes again without having taken a drag. "But I do know that the little rat tried to stop the robber, and very nearly did. Well him and Quicksilver." He spits again. "Such a shame that other mutants would side against their own kind."

The comment of seeing Ghost Kid practically unconscious and bleeding from the head provokes a burst of riotous laughter from Scout. "Seriously? You beat the crap out of him?" She obviously assumes that this guy seeing Ghost Kid like that equals he was the one who did it. "That is awesome. I'd love for nothing more than to stick him with my knife." The last sentence is said fast, and mumbled as a glazed look briefly sweeps across her face.
Looking down at the still burning cigarette, she decides to flick the built up ash off. She then looks to the man, snapping back to normalcy with her head tilted slightly to the side. "It wasn't you then?" There's a strong sense of disappointment in her voice as she straightens her legs and half heartedly kicks at the ground. "That makes me hate Ghost Kid even more, trying to stop one of his own kind."

Bruce isn't going to deny that he put Caleb in that state, but he's also not going to admit that it was done on accident. He'll let her believe he can beat up intangible pseudo-mutants for now. He shrugs at the bank bit, too. He doesn't know her well enough to admit that he was the bank robber. Only three people know for sure that it was him, and Caleb's the only one he doesn't trust to keep his secret.
Bruce scratches the back of his head nervously when the girl goes all crazy again. "Yeah, what's with that? You go all wonky whenever you talk about knives or stabbing. If I weren’t incapable of being stabbed I might be worried." He eyes the girl suspiciously. Of course, he CAN be stabbed. But the attacker would have to sneak up on him for that to work.

"I get all what?" Scout replies, starring at the man with a blank look. Sort of like she's not registering at all what he's asking, that it's more the norm to act like her when knives are even mentioned. Then she shrugs, tossing her half smoked cigarette off to the side and crossing her arms back over her chest. " I don't know, guess I just like it."
It's a simple answer, one that's definitely void of any actual substance. Perhaps she doesn't even realize she gets that way, though it seems a little doubtful. "Like, you think I'm going to try to stab you or something? Is that what you're worried about?" She completely glosses over that he claimed to be incapable of being stabbed.

Bruce quirks a brow at the girl. "OooooKay…." She just likes stabbing people? Well that could also be useful if she stabbed the right people. He just chuckles when she mentions stabbing him. "Oh I'm not afraid of yer little foldy knife." The man reaches around to his back behind his coat and unsnaps something. "That's not a knife." He pulls out a rather large hunting knife, "THIS is a knife."
Bruce shrugs and talks with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. "'Sides, like I said." He turns the knife and thrusts it into his chest. He lets go of the handle and gestures a bit with his hands as he speaks, leaving the knife imbedded in his chest. He has turned his chest to sand of course, but that's not something someone could tell by looking at him. "Don't hurt a bit." He pulls out the knife and holds it up, showing that it is clean. He puts it back in the holster under his coat. "So if you did decide to stab me, I'd be fine and you'd be in trouble."

The only way to describe the look on Scout's face is utter confusion. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the man pulling out the knife was in ways, referencing a classic movie, one she has never seen. So it's completely lost on the teen as she slowly shakes her had back and forth. "Do you really need a knife that big? I mean, seriously? Doesn't that get in the way ever?" Yeah, she doesn't get it.
She takes a few steps away from the dumpster she'd earlier emerge from the shadows from, but pauses when the guy takes his knife and stabs it right into his chest. "No /fucking/ way!" The words are articulated with extreme care and pace. "I though ghost kid disappearing was cool, but that has to take the cake!" A couple steps are taken towards him, her finger gesturing towards the handle. "Mind if I see that?"

Oddly enough, Bruce has also never seen that "classic" movie. To anyone else the scene would be hilarious, but to the two of them it is just idle chatter. Bruce chuckles as he puts the knife away. "You keep a knife like that around so if someone jumps you in an alley you can make 'em piss themselves. And it don't get in the way really. Maybe when I sit down, but I just move it to the side.
"Yeah, ripper, eh? Comes in handy, not being able to get stabbed. Magneto tried grinding me up a few weeks back. Ruined one o' me coats." He shrugs and snaps the clasp on his knife holder again. "Can you see my knife? You? Little miss stabby? Little miss dissappear?" He shakes his head. "One hole in me shirt is enough. And I like that knife, don't need it stolen."

"Fine." Scout pouts, turning around and walking back towards the dumpster so she can lean on it again. In a way, she appears to be seriously hurt over the last couple statements. "Hey, I just wanted to see it, that's all. I didn't steal the Ghost kid's knife, he stole mine, remember?" She spits a loogie into the ground recrossing her arms over her chest. "Besides, who's to say I was going to stab you? I mean, I just wanted to make sure that knife was real, right? Could be some sort of gag you picked up at the store. How am I to know?"

Bruce just rolls his eyes at the pouting. This is why he doesn't hang around with kids. All they do is whine and pout until they get their way, but this girl won't be getting her way tonight. "Yeah well, forgive me for not trusting someone right off the bat that I met in a dark alley." He shrugs, "Well I guess you'll never know if the knife was real or not. It must have just cut a hole in my shirt for no reason. Maybe it only cuts cloth." He rolls his eyes again.

Scout simply shrugs, her look now overcome with boredom. "Guess not." She dispassionately remarks, eyes beginning to wander around the dark alley like it was the first time she'd seen it. "I just thought you were cool and would let me see it, that's all." Bluffing with the old cool trick, which she 99.99% expects not to work at all. Her eyes suddenly catch sight on what looks to be a dime or nickle, too small to be a quarter, and with in seconds picks it up.
Her whole demeanor has now changed as a bright smile occupies most of her face. "If you ever need help robbing banks…" She pauses, forcing out a cough into her hand just after the coin was shoved into her pocket. "Ahem… I mean, if you ever know of someone needing help in helping a bank lose some of it's burden, well, you can tell them you know someone who is game."

Bruce just smirks. "Nope. I'm not cool at all. I'm just your boring old Aussie who carries around a giant knife and can survive being attacked by Magneto. So boring." He chuckle at the girl, but that second comment catches his ear. "Actually, shouldn't be needing any more cash…The robber that is…But maybe you could be of other use? I'm trying to get together a group to kind of fight back against the human oppressors. Show them why we're the superior race. Your talents could be useful."

Scout's ears perk up from the man's last statement, her left brow pulling upward. "Oh? So you think I could be useful?" It's a relief for her to finally hear another mutant speak her language, rising up against the human majority and flex their superiority. The last kid she tried to talk to about this wimped out, which was a shame, he had such potential giving his nuclear hands. "I'm all ears."

Bruce grins at the girl. "Ace!" He pulls out a piece of paper and jots a few things down. "I've gotta talk to a few people, but if you could meet me out back of Nowhere in three days, I think we can get something figured out." He nods. "It's time for our people to fight back. If you need to get a hold of me before then, I work at Nowhere. You're too young to get in there, but ask the bouncer to speak to the Aussie bartender."

"Nowhere? Got it." Scout shows the man a toothy smile, excited for the future prospects this could bring for her. Move over small time crimes and make way for much bigger and grander schemes! "If it's like any other bar, believe me, I can easily get passed any bouncer who won't let me in." She laughs, trying to position herself into a stance that makes her look tough. It doesn't. "So three days from now." As if saying the words isn't enough, the little ten holds out one hand and begins to count out with three fingers. "Cool. I'll be there."

Bruce writes the information he just gave her on a sheet of paper and hands it to her, in case she for some reason forgets. "Yeah, probably shouldn't sneak in. We're a mutant bar. We're used to teleporters and phasers. Someone'll find you and you'll get busted." He tips his hat to the girl and spits his mostly used cigarette on the ground. "Right, well I'll need to talk to someone to get stuff figured out, so I should head out now. Need anything before I jet?"

Scout gladly takes the paper and responds with a nod from his first comment. "I see. So no teleporting in then." Whether that's exactly what she does is up for debate, but it makes the most sense to her. The piece of paper is then folded several times before being shoved into her back pocket. "Nope, I should be fine… actually, you mind bumming me a cigarette? I just finished my last one and would hate to have to scrounge for some half smoked."

Bruce nods and rummages through his pockets. He pulls out a box of cigarettes that's about half full. He takes out two and tosses the box to the girl. The man sticks one smoke behind his ear and the other in his mouth. "I've got more back home, you can have the rest of these." He tips his hat again and turns to continue down the alley. "Alright miss, have a good night." He waves over his shoulder. As he moves away from her the sand in the air falls back to the ground.

Scout looks ecstatic as the half full box of smokes lands into her open hands. "Awesome." Is all she repeats, pulling one out and shoving the rest into one of her pockets. Soon enough her lighter emerges from the other pocket and flame is brought into the equation. "You too." She shouts out before dipping back into the shadows and disappearing from the alley.

~ Fin ~

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