2011-08-06: Coney Island Conversation

Players: David and Nathaniel

David_icon.jpg Nathaniel_icon.jpg

Summary: David encounters a former student of Xaviers at Coney Island and share horror stories from their time as students.

Date: August 6, 2011

Log Title: Coney Island Conversation

Rating: PG

Brooklyn - Coney Island

Coney Island lies at the very southern most tip of Brooklyn with its beach lying in the Atlantic Ocean. Coney island contains various rides and roller coasters and games such as skee ball. Coney Island hosts a Variety of events such as Burlesque shows, the Mermaid Parade, Freak Shows, and the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating contest. The Coney Island boardwalk stretches down the park lined with food shops and arcades.

Being a relatively quiet day and wanting to leave the confines of the Xavier Institute for a few hours, David has opted to head into the city specifically to Coney Island. Having been told of the “Freakshow” performance, David is hoping to catch a glimpse of the show and maybe run into some friends. As he makes his way to the boardwalk, David has not been to this section of Coney Island in some time. So he looks almost like a lost tourist as he tries to find the exact location of the show. Dressed comfortable in jeans and a black and blue polo shirt, he stands still for a moment as he seems confused as if he should ask someone or resort to using his red cybershades which are clipped hanging off the front of his shirt. He looks about and then up, as he notes the clouds and hopes it doesn’t rain. Seemingly distracted and confused enough, he puts the shades on which seem to flicker a moment. In this city, they simply seem like a fashionable pair of shades, but to this Institute staffer they are a bit more. “Ok, Freakshow.” He mumbles to himself as he turns and begins to walk with more of an aim in his step as he moves down the pier.

Nathaniel has actually come to Coney Island after meeting one of the so-called freaks of the show, which means he's had just as much reason to head there. He's currently standing in front of the large building that houses it, looking over some of the old-fashioned posters they've got of the various shows. He's dressed casually enough himself, wearing a simple pair of jeans and a tanktop under a half-zipped red hoodie. He seems a bit uncomfortable with all the people that pass by him, often scooting forward an inch or so just to avoid coming into contact with someone passing by. If he keeps going, he'll probably wind up nose-to-nose with an uncomfortable part of the Lizard-Man poster. He glances over his shoulder at the crowds, then discreetly pops some smoking paraphenalia out of his pocket, lighting up a cigarette quickly before tucking it all away. There we go. Something to do with his hands.

Finding the building and then shaking his head and his own idiocy. “Pretty obvious and literally right in front of my face.” David shakes his head and sighs as he heads towards the building and also eyes the various posters showing the different freaks. Stopping in front of the poster, David ponders allowed and again speaking casually to himself, “I understand the use of the term freakshow, but really if this guy is a mutant, it just seems wrong. I would be offended if I were called a freakshow.” Once again shaking his head, David fans his hand in front of his face as he sniffs a bit and smells the cigarette. Finally eyeing Nathaniel through the red cybershades, “Not that it bugs me, but some people are touchy about cigarette smoke right in front of buildings.” Raising his hands up and smiling, “Not a problem for me, but you never know around here, specially near the beach.”

Nathaniel glances alongside at David when he speaks to himself, blinking at him a couple times before he says, "You posit a lot of offense-related theories for a dude in flashy red sunglasses." He lifts the cigarette, takes a drag, and seems largley unconcerned with people being touchy about it. He nods to the building next, though, turning his gaze away from David to look over the poster, "I met one of them. He didn't really seem to mind. Besides, mutants get called freaks enough, I imagine it's lost a lot of the sting. Now it's more of an eye-rolling insult than anything else." He takes another drag, exhaling idly through partially parted lips, then flicking the ash off to the ground near his feet.

Tilting his head to the right for a moment, “I never considered the glasses to be too flashy.” He removes them and looks studies it for a bit before putting it back on, “I never thought of them that way, but I suppose you are right. Wear them long enough and you forget they can be a bit off-putting.” Noting the building, “And sorry if I came off rude or abrasive. A friend of mine.” He pauses a moment and corrects himself, “Someone I recently met performs here as well. And some students at a school that I work at have seen the show and recommended it. So I thought I might take a break and catch it while I am in the city.” After a silent moment as Nathaniel takes a drag from his cigarette, “True. Unfortunately a lot of derogatory terms have lost their sting due to social media and people taking ownership of the words. It can be a good thing and a bad thing.” Looking at the marquis with the title of the show, “Which performer do you know?”

Nathaniel just waves a hand idly in response to the apology, smiling faintly but not in an overtly friendly manner; his discomfort with tons of people doesn't speak to an overly social personality, so it's understandable, "Don't worry about it. I'm rude. It's part of my charm." He tucks his free hand into his hip pocket and looks at the posters, shifting from one foot to the other absentmindedly, "I don't find freak that big of a deal, really, depending on the context… and not /know/, exactly. I just met him. I don't even remember his name. Some guy with blue wings, tattoos, and a penchant for kilts." He rubs his chin as he tries to remember, frowning at himself and ultimately offering up a shrug, "Anyway, he seemed pretty laid back about the whole thing."

“Oh you mean, Aiden. Yes, I have encountered him a few times. Nice wings and cool kilts. Can’t pull them off myself. But good for him. He is friends with some of my students and so I thought I would check it out. He and I had a similar conversation when we first met.” David offers and then pauses, “Sorry, man, I’m being rude. My name is David.” He extends his hand in offer to shake Nathaniel’s. “It’s easy to forget in New York City to be civil and polite. Though oddly enough everytime I am here, I tend to meet someone new and most often interesting.”

Nathaniel looks at David's hand a second or two longer than he probably should've before he reaches out to shake it, looking from it to David's face, "I'm Nathan. Nice to meet you. And yeah, well, New York's a big place. Can't meet everybody at once, right?" He tries another smile, but he just can't seem to get the mild unease out of his behavior, releasing David's hand so he can tuck his own back into his pocket. He nods after a couple seconds, though, agreeing easily with mention of Aiden, "Yeah, Aiden, that's it. He was talking to a couple other mutants, I think. When we met him, he didn't say much about this place, mostly told us - er, me and the other guy there - about his missing girlfriend."

Noting the odd behavior regarding the handshake and the uneasiness that Nathaniel is experiencing around him, David offers a half-smile, “True enough. This city is just too big.” When he mentioned Aiden, “Yeah sad story about his missing girlfriend. I’ve been meaning to talk to him more about that. See if I can offer any assistance. Not that there is much I can do. But I have some friends who might be able to help. Other mutants, like myself, who may be willing to help him out. Hopefully it is not a lost cause.” Looking at some more of the posters and checking his watch to see when exactly the show starts, David then tries to find the source of stress, “If you don’t mind my asking. You seem a bit uncomfortable with the handshake, and in general.” Taking a wild, or maybe no so wild guess, “do you have a tactile based mutation?”

Nathaniel nods his head once more, agreeing over Aiden's girlfriend and frowning a bit, "Yeah, it is. I told him that the internet might be a good way to handle it, but he says neither one of them spend much time on it, really. I don't really know what to do in that sort of situation." He sucks on his cigarette and cocks a brow at David only to blink at the question. He coughs out some smoke in a choked laugh of surprise, then shakes his head only to look momentarily thoughtful, "Er, well. Not really. Empathy, mostly. I haven't used it much for a long time, but I still get antsy, you know? I didn't have a lot of control in Xavier's and there's more of a risk of accidentally using it if I touch people. Old habits die hard, I guess." He shrugs casually enough, apparently not overly bothered by the question.

The red cybershades seem to flicker a bit when Nathaniel mentions Xaviers and then David nods, “Oh ok, you were there after I graduating before I returned.” David smiles, “Well, Nathaniel, if you feel that uncomfortable, why not pass by the school? The Danger Room is open to alum. I can try and maybe run a scenario or two to try to help you out or hell any of the real teachers or professors might be able to.” David scratches his chin, “I still have issues. The shades help me out a bit and sometimes I meet with the professors to give me a hand. It helps training the students, reminds me of when I was on the New Mutants.” A bit more comfortable in his tone and stance, Nathan blinks as he gets a small rundown of Nathaniel’s time at the school and hmmmmns, “Oh the shades among other nifty little tricks, allows me to catalogue mutants I encounter and helps me with the skills I may acquire. I’m a psychomimetic.”

Nathaniel looks at David for a few seconds before he says, in a somewhat more even tone than before, "I don't /go/ to Xavier's anymore." It's obvious he doesn't mean it in an academic way, but rather more literally. He takes another drag on his cigarette, scuffing his heel against the ground, "At any rate, I can control it just fine now, I'm just uncomfortable. It's not like I'd be super friendly if I wasn't a mutant, anyway." He arches a brow over David's explanation of the shades, flicking a bit more ash down by his feet, "So… you're sort of the Pokemon master of mutants? 'Gotta catch 'em all' and all that?" He shifts from one foot to the other, just the sort to fidget, it seems, and continues on to ask, "You teach there or just help out…?"

Noting the tone and then laughing at the Pokemon reference, “I suppose so.” Removing the shades again, “They pretty cool and give me access to data from the cool. And I get wifi wherever I go.” He smirks, “Even in other dimensions.” He grins, “I don’t teach. Not yet. Gotta wait my turn. I’m a teaching assistant. Considering I’m only a year or two older than most of the students, might seem kinda odd. Sorta blurs the line sometimes between friend and authority figure.” David shrugs, “Being on staff has been almost more of an education that when I was a student.” David facial expression reveals some uneasiness on that part, “As you know things are never quite that easy or normal at Xavier’s.”

Nathaniel points at the glasses with the two fingers pinched over his cigarette, nodding a bit, "Don't mutants ever get mad at you for, uh, cataloguing them? …though I'd probably smack a little kid for free wifi anywhere on the planet or in another dimension." He manages a meager grin at this last, drawing the cigarette to his lips again and fixing it a bit so he doesn't burn his fingers. He gives a small nod over the rest, sympathizing a bit in his tone, "Yeah, that can't be easy. When the age difference isn't decent, you wind up with people thinking you're their buddy and getting bent out of shape when you have to tell them what to do." He shrugs casually, brushing off the mention of how normal things might be at Xavier's and looking up at one of the posters rather than really answer.

“Yeah, though it’s not so much cataloguing. My powers allow me to know people’s skills when I first encounter them and then it fades. Sometimes I’m overwhelmed, so the shades help me in situations when I need to know which skill to use. It’s mostly filled with students who are already enrolled. But yes, it is very off-putting to people when I know who they are or what they can do beforehand. I’m still working out socially how to handle that.” He offers a nervous grin. “But for the most part, I have managed to work well with students. They may not like me, but when push comes to shove, we work well together.” He pauses a moment then asks, “Um. You may not have heard about recent events at Xaviers and I can understand that things may not gel so well with you and the school, but I have been asking some alum to come back and help out. There was a recent incident where some students were taken and brainwashed and I’ve asked some alum to come back. July and Rashmi have come by to help out. Not meaning to step on your toes or put pressure, but if you want to stop by and just check things out I’d think the staff might appreciate it.”

Nathaniel frowns at that mildly, shifting from one foot to the other again before he says, in a more uncomfortable tone, "I don't really use my powers anymore. I don't think I'd be much use." He flicks his cigarette down to his feet, grinding it out under his heel on the gravel and licking his lips, looking mildly nervous himself. Sliding his now free hand into his pocket to match the other, he frowns contemplatively at David, "Who took them? …and, I mean, doesn't Xavier's still have some pretty powerful psychics? Don't you think they can cover it?" Rashmi strikes a bell that he'd rather would stay quiet and sit in the back of the room like a good bell. He starts to worry his lower lip without realizing it, teeth grazing over it repeatedly as he thinks over the problem.

Having been around other empaths before, David does not have to be one to note the shift and change n Nathaniel, “It was just a thought. If it freaks you out, don’t worry too much about it. I’m sure the X-Men can handle it.” Though the image of Emma getting knocked out may make him rethink his last statement, “One of the parents of a student are supervillains who kidnapped their daughter and other students and when they returned to the mansion they pretty much destroyed the front yard and some other valuable technology. But as with everything else, it should be ok. Plus I’ll ask some others. Some of the recent grads and there is the guy who is with SHIELD. Maybe he can help out too. I think SHIELD is already involved anyway.”

"I honestly haven't had much of anything to do with mutants since I left the school. I've been trying to keep my powers turned off, you know? That's all. I'm not freaked out," Nathan says this last with a touch of defensiveness, but he sighs afterwards and lifts a hand to ruffle the hair at the back of his head, frowning still. He glances at the nearby crowds, staring at them all in an abstract fashion as he continues to aimlessly fidget, "Someone's always tearing up the front yard. Do you know anything about her parents?" He looks back at David now, but his eyebrows lift when SHIELD is mentioned, "Man. I don't know much about SHIELD, but they generally seem pretty good about causing an issue to become a non-issue all on their own."

Not giving his own opinion about mutants actually not wanting to use their abilities, David simply nods, “Well, her parents are pretty powerful in and of themselves. One is a mind-bending reality warper and the other can alter powers to make them stronger. It doesn’t help the students that were taken were some of the more powerful students too. I don’t know if you knew them. Heather, Robyn, and Shane. And another girl from the SHIELD school was taken too. And she is a powers-morph. So yeah, bunch of supers gone nuts. But like with most stuff, it will be dealt with. Hell, if students survive dimension hopping, being kidnapped, and enthralled by super-villains, then we all can. Hell my first month back when I started working there half of us were kidnapped to this weird horror gothic dimension. It was like an HR Geiger world come to life. Hell, even one student came back to life, so to speak.” David squints a moment, “Crazy times.”

Nathaniel blinks at all that, looking rather surprised overall, though mention of the three students causes him to look even more uncomfortable, "I, uh, know one of them. Are any of the psionics able to get into their heads? Even for information or anything?" He winds up fidgeting overly much and takes a moment to dig out another cigarette for himself. He sticks it between his lips and lifts a cylindrical lighter only to pause when David mentions a gothic dimension and people coming back to life, "Wait, wait. What? One, HR Geiger is fucking nuts; two, what do you mean, came back to life?"

Noting the conversation is getting Nathaniel a bit upset, “Well, the staff is working on it. I’m sure it’ll work out. One thing about Xavier’s: As dangerous as it is sometimes, I have come to learn that the students are resilient. We’ll find way to get them back. We always do. Hell, I had my own moment of being under someone’s else thrall and I’m back.” A small shiver noticeable affects David as he continues, “But yeah we always come through stronger.” He offers a smile and then low chuckle, “Yeah it was nuts. It was a warped version of Salem Center complete with demons, dark skies, and some of the students were turned into various monsters, we had ghosts, zombies, even a Frankenstein.” He remembers ‘killing’ Mike to bring him back. “There was a SHIELD agent with us who when we got the that dimension turned out to be a Xaviers student.” David pauses a moment and then stops, “You know what, while I always love telling Xavier horror stories, I never really talk about the success stories. What have you been up to since graduation? You said you were in school. Where do you go? NYU? ESU?”

Nathaniel frowns still, shifting again from one foot to the other and flicking ash off of his cigarette before he says, quietly, "Yeah, well. When I was at Xavier's, me and a bunch of kids got sort of brainwashed and I wound up, uh, 'thrall'ing a bunch of people myself. It's kind of a mood-killer for the rest of eternity, you know?" He takes in the shiver and can appreciate it, though he huffs a bit before taking a drag on his lovely new cigarette. Chain smoking means instant health! He listens to the story about the other Hellscapeish universe with his eyebrows still lifted, whistling low, "That must've been both fucked up and distantly interesting… and I guess it makes sense. SHIELD agents have to come from somewhere. What'd you have to do to get out of there? Or get them back to normal?" He looks surprised at the questions put to him, blushing faintly and lifting his free hand to rub the back of his neck, "Oh, uh, Parsons. Art college."

“Well, sorry for the sudden shift in subject. I can tell you are getting a bit nervous and uneasy as I talk about what has happened since you left. Parsons is cool. But, yeah. That hell dimension was tough.” David resigns himself to the conversation as he started it, “To return the students to normal, they had to face their fears in some cases we had to kill them so they could come back to their normal selves. Thankfully they all did. The realm belonged to a demon and we basically had to follow these cryptic clues, confront the demon and get the hell out of there. And it was the fault of some overly zealous stupid wizard. Thankfully we all made it out alive.” David hmmmmns, “Are you ok with talking about this stuff?” He looks to the entrance of the show, “Maybe we should catch the show another time. How about a coffee or some street food from the boardwalk? It’s always cool meeting another alum. I always feel like I am learning something new about Xaviers or getting a different perspective when chatting with a former student.”

Nathaniel shrugs a bit and shifts from one foot to another, "I'm not… I mean, I can talk about it. It's Robyn - he's one of the people I took over when I was all messed up. I hurt him pretty badly and it's not really something you get over." He looks over his shoulder at all the people, then nods a bit to David, smiling in that amiable but never entirely comfortable way of his, "Sure. Things seem to be getting bigger all the time - met a couple people who didn't know anything about Xavier's recently. It was weird." He doesn't seem to want to carry a lit cigarette through crowds of people, though, so he steps forward enough to finish it off, or at least let it burn down a bit more before he'll crunch it under his shoe, "It always seems to involve some people who have no idea what they're getting themselves into. I'm not surprised the wizard just turned out to be a nutter."

“Yeah it’s always…” The red cybershades seem to flicker and across the lens words flash quickly.
David sighs, “Crap.” He looks to Nathaniel, “Well, sorry. But as usual, duty calls.” David reaches into his pocket and pulls out a card an hands it to Nathaniel. It has his contact information at Xaviers, phone number email, etc. “It was nice meeting you, but I have to head back. Thankfully not an emergency, but still. As you know. Life at Xaviers. Call me and we’ll do lunch.” David sighs and shrugs and then rushes off waving, “Nice meeting you.”

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