2010-08-30: Corrupting The Innocent


Bruce_icon.jpg Cloud_icon.jpg Star_icon.jpg

Summary: Star & Cloud visit Nowhere, where Bruce tries to influence their views of the world and mutant rights.

Log Title: Corrupting the Innocent

Rating: R (L)

NYC - Nowhere

Nowhere is a community bar, with a slightly old world feel. All of the tables and chairs are made of wood, though there are some couches in a slightly offset room with green fabric. The music varies, depending upon the Owner's music taste for the day. Beer and Liquor are both served, but are both carded for as well.

At the front of the bar, right as one walks in, is a large sign. "Superhuman friendly establishment. There will be no tolerance for disparaging remarks based on one's genetic status. Any fights will not be tolerated within the bar. The management holds no responsibility for where combatants are teleported."


Nowhere is a little scarcer than usual tonight. It probably has to do with the fact that it is Monday. Bruce tends to find that there are slightly less patrons so early in the week and more and more toward the end. Usually he'd be singing along with the Juke Box right now and filling people's drinks, but it appears that he is in an argument with a blue haired girl behind the bar. "Come on Lil, not gonna sit back and let them humans arrest allo’ us for no reason."

A few of the patrons are hanging back and one or two of them seem mildly amused. "'S’all right Brucey, You done right by us." That gains them a nasty glare from the blue haired girl, whose eyes seem to emit bright light.

With school starting up soon, and her month long grounding finally being lifted, Star has decided to treat herself to a night on the town. The teenager is dressed in a blue denim sundress that rustles around her ankles, a few simple pieces of jewelry, and a pair of black ballet flats. A cloud of mildly bored interest seems to follow her in as she pushes the door open and slips almost silently into the bar. She's never actually been in a bar before, but this place looks like a cute little spot to hang out and see what she can get into for the evening. She slips up to the bar and stands there for a moment, biting her lip and watching the argument that seems to be going on.

Cloud has also just finished a months worth of grounding, and for once is being the responsible Rosen twin, he may be going into the bar, but only to keep Star out of trouble, he's dressed in pale blue jeans, a white t-shirt, black sneakers and a black baseball cap backwards covering up his bleached blonde hair, "Star, you really shouldn't be in here", he whispers to his sister.

Lil seems not to be done with her little tiff just yet. "You stay out of it, he doesn't need any encouragement." She waves a finger at the patron and turns back to Bruce, talking in a hushed way that can still be heard by patrons close enough to the bar. "And you…What if someone recognized you? That ghost kid has been IN HERE before. I know he has. And you could have killed that old lady. And the 7-11 almost COLLAPSED Bruce. I don't need some damn heroes busting down the door to the bar because you have to go out and play the anti-hero." She sighs, "Where are you…Are you even listening to me!?"

Bruce just rolls his eyes as he walks past her. "Lil this ain't the place fer all that jibberjab, a'ight?" His accent is distinctly Australian, though a few people may confuse him as British. He places his hands on the bar and smiles at Cloud and Star. "Hey there, haven't seen you round these parts. In for college I'd guess? What can I get ya?" Apparently he assumes that the bouncer ID'd the two of them, but he was busy flirting with one of the patrons when they came in.

Star rolls her eyes again and shoots her brother another little glare, "You know, you didn't have to come with me, Cloud. I can take care of myself just fine on my own, you know." Even if she isn't much taller than most high school freshmen, "And I'm not getting involved. I'm just curious." Her attention returns to Bruce and she offers a bright smile when the sodas are delivered, though it fades when he asks what a 7-11 is, "But I just heard her talking about a 7-11…" She gestures over at Lil, confusion very evident on her face.

Her eyes focus on the older man when he speaks up and she shakes her head, "No, not that much. Not when there's not something I need to know, anyway." She'll be fixing that when she gets back to the school, though. She needs to know what happened at the 7-11! Her eyes widen a little at the mention of Dingo and she glances over at her brother, "Did you hear anything about that?"

Cloud glares at his sister when she presses the subject with Bruce, "Star, that was you cue to drop the subject", he tenses up when the old guy leans towards his sister, "Yes, i heard about it, i still get papers for the sport, some guy who claims to be working towards mutant rights keeps fucking things up for us all, the guys a fuckwit".

The man with yellow eyes narrows them at Cloud. "Hey kid, maybe you should try living out on the street before you go judging the actions of someone who's been there. You two are lucky. You don't look so different from the rest of the 'normal' people out there." He makes air quotes when he says 'normal'. "Round here you can be roughed up, arrested, killed just for looking a bit different. Takes people like Dingo, Magneto, Envy…THEY actually fight for us. They're making a difference." He nods in agreement with himself.

Bruce makes his way back from the other side of the bar and grabs a couple of beers for another patron. He glances around and nods as he notices everyone has their drink and seems happy…Except the man with yellow eyes. "Aw Rodger, y'ain't scarin' the new patrons, are ye? Drink yer whisky an' leave 'em be, will ya?" He leans in and shakes his head, speaking a bit quieter to Cloud & Star. "Sorry 'bout him. He gets a bit gabby when he's drunk. Just ignore him, eh?"

The shorter twin gives a disgusted sigh and turns toward her brother with one hand on her hip, "And what about the cops arresting some innocent mutant, huh?" What's your answer for that, smart guy? She tosses her hair back over her shoulder and straightens to her full, though unimpressive, height, "And that's your opinion about anyone you don't agree with." She glances over at the man when he speaks again and nods in agreement, "He's right, you know: We are lucky!" Forget the fact that Star didn't even know that she /has/ powers until a couple of months ago or what they were until after they'd been grounded for drinking on school grounds. Her eyes darken to black as she lets herself get worked up about the plight of the average mutant, mild anger beginning to filter into the air around her.

The girl shakes her head when Bruce comes back around and speaks to the yellow-eyed man, "No, he's not scaring me." She leans up on the bar again, "Is he right, though? Can people get hurt around here just because they look a little different?" She huffs a little, "I would think that people like the X-Men would be here to stop things like that." Maybe that's what Magneto, Dingo, and Envy do? They protect the people that the X-Men and people like them can't really get to when they're needed.

When the old guy begins having a go at him, Cloud turns to grin at him while absorbing from the diamond in his pocket, his body, clothes and hair take on a diamond-like quality, "Trust me, i'm as different as they come", he stands up when his sister does, "Star, don't be naive, this Dingo guy allines himself with Magneto, a mutant terrorest, he's attacked me before, he is not innocent", fucking hell, they shouldn't have come here.

Bruce shakes his head at the two. "The X-Men? Heard of them before. I hear they're a bit like the Avengers, more concerned with politics than with the people who're actually suffering. Probably sit back in some big expensive house and sip martinis all day while the rest of us go about our lives in the streets. Come out once in a while and try to shut down Magneto and the like for doing something to help fix the world." And frowns at Cloud, "No. Magneto's no terrorist. Believe that and you're as brainwashed as the rest of 'em. And if you got attacked by him it was for good reason, and that's not something you should brag about here.

"You just have to show off, don't you, Cloud?" Star rolls her eyes at her brother again and shakes her head, "And what if one of these people that attacks mutants just because were in here? You'd probably be first target because of that little trick." She sets her glass down and folds her arms over her chest, "Yeah, and you're the guy that went with some freaky bondage queen a few months ago and vanished for a month." So his judgement is in question about pretty much everything.

She looks over at Bruce and grimaces faintly at his guess about where the X-Men hang out, but doesn't say anything about the subject. His advice not to brag about being attacked by either Dingo or Magneto ha her sticking her tongue out at her brother in a very mature move, "See? Just because they tell us something at school doesn't make it true." Beat, "You've got to go out and listen to people in the city, too!"

And she's not too thrilled with the school, anyway, for losing him twice and letting him get into so much trouble since he left Boston.

"Star, it's not just the school, it's a fact, they guy kills people, yeah mutants deserve equal rights, but using your powers to kill isn't the right way to do it, everyone knows that Magneto and anyone assocated with him i bad news", Cloud turns to look at Bruce, "Magneto attacked me cos i told him to fuck off, that doesn't warrent an attack", if one of these mutant killers came in, Cloud is cirtain he's be fine, still he wants his sister out, "Come'on, we're going back".

Bruce picks up a couple glasses and dries them out with a rag. He frowns at Cloud, thinking about the trick he just did. "Yeah I'd be extra careful doing that trick. Mutant they just picked up had some sort of crystal power. Guess they thought she was too dangerous to be out on the streets." He shrugs and looks over at Star. "They teach you in school that Magneto's the bad guy? Just like a couple hundred years ago they taught kids that slavery was just a fact of life. Don't listen to everything they say. Tends to be lies." He just quirks a brow at the bondage comment.

Lil wanders past to bring a few drinks to a girl down the bar. She hesitates for a moment and leans past Bruce. "Don't let him corrupt you, you seem like good kids. Knowing Bruce he'd have you fighting in his little war for mutant freedom. Just enjoy yer Cokes and go home." She offers a quick smile and goes on her way, leaving Bruce to roll his eyes.

Bruce laughs at Cloud when he tells his story. "You thought that was a good idea? You blame a lion for doing his duty if an antelope walks up to him and spits in his face? No. Not the human's place to try and take out the superior race. Not the weak's place to stand up to the strong. Magneto's fighting for YOUR future too. You could show him some respect, little punk."

Star scowls at her brother, "Maybe he's just defending himself. You ever think about that? It's not illegal to protect yourself, you know." She rolls her eyes and reaches up to try to poke Cloud in the chest, "And everyone calls you a dumb jock. Think I should believe them about you, too?" Not that he isn't a dumb jock, but still… It's the principal of the matter. She grimaces at the comment about slavery being taught as a fact of life, but finally falls silent. At least for a minute.

Her eyes focus on Lil when she stops to speak and the girl blushes, "I can think for myself." Or so she'd like everyone to believe, anyway, "Nobody's going to corrupt me on anything." She does reach for her glass, though, and take a quick sip before she once more looks to Bruce, "So you're fighting for mutant rights?" She sounds like she's genuinly interested in his answer.

Cloud tries to return to his natural state but is too stressed out to do so, which just pisses him off more, "My school didn't tell me he was a bad guy, i got that by myself", he flashes Lil a smile as she walks past and is momentarily distracted before he comes to his senses again, "She's right, just drink your drink and lets go, and i am a dumb jock and proud of it sis", his fist clench when he's called a "punk", "Respect is earnt, what you call respect is actully fear, and i'm not saying he's wrong, he's just going the wrong way about it".

Bruce smirks a bit as the two banter. He wanders down the bar to fill a couple more drinks and comes back to the two after a few minutes. "Me? Fight for mutant rights?" He averts his gaze and glances around the bar, offering a wink to the man with yellow eyes. "I'm just a simple bartender, miss. Know what I hear and know what I believe. And I believe that without folks like Dingo and Magneto, folks like you and me would be in a camp with numbers etched on our arms." He shrugs at Cloud. "Wrong way? Is there a wrong way to survive? A wrong way to protect your own people? You try your way and see how long it takes you to end up locked in a cage with wires and needles sticking out of you. Bet you'd be wishing Magneto'd come and trash the place then, eh?"

"And you're not much better than the school when it comes to knowing what's going on." Star doesn't sound too happy with her brother right now, a thick fog of irritation handing around her as she glowers at him and sips at her drink, "If you'd just listen to me every once in a while, you might not end up in so much trouble all the time." Not that he's got that great a record for staying out of trouble, but she still thinks that she knows better than he does.

She is older, after all.

She rolls her eyes at his insistance that what the bartender calls respect is fear instead, "You know… If you'd just shut up every once in a while, Cloud, you might learn something from people." The girl huffs again, once more irritated that her 'baby brother' insists on thinking for himself.

The petite girl sighs and nods, "Well, it's not like there's much of anything I could do to help fight for our rights or anything…" She can barely take care of herself, though she is learning how to fight. Doesn't mean she's any good at it yet, though.

"Magneto isn't just serviving, he is doing just as much damage to mutants than he is helping", Cloud winces when Bruce talks about being locked up and puts a hand to the scars on his chest, "There are better ways to do things", he glares at his sister, "I might be a dumb jock, but at least i can see whats infront of me, you think headed idiot!", theres a crackle of electricity around his palms, so he walks over to the otherside of the bar to calm down, "Can i get a beer please?", he asks Lil giving her a smile.

Bruce just narrows his eyes and looks back and forth as the two children fight. He chuckles softly and waits patiently for a few moments while the finish their little tiff. He just shrugs at Cloud as the boy walks away and turns back to Star. "You two remind me of my sister and I…Except we usually argued over who had to do dishes or who ate the last of the vegemite…" He shakes his head, "Anyway, you don't need any kind of amazing power to help people. As long as you know what to do and when to do it. This bar was attacked by a troop of guys with guns a few months back. Shot up the whole bar. Something about killing mutants to get into a special group. Each of us was worth points." He shakes his head. "Whatever you can do, I'm sure it can be useful. What…Can you do, by the way?"

Lil glances at the boy as he asks her for a beer. She narrows her eyes and shakes her head before turning around and grabbing a bottle out of the fridge. She pops it open and sits a root beer in front of him.

Star huffs quietly, wincing in sympathy when she sees Cloud's hand go to the scars on his chest and she shakes her head, lowering her voice a little as he moves away, "I just don't want him to get hurt again." She rolls her eyes when he calls her an idiot, but doesn't call him on it. She still feels a little guilty for having gotten him in trouble with the the headmasters at school, after all. She shakes her head when he moves to the other side of the bar and promptly begins to ignore him.

She wrinkles her nose and nods, "Well… Before we came to New York, that's what we used to fight about. His life would be so much easier if he'd just listen to me when I tell him what to do…" The girl sets her glass down and looks interested again, "Really?"

Then comes mention of the bar getting shot up and she winces, giving a little shudder at the thought of being caught in that, "Well that's just stupid! My dad likes to watch old videos of Red Skelton and there's this bit about 'pedestrian polo'. That's just some stupid joke, though…" She shrugs at the question about what she can do; she hasn't even told Cloud that yet… "I can't control it yet or anything, but apparently I can manipulate people's emotions using pheromones, or something." And now embarrassment lingers in the air about her after that admission. Seems she still isn't sure what to think about a power like that…

Cloud just looks at the root beer, "Errrm sorry, i ment an alcaholic beer, a root beer really isn't gonna help", he pulls of his diamond-like hat an runs a hand though his hair, making sure to ignore his sister.

Bruce nods. "Yeah well. Life gets complicated, especially when people want you dead for being born the way you were born." He shakes his head and poors another coke for the girl. He sits down the glass and narrows his eyes at her, looking closely at Star with a suspicious look. "Control people's emotions, eh?" That sounds like what happened to him at Stark Towers the other day. "So uh, never heard of Dingo before, eh? Heard he got into a fight with Human Torch the other day. You hear about that one at least?" He watches her expression closely.

Lil crosses her arms and gives Cloud a disbelieving look. She taps her foot a few times and turns to pour a drink for him. She sits down the glass of beer but keeps hold on it. "ID?"

The girl winces again, but just nods, glancing over at Cloud when he protests the lack of alcohol in his beer, but not about to tattle on him for trying to get booze. The question gets another shrug and a little tilt of her head for just a moment, "That's what they tell me, anyway." Her nostrils widen slightly and she looks up at Bruce with confusion in her eyes, "Like I said, I can't control it. My friends have all just seemed to mirror my moods for a while now…" She shrugs again at the mention of Dingo, "Well, yeah. I mean, I've heard of him, but I've never met him before." Beat, "I did meet this jerk that this guy I go to school with called Sabertooth, though. He just about ripped my arm off before Robyn saved me." Before Robyn broke her fall when Sabertooth threw her at him. She frowns in thought for a moment, "I think I might have. Some of the people at school were talking about it, if I remember right."

Cloud pulls out his brother Jasper's ID, they look very similar other than the bleached blond hair, "Here you go", better than a fake as far a he's conserned, he holds out a hand to wait for the beer.

Lil looks from the ID to Cloud and back again a few times. She holds it up and narrows her eyes before smirking and turning around to run it through the ID scanner. She seems a little surprised to see that it reads as a real lisence and sighs before turning around and giving it back to the boy. "There ya go, Jasper." She passes him the beer and picks up the root beer for herself.

Bruce taps his fingers on the counter as he listens to the girl talk. "Sabertooth." He nods. He's heard of the man, "Never met him. Heard mixed things about him." And he hasn't heard of this Robyn person before. "Robyn? One of yer classmates? You don't go to that Barnes Academy, do ya? bad news, they are." He shakes his head disapprovingly. "And being able to control other people's feelings? Mighty helpful. I mean, people shoot up the bar, you could scare them off. Or you could calm em down, let the rest of us knock em out. Could save a lot of lives, that power."

"Well he sure didn't like me too much. I just tried to run the other direction and he grabbed me." Running might have been Star's mistake there, though. She nods to the question about Robyn, "Yeah, but no. We don't go to Barnes." She gives the bartender an uncertain look, "You really think so? It didn't really seem to help all that much when those jerks in the freaky masks and stuff grabbed me a few months ago." She shudders at the memory.

Sounds like this girl might just be a magnet for trouble…

Cloud grins and takes the beer, "Thanks very much Lil", he takes a sip and watches her work, "So where you from?", damn having to talk, usually all he need is a football uniform.

Bruce seems interested now. "You go to a school…Where many of the students have abilities? Someone mentioned that once." What did Kage call it…"Xanadoos? Something like that…Kids are being trained up for something there." He nods. Xanadoos sounds right to him. "Well look, you learn how to use your powers correctly and maybe you'll be able to take them out next time they come for you. Just don't believe everything you hear at that school." He frowns slightly. "Who took you and why?" Might be connected with the shootings.

Lil takes a swig of her root beer and gives the boy a condescending look. "Mutant Town" She walks out from behind the bar to collect glasses and toss out bottles on the tables.

"Xavier's." She shakes her head and corrects him, "It's, uh… It's just a boarding school. Cloud had some problems at home and they gave Mom and Dad a call and offered me a spot for this semester." It's not exactly how it happened, but Star's been warned not to tell anyone about the school. Even though she's not really sure what the big deal is if she tells another mutant. Oh well. She's not going to break the rules anymore than she's already done tonight.. The question as to who did the kidnapping gets a shrug, "I'm not really sure. Some cult, or something. I guess it had something to do with what I can do." She looks down into her coke and shrugs again, "I didn't even know I was a mutant at the time. I thought that was just Cloud; that I wasn't special like he is."

Bruce nods as he listens. "Right, Xavier's. Heard it weren't just a normal school, but if you say so." He shrugs. "I mean, I can understand why they wouldn't want something like that to get out. They attack the bar because mutants drink here. But a place where mutant kids are taught to use their abilities? They'd snipe that down in a second." He watches Lil as she wanders around the room. "Yeah well seems they have some way of finding us. Some special way to know who's someone to shoot and who's someone to let be. Guess we're all worth points or something‘. That is…If it's the same blokes."

Star nods, shooting a look over at her brother; worry filling the air around her and her eyes fade to slate gray at the thought of someone shooting up the school just because it's a place where a bunch of mutant kids go to learn how to not hurt people with their powers, "Yeah. If people thought the school was something special for a bunch of mutant kids…" That just doesn't even bear thinking about. She grimaces, "Well, a couple of days before they grabbed me, I'd gone to this party with a bunch of other people. All I really remember about it is that it was absolutely amazing and I felt like I was a part of something that was more than just me." She winces at that, "It sounds stupid when I say it out loud, but it was… Wow." She'd like to feel like that again.

Bruce seems generally interested in what the girl has to say, but he becomes distracted when he sees a man walk into the bar. He glances down at his watch and makes an annoyed face. "Shoot. My shift's up. Love to stay and chat, miss, but I've gotto go meet…A guy…About…A thing." That doesn't sound too suspicious. "Tell ya what, yer cokes and his beer are on me, righto?" He turns and puts a twenty into the register and hands the girl a receipt. "Don't let Lil double bill ya. And have a good night, ok? Come back any time…" He glances down the bar at Cloud, "You can leave Mr. Moody at home, though." He offers a quick smile, grabs his hat off a hook above the register, and stats off toward the front entrance.

Star offers the bartender, and her apparent new friend, a bright smile and a nod, "Oh sure." That's not to say she's not disappointed that he's leaving, but… At least she got a couple of free cokes out of it? "Thanks. I'll do that." She shoots a glare at her brother, "And I'll leave him back at the school for sure." She can take transit to get to the city, after all, right? She offers a little wave as he heads out the door, "It was good talking to you."

~ Fin ~

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