2010-03-13: Hunting Pigeons


Felix_icon.jpg Mikhail_icon.jpg

Summary: Felix the Puma wants fresh pigeon for dinner, but on the way he's attacked by Mikhail. After a short spat, he recruits the feral boy as a hunting partner.

Date: March 13, 2010

Log Title Hunting Pigeons

Rating: R

NYC - Central Park

Central Park is a large public park in upper Manhattan, largest areas of green with people reading, having a picnic, or playing Frisbee. Walking paths can be found all around the park. In-between the large area's of grass, the park is shadier with many trees. A large road circles the park where joggers, bicyclists, and inline skaters are commonly found.

There's a vague drizzle of cold rain dampening Central Park today, and Felix Cheshire has run out of food. Not wanting to eat human food again (three meals in a row bleah) he's come to one of the places where his favorite easy, stupid prey lives: Central Park. He's in his most-human shape, he has a bag of popcorn in hand, and he's lurking about looking for a flock of that most infamous Central Park denizen, the Flying Rat of the City, the Pigeon. Because they were brought here in the first place to be used as food, after all. It's a historical fact!

Mikhail is feeling restless, last night he was pulled out mid-battle by Christopher, he got all revved up and hasn't managed to let go, so he's breaking the rules again and has headed to the place where the last dager they all faced origanated, Central park. Hes dressed in dark grey jeans, a dark green t-shirt, a light brown jacket with two darker brown strips on the elbows and shoulders, a wood bead necklace (like the ones surfers wear), white and green sneakers and his dirty blond hair is wet and hanging in his eyes, he's just wandering at the moment by a strange scent stops him, partly animal and partly… Jono!, he lets out a growl and runs full pelt at the source of the scent.

Felix has spotted a flock of the little flying meals on wings, and is about to scatter popcorn… he's quite focused, if he had a tail it would be twitching, and he's making an odd sort of shiver with his jaw, like he was preparing to bite something. Thus, he doesn't notice the danger… of course, as he's wearing a big old dark green duster coat, dark colored cargo pants of a style no emo-styled brit would consider, has blond hair not black, and (from the right angle) has an entire human face (re: earlier observation of jaw) he's probably NOT Jon Starsmore, Marauder, nor even Jono Starsmore, X-Man. However, he IS wearing the tee-shirt he stole from Jon a few days earlier. Because he likes the smell of it, and it's really good quality fabric, not quite cotton, not quite silk, and it looks BETTER on him than it did on Jon, so obviously it was meant to be his.
None of which observation changes the fact that he won't be fully prepared for whatever tackle Mikhail administers.

Mikhail does notice that the figure in front of him isn't Jono but it could be a trick, just as he begins considering stopping his mind awitches to the scent of the puma, dangerous animal, a threat, he crouches slightly and picks up speed and dives to tackle Felix, the only warning he gives is a deep growl.

The popcorn goes flying. So do the pigeons, bless their well-trained little pigeon hearts, we'll get back to you darlings.
Bullet time! Or should that be "comic book time" - anyway. Frame one: Felix hears the growl and starts to turn, as Mikhail's charging body strikes him from behind. Frame two: Felix's face is no longer human, nor are his hands. They're covered in a thick amber, brown and white pelt of fur, and sharp teeth show in his muzzle as he hisses … his ears are BACK and flat against his head, his tail (where did that come from?) whipping around to help him turn to face this attack. Frame three: the ground rises up to meet them. Not quite set, Felix's still-human-shaped foot in its athletic shoe leaves a gouge in the sodden turf as he scrabbles unsuccessfully to keep from going down on his back under the attacking mutant feralboy. His own noise is somewhere between a human scream of rage and a lion's roar: the classic scream of a puma.
On the ground, he prepares to open-hand-slap this attacker in the face repeatedly, with claws extended so they can make little short lines of retribution.
(That's the "whapwhapwhap" that cats do when someone is in their face.)

Mikhail takes the slaps aiming a hard punch at Felix's stomach, he is snarling like a wild animal, hes thinking like one too.

YOWL! This is some kind of pitbull isn't it?! Felix leaves several bleeding scratches across Mikhail's face, but since the feralboy is being such an animal at the moment, attacking his face and eyes isn't … uhoh, that punch… Felix vanishes from the chest down. Mikhail is now sitting on the ground.
The remaining part of Felix "sits up" as if he were scooting back and away and kneeling to face the mutant. He hisses, then recovers his composure, and the puma-face can still talk, in a growly voice. "Who the hell are you and why were you trying to hump me there? I never do that on a first date."

Mikhail blinks in confusion when half of his opponant disappers and gulps when the remainder sits up, he's never seen anything like that, thats enough to make him see sense, when he asks him who he is, he stutters, "I…I…I'm Mikhail and i'm not trying to hump you, you have to make sure the other person wants to do it aswell, i'm sure of that, thats what Dr. Parker-Mayfair told me".

The rest of Felix reappears under him exactly where one would expect it to be: crouched in a ready position, long puma tail extending out behind him and lashing with irritation. His ears are still flat, but not as tightly against the top of his head as they were a moment ago.
"Why did you jump me then?"
He tries not to smirk about the "consenting to it" bit. Once again, the psychological attack rules! Or at least, gets the mark off-guard.

Mikhail relaxes slightly when the rest of Felix re-appears, but only slightly, "You smell like Jono and Jono is bad now, so i attacked, but by the time i realised you wern't him i caught the scent of the animal part of you, i couldn't help it, it's a reflex", he's too shock to not answer every question put to him.

Felix sniffs. All he smells is himself and the teeshirt and that weird pong off the animal-boy that smells like scorpion. And the park and the pigeons and the spilled popcorn. Oh! Teeshirt.
"Jono? You mean that guy with the explosion where his chest is supposed to be? Yeah, I took his shirt. He was hassling me."
He was also hassling other people but Felix doesn't deign to mention them; they were only bit players in the lovely drama that is his life.
"So why are you here? You can't be just wandering around looking to attack someone who can blow your head off with his lungs."

Mikhail fists tighten, "I was in a fight with him yesterday but one of my teachers pulled me away from the fight before i got it out of my system, so i came to the city to blow off some steam, i wasn't planning to attack anyone", then something in what that Felix says registers, "Why did you take his shirt?".

Felix stands and shrugs his coat back into position, while slowly becoming more human-appearing, tail vanishing and ears returning to the sides of his head, until he looks as human as Mikhail does. Maybe more.
"I told you already. He was hassling me, so I took it. It's a warning."
He looks at the pigeon-bereft place with the popcorn scattering, slowly going all mooshy.
"Well you can make it up to me for the unwarranted attack. Want to know how?"

Mikhail stands up and realises he's bleeding, but the scratches are pretty much gone, they were healing while Felix questioned him, just as he notices the finish healing, "Urrm, ok, what do you want me to do?", this is weird, he's not getting any fear from this guy, this guy seems different from other people hes met.

The were-puma grins a wide, very slightly fangy grin. "Nothing you won't enjoy as much as I do. Y'see, I get bored with Lean Cuisine, and it just doesn't satisfy my hunting instincts. So I _was_ trying to catch some pigeons for dinner. But you scared them away. So I want you to help me catch some different ones. You up to it?"
This is probably certainly illegal but then again, there are SO MANY pigeons that they're rather a nuisance, so as far as Felix is concerned he's doing a public service … and getting a free dinner.

Weird as it may sound, Mikhail actully grins, he need to hunt something, it sounds fun, for both sides of his nature, "I'm in, pigeons?, no problem".

Felix bounces a bit on his feet. "Great! So … we don't have bait now. They fly away if you don't catch their attention with something first. So … have you ever caught one before? I have, but it takes waiting for them to be off-guard and grabbing them before they know it."

Mikhail shakes his head, "Nope, but i've caught squirrils, deer and wolves a couple of times, but it shouldn't be too hard, i can jump really high", hes not sure where Felix is going with this but he's too excited to be suspisous.

Note regarding the hunting of pigeons and other game in Central Park: "http://forums.manhattanbirdclub.com/post?id=1849652" says, don't.

Felix says a Montgomery Burns "eeeexxcelent!" and sets out towards the lawns. The area where (in better weather) the myriad of old men play chess, the mothers take their babies out for strolls, the runners run around like peripatetic lemmings in pursuit of the evanescent goal of .5 seconds off their marathon time.
"OK, first we're looking for a flock," he says as he leads the feral guy along. "At least 20 but preferably a couple hundred. Then … do you want some too?"

Mikhail nods following Felix to show he understands, "Urrm, yeah sure, if thats ok", he stops and closes his eyes he's been in the city before so he knows what pigeons smell like, he searches for a strong pigeon scent, hmmm, ah!, over there, "There are a large group of them in that diretion", he points north/east.

"Flock, birds group in flocks," Felix says absently. "Flock of birds, herd of sheep, crowd of people. Although crowd of sheep and herd of people might be more accurate."
He starts a fast stride to the northeast, slowing as he sees the white spread of the flock as they're feeding off the bugs and worms and grass-seed on the greensward.
"Now, I don't see any green-jacketed types so the ASPCA busybodies aren't here… We don't have any nets, but we don't really want to catch enough to supply a restaurant, just enough to supply ourselves. I can eat three, you look like you could manage at least three. Without bait, I'm thinking, we just sorta edge closer to them and then wait for them to get used to us and come closer. No sudden moves. Once they trust us, BAM, we grab them."
Is he talking about pigeons? And which sense of the word?

Mikhail doesn't get that there could be a double meaning to Felix's word, as much as he's adapted since leaving Romania, he is still naive in some ways, he nods, "Easy", he stalks forwards, slowly and silently, he's in preditor mode now.

Felix just grins again, and starts a similar stalking movement towards a different part of the flock. Slow, ambling, cow-like, not purposeful at all except that it's in the direction of the higher concentration. The birds flutter back a bit as each of the hunters get close, but these are New York City pigeons, not wild pigeons that truly belong here. They flutter and gradually move their way back towards the abandoned feeding places. Felix is facing Mikhail, and that grin is still on his face as he watches (and takes pointers in stalking technique) while the birds gather around him … almost time.

Mikhail stops when he's just to the left of the centre of the flock, his eyes are now closed and he is barely breathing, he's just waiting for a signal.
The birds are gathered close enough. Felix reaches forward, his paw … er, that's a hand, not a paw, don't get too excited yet, Mr. Cheshire.

Felix reaches forward with one hand, nods slightly to Mikhail, and GRABS, his sudden grip breaking the neck of the trusting bird.
PIGEON EXPLOSION! The movement startles the flock and they erupt almost as one. The cat comes back as Felix leaps into the air, half puma and half human again, claws extended and paws lashing out to knock down two, three more birds before the flock escapes into the sky, leaving behind a cloud of drifting feathers, and a cheshire-grinning Felix on the ground in a crouch, RAPIDLY shifting back to human again. He looks over to see what Mik was able to get.

At the nod from Felix, Mikhail grins widly bareing his fangs, then he attacks, he grabs one just as it takes off, snaps it's neck and drops it, then he's jumping though the air repeating the process, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,6 ,7, so overall thats 8 so far, then he jumps one last time aiming to scratch as many as he can, they'll drop to the ground in a matter of seconds, now he's just standing there grinning, man! he enjoyed that.

Felix stares. Woah. This one's GOOD. Rather than letting him take the heat (and a quick glance towards the few people at the park tables shows that there are outraged ecofreakies about to dial 3-1-1 on behalf of the poor delicious birdies) Felix decides that it's probably safer to gather up the prey and take it, and his new best friend and future hunting teacher, to someplace SAFE.
"Quick, gather 'em up, we gotta go!" Felix is collecting birds quickly, stuffing them into pockets on his duster. As soon as Mikhail has his all ready…

Mikhail is still grinning when he starts gathering up birds, he's been repressing his preditory side of late, so that felt really good, he stuffs some birds into his pockets and holds out a hand a couple of times to catch one the surcomes to the poison, once hes got all he can carry he nods at Felix, "I'm done".

In the now-not-so-distance, two of the burlier bicycle-riding (IN THIS WEATHER!) Friends of Mother Nature are now pelting their way towards the two hunters. Pigeons, being pigeons, are unconcernedly beginning to circle back, landing one by one on the edges of where the flock was positioned on the ground, but Felix picks up one more that Mikhail missed (fell behind him) and then clasps a hand on the mutant's shoulder.
"This may be a bit confusing. Just relax."

And the world vanishes for a very very brief moment, replaced by a blank, neither-light-nor-dark, neither-hot-nor-cold, neutral feeling place, and then darkness around them.

=Storage Container, Semi-Abandoned Storage Lot, Near the Waterfront

Felix moves and light appears: one of those battery-powered stick-on wall and ceiling lights. They're inside a metal container somewhere. A chair, a cot, some newspapers, a small cabinet-table. Otherwise it's reasonably tidy. It also has a coatrack with some different coats hanging on.

For the second that his sences are thrown into nothingness Mikhail does start to freak out, but he calms down slightly when they return, "W.. What was that?"

"And welcome to my den-away-from-den. The way out is behind that sliding door over there if you feel too claustrophobic. But it's safe here."
Felix is still grinning as he pulls pigeon after pigeon from his jacket. He takes off the jacket and frowns, glaring at the mud all over the back. But … oh well. It's just mud, the jacket can be washed, and he has two more just like it here. So nice that the box just fell off the truck like that. (Truly, it did. All Felix did was open the previously closed door.)
"Pardon me, I have to be more myself to fully enjoy this."
Felix shifts again, and somewhere along the line his clothes are gone and he's a puma. The grin? Still disturbingly the same.

Mikhail doesn't like being locked in but after the hunt he feels strangly calm, even with Felix in his puma form, he's not even responding to the possible threat, maybe it's because the guy is just so weird, oh well whatever, might as well eat, he pulls off his jacket and t-shirt, he likes them and would rather not get them covered in blood, his tattoos are clearly visable and he pulls out a load of feathers and bites into it.

Feeding frenzy! Yeah, nice ink there too. Felix just takes his four birds, stripping the feathers off, and gets busy eating them. Gnar.
The floor of the cargo container has been shored up with a durable pressboard of some sort, and the blood gets onto that, but Felix happily licks it off when he's done. And he's making some sort of almost-growly noise that might be purring except he can't quite pull it off. It goes up and down like purring though.

Yes, it's so nice to entertain guests in one's vacation home!

Mikhail throws whats left of the bird to one side, blood dripping from his mouth, down his chin and onto his chest, he now looks almost exactly like the boy who was brought to the mansion back in december, "So much better", his New York accent has slipped slightly back into his Romanian one, "Thank you", he grabs another bird, pulls off the feathers and bites.

"You're welcome," the puma says, in a rather growl-laden voice. Strange that he can talk while remaining essentially a cat. "Do you want something to drink? I have water here, or wine but it's not very good. I use it more to hide my scent than to drink."
The puma, having somewhat more efficient teeth, has finished his four birds already, though this isn't like a hot-dog eating race or somesuch thing. He watches calmly, not directly staring at Mikhail because he isn't trying to establish dominance or assert a desire for his food.

Mikhail grins and notices that Felix has finished his food, he tosses his last two over to him, "You can have those, i've had enough, and im ok thanks", he exhales slowly and leans back against the wall.

"Thank you," Felix says, and places them on the table. Using his mouth to move them, yet. He starts the all-critical job of bathing the blood off his fur. Because sticky fur is stinky fur.
In between the "lick and wipe" passes, he blinks, and looks at Mikhail. "I never told you a name, did I. You can call me Cheshire."

Mikhail nods, "Hello, Cheshire", he looks at his blood covered hands grinning, he looks up at Felix, "Do you mind if i ask where you're from?"

"California," Felix answers, as he starts on the blood on his chest. "Yourself?"

"Romania, not sure where", Mikhail runs a hand though his hair smering it with blood, "Why do you live here, don't you have a proper home?"

Felix finishes cleaning the blood off his fur.
"I have an apartment in town," he admits, "But I don't take people there unless I know them well, and besides it's easier to eat this kinda thing here. Blood is bad for persian carpets."
He stretches, claws flexing in and out.
"You want me to clean that blood off you? It'll get sticky and your scent will go all weird."

Mikhail shakes his head, "No thanks, i'll keep it for now, until i go back to school, the smell of the blood is comforting", he stretches, "But thanks for the offer".

"Comforting," Felix says, bemused. "Do you want to stay here for a while? Sleep off the meal? I need to," and he stands up, shifting to a fully clothed human in a transition that would make viewers of the Syfy channel yell "FAKE!", "I need to check on stuff outside."

Mikhail nods, "Thank you", he lays down on the floor with his arms crossed under his head and within a couple of seconds the blood covered boy is asleep.

Felix pauses, and sighs. Well, just in case. Moving quietly, he opens the cabinet front of the little 'table' where he placed the two pigeons-for-later. He pulls out a metal bowl, a two liter bottle that once held soda but now holds water, and some 'wet wipe' packets. He places them on the top of the table. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a five-day bus pass with two days left on it, and writes a quick note on the back.
"Use this if you need it. Nearest bus stop is under the big yellow streetlight, you can't miss it. Cheshire."
He puts the pass on the table, grabs a clean duster from the coat rack, and the two delicious pigeons, and smiles again. Gradually, he fades away, leaving only the smile, and then after a moment that too is gone.

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