2010-09-13: Territory


Bruce_icon.jpg Kalindi_icon.jpg

Summary: Bruce does not look kindly upon Kalindi encroaching on his territory.

Log Title: Territory

Rating: G

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.


A glimmer can be seen in the alleyway. The girl with the gold jewellery stands next to what looks like a homeless man. She seems to be in conversation with him, soft whispers, "…and I know you wish you were better. And you could be, if you just trust in me." The girl smiles, her accent a mix between something demonic and the more familiar Hindi before she continues, "For strength, what would you be willing to sacrifice? You have called me here, and here I am. But I am not a gifter, I am a bargainer."
"Anything," pronounces the homeless man, weakly.
"Excellent." The girl pulls her backpack off her back to a dramatic 'CLANK!' as it hits the ground heavily. She leans over it and opens it up.

One of the doors to the alley opens up and spills golden light into the darkness for a few moments. Quiet voices can be heard coming from within before a man in blue jeans and a brown coat steps out and shuts the door. He tips down his Akubra and glances around, readjusting a small paper bag under his arm. The man walks a short ways down the alley and raps on the side of a box, dropping the bag and glancing around. A young girl peeks out from behind the cardboard and grabs the bag, offering a thanks and pulling out the sandwich inside.
Bruce smiles at the girl and prepares to head off. "No prob, deary. But you need to get someplace warm before the autumn hits. I'm tellin' ya. Magneto helped build that mutant shelter, I'm sure it's safe." He peers down the alley and sees a couple of people moving around. The loud clank of a backpack seems to catch the man's attention. "Hey, duck down. Don't move until I call the all clear, eh? Might be more o' them shooters." He starts down toward Kalindi in a fast walk, approaching the woman rather purposefully.

The gold from Kali's backpack seems to come alive as she touches it, streaming out in threads and strands as she produces a sheet of paper and a knife. She spins around, though, a strand of gold clasping it around her wrist as she sees someone coming. It's dark, and she can't tell who it is from what is essentially a silhouette, "Who's there? What do you want?"

Bruce doesn't say anything as he approaches, his cowboy boots clicking loudly as he moved down the alley. The man narrows his eyes in the gloom, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a flashlight. He holds it up next to his face and clicks it on, shining it first in the homeless man's face and then in Kalindi's. "A sheila?" He clicks off the flashlight, plunging the alley into darkness once more. "What're you two doing here? This part of the city's under my protection." His accent is strongly Australian. If the man has met Kalindi before, he seems not to recall.
The homeless man reacts in an odd manner when Bruce shows up. He seems both excited and frightened, whispering to Kalindi, "That's Dingo. He watches over the mutants here."

The Indian girl listens to the homeless man as he speaks, nodding slowly. "I have met him once," she notes. Kalindi is incapable of lying, so sometimes that's to the advantage of anyone questioning her. "We are forming a contract. We will help each other in ways, in what each of us deems a fair exchange." The gold lines whip around her arm, forming into jewellery and then unforming, all still anchored down to her backpack.

Bruce alters his posture slightly to one of slight annoyance. "Have we met? I don't remember you." He sees the glint of the gold and frowns. "What was that? Did you just make jewelry? I thought Iron Man tossed you in jail." He's thinking of the other one, the Crystallokinetic. Bruce shakes his head. "Never mind that. What kind of contract are you making back here? The people back here get everything they need. I don't take kindly to others muscling in on my territory."

"Briefly. And… no, I have never gone to jail." Kalindi pauses, and feels compelled to qualify that to make it more honest, "Well, I have visited a jail, but I have not…" She makes gestures with her hands to try and symbolize one object going into another and then shakes her head, a little bit exasperated. "I gave him the option to contact me, and then he did. I met with him here, because I think it is where he lives?"
The girl glances back to the homeless man for confirmation, and he offers a subtle nod, not really wanting to get into this. Dingo and Kali? He doesn't want to screw around with that!
"The nature of the contract should not present any relevance to you," notes Kalindi, putting her hands on her hips.

Bruce puts his hands on his own hips, unintentionally mimmicing the woman. He shakes his head and makes a "Tsk tsk" noise at the man. "Horrace, Horrace. Don't I do a good enough job fer ya? You gotta pull what's 'er face here into our alley ways so she can do who knows what to who knows who?" He shakes his head again. "Listen lady, there guys're in my territory. They're under my protection. Don't need no contracts. And speakin' of, I'm pretty sure what's on that paper is of relevance to me, seein' as yer in my alley." He waves around the darkness. "Dingos tend to be very territorial."

Kalindi looks over to the homeless man and hisses at him, now that she sees Bruce is on a first name basis. She is upset by this. "/You/ call /me/ here when it is someone else's land? Be considerate!" The man flinches a little ways back from the girl, and Kalindi glances over to Bruce and says sweetly, "Fine, let me ask Horrace to let you know." She shoots a look towards him, and as her temper flare up so do the cues to her demonic nature. Her eyes begin to glow an eerie black, somehow making them more visible by virtue of being even darker than the surrounding area.
Horrace takes that as a cue to respond, "Uh, well, Dingo… I had heard about her. And you know I'm not doing so well, feeling sick. She says she can help me find a way to feel stronger. More youthful. So I…" he trails off.
"So," says Kalindi, "he called me here. And he has a price to pay, of course. Servitude, once my part is repaid." She looks at the contract and shrugs, "But I can tear it. It does not matter that much to me.

Bruce crosses his arms and taps his foot a few times, pondering for a moment as he sees both how Kalindi reacts to the situation and how Horrace reacts to the woman. Bruce is aware of Horrace's condition, and he knows that even the mutant shelter cannot do much to help the man at this point. "I see." He thinks for a moment longer. "Well Horrace, if you think this woman can help you. I do have a couple of requests, however. One: Don't make him do anything that'll hurt him. Two: Don't make him do anything that'll endanger Mutant Town or the people in my territory. Three: If I start to hear too many of the people in this area are in your debt, I'll come huntin' ya down. Got it?"

Kalindi listens to the request and then shrugs. "One: I do not force people to hurt themselves. If they hurt themselves, it's because they are doing things wrong, even though I've explained it /so many times/." She rolls her eyes as they become more white again. She probably had a conflict with one of her injured servants earlier. "Two: I like Mutant Town. I have no intentions of doing it harm. And three: If too many of the people in this area decide to contact me, that is not something I feel the need to keep track of. They rarely have anything interesting to offer, anyways. So with these caveats, then we will have understanding?"

Bruce rubs his chin for a moment and looks over at Horrace with mild concern. "If you can really do something to help him out…Well that's about the only think I can't protect him from. What's killin' 'im on the inside. If he really wants that then I'll have no problems with it. Just appreciate it if ya tell me in advance when you call strange people to places like this, right Horrace?" He shoots the man an unhappy look and shrugs. "Fine. Do what ya want."

"I am not so strange, am I?" queries Kalindi, tilting her head, looking between the two men and shrugging. The girl walks back over to Horrace and says, kneeling over him with the contract, "Just prick your finger and touch it to the page, and your contract will be complete," leaving the knife and the paper for him to mull over and make a decision. Not that it's much of a decision when he's doing as poorly as he is.

Bruce shrugs and fishes around in his coat for a moment before pulling out a cigar and a match, lighting the cigar and taking a few puffs. "Strange 'round here. As in haven't seen ya before. Though you said you'd met me…So maybe I have, eh?" Bruce works at a bar. He tends to meet new people every day and it's a bit difficult to keep track of all of them. "Also…Don't know how normal blood contracts are. Or leavin' people with golden items without flinchin'. What kind o' mutant are you, anyway?"

"What kind of mutant? What do you mean?" says Kalindi, tilting her head slightly, before she notes, "I am a gold manipulator, if that is what you are asking, and I have ties to mystic things." This isn't really lying, since she's not admitting to being a mutant. Just stating her abilities. She looks back to Horrace who is still deciding and admits, "Yes, okay, the blood contracts are maybe strange."

Bruce quirks a brow and puffs the cigar a bit more, the ember casting a soft glow on his face. "Gold manipulator, eh?" He thinks for a moment. "Yeah that other one can make diamonds or something. Got arrested, can't find her. Watch out for the cops around here. They'll arrest you just fer walkin' around it seems. Tried to get me a few times." It appears that Bruce does not feel that his exploits as Dingo merrit the police wanting to capture him so badly. "Yeah the blood thing's a bit creepy. But who knows. Not into the whole hocus pocus thinger." He wiggles his fingers as if to simulate magic.

Kalindi chuckles at the gesture and says, "Magic, it is so complicated, it gives me such a headache to think about." She shrugs and adds, "Do not worry about your friend. The years of contract servitude only count five, and he is only required to serve them if I give him the solution. But I think I will." In the background, Kalindi looks as Horrace cuts his finger with the blade, watching and waiting to see if he presses his finger against the page.

Bruce pulls the cigar out of his mouth and ashes on the ground, seeming to remember something suddenly. He turns back and calls over his shoulder, "Oy Clair, safe to move about if you was gonna." But it seems the girl farther back in the alley has no intention of moving tonight. Bruce shrugs and turns back to Kalindi. "Well what if he breaks the deal? Like if he runs away or whatever, then what?"

"It usually depends on the person. If he breaks his deal and walks out, I will just take back my part. If he tried to hurt or threaten me in some way, then I might hit him in the face, too, maybe very hard," says Kalindi, tilting her head slightly. "Is that unreasonable?" This question seems to be asked genuinely. She's never sure what people think is reasonable. The homeless man eventually does press his finger to the page, and Kalindi smiles, walking over to him and taking the contract and blade from his hands.

Bruce grinds his foot on the ashes he dropped on the ground, seeming confused by Kalindi's seemingly well reasoned way of doing business. "I suppose that sounds reasonable. But if Horrace there gives you any trouble you let me know about it and I'll confront him meself. He made that decision, he's stayin' with it. Don't want him makin' deals with folks, bringin' em to my spot, and pissin' em off."

"Okay. So if he breaks his deal, I will bring him to you and take back my part. If he tries to harm me or threaten me, then I will make him cry mercy and bring him to you. Yes? This is good?" She folds up the contract and tosses it into the back, the gold inside shifts to seemingly slurp it up and raise itself into the air so Kali can put the pack back on. Another motion, and her jewellery reforms into a disc, which she tosses onto the ground and steps on. "Any more concerns before I go? I do not like making a habit of going into other people's places and upsetting things. I prefer having a low number of enemies."

Bruce nods. "Sounds good to me. You seem reasonable enough." He offers a quick smile and then sends a weary glance in Horrace's direction. "Naw, I don't need anythin, you can go off and…Do whatever it is that you do. If you need me, look for me at the bar called Nowhere. If I'm not there, the bartender with blue hair will know how to find me, righto?"

"Well, I was going to go home and use Wikipedia and then go to sleep. It is very late for me to be up," says Kalindi, frowning slightly as she considers the time. She shrugs and says, "A bar named Nowhere? I will do my best to remember that." She mentally inscribes it onto her disc, just to make sure she has a reminder to note it down. "Enjoy doing the things you do as well." With those words, the gold manipulator flies off on her disc.

Bruce watches the girl as she flies off and lets out a sigh, shaking his head at Horrace before turning back and walking down the alley. He'll probably go on a few rounds through the city before turning in for the night.

~ Fin ~

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