1963-11-09 - Tourists
Summary: Gamora runs into Akihiro again, who introduces her to Vorpal.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
gamora akihiro vorpal 

It's a cold November night in Harlem, and people are starting to go about in heavy jackets, scarves and hats. There are a number of shops and clubs open after 9pm in this part of Harlem, but one in particular has a curious customer outside. A record store. With the sounds of Motown spilling out onto the street, one green skinned passerby seems very curious, but reluctant to go inside. Luckily there's a hotdog vendor parked one door down, and Gamora is experimenting with different dogs. For anyone paying attention, she's on her fourth hotdog, leaning against the wall just outside the record store, listening and people watching in general.


"Not quite my speed. More of a Hank Williams man myself." Akihiro says, nodding at the record store as he leans against the wall next to Gamora. "Hope you have time to talk now, because I'd like an explination. Not too often I left somebody live after throwing explosives at me. But I'm trying to work on that."

He digs a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket, popping one between his lips. "Want one?" is asked lightly, the pack offered over. "Not sure if they have cigarette wherever you're from. But your friend seemed pretty human."


Keith is one of the lucky few who doesn't have to wear as much protective clothing as other people. Having a coat of fur really does wonders to keep you warm- he could be walking around in shorts and a T-shirt for all he cared, except for the fact that people would -really- stare at him. They stare at him anyways, looking the way he looks, but there's no need to encourage people now, is there? He goes for jeans, a t-shirt and the leather jacket.

The record store is one he's frequented a couple of times. He has been far too busy as of late to add to his collection, but he is determined to see if he can get his paws on that Martha and the Vandellas single. Maybe this was the night.

His stomach grumbles at the smell coming from the hot-dog vendor, and he stops for a moment to get a hot dog that is sold on good faith as meat, but only god knows what exactly is in it.

Those are the best hot-dogs.

As he stops to consume his treat, his eyes focus on two figures leaning against the wall. He thinks he recognizes one of them. The other one is… well. Green.

"Curioser and curioser," he says to himself in between bites, and begins to amble slowly in that direction. Just in case they shoo him off…


Gamora looks at Akihiro and nods, but makes a point of finishing her bite before answering. She seems pretty nonchalant about almost exploding the young man a little bit. Once she swallows, she says, "It was only a small device, no risk to anyone else. And we'd already seen what you can do. We couldn't afford to have anyone follow us. No hard feelings." She shakes her head at the offered cigarette and says, "Oh he's human. I'm also human, as you can see. I'm from New Jersey. We're test pilots. With the Air Force." Like, it's not a bad lie, but it could be better too.

Then she spies Keith and is immediately interested in approaching him. She nods at Akihiro and says, "Just a moment." Then she approaches Keith with the barest hint of a smile, and her free hand outstretched in greeting. Quietly, very discretely, she says, "I didn't think I'd meet a Calurnian on Earth. Well met, <sir>." The last word is enunciated in a kind of purring growl, but is definitely identifiable as a foreign word, even if Keith doesn't happen to speak Calurnian.


"Guess you guys didn't factor in my nose. I didn't just stumble across you." Akihiro informs Gamora, attention drifting as she approaches everybody's favorite cat. "Er. Shit." He heads over, offering the man a wave. "Hey Keith, how's it going?" Then aside to the actual alien, "He's a human. A mutant, like me."


"Actually, I'm not a mutant- I'm the avatar of the Cheshire cat-" Keith corrects Aki, giving him a grin worthy of the title, "-I'm sorry to disappoint you, miss." He shakes her hand anyways, "Hope I didn't disappoint you… what is, er, a Calurnian if you don't mind asking? That was a very good purr, by the way. Top notch."


Gamora furrows her brow and then nods at Akihiro. "Right, that is good to know about you." When he declares their mutant status, Gamora nods as if she was expecting that. "Yes, me too. I'm also a mutant human. Like you." She frowns slightly at Keith's explanation, obviously understanding very little of his explanation. "Oh no, it's ok. I'm not sure what a Calurnian is," she says with an awkward glance at Akihiro. "I read about them at the library." She shoves the last of her hotdog into her mouth to get a second to recover. When she's ready she just introduces herself. "Hi, I'm Gamora."


Akihiro nods slowly. "I'm Akihiro." He glances around a bit, before looking back at Gamora and lowering his voice. "Do you need somebody to help explain things? Also you'll probably need to think of something other than being a test pilot if you're also going to be a mutant. We're pretty hated. Feared I guess. The military wouldn't accept you, unless it was to do some tests on you."

He turns his attention to Keith at that, "Speaking of which, got that fucking bomb out of my head. So I don't have Weapon X tracking my movements anymore. Don't think I'm ever making any more deals with the devil."


Keith looks at Gamora for a couple of seconds with an expression that is rather hard to read. After Gamora has delivered her convincing and not totally awkward introduction, the cat's face returns to its customary grin and says to Akihiro, "I like her."

"I'm glad to hear that. Don't make deals with the devil. He is an old sod and ultimately it all comes down to the same old tricks. Nothing a book bell and candle can't finx, mind you, but that's neither here nor there…"

He turns his attention back to Gamora, "So you are a mutant test pilot. Are you also an avatar? If so, I need to induct you into the secret union handshake."


Amazingly, Akihiro's kind offer and insightful suggestion seems to key something in Gamora. She still seems awkward, but it's like the normal kind of awkward you get around new people. She sighs and says, "Yeah, we were one-use. I'm not /in/ the Air Force. The use mutants like us to test ships that are likely to fail. As you saw, our ship did not fair very well." She smiles at Keith though and shakes her head before the brief smile vanishes. "No, I'm not sure what you mean, sorry."


"Yeah. Third pair of pants I've bought this week." Akihiro finally gets around to lighting his cigarettes. "So I don't have to worry about any of those other test pilots coming back over that glowing thing, right? Because they did blow my fucking legs off, I wouldn't think twice about gutting them. Oh, and Keith's fucking with you about that avatar thing. He's referencing a book."

"You ever start getting paid for those portals?" he asks Keith, clearly capable of keeping both the conversations going at once. "That gig still sounds too good to be true. So much easier than playing the assassin. Probably less self-loathing involved too."


"I am most certainly not! An avatar is a sanskrit term that refers to a god being incarnate and made flesh. In this case, it's not a god, but a cat. But there really isn't any difference." Keith winks at Gamora.

Akihiro's question gets the cat's attention, though. "Actually… I need to get back to him on that. I spent about two weeks traveling the globe, trying to refine my control over them before I showed up as his office. I needed to make sure that whenever I opened a hole, you could rely on the fact that whatever you shoved through it would come out where it needed to."

He shrugs, "I'm probably going to visit him sometime this week and get that ball going. So.. you two have history or something? Blowing legs and all that stuff?"


"Is your mutation rare? It is quite a gift," Gamora says to Akihiro. "And no, I doubt those ships were able to identify anyone on the ground. I'm sure the Air Force is more focused on covering it all up." She does a double take at the next part though. "You two… are assassins?" Gamora asks, her arched eyebrow says volumes about her preconceived notions.

"Ah, then no, I'm definitely not an avatar," she says with a brief, rare grin. "Regardless of my reputation. And yes, our crash landing removed this regenerator's legs. I was relieved his injury wasn't permanent." She takes a moment and then circles back to an earlier topic. "Are either of you aware of a Bounty Hunter's Guild on- er, in New York?"


'My father has it, and a few others. I know plenty of people that heal, but none that aren't related to me that heal as fast as I do." Akihiro explains, "And I don't know about Keith, but they took me years ago and trained me to kill." Naturally, he lowers his voice even more. "I've killed close to a hundred people these last few months, maybe more than that. Didn't have too much of a choice at the time, with the explosive in my head."

"And I know that, I was talking about the Chesire cat stuff." He keeps up with Keith, like he wasn't just talking about killing people. "And making sure you go where you intended is probably a good thing."

"And," back to Gamora, "nothing you'd have to worry about. There are a lot of rules and regulations, and only bounties put out on people who don't show up to court. Criminals usually get hired to hunt people. And it's not to take them back alive."


Keith raises an eyebrow at Akihiro, and gives him a playful poke with a finger. "It's not just a book, I'm being serious about the Cheshire cat. I'll tell you all about it sometime." He turns his attention back to Gamora and quickly adds "I'm not an assassin. I usually deal with people who want to kill me by dumping them in the Atlantic or in Bora Bora or somewhere like that," he shrugs. "The only kills I have under my belt is time. And time gets pissed about it just ask the Hatter."

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