1963-11-21 - An Alien In New York
Summary: An alien professor and a bohemian enter beatnik central, and for once it's not Loki Odinson!
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Bob Dylan - Things Have Changed
mar-vell rogue 


The newspaper advert featured a beret-bearing man with goatee and a woman in matching headgear (but no goatee, thank Hala) proclaiming Club Wha? 'Greenwich Villages Swingingest Coffee House!' Dr. Walt Lawson had heard some of the Columbia graduate students he worked with also praising it as a New York City nightspot unlike any other. The advertisement Lawson uncovered in today's edition of the Bugle also proclaimed tonight as a 'poetry reading and hootenanny' session for the business. And that was what drew the Doctor here.

In his true identity of Captain Mar-Vell, warrior of the Kree Empire, any poetry except selections taught at the military academy were forbidden. Those, of course, were of the martial variety, or dedicated to the glory of the Empire and its citizenry. Mostly, both. The art form had always struck Mar-Vell as capable and suitable for so much more, though, and when he heard folk songs and some rock-and-roll on his arrival here, it was interesting in a way completely alien to him.

So tonight after shutting down his rocketry and robotics lab at Columbia, Mar-Vell retained his identity as Dr. Lawson and came straight over to the Club. Which may well have been an error, if the initial reaction from other patrons was any indicator. The beret-wearer of the ad may have been a stereotype of a beatnik, but within the Club were droves of what appeared to be the real deal. Tight-fitting black clothing, outlandish fashion and hairstyles, all with a haze of cigarette smoke above the gathered. And then there was Mar-Vell as Lawson: Suit, tie, very short military haircut. He looked as out of place as a Skrull in their natural form visiting the Kree Reception Room for the Supreme Intelligence. Two steps inside the establishment, and he appeared to be a man ready to turn on his heel and escape.


Greenwich Village admittedly has a lot of free press for its very exciting venues. Club Wha? has some cachet thanks to a certain Mr. Dylan and his friends so often lingering around, they attract their own following and that following now seems to be getting its own. Eventually, like a bad fungus, the group will spread beyond the narrow, dark confines of the club into another, and so the cycle begins again. It's one as old as time, but while sitting near the peak of its power, the club hums excitedly. All sorts of lovely and creative minds gather under the roof, buying drinks that are too expensive and sharing ideas that might be too expansive.

It beats remembering there are, in fact, aliens out there. That aliens fell out of the sky and now some fancy one takes over Hollywood. Furtive looks shot over one another's shoulders keep checking no one melts out of the walls, but for a night, everyone can forget their problems in a stir of good company. That ensures libations continue to flow and words circulate, someone with a guitar hogging the stage and then giving way to a pair of singers who really do need to work on their rhythm into a syncopated flow with the grummer behind them.

Only natural they call to a bohemian. This is practically her lifeblood. Chrysanthemums and strawflowers in her hair, Scarlett makes an unusual addition in her mandarin orange minidress; the style common in Britain hasn't really reached these shores any more than the Fab Four truly have. (In a day or two though…) She saunters her way through, the Columbia bookbag bouncing off her hip, and a nudge shoving the sticky door open. "Pardon," she calls out, just in case someone is half-asleep, or more likely half-drunk, and loitering in the foyer. Hopefully they don't tumble down the stairs.


The only loiterer is Dr. Lawson, hesitating on the shore of this great human current like a breaker, waves of music and sound and expression washing against him. It's a bit overwhelming, but the nudge of the door and the latest arrivals blocking his exit compel the 'fearless' Kree warrior to soldier on instead of sound retreat. He does stand aside to let the newcomers enter, and then smiles nervously as it occurs to him this might be an easier inroduction to the savage customs and rituals of Terran socilaizing he is here to explore. Move in with others, undoubtedly more familiar with the place. Watch what they do, or more importantly don't do, and follow their example. Much better than relying on the experiences of a few stuffy faculty parties as Mar-Vell had intended.

Likely it's the orange of her garment that draws Mar-Vell's attention to the young woman as she enters. It stands apart from most of the clothing hues present, and it also secures a feeling that here is, perhaps, another attendee who doesn't quite fit. Like himself. And so, the scholarly looking tall man in the dark pinstripe suit motions for her to go first. Good manners, don't humans say they are never out of style? Then he intends to follow closley enough to see her approach to the whole club scene.

From the main entry, he can see a young man with a guitar taking his leave of the stage, and a girl not much out of her teens climbing the steps to address the gathered. Wafting tobacco smoke welcomes the Kree man, and he's glad he took his serum treatment already and thus should be resistant to the planet's nitrogen-poor atmosphere. Natural and enhanced. Something else seems present in the haze, another substance being smoked that Mar-Vell is unfamiliar with. Perhaps a pungent pipe blend like many of his fellow university staff members prefer.

The girl on stage, dressed in a short black skirt & a dark gray knit shirt, announces, "THE JACOB‘S LADDER, by Denise Levertov. The stairway is not / a thing of gleaming strands / a radiant evanescence for angels’ feet that only glance in their tread, and / need not touch the stone."


The savage customs involved surely involve a healthy degree of smiling and chattering about nonsense ranging from war to planting pumpkins to Christmas being a sham with all this commercialism. Possibly they need liquid libations to unloosen locked jaws and knees, or allow for a bit of convenient dancing when words will not flow off tongues at all. To be fair, the redhead silhouetted against the frosty night at ground level engages in none of these things so much as considering loosening her leather coat before the steamy, smoke-heavy atmosphere briefly renders her into a swoon from the heat difference. She nudges a heel against the door rather than allow drafts to pour down, unwanted additions that freeze the legs and chill the bones of those who throw off their outer layers and pretend autumn is closer to a North Carolinian experience instead of the Northeast.

Too much black and grey might put her off, but Scarlett has far better reason to navigate these waters than some. These are her tribe, her people, for all she looks nothing like them. One day they'll call her sort a hippie. Today it is merely a bohemian girl in a drifting style, and she murmurs, "Thank you," even as "Pardon me" is hot on its heels when Dr. Lawson opts to permit her pass. The curve of her smile is altogether friendly and benign, holding none of the acid or ingenuine edge that others worn down by life sometimes carry.

A wave of her hand sends smoke rings toying over her shoulder. "They should know by now that poison will kill them. No one wants to listen while they have fun, but it's a tremendous pain to inflict upon lungs, you know?" Is she speaking to him? She might be, or talking to those who don't pay any heed as a point.


Dr. Lawson returns her polite smile, then steps in almost synchronized march behind the orange-dressed girl. He's close enough on the young woman's heels to hear her observation about the clinging smoke cloud and muses in agreement, "If we found a planet with atmosphere this noxious, the scientists would insist on any exploration team wearing environmental suits to preserve their health." He shakes his head a little, "But for a night on the town and a few drinks, apparently a little poison is an allowable risk." Dr. Lawson finds the nicotine fog a bit more forgiving the lower he stands, so he leans over slightly as he makes his way inside, still following in the wake of the free-spirited young woman.

He's actually surprised by the variety of drinks available, having taken 'coffeehouse' as a literal label for what was offered within. Its still what he orders, despite the other selections.

The girl on stage continues her recitation, the crowd seemingly ignoring her to chat quietly among themselves. But others gaze at her with unreadable expressions, either due to their stoic facial features or sunglasses, or both. Many, however, begin to snap their fingers as she speaks of a heavenly stairway, one which angels, winged humanoids of another world as Mar-Vell had found in the legends of the planet, flitted over easily. But ponderous, earthen steps that humans embarking on artistic expression must claw their way over to forge a link with the Divine.

Mar-Vell has to tread carefully so as not to bump into tables or patrons, the impact of the words surprising him. He knew the Terrans engaged in sentiment and art the Kree would not approve of. But in this single, short poem, the Earth girl had compacted enough traitorous, even blasphomous, ideas that her performance would warrant instant case consideration by an Accuser, followed by an immediate public execution. Mar-Vell looked about, checking to be certain no human authorities were moving to trap the girl before she could disappear into the audience. But there was only light applause, and an apparently positive determination murmured by the club-goers. "Cool, man. Wild. Cool, cool."


The sweet spill of tobacco cuts with a sour blend that comes from a certain herb, and probably has everything to do with the loose smiles and reddened eyes of a few patrons. Sure, the police might push through and clear out Club Wha? but the guests would simply hop to the next subterranean dive and continue on.

The deviant ways are, by most standards, pretty mild and hardly the worst thing that a person could encounter. All along the rickety tables and booths in the outer ring, the drinks are spilled and poured and swilled. Coffee and tea are but the top level, and one of those passing souls counting as a waiter ends up moseying towards the redheaded bohemian. His voice won't be stifled by the singer up there on the stage, though her song actually has a fair bit of clarity though it has a definite Americana folk quality. Somewhere between lilt and drawl, at least.

The server's patient. "What can I getcha, doll? You and the gent sharing a tab, or you picking it up for him?" A nudge gives a tiny bit of space while he grins widely at Mar-Vell, daring them to imagine a newfangled concept where it's not only the man who has spending cash or pocket change to worry about a cuppa joe. Finger snapping comes interrupted by a clunk of a heel, a smack of a palm to a thigh from a table nearer the stage.

"Hot water. I've my own tea. Special blend," Scarlett notes. Her head turns to follow that vanishing figure that flows towards the stage, and the curious way he looks about. It marks him as different, an outsider peering in through the vault. "Terra incognita: be this a place where monsters roam through the silvered fog on a wild sea?"


"This is, truly, not my world," the tall man with platinum hair replies with an expression akin to a shell-shocked raw recruit. It was meant in the most literal sense, in the unguarded moment, which shocks Mar-Vell back to reality. Luckily, in the native tongue, the meaning could equate to simply being out of his sphere of experience. Which was also more than true. He manages to rally an answer for their waiter, even noting the daringconcept implicit in the man's wink and tone. The novelty of having males and females of the species act as equals seems to tickle the man while it only gets a frown from Mar-Vell. All gender of warriors are equals in the Empire. Unless you count the blue-skins. They, male or female, are much more equal than others. "Coffee, please," he intones.

Since they are close together, and as sitting room is limited, Dr. Lawson finds a small table with two empty seats and gestures to the young woman with the flowers in her hair, nonverbal request to share accomodations if not tabs. He also hears her observation, and for a split second, checks his wrist for the concealed unibeam weapon that appears to be a very stylized wristwatch. He checks points of entry behind and before at the mention of monsters zeroing in on the locaion—then chuckles, frame slowly relaxing as the full meaning sinks in. The unique way she worded it, in an ancient Terran framing, and switch in languages, took him off guard. "No," he allows quietly,"there are no monsters hereabouts. Or if there are, they are maintaining a low profile so as not to ruin everyone's good time which is fairly considerate, for monsters." He tries out a broad smile and returns, "But then, I'm a stranger here. You seem much more versed in the setting, so please, tell me. Are their things lurking about starnger than are dreamt of in my narrow philosophy, Miss?"

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