1964-06-09 - Two Aliens in New York
Summary: One is an actual alien and one is just a resident alien.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
starfire hope 

The Mott Street marketplace apparently does a lot with fish. Seafood of every kind, and things with shells, and things that live in tanks looking piteously as sea crabs can. It's a weird place, full of strange smells and weird languages.

One redhead too.

A ferocious argument between two fish sellers and Hope occurs over a block of orange fish, no scales, no head or tail. The white stripes of the body would make this likely be salmon. The paper spills open to reveal that wet slab of meat. "This isn't what I asked you for. I picked the red one and you gave me the orange one!" the teenager is saying, gesticulating with sharp, sudden points of her fingers. She jabs at the glass case. There are indeed three kinds of salmon, orange long slabs, pink marbled steaks, and an almost ruby shade.

"You buy this one," says the younger man. His father, shorter, is standing there looking bellicose with a stained apron. "This was the one you asked for."

"I sure didn't pay /ten bucks/ for a fish that's fifty cents a pound." She plants her boot on the glass case like she's about to walk up there over to the other side. "So either you refund my money or you fix this."

There is only so much you can learn about a place from books. Sometimes you just have to travel around looking at stuff. And where better than a market? Starfire has a white summer dress pulled over her alien attire, to better blend in with everyone. She's even walking.

Of course even on foot Koriand'r stands out. Tall, orange skinned and using a bright yellow plastic mustard bottle as a refreshing beverage. "Excuse me. May I ask why you are both disagreeing about dead sea creatures?"

The arguments over the fish are paused only briefly. The stranger asking a question gets a look from two Asians and one definitely Caucasian girl. The pause is long enough for Hope to jump in. "He's trying to rip me off buying this fish. This salmon is cheap and the one I asked for wasn't. Totally screwed up how much I'm due back." Her foot presses to the glass.

The case creaks.

The protest from the owners is considerable, and she curls her hands at her fists. Orange-skinned is weird, and they probably aren't reacting so well to that. She seems a bit less put out by the appearance. "If you're checking out the local culture, don't buy here. Now, if you'll give me my money back, we'll all be happy."

Starfire glances at Hope, then at the fish, then the fishmongers and finally frowns. "If they are both the same type of fish why would the price be different?" she wonders aloud. "And do not worry, I have no need of solid food at this time. So I will not be carrying out the buying of the fish."

"I do not think it is wise to push on the stall like that," Kori notes helpfully, ducking down to get a better look. "It does not seem to be very well made." She slurps on the mustard bottle as if it was a soda. Then sniffs the air. "These sea creatures have quite an aroma. Is that normal?"

The shopkeeper jerks his head at the younger man. The younger man slinks off to open a money box and takes two crumpled bills and hands them to Hope. She drops her foot. The fish is wrapped up and snatched back. With her money in hand, the irritated teen moves away from the place of ice and ripoffs. "I… see. Well, don't buy food there. I hate being ripped off more than most things."

The glass front of the display case has a boot print on it, one washed away soon. "The sea creatures are pretty briny, yeah. They stink fairly bad to the end of the day, and it would be pretty rough if you had to clean up."

"I mostly consume light. So it is very unlikely I would need to buy any," Starfire explains, smiling at the fishmongers politely. "Are these fish eaten raw then? I am unaware of the local customs regarding sea creatures. Are you perhaps a professional chef and you are buying ingredients to cook for sale?"

Kori stands up, then bows at the two men selling fish and offers her thanks and best wishes. At first in flawless Chinese, but then repeated in a variety of languages from around Asia. Just to be extra polite.

Hope shoves her bangs behind her ear, but they will not stay there. A quizzical arch to her eyebrows is unmistakable. "You eat…. light. Like, light from a bulb or sunshine light?" Fish are not light, so this explains the preference for something other than seafood. "Either that's the most brilliant reason not to eat fish or you mean it. Given your complexion — gorgeous, really — isn't paint, I'm going with truthful." In case any offense might be taken. "I eat them raw or not. But I was going to try to actually grill one. Take it over flame on a metal grid so it cooks nicely."

Apparently someone forgot to tell her mustard drinking aliens are pretty scary. "Who are you? Or at least what brings you to this part of the city?" She doesn't call it Chinatown because neighbourhood names mean nothing. Two fish out of water. "You seem well travelled. Or a computer."

With enthusiam Starfire holds out her hand for the traditional Earth greeting. "I am called Koriand'r but if you find it easier you may call me Kori," she explains earnestly. "I used to live in Europe you see. But yes, I have travelled quite some distance! Which is why I do not understand the local cuisine."

"I have moved to New York to study sociology. It is a very interesting city. May I also ask what your name is?" Kori looks around, then laughs. "It is flattering to be called gorgeous. As many people have taken to saying quite rude things to me such as 'die mutant'." She sighs. "Which is not German for 'The mutant' but I think is actually a threat."

Hope's hand is extended slowly, after brushing it off on her jeans to be extra sure of its cleanliness. "Koriand'r," she repeats, getting her tongue around it. "That's pretty. Kori. There's a spice with a name like yours." The credibility of Kori's statements will not be dissected here. A smile tugs her mouth up, but it's not an expression Hope is used to. Nor is handshaking. But she can do this, she will. "I'm Hope."

Hope Summers, just a girl totally displaced from everything. "People around here are weird. You get used to them being judgmental and a bit confused. Their biases and prejudices aren't mine, you know?" Her shrug says she doesn't much care one way or the other. "It is a threat. You get that a lot?"

Starfires skin is vaguely warm to the touch and far less yielding than a regular Human hand. It's also a very careful handshake, to avoid causing any injury. "It is a pleasure to meet you Hope! You mean the herb from the Apiaceae family? My name is unrelated to that, in my native tongue it translates very roughly as Starfire." She nods in agreement. "But people would find that strange and I am trying not to stand out as this upsets people."

"Oh sometimes people have made threats but I am not very concerned. I am quite able to look after myself…. I am actually a lot more worried about hurting other people by mistake. The last time I was in an altercation I think I broke a mans leg." Kori lets out another sigh, then sips at the mustard to cheer herself up. "I am told he was a bad person, intent on taking advantage of the vulnerable, but he was in a lot of pain and.. I know what that can be like. So I do not enjoy seeing people suffer."

"The one and the same, yes," Hope nods and ventures to withdraw her hand. Nothing about her reads as strange to the outset. But that's part of being a Messiah, not sticking out until the chips are down and the power to come up. "I've met some people with really strange names. A woman named Honeysuckle and another calling herself Domino, so you're in good company. But you're probably right." She scratches behind her ear where the khaki cotton headband pulls hardest on her hair at the scalp. It's a good way to get a headache. "Best to fit in."

Admit you've broken a leg, no response. Overcharge her for a fish, hell to pay. "You know what the police are, right? Try to be careful. They might decide to get mad at you for doing their job."

Starfire blinks a few times. "Why of course I have met the police, I am simply a mutant visiting from Europe." She laughs a little nervously. "They asked me if I was a 'Go Go dancer'. I am still unsure what this phrase means. I also struggle with some of the local terminology. For example I upset someone who was very hungry by asking if she was doing the eating for two. But she would not explain why this upset her." She shrugs. "Languages are very difficult some times. Especially when people use words to mean things other than the usual meaning."

"You might not have the same rules over there. I don't know what European countries use, or if they are different." Hope shrugs again. "You probably want to stay out of their way and avoid breaking legs in front of them, that's all I am saying. You'll be cool. I don't know what the police think of heroes but I imagine some of them get pretty hopeful about dragging off heroes in cuffs if they got the chance." The apple curve of her cheeks broadens as she has to stifle a laugh. It's hard to do. "Kori, you were suggesting that woman eating was pregnant. It's hard to understand slang, I get it. Tell people you aren't from around here early, it seems to help. Sometimes."

Starfire blinks. "Is that bad? Surely having children is a thing to celebrate?" she wonders, scratching her head. "I explained I was not from America and she seemed less upset. And thank you for your concern friend Hope, I will try avoid any altercations although if I see people in trouble I may be morally obliged to help them. To be honest I find it hard to understand American morality at times too. Did you know people consider it shocking if you fly in a skirt? Even if you fly with a skirt /over the top of a second skirt/!"

"Would it be rude of me to ask what you do for a living? Jobs and employment seem to be very important to people in New York. Is it something within the field of culinary arts?" Kori holds out the bottle of mustard. "Oh and I have forgotten my manners! Would you care for some mustard? It is very refreshing and tangy."

The question for having kids is going to go right over Hope's head. Not the person to ask there. "You seem like a good person. I doubt it'll upset her too much." People are weird. Kori is merely proving this to be the case. She gives a bit of a look to one of the closer stands and puts her back to the wall, clearly aware of her surroundings. "I don't do anything for a living right now. Mostly I…." She waves her hand. "Jobs are way to important to some people. Why we can't all get an income and just do whatever we want is beyond me. But then this city feels so primitive sometimes. Full of good ideas, and then rules that don't make any sort of sense. Like women aren't supposed to work or do certain jobs because they are women." Her nose wrinkles at expressing this; curbing her tongue has never been one of her better traits, something her dad can fully be blamed for. Stupid Cable, ditching her here.

"I'm good without mustard. I'm not a big fan. Have you ever had a Twinkie? They're delicious and… maybe not tangy, but super refreshing." Fear her. Fear her deeply for her metabolism functions like a speedster's. Sugar!

"They can't? Really? Why?" Starfire wonders. "Are Ear… American woman prone to injury? Or do they have a higher IQ and are unsuited to manual labour?" She shakes her head in dismay. "I fear I may never really understand this place. I currently do not have a job either but thankfully I do not really have the same needs as most people."

"What is a Twinkie? I have tried burgers, beer, wine and Greek food. Which were all very delicious. However baking soda, polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride and vinegar were not as enjoyable."

"They're supposed not smart or strong or safe enough. It's too dangerous for ladies to be in many spots in the workplace. Not my rules and not my opinion." Hope doesn't quite stick her tongue out. Clearly she has a few opinions about this, though. Brittle tone makes that plain as day. "Don't listen to those who say you can't do something because you are not smart or strong enough. Show them otherwise, word of advice." As it goes, she's pretty fearless, a wild little thing who sees no trouble in the world. "Really, you don't know what a twinkie is? Neither did I. They're like cake and cream together, and they are delicious. You should come and find one."

There has to be a corner store around here somewhere, or a supermarket that sells things in English print, not Mandarin. So it's easy for her to lead the way.

"You don't read Mandarin?" Starfire asks earnestly. "I can translate if you require. Oh I forgot I have also tried whiskey but that tasted like soil." She follows along behind Hope, glancing around and looking for the word 'Twinkie' in Mandarin. "I suspect I am much stronger than most people in the city. I am still not certain how much I can lift, it is hard to find weight lifting equipment suitable for people like myself. I suppose I could at least lift a few dozen automobiles, although it would likely damage them in the process."

"No," says Hope with a shake of her head. "I don't, and Twinkies have English on them, anyways. I mean, I can read a little Mandarin but the form is simplified and… not like this." She double checks Starfire follows, letting the mandarin hued alien pursue her as she wishes. It's no skin off her nose to take a few shortcuts where the traffic is less. Eventually it's into a shop where the search for the box of twinkies isn't very hard. Five bucks covers the snacks easily, and she won't have any issue with sharing.

"I've been trying to learn as many languages as I can," Starfire explains cheerfully as she floats along behind Hope. Evidently walking is too much hassle. "I wonder how the baker cooks the cake without melting the plastic wrapping."

Hope nods to learning. "That's a good thing. Around here, you never know who you are going to meet. And I have no idea how they seal them. Machines? I mean, it's not like this where I was from." She heads up to the counter to pay for the box, and once done, tears open the flap. It's easy for her to fish out two twinkies and pass these on to Koriand'r. "Don't eat the plastic. It's not very good. The magical deliciousness is inside."

Starfire takes the twinkies and pauses mid-way to putting the whole thing in her mouth. Plastic and all. "Oh. It's not part of the snack?" She sheepishly removes the wrapper. Then eats it in a single bite. "That is quite.. sweet." She squeezes the other twinkie as she skims the ingredients list. "We do not have anything like this where I am from. Most food is savory, with lots of fungus and sharp, sour and spicy elements."

"No, it's… not easy to eat," says Hope, eyeing the alien. "You can actually digest that? How? You'd get people sick. I think you probably would suffer for only fungus. But definitely eat that, and then try anything else called a cake or a pastry. They're the best, really. My boyfriend is big into chips covered in fake cheese the colour of your skin, but I don't know where they get those around here. "

Starfire tilts her head. "The solid food is simply for pleasure," she points out. "Most of my sustenance comes from light and other forms of radiation. I can go years without eating or drinking if I need to.. Typically I move food between my stomachs and once it has reached the eleventh it is broken into small pieces for expulsion. But we don't simply eat fungus. There are berries and meats. We gather food from the jungle for feast days." She nods solemnly. "I shall keep this in mind regarding cakes… And regarding wrappers. I wish there was something I could offer in repayment. However I only brought one moon rock back for friend Julie."

"That's pretty fancy, to be sure." Hope has an inkling she's keeping mostly to herself, and she flips her hands. "Tell you what, let me introduce you to some of my friends if you're still trying to get your bearing. They're cool and won't blink about you being from Europe. I'm pretty sure they would think you're pretty cool. Though… a moon rock? You can go up there?" A slim finger points to the sky, and she gazes curiously at Kori. "How?"

Starfire points down at her feet. If Hope hadn't noticed before now it'll quickly become apparent that Kori is floating a few inches above the ground. "I can fly," she points out. As if this explains everything. "But it is very boring up there. So I have only visited once." To avoid drawing too much attention she lands back on the ground. "I am always happy to meet new people and make new friends! I have only been visiting the city for around a month. So there is still so much to see."

"There is. And I suppose flying the moon is possible. I've never tried." Hope, to all intents and purposes, is normal until she isn't. Put her in the middle of Mutant Town and the world looks very different, especially to the authorities likely to be very uncomfortable in her presence. She scrubs her fingers down her curling, flame red hair and sighs. "Tell you what, let's check out some cooler digs, and see what we can find happening tonight…"

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