1964-08-01 - The Choices We Make
Summary: When mutants meet to discuss the future of a child, and the state of things.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
nightcrawler caliban theresa 

Hell's Kitchen.

It was a lovely place to visit if you love the view of larceny, burglary, occasional arson, and regular folks just trying to get by and not to notice.

There was a general sense of unease that seemed to hit the streets early in the morning. Someone coming out of the side of a bodega that shouldn't be open yet carrying something. Across the street the pawn shop light flickered on and slowly people started to filter into daylight to get their day moving.

It was another droning Tuesday in the Borough that never gets the notice it needs.

Xi'an (that's Karma's actual name) is not the type to be found in an area like this. A pretty woman, alone, in Hell's Kitchen? Not ideal. Especially when she doesn't have a hard look to her. Still, she's given some attempt to make herself less noticeable, which mostly means wearing jeans and a plaid shirt, with a dark jacket over it, instead of a cute skirt. She moves quickly, keeping to herself, and glancing about every so often. She's looking for something. Or someone…

With it being Summer, Kurt is back on 'kid-watching' duty while the parents go off to their jobs or do whatever it is during the day. After last year, they seem to have little argument when it comes to getting an adult to make sure that their kids are safe during the day as they play outside. Free daycare/babysitting is a good thing, even if the adult in question looks quite a bit like some sort of demon. He's proven, at least, that he'll bend over backwards to keep the kids safe and that seems to be enough.

As the day starts, parents and kids start moving out of the tenement building and into the street…the parents saying goodbye as they head off to work and the kids meeting each other to decide the day's adventure. The blue-demon in question is perched on one of the awnings, sipping at a mug of strong coffee to make sure he's awake for the day.

Sunny day, shady place. Just the sort of location a girl without much better to do might like. "Vanessa" loiters like people around here tend to do. What passes for breakfast is a hunk of bread she might equally use as a projectile weapon, given the opportunity.

Behind her stands a rather ugly building like all the rest of the social housing around. No one bothers her as a lone woman. Strange, but not totally impossible. She has the hard look that some others don't. Not much escapes her notice from that corner of the street. She chews on bread and probably wonders if it's too early to get some Jameson already. Vanessa (Zhenya, by another name) has her reasons.

Hell's Kitchen. One could never really sleep in a place like this if you're a person like her. The way her mind works is a never ending cog of moving parts that often times have her obsessing with a bottle of some black label liquor that she either stole or bought with her own money, boots hitched up upon the steel balcony that she sat at, cigarette hanging from her mouth and.. well, buildings watched.

Frankie takes notes. Frankie watches people for her self imposed living.

Frankie also has a gun. One settled upon her lap as if it were a babe that needed watching. And in a sense.. it was.

The figure leaving the side of the bodega had a hood up, baggy jeans that ended in worn shoes. Did he look like he belonged there? Not exceptionally and not many wore gloves in summer. They were making their way casually back down the alley when something caught his attention and the lean figure turned in the direction of Kurt wrangling the kids and instead of walking over, parked their butt on a stoop in the shade and observed this mutant wrangling children curiously. Damn creeps.

No doubt it's one of the kids that notices the hoodied man on the stoop before Kurt does. The child, maybe no more than seven or eight, steps over to the stoop and tilts his head at the newcomer, "Ain't you hot, mister?" is asked. The question seems to get the attention of a couple more kids who make their way over…and the movement in turn catches the 'demon's' attention. Lifting his gaze, he looks across at the one that the kids have decided to question. Be wary of curious children who have nothing better to do than ask questions of adults in the summer!

The questions start coming in almost one after another, "Why are you wearing gloves? Ain't you hot? Are you homeless? Wanna jump rope?"

The bread she chews on will be gone soon. Vanessa stuffs the remainder into the pocket of her coat, a thing three sizes too big. Big enough that she could carry a pack of Lucky Strikes and a pack of matches to ease her way into the day. She watches the kids with a wince. The crotch spawn have no place bothering someone that young and cool. Especially when she lights up the cigarette and puts it in her mouth. A drag on the filter is heaven incarnate, reason to be alive, all that jazzy BS.

Well, doesn't that look shifty? A.. demon looking dude with a bunch of kids, a dude with a hooded sweatshirt with gloves.. a bunch of nosey little piss pots questioning..

Does Frankie have time to write this shit down? Nope. Cigarette was drawn upon, fingers at a pinch near her lips as it was snatched out and tossed over the edge, surely someone cursed down below, but either way, Frankie disappears into the window of where she sat.

And out a few minutes later with a leather case, one that's flung and rolled out upon the ground as she settles into her chair again, her rough fingers picking out -just- which daggers she was going to pick and pull, and sharpen upon a rock that settled nearby.

If this was what she thought it was? It was gon'b'gud..

Is that the faint smell of burned rubber and boiled cat urine? Probably.

Karma goes home.

Caliban was a odd and terrifying sight. That he was a mutant was more subtle than Kurt, certainly. Short of being Warren that was hard to do, but it was still rather obvious that the scarred albino was normal. He set the grocery bag aside on the stoop and folded his gloved hands together watching the stream of question enduring them. Violet eyes drift back up to Kurt curiously though as he quietly answered them witha faintly quiet, but Eastern European accent, "I am not hot, the sun hasn't come out and I do have a home, yes." He didn't look much like it would be a very nice one if this was true, though worn, he did seem to keep his appearance somewhat 'neat'. There were others on the street and he took subtle note of them, few things screaming on his radar though. He noted to one of the children not commenting on the jump rope but now pointing to the Nightcrawler, "You have a very interesting friend. He has a name?"

The kids all turn as the stranger points to the demon perched on the awning. He's watching closely now, the coffee mug balanced in his hands. "That's Kurt. He's from Germany and he jumps ropes with us." One of the other kids turns back, "What's your name? Do you live here? What's in the bag? How come you're wearing a hood?" and the questions begin again.

Kurt, on the other hand, keeps most of his attention on the children and the stranger, but yellow eyes then flick over at the woman eating bread and the woman on the balcony who looks…dangerous. There's a brief frown in her direction as he notes her movements before turning back.

A fall of ash strikes the ground. Vanessa - Zhenya - dashes the cigarette for good measure. Smoke spirals upwards in curves and rings. She can learn the neatest things while lounging on a wall or the steps of a shitty apartment building, monitoring Hell's Kitchen easily enough. Her ears are sharp to any kind of Eastern European accent. Her own is thick Irish if she bothered to speak. Not presently doing so, but she hits her heel against the cement blocks. Then she swings her legs around and stretches, lazily sauntering away to get herself something interesting down at the nearest watering hole.

Caliban shook his head and actually offered Kurt a tentative wave. Yes I see you seeing me there. The question stopped him short from one of the children about the hood, and while it was and wasn't the truth he had to laugh quietly, "My shopping. Why do I wear the hood? Who would want to look at me?" This truth he could live with. He was sitting in the shade and as such pulled the hood down. His skin was chalk white and covered in scars and ink. He might have done this to abate their curiosity as children innately have, or maybe an unspoken opener to this Kurt for its own reason. it's not like either of them were any good at hiding. His eyes drift back to Vanessa, and then Kurt, Vanessa, and back. Very curious, but very aware of his surroundings.

Nightcrawler finishes off the coffee and sets the mug down on a ledge…he'll get it later. The wave is returned and he watches as the man pulls down his hood for the kids. Interesting.

The kids know Kurt so they're not quite as 'judgey' as most. They lean in to look as he pulls down his hood and a couple of them pull back in surprise, "Whoa! You're really white!" Some others peer around and point a finger at a scar, "Did that hurt? How'd that happen?" And another asks, "Are you a Snowman?" Because…kids.

Finally, he flips down from the awning and glances over at the blonde before turning to the man in the hoodie and approaching the kids. "Do not crowd him. Would you like people poking at you?" is asked of the children in a light-hearted, German-accented voice. "Give him some space."

Caliban sat on the stoop and didn't seem to have an intention to make any sudden movements which was likely good as the world was a hostile place and in Hell's Kitchen? Well moving quickly was always a bad past time. Asking him if he was a snowman got a high arch of one hairless eyebrow ridge, "Snowman? Why do I look like I am going to melt?" He accent was not German, but close? Polish or Slavic in nature perhaps? But the kids did at the blue devil-man asked. There was a silent nod in greeting. "Morning to you. You keep some very inquisitive company. Kurt it is?" He watched the reaction of the kids to their appointed day guardian and offered a hand out in gloved greeting.

The kids make room for Kurt to approach, flocking around him as well. One even offers, "He's funny looking too!" in that innocent way only kids can and another answers the question with, "In that hoodie you do." Kurt grins at the kid before turning to the hoodied man, "Und a good morning to you. Yes, these kids are very smart und it is good to keep learning even though it is summer, ja?" That's said for the children's sake and a few roll their eyes and stick out their tongues before they head off to their play. "Kurt, ja." The gloved hand is taken with his three-fingered one and given a shake. "Und you are?"

Caliban didn't recoil from the unconventional handshake. When you are a Morlock there were worse things; usually like people not wanting to touch you to begin with. This opportunity for civil contact seemed to leave the strange fellow amicable enough. "Ah, bitte bitte. Um, they call me Caliban." He could identify the German it seems. The 'unds' give it a bit away in many a case. To the kid calling him funny looking he seemed to weather it the same as any mutant does. He shrugged and said to the youth, "I suppose so, hmm?" He looked to one of the quieter children untangling his jump rope and tilted his head asking Kurt in tried but passable German, "Does that one know they are different like us yet?" His head tilted curiously observing them and then back to Kurt turning that curiosity to him to see if he was or now is aware.

Kurt blinks a couple of times at the German but then answers in kind, his own accented with something else. "All of them are different. Do you mean that she's…" He can't really say 'mutant' as it's a word that seems to be the same over many languages. "How do you know this?" But then the name registers and his dark eyebrows lift and he switches back to English, "Caliban? As in the Shakespeare? It is one of my favorites!"

Caliban glanced back and nodded faintly to Kurt. When asked how he knew this? A faint smile stretched on scarred pale lips with a faint tilt of his head as if Kurt could answer his own questions on that one. How would one guess? When Kurt's face lit up he chuckled, "I do not know that it was meant as such, but I take it as literary compliment. It is, I think, an interesting story that stays relevant as to how we see we are all still trapped by someone's perceptions of how the world is." He lifted his eyes back up to the other scarred man with a look that suggested of course he knew Kurt knew. Neither of them were somehow magically immune to the bias of the world as it was in these volatile times. As if to answer some doubt he offered with a one of sympathy, "I am never wrong about these things."

"All of Shakespeare is still relevant," Kurt offers. "I think they are genius that way." He looks back to the girl with the jump rope before switching back to German, "Do you know what she will be able to do? Do you know if she will change?" Not that he did, but he's known some that have. "I was born as I am so I became used to it…" both before and after trauma. He's been incredibly lucky to have met some very kind, accepting people in his youth. "Is that why you are here? You are not unwelcome here, you know…as long as you mean no harm."

Caliban seemed to appreciate this spin on appreciating literature. As to why he was here? His head tilted and he replied in the best German he could remember. "I keep my eye on these things" to say the least. Morlocks had a mixed reception depending on who one was. His pale lip pressed together and what would be eyebrows looked to Kurt with a earnest look of emotion in them for what it was worth. "Right now for her? Things are good. Maybe things stay good. Maybe they do not. For now though> No. I do nothing. If they become bad?" He shrugged and looked from Kurt to the girl that worked out the rope. "Let me know. People like us always have someplace we can be. She should have her family if she can though." Scouting mission it was. Recon maybe? Looking out for just in case. Or maybe they had him out on a recruitment drive. Either way he seemed disinclined to pursue anything.

"I'll keep an eye on her. Maybe her parents will help her…they don't seem to mind me anymore." And besides, not all mutations are as extreme as their's. "Danke for letting me know," is offered back in English. When there is mention of a place to go, Kurt glances back to the other mutant, "A place? Do you mean the school? Ach, I know of it…" but from what he can tell, it isn't a place for adults. It's for children and teens to learn.

Caliban nodded faintly. Certainly he was sent to watch, assess, and collect, but he seemed to still have some conscious to this rather than keep population numbers up and protected. Pale eyes regarded Kurt carefully and offered, "No. Not the school. Community. Some of our kind rebuilding a place for us to live. To thrive. To belong without trying." He could paint Mutant Town in a poetic light all day if prompted, couldn't he? The smile though was honest and not unkind. The albino shook his head, "No. I am not here to take her from her mother, do not worry. Just mindful of her safety." He looked over the German man that had as many scars to match his own. To a point he offered, "You know what cruelty the world can offer. I know you are not blind to this, but it does not always have to be so. If it can be less so? Better." He had not used what German he had in a time and it was a welcome old friend. His mastery was lacing but with thought he could find the words he wanted.

"Ja, Mutant Town," Kurt switches back to English again. "I have been there many times. My mother lived there for a time…real mother, not the one who…well, she did not raise me either…it is a complicated story," and he waves a three-fingered hand as if to say it's not important now. "I could live there und maybe fit in better, but…" he looks back at the kids who have found other things to keep them busy. "These kids will not hate those who are different now, I think."

Caliban grinned easy when he was so moved to. He looked around at the gaggle Kurt was keeping an eye on and had to agree with him that. "Is not always the same as being around our own though, but to a point I hope you are right. I tell Shuna maybe it will be different when she grows up? I do not know." He didn't elaborate on who she is but there was enough inference to work off of. His focus shift from the child back to the adult, "When it was that you come over?"

Nightcrawler lifts an eyebrow at the mention of being around one's 'own'. "I grew up being around people of all sorts…who were all different. None looked like me und I think none will. But they were still 'my' people. These kids…we do not look the same, but they do not seem to mind und neither do I. They are now -my- people." He's never really been around people 'like him' for extended periods of time. It just hasn't seemed necessary. The question, however, is much easier to answer. "Around a year ago? I was in Europe for many years…with the Circus." One of them.

Caliban nodded listening offering the navy man a shrug. "I cannot say that we have enjoyed such a felicity. Last week someone tried to set streets on fire. Quite terrible. I hope for the future but we are far from an age of renaissance, friend." It hasn't been two weeks since someone tried to set Mutant Town on fire and the attacks have occurred. Understandably some had feelings about this. Still Caliban sat on the stoop occasionally looking to where Francesca was a while ago looking less than friendly their way. "I have not been in perhaps I think it is twenty years now. Sometimes I miss being there."

Nightcrawler just gives a sigh when he hears what befell Mutant Town yet again. "I do not understand. But…I think I am not the one who -need- to understand." He grew up in such a different way than most that this fear of strangeness is completely foreign to him. His demeanor sobers even more when Caliban mentions he has not been to Europe in twenty years. "You were there before the War began, ja?"

Caliban didn't seem to hold this against Kurt; the abundance of amicable company growing up. It was not the resentment held by many a Morlock. He smiled faintly and offered Kurt a nod. "I was I think just six, maybe seven when I was evacuated. It was… quite a thing. It was not easy finding help to get out. Some of us like to make sure this is not problem again." He looked vaguely back to the kid in question playing jump rope with two other kids and then back again to Kurt with a chuckle, "But why worry a problem into existence if there is not one yet?"

On the street kids were playing in the early morning as younger kids do. A nearby navy blue man stood by keeping an eye on them speaking with an albino man in gloves and a hooded shirt both covered in many a scar and a story.

There is a strong nod, "Good. I am glad that you were able to get out. I was eight when the War ended und I was rescued by American und British soldiers. I was very lucky," that he found people who were accepting of this odd-looking, very terrified child. Kurt also glances back to the girl jump-roping, "Maybe she will not have such problems. She has friends now und maybe they will not forget this time." Later. When things change. "I would also like it to not be a problem und if I can help I will. But…" he reaches up to scrub a hand through his dark hair, "I do not think we are better than anyone." They haven't discussed that specifically, but it's come up in other discussions. "Und I would rather people come und ask questions of me than think that I am bad because of how I look."

Exiting the subway, Theresa lifts a hand up to push a pair of sunglasses up her nose, buying herself a bit of time to look around before she strikes off in one direction. This direction happens to be leading her in the direction the two men are standing having a conversation, and it doesn't appear as though she actually knows where she's heading beyond just picking a direction and going.

Caliban blinked and looked carefully to Kurt faintly wary. He heard him out though shaking his head, "I do not subscribe to the theories of the Brotherhood. I know too many of us to know virtue and depravity are of the soul, not of one's genes." As it were though, the arrival of Theresa did pick up on Caliban's passive radar and his curiosity followed her as well. There was a faint smile and he looked down at Kurt's feet . The albino's scarred head shook, "I like to think humanity is not proprietary, it just seems to be in shortage too often."

Nightcrawler relaxes and gives Caliban a sharp-toothed smile, "Good. That is good to hear, Mein Freund." Caliban has apparently now been placed into that category, especially after that statement. "Good und evil is not about how you look. It is how you treat others." He glances over as the woman seems to approach them and he rests back on his haunches some, tail flicking about. Caliban's next words get a slightly confused look, "What is that word? I am still learning English, I think."

It's hard to tell if she's staring from behind those sunglasses, but her attention does appear to have shifted towards Caliban and Kurt as she got nearer to them, her steps even starting to slow so that she could study them before reaching them. Then, a sudden decision gets made and she reaches into her purse to pull out one of those little maps of the city that tourists get, "Excuse me?"

Caliban warmed a scarred smile back. Sometimes good company was its own gift. Certainly a nice break from the talk of violence and hostilities as of late while tensions were positively strained across the 5 boroughs. "Proprietary? Hmmmm something which is owned as a concept. Just as hardship is not owned by any one group either Mutant or other minority? Virtue I am saying same thing. It is to the person, not a peoples. From those ideals though sometimes a peoples are made, but I think that is a thought of ideologies, and not something one is born into. Different discussion." It was when Theresa a stopped and looked lost he said quietly, and not unkindly as a hint to Kurt in what German he had, "Speaking of us and not like us…" To her though the reclusive albino greeted, "Allo. Yes?"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License