1965-01-05 - Project Gemini: Happy Hostess
Summary: The Hostess with the mostest bakes cookies with a 60W lightbulb to impress all her little friends. Come to the Dark Side. We have cookies.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
fitz kai wanda miguel nightcrawler 


1500 hours. The Candy Shoppe. Queens.

School is out. The weather isn't God awful, with sunshine peeping through on grey sidewalks and discarded Christmas trees. Every good little girl and good little boy walking home from school in this neighbourhood of suburban Queens seems to be gathered in front of the Candy Shoppe. Goggling eyes stare in wonder at a marvel in the front window. Place of pride: the Happy Hostess, a pink oven about the size of a breadbox. Fresh cookies and brownies lie glistening on a tray thanks to a good light. Spending money and allowances and gift cash from Grandma are turning over quite a few of these coveted items.

Don't deny it, the boys want one too. Containers lined up in a pretty curve of neat Tupperware read 'Rocket Fuel Bars' and 'Purest Sugar Cookies." There's "Ooey Gooey Chocolate Caramel Nut Bombs" and "Super Gooey Rum Balls" (contains no rum).

The crowd pushes in, and those coming out are like princes over a court of sad serfs.

SHIELD might have registered the regular electromagnetic energy pulses deriving from the general area of the attached shop over the past three days.

Nightcrawler knows nothing of SHIELD…but he's out and about, as he tends to be. Kurt rarely hides nowadays, seeing that he's also been rarely attacked for being who he is. Maybe it's the fact that he is usually able to calm his potential attackers down or, at the very worst, teleport away. The cold weather has him wearing some layers and a long trench-coat, hiding most of his features although his dark blue skin and gold eyes are still very obvious as he walks along. There's a pause at the crowd of children at the sugar-coated Candy shop and he stands at the back, as if curious to this phenomenon of having the excess income to splurge on such delicacies.

Kai has been looking for one of these things for days. One of the families he checks in on in Hell's Kitchen got overlooked by Santa, who sometimes seems to forget families fallen on hard times. Little Beth was devastated that there was no Happy Hostess under the tree for her, and it's broken Kai's heart. So here he is with Loki's money, wading in a sea of small humans so he can put a smile on little Beth's face.

Miguel doesn't work for any secret agencies or have any inside knowledge. He just lives not that far away, renting the basement of a brownstone on the meager salary he can put together as a lab tech. Not exactly a glamour-filled life for the man from the future, but best he could do without the necessary documentation. Can't exactly show his Ph.D. to potential employers since he won't get it for at least 100 years.

He watches the obvious crowd gathered around the place with amusement, sunglasses over his eyes as he just recently got off the bus, his lab coat traded in for a leather jacket.

Fitz was walking back to his apartment from teh Subway for a quick nap, some I Love Lucky, nad to see what he could piece together for his current project. This would require what any sensible engineer required to make the marvels of tomorrow: their bodyweight in licorice and taffy. Hey, everyone has their reasons right? That said when the news came in that there was electromagnetic anomoly? For once Fitz jumped at the opportunity to go into the field to have a look. Fun and interesting science meets fun filled food. How could this go bad?

|ROLL| Fitz +rolls 1d20 for: 10

|ROLL| Nightcrawler +rolls 1d20 for: 13

|ROLL| Miguel +rolls 1d20 for: 20

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 10

"And we'll share, Phoebe! You pay for the mix and I get the hostess." A pair of blonde angels, boing boing curls and matching powder blue coats, go hand in hand up the stairs. Spiteful looks from the less fortunate go with them. Inside the employees happily part children from cash and deliver those boxes in striped bags. In the corner, two smiling blonde women demonstrate how the Happy Hostess works.

"Pop it in," chimes Elly. She closes the sliding door on a metal tray laden with balls of cookie dough. Next to her is another machine, operated by her coworker.

It beeps. White lights pleasantly flash! How exciting. "When the hostess calls, pop it out," says Greta, pushing on the door. Out springs the tray, laden with candy cane and chocolate chip cookies to the awe of the kids. They sigh collectively. The air hums. Glazed smiles everywhere…

Oh, that is a delicious cookie smell! It's been ages since Kurt has had any sort of treat like that…usually only one one of the building's moms makes some cookies and one of the kids might offer him one. It's usually broken bits, but he's not picky like that. Blue nostrils flare as he takes in the delicious scent of the baked goods and watches as the kids line up around the demonstration and cash register.

Of course it would make sense for Kai to test out the oven before giving it to little Beth, just to make sure it works. He glances to Kurt with interest, since he looks so interesting, but also with profound understanding. Cookies, right? Right. Kai wades in, and he says, "I'll take one, please. It's, uh, it's for a small human I know. Can I… can I try one of those cookies?"

Miguel frowns as he peers at the gathering crowd, noticing something off in the behavior of the kids peering inside. Much as he'd rather go home and enjoy the wonders of black and white television and foil-based frozen dinners cooked in a lukewarm oven, it seems that his heroic duty is being invoked.

He moves a bit closer to the edge of the crowd, keeping his hands in his pockets and taking a closer look at the women who seem to be the proprietors of this place, concentrating his senses on them and keeping his sunglasses firmly in place - his eyes do, on occasion, get a little eerie when he's concentrating.

Fitz was looking at the reader that he hand in hand withthe tiny dials and the little needle that went back and forth on it. He abandoned his diagnostics (and fighting to turn the little dial in mittens) when the warm smell of cookies beckoned him right into the shop. "Brilliant." His eyes squint shut a moment with a contented smile. RIght shopping and then the anomoly hunting. "Oh? Is that peppermint on that?"

The kids are drooling conspicuously at the storefront window. The ones inside get to taste though. One for everyone, and the blondes offer up the crispy edged, soft-centered chocolate chip besties on their little tray. Young ones munch, eyes heavy in the pleasure of a fresh chocolate chip glow. The other Happy Hostess bakes its purest sugar happiness by the power of a lightbulb, or atomic energy. The two women smile, just like the rest of the workers, happy faces, happy, happy, happy. Like the cashier waiting to ring up an oven. Like the kids standing still in front of the counter, waiting for their Happy Hostess to take home. Just breathe in that goodness. Don't you worry your pretty little heads. Hard to think with the chocolate yumminess, isn't it? The needle on the reader slants to the right, hard, and sloooowly courses left. "Help yourself," says Elly happily.

The thing is, cookies cost money and that is one thing that Kurt is short on. There is a temptation, however, to use the money he gets from Fury to purchase necessities for the apartment to purchase a cookie. Just one…and it's been so long! One cookie can't cost that much, can it? Granted, there are children waiting…drooling…to get their hands on cookies. Well, he can eat lightly for a bit, surely! There's a *BAMF* of brimstone-laced smoke and Kurt is no longer outside, but now inside, hanging from the ceiling. "I would like to buy…" there is a glance outside, "Two dozen of the cookies, please," is asked with his German-laced accent and a sharp-toothed grin. That should be enough for the kids outside plus one left for him, yes?

Kai does in fact help himself. His eyes roll in pleasure. Still chewing, he says, "Oh, my God. So good." For a moment, all he does is focus on the taste of that cookie. When he's done, he exchanges money for the oven. "I need this," he says. "Er, for little Beth." He's putting this thing in his studio. He'll make Beth some cookies. She doesn't need to know the truth. He darts a glance up at Kurt as he appears on the ceiling. "Neat trick, mate," he says.

Miguel puts together that there's something eerie in the way the customers seem to be moving, almost animatronic. It doesn't take a world-class detective to connect some of that quality to the smell that seems to be trying to dig into his brain, that sweet-tantalizing smell of the baking, insidious and cloying and a little bit enchanting.

Miguel puts a hand over his face for a moment, as if he were stifling a sneeze. In the process, he activates the spinneret in his wrist for the briefest of moments, literally plugging his nose with a pair of tiny shots of webbing. He could make a full mask but that would be a little bit obvious - this will hopefully be effective enough, even if it is a half-measure.

The demon-looking dude is definitely a helpful distraction, too. Miguel is less worried about attracting too much attention now, although he can usually pass pretty well anyway as long as he doesn't get too fang-y. Very quietly, he slips off to the side and starts looking for a rather heavy piece of debris, maybe a spare brick or something, in the nearby alley.

Fitz dug out change nad put fifty cents on hte counter which went a long way. He bit his mitten to take it off and took the tiny bag of cookies noting to those close buy, his brazen Scottish brogue not even Americanized a titch. "Awww, these smell like the ones my grandmum used to make." He bit the cookie and lamented he couldn't just eat them all at once. As Kaisang their praises Leo's brow furrowed thoughtfully pointing to the elf. That guy got it.

Two employees at the register help with purchases. They should rightly scream when the brimstone puckers their noses and burns their eyes. The children feasting on their cookies slow midbite. A few glazed stares fix the blue man on the roof or the standup guy coming by with his own cookie. The second cashier moves to collect cookies from a row of trays and put them in a paper bag, smooth and practiced. Two dozen, two bags, presented neatly on a counter. The chorus for Happy Hostesses is handled by his competent partner. They're just so happy to help anyone out. A white flashes on the other Happy Hostess, and Greta smiles. Tick, up goes that needle…

Miguel has no trouble locating some spare junk. It's New York, everything including a kitchen sink (minus faucet) is back there. He otherwise gets a cast-off brick in a hardened case of pigeon droppings.

Miguel manages to repress his gag-reflex at the weapon he finds, not particularly fond of it, especially given his senses. Still, it's anonymous enough. He tries his best to keep a bit of range so he's not immediately mobbed or obvious.

And then he chucks it, hurling it with measured accuracy and a bit of superhuman dexterity, intending to knock the window in and hopefully not damaging any bystanders in the process, but generally trying to disrupt the whole Donna Reed Willy Wonka Zombietown situation that seems to be happening.

Looking upside-down, Kurt gives Kai a grin, "Danke…I did not want to take up too much space," and being on the ceiling seemed to be the best wau to do that. Cookies instead of groceries. It seems like a fair trade, no? Kurt offers the cash to pay for said delicacy before taking the bags with a grin and another, "Danke schoen". He then *BAMFS* away, leaving more brimstone in his wake, only to reappear back among the crowd of kids unable to get in to purchase said cookies. Each one…or, twenty-three of them at least, are offered one of the scrumptious treats.

Kai gathers up his purchase, oven tucked under one arm, and he buys a dozen cookies to take home. He intends to share with no one. Kurt's the better man here by far. "Teleportation," he murmurs, "that would be so handy. Beats the subway." He starts to leave, but then he just kind of lingers, getting out of the way of others hastening to buy their ovens. That cookie smell. He's not ready to leave it just yet.

Fitz stepped over to one of the small metal and glass bistro tables. He set upon it the bag of cookies somehow promising himself he'd save one for his lab partner…or…well…he could eat these and come back? Bah, the guilt was already setting in. He set his spectrometer down with his mitten , Clenching his wallet in his teeth trying to combobulate himself there was a jump on the device. Curious. Leo tapped the glass twice with his finger to test authenticity vs. sensitivity for a moment. Wallet relieved from his teeth and returned to his back pocket he looked around…while munching cookie #2. Then there was that curious… he sniffed. Was a zinc sulfide? He looked for sparks of light or possible traces of hydrogen gas. Nope just…wafting tendrils. Odd. Very odd.

The children startle from the man vanishing out of the Candy Shoppe, and the frantic pat down of crumbs turns them back to the other oven hopefully. They don't really yelp when the window shatters but the gross rock deflects off a table and takes out a jar of arcane licorice. They don't care. Outside, the kids break out of their glazed stare when offered morsels. Little hands go out. Faces are stuffed. Tick, tick, tick.

Cookie bliss afflicts even elves. This naturally happens when exposed to 60W-baked cookies. Another white light blips on the pink enamel carapace of the Happy Hostess, and the machine starts to hum. Greta quarter-turns, sliding her hand into a pink oven mitt. She presses the door, and ding! You thought the first pulse was bad? This one is worse, and all the kids go still again in hope when the sugar cookies emerge. Happy Hostess, brought to you by the same people that put cocaine in Coca-Cola or toddler's teething ointment.

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 6

|ROLL| Miguel +rolls 1d20 for: 7

|ROLL| Fitz +rolls 1d20 for: 7

|ROLL| Nightcrawler +rolls 1d20 for: 13

Miguel finds himself dazed by whatever he'd managed to absorb before he put in his noseplugs. Or maybe it's not the smell at all, maybe the smell's tantalizing nature is just a symptom of something else, some frequency or psionic effect. AT any rate, he finds his mind foggy in the wake of throwing the brick, staring dazedly with his arms falling by his side, unable to yet run or react either way in response to what he's done - luckily, there don't seem to be any immediate consequences for his transgression.

Nightcrawler seems more than happy to dole out cookies until there is only one left. If there is one or two more children left who didn't get a cookie, he considers before breaking it into pieces. It's the least he can do to share and leave himself with a little crumb to savor! It's not the same as a whole cookie, but…consider it pennance for spending that week's grocery money on light-bulb-watt baked goods. There's a moment as the crowd goes quiet and he looks about, as if possibly missing something other than the oven door opening up.

Kai takes a deep breath, and he lets it out slowly. Cookie smell. It is the best smell. His eyes lid, and he hugs his 60W oven in his arms. Sure, there are probably things going on in the world, but they're not as important as cookie smell. Dimly, he murmurs, "You're Scotish." Something that would ordinarily be very relevant to Kai's interests, but now it's just an afterthought. Because cookie smell.

Fitz looked up to Kai from the meter with a 'Hmm? Oh! yeah. North of Glasgow actually. Theee um-" THought lost. Oooh new cookies? Too many flavours. Eyes drift from the counter to his back to the tiny oven in Kai's arms. "They have those here?" His head tilted to see the thing level. "What have a lightbulb or some manner of copper heating element?" Awwwww tiny 110 volt food lab equipment might be usedful. Crud. His eyes went back to his meter. Surely if it's been going on for three days whatever it was would occur again.

No, it's not the smell that does it. Not quite. The ephemeral pulse rolls out unseen by mortal eyes, or most anyways. Ding goes the oven, out come the cookies, and out go a few other things in the roil of energy. The children smile with their beloved cookies in hand or maw. The sprinkles are a thrilling touch, even if the middle proves kind of squishy and a little flat. No one complains. You'd think with broken glass, they would.

"That's all, children," says Elly, so happy.

"Time for us to close," says cashier helper #2 who bagged those cookies.

Cue happy, happy smiles…

Yes, those ovens /are/ lit by lightbulbs!

Miguel manages to kind of shake it off at least a little bit, frowning and backing away a bit. Whatever's going on here, a little physical disruption doesn't seem to be doing the trick. He takes as close a look as he can to try and make sure nobody's being culled off - kids peeled away from the pack, lost sheep sheared. Scavengers always pick on the weak and the straggling, after all.

Whatever's happening, his abilities aren't quite enough to fully counteract it, judging from the daze he himself already felt from the 'cookies'. Just because he's resisted it so far doesn't mean he can make it. Maybe he can investigate later…for now, though, he backs away and makes an escape while he can, before he gets dragged in.

But the Recluse might be returning to this location another time…

Nightcrawler had a little taste of the cookie and that will have to do. As the shopkeepers announce that they're closing, he looks just as disappointed as the kids, but he'll take a few steps back to give the kids room to get on towards their homes. At least he was able to share the delicious cookie love!

"Oh no, they're closing," Kai says, giving Fitz the most tragic of looks, as though all joy is dead and someone put out the sun. It's the puppy eyes that do it. Still, he has an oven, and he offers the Scot, "Let's go make cookies." That's right, the party doesn't have to end! And they'll be away from all these small humans that somehow manage to be perpetually sticky.

Fitz inquired to the shop keep like the earnest lad he was pulling wallet out. "M'am, I would like one of the tiny incandescent ovens if that'd be alright." Growing up with his face in a book or not he was as polite as he was curious and hungry. Cash was exchanged and his smile went up to 40 watts. He noted to Kai who's spoken with him and also had one, "Brilliant idea, right? Make a snack at work and then maybe my lab won't just smell like ozone and cream cheese." At least he could successfully complete his mission even if he was not yet aware of his success in that endeavor.

Two ovens sold to the men. Many more sold to some kids who trundle off. And Greta waves goodbye to all of them as the Candy Shoppe closes on another successful day of business. Tills are full, the stock depleted, and that window will be right as rain in the morning. Even before them as a helpful crew comes out to repair the shattered glass with at least some plywood and a cheerful smile. Happy Hostess delivers good cookies and warm smiles the whole day through!


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