Chitter Chatter

July 08, 2014: Robotic drones, pizza, beer, and odd new company in the park. (Some language use.)

Central Park

Home of all sorts of weird creatures. Like pigeons.



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Mood Music:

Mid-90's (fahrenheit) once again, though thunderstorms are likely at any point in the day, given the pressure cells in the area. Tourist season is in full swing, and couples dot the park, as well as larger groups from all around the globe.

Having claimed a picnic bench under a tree (prime location!), a rather large mutant (6'9") is in short sleeves, long pants, boots stands beside it. Things are scattered upon the top of it, all random bits of technology, surrounding a single, built transponder/transciever. Also scattered in the mix of things are chips, a half-drank bottled six-pack, and even in the morning, a closed pizza box.

The white-haired mutant is looking into the near distance at a .. thing that's settled in the main field not far from where he is, and his jaw shoots sideways, cheek twitching with tension.

Not. Working. Why not?


Inara parks as close to the Central Park zoo as she is able to. Her boss has put her out on loan again. Sometimes, being a known mutant is annoying. Not like she could hide her abilities. The minute she gets out of her vehicle, the animals take notice, looking up to watch her approach. At least today she won't have to answer 'What did the tiger just say?' or the monkey, or the hyena, or the 'insert animal here'. She loves her job, she really does. She just wishes that humans were as fun to work around as the animals were.

And so it is, the Persian woman is walking in the park to get to the zoo. Parking wasn't as good as she hoped. Still, at least she got to the actual Park and not a block or two away from it.


Couples, much like individuals, come in all varieties. For that big and tall white haired guy with one solid metal arm, it could be assumed that anyone hanging off of his arm would be pretty bizarre, themselves. In this case, that's fairly true.

"Christ it's getting bright out here. Least you had the sense to park it under the shade or you'd be blinding half the people in the city."

It's a rare sight for Domino to be out of her armor, particularly on days like today where its thermal regulation does wonders. The albino, hilariously small by comparison to Cable's stature, rocks the combat look with black boots and pants likely found from a tactical supply store, a tank done in arctic camo print, and a black button down shirt left open both to cover alabaster skin from the sun while allowing some circulation. And to hide the sidearm tucked behind her. The dark purple sunglasses do little to hide the large black spot around her left eye.

"What's wrong, Nate?" Dom asks while randomly picking something up from the table to idly toy with in her hands. Her head's lopsided as she looks up to him, it's easier to do compared to the tourist 'highrise gawk.' "You look like you just found out the roaches aren't part of the all meat deluxe."


Really, what does the tiger say? How many fights has Inara broken up between simians that started 'You don't need that extra banana. Your butt's red enough!'? Nate is a rather rude telepath; there are no laws and no unspoken etiquette regarding telepathic abilities, and as a result, surface scans are de rigeur. Nothing deep, nothing personal, but if a person is going to broadcast, it will be picked up.

Call it a 'survival trait'.

Of course, Nate also has the remarkable ability to discern other mutants, though not necessarily their abilities. But when a mutant comes in and the squirrels take notice? Huh… and cybernetic eye teams with his blue one to look up at the entering Inara. It lingers there a moment before his attention is pulled by the ever -faithful- Domino.

Nate stares at the albino for a long moment before the (mostly) unsmiling man scowls in her diretion. "It's got to be hitting interference, but there's nothing on that frequency." Nothing rated, anyway.. and he plops down on the bench, pulling his controller to him.

"I paid extra for the roaches," is deadpanned.


Rodents and birds. They are always the first to notice her. Maybe it's because they have bigger numbers. Inara is trying to get to the zoo, somethng about the snow leopard being listless. She sighs and shakes her head as she thinks that it likely a small problem that the vets could handle on their own, but if it means more money for the Bronx Zoo, by her boss hiring her out to the others in the area? Well, more money means better upkeep for the animals at her own zoo.

She is stopped by a squirrel that runs right up to her, chattering away at her. She knew it was only a matter of time and chuckles softly, heading over to vender of roasted peanuts. She purchases a bag and then continues along her way, dropping peanuts behind her for her little entourage of rodents.

The extremely tall man and his albino friend are noticed, but Inara has the good graces not to stare. They are likely just mutants like her, so why stare? One doesn't stare at a person for having red hair and that is just a genetic anomaly too.


"Really? No 'Hi Dom, how was your day?' Not even a 'what are you doing here?'" she inquires with a wry smirk. "I was in the area and wanted a drink," the smaller mutant continues while nonchalantly helping herself to one of the yet unopened cans. "Booze senses were tingling. But you already knew that. Damn telepaths."

"We're in the middle of Manhattan, who the hell knows what all's out there? There's you, there's SHIELD HQ within spitting distance, there's the Sardines, I could go on but I'd rather sit, drink, and mess with your stuff." Which she does, sitting right on the table with the bench serving as a place to drop her small but heavy combat boots.

(The hell is this thing, anyway?) she thinks while rolling the randomly selected item about in her black-nailed fingertips.

"So I've got a gig coming up. Far north. Cat herding, but the coin's fairly remarkable. Which means I should be able to cover your last month's tab at Luigi's." Pause. Alright, so she's no psychic herself but she can tell when he gets a mental thread to tug on. Quickly inclining her head in Inara's direction, she asks Cable "Squirrel lady, right? She a hoarder or something?"


"You wouldn't tell me how your day was anyway," Nate returns, his tone sounding distracted. "Oh yeah.. damned teeps," follows with a hint of a smile rising. He's actually happy to see her, even if he has to reach out to pull that random bit of tech away from the bored cat that is the albino merc.

A nod is given towards the beer; good for the taking, as long as it's not the -last-, which it isn't. Not yet, anyway. "Let me know when you're done. I'm tracking the time so I can mess with your stuff later. I know you hate it when I'm in your drawers." Weapons are there, too. He knows -that- for a fact.

"Far north?" Nate stops his futzing to look at Domino, brows rising. "How long will you be gone?" Then again, he knows what she does in the matter of a second and he nods, attention returning towards the table before they shift towards Inara.

"Nope, not a hoarder. Mutant." Here, Nate at least has the grace to keep his voice down. "She should probably ask for a raise or leave work."

The moment an animal gets near Cable's robo-thing, the red light of connection comes on, and it rises to float about a foot off the ground, it's receiving antennae making it look as if it's 'looking' at the squirrel. Slowly, it moves forward, much to Cable's fleeting surprise.

"Oh hey.. someone must have hung up."


Inara is finishing off the last of the peanuts, tossing them to the animals around her as she smiles. She seems happy and content. She kneels down to pet some of Central Park's 'fluffy rats', seeming to be talking to them.

The squirrel that got a little too close to Cable and his things was about to bury the peanut he just receieved when something floats up to look at him. The squirrel sniffs at it and then quickly runs away, straight to the woman. She looks up and over to the pair, the squirrel scampering up her offered arm and onto her shoulder. She waves her hands gently and squirrels scatter to go about their day. She starts making her way towards the pair. "Hello. I don't mean to be rude, but I was told you have a floating silver nut with ant feelers?"


"Okay, you might have a point," Domino admits. "Hey..! Grabby much?" she snaps back while quickly reaching out to smack his arm.

In another moment she's looking back to the guy when he talks about messing with her stuff. "Aw come on, you're not still sore from when I shot you in the back of the head, are ya?" Just for that she's going to find something else on the table to mess about with. Gods know what any of it actually does but if he lugged it all the way up here then it -must- be important.

"Yeah," she simply confirms after he asks his questions then already gets the answers on his own. Then when pointing out the other mutant, hushed voice and all, she looks up and smiles big at the other woman right about when the squirrel flips out. "Hiya." Subtle, as always.

Hung up? "Oh good, that means they've triangulated your position and are on the move. Sounds like a pie and a beer to go for me."

With Inara's question voiced to the pair Dom casts another glance back at Cable. "You didn't grow a pair of antenna I don't yet know about, did you?" Because the rest of the description fits pretty darned well.


"I'm always sore about you shooting me in the back of the head. At least you don't leave me in the sewers anymore." Anymore. Not the best of places to wake up. Quiet, sure. Out of the way of prying eyes? Sure. But.. sewers.

Lifting his hand from his stuff fully in the belief that now she'll leave it alone, Nate turns his attention to Inara. In a sotto voice, however, he does answer Domino, "You know me better than anyone. I sprout antennae, you'll know it." But.. oh, hey.. floating silver nut?!

A fleeting glance is given to Domino before he grabs his controller and shuts his little drone down. "No, it's nothing they can track," Nate begins, and then addresses Inara with a rather rare chuckle. "I suppose it could be described- didn't scare him, did it?" That could be a good thing- something that doesn't tip off the animals, thus giving him a little more in the way of stealth.


Well, that is an interesting conversation to walk in on. Inara doesn't know how to respond to a pair of people talking about shooting the big one in the head as casually as if it were buying a beer.

"He wasn't sure if he should eat it, bury it or get me to get rid of it. Hence I'm here. I find it's easier to just do what they want. Otherwise they follow me all day and worry people." She looks to the squirrel. "Yes, I just asked him. Well, I don't know, he hasn't had time to answer yet. Because you aren't giving him a chance, that's why. Patience. Stop. No, stop. Just calm down. Here, have a peanut." She offers a sheepish smile to the other mutants. "Sorry. Squirrels aren't the most patient of animals."


"And yet you keep coming back, dull as ever," Dom quietly responds in what may be more idle musing than continuing that topic. "I mean, I could -try- to leave you on the floor of a five star restaurant next time but I've found they tend to frown at that sorta thing."

Wait. Wait wait. With a blank expression behind her shades Dom looks back to the unidentified mutant lady, then to the squirrel, then back to the lady. "Are you seriously talking to the squirrel..?" (I've heard of crazy park ladies but I thought it was a prerequisite to be at least fifty years old.)

Here, though, she smiles back to Inara. "That's okay, neither is he. Sounds like we're all from the same barrel of weirdass genes. Name's Domino." Which is typically best recognized within illegal operations from the underground and high ranking government officials.

Motioning back to what remains of the beer, she offers "First one's free."


It's true. Talk about getting shot in the back of the head should be extraordinary. But with these two? Almost as common as Nate and pizza. Almost. "At least they'd try to wake me up with sparkling water." Instead of rats and sewer water.

"Well, I'd rather he not bury it," Cable begins, though he sounds a little distracted. Squirrels… nope. Nothing of intelligence that he can pick up. Never have, never will. Doesn't mean he doesn't give it a try again, but it's just not his particular gift. "You can actually talk to them.. or just know what they want. Do they 'talk' or just form concepts?" Fascinated now… and he rises from the picnic bench to his full height. "Nate. Nate Summers."

Though when Domino compares him to a .. squirrel? Cable tosses a random round found in a pocket at her in mock retaliation. "Hey.."


Inara nods to Domino. It's a question she's used to. Are you really talking to that cat, dog, squirrel, tiger, snake. "Yes, when he's letting me get a word in edgewise." The squirrel sits on her shoulder, chittering at the pair on the table, it's tail twitching about 5 miles an hour.

Inara offers out her hand to Domino. Not being either a part of the underground or a government official of any ranking, the name means nothing to her. "Inara Bahrami." She now smiles to Nate. Yes, these questions usually come next. "It depends on the animal. The ones that are more intelligent do more talking. The ones like this one here," she says, nodding to the little grey on her shoulder, "It is more… I just know what they are trying to say. But they all understand me, so… " She raises a shoulder. "If you're about to ask how it works, I don't know. It just does. I understand them and they understand me."


(Wow, when's the last time anyone's offered to shake my hand?) The albino leans forward and reaches back, all the same. Hey, why not?

"'These are highly sophisticated machines which are much more delicate than they look and are -not- to be buried,'" Domino recites (mostly) from memory from the countless other times she's decided to mess with Cable's fancy gadgetry. Like the piece that's now in her hand, cylindrical in nature. It retains its shape as she gives it a few good thunks against the side of the table, too. She hasn't personally attempted to bury any of them yet.

With the questions that follow and when he stands to introduce himself, she says from the side "Oh, -now- you've got his attention." And hers when she suddenly catches an unfired 20 gauge shotgun shell that gets lobbed her way. "Are you -still- clinging to that small bore pellet-chucker? Next I'm gonna find half of my sidearms replaced with wheelguns 'for their mechanical simplicity and superiority,' goddamn."

As for Inara's explanation on her power, she offers "These things rarely make any sense. My ability is being able to put up with him," she claims with a lopsided smirk, thumbing over to where Cable stands.


Cable watches as the squirrel does, indeed, chatter at them seemingly non-stop. "Reminds me of someone I know," he hazards and slowly turns his head towards the albino merc. "Same.. most don't understand her but I do." There is a ghost of a smirk that plays upon the large mutant's face, but he does try to hide it as he retakes his spot. Gesturing towards the table, he offers a silent 'join us' in action. "You must get that a lot. 'Are you really talking to that animal?' Sorry. It's just interesting what the mind can do. It's something of a pet topic for me."

Nate reaches out for that metallic 'egg' that the merc seems intent upon cracking and making a mechanical omelette. "Stop that," is given flatly, and he'll take it should she give it up. "And yes.. I still have that thing. It's got the best for spread. If I wanted overkill, I'd still go for aerial bombardment." Though now, sadly, he's not set up for it. Yet.

Cable returns to their recent 'guest', and he nods his acknowledgment. "Might be interesting to find out later. Give you a better understanding too. Distance, if there's a species that reacts better than another.."


Inara's handshake is stiff and formal, not something that she herself is used to, but it's part of the human ritual. It's people polite. She tilts her head to the squirrel on her shoulder. "Not food, not to be buried. No, you can't pee on it, it doesn't belong to you. Leave it alone. Go tell the others." The squirrel looks miffed. He wanted to eat the silver nut. Considering it had antenna and could fly, it might taste like a cross between a nut and an beetle. Good eats!

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Domino and Nate. I'm sorry if I interupted your picnic." She looks at her watch and considers. Really, the CP Zoo staff don't need her right away to tell them that the snow leopard is lonely. It's all alone in that pen. She knows that will be the problem before even walking in there to talk to it. And so, she sits down when offered. "Don't be sorry. I'm used to it. I've been talking to animals before I could talk to people, so I've gotten asked a lot." She regards Nate with a tilt of her head. "A scientist." With guns. "Interesting."


(Free ammo is free ammo,) Dom thinks while pocketing the round. When Cable takes another verbal shot at her the sunglasses are tugged away from her face just enough for her to stare back up at the guy, though there's a pale smirk to accompany it. 'Something of a pet topic?' Seeing the squirrel perched on the woman's shoulder, Dom slowly pushes the shades back into place with a "Too soon, Nate…"

"Heaven help us all if there's another you inside of this thing," comes in warning while she gives the metal egg a light toss into the air where he can catch it.

In further explanation, she offers "Mutant Physiology 101. Figuring out what makes us tick is something of a hobby for him." So..hmm. Inara here can speak to animals. Now Dom's wondering if she can communicate with those little blue teleporting rodents. Might make future gear retrieval easier for the merc.

"People are messed up, I'd say you've got a pretty sweet gig there." Double-hmm. "Can your diminutive fuzzy pals help you locate people that might not want to be found?"


Nate catches the 'egg' with Domino's easy toss, and now pockets it into one of his many pockets. He's enjoying listening to the interplay between Inara and the squirrel.. and not catching anything telepathically out of the norm. As far as that goes, anyway. When she gives her instructions, 'Go tell the others', he nods his head with a 'Thanks' following soon after.

"You didn't interrupt much. Just a test. One, however, that'll have to be done again tomrrow about the same time." He wants to check to see if he's got the same fequency 'jam'. Now, the fact that he couldn't get through is much more interesting than him being able to and testing the circuitry.

"It's true. Mutants are something of a specialty of mine. I can't help it. There are always bad guys ready to do something to them," Us, "and we have to find ways to anticipate and advance." From scientist to battlefield general.

It's a fair question that Domino asks, seconding it with, "If you don't want to answer, that's okay. It's a little personal as questions go. Asking about someone's abilities."


Inara thinks about Domino's question as the squirrel scampers off to go tell the rest of his furry brethren that the flying silver nut is sadly off limits. This apparently turns into an arguement that dissolves into a bunch of chasing around the park. "It depends on the animal. Some have longer memories then others, so are obviously better at helping me to find things."

She smiles to Nate, raising a hand to dismiss his offering of letting her not answer. "It's good to let people know that I'm just another person. I realize that mutants can be scary for some, so if I'm willing to show others that I'm really not that bad, then maybe they will see us for what we are." She lets out a little sigh now that the squirrel is gone, feeling a little uncomfortable. She can't feel people like she can feel animals and it's always unsettling.


"Since when did you become so concerned about another's comfort levels?" Domino asks Nate when he assures Inara that she doesn't have to answer. "Or is it just mine that you completely disregard on a regular basis."

Interesting to learn about Inara's abilities. There's plenty of jobs out there for tracking down people that don't want to be tracked down. If the albino were to, oh, make a sizeable donation to the Bronx Zoo, perhaps… It's an idea to consider, and quite possibly worth getting Inara's contact info for later.

"Seem like a straight-shooter to me," she admits. (In a different sense than the rest of us.) "If you've got the time to burn Nate's still got the pizza. Maybe with you here he can explain what half of this stuff does, 'cause he's not sharing much of anything with just me."

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