Street Sweeping

August 31, 2014: Mike and Lunair talk while Mike cleans up some of his broken toys in the streets of Mutant Town.

Mutant Town - New York City

Mutant Town isn't so much a slum or ghetto as it an enclave. Sure, it started out as something else, but it's big enough now to have its own personality and, frankly, subcultures within the larger… uh… subculture.

Regardless, it's as eclectic and unpredictable as its inhabitants. Which means: Very.



  • "None"

Mood Music:

The Burning Human festival is not completely over, but it's wound down rather hard today, after a certain Asgardian God of Jerks came by and applied a big fat magical cult indoctrination trick to way too many people. Who were addicted to drugs but are now addicted to obeying Loki. Fortunately he's not here, but so far the results are unknown, will they break the programming or what?

The ice is still hanging around in places. Traffic is messed up. But that's not unusual in Mutant Town. The band … was it real or was it always some group of dead troubadors from Helheim? It sure wasn't Memorex. The area feels like a hangover feels but not as much fun.

There are still thousands of small clockwork bugs all over Mutant Town, and Mike Drakos is walking down the middle of the street (where ice isn't in the way) looking for any that aren't functional. He winces slightly every time he finds one and absorbs it. He started out four feet tall and skinny, at the far end of the street, and he's up to five feet ten inches and normal looking, by this point.


It was a bit weird. Fortunately, Lunair and Skaar mostly played audience and slipped away before the cops could ask them about the mysterious, strangely Hulk-like green man. It was educational for both, though. And things got kind of weird for Lunair's liking. Especially since she has to resist her urge to bust out some sort of firearm and flee. But either way, she's come back to make sure none of her friends are hanging from a tree by their underpants, hungover. She saw it on TV once. Totally.

Nevertheless, she soon finds the street Mike is on. And he - is Mike. There! In all his mostly Mikanian glory! She waves to the man, and heads over. He's not a dude in the traditional sense, but Lunair seems oblivious or completely accepting of an awful lot. It really is odd. "Hey!"


Mike looks up, and smiles, "Hey, thanks for the loan of the sound gun. I'm afraid I don't know what happened to it, I got knocked out of the sky and a bunch of damage, so I can't really give it back."

He doesn't mention, but is thinking, "Also how the hell did that thing work? I mean, dead can dance!"

The Hydra Viral Package scans are back online, at least. Though, Mike isn't personally being any of the scanners, at the moment. That still hurts, to be honest.


Lunair smiles back. "Oh, no problem. And don't sweat it. They just disappear when I'm done or go to sleep," She shrugs. Lunair does unspeakable things to the laws of thermodynamics, it seems. "I'm glad it helped," She nods.

"Are you okay? You seemed a bit overwhelmed," Lunair peers to poor Mike. "I was worried." She goes quiet, her expression a sort of blunted concerned. She has to work on that, really.


"Just a bit, to be honest. I've never tried to use my power so constantly for so long before. I think I overdid it," Mike answers, rubbing the back of his head. The hive of smooth-scan bugs begins to come back online, but it's moving much more mechanically, each individual bug acting more like a real bug than a collective entity. They gradually return to their 'hive boxes' on various rooftops. A car, flipped over in the fight, is lying on its roof, and Mike walks over and touches it to flip it back, rather than levitating the thing.

"I feel like I sprained something."


Hm. Lunair nods. "Yeah, that can happen to most of us, I bet," She considers. She blinks, looking around. And then hey! A car flips back over. "You might've. I tend to burn out certain parts of myself if I overdo it," She admits. "Maybe this is just how yours does when you overreach." She goes quietly. "Maybe a day or two off?" Peer.

Lunair glances around them for a moment. "I - should I help? I don't know what even needs doing to be honest," Besides a general clean up, maybe? "Unless you want a car ride somewhere. Or something to eat."


Mike laughs. "It's OK. I'm just cleaning my leftovers. Someone else gets to deal with his ice walls, and the vendors will be opening up soon, the ones who didn't get trashed. I think the organizers have people coming in to clean up the stage area."

The idea of food is both repellent and enticing to Mike. He walks a few more meters down the road, and more broken bugs tumble through the air and along the road to him, and he gets another inch taller.


"Ah," Lunair nods and looks around. "That's good," She doesn't envy whomever has to clean this up. She is unaware of - did Mike just grow? She blinks. "Did you just get taller?" Lunair ambles up alongside him and stands on her tiptoes to see, peering intently. "Neat."

She wishes she could do that. Course, Lunair is already slightly tall as gals go. "You worked really hard, though," She considers. "So definitely take today off. And I'm glad it's okay," She offers. "We left shortly after the Hulk showed up so my friend wouldn't have to answer a lot of odd questions. Do you know much about that?" She seems curious about what went down.


Mike did review the records of what happened last night. Well, he tried. Some of them. There's still a lot to go through. He ended up sleeping, actually sleeping unconsciously, for about six hours. It was very strange and felt all biological and gritty. But Lune's friend, and the Hulk, and something about a "green scar" that suggests a prior history.

"Your tall friend seems to be related to Hulk somehow. Which is odd, considering that Hulk is the result of a gamma-induced metagene triggered by emotional excess. Also, Hulk and Banner are not the same person. They have completely different body language and movement patterns, even after factoring out gross physical differences."

Total Mike Infodump, TMI. He pulls in another swarm of dead bugs. "I am reintegrating the materials from my broken remotes into my structure so that I can save them for later use in a more compatible packaging format," Mike explains, "as I am trying to maintain a green robot rating."


Lunair listens. She looks thoughtful. "Really? That is odd. He's from another planet…" She explains. Her eyes widen. "That is very odd. No wonder he didn't want to talk about how much they look alike." Pause. "Then again, wouldn't that make family reunions tough?" She considers. "And I hope you mean stuff like height and being green, yeah? That makes sense," She remarks.

Lunair watches him pulling in his bugs and stuff. "… oh. That's thoughtful of you," She remarks. "I didn't - wait, you're robot? Not like an android, cyborg or - how do they classify? Hmm. That's mean. You said you're a robot, so I think you're a robot then." She believes him.


"I've got no idea about your friend and Hulk. And yeah, I'm a robot. Far as I know I'm the only mutant robot. That's because I started as a human. Mutant human specifically," Mike says, "but my power sorta saved my life by merging me into a machine when I was hit by a train."

He grows another inch as more clockwork bugs integrate into his systems.


"Hmm," Lunair considers. "Well, me either to be honest. He doesn't talk about it. Then again, I guess having a relative like the Hulk would be tough in and of itself. And my friend is green all the time." She remarks. "And really? Cool," Peer. Peer. "… although, owch. I'm sorry to hear that. That sounds really rough," She frowns. Hit by a train. Owch.

She kind of watches him grow, curious. "I see. I guess that makes the chair thing make a bit more sense now." Lunair simply accepted it.


Mike is beginning to wonder about that ready acceptance of strangeness. Most people have found the idea of his being a robot weird, at least, the ones who aren't denizens of Mutant Town.

"Chair thing? Oh, that I made them out of something else? Yeah, I'm a technomancer, chairs are, well, not very complicated but they're technology," Mike says. He touch-flips a car off its side onto the road, not letting it lurch. The side panels are badly dented, but he'll fix that later. His energy level is still strangely low. Ahead, around the corner, is where the vendors were set up, and many of them are still there, though about half have torn down early because of the violence yesterday. The police were visible, which made some others nervous as well. But the smell of cooking street food is noticeable.

"So are you hungry? I think the fried-everything-on-a-stick vendor has opened up."


Lunair doesn't. It really is odd. She seems okay with big green people, robopeople and just - things that come her way. She nods. "Technomancer," Pause. "Cool." She watches him do his thing, and walks alongside him if he likes. She hms softly. Police, huh. Well, she's in civilian guise and doesn't seem to be on wanted posters just yet. She doesn't seem too ruffled, though more curious.

"I could eat a little, yeah. And on a stick? Intriguing," Lunair does seem curious. "If food isn't your thing, I can totally wait though." She looks thoughtful. "Or we can sit somewhere. I feel a bit bad my friend and I didn't step into the fight more. But uhm." To be fair, it would've been pretty ugly.


Most of the police were here during the night, and have gone, but there are a few still around, following up on the events, communicating with next of kin in a few cases. Not every smooth dealer was caught up by Loki - a few were locked down or escaped in the confusion. The same for the addicts, though many of those (but not enough) have gone to the clinic after seeing the signs about 'getting clean off smooth' during the festival. The fried stick food… the only thing they don't really offer is 'soup'.

"I can eat. I'll buy, festival is paying for my food this weekend," Mike says, selecting the tempura shiskebab. He looks sideways at Lune.

"I'm kind of glad you didn't. That was good use of restraint. We had relatively few deaths because of it."


Lunair looks around, here and there. She seems curious. "I guess this was because of some new drug? I heard rumors about it, but I didn't think. I mean, every week someone freaks out about some new fad to get high," She says. Which is ironic, given Lunair's right about the right age for it. "Okay, I didn't want to assume. Hmm," Lunair considers it. She'll try … some lamb and mint. The wolf?

"And thank you. I'll get the next one then," She promises, glancing back over. "And oh. Yeah. Hey!" Pout. "Wait. Two big- yeah, that would've been bad." TWO angry Hulks. Shiver. "I'd never want to be on Hulk's bad side. Or in front of him when he's unhappy." She furrows her brows. "Strangely, my friend is kind of gruff, but he's a good person. Just really, really strong."


"The drug is called 'the smooth' because it helps to smooth out the problems caused by bad mutations. It suppresses the X-Gene somehow, I'm not sure. It's being sold to people who can't control their powers, who don't want to be mutants, who have lethal X-Gene mutations. But it's not any kind of FDA approved thing. It just makes things easier. And this would be fine, except that they've added something to it, so that a single shot is completely addicting, and the craving becomes increasingly worse and the power control becomes increasingly worse," Mike says. The vendor shudders. She lost a sister to the stuff, and she quietly curses whoever invented it.

"I didn't know anything about it until a few weeks ago, when a young guy, maybe sixteen or seventeen, wasn't able to get it, and a mob started cursing him because he was in withdrawal. His power went… wrong… and he ended up killing a six year old boy and a twelve year old girl before we managed to put him under. Do not under any circumstances let anyone give you that drug."


Lunair listens. She hms and nods. There's a faint frown. "How strange. And awful," She looks sympathetic towards the vendor. "I guess I lucked out in a lot of ways." Lunair has her own problems with her powers. "I guess there's no detox for it?" She asks. "And I won't if I can help it. Those things remind me of back then," At least Lunair stays drug free by virtue of a phobia. Ish.

All in all, quite horrifying. Lunair really did luck out, aside from a few things. "Thank you for telling me. I'll shout if I see anything," She remarks. "And so now a lot of the users just wanna follow that Loki around?" Do they want to party all night and get Loki? Ahem.


It's very likely that they do, in fact, want to 'get Loki-ed' but surely, somewhere, someone will be able to break the charm. Not Mike. He's only a wizard with metal and machinery.

"I lucked out too. I won the Darwin Lottery but didn't have to die," Mike says, blandly, but really, that's not a good one to win. He looks at Lune, "Did you know what you wanted to order? Should select something. Could we also get two deep-fried Snickers bars, please," Mike asks the vendor, who has those pre-packaged because of their popularity. Plop. Deep-fry…


Hopefully. Lunair knows next to nothing about magic beyond Lucky Charms, Loki Is Probably Bad To Be Around, and a few basic facts.

"Yeah? There's a Darwin Lotto?" Whoosh. "I did in my way, too. Though, it took years." She looks to Mike. "Uhm, Lamb and mint please," Seems to be a common kebab flavor, yes? Yes. "And wow, people eat those? Those look intense. And kind of intriguing," She peers at the deep-fried Snickers bar. Is it food to troll tourists? What's happening here?


The deep-fried Snickers bar, as presented: One (1) frozen Snickers brand candy bar, standard size, at approximately the temperature of dry ice, with a wooden dowel already inserted to serve as the handle. Dipped in tempura batter (in this case made with beer) and allowed to drip off excess before being dipped again and then plunged into 450F almost-boiling oil. Actually, two of those go in. They take only a minute or so to cook - just long enough for the tempura to cook properly. The vendor explains that these were invented in a bar in Scotland, near Aberdeen, only they used what they call Mars Bars over there because they can't use the proper names for anything food, ever. They are ready before the other kebabs are done, in fact, and the kebabs are set to cool and drain while the Snickers are merely given a thirty second opportunity to drip onto a napkin to reduce the grease levels and to even the temperature a bit more.

"Thanks," Mike says, accepting his, as Lune is given hers separately. The robot glances at his and says, "Still a bit hot, might want to wait a few seconds before you bite in," and then he just goes ahead himself and eats a third of his. The chocolate coating is melted, the nougat inside is creamy and slow-moving, and the nuts are, well, just nuts.


Lunair carefully accepts hers, "Thank you," She nods. She watches the process quietly curious and tilting her head. As far as she's concerned, it's miles better than the hospital food she grew up on. The world can only go up for Lunair, really. "Neat, " She offers to the vendor. She wishes the vendor a nice day, and looks to Mike.

She wisely gets a few napkins, too. "Okay," She nods. THen a blink, her eyes widen. "That doesn't hurt?" That surprises her a little. But then, it's hard to say with her. "It looks interesting." Silly nuts. Nevertheless, she will wait and try hers. "Huh, this is … intense." Yes. "I take it this is a treat kinda thing?" Surely people don't eat it often?


"Robot here," Mike says, without bothering to use his mouth to talk since it's busy with candybar. "I do not recommend this for anyone with meat-based bodies. Yours should be cool enough in another twenty seconds."

The question about 'is this a treat or do people eat this a lot' gets Mike looking on the webz, and regretting it immediately. He finally answers, when he can speak with his mouth again, "It appears that perhaps one-half of the people who eat these eat them at least twice per month if not more frequently, and not coincidentally their diets are heavy in fried foods in general. They tend to be unhealthy. The other group eats them once, possibly twice, in a one to five year period, and there is no evidence that they're affected badly."

If Roberto were here he would be going on and on about Mike using the Wiki, but why shouldn't he?


"Oh. Yeah, that makes sense," Lunair nods. She goes and waits at least 20 seconds. She listens as he speaks. Because hey, she has a meat body and all.

She blinks, her eyes widen. "Huh. I think I'd feel kinda sick, eating 'em that much," She considers. It's a bit mindboggling, even if Lunair often eats quite badly. "How do you know all this stuff?" She asks, perhaps unaware if his webz browsing isn't visible. "Normally I'd have to take my tablet out," She admits.

Lunair will then dive in and give the bar a try once it's safe for meat people. "mmhm. Interesting." It's an odd mix of flavors, but kind of fulfilling in a guilt inducing, pancreas and artery wrecking way.


"I looked it up online," Mike says blandly. "I don't always have to do that for stuff I know, but, hey, when you're a robot you can have a lot of useful tools built in without messing things up."

The kebabs come out faster than the snickers bars, which started much colder than the traditional versions, so that there's a hint of "baked alaska" about them with a few parts still frozen. They're cooled, and ready, by the time the two customers are done with Eating Dessert First.


Because grownups Eat Dessert First, clearly. Lunair ohs. "I see," She smiles. Lunair accepts that as it is, though she asks, "Do you have to worry about malware and stuff?" That seems like it could be a problem.

She eats at a steady pace, looking thoughtful about it all. This is pretty novel to her. "And I hope I'm not asking too many questions," She says, her voice a little more expressive than her face. She's working on it, really.

"I have to admit, you are the first robot I have ever met," She remarks. "But um, I guess if you had questions, I should answer them, too."


"I had to consider malware when I was first recovering from the accident, and I came up with what seems like it will be a good answer. I don't run anything like the ordinary OS's, so generally no. But my internal Windows PC is restarted in a virtual machine frequently. Nobody wants that kind of thing sticking around," Mike says.

He accepts his kebab, and tastes it. "Huh. Food flavor calibration algorithm has improved. Maybe I just needed more extrema in the database."

There is one thing that Mike's wondering. He decides to ask it in as neutral and robot a way as he can so she can blame any awkwardness on the robot thing.

"I observe that you seem to be extremely well socialized in some areas, and not well in others. Is this a result of your mutation, or a separate thing related to upbringing. Please discard the question if you do not want to answer it."


"Ah," Lunair nods. "That's wise." Pause. "Does it hurt to restart?" Is it like going to the bathroom maybe…? She does seem to agree with him. Lunair will take a nibble of hers and smiles. "So … not much different from most people. We find we like more things as we try more of them," She remarks. She seems happy to try new stuff with him.

And then he asks her the question. She looks confused a moment. Then ohs. "The second, I think," She hasn't thought too much about it or asked to have it tested, it seems. "I wasn't able to see people much or be around them a lot," She offers. "It's a long story, I guess. I can kind of summarize it." She hms. "But so many people have much sadder stories. It feels wrong to think about it much."


"Restarting myself? Only if I'm trying to wake in a body that's been damaged. Restarting my internal virtual computer, no, not particularly, it doesn't exist except as a process running on another computer so it's not terribly difficult at all. I don't mind hearing your story, after all, you heard mine."

Mike realizes that she may be somewhat autistic as well, but that's not a question he feels appropriate asking.


Lunair ahs. "I see. That makes sense, kinda," She offers. And Lunair might be along that spectrum, but she wouldn't know. It is entirely possible. Lunair inclines her head. "Well. When I was born, apparently I was sick a lot. And it got worse. I couldn't get better, so I usually stayed in a room with filtered air. No one could touch me. I mostly remember a lot of gloves," She closes an eye, trying to recall.

"It was that way for years, but I was dying. I remember more and more doctors and even weird machines. Till they signed me up for some trial or another." She looks thoughtful. "There were others, but we could only play so much. And eventually, it seems, we all had powers. A lot of us died when Tammy freaked out and leveled the building. I didn't."


"I see," Mike says, having flashbacks of Hydra and the N-Series experiments. It isn't entirely unlikely that there might be some connection, so he'll have to ask Jericho about it. Later. Once they finish up with that virus.

"You don't seem to have immune system problems now. Was this a sudden thing, or gradual? Was it connected to acquiring powers?"

And incidentally, why do you summon deadly weapons at will, that seems rather like something that someone would shape into the young girl with the power to manifest objects.

That last bit goes unspoken of course.


Maybe, maybe not. "No, not unless I overuse my powers and burn it up. They seem connected, I guess. The treatment did make me healthier," She admits. "It was kind of gradual? I was scared because one of the guys could turn into something big and then I pulled a sword because knights fight dragons. And then we argued for hours on if a girl could be a knight." It seems it was partially accidentally, definitely encouraged. "So we don't know what I can do really."

"But they taught me to make more weapons and stuff. So… who knows. I figured out armor recently. That was cool."


"That is indeed cool. Your abilities are still improving. So, were you taught anything else?" Mike subtly interrogates. The subtleness it is so subtle.


"I think so. And um, not really. Pretty much weapons, soldiery mercenary skill stuff," Lunair replies. If he's interrogating her, she hasn't noticed. She has a definite hard time with social subtlety sometimes. And this is one of those times. "And thanks, I'm glad you think so," She smiles up at him. "I have to understand it a bit or have an idea what it is or how it works to make it, though. As in, I should at least see it." Which means she might actually be quite intelligent.


Mike gets that last bit and he nearly stops eating … well, he's almost done anyway, but he freezes for just a bit longer than one would expect, to think about the ramifications of what Lunair just said. Mercenary skills, weapons. Dammit. It really WAS yet another Hydra thing. And she's unnervingly smart, though not quite "Dr. K" level — she hasn't destroyed the world accidentally with a computer virus — but Mike was integrated into that dubstep gun and he has no idea why it should possibly have worked, even on the dead. Maybe it's a form of reality alteration to go with creating the weapons?

"That's very interesting. That power could save a lot of lives if you could create something that other people could copy."


Fortunately, her friendly (aside from, y'know, the whole not being ruffled about killing during work - although she does notably hesitate to harm noncombatants), somewhat immature personality keeps her from really going full murder. Lunair nomfs on her kebab and blinks at Mike. She looks a little puzzled at him. That is her life. It is what she is and what she has known. She swallows and pauses. "I've only been at it about 7 years," She tics off on her fingers. "Ish? Maybe 6? I kinda stopped counting. Less interesting than birthdays," She admits.

A shrug. Nomf. Then she looks over, thoughtful. "I can keep a weapon around as long as I am conscious, even if I'm not there. So I can lay mines or stuff behind or in front of me if I have to." A beat. "I threw one at a guy's head once, and then he got elected. I have to be careful not to start any governments."


Mike has determined that the Lunair is a hazard to linear thought processes.

"Starting governments. OK. That's different, but plausible," Mike says. "It seems like causing a government to rise, or turn over, is probably as much of an interference in a country as toppling its government. Sure."

He looks toward the heavens. WHY ME? He apparently doesn't see what he was looking for in that direction, as he then just smiles at Lunair and says, "I should resume cleaning my mess up. I still have to go to my junk yard today too. I hope I have the energy to do it."


Lunair does seem to have remarkably non-linear thought patterns. But she tilts her head, looking curiously at Mike. "Sorry." She blinks over to him. Then a smile. "Okay. Do you want a ride or anything? I could bring you something to -" Pause. "Uhmm… I have no idea. But thank you for hanging out with me. It was fun." She's nice, even if it's hard to keep up with her brain sometimes


"No thanks. I live in this neighborhood, and I'm a motorcycle when I need to be, so I'm fine for that," Mike says. "I enjoyed talking with you too. It's good for me not to become too deeply entrenched in the mundane, and you are a very good antidote to that."

He reaches out a bit further than he could before, having eaten. Hmm. Energy is good. More broken scanner-bugs drift from around, and he quickly gains another six inches and starts looking somewhere between 'normal' and Lune's friend from last night, as he continues his sweep.


Lunair nods, and smiles. "Neat. Sure thing. And I -" blink. "See." She just sort of stops a moment. "Good luck, and have a good evening." Lunair waves after him, and will let him be in peace to gather his bugs. She'll probably find some sort of explorin' to do.

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