Among The Flowers

September 30, 2014: A brief encounter with two mutants and a cheshire among the flowers.

Botanical Gardens

Plants, plants everywhere!



  • None

Mood Music:

The rainforest was here in New York. Cheesy 'rainforesty' sounds were being emitted from speakers cleverly hidden in this exhibit, the crowds of people that had filled these Gardens having petered out to something a little more manageable. And the rainforest portion? There was only one family near one end of the exhibit.

And Laura Kinney.

The woman wore a silver cross upon a chain about her neck - wearing a crimson, belly bearing - spaghetti strap top under a leather bomber jacket. A belt of many silver loops linked across her waist, tucked into denims that were tucked into the kneehigh boots that looked like they belonged on a soldier. Laura wore a pair of fingerless gloves too.

And a vaguely vacant expression as she looked at a South American flower. In fact, the portion that she had been standing in for the last thirty minutes or so was specifically linked to the rainforests of that region, her eyes wide and fixing in on the vibrant colours of the petal. Her shoulders and form were exceptionally tense.

What a great night for a drive! Especially if you're a were-car! On the HUNT! Beeeep Beeeep Awoooo… wait, no that's just on television. Mike2 kicks his third persona processor with a reset.

"Wake up, you're dreaming." "But it was a good dream." "We're not even driving. We're at the botanical gardens." "I know, that's why I fell asleep." "What are you, ten? Come on, focus."

While Mike's arguing with himself, Mike1 (the process actually controlling the body) is guiding it towards the South American section. Why? Because, well, someone wants a particular shade of paint for a very expensive car they're having made. And that shade of paint is the color of a particular orchid. Yay.

"Both of you get back on task," Mike1 says to himself, and "good afternoon," to one of the other people leaving the area. The guy said the orchid was here. Somewhere. Yay.

The chassis he's driving on this particular excursion isn't his usual gold-plated robot model, nor is it his usual fake human and skin. Instead, it's a deep blue-black metal, flexible as though it were skin, and burnished rather than highly polished, so it scatters light a bit rather than reflecting like a mirror.

And speaking of vibrant colors, something striped and purple made his way into the exhibit as well. Vorpal isn't in his hero uniform, but in a white sleeveless shirt that leaves his very bandaged shoulder free from interference, and a pair of black slacks. No shoes, he doesn't need them in this form.

He's supposed to be relaxing, enjoying himself, taking it in. Recovering from that arrow to the shoulder (and from the procedure to extract the arrowhead) means low activity and some relaxation… otherwise he gets lectured.

It has been a long time since he has been to this part of the city. It's nice, really, and exotic. He too is captivated by the plant life, which seems to exhibit colors almost as extravagant as his own, so he feels a little at home here.

And speaking of exotic colors, the cheshire notices that someone with a decidedly blue finish is in the area, along with a perfectly lovely and normal-looking young woman.

He wasn't someone to balk at unusual coloration, was he? Half of the time he was an eggplant, and he was dating someone in the spectrum of Mint and Lime.

It was the hearing that clued Laura off to Mike's presence before anything else. It didn't sound like a human, at any rate.

The jet-black-plated robo, as soon as whatever sounds or scents were associated with it drew nearer - Laura starts to step into the false foliage of the place. There wasn't a whole lot of places to hide, actually - not like a real rainforest, but Laura tries to make due by hunkering behind a serrated-leaved bush of some sort.

Which probably looked odd to Vorpal, seeing as he was looking at her as she tried to hide herself.

A beat - a long moment, and Laura fixes her gaze upon Vorpal, lips pressed into a thin, serious line. As if daring him to call her out to the robot.

The robot continues looking for orchids. Yes. Really, how much is it going to cost, that is, how much is Mike going to charge for this? Oh, it's going up by the minute. Because there are orchids everywhere, and none of them is anything at all like red.

Mike2 takes over the orchid search. Mike looks around. There's something very strange here… some really odd kind of metal, and it's really distracting. It's attached to … calcium? What? That much metal strapped to bones? But it doesn't smell like that guy from the bar in Mutant Town… So now Mike's looking around like he's searching for someOne.

"Um…" Vorpal says, giving his best audible whisper. "The Ladies' is over that way," he thumbs in the general direction of the nearest public restroom. "If it's… you know, an emergency I could, like, port you there?" he says, Goodwill Ambassador of Good Intentions and Bad Results. In his mind, there's usually only one reason for why someone would want to hide in the foliage in a public garden, and that's because they've just had the spicy pork at the Wok II across the street and its delicious, succulent treasure is invoking the Speed Force.

Laura can only frown at Vorpal at his comment.

Rising up to a stand - she was caught, apparently - Laura tucks her hands into the pockets of her jacket, and starts to head towards the exit of the place, moving at a steady clip, her eyes flickering away from the Cheshire as she goes.

"OH! That's who it was," Mike says, as soon as Laura is no longer screened by the mess of pipes, metal plant-supports, and under-mesh that holds the earth in place around the various planting spots.

He calls out to her, "Hey, you wouldn't happen to have seen a red orchid here?"

He then glances over at the purple-ish cat-person, double-takes, and tilts his head to the side. "Well, that's something you don't see every day."

"… I'll honestly never understand people," Vorpal says, frowning at Laura's own frown at him. A lady crouches in the foliage and he gets the look. "So much for Dame Curtsey's advice to always open with a joke—" he blinks and looks at Mike with a raised eyebrow.

"You're kind of not that comon of a sight yourself. Unless the Blue Man Group is in town and I never got word…"

Laura was crouching - she most /certainly/ was /not/ squatting.

The robot speaks to her, and Laura lifts her hand - to point towards one corner of the gardens. "If you mean the passiflora… there's a red one over that way," Laura says. But she pauses. "…but that's not an orchid."

"Hm. Thanks, my client is an idiot and could have been calling it an orchid because of all the orchids here, so I'll see if that's the one," Mike says. "Thanks. By the way, you were perfectly screened visually, but I could feel the metal in your bones. Most robots can't do that, though."

He moves towards the passiflora, hoping that it's something close to the right shades of red.

"Oh, and Vorpal, we met at the mixer. I'm just using a different chassis."

Man, this robot can be annoying sometimes.

Vorpal frowns. Metal in someone's bones? Chassis? He checks his memory to see whether or not he accidentally licked a toad offered to him by a mysterious figure hiding in the shadows somewhere. No, he did not. Therefore this was an actual conversation that was happening around him.

"Sometimes I wonder what it would be like, having a quiet job and a perfectly ordinary life," he mutters to himself. Then it occurs to him that he knows the answer to that, and is not quite sure what to think about the fact that this is the alternative.

"What does a Passiflora look like?" He wasn't kidding when he told someone that anything green he had ever touched wilted. It is very likely that when Keith O'Neil dies, the cumulative knowledge of botany in the human race will go up by a percentage point.

Laura Kinney pauses a handful of moments. The being - Laura suspected it was mechanical, (seeing as it said it was a robot) but being it was for now - obviously had some superhuman capabilities. "What are you?" she asks, her voice low - grim. A beat, and her eyes flicker back towards Vorpal, her eyes narrowing sharply.

"Who are you?"

A question for both. "Tall stalk. Big, floppy petals," says Laura in a bit of a recitatory tone. She had been examining the flowers quite closely on her way in.

"What am I? Just another mutant with a really bad side effect. Mike Drakos. X-Man, team Red," Mike says. He doesn't answer for Vorpal, because that's his job.

The robot continues to where he can see the Passiflora, and shakes his head. "That's not it. Doesn't look like a flamenco dancer. Also no white stripy part on the pistils. She said Brazilian, maybe it's further along?"

Vorpal frowns. And then his memory is jolted. "Aaah, I remember now, then- you were the one on fire!" Yes, that had been the entirety of his experience with Mike. Well, there had been that HYDRA-fighting party (it was a party, right?) in the mansion grounds, but he didn't really have time to socialize.

"Er… I'm Vorpal. I'm a member of the Titans."

A heartbeat, and then he speaks up again, "I hope that's a good answer." There is something about the way the woman narrows his eyes that makes him wish for a good answer.

Laura lowers her chin, lifting her gaze so that she was staring out of the tops of her eyes. A handful of moments more, and she keeps her gaze upon Mike.

"Nice to meet you," she says. As for the flower? "If you are a robot, can't you google in your head?"

Laura purses her lips as she watches Vorpal. "A superhero," she says, her voice level. "Isn't that what the Titans are?"

"Yes, I was the one on fire, because someone had a solar-flare-class EMP that was strong enough to knock Magneto over, if he'd been there," Mike grouses to Vorpal. He looks at Laura, shaking his head, "Yeah, that's what Berto always says. I did google it, that's why I'm here. I need to get a better image of the flower she wanted so I can generate the right color scheme. Pictures online can have terrible color distortion."

He mentally adds another thousand to the price of this particular paint and style, because pain in the tuchus. If only there were a more accurate map of this place… no, there isn't one on Google. Dammit.

"Super-well, no." Vorpal seems a little uncomfortable with the 'super' tag. He doesn't consider himself Super by any means, as in his mind the word 'super' often is associated with punching buildings (Wonder Girl), or great feats of magic (any of their magicians), assuming or creating incredible strength (Bunker, Gar). He? Well. He didn't do super stuff. He did stuff like riding on wrecking balls and getting taken out of combat by being shot in the shoulder by arrows.

"Okay, maybe some of the other guys are super. But we just mostly try to keep people from dying and the city from blowing up."

Laura Kinney lets a moment go by, the canned noises of rainforest animals playing in the background.

It was aggravating to Laura more than moody or peaceful, if only because she could hear the staticy undertone to the recordings. Mike gathers her attention first. "This is the South American exhibit, so if they have it - it must be here," she says. "…why are you looking for the colour of a flower again?" she asks, her tone of voice dusky. Low and a little on the dangerous side of the fence.

Keith is looked at next. "…there are worse things to do with your time," she says.

"I make cars for money. One of my clients wants her car to use the colors of a Brazilian orchid that she saw SOMEWHERE in New York, and this is where she thinks she saw it," Mike explains. He looks at Vorpal. "Yeah, those are good goals. I approve. I try to do the same thing myself, but there's only so much you can do with so many nutcases running around who want to keep people dying and blow the city up."

Vorpal raises an eyebrow. "Geez, who is ordering that car, Poison Ivy?"

Returning his focus to Laura, he smirks a little. "There are, indeed, and I am sure that at one point or another, I have done them all. Do you… um. Nevermind." He was going to ask something stupid. Because this woman allegedly has metal in her bones, so she is not someone he should be asking stupid questions.

There might be the sense that asking Laura stupid questions was a bad idea in general - the woman held herself in a no-nonsense sort of fashion, her lips pursing tighter as Mike says what he does, her jaw clenching a bit.

Another moment, and Laura pulls a gloved hand out of her pocket, making a kinda wide gesture. It might be interpreted as a farewell on some worlds. Earth might not be one of them.

With that done, the young woman turns to head in the direction she was originally going, her eyes going a bit distant. "Good luck in your search," she calls back.

"Huh? Hah. No. Not as far as I know. This one's for, uhm, I can't give away my client's names, confidentiality agreements, but she lives in Brazil." Actually, one of Berto's cousins, but Mike's not going to divulge that.

"Thanks. I'm pretty sure I can find one without having to go to Brazil."

"So… you're… a robot, then?" Vorpal asks, watching Laura walk away. He wonders who the woman is, but he's not going to ask her. She might not appreciate it.

"I'm a robot now. I was a normal mutant kid then," Mike corrects the cat. He finally decides to do this the fast way, and sends out five wasp-drones, all set to scan for RED, and sends them ahead to the next part of the garden. Mike2 and Mike3 can do some useful work instead of arguing about were-car bites.

"… That is very—" he pauses. "What am I saying? I'm a fricking upright purple cat. There's nothing absolutely nothing strange with that." He looks at Mike and smirks.

"A simple transformation can totally skew your sense of perspective, can't it?"

"So it can," Mike says. "Ah, I think there's a red orchid at two o'clock… OK, all five wasps converge at location 4 … Hey, what did you do to your shoulder?"

"I got shot by the goblin horde of the Erlking during the Wild Hunt. You know, just your regular Gotham weekend," Vorpal smirks. He looks around, taking in the vegetation. The humidity was getting to him a little. He wondered if there was an African exhibit somewhere. "One you find your flower, why don't you come with me and I'll tell you the story over some coff—" he pauses. "Ok, I'll just tell you the story while we walk." What did robots drink, anyways?

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