|Breakfast for Dinner|
|Participants||Jeremy, Kade, Talya, Rohan, Volfram, Orianne, Moody, Ian|
|Summary||Jeremy celebrates X-Factor's first successful job with breakfast-for-dinner. Waffles and bacon draw the multitudes.|
| The front entrance to X-Factor Solutions has been kept meticulously clean, with neat white walls and a floor that's polished regularly by a tiny robotic housekeeper (when it's not broken down). Despite that, the place looks run down. A crack runs from one corner of the ceiling nearly to the center light fixture, and several of the floor tiles have chipped corners. A pair of red vinyl wing chairs sit to one side just in front of a pair of doors that lead to a small gym and a conference room. The receptionist's desk, which is more often unmanned than not, is a tall, black thing with scuff marks suggesting it was bought used. Even the old-fashioned bell resting atop it with a 'ring for service' sign is dented, and the door behind that opens into the staff lounge hangs a little crooked on its hinge.
This is a building that's seen more than a few long years; the only new thing about it is the hand-painted sign across the storefront's glass, declaring in neat black lettering, 'X-FACTOR SOLUTIONS', and below that, 'Mutants for hire.'|
| It is a fall evening. The weather is warm and clear.|
In order to celebrate their first successful 'take', so to speak, Jeremy has sent out announcements to his whole team that there will be free breakfast for dinner in the lobby of XFS this Friday night, possibly because he has an idea that it will improve morale and team spirit or else maybe he just doesn't have a life and this is what he wants to do with his Friday night. There's a table set out with fruit and bagels. As the time he set arrives, he's working his way through his first batch of waffles and also bacon. He's got about nine billion paper towels and grease catchers out but is still contriving to somehow give the robot cleaner a heart attack.
Kade is here for the breakfast party. He strolls in roughly at the time Jeremy told people to start arriving. He's brought beer. A 12-pack of Tecate, specifically. "Yo." It's sort of yelled, in case Jeremy is occupied with the kitchen and/or robot and doesn't immediately hear him arriving.
Talya is good this time and doesn't cheat her way into immediate waffles. She looks a bit more fashionable than usual, all edged professionalism, undoubtedly just back from the day job. She drifts to the fruit first, then munches while she scopes out whoever's there.
Rohan is not part of the team (yet). Which, of course, begs the question of why he's here, and, also, how he knew this was happening. Perhaps it's simply a coincidence, or perhaps his undiscovered secondary mutation involves sensing waffles. In any case, he swaggers into the office as if he does have a perfect right to be here.
Jeremy waves an enthusiastic greeting to Kade with his spatula, which splatters some grease onto the surface of the desk from the griddle, despite all those failsafe measures he put in place. Sigh. "Hey," he says. "Welcome back. Man, I gotta get some more folding chairs and stuff. Or else start doing this in the conference room, but then how would people find us?"
Ah food, victuals, the opportunity to socialize and study the New York mutant in its native habitat. Volfram hasn't quite had the opportunity to discuss with Jeremy at length the socope nad nature of his generosity, but all good things in time. Fresh from lecture he is suited and tied and sets down a briefcase, pausing only to look at his cellular for a few moments before giving his own little wave and nod of the head towards those present. "People do seem to find food and opportunity fairly easily if they are of the right temperament, I find." He says.
Orianne /is/ a part of the team, and few nineteen-year-olds will turn down free food. Especially those with a mutant metabolism. So she's lurking near the griddle, watching the food preparation intently. "Well," she points out to Jeremy, "you could always just put up a sign here saying 'Food in conference room.' I think that might be enough to go on to find waffles, especially since we're expected to follow clues to find things anyway."
"I'm not sure if this is breakfast appropriate, but I wanted to bring something," Kade says, half-hefting the 12-pack at Jeremy. "If it doesn't go with the spread, I can just stick it in a fridge some place. I will drink it eventually." His own attachment to X-Factor Solutions is new enough that he recognizes almost none of these faces. Except for Rohan, who gets a vaguely amused look. He raises a free hand and includes everyone in another general, "Yo." He's dressed down, for his part, in dark jeans and a black sweatshirt.
Talya wanders in toward Jeremy. "Who're the folks we're congratulating for the job specifically?" she asks. She finishes up her fruit and licks her fingers, discreetly. She nods in greeting to Kade.
Rohan beelines toward the waffles. And Jeremy. He glances at Kade in passing, but only arches an eyebrow for his amused look. "So," he says to Jeremy. "I've been...reconsidering my opposition. But I have one very important question about employment." A pause. "How often will you be making waffles?"
"Next time, a sign up and a party in the conference room," Jeremy says airily. "I'm all set up in here now." He waggles his spatula at Talya. "Nope, nope, we're just excited for getting off the ground, getting some clients and getting a little victory under our collective belt. Anyway, not everyone's here, so, you know, whatever." Also most of it was NPC so I'm gonna leave it open for people to have claimed it, obviously. He turns some bacon with the spatula and then, while it sizzles and spits, he turns a grin on Kade. "It's breakfast for /dinner/, so, seems fine by me. Let's just make sure the under 21s don't make off with any."
Orianne pauses at Jeremy's remark, her hand outstretched towards one of the Tecates. What? She just was curious how it tasted. Quickly shifting topics, she glances to the boss and asks, "Are we getting any buzz about the business?"
Kade looks at Jeremy with a touch of surprised. "Under twenty-ones work here?" He tries not to sound too taken aback. And, after another look at Orianne, it's clearly /accurate/. He lets out a, "Huh. Well. Yeah. Gotcha. Should set your robot maid up to check IDs or something." On that note, Orianne is /eyed/ again. "Going to have to see yours, I'm afraid, my dear. You got a name? I still haven't met...most anyone who works here other than the boss, really."
Ian arrives from the Mutant Town.
"How often? As often as I have the budget for it." Jeremy smiles. "If we can afford to refit a kitchen into this place, I'll expand the menu, but it's not exactly high priority. Why, you gonna rethink joining up if we promise to keep feeding you?" He tosses fresh waffles out of the iron and onto a paper plate that he takes over to the plastic table with most of the spread on it. "We're getting /some/ buzz. I'm out shaking hands and-- tails and whatever. A lot of people seem unsure about us. Well, heck, can't blame them. But we're getting out there."
Talya tries to get an angle to conceal it from Kade, then winks at Orianne, while gesturing encouragement for her to show her ID. It will totally say 21! And then Talya will hassle Orianne herself if she tries to pick up alcohol. "I'm Talya," she tells Kade. Talk of shaking hands transfers her attention to Jeremy. "I think Orianne would make a good ambassador," she says, evoking their previous conversation outside the park.
There is a somewhat awkward somewhat chipper knock on the front door of X-Factor Solutions as Ian waits for a response. When he gets one - or within a reasonable amount of time - he enters, a bottle of box wine in his hands. It's a party. It's polite to bring something. The tallish ginger man brightens at the sight of Jeremy and waffles. "Ah. Hello!"
Moody enters the offices in a somewhat avant garde method for her -- she opens the door and walks in, bopping along to something only she can hear before she wiggles her fingers in a gesture to turn off the music in her ear. "Hey J, everyone." Today's outfit is sleek and red and shiny, very clearly meant more for clubbing than waffles. Nevertheless, she is here!
"Well, it turns out," Rohan says, voice light, "that I'm highly food-motivated. Apparently this is something I didn't know about myself until I was absolutely skint."
"Orianne." The dark-skinned young woman offers Kade a charming smile. Though she speaks English fluently, her accent suggests she's not a native New Yorker -- or even American -- and her next comment seems to bear this out. "I'm from Cote d'Ivoire... and our drinking age /there/ is 18." Apparently she figures this explains her attempt to see how Tecate tastes.
"Perhaps your honey has not yet been poured into the right ears." Volfram offers, though mention of priorities does have him raising an eyebrow. "And just what are your priorities? I am curious to know your intended trajectory." Doling out portions for himself admist the chatter. "Whatever I can do to be of use, do not hesitate to ask." He says before taking a bite, once he's sure someone else has eaten first. Mention of an ambassador has him look towards Orianne with a slight smile. "She is quite the endearing child, yes." He shows a very slight visible pleasure at being not the only out of continenter at this soiree.
"Hey, Moody! And -- Ian, right?" Jeremy says. "Wine and beer. Awesome. Come on over. You got the invite? I heard you patched up one of my peeps." He gestures animatedly with the paper plate he just used to transfer waffles, heading back over to the desk to rescue his crisped up bacon before it overcooks. "We don't have a /lot/ of kiddos, but we definitely can't afford to get dinged for providing. I know too many jailers." Transferring bacon to plate, he turns upswept eyebrows at Volfram and says, "Forward momentum, first and foremost. I want to get us off the ground before I start drawing a star chart, but basically, I want to create a team of people who can live with their powers instead of without them. That's an idea I wanna foster. Uhm. Where was I. Where'd the syrup go... oh, there it is."
"Kade Caruthers. Pleasure and all that." He's deposited his beer safely on the table, grabbing a can for himself. His other hand is extended around for shaking purposes. First to Orianne, then to Talya, as he makes the 'meeting people' rounds. "Well, we are not so enlightened in the States, alas, so I hope you won't hold it against me too much. What brings you here from the Ivory Coast? I've never been, but I hear it's not a bad place to live as a mutant these days." His eyes casually people-watch while he's chatting. Noting the new arrivals, like Moody and Ian. And Volfram in his suit, which stands out. To Talya, he grins. "You from anywhere in particular? I get the impression a lot of folks here aren't local. I've lived in California most of my life, personally, though I've moved around a fair bit."
"I did, yeah," Ian offers with a crooked smile, holding the door open for Moody as she bops her way into the room. His brows lift a little at the mention of one of his peeps. "Afraid I can't confirm that without a name, but it's possible. We see a lot of people at the clinic." And patient confidentiality and all that. The wine is brought over, allowing him to move close enough to offer Jeremy a brisk shake of the hand. Hello. And also allowing him to put it with the rest of the food. His head tips at the conversation he steps into, curious to hear more about the organization. "Big call."
Talk of being an ambassador to the community earns a thoughtful look from Orianne, but then Kade's query draws her attention back. "I wanted to make a difference, like my parents used to. And the best place to do that is where we /need/ a difference," she replies. Then she adds, "And my sister Carole was already here, too." So she had a place to crash.
Moody overhears Orianne and, after grabbing herself a bit of bacon, chirps, "It'd be really great if making a difference helped with the rent, though, hint hint, pass the syrup." Which she puts on her bacon. Because she is, evidently, weird. She gives Kade a crooked grin and quick nod. "Hi. You're new. I'm Moody."
Talya puts on a sweet maiden face for Kade. She says something in Russian, which even to someone who doesn't know the language should be easy to spot because she's overemphasizing like a Bond villain and she says "Russia" in context a few times. Then she drops it with a meaningful clunk. "Born upstate."
Akihiro eventually arrives, fashionably late of course. "Look's like the gang's mostly here." he decides, glancing from face to face. "How're you kids doing?" he calls out to the group as a whole, tugging his jacket off and exposing a good portion of his tattoos thanks to the white wife beater he's wearing. After a moment his attention shifts towards where the food is.
Having concluded his business (sort of), Rohan now feels entitled to help himself to a waffle. Or waffles, plural. And bacon. "Paying rent is good," he adds to the end of Moody's statement. "Although, you know, there's something to be said for having rent to pay in the first place."
"Well, and we cast a pretty wide net." Jeremy stirs his bowl of batter with its big spoon, trying not to splatter any onto the floor or the desk or the arrangement of paper towels as he crinkles his nose a little bit, smile lighting his features. "It's still early days, of course, but we've had a couple of clients already, thus the dinner party--" If by any stretch of the imagination this is a dinner party. "--and I'm working on a few more." He tips his chin up, canting an arched-eyebrow look at Rohan. "I can still send you that contract packet if you want to consider it," he says. "In the meantime, help yourself. I bought enough food for everyone and not everyone's here, so..."
Kade returns Moody's crooked grin with an easy smile. Keeping his hand extended, for more shaking. "Kade Caruthers. I am very new. Still crashing in a hotel. I need to find a place of my own to rent in the city. Moody, huh? Is that a name or a descriptor?" He might look a little disappointed when Talya does not, immediately, actually turn out to be a Russian Bond villain. But her accent and dropping out of it gets a laugh. "So much the better. My Russian is shit. Never could get the syntax right. I was trying to learn it the same time I was picking up Mandarin, and one of those had to give before my brain fried."
Rohan pauses in the middle of helping himself (he's so considerate), and twists his mouth this way and that for a moment. He nods to Jeremy. "I'll consider it," he says finally. "Send away."
While he is near and able, Ian is more than happy to fill a plate and a glass of wine for himself. Bacon. Waffles. No one is going to argue with that. "I can see your strategy in this now," he quips, dipping a waffle in syrup and taking a bite. Waffle business.
Jeremy puts down his spatula momentarily to skip his fingers through the air beside his eyes as he flips through files on his Eyes until he finds what he's looking for, and then skips it across the digital aether between he and Rohan with a slightly different swipe of his wrist. "Very strategic waffles," he says. "Food brings people together and that's kind of my thing, so. Hey, Akihiro! We're still missing more than you'd think. We keep growing, it's great."
"I'm pretty sure the only things I know how to say are 'vodka' and something that's a pretty vivid sex act," Moody drawls, and she adds, "My name. It's Addy Moody. Though I go by Moody on stage and honestly, when your last name is Moody, good luck getting anyone to call you anything else -- even if you're the soul of emotional stability. Which I am." Right? Right. "You should come over to Avenue B, there's always an apartment or two empty in our building. People bail or end up in lockup or something, so. Or they can't pay rent." She widens her eyes at Orianne again, pointedly.
Orianne gives Akihiro's tattoos a speculative look, but then turns back to grab the next available waffle. And several strips of bacon. "I almost feel like we ought to make a shopping list of everyone's talents -- mutant ones, and normal ones -- just so we have a list for putting together teams for jobs," she notes, perhaps in regards to Talya's demonstrated -- and presumably non-mutant -- linguistic talent.
Akihiro throws up a two-fingered salute for Jeremy before snagging a beer instead. He catches the glance from Orianne and flashes a grin, "Like the ink? Got it back in the seventies." he pops the top and takes a swig before speaking to Jeremy again. "That's good to hear. Just glad to be back out and about, been feeling my age these last couple of months."
"My mother was the Russian maiden. Like at the center of the doll." Talya gestures the nesting pieces with her hands. Then she can't resist Moody's challenge. Apparently she takes it as a challenge. She names several sex ats to see if Moody recognizes hers. She raises her brows at Orianne. "You think I should talk to some Russian crime bosses for us? I'm not sure that would go well."
Ian says, "Fair." Ian flashes Orianne a smile as she turns to grab food, stepping back and sort of into their conversational sphere. His eyes narrow at Moody. "Hey," he greets with a smile. "I think we live in the same building. Avenue B. Right?"
"Fair." Ian flashes Orianne a smile as she turns to grab food, stepping back and sort of into their conversational sphere. His eyes narrow at Moody. "Hey," he greets with a smile. "I think we live in the same building. Avenue B. Right?"
"I'm not sure if that's the best idea," Rohan says to Moody, vaguely. He doesn't explain. Whether it is because it is something he doesn't want to explain, or whether he is simply distracted by waffles and arriving applications he doesn't bother to explain.
Kade looks less than interested when the Avenue B Apartments are mentioned, but he doesn't turn his nose up too much. "They're on my list. I want to look at some places outside Mutant Town first, though. See if I can find something that won't break my savings too bad. I'm going to see a couple buildings in Harlem and Washington Heights tomorrow. Then Brooklyn day-after. Maybe Chelsea, if I'm still looking by mid-week." Moody's job seems to interest him, though. "You a performer? Cool. What brand of stage stuff are you into?" He listens to Talya rattle off Russian words with interest. Though, alas, he does not get any of the translations. When Akihiro starts talking about his tattoos, the man gets a curious look.
Luckily for Jeremy's virgin ears, he doesn't speak Russian. Pouring out a fresh measure of batter into the waffle iron, he closes it, flips it over, and heads to the fridge to pull out more bacon for his griddle. Doo doo doo.
"Well, what if we have to find a missing tourist who only speaks Russian?" Orianne points out to Talya, then takes a bite of her bacon. When she finishes chewing and swallows, she adds, "Seems like 'can speak Russian' would be an important skill for /that/ job!" She seems to be studiously ignoring Moody's remarks about rent, for the moment. After all, she'll get paid by this job soon enough, right?
"No, it's this --" and then Moody says something in slightly halting Russian that basically means 'naughty monkey climbs a rope while eating a banana' or something to that effect. Maybe it's a dialect? Who knows. But she pivots with ease to answer Kade cheerily, "Oh, I'm a DJ, mostly. But I do a little of everything. And yeah, we live in Avenue B -- top floor. Normally we have like, half a dozen roommates, but right now we're down to three and it's /killing/ my weekly budget. I haven't bought new shoes in months." She holds out a foot and wiggles it, showing off her poor last season's ankle boots. They're even scuffed in an authentic fashion, not just artistically!
Volfram listens to Jeremy's explanation and nods. "Ah, but do not keep your nose so far to the grindstone that you do not see the promise of the sky." He says in between bites. All very measured and delicate even as he drifts in and out of the various conversations. Part of the benefit of sensory control is the blissful ability to ignore the unpalatable or the distracting. Akihiro does receive a rather lingering, curious look, but it is gone just as quickly, and it is back into the flow of words. The Russian makes sense to his ears, but he does track reactions. No doubt something to learn, if only by reactions.
"Thought so," Ian says with a tip of his head. Then he realizes he's not met... basically anyone here other than the guy flipping waffles. "I'm Ian. Ian Eller." A hand is offered around in introduction.
Talya snrks, and doesn't offer a literal translation of what Moody said. "It's the cool kids' building," she tells Ian, of Avenue B. "I'm Talya."
Kade sidles over to get himself a waffle. "Kade Caruthers, yo. Thanks for bringing the wine," is offered to Ian. "What's a two-bedroom go for in that building?" The question seems to be aimed at...everyone who's mentioned Avenue B as their residence, basically. Moody's reply about her job gets a, "Cool. You ever perform at The Sloppy Pony. My..." Pause for audible sigh. "...ex-wife owns the place. She was talking about getting some performers in so people would actually dance. Though she's not so good at...getting her shit together, so who knows if she's advertising for that right."
"If it's not a grungy warehouse or dubious club full of freaky Russians, then probably not," Moody admits, getting herself a waffle and hopping up onto a desk to eat it delicately, dry, with her fingers. "Most of what I spin is meant for dancing, and that's pretty competitive. Plus it's super hard to get a gig if you're a girl. Nobody thinks girls can spin," and to this she rolls her eyes dramatically. To Ian she smiles, "It's not /too/ bad, but I don't know for a two bedroom. Ours has five, but I think it's probably more accurate to call it a five closet apartment instead of a five bedroom. Think it used to be three and then they chopped them all up to squeeze more people in." She names a figure that's pretty standard for Manhattan, a few thousand a month. Not bad for the island, given that it's Mutant Town, but also definitely not super cheap. "Again, we are seeking roommates who bathe regularly and can pay their rent without doing anything too illegal." She casts her voice a little louder and then glances at Akihiro, as if noticing him for the first time, and does a little doubletake.
"I'll pay rent as soon as I have a paycheck, or I finish transferring money from back home," Orianne notes to Moody at that raised-voice comment, before turning back to finish her waffle.
Akihiro shifts his gaze around the room before meeting Moody's gaze, needless to say she gets a warm grin and he makes his way towards her. "Hey there kid, look like you've seen a ghost." he offers the hand that doesn't have a bottle in it for a shake. "Haven't seen you in a while, how've you been?"
"Nice to meet you, Talya," Ian bids, smile pulling at his dimples along with his freckles. He nods at Kade's greeting as well. "I like it fine. The two bedroom I've got is more..." He names a smaller figure than Moody's but still on the high side. "My last roomate moved out to marry his girlfriend. I think they've settled their shoebox in a different corner." A chuckle escapes him at Moody's notation of anything 'only slightly illegeal.' "I don't know about the cool kids building. It's nice enough even if the elevator never works."
Rohan has given up any pretence of even trying to follow the conversation for several minutes while he downs waffle after waffle. Perhaps he wasn't kidding about 'food-motivated.' After his third, he looks up, still quiet, but listening to the talk of rents with the air of someone making notes.
"It is so weird how you do not look old," Moody answers Akihiro, taking the hand with a firm shake. (Hers has waffle crumbs on it, oops.) "Like, ever. No matter when I see you." This is a weirder statement if you do not know what Moody does occasionally. Probably not so many people in the room, aside from Jeremy and Akihiro, do. "I'm good. No arrests, no convictions! How're you? This is Orianne, Ian, Kade, and that's Rohan over there impersonating a ficus." She points to each one, then sort of squints at Talya for a second before adding, "And Talya, if you don't know her already."
"I can do light show kinda shit," Talya says to Kade of performing, suddenly diffident for some reason. She gives Ian a smile of shared ginger-ness. "Elevators are for the weak." She shakes her head, about knowing Akihiro and then nods a greeting.
Rohan swallows a mouthful of waffle. "A _ficus_?" Both his dark eyebrows shoot upward. "Give me a moment," he says. "I'm trying to work out whether I should be offended by that or not."
Moody flaps a hand, "Everybody likes a ficus."
Kade absorbs Moody and Ian's info about Avenue B. He might wince some at the cost, but not much. If he's been looking at Manhatten real estate listings, it's probably more or less what he'd expected. "I'll keep that in mind. I'm trying to avoid roommates, if I can find a place that won't break my savings too bad. The second bedroom is for my daughter. She lives at school now, mostly, so I don't have her that much, between there and her mom's. But I like to enforce some quality time every now and again." To Talya, when she mentions the light show thing, "Cool. Maybe you guys should perform together. Make, like, an act out of it."
"Do you?" wonders Rohan. "Random poll. Raise your hand if you like ficus...ficusi...ficuses."
"Light show kinda shit?" Ian repeats with a lift of his brows. The ginger-powered smile is returned. He nods in agreement with Kade that /does/ sound cool
"Exercise, vegetables, cigars, and hard liquor. That's the key to looking like you're twenty-five forever." Akihiro informs Moody with a knowing nod, before shifting his attention to the new faces and nodding in greeting. "Nice to meet all of you."
"So, I have six years to pick up those habits," Orianne muses, more to herself than anyone else.
Oh, look. There's aurora borealis. In New York. Indoors. It's a bit mini it its dips and peaks, but the colors are just as saturated.
Moody raises her hand promptly. She likes ficuses! She also answers Akihiro with drily, "Mmm hmm. Does that come with really bad haircuts in the 60s?"
"Nice to meet you," Ian bids brightly, unphased by all of Akihiro's tattoos. Not really phasing by New York standards. He is quickly distracted by the aurora borealis in the room. "Shit," he breathes.
Kade does not raise his hand when Rohan conducts his ficus poll, shrugging. He's not among the lovers of them. The light show /does/ earn his appreciation, though. He grins broad, whistling in appreciation, since his hands are full of beer and waffle plate and he can't clap. Akihiro gets a friendly, "Yo" from him. "You one of the contractors here? Just signed on this week, so I know basically nobody. Eager to see what the jobs are like."
"My hair was fashionable." Akihiro counters. "Besides, I bet you couldn't even begin to guess what I was doing in the sixties." Kade gets a slight wave. "Yeah, but I've been doing work like this for years."
Rohan counts hand--hand. "Fine," he says. "I'll get you a bloody ficus." He leans against the wall, and raises an eyebrow at the light show. "Not bad," he says. Encouragingly.
"Probably not. Everyone was super weird in the sixties. Did you know the Professor had /hair/? It was fluffy." Moody shakes her head vigorously. "So bizarre." She rocks back and rests her hands on the desk she's sitting on, kicking her heels as she watches the light show before saying to Rohan, "Ficuses sit in the corner and breathe and photosynthesize, which is not that different from a human sitting in a corner quietly eating a waffle. They're also decorative. So there."
Orianne applauds for the light-show. A moment later, a little miniature polar bear appears on one of the desks, as if to add to the scene. It stares up at the lights, before sitting back on its haunches like in a cartoon.
Volfram actually winces a bit at the light show. His vision is already colorful enough as it is...it doesn't hurt so much as startle him a bit, which he masquerades by putting himself closer to the food platter. Also a belated raise of the hand to the ficus poll before talk of contracting occurs. "I don't know if I'm actually on the staff yet, but its on my cause list." Akihiro's resume comes up and he gets a curious look. "Fascinating. This is my first foray at being a troubleshooter...well, in the more Private Dick sense. I am most curious a to what the experience shall be like."
Ian jumps a bit at the polar bear, delighted by its sudden appearance. "That is super cute," he says, wandering towards it with an offered bit of waffle. His gaze flits back to the group. Way too cute. "Is this also?"
"Yeah?" Kade is curious about Akihiro's work. And there is, maybe, a touch of relief at finding someone who's experienced at this kind of thing. "Where'd you do this kind of thing? I used to work for the government but...now I do not. Been jockeying a desk for a military contractor for the last couple years, but I figured it was time for a change. Cause list?" That last to Volfram. Because it's a different kind of thing to say, and he's also curious about /that/. Orianne's polar bear gets another whistle. "You should market that to kids' parties. They would /love/ you."
"You find some photos?" Talya asks Moody of the professor. Pics or she doesn't believe you! As she speaks, she lets her concetration on the light show fade, and the colors slip away accordingly. That's when she notices the polar bear, and she immediately goes to investigate it. She reaches out carefully to see if it's furry.
Rohan counts Volfram's vote a little grudgingly. "Two votes for ficus." He glances to Moody. "But have you ever seeing a ficus eating waffles? I'll take decorative, though. I've been called worse. A lot worse."
"Uh, not exactly," Moody hedges at Talya. "I saw him. From a distance, you know, because -- well." Another hand flap. "I would've taken a picture but my Eye was offline without connectivity. I really should carry around an old school camera." This last is half to herself, idly , and she twitches her fingers to make a digital note of it for later. Mindful of what Orianne said earlier and with a quick glance around, "I sort of time travel sometimes. Not intentionally, and it's really not useful, but it happens. Sometimes. So."
"Yakuza, bodyguard." Akihiro supplies to Moody before nodding at Kade. "Back in Japan, had an unpleasant stint with the Canadian government, and then I joined up with Professor Xavier's cause forty years ago." He takes a sip from his bottle, thinking for a quiet moment. "That's about it, yeah. Also able to help out with training, if any of you are ever considering any of the tougher jobs that we might get. Also helps to keep in shape."
The polar bear is indeed both solid and furry when Talya investigates. It's also not very good at being a polar bear, apparently; at her approach, it rolls over to present its belly to Talya as if it were a dog or a cat.
Orianne can't help but make a soft and slightly mischievous noise of amusement, as she works on her waffle. But then Moody's introducing her power, and so Orianne pipes up with, "I can create puppets -- of whatever I can visualize well enough -- and split my consciousness up across them." Polishing off the waffle, she adds, "With some limitations."
Oh, well. Talya can't resist that. She will pet the polar bear belly.
Volfram smiles at Kade, a slight twinkle in his eyes. "Just so. Like malaria control, land mine removal, or poverty relief. Sponsor mutant employment and self reliance in their own communities." It hopefully comes out as more self awareness than glib dilettante. He looks over at Moody, cocking his head. "You should let me have a look at them. A few updates and a few tweaks can easily solve most connectivity issues." The bear does capture a fraction of his attention though, and he laughs low before returning to his more schooled expression. "Ah, a bodyguard. I am sure you are worth every dollar. Should you ever feel the need to come out to Africa or the Levant, I have a number of clinics which would be much enamored of your services." There are still a few places on the continent where practicing medicine is still risky business.
"Oh wow." Ian gets distracted from the polar bear when Moody says that, still offering the bear a bite of his waffle. If it wants it. His gaze slips towards Orianne with a smile, one that broadens at the bear offering up its tummy for rubs. "You are all more than impressive. I just make things change color." That bite of waffle turns pink as he says that.
Moody blinks at Ian and then grins big, "Wow, you could make bank if you knew how to do hair. Can you? Because perfectly colored hair without any damage, that's like the beauty holy grail." She relaxes a bit as nobody jumps on the whole time travel thing, posture softening. Maybe it was only apparent that she was tense once she relaxes.
Kade lets out a low whistle, far less a sign of applause than just 'Whoa,' as Akihiro describes his career. "That is a hell of a resume. If I can be of any help with training, let me know. My hand-to-hand ratings were pretty decent, and I've kept my C-P-R certifications up. Hell, I could probably serve to brush up on that myself, if you're ever looking for a sparring partner. I'm terrified I've let myself get out of shape these last few years. My own 'thing' is lighting shit on fire, but I try not to demonstrate that indoors. Sets of the sprinklers, then people get all mad." Volfram's description of his work gets an impressed, and somewhat puzzled, look. "This is kind of far from land mine removal, if you don't mind me saying so. What attracts a cat like you to this place?"
The tiny polar bear wiggles under the petting, making soft and utterly un-bear-like 'meep' noises. Orianne looks a little distracted as she turns back towards Ian. "Tiny polar bears probably aren't so useful, though," she notes, perhaps a touch ruefully. After all, what situation can't be improved by the addition of miniature animals? "But I figure making a cat or a pigeon to act like a scout -- or making a puppet of a person -- could be, right? And I can also make inanimate puppets in a pinch; I've made a ladder that way before when I needed one." She puts aside the empty plate and admits, "Though it's weird to be a ladder and feel you climbing yourself."
"That masturbation joke just makes itself," Talya opines, then looks slightly chagrined. Orianne is a youngin.
"Yeah..." Turning the bite of waffle in his fingers, it goes from pink to blue, to black, and back to its original color before Ian pops it in his mouth. The puppet doesn't seem keen to eat it. "Those all sound very useful," he enthuses. "No one notices animals. Or children, actually, unless they are in trouble." Sometimes not even then. He dunks another piece of waffle in syrup before polishing off his plate and tucking it nealy in the trash. An action that doesn't hide the brows that rise at Talya's joke.
"I have a healing factor and claws. My bones are also unbreakable." Akihiro informs Kade, shiny claws popping through the skin between his knuckles on the hand that's currently holding his beer. "And I'm always up for sparring. Been meaning to join in on the fights out here, but I'm worried I might accidentally rearrange somebody's face a bit too hard."
Rohan apparently does not feel the need to share what he does. He returns to his ficus impression, waffles and all, and considers the polar bear quietly.
The bear finally vanishes back into thin air, as Orianne gives Talya an odd look. It's unclear whether the look is because she hadn't considered trying that, or because (being a teenager) she /had/, and is puzzled why Talya looked chagrined. To Ian, she nods before adding sadly, "But I'm not very good in a fight; I got mugged when I first got here."
"More often than not I deal with the aftermath of such things." The aforementioned disease, poverty, and violent dismemberment. "Prosthetics, treatment protocols, software and hardware for the above as needed. But we have not been introduced. Dr. Gunther Volfram." He says, offering a hand to shake. "I'm a guest lecturer at Cornell and NYU. I happened to be in the neighborhood and I am always willing to donate time and resources to uplift mutants through meaningful work and community identification. It is employment opportunities such as these that prevent the further slide into ghettoization." Volfram then stops, perhaps aware that he is edging dangerously close to the soapbox, which is handily interrupted by Akihiro sharing his mutant gifts. He looks at Akihiro with a slow sort of smile. "Fascinating. We shall have to speak at length at some point."
"I don't see why you should be." Ian frowns at the idea. Fighting is dangerous. He may not completely understand all the roles and goals of the organization yet. "Not everyone is a fighter. Are you okay? Muggings can be serious?" His laconic postures sloughs off a little as he asks her questions, voice gentling and become more sounding of authority all at the same time. "I manage a clinic locally, as well as work at one of the hospitals if you ever need." He pauses, then his mouth hooks up in a smile. "Probably why I go an invite."
Kade eases back a little when Akihiro edges his claws out. Though he still looks more impressed than scared. "I'm as breakable as the next dude, unless somebody wants to try and set me on fire. But, yeah, we should get in the ring sometime. I could use some pain to see how far my skills have gone to rust. I might ask you to go easy on the face, though." He pours some of his beer experimentally on his waffle. Tasting it, chewing thoughtfully, he seems to like this. He finishes chewing and sets down his plate, so he can shake Volfram's hand. "Kade Caruthers. Pleasure. You happened to be in the neighborhood?" He grins, clearly not buying it, but his manner is friendly enough. "I will settle for a regular paycheck at some point, but I appreciate your efforts." His ears half-turn toward Orianne again, when she mentions her mugging. He looks a little downcast, but not exactly surprised.
"I'm still waiting for somebody to think it's a good idea to try and mug Laura or myself." Akihiro says, nodding over at Volfram. "We'll have to. I'm always eager to hear about new work opportunities." He retracts his claws and takes another swig from his bottle.
"Yeah," Orianne offers Ian. "They stabbed my puppet, not me. So the wound wasn't too bad. And I'd only just gotten here, so I didn't really have anything /to/ take." Still, she sounds a little downcast about having been jumped and not having fought back well enough.
"When you have a certain skillset, the whole of the world becomes your neighborhood. Patients, the request to share your knowledge, the continual pursuit of knowledge, and so on. As I said, I was in New York to teach. Mr. Wallace's....enthusiastic advertising made me curious." Volfram explains. That smooth, rich tone does not abate for a moment, seemingly undisturbed by the lack of complete faith in his reasoning. Akihiro receives a placid sort of smile as Volfram leans back and focuses on cleaning the plate. "Let us not wish harm upon the ignorant. And yes, I could think of many opportunities, the majority of which would not even require you to be shot at or stabbed." A slightly concerned cast happens as he hears of mugging and over at Ian. "If you need another set of hands, Its been too long since I've been in a proper clinic."
"I'll help you practice, Anne. I know a little. Enough to help with the mugging problem, anyway." Moody offers.
"They /stabbed/ you," Ian says worriedly, fishing thorugh his pockets until he comes up with a business card. The card is pressed gently into Orianne's hands. "Seriously. We're there to help if you need." No matter the wound. Turning towards Volfram, a smile touches back on his features that is a little rueful and a little appreciative. "While that would be welcome, I'd have to see your documentation and credentials. We're always on a thin line here."
"You might want to start carrying a Taser, kid," Kade advises Orianne. He seems like he wants to say more, but there's beer to drink, so he concentrates on that.
"Ouch." Akihiro says, nodding towards Orianne. "We'd be more than happy to train with you if it'd make you feel better. But I suggest just using a taser or mace over trying to fight if you don't have a whole lot of experience."
"Carole's been trying to help me learn a bit more in the way of self-defense," Orianne assures Moody -- and the others. "Since she trained at Xavier's but dad didn't think I needed to go. And I'm teaching her parkour." Still, she takes the offered card, and Kade and Akihiro's comments earn a thoughtful look.
Moody reaches beneath her light jacket and pulls out a pair of small tubes, which she snaps, telescoping them out into a pair of batons with weighted tips. "Taser good. These aren't bad, either." She glances at Akihiro and admits, "I badgered Laura until she helped me out with some lessons. But training, yeah, we should all do that if we're going to work together."
"Laura's a good training partner, she'll be as good as me soon if she keeps up training." Akihiro runs a hand through his hair before covering up a yawn. "But I do look forward to seeing some of you around to train, best we learn to work together now than undergo a trial by fire."
"Maybe we can get, like, regular sparring nights together, if J-Bomb has the space," Kade ponders, mostly to Akihiro, though kind of to the room at large. "Might be fun, if nothing else. I've heard about the pit fights, but they don't exactly appeal as regular exercise. What with my concerns about my face and all." He draws a hand across his chin. Though he does nods, firmly, to Orianne when she seems to warm to the Taser idea. Making a litlte 'Zap!' gesture with his fingers. Moody's baton also gets an approving nod.
"Alright. I think this is my cue," Ian says with a laugh as weapons start to get pulled out of jackets. He lifts his hands jokingly before pausing as something comes in across his eye, light flickering insistently. "Well," he sighs, slipping in his ear. "That is /really/ my cue. Got to run, duty calls. It was very nice to meet you all, enjoy the wine." Slipping his ear into place, he takes long legged strides towards the door.
"I wouldn't say no to real lessons," Orianne admits. For all that she idolizes her sister a little bit, and for all that Carole's had Xavier's trainier, even Orianne can admit that there are probably better teachers. "But maybe I should get a taser, too. Just to be safe." Ian's departure earns a smile and wave, even as she turns back to look for another waffle. (Because, you know, teenager.)
"Also a small matter of legality. Better to use the least amount of force needed if you have to explain it later." Volfram opines, though not in the intention of overburdening the choru that already seems to be in consensus. Ian's talk of credentials gets a slight chuckle. "But of course." All this talk of fighting does cause him to just give a shrug. "If you think it is necessary, though I would prefer we avoid those situations if possible."
"Sometimes they can't be avoided, unfortunately." Akihiro lifts his shoulders in a slight shrug. "So best to be prepared for the times when you don't have a choice."
"I suspect Jeremy would help you with the cost of one, if you ask him nice," Kade says to Orianne. "Not that they're that bad to buy, anyhow. But it'd be for work, along with just general 'get the fuck away from me asshole' on the streets stuff. Ian gets a wave, on his way out. "Godo to meet you, man. Take a beer for later, if you want. Thanks again for the wine."
Moody looks at the battered furnishings in the office and says mildly, "I don't think Jeremy's much in a position to help anyone -- but hey, you know, the streets are for hustling. We'll figure something out. Oh, and if you hear of anyone who needs a place to stay and isn't vehemently opposed to living at Avenue B, drop me a line?" She flicks her fingers, sending her contact info over to Kade and the others. "We're nice and clean and basically sane."
"Impossible situation are always the most acceptable to those who can walk away from them." Volfram says in a wistful, if teasing manner, echoing Akihiro in the 'what can you do?' shrug. Body language buddies, it seems. Moody's mention of furnishings gets a nod. "He just needs to fill in the amount on that check I gave him and I imagine that would cover some of it." He's not bragging, just....well, the solution is at least partially there, isn't it?
"I'm actually looking. And as long as it sleeps, and you guys aren't opposed to me running around shirtless, I might hit you up." Akihiro finishes off his beer and disposes of the bottle. "I also cook, and have old people stories. So definite pluses."
Kade has Moody's contact info stored somewhere now, and she gets a grateful nod. He then kind of retreats from the proper party, to finish his waffle and get himself another beer. He'll make his good-byes not too long after that, drinking it on the way out.
"If you can put up with living with a couple of old students, teach, I think we can put up with a little bit of man titty," Moody quips. "Carole's well-behaved, Orianne here is a sweetie, and I'm mostly tolerable on Tuesdays. Come on over sometime and we'll talk."
"I'll be sure to call you beforehand, definitely try for soon." Akihiro says with a slight nod. "Besides, I can stay on your ass about training that way. Probably be easiest to just hit the gym with Laura and I.'
Moody winces a little, "That sounds like so many bruises waiting to happen." But she grins reluctantly, agreeing, and hops off the desk. "Sounds like fun. I gotta run. Take it easy, teach."As the party seems to wind down, so do the number of pages and chirps in Volfram's ear seem to go up. He waves to all involved, nodding his head in acknowledgement. "It will be good to work with you all I think. See you soon at any rate."