2045-08-18 Call Me, Maybe

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Call Me, Maybe
Date Posted 2015/08/18
Location Mutiny - Mutant Town, NYC
Participants Carole, Irene
Summary Irene enlists a little help in looking for a suspect.
The neighborhood once known as Alphabet City has spent decades slowly reclaiming its former reputation as Manhattan's most dangerous, crime-ridden area. The stretch of city between Houston and 14th is populated with trash-strewn lots, poorly-lit streets, shady back alleys, and numerous storefronts, many of which have spent more years boarded up than not. A number of burnt-out or abandoned buildings have been broken into become the home of squatters who can't afford even Mutant Town's meager rent. It's the home of the desperate and the home of the principled, the one place where standing out as a mutant might afford you more safety than not, and passing as normal is likely to end in a mugging or worse. Aircars are far less common here than in the rest of Manhattan, and few ever stop within the bounds of Mutant Town.

The buildings here are dirty and dim; most of them escaped the development that marked other, more favorable sections of Manhattan, and almost all are aging buildings that still stand under six stories. Vendors often line the streets, selling food or jewelry or other goods from carts and trucks and blankets spread on the sidewalks. Windows are decorated in equal measure with bars and boards and signs announcing that mutants are welcome.

Graffiti decorates nearly every available surface, marking out gang territory and scribbling warnings for those who know how to read them; one stretch of buildings near the south edge of the neighborhood has become known for its street-art depicting the impressive variance of mutant life. The most famous is a mural that covers the entire width of the brick building at the corner of Houston and Avenue B, greeting all tourists (and their cameras) in six stories of red and black letters: WELCOME TO MUTANT TOWN.

Carole is sitting underneath the massive graffiti mural that marks Mutant Town as Mutant Town. Her shadow's darkening the W and the E in the WELCOME, and she's just there, cross-legged, her suit a worn out magenta, her hands folded in her lap, near her knee. She's distantly people-watching. At best. Hardly seems to be paying attention, really.

It's kind of an odd place to just be sitting around, Carole looks more like she should be busking rather than just people watching. If a tourist shows up they may mistake her for a something to take a picture of, along with the mural. Maybe that's what draws Irene's attention. Or maybe she's just bothering everyone in order, walking down the street, and it's a new person's turn. There's nothing that marks her /obviously/ as police, but the signs are there if someone is observant. "Hello. You here often?"

"Hmn?" Carole's show of startlement is just a bit belated, like, you know, it isn't actually startlement. Bit exaggerated, too, her drawing up her shoulders and widening her eyes like an actress infected by cartoon. "Oh," she says. "Here? Sure, I live here." Her hand tap-taps on her knee. "Just felt like sitting. I hope that's okay."

Irene's brows lift slightly, but she doesn't remark on the pretensions to being startled. "I hope you mean near here and not right here," she replies, although it is quickly followed by, "I don't think anyone cares if you sit there, no."

"Yeah, near here. Like a roof over my head." Carole glances up as if to confirm there is not, in fact, a roof there. "I guess sitting next to the mural is weird behavior, though," she muses. "You live around here?"

Irene takes that as confirmation enough that Carole is not homeless, trusting that the roof in question is a real roof and not a metaphorical one. "Unusual, maybe. Except for tourists and vendors with a table set out." She takes a look around, but there isn't a table near enough to point to. "Nearly."

"I come out and play sometimes, but it's not always, um, worth the effort." Carole lifts herself standing. Her motion's a little wobbly. Been sitting useless-like too long. "I feel like I should know everyone's face. I know that's silly."

"Does look like a slow business day." It's New York, there are still people around, but most of them look like locals less keen to drop money into an instrument case than others might. "It's a big city. Can't know everyone's face," Irene points out with faultless logic. "Although...You haven't seen anoyne around who looks a like an orangutan, have you? Not a literal one, just a man, brown hair, ruddy skin, beard big know."

"Er." Carole tilts her head back, massages the back of her neck. "I've seen some guys with beards? No one who looks like an orangutan, though. What do you need him for?"

"Thanks anyway," Irene says, though this follows her staring at Carole for a moment a touch hard for what was framed as a casual question. After a beat or two, she answers the question asked of her in return. "He's been seen hurting children," he answers with a hard flatness.

Carole stops. Blinks. Her expression goes from abstracted to engaged in a second. She's actually looking at Irene directly. "That so?" she asks, careful. "I'm sorry I didn't see him, then. Can you give me any, um, more detailed description? Just in case."

"Yeah. Especially around here." I.e, mutant children. Irene's expression softens up a little, but it remains serious. "Here," she says, giving the best kind of description one can give: A picture. She digs it out of a pocket in her light jacket and hands it to Carole.

Carole takes the picture, and her eyebrows pinch in. She frowns. She looks over the picture once, twice, and hands it back. "See what I can see," she says. "I'm not well-connected, but, uh, sometimes I can make things happen. If I'm lucky." Her frown remains. "You get many guys like that?"

"Thank you." Irene nods, also seriously, and tucks the picture away in a pocket again. "Just don't get yourself in trouble," suggest. Firmly. "Guys like what, exactly?"

Carole smiles slight and lopsided. "I'm okay with a little trouble. But I'll be careful." She pauses. "Guys who hurt kids, that's all."/ready/

Irene sighs, short, but with a bone-deep weariness. "More than we should." Thought just a beat later she remarks dryly, "Though /one/ is more than should ever happen...Not a lot, though, no. Not a lot." A small saving grace.

"Well, thank something for that." Carole's laugh is small and unconvincing. "Um. Anyway. I'll let you know if I find him. How should I do that?"

"Yeah." Irene doesn't laugh, just looks grimly into the distance. "Oh, yeah." This requires a little more digging around in pockets to dig up a small card that looks a little worn. Probably from being in pockets. She hands it to Carole without explanation, but the card probably explains itself. It's simple (and cheap), just black type that reads 'Report a tip' and has a number.

Carole takes the card, holds it light-pinned between her thumb and forefinger. "Huh," she says. "Okay." She tucks the card away into her breast pocket. "Hope I have cause to call you. I'm going to wander. Anything else you want me to look for?" She sounds so ready.

"I hope so too," says Irene, sounding more dry than hopeful. But then, maybe she is a little wary of how /ready/ Carole looks. "Nothing specific." After a brief moment of thought she adds, "You see anyone else trying to cause trouble for you or any other residents here, you can call too."

"Great. I love -- backup. The possibility for backup." Carole's expression's gone all dreamy again as she starts to pull away from the wall. "I'll see you around?" Like this was a social call.

Oh dear. "/Call first/," Irene repeats, insists...tries to get through that dreamy look. "Yeah, you'll see me." It was almost a social call?

"Okay," Carole says over her shoulder with a thoughtful, thoughtful smile. Just on the edge of sinister. "I can do that." She waggles a wave, and off she goes.

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