Difference between revisions of "Logs:Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers"

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Latest revision as of 15:56, 28 June 2020

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers
Dramatis Personae

Leo, Sarah, Winona

2019-12-09


"Can I ask a hypothetical question?"

Location

<NYC> Evolve Cafe - Lower East Side


Spacious and open, this coffeeshop has a somewhat industrial feel to it, grey resin floors below and exposed-beam ceilings that have been painted up in a dancing swirl of abstract whorls and starbursts, a riot of colour splashed against a white background. The walls alternate between brick and cheerfully lime-green painted wood that extends to the paneling beneath the brushed-steel countertops. There's an abundance of light, though rather than windows (which are scarce) it comes from plentiful hanging steel lamps. The walls here are home to artwork available for sale; though the roster of prints and paintings and drawings and photographs changes on a regular basis it has one thing in common -- all the artists displayed are mutants.

The seating spaced around the room is spread out enough to keep the room from feeling cluttered. Black chairs, square black tables that mostly seat two or four though they're frequently pushed around and rearranged to make space for larger parties. In the back corner of the room is more comfortable seating, a few large black-corduroy sofas and armchairs with wide tables between them. There's a shelf of card and board games back here available for customers to sit and play.

The chalkboard menus hanging behind the counter change frequently, always home to a wide variety of drinks (with an impressive roster of fair-trade coffees and teas largely featured) though their sandwiches and wraps and soups and snacks of the day change often. An often-changing variety of baked goods sit behind the display case at the counter halfway back in the room, and the opposite side of the counter holds a small selection of homemade ice creams. A pair of single-user bathrooms flanks the stairway in back of the cafe; at night, the thump of music can be heard from above, coming from the adjoining nightclub of the same name that sits up the stairs above the coffeehouse.

Even though the year is close to being over and winter is well on its way, there isn't a bit of snow outside. There is what Sarah considers to be a gross amount of rain, the kind that hangs in the air more than it falls to the ground. The cold temperature does nothing to help. Luckily, Evolve offers a friendlier atmosphere that is warmer in more ways than one. A short (yet still taller than Sarah) woman in goth fashion is cheerfully working behind the counter; a woman with magenta skin and long ears sits at a table near the back with botany textbooks stacked around the edges, focused on the open notebook in front of her; a group of teens have occupied a corner in the front, playing a party game on someone's Nintendo Switch; other patrons, dotted around the café, adding to the general liveliness.

Sarah, an oddly muted part of it all, claims one of the armchairs in the back. There's a plate with untouched banh mi and an equally untouched bubble tea on the table in front of her. She's focused, if abstractedly so, on the open sketchbook in her lap; so far, the page holds little more than clusters of black and dark blue lines that don't amount to anything. Her shoes and messenger bag, both the same shade of purple, are shoved under the chair; the peek of rainbow striped socks where her legs are crossed are about the only color she wears. The dandelions drawn with bleach pen on her black jeans offer some contrast, as do the random bits of hair that poke out from the front of the drawn up hood of her drastically overlarge black hoodie. The beginnings of bags under her eyes probably are not meant to match her outfit, but life imitates art.

Winona's fingers are wrapped around a video camera, and she is a bit distracted looking down at the display screen. She has on some fingerless black gloves, and while the tips of her fingers look pale, it does not appear to bother her any as she looks through the footage. "I think got some good shots. Caught the atmosphere I was going for. Thanks for coming out with me, to capture-" She tilts the little screen so that her companion may get a better look at the spooky clip. Her canvas olive jacket has several pockets, the top two at different angles, and the bottom two of which seem to be in use based on the way they bulge. Her black, grey and white camo pants are wet around the ankles, drops still formed on the black boots she wears. If the cool wetness bothers her any, though, it does not show. She looks up from the video camera and blinks away the sting of the brighter indoor lights.

"I was a little bit skeptical of the weathers," Leo admits, "but this looks very --" There's a pause as he takes in the screen, during which time he shakes his black umbrella of its excess water, very carefully folds his khaki trench coat over one arm. "Eerie." Beneath, the rest of his clothing has mostly fared well in the rain: diagonally color-blocked button-down, black on the upper left and hunter green on the lower right, with jaunting upturned cuffs and a spread collar, crisp, fitted black jeans, black slip-on boots, and a tan scarf with a green stripe along one edge. There's a hint of anxious in the addendum: "... it's meant to be eerie, yes? New York, I think, has so many ghosts. Maybe -- not in here." His dark eyes sweep the cheerful cafe thoughtfully.

Maybe because she works at a café herself, Sarah automatically looks up when the door opens. She hesitates in raising her hand to wave at Leo and Winona, unsure of what exactly her company would be like at the moment. It's soon overwhelmed by the need to not be rude. She even finds a smile somewhere deep down to accompany the silent greeting. It's not exactly a bright one, but it's there.

"Yeah, eerie's what I was shooting for," says Winona. She grins crookedly and flips the viewer shut, then lowers her hand while still gripping the camera. "I think if I saw any ghosts in here, I'd just assume they were some kind of transparent mutants. Nothing too scary about that." Her attention is drawn away from the general motion of the cafe and towards Sarah's specific waving motion. She raises a wave in greeting back and walks towards the back where Sarah is to give a proper greeting. "Hey, former neighbour. You look-" She stops herself awkwardly with a bite to her bottom lip when she realizes there's no way to end that sentence. "Nice to see you."

"Now I'm not sure how I'd identify a ghost if I saw one anywhere. How do I know it's not a mutant? Maybe a telepath in my head? Or maybe I'm just feverish. I have seen a lot of strange things with fevers." Leo is trailing after Winona, hanging just a few steps back. He hooks the strap of his umbrella over his wrist. Flicks stray droplets of water off of his neatly folded coat. He studies Sarah with a very small furrow of brow. "Are you ill?" There's not a lot of concern in this question, all things considered -- more an quiet curiosity. It's the same mild tone that carries over to his comment to Winona: "I am getting a soup. Do you want something?"

Grinning in spite of herself, Sarah rubs her eyes with the back of her hand. "Yeah, I could look better," she admits with a quiet chuckle. "You guys look good, though, I hope that means things are going well." She motions a hand toward the empty seats nearby. "I've got room if you want to join me. I'm not sick, so you don't have to worry about that, I'm just--tired."

"I've thought about that a lot," admits Winona, her tone sincere, "Like I'm gonna see something real weird for real while out filming, and then second guess what might have caused it." She tucks the camera into once of the large pockets and rubs her hands together as if just noticing that they were cold. "Yeah, a soup would be perfect, thanks." She sits down in the comfy seat across from Sarah. "Tough time sleeping? I get that."

"Oh, I --" Leo's words stutter briefly, his eyes opening slightly wider. "-- wasn't worried. About the sick," he clarifies quickly. "I'm a little worried about you, though." He leans down, resting his umbrella against the side of another armchair and draping his coat against its arm. He fishes his wallet out of its pocket just before slipping away to the counter.

Sarah stares after Leo with wide eyes of her own, mystified. "Um. Yeah," she answers Winona after a moment. "My roommates are fighting a lot recently, and I'd just rather not be home to hear it. So by the time I go home, and having to wake up super early for my new job..." She trails off, shrugging, letting that equation speak for itself. "You were out filming today?" Glancing toward the door and the weather beyond, her eyebrows raise and she seems to huddle deeper into her hoodie. "You must be really dedicated about it."

"Sorry about the roommate trouble... that can be tough. I'm glad that I've got decent ones," says Winona. She crosses one leg over the other and looks towards the window. "Yeah... I used to drive around in my car to get to my filming spots, rain or shine. Nothing'd hold me back. The cold's not too bad compared to back home, though." Her gaze finds its way back to Sarah, "You think it's gonna blow over with your roommates? Being a zombie's no way to live."

"Usually, they are decent ones," Sarah says. The small hint of doubt in her voice says otherwise. "I mean, they argue a lot, but this is different." She looks down at the sketchbook forgotten in her lap, shrugging a shoulder at Winona's last question. "It's complicated," is the only answer she can give. Her tone evens out some as she moves away from the subject. "I can't imagine having a car here would even be useful. It might be warmer than the subway or bus, but parking alone."

"Complicated," repeats Winona, she bobs her head in uncertain understanding. "For sure, for sure... I don't actually know where my car is anymore. I wish I did, but in the city here it just-" She shrugs. "Nowhere to put it anyways... but I loved that thing." She laughs in fond reminiscence. "It was a frankenstein machine, with parts cannibalized wherever my cousin could get 'em. There's no way it should have been on the road."

Winona's words spark a not-so-distant memory of a similar sort of car, and for a moment, Sarah brightens, straightening to look at the other woman. "My family had one like that; I think it was more duct tape than engine. We ended up selling it so I could come get set up here, I don't know how my sister got so much--" She stops, dimming again with sudden, sad realization. Head ducking, she begins tapping the fingers of one hand on her knee, one after the other, back and forth. "Can I ask a hypothetical question?"

Winona grins as Sarah reminisces about the family car, but it fades in sympathy with Sarah's suddenly waning enthusiasm. Her fingers brush some of her bangs aside out of her eyes. She leans forward with curiosity. "A hypothetical? Yeah, for sure."

Leo returns with a tray held carefully -- two large steaming bowls of thick tomato soup, two warm rolls of bread, two tall glasses of water. He bites down on his lip as he sets the tray down, moving one of the bowls and glasses over near Winona before he takes his seat. Though there's a curiosity in his quick glance to Sarah, he doesn't yet say anything.

"Okay, so." Sarah focuses on her tapping fingers, brow furrowing. More than once, she opens her mouth to say something and closes it again. "Say one of your best friends, who isn't the worst person but definitely isn't the greatest, has a kinda skewed sense of right and wrong," she finally says. She's picking her words carefully at first, but they soon seem to be spilling out of her. "And then they find out they have this... power. And it's not something you want someone with a messed up sense of right and wrong having. You don't want them to get in trouble or get hurt, but they have a knack for it and they never seem to listen to you anyway. What do you even do?"

Winona puts her hands on the side of the bowl to move it slightly, giving a smile and short nod of appreciation towards Leo when he sets it all down, but her attention turns back towards Sarah. She continues to lean forward as the hypothetical unfolds, then leans back and exhales, her eyes turned up towards the ceiling as she thinks about it. "Hypothetically," she starts, hesitantly, "If they aren't going to actually listen to anything I'd have to say, then I'd have a tough time being best friends with them. It's- Am I worried about this person using their power to hurt people?"

Leo unfolds a napkin halfway, setting it carefully in his lap. He pulls the bowl into his lap, too, nesting it in the center of the napkin. As Sarah speaks he bows his head over his food, making a quick sign of the cross before he looks back up. His posture has stiffened, his grip on his bowl tighter. "If they don't listen to you," like Winona his words are measured, "is there much you can do? I'd --" He nods in Winona's direction. "Maybe just be careful. Who I am friends with."

Sarah starts to gently rock left to right at Winona's question, brow wrinkling with worry. "I guess it depends on whether or not you think stealing from people counts as hurting them," she answers, tone less than confident. Neither of their answers seem to surprise her--going by the slump of her shoulders, it's about what she was expecting. Her answering nod, while apprehensive, is thoughtful. A sarcastic, unamused laugh bursts from her, surprising herself. "It's a good thing I'm great at /not/ being friends with people."

"Sometimes it counts as hurting them... Like if it's something important?" says Winona, uncertain. She bites her bottom lip and chews at it lightly for a few moments. "It's not real helpful, but everyone's not friends with loads of people. You can..." She glances towards Leo and nods slightly. "Choose your friends. Choose people who don't habitually-" Her arms cross over her stomach. "Harm you."

"I think it is hurting them." Leo's answer comes with a frown, turned down into his soup. "It would hurtme. I don't own much." He picks up his spoon. Just taps its bowl restlessly against his knee. "I don't know what's good advice. I'd be stressed in that kind of situation. People already are -- are always ready to, um. To think -- that people. People like, like us. Just want to use our powers to --" He waves the spoon vaguely in Sarah's direction before putting it in the soup. "Hurt people. I think, I would be nervous around someone who did."

Taking that in quietly, Sarah stares down at the rough lines on the page of her sketchbook. "Thank you." She manages something like a smile, glancing between the both of them. "For listening. I'll do my best to do the same."