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For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of the affliction we experienced
Dramatis Personae

Dusk, Kurt, Leo, Vícente

2019-10-25


"If there's a single country on earth that hasn't fucked with us, I'd certainly like to know where it is."

Location

<NYC> Tompkins Square Park - East Village


Small but popular, this tree-lined park is a perfect centerpiece to the eclectic neighborhood it resides in. Home to a number of playgrounds and courts from handball to basketball, it also houses a dog park and chess tables, providing excellent space for people watching -- especially during its frequent and often eccentric festivals, from Wigstock to its yearly Allen Ginsberg tribute Howl festival.

Friday evening is lively in Tompkins Square -- even moreso tonight give that even with the sun set it's pleasantly mild in contrast to the more autumnal cold snap that had just come through. There's an exuberant klezmer band playing in the center of the park -- much of their lyrics are in Yiddish but what can be heard in English has a very distinctly Angry Anticapitalist bent to it. Over across the park the dog run is lively with the sounds of barking; the basketball courts have multiple pick-up games in session. The various lawns still hold a diverse scattering of people out enjoying books or podcasts or conversation or their dinners.

Just at the back edge of where the crowd has gathered to hear the music, the pleasant air is -- well, not entirely dampened. But several of the people don't quite look like they're enjoying the music as much as they want to, scurrying furtively past to get closer to the stage. Maybe it's because it's not all that loud at this distance -- or maybe it's because of the young man seated on the back of one of the benches, his sneakered feet resting on the seat itself. In brown corduroys, a plain blue v-neck tee, old beat up Vans, shaggy dark hair, dark scruff of beard, Dusk would look almost nondescript -- if not for the very large pair of black batlike wings that are half-mantled behind him, sharp talons gleaming at their tips. He has a burrito in one hand, half-wrapped still in foil as he munches on it, and a bottle of jamaica Jarritos soda held on the bench between his feet. "I think I'd be scared," he's saying to the young man on the bench beside him. "I mean, I love dogs. But dogs I know, you know? Not just going into a stranger's house. With strange dogs."

Beside Dusk -- albeit actually on the seat of the bench -- Leo is less eye-catching. At least, he lacks any markers that would easily distinguish him from the rest of the parkgoers. He's dressed in a daisy yellow short-sleeve button-down with a subtle windowpane pattern, dark indigo jeans with yellow contrast stitching, and black loafers, a burrito of his own in hand. "I think," he's answering Dusk slowly, his dark eyes turned up to search the starless sky -- then, after, tipping a glance over toward the playful (and occasionally less playful) barks and growls coming from the distant dog park, "that's reasonable. But if you get used to how animals behave, it's not -- so scary. Meeting strange ones. They don't usually -- just bite. They telegraph. Besides." His next words are a little more wry. "I need money."

Kurt was dressed in a pair of dirty ripped blue pants and a beige long sleeved shirt with a bit of white paint splattered on the sleeve.kurt had been wandering around the city for a while, it was so much larger to the small towns and villages of Germany. Kurt was excited yet a bit overwhelmed at all of the people and places to go to. Eventually his wandering feet led him to a large open grassy area, Kurt liked this area much better than the concrete pavements. He heard a bit of distance music coming from where a large amount of people were gathered so Kurt teleported across the square to where people were gathered. He appeared in a magenta smoke cloud above a patch of grass. From there he walked over to the crowd and sat down at the back, he didn't want to push to the front. Besides, the people sitting in this area looked different, like him. One of them had wings which made Kurt feel more welcome, in Germany he had never met anyone like him.

Once he was comfortable behind them he leaned forward and extended his hand to them, he was a bit nervous how they would respond to the appearance of his hand. He had only 3 fingers per hand, some people found it uncomfortable to shake his hand. "Hallo, my name is Kurt" Kurt introduced himself in a thick German accent.

Vícente wore a pair of washed out jeans and a simple graphic tee that spelled the word 'ninja' out of the periodic elements. He was currently just enjoying the music to pass the time, ignoring the call of work and assignments waiting for him back home. He was in his fourth year of school and was pretty laid back this time around, though that didn't really stop him from procrastinating in all his previous years either. He looked around dazed, in search for more distractions and just overall more reasons to linger in the park a bit longer. It was then that a blue mutant would instantaneously appear just a few feet to his left. He startled in surprise, but looked in wonder. His eyes followed the mutant to the two people who sat at the bench.

The teleporting mutant introduces himself as Kurt, and Vícente wanted to join the conversation too. More so out of curiosity but felt it would be a bit awkward to just interrupt, so he just waves.

With as much as is happening in the park tonight, Dusk doesn't quite notice the puff of smoke. He does notice Kurt some time on his approach, though, eyes idly tracking the blue mutant as he wanders the crowd. He's not entirely surprised when the man approaches, then, his chin lifting in a casual upward nod. He doesn't take Kurt's hand, though -- just lifts his burrito in a lazy waggle of a wave. The quick smile that parts his lips is friendly enough -- although not everyone might read it that way given the wickedly sharp fangs that glint in his mouth. "Sup. You like klezmer?" He doesn't smile or greet Vícente with quite the same ease, at first. Just tips his head slightly, flicking a quick glance up and then down over the man when he waves. His brows lift, silent and questioning. "Need help?"

Leo, on the other hand, is startled by Kurt's arrival. His eyes open wider, and he leans back in his chair, closer to the encircling shelter of Dusk's wing. His posture hadn't quite been at ease before -- certainly not in contrast to Dusk's languid grace -- but now the stiffness in his back and shoulders suggests more tension than his previous punctiliousness. His eyes shift between the others with a cautious appraisal, and, at least for the moment he engages himself with an overly invested bite of his burrito.

Kurt shyly retracts his hand, feeling a bit more self conscious than before. His tail hangs between his legs shyly. His yellow eyes trail over Leo, he watched him move closer into the winged man's wing. He looked uncomfortable to Kurt. Kurt wanted to make him feel more comfortable but he wasn't sure how he could do that. His postured hunched over more, almost like Kurt was trying to hide within himself.

`I thought maybe they wouldn't be afraid of me but I guess that isn't the case so much.` Kurt thought to himself, he really wanted to make friends here in New York, make a new start for himself.

"Oh um I haven't heard of Klezmer, sorry" He looked downward at his hands which fidgetted nervously, "I am new in town, so maybe some help findink my vay around?"

Vícente held his hands in a placating manner, "Not really, just haven't met much outwardly obvious mutants before." He replied, "Being one myself, I feel a bit ignorant to those who can't really hide that..." He wasn't sure why he's suddenly garnered interest in learning more about others, but with the recent protests at his school, he felt the need to better inform himself around others in general. Good place to start would be one of my own people.

"Klezmer," Dusk repeats cheerfully, the tip of one wing waving off towards the band. "it's this style of music. Sort of eastern European -- Ashkenazi Jewish -- a bit of Romani influence. I think it used to be more popular and then faded and now it's popular again, probably because everyone's realizing capitalism is shitty." His smile is returning as he explains this. The connection between Capitalism Sucks and Traditional Jewish Music is left to the others to determine. "Finding your way around? Where you looking to get to?" His wing curls in gently when Leo leans back, settling in a light drape around the other man's shoulders. The lift of his brows reverses itself, sinking down into a small but equally quizzical furrow. "Ignorant. I -- see." His tone implies he doesn't, really. It's a little more uncertain when he repeats again: "Did you -- need help?"

Leo takes a deep breath, chewing over his food slowly as Dusk speaks. His eyes have turned back upward, the tension in his shoulders minutely lifting underneath the soft blanket of wing. "It's a hard town to be new in," he finally offers, sympathetically. "I've been learning. Slowly." A slight darker flush tints his tan cheeks as he looks over Kurt. "I guess it would be harder if --" His lips press together, and he shakes his head quickly.

Kurt looks up to look at Dusk when he speaks, listening intently. He was interested in learning about different cultures outside of the small area of Germany he had been to so this was interesting information for him, although some of the words he didn't exactly know what they meant. He made a mental note to look it up later.

Kurt smiles shyly back at Dusk as he listens to him, his fangs show in his smile. His smile is bright in sincere despite being shy. "Oh, I'm not lookink anyvere in particular. More lookink too look than lookink for anytink shpecial."

Kurt looked at Leo and offered him a friendly smile and tilted his head slightly, Kurt was doing his best to appear nonthreatening to Leo. `Maybe a joke would help? People are more at ease ven zey are laughink` Kurt thinking so himself before pulling a joke from memory. One in particular comes to mind that someone at the circus used to tell. "Before I vorked at a circus, I vorked at a calender schop. I vas surprised ven zey fired me, all I did vas take a day off"

"Not necessarily, just want to listen in, if you don't mind?" He responded, he was unsure as how he should approach the situation. He wanted to learn more, and the best way to do that was through hearing from a first person's perspective. Yet he didn't know how to approach this without sounding too much like a creep. He fiddled with his fingers out of nervousness before just throwing all care in the wind and saying, "Or just join the conversation?"

"Oh, alright. Where'd you come here from?" Dusk picks up his bottle -- oddly delicately between two fingers -- to take a sip of the bright red soda. "Y'know, people say it's rough to be new here but I thought it was great back when I was. I mean, I guess it's big and it can be intimidating that way but -- big just means that no matter what your kind of people are, you'll be able to find some of 'em here. You can't say that a lot of places." He snorts at Kurt's joke, wincing as some of the fizzy red soda comes back out his nose; he has to wipe it with the back of one hand. "Wait, you worked in a circus?"

The laughter fades into just a contemplative expression when he turns his attention back to Vícente. "I'm sorry," his words come slow and polite, the wing that isn't draped around Leo pulling back inward to fold surprisingly snug against his back, "I just want to make sure I'm clear. You want to listen in -- so that you can learn more about obvious mutants? I --" At the top of his wings, his long sharp thumbclaws twitch, just once. "Sorry, but I'm trying to eat my dinner, not be your education."

Leo focuses somewhat intently on Kurt as the man speaks, his brows knitting while he chews over his burrito and brief surreptitious glances darted to Dusk. 'Looking to look,' he mouths this near-silently to himself, finally nodding. "I guess this is a good neighborhood to look in." He doesn't sound entirely confident about volunteering this meagre contribution to the conversation. His intent look doesn't fade -- and though he does laugh, small and polite, at the joke, it comes a noticeable beat after Dusk does. His mouth closes back firm when Dusk addresses Vícente, though, his eyes growing a touch wider. It takes a breath but he does finally add, in a smaller voice: "There are places -- support groups and -- things. Where you could meet people. Who aren't used to -- other mutants. Yet."

Kurt tail unraveled from his leg slightly as Kurt became more comfortable in the situation. Jokes were something he knew, it made him feel more comfortable despite his knowledge of jokes coming from a darker source. "I come from Germany and yes, I vas in a circus until I came here." Kurt shifted uncomfortably and scratched at one of his brands that littered his neck anxiously, merely talking about the circus was enough to make him feel on edge and anxious.

Kurt turned his attention to Leo and blinked at him in confusion, "support groups? For mutants? Oh right people like us." Kurt was still getting used to the term mutant, he wasn't called a mutant often in Germany so it was comforting to know there was a word for people like him and also that there were more people like him.

Vícente bit his lip, he had obviously gone about this the wrong way but relented that his request was very strange from the get go. He nodded once before saying, "I understand, my apologies." Before leaving to a spot in the field further away from the group. He didn't want to cause more of a scene than he already had, so he decided to take the other mutant's and look up more about mutant support group online.

Dusk's eyes track the motion of Kurt's hand, but then look away. "Yeah. People like us. I mean, there's not a lot of them and not all of them are -- great, but." One of his wings hitches up in an approximation of a shrug. The other finally drops from where it's been curled around Leo's shoulders, pulling in to tuck small and crumpled against his back as Vícente withdraws. "The Mendel Clinic over on Delancey has a couple -- Evolve Cafe down at Suffolk and Grand probably has the most -- Themis House will aggressively tell you about their services if they see you but don't listen to them they're creepy genocidal fucks who want to make you human they just pretend they're nice. It can be a trick weeding out safe places from -- you know." Another shrug. He polishes off the last of his burrito and crumples at the wrapper, leaving a compact ball of foil and wax paper in his palm.

"Evolve doesn't only have support groups. They have really good sandwiches and coffee and hot chocolate, too. They --" Leo stops here, though, looking to Dusk with a sudden alarm. "Genocidal?" His tone sharpens on this. His next question, incongruously, is a more hopeful, "... they can turn us human?"

Kurt's demeanor dampens when Dusk says not all of them are great, not that Kurt assumed all mutants were great people it just made him sad to hear that. He would try to keep that out of mind though, he wanted to give everyone a blank slate. Everyone had some good in them to Kurt.

Kurt stepped towards Dusk slightly listening to him name off places and their addresses. He wanted to check them out. The names of the places Dusk named off and the addresses were foreign to Kurt but he could always ask someone for directions later. He didn't want to bother them with asking for directions right now.

Kurt excitedly perked up and his eyes sparkled like an excited puppy, his tail wagged behind him. "They have hot chocolate! I love hot chocolate!" Kurt smiled excitedly as he reminisces on the days when his Pastor would bring back hot chocolate from the store on especially cold nights. Hot chocolate was his favorite drink.

"genocidal?" Kurt worriedly questioned him, did people want to kill them here? He really hoped not, no one deserved to die because of being different.

"Uh --" Dusk's smile curls just a little bit crookedly, a hint of amusement creeping into his voice. "My apartment has hot chocoate. That bodega on the corner," his thumbclaw is flicking again, across the park this time, "has hot chocolate. That shitty pretzel stand has hot chocolate. A lot of places have hot chocolate, friend, I'm suddenly getting a very bleak picture of what Germany must be like. Evolve, though, has great hot chocolate so that's a higher bar." He gets to his feet, his wings stretching and then resettling before he hops down off the bench. "Are we just gonna gloss right over the genocidal part?" His eyebrows hike up when Leo asks about a potential cure. "They can't make you human, much though they'd like to wipe us all out. They can make you sick as fucking hell keeping your power under wraps though. They did offer to hack my wings off once but, y'know. Hard pass."

Leo sags back with a soft huff at Dusk's answer. He stares down at the remaining half of a burrito in his hands, ultimately folding the wrapper over and carefully tucking it closed. "I don't," he says, quiet and clipped, "want to spend a lot of time sick." The intensity of his frown is probably not actually directed at the neatly re-wrapped burrito he holds, but that's where his face is pointing. "I guess they aren't the only ones who want to wipe us out. Is it better or worse if they pretend to be nice about it?"

Kurt's face lights up more and more when he hears about all the places that have hot chocolate, hot chocolate was probably easy to get in Germany as well but Kurt didn't get out much. That and they never had much extra spending money so hot chocolate was more of a luxury. "Zere is probably a lot of places zat hafe hot chocolate in Germany as vell, I did not get out much." Kurt shrugged awkwardly, "I must go try the hot chocolate from Efolfe zen."

"vhy vould zey vant to vipe us all out?" Kurt asked curiously, he wanted to know if there was something serious he needed to be careful of here. "I really like your vings! zey are vunderbar!"

"Yeah, my wings are awesome." Dusk's agreement is casual. He ambles over to a nearby trash can to drop his wrapper inside, returning to lightly pluck back up his bottle of soda from where he'd left it. "I take it back," he's deciding, then, with a small chuff of laughter, "forget hot chocolate, I could do without it if Germany is a place you can live to be a whole-ass adult without knowing that lots of humans want to exterminate us. I'm skeptical though, y'all don't have a great track record with that kind of thing over there." He leans back against a fence, looking off toward the stage, his hand bobbing in time with the music. It takes a moment of thought before he answers Leo: "I think I prefer my enemies up-front about it."

At first, Leo's expression continues to be intently focused when Kurt speaks, but eventually he turns his attention instead to Dusk with a small easing of that concentration. "I've seen some pretty awful hate crimes in the news from there," he says dubiously. "I guess I've seen them from a lot of places. I should maybe not -- go looking."

Kurt raised a fuzzy eyebrow at Dusk, "Has Germany hurt mutants in zee past?" Kurt copies Dusk's bobbing to the music, bobbing his head as well as swinging his tail back and forth behind him slowly. "Like I said, I didn't get out much, once I left zee circus I hardly left zee temple until I came here so it is possible I just don't know.

"If there's a single country on earth that hasn't fucked with us, I'd certainly like to know where it is," Dusk answers with a snort, "but, uh, I was kind of talking about a history of genocide -- you know. Overall. If you ask me 'does Germany have some history with genocide' I'm -- gonna have to direct you to the nearest library." He straightens up, hooking his thumbs into his pockets. His scruffy chin tips up toward Leo. "I'mm'a head over to Evolve. Caffeinate before Fight Club. You gonna be good here on your own, man?"

"I read it's not so bad in Chile," Leo volunteers quietly as he stands up. He carefully smooths down at his shirt, nodding to Dusk. "I think I will heading in. Thank you for the dinner. It was good to meet you, Kurt." His head tips politely to the other man. "You should really stop by Evolve. I think, it is one of the only places built for -- people like us."