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Latest revision as of 22:16, 14 June 2019

Talk It Out
Dramatis Personae

Dusk, Steve, Ion


"You got a problem with me, we can take this outside."


<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Dumbo

This is just one of the many abandoned warehouses in DUMBO, and like many of them it has recently changed hands. Unlike most of those, however, it does not have some corporate developer's sign out front promising a transformation into luxury condominiums or a boutique shopping center or the latest concept restaurant. Instead it's marked by a piece of weathered but wildly colorful plywood propped up on a stack of broken pallets, which reads "Chimaera Art Space!" above "chimaera.org" in smaller letters.

The warehouse is moderately large and decorated with graffiti art in various styles--some of it recognizable as the work of renowned local street artists. A pair of monstrous scrap metal sculptures, perhaps still works in progress, flank the entrance. The building itself has undergone significant renovation recently, complete with wiring, plumbing, and a modular partitioning system. The grounds, too, have been cleaned up, ramshackle fences torn down and rusting detritus removed in favor of reclaimed (and brilliantly repainted) outdoor furniture ringing an impressively engineered firepit.

It is early evening on yet another splendid late spring day, but Steve is not out enjoying the weather. Still dressed all in black from work, though with the addition of one of Chimaera's colorful communal aprons, He's been ensconced in one of the semi-permanent cubicles -- dismantled only to make space for special events -- in the large open studio area of the warehouse. His work in progress is a rough acrylic painting of a human figure crouched on a snowy bluff, cradling a rifle with their back to the viewer, in a bleak, rocky winter landscape. Though, for the last minute or so, his brush hasn't actually touched the canvas. A soft noise outside his work space startles him out of his trance, and he freezes for a moment before forcibly relaxing and turning around.

There's a plate with a bowl in it sitting on the colorful painted floor just outside his cubicle. The bowl is full of noodle soup garnished with greens, colorful pickled vegetable, and a halved hard-boiled egg; and a pair of chopsticks as well as a fork and spoon lie neatly across the edge of the plate. Rising from his stool and rinsing the brush he had been using in a tall jar of water on his work table, Steve wipes his hands off and picks up the meal. Peers around for its source, who has long since vanished. He sits back down and devours the noodles, eyes still drifting back to his painting from time to time, his expression neutral, distant. Though the bowl is large, he does not take long to polish it all off, and goes now to return his tableware to the kitchen.

The large kitchen is currently occupied by a controlled flurry of activity. A large pot of something fragrant and soupy is simmering low on the stove; there's a number of vegetables laid out, chopped up or in the process of it. Dressed in jeans and a t-shirt featuring the Powerpuff Girls' Bubbles squeezing a purple squid to herself in tight hug, Ion is currently presiding over the kitchen activity. He has a huge cleaver in hand that -- judging by the chunks of meat in front of him he has been using to carve up some beef. Is currently waggling in Dusk's direction ANIMATEDLY. "{-- in the same fucking camps they put Japanese people in back then! Same! Goddamn! Ones! But we can't call it a concentration camp, can we?}" Even to those who don't understand Spanish his fervent passion is clear enough. THUNK. The cleaver whunks back through the meat, chunking off another strip for him to slice into smaller cubes.

At an adjacent counter, Dusk has been carefully dicing an exorbitant number of onions, a fact which *probably* accounts for the red teariness of his eyes. He wears old brown corduroys, a blue and grey v-neck tee, very worn Vans sneakers, and at the moment he is taking up considerably more *space* in the kitchen than he usually is. One wing is folded small against his back but the other stands proud; held slightly apart and unfolded, it's easy to see the tattering in its sail, several ill-knitting holes torn through the skin, as well as the mess of rods and tape currently doing a makeshift job of splinting two of the long fingerbones. "{It's pretty clear what they *are*, no matter what they're called.}" He looks up, blinking teary eyes at Steve. Lifting his scruffily bearded chin in greeting. "Heard a rumor you were lurking but I was starting to think maybe the paint fumes got you."

Steve waves at Ion as he enters the kitchen. Dusk gets a polite nod, and then a startled double take when the man addresses him. "Oh! Hey." He blinks, looks down at the dishes in his hand as if he'd forgotten what he was doing with them. "Maybe a little," he admits, "I've been working on a piece for a while." Looks back up, frowns slightly as he takes in the splint. Eyes widen for a fraction of a second before he schools his expression back to merely concerned. "Are you alright?" He almost manages not to wince, and his blush is faint but unmistakable as he goes to wash up at the sink.

"You!" Ion looks up from the counter where he's chopping his meat, waving his cleaver in Steve's direction, now. "You meant to be some kind of hero, no?" Unlike their previous enthusiastic meeting, this time there's an unambiguous note of derision in his voice. "Where you get off sending your fucking attack dogs at some innocent kids?" THUNK. A more savage chop at the beef, Ion slicing it with a deal more fervor than is necessary. "This dude your friend?" he's asking Dusk, brows lifted. "How you gonna trust some flatscan wearing America like a badge of honor. What's the Army even for except murder?"

"Hey." Dusk's fangy smile is quick. He blinks watery eyes, dips his head to rub his face against his sleeve. "Huh? Oh -- sure, yeah, I've had --" His reply to Steve is truncated, though, by Ion's vehemence. His good wing shifts slightly at his back and his eyes open wider. He says nothing, though. Juuust keeps chopping his onions, brows hiked way up as he looks between the other two men.

Steve looks up abruptly from the sink at Ion's outburst, his brow furrowing hard. "Wha-- Where do you get off accusing me of -- sending attack dogs?" His voice isn't loud, but there's no mistaking the anger in his tone. "After kids?" He straightens up, hands balling into fists, though he keeps them lowered, at his side. "You got a problem with me, we can take this outside." He takes a step toward Ion, ice blue eyes defiant as he stares the other man down.

"Maybe," Ion suggests, chunking off another strip of beef, "don't try and kill no kids nobody get in your *face* about it." His face splits into a *wide* grin when Steve steps toward him, and he thumps the cleaver down, leaving it in the cut of meat, this time. "Shit, you want to fucking go, we go." He's already launching himself around the counter toward Steve in an excited kind of *tackle* --

-- that surges, immediately thereafter, into a crackling white-hot mess of pain and snapping electric jolt --

-- and ends outside with the world snapping back into focus in Chimaera's back courtyard, warm and bright in the lingering early evening sun. (The trio of people who have been drinking around the firepit look up -- scoot their chairs *just* a little farther back when they see Ion spark into existence with manic-furious grin and a person in tow.)

The moment Ion has set Steve back *down* on solid ground outside, he's already driving a (slightly energized) fist forward toward Steve's ribs.

Dusk's cheeks puff out; he blows out a sharp breath, good wing pulling back tightly inward at Steve's initial overture. His wince comes a bit preemptively, just before Ion tackles Steve. He blinks again. Shakes his head. Works his way through the rest of the onion in front of him before going to wash his hands and head for the door.

Steve looks genuinely surprised when Ion lunges for him -- which might explain why the attack connected at all. Probably he was expecting them to take it outside in a slightly more conventional fashion. Though he shakes off both the pain and the disorientation of the electrokinetic's transport with startling speed, it's not quite quick enough for him to avoid Ion's punch.

Or possibly he could have avoided it, but doesn't bother. The punch connects solidly, but it's like punching a tree trunk. The electricity that comes with it jolts Steve visibly, but doesn't faze him as he throws his own lightning-quick jab at Ion's jaw, the force behind it carefully modulated to stun and not shatter.

Steve's punch connects in what should be a fairly solid blow, landing just about where intended -- its force, though, mitigated by the fact that the moment it does connect Ion is --

-- it's hard to track, honestly. The jolt that runs through Steve is over nearly as soon as it has begun, and, where the force of the punch ought to have sent Ion staggering back instead he is standing just to Steve's left side. His next punch snaps hard toward the side of Steve's jaw.

Steve's eyes go wide-wide when Ion dissolves beneath the blow, and even wider with the jolt of electricity. Again it doesn't seem to hurt him, but still stuns him for just long enough that Ion's next blow catches Steve squarely in the jaw.

His head does rock slightly to the side with the force of the blow, and the shock that comes with it, milder than Ion's passage through him, doesn't seem to even register this time. Steve adjusts with admirable quickness to Ion's new location--even if his sidelong gaze is full of confusion--and turns to slam his elbow into the other man's solar plexus.

Once more the blow connects. Once more, there's a shock with the contact, and Ion now standing behind Steve with an excited whoop of a laugh. "BAM," is actually verbalized when he swings again -- clearly now expecting Steve to rapidly compensate for his shift in position, his punch is aimed towards the man's back from where he's landed but closer to center mass if Steve does reorient toward him again. A faint and small flutter-arc of electricity precedes the actual punch by just a split instant.

Steve sputters, more thrown off this time, perhaps, because Ion did not rematerialize within his line of sight. The man's whooping laughter tips him off, though, and he whirls toward the attack, only to have it catch him in the side again. He throws an impossibly fast cross this time, clearly hoping that what Ion keeps doing must be some kind of preparation that he might somehow get ahead of.

The door opens. Dusk just slips quietly outside, skirting the wall to find himself a seat on a brightly paint-splattered stool that sits under a window. His wing half-mantles behind him, talons scraping against the floor and the wing itself extending enough to balance out the other unfolded one. He props an elbow on a knee, leaning stiffly forward to rest chin in hand and watch the proceedings.

"Dusk. This motherf --" Ion's words stutter for a moment. He has thrown himself eagerly toward Steve's punch, the blow landing with a solid wham of electric shock as he lands on Steve's other side. The redness that has blossomed on his jaw roundabout where Steve's first blow hit suggests that whatever he's doing, it isn't actually sparing him the whole impact of all this. His wide grin suggests he doesn't much care, though. His elbow rises toward Steve's side in a hard slam as he materializes again. "-- motherfucker I hit him and he still fast like hell!" He sounds genuinely thrilled by this revelation.

If Steve registers Dusk coming to spectate, he's way too busy to acknowledge. Trying to extrapolate from experience at this point, he spins away toward where Ion had been standing in the hopes of putting a little distance between himself and where Ion rematerializes to hit him. The moment he either catches sight of or takes a hit from Ion's return, he kicks out at his opponent right knee.

"I guess it's too late to suggest you talk your shit out?" Dusk offers this up without a lot of expectation. Just a lift of eyebrows, his still slightly reddened eyes tracking Ion carefully.

"Fuck you on about? What shit?" This actually freezes Ion where he stands. Extremely briefly, that is; the next beat he's drawing in a sharp breath as Steve's kick connects with his knee, teeth gritted as he crumples to the ground, one arm tucked to brace his fall. The ripple of energy that skitters out from him at this is wild, uncontrolled, a quick but strong surge that sizzles momentarily through people and electronics alike in the two or so meters around him.

Steve looks more startled that his attack actually connected this time than stunned by the electrical shockwave of Ion's fall. He jumps back a step. Settles into a fighting stance. "The kind --" Steve's answer is calm, but with an edge. "-- where you slander me with claims that I murder children."

Dusk tenses, wings clenching up at the sudden surge of energy. He clenches his jaw after this, eyes scrunching up in brief pain as he slowly lets his wings relax again behind him. His hand is scrubbing over his cheek, head shaking. He flicks a long thumbclaw toward Steve. "You sounded like you had a problem. Are you sure it's Steve you're looking for?"

"Oh shit!" Ion's eyes widen at this reminder. He's pushed himself back up into kind of a crouch, testing his weight on the leg Steve kicked but not actually rising onto it yet. "Ain't slander shit that's not true? You the one with the fancy shield yeah?" He holds his hands up and apart in -- maybe roughly a disc shape? "You want it so bad I can get you, like, five shields, okay?"

"I did not send anyone to murder anyone," Steve says, enunciating each word very clearly. "I did used to have a shield, but lost it a while back. If someone else has found it and is doing wrong with it, I did not know or approve of it." He does not attack again. Does not straighten up from his stance, either. "You can point me in his direction and I will handle it."

Ion's eyes narrow on Steve as he gets back to his feet, weight shifting noticeably to his uninjured leg. "Nobody doing wrong with it. They just some freaked-out kids. And now they got some damn government agents break into their home to point guns at 'em looking for your shit. It's just some piece of metal, them kids don't deserve that shit."

Steve's eyes narrow, too. "Government agents?" His voice is full of suspicion. "The cops saw that child take it, but I said very clearly I didn't want them to investigate or retrieve it. I didn't even tell any government agents, much less ask them to go after any kids. " His frown deepens, but this looks more thoughtful than angry, now. "But if you're sure this has something to do with the shield, then they must have found out somehow."

Dusk hasn't moved from the stool, regarding this exchange quietly. A very quiet growl rumbles briefly in his chest, then dies down. "If he says it's about the shield, it's about the shield. Who else did you tell that it was stolen?" His brows furrow. "Not that the cops wouldn't just go to the feds all on their own, they have several bugs up their asses about mutant crime and if they thought they were doing Captain goddamn America a favor --" The breath he lets out is short and hard.

"What and you just trust the cops like that? Damn, but being human a fucking trip." Ion limps over to slump down onto the ground by Dusk's stool, leaning against the partially-outstretched good wing. "I'm tell you for real, there's whole ass feds hunting these kids looking to get your shield back. You asked for them, you allow them, I don't think it make so much difference. Maybe you go talk to your boys, huh? Put on the Captain America face, tell em leave the kids alone. They glad to give the thing back, they just want to be left in peace."

Steve's jaw tightens, and he takes a deep breath before answering. "I don't trust cops, but how you expected me to foresee them them going to the feds much less stop them doing so, I really don't know." He only straightens up once Ion goes to sit down, but does not approach them. "The feds are not my boys -- I'm not even sure they're actually feds. Of course I'll talk to them, but I have no authority with them and --" His face does something fleeting and complicated. "-- the darned thing might be their property, technically." He gives a small shake of his head. "I'll see it handled."

"Wait," Dusk's wings twitch briefly, then tense in reaction to the involuntary motion, "so the thing was government property and you still didn't think maybe they'd go harass the freaks who stole it?" His lips twist to one side briefly. "You're like. America's golden boy, they were watching you since you got unfrozen, yeah, there should maybe have been a small thought in your head that someone would take an interest. I'm just glad nobody's --" He hesitates. Looks to Ion. "Nobody's dead, right?" His knuckles scuff against the side of his jaw once more. "I'm not saying it's your fault, but I am saying if you're going to move through the world -- move through our world -- you gotta have some awareness of who you are." The claws at the tops of his wings give another small twitch. "And who we are."

Ion shrugs, his cheek pressing against the soft nap of Dusk's wing. "I don't think nobody dead." His eyes squeeze closed, his hands curling into fists and then easing off. "Why it's so important anyway? The whole-ass army ain't got no other shields?" His head is shaking, but he opens his eyes, standing up slowly. "They give it back to you, you think they ease off? They good kids, man."

Steve's gaze drops, his expression suddenly opaque. "I -- thought of it as mine. Hadn't seriously occurred to me they might not agree until now. And..." His eyes flit to Ion. "I didn't think it was important to anyone but me. It was just a prototype that didn't go anywhere, a curiosity that wasn't of any use until I picked it up." For a moment he seems at a loss, his anger fled. It returns quickly enough, though. "So I can't see why they'd go through so much trouble to find it unless they want to -- what, impress me? If that's the case, they may well leave off if I tell them." He looks thoughtful now. "Especially if I had it back. If they want to take it from me, that's between us."

"Guess we just hope, then. For now." Dusk curls his wing snug against Ion's shoulders, squeezing quick and tight. "{We have dinner to finish. You want ice for that?}" He's flicking a thumbclaw towards Ion's knee as he stands, holding his wing out to offer the long bone as support for Ion to stand back up.

"{Shit, yeah.}" Ion grabs hold of Dusk's wing and hoists himself to his feet. "Ey Atlas," he's leaning casually on Dusk but jerking a chin to Steve, "you know how to use a knife? We got million pound more vegetables need chopping. Got beer and potato pie to pay you after, huh?" He's limping along back inside without waiting for answer.

Steve gives a grim nod, his brows never really smoothing out, though it's hard to say now whether he's angry or thoughtful or something else. He's startled out of -- whatever is on his mind -- though, by Ion's invitation. Opens his mouth to answer. Frowns again, just slightly this time. And finally just follows the other two men back into the kitchen.