ArchivedLogs:All Aboard The Cat Train

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All Aboard The Cat Train
Dramatis Personae

Eve, Heather, Taylor


"I don't even know what... Is that a game?"


<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.

It's getting on in the evening, just nearing the end of the scheduled meeting that Heather and Eve had set up to study mathematics. "... while we were working I have prepared some extra problems for you to work through to help you with some problem areas." While the recording plays, she sips at her coffee and looks up at the ceiling through the lenses of her tinted goggles. She seems surprised when it clicks to an end, and she presents a few pieces of paper that she was making while Eve was working on some problems. She picks up her voice recorder again and, after another moment, "Do you have any other questions for me while we wrap up? I think we have worked through a good amount of problems. I want to eat something now. Will you be eating as well? Eating is good for the brain."

Eve looks a little... overwhelmed. Good progress may be like a burnout in her brain right now. So she hops up IMMEDIATELY when the woman suggests something to eat,"NoquestionsI'mgoingtogogetsomethingtoeatanddrink!" A pause,"What do you want to eat? I'll get this one since you're tutoring me. They have great soup here. I love it." Eve is already walking towards the counter, stretching as if working some of the aches and pains of long concentration out of her body. Make no mistake. The child needs to learn math. She does not particularly enjoy it.

The door to the kitchen swings open as Eve approaches the counter. Taylor is just slinging a backpack onto a shoulder, just winding (and winding, and winding) several arms away beneath his baggy Princess Nokia tee. He stops, though, when he catches sight of Eve, lifting his head in a nod. "Ey, yo. You getting something? Should I grab you something quick? If it's fancy, though, I'm punched out already."

Heather nods approvingly of Eve's rushed speech, rising up to her feet in an instant and zipping on after Eve. Once on her feet, her outfit is more obvious: a powder pink sweatshirt with a red heart in the center and a pair of blue and orange baggy pants with music notes on them. "I appreciate it. Soup is good. Any kind of sandwich is good." She consults with the two watches on her wrist and then looks up to see Taylor. She waves her hand quickly in the air at him. Generally, her thoughts are noisy, fast and constant, but over and above her current thoughts is: << What are the standards of food fanciness? >>

The girl tilts her head as she queues up at the counter, ordering soup, and sandwhich, as well as a berry scone, and her usual iced coffee. << It's Taylor! Yay! >> "Um. Nah, you clocked out, not asking anyone to work for free. Even I get an allowance when I work the shop. Drop by sometime if you're ever in East Harlem." Though why that would be is anyone's guess. Eve smiles widely at that,"You're welcome to grab a nom or two with us, right Heather?" She actually looks over at Heather for a moment as if for confirmation, then goes on,"We'll wait for whoever's on duty to make it. You work hard back there. Princess Nokia... You know, I never have listened to her. I'm kinda stuck on Fascinoma right now. Hopeless, I know." She's babbling a little. << I'm babbling aren't I. DEAR GOD, LET US NOT GO BACK TO ALGEBRA! >>

"I don't know. Soup's not fancy. Some of the whole-ass entrees actually take mad work, you know? The sandwiches --" Taylor's hand wobbles in the air. He stops to grab himself a waffle bowl and two scoops of ice cream. "Anyway some of us work hard. Some of us just play Neko Atsume."

From behind the counter, the plump midnight-blue-haired barista still working smirks. "That's /him/."

Taylor just grins. "I haven't got them all yet! -- Fascinoma I don't know. They good?" He's tracing a finger through his ice cream, slurping it off absently.

Heather nods rapidly to Eve when consulted on the question of whether Taylor be invited to eat with them. She plays, "I like things that are less fancy anyways. I am not so fancy and I am not so patient. I am happy to just have edible objects stacked on bread. Or premade soup." Her eyebrows raise slightly at the conversation about music and she falls silent, thoughts turning back to algebra.

A pause as she looks to Heather,"Do you enjoy music, or does it all sound horridly drawn out and slow? I suddenly realize I've just been learning algebra from you and I know nothing about you other than you're Paige's friend and good at math." Eve bites her lower lip in thought,"We must all seem terribly slow to you the more I think about it." She taps a finger on her chin, humming to herself,"N-Neko Atsume? I don't even know what... Is that a game?" Eve blinks owlishly, then shakes herself out of it,"Fascinoma... Oh, yeah... From the Phillipines originally. It's very indie so I suppose it depends on how experimental you like it yourself. I'm assuming Princess Nokia is pretty talented or you wouldn't be wearing the clothes."

"It's a game. Full of cats." Taylor makes his way out from behind the counter, snagging a tiny plastic spoon as he goes for the ice cream. Not really /using/ it, though; he just lifts the whole bowl, next time, licking at it. "Doesn't have to be fancy to taste good. Our premade soups are the bomb. And no wait -- well." His brow furrows as he looks at Heather. "... I guess. Relatively less waiting." A little sheepish there. His eyes light, excited, as he looks back to Eve. "Princess Nokia? Oh man homegirl's the /shit/, yo. And she's like, /home/-girl, too. /From/ El Barrio by way of this neighborhood right the hell here. And yeah she can spit it. She'll be playing Afropunk this year you should come check it out with me."

"Everything sounds low and slow, yes," answers Heather to Eve, "And yes. Everything seems slow in general. I just experience time differently though. If you have questions about me I am happy to answer. I am an open book." She frowns for just a half a moment and taps her cheek a few times. "I do not know the music. But I know the game with cats. I have a lot of cats on my phone. I like them a lot." She picks up the soup when it is served, snapping up a spoon as well.

Eve picks up her scone and coffee and gestures over to the table they were studying at then,"I... love cats. If I weren't allergic, I would have, like, a million of them. Or maybe rabbits." Her voice is rather distant as she sits, and sort of gazes off into the distance now. She shakes her head a little bit as if to clear it and takes a bite of her scone. When El Barrio is mentioned, her eyes light up,"Oh, shit, she's a local! Man. I could've passed her on the street and I wouldn't have even known. Hells yeah I will. You know I wanna see lat go plat." She's very pleased with her pun. Also totally serious. "Count on it." She flickers her eyes back to Heather now as she whips out her phone to go looking for this game they speak of,"I... Oh. My. God. Why did noone tell me something this adorable existed. You mean phones are for more than snapchat? Whaaaat?" << I must have all the cats. ALL OF THEM. They will be mine. >> Such determination. "You must've developed a new definition of patience, Heather. I'm pretty impressed."

"Oh shit have you gotten Whiteshadow yet? I can't get Whiteshadow. Jeeves is my favourite, though." Taylor follows the others, dragging out a chair and dropping his backpack beside it. "Patience, patience is getting the right shit to make all these picky motherfuckers come love you. In slo-mo that's like a lifetime undertaking." One of his arms has twined around the base of his waffle bowl; he continues to lick at it in small tongue-laps between words. "Kick-/ass/. S'not till August but -- something to look forward to, yeah? You got any summer plans?"

Heather grabs the sandwich and balances it on the plate with her soup. pulls her phone out as well, but it's mostly to look at pictures of fictional cats that she's taken. "No. Whiteshadow still eludes me. Jeeves is a good choice. I like Conductor Whiskers. A cat who is a conductor is very funny. I will get them all soon. I can feel it." She gives an appreciative thumbs up at the idea and places her plate down on the table. "I like to think of myself as patient, yes. But there are many things that I just ask my roommate to do because I find them too difficult."

Eve is quickly and rapidly tapping her phone now as she spirals into a world collectible kitties. Perhaps her soul cries out as it is claimed by its new feline overlords. << This is obviously hours of my life just... GONE now. >> Eve smiles gently at the boy, giving a thumbs-up,"Um... if I don't end up in Summer School, which Heather here is helping me prevent... I dunno. I'm supposed to work the store if I don't have actual plans. My friends mostly go away for the summer. So I guess I'll just hang out and... accrue character or something." A pause as she looks over at Heather, and asks,"Real talk now... how many hours of my life am I going to be sacrificing to this game?"

"What kind of things are too difficult?" Taylor wonders curiously. "Oh, man. Conductor Whiskers is excellent. I want a train full of cats just -- in actual life." He cranes his neck over to peer at Heather's screen shamelessly, brightening at her menagerie of kitties. "Cat /paradise/ you got there. -- And I'd say it's your /whole/ life but thankfully a lot of the time you gotta actually wait for the cats to show up so you can't go /too/ overboard. .../too/ too overboard." Though his sheepish tone suggests there's still -- some overboard. "You can rearrange your house and shit like. A /lot/ though." Summer school earns a grimace, which he chases away with more ice cream. "Character? How much XP does summer school give you?"

"A train full of cats," repeats Heather, thoughtfully. Her mind immediately conjures up all kinds of images as to what that would be like, but she shakes her head upon considering the difficulty in collecting tickets from all of them. "As for things that are too difficult. Well. Some things are just like. Standing in long line-ups. One hour for someone else is five hours for me. But also handling delicate objects. My hands break things. Handling liquids. It's easy to forget about momentum and just splash them all over. My footfalls are not delicate either." She shrugs at Eve and adds, "You may only sacrifice as many hours as you have to the cats. So there is an upper limit."

"Like, 10xp a day. I think parties level you up fast, but I don't know anyone who likes to party. Well. Unless you think soccer practice pizza parties or talking about lipgloss for three hours is a party." << It's not. It's not a party. >> Eve rubs at her nose a litle bit,"Text me when the tickets go on sale, okay?" Eve nods to Heather,"A train full of cats sounds like a... not-so-fun-thing, actually. Like, terrifying. Still, heather, you ever need someone to save your place in line, consider me your gal. I'm pretty good at wasting time. So... probably why I'm bad at algebra."

"Mmm I can see how that'd be a problem. Good to have someone to tag-team that kinda thing with." Taylor is half covering his mouth with his hand as he says this, stifling an amused almost-laugh that he swallows back down, shaking his head. "{...sorry,} uh --" One slender arm passes across his head. "I'll text you, for sure. Shit speaking of parties I gotta bounce. I'mm'a be late to my Friday night throw-down. Good luck with algebra, though. And cats." He stands, scooping up his backpack and waggling his tiny plastic spoon to both the others. "See ya 'round."

Heather tilts her head slightly at Taylor's semi-laugh but she waves her hand to him as he heads out, "Good luck with your throwing down." She shrugs lightly and plays to Eve, "I appreciate your offer to stand in line for me. In general, a lot of my difficulty involves needing to pretend to be in super slow motion. It probably seems like it is not exhausting. But it is exhausting." She quickly devours her sandwich and continues, "Anyways. Usually I spend a lot of my time writing. And preparing. I have a lot of time. So I can be very productive."

"Throwing down... Is... I s he going to go fight someone?" Her eyes are wide. Like she's never seen people fight in East Harlem. Eve sips her coffee and then nibbles her scone a little bit,"If it's true for yoga, then it should be true for normal stuff, too. Slow, deliberate movements can be exhausting. You should see me practice punts like that. It feels like your leg is falling off." A pause, and then she is wondering,"So... what do you write about? Got anything published?"

"Is he going to go fight someone?" repeats Heather's recording thoughtfully, "Well. That's what the expression implies." She taps her cheek a few times and then shrugs, "It is true for normal stuff though. I do not know what you mean by practicing punts. But I am sure that it is very exhausing for legs." She gently scoops up some of her soup (actually, it does not look gentle from any perspective but hers) and then plays, "Nothing published. I write mostly very self-indulgent stories about adapted life experiences. Or inspired by life experiences."

"Huuuuh. I didn't take him for the violent type. Maybe it's a martial arts or boxing class." Eve crosses one leg over the other as she nibbles the scone in her hand thoughtfully. "You might be surprised. You might've already written dozens of publishable things. I'd like to read them sometime." The girl continues nibbling for a time yet, and then clarifies,"Punting... like in soccer. I'm pretty athletic, actually. But I probably can't hold a candle to your jogging acumen."

"Yes. I jog faster than traffic," plays Heather, matter-of-factly. "Approximately thirty miles per hour. I can run much faster. But I would not call it athletic. I am actually unathletic. Because I don't eat very well." She runs her fingers through her tangled hair and continues, "You play soccer? Are you on a team? I guess you have to be on a team to play soccer. I will give you some of my writing sometime to read. I am unashamed of it. But it is written for my own pleasure."

"Is it because of difficulty of paying for food, or just how difficult it is to eat enough? 'Cause I can't imagine it's easy either way." The girl looks around, then leans forward and wonders out loud,"So how was it you knew you were a mutant? Was it slow, or like all at once, or did something happen?" Eve finishes her scone and moves on to her coffee. After a moment, she fishes in her bag to find a large tooth comb and beckons to Heather,"You want some help with that? I don't mind. And even if you're getting paid, you helped me so much." She chews a thought though,"Would it be invasive for me to read it then?"

"My hair will break your comb. It is hard to pay for the food I need. And it is hard to eat enough. It was only a few months ago that I was homeless. So I was eating out of garbage cans. But I scraped what money I could and I live in a place and am over a hundred pounds," plays Heather, looking at the thing suspiciously. She raises her goggles onto her forehead, and her eyes twitch about with a strange sort of shiftiness. "My parents are both mutants. My mother makes powers stronger. She and my dad were in a fight. She stabbed my dad. It was stressful. And we touched. And time stopped. Everything was frozen. For a long time. But eventually it slowed down to what it is now. Anyways. It is not invasive to read my writing. When I say my own pleasure I mean that I like mysteries and things like that."

The girl puts her comb back up, taking Heather's word for it on the sturdiness of hair. "Huh. So... it could've been anything really random or anything. I dunno. I guess we don't really see much in school about 'mutant stuff' you know? Still. A hundred pounds, that's like a milestone huh? Have you considered that weight-lifting protein powder for weight-gain?" Eve looks over the top of her cup,"I'm sorry you had to go through that. The worst my parents went through is making it here from Florida from what I understand. Must've been hard not to go stir-crazy." The girl smiles,"I'm not much of a reader, but some of my friends are kind of crazy smart, and I kind of feel like maybe if I read a little more, we'll have more in common."

"My parents are intense. They are both in prison now. I have mixed feelings about the matter," says Heather. The emotion on the tape seems to be rather absent, just her same flat reading tone. "Weight-lifting powder is very expensive. I need to pay for a Manhattan apartment. It takes the majority of my income. I am careful with my food budget." She finishes the last of the soup and then says, "I should go home to sleep. If you have any questions about mathematics just send me a text. I will send you a text when I am awake again. Next time I see you I will bring a story I wrote."

"Ooooh. That makes sense. Kind of arrogant to think you haven't had people coming to you saying 'have you tried' this or that left and right. I don't really know what it's like to pay rent, either, so I can only imagine it's super-expensive." Eve ponders a little bit,"You know, we pretty much have to throw out anything that lasts past midnight in our store. If you're up late and don't mind stuff that's a little dry, I bet mom and dad would be happy to feed my tutor a little extra after hours. It usually becomes leftovers in our house anyway." The girl starts packing her own things up. "Really though, thanks for everything you're doing. Most people don't like spending time around kids." Even if Heather isn't exactly super-old.

Heather lowers her goggles again at the comment about spending time around kids: "I am eighteen. Well. Legally. From my perspective I am a fair bit older. I say eighteen-or-forty." She stands up and picks up most of her things except the recorder, but gestures on the extra pages she wrote up for Eve to indicate to keep them. "I may stop by the shop sometime. I would appreciate your leftovers. I am not so prideful that I would turn down a meal. Have a good night." She picks up her recorder, waves her hand and then zips off through the door as it closes behind another customer.