ArchivedLogs:Belated Bird Bites
|Belated Bird Bites|
<MOR> Below New York
Buried beneath the bustle and noise of New York's busy streets, the world underneath the city is a quieter place. Quieter, but far from deserted. Occasional ladders, often rusting, ascend to the city above and are evidence that at /one/ point these tunnels had been in use, or had been planned for it; perhaps by way of maintenance, or access to subways or sewers. These stretches have been abandoned by civic infrastructure for some time now, though, but occasional scraps of evidence -- discarded food wrappers, piles of tatty blankets or moldering old mattresses, sometimes voices carrying echoes through the dank concrete -- give evidence that /someone/ still uses these tunnels. The rumbling of subway trains sounds frequently through the walls, many of the train routes accessible through various doors and openings.
Despite the late hour, the not-quite-abandoned tunnels underneath New York are never quiet. Between the steady sound of water dripping, streaming, running, the sound of trains wooshing past entrances and the squeak of brakes -- and the occasional distant sound of talking and laughter -- they are an man-made symphony of noise. Animals, too, flit about, chattering in their own languages, as they shelter from the cold and thrive. Two animals in particular are making a good amount of noise, chirps and squalks as two birds size each other up, glaring. A pigeon and a raven, circling a bag of mostly-full chips. A particularly loud gronk-ing noise from the raven, combined with a sharp flapping of wings, and the pigeon retreats to scavange further down the tunnel. The raven clacks its beak, satisfied, and bends down to dig into its meal.
Adding to the noise, now, a low droning hum off in the far distance. It slowly grows closer, echoing oddly in the damp closed-in walls of the tunnels. Eventually a small figure slips around a corner, tiny and avoiding the questionable murk and puddles and refuse of the tunnel floors by dint of skating in midair along its sides. B is dressed in red velvety leggings beneath a lacy black skirt, deep red leather jacket with her MMMC kutte on over it, heavy metal boots and slightly slimmer metal gauntlets. Trailing behind her, a hoverboard is following in her -- quasi-footsteps, a tall shopping cart securely bound to it.
The raven looks up from its meal, chip in beak. It tosses the chip back like a shot, hops a step forward, and tilts its head to examine B out of one eye. The raven lets out a little symphony of squeaky noises and pushes off from the ground, wings flapping. The wide wingspan helps the bird close the distance rapidly, gliding to a smooth finish right onto one of B's gauntlets. It holds its wings out to balance it, tilting its head and examining B from close up. "Hi."
As B brakes to a quick stop, the drone dies down to a soft background hum, mostly lost beneath the everpresent rush of water down here. B tips hir head down to peer back at the raven, huge eyes hidden beneath a large pair of dark glasses. "These are way overdue." B's tone is apologetic, even if she refrains from actually saying the s-word.
"Hi." The raven repeats, then leans forward to run both sides of its beak along B's upper arm. "No problem." With a quick flick of motion, the raven climbs up carefully to perch on the teenager's shoulder, peering down at the hoverboard with a tilt of a head this way and that. "Need a hand-- with that?" The raven asks, ending the question with a clacking sound.
B's nose crinkles up, a quick small smile given. First to the beak-nuzzling, then to the hoverboard. "I think the board's got it. No hands needed. It's -- pretty heavy, anyway." Ze fidgets, shifting weight restlessly from one foot to the other. "Apologies that we haven't -- been as. As on the ball with this as..." Hir brow wrinkles. "There's a lot of food in this one but are there things. That would be -- would be particularly a help? I could -- could tell Shane. For next time."
The raven shifts its position on B's shoulder, doing a careful little dance complete with waggle of tail and spreading of wings to turn the other eye onto B. Once balanced, one wing reaches out to gently brush along B's cheek once, twice - not quite a pet, but more than a pat. "Dunno." A pause, a quiet crrr-ck noise, then, the bird adds, "Jackets. Winter clothes. If you have spare."
"I'll see what we can do." B's cheeks darken, hir gills pressing flat against the side of hir neck. "We'll let Anole know. When we've got things ready to bring. I keep thinking we should have -- cookies or something. Pa always made it so --" She shakes hir head, metal-sheathed hand pressing down at the side of hir neck. "Um. The board will follow you." With a quick gesture to the hoverboard and its shopping cart cargo. "Make it easier to. Get. Down to your home."
"We're thankful for what you can do, B." This comes in a strange stereo -- in a slightly distorted sound from B's shoulder, and from the slightly distorted looking teenager climbing up from one of the ladders, one hand holding a manila envelope. "I've not been down here too long, but I'm sure no one here is anything but grateful. We're all..." Alex purses his lips. "Just, thanks," he says, stepping forward. "Thanks." The raven adds.
B cringes slightly at the thanks, but dips her head in acknowledgment. "It's hardly charity. You seen things up there? We're half an inch away from needing a home down here ourselves. The world is --" A low growl rumbles in hir chest, briefly. Then dies away, hir head shaking quickly. Ze glides backward; the board and its food hums forward toward the other teenager. "Right, well. I hope it helps."
"Well, I wouldn't suggest swimming in the water here, but you're always welcome." Alex says, a half smile tugging at his lips. He shifts, awkwardly, before he steps forward and holds out the manila envelope. "I... thought you and Shane might like this. Just something small, out of my sketchbook." A faint tinge of red stains his cheeks, darkening his already apparently-kohl-darkened face. "Thanks again for the food." The raven on B's shoulder clacks once and takes off into the air, flapping back over to his meal, as he begins climbing down the ladder once more, food in tow.