From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Jax, Tag

Monday, 20 November, 2017

Part of the Future Past TP


<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Dumbo, Brooklyn

Though it shares the block with a number of other repurposed warehouses, this one is impossible to miss. Even from a considerable distance, glasswork mosaics on its walls glitter in the sunlight amidst complex, interwoven designs in every imaginable color. Scrap metal sculptures populate the broken concrete pad that passes for a parking lot; it's hard to say whether the bikes chained to them are just there to visit or a part of the artwork. Very probably, both are true.

Upon closer examination, the walls of the warehouse are completely covered with paintings and mosaics. Perched above the double doors of the main entrance is a massive chimaera, a serpent's head hanging down one side of the entry way and an outstretched forepaw down the other. The expression on its leonine face looks more curious than fierce, and the flame emanating from its fangy but smiling maw swirl up to form a phoenix whose fiery pinions trail a rainbow across the front of the building.

Inside, the cavernous space is lit by an impressive battery of rail lights, currently all turned on. The interior walls are, if possible, even brighter and more colorful than the exterior ones, and host a larger variety of media than can reasonably be expected to survive the weather. Lightweight modular partitions divide the gallery area from the studio and storage spaces. Massive fans circulate the air, which always smells of paint fumes nevertheless.

The door to the storage space stands open, and various components of a stage in the making have been piled beside it. Tag emerges, dragging a bulky wooden stand decorated with various tags and doodles. The warehouse's climate control, if functioning at all, is not entirely adequate to the chill, but he is sweating. His sky blue hoodie sports a scattering of fluffy white clouds that occasionally move and change shape. His black cargo pants have yellow lightning bolts where blood stripes would normally run, and his boots are navy blue with a sprinkling of silver glitter like stars in the night sky. His hair, randomly braided in one or two spots, is a messy rainbow cascading over his shoulders and falling across his face.

He deposits the stand near the heap of wood and metal already gathered and checks a clipboard hanging beside the door. "Wow, we're almost done!" His magenta eyes sparkle with mirth. "You know, except for the whole assembly part…"

In contrast Jax is just a little bit shivery -- which might seem odd given the massive amounts of heat he is putting /out/. Helpful, considering the lack of heat in here; over /near/ him it's like Tag's own personal space heater! OK, maybe not helpful given that Tag's already sweating. Jax is bundled up, despite his own personal heat, rainbow-tipped black scarf wound around his neck, similarly styled convertible mittens (currently folded back into gloves) on his hands, black skinny jeans with huge furry glittery-silver-and-blue legwarmers over top, a black asymmetrically cut jacket worn over top of a long-sleeved soft blue sweater shot through with silvery threads. Soft blue makeup, too, his eyepatch sporting a chimaera embroidered into it that is moving, as well.

He rubs his hands together to rid them of some of their /shiver/ before picking up a hammer. "Small details," he chirrups, cheerful. "I think we need t'get more snacks, too. It got pretty intense last time. /I/ don't know if I'll make it through we don't got enough sugar on hand."

Tag roots around in the pockets of his cargo pants and pulls out a bright blue paisley bandana. It becomes a bright purple paisley bandana in his hands while he folds it diagonally into a band and ties it across his forehead to keep the hair back. Some of the fringes on the red side just flop over the makeshift headband and into his eyes all over again the moment he stoops to move their equipment.

"Snacks!" Tag grins wide at the mention of food. "Oh man, you're totally right. I need to eat something that isn't caffeine before we start." He nudges the metal frame into the bracket they had marked on the floor earlier. "Tian-shin is coming down to help in a while, I can ask her to bring stuff." Straightening back up, he tugs at the hoodie to cool off. "Did somebody work out the order of the bouts?"

"I was mostly planning on -- highly sugared caffeine," Jax admits with a deep blush and a crooked smile, "but Tian-shin can probably pick up something a little more responsible." The wider push of his grin makes his nose crinkle up on the addition, "/with/ lots of sugar." He has to raise his voice a bit to carry over the sound of the /banging/ as he starts hammering the stage into place -- more to get it solidly slotted into its grooves than to put any actual nails in anywhere, it's more of a mallet than an actual hammer. "Oh, yeah, I got a list. Think Duchess Daisy Duke is goin' up against the Dapper Dragonfly first round though -- /there's/ some alliteration for you." After a moment of consideration of this he looks ever-so-slightly put out. "How come /I/ didn't think on bein' the Dapper Dragonfly, I done missed a /trick/ there." His head shakes in mock regret.

"My sister," Tag grits his teeth as he drags two heavy boards over, "is capable of picking up responsible adult food. But left to her own devices? It'll probably be Happy Cakes." He leans the boards against the wall and dusts off his hands. Delicate green vines appear on the gritty surface of the wood and snake across it, sending off tendrils and unfurling leaves as it goes. "Unless she cooked last night, in which case it'll be elaborately arranged bento boxes and oh man that would be so awesome, but I'd feel so bad. I'd never ask her to go through all that trouble." He does not actually look all that distraught, snagging a thermos from beside his backpack and taking a swig. "Hey, good stage names have to catch you just right. Besides, I don't think /dapper/ quite covers the kind of dragonfly you'd be. Dazzling, maybe?" He offers the thermos. "Nilgiri. Not as sweet as your preference, though."

"I got noooo problem with Happy Cakes. Kinda salivatin' jus' thinkin' on Happy Cakes." Tiny little cookies and cheerfully-frosted cupcakes dance around Jax's head as he works. He sets the mallet down so that he can snag the thermos, grinning at the caveat it comes wtih. "You mean it ain't syrup? Darn." But he takes a swig anyway, because syrup or no, it's still caffeine. There are wings sprouting from behind his back, long and delicate and translucent-veiny. Glittering. /Sparkling/. Shimmer-glow, a shiver of prismatic rainbow light dancing through the delicate membrane. "Don't know as I could hold a candle to Sugar, honest. 'sides." As the dragonfly wings fade away a wide sunny-yellow stetson trimmed in sparkling gold materializes on his head. "I /like/ bein' Sunny Jack. She can jus' be my noble steed." Though it's likely anyone calling him Jack /outside/ of this context still gets /severely/ disapproving looks.

Tag brushes a lock of red hair out of his eyes and fishes his phone from a pocket. "Anything in particular you want? I'm gonna ask her to pick up Jayna's daily brew." He swipes out a quick message. When he looks up, catching sight of the dragonfly wings, he brightens visibly and smiles. "I don't know...that's pretty dazzling! But I like Sunny Jack, too. After all…" He flips his phone from one hand to the other in not-at-all gunlike fashion. "...he's the fastest draw in Brooklyn."

"Cookies. Seven /million/ cookies. Seven/teen/ million cookies." Jackson snickers at Tag's not-very-gunlike slinging, handing back the tea. The mallet twirls far more gunlike as he picks it back up -- as it does, it morphs in his hand. Not into a gun but into an oversized bright turquoise marker -- that he continues to use to fit the stage into shape. "You're givin' me alla Brooklyn t'day? I'm movin' up in the world. You gonna be so generous t'night?"

"Seven...teen...million…cookies," Tag echoes, though who knows what he is actually typing. "We'll probably also get cupcakes in ludicrous colors." He receives the tea and takes another swig himself before putting it back down. "Well, I mean, you're /pretty/ fast, but once we're on the stage, all bets are off." He deposits the wooden block steps and another two boards at the left side of the still skeletal stage. "In Tagbot's eyes, you might just be the fastest draw in DUMBO tonight."

"Only thing better'n sugar's sugar come in bright-bright colours." Another spin of Jax's -- mallet? Marker? No wait it's a gun! That shoots a paintball to splatter out against Tag's shirt in a /glittering/ rainbow of paint. "Y'know you're on that stage, too. If /I'm/ the fastest draw in DUMBO what's that say 'bout you?"

Tag crosses his arms and affects a Very Serious expression. "Tagbot does not require speed." That the clouds on his hoody have taken on various cartoonified mechanical shapes does not help the gravity of this statement. Neither does the grin he is barely suppressing. "Besides, if I beat you, /I'll/ be the fastest! Tonight, Brooklyn. Tomorrow, the world." He pauses a beat, rubbing the fuchsia stubble on his chin. "I really need to work on my taglines."

"That was painful." Jax winces, though it doesn't dim his grin. "Tagbot sure requires /somethin'/ cuz he sure ain't gettin' by on terrible puns. Anyway, I wouldn't go pattin' yourself on the back too hard for conquerin' Brooklyn. What're you winnin', really? Bunch'a hipsters? They ain't gonna help you conquer the world. Maybe if you'd tried it a couple thousand years ago 'fore jus' about /everyone/ discovered conquerin' the world."

Tag snorts. "That may have been an intentional pun like like two years ago. I don't even notice it now." He gets down on his hands and knees and checks the alignment of two stage segments. "Tagbot only conquers in the quest for more canvas." A flash of giddy mirth passes over his face. "He does not require the assistance of this borough's fleshy denizens…" The fake robot voice doesn't last. "...but if he /did,/ hipsters are also into retro stuff, ya know. Sunny Jack may be fast, but Tagbot is tireless."

"Would that I could lay claim t'bein' tireless. Maybe when we do this come summer. I'm already half feelin' like I jus' want t'curl up an' sleep half the day," Jax admits with a soft huff of laugh. "Wish Sunny Jack weren't /quite/ so literal, runnin' on solar power ain't all s'cracked up t'be. Too bad we can't do this outside. We -- probably need fingers t'draw with, right? An' not jus'... numb frozed blocks of ice stuck on the ends of our arms?" Jax wiggles his already somewhat chilly fingers. Testingly.

Tag hops to his feet and trots over to Jax. "Sunny Jack is quite the outlaw, defying thermodynamics. I mean…" He holds his palms out the way one might warm one's hands by a fire. " radiate so much heat, you'd think /some/ of that might rub off on the way out. So as long as I stick near you, I think my extremities are safe. Though..." He shoves his hands deep into the front pocket of his hoodie. The vines that have colonized the floor boards of the stage burst into a riot of many-colored morning glories. "...I can also manage without." More seriously now, he regards Jax's hands. "Do you need more clothes, though? Handwarmers? My head? I'm on the verge of shedding another layer already."

"I'm a rebel. I don't let /The Man/ tell me what to do." Jax holds his palms out, too. Presses his hands, fiercely warm, up against Tag's, fingers lacing through the other man's. "... or, y'know. Let... physics." His hands lower as Tag's move to his pockets. "I'll be aright once I get food in me. We should. Finish the stage. Make sure everything's set. We added some new things t'the wheel'a death," he adds brightly. "Sentimental sentinels. I'm hopin' someone gets that'n. I want t'see cuddly robots all over the canvas."

If Tag was bright before, he practically glows now (though, unlike Jax, he stops short of it). The magenta of his irises gain a few flecks of silver so that they sparkle in the light. "I would draw /such/ cuddly robots. Might try to work that in even if I /don't/ get the topic." He glances around at their work, then back at his companion, gaze lingering on his hands. The purple fringes have flopped into his eyes now, as well. "Yeah, just a few more things to do. Not counting all the other stuff we've probably forgotten, but who cares? We'll have cookies soon."

Jax lifts his hand, brushing purple hair back away from Tag's eyes -- though his own vivid-bright sunset red-orange-yellow hair is spilling down into /his/. "No /idea/ how tempted that makes me t'rig the topics. Could do it so easy. No computer skills required, jus' --" He snaps his finger, pointing over at the -- blank, off -- projector screen. It lights up, spinning around with a blur of potential topics to be drawn and settling, finally, on Sentimental Sentinels before the topic fades away and the screen goes dim again. Then lighting up. Spinning once more. This time it settles on COOKIES. "S'really all y'need. /Though/." With a sudden wince he scoooots away from Tag, crouching to nudge -- then tap -- then bang! -- a corner of the stage into place. "/Probably/ should make sure this ain't gonna /collapse/ under noone. Cookies taste worse full'a splinters."

"See, now if I get that topic, I'm always going wonder…" Tag chuckles. "Well, I won't wonder if it's 'COOKIES', seeing as that isn't actually on the Wheel." He circles around to the other side of the stage, rattling the stage segments to check for fastness where they join. "Tagbot accepts that his fleshy competitors require a solid surface upon which to draw." Discovering a connection with too much room to shift, he corrects it with a stomp, heavy boot-heel standing in for an extra mallet. "This is going to be /so/ epic."

"I mighta added in COOKIES this mornin'." Jax's lilting tone is a little teasing. Well, he /might/ have. His clothes are shifting -- (sunny yellow!) denim shirt with black vest over it, bright glittery smiley-sun badge where a sheriff's star should be, rather /ridiculously/ shiny-metallic-gold chaps over his jeans, similarly glittery suns for spurs on his cowboy boots. The mallet is a mallet once more, though he gives it the same gun-sling twirl as he holsters it at his side. "Most epic ArtFight," he agrees cheerfully, "this side'a the East River."