ArchivedLogs:Something Different

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Something Different
Dramatis Personae

Alex, B, Blink, Dakota, Desi, Dusk, Elias, Elliott, Flicker, Heather, Hive, Horus, Ion, Isra, Jax, Joshua, Lucien, Lyric, Marinov, Monsterling, Natalie, Nic, Nick, Paige, Paras, Peter, Ryan, Sam, Scramble, Spencer, Shane, Tag, Taylor

May 19-21st 2017

It's gonna be great


Something Different venues

friday. 19 may. 8:45am.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

While other volunteers zoom about making some last minutes adjustments for the artists who are using the space, Marinov sits down at one of the still empty tables with a cup of tea, attempting to calm their nerves. “It’s gonna be great,” they say out loud, mostly to calm themselves down a bit. Their ears flick with pent up energy.

The felinoid youth rises to their feet to take a look at some of the participants who are getting set up. Many young mutants who have all kinds of sculptures, photos, paintings and other miscellaneous displays up are talking to each other and to some of the volunteers with a similarly excited and nervous energy. Marinov takes a deep breath and picks up their cup of tea to get back to their duties.

“It’s gonna be great.”

friday. 19 may. 11:15am.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

There's a gathering energy in the space, now. Many of the mutants who have come with all kinds of sculptures, photos, paintings, other displays, have finished set-up of their stalls. At one end of the warehouse a stage area has been erected, and for the moment it is here that a nervous-excited energy is largely being channeled, through artists and volunteers and the first (large, considering the hour) wave of visitors who have arrived with a promise of /opening ceremony/.

When the sound system blossoms to life, that energy redoubles, magnifies, spreading out through the crowd in the first thrum of violin cord, the first wash of a joyful exuberance that ripples from the performer on stage. Ryan takes a deep breath before approaching the microphone. "-- Are you all ready for a little something different? I can tell you -- it's gonna be great."

friday. 19 may. 11:23am.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

A clearly and conspicuously red-cross marked tent along one wall of the warehouse bears a large banner marked FIRST AID. Joshua is setting a table up within it, curtaining off half of the space for privacy where some modular furniture has been set up for seating or lying down. Half-perching on the table once it is up, he looks from a checklist over to several large tubs -- also clearly cross-marked. "OK, so wound care is all here. How's splinting looking?"

Flicker crouches beside one of the open tubs, brows knitting as he stacks items neatly inside it. "Golden. But so far among our later check-ins we have --" /He's/ frowning down at a laptop beside himself. "-- /Several/ performers who can -- you know what, let's just stock up further on burn care and, uh, at least one person's already checked in to say they need regular doses of magnesium and copper and they forgot their pills at home. There's also someone who solely metabolizes --" He's peering closer. "... can that be right? Does anywhere even sell..."

Joshua hops down from the table, leans over Flicker's shoulder. Studies the screen a loooong time. At length, only: "Huh." His eyes flick over the bins. His lips purse -- briefly. "...I'm going on a supply run."

friday. 19 may. 12:15pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

Approximately three dozen photographs -- all of them in black and white, all of them framed and mounted -- are mounted on a set of three stands made of green felt. The photographs all display various parts of the city taken from angles that, at a glance, appear downright impossible to accomplish without some serious acrobatic hijinks. There’s a few of Evolve, in particular; a wide-angled shot of the street out in front of it taken during an active night, with several -- very /obviously/ mutant-types standing outside and talking.

However, there's one photograph that doesn't quite... belong. It's this photo that Peter is peering at -- currently clad in a crisp, blue-collar shirt that offsets his dark, indigo skin -- his brow furrowed -- rubbing his chin as he eyes it very **closely**. "I don't," he comments, wrinkling his brow a bit more deeply, "remember taking **this** one..."

This one /could/ perhaps belong, to an untrained eye -- it's black and white, too, and its vantage point of the city looks fairly unique. The focus and framing and contrast in this one, though, suggest a completely different photographer behind the lens, a quite different eye --

-- and as it so happens right now one huge black reddish-brown-ringed pupil is staring over the top of the partition of Peter's stall. There's a distinctive fluttering-rustling behind the makeshift wall, a quiet scritching. The tips of a few speckled brown-and-white feathers crowning upward over the brightly staring eye. Bob bob bob, goes the head, as Peter comments.

"..." Peter's left eyebrow gives a tiny twitch upward; the non-existent hairs on the back of his neck proceed to prickle. With his hand firmly cradling his chin -- thumb curled underneath, rubbing away -- he continues to examine the photograph in front of him. It's taken from above -- and features both himself and Shane, on the roof of the Treehaus at the Commons. "--I mean, *clearly* I must have taken it, because it's here in my stall... and besides, I'm the only one *capable* of taking such an amazing picture -- so really, who else could it have been?"

He begins to rub at his chin, before slowly nodding. "There's really only one conclusion to draw here," he states, just a little too loudly. "I must be so good at photography that I take spectacular photos without even realizing it. Even photographs of *myself*...!"

/This/ draws a sudden indignant crrrk! from behind the wall. There's a sudden flapping, a brief shadow as a pair of very large wings spread up and over -- and swoop! Promptly Horus is diving downward, large talons closing with surprising care around the photo corners at the edge of the picture. NAB. Yoinked back from Peter's display, /clearly/ he is undeserving of such treasures.

Or maybe not. A moment later the picture is fluttering back down to settle, face-down this time, on Peter's table. On its back, a printed note has been affixed: 'CONGRATULATIONS on your first FREAKSHOW am I allowed to say that it's my first too we can call it that right i'm calling it that YAY hi have this present just for you.' in painstakingly written pen, it's simply signed '-H'.

"--! Oh," Peter exclaims, at that looming shadow that rises -- and swoops! He hops back as Horus yanks the photograph up, feigning indigence as the young mutant snatches the image away. "Hey! Envy is a very ugly thing you know and--" As the picture flutters to the table, Peter's eyes fall on the words written on its back -- and his words promptly fade away. He slowly reaches for the photo, touching its edge -- expression melting into a sad-yet-happy sort of smile.

When he picks it back up, there's a careful sort of reverence about it; slowly, he moves several photographs aside, clearing an entire panel to give the picture its own stall.

friday. 19 may. 1:20pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

"... so I don't see why I can't have a setup for my paintings! This is discrimination!" complains a red-faced college-aged man in a hoodie and jeans at one of the ticket stations. "You know, I support mutant equality, but I don't support discrimination... this is anti-human prejudice!" He bangs a hand on the table, "I've seen spaces that you could fit me in at! Get me a spot!"

Ears pressed back and her voice somewhat wavery, it is evident that Paige does not enjoy being yelled at so angrily. "Sir," she begins once the young man has finished speaking. "The title of the event is Something Different: A Mutants' Arts Festival." She glances up and gestures towards the sign above the ticket booth which clearly displays the festival's name. "We are celebrating artists who might otherwise go unnoticed. Mutants face discrimination every minute of every day in various capacities. This festival is specifically for mutants. That is why it is in the title." Despite the shakiness of her tone, the goat girl appears to be keeping her composure well enough.

The man looks at the sign and narrows his eyes. He fumes silently for a moment then continues, "So your response to discrimination is to discriminate against me? I'm an ally to the mutant community, and allowing me space would send a message of inclusivity! Don't you people want allies to feel welcome and willing to support your events?"

Paige's ears twitch slightly, though they remain in the same position. At the 'you people' comment, she takes a deep breath in through her nose. "We -do- want allies to feel welcome and that is why allies and others are invited to explore and enjoy this festival. I apologize if you feel discriminated against, but this event was designed specifically for mutants. Non-mutants have a much easier time securing spaces at venues and mutants are more likely to be discriminated against in favor of non-mutants." She shifts awkwardly on her hooves. "But ... we are very grateful for your feedback and I will be happy to bring your, uh, grievances to the, um, event's director."

friday. 19 may. 5:19pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

Lucien navigates the press and bustle of the crowded warehouse with the unassuming ease of a longtime city-dweller, neatly sidestepping a pair of women carting a large box back to their stand, quietly slicing himself through the gaps in the chatting milling clusters drifting through the displays. In neatly tailored slacks and button-down, his blandness stands out in the artsy crowd of performers and spectators -- though not quite as much as the two black-suited earpiece'd stern-faced people trailing him and his companion, their carriage and alert expressions blaring SECURITY ostentatiously.

Lucien's ignoring them. Talking casually instead to the well-dressed woman they accompany: "-- believe the creator plans to hold this festival annually, if it proves a success -- which, I think you'll agree it has. There's been a gap in the art scene and --" He's pausing only briefly as they approach a stand, hand unfurling to gesture to the drawings on display there. "Allowing people the opportunity to fill it can only enrich our city."

For the first time in a long time, Alex is in public without his ever-present hoodie. Instead, he is dressed in a well-worn white dress shirt, the top button undone and revealing the slowly undulating tesselation of feathers branded like a living tattoo on his neck. As Lucien and his enteroage approach, Alex's eyes widen slightly, glancing over the expensively-dressed visitors in front of him. Still, despite the slight quiver in his voice, he gamely greets them with a hello and a polite nod. "Please let me know if there's anything you'd like to see more of. I have both prints and originals available for most of these." Alex waves a hand towards the neatly -- but cheaply, in black plastic frames with a thin glass cover -- framed work sitting on the table, his sleeve cuff slightly too short to cover up a quarter-inch of black under his skin.

Elliott is staying close to Lucien's side, easing through the gaps alongside him. Her short-sleeved leaf-green dress leaves her sleek silvery-white prosthesis visible from her right knee downward. "It is a pretty impressive show. And this --" She's giving Alex a warm smile as she looks over the work. "This is impressive, too. The views you've captured of this city are phenomenal. Oh!" A light note of laughter enters her tone. She picks up one of the pieces: Lucien sitting with his dog, half of another young woman's face in view as well, and lifts up the frame to show it to Lucien. Then Alex, brows raised. "Theatre fan? How much for this one?"

"Theatre?" Alex asks, a note of confusion in his voice. He glances over at the drawing, then to Lucien -- and simultaneously blushes and pales. "Uh... that's twenty-five for the print and five for the frame." Alex presses on, glancing between Elliot and Lucien. "I have the original too, if you're interested."

"Por favor," Elliott replies promptly, setting the print back down.

Lucien, meanwhile, is looking over the picture with eyebrows hiking slowly up. His bright green eyes lift to Alex, studying the young artist thoughtfully while the Mayor pays for her art. He quietly plucks up one of the handmade art cards, turning it over to look at the name and number on the back. With a polite smile, steering Elliott on to the next display: "Broadway. I'll send you tickets one evening."

friday. 19 may. 8:33pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

Up on a stage in the remaining unpartitioned space in the Chimaera warehouse, a massive paper canvas--twenty feet wide and five feet high--has been set up, though it is as yet entirely blank. The gathered audience is chattering amiably while they wait. Suddenly, a rainbow washes across the canvas, rippling like a flag in the breeze even though the paper itself is quite motionless on its plywood backing. An uncertain cheer goes up and intensifies when a small, brightly colored person darts out from behind the canvas.

Tag is resplendent in tight silver shirt, pants, and sneakers all detailed with whimsical outlines of plates, rivets, and gears. His hair is its signature rainbow pinwheel, but with /metallic/ colors, while his eyes are an electric blue that shines uncannily under the stage lights. "Welcome to Artfight, Gentlebeings!" His amplified voice is either very skillfully kept in monotone, or electronically modified to sound robotic.

There's a flutter of illumination that grows -- somewhere near the top of the canvas, soon spreading into a wash of warm yellow glow that pushes back across the rainbow field, briefly replacing it with a wave of golden light. Jax doesn't dart out from anywhere -- just appears, coming suddenly into view where a moment before there had been empty stage at the other side of the canvas from Tag. Perched at the top of a tall stepladder, he's clad all in black and brilliant gold, from his spurred riding boots to chaps to vest to button-down to the tall black-trimmed gold Stetson perched on his head. A smiling sun (very faintly glowing, itself) beams out of the center of his eyepatch. The plasticky glittering gold pistol in his hand has a widened barrel -- which is currently serving to hold a fat blue marker.

"Tagbot, these folks done come from near an' far to show off their skills out /there/." His pistol-marker twirls in his hand, points back in the warehouse to the rows of partitioned spaces set up for showcasing different works. "An' no doubt they brung a whole /heap/'a talent with 'em, we seen plenty'a that out there today already. But if they want to keep up with us on this stage it's gonna take --"

"--quick thinking!" Tag throws his arms up in the air. The rainbow fluttering on the canvas behind them shrinks down to a huge bold exclamation point. "Humor!" The exclamation point turns to a comedy mask. "...and flare!" The mask explodes into rainbow fireworks. Then, cupping one hand to the side of his mouth (though the microphone picks up his stage whisper flawlessly), he adds, "Sunny Jack usually has some extra lying around." When the fireworks have faded, they leave the canvas blank once again. "Now, let us introduce our contestants..."

saturday, 20 may. 10:45am.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

Elias Covey has made his way into the warehouse nursing a very large coffee (despite medical advice otherwise). He's dressed in knit layers to keep the chill the rain out, but the umbrella hanging from his arm, dripping politely in a provided bag, the only defense he brought along for it. Despite the gray day, he is wearing sunglasses inside, either to draw attention to himself or to disguise who he is --- it's really hard to say. The hair around his face is pulled back, wavy curls still covering the rims of his ears and the collar of his shirt. His feet shuffle past each of the stalls slowly, taking a good long look at the wares before moving on, snagging a business card here and there.

Dotted intermittently around the walls of the festival spaces there are other arts -- not exhibitors, not being showcased, but donated pieces by more established mutant artists serving as accents and decoration. Here on one section of wall -- an oil painting done with bold use of colour, a very distinctive whimsical-surreal style. In it a tall and muscular ink-skinned and many-tentacled youth is grinning, bright and broad despite the fact that (limbs flailed behind him) his footing is stumbling, off-balance on the riverside where he stands; a stick in his hand is held like a fencing foil. Opposite him a lean beanpole-tall Japanese teen holds his own stick forward in a poised lunge, right foot extended, balance upright. The smile on his face is small, but pulls a definite warmth into his features.

Eli stops in front of this painting and sighs, slipping his glasses up into his hair as he studies the expression of the Japanese figure solemnly.

It's hard to say exactly when Eli was spotted, but quietly soon afterwards he has company. Shane is quiet at first, slipping into place beside Eli with webbed hands folding behind his back. His huge black eyes tip up to the painting rather than the tall man beside him. There's a brief shiver-ripple of his gills. "This would've excited him so much. Can you even imagine how many spreadsheets he'd have made if he had a chance to help putting it together? Marinov's been working themselves to the bone to get it pulled off."

"Yes, he would." Eli is quiet at first, still mastering the emotion that leaves his vocal chords unreliable. "Wish he had the time to do so." He wets his lips and turns to the small blue fellow next to him. "Working themselves to the bone? Wish it wasn't that much work -- but then again, events like these are a lot of work -- the controversy only makes it worse." He slips his glasses into place. "The first is always the hardest."

"It's a lot of pieces to get in place. Doesn't really leave any time for /them/ -- fucking shame, too, their shit is..." Shane trails off, quiet for a moment as he slips his phone out of his pocket. Some swiping later, there is new email in Elias's inbox. "-- Though," he's turning on a heel to look up at Elias properly now, "if you got a moment, there's something I'd like to talk to you about."

Elias smiles a knowing sad smile as he studies his young companion. When his pocket vibrates, an eyebrow rises visibly behind the mirrored lenses. "Oh, yes. Certainly. Let's talk."

saturday. 20 may. 1:17pm.

<NYC> Evolve Nightclub - Lower East Side

The club's acoustics are not exactly that of a concert hall, but they suit performances fairly well all the same -- at the moment the strains of a Prokofiev concerto floods the room. Near the front left edge of the audience, one tiny blue face mirrors that of the diminutive violinist on stage -- B watches hir twin play with rapt attention and no small measure of pride in hir enormous bright eyes.

At least, until someone behind her shoulders her half-aside, snorting as they look up toward the stage. "Shit man shouldn't it be doing something. /More/. I didn't come to this freakshow for classical music -- YO," the first half was muttered but now the tall broad-shouldered man, college-aged, khakis and a polo shirt, is raising his voice, "C'MON show us your TEETH."

There's a steampunk fairy vibe to Desi's outfit today, plenty of satin brocade and tulle. She had been standing beside B, her face likewise alight with pleasure, though her eyes are mostly closed. Or were, until the heckler wedges himself between her and B. She sucks in a short breath, shoulder curling inward. Her expression is only a little pinched, but the gaze that she fixes on the man looks like it ought to cut. Probably no one but the twins can see her tug the satin glove off of her hand before laying it on the man's arm, pushing at him feebly where he crowds her.

The heckler looks down at her, then at B. Then scoffs and, evidently losing interest, turns to work his way back out of the audience.

saturday. 20 may. 2:30pm.

"Hmm. Heather Brown and the..." Heather walks through the slow motion crowd, weaving deftly between the attendees without much thought. "Washed up washing machine." She approaches one of the booths, stopping to peer at the clay sculptures of pudgy homunculus. "Too much of a mouthful," she decides. The artist, a gangly teen with four little horns protruding from his head, starts to slowly look up, and she very deliberately raises her hand to give him a thumbs up before continuing to her destination.

"Homunculus. No double meanings there," she remarks to herself as she continues to weave through the crowd, popping in her earbuds to drown out the low thrum of the crowd. "What rhymes with homunculus?" She stops in front of another booth and hits play on her recorder, waiting for a heavily furred woman to look up at her. "Ssssspeeeeeshhhhhhaaaaalllll-" She pulls some paper and drawing supplies to place them on the surface of the table, holding them down so they do not scatter due to her speed. "Duuuuullllliiiiivvvvuuuuurrrrreeeee."

The woman responds, smile slowly getting bigger and bigger, hand raising to wave. "Thhhhaaaaannnnnksssss!"

Heather gives another thumbs up, checks her phone for her next gopher task, and walks off to the next destination.

saturday. 20 may. 4:03pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

Among the bustle and liveliness of the festivities, Ion's energy seems pretty at home. Paired with his much-loved and well-beaten Mongrels vest, the bright yellow armband wrapped around his bicep reads SECURITY in bold block text. At the moment he's not securing much of anything, nominally off duty though no less busy for it -- dropping off a tray of lunch (together with a cheerful compliment) at one stall, whisking bottles of water to a group of dancers just finishing their number, stopping by another participants display to help lend a hand in putting up the large banner that's been falling down from over top of their area.

He takes a step back when they've finished stapling it back into place, giving the spiky-headed youth a thumbs up. "Shit's looking fucking tight, friend, how you even /do/ all this? This goddamn amazing, this -- this --" He takes a few bouncing steps back, hands lifting to frame -- first the actual art display (a number of glass sculptures and bottles of varying shapes, filled with layers and layers of multicolored sand) and then the banner in between thumb and forefingers. "Monsterling look this you seeing?" His lips move slow and silent at first, but then cautiously giving voice: "The -- st... story -- of -- my -- life --"

"Gracias." The artist ducks his head. "Um, the glass I blow in a workshop. The sand I collect from everywhere, some of it I dye, some of it I leave. Pour it in, real slow and careful."

Despite the excitement of the day, or perhaps because of it, Egg has been napping in the leather harness securing them to Ion's chest, though all the jostling from putting the banner back up woke them again. They blink hugely at the glass sculptures, clicking steadily to augment their vision in the light. 'Pretty!' they sign exuberantly, 'Pretty colors!' They sit up straighter in their harness, showing off their tiny leather kutte to better effect--the rank patch reads MONGREL PUP--and their own, much smaller SECURITY armband. 'I want a story dad, tell me the story!'

"-- in. Glass." Ion's eyes light when he gets to the end of this. "/Yeah/. {You know, I think these pretty colours they're going to tell us a story. Let's see what it's got to say, huh?}"

saturday. 20 may. 5:41pm.

<NYC> Evolve Nightclub - Lower East Side

While there is a little bit of mumbling in the dimly lit room, a very animated woman with iridescent chitinous skin and four large black eyes keeps most of the audience's attention with her observational humour: "-so I say to this guy, 'I swear, you only came to this thing 'cause you can see your reflection on my skin!'"

There are a few laughs at this point of the comedian's recounting of her disastrous date, but a middle-aged man and woman in the front are not laughing. They exchange a quick whisper and the man reaches into his companion's purse to pull something out. By the time those in the neighbouring seats realize what's happening, he's thrown a rock at the performer, and his companion's reached her own hand into the purse as well. "Get off the stage, freak! People like you are why this country is going to shit!"

Scramble has been watching over the show from the side, half-way between the stage and the door, a bright yellow SECURITY band around her upper arm. Though she scanned the audience constantly, she chuckled at some of the performer's jokes. When the two spectators up front start whispering, she taps her partner's arm lightly and indicates them with a jerk of her chin. When the man reaches into the bag, she starts shoving her way through the crowd to get to them. "Security!" she bellows as she nears them, "Put it /down!/" As soon as she is within reach of them she -- doesn't actually reach for them, at least not bodily. Her powers stretch out into the two attacker's brains, twisting and tugging each into a harsh but temporary dissociative state.

Natalie has been leaning against the wall at Scramble's side, a matching yellow band tied around her arm. She straightens quick at the tap, though. Nods to Scramble, following soon after the other woman. When they arrive within reach, /she/ physically closes the gap that her partner bridges mentally. One hand reaches for each of the attackers -- clasping firm at a wrist to twist arms quickly behind their backs and pull them to their feet. Her grip stays tight as she starts to steer them toward the door. Quietly, under her breath: "No refunds, by the way."

The performer cringes away from the assailants, arms raised protectively in front of her face, but relaxes a little bit when she sees that security has it handled. She offers a grateful wave, then pulls the microphone close to her mouth and deadpans, "To be fair... that's how he reacted too." Without missing a beat, she launches into the rest of her routine.

saturday. 20 may. 7:23pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

This section of the Chimaera Arts warehouse has been partitioned off for stationary art exhibits the whole weekend. B's display has proven popular for its strikingly unique contents, if nothing else. The pieces are mostly small housewares sculpted from real bones, meticulously cleaned and arranged. There's a lamp in the form of a lizard monster carrying its own severed head; a mobile bristling with clawed, toothed insects; a candlestick formed by several human figures whose bodies are melting together at the base. A friendly-looking centipede dog holds the sign for her stall.

Isra sits at the table in the midst of this strange and wondrous boneyard. She herself is dressed simply, a backless and sleeveless white linen dress with an asymmetrical hem. Her skin is slate gray with a pearlescent sheen that shifts constantly with the angle of the light, and sparingly decorated with bold, organic strokes of deep black that suggest movement and flight, emphasizing the inhuman proportions and curves her body. Her horns and talons are silvery black like polished hematite. Her massive wings mantle loosely around her, their leathery membranes looking like dark, rough-hewn stone on the dorsal side, but the ventral surface is patterned like the inside of an amethyst geode, crowded with dark, rich, crystalline purple.

"Do you ever imagine what sort of creature would /hatch/ out of a geode?" Perched behind the table next to Isra, Spencer (dressed in jean shorts and a dark grey t-shirt printed with bleached-lighter skeletal leaf-imprints) is parked in front of a cash box, laptop closed in front of him. There's a little bone sculpture in his hands, right now; a many-limbed mandibled humanoid figure with ragged large batlike wings. "/I/ bet they'd look something like this. Maybe it depends what kind. Like maybe if --" He breaks off, looking up from his statuette at a distinct click-click-clicking approaching the stall. "Oh!" A slight widening of eyes. "-- Do you like bones? We have /so/ many of those."

The youth hesitantly nearing the display approaches on four segmented arachnoid legs, sharp-claw-tipped and connected to a hard-shelled spike-tailed thorax. Above the waist they are wearing an entirely nondescript white button-down, teeth catching at their lip as they peer -- briefly at the statues but mostly, brown eyes wide in a narrow tan-skinned face (largely quite human save for the gleaming hard dark shell in place of their hair), at Isra. Just below the hem of their shirt two more pincer-limbs fidget restlessly. There's a large portfolio case in one hand, at the moment evidently mostly forgotten about. "Oh -- /oh/." A little breathless. "How -- did you -- is that --" Their free hand rubs briefly at one cheek. "You /are/ an art." A suggestion of a shy smile plays at their lips but doesn't quite make it out. "That's, you're, it's -- /amazing/, does somebody /here/ do -- oh, your /talons/, and they --" Softer, now: "Really saw you, huh?"

"I imagine they'd come out something like...a gemstone pillbug, perhaps?" Isra muses, cocking her head toward Spencer. Her ears swivel toward the approaching youth's clicking footfalls. Her wings buoy out a little farther--initially by reflex, perhaps, but then more deliberately, careful of the limited space and frangible art--displaying the inside of the geode-like wings to better effect. "Gracias. The artist's name is Tag. I'm out of cards, but you can find him at the medic table for the next few hours." Then, more softly, folding her wings down around her shoulders so that she seems to wear a cloak of living stone. "He sees my beauty, yes. And I see yours." Her eyes snap to the portfolio in the young mutant's hand, her shimmering brows raising slightly. "May we see your art, as well?"

"Isra's /always/ kind of art," Spencer explains, "but Tag helps. Do you art? My sister and my brother and my dad art can we see?" He's stretching up onto his elbows on the table now, bright-eyed and eager.

The newcomer's face blossoms into a bright smile. Skittering forward, they set the portfolio down caaaarefully among the sculptures. "Yeah! I -- I don't have a stall but." Looking over Isra, there's a ripple of relaxation that passes down through them. "-- But maybe next year I will."

sunday. 21 may. 12:45pm.

<NYC> Evolve Nightclub - Lower East Side

Desi slips out from the backstage area cordoned off with a colorful sign that reads 'Something Different Staff Only'. Dressed in a green satin corset and a tulle skirt in petal-like layers of green and purple, her hair twisted up into an elegant but functional updo, she looks quite ready to appear on stage, though no one who has been watching has seen her perform.

A wide-eyed college-aged mutant with pale red skin, no hair and vertical slits for a nose approaches upon seeing Desi, carrying an old-fashioned camera. "Hey!" he says in a raspy voice, shaking the camera with visible excitement in his long-fingered hands, "Hey, I haven't seen you yet. Are you going to be on stage later today? Can I..." He trails off, but shakes the camera more emphatically.

Desi comes up short, blinking at the photographer. "Oh! No, I--" She flushes very faintly. "I'm not performing, I'm just assisting one of the dancers. With choreography." She dips her head, recovering her composure. "My apologies for the confusion." But though her smile is firmly back in place and her blush faded, she leaves perhaps more quickly than altogether necessary.

sunday. 21 may. 12:46pm.

<NYC> Evolve Nightclub - Lower East Side

As his co-choreographer slips out from backstage, Taylor is fidgeting. Restless, watching the tail end of the singer up before him -- though his mind is not entirely on her performance. Turned outward, it's a cacophany of noise, battered by the sounds -- excited! supportive! sympathetically nervous! -- fascinated, disgusted, curious, too --

-- but above all, /noisy/. The crowd outside in all its eager energy --

back here he closes his eyes, focuses on breathing. The steps practiced, the routine he knows by heart, but this -- less easy to rehearse. << -- I can do this. I can -- I know this. They're friendly, they're -- >> << ... fucking loud, >> his next thought overlaps with his attempts at reassurance, even while simultaneously picturing the faces of his family out in the audience somewhere. Proud, pleased. Another deep breath, an attempt to tune out the --

-- The soft fluttering damp that washes in through Taylor's mind is calm. Quiet, blanketing, a rolling wave of /silence/ that mutes the jangling crowd outside with a firmer touch. Hive's echoing multifaceted voice is a crowd all to itself -- though it, at least, whispers there-and-gone just as the MC is announcing Taylor. In the stillness that now wraps itself over Taylor's thoughts, his voice is just sure and confident: << You got this. >>

sunday. 21 may. 2:11 pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

The acrylic painting depicts a dark and forbidding urban landscape, dilapidated buildings looming over a column of physical mutants (the only bright colors in the entire scene) shuffling along under the watchful eye of faceless armed, uniformed, and jackbooted humans. The visitor standing before it at the moment, pale-skinned and auburn-haired and hazel-eyed, looks thoroughly unimpressed. They are not even looking at the painting, but rather the artist beside it: a lanky, sinuous person covered with fine, downy feathers in green, blue, and occasional black.

"I just don't think it's appropriate to use Holocaust imagery like this," the visitor is explaining, their tone heavy with reproachful concern. "I'm not saying there /isn't/ still discrimination against mutants, but casting all of humanity as /Nazis/ is not going to win you any allies. Besides, it's disrespectful to /actual/ Holocaust survivors, their families, and the entire Jewish race..."

The artist hasn't yet gotten in a word, though they've opened their (conspicuously fanged) mouth several times to do so. Their expression hard to discern, but their shoulders keep hunching tighter and tighter, long-finger hands fidgeting at the hem of their ill-fitting dress shirt through whose unbuttoned collar a small, silver Star of David pendant can be seen.

Walking up to the display, Sam looks fairly unassuming himself. Jeans, a soft green v-neck tee; only the purple 'DE-ESCALATOR' armband wrapped just above his sleeve cuff marks him as a more than casual observer. "Hola -- you know, it's good to have people thinking seriously about these issues. If I'm hearing you right you seem to have some concerns about the subject matter here? -- I can definitely understand how the imagery might seem disrespectful to you, would it be fair to say it would be handled more respectfully coming from a Jewish artist?"

The artist looks slightly wary of Sam's approach, but they relax just a touch when their eyes settle on the purple armband. They open their mouth yet again to speak, but the eager critic beats them to it.

"Oh, yes, I'm sure that the Jewish people would have a lot to say about the appropriation of their cultural trauma," the visitor says, crossing their arms. "I'm not trying to speak for them, but I think it's important to point out that the mutant situation in America today is hardly comparable to /the Holocaust./"

"I think you're very likely correct," Sam agrees, nodding along with the visitor. "People often do have a lot to say about issues that affect them deeply. And art, it's a great medium to let people express their voice -- if we can learn to take a step back for a moment and listen. Now, I think it's /possible/," with brows slightly lifted toward the artist, now, "you may have a thing you want to say?"

sunday. 21 may. 5:17pm.

<NYC> Evolve Nightclub - Lower East Side

Nick has been checking and re-checking his guitar backstage all through the set of the one woman show scheduled ahead of Among Others. He's wearing a light gray t-shirt with a large graphic of a wolf's eye, a stylized green flame burning in its pupil, and black cargo shorts. His fur has been groomed extensively and fluoresces in bright geometric patterns whenever he passes near any black light source. He returns to where his bandmates are waiting and dumps a couple of ice cubes from an insulated bottle into his mouth. His eyes settle on Lyric and his ears press back slightly. Waving one hand to get her attention, he signs, 'You look nervous! /I'm/ nervous, this our first /real/ show!' One of his ears swivels toward the stage and the appreciative applause of the audience between two of the current artist's songs. 'But here, I think--this is special...' He flounders for a moment, hand pinwheeling in search of a word. '...this /our/ place, right?'

Lyric is kind-of-sitting, kind of pacing restlessly between her drums and the curtain where she can watch the tall stripe-skinned singer onstage; even if the singing is beyond her the woman's exuberant stage presence and stomping hooved feet are easy to track. Her eyes widen, head ducking slightly beneath her deep magenta and green layered scarves. For a moment her hands wave, floundering as well. 'Special, yes,' she agrees hesitantly, peeking back out at the audience then back to her bandmates. 'You've been so supportive and I'm so happy to play with you but. I don't -- know if.' She bites her lip, looking at the stage again. Then Nick, then Paras. 'This is /your/ place. I'm just here to help. I don't even know if I should --' Another hesitation. 'This show is for you. I'm human.'

The jagged marks lining Paras's skin already compose their own innate geometric design; much like Nick's, tonight these lines fluoresce beneath blacklight, glowing a brighter lavender against her deeper purple complexion. Her maroon eyes widen at Lyric's declamation, fingers lifting from where they've been ghosting over a keyboard and rising to her lips. Then dropping back to her side. Then lifting again to sign, as if not quite sure she caught it the first time -- 'Human? You sure?' Her cheeks darken after this, head shaking rapidly: 'Of course you sure. I mean really?' "I mean. I mean to say." Shaking her head still, she crosses over by Lyric, looks out at the crowd as well. Then back to her bandmates. 'You here is -- right, yes. You're in band. We need you. We don't want anyone else. Maybe you,' her smile is a little sheepish, 'Among others. But also you are among friends.'

sunday. 21 may. 7:55pm.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

"-- if I knew how to do anything half so pretty as that." There's a very animated young woman talking somewhat breathlessly to Blink, here, vivid orange eyes bright and enormous brown-feathered wings rustling restlessly behind her while she speaks. She's holding a case of water bottles against her hip with one arm, though the other punctuates her speech with expansive gestures. "/Or/ just go out looking /normal/ -- /ever/ come on /tell/ me you don't put work into that? Oh! Oh I was supposed to get these -- you /really/," she's smiling bright to both Dusk and Blink now, just before dashing off toward the stage area with her cargo, "should have websites or /something/ for serious!"

Dusk's fanged smile is easy; he looks as languid as the woman is animated, draped casually into one of the many heavily modifiable pieces of furniture scattered around the warehouse -- his wings drape comfortably where its back has been half folded in and downward. He looks positively bland; drab cargo shorts and a soft (and well-fitted) blue short-sleeved henley, its sleeve currently mostly covering the yellow SECURITY armband on his upper arm. "/Huh/. You could, you know. I mean --" His talons flick, an indicative gesture toward Blink.

Blink waves as the other volunteer rushes off. At Dusk's comment, she looks down at her outfit: a lightweight mandarin tunic in light green with black, and gold embroidered trim, matching pants with wide legs that drape and move like a long skirt. Her security armband is loud and bright against her tunic. "Maybe?" she says, sounding a little doubtful. "But I'm really not that great at sewing, and mostly make fairly simple patterns. My stuff only looks striking because it's unusual. I couldn't even begin to know how to sew a shirt like that," she gestures at Dusk, "and have it hang right." She allows a shy, close-lipped smile. "Maybe /you/ could have a website."

"Me? But I don't do anything --" Dusk hesitates. His dark eyes skim the warehouse, sweeping on the vast and varied displays around them. There's a quiet -- then a softer smile. "Maybe next time," he allows, "we could have a stall together."

sunday. 21 may. 10:04pm.

"I can't believe we got stuck with clean-up," groans an eye-rolling Dakota as she relaxes in a chair, obviously not cleaning at the moment. A mischievous grin forms on the teenager's face as she retrieves a bottle of water from a nearby backpack. "I still think we should have been security. That would have been fun." Twisting the cap off of the bottle, she takes a sip and eyes her boyfriend. "People seemed to enjoy it." A pause. "I don't really get the whole 'art' thing." She takes another bottle from the backpack and points it in the direction of Nic.

"Marinov probably had some huge buff dudes for security, I don't know that we'd do real great at security." That would probably be just as boring anyway "You honestly don't make that intimidating a figure hun. Your face is too pretty I think." Nic tosses a small pile of garbage into the trash bin then turns to face his girlfriend "It's not until someone really gets to know you that they find out how terrifying you are" He teases poking his tongue out at her. Then smiles and nodded "Yeah it seemed like it went really well. I don't understand art either, but some of it's pretty nice." His eyes move to the bottle pointed in his direction "Is that for me? Or are you planning to use it as a spray weapon?"

Dakota narrows her eyes at Nic and tilts the proffered bottle away from him. "I -was- going to give it to you, but after those comments, I'm not so sure. Maybe you being all wet could be considered art." The short girl appears to actually ponder this as she stares at her boyfriend, but ultimately decides to put the bottle back in the bag. "I -am- terrifying," she asserts as she stands up. "Very, very terrifying." This while she puts the backpack on. "You -should- be intimidated." These last words come before she casually flicks a hand towards the trash bin, letting out a blast to knock it over.

Nic chuckles softly and shakes his head as Dakota replaces the water bottle she -was- going to give him. "So no water for me then? And yes I think we're close enough now that I know how terrifying you are." As the girl blasts over the bin Nicodemus groans "Argh Dak! I just finished filling that thing!" He moves around to right the trash can "We're supposed to be cleaning you know, not making a bigger mess; come help with this."

For her part, the shorter teenage looks quite smug - that is until she realizes it actually created a mess. "Oh, that's not ..." With another groan, she removes the backpack and lets it fall to the floor. "I thought it was filled with trash bags, not ... " Maybe if Dakota had actually participated more in the cleaning, she would have known this already. "Fine, fine," she sighs as she goes to assist Nic.

<NYC> Chimaera Arts - Brooklyn

sunday. 21 may. 11:55pm.

Most of the volunteers have gone home, but Marinov remains behind to do a few final checks on the space at Chimaera Arts, having entrusted each venue with one of the other volunteers for final inspection. While a few texts are rolling in from other locations to the effect of, 'All clear! Good night!' for the most part it is silent. Marinov puts away one last chair before raising their phone to take a photo. 'So empty and quiet now!' they caption the image. They then start to review some of the other images they had taken at the event.

The soles of Shane's gleaming-polished saddle shoes make a crisp staccato across the previously quiet warehouse. His hands fling wide as he strolls up to Marinov, sharp teeth briefly bared in a wide slice of smile. "Proud? Relieved? Ready to sleep for /ten/ years? If you need a drink I'll buy you /twenty/, so long as it's not from Evolve. You deserve /all/ the congratulations."

Marinov's ear swivels over in Shane's direction before they actually look up from their phone. "Mixed feelings, yeah. Proud. Glad it went well. Some of these pictures... kinda captured some great moments, you know?" They shrug, "But also relieved. I thought I bit off more than I could chew, but turns out, I'm real good at chewing." They take a deep breath and nod, "Spasibo, Shane. For the congrats. But also all the help." Pause. "And the twenty drinks!"

"Shit yo with those teeth you'd better be." Shane's own teeth are once again prominently on display with his accompanying grin. "There were some /hella/ great moments. But there was one kind of big thing missing. And next year is a long time to wait for the world to see how great /your/ stuff is so I maaaybe kind of asked some of the radder designers who showed up to the show and -- how would you feel just hypothetically about a small spot in a /real/ fashion show? 'Cuz I maaaybe have already -- got the ball rolling on that."

Marinov can't help but do a couple of playful airchomps at Shane's initial comment, but their ears perk upon being told that there was something missing. "A fashion show?" they repeat, "A /real/ fashion show, where... there's like, runways and shit?" They seem, for a moment, to be at a loss, mouth opening and closing a couple of times before they manage to say, "Yeah, I mean- geez, I'm not a big hugger, but I could- Yeah." They nod once more firmly, taking a deep breath, "That would be great."