2019-07-24 - Hunter Checks Clinic


The mysterious and sometimes misunderstood figure of Hunter checks out the new clinic in Mutant Town and encounters Avery, one of their staff.

Log Info:

Storyteller: non
Date: 2019-07-24
Location: Mutant Town, NYC

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Theme Song



Any significant change to the community of Mutant Town draws the eyes and attentions of those that live there; even those without a legal address. The homeless 'coalition' - for lack of a better descriptive term - known in the community as the Pride have definitely noticed the construction, and listened intently to answers heard on the words of others. But when the clinic is finally ready to open, it is time for them to explore; no more will they simply take as fact the words of others, but send one of their own to inspect this place and determine if it is safe, if it can be trusted if and when their people need help.

When it comes to sending someone into potential danger, the Pride generally doesn't get to a lot of discussion or voting. When it comes to danger, it is generally taken as a given that only one amongst their number will go: the Hunter. None of those in the Pride know her name, or her story. What they know is that the Hunter showed up amongst them almost six years ago, and immediately rose to prominence amongst the homeless. Visibly attired and carrying herself as a veteran, none dare argue her capabilities. And most have experienced her doing whatever is necessary to keep them safe. When the Pride mobilizes to go to a food kitchen for a meal, it is the Hunter who does not go inside, but takes up a vantage point outside to watch for trouble and deal with anything that arrives. And when dangers threaten their number, it is the Hunter who almost invariably confronts - and usually eliminates - that threat.

The one known as the Hunter has approached the Clinic carefully; so patient is she that she has spent over a day observing from multiple vantage points, including two rooftops. Now, at least convinced that at least every citizen she has seen go inside has returned outside safely in a reasonable period of time, Hunter approaches the place, once more using those incredible sneses of hers to plumb the depths of this place even before she gets to the front door.

Avery is a regular fixture at the place, usually working odd hours, as her normal working life permits. Eyes bright, she is actually emerging from the clinic as the Hunter approaches it. The girl is quite distinctive, though her clothes are simple, they're clean and well cared for. She's fit, and smells currently of healthy young woman, soap used on both body and hair, and more thickly the astringent scent so common to most medical practices and places, a mix of cleansers mundane and harsher ones to sterilize.

As she emerges she is taking a sip from a sport bottle, and that too has a unique scent - it is so heavily sugary, probably agave nectar, that it seems more lie something one would find in a hummingbird feeder than a sport bottle. Ever alert, the girl has that sort of wariness that most hunters have, or soldiers - hard to say for sure.

And then she smiles, looing to the Hunter. "Oh, fair evening, miss." Her voice is a bit 'furry' sounding, and very warm, her smile bright as she greets.

The Hunter pauses, her senses taking in everything possible about Avery. She offers a little jerky nod to the woman as her mind assimilates knowledge from detailed analysis of scents, of sounds above and below human hearing, and of visual cues so smal and circumspect most humans would never be aware of them. She reads body language like some read books. While she notes this woman to be unique and interesting, she decides there is no overt threat; even so, her stance and movement bespeak someone teetering on the brink between fight and flight.

Outwardly, Hunter is a woman taller than average but by no means Amazon in stature. She disguises some of this because she wears exceptionally baggy, ill-fitting, very faded and worn army surplus attire that swallows her form, shrouding curves to near-invisibility and hiding many of the telltales of her exceptionally well-muscled, athletic form. She is unclean, visibly homeless, with her hair greasy and a bit unkempt - not a sheer nest of tangles, but definitely could use brushing and cleaning and then brushing again - and her face sporting some evidence of dust at least if not outright dirt.

At first, it would seem as though the woman is trying to decide to keep approaching, or to scamper away. When she does advance, at first she says nothing, leaving the nod to speak for itself. When she finally does speak, her voice lacks any sense of good diction, incredibly mushy-mouthed and blurred. Her voice is rough, ill-used, and there is a real sense of gravity to her words, as if she uses as few as possible and ladens each with many layers of meaning when possible. "Fair? Will do." she murmurs, turning herself to the side as if to allow Avery to pass without risking them coming into physical contact.

That detailed examination will show several other items of interest, the girl has had combat training, probably fairly advanced and by her stance it was formal martial arts. There's also a subtle 'thrum' to her, like she's contantly vibrating, or the kind of thing one feels gripping a high tension line while it is under power. It is not at all obvious, but the Hunter's senses are exceptionally keen.

After taking a long pull from her bottle, Avery puts it away. "Fair as in 'nice', not fair as in 'not bad'." Her accent is something akin to, but distint from, the British. Which is another weird little tidbit.

A hand moves up to brush on of her wandering honeyed golden locks of hair back behind an ear. "Forgive me, miss, where are my manners? I am Avery, it be my distinct pleasure to make your acquaintance. Is there sommat I might help you with? You seem…tense."

Most tend to avoid anymore interaction with the noticeably homeless than whatever is absolutely necessary; Hunter is a bit surprised - visibly so - that Avery instead decides to initiate further contact. She tilts her head to the side just a bit, clearly viewing Avery from another angle as if this will provide additional insight.

The accent and word choice are strange, but not incomprehensible. Still, it's easy enough to see this woman is taking it all in, mulling it over, long before she decides what words to offer in response, if any at all.

Hunter's movements show a truly preternatural grace, and seem to bespeak both great power and an inborn nature of violence. Her own training is nothing so stylized and formal, but it is no less intensive and likely incredibly brutal. And then there is the air about her; she does not thrum, but there is an ill-defined aura of lethal danger around her. Even those like humans whom have long-since divorced themselves from their instincts almost entirely still become aware of it with closer contact.

"Always." Hunter answers, truthfully. She is self-aware enough to know she suffers from PTSD, and that this has been exacerbated by her condition. She sees no reason not to admit to this. After a bit, noticing that Avery still has not moved beyond her, she then adds, "Others … call me Hunter." The implication is clear: that's not her name, and never was. It's not how she thinks of herself. But it is the label the streets have put upon her.

"Place. New." She touches her chest lightly. "Check."

Strange speech patterns and exotic people seem to abound this evening! Hunter would see the hairs on Avery's arms stand up a little, the nape of her neck as well as she gets a good feel of that predatory aura that Diya emanates sends a frisson through her, instinct prompting her to caution. Hazel eyes study the other woman with greater care, noting the attire, the stance, the tell-tale signs of her condition and circumstances. And then she very visibly suppresses the urge to greater caution, controlling instinct with willpower.

"Well, if there is aught I might do for you, pray inform me and should I be able, that assistance is yours." Yup, just like that. Her smile grows when Hunter introduces herself. "Hunter, an apt name." She observes wryly. "And if you would wish to check the clinic, then by all means, I volunteer there. I would be most pleased to show you around, an it please you."

Though she says nothing - Hunter is nothing if not laconic and sparse with her words - it is visibly clear she was neither expecting nor thrilled with having an escort. Nevertheless, she also does not argue; that would take words. So instead the Hunter inhales slowly, and then nods slightly and moves to follow Avery back towards the entrance. She falls back a step or two, trying to ease the primal response that comes from having a lethal predator stalking right behind one, even for a human. She sweeps ahead of herself with those intense senses, inhaling evenly but deeply to draw in plenty of air to filter through the multitude of scents; she makes almost no sound at all as her ears pick up the slightest cues and translate them into knowledge; and her eyes never seem to still.

Avery takes her at her nod, since words are to be used with care, and leads the way into the clinic. As she leads the way, the triage attendant looks up with a smile. "Forget something, honey?" The woman working triage looks to be a nurse, a somewhat overweight black woman with an absolutely heartwarming smile that crinkles up her eyes as she offers it.

Avery shakes her head. "Hello again, Mary, it has been long and long - nigh ten full minutes ere last we spole!"

"It was. Seem like forever, child." And then she looks past her friend to turn that high-wattage smile onto Diya. "And who's your friend?"

"She goes by Hunter, Mary, and she wishes to examine the facility." Avery answers truthfully enough. "I thought since I was not on duty that my time would impact the facility the least if spent on this task, freeing you and others to keep to the work at hand."

Mary grins. "You got that right." And then she smiles to Hunter. "Don'you worry, girl, you're in good hands."

The facility probably started as a neighborhood store, and though it is newly opened, it shows signs that much of the gear inside and supplies are second hand. Still, the people working there seem pleasant, and they are taking care of people who need medical assistance. They work with what they have, and they do not stint, though their supplies are limited and it seems they've come up with some creative ways to work around it. There's surely plenty of would be patients present!

One or two of the local residents do seem to know Hunter somehow on sight; none of them flee in blind panic, but those that do recognize her clearly react to that aura of tension sooner than others. None seem to be entirely immune, though it does not seem to be a compulsion, merely a feeling.

Hunter does not meet anyone's eyes, least of all Mary or the innocent civilian patients. Yet her ever-moving gaze sweeps over everyone and everything present; she definitely gives the impression like she's holding the place, and the staff, under a microscope.

Out of sheer politeness, Hunter does give a slight incline of a nod towards Mary, acknowledging her with respect without returning the friendliness per se. No aggression; no grinding of teeth; no rolling of eyes.

Avery shows her guest around the place, letting her see whatever she wishe to, there's no areas off limits other than the restrooms or exam rooms, of which there are two, while they're in use. The Restrooms are easily enough checked, the exam rooms will take a bit more, fortunately those that know her will not fuss if she wants to check the room before they get examined. She's HUNTER after all!

Avery does take a moment to look to Hunter. "Do you hunger, Hunter? I have some energy bars should you need sustenance, conversely we could seek a place to settle, and I could get something from Subway, an you feel the need for something more substantial?"

Of course — there's not much around this area, the clinic right on the edge of the Disaster Zone, and fairly isolated. Still…the offer is made and with every sign of having been so made in good faith.

Of course Avery has no way of knowing that Hunter semi-regularly goes and consumes whole boars or deer, just to keep her body functioning and not going crazy with hunger. A crazed werebeast is just not something to risk. But Hunter merely regards the younger woman carefully, weighing possible responses cautiously. She stops and turns, pointing at a wall - and quite obviously 'through' that wall at something. "Kitchen, yesterday." She rubs her hand over her tummy; the visible implication is that she eat at one of the food kitchens that caters to the disadvantaged here in Mutant Town, and considers herself not to need that offered generosity right now.

Hunter does inspect every room when given the chance. he is also examining every person and cataloging it all. She has not caught scent of anything that concerns her, no reasons given to fear that anyone is using this as a cover for experimentation, kidnapping, or gathering samples of the patients. In short, the clinic seems honest, generous and clean. Though she makes no sign of it, says no word, Diya has already decided that the next time she has some ill-gotten gains, she will make an anonymous donation to help support this clinic. This will help not just the Pride, but all of the community.

No, Avery is good - she's well trained, fairly experienced in her own way, and perceptive — she is not, however, prescient or omniscient! Not even a little. Nor is she aware that Hunter is a were-creature, it isn't like the woman has gone fuzzy or anything, after all. Eyes bright, she smiles warmly again, every bit as friendly and open as Hunter is taciturn and private. "Ah, that is a very good thing, Miss Hunter." For her own part, even after drinking that horrifyingly sweet water concoction, she DOES eat an energy bar as they tour the facility. What is interesting to note is how well everyone here seems to get on with one another, they are a family of sorts, brought together by their unity of purpose - helping people. It takes a fairly specific type of person to volunteer their time like this, even the administrator doesn't get paid much, and yet here they are, working at all hours, and doing their best. Yes, this place is clearly something that will benefit the community.

Hunter continues to follow Avery and watch all of those interactions, filing it all away. The patience she shows is part of what earned her the nickname, calm observation and determination. Finally, as they finish their tour and start towards that front lobby and exit, Hunter stops when they reach Mary's desk. She reaches into the pocket of her oversized army surplus jacket of faded, threadbare olive drab green, and extracts a small object, which she lays on the desk counter in front of Mary. When her half-gloved hand withdraws, it reveals itself to be a stone arrowhead, chipped away with care and precision, two inches lone and just shy of two inches wide at its widest point.

Hunter steps back, sweeps the place with her gaze, and then affixes that gaze on Mary, a flicker of green-tinted amber in her eyes for a moment. "Trouble. Danger. Give. Any Pride. We come." It is the clearest, wordiest bit of conversation the woman has offered since Avery met her, and yet it is quite clearly laden with so much symbology and meaning as to feel like a bloody paragraph. Then Hunter turns to Avery, and nods. "Thanks." And then she walks towards the door and outside, hopefully before her predator's aura starts building up so much the poor people inside are more strongly affected. Enclosed spaces make it much worse.

Avery stops when Hunter does, watching with interest as the arrowhead is produced and then bestowed with such solemnity. Mary looks a little puzzled at first, after all, she's a nurse not an archer, but then Hunter delivers her 'speech'. Eyes of brown are intent as she looks to the woman with the green-tinted amber flashing eyes and seems to understand the various layers in what she's saying. "So…if there's a problem, or danger, get this to the Pride, and you'll come and help. That right?" Avery took away much the same message, and though she's nodding, she waits to see what Hunter's reaction is, confirmation or negation, before the homeless woman turns and heads for the exit. "Most welcome, friend Hunter." Avery nigh unto chirps, but she also follows the woman outside.

Once outside she continues. "I have heard precious little, but I have heard sommat about the Pride." She looks to the fatigues clad woman. "How would one find them were they so inclined? Further, is there aught I might do to assist them in turn?"

When questioned - before she can exit - Hunter offers a simple, wordless nod of affirmation. That was her message, her meaning.

Once outside, Hunter does not simply disappear. She stops once well clear of the door, near the sidewalk. Yes. Outside is better. No longer an enclosed space. No longer around so many other forms. She glances towards Avery as the other woman speaks; as before, she waits a good bit before responding. She really does dole out words as if each one is a precious nugget of gold. Then again, the way her words are so mushy, anything more and they'd be unintelligible. Maybe that's why she's so deliberate?

"Homeless. Mutant Town." Hunter offers to Avery, pointing towards the heart of the area. "Not all. Most." That is, really, the best explanation she can offer. But if Avery asks around, the residents of Mutant Town are, by and large, very well aware of who and what the Pride are. They even respect them, after a fashion. Most refuse to say how, when, or what was done, but they will admit to the generality that more than once when danger has come to the citizens of Mutant Town, it has been the Pride to rise up and deal with those threats. It is arguably why most shopkeepers here do not aggressively try to drive the homeless away or complain about their presence.

Or maybe they're just being prudent; one should not threaten anyone in Mutant Town, for fear of awakening someone with dangerous powers and barely any control. It happens.

Mary seems good with that, the arrowhead put in the reception desk, and she'll let everyone know. Having a benefactor like the Pride could be vitally important in Mutant Town, especially so close to the Disaster Area and all the attendant weirdness therein.

Hunter's explanation to Avery is sufficient unto the day to provide her the info needed. And yes, she will indeed ask around, find out what she can and continue to help those who need it. She's a very giving person, to the point that she often ends up leaving herself short in this pursuit. "Thank you, friend Hunter. Do you have a cellular telephone?" She's betting not, but hey, can't hurt to ask. Either way, she jots down her phone number on the back of an old business card from UPS. "Either way, if you call me, I will come to your aid as well, without fail."

Hunter shakes her head when asked; no, no cellphone for her; but she accepts the card when offered, because anything less would be unnecessarily churlish. She pauses a bit, and then reaches out to - very lightly - tap her finger over Avery's collarbone. "Pride. Come. Ask. Please." That's all she could ever ask; that if her people come asking for help, those here will listen, and try their best to help when that time comes.

Before Diya departs, then, she offers one last message. "Be. Safe." Then the woman shrouded in mystery and army surplus turns and walks away. A block over, she slips into an alleyway and disappears. Woman could give some ninja lessons, or so it might seem.

"You have my word, friend Hunter, should those of the Pride need for succor, succor they shall have, my oath and bond." Yes, Avery does speak in a very odd fashion, but there's a clean passion to her words. To her demeanor. She's simply put - earnest. A grin at the final 'Be Safe', and an inclination of her head in thanks. "And you as well, Hunter. I hope to meet again." And even as Hunter departs, so too does Avery, going home a bit later than originally planned for. That's okay though…this felt like a good and right thing!

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