2019-11-05 - Taking In Strays


A mutant comes scrounging at Paragon Investigations.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Nov 5 07:54:38 2019
Location: Paragon Investigations

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Chinese has come and chinese has gone and Nick is cleaning up in the kitchen. They'd used some dishes but not enough to run the machine. He's hand washing them. He's changed and showered and seems much better though his fur is a bit too long. He'll need to go get some better clippers, the ones he has aren't up to handling it right now.

There's a noise from the garbage cans out back. There often is, usually cats or racoons or coyotes trying to get into the rubbish. But this time the sound of clanking metal comes with a soft sobbing. Not any animal noises. Nick stops and perks his ear a little.

Isis will probably be a little upset if Nick trims his fur. She rather likes the shaggier look. Nick can tell this by the way she keeps petting him, running her claws through it.

Which she isn't doing right now - she's drying the dishes that Nick is washing.

"What's that?" An ear on her head turns slightly in the direction of the sobbing and her nose tilts into the air and she sniffs.

Putting the tea towel down, Isis glances at Nick and moves to the door to the back. "Who's there?" She calls out as she opens it.

The sobbing suddenly stops but it's more the sound of someone holding their breath than anything else. Nick frowns and motions quietly for Isis to follow him. He opens the back door and peers out. There, in the corner in the shadow is a slender form with a tail holding very still.

"Not hiding very well is she?" Nick mutters to Isis. And it is a she. They can both smell it. And their trash. Which is open. Ew.

You have to be really hungry to dig through someone's trash.

"What is it with our trash?" Isis murmurs back, looking into the shadows with ease. The blue of her eyes glows a little and she frowns. "We're not going to hurt you. Are you hungry?" She should offer some of their left overs, but it's Isis. And Isis likes her food.

Moving carefully into the back alley, picking up the lid to put back on the trash can, the slim feline makes sure the light falls on her - and her ears are visible.

"I think you might be like me and Nick."

There's a peek from the shadows. It's a young woman. Twenty. Twenty two. Something like that. She has no ears, unlike Isis, and her tail is long and stiff. It sort of looks like a kangaroos, actually. She has large, liquid eyes.

"I'm sorry. I'm hungry. And I didn't want to be found. You smell like the others. The ones that have chased me."

Of course. Of course she has been chased by those wolfen mutant hunters.

"Why are you sorry you're hungry?" Isis asks. Looking back to Nick to see what he says. "We aren't like the others. We've been chased too. You were in the Disaster Zone?"

"Come inside. There's some left overs if you want them. Nick will buy more food tomorrow." Because of course he will. "I like your eyes."

Isis can tell the woman is scared. That's easy. It's also easy to try and reassure her. "I'm Isis. This is Nick."

"Thank you…" They're green and blue. As in one is green and one is blue. The woman stands up and timidly makes her way toward the back door. Nick moves to make room for her.

"No. I was up in Harlem. My place wasn't very nice. Then they started following me. For weeks. I lost my job because of it. Had to be out on the streets. Wasn't safe to go home anyway and…"

The tears start to well up. The despair and frustration is just too much for her.

Nick tilts his head toward her, asking Isis to calm and comfort her while he gets her some food. This is not the first time they've heard a story like this. And they know where to get help.

The eyes are interesting. As is the tail. Isis waits for Nick to follow the woman in and then sits on the table as the story comes out.

"You aren't the only one who's had that happen. We've found others who don't have anywhere to stay. Well, they do now…" Isis answers, letting her gift wash over the room - calm, soothing, relaxing. Please stop crying.

"So they kept following you once you didn't have anywhere to live? Did they try to take you? Take you anywhere? And what do we call you?"

"Kristen." The woman says quietly as Nick brings down a plate of leftovers freshly microwaved. She shrinks back from him, clearly not liking the way he looks, or smells. Nick himself is careful to sit a distance from her. Not within easy arm's reach.

"They followed me yes. I had to keep moving. I couldn't go back to my house. Couldn't keep a job like that. Eventually I was just focusing on finding my next meal and the next safe place to sleep." She tugs the food toward her almost timidly.

"Do you really think you can help me?"

"Kristen." Isis has already introduced the two of them and frowns as Kristen shrinks back. "Nick won't hurt you. He's my … friend." She says simply, moving to perch on the arm of the chair next to him - running her claws through his fur for reassurance herself.

"They've been doing this for a while. To mutants that look like us. Including Nick." The feline-like mutant answers. "Yes, we can help. We have someone who provides housing and help to mutants who need it. We can introduce you tomorrow."

Which leaves tonight as a problem.

"They tried to take him too? Is it because he's a wolf? Did… did they want you to be a hunter?"

"I don't know." Nick responds with a shake of his at the moment rather shaggy head. "But I do know that they're hurting people and I want to stop them. You can stay with us tonight if you like. There's spare beds upstairs."

Kristen looks nervously back at the back door. "I don't know. They might have followed me here."

"I stay here …" Isis adds as Nick makes his offer. "We don't know what they want they want us. With any of the ones they've been chasing, really." beat "We want to stop them though and help those we can."

Isis's lips pull back to reveal her fangs, her blue eyes glowing a little. "If they did, they have to fight us to get in here and we have skills. And friends. We won't let them in without a fight."

"I… if… I don't want to put you in more danger. You could lose your home, like me." Kristen says hesitantly.

"They already know who we are. We are already in danger. And you're safer with people who know how to fight them. It's only for tonight anyway. I promise. Isis, why don't you take her upstairs and show her the showers. I'll finish cleaning up down here."

He wants to talk privately. It's interesting that she came from Harlem. That's further out than they've been before and he wonders if she wasn't driven up here on purpose.

Maybe they need one of the Institute Telepaths to check Kristen out. It's possible she's a plant for the pair of them.

"They can try, Kristen but it won't be easy." Isis says again, rising from the arm of the chair and gesturing to Kristen.

"Come on, I'll get some towels and you can use my shampoo and stuff and I'll show you were you can sleep."

It's some time before the feline-like woman appears again, looking distracted as she wraps her arms around Nick where he's standing.

Nick is waiting for her when she comes back with a bowl of ice cream. But that gets momentarily ignored when she comes to hug him. He wraps his arms around her and murrs quietly, just enjoying it for a moment. Sadly, he does have to end that moment.

"That seemed a bit too easy, did it not?" He murmurs softly. "A bit… convenient, all things considered."

Isis is quiet as they hug and protests a little when Nick moves. The protest is cut off when the ice cream is offered and she perches on the table to eat it.

"Somethings wrong. She's scared for sure, I can feel that but what I can't tell is if she's faking it. Some people can, if they've had practice." The feline like mutant offers Nick the first spoon of ice cream. It seems almost automatic now.

"What do they want with us, Nick, that they would do that to someone…" Isis seems convinced that Kristen is being coerced somehow. "We should get one of the Institute Telepaths to check her out or …. I could walk her dreams, bring you with me to watch."

"I don't know." Nick murmurs. "But it's possible they're trying to trigger something. They've already tried to take you. And me. And both of us at the same time. And…" Nick pauses, not sure if he wants to say this in front of Isis.

"… and when I was drugged I had a dream of… having a pack. A bunch of mutants like you and me that all… obeyed me."

That he took to train. For… he doesn't know who.

"Trigger something or just someone inside… make us easier to compromise." Isis growls a bit, none too happy with the way her thoughts are going. "You had a dream? When?" That has Isis frowning more.

"A … pack? You mean … more than me? Others. Like we were at the facility?" That's the first time she's mentioned that. "How … did it make you feel, the dream?"

"When you were driving." Maybe it was just her driving that unsettled him. Well, probably not. Nick knows she doesn't drive well but it's not a big enough fright to do that to him.

"A pack, yes. And… confused. It made me feel good but I didn't know why. And I don't know why I would dream that. I've never wanted it. I just…"

In the dream it had seemed so right.

Well that explains why she didn't sense it. Isis hadn't been asleep then, clearly. Isis strokes Nick fur some, offering him more icecream as she eats - that's changed, she wouldn't share previously and she certainly wouldn't share with others.

"It felt right, didn't it?" The blue eyed mutant says quietly, looking up at him. "What was Hank said about that Serum? It was accelerating your mutation. What if you're more like me, than you think? More … feral."

Isis lets out a shaking breath. "You know they kept me in my feral mind most of the time. What if … the serum was doing that to you?" It doesn't occur to Isis to ask if there was anyone else in the dream. "Have you had another one since?"

"Another dream?" Nick shakes his head. "No I haven't. Not since the drive." Which is interesting. If his mind is wandering doesn't it make sense that it would wander back to that? Or was it pushed either by the serum or something else?

Or someone else? Either way Nick takes a bite of the ice cream.

"I didn't feel wild though. I felt… focused. Alive. Like I had a mission." Admittedly, the fawning dream mutants had been… pleasant.

"Interesting." Isis answers quietly. She might be watching Nicks dreams more closely from now on. "Maybe it was just the way serum worked on your mutation, Nick. Do you … do you want me to walk your dream and see what I can find?" There's probably nothing there, though.

"That's how I felt when they gave me a job. Focussed. Alive. A reason to live. When you and Piotr found me, all I knew was that I had to beat you. I didn't feel wild then. Not until Piotr held me."

"Yes." Nick wants her to walk his dream. He wants to make sure nothing got left behind. Because if it did they need to do something about it. And quickly. He's told Isis before that if they drop this case he doesn't know if it'll get solved. Well if he becomes a victim of the case…

"It took us months to get you even close to back to normal." Nick remembers. It had taken her a long time to learn to be a person again.

Isis tugs Nick into the chair near her and slips into his lap again, rubbing her cheek against his neck. "Then I will. Tonight. Unless you want me to walk Kristens first." He can have the say on that.

"They kept me feral, Nick. Remember that too. Most times I was little better than an animal. Even now …" Now, though, she knows she's not behaving like a 'person' or at least, knows she hasn't behaved like a person. "… I still slip to the wild very easily."

"I'm … scared, Nick."

"I am too." Nick says as he runs his hand through Isis hair. "It might be a good idea to walk Kristen first. If she's hiding something you'll likely find out. And if she's being followed by one of their dreamwalkers it would be good to know."

Nick himself was attacked by one of the dreamwalkers. It was really unpleasant.

"We're going to be okay Kitten. Promise."

Isis purrs a bit, it's not quite a happy sound but she's not projecting so that's something. "You can come too, if you want. I can take people into dreams to observe." It's funny, in the three years she was at the Institute she never really spoke about what she could do.

She does with Nick though.

"I believe you, Nick." It's … simple. Isis trusts Nick and he promised.

"Let me wash my bowl and put it away. I want a shower and then we can … dream walk."

"Alright." Nick says, finally standing. He'll want a shower too. Then they should all get some sleep. After all Isis can't walk their dreams when he's awake.

Well. She can't, can she? One day he'll have to talk to Hank or Jean or someone about everything she can do. But for now, it is time to rest.

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