2020-02-10 - Present Day Catnip Dealer


Eve goes looking for that giant tigress she met. She finds something else entirely. But not.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Feb 10 00:00:00 2020
Location: Disaster Zone

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Theme Song



After her encounter with the ginormous intelligent (and marginally magical?) tiger in Central Park, Eve made it her business to do some research; it cannot be that such a creature could be in and around New York City and not be spotted by the people, right?

What she has found is that she was right, at least to some extent: there are reports of a large tiger around the City. But what stands out most, honestly, is how few reports there are. It seems incredulous, if not impossible, that a tiger that damned huge could go so by and large (so, so VERY large!) unnoticed in this populous city. What reports she has found include only six incidents, spread across almost seven years.

Most interesting amongst these are that the first time the tiger was reported was during The Incident, when part of the city was destroyed.

Second most interesting is that other than one sighting, all of the others have occurred within the confines of Mutant Town or the Disaster Zone.

Third most interesting might be that all of the last three sightings can be traced back to being co-incident with some other attack or event in or around Mutant Town. Certain rumor sites have even posited that the last two were attacks specifically on the tiger by very well equipped, dangerous soldier types. But those same reports hasten to bolster their 'reality' by declaring that no conclusive evidence was left behind.

That means it's all fake. Right?

MMn, mnn, mmn.

Eve finds all this interesting. None of it leads her to feeling that there's a good indication of who the tiger is, whether or not they're dangerous in a bad way or some kind of monster, ultimately, that she might need to deal with. She's gathering not from their interaction, but well, it was /one/ interaction. She is a cautious sort.

The lack of sightings are certainly interesting, but it seems that lurking within the disaster zone and leaving a lovely scent train of flowers and catnip might be her best bet.

…hey, it's worth a shot, right?

There is virtually no chance that the addition of cultivated flowers and catnip in and aroud the Disaster Zone is going to go unnoticed by the animals in the area. And that includes the feral cat population, which means Eve will find herself pretty thoroughly mobbed by curious and usually blissed-out kitties.

Word of this, however, does make its way 'round. Whether or not she smelled this on her own, Diya hears about how many of her constantly milling cadre of feral cats have been blissed out by this. And she is most definitely smart enough to check up on that. Carefully.

Diya is - or was - being hunted, after all.

It is most definitely not often that Diya goes stalking these days wearing a mask. But she is aware of what catnip does to her feline physiology, and she prepares for this even when she is in human form. Thankfully, a few of the Pride's contacts and associates work in carpentry and construction, and it's not hard to get them to part with a breahing mask. That night the Hunter goes stalking the Disaster Zone, staying to the higher altitudes - sniper instincts - and keeping herself low and flat to avoid giving away her position by outlining herself against the night sky. And Hunter goes looking for the source - or is that destination? - of the flowers and catnip.

It's not the hardest thing to do in the world. She can generate catnip at a whim, once she sampled it herself biologically.

Thus, she is thoroughly enjoying herself as she is mobbed by kitties. Some of whom adon't want to be touched and some who very much do. She is presently scritching an orange tabby thoroughly.

"Well, aren't YOU cute," she says to it, sitting on a curb.

Something about the woman seems familiar. Diya stalks around her carefully, stealthfully, from one vantage point to another as she evaluates and tries to remember. Without the scent cues, she's drawing a blank. But she is pretty sure there are no other traps. Just this woman. But getting a better read on her is going to put Diya in the path of the scent of that catnip. Diya keeps up her stalking for a bit, far too paranoid to move right away, or easily expose herself to the catnip.

But the tickle of familiarity eventually pushes Diya over the edge. She finds the right position and finally takes the mask off, letting herself draw in air from closer by but upwind, reducing the effect of both the catnip and the woman's own scent. But it is enough. Enough to remember, hazy and foggy, the tigress meeting this one. Meeting her, and liking her, despite or perhaps even because of her oddities.

Finally, Diya leaps from her high vantage point, trusting in her unnatural physiology to withstand the force of her landing, dropping almost soft-footed in those worn military surplus hiking boots and rolling, then stalking towards the woman, watching carefully, curiously.


"I know you're there," says Eve immediately, once Diya intrudes close enough to do so. It's not that she can see her. She dcan't do that. But she can /sense/ her. Sense the movement. Sense the life energy near to her. The biological mass, so to speak.

Then she's back to petting the tabby, who rolls around gratefully in her arms for a moment before dropping to the ground with a 'prrt!'

It is soon replaced by another one as other cats mew and otherwise enjoy themselves. "Who is it?" she asks.

Diya approaches to within a few body lengths and then stops, crouching down to run her left hand's fingers through the coat of this cat or the other, especially those she knows. Those who know her. She doesn't say anything. Not right away. Not for a while. Just a tallish homeless woman, seemingly a veteran given her military surplus attire, threadbare and worn but in good, serviceable condition.

"She knows you." the woman offers at last in a mush-mouthed tone. No explanation of who 'she' is. No mention of why that matters. Diya can be especially obstreperous about talking. She parcels out words like precious cargo. She redefines laconic.

…not what she expected to see, this.

Eve blinks her eyes at the woman who emerged. "Who knows me?" she asks, curiously, head tilting to the side. The catnip odour wafts off her, of course, alongside the scented flowers. She's probably generating plumes of pollen to make it work, though all but invisible at this point. This is what happens when you can make your biology do weird things.

"Hi there," she offers after a moment.

The homeless vet stays crouched where she is, transferring her attention from one cat to another amongst those still gathered around Eve. "She does." the woman answers, as if this should somehow make everything crystal clear to Eve. Even as mush-mouthed as she is it still carries this tint to it, as if Eve must be slow not to know who she is talking about.

For the record, Eve is not slow. Hunter is just exceptionally oblique. Her social skills are nearly nil at this point.

"You. Looking. For her." Hunter offers this as literally three sentences, with a sense of exhaustion as if she has somehow delivered the entire Gettysburg address, not a mere and paltry four words. There is a sense of the definite about her tone; she is not asking, she is telling, labeling, identifying. Oblique. Confounding. Likely annoying.

Welcome to the realm of Hunter. This is why the tigress is better at making friends than the woman.

She studies the woman, of course, taking her form in. There's no judgment there, just plain curiousity in her eyes.

"I am," she answers her. "I was curious." It's obvious. Extremely. "Instead, you found me and that makes me wonder… how /you/ knew the signal I was sending up."

Hunter nods, as if this is some kind of courtroom admisssion, as if she has wrung truth from mystery and lies. She has scored her point. See? She was right! The homeless vet does not shy away from that regard; there is something distinctly fearless about her, and yet she is paranoiac in her every means and manner, hyperaware of her surroundings in ways most could barely fathom. She is, at once, somehow unafraid of anything, and constantly teetering on the brink of jibbering terror.

PTSS, thy name is Hunter.

Petting and rubbing the cats, though, seems to keep the woman grounded and moderately stable. Enough so, at least, they can interact without an explosion of fight, or of flight. Green eyes lift to Eve again, a warm amber glow within their depths, banked against the darkness. She lifts one hand, only briefly, touching her forefinger to the side of her nose. "Hunter knows."

A name, perhaps? Eve may not have the experience with the people of Mutant Town to know it as such, let alone that it also serves as a title. Like Lord. Lady. Baron. She is Hunter. Leader of the Pride, the close-knit cooperative of homeless in Mutant Town.

The homeless vet gestures at the cats gathered around them. "They come." The tone implies something more, there. As if because they came, she had to come. But as always she leaves huge reams of things unsaid, unspoken, as if wringing words from her is torture.

"I suppose that's true. The cats did," says Eve, thoughtfully. She's picking up another cat, watching her. She doesn't want to push and so doesn't. She doesn't want to pry, so she's silent a moment, simply accepting her presence amongst all the other cats.

"Hunter knows," she agrees after a moment. It makes enough sense, why question it?

The longer she is here without the mask, especially this close, the more Hunter is affected by the catnip. It is in her nose, in her throat, and coming through her skin from her fingers petting and scritching the cats. It makes her more and more prepared to stay here, rather than disappearing as would be her norm.

"Why looking?" Hunter asks, eventually, watching Eve carefully and curiously up through her eyelashes as she visibly pays attention instead down at the cats around her feet and hips.

"I wanted to find out more," answers the goth-girl. "A tiger in New York is pretty… unprecedented out of a zoo, and it was both magical /and/ interesting." They know, after all, and she's eyeballing her with obvious curiosity about this at this point.

"I wonder if they're okay."

Hunter tilts her head, watching Eve, listening to her. Running her words around in her head. Then she goes plumbing thoughts for words of response. She shares so few, so they must be carefully chosen. "She. Fine." is offered, at least. An answer, however non-specific, to the qustion asked. The assurance in the answer is profound and distinct, even if the reasons for it remain a mystery. "Liked you."

"And you know this how? Do you regularly commune with tigers?" Oh, Eve. You have no idea, really.

She smiles, though, the question is phrased earnest enough, and she seems genuine in it, certainly enough.

Then she leans forward, nodding her head as she bends to pick up a cat.

The cat is placed over one shoulder, then another is placed over the other. They wiggle around. They seem to like her well enough, but then, she does have the pwoer of drugs.

"All?" the mush-mouthed homeless vet questions, then shakes her head. But something intent lights those green eyes as she watches Eve closely handling those blissed-out cats. "One?" she nods. Still she parcels out spoken words like precious gems, expecting one or two to do the work of entire sentences and paragraphs. Eve wouldn't be the first to find it annoying, or even infuriating.

"Either way, really," replies Eve.

She deosn't seem to be bothered by it, though. Eternal youth means you can take your time about everything. There's no /rush/.

She cuddles the cat a moment longer before she sets it down and scootches it aside to be replaced by another one of the more friendly critters winding its way between her feet.

All the pets are being delivered. "So you know the one well?" she asks. "Is it near?"

Nonverbal communication seems to be key with this one, to be sure. Diya simply nods to answer Eve when asked if the tiger is near. Instead she lowers herself to one knee beside a few of the cats, touching this one and that one; none seem bothered by her presence. But her eyes are growing more unfocused the longer she is here with her mask down. Eve might even notice Diya is starting to hold her breath - and for a good long while.

Blissed out like this, someone else might start little word games, teasing or hinting about just how close that tiger really is right now. But Diya lives in a headspace of permanent paranoia, and she doesn't tend to play word games like that at the best of times with her closest acquaintances.

Eve, however, can certainly sense that something is amiss. And given the magic she sensed at the tiger's nearness in the first place, there are a few reasonable supposiitons one can make. She chooses not to immediately voice them, beyond: "So you like the cats?" she asks.

Again, Diya nods to answer. But after a while - two or three cats worth of touching, making contact, a little sound, acknowledging one another, Diya does use words. "Watch for." she offers. Just that. Nothing more. She watches out for the cats. They are 'hers', under her protection and care, much like the Pride themselves. Indeed the nickname of the Pride comes from her 'herd' of cats, observed by the homeless she has lived amongst, helped, protected and led for over half a decade now.

This close Eve would be able to feel a familiar prickle of 'magic there' from this homeless veteran. A bit of concentration would be enough for her to be reasonably convinced this woman bears the same magic she sensed upon the tigress. And it is not dormant. It is ever-present, imbued into her very flesh.

"Mmn," is what Eve says, casually. "This does not surprise me. It shows in you. Can't really fake that degree of, hm, the word is… empathy, perhaps?" she arches yer blue eyebrows, studying her. "Would you like a cup of coffee?" she offers.

She is, of course, ever polite. Or at least trying to be.

This long exposed, and even Diya - magical, non-normal, and far out-massing her smaller friends - is pretty thoroughly blised-out by the catnip. She finally kneels amongst the other cats and stays there, nodding absently in answer to the words. Knowing what is affecting her doesn't make her immune. "Coffee?" she responds in a curious tone, gravitating slightly towards Eve without conscious intent.

"Coffee," repeats Eve, firmly, as she's gravitated towards. She is smiliong, however. "I can stop, you know, mkaing the catnip if you want." She can tell it seems to be impacting her, of course, and she doesn't want to extend it too far to cause an unwelcome effect.

Diya blinks a bit slowly, looking around and down at herself. Then she nods, equally slowly. "Yes. Stop." She starts pushing heself back up to her feet, raising her left hand to her coat pocket to lift her facemask back into place, then inhales deeply several times, clearing her lungs and adding oxygen to combat her induced passivity. If Eve needed any further confirmation, there it is; this woman even approached knowing of the catnip and its effects upon her.

That does, in fact, confirm things for her. There's a nod and she casually lets the catnip wafting off her subdermally absorb itself back into her mass.


"Coffee?" the mush-mouthed woman responds, voice muffled by the facemask held in place. She doesn't usually travel outside of Mutant Town and the Disaster Zone, so she is rather expecting that's the direction they will travel. But in point of fact, the Disaster Zone borders on quite a few different areas of the City, and Eve could be headed into any of them. Nevertheless, Diya will follow. And if where they go cannot accept the visibly homeless woman? Tough toenails for them.

"Yeah," she replies. "Coffee."

Eve is, of course, going to do her level best to lead her to the next nearest coffee place her phone will take her to. Probably Starbucks. There's always a Starbucks, even here. She seems utterly at ease walking alongside hewr, to boot. Then again, she's been ripped ragged herself on more than one occasion.

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