2020-02-15 - Does He Take Paypal?


Helena and Hercules run into each other at the fish market and discuss the price of ferries. And fairies.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sat Feb 15 03:00:30 2020
Location: Mott Street Market

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The Mott Street Market is in full gear tonight! Well, that's like every night, really, but Fridays it's REALLY hyped. Regulars, tourists, guests, whether you're buying, selling, or just looking, it's a remarkably fun place to check out. So much to see, too! Including the carven pinnacle of masculinity who's happily chitchatting with a Greek-heritage fish-seller. Herc can't help it — he just stands out in a crowd, like an LED lamp in a room of candles. Modern Greek flies back and forth, as the two haggle good naturedly over the provenance of a sizeable tuna.

So, the thing about growing up rich is…Well, there are a lot of things about growing up with Wayne money. But one of the things about it is that it kind of ruins your taste for cafeteria food, no matter how hard you try to be down to earth about things. Helena's been warned against traveling back to the manor, thanks to the temptation of the dome nearby, which means she has two options if she's going to eat something other than Academy cafeteria food: restaurant, or cook it herself.

For some reason, she's feeling particularly independent this evening, which is what brought her out to the market. She can totally find something to make on…an induction burner…or something. Unsurprisingly, she has nothing to hand at the moment. That would mean she'd figured out exactly what she was going to try to cook.

Hearing the unfamiliar chatter of a foreign language, she sidles through the crowd toward the conversation between Hercules and the fishmonger, head tilting slighty. That's how you can tell if it's authentic, right?

The round-faced fishmonger and the mountain of muscles appear to reach some kind of accord, because they shake on it with broad smiles. Herc then fishes out his wallet, opening it and scratching his head before removing a card. A few coins fall out of his wallet and land on the counter, caught by the fishmonger, who arches his eyebrows at them in puzzlement.

Because they're -old- coins. Old Greek coinage, from days when bronze and iron were high technology and men lived a lot closer to myth and legend. The fishmonger stares at the coins, then looks up at Herc, and says (audible to Helena, if no one else), "… Herakles?"

It's the coins that catch Helena's attention first, brows rising slightly. Those aren't the sort of coins you usually keep in your wallet. More like a safe. Or a glass case. Her mind doesn't go to Greek heroes first, but luckily the fishmonger's murmured words give her enough pause not to start something she definitely can't finish.

Instead, she takes a step forward, reaching out for one of the coins to pick it up and offer it back to Hercules with a flash of a smile. "You dropped this," she says helpfully, though she does take a moment to admire it as well. Her mother would probaby disown her if she didn't at least give it an appreciative once over.

It's the sort of thing you've only seen in books (or on Wikipedia). It's not really circular — kind of ovoid, to be honest — with a crude stag embossed on it. Who the hell -carries- that sort of thing? The fishmonger takes the credit card, sliding the coins back to Herc with a slightly shaky hand, as the demigod smiles down at him kindly. When Helena approaches him, he turns to her, that brilliant smile offered to her in turn. "Ah! Thank you… I keep meaning to clean them out of my wallet, but old habits die hard."

"Well, I guess you'll never be out of coins for the ferryman," Helena muses, looking back up with a wry grin. "Although I don't think the Staten Island Ferry'll take them, so there's that." There's a beat, as her own humor gives her an even worse idea.

"Oh man, that's just what the island needs to go with the fairies, right? The river turning into the Styx. Undead things and…" Quickly she leans over to knock on the wooden table, looking a little sheepish as she does. "We're gonna pretend I didn't put that out in the world."

"Charon doesn't take cash any more," Herc remarks offhandedly as he gets his card back. "No idea why. I wasn't sure why he was taking coins in the first place. It sure wasn't to put cushions on his boat." He gives Helena an arched eyebrow. "And don't be too sure it's not coming to pass. Even with the … event at Staten Island, such things always attract unpleasant company, like flies on" He pauses, remembering his manners, and continues, "raw meat." Big smile. Surely he's convincing, right?

Helena pauses, trying to decide which part of that she wants to respond to first. Finally, she crosses her arms loosely over her chest, head tilting curiously. "Does he take…PayPal?" she asks, quirking a brow. "Or is he more of a Square guy? Does that means you have to be buried with your phone in order to actually get to the underworld? I feel like this is opening up a lot of questions right now."

What's really odd is how matter of fact Herc sounds about it. "I don't know. All I know is I had to run an errand a while back to the underworld and had to hitch a ride, and he wouldn't take my coins. Said he wasn't charging any more. I think Hades must've had a word with him or something." He spreads his hands. "Maybe he was fishing for tips all this time?"

"Maybe he's just not charging you anymore," Helena points out, that ghost of a smile creeping back into play. "I mean, maybe it's the sort of thing you pay a one-time lifetime membership fee for. And if you keep going back and forth, then it messes up his bookkeeping. Although, on the other hand, you've got a point about what he'd be using it for in the first place. I mean…does he get days off or something?"

Hercules shakes his head. "No, I asked him about it pretty specifically… still, I should ask him what he DID with all those coins over the years." He shrugs his shoulders. "In any case, I don't expect to be seeing him again any time soon unless it's on business. And since that hasn't been an issue, it leaves me free to wander around making new friends and performing various acts to improve the world." He offers Helena his hand to shake. "Hercules of Thebes. And you are?"

Of course he is. To her credit though, Helena doesn't seem to be shaken by his name. Stranger things have happened in her life. Instead, she takes the offered hand in a firm, confident grasp, smile flashing. "Helena Wayne," she introduces herself in kind. "Of Staten Island." Usually she avoids the last name and the specifics in favor of keeping a low profile, but…well, when it comes to chances of not being up on social media, it's basically ancient Greeks, Asgardians, and aliens, right?

"A pleasure to meet you, Hercules. All talk of taking rides on the Styx aside though, I actually came over here because I got this crazy idea to actually cook for myself tonight, and then I got here and realized this was not a fully formed plan."

Hercules ahhs. "Well, Helena, you're in the right place for raw materials. But…" he pauses, absorbing that last bit. "Let me guess, you're not much of a cook?" He has the grace to look sympathetic. "I run into something similar. I know how, but it's, well, all -old- recipes. Not always to modern tastes. I've been told I am not allowed to ask for kykeon at Luke's, ever again."

"Let's call it inexperienced with limited resources at the moment," Helena chuckles, rubbing a sheepish hand at the back of her neck. "I mean, I could go to a restaurant, I just was kind of feeling like doing something myself. What's kykeon?" she asks, half-looking at the fish on the table. "And what makes old recipes bad?"

Hercules frowns, furrowing his brow. "It's not that it's bad, it's just that… well, here's a good example. In the old days, we would water the wine, so it didn't overwhelm us and we could enjoy it. That's… not common nowadays. Thankfully fish never go out of style, and grilled tuna is a grand centerpiece." He chuckles. "Ah, kykeon. I suspect I'm the only one in this city who likes it, and that it includes my Asgardian cousins. It's a mixture of barley gruel, wine, herbs, and goat cheese. Very thick, like a milkshake."

"I feel like watering the wine could probably stand to go back in style," Helena smiles fainty, though the description of kykeon gives her pause as she thinks it over. "So kind of like…a savory oatmeal thing. I have to be honest, I'm pretty sure you could find a place in Brooklyn selling that and calling it paleo or something. Actually," she laughs, "You could probably start a whole place based on your old recipes and manage to stay open. There's a lot of pushback against 'modern' culture anymore. Not only by fairies trying to take over islands," she adds, grimacing.

Hercules tugs on his beard and looks puzzled. "What is paleo? Is that… no, I'm not even going to get into that. Besides, I like to cook for myself and guests. I don't cook to make money." He grunts at the whole 'fairies taking over islands' bit. "I take it you're normally from that area and don't want to chance the dome?"

"Paleo. People acting like it was the diet of ancient people that kept them in shape rather than the fact that everything took effort and had to be done by hand," Helena summarizes, amused. Her smile dies out after though, swallowed in a heavy sigh. "Technically home's still outside the dome for now. But mostly, yeah. Mom and Dad don't really want me chancing it and ending up stuck in there just trying to get home. And you know, of course, the extra stupid part is that if it wasn't dangerous I wouldn't be in any hurry to go home anyhow, right? But when it's like no, don't go there, that's a whole different thing."

Hercules chuckles softly. "Stout hearts do not rest easily." He pats Helena on the shoulder. "Come, let's go for a walk. The state of affairs has not set well with me either, and I'm not the sort to take a challenge lying down. We should discuss this." He taps the side of his nose. "I promise there will be food involved."

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