2020-04-26 - Delivery For... Who Now?


Nils gets groceries delivered, and meets a certain New York delivery girl.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 26 06:47:56 2020
Location: Central Park

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Theme Song



Tonight has included one of Celerity's stranger delivery jobs. First, the payload was groceries from a supermarket, rather than a meal from a restaurant. She didn't even know you could place orders like that on the app. Second, the customer didn't actually take delivery personally: they had her come out to Central Park and leave the bags on a certain bench. The whole thing felt like some kind of spy dead drop. Third, the customer contacted her again afterwards, via the feedback form, asking her to run more deliveries.

The tip had been good, she can't deny that. That's a major part of why she doesn't nope out and go for a supersonic run to clear her head. Instead, she messages back. <Before I go off the books like that, I want to meet face to face. In this city, have to make sure you're not a supervillain having me collect bits for a doomsday device, yeah?> She stands with her back against a tree while she waits for the response.

Abyss says, "There you are." a low, but slightly young-sounding voice says evenly from…somewhere nearby. It's weirdly hard to tag down exactly for a second, until a figure makes his way out more into the open space. He also moves so his back is towards a tree, it seems unconscious - habitual. He's…a sight. Very tall, well over six feet, rangy, clad in clothing that mostly hides him head-to-toe - all dark, different greys, very large and long hoody, his head slightly bowed so you cant see a face, or even a skin-color, hands in its large pockets, loose pants. it's all very clean, looks fairly new, in fact, there's an odd flash of color in all that, above the shirt collar, a pale, brighter patch that seems to shift from pale yellow to soft blue as he moves and finally stops.

"I appreciate the indulgence. Trust me, I understand it's weird." his voice shifts to an almost amused tone, it's not threatening at all, just casual, "But let's just say I have some…difficulties that make this sort of thing kinda necessary, sometimes."

He steps back a bit, easing himself against a tree facing you, but far enough away to project 'safe distance'. Despite his looks he's acting in a way that seems like he's cognizant of your comfort and potential unease. "Customer name 'Nils'." he verifies, he pronounces it carefully, 'Neels', not like most people would think, seeing it written."

Celerity almost jumps when she hears that voice, the hair standing up on the back of her neck. Her gaze flits this way and that, trying to localise… and there it is. A tall figure who puts her on edge just with his appearance. She bites her tongue and tamps down on that instinctive response: don't judge books by covers, Celerity. Read the whole thing there in the bookstore and then decide whether you want to buy it.

She takes a few breaths, trying to steady herself while she looks him up and down. "Nils. Right. And what was the third item on the order?" Someone else who got a look at one screen or the other could have grabbed that detail, but who would have memorised the entire list, in order? And… "Are those bell-bottoms?" Well, the pants do widen towards the ends.

Nils chuckles at the question, "Modified Tripps, actually." he notes, "I had someone do the tailoring, I didn't like the chains…noise." he explains, "I'm not that retro." You can practically hear the amused smile in his voice. He's left his hands in his pockets, head still down a bit, but even when he talks, you can't see under the hood for some reason, just dark under there.
As he goes on, his tone gets more businesslike, little bit clipped and specific, "5 megapixel 8 channel FLIR ioi HD analytic IP security camera setup. 8 cameras. Some of the local 'spy shops' just sell them outright, perfectly legal. But…" There's a pause there, and a momentary, deep sigh, "I can't just go buy something like -that- myself - unfortunately. So - here we are." that last statement is said in a 'so used to this' sort of tone.

"Okay, so they're hip-hop bellbottoms," Celerity says. Apparently, finer points of fashion are lost on her. But when she says it, it's with an amused little smile; she's teasing, rather than really being critical of his clothing choices. She purses her lips, nodding at the answer. That's correct. "I'd meant the third item on the grocery order, but that works. So…" She steps away, putting her back against the tree. "…you're a mutant, aren't you. That's why you're all…" She waves a hand over her face. "Other kinds of not-human… seems like people are fine with gods, with lab accidents, whatever. But a lot of people, you put the word 'mutant' out there, and…"

Nils' hooded head raises as you state the obvious. What you see is…interesting, to say the least. His eyes are startling, bright and blue-white, undifferentiated, no pupils or irises. When he replies to you, his lips part, his teeth are very white, maybe a little pointed? But the interior of his mouth is pale, bright blue, almost like it's catching a light from somewhere. You have to make out the rest of his features by the way the contours of his face momentarily change the shape of his eyes or the shape made by the inside of his mouth as his head moves - his skin…it's like looking into a deep shadow. As his head raises you also see hair, pushed to either side inside the hood, also a blue so pale as to be nearly white,

"Got it in one. So, sorry about all the -" he removes his right hand from his pocket and waves it vaguely, easier to see against the grey fabric, it's shadowy blue-black as well, no nails you can make out, his fingers just end in rounded points, " - but I need to be careful about who I let know where I hang my non-existant hat. You-" he catches himself with a half-laugh, "I almost said 'You get it.'" His eyes shift a moment, clearly taking you in now that he looks directly at you. There's nothing unsettling in his gaze itself, but you can well imagine many people would find it deeply unsettling just by its nature. "I tend to want to keep contact with services pretty small. Make sure I can trust them and…well…some places just don't seem to -want- my money." Fact-of-life apparently, it's said, like the statement before, in a very accepting-but-tired-of-it tone.

Celerity's eyes go wide. Even without him actively trying to push fear at her, a figure like that seems built from nightmares. Is it any wonder she stays rooted to the spot? Her hand tightens, gripping the phone and holding it in front of herself, arms idly crossing her chest. She shakes her head. "M-My mom," she murmurs. "I've seen how she does a… not a 180, more like a 45. She'd say most metahumans are 'bad enough', but as soon as mutation is mentioned…" She shakes her head, and vocalises a sound like the whistle and explosion of a dropping bomb. "Her opinion just… yeah." She takes a breath, nodding. "So you'd want someone who you know isn't going to, like, put rat poison in the bag along with everything else, who actually can go into those places and pick things up. Can't say I've ever played courier like that before, it's all just been food delivery." But it sounds like she's getting more open to the idea. "I know you go by 'Nils' from the app. Can't remember how I set my own name on it. Was it… Cel, or Celerity? Either way, that's me."

Nils reaches up and slips the hood off, no point now, really, and it's a little stifling anyway. His hair could actually be called rather pretty, it's full and a bit long and stands up a bit before falling in wisps to either side. As it does, the framing lets you make out more of the shape of his face and head. 'Sharp-featured' is a good way to describe it, and very little in the way of a rise of a nose.
"Pretty much, yeah." he answers, the concept's obviously simple enough, "Nils is actually my name. Uncommon enough in this country I thought I'd use it. Nooooot like I can have a 'secret identity' anyway." He grins as he says that, good-naturedly. But there's a moment where he pauses and turns his head to the side, eyes narrowing a bit, it's so easy to see that, even with the hood off he barely seems any less in shadow, it's an odd effect.
He speaks again, a little more quietly, "Huh. -That's- a good sign. Less scared than I thought. Point in your favour. Worth a good tip. I'd say." his tone is almost teasing, and his smile isn't -meant- to be sinister.

Wait, she's less scared than he'd thought? Just how scared would he expect her to be? Because Celerity thought she felt pretty scared, facing down an unknown mutant like that. If anything, it's suspicious not to be scared, so— "New York," she blurts out. "L-Live here long enough, I guess you start getting used to it. Lot of weird stuff around, like… Nazi bees, and that dome over some of Staten Island, and… stuff." She lets out a breath. She's busy enough covering for herself — Celerity Carter should be scared, even if Anon has reason not to be — that she doesn't even notice the 'hint' beyond what she'd already guessed from his accent. "Thank you. Okay. So… got any stores in mind for these? Or is it, like, I track them down somewhere and, uh, report back? We'd need to trade actual numbers, too, can't just use the app for it, I don't think."

"One reason I'm spending a little time here. Easy to get a little lost in the crowd. I'm late off some work assisting someone in the biogenetics field and I need to figure out my next step." the shadowy mutant notes, "I'm covered for a while, and this -is- the sort of place someone can always -find- work for people with special skills." Nils shares a bit, just a bit of info with that, it's casual, but really…it's been a while since he just had a damn conversation with anyone and it can't be used against him.
His other hand has come out of his left pocket. He pauses again, still for a moment as he feels your fear swell for a second, then ebb as you turn to business. He's going to be 'polite', he thinks, just because you've been polite to him, tried to suppress it, "Your voice caught for a second." he notes, like giving an example in a class, "Your eyes moved quickly, looked around for paths out of here. Then settled back." he doesn't sound offended at all, but he does sound a little amused, and he then adds, "…aaaaaaand…well, I felt less of it than I expected, so good for you." He almost sounds apologetic as he reveals that last.
He turns sidelong to you as he continues, minimizing eye-contact, purposefully, "I don't know much about the local places and you can't trust online ratings - lotta paid shills there. So if you do the legwork I'll be sure to make it worthwhile."

"Special skills." Celerity eyes his hands. She appreciates the lack of eye contact; she'd have trouble being comfortable looking for too long into those eyes, the all-in-one blue-white sclerisil. But the talk of skills and work does raise an important point. "I'm sorry if this is insulting, but… it's better to at least ask, you know? You don't mean, like… villainy for hire, right? Your 'special skills', they'd be pretty good for that, wouldn't they? Or, er, what kind of'biogenetics field' work? That's not, like, breeding attack velociraptors or turning people into dinosaurs, right?" There's a hike in her nervousness, like she anticipates needing to run for her life if he does turn out to be a villain. She really hopes he doesn't. "Okay. I'll, um, need a bit more time to look into it to find things, then. I'll try not to charge too much out the nose."

Nils closes his eyes entirely for a moment and his lips press together in a bittersweet smile. The effect in uncanny in profile, like a silhouette. "I was born in Genosha." he begins, which explains the accent, not unlike Afrikaans, little like Dutch, too. "Without getting too much into the details," he raises a hand, one long finger pointing up, "They did…things to us to suppress and alter our powers for 'the good of the nation'. I was a -severe- flight-risk, so the 'mutate process' - what they called it - was preeeeeetty extensive for me." He says this casually, almost like he's recounting early school-days or something.
"Luckily, someone, a doctor, actually wanted to help, things got ugly there - it's all in the news, of a'course - and she happened to be, among other things, a biogeneticist working on that sort of thing. I assisted her while she was seeking asylum here. Basic stuff, but I picked up some nonstandard work-skills."
His eyes open again, lights against shadows again and he links his hands behind his back, "Nooooot t'say I didn't get involved in a little mmmmmm…'aggressive pro-mutant campaigning'?" He barks a short laugh, "Don't worry, record's clear."

Genosha. Celerity's eyes go wide, and there's another spike of fear. Any country her mother wholeheartedly approves of is one that terrifies Celerity to her core, given Dear Old Mom's priorities. So she goes quiet, breathlessly quiet while she listens, shivering with goosebumps on her arms. And the weather isn't even that cold anymore.

"I-I see," she murmurs. "Um. Have you… have you ever heard of Hank McCoy? He's, um. He's into biogenetics too, so that could… b-be a good place for your skills. And he's, uh, pro-mutant." Given that he is, himself, 'out and proud', it would be hard not to be. "I've just heard of him, though. I haven't met him myself." Anon met him.

Nils turns back a bit more towards you, interested in what he's sensing. He's no telepath, but the marked increase in distress was odd - sympathetic fear maybe? Something else? He has no way of knowing for sure. His eyes are probing for a moment… Sometimes he wishes the rush of it wasn't empowering, it's negligable with one person unless they are -very- afraid, but some days it makes him feel like a damned lush. He pushes that thought away, like he's done it a million times before. "He's an X-Man, right?" he asks idly.

"I think so?" Celerity says. That is how Anon first met him, but Celerity wouldn't have been there during the fight. "But point is, I mean… you're into biogenetics, I think he's into the same thing, and if anyone's going to be okay with all your… you-ness, he's a good candidate." Her fear is a strange, layered thing. It's not as intense and helpless as it would be for some people. Perhaps it's like she expects that she could do something if she had to, but she'd dread it all the same.

The mutant's laugh is genuine and goes on for a moment as your unusual turn of phrase, 'you-ness' - again, the brightness of his mouth shines in the shade of his face. "-That's- a new one." he notes with amusement, his laugh subsides into a wide grin, even if he doesn't mean it, it can be seen as unsettlingly predatory-looking, a white slash of teeth beneath bright eyes, framed in blue-white hair. He deliberately moves off a bit to the side, takes a smoothly flowing step back, increasing the distance between the two of you, "But I do have a number I check for messages, yes." circling 'round to what you said before.
What happens next is odd, hard to quite parse - his hand flexes in an odd way, the shadows that seem to cling to him almost, for a moment, make it look fragmentary, and he seems almost to catch himself, as if he's stopped himself from making a particular gesture. Instead he closes it, then dips it into one of his wide pockets, coming up with a phone and thumbs his way to a number.

What else could she have called it? 'Horrifically mutated disfigurement' seems a bit too on-the-nose, and he doesn't even seem to have a nose, so that'd be extra-rude. Celerity whines deep in the back of her throat at the laughter — but then the grin makes her shiver and take an unconscious step backwards. At least it doesn't hit her deeply or harshly enough for her control to slip.

She's left blinking and squinting, as if trying to make sense of what had happened at his hand, even without him doing the whole 'move' in plain view. After a second, she shakes her head, sighing. "Right. Right." She still has her phone in her hand, so she lifts it and taps the number in. It only took her a glance to read the number once; must have a head for numbers, this one. Then she sends a 'test' text, something simple. <Hi, it's Celerity.>

<Received> is the simple reply. Satisfied, Nils repockets the phone. He is, despite himself, a bit annoyed, not at the young woman herself, but at having to police his actions, as it were. It's almost instinctive, he knows…many of his powers revolve around fear and he's 'made' to generate it in people by his very nature. Hardly their fault to react as they're 'supposed to'. Still…Celerity can hear a soft sigh from him, and his voice sounds young in that moment, and tired, "You've been very polite and…I suppose…'accepting' about all this, and that's impressive. I know -exactly- how I seem to people, and anyone who even pretends to basic decorum, let alone who -means- it, is a little victory, mm?"
After a moment, he goes on, "You let me know a few comparative bits of info on the purchases, I'll Zelle the funds, plus tip, and we can set up delivery." Another sigh, it doesn't seem directed at you, specifically.

Celerity purses her lips and gives a small shrug. "Judging you for your… you-ness" There's that term again. "I don't think it'd be any different from any other kind of judging someone for what they look like, or for the circumstances of their birth. It's not right, whatever the situation, you know?" Neither is it easy to treat Nils like he's 'just another person', when it's so easy to imagine that glowing mouth wrapping entirely around her cranium and—

She shakes herself, banishing the thought. "Right. I'll shop around and let you know what I find. Might take a couple of days." If she goes too fast, the jig will be up. She doesn't usually have just one customer like that. "I'd better be off. Some other deliveries to make, you know?" With that farewell, she starts walking away.

Huh. A delivery girl without a vehicle?

Nils' eyes narrow as Celerity leaves, that little detail is a bit noticable, and there were some other odd bits, as he noted before, but still and all, not enough to raise any red flags. if she has secrets, they don't seem the sort to threaten him, and that's all he cares about right now - mostly. He reaches up and raises his hood again and pauses, looking about the park. He shrugs to himself, it'll percolate in his mind a bit, he'll see what sort of job she does…and an X-Man? Interesting notion, that. He decides to walk a bit, he rarely takes time for such things…

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