Chow

Participants:

boxer_icon.gif julian_icon.gif

Scene Title Chow
Synopsis Julian is new at Moab and doesn't have any friends, so Boxer introduces himself over mystery meat and corn.
Date February 18, 2009

Moab Federal Penitentiary - Cafeteria


This is awfully familiar. And drearily enough, it's an improvement. They know what they're doing now.

Hazel eyes sweep over the batch of prisoners shuffled like cattle into the cafeteria area, a strange environment that is both sociable and foreboding, at least in his eyes. It's a prison, that would be one difference, rather than just a cluster of cement rooms and nervously wielded guns and restraints and food fed through gaps in the door. Back in the day when the government hadn't a clue as to what to do with this new threat. No, now they know better, if the sting under his jaw from the obligatory injection is to be of any indication.

It's been a few days since Julian had arrived here, in Utah, but the first time he's been allowed out - not because he's been trouble, but for medical reasons. Bandaging wraps around a hand is one sign of it, but the most obvious would be the patches of gauze taped to the right side of his face, only a hint of the injury visible at the corner of his mouth, but the bandaging goes right up to where his ear begins. He's a new face, in Moab, and as the bandaging might indicate, it will be a memorable one too.

He sits down at the table that's currently empty, ignoring glances he gets his way while simultaneously attempting to scout out the faces around him. Trying to recognize anyone. Did they sink all of Shedda, or is he special? he pokes a fork at his food as he does his discreet scouting, unsure of what answer he hopes for. It would, after all, be nice to have a friend in here.

It is all very organized, really. Lots of orange shuffling against the sterility of stainless steel and cinder block walls painted pale over concrete floors. The benches and tables are bolted down, which does not stop the one directly across from Julian from rattling when Boxer drops heavily down onto it. His tray follows him, dropped down into the table without ceremony so that he can poke immediately into what might be mashed potatoes with his plastic fork.

"Hello, new boy."

He is a large man with a Russian accent in a large prison-issue jumpsuit, and he has a scoop of potato in his mouth even before he's resettled into a more comfortable sit on the bench, knees apart and left elbow dropped lax onto the table's edge. "What happened to your face?"

Julian's back straightens when suddenly his view to of the room is obscured by someone unfamiliar, a jittery response probably not uncommon amongst those recently dragged into the particular cage. His gaze lowers back down to his food - vegetables, or at least, vegetable matter getting mashed even further as he plays with it. Almost in defiance of the injury referred to, he takes a bite. Good for him, an entirely different inject an hour or so ago has rendered at least part of his face numb. Good for eating, bad for talking. He gets the potato and powdered gravy down before shrugging orange clad shoulders, gaze still tilted down to what is undoubtedly a delicious meal. Well, colourful. "Fed sliced it," he says, shortly, words just a little hindered, his mix of a Belfast and Brooklyn accent doing more to make him mumble. "When I was bein' brought in. They ain't subtle."

The serving line moves quickly, and it does not take long for people to find seats and set to eating. Perhaps oddly, there are still open tables. Several of them, in fact. The population of this facility still has plenty of room to grow, if the cafeteria is any indication. Julian and Boxer do not seem to be in danger of being crowded, anyway.

A few prods later, as if to check density or consistency or who knows what, Boxer is looking like he suspects what he thought were potatoes are not actually potatoes, but he's not immediately sure of what else they could be. He eventually resolves to take another bite anyway, once he's sawed off a small block of something that was probably part of an animal at some point.

"I am told subtlety is not a strong point of theirs." More food in, more ponderously slow chewing while he tries to place the taste, and then his fork is being pointed at Julian's tray. "Don't eat the corn."

"Aye." A soft snort of amusement, and Julian just shakes his head as he sets aside the little yellow pieces with his utensil. "'ll take y'word for it," he mumbles, just barely within the Russian's scope of hearing, before braving the rice and its pieces of… well. Hopefully chicken. Rice and chicken. He pushes it into the puddle of gravy in the hopes of improvement. "Food hasn't gotten any better," he notes as he casts another glance and a sigh about the room, then back to the stranger whose come to join him for lunch. A decision, and also a realization that surprises himself, before for the first time in a very long time, Julian extends his uninjured, bare hand out for shaking. "Julian," he says, trying to keep his curiosity contained as his hand hovers over the table.

"I do not think this is potatoes," Boxer shares once he's swallowed. He doesn't sound disappointed. More like he thought it was an observation worth sharing for some reason. "Why bother disguising something as potatoes when potatoes are already so cheap? It would be cheaper to disguise potatoes as other things. Potato beef or potato broccoli." His 'r's roll and some consonants are hit harder than others, but Boxer seems well spoken enough for all that he is speaking on the subject of potatoes. Also, not so disappointed with the quality that he doesn't keep right on eating it.

"You were here before, hm?" Information drop noted with an upward lift at his brow, he looks up from his tray to see the offered hand and drops his fork so that he can take it firmly in his own. "Robert." He does not really look like a Robert. Or sound like a Robert. Yet he is Robert. "I have not been here very long myself."

Julian's gaze darts down to their joined hands, but that's the only sign of anything suspicious, the handshake brisk, manly, and impersonal. Mixed feelings. Something's been stolen from him, but on the other hand, he doesn't particularly miss it. He shrugs again, picking up his fork, still broken hand mostly kept relaxed and useless on the table beside his trace. "I've been someplace like here," he says, talking slower than he normally might. "Year or somethin' ago. It wasn' like this before, but the food's th'same."

He gestures with his plastic forward, pointing towards Robert's meal in a bit of the same gesture as his own lunch— dinner— whatever had received. "An' don't give 'em ideas 'bout potato beef, they'll fuckin' do it." A hint of a smile, mouth only pulling up at the still functional side, and it disappears quickly. He shovels more of the questionable food onto his fork. "How long, then, Robert?"

There's the faintest of furrows at Boxer's brow when Julian does the darty look to their manly and impersonal joint handventure, but it's accompanied by a flicker of a smile when nothing comes of it. Not suspicious. A little privately amused, maybe. His hand crosses over his tray for his fork, and he's right back at it again, mixing things together with an air of experimentation that he hopes may have some promise in the way of improving his dining experience.

"I have been here for a few weeks. One month. Two months, maybe. I do not know exactly when, but it was cold. Why did you come back?" It does not seem to occur to him that it's a blunt question to be posing in their first conversation ever. In fact, he's already muttering to himself about how potato beef would be an improvement upon whatever this beef is made out of.

Hammer, meet anvil. The blunt question doesn't ruffle whatever feathers Julian might have, the younger man shrugging once, stabbing pieces of questionable beef onto his fork, mixing it too with potato and gravy. "I'm a fugitive," he says. "Past finally caught up t'me, I guess, in the end." He doesn't quite roll his eyes, but almost, and takes a careful sip of water, tentatively wiping at his mouth when that doesn't go such effectively, managing to catch trailing drops with the back of his hand and sleeve. "Your turn, then. Why're you in 'ere?" Another mouthful of questionable potato, wincing as it goes down, and adds, "Is it 'cause of what y'do," he glances towards the coin-sized inject mark on the other man's throat, "or what y'do with it?"

"Like Harrison Ford. But he was innocent. …And acquitted." So…not that much like Harrison Ford, really. Boxer considers this, decides it's close enough to work anyway, and dutifully resumes sawing his meat log into bite-sized pieces. "A man tried to kill me, so I shot him. Also, I talk to rats." When he registers Julian's study of his injection site, he pretends not to notice so deliberately that it would be hard to imagine why else he's suddenly so intent upon getting the whole piece of meat chopped up in one go.

Julian's eyebrows go up for a moment at this description of power. Or. Description of something. He's unsure, at first, if a word or two has gotten lost in translation, but he's not about to ask for clarification. The man talks to rats. Take that as you will. He again shovels his fork into his food, but the food's complete lack of tastiness coupled with the fact he is beginning to feel the stitches holding his face together drive him to shove the tray aside, finally, most of the food uneatable for for those few nibbles. "Prob'ly wouldn' be here if I was Harrison Ford," he agrees. "Listen. D'you know if— on the ladies side've things— " he tilts his head a little to indicate wherever the yard is from where they are— "if there's a woman there named Delphine?"

"You should eat. I promise it will not taste better tomorrow." Sound advice, though — it might be slightly more sincere if Robert wasn't already reaching for Julian's tray. A few fork scrapes later, he has successfully acquired the younger man's corn and a lumpy mix of other assorted semi-pre-digested and poorly cooked goodies. Whatever he didn't bother taking is dropped back down with a clatter where Julian cast it aside. He then draws in a deep breath, as if preparing himself for punishment, and proceeds to mix the corn into the 'potatoes.' "I do not know any Delphines, here or elsewhere on the 'ladies side of things.'"

Julian watches the gathering up of the corn he'd been advised to set aside, and smiles once again, amused. If he was hungry and on less pain medication, that might have been enough to trigger the younger man's short fuse. As it happens, his attitude can be summed up in: well played. Besides, with a broken hand and a face that could be split apart at the gentlest of nudges, jail-yard fights will have to be reserved for a later time, over more important disputes. At least, he'll have all the time in the world to heal. He watches the proceedings with hooded eyes, picking at the bandages on his hand, Robert gaining more alert attention when his question is answered. Mixed feelings, once again, and Julian simply nods. "Thanks anyway. Hey," a chin up of a nod, another flicker of self-deprecating smirk, "enjoy my dinner."

"No problem, new boy." Answering questions is easy. Even easier when there is the potential for free food to go with them. Should his actions have inspired any animosity in his new friend Julian, he finds sanctuary in ignorance. Also in the fact that Julian's face already has pre-existing fault lines to make breaking it easier in case of emergency. Thank you, FBI! The 'enjoy my dinner,' is met with a muted smile, and Boxer resumes eating in reasonably polite silence until the order is given to get up and move out.


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February 18th: Chin Up, Soldier
Previously in this storyline…
Chin Up, Soldier

Next in this storyline…
Not Going To Kentucky

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February 18th: Scumbags
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