College Hit List


prince_icon.gif jaiden_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title College Hit List
Synopsis A North Brooklyn street fair introduces Jeremy Prince and Jaiden Mortlock through Nadira Karim, and pushes the Aussie into a feud with university students over their damaged egos.
Date August 24, 2010

Northern Brooklyn

With an excess of both artists and energy, New Yorkers can almost always be guaranteed of one thing: At some point during any given day, there is a fairly good chance that at least section of a street, somewhere, is closed off to vehicles to make way for an outlet. Street fairs in the city are good for everybody. Citizens have a chance to relax. Business owners and craftspersons have a chance to make some extra money, and the city has a chance to collect some extra taxes. There is no way to lose.

North Brooklyn is the site of the day's adventure, the span of 30 days between this and the last one on the spot just as likely to be coincidence as anything, even if its attracted many of the same vendors and people as July did. It is never the less a fantastic place to buy exotic deep fried foods, artwork, plants, jewelry, and sweets, see a demonstration or performance, check out some of the vintage cars that have been brought out for display, or even just to get lost and disassociate from the world for a bit.

Making their way through the fair, hooked arm to arm to one another, are Prince and Nadira. Prince looks calm and relaxed, a smile turning up his features and crinkling the wrinkles around his eyes. He points over to a man's table with a ton of older baseball cards and other collectibles on it. "Hey, I'm going to go take a look at this real quick." He slides his arm away from hers, but leans in to give the Egyptian woman a peck on the cheek. "I'll catch up with you. Or you can come stare at a bunch of useless memorabilia I'll never buy with me. Your choice."
The Vintage Cars are what attracts Jaiden, like a moth to a flame, what with him being a mechanic and all. It's a habit he has, you see, making his way to these impromptu car shows to appreciate the hard work that a guy in his garage had put into a formerly battered wreck he found in a garage in Upstate New York. Gives him some ideas, too, on how to repair a problem he might find in his day-to-day business. His camera is with him - a decent digital one that can be lost or damaged without too much worry that takes high megapixel images. Stopping now and again to click a few photos, he's not concentrating exactly on the cars, but on the people. A tired woman leaning on a lamp post, taking a drag on a bent cigarette. A child stuffing herself with a funnel cake covered in chocolate and powdered sugar. A busker playing a guitar near a restored blue Mustang. This man gets a rumpled $5 tossed into his guitar case as Jaiden makes his way through the market, enjoying the sights and sounds of the big city.

"Enjoy the stuff. I'm gonna go check out some jewelry over here." Nadira murmurs, offering Prince a smile as she goes to examine a booth with jewelry. Nope, nothing's quite up to her standards, so far, but she'll keep a keen eye out for something of value as she looks through the various pieces, occasionally stopping to take a closer look on the back of a necklace or inquire after what the pieces are supposedly made of.

Half the reason to go to any street fair is to look at useless things no one would ever buy. Particularly the ones that people inexplicably end up buying regardless. Besides the cards, Price likewise finds himself confronted by a small collection of vintage baseball caps. Appropriately for North Brooklyn, most of those are Mets caps (with a few beaten up Yankees caps for good measure).

Nadira, meanwhile, is not confronted with jewelry so much as subtly directed towards it, the booth's managers casually and erratically rearranging the displays, swapping 'new' items for the ones that she seems disinterested in.

Jaiden's people watching reveals more than just the tired woman, hungry child, and the busker attracting as much attention to the Mustang as to himself, but perhaps not much more. Couples and families enjoying an afternoon together. The odd business person, still in suit and tie, perhaps looking for something to add to dinner. And of course, expected to be seen at any street-borne event, a few rowdy-looking individuals, people to watch out for even if they aren't causing trouble for anyone. They at least know how to appreciate automotive classics, so they can't be all bad.

Prince only spends a few minutes at the table, seeing a few things he'd purchase if the price was lower and if he wore baseball caps. Not particularly in a haggling mood, he hovers over the items displayed for just a touch longer before shaking his head and moving back into the crowd to find Nadira. Spotting her eyeing the jewelry, he stuffs his hands in his jacket pockets as he makes his way over. Slipping next to her, he looks at some old beaded bracelet. "Not sure why I went over there. I knew I wouldn't buy anything. Any luck on your end?"

He kneels down, pushing his hat back, to get a shot of the street from a lower perspective, the shutter clattering as the trigger is pressed, five quick shots per second rattling off, one at a time, of the street. A perfect 'slice of life' photograph to put up on a blog or in a book about the city after the bomb that's only just now in the preliminary stages of being written. The rowdy-looking individuals are given a quick glance - not fearful in any way - more like he's sizing them up just in case they decide to do a smash and grab on one of these lovely cars. Not that they could drive anywhere with any speed if they did try to steal one, thanks to the crowds, but people and potential injury isn't often a prevention for complete and utter stupidity. He starts making his way toward the middle where Nadira, who he may recognize from Tartarus, and Prince, that he will not recognize at all.

"Nothing worth buying." Nadira states. "Some of it is cute, which is appealing to buyers… but not terribly worth it. And the hand-made stuff is also neat but very marked-up in price." She points out. "So… unfortunately nothing really worth it, but I'm also coming in as someone who knows antiques well."

Their loss for not buying anything, the booth managers would probably say.

Jaiden moves on from the cars, and so do the rowdies shortly thereafter, apparently feeling the need to expand their horizons by looking at spray-painted canvases depicting scenes that one might more commonly associate with a more traditional instrument. Like a brush. As Jaiden moves, he along with Nadira and Prince begin converging towards the same point, more by accident than anything else.

Prince slides one arm around Nadira's waist, still looking at some of the jewelry for a moment before they start to move on down the street, closer to Jaiden. "That's true. I bet you have fantastic taste when it comes to that stuff, though. Remind me to be extra careful if I ever buy you any jewelry." His eyes spot the rowdy kids as well, more out of happenstance then a practiced eye, but the slight knit to his brow shows some concern. He looks away though, gaze turning to some the cars. He whistles. "Phew. Those are some nice wheels."

The man with the camera pauses to sidestep a couple walking down the middle of the street, arm in arm - a totally different couple than Prince and Nadira - turning to snap a picture of them being cute and being rewarded with a very Jersey Shore-esque 'What are you a fag, takin' pichers of me an' my girl?" Common bluster that Jaiden simply ignores, continuing through the crowds, sipping from a bottle of water at his waist. "Nadira!" he calls, waving to the Egyptian woman. "You look different without your bar attached. How're you doing, lass?" Jaiden smiles, pushing his hat back slightly, looking to her date. "Pleasure to meet you, mate. Jaiden, barfly and photographer."

"Mm, you can't beat the stuff I played with as a kid. If collectors ever realized the value of the stuff I kept as keepsakes, well…" Nadira grins, leaning in against Prince. "I'm sure that I'll not have to worry too much about you buying me presents. I get terribly red from gifts. Red's not my color, really." She does, however, look up as she hears a familiar voice. "Jaiden! Hello again. I haven't seen you for a bit. I certainly hope you're doing well." She looks back to Prince. "Jeremy, this is Jaiden. He's one of the lovely people who's stopped by to say hello while I'm at work. He's also quite a mechanic. Fixed a car with only some pantyhose."

"All I played with was a ball and a stick. Those were happy times, though.. they seem so far away from the crazy world I'm living in right now. And red is a terrific color on you. But if you don't think so, maybe I should stop making you blush all the time." He squeezes her tightly, laughing, but he relaxes his grip some as they happen upon Jaiden. "Nice to meet you." He extends a hand for a shake. "That so? Must have been a problem with the belt." He grins. "Yeah, I know the trick too. Grew up in an auto shop."

Growing up in an auto shop doesn't keep cell phones from ringing, and when Prince's does, the caller ID requires him to excuse himself for a moment to answer it. Only a moment, however, before he's back with an apology. "Looks like work isn't waiting until tomorrow," he says. Giving Nadira a kiss on her cheek, he adds, "I'll see you later," before facing his new acquaintance to say, "Jaiden, it was nice meeting you." With a final goodbye, he turns and heads off, leaving the other two to enjoy the rest of the fair.

Waiting for one of them to leave, however, looks like it might have been a part of a plan. The rowdies that Jaiden saw earlier pick this as their moment, with Prince gone, to move not only through his and Nadira's area, but also to take it a step further and move into their space as well. Some of them do, at least. The group earlier looked larger. Right now, there are only three of them. "Well, ain't this a nice little get together?" the apparent leader of the group asks. They're all young: Younger than Nadira even, right around 20 and 21, and from this close, their dress might identify them as tough-guy impersonators out of college for a few more days before the fall session starts, looking for a last hurrah before they have to be productive students again. Trouble's as good a way to get it as any, right? "Looks sad, though, two guys not showing a girl a good time. You not having a good time, babe? Why don't you come with us, lose these zeroes." The fact that all but one of them don't quite come up to Nadira's height doesn't seem to be a deterrent for this sort of behavior.

"Now now, boys…." Jaiden's accent, very Australian, is quite disarming, the camera in his hands disappearing into a shoulder bag that's zipped tightly closed and tucked around back, away from the kids. "It's a school night. First of the semester for most of the schools 'round here. You need your sleep. A girl like this?" He shakes his head with a smile. "Far, far out of your league to begin with, and even if you did manage to get her at one of your parties, it would take more than the lot of you have to even get her to give you the time of day."

Jaiden, at 6 feet, doesn't tower, but he certainly looks as if he can take care of himself. His hands are loose and ready, and he's watching for any sign of a weapon because…well…getting shot or stabbed _sucks_, but having errant rounds or attacks hit innocent bystanders? Bad things, man

Hardly old enough to drink! Definitely not Nadira's type. She peers at the guys, folding her arms over her chest. "Actually, I'm enjoying myself just fine." She states before her gaze turns back to Jaiden. She smiles faintly, then giving the three boys a look. She's sizing them up, not quite literally. "Besides, I don't even know that any of you could even legally buy me a drink if you wanted. And I always card."

"Out of our league. She look out of our league?" Leaderkid remarks and subsequently asks of his compatriots. "Looks at our level to me, but what do I know?" is the quick reply from Tallest. This leaves the third one, same height as Leaderkid but the heaviest-set of the three to round out the banter: "I know plenty," says Porter, stepping forward and actually thumping his hand into Jaiden chest to push him out of the way, "One side, Limey." Because, you know, Australians totally sound like British.

Oh, totally. Australians and Brits are totally the same, and the training they get in the military? Totally the same too. Except…not. Porter's thump on Jaiden's chest gets a disdainful look remniscent of seeing something on the bottom of your shoe before Jaiden's right hand comes up, sharply, thumb going in front of his palm, the rest of the fingers curling around behind Porter's hand and, with a jerk, he pushes his hand back and up, bending it slightly too much in the absolute wrong direction. "She does look out of your league…definitely out of yours, shorty. I only have the benefit of talking with her because we enjoy the same social circles."

The boys are eyed by Nadira. "I am right here, you know. And regardless of your hostility, it isn't as if I plan on going home with any of you, so perhaps you'd better go buy some number two pencils or something and go on home before your parents miss you." She looks almost amused by their whole attempt.

"Jesus fuck!" is Porter's shout when Jaiden does the unexpected and doesn't stand for his bullshit. Apparently, it was enough to catch Leaderkid off-guard, confusion and surprise flashing briefly across his features. Where Leaderkid drops the ball, however, Tallest is on hand to back up his friend, oblivious to the fact that some people tend to look when expletives are shouted. He's also oblivious, unfortunately, to the idea that maybe they just picked the wrong people to fuck with, his hand balled into a fist and sent flying at Jaiden's face. Apparently, he's under the delusion that knocking the Aussie out will somehow win Nadira's favor. Or, more likely, believes rightly that knocking the Aussie out will give him and his pals time to make their exit before they get arrested.

With Jaiden's right hand in use presently, the left hand that Tallest decides to throw at his head is a little more difficult to deflect and, instead of doing so, Jaiden simply steps into the punch and pivots slightly down and away, dragging Porter along with him as he presses up against Tallest. An accidental stomp on tallest's right foot with the heel of Jaiden's followed by a quick shoulder to the chest should send the boy stumbling back, and a twist of the wrist should move porter over along with them. Suitably released, Jaiden steps back next to Nadira, giving them a smile. "You sure yu want to do this, kids?" A glance to Nadira. "You want to take this, Ma'am? Or should I continue defending your honour?"

"Well, if they aren't smart enough to get the picture by now… then, by all means, defend away. I prefer not to get my hands dirty unless it's honestly worth the effort." Nadira looks at the three. "And I believe you've got it handled."

There were undoubtedly less humiliating ways that this part of the tussle could have resolved itself. Nearly all of them don't involve Tallest and Porter injured and picking themselves up off the ground. However, there is a sound that wrestles their attention away from taking more swings at Jaiden. It's not the sound of a police siren, or a shouted command, or even the gasps of the slowly growing crowd as a weapon comes into play.

It's a 'click!,' the fake shutter sound emitted by Leaderkid's cell phone as he snaps a quick photo of the Aussie when he turns back to face the trio. Taken from a safe distance. Before any more fists fly- and more importantly, before their egos can get bruised more- the order of the day is, "Let's just go." All three give Jaiden a sneer, and then muscle through the crowd to move on to better things. Or that's what they would be doing if they weren't so busy very obviously running away from a fight.

Insert Final Fantasy Victory Music Here!

Jaiden smiles and picks his hat up where it fell to the ground, pulling it back on smartly before giving Nadira a smile. "So, how about that drink? Just between friends."

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