The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities

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bao-wei2_icon.gif calvin_icon.gif

Scene Title The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities
Synopsis In which Bao-Wei is disturbed by a visitor who is unusually persistent.
Date November 29, 2010

Beneath Southern Brooklyn


Being closer to the coast of an island offers just a tad more wiggle room, when it comes to trolling around near waterclogged areas. The coast is primarily made of that sandy marshland and muck-covered rocks. A good deal of this sandy soil gets dragged down into the waterways under Brooklyn, sifting back out to sea with the run water. It's a very boring, very long trip. That is why Bao-Wei Cong avoids going down those tunnels if he can- he often ends up having to keep going, and he ends up there at the bay. Not that he doesn't like a freeform in the seawater once in awhile- but then he tracks saltwater wherever he goes.

Tracking him is easier than one might think; a thermal scanner is the simplest, or following the fading crusts of ice deep down. A central point of cold as he is, Doctor Cong has met with a few obstacles- people- following the signs. Sometimes he deals with them. Sometimes he just moves on. Sometimes scaring them is enough. This time, he has contented himself in absconding off to Brooklyn from just across the river. It was a mistake to go back to Chinatown for what little time he can turn back. Getting recognized by a little old woman whose gout you used to treat is not the best afternoon ever.

Finding a place where the runoff connects to a larger utility tunnel, Cong has put himself in a corner like a large cocoon; the runoff pipe, with its relatively clean rainwater, is running into an arm curled around the spout. In a world where water is dirty, and blood is dirtier, and ice can become weakened by foreign objects- it is up to him to be able to clean himself out. The rainwater is steadily replacing pieces of ice and debris being broken off with the other hand, claws scraping awkwardly over limbs, his back cracking against the wall now and again to rid those long spines on his back.

Even ice monsters need to preen. It's rather like a lizard to do so too, really. The pieces and garbage he breaks off are free to float away, downstream.

It's November in New York, but the breezy forty-four degrees tailing coats and rustling through deadened branches topside has little on the bone gnawring cold that penetrates this particular turn of Brooklyn's bowels. Having perhaps underestimated the severity of the potential shock to his system, Calvin finds himself feeling underdressed for all that he is more dressed than usual in sturdy black boots, a scarf and a long black coat at the outermost layer. Warmer fabric lies compressed within, all the way down to a tatty pair of long johns and a stocky pair of old black gloves that looks to be the only thing about him specifically designed for — situations like this one. Giant reptilian beasts made of ice living under the city.

Calvin shivers as he walks, bits of ice already flaked light into the queerly kempt mane of his gingery hair while his boots scrape light and balanced enough over slick footing that he rarely, if ever, slides. One foot before the other, left right left until a rattle and skitter of beer can to moving water amidst more terrible unidentified rakings leads him to take the next bend more carefully. And lo: there is Bao-Wei, enough to slack a little uncertainly at Cal's jaw behind the thick steam of his breath while he takes him in. Cccchrist.

It occurs to him that he could probably turn around and slink off without being noticed while the beast is clearly otherwise occupied, but he clears his throat instead. Necessarily, given the way his sinuses have taken to running desperately down the back of it.

"…Hello there."

Why is it that even down here, people can find him and walk up on him while he's busy? It is like a lifetime curse. Give it enough time, it happens. With an earful of watery rush when he sticks his horned head under the spout, he only hears the last syllable or so of the voice. At first, when he lifts his head up, the ridges between the twin horns clank awkwardly up on the end of the spout. If he were flesh and bone, that would have hurt like hell. As it stands, he isn't, and merely lets out a hollow grunt before taking a step back and turning himself around. The cleaning did him well, at least- the ice that makes up most of the towering creature is clean and solid. The spray caught in the air around him forms an interesting cast of feather ice down his front and the lower part of his face.

The golden disc in his left eye socket swivels around to find the source of the voice- and considering, that is not difficult. There are a few options here- and though the cold in this roomier utility area is numbing, Bao-Wei decides to move for… nonplussed.

"Hello." Maybe not so nonplussed. His voice rumbles loudly and pings off of the walls, vaguely accusatory while he stands his hunched back straighter, eye staring down immobile facial features towards the man in the dim light offered by an unfortunate lamp high on the ceiling.

Something about that great amber disc turned down upon his mightily exposed self gives Calvin another beat's pause. Second thoughts creeping up again, blue eyes clear cut in the cold as they are wide, cowardice warring claw-knuckled with more deeply-interred curiosity. He leans back a respectful shade, assuming Bao-Wei is one to accept teeth-grit fear of imminent death as a form of lesser respect.

"Sorry to interrupt," he thinks to say more carefully once his mental faculties have unlocked themselves from blue screen recoil, "I just — "

What, exactly? He'd had this all scripted out and now he's staring again, breath caught midway through an explanation that seems somehow insufficient, now. He should've brought notes.

Bao-Wei lifts his head, a plume of foggy air streaming from his nose and mouth, curling up over
his head. Now is a good a time as any for carefully cued effects. If he accidentally scares him off, even better. The eye does not need to blink- and it stares, for the longest time. Considering, perhaps, or maybe just purposefully being all kinds of wrong.

"Just what?" The creature opens his mouth in a hiss, jagged gash of a mouth grinding, irritated. "Speak up, boy, or I won't stay still to let you." There are many ways to be nice, to be polite- Bao-Wei is so very few of them. Ever.

"Well, you don't have to go," sounds slightly petulant to Calvin's ears, frustration at the potential of having this thing he's been looking for stump off into oblivion so that he has to find it all over again if he wants to talk to it and it wasn't half as easy the first time as he might've thought. "I'm hardly a threat, am I? More've a — scientist, really." Sort've. He does not have it in him to add in a dubiously convincing, Like yourself, for all that the suggestion is there in a down-and-in hood of his brows.

"I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as the tales say," rolls out at more of an elegant gloss, then, familiar passage easy of the tip of his tongue. Not deliberately mocking for all that his inflection has a habit of — natural implication along those lines. "I didn't believe them."

"I have had my fill, of peers, as of late." He is still bitter about the hospital. Wouldn't you? "If you're one of them finally come back to mock me, go back to where you came from." Cong lifts a bottom-heavy arm, one long talon lifting up to point Calvin in the direction where he had likely come from. "Tell Harper to eat shit, while you're at it, hm?"

It seems that he took it the way Calvin may have been hoping that he would not. "I've had my fill of brainless worship, too. The human sacrifice was over the top…" The muttering is loud, even though it is supposed to be Cong speaking to himself. He takes a few steps back, towards the running water between either side of the tunnel. But he doesn't get in there- why? He just got cleaned up. Instead, he pauses like a gargantuan statue, taking his time in gathering memories of which direction he wanted to go next.

"Yeh, alright," maybe he will tell him, but: "Wait — not — exactly no. To the other thing — I mean. Being 'one've them.'" For one thing he is clearly more or less lacking the sense of self-preservation most Institute lab goonies seem to hold dear, as he leaps a narrower tributary of dirty stuff to find footing nearer still.

"S'just a little joke, besides — The Hobbit, you know — I figured you might've read it. Not that bein' a big fuckoff dragon monster isn't completely and utterly primal. And I mean that in the best and least sycophantic way possible…" Calvin talks a lot, when he gets going. He has to break a second to catch his foggy breath. "Do you just stay down here all by yourself?"

Purposefully drawing in the cold so that he can do this without turning Calvin into a popsicle, Doctor Cong reels himself around on one leg, stamping the other down and lowering his shoulders to bring his face to eye-level. His eye, at this distance, reflects orange off of Calvin's.

"If you know of me at all, you know that I do not like imbeciles, and that I do not like people who ask too many stupid questions." The open jaw closes again, but not before the golem lets out a breezy growl of frozen air. Then, he draws back again, turning a spiny, tortoise-like hide towards Calvin. Bao-Wei does wander a few ponderous paces, before stopping again. "Yes. For the most part. Apart from people like you, and someone else." He didn't say he doesn't answer stupid questions.

Calvin tenses with his hands away from his sides, as people sometimes do, fight or flight response strung tenuously somewhere about the middle of the spectrum in an ice-crested and bristle-shouldered freeze that is likely about as intimidating to Bao-Wei as it is effectual. Odds are it's an instinctive response that works better for hog-nose snakes or angry geckos confronted by cats: there's a warning flicker about his dead-locked stare that snuffs out well before reflected orange is drawn all the way into precarious focus. He's been in his fair share of scraps.

Just. Never with a monster. …Fortunately he's wearing enough layers that if he just wee'd himself a little no one will be the wiser.

Recovery in the form of a hard swallow and a shaky breath are swift enough in coming once Bao-Wei's back is turned once more, though, the hammer of his heart suddenly hollow in his ears where he thought he couldn't hear it at all for a second, there. "I think I resent being classified into some kind've lump sum like you have 'imbeciles' willin' to come down and chat it up with you all the time, you know." A more calculating look traces sharp after that last bit, sketchy consideration of another question let lie for timing and luck pushing's sake. For now.

"You would be surprised." A jerky motion puts a glance just past protruding shoulders at the left, golden eye whirling about with a vague sort of commitment on watching the stranger. He doesn't really feel the need to, but he has to at least acknowledge the fact he's still there. "If you're not one of them, you've yet to prove otherwise." As a pardon, of sorts, Bao-Wei sits himself down on what can really ony be described as haunches, the usually wavering tail behind him thumping down on the brick.

"So, prove it." That kind of tone, despite the rumbling echo, implies 'you have one minute'. At least, something of that nature.

"…No." Apparently confident that he shouldn't have to, Calvin rankles his nose and tilts his brows into a skeptical skew. Not quite offended. "I'll leave you to it, though, so you don't have to marinate yourself in that mess again." A lift of his goatee'd chin, crusty ice and all, indicates the watery stuff that gave the big guy pause earlier as he takes a step back, boot to ice and bricking. He has to turn to measure out a jump back to where he started, though, not quite freeform enough to guess when a misstep here is more likely than usual to end in instant death. His coat swooshes heavily after him.

"M'name's Calvin Rosen, if you want to do lunch sometime. I'll let Harper know you send hugs and kisses."

One paw has lifted up to brush away remnants of the spray from his face, feathery bursts floating off into the air like flakes. It is a bored movement, like Calvin's presence is not a particularly invested one. It really isn't, considering he is able to knock this dirt off of his shoulder without too much trouble. Cong can play this game as well as anyone.

"I don't have organs. Eating is superfluous." But mention of Harper again does have the horned head turning to look again. "You could always kill the little weasel for me. Save me the trouble…?"

"I could. Sounds awfully intimate, though — whatever's going on between the two of you." Bad breakup? Having already traipsed a little ways out down the tunnel from whence he came, Calvin has to lift his voice once he turns, enough to have it ring hollow off slick walls and moving water. "Seems to me like the sort've thing you might like to take care of personally."

"Perhaps one day." comes the rumble in return. Click, click, click. The points of Bao-Wei's claws rap in quick succession on the ground, ringing aloud. "If I ever have the opportunity, I will take it." Fitting as parting words? We shall see.

"Alright." Alright! Hell of a thing to say to a dragon on the subject of whether or not he will destroy (but not eat) a person should the opportunity happen to conveniently arise at some point. "See you around then, Doctor Cong." The scuff and crunch of Calvin's icy retreat continues there with a lingering look over his shoulder.

It isn't until he's much further away that his voice rings hollow back: "Try to cheer up a bit in the mean time, will you? I've heard sunlight's phenomenal for that sort've thing 'round this time of year."

That sounds an awful like something that Bella would say. The thought that this thought occurs to him sends a bristle over his feathery mane, and an askance swivel of his eye to the air in the tunnel. Bao-Wei grinds his teeth and juts his lower jaw out, mumbling to himself and climbing to his feet again.

"I think this calls for an old silk hat."


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