A Crappy Sales Pitch


daphne_icon.gif koshka_icon.gif

Scene Title A Crappy Sales Pitch
Synopsis Koshka's sales skills need work, but she may have gotten what she wanted anyway.
Date April 23, 2011

Eltingville Blocks

Leaving Harbor Court and the youth homes during the morning hours can be difficult unless one is determined enough, and with Koshka's renewed sense of perseverance she was up for the challenge. Waiting until most of the yard was busy with activity, she slipped through the gate that separates the youth facility with the housing meant for adults and real families and took to the streets. They'll know she skipped out again, she's been doing so a lot lately. But she's so far been given no reason to worry about what the adults and facilitators think.

Out in the streets the teen moves a little more easily, except for a definite limp marking her step. She'd memorized the way to her destination, figuring the shortest route possible to be street side the shortest, and it isn't too long since leaving Harbor Court that Koshka finds herself facing the home of Daphne, the speedster Delilah spoke of.

Staring at the house front for a long moment, Koshka's mind revisits her purpose for coming. A familiar wave of nervousness washes over her as she steps off the street and limps up to the front door. No idea if Daphne is even home, there's no sure way to tell without going up to the house, she takes a steadying breath. The teen's knuckles lift and knock against the door, soundly and lacking the timidity she feels.

On the other side of the door, Daphne is fresh out of the shower, newly bleached hair wet and being rubbed with a towel when the knock comes. The apartment's too small to take long to get to the door anyway but a second after the knock Daphne peers through the peephole to decide if she wants to open it to whomever's outside. She's not expecting company and she's not in the mood for any Jehovah's Witnesses or social workers unless someone's bringing her free stuff.

Koshka is not what she's expecting.

The door opens though only wide enough for the petite speedster to peer at the teenager. Daphne's in her cut-off sweats and a t-shirt, her bare feet giving a good view of the red-lit anklet around her ankle. "I don't have any money to buy Girl Scout cookies," she tells Koshka.

Edging a step back as the sounds of a door opening answer her knock, Koshka's head comes up to look at Daphne. Almost, she grins at the idea that she could be soliciting Girl Scout cookies. There's the smallest hint of some amusement to it. "I'm not… I don't have cookies. I… Delilah told me to…" She huffs on another breath, gaze dropping downward.

The anklet isn't missed, she's got her own hidden beneath the folds of a pant leg, nor is it unexpected. "Sorry. I'm… I'm Koshka. I was… Delilah said you… That I should meet you." Her tone indicates there might be more to it than just a simple meeting. A shrug lifts her shoulders, and her head comes up again as well.

A dark brow ticks up in curiosity and suspicion. "Delilah told you where to find me?" There might be the slightest annoyance in her voice — when she gave her address out, she didn't expect it to doled out to strangers. But then, she also didn't expect to let a stranger sleep on her couch, so plans are falling out the window left and right.

"Why exactly did Delilah think you should visit me?" Daphne leans in the doorway, arms crossing as she peers at the teen.

"She," Koshka begins, the word drawling out as it's spoken. Her brows furrow, pinching together at her own hesitation. "Her friend, my friend too, Sable? We… we have this thing to do." It's far more complicated than thing, but letting more be known than that could be dangerous. "She, Delilah, said you… you might…"

Another shrug follows. The teen had been told not to expect help, which leads to the anxiety of even asking. She glances back toward the street then up to Daphne again. "It's kind've a long story, and… not really the sort that should be shared where farm animals might here."

"A thing you have to do," Daphne repeats, eyes narrowing a little. Farm animals earns another arch of a brow, but then she gets it. Pigs. Cops. Whatever. She shakes her head but more at herself, adding a roll of her eyes as she opens the door wider to allow the teenager in to the bare and shoddy inside of the tiny dwelling.

"Come in. Make yourself at home. I'd offer you something but all I got is tap water," she says, gesturing to the thrift-store-quality couch for the teen to sit.

"Listen, I don't know what Delilah told you about me, but I'm probably not gonna be able to help you. If I could help you, I wouldn't be here, depending on what it is, unless maybe you need me to translate some French or something, and even then it's likely to be half wrong."

A grin, small and nervous yet thankful all the same, greets the offer to go inside. Koshka takes a couple of hobbled steps forward, sidling past the speedster and into the house. "That's okay. They… I'm good." There's a quick and polite look about the interior, as the teenager moves tentatively toward the couch. "I know it's… Here." Perching on the edge of the couch, she pulls back a pant leg to display her own tracking devise.

"Sable and… another friend, and I went with some kids from school." The explanation comes with Koshka eyeing the anklet for a moment, then drawing the denim of her jeans back over it. "We went across the fence, through the woods, and we found a house. And… I went back once. Now we're planning to go again."

Daphne perches on the coffee table to face the girl. Dark eyes drop down to glance at the anklet that at least means that Koshka is no more "free" than she is. "That doesn't mean we're gonna make super cool kids club or anything, you and me," she says with a nod toward the anklet.

"So what's in the woods and in a house that's worth breaking out for? Is that why you're limping? I've had enough of getting shot in the woods by robots before I got here. What is it you want, kid?" Daphne's arms cross herself defensively as she peers at the younger girl.

"I don't want to be in any club," Koshka states. "I thought… maybe it'd be sort of significant. Or… I don't know." She tenses, as though planning to leave again. But instead she only gives a small shake of her head and a look up at Daphne. Apologetic.

Going into the woods and playing cat and mouse with the robots is exactly what has crossed Koshka's mind more than once.

"I'm… I'm not entirely sure. We found some things." The teen folds her hands in front of her, forearms resting against her knees. Her eyes fall to her hands as she takes a moment to consider. "These things were… they were of people we know outside. And… they belong to a person living in the house. I'm limping because… one of the robots caught us the first time and it's needle thing tore open my calf. But I didn't meet any robots when I went alone, the second time."

"Bummer," Daphne says drolly. "I mean, on the calf thing, not that you didn't meet any the second time." Just to be clear. She's not the most warm hostess ever, but she's not wishing death by robot on her young guest, either.

She lifts a hand and wiggles her fingers in a beckoning gesture. "Out with it. I'd say I don't have all day, but I kinda do, I guess, but that doesn't mean beating around the bush is any less annoying, you know? You're killing me. So there's a house and there's stuff and what does any of this have to do with me?"

The girl shrugs slightly. "I kind've made it worse than it was. But I'll live." She looks up and regards Daphne for a long minute, fighting off a pang of anxiety that wishes to accompany the long procrastinated question. "I… I'm not sure the house or stuff has anything to do with you specifically. Honestly. I… I just know what we took from there. And that I'm bringing it back."

A pause follows, Koshka's eyes still resting on Daphne. "What… what I'd like to ask you is if you'd help. When Sable and I go back over, another person could be useful. Delilah said you're a speedster…"

"So you stole stuff, and now you're bringing it back and I'm supposed to go over the fence to help you do this…" Daphne says, brows furrowing as she scowls at Koshka. "If I was willing to go over the fence… I wouldn't be here, do you understand that? Why should you risk your life to return stuff you took in the first place? Why should I risk my life to help you do this?"

She's up on her feet and there's a blur for a moment before she's at the door, peering out, and back in front of Koshka, looming over her with hands on her hips. "I'm not a taxi service, kid, and I don't do charity. What's in it for me?"

Shrugs are all that answer the first series of questions. And a curious look as Daphne zips off and back, but no verbal answers from Koshka. When the speedster returns, her head tilts back to meet the woman's gaze, brows raising slightly. "I… I don't know. I don't have anything." Nothing of worth, some school books and a room in Harbor Court, she'd been more or less kicked out from the one safe house she'd been staying at in Eltingville.

"I guess…" Koshka sighs and stands. "Thanks for hearing me out, though. I thought I'd ask. I'll manage it alone though." She moves to edge past Daphne and toward the door. "Sorry for bothering you."

The speedster's eyes narrow, and she shakes her head. "You shouldn't go. You're already injured, and if robots come, you have no chance, kid. If they can catch me…" Her words cut off and she shakes her head, angry and bitter at that fact, clearly.

She looks away and doesn't meet Koshka's eyes. "Why's it so important to you?" Daphne asks, focusing on a spot. "Why's it worth risking your life to go back there? I didn't say no, I just want to know why you care so much, and why I should."

She chuckles and shakes her head. "By the way, you'd make a crappy salesman. It's a good thing you aren't selling cookies." Not like the Girl Scout cookies don't sell themselves, but a crappy pitch is a crappy pitch.

"I don't know why it's important," Koshka states, turning to look at Daphne. "But it's because I don't know that makes it important. There's answers there for… for the things we found. I made it there and back once, alone, and injured and without robots. I talked to one of the people who lives there. He knew things about the stuff that he couldn't have unless what he was saying was true."

"As for why?" The teenager watches Daphne, hands going into her pockets. Her tone turns more resolute after the brief pause. "You shouldn't. You shouldn't care and you shouldn't risk your life for me. No one should risk their life for me, and I hate asking. But I'm going, with or without help from anyone. It'd just be helpful to have someone who could maybe draw the robots away if we need to get back to this side of the fence."

Daphne's mouth screws up to one side as she listens, fingers of one hand tapping on the elbow of her other arm as she listens. Her dark eyes are averted and it seems it's all pointless.

But when Koshka says 'I hate asking,' Daphne's eyes dart back up to the teenager's face, and there's a flicker of understanding, a hint of connection.

The pixyish woman heaves a sigh. "Let me think about it," she finally says. "Don't go without talking to me first, all right?" she says, brows drawing together in what might be fierce if she wasn't maybe a mere inch taller than the teen.

Koshka's head dips in a nod, slight and hinting toward unspoken thanks. There's no relief though, just further, deeper worry over bringing anyone along on what's been deemed by everyone as a suicide mission. She doesn't want to test McRae's good graces at keeping the sentinels away any more than she has to when bringing others into the woods, nor does she want to lose what tentative trust she might have built with the Ted if he's not keen on strangers. "Thank you," she tells the speedster, "I… it's a lot to ask, but… thank you. I'll come by again, in a few days."

The older woman nods. "Don't thank me yet. I might still say no, but I'll think on it, anyway. And take a few days to heal up. And I donno how many people you're planning on bringing, but I can only help two at a time, just so you know, " Daphne says, nose wrinkling a little as she realizes with every word she speaks, her maybe is beginning to sound more like a yes.

"Also, don't tell anyone else about me, all right? I don't want every little daredevil at Harbor Court coming round asking me for speedster favors. I'm not a taxi service." She heads to the door to open it, glancing out to make sure none of the "farm animals" are watching.

"Just me and Sable," Koshka says with a shake of her head. "No one else. And I won't tell anyone else about you." So many promises. The teenager gives a small shrug as she follows to the door.

A look slants up to the woman, Koshka's brows drawing together. She'd like to retract her ask for help. Or at least have better answers to illuminate the amount of danger going back poses. Moreover, she'd go alone if people weren't intent on hanging onto the things that were stolen from the house. But instead of speaking, she pulls one corner of her mouth up in a not-quite grin as she steps outside. "See you in a few days," she promises, then heads for the street.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License