Advice From A Stranger


luther_icon.gif nadira_icon.gif

Scene Title Advice From A Stranger
Synopsis Luther fails to seize upon the opportunity of a (possibly) vulnerable target. But, he still comes out with results to show. Darn tourists.
Date June 28, 2010

Central Park

Central Park has been, and remains, a key attraction in New York City, both for tourists and local residents. Though slightly smaller, approximately 100 acres at its southern end scarred by and still recovering from the explosion, the vast northern regions of the park remain intact.

An array of paths and tracks wind their way through stands of trees and swathes of grass, frequented by joggers, bikers, dog-walkers, and horsemen alike. Flowerbeds, tended gardens, and sheltered conservatories provide a wide array of colorful plants; the sheer size of the park, along with a designated wildlife sanctuary add a wide variety of fauna to the park's visitor list. Several ponds and lakes, as well as the massive Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, break up the expanses of green and growing things. There are roads, for those who prefer to drive through; numerous playgrounds for children dot the landscape.

Many are the people who come to the Park - painters, birdwatchers, musicians, and rock climbers. Others come for the shows; the New York Shakespeare Festival at the Delacorte Theater, the annual outdoor concert of the New York Philharmonic on the Great Lawn, the summer performances of the Metropolitan Opera, and many other smaller performing groups besides. They come to ice-skate on the rink, to ride on the Central Park Carousel, to view the many, many statues scattered about the park.

Some of the southern end of the park remains buried beneath rubble. Some of it still looks worn and torn, struggling to come back from the edge of destruction despite everything the crews of landscapers can do. The Wollman Rink has not been rebuilt; the Central Park Wildlife Center remains very much a work in progress, but is not wholly a loss. Someday, this portion of Central Park just might be restored fully to its prior state.

Come time for the moon's rising, most park goers should be headed home for the evening. For those without, however, the park grounds theoretically is space for rent. As long as one avoids the authorities and keeps one's head down low, the world is survivable here.

Acquiring a hot meal is a wholly different matter. Luther's done it, though, or is in the process of. Isolated in a tucked-away corner of foliage, the man has himself the makings of a quiet repast. A crust of bread, a cigarette lighter, a book, and a can of Chef Boyardee make up his lot tonight. With his back turned to the world, though, he has more to hide. There's no fire, but the slightest glow of some kind of light emitting through the screen of bushes as it creates a soft framing halo and at the same time throws his face into contrasting shadows.

Nadira's got a place to go, if you can consider a motel a place to go. But she's not headed home just yet. Having had a few drinks, she's headed to the park, just for some air. Sure, might not be the /safest/ thing in the world, but she's still able to defend herself, a few drinks or not. Rubbing her arms a little, she slowly meanders her way through the park, taking in the evening air.

Luther glances up as the sound of footsteps interrupts relative silence. Like a prey animal scanning the horizon for the predator, he hones in on the movement. The light around him promptly fades away, and he rises to his feet slowly. Maybe she didn't notice… But what he notices is her gait, meandering and unconcerned of danger. Luther considers, watches from his position and waits for her to take the path that brings her closer to his position. Once she's close enough, he calls out to her, "Spare a buck, miss?"

Looking up, Nadira notes the call towards her, and she actually offers a bit of a smile. "I'm not sure I have much, but.." Fishing into her pockets, she pulls out a five, moving a bit closer to offer it up to him. "You're welcome to it. Hope it helps." She offers, not at all seeming concerned about the man's presence at all.

Luther smiles back, head ducking to appear as harmless as can be. As he spots the denomination, surprise lifts his brows - and his hand to receive it. Away goes the bill after the transfer, stuffed into a pocket deeply. "Thanks, miss. You, ah, you walking out here alone?" He skews his head to an off angle, studying her face, her manner. Must've had a drink or two already.

Despite the drink, Nadira seems fairly aware of her surroundings and awake, but she shakes her head a bit. "No, I'm supposed to be meeting a friend over on the other side of the park." Could be true.. or it could be a lie. After all, if someone was going to attack, they wouldn't want to attack someone that could have a potential witness or someone who would be missing them in the near vicinity. Either way, she still seems cheerful. She does seem nice enough.

Luther makes like he's checking a watch, nonexistant against his wrist. Even so, he taps a finger on his left wrist and notes with a slight smile, "Kind of late to be going out, isn't it?" This coming from a man on the street in the city that supposedly never sleeps. "Should hail yourself a cab. Would get you there faster. And safer." The way Luther speaks sounds a little like chiding, a little like foreshadowing.

"Heading back. I'm staying with a friend. Already done hanging out for the night." Nadira offers him a smile and perhaps a somewhat suspicious look. She glances at her watch. "My friend's waiting anyways. I hope the five helps you a bit. I know times can be tough. I'm unemployed myself."

"Haha, sure you are. Beautiful girl like yourself, unemployed," Luther laughs darkly, shaking his head. "And here you are handing me a fiver. I might be down, lady, but I'm not dumb." He rolls his shoulders back, eyeing the young woman up and down.

"Would you believe I've only just arrived in the city?" Nadira laughs a bit. "I'll be honest with you, I really don't have a job, but I know what it's like to do what you can to make money. So when I see someone that needs it, if I have some extra, I will give it. It's what I have left in change and you were the first to even have the courage to ask, so I gave it." She looks back over at him. "So, since I haven't been in New York terribly long, I am still looking for employment."

The quick bob of his head shows no question on his part about her stated claim. "Sure, I'll believe it. Considering you're giving me five bucks 'stead of a nickel, you must be out of town. Though I'm beginning to wonder if I should give it back." He narrows his eyes at the younger woman, still studying. "You're not jaded like the rest of us either, so that's gotta put you from somewhere else."

Another laugh. "I suppose I'm giving myself away a bit, then, simply by offering you money." Nadira looks back to him. "You could use the money, could you not? And what, that would have bought me only.. another drink? I think it's in far better hands at the moment." She looks to him. "It's a gift, and I hope you accept it as such."

"I'll take it then, gladly," Luther replies, a hand patting the pocket the money had been shoved into. "Just do me one more favor, eh? Don't go getting yourself mugged or worse before you meet up with your friend tonight." Advice dispensed, Luther steps a pace back to no longer interrupt her path.

"Appearances are deceiving, friend, and I think anyone trying to mug me will find I'm a lot more difficult of a target than they might realize." Nadira offers him a smile. "I'll be fine. I appreciate the concern. Most New Yorkers wouldn't offer it at all."

Deceiving appearances? All too true. "Guess I'm not most New Yorkers," Luther responds, his expression not quite a smile, but nowhere near a frown of concern either. "Make sure you take some vitamin B 'fore you go to bed. Heard it does good things for hangovers." Last bit of advice, honest. As if to take a big risk, he reaches out a somewhat dirty hand in offer of a parting shake. "Was nice meetin' you, miss."

Accepting the hand, Nadira smiles a little. "Thanks for the advice.. I'll make sure to. The name's Nadira. In case you were wondering, that is." She shakes the hand gently. "And maybe I'll run into you again out here?"

Contact with the hand proves to be at a heightened warmth, almost at a feverish temperature than normal. But, it could just be the heat of summer. At the offering of a name, however, the man seems to stall with indecision. He ultimately puts forth honesty, looking the woman in the face as he says, simply, "Luther." With that, he withdraws his clasping hand back to his side, gives her one final nod and turns to head back to where he's to sleep for the night in the shelter of the bramble.

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