Crunchy On The Outside


amadeus_icon.gif finch_icon.gif

Scene Title Crunchy on the Outside
Synopsis Not the most highly recommended way to get a job, or to make friends, but sometimes things just have a way of working out.
Date September 7, 2019

Ferrymen's Bay

Ferrymen's Bay is the center for immigration into the NYC Safe Zone. Formerly known as Jamaica Bay, this region was renamed in honor of the Ferrymen organization and their involvement in the SLC-Expressive rights battles of the last decade. This coastal neighborhood is filled with tenement buildings and overgrown wilderness spreading into the swampy environs of Jamaica Bay. Most residences here sustained foundation damage during the war and flood during spring months; electricity in the neighborhood is spotty due to work still needing to be done on the city's power infrastructure. The southern-most region of Ferrymen's Bay is dedicated to resettlement and immigration offices, bringing new settlers into the city daily. Though this neighborhood is often a settler's first look at the Safe Zone, it is not a favorable one. Considerable disrepair still mars many buildings here, and secondary streets sprout with new vegetation and undergrowth that needs to be trimmed back.

Much like his father before him, not many people know what Amadeus really gets up to on any given day. This is one such day of him doing things he would rather other people not be particularly aware of.

He pushes an old beaten up shopping cart stolen from some long bombed out supermarket down the street near one of the immigration residences of Ferrymen's Bay. There's all sorts of canned food, snacks, and quite a few perishables thrown in. It all seems unusually clean, like the kind of stuff one might find in some wealthy person's house.

But who's asking?

"Yo, where the immigrants at???" he calls out in front of the door of the obviously not in great shape building. "I got free food and shit! Uh, fuck, it's not actually shit that's just how we speak English okay?"

The few people hanging around who can hear him come to the cart, and he starts to hand some things out. He's well aware that things could go south if someone decides to be an asshole and tries to rob him, but Amadeus is no stranger to someone trying to rob him. That's why he's got a metal baseball bat hanging off his belt.

There is one person who does not immediately approach; Finch is standing just up the road, next to a pale green car that must once upon a time have had tires. It might not be a big surprise that she's not clamoring for food - after all, more or her appearance screams hipster than doesn't - but her attention is on Amadeus all the same.

In pale jeans and loose white shirt, the straps of her blue backpack looping back over and around her shoulders, she watches him while something only just curls the corners of her mouth upward. As more and more people come away with their loot, she finally thinks of something he can offer her.

With that thought in mind, she takes a step forward, and then another. The next few have a bounce to them, as her expression blooms into excitement she does not feel the need to hide. She's barely even within earshot when she asks, loudly and while cheerfully raising an arm, "What's your name?!"

"Amadeus. What's your cute ass name?" Amadeus asks as he looks down into the cart, reaching in to pull out a little net of Baby Bell cheese. "You want this fancy ass cheese? It's got wax on it, that's the kinda shit rich people eat." he explains as the cart seems almost entirely empty now, people starting to disperse.

"It's Finch!" She calls back, smile brightening as she arrives shopping-cart side. Her eyes are drawn to the cheese, and something about either it or his question draws a laugh out of her, but… somehow the cart is what holds her attention more than anything else.

She waits for someone else to make space, then reaches to press a palm against the cold metal, bending forward. The backpack on her back slouches to one side as its weight is redistributed. "What a great name, Amadeus. Where's that from?"

"I ain't ever met a Finch before. But when you smile that's kinda what I think of, like, your cheeks are doin' a Finch." Amadeus thinks on his name for a moment, he sure doesn't know how to answer a question like that in the way she intends. "I was named after the music guy. One of those old dead music dudes. I never even heard of him. Like, there's Beethoven, Mozart… who the fuck is Amadeus anyway? I don't fuckin' know."

He tosses the cheese in her direction for her to catch, then leans against the cart handles, examining her face. "Why you out here by yourself? You need a weapon?"

Seemingly happy to listen to Amadeus' answer, Finch runs her hand along the shopping cart, inspecting it like it's the first one she's ever seen. At least, until there's cheese headed her way.

She straightens with a start, and the Baby Bells are fumbled in a jumble of failing reflexes until finally, she catches it properly with a quiet, victorious aha! When she looks back up at Amadeus' face, it's only cursory — because what are these little cheeses? She must investigate, curiosity clear across her expression as she pries carefully at the net. "A weapon? Gosh no, I don't need a…"

… Her face comes back up again, for her to stare up at Amadeus, curiosity turned a little less playful and a little more concerned as she asks, "Do I need a weapon?"

"If you're walking around by yourself in this city? A fine ass girl like you? Yeah you need a weapon. Some self-defense skills too if you don't got 'em." Amadeus reaches into his hoodie, pulling out a taser that he sparks a few times. "I've got this thing. But it ain't free." He leans against the shopping cart again, looking left to right, then back at her. "I've got a small job if you wanna earn this thing."

Still holding the net of cheeses like some sort of precious treasure, Finch's eyes widen at the sparks of the taser. For a moment, her grip on the cheeses tightens, and she looks like she might step back in order to leave. But instead, she shifts her weight and offers Amadeus a narrow-eyed stare as her smile returns, confident and sincere. "Is this a crime thing?" She asks, head lolling to one side, "Because this feels like a crime thing."

"Nah I ain't havin' some cute ass girl do crimes. If some dude asks you to do crime then you come tell me and I'll beat his motherfuckin' ass." Amadeus assures as he slides the taser back into his hoodie, then pulls out a small notepad, writing an address and number on it before tearing it off and handing it over to her. "Come to the dojo. You clean it for a week and do some basic training and then you get a taser. You keep coming back to do chores after that and you get food and training."

If Finch has any reservations about knowing she's cute, she's certainly not showing it. The swearing she could probably do without, but that's a different story.

One hand relinquishes the cheeses so she can accept the note, while observing aloud, "I don't think I'd be very good at crime, anyway." She scans the written words and number but then peers back up at the details of the job described. "… A dojo?" She starts calmly, but her words pick up speed like they're rolling down a hill soon enough: "Like… like from the… movies with the… fighting! In - there's rivals and bosses and stuff! And tea and dummies made of wood and kids who need a place to stay! Right?" Whatever familiarity she has with the subject, she might well have stars in her eyes for how much joy it seems to bring. She's barely even remembering to breathe, clutching the cheeses to her chest. "There's dojos, here?! Of course I'll come see! I'll work my butt off if I can help!"

"Well yeah, if you can help with the kids that'd be great. And if Zhao shows up definitely hide, he usually just shows up to beat my ass. I do martial arts and shit." Amadeus suddenly jumps and does a quick spinning heel kick over the shopping cart, before landing again. "And I got tons of movies and shit, I started collecting them during the war. Was hard to find that shit and save it."

"If you can help out, you're gonna learn martial arts." He motions to the cart. "Get in the shopping cart. You got a place to stay?"

Some of this is definitely going over Finch's head, but she doesn't seem to particularly mind, enraptured by the words either way. It's the kick, though, that has her actually gasp, and momentarily seize up at the sudden movement. But almost immediately, she explodes with outward movement again, the piece of paper and cheeses both getting THRUST up into the air in an absolutely baffled but delighted cheer.

He's barely even told her to get in the cart and she's already vaulting awkwardly over its edge like she was thinking about doing so from the moment she saw it, landing ass first with her feet sticking awkwardly up and over. "I do! The shelters? Where the new immigrants go, that's me!" She clamps her hands up on the sides of the cart and peers up at Amadeus again, with too much of a smile for the place she's talking about. "They're not that great right now but I'm gonna make 'em better."

"Well let me know if you need some asses beat around here." Amadeus turns the cart around, then starts casually walking away. "Me-ow, we're gettin' the fuck outta here and I'll introduce you to my sifu."

"I don't know what that is," Finch replies, voice as determined as it is rattled from being wheeled down the uneven path, "but I'm so ready."

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