Culture Clash


luke_icon.gif smedley_icon.gif

Scene Title Culture Clash
Synopsis A country boy and a city boy meet, and the resulting clash nearly leads to one having his goose cooked and the other with a few bitemarks.
Date August 26, 2010

Sheung Wan Kitchen

It's not just the large selection that makes Sheung Wan Kitchen special - it's the quality, the sights, the atmosphere, and the friendly service. This is a very small restaurant with only a handful of seats in front of a large, flat counter where meals are prepared in full-view by some of the Rookery's more knowledgeable chefs. Stacked high against the far wall are wicker baskets full of dried sea creatures, mystery animal parts, deer antlers, wine with whole king cobras, heaps of herbs and twigs and tree barks. Although these are meant to go into the dishes that are served here, it is not impossible to haggle for them.

A large chalkboard behind the counter advertises the kitchen's special menu, though some items are more difficult to read than others. Most popular is the Tree Lizard Soup - cooked with yams, Chinese dates, ginseng, medlar, and something called tragacanth, which is reported to be good for asthma, colds, lungs and the heart.

Every restaurant experiences surges around the traditional western meal times, and the Sheung Wan Kitchen is no exception. Dock workers come in for a bowl of the chef's special, or whatever their favorite noon-time dish may be. Other daytime denizens of the Rookery wander through for a bite, some staying and some grabbing their food to go. That rush has ebbed by now, leaving few hangers on idly picking at their meals.

Wes Smedley is one of these. He sits at the far end of the counter, nursing what appears to be tea in a stained mug along with a bowl of mostly-noodles. His tan sport coat hangs on the back of his chair, leaving the two revolvers in the cowboy-styled holster around his waist in full view. The Rookery may be the only place left in Staten Island where a man can openly carry, with the reclaimed zone encroaching on old territories and the feds crawling through the Greenbelt.

Below Smedley's stool lies an old, white-faced mutt. He's either had his fill of table scraps from his master already, or he's given up trying to get them. The dog's eyes are closed, and an intermittent wheeze colors the in and out of his breathing.

Luke has a large variety of places he likes to eat. The other day it was sushi, today, well… this place. In he comes, and the first thing he notices is a dog. Then, he notices the guns, and then the guy packing them. "What, no spurs? Ten gallon hat?" yeah, mouthing off to someone armed is a great first impression. Is he trying to pick a fight? Luke claims a nearby table, likely wanting to heckle some more.

Truthfully, the revolvers and their holster are the only think Smedley wears that smacks of his origin. His belt buckle is nondescript. His shirt is a simple slate blue tee, and his pants aren't even Wranglers. He wears boots, sure, but they brown is dark, and the slight heel is only roughly half an inch. So when Luke makes his bold address, Smedley is slow to turn and look at him, his eyes cold. "Haven't hog-tied a calf 'n a long damned time, boy. You wanna break that spell for me?"

The challenge in Smedley's tone is clearly borne of an already rough day. And his voice has a distinct western edge to it. Smedley, whoever he is, was certainly not born on any coast. But a smuggler with merchandise he can't move on top of work he can't get for too much else running through his head is bound to make a man cranky. That, and his tea is cold by now. "Sure I can find some rope 'round here somewhere."

Luke smirks back at him. "Don't think we have any hogs or calves here, country boy. This is a city. Might find some fat housewife though." Luke's not doing anything to apologize to the man, whether it's by words or actions. Yep, trying to pick a fight.

"May be," Smedley says with a purse of his lips. "But your bawlin' an awful lot over there to not be a bullock. You step onna nail or somethin' bullock?" It's unlikely that the full intent of the insult will be lost on a city boy like Luke, so after a moment the older man simply shakes he head and turns back to his mostly forgotten meal. The dog beneath his stool lifts his head to look at Luke, his ears perked toward the younger man in what may be interest as much as it may be annoyance in being woken up.

"Well I guess to you country boys a woman and a cow aren't all that different, huh? You'd probably take both in the barn." ooh, snap. The dog is eyed again, and Luke shakes his head. "What kind of ignorant redneck brings a dog into a place where people are eating? It's probably getting fleas on everyone."

The dog growls, low and long, and is only stopped when Smedley knocks the sole of his boot against one of the stool's rungs. "Carson's cleaner'n your mouth," Smedley half-growls himself. He takes a deep breath after a swallow of tea, taking his time when it comes to setting the mug down, rising from his seat, turning around, and drawing himself up to his full height. He's not a small man by any means - over six feet and solidly built.

Smedley laces his fingers together and cracks his knuckles, eyeing Luke up and down. Sizing him up. "You must be new here," he says after a moment, a grin slipping into one corner of his mouth as if it had been there all along. "Think you can gain a little cred by takin' on someone like me." Not that Smedley is a big dog on the Staten Island smuggling block, but he certainly isn't small pickin's, either. The business he "inherited" was a regular and profitable one.

"I'm gonna give you one more chance to back down. I'll even buy you lunch, so as to keep these fine folk from havin' to clean up the mess I make'uh you."

Luke isn't exactly short, but he's certainly not six feet and built like a brick. However, he doesn't back down, and instead Smedley might feel a tingling on his skin, like he's about to get struck by lightning or receive a bad sunburn. "I don't know, is there any cred to be gained taking on a useless thug like you?" he retorts, pulling his hands out of his pockets.

One doesn't have to do business on Staten Island for very long before learning what it's like to be subject to someone's Evolved ability. Not that Smedley has ever encountered anyone like Luke before, but the strange tingling is enough of a harbinger to make him put two and two together. "I'm the thug," he says with an derisively amused sort of chuckle.

He runs his tongue over his teeth behind tightly held lips before he pulls them back to whistle, high, sharp, and quick. Carson crawls out from under the stool and is by his master's side in a moment, looking between Smedley and Luke, his body rigid with anticipation.

"I see you again?" Smedley says with a lift of his eyebrows and a tuck of his chin as he reaches back to grab his coat from the chair. "And your mouth ain't any prettier than it was today? I'll relieve you'uh the responsibility for keepin' it clean." He pulls his coat on in a series of rough movements, then reaches into an inside pocket to toss a few bills onto the counter. "C'mon, Carson," he mutters down at the canine before he turns toward the door, keeping his eyes on Luke until just before he crosses the threshold. Carson follows after the smuggler, his tail wagging lazily.

Luke glares down at the dog when it starts being all aggressive, and sneers. "Right. I'd like to see you try it." man, he thought the guy was going to punch his face off, that was close.

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