Dinner Conversation


jaiden_icon.gif felix_icon.gif

Scene Title Dinner Conversation
Synopsis Felix and Jaiden meet up and discuss Frontline, Registration, and Citizenship
Date August 7, 2010

The Nite Owl

Description of location, if any.

He's been coming here for twenty five years. Through high school and college, through the first years in the NYPD uniform. As a Fed. And now he's here, for the first time, in the black uniform of FRONTLINE. No glasses, beard shaved off, hair buzzed nearly to the scalp. It leaves him looking oddly vulnerable and uncomfortable, even as he sits at the counter and kibitzes idly with a matronly-looking waitress.

The bell hanging over the door chimes quietly as someone makes his way through the door. A man, dressed simply in jeans and a button-down work shirt, enters the 24 hour restaurant with a spring in his step. "G'day." he calls out to the hostess as he enters, the waitress, the cook in the back, and anyone else who decides to look over, his accent a heavy Australian one, before sliding into one of the seats at the counter, a couple of empty ones separating him from the black-garbed man with the precisely-groomed scalp. "How 'bout you, mate? Things going okay with you t'night?"

Apparently he hasn't gotten the memo. New York is not a friendly town, in general.

Which is why Fel eyes him for a moment, almost skeptically. Not displeased, not annoyed, just bemused. "PRetty good," he allows, after a moment. Like he wasn't certain. "And you?" His own accent's an odd mingling of Brooklyn and Moscow, and his eyes are tired. The waitress hustles over to pour Jaiden coffee.

"Thankee, love." Jaiden lifts the freshly filled coffeecup in a bit of a toast before taking a sip, grabbing one of the battered laminated menus from where it lives behind the napkin dispenser and flopping it open on the counter. "I'm doing well m'self. Can't complain. Had a nice lunch with a mate of mine, did some work on some cars, and now here I am, getting some dinner. All and all a successful Saturday." The menu is flipped over, the back scanned quickly. "You wear that uniform like a set of church clothes. They fit you, but you don't look that comfortable just yet. Did you just get out of the service, or are you in one of them special departments bouncin' around here and there that we read about in the papers?"

One corner of his lip lifts in an sneer, but it's more amused self-deprecation than anything else. "The latter. I just got transferred in to FRONTLINE, and I guess it shows," he says, sweeping a hand at himself as if to demonstrate. The waitress just shakes her head, expression almost disapproving. Fel glances at her sidelong, and shrugs, before reaching for the sugar shaker - he dumps an unholy amount into his own coffee.

No sugar in Jaiden's coffee. Black as night and twice as strong. "Good on you, mate. It's a hard job that needs to be done sometimes. Just wish the uniform was a little less conspicuous, you know? Mabye the FRONTLINE logo sprayed on the front and back of the chest in bright gold so everyone can see." He chuckles. "Military uniforms are always the same - black is imposing, so let's go with that."

Felix rolls his eyes. "Yeah. Tell me about it. Urban camo might be nicer, but…black is what they chose. The armor looks even weirder. I feel like I wandered onto the set of some sci-fi action movie. Like the eighteenth Alien, or whatever. AT least we don't have to wear capes."

"Didn't you hear? That's the latest fall model." Jaiden chuckles and waves a hand to get the waitress's attention. "Didn't they see the Incredibles?" When the waitress does approach, Jaiden orders a hamburger and fries - a simple quick dinner, before turning his attention back to Felix. "Is it comfortable, at least? Heavy? The flak jacket I used to wear caused me to sweat out 20 kilos of water every time I spent a patrol with it on."

"Exactly," says Felix, as the waitress sets a bowl of soup and a side of toast before him. "It is comfortable. But the armor's custom made. Has to be. I destroyed the first pre-made set they tried on me. None of the heavy plates." He eyes Jaiden. "What force were you with?"

"Australian Special Forces." Jaiden replies after taking a mouthful of coffee, pushing his cup aside now that the caffeine is starting to pulse through his veins. "Retired, thanks to a training accident that wasn't my fault."

Felix takes surprisingly delicate mouthfuls, at first, before really setting to with enthusiasm. "I'm sorry to hear it. I've….never really been a soldier before, myself. And honestly, with any other force, I'd be too old to start." Another shrug. "But they asked me, so, here I am."

"For me, it was either hit the military or go into the family business, and to be perfectly frank, cattle ranching wasn't my cuppa, if you catch my meaning. So I joined up and took to it like a fish to water. And don't feel too bad. It happened, I got a pension, no-one was killed, and I've moved on to different things." Jaiden looks up as his burger is put in front of him with a *clink* of porcelain against the worn countertop, giving the waitress a grin as he slathers some catsup over his fries.

"You must bring something to the table that they can use, otherwise they wouldn't ask." He holds a fry up, looking it over before he speaks. "Not used to having out there on your sleeve, are you? Bein' a member of FRONTLINE means you're evo, and that uniform don't do much to hide the fact." *chomp* The fry is devoured. "It's like when I was in Iraq during the 2nd gulf war, taking pictures. When I was in my scrubby clothes, I was anonymous. When I was with the troops, in 'uniform' as a photog….I felt like there was a target as big as Uluru on my back."

"I've been out for a long time," Fel says, quietly. "But you're right. I was never wearing a little yellow star on my sleeve before, either." HE cocks his head, blue eyes keen. "You were a photographer?" He's set his spoon down, for the moment.

"Were. Still am." Jaiden grins. "Not professionally, anymore. I spent most of my time in what I like to call 'underdeveloped or troubled nations,' taking photos and telling the stories that really never got out like they should. I think I've still got a price on my head in North Korea, as a matter of fact." Jaiden sighs softly and shakes his head in the negative.

"Registration. Bloody awful, that. Don't get me started on my views on that. A sore subject that'll ruin a good meal and kill my appetite."
Felix's lips tighten at that, but he nods. It's an odd position for someone so overtly serving the US government to take….but clearly, he doesn't like it one whit, either. "Yes. Well-intentioned, and generally a disaster, thus far."

Jaiden takes a decent-sized chunk out of his burger, chewing and swallowing before speaking again. "You know how I knew where the story was? I looked for the most miserable, repressive place I could find and went there." The burger is placed gently down on the plate, the guy giving a sigh. "Anyway…what's your name, mate? Or should I just call you Fronty?"

Felix wipes his hand hastily on his napkin, and then extends it. IT's spidery in its thinness - while he seems fit enough, the Russian doesn't have that sleek, muscled look one'd expect of someone in special forces. "Felix Ivanov," he says, simply.

"Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Felix. I'm Jaiden Mortlock." His hand is strong and calloused, stained in places with grease and transmission fluid, but clean as he pumps it once and then lets go.
"A pleasure, Mr. Mortlock," Fel replies, quietly. "What brought you to America. Have you been here long?" he wonders, politely, before nibbling at his toast.

"The bomb brought me here. Just another story. But then I decided to stay." Jaiden shrugs lightly and goes back to eating. "A few years. Long enough to start my paperwork on getting citizenship. Before all this started to happen."

"I sympathize. Though I got my citizenship twenty five years ago," Fel says. "I wasn't in the city for the bomb. I'd been transferred out to Seattle."

And the pair share stories until the meal is done.

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