For Lack Of Zombies


christian_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title For Lack Of Zombies
Synopsis For lack of zombies, the small hours of morning are privvy to Christian tracing and pummeling down Teo's door to ask him what he thinks about Feds getting in touch with terrorists, which said terrorist finds momentarily terrifying for unoriginal reasons.
Date November 7, 2008

Teo's Apartment, Harlem

College student. Means odd hours, a lack of solid direction, and categorically stupid behavior nine times out of ten. Teo managed to eat three packs of ramen and take Pila out for a flight in the bathroom, and walk to and fro across his tiny apartment about fifteen times, each journey timed almost perfectly to the shriek of NYPD squad cars pursuing violence across Harlem's stagnating streets. He's tired, and he has to see Romero tomorrow, and he suspects he's coming down with something. He saw a girl die tonight. Worse things approach on an indistinct event horizon. He ought to go to bed.

He doesn't. It's not nightmares or anything; Teo got rid of those the first week in pulling bloated corpses out of the Hudson River, a month after the blast, after the nth skin sloughed off in his hands like a swimsuit meshed of porous, sticky cells. Not nightmares. It just doesn't seem like time. He cleans out Pila's cage, mumbles a hasty apology when she grouses at his constant nocturnal interruptions, too little too late for his earlier abandonment; rereads Naoya's The Paper Door, checks up on his latest batch of food stamps, then—

—calls Agent Christian Douglas Powell. It turns out to be woefully anticlimactic, that move. The ringtone drones on until the last bar of his cellphone dies out. He makes a face at it, cross-legged on the floor, and tosses the thing onto the couch, leaning the back of his head against the door. The chipped paint scratches his scalp.

Yeah see thing bout that, considering this is Christian its no mere phonecall. A long lingering call at late hours, and then the cell signal died entirely and hadnt come back on. Something had gone wrong, something had gone drastically wrong and Teo was bleeding out in a ditch or a gutter or had contracted Ebola or maybe his house was haunted. Well ok Ebola was a long shot, but anyway in Chris's eyes Teo's little call means something bad. So really its out of concern that he shows.

It's a decent response time considering he had to upload Teo's address to his GPS, while he didnt know precisely where the signal had originated from he did know what celltower took the call and he knew it was right outside Teo's place. So like whatever AM it is by now, and Chris gives a rap on the door. Helmet hung from his hand, and the deadly green sling bag slung over his back. He was entirely unsure as to what he might find, but the concept of there being some sort've fight is entirely within the realm of possibilities. Zombies too, zombies are also within the realm of possibility.

Honestly, a voicemail message with the term 'Federal Communications Commission' would have been jarring enough to Teo's fatigue-frayed sanity; enough, perhaps, to warrant him hang up once and try again later. A knock on his door, at this hour, hits him like a punch in the back of his head. Literally: he had left his skull leaning there, moving only so far as to stretch one foot across the room and snag his phone charger and put that in, after a moment's stewing exasperation, and then retrieve the Naoya's collection from the armrest. It's nice, having a small place.

Until it suddenly leaves one with the nut-kicking sensation that you've been boxed into a corner. He rockets upright, swivelling around on bare feet to stare accusingly at the door, backing away, rapidly, then slowly, then sideways, scowling as he retrieves his P-104 from some unimaginable place. When the door does not blow down before a horde of gangsters or, indeed, zombies in anything approaching a timely fashion, he approaches it.

Peers through the peephole, and blinks. Squints. Stares. Resisting the urge to evade the Feds out a window, he stuffs the .45 into the waist of his pants, yanks both of his sweaters down over it, and turns two of two locks, an expedient clunk-and—clunk, then opens the door 'til it bounces off the end of its chain. A blue eye peers out of the dark. "…Si'gnor?"

Christian seems immediately relieved "Keee-rist son, ya'll alright? I got the message ya'll had ringed me and I was in the neighborhood, I reckoned it would be right neighborly to check in and make sure everything was alright."he peers in a touch, narrowing his gaze before looking back to Teo"Ya'll are alright, aint'cha?" Well actually he was -almost- in the neighborhood, He was in Felix's old place now and technically he'd been in the afternoon half the afternoon.

It's difficult to tell from just the one slice of visible face what Teodoro thinks about that. Nothing bad, evidently; he's perversely awful at hiding his thoughts on any given subject whenever he isn't specifically trying to lie. "I'm fine, I'm— just really surprised." he admits, though he's hard-pressed to sound entirely offended. He's a little past taking altruistic post-midnight drop-ins at face-value, but he's Catholic enough to leave open the possibility that that's exactly what this is.

And if it isn't, leaving Christian installed in a hallway that smells like mothballs melted in cat urine wouldn't help his subterfuge any, he's aware.

"Hold on a moment?" Smile, then the door shuts. Metal slides on metal and he wrests it back open, granting Christian a slot's view into his decidedly humble abode: a couch he inherited from a crack and Adderall dealer, a bird cage hanging by the window and covered in cloth to block out the dim light from the age-blistered ceiling, kitchen and living room sharing the same stretch of floor broken only by a stain or three. He isn't invited in, but just not yet. "Pardon my paranoia," Teo says, the corners of his mouth turned up, "but how'd you find my apartment?"

It's a farmer John thing, honest. Old habits and all that shit. "I'm the FCC, I do phones. I got your address as it was attached to your phone number, I reckoned ya'll were either home or lost cuz I don't know where else to look."He offers a soft smile, not surprised, annoyed or otherwise bothered a bit by the humble apartment Teo calls home. "I aint gonna make ya'll entertain me, I just got worried and was nearby. "Admittedly, Chris feels somewhat sheepish now that he's actually here and in front of Teo. Clearly he didn't have Ebola, though ghosts tended to be pretty sneaky so they could be yet lurking. "I'm uhm…" he paused, suddenly entirely uncomfortable. "I should probably just slip go home and shit, but uh what'd ya'll need me for?"

Instantly, embarrassed edges Teo's head in pink: his turn to go sheepish this time. "Ehhhh," he rubs the back of his head with one hand only half-swamped by the sleeve of his sweater. "College student, you know how it is. Hours are irregular as fuck. I was just trying to get your voicemail, let you know I was on for learning about ham radio. If you're still willing to teach," he adds with the mild haste of one compensating for a potentially insulting assumption, though whether because he's used to being left to study alone or because he's armoring himself from disappointment is difficult to say.

His irises gradiate subtly between a bluebell shade and sapphire, either changing sentiment or considering Christian's. He's as unembarrassed by his apartment as his might-be guest is. "Want a beer?"

"Totally," comes Chris's response, instant even. "I wouldnt know, I never did the college thing. It was farm, army and now the FCC."he explains simply, following Teo inside when prompted to do so. "Yes though, I would be more than happy to accomodate. I dont have my laptop with me, I was at work but I can get you to some websites where you can get an overview. I have trouble figuring out questions until I know a little."

As soon as he says it, he regrets it. Its a slip of the tongue he's already kicking himself over. If he was at work why didnt he have his laptop, and why didnt he pick the phone up. This cover story is going to have to quickly get far more complicated. "Hey would you mind if I asked you a crazy question, ya'll are the only one I know in town and all so it aint like I got anyone else to ask."

Nor do federal agencies own office space in Harlem. Everyone knows that. If they did, the place would be so much less of a sty.

It's not especially difficult mental arithmetic, even for 3 AM in the morning and after a day of Hell in every industry that Teo technically holds a job in. His face goes slightly stiff. Fortunately, that can be blamed on the refrigerator's cold interior, which he's held open for himself to peer into in search of alcoholic refreshment. He shuts it with his knee and turns toward Christian, doesn't bother to conceal or change the quizzical expression on his face; the other man's question makes room for that. "Only if I can reciprocate," he answers, proffering a bottle with a smile. That's only a little sauce.

He was half expecting a colt 45, so PBR is almost a relief. Anyway, he can sense things are going sideways. He was intelligent enough to realize when his own social ineptitude was about to explode, so he just sort've dumps the act for a minute. "A college of mine in the FBI and I were just discussing the whole evolved political situation as it relates to terrorists."He sips his beer, but clearly he aint finished just yet."Now I reckon I ain't as worldly as some, but I dont seem to recall when a violent terrorist campaign ever succeeded against the government. Now down in Columbia, where I was posted before here the government opened up talks with FARC. You know now FARC has all these little arms and splinters, some more reasonable than others. The Hardcore original dudes are pretty non-violent when it comes to anyone not wearing uniform, and they sorta felt these young pups who were doin alla this ransom mess were hurtin business. So we set up a line of communication, to let the oldskool rat out the newskool. Anyway, we were discussing the possibility of using a newspaper ad to offer access to a secure line of commo. Now, morally would you call that wussing out or bein reasonable?"

Teo feels like he just got shot in the head. And the projectile, whatever it was, took out the pain centers in his brain and left nothing but jello-like protein globs loosely pieced together and quivering in utter shock. What? What? Who says that? Less than half a year ago, a .45 probably would have been his answer, but he's had enough time to think about it and act the part since that fateful day in the hardware aisle. Half the people who live in this building own firearms, licensed or otherwise.

The two who would actually shoot a Federal Agent have been to prison before and didn't figure things out in the duration. Teo's not about to do that. Actually, he doesn't do anything for a protracted moment, staring at Christian as if he just ripped a moulded latex mask off his face and announced his intent to wed Katie Holmes at a Scientologist altar.

He feels rather out of his depth. His beer hangs in his hand and he feels like his brain is blinking rapidly, trying to clear itself. "I…" he stalls insipidly. "I don't… I wouldn't know better than an FBI Agent. Morally?" he examines that word from a wary distance. Behind, his thoughts stagger, whine, begin to race. "Morally— I don't know what 'pretty non-violent' means." Other than that you don't shoot cops in your living room. Also applicable: try to avoid getting shot by a cop in your living room.

Lucky for Teo, Christian reads more confusion that surprise. "well, I'm told that these Pariah people splintered. Now I am totally for the whole, not negotiating with terrorists and all that mess. I have to be honest, I have some significant moral qualms with the idea of talkin to these splintered off parts."he shrugs some, sipping at his beer. He wasnt very good at articulating his thoughts, he knew that much already. "still, theres the whole greater good to look after. So what do you reckon, as a worldly educated man. My own moral compass is a little off yaknow, I spent so long takin orders I'll admit some insecurity with the concept of providing my own judgement with such things as nebulous as morality."
Fact of the matter, he needed to get word out that the FBI was looking to make contact with Phoenix and its not like Christian could chat with even his own peers about the issue. Everything was segmented, everyone was isolated and there was no doubt he'd been sent here because he was evolved. In a world where you could never just tell people what you wanted, that's exactly what Christian found himself needing. Direction from somewhere, his bosses ideally but things don't work that way.

Teo needs to move to a bigger place, he decides. Perhaps the roommate idea was good. Bigger place. Less claustrophobic. He isn't reading the other man very well right now; he could question any given sentence that Christian says a dozen times and come up with two dozen different possibilities. He doesn't. Stops that train of thought before it rear-ends the one ahead. "I watched their thing on YouTube," he says, slowly, finally cracking his beer open on the nearest surface. Kitchen counter.

There's maybe three and a half whole feet of it. "Sounds like some of them think that terrorism's horse shit, if their take on anti-Evolved terror is any indication. I don't put it past people to be fucking hypocrites, but it means something if you're compelled to fight for something. In-fighting applies." He also suspects, tenuously, that what Christian's doing applies too. Tactlessly and painfully short on resources, perhaps, but meaningful.

"I think what you're trying is right." If— if. He doesn't mention the ifs. "Morally. But— practically? I think, even if you're fractured, those PARIAH— Phoenix— whatever you want to call them, they had a lot of common enemies. Maybe they still do. It's hard to tell with Rickham in the saddle now, eh, amico? They might still disagree with what you stand for more than what each other do." He shuts himself up with his PBR.

Christian offers a shrug. "Practically this is a clusterfuck, there's no way for the FBI to talk to them in the first place. They dont know anything dude, which makes it pretty tough to say hello. Even if they get ahold of them, how you'd convince them that this was a legit attempt to make good faith contact? You know its some special sort of clusterfuck when people start talking to me, because my security clearance went poof when I retired. Anyway, what'd you wanna ask me?"

"I think I'm going to save my question up for later," Teo offers with a reasonable facsimile of politeness. There's a smile, then. Abrupt, crooked; makes him look younger, more the reckless boy instead of the tired and perplexed young man. It probably isn't the beer, unless he's an utter lightweight; can't be traced to any specific thing Christian said. "When I can think of something of equivalent 'what the fuck,'" the curse slung casually, without emphasis or intent to offend.

"Where 'what the fuck' has become an adjective. But I guess, any thought experiment worth doing ought to be that way. Nietzche and Zizek are. Marx, too practical." He pads across the floor, bare feet ticking audibly against the false wood. "Graffiti might go over well," he says, glancing at the bird cage.

It teeters gently, almost imperceptibly; Pila shifting irritably in her sleep. "'When in Rome' is the phrase, no?" He looks back at Christian, long fingers shifting around the bottleneck; he grasps it between his ring finger and middle. "I— guess good faith kind of implies you'd make a show of faith. Which sounds fucking dangerous, if you ask me," spoken as if he's well-aware that the older man had done no such thing.

Christian stays where he is, letting Teo walk out've his immediate vision for a moment or two before tuning to track his friend. "Yeah well, I dont know what the fuck they're expecting me to do about it. If they wanted a wire tap, I could wire tap but they expect the whole body of the FCC to just generate all this information and shit. This is the NSA's thing, we're just gettin shit because the NSA wouldnt agree and my bosses will. "he frowns, how irritating. "anyway, I can get you some ham manuals to start with but ya'll should check out ARRL and stuff. They have a little fake test you can take with all the questions on it, which makes it a little easier to study. Morse is the tricky part, but its not part of the test."

A slight grimace crosses Teo's face, part altruistic concern and part personal headache. A wire-tap sounds perfectly awful. As it is, he's going to have to watch where he calls from like a hawk and get Hana the information off this fellow's card so she can make sure he doesn't— or they don't— or nothing untoward happens on the wireless. He wants to ask questions; gets the sense that an average civilian wouldn't. What boss? Name? Social security number? Does he hold Linderman stock? Fuck it. "Wear armor," he suggests, awkwardly. Armor. It wouldn't help, but the thought might count. "I mean, I don't know you well, but…

"I'm from Sicily. An honest cop who isn't afraid to lose some teeth and do the job with the bare essentials — or less — is hard to come by." He offers a clink of bottles. "And thanks. For all the advice so far." On ham radio. He considers it in silence for a protracted moment, forcing his mind to shift from one topic to the next. "Do I have to take the tests and certs and shit? I mean, it doesn't sound like you did that, fourteen years old on the farm."

Christian isnt so sure about loosing teeth. "I was a soldier, did the army thing. I'm pretty damned sure I gave enough, I dont wanna have to wear no jacket or do this bullshit. I retired so I could play with radios, and yaknow Teo this isnt exactly all going according to plan. "he gives a quiet moment there, that bit was amongst the more honest things he's said in a long time. "Yaknow when I got out the NSA wanted me really hardcore for awhile, noshit. Yaknow army radio operators are in real short supply, its a really desirable skillset if you wanna work in the NSA. I was pretty tempted for awhile too, yaknow I get access to -the- most sophisticated electronics intelligence network in the world. Get an air conditioned office, I get to be like average joe and shit. If I have to loose teeth to bring in some fucker with a bomb, ok fine whatever thats how things go. Yaknow though, it aint the teeth I'm worried about losin when you start acting like the DHS's personal wiretap bitch though."He huffs, the ISA or the FCC what'd it fucking matter.

He wasn't a god damned spy he was a counter-terrorist, he was a radioman. Give him a rifle and tell him who the bad guy is, he couldn't lie worth a fuck and he didn't want to improve neither. He just wanted to do his job, not be a fucking fed. "Yes though, tests. I didn't need a license because I didn't transmit, you don't have to have a license to listen. That's how we can get away with number stations and shit, you -do- need one to talk to people however and if study enough to know how to listen you can pass the test. Its really easy, most people can pass it after about ten minutes of study."

"No citizenship," yet, "no interest," Teo reassures the older man, before fading into silence, listening to Christian vent — rant — speak his piece with the intent silence of a young man who hasn't seen as much, isn't sure he'd want to, but finds listening just as intriguing. Stories. There are books scattered throughout the apartment, on business, education theory, psychology, but a multitude of paperback fiction and poetry too.

And in innumerable languages, though it might be too dark and blurry a time of evening to notice that much. Naoya, Borges, both Murakamis, Garcia Marquez, and Hein. He likes to read and he likes to listen perhaps as much as he likes to talk. He also likes malcontents. Less because they're useful to Phoenix's cause— though there's probably that, somewhere; he wasn't assigned to handle strategy and logistics just because he's blonde when his hair growns long enough— than because he can understand that.

Or come as reasonably close to understanding as a human being ever does to the next. "I'll do it in five," he promises, sticking his hand in his pocket, bending his mouth around a cocksure grin. Youth, in all its insomniac bachelor glory. A beat's pause, a backward step from irreverence. Sincerity makes him solemn. "Troppo cattivo. That's rough, that you have to go through all that. Must be hard on your family."

Christian rolls back, easing his his shoulders against anything before proceeding to slouch in a highly practiced manner. "Shit, I ain't seen my Maw'n Paw since I left. I don't know if they're even still alive, Got two brothers I know for sure but they don't wan' nothin' to do with me. When I got my first deployment, I sent'em some European bills and photos and big letters. Few pages to each, I'd have called but we didn't have no phone. They came back in a big envelope, and a short little slip explainin' I was no longer apart of the family and didnt none wanna talk with me."he shrugs, seeming still more curious than broken up. "Still I reckon I knew what was gonna happen, ain't no huge loss. Still nuff bout me, why don't we just focus on gettin' ya'll licensed? What country ya got citizenship in, not none'eh this visa bullshit neither yaknow?"

The corner of Teo's mouth toys upward: mockery. The good-natured kind. "Eh, amico, it doesn't seem like you've had 'nough about you. Honestly. Small talk never hurt anybody, even if it is…" a quizzical sideways glance down at the cellphone beaming up from the couch. "…this time of morning. Really, it seems right to know something about you, with the grandly-conceived rescue efforts and how much you know about me."

…or something. "Should've guessed," he adds, after a moment. Raises his hand in a gesture, tapping his thumb against his own empty ring finger: no family. Teo doesn't mean to intrude or otherwise be rude, though; doesn't pursue that line of questioning.

Motions instead for the man to seat himself on the crack dealer's gift of furniture. "But suit yourself. I can focus." Despite having a good deal of trouble doing exactly that over the past few weeks, he isn't lying about that. Only after Christian's put his butt down does Teo do too: drops himself on the floor, cross-legged, bare feet flattened against his pant legs. Padawan salutes master. Or his neck's cramped from reading for so long. "I have my citizenship in Italy. Would that be a problem?" he inquires, cautiously.

It takes a minute for Chris to get comfortable, pausing now to unzip his motorcycle jacket. Now at this point, he'd be surprised if Teo much fretted over the Smith at his hip. Anyway. "Naw, some countries have bizarre regulations bout ya'll learnin' such things in foreign countries. For others, Like Georgia as of late we can license you but the government would arrest you back home under the espionage act because amateur radio is not allowed there."he shrugs. " The tests are language specific, and country specific but we have reciprocity with Italy so you'll actually be getting an Italian license which is valid inside the United States."

Half of Teo's beer has moved from inside the bottle to inside Teo, by now. He's never really understood the sentimental American infatuation with rawhide and a flat beer; he'd rather get rid of his before it goes tepid and flat. He nods at this information. His eyes didn't stray to Chris' sidearm except briefly, blinking without obvious recognition of its somewhat prostandard model or make, before shifting back to the older man's face. "Wow.

"So the state of Georgia has a bit of a stick up…" Teo doesn't finish that sentence, gesturing abstractly before fading into a meaningless grin. "I understand. That's good." A knot appears in his brow, considering; he's young enough that his earnestness doesn't look altogether stupid. "Do I have to go to an embassy to put the paperwork through?"

Christian nods softly "Yes, and the paper documents will have to be hand delivered to my peers in Italy. Its a very long involving process actually, would normally take months. Normally however, people don't know guys like me so I think a phonecall will be sufficient on my end and we should be able to get you a license within a day or two of you passing said test. Then you just need a radio, and your on your way. I suggest a handheld model, and then if you want I'll help you solder up something a little more powerful for pretty cheap." He settles back, taking another pull of his PBR before setting the empty can aside.

"It's good to have connections," Teo observes. He puts his own bottle down, a quiet clink of glass on hard floor measured off with a glance up at his bird cage. No sound now. No click of a testy beak or flutter of the sleeper turning around on her perch. "Thanks.

"I'm not the most patient Italian I know, so— that's good. Cheap is good too. 'Case you couldn't tell," he says, suddenly — finally — remembering to look sheepish at the state of the accommodation he's afforded his guest, no matter how unexpected he was. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal; that's fancy stuff. He squints, abashment fading into amusement; his ego's never been a fragile thing, though it leaves enough room for humility and a sense of grace in equitability.

"I think I owe you a lot of beer. Or something else," he essays between this idea and that, lightly. "You like to read?"

It certainly is good to have connections, but that was another discussion he'd suggest. "A nice handheld is about one fifty, I carry.."he pauses, reaching into his jacket's breast pocket and produces a small handheld radio no larger than a late 90s cellphone. "A Yaesu VX-3R just about everywhere I go, can broadcast on 144 and 220 which are the workhorse frequencies. It'll listen to everything else though, this ones about one fifty but you see 'em on sale for like one thirty or ebay for like a hundred flat. "He disconnects said radio from its headphones and offers it over.

"I cant say I read much actually, what free time I've got is spent either ridin' or wrenchin'. Technical manuals and such, sure but that's really work I reckon. I read Road Racer X and Racer X whenever I can get a copy though, but I reckon magazines are hardly what'cha'all are talkin' bout."

Said radio is taken in a careful hand and studied, turned to and fro, its little antennae and buttons prodded and tugged gently. Teo weighs it in the hollow of his palm, tossed up once before it's caught again, gently, across four long fingers. His eyes shift upward, after a moment, studying the tiny silver-green display above the pad. "I can afford that," he decides, his mouth twisting around a smile. 'It'll listen to everything else.' He certainly hopes so.

It's odd. He doesn't know what they all must talk about out there, on the ham radio network— besides advising each other on their signal strength or scratchiness. It's not a question to ask, though; it's one to answer himself. Human interfaces ever intrigue him. "No. I was talking about literature. I don't really have much to give," he finishes straightforwardly, glancing up. He offers the little Yaesu VX-3R back. "And I know you didn't ask," he adds, his tone still light but not facetious.

Christian accepts the radio back thankfully. "You don't owe me a god damned thing Teo, this is how people treat one another back home. If I need somethin', I ain't so proud so as not to ask for it. You don't need to give me anything more than company, ya know I'm just thankful for someone to talk to." He tucks said radio back in his pocket, before fixing his gaze on Teo.

"Now ok, real deal serious question. Ya'll are Italian, and you don't own no motherfuckin' scooter. How in the holy hell does that work, I aint never met nobody from Italy with no fuckin' scooter. I was sort've thinkin' ya'll was born with'em or somethin', issued when you turned fifteen."

Two bars of straight white teeth show like piano keys without the sharps in, picket-fence perfect. "That's not a bad question, amico. I had one when I was fourteen. I can't remember much about it other than it got fucked up by some stronzo who were fans of a rival football team, and I changed their face for it," he says, cheerful of the recollection even as he embarks on it with a dry note of self-deprecation, blue eyes flattening, then brightening again. He was something of a waste of space, then. He'd mentioned that the other night.

A late bloomer. "I was actually thinking about getting some kind of personal transport. I've been walking and taking the train around this island for eight years, I figure it's about time I tried something different. You have a bike, right?" A fucking loud one, last he recalls; it's the only thing he really noticed about it. He slouches slightly, elbows on his knees, the way he might have over the edge of a Mediterranean dock once, inquisitive.

It's a dangerous thing, because frankly Chris would happily chat bikes until his voice left him. "Oh yeah, I really fucking love bikes! I've got a Husqvarna 610E, thats my daily everyday bike. Its totally insane, like new rear tires every eighty miles if you just -bash- the fucker hard enough. I've also got a Suzuki RMZ-450 supermotard thats still not quite right too, an XR500 I've got pulled apart in my living room and then I've got a Husqvarna SM450RR with a CT plate I use for racing whenever I have the time for it. Before that I had a KTM 640 Adventure, and before that a 620 while I was in Europe. There was a string of Hondas before that, I had an XR500 when I first got sent to the UK. Fore that shit, VT500F, and I cant remember all the half broken dirtbikes and shit I had when I got out of basic. I had a CT90 Trail when I was just a kid."He has to stop there, because he's run himself out've air.

"But yeah dude I love bikes, I was just thinking about getting a scooter or something myself. My bikes are all woods bikes, the XR will be sort've an urban assault bike but none are too happy on the pavement."

Man wears his passions on his sleeve. Well, to all evidence, Christian kind of wears every notion and sentiment imaginable on his sleeve, in the fashion that a writer tends to have their shirt cuff rimmed in ink and children need to be wiped off after a particularly large wedge of Hershey's on a summer day— and that's only a little bit making fun. "Jesus fucking Christ," he says, watching the man remember to breathe. "You don't do the 'enthusiast' thing halfway, do you? That's a lot of bike.

"I know a kid in school who watches his Ducati like a hawk and a few others who like things that look clean and simple and think half the Harleys have handlebars designed for children's bicycles, but.

"I don't think any of them have anything on you. I think you'd need something happy on pavement, living in Manhattan. Though I guess you're probably bound to move on before long," he gestures vaguely out the window, Europe and an eternity of Asian continents awaiting beyond the vacuous horizon.

Passions on his sleeve,watches on his right wrist and always a gun at 4 O'clock. "Oh man the fucking lifestylers, tryna buy a mother fucking image. Ducatis aren't expensive, and they're reliable as axes. Bikes are like dogs, they are not meant to be cleaned daily and taken to shows when its convenient for you to put on an outfit that benefits from their presence. If your not willing to do it the whole way, I mean do this forever then you shouldnt own a bike. Coolest cats I've ever met have bikes that've been ridden til they broke, rebuilt and ridden even harder. I absolutely cannot abide by people who want to punk out and shit. If you aint gonna ride in the snow and rain and sleet and hail then don't fucking bother. Now scooters, are legitimately a form of economical transport. Everything a bike does beyond a big scooter, is entirely lost if you dont dedicate time and effort to the affair." He pauses, slow down Chris Teo had all damned night.

"I don't do anything half ass, ever. There's no point in doin' nothin', you ain't gonna do right."he nods softly, assuring himself of his conviction"Now if you want a scooter, I reckon we can pool or researching and figure shit out. You should -not- own a bike though, You would most certainly die. Maybe in a few years, when you've got some more miles on you but don't start with a bike now at your age. Disaster Teo, absolute disaster."

Teo laughs. More an expression than a sound. "Just because I didn't own a scooter past the age of fourteen didn't mean I didn't ride them," he objects without real heat to his voice. He doesn't have enough invested in this hypothetical motorcycle— or whatever— to take offense when bossed otherwise, even if it is by a practical stranger. "Besides, I'm twenty five fucking years old. Really, if I don't start now, I'll be an old man before I get anywhere interesting.

"And I'm not afraid to die," he adds, too offhandedly to be entirely serious. He says it mostly because it's outrageous, though partly also because it's true: Teodoro Laudani does, occasionally, ventures truths of his own volition. More frequently when he's feeling better about things; and he is. "Kidding. I don't usually make friends with snobs, but you'll do." He motions at the empty bottle beside Christian. "Want another?"

Christian shakes his head. "Naw, really I should honestly probably be getting back. I have work tomorrow and all of that, how bout I give you an effective way of reaching me?"he clears his throat, sitting up in his chair some before producing one of those teensy notebooks and a beat up Bic. The number he produces is over twenty digits long but at least pre-empted by a 1800 number. "Now this is a funny number because it doesn't call a telephone, send a text to this number and it'll show up on my radio. Go ahead, give it a try."he points outside, before continuing absently. "Its actually the routine number for a repeating station, it wont reach me if I'm outside of the city but that'll end up on my radio as soon as you send it." Truthfully its getting late here, and he isn't entirely motivated by the thought of not sleeping tonight so he can run his motherfucking guts out trying to catch up with Felix(no pun intended).

That's a very long string of digits, Teo observes while it's being written. Really long. Fascinated, his eyes shift back up to Christian clearly expectant of an explanation moments before it comes. Predictably enough, it elicits curiosity. He leans over to snag up the phone sitting beside Christian, and flips it open, turns it on despite charge mode. Referring to the notebook page, he punches in the number and hits the little green call iconograph.

"So you insist on doing shit the hard way," he remarks, even as he picks himself up off the floor.

Ushering Christian to the doorway, as it were; it does occur to him that he's roused and kept his guest far beyond normal government-standard office hours. The initial alarm might could be attributed to Christian's overzealousness, but dragging him through half a dozen different rants was, undoubtedly, on Teo. "I remember your rationale for that. You're bored, otherwise." Amused. "I promise, next time I'll either be constructive or actually getting killed."

He has to unplug his mic jack for Teo to hear, it takes a minute or two for the phone patch to connect. His radio stays boring and dark, before it begins to sing. The soft tones of Teo's Message, spelled out in morse code and then again in the actual letters on his little LCD screen. "Now don't call that number, voice communications over that number would be explicitly illegal for emergency use or not. Sending texts is no problem, but for obvious reasons I cant receive photo or video messages." And with that demonstration taken care of, he plugs his mic back up and puts the radio up. Suiting up at a leisurely pace as he moves to follow Teo.

"Well boring and far less practical for a guy on a dirtbike to hear you."He smiles broadly, slinging his bag and finally his helmet. "I'll call you tomorrow or so when I have your study aids and I'll bring over a copy of the test. We could potentially just get you tested tomorrow if you're really confident." He smirks, stepping outside finally with a lazy sort've half-salute "G'night buddy."

His head eagerly canted downward, Teo listens until the blip and click of Morse brings a smile to his face. So that's how it works. Text. His message reads, simply, Non parlare inglese. He straightens the next moment, huffing out a little 'huh' of bemusement. Reaches over to unlock his door once again, and let Christian out. Pauses to lean his shoulder against its chipped wooden edge, considering Christian for a protracted moment, fuzzy with the gradual but implacable insinuation of fatigue.

"Ehhh," he scratches his jaw abashedly, hesitant to turn down an offer of time that generous but nonetheless compelled to. "I'm afraid I'm not available tomorrow. Family reunion, bound to be awkward. Day after, maybe? The morning, if you have a few hours, although I have to teach a few classes at Washington Irving starting at one.

"Do you do mornings?" They both look like reasonable representatives of some nocturnal subspecies at present. Leaning his weight off his door, Teodoro reaches over, gripping the other man's arm and clapping him across the shoulder with a long hand once; a tradition he's yet to grown out of despite nearly a decade in a city where it tends to warrant two raised eyebrows or a 'whoa.'

Christian doesn't bat an eye, returning the gesture like a fella who'd spent time with the Italian army. In fact, he had you know. "I'll give you a ring, when I know whats going down I'll let you know. Good luck with your relations Teo." No not family, relations. "And no, mornings do not happen period. We'll figure it out, eh?" And with pleasantries exchanged, Chris is out. Walking slowly down the hall, and of course on the lookout for zombies.

November 6th: Suture
November 7th: Somebody and Nobody
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License