Love and Robots


nataliya_icon.gif mortimer_icon.gif

Scene Title Love and Robots
Synopsis Mortimer meets Nataliya, but his head is way too in the clouds with Cassidy to realize she's a hot Russian. She gives good advice but is very cautious!
Date May 20 2009

The Rookery

After the bomb, Staten Island grew to become a haven for undesirables. If the Island is their home, then the Rookery is their playplace. Equal parts gritty and decadent, it boasts dark alleys, bright lights, and every pleasure that one could imagine. Provided you know where to ask, of course.

Some areas have fared better than the rest of the island; some have fared far worse. For each well-tended brothel or gaming house, there's at least one creaky, crumbling structure left over from the days of pre-bomb suburban glory.

The population is considered universally distasteful, even by much of the rest of Staten Island. Criminals, refugees, victims of radiation poisoning… Those who have nowhere else to go often end up here. The most common method of getting out is to have your body dropped in the river, followed closely by being left wherever it is you got killed.

Good luck.

It's been a long day of being trapped in a room full of tools and equipment, the Locos' master plan to get Mortimer back into his 'right' mind. Well, it worked, he spent the day building a prosthetic, and attachments. But he's missing something, for one particular attachment, and he's randomly chosen a chop shop to look for it.

In a particularly seedy area of the Rookery, standing right outside of a small garage, known as a chop shop to some. He bangs hard on the garage door, a secret knock, so, you know, it's not some crazy police who managed to get this far into Staten. When the gate starts to open, it's only Mortimer, standing there with a chainsaw attached to his prosthetic attachment, and a sack full of god knows what. He's smiling, happy, he's happy again, it's so nice. "Does anyone have a hook?" is the first thing he asks, casually waving with the chainsaw arm.

Nataliya straightens up from the car engine she's pulling apart, still half nestled in the frame. She blinks a few times. Okay. That's a guy with a chainsaw on his arm. That's something she doesn't see every day. And there really isn't anyone but her around, so she removes the cap from her head, squints at him, and ventures, "Have you perhaps tried looking in a hardware store?"

"This place is illegal." Mortimer points out, walking in and pulling the garage door back down. He sits the back in front of her, which slides open to reveal quite a few weapons and other random objects, all built with caps that can be fit on to his arm. "So, you know, I thought you'd have golden claws, or maybe jagged ones. Oh, I'd love a claw with flame decal, or a chrome spinning claw…" He goes on like that, casually looking around the garage and touching things. "My name's Mortimer. Heard about this place from one of my guys."

Nataliya's mouth hangs open a little as she looks this over. "Well," she says after a long hesitation. "While this is perhaps not the most legal of places, that doesn't mean we carry claws, spinning or otherwise, Mister Mortimer." Well, this is uncomfortable. Nataliya tucks her hands into the pockets of her coveralls, where she keeps her phone sometimes. Not today, unfortunately. "There are scrapyards."

"Alright, no claws, but that's interesting!" Mortimer's eyes suddenly turn silver, completely, pupils and all, then he walks up to the engine she's working on, bending down to stare at it curiously. He knocks on it a few times, gazing as if he's seeing right through it. "What are you trying to do?"

Nataliya takes a step back. Silver eyes? Weird. "…I am taking it apart to redistribute the parts." See: sell them. "I really should get back to it. Is there anything else you need?" Please say no.

"I'd like to help." Mortimer randomly offers, already inviting himself to some tools so he can immediately start disassembling things. He doesn't seem to have much of an issue with having one arm, and seems to work unnaturally fast. "Come on! We're practically neighbors, we've gotta help eachother out."

Nataliya steps forward, reaching one hand out toward his forearm as if to grab it and coming up short. Don't touch the crazy guy. "No, no, no. We cannot afford to pay you. And you have a scrap yard to go to, yes? Claws cannot wait." Just imagine if all you had to murder someone was a chainsaw.

"I don't need money, I do things for fun." Mortimer points out in a friendly manner, as parts of the engine begin to quickly fall to the floor. "Come on, don't let the chainsaw scare you, I'm a nice guy. Help me out with this." he says before casually nodding to the engine.

Nataliya stares at him, incredulous. Don't let the chainsaw scare you? It's a fucking chainsaw! She holds steady, though, keeps her hands in her pockets, resists the urge to pick up a wrench and strike pre-emptively. That would be rash, and so far he's been friendly. Still… "I don't meet many nice guys with chainsaws on their arms. It seems an unusual choice."

"I fought an ATF guy the other day, he blew my arm off with a grenade. Had to replace it with something. All the stuff in that sack are other attachments, guns and stuff, but I'm thinking of getting a claw that I can put a fake hand over, you know, so this woman I like won't freak out." Mortimer gets pretty deep, and it doesn't take too long for him to have taken apart roughly half the engine already, pausing to give the internals a curious look. "This arm's to scare dumb thugs, not pretty ladies."

"I must be a dumb thug, then," Nataliya says slowly, knowing she shouldn't say anything of the sort. It comes out of her mouth anyway. "The hand would probably help, yes. Where was this grenade fight?"

"Wasn't far from here, we fought on a roof. I kicked the guy's ass, then he broke the rules and pulled out a grenade. Kinda weird though, I remember taking more damage than I woke up with." Mortimer says with a vaguely perplexed look, then just shakes his head dismissively and continues to grab different tools as he needs them. He seems to be almost done already. "That asshole still has my guns. I had two customized golden Desert Eagles, and he stole 'em. Dirty cop."

Nataliya regards the engine mournfully. That is not actually what she would have done, but let the crazy man have his way. She'll have to put some of it back together when he leaves. "I wasn't aware there were rules on Staten anymore."

"Nothing's fun without rules. We were supposed to have a one on one fight, just melee weapons, no armor or guns." Mortimer shakes his head, standing up when there's a pile of parts just spread out on the floor like Legos. He's helping! And at least they're not broken… "But he's a cop, I should have known better. Hey, what's your name?"

"You should have known better," Nataliya agrees. She hesitates again when he asks her name; it's not something she really wants to give out. Still. She's not so underground he couldn't just find out anyway, so… "I'm Nataliya."

"Nice name." Mortimer compliments, walking over to the large sack and unscrewing the chainsaw from his arm, then slides it in there and starts feeling around for a different attachment. "I had a few problems, got arrested after the fight, but now I'm just trying to get back on my feet. My gang helped a lot, but I still feel kinda different, like, not completely my old self, but not the guy I've been for the past few days either. Weird, huh?" he asks, being very open for a guy she just met a few minutes ago, talking to her like she's an old friend.

"My parents liked it," Nataliya says automatically. Again with the not thinking before speaking. She frowns. "You have a gang? Friends, then?"

"We're all friends, they're nice guys, not the drug selling kind of guys with nothing to lose. Quite a few of them are stock brokers. I'm the leader, we're called the Locos." Mortimer frowns as he looks down into his bag, not pulling anything out, just leaving his arm's cap competely without an attachment. "I just realized, I can't play videogames, or ride my motorcycle correctly. Having one arm is gonna suck…"

Nataliya's eyebrows go up. "I hear plenty of people say they're Locos when they're not," she tells him. This is untrue, but she'd rather see what reaction this gets her.

"Real ones always wear helmets, with red numbers. I never have more than forty men in my gang." Mortimer suddenly just takes a seat on the floor, crossing his legs and watching her. "They all have legit lives, if they bragged, it'd ruin them. So, you can be sure they're lying, or very stupid and close to being replaced."

Nataliya removes her hands from her pockets, walks to the grimy little sink, squirts some degreaser onto her hands and washes them clean. Cleaner, anyway. "But you, you don't get ruined?"

"I don't have a legit life, this is my life. I had a different life a long time ago, but that's over." Mortimer says with a sight air of seriousness, then stands up and begins walking around the garage again, perhaps looking to see if she has anything mechanical of note. "Well, I do have one person. I'm having my gang clean up their act even more, for her."

Nataliya finishes washing her hands, pats them dry on a towel of questionable cleanliness. "Ah. The woman you like. What did you do before all of this, Mortimer?"

"Yeah, she wouldn't appreciate innocent people getting hurt while we're having fun, so we're gonna have to find a different way to cause trouble." Mortimer adds with a bit of a sigh; a part of him just might miss that. "Before? Well, soccer team in high school, chess club too. Top in my class, probably was gonna end up in NASA with my mother. But one thing led to another, and here I am."

Nataliya puts the towel down, wandering closer to him. This is interesting intel, if nothing else. "NASA to Staten Island? That's quite the difference."

Mortimer picks up a stray lighter from a car, looking it over with his silvery eyes. There's some inspiration. "I guess you could say I have daddy issues, he messed me up a bit. Huh, that's strange, I've never been able to remember that before." He puts the lighter down and rubs his head, appearing as if he's just woken up from a long sleep. "Not sure if I'd like NASA anyway, that's my mom's thing."

"It doesn't sound much like your thing," Nataliya says, slowly again. She tugs on her ponytail, tightening the elastic deftly. "Your eyes. They change. Are you… different?"

"I see things, what people really are, but it's not always literal and it can change sometimes." Mortimer turns around to look her in the eye, raising his good hand to lightly touch her cheek. "You're a robot, completely metal, more clockwork than anything Terminator. I call it my 'True Sight'." Though the way he was taking apart that engine might lead someone to believe that something else is going on with him.

Nataliya jerks backward, both hands coming up to try to grab hold of his wrist and hand, lock them up. It's reflex. It's the result of surviving on Staten and her life before that; she tries to let go immediately, not wanting to set him off. "Apologies. You startled me."

"Don't worry." Mortimer says as he pulls his hand back, the silver in his eyes retracting like liquid until they're a normal blue color once more. "Now you're normal. Did my eyes scare you? I don't discuss them much, never knew what anyone thought."

Nataliya backs away a few more steps, shaking her head. "Eyes are just eyes, regardless of colour. They aren't scary. It's what goes on behind them that can be."

"How about a more pleasant subject." Mortimer cheerfully offers, walking back over to the engine parts to crouch down and run his fingers through them. "You're a woman, right? Can never be too sure these days. I need to think of a gift, something that says 'You don't need to be afraid of me', but also 'I'm a slightly different person, but I'm still the same and interested in you'. Any ideas?"

Nataliya frowns. Man, conversations she does not want to be having with a random psycho. "When was the last time you contacted this woman?"

"Last night, I think my guys scared her a bit while I was on the phone. I wanna…" Mortimer averts his eyes to the pile of parts, tone growing serious with an air of determination. "I wanna make her feel better, safe, she's just amazing. A guy like me shouldn't have fallen so hard for a cop."

"…A cop?" Natasha stares at him incredulously, not even bothering to try and hide it. "She's a cop? No. Unless she is very crooked, very very crooked, no. She will come after you. Best to forget her, you stupid man."

"I know it's stupid, it's really stupid, but I never find women who make me feel anything other than in my pants." Mortimer sighs and looks back at her, giving her a casual smile. "I mean, I love it when a girl makes me feel stuff in my pants, but this cop, she's, well, special. I feel like this chance isn't gonna come around again. And I don't think she'll arrest me…"

Nataliya holds her hands up. "Do not tell me about what happens in your pants," she tells him firmly. "This is not something I want to hear. It's a bad idea."

Mortimer raises an eyebrow, likely making all sorts of assumptions. "What, you the kinda woman who goes right for the scissors? I'm not hitting on you, trust me, you'd know. My brain is on one woman right now."

"Scissors? No. I don't know what you're… nevermind. You are not hitting on me. That's good, I appreciate that. It's very touching you are confining your interest to one special woman. Maybe some flowers," Nataliya says. She glances at the clock, then at the door.

"It's, it's perfect!" Mortimer says as he stands up, grabs his sack, and starts walking to the garage door. "Flowers, and I know just how to give them to her! Uh…" He looks at the door, then nudges it with his foot. One arm. "You mind opening the door?"

"Of course not," Nataliya says with some relief, trotting over that way in her heavy boots and opening it for him politely. "Watch out for grenades."

"I'm wearing grenades." Mortimer says with an amused laugh, his mood greatly raised now that he has inspiration! "I'll see you around, Nataliya!" Then, he's gone, off to god knows where.

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