No Girls Allowed


bao-wei3_icon.gif nadia_icon.gif

Scene Title No Girls Allowed
Synopsis Nadia finds her mark and fails to make much of one on Doctor Cong.
Date October 10, 2010

Subway - Derelict Station

Once a bustling station vibrant with life and people, this terminal has been abandoned. Not difficult to see why, as it's close to the radiation zone, and the only easy entrance to it connects to a tunnel still registering as black on radiation detectors. The area itself sits in a marginal zone of radiation, but the ceiling has collapsed in enough areas to block easy access from the safer zones. An out-of-use subway train lays dead on the tracks. The front car rests on its side off the tracks, while the second, third and fourth car are upright. The fifth has been crushed under fallen debris, either from the initial shock wave, or from later deterioration of the roof above. Any other cars in the train are buried under the rubble.

Windows have been busted open in a few places, and the side door of the middle upright car is opened. The only light in the tunnel comes from this car, a sign of electricity, as the fluorescent lights in this car have been turned on. The hum of a generator can be heard. In the terminal itself, there are doors leading to maintenance rooms and personal offices. One of the doors has a large boulder resting in front of it - a boulder that has been placed there deliberately.

The other end of the tunnel disappears into the darkness.

After Nadia met Bao Wei in the tunnels beneath midtown, she began a ritual. At first, it started out small, with a lunch bag containing a few sandwiches brought to the place she met the man-beast. It escalated quickly, the lunch bags becoming fuller and fuller. Then, it became once a week for a while, where she would bring a paper grocery bag filled with sandwiches. Then, it became more than just sandwiches; one-serving containers filled with different kinds of food. Then, it became twice a week.

Nadia is unsure whether the beast she met even gets the food that she brings for him, the bags always has 'Xuan Wu' written on them in permanant marker.

Today, she wears a pair of snug-fitted jeans, complete with a pair of black knee-high boots; over her torso is a long-sleeved green shirt, with a soft-looking black vest over it. It's getting a bit chilly out lately, and she never was fond of cold weather. She carries a grocery bag, just as she has every time she's come down here for over a month now. It is set gingerly on the ground as the political starlet hops down to the tracks. Then, she lifts the bag once more, and turns to make her way into the tunnels, humming softly to herself.

It's been a long time since she began doing it- even she needs hobbies, right? So it may come as a small shock- nay- likely a large one- when halfway into the tunnel past the cars, footsteps echo stark in the background. The dull thuds are unmistakably boot treads, hitting the stone and metal of the tunnel floor in haphazard, hesitant steps, as if whoever it is, is not entirely certain of where they are going.

Well, Doctor Cong is perfectly sure of where he is going, just not why. Or even sure if he should. But, it fits the time frame pattern, and it fits the sound. Of what? Nadia.

Nadia's brows raise a bit as she hears the footsteps, squinting into the darkness with the grocery bag resting on her hip. When she fails to see the source, she reaches into her purse, and pulls out her trusty flashlight; this is flipped on, pointed toward the ground as she searches for the source of the footsteps, her brows raised.

"Hello? Who's there?" She asks this in a quiet tone, which carries amazingly well in the tunnels, her flashlight trailing toward Doctor Cong, the girl wearing a frown on her face.

At around the same moment that her light sweeps over tattered pantlegs and worn brown boots, she gets some sort of actual response. The voice is familiar, but without the thrumming and rumbling given off by 'Xuan Wu's' chest, it is hard to place.

"Put that out, will you?" The man, as obvious, steps closer, the hem of a heavy, thick leather duster hanging at his calves and over a ratty, dirty white shirt. If anything is most notable, it is that he is quite broad and heavy, and what skin is visible under his collar and wide-brimmed hat looks- sick. Dead almost, in the lamplight. A gloved hand lifts up to push down the brim of the hat when the light sweeps too near his face. "One becomes quite accustomed to the dark. At the risk of sounding cliche, it pains me." Not nearly as badly as his ability, though.

Her eyelashes fluttering, the light is quickly turned off after a brief period of the woman fumbling with it. Nadia's not frightened of the dark, and she knows where he is. "Oh! I— I'm sorry, I didn't know." The woman frowns, hefting the paper grocery bag a bit. She listens when he does speak, brows raising. She knows this man, but from her brief glimpse of him, she doesn't recognize his face.

"Are— are you okay? You look ill." She frowns through the darkness toward the man, her head tilting to one side. "I— I have some sandwiches that I've been bringing down here. Maybe that will help?" Nadia sounds genuinely concerned as she speaks to the man.

The dark seeps back in place when the light is gone, eyes taking a few seconds to adjust again. He takes the hand off of the brim of his hat, gloved fingers tightening into a half-fist at his side. Even in the low light, Bao-Wei's now ruddy features, hollow eye sockets, and perpetual frown all lend him to be something to avoid. There is something about his eyes, however- one is that pallid brown as anyone's, the other one, is right- is much lighter, even at a glance, reflective.

"I am. It has. Somewhat." Cong cannot eat when he isn't like this- and when he is, it is a battle to not simply turn back when he feels that very human gnawing for clean air and food. The large man takes a few steps closer, and a chill comes with him.

"You've been incessant."

Confusion registers across Nadia's face for a long moment as her own eyes adjust to the dark, as he says that it has helped. After a long moment, recognition finally registers off of her comparatively vibrant, charming features— mostly thanks to that familiar chill, and his voice. Her free hand raises, pointing feebly then dropping back to her side.

"Oh. You're Xuan Wu, aren't you?" And suddenly, a small smile forms on her face, brilliant even in the dim lighting. She takes one step forward, and carefully sets the grocery bag down. "I just figured…you know, it's lonely down here, and I didn't know if you have to eat or not when you're that big icy…thing." After pushing the bag toward him, she raises again, flipping some hair away from her eyes.

"Someone's gotta show some kindness, right?" Another smile is offered toward the somewhat intimidating man.

"I do not." But, he does not say why he bothers turning back, either. It would be easy to remain like that, wouldn't it? His boots scuff the floor as he stops, considering Nadia and her 'delivery'. Maybe he always watches her drop these off, come to think of it.

"Even then, I do not see why. I have done nothing to deserve it." He peers at her from the dark, lips pursing. The skin of his face makes a brittle noise- the deathly look taking up a faintly frozen glow. "I should think you can find someone better suited to give charity to, don't you think?

Warmth almost seems to radiate off of the young Morrocan woman's smile. "Everyone is suited to receive charity from me, Xuan Wu. I don't discriminate in who I give to. If I think someone needs it, I give what I can." She scuffs her boots against the ground thoughtfully. "I just— I'm not sure, but I see…something human in you, even moreso than what you look like, now. Something…haunted, I guess." She turns her eyes back up to the man as his face makes a brittle noise

"You really don't look so well. Is— is there anything I can do, or bring to you, that will make you feel better?" She tilts her head toward the man, concern flooding her features as she looks him over.

"Not unless you have a cure in your pocket or some way to make this less painful. Seeing as I did this to myself-"


"-I very much doubt it." Doctor Cong lifts a glove to his face, brushing it over the surface of his jaw. A piece of his flesh peels off with it. He …does not seem to notice.

The woman winces, turning her eyes down toward the ground. She's thankful for the low light; she may have vomited, if it were bright enough to see that more clearly. For now, she just tells herself it's kind of like a horror movie. "What did you do to yourself, if I may ask?" She doesn't look at him for the time being.

"I wish I could help you…" She sounds almost saddened by the fact that she can't do anything to help the man.

"I did experiments." He doesn't bleed. The part of his face doesn't even look like it has any to leak. "For something called The Institute." Bao-Wei has absolutely nothing to hide anymore, and so he is brutal with his explanation. "Being obsessed, I experimented on myself after my program was cut." A man of science, in a place like this. Who would have thought?

"That's what I did to myself. I gave myself to my work."

"The Institute?" Nadia tilts her head to one side with a curious expression on her face. Apparently, she can deal with horror movies. It's October. She'll just pretend it's part of a costume. Even though she knows it isn't. She's quiet for a long while, thoughtfully peering up at the man's eyes, fidgeting with her vest. It takes her a while to speak again.

"I can't say I understand that, but…I wish I could find you a cure." The woman lifts her eyes up toward the ceiling for a moment. "It looks so painful…"

"It is. Quite." It takes a great concerted effort to get back to this state, and more to stay in it. Cong steps forward and takes the bag, though once he does, he also offers Nadia a curt, yet polite enough, bend of his waist and brush of fingers to his hat.

"Even if I cannot use what you leave, I make sure to put it somewhere, where somebody may. There are numerous shelters on the outskirts, if you should feel so charitable at later dates. But I do not see why you should waste any further charity on me."

"I don't think it's a waste of charity. I have more than enough to go around, in any case." She smiles faintly to the man, rubbing at the back of her neck as the quiet sinks in around the two.

"Besides. I like coming down here. Not just because of you, but…" She raises her eyes toward the ceiling for a moment, smiling faintly. "It's the closest I can get to the earth without driving out of town. The only place that soothes me more is the Catskill Mountains." She smiles softly. "Have you ever been in a real cave before?"

Truth be told, Nadia's just as lonely as she accuses Cong of being. Why she seeks the company of this morbid, frightening gentleman is beyond even her understanding, but she can not help but indulge her curiousity.

"I have no reason to ever have been. I was not in a war, I have not been chased out of town with pitchforks-" Bao-Wei seems sour to think he'd have to lurk in an actual cave. But to each their own, right? "You have your reasons then, I suppose. But if you can help it," He is sure that she can. "Please do not come around leaving things or searching for me."

"If I ever want to see you, I will show up."

"They're very beautiful to look at. Not just for hiding." Nadia smiles faintly. "It's…serene in caves. It's quiet, but you can hear every drop of water that seeps in from the ground above." She smiles. "You should go see a real cave, just once in your life. Not to hide. To just…see. It's beautiful."

Then, she's offering a smaller smile as she slowly steps away from Cong. "I won't come looking for you, as you wish, Xuan Wu. I just hope that you will want to see me again. I've seen your eye, in that other form you take. It is my non-professional opinion that you could, perhaps, use a friend from time to time. That, and I am a horribly curious woman, even though I'm sure one day it'll get me into trouble."

Hopefully sooner rather than later, he muses to himself. It would get her out of his hair. Bao-Wei half-turns, the bag crooked in his arm, the top folded up tighter. If he does ever see her again, it will probably be for his benefit firstly. If he ever is in need of a terrakinetic, he knows where to look.

"I have a friend." Just one. "I do not think I need another. Especially not another woman." That all sounds very terrible at first, but from the sounds of it, women annoy him more than anger him. But Nadia won't have a chance to clarify, as he's already started off down the tunnel.

Nadia tilts her head to one side, before turning back and making her way out of the tunnel. "I'll keep that in mind, Xuan Wu." With that, she's gone, as well, climbing up onto the platform and pausing to stare at a wall.

She'll leave Cong alone. He is rather creepy, with that face that would make a high quality halloween mask look silly. After standing on the platform outside of the entrance to the tunnel for a moment, she promptly makes her way back up and into the ruins of Midtown, hands tucked into her pockets.

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