Pickpockets And Shopnudgers


brynn_icon.gif chess_icon.giftuck_icon.gif

Scene Title Pickpockets and Shopnudgers
Synopsis Tuck works while Brynn gets robbed and Chess provides commentary.
Date February 19, 2018

Red Hook Market

His entire life, Tuck has been making the best of a bad situation. Well, that's…not true at all, actually. He'd like to think that's what he's been doing, but in truth, he's mostly been making a bad situation better with the least amount of effort or danger.

Recent years have seen him pushing a little out of his comfort zone, and actually (gasp) standing up for things. And now here he is, inexplicably in a position of some respect. He even wears a tie most days. Well. Some day. OK, on days when he has board meetings.

Otherwise, Gilbert Tucker looks much like he used to, plus a rough decade. He moves between the market stalls, clad in blue jeans, a v-neck t-shirt and a brown blazer with elbow patches. He's holding a clipboard and carrying a tape measure. He peers through plastic-framed glasses at a used clothing seller's stall and a kitchenware seller's stall that butts up right against it. It's hard to tell what he's looking for.

New to the Safe Zone and not entirely sure what to expect, Brynn looks like most of the late-teens-aged people in the region. Her clothes aren't the highest quality, but they seem durable. A scuffed backpack is over her shoulders as she walks along, gawking like the bumpkin that she is. She's a small thing, slender and dark-haired, and as she moves through the crowds, she seems to hold even more tightly to that backpack. She practically screams "NEWBIE" into the street, though she's not saying anything at all as she walks through the market.

Chess' is a familiar face around these parts, though maybe not by name. She's not the most social of creatures, though she's not shy either. She simply seems to keep to herself more than not. But even recluses need to eat sometimes. She walks through the market with a hand held lightly over the top of her crossbody courier bag, keeping any sticky fingers from reaching within. It's the sort of defensive body language that suggests she's learned the hard way not to trust folks. Her other hand carries a coffee, recently purchased and steaming hot.

Her dark eyes slide to Brynn, raising a brow — such 'newness' isn't all that common in the Safe Zone, so the girl's a bit of a curiosity. Her path brings her to where Tuck's squinting at the stalls, and she tips her head. "Are the vendors having a measuring contest? Hopefully it's just the stalls you have to measure," she quips.

"Wh…whut? Oh," Tuck looks up and blinks at Chess. He pushes his glasses up his nose with his thumb. "Actually, they kind of…are." He squats down by the adjoining stalls. "One is…accusing the other of nudging her wall over, bit by bit, taking up floorspace. I'm trying to figure out if there really is something nefarious going on here, or if it's just a case of the crazies. What do you think?" He gets up from the squat and stands back to examine both stalls.

Brynn seems oblivious to the possibility of being robbed here, not exactly streetwise. But clearly aware of what's happening around her — her eyes dart to and fro rapidly, taking it all in. She pauses at a stall where colorful shirts are being sold, and as she brings something out of her pocket, it's snatched right out of her hand. However, it's not the girl who shouts — it's the vendor. "Hey! Get back here, you little shit!"

That brow rises again when Tuck tells Chess she's not far off, and she looks a little skeptically between the stalls. "Nefarious wall nudging," she says wryly. "I mean, you might need to do some hardcore interrogation to get them to break. Bright lights, waterboarding, pliers… it won't be pretty but justice never is." She looks amused as Tuck bends down to examine the spacing between the units, then glances across to see where Brynn's getting her cash stolen.

"Oy," she says, with a jerk of her head toward the thief, clearly not intending to chase him down, but thinking that maybe Tuck will. "Got a pickpocket." She's very helpful.

"Did you know, that's where the term shoplifting came from? In the olden days, thieves would lift the corner of a shop and steal the goodies within." Tuck waggles his fingers, then covers one eye, then the other, as if that movement would help him decipher whether or not the stall has actually been moved.

He looks down the way when Chess calls 'pickpocket.' "Yeeeah, that happens. Anyway…" he extends the measuring tape.

Brynn, for her part, doesn't look nearly as upset as the vendor, who is talking to the petite brunette rapid-fire — apologizing? Gesturing wildly about how it wasn't their fault it was hers? Without saying anything at all, the girl merely puts both hands up in a gesture of surrender and backs away from the vendor. When he follows her excitedly, she looks a little alarmed, and hastens away quickly. Not looking forward as she moves, she nearly mows right over Tuck and Chess. Gray eyes are very wide and she looks mortified, but she still doesn't say anything, just looking between them. Then she signs I'm sorry.

"The more you know," Chess says in a sing-song voice, glancing between the vendor and Brynn back to Tuck, looking half amused and half bored by both. She takes a sip of her coffee, right as Brynn bumps into them. Chess manages not to burn herself, but steps back so the coffee sloshes onto the ground rather than down her front.

When she turns, she looks like she might be about ready to snipe at whoever it is who's bumped into her, but she stops short when she sees the signing and the look on the teenager's face.

She shakes her head slightly to indicate she doesn't understand the sign, adding, "Hey, it's okay, kid," lifting her free hand and patting the air in front of herself, as if to say 'calm down.'

"I wonder if we can coin a new term for this. Shop nudging? Grand theft square footage? St—oh, hey, o," Tuck holds up a hand "Watch where you're going." And he instinctively pats himself down to make sure his own wallet is in place. He knows better than to let himself be jostled by someone who looks inconspicuous. He used to run that trick when he was younger. "Is that uh…handy…talk…" snap, "Sign language. That's the one."

Looking between them, Brynn backs up just a couple of steps to give them space. And then looks a little bit put out when Tuck pats himself down, quirking an eyebrow at him as if to say Really?? Rolling her eyes in typical teenaged fashion, she looks back at the woman, begins to sign something, and then shakes her head. She starts to reach into her pocket, as if to bring something out, and then rolls her eyes again. Whatever it was, it's gone now. And then she just throws her hands up in the air. Gesturing to Tuck's clipboard, the expression on her face is May I?

"Grand Theft SQ, New York. The next great video game," Chess says wryly, taking a sip of the coffee as she glances from the man to the girl. "Handy talk? Really?" she repeats, a small huff of a laugh escaping her lips. She's not so far older than Brynn that she can't do a good eye roll either.

"American Sign Language. I don't speak it, sadly," she says, looking back at Brynn as she points to the clipboard. "I know my alphabet but that's all."

"God, how did I end up in a situation with two…champion eyerollers. OK. Let's see. Ah, yeah," Tuck unclips the top paper, flips it around, then hands it over to Brynn with pen. "I'm gonna need that back at the end, though. Got important papers to clip to that board."

She doesn't even have to know this man to know he's telling her he wants his clipboard back. She rolls her eyes at him again. Jotting quickly on the back of the sheet that he's letting her use, she writes, <Can you point me in the direction of someplace to stay pretty cheap for a couple days?>

"Next time do less to invoke disdain, I guess," says Chess to Tuck, but she clearly isn't overly offended by the man, finding him possibly amusing with all his clipboards and measurements. She glances down at the clipboard when Brynn raises it up. "I never play for a place to sleep. This one's on you," she says to the councilman, taking another sip of her coffee.

In spite of her seemingly indifferent words, she adds, "There's a hospice over on Dwight that's pretty cheap and Jim looks out for the kids and not in a creeptastic way. He'll kill anyone who tries to take advantage of them."

"Jim, right. I thought his name was Georgie," Tuck is only half paying attention to the conversation because he's still eyeing the booths. He looks at Chess over the top of his glasses. "M'dear, if I knew how to not evoke disdain, I would've lived a happier, richer life." He pulls out the tape measure and walks it along the ground. "Yep. She's crazy. Nothin' else to it. Either that or she really is concerned over a half a frickin'…" he pulls the tape back up with a snap, "…inch. Ow." The thing snapped his hand when it returned. Smooth.

The teen watches between them, seeming to watch them both closely. She catches enough of Chess's words to jot "White?" as a query for clarification. And then she hands the pencil to Chess so that the street name can be spelled for her. With a quick nod, she looks between the two of you and smiles a bit shyly. «Thank you,» she signs. And she hands Tuck his clipboard back to head on her way toward the general direction of Dwight.

"Yeah. You and me both, brother," Chess says to Tuck. No doubt she's earned some disdain in her lifetime, sarcastic as she is. She turns back to Brynn, and offers a small smile, handing her coffee to Tuck to hold for a moment so she can take clipboard and pen to write Dwight and Coffey, James Town Hostel. She shows it to Brynn, before waving with two fingers as the girl runs off, then hands the clipboard to Tuck in exchange for her coffee.

"Paranoia comes in all sorts of flavors. Shop nudging is just one of the lesser known varieties," she says.

Tuck looks vaguely confused at the exchange of items, but he cooperates. Which, if you pull back the camera, is a bit of a metaphor for his life. He flips the paper back over, then makes a few notes. "Mmmkay. So I gotta go tell a lady she's off her rocker, or to not worry so much about a half an inch. And to call me only if it gets bigger than say…" he holds up two fingers. "Sigh. Tis my life now. It's why I get paid the big bucks." He salutes with his pen, "Carry on," And then he turns to head back towards the administrative area of the market.

The coffee back in her hands, Chess huffs another short laugh. "And people wonder why I don't want to be gainfully employed." There's an actual smile at that. "Good luck." She begins to move away, in the direction of something edible besides coffee, but stops to look over her shoulder. "I'd say six inches at most. You know. On average." There's a grin before she disappears around the corner of the aisle of stalls.

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