Potato Bowl


eimi_icon.gif joe_icon.gif

Scene Title Potato Bowl
Synopsis Eimi and Joe hang out and talk. Joe makes mashed potatoes.
Date March 19, 2018

Lance's Apartment, Phoenix Heights

The markets are all well and good, but Eimi's been skittish about going to them recently. Even with her friends. So instead today, after meeting up and walking a little bit, they've returned to Lance's apartment.

Via teleportation for the majority of it, and across rooftops and other less-traveled paths for the majority of that.

When they get to the door to the apartment building Eimi lets go of Joe's hand, grins at him a little bit, and says, "My way's faster." A cat doesn't manage a more self-satisfied smirk than the girl is wearing right now even when it's caught a bird. "You guys live here?"

"Uhh Lance lives here. So does Brynn sorta. She crashes on the couch. I rent a tiny little shoebox of a room from this cranky old lady. But she doesn't go in my room and go through my stuff, and I pay her on time every month so it works. But there's enough room for my bed and then there's a closet where all my stuff is. When I say shoebox I mean shoebox. It's like a closet with a closet in it. Closetception."

Joe's shoulders lift in a shrug as he opens up the door to Lance's apartment and steps inside. "But all my food is over here. Mostly cuz I eat Lance's and then I replace it. Most of the time. Especially his peanut butter. But I make extra sure to replace that so I have some to eat the next time." Joe meanders inside. The apartment isn't a big one. A big open room that's part living room with a little kitchenette area, a window peeking out over the sink, and then a stubby hallway with the door to Lance's room and a bathroom. "And… no one is home. That's weird."

There's a nod. "Well, that works," Eimi responds, with a grin. She steps in, and the half-nervous, half-excited flickering of teleportation blinks her out of existence and then back into existence for a moment. "Yeah… at some point, I need to see about like… being able to pay Eve back for letting me stay there."

"Maybe they went to get more peanut butter?" Eimi finds a clear spot on the floor, sits down cross-legged. "You guys are all real close," she says quietly. "Like, good friends friends not just friends." Pause. "What I'm trying to say is thank you?" For being her friend.

"I doubt Eve will take any payment for staying there. Unless it's in like candy bars. Or weed. If you know where to swipe some weed she'd probably take that in payment. But money or anything like that I"m pretty sure she'd say no to. She's cool like that." Joe flashes Eimi a quick grin, though looks a bit amused at the flickering teleportation. "Oh who knows. We're always running around willy nilly. Busy with all sorts of stuff."

Joe meanders over to the cabinets and starts fishing through them. "So… we've got… uhhh." He makes faces at cans of corn and green beans. "Some bread and uhhh… hmmm." Joe puffs his cheeks out as he sorts through the stuff in the cabinet. "I don't even know if you're hungry. I kind of just assume that people are hungry. Are you hungry? I'm not sure what I could make but I could come up with something I'm sure." He turns to look and… where'd she go? Then he looks down and spots her sitting on the floor. "Why… are you on the floor? And yeah we are pretty close. We grew up in tighter quarters than this apartment most of the time. We'd fit as many as we could into a room in most of the safe houses and what not. So there'd be like eight plus of us in a room. We kind of learned to be close and get along or be miserable. We're siblings. Lance and Hailey are the only ones with actual blood ties, but we're all siblings. Grew up together. And you're welcome." He flashes her a wide grin.

Eimi nods a bit and giggles, "Well, that's because I am always hungry," she notes. Pauses. "Not quite as much any more, Eve has food too, and it's… better than stealing sandwiches and apples." The next question is answered in sequence, but for the moment aside from a brief flicker now and then Eimi stays put. "To sit down on," obviously. Duh. "That's cool, though, having that. It's been just me for long enough that for a while, until I got to New York, honestly I'd kind of forgotten how to talk or interact or… you know. People." Her brows dip for a moment, and she shrugs her shoulders, falling silent.

"You do what you need to to survive. We understand that. And if stealing food is what you have to do then… okay." Joe's shoulders shrug slowly. "There's a lot of things that we're fairly morally gray on. A result of being hunted by the government thanks to the Institute. It kind of put survival as the paramount objective."

Joe nods his head though in understanding. "I get that. We're having to learn to people too. Well normal people. Amongst ourselves, and with the Ferry we could always talk about whatever was on our minds. Powers, crazy government conspiracies, hunter killer robots. All the crazy crap that went on. Normal people aren't so inclined to talk about it. We also have to remember that not everyone was trained to survive like we were. Like… Lance and I have both killed people. Didn't want to, but weren't left with a choice. Humanis First found our safehouse in Canada. That doesn't really work for a casual conversation drop with regular folks."

Joe's smirk is one of amusement, though he does look at the floor, then glance aside to one of the mismatched chairs. "The floor, is for walking on. The chairs are for sitting on." His voice taking on the cadence of a Discovery channel narrator when he does so. He begins to pull cans and stuff down. Not that there's a ton to pull down, but enough for him to sort through to try to find something to make for food.

Eimi shoots Joe a Look when he says that chairs are for sitting on. A long-suffering and amused look, and she ends up with, "Alright, chairs then," as an agreement to that. She doesn't get up, just stares at one of the chairs for a moment and squints. Then teleports while still sitting. She doesn't seem off put by any of what's said, though. Just furrows her brows a little and nods.

"Part of why I never stayed put, until now," she says, quietly. Her past tends to come out in bits and pieces of conversation, her voice flattening and quiet while it does so. "I heard a lot of, 'we don't want your kind here'." She pauses. "Or worse. What…" It trails off. Some things are better left unsaid. "So I just teleported away and kept going." Pause, continues. "And if I'd gone back even to Kansas City I just figured I'd hear more of it. After my parents died. They said they'd help but then they just put me in a room and." She shakes her head. "I learned to survive because that's what you do," she finishes. "I get it."

Joe is not intimidated by Eimi's looks. Her looks would have to get a whole lot fiercer and a whole lot more Brian before he'd be intimidated by her looks. Not that she's trying to intimidate him or anything. He watches as she teleports to the chair instead of getting up and walking over, and he lets out a laugh. No reprimand from him. He makes ample use of his own ability. Something he shows off as he grabs a few potatoes from a bag and starts to cut them up with a knife, while they're in his hands, easier than dirtying the counter up and having to clean it, or a cutting board, if they had a cutting board. Once he's finished cutting them he grabs a pot and puts some water on to boil, then tosses the potato pieces into the water before he starts opening up a can of corn.

He also grabs some gravy packets. He looks for an expiration date on them, then makes a face before shrugging his shoulders and grabbing a smaller saucepan out and starts heating up a little water on that as well. "It won’t be fancy, but some corn, some mashed potatoes and some gravy?" He asks, glancing back over to Eimi. "Yeah, I get that. Hailey fled here after all. I get it. We just felt safer finding a place that was defensible and what not. But different people feel safe in different ways." His head tips to the talk of people being hateful. "People are sheep. A lot of people believe we are responsible for what's happened, including the war. Because that's what they've been told. Despite the trials, and all the information that's out there… people believe what they're told. And they don't make an effort to educate themselves."

There's a nod, and Eimi says, more of an offhand remark than anything else, "Some of them don't want to listen, either."

She snorts, shaking her head. "I was… I barely remember the war starting," she admits. "Just being pulled out of school, and then moving and moving and moving." A shrug follows that, and she changes the subject. "It's the company that matters, though!" The other teen gets a grin. "I really wasn't sure where I was going other than not going back, but this is pretty good. And I'm going to work on getting papers, maybe. Help this all blow over." She pauses. "Though it would help if no more food went missing," follows that, with a brief furrowing of brow again. "Caspian said he'd help with that if he could."

“Lance and I have been helping with that too. We took a trip into the sewers and we found a bunch of the missing food. Possibly all of it. But it was all eaten or missing. We found a few scraps of food, but most of it was just the shredded open containers. So we’re not sure if the food was like repackaged, or dumped out somewhere? Or eaten. We ran into a ghost who led us to his body, and then we found the food remains nearby. With the same bite marks as the kid’s body.” There’s a distinct frown on Joe’s face when he talks about the kid, and his eyes don’t quite meet Eimi’s. There’s some sadness there, but also some anger. He pulls in a slow breath, then lets it out and resumes working on the food.

“It’s the company that matters. And I do get it, the whole keep moving thing. I mean I sort of get it. The safer bet is to find somewhere to hole up. But most people’s reaction to danger is to flee, not to stop and think so… I understand.” He offers her a quick smile as he works on the food, which mostly just consists of pouring the gravy packet into the heated water and stirring it until it combines into classic gravy sludge stuff. He grabs a couple of bowls, and sets them on the counter, waiting for the potatoes to boil.

There's a furrow of brow and Eimi glances at the ceiling for a moment. "Why'd it bite him too though?" is the question and then she shakes her head, shakes it off, and changes the subject. At least partially, leaving it open for Joe to talk about it or not as he wishes.

"I mean I holed up places sometimes too, but it was just me and usually a lot more of them." Eimi shrugs her shoulders, "My ability makes it easy to flee."

“Well, the marks on the food looked like the rat bite marks on the kid. It looks like… it looks like he was eaten alive by rats. And it looks like the food was eaten by rats as well. But this would take a swarm of… incredible size. And under rather specific control… oh shit I didn’t even think about that. Maybe it’s some kind of animal controller? Or it’s just a really strangely large rat swarm that felt safe attacking a human… though that wouldn’t explain how the food got into the sewers to begin with. I don’t know. It’s a confusing situation. I’m still muddling my way through it in my head. I wish Brian was here. Or that we had phone signal so I could call him. He’d have a better idea of what we’re dealing with I think.” Joe’s cheeks puff out as he thinks.

The potato pot is lifted and drained before Joe begins to mash the potatoes up, adding a little water when he needs it. Sadly no milk these days for mashed potatoes. But the gravy will help. And he adds salt and pepper to season them up a little bit. Then he scoops the mashed potatoes out into a bowl and rinses out the pot so he can heat up the corn in it. “And yeah. My ability makes it easy to stand my ground. So I guess that would influence both of us too. I can take a hell of a hit. Brian and I have tested some pretty high calibers. We wanted to be sure of what kind of punishment I could take. So I know that I can take pretty much anything that comes my way. Makes it easy to draw a line in the sand and Gandalf it up.”

"Rats didn't just steal the food from a locked room," Eimi agrees. "Not… not without help." She furrows her brows and shakes her head again. "Doesn't make sense. The why falls apart if it just all got eaten by rats."

"I mean," she continues, "a lot of the time I take risks. Stealing Jim back. Because I know I can get out of there quick. Hell," Eimi says, quietly, "I mean, I still teleport by accident, too." She purses her head. "I know I promised Colette I wouldn't go back to Staten, but I kind of want to find out who the person was who was trying to buy Jim, too."

“No. Rats did not just steal the food. Though the tunnels do run beneath the food storage places. We did discover that much. So it’s very possible the theft came from that direction. But the rats wouldn’t have been capable of stealing the food. We don’t know how the food was stolen yet. It…” Joe’s lips press together into a thin line as he ponders that, head tipping to one side, then the other, cheeks puffing out before his shoulders lift in an unknowing shrug. “I don’t know how the food was stolen. At this point I don’t have any good ideas left. True mystery.”

“Duuuuude. Colette will kick your butt if you go back on your word to her. She’s always been our bad to the bone older sister but she will kick your butt. So… totally just make sure she doesn’t find out you went back to Staten if you go. Also take me. You can teleport me out if things get hairy. And I can take bullets for you to begin with.” Joe flashes her a wide grin as he finishes up the food. When he’s done some mashed potatoes go into each bowl, topped with some gravy, and then some corn. “Like those KFC chicken bowls just… without the chicken. I would love some fried chicken.” Joe mmmms and stares off into space a moment before he starts to dig in on the thrown together meal.

Eimi takes her bowl and then sits back down in her chair, cross-legged and grins. "Well, it's about… ten minutes to Staten Island?" she notes. Ten minutes for a trip that can usually take hours if one is lucky, and sans the rather dodgy unofficial ferries. "If I don't hurry too much. If I have to find where I'm going it takes longer." But she's been to Staten Island before.

"Either the people who stole it, stole it for the rats," Eimi says, "or the rats just happened upon the food." She shakes her head again.

"Colette's been super-nice to me," Eimi admits. "I don't want to have lied to her, or break the promise, but the guy who was buying Jim was going to…" She looks down at her food, takes a few bites of the mashed potatoes, swallows, waits a moment and says, "This probably isn't an 'over food' talking," but continues anyway, "have monkey brains for lunch. He's probably pretty pissed I interfered." Pauses. "And the type of person who's going to eat monkey brains isn't a good person." She shrugs. "I mean anyway the first time going would just be looking around to try and find out who the dude is, not getting into anything. We could figure out what to do from there."

“Dunno. Someone stole it. And the rats ate it. The how’s and why’s are beyond me still. If it was just people stealing it that’s easy. They could sell it back, or horde it for themselves. But if they stole it for the rats I… it just doesn’t make any sense? Unless they were feeding like some evolved crime boss’s rat swarm? That sounds ridiculous. Even coming from me it sounds ridiculous. Like I can come up with some pretty good stories and theories but that’s just crazy. Which actually makes me think it’s probably closer to the truth given the crazy crazy world we live in. Secret government conspiracies and underground facilities and weird alternate future timelines that apparently our slang words came from. Found that out, apparently Primal is from the future. But a bad future that we steered away from. Some of the folks that hung around the Ferry were actually from the future.” Joe’s eyes roll a little bit as if that’s just every day life now.

“So, we can get to Staten quick like then. Should be easy. Also next time I visit Hailey you should come with. You can see Jim. Aaaaand you can cut the trip waaaaaay down. Right now it’s a six hour walk round trip to get out there. But you shouldn’t just come to take it easy on my feet.” His eyes shift right and left as he grins. “You should come see Hailey, and Jim.” Joe tips his head a little bit. “He was gonna eat him. Meat is scarce, and monkey is a delicacy in a lot of places I’ve read. So… yeah. Eating the monkey not that surprising. I’ve always hated that monkey, but he’s too smart to be food.” He does frown a little bit. “Colette is super awesome. Just bring me with and I’ll take the blame. Or just blame it on me. She’ll be mad at me, but she won’t hold a grudge I don’t think. Might try to kick my butt but you might as well beat on a brick wall there. You’ll probably make more headway with the bricks actually.” Joe flashes Eimi a wide grin before going back to nomming his way through his mashed potato bowl.

Eimi doesn't let the topic of discussion put her off the food for too long, and she eats thoughtfully while she listens to Joe.

The mention of how long it takes gets a bit of wide-eyed surprise, and her brows go up. "Six hours?" It's repeated back in the form of a question, just to make sure that she is, in fact, hearing that correctly. "Yeah that's a lot. I'll come along, definitely," she agrees. Her bowl is set aside temporarily and she pulls out the monocular scope from her pocket and sets it on the table. "Stole one like this from a sporting goods store in the midwest," she says. "This one was from another abandoned store somewhere, when I lost the first one. It's better than binoculars. I can see pretty clearly, almost half way across the safe zone if I'm on a high enough rooftop."

Mid-way through that, the girl switches topics abruptly. "When you registered," she asks, "it was fine, right?" She lets out a breath. "I was talking to that fed. Cesar," the name is added as a correction. "He said he'd help me get papers sorted out. I mean, if I'm going to be staying around the zone it would be better to do it at least halfway right."

“Yeah. Six hours. It’s a lot. Three hours there, and three hours back. Less if I run it. But I don’t have superhuman stamina. Just durability. l can’t run the whole way. I mean I’m sure if I had to I could. Not like I’m out of shape or anything. Brian would personally come down from Canada and slap me silly. But! I’m definitely no marathon runner. Long distance runner? Bah I dunno. Anywaaaay. It’s a long trip. I’d super appreciate a lift.” Cuz that’s fast transportation these days. Teleporters. “You know… you could totally charge for your teleportation. Like a taxi or something. The Eimi Taxi service or something. You’d probably wanna get registered and get commercial endorsement for it. I mean you wouldn’t have to, but you’d probably want to. Then charge people to warp them around.” Joe nomes away at his bowl a little further as he thinks on that.

“Oh. So you can see where you need to teleport and poof! That’s pretty awesome.” He doesn’t mess with her monocular, just peers at it. “We should get you a higher powered one. Then you could bamf clear across the safe zone. Or something.” He doesn’t blink at the sudden subject change. He does things like that on a regular after all. “Yeah. Getting registered was easy. They asked me some questions. Some I had answers to. Some I didn’t. Like family history and birth parents and what not… I really don’t remember. I mean I have little flashes of memory but nothing concrete. So I couldn’t really tell them who I was or where I was from originally. So my process was probably more involved than most people’s. And it was easy. Took a little time that’s all. And with a SESA agent helping you out the process will probably be a fair bit quicker and easier. If you need someone to go with you I can do that. I’ll go and be intimidating and stuff. Make sure they don’t mess with you.” Yes. Because Joe is all the intimidating.

There's a grin. "These ones were the best I've been able to find," she says. "I might have tried all of the ones that were left." She finishes off the food in her bowl and gets up to take it over to the sink, although there won't be much to rinse out. It's pretty much scraped clean as it is.

Then she leans on the counter, and lifts her shoulders in a shrug. "I… I don't know a lot of the answers," she says, "and they probably won't be able to check much. I don't suppose there are a lot of records left in Utah. And I don't even remember where in Utah we lived."

She grins. "At the worst I could probably teleport us out of there if they're too stupid about things," she adds.

“There’s enough in the pot for you to get some more if you want.” Joe offers to Eimi, and indeed there is enough of the potatoes corn and gravy for Eimi to make another bowl if she’s still hungry. He himself is taking his time with the eating, a bite at a time while he carries on the conversation. “Yeah I’m talking about higher grade stuff. Like military grade. Could also look at a high powered scope or something. Like military grade sniper scope or something like that. Not sure where we’d get one, but I’m sure there is plenty of surplus floating around after the war. Could try Staten’s market.” Joe shrugs his shoulders and continues eating.

“Well, we can get that all figured out. Especially helps if you have a guy that wants to help like that Cesar guy you said his name was? He’ll know what info you need and how to help get what you don’t have. And I dunno. A lot of records are digital now. So probably not much risk of them being lost. We can look into it. Worst comes to worst I’m sure I know people who can get you a solid enough fake ID.” Joe flashes Eimi a big smile and finishes off his bowl, going to the sink to wash it up.

Eimi gets another bowl, a little bit less than full, and sits back down cross-legged on the chair. "Well since we're going to Staten anyway we might as well," she agrees. The words are flat, but the grin that she offers her friend speaks volumes.

"I never had anything or whatever after the war, that's the thing," Eimi says, but shrugs her shoulders.

"I think we have a plan."

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