Puppet Pals


chloe_icon.gif elle_icon.gif

Scene Title Puppet Pals
Synopsis Chloe attempts to make a puppet out of Elle, who… doesn't really appreciate it. Whups. She does, however, suggest that she could probably help Chloe put her powers to better use.
Date March 26, 2009

The Bronx

The Bronx is the northernmost borough of Greater New York, and even before the explosion, this area was diverse. Though known infamously throughout the world to be a low-income area, it was not without its finer points, as well as home to the Yankee Stadium. It was dense with life, for better or for worse.

For now, it is the the south-west areas of the Bronx that are unrecognisable. Clean up has not gone steadily, and buildings still lie in ruination. It is now hard to tell what this place is even for. During the day, construction teams work to clear more and more roads of South Bronx, although people seem to take liberties by driving over the burnt out rubble if they have the means. There are make-shift trailer camps and soup kitchens for those that don't have a place to go. One feature of South Bronx is the Yankee Stadium, so far untouched. There is irreparable damage done to the building itself, and no game has played there since the tragedy. Graffiti tags the areas available, and people often congregate illegally upon the wrecked grounds. The field itself is overgrown with weeds between fallen debris.

Heading away from Manhattan, the Bronx takes on more function and hope. This borough, once a place of Jewish immigrants, then Latin-Americans and African Americans, is now a diverse mix of all races, any and all New Yorkers taking up residence on the other side of the wreckage. There is even a semblance of a transport system, the electricity back on and functioning, but crime rates are higher than ever.

It isn't often that Elle ventures around the city out of the presence of another Company employee, the exception being when she's on assignment. There just isn't any call to do so, since most of what she needs she can already find at Primatech, and in her case— well. It's never exactly encouraged. For reasons that are probably obvious. Nevertheless, she is indeed out and about right now under the cloak of late evening, her nominal excuse that she's on her way to check up on a few last-minute errands before her flight to Utah.

She isn't that far away yet, even. Still right in the Bronx, in the neighborhood which she had lived for most of her life, and yet does not come anywhere close to really knowing. Alone, casually dressed in a dark pea coat and jeans, the young blonde is no doubt a walking target for any less-than-savory characters who should happen to catch her in their eye at this time of night. Down a dilapidated sidewalk she trundles nevertheless, hands in pockets, her mind wandering far away from all these possible dangers.

One would think that the bright-eyed, childish woman that is Chloe would be a target too! She's even skipping. Skipping down along the street in the opposite direction that Elle walks in, her brown hair bouncing a little with every skip. She certainly.. sticks out like a sore thumb among the slightly less dense crowds of the evening, at least. She occasionally looks to the bird-shaped handpuppet on her hand and mumbles something, but it's difficult to say what it could be in the hum of outside noise.

Of course, not having any idea who Elle is does not stop Chloe from stopping and staring at her, with an obvious and shameless gawking — she turns her head to look at her puppet for a moment, mumbling something to it while she points toward Elle with the other hand; her puppet makes a nodding motion and 'says' something back with a subtle tweaking of the plush beak by her fingers within.

There are… different levels of not being normal, apparently. With mittened hands still buried inside her pockets, Elle slows down a little when Chloe skips towards her and stops to stare, her blue eyes narrowing into puzzled crescents. "Hi," she says very curtly, breath leaving her lungs in an exhalation that is equally curt. She does not like being stared at. This is uncomfortable.

Oho! Well, that was certainly easy — normally, Chloe has to drag greetings out of people. By force. She is quick to turn on her heels and face Elle with a beaming smile on her lips; the homeless, puppet-carrying woman dips into a low and formal bow the likes of which would be more at home for someone asking a lady to dance in a ballroom. "Hello to you, as well! How're you? I know this little boy that you'd make a wonderful looking couple with." She says, all at once, as if that wasn't a completely random thing to say to someone she just encountered on the street.

Though she is still unsure of how to appropriately act in this situation, Elle settles for allowing the offendedness in her expression to slip a little, and she tries a sardonic little smile. Perplexity remains, however, and her posture only stays rigid in response to the bow. "I'm pretty sure that you might be kind of confused. There aren't any little boys I'm interested in looking wonderful with." Sorry to disappoint! Rather than starting away, however, it isn't long before she's staring at Chloe herself. Consideringly, and somewhat piercingly.

Chloe's expression melts into a very dissapointed look almost immediately. Not.. interested? No, no. Dolls aren't supposed to say whether they're interested or not. "No, no.. you see. It'd be really cute. I'm sure of it." Chloe says this, of course, with a tone of voice that seems to suggest that she thinks the very fact that she thinks it'd be cute makes it somehow 'right'. She puffs her cheek up a little, childishly. ".. So, I'll introduce him to you as soon as I can find him again, alright?"

"You don't know anything about me." Elle's smile, though unchanging in shape, takes on a vague note of menace; there is still that look on her face that says '…riiight'. She is unaware of the fact that she is supposed to be playing the role of a doll, nor that she is being considered as such. "It's not alright. Alright? Alright."

Chloe's expression devolves a bit further at that second denial — no, no. Definitely can't have that! She lifts her free hand, and then stiffens it with a faint jerk; suddenly, it's like a whole bunch of pressure, pressing around you all at once — kind of like a straight jacket, but at the same time, your body isn't moved from the position it was in. How wonderful that you were already standing still; more than likely, your predicament is oblivious to those walking by. The joys of abilities that dont' have obvious effects. "No, no.." She whispers out quietly, leaning in a little closer and lidding her eyes half-way; she takes on a rather droll, unamused expression. "You see, characters in a story shouldn't question the script, or it'll just turn into a mess. There is a reason they don't write the stories themselves—" She murmurs off, leaning ve~ery close. It is.. perhaps a little creepy. Or a lot creepy. And unwise, perhaps, but Chloe is unluckily none the wiser to what Elle can do.

In a gasp, Elle's breath constricts within her chest when she feels her limbs being invisibly crushed, just as though they're in a vise. She tries to move, but finds that from the neck down, it's all but impossible; she soon gives it up. A lump collects in her throat. "Let me go," she demands quietly, her eyes half-lidding to mirror Chloe's in that growl of warning as the other woman bends towards her. "I don't know who you are, or what you want, but I'll tell you once: if don't let me go now you'll be in a world of pain."

There is a moment of pause in Chloe — a moment of brief intimidation, perhaps, despite the fact that she has Elle, as far as she's aware, perfectly under control. But she soon gathers herself once more and leans back, her smile growing wide again; she shakes her head a little. "Don't be silly. Now, all you have to do is agree to do whatever I say, and I won't have to make you.. say, blindly walk out into the street there." She says, gesturing her head just a little to the side. She still has a childishly beaming smile as she says it, of course! She eases her hand forward — though she doesn't cause you to move or anything with the motion — and taps a single finger softly on the tip of your nose, leaving it there. What's the worst that could happen?

"I said, let me go." When Chloe reaches out to tap Elle's nose with her finger, a solid-blue glow of electricity collects at the agent's bottom lip, ZZZTing outwards to melt into the skin of Chloe's hand once large enough. The bolt will likely have come and gone before the other woman can really figure out what happened, but the pain - the burn - will linger. Well, Elle -had- said she'd give only one warning, and there it had gone. What's the worst that could happen to Chloe, indeed?

Uwah! Chloe's eyes widen immediately as she realizes not the zap, but the sharp pain of it — and she wobbles backwards a few steps. The hold on Elle is easily released with the breaking of Chloe's concentration, and she bites her lip hard, squeezing her finger among the others of that hand. She then looks at you with a rather defensive, accusing look — as if you'd hurt her both physically and emotionally. Such a bully! Her other hand — the one with the puppet — raises, and she squeeks out the words "That was mean!" in a higher-than-normal voice, while tweaking the beak of her puppet with her fingers inside. This is, apparently, the 'voice' of her puppet.

When Elle is released, it's like breaking free from a spell, however short-lived it might have been. The relief that comes is immediate, but so is the upsurge of her anger. She removes both her mittens in one motion, seeking to ~grab~ and hold the wrist of Chloe's with the puppet in an iron grip. If successful, another charge of electricity will begin collecting in her free hand. This one very visible indeed, glowing in a small but hot, concentrated ball. "You don't know how mean I can be. If you ever try that again…" Her eyes settle coolly on Chloe's face, belying the tension still elsewhere in her body.

Chloe is certainly easily grabbable! She's barely even collected herself by the time Elle has her by the wrist, and her expression easily caves into one of fear. "D-.. B-.." She mumbles off, looking quite in a panic. ".. Please don't hurt me! I was.. I was just kidding! I wouldn't force you to do anything, I mean, that is, clearly I can't force you do anything, so.." She mumbles off, her voice quick and paniccy — she stares at Elle with an expression full of fear, hope, doubt — all at once.

There is a pause from Elle's end before she brings her glowing palm around in a tight, threatening arc, very very close to Chloe's face, before letting the electricity -zap- into nothingness. To anybody who's watching from far away, it probably just looks like the two of them are having fun with glowsticks. She smiles broadly, once, and lets Chloe go. "That's better. Now then. What's your name?" As if nothing unusual had just occurred. Nothing at all.

Chloe sniffles quietly as she brings her free hand up to rub at her wrist when released — she's rather pouty for a few moments before she replies! "Chloe." She says simply, slowly closing one eye and peering at Elle with the other. She takes a small step back before settling on her heels with another pout. "You didn't have to hurt me like that, you know! And you might've hurt Chirpy if you did what you were going to do.." She huffs softly, puffing her cheek up a little bit. By the shift of her hand, t'would seem Chirpy is her puppet.

"You threatened to make me step out into the middle of the street," Elle points out, tilting her head just the smallest of angles. Her brush of a ponytail shifts on her shoulder at this. The warmth in her smile, if it can be called that (if anything, it's closer to iciness), grows, and she reaches out again— this time to gently stroke at Chirpy's fabric, not grab either of them. In reference to hurting: "…We can't have that happen, can we."

"W-Well, honestly, I wouldn've had to walk out into the street myself to do that, I was just trying to get you to listen to me.." Chloe mumbles out sheepishly, a frown on her lips still. She lowers her head slightly, and her body stiffens noticably; she's rather tense when you reach toward her! She softens only a little when you aren't apparently acting hostile. ".. People usually listen a lot better when you threaten to hurt them, so, it's a lot easier." Chloe nods her head just a little as she explains herself!

That realization, the limitation on Chloe's power, sinks into Elle lightly. Hee hee. "You're really just so much of an act, then, aren't you?" she says, somewhat patronizingly. The glow of sly delight has come to settle into her eyes, though, and she cheektwists 'Chirpy' as though he can really feel it. Her head tilts, slightly, in approving response. Oh, she can understand what that's like: threatening people to get them to listen to you. "Well. Even though you didn't ask, my name's ~Elle.~ Tell me, Chloe. Where do you live? Does someone take care of you, or do you usually play puppeteer with people you don't know?" There's a hint of menace in the last sentence. Just a hint.

Chloe suddenly jerks her arm back, trying to pull her puppet away from Elle's touch — "Chirpy only likes my friends. And I don't have any, so that means he only likes me." She puffs out, in a faintly nervous voice. Her eyes narrow ju~ust a little bit at Elle, but her reply does come. "I don't live anywhere, I take whatever I need to take care of myself, and by that virtue, yes, I do tell people I don't know what to do." She replies, apparently satisfied with referring to it as something so innocent as 'telling people what to do'.

And Elle's hand lingers for a thoughtful moment in midair, before it drops on its own. Innocently. Fine then. "Be that way, then." She actually shrugs a little, focusing on re-sheathing her hands into her mittens. It's a fairly cool night, after all. "It's obvious, Chloe, that you're a very special girl. But you've probably figured that out on your own. You're sure there's nobody around who knows where you are?" What a creepy question to ask.

Hwah? Chloe looks rather perplexed! ".. Well, nobody as far as I know." She says, tilting her head to the side. "W-.. Why?" Even Chloe is not immune to the creepiness of the question! But she's already answered before realizing it — "I mean, if want something from me, you're not really going to have much luck." She puffs, lidding her eyelids halfway. "I'm not stupid enough to carry anything valuable around with me..!" She says, though she draws her arm back defensively — hiding Chirpy behind her. Better safe than sorry. For what it's worth, anyway.

"Oh, I don't want anything from you." Elle answers sweetly, lightly brushing one mitten over the side of Chloe's head. How reassuring, no? "I don't want your money, or anything you have. If I did I would've taken it a long time ago. But what you can do… have you ever thought about everything you could do with your power, Chloe? More than just beating up on poor, defenseless little girls like me?"

"H-.. Huh?" Chloe boggles a moment — ".. Well, I mean, I guess. I wasn't able to do much to you after all.." She mumbles out, lowering her head and looking rather dramatically pouty at the idea of her ability not being all that strong! "Why?" She asks, leaning back a bit when her hair is brushed over! She keeps her shoulders leaned up a little and her head scrunched down. Hrf hrf.

"Yeah, you couldn't do anything to -me.-" Of course not. Elle sounds practically offended at the idea; after all, she does have a very efficient defense mechanism contrary to whatever she had just asserted. "But with a little training… I don't know. You could be turn out to be quite useful. It's not a call I can make right now, but who knows? You and Chirpy both." She doesn't try petting Chloe again, but merely considers the other girl with a tiny smile, lips pursed. The point of this isn't assault, after all. It wouldn't do to cause too much squirming.

Chloe's body tenses just a little! Someone wants her for something other than to 'go away'? What craziness is this? She turns her head and eyes Elle curiously for a moment out of the corner of one eye — ".. Well, what would we have to do? I mean, as long as I can bring Chirpy, I don't really have much else to do." Chloe murmurs, in a pliant sounding tone; her other hand slips back around her to join the puppethand, clasping around the wrist thereof idly.

"—I don't know yet." is Elle's clipped, though quite honest reply. "Like I said, it's not something I can call right now, so you'll just have to be patient." Her tone is one of a teacher telling a squirmy grade-school student to have patience. "I know you don't have much to do. That's the best part." And she doesn't bother to elaborate any further on this.

"…What I do need is some way to see you again, if it turns out I'm right." There is an expectant pause. Phone number? Probably not, since Chloe is homeless. Meeting place? That seems more likely.

Pausing for a long moment, Chloe simply stares at Elle, until she realizes that the other woman is.. well, waiting for some kind of suggestion as to how she should be contacted. In fact, Chloe doesn't even seem sure of how herself! "W-.. Well. Umn." She glances around a little. Hey. That seems as good as any. ".. I could meet you here on a certain day? What day?" She asks, turning her head back toward Elle — she lifts her puppet, and starts talking with it in a higher, more squeeky voice. "Thursdays are the best days of the week, so it should be a Thursday some time!"

"Works. But if someone does meet you here, it probably won't be me," Elle advises, glancing briefly around as though to confirm the location. Best not to create any false impressions: she'll be out of town on … business, though of course, she can't tell Chloe about that. Top-seekrit. "And it might be a little while before I can wade through enough to get your name through. So… it might be a week or two. Let's call it two. Sound good?"

Half-turning, Chloe glances toward Elle once again. "Okay," She replies, with a small nod. "I'll meet.. someone back here in a week. I'll try every couple of days after that, but, if it's more than a couple months.." She pauses, puffing her cheke up just a little. "I'd definitely give up by then!" Chloe sure seems to think that her time is important, by the tone of her voice! Besides the fact that most people would probably give up after the first attempt.

"That's what I like to hear." Inhaling for a moment, Elle soon lets it out in a terse, pleased sigh as she surveys Chloe from head-to-toe one final time. "Okay. I should get going. Just try not to piss off too many people before we can get to you, okay?" As the small woman shoulders past the puppeteer, her thumb crawls momentarily out of its mitten to give Chloe a parting electric ~zap~, right on the ear. The corners of her lips turn up. What'd she do that for? Because she can, that's what for.

Alas, the last thing Chloe sees of Elle is the passing of the other woman beside her — zapped in the ear, the puppeteer girl wobbles and then flops onto the ground with a crash! Clearly caught by surprise, Chloe holds her ear and scrunches her nose, squirming around a little as Elle walks off. The cries of Chloe's childish "Ow ow ow ow!" grow steadily less obvious over the hum of the evening as the two separate, leaving Chloe clueless as to where Elle might've gone off to.

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