The British Are Coming


kurt_icon.gif ygraine_icon.gif

Scene Title The British are Coming
Synopsis Kurt and Ygraine at the Alley Cat Couriers
Date October 3, 2009

Alley Cat Courier Service

What was once a small warehouse now serves a completely different purpose. From before dawn until after dark, bikes pass in and out the open doors, couriers off to pick up and deliver mail, returning to take on another task.

Although the warehouse should be rather spacious, it mostly manages to feel crowded. At the very least, busy. A row of lockers, stacked two high, covers one long wall. Bike racks for those who prefer to keep their bicycles here - or need someplace to leave them while on break - line the opposite side of the building. There are always people moving about - rummaging in their lockers, little knots of chitchat, trading experiences and advice on routes (or just the latest gossip) beneath the shouted calls for messengers to deliver this package there or go pick up something from somewhere else. There are usually two people tasked with coordinating the chaos of the Alley Cats, a receptionist who takes called-in orders and the manager who sees to the fair dispersal of jobs; a corner of the warehouse near the main doors has been partitioned off to create their offices.

It's a warm, still night towards the end of the Cats' working day. The warehouse is busier than usual, with many couriers here to wrap things up for the night, and a number of others taking late deliveries for their last runs of the day.

Another arrival normally wouldn't draw too much attention, but the tall young woman in archaic attire who enters and stalks towards the counter seems to merit a double-take and wave from Rey while he's on the phone to a client, while Jean - the large and somewhat formidable head of the harried administrators - shoots the newcomer a look of mild disbelief.

Apparently unperturbed, the woman switches her cane to the other hand, then vaults smoothly over the counter and enfolds the clerk in a warm hug, seemingly heedless of the stares of the newer-recruited Ally Cats in the vicinity.

Kurt is done his deliveries for the day and is going over his bike with a fine tooth comb making sure everything is perfect and in good condition for any day of work. The young dark man catches sight of Ygraine and her huggy antics and gives a little chuckle at the new recruits reactions, "Ah don't worry man, no one is gonna force ya to be in the huggy group till you've been here at least six months." He assure one of the non touchy feeling men who raised an eyebrow at the british woman.

Ygraine gives Jean a very long, tight hug, holding a rapid conversation with the older woman as she does so - before being thrust back to be eyed at arm's length. A moment later, and the cane has been set aside so that the gloves can be stripped off, and a pair of rings examined - Ygraine beaming happily, if rather bashfully, as Jean peers at her finger.

Kurt stands up straight and leaving the older but rather nice looking bike behind heads over towards the counter to lean on it, "Oh shiny." He says with a grin on his face. Kurt isn't the hang out with loads of people type but he has talked to most of the people here and is friendly in general. "Congrats are in order I assume?" He asks the woman he has met a few other times.

Ygraine glances around, offering Kurt a grin - and a moment later, a look of recognition. "Oh, hi there! And yeah - Jen and I got hitched last month - back home where it's legal." She is indeed wearing a pair of complementary knotwork rings, both in silver, one decorated with inlay. "I'm over here for a few days, and thinking about moving back, part-time, so I figured I'd drop by and see if I'd been forgotten yet."

Kurt chuckles lightly and stands up straight nodding his head to the other courier, "Well then congratulations indeed, Ygraine right?" He asks to make sure he isn't getting it wrong. He smiles his normal half dorky but bright smile and just settles with leaning on the counter after giving Jean a little wave, "I'm sure you haven't been forgotten though, crazy amount of newbies though I warn."

Ygraine quirks a swift grin, shaking her head as she darts another glance to Jean. "Oh, there're always newbies. Only a few folk have any stamina to stick it out", she chuckles. "But maybe that's just a reflection of my abilities as a trainer. I don't think anyone I helped to show the ropes has lasted more than a couple of months yet."

Kurt smiles at this and touches his chest lightly, "I've almost made it a year now, surprised myself in that one. Can't even begin to tell ya how often I wanted to quit in my first few months, so I get what ya mean." He flicks his head in the direction away from the counter, "Well you ought to come back just to toughen some of them up then."

Ygraine laughs again. "Oh, Midtown's not what it was before the Day of Miracles. Thank goodness. But they do have it "easy", these late-comers." Winking, she pats Jean on the shoulder then hops back over the counter to let the woman return to her work. "And I've not exactly been in _terribly_ serious training for the past few months. Rather enjoyed showing Jen around the UK, and having a bit of a holiday."

Kurt nods his head at this, "Definitely easy." He winks and shakes his head at Ygraine. "you two wanna move back here? Jen from here or something? I'd take seeing the UK over New York any day."

"Oh, Jen's a Noo Yawkah, by origin", Ygraine says with another grin. "But she's studying over there now. Me… I feel I might be able to do most good over here. So…." She shrugs rather sheepishly. "I'm thinking of splitting my time. Give Jen a good shot at her studies, and see if I can save the world while she's at it - and meet up as often as we can to make sure we don't forget what the other looks like."

Kurt hums and raises an eyebrow at this, "Saving the world in between deliveries. Sounds like an interesting plan to me." He isn't one to pry though and just shrugs, "Sounds like alot of work to me but good like on it. Don't know how anyone can really help here much lately."

Ygraine looks somewhat surprised, then chuckles. "Unless you've changed your work habits, you're doing your own efforts in that line. Or do you just take the Midtown routes because you like the view, rather than because you think that helping to tie the two bits of the city together might do some good?"

Kurt chuckles at this and shakes his head, "Nah I took the midtown route for the view. Gorgeous bit of scenery there." He winks again to the British woman, "Yeah no use having the city split apart, beside this way I can get a few people some breakfast during my first delivery of the day. Not to mention the recent roomie I found in midtown, long story." He concludes with a shake of his head at himself, "Plus I still love the mailman routes you started us on, genius idea there."

"Someone came in to ask if they could have mail delivered here, then moved on to their home address - and it seemed to make sense that we give locals the chance to just have mailboxes here. Better than them having to trek up to a sorting depot and ask for their mail. My apartment's somewhere that _does_ get deliveries, and… while I'd happily miss out on most of the junk mail, being able to receive letters is just part of living in a modern city. If New York's to live up to the "city" bit of its name, it seems to make sense to try to make sure that people get the basics of living here - even if they have to pay a little to get it."

Kurt nods his head at Ygraine's speech and smiles over towards her, "Makes sense to me. Love to think of more to do myself so if you have anything you need an extra set of hands on, I'm normally at work or home working my other job. Just ask." He offers and expands, "I also work on alot of geeky computer stuff."

Ygraine looks mildly surprised, then nods. "I think I heard you talking about that in the past…. I'm surprised you work here. My degrees won't get me paid work, but computing skills should generally get you a decent job somewhere. You must really love dodging traffic. But… thanks. I don't exactly have any clear plans for what I'll do: I'm over here to check out a few options. If anything comes up, I'll bear you in mind."

Kurt shrugs half heatedly at this, "I'm a geek but sitting at a computer all day drives me nuts after a while. I like my traffic dodging and co workers I got here. No technical institute could have quite as varied a background staff as here." He smiles look out over the hall, "Besides keeps me in shape. Sure I can create my own operating system but without this job I wouldn't keep my fine figure." He jests, "I was only at MIT for two and a half years anyways. I came back here after the bomb and couldn't leave."

Ygraine laughs softly, nodding. "I was on Broadway on the day of the Bomb. It… can get a real hold on you, this place, even when you've seen things that make you want to run away."

Kurt tilts his head from side to side, "Yeah my parents and my little sister were on the subway in the wrong spot. They never made it but I was away at MIT at the time, was working on a project so skipped the holiday visiting." He explains and then ohs, "Were you really hurt?" he asks then looks a touch embarrassed, "Sorry I'm prying."

Ygraine winces sharply. "I'm sorry to hear that", she says, quietly sincere. "And… sort of. I was in full leathers, on my motorcycle, with my back to the Bomb as I drove away from it. I got thrown through the front of a store. I've got… fragments of memories. Bad ones. Then I came 'round in a field hospital a few days later. By that point, foreign governments were rounding up their nationals to get them out - and I got shipped home. Spent… quite some time in care after that. Got out in the Summer of '07."

Kurt shakes his head at this and waves a hand, "All in the past. I just figure there must be a reason I decided not to come home. I might as well make the most of it. I spent a while after the bomb working on clean up crews then when Chelsea finally reopened I worked a few odd jobs then heard they needed people for midtown runs here. Having been in the radiation on clean up before this I wasn't as freaked out as alot of other people were so I got the job." He gives her a touch of a frown, "Well at least ya made it." He shakes his head, "Sorry I always start rambling when I actually talk about this stuff."

Ygraine laughs quietly. "For my part… I can safely claim to be a good cyclist. And having been hit by the blastwave, any residual effects in Midtown weren't exactly likely to affect my level of risk. And I like to think I'm an altruist, so the Midtown runs made perfect sense for me…"

Kurt grins at this, "Altruism I'm sure had a part in my being here as well. Can't help it." His grin widens, "But oh man was I a horrible biker back then, took me a month to really figure it all out. thankfully people have patience once in a while." He pauses for a moment and then asks a little quieter, "Hey odd question but you seem the talkative and helpful type. What are your views on the evolved peoples? It's just a subject coming up around me lately and really I've never paused long to think about it until now." He tries to explain his question with a bit of a sheepish shrug.

Ygraine blinks in surprise, then laughs softly. "I just married a girl", she says with a wry grin. "That might suggest something. But… beyond that, I'm a specialist in conflict resolution, who's worked for the UN - if only as a translator for the most part."

Kurt chuckles at this and runs a hand over his hat like it was hair, "Hey not all the alternitive lifestyle people are pro-evo I'm sure. Wait…you work for the UN and work here, crazy lady." He shakes his head but grins.

Ygraine chuckles, shaking her head. "I was a translator there when I was here in '06. Returning to work dealing with the horrors of the world didn't seem wise as a first job after leaving hospital. So… I went for cycling."

Kurt ahs and nods his head at this, "Alright, had me doubting my own life there for a second." He chuckles and shakes his head, "Ever going to go back?" He asks.

"To the UN? I'd like to. But… people who've been nuked and spent a long time being put back together might not be the most… stable. And I wasn't on a permanent contract anyway. I'm _hoping_ to sort something out now - I've spoken to a few people while I'm here - but I'm not sure what'll turn up."

Kurt grins and says, "I'm sure it'll work out for ya. You don't strike me as the sit down and take much else type." He says cheerfully.

Ygraine laughs quietly, shaking her head. "Hope and a few qualifications don't really count for a lot. The UN's one of few recruiters that can be said to be darn-near global. There's a certain amount of competition. But I've got some chance, at least, having got my foot in the door before."

Kurt bobs his head at this, "Your foot in the door already will probably count for alot with an organization like the UN. Would you go back to just translation though or now something more?" He asks with genuine interest.

"Well, it was translation for one of the analysis departments - rather than providing one of a hundred and fifty feeds of people droning on in minor General Assembly debates, I was working on treaties and news reports. Meant I missed out on the hugely-dramatic set-pieces - things like presidents arguing in open debate - but the day-to-day stuff was far more interesting and relevant. I'd like to at least do that."

"Sounds more interesting then the job title implies honestly." Kurt chuckles, "I had some picture in my head of people sitting in little booth listening to boring recordings is tons of different languages. I just speak english myself though so never really thought about it."

Ygraine laughs softly, shaking her head. "I'm fully fluent in French, and my post-grad work was in international conflict. So… even though they didn't trust me to _do_ any analysis, I was trusted to talk to those who did, in a meaningful way."

Kurt grins at this, "What else could you do with a degree like that?" He asks and then ohs, "And what was your graduate degree?" He raises an eyebrow.

Ygraine laughs again. "Oh, some people wind up working for charities. A skilled negotiator can be worth a fortune to a charity, talking aid convoys through dangerous areas and past bandits and extorters. And a specialist analyst can tell you who to talk to and where not to go. And I took my Master's at the School of International Relations, at the University of Canterbury. In England that is, rather than New Zealand."

Kurt waves his fingers in the air and trying not to laugh ohs, "I honestly idn't know there was one in New Zealand or England. I really ought to get out of New york more." He grins to Ygraine, "But now I'm doubting my computer obsession, that charity idea could have come in handy around here. I hated trying to get supplies to the make shift hospitals set up after the bomb, to many people needed it."

Ygraine chuckles, shrugging somewhat bashfully. "Oh, I'd be far more employable if I'd learned corporate negotiating tactics, rather than some of the basics of how to resolve wars. There's precious little profit in bringing peace, so… precious few jobs in the field. You'll find far more people working to smoothe the passage of corporate merges than you will find people paid to help aid get to where it's needed."

Kurt grins at this but shakes his head as he looks towards the floor then back up to the woman, "I could see that. Though war it sometimes felt like about here. Or a war zone in the very least. To bad you can't find more work around here, i'm sure the bosses will hate to you ya."

Ygraine cracks a rueful grin. "Oh, there's profit even in this place. People buying up property as long-term investments, and the like. But… not much profit in helping people. Hence trying to find unconventional ways to do it, like working here."

Kurt nods his head in agreement with this, "Never much profit around with just helping people normally. It's all in the opposite line of work." He shrugs with a little sigh and runs his hand over the white hat again as he pushes himself off of the counter he was still leaning on, "But good for you for trying the unconventional."

Ygraine laughs again. "Aren't you doing the same?", she asks impishly.

Kurt chuckles and shakes his head, "Not as hardcore as you lady. I bike through midtown, I don't try and save the world."

Ygraine snorts softly. "And what makes you think I've done any more than you in that regard? You're doing what you can, which is surely as much as can be asked."

Kurt chuckles at this and grins ot her widely, "I guess so. but as I said, anything else I can do, not like I have much else to work on." He laughs again lightly, "But must be the british accent, make you seem more worldly then a new yorker."

Ygraine laughs. "Well, I do _know_ some of the secrets of the world, of course", she teases.

Kurt mocks an oh face and bats eyes at her jokingly, "Oh do share?"

Ygraine arches a brow, then chuckles and shakes her head. "I shouldn't tease. At least not when surrounded by so many natives."

Kurt grins ruefully and shakes his head, "Oh we aren't that scary are we?" He jestingly asks and shrugs, "I had a horrible urge to start yelling, the British are coming for a moment but repressed it."

Ygraine shrugs gently. "We have a reputation for being snooty and arrogant - especially the English. Any _demonstration_ of superiority tends to only reinforce that", she teases gently.

Kurt scoffs at this, "The british arrogant? Surely not." He tries to tease back, "I firmly believe New Yorkers are mostly an arrogant bunch myself."

Ygraine laughs merrily. "I'm married to one, so I think I can agree there", she says with a grin. "But I'm sure you've watched at least a few Mel Gibson films, and know that all English are inherently evil, and are in fact responsible for all the woes of the world. It's a bad idea for us to remind you of it, generally."

Kurt hums at this, "But James Bond was English and super cool so that should balance it out in the end I would think." He points out and grins laughing himself, "At least you all don't have as horrible teeth as the movie say."

"The most approved-of Bond actor, however, was a Scot. And Bond's still a cad and a bounder, in so many ways. He's got a lot of the anti-hero in him. And… well. For the teeth, more people have "bad" teeth than in the US, but no one's denied dental - or other health - care. It's a trade-off. Redundant tooth-whitening for some, or basic dental care for all, with the option to pay for expensive treatments if you have the cash and the inclination."

Ygraine shrugs amiably. "But the NHS is a dirty subject over here, I know - so I should probably leave off, and have a word with Rey now he's off the 'phone. Hopefully, I'll see you around, Kurt."

Kurt chuckles, "Forgot about the Scot thing. I'm a bad James Bond fan in the end." He concludes and raises a hand in a half wave, "Well see you around and about Ygraine, and congratulations and good luck again." He smiles. the off to make sure his bike really is in perfect shape, can't make any money with a broken mode of transportation.

Ygraine offers Kurt a flamboyant bow and a broad grin, then does indeed turn and hurry over to grab the bespectacled master of Alley Cats' operations while he's free….

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