The Penguin Man


griffin_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title The Penguin Man
Synopsis A former cop, a twitchy telekenetic, talking about robots, and a great deal of lack of trust.
Date January 27, 2011

Greenwich Village: The Red Fox

Just like any other hole in the wall bar.

Nocturne Ziadie is quick to duck out and away once animal control has the dogs, and the penguins. At least the sidewalks are a little emptier now, and the older man makes decent time, lighting a third cigarette from the end of the second while paused waiting to cross a street, leaning a bit on the pole that holds the stop light.

In the glancing over the street, Ziadie's gaze settles on Griffin, slowly putting two and two together that Griffin was just over where the penguins were, as well. Usually, he'd remember someone he's asked for help with anything, as help isn't exactly his favourite thing to have to ask for, but people dressed in large amounts of winter clothing all look the same. Especially ones trying to be nondescript. But oh well. Worst he can do is end up going for a drink with a stranger. A different stranger, given he doesn't know the person he's about to speak to anyway. "Evenin'," he calls. He gestures vaguely to a small, hole-in-the-wall bar across the street. "Listen, 'd like t' thank y' properly, buy y' a drink," he continues, leaning heavily on his cane as he waits for the light to turn.

At first, it looks like Griffin is about to flat out leave. He certainly doesn't look like he wants to be there. And he certainly doesn't look like he wants to stop walking, once he's started. Especially not when the person trying to get him to stop has shot a telekinetic before— granted, that telekinetic was being an idiot and giving a bad name to other telekinetics (like Griff) who are not stupid. But all the same.

He stops at the light, leaning on his own ever-present cane and staring up at it from behind those huge sunglasses of his. He rather wishes he didn't have the nose he got from his mother, right about now— one that could easily be looked up on Google Maps.

After a moment's hesitation, Griffin turns, glancing to Ziadie briefly, before looking back to the hole-in-the-wall bar. He could use some scotch— especially after his first afternoon back from Pollepel, he ended up corralling Penguins. He'll have to go see the little buggers in the zoo, once they've been cared for. Assuming they'll be put back.

Finally, Griff nods slowly toward Ziadie, turning to peer at him from behind those shade. "…Sure." It's not like Griffin is going to be caught unawares if something happens— the twitchy telekinetic is a bit of a fast draw with his ability.

The light changes, and Ziadie makes his way across the street, glancing up at the sign proclaiming the establishment to be The Red Fox before ducking inside. Inside, it's as much of a hole in the wall as it seemed to be, with a long bar across one wall, mayhaps three high tables around the small room, only one of which is occupied. The older man only somewhat glances over his shoulder once to make sure that Griffin really isn't just going to dart away at the nearest opportunity.

He sits down at the bar, leaning the cane underneath it, and pulling out yet another clove cigarette that gets set on the counter. It's a day for chain smoking, it'd seem. Then Ziadie looks at Griffin, again. "Y've been giving me the 'I saw th' news' look."

And for a while as he's following Ziadie, Griffin really does look like he wants to just dart away at the nearest opportunity. Perhaps after he gets some good scotch in him, he will just dart away. The man did say he wanted to thank him, not that he wanted a long and meaningful conversation. All the same, the telekinetic follows Ziadie into The Red Fox, settling down at the bar.

He doesn't immediately take off his shades. Glances are cast about, sizing up the situation in the room— an old drunkard sitting at one table, the bartender— it looks like a situation he doesn't have to worry about. And there's always a back door, in any case, so he doesn't have to feel trapped in any sense of the word. Still, can't help but be nervous.

Finally, Griffin lifts a slender hand, removing the sunglasses and the hood that covers his head, followed by the hat that he was wearing. He doesn't bother with his coat— he might still need that later, so he'll wait until he's more comfortable with the situation. Thank god the drunkard and the bartender don't seem the types to closely examine and read the news.

"Yes— I did see the news." A shrug rolls over the man's shoulders, as he orders a double scotch on the rocks. He doesn't offer any more than that. He's still trying to get a good feel for this man.

The older man sighs, glancing over the bottles that line the back wall of the bar before deciding on scotch as well. After a moment of sitting, Ziadie takes off the sling, takes off the outer jacket, and puts the sling back on. Winces a lot as he does so, too, and curses a few times underneath his breath. Not loudly, just well, vehemently. The leather jacket he's wearing underneath the peacoat doesn't seem to actually close all the way, and there're an assortment of police medals pinned to the left side. "Seems to be all anyone's seen, as 'f recent."

Ziadie distinctly sounds displeased with this. "Never put much stock in th' news myself. Media overdoes e'rything."

Now the fellow is talking his language a little more— although Griffin really doesn't like those shiny little medals. Medals means that the guy he's talking to isn't as old and feeble as he might seem. Something Griffin believes that he will do well to remember in the future. Don't underestimate the retired cop. They're generally the last ones you want to mess with.

All the same, Griffin, who seems to be rather preoccupied with his surroundings as he takes a gulp of the harsh amber liquid that's set down in front of him. Finally, green eyes turn toward Ziadie, the man's brow raising slightly. "I hear you there. They overdo thing, and I'm fairly certain that most of the media networks are in the front pocket of the Government." A brief shrug rolls over the lanky fellow's shoulders.

From the tone of his voice, Griffin clearly doesn't care for the government. Who can blame him, really?

"Gov'ment's much the same, really," Ziadie muses, setting his cigarette down on the edge of the ash tray in order to pick up his drink. "Somehow as of late, I …" the older man shakes his head. Wherever he was going with that statement, he's thought better of it for the moment, apparently. "Now more so than ever."

Ziadie puts his drink down, staring past Griffin, before offering a half smile to the man. "I retired thinkin' as I'd never have to deal with it all again." The comment is offered up to the air, after Ziadie's glanced to make sure that the bartender has gone back to a distance where he can't so easily be eavesdropping. "Idealistic o' me, maybe."

Green eyes swing over to Ziadie, even as Griffin is reaching into his coat pocket to pull out a pack of cigarettes, tapping one out and pulling out his own zippo. The one he snatched from his own home ten years ago, though it was only a few months ago that he actually got it. Before that, there was nothing from the past. At least he got that much.

Lighting his cigarette, Griffin tilts his head toward the embittered retired cop, watching the man thoughtfully. "These days, any thoughts of happiness are typically idealistic." He speaks as if he knows this from experience. "Martial law, a new bout of H5N10…words of robots in the ruins that give this day and age a very…Terminator-esque feel." He offers a soft scoff, gulping down some more of the scotch.

"The world is coming down on our heads."

Ziadie's lips curl into a slightly bemused smile. "Was a different world when I retired, though," he responds. Robots was perhaps the last thing he expected to hear from someone at random while sitting in a bar, at this point, though he's been keeping his ear to the ground for those particular rumours. There's a nod of his head towards the sling. "Got one of them robots to thank for this," he says.

The older man picks up his glass, tipping it to his lips and leaving only perhaps one more swallow left, and winces, flipping the unlit cigarette in his hands a few times, despite that his last one is gripped between his teeth. "Mayhaps to thank for more."

Brows raise over green eyes, Griffin turning to watch Ziadie, to examine his arm for a moment. Then, he turns his eyes up toward the older man, leaning lightly against the bar as he takes another gulp of the liquid, wincing slightly as it burns its way down his throat. Ah, the delights of a good old scotch on the rocks. Nothing quite like it.

He takes a slow draw off of his cigarette, before straightening a bit. "You've met them, then. I have yet to receive that dubious honor." Save for when he saw the deactivated one in that truck that he and the Ferry ran off the road, shortly after he had nearly drowned in the Hudson River. "I hear they're pretty nasty, though." Brows raise a hair more, before he's focused on his drink once more..

Maybe he'll go hunting for some catbots.

Ziadie nods, with a grim hint of a smile on his face. "Met one'd be one way to put it," Ziadie says. "What I've heard, they have some way of sensing people like 's." Us. The older man subtly acknowledges both that he is evolved, and that he's aware of the fact that Griffin is. Or maybe the second part is an assumption. "Not t' mention machine guns, and th' part where they spew negation gas."

Ziadie slides his glass back towards the edge of the bar, a nod to the bartender, and deftly changes topic as the bartender comes back within earshot. "And y' know," he says, as if this is the most logical jump of conversation ever, a bit of a slur to his words from the effect of the alcohol, "the last thing I expected this morning was penguins." A nod. "Goin' through th' streets like they were right at home, save for the dogs."

Ziadie puts out the end of the cigarette, zippo open to light the next one, with a careful, if too obviously cautious, glance to watch when the abrtender goes back over to whatever book he was reading in his down time. "Rumours goin' through th' streets or not, I'd be careful as who I mention th' robots to, 'f I were you."

Subtleties. Griffin is good at picking up on subtle hints. When you're twitchy and capable of multitasking far beyond a normal human's capacity, subtleties are noticed. Griffin arches his brows quietly, turning suddenly to stare at Ziadie with a rather unreadable expression on his face. How much does this old fart know about him? "'Us?'" He tilts his head toward Ziadie, thoughtful.

When the bartender arrives, he is quick to pick up on the change of topic. "I certainly wasn't expecting to have the zoo come to me this afternoon. Glad they got picked up— poor things were living in the sewers, it looked like. It's a wonder they were still alive."

As the bartender leaves, Griffin smiles faintly. "I pick up on hints. You're unhappy with your lot in life, and unlikely to be an enemy, judging by appearance and demeanor." Griffin might drink often, but he doesn't often drink to get drunk, and he knows the smell of an alcoholic. Those who imbibe in alcohol far too often typically have a certain aroma that betrays their vice to the world. Nature's way of labeling them, perhaps.

"So, you seem to know about me. How is that?" The man takes another gulp. He's making his scotch last as much as he can, really.

The older man takes a long drag from the cigarette, letting smoke roll out the corners of his mouth. He's considering how to best answer the question, or perhaps just taking his time about it. "Easy," Ziadie finally says. "Either you'd have said y' weren't, or y' acknowledge it. Since y' didn't lie about it, I figure I was right."

Griffin smirks quietly, puffing on his own cigarette. His is normal tobacco, which is overpowered by the scent of Ziadie's clove cigarettes. "Fascinating." For a time, this is all he offers, swirling the scotch around in the ice distractedly. After a moment, he drains a good half of what's left, before turning his gaze toward Ziadie. He quietly studies the fellow, thoughtfully drawing on the cigarette, before he turns, putting it out in the ashtray.

He's still not particularly comfortable— still hasn't taken off his coat, and he's still glancing around as if he expects something to come out of the woodworks to get him, though the betrayal of emotion mostly rests in his eyes— the suspicion he looks at everything but his family and friends with, these days.

And for all of the fact that Ziadie has had more than enough to drink, the next words he speaks seem carefully chosen and are … clearer. "And believe me, son, I'd have known if y' lied."

The older man picks up his own glass, taking a slow sip of the scotch. For the moment, he seems to be simply musing over what Griffin had said to him. It makes the former cop uncomfortable, somewhat, and he's taking the time to consider what hints Griffin might have picked up on. And despite that Ziadie's face isn't particularly expressive when he doesn't want it to be, what's on his mind is clear enough.

Griffin tilts his head toward Ziadie, brows arching for a moment. "Then I suppose it's a good thing that I don't lie often, then." It's true, he doesn't tend to lie often. He just tends to omit information. Much better to not tell everything than to get caught in a lie. Much less dangerous these days, as well. The man turns, watching Ziadie in silence for a moment.

Then, a faint smile forms on his features. "Perhaps next time we choose to speak, it should be in a quieter location." He's interested in this fellow, at the very least, but he's not dumb enough to start talking about himself in a public place. He's not even sure of the merits of giving his name, just yet.

"Saves me a headache."

Ziadie nods, thoughtful, digging into his pocket and using the last of the scotch in his glass to wash down half a handful of pills. "Damn shoulder," he mutters. "Damn robots." This time, the former cop doesn't push his glass to the back of the bar for another, shakes his head at the silent query from the bartender, and chews on the end of his cigarette slightly.

Griffin finally finishes off the last of his scotch, quietly watching Ziadie. Hmm. A concerning tendency towards substance abuse, it seems. Perhaps if friendship is established at any point in the future, an intervention will be in order. Griffin Owain Mihangle is fairly good at interventions— especially when he can intervene from afar.

For now, though, he'll leave the old man to his vices.

"Do you have a card?" This is asked suddenly, almost out of the blue. The guy seems at least somewhat dissatisfied with the state of current affairs, judging by his mutterings on the topic. "Perhaps I could get in touch with you in the future." He still hasn't even offered his name yet…and he's still not sure how ready he is to give it out just yet. Especially not when in earshot of a bartender.

Ziadie hmms, shrugging quietly, and after putting the cigarette he'd been chewing on on the edge of the ash tray, pulls out his wallet, flipping it open. In plain sight is an old and well-worn sergeant's shield. Goes right with the shiny medals on his jacket, apparently, and with fumbling fingers he pulls out a blank card, then a twenty, closing the wallet and exchanging it with a pen and a cell phone. On the back of the cell phone, in large print, the number is written and taped on. Carefully, Ziadie copies it out, writes his name beneath it. "Can't promise I know how t' use the thing," Ziadie says, returning the pen and phone to his pocket. "But nothin' else, I'll make m' roommate help m' with the messages."

Ziadie slides the card towards Griffin, head tilted slightly to observe the other man's reaction to the wallet, the badge. The twenty gets folded, put underneath Ziadie's empty glass.

Griffin turns, just in time to see that shiny badge hanging out of Ziadie's wallet. Oooh, that's shiny. And something that Griffin summarily doesn't like, as is made slightly obvious by the fact that the man flinches on sight of the badge. He manages to play it off very well, but he's giving that badge a bit of a stink-eye, really.

However, he manages a faint smile, dipping his head toward Ziadie as he takes the card. The retired police officer doesn't appear to recognize Griffin's face, a blessing in itself. But, it could be a ploy. And his database entry advises to exercise extreme caution— which usually doesn't involve buying a fugitive a drink. But he still doesn't trust the old man. Not yet.

His paranoia finally wins out over him, and he raises to his feet, pushing on his sunglasses once more. While pulling his hat over his head and his hood up, Griffin tilts his head toward Ziadie. "Thanks for the drink. I owe you one." He's lingered for too long. Time to get moving again.

Ziadie bites his lower lip a bit, perhaps noticeably, keeping his own reaction as veiled as he can. When Griffin stands to leave, Ziadie ducks a nod, the most in parting that he'll usually acknowledge. "Take care." It takes him a while longer before he puts on his jacket, just draping it over his shoulders rather than bothering with once more undoing the sling, takes out his cell phone, and dials for a taxi. Today's given the old man a lot to think about.

"You too." He won't be giving Ziadie his name today. Much better to 'save the man a headache' by not lying about his name. "Look out for a call from the Penguin Man." A smirk is offered to Ziadie, before Griffin turns, quickly making his way out of The Red Fox. It's a relief when he doesn't step outside to police lights and people in exosuits.

Hurriedly, Griffin limps away on his cane, a frown on his face. He's got much to think about— like whether or not he wants to bother with a retired cop. The man is interesting, but…not the most trustworthy figure for someone such as Griffin.


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