Utopia's Not For Guys Like Us


satoru_icon.gif f_niles_icon.gif

Scene Title Utopia's Not For Guys Like Us
Synopsis Satoru and Niles share a friendly lunch and discuss Utopia.
Date April 19, 2009

Nathan's Famous

There are plenty of Nathan's Famous locations scattered across Long Island; this one happens to be one of a few in Queens.

It's early afternoon, and Satoru is seated outside a local Nathan's Famous location. At an outdoor picnic table, he has quite a tray of food in front of him - a few chili dogs, french fries with and without cheese, onion rings, large soda. Most people walking by would probably assume he was with someone who had perhaps stepped away for the moment, if not for the fact that he's sampling from everything on the tray.

Although it's with a casual attitude that he chips away at the foodpile. This time of day, the place isn't too crowded, though there are a few passers-by who give him a strange look before continuing on. Weather is nice, although a bit chilly for outdoor eating, but a hoodie helps ward off the chill. The gluttonous lad is in fairly high spirits, though, so that's saying something at least.

In an odd mirror, Niles Wight is at a nearby table. But rather than fried food (the food got a bit better at Moab once the facility stopped being so secret) he's got two desserts and a dish of vanilla ice cream. That, and an icy margarita. There's enough sugar sitting in front of the former inmate to give a man diabetes. He's got a slice of apple pie and a lava cake. The dish of ice cream has chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. He's attacking each one at a time.

Like a predator at a kill, he only pulls his awareness from the food after he's had a good taste. Oh. Onion rings. Those look good.

Whereas Satoru's tenure at Moab was illuminated by a daily diet of practically-tasteless sludge. Liquified everything. Mashed potatoes, dull rice, the bare minimum for survival and all that. He's pretty much determined to eat poorly for a while in order to make up for it. A long gulp of soda is followed by a few bacon-and-cheese covered fries, fingers licked sloppily, and at that point he notices his food being watched. Niles is given A Look, though it softens a moment when he remembers he isn't in prison anymore. No need to be quite so territorial.

…Dessert looks good. Though he'll get to that once he finishes eating enough to feed three starving Indian families.

"Oy," says Niles as he nods towards Satoru's table. "Trade you half this lava cake for a few of those onion rings." He's serious. Manners? The only protocol that existed in prison involved smacking people over the head with a tray to get to the last thing of blue Jell-o. He looks at Satoru in a way that he might be used to by now - with a slow sizing up.

Oh christ, it's another Brit. Looking at him funny, even. Toru kind of pauses a moment, a fry halfway between the tray and his mouth, and he looks at Niles in similar sizing-up fashion. Hm. Jaw set a bit, he thinks the offer over for a few seconds, then pushes himself up to his feet, moving around the edge of his table, picks up his tray and lazily glides Niles-ward. Rollerblades.

He sets the tray down across from the British fellow, sitting down himself in a slightly more awkward series of movements given his footwear, and divvies out the onion rings - a few are plopped onto his bacon fries, and the rest lifted and dropped onto Niles's own tray. "They're not real hot anymore," he notes.
"S'allright. The lava cake's not especially warm." Niles has an accent, but it's quite neatly watered down. Too long in the States. But he's made a conscious effort to hold onto it. People seem to take him more seriously with the accent. Something about his particular trace of an accent making him sound more authoritative or something.

He swallows down some of the margarita and then bites into the onion ring. Once he's chewed one down, he scoops half the chocolatey cake in with his apple pie and passes the rest over to Satoru. It's a rather generous slice, but it's not as if he's short of dessert. "Forgot I'm not much fond of chocolate."

Satoru raises his eyebrows. "Not a fan? Dude, I'm thinking of pencilling next week in for only eating chocolate. Maybe the week after. I gotta check my thing," he gestures vaguely, and cleans off his fork with a napkin, utilizing it to take up a generous chunk of cake and nom on it gratuitously. "I like my cake cold anyway," he adds, reassuringly, mouth still half-full. Cake is promptly washed down with another mouthful of soda, followed by a generous bite of chili dog. "So, what," mouth almost entirely full this time. "It your birthday or somethin'?"

"No," says Niles. He doesn't feel as if he owes Satoru an immediate explanation, despite their food exchange bargain. He scarfs down the food like he has little time to eat it. The behavior should be familiar. "What about you? Breaking a diet? A fast?" He suspects he might know the answer, but tipping Satoru's hand might mean tipping his own. So he just eyes the other man, then scoops up mouthfuls of ice cream before it all melts away.

And Satoru, in turn, feels no need to tell Niles any more than Niles will tell him! Although, the way the question is asked, he can answer without having to reveal too much. "Yeah," he replies, with somewhat of a goofy sort of grin. "Diet, I mean. Fasting's like white guilt bullshit or something, I don't need to get into that." Only not, but he does like to blame white people for things he doesn't like. "I been on a diet for a while and got sick of it, anyway."

Niles gives Satoru a dubious look. Somehow he doesn't quite believe that. But the watered down Brit doesn't prod. Instead he just makes a soft sound and resumes the gorging session. "You know," he says after a moment. "This shit's really not as good as I remembered. The pie is limp. The filling isn't fresh tasting. The chocolate is chalky." A beat, "Onion rings are all right though." He stuffs a few more into his mouth.

But it's mostly true! It just wasn't a diet he chose to go on. Or one he figured he'd have a choice in quitting. Everything out of his hands, nothing ever his fault, etc. Typical youth of today. "Whatever, dude. Shit's all mass-produced, you can't expect it to be like, home made and fresh, right?" He finishes up his chili dog, leaving two on the tray, and sips some more soda. "Part of why it's good is because it sucks, you dig?"

"I should have gone to a better restaurant." But Niles can't remember where the good places are. It's been ten years. Nothing has changed, granted, but that doesn't make it any easier to dredge things up from the depths of his memory. He takes a few long swallows of the margarita, then bites into the apple pie. He chews it for a moment, then slowly pushes the plate away. Beh. He lights up a cigarette.

"You don't come to Nathan's for fine dining. Shit." Satoru shakes his head, and leans forward to stab at Niles's pie with his fork. It was abandoned! Squatter's rights. "I mean hell, would you go to friggin' Burger King and bitch that the milkshakes're powder instead of ice cream? Or.. or.. Hell, man. You want good food, buy a fuckin' cookbook. Chain places are supposed to be shit."

Niles gives Satoru a sour look and a curled lip. But in a way, the other young man's attitude is refreshing. That's the kind of honest discourse he's used to in prison. People in New York wear these masks. They don't tell it to you straight. Well. Except the cabbies when faced with bad drivers.
"It has been a long time since I've been to New York," that's the truth. "My memory is apparently faulty. I do remember this food being a touch more palatable."

Noticing Niles's slight change in demeanor, Satoru tones his attitude down a bit, chomping on his food quietly for a moment before finally nodding. It is nice to be able to just enjoy a meal at a leisurely pace, for once. "I guess it's different when it's been a while," he shrugs. "Though I dunno, I just got back after being out for a while, but… well, the diet and all, everything tastes good 's long as it ain't healthy."

"I would kill for a salad that isn't wilted iceberg, honestly," says Niles. He glances out at the street and once again wonders at the freedom these people enjoy. Freedom that was taken from him for longer than he feels was fair. People with crimes as bad as his were pardoned, but he was deemed too dangerous and kept caged. Well. That won't happen again.

During this moment of contemplation, the Brit has gone silent, with a dark expression creeping onto his facial muscles. There's something dangerous there, something quite at odds from the straightforward quasi-politeness of a few minutes ago.

And that too, Satoru notices. Nuances, minor affectations, it's all stuff he's been familiar with for a while, after all. He stops eating and watches Niles openly for a long moment, and ultimately gives a quick look around the surrounding area. Nobody else in the dining area, and while people are passing by, nobody's paying attention. Finally, with a look that suggests he knows this isn't a conversation he wants to have all that much, he lowers his head and his voice. "How long were you in for?"

Niles doesn't take his eyes off the people. He watches the people who pass. He hates them. Hates them for their freedom, for their ignorance of what is to come. For their fear that caused him to be put away in the first place.

"Ten years."

There was little hesitation in those two words. He wasn't exactly going to great lengths to hide it.

The answer causes Satoru to start slightly, frowning. That answer doesn't really line up with anything - Niles would have to have been pretty young, and Moab can't have been around for that long.. though he can answer the latter a bit more easily than the former. But he doesn't hide the confusion from his expression, and finally formulates his thoughts into some semblance of coherency. "How the hell old are you?" Followed shortly by, "Does that mean there's more than just M—" but there he stops. Shit, he hasn't actually established that the guy is Evolved yet. No need to go implying that secret of his.

Niles swivels his head and blinks at Satoru. The look is more than a little unnerving, the smile that appears a moment later even moreso. His fingers rap along the table, then he leans back in the chair with almost disturbing ease. "Well," a beat, "…it seems, my friend, that you have a puzzle on your hands. But are you truly curious enough to try and figure it out?"

A shrug, there. Possibly not the expected response. "I got theories, and based on what you already said, I figure you aren't gonna tell me anyway. I know I probably wouldn't." A smirk, there, followed by an ever so serious chomp on a chili dog. The Japanese seem to have a fondness for Nathan's Famous hot dogs, these days. Maybe not so much in the future. "But whichever of what I'm guessin' might be the case, either you did something pretty fucked up to get in the clink for so long…" A pause as he works out how to word the next bit. "…or you are something pretty fucked up to get in for so long." Subtlety, subtlety.

"I am a victim of the state, my friend, I assure you," says Niles. His cool calmness seems to have returned from out of nowhere. He picks up a small 'O' of fried onion and bites on it. The string of the onion is pulled loose from its fried coating and chewed with purposefully slow jaw movements. "Surely you don't trust the decisions of this country's judicial system. They've proven themselves to be most unfair, wouldn't you say?"

"I'unno." A shrug, there, and wary expression. "Most guys my age don't get sent to prison for things they didn't do and stay in that long. They make plea bargains, or the jury thinks they look like such a nice young man.." He smirks, pointing at Niles's mouth. "Play up yer accent and you could get plenty of ladies to swoon, probably. He couldn't have done it, he's British!" This is, of course, assuming a jury was involved in Niles's sentencing. Or a trial. Sure wasn't for his own, though the other fellow's reaction will help gauge whether or not one of his theories was true. He picks up a fry thoughtfully, pointing at Niles with that as well. "And you're white, going to jail for stuff you didn't do mostly happens to black guys and slutty white women."

Niles's mouth pulls into a shark's smile. All teeth, no warmth. But thankfully, it's not predatory. In some ways, prison has turned him into a political animal. He knows how to preach his own particular gospel. Though it's tricky without revealing the whole time travel thing.

"I was born with a weapon sewn into my hand. I passed through the same youthful angst and upset hormones that all young men do. The two proved to be a volatile combination. I…" he looks to the crowd once, then back to Satoru. "…was punished too much for what I did. And my freedom was torn from me because of fear, misunderstanding and mistrust. There was no rehabilitation where I was sent, only containment and isolation."

"Yyyyyyyeah." Satoru just kind of nods dumbly. Too many words. "Right, like I figured, you got tossed in the clink 'cause you're evolved and people don't like that." He leans back a bit, gestures to self. "Same thing, yo, though I ain't got near the time in you did. Christ, ten fuggin' years." There is a pause, there, and he angrily stabs at his cake with his plastic fork. Tines bend a bit, in awkward directions. "They gave me a life sentence for dodging CURFEW and fucking resisting arrest just 'cause I…" Another pause as he notes a couple walking just a bit too close for comfort. "…can do shit."

"That's the hypocrisy of it," says Niles. He's backing off his more predatory body language when Satoru begins to speak of similar persecution. "Do you know anything about utopias? And why no one writes them anymore? There was a period of literature where many authors were writing about what they considered a perfect society, but no one does nowadays."

He takes a drag from his cigarette and exhales a cloud of smoke that is quickly carried away by a spring breeze. "It's because to make the perfect world, certain unwanteds need to be disposed of. You and I are those unwanteds. We can't exist or keep our freedom if they…" he motions to the people walking the street, "…are to have peace and prosperity. Now, I wouldn't exactly say that's fair. Would you?"

Satoru waves a hand idly, shaking his head. "I ain't much of a reader." Fry-chomp. "But I know what you mean. Utopias, yeah, I dig that. I mean shit, you get a bunch of people.." gesture to himself and to Niles, "who can do all this shit that.. it's like a control thing. They can't control us if they don't know what we can do except with fucking drugs, it's like friggin'.. it's like I was tellin' one of the guys in there with me, it's like the fuckin' internment camps in California or.. I ain't gonna say like the Nazis 'cause it ain't that bad yet but there have been days where it looked like it would be, man." He idly rubs his neck as he speaks, and the astute may at this point notice a round scar below his jaw.

"It may not have devolved into death camps, but the lesson that was learned from that should be applied to our situation. But people seem to think it's all right to deprive us of liberty and rights simply because some of us can do things they consider dangerous. There is no attempt to integrate or help us control ourselves. We are simply locked away and forgotten so that others may have some peace."

Niles isn't interested in his food anymore. Instead he smokes and watches Satoru through the curls niccotine fog. "They tag us like animals, then release some for study. Those they don't release are simply locked away, buried like nuclear waste and called too dangerous to deal with. And that…" a beat, "…makes us more dangerous. Because we have reason to hate and to kill, when before it might have simply been misguided or accidental."

"Fuckin' exactly." Satoru, on the other hand, has not yet lost his appetite. "You don't do that to other people! 'Oh hey, I want you to behave so I'm gonna kick the shit out of you every day until you love me' doesn't goddamn work. Nothing goddamn works, people are retarded and could I bum a smoke? I wasn't really friends with our local contraband dealer, I haven't had cigs regular-like for almost three months now." Nowhere near as daunting as the ten year term previously mentioned.

Niles quickly adapted in Moab. He had a silver tongue even at twenty one, so he never went without cigarettes, at least. Went without a lot of other things, certainly. The cigarette pack is set on the table between them, plastic red lighter atop the pack. "You treat a man like an animal and he will behave like an animal. I was only a child when they locked me away. I was never given a second chance or a kind word. I was simply drugged and contained. They ignored the fact that I was a human being beneath what they consider a permanent weapon in my hand."

With little restraint, Satoru snatches at the pack of cigarettes, withdrawing one and lighting it with shaky hands. Still a little out of practice, he takes a long drag once it's lit and lets out a sigh. "Thanks, man. It just.. man, I dunno. That's basically what happened with our lot. And you look about ten years older'n me, so ten years ago you'da been my age and I ain't no child," he notes, with a hrmph. He's probably the only person who would agree with that assessment, of course. "You talk real pretty for someone's been locked up that long."

"Well, I had ten years to work on my rhetoric. And to try and figure out just why I was in the situation I found myself in." And of course, Niles decided it was through no fault of his own. A villain is never a villain to himself. "I wasn't a child either after a few months in prison. It ages you." The cigarette ashes are tapped off casually before he takes another long drawl.

Satoru bites his lip for a moment, thoughtful. "The contraband guy," he gestures upwards a few paragraphs. "I think it ate him. I mean, he was a pretty old guy, but… He played pretty dumb and I'm not sure if it was a game or if the place wrecked him. I mean.. not even just prison, when they take your abilities away it… you don't feel right." He frowns, rubs the back of his head, and finally shakes his head angrily. "Nevermind, shut up, I mean it just, the whole thing sucks." Not gay, mustn't show emotion.

"And it's going to get out of control if we don't do something about it," says Niles. Out of control in a silent way, with people pushed under the carpet and others pardoned. Not riots and war, but something much more insidious - an attempt at utopia. "How long before all Evolved are required to suppress their abilities, mm?" He leans in across the table towards Satoru. "I'm guessing they didn't let you out. Or if they did, they are watching you and will never stop watching you. One misstep and you'll be back in there with no trial and no chance for rehabilitation or freedom."

He shakes his head with no small amount of irritation. "I told you, I got a goddamn life sentence. There was some breakout thing, I don't know what happened, next thing I knew I was in a dumpster outside a fish market." That was a fun day. "And I didn't get a friggin' trial in the first place! I probably would have but they pissed me off, I boned some guy and next thing I know they're shipping me off to the middle of assfuck nowhere prison without a phone call or a lawyer or nothin'."

Niles doesn't…quite get what 'boning' has to do with being sent to prison, but he'll let it pass. Because he's not really certain he wants to know. "Oh, I doubt you would have gotten a trial. The ones with powers they consider dangerous are quietly and permanently squirreled away." He crushes out the cigarette and leans back in the chair. "Be fortunate that someone sprung you." He is.

Of course, Satoru had not intended to let the nature of his ability slip… and barely realizes he has, given that Niles doesn't ask for clarification and probably, on that note, doesn't realize he did it. Jolly good show all around. "If they hadn't realized I was Evolved, I probably woulda gotten one. Curfew, resisting arrest, nothing weird, maybe get a slap on the wrist. No goddamn life sentence if you take out the ableism. Tch," he glares off to one side, all irritatedly, and eats a french fry before shoving his tray away. No loss of appetite, but his food is starting to get cold and gross.

"A different set of rules for people with different genetics." Niles makes a 'tch' sound. "You'd think the world would have learned by now that doing things that way is good for no one. So the question is…" he takes a moment to regard Satoru directly, "…what are you going to do about it? Just hope you're not caught again, or?"

And after all his protestations, Satoru's rebellion culminates in… a sheepish sort of nod. "Eh, pretty much. I don't really need to go getting myself in trouble for that kinda shit." He shrugs. "I mean sure yeah it effects me and all but I like my head just fine where it is." He pantomimes a noose with one hand. "I mean I already figured if I'm gonna have a prison term behind me I'm gonna do something to fuggin' deserve it, but I'll stick to little crimes. Don't need to draw attention to myself, don't feel like fighting for a bunch of people I don't give a shit about. I'm in it for number one, my non-negro amigo."

Niles suddenly stands. He reaches down and starts to fasten up his jacket. "Mmm. That's a shame." Ah, the strange British man disapproves. How crushing. "Well. I hope for your sake that fate doesn't catch up with you. Or you enjoy a life of hiding." He rocks back a step and turns, clearly prepared to walk off without another word.

A blink, at that, but Toru does finally realize what was going on there. He's the kind of people cult leaders seek out, after all. Easily pulled in. At least he was drinking Sprite instead of Kool Aid. "Please, anything you're doing is just for yourself too; when you're in trouble I doubt you give a shit about your fellow man, you just act friendly when you're in a place where you can pretend you're helping. At least I'm honest, yo!" He grabs one of those last remaining gross onion rings and chews it, defiantly. "Nothing wrong with being selfish if you don't pretend you aren't."

"That's where you're wrong," says Niles. He starts to stride away, hands deep in his pockets, a dark set to his features. "I'm here to change the world. I'm going to break the utopia."

Then the Brit's long-legged stride is carrying him quickly down the block where he slowly melds into the press of New York bodies.

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