What's All This Hoopla?


delilah_icon.gif perry_icon.gif

Scene Title What's All This Hoopla?
Synopsis Pericles Jones stumbles upon a baby bird; a baby firebird, that is.
Date December 6, 2009


He was struck by the two bold words: 'Rise Up!' Words that could mean so many different things to so many different people. Words that could be appropriated and employed by a thousand different causes, employed in a thousand different mythologies. 'Rise up, you prisoners of starvation', 'One day this nation will rise up', 'Rise up to the battle'. And all of it, every last use, is about inspiration some urgent crucial action.

So of course the chronically directionless Pericles Jones was captivated. And that was before he noticed that the bright strands of orange and red formed the fiery shape of a pheonix in tribal style. He was hooked, Perry was. He had to find out who was urging him to rise, who were themselves rising up at this moment. He didn't want to miss the event when it came.

He asked questions, made various inquiries, got a lot of strange looks, and once had to make a quick escape because someone was clearly going to go call the cops. But all this only fed his desire and built his resolve, albeit a nervous sort of resolve. His search has brought him here, now, to Chelsea, a place of gloom and desperation… exactly where rising always begins. He's dressed for the winter cold, with a big down jacket that poofs out ridiculously, and his glasses fog with each breath he exhales, pushed upwards by the high collar that keeps his neck warm. It's a miracle he can see well enough to avoid the cracks in the poorly maintained sidewalk, let alone search for… for what? Clues? He figures he'll know when he sees it. Or them. Whoever They are.

While Delilah does not share the simple and utter fascination with the words, she does find them to be her inspiration when she goes out to mark them upon walls; there really is no other way to think about it. Chelsea in the south is filling up as of late, though the north side of the neighborhood remains largely vacant, largely lonely save for those who use it to get from one place to another in the cityscape.

Delilah has been at this tagging for months now, and she is getting better at it; sometimes just not good enough. Several of her last trips were close calls, for instance. Her frame is wrapped in a black woolen peacoat, head hidden under a hat with long-hanging ears off of the top, the pink of them contrasting to the pouf of red hair splayed below and the black of her coat. She wears a dress underneath, though her legs are clad in the warm film of denim pants. Luck shines on her a lot- it has apparently decided to shine on someone else now; the light and airy noises from her spray-can of fiery orange can be heard if one listens- pfft, pfft, pfft.

Above her on one of the alleyside walls of a vacant store is a bird. A big, feathery bird. A big, feathery bird that trails lone swirls of colors down the length of the alley wall. This has to have taken some time- it is one of the more detailed of phoenixes that can be found hither and tither across the metro area.

It's not Delilah's current pheonix that Perry spots right off. It's one of the simpler ones, but it still gets him excited. He fumbles in his jacket pocket, pulls out a notepad with a pen stuck in the spiral binding, and checks the cross street. He's actually recording their locations, actually treating it like an investigation. What he'll /do/ with this information is anyone, including his own, guess.

And then the cool air carries the sound of aerosol. He freezes, stalk still, as if he's been caught. What he realizes, the next moment, is that /he/ is the one that's doing the catching. That makes him, if anything, more nervous. He tries to be sneaky, to tread lightly in his winter boots. He's remarkably successful, all things considered.

He peeks around the corner to spot the girl-shaped assortment of red, pink, black and denim, and it's pretty goddamn clear what she's up to. He hesitates for a few seconds. What to do? What to say? 'Excuse me, but are you part of a revolutionary organization?' No, that won't do. But he can't come off as an authority figure either. It does not occur to him that he looks profoundly unauthoritative right now, in his poofy jacket, CVS notepad in hand, black scallycap resting on untidy brown hair.

He goes for the old reliable. He clears his throat, and tries to get ready to smile in a harmless way.

As with ninety-nine point nine percent of artists, there is a line where one crosses so far into making art that you can become ignorant of the world around you. The tall redheaded girl is so absorbed in what she is doing-

-that when the sound of a throat clearing registers, she gives off a startled squawk. There is really no other word for a yelp that has secretly bred with a girlish scream. Delilah jumps visibly to her toes, gloved hands suddenly fumbling- one grab, two grab, finger grab- to not drop the can onto the ground. She is bare successful, as she has turned her neck and head towards the source of her surprise, brown eyes widened and mouth stuck between breaths. Cue ellipses please.

"Uh… sorry! Didn't mean to scare you," Perry begins, because a cliched throat-clearing introduction requires a cliched follow up. Still, the fact that he falls into those cliches is a sign of a sort of vulnerability. He is, at least, hardly coming off like someone in a position to get her in trouble for her vandalism. He takes a few hesitant steps forward, turns his head so he can get a good look at the elaborate pheonix. His brows lift. He's genuinely impressed. "Wow," he says, "This is amazing. Really. Did you…" he looks back at her, gestures behind him, around them, "Did you do all of them? Is this all you?"

Delilah picks up on that vibe; she relaxes only slightly while he takes the few steps nearer. She examines him as he peers up to examine the bird on the wall, most of it still wet. Delilah is considering the poor state of his glasses lenses by the time he finishes speaking. After remaining silent and blinking over at him, she decides that perhaps this is not going to get her into too much trouble. What is this here? A Fan? Ah.

"Mostly. I made the stencils for the quickies- so technically they're mine, but- obviously there are not enough of me to get around the city to literally do them all."

Perry lifts a hand and tugs down his glasses a little, allowing him to get a less foggy look at Delilah. She's maybe a bit blurry, but he can see her for more than the space between breaths this way. He looks surprised now that he can see her better. She wasn't what he expected, though what he expected he couldn't tell you. "What's the message, then?" he asks, "What's it all for?"

Delilah is never really what anyone expected. She stares back for a few moments, eyebrows knitting at the stranger. "There is a war going on- or did you miss it?" Apparently she has decided to play the creepy game first.

The simple fact is that what she says, makes him light up. He takes off his glasses, hastily rubs them clear, and tugs down on the zipper of his coat, freeing up his mouth, revealing his smile. He puts his glasses back on the bridge of his nose, clear now. He can see her, actually see her. His smile is feckless and sweet, though it's been summoned at the mention of warfare. "I guess I must have. Fill me in?" A pause, "We can go somewhere less… cold. A cafe? A… bar?" He squints. She doesn't necessarily look old enough for a bar, but… "But I do want to know. I've been… I've wanted to know since I first saw one of these." He points to the incandescent bird, gleaming as it dries.

"There is a war going on for your mind- if you are thinking, you are winning." Delilah turns to him when he lights up, a trace of a smile over her lips and cheeks, which are brushed rosy with chill. "Are you not from around here? Or are you just that sheltered?" The way that Delilah speaks, her now audible accent dancing around her words, is quite curious. She really wants to know- if there is somehow someone that doesn't know what has been going on in New York City ever since the very proclamation of the Evolved. If he is from elsewhere, she can forgive it partly- but if he is otherwise a smart young man, well…

"I can't tell if you're really being curious or if this is some roundabout way of picking up hapless chicks."

"I moved here thinking there'd be a war. I've been looking for it this whole time," Perry grins, a bit bashfully actually, at the suggestion of this being a /very/ roundabout way of picking her up, "Inactivity is death," a quote of his own, to match hers, "I know something's going on, but I'm not part of it. I'm not…" a pause, "I believe in the importance of great people. That great people must be free. And that greatness is what gets pushed down hardest because people fear it." Apropos of what, exactly? He steps forward, extending a gloved hand, "I'm Perry. And I'm thinking, so I guess I must be doing my bit, right? But I want to know more. A lot more." His look is hopeful, almost embarrassingly so. "So please, tell me your name and tell me you're part of something bigger. Because I've been looking for that." Something bigger. Just something.

Either this is really him, or it is someone trying to infiltrate by trying way too damn hard. So Delilah meets Perry with an amused twinkle in her eye, and a somewhat cynical curve to her lips. "Something bigger? How big? Touching the lives of the downtrodden, fighting for the visibility of thousands?" The girl extends her gloved hand back, taking his and giving a firm shake. "Delilah. If you're interested in bigger- bigger than nothing- I would think I'm part of many somethings.

"You certainly have the verbal drive. The bark."

"Bark?" Perry echoes, his notebook-bearing hand lifting to touch at his throat, his zipper jingling at the contact. He releases her from his grasp and fiddles with his pockets, stashing the notebook. "Heh… I just read a lot of stuff. Borrow words, mostly. Someone else's bark." He grins. On second thought, he likes the term. Dogs are tough, they work in packs, they are loyal. These are qualities he can admire. "But this… this is doing something!" He seems genuinely enthusiastic about the tag, keeps glancing at it, though he favors Delilah more and more, something that's not hard to do as he starts to make her features out in the dark and the chill. Immediately he becomes a bit self conscious. He recognizes that she is not just a potential radical being approached by an aspirant, she is also a /very/ attractive young woman being approached by a young man in a ridiculous jacket.

"Sorry if I'm coming on strong," Perry says, his words working on both levels, "But like I said… this is why I came to New York. To try and find somewhere where something was really starting. This is sort of… what I wanted but not what I expected, you know what I mean?"

Delilah watches the arch of his notebook as he tucks it away, taking the image in as still thoroughly amusing; is this what a fanboy is like? "It's painting on walls. It reminds people that we are here- but it does little else but provide reassurance. I guess that is doing something, in a way." Despite this humble stream of words, the girl is still smiling, however lopsided and accidentally charmed it may have now become. It doesn't wane, and in fact grows slightly bigger.

"I understand your mood perfectly. That's what I wanted at the beginning- only I've been here for years, only got involved in the last year. I wanted to be a part of something bigger than me too." And so where does mister Fanpop go from there, exactly? Now that he knows they are on the same exact page?

Each moment he grows more and more self conscious. At first it was because of a weird sort of starstruckness that obviated the awkwardness of appearing like a total dweeb in front of a cute girl. Now that she's expressed this 'sage pageness', the latter awkwardness rises up, and it's a much more visceral one. His eyes move to one side as he tries to think what to say. Where /does/ mister Fanpop go from here?

"Well, how do I get involved?" he asks, going for the obvious route, "How much can you tell me? Seriously… I… let me buy you coffee or something," his look is imploring, "Please. I'd say you don't know how long I've waited for this, but you /do/… so you /can't/ turn me down."

She picked it up even before he had time to realize- her head tilts as he visibly searches for something to say, like there might be a fortune cookie on the sidewalk somewhere that could hold the key. When he finds it, however poorly worded, Delilah smiles again.

"You're right, I can't say no, especially when you're offering to talk over coffee- but it's not entirely my choice to make. I can't tell you too much… protocol, you know. But what I can do is talk over some less intrinsic volunteer work with you- even we started somewhere. I can probably introduce you to some others that volunteer too, but whatever and whoever we volunteer with is mostly disassociated from Phoenix." There. She actually said it, no allusions. "The Suresh Center being a good example. We go there and help, but obviously in secrecy." Dee lifts a finger to her lips, hoping that he gets the idea of the burning bird being everywhere- and nowhere- at the same time. "You've got me in a corner here, so I can't exactly push you in the mud and take off, can I? You know who I am."

"Pheonix," Perry says, nodding. This is something that speaks to him, to his deep inclinations. Rebirth from decline. Glory out of ruin. A fiery resurrection. There are aspects of the symbol he feels that have a certain edge, particular to his perspective. But that's difficult to tell from the outside. "I know your first name. That's not a whole lot. But sure, if that's part of what will make you have to take me along… sure, I've cornered you," he reaches a hand up, adjusts his black cap, "Talk as we walk, okay? Tell me how you first got involved. And… are you Evolved?" This last comes to him last minute, from the sound of it. Like he only just remembered that's what this fight is all about.

"Yes. But I've no card to speak of." Which means she is unlawful and unregistered- not as much a surprise. "I figure if we chat and you're not someone I think I can trust, maybe I'll just call up my mind-erasing friends, hm?" Delilah smiles up at him as she tucks the aerosol can away into her coat, sidling around him and yet keeping her eyes fixed. "We'll figure out what you can offer, alright? I'm sure there is something." And no doubt she'll be calling Helena right after he leaves her tonight- not only to giggle about having him sneak up on her, but possibly something more important on whether or not they can use him around. The construction projects on Roosevelt Island could always use an extra man, when push comes to shove- at the very least, the Ferry should be happily inclined to him. At most, Delilah will end up dragging him into the whole symbolic mess.

Perry gives her some space. He frowns a bit, thinking, then quickly digs out his notepad again. Back and forth, back and forth. He flips it open, has to flip through several pages before he finds a blank sheet, then scrawls something on it. He sticks the end of the pen in his mouth, holding it between his teeth, and tears free the sheet he was writing on. "Hrr," he garbles, sticking the paper out towards her, "Ss ma numbah. C- hol' on…" he plucks the pen out of his mouth again, "Heh. Sorry. Where was I? Oh! Yeah, cuz I owe you coffee. So call me, hold me to it, arright?"

Delilah's natural response as he flips through the pad is to lean up on her toes to try and glimpse what might be on it. Not much she can see anyway, with the lack of good light. She puts out her fingers to take the scrawl from him, pulling it taut in front of her face and peering over the edge. A smirking laugh comes forth when he fumbles around with the pen. "Of course, Perry." That was the first time she said his name, and it marks something invisible- a thread between them still forming. "You're a bit funny, but I like that. I hope this pans out." Dee knows he does too.

Perry's not phenomenal with people. He's better with a soldering iron in hand, and a schematic handy. But when he hears her voice speak his name, he gets it. "Yeah. It's great to meet you Delilah. To have met you. Well… whatever." He shoves the notepad back into his pocket and zips it up. "Want me to… walk you somewhere?" His inclination is not to just let a young woman wander in this kind of neighborhood at night, a kind of kneejerk sexism qua chivalry that ignores the fact that maybe she can blow people up with her mind, he doesn't know.

Watching a nerdy guy in realtime is much more interesting than it is in the movies or on television. They are so much more tweaky- or something. Delilah lifts her hands to adjust the hat on her head, positioning the long pink ears over her shoulders. "Alright. I live in the Village. Not too far- would you like to walk me home?" Even she knows how to play to that kneejerk chivalry- perhaps as men possess that, women possess the natural capacity to use it to an advantage.

Perry is very much tempted, for just a moment, to offer her his arm. Then he thinks better of it. Then he thinks better of thinking better of it. This all takes the visible form of him fiddling with his coat's main zipper. Finally he sticks out his arm. What the hell, right? "It'd be my pleasure."

Zip, zip, click, click. Delilah can't help but watch the fidget- fidgets which she will probably see more of. When Perry finally decides that offering his arm is the correct gesture, Delilah brightens and hooks her forearm through the crook of his elbow. She'll teach him yet. Thankfully she is one of those girls that enjoys being treated like a lady. "Thank you very much. Let's go." But then again, being treated like a lady and nudging the young man into motion is a bit different- and very likely before the walk is over he'll be able to gauge Dee's forceful personality for himself.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License