15535/A plethora of Choices

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A plethora of Choices
Date of Scene: 27 August 2023
Location: Bushwick (Mutant Town), Brooklyn
Synopsis: Decisions made: Seafood at the sailor and a bit of history, good food and company. And meeting Nikki's BF.
Cast of Characters: Askante, Nikki Hawkins, Red Robin

Askante has posed:
THe Daemon known as Askante to its friends and Askante to its enemies too (because at least there's consistency) has come to appreciate the camouflage provided by Bushwick. Mutant town, after all, has all sorts. So occasionally, when someone sees it exactly how it is, it doesn't stick out so much that people run squeaking, at least.

The attenuated beanpole that it is, is crouched on the back of a park bench, so as not to take up a seat. Not that anyone would occupy that aformentioned seat, what with there being a four armed black scaled daemon vulturing like the best of them, but that's not the -point-. It is currently eyeing the Sailor pub and Fred's diner with the kind of decision-making expression that normally goes into choices of the UTMOST gravity.
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Well. MOST people wouldn't sit on a bench that's being perched by a four-armed black scaled daemon. Nikki, however, is not most people. She is her own person, and she considered the daemon a good friend - despite whatever form it is. They have shared trinkets and stories and she's helped it with many decisions in the past - and perhaps some tinkering here and there because that is what Nikki is good at.

So while walking around Mutant Town, and seeing her friend perched on the back of the bench, Nikki quickly and pointedly takes THAT seat and smiles. "Askante! Nikki hasn't seen it in a long while! How has it been?" Asking in that way she speaks, all third person and without a care in the world - peppy attitude to boot.
Askante has posed:
You meet the darndest people! Mind you, it's run into her here in the past. With spines softly rattling, it turns its head and shuffles just enough to be right on the edge of the back bench, the easier to converse over her shoulder. "I have had many paychecks and there are things called green-backs which they gave me. It is odd, because they said they could not pay much, but I have quite a large pile of them now and have been told to open a savings account." It wonders at that, shaking its head. "What needs testimony in regard to money? I can only wonder. How have you been? It has been a long time. I now play songs for my sister on the radio."

That is said with a large grin. "A witch helped make it small and place it inside her box."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
"Oh it told me that radio stuff... and it still has money in piles? Normally people do put that in a bank so it doesn't get stolen but Nikki doesn't think anyone would steal from Askante..." Nikki says this much, still giving a smile. "Make enough and it can buy a place to live, but it is content in the church...so maybe can invest in making it's home a bit...safer?" This is said with a shrug to follow.

"Nikki has been working. She's made a robot that can actually use artifical intelligence. It talks, and responds to what it's told. Holds actual conversations AND it's been programmed to even understand people like Nikki!" A little pride in her words as she explains this. "Oh, and Nikki has started seeing someone. She has a boyfriend." A pause. "We've even kissed!" Like that's such a scandal.
Askante has posed:
Askante's brows raise, because some of that was just clean over its head. "Ohh. A counting house. Well, that makes sense." Unlike AI robotics that hold conversations, which is a thing that should be making curiosity go BING and not some annoying web browser. "Wait... are you hard to understand?" it considers that, but draws a blank by its expression anyway. "Safer?" -- so many questions!

But the news of a partner, that makes it grin. "You are having a relationship, which leads to more mechanical friends and perhaps fleshy friends for them, too. Who is this man, then?"

It eyes the two diners again, back and forth a couple of times. "Also, are you hungry? I do not know which food hall I should attend."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki smiles a little. "Yes. Counting house. Bank. But you would need documents for that, but if you have a job, you should have certain documents. But if you feel the money is safe where you keep it, that's okay too. Most people stay clear of your home anyway. And all I mean by safer is to cover some of the electrical work, bring it up to code, maybe wall out a few places so you're more hidden than you are now. Safer." Nikki explains all of this and then smiles.

"Nikki is working on it. She sees a therapist now and sometimes speaks like others, and sometimes like she always has. But people - most people - don't like how Nikki speaks. Says it confuses them." A pause. "Tim doesn' tho. That's his name. Tim Drake. We've been together for about a month or so now..."

That last bit has her giving a nod. "I could eat. Which places are you considering? I've been to Fred's a couple times...but not the seafood place."
Askante has posed:
Askante points at Fred's and Sailor's. "I had a steak all to myself in Fred's. But I like the sea. It grows things that are tasty. I used to fish along the shore once, because it is easy to catch what cannot escape. Crabs. Things in shells. That sort of thing... maybe that one then?" It nods to Sailors and sommersaults forward, to land in a crouch, tail shifting for counterbalance. Then upright, smoothing off its duster and checking that it's not got dirt on itself.

Paperwork. "They give me receipts that have wages written on them at the radio station. I have them in a shoebox. But... you are right. Maybe getting it safer would be good. But I think... maybe they might ask it what it's doing there too, because I have seen that a lot. People possess so much, they don't like it when people possess nothing."

There's a sigh, then a grin. "Is your man a handsome one? He likes you for who you are, which is how it should be, yes?"
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki smiles. "You do what you think is best, Askante. I am only telling you what is quote unquote normal." She even does the air quotations with this statement. "I think what you're doing now is fine, and perhaps we can meet in the middle and just get you a safe to tuck away in your home." Offering this idea then because it just came to her for such.

"Those slips of paper are good to keep. We'll have to do some stuff with them at the beginning of next year." She says this much more and then holds up a finger. "We'll talk about that more when it's closer to time to do anything with them."

With all that said, she looks between the two and smiles. "I think we should go to the seafood place. Since we've both eaten at Fred's before. The seafood place might be a better place to try together." She smiles. "And yes, Tim is handsome, but he also does like me for me. He tolerates me, and makes me feel special. He's a good man. I hope you can meet him some day."
Askante has posed:
"Hopefully," and that is said with a grin, because it knows what hope is like. There's a musical little chuckle and it gestures to Sailor's, holding a small paper bag. It's absolutely full of one and five dollar bills. "I have been saving!" Because that's more than enough to pay for a couple of meals, it waggles it and nods that way.

"A safe! Yes. That makes things safer, having a safe. With a lock and heavy casing. Maybe a guard rat." -- Guard rat? Guard rat.

"My treat."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
"Nikki can tell!" Her attention having wandered off, she's back to speaking in third person again. It's a work in progress after all. "Indeed a safe! We can go to the store and pick one up for you, perhaps after dinner... or maybe tomorrow during the day..." She pulls her phone out of her pocket and sends off a text before pocketing it again.

"Aww, that's nice of you Askante. Nikki won't argue...this time..." This said as she stands from her spot and begins to walk towards Sailors with her friend and a smile on her face.
Askante has posed:
It hadn't been very long since a text got shot out, not long at all. Five minutes maybe? Regardless, Askante holds the door open for Nikki as they head on into the Sailor's pub, having to duck down quite considerably to not brain itself on the door frame.

But here, a few people look up, but nobody really looks twice at it -- again, the beauty of Mutant town!

"This is a lot of things from boats. A /lot/. I wonder how many of these things actually saw the sea?" it muses, holding one arm up and waving to a server.

"Seat yourself hon!"

"Ohh, Ok. I suppose that means we go where we want to. Where do you want to sit?"
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
"Anywhere is fine, but Nikki wants to at least be facing the door in case Tim shows up..." The young woman says to her taller, more interesting looking friend. "Does it wanna sit at a table or a booth? We can look out in a booth..."

She does turn to look back to the doors. Sometimes Tim surprises her and shows up moments after texting him. Like he was already close by for whatever reason. Man's got a sixth sense that she hasn't figured out just yet.

Not to mention his secret identity.

"Some of this stuff might have seen the sea, it's likely a mixture of replicas and actual sea-faring stuff... Could you imagine?" This as she hops towards a booth.
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake takes a bit since he was not quite in the neighborhood, but between the uber fast trains, and being able to have a car waiting for him, there is soon a black SUV pulling up front of the place, as Tim dressed in jeans, and a rock em sock em robot shirt. He looks about and checks the phone then heads to where they said they were going to go.
Askante has posed:
"It is all the same to me, I just want to share good fortune. There is only so much anyone really needs, to be happy. Everything else is for sharing that, right?" It follows her to the booth, takes the seat opposite with its back to the door and kind of folds up into the seat somewhat. THe creature definitely has more bones in its skeleton than a human being does. More vertebrae and an extra joint in fingers, an extra socket in its shoulders that seems significant in compacting itself into spaces.

"I can imagine, yes. Spent time on the water. Had to, to go from the world of the west to the world of the Dreamtime. There were lots of monsters on lots of islands between the here and the there and lots of bad things that are only in the world through the water." It offers a memory, then shrugs one set of shoulders up.

"That happens all over the world though. When people dug in the West, they woke things up. Powers in the plains and in the mines. Was right before I went to sleep the last time, the west was won... the world is so different now, I could not sleep now if I tried to." It chuckles, a little nervously at that.
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki only really understands half of what Askante is talking about. Then again, for Askante being a daemon and more notably the daemon of Fear, Nikki shows nothing like that when around the creature. "Why would it go back to sleep anyway? Does it have to rest sometimes for a long time?" Cause she has /some/ understanding, just not a lot.

"People dig up stuff all the time...like some of this stuff could have even been at the bottom of the ocean. Like with the Titanic or something..." She chimes in this much more. "Well prolly not actual Titianic stuff, but shipwreck stuff similar..." Then she glances around and looks towards the door after a few more moments to see Tim walking in. "Oh! Tim! Over here!" Calling this out and waving a hand for him to see.
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake 's brow raises a bit seeing the "person" Nikki is with but he is able to play it cool. He smiles a bit and walks over to Nikki, and slides into her side of the table, and hugs her "Hey Nikki, hon, This a new friend?" He asks. He does give Askante a subtle look over, wondering for a moment if it might be a new robot Nikki built.
Askante has posed:
Askante does not look remotely robotic, although with the way animatronics are these days, that's not saying much. It seems too organic and alien to not be real; although the fact it's wearing clothes does seem at odds with the Geigeresque appearance. It looks with its liquid black eyes at Tim as the man joins them and smiles warmly. Or well, warmly for a creature that has more than one set of pearly whites, the other set behind the first like a shark's. It makes no sense that it should be a friendly smile, but it really doesn't seem scary. Not in this setting anyway. Not with all the nautical nonsense at any rate!

Two hands wave. "Old new friend, I think... in that paths crossed a year or so ago, when Nikki first wandered out into Sunnydale. She was very nice. I met Squishy, but I can't understand it. It doesn't speak a language that men spoke."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki shakes her head. "Nikki and Askante have been friends for a while, even before she met Tim! She just doesn't get to see Askante very often these days." She smiles. "Ah, yes. No one but Nikki can understand Squishy...and Squishy stays at home a lot now... but! Tim hwlped Nikki with the new robot!" The hug is returned when it's given and she even plants a kiss on Tim's cheek. The scandal! "So she hopes Tim and Askante can be friends. Yes? Yes."

A server comes then. "Welcome to Sailor's. Can I get you all started with drinks?"

"Nikki would like a soda. Any soda. No ice. Just make sure it has a lotta caffeine and sugar!"
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake will order a coke for now, and then looks over to Askante and offers his hand "Tim Drake, a pleasure to meet you." He offers in greeting. He tries to seem calm, but his curiousity about the other is there. He is polite enough not to ask thought.
Askante has posed:
"I just heard about you," the handshake offered in return is firm and warm, which is at odds again, with scales. It is apparently not reptilian, despite them. Nor piscian, neither! And yes, it's evaluating Tim at the same time as curiosity took the cat's share of the lap and parked itself. "And it is a pleasure. Not many seem to understand Nikki, but you do. That's a good thing. Thank you. She is happy."

And behold, the paper bag full of ones and fives that it now plops ontop of the table from its coat pocket, stuffed full. "This is my treat! I am sharing the happiness."

To the waitress it turns, grinning. "I will have the shake of milk, with lots of chocolate sauce. And fish. THe platter of bites and shrimps."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
"Oooh. Nikki will just have fish and chips. With malt vinegar and lemon for the fish. Cocktail sauce for the chips." Saying this as she bounces a little, all smiles. "So what was Tim up to before he came to join Nikki and her friend for food?" Asking this as she side-glances to Tim, then sort of leans over to press her forehead into his shoulder a moment only to sit up straight once more right after. Little shows of affection from her as she's become more and more used to being in a relationship.
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake will look at the menu for a moment, and orders the same as Nikki, but adds a side of popcorn shrimp, and some hush puppies. "Not much, was actually just out checking out some companies that put some bids in for building some parts. I had finished up and was considering what to do next.
Askante has posed:
"How convenient! It is always good when happy coincidence happens." Now that orders are placed and the server is bustling off to get that, it pats its pockets, of which there appear to be a few and rummages in the inside breast. A small candle is extracted, which it grins at, lights off of a lighter and sets beside the electric tea-light used for mood. The tiny flame seems comforting and oddly, makes the world seem quieter.

How odd.

"To answer you though Nikki, I've slept a lot. I've been awake for hundreds of years at a time, but sometimes... an age comes to an end and a new age comes about where you aren't so needed any more. And the things that they dug up from the mines, they aren't like artefacts and things that sunk at sea. There were bad things buried in the frontier, just like Sunnydale. I left the place that became known at Cleveland a long time ago, made my way east again to tackle Sunnydale and entered the sleep just when it slumbered again."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki watches as Askante lights a candle and sets it on the table before listening to both Tim and Askante as they explain things. "Oh? What companies and what parts? Is Wayne Tech exapanding?" A curious question from someone as low level as her.

"That's a lot of sleep...and a lot of time alive...Askante's had an interesting life it seems!" Is all she replies to the tale of sleep and wake from the daemon. Though then she seems curious. "What sort of things were dug up? Is it like the trinkets that Askante keeps in it's home?"
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake 's brow raises a bit at this and says "Ok, I will admit that sounds a bit ...different." He says of Askante's story. He does pay attention to the candle for a moment as well. "Not so much expanding, but we do sub contract some parts, this is some mechanical parts, for one our entertainment projects." He does not go into it more.
Askante has posed:
"You have to check the tradespeople?" Askante asks, curiously. Soon, soda and milkshake are delivered, along with a small basket of biscuits to whet the appetite. "Or is it that some are less honest than others. That has always been a thing."

It nods a bit, breaking a biscuit and setting it on a napkin for sharing, in a somewhat ritualistic way.

"Sometimes, like that. Most of the trinkets I keep, were made by people though. Some I just liked the look of. Some, the princess of THemiscera has in a vault, because they are one of a kind now, I am told." It shrugs. "Mostly, what is buried in the deep are monsters. They come from the world below, into the world above. Eat people. Steal skins. That sort of thing. When you dig too deep, sometimes men broke through."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
Nikki blinks and looks over at Tim. "Different? Different how?" It's not that she's dumb, she just has a view of the world that most tend to grow out of. In many ways she sees the world through the eyes of a child, though in other ways she shows the sense of maturity that comes with aging.

Which is just how it works in the world of neurospiciness.

"Nikki forgot to find something to bring for Askante, but she'll bring something real good soon. And they're going on a shopping adventure cause Askante needs a safe, and some better shelter pieces, and a guard rat." A guard rat? We've been throughth is. A guard rat.
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake looks over and says "You do not hear much about someone who claims to have been alive for hundreds of years, let alone slept for that man and alive for more." He explains to her "Normally it is more someone you hear about being a superhero or something." He will look to Askante "Making sure the company builds to our standards, and treat their emploies well." He does make a mental note to ask Diana about this person later.
Askante has posed:
"Oh. I'm an earthbound spirit. I was born when men looked out beyond the fire and realized that there were things that wanted to eat them in the dark. Things with teeth and menace. I am the thing that tells you not to go into that cave, to be careful at that lake of black tar. They do not always listen, but I've always warned them. The children of the Olympians called me Daemon, then the christian people in the dark ages, made that word a bad one. I am not evil, just so as you know. Fear is a friend to man."

And apparently, it likes chocolate milkshakes, which it promptly almost gives iself a hernia trying to suck down when it's not melty enough.
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
See! Nikki keeps the strangest of friends. One is Daemon of Fear, one is Red Robin, another is an 'evil' mutant, meta-human, something or other. She doesn't /know/ of Sinister's reputation among the mutants, as her dealing with him has been sparse. She only remembers the shoes. Oh and then there's Nick. The Phantasm. Only she doesn't know he's a phantasm and just that he's a regular guy who likes to eat at Fred's Diner on occassion.

She takes a long drink of her soda since those are delivered before the food and then she reaches for the biscuit that was cut in half and laid on the napkin. Picking up half, she breaks that into halves as well and offers one piece to Tim before eating on the other. "Nikki thinks Askante is fascinating. Askante also helped Nikki in Sunnydale when they met. Much like the night Red Robin helped her out of the trashcan... she gets into trouble like that a lot. Or did. She doesn't much anymore..."
Red Robin has posed:
Tim Drake is a bit hesitant to eat the biscuit, but if Nikki is doing it, he will not let her alone. He hmmms a bit to this and says "Caution can be good or bad, and I would say it is normally a byproduct of fear. But now I am curious, how long have you been awake, and what do you find yourself doing now?
Askante has posed:
"This time? Only a few years. The world is very strange now. There is constant fear and it doesn't make much in the way of any sense. Fear of a thing that will kill you is one thing, but there are people so terrified of talking to other people, that it rings like a clarion bell. Or they are afraid of next month. Or... it is surreal." Askante replies that, seemingly pleased when the biscuit is shared.

It grins at any rate and nods. The candle continues its quietude and comforting silence.

"So, it took me a while to work out what this world was about, but the fear is constant. All over. I did not know what to do, then a man having a cigarette saw me talking to a woman on the street whose mind was wild and calming her down. He said he worked on Radio and would I like to talk to people. So I do that now. People call and I talk to them and it seems to help."
Nikki Hawkins has posed:
"I've caught a couple of its' shows. Askante does a real good job...but then... I suppose that's Askante's purpose in this world, right?" Nikki says this much but before much more could really be said, all their food has arrived. A bottle of malt is placed on the table for those who requested it and a bowl of lemons.

Nikki doesn't really wait and puts some malt on her fish with a squeeze of lemon, steals a hush puppy from Tim's plate and otherwise digs into her food. She'll become silent while enjoying the meal and the moment likely fades into everyone enjoying the food after interesting conversation.