2007-10-28: A New Universe

Starring:

AJ_icon.gif Kory_icon.gif

Summary: Aidan seeks out an owner's manual for his powers at the Secret Lair.

Date It Happened: October 28, 2007

A New Universe


The Secret Lair

It's been a little bit since Aidan's come here, but now, as he's getting a little bit better, he's making more trips out of the apartment. He ended up ordering something online for his brother… so instead, after researching some things online, he's coming down to the comic shop again to find something for himself. If they even have it. It's old, after all. Opening the door, he peeks inside.

Kory is standing at the gamer table, apparently making a ruling over a fiercely contested game of Bakugan. She folds her arms, and the two sullen boys whose game her ruling rests upon stare up at her. "…I could just take your dragokan and keep it, and your Apollonir. So chill."

Seeing what's going on, Aidan doesn't go much further than the closest stacks of comics, just taking peeks within. He's heard of those kids cards games and the toys with them, but he doesn't have any idea what it's about.

Kory gives the two boys one more glower for good measure, then glances up as she hears the door. "Hi, welcome—" she cuts herself off, as her current view is obscured by boxes, just enough so she can't see who came in. "…hello?"

"Over here." Aidan laughs. "It's me. Just taking a peek for something. Seeing if you had something I read about online." He explains, coming back out. "Didn't mean to interrupt you or anything." He grins, looking back towards the boys and shaking his head slightly. "They really take their games way too seriously don't they?"

"Well, they're eleven," Kory says, gently, glancing at the boys. They've forgotten their disagreements and are now friends again. "Games are serious business. My dad used to tell me when he was little, baseball cards were all the rage." She arches a brow, though, thoughtfully. "Yeah, found yourself a fandom, have you? What can I get you?"

"I wouldn't say a fandom. Just something that I read about online and I want to check on something in it. It's from the 80's." Aidan says with a chuckle. He pulls something out of his pocket. "Mainly for a character that I want to see more of. The series was DP7. Only like… 29 or 30 issues." He scratches the top of his back as he thinks about it.

"DP7…DP7…." Kory wrinkles her nose in thought. "That's before my time, I think, but I am pretty sure I could find it. Marvel or DC?" She is already turning to the longboxes, sorting alphabetically through them.

"Marvel. New Universe. It was a really short lived line, according to the wiki. Something about how time actually passed between the issues. I think it was from… 86." AJ says, trying to remember the exact details. The main thing he remembers is the character he wants to read about.

"Oh…that," Kory nods. "Why didn't you say so?" She goes straight to the longboxes she's looking for. Apparently all the short-lived New Universe stuff takes up two longboxes and no more. "Did you want the whole series or just a specific issue?" she asks, hoisting the boxes off the floor and onto a table so Aidan can have a look at his leisure.

"The character I'm trying to look into was in most of them, so I guess the whole series. Charlie Beck." The funny thing, to AJ is, that there are way too many similarities between them. "Charlene, maybe. But anyway, yeah. Kinda got intrigued when I read about her."

"Yeah? I never followed this series? Is it any good?" Kory asks, plucking through the mylar-bagged comics. "Must be if you wanna read it, Mr. I-Don't-Have-Time-For-Fantasy?" the joke is punctuated with a smile to take out the sting.

"For READING fantasy that's well beyond the possibility of humanity." AJ says, wrinkling his nose. "Remember, that's what I said in the first place." But then, they both know that they've seen some interesting things. "Dunno if it's good or not. Apparently, the characters have reappeared occasionally over the years, even though it was a seperate universe or something. I don't know the details."

"Marvel does that; they tend to take the popular characters from unpopular ventures and bring them into the main continuity," Kory explains, gesturing Aidan over so he can take the issues in his hands as she frees them from their place in the box. "And you'd be surprised, I think, by what's possible for humans. You know what they say about people really living up to their potential."

"Oh, believe me, I'm learning." AJ grins taking the issues she finds. "And some people tend to like particular characters. Cam for example." He says with a half-grin. He's sure that eventually, Kory will put things together. "After the park…" He rolls his eyes lightly.

"Are you now?" Kory asks, shrewdly. "So I take it stage fright doesn't stick your feet to the stage anymore?" She turns to hand him the last issue they have. "I think thirteen and sixteen are missing. But I can call around for them for you."

"I don't know. I haven't been able to audition for a while." Aidan says, with a sigh. "Still dealing with the injury. It'll be a bit before I can." Rubbing a hand over the bridge of his nose, he shrugs.

"Well, it's most of it, so that's better than none of it."

"You're at least stretching and keeping limber, I hope?" Kory says, walking him to the register. She tilts her head this way and that, making sure things are still in order in the aisles and on the shelves. "Well, control is important. Cam's working on his."

"When I'm not nervous or confused, my control is fine. Just when I'm in front of judges… well… Ah well. I'm sure I'll do better next time." AJ says, with a sigh. "And of course I'm stretching. Just can't do full stretches with weak skin. Though, I have been having a friend spreading lots of cocoa butter on it regularly." He says, with a bit of a blush at the idea of it. "So yeah, anyway."

"Well, that's good to hear," Kory tells AJ. "I'd say that since it doesn't appear they've caught" she drops her voice to a whisper, "Ms. Acid Hands, you will probably want both control and limberness." She glances around the store. "Anything else you need, or just this?"
If she's caught on, she's not being really obvious about it.

"Speaking of Acid hands…" AJ says with a bit of an eyeroll as he realizes that the one on top of his pile is the kid from the series, Scuzz, with his hands burning through something. "Just this, really. Since I ended up getting my brother something from his amazon wishlist instead… I figured I'd make sure I got what of these I could here."

"Ew," Kory says, shuddering. "I just hope they catch her before—" she immediately changes subject. "Okay, this it is." She begins ringing them up. "Back issues carry tax, so it'll be a bit higher than cover price or the price tag says. Is that okay?"

"It's fine." AJ says with a soft nod. "The advantage of having enough roommates that even a waiter's job carries enough money to have extra." He says with a grin.

"Nice arrangement," Kory agrees. "Where'd you find a place big enough to house so many roommates? I can barely afford my own place, even with three jobs." She regards him curiously, brows lifted in polite interest.

"It's trashy and nobody else wants it." Aidan laughs. "We don't spend much time at home between our auditions, showings, and whatnot that each of us do. And sometimes we have extras staying." He wrinkles his nose. "It's only a few blocks away. But not in the good directions." He doesn't care, though. Most artists tend to live like that.

"Ah, Alphabet City, sounds like," Kory says, knowingly. "I'm just by myself, since I wig out most people who spend a lot of time with me. So — three jobs it is. I still haven't found a good martial arts teacher, and it's so tacky to carry around a baseball bat everywhere."

"Ah yeah, it can be like that." Aidan says with a slight wince. "I'm surprised my roommates and I stay together so well. But when you're all eccentric artists of some kind or other, you tend to get used to weird."

"Maybe that's what it is," Kory says, thoughtfully. "I don't spend enough time hanging around creative types. But I'm more a DJ than a performer." She gives him the total. "Oh well. It's not like I haven't been used to it for years."

Pulling a checkbook wallet out of his pocket, AJ writes the total in before pulling a debit card out of the back of it. "Hey, Dancers always have to have good DJs. Can't dance well without it… well, in clubs anyway." He grins, tossing a wink in the shopkeeper's direction.

"Clubs, true, though it'd be interesting to see a Broadway show work a DJ in." Kory pauses to consider the idea. "Not that I know anybody who could make that happen anyway. Besides, my hands are full here anyway." She bags up his purchase. "Here you go. Read 'em in good health."

Hmm. He has a writer in his house. "Wonder if Randy would be up to something like that. That could be… interesting." Aidan laughs. "A DJ using the music to tell the story, supplemented by dance." Oooh, maybe they're all onto something. "Oh I will. I have a feeling that I really will like the character. She's a dancer."

"Sounds like somebody wrote her just for you," Kory admits with a brow lifted. "Nice to have heroes you can identify with."

Adding a little bit to it, AJ shrugs. "Cam has Iceman. I have Charlie Beck." He says with a grin, opening the first issue, showing Charlie at a practice barre and everybody else slipping while she can't remove her hand from the barre.

"That he does," Kory agrees, leaning across the counter to glance at the first page. "Too bad none of us …in real life…have a Professor X to help us out, huh?"

"Sorry, I don't quite catch the reference." Aidan says with a nosewrinkle. "I've only read a little on this and haven't even read them yet." There's that bit of a blush.

"X-Men reference. Ask Cam; he'll explain it to you," Kory says. "Basically, he's a wise old mentor type. Yoda, but not as small, and without the funny pattern of speech." She settles onto a stool behind the counter. "Would make things easier, huh?"

"Possibly. And to help US out?" Aidan says, raising an eyebrow. He glances over towards the kids and leans against the counter slightly.

Kory bats her eyes innocently at Aidan. "Well, you know, all us people who need the wise old mentor type. You. Cam. I guess I'd count too if I'd worried about that sort of thing. But I worry about Cam, so there you go."

"Careful with batting those eyes. They just might stick together." Aidan says with a wrinkling of his nose. "Ah, so there's more going on than meets the eyes. Maybe I'll have to research someone else. Of course, I'd have no idea who." He says with a shrug.

"I don't wear mascara unless I'm spinning," Kory says, slowly. "Are you trying to tell me something?" She folds her arms and pokes her chin out, pugnaciously. "If you have a question, you could just ask me directly. It is my job to answer questions, you know."

"I don't know if I am or not. I'm not supposed to talk about certain things with people, because it's not a good thing to talk about. According to certain other mutual acquaintances." Verbal dancing was better the other day. Of course, with mild pain still continuing, AJ isn't thinking as well. He ponders for a moment before nodding. He's coming up with a plan apparently.

"Yeah, you are," Kory says, either taking pity on him for not being as clever as last time, or losing patience with the whole verbal tapdance. "Yes, well, that's true, as far as I know. But I don't stand with the people you don't want to talk to about it. I didn't know about the magic show, but I reported that woman to the police days before she hurt you guys." She keeps her voice pitched so her conversation with Aidan remains between the two of them.

There's a light nod from AJ. "I didn't think you would have been with them. But since Adam told me… and then two days later… I've had to be even more careful about things." That part is said plainly enough, if soft. "Huh… you already knew of her, then?"

"Yes. I …back at the beginning of the month, I …saw her. But not in the way you're thinking," Kory explains, face going a teensy pale as the subject of Mandy with the acid hands comes up again. "I really shouldn't have the conversation here. This is Lee's place and he's had so much shake up his peace already. I try to keep this kind of thing …out of his doorway, y'know?"

"Ah, related to books that he's also not comfortable with." AJ remembers! Good boy. "If I just knew a little more, I probably could have stopped her. I did… for a minute." He says, shrugging softly as he sighs. "Well, at least there's one more person I can talk to. At other places."

"Yeah, pretty much," Kory nods. "Long story, and not mine to tell." She glances at the comics. "So — owner's manual, then?" She taps the bag. "And yes, anytime. I'm pretty much a good listener."

"Basically. As stated before. Some people have their people to look to. And other people's ideas sometimes work better than anything you could think up on your own." AJ nods firmly. "Especially with a weird one."

"I'd also suggest watching Power Rangers," Kory says, holding up a hand to forestall a disbelieving eye-roll. "The acrobatics they manage would probably work really well for you if you and Charlie have that much in common. Oh, and an X-Factor and X-Force couple sequences might work for you too, now that I think about it." She heads back for the longboxes. "C'mon."

Thinking about it for a moment, AJ looks up. "Skids. I think I read about her, too. But Charlie is more accurate. It's not always there. And it goes either way." Hey, that's the easiest way to explain it. He moves along quickly.

"True, but still. You can take inspiration from it. I mean, there's no way I have the resources to build you a Danger Room, but rollerblading around Central Park and practicing with the STOMP guys probably would still give you a lot of practice, don't you think?" Kory pauses, though, since he seems to know from Skids. She doesn't press the issue.

"Actually, the skating was an idea I was working on. I think I COULD do that." AJ smiles brightly. "I am waiting until I'm better before testing anything like that, though." He runs a hand through his hair.

"Buy the gear secondhand, so you don't break your tailbone or your wrists," Kory says, calmly and matter-of-factly. "I read up on rollerblading before I ever got my own pair. Plus, well, padding between you and acid hands."

"True enough." AJ chuckles. "Oh, I know how to blade already, but it's getting that right balance." He says looking down at his feet. "Ya know? Making sure everything is right."

"Keeping the center of gravity low works for me, but I'm a girl," Kory gives Aidan a faint smile. "Doesn't quite work the same way. But you're also a trained dancer and I'm not. So I guess things will balance out."

"Oh that was bad." AJ laughs as he nods. "I suppose that's true." He stretches his arms out, one at a time. His injured side is obviously favored a little, still. But it's better than it was.

"You're looking better, though," Kory observes. "not quite so stiff. Good. So any plans besides reading the manual?"

"No particularly. Just trying to live my life, ya know? And keep from accidentally letting things go." Aidan says with a nod. "What about you?" He asks, with a raised eyebrow. Since she did say she had something.

"Learning a new application, hopefully," Kory answers. "Unfortunately, no comic book I've ever seen has an analogue, so I'm kinda just flying by the seat of my pants. Still, better than not flying at all."

"That could be fun, though. Flying." Aidan says with a quick grin. He's obviously feeling better about everything. "Well, once I get done with the other book, once I start it…" He says with a bit of a blush. "We should get together somewhere… better suited for the discussion."

"I'm working on that," Kory tells him. "That new application? Like a conference call, kind of. Only without the charges and the wiretap concerns." She winks at him, then leans in and whispers, "And thank you for trusting me."

"Honestly, things were falling too well into place. Book. Cam. Other things. It just felt like it was ok. You seem to be more like me than what I was told to avoid." Aidan explains with a grin. "And, well… Adam talks to you. So, ya know? Helped me think it was ok."

"Well, the vote of confidence means a lot," Kory tells AJ sincerely. "I don't think I've spoken with Adam more than once or twice though. And I don't know if he knows about me. I hope not; I don't go telling just anybody. If it wasn't for the fact that the magic show crazy lady was involved, I probably wouldn't have said anything to you and Cam either. But I promised Cam I'd be a big sister to him, and I meant that."

"He's a brave kid." Aidan says with a nod. "How's he doing? Is everything going alright for him now?" He asks, wondering, since he hasn't seen Cam around lately. "I mean, I know he was ok after the assault, but I haven't seen him since the E.R."

"He's good. He's got the mom of a friend looking after him, and he's learning to control his own special gift, near as I can tell," Kory tells AJ. "He was feeling very small and scared, and I think this is gonna be good for his confidence.

"Oh good." Aidan says with a nod. "I'm glad he is. I worried about him. I mean, I know I heard him say something about a lack of parents. And that woman that took him with her, seemed really nice. Good and motherly."

"Yeah, his folks're missing, near as I can tell. That's kind of why I wanna look out for him," She shakes her head. "I doubt they'd have left him on purpose. At least I hope. There are some crazy parents out there that think crazy thoughts."

"Lord knows my parents thought some crazy things about my injury. But then, that's normal parentcrazy. Not crazyparentcrazy." AJ says with a chuckle as he thinks about things. "At least he has people to look out for him. That takes a load off my mind. I mean, yeah, I don't know him that well, but hey. Gotta look out for unique people."

"True. And in a city like New York, where so many kids don't have people to look out for them — well, Cam's just lucky we found him first," Kory says, shuddering at the thought of the people Aidan worries about finding him.

"True. Well, you found him. I just happened to come across him here and there." Aidan says with a nod as he wrinkles his nose. "Anyway, I need to get going. I've got someone I've got to go see at some point tonight."

"Well, I guess if we're being accurate, he found us," Kory says. "He came in here all on his own." She raises a curious brow as Aidan makes to leave. "Okay, then. You take care. I'm in the book if you need to talk."

"Ah, I forgot about the phone book. So many people don't even use them anymore." Aidan grins brightly. "Groovy! I should call sometime when you're not at work." He says with a nod.

"Sounds like a plan," Kory agrees, returning behind the counter, after one last quick check to make sure those Bakugan boys aren't fighting again.

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