2009-11-30: Passing Strangers



Date: November 30, 2009


In a simple act of walking down the street, one person runs into two very different sorts of strangers with very different goals.

"Passing Strangers"

Streets of New York City

Carrying a duffle filled with various electronics for his new project for the month, a young man dressed in a black trench coat, black jeans, and a grey t-shirt moves through the streets of New York. Right now, he is just heading toward the parking garage, located a couple of blocks down. After all, taking the bus while being a wanted man is asking for trouble at this point of the game.

It's apparently a good day for a stroll because a few feet behind him is the clipping sound of a pair of stilettos hitting the sidewalk. The woman wearing them is someone that had met him once before in passing, but it's likely that she wouldn't recognize the back of his head. Her pace is a little faster than his, an amazing feat for her small stature and at the moment she isn't paying attention to anything other than the contents of her purse. This may be a contributing factor in what happens next…

First, she steps on the back of his heel. Second, she trips, falling forward onto his back. Third, (if he hasn't turned around and tased her yet) the pair go tumbling to the ground unless he's got some speedy spidey reflexes.

Suddenly, Gene goes from 'busy day' to 'day he fell'. As he gets his heel stepped on, Gene tries to look back to see what is going on. He finds that a woman is falling on him, but can do little but put an arm out. He tries to get his balance, but with the heavy bag, it is all but impossible and Hallis lands on Gene. Thankfully, the twist in Gene's body meant that the bag landed on the ground. Good for Hallis who might have had to land on it, bad for Gene's stuff.

Wincing slightly at his hurt foot, Gene's greeting is slightly awkward and to the point, "Hey."

"Oh my gawd! I'm so sorry! I was walking.. and…" Hallis is having a little bit of trouble scrambling to get off of Gene. To the casual onlooker, the situation borders romantic comedy. Man on the ground, woman on top of him, stuff all over. If it weren't for the red face of the socialite and the grimace of pain from the young man, it might be the stuff of an 80's video montage.

Finally, Hallis sort of rolls to the side and makes her way to her knees, trying to scoop the contents of her purse back into the bag. "I'm so so so sorry… Are you hurt?" She takes a quick glance at him, finally. "Hey! I know you.. You're that fellow." She snaps her fingers a few times and waves her hand around in a little circle. "Luke! Are you okay? I mean, I can pay for your ankle to get looked at."

"Luk-Oh yeah," Gene exclaims softly as he gets up to his feet, helping Hallis up if she struggles to stay standing. He forgot the false name he gave. Normally he wouldn't dare consider such a thing, but being on the run from the government makes you do a lot of things you didn't used to before. "Nah, it's okay, sure it's just a little sore." While he will likely learn later that it's twisted or strained, for now, he weathers the pain as he moves to get his bag after ensure that Hallis is up and alright. "How about you, miss? You alright?"

"Hallis," The woman replies with a smile, seeming friendly enough. "I'll be fine, especially since there's no cameras around to declare me falling for you… my new mystery man." It's a joke. But if there are cameras around next week's tabloids would probably be reading just that. She finally collects all of her things and them grimaces as she looks at her new phone. "Crap… crap crap crap…" She swears under her breath as she pulls the jPhone from the dark inside of the bag, the screen is cracked in a few places. "I'm so dead…"

Thank God for that one… Well, Gene does anyway. As much fun as being on the tabloids while being wanted by the feds would be, Gene finds other things to deal with. "Well, um, I'm sure it's fine. You have the money to get a new one right?" Gene offers with a small and awkward grin.

Frowning, Hallis purses her lips and shakes her head a little. "It's not something I can replace with money. My boss gave it to me just a few days ago. He's going to kill me, or worse, he'll fire me." She drops the broken thing back into her bag and sighs deeply. "It's alright though, I guess. I just… I was looking for a job when I found that one." She seems a little defeated.

The young man arches a brow. "Well, why wouldn't you be able to replace it with money? I thought it was just a jPhone. Those are sold in a few places…." Gene states as he puts his bag down to start looking through it. Hopefully nothing TOO important got broken in the fall.

"What about all the stuff inside of it? Like my boss' phone number and all that stuff?" Hallis bends a little, looking a bit concerned at the man. "Is your stuff okay? I didn't break any of it, did I?" Other than her phone, the woman's possessions are alright. Or so she thinks. Taking a quick sniff, she leans forward to smell Gene and then draws back with a puzzled look. "I think my perfume broke and you got a bunch on you. You don't have a jealous girlfriend or anything, do you? Because she might not like that."

The young genius doesn't even look up as he continues to go through the stuff. "I… um, the closest thing I have to a girlfriend is MWMM…. Missing with My Money. So, nothing to really worry about there," Gene admits as he rubs the back of his head. Finally looking up, he sighs. "A bit… But don't worry about it, didn't spend too much on it… As for your phone? As long as the data card holding the contact information is alright, your provider should be able to transfer the information without any problem. May lose some notes here and there, but nothing too major here."

The petite blonde catches her lip to hide her grin and nods, "Muhwuuhhmmmm, that's kind of a neat way to put it. I wonder if any of my boyfriends ever thought of that. Probably not, I never really needed to take their money." The smell of the perfume is getting much stronger now and in response Hallis holds her purse away from her body. "I think I'll have to get a new purse, and everything inside my purse too." A forlorne glance is cast toward the black bag and the woman sighs a little. "Too bad, I really liked this one."

"Well, I suppose so… Unless you really really liked that perfume, then everything will smell just the way you like it, right?" Gene admits, giving a slightly awkward grin with his lame attempt of humor. He pauses for a few moments before he looks around. "So, um, unless there is something else you needed me for, I guess I should be going," Gene states moving to cinch up his duffle bag and head on out.

Adam's never been one for subtlety, so is it much surprise when, walking down the street, he literally barges his way into the conversation between Gene and Hallis. He happens to be messing with, of all things, a BlackBerry, a handy little piece of technology he's recently acquired. In a navy suit with lighter blue shirt and no tie, he isn't especially paying attention as he shoulders his way into Gene…fortunately being spared collision with Hallis and her smelly bag. The collision is enough to finally get his eyes off the phone and looking up, first at Gene, who he seems to recognize from some time ago, and Hallis, who he recognizes from a much shorter time ago. "Well, I figured it would've been her I'd run into. Sometimes I swear I have the powers to control fate and probabiliy…when strangers I bump into aren't strangers at all!" he exclaims.

Hallis seems a little nervous as well, not trying to hold the man back, but not knowing how to end the conversation without making it really awkward. "Yeah, I suppose." Looking up, Gene's just solved the problem for her, and so she's smiles and shakes her head. "No, I don't really. If I broke anything you need to replace, I'll pay for it. Here's my number, but .. it's not going to be working for the next couple of hours. Or at least until I get a new one." Digging around in her purse, she comes up with a receipt and a pen. She quickly scrawls her phone number on the newly scented little slip of paper and presses it into his palm. "I hope I see you again, it was nice running into you."

At Adam's approach, the woman just smiles and lifts her fingers in a little wave. "Hi Adam, I—" What he says stops her cold and she widens her eyes a little. "Maybe you do." She smiles as she catches herself and tries her best to make everything look as normal as possible. "I'll see you later, I don't want to keep any more of your time, Luke." With that, she trudges off toward the parking garage.

"No prob," Gene replies, taking the number and putting it into his peacoat. The young man sees a second person though, one that he first met in much different circumstances. His eyes focus on Adam with a bit more caution than most people he knows of. "…You never returned my call, 'Adam'. I take it you're still robbing poor restaurant owners?"

"Not…in some time, actually. Are you still trundling around with trash-can-looking robots?" he quips back. Standing there, talking with Gene, he slides his phone into a pocket of his jacket. "I'm actually back in town for some very specific information. I hear a lot of rumors…I'm trying to figure out what's true and what's not, and a lot of the…pardon my French, bullshit, is coming from New York."

There is a snort at the robot insult. "Artoo is NOT a trash can. He's a droid capable of taking your behind down…" However, Gene is not as offended as he could be, too distracted by the meat behind Adam's words. A brow is arched, his tone lowering itself a little. "Considered about the government or something else entirely?"

Aye, the government. Being naughty little monkies and fulfilling Orwell's prediction…very Big Brother-esque. But only when it comes to folks like me…" he says, purposely letting himself trail off. He's got a suspicion that Gene either has a power, or is really close to folks that do. "I've heard some rather disconcerting things…and there was this rather disconcerting video online, with a little girl."

"It's true… That the government is after people with gifts. I don't agree with how those kids were trying to stop them, but something does need to be done. If left unchecked, it's gunna get ugly. But this isn't the time or the place for talk like this," Gene states, looking around as if expecting the government to pop out from the shadows any moment now. "You have time to talk now, or shall we meet up another time?"

That question always brings a smirk and chuckle to Adam's face. "You're me if I have time…funny. I've got it in abundance." He shakes his head a little…but he's the only one who gets the joke. "So, to be perfectly, clear, I could spare a few moments. Particularly if they involve getting contact information to continue my search." Or potential allies…or people to be on the lookout for, that goes without saying.

"Hrm…" Gene considers the choices ahead of him. He could work with Adam, but could the young man really handle this many people with a criminal background. No, he can't risk it… Taking these people as part of his group means he is responsible for them and the bridge is almost too far as is. Still, business partners is another matter. "I might be able to give you some names… But first I need to talk to some people here and there. Meet me at the Indigo club at this time and this date." Gene pulls out a card which is blank. He writes some stuff on it before handing it to the man. "My sources likely be looking for some sort of payment, so I suggest you have a nice offer waiting for them. I trust you have a legal form of payment available?"

"It can be arranged," Adam says, nodding as he takes the card from Gene. He thinks better, of course, recalling that the last time Gene saw him, he was knocking over a restaurant. Why doesn't anyone believe him when he tells them it was just for fun, not money? "And by arranged, I mean, I can get the funds…legally. That means, not knocking over a bank or something. But consider it done." Whatever his stake is in this, Adam seems more than willing to contribute financially to uncovering more of this plot that concerns the abduction of Evolved individuals. "Until then, keep in touch," he says, retrieving his phone and waving it back and forth a bit in his hand.

"If I'm not at the restaurant… There will be a card with information on how to contact me," Gene states, merely shifting the bag from one shoulder to the next. It would seem that the young man isn't willing to share contact information with Adam just yet. Clearly trust issues are something that the young man is being forced to learn. "Stay low… More so if you're last name is Monroe. If so, you're on the list of those they are hunting." With that 'sign' of how much he really knows, Gene merely begins to walk toward the garage toward his car.

"Thanks…I'll remember that…" Adam starts to say, but already Gene is heading off. With a shrug, he too turns and continues on his way down the street. Really, what's the worst that could happen? They could lock him up again? He's already been locked up for 30 years! Of course, this project is a little different than the Company, and Adam might really be getting in over his head. Only time will tell.

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