2010-01-19: FB: Semi Natural



Date Set: January 19th, 2009


It's always weird meeting a former fellow coworker outside of the workplace.

One Year Ago…


Anime Store - On The Street

A month or two after the destruction of Pinehearst and after Gene discovered the truth of his strange 'guide', the young man finds himself in some random Anime store. While he usually isn't most Japanese animation, his present condition doesn't let him get out much, so he has more quality time with the TV. Pale hands flip over the box of DVDs looking over the Cyborg 9 box set. The idea of being remade into something better… It causes a sad smile to creep upon his face before he puts the box away.

"If you aren't going to buy anything, dude, need you to head out!" the overweight man behind the desk yells.

Blue eyes shrink into thin slits. "Don't push me, I tried to save the freakin' world" comes the soft mutter.

"What was that?" the man angerily replies.

Gene's fist clenches in anger. But then, is this what a hero would do, even in failure? Is this the way a man should spend his final months? "Whatever," Gene states as he turns around, giving a snort before he turns around and walks toward the door, clearly intending to leave.

It isn't the Japanese animation in the store that interests Daphne, so much as the fact that the place has a back door. She utilizes it to great effect, ducking out of the alley and back into civilization. So what if she just happens to reach a hand out and make off with a copy of something at the same time. Speedsters are fantastic multi-taskers. She actually has no idea what's now grasped in her hand, but she'll find out later, relaxing on the couch after a good day's work.

That is, if she makes it out of this store first. Even as she zooms towards the entrance, there's someone else opening the door first. Oooo. A fun chance for timing… tweaking her pace, she manages to duck under his arm and around the corner before two things happen.

One, he has a chance to block her way.

Two, her brain realizes she recognizes his face.

In a literal instant, Daphne is back in front of the store, coming to a slow, trotting stop in front of Gene as he exits.

The breeze is swift and short-lived and the blur barely able to be seen, but he's seen Dahpne's gift enough to know what it is. However, before he has a chance to wonder if it was her or merely someone with her gift, he finds her right in front of him again as the door closes behind him. There is brief slience before Gene finally finds the words. "…And here I thought you died in the…" Gene makes a pitiful explodey noise with his mouth as he makes firework effects with his hands. Shock gives way to a gentle smile. "Good to see you made it."

The brief silence is carried on by Daphne, who seems perfectly willing to let the geek in front of her set the mood. It isn't until he mentions dying that her nose scrunches up slightly, and then at the cheap-theatre-show impression of the Pinehearst attack she rolls her eyes good-naturedly. "I'm a little bit faster than that," she expresses bemusedly, though there's a baseline of wary happiness in her gaze as she studies him. "Yeah, I guess it's good to see you, too… Guess you've probably found another desk to jockey, then. Or not. Probably doesn't look too good on the resume to have your reference fall down, go boom." They were work buddies, so they talk about work, right? This is how acquaintances interact?

"I've retired actually," Gene admits with a faint smirk. He doesn't really dwell on why a teen would need to retire from the professional world, just focusing on other matter. "Pinehearst is destroyed, which is actually why I went there in the first place. Not sure you knew, but it was kinda evil place that was going to ruin the world. So, now that their plans to make a super army of Evolved fell through, not really due to much of my own doing, I can do other things. Like…" Gene pulls out his Bucklet List, looking at some of the stuff to do. "…Go to a snake handling church service service." Gene quirks at the list. "Maybe not that one, but you get the idea." As he moves to put the ragged piece of paper into his black peacoat, he inquires, "So, what about you? I take it you're still doing things like finding people, things, and all that stuff using the good old 'zip-zip'?"

Some quip about pensions dies on Daphne's lips as she, instead, draws her shoulders back in a silent gesture of surprise at his next words. For a second, she works her teeth over her lips, a flash of awkwardness — maybe there's some guilt mixed in there. She shakes her head, though, and looks away. Looks back. The emotion is gone. "The place was run by total creeptards," she confirms when he goes for 'kinda evil' instead. "Yeah, I might have had a general idea of the daily grind. Didn't expect it of a geek like yourself. No offense, but you don't look like you could espionage your way into a parking garage." Look, espionage is a verb. And he doesn't, okay! What's more important is that he's holding a list that the speedster darts a hand forward to generously relieve him of. "What dooo we have here?" She inquires, sincerely curious, planning to stroll a few steps away with her new prize. There is a glance across the shoulder for Gene, though— "Zip-zip? Really?"

"For your information, I did a lot of stuff without people knowing," Gene admits, really not going into much as he finds other things to keep his attention. Like the list that was just freed from his grasp. Daphne will see that it is notebook lined page and it is 3 of 6. Some items here and there have x's by them, others do not. Some of the items include:
198. Be part of a musical.
202. Help a hobo. X
205. Prank call the president. X
210. Find a missing child's parents.
211. Pee in the corner of an expensive hotel. X
211. Ask George Lucus why the hell he made Ewoks.

Folding his arms as Daphne at the stolen map, Gene merely nods with a simple, "Zip zip."

As her eyes visibly scan the piece of paper, Daphne's face maintains a look of constant squinting skepticism. Her chin lifts defiantly at the paper at a particular number. "Getting a head-start on the resolutions?" She queries half-seriously. Finally, one of the items causes her to jerk her head back in surprise and she abandons reading to shake the list at Gene. "I'm not even going to ask which hotel… but what have you got against Ewoks? I thought you were supposed to be a geek, don't you guys, like, go crazy for this kind of stuff?"

Considering Gene has a hard copy of his list, he just watches as Daphne's waggles it in front of him. He's not even going to try and snatch it back. That would be like trying to arm wrestle Niki. "Just stuff I want to do in the near future before it's too late. Still sick and all," the young man states as causally as he can. "As for the Ewoks, the main characters were SUPPOSED to land on a planet of Wookies instead. But since George wanted to make some money off the kiddies, he changed his dream to EWOKS he would do something similar when he made…" He pauses before uttering the name of TRUE evil. "Jar Jar Binks."

Daphne expects this path of least resistance from him — maybe because he's still a desk geek in her mind, or maybe because she knows he has some intelligence to him. And playing 'keep away' with a speedster is just sort of asking for it. That doesn't stop her from using the paper as pointer some more, though. Pressing it into her grip with two fingers, she eyes some more numbers. "Huh," she allows about the Wookie-Ewok mixup, contemplating for a second before shrugging that she just simply couldn't care less. "I actually have no idea what a 'Jar Jar Binks' is, but it sounds dumb." And she shoves the list back towards him with a new somber look to the tightening of her jaw-line. She's nearly asking him to take back his personal statement about illness with it. "… I'm sorry," she finally opts for, because the phrase seems proven in these situations. "Life sucks and then you…" Well. He knows.

"Go to heaven? Well, we'll see if that holds true. Have some plans to try before I call it entirely, but it's been a little hard. A guy I need to find is a little hard to find and…" Gene stops himself as he takes the sheet of paper. "He might be dangerous, so before you even /think/ about asking to look for him? No way. I'll work it out." The paper is folded up and put back into place.

Coughing a bit, Gene offers an almost TOO cheery smile to Daphne. "So, enough about me… What about you? Able to find work that doesn't make you feel like you're damning civilization just to live another day?"

He called it. Daphne's mouth snaps shut and she rolls her eyes in a silent 'your loss' when she's called off the chase. "Just thought you might want to, you know, put some kind of effort into this." But whatever, it's only his life. She sidesteps some, putting her back towards the Japanese animation store as she lifts up the random DVD she plucked from its shelves. These people all have ridiculous hair…

There's a side-glance at Gene's smile before she lowers the box, turns to look at him properly. That is, until she gets his words. Her gaze flickers to the ground and she backs up, putting space of several kinds between them. "The world isn't populated by heroes." An ambiguous yet poignant response. "And I don't have a guy to go to. His dangerous kind of caught up to him. So maybe we'll have that in common, too, soon."

"Sure you do, you have me. I might be a limited time offer, but I at least could try and find you someone that I know that could help you… If you're asking for help. I dunno, I'm a little out of it due to the meds I'm so, so I might just be misunderstanding you," the young geek states as he gives Daphne a quirked brow. "As for questing for my life, I'm really not putting much into trying to find him. I mean, I know it sounds lame, but I feel if I need to find him, it needs to be 'semi-natural'. After dealing with Pinehearst, not really too keen on playing God. Sure if I really wanted to, I could try and find a time traveler and go back into time to make sure I get the right treatment… But that wouldn't be right either."

"I'm fine now," the speedster insists, glancing with no small amount of evident paranoia over her shoulder, "As long as I just stay out of it. All these big powerful companies and their big scary leaders can keep on fighting their big epic fights without me." It's been, what, months since Pinehearst but more time is needed to erase the image of Arthur, and the constant threat of his ability. Daphne backs up more, though also side-stepping to keep on the sidewalk. "Semi-natural? What part of anything we can do is natural? I'm not saying you should find a time traveler, but— telling me you could try and help me when you won't even let me help you? Ugh! You sound just like her." She gives her head a shake, at the same time her physical retreat bumps her into a metal rod that seems to be serving no purpose but as decoration for the animation store.

The young man gives Daphne an odd look as she seems to be slowly retreating. Usually she isn't slow and she is backing up even more than usual for people that think him odd. "How about this? I help you now and if I live, you can help me later. If I die, you can help a random stranger on my behalf… That sound doable? Normally, I don't mind asking for help but this illness thing, it's just something I need to handle on my own. It's going to take a miracle for it to work and if it all comes together, I know that I've been given a second chance to do what I need to do."

It's a personal space thing for Daphne, though she seems to have found a home against that pole. "I don't really deal in 'later's," she informs him flippantly. A little bit of speedster superiority. But in a moment, it's clear she's backed down. There's just a hint of something in her expression before she shifts uncomfortably, tense shoulders dropping. "Well, I think you have the wrong attitude, but far be it from me to give a hard time to a dying guy, I guess. I know a thing or two about second chances, so…" Pushing from her spot, she jogs a little too quickly up to him, but not enough to create a disturbing blur right out here in the public eye. "Suppose you should give me something. So I'll know. Whether you make it or not."

"I work over at EvoSoft these days, so here's my card." Gene pulls out his contact information, which shows him as an intern for their R & D. He really runs it, but image is important for the public eye, as Daphne knows from her semi-slowed jog. "Well, if you want to work out something, we can work out something for dealing. If not, I'll just let you know how I turn out if I get cured. I'll be busy enough with stuff if I get a 'new lease on life'," Gene admits with a smile. Oddly, he doesn't seem hopefully or mad, merely… at peace. He's dealt with the fear, the failure, and now… He's just left with the choices that lay ahead. "Sure there isn't anything I can do for you?"


"I don't really have a desk there, but they let me play with stuff and pay me for it. Not a bad deal all around. You've never really seen me at my best. Maybe when things calm down, I can show you?" Gene lets that question go before handling the other issues with a small smile. "Not bound… Committed. I mean, if you don't have things that give you purpose, it makes life about stuff. And as you know, stuff really isn't hard to get for people like you or me," Gene admits with a smirk.

"Sure," Daphne allows, "That doesn't sound entirely terrible." So it's a date, sometime in the future, should he survive his case of death. Her lip juts out a bit pouty at his next, though. "Stuff can be a purpose. You can make that a purpose. Come on, get original." She angles an arm to nudge him at the shoulder. "I thought you were smart." Her smirk matches his in size and content. A nice moment passes, she actually lingers in it. But soon enough she bounces the stolen DVD between her hands and mentions, "Speaking of which, there's some stuff with my name on it around the corner. Those dumb lazy guards have probably taken the bait by now."

The moment is enjoyed, but like Daphne herself, passes far too swiftly. "You're stealing stuff, Daphne?" Gene admits with a tired sigh. "You know, I could offer you what you wanted and your new mission could be, um, saving people from burning buildings." Sensing the onslaught, Gene puts his head down and his hands up. "I know, it's dorky, it's lame, just had to throw that in there." Looking back up to have his eyes meet with Daphne, he gives a small smile, but it's a sincere one. "Either way, it looks like you're busy, but when you got time, look me up. If you can't reach me there, ask for Jaden or Eric. Tell them, the 'Geek God gave you the thumbs up'. They'll know what that means and fill you in." His hands tuck into the jean pockets. "Either way, I'll see you around."

"Hey. The world isn't exactly even. I'm just redistributing a little of what it owes me." Reasoning she'll defend to the end, it seems, with that stubborn jaw. "You should get that," Daphne adds, giving him a look he completely understands since he tries to hold her off with some defensive hands. "Of course you did," she informs him, almost happily, "That's what guys like you do." Their eyes meet and she greedily takes his smile while the expression skirts flirtatiously around her lips but never quite meets air. She breaks the taunting will-she, won't-she when she moves to mouth his special password phrase. Tests it out. Makes a lemon face. "I think I'd die of embarrassment saying that first." She saunters backwards, her tone just short of doing the 'L' for loser sign for her. "I'll reach you." And one more skip backwards and she's away~ and it's not towards any burning buildings. It's towards 'Williamsburg Restored Art'.

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