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Character Quote: PUT ON YOUR RED SHOES AND DANCE THE BLUES
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Jun 6 2018, 11:29 PM
Coffee, the great equalizer. Regardless of whether you were a wealthy entrepreneur or a lowly pencil pusher, the thing that united you in order to survive life in the Big Apple was, more often than not, a steady flow of joe. Everyone had their favorite spot, though hundreds of places on the island of Manhattan claimed to have the world’s best cup. Charlie was particularly picky when it came to her caffeine laden vice. It had to be rich and strong, but the line between well brewed and burnt seemed to be one that many a barista struggled with. Luckily for Charlie, through her extensive research and a great deal of trial and error, she’d finally found a place that consistently provided what she needed.

Charlie had wandered into Cafe Grumpy for the name, but kept coming back for the strong stuff and no nonsense service. Starbucks was meant to handle all the frivolous bullshit, while these folks just got the job done and did it well at that. Yet, from time to time, a person would arrive every now and then and rattle off some semblance of an order that might otherwise be Latin. Case in point, the individual immediately in front of Charlie in line at the cafe, whose eyes never left the surface of her phone while requested her beverage. “Half skim, half almond milk, extra hot, double shot latte with two pumps of vanilla, one pump of hazelnut, and one and a half splendas,” the platinum bimbo managed between scrolls of her Instagram feed.

This was something Charlie didn’t understand about Americans. To her, coffee was fantastic black. Hell, she wouldn’t even judge at the addition of a splash of cream or a little sugar. But whatever abomination that girl had ordered was well beyond her. It wasn’t until the Barista ventured a clarifying question that Chuck realized just what level of thunder-cunt this girl actually was. “I can do that. Would you like whipped cream on top?” the young girl behind the counter asked brightly. This incensed the ordering wench to look up from her phone, her carefully contoured face twisting in incredulous disgust at the mere suggestion that she’d dabble in whipped topping. “Do I look like I eat whipped cream to you?” she retorted, rolling her eyes and sliding a twenty dollar bill onto the counter before returning to the glowing screen in her hand.

“Sorry, I…” the barista began, stopping abruptly when TC held a hand up to her face. For some unknown reason, as far as Charlie had surmised at this point, women in this country had a habit of apologizing for things they had no business apologizing for. The only person who had any need to apologize was the massive bitch making her ego known to the entire cafe at this point. Where Charlie couldn’t take the liberty of cleansing NYC of this particular scourge, she could at least make this awful interaction worth the Barista’s time. Reaching out, her bare hand grabbed the blonde’s exposed shoulder, lingering there for a moment as girl attempted to pry herself away from her Insta in order to see who might be requesting her attention. By then, the pheromones lacing Charlie’s skin were already fast at work in her bloodstream, turning whatever outrage that Charlie’s touch inspired into adoration. “Tell her to keep the change, and go on your way,” she instructed simply, her voice low enough to keep from drawing too much suspicion.

“Keep the change,” TC repeated absently to the barista without wasting another moment, her dilated pupils and flushed cheeks the only real evidence that something was amiss. Then, and unceremoniously so, she left the establishment without waiting for her beverage to come up in the window, already well on her way to whatever else her vapid existence might call her to this afternoon. The entirety of the coffee shop was spared the agony of another moment in that woman’s presence.

Stepping into the freshly vacated space, Charlie offered a warm smile to the busy barista and laid out her order. “Iced doppio, please. Just a splash of cream would be lovely,” she requested, sliding a ten toward the barista. “Keep the change,” she added with a wink, and proceeding to the counter a few paces away to wait for her much needed dose of liquid patience. With the shit storm she had ahead of her, Charlie had plenty of work that still needed to be done today. But for now, she’d enjoy this pause in the chaos and settle down with her cup of coffee. Making her way out to the patio with the fresh cup in hand, she settled on a small table overlooking the quiet corner of the lower east side. This city and all its busy inhabitants had hardly an inkling of what was bubbling beneath its surface… but Charlie had seen it. All too recently and in vivid detail. And if she had any say in it, things were going to change for the better.

Scarlet Witch
Jun 5 2018, 12:16 AM
Since leaving the Brotherhood and cleaning her act up, Charlie had made a great deal of changes to her lifestyle. Much of those included ditching the terrorist gig for a more legitimate occupation and line of work at Frost International. But among those changes were modifications to her habits, or rather, her vices. Long gone were the chain smoked cigarettes, the late nights sipping bourbon, and the fraternizing with unsavory characters at Sister Margaret's. Keeping up with the little things helped Charlie to be sure that she couldn’t slip back into bad habits and kept that moral compass of hers true.

But given the time she’d had at Verve, digging deep into the underground mutant smuggling ring that plagued this city, she needed some sort of relief. Staying in her apartment pacing had run its course, and with as much resistance as her weary soul could muster she needed an outlet. So here Charlie was, already one bourbon deep and onto her third cigarette at the bar, contentedly sipping on her second glass of scrumptious brown liquor. The benefit of her ever-present pheromones meant she didn’t reek of acrid cigarette smoke, but the downfall meant she’d attracted an unwanted patron or two already with their pull. They were sent away as soon as they’d arrived, the ilk that this particular shit-hole of a bar attracted not exactly the desirable type that one might want to bring home. Each one wasn’t without their insightful charms, though.

“You know,” one particularly hammered patron managed as he stumbled up to her. His statement was paused by a frothy hiccup that threatened to undo him before he was able to steady himself and continue. “Girl like you’s too pretty to be hanging out in a place like this,” he discerned, seemingly convinced his statement was novel and sagacious. “Oughta let me take you out… Show you a nice time,” he continued, though Charlie didn’t pay him a smidgen of mind as she sipped toward the halfway mark on her bourbon and chased it with a drag from her cigarette. Letting out a soft sigh, Charlie gave her cancer-stick a flick above the ashtray before turning to meet the man’s bleary eyes.

“Is that so?” she managed flatly, not a hint of amusement gracing the words. His eager nod was the last bit of assuredness that man would feel for the night before being sent on his way. “I’m gonna have to pass on that lovely evening,” she leveled at him, before adding her more imperative command. Given his drunken state and how easily swayed his will had been by her pheromones already, the suggestion didn’t take much to root in his mind. “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to head out that door and back to whatever hole you crawled out of. And you’re going to have a nice time with no one else but your hand tonight,” she proposed, motioning to the heavy metal door at the front of the bar.

There was no disappointment to be read in his expression, just dutiful obedience, as he slumped out of the bar and out of sight. Finally, peace again. At least, until the next idiot got wrangled in by her pheromones. Or worse, just tried to strike up a candid conversation.

Gambit
May 9 2018, 11:35 PM
Casie Evans wasn’t the kind of girl you’d expect to be sleeping on a subway grate in a mess of tarps and blankets. She was a good student, played club soccer, and stayed well away from the rough crowds and burnouts at her high school in Manhattan’s lower east side. But a little after her fifteenth birthday, her rosy upbringing took a sharp turn for the worse. Manifesting first as what could be written off as the effects of sleep deprivation and fever dreams, her mutation of telepathy and premonition soon became something she nor her family could no longer ignore.

It didn’t take long for them to commit her, seemingly their only choice given how much her mental state had deteriorated. Casie couldn’t keep the voices out, couldn’t keep from seeing every morbid detail of someone’s impending demise as they passed her on the street. Schizophrenia was the best guess any of the doctors at the mental hospital could give her, and while they couldn’t provide an accurate explanation they could provide drugs. Lots of them, coupled with heavy sessions of electroshock therapy. At first, there was relief, her brains so scattered by the current made to course through them that she could finally enjoy silence. The pills were working too, numbing her into a stupor that made her disturbing fits of truth much more intermittent than when she’d first arrived.

But for all their progress, they couldn’t cure Casie. And when her support ran out and she was finally released, she had nowhere to go. Home held no welcome for her anymore, her family unable to cope with how irreparably changed their daughter was. With no high school diploma, skills, or money, Casie took to the streets, making money where she could through a myriad of unsavory means and using whatever she had left for drugs to numb out the voices.

Anything to keep from seeing the fates that passerby’s were so blissfully unaware of.

Charlie had come across the young woman when she first arrived in New York, a fixture in Mutant Town if you’d traversed the area for long enough to notice. Always keen on building useful relationships, Charlie began slowly with the teen to establish trust. She’d learned long ago that street-folks saw and knew a great deal more than people often gave them credit for. Buying her a meal wrapped in foil here or there, or just taking the time to talk to the disheveled and dirty outcast, the Israeli had begun to make an impression. More infrequently, Charlie would provide Casie with relief from her drug cravings with a dose of her own personal chemical concoction. Her pheromones provided a high without fear of overdose, dependence, or discomfort. Of course, Charlie expected something in return. Well, two things really. The first being the understanding that Casie wasn’t to share any premonitions she had about Charlie’s fate. And the second, that Casie would tell her of anything of particular importance going on in Mutant Town.

Most of the time, these conversations led to nothing useful. But given how many mutants had gone missing by now, she figured it would be worth a visit to the young girl to ask her a few questions. She’d picked up Casie at one of the usual spots she was posted up, leading her to a nearby diner where Charlie was sure to order more food than the skinny teen could possibly eat. By the time the food arrived, they’d already gotten through the pleasantries and were onto the meat of what Charlie really wanted to know.

”I know you see a lot of what goes on around here. A lot of our kind have gone missing… I’m looking for any information you might have on who we’ve lost, and anyone that might involved,” she laid out her intention clearly to the shaky woman in front of her. It was clear that Casie hadn’t had a fix in some time, and given how eager she was to sit with Charlie it was clear she expected a high sooner or later. Perhaps, the sooner she was dosed, the sooner she’d be willing and able to share. Reaching an arm across the table, she rested her hand palm up on its surface for Casie to hold.

Shadowcat
May 8 2018, 02:15 PM
Charlie in a garden nursery was very much like a kid in a candy store. She had schlepped all the way to Red Hook on this weekend afternoon in order to spend her precious free time wandering through aisles of green. The small Brooklyn apartment she’d been laying low in since leaving the Brotherhood and engaging in an array of precarious activities was hardly spacious enough to accommodate the type of garden that Charlie was used to growing. Now that she’d procured an apartment in Manhattan with ample space in its rooftop greenhouse for her to experiment with, she had the green light to go on a botanical shopping spree.

Some of Charlie’s fondest memories of her late mother revolved around cultivating a myriad of plants. She’d learned to grow much of her own food, to work what the dry desert offered her into sustenance. Gardening was Charlie’s connection to Sapir, and she was excited to finally get her hands dirty in the soil again. Chelsea Garden Center was the most sprawling and diverse option that she’d found in the five boroughs to satisfy her needs for seeds, starters, irrigation, and more. Hence why she opted to borrow a large van from Frost Intl. instead of using her Mustang when it came to transporting her bounty home.

Crouching down to examine the undersides of the leaves of a few heirloom tomato plants, Charlie scrutinized their condition and potential before adding them to her nearly full cart. A contented smile played on her lips, her mind already busy planning the layout and logistics of her greenhouse. There was a great deal that growing outdoors in New York’s natural climate limited her to, but having her own climate controlled space to work with in the greenhouse eliminated many of those hurdles.

Look out, date palms. She has plans for you.

Rising to her feet again, Charlie placed her hands on her hips and surveyed the aisles within view before a helpful nursery attendant noticed her looking at a bit of a loss. “Hello miss. Can I help you find something?” The bright eyed twenty-something offered, her long blonde hair braided and tossed over the shoulder of her soil stained apron. “Yes, thanks. I’m looking for a drip irrigation setup,” Charlie replied, the last on her to do list doubling as one of her favorite parts of garden setup. There was a great deal of merit in putting a lot of legwork in the setup, just to sit back later on and let it take care of itself.

The blonde was kind enough to walk her a few isles down, where a dizzying array of different lengths and widths of hoses, adapters, valves, and nozzles was stocked on shelves twice as high as Charlie was tall. “Perfect. I appreciate the help. I think I’ve got it from here,” Charlie managed distractedly, her eyes and thoughts pouring over the possibilities ahead of her.

Thistle
Apr 3 2018, 12:33 AM
Charlie slipped the blade neatly between his third and fourth ribs, just to the right of his sternum, and twisted. Once, for Calvin. Again, for Reece. The third time was purely selfish, merely for her own enjoyment. A fourth and final rotation of the slender, razor sharp blade was for her mother, the one whose life this sinister man had corrupted well before Charlie’s own birth. The one who had fallen apart and rebuilt herself after his leaving, but even in her strength couldn’t ever seem to move past what he’d done. And as the last bit of life ebbed from his lifeless eyes, Charlie felt no pity, or shame, or remorse.

She felt relief.

Rising to her feet, Charlie gave the still corpse of her father one last glance before turning from his singed, blood pooled remains. Goliath was finally dead, and she could at long last find rest knowing that maniac wasn’t after her. What they’d done that night was too cruel to feel good about, but the necessary evil had seen itself through and had satisfied the part of her that hungered for some sort of justice. But just as Charlie stepped forward, that feeling was pulled downward to the pit of her stomach, her heart taking a similar dive from she felt a hand clamp tightly on her shoulder. Charlie could smell the burned flesh and iron tang of fresh blood upon her, no question on her mind who it belonged to.

“You’ll never be rid of me, Charlie. I’m always here, I always have been. Forever a part of you,” David’s voice hissed in her ear, slick as oil and cooly confident. She didn’t feel the knife that he’d slid into her back at first, the sensation just pressure before the actual searing hot pain of it hit. But once he gave it a twist of her own, there was no mistaking what had happened. The shock of the pain alone took her breath away, leaving no room for her to shout. He was dead… She had watched him bleed out. Yet here the girl was, dying, with the sound of her own blood pouring from veins falling in rhythmic drops on the hardwood floor.

“And if I’m going to hell, you’re coming with me,” he demanded through gritted teeth, his once smooth tone now gravely and bubbling over with anger. With that definitive determination, he ripped the knife from Charlie’s back and brought it to her neck, dragging it in one smooth motion across her neck. She always knew this day would come, that she would be the one being stabbed, shot, or strangled. But this… this was all wrong.

Which made perfect sense when she finally woke up.

In a mess of cold sweat and sheets long since tossed and turned from their designated alignment, Charlie gasped awake, clutching at her throat. A few moments ago she was sending arterial spray all over a swanky D.C. apartment, but in a breath or two the reality of the present was upon her. The time was now, Goliath was still dead, and her brain really needed to stop creating alternate endings for her life (and sex life, come to think of it). Shaken from the dream that was still too fresh and vivid for her to really process properly, Charlie reached clumsily for the string on her bedside lamp, giving it a pull before sitting up in her bed. Unsteady hands ran through her hair, rubbing at the back of her head as she considered everything she’d just dreamt. Charlie had a similar dream a few times since the night of the actual operation, but each iteration was always a bit different from what really happened. But whether an accurate recount or a fictitious one, it did a number on her to relive any of it.

Letting out another breath slowly through puffed cheeks, Charlie reached for her phone and called the only person she talked to about the sleeping trouble she’d been having lately. And though he was on another hemisphere, it didn’t take too long for Mimic to answer. “Cal? I’m sorry to call you this late, I just…” she hesitated, not wanting to burden her friend but being too reluctant to dream at the moment to find any peace in sleep. “I had the dream again.”

Blink for mention!
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