No Soup for You ((open))
Dawn had neglected her riding for awhile, and thought she should use the precision in her life. Smiling slightly at the joy about to unfold in her life, she slid into her leathers. Glancing in the mirror, she started for a moment. This had been the first time, ever, that her hair was not dyed before riding. Was she actually growing up, or simply becoming lazy? Did it amount to the same thing?
Walking through the manor, she paused in the garage area. So many vehicles that were simply stored here on the off chance that their owners would one day wish to use them again. How many had been forgotten, or pushed aside for newer toys? Were some being stored for eternity, their owners having perished to another predator...or their own hands? Sliding her helmet on, she shrugged. Slightly morbid, but anything beat trying to figure out which Order to be in. Try as she might, she just kept banging her head against the problem with nothing to show for it.
Pressing the door release, Dawn mounted up and started the engine. Feeling the familiar vibration, she grinned. Everything seemed to be moving smoothly. Starting slow on the grounds and the surrounding streets, she wound her way toward the Strip. Typically, she would have stopped there, and found someplace to water herself, perhaps get into a fight. That wasn't what she was hungry for, though. Too many thoughts in her head. Opening up down the center line, Dawn startled several drivers with her burst of speed and disregard of traffic policy. But the adrenaline wasn't there tonight. Bringing it back down, she found herself coming to the end of the line, where she turned aside and wound through side streets. There were areas of Nachton she still had not explored, and some of them were in these coastal areas.
Some of the areas off the Industrial District, near the Waterfront, were somewhat familiar to her, but the more civilized areas by the Marina...not so much. Turning around, she headed in that direction. She had heard that the chowder at the place at the end of the Marina was excellent. Unsure what she was looking for, but certain that it would be obvious when she arrived, Dawn pulled up and powered down near the front of the lot. Pulling off her helmet, she was assaulted by the sea air, and discovered that she missed it.
The Atlantic smelled different than her Pacific, but it was welcome. Smiling, she tucked her helmet under her arm, ran her fingers through her hair, and started walking down the marina. All of the tourist crap was the same on every pier anywhere. The gems were always found in between.
Pak found herself shouting at the shopkeeper. She was pretty sure she hadn’t started out meaning to shout but some days things snuck up on her and she just couldn’t control them. To make matters worse her children, as Pak identified the voices she occasionally heard, were fussing at her. They wanted to play. And indulgent mother that she was Pak had trouble denying them anything. After all, she’d not been given the opportunity to mother and spoil them during life why should she deny them now?
That was why she was so dead set on getting that kite. –That- one not the one over there, she wanted the 15 foot dragon kite hanging from the ceiling that was the one that Kalhan wanted and she would have it for her long dead son. Just not for that price. God damned blood… er…. money sucking tourist trap! She finally exploded in a smashing rant in her native tongue.
“I god damned don’t want to hear an other fucking word. I told you I want –that- kite no I don’t want another one and you know full well that the price you’re asking is insane. I’m not idiot tourist you can bully into a souvenir. Now you have two minutes to get a ladder from the fucking back and get me my kite at half the price you’re asking or there is going to be trouble. Got it?”
Some how she didn’t think he understood the language, but she was apparently getting her way as the shaken merchant go the kite down and rung her up at a fifty percent discount.
Quite pleased with her evenings handy work Pak beamed and thanked him quite sincerely while deciding he wasn’t on the dinner menu. Although she could feel her fangs tingling and realized she –was- hungry. Taking a deep breath she forced baser needs aside and ambled happily out on to the pier and took off running letting the wind catch Kalhan’s kite and send it airborne. Suddenly she relaxed and smiled at the toy muttering under her breath to her son.
“See, I told you I’d get it for you. You’re right it’s very pretty your sister would like it.”
Some people might think it was un-natural or creepy to fly a kite at night, but for Pak it was perfectly reasonable. After all, she sun burnt something fierce.
((OOC… Red is Siamese))
"Very nicely done...I suspect that he will have a story to tell the wife when he gets home. Beautiful kite."
She replied to Kalhan. She really did need to start working on holding these conversations as in internal dialog, but some how answering aloud made them more real. It provided some comfort, Pak had taken the loss of her children hard especially as her husband had made sure they were terrified of her before driving her out.
The wind was a bit sporadic and Pak was ‘helping’ the kite stay in the air with a nudge here and there. But another voice distracted her and the long kite wobbled a bit. Pak probably wouldn’t have paid any attention, but it wasn’t every day you heard Thai. Call her a snob, but the girl certainly didn’t look like she’d actually been to Siam so for the girl, it would be Thailand.
Kalhan reminded her the kite was having trouble and Pak fidgeted with the string a bit to help it catch the wind and grinned at the girl. For the hell of she didn’t switch back to English, a bit curious how much the other knew.
“Some days manners just don’t pay off and I did want it. Maybe he’ll consider re-pricing some of his stock too.”
((OOC… red is Siamese… yes get used to it.))
"I think that the only repricing that will be happening will be if he sees you walking the pier again. It looks like he's been in the biz long enough to know when to fold against a single customer, but he'll bleed the daytime pier walkers mercilessly. I bet he doesn't make many sales after beach weather is winding down."
Chuckling, she glanced back toward the shop as the harried man was replacing a new creation on the open space, his book on the register counter still discarded. Rough way to end a day.
"Are you a tourist, or living here now? Ours isn't a language that I've run across a lot since moving to Nachton."
((ooc: Fine, I'll follow your formatting schemes *grumble* ))
“Then I’ll start and army and wear him down one day at a time, following him to Florida in the winter or where ever tight ass kite salesmen go in the off season. It will be a non-stop campaign. Would you like to enlist? I’ll make you a Colonel since you’re my first recruit.”
It was the type of odd ass tangent she usually reserved for Kem and occasionally MARI but Pak hadn’t been able to stop herself.
‘You shouldn’t be talking to strangers.’ Her son reminded her. ‘Look what happened when you talked to him. You went away.’ Pak’s jaw tightened in memory and she muttered something harsh and unintelligible at the boy under her breath. But she took another careful look at the Thai in front of her, but decided she was safe. What was the girl going to do turn her into a vampire again? Some how she doubted that.
“Bah, lived here for years. I haven’t been home in..” she tried to count and only wound up frowning and a bit sad, “in a very long time. You’re not a native though are you? Of Sia…Thailand, that is.”
She was right, you didn’t hear the language often. And Pak was even more surprised to hear it from some one who didn’t grow up in her homeland. She was so surprised she’d very nearly slipped up and called the little country by its ‘proper’ name. Pak had never really accepted its new name.
((OOC… you love it and you know it.))
"I've never been in the military before. I've some serious insubordination issues, I'm afraid. See, I'd be a Colonel, things would be business as usual, then I'd get bored and start skimming from the weapons depot, start my own ops corps that was answerable only to me, then I'd send them on unofficial missions to Georgia and before we knew I'd get over enthusiastic, Atlanta would be burning to the ground and I'd have some strange questions to answer. Probably best to skip the military."
Grinning, Dawn noticed the slip. That made the evening more interesting, for sure.
"You've dated yourself, I'm afraid. We call it Thailand now, but I would wager that you think it just isn't the same. What with the ousting of the Prime Minister for being on a cooking show, then re-electing him immediately. But don't worry. Your age doesn't show. Must be all of this 'clean living' or something."
Pak couldn’t help but grin. It wasn’t as good as roller-skating storm troopers but damned it this was kind of fun.
It had been a stupid slip, she berated herself. Pak was always quite careful about that. She only got fussy with people who knew what she was, then she wouldn’t even acknowledge the new name. Sneaky little thing had gotten her to let her guard down and her son was laughing about it. Unhelpful thing, and after she’d gone to all the trouble of getting this kite for him.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Just very traditional parents you know. But perhaps I should only assign you night missions?”
That she’d made a leap like that and that she’d started out talking about the salesman getting off easy with day customers had given Pak a few clues of her own. And she wasn’t always the subtle sort, tonight she chose to call the other out.
“But you never did answer my question. You’re not a native are you? And what the hell is your name?”
No sense beating about the bush if she was bringing up diets was there. Pak wanted to know who she’d slipped up around. She’d be very surprised if the girl was part of Evenhet, it was possible, but she didn’t think so. It would make her feel a bit better if she –was- though.
"Shreveport has enough issues already, but it would be a good exercise. I suppose we could sell Louisiana back to the French, or if they're wise to the condition, the Quebecois. Recoup some of our costs for the campaign."
Traditional parents. She'd have to give that excuse a try sometime and not laugh. Grinning, she confirmed what they'd both been getting at.
"Yes, the sun just does terrible things for my delicate complexion. If only my parents had known ahead of time, they probably would not have named me Dawn. Of course, then it could have been much worse. And no, I grew up in the United States. You?"
The woman was assertive, abrasive, loud, not self-conscious and humorous. Could be a pleasant evening...or they'd hate each other by the end of it. Either way, the trip would be interesting.
Pak couldn’t decide whether to glower or grin. She did, however, smoother an urge to salute and/or order a twenty-one gun salute. If nothing else she decided to look up the rule for court marshal and how many officers it took. Well that might be effort maybe she’d just by an army surplus jacket and march around the archives annoying people. Yes, that sounded more likely and made Pak giggle.
Dawn earned herself an imperiously raised eyebrow for that quip. Pak had more or less made up her mind about the girl. And suspicious or not Dawn gave off an air of being young.
‘You could be wrong,’ Kalhan taunted her, ‘she could be the oldest vampire in the city for all you know.’
Forgetting she and Dawn were speaking Siamese she answered her son.
“And you could try and respect your elders.”
Quite happy to maintain her reputation for being a bit difficult Pak conveniently over look the obvious response to Dawns question. It was rather fun to be semi grating and make people work for things.
“I am a native, very much grew up in the homeland. I think I’ve over come most of it though.”
"Now I'm getting a court martial before my commission. There's a saying about a horse and a wagon, but it is probably dirty and doesn't apply here how I think it does. And I think disrespect of elders does fall somewhat under insubordination as well. Part of the whole package deal."
Realizing that she didn't know the woman's name yet, Dawn wrinkled her nose.
"Well, congratulations on the retreat from a quiet rural lifestyle...or...um, a chaotic urban one, as applicable. And what am I supposed to call you, then? "
Respect for elders? What the hell. Her son was laughing, so she must have done something off kilter.
‘She can’t hear me.’ He reminded her. ‘And since she speaks Siamese she’s going to understand everything you say to me.’
Well bugger that. Pak grit her teeth and did her best not to respond to Kalhan aloud, it was a bit of a trick too. She’d just have to deal with him later. Of course, he’d probably find his sisters by then and she’d have to deal with all of them at once. If she was very lucky, she had a strong bottle of something at home, that seemed to help when she was out numbered. For now, though, she’d manage.
“Rural. Extremely rural. And thank you I’m quite well rid of it if you wanted my opinion.”
Unbelievably back woods if the truth be told, but then again it was nearly three hundred years ago so at the time it wasn’t –so- bad… relatively speaking. Of course, the ‘escape’ had come at quite a high price… Pak decided not to think about that. But, god she was glad she wasn’t a farmer any more.
Glancing up at her toy and fidgeting with the string a bit, Pak gave a wicked little smile. The odds were Dawn wouldn’t believe her…
"Well, I think we can safely say that you were more appropriately named than I was, though there is a distinct smell of rural productivity about your claim. I'll not hold that against you, for now."
Gesturing toward the end of the pier, Dawn continued.
"Though my purpose here doesn't have anything to do with my namesake, you're welcome to join me. I hear there's good chowder to be had at the restaurant at the end here. I'm not sure if they serve kites, but they may make an exception in your case."
Although there was more than one person that would agree with that statement. Pak didn’t often take a night off, not often at all. Hell even tonight she’d worked most of the day before her children, well her son, had distracted her so much she wasn’t making good decisions any more.
As children often do Kalhan completely refocused; Pak wasn’t terribly hungry not for food any way, but he was apparently.
‘Yes please! Let’s go eat. And she’s sort of funny maybe she can play with us more later.’
Pak rolled her eyes at his chatter but as she was amused by Dawn as well consented.
“I’m sure my little toy doesn’t eat much but unless they want to see part two of my angry Asian act I’m sure they’ll serve kites.’
With very little effort, she neatly pulled the dragon kite back to her, mostly using the string… appearing to any way. She, after all, wasn’t 100% sure about Dawn maybe 80% but not 100% and as such didn’t want to give away too much. Just as quickly, she neatly tucked it away to be played with later.
Finally, she switched to English, she was tired at the odd looks and the people trying to look and listen without being noticed.
“Lead on Mac Duff for sea food and carbs await us.”
Because all good chowder should have a sour dough bowl.
The idea seemed a bit off, so she thought she'd ask.
"So...what IS th'point a life? What's yer take? I've been tryin' t'figure out thi'shit on m'own, an I dun think I've got th'smarts fer it. Love t'hear a diff'rent take onnit."
Arriving at the restarant, Dawn felt a slight welling of disappointment. It seemed that this particular establishment was part of the yacht club. It meant that yes, it might be quite good...but in her opinion the best recipes were typically found in "dives" and places where the energy put into the food was from love rather than structure. Maybe that was because of her upbringing.
‘Mama is she crazy? Why is she asking you about life, you’re dead?’
Pak rolled her eyes at her son. He was as direct and blunt as she was. What kind of a man had he grown into. Rather than get sappy or misty eyed she internalized an answer. It was hard, she was so used to speaking to him.
‘No Kalhan she isn’t crazy and it isn’t nice to remind your mother she’s dead. We’ve had this conversation.’
Apparently, this was going to be a thinking evening as she was going to have to deal with her son and a young vampire. Why did she still think Dawn was young? Who knew.
“The point of life is to keep living.”
Pak answered distractedly. Blech, she had no patience for class tonight.
“Screw this place. Probably wouldn’t even let me have a clove.”
Without waiting Pak and her kite sauntered up to, the hostess/greeter exchanged a few words and got directions to a small chowder stand just back past the kite stand. She was told there was no dinning room, it was all standing around at high tables without chairs or on a few benches but that was fine with Pak.
“Come on, let’s try something else.”
She started back down the walk considering Dawn’s question seriously.
“That’s a heavy topic to drop on a near stranger. I stand by the point of life is to keep living but bullshit you have the smarts for it. Don’t give me any grief about me not knowing you, you deal with two languages with ease and you have a sense of humor you’re not dumb. It’s not about finding a point it’s about finding a direction.”
"Let? We need permission, now?"
Wondering what was going on, Dawn sat back and waited. Either things would work themselves out, or they wouldn't, and it was safely out of her hands, anyway. And if the point was to persist, well, then she was already doing okay on that count. She'd hit immortality, so keepin' on keepin' on was pretty much on the menu.
Following the strange woman back out of the restaurant, Dawn shrugged. No soup for her...here anyway. At the response, she shrugged again.
"Droppin' it on a stranger? Who better? Totally no reason t'lie about it, whereas someone I know might to keep a specific image up. Oh, and I mean, sure. I get by wi'some things, but philosophy's not one'a'em. I'm decent with languages, sure, but put me inna lab an' I'll prolly kill myself. I mean, I kin LEARN anythin'...just...well...not so patient with some shit. And that's th'prob, reals. Direction."
Fucking hell. Even strangers were telling her to make a damn decision, already. It made her want to break things.
Maybe that was an answer in and of itself. Wrinkling her nose and frowning, she waited for further response as they headed the opposite direction.
Not that Pak would ever do that. Would she? No, she wouldn’t, well probably not.
‘She talks funny what is she saying?’
Pak wasn’t having too much of a problem with the odd accent and inflection but apparently her son was. She’d deal with that later.
“You can’t wander around with out a plan forever, trust me I know.”
Yeah roam around the countryside for a hundred odd years then around the world for another hundred plus; she knew. In all that time, Pak had very rarely been happy, content maybe but not exactly happy.
Ha seafood and crabs. Pak was much happier with the look of this place and quickly ordered a bowl of chowder and a dark beer before kicking back and lighting up a clove while she wanted for both her order and Dawn.
“Well you know I take that back you can, but you’ll probably be more miserable than if you must make one and go with it. Its not like you can’t change your mind later.”
"Yes, but I ken th'diff'rence 'tween good'n bad, what, an' th'strangers also dunno that I specialize'n breakin' faces."
Listening to the order, Dawn raised an eyebrow. It had been pretty much what she'd settled on. Wrinkling her nose slightly, she went with a lighter beer, the chowder and an order of fish and chips. She hadn't been working out as much, but then eating didn't pull in calories anymore, either. No harm.
Sometimes the perks were worth the difficult decisions.
"Yeah, I'm gettin' that most who wander get shit on fer th'most part. At th'same time, I don't wanna be typecast for...well...forever. And...well, what if I can't really change my mind late? I mean I could get so wrapped up in whateva that I lose track of who I am an' where I wanted t'go. I guess that's just another part of life, anyway, what."
Pak took a long drag at her clove. She was a crazy, moody, random, occasionally hostile computer geek. That did not put her on the list for saint hood, unless screwdrivers were involved.
Her order was called and she picked it up returned to the table stubbing out her smoke and setting the butt aside.
“Some how I don’t think that’s gonna happen, not unless you’re planning on joining the Marines or something where breaking you in half and turning you into a robot is part of the plan. Other than that most of the time people have a vested interest in keeping whatever makes you who you are alive.”
It seemed like an odd thing for her to say but Pak really did think that way. She hired people not only for their skills but who they were and how they thought. Everyone looked at a problem differently and she didn’t need a department of yes men. Mind you, she didn’t need a department that fought her at every turn, it was a hard balance to keep.
"Maybe I'm just worryin' too much about it. I just get alotta input, good'n bad from both sides. Maybe they's just tryin' t'make th'other look bad, but still, some's gotta be true, too."
Taking a taste of the chowder, Dawn sighed. It was okay, but not what she'd hoped. Of course, she had somewhat strange tastes in the chowder department. Maybe it was excellent and she was actually chasing the taste of nasty old chowder for reasons lost to time. The fish, however, was excellent, and she consumed it with great enthusiasm.
"Mmm. Well, I mean, I guess I don't know what either's gonna be like. Mmm. I jus' wanna know more 'fore I make a decision'll last so long. Especially since I'm not sure...mmm...on who t'trust. This is good. Want some?"