Amidst the rubble of a war not long past, the stars seek to raise a new generation. Blessed with celestial powers that have begun to make their reappearance, the Gifted are individuals whose shoulders the future of the city rests on. Will you overthrow the dysfunctional government or work to keep it in power? Or will you undermine the whole game and play to your own advantage? No matter your motives, Hyperion is yours to shape.
Post by Lee Jun Daniel on Jul 25, 2017 20:07:11 GMT
tonight the foxes hunt the hounds
Blinding sunlight beat down upon the glittering sea, powerful waves crashing heavily against the sturdy stone foundations of the pier. Seagulls screamed overhead as they soared by on the sea breeze, some swooping down to investigate people who were sitting on the edge of the boardwalks eating packed lunches, pecking at sandwiches to their undisguised dismay. Amidst the noise of the sea Lee was currently making his way down one end of the bay where several little eateries were lined up along the waterfront, each one a little grungy in a different way but all of them well-known for their spectacularly fresh seafood.
Pausing his long-striding walk to slide his phone out of his back pocket, Lee had to lower his sunglasses in order to squint at the little screen due to the bright summer sunlight. His destination's address was saved in the message thread he had with Altair, but District 6 didn't exactly have fantastic signage or anything - which was to be expected, since its charm did kind of lie in the open docks and their ships and the accompanying rickety-looking seaside establishments, but it did make coming down to the piers more of an adventure than one would usually be prepared for. Regardless, he was nearing the far end of the bay by now and still hadn't come across Bolton's Seafood, so he pocketed his phone again and continued on. Either it was just up ahead or Altair was giving him shit again and him and Lee were going to have Words of the Rude Kind.
True enough, he finally came across the elusive little joint which as expected was situated near the end of the promenade - nearly identical to its neighbours with its sun-bleached wood walls and metal struts rusty from the salty sea air, its only distinguishing feature being a faded blue facade bearing the establishment's name. Breathing a sigh of relief, Lee removed his dark shades and pushed open the door, ducking through the entrance into the relative coolness of the eatery.
The little shack wasn't particularly well lit, as most hole-in-the-wall food joints tended to be around the area, and Lee's eyes took a while to adjust to the sudden darkness before he was able to look around and take in the surroundings. Most everything was wood with furniture that looked like it all belonged in an old pirate movie, rope and anchor embellishments hung up haphazardly around the place as if they were afterthoughts, the whole thing looking worlds apart from the modern decor of his own cafe. But the sounds of plates clattering and someone singing loudly (if badly) from the galley in the back made the place feel welcoming and Lee allowed the corner of his mouth to quirk up comfortably as he scanned the half-empty shop for the reason why he had come all the way down here in the first place.
Spotting a dark head seated facing away from him in a tiny booth by the window, Lee's smile spread into an amused grin as he advanced into the eatery. Altair was a classy man, and this was not exactly a classy establishment - even with just the top of his head visible above the booth's walls, there was already a stark juxtaposition. Lee had made it a point to dress down knowing they were coming to the docks, but even his casual outfit of a flannel with the sleeves pushed up over a t-shirt and dark grey jeans seemed a little out of place in the dingy little store. Bet Altair looks like someone cut a model out of a magazine and pasted him in this little shack, he snickered to himself, making his way over to the table.
Subduing the smirk on his face just a little, Lee slid into the seat opposite his friend. "You're early. How the fuck did you find out about this joint? It's, uh, not really your style." As he spoke he raised his hand to call a waiter over, mouthing the word "menu" before returning his attention to Altair. They saw each other often enough but recently it was either at the cafe or Altair's clinic, and hadn't actually met for leisure or just to shoot the shit in a while. It was nice to get to catch up with an old friend every now and then, and Altair was definitely one of his oldest.
Really, who cared about the government when there was delicious seafood to be had? Altair had arrived before his best friend specifically to get started on a plate of oysters alone. Even though he had earned a few looks of incredulity, most of the establishment had seen him before, and he was known for giving good tips. It helped somewhat that his hair was outside of its usual, neat ponytail, instead arrayed around his face in a shaggy mess that managed to look hobo chic. A golden hoop had replaced his standard ruby stud, and a red checkered flannel was wrapped around his hips, a skinny black tank top showing off his toned arms.
Still, you could take the man out of District Two, but you couldn’t take District Two out of the man. More than a few of the burly dock-workers snickered and punched each other over the delicate way he sipped his lemonade, his chunky watch brushing against the glassware before he flicked his wrist to check the time.
“Your plate, sir.”
The waiter dropped off his oysters along with a bag of saltine crackers. Eagerly, Altair tore into them after a quick thanks to the server, who tried and failed to catch his eye, hoping for a phone number left at the end of his meal. But he was uninterested, too busy forking the raw shellfish out of its shell and onto a cracker. The oysters here were never quite as salty as some of their brethren, and the saltine provided a pleasing contrast in texture.
Then, in one smooth motion, he had popped the entire thing into his mouth, a few chews allowing the oyster’s flavor to permeate his taste buds – and then he swallowed, his tongue slipping out to wipe down his lips, seeking any remnants.
The oysters that followed were not so daintily consumed; it was a long-held truth that the more oysters you ate, the quicker you’d devour them, and soon enough he was merely guzzling them down, swapping his lemonade for an ice-cold beer that he’d occasionally chug between bivalves. So enraptured with his feast was he that manners were forgotten, as was his purpose for being here – so much so, that when Lee finally slid into the seat opposite of him, he practically giggled, lifting his arm up to wipe his mouth.
“Their oysters are to die for,” Altair answered. “You know me, man. I’d eat shellfish every day of the year if I could.”
So saying, he forked another oyster, nudging the plate toward Lee as he did so. He popped the oyster in his mouth and chased it with a cracker slathered in hot sauce. The heat was enough to clear his palate, and he breathed out a happy sigh.
“Okay, maybe a client told me about it,” he admitted at last. “This place is great though. I’ve come a few times before. Don’t expect mixed drinks, though. These people only speak straight – and beer.” He wrinkled his nose. “Beer’s kinda shitty, though.”
Of course, Altair found most beer “kinda shitty”, so the words didn’t mean much on their own.
Post by Lee Jun Daniel on Jul 26, 2017 12:14:26 GMT
tonight the foxes hunt the hounds
Watching Altair plow through a plate of oysters was a rare and strange sight, kind of like watching a dog walk on its hind legs. Lee knew Altair was most at home living the high life in the type of fancy restaurant where you had three forks and three spoons arranged in order of size, with champagne served to you in a fluted glass. Yet here he was seated in a dingy little seafood shack with a huge platter of seafood that had probably been in the ocean just a few hours prior, devouring the prized shelfishes with just a single fork, his bare hands and a whole lot of relish. The enjoyment, not the salsa. The man had even giggled upon Lee joining him, which made Lee roll his eyes at him a bit. If there was anything that could get Altair out of the city, it was probably good food.
"They better be good, since you're inhaling them like a savage." Despite the facetiously mocking tone of his voice, Lee reached out all the same to pluck an oyster of his own off of Altair's plate, dislodging it from its shell with a casual finger before tipping his head back and sliding it into his mouth. A good oyster was the perfect balance of fresh, creamy, sea-salty notes, and this was definitely a good oyster. No wonder Altair had bothered to come all the way out to this practically unknown little store at the ass end of nowhere. A reverent smile on his face, Lee set the shell down with a pleased clink, absently stacking the rest of Altair's emptied bivalves into a pile. "Alright, you're not wrong. They do have good oysters. I'm surprised it's not more popular." Then again, he knew that some establishments remained lesser-known on purpose - places that depended on fresh produce daily tended to go downhill in quality once the greed for customers became too much to handle. Probably better that this place remained a hole in the wall for now.
"Well yeah, but you hate beer anyway." Unlike Altair, Lee's taste in alcohol was a little less refined - most beer would do, though the likes of a weak beer like Budweiser were usually a last resort. His favourite pour was whiskey, but Lee didn't expect to find any of that in here. Turning away from his friend for a second he signaled to a waiter who strode up hastily, a tiny pencil stub and a grubby notepad ready in his hand. "Give me a lobster gumbo, the halibut and whatever you have on tap, thanks buddy." Perhaps Altair was content to indulge in an entire meal's worth of oysters and crackers, but Lee was a little more old-fashioned and preferred to have actual lunch food for lunch. An entire plate of oysters, while incredibly opulent and tempting, was usually the precedent for a stomach ache down the line.
With his order placed, Lee leaned back against the old leather of the seat and fixed Altair with a look of contemplation. There was a reason he had requested to have lunch with Altair this week specifically. He'd caught wind of the government's plan to build a consensus of all the Gifted in the city, and though Lee had made it a point not to get involved with organizations many years ago the implications of this database were slightly unsettling. For a long time too Altair had been offhandedly suggesting he join Castle, but up til then Lee hadn't had much incentive or desire to take up his offer. Now, though, was a different story. Lee's power was easily hidden, but there was always safety in numbers, and Castles had walls. But he didn't speak directly just yet, instead approaching the subject more casually - more for his own comfort than Altair's. "So how's the fort been doing?"Bolton's Seafood was pretty out of the way and he knew there weren't many people who would overhear, but Lee preferred not to reveal too much anyway.
Altair only grinned back as Lee joined him. His friendly insult did little to dampen Altair’s good cheer, the “savage” comment earning a good-natured snicker. Altair noticed Lee’s hands, busy at work organizing the discarded shells – it always surprised him, to see the way his friend could so easily slip between casual slob and busy worker. He wondered if it was something Lee noticed, or if his desire for order was deeply-rooted, his movements pre-programmed by his brain and his actions without any real conscious thought behind them.
He snagged another cracker, this time eating it alone. Altair chewed on it quietly as Lee settled in – there was no real hurry here, regardless of what he had managed to pick up. Mutters from government drones, added stress atop their spouses, houses, children, coworkers: and too often these sorts of movements had been put forth, only to die without so much as a whimper.
It was to do with the Gifted, of course. It always had to do with the Gifted. He didn’t know when the announcement would come. Didn’t know what it would say, how forceful they would be – all he knew was that it had leaked to his clients, and they in turn had accidentally released that same information to him. Being observed didn’t sit well with him, no matter what pretty words the government would dress it up in.
The cracker end he’d been holding splintered in his hand, and he relaxed his grip on the crumbling wafer with a sheepish smile.
“Itchy fingers,” he said smoothly, dropping the ruined remains atop the shell pile Lee had created.
He was quick to move on from it, turning just as the waiter Lee had flagged down was beginning to move away, adding, “And a shrimp po’ boy, too! And a basket of fries – small.”
He knew oysters alone were hardly filling, but he considered it bad manners to eat the actual meal without his guest. Not that he said it aloud, because that suggested the dish he’d devoured almost entirely alone wasn’t enough to satisfy his appetite, and he wasn’t about to give his friend an opening to poke at him with a few comments about his stomach. The starch would provide a nice contrast to the slimy bivalves and keep him from complaining down the line.
“I really do hate beer,” Altair allowed himself to say when they were left alone, punctuating his statement with another swig from his can, blanching around the taste. “Better when I can just throw it straight back,” he said with a sigh and slumped down in his seat, throwing one arm across the back.
He looked too entirely at ease, one leg lazily crossed over the other beneath the table, his hand loosely gripping his beer, that half-smile playing across his lips.
“Fort’s been good,” he answered back. “Never not good, with someone like me at the helm. But,” and here he slowed his lips, his fingers tapping gently on the beer can. “It could be even better,” he said at last, another smile tugging up the corners of his mouth.
This was about as roundabout as he was capable of – he had never been one for hiding, and while he knew the need to be discreet, it was always difficult to hide what he wanted to say.
“Honestly,” he said, and his voice was still careless, his face wearing a relaxed expression – and yet he was anything but, his eyes that of a hawk’s sizing up a potential meal. "The kids haven’t caught on yet, but work’s been letting it drop we may be looking at something bad.”
He took another sip of the beer, the gold of his irises a brilliant, searing heat. “Could use someone like you on the team, especially if it devolves into the sort of clusterfuck that happened last time.”
Post by Lee Jun Daniel on Aug 2, 2017 20:30:25 GMT
tonight the foxes hunt the hounds
Lee allowed a half-smile of amusement at Altair's despairing tone as the other man continued to make a valiant attempt at putting away the rest of his beer, though not without complaint. "You gotta get draft beer or at least something in a bottle, beer in a can is just... sad," he pointed out lazily, a note of gentle reprimand in his tone. "Thought I'd taught you better than that, dumbo." But of course, Lee didn't really expect Altair to retain any of his sage advice when it came to beer selection. The man drank like a fish and usually went straight for harder tipple on nights when they stopped by bars instead of seafood shacks, but beer tended to be cheaper than mineral water in establishments like these. Even Lee would agree that five bucks for a bottle of fancy water was ridiculous.
At Altair's painstakingly curated response, Lee's brows furrowed together slightly - he knew that the database wouldn't be good for any Gifted people, but if word on Altair's end was heavily insinuating that it was going to be bad then it probably was. And if Altair was willing to put that out there right away, then that just inserted an undercurrent of urgency into their conversation. Thankfully the news was still relatively fresh and the government had a tendency to put things into action slowly, increasing their control through multiple crescending steps, but there was definitely a need to come to some kind of conclusion of their own during this lunchtime meeting. If he was honest, Lee had already made up his mind before even texting Altair to push forward their usual twice-weekly meetup, but he'd just needed to know that the Castle leader was still willing to have him on board. And it turned out that he was.
"Not sure whether I was hoping to hear that or not," Lee deadpanned, dragging his index finger through the circles of condensation left on the table from Altair's can of beer. He was definitely relieved that Castle would still welcome him, but it did make him wonder if Altair was saying they could use him to make him feel better about joining or if they really did need all the help they could get. But it didn't really matter anyway - he was going to join, of course, it was just Lee preferred to convince himself that he wasn't immediately rushing to safety like a scared kitten.
The first of his dishes arrived then, a steaming hot crock of lobster gumbo, and his attention was drawn away from the discussion at hand for several moments by the hearty, peppery smell. It was served with a large generous hunk of rustic bread, and Lee pulled the soup towards him a little more in anticipation. Along with it the waiter also brought a large, frosted glass mug of foamy beer and Lee immediately swept it up, taking several gulps of the lager in quick succession before setting it down with a soft ahhh. "Beer's always better fresh and ice cold. Might make you hate it less." His easy lopsided smile was back as he reached for a spoon from the slightly grimy utensil holder on the table. "Not that this one's particularly great, but you know. Should bring you to one of those fancy craft beer places one day. Bet you'd have fun regardless." Then in a lower voice as his hands absently tore the crusty loaf into bite-sized pieces, "I guess I'm joining the team then." Apparently his mind had decided to just be done with the decision so he could get back to enjoying his lunch, scared kitten be damned. He guessed there was no point waffling about it if he knew what the end result was going to be anyway.
Created by Graves, Finley, and Dimas with thanks to PHAROAH LEAP of WICKED WONDERLAND for various codes! Mini profile code by TIMELAPSE OF WICKED WONDERLAND. Shoutbox remodel code by Alisha of Adoxography 2.0. Any and all content is copyrighted to STAR★SIGNS. Copying, altering, or stealing any of the site's content is prohibited. All of STAR★SIGNS characters are the original work of their owners may not be replicated or stolen. All images and graphics belong to their rightful owners and STAR★SIGNS does not claim to own any of them.