|"Culinary Disagreements", or, "Hot Dogs are Tasty, Dang it"|
|What: Kit meets up with Mandrake after a show, they discuss the finger points of culinary tastes with Sue|
The sound of Mandrake the Magician's fingers echo throughout the theatre as the audience sat in total silence. On the stage next to Mandrake is a giant man, who looks like a football player for the New York Football Giants, stops in mid ballerina spin. Mandrake flashes the audience a large overdone wink just before he doffs his hat to the Man. "My good, sir...You were far too much for this humble magician..." Mandrake reaches into his hat and pulls out a picture of the giant man and a pen. Mandrake offers it to the giant. "An autograph for a fan?" Mandrake asks with a cheer in his voice. Smirking the Man signs the picture and hands it back, before proudly storming off the stage.
"That Ladies and Gentlemen...is that! Remember, keep a little magic in your heart and the world will be a wondrous place!"
In a poof of smoke, Mandrake disappears off the stage to thunderous applause, in his spot is a picture of the giant man dancing like a ballerina.
Mandrake smiles to a stagehand as he walks out the back of the theatre. "Thank you, my good sir. Should anyone need me, I'll be grabbing some late night coffee and food at the Bistro down the street." He says with a smile as the stage door shuts behind Mandrake.
One of the audience members applauding the most is one Kit Walker. When he'd heard that Mandrake's show was back in town, he couldn't miss it, not for anything. The Phantom has always had few true allies, and fewer still who had any of the pizazz and flair of Mandrake.
After the show Kit is waiting behind the building, leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets. Took a bit of maneuvering to hop over the fences in good time, ordinarily not a huge concern, but he's still aching a little from that big, muscle-bound goon. They always do seem to come that way, though; they never come in small, easily-defeated sizes. When he hears the footsteps on the other side of the door, he straightens up some.
"Still packing them in, eh?" he says with a grin when the door opens, pushing off from the wall. Thankfully whatever that young man did for him the other day got him back up to near tip-top condition.
Mandrake pauses as he hears the familiar voice. He winds up his arm as he wraps it around his ear. "I hear something on the breeze...." A wider smile grows on his face. " He then flourishes his cape as he turns towards Kit. "My good friend, it has been too long." He offers a hand out towards the Phantom. "I thought I caught a glimpse of you in the crowd, but just a glimpse. I know there is magic in you. You know you are going to have to teach it to me one day?" He notices the signs of pain and wounds in his friend. "Come, let us get out of the cold and grab some food and drink?"
That makes Kit grin anew as he takes the offered hand, giving a firm handshake. "Let's. There's a decent hot dog stand down the street, though your tastes are probably still too refined for that kind of thing..." That's said with a lift of his brows; his father always had him eat the healthiest of the healthy, but now that he's in one of the junk food capitals of the world, Kit's come to figure that a little dipping into meats of questionable origin can't be so bad. He motions for Mandrake to go ahead, and he'll fall in step alongside. Thankfully his own aches and pains are all but gone; small favors, really. "And if there's something about magic you don't already know, I'm not sure I want to even know about it," he quips. "It's got to be something pretty--intense, eh?"
Mandrake lets out a laugh as he matches the firmness of the shake. As his hand pulls back, a twenty dollar bill. "If we are eating at the hot dog stand, then you are going to pay..." He waves the $20 bill towards Kit. "One day you'll learn to enjoy the better things in life...Caviar and Champagne" He winks at his friend. "But you are still young." He turns and begins a leisurely stroll towards the stand. "The is the wonderful thing about magic, there is something new to learn." He tilts his head towards his his friend. "So, how has the city been treating you?"
"I still appreciate the finer things in life," retorts Kit, taking the twenty-dollar-bill. He's not going to turn down twenty dollars--though he realizes it's probably an illusion. Knowing his luck, it'll be a bill from a board game or something. Still, it's not exactly a bad memento, all things considered. "As for the city, it's been--something. Definitely different than Mawitaan. I thought home was busy. Here--it really is the city that never sleeps." His voice drops a bit, here, as he says, "And their goons are grown a heck of a lot bigger out here, too." Voice turns to normal as he adds, "But, eh, wheat about you? I mean, you've been all around the world numerous times; what brought you here?"
"Duly noted." He offers as Kit takes his twenty dollar bill. He nods politely as he listens to his friend. "I still need to do a show in Mawitaan...maybe we could do it together?" He offers as he continues to walk with his friend. "Oh, I need to ground my self. Plus Xanadu needed some attending." He lowers his voice as he leans in to his friend. His voice barely above a whisper. "Plus, I heard the goons have been sprouting up here again...thought, I could help."
A beat of quiet as Kit surreptitiously looks around; no one's paying them much more attention than they do anyone else. That's the thing about New York City--even a guy dressed to kill in a tux goes relatively unnoticed. Or it's an illusion of Mandrake's. Either way, Kit isn't going to argue. "Well," he says quietly, "I could use the help. Just last week, I ran into someone who shrugged off bullets like they were nothing, and /then/ some other--woman--irreparably bent one of my weapons." Only his being brought up to be polite whenever possible makes him unable to use anything more than "woman" to describe her, though the sentiment is obvious.
Mandrake nonchalantly peers over his shoulder as he listens to Kit. "As always, it would be my honor to assist you anyway, I can." He then looks back to his friend. "Shrugged off?" He reaches up and rubs his jaw. "Were you at an angle? Was it an open space?" His brow furrows in thought. "Irreparably bent? With her hands?" He leans in towards his friend. "What was your lead in line? Woman can be fickle, but I have never heard of one bending a weapon over a bad pickup line?" He smiles slyly to his friend, clearly giving him a bit of a hard time.
A brow arches, and Kit can't help but grin up at Mandrake. "That's what you'd /think/, but apparently 'let go' doesn't count, here. I swear, sometimes I miss home more and more--is an arranged marriage /really/ so bad?" A waggle of his brows, there, then the humor fades a little. But only a little. "Anyway, I had a thought--armor is becoming easier to get, and there are more and more people with--powers running around. I think bullets might be too--out-of-date anyway. I'm thinking something more energy-based. Knock out the nervous system. What do you think?" He peers up to his friend, there, genuinely interested in the man's opinion. Besides getting outside input on this idea, he's half-worried he's leaving the roots of the Phantom too far behind.
Mandrake chuckles at his friends. "Ohhh, I didn't know there was a girl waiting at home for you? Nicely arranged?" He waggles his brow, before turning to the more serious matters at hand. "My friend, it is not the weapons that make the hero, but the man or woman." He looks at his friend with a look of concern. "Energy, Bullets, Magic, Mystical, or otherwise are just tools. It is how you wield them and your purpose that matters." He looks to his friend. "If your weapon becomes more deadly, then you must be more cautious in your use." He motions towards Kit's heart, a larger ruler slides out of his sleeve and moves even closer to his heart. "That is where your power is, be true to what it says."
"I'm just not sure which would be the right tool," replies Kit, looking down at the ruler. It still amuses him, that sort of lower-level magic. Naturally, he's still as amused and enthralled by his friend's truly higher-level stuff, but there's something about the closer, street-level sort of thing that still gets him. "I just think something--different, I guess, would work out better in the long run." He's also thinking of his heirs; the world is becoming a place where bullets, and the mentality they bring with them, are being tossed by the wayside.
The hot dog stand isn't that far away, so Kit pulls out the twenty that Mandrake gave him earlier--still expecting it to be a Monopoly bill or something--and orders two with everything, and a couple of sodas. Not bad for an evening's dinner. Still something Kit's father would disapprove of, but.
Mandrake slips the ruler back inside his sleeve as he looks at his friend and nods. "It sounds like you are ready for change." He nods his head firmly to his friend. "Life is all about change, embracing the unknown. Who knows, what awaits in the future...I mean who can predicate the year 2099?" He says off-handedly. "You will still be you, no matter what you choose to use." He gladly takes his food that the Vendor gives him. He then smiles to his friend. "Still waiting for the money to disappear? Not this time, sometimes a dollar is just a dollar..." He looks around. "The problem with the stand, no place to sit...and I left my table in my other pants...it is a neat trick, I should show it to you sometime..."
((Sue Storm Enters))
Sue Storm is walking through and seeing two men purchase hot dogs... that sounds pretty good too. So she stops and purchases the same for herself, though opts for a bottle of water instead of soda.
"What's wrong with standing around?" says Kit as he steps back to let the young woman get her own food. "I mean, only in New York city can you get this kind of thing--hot dogs, or falafel, or whatever else you want, all for a short walk." A brow arches, and he decides to get a third opinion, so turns to Sue. "Excuse me, but my friend and I were having a friendly debate about the merits of food purchased from stands versus the lack of anywhere to sit." Normally outgoing and gregarious, talking to new people isn't that difficult for Kit, but he has an "in" anyway, if it comes down to it--he's next to a guy dressed in a tux, an obvious showman, so hopes it won't be seen as "weird".
Mandrake gestures towards the water in Sue's hands. "See...she also got water...." He looks around as his hands are full. Normally, he would doff his hat, but since he can't he bows at his waist. "You'll have to forgive my impulsive friend for being so forward, ma'am." He looks back at Kit. "My name is Mandrake and this is my good friend..." He ponders for a moment, clearly not thinking this through. "My good friend." He repeats. He then smiles to her. "But as a fellow sophistic, please tell my friend that a good meal is best enjoyed in a nice, quiet...candlelit room...with soft music playing in the background. With enjoyable company?" He says with a smile.
Sue Storm looks at the man addressing her as she waits for her hot dog to be assembled, and at his companion in the unusual attire. "Well, I hadn't ever really thought about it..." She really doesn't look like the candlelit soft music sort, though, in her jeans and t-shirt ensemble. "I guess I've learned to make do?" She turns back to the vendor to accept her hot dog. "Thank you."
"I don't think one has to be better than the other," says Kit, shrugging one shoulder. "There's a time for candle light and soft music, but that doesn't mean something like this--actually being out, amongst the people, is so bad." A grin, there, then he adds, "And my 'friend' here forgot to say that my name is Chris, though you can call me Kit." A soft snort in Mandrake's direction, then he goes to take a bite of his hot dog, politely hiding it behind some napkins held under his middle finger primarily for that purpose. It just wouldn't do to be seen as an uncouth barbarian, even if his culinary tastes have started to edge in that direction.
Mandrake shrugs up his shoulders. "Well, Ms., would you like to join us as we eat?" He asks casually. "Well, Chris...." He looks at his friend and then Sue. "Y'all may be right, everything in its time and place...and today we eat hot dogs...." He leans in a chomps on his food, ketchup sticking to his pencil thin mustache. He smiles as he continues to eat, being very uncouth.
Sue Storm chuckles softly and looks for a spot clear of pedestrian traffic. She creates a flat disk forcefield about the size of a small table and sets her hot dog and drink on it, causing a brief blue shimmer. It's at the ideal height for dining while standing. "This is usually my compromise. You're welcome to join me if you want."
Well then. That's something one doesn't see every day, and Kit hangs around the likes of Mandrake. "I'd be delighted," he says to Sue, then looks up at Mandrake. "Looks like you've got some competition. I wonder how you'll top an invisible table." With that, he goes to set his soda on the impromptu "table", intrigued by the brief blue shimmer it elicits. The hot dog he keeps in his hand, so he can take another bite from it, as well as dab at his mouth with the napkin. When one is as famous and talented as Mandrake the Magician, one can get away with ketchup on one's face. Kit--not so much, and he knows it.
Mandrake eyes flitter over Sue Storm as she conjures up the table. He gives his friend a look of impressment, before he turns back to Sue Storm. "She clearly came prepared today..." He says jokingly to his friend as he moves towards Sue and her table. "I am sorry, I didn't catch your name, ma'am?" He ask as he places his food and drink on the table. He reaches into his shirt pocket and unfolds his handkerchief, dabbing it at his mouth, to remove the ketchup. he looks at his friend and gives him a bow. "I am not sure, I can top that..." He moves around the table and studies it. "Hmmmm...not an illusion..." He then doffs his hat towards Sue. "An impressive display." He smiles to both of them. "Good magic is to be enjoyed."
Sue Storm chuckles softly, offering her hand to Mandrake then to Kit in turn. "Thank you. Susan Storm. Feel free to call me Sue." She then opens her bottle of water. She doesn't explain the 'table', though would be happy to do so if asked.
When Kit takes her hand, it's for a firm but not overbearing grip, then he retrieves his soda for a sip. A soft, barely-there belch, politely hidden by the napkins, then he says, "Excuse me. Anyway, Sue it is. I'm tempted to ask about the--well--this" he taps the "table" a few times to illustrate, "--but I've been lectured far too much on how some things shouldn't be explained." A sidelong look at Mandrake, there, though his father also imparted upon him the necessity of some things to be secret.
Mandrake politely takes the hand and gives it a friendly shake. "A lovely name." He lets go of her hand as he looks towards her. "But, I think you will need a good stage name." He looks at Kit and gives him an impish smile. "I told you that I would, confirm if you ever guessed how my magic worked. Such things have to be worked for, otherwise it would be esteemed too lightly." He looks back at Sue. "But, it is my belief that is something, special you can do?"
Sue Storm smiles a bit bashfully as she takes a sip of water. "You're right. It's something special I can do." She sets the bottle down and looks around to see if anyone else is paying attention, then disappears completely from view. She reappears again a second or two later, then picks up her hot dog to take a bite out of it.
And Kit was just taking the last bite of his hot dog when the woman--disappears, of all the things. He reflexively gulps it down, then starts coughing, face turning red. A chug of the soda taken, napkins brought up to his mouth again, and he manages to croak, "Holy crumbs. "I'd say that was pretty special, yeah..." At least it's an appreciative response, choking from surprise. It's not like he's really worried about whatever "powers" she may have.
Mandrake eyes open widely as Sue disappears from view. Mandrake instinctively looks up and around, for some kind of contraption. "Not a one way Mirror." He whistles in awe. "Truly, magical." He smiles to Kit. "That is become it comes from the heart, where all the best magic comes from."
He looks at his companions and smiles. He takes off his hat and places it over his half-eaten hot dog as he looks at his friends. "As much as I would like to continue our talk, I must be off. " He looks at Kit. "Be in touch, I will be around..." He smiles to his friend. He jerks his arms outwards, making two business cards appear, which he places on the invisible table. The card just says, Mandrake the Magician, it has a number, and says that he does birthday parties. Slowly he walks off.
"OH! My Hat!" He spins on his heel as he walks back towards his hat, smacking the top of it. "Almost forgot my lucky hat..." He quickly snatches his hat off the table as he walks off. Instead of a Hot Dog, a small music box is there which plays Violin Music, something nice and classical. After walking a small distance, he pulls the hot dog out of his hat. Which he finishes gobbling. Softly, he chides himself, "I forgot my drink...I need to rework that one..." He laughs airily.
Sue Storm picks up one of the two business cards and looks at it for a moment before slipping it into a pocket. "He seems nice enough." She seems completely unperturbed by the magician's attire.
"He's--something else," says Kit, grinning as he takes the other business card. "Still haven't figured out how any of his tricks work, but I'm half-convinced he'd just hypnotizes me into forgetting anyway." A small chuckle, there, and he takes a sip of his soda to clear the last of the wheeze, itself the last dregs of the choking fit.
Sue Storm ohs and chuckles. "Possibly. I don't even begin to understand magic myself. As it is, I'm still working on making sense of my own list of confusing questions."
"I'd--imagine so," replies Kit, leaning on the "table" and still unabashedly amused at the brief blue shimmer the action causes. "I'm--well, I guess you'd have to say I'm pretty mundane, myself, so I can't even begin to imagine what having such--questions--would be like." All things being equal, he's about as mundane as they come, at least in terms of natural abilities.
Sue Storm nods. "Some days I can ignore them, and some days they drive me batty." Today must be a good day. "Are you really that mundane? You seemed to take this," she indicates the 'table', "in stride. Most mundane people I know start looking at me like I'm a freak."
"I hang around Mandrake the Magician, a world-famous stage performer," Kit points out with a grin. "This is pretty keen, especially for being off-the-cuff, but I've seen him do plenty of amazing things. Now, that invisibility trick..." The one that made him sputter and cough until he thought he'd be hacking up a lung. That one.
Sue Storm smiles a bit at that. "Honestly, it's not nearly as amusing when you don't know how to turn it off."
"I--I imagine it wouldn't be, no," says Kit, then retrieves his soda can. "There are times when any mundane person is jealous of those with--powers, gifts, whatever you want to call them. Then there are times we remember that sometimes it's not so bad to be mundane. At the least, we don't have to worry about losing ourselves." Another grin, and he lifts his can in a mock toast before taking a swig.
Sue Storm lifts her water bottle as well. "Touché. I still consider myself lucky. I /could/ have ended up orange or something, right?"
"Exactly." Kit grins again, taking another sip of his soda before setting it down. Yep, still amused by the blue shimmer. "I admit, I always kind'a wondered what I'd get, if I was tossed into the super power lottery; I mean, there's a ton to choose from, just going by what you can see all around every day..." A shrug, there, as it's really as much musing aloud as anything else, and he reaches for his can, to finish it off.
Sue Storm smiles, finishing her hot dog and capping her water bottle. "It really is like a lottery. Though it's as much a chance to end up with something really bad as it is something really good."
((Fade Out, Segue To " Charge it to Gambit's Card"))