Week 1: A Growing Hunger

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Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Tue May 31, 2016 8:23 pm

This was a crucial moment. It all hung in the balance, and the slightest error could result in disaster. Sam Brockton carefully gave a squeeze, increasing pressure ever so gently, eyes on the mark...

But things never go the way you expect. Maybe he squeezed too hard. Maybe he wasn't lined up just so. Maybe he didn't make the tear properly. But a squirt of duck sauce shot from the packet and hit his trenchcoat instead of the eggroll, in its plastic wrapper, balanced on his knees.

The shock was too much. "Shit!" And then it was all slow motion from there. Sam had a literal knee-jerk reaction, the eggroll giving a jump and going into free-fall. Aimed at the sidewalk. "No!" He leaned forward, squeezing the duck sauce harder, it bursting in his hand, and lunged. His coat pulled and toppled his container of sweet and sour pork, a few thick pieces of saucy meat falling onto the bench.

The eggroll hit the ground and bounced and came to rest. Sam Brockton was defeated. He stared at it. Then gave a quick glance around and, hoping nobody saw, bent over and scooped it up, wiping bits of gravel, grass, and dirt from it before trying again with another duck sauce...
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Tue May 31, 2016 9:31 pm

Harper was preoccupied, as teenagers often were. She had paid attention to the trenchcoated man only enough to detour behind his bench, were he wouldn't see and/or accost her. But he suddenly exclaimed an expletive and well, then the rest happened.

Harper quirked her head to the side. Her parents had warned her to stay away from... certain people. At the time she hadn't the faintest idea who they could mean. Looking down at the, um, figure kneeling in front of a bench, reclaiming take out from the pavement and/or future pigeons, Harper began to get an idea.

Without knowing why, the teenager walked up to the bench and said, "Didn't you get any napkins with your meal? I mean... thats just unhyge- unhy- its unhealthy." Harper corrected herself quickly, scanning the bench for this man's takeout bag/discarded napkins. Anything that could help him, really.

Then Harper noticed the sachet of duck sauce in his hand, "Wait, you weren't trying to...." She couldn't even bring herself to say it.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Tue May 31, 2016 9:42 pm

The sneaking mission was a failure. He'd been caught. By... a teen. He would have gotten away with it if not for this meddling kid. Sam tried, and failed, to not give a startled jump.

Sam was probably the type of person Harper had been warned about, appearance-appearance-wise. A weird dude in a park in a trenchcoat yelling obscenities? Totally who every parent wants their child near.

Napkins. Of course. "Of course I have napkins. I think. They put them in the bag." Sam Brockton wiped his hand off on his already soiled coat before reaching into the brown paper bag next to him, fishing out a napkin (and a few crunchy noodles and a pack of hot mustard on accident). He gave the eggroll another once-over with the napkin.

"Wasn't trying to what? Enjoy a nice delicious lunch in the park adjacent area? What if I was?" What was with teens?
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:49 am

Harper seemed confused by the man's defensiveness and took an involuntary half step back. "No, I mean um," the teen trailed off for a moment, staring down at the be-hatted be-trenchcoated man's meal. "I meant, you weren't trying to shoot sauce at your food, were you? Like the kids in the cafeteria?" Harper grinned nervously and raised an eyebrow. Truthfully she was wondering if she ought to be running by now. She was confident in her ability to outrun most people but this man was, mainly, an unknown quantity and not one that seemed welcome to testing.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:42 pm

Sam Brockton paused. Technically he was doing that but not intentionally. "No. These little packets are a pain in the ass to open." Sam needed to watch his language around teens. "It didn't tear right and I thought adding more pressure would solve the problem, but. Well, I'm guessing you saw the rest." Not his finest moment. But also not even in the bottom ten.

Sam felt a little awkward. He rummaged in the bag and pulled out the little baggy of crunchy noodles. "You hungry? These came free and I've got enough food here, so." Was Sam bribing this teen to keep his eggroll incident a secret? Plausible.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:01 pm

Harper raised an eyebrow and outstretched her hand in a, nooo, motion. "I'm goood, thanks," even if she hadn't been Harper would still have refused the noodles. Besides, this guy looked like he needed them more than she did. Harper folded her arns across her chest and debated internally for a moment. But she just couldn't help herself, "So if it were me, I'd just hold the sache above my food and let gravity do the work. Just, um, food for thought?" Harper couldn't help but grin. [Pun intended]
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:09 pm

Sam scoffed. He scoffed hard. "Have you... ever had duck sauce? Gravity. I'd die of starvation. Find my skeletal corpse on this bench clutching a barely torn open pack of duck sauce, the liquid too thick to escape by itself. My headstone reads Sam Brockton, done in by gravity." This was of course accompanied by the proper 'look at these hypothetical grave words' arm gestures.

He muttered. "Gravity." Sam took a bite of his eggroll and then picked a blade of grass he somehow had missed out from between his teeth. He considered lying to himself about it being shredded cabbage... but it very much was not.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:20 pm

Harper winced, he obviously wasn't happy hearing this but again the teenager couldn't deny her nature no matter how hard she tried. "Gravity and pressure then. You wouldn't be dying of embrassement from missing. Or as patient zero from some floor pathogen." Harper also couldn't help her somewhat smug sass. The trials and tribulations of being a teenager. Internally Harper considered the many, many ways someone could be 'done in' by gravity and her expression grew grave. She gripped the back of the bench for support, her knuckle turning white.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:29 pm

"Gravity and pressure was what I was going for..." Sam tried to come up with a name for this teen... but was at a loss. For a generally friendly little community, nobody introduced themselves. "Kidz Bop." Nailed it.

He shrugged at the mention of pathogens. He'd eaten worse in his travels. Three different Pizza Huts had given him food poisoning. Maybe he should look into that. Who owned Pizza Hut? What were their interests? Had Sam made a powerful enemy? "It's called building immunity. Don't you have school? Isn't Pokémon on?" He noticed her grip on the bench. "Hey, you okay, Kidz Bop?"
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:39 pm

Harper came back to herself with a start. "Huh?" The teenager noticed her grip on the bench and let go, staring down at her hand before holding it tight to her side and shaking her head. "Did you just call me Kids bop? Whats that meant to mean?" Harper asked, genuinely confused but she didn't actually make eye contact with the man and took a voluntary step back. Maybe Harper hadn't heard the man's other comments or perhaps she was ignoring them on purpose. That was the trouble with teens it was always tough to tell.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:44 pm

"It means you're not old enough for me to call you Now That's What I Call Music. Plus that's a mouthful." Sam took another mouthful of eggroll. No detritus this time. "For real though. Are you okay? You seemed to have... a thing happen for a second there." Sam finally righted his sweet and sour pork and got started on that. With chopsticks. Itadakimasu.


Last edited by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:56 pm

Harper shrugged, "Yeah I'm, uh, totally fine. Don't even sweat it." She lied, unconvincingly since the teenager couldn't even make eye contact. That topic had too much gravity to get into right away. "Who are you anyway?" She asked, quickly changing the subject and taking a steadying breath. "How come you're eating alone?" The second question was her piece de resistance, he seemed like the type to get defensive at the drop of a hat. It ought to be enough to distract him, at least Harper hoped so.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:08 pm

"As previously stated on my headstone, Sam Brockton. Private Eye." The pork was delicious and Sam wished he'd gotten an order of rice to go with it.

Hilariously enough, her second question was completely inoffensive to him. "I have no friends and live a lone wolf lifestyle. It's dangerous to be around me and I wouldn't wish that fate on anyone. My life is intrigue and danger." He pointed his chopsticks at her. "Who are you and why do you approach strange men in parks? Get tired of looking for unmarked white vans?"
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:21 pm

Harper raised her eyebrows and treated Sam to a cooly neutral gaze. "Oh, you live dangerously do you Brock?" She said impertience in her voice and a tap from her prosthetic leg. "I'm Harper and I'm a survivor and I'll keep on surviving thank you very much." The her expression softened, "I don't know, you looked like you could, uh, use some help or something." Harper frowned and rubbed at her arm, apparently a little confused by her own answer.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:28 pm

Sam had not noticed the leg previously and kind of felt like a huge dope. He could show off the bullet holes in his coat but that was probably less impressive. Also getting in a 'who has been closer to death' contest with a teen was in terrible taste. He almost said sorry but that sounded even worse. "Well. Thanks for... the... help? In the form of sassing your elders, I guess." Sam was about done and pulled out fortune cookies. "Take one." There were two.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:33 pm

"What?" Harper said, unable to supress a chuckle, "Is your business card inside?" The teenager was pleased with herself as she tore open the packet. Rather than eat something a stranger gave her, Harper simply crushed the fortune cookie and straightened the paper between thumb and forefinger. (She didn't want to offend him entirely after all). Aloud she read....
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:48 pm

Say hello to others. You will have a happier day.

"How's that workin' out for you, Harper?" Sam Brockton allowed himself a small laugh before popping open his own cookie. He cracked it open and popped both halves into his mouth while smoothing out the small slip of paper. After swallowing, he read.

"Do not demand for someone's soul if you've already got his heart." Sam Brockton tore the fortune in two and was paler than usual. "Great. A great lunch. Not at all a total disaster. I think my fortune was meant for someone else, probably."
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:01 pm

Harper's eyebrows didn't so much rise as stay exactly where they were. But she decided it was best to let this one go, after all he wasn't likely to be any more forthcoming than she had been. Also it was probably some adult relationship thing and Harper didn't have time for that. Instead she said, "Hello to others!" Loudly and clearly, to thin air, scaring several birds & squirrels in the process.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:05 pm

"Looks like you're on your way to a great day then. Can't say the same for the local wildlife." Sam stuffed all his trash into the bag and crumpled it up, looking for a trashcan for when he gets up later. He also gave his coat a once-over. Two new stains. Great. At least said stains smelled good for now.
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:17 pm

Harper shrugged, "I wouldn't know about that," she said, more to herself than to Sam. The teen managed to keep a knowing grin from her face, this lying thing wasn't so hard. A thought occurred to her, "So I understand you can't break confidentiality but what kind of 'cases' do you usually private investigate?"
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:25 pm

He stopped fidgeting with his coat and gave a shrug. "Oh. You know. Missing pets, catching cheating spouses, neighbor disputes, smuggling rings, locating lost mystical artifacts. Whatever. The usual." He looked at Harper. "Why, got a case for me? Are you in a gang?"
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:37 pm

Harper considered lying to this individual. But then she thought of him kneeling on the ground, picking an eggroll off the path with his bare hands. Harper sat down on the bench, keeping a more than fair distance between herself and Sam. "No I'm not in a gang and technically I... don't have a case for you since I can't pay. But," Harper looked at Brock's trenchcoat stained with science only knows what. "You don't seem like the kind of guy who'd let a kidnapper go free." The teenager swallowed. She felt bad about doing this to him. But if he didn't look into it, who was going to?
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Thu Jun 02, 2016 11:43 pm

Sam had heard nothing but teen snark from Harper so far and paused, staring. "A kidnapper? Actually? Or am I being.. memed on?" He couldn't tell with these kids. On the chance she was being serious, he sat up straight and pulled out a notepad and pen from one assumes would be many pockets. "Pay isn't important." Ramen and cheap coffee didn't cost much. "Let's hear it."
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Harper on Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:02 am

Harper started and swallowed hard. It wasn't going to be easy talking about this but... She definitely had his attention, the teen couldn't back out now. Even as she spoke Harper couldn't help but wonder if this was a mistake. "So I went along to the group talk session at the community centre last week. Didn't say much," Harper looked down at her prosthetic. "A woman showed up late, Amber. She told us she'd been kidnapped when she was little. Twenty or thirty years ago. I, um..." Harper shut her eyes and took several deep breaths to slow her heart rate.

"I couldn't get the image of her stuck in that little derelict shack out of my head. Cold, alone, nothing but trees for miles around and scared to her wits end. The th- Amber... Her kidnapper, was never caught." Harper shook her head and opened her eyes, coming back to the present. "Not much to go on I know but, well, pets go missing all the time right?" Here it came, the line that would make or break his belief. "How long since - until - its a little kid again?"

Harper hardly dared to glance over at Sam, she'd breadcrumbed just enough information. It felt like there was a frog in her throat. But did he believe her?
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Re: Week 1: A Growing Hunger

Post by Brockton on Fri Jun 03, 2016 12:16 am

Sam listened to the story and felt his mouth pull down more and more into a grimace. Someone else's decades old kidnapping with no real information to go on. He jotted down what little info she gave and flipped the notepad closed.

"I'm gonna be up front with you here, Harper. That's not a lot to go on. But I have connections in the police department here and if I can talk to this Amber and Amber wants me to look into it, I'll see what I can do. It's an old case, obviously. And who knows if the person who did it is even still... around. But, I'll look into it. You have my word, Harper." Teens... so unpredictable.

What was he getting himself into, honestly? This was a mess and he was probably gonna let Kidz Bop down. But he needed to try. It was clearly important to her and if there was something there, well...
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