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Aoiroo

A Common Addiction (IC)

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Drugs were not a new concept in the Fens. The ever common image of the person on the street corner waiting to hook up someone on the lastest score was a very common sight to see on the streets at night. Though however common those were in the Fens, there was another very common chain of drug dealers that worked throughout the city. The highly addictive and totally legal drug called caffiene was one someone could find for sale anywhere in the city, and as such it's sale dwarfed all other drugs in the shear volume of profit. It was at one of these legal drug shops called Starbase that Carrie often sat whenever she was between odd jobs and had time to kill. Even if she herself never touched any of the products or foods provided at such establishment it was one of the precious few places where one was allowed to loiter for several hours without much fuss. Sitting back in the welcome shade of the thick green umbrella she held a well bent paper back she had gotten at a local used book store that specialized more in books of questionable content but still kept a good collection of modern fictions that suited her tastes. It had been a pretty slow moving day, but she wasn't in a rush to get back to her appartment.

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Blake was on the streets of the Fens. It was a Saturday, and he had already finished his homework from Claremont. He generally avoided The Fens by habit, but it was a nice day and he let his legs take him where they wanted to go. Soon, however, he became tired. After a few hours of walking, it was bound to happen. Luckily, he found a Starbase ahead. The boy, known as Blake Salazar, was wearing his favorite Rush T-shirt, along with blue jeans and Converse tennis shoes. As he walked into the store, a pretty girl reading a paperback outside caught his eye. He'd be sure to make his presence known after ordering.

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Someone passed her, that Carrie was certian, but as normal she rarely felt the need to look up and examine whatever newcomer had come to sastify their addiction to over stylized coffee. Turning a page, she sunk deeper into thought about the characters of her book, it was a series set in Chicago about a rather sarcastic magic user who liked to make a lot of pop culture references and poke fun at some of the cliches often provoked in similar stories. The series had gradually become darker and darker, especially with the start of an in story war with several vampires. Turning the page in the story, she was curiously reading about the unusual presence of a particular woman that had entered the character's life that had turned out to be a hallucination when someone bumped into her and managed to spill whatever it was they were holding onto her thigh.

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"Oh crap!" Blake said. "I'm so sorry, ma'am...I'll buy you another one if you want. I've also got some Shout wipes; that should come right out." he said as he frantically reached into his pockets for them. "I'm just so clumsy sometimes."

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Looking at the somewhat flustered boy who had just bumped into her, a couple of questions came to mind. First off, did she actually look like a ma'am? Well maybe she did compared to this one, who couldn't be anything older then late teens, if he was she'd ask if he had an eating disorder because he was thin as a rail. Looking down at her yellow sweat pants she just stared at the spread of dark coffee stains from the cup. The next question was probably why she wasn't feeling pain. This was quickly answered when she looked down at the ground spot several clear cubes.

An iced coffee, aww.

Setting her book down she didn't jump up immediately but looked closely at the stain. It was more towards the thigh then the crouch area, so it didn't look like she wet herself, but it was pretty inconvient. Then there was the kid, because he looked almost beside himself with embarressment, which brought her back to her earlier assessment, probably late teens at the lastest. After looking over her once more while he stumbled over himself to reach for some cleaning wipes she had realized she hadn't said anything to him yet. What should she say, she didn't want to sound like he was lecturing him, but she had to say something, it was then she noticed,

"What were you doing all the way over here?"

She wasn't very close to the door, she was out at the edge of the tables almost all the way to the very last window of the shop and about three tables in from the side walk. It was a location she choose so as not to be disturbed by foot traffic, but obviously that hadn't worked.

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"Uhh..." he said, looking for an excuse. Despite the fact that what she said was true, he couldn't just say he wanted to talk to her. "I wanted to be away from the big crowds?" he said, hoping she would buy it. His clumsiness wasn't intentional, but despite his best attempts to be social, he managed to screw it up. "Real sorry about the coffee though. Guess I inherited that trait. My dad always used to trip over things."

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His comment made her do a quick survey of the area,

"Well, you're certianly in the right place for that."

The Fens wasn't exactly a tourist destination, and those who did come here by choice usually did so much later in the day and evening when the local bars, clubs, and theatres were generally open. Holding up her wrist she glanced at her watch and determined it was just a little past noon, and as such almost everyone who usually stopped by on their way to any one of their menial jobs would of come and gone leaving just them in the lonely stretch of Starbase tables.

"Seriously, what are you doing here, you're a bit young to be hanging around the Fens."

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"To be perfectly honest, I was bored, and it was a nice day outside. I generally will walk places when I've got nothing better to do. So I decided to explore the Fens...and I'm more than capable of taking care of myself. Thanks for your concern, though." Little did she know that Blake was the protector of one of the world's most powerful magical tomes, the Necronomicon. Nor did she probably know that he was secretly the weird superhero, Kid Cthulhu either. Or at least he hoped.

"Oh, my name's Blake. Nice to meet you." He held out his hand.

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"Really now?"

Her voice was laced with skepticism, though he had a few inches on her in height, intimidating he was not. He looked like some poser emo kid who secretly collected Wonder Boyz albums and knew all the lyrics to High School Musical. He wore way too much black for summer day, and she sort of wondered how he hadn't passed out from heat exuastion. He held out his hand politely, and provided a relately normal name which she grabbed his hand and gave it a quick shake and squeeze before saying,

"Nice to meet you too, my name is Carrie. I'm still a bit curious what posessed you to explore the Fens, this is probably the only place in the area that wouldn't stop you at the door and ask for ID."

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Blake shrugged. "Just bored. I don't come by here that often, for fears that I will get shanked. Or worse, get carded." he said with a grin. "I could ask you the same thing. What brings you to The Fens today, Carrie?" His false bravado often got him nowhere, but he hoped she found him amusing. "Mind if I take a seat?"

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Crossing her legs she picked up her book and bent a page,

"Yeah you can sit down, especially since you haven't managed to get any wipes out so I can clean up your little snafu here."

Resting her elbow on the table she let out a soft sigh as he started to question her nonchalantly,

"Well, other then the fact that I'm actually old enough to hang around this area, I'm one of the rare breed of human who actually lives here."

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He sat down at the table and handed her a few wipes. "How do you like it? I have a few friends my dad knew that used to live down here...they say it could be better." KC said, taking a sip of his coffee. He hoped his demeanor didn't bother her. He scratched his head and looked around. It wasn't such a bad neighborhood...he guessed. He'd probably be coming to live here after he graduated from Claremont.

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"It's cheap, and it's not the most dangerous part of town, given, it is in walking distance of the most dangerous part of town. Mostly, I'm here because the rent in the area stays in the one hundred and two hundred range for appartments. Though you lose some common luxuries, like reliable AC units and such."

Thinking about her particular appartment, the only thing reliable thing there was her neighbors cats always finding a way onto her secondhand loveseat for an afternoon nap.

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"I see. Yeah, I hear living's pretty cheap down there. I'd have to have some sort of protection to live up here though. I bet the Southside C's wouldn't hesitate a moment to jump a skinny white boy like me. Good thing we've got the Freedom League and those other super-teams to keep us safe." KC said as he looked to the skies. It was going to be a scorcher today. He was glad he was sitting in the shade of the building outside, with a cute woman. He hoped he was doing okay.

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She snorted slightly,

"You sound like you expect them to come out of nowhere to help every time you scream for help. Truth is, they don't catch a third of the thugs on this street. Even less down in Greenbank, you can expect even less from the cops who won't show their faces around here unless they're called which nine times out of ten never happens. Freedom may have a high concentration of heroes, but we can't expect them to deal with street level stuff, especially out in the part of town tourism forgot."

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"I guess you're right." In the back of his head, Blake mentally noted to patrol The Fens more often. "I guess it's better than nothing though. Ever met a hero before, Carrie?"

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She leaned back into her chair,

"Several, mostly when I've been traveling in other parts of the city. They're decent people, I just don't expect them to come all the way out here to stop a few muggings, especially when most high profile crimes happen more downtown and such because the criminals they want to catch want the media to care that they're doing something. I find it hard pressed for anyone with a camera to care about what happens here, given, they might just be scared that if they interfer with some local business's they might suffer from an unfortunate accident."

She did a single air quote with one hand as she reached for her book before. Mob influence of the area wasn't exactly a secret, it just wasn't as thick as over in Greenbank or the Waterfront otherwise some of the more viliglante heroes like Silencer would of hung around the Fens more often.

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KC sat back in his chair, sitting his coffee. "That's very true, I suppose. It really makes me wish that there could be enough powerful superhumans that didn't exactly care about what the media thought of them. The Freedom League faces off against threats to the whole city, but there really isn't anyone to defend people getting mugged in the alleys around here." KC would be back here more often. He'd give her something to hope for.

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"Now, that'd be truly depressing, but their are some who just stay down on the street level for crime. It's probably pretty hard though, especially if they live in the area, life here isn't exactly a box of chocolates afterall, because you know what you're going to get, and it's almost always unpleasant."

Letting out a light yawn, she looked at her book and then at the time. Maybe the repair guy had come early and the building was finally returning to a livable internal tempeture by now.

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Blake was ready for patrol. "I'm really sorry to hear that. Hey, I've got classes later this afternoon, so I should probably be heading back. It was really great to meet you though." He smiled at her, and offered his hand. "Oh, and sorry about the coffee. Want my number? I'll buy you another pair of jeans."

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It was a tempting offer,

"No, it's alright, it's just coffee. But I can always use another number, you never know when you might need one."

Reaching into her purse, she pulled out a small memo pad and a pen.

"Put your full name, and number please, I think I know like three other Blakes, so it get's confusing."

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Blake wrote on the pad "Blake Salazar" followed by his cell number. "Hell, I feel really bad about it though. Maybe we can meet up sometime? Coffee's on me next time." Blake smiled at her in what he hoped was a charming way. He was happy to have met her.

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