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Three of a Kind (IC)


Dariusprime

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28 February 2011

2 pm

West End, Tia Marta's Spanish-Italian Cuisine

After clearing the times with Lynn and Caroline, Mona made reservations at her favorite restaurant, Tia Marta's. Her only caveat to her two friends was simple: bring your appetites. Even she occasionally couldn't finish her meals. They were just that big.

Fulcrum was already seated when the others arrived. An out-of-the-way booth had been selected, one to handle Fulcrum, but two so they could chat without rubberneckers bothering them. Not that many people would bother them at Tia Marta's. She knew the owner and staff well enough that they would run interference. She really appreciated that courtesy.

So what aesthetic did Tia Marta's go for these days? Why classic and contemporary all in one! The interior of the restaurant was authentically old world, if rather eclectic. Liberal amounts of copper, brick, paintings and darkly stained wood dominated the decor, mixing southern European patterns with American practicality. The place was on the smallish side, but filled efficiently with large tables capable of seating eight or more.

Upon entering, the smell of delicious Spanish and Italian spices drifted from the wooden kitchen doors. At the moment, the place was quiet, only a couple of waitresses clearing up the lunch rush.

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It had been a while since she had been to Tia Martas, and when she smelled what was cooking, she regretted not making more visits in the past. Either way though, she moved through quickly. A long light blue and pink skirt skitted by up to a lighter blue t-shirt with a white jacket over the top. When the waiter asked, she confirmed she was part of the party of three for Teymourian and was led to Mona's table. Smiling she slid into the booth sitting across from the much larger woman, and instead of giving a more standard greeting, reached from the back of her jacket and pulled out two white plastic bags from a side could see the glint of a vaccum bag flattened into there. Looking straight at her she pointed at the bags with a smile,

"Guess."

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Mona leaned forward and examined the bag while tapping her wine glass. Honestly the look on her face was one of complete puzzlement. After a good thirty seconds, she shrugged her great shoulders and said hopefully, "I honestly don't know. You have part of my order completed?"

Soon the waitress appeared and provided Caroline with a menu, list of specials (sauteed chicken, mushrooms and green peppers!) and took her drink order. Quiet music began to fill the otherwise quiet restaurant.

Once their server had gone, Mona smiled and added, "Glad you could make it, Carrie."

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She smiled as she said,

"Nope."

Taking the menu, she ordered a coke before flipping it open. She took a few seconds before setting it down back up and saying,

"I managed to put the finishing touches on the swim suits last week, I made two by the way since you should always, both two pieces and completely interchangable. So I have all of your order completed."

She out four vaccum packaged bags from the white one, and reached for the other one and setting them on the table. She had gotten one of those vaccum suction kits for storage for christmas, and she had to admit, it was pretty niffy for these sorts of things.

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Mona's face just lit up. "Really? That's way faster than I expected!"

She started to open the bags, realized where she was, and instead examined the suits in situ. After a moment or two, and a sip of wine, she continued, "Thanks, Carrie. The way the weather is going lately, I may have to break these out sooner rather than later. They really look nice, but I'll have a look at them later. You're right, interchangeable would work best."

After looking over all the suits, she stacked up the bags and asked the obvious question, "What's up with the vacuum bags? Those are new."

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"It's not really that fast, it's been four months after all though time sure does fly."

Looking over at them, she smiled,

"Got'em for Christmas, been pretty handy, if I didn't have them there'd be like six bags instead of two. I made a bunch of skirts, and several blouses. Ohh, and a couple v-necks and tanks since summers coming up. Made some kakis too, knee lengh, and the pantsuit, which is beige by the way, seemed like a good professional looking color without being like a boring black or grey."

She pointed to the respective bags, the shirts and skirts were in one, while the suits both business and bathing were in another for the next part she kept her voice down a few notches so as not to be heard by anybody else,

"Managed some lingerie too, in black and white. It's pretty nice, though I couldn't put the lace through the machine so I had to hand sew it a good bit, at least the not so straight lines are only on the inside."

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Lynn made her way to the back of the restaurant, enchanted by the decor and smells hanging in the air like an olfactory buffet. She was in her civvies, proudly sporting Freedom College sweats under a Gore-Tex parka, scuffed Converse sneakers on her feet and an alpaca hat perched on top of her head. The lightweight backpack over her shouldered hinted that she'd recently been studying.

Waving her hand at her oversized teammate, she called out as she approached. "Hiya, Mona! Sorry if I'm late." Noting the young woman seated next to her, Lynn suddenly frowned. "Hey, I know you from somewhere..." After a few moments she snapped her fingers. "Freezonium! Wasn't that you?"

Sliding in beside Mona, she shrugged out of her coat and took off her hat, revealing her non-pointed ears. “It’s Carrie, right? I go by Lynn when I look like this.†She held out her hand to offer a firm handshake.

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Glancing over to the woman in pretty standard college goer apparel as she called out to Mona, Carrie and gripped the girls hand from over the table,

"It is nice to meet you Lynn, and yes I do go by Carrie, and I was the one who went on that little adventure, in fact I still have the metal,"

Reaching into her purse for a few seconds she dug around before she pulled out ribboned pin with a strange seal on it,

"I'll be honest, I'm not exactly sure where to put it at home since most people wouldn't believe if I told them where I got it. Speaking of which, I do believe we gathered her on the premise that I didn't want to share the whole story without an alternate party so I won't mess up any details. Memories of such things can get so fuzzy and unreliable sometimes. Ohh and for the food, the pasta here is excellant, though I'm thinking I might want some veil marsala myself."

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"Speaking of which, I do believe we gathered her on the premise that I didn't want to share the whole story without an alternate party so I won't mess up any details. Memories of such things can get so fuzzy and unreliable sometimes. Ohh and for the food, the pasta here is excellant, though I'm thinking I might want some veil marsala myself."

Lynn looked stricken as she covered her mouth, her cheeks turning bright pink. "Omigod, I'm sorry! Mona's a teammate, so I...sorry, sorry."

She wasn't quite sure what Carrie's deal was, though a idle comment by Miss Wells had suggested the young woman might be more than she seemed; perhaps she was unaware of whatever it was that made her special, or perhaps she wore a mask herself under some assumed name. Lynn didn't remember her doing anything extraordinary in the parallel world, though she had been uncommonly brave and willing to put her life at risk for a total stranger, which was more than most people would do.

Hoping to move on from the awkward moment, Lynn buried her nose in the menu. "Mmm, probably safest for me to go with the vegitarian entrees...ooh, pasta shells with Portobello mushrooms, asparagus and garlic! Nummers!" She looked up at the others. "Are we doing appetizers?"

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Mona noted and replied, "Oh, nice. Thanks, Carrie. Time really does fly." More was on the way but Lynn announced her arrival.

Instead Mona smiled and waved her over. "Oh, no, no. We're just settling in ourselves. We just ordered drinks in fact." Looking through the menu covered her own confusion over their conversation.

At the mention of the Portobello entree, she looked to Lynn, "Yeah, that one is really good. Ask for extra mushrooms if you really want to do it up. I'm game for appetizers. The fresh bread with garlic-basil olive oil is delicious, but a real appetizer may be called for. I can't wait to hear this story."

The waitress appeared, menu in hand, ready for Lynn's drink order.

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Carrie was a little confused at the apologies, but she smiled anyway,

"It's fine, it's fine, I met Mona after the fact and lets be honest we didn't really have time at all during the whole fiasco to talk about our friends and family."

In fact, they parted ways almost immediately after they got back. Didn't surprise her, heroes are busy and she had stuff to do too. Picking up the menu again, she skimmed the appetizer section

"I'd love some minestrone soup to go with the garlic bread, hopefully I won't fill up too much before the main course comes."

Setting her menu down, she folded her hands,

"Anyway, start of the story for me is, I'm paying for my bridesmaid dress over at a dress shop over on 28th, and suddenly all the electronics in the area get fried before I finish my transaction. So I leave the shop, head down the street and see this giant like pipeorgan slash open top truck rolling down the street. Which, I have to say, I just thought was like just a steampunk decorated car. Still it looked awesome so I went to check it out."

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"I can put groceries away like Eli. I'll finish any leftover appetizer," chuckled Mona as she continued perusing the menu. "Their minestrone soup is nummy too, but I think the recipe is a little different than typical. You'll have to ask the waitress honestly."

Besides that initial comment, she selected her entree and listened intently to Carrie. The beginning seemed innocuous enough. But like most things in Freedom City, looks could be deceiving. Her head cocked as she tried to imagine a steampunk-inspired truck.

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"Their minestrone soup is nummy too, but I think the recipe is a little different than typical. You'll have to ask the waitress honestly."

Lynn's shoulders drooped as she sighed in defeat like Charlie Brown. "I always have to ask." She raised her fist in mock-defiance. "Curse you, kosher laws! Don't get me wrong, I love being Jewish, but sometimes being observant can be a pain. Oy."

Resigned to her fate, she once again perused the menu. "Yeah, this whole story is like Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang brought to life; in fact, just picture Dick Van Dyke in your mind the whole time Carrie's talking, and it will totally come alive behind your eyes."

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Carrie let out a chuckle at the description,

"Well Edge was there too, so it's not that hard to imagine."

She placed an elbow on the table and leaned onto the palm of her hand.

"Anyway, I go up, and there's a woman in like full steampunk attire, long layered skirt, corset, sitting there like everything is fine and chatting us up. It was four of us, me, Lynn, Edge and Cannonade, anyway, her name is Harriet Wells, she's from an alternate universe, and she came to our universe to ask for ice because for some weird reason, ice from our universe is like really special in her's. Cannonade takes about three seconds to run down to the store and grab a bag while Ms. Wells pulls up four chairs because she wants us along for the ride. Now, I was about to bail, if only because she said that wherever we were going is stuck in something like an eternal winter, and I was only dressed for maybe late fall, but, because of some complications with the materials used in the Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, someone"

She didn't point at Lynn more that bob her head in her general direction,

"needed a booster seat, and was rather uncomfortable sitting in another mans lap because I'm guessing you're in a serious relationship with someone else, or was at the time, this was what, six months ago."

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Mona made a somewhat unreadable face at Lynn's comment, sat down the menu and focused her entire attention on the story, both sides of it. She looked to be enjoying it so far. The adventure had all of the normal conventions for a superhero mission. Strange beings, possible danger, unusual phenomena and the possibility of dimensional travel to boot!

Despite the storytelling, a little part of her mind, at the back, and accelerated by her powers, processed something else. That little whisper reminded her that she need to chat with Lynn. Now obviously wasn't a good time, but she needed to get with her concerning the pixie's wedding. Specifically what, if any, special arrangements needed to be made, and what Mona could do to help organize the event. Not to mention just bringing her up to speed on any culturally specific wedding details.

After all Mona wasn't sure if Lynn had revealed her powers to her family. If that was the case then things could get awkward, if Mona showed up at all.

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"omeone." She didn't point at Lynn more that bob her head in her general direction, "needed a booster seat, and was rather uncomfortable sitting in another mans lap because I'm guessing you're in a serious relationship with someone else, or was at the time, this was what, six months ago."

The changeling snorted at this comment and held up her hand to show off her unique engagement ring forged from extradimensional steel. "Yeah, you could say that; maybe if I was still single I'd have been okay at that size sittin' in some guy's lap..." She grinned mischeviously, then looked alarmed when she considered the full implications. "Well, not Edge's lap, obviously, since he's underage and all!"

She turned to face Mona as she offered her own contributions to the tale. "So right after we all mount up, Marie Poppins throws a few switches and off we go, arriving in another version of Earth, quite literally with a bang. The darn thing was totalled upon arrival. And then we were greeted by lovable street urchins!"

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Carrie gave the ring an appraising look,

"Nice,"

Leaning on her hand she let out a sigh,

"I remember Edge giving them sandwiches and proudly announcing we were from a country that probably didn't exist in that world. I was already sick from the cross dimensional travel, not to mention being knocked flat onto the face when gnomemobile blew a fuse."

She let out a sigh,

"Than of course, the Luddites came around and tried to whack the freaking machine a new one because they were mad at there bosses. Seriously though, Cannonade makes this nice proper speech about how they should unionize since there bosses are trying to make a quick buck with mechanical workers, and I try to explain how they should adapt to an everchanging job market by trying to fill the now nessicary by learning how to do basic mantinence, Lynn chips in that they'd go to jail and be SOL because of it, but what makes them change there mind is Edge just walking over and making a twenty pound bag of silver out of freaking thin air and bribing them not to try and wreck our way back home. Nevermind the fact that the sudden chill has set into an economic downward spiral, the sudden appearance of such a quanity of rare metals probably did not help the economic stability, especially in the hands of some lugnut factory workers who wanted to beat on machinery until they felt better."

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Mona smiled and appraised the ring as well. A whistle followed, "Didn't get a good look at it before. What is that metal?"

As for their continued story, Mona blinked and looked back-and-forth between the two of them. Unconsciously, she slipped her mind into high gear in order to process the conversations. While they included lots of details, many of the core points, such as location, a factory, etc, where left out, and she didn't want to miss a thing!

"So you're saying this world really was steampunk? I mean like gaslights, steam engines and clunky automatons ala Girl Genius. That's...that's...awesome frikin' awesome!" Oh, yes, she was concerned by the situation, judging from the stern, thoughtful brow knit at the solution to their dilemma. Nevertheless, that was overshadowed by the sheer wonder of the experience.

It was just fanciful enough to be amazing but plausible enough not to set off all of her skepticism meters. Yet. She smiled, "Sorry to interrupt, please continue."

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Carrie put her hand on her face and thought about it,

"I'll be honest, I didn't see much in the ways of Girl Genius exactly. Umm, lets see, we were almost definitely in England, though it wasn't really modern England, like around the turn of the century. I've actually done a little research on it since than, Ms. Wells refered to America as 'the Colonies' when we explained where she was when she got here, that probably means that in that dimension America never sucessfully broke off. Also, as far as steampunk goes, I didn't see any robots, but it wasn't a great example of what the city might you know actually be like. You see, the problem that Ms. Wells got us to solve was that in the middle of summer, London was completely frozen over, and that is not an exaguaration in the slightest. You see, Ms. Wells wanted the ice, or freezium as she calls it to fix the problem, but when we got there, she sort of lost it inbetween the little slip between dimensions. Regardless, she still had a plan about finding the source of the cold in that she gave us each a copper rod with some cogs and stuff in it, and sent us off to different parts of London to triangulate the source."

Smiling she let out a breath,

"What I find funny at this point, is that Ms. Wells sends me, with a nice little bit of money to Camden Market. Now, if there was something fantastic about this place, it was the fact this woman sent me out shopping for some authentic like early nineteen hundreds era clothing. I'll be honest, I didn't spend like all the money buying a whole wardrobe, because I would of felt bad taking advantage like that, but I got this really cozy wool cardigan, a nice little scarf, and these uber soft, incredibly warm gloves that I still have back at my place."

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  • 2 weeks later...

"What I find funny at this point, is that Ms. Wells sends me, with a nice little bit of money to Camden Market. Now, if there was something fantastic about this place, it was the fact this woman sent me out shopping for some authentic like early nineteen hundreds era clothing. I'll be honest, I didn't spend like all the money buying a whole wardrobe, because I would of felt bad taking advantage like that, but I got this really cozy wool cardigan, a nice little scarf, and these uber soft, incredibly warm gloves that I still have back at my place."

As Carrie described her quest for fashion, Lynn scowled and folded her arms tightly across her chest. "Everyone thought my Victorian look sucked, even though I'm a total Mistress of Disguise." She reached under the table and produced an ornate, old-fashioned picture frame with a simulated photo of herself in her 'period costume', and presented it to Mona.

"I think I looked awesome; what do you think, M?"

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Carrie shrugged at the little outburst as well as the framed picture,

"I didn't say your outfit was bad, in fact I think it was really very lovely, I just said that it wasn't something you'd wear if you didn't want to attract attention. Plus it was loads better than what Edge came up with, honestly why do people think Sherlock Holmes always wore that little overcoat and hat. He only wore that outfit in one story set at a hunting louge because it was in fact, a hunting outfit and not something someone would usually trot about London solving mysteries in. Given, compared to blue spandex, it was definitely more low key and period appropriate, so it played it's part. Though I didn't know why I was expecting him to keep low key when I get back to the pub to meet Ms. Wells, he shows up in a cab with a band he had hired to add a soundtrack to our exploits."

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Mona continued listening, and judging from the smirk, enjoyed the story very much. Lynn's picture was carefully inspected before she replied, "Yes, it's very awesome, Lynn. I do go with Carrie though: not exactly stealthy."

As the tale progressed, Mona raised a hand, "Okay, who is this Edge, why is he unsubtle and why did he think a band was a good idea?"

Shaking her head, "Sorry to interrupt. Did you manage to triangulate the source?"

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"Yes, it's very awesome, Lynn. I do go with Carrie though: not exactly stealthy."

The changeling dismissed the portrait out of sight below the table as she grumbled under her breath. "Well, sure, if I made myself ugly or with bad teeth..."

"Okay, who is this Edge, why is he unsubtle and why did he think a band was a good idea?"

This statement actually surprised Lynn, and she looked at Mona in disbelief. "Wait, you've never met Edge? He was there at the hospital when the Grue attacked....or was that the demons? Anyways, he's part of Young Freedom, so he's pretty much just a kid, though really he's more like a force of nature. It seems like he can do just about anything except tell convincing lies or wear sensible clothing."

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"Or not stand out."

Carrie added at the end,

"I don't know if he's looking to garner attention, or if he really just doesn't know how to tone it down, but he's about as subtle as a parade in the middle of the night."

Shrugging her shoulders,

"Anyway, yeah, we triangulated it just fine, I was one of the first ones back so I got some gin to settle my nerves a bit, not much just one drink. When everyone gets back, Ms. Wells says that she has the coordinates locked, but than suddenly thinks that she might not complete her mission because apparently it's at some super exclusive party she didn't get an invite too. Really? She did a dimensional bunny hop and pulled four people off the street to help her, though considering the people wasn't a bad selection in the least, and sent them across London, and then thinks she's through because of some weird social politeness. Didn't hold my tongue on that matter that's for sure, so after a small pep talk, and maybe some advice that since Edge was probably gonna do it regardless of what we said, if we couldn't get in we could probably bribe the guards. Edge himself disappears for a few seconds and comes back with an American flag from god knows where, and does his own little speech and we discuss travel before he says that he can just teleport us, which I didn't doubt, but it might of been nice to know earlier if it would of saved travel time by tazi."

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"Keep in mind, Lynn, I spent the better part of that day being punched in the head by space monsters the size of warehouses. Plus launched three blocks through the hospital. The old noodle is a little fuzzy. Not to mention there were just a lot of people there," she laughed, circling a finger beside her head. "Definitely the Grue. I remember that."

As to the continuation of the story, Fulcrum listened along, as before, and added, "I'm actually not too surprised about the social mores. I mean, real Victorian England was uptight enough. I couldn't imagine some tripped out version. Ms. Wells could have ended up with a fate worse than death...social ostracism!" While she didn't mean to be melodramatic, the reply did come off with over-exaggerated flare: throwing one hand back, the other over her heart in mock swoon.

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