2011 12 28 Death Greets All

Log Title: Death Greets All
Characters Involved: Cytoplasm and Phantasm
IC Date: 28 Dec 2011
Where: Central Park New York
Brief Log Summary: Phantasm explains death to Cytoplasm. Hmm… Perhaps there is something about that whole herald bit…
Rating: PG-13

-==[ Central Park - New York ]==--------

Stretching half a mile wide down two and a half miles of the island, Central Park is the green heart of Manhattan. Despite an occasionally ugly reputation, fewer than a hundred crimes occurred in the entire park last year, and fewer than half of those were committed by strangers - the legendary Central Park mugger is a thing of the past. Instead, the park is a thriving place, filled with artificial lakes, footpaths, joggers, playgrounds, sculpture, children.

There are dozens of landmarks within the Park: the Great Lawn where open-air concerts and rallies are regularly held; Cleopatra's Needle, the obelisk donated to New York by Egypt; the Alice statue north of Conservatory Water, its giant mushroom usually swarmed by climbing kids; Belvedere Castle and Bethesda Terrace and Literary Walk and the Delacorte Theater and one of the last stands of American elms in the northeast - nearly two thousand trees protected from plague by their isolation.

Near the south end of the park, the Imagine mosaic in Strawberry Fields is frequently marked by flowers or candles left by visitors. Nearer the north end, the Reservoir covers a hundred and six acres, almost an eighth of the park's total space - though it no longer provides drinking water for New York residents, a decision that has cut down significantly on the number of supervillain attacks on the Park.

With the cleaned up nature of the park in comparison to just a few years ago, there is generally a substantial increase in people going to the park. That said, with the temperature in the upper 30s, this is not one of those days where it shows. The park is quite barren of people, with the exception of those briskly cutting through to get to where they wish to go, there's little of anyone. Even Mike is one of those cutting through. Bundled up in his second-hand threads and with a steaming hot cup of coffee in his hands, his pace is reasonably quick but not a full out run like others.

Walking about in the park comes Cytoplasm, looking around at the various trees for a moment before leaning against one of them and holding up his hand, shifting it a couple of times through various colors both fantastic and mundane before shifting it back to the skin tone he normally uses as he says, "Freak… Huh?" and looks around before placing his hand back in the pocket of his coat and leaning against a tree, occasionally looking about with a somewhat thoughtful and distant look on his face.

Mike likely would keep on going except for two particular things coming into play. The biggest one being that Mike has met Cytoplasm before and the second being that, well… perhaps it's better not to say. The important thing is upon seeing Cytoplasm's usual form, the musician's pace slows as he looks to Cytoplasm, curiousity in his expression, "Hey. What's going on?"

Turning his head over towards Mike, Cytoplasm looks up and down at him for a few seconds and says, "Oh, Hi… Nice day, isn't it?" before sighing and saying, "Ok, I have a question. What do you think about people who can do strange things? Not the, 'Heroes' that everyone keeps talking about, just people walking around who can do things that some other people can't. Do you think that's… Strange?"

Given the question, Mike's head tilts as he raises his brow, looking to Cytoplasm, "Doesn't that kind of describes everyone at some point or another? Kind of the whole 'everybody's different' bit."

"I guess, but what if someone was called a freak for something they could do?" Cytoplasm asks, "Or is it because people don't like others who don't use their abilities for anything? I mean, I've seen people run away from those that use their abilities to hurt others, and people cheer for those who use their abilities to help others, but people who have different abilities and do nothing… I don't know if everyone likes them."

Mike slips a hand into his pocket as he adjusts his stance, figuring him to be here for a bit longer than expected, "It depends on the person. See, people have varying levels of, for lack of a better word, assholishness." He pauses to take a sip of his coffee before he shrugs, "Sounds like you ran into someone with a high level of that." He gives a shrug, "Just because someone calls you one doesn't mean the problem's always with you."

"I guess it can depend on the person. But sometimes I wonder…" he says, and pauses for a few moments before appearing somewhat confused and saying, "Do you know what, 'Death' means? I thought that it meant being badly hurt, but I talked to Sandman about it and he didn't want to say anything. Is it something that I shouldn't know about?"

Pale blue eyes dart back to focus upon Cytoplasm "Death?" He frowns, "You don't know what Death is?" Mike's jaw drops slightly in amazement as he looks at the other powered being, "Are you stupid or just that sheltered?"

"I'm not stupid." Cytoplasm says in a somewhat defensive tone, "I just haven't had much time to talk with people, and nobody's ever taught me anything. I don't even know how long I've been around, really."

Mike is quiet, frown deepening before he nods slowly, "Okaaay…" He pauses, taking another sip of his coffee, lingering on the task a moment before he lowers the cup again, "Yeah, I know what death means."

"What? It can't be that bad, can it?" Cytoplasm asks in a rather oblivious way, "Although if Sandman didn't want to tell me about it, I guess it could be pretty bad. What -does- it mean anyway?" he asks.

Mike frowns, "I can see why he doesn't want to. And death, it's…" He pauses, looking to Cytoplasm, "Death is when someone dies. When they're no longer alive. Where they are taken from you and no matter what you do, no matter how much you wish it to be otherwise, they will never come back." The musician's jaw clenches as he comes to a stop, eyes looking away from Cytoplasm as he focuses upon the ground instead. "Despite how everyone is different, there are two things that everyone who walks around today will absolutely have in common. They were born in some manner. And, when their time is up, they will die."

Cytoplasm pauses for a few moments and says, "That… You're joking, right? I mean, I know people can leave a place but -never- see them again? That's…" before he looks at Mike's face and says, "You're serious." before a look of shock crosses his face as he says, "Then… If people actually get hurt badly, you don't see them again. Why would someone try that? It makes no sense, it helps nobody!" apparently somewhat angry, unsure of what to do with himself, and just plain confused.

"Because some people are even bigger assholes than others, that's why." Mike responds, eyes narrowing, "You get someone who is so focused on what they want, they don't care what happens to someone else. Some, just…" He pauses. "Sometimes they don't think. Either way, it's a really shitty thing to do."

"I… Think I understand." Cytoplasm says, appearing somewhat gloomy, "And that's why people love people who use their abilities to help others so much, isn't it? Someone being hurt is bad enough, but losing someone like that… That would be even worse." Taking a few seconds, he looks around before turning back and saying, "You know… I don't know how long it's going to take me to die. I'm not sure how I'm going to say this, but I'd rather not leave everyone I know… That idea doesn't feel right. But if I don't have all that much time, I guess I'd better try to do a lot of things before something happens to me, right?" he finishes, though still appearing somewhat shaken by the idea of death.

"Yeah, I'd have loved it if someone helped my mom and friends out." Mike agrees, giving a slight, wishful look before focusing back towards Cytoplasm, "No one knows how long it'll take til they die. Some go by old age, others by other means. The best thing you can do is not spend time worrying about the death part and focusing more on the life part."

"Your friends… Died?" Cytoplasm says, somewhat slowly, "I'm sorry to hear that, I wish I could have done something." before pausing and saying, "But who's your mom, exactly? I think I've heard that term, and I'm pretty sure most people say that they have one but… I don't know much about it beyond that."

"Two died in a car accident." Mike provides, confirming Cytoplasm's question before the question about what a mom is. "My mom was," he pauses, not sure how to explain the concept, "My mom. She raised me from when I was born til the day she died. In a way I guess you could say that moms are a rarer form of friend because most people only get one mom in their life."

"Oh, I see." Cytoplasm says, "Well, I don't think I have a mom really. I remember some scientists back where I'm from but they never really talked to me. They fed me, and watched me but there wasn't much they did aside from that. I have made a couple of friends here, though and that's the best I can do really."

Mike grows quiet with that response, the coffee acts as yet another delaying device as he takes his time sipping it before finally responding, "You know, now that you've mentioned that, it explains a WHOLE lot of other things that come out of your mouth so well."

"You mean how I don't know about… New York, I think? I guess it does" Cytoplasm says, "I keep on learning new things, so I guess some of the things I say might not seem like questions that other people would ask."

"Planes, New York, Death, Moms…" Mike responds, listing off the odd conversational bits that he remembers, "How your questions keep reminding me of something a preschooler might ask about." He snerks, "Yeah, I'm guessing you're not quite looking your age."

"I don't know if I do or not." Cytoplasm says, "Like I said, I don't know how long I've been around. But from what you're saying and what I know of ages, you're probably right. I can't remember much more than a couple of months, but I have a feeling I'm older than that. Still, I am who I am now and that's what matters."

"There you go." Mike comments, lifting up his coffee cup in a mock toast, "Good for you." He tilts his head eyeing Cytoplasm curiously, "So, you doing okay now?"

"I think so, yes." Cytoplasm says, "I'm staying in the Baxter Building at the moment, but I'm not sure where I might go after that. I mean, I think I helped the scientists who kept me back where I was from by… Well, getting things from other buildings but I haven't done anything for the Fantastic Four. So I don't know how long they'll let me stay."

"You'd be amazed at how gracious they can be." Mike comments, "But, yes… maybe you can offer to help out with some of the household type chores or something like that while you're there?" There's a ringing within his pocket which draws his attention to it. "Shiiii-eerrr I got to go." He glances back to Cytoplasm, "See you around, Cy." With that he turns, starting to head the direction he was initially headed before his distraction. His free hand is already pulling out the cellphone.

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