New Mutants in Madripoor, part 1

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Brief Title:

Mercury, Showstopper, and Mirage

Scene Runner/Watcher:

IC Date:

Bazaar -- Madripoor

The New Mutants take a day trip to Madripoor and a few learn a valuable lesson..and gain a monkey

Social or Plot:


==[ Sovereign Hotel -- Midtown -- Madripoor ]==

Strooth! A bastion of fine, British hospitality in this godforsaken jungle. Marble floors, silken curtains, plush carpeting, perfectly apparelled help with perfect postures. This is a five diamond hotel, and that make it one of a very select group worldwide. The main lobby is cavernous, and opulently decorated; nothing too ostentatious, for that would be declasse, but noticably the finest quality, else why bother coming here? An army of porters wait to take guests' bags. A front desk is located to one side. Across from it is a small area with rattan tables and chairs where one can grab a spot of tea, a gin and tonic, or a Scotch and water any time, day or night. The very definition of civiliztion, don't you know.


Despite the prohibition of staying overnight in Madripoor, a suite in one the nicest hotels on the island has been taken care of. The students and staff need a rally point and a secure door for Ariel to use her abilities on. Like the previous trip the students have been given a few items, comm devices, a map of the island and walking around money. For the part of the first day they were given leave to pick a chaperone who would each be giving a tour through a different part of the city. Ororo would be cover High Town, Hank Low Town and Dani the Bazaar. All are waiting in the lobby for the students to come down after getting settled in the suite.

Chenda's never been to this part of the world. But seeing new places does involve putting up with a little culture shock, right? She's among the first down the stairs, her usual denims and high-tops mated with a pink cami and a pair of fringed white scarves, a big one around her shoulders like a gypsy mantle and a smaller one around her waist. Might as well not overheat on the first day!

Her first choice of chaperones is easy. A quick hug and a joke for Doc McCoy, a hug for Miss Munroe, and she's joining up with her favorite Native American. "Morning, Dani... um, Miss Moonstar. I guess I shouldn't call you Dani in front of the other students," she says, her smile turning a bit sheepish. "Is this Bazaar really... well, a bazaar?"

Dani is leaning against the back of a chair in the lobby, quietly talking to Ororo and Hank as they wait. Probably discussing the days plans. As the students come down and pick who they will be with for the morning, Dani grins as 'Chenda picks her "I figured you would pick going to the bazaar over anyplace else." a nod is given to the question "Yes, a true bazaar, unlike any you would see outside of Egypt or Africa.

"You know me too well, Miss Moonstar. This I /gotta/ see," Chenda replies enthusiastically. "Practically every midway in the world has marketplace roots, and you don't get any more 'marketplace' than a bazaar!" She pauses, thinking about that. "Should I be worrying about AK-47s making an appearance out there, complete with towel-heads in full /jihad/ mode?"

"This is Madripoor, you should always have your guard up and your wallet hidden." Dani replies as she leads her small group out, while Ororo and Hank do the same. "But it isn't the obvious ones who should give you the most worry, it's the ones that look perfectly normal you need to be careful of." its not to long of a walk from the hotel to the bazaar and she points out a few interesting things along the way, like the Imperial Palace, which they walk right past, the guards there looking at anyone passing with suspicion.

"Yup," Chenda agrees. "S'how I used to make the rent each month, before I came to the school. Find a cap that'll hide your hair, wear a hoodie and jeans, and you're invisible. Everybody's watching for gangbangers." Not that she's not paying attention to the surroundings, but she knows better than to stare at stuff, no matter how fascinating it is.

Of course, she just /has/ to smile and fingertip-wave at the guards who look at her suspiciously, meeting one really suspicious look with a toss of long raven hair. She just /has/ to. Personaly dislike of starchy uniforms.

The bazaar can be heard and smelt at least a block or two before it is scene. Dani leads her group around the corner into what looks like a dark, dangerous alley, a few steps in though and the alley widens into one of the most noisy and claustrophobic places in the city...except perhaps the sewers. It's no wonder that Ororo choose High Town as her tour spot. Dani only pauses for a moment where the bazaar begins, blocking the path, not a good idea, but she does want the few students with her to get a good look before continuing into the depths of it. "Stay close, it is very easy to get separated and lost in this maze.

==[ Bazaar -- Lowtown -- Madripoor ]==

A literal maze of tunnels and paths winding through multi-layered shops that look to be on the verge of collapsing on you, jostling in a sea of humanity, all different colors and sounds and smells, some sour some sweet some spicy, rugs being sold, trinkets being sold, jewelry and clothes and food of all kinds, and hash and golden poppy behind curtains and indoors nd in dark shadows where smokers lounge and lay and purr, where's your wallet, watch for thieves, listen to the beggars, hear the imam singing from the nearby minaret, who's that girl, who's that man, how do they dance like that, what a lovely card game, /how/ much did I lose, going all day and all night and all day and all night and...


"Lost is bad," Chenda agrees, looking around carefully. This place is close, crowded, and noisy, the perfect breeding ground for petty crime. "And make sure your cash and ID are someplace secure... no, /don't/ feel it now! That tells a filcher where it is. Just make sure it's not easy to get at." She doesn't have a lot of clothing to hide hers in, but she has her own methods for pickpocket-proofing herself.

She surveys the lay of the land, and takes a deep breath. "Ready, Miss Moonstar."

"This isn't my first trip to Madripoor 'Chenda." Dani grins down at the girl as she begins to wade into the chaos, "I was here a couple of times as a teenager, and just last year I was here on a rescue mission." she certainly keeps her hands and attention away from where she keeps her personal possessions. "Here in the bazaar anything you could ever need, want or desire, whether legal or not can be gained for a price." she makes a gesture to encompass the whole of it.

"Didn't mean /you/, Dani," Chenda replies with a grin and a wink, keeping half an eye on the tour group that she was referring to. Misfit or not, some of these kids are still her friends. "We've got a pretty green group here. I've never been to Madripoor, but I've seen plenty of thieves. Some advice works anywhere."

The alley does widen a little, enough to allow some vending stalls to set up. The noise only gets louder as sellers try to bring in customers, calling out the virtues of their wares in a variety of tongues. "I should look for a souvenir of some kind... preferably the kind that won't upset the law back home."

Dani is quite adept at moving through the crowds, neither bumping into anyone, or letting anyone bump into her. The occasionally phantom hand of a waif maybe felt, but as everyone in the group was prepared, those hands remain empty "A souvenir?" she looks at vendors and stalls as they pass "Well at least you don't have to worry about customs with our mode of travel. But at least keep it to non-living souvenir." this is said as they pass by a vendor selling small monkeys and other furry exotic wildlife.

"No problem there. I know what monkeys throw at you when they get mad," Chenda quips, keeping her distance from the pet vendor's stall. The horses at home don't like here, so she's not that inclined to take her chances with anything that has /hands/. "I was thinking a shawl or something like, but I'm sure something'll catch my eye."

As the groupd moves through, Dani will point out and briefly talk about this location being a former den of thieves or how that place used to be a cover for a slave auction and other criminal elements that make Madripoor the city it is. She points out a few positive things as well, like how that little food shop has the best <insert local cuisine> but you have to know to ask properly "How about a scarf or belt." the last word is stressed as she points to a stall that sells pretty hand dyed scarfs, hand made natural fiber belts and bits and peices jewelry.

This is definitely a city with /history/. That's something the gypsy girl can appreciate. It's not all good, obviously. If Dani looks closely, she might detect a hint of tension in her friend as she mentions the slave auction front. Serious tension, not the distant, history-class disdain of a concept that couldn't possibly exist anymore.

But, fortunately, souvenirs beckon. "How 'bout both? A scarf, 'cuz they're just cool, and a belt, 'cuz you're always telling me I need one, no matter how many I wear," Chenda teases gently, pausing to look over the selection. She doesn't want to stop too long in a city this full of street urchins and pocket-picking pros, but surely a minute or two won't hurt. She picks up a scarf, looking over the natural blue dye thoughtfully.

It's mid-morning and all the students (not all of which are part of the New Mutants), that signed up for the Madripoor trip have broken up into groups. Some went with Ororo into High Town, others with Hank into Low Town and another are touring the Bazaar with Dani.

Warnings have been given about pickpockets and not straying to far from the group. And Dani has spoken about the history of the Bazaar and pointed out some places of interest, both good and bad. They have currently stopped at a vendor stall where handmade scarfs, belts and jewelry are being made. 'Chenda is admiring a blue scarf. As she does so, a young woman, not much older then the students, with dark complexion and hair, wearing what seems to be an outfit made totally out the the scarves she sells approaches "It is a lovely color. It would be so against your dark skin and eyes." the woman's speech is heavy with the local accent.

Chenda, caught up in her scarf-browsing, for once gets surprised by someone! No, on second look, she's just amazed at the scarf-seller's outfit. "Oh, wow... how'd you do that?" she asks, trying not to stare. "How does it stay together? Your outfit, I mean?" Blushing a little, she lifts the scarf she's been looking at, comparing the shade against her hand. "Thank you... you have a good eye for color. But I guess you'd have to, to make such lovely stuff. And it is, really... I'm babbling, aren't I? Sorry."

Mercury follows with Richenda and Danielle through the bazaar. Heeding the warnings about pick-pockets, she keeps her wallet nicely hidden within her metallic thigh, her pants' pocket being bottomless, so she can feign reaching for her wallet in her pocket, while in reality she just reaches in her leg. And, as for now, she is refraining herself from buying anything, although the scarfs DO look lovely! "She does that when she's excited." Mercury comments with a soft smile.

Madripoor being tropical it is always warm, if not hot. The woman's scarf outfit is modest when compared to what can be seen on the beaches of Madripoor. It covers all the important parts sufficiently, leaves a small section of her midrift bare and the skirt section goes to her knees in a colorful fall of scarfs. The woman smiles at the admiration of her outfit, turning slowly to show how the back is at lattice work of more scarves "It's all in the weaving and braiding of the scarves. It took well over 100 scaves of many lengths to make my outfit."

Dani makes a whistling noise, obviously impressed bu the outfit "I wish I would have came here last time I was in Madripoor, I would have gotten an outfit like that instead of a sarong." It's then that the stalker the group has acquired makes its appearance. A small brown and gold monkey lands on the awning of the stall, chatters at them, then leaps to land on Mercury's shoulder. The monkey is barely a foot tall and is no more than a few pounds. It's tail, at least 16" long drapes over Mercury's other shoulder as it chatters to her.

"And a lot of time and painstaking work, no doubt. But the result is incredible!" Chenda says, one craftsperson to another. "Granted, it doesn't hurt that you wear it so well. I can't think of a better advertisement for your wares." She sets down the blue scarf, but only to offer her hand. "I'm Chenda. What should I call you?" She's fully aware that many people here might not go by their real names.

She's distracted by something landing above her on the stall! Only it's not a knife or a stinkbomb, but a living thing... "I think we passed him on the way in," Chenda says, stifling giggles, as she sees it take up a comfy position on Cessily's shoulder. She takes a step back, just in case it develops an opinion on her. "I think his tail's longer than he is!"

Mercury was just calmly waiting, with a smile, for Chenda to finish her monologue. She keeps her hands in her fake pockets, her eyes examining the scarfs on display, so when the monkey makes its appearance it startles her a bit, when it jumps on her shoulder, "What...?" she asks, blinking, looking at the monkey perched on her shoulder, wondering if it'll do anything more than just perch there. "Um... is this monkey yours, ma'am?" she asks the saleswoman.

Being fond of all animals, Dani looks up at the monkey and laughs at him her eyes following him as he goes to perch on Mercury's shoulder "Cafeful of his hands, Cessily. It's not uncommon for monkeys to be trained as thieves." she stares at the monkey for a moment "But this one is not." she turns back toward the stall as the monkey settles onto Mercury's shoulder for a free ride "It's just an opprotunist, looking for a ride and perhaps some food."

The young woman smiles at the inroduction and begins to take the offered hand with her tattooed one. That of a scorpion around the wrist "I am.." she is interuppted though by Dani taking 'Chenda's wrist and pushing the hand away from the woman's "Let the Scorpian Tong know that these 'children' are under the protection of <insert X-Person's name here..most likely Wolverine> and are not to be messed with." is one is looking close enough the scorpion tattoo seems to crawl around the womans' wrist.

The woman pulls her hand back quickly, looking a bit shocked at Dani and then at the students in her group. She gives a brief nod, "Of course. You and your charges will not come to harm from the Scorpians, though we will not step in to prevent it either." she nods her head to 'Chenda, "My apologies, I am Larania. Please take the scarf as a symbol of this pledge." she offers the blue scarf to Chenda.

Chenda blinks in surprise as Dani pushes her hand away. But she has the presence of mind not to protest. Dani's been here before. She trusts her friend to know what's best, even if she was enjoying this conversation. She can't help but finally stare at Larania, though, even as she accepts the scarf. "Thank you... but what were you going to do?" she asks, glancing nervously over at Dani. Any other questions will be for her. Later.

Mercury was distracted by the monkey currently perched on her shoulder, so she doesn't notice the crawling tattoo on the saleswoman's arm, "It's not? How can you be so sure, Ms Moonstar?" she asks, before she looks back at Chenda when Moonstar speaks of the kids being under the protection of <insert badass X-man name here>. "Um... what was that about?" she asks softly, almost whispering, to Danielle.

The woman who has called her Larania gives a questioning look to Dani, who just shrugs "She is an adult by both our standards. Feel free to tell her," there is a slight pause and her eyes narrow slightly "If you even know.

A nod is given at Dani's words "I was going to mark you, for observation." her eyes go to Dani, now she looks slightly worried "If the grappers liked what they see, thet would have taken you. What happens after that, well that depends on the leader."

"That is enough." Dani interrupts anything more the young woman was going to say "Thank you for the impromptu lesson Larania. May your day be profitable." Dani then leads the group away from the vendor "Be careful who you shake hands with. Look for tattoos and other markings. The Scorpian Tong provides most of the brothels in the city with willing girls. And trust me after a few days in their care you would be willing." it was an unplanned lesson, but one she is glad to get out of the way. She gladly answers Mercury's question as a change of subject "I don't only scare people Cessily. I also can speak with animals." she reaches over to scratch the monkey on the head.

As used to being a second-class citizen as she is, Chenda still stares for another moment at Larania. Then she nods slowly, sadly, at the scarf-seller. "I see. It was nice to meet you, Larania. I'm sorry that we can't be friends, but I don't think I'd like yours very much. But, food for thought: I think your work would be very popular in America. Good luck."

She turns and steps away with Dani, shuddering a little. "Thanks, Dani. I'll be careful," she says, just loud enough to be heard.

Fortunately, Cessily's new friend provides a welcome distraction. "Think he's just cruising for bananas?" she asks, carefully winding the scarf about her neck and head, mimicking the local style.

Mercury nods softly, and she shudders a bit at the prospect of having to work as a 'call girl', so to speak. "Ugh... why are we here, and not in Disneyland, again?" she idly asks, smiling a bit, as she reaches a hand up to try to gently rub the monkey's side. Speaking of such primate, Mercury glances at it, before looking at Danielle again, "You said he wasn't trained to be a thief." she says, and she looks around, a bit wary, "But what if he was trained to be a distraction?"

"Because you can only learn so much from the "Happiest" place on earth." Dani replies with a smile with quickly drops as she continues "And Disney asked us not to come back at least for the rest of this year..and maybe the next." which isn't surprising considering what happened there. Another glance is given at the monkey "That is also a possibility, but not in this case. I would have been able to pick up that as well." she looks around and begins to point to various places around them "The monkeys are everywhere, hidden until someone drops some bit of food and it will run out, snatch it and hide again. This one is just braver, then the rest, and knows a softie when he sees one." she gestures to a fruit stand "Shall we?

"Just cruising for bananas," Chenda says, nodding. "Somehow I feel a little bit better. Fruit sounds good to me too, Dani." She grins at Cessily. "This place is interesting, too. But I think princess makeovers are out of the question."

Mercury chuckles a bit as the mention of the events back in Disneyland, but then smiles and nods, looking at the monkey again, "Fruit sounds good, Ms Moonstar." she says, as she reaches to gently scritch under the monkey's chin. "I bet our little friend here would love some bananas." she nods softly, and she follows the two toward the fruit stall.

Dani picks out some fruit for the animal, which she hands directly to the creature, despite the frown on the vendor's face "You are only encouraging them." he chides but she ignores him and pays for all teh fruit. With snack in hand for everyone she moves along the bazaar and continues her 'lecture' about its colorful history and occupants.

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