18th Feb 2020, 11:49 PM
Listen to stories about Kate

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Listen to stories about Kate
"I--"

hnnnggg

fuck iiit

"Look. I... I just moved here," you finally manage to force out. "Kate's one of the first people I've met in Ninelives, I... it's just nice to... to..."

You don't know what it is.

Something about the way she's staring you down has just... intensified.

It sucks away what little wind you have left in your sails.

"...have made a friend. Or. Whatever."

"...So you're not a cop," Kate's mom finally states. "Or a federal agent, or..." she pauses. You take another sip of tea, and you swear to god she watches you do it. "...Anything else I should be worried about."

"Why would I be a cop...?"

Taking the remote from the coffee table, Kate's mom switches a channel over.

A local news report is talking about the fire at Maria's Grocery. Police still suspect it was done by someone from the Biggest Shrug concert.

"They're not saying it's Kate," her mom begins, "but they keep saying her name."

Now that she mentions it, you notice it, too--the reporter keeps emphasizing the role of Kate Halford in the band, and vaguely referring to a criminal record, and mentioning that police haven't spoken with her yet...

all while specifically avoiding the claim that Kate is a suspect.

It's like she's the most important person involved who didn't do it.

Kate's mom changes the channel back to Bigfoot.

"Kate's a little wild, but I'm not stupid," she says. "I shop at Maria's! Kate wouldn't try to burn that place down, and I don't buy that she cultivated the atmosphere for a riot or whatever garbage they're saying, either. This is just more harassment from the mayor."

...Wait. "The mayor...?" Kate hadn't met the Mayor in person until last night. Do they have some kind of history...? Does Kate's mom know something?

"--Or whoever runs the police," Kate's mom clarifies. "Again: Kate's done some things, I get it, but the cops take it too far."

You're... not sure how to succinctly express that it may not be a grudge the mayor has (though it might also be that, who knows whoopedeedee), but a rising systemic issue. A... not insignificant chunk of society runs on otherization. Kate and her mom both have pink hair, a sign of genetic mutation--and the hot new fad in otherization has been association of mutants with lower class criminal behavior.

It hasn't replaced other forms of otherization, of course. Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, prejudice against sex workers, and all the other hits you'd rather not make a list of still abound. Cops in the cities (and possibly here?) have just also started taking anti-mutant sentiments for a spin.

Just for the change of pace. You know. Add a little spice to the usual layers of being an asshole.

You learned about all that from a series of twenty minute videos online, though, and probably cannot quote them.

You take another sip of your tea. "Oh. I gotcha. Wh..." You squint. You're not asking because you're skeptical of her innocence, you're asking because you're curious, but you're also extremely self conscious of how it could come off. "...What kinds of things has Kate done?"

Kate's mom grins.

You breathe a quiet sigh of relief.

Kate's mom proceeds to regale you with a story from Kate's childhood, wherein Kate ruined the school play one year ("and to be fair," Kate's mom adds, "she's right, that play was at least a little fascist.")

And in middle school and high school, Kate was getting into fights constantly. "I thought I was gonna have to put her in a private school."

You try not to visibly cringe.

As a young adult, her mom says, Kate's mostly calmed down.

"...Mostly." She takes a drink of her tea. "I think having a band and getting to play for a real crowd is helping her channel a lot of that energy."

You give a small nod. "I wanted to invite her to a... thing tonight, but--"

"Do you need her number?," Kate's mom asks.

"I, uh--" Hoo. "I don't have a phone."

She arches an eyebrow at you.

"I had one, I..." any excuse you can come up with that makes you sound like less of a violent maniac makes you sound suspicious in other ways "...tossed it. Out the window. Between here and the town I moved away from. There was a lot going on."

She takes another drink.

She slowly nods. "Heather, by the way," she says, extending her hand. "Heather Halford."

"Plaire Stevens," you reply, leaning out of your seat to shake her hand.

"Well, Kate should be back later tonight--I think she's still at work right now. Lou's Diner, over on 12th Street."

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19th Feb 2020, 12:07 AM
Frission
Hmmm... While visiting Kate at the Diner sounds fun in a totally awkward 'hey friend I can't really interact with you because you're working but here I am' kind of way, we also have the fact that we have Almost No Money to consider. Should we stick around for a while and wait for Kate? Or consider doing other things with our day?

Or just throw caution to the wind and whatthehey, let's go to a diner? xD
19th Feb 2020, 12:53 AM
Snervalton
No, better to ask Kate's mom to relay the message to her daughter about the sleepover. Our next priority should be going to the Back Room to see what kind of information those folks can give us.
19th Feb 2020, 9:59 AM
pkrankow
Ask the bus to relay the message too.
19th Feb 2020, 5:09 PM
Heroshima
+1 to message relays
19th Feb 2020, 5:25 PM
Fishbulb
+1

Edit: I would suggest the message either being to meet up after her shift, or for a "sleepover" at the spooky house.
19th Feb 2020, 12:19 AM
I want to hear more details about the Play Kate Ruined
19th Feb 2020, 12:38 AM
I'm kinda curious about that too. We should also give Heather our thanks, she's been very kind to us uwu
19th Feb 2020, 7:02 AM
pkrankow
We should spring this question on Kate after saying we talked to her Mom.
19th Feb 2020, 10:09 AM
Snervalton
+1 to springing the question on Kate later
19th Feb 2020, 12:34 AM
Let's not hit up the diner just yet. We've engaged in enough semi-stalkerish behavior for one day.
19th Feb 2020, 12:38 AM
Thank Heather for her time and the tea before leaving.
19th Feb 2020, 10:10 AM
Snervalton
+1 to ending the stalking of a person we just met yesterday. Showing up uninvited at both her home and place of work would be way too much.
19th Feb 2020, 1:13 AM
Macheman7
KATE'S MOM IS COOL THANK GOD.

Thank her again for the tea when you finish it, and also make sure to make a mental note of that place. Maybe a physical note if you have something to write on/with. Maybe get that. Paper and pencils/pens are not as expensive as a phone.
19th Feb 2020, 7:03 AM
pkrankow
Pocket Notebook, Pen, pencil, crayon, sharpie
Not just for magic in nightmareland

Just ask.
Any chance you have a pocket notebook I can have and something to write with?

Better than even odds. Kate works at a diner, most likely uses a notebook, Mom probably clearance shops at opportunity.
19th Feb 2020, 1:54 AM
hEm
i know is only marginal at this point, but we should understand how to keep our bus subscription or whatever, because it could be so much difficult reaching here again if we ever need...
19th Feb 2020, 7:07 AM
pkrankow
Good point, but we have a couple months.
http://mda.thecomicseries.com/comics/14
19th Feb 2020, 1:40 PM
Hari_Seldon
That's enough stalking Kate let's go to the back room to buy a game.

Tomorrow I want Plaire to try to get some Brainsate from Kate, just not today. Don't worry about how much money we spend at The Back Room I think Kate would be willing to give us some Brainsate on credit for helping her shake the cops. Pay her later.
19th Feb 2020, 5:10 PM
Heroshima
+1 to both of these. i wonder if Brainsate works inside of the nightmare dungeon?
19th Feb 2020, 6:56 PM
pkrankow
Plair does not seem to suffer from anxiety inside the nightmare dungeon. Might be a good question in all reality.
19th Feb 2020, 6:39 PM
Hari_Seldon
Tell Kate's mom we want to hang out with Kate tomorrow and could we set up a time now, instead of asking the bus to pass that message, so Kate doesn't have to trust the bus to not be hacked by the mayor or whatever.
19th Feb 2020, 9:51 PM
No comic today, whole ass internet went out w/o warning. Typing this from my phone
20th Feb 2020, 2:09 PM
Accidentally the whole ass internet ?
19th Feb 2020, 11:09 PM
Ask if there is some significance to her hair colour choice or anything we should avoid asking Kate about?
20th Feb 2020, 12:48 AM
What choice? I thought it was a genetic mutation.