|Poncho|| Ah, France. The land of the caf, home of the bistro. A paragon of fine dining. In such a place as Paris, with any number of eclectic places at which to dine, it might be startling to some to discover the garish golden arches shining brightly over a red and gold building, the sign out front proclaiming proudly, "McDonald's.' Not only does such a place exist, but this particular fast food joint is thriving. Masses of people move in and out through the doors, a well-oiled machine of absolutely horrid fast food.
Within the sanctum of grease and chicken product, all three of the registers beep and whir in swift business. People in line step and order, step and order, either taking trays to eat in or bags to carry out. it is business as usual, except for one corner of the room.
Though the place is loud and crowded, one of the corner booths stands nearly empty, with the tables immediately surrounding them mostly clear of people. All normal humanity has decided it might be wise to sit elsewhere, though there is the inevitable shabby nihilistic hobo sitting at one of the tables, smoking quietly and allowing his cup of black coffee to cool. This is Paris, after all.
The only other figure in the cleared area is a lean old man seated in the corner booth. His shaggy greying hair hangs around a weathered face, features sunken and flat with lack of expression. Ice cold eyes stare straight ahead, seeming to see nothing as the haunting man slowly unwraps his second cheap hamburger and begins to mechanically eat it, two more lying wrapped on the trey before him. The only other item on the tray seems to be a full cup of water.
What madness. No wonder people are avoiding him.
Well, that, and the battered old fellow is probably an axe murderer, and only one step up from the hobo in terms of dress. His denim clothing is badly worn, and the left side of his face, just over his temple, sports a deep purple bruise.
|Hunter||Micky D's wasn't her usual hangout spot. In fact, she would try to avoid it at all costs on a regular day, but today? Today was anything but a regular day. The teenager wore her signature skeleton-print hoodie and kept the hood up to help conceal her face. When she walked it was with an almost mechanical nature, as if some AI had taken over and put her meat bag of a body on autopilot. The teenager wasn't paying attention to anything, not the people working the til, not the unsavoury customers who populated the joint. The only thing she knew for sure right now was that she was hungry. DAMN hungry.
Hunter ordered not one, not two, not even three burgers. Four burgers of varying toppings were placed on her tray, as well as two large fries and a coke. This would likely make her feel awful later, but she didn't much care about that right now. That was Future Hunter's problem, and last she checked, she was anyone but Future Hunter at the moment. Silently she scanned the area for a place to sit. Her gaze fell on the smoking man before sweeping over towards the corner booth. There sat a man. A familiar man.
"...The actual FUCK?" Her mouth formed the words before her brain could catch up, and even then the thinking organ was lagging behind. Hunter simply stood there, holding her tray, an expression akin to incredulous shock frozen on her mostly obscured face.
|Poncho|| That purple bruise on the side of the aging man's head, gained from a stray bullet while they cleared it of terrorists. The cold, heartless eyes. Sunken features. The quiet sense of danger. Unless the as yet unnamed man has an identical twin brother with just as much emotional scars, and some sort of empathic damage link...
That lean old man working his way steadily through a toppingless burger survived a nuclear bomb.
As if sensing the itch of eyes upon him, Mr. Martin turns slightly and meets Hunter's eyes across the distance. There might be recognition in the look he levels on her. But it is not a friendly or inviting stare. As everything else about the man seems to suggest, it is a cold look. Hollow and without sympathy. The look of someone who probably could survive a bomb, just because fuck bombs and fuck death, he'll kill them first.
Expressionless, he looks back toward his food and continues eating, as if he didn't just soul laser a teenage girl with his eyes. The crowd closes in between them, cutting him off from sight.
|Hunter||Oh. Oh HELL no! With a sudden alertness and what seemed like purpose, Hunter held her tray firmly and shoved her way through the crowd. It was easy to slip between and past people, most of them not even aware she was ever there. The teenager slammed the tray down on the table the old man was sitting at, one hand shooting out to catch the drink as fries spilled gloriously and unceremoniously from their container and onto her tray.
"How the fuck did you do it." It was obvious, between the two of them, what she was referring to. The last she had seen, the man had been crouched over a viral-nuclear bomb that had just so happened to have created a huge crater in the heart of Paris. She herself had barely had time to escape, and even then the shockwave had still caught her. Without being invited, without asking if she could, Hunter sat directly opposite of the old jerk. Her gaze was locked directly on his, and her expression was a bit hard to read; equal parts disbelief and anger. It wasn't like she even liked this guy, but the fact he was still alive was just... HOW?!
|Poncho|| For a moment, everyone in the immediate area falls still. Both men and women look toward the skull-marked hood with no amount of surprise and concern. Sure, the smallish figure might be a dangerous street savvy something or other, but the man sitting across from her is totally screwed in the head. A few hands dip into pockets and purses, as if checking for guns, or cell phones, or tasers.
For his part, the man with no name continues eating his burger. Technically McDonalds refers to their stacked foodstuff as sandwiches, but if it quacks like a duck, it's probably just a shitty duck.
There is no immediate reaction to the slamming of the trey or the demand that comes after. Taking his time to chomp down what is in his mouth, he waits for the surrounding patrons to return to their own meals. Then, with cool deliberation, he sets his gaze once more on the young girl's face. Meeting her incredulous glare, he proceeds to stare right back.
"Magic." comes Mr. Martin's utterly flat reply. The delivery is quiet as usual, hoarse as usual, and absolutely deadpan. He can't be serious, right? Magic isn't real...
|Hunter||"Bullshit!" Her voice was low, almost a hiss, at least attempting to keep the conversation volume lower than tray slamming. Angrily she unsheathed a burger and began to mow into it. Her appetite was voracious yet somehow strangely clean and polite. Even while taking large mouthfuls of food, none of it dropped or dripped onto the table or tray, and she somehow had mastered the art of chewing with her mouth closed with a mountain of food in it.
Swallowing the flavourless food almost savagely, she continued. "Ain't no magic, ain't no way y'should be alive. How the bloody hell're you sittin' here right now eatin' this cardboard tastin' shite?" The lilt in her accent was more apparant the angrier she got, it would seem.
|Poncho|| "Ain't got time to die, kid." Martin replies simply, his hoarse voice hacking through the rising noise like a broken machete. Unsurprisingly he seems rather unaffected by Hunter's rage. When you can charge directly into oncoming gunfire, beat a man to death, and face down a nuclear strike, angry teenagers probably fall pretty low on your list of threats.
Picking up his burger, he takes another of his mechanical bites, grey eyes shifting to glance over the girl's shoulder.
Is that it? Is he seriously going to ignore her just like that? Sure he has acted like an ass hole in the past, but is anyone really dickish enough to just straight banish the person across the table from existence?
|Hunter||A snarl appeared on her face. "Ain't got time t'die? That's pretty convenient, ain't it? That outtah everyone there that night, y'were the only one with some secret way out, yeah?" Was she straight up insinuating that Poncho had something to do with the bomb? That he was some kind of terrorist in disguise? Maybe. She began to devour another burger with random scattered handfuls of fries.
All she was asking was for a way to understand. She didn't really give a damn how he had made it out (unless it was with Umbrella assistance), she just needed to know how. Inquiring minds needed to know, and besides, until about 5 minutes ago, she thought that this dude was dead. Deader than dead. Like, vaporized out of ever existing dead.
|Poncho|| Working with the enemy? That is a logical conclusion. Without the data she would need to come to the true answer, it's one of the only things that makes sense. Either he's a monster of some sort himself, or he had inside information. Only a monster could have been fast enough to get out in time, or tough enough to somehow survive. But then, why the bruise?
Finishing his second burger, he glances toward the other two on the tray. Seeming, uninterested in them, he reaches over to collect his glass of water and holds it before him in one old hand, knuckles scarred and hairy, fingers visibly roughened. He has large hands and thick wrists. perhaps once he was a bulkier fellow. That, or he's just one of those old guys who has big old guy hands. A long time worker.
Once more Mr. Martin's winter-grey eyes shift to stare into Hunter's face. Cool and impassive.
"Followed the BOW." the man grunts toward her, words coming out slowly, begrudgingly. "Down some stairs, was a busted steel door out into the catacombs. Made it through, jumped into a crack blasted into the floor. Fell maybe, 35 feet. Crater didn't make it past the first layer, but rubble fell on me. Had to dig out." His hand shakes a bit as he speaks, and he pauses to cast an unreadable look toward it. it continues to shake, and he adds idly, "Got radiation poisoning. Some burns. Headaches. Don't matter though."
|Hunter||As his escape plan came more into focus, Hunter's eyes narrowed. Followed the BOW? He actively followed the thing that tore apart the terrorists she had found, and had not only lived to tell the tale, but had also survived a viral-nuclear explosion on top of his head. As much of an asshole as this guy was, she couldn't deny that he was a tough old bastard. Radiation poisoning, burns, headaches, hand shaking... why wasn't he at the hospital?
"Before I ask the obvious question o' whether y'found the B.O.W or not, first things first; did yah at least get medical attention? Like the hospital're somethin'?" Radiation poisoning was nothing to sneeze at, unless sneezing was a secret symptom of the horrible condition. "Also, did y'find the B.O.W?"
|Poncho|| A sip of water is taken while Mr. Martin listens to Hunter's questions, his posture having yet to warm to her. But, he is answering questions now. Baby steps. Communication is key.
"Hmph." He mutters after lowering the glass, giving Hunter a rather flat look. "Been to the hospital. Just got to live with it. Pain ain't nothing, though. Once the damn shakes quit fucking up my aim, I'll get back to business."
Placing the cup down precisely in the center of his trey, he leans back, abandoning it, and calmly wipes off his fingers on a napkin.
"Where I fell. Was a cavern with branching paths. Some new, some old. Lower catacombs beneath the standard. BOWs are down there somewhere. going to be hell dragging them out. But why you need to know, kid? What you gonna do about it?"
|Hunter||At least he had been to the hospital. Maybe the old fart had some brain cells left after all. Hunter got the impression from a lot of people she had met recently that they would have taken the 'grit and bear it' route when dealing with injuries. Maybe this guy was too old to take that route anymore. Oddly, she felt a little relieved knowing he had at least sought medical attention. Her gaze darkened when the conversation returned to the B.O.W.
What would she do about it? Why, the same thing she had BEEN doing! Wandering around aimlessly and being in the wrong (or right) place and the wrong (or right) time. In all seriousness though, she didn't really have a game plan. "No idea. I ain't rambo like you or Chris. Don't know med stuff like Emma. Seems like I can shoot a gun but I sure as hell wasn't trained to. I can run, I can jump, an' I can skulk around. Ain't very helpful in the longrun." What she WANTED to say was that she would bust into the lower catacombs by herself and heroically and violently rip that B.O.W a new one fueled by the anger of the loss of her parents at the hands of Umbrella... but everyone including her knew what would happen the second she set foot down there. In the grand scheme of things, she was no one. She was nothing.
|Poncho|| Silently Mr. Martin considers the girl across from him. He has seen her act. Seen her bravery and the commitment to her allies. Seen her handle a gun with some innate amount of skill. She has talent, and guts. And in her eyes, he can see some of the rage that drives them both.
Reaching beneath his slightly oversized jacket, the aging warrior very calmly draws out a heavy .44 revolver. The huge weapon seems sized perfectly for his large hand, its dings and scratches matched to the scars he carries. It must be an old gun. One that has seen a lot.
The uncocked revolver hits the center of the table with a loud 'thump.' There it sits, placed deliberately between them, as the angry old man stares into the face of the girl. The weapon causes an instant commotion in the restaurant. Phones come out, people leave their chairs. A couple of young men look like they might be psyching themselves up to act.
Mr. Martin slips from the booth, leaving the gun where it lies, and turns to casually stiff arm one of the young punks out of his way. Then, with out a word, he begins to limp toward the exit.
What can Hunter do? There is a gun before her, presumably loaded with 6 rounds, and the old man that knows how to use it walking toward the exit. Her future is open. Paths lay spread out before her. Whatever she chooses to do, she has the opportunity to do Something.
|Hunter||The thud heard 'round the world. What the hell was this old man thinking?! For one thing, she didn't know how to use this thing, and another this was as old as he was and probably had sentimental value and holy SHIT was thing thing loaded?! Their eyes met for a moment before he just... got up and left? Oh. Oh wait, no, GET BACK HERE. Never in her life had she ever thought she would end up in Paris, in a McDonalds, sharing a burger with a loaded revolver. Hunter looked from the gun to the people staring and thinking of doing something about the gun, then back to the old man as he left....
"Goddamnit." She hissed, stuffing her burgers and even her fries in one baggy hoodie pocket, the gun in the other (fuck she hoped the safety was on), before grabbing her coke and running after the man. No way in hell she would let him just leave her in a mess like this. Besides... she had more questions.