Three On A Match
Balmoral Street Little Basket Bun - Printable Version

+- Three On A Match (
+-- Forum: Welcome (
+--- Forum: Archives (
+--- Thread: Balmoral Street Little Basket Bun (/showthread.php?tid=926)

Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 01-21-2023

Charm Used: Tuning | Outfit

With each page turn, a slurp of his noodles. Luckily, the injuries on his fingers didn't prevent him from using the chopsticks or smoke. It did make working with tools slightly difficult. Which was the real mood dampener.

Deja Vu, he thought to himself as he fiddled away at his mechanical arm. He placed his hand on the dead limb sending out electrical currents throughout the device. No charge. No movement. Wires fried. Connections out of place. It was deader than dead. Deader than his original arm. Mac sucked his teeth and shoved his newly dead limb back into the bag.

“ I told that doc that I’m fine with old reliable…” he quipped “...but no, you need a robot arm that will make the job easier. ” He dug into the bao buns with his other arm.

“ Excuse me, can I get five more of these, fried rice, and plum sauce please ” he said over to the counter.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 01-26-2023

The barstool to his left slid quietly across the tiled floor as Nari sat next to the man she only knew as Xiaolongbao. She hadn't expected to see him after the debacle with the nian, but here he was, sitting in her bar again.

Putting her teacup down in front of her and settling her elbows on the bartop, she looked at the glittering array of bottles behind the bar. Nari wondered about the metal limb she'd seen him shove in his bag and his muttering. Answers she might get, or she might not, she wasn't too fussed either way. She remembered their talk fondly and was interested to see what was new.

“It has been a bit, Xiaolongbao,” she said warmly, though she wore her usual sphinx-like smile as she tipped her head to look over at him. “What brings you back to my bar?”

The entirety of Honey & Ivy had seen a renovation since his last visit, ever since an oni had torn through the restaurant. Now it had a bright open floor plan, a lighter color palette, and a lovely view of the river, with the other side of Old Town beyond.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 01-27-2023

“ It has been, ” he began as he took a sip of his drink “,your bar has food, drink, and kindred souls. ” He looked around the newly renovated bar. A lot had changed from when he last sat there till the Nian incident.

“Also, I’m not for a bunch of bustle from tourists,” he chuckled. His eyes sparkled when his food arrived. A comfort that he had come to miss. The young mage pushed his sunglasses back, before grabbing his chopsticks.

“ So, what’s been going on in the world of Lin Nari…”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 01-29-2023

Nari grinned at the mention of tourists, her dark eyes crinkling in amusement. She took a long sip of her tea, leaving the man to settle in with his food before his question drew her attention back to him.

She was quiet again, contemplating the question and how he asked, what he meant by it. Was it business or personal? She went with the latter.

“I am well,” she answered her voice pleasant. “I see you have some new hardware.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 01-29-2023

“ Yeah, there’s no place like Honey and Ivy in New York,” he hummed before eating another bun. He could read her que instantly. The silence was deafening. Mac decided to cut the potential tension before it began.

“ Yeah a few things happened, so I got a new arm, ” Mac said coyly“,but…better question, what’s new since I’ve seen you a year ago? ” He was also avoiding his own thing. No point in hashing bad blood, especially over good food. And Mac enjoyed his food.

“ I ask as a patron and acquaintance…and not as business.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 01-31-2023

Xiaolongbao seemed to read her thoughts on the matter, and Nari smiled, appreciating his astuteness. Even if no money would be exchanged today, the dragon still liked to chat, even if she was stingy as a rule about her affairs.

“A facelift around here, as you can see,” she teased, just as coy. “It was time for an update. A few things happened, so I suppose we are of the same mind, although I couldn't fathom where I might get a new arm.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 02-01-2023

“ An arm here, a few teeth there, tip of your ear there…” Mac sung“ .if you know the right guy, he has a few parts for you.” He took down two more buns in delight. Appreciating every flavor they oozed out. He took another look at the restaurant. Open concept. More lighting. Probably cost the same amount as the arm, he thought.

“ Some things change like affiliations and limbs,” Mac continued “, me I’m currently looking for something more…stable, hence the move back.” He took a sip of his drink.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 02-02-2023

Nari couldn’t help a light chuckle at Mac’s sing-song delivery, and leaned forward to prop her chin on her knuckles. “You talk in riddles. Like we are in a movie,” she said, fully amused. She could read between the lines, understanding that the man had been through a few things since he’d last visited. Grinning over at him, the dragon went on, “It sounds like a story. Is it one you want to share?”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 02-02-2023

Without prompting he began:

So, a young mage…Arrogant. Volatile. But talented. Leaves town due to a family emergency. Now what he thinks is just going to be the routine false alarms, turns into something big. I mean big big. Not, “Johnny just admitted to stealing money from mom’s wallet to buy weed big.”

No, I mean “we decided to kill Dad because he didn’t put us in the will.” Metaphorically speaking. But not really. Anyways, the criminal children, the ones that Dad has been protecting all this time become ungrateful. Really fucking ungrateful. And they stage a Ides of March, kill Caesar assassination attempt.
He knocks back his drink. Only stopping to inhale. Then finishes off the rest of his drink.

Now, this is where things get crazy. That young, volatile, and arrogant mage…already got the jump on what was going down. So, he decides to take it on himself to encourage his elders to think wisely about their next move. However, before any talks could be on the table. BANG. A head of the family is shot dead-er. Silver bullet. Perfect shot. Then another. And another. Till finally. All hell breaks loose. The kids are taking each other out one by one. He briefly stops the story to pop a bun in his mouth.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 02-07-2023

It seemed she barely needed to ask, the story on the tip of his tongue as soon as the question left her mouth. Nari smiled with satisfaction and settled in to listen, swirling her tea in her cup.

Mac still spoke in riddles, even after her teasing, but mages tended to have their eccentricities. She didn't mind absorbing all the details and quietly fitting the puzzle pieces together. The story he gave her illustrated an exciting picture. The fall of an empire, it seemed, if it was all analogy. It sounded like the Syndicate, and her eyes went half-hooded with interest, but she still held her forked tongue.

When he finally paused his storytelling, the dragon was silent, allowing him time to chew and swallow. Was that everything? It hardly explained his metal arm or his missing teeth. She sat there in companionable silence, waiting for the next part of the story.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 02-12-2023

TW: Parental Neglect

So, a civil war breaks out. Which isn’t Civil at all. Monsters really know how to strike at you at your most vulnerable. And apparently so do hunters when you’re not looking. Although one has to ask who the real monsters are at that moment. Especially when a bunch of mundane, average joes, soccer moms, and knitting grannies with shotguns, silver, and sky iron tear through a stronghold. Bullets and brimstone are just flying everywhere. And this was just at the London HQ.

Back in the US everyone is in panic, and our young Hero, he’s caught in the crossfire. Get’s into it with a Raven Knight or some strange freaky shit, I don’t know. And he doesn’t care. That thing was hunting wolves, and had to be dealt with if there was ever going to be a sense of normalcy. And he does, that thing doesn’t come back.

He knocks back a shot. A sour look briefly stretches over his face before going back to his story. He hadn’t gone over the events. Not in a while. He ordered a few more shots, both for himself and Nari.

Now, his father, someone who everyone thought was noble. Turned out to be a coward. Saving his own skin so he didn’t find himself on the receiving end of the silver bullet. This man had the bright idea of making deals with some coven. Apparently they were good at protection. So he brokers a deal with them. They protect what was left of the family, and they buy a special item from him. They needed a component you see…the arm of a craftsman. Now, this man didn’t know any craftsmen. Not the kind they were looking for. But he did have a son who seemed to know his way around making magical things.

His son, his only son mind you, sacrifices an arm to save the lives of many. If only it were so simple. And he almost convinces our hero to give up his arm for the many. Although there was a small catch, it wasn’t to protect their organization, it was mainly for his own skin. A werewolf afraid of what was coming for him, sacrifices his son’s arm to protect only himself…and his only family.

Meanwhile, he calls a certain group of supernatural cops and tells them that his organization was planning an attack on their compound. Also told them that their Raven Knight was killed by someone in the family. They were set up. And while our young hero is recovering from being screwed over and left at a safehouse mind you with one less arm…BOOM. All hell breaks loose. Bullets, Spells, Prayers, Crying, and Yelling. It’s loud, It’s explosive. It’s scary. Terrifying.

And our guy tried to help as many as he could. However, fate is a comedian. He gets his teeth knocked out by someone from his past. Someone who wanted nothing to do with him. And had no qualms about what happened to him. Except that he stays out of her way.

He knocks back a shot. His face masked with an expression of unconcern and flippant disregard for his own emotions. He finished the last of his buns.

“ Let’s just say, mothers are scary…”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 02-13-2023

The offering of a shot made Nari a captive audience, but her position was a pleasant one. After drinking the rest of her tea, she knocked the shot back, and a little plume of steam issued from her nostrils as she swallowed. It warmed her belly, and she peered down into the glass as Mac went on, listening carefully and absorbing every detail.

The man told the story as if he wasn't involved, framing himself as a hero. A natural enough thing to do, Nari supposed, and she didn't disbelieve him. The man sitting next to her did not carry himself like the sort of man who would sit back and do nothing or cower in fear. And with him telling her in such a distant way, she couldn't be certain how much was true or false. Further, what did all of this mean to her? The dragon wasn't sure yet, at least marking the tale down as context around the man's injuries and subsequent prosthetics.

His final comment drew a huff of laughter out of the dragon. “My mother was quite kind,” she replied with a smile. Lin Hae had been a soft woman, more concerned with homemaking than the family business, but Nari had thrived for it. “So, you have lost your arm, your teeth... And who gave them back to you?”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 02-16-2023

He knocked back his shot. The story entered dangerous territory. As of now, he gave himself a degree of separation. One part to not sound as broken as he was at that time. The other to hide some details, he wasn't able to give. Somethings were better left unsaid after all. But it was the first part of his listener's line that was interesting.

“ She had to be to have raised a young woman as dignified, graceful, sometimes scary, but powerful as you, ” he said matter-of-factly. No hint of cheekiness was added. He then knocked back another shot.

“ You would think so...mother's being kindly I mean, ” he continued “, but not the case here...someone leave you battered and broken.” He let out a sigh and shrugged his shoulders.

“ However, there's someone scarier out there...” he smiled “...old ladies who know dentistry and prosthetics...kindly but scary and scary efficient at putting mages back together...but they didn't give my back my teeth back or arm. ” He slung back his last shot.

“ I took them.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 02-23-2023

Nari smiled at the compliment, charmed despite herself. Compliments to her mother hit a soft spot, as one might expect, although being called scary and powerful made her huff a laugh. She did not aim for any image, she simply was.

The rest of Mac's story was just as enthralling as the beginning. She watched him drain the shot glass, both dark eyebrows lifted in the kind of surprise one might have at a pleasant twist in a story. “Why did you need to do that?” she said, letting herself fall for the bait as she probed for the next part of the tale.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 03-06-2023

TW: Parenticide and Body Horror - involving teeth
I needed to move on somehow. I had lost everything of value to me. I had money, but my pride, mobility, communication, and functionality was destroyed. Family ripped apart. Comfort, also torn apart. I couldn’t just let that go. Not for all the money in the world. So, a few weeks later, my father, sure that he had gotten away with everything, met up with me one day. Call it Father Son reuniting day. Call it his birthday. Call it the day one less werewolf howled.

However, I called him up. Told him I wanted to celebrate his birthday. After all, the organized affiliation we were a part of was on fire. And crumbling. And there wasn’t anyone out to get him at the time. So we met up at a bar in Boston. He told me everything: his plan, his deal with the supernatural cops, his fear of mom, how his deal with those witches paid off. I mean everything. But Miss Nari, you want to know the one thing he never did?

He leaned in closer.

No apology. No asking how I was doing. Or why I was covered in bandages. Or why drinking would burn. Nothing about me whatsoever. He just went on and on about how well he was doing. No apology whatsoever. And that ticked me off. So I continued to talk him up. He was too into himself to realize anything. So I made him a special bourbon: Silver Nitrate, honey, and lighter fluid. The bar owner was a good friend of mine and any commotion could be just cleared up as a drunken celebration. And he got a concentrated dose. He was the type to throw back his drinks without tasting.

And not go into the details, but he was a lot easier than the…what was it called? Ah, the Stoop Judge. Dad gave me two great things that day though: his teeth and his silence. Everyone was done a favor that day, he was selling secrets from other folks in our industry after all.

Mac then slightly pulled back the side of his left cheek revealing teeth that did not match his exactly. They were sharper, filed to fit his jaw, and more…canine. He then placed a briefcase down on her counter.

“ He left me for dead, so I left with his teeth.”

“ A gift for not visiting for awhile, ” he began “, that’s if you want to know who might want to give you problems, where to find them, and business dealings.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 03-15-2023

Though he framed it theatrically, hearing Malik suffer under parental neglect--and subsequently take his revenge for it--was an interesting, humanizing moment. The man with the jaw full of monster teeth seemed to be a turmoil of emotion and need. Nari nodded, huffing gently at the mention of the nian they'd faced together with Sunako.

At his concluding statement, Nari cocked her head, interested but confused by his wording. “Are you offering your services?” she asked, lifting her eyebrows.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 03-17-2023

“ Offering Services, ” he began “, God no, you can find a better…well anything within my former employment.” He shook his head as he ate the last of his food. Mac fumbled with his wallet and placed a few bills on the table. He had no intention of selling anything, at least not today. This was more of a friendly late evening brunch for him. And also…

“ No, I’m calling it quits and there’s no point in dragging an old job with me, ” he said nonchalantly. “ Besides, I got my teeth, a new purpose, and something new I want to pursue…so you can have the little black book of a retired criminal. ” The word “retired” was doing more work than he realized. But the sentiment was there.

“ Figured, sitting on knowledge and letting it collect dust would be a waste, ”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 03-27-2023

Nari's eyes lit up with clear interest at the prospect of having Malik's metaphorical black book, although the dragon almost felt bittersweet at the news. He'd been with that stylish Syndicate for as long as she'd known him, usually accompanied by their thugs whenever he entered her noodle shop. Now things were changing—a sign of changing times, as always.

“The end of an era,” she said, amused and reaching out to slide his payment for dinner back to him across the counter. “Have your meal on me. To celebrate a career change, no? And a toast to your good fortune.”

RE: Little Basket Bun - Malik Cartwright - 04-11-2023

“ The end of an era ” he said hoisting a shot glass “, and the beginning of a new that doesn't require me to constantly get shot at. ” He threw the shot back laughing. A somberness washed over his face. It was brief, blink and you'd miss it . But it was there, and then it was gone masked by cockiness and celebration. He then put his wallet away.

“ Don't look too sad, you need something don't hesitate to call, ” he said. The beep of his arm alerted him first, followed by the notification on his phone. His arm was fully charged. Mac delightfully put the robotic gauntly back on. He flexed his mechanical tendons and put the rest of his things away.

RE: Little Basket Bun - Lin Nari - 05-18-2023

Nari wasn't sad so much as intrigued, captured by the story. Still, at Mac's urging, the dragon offered him a small smile. Then, she looked on with equal parts delight and curiosity as he slid the new prosthetic onto his arm. That it needed electricity convinced her that it was somewhat modern, but something about it had to be magical. A man wearing the teeth of a monster wouldn't have just any old prosthetic.

Sensing this was the end of their discussion, Nari made sure to polish off her drink as well, and scoot out from her seat. “I will keep your number on hand,” she said by means of farewell, sure she'd find a reason to call the wizard sooner rather than later. Mac had proven himself quite capable, especially with his howling ghost gun.