4338/Rocket's Reluctance

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Rocket's Reluctance
Date of Scene: 07 December 2020
Location: Lower Deck - Milano
Synopsis: Drax drags Rocket out of the Milano, leading them to Centennial Park in Metropolis. There, they meet someone with strange yet familiar traits, and learn of protein bars. They also attempt to establish a cover story.
Cast of Characters: Rocket, Nebula, Drax, Irina-As17, Groot

Rocket has posed:
It's been days since the Milano skimmed Titans Tower and came down to land nearby. It was a pretty good landing, if Rocket had to say so. He got everybody home in one piece, and while the Milano suffered a bit of damage, it was still intact, it was repairable, and they'd be off this shithole of a planet soon.

Why was Earth a shithole?

It produced Peter Quill, therefore it must be no good.

Oh, he wasn't /that/ bad, but good luck getting Rocket to actually admit it.

While others have ventured off the ship to meet some of the Titans and perhaps beyond, Rocket has not been one of them. He got as far as poking his head out of the hatch after the missing Titans departed, saw what was around them, and ducked right back inside to go find things to work on. Even now, here on the lower deck, he's busy dealing with the repair of some busted metal, in the midst of welding. Yes, he's got a pair of safety goggles over his eyes. Going blind would suck. "Just a few more things, then hopefully we can get off of this shithole," he mutters to himself.

See? Shithole!

Nebula has posed:
Not helping. Deliberately not helping. Nebula has contemplated going outside and has dressed for the possibility. A long cloak and a hood. Apparently humans aren't good with handling skin colors different to their own. She is also deliberately not helping by sitting on a stowage container watching Rocket work.

"You missed a spot," she casually taunts, not actually paying attention to whatever he's doing. The sooner they're off this planet the better, but that doesn't mean she can't spread a touch of misery in the process.

Gnawing in the back of her mind is just how badly a planet like this could turn out. What if she goes outside and the locals take offence and blahblah big battle, lots of people die. Somehow, she imagines in this unlikely scenario, that her emergency beacon is set off and father turns up. Not good for the people of this world, not good for her because punishment would swiftly follow, and not good for her sister who will barely get a slap on the wrist. Not good.

Drax has posed:
Drax is worthless with all the sophisticated repair.  Half the time he gets the tool wrong, leading one to wonder if the macho man just used a single tool for everything back on Kylosia or if his wife did all the handy stuff.

The big guy has been into the Titan's tower and actually has slept there overnight, especially after gorging on the pizza feast that welcomed them when they first crashed.  It's put him in one of insufferably positive moods.  There has been a lot of laughter from the slaughter machine.

"The city is ours to explore," Drax declares as he emerges from the corner, seen or not.  "We have no more milk or squishy fruit," he explains.  He looks to Rocket with an intense stare.  He's also been leaving lots of notes /on/ Rocket's work about the meat machine.  One of them was a haiku about meat.

Rocket has posed:
"I ain't missed a spot I ain't got to yet," Rocket tells Nebula, forcing himself to do so with patience. Anything resembling patience out of him is quite something, so it's a testament to how driven he is to get the Milano back in flying condition. Whatever he's working on, he's determined, must affect that goal.

Before he can say more, Drax pipes up. "Yeah? Why don't you go forage us up something, then? I don't need to explore whatever they got here. Ain't nothin' here for me 'cept the sense that everything out there is primitive. Or have you forgotten about Quill already? Where'd he get off to, anyway? Can we just leave him here?"

He cuts the current to the welder and slides the goggles up to rest at his forehead, adding, "And I've been seeing your messes, Drax. Whatever your 'ro-tiss-er-ee' needs, we ain't got on this ship. I'm thinkin' you made off with a piece of junk."

This may or may not be a total lie.

Nebula has posed:
There's a touch of a sneer. Not specifically at Drax or Rocket, but more the notion that they yet again need supplies. "This is a primitive world. Whatever digital currency they're using I will hack," she says and pushes herself back to upright. It's a fluid, almost sudden motion. She tugs the hood over her head and then folds her arms. The most visibly not human thing about her is her blue hands; unless you're stupid enough to get a closer look.

As weird as it is, she's seen the dynamic of this ship and how it works.. or doesn't work. As little as she respects Quill, somehow his goofy ways seem to hold this crew together. The question is - does she want to be in charge? yes. Does she want to be in charge of this lot? no. "We need the Quill," is her quick response to that line of reasoning.

Getting off the ship and looking at this world was something she was dreading - but on the other hand, you never can tell exactly which backwater hole is going to have exactly the kind of weapon one needs to kill their father. With a decidedly unimpressed look upon her face, she joins Drax the Destroyer. She assumes she'll have to kill him at some point. May be all of them.

Drax has posed:
Drax /may/ have damaged the meat machine ripping it out of the stall at that space gas station market.  He does not know.  Course he could have also damaged it when jamming it into the poor excuse for 'counter' squishing the cabinets above and below just a touch.

"I am not your servant.  The food here is easy to get because the humans have worked very hard to be lazy.  I think that is why some of the most formidable ones can fly.  They have more time."  Drax doesn't wait and he /certainly/ doesn't let any of the Titans know in person that he's off to see the world.  He scrawls a note.

'Hungry.  Took Rocket for walk.  -Drax'

"Good," Drax says to Nebula, as if he wouldn't expect anything less of her.  "I will not wait for Quill."  He doesn't wait for anything.  Certainly not Rocket either.  He walks back to grab the little guy by the scruff of his neck and over his shoulder...more like he's a catalogue model with that coat over the shoulder if he weren't so utilitarian about it.

Rocket has posed:
"Or you could just take it," Rocket offers before he rolls his little eyes as the suggestion that Quill is needed is raised. "Fine, whatever," he grumbles under his voice.

"You two go have your fun. I'll be here as the responsible one. Shoo." He says this, complete with the waving hand gesture as he turns to go back to his work.

That lasts up until the point his little feet, and the rest of him, is leaving the floor thanks to Drax's big, meaty hand. "HEY! Get your paw off me!" he yells, his tail beginning to puff up as he flails. Unable to slip free, he tries to claw at the back of his broad shoulder. "Don't you take me off this ship! GROOT! I NEED YOU NOW!"

Groot does not come to his aid.

Groot does not hear.

Groot is busy watching some Earth show that has been piped into one of the ship's monitors.

Nebula has posed:
Nebula's eye twitches as Rocket starts yelling for Groot. "Quit your shouting furball. You're going to draw unwanted attention to us. From those Titans, or from the humans of the city. Do you want more Quills staring at you, because that's how you get more Quills."

There, a threat that Rocket will understand. He's coming either way because Drax is Drax, so he'd best make the best of it. A touch to the panel and the airlock snaps open. The planet smells... peaty. To Nebula anyway. She snarls and covers her mouth with a sleeve, then steps out in to the big blue world.

"Any food we obtain here will likely be inefficient and taste weird," she says describing her expectation of food on every world she's ever visited and/or helped conquer. The only food that ever really tasted nice were distant faded memories of home before she was abducted away to be a daughter of Thanos.

Drax has posed:
"Pizza is good."  It's not a matter of opinion.  Drax doesn't even ask if Nebula ate any.  This is fact.  "Pepperoni is the best."  Never mind that Drax has only had cheese as an alternative.

"I also like the chips.  I do not understand why they call them this word though.  One of the little powerful humans said because of potatoes.  They do not make sense," He says with a laugh.  "They are fun to prank."

Rocket has posed:
Rocket escaped Drax's hold as soon as he was able to, shooting the big, shirtless Kylosian quite the look before making like he's going to dart back to the Milano. They had to get a fair distance away from it first, and Drax's grip wasn't exactly easy to slip out of when he didn't want to let go. Objections also got him nowhere.

"Okay! Fine! I'm outside! Are you happy now? Watch as we probably suffocate to death in this foul atmosphere and.." In the midst of trying to rage at Drax, he looks around. "Wait, did Nebula sneak off somewhere without us?" Shrugging, he moves on ahead, multiple shorter steps to every one of Drax's. "Guess she can take care of herself. You got anywhere in mind, or should I just let my nose lead us?"

Happy, he is still not, but as his eyes dart all around him in search of potential danger, their path takes them, eventually, toward Centennial Park. And, there are a /lot/ of smells. Some produce more favorable reactions than others.

Drax has posed:
"The air in the Milano is old and dusty."  Drax stops to look back.  He frowns slightly, but this isn't the first time he's traveled with Nebula.  Then he continues on.  "Yes.  She finds her way."  The pair aren't the only wild things in the park, nor the city, but the pair aren't even trying to pass.

"You have a good nose..."  But taste?  Drax takes it all in as they move along, his stroll leisurely.  "Yes.  Let us do that.  We can get the others some food.  Or not."

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 had taken position in a fairly wide open area to scan for potential targets, that being the park. She was not doing too great either, as for one she had been sleeping on benches for a while and eating awful supply rations. She figured her luck finally changed when she sees big-ass alien man waltzing around. She rapidly darts over the grass and approaches from behind, pointing at his back.
"Strange man, I've come to fi-" She interrupts herself with a gasp, however, when she spots the fuzzy companion. It catches her quite off guard, as she's never quite had time to appreciate the cute side of things when she was a child. And now with her predisposition towards a particular type of animal it was almost magical seeing him. Or scientific I suppose.
On the other hand, she was probably standing out as much as they were, dressed up in black kevlar armor with a fluffy tail poking out.

Rocket has posed:
"It was comfortable," Rocket declares of the Milano. "Even if it smells too much of Quill. But out here it smells even /more/ like Quill. So far, if you ask me, Earth sucks. And everybody's staring at you."

Indeed, on what ends up a fairly long path to bring them to Centennial Park, home of the Superman statue and a fair deal more, they have collected dozens of eyes on them, dozens of smartphones out to record what they are witness to. Rocket makes a point of ignoring as much of it as he can, though there are a few times where he almost goes off course, led by his nose toward something that could be tasty only for something else to guide him back toward the park as if it was their destination the entire time.

Once they've reached the place, entering somewhere around the middle from the east, his hands settle at his sides. "What is this place?" he wonders. "It's like a forest in the middle of a bunch of big boxes trying to reach the sky. And did you see all of those ships just rolling around on their landing gear? Why aren't any of them taking off? And--"

Someone else's voice nearby cuts him off, and he turns in the direction of it. Then, he stares. "What the hell are /you/ supposed to be?" he asks pointedly, staring at a few particular details.

Drax has posed:
"I'm magnificent.  Why wouldn't they?"  Come on Rocket.  You know better than that.  He lets Rocket be their guide, knowing this is Rocket's domain.  "I do not like being stuck in a metal box."

"Your smelling is a blessing and a curse.  Mine is perfect-though Quill's sheets are intolerable..."

"I am no frail human little beast!"  Because apparently Irina isn't the same thing as Rocket, but Drax doesn't explain that.  Per usual.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 has almost completely zoned out Drax despite the fact she came to pit mutations against him. Her eyes glimmer with awe as she crouches down a bit to stare at Rocket. This was truly amazing to her, she lived a life that was mostly dedicated to the business of her caretakers, she had little time for enjoyment or the finer comforts. So, for her, the simple fact she found such a wonderful being was really something out of the ordinary. She lets out an excited raccoon chittering noise and her tail wiggles in the air.

"O-oh hello." She says with a very nervous tone, her sociability struggles kicking in. "I had no idea there were beings like you outside. This is amazing." She reaches over to her belt and takes out a sweet tasting vanilla protein bar. "Would you like something to eat?" Her tone is a mixture of amazement and adoration.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket looks pointedly toward Drax with an expression of clear confusion, his ears tilting backward at the way Irina reacts to him. He's seen the eye mask that looks painted on, and he's seen the tail, but those things on what seems to otherwise be a human is..disconcerting, to say the least.

The fact she's taken such an immediate interest in him causes Rocket to take a step back. Damn it if he didn't leave his guns back on the Milano, thanks to /someone/ here just making to grab and go with him. He frowns at the chittering, whether he understands it or not.

"Lady..I asked what you're supposed to be," he repeats, caught off-guard by all this. "Did the Nova Corps put you in some silly costume to trick me into falling for it?" Of course he'd suspect something like that, especially as she comes up with her g..no, that doesn't look like a gun. "Well, yeah. I'm kind of hungry, now that you mention it." Then he catches himself just as he's beginning to reach for the bar. "No! What is that? Is it poison?"

Drax has posed:
Drax just, stands there, looking at Irina, then to Rocket, then to Irina.  There the stare stays.  "Yes.  Are you human?"  Some humans fly!  Drax don't know!

"Do not eat it Rocket.  I will test it first."  Drax holds out his hand to Irina, palm up.  "If she is Nova Corps I will take her and squish her like a bug.  Like one of those big bugs that make a noise like SPLAT."  His other hand slaps down on the open one in a big /clap/.  Then it's back to the let-me-taste-it-pose as if he'd done nothing to interrupt himself.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 looks down at herself, then up at the raccoon again, blinking twice. "Uh- What do you mean?" She then tilts her head towards Drax. "I think so." She replies vaguely, she never got a whole lot of info about herself. "Oh and this is-" She starts trying to explain, but then realizes she wasn't really sure what it was either. "Some kind of food bar. It's tasty but gets old when it's all you eat."

She unwraps it and breaks off half, depositing it within the man's hand. The other half is politely held out for Rocket, perhaps with a bit too much excitement in her look. "I don't know any Nova anything, but if they are troubling you I would be glad to assist in annihilating them." She says it in a very matter-of-fact way, with much naturality to it.

Rocket has posed:
"Yeah, you do that. You can be my royal taste-tester. I just need a good royal-sounding name. Lord something," Rocket says, crossing his arms in front of himself, over his jumpsuit, as Irina tries to make her offering. Instinct tells him to grab it, eat it, and not ask questions, but there's more to him than just instinct now. "We don't need any help with the Nova Corps," he answers pointedly.

Then, he squints at the human with the raccoon traits. "You look like some weird alien thing, if you really want to know."

Drax has posed:
Drax takes the bar and sniffs it.  Then he takes a bite and hands it back, chewing thoroughly before swallowing.  "It does not taste like poison.  Is this all you eat?  And why does it get older because of this?"

"We do not-" but Rocket is already giving the answer, so Drax just folds his arms over his chest.  "Yes.  What he said."

"These are all aliens Rocket...Do not pick Lord Star."  Or do pick Lord Star.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 shakes a hand, gesturing that he could keep the remaining part. "Mostly, I also scavenge some things. Um. I mean you get tired of eating only that." She says, rubbing the back of her neck fairly nervously. She changes her focus to Rocket afterwards, shrugging lightly. "Oh, well I have raccoon traits." She says with a very happy tone, giving him a sharp smile, flashing small fangs. "But I could be, I'm not really sure what I am exactly. I noticed I'm quite different from the humans out here. Barring some very rare few." She also thinks back to the way she said to be uniquely special, which makes her frown with a pensive expression. She does also keep holding the food for Rocket, but more absent-mindedly now.

Rocket has posed:
There are long moments that pass as Rocket waits for Drax to keel over dead..or not. When he doesn't, it is a clue that maybe the strange offering is safe to try after all. So, he reaches out for it, quickly snatching it out of Irina's hands, and after giving it a thorough sniffing a small corner is nibbled off. Any potential side effects should be lessened if the piece he consumes is minimal.

Eyes roll in Drax's direction. "Why would I do that? Star-Lord is already one of the dumbest things anybody in the multiverse could ever think of to call himself." He stops and blinks. Is it a subconscious thing, thinking of a title with 'Lord' in it

Ultimately, he squints over at Irina. "That's nice. I don't know why you're lookin' at me the way you are, but I ain't a raccoon."

Drax has posed:
"To make fun of Quill of course.  I thought you did not care about this world.  Why would you care what they call you?"  Drax looks back to Irina.  "Do you possess other traits?  What is a raccoon?"  Surely Drax didn't ask so many questions when he was slaughtering all of those Ronan allies, did he?  Excuse me, where is your restroom ma'am.  YOU WILL DIE BY MY HAND!

Ahem.  "It would annoy him so much," Drax says with a burst of merriment and a boisterous laugh.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 strokes her chin, she thinks about it. "I guess that is true, I don't think raccoons can talk after all. Maybe they're some kind of distant relative?" She does seem absolutely overjoyed that he ate the food she offered all the same, though, letting out a brief happy chittering of excitement. After that she stands up and turns towards Drax, she couldn't remember the last time she talked so much to anyone. She also rarely got questions about herself. "I technically...I did? It's a bit hard to explain." She completely forgets the fact it's all top secret information. "I've had traits of many different animals, but none worked as well as the raccoon's." Her tail bobs around a few times.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket puts a bit of distance between Irina and himself, getting another bite of the protein bar out of the way. If nothing else, it seems to be edible. A verdict is not forthcoming as yet.

His expression, however, sours as the human with the raccoon qualities talks of what sounds like experimentation. He grows grumpy rapidly, shooting Drax a frown at his laughter. "I don't care about this world at all. I wanna be off of it as soon as we can leave." The grumpiness and subsequent reaction suggests something has spooked him. What, though?

Drax has posed:
Drax does not move from where he is, like a great imposing anchor after he settles down.  "You still have not told me what a raccoon is...person."  Undeterred.

The implication of experimentation goes right over Drax's head.  He's still hung up on what a raccoon might be, and Rocket's looks only seem to confuse him a little since they don't mesh with his perception of things.  He shrugs as he looks back at Rocket.  He's still learning Rocket's signals, but he does finally realize something is going on, which wises him up.

"Thank you for the food.  I am sorry you have to eat that."  He steps forward, to try and rest a bulky hand on Irina's shoulder as if comforting someone who has lost a dear pet.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 blinks at the hand, she's a bit confused, not quite used to the sort of gesture, but nods slowly. "Well I'm not sure how to explain. It's a species we have that looks a lot like him, but they're not nearly that smart." She offers him a smile, then a Rocket as well. "Thank you, it's not too bad. Just a sacrifice to make in the path of justice." She closes the food pouch next to a couple flash detonators and her canteen, figuring they had enough.

It hits her just then, causing her eyebrows to raise a bit. "Wait, you mean out of the planet like...into space? With a space ship? You guys aren't stranded here?" She mentally goes over her notes, as far as she knew most alien races present on the planet had some kind of ties anchoring them down.

Rocket has posed:
Rocket looks quickly to the much bigger alien he's with as Irina goes into some detail about why she called him what she did, why she thinks he's a raccoon.

He is, or was, but that's beside the point. He doesn't believe he is, and in his book that's the only thing that matters.

"Uhhh..no. We ain't from space at all. We're just in town to promote a new, uh, show. Rocket and Drax, the new buddy-buddy team-up you never knew you wanted. I'm a midget in a very realistic costume, and he's a pro wrestler who thinks he can act." He jerks a thumb at the Kylosian. They weren't supposed to tell anybody they're from space, at least if they could help it.

"You probably can't see 'em, but there are cameras all over the place, just recording whatever we do to edit into the show later." He is completely lying.

Drax has posed:
"No.  Why would we be from space?  That's such a silly thing."  Drax's eyes dart left, right.  "Do you eat them?"  MOVING ON!  "On my-in my country, as children-"  Oh wait.  Drax shuts up.  He's making progress at least.

"All of this is true," Drax confirms everything Rocket says without hesitation.  "We crush things."  Yeah that came out of his mouth, at least with sincerity.  "We win at everything."  He needs to be stopped, but can Drax be stopped?  Yes.  Too bad Mantis isn't here.

"We are undefeated and my musk will always knock out my opponent."  Truth be told, Drax has no musk.  His skin is weird and he's more likely to cut off blood flow or suffocate someone in a hold till they pass out than anything else.

He leans down and mouths, 'What is this?' almost stage whispering.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 was just at a loss. She looks at the two of them, rapidly flicking her eyes back and forth with her lips lightly pursed and a just disgruntled expression. "No, we don't eat-" She tries to respond halfway through but there's just too much information. It was bad enough she was confused and overwhelmed talking to normal people, this was too much for her poor inexperienced brain. "Uhhhhhhhhh-" She just trails on until her breath runs out, lightly raising her eyebrows at the end.

To her, any of this might as well be the same as being from space, so far was it from her world. "Okay." She didn't really know what else to say. "I have no idea what you said, though." It was really suspicious but she also didn't have the best grip on the reality of the world, as she was finding out. Though there were some really problematic outstanding things mixed in there that she was still processing. "So where are you guys going next?"

Rocket has posed:
Rocket turns toward Drax to say, "Just go with it. We've got her confused." He winks openly, an overexaggerated thing, as if he doesn't get the subtlety of such a gesture. "Yeah, I don't know what he's talking about with his musk, but the rest of that is true." They are trying to convince Irina that what both of them are saying is completely factual. "Not bad for a big, dumb wrestler, huh? He's a natural at this." He jerks a thumb toward Drax while telling Irina this, and he pockets the rest of the protein bar to either finish it later or pawn it off on someone else.

"As for where we're going, that depends on what the producers tell us. They wanted us to hang out around here for a while and see how we got along with people. So it'd help if you did us a favor and told others that we were just filming a show here. And maybe you could help us get some more food. That'd be great," Rocket lies, and lies, and lies some more.

Drax has posed:
"Yes.  We have drawn lots of attention already."  Drax must mean their fans.  "People do not leave us alone, so do not tell them where we are."  Drax isn't sure about the wink at all.  It's a foreign thing to him.

"Is there something in your eye?"  Food.  Drax's stomach growls relentlessly.  "We have been walking all day."  They say that the most mundane, normal lies are the best.  They have not met Drax.

Irina-As17 has posed:
Irina-AS17 shuffles a bit, trying to think of a good alternative. "Well, I mostly scavenge for extra stuff to eat. Otherwise all I have is these bars and water." She did have a decent supply of them but the key question was for how long. She doesn't even decide to ask what a producer is, after the previous outburst of info. She takes out a bunch of bars from her belt and offers them up. "You can have these if you want. I have more stashed. Other than that I find that it's useful to climb up on the buildings and move around that way if you don't want to be bothered by people."

Rocket has posed:
Rocket gestures at the ones with their smartphones out. "Yeah, see? Some of them are even part of our crew. That's the best part. You don't know who's filming us for the show and who's gawking. Maybe some of them are. Maybe all of them are!"

Maybe it's all a load of...

He hesitates at the other protein bars that are being offered, shifting his beady little eyes toward Drax. "Yeah, uh, I think we're good there. Maybe a couple, but this, uh, costume ain't got a lot of extra space." They might leave a couple for Quill.

Once that's done with he says, "We'll keep that in mind, about the buildings. Let's go see what else we can find, Drax." Not much of a 'see you later' there, but he's still kind of weirded out by seeing a humie with the eye mask and that tail. More quietly, he tells Drax, "If you want the rest of these, they taste too healthy to me. I want to find something to eat that's gonna leave me never wanting anything else again, but leave me full of regret later. That's when you know it's good."

Drax has posed:
Drax waves to Irina.

"That is like pizza or chips," Drax informs Rocket as they walk along.