5854/Hello, Fellow Youths!

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Hello, Fellow Youths!
Date of Scene: 05 April 2021
Location: S-Mart, New York City
Synopsis: Katsumi and Jennifer go shopping like normal people, but talk about very abnormal issues. Ash Williams, professional chainsaw-handed guy, makes a business pitch!
Cast of Characters: Katsumi Oshiro, Jennifer Walters, Ash Williams

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

It's a modestly-sized shop in the middle of a Brooklyn suburb, stocked with generally generic but affordable wares. And for those living in New York, the 'affordable' part is the important bit. Certainly for someone like Katsumi Oshiro, presently unemployed, fearful of deportation, and trying to play it smart with her savings. Hence the slogan, right? Though her room has been arranged at a fairly nice hotel, she doesn't want to push her luck. She needs food. She may need some other things, too. That's why she's here.

That's what she needs. What she /wants/ is to not be alone right now. So she's dragged poor Jennifer Walters with her, if for no other reason than to having a comforting presence to purge her brain towards. And that's precisely what she's doing as she pokes through a few cheap ceramic teacup sets.

"These aren't... /awful/ I guess," says Katsumi, self-unaware towards her own elevated standard of living, thanks to her moderate level of previous stardom. "Maybe doing some traditional tea would take the edge off, huh? Would you be down for that? Could make a whole thing of it. Oh, but that's what we were having when that mystic friend of yours made me see... that... /thing/."

She moves along to some plastic silverware. "These are shiny. Like they were trying to do silver, but were like f*** it, plastic's cheaper." She smirks, considering getting it, despite herself. "Might be better to stick to plastic utensils, right? No idea how long I'll be here, and carrying silverware overseas is just.. like.. are you even legally alllowed to do that anymore?" A sigh escapes her. "Things like this," she begins, her tone shifting morose, "you'd hear about the spooky crap as a kid, or in folktales. What do you do when it happens to you? I'm not some shinto priestess or anything." She looks to Jen with a tiny frown. "Why me?"

She moves along to the grocery side. "Oh my god, Pop-Tarts. These things, you have no idea. My parents /never/ let me get'em. But I got to try'em the last time I was in the States, and it's sooo good~" And then she turns sullen again, head lowering. "...this.. thing that's watching me, this.. 'entity' or whatever it is.. it's not gonna let me be normal anymore, will it? It just thinks I'm a... how did your friend put it? A 'vessel'?"

Jennifer Walters has posed:
"It's okay, Katsumi," Jennifer says. "I don't think the tea will bring back the ... whatever it is that you saw." She's walking along beside her friend, pushing the cart along with her. She's dressed casually, wearing jeans and a T-Shirt promoting an up and coming band, with a stylish black leather jacket on top. Oh. She's also green. And tall. And people stare at her because the last thing anybody would expect to see at an S-Mart would be an Avenger.

She gives Katsumi a shrug. "Why /not/ you? You have a good heart, and you're certainly able to take care of yourself. I can think of a lot worse people to entrust cosmic mystical power to. It may not be the path you chose in life, but sometimes the path chooses you." She grins wickedly at her friend, "And once they set you on that path you can *wrestle* it back to your own. That's what I did. When I first got my powers I thought my career was over. But, given time, I was able to understand what it was that was given to me and I was able to forge my own path ahead, balancing the two things."

Jennifer takes the box of pop tarts out of Katsumi's hands and tosses them into the shopping cart (which she's been secretly filling with stuff that Katsumi has been pining over but decided not to get because of her budget (because she's also secretly planning on paying for it all)). She shrugs. "What's a normal life?" she asks rhetorically. "You're a professional wrestler. By all accounts most people wouldn't consider /that/ normal."

Ash Williams has posed:
"You want a second opinion? Alright you need to lose some weight to. Oh go tell your husband, he's only thinking the same thing," a rather surly middle-aged man dressed in store garb declares while a woman storms away towards the exit. Ash calmly adjusts his tie and looks to another slack-jacked customer nearby, tilting his over-sized chin at him and adding, "What? Never seen a stockboy with tenure? Anyway time for third break," he declares as he makes to leave the floor to go find a quiet spot in back to nap for an hour or three. It was good to not only know the owner of the company but have saved his life from a demon.

It was while heading for the backroom that Jen and Katsumi should grab his attention. The talk of entities has nothing to do with why they grab his attention, at least not at first. A seven foot tall green woman always warrants a stare. Katsumi's revealing clothes and trim figure only double the looks from the, some might say, slightly lecherous 40 plus year old man. Taking a moment to primp his salt and pepper hair when at least some of what they're saying actually registers in his thick brain. A hero might think 'something I can help with.' Ash thinks 'I have an in.'

It's almost mystical just how fast he pops up in front of them scooting out of a side aisle, his chest puffed out, a not so faint aroma of Old Spice wafting about him. "Ladies, did I happen to hear something about spooky entities and mystical cosmic powers? Ash Williams, S-Mart employee by day, paranormal specialist by night," he introduces, a business card casually gripped between two fingers and proffered out to Katsumi. Aside from his name, number, and nondescript title, the card also features a logo that looks like a chainsaw tearing into a cartoon demon. The cardstock feels cheap as well.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro startles when the Pop-Tarts (blueberry!) are snatched, and she watches it sail into the cart. Her head then tilts to look up at Jen's face, a rarely warm smile brightening her features. Miss Walters found just the right things to say in the situation, and it's a sorely needed comfort. And reminder, at that. She remembers she'd said similar when her powers first manifested, giving her hope enough to not give up on herself. Once again, she'd wound up in a pit of despair, minus a charmingly off-putting albino. Her giant rescuer would be She-Hulk, not Andre. "You sayin' I'm like Professor Scott Steiner? A genetic freak? Not normal?" Her smile takes a playful tilt, and she non-verbally communicates her sincere appreciation by hugging onto Jen's arm.

"Don't think anyone's ever accused me of having a good heart before," she muses mid-hug.

That's when a voice cuts in. Katsumi leans back from Jen to regard Ash first with confusion. Her mouth opens, but she's paused by the card produced. It's taken, given a perplexed look, and then her eyes lift to his face again. "You serious?," she asks. "You mean like you get the white noise box and asks ghosts to say things?"

Her gaze dips to his hand - or perhaps, the lack thereof - just noticing it.

"Did one of'em dare you to reach into a garbage disposal?"

Jennifer Walters has posed:
"No, /I'm/ the genetic freak," Jennifer admonishes. "I think. I'm not sure how all the Gamma stuff works with genetics. That's something my cousin can answer."

And suddenly there's a chin. And a guy attached to the chin offering a card to Katsumi. She blinks in surprise at his boastfulness. "I don't know..." Jennifer says doubtfully. "He can't be that good of a mystical specialist if he works at an S-Mart."

Ash Williams has posed:
The scoff from Ash is well-versed. Clearly he's heard similar lines before. "I'm a PROFESSIONAL occult specialist, not some twit on TV who jumps at static. Dozens of demons slain, necromancers necroed. Vampires, ghosts, ghouls, you name it. As for working here," Ash pausing briefly to side-eye at She-Hulk with a slight curl of his lip. "I happen to charge very REASONABLE rates for my services out of the goodness of my heart. So sometimes I have to put in a bit more work on the side."

Attention drawn to his metal hand though, he gives it a flex, a faint 'whirr' sound perhaps heard from it operating and his little lip curl becomes a grin. The kind one wears when telling a scary story to a small child. "And this? Oh nothing, just a souvenir from the very first demon I ever dealt with. It tried to possess me, so I lopped off my own hand to stop it...course it still kept coming after me. Sometimes I swear I can hear it, scritching and scratching in the walls, skittering about in search of a throat to grab. A demon never really stops you know," he intones.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro glances to Jennifer, taking the sagely remark with a small, thoughtful nod. It would seem a little inglorious, wouldn't it?

But Ash, he has a theatric response for everything. So the girl with unusually-colored eyes returns her focus to the older man. She seems fascinated, right up until he explains the hand. She looks like she has a question, but she's letting him speak his peace. She even eyeshifts to the various nooks of the store, as if suspicious something might pounce. And that isn't even faking. After having seen what she's seen, she's been jumping at shadows.

But at last, the question must be posed. "So, uh..." She looks back to Ash, jet black eyebrows raised and eyes narrowing in confusion. "It tried to possess you, so you... chopped off your hand. Is, uh, that what you do? When something tried to control someone? You.. um, chop pieces off..?" A worried glance is shot aside to Jen.

Jennifer Walters has posed:
"Hopefully your solution to everything isn't to lop off body parts," Jen says, giving Katsumi a worried glance. "I've noticed that when dealing with the kind of cosmic mystical things we're talking about usually requires a more... uh... subtle approach." She puts her hands on her hips and narrows her eyes suspiciously at Ash. "You don't exactly strike me as 'subtle.'"

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer Walters says, "I mean...." she waves a hand as she thinks, "I /guess/ the best way to deal with a demon is to punch it. That's what I usually do. But this isn't exactly a punching kind of situation.""

Ash Williams has posed:
"Hey, hey, whoa I would never go taking a chainsaw to works of art like you two ladies," Ash assures, holding up both hands a moment in a 'slow down' gesture. "I was under the gun so to speak! No, course there are other ways to get rid of a possession. Lots of things you can try, wouldn't believe all the sages, witch doctors, medicine men, holy figures, well you get the idea, all sorts of people I've learned from since. The BEST," Ash guarantees as he takes a peek in their cart. "Now see for starters you're gonna need a lotta salt. Spirits hate the stuff," and now Katsumi isn't the only one shopping as Ash is suddenly tossing two large blue canisters of salt into her cart. He hurries about the grocery aisle then, chucking more things in almost without looking. "Garlic of course, works on more than vampires. Eggs, lots of stuff you can use eggshells for when dealing with this kinda thing. Rice..." Ash pauses and looks over at Katsumi. "I'm gonna assume you have rice covered," he bluntly (and racistly) assumes. Jen might be right about the subtlety thing.

"Parsley, hot peppers, and onions. That should be a good starter kit for us," he muses, acting as if he's already hired for the job. Things only taking a turn for the worse as he stops throwing things in their cart and moves to step between them and throw his arms over their shoulders, or in Jen's case at least higher up on her back. His voice lowered he says, "Now of course I'll need to come over to the afflicted's place some night and carry out these rituals until morning. I'll need to bring some liquor with also, S-Mart lost their liquor license a while back. You two like slumber parties right?" Ash hurries on with a wide smile. His arms were also JUST starting to slide lower.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro looks again to Jen, her brow knit as objects begin flying into their collective cart. Salt, okay, fine. She's heard that one before. Rice?-

"Cheeky son of a b-," Katsumi is cut off as he continues along. A more helpless look is shot to Jennifer. "It sounds kind'a like we're making breakfast."

The lissome female suddenly finds an arm around her shoulders. What is it with Americans and personal space!? She tenses instantly, but is still trying to mentally catch up with what's happening. "J-Jen?," she asks, mentally frayed. "Wh-.. should we.. get a second opinion on the situation? I mean, if nothing else, maybe he'll piss off the thing enough for us to see what it can do when mad?" Her gaze shifts from Jen to Ash, eyebrow perked.

Jennifer Walters has posed:
"The best?" Jennifer asks incredulously. "I can't /imagine/ Dr. Strange working with you... no offence." Full offence. She slowly walks behind Ash, pushing the cart and putting all the items he's throwing in there back on their respective shelves. Except for the salt. She keeps the salt in there, because that /is/ one thing she knows works against spirits. She's doubtful that this will help in Katsumi's situation, but it's always handy to have some salt around.

"Now wait a minute here," she says before Ash can get his arm around her as she puts back the parsley and onions (She's keeping the peppers. She's out at home.) "We haven't hired you for anything yet. You don't even know what the hell is going on!" And then he gets his arm around her and she gives him the kind of stare that indicates that there is going to be an immanent HULK SMASH incident. She nods at Katsumi, "He's certainly making /me/ mad." She brushes off the hand that's creeping ever so slightly towards her backside and looms over him. "And you wouldn't like me when I get mad."

Ash Williams has posed:
"Breakfast is a great idea! You cook?" Ash casually suggests, starting to lean even more into Katsumi's personal space with an expression best described as a leer. Even he can't be dense enough to ignore the threat She-Hulk poses to him needing a whole metal arm instead of just a hand. Looking to avoid become the second Winter Soldier he quickly backs up a couple steps.

"Hey now, a guy is just trying to help! Clearly you've got some supernatural stuff going on and neither of you two exactly sound like YOU know what is going on either. While I've got over twenty years in the biz and connections all over the country. Now to me, that sounds like a win win. You get the breadth of my experience, I get paid. Play your cards right might even be a discount in it for you," this last coming with a wink so obvious it could be seen on satellite. His hands clap together at the end looking between the two of them. "C'mon now, what have you got to lose? Do you really think I'm going to rip YOU off? I've heard of you, you could tear my arms off and then sue me for the emotional distress it gave you. Tell you what if I'm not able to do anything you don't owe me a dime," Ash suggests.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro leans back from the leer (and Jennifer's growing irritation), her expression turning more towards disgust. Thankfully, he backs away before she feels compelled to act, herself. And once he does, she breathes a little sigh of relief. Does she think he's capable of the boast he claims? Not really. Compared to Druid, this guy seems more likely to've lost his hand in a woodshop accident as a highschooler. This seems more an attempt to get into her admittedly short skirt! Not that she feels the remotest sense of shame in flaunting her figure.

The thing is, though she was joking about it earlier, having someone who might draw the aggro could be quite telling! She may be an awful person for considering using him in this way, but... well, as she said to Jennifer, no one else had ever accused her of having a good heart. She eyeshifts back to the Green Dame and lifts a hand to gingerly touch her arm. "If he's not what he claims to be and screws up, no charge. Right?" Her eyebrow perks at her. She's trying to convey her thoughts in that near-telepathic, subtle way native to women.

Jennifer Walters has posed:
As Ash backs off and rattles off his credentials, Jennifer's hackles slowly calm down. She still looks doubtful, but the boast of no charge has her intrigued. She glances down at the touch of her arm, and shares a look with Katsumi. You know. That near-telepathic thing women seem to be able to.

Turning back to Ash she asks, "Let's say if, and I do mean /if/ you're able to help out, what's your rate?"

Ash Williams has posed:
Got'em. So goes Ash's thinking as his eyes light up and his teeth actually seem to give off a sparkle as he smiles. "Reasonable like I said! Expenses paid and $120 an hour. No more than any private eye would charge you to go take dirty pictures while they sit in a car for six hours. Way less than any lawyer charges," he notes and, isn't at all wrong about. A steel finger points at Katsumi's face and suddenly he sounds like a caring father figure. "Hey, you've got nothing to worry about my pretty lil Eastern princess. Ash Williams NEVER screws up," he confidently states.

The PA system in the store blares, "ASH! You freaking screw-up, get in my office!" comes the angry static-filled crackle of the store manager and Ash's smile falters a touch.

"He's a real jackass. You know I spend more time fixing his mistakes than anything? Anyway you've got my card, gimme a calle if you want some REAL help. Or...you know if you just want a slumber party, I'm down," he can't help himself from adding before he starts off to get himself hollered at in person.

Katsumi Oshiro has posed:
Katsumi Oshiro's magenta gaze narrows just a hint as she's called Eastern princess. She doesn't appear to be taking offense to it, but there's a spark of amusement. Without looking away from him, she asides to Jennifer, "He has no idea who I am, does he?"

But that price sounds like a lot. It's a lot, right? The humor dims as she considers it. That could rack up quickly. American dollars are measured in much smaller amounts than yen. The call from the PA startles her out of that line of thinking, and she crinkles his nose. "Yeeaah... sure."

As he leaves, her focus turns more to Jennifer in silent question, expecting her to have some observation to offer.

Jennifer Walters has posed:
Jennifer nods, lost in thought as Ash tells them his price. "That's a bit high. The PIs I use cost me $110 an hour, and they're /good/." This insinuates that Ash... isn't. "But before we do anything I'm going to draft up a contract because I sincerely /doubt/ you have one. I'll make sure its fair for all parties concerned." There's that lawyer side of Jen coming out. "We'll be in touch."

When Ash toddles off she makes sure that he's out of earshot before turning to Katsumi. "Well. It's your call. Locking him into a contract will make sure that he actually does work instead of goof off, and I understand that money is an issue."