6912/A Shopping Centaur

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A Shopping Centaur
Date of Scene: 13 July 2021
Location: Westside - Queensland Park
Synopsis: An ice cream social, an eagle hat, and a very entitled child-- it's just one more day in the day of the Titans.

Oh, and there's a centaur, and centaurs can't exist, right?

Cast of Characters: Pol Hevonen, Terry O'Neil, Gar Logan

Pol Hevonen has posed:
Metropolis University
Queensland Park
5pm, July 3rd.

The Ice Cream Social on the Saturday Around the Fourth of July has been held here since 1947, when it was moved from its original location in the no-longer-extant Sports Exhibition Barn, which had become a bit worm-eaten.

The Social was revived in 2000 for the Turn of the Century after years of decline, and it has remained medium-popular. Part of this is because it's become a fund-raiser.

Saj Hevonen has been taking refuge (when not at Titan's Tower) with Pi Alpha Tau fraternity -- because his cousin Jens is a member, and didn't freak out when "Pol" showed up as a centaur. Nor did most of the frat, though one of the veterinary students got a bit ... inappropriately personal. He'll recover.

The crowd isn't immense, but it isn't small either. There's probably a few hundred people, strolling across the green and taking shelter from the sun under colorful canopies with tables underneath.

Saj is at a frat-sponsored food cart, where he has several varieties of Monkey Bread, across from a vendor cart that emanates cold, as there is Ice Cream being made there.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry O'Neil also happens to be in on the crowd, not too far from Saj. For all intents and purposes he is playing the innocent bystander/attendee and, therefore, is not wearing fur. A ginger guy in casual summery clothes and protective headgear precisely because he is ginger is not too out of place. Baseball cap, sunglasses and sunscreen... by the Kryptonian principle, he is basically unrecognizable. Which is more or less what he wants.

"One thing I never understood..." Terry asks, glancing at all the goods the centaur is peddling at his cart. "Why on earth is it called 'monkey bread?' I mean... it's not full of bananas, is it?"

Gar Logan has posed:
"Hang on, I'll tell you. No monkey business, either." Gar turns into, you guessed it, a simian form. It's one he's taken the shape of various times before, rather familiar to the Titans. A big handful of the bread is scooped up and rapidly consumed before he puts his arms out, palms up. "Come, mister tally man, tally me banana," he croons, tail curling and swaying behind before he confirms, "None here, though."

He adds after a moment, "Uh, how much do I owe you now, big guy?" He /had/ been dressed casually as well, until he made the change.

Pol Hevonen has posed:
The archive of all human knowledge that anyone has bothered to upload says the name may be due to Zazu Pitts, the actress and known prolific hostess, who served a version of the butter-laden bread-balls-baked-in-a-pan with random additional add-ins at some of her parties.

"Buck fiddy," one of the frat-bros demands. "Also you gotta wait for us to serve it cause you got filthy paws."

Which, well, Gar WAS a human before he turned monkey. Sanitation is important.

The centaur is being accosted by a pair of indignant eight-year-old girls who will probably be demanding to see the Manager soon; it seems Centaurs are purely mythological and he cannot possibly exist, so how dare he?

(Off in a shadowy place, one of the pair of Dark Malevolences notices that her Proper Prey is becoming irritable, but she's still far too weak to do much. She pokes the other Dark Malevolence, who snorts awake, growls, and slithers further away into the darkness.)

"STRAWWW! BERRRY!! ICE!!! CREEEEAM!!" the other Vendor Cart says, or rather, the man at that Vendor Cart, who might not unreasonably be called a minotaur, based on his height and the pair of bovine horns coming out from his hat. Hairy but wearing the proper striped vest, he's scooping soft ice into bowls to rack into the freezer, while a second fellow, who looks a bit more goatlike, is serving out cold bowls from the other end.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry purses his lips as Gar demonstrates, and then he reaches into his shorts and pays the buck fiddy, only it's a fiver. "Keep the change," since it's for funraising anyways. "You know, I can't take you anywhere without you making a monkey's uncle out of me," he seems incredibly amused by the eight year olds trying to make Saj vanish in a puff of logic and decides to make their day even more difficult.

"Ya think he's make-believe? Haven't you heard the Titans have the Cheshire Cat as part of their roster? He's supposed to be make-believe too!"

Some parents might probably want to have Words with him soon.

At least he certainly hopes so. The bellowing 'minotaur' gets an appreciative glance at the craft and skill of the costume.

If it's a costume. You never knew, nowadays.

Gar Logan has posed:
The monkey, somewhat like a green chimp, sticks his tongue out at the bro. "Fine. He gave you five bucks, so we get two more servings /then/ you can keep the change." Gar swats at Terry's shoulder before pointing to a couple different varieties. "That one and that one. And I'll have you know I'm probably cleaner than half of you. More than half of you. I know what you guys do on weekends."

The others nearby with their costume/theater makeup leads to him flashing Terry a half-grin. "Those guys almost look like the real deal." Then he's seeking a higher vantage point..by hopping up toward Saj's back, pretending to squint and peer around him, a hand up to his forehead. "I can almost see for miles and miles."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
The frat-bro (wearing those nitrile food service gloves) tears out the parts around the places where the monkey touched the bread. (Show me on the loaf where the monkey touched the bread.)
Then, he makes up servings of the two other kinds of bread.

The guy wandering through the under-canopy collecting the used dishes and bussing off the tables is shirtless, which reveals the fact that he has snake scales over his entire body. His eyes also don't blink.

"You're definitely cleaner than the lower half of him," Saj says as the monkey lands on his back. "Oh noes, I has a monkey on my back."

The eight year olds do not get the reference. He hands them lemonades anyway. Jokes on them: he didn't add enough sugar.

"MOM!" one of them complains. The Mom tastes it. "Seems fine to me."

The other girl says, "The Cheshire Cat is from a book," and frowns, "by a man who shouldn't have been left alone with children."

Modern sensibilities, somehow WORSE than the Victorian sensibilities of the time.

Gar can in fact see ... two guys whose name badges read "Miles" at the next food-cart over.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Should he? Shouldn't he?

Gar knows Terry well enough to know /that/ look in his eyes. He glances around... Gar is here. You can't hide Beast Boy, unless he is a snake or a budgie or any other green animal. A green monkey? Totally beast boy. So he is not really gaining anything by being incognito, and he can gain a laugh by... well.

He flips his bracelet and stares into the mirror.

"We're All Mad Here!"

And there is Vorpal, grinning broadly and emerging from the display of color and light that accompaniest his transformation.

"I'm a little hurt, being told I'm not real, you know." While he says this, he begins to vanish, only leaving that floating grin in the air. "It's a little rude. Suppose I were to tell /you/ that you don't exist? What were to become of you if you believed me? You'd suddenly have to find something to do with yourself. Imagine putting me in that position!"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan keeps hold with a hand against Saj's back, or side, or..well, his hair isn't exactly a mane. A brow goes up as he returns to normal after devouring more of the bread, leaving him sitting toward one side atop Saj's back. So personal! "Oh, hey," he grins before pointing. "Check it out. Their names are actually both Miles. Who'd have thought?"

Then he catches the expression in Terry. "Here we go. This is about to get more interesting." Especially after what the kid said about the writer of those stories. Quietly, he adds, "Bad joke, by the way. I don't even know you much yet and suddenly I'm proud of you."

As Vorpal does the whole 'cheshire' thing, he just watches expectantly.

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"MOOOOMMMMM!" oh of course she's a tattler. "MOM he's breaking the laws of nature!"

The mother rolls her eyes. "Don't be a complete downer, Henrietta June. I don't know WHAT your father's been telling you but you need to stop."
She looks at Vorpal, assessing, and nods at the cat. Henrietta June might want to be further scandalized, or outraged, but her mother is NOT supporting her umbrage.

"You're not quite what Disney would lead us to expect," the mother says. "Good."
She takes both girls by the shoulders. "Come on girls, the ice cream is frozen by now."

The minotaur is about to have his reality challenged, if not-Henrietta June's expression is an indication of the future.

"Strange people," Saj says. He notices Gar is human again, and flexes his back a little bit. Surely unconscious.

Miles and Miles are selling cotton candy, and across from them a different cart has ice cream. Their banner says Alpha Beta Gamma. Such an original designation for a fraternity.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal watches the girls and their mother leave, and he scratches the back of his neck. "You know... Henrietta June king of reminds me of the Duchess a little. I wonder..." he trails off, and then shakes his head. "Disney. I ought to sue them for use of likeness and force them to redraw that tubby fool in all of my sleek glory... but nobody has that much money and that good a pack of liars! I mean, lawyers."

He glances at all of the oddities and odd people, and can't seem to decide whehter it is significant, or whether it is an interplay of his own chaos nexus enacting its will upon the surrounding world.

Gar Logan has posed:
"Is this okay, by the way?" Gar wonders as he gives Saj quite the grin, watching both the centaur and the cheshire cat equally. "And, strange? You don't know the half of it. What's the fun in being normal, anyway?"

He lowers his voice after they get a little bit of a quieter moment, a bit of respite, and he asks, "So are we supposed to be on the lookout for anything, or are we just here to chow down? Because I'm totally on board with that if that's the case. Vorpal, you just need to eat a whole lot and then you'll be tubbier too."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
It's coming on 6 by the time they have that quiet moment, and thinks have died down, as the supplies are beginning to run out.

"It's fine, you and the catboy have permission to climb as long as you don't get wierd. I mean, I let Irie brush my mane," Saj says. He ponders the lack of ambush.

(The Dark Malevolence In The Dark hisses to herself, but impotently. Sadly she has not gotten the desired Mana Recovery Potion she ordered. It's probably just caffeine in a mildly blueberry flavored sugar syrup.)

Saj offers Vorpal more monkey bread, without commenting about how fattening it probably is. He has been keeping hydrated by going into the inside of the trailer and chugging down ... water. Yes. It's water. Definitely not alcohol water brewed from grain mash and fermented. None of that. The fermented scent to his breath is clearly from that one batch of monkey bread that didn't bake long enough.

The minotaur comes over, along with the serpent-skinned guy.

"We're about out. You know about the Day Before Firework Show?" Minotaur, aka Jens Hevonen, says in sotto-voce that still carries, should the Titans still be here.

"I don't think dhey're gonna come after me taday," Saj says. "I keep havin' th' impression they'er wiped out from before."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I'll pass. I've got a figure to upkeep and I have absolutely /no/ desire to look like /that/ animated abomination!" the cat says, crossing his arms over his chest and smirking.

As Jens comes and whispers, Vorpal glances over at Saj and frowns. Speaking sotto voce himself, he adds "That's disappointing. I thought this would be a perfect bait. But I guess we did /too/ good of a job of our rescue and we need to give Mumm-Ra the Ever Living time to recharge the Ancient Spirits of Evil, or something of the sort..."

He glances around and strokes his chin. "So... what's the plan, then?"

Gar Logan has posed:
"Define 'weird,'" Gar says, "Because that leaves a lot of room for us." He certainly isn't wrong. "And it's not a bad mane. Or hair. Or whatever. Mine's always green." Which comes with the territory.

He's still close enough to easily hear what's being shared between Jens and Saj. "The same one from before? Yeah, we ruined those plans real fast. I'm guessing we'll just do it again if anyone's dumb enough to try a second time," he boasts, maintaining good balance where he is. At least he's not totally making himself comfortable like he's ridden a centaur before.

"I'm digging the looks you guys got going, too," the Titan remarks, then he snickers at Vorpal. "Yeah, and I don't need to be worrying about breaking the bed because of you."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"There's a fireworks display at the old docks, small but fancy," Jens says. He grins at Gar's remarks on their outfits.

"They wannted ta keep folks from gettin too nosy about me bein' a centaur," Saj says. "Jens has some serious skill wit' makeup."
He hasn't defined "weird" though. Probably because he agrees with Gar, who according to rumor, has a near-monopoly on the concept.

The snake-guy is definitely doing a hero-worship-crush-at-a-distance at Vorpal, to the annoyance of goat-guy, who wants to get things packed up, and is passively aggressing about it in an accidentally clearly obvious voice.

"So," Jens continues, "Want to watch the fireworks? We wanted ta do that last year, they start just before midnight, and tomorrow's this doofus's birthday."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal gives Gar the hairy eye and he smirks, "If I recall correctly, you were the one who almost broke the bed because of 'I totally can do a backlip over it', not me, Garfield Arbuckle Logan." Is he telling the truth? Maybe. Maybe not and he's just being obnoxious. It's hard to tell with him. He does his best to politely not notice the staring from snake guy, because he is still very much not comfortable nor used to the idea that anyone might regard him in that light. No matter what Donna has said to him, in his mind Terry O'Neil still tends to think of himself as the reporter who is on the wayside... and who just happens to intervene because he has superpowers.

The Cheshire side of him has a different perspective, but Terry is very good at drowning him out when he has been good about balancing his time in each form and he isn't getting loopy.

"yeah, let's go watch mankind declare war on clouds with sparkly things!" the Cheshire says and grins, snapping his fingers to summon his powers of magical locomotion. Animating the stand and its things and ordering it to pack itself will save a great deal of time- time that they can use to find a good place to watch the fireworks.

"Also, sorry for Henrietta June. Being faced with one of seven impossible things may have lit a fire under her bonnet when she came your way. I hope she didn't try to throw ice cream at you..."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan gives Vorpal a Look. "That's not true and you know it. As they say in the South, kiss my grits." He adds, not so much as an afterthought but as an exclamation point, "Dork."

Saj is given a respite from sitting/perching Beast Boy, as he becomes an eagle to the question of going to see the fireworks. 'Saluting' with a wing, he puffs up in saying, "Ready and willing to watch the sky explosions, sirs!" Following this, he flaps his way over to Vorpal to land atop his head. Watch the talons. "Now you have an eagle hat, cat. And that little girl was as opinionated as Raven, just about."

Pol Hevonen has posed:
"Huh? No, Henrietta June was fine, it was Lucretzia Annabella that went after me. She was upset that I wasn't eating the flesh of murdered heroes like I was supposed to, because strawberry isn't gory enough," Jens says.

"You'd think their mother would keep them locked in the basement," Saj says. "I told her ta do that, but she says no."

"Cousins, ya know?" Jens says, laughing.

It takes no more than a trice and a half to get everything put away. The pavilions and canopies are handled by a different group, so all it takes is for Scales to drive the motorized cart and for Saj to hook up to the traces of the horse-drawn ice-cream cart, and the frat house isn't that far away.

Fireworks, and probably more food, await.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal rolls his eyes up to glance at the bird on his head. He can't do it, for obvious reasons, and instead says "Garfield Mark Logan, you are a dork. But I love you, so that means I have to put up with you."

He grins and shrugs at Saj, as if to say 'what can you do?', "I guess it's better than a poodle hat. Let's go before I give him any ideas..."

"And Gar? If you poop on me- I still have that doghouse."