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Aberrant: 2011 - [XMASNYC09] Mix n' Mingle

Gabriel Stone

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The excited voice took the usually perceptive Primal by suprise. When his mouth wasn't full of food. "My dad is going to flip when he finds out that not only did Gabriel Law play for us, but that he invited Dog The Bounty Hunter too!."

Man, I hate kids. he thought as he turned down to look at the little tike. The kid must have been all of seven or so. "I'm not Dog, kid."

"Oh." A little bit of dissapointment crossed his face.

Primal could see it, and for some unknown reason decided to play nice. "But, uh... don't tell anyone... I am a Bounty Hunter."


"Sure am." He couldn't help but grin as the small kid seemed so blissfully happy over such a small thing like a job. He scribbled an autograph for the lil guy and sent him on his way with a signed 8x10 of none other than, himself (of course).

"That was kind of you, Primal." Gabriel's voice was heard from behind as the nova approached from his side, and walked to the punch bowl. This guy is huge! he thought under the cover of a polite smile.

"Never pegged you as the religious type, Lawman." Primal said back, ignoring Gabe's opening statement.

"I'm not honestly." The rich playboy sipped his punch. "Doesn't mean they're not. For some, all they have to look forward too is Death and Jesus. What about you?" He nuged his chin to the massive nova in front of him, his hands to occupied to ponit at him. "You don't seem like the 'help out the charity event' type."

Primal snorted as he downed another snack of some sort. "Just cuz' Ima bad boy, don't mean I ain't a good man." The nova never bothered to look at Gabriel, there was no point. People like him always had preconcieved notions about people like Primal, and often there was little anyone could say or do to convince them otherwise.

"Right you are, Primal. Thank you again for coming out here tonight. I'm grateful." Gabriel smiled big as a horde of children waved him over for the opening of some presents. "If you'll excuse me."

Primal shrugged him off and payed him no mind.

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Chances are, if you ride seriously - meaning if you ain't some weekend warrior yuppie cocksucker with a hog so cherry you could ride it back into the showroom without anyone noticing, if you're a biker - you've been on the Toy Run at least a couple times. It doesn't matter much if you ride with the Angels or the CMA, which is true of most runs, though the Toy Run, especially, lacks a lot of the animosity and in-group dick-measuring violence that crops up wherever rival gangs cross paths, and that's because during the Toy Run, pounding asphalt and pounding brew isn't the end, it's the means. The end is making sure that kids get to have a Christmas, something that a lot of one percenters understand on a real gut-and-lung level. A lot of them come from broken homes, and probably don't have the most fond memories of the holidays when they were kids, themselves. Even more than that, though, most guys can be hard as an engine block to their friends, their old lady, their boss, if they're unlucky enough to have one. But those same guys got a soft spot in their hearts for kids, and only a real pissant cocksucker would do anything to hurt one. Even amongst the Angels, that type doesn't last too long.

So bikers like kids. Hell, most of us have 'em. I had a couple, but they're grown and on their way, now. I lost my old lady to cancer a little less than a year back, bless her soul, so I've got plenty of time for riding, and riding is what I do. Me, I got a pretty soft spot in my grizzled old chest for poor folk, too, so I especially like the Toy Run. Every year, chapters compete to see who can get together the most toys for kids in the area, and then, come Christmas, we go an' deliver 'em, wherever there are kids who need 'em.

This year, I heard there was some novas-only shindig happening at a hospital in the city, so I picked it. Now, I don't understand that "fraternity of novas" garbage anymore than I understand being proud of the hair on your head or the color of your skin. Seems a little...well, racist, to get right down to it. Not a soul chose to be the way they are, and if they did, no amount of wishing would have made it so if they weren't already destined to be by the blood in their veins. So when the novas get together to have their little nova parties and have their nova fun, I generally keep my distance. Most novas I met have been the most unfun, uptight, pretentious group of cocksuckers you'd ever want to meet, the only thing bringin' 'em together being their wealth and their arrogance at bein' novas, flockin' together to jaw and demand we all make way for the homo superior. Well, anyhow. As long as the opportunity's come up, I figured I'd stop in and see what all the fuss was about. I don't reckon any of them'll have my number, and I'll enjoy the anonymity of that.

I load up my hog with a bag twice my own size and hit the road. Damned if this hat ain't an itchy son of a bitch.



His voice was like thunder, his steps the aftershock of an earthquake. Gabe's poem had ended several minutes earlier, and already people had began to stand around and socialize, talking pleasantly to children or each other, hitting on nurses, sipping egg nog. It was an otherwise pleasant holiday scene suddenly punctuated by the roaring of an engine, followed by steps that shook the ground and a jolly laugh that could be heard for half a mile.

The children went breathless with anticipation, their eyes wide and wet and unflinching as they looked toward the door. A few of the nurses stopped talking, too. It wasn't who it appeared to be, of course, but whoever it was, they were...well...big. And headed their way.

The noise became louder, louder still. A nurse scurried into the doorway from the same direction as the noise, smiling broadly and panting slightly, doing a very convincing job of looking surprised and excited, herself, as she struggled to catch her breath. Before she could speak, she was joined by a mammoth man in an iconic red suit. He had to crouch to fit through the door, and it was only then that the people within could see him now, standing there, the red felt of his hat brushing flat against the ceiling of the room. He must have stood at least ten feet, and looked like he weighed a quarter ton. He was as wide as any two men, and his beard could have been a bed for the younger half of the room. He smiled broadly from behind a curly, white mane and bellowed again, "HO HO HOOO!", and with one hand, hefted a sack the size of a Volkswagon off his shoulder and rested it against the wall, near the tree.

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As Connor heard the ruckus he smiled and sighed. Inwardly however he reacted completely differently.

God-fucking-dammit!!!!!! Somebody else is taking my damn idea!! his voice in his mind practically roared.

All that work wrapping the presents, the hours of actual shopping at this time of year...

Then he thought of something else. Why am I mad? The children get to see Santa, and it's not like I can't still give them their gifts, I just have to think of a more creative means of doing it.

He chuckled. To no one in particular he whispered "Well i guess I'll just have to come up with something else."

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The rest milled about and socialized, but Ravenshire had made other plans in advance. The staff had selected some of the worst off patients, those that couldn’t attend the main meeting. Two of them, sharing one sterile room, were chosen by Daniel for personal time. Gifts prepared in advance with the nurse’s insight and Daniel’s purse, were handed out and opened. They were too weak to open them themselves, but their smiles were as bright as any sun when they beheld their Christmas wish.

He met them, shook their feeble hands, and began talking to them. He focused all of his ability as a guest, a storyteller, and musician into being a part of their world. Daniel wove them intricate tales in which they were the stars, their wills were fulfilled and their wishes granted. He sang for them songs they wanted to hear. He entertained them until their failing bodies gave into fatigue and Daniel had to go, ushered out by worried hands.

It ate at Daniel’s heart that joy had such a heavy price for these children. He wanted to spend more time, do more, somehow make these kids better … or better off. He couldn’t. It was a path in life that would swallow him in misery and he knew it.

Do what you can and move along, he had been told. That saying felt hollow now, but he moved onto the next room anyway.

He smiled and brought a sense of the holidays with him into another sterile room. The girl inside smiled weakly at him. Her eyes were watery, red, and weary. Another gift came out from behind his back. It was something impractical in her current state, but it was what she wanted.

Ravenshire’s voice has a magical lilt. He sang her a Christmas carol while she clutched her gift. When he finished, he opened it for her. The girl cried and thanked him. Her distress brought the nurse over to him … too soon … he had to leave. Daniel left the room with a heavy heart and a sense of confusion.

Joy wasn’t supposed to be married to such pain. In a season of miracles, there was no magic in his node that could re-chart their fates. There was only gifts, and songs, and best wishes before moving on.

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Gabriel's eyes lit up in both surprise and awe as Santa Campbell strode through the door with his massive bag if gifts. Well played stranger. Well played indeed. he thought while laughing festively and applauding not only the entrance but the spirit in which it was done.

As Harold was bombarded by children all wrapped up in the unique magic that could only be called Christmas, Gabriel waded through the crowd, captivating the baseline mind with his aweinspireing beauty certainly made moving through crowds difficult at times... to say the least. "Careful, careful now. Even Santa needs to breathe." He announced making his way to 'Santa's' side, trying not to stumble over a glossy eyed child as he did so.

With a polite tap on the bicep Gabriel leaned in and whispered, "I have no idea who you are friend, but you've just made my list of top three people I owe a drink to."

Not wanting to take too much of Santa's precious time he turned to the children. "Okay! Let's all see what Santa has for you tonight. Santa, if you do not mind, it would be an honor to assist you with passing all these out."

Gabe is helping Santa. During this time, feel free to interact with him. He can carry a simple conversation; he just can't go very far. smile
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"Not at all", Santa grinned toothily at the dashing young man, his voice a deep, drum-like, almost cowboy-drawl baritone that sounded like Sam Neil turned up to 11. "Santa" found himself immediately of two minds about his situation and his arrival on the scene, as Gabriel's incandescent smile was pulled into his orbit. "Nice-lookin' kid", he thought to himself, giving him a hard eyeballing. "Must be that Law fella. Kinda fella could buy and sell a guy like me a few thousand times over and have enough to buy himself a theme park or six." His ingrained feeling of resentment and class animosity at the world's haves locked horns with what he knew of Gabriel Law, which was to say, what little he'd heard, coupled with the reality of having him here in front of him. It was almost like the kid was...he didn't know, like a son, or a kid brother, or even himself, when he was younger, maybe in another time and under a different set of circumstances. The exchange of ideas took only a flash inside his head, and Harold decided to stuff it away for the time being, letting the conflict sort itself out in the back of his mind in the mental equivalent of sending liquor after beer. He was here to be jolly old Saint Nick, after all, not wax philosophical. And here was an eager elf who seemed ichin' to be of some help, and offering to buy him a drink, no less. "Well...that's good enough for now", he thought. "And maybe we 'kin test the famed generosity of Mr. Law in the due course of the evenin'."

With Gabriel's help, Harold did a quick and - all agreed - damn fine job of distributing the gifts in his sack, which seemed as bottomless as its size implied. "Who's been looking for a set of wheels!?", he'd bellow, a pair or trio of hands would shoot up, and like magic, out would come as many bicycles as had been asked for. The process was slowly repeated with dolls, stuffed animals, video game systems, sports equipment, and so on down the line. The giant, mystery Claus seemed comfortable in his role, and that's because, chiefly of all, he was: this was his seventh year as Santa, after all, and with a few more counted down, he might not even have to bleach his beard, anymore. As he lost himself in the distribution of gifts, he began to smile more easily, his heart swelling out of something that wasn't pride, but simple joy. He couldn't be bothered to stop and think of what the rest of the evening would be like, but he knew unthinkingly that the kids were going to make it goddamned nice.

Every child received a gift, some two or three, and somehow none seemed jealous or petty about what they got or didn't get. Little eyes marveled over every prized new toy, and the larger-than-life Santa's sack still had yet to be emptied. Nobody seemed interested in pressing the question at the moment; after all, when should Santa's sack ever be bereft of toys?

Originally Posted By: Rules
Harold has the 2pt Flaw Intolerance: the Wealthy, which Gabe certainly falls under, hence his internal conflict. Naturally, Gabe's personal magnetism trumps even Harold's lifelong class animosity, but not without so much as an inkling of hesitation. Harold has formally identified with Gabriel as a lost friend or relative in order to quiet his own distress over this notion.

Also, in case it was not clear earlier, Harold is currently employing one dot of Sizemorph; Grow, and is actually around eleven feet tall at the moment. He's constantly stooped just a little so as to not disturb the ceiling tiles.

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Even in the presence of the other novas who'd responded to the invitation of the billionaire philanthropist/rock star (who, Kittie reminded herself, was definitely not to be looked at under any circumstances, no matter how hard the gravitational pull of his good looks tugged her eyes in his direction), the strikingly spotted young woman felt conspicuously... different. All of the novas she'd met thus far looked relatively human, and the sting of self-consciousness pricked at her heart; her creamy angora sweater, slightly scuffed boots, and obviously new blue jeans (carefully altered to suit her new form) lent only the vaguest hint of normalcy to her unusual appearance.

Even the colossal Santa Claus, at whom she gallantly (and unsuccessfully) tried to avoid staring, seemed perfectly at ease, completely comfortable with both his role and his gifts.

And, rightly so, she thought, clutching a small cup of punch in nervous hands. Who's going to question Santa? Especially when he looks like he could carry presents, sleigh, and reindeer under one arm. Holy cow, he's huge!

She was still lost in thought when she felt a light tap on her shoulder.

"Oh!" she gasped, fumbling her drink in surprise and turning toward the pretty attendant who'd crept up beside her. Only the other woman's steadying hand prevented both cup and beverage from sailing through the air as the startled nova whirled about.

"I'm sorry," the nurse laughed. "I didn't mean to scare you."

"No, no," Kittie replied quickly, the look of shock swiftly replaced by a slightly sheepish grin. "It's all right. I guess I sort of spaced out for a minute. Is everything okay?"

The nurse- Bethany, her nametag read- smiled, nodding as she returned the glass to the slightly flustered cat-girl. "Everything's fine. I just wondered if you'd be willing to indulge a little bit of an..." She hesitated, clearly searching for the words she needed. "Odd request."

Five minutes later, Kittie found herself sitting with awkwardly bent knees in a youth-sized chair, surrounded by a small semicircle of awestruck children.

"Look, it moves!" one girl exclaimed delightedly, stretching one thin arm out to gently grasp the slowly undulating tail that curved itself into something like a question mark. It didn't take long for the others to join in, their murmured exclamations of curiosity and childish glee all but lost in the chatter of the bustling hospital ward. Their pale hands examined clawed fingertips, traced the dark rosettes that dappled her face and arms, and poked tentatively at the tell-tale ears atop her head.

A neverending stream of questions assailed her, and though they ranged from the merely curious ("Can you see in color?" and "Does having fur tickle?") to the utterly, shockingly hilarious ("Do you have to use a sandbox to pee?"), Kittie soon lost herself in the giggles, the smiles, and the wonder of the moment.

I hope everyone else is having this much fun, she thought, the sound of her laughter bright and unrestrained as four pairs of childish hands descended in a meticulously coordinated attack on the hapless young woman who had quite obviously made a grave error in admitting that fur did, indeed, tickle.

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There was certain warmth that went with helping out 'Santa' pass out the presents to the children. As the ceremony went on and Kittie ended up becoming the center of attention he could help but laugh, sometimes rather loudly as one of the children asked a question that even him off guard (and it wasn't even his tail).

As the children spread out to play with their gifts Gabriel stood for a few moments looking on with nothing but pure awe at how happy these children seemed to be. He turned to the colossal Santa, who was having a hard time standing straight up with New York hospital ceiling heights being only eight feet or so, and extended his rather miniscule hand. His voice was low, yet casual. "The names Gabriel Law and it's a pleasure to meet you Mr..?"

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