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[h3 [center Molly]]Molly was just about to head back into the newspaper room when she heard a nervous voice speak up. The curly haired girl it belonged to was about a foot shorter than her and looked rather flustered. She looked familiar enough that Molly could tell they were in the same grade, but she could not remember them ever holding a conversation. Since that meant this was their first Molly made sure to wear her most welcoming smile as she spoke.
[b “It is not a bother at all. You can just come on in and I will get some paper for you right away; I'm always happy to help.”]
It was the truth as she had done her best to maintain an open door policy with all of the students. Just a part of her desire to go above and beyond as their president. She was especially happy to help with supplies as she was firmly of the opinion that no one should be limited by a lack of resources. That was a road to ruin that she hoped to avoid as a leader.
Molly happily led her into the newspaper room before she spoke up again. [b “You can sit wherever you'd like; it'll just be a moment.”] She had made sure that the room was well organized so it would not take long for her to find, but she still felt it important to be a good host. That and she wanted the curly haired girl to know that she was welcome. Even if she decided she wanted to stay throughout the lunch period; Molly would just be happy to have the company.
She made her way to a chest of drawers on the back wall that was lined with various storage mediums before she crouched down to get better access. A movement she followed by carefully sliding out each of the drawers in turn. Each one was filled with a single size of paper in a wide variety of colors; a necessity as they had routinely made fliers for the school. Once she had seen them all she turned her attention back to the girl with a warm smile.
[b “We've got plenty of eight-and-a-half by eleven and eight-and-a-half by fourteen. Both in every color of the rainbow. There is also some eleven by seventeen, but that is mostly in orange and white. Did you have something specific in mind?”]
It only took a second after her question for her to realize that it was a bit much of an offer. So she quickly spoke again to make sure she did not fluster the girl even more. [b “Or did you just want some unlined paper?”]
[h3 [center Nathan]]Nathan finished his lunch with time to spare even with the climb to the roof. Once he was done with everything he stuffed all the wrappings back into his lunchbox before he carefully closed it. He'd put it through enough beatings that there was no point in slamming it shut. That and he had put a lot of work in maintaining the latch during his tenure as its owner and he wanted to avoid any unnecessary labor.
He would normally welcome having time to himself up on the roof, but being as there was so little left to do it was more tedious than usual. Even so he tried to make some productive use of the time. The most that he managed though was tidying up his file system some and reorganizing his scattered work files. It was better than just waiting for the bell to ring at least.
Not doing anything important meant that when the bell rang he did not feel interrupted. Which allowed him to set his treasured computer to shut down and be sure that it was safely powered down before he would have to make his way back downstairs. That would normally leave him a few minutes late to Miss Godwin's class, but she had never complained. He had always put in effort into her class after her help with his writing had allowed him to land the position on the newspaper. A position that she thought he should pursue as a career despite his disinterest in standard reporting.
Once his computer was safely off he made his way off the bench to the stairs. He only made it a couple of steps from the bench though before the entire building shook beneath his feet. [b “Fuck!”] A curse escaped his lips as he almost dropped his laptop from the tremor. Luckily he was able to brace himself by quickly placing his lunchbox on the bench that he had just left.
He waited a moment to be sure there would not be any aftershocks before he set his items back down on the bench. Being on the roof he had a clear view of the area around the school. Despite the strength of the tremor the area around them did not seem to have suffered any ill effects from it. That was enough to pique his curiosity and get him to look around.
His prolonged scan just confirmed what his first glance suggested that nothing was amiss with the area around them. Given all the unique individuals in the school he could just write it off as an accident. That opinion changed when he spotted an unusual pair leave the building shortly after the strange shake. He had a decent view of them from the roof and so he made sure to dedicate them to memory. A benefit of his work as an investigative journalist was that he was just about the best you could ask for as an eyewitness. Although he doubted anything would come of this; it at least gave him something interesting to do.
/ 1y 142d 13h 41m 55s
Chrys was going to tell him that he didn’t have to worry about being an annoyance after listening to everything he had to say, but the intercom interrupted her. The black haired girl frowned, watching as he left.
Something didn’t feel right.
Unsettled, feeling as if something was about to happen, Chrys was put into an all-too-familiar Survival Mode. She guzzled her tea as fast as she could, instantly refilling the cup with hot water from the coffee pot and guzzling it, as well, without worrying about tea. Once that was done, she finished off the hot pot of water and moved onto water from the tap.
Five cups of water drank, she took a deep breath and settled her empty thermos into her backpack. She didn’t know why her survival mode had been set off, but she didn’t like it. Only one person had ever set it off, the same reason she did not trust the Legion. Mom. Specifically, Belladonna Ocha, her biological mother and the woman who instead she be called “Mom.” Her wife, who Chrysanth called Mother, was oblivious to everything Belladonna did.
[i “When you feel fear, how do you react?”] Chrys could hear the cold voice ask her in faked sweetness. [i “When you feel anger, what do you do? If you flail about in panic, you will only kill yourself. You must allow yourself to feel, but force your mind to function uninhibited. If you are afraid, do not run. Analyze. If you are angry, do not attack. Destroy. If you are happy, do not stagnate. Joy is okay for recovery times, to bring your body back to full function. Beyond that, it is useless. Now... what do you do when you feel fear?”]
Chrysanth clenched her fists, remembering the intrusive sensation of Belladonna’s Potential warping her emotions, forcing her to feel artificially.
She would not lose. In this Survival state, Chrysanth was the Queen on the chessboard. She controlled the game. She would not be knocked down. She survived mental torture growing up, being used as a tool by Mom, she would survive anything else thrown at her without mercy.
She had to.
She would do more than survive. She would use her ability to become someone powerful enough to be indispensable, to be in control of more than just herself. To be in control of more than just [i her] life.
Walking out of the library, Chrys decided to skip the rest of the useless day. Making her way out the back exit, she froze not far from the path behind the school that would lead away from it. There was... an aura. Something she could feel, that she didn’t know if anyone else could. It was her antithesis. Her opposite. It was dangerous, but familiar and comforting at the same time. Death but promise.
Her eyes landed on a man and woman leaving the school, her body frozen but her mind alive and analyzing. If she needed to move, she would, but at the moment she had to process what was happening. It was almost too much for her to understand.
Chrys [i gave]. That was her ability, to give what nobody else could. To [i create] possibilities. Or take them away. Where this man was destruction, Chrys was creation. She was Possibility. Their opposite abilities was all that allowed her to feel his presence, otherwise he would have been as much a ghost to her as the woman by his side was.
Chrysanth’s almost glowing blue eyes narrowed as she finished processing what she could feel. She was in danger; their abilities might be opposite, but Chrys was not delusional. She was much weaker, at least at her current strength. His power dwarved her. And if she could feel him, he could probably feel her as well.
She stared soundlessly at the figure for a long moment before standing at her full height and turning to head back inside in a calm, measured pace.
Jherrichho was still in there. He had been called into the office only ten or fifteen minutes before this dangerous man exited the building—Chrys did not believe in coincidences. She believed in very little beyond her own abilities. Her intuition still giving her a bad feeling, she adjusted her bag on her back and went in the direction of the Councillor’s office. She did not, however, go in. Instead, she sat down at the end of the hallway, just around the corner and out of sight, to see if she could overhear anything that was going on. If Jherrichho was still inside, she could probably catch him being moved out of the office.
With her senses alert for anything that might sneak up on her, adrenaline sharpening them further than normal, she waited and analyzed.
Like a large cat waiting in the bushes for the right moment to pounce on unsuspecting prey. She waited.
[b Present Day...]
As Chrys slid the piece of paper over his eyes lit up. This was unreal! Who could have expected any of this from the end of his time at school. He managed to meet yet another nice person and it couldn’t have made him happier.
[i I wouldn’t want to be a bother... but I won’t throw this gift away. I will go to her if I’m in need.]
[+maroon “Thank you. If I need you I will call. Don’t worry, I’ll try not to be an annoyance”], he said with a smile. She was very interesting. He could see how some could see her demeanor as off putting, but it was rather peaceful in his eyes. So many people carry false faces and speak in a manner to only make things seem good. Even he himself never wanted to show the things he saw as bad in his life, instead trying to lighten up everyone else’s. Yet in the end things that are being hidden glow more brightly and are more enticing to find. Or at least that’s how he saw it.
Chrys was different. She wasn’t so busy trying to put on a bright face, making it even more genuine and glowing when she did. You could tell when she was happy, you could tell when she was upset or sad, it wasn’t such a game. It was something he missed but couldn’t no longer do often. Risk came with strong feelings and was that risk really worth it? Only experience could tell. Either way it wouldn't stop him from being happy.
[+maroon “I’m going to be heading to the auditorium after lunch. They normally ask for my help with putting things together for events since I’m one of the only guys who’s actually willing to help, that and I have some type of decent height”], he said with a smile. [+maroon “If you want to hang out some more I’ll be there for the rest of the day most likely.”] Just as he finished his sentence the familiar chime rang over the intercoms, the voice of the woman who had been giving announcements all year following shortly after.
[b “Jherrichho Einjhord please report to the counselor’s office. Jherrichho Einjhord, to the counselor’s office please.”]
The aggravation could be seen clearly on his face. [i What could they want from me now? They’ve been bothering me all year since my potential was discovered. Can I not enjoy my last days here in peace?] His thoughts raced before he stood and smiled one last time at Chrys. [+maroon “I guess I’ll be a bit late, but my offer still stands. You know where I’ll be. I’ll see you later, Chrys”], he said as he turned and exited the library.
He made his way to the counselor's office, pondering what they could want from him now. His thoughts only shifted for a moment when he heard the bell ring to signal the end of lunch. [i I feel bad about leaving Chrys so abruptly, but it couldn’t be helped. I can apologize later. For now I have to focus.] As he approached the faculty area where all the offices were he couldn’t help but notice the weight on his shoulders. The air around him, everything in general, it was as if the weight had just doubled. It didn’t take long to get used to, but it was odd nonetheless. He waved to the woman sitting at the desk in front of the principal’s office before knocking on the door of the counselor’s office which was next door.
“Come in, please.”
As he slowly pushed the door open an ominous air seeped from within the room. What the hell could possibly be going on? He pushed the door open quickly to be met by three people. The counselor sat in their chair behind the desk and the the principal stood by their side. An unfamiliar person sat in the chair facing the counselor speaking to the principal who seemed to be whispering something under his breath.
“No need to worry”, the unknown man stated. “He’ll be here shortly. For now, I think we should settle some business first beforehand.” The man stood and turned around to reveal a slim figure around the same height as him. He wore a black suit with a white coat over it, a green stripe going strait across the chest. His brown hair just barely touched his shoulders but was swept aside in the front to reveal a set of gray lifeless eyes staring directly at him. “Hello, Jherrichho was it? You can call me Doctor Hallion. I’m the lead scientist within the Legion.”
Jherrichho’s eyes widened as he heard his words. More shocked rather than surprised. [+maroon “So wait, wouldn’t that make you the head of the entire dome’s security? That’s the position given to the leader of this entire place. No one has ever even seen you before or heard-“], he stopped short when a spark clicked in his head. This wasn’t right. If that’s the case then what made him reveal himself here and now? [+maroon “So what is it that you want from me? Why come to me like this?”]
“Well now, from your records I wouldn’t have expected you to be so strait forward. Then I’ll cut right to the chase then... your powers are dangerous. Not only to you, but to everyone around you. That being said I believe it would be best for you to go outside of the dome rather stay here and be a danger to it and it’s people.”
[+maroon “Excuse me? The only people I’ve ever hurt are those who have done wrong, I would never do anything to harm those that don’t deserve it-“]
“Yet how can you be so sure of that? What makes you so certain you can control that power of yours when you couldn’t even control it the only time you’ve used it? Who’s to say that what you’re saying can be trusted?”
Jherrichho’s eyes widened and his growing anger could be seen sincerely on his face. [+maroon “Don’t test my purpose, or my will. I will never harm those that are undeserving, those that I love and cherish. All I will ever do is as long as I live is protect those that are dear to me with everything I have, and if you aim to get in the way of that then I will not stand idly by and let you take that away from me!”]
[+indigo “Don’t antagonize the boy, Hallion. There’s no point in lying to him”], a voice ordered as a hand placed itself on Jherrichho’s shoulder. [+indigo “He has a will strong enough to rival most people I’ve known, that’s certain. Yet can feel the fear resonating off of your very being, child.”]
He spun around quickly, knocking the hand from his shoulder to reveal and man and woman standing directly behind him. [i How did they get there without me hearing them?] He thought to himself before realizing the physical features of these two. The man was almost mythical, standing what seemed like almost half of a foot taller than him. His clothes looked like something from fiction and his hair was so black it was like a void. Yet what stood out the most was his eyes that glowed a bright purple purple, almost looking directly through him. As if they were seeing something he couldn’t see. The woman herself was roughly the same height as him and wearing armor he had never even seen before, carrying a sword in her hands that had proportions only a monster could hold. The blade alone was taller that her, it was insane that she could even carry it.
[+maroon “Who are you people? What do you want from me? I haven’t done anything wrong so tell me”], he said. Their presence alone seemed to exhaust him.
[+indigo “I am Destruction, ruin to all things and this place belongs to me. All I want is to see how my experiment has been going. So show me your power and we’ll see where things go from there.”]
His name alone was odd enough, but his words carried an air confidence that he’d never seen before. As if nothing could oppose what he wanted. [i What do I do here? How do I act? I can’t just use this power, it’s not something that I can use effectively like that. What should I do?]
[i [+maroon Use everything. Don’t hold a single thing back. For now I won’t destroy you, I won’t take control of you, but this man cannot live. Channel everything, every emotion, every feeling, every ounce of it. Throw it all at him and destroy him! Leave nothing behind! DESTROY HIM! DESTROY HIM!] ]
Jherrichho closed his eyes. He began to breathe spastically and quickly as his thoughts raced. It was as if they were screaming at him to act, to move! [+maroon “I won’t do it. What I have is only meant to protect those I care for. Not to be used at the whims of any random person who requests it”], he stated as he held his bandaged arm. A sharp pain darting through it. It was a foreign pain that wasn’t too strong, but present enough to be noticed. What was happening? Why were so many different things going on at once?
[+indigo “Then I’ll give you an ultimatum. Show me that power of yours or I’ll destroy this place.”] His eyes continued to look directly at the boy, like daggers piercing into him. He took note of his reaction. Jherrichho’s breathing halted and his head lowered, as if he were in some sort of trance. [+indigo “What do you say now? Will you show me this power now that those you aim to protect are in danger? Or will you stand by and watch them fall? It’s up to you.”]
[+maroon “... I won’t just stand here... I can’t.”]
[i [+maroon FIGHT! DESTROY THEM!] ]
[+maroon “If I have to I must, but there must be some other way!”]
[i [+maroon “THERE IS NO OTHER WAY, NOW FIGHT!] ]
[+maroon “I must...”]
[i [+maroon DESTROY!] ]
[b [+maroon “ALL OF THEM!”] ]
Jherrichho clenched his fist tightly, a thin smoke seeping from under the bandages on his arm. [b [+maroon “In order to protect those dear to me, I will destroy you if I must!”] ] He lifted his fist slowly and carefully pulling back slightly before dashing forward. [i My everything is here, my all is here, my peace is here. I refuse to lose anymore people that I love, even if that means I must hate you to do so!] The words raced through his mind quickly before he threw his fist forward, Destruction simply smiling as he prepared to retaliate. [+indigo “This is what I was waiting for. Now show me.”]
The impact shook the very building itself, knocking the principal to the floor as well as all the things hanging from the walls and the shelves. Meanwhile the counselor grabbed hold of the desk as Hallion stood by with the same sinister smile he had since the other two had entered the room. [+indigo “That was interesting indeed. You’ve done well Hal, as always”], he stated. His hand was wrapped tightly around Jherrichho’s wrist. At closer inspection a black mark could now be seen on one of Destruction’s eyes, but it didn’t outshine that the normally white color of his eyeball was now a pitch black with only the glowing purple pupil shining in the middle. [+indigo “Your power is great, no doubt about that. Still I don’t see you being of much use where I currently need you. Your fears, they outweigh your power. You have a strong will yet your fear keeps you from being anywhere near as strong as you should be.”] He lifted Jherrichho into the air by his arm and looked strait into his eyes. It felt like his state was drilling though his mind and it was almost unbearable.
[+indigo “You people are stunted. Your growth is no where near as strong as the rest of the world. Your bones are fragile, your strength is minuscule, and no matter how much power I give you that will never change so long as you live in such a peaceful place. That’s why I couldn’t block or you would have destroyed yourself with that simple attack.”] He closed his eyes and the mark retracted back to his eye as if being pulled inside, only to show that when he opened them they were back to the way they had been before. [+indigo “I will temper that power of yours in due time. For now, enjoy yourself. Feel everything that you can and take note of it all. Lock it into your heart. I will make sure you understand destruction. Enough to extinguish that fear that holds you back”], he said before delivering a quick punch to Jherrichho’s stomach and watched as he slowly went unconscious. [+indigo “He won’t be out for long, but I’ll be gone by the time he gets up. Leave him be. I’m sure that this experience will open up some doors for him.”] He dropped his body to the ground and motioned for the woman to follow as they made their way to the exit.
Hallion walked over to the boy’s limp body and crouched down over him. “Things would simply go easier if you listened to what our lord says, but you can’t hear me now anyway can you?” His eyes darted over to the now balanced faculty members in the room, “see if you can try to make this all seem like a bad dream. This is a time your potential may very well come in handy so don’t mess it up. His curiosity alone will be enough to guide him without worry of him telling everyone about what he saw today, so I’ll say it again... don’t mess this up.”
[i [+maroon Pathetic... I expected more from you...] ]
[b Three Years Ago...]
“Everyone make sure there are no mistakes! We can’t afford any mishaps like the last time. Triple check everything, don’t say anything, and remember what our job is.”
The voice played over the intercom in what could only be described as a research station. The workers moved swiftly and quickly through the halls and around the rooms in their usual white uniforms, the only distinct mark being a green stripe directly across the chest. They announcement was broadcasted to a large room that looked to be a hangar, complete with multiple helicopters and a large door that could easily fit at least three of them through it at once.
There was a clear area right in the middle of the room and a man with long black hair wearing a coat, which shared the same design as the worker’s shirts, stood opposite of the gate on the other side of the room. The man looked at his watch before lifting his hand to signal the workers. “Alright! Open the gate! Let’s begin!”
The doors slowly began to rise, the room shaking as the wind overflowed inside. Some braces themselves while others simply stood off to the side as if used to the experience. The doors fully opened with the sound of metal slamming against metal and off in the distance a black ball of flames could be seen cascading through the sky. Everyone watched as it came closer and closer, before flying through the floor and impacting the clearing in the middle of the hangar.
Black flames enveloped the room, covering everything from the equipment the the very workers themselves. Some of them went into a panic, but went silent as soon as they realized there was no pain or damage.
[+indigo “I see you still have a bad habit of not warning people, Hallion. If I were after their lives, putting it simply, they wouldn’t have had time to scream.”]
The man bowed with a slight smile on his face as the black flames crept their towards two figures standing in the clearing. “Well I am a scientist after all, my lord. Where’s the fun in simply ruining my experiments if I tell everyone everything? The reaction is the best part”, Hallion said as he lifted his head. Strands of long brown hair falling over his silver eyes.
[+indigo “Still as crazy as the day I found you. Let’s get this out of the way”], one of the figures said as all the flames moved to a single point. With the room cleared it revealed a man wearing a grey robe with dark purple trim. His eyes glowed a bright purple and his left arm was covered complexly by his sleeve except for a locket that dangled just beneath it, no doubt held in his hand. The robe didn’t cover his other shoulder leaving his entire right arm out. It was wrapped loosely in gray bandages and a small black flame flickered in his palm, the remnants of his past display. His hair was jet black, almost darker than the flames themselves and fell loosely over his lest eye. [+indigo “Your people here need more will, they’ll scatter in the dust at this rate.”]
“Oh don’t be that way my lord. Besides, they’re only just beginning to grow. Regardless of who or what they may become they’re all still only human.”
[+indigo “For your sake I’d hope so. There are many ways to use what I have given you. Power is immeasurable when a person is willing to unlock their capabilities. When they cast away all fear of the danger.”] He lifted his hand towards one of the workers and black flames engulfed them. They moved back instinctively, but remembering earlier evens relaxed themself and looked at the flames dance across their body. [+indigo “Power like these people have is marred by fear and weak will. Stained by their lack of pride and purpose. Some people struggle to find theirs and while others instinctively are born with it in their hearts. However...”] He began to close his hand slowly as the flame grew wilder across the worker’s body. The smell of burning flesh filling the air as screams erupt from the dark inferno. [+indigo “When a person’s will is tempered like fine, untouched by fear or weakness! That is where power breaks forth!”] As his hands closed the flames focused into a pillar of pure darkness, causing the screams to intensify before leaving behind no trace of the person who was once there. [+indigo “I expect you to temper these people into fine tools. That’s the least you can do for me. Also, as I said before, don’t be so formal. Just call me Destruction, as everyone else does.”]
Hallion smiled, rows of fang like teeth peering through his lips. “Of course, Lord Destruction. Come with me and I might have something to pique your interest.”
[+indigo “Oh? Well then, let’s see what you have. Come Eva, we might have something good to hear”], he said as he motioned for the woman standing next to him to follow, handing his odachi to her. [+violet “Yes my lord”], she said as she retrieved the sword and moved with him. She made sure to stay right by his side, not falling behind in the slightest. She wore a white robe that split down the middle and silver plate armor over that, a simple chest piece along with gauntlets and greaves. Her hair was just as black as his but a mask of foreign design covered her entire faces. A longsword hung from her side, but it was in perfect condition as if it had never seen battle.
Hallion turned around and walked through a set of doors before leading them through the facility. A modern day maze with hallways leading in all sorts of directions. Anyone who hasn’t been there for months wouldn’t be capable of exploring without losing their way. They stopped before a metal door that slowly opened when they stood before it. “This will no doubt catch your eye, Lord Destruction. An experimental product from the specimen you gave me. Capable of amplifying the force of a person’s power if used correctly”, he said as they walked into the room to reveal a large storage room willed with small syringes filled with black liquid. “With this it might be possible to cause a person’s power to overflow and become much greater. Even if they don’t realize it, they could have leagues of untapped potential.”
[+indigo “I see, very interesting indeed. Even so we can’t move so hastily off of a maybe. Find a few volunteers in your military force and have them secretly administer it to their children. I’ll be back in a few years to check up this. And make sure they all live in different districts. Wouldn’t want them banding together if things go wrong. Come Eva, we’re leaving now.”]
“Of course Lord Destruction. As you will it so it shall be. And I’ve already gotten a few volunteers. This will only take a matter of time.”
Maurica pulled a sandwich out of her lunchbag, softly humming one of her favorite songs. There was no longer any surprise to her lunch; before, when her mom had packed her lunches, there had been far too many, and not the good kind. Her mother was an excellent artist, but a terrible cook.
It was alright though, Maurica didn't particularly care for surprises, whether they be good or bad. Surprises were just annoying, except for the one that morning. Maurica couldn't figure out why she had jumped. She was never that skittish, despite comparing herself to a songbird.
Maurica scarfed down her sandwich on the way to the library, since they weren't supposed to eat in there. She knocked on the wall a couple times in in sync with the song she was humming. A moment later a she heard a woman's voice call, [b "It's unlocked." ]
Maurica froze, going through the possibilities in her head. The voice had come from around the corner, where she had knocked on the wall. It was probable that the person had thought that she needed something from inside. The newspaper room, if Maurica was correct in her assumption.
If that was the case, of which Maurica figured it was almost certain, then the girl who had called out--the newspaper girl, whatever her name was--would be waiting for an answer.
She tried not to dabble with popular people. Well, really, she tried not to dabble with people in general, but she found popular people were usually nastier than the not so popular ones. Sure, they seemed nice on the outside, they'd never be popular if they were rude to everyone, but because they were nice to absolutely everyone, it made being friends with one, real friends, almost impossible. Maurica should know, she had been friends with a popular person once.
Well, not exactly, she had been friends with the person before he became popular, but once he started becoming popular their friendship faded away. He never had any time for her anymore, because all of his time was spent pleasing the hoard of people he called friends. Shortly after that he moved to another part of the dome to live with his dad and Maurica hadn't heard from him since.
It wasn't entirely his fault that Maurica came to hate people, he was just one of the things that helped push her down the rough descent to madness. And it was madness, anything that isn't normal human behavior is madness, and this was not normal human behavior. Maurica didn't mind being mad though, as "normal" is only governed by the majority, and the majority is not necessarily always right.
However, most people don't see madness as a favorable state of mind. That girl was probably going mad trying to figure out who had knocked. It would be rude not to show.
Then again, it would be just as bad and awkward to show without a good reason. What was she planning on saying to the girl, [+olive [i "Oh hi, I knocked on the wall because I had a really good song stuck in my head, I didn't mean to bother you?" ]] That would just bother her more. Besides, it had been long enough since Maurica had knocked that the girl might have forgotten about it. Either that or she was going crazy trying to figure who would disturb her newspaper peace.
She could ask the girl if she could borrow some paper. That way Maurica could sketch out her piece to see if a wolf would fit once she got to the library. Her lunch hour might be productive after all! Plus, then she wouldn't have to mention the knock unless the girl brought it up. Yeah, that was a great idea!
Maurica spun around, pleased with herself for coming up with such a solid plan, and came face to face--er, face to chest, with the tall newspaper girl, who was standing right outside the door, apparently waiting for the person who had knocked.
[+olive "Uh, hi,"] Maurica stammered, trying not to blush and failing rather misrably, [+olive "I hate to bother you, but do you have any paper I could borrow? Not the lined kind, I have plenty of that."]
[h3 [center Molly]]Even with her focus on the computer it did not take long for her to finish the lunch that she had brought from home. She usually was a quick eater given her tendency to focus on work. Not a good trait for long term health from what she had been told, but a necessary one for all of the work that she liked to do. A necessary sacrifice if you will.
Without the lunch occupying her offhand it became much easier for her to do the work to edit the last edition of the newspaper. It was a bit thin on actual news, but she made sure that every page was as full as usual. Although it did take the dedication of two pages to thanks towards her staff and the readers for having stood by them throughout the years. When she finally saved the final version she let out a sigh. It was a relief to be able to see the fruits of all of her labor, but it was a hard thing to say goodbye to something she had worked on for so long.
Her thoughts were interrupted though by the sound of a knock at the door. [b “It's unlocked.”] She had never locked the door to the room while she was working inside it as she wanted to always be available to the public. Both as president and as an editor who wanted an up to date newspaper. Her announcement though was met with silence, and that was enough to get her to head to the door. If they were too shy to barge in she was happy to greet them.
When she opened the door there was no one there. The possibility of being a prank came to mind, but it was quickly put down by the fact that there was no one close to the door that she could see. It also would not be a particularly creative prank either. Especially not for a school filled with talented individuals and some surprisingly special students. Molly hesitated to shrug it off as a random noise from the building settling though as it sounded far too distinct for that.
She waved as she saw a few of her friends walk by on their way through the halls. When she turned back to the door of the newspaper room though she stopped before even putting her hand on the knob. There was just something about it that made her feel she should stay in the hall.
[h3 [center Nathan]]Even though his metal lunchbox was beat to all hell; the lunch he kept inside of it was in properly pristine condition. Given the state of his lunchbox he made sure to package it with plenty of wrappings. He made sure to wash the inside of the box as well, but there was only so much you could do for a decades old metal box. The work to package it was also good practice for him to deal with evidence as an investigator.
Two triangular packages made of wax paper that contain a simple sandwich. Four circular packages made of wax paper that contain homemade chocolate chip cookies. Along with a tube that was offset from the rest that was filled with his preferred flavor of potato chip. The sandwich was a simple cold recipe that was easy enough to put together, but the cookies were one he learned how to bake after asking for them one too many times as a kid. His parents gave him the right to have as much as he wanted as long as he made them himself. A tactic that worked well as he learned his own limitations in eating them on his own.
Just like his editor he had a habit of working through his lunch break and had developed an odd method of eating to accommodate that fact. It was part of the reason he wrapped all of his foods so carefully. He would partially unwrap one cookie to start with and keep hold of it with the wax paper to keep his hands clean. After that he used that paper to give him clean access to his chips while he ate his sandwich. One of the benefits of his eating lunch alone was that no one was ever around to judge him for any of his odd habits.
The other benefit of his eating lunch alone was that he was free to do whatever work he wanted without interruption. Since it was the last few days of school though there was nothing left for him to work on. He instead went over his old work and reminisced on all the investigation work that he had done for the newspaper. There was nothing outstanding there, but it was work that he was proud of nonetheless.
It did not take long for him to shift from there to thoughts about what would come next for him. This reminiscing was all about his work thus far and was just to do something during the filler chapter of his life. All it had to do though was tide him over until the end of school. Maurica may not turn out to be as interesting as she first appeared after all, but her presence in his life was enough of a change to keep him interested. He just hoped she could keep it up.
/ 1y 149d 21h 41m 29s
[b “Of course not! I mean, nothing is odd about it. I think your potential is really nice,” ]
Chrys found herself looking up at that, blinking. She stared at the boy as he continued to ramble, studying his face. He really was a strange one, wasn’t he? Chrys really didn’t know how to categorize him. He was pure, but he was so... good it shouldn’t have been real. But it was. He was there, unrealistically [i good], and it made her feel odd and taken off guard.
He honestly didn’t think there was anything weird about tea coming out of her skin? He never thought about taking advantage of what she could do? He only said that he owed her, willingly put foreword that he would help her however he could and [i he meant it]. She could hear the sincerity, the lack of ulterior motives. It was a bit alarming.
Yes, she needed to protect him before the world inevitably corrupted him. He saw only good in someone like her. Sure, he still didn’t know everything. Like how Chrys was able to heal, but also to hurt. Her teas could act as heavy sedatives, or make someone sick. She could inflict injury. She could give anyone she wanted certain abilities— make someone who was paralyzed able to feel their legs for ten minutes. False hope, because she could only offer them a taste and never a cure.
She could crush a person’s dreams and give someone unparalleled hope, and control a chess board with vicious ferocity.
She was a baby monster, waiting for graduation before she was able to fully grow and spread her claws of darkness. Chrys was not a villain, she had no purely evil plans or tactics, but neither was she a saint. A person’s Potential was a reflection of their truest self, and Chrys’s was a reflection of her neutrality. Of her potential to play on all sides of a board, on all teams in a conflict.
Chrysanth was not a villain, but she was someone to be feared. And yet this boy saw none of that, and called her good. Thought of her as somebody amazing. Kind. Helpful. She would protect him, until he gave her a reason not to.
For better or for worse, his was the side she was currently backing. But perhaps she would awaken him to the realities of the world in a way she didn’t really want to. But, if necessary, she would choose to play on more than just his side, and he would realize she was not who he saw her as.
But for now, simpler things. She would bask in his purity for as long as she could, as it was not something she had ever had.
[+teal “Nonsense,”] she said with a soft smile. [+teal “You can come to me if you need anything. This is my phone number,”] she slid a slip of paper over to him. [+teal “I’m sure you can find my address without too much trouble, I live at the Apothecary. Well, in an apartment attached to it anyway. Feel free to come by whenever.”]
Jherrichho’s expression softened with Chrys’ words. Her insight was quite something, and it made him smile to hear her thoughts in general. [+maroon “I plan to keep finding all the nice things here that I possibly can”], he said as she opened the library door. [+maroon “I’ve already found things that glow more beautifully than the sky or the moon ever could”], he said as he gave her a smile before stepping in.
He didn’t spend much time in the library anymore. When reading books it was too easy for him to feel all the emotions of the characters and that could lead to disaster. The smell of paper was always strong in there to him and the only other thing he could smell was coffee. It was just paper today though since no one else was there at the time to use it.
His attention was drawn back to Chrys when she spoke of his question. When he saw the name Bewitched Apothecary on the bags he remembered his dad talking about that place. He once told him that he would always stop by that place before going on his guard regiments, said it calmed his nerves.
When she spoke again he could feel his heart warming from her words. A family business that uses potential to help others and prosper, something he had wished he could do. His mother’s potential was what she and her subordinates had gotten around to calling “perfect heal”, but in his eyes it wasn’t so great. She could heal anything if given the opportunity to do so yet the drawback would drain all of her energy for days, even weeks depending on how serious the injury was. He had only seen her sleeping for the vast majority of his life, and thinking about his father’s potential would only drive him further away from peace. Hearing about her family using potential in such a helpful way without any kind of harm being brought to anyone made him smile.
He looked into her eyes with astonishment. He could hear the passion in her voice as she spoke. She was indeed skilled and knew more than anyone he had ever met about teas, but when she spoke to him about her potential his heart skipped a beat. [i Her potential is also related to tea? Or can it add special properties to things?] His mind raced as he watched her pick up her lunch box and listened quietly as she explained the side effects of her tea, but his question was soon answered as the liquid started to form from her skin.
[i The many different types of potential I’ve seen yet I never expected anything like this.]
[+maroon “Of course not! I mean, nothing is odd about it. I think your potential is really nice”], he said looking into her eyes yet again. His cheeks lit up a bright red as he lifted his scarf to try his best to hide it. [+maroon “Well... I just think it’s cool, you know? You have something amazing.”]
Jherrichho reached out shyly to receive the paper cup from Chrys, holding it in his hand and taking note of the aromas that filled the air. He couldn’t pinpoint some of them yet others were very familiar. It smelled nice regardless. [+maroon “I can’t thank you enough for how much you’ve helped me”], he said as he lifted the cup to his lips and slowly drank the contents. He could once agIn feel the warmth throughout his body, this time around though he could feel the stinging she spoke of in his arm and winched. He lifted it and watched for a second as it instinctively twitched from the pain, trying his best to keep from letting his potential activate in retaliation. All the while though he could feel the tightness in his arm subsiding. He wasn’t a fan of others seeing him in pain like that which caused him to look off to the side a bit, but he was grateful. And for the first time in a long time quite happy.
[+maroon “You’ve really done a lot for me. If you can ever think of anything you need that I can accomplish let me know. It’d be my honor to help however I can”], he said as he lowered his head.
Maurica pulled her lunchbag out of her locker and shut the door. She stood there a moment, not knowing what to do with herself. Usually she went to the art room during lunch, but the art teacher was gone today getting eye surgery, and she had heard the sub wasn't going to keep the room open.
She had started going to the art room for lunch a couple of years ago. Originally it was to finish up a project for art class, which she wasn't very good at, but enjoyed anyways, but soon she began going there just for the heck of it. It was better than wandering around the school aimlessly, and the art teacher was nice. He was helping Maurica with a project she was working on. The art teacher said that it could be finished if she wanted it to be, and that it looked really good, but it felt like something was missing.
It was a painting of her family as animals, her mom as a wildcat, herself as a sparrow, and Jason as, well, himself. Maurica had started out drawing her mom as an ocelot, but now she looked more like a serval. Her art teacher said that it didn't have to look like any real sort of cat, so after a bit of deliberation, she decided to call it just a wildcat, not any one in particular. Her dad, as a giant ghostly moose, was staring down lovingly at the three of them, or, at least she hoped it looked lovingly. Maurica had accidentally drawn the sparrow too big in comparison to everything else, so it looked more like a small brown chicken than a sparrow. She was happy with it though. But it really did feel like there was something missing.
Maurica thought briefly about going outside to play with Jason, but she had told him she would be out after school, so he probably wouldn't be there. Besides, she wasn't even sure if she was allowed out during lunch. It didn't matter.
She settled for going to the library. It was quiet there, and there were tons of books. She wasn't sure why, but she always felt safe around books. Maybe it was because a book would never ask you for anything more than to listen, and only then if you wanted to be asked. Books were nonconfrontational creatures, and that was what she loved about them. Sure, they weren't really alive, not like her and Jason, but they did feel alive in their own right.
[h3 [center Nathan]]Nathan moved carefully through the crowd as he made his way to the stairs. When he got there though he was quick to take them two at a time despite the safety rules advising against it. People rarely paid attention here and so he was free to make up time this way. Since the school day was basically over already there really was no need for him to rush just to have a leisurely lunch pace, but he hurried nonetheless to make it to the roof.
He stopped at the top of the stairs just long enough to unlock the door before he made his way past. The view from the roof was one of the best he had gotten to witness from within the confines of the prison known as the Moving City. There was a clear view of just about everything just past the safety fence. It reminded him that he would have to thank Miss Godwin for introducing him to it in his first year. There was a lot of thanks he owed from his time at the school, however Miss Godwin was the one that would be receiving the most of it for helping him survive the ordeal.
After a minute of enjoying the view he took his seat at one of the benches and opened up his backpack to prepare for his meal. The first thing he pulled out though was his laptop to keep him entertained. Despite the age of the device it was in pristine condition without so much as a single worn out key on the keyboard. It had been one of his sole refuges since he had gotten to high school and he made sure to treat it well. Although if you looked at the hard drive you might not believe it given the poorly organized file system.
He then pulled out an old metal dome lunchbox that had so much wear that it looked like it had been repurposed as a tool box at one point. It had survived a couple of generations of the Sterling family now as the dents proved. There was nothing flashy about it, but it had served him well enough to be considered an important item to him just as his laptop. Proven by the fact that all the dents that he had added to it came from its use as an impromptu defense against attack.
[h3 [center Molly]]With Nathan's report safely in hand Molly had everything she would need to finish up the last edition of their student newspaper. She had worked through lunches enough in the past that she was prepared to one last time. Thanks to her experience working through her lunch break she would have no trouble finishing both the editing work and her meal within the confines of their lunch break. It might give her a good excuse to avoid extra work, but she was looking forward to the rest of it. The idea of working together with the rest of the graduating class to put together one more good experience for them all excited her.
It would also help prepare her for their reunions in the future as she knew that was something she would be left in charge of down the road. Not that she minded as it was a good reason to stay in touch with everyone. Since she was unsure of what her duties would be with the legion given she had not unlocked her potential she wanted to be prepared for every eventuality. Which meant keeping an up to date contact list for the class was important.
After she plugged in the flash drive she opened up her backpack to prepare her lunch. A benefit of her having lunch in the newspaper room was that she had access to a microwave to warm up the meal she had brought. Since she knew that would be the case she had brought leftovers from the dinner she made last night. Just a few slices of handmade vegetarian pizza, but it was a nice enough meal to be worth looking forward to throughout the day. It is good to enjoy the little things in life.
It did make for a bit of a sight though as she sat at the desk to pick up where left off this morning. Her focus almost exclusively on the computer in front of her even with the temptation of the slices of pizza to her left. Along with the silverware on a napkin close at hand. It was an expectation of her to make sure that she would not have greasy hands as she used the various computer peripherals, and it was a preference of hers she developed for the sake of convenience. Just another one of the benefits of her extensive experience working through lunch breaks.
/ 1y 159d 13h 47m 59s
As they walked, Chrys found her own eyes also going to the window and the dome. When Jherrichho spoke, she watched him. “Hmm,” She hummed in thought, looking up at the ceiling and ignoring his topic change a moment later. [+teal “Well, nothing in this world is purely good or bad. There are bound to be terrifying things out there past this bubble,”] she mused, before looking back down and giving him a soft grin. [+teal “But you’re right. It does feel as if we’re being locked away. Even with whatever scary things it has to have, it’s very likely the world out there is still more stunning than any of us stuck in here can imagine. You can admire how it amplifies everything in here, or you can choose to chase after your curiosity and see what the outside is like,”] she told him easily, and opened the door for him when they reached the library.
She briefly greeted the librarian, leading Jherrichho into the teacher’s lounge and placing water to heat in the coffee maker.
[+teal “As for your other question,”] she said slowly, thinking carefully about her answer. She sat her bag on the small table in the room, pulling out her massive bag of various teas and setting it down. A lot of them were small bags stamped with the logo that read: Bewitched Apothecary. ~Teas~remedies~and handmade goods
[+teal “My family owns the Apothecary,”] she told him, tapping one of the tea bags with that logo on it. Being the only Alternative Care store in the Dome, it was often just referred to as “The Apothecary”. [+teal “I’ve learned how to make teas since I was little, they make up more than half of our store’s revenue. My mom is a practicing herbalist and spiritualist, she believes teas are magical and can affect a person’s health is made correctly,”] the coffee maker started to release hot water, and Chrys looked down and picked through her bags of teas as her thermos filled up. [+teal “It helps that my Mother’s Potential is with plants, and my Mom’s Potential is with emotion. That’s why our best selling Tranquil Seas tea actually calms down anyone who drinks it,”] she explained, picking out a tea. [+teal “of course,”] she lifted her head and smirked at Jherrichho. [+teal “In my case, tea can actually become magical, in a sense, with my potential. And I have been handmaking a lot of our blends and fresh brews in the store since I was eleven,”] she plopped two teabags into her thermos, shook in three packets of sugar, and stirred with a plastic spoon from a cup next to the coffee maker of plastic utensils.
After placing her thermos down to steep, Chrys took out her lunch box and opened it, sitting down. She held up a hand. [+teal “Now then. I don’t have time to brew a tea as strong as the one I gave you this morning. That one could only numb your pain as it healed because I used some of my Mother’s specially grown herbs in it. This one will sting a bit since I can’t add in anything numbing, but it will target your bones and heal any minor scrapes or fractures in them—provided it can do that in ten minutes. You might have too many,”] she explained. As she spoke, she grabbed a paper cup with one hand and a globe of liquid slowly rose up and [i out] of Chrys’ skin. [+teal “I know it looks a bit odd, but I hope that doesn’t bother you.”]
The liquid turned a steadily darker brown as if came up from her skin until it finally disconnected, floating in the air in a perfect sphere and starting to release the scent of mint, different types of lemon scents, and another floral scent that only a few would be able to pin as passionflower. With a twitch of her finger, Chrys sent the globe of tea smoothly flying into the paper cup she had grabbed, and handed it to Jherrichho. [+teal “Luckily, my Potential automatically sweetens the tea so you don’t need sugar.”]
At the sound of her voice Jherrichho turned to see Chrys’ smiling face. He couldn’t help getting excited, yet did well to hide it as much as he could. [+maroon “Hi”], he returned her greeting. He nodded to her question and thought of where she’d want to go eat as she moved to drink from her thermos, but when Chrys looked at him falling into that slight trance was momentarily unavoidable. [i How many times is this going to happen?] At least he didn’t have to keep thinking of a place to eat.
With his scarf wrapped tightly around his neck and pulled up to his nose Jherrichho stuffed his hands into his pockets and proceeded to the library alongside her. He peered out the window to clear his mind and caught a glimpse of the dome. The sky glowed brightly before him, hitting his eyes and causing them to reflect the lighter brown that only the sunlight could bring out. The warmth of the sky was always alluring to him, it always made him think about what was out of his reach. What was just beyond those walls that held them in. His father was a part of the Legion and he’d tell him some stories about the outside, but it was always impossible to tell his falsities from true encounters.
His hands fell from his pockets and his scarf fell softly down to his collar. His eyes filled with a solemn sadness, as if a wave of grief swept over him suddenly. [+maroon “I wonder what’s out there. Just out of reach and sight. A sky that can warm our hearts so much yet I don’t even know if I can touch it, if I’m really seeing it. It feels as if we’re all just locked away from something beautiful. Even so it only just amplifies the beauty we find in this bubble. What shines and glows, catches our eye and draws the breath from our lungs, takes the words out of our mouths. Everything finds its own way to shine.”]
A slight smile took over his face before his eyes widened and his cheeks lit up a bright red. [i Did I just say that out loud?! Please tell me I did not just say that out loud], he thought to himself. It’s not something Jherrichho had done often, but he also didn’t spent time around others like this. His thoughts had a tendency of just getting out on their own after his potential was unlocked and now it just managed to get in his way yet again.
He grabbed his scarf and placed it back to its normal position, his eyes still wide with obvious panic. [i I have to say something, come up with something, anything!] His eyes darted around spastically before he remembered what they were heading to the library for. Maybe he could save himself yet. [+maroon “So, um, how did you get so good at making tea? I’ve tried lots of it, but none has ever been as good as yours.”]. [i Please just don’t do anything stupid.]
Maurica darted into the school and towards her locker, hopefully fast enough to avoid another encounter with the tall boy. She hadn't dared to look up at his face, so she had no idea what he thought of her outburst, though she was almost positive he thought of her as a freak. That was what all her past encounters with humans had led her to believe. But humans could change. She knew that too. Perhaps she would see him at the ice-cream shop this afternoon. There must be some sort of hope for it or she wouldn't have asked him.
A thought suddenly struck her, causing her to stop dead in her tracks. If she was a freak, then she was interesting. The boy had said he'd rather have something interesting than something safe. [i She ] was interesting. He might come.
He might come.
Maurica unlocked her locker and unzipped her bag. An unhappy rodent stared up at her, beady eyes staring into her soul, seemingly saying, "You told me you'd let me out soon. You always let me out before school. So why am I still in this miserable bag?"
Maurica wished she could explain, but there wasn't enough time. Her teacher had said she'd be bringing hot chocolate for the class--homemade--and she wanted to get there before it was all gone. Never mind being late, as long as Maurica was in time for hot chocolate she really didn't care.
Maurica shoved her backpack into her locker and she shut the door with one hand while she held the rat in the other. She walked to her classroom, making a quick pit-stop at the front door to drop Jason outside, where she quickly explained that she'd be back out to pick him up just like every other day after school, before ducking back inside.
The luscious smell of melted chocolate hit her face as she opened the door. Maurica breathed deeply, allowing the sweet scent to assault her nostrils.
"Hey, Maurica, glad you could join us!" Ms. Hart said cheerfully. She was one of those people who always ended their sentences in exclamation marks. "We're making structures out of marshmallows and toothpicks to improve our team working skills! You can work with Matthew's group."
She walked back to her desk and called, "Alright everyone! Ready! Set! Get building!"
Before taking her place at Matthew's table, Maurica walked over to the counter at the back of the room and poured herself a cup of steamy, molten chocolate. It was delicious.
Maurica, Matthew, and a quiet girl named Sally discovered very quickly that is was not easy to build toothpick structures with marshmallows, rather than the customary gumdrops. Marshmallows were much softer and prone to falling apart than gumdrops. Nevertheless, by the time time was up, their structure was able to hold three books before collapsing. That wasn't so impressive though; one group's marshmallow tower held five books before collapsing. At least it was more impressive than the group of boys' tower that collapsed in on itself a few minutes before time was up. They gave up and happily gorged themselves on the marshmallows.
After that the students were allowed to hang out and talk, and Ms. Hart told us all about the time she almost died. She was pretty young for a teacher and felt that busy work would be a punishment, so she came up with fun projects instead.
The bell for lunch rang, and Maurica went to her locker to get her lunch from her backpack. Her mom hadn't packed her lunch in a paper bag since Jason took a liking to destroying them, so now she had a fancy neoprene lunch box. Maurica had told her mom that she didn't have to do that, she could get the rat to stop, but her mom insisted and got her one with Totoro on it. it was really cute.
[h3 [center Molly]]Since it was the last few days of school they were being kept to just homeroom for the sake of convenience. It was also left as a glorified study hall with nothing to do. Most of the class took that to mean an opportunity to get together in small groups and converse about any school appropriate subject. Molly took the opportunity though to focus on work just as her seat neighbor did, although her decision was at least in part to give said seat neighbor some space. Her earlier look having been enough to keep people from approaching them as they worked.
Their free time only lasted for a while though as the teacher decided they should fill the time with something somewhat productive. She offered everyone the chance to share some last minute advice. Molly perked up as soon as it was mentioned and was happy to volunteer to go first to get the ball rolling for the rest of the class. Her energy being almost tangible as she quickly thought up the best advice she could provide.
[b “Be good for goodness sake. Treat others nicely as you would like to be treated.”]
Molly was upbeat through her first two pieces of advice. Even as some of her classmates snickered at the rather predictable pieces of advice that she provided them. She made sure to switch to a more somber tone though for the next sentence. The change in tone was enough to get most of the class to pay proper attention to her as she spoke.
[b “Never give up something you aren't willing to live without.”] Molly noticed some of the color drain from the faces around her and was quick to answer it. [b “Those are the best pieces of advice I've ever gotten and I think they're good rules to live your life by.”]
A flash of a strong smile after that was enough to get the class to move on to the next volunteer. Molly followed along as each classmate gave a piece of advice or two, and made sure to note down the best of it for future reference. A lot of it was simple things like never microwaving metal, but there were a few gems. Even something as simple as 'never give up' was worth it as it was a meaningful thing to hear from someone who had been through similar experiences. She made sure to underline that one in her notes.
When the teacher started to try to get Chrysanth involved Molly's eyes darted between the two of them. Chrysanth spoke up before she had an opportunity to do anything about it though. It was a rare enough occurrence that Molly made sure to transcribe what she said almost on instinct even as she watched her speak. It put a frown on her face as soon as it registered, but Molly was quick to turn to hide it.
After that Molly kept her attention elsewhere until the lunch bell rang. She had all of her supplies at the ready and was out of her seat in flash as she tried to track down Chrysanth to talk to her. They had been neighbors long enough that Molly knew that she was going to get out of the room quickly. Still the fact that she was so fast only served to make Molly regret their poor relationship more at the thought of an alternate world where they got along as teammates playing basketball together.
She stopped cold though at the sight of Chrysanth talking to Jherricho just outside of the cafeteria. It was the happiest that she had ever seen Chrysanth even after having spent a year sitting next to her in class. Molly deliberated for a moment as she looked between them and the rest of the hall. After a bit of thought Molly left them to their own devices and made her way to her lock to get out her own lunch.
[h3 [center Nathan]]Maurica seemed to be taking another moment to consider her response. Given the heaviness of the question though Nathan was more than comfortable waiting for her to reply. A well thought out answer was worth the wait. Of course she could just be looking for a good lie, but that would at least be more entertaining for him than going to class.
Her response was an explosive one as she ranted about societal norms and the masks we wear that grin and lie. His jaw dropped at her blunt assessment of it, but he was quick to close his mouth at the taste of scarf. She was right after all that everyone lied and that they lied about how much they lied; both to everyone else and even to themselves. Still his widened eyes and raised brows revealed his feelings on hearing it from her.
She was swift to apologize for the outburst, and then proceeded to invite him to the ice cream parlor after school. Before he could reply to either fact though she bolted for class. Leaving him all alone with just his raised brows to keep him company.
[b “She's definitely interesting.”]
While Maurica was quick to run off to class Nathan took a quick stop at his locker to drop off his things. Followed by a trip to the library so he could hide out until the end of class. It was only when he made it to the library that he remembered the change of schedule that meant there was only homeroom for the day. He stood by his decision though and took up residence in a hard to observe corner until lunch. One benefit of having some time in the library to himself is it gave him some time to work on his last and least interesting report for the newspaper.
When the lunch bell rang he left the library at speed after giving a nod of appreciation to the librarian. He took a quick detour by his locker to put on his scarf and grab his lunch before he made his way to the newspaper room. His flash drive in hand with all the pertinent information for Molly to put together the last paper. She would have plenty of time to get it printed if the rest of the staff had done their job, and with how well she had done at managing everyone thus far he was sure the newspaper would be ready for everyone tomorrow.
He dropped it off for Molly with just a quick exchange of nods before he made his way to the roof where he usually ate alone. It was off-limits for most students since it was usually locked. Miss Godwin had an extra key made for him though after an incident in freshman year where he proved helpful to one of her students. Although it was in part because it helped keep him away from the other students. She had caught on early that if he was allowed to do his work in private that it went by much easier for everyone.
/ 1y 162d 23h 58m 52s
[i Just keep working], Chrys had to remind herself when Molly predictably greeted her. But, the preppy girl glaring at her classmates in order to stop them from talking about Chrysanth was unexpected. The sapphire eyed girl found herself subtly watching the other woman for a moment out of the corner of her eye, wondering what she was playing at. People weren’t just naturally that cheery and helpful all the time, so Chrys couldn’t help but think that there was some ulterior motive there somewhere. It didn’t help that Chrys didn’t have the best view of the Legion, and it was no secret that almost the whole school suspected Molly would join it.
As the class dragged on and Chrys managed two more drafts of her speech, the teacher decided to sit up and try to get the class to interact. Apparently she couldn’t handle more than an hour or two of silence, though the kids were talking in small groups so it wasn’t [i really] quiet. Chrys found herself barely listening as the teacher invited everyone to share some last-minute advice to their classmates, since this would be the last time all of them were in class together with a lot of them most likely going to be helping out with graduation preparations the next day.
Chrysanth thought the exercise was pointless, but listened half-heartedly as people spoke their one-or-two sentence answers, writing down new tea recipes the whole while.
[+blue “Chrysanth?”] the teacher’s voice cut through her focus, making the quiet girl look up and raise an eyebrow instead of asking anything out loud. The teacher sighed a bit impatiently, but elaborated: [+blue “Do you have any advice for your classmates, as you all go out to start your lives after school?”]
Chrys frowned, closing her notebook. She could just say no, but she didn’t want to deal with a lecture from the teacher so late in the year. [+teal “Be careful who you piss off, this world is like a carnivorous Plant and we are it’s prey. Don’t be naive and land on it’s leaves just because it smells pretty,”] she said easily, and then opened her notebook and went right back to writing while her classmates stewed over her rather harsh advice and what her metaphors could mean.
Finally, the bell for lunch rang and Chrysanth wasted no time getting up and leaving. She only took the time to make sure she had everything she brought with her before exiting the classroom and making a beeline to the cafeteria.
Which, okay, she probably should have asked Jherrichho where to meet him, but those thoughts were blasted away when she saw his scarf-wearing form waiting for him near the lunch room. She grinned slightly at the sight, walking over. [+teal “Hey,”] she greeted. [+teal “I brought lunch, you wanna go eat somewhere else?”] Chrys had special permission to eat in the library, since she was friends with the Librarian and constantly helped the woman out, so that was where she usually was at lunch. She brought her thermos up to her lips to sip, only to find it empty. She blinked, and looked at Jherrichho. [+teal “Actually, can we go to the library? Miss Leah lets me use the coffee maker in her teacher’s lounge area to heat water for my tea. Normal tea, not anything special, but I drink a lot of it.”]
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