(2018-11-11) Hold Your Tongue
Hold Your Tongue
Summary: Bryce, Syd, and Shades talk about Bryce's new project: fixing his speech impediment.
Date: 2018.11.11
Related: Right after Pull My Finger
NPCs: {$npc}
Scene Runner: {$runner}


The cafteria is a large airy room with one wall that is all windows so the view of the cliff and the open ocean is all one can see..well and whoever is on the patio.

Round tables with chairs are spread out and there seems to be more than enough. In the back is the area where the students line up to be served food by either staff or students serving detentions. Behind this is the entrance to the kitchen, which is off limits to students not on kitchen duty. There is also the plate and tray return window into the kitchen.


Shades is seated at a table with Sydney, the mostly destroyed remains of what had been an epic turkey-gravey-mashed potatoe dinner arrayed about his plate and tray, sipping the last dregs of his coke and scrapping at the bottom of the pudding cup for any few slivers of remaining chocolate.

Sydney is likewise exploring her pudding cup, apparently attempting to lick the bottom of it out. Some days she can still be childish, despite the advanced age of 15. Also, metamorph. Tongue length, like everything, is variable. Be glad you can't see.

Despite the late hour, Bryce is just now coming into the cafeteria to get some dinner. Moving up to the line, he goes through quickly since very few people are still getting food at this time. He gets a simple salad, a small amount of mashed potatoes, a small slice of meatloaf, and a vanilla pudding cup. Putting this all on his tray, he moves to the drink area and grabs a bottle of water. He struggles with the weight of all of this as he walks around looking for a place. Thankfully, Sydney is easy to find so he heads over to join them. "Can I, uh, well, join, sit here, well, and eat here too though that was probably obvious."

"Bryce! Dude! I aced the English test today!" Shades says grinning, holding a hand up for a hi-five. "And yeah you can sit here!" He makes a face at the sight of the pudding though. "Dude, what is *with* people here and vanilla pudding? Butterscotch I can kinda get, but you, Buddy- man, vanilla is the /worst/ pudding."

Sydney waves Bryce over. "Of course, of course, come on, like I'm not going to sit with you?" Syd smiles.

Bryce places his tray down on the table and sits down next to Sydney. "Congratulations on on your test." He looks at the hand and hesitates before reaching up to give practically the lightest hi-five in the history of hi-fives. As he goes to eat, it is a bit odd that he doesn't have any utensils. He puts his arm around Sydney's waist though and gives her a bit of a side hug before looking back to his food. "Well, actually, it is, uh, rather difficult to quantify superiority of of flavors since each, well, flavor has a similar chemical interaction with the, uh, taste buds, but those neurological responses are different in, well, each brain which most likely stems from a a rather large list of varied social-genetic-historical contexts."

Shades stares at Bryce for a beat, before replying, "Dude, I get you're like… crazy smarter than I am, it's why I asked you for help, you don't have to like… prove it." He pushes the empty pudding cup away, some of his good mood evaporating.

Sydney slips an arm around Bryce and rests her head on his shoulder. "The question is, which one do you enjoy the sensations of the most. It's a subjective question asking for a subjective answer.

Bryce pauses before eating and looks shocked and confused by Shades' response to his statement. "What, what did I do?" He clearly has no idea why Shades responded that way. Bryce says to Sydney, "I enjoy the, uh, milder flavor of the the pudding as the last, well, remainder of the dinner experience before returning to to the dorm." Yes, Bryce even plans his meals.

Shades waves a hand vaguely. "Eh… nothing, never mind," he replies, then gives a grin. "But yeah, the test was like, half multiple choice and half essay, and so for the essay, I thought about what you said about how, like, stories like the Odyssey were like, the comics of the ancient world and used that as my thesis, and bam! Easy." He mimes brushing dust off his shoulders. "How's your day going?"

Sydney gives Shades thumbs up and sets her own pudding cup down. One might note that she got the sugar free version. Chocolate, thanks ever so.

The reason Bryce didn't get any utensils is that he has decided to start using his powers to eat. The fine manipulation will be good for practice purposes, and he won't have to worry about germs. After a few bites of his salad, Bryce says, "Uh, well, it is okay. I'm glad that, well, we have tomorrow free because I, I think I am going to start my, uh, my new project tomorrow." He looks at Sydney and says, "I, I will want and, well, frankly need your help for this."

Sydney cocks her head. "What's your project?

Shades tilts his head to the side. "New project? And I thought you using your like… your powers was bad cabron. Like, isn't that what makes you sick?"

Bryce looks to Shades after finishing the salad. It seems like Bryce is one of those types who eats everything of one type of thing on the plate before moving on to the next food item. "Actually, I am, well, hoping that by t-training my powers, I'll be able to keep them from, well, kkilling me." He takes a breath and says to Sydney, "I'm going to, to break this sp-peach pattern of mine and learn to, uh, speak normally." His hand tightens around her waist as just saying that out loud in public took some effort on his part. He rarely speaks about the odd way he speaks.

Sydney nods a little. "Are you going to learn to slow your mind down? Ooor… what?

Shades hmms, and shrugs at that. "You might try singing. Like, I've got an uncle that had a stroke, he got a bad stutter, but not when he sings. So, he just kinda-" and Shades switches to a kind of sing-song, tuneless sound, "-kinda sings, like everything, he says now."

You say, "That's how James Earl Jones did it, more or less. He learned to speak that way because he stuttered."

Bryce shakes his head at Sydney's suggestion. "Not, uh, quite. First I think I need to, well, get to the route of of it. I've been doing some, uh, reading." That would be all the books that Bryce has been reading lately while keeping the titles hidden. "I actually think I have, uh, multiple causes and I will … need to deal with them all."

Sydney nods, listening. "And the problem is a speed matchup problem?

"I'll, uh, explain more t-tomorrow," Bryce states during a pause in the consumption of the mashed potatoes. "Although there, uh, is a a question I'd like to to ask each of you." He quickly adds, "If it isn't to to personal or, uh, weird." He takes a breath and asks, "When you, you think or even just, well, talk, and you hear your own voice in your head…how many of your own voices do you hear?"

Shades hesitates for a beat. "Uh. … One?" He edges a little away from Bryce. "Are you going all like, Legion, dude?"

Sydney ponders. "Ummmm… one… and usually I don't hear it when I'm speaking unless I'm being careful.

Bryce nods as though that was the answer he expected. "I guess, well, probably for a a long time, I was surprised that, uh, other people didn't sp-peak more like me. However, that, uh, would be one explanation of it." He doesn't do a very good job explaining himself here. "Legion - reference to Mark 5:9 - name of a demonic horde that some estimate to be around 2000 in number." He blinks and shakes his head. "No, I, uh, I do not think I am being possessed by by demonic hordes at at this time."

You say, "Gonna say. There are people here who can help if you're possessed…"

Shades shakes his head. "No man, it's this show about like, a super that's psychic, but he's also like, schizo, and- man, the show is like, crazy trippy but uh…" He bites his lip. "You know what, just- never mind that now."

Once again Shades elicits Bryce's confused face which might be a bit comical since he just put some meatloaf in his mouth. After swallowing it, he says, "Then I, I do not know to whom you are referencing." He takes a sip of the water before saying, "There have only been two times when I was, uh, worried about being, well, taken over by by another will instead of, er, my own. The first was in my coma as, as a child, and the second was after, well, after I … the guy …" He doesn't come out and say it, but Sydney will probably piece together that he is speaking of when he killed a man.

Shades goes quiet again, trying to restrain his intense desire to ask or say something.

Sydney gives Bryce a squeeze.

You say, "Go on"

Bryce still has trouble talking about it. The floaty psychic utensils fade as he struggles to finish the sentence. "After I, I killed that guy." One of the troubles of perfect visual recall is the ability to perfectly recall horrible things as well.

Shades edges away from Bryce by another bit, and switches to looking very hard at his plate.

Sydney gives Bryce a squeeze. "yeah… do you think you were under the influence of someone else then?

Bryce shakes his head and says, "No, it, it was accidental. It was, it was in the darkness of my my mind in the, er, the days afterwards. Sometimes I I almost felt consumed by another."

You say, "Oh… oh no… that's not good."

"Umm," Shades says, looking… deeply uncomfortable. "Dude, just- wait, you," He drops his voice down several notches on the volume. "Dude, you killed someone?!"

Bryce completely tenses up as Shades asks that question of him. He is silent for a moment before he nods his head. Even though it was several months ago, it is still hard for him. "Yes, I, I was on a m-mission to rescue Ashton." He has been on a couple rescue missions now. "We, I, I was fighting someone after, well, controlling several of the the enemies. The person I was, uh, fighting came r-rushing me as I was using my, my katana. I … I … his head … it …"

Sydney squeezes Bryce gently. "Breathe. Breathe…

Shades goes back to studying his plate. "Dude… I'm… I'm sorry, I just, I- sorry."

Bryce just ends up sitting silently and looking at the table. After a moment, he slowly stands to his feet and says, "I'm I'm sorry. I've, uh, I've ruined your your meal. I should, I'll go." He picks up his tray and head off to take it to the tray return line.

Shades shakes his head, practically jumping to his feet. "No no, dude, that's on me and I was already done eating and you need to eat, I can go, this sounds like a kinda private thing anyways…"

Sydney hugs Bryce gently. "I already knew, Bryce. Remember? And remember the rite of cleansing?

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