(2019-03-09) Crippling Doubts
Crippling Doubts
Summary: Following the mission to trace the Toy Girl, Cora comes down hard on herself. Other students try to help out in their own distinct ways.
Date: 2019-03-09
Related: Preceding mission log not posted yet.
Scene Runner: NA

Library, Coral Springs
Sat Mar 09, 2019

The School's library is one of the largest buildings in the school. Five stories tall and the size of a 747 hangar, plus a basement, its built in a long line of square clusters of dark polished hardwood shelves, with desks and reading chairs of the same wood. At the center of each cluster, surrounded by a wrought iron and polished brass railing, is an opening extending from the ground floor to the skylights above, that sunlight (albeit carefully filtered to protect the books) might reach the inside of the library.

And what a collection: thousands upon thousands of books, some quite ancient, on every topic imaginable.

There are more. Around the perimeter of each cluster are robot dumbwaiters (stocker robots) and the ubiquitous brass robot tracks run around each floor of the library well above head height. Students can request books from the archives in the basement, and the stockers, along with the tracked robots overhead, will see that the book reaches the stocker closest to the student.

There's still more. A battery of desks with ultra-thin computers and keyboards provide access to a vast electronic library, stored below in vaults that could weather a nuclear detonation, and checked out to student iPads.

Physical books are as easy. Pick up a book and carry it out. The RFID embedded in the book is paired with the RFID in a students ID tag. Best have the book back on time. Students who fail to often serve detention shelving books by hand.

It is a winter evening. The weather is cold and flurrying.


OOC: I joined this scene. I may have missed poses prior to the following one and the respective players are more than welcome to plug 'em in if needed. Thanks! - Grace

Cora and Bryce are in a somewhat isolated corner of the Library because Cora's been hiding out there. She's looking rather out of it and pretty expressionless. She shakes her head to Bryce and says, "and people got hurt and we failed because I couldn't do -anything-. I don't belong here, the people who think I'm bad are right, because I am. I shouldn't be. I'm awful."

Bryce leans back in his chair and holds up his hands. "No, you are, well, wrong. If you were, uh, bad, then you would be the one doing the b-bad things, right? You are trying to, to help people. To protect p-people. Bad people don't do that. They, they don't feel bad for not helping."

Besa steps into the Library, ready to spend an exciting evening with some books. Maybe even a cup of tea after he finds the right one. He needs to relax! Poetry is in need! The ancient teen is bundled up in a warm looking sweater. Cocoa follows along as usual.

It's fairly frequently that Grace Halleson comes to the library, be it to immerse herself in some cram sessions for whatever subjects are troubling her.. or to help herself in her own pursuits. She's been doing alright for the most part, academically; she is, at heart, a smart and studious girl. Kinda boring really, if you were to meet her in-passing. A couple of minutes or so after Besa she is the next to step into this happening place… only to freeze. She's a slight girl with dark hair pulled back in a tidy plait with brilliant scarlet eyes.. and she's kinda looking like a deer-in-headlights. The startle at walking in on a few students causes one of the books from a stack she's carrying to just.. sliiiiide on off and land with a CLOP! on the floor.

She's not known for tact or stealth.

"When you can't protect your friends, and they're relying on you and get hurt because you can't? You're just as bad." Cora asserts and looks away, putting her head down on the table she's sitting at and keeping her gaze to the side. "Someone else should've been there. Someone who can actually help." Teenage angst at its finest!

Bryce hears the sudden flop of the book hitting the ground. Shifting his head around, he glances down at the book. Thankfully, it sounded like a hardback so it was probably okay. Glancing up at the dropper, he sees Grace and gives her a gentle wave. One does not call out in the library. Shifting his attention back to Cora, Bryce says, "So I guess I must be the worst one of, well, all. It was my, my mission idea. Fee and R-rain were helping me run it be-because I'm still a sophomore, a name which do, er, irk me; however, it was my idea." It was her logic taken a step further.

Besa stops in his tracks, turning to look in the direction of the book dropping. Seeing Grace he smiles and heads in her direction, "Hello my friend. Do you need help?" He's careful to not make direct eye contact with the werewolf. If she gives any indication that yes, she would like the help, he'll bend down and retrieve whatever fell for her.

Mortified. Grace is both trying to figure out what she walked in on: over there in the corner is Bryce and Cora, looking as if they are having a Very Important discussion. The latter seems to be having an angsty go of it! Then Grace just had to waltz in and make a pile of noise! Bryce at least waves and the werewolf feels a pang of relief, and with an awkward look she makes to kneel and—

Besa is there, greeting her in just the right way and the girl smiles lightly. "It's alright." Said in a whisper as she carefully gathers up the moderately-sized hardcovered book… looks like it's a sort of tome on bread baking. She takes care not to get too close to Cocoa so as to not make the pup uncomfortable. "Is e-everything ok here?" She asks the Egyptian boy nervously, indicating Cora and Bryce.

"You at least did something." Cora responds, still keeping her head on her arms without otherwise moving or even noticing that there's other people in the library. She stares off into the distance blankly. "All I did was fail."

Bryce takes a long slow breath. "I cut off the arm off a, a large He-man toy. That was, uh, about it really. It was B-Besa and k, well, Koga who did had the biggest, uh, effect." He then asks, "Even if, and that is a rather large -if-, you were of, of no help, why is the only, uh, answer to quit? Wouldn't an equally v-valid response be to, well practice?"

Besa grins gently at the book, "Baking bread? That sounds wonderful." He nods gently, "Yes, I am well. I am glad you are as well." He'll look towards the other students, "I do not know…"Come, let's find out?" He moves closer to the table, "Cora, Bryce. Is everything well?"

Keen hearing, even if Grace isn't trying to eavesdrop, speaks to the girl of someone — the small brunette with whom Bryce speaks — having a bit of a crappy go. Knowing how hard it can be to have people gawping at oneself while feeling low, Grace is the more tentative of the pair of them as they observe Bryce and Cora briefly. Besa however is quicker to see to the matter and Grace follows along, hugging the stack of her books to her chest, brow furrowed with a touch of anxiety. She is shy by nature so she needn't ask so soon after Besa does, as to 'what is up'. Her look says it all though, eyes softened a tad with concern. She is still taking the whole situation in, piecing together the puzzle of something that she hadn't been a part of.

"Nothing." Cora says, turning her head away and looking in the other direction and not saying anything else. Though she does reply to Bryce too, "Still more than I did. A lot more." She adds. She looks to have gotten a bit more tense too, with other people starting to approach and ask about her.

Bryce goes to continue the conversation with Cora when Besa and Grace come up. He notices how Cora tends to tense even more. Wanting to be diplomatic about someone else's problem, Bryce says, "We were discussing the, well, the ramifications of the mission with the girl who controls toys." Then speaking more to Cora, he says, "Then do more."

Besa frowns, seeing Cora's tense form. He's trying very hard to help everyone, but sometimes….a soft sigh and he'll answer Bryce, "Yes…I hope next time we can capture her." He offers a glance to everyone, "I must go find a book for tonight. I think the weather is good for poetry, yes?"

"I-I'm really sorry, I overheard.. couldn't help it." Grace points to her ear as if all assembled would understand that it's a powers thing. Of course that's not the case.. maybe she's implying that she's mental. Who knows. There's a look of incomprehension upon Grace's features for a few seconds at the mention of the toy manipulator, but she hastens to keep up with the tangent of the conversation. There were mumblings throughout classes from those who knew of someone who had been along for that mission. Still, Grace is a bit out-of-the-loop on the matter. She pauses to listen as Bryce bids Cora to try harder. "Powers issues? Things didn't work out?" She looks at Cora, sympathetically.. but not with pity.

"That's easy for you to say." Cora asserts. "I've been practicing a lot and it didn't matter. Just like it didn't matter the other times before that. It happens every time. Even when I'm supposed to try to help with other students." The bitterness is intense, even though the hatred seems to be almost entirely self directed too. She is absolutely doing her best not to even look at the others. "The only time it seems to work is with Buddy, and I feel -bad- about that."

Bryce looks confused at that. "You are, uh, bothered when your powers work and, well, bothered when they do?" Bryce blinks his eyes a few times and then says, "I'm sorry, but I, I don't understand. What does Buddy have to d-do with this?" On the topic of capturing the girl, Bryce says, "I have a couple of, uh, theories based on what has happened the last few times we faced her."

Cora gets another sigh, "Cora….we have all had these issues, you are not the only one to have these issues. I promise." Besa nods to Bryce, "Yes, at some point I would like hear them. I will help." She called him dirty, he's got a bit of a dislike for the toy girl.

Oh God, Grace recognizes that look. It was only a few months ago when she turned such hatred inwards upon herself. She opens her mouth to speak, to mention something, but stops herself. She neither knows this girl well nor does she feel comfortable spouting advice to someone whose plight she has known nothing about… til' now. Her brow furrows as she looks between Bryce and Cora. Grace does not try to move or otherwise make Cora meet her gaze or look at her.. again, she knows how it can be. Instead she hugs her books closer to her body. "Y-you'll get there. Trust me. I know." Said meekly. "Y-you just have to really, really try hard. And take the help when people offer it.. even as advice."

Cora end sup staying silent this time. Just staying tense as she keeps her head down and stares out blankly in the distance at the bookshelves that her gaze passes over. That being her only reaction to what all the others are saying to her, for better or worse. There might be a bit of shyness with this unfamiliar person here too, or it might just be Cora being Cora.

Bryce watches as she clams up. He just sits there silently for a few seconds before rising to his feet. Placing a hand on the table, Bryce says, "I'm sorry, C-cora. I wish that I had, uh, something to say or d-do to help you. In fact it seems that, well, perhaps my words have been b-both unwanted and unhelpful. For that, I apologize. I hope that you, well, that you don't give up and just keep trying. Maybe, well, maybe ask some of those who are the strongest here what their early days were like." He then says, "G-good night, Besa and Grace." He offers a wave and heads out.

Besa lifts a hand towards Bryce as he leaves before looking towards Grace. He can only be helpful so much, if Cora has decided she's not worth helping, then…nothing Besa says will help. He might also be unsure of how else to help her. "Are you baking bread Grace?" Maybe the subject change will be good for everyone.

It seems the wolf girl, too, tries another tact. Let Cora process all that she's been told… Grace isn't much of a motivational speaker but her quiet, feeling presence should hopefully be enough. Her eyes brighten though at mention of bread and she looks to Besa, "Yeah. I am going to make a sourdough starter to have on hand in the cafeteria. M-Miss Annalee is going to let me maintain it so we can make bread with it. It's really nice.. but it's been awhile since I could do it. I need to refresh myself." There's her smile.

Cora isn't really moving either, she continues to lay there and wallow in her misery. Whatever her own desires are, she's certainly stuck in her own rut and probably unable to know that she might be hurting her friends… or worse, realizing she is and still being unable to stop herself from doing so.

Besa pats his belly, almost like he's proving he's a normal teenage boy, "That sounds wonderful. You must make wheat bread as well and honey, yes?" So demanding! He can't help Cora any more than he has (or hasn't), the ball is in her court now.

"I certainly can do that too." Grace smiles at Besa, then to Cora. "D-do you have anything you like, Cora? A dessert o-or like.. a.. bread?"

"Blueberry pancakes." Cora answers, with maybe a bit of guilt in her voice. So she definitely seems to understand she's not exactly the most pleasant of people right now, even if it's being hard to even figure out how to deal with it.

Besa's head tilts, "Is that blueberries in the pancakes? Or on?" That seems interesting. "I have had pancakes with honey. Could blueberry pancakes have honey on them?" Cocoa moves over to sit down at Besa's feet. "Callisto is going to make me cookies as well." He'll have a happy tummy, it seems.

Scratch pancakes? Easy peasy. Totally within Grace's realm. Grace, bless her, doesn't get all gushy and excited.. simply smiles in her quiet, thoughtful way. "IT's Sunday tomorrow.. so maybe I can get in there tomorrow to ask Miss Annalee if we can do a batch." Spoken with reverence; very, very obviously the werewolf seems to have a spot in her heart for the well-liked head honcho of the cafeteria! Besa's interest further amuses the slight girl, "Blueberries in the pancakes. And i-if you're really liking blueberries you can have a blueberry compote on top too. Honey on top of them shouldn't hurt either…"

Okay, she's really going to have to get on that task tomorrow. Grace's slight smile widens even moreso.. happiness is good for the monster inside. "We'll have them for breakfast tomorrow. I'll ask." She pledges, but pauses. Callisto? The fey girl? Grace, a polite soul, keeps her mouth shut… she once saw that one nearly set a toaster on fire. "You're a lucky guy, Besa."

"They're both good." Cora answers, though she's still not showing any real emotion. "And like she said, both together." A little pause for a few heartbeats before Cora adds "I love blueberries. They might be my favorite fruit."

Besa smiles warmly, "Yes, I am." Very lucky. And now he gets pancakes! "Would you like help in the morning? I can not touch many things in the kitchen, but I will help if I can." His hand lowers to touch Cocoa's head, giving her a little scratch.

The wolf girl is listening to every word spoken… all-the-while her arms are STILL holding that heap of books. There's enough there to make the average person's arms complain after holding them for as long as she has thus far… but Grace? No signs of trouble.. she's almost forgotten that they're in her arms. A closer look at the spines of the tomes reveals an eclectic mix: artisan bread baking, candy making, a couple of heavy books' worth of U.S census entries, etc. So many things she can just consult Google on but Grace enjoys books.

"They'll have tons of blueberries, then. B-because a good meal and start to the day is good for what troubles you. Helps you focus." Offered meaningfully to Cora, then to Besa: "You're welcome to help out. A lot of the prep you can do with a whisk and your own arms.. you don't have to touch any of the electronics." Grace looks briefly sympathetic. "You can help with mise en place." Pause.. translate, "Assembling the ingredients. It'll be fun."

Cora takes a deep breath and lets out a soft sigh along with it. "I probably won't be up too early. I don't like the day much if it's not classes." She adds, again that same oddly emotionless tone, but at least she's saying something! "It's fine if you don't want to wait, I'm weird like that." And right back to self deprecation.

Besa grins, "I will be there, my friend!" He can mise en place with the best of them! He'll try one last time, "If you like, Cora, I can bring you the pancakes when they are done?" Breakfast in bed, even!

"I-I have to get these books back to where they belong." Grace admits… the cook books and the stodgy old census tomes. Not known to many, the girl is trying to do some genealogy. For reasons. The girl studies Cora for a moment and were she a more touchy-feely sort like certain crow alts in her player's array… she would hug the poor girl. Grace however is not touchy-feely but her tone is kind. "We'll save some for you, an—" Then Besa… Besa's. Grace blushes with the sweetness of the offer, "T-that's so kind. I think it's a fine idea."

She steps back and gives a meek little wave, all-the-while holding her pile of books with one slender arm. "I'll see you guys tomorrow… I-I hope you feel better." Said to Cora, and with a swinging of her braid the wolf girl is off.

"It's just, like… I don't like… get up early." Cora concedes. "I'm totally a night owl." And there's a certain level Cora's probably ok with the lack of hugs, given she's never been the more tough inclined in most cases either. "The sun sorta hurts." She turns her face so it is completely down now.

Besa will pat Grace's arm gently as she heads off, "I will see you in the morning, Grace. Thank you for allowing me to help." It just enough of a touch to connect, not enough to distract her hopefully. He turns towards Cora, thing before nodding, "I will bring you the last batch then, yes? It will be late enough, and you will have a full belly."

OOC: .. and then I had to leave. Again, people who carried on, add as you see fit! - Grace

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