(2020-12-09) How Not to be Seen
How Not to be Seen
Summary: Josie accidentally gets dragged into hiding with Marcus, then helps him understand some things.
Date: IC Date 2020-12-09
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA

Student Building Coral Springs

This building serves a dual purpose. First and foremost it is a place for study. The first floor is divided into a variety of cubicles of various sizes where students can either study alone or in groups.

Each cubicle is furnished with the necessary items to make it conducive to study. There are one or two sitting areas outside the cubicle area for study or group discussion as well. A variety of paintings and plants decorate the area and lots of large windows and light fixtures provide plenty of light.

In the center of the ceiling is an translucent round area that lets light in from the floor above but no detail can be made through the thick glass. Surrounding the glass area is normal ceiling. Curved stairs lead to the game room upstairs.

It is a fall night. The weather is cool and overcast.

So, the Student Building is where people (most likely students, but let's not be biased) are supposed to be able to come and have a quiet place to study. There are cubicles set up for just such a thing, some for individuals, some for groups. There are also a few spots for relaxing from studying on couches or armchairs- which also serve for good places to stretch out and read if individuals are so inclined.
What it is /not/, however, is a jungle gym or place for roughhousing. Nor is it a place for horsing around, carousing, or otherwise conducting oneself in a disorderly fashion. Which is why it is a place where one Marcus Douglas rarely finds himself, since those are the things he is most frequently wont to do. However, it's definitely a place where people who might be chasing said individual might not think to go looking for him, since it's not normally a good hiding spot. Which is precisely why he's bursting in through the doors and making a mad dash for the steps, watching behind him instead of in front of him and totally not looking where he's going. Which could lead to calamity.

It could absolutely lead to calamity if, say, there was a new student idling on said steps, looking like she hasn't entirely decided whether to ascend them or stay lurking awkwardly in the study space. One thing about being the new kid: you don't have a pre-established study group. And crashing one? That's just weird. But going upstairs just means being faced with a whole different room full of little groups of people you don't know. So better to stand here, in the way, and zoned out enough that reacting to the doors bursting open comes belatedly and she just has time to half-turn before whoa, there's a guy.

<FS3> Marcus rolls Reaction-1: Good Success.

There is a moment where, just to be sure, Marcus checks his position in relation to the steps. And in that moment, he notices that, while yes he is definitely very near the steps, there is also a human-sized impediment to climbing those steps. One that is looking somewhat like a deer caught in the headlights and not making any motion to remove itself or otherwise deter a collision of epic proportions. That's when Marcus's little gift kicks in, as a little spike of adrenaline triggers a reaction in his body's cells and speeds up his reaction time and thought processes. It likewise speeds up his movement and agility and instead of plowing directly in to the smalller girl, Marcus springs into the air and vautls over her.
Unfortunately for Marcus, he is not a gymnast. Nor is he a tumbler. Nor has he had enough experience with his sudden ability to jump well beyond that of a normal 15 year old boy to afford him any sort of grace or style in the act. No, Marcus leaps, and then flails as he reaches the apex of his jump and gravity beckons him back towards the earth. And the steps. Which he manages to land on relatively safely, but sprawled up them instead of on his feet.

Josie just kind of… stares. As the boy approaches. As he leaps. Very high. And then comes down. She even stares a beat at his sprawled form before sense - or at least presence of mind - dawns at all. "Jesus. Hey. Are you okay?" She crouches, peering at him. "I didn't hear anything crack." A plus, evidentally.

There's a pause as Marcus's senses go back to real time and he processes what just happened. And then he immediately whips around and sits up, patting himself in various places to make sure he's still all in one piece and there's nothing sticking out where it shouldn't. "Yeah, yeah, I'm good. Sorry about that," he says. Then, he sits up straighter and looks towards the doorway, then reaches out in an attempt to grab Josie's hand. "C'mon, we gotta move!" he says, turning and moving to scramble up the steps whether Josie comes with him or not. She'll notice that, while he's not wearing a school uniform, he is wearing some track pants with a blue stripe down each leg and the Ares team crest on the hip, as well as a plain grey 'Coral Springs' hoodie. The burgundy backpack tightly cinched to his shoulders looks to have seen a great deal more wear than the rest of his attire.

On other days, Josie might be more reactive, but again: new place, new people, still adjusting. So as it is, she finds herself half-dragged, half-running after Marcus up the stairs. (Even her uniform is very new looking, for the record.) "Why are we moving?" She asks, bewildered, even as she lengthens her stride to keep pace.

Game Room Coral Springs

This large open area is a game room. A variety of both retro and modern arcade games fill the area. The lighting is subdued so that lights from the various games make the most impact and so there isn't any glare on the screens. The center of the floor is translucent glass. Thick and frosty so no details can be seen in the study area below. Amoung the electric games are also a few non-tech ones. Two pool tables, a foosball table and air hockey. Curved stairs lead down.


"So they don't find us!" Marcus says, as if it were obvious. He drags her up the steps to the game room and back towards the far wall, where he scrambles around to the far side of the air hockey table and ducks behind it, cautiously peering up over the top at the stairwell they'd just climbed. In his fleeing, he totally forgets to let go of Josie's hand/arm.

A small smile's creeping on Josie's face - this is one way to get to know people! - and by the time they're hiding behind the hockey table she's been keeping up full-force. "What do they look like?" She asks, a little breathlessly, pushing a frizz of curls from her face so she can peep over the table's top. "So I can spot them. In case you get accidentally blinded and I need to save us."

Marcus just shrugs and keeps stairing towards the stairwell. "I dunno. Four dudes, one of them's kinda muddy. I totally wasn't expecting anybody to step on the place where I'd buried the diet soda bottles," he explains, as if that explains anything. When nobody comes tearing up the steps after them, he audibly sighs and relaxes, turning around and dropping to his butt as he leans back against the table. Which is when he takes time to notice that he's still holding on to Josie, and immediately lets her go. "Oops, sorry," he says, sheepishly.

Josie glances down as if she's just noticing too and shrugs. "It's okay." She hangs closer to the table a moment longer, still peering out, before dropping from crouching to kneeling. "What happens when you bury soda bottles?" She asks curiously. Not 'why did you' but 'what happens'. "Aside from, obviously, you end up in trouble."

"Well, I'm not quite sure yet. You see, what had happened was, I was doing an experiment and seeing how many bottles of diet soda and sweet tarts it took to actually make something kinda blow up. But I was being really safe and burying 'em, see! That way nobody'd get hurt or nothin'. And one bottle didn't work, and a second bottle didn't work, so I was trying it with three bottles and I guess the ground was gettin' pretty soaked cuz when the kid stepped on it, his foot sunk and /then/ they all blew up and kinda covered him. Which I totally wasn't expecting, but …," he pauses, looking over at Josie and smirking. "… it /was/ pretty awesome!"

Josie's expression is all kinds of skeptical, starting around 'I was being really safe' but by the end she's muffling a small snort of a laugh with one hand. "That's ridiculous. I mean," her head tips to one side as she admits, "kind of awesome? But ridiculous. I bet there are way more effective ways to blow up bottles of soda."

"Oh, I'm sure there are! But they don't let me take /nothin'/ outta the science roomes," Marcus says, quite dejected by the fact. One could surmise he's probably attempted on multiple occasions. "Plus, some of the kids here can just blow stuff up /without/ doin' nothing, so it's even harder! I mean, it's not even my fault he got all muddy. I tried to warn him I was doin' an experiment, but he just ignored me!"

"I meant just by shaking them," Josie says, then shrugs. "But I've never made a study out of it. And what do you mean they don't let you take things from the science rooms? What's the point of living in a freaking school if they don't let you use stuff?" There might be a bit of a jump from 'take' to 'use' but that's neither here nor there. "Whatever. If getting muddy's the worst thing that happens to him, doesn't sound so bad to me."

Marcus throws both his hands up briefly in an, 'I know, right?' gesture at the mud response. "Yeah, but you can shake 'em a bunch and they only blow if you crack the lid. Sweet tarts'll blow the lid right off," he explains. "And, if you put the sweet tarts in some napkins, you can stuff them in and they won't react right away. That's how I was able to get three bottles set and get them in the hole and cover the hole a little before I ducked for cover. That guy just had the /worst/ timing, ever."

Josie considers this for a moment before cracking a smile. "Nah, okay, that's wicked cool. I'll give you that. And that mostly sounds like a 'him' problem." She cranes her neck a little, peering over the table again. "I didn't realize there was a room like this here. That's kind of cool."

"… oh! Are you new hear?" Marcus asks, surprised. He looks Josie over for a second, and then grimaces and runs a hand back over his braids. "Man, I'm sorry. Now you go'n think I'm always doin' stuff and gettin' in trouble." Marcus frowns and clicks his tongue, shaking his head. It is, apparently, a first impression a lot of people have gotten of him. Which, honestly, isn't entirely wrong. More honestly, it's fairly precise.

"Doesn't look like you're in trouble to me," Josie scoffs. "Looks like you're hiding behind an air hockey table for some guys who aren't chasing you. Whatever. It's the most interesting thing that's happened since my dad dumped me here a few days ago." She's had just enough time to get the tour, ditch the tour, start her classes, and realize that transferring partway into the year is the pits. "I'm Josie," she adds after a moment, sticking out one hand.

There's a short chuckle. "Yeah, well. Not /this/ time, anyway. … I do get chased a lot, though," he admits, grimacing sheepishly. "I'm Marcus," he adds, before reaching out and bumping Josie's palm with is fist. "Turkey!" he announces, then grins.

Josie's eyebrows arch. "Your last name is Turkey?" She gives a little huff of amusement, "Why are you chased a lot? Or are you," now she's wearing a small smile, almost teasing, "just that aggravating?"

"Pft!" Marcus says, smirking again. "/No/!" Such an absurd notion. "You offered a handshake. I bumped it. Looks like a turkey," he explains with a casual shrug. At the latter, had grimaces again and totters his hand. "Depends on how you define 'a lot.' Ain't everyday. … pro'ly e'ry week, tho'." And then, his grimace turns even more embarassed. "… I mean … I don't think I'm that /annoying/, per se. I have really really been tryin' to work on not experimenting /on/ people without their permission?" he offers, chagrinned.

Josie works this one out on her own, pressing her right fist into her left hand, held open. "Huh," she remarks, hands falling back to her sides. "Guess so. Now I'm just thinking about those hand turkeys they make you do in kindergarten." She looks amused at his hedging, but amused turns to startled real fast at his last. "/Experimenting/?" She echoes, and her body takes on a slight 'away' lean. "You're talking like… experimenting with coke and candy, right? Not like, on people's …abilities and things?"

"Wellllll," Marcus trails off, reaching up to scratch at the back of his neck. "… I mean … not like, /dangerously/ or anything. I'm not trying to /hurt/ nobody. But … well, like, for example, I tried to see if I could sneak a magnet onto Sydney- she's metal- without her knowing. Didn't work, though."

Josie continues to look suspicious, rocking back so her weight's resting more on her heels. "Why?" She asks bluntly. "Aren't we all here 'cause we've all got weird crap going on? And isn't that just… poking lab rats with a stick 'cause you're curious?"

Marcus winces at that last suggestion and then glances at Josie sideways. "… you really think it's like /that/?" he asks, apparently hearing the thought for the first time. He thinks for a second, then shakes his head. "I mean … yeah, I'm curious, but …. Dang, I guess it makes more sense why folks be gettin' so mad at me sometimes …."

"Do you think it's /not/?" Josie retorts, still prickly. "Bad enough we have to go to a special school, on an /island/, jeez, but then you're going around testing how people react, or like, how they work? That's kind of messed up. Especially since - I don't know. I didn't think I'd have to worry about that from other students."

"… oh," Marcus says, drooping and fiddling with the tightening cords of his hoodie. "Well, but, I mean, we're supposed to be figuring out how our powers work and stuff, aren't we? You don't think I'm helping?" he asks, cautiously glancing back over at Josie.

Josie gives him a sideways look that's along the lines of 'seriously?' "Not if you're not telling them. Don't people sometimes assume things about you and think they can 'help' you based on that, and really they're just pricks?" She relents, slightly. "I'm not saying you're a prick. I don't even know you. But it's not helping if it's just.. you deciding to do whatever."

Marcus droops, once again, frowning. "I just think things are so interesting, but when I ask, people don't wanna tell me stuff, so I'm used to just trying to find it out on my own," he says. Then, he takes a breath and sighs, shaking his head. "You right, tho'." He chuckles for a second and glances over at Josie again. "You sure /you/ the new kid?"

"If they don't want to tell you, it's 'cause it's none of your business." Josie snorts, losing some of her tension. "What, I'm smart so I can't be new? Maybe you just need to hear from someone not in this bubble. How long have you gone here?"

"Um … three months?" Marcus says, trying to count. "Beginning of the school year. We just found out this summer that my mom's an alien." And then, realizing that's not always the most precise description, he helpfully adds, "Outer-space alien. Not, like, from Mexico."

Josie blinks, and just like that the prickle's gone. "Huh. Wait, really?" She leans in a little, curious now. "You just got here and you're already blowing stuff up? That's ballsy." It seems like she's studiously trying not to react to the alien bit, or to pry.

That makes Marcus chuckle again and he shrugs his shoulders way up. "I think 'still' would be a better word than 'already.' This is just the first time where I don't have a parent in the immediate vicinity to tell me not to do stuff."

Something a little sad passes over Josie's face at the mention of a parent - or the vicinity thereof - but it's quick. Just a shadow, then gone. "So you're a habitual offender? Blowing stuff up, or just wrecking general havoc?" It's an important distinction.

Marcus can't help but snicker a little, his shoulders rising again. "I like to investigate and experiment," he says- sort of admits, really. "Plus, there's /so MUCH STUFF/ out there that people don't know about or haven't thought about or haven't figured out …. There's just so much …," he trails off, then looks around to make sure nobody else is eavesdropping, before he leans in and whispers, "/adventure/!"

Josie looks hard-pressed not to laugh at the dramatics alone. "Yeah? Lots of adventure on this island?" That seems a sticking point. "I mean, this is /school/. Okay. Give me an example. An adventure."

"Well … have you been in the library? Have you seen the robots that go into the vault to get stuff? … what if you could ride one of those robots /into/ the vault and see what's in there?" Marcus offers. "Or! Did you know we've got a forest? And a lighthouse? And they don't care if we go in /either/ of them? I haven't really mapped out the forest, yet, but I'm /sure/ there's stuff in there to find!"

Josie perks up at the mention of the library - and even further at 'forest'. "They showed me the library on the tour but I didn't really - there's a forest? Is it far? They don't care if we go there?"

"Oh yeah! Totally! It's right back there," Marcus says, pointing in the appropriate direction. "It's on the map in your student packet," he says, helpfully. "There's the forest, and the lighthouse is right next to the beach on the far side of the island. The lighthouse is set up as a hangout spot, already, but they've got the top kinda blocked off. I'd be suspicious there's something up there, but we've got students who could fly, so it wouldn't really make much sense to hide anything up there."

Josie pivots on her knees, as if she'll be able to see the forest right there. "I'll have to check it out. Thank you," that's with another one of those thin smiles. "Why even block it off if kids can fly? S'just asking them to poke their noses in."

There's a moment of smirking as Marcus glances away. "Pro'ly so kids like me who /can't/ fly don't break our necks messing around up there?"

Josie considers, then gives a short laugh. "Fair. Though - that jump." She raises her 'brows, impressed. "How high can you jump? …Is that your thing, jumping? Can I ask that?"

Marcus laughs and shakes his head. "Nah, it ain't the jumping. And yeah, you can always ask me anything. I would be kinduva hypocrite if I be doin' all this investigatin', but then got a pro'lem wif folks askin' bout me, wouldn't I?" he offers. "And really, I didn't jump /that/ high. I've jumped higher. Right now, my highest is about seven feet. See, cuz my mom's an alien, my hormones are kinda cray-cray. Adrenaline makes me either super fast or super strong. Or, if I'm in danger, it can make me extra tough. Not like, bullet proof, but I'll bruise before I break."

"You would be," Josie agrees promptly. "Doesn't stop some people." She listens with interest, nodding a little. "That makes sense. I don't have a ton of control either… but then, I don't think I have a trigger like adrenaline. Seven feet's nothing to sneeze at." Her smile goes a little crooked, "Need a bit more to jump to the top of a lighthouse though."

Marcus chuckles and nods. "I jumped on the roof of the patio, once, when somebody startled me. That's the highest. But, when I almost saw you, that was more the speed than the strength. The teachers have said it gives me 'peak-human,' not 'super-human' abilities. Like, my body will do more than it normally would, but it won't do more than it /possibly/ could. So, if I work out and get stronger, so will my powers."

Josie nods, "Makes sense. It's just taking full advantage of your body's limits. Ultra adrenaline rush." She shifts in place, and glances past the hockey table again. "I think," she says, dry, "the coast is clear. And my feet are falling asleep." She pushes herself off her knees and onto her feet, wincing a little. "I'm going to head back to my room. But - good running into you. …Well, you into me." Almost.

Marcus blinks a little, having obviously forgotten about the reason for their present location. "Oh! Yeah! … I'd better go find those bottles and at least clean up my experiment a little. It was nice ta meet you, Josie. Hope you wind up liking it here. I think it's pretty awesome," he says, climbing to his feet as well. He tightens the straps to his backpack and grins. "Next time, I'll try and ask before I get you into anything."

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