[ISS] Check-up (Mar 3.2, Our 3.2, Tab 3.2, Tem 3.2)

edited July 2016 in ISS Tsiolkovsky
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Mark,Ourania and Tabitha, Tabitha helps Ourania walk (doing most of the walking for her) and Mark carries Lucas over his broad shoulder. You pass a couple kids working unschool duties, cleaning around a panel. You pass them by, and head to the Med Bay.

image Once you enter, the low volume hum of the ship falls away. The audio dampeners in place in the Med Bay helps everything feel more serene here. The main monitor sparks to life, showing a "Please Wait" signal. A few moments later, Dr. Lancome appears on the screen. She intones the ritual Med Bay greeting, "Please state the nature of the medical emergency."

As before, one of the "tubes" is occupied by Pris. Otherwise, the Med Bay is empty.

What do you do?

Comments

  • image

    I don't make Ourania walk. While carrying her like so much bagged rice, on the way, I take a moment to whisper "Gwen will forgive you. But. You have to let this go. For now."

    Inside the Med Bay, I wait to be prompted. "Ourania has been sick. All week. She's dehydrated and feverish. I don't know what's wrong." I settle her on a monitoring table.

    While Mark sets down Lucas, I watch him. The corp uniform does his figure good. It's appealing, but I need to ignore it. The things that draw me in, they bring me pain. There's something else, too, that feels..profane..about it. I'm not Ioanna, who would be Mark's..aunt..godmother..something. But still, the images of our bodies pressed together that my imagination provides me are washed over with self-disgust.

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    Tabitha,

    image Doctor Lancome takes in your information and immediately engages sensors embedded in the exam table, "Yes, I see. Her symptoms are quite obvious and advanced. Why didn't you bring her in sooner?" She huffs a frustrated breath, and concentrates on analyzing the data feed, "Please move her into the unoccupied tube, Ms. Smith. Also, Ms. Smith, can you remain here afterwards? I have a note that we need to discuss."

    What do you do?

  • image

    I nod and acknowledge her. "Alright." I'm not sure what she wants from me, but I don't want to kick up a fuss and it's not like she took time out of her work to tell me I'm wasted skin.

    I ease Ourania into the tube, letting her lead a bit and find her pace.

  • image

    Ourania,

    image After Tabitha settles you into the chamber, the clear door slides closed, sealing you in. You hear Doctor Lancome over the small speaker inside, which echoes a few times, "Ourania, can you hear me? You are not doing very well. Can you tell me what happened? I can help you regardless, but this will help me figure out faster. So tell me, when did your condition worsen? When did you start to feel sick?"

    Mark,

    Where are you putting Lucas?

  • edited July 2016
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    Tabitha,

    Moments after Ourania is sealed away, you get a Navi message from Zola. Do you check it?

  • image

    Yeah, I do. I'm curious.

  • edited July 2016

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    Will Gwen forgive me? Maybe... maybe. Tabitha helps me into the tube. I feel the loss of her heat immediately. I have a little surge of claustrophobia as the tube closes over me. Then there's the doctor's voice asking what happened.

    "It started... a week ago." I say. "It's a curse. There's nothing... you can do... to stop it."

  • edited July 2016
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    Ourania,

    image You feel the tickle of a scan start from your feet and move up your body. "A curse?" Doc Lancome asks. Then, muttering slightly, unperturbed, "Alllllright, I'll work on your symptoms, get you stable, and then we can talk about this curse. This might hurt a little bit, Ourania. But then you'll feel much better." You see a long needly headed for your arm, then it pierces your skin, and liquid pleasure washes through your veins. Doc's voice seems odd when she asks, "Do you want to drop into VR, or just sleep?"

    Tabitha,

    Tabs, Rania's messed up, huh? Crazy. Is Doc putting her under like Pris? Think you can score some meds? It could be real fun, you and me. Sick of the drokking tramahex. You should see Nadja in here, she is freaking out! Hilarious. Aiden's all nicey nice to her, like she'd do stomm for him. I miss u, girl. Maybe we shower up after practice, then more fun after? I bet Nadja's room will be empty tonight. -Z

  • image

    I lay Lucas down on one of those couch things they have here. Not a tube, he doesn't need that, I don't think.

    I'll stick around until the doctor can take a look at both him and Ourania. This doctor is more reassuring that the old one, that's for sure.

    I look over at Pris's tube. All I really want to do is go in and talk to her right now, but I know I have to wait till later. After I've checked up on the rest of the class, seen what's up with Nadja.

  • edited July 2016

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    I can't help but smile, however weak it is, when she clearly doesn't believe me.

    Sleep is... really tempting. But Gwen might have fled into the VR somewhere. And there is Pris... and I kind of owe her.

    "VR." I say.

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    Mark,

    You had to stun stick Lucas to keep him from wriggling off you, and to shut him up. Once Ourania is settled into the tube and Doctor Lancome talks to her for a few moments, she comes over to the screen closest to you.

    How do you describe what's happened to Lucas?

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    "Right after Ourania's... episode, Lucas started shrieking like he'd seen something horrible. I thought he was just making a scene but, well, you can see he kind of had a little accident. Which would be over-selling things. You know?"

    I watch Doctor Lancome's reaction hoping for, I dunno, maybe a look of approval or something.

    "Something similar happened with Nadja-- I mean, with Crassus. Didn't seem so bad, though. So severe."

    I conclude with a brief nod of my head. Like I'm reporting to a superior officer. Which I guess I am.

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    Mark,

    image Doctor Lancome nods slightly as she takes in your information, her gaze drifting between you and a computer she can see off screen. She glances up at the end, "Thank you for bringing Lucas to me. Where's Nadja? If it happened simultaneously, I'd like to examine her, too."

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    I'm kind of... fascinated by the doctor. Not fascinated. Intrigued? Maybe that's the word. Someone who really got through everything. She's proof that there's life on the other side.

    I'd like to know more about her. I have a feeling I ought to not be too obvious about that.

    "She's still in the classroom. I could go get her right now. If you want?"

    Looking for approval again. That's... kinda pathetic.

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    Mark,

    image Doctor Lancome nods, "If you could, I'd appreciate it," She notices your uniform for the first time, pauses. "Corporal. Other members of the Science Department are investigating some of the effects of the nebula we recently passed, and I wonder if this might be related."

    Tabitha, there's something too easy about her explanation. The doctor might have concerns about the plague here, and it would be her duty to isolate all patients showing effects from the plague. Mark's a little too eager to help out to pick up on this, but somehow, you see it.

  • image

    Ourania,

    Please go here.

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    I frown at Zola's message. It's pretty distasteful. I haven't indulged in tramahex or anything stronger, and I don't want to. My head is a mess enough without it. I'm not interested in breaking into Nadja and Ashlee's room to have sex, either.

    I turn away from my Navi and look up at the monitors when Lancome makes her excuse. Hallucinations aren't a stage of the plague, or at least not an early one. Nadja and Lucas..I don't know how they would be contained in here. There's only two tubes, and they're full.

    "Have any effects. Been reported? Thus far."

  • edited July 2016

    image "The flight crew complained of some ailments, different symptoms. Ranged from severe loss of appetite to auditory and visual hallucinations. I'd like to check on all three children to see if there is any relation." There's more about the flight crew she isn't saying.

  • edited July 2016

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    "Ah. Flight crew are steady-minded. I'm sure they're. Already back in service."

    I tap out a response on my Navi.

    Zola, I'm not stealing from the medbay, especially not in front of Mark. I'd rather we do something in our own space, too. Missing you, will see you at practice. -Tabitha

  • image "Agreed. They were well trained," Doctor Lancome agrees, her emphasis seeming like she's saying something about Ioanna, perhaps. "Are you alright, Tabitha? I've... observed some odd behavior in you the past week." She pauses, then explains, "I'm required to log observations on several children. You are one of them. Don't worry, I'm only reporting issues of safety to anyone. Everything else is off the record, used for preventative care."

  • image I can hear Tabitha asking the doctor questions, as I leave. I can't hear the answer. Lancome's voice is recognisable but the words are indistinct over my footsteps in the corridor.

    There's no sound of mayhem coming from the open classroom door. I should be grateful. Something inside me is a little disappointed.

    I enter the room and look for Nadja.

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    Mark,

    You don't find Nadja in the classroom, but Jace tells you Aiden took her to the bathroom to wash her face and calm down. A quick trip to the bathroom and Aiden hands her off, no trouble.

    Nadja's very freaked out, keeps looking around as if she's being watched. How did you convince her to come back to Med Bay with you?

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    I played along with the paranoia, kind of. Not directly. Just that I didn't tell her she was freaking out over nothing. Told her that she'd be safe in the Med Bay.

  • image

    "I understand." I pocket my Navi again and look at the monitors. "I'm stressed from caring. For Ourania and arguing with her. About coming here. Otherwise I can't be sure. What you mean." It isn't surprising that she's supposed to keep track of me. Is she watching me, specifically, on cameras?

  • image "I know it sounds crazy, Mark." Nadja says as she walks close enough to you that her shoulder rubs against you. "It's like a bad trip. Something that bitch Ourania did. I've heard of like... aerosol drugs and stomm. She did this. You've gotta get her, Mark. Make her tell you what she gave me." She jumps and looks around you, then grabs your hand.

    What do you do?

  • edited July 2016
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    Tabitha,

    The Med Bay doors open again, and Mark enters with Nadja.

    Mark,

    You make it back to the Med Bay.

    Both,

    image "Corpora," Doctor Lancome says when Mark comes in. "Thank you so much for coming. Miss Crassus. If you can have a seat at exam seat number two, we can chat about what's going on." She looks up to you both, "I can handle things from here. Thank you both for your help with your fellow students. I will make sure this is reflected in your reports."

  • image

    That must be all she had for me. I stand up and nod. "You're welcome. Please take care of them."

    I wonder if she noticed some difference from Gwen being with me for so long. That would make her very observant. Not that I will ever talk to her about it.

    Before I leave I take another look at Ourania, watch for fluids in her IV. They're there.

  • image

    I squeeze Nadja's hand to reassure her. "You'll be OK," I say, quietly. I smooth out my uniform and say goodbye to Doctor Lancome. On my way out, I glance over at Pris's tube. It looks the same. It always looks the same.

    I follow Tabitha out and ask, "So what do you think happened there?"

  • image

    I walk for a few moments before answering Mark, thinking. I glance in Mark's eyes..they're such a familiar and lovely blue. "Too much. Other than that. I'm not certain."

    The pressure of the hallway cameras makes me look over my shoulder, too. I just got my reminder.

  • image

    I think about what I should say next. Tabitha and Ourania are friends, I know.

    "Ourania is getting too deep into whatever it is she's into," I say after a while. "I caught her once in my room, going through Aiden's stuff. She stole something from Nadja too. She maybe did something to Gwen. Certainly to Pris. And to Bea. And then there are these, ah, little episodes. It's all... building up. It's not good."

  • edited July 2016

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    I sigh. I can't deny most of this, either because it's true or because of how bad at arguing. "She didn't hurt Gwen. Bea accused her of murdering her..close friend. Right in public. Then Bea tried to apologize. By begging for pity. Instead of being responsible. Bea did some things to herself." I should try to find Gwen. Maybe a body first.

    "I don't know. What to do, though. Visit later. Encouraging Navi messages?" I shrug.

  • image

    I slow as we get closer to the classroom. Tabitha is right, there's not much else she can do. But those things sound like good ideas.

    "Yeah. You should do that. It can't hurt." I touch Tabitha on the arm, half expecting her to flinch. "Look. If you find out it's something really serious, that you wouldn't want to tell the adults about, well. Telling me isn't the same as telling them. You know?"

    My uniform feels like a wall between us. But I want her to know it doesn't change absolutely everything about me.

  • image

    "Hm." I acknowledge what he says, then..he touches my arm. Rising up or flinching or stiffening doesn't quite describe how I respond. I let him do it, stopping in the hall.

    Then, before I'm sure of what I'm doing, I put my arms around him. "I want to rely on you. But if they. Want to make it the same. It becomes the same in time."

  • image

    Tabitha,

    Right now when Mark's sensitive about how everyone sees him, with his quasi-girlfriend losing her stomm, I think you're Turning Him On right now. Let's see some dice!

  • image

    Turning Mark On: (Rolled: 2d6-1. Rolls: 2, 1. Total: 2)

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    Tabitha,

    This moment, holding Mark, after all that's happened, he feels strong and smells different. Interestingly different. Especially after a week of being around someone who's determined to let herself suffer and waste away. Your body responds to Mark in ways you didn't expect.

    (please make a choice from the 7-9 list under Turn Someone On)

    Mark,

    Ioanna died just a few years ago, right? How did you feel about her then? Not Mark the kid with his "aunt", but Mark around a confident and assured woman.

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    "Let's. Talk later? Alone." Mark is..very comforting right now. I could stay here like this for a few minutes, at least. I want to try and trust Mark, treat him like I do on the court.

    I'm promising something I think Mark wants.

  • image

    Tabitha's embrace catches me by surprise. Without thinking, I return it. We stand in each other's arms. It feels comfortingly familiar. I never used to be the taller one. Close enough. She even smells the same. A frisson as Tabitha's close-cropped hair brushes against my cheek.

    I don't know exactly how old I was the last time Ioanna hugged me. Was I ten, maybe, twelve? The hugs got spaced further apart as time went by, as I grew up. No real reason, that's just the way things happen.

    My starstruck admiration for her, that never changed. Even as I got older and she began to talk to me more like a grown-up. My parents used to chuckle at the way I'd always try to wear my best clothes when I knew she was coming over, or make a point of getting the best coffee mug ready. I still did that even after I grew to be self-conscious enough to not announce the fact. It was something like hero-worship. I probably would have grown out of it, if I'd had the chance.

    I nod silently in reply to Tabitha. She can't see it, but she can feel the movement. Time passes. I guess we can't stay like this forever. I break the silence.

    "Ioanna. I--" Drokk. "Tabitha. We should go back in."

    I start to let go.

  • image

    I pull my way out of the hug abruptly, stung. "Right."

    He's right, we can't be out here forever. He didn't mean it. He just remembers, and couldn't help it. I rub my scalp and walk towards the classroom, frustrated.

  • edited July 2016
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    Mark and Tabitha,

    As you take the last corner to the classroom, you see Temperance coming out with Mi Sun. Mi Sun's sharing a joke with Temperance or something, smiling as she sees both of you. Trish, Torrence and Tunde come out behind them.

    Temperance,

    You hit the hall, headed for the cafeteria. Mi Sun's just told you some joke she saw on The Feed, it wasn't that funny, but she thinks so. Mark, the new corporal, and Tabitha are in the hall, headed your way.

    What do you do?

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    I nod to Mark and Tabitha. "Is everyone okay?" Not trying to insert myself into things, this time at least. I'm genuinely interested in the answer.

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    I nod to Mi Sun and smile a little, then answer Temperance. "They should be. Soon, but not now."

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    Hmmm. "Is there anything we can do to help?" The question's for Tabitha, but I include Mark with my eyes.

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    Not much, unless you have a cure for the plague.

    "You could pay a visit, if they're still not back after class," I reply.

    Speaking of which. I look at my bracelet; it's been a little over half an hour. "If you're on a snack run, better hurry. Malcolm will be back in about 10 minutes."

  • image "Thanks for the rundown on the time, Corporal." Trish drawls with a smile. It's impossible to tell if she's actually thanking you, Mark, or if she's being a complete smart alek. Mi Sun looks over at her, trying to puzzle it out. "Not that I care much if Luke's doin' any good. Ya know, Rys mollied his coddle or whatever, but that don't mean you gotta do that, right?" She's looking at you, Mark.

  • image

    I don't much care about what happens to Lucas either. Or Trish's opinions on how to do my job. I shrug.

    "Everyone's allowed to go to Med Bay. See you guys in a few," I say, and make my way back into the classroom.

    I'll have to keep an eye on where these new kids go.

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    So Tabitha won't look at me and Mark turns his back. I guess it's not worth my drokking effort to try engaging here. "C'mon guys, we wouldn't want to be late for class." I continue on toward the cafeteria.

  • edited July 2016

    image Mi Sun asks you, Tabitha, "Hey Tabs, you wanna come? It's almost, sorta kinda lunch time anyways." It completely isn't. "We can get some food for the whole class, or whatever. Nothing going on in there anyways."

  • edited July 2016

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    I've been trying to brew up a useful answer for Temperance and Mark said..basically what I was going to say, so I space out a bit. Mi Sun snaps me back, mentioning my name. "Nadja will need some. Diversion. You know?" Oh, Temperance is on her way already.

    Honestly, I'm hungry right now. "And yeah let's get some food."

  • edited July 2016

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    I turn to glance at Tabitha and Mi Sun. "It's probably complicated, Tabitha, but what's going on with Ourania, Lucas and Nadja?" I figure chances are slim that there is an answer to that question that can be summed up on the way to the cafeteria, but it's worth a try.

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    I frown and get back to thinking. Maybe Mi Sun will save me from having to answer this one. But Mi Sun probably has much less of a picture of what's going on than I do.

    Stomm. This is me wishing I was confused and ignorant about this right now.

    "Well, it is complicated. Hmm. Lucas is stomm. Nadja likes drokking with. Ourania. And ginned up a video with. Olivar. Ourania broke Jace's arm last week. Jace and Olivar are an item. The whole class is shaken by losing. Gwen and Pris."

    Gwen..I glance around. When will I see her again. "Pris is going to survive, though."

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    Well... that addresses the interpersonal dynamics, for sure, and in some detail, but not so much the twitching and screaming. I almost ask a clarifying question, but decide it might be better not to know any more than I do. "Yep. Complicated. Thanks for the answer, though." I turn to smile at Tabitha, then the last thing she said breaks through. "Did you say Pris is going to make it? That's new information.

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    Mark,

    Looks like they're headed to the cafeteria. Are you letting them?

    You hear over the sub-vocal comms, "This could be a serious black mark if Instructor Malcolm comes back to an empty class, Corporal."

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    "Hm. I think she will." I almost let slip that we promised, but that's too personal. "She needs more people visiting her." I look at Temperance, Mi Sun and Trish in turn, it's a suggestion for all of them.

  • edited July 2016

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    I let them go. Malcolm declared a recess, which means they're entitled to leave the classroom. They're the ones who'll get privileges revoked if they're not back in time.

    "I'm a corp, not a babysitter," I mutter back.

    I don't particularly want them to get in trouble, though. So I get my Navi and see who's on the cafeteria at the moment. It's Eff.

    To: Eff Got some of my pod heading yr way, we are on recess for next 10 mins. Please do not let them linger. thanks Nul

    I also set an alert that will ping the whole class with a three-minute warning when it's time.

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    Tabitha and Temperance,

    Mark heads back to class and you move on to the cafeteria. There are a few people here, maybe a half dozen. All kids from other pods. Corporal Eff is sitting by herself in a corner, watching the place calmly as she occasionally taps at some game on her Navi.

    Trish heads up to the food dispenser and complains they're out of green cubes, those wiggly gelatin mold food stuffs. Looks like pink paste today.

    Temperance, how are things with you and Eff lately? What was the ig blow up between you two about, anyways?

    Tabitha, Eff eyes you as soon as you come in. She taps a few notes in her Navi, feels like they're about you.

    What do you do?

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    I watch Eff a little but divert myself to getting whatever's available in the dispensers. I don't feel like starting stomm with Eff right now.

    Aw, drokk. The pink paste..there are about 4 of them and they each taste different and I can never remember which is which because they look too alike. Of course I take some, and a spoon.

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    Mark,

    Please go here.

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    When you're dealing with a short fuse like Eff, it doesn't take much to cause a "big blow up." For me, it was the fact that she decided I was drokking Torrence, who she had her eye on. I wasn't. He wasn't even in my circle at that point, a little over a year ago.

    Anyway, she completely lost her stomm in the middle of this very cafeteria, yelling obscenities and generally making herself look stupid. I just smiled until she wound down. The next day, I found a few minutes to talk with Torr, started getting him in my orbit.

    As I get my selection of pink paste and a spoon, I nudge Torrence. "Hey, Torr. Think maybe you should go say hello to Eff?"

  • edited July 2016
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    Temperance,

    image Torrence, for all his bluster, was a little intimidated by Eff's blow-up back then. He's never told anyone but you, and probably Trish, but it's true. He looks at you for a moment, checking to make sure he gets your meaning. He sees in your eyes that he does, and nods, "Sure, Temp. No problem. You need anything from her, or just, ah, I say hi and check in?" He's half turned to walk over there, but waiting.

    So Temperance, I'm curious. This clique of yours. Do you four have any relationships going on between you right now? Is that allowed? What problems arose during a previous "inter-mingling"?

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    Tunde and I... intermingled from time to time in the past, but I find it really muddies the waters. In this world, I'll take my drokking without attachments and my attachments without drokking, thank you very much.

    "Just check in, you know? Corps work so hard, it would be nice for someone to be nice to her, yeah?"

  • edited July 2016
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    Temperance,

    Torrence nods, like, "Alright, zeng. I can do that." He heads over to chat with Eff, who looks up with a scowl that slips away when she sees it's Torrence.

    image Trish sits down by you, watching, but not watching Torrence and Eff, "If that boy would flirt more than he fights, he'd get so much more done." She laughs low in her throat, "You think he's got any idea how pretty he is? Can't imagine he does, or he'd make a play for you." That seems to amuse her, the idea of it.

    How did you befriend Trish? What worries you most about her temperament?

  • image

    Trish is alright. Solid. She's some sort of cousin to Tunde, which is how we met, back before. My big worry is that she doesn't have much... discretion? when it comes to hooking up. Sometimes it's useful, but I'm concerned that she's just... putting out? to fill some void I'm not filling. I try not to think about that much, though.

    "Girl, he knows better." I hold up my spoonful of pink goo. "Me and guys that make a play? It's like this stuff... three shades of pink, and you might like the taste of one more than another, but... it's all nourishment, yeah?"

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    Temperance,

    Trish snickers at the "pink stuff" joke, then takes a big bite. Tunde is quietly watching Torrence and Eff for a moment, then he takes a bite of his own paste. It's obvious he isn't a fan of the taste, but he only makes a slight face and keeps chewing.

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    I pause in bringing a spoonful of pink up to my mouth, suddenly it's much less appealing than usual. I see what's going on between Torrence and Eff..hopefully that means that Eff won't find any time to bother me. Or Torrence, for that matter.

    Sex with people as, like, interchangeable? That sounds too easy, but I'm kind of jealous, too.

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    I glance over at Torrence and Eff, too, just checking in. If nothing else, it's good to distract her, and I'm pretty sure Torrence won't get in over his head.

    We don't have a ton of time to get back to class, so I get outside of some pink goo, just to fill the hole. I'd normally push the limit a bit, but everyone's already on edge from before, Mark no exception, it seems, so I'll be a good girl. "About time to get back?"

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    Tabitha and Temperance,

    You finish up food and head back to class.

    End Scene

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