2010-06-30: Adventure and Hard Times



Date: June 30, 2010


Jamie explains sums up what she did on her summer vacation, why she's out by herself, and oh yeah, her ability stopped working. Wait, you too?

"Adventure and Hard Times"

Grind It Up, New York

It's late afternoon, fading into evening, and the New York humidity is setting in heavily. Many have escaped into air conditioned places like Grind It Up, a local coffee shop in Manhattan. Elle is standing in line, fanning herself with a hand.

Her blonde hair is pulled up in a bun, two artfully decorated chopsticks stuck in it. A flowy teal blouse is paired with a short silvery miniskirt, silver heels on her feet. "Could I get a mocha frappachino, four shots of chocolate, two vanilla, heavy on the whip with an extra shot of espresso?"

Another blonde is situated in the line, not too far behind Elle. KeLyssa is gazing intently up at the board, frowning. What's the coldest thing they have? A Frappachino, right? Right. That's what she needs. The heat has been getting to her more than normal for the last day or two. Strangely, since the eclipse. Today, this blonde is dressed in a light sky blue blouse and brown short shorts and white running shoes. As she approaches the till she says, "I'll be havin' m'self the largest strawberry frappuchino that ya have, please. Thank ya kindly." Her souther twang obvious as always.

No answers. The Company had no answers for Jamie about her lack of powers, and neither have her contacts around the city had any answers on where Sydney might be. Away from supervision for the time being as she searched the latter, she slips into the coffee shop on a break. She steps up to get into line, ending up behind the older blonds. The three could easily be family, if judging by hair colour alone.

A minute or so later, George wanders up to the end of the line, hands stuffed in his pockets. He's weathering the heat pretty well, but his face is still a little red - which is a step up from the pale look he was sporting the other day, after his visit to a rooftop garden came to a crashing halt.

He's sporting the same smile featured in most of his ads, but someone good at reading faces would notice that it's forced today. Things have felt just a little off today, from time to time, ever since that incident. Oh, but up ahead are three people in a row that he recognizes - does this mean things are getting back on track? Hard to tell.

"No, I said heavy on the whip." Elle is standing at the end of the counter now, a hip jutted out with a well-manicured hand on it. The drink is in front of her, and clearly it doesn't meet her high standards. "And it doesn't taste like there's two shots of vanilla in it." Peering down her nose - quite a feat, when you're barely five feet tall - at the barrista, Elle gives an insincere smile. "Could you remake this, please?"

KeLyssa sighs and shakes her head as she waits beside Elle. "Some barristas, eh?" She murmurs softly to her fellow blonde. "They just can't seem ta get nothin' right, can they?" She says with the largest of bright smiles plastered on her face. "But, who kin blame 'em? They don' exactly got the best o' jobs, now do they?"

Jamie, at least, doesn't know the two blonds ahead of her, but that doesn't stop her from speaking up. "Bet they're bored staying in one spot all the time, but at least they get to meet new people all day!" She hasn't looked behind her to notice George yet.

George isn't quite close enough to overhear what Elle says - at least the body language of the barista's response is plenty clear enough. At least he can hear Jamie just fine! "Believe me," he says to her, "that's harder than you might think, some days." A curious look: he knows she didn't walk in with the others, so who is keeping an eye on her these days?

Elle sighs loudly, then nods along with KeLyssa. "I guess," she allows vaguely. "But they shouldn't take it out on my drink order. I'm hot, and I need the boost." Elle has been back to her old, bitchy self since the eclipse - since her power left. The barrista returns with Elle's remade drink, and she eyes it critically. Finally, after an exacting sip, she nods and moves around the counter to pay.

She hears the little girl's voice, then, and turns to the sound. An single pale eyebrow raises when she sees George right behind the little girl. "She yours?" Elle asks George in greeting, jerking her chin towards Jamie, who is otherwise unattended.

KeLyssa nods firmly. "M'Right behind ya there, my pretty blonde friend. We're all hot right now, an' we don't got the patience ta wait. I know where yer comin' from." All too well, in fact. With the disappearance of her ability, she not only has to worry about not being able to create ice, but the very thing that helped her keep her body temperature down on hot days is gone. Glancing at Jamie, she plasters on yet another smile. "I bet they're bored at that, ain't they just?" She chuckles softly. She furrows her brow, seeing George there as well. "Well now, ain't this a pleasant surprise. Congressman George Dawson. I ain't heard from ya since the day we ran inta each other in the Park!"

Jamie blinks and spins around, brightening immediately on seeing George. "Hi! Do you know where Sydney is, at all? She's missing, heard she was maybe kidnapped, but can't find out anything. And… other weird stuff's going on too."

Oh dear, who to answer first? It's a question George winds up asking himself a lot. Well, Elle's question was more or less covered by the way Jamie reacted, and KeLyssa— where's she going with that innocuous-sounding opening? "Re-election coming up. You can imagine, right?"

"Elle, KeLyssa" - that should work whether they've met before or not - "this is Jamie. She was staying with a friend of a friend…" Eh, close enough. "No, I hadn't heard anything about that," he continues, brow furrowing in concern. "I hadn't heard from her for a while, but I didn't think much of it… we weren't exactly close. How long's she been gone?"

Elle throws a few dollars down on the counter, not bothering to place one in the tip jar. After getting her change, she places the straw to her lips and takes a big gulp, then lifts the condensation-covered cup and places it on her forehead. "Ahh," she says with relief. "That's better. You should try it," she tells KeLyssa.

Turning to George, she smiles ever so slightly at the man. "How are you doing?" For the moment, the child doesn't get much attention. Elle's never been good with kids, even ones that seem to be independent enough to be on their own.

KeLyssa raises an eyebrow with an amused smirk on her face. "Oh, elections…of course. How could I have been so silly? Do ya'll need any help some? I do have practice in the office of a Senator, as you well know, Congressman. I could be of great help to ya." She looks to Elle. "It that good eh?" She pays her bill and looks toward their little group. Frowning at Jamie, she takes a sip of her drink and kneels down beside the girl. "Someone ya know might've got kidnapped? That's just terrible." She says softly. Of course, she has her own experience in the area of being kidnapped.

Jamie nods a little to KeLyssa, "My foster mom, sort of." She looks back to George again and shrugs a little, "I dunno. A long time I think. I just got back from Brazil. I was on a plane that crashed in the jungle, we were lost for a really long time. But Trent said they sent him to his aunt's again, and he had time to run away, get caught, and run away again since then. So must've been a while."

"Thanks," George says absently to Lyss, "we're kind of booked at the office but— I'll see if I can't come up with something." They don't have a great demand for receptionists, that's what she was doing for Nathan, right? And his own special-projects team has been on standby since the Protocols were shut down.

"A plane… around the beginning of May, was it?" He turns back toward Jamie, giving her a closer look this time. "I think I heard something about it on the news, but if I remember right, they didn't think there were any survivors… so it didn't really stick around in the headlines for very long." Maybe Jamie will end up getting another fifteen minutes of fame out of this…

Okay, everyone was paying attention to the child. Elle could follow this example. She crouched down in front of Jamie, and gave her a too-bright smile, opening her mouth to speak. Before she could utterly something condescending or inappropriate - or both, Elle was really bad with kids - she glances to George, then the unknown blonde, then back again. "Do you all know this little girl? Why isn't she, you know," Elle lowers her voice, "supervised? Anyone could do anything to her, like this. I mean, she can't be more than 10."

KeLyssa shakes her head. "That's terrible. Jus' terrible. Ain't nobody should be, possibly, kidnapped, and ain't nobody deserve ta be in a plane crash. It must've been terribly terrible fer ya." She says kindly to the girl. Standing upright, she faces George again. "Well maybe I'll jus' drop by the campaign office anyway. Ya gotta have a campaign manager. I might as well see if there's anythin' I kin do. Even if it's just gettin' 'em some coffee!" She nods to Elle. "Well, I was wonderin' the exact same thing, but…ya know. Good've ya ta ask an' all."

Jamie looks up to Elle and frowns, "I'm twelve and a half." She looks at the most eleven. "And I can take care of myself. Been living in New York since I was eight. This part of town's safe, during the day anyway." She looks up to KeLyssa and nods. "It was ok, after the crash itself. And staying with the tribe we met out there was fun. They were really nice, even if we couldn't understand them." Back to George, she says, "Uh-huh. Most of us made it through ok. A plane crash couldn't hurt me anyway, not until the other day anwyay, and there were other people… sorta like me, that helped everybody get out. Except a couple people. They sent me back early, so dunno where the rest of them are now. Rest stayed to help protect the tribe against some people who wanted to kill them all. The guy I was staying with was missing after the crash, though. So I called Sydney, and she didn't answer cause she's missing, so I'm staying with Saul, that's my foster dad after Sydney, the one who went missing, the company he used
to work for. Gave me a sitter that has lots of paperwork, so I got away easy today." She talks super fast, through all this explanation.

By this point, George has pulled up a chair - he never did get around to ordering anything, time enough for that later - and glances back toward Elle. "Well, she was being supervised, last I knew." Obviously a lot has happened since then.

Back to Jamie… okay, two months in a foreign country, the Cliff's Notes version… but there, in amongst the rest, there's that one blink-and-you'll-miss-it item that sticks out. Until the other day. He's been feeling out of touch with his own ability for the past couple days. And the woman who fell into the garden said that something stopped. If she had a certain ability as well—

Maybe it's not just him.

"Elle?" he asks, blinking. "Have there been any… major changes on your end since I saw you last?"

"Major changes?" Elle echoes. Her grey-blue eyes sweep the room, noting the other people in the coffee house - barristas, customers. "Uh.. I'm not entirely sure what you mean," she says vaguely, making Significant Eyebrows at him. If eyebrows could talk, hers would be saying, 'This is probably not the best place for this'. She makes no comment on Jamie's rush of speech, only catching about half of it, though she tries to pay attention. A brief smile is given to KeLyssa.

KeLyssa furrows her brows at Jamie as she talks, shaking her head. "A plane crash couldn't hurt you…'til a couple days ago? People…like you? Kids?" She shakes her head. "Well, I don't know none o' that. 'Cept that a couple days ago something changed in my life too. Suddenly I don' feel as…unique as I may've once done." She murmurs. She returns the smile to Elle.

Jamie looks to George a moment, and then back to KeLyssa. "Well, you ever see me on TV? You'll know what I'm talking about. Everybody always yells at me when I talk about it in public though." Obviously, her only wish for secrecy is to avoid being yelled at. "But yeah, same for me! Still can do things most other people can't, but it's acrobatic stuff mostly, not what I could before."

Crap. That's another one, then— two other ones, given Elle's (to anyone consciously paying attention) paper-thin disclaimer. Is it affecting the whole city? Does it go any further than that?

Also, KeLyssa has (had) an ability. That could explain why Nathan trusted her to take calls pertaining to the subject. Which may or may not mean anything any more…

"I think I'd better get going," George murmurs, pushing up from his seat and searching through his pockets until he comes up with a couple business cards, offering them to Lyss and Jamie in turn— Elle already got one the night they met Aaron. "You guys call me, okay? If anything changes?" Or if it doesn't change, he thinks, and we wind up needing a support group.

"I need to go, too." Elle blurts, clearly made uncomfortable by this topic of discussion in such a public area. The Company instinct to deny, deny, deny was bred into her, after all. Taking another sip of her neglected drink, she waves with her free hand to the trio. "It was nice to meet you all.." Belatedly, she adds, "I'm Elle, by the way." With that, she heads out of the coffee shop and into the humidity.

KeLyssa clears her throat and nods. "Well, ain't that somethin'." She says softly. Taking George's card, she looks at it and nods. "Sure I will, Mister Dawson. Sure I will." Of course, what she doesn't say is she got his cell number the day they met in the Park. Got it from his phone. But that's neither here nor there. Smiling to George and Elle she says, "Well, I suppose I'll be seein' ya'll later." Looking down at Jamie she says, "Now, do you want me ta walk ya somewhere, or are you fine?"

Jamie takes the offered card, looking at it, and pocketting it. "Ok! I'll call." She looks up to KeLyssa and grins, "I'm fine. I wanna get a milkshake here anyway still 'fore I go back out there, but when I'm running nobody can catch me, so I'm faster and safer on my own. Thanks though!"

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