2010-11-28: New Friends



Date: November 28, 2010


Two carnie kids meet for the first time. Who says water and electricity don't mix?

"New Friends"

Sullivan Bros. Carnival

A bright afternoon finds Jamie between performances in the tent wandering through the Carnival. One nice thing about living and working here is that the weather inside the Carnival grounds is always comfortably warm, thanks to the work of a weather-controller that's part of the family. So, Jamie doesn't seem to mind wandering in her costume, a colourful figure making her way around outside the crowds.

It's not a difficult concept, is it? Trash belongs in a trash can. Not dumped /near/ the trashcan or somewhere in the trashcan's vicinity, and definitely not tossed randomly in places that trash definitely doesn't belong. It's a simple concept to Percy, who's dressed in blue coveralls a size or so too large for him, and he rolls his eyes as he sweeps up a half-eaten hotdog into the pile of trash he's swept up so far. He brushes the back of his sleeve beneath his nose as he continues on, meaning to make his way towards the trailers that are a ways away once done with this area. But, as fate would have it, "Hey!" he says with a scowl as a group of boys a few years older than him kicks at his pile, scattering his neat pile of trash here and there. "/Oops/. Sorry /Janitor/" says one, snickering as they move on, leaving Percy to glare.

Jamie, seeing this, frowns and runs up, but the boys are heading away before the time she gets over there, "Jerks!" She looks back to Percy and asks, "Want help getting that together again?"

Percy makes a fist with his non broom wielding hand, glaring daggers at the backs of the snickering young teens who now head off to jostle their way through the line of a carnival ride. Biting back words, he begins to sweep it all up again, but stops at the call from Jamie. He blinks, peering at her. She's familiar. He's been here a few short months and has memorized faces and names of the performers here, though mere moments after his eyes meet hers, he looks down. "Nah. S'my job… S'alright," he mumbles, brushing at his nose again. "..Bet that ride breaks down when they get onnit."

Jamie wrinkles her nose and says, "I hope it doesn't. More often stuff breaks down, the less people come." She looks to Percy a moment and says, "You don't gotta do that by yourself, you know. We're family here."

Wishful thinking. Percy can at least imagine the ride twirling out of control, going far too fast and seeing the terrified look on the boys' faces. For now, his imagination is the only revenge he'll be getting. "That octopus ride thing broke yesterday," he says, eyes still averted from her face, focused somewhere upon the glitteriness on the arm of her costume. "Ain't nobody was hurt, though," he adds. "An'…if you want to help, fine, but don't go tellin' nobody I asked you to," said as he begins sweeping things up again. "You're one've them…acrobats, right?"

Jamie grins and says, "I won't." She nods quickly to Percy's question as she crouches to start picking up pieces of garbage, mindless of the dirt, tossing them into the growing pile. "Yep, I am. They call me the flying water sprite. I thought spirit was better, 'cause in the Amazon when I was there a few months ago they thought I was a spirit, but the audience likes sprite so it's cool."

Percy pauses in mid sweep, letting an empty paper cup roll. "Amazon? … You been to the Amazon? Like..the jungle place or whatever?" he asks, a single brow lifting as he watches her incredulously, leaning on his broom a bit. "How?"

Jamie nods quickly and answers, as she continues to physically move the stuff, "Yep! My old foster dad took me on a trip down to Brazil for vacation. We were gonna go to this resort in the middle of the jungle but there was a plane crash on the way. My foster dad… well, he was missing after the crash, but stayed with the other survivors, they were on a trip for the website Mysterious Truth. We found a tribe of people who thought people like us were gifted by the spirits… except me, they thought I *was* a spirit. They didn't worship me or anything, though… it was really nice there. They accepted me for who I was, just like here."

Brazil? For vacation? Percy can't manage to voice the words. They sound too incredible. Too unreal. He has a difficult enough time coming to terms with how fast and far the circus travels, when it does. But to go out of the country just for a leisurely family trip? Amazing. "Y'must be rich," he comments, slightly rubbing at the back of his head, watching her through faintly squinted eyes, and he pauses there in order to finish collecting the last bits of scattered trash and sweep it into a dustpan. "How'd you get outta there?"

Jamie shakes her head, "My foster dad was, I think, but not me." With the last of the trash collected, she momentarily turns her hands to water to get rid of the dirt. Then she says, "There were people going to attack the village, trying to kidnap their powered people, and the rest from the crash were staying to protect them. They wouldn't let me stay to help, so a villager took me to another tribe, one that had radios, and they called someone to come and get me."

Attacks and kidnappings. Percy is entranced, though he tries not to seem so interested in her story as he moves a short distance to dump the trash into a large trash can. Upon returning to her, his eyes drop to her hands, although at this time they're back to normal. "That's weird.. Weird that nobody here thinks that's…weird," he says, glancing to her face briefly. "Y'know?" He shrugs his shoulders once and diverts his eyes again, idly watching a little girl with a large cone of cotton candy in her hand pass by. "You been here ever since then?"

Jamie smiles, "The people who come here think it's all special effects. And the people who live here are almost all the same anyway, except the kids who don't have their powers yet. But everybody here knows, so it's not weird." Then she shakes her head, "No, I stayed with the company he used to work for for a while, until after everybody's powers came back after the Eclipse. It was right after that that I joined."

"S'weird to me," mumbles Percy beneath his breath, though his eyes dart to her soon after his words are muttered. "I mean, you ever think how it'd be to jus' be…regular? Normal?" Ah, there's so much he doesn't know! Eclipse. Powers returning. Powers evolving. Whispers of things to be feared, people to hide from. He's as ignorant as they come, which could be a blessing or a curse. But he knows he knows little, and it's…irritating. And so, with a wrinkle of his nose, he turns his head and gestures towards one of the many colorful snack bars nearby. "So hey, you wanna get a cotton candy or somethin'? The lady who runs that one likes me, an' she makes'm huge."

Jamie shrugs and says, "I don't have to wonder, my powers went away, all away, during the eclipse. It was awful! Like I was… trapped. All tied up not able to move. That's how it felt anyway." She brightens at the invite and nods quickly, "Sure!" She steps to follow after Percy.

Trapped. The word sends a vague shudder down Percy's spine, though he doesn't comment on it. Instead, he leaves his broom and dustpan near the large trashcan and waves her with him. Weaving his way through the crowd, he leads them to the snack stand, bypassing the long line to instead weasel himself and her to a side window, reaching up to rap upon it. Not long after, it slides open, and a woman, perhaps in her mid to late forties, peers out. She has shockingly red hair which is constantly frizzy, and vibrant blue eyes. Red lipstick paints her lips, with a little too much blush. "Heeey there honey!" she drawls as she peers out at them both, beaming a smile. "Oh and the Flying Water Sprite too. Workin' hard, I bet, the both of you. Looking for a treat?" she asks, words directed to them both.

Jamie easily keeps up with Percy, though she gets a few strange looks in the crowd. As warm as they manage to keep it within the Carnival grounds, it' still weird to see a girl running around in a leotard this close to the end of November. She smiles brightly to the woman at the stand and nods quickly, "Yes please!"

The smile given by the woman is large and friendly, and Percy stands up on his toes to beam back his most flattering grin. "Yeah, what she said," he answers, gesturing to Jamie. "Uh…can we get one … uh, two of your cotton candies, if you ain't too busy.." he says, glancing to the long line with a hint of a guilty look on his face. It works. "Oooh, aren't you just the sweetest! Of course. Blue for you, pink for her? Just wait one tick, it won't take long." And without waiting for an answer, she ducks back in to prepare the sugary treats.

"Yes!" Percy beams at Jamie, casting her a coy look. "She's the best one to come 'n ask if you want somethin'. Miss Jay. And now that she figures we're friends, she'll hook ya up whenever." He pauses, grin fading a bit. "You don' care if ya get pink, huh? I'd trade ya but… pink's kinda…y'know…girlish."

Jamie smiles back to Percy and nods quickly, "Thanks!" She shakes her head quickly with a giggle, "No, pink's ok, I like pink." She takes a glance to the line and then in the window curiously.

"Good," says Percy, sounding relieved, especially when Miss Jay returns, holding one extra large cotton candy stick in each hand. A mass of blue and pink sugary goodness. "Here ya go, sugars. Stop by once we close tonight, huh? I'll save a few slices of pizza for you." She gives each youngster their candy and, with a wink, heads back to the crowds who await their own treats. "Sweet.." smirks Percy as he holds up the towering stick of blue cotton candy to eye level, then peers around it to look at Jamie. "How long is your break?"

Jamie smiles happily, "Thank you." She takes the pink and steps back, grinning. She takes a mouthful of the candy, letting it melt in her mouth before swallowing and then answers Percy, "I have until after dinner, next show's an evening show."

"Wanna see somethin' cool?" Percy asks with a crooked grin before he too takes a bite out of his ball of fluff. "Mmm, not here though. Too many people," said as he glances from one side to the other. As usual, the carnival is busy, though why wouldn't it be? It's a carnival with the most amazing acts New York has ever seen, and word seems to have spread.
Jamie nods quickly and smiles, "Sure!" She hesitates and asks, "Back at the trailers? Should be empty. And if you want really empty, there's the trailer I stay in, the Bowmans are all doing their act still." She points into the distance and a flash of flame can be seen rising in the sky.

Percy's eyes follow the point of her finger and follow the flame the peels through the sky before disappearing again. His brows raise a little before his attention lowers to his forgotten broom and dustpan. Eh. Later. The trash really isn't going anywhere, is it? "Yeah, trailers will be good. Jus' anywhere away from…them. The normal ones." Another mouthful of cotton candy fizzles in his mouth, and he gestures with his chin. "Come on 'fore I get my butt kicked for slackin' off. Jeff hates not knowin' where I am…'specially since he always knows where I'm supposed to be," said in a tone that suggests that he couldn't really care less. Smirking mischievously, he begins to slink off again, this time heading away from the crowds.

Jamie grins back to Percy at that and nods quickly, following along quickly, taking another mouthful of candy as well as she does. The area around the trailers is nearly empty this time of day, just Mrs. Comey in her camper preparing dinner, and a couple of adults resting from their jobs with coffee, not paying any real attention to the kids.

This place is beginning to feel more and more like home. Percy is surprised at how a vague feeling of comfort settles in his chest once they arrive at the ragtag community of trailers that serve as homes for the resident performers. He flashes a quick grin to the few adults who give half glances their way before ducking between two trailers. Not far is a large discarded crate, and it's here that he pauses and climbs upon the thing to sit. "Your name's Jamie, right? I heard people round here talkin' about you. I'm Percy."

Jamie follows Percy between the trailers, and nods quickly with a smile, "Yep, that's me. Cool to meet you." She leans a little against one of the trailers as she takes another mouthful of candy, and asks after swallowing, "What'd you want to show me?"

"This," says Percy, holding up his half-eaten cotton candy stick. Ta-da! He grins a little at the unremarkable display, but then without explanation uses his free hand to pull off the remaining sticky candy and holds it in his palm. "Watch," he prompts as he holds up his candy-covered hand. He then knits his brows slightly, either concentrating or thinking about something deeply, amber eyes never wavering from the blue cotton candy. Seconds pass and there's not much to be seen, and Percy's jaw tenses a little as the intensity of his stare increases. More seconds. Nearly a minute. Then… FFFWOOMPH! The cotton candy in his hand seems to erupt into thousands of tiny sparks all stained a shade of blue ranging from ice to the deepest sapphire. The suddenness of it has him jumping back a little, but he checks himself quickly and grins as the crackling, glittering ball shines in all its glory…that lasts all of five seconds before the entire thing burns and melts away, leaving only his palm, a few sticky sugar crystals, and random sparks of weak electricity crackling from his fingertips. "Cool, huh?"

Jamie looks a little confused until she sees that concentrating look. She's seen similar things many, many times before. So, she's patient, waiting without comment or complaint, just eating more of her own cotton candy. When the candy erupts she jumps back as well, startled, but then gives a big grin, "So cool!"

Percy quickly brushes his palm off against the side of his coveralls to rid it of sugar, though seems to bask in her praise, causing his confidence to swell just slightly. "Yeah, see I ain't got my own act…/yet/. But I will," he says, sounding rather sure of himself as he stands up on the crate. "I'll be Percy, the Amazing…I dunno… The Amazing Zappin' Guy or somethin' like that. I haven't figured out the name part yet. But I'll do things even cooler than that, and people'll come all over an' pay big bucks to see me."

Jamie grins and says, "Yeah! Um.. how about… human thundercloud?" She grins and says, "Just don't zap me, water and electricity don't mix. When… when the government chased us, and they caught me, they used a gun that zapped me. I couldn't change, couldn't do anything, hurt alll over."

Percy thinks that over briefly. "The Human Thundercloud.." he muses aloud, looking out as he thinks it over. "Yeah.. I like it," he nods approvingly, a grin curving a single edge of his mouth. But the crooked look falters as she continues on, and he hops back down into a sitting position on the crate. "For real? … Wow. I wouldn't zap you. Not on purpose.." he amends honestly. "Sometimes…it jus' happens an' I can't help it. But I'm, uh, workin' on that.." said sheepishly.

Jamie nods seriously, "I'm so glad the President stopped them from doing that anymore. It was awful." She smiles again then, as she tries to push back to normal subjects, "Yeah, I still change by accident too sometimes. The first time it ever happened was by accident, even. I fell a long way and changed on the way down. Took me so long to figure out how to change back someone stole my clothes, thinking they were just thrown out."
You have just been +fingered by Percy.

Chased by the government. Percy was spared such horrors, but the phrase continues to echo in his mind and likely will continue to nag him until further information is gathered. But today won't be the day for that. There will be plenty of time for prying questions another day. Her tale of an accidental change has him snickering and suddenly turning his eyes elsewhere. Really, the thought of a puddle of water morphing into a girl who has lost her clothes is a little much for a twelve year old boy to take in with a straight face. "Uh…so, uh, you turn into water?" he asks nonchalantly, or as nonchalantly as he can.

Jamie giggles a little at Percy's reaction to her statement, but she nods emphatically to the question, finishing off the last of her cotton candy before she says, "Uh-huh. It's so amazing. I can see out of every drop, smell, taste, touch, hear, everything, it's all out of everywhere in me. And so free. Nothing can stop me, nothing can hold me, unless it's waterproof. I can go through pipes… I even got stuck in a hot water heater once, that wasn't fun. But, I learned I can fly if I get turned into steam, but takes me a while to get back together so I can change back after that."

Percy can't help the vague widening of his eyes as she tells of the magnificence of her ability. The freedom of water form. The ability to melt away and fly as steam and leave everything behind.

"That's….freakin' cool," he says after a while, shaking his head. "Even if you /do/ lose your clothes when ya change. Shoot, if I could fly I wouldn't care." He spreads his arms as if they were wings, but then cringes as a telltale voice is heard at a distance, shouting his name. His arms drop down. "Uh-oh. Jeff…" He slides off of the crate to stand. "Bet he found my broom 'n stuff. I better go. Hey, maybe later I can see your act?"

Jamie nods to Percy's initial reaction with a big grin. She glances up at the voice, then she nods emphatically again to his question, "Of course! Come into the tent after dinner, watch the show. Hope ya like it," she adds with a smile.

"Cool, thanks. Good luck," replies Percy with another cringe as his name is yelled again, sounding closer this time. "I'll see ya later then," he says, already beginning to scamper off. "An' I'll like it. Everybody else already does!" He waves over his shoulder before turning a corner and disappearing back to his chores, hopefully being spared a lecture from his caretaker.

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