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Ferris Wheels and Fishmen [IC]


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Sunday August 13, 7am


The shuttle van passed by street after street of mansions (and family owned bed and breakfasts that used to be mansions) while the students from Claremont attempted to both remain awake and not roast in the back seats of the vehicle.  Sitting in the back, Selena took a long pull from her bottle of water, nearly draining the entire container in one go and wishing the air conditioning reached further back than the driver and passenger seats.


Turning to look at her winged friend Jann she sighed, "Think the park employees would get mad if we flew up to the top of the Ferris wheel?  Half the rides this place has lose a little something when you can fly."

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"What's a Ferris wheel?" The Atlantean freshman asked shyly from the next row back. He wiped the sweat from his brow as he asked. He was not handling the heat well. 


"There aren't amusement parks where I'm from." Koa had found there was only so much working out and combat training he could do before boredom set in. And he was still trying not to get lost in the disorienting reef of buildings that was Freedom. So the opportunity to go to the Amusement park had been one he couldn't pass up. 

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It was Nicole's first time to visit the beach since she had arrived in Freedom City, which was almost two years ago when she cared to think about it. Not a long time looking back -- those years flew by -- but the last time she had even touched sand was five years ago in the Californian desert, and that didn't count for leisure. It put things into perspective, thinking since when she last did this thing or that, and maybe she was working herself too ragged; always pushing in her internship with Archetech, in improving Bellios, in the first tentative steps as Salvo, in her paintings and graphic design, in front of her desktop or phone, and the bits and pieces that needed fine-tuning that were strewn all over her workbench.


Maybe she did need to go out, certainly she wasn't getting tanner spending all her time indoors. So she found herself staring out the window, chin slumping on her hand, from her space in the shuttle van beside Selena. She'd gotten dragged here or let herself be dragged (it didn't matter) by Koa and or Corrine, and she was determined to just relax, even with thoughts swirling around her head. But maybe if she tried to layer the outline second? Create a thinner approach going from the outer-bottom that would help define the middle ground and crysta--  


"What's a Ferris wheel?"




Damn. It.


Seriously? This needed to be fixed.


Nicole turns in her chair to face the question's owner, which wasn't an easy thing to do because Koa was sitting right behind her. A smartphone appears in her hand, and nimble fingers type smartly on the screen before she passes it to Koa. There's a picture of a Ferris Wheel on the phone and Nicole swipes the display a few times to show a few more. "It's a ride," she says, taking her phone back. "That people ride on. It's supposed to be relaxing so it goes around slowly."


She stows her phone away and settles in her chair, choosing to speak over her shoulder instead. All ears. "And I don't doubt that; our rides won't work underwater. So what's public recreation like where you're from then?"

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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Something about Jann was different ever since he’d returned. It was hard to pin down just what it was (mainly because that seemed to be how Jann worked), but in the few times anybody had seen him since he’s suddenly shown up a few days prior, that was the common feeling. Chances were it had to do with the fact he returned weeks earlier than what, according to him before he’d left, had been planned. Or perhaps it was the other way around.


He was wearing only a plain white tanktop and cargo pants, and he’d taken up a row of seats in the back by himself. Wings did that. And the heat was clearly getting to him, he was eyeing the (non-openable) window with that certain glint in his eye.


“Why would they get mad? Even if, cannot stop us. “


His follow-up came shortly after, with him sounding quite exhausted from all the heat.


“Think the driver would get mad if we flew to the park? Cold winds.”

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Corinne was down to get out.


Until she saw Jann get in. The social contract demanded that she remain, and with other students the trouble from the reticent birdman might be mitigated.  She hoped.  Then conversation drifted towards insanity, and she sighed and closed her eyes as she leaned forward so that her head was pressing to the back of the seat before her.  "Because we're not supposed to do that."  She didn't know how much more she should elaborate on that, it makes sense, and she wasn't precise Lil' Miss Follows The Rules.


She was a Californian, born and bred, so she was comfortable in the heat, though the humidity was a bit sapping, still denim short shorts, yacht shoesand a white and red checkered blouse, with a tank top underneath, and capped off with a straw pork pie hat over her short blonde hair. 


"Or, whatever, I wont stop you people."

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Selena tried her best to keep the conversation from getting awkward after Corinne's comment, finishing her water and putting on a grin.  "I know, it's just been awhile since I've had a chance to relax somewhere that high by the ocean.  Idle day dream that got away from me is all."


"At least we'll be out of the rolling hot box in a few minutes," the young magnekinetic said as the aforementioned Ferris wheel and a pair of roller coasters came into view.


With a minor effort of will and a turn of her head to see their course, a pair of sunglasses floated up from the bags in the rear, past Koa and Jann's heads and dropping into the soft purple glow surrounding her hands.  By the time she slipped them on, her left eye and hands had ceased emanating light.  "So, does anyone have any rides or anything in particular they want to hit first?  I heard a couple of folks mention this park has one of the biggest arcade game collections in the country.  It'll likely have air conditioning," she finished, pointed looking at Jann, remembering the first time they had met, him face first in a bowl of ice cubes.

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"Well it isn't like we're even trying to keep a low-profile with Jann here, but none of us are wearing masks," Nicole pointed out, attempting to find the middle road. They both made sense,  their own way, and she could only dream of flying under her own power, unassisted and enclosed in armor. That was a fundamental symbol of freedom and exceptionalism, to do something no one else could, much less her. And symbols had power, she knew that.


They were sweating and uncomfortable. Looking from Selena to Corinne and back, Nicole reached up and touched the shuttle's AC vent, brows knitted and willing what little she could to bend to her understanding. Clearing the grime and debris and replacing the refrigerant anew. There wasn't anything so crass as a spark or crackle of energy, but when she leaned back the air was cooler, enough to beat back the heat that the once broken air conditioning couldn't. "You should have told me something earlier," she said, snapping her fingers experimentally and clearly quite pleased with herself. "Of course, unless you like bathing in your sweat? I could turn it off again."


She smoothed the skirt of her knee-length summer dress. "And I wouldn't mind going outside. I did go to get under the sun, even if I wouldn't be able to ride anything."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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"We have what I guess you would call a fair?" Koa said, not sure if that was the right word. "People show animals and there's contests." it was something Koa loved even if he didn't get to be that close. There was always the chance for bloody noses and worse, so he'd always kept his distance. "I'm from more in the country though, so I'm not sure what the cities are like." 


Koa listened fairly intently to all the talk of flying. He could not fly, nor did he really see the appeal. It was like swimming in the air, and well he could swim in the water. He was content being able to leap around. He really did not want to get in trouble and it seemed silly to use powers when the point was to ride the rides. 


"That looks like fun." Koa said pointing at the roller coaster. "We used to jump into rip tides and it was kind of like that. I think."

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The AC kicking on seemed to make Jann a bit more active, but he was still more or less lying in his seats, just waiting for the bus to stop. And still eyeing the window too, perhaps still thinking about taking the quick way to the park. He’d not had a chance to talk with Corinne ever since she’d run away before he’d left. And she’d not said much so far either. Her argument didn’t exactly impress him, he’d heard that about many things. And both Corinne and Selena knew how much he cared for it. He turned over to Corinne for a second, then back towards Selena. Even if he was barely moving anything but his head in the first place.


“Arcade, yes. And wherever one gets food. Need some refreshment and food before any proper activity. “


Jann didn’t care too much for the rides. But it sounded better than an empty day at Claremont, and he’d heard things about these so called arcades. Ways of training skills one didn’t get the chance to often.

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She leaned her head forward, and pressed her forehead against the back of the chair in front of her, nudging the hat up a bit.  "I understand,  and we're not Harry Potter or anything, but we need to not be obvious where possible."


Of course she wasn't entirely comfortable with her powers, so she wasn't unbiased.  Her mood was more turned by the bird, than anything else.  She had already slathered herself with sun block.  She was ready for this.  Admittedly, she had no urge to play in an arcade.  She could play video games back at the school, where she could air condition herself.  She could make Jann look less... Jann, right?  It was possible... but she didn't want to just up and offer it.  Even she thought it was a bit insulting, as Jann seemed not perturbed at all over this.

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As sweet, cold air blew across her, Selena turned to eye Nicole.  "You just became my new favorite person in this van," she said with a grin.


Glancing at Koa she nodded, "Sounds like a good time, well, if you can breathe underwater anyway."  By the time she finished speaking, a train full of patrons had risen to the top of the track and in seconds were hurtling towards the twists, turns, and loops of the park's newest attraction.


"I think I'm going to hold off on food, it feels like a bad idea to scarf down a funnel cake before hitting a bunch of rides."

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Nicole glanced at Koa from the corner of her eye. He was, of course, proved a dearth of interesting tidbits, trivia that no one would care for, but Nicole took those pieces and created snapshots of reality. Individual or not, a word here, an observation there. They were things to be held up and examined with a jeweler's lens. But not now; she had a handle on this. "Your a hundred years late. Replace 'animals' with 'thrill rides' and 'contests' with 'attractions'. Except the bottom of the ocean encourages different means to stimulate adrenaline than the surface. Roller coasters aren't as exciting if you could just swim a hundred feet up and down yourself."


"Yet we're here at six-point-nine feet above sea level, and two of us for rides and another two for staying indoors when we could do just that at Claremont." Nicole's voice was teasing but frank, made softer by a quirk of her lips. Seen through the windows, there was a roller coaster rising high on a clear day, the only attraction visible from where she was sitting. But there were foodcourts and booths and stores in the ground; many other activities waiting for them.  "Video games aren't worth the time, and we can't stay under the AC forever even with Jann's physiology. We're stuck in New Jersey until we graduate after all, so we better get used to the weather."


"Though I'd still like some ice cream."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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Jann paid some attention to what was happening outside. It didn’t seem particularly interesting. There was no particular thrill to be had from descending from a high altitude quickly. It was part of his usual combat style. The coasters didn’t appeal to him.


Spinning around a lot over a short amount of time did, somewhat. He’d trained it before, but these looked like they were more effective. And he had no access to anything better. The Arcade was where most of the training opportunities lay. From what he’d heard, there were many things in them that required a degree of specialization, which sounded like a rare opportunity.


It was pretty clear he was just waiting to get out of the bus at this point. He looked at whoever was speaking at the time, but he didn’t respond. With Jann it was hard to tell whether or not it was because he didn’t understand, didn’t want to, or just had nothing to say. It all looked the same.

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"I can't turn like that." Koa remarked watching the turns, oh that looked like a lot more fun than what he had back home. He thought about the whole vomiting ordeal the others were talking about. He didn't like vomiting, but it was only an issue if he had eaten something as a shark that he couldn't throw up as an atlantean. Which wouldn't be an issue today. 


"I'd love to eat, either before or after rides. But I really want to try that roller coaster." the young atlantean had begun absentmindedly fidgeting and bouncing, a shark like habit: not being able to sit still. He also was more hungry, he'd not had time for eating a proper breakfast, but the allure of the twists and the turns of the roller coaster seemed to put even his preternatural hunger at bay.

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She knitted her brows together, and she looked off into the distance, drawing in a breath.  Corinne wasn't here.  Or more accurately she was just more likely to be here than anywhere else, at this specific time.  It's quantum.  Or something.


Corinne straightened, with that sort of imperiously perfect posture that one expected from a decade of ballet.  She wanted out of the school, greater distance than the shops, and places to grab a bite to eat near the place.  "We don't have to stick entirely together."  It was a good middle ground, she wasn't going to make people stand out in the heat.  "Or move around."  She didn't know why Jann was there, he seemed uninterested in human culture, or really anything besides fighting.  Maybe he was following her?  Who knows.  She wished Hannah was hear, she was fairly level headed regarding... well most everything, honestly.


And later today she was checking out the dance academy, so she would see how that was.  She was anxious, and it showed, plainly.  Like a big tiger behind bars.

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Not long after the teens began discussing their plan of attack on the amusement park, the shuttle pulled into a parking spot not far from the gate and allowed the young supers out.  Taking a deep breath once freed from the vehicle, Selena sighed, "I love the smell of the ocean in the morning."


Adjusting her light gray tanktop and denim shorts she looked at her watch then back to her fellow students.  Silently she hoped today ran smoothly, given she was the one who had organized the excursion.  Aloud she said, "So, since you guys know what your desired attractions are, we'll head off now, meet up at the fountain here by the entrance in a few hours and get some grub."

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"Well," Nicole drawled as she spun in place to face Selena. Her fingers hovered over her smartphone. There was an interactive map of the amusement park on the display and Nicole waved the phone at Selena. "It looks like the foodcourt and the roller coaster that turns-like-nothing are next to each other. The Arcade's off a little ways though. But you could come with us to the foodcourt if you don't mind walking a few minutes longer."

"Coming Koa? Corinne? Jann?" She said as she began to steer away from the group, moving to the East pier among a few patrons who decided to enjoy the early beach-side morning, same as the Claremont students.


"I love the smell of the ocean too, Selena. Makes me hungry for fish and chips, and there's a good place this way."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue
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Jann got out of the bus fairly late, deciding to stay until most others had left the bus, mainly because fitting through wasn’t entirely easy. Not when he had to be careful and had little space to move above him. He didn’t like cars, they were too cramped for his body.


Once he was outside, he stretched properly. His wings still had some wounds on them, even if they seemed to be healing. Then again, as everybody that knew him, he always had some sort of recently acquired wound. Once he’d stretched each part of his body enough, he looked at the others, who were still making their plans.


“Will meet you at the food court. Call if plans change or you require me somewhere.”


And without any further word, he took off, flying upwards, and towards the park, not bothering with the line. And as he’d announced, directly towards the Arcade.

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Koa decided his best course of action was to stick with Salvo. She seemed nice and the most willing to help out with his not knowing things. 


"I'm coming!" Koa declared gleefully following. He watched Jann take off and fly away. "I love fish." Koa smiled letting his jagged teeth show with glee. 

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Corinne waited until everyone else was off the bus.  Some people were like Jann, and others, well she just was being polite.  She sauntered off, making sure her wireless earbuds were around her shoulders.  After hopping out of the bus she did an entrechat, quickly, to stretch before she launched into a leaping split.


She made a face, realizing what she had done and the reaction from there.  "Mm, sorry.  Food sounds good."  She'd had a parfait before getting on the bus, but she was always hungry.  Always.  So more food was good.  Though this wasn't anything new for her.  "Food and rollercoaster.  Or... not food first if you guys tend to hurl.  Not need to hoark all over people."  She grew up in the shadow of the Mouse and had the season pass for the place most of her life, though she wanted to go to that dangerous abandoned one and ride the slides there.


She was not, necessarily, the wisest person.

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