2011-08-11: Flaming Bubblegum Demons


Chloe_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpg Sage_icon.jpg Tyler_icon.jpg

Summary: A group of Xaviers students went to the Salem Center Mall to do a bit of shopping.

Date: August 11, 2011

Log Title: Flaming Bubblegum Demons

Rating: PG

Westchester Salem Center Food Court

Entering the mall brings its visitors right to the Food Court. A wide open area with tables and chairs sprinkled around it, its edges lined with a wide variety of fast food choices. Pizza, burgers, ice cream, chicken, Chinese, smoothies, you name it, you got it.

School is a little less than a month away, but that doesn't stop Theo from preparing. What else does he have to do on his day off? Besides that, it was an opportunity to ask Chloe to hang out with him. With all of the Mindbender nonsense going on, he could really use a break from scouring CCTV in Mutant town. Given that the Salem Center is the closest mall, it seemed reasonable. "You know, I think the mall in Manassas was even larger than this little thing," he comments, adjusting his backpack which carries Proto in it, rather than have the little robot wandering the mall next to him.

The glass mall doors in front of the food court swing wide as Tyler steps into the mall stretching his arms out to his sides proclaiming, "And here we have the Salem Center mall! Terrible food, over priced goods, and tons of cheap perfume displays." Spinning about to face Sage he back pedals like he's a tour guide pointing to the left, "Rebellious Teen things and cheesy gift shops," points to the right, "SHOES!"

"The mall /where/?" Chloe asks distantly, her eyes scanning the mall for signs of trouble. "I have to admit I don't even know why I'm tagging along to buy school stuff. It's /forever/ away for me. I could get things the day before and still have plenty of time to shop around." She tenses up when a random passer-by steps a little too close, as if she's ready to take a swing at someone on the slighest provocation. "Besides if they haven't found Heather by then I'm thinking I'll ditch class until I've tracked them down myself. Not like I'd be able to focus on my studies."

"I've actually been here once." Says Sage whose getting a few looks due to his dreadlocks and hippish attire. He really does look like he's straight from the seventies. "I can't believe how large this city is and that you need an entire building for shops." He says looking at a girl as she walks by with a bit of confusion on his face. He leans in to whisper to Tyler, "Why is she wearing undergarments to the mall?" There's no way in hell shorts that tiny can be actual clothing.

"What every happened to being able to day dream and still pay attention?" Theo asks. "We'll find them. It just takes time scanning all those mutant town cameras. You wouldn't believe how much stuff is on those things, and they are incredibly boring. Almost all of it is watching people go in and out of gas stations. Too bad we can't combine your powers with mine and watch them faster." He glances over at the shows commented about. "Yeah, shoes. Chloe you always need new shoes anyway. You should get a good pair so that when we run into Heather's crackhead parents you'll have good footwear." He arches his brow at Sage, and looks around for the girl in undergarments. "You talking about that JCPenney ad? It's just a picture."

Tyler pauses in his backwards steps to tip his head from side to side curiously, "Oh! Then I suppose you've experienced the horrors of the bath and beauty shops then. No need for warnings." Laughing his eyes dart over towards this girl walking by wearing the short-shorts, and the nearly bra-like shirt which is typical for women who have the figure to pull it off. "Erm Sage, it's actually clothes. Not much there but the undergarments are probably really skimpy." Having only briefly met Chloe he offers her a smile, "Hi Chloe, and friend. I'm Tyler."

Chloe shakes her head. "My kicks are just as dangerous without shoes," she points out, forcing a smile. "Can't you get Proto to do the tedious bits for you? As for combining powers you could if you…" The speedster snaps shut on that thought when Tyler and Sage get close enough for conversation. "Hey you two. What brings you out to the crappiest mall in walking distance?"

"No, not a picture, just the girl over there." Sage says indicating the girl that Tyler was referring to in return. "American's wear undergarments for clothing?" It's not that he's conservative, far from it, just her outfit seems a bit outlandish to him. "I don't believe I've met either of you before?" He says to Theo and Chloe, especially since the only time he met Theo was when he was in armour. "Ummm you mean there are more shops like this? This city is huge and to have building for just shops, I don't know if I would call it…umm…crappy?"

"Proto is doing some of it. But computers can't process things the same way that people can, I have to make the scope broad enough that I can review what he picks up. So pretty much every time someone walks in front of the camera, I second look it. Cuts down hours that I don't have to look at, but still…" he shakes his head. "Can we take a break from this, just for an hour and pretend that we're actual normal teenagers?" the technopath asks Chloe. "It'll do you good to clear your head, then come back to it fresh. " Theo walks up to the shoe shop. "And I meant for traction. You can't move as fast if you have to adjust for your own traction all the time." He shifts gears quickly, "It's just short shorts. And yes, that's common." He adjusts the pack again. "I think I'm gonna get a backpack with a hip belt while I'm here. If there's somebody that carries them. Proto weighs a freaking ton now."

"I'm always in the mood to window shop, Chloe. Sometimes you can find something pretty amazing when you're not looking for it," Tyler tells Chloe paying no mind to her companion not noticing his existence. To Sage, "Yeah, there are a lot of places like this Sage. If you want to head into the city some time I can gather up a group of people I know and we can show you around a bit. Broadway, Times Square, the zoo. You know that sorta thing."

Chloe blinks. "I did breeze past you at one point," she assures Sage. "Tyler that's Theo. Theo, Tyler. As for traction the bottom of my feet are naturally high grip. Speed adaptations aren't all about tough bones and membranes over the eyes. But sure whatever. I'll try pretend everything is okay for a little while, but normal maybe stretching it a little too far. Normal means being in slow world twenty-four-seven."

Sage shakes his head leaving the clothing issue to one of those things about American's he just doesn't understand. "Whose Proto? And you were the gentlemen in the armour in the woods that one day?!" He says upon hearing Theo's name and recognizing it. "Wait you mean this isn't the city everyone is talking about? How can there be a bigger city than this? This place is huge. How do you not get lost?" He's such a country boy in a lot of ways. "Okay I do remember you now, I remember you mentioning these slow and fast worlds."

"Yes," Theo answers, "I was wearing the armor. See, Chloe! I'm a gentleman," he says with a grin and a wink. "Proto was the armor. He's a robot, and in the backpack I'm wearing, just in case there's trouble." He glances up at the shoes on the rack. "I didn't say you have to pretend to be slow. Just chill for a little while." He pulls a sneaker to examine from the shelf before glancing back up. "Tyler, it's good to meet you, you just starting this year?"

The group has found themselves in a shoe shop which is brilliant! Tyler likes searching through shoes to find something he's either not seen before or he thinks would look great despite the fact that it might be a fashion horror to most. As he spots a rather ugly looking running shoe he turns to answer Theo, "Nice to meet you too, Theo. I'm starting classes this year yeah. I showed up at the school just before summer break so I lucked out I guess." Picks up the ugly shoe showing it to Sage and Chloe. "I don't think I'd like the slow world very much; it sounds boring." Tapping the shoe to his chest he then sets it back down to the rack moving on to the next find. "There are maps, and gps things, and all sorts of stuff to not get lost in the city. Heh, there's even a map not to get lost in this mall, Sage. Cities can be small and crazy big. You'll see when we can drag you into downtown NY."

Chloe laughs, idly wandering around a display of womens running shoes. "You're in the slow world. Unless you've got a secret superspeed power you've been keeping pretty well hidden?" She ducks down and peers at one specific shoe. "These look pretty cheaply made for running shoes. I can't imagine them lasting more than a hundred miles of use. It's amazing just how short a time stuff gets made to last, like no-one cares about anything but making a quick buck."

Sage isn't really looking around the store at the various shoes, he's got a perfectly good pair of sandals. "I can't stand wearing shoes, I'd rather go barefoot as much as possible. It's not easy in the winter though." He nods as Tyler explains things but it's all a bit overwhelming to him. "No, I don't have any super secret super speed powers, just the powers with my hair. And it's not always about making a quick buck, money isn't the most important thing."

"You really are a legit hippie, aren't you?" Theo dryly says to Sage. "Hey, can I get a size 9 for these?" he asks the girl working the store. "Either that or you come from a rich family. It's always the rich that say money isn't important. You never hear that from people who are poor." He sits on the bench and takes off his current shoes. to get ready. "Chloe calls it slow-world because we all move in slow motion in compared to her."

Tyler is in the slow world? "Hah! That would explain why I get bored all of the time." Various shoes are picked up then placed back down as they're all pretty terrible. Most of these shoes are beyond ugly and horribly overpriced. "Well, cheaply made goods keep people in jobs is one way to look at it. If something breaks down then there's someone somewhere making whatever it is to replace it. Least I think so." Ooo! A pair of lime green high tops have caught his eye so he's off to snatch those off the next rack. "Hair powers?" Ty comes back with his find off the clearance rack to stand next to Sage. "I never did get around to asking you what your /deal/ was dude. My bad."

"Actually Heather came up with the term. But it's so appropriate that I couldn't imagine not using it!" Chloe corrects, shaking her head at the shoes on offer. "And yes, the people who make stuff to sell in malls are /all/ out to make a quick buck. You can bet anything you buy will just about last the warranty period then fall apart or maybe it'll fail before it but they rely upon people being to lazy to claim a refund for low value goods. It's how the world works."

"I don't know." Sage says to Theo. "But we're not exactly rich. I don't believe so anyway. My family, or the commune I'm from, we make all our money from selling what we grow on the farm." He explains before shrugging to Tyler and offering him a smile. "No worries mate. If you're asking what my deal is by asking what my powers are, my hair can act as another appendage. They said it was prehensile." He makes a face as Chloe explains. "That doesn't sound good. Why would people bother buying products like that if they're just horrid and won't last?"

Having seated himself nearby to try on the bright colored shoes Tyler peers up from unlacing his sneakers towards the others. "Sad but true about consumer stuff. As long as people buy the crap people will make the crap." One shoe off then the next the new pair of high tops are slipped onto his feet then laced up enough for him to stand up in them to bounce in place getting a feel for the shoes. "Prehensile hair? That's pretty wicked, Sage. That makes me think of all sorts of things like Devo, that video with the little girl who flings paint around with her hair, and that thing people do when they hang by their hair and spin around. Don't mind me, I'd have to show all of this to you on the lappy."

"Isn't it fairly… Erm I'm unsure how to phrase this politely… Do you find there is much you actually /need/ prehensile hair for? It doesn't seem like it has many things that you can use it for that you couldn't do already with your hands," Chloe wonders, eyeing Sages hair. "Heavy objects would just rip the hairs out by the roots, sticky things would gunk your hair up and hot things would ingnite it…"

"How is my hair evil?" Sage asks Tyler in a bit of shock. "I didn't think there was anything like that about this power, is there something I don't know?" Besides a lot. "Also I have no clue what devo is or anything else you were talking about and I think I'd prefer not to see anyone hang by their hair. It sounds dreadfully painful." He then looks at Chloe and shakes his head. "No, actually it's quite stronger than what my hands can pick up. It's surprisingly durable I've learned. I don't know the full things I can do with it but I don't plan on getting bubble gum or fire in my hair."

"Wicked is slang for cool, awesome, neato…" Tyler tosses out some words that are similar to the one that he used to explain Sage's power. Walking back in forth in a line past his fellow students he listens to the conversation then stops next to them on the third pass. "I'm sure you can avoid the bubble gum fairly well but I'm not so sure about the fire. There are a few students that have fire powers at the school that I've seen." A moment later he sits back down to take the sneakers off to put back into the box they were in before peering up at Chloe. "What's been up with you since you ran up to the Observation Lounge?"

Chloe frowns. "What's been up with me as in what have I been doing?" she wonders. "Or what's been up with me why are you acting so strange? To the first question I've been in near constant training in a variety of martial arts the entire summer vacation. Kendo, Bushido, Savate, Systema and a few others. As for the second my friends are still missing and despite Theo's best attempts to cheer me up it's not working very well." The speedster makes a rapid what can you do hand motion. "Depending on the squad leader you have you might well have to contend with flaming bubblegum demons that chase you with hair nets. I think whoever designs the sessions occasionally forgets to take their medication."

"But why would I have to deal with a fellow student if they use fire? It's not like they're going to be lighting my hair on fire for fun." Sage says. "I'm really sorry to hear your friends are missing Chloe. I've heard a bit about the situation and I'm really not quite sure what to make of it. It all seems so so qu…I mean strange to me." The he scrunches his face with dislike briefly. "I plan to never go into that danger room thing again, for any sort of session. I hate it there. And are the squad leaders sick or something?"

Leaning back in the seat setting the boxes of shoes to his lap Tyler nods sadly, "I'm sorry about what's happened to your friends as well. I'm sure something will turn up that will get them back safely. If you're taking all of those martial arts thought I really hope you'll never have to kick my ass one day." The blonde haired teen chuckles about flaming bubble gum demons as he rises up from the chair to go place the box of shoes back on the rack and rejoin the others. "Not ill, more like erm mental, thinking of crazy things and they really shouldn't be coming up with weird stuff like that. Not that I think that explanation helped very much but I tried."

"The danger room annoys me. Things are quite often rigged in our favor," Chloe explains, scowling at the running shoes and hunting around for more casual footwear. "What exactly is it you do Tyler? Chances are you'll have something that makes martial arts pretty useless. I can only think of a few students who it wouldn't be insane trying to spar with. Pyrokinesis, telekinesis and that sort of stuff all makes even a superspeed kick pretty useless."

"I just think it's quite silly that we are forced to fight for foolish reasons." Sage says. "There's no point to it. I abhor violence." He states but doesn't really go much more on the subject knowing he's about to get told how he's wrong thinking that way. "So, are there any record stores here?"

Tyler stuffs his hands into the front pockets of his jeans, "I thought much the same way, Sage. I'm starting to think differently after having the why's explained to me. Not comfortable with it yet but I'm getting there. Maybe you should talk to a professor about this." If everyone is cool they can head out of the shoe shop to find the nearest music store on this side of the mall. To Chloe, "I paint." Knows that's not the question she was asking but he said it mainly to try and get a laugh or a disgruntled expression. "Seriously? If you ever look through a telescope at the school up at the stars you might be seeing the Big Dipper or you could very well be seeing me. I think I'm a bit more colorful and sparkling…in general."

"A record store? Or a /record store/?" Chloe asks, tilting her head. "Vinyl records aren't usually sold in a normal music store, at least not with a wide selection. Not even sure if they have one in this mall." Tyler gets one of her trademark slow eyerolls, which isn't especially slow unless you know just how quickly she normally moves. "We can take a look if you want? I have to get all my tunes digitally these days so I can convert them to run on my cyborg hand. Slow world music sounds a little off to me."

"Wait, what do you mean digitally? How do you listen to music if it's not on a record?" Sage doesn't even know what a cassette tape is. "And a cyborg hand? What do you mean by that?" He looks at both her hands trying to spot the difference. "HOw do you put music on your hand?" He then waves a hand at Tyler. "No worries, I don't really want to talk about my dislike of the danger room. You all can enjoy it, it's just not for me."

Tyler flips his hair out of his eyes, "Remember when I tried to explain how music got onto my iPod from the computer? That's digital. It's little bits of data stored on a device for playback instead of having to carry around cd players and such. They still make cd's and cdplayers, cd's being digital but look like tiny records, but most people have something that stores digital music because you can put a lot more music into a mp3 player or an iPod or a computer than you can a cd or the older things like cassette's and records."

Chloe shakes her head and sighs. "My left hand is a prosthetic," she notes matter-of-factly. "It got cut off when someone attacked the school. Pretty realistic replacement huh?"

"That's not a real hand?" Sage says to Chloe sounding quite surprised. He can't help but stare at it. "Tyler..I'm sorry but most of what you said doesn't make much sense to me. I think the only thing I understand is that a computer is that magic box thing."

"Whoa, what a minute." Tyler stops walking right in front of the music shop and waves off an employee that tries to hand him a sales advertisement. "You've a prosthetic hand like Luke Skywalker right? Which you got because someone attacked the school and bwooop?" He mimes a axe chop with a hand. "That's seriously f'ed up, Chloe. Pretty rad replacement but good grief!" To Sage he looks apologetic, "I'm not very good at explaining things, sorry. It'll be easier to understand in the store where we can show you how to pull up songs and things at the listening stations."

"It was a group of brainwashed former students. Which is one of the reasons I'm so desperate to get everyone back okay," Chloe says, holding her cyborg hand up for inspection. "I'd hate myself if any of the new students got maimed too. It took me a long while to get used to it and for someone to go through the same thing in slow world speeds… Sage you'll find it pretty tough being a student if you don't learn about computers, especially now they have so many of the text books as pdfs."

Sage stops in his tracks and just looks at the two. "What, you mean that it was one of the students here who cut off your hand? What could have brainwashed them?" He's mainly only aware of faires who do that sort of thing. "I..I guess. And I know I have to figure out how to use that magic box for classes but it's just so complex. And what is a pdf? What is wrong with a regular book?"

Tyler blinks, "A brainwashed student, students, were responsible for your hand? Oy! I don't mean to pry or anything but how did you get through that? What made you stay at the school after something like that happened?" Thinking that its better not to attempt to explain computer things such as pdf files, for he'd only confuse Sage further, Tyler refrains from answering the question to spare his roommate.

Chloe tuts. "I said /former/ students. And knowing that if you go then you'll have no hand at all helped me decide to stick around," she corrects. "Besides I'd made friends by then and when you're a fastworlder it's hard to really connect with people." She grins. "Off the record I wanted to train myself to be stronger so that if anyone ever tried hurt me again I could look after myself." She glances at Sage and shakes her head with dismay. "A pdf is an electronic book and they use them for a few reasons, books take up a lot of space and for an entire school they cost a lot of money. Especially if you're replacing them all the time because students have set them on fire and stuff. Electronic versions are quick and easy to replace, providing the 'magic box' itself isn't broken."

Sage nods as he listens to them talk, not really adding much. He's not sure what else to say. "I guess I will have to figure out this stuff. Anyway, I guess I'll look at this music store. I'll meet you back where ever if you don't want to go?"

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