2010-09-29: The Top Secret Pizza Party


Jinx_icon.jpg Theo_icon.jpgRobyn_icon.jpgConnor_icon.jpgLucas_icon.jpg

Summary: The members of the newly formed JRXTC get together to have a pizza party, and discuss how to best survive their instructor.

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010. 9:00pm

Log Title: The Top Secret Pizza Party

Rating: PG-13

Xavier Mansion - Spuyten Duyvil Cove

This little cove leads off to Breakstone Lake. Students can go fishing, boating, and swimming in the fresh water. There is a small beach off to the side of the dock where students can also go sunbathing.

It's a beautiful Autumn evening out by the lake. The leaves are beginning to turn on the trees, and the moon is waning in fullness above the dark waters. Lanterns have been set up in a ring around a couple blankets spread out with the bounty of the evening placed before them — pizza! Cheese, pepperoni, and a couple with miscellaneous ingredients wait in their boxes. There's soda as well, and some cups… even plates and napkins. Apparently, someone has gone all-out tonight. A fire has been started in the fire ring nearby, mostly to keep the mosquitos from dining as well.

Jinx is the first to peel back the lid of a veggie pizza box and pull out her slice. "That's the thing. We'll never quite know when she's lying or not…" seems like the conversation has already started.

Theo's been tending to the fire, making sure that it stays strong. It turns out he was in Boy Scouts before he got to the school. "Well," he says. "In the end, I don't think it matters if she's lying or not. She's going to do things she thinks is effective. Our job as a team will be to assess the things she says and try to determine whether they are in our best interest or not." He stands from his crouching position by the fire, wearing a pair of blue jeans and a flannel shirt. He holds a stick in one hand, charred from prodding the fire. "If she is as old as she claims, then she'll think that we're easy to manipulate. She'll think the whole school is easy to manipulate, because she's been around a lot longer than any of us. But if we are united, we stand a chance at sticking it to her." The technopath isn't common to talk about teamwork, but even he can see the seriousness of the situation, given Selene's history.

Walking to the cove with a tray of store bought chocolate cupcakes, is Robyn. He figured he'd bring something to the pizza party. He over hears Theo speaking and against his wants, he uses his better judgement and doesn't say anything. He's taking a bit of Jinx's advice and just seeing how things land before assuming things. "I think you're right about that Theo, as long as we're united. And I brought brownies." He says finding a spot to take a seat.

The next to appear is Connor… in more the literal than the figurative sense. The air ripples slightly at the five foot mark and he drops down to the sand, looking down and immediately checking his shoes. Then back up towards the cove entrance before taking the few steps to come into full view of the others and sit down, where he begins to get the sand off the top of his shoes, and the few bits clinging to his pants, "Hey. I'm not late, right?"

Lucas walks his way out to the clearing, and he folds his arms over his chest, taking a look at everyone. "Hey," he offers, and then walks the rest of the way to them, sitting Indian style on the ground across from the Jinx, the fire between them. He gives a little smirk to Connor, and shakes his head. "Nope."

Jinx is caught mid-bite as Connor appears, and Lucas sits down across from her. "Hey guys… and Robyn, those brownies look like cupcakes," she teases lightly. She chews her bite, resting her plate on her folded legs. "Help yourself, everyone. Mm…." she licks her lips. "Okay so talking about teamwork and solidarity and all that crap is great, but talk only gets us so far," she shifts her violet eyes between the gathered men. "There's history between almost all of us here. A little twist of the knife and a choice phrase and any of us can be blowing up on the other. How do we keep that from happening?"

"Wow, you cooked brownies," Theo says. His tone suggests that he's going to make a belittling remark, but instead, he continues with "They smell great." He jumps as Connor appears suddenly. "Jeez man, that never stops freaking me out." He nods to Lucas, and looks around. "Looks like the gang is all here." He listens to Jinx, and comments immediately at her question. "All of you know me, and you know I hate talking about personal stuff," he says. "Connor, you and I were even talking about that last night. But I think we gotta bring it up and deal with all the garbage between us if we are going to be able to make this happen. But I think that we should do this like Truth or Dare. Nothing that we tell each other tonight, ever leaves this campfire. Because I personally don't want my dirty laundry aired out to the whole school."
Theo plops down onto the blanket next to Jinx. "That's my take, anyway."

Robyn grins. "Yup, I slaved away in the store and made brow…cupcakes." Robyn says with a chuckle as he goes for the pizza. "I think I said the wrong thing cause I initially had brownies but these cupcakes looked awesome." He says grabbing a slice with bacon on it. "Honestly, communication. I know Connor and I have had our issues lately but I think we're past it." He says grinning at his roommate and friend. "Maybe have weekly get togethers like this and such." He then looks at Theo and is a bit surprised by what he says. "Actually, that's kind of a good idea."

Connor finally gets the last of the sand off his clothes, and then moves to sit in a lotus position on the blanket and immediately reaches for a plate and a couple slices of the 'zza. Checking the boxes they came in, he fishes out the pepper flakes and some italian seasoning, and adds a touch of flavor and heat to the top of them both before taking a bit. Then his hand snakes out for the soda, and washes it down before speaking, "Selene's adult and older than everyone at the school put together… so whatever tactics we're going to employ will be something she's seen before. If we're presenting a united front, we also want to be presenting a united plan she can feel she can work from… but we keep the real plan to ourselves. Play the game enough to make her think we're just playing the game, so we can play the player…"

Lucas nods, watching the others. He reaches over, and takes a single slice of pepperoni, and takes a bite, sitting the slice on his thigh and wiping the grease off his bare hands on his khaki pants. He listens to the others' ideas, nodding a bit at each one, remaining silent for now.

Lucas has connected.

Jinx lifts a brow to Theo, taking another bite of the pizza in her hand. "Maybe we should say something that scares us or freaks us out, rather than open this up to things that feel like attacks," she shifts her gaze again between the guys, feeling a lil overwhelmed by the resident testosterone levels here with Team Trauma. "I will go first," she suggests, straightening up and pushing back her bangs. "I am totally threatened that you all have more awesome offensive skills than I do," her nose twitches at the comment, as if she didn't like feeling any sort of vulnerability. Looking to Connor, she nods slowly. "Yeah, good idea… but we're not gonna win by playing her Connor. She's been there, done that, wrote the book and is collecting royalties. The way to win the game is not to play."

Theo knits his brow. "Well, if we don't open it up, then it'll just come out later, and things that scare us are just gonna be ammunition to hurt each other later when we get frustrated unless we get the garbage out of the way," he answer. He leans over and grabs a piece of sausage pizza. Second time he's eaten pizza today. Oh well. "Can I get that pepper, Connor?" he asks, grabbing a plate to put the pizza on.

Robyn looks at everyone and then takes Jinx's lead. "Okay, I'll go next with the fear. I'm afraid of something happening to you guys and not being able to do anything again. I'm afraid of being weak." Robyn admits quietly as he isn't just afraid of being weak, he hates feeling it. He wants to be strong, not necessarily physically, but strong enough with his powers. "And I'm absolutely afraid of Selene getting the best of me again. She scares the hell outta me." He says looking down at his pizza slice chewing on his lip a bit. "I like that Jinx, not playing the game."

Connor shakes his head, "Not playing the game means we don't get the set the rules by any stretch… she then is going to focus on us even more to get us to do things her way… at least that's my take on it." Sighing once, he chomps down some pizza, sips some drink, and then says, "I'd trade all these super-cool powers for one day of being… normal. I hate how much my condition rules my life, and I feel like I'm permanently branded with it. All of you seem to deal with your stuff a hell of a lot easier than I do, and I envy that… a lot. As far as Selene goes… she's picked me to be the liasion for us all… so I have to guard myself especially well. It means whatever gets planned, I should be the last to hear about it, so it keeps it safe if she goes braintrawling."

Lucas listens quietly, eating his slice of pizza, until Connor finishes. He furrows his brow, looking at the boy. "Huh." He doesn't say anything else, nodding a little to himself, and he reaches into his pocket, pulling out the gloves he's not been wearing, and begins putting them back on. "She started already," he says, tugging the cuffs so they're tight on his hands. He sighs, thinking a moment, and then says, "Listen, Ah ain't really sure why Ah'm even here. Ah ain't been approached by her to even be ON the team."

Jinx's eyes dart quickly to Connor. "Liason? What does that mean?" she asks, her ears perking up to listen to what is being said… and what is not. Looking to Lucas, she breathes a sigh. "Have you thought that maybe this is a test for you? We all know you are supposed to be here, Lucas… yet you don't. Maybe she is trying to unnerve you and see how bad you want this, or if you are gonna cut and run," she waves a gloved hand expansively to the group, her pizza in her lap.

Theo chuckles at Connor's statement. "Connor, you have no idea what it's like with my power. You're not alone. I can't even operate in the Danger Room. I hear every cell phone conversation, every computer, and every microwave that goes off. And what's worse, all the stuff I can do with my power is stuff I can do without it anyway. All I am is like a human remote control."

Looking over to Lucas, Robyn offers a smile. "Why would we all be told you're on the team when you're not. And why does Selene give some of us the courtesy of a conversation and the others not? There's no real way to figure her out." Robyn says as he takes a bite out of his pizza. "So is that what your fear is right now Lucas, being excluded?"

"It means when she doesn't want to deal with all of you, she talks to me and I talk to you… and she's probably going to be asking me questions about all of us as well… to assess us in her own way." Connor says as he goes for another slice, preparing it carefully before passing Theo the pepper flakes, "Sorry… brain fart." But then he looks over at Lucas, and tilts his head a moment, "It's not like anyone else here is going to judge you… please… if anything, we'll understand. Especially Jinx and myself." Seeming to emphasize the last a bit.

Lucas furrows his brow, "No," he says to Robyn, flatly. It's not mean, but it is serious and confident. He's not avoiding truth, he's really sure the answer to Robyn is no. He looks over at Robyn, then Jinx, then Theo, "Ya'll know Ah pushed for this team. Ah got Kenta to even vouch for it and help me push. Ah worked hard to convince staff to do it, and to let me be the lead. She knows that too." He looks at Connor, "So she gave the lead to you." He shakes his head, "She's already playing us against each other."

Jinx cannot believe this and her ears press back against her head. "No, she made Connor her spy," she growls under her breath. "Everything that's happened, with Future-Connor and all that conflict… no offense but which one of us is gonna follow along behind Connor now?" Jinx has no issues with stating things like they are… or how she sees it. She tosses her plate down on the blanket before her. "This is stupid."

Theo eyes Connor. "That gives use a way to be able to use her own tactics against us. See," He takes the pepper flakes, and puts them over his slice. "Liason and leader aren't the same thing," he explains. "Jinx is right, a lieason is a teacher's pet. But Connor can control the information. If he skews the information, though, that's what she expects. She knows none of us trust her. And she will use what he says to try to determine the reality of the situation. But she's not really going to believe anything that Connor says."
The technopath pulls the garlic butter out, and pours some of it carefully over his pizza. "But we can worry about what Connor's specific position as a spy will be later," he suggests. "See how we have trust issues going on here? We need to work that out. Lucas, she can't control who we follow. We have the power of who we follow, and she'd be a great fool to try to powerplay in a place she doesn't have power." He takes a bite of his pizza. "So, what're we going to do to control our angsty emotional outbursts?" he asks. "Because if we can't get around that, we aren't getting anywhere."

"No…a liason isn't a leader. She picked Connor cause she thinks he'd be the most likely one to work with her and narc on us." Robyn says as he's not saying that's what Connor is but maybe it's something that Selene might thing. "Don't forget that a leadership can't be given Lucas, it has to be earned. And she hates me, like, really hates me so she won't be giving me anything." He looks over at Jinx and sighs. "No, this isn't stupid, we're all worried, and we're trying to get through it together. Even if we aren't agreeing, we're not fighting and we're trying to work together. That's something." Then Robyn takes a deep breath as he says his last thing. "Honestly, I don't know, help each other when we see that one of our teammates is about to snap? Have codewords, which I think is something you suggested a while back Theo."

Lucas sighs. "We only have two real options." He looks up at all of them, taking in each of their eyes for a moment. "We either have to all walk, take a stand together right now and send a clear message to this school that we will not be lead and taught by criminals." He swallows, "Or. We buy in. And we have no secrets at all. We become so fuckin' honest and open with Selene, that she starts reading our heads just because she can't believe we're actually telling her the things we're telling her. We become a book so open, it's suspicious."

Jinx's brows arch. Both are controversial ideas, though not without merit. She looks between the guys. "Do we have any secrets from her anyways?" she asks honestly. Her hands rest in her lap. "I will admit that I am greedy and want the experience, Lucas. I want this chance and the training, and I think that if it isn't us, it will be someone else. Since when have Old Lady Frost and Old Man Summers ever cared about past records with teachers? A walkout isn't going to change their minds now."

"No way am I becoming an open book to her. If she knows everything about us, she'll use it. You push the right buttons, and you can get anyone to do anything." Theo takes another bite of his pizza.
"I have secrets. And I won't have her knowing them." End of statement. It's said as if he dropped a thousand pound weight in the middle of the group. Theo takes another bite, rather decisively.

"I don't know, she's a telepath..how much can we hide from here. And I don't think those are our only two options." Robyn admits taking a deep breath. "I'm with Jinx, I want this team and I want this training. I'm not letting her take it away from me and…as much as I hate to admit it, I think we can come out learning a lot from this. Come out stronger. This training….we can't let her be the reason we give up. I almost did and I'm glad I didn't."

Lucas sighs, "She's a telepath." He repeats that. He looks at Theo, then Robyn, and back. "You have no secrets. She already knows them. Ah ain't sayin' you walk up to her an' talk. Ah'm sayin', when she asks what you're doin', even if it's somethin' against her, we answer honestly." He stands, "Guys. This WILL throw her off her game. If we can keep her offkilter, we can relax enough to make this team something we can learn from."

"Theo, just hold on a sec," she holds up her hand, thinking this out. "She is a telepath… without morals. If she wants to know, she will," she looks to him pointedly. "And you are better than she is. You can figure out a way around it. This is no different to the Truth or Dare that we talked about before," she looks to the group. "We're just playing it with her instead," she sticks out her tongue at the idea. "The hardest part is being okay with what we see… that is going to be nearly impossible, the way I see it. It's really hard to look at yourself and be fine with what you see," she chews the side of her lip lightly. "I can use my stuff to calm us down, but if we all freak out at once then I have no chance…" she looks directly at Lucas, the first time she has all evening. "And for this to work you need to be honest with us too. Can *you* do that?"

"I got a better idea," Theo says. "I'm gonna get some psionic dampeners. I've been wanting to hide from Frost anyway. Tony's over in Japan right now, but if I call him and explain it to him, I'm sure he'll let me get ahold of them. We'll each wear one all the time, and keep her out of our heads." He seems pretty insistent. "I have never met with her, and I don't know if she has been in my head, but I know I am not going to let her in." More than just stubborn, the technopath seems genuinely afraid that Selene might know whatever it is that he's holding back.

Robyn stays quiet and just listens for a bit, eating his pizza. "That'll give us more fuel." Robyn says quietly to Theo as his eyes kind of dart back and fourth between person to person. "We're all worried, we're all on edge. We're all over thinking things and making contingency plans and we haven't even had our first session. She's already got the upper hand having us this way. She's not worried, be we all are. I think….I think we just have to go into our first session, with our heads held high, knowing we have each other and then deal with what she throws at us. After all, we don't know."

Lucas sighs, and just rubs his temple. "You're right. The answer is for us to all disagree. Good call." He purses his lip, looking at Jinx, holding his gaze on her eyes for a moment, then looks back at Robyn and Theo. "Jinx is right. Fine. Let's be honest. Theo? Get the fuck over it. This is a team. Either you're on it and you play ball with us, or you don't. She's probably already been in your head for all we know. There's no way around it. We can't keep her on edge with secrecy and sneakiness. So we do it with utter honesty." He looks at Robyn, "We aren't all as worried as you're painting us to be. If we stand together, united, under one lead and one plan, she'll be worried. And we'll be safe." He looks at Jinx, "You can't be okay with anything until you get over your mutation. Ah want to be with you. You're not okay with that because of your differences. Fine. Okay. But your power is amazing. It's probably the most powerful ability of any of us here. Stop fighting it."

Jinx tilts her head at Theo. She can smell emotions from people, as well as read body language. "I think that's a good idea, Theo. I think admitting that something bothers you is really important," she draws her knees up to her chest, lacing her black and white arms around them. Her eyes move to Lucas as he speaks, and as it gets to the part about her, her fur ruffles in embarrassment and her ears flatten back. The look she gives him is in no way charitable. "Your bedside manner sucks ass, Lucas," she rumbles to him. "I think if Theo will feel better with a gadget, let him bring it. She might take it away, but let him try because that is who he is," she bites her lip, breathing out a ragged breath between her teeth and pressing her cheek against her arm. "This is a battle against ourselves."

Theo doesn't look convinced. "Look, this isn't as simple as you think it is," he says back at Lucas. "I can't take the risk. If she hasn't looked inside my head, I'm not letting her start when I meet her. If she finds out, and tells somebody, people could die. People I care about." This revelation has taken him away from his desire to be detached and simply analytical, as he told Robyn. "I am bringing it, and she's not taking it away from me. If we wanna shoot straight with her, fine. But I say we keep her out of our heads still."

Robyn looks up at Lucas and shakes his head with a faint smile. "Jinx's right." He says as he takes a deep breath. "And Lucas…honestly, I don't see you trying to lead anything at the moment. I don't think you really can lead. I've just seen you copy what other people have done or said. You haven't taken any initiative. Whenever James was upset with Jono and running the team, he talked about a walkout, now you're doing the same. When every one else scorns it, you change your tune and spout someone else's idea as your own. Or at least, that what it feels like." He then looks to Jinx and Theo. "Jinx, I think you're one of the strongest, emotionally, out of the group. And not cause of your powers, you're just good at reading people. And Theo, it's okay to be afraid of your past just don't keep running from it though. You don't have to tell us, you don't have to tell her, but….I think you're on the right path."

Lucas listens to Theo, and he sighs. Glancing at Jinx, he says, "Honesty hurts." He clenches his fists, settling, calming, and then he looks back at Robyn, "Selene is not Jono. How is trying to get all of us to do the same thing NOT trying to lead? Ah been here ten minutes, and you've judged me as not bein' able to lead. But the problem here, is no one wants to follow."

Jinx reaches out with a hand and attempts to place it on Theo's shoulder. If she does, her touch will impart a feeling of intense calm and well-being, like a slow warm tide that saturates deep. "Theo, it's okay. We'll protect you. It will be fine," her voice comes as a gentle murmur. "This needs to happen," she says, perhaps talking of the words that hurt to hear, and maybe even say. "This stuff needs to come out. This is what we're here for," she looks up at all of them, her eyes glossy. Nodding her head towards Lucas, she has to agree. "He's right too. We all are loners, and we work well alone, not so much as a group. It's going to be uncomfortable and hard, but if we make it we will be something really special. We could be Heroes," she pauses, letting that word settle for all it's worth. "Good work, everyone. The party's a success."

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