|Scene Title||Investigating Scion High|
|Synopsis||Rose sneaks into the school at night to try and divine why so many scions have turned up in one place at one time. Little did she know she wasn't the only one in school after hours.|
The hallway is generally crowded with the groups of students who attend the school during the day, like any typical High School. Row after row of dark blue lockers line the hallway, organized by letter and number, with each particular section corresponding to a different grade. There are the occasional traffic jam as students gather into crowds around the lockers into large groups and in between classes, it's almost impossible to hear yourself think with all the noise generated as students retrieve their books for the next class.
After every section of lockers, there is sturdy framed wooden door with a single window that leads into a different classroom, each door looking the same except for the room number and occasionally a nameplate underneath with a teacher's name, provided they don't switch classrooms during the day, giving all of the doors a very homogenized appearance typical of a school.
Towards the end of the hall, the ubiquitously named 'Office' that every school possesses, you know, the scary place where you get sent when you get in trouble and where the Principal and Vice Principal generally spend their time. For those waiting to be admitted into the Office, there are a row of uncomfortable chairs that are always occupied with a variety of misfits and troublemakers awaiting their punishment.
Outside of the Office, are the usual assortment of trophy cases, displaying awards that the school has won in all different fields, ranging from football to academic excellence and even trophies from the chess team. The awards are not all recent, many dating back twenty years or more, with names and faces that most people would not recognize. Past the trophy cases as the hallway rounds the corner, are framed portraits of each year's graduates.
It's 1 o'clock in the morning and someone is up burning the after midnight oil in the science lab at school. How is he there? How does he manage from getting busted for being on school property well after hours while violating curfew and using the school facilities like metal shop and science lab? Easy when you have the right amount of Good Grades mixed with correct amount of well placed lies and permission slips. None the less, Hopper is in 'his' lab. Which happens to be one of the older junkier classrooms that is typically used for science storage and the like. Hopper however is sitting at a desk while a centrofuge is spinning some sort of liquid down into separate parts. Hopper for his part is chewing on the end of a pen while he reads over some form of Manga while loud gypsy punk music plays from a near by stereo.
When one is looking for information on the comings and goings of Scions, what better place to start than the so-called Scion High? In the dead of night - when hopefully no one is around to be suspicious - a small, slender figure moves around the building, trying every door before resorting to a rather unwieldy set of lockpicks. Finally, she finds the jackpot! One of the back doors has been left unlocked. She holds it open long enough for the massive lion at her heels to pass through and then enters herself. It's very weird to see the school at night; one would assume it's a bit like seeing teachers outside of school. When she comes to what passes for the Main Corridor in the school, the girl settles down cross-legged on the floor. Her eyes fall shut and her breathing evens and slows, allowing her to concentrate her focus on the world as it truly is, rather than how it appears. Behind her, the lion stands guard, eyes and ears and nose all at full attention while his human is vulnerable.
The school for the most part is abandoned, even at this late hour, the janitorial staff has gone home, leaving Hopper with his run of the place. He yawns a bit and folds his comic in half and tosses it on the desk he is sitting and and slowly moves to stand up, taking time to pop his neck and back before he starts towards the hallway, jingling his pocket for news of change and the possibility of a midnight calorie fest before he is forced to get back to his current research. He appears in the hallway and pauses upon spotting Rose and the Lion. "Uhmmmm….."
So deep in her meditative concentration is she, that Rose doesn't even notice Hopper's arrival. Aslan, however, does. On huge, silent paws he moves to stand in front of the boy; a furry, fanged barrier between this stranger and Rose. Lips lift to reveal fangs, but there is no sound or movement made. He's not here to be aggressive. He's only here to protect while his human calls up her inner power. Which she does.
Eyes that have remained closed for long minutes now fly open. There's an eerie glow to the irises, like an animal's reflective gaze. The ring upon her right hand also seems to glow, but it's very soft, almost unnoticeable. Immediately, the young woman's gaze falls upon Hopper. "You…" She stands up and walks slowly to stand next to the lion's head. "Fate is bound strongly to you, and…" She trails her line of sight back along his trail to the lab. "Also to the room you came from." Her voice is soft and light, accented with the posh British tones of the high aristocracy. There is a moment of silence as she takes in the rest of her surrondings, but she eventually comes back to Hopper. "Who are you?"
Chick that isn't supposed to be here with glowing eyes and a Lion? Hopper is brains not brawn….so he takes a step back and puts his hands up. "Uhm….I…." He then turns and takes off running back to his lab, quickly trying to shut the door before the glowy one with the big man eating creature can catch up. He of course makes it about two feet before he stumbles over himself.
One of the few Solid Truths most any wildlife expert will share when dealing with predators - especially big ones; no sudden moves, and whatever you do, Don't Run. Unfortunately, Hopper does both. Before Rose can even raise a hand to stop him, Aslan leaps into the air. Since it coincides with Hopper's stumble, he'll find that he has a rather big body standing on top of him. Nothing touches him or puts pressure on him, but there's a mouth with a lot of teeth close to his face and clawed paws on all sides. It's only that way for a moment, because the girl kneels down at the lion's head and pets it gently. "Be easy, Aslan. Can't you see he's afraid?" With a low rumbling whine of protest, the lion steps off and away - but not far. He obviously doesn't trust the boy yet, by any stretch. Offering a warm smile, Rose offers the strange boy a hand, and though her eyes still glow, there seems to be no malice about her. "I'm terribly sorry about that. Instinct, you know." At least her voice seems to be falling into normal patterns, not nearly so ethereal and overwhelmed now as it was a moment ago. "Are you alright?"
Hopper shudders at the mere proximity of the Lion. He presses himself as flat as possible until the Lion is gone. He blinks a bit and doesn't take the hand, he just peels away and pushes himself against a row of lockers. "Yeah….Dandy. Who are you and why are you here?" he asks nervously, adjusting his sweater so that it isn't jaggedly askew.
His nervous bluntness makes her laugh; a light, cheery sound. "I suppose that's fair enough, although I could ask you the same thing, hmm?" There's a pause while she pushes golden curls out of her face, forcing them back behind her ears. "Nevertheless, you asked first. I am Lady Rose Hunt of Norfolk." He may or may not have heard the rumors about the Duke's daughter, her bodyguard and her rocker friend showing up halfway through the year; Rose, for her part, seems blissfully unaware of whatever people may say. "And I would assume I'm here for the same reason you are, considering the startling amount of Fate tied up in that room you came out of."
Hopper narrows his eyes in a suspicious way and only slowly moves to stand up after a few moments. "The Duke's daughter…your a scion?" He asks after a moment or two of considering the options here. He scratches the back of his head. "I'm Jackson Hopper….Er…Hopper."
The recognition makes her grin widen. "That would be me, yes." She doesn't answer the half about the scion - or just lets the first answer stand for both - because after witnessing the lion and the magic, well… It's pretty obvious just what she is. "Pleasure to meet you, Jackson Hopper." There's a snort from the feline behind them. Apparently Aslan hasn't decided yet if it's a pleasure or not. Rose ignores him. "Now, would you be so kind as to tell me what exactly is in that room you just left?"
Hopper raises a brow and thinks for a few moments, his mind working out the possibilities. "It's uhm….Just the supply closet for the science labs…." He offers, scooting a foot over to shut the door. "There is actually nothing interesting in there…" Hmm…Nothing interesting? It seems almost like….you could believe him…or should believe him. Of course with your current eye sight you can see the divine energy inside him works it's way out to make itself manifest through his speech. He's using a power on you.
At first, it seems the power of his words will work on Rose. Her face goes slack and her eyes get a bit glazed around the edges. "Just a closet…" But her own eyes tell her otherwise. She saw the power from that room and she can see the power flowing from Hopper's mouth. Something isn't right here…
Two and two are adding up to three and her brain rebels against it. It takes concentration and force of will, but she breaks his spell and sits back on her heels, eyeing him with a sad expression in her wide eyes. "Now why would you go and lie to me, Jackson Hopper? I asked you so nicely…" That said, she stands and reaches for the handle, pulling the door open to reveal whatever may lie inside. Aslan doesn't move yet. He's keeping a keen eye on the scoundrel that just lied to his Rose.
Hopper blinks a little and narrows his eyes, frowning visibly and obviously getting a little more edgy. "It's my stuff. Now….why the hell do you care so much?" He asks, moving to step in front of the door. "It's not like it makes a big difference to you." he says putting up his hands. "I don't show up at your place and start poking around your stuff…."
When Hopper jumps up to stand in her way, Rose blinks at him in confusion. Looking around her, she gestures to include the school in its entirety. "The doors on this building don't say Jackson Hopper High School. They don't say Residence of Jackson Hopper. They don't say Jackson Hopper's Private Lair." She shakes her head. "It's not even as if it's an abandoned building that you could claim for a new purpose." There is no added divinity behind her words, just a gentle, simple logic.
For a long moment she simply looks at him, taking his measure before deciding to let him in on it. "I care so much because there is something going on at this school. There are more Scions gathering here daily than anyone in my band has come across in our entire lives. Some of the strongest Fate comes from that room and from your eagerness to hide it, I can only assume you are involved." She settles her weight into a seemingly relaxed stance, arms folding over her chest. "So, Jackson Hopper… Will you tell me what's in that room, or will I have to investigate it myself?"
Jackson sighs a little bit and looks around for a few moments before he opens the door and gestures inside. The young man offers. "It started with a girl getting killed by an angel. Next thing you know everyone that was in the initial contact group was visited by their parents and since then, the ball went rolling and we have been building more links to other Scions….Like attracts like." He offers as he steps in.
The room itself is full of old junk. But there is an area cleaned up and looks to be a functioning high-tech lab.
When Hopper opens the door and gestures her inside, Rose lets loose a truly brilliant smile. Glancing over her shoulder, she sees Aslan's snort and raises a brow. Still, he follows her inside, watching out for danger while Rose listens to Hopper's tale and inspects her new surroundings. "An angel?" she questions. "Like… the being of Christian mythos Angel?" This seems to surprise her. Still, there have been rumors of new gods and new pantheons. It could be possible.
"It's like a snowball…" she realizes. "The initial visited scions had such a strong pull on fate that others couldn't help but be drawn in." She quirks her lips in a wry sort of grin. "Even from across the ocean." But then the lab equipment catches her eye and she takes a few steps closer - careful not to touch anything. "You built all of this?" Yes, there's real awe in her voice. Science in such forms seems more like magic to her than anything.
Hopper nods his head. "Was my assumption. Or that the force of entropy worked in such a way that we were drawn together before the actual events happened…." He watches you nervously. On the lab table looks to be a rather large…super soaker/ray gun type device. "Er….Yeah. Stuff like this comes natural to me."
Smart enough to know not to touch things when she's out of her element, Rose seems content enough to absorb it all with other senses. There's a deep breath inhaled through her nose, although she recoils and shudders almost before it's finished. "Good heavens, why have you got blood spinning in that thing?" A step is taken back away from the centrifuge and she turns to stare at Hopper, waiting for a response. In doing so, she takes a longer look than she had before at his whole self, not just his face. The places where his divinity is concentrated most stand out to her, but that doesn't seem important now when there's someone's blood in his lab.
Hopper shrugs a little. "There was a zombie problem in a near by town. I was running tests on possibly infected blood to study the course of the pathogen." He scratches the back of his head and blinks a bit. "Look, Rose….can you kill the headlights? It's a little unsettling."
"Zombies?!?" The young blonde seems to be completely dumbfounded by this thought. "Honest to goodness eat your entrails zombies?" There's another shudder and her arms wrap tightly around her middle. "Is that why you have that gun?" She nods to the faintly glowing Super Soaker Ray Gun(tm) sitting on the desk. But before she has time to inquire further, his own request stumps her. "Kill the…?" There's a soft rumble from her lion and Rose's eyes widen. "Oh! Oh I didn't realize they glowed. Um." And here, embarassed color floods her pale cheeks. "I'm not…really sure how. It always just wore off on its own after a while."
Hopper gives a nod of his head and goes back to his work. "No, the Tar-Baby came before the outbreak." He offers as he looks over to the vials that stop spinning and a small beeping sounds. He moves over to pluck up one of the tubes and move to take a sample, putting it on a slide and sliding it under a scope in a quick well practiced movement. He leans forward and looks down into it and thinks for a moment or two before moving over to a file-drawer to open it and pull out a manilla folder.
"The… Tar Baby?" Rose tilts her head to one side. "Do I even want to know what that is?" When the beeping sounds and Hopper starts working, however, she falls silent. Only when he pulls out the manilla folder does she start to fidget. "Well, what'd you find?"
Hopper nods his head. "It's a non-lethal Aersol Poxy firearm." He explains as he flips through, looking a little like doogie houser as he rolls around on his chair in his over-grown lab coat. "This sample was a sample I got from what appeared to be ground zero." He offers holding up the chard. "The other I got from the most recent Zombie sighting…." He thinks for a few moments. "They two samples are different…..they aren't related…."
Aersol Poxy might as well be Greek to Rose for all she understands it - and for all she knows, it could be. She leans against one wall, watching him roll around and glancing out the window every so often. "How far apart were the two places?" Rose inquires. "Because if they're far apart, at least you know whatever's causing it isn't spreading, but if they're closer together, you could have two seperate causes. Or it could be…" She scrunches up her nose and tries to remember lessons with Charlie and biology classes. "Mutated, changed. Right? Diseases change, don't they?"
Hopper gives a single nod of his head. "Thought about it. But the mutagen in one is a viral bacteria….the prior shows no traces of that mutagen….it is something else. Not sure yet….need to run some more tests." he offers, letting out a long yawn.
Words like mutagen make very little sense to someone who hasn't had much science in their background at all, but the word sounds like mutate, so Rose will go with that for now. "Hang on, though. Aren't viruses and bacteria totally different things? How could you have something that's both?" His long yawn reminds her that she, at least is on a bit of a schedule. There's a quick glance down at her wristwatch, but she doesn't make a move just yet. None of this zombie science stuff makes sense to her, so she'd best have all the information she can. Just in case she runs across one on her way home, you see.
Hopper notes. "Viral was used as an adjective not as a literal translation. Virus's and Bacteria behave different, this is a bacteria that multiplies using the body's own….ya know what? Never mind. They are different." He offers with a wave of his hand. "You got someone elses lab to snoop around in?" he asks, indicating your watch.
Rose isn't a genius, by any stretch, but she's perceptive and she's clever, and years of devouring books have given her a fair mastery of the english language. So when he explains that it was meant as an adjective, the light goes on in her head, even without a full explanation. "So it's a bacteria that's behaving like a virus." She nods. "Is there any way to stop that?" As for the other, she shrugs. "Figured I'd try and catch a few hours of sleep if I could, is all. How do you keep this place hidden from everyone? You've got hundreds of kids and staff going right outside the door all day. Hasn't anyone thought it a bit unusual to find Frankenstein's Lab in an old storage room?"
The young man adjusts his glasses with a finger and shrugs a little. "The US government has control of the situation last I heard…." he answers before looking around and reaching to pull a cord. A long dusty tarp covers the majority of his work space and makes it look just as old and used as everything else. "Hide in plain sight…"
At that, Rose can't help a snort. "Sorry mate, but given the past ten years or so I don't have much faith in your government having anything under control." The dusty tarp, however, is a really neat trick. With it down, one really would have to be looking to find it. "Clever," she replies approvingly and looks about to say more when there's a low grumble from the lion in the corner. Stiffening, Rose offers the science boy a lazy sort of wave. "I'm afraid I've forgotten another engagement. It was a pleasure meeting you, Jackson Hopper." The pair walk calmly to the door and out into the hall, as if this had been a pleasant luncheon tea rather than an unexpected midnight meeting.
Hopper gives a nod of his head and pokes his head out of the door after you. "You mind keepin' this a secret?"
Grinning at him over her shoulder, Rose laughs. "Not at all, Jackson Hopper! Though in the future, I would suggest making that request before showing. Not everyone in this world has a sense of honour."
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