-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--[ Grounds - Lovecraft High ]--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--
It's clear when approaching Lovecraft High School that the old, red brick two-story building takes center stage to the concourse grounds. Rising up like a relic from the past, the building carries an almost antique vibe that would be entirely creepy if not for the meticulousness of how well the building and surrounding area is well kept up with by the groundskeeper and staff.
Old-style brick walkway lays out in a smoothed path from the main street through the grounds where it splits at the quad in three other directions leading up the old cement steps toward the main doors as well as wrapping around to the back where the more recently built theater and gymnasium are located as well as the sports fields.
Where the walkways meet is the quad, with stretches of green and plenty of young oaks and deciduous trees for shade where students can be found inbetween classes and other events.
One ancient oak remains, remnants of a previous era of Lovecraft before all the development, standing tall in defiance of human encroachment and somehow fitting in perfectly with the grounds. The rest of the green is dotted with wood and stone benches for students to enjoy their lunch and free time.
-+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--[ Grounds - Lovecraft High ]--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--+--
It's that time of the fall semester again and Miskatonic University is holding its annual student fair at Lovecraft High. The event takes up the entire school grounds as well as out into the sports fields where some of the more "showy" college functions are going on. These functions include games of various sorts, team and individual competitions for fun and prizes. Raffles - it's a pretty big event that generally takes up the entire day.
More importantly for many of the high school students, it's an excuse to not have to go to class as the entire day is dedicated to this event.
There are kiosks for Math, Health Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, as well as fraternities, sororities, sports clubs (which are located out on the sports fields, naturally - but feel free to RP them here for the sake of keeping everyone involved).
The motivation behind a freshman like Jamie Marksely willing to represent the Marine Biology department is somewhat of a mystery. Maybe the seniors weren't available? Or maybe, Jamie is just that awesome. At least, if the gathering of students were a factor in it. There's already several students gathered around him (most of them girls) as he shows off the display of live oceanic organisms that has been painstakingly set up at the butt crack of dawn for this event.
"No, those are not aliens, they're abalones and you probably don't wanna try and eat them. Think of them as like, sea snails. Like the last time your boyfriend tried to make out with you and totally went for the french kiss. That's what it'd be like, except not nearly as sexy."
The female students (and some of the boys) all laugh in concert as Jamie goes through his presentation, the boy clearly at ease in this position and public speaking. He's cool, confidant, and knows what he's talking about. Every once in awhile though, there's a moment where he sneaks glances over the heads of the group he's presenting to, as if he were searching for someone.
Chris wanders past the various booths, hands in his pockets, pausing here and there to listen to folks as they give their schpeel about this or that. He has a sort of idle curiosity about him, but he doesn't seem in any particular hurry, taking his time taking in the booths themselves and those gathered at them, as though as interested in the people as he is in the topics being discussed, if not moreso.
For Sophia, it's a good excuse to check out what Miskatonic has to offer - Particularly in the way of the engineering department. On her way to the display though, she stops and lingers at the Biology kiosk, smiling at Jamie while she listens to him talk. Perhaps she doesn't find it as funny as the rest of the students, but since she knows him, she's nice enough to linger near the back and look vaguely supportive. Or curious. Who knows. Today's eyepatch is a lightbulb.
Seth had originally considered feigning ill today, but is happy he didn't, beacause he had completely forgotten about this no-class-day event. Wandering the booths and their various offerings, the teen is looking for something to grab his interest. Naturally, that means the college paper, or perhaps the English department. Jamie's abalone presentation is, for now, passed by, though not without taking a moment to check out the presenter. What was that about French kissing an alien?
Richael is the other Marine Biology college student helping out Jamie with the fair. Although since he knows a fair deal more about the actual creatures, she just lets him do the talking for the moment with a small laugh for the remarks on the abalone. She waves to the different students that might know her since she graduated last year and also to Sophia once she sees the one-armed wonder girl walk by.
Angel already has a rough plan in mind for his college years. Does he really understand what they'll entail? Of course not, you have to actually /go/ to college to fill in the full picture. He picks up a couple pamphlets and exchanges a couple of polite sentences, he'll read up on it later, but right now his fellow students are here. That's important, too.
In any serious evaluation, any sort of academic-slash-career fair should be a bleak prospect for Brooke. But she's here anyway! Well, no, there are some legitimate reasons even if she's unlikely to find her future calling in dedicated scholarship. Teams and clubs! Sororities! Plus, it's a school event, class is out, and it's not like she'd miss the chance to be out and social with her bevy of bubbly (busty?) besties. Go Narwhals! So she wanders around a bit, checking out booths, chatting with her friends, and generally just enjoying herself.
"Oh heeeeeey there," she calls as she passes the Marine Biology booth and sees Jamie working there. Though her excitement predates her actually seeing some of the displays. "Oh gross! Look at those things."
Unfortunately Sophia does stick out like a lack of a sore arm. Still, she gives Richael a wave as she stops to pay some attention to the display - And then finds herself beside Brooke. Unusual. "Hey Brooke. I thought you'd be down by Cheer already?" The former cheerleader asks, giving the somewhat absent girl a supportive smile as they decide to dilly-dally by the Marine Biology section.
The Fightin' Pods' various sports clubs are represented and draw a large crowd around them further out toward the fields. Sororities and Frats have their own representatives with various presentations of their own going on discussing tuition scholarships for being members as well as other options. The acapela club is beneath the big oak at the center of the grounds, singing their rendition of Bruno Mars' Finesse.
Back at the Biology kiosk that includes a display full of safe-to-touch organisms ranging from abalones (aliens) and urchins, to starfish.
"This is boring, where are the sharks and stuff?" One skeptical boy asks as he stares unhappily at the display and up at Jamie intently.
To Jamie's credit, he doesn't seem too worried about the boy though he does spare Richael a quick look like, 'Here we go...'
"Well, the stuff I wanted to bring would probably kill you...and we wouldn't want that, would we?" His tone is dry and there's a smirk playing in the corner of his mouth as he stops what he's doing to settle his full attention on the disruptive student.
"Ever heard of the blue ringed octopus? A small sting from that guy would paralyze your diaphragm. You stop breathing and die. There is no antidote. I can introduce you if you'd like? His name is Fred, I bet he'd love to meet ya."
The fact that Jamie is getting any sort of hard time with his group of admirers hanging intently on his every word means that the singled out boy suffers not only the snark from Jamie himself, but the wrath of a bunch of girls who shush him up with Medusa-like stares.
Jamie manages to spot Sophia in the crowd, shooting her a quick wink as he takes a star fish from the hands of an over-zealous student and gently replaces it in the display case. The next time he looks up, Jamie spots Brooke and makes an exaggerated gesture with both his hands in her direction, singling her out for the entire audience that has aggregated around his and Richael's kiosk to turn and face.
"And over here is our lovely Lovecraft high assistant, Brooke." Pause. Because he doesn't exactly know her last name. "Brooke, why dontcha come up here and help me? You can tell everyone a little bit about yourself too." He grins knowingly and tries to hide his laughter at Brooke's reaction to seeing the sea creatures. So what does he do? Put her on the spot.
Without skipping a beat, Jamie turns back to the small crowd and the several who have their hands in the display case petting the sea creatures.
Despite the noise, the crowd, and the fact that his phone is set to silent, Seth gets a feeling that he has an incoming message or three. It's like a sixth sense, or, more likely, just a bit of dumb luck. Snagging his cell from out of one of his pockets, he stares at the screen while passing by the bio display. Sure enough, there's something to respond to. Tap-tap-tap fly his fingers across the screen.
Oh, man, spotlight it is! Angel takes his phone out as well, shooting a quick message over to Brooke, which will hopefully make it through by the time she makes it up front. << Don't worry, you can do this! >>
Chris drifts through, watching people come and go. He almost crashes into Seth, who is looking down at his phone, as he passes by, his attention momentarily captured by the marine biology discussion and its crowd of onlookers. He takes a step to the side and mumbles a vague sort of apology on his way past.
"Sophie, hihi. Yeah we're gonna go over and check it out in a bit, and like, probably the Omega Beta Zeta table." Because for her cliquish, popularity centric crowd the only aspiration higher than cheer is being in an elite sorority. It's clique on an organizational scale! The promised land! But for the time being, Brooke has other concerns. Like chatting up the cool college dude she happens to know, presumably earning her all manner of jealous glares from his expansive female fan club. But those are the *best* kind of glares!
"Oh no way." And despite that answer in the affirmative, she eagerly steps up when Jamie dubs her Vanna White-substitute. What do you know, maybe the fair CAN show her some valid career options. She eagerly steps forward, pulling out her buzzing phone as she goes, and tapping back a quick text. << for sure just watch ::smiling cat:: ::woman singing:: ::star:: >>
Once she steps up, she grins at Jamie, then turns and makes a little pose, one hand up and one off to the side, standing akimbo. "Hi guys, I'm sure most of you know me, but like if you don't, I'm Brooke, and I'm part of our Narwhals cheer squad. Go team!"
Richael grins to Jamie when the overzealous student speaks up and then is promptly put in his place not so much by Jamie but by his peers. "There is so many things in the sea... and that's just what we've discovered. In the deeper darker places... who knows what you'll find." Richael has a little bit of a mischevious grin on her face before she looks over to Sophia again, before Jamie is calling out Brooke to come up and talk, which has her looking at the cheerleader curiously before going back to minding the tanks and ensuring none of the creatures are being aggressively manhandled.
"So, Brooke here is one of Miskatonic's favorite high school representatives and she's totally awesome. If you need to know where the cool places to be, look no further." Jamie goes a little off script there, but hey, there are no professors around to police him, so whatevs! He offers his hand to Brooke, leading the Narwhals cheerleader up to the display area.
Cool factor for Brooke McKinney just tripled. Jamie's job is now done. He shoots her a quick wink.
Sure enough, Brooke is on the receiving end of many envious and totes jelly looks from the college boy's unofficial fan club. But he doesn't seem finished yet!
"Okay, I need one more helper here...my partner in crime here, Richael, will pick out a boy from the crowd so we can get started!" Jamie glances sidelong at Richael, simultaneously offering her up a playful grin as well as a helpless shrug. Yes, he's sort of winging it, this wasn't part of their planned presentation. Yup, he's totally putting her on the spot and judging from the look on his face, enjoying every moment of it.
On nearly colliding with Chris, Seth stops mid-message and also moves to the side. "Sorry about that," he says, turning to watch the other boy walk by. Then, it's time to finish his message, stuff the phone back in his pocket, and continue on his way, stopping to check out some of the books piled high at the booth dedicated to the English department.
A quirk of her eyebrow comes to Jamie's announcement of needing her help to pick a helper, but Richael decides to play along with a smile as she looks over the crowd of boys and girls gathered around their display before she nods and points to... duh duh duh! Angel! "Step right on up! Be a dear and help out Brooke and Jamie, won't you?" She turns on the charm, giving Angel a slightly angelic smile before she waves for him to come. Richael does however, quietly ask Jamie. "What do you have in mind here?"
Chris is approached by some frat guys, the sort that are interested in recruiting more old money kids into their organization. It's clear that they've met before, or at least their parents know one another. But Chris kind of waves them off, cutting a wide arc to avoid the rest of the frat groups. He stops to listen to a singing group, a theatre group, and then eventually he finds a tree to lean up against and watch what's going on over at the marine biology booth.
Angel checks the message back, then puts his phone away, figuring on sending another reply later when she's not busy. And then, wait, what now? "Uh, yeah, sure," he replies to Richael, offering a thumbs up as he walks over. It's totally a casual yeah-I-got-this, right? Sure it is. Even though he /really/ doesn't know exactly what 'this' is, yet.
Seth collects some papers that he intends to read later, but will likely forget somewhere deep within his backpack. Then he's off again, casting curious glances over to the marine biology display, but not actually heading in its direction. His arc instead leads him close to Chris, who he stops near and joins in watching the activity. "Fish not your thing, either?" he asks, giving the other kid a sidelong glance.
Naturally, Brooke just beams at the introduction she gets from Jamie. Not that it isn't tooootally justified, right? Of course, beyond standing up there and looking pretty, which she has down pat, the rest of this is still a mysterie to her. So after she shows off a couple more cheer pose positions, she sneaks a look sidelong toward Jamie, not exactly doubt-filled just a curious look. Because she has no clue what she's doing there! And then Angel comes to join her, and she gives a little laugh.
"So are *you* gonna be fine?" She's pretty used to showing off in public, after all. It's basically a cheerleader's job description.
"Oh, I'm cool with fish," Chris says to Seth when he arrives nearby. "Unless it's a party though, crowds aren't really my thing. Don't know what to do with myself in them when I'm not on, you know?" He shrugs his shoulders a bit and then glances over toward Seth. "Anything good over at the English booth? You're the photographer, right?"
As Jamie presents a smile to the small crowd of students around their display, Richael's subtle question directed his way has the boy shrugging and sparing her a careless smile.
"I dunno, I'm just making this shit up as I go along. Let's do a sexual vs. asexual reproduction cycle in starfish." He whispers back. Of /course/ he would suggest that. Jamie can be such a -boy- sometimes.
When Richael picks her boy, Jamie's expression lights up with recognition and as Angel steps up to the proverbial plate, the college freshman shoots his highschool counterpart a quick nod and offered fistbump.
As he passes the quick greeting along, Jamie is also dipping his hands into the display tank and producing two starfish, which he presents to Angel and Brooke.
"The starfish can reproduce both sexually..." Jamie trails off, his eyes switching between Brooke and Angel suggestively as he gives them each a starfish to hold.
"And asexually. When the environment is full of resources...you know, like, food and stuff for the starfish to eat, it doesn't really need the dude-"
Jamie grabs Angel and walks him several steps away from Brooke.
"-To make babies." He crinkles his nose distastefully, "Doesn't sound like much fun does it?" Grinning, he waves his hands to emphasize his words.
"BUTT!" Wait, is there a play on words? A few giggles from the crowd suggest there is.
"BUT, what about when the environment is harsh? What if a sickness sweeps through the water, right?"
Moving around to stand next to Brooke, Jamie puts a hand on her shoulder. At this close proximity, Brooke can see the black, wax cotton necklace dangling around his neck...with a very particular 2018 junior class ring linked onto it. Who's could that be?
"Well, if it does and all of Brooke's babies are the exact same copy as her because she didn't need Angel to get busy with - well, all them babies are gonna die because there's no genetic variability."
Now, Jamie drags Brooke over to Angel, bringing them awkwardly close together.
"So the starfish will sense with the environment sucks and seek out a male to make babies with, thus, ensuring their survival. So what's the lesson of the day? Sexual reproduction is totally the best way to go!"
Angel shoots a grin right back at Brooke. "Sure, no problem." He's on a team too, remember? Okay, people don't watch the players quite the same way they do the cheerleaders, but still. His composure lasts... about halfway through Jamie's talk, at which point observant eyes would spot him slipping his hands behind his back to stop himself from fidgeting with him. His cheeks turn a lovely shade of crimson, too. Must be the cool weather.
Seth doesn't get the full jist of what's going on over at the marine biology booth, both because of his distance from it and because his attention is moving on to Chris. His ears do perk up at a few key words, though. "Huh?" he says over to the other boy. "Oh, yeah, crowds can suck, and I do take pictures." Turning to look Chris straight-on, he inclines his head for a moment and thinks on something. "English department looks ok. I'm mostly looking to chat with the writers. There must be a booth for that somewhere." If so, he's not exactly rushing toward it.
Richael grins, just grins as she leans back against a wall and watches the presentation happen with interest, curiously watching to see just how the teens react to the whole sex thing about starfish. Because it's totally innocent right? Well... maybe not with how Jamie is presenting it. Still, Richael's amusement is quite visible although she is kind enough to refrain from actually laughing at the two on-the-spot teens.
"Oh, for like the paper and creative writing magazine and all that sort of stuff?" Chris asks Seth and then he pulls away from the tree far enough to point off a bit to the left from where the English department area is. "They're actually a bit further down, but I saw them when I was trying to avoid the frats as I was coming back over this way." Then he returns to where he was leaning comfortably. He can sort of get what's going on with the starfish. "Do you ever do photography for hire? For like events and things?"
Holding her starfish in hand, this is confusing for Brooke, and nevermind the actual biology lessons involved. More like... can starfish really be sexy? Is there an appropriate suggestive pose? There's a playbook for normal animals with cute ears you can wear for Halloween. But not for Starfish.
Still, she kind of follows along with Jamie's explanation, gesticulating in the air with the creature like it was a pom-pom. Sorta kinda? This might be animal cruelty! When she's pulled over toward Angel, though, despite his blushing, she totally plays along.
She takes a couple prancing steps nearer, even without Jamie's guidance, reaches her free arm out to reach around Angel's shoulders, while holding her starfish toward his and kind of wiggle-dancing it like she was making a pair of dolls make out.
"Ooooh yeah, definitely better this way!"
Angel, for his part, lets go one of his arms and moves it behind Brooke's waist, sort of like he was hugging her, only not quite. Real hugging is reserved for her teammates when they lift her up for a pyramid or something.
Though Jamie is a bit of a natural when it comes to public speaking, it's really Brooke who sells it, particularly at the end. Already a popular figure at school, the small crowd of students has quickly aggregated into a much larger audience, all of them laughing and following along with the presentation and Brooke's subsequent fun.
"Thanks B." Jamie murmers quietly while standing close to Brooke, giving her an appreciative nudge. "I got you for the next kegger."
He then proceeds to start inviting people up to the display case, though warning for them not to be too rough with the other sea creatures in the petting area.
Turning to Richael, Jamie shoots her a quick wave. "Hey, I'm taking a break, I gotta go find someone I know..."
Looking down at his phone, the psuedo biologist taps away at his phone then looks up and around the crowd before stepping into it and leaving the kiosk to mingle into the crowd.