Differences Aside


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Scene Title Differences Aside
Synopsis On the coast of Staten Island, high school drama is put aside as two young men bond over the crappy condition of the world - and powers.
Date June 13, 2009

Staten Island Coast

The coast of Staten Island is as much of a presence as its inland, with rivers that invade right into its heart as well as cutting off the circulation of transport from the rest of New York City. The coastal regions reflect a lot of this borough's rural nature, with rough shores and plantlife, broken brick, and general abandonment. The harbors are left to the devices of those that freely come and go, a conspicuous lack of official presence - a number of them notably overrun by the developing crime syndicate, but there are still quite a few, particularly on the coasts nearest to Brooklyn and Manhattan, that are accessible to the lawful public.

It is midday and the water off the coast of Staten Island sparkles under the undiluted sunlight that pounds on the surface of the ocean. Waves crash against broken rock and rubble. It might be beautiful it wasn't so desolate. Simon is perched on a rock here, balancing with his knees held close to his chest, eyes staring out across the ocean. He's got a nice pair of headphones on and is listening to some music in his meditative state. They're probably too nice for him to be sporting around on his own, which may make Adam right. He's getting cocky, not even worrying about thieves.

Jase walks down the overgrown paths towards what is rapidly becoming one of his favorite areas to destress from the necessary hyper-vigilance of living on Staten. As usual, he seems freshly scrubbed and at least one honest job and a couple of 'found items' this week have seen him relatively well-fed and thus in a good mood. He stops as he comes around a corner near the shore and sees Simon on his rock. His expression goes from cheerful to surprised and then settles into a sardonic, tough-guy smirk. He tries to sidle around behind the other young man, one hand extended thumb up and forefinger stiff, making the barrel and hammer of a child's imaginary weapon. Once close enough, he jabs it in the middle of Simon's back and growls, "Stick 'em up." The quintessence of his sense of humor, apparently, is to try to scare somebody literally off their rock.

Simon is listening to some fairly tranquil folk rock, so he's not expecting any faux gunplay when Jase decides to play robber. So, the kid naturally jumps from his rock and skitters along some broken rubble. A hand reaches into the jacket he wears and he fumbles for the heavy metal piece that resides there. Turning, slower than he should, Simon levels a pistol at Jase and looks both scared and surprised when he sees who's behind him. He curses, reaches up, and lowers the pistol and his headphones at the same time, letting the latter settle around his neck. "What the hell?"

Jase looks surprised himself at seeing Simon carrying a gun. His expression goes from good humor to outright shock and his hands twitch as tendrils of loose grit and dust start spinning and playing at Simon's feet. When he lowers the gun, Jase takes a deep breath and holds up his hands close to his chest in a mock surrender gesture as the dust settles again. He watches Simon closely and says, "Ah. Ok. Wow. So the egghead's packing heat these days. Good to know." He shrugs. "Sorry,man. It was a joke. I expected you to freak but, wow, the Dirty Harry thing? That's new."

Simon blinks, looks away, and fails to notice the dust stirring at his feet. It's for the best, though he doesn't know it. A finger activates the safety switch on the pistol and the kid pushes it back into his jacket. Once the weighted weapon is out of sight, Simon turns back to Jase with a less than playful look on his face.

"Yeah, um, well this isn't really the place to sneak up on people like that." Simon swallows and sighs, letting the surprise of Jase's 'assault' and the fear of relying on a gun now wash away. "What do you want?"

Jase shrugs, "I /was/ out looking for a place to chill. Yanking your chain was just going to be a bonus, since you happened to be here." He grunts and sticks his hands in his pockets, his smirk back in place. "And, yea. Wow. I know this Island is a, um, wretched pit of scum and villainy and all but I didn't figure you for a gangster." He grins a bit wider. "Tell me you're not listening to to Tupac? Please? My world can't handle that much weird."

"No. I don't listen to Tupac. And I'm not a gangster." Simon glances away a little nervously when he says that. For some reason the calm, cool demeanor he's adopted of late just isn't sticking. It sucks it has to happen around Jase, of all people. "If you want to chill, have a seat." Simon heads back to his rock to reclaim his perch, switching off his MP3 player this time, though.

Jase nods. "Thanks." He finds his own rock, overlooking the water, where he can keep half an eye on Simon. He settles himself comfortably and doesn't speak for a moment, apparently enjoying the sunlight and the breeze. After a moment he continues, conversationally, "So. Even for New York these days, Staten kind of sucks, doesn't it?"

Simon grins, but turns his head a bit so Jase can't get the best look at it, though it's likely still visible. "I guess. Most people would probably agree with you. I'm not too sure. At least here you can you see the bad, scary shit coming. Over in the city, it's all governmental and secretive, you know?" The kid lifts his shoulders in a shrug, loses the grin, and turns to the other yougng man, looking for a reaction.

Jase thinks that one over and after a moment, almost reluctantly nods. "You know, the problem with the Feds is that they got legitimate. I mean, just another mob, right? But a little bit of metal and a plastic ID and, wham, they're the law." He shakes his head. "Doesn't make them right, though." He scratches under his chin. "Some crazy stuff over here, though. And some screwed up people." He frowns faintly, "Screwed up enough that you don't exactly feel ok about making things worse, for most of them. Which sucks."

"Why would you feel OK with making things worse?" Simon lifts an eyebrow curiously and shakes his head a bit. He'll never understand some people. "But I get what you mean about people. I don't know about the Feds, but Homeland Secuurity you need to watch out for." He doesn't feel like elaborating on that touchy subject there. "There may be some scary people here, but I feel like they would be easier to handle. Then again, I'm notorious for not knowing what the hell I'm talking about."

Jase shrugs. "In a world that works the way it should? A little dog eats dog is a good thing. Keeps everybody on their toes and stimulates the economy. When there isn't an economy, it's just kind of …." He frowns and says, "Well, not as much fun. Which is something close to but not exactly the same as having a conscience. Jase continues, "And if by handle you mean 'getting rid of' those guys, that's a fight. Maybe not a bad one but a fight. And it doesn't cover what you do after." His eyes narrow and he says, carefully, "I, um, haven't had any run-ins with DHS. You telling me that for a reason?"

Simon ponders what Jase tells him and simply nods. ‘Handle’ may not be as simple a term to define as Jase did, but the guy isn't wrong. "Probably not. I don't really know. There are certain people out there who should avoid them. Maybe you're one of them. Maybe not. You may be an asshole, but I figure you could use the warning anyways. Just in case."

Jase grins at Simon. "Oh, I'm definitely an asshole. But you know, it works for me." His tone is semi-boasting and semi-joking on that line. He pauses, giving Simon a closer look and then asks, with uncharacteristic caution and even a hint of diplomacy, "Hh. You, ah, got some experience with that? Dealing with those guys, that is?" His expression is searching, as though watching Simon's face for some clue of …something.

Simon lifts his hand and idly bites at a fingertip for a moment before he realizes what he's doing. It's a bad habit he though he broke. When he's nervous, though, it sometimes comes back, like now. "Who, me?" He shrugs again and rolls his eyes. "Yeah, I guess. I mean who doesn't these days?" After all, evolved folks are everywhere. "What, um, about you?"

Jase considers Simon a long moment through narrowed eyes and then seems to make a decision of sorts. He nods and says, "Not directly. But, um, somebody matching my description may have been hot enough at one point to need to move to someplace they don't canvas. Like, say, here." He looks back over the water, uncomfortably. "But you know how it is. It's all lo-fi and shit these days. So it's easy to mistake somebody for somebody else."

Simon can't help but laugh a little at that and roll his eyes along with it. "You are so, completely lame." The laughter subsides after a while, but a smirk remains on the kid's face. "Listen, for what it's worth, you don't have to hide anything from me. It's not like I'm out to advertise shit about you. So, you know, feel free to spill if you want."

Jase considers Simon thoughtfully for a moment. "Hm." The grunt could mean anything. He looks around and then back to Simon. That usual smirk returns but it seems to be a front for a sudden, sharp excitement, by the way his eyes are a touch wider than normal and his breath seems to be coming a bit fast and shallow. "Fuck it." There is an undertone of savage joy there, as though he's about to do something he knows is dangerous and stupid but just /wants/ to do anyway.
Jase lifts one hand out to his side and flips it from palm down to up. As he does so, the dirt, dust and grit around the rock he's sitting upon stir and shift, as though a wind is pushing them from below. And then, in plumes and streamers that spark dimly in the daylight, some of that dust floats up to hover above his palm in a compact little ball, gray-black and swirling, like a tiny thunderstorm in micro-gravity. He looks from it to Simon and grins. "I've been dying to actually /show/ this to somebody who isn't a cop chasing my ass down an alley for a couple of years now."

Simon has seen people show off their abilities to him before, and each time it happens he's amazed at the scope of things people can do today. Jase has an ability that Simon hasnt run into, yet, it seems. This widens the kid's eyes and makes him lean in a bit to study the ball of dirt and dust that floats above Jase's palm.

"Oh, wow," he says, studying the object for a moment. "That's pretty cool, Jase." He leans back and looks up at the other guy, curiously. "So you can do, what exactly? Is this like telekinesis or something?" Probably not, , considering the sparks he saw.

Jase shakes his head. "Nope. It's …weird. Like making sandstorms, basically. Anything solid and tiny enough, I can sort of … Hm." He frowns and says, "It's like science, back in school, remember? Put enough pressure small particles or run a charge through them and they act like liquids? Or gasses? This is like that. But not with pressure. Just kind of telling them where to go. But yea. Like that. I've learned a few tricks. Not a lot though. This science crap is hard to figure out." He tosses the ball of dust away and it explodes a few feet away, making a head-sized cloud of grit that quickly dissipates in the air. "So, yea. I'm a freak. Tell anybody and I'll show you what it feels like to drown in dust."

"You don't have to threaten me, dude," Simon says with another roll of his eyes. His gaze lands on the dissipating dust cloud, then flicks back over to Jase. "Yeah, you were never too good at science, were you?" He doesn't remember, but it's a good guess, he figures. "So you should definitely take my advice then and watch out for the government. Staten Island should be safe for you."

Jase grins at Simon. "I don't have to threaten anybody. I just like it." He sighs at that reminder of high school and shakes his head a bit sadly. "Sports. Parties. Stuff my dad wanted me to do. Not that science would have ever been high on the list. But still, it wasn't that important. I kinda wish I'd paid more attention now." He snorts and adds, "And Staten Island isn't exactly safe for anybody. There is some seriously messed up stuff going on deep in. With that crazy third-world slum place in the middle."

"You don't have to tell me. I have a couple scars to prove it, but none you're going to see right now," Simon says before narrowing his eyes a bit. Trust me, though, some of the stuff going on in Manhattan is just as bad, if not worse. You seem like you can handle yourself here, though. On Staten." He grins and shifts a bit on the rock, pressing his feet into the sides of it so he does't slip off.

Jase's eyebrows lift at something or other and he gives Simon a double-take but then just shakes his head. He says, "Yea. Well, I'm a little… what's the word? Means 'held back'? Anyway, I can handle myself. But I can't handle myself as well as I should be. Or I could, but then I'd be one of the guys who is making things worse." He stops and says, almost philosophically, "I got no problem boosting from tourists and feds and rich people. That's like circle of life shit, you know. Lions taking down the old and fat zebras. Except with less killing. But even to eat, it doesn't feel right to screw with most of the people here. They're basically poor and stupid. So you know, not only don't they have anything but it's not even challenging taking it from them." He sounds disgruntled at that sentence.

Simon blinks and stares at Jase with his mouth slightly open. "Um, I don't think I can agree to that whole lion and zebra thing, but whatever helps you sleep at night." Simon waves a hand in front of him, dismissing the thought. After all, a little thievery is nothing compared to some of the stuff he's come across. "Anyways, I have to get going," he says, rising from the rock swiftly and with an unatural grace. "We should, um, hang out again sometime? Maybe I'll show you what I can do, though it's less impressive."

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