Sneezy, Grumpy, and Speedy


mallory_icon.gif victor_icon.gif

Scene Title Sneezy, Grumpy, and Speedy
Synopsis A sneezing power amplifier outs Mallory to Vic and vice versa. A tentative alliance is made regarding help with hacking.
Date February 8, 2009

Sunday morning at the Apple store; lots of people are in church, and some of the people in the store kind of are, too, because Apple people are kind of crazy that way. Ask Saint Jobs sometime. There aren't too many, though; the city's still in an uproar, and it's early yet, the store just having opened. The employee is still rolling back the security gates when the first customers trickle in, one of which is Mallory. Hoodie pulled up, she's over by the iPod displays, holding a wee Nano and listening with her eyes closed. Aside from her and the guy working, there's another older gentleman with a ragged baseball cap who's standing in front of the laptop display and sweating. Sweating a lot.

Vic wouldn't normally have the cash to blow on an iPod but one thing Mom and Dad were good for on his birthday was money. And he's been needing one, really. As much running as he does, and not the insanely fast variety, as well as his parkour and skating…it's just something that's good.

With one of those smoothie cups in hand, he proceeds to suck the viscous chilled icy fruit sweetness through the straw as he happens into the store. Sunday's nothing special to Victor Childs. He's just not a churchgoer. Hovering by the iPods almost right next to Mallory, he doesn't spare her a glance. Clearly he just doesn't recognize her yet. Then again, they only met once.

Twice! But once it was dark out, so he's excused. Without opening her eyes, Mallory drawls, "Maybe you could suck on that straw a little louder. I think some people in Nevada aren't quite aware of you yet." Sweaty guy contines to sweat, employee finishes with the security gate.

"Mm." grunts Victor. He uses both hands, going down on the smoothie like a porn star for a second before emptying the cup. Banana strawberry is just that good. Because Vic isn't any kind of security guard or cop or any of those things, he just doesn't have room for suspicious sweaty looking guys on his radar. But Mallory talking spurs something. Familiar voice. VERY familiar tone. "Hey. It's you." he says with a grin, looking to the girl. "How've you been?"

Mallory cracks an eye open, sighs, and then rolls both. "Oh. It's you. I've been fan-fuckingtastic, what with my school blowing up and the riots and crap. You?" The employee disappears briefly into the back room, humming a song because he's arty like that. And the sweaty guy snuffles once, wiping his nose on his sleeve. Snuffle, snuffle. "Oh, not again."

He sneezes.

It's a power rush; maybe Victor's felt one before, but Mallory hasn't. It makes her powers go BOOM, and quite suddenly every single device in the store that can play music is blaring ELEVATOR LADY ELEVATOR LADY ELEVATOR LADY LADY ELEVATOR LADY at top volume. Mallory drops the Nano, blinks, and slumps forward against the counter, a thin trail of blood oozing out of her nose.

The guy keeps sneezing, and with every sneeze, Victor can feel his actions get jerkier as his super speed goes out of control. Careful now.


The good thing? Victor's actually felt something like this before. His sister is Gillian, after all. The bad thing is that suddenly for him the entire world becomes…one…sluggish…craaaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwlllll…

Because relatively speaking he is in fast-time. It's a good thing really because it means that Vic doesn't dervish out of control flinging himself crazily about. With great speed comes great reaction time. Much the same thing happens when he uses his ability, especially on full throttle. Right now he could quite possibly shred his normal speed limit though. Turning to look, he sees the sneezing sweaty guy, droplets of snot and spittle moving as if through molasses in thin air before his nose while he proceeds to sneeze in time-lapsed slow mo. "Awww crap." Vic says to himself. He walks across the store casually, tossing his cup toward a nearby trash can. As soon as it leaves his hand it too proceeds in sluggish mid-air motion, tracing a lazy but small terminal orbit into the trash. Vic gently grabs the man by a sleeve and wrinkles his nose. "Man you smell like B.O." he mutters to himself, guiding the guy out of the store and across the mall concourse to sit him down at a fountain bench.

By the time the man is seated he's finally done sneezing and is only now starting to look surprised at being moved.

Turning back toward the Apple store, Vic notices something that makes him go, "Uh oh." Because about a dozen fixtures, and signs, not to mention the trash can he toss his smoothie toward, are all slowly tumbling out of the Apple store in mid-air as if propelled by some kind of explosion.

What this all looks like to normal people is this:

Suddenly everything goes apeshit and there is a gale force wind that blows the man out of the store and (somehow) gently deposits him on a bench, and what looks like half the store suddenly erupts into chaos and explosive disorder as things fling about wildly, all caused by a speedster who misguaged how fast he was going.

Sneezy sits on the bench, wide-eyed, snot dribbled down into his beard. In the meantime, Mallory's collapsed down to her knees with her hands clamped over her ears, blood still leaking from her nose. The dulcet (or not so dulcet) tones of Frank Black's singing are sharply cut off once she's not in sneezer's range. Alarms are whooping now, technological devices are failing everywhere in the store, and it's all very, very unfortunate.

Perhaps realizing his is a bad place to be, Mallory drags herself to her feet and runs out of the store like a clumsy drunk might. Ow ow ow ow her head. And Victor's out there, and Mallory locks eyes with him with a horrible sinking feeling. Shit. He had to notice that. And he - she didn't cause the gale, and he's outside, and -

From his timeframe it takes Vic about five full minutes for Mallory's place in things to catch up with what he's perceiving. He clenches his fists and stands there for a good while, taking about a full minute of Vic-Time to try to bring himself back down to normal speed. And it's not working. Sneezy the Power-Amp has his speed switched very much On and it's not in the mood to come off.

The sounds of all the devices in the store going off sounds like a chorus of foghorns to him, which under other circumstances might even be funny. But instead he chews his lip and watches Mallory. Catches the expression on her face as she, ever so slowly, looks at him with that Oh Crap look on her own face.

Consider Vic takes a couple of minutes in his time to figure out what the hell would make her look like that, and just what all happened here, he does come to at least one possible conclusion. And decides on another course of action.

After a dizzying flash of images and sensations that would induce nausea in most people, Vic and Mallory end up outside the mall, away from prying eyes. Her nose is wiped up for her, though there may still be some leftover trickle coming out. And Victor has an open packet of baby wipes that he's holding out for her to partake of.

Two blocks away at a corner store a packet of baby wipes vanished off a shelf while two dollar bills magically appeared on the clerk's counter.

Finally he seems able to calm his speed down, although there is a residual vibration of latent speed, if you will. "Yyyyyyyyyyou all right?" he says, coming down out of the acceleration. "You were bleeding." He makes a motion toward his nose where a trickle of blood is now starting to come out for him. Strange how it's only now affecting him. Time and speed do crazy things.

Being away from Sneezy helps. Mostly because Sneezy's only that inconvenient when he's actually sneezing, but he has a cold, and that's all kinds of bad right there. Mallory, startled and disoriented, stumbles a step crazily to the side, and turns to throw up. At least nausea's induced in her like a regular person. She hasn't had much to eat, so it's mostly some Cheerios (irony) that come up. She places a hand on the wall and half-turns toward him to reach for the wipe. "My nose. Happens when… uh. W-what happened?"

"Uh. Shit." Vic hisses, feeling the blood down his own nose and grabs a wipe out to clean it up and hold his nose shut with one hand. He looks at Mallory and says in a pinched-nose way, "I think that guy in there's a power-amp. His ability is to amplify others. It set you and me off."

"I don't have any —-" Mallory starts to say, but really, there's no hiding this time. She dabs at her nose, shaking her head. "I probably blitzed the cameras, so that's okay. So it's just us, I think. Fuck. Fuck! I don't tell anyone. I definitely wouldn't tell you. Fuck!"

There's a roll of the eyes and Vic kind of shrugs. "Fine. Not like I really understand what exactly you just did. What was that, an EMP?" Unlikely since an EMP wouldn't have caused devices to work at all. It would probably have just quietly burnt every circuit at once. He seems to think of that the moment he says that. "Or not. Man I'm glad I'm not in the closet." He takes the wipe away from his nose and sniffs experimentally, seeing if the bleeding has stopped.

"You're not one of those registered dumbasses, are you?" Mallory demands, turning her head to one side to spit. Not on him, just at the ground. Puke mouth. Gross.

"Yes. I am." Victor gets another wipe out of the pack and offers it to Mallory in case she wants another. "You okay? Why're you throwing up?"

Mallory eyes the wipe warily, then reaches out and takes it to clean up around her mouth. "Because whatever you did was worse than being in the spinny teacup ride at the fair with a greasy corndog in your stomach. I don't even - are you a teleporter? Or fast?"

"Superspeed. I haven't gone that fast since I was sixteen." Vic looks distant for a moment, privy to his own flashback. A scene of a younger brother and older sister playing with 'powers'. Comparing what they could do. Until the oldest sister, thought to have no ability whatsoever, got near. And things would go very wild. That memory causes him to hesitate for a moment. "Yeah. I'm fast." He digs at an eye with the heel of his right hand and looks down, "Well. Heh. I WAS gonna get an iPod touch…"

"Don't turn me in," Mallory tells him, trying for eye contact again. "Don't turn me in. They're not gonna get me. I don't wanna get locked up." It's a fierce whisper.

"Would you relax? I don't do that. I don't turn anybody in." says Vic with a look of disgust. Like Mallory's being some kind of distasteful person even implying it. "Unless you killed somebody or were some kind of terrorist or something. I know about a lot of people. You think I'm some kind of…I dunno…informant? Because I registered? Is that what you think?"

"I think you're an idiot for registering, because these days people might just round you up just because you're fast," Mallory says, clearing her throat. "And how do I know I can trust you? I'm not a terrorist, no. I haven't done anything…" Well, okay, she did. "Nothing to anyone who didn't deserve it. And just once." So there.

Victor stares at Mallory for a moment and drops the pack of baby wipes at her feet. "You're welcome. For getting you out of everyone's sight." Then he checks his watch and sighs.

It's broken. Sometimes happens to objects worn or carried on the extremities. That much velocity is like being cracked by a whip a hundred times.

Out with his cell phone to check the time on it instead. And it's telling him he has a voicemail waiting. Huh.

LEVITATE ME. Mallory blinks a few times and looks, for once, slightly guilty. "I'm… you have a point. Sorry. Thank you for getting me out of there," she mumbles at her feet, flushing slightly.

"Whatever." replies Vic, for once not sounding the friendly soul that he so often does. Although that can't last. He enters the code to check his voicemail and queues it up to listen to it, sighing and shaking his head. "I'm sorry. It's been a bad…couple of months." He glances at the girl briefly as if to check that she's still there. "You need a ride? I'm guessing you're done here for the day too."

Right. His sister. Mallory bites her bottom lip. "I'm… I'm fine. From here. I owe you, okay? So if you need, uh, I dunno… help? I'm good with computers."

"That's your thing, huh?" he asks, a slight grin on his face as he listens to his voicemail. "Huh." Vic remarks, apparently at the message. Closes his phone and pockets it, and then he pauses again in thought, looking distant. With slightly narrowed eyes he looks Mallory's way again and watches her while he asks, "You uh…a good hacker?"

Mallory smiles faintly. It's almost a good-natured sneer, even. "Yeah. I'm a really good hacker." Only met one better!

A ghost of a grin appears on Victor's face at that. "I could really use your help."

Mallory stoops, picking up the package of wipes at her feet. "Okay. What do you need done?" She's curious. And a little hopeful - maybe this will be a challenge.

Vic licks his lips while looking both ways, just to make sure they really are alone. "Listen. Can you meet me tomorrow night? Somewhere. Doesn't matter where to me. Just somewhere that's not a parking lot or with lots of people around." Okay, so it's one of those things.

"We dodging curfew?" Mallory inquires, tilting her head to the left thoughtfully. "I can do it. Park, maybe?"

"Curfew's easy to dodge but not necessary. If you're cool with it you could come by my place. I live at the Cliffside in Queens. 305. But if you'd rather touch base at the Park I can do that too." Vic pauses and says as if this might be a dealbreaker, "Hoping maybe you can get me information from the cops. The kind of information they're not willing to share."

Mallory perks up a little. Cops? Nice. "Yeah. Okay. I'll stop by your place, sure." She shrugs a shoulder. "Parks are pretty cold this time of year."

Nodding, that seems to encourage Vic. He grins. "Okay. Thanks." He starts walking away sideways, still talking. And he points at Mallory to say, "I'll tell you all the details. Tomorrow night. Thanks!"

The Pixies - Levitate Me

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