A R C H I E B L A C K , B A R O N O ' N I E L , B R Y N N R E Y E S , R Y A N M E N D O Z A , & W I N T E R C A R L Y L EFeaturing: @Kalas, @Prosaic, @Dusksong, @Lasrever, and @FantasyChic
M A T H E R M E M O R I A L H I G H S C H O O L:
Tuesday, August 21st, 2018 - 02:45pm | The 'Loft'
At Jonas' call to break into groups, Brynn glanced at Winter, then around at the people closest to her. The room seemed to slowly be breaking into groups, with Aiden heading the formation of his, and Brynn was impatient to get the day done with.
Picking out three more people was simple enough. Next to her was Ryan, a cute little junior Brynn had seen around in advanced placement courses and at the Crestwood General Hospital, which meant she was likely an aspiring pre-med and therefore had a decent head. There was also the new kid and latecomer, Archie, who—according to Adrielle—had a short-lived career as a professional skater that was ended by some Hyperhuman-related family scandal. While he didn't seem the rule-abiding type, his skating career, however brief, spoke of his dedication and character, and Brynn respected those characteristics more than she disliked a lack of punctuality. For a third member, Baron, a fellow senior, would do. Though Brynn had barely shared a class with him since freshman or sophomore year thanks to her advanced placement-ridden schedule, he was at least a better bet than the rest of the crowd.“Ryan, Archie, Baron,”
Brynn said, glancing at the three in turn. “How about it?”“Huh?”
Ryan, having already resigned herself to a five-minute wait, seemed more than a little taken by surprise at hearing her name. Looking over towards Brynn, she paused for a moment’s thought. She at least recognised her, though from Ryan’s understanding the older girl was part of the popular circles that she herself usually kept her head down around. Still, even if she was a little apprehensive, it seemed like a better option than waiting for Mr Lehrer to decide, so she smiled slightly and nodded. ”Sure. Sounds good.”
Baron wasn't a fan of choosing partners for things and the fact that he was being forced to do it immediately was sort of unsettling. Group work was one of those things that required friends and he barely knew anyone in this class so far. He recognized a few people but he couldn't say that he'd ever had the pleasure ...or displeasure of talking to them before. He was ready to content himself in waiting for the teacher to choose him a partner, sitting rigidly and challengingly. If they wanted him to scramble, they weren't going to be satisfied.
He sat like that for one, maybe two minutes before a girl broke into his thoughts. He uncoiled immediately because he recognized her to a small extent. Pretty, brunette, and way outside of his small social circle. Brynn Reyes. He couldn't begin to explain what had drove her to choosing him besides sharing a few classes in the past but he wasn't about to argue with the only spot of luck that he'd experienced all day. It was better than waiting, it was better than being that kid
"Can't say I have any better offers,
" he admitted, "Sounds good to me.
Archie was already bored, barely five minutes into the class. Discussing the morality of man, and how we stacked up against beings of a lesser intelligence, wasn't exactly his idea of a special
class, let alone having to then break into groups in order to write some crappy message in a long-forgotten dialect he neither knew nor cared about. This was the kind of thing children did in history classes, although trade in Ogham for Egyptian Hieroglyphics. But still, this was a good opportunity for him to branch out and get to know some of his fellow students, away from Cara's smothering. Lifting his head from resting on the palm of his hand, Archie began to scour the room for potential group mates. It wasn't long before he noticed a girl staring right at him, offering him a place in her group. He was encaptivated by her immediately as he regarded just how pretty she was. Brynn was her name, Cara had elbowed him in the ribs when she'd caught him admiring her in the Main Quad at lunch.
Archie had to force himself to nod in response to her offer, his words escaping him momentarily before adding, "Sure thing. Beats waiting around, I guess."
Winter watched as Brynn managed to find a group rather quickly. Then again, Brynn did seem to have a way of always getting people to open up to her. She wondered if she would ever be like that. Hopefully once she went to college, she could start over. Start fresh and not have herself judged based on what teenagers considered popular. She turned to the group, assuming Brynn's careful glance at her was an invitation. After all, out of everyone in the room, Brynn was the only one she would call a friend."Hope you don't mind if I join too."
It wasn't so much asking as it was a demand, but they did need to group up so people were bound to be dissapointed.“Alright. Winter,”
Brynn said, indicating her friend, “Ryan, Baron, and Archie.”
Figuring brief introductions would suffice for a class activity, Brynn turned her attention to the sheet that Jonas had handed out. Language and Celtic codes—the activity seemed more like one she'd find in history, but Brynn wasn't in charge of what the activity entailed; she was in charge of producing an encoded message for the other groups.“Any suggestions for a message?”
she asked, looking around the group. “And anyone want to volunteer to write the code?”
As this was a group activity, Brynn couldn't immediately do everything, but if no one else volunteered, she'd have an excuse to do so—not that she wanted to.
Forcing a small smile and nod to the rest of the group in greeting, Ryan’s attention almost immediately seemed to turn away from them. It was deliberate, of course; for some reason mostly-ignoring people made her less worried she’d do something wrong by accident. Although she preferred not to let herself wonder why
she’d be worried about that.”I think I’d rather write the code.”
She offered after a moment, partly because she didn’t mind languages, partly because it’d get her out of coming up with a message, but mostly because writing meant she’d have a good excuse to sit and look at the paper instead of anyone else around the table. Not that she couldn’t avoid eye contact anyway if she wanted, but one looked far weirder than the other and it was bad enough knowing she was already visibly nervous. ”If that’s fine with everyone.”
"We're probably going to have to choose a message that's school friendly, so, perhaps something in support of the Ravens?
It was an easy enough suggestion and one that he could sit back and let them mull over. He wasn't nervous despite the social status that surrounded him currently. Baron was someone that flew by, people didn't love him but they didn't hate
him. He was either the perpetually bored, quiet kid or the rebellious socialite and there was nothing in between. The people that hung around him ranged from being popular to being vastly unpopular. He knew most of the people in this group by face and by name, which made this infinitely easier to deal with.
"Or something about this class, I guess.
""What if we don't do that? Wouldn't that be too obvious? Make it somewhat harder to guess."
It wasn't malicious in intent, it just seemed like this was supposed to be somewhat challenging. "If you wanna write it, by all means. I wouldn't know the first thing about doing this."
Winter fought the urge to take out her phone and check it, considering what happened in Physics class, but she was also not super invested into this. She just didn't see how this all played into this class' goals.
Baron's pitch reminded Brynn of her volleyball game next Tuesday. However, Social Conscience was comprised of upperclassmen—individuals who'd already found a pattern of attendance for Mather Memorial's sporting events. While Brynn could expect to draw people like Aiden or Winter, most of the class consisted of people with few ties to the school's athletic department, so advertising would likely be a waste of effort on her part.“Alright, you're on writing then, Ryan,”
Brynn said when no one else volunteered. The nervous junior looked like she needed a good pep talk, but that was neither of Brynn's business nor interest. What was important was that the time-consuming part was accounted for; since there were no specific requirements for the actual message, there was little need to deliberate over it, though Brynn figured the discussion should continue for a few more minutes to keep up appearances.“The hardest thing to decode would be a string of random letters or words, but Jonas said 'message,' so it probably has to make sense somehow,”
Brynn said. While Winter had a point in that common phrases could be guessed without a complete decoding, thus defeating the purpose of the activity, it remained that the whole thing was just a small group activity for Social Conscience. Fall this year was especially busy, with schoolwork, volleyball, and college applications set to dominate Brynn's waking hours, so Social Conscience fell low on her list of priorities. As such, Brynn was content to let the rest of her group hash the details out; she'd step in if it seemed like they were dragging.
Ryan thought the question over, her gaze now firmly fixed on the paper. Ravens, something about ravens... it could work, she supposed. Ugh, was she being presumptuous by speaking up? She’d already said she’d write the code, after all. Maybe they didn’t want to listen, or at least not to her. But then again, there weren’t any other suggestions coming, and the sooner this got done the sooner she could withdraw again. Classwork was fine, she could do classwork, and the more useful she was here the less chance she’d have annoyed someone. Hopefully.“Cría cuervos y te sacarán los ojos. The, um, literal translation is ‘raise ravens and they’ll peck out your eyes’.”
She spoke quietly, barely raising her head to glance at the others before looking down again. Sure, the message probably had to be coherent, but no-one said it had to be in English
. ”If you want something difficult, of course. It’s kind of relevant to the class, I guess - the gist of it is that taking care of bad people means they’ll stab you in the back.”
Pausing for a second, she grimaced, continuing uncertainly. ”And I guess it technically includes ravens, although it’s... not exactly flattering.”“Using another language is a good idea,”
Brynn said, both impressed and slightly peeved: The idea of using a different language had escaped her, and though she wasn't surprised that it was the aspiring pre-med who thought of it, Brynn didn't enjoy being outdone. Still, this was precisely why she'd wanted Ryan in her group, so she could hardly complain. “The message is a bit off though. Anyone have another suggestion?”
Winter was paying attention, even if it didn't seem like it. She just wanted this over with so the class could end or they could be lectured. She hated being here when she had plenty of other electives she wanted that would look just as good, if not better, on college applications. "Another language is fine. Anyone know of one? I only took Spanish as an elective Freshman year, but I am not an expert in it."
"French, I know French, give me a phrase and I can give it back to you in French.
" Baron said boredly, seemingly absorbed in picking a bit of dirt from beneath his nail. "Anything to get this done with quicker.
He didn't really care much for his own contribution, which has been almost nothing, he was just wanting to get this done as quickly as possible. It wasn't like him to get active with groups and by the way this group seemed to be acting, it wasn't much like them either. So far it had been a collective of people mumbling unhelpfully at each other and the blond chick had even been so bold that she'd shot his idea down completely. The only helpful suggestion so far had come from the quiet girl, he believed that her name was Ryan. He had liked her suggestion though he understood the hesitancy to use something that had little bearing on teams or victory.
Nonetheless, he appreciated her input the most so far and it might give him a reason to use his vague knowledge of French. “French sounds good. Onto the message then,”
Brynn said as one of the other groups seemed to be finishing up. “We can always go with something in support of the Ravens.”
Though Winter had a point with Baron's idea earlier, now that they were using a different language, the message would be harder to guess.
Ryan’s attention had been turned back to the desk for the past couple of minutes, listening without really contributing any more to the discussion. The fact that they’d actually taken her suggestion was a slight surprise; she tended to assume she’d get ignored by default. It didn’t need to be complicated anyway, there wasn’t much chance anyone would guess it straight out. French seemed fine. Everything was fine. Nothing to worry about.
She really wanted to get this over with. ”They do that chant, right? The, uh, black and blue thing. We could just translate that.”“Everyone okay with that?”
Brynn asked. If anything, she was glad that the class would be pretty much over after the presentations. Group activities had a way of sucking up time, and though Brynn usually loathed them, she figured that Social Conscience needed all the filler it could get.
Winter looked it over. She nodded her approval. it was done. They could turn it in now. Finally. Maybe this class can end early and she could leave. Maybe visit the mall or check when Cheerleader practice was.