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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:05 pm 
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It had been a long weekend for Julianna, who had essentially told her parents that she didn't want the same things for her life that they wanted and left to join this program that was supposed to be specifically for people like her. Whatever that meant. After unpacking her things in her assigned room, she had laid on the bed for a while, staring at the ceiling, wanting to sleep, but afraid of what she might see if she closed her eyes.

She didn't know how long she laid there before she finally sat up when a grumbling in her stomach reminded her that she hadn't eaten today. "Right," she sat up, sighing as she got up the motivation to go out and find the cafeteria. After a brief moment, she slipped her boots back on and headed out the door. The wide hallways of the building were filled with people, and with noise. Everyone was chattering all around, some making friends for the first time while others talked with old friends.

Despite the chatter, there were just as many people who silently walked through the halls. Some avoided eye contact simply because they seemed nervous, others were looking between a piece of paper in their hand and the numbers on the doors, trying to find their assigned room, and every now and then you would see someone so focused on some form of electronic that they couldn't be asked to interact with real people. Considering that students were asked not to bring personal devices, she had to assume that those who carried them had been here the previous year.

Jules didn't make an effort to avoid eye contact, but likewise she didn't make an effort to seek it out. Instead, she watched her surroundings, taking note of the people as well as the interior of the large building. It was pretty sterile as far as schools were, although she had limited experience on which to base that judgement. There were occasional pieces of art around, paintings on the wall, vases on pedestals, other various objects on shelves, but they were relatively scarce and, from what she had seen, they almost seemed random, as if someone picked out some random things they liked without really considering how it would all tie together. It certainly wasn't the work of an interior designer, that was for sure.

Where was the cafeteria again? she wondered to herself as she tried to picture the map in her head and remember the location from her tour earlier that morning. There were signs and maps posted for new students, but if she wanted to get used to this place, she couldn't rely on signs forever. Thus, she tried to use her memory to find it. After some time, she did find it. She gave herself a mental pat on the back before glancing around the room until she found the line. The room was rather large--and rather crowded--with a large main serving line, a salad bar, what appeared to be a dessert bar, a section with pre-made and pre-packaged lunches, a section for drinks, and a section for vending machines. In the middle of it all were tables filled with students, ranging from her age to a few years older.

After her brief survey of the room, she approached the line, checking to see what was being served that day before deciding to by-pass the line. Instead of waiting, she opted for a small pre-made salad, a pre-made sandwich, a bag of chips, a cookie from the dessert by, and a bottle of water. She quickly scanned the items and her ID card at the kiosk and then once again surveyed the room, this time looking for an empty seat. There weren't many, as she had apparently picked a popular eating time. Finally she spotted one across from a boy with a headphone set. It would work. She approached the boy and stopped before she took a seat. "Is this seat taken?" She asked, waiting only a moment before she took the seat, hoping it wouldn't bother him too much. She'd get up if it were strictly necessary, but she hoped that wouldn't be the case.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:57 pm 

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It was hard to believe he had already been at this place for a year. One long year of learning the ropes, the ins and outs of this place, and tests. Not like those tests he had always hated in high school, but tests for his 'special' abilities. Nothing had really changed since he had first walked through those doors a year ago. Elijah could remember his parents coming with him to drop their son off at some government facility for their project. They had discussed it at great length around the dining room table, the pros and cons, how this might be beneficial, all that stuff.

Elijah had just wanted more than anything for these people to figure out what was wrong with him. Weren't those with powers suppose to be enhanced from them? Not forced to suffer from the constant buzz of human voices in his ears and the ideas thrown at his own mind that did not belong to him! Elijah knew his parents were of the same idea. They wanted someone to 'fix' their son, bring back that cheerful person he had been before this had all started.

He had continued much as he had in high school. Headphones on, drown out the world, and mind your own business. Most had left him along, joining up with others to form cliquey circles. On occasion someone would try to talk to Elijah, but would be turned off by his seeming lack of focus, though he also knew it was also because he was deaf. It didn't take a mind reader to figure that one out.

Today Elijah had chosen his usual corner of the cafeteria. This room was usually one of the worst to be for him. So many people within such a small, contained area, it was maddening! Of course the same could be said about the whole facility. His food was relatively untouched, not having much of an appetite for it. It had long gone cold, but Elijah still halfheartedly pushed it around the plate. He sipped his apple juice, one of those things he could never get enough of, and watched a girl approach. He read her lips easily enough to know what she was asking. A quick scan of the room showed that there were no other open seats, and he couldn't just say no. So, Elijah made no protest when she sat down.

Judging by the way she was sitting with him and not with one of the other groups led Elijah to guess that she was new. He noted that there had been an influx of new 'students' to the facility lately, possibly contributing to the overcrowded cafeteria now. He knew he should say something, but that would mean having to take his headphones off, which meant dealing with a headache later. Slowly, Elijah pushed his headphones down so they were around the back of his neck, wincing slightly at the sharp increase of volume both to his ears and in his head.

"You're new, right?" He asked, trying to focus on her instead of on the hundreds of other voices fighting for his attention. "I'm Elijah." He said, offering his hand to her.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:28 pm 
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When the boy made no protest to her, Jules placed her food on the table and took a seat. At first she thought he might continue listening to whatever it was he was listening to, but instead, he pushed the headphones off, wincing as he did. Was he sensitive to sound? Or was it something else? "Correct. I just got here today," she replied back, reaching out and firmly shaking his hand, "Julianna. But you can call me Jules, if you want," she replied as she pulled her hand back and went to opening the containers of food, making the dressing with the salad.

"You read lips?" she questioned somewhat casually, not really considering that it was a little bit forward. Some people were just good at reading lips, some trained themselves for the heck of it, and others learned out of necessity. She had caught a brief glimpse of the small objects in his ears when he had taken his headphones off. She guessed they were hearing aids, which made sense, considering. She was only guessing for now, though. Not that it really mattered. It wasn't like it bothered her. It would be nice to know, though, for communication purposes.

"Are you hard of hearing?" she asked curiously as she mixed up the salad. "Sorry," she stopped, looking up at him. "That wasn't exactly the most sensitive way to ask that, was it?" she had kind of just asked what was on her mind, something she tended to do at times, without really thinking. She hoped it didn't bother him. She hadn't meant anything by it, she was just curious. She hoped that would be obvious.

She began eating her salad, glancing around the room at all the different people, many of whom appeared to be in groups. That was, excluding those who looked lost, nervous, or otherwise gave off a vibe that screamed 'I'm new.' There were others, such as Elijah, who didn't seem to be new, yet they sat alone anyways. Either they didn't really fit in with a group, they didn't like people, or they simply preferred being alone for whatever reason, she guessed. Oh well, either way, it seemed rather familiar. "It seems almost like high school all over again," she observed between bites.

After deciding that there wasn't much to see among the others, she returned her focus to her food, and the boy across from her. "Sorry," she apologized for diverting her attention. "So, how long have you been here?" she asked before taking another bite of the salad. She then fell silent, deciding that she would let him speak, if he wished, instead of just spouting off every question that came to mind. That could get her in trouble if he wasn't fond of being questioned, or sharing things about himself. It was safer, for the moment, to wait until she got a better feel for what kind of a person he was before she unintentionally interrogated him.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:43 pm 

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Elijah didn't mind when Jules asked if he read lips. It was a common enough skill that it didn't stand out all that often, except in cases like this. Heck, he knew people who could hear perfectly fine who still read lips. Her next question was a little more direct, capturing Elijah's full attention for a few seconds as he watched her, looking for any sign of hostility, hatred, anything that might tip him off. Her apology caught him a little off guard, not having expected it. Sure plenty of people had asked him about it, even here, but it was usually followed by either some rude comment, a joke, or, almost as bad as the teasing, pity. Jules spoken 'sorry' didn't fall into any of those categories, and from what Elijah could read of her thoughts and untangle from all the others, it was genuine.

"Was it that obvious?" Elijah asked with a smile. He had learned early that if he reacted with anger it almost always ended badly. Over the years of being asked the same question, he had learned to laugh it off if he couldn't ignore it altogether. "And it's no problem, really. Better to ask than have the thought bother you all day." As Jules began to eat and observe the room, Elijah was tempted to pull his headphones back on for a respite from the noise, both that which everyone could hear, as well as the jumbled up thoughts of each individual. His fingers were already inching from their concealed place under the table when she spoke again, reminding him of his own high school days.

"For better or for worse." He commented. His time at high school hadn't exactly been the best time of his life and when coming here he hadn't been expecting to relive it. Elijah waved off Jules second sorry, this was becoming a habit for her it seemed, and answered her next question.

"About a year now, though it doesn't feel like it." It was true, it didn't feel as though a year had passed already. It still felt like just yesterday he was walking through those big front doors, wondering what he was getting into. "It's better than the alternative I suppose. Though they haven't done much to help with whatever's going on in here." He pointed to his temple. It occurred to him that everyone here had some reason to be, had some sort of 'heightened cognitive ability'. He wondered what Jules' was, but felt it was, as she put it not the most sensitive way to just blurt it out. Though considering that was what this whole place was about, maybe this was different. He closed his eyes for a moment, pressing his hands lightly over his ears by instinct, as the roar of noise in his head got significant louder before dying down to the usual drone, occasionally spiking when someone got a little riled up or excited.

Taking a chance, Elijah leaned forward, folding his forearms in front of him on the table.

"May I be so bold as to ask what brought you here?" He asked, head tilted ever so slightly to the side. Every now and then he would glance towards the crowd before returning his attention to Jules. It was his turn to apologize.

"Sorry, habit."

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:31 pm 
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Jules swallowed the first bite of her food and shook her head when he asked if it had been that obvious. "No, not really. I'm just a little more observant than most, I guess," she shrugged. "My best friend growing up was in an accident and lost hearing in both ears, among other things. Maybe I'm just used to it?" she shrugged once more, giving him a smile, although there was the tiniest hint of sadness hidden somewhere behind the smile. She was glad that he hadn't taken offense to her somewhat tactless question. She was occasionally wanting for tact nowadays, which could be mistaken for rudeness, especially when someone didn't know her.

She wasn't sure how to feel when he essentially confirmed that this place was a lot like high school, for better or worse. She supposed that many of them were like her, just out of high school, so it made sense that many of them would still have the same mindset they had in high school. After all, graduating didn't automatically make them into mature adults, and a single summer wasn't enough to change most people. She was quite different than she had been months before, but really, she wasn't different, she was just content to be herself now, rather than pretending to be miss perfect and following what her parents wanted. She hadn't really changed, she'd just stopped pretending. For those who were happy with who they were in high school, for better or for worse, would likely remain the same, whether it had been a mask or their true self.

High school hadn't been a bad time for her in general, as she hadn't been bullied herself. Still, it was often a toxic environment, and there were plenty others who were bullied, including her best friend. But she didn't want to think of that, so she pushed those memories aside, focusing on anything else. So, he had been here for a year. She had figured as much. He didn't look that much older than she was and he seemed to be familiar with the place, so that seemed about right. "Really? What exactly do they do? I mean, what's it like?" she asked curiously before shaking her head, "You don't have to answer, if you don't want to. I don't mean to pry," she added, in case he didn't want to talk about it now. It wasn't like she wouldn't find out soon enough, but it'd still be interesting to know what to expect, or at least hear the perspective of someone who had been here before.

"Well, considering the questions I've blurted out, I think you deserve at least one," she replied with a half-smile, taking another bite of her salad as she contemplated how to answer. When he apologized for his apparent tendency to seem distracted, although it didn't bother her at all. She had enough quirks of her own, she wouldn't judge him for his. "It's fine. You don't need to apologize," she waved off the apology before answering his question. "I have these dreams. They started a few years ago and they've been getting worse. I have them any time I fall asleep now. Even if it's just a short nap. And they always come true. Always," she explained, her expression darkening a bit as she spoke. She pushed the salad around a bit with her fork, staring at it as though it were the most interesting thing in the world. "Sometimes I stay awake for days to avoid them," she admitted almost absentmindedly, not realizing that her left leg was bouncing up and down beneath the table. "Sorry. You probably didn't need to know that part," she gave a sort-of smile as she forced herself to sit still.

After another moment passed, she quickly cleared her throat. "Anyways. What about you?" she asked, tilting her head a bit. "Let me guess. Mind reader?" she asked, guessing based on the things she had observed.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:42 pm 

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Elijah chuckled at Jules' backpedaling. Seriously, he wasn't going to take offence to her asking a few questions, he had survived worse. What did they do? Well, that was a little difficult to answer.

"Depends on the person I suppose, at least from what I've gotten from a few others." He said with a shrug. "I've mostly gotten tests and things to figure out the extent of my own problems. How accurate I can be, how far away a person can be before I get nothing, that sort of thing. Honestly, I was hoping they would have done more to help suppress them, but it looks more like they want to further progress them." He knew it wasn't the most enthusiastic answer, nor did it paint the place in the best light, but it was the truth. Expecting help, Elijah had felt more like a lab experiment through the year he had been here.

When Jules started explaining her own abilities and reasons for being here, Elijah listened as closely as he could. He was always interested in hearing about what others were going through in this regard. He had to admit, this was the first he had heard of dreams coming true. He shook his head with a soft smile when she apologized.

"Hey, it's all good. I'm sure staying awake for days on end isn't the easiest thing to do, or hide." He knew of a few others who avoided sleep, but mostly for lifestyle reasons rather than trying to avoid dreaming. And then there were others who seemed to always be sleeping!

Elijah wasn't surprised when the question came back to him, you couldn't just ask and not expect the same to be asked to you. Her guess wasn't far off, though he wouldn't go so far as to label himself a full blown mind reader.

"Close. It's more like hearing projected thoughts than actually reading someone's mind." He knew it wasn't the clearest of explanations, but he wasn't all that clear on how exactly these abilities worked either. "It's like..." Elijah tried to think of a better way to explain. "I can hear thoughts without actually meaning or even trying to, like the constant drone of voices all talking at once in your head." He sighed with the frustration of trying to say this in an understandable way.

"I'm doing a horrible job at this." 

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Elijah explained that what they did here depended on the person. She guessed that kind of made sense, given that she assumed they all had their own unique problems, or abilities, whatever you wished to call them. It made sense that what they did would depend on the person. It was, however, rather disappointing to hear that he had gotten a lot of tests done and he thought it seemed more like they wanted to progress his abilities, rather than help him suppress them.

She supposed that progressing them would not necessarily be all bad, given that at some point it seemed likely that they would gain some control over the ability and may even develop the ability to suppress it on their own. This, however, may not be true for everyone, and in the meantime, it meant that the ability would get stronger and thus, so would the effects on the person. Her dreams were bad enough as it was. She wasn't terribly interested in the idea that they would get worse before they got better. Still, she had signed up for this, so she guessed that it was best to at least try to see it through.

She didn't really realize the somewhat pensive expression her face now held as she considered this. "Well, that's a bit disappointing. Although, perhaps not entirely unexpected," she looked none too happy about this development, but nevertheless, she didn't seem as though it changed her mind about being here, either.

"That's for sure," she agreed when he acknowledged that staying awake for days wasn't the easiest thing to do, or to hide. "It's a little easier when your parents decide to drug you so you stay awake at school. Harder, though, when they also decide to drug you to make you sleep," she replied thoughtfully, shrugging as though it were nothing. That was a perfectly normal thing for parents to do, right? Not really, but it was easier for them than sticking her in some program to help with her... issues. Having a stay in some psych program because she was on the verge of a mental breakdown wouldn't have looked good on her record, after all.

Elijah then when on to try to explain his abilities, seeming to not really know how to describe them. She chuckled at his comment about doing a horrible job at explaining. "You're fine," she shook her head, smiling. "I think I understand. You can't actively read minds, but you constantly hear people's conscious thoughts in your mind. Is that right?" she asked, summarizing the basics of her understanding of his ability.

"That doesn't sound fun," she then added. "I'm sure it'd be a useful thing if you learned to control it, but until then, trying to drown out the thoughts of all these people sounds like about as much fun as staying awake for four days without the aid of caffeine. And that is not fun, believe me," she chuckled, propping her elbow on the table and leaning her face into it as she glanced around the room at all those who sat around chatting and laughing. "I imagine everyone has some downside to their ability. Some more than others, I'd guess. But I suppose some do a better job of hiding it, huh?" she mused as her eyes landed on him once again, a small smile on her face.

"Then again, I suppose having friends to distract you or to help you might just make it more bearable," she added thoughtfully. "Speaking of friends. I am willing to make you my best, and presently my only friend at this... place," she gestured with her finger as she ended the statement. "It's an offer you can't refuse. Well... I mean, I guess you could... But I hope you won't," she added with her most charming smile. "You know, assuming my bluntness, insatiable curiosity, and excessive apologies aren't too big of a deal breaker," she added with an almost playfully thoughtful expression on her face.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:55 am 

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Elijah noticed her distress over what she had told him about the place and what they did. That hadn't been his intention at all!

"Hey, you never know, things may change when they realized nothings improved, or when enough people complain." He shrugged. "I mean, you're the first I've heard of with abilities to the extent that you've got. Who knows, maybe they'll finally change tactics." 

He was a little concerned at her comment on her parents drugging her up to stay awake. As dangerous as it could be for Jules to have some freaky nightmare and have it come true, what were the consequences of having her on any sort of drug. From what Elijah knew, some could cause dreams to get worse, or at least affect an individual's sleep schedule. Taking into account that the recommended dose may have not been followed if it was in an effort to keep her awake, and it was not a pretty formula.  

"That could not have been healthy." He admitted. He wondered what had finally made her parents change their mind and send her here, rather than taking things into their own hands. 

He was glad that Jules seemed to at least have some sort of understanding come out of his horrible explanation. 

"Something like that yeah." He chuckled. It wasn't an easy thing to explain. Usually when people thought of mind readers they thought of someone actually looking into someone's mind, able to pull out thoughts and information. Compared to them, Elijah's abilities just seemed lame...and annoying. 

"Annoying is an understatement." Elijah said with a small laugh. "That's where these come in." He tapped the headphones resting around his neck. "Helps to drown out some of it anyway." 

He listened to her speaking, not bothering to interrupt while fighting to keep his focus from wandering. He couldn't help but smile at the way she basically asked to be friends. 

"I mean, when you put it that way, how could I say no?" He answered. Suddenly a loud outburst from the other side of the room had Elijah pressing his hands to his ears, his brow furrowed as an argument began to escalate. As the aggression increased, so too did the volume of both their voices and their thoughts until people were making quick exits to avoid getting in the middle of whatever was going down. 

Pulling his headphones on as quickly as he could, Elijah stood and gestured for Jules to follow him to the relative safety of one of the many halls just as a group of men dressed like guards filed in. 

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:57 am 
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"Perhaps," she replied thoughtfully. "But what if they change for the worse instead of the better?" she wondered before quickly shaking her head. "Sorry. I don't mean to be Debbie Downer over here. Hopefully you're right and if they change, it will be for the better," she added, giving a small smile. "Also, really? The first? I would have thought there would be more like me," she murmured curiously. "Oh well. I guess that makes me unique, then," she chuckled, trying to look on the bright side.

He seemed to be concerned about how her parents had drugged her, admitting that it could not have been healthy. "No, certainly not," she replied, shaking her head. "I was on edge on the time, jittery more than I liked, and hyper focused on everything, yet sometimes I couldn't really focus on anything," she admitted. "It would have continued, too. If they had gotten there way and I went off to some Ivy league school like I was supposed to, I would've spent the next four years or more in that same place," she stared down at the food, poking what remained of it. "That's why I decided to come here," she explained. "Hopefully that doesn't turn out to be a mistake. The last thing I need is to have to hear them say 'I told you so,'" she frowned a little as she spoke. "Anyway, that's that."

She was glad she had gotten the general idea down when he confirmed that it was something like that. He then added that annoying was an understatement, but that was where his headphones came in. "I suspected as much," she admitted, smiling lightly. "But hey, I'm glad there is at least something to lessen the annoyance for you," she added honestly. She would give anything to have something to help her. Besides drugs to keep her away from the dreams, that is.

She grinned when he answered her strange offer of friendship with what she was pretty sure was an acceptance. Before she could say anything else, however, some sort of disturbance broke out on the other side of the cafeteria, which caused Elijah to press his hands against his ears. She frowned, wanting to help but not knowing how. After all, she would probably only make things worse if she tried to interfere, and she didn't know this place well at all, so there was very little she could do.

Thankfully, Elijah pulled on his headphones and gestured for her to follow him, seeming to have some idea. She guessed that they were escaping to somewhere relatively safe and quiet, which was just fine with her. She stood up and quickly followed after him as they left the cafeteria, although she couldn't help but glance back in time to see what she thought were guards pouring into the room. She wondered what they were going to do to those who had gotten into the fight, but she dared not stick around to find out, instead, following Elijah until they were safely away.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:31 pm 

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He was glad when Jules followed. Weaving his way between the rush of other ‘students’ and guards, Elijah made it into the equally as packed hallway outside. Sighing, he grabbed Jules’ hand, making sure she didn’t get lost in the crowd, which could be overwhelming for anyone no matter how long they had been there for, and began the trek to safety.

It took a little longer than he had hoped, but eventually he got them to one of the quieter, less crowded hallways with only a few stragglers wandering about. Following a seemingly well known path, Elijah led Jules up a flight of stairs, down another hallway, and out a door that led onto the roof.

Finally slipping his headphones off, Elijah rubbed his temples with his eyes closed for a moment, feeling a headache coming on.

“Sorry about all that.” He said, turning to face Jules. “That doesn’t usually happen.” He remarked as he leaned against a railing, looking down at the area around the building. “But when it does it blows up pretty quickly.”

Elijah recalled what she had been saying before the whole situation downstairs.

“I should probably rephrase that. You’re the first I’ve heard of who’s dreams actually come true. I’ve heard about others who can predict things through their dreams, like seeing into the future, or seeing things happening in other places, but never anything like what you’ve got.”

He paused for a moment, thinking.

“I suppose it’s fascinating the diversity of everyone’s abilities.” He mused. “Everyone, even those with the same ones, seem to have something that makes them different. I guess that’s what makes it so difficult to research them, like a virus.” He chuckled.

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Jules followed along as Elijah led her into a hallway that was just as packed as the cafeteria, before sighing and grabbing her hand, leading her down a path that he seemed to know well. She was curious where he was leading her, but she followed nonetheless, having absolutely no desire to get lost in that mess back there.

Eventually they came out a door and onto the roof. Jules looked around the roof while Elijah rubbed his temples. "Hmm?" she looked back at him when he spoke, "Don't worry about it. Not like it's your fault," she chuckled. "I think we should both try to stop saying the 's' word," she joked, leaning against the railing next to him and taking the opportunity to have a look around. "Well, on the bright side, I got to escape and come up here, so I guess it's not all bad," she gave him a small smile.

He then returned to their previous conversation about abilities, clarifying that he'd met people with similar abilities, but not quite the same. She guessed that made sense. To be honest, she'd always kind of thought maybe they were sort of like seeing into the future, but when he phrased it the way he did, she guessed it was a little different.

She recalled when the woman had come to them to discuss the possibility of her coming here, she had mentioned that her abilities seemed rather unique. She remembered the woman saying that most people get little flashes of things to come in their dreams, rather than seeing the whole picture, and even then, sometimes they got little things wrong, as if they were seeing some possible future, but somewhere along the way it got a little off track. She thought that she remembered hearing the woman say that she'd never seen anyone who had dreams that were completely accurate every single time.

Of course, Jules had been upstairs trying to listen in on the conversation, so she had convinced herself that she heard it wrong, because there was no way she was that special. But now, she wondered. Yet it didn't make her feel special. It made her feel like a freak, and it gave her an uneasy feeling that she couldn't explain. Like she suddenly wanted to keep her abilities to herself. Not that those who brought her here didn't already know that.

She tried to shake the uneasy feeling, although some small remnants of it lingered on her face even as she chuckled at his virus comment. "I don't think I've ever been compared to a virus before. But I suppose it's accurate. And I guess that explains why they have so many people here instead of just picking one or two from each group who have the most potential, or something," she wondered about that, though. Was that really the only reason? Then again, she had no reason to think otherwise, so she put her reservations aside and chose, for now, to believe that must be the reason.

"Well, here's to hoping that we make it out of this in better shape than we came in. Lord knows I didn't come here hoping to be nothing more than a Guinea pig," she chuckled. "But then, I'm guessing no one came here for that reason," she added thoughtfully. "I wonder if we really will get some sort of handle on our abilities at some point," she continued in the same thoughtful manner, leaning down and resting her chin on her forearm, staring downward. "I certainly hope so. If only to avoid having to hear my mom say 'I told you so,'" she chuckled again, tilting her head just a little so that she could glance up at him.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:27 pm 

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Elijah chuckled when Jules mentioned that both of them should stop saying the ‘s’ word. It seemed they both had the habit.

“Got to find the positives somewhere.” He said in reply. Sometimes it was the small things that had to be focused on when it seemed like all hell was breaking loose. That had sure been the case when Elijah’s abilities had first manifested. Everything bad that could happen, he believed would, and that way of thinking had only led to his further decline and eventual isolation. It was something he hadn’t completely shaken, but he was working on it.

“Not many people come up here, at least not from what I’ve seen.” One hand traced a raised edge on the railing as he spoke. “Found it one day when I just couldn’t take all the noise. Dulls them somewhat so I can at least think straight.” He wasn’t sure what it was, something special in the building itself, or just the fact that fewer people ever came down the hall that led here but the noise from everyone’s thoughts was much more manageable when he was up here. More of a buzz in the back of his skull than a full on frontal attack of images, words, and ideas.

Elijah grinned at her reaction to his virus comment.

“First thing that seemed to fit.” He admitted with a shrug. “Just when anyone thinks they’ve understood an ability, something new comes up and the learning starts all over again. Makes you wonder if we’re just here for research purposes.” Elijah’s expression turned to one of deep thought, as though this were something he thought about often.

His smile returned not long after.

“I think that’s a safe guess to make.” He said, he for sure hadn’t come here to be a test subject or Guinea pig as she had put it. “You and me both.” It would be great if there was a way to handle his abilities, maybe be able to turn them off or focus on one person instead of everyone within the vicinity.

Resting his forearms on the railing, Elijah’s fingers tapped out some rhythm, seemingly unaware that he was doing it.

“Did yours start off bad?” He asked. “Like, did you wake up one morning and they were just there or was it more gradual?”

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Jules nodded to his mention of finding the positives. "Not something I'm great at, to be perfectly honest. But I'm trying," she added the latter with a small smile before looking back up towards the sky. She wasn't sure when it was that she had gotten to be so cynical. After the dreams started? Or was it even before that? She couldn't remember exactly when it was, only that it had gotten progressively worse. She was trying to look at the positives. One of the promises she had made to Ali before they went off on their own journies after high school had ended.

"Well, that's nice to know. It definitely helps to have a place where you can escape. Lord knows I need that more often than I care to admit," she chuckled as she shifted her gaze, watching as he traced the raised edge of one of the railings. "I wonder why," she mused thoughtfully, wondering the same thing he had, although she had little actual experience to go on in this case, so she quickly dismissed the thoughts, knowing she couldn't draw any sort of conclusion from the evidence she had now.

"Hey, it fits. Not that I have a whole lot to go on. Besides myself, you're the first person I've ever known with any sort of ability. If anyone else back home had them, they kept them hidden, just like I did. I always figured it was best not to talk about it. Otherwise, people might make fun of you, call you a freak... And maybe they'd be right," she sighed a little, shaking her head. "Either way, you can't take back what you've said. If you go around talking about things like that, who knows what kind of consequences it could have," she added thoughtfully. "Then again, look where I am now. For better or worse," she added, trying hard not to think too much about the possibility that he was right, that they really were nothing more than glorified research subjects. And if they were, then what?" she quickly shook her head to rid herself of the thoughts.

She was quiet for a short time after that, leaning forward so that her elbows rested on the railings, her chin resting in her palms. She listened to the soft rhythm of his fingers tapping on the railing until he spoke up again, asking about how her dreams started. She didn't respond right away, instead, remembering how it had happened.

"That isn't an easy question to answer," she admitted, pausing for a moment before she continued, "I have had dreams for a long time. Every now and then when I was younger I would have this like deja vu thing, where something happened in real life but I'd already seen it before in a dream," she explained, "I didn't think much about it then. And maybe it wasn't related. Maybe that was purely coincidence if you believe in such a thing," she sighed. "Anyways, one day it changed. I woke up just like any other day, thinking about the dream I'd had. It wasn't a pleasant dream--more of a nightmare, really, and it stuck with me for a while. Later that day I saw a news reporter talking about an incident that had happened somewhere else in the city. The details matched my dream exactly," she explained. "It freaked me out. I tried to convince myself that it was just a coincidence. That there had to be some logical explanation for how I knew so many details about what had happened when I hadn't been there, when I'd never even met the man," she sighed again, shaking her head, "After that, it was like every dream I had came true."

"Anyways, she waved a hand dismissively, shifting her position so that her cheek leaned into the palm of her other hand, "I wonder if my dreams had been coming true for a while and I just didn't know, or if sometimes my dreams were real and other times they were simply my imagination, as dreams should be, or if maybe it was just a normal deja vu, until it wasn't," she glanced up at him, wondering if any of this made sense. "So, yeah, I guess it did start off bad, and it has only gotten worse," she sighed before shaking her head a little.

"What about you? Did yours start bad? Did you wake up one day and just hear all these extra voices?" she asked curiously, eager both to distract herself from her own memories and to learn about him, about his abilities, about how different or similar they were.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 11:24 pm 

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“If I was all that great at finding the positives and sticking to them I might be a little better off. I really should take by own advice.” Elijah said. “I’d say it had something to do with the abilities but I’ve seen some who live in sunshine land.” He rolled his eyes.

He didn’t say anything as Jules commented on where they were. He had found it by accident not long after coming here. As he had told Jules, the constant bombardment had started to reach a peak that he just couldn’t handle no matter how loud he played his music in an attempt to drown it all out. He had wanted to be alone, away from it all despite being confined to the property, and when the empty hallway had been discovered, he took the opportunity without a second thought. He didn’t share his quiet sanctuary with others, though if they found it on their own there wasn’t much he could do about it. Jules didn’t seem like the kind to go blabbing to others, turning the place into just another hotspot.

“I can’t say I knew anyone prior to this place with abilities, unless, as you say, they were doing a really good job at hiding them.” Elijah knew where she was coming from with the whole ‘freaks’ concept. He had called himself that on numerous occasions, directing a lot of hatred at himself at the beginning. “My parents had to come up with a good reason as to why their son had a total freak out one day. Not sure how they managed to not make me any more of a freak than I already was.” Elijah shook his head, dropping his gaze to the ground below. Way to look to the positives.

As they both fell silent, Elijah tried his best not to focus too much on what thoughts he was getting from Jules, a difficult process considering she was the only one up here, making her thoughts the loudest and clearest of them all. He stopped himself from blurting out another apology, having planted in a way some of these ideas, but the subject wasn’t dwelled upon for too long. Stilling his hand, he lifted his head to face Jules as she spoke.

He bit back his ‘sorry’, none of this lead to easy answers. It would have been so much easier to have just made small talk, but when one had abilities and were now residing in a facility specifically for those, they were going to be a conversation point whether one liked it or not. Listening to Jules explain how her dreams had started, Elijah couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. Nightmares themselves were never fun to deal with, especially as a kid, but to find out that they were true and not just all your imagination like your parents told you? It was understandable that she had been freaked out.

“Dreams alone are weird things, just look at Freud trying to understand them.” Elijah shook his head again. “Geez that’s rough. I’m sorry you had to go through all that.” He couldn’t imagine experiencing that himself, and the fact that it had only gotten worse? Well, there could be unless good event that took place, not every dream could be a nightmare. But from the sounds of it most were.

When she asked about how his own abilities had made themselves known, Elijah stood up, crossing his arms.

“I didn’t think much of it when it started, wasn’t much more than an annoying drone really. And being pretty much deaf that wasn’t too uncommon.” He started. “Got to school, nothing different there. But then I kept hearing...things. Not voices exactly, but they just kept getting louder and louder, and there just seemed to be more of them until I couldn’t take it and ran out. Made a scene I guess you could say.” A half hearted attempt at a laugh followed. “I couldn’t go to school after that, or out really. Even at home there was always noise that only I could hear. Took a while before I found out I could push it all back a little with these.” Again, he gestured to the headphones. “Blast music, tune out the world, try to focus on your own thoughts instead of everyone else’s in the near vicinity. And now we’re here.” Elijah concluded with a shrug. He wanted to include a comment on how this may not be any better, but he had already been a pessimist long enough with that topic.

“I’m really selling the place aren’t I?” He gave a small chuckle. “Welcome to your new home and all that. Sorry I forgot the party.” Elijah said, attempting to lighten the mood if only a little.

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Jules chuckled at his mention of some who lives in sunshine land. "Perhaps it isn't the abilities, but the circumstances surrounding them. Or maybe it's just our response to those circumstances. Maybe some people are just better at dealing. Or maybe they don't deal at all," she wondered about that, "Or maybe it's a combination. Who knows," she shrugged, glancing over at him. "At any rate, I made a promise to try to be better, so I guess I have to try, at least," she chuckled again.

It was quiet for a short time after her comment about this place, before they went on to talk about abilities again. She gave a small nod to his comment about not knowing anyone with abilities before coming here, unless they were doing a good job of hiding it. Perhaps they were. The aversion to being picked on and/or called names like freak was a pretty strong motivator to avoid letting people know you were different. It was the way of the world, not just for them, but for anyone who strayed to far from societal norms. It had always been that way. It probably always would be, at least to some degree.

She tilted her head a bit when he explained that his parents had to explain his freak out, and how he wasn't sure how they managed to make him not look like more of a freak than he was. To be honest, she wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that. "You know, I could say that I don't think you're a freak, which would be true, but it probably wouldn't mean much, all things considered," she paused, glancing over at him before looking back down, "But hey, at least here we aren't freaks. I mean, we are, I guess, but when everyone else is also a freak, then being a freak is normal, so really, we're just normal," she explained, although this was only partially true, considering that they were both still had things that set them apart, even among others with abilities such as theirs. That aside, however, it was still an improvement on their status among regular humans, even if the jury was still out on whether this place itself was an improvement.

There was a brief silence again and Jules' mind drifted to many things. She wondered briefly if her thinking so much bothered him, and if her thoughts were overwhelming or easy to block out. She was unsure about whether her being the only one around would make it easier to block out her thoughts, or if it would make them louder and more clear. Either way, she decided not to stay in her mind and let the silence drag on for too long.

She nodded to his statement that dreams were weird on their own, and chuckled at his mention of Freud and his attempts at understanding them. He wasn't wrong there. She shrugged at his apology for her having to go through that. "No need to apologize. I appreciate the thought, but it isn't like it was your fault. And anyways, I won't lie and say it's fine. It wasn't fine. It still isn't. I don't know if it ever will be. But I'm here, I'm alive, and I'm not giving up on the idea that some day I will learn to control it. Besides, if none of this had ever happened, I probably never would have met you, hmm?" she went from a somewhat distant and contemplative look to a smile at the end as she looked over at him.

She then turned the conversation to him and how his abilities had manifested, listening as he told her his own story. She felt bad for him as he explained what had happened. Being overwhelmed and having to run away to escape it was bad enough, but when you run and you still don't really escape, and then you end up isolated? That was even worse. "I'm sorry. That sound really hard," she replied honestly before chuckling, "I told myself I wasn't going to say something lame like that, but in the end, I said it anyways," she shook her head lightly. "Anyways, I'm glad you at least found something that helps, even if only a little. I really wish you could tell me that this place helped, too. But I get the feeling that isn't the case," she admitted.

She chuckled at his comment about selling the place and shrugged, "No worries. I'd rather you be honest so I know what to expect instead of giving me some kind of false hope," she assured him with a small smile, chuckling again at his welcome and apology for forgetting the party. "Ah, well, thank you. As for the party, I was rather looking forward to it, but I suppose I can forgive you. But just this once, alright? Don't forget next time," she was joking, going with his attempt at lightening the mood, trying to avoid worrying about what life would really be like here, if things would get better or worse. For once, she wished she could just be a normal girl, laughing with a friend about something stupid instead of worrying about abilities that weren't supposed to exist in the first place.

She was silent again for a short time before she spoke up again, "So... Is there anything fun to do around here? Or is it all dull and boring?" she asked, partly out of curiosity, and partly to prevent herself from letting her mind drift off again.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:00 pm 

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“Maybe.” Elijah agreed when Jules began to question the coping of those with abilities, arguing between the abilities themselves or the circumstances. “I want to put more on the abilities though. Someone could have a great life until they come along and throw everything sideways, or it could be the other way. Bad circumstances, abilities add to that, or if they’re lucky make things a little easier.” Pausing for a moment to think about what he had just said, Elijah frowned. “I take that back, it could be either. Geez, this just gets more complicated the more you think about it.” He said, shaking his head, a small chuckle escaping his lips.

Looking to Jules, a small smile turned up the corners of his lips as he noted the promise she had made.

“Did you get a written copy of that? Sorry, I’m kidding.” He added quickly. “Just, well...I’m wondering if I had made the same promise I would have maybe improved somewhat by now. Or maybe this place doesn’t actually do what it says it does and we’re all just wasting our time.” Elijah had spent way too much time in his own head, going over these and similar thoughts. It wasn’t his intention to just let it all spillover like this, but sometimes things happened.

“I gotta…” He trailed off with a sigh. “Too long in your own head, not a healthy practice.”

Hearing Jules try to explain how they were normal, more or less here, Elijah returned his attention to the railing, picking at the paint.

“I wish things were that easy.” He replied following a few seconds of quiet. “But there’s always gonna be a hierarchy of sorts, whether we like it or not. You haven’t been here long enough to see them, but cliches form, those at the top look down at everyone else, and more often than not you get stuck with some label.” Just like high school, Elijah thought.

He kept his gaze down until Jules made a comment about meeting him. A faint smirk accompanied his movements. Standing up, Elijah turned to place his back against the rails, crossing his arms before him.

“Now that could be a double edged sword.” He said, his voice regaining its former warmth. “I wish I could say this place helped too, but as you’ve been made aware, that’s not always the case.”

A laugh came in reply to her mock disappointment over the lack of a party.

“I’ll put it on my calendar.” He said. In a way it was nice to be able to act, as Jules had said, normal for once. It wasn’t everyday Elijah got to just hang out and not worry. At her question, he paused.

“The majority is dull and boring, I won’t lie about that. Fun though, there’s a couple of rec rooms, a library if you’re a reader, umm…” At a loss for what else to add, Elijah held his hands up in an ‘I don’t know’ gesture. “I’m probably not the best one to ask about this stuff.” He admitted. “Maybe you tell me what you’re interested in and we can work from there?”

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