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Looking for a Mind at Work; Open
Topic Started: Jul 27 2016, 11:26 PM (827 Views)
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((Jordan Green pregame start))

Jordan rewrote the line for a third time, an exact copy of what he had written the two times before. Nope, of course that wasn't working at all. It had barely been five minutes and he was already stuck. Each additional sentence seemed to be making less and less sense, slowly turning the entire page into an incoherent mess, and not even in a good absurdist kind of way either. More like a particularly bad comment on some political blog or forum which somehow made grammatical sense, but had leaps of logic so large that even the most daring of stunt drivers would be worried about jumping the gap.

Perhaps it wasn't the best of ideas to be writing in the grounds during lunch time, the noise certainly wasn't exactly helping him concentrate at all. The day was just a little overcast, and the cooling weather had enticed him out here to do some work over lunch, but it seemed that half the school had also thought the same way. Maybe he should have gone to the library after all, even if he wasn't supposed to eat there, it might have been quiet enough there to actually get something done. Sometimes a little too quiet, he reflected, there was a point where quietness drifted into eerie silence and the library was sometimes like that on its most quiet days, and given the number of people out here, that might actually have been the case.

But he was already out in the grounds, at a picnic table that he was rather sure wasn't even made of real wood, with half-finished sandwiches and scripts and thoughts and no real appetite to finish any of them. A check of his phone and the grand total of zero notifications there confirmed the absolute lack of anything going on, and the battery was just low enough for him to nix the idea of surfing the web to pass the time. Wonderful, he thought to himself, surveying the lawn for familiar faces. For once, actually talking to people looked like a big step up from sheer boredom, especially since it didn't feel like he'd be getting any work done over lunch anyway.
Edited by Randomness, Jul 28 2016, 01:28 AM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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"Is your phone dead?"

A girl stood at Jordan's side, her head tilted at one side, causing her side ponytail to lap across her shoulder. Jasmine Reed(otherwise known as Girl 052) did not seem like herself. Her voice was small, hesitant, as if treading carefully. Jazz was usually loud and boisterous. Was something wrong? Who knows. Anybody who knew anything about Jasmine Reed knew she was kind of a weirdo.

Jordan was probably wondering how the hell she knew that his battery was low. Okay, actually, scratch that. Jordan was probably wondering where the hell Jasmine even came from. His picnic table was facing the school, so he would have seen her trundle up, right? It is possible that Jordan was so preoccupied with his phone that he did not notice Jasmine Reed, the hispanic girl with a pink blazer the shade of cotton candy, sneak up beside him. But, like, really? How could he not notice her once he put his phone away?

At least that was Jasmine's logic. Jazz was all gumdrops and rainbows when she was walking up to Jordan, but she didn't say hello right away. She was actually hoping for Jordan to notice her, but no dice. So she was stuck in this awkward rut, hovering close to Jordan's side of the table, her arms laced back and her head canted at an angle like a curious puppy.

It did not matter what she did next. She was going to seem like a massive creeper no matter how much damage control she did.

So she just did what came natural to her: she spouted the first thing that popped into her head. Immediately the girl clamped her mouth shut and shrank back. She turned her head away, eyes staring daggers into the grass beneath her feet.

Gosh. This was awkward.

"Sorry," she muttered quickly, before Jordan could respond, "I couldn't help noticing."
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

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"Huh?" The question surprised Jordan, having seemingly come out of nowhere.

He turned to be greeted by bright pink, surprise enough when Jordan was at his most aware but it seemed that he was really completely out of it today, letting Jasmine sneak up on him like that without being noticed. Perhaps that had been her goal too, and the thought alone set off an alarm bell or two off within his head. Even if she seemed half as shocked at her own words as he was, her reaction was something that his brain could only register as cute, and Jordan found himself a little unnerved at the unexpected interruption.

"Um, hi Jazz...mine," Jordan said, mildly uncertain whether he was exactly familiar enough with her to call her Jazz. It wasn't as if they didn't talk at all, but then again it wasn't as if they were all that close either. He knew most of the anime club people somewhat, but he wasn't exactly on great terms with many of them. Very few people even knew about his interest in anime at all; he hardly went around parading his love for anime or anything like some people did. But Jasmine did, and he respected her for that as much as he judged her for being a complete embarrassment at times.

"No need to apologise, I guess?" Jordan replied, wondering if she was just apologising for disturbing him. He did give off the impression that he'd like to be left alone sometimes, but that wasn't exactly something to apologise over, was it? "There's still a bit left I guess, but not really enough for anything useful."

Jordan was a little unsure of what to do next. It wasn't as if he actually had much he wanted to say. Definitely there were things he could talk about, but it seemed he'd probably end up whining about how much trouble it was actually getting any writing done, which didn't exactly make for riveting conversation.

"It's a pretty nice day to be out though, isn't it?" he asked, though he felt a mild sense of frustration after doing so. Talk about cliches. Obviously his default choice for small talk just had to be the weather. "I mean, it's not every day you see the grounds this crowded."
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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((Sandy Bricks continued from Picture Perfect))

Sandy turned the Leica M9 in his hands, the sleek camera reflecting the midday sun back at him off its four figure price lens. It still felt a bit unreal to him.

When he’d opened the box with the beast of photography inside back at home, he’d felt giddy. He’d felt amazed. He’d felt more than a little bit guilty about spending so much cash on it. He hadn’t even told Uncle Tom about buying it; he’d just been staring at it for a few days, and lost himself in its hypnotic focus as he made the purchase. What felt even stranger to him was that it hadn’t put anything resembling a dent in his bank account.

Having all the money from the settlement available to him now was alien, and it would take some getting used to. This was his first big splurge, ‘a gift for myself’ he’d said to sweet talk his head into going along with it: something to celebrate school being almost done. He could’ve bought it after he’d actually graduated, but at the end of the day it was all just an excuse, after all.

Maybe it was reckless to spend so much money on a whim, but goddamn did it take good shots.

He looked through the lens again, surveying the Cochise grounds around him. People were hanging out, talking, whilst he stood away from everyone else, like usual. Sometimes it felt like they were in two separate worlds, but he knew he shouldn’t think like that. He had to try and integrate with other people more.

Maybe that’s what had made him bring the camera to school that day. He knew he really shouldn’t have: it was so expensive, and it could have gotten damaged or stolen at school. At the same time, though, he kind of wanted to show it off to the friends he did have who shared his passion for photography.

He hadn’t run into any of them yet though, not that he’d been trying that hard. Instead, he kept looking around, taking in the lunchtime rush.

Damn it, he had to take a picture of something.

He looked around, spying Jasmine and Jordan’s conversation. The way the light fell behind them as a backdrop, combined with a mutual nervousness amidst the dozens of other students around them, spoke to him. Demonstrating that social awkwardness that people loved to throw at high schoolers, It was a very natural image, and that’s what he liked to see.

Without really thinking, he closed in on the scene, crouched on one knee, and took the shot.
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No. Sneaking up on Jordan had not been the plan, actually, but Jazz would have pretended otherwise if it helped her save face. She flashed a dumb grin when Jordan stumbled over her name. She was just glad he remembered her self-given nickname! It felt like so many of her classmates willfully forgot about it. If she was aware of how uncomfortable Jordan was, it did not register on her face. It was also pretty clear that she wasn't going to leave Jordan alone.

"Aww," Jazz said, "That's really lame! I hate it when that happens to me."

Her hands began to pat at the pockets of her skirt, then the pockets of her cardigan. Fishing around, Jazz pulls out a tangled mess of cord and headphones. She fiddles around with the wires in order to free up her cellphone cord. Then she paused. Jazz blinked, then she looked up. Oh. Right. They were outside weren't they? Jazz pouted as she spun the wire back up around her index and middle finger. She had one of those cartoonish frowns, the kind that most people would put on when they were pretending to be upset. Jasmine Reed was not like most people, or at least she tried not to be.

"I'd lend you my wire but, hehe, there's nowhere to plug it in!" Her dimples raised into a sheepy little smile, "Heheh, maybe you could charge it inside?"

She blinked again at the mention of the weather. Jazz looked up and around, eyes darting between the crowds of people off in the distance. Huh. Jasmine's mother always said she had no poise and a terrible sense of her surroundings. She didn't even notice how nice it was outside.

"Wow, you're right," Jazz responded with a nod to herself. "The news said it was gonna be chilly, it's why I brought my - "

Jasmine turned back to face Jordan when she caught sight of a boy with sandy blonde hair and a camera pointed right at them. She froze up, then winced in surprise.
V6

G052 - Reed, Jasmine - 0% - Falchion - START END
G060 - Pfeiffer, Scout - 100% - Sawlaska Thunderfuck 5000 - START
G025 - Reyes, Audrey - 0% - Nunchaku - START END

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Jazz made an emphatic statement over the state of his phone, to which he could only respond with a mild shrug. Shitty smartphones with shitty batteries were the shitty standard and Jordan had learnt to deal with it somewhat and while it would be nice to get a bit of charge, it wasn't exactly necessary.

All the more so given how much trouble she had gone to untangle the mess of wires that she had pulled out of her pocket, only to find that there was no place to charge it anywhere nearby. Jordan himself was used to placing his wires in different compartments of his bag, somewhat neatly folded, so he rarely had to deal with tangled wires so much himself. "It would be nice if they'd put power sockets in the benches round here, though I guess it might be a bit of a disaster infrastructure-wise, " Jordan said, half wondering if that would make the crowds here even worse. He'd likely wouldn't have gotten a bench if kids with dying laptops and smartphones were too desperate to get power.

"It's okay, anyway," he said finally, "I can wait until we get back to class." She was looking around a little, nodding her agreement to his judgement on the weather. At least the weather was an inoffensive enough subject. The only reason why it was a perennial mainstay of small talk, really.

Jazz was halfway through her reply when she just stopped, the end of her sentence left hanging as she noticed something nearby. Sandy Bricks was crouching in the grass not too far away, a camera in his hand and it was pointed in their direction. Oh hell, no. The picture had better not end up in the school paper or the yearbook. It was pictures like this that started rumours and he already had enough to deal with already. Also, why was today sneak up on Jordan Green day? They should have gazetted that as a national holiday way sooner if they were gonna do it at all.

"Sandy!" he called out, hoping that the mix of emotions in his voice didn't sound too much like anger. "Is that a new camera?" Okay, not exactly what he was planning to say but what was he supposed to do? Tell Sandy to delete it? At least this way, he'd likely see the photo first before he actually judged it any more.
Edited by Randomness, Aug 4 2016, 05:43 AM.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Crap, spotted.

Sandy tensed up as he realised what he had just done: taking pictures of people unsolicited didn’t always go over well, after all, and he was stuck in an awkward position of how to explain himself.

“Hey, Jordan.” He replied in a terse tone, still unmoving. “Y-yeah, I just got it yesterday.”

This was a tricky predicament, and he was painfully aware of it. Animals didn’t normally care if you took shots of them, as long as you kept your distance, but of course people were different. He hadn’t really had to justify his shots much before, maybe one or two times, so he was searching for an explanation that wouldn’t come off as creepy and invasive.

“Sorry, I just wanted to test it and it was a good shot.”

He knew Jordan from class, but the girl next to him was a stranger outside of seeing her around the school, maybe. It was hard to really be sure: there were a lot of faces and after a while they all blended together. Either way, he hoped they’d both be cool with it.

The picture was waiting for his judgement on the preview screen of the camera, which finally caught his attention.

“Do you want to see it?” he asked, already walking over before even properly looking at the picture himself. He was focusing on not looking like a creeper at that moment, after all.
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While Jordan was worried about the 'scandalous' pictures on Jordan's camera, all Jazz was thinking about was how she totally should have flashed a peace sign. Jazz really hated hindsight, ugh, why didn't Sandy let her know he was taking a picture?!

"Heeeey Sandy," Jazz said, downtrodden look firmly planted on her face. She canted her head in the other way, eyes glued to the camera in the boy's hands. "... Yeah, sure! I'd love to see it."

Clearly the girl did not see anything wrong with the situation itself. A boy just took a picture of her and another classmate from behind some bushes or some shit and she didn't seem to have much of a problem with that. Jazz just wasn't the type to think too far into things like that. She walked closer, her sneakers making wet squeaks as she moved across the wet grass. Honestly either Sandy was some sort of ninja or Jasmine wasn't paying attention, she should have heard Sandy coming from a mile away.

"New camera?" Jazz said, skeptical. "Doesn't look that 'new'. Looks pretty old if you ask me!"
Edited by Ciel, Aug 3 2016, 02:49 PM.
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"Yeah sure, I'll take a look too," Jordan replied. Jazz could have the first look. Not because he was chivalrous or anything like that, even if he did think of himself as having good manners, but simply because she was already tromping straight up towards Sandy. There was no way Jordan would have the energy to compete with that. He followed after her gingerly, peering over her shoulder to look over at the small image that Sandy was holding out towards them.

"That's... actually pretty nice," Jordan said. He could already see why Sandy had taken that shot. It was a quiet, serene shot that really fit the atmosphere of that spring day. There were probably other subtler things that he was missing, not knowing much about photography himself, but a good photo looked good for a reason and he didn't need to know much more than that. Honestly, now that the initial surprise of Sandy taking the photo had worn down, Jordan decided that he would have quite liked that photo if not for his own nervous face on the screen.

Yeah, there was no point being mad at Sandy for taking the photo anyway. It wasn't as if Jordan himself wasn't occasionally prone with using creative licence with the personalities of people he knew anyway. It did come off as a little creepy, even to himself, but the end result was (probably) people who sounded a little more like real people.

Not that it would making staring at his own face any better though. Jordan looked between Sandy and Jazz, standing there somewhat awkwardly, wondering exactly how much longer they were going to spend looking at that picture.
"I have the heart of a young boy. I keep it in a jar on my desk" -- Stephen King

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Ok, he wasn’t having any insults shouted at him, so that was a good start. Meeting his two subjects in the middle of the distance between them, he took the time to properly evaluate his own work whilst they took in their photo moment.

How he’d seen it from afar had come out very nicely on his camera: lighting was good, the mood was there, and nobody had walked right in front of his shot. At a quick glance, it was a successful shot.

However, as he dug deeper, all the little flaws came out: some of the shadows in the shot fell awkwardly and made the whole thing look streaky, and whilst he couldn’t be certain, it looked like some girl in the distance had been looking at him, though at the same time it might’ve just been a coincidence. She was far off enough to the side that he could always crop her out, but Sandy still didn’t care for digitally altering his work.

He frowned a little, but not too much. It was still alright for the most part, and if nothing else at least Jordan seemed to like it. He wished he could like it too, but it was what it was.

Jazz, on the other hand, managed to press an entirely different issue. His new camera looked old? What?

“Uh, no, I did just get it out of the box yesterday, like I said.” He replied with more than a hint of irritation. “This is a Leica M9 you know; it’s a pretty high end camera.”

He was rather perplexed, and just a little bit threatened, by the very much unfounded statement regarding his spiffy new toy. Maybe she didn’t know anything about cameras, maybe not, but the thing that cost more than a used car most definitely wasn’t old, as far as he was concerned.
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... Yep. That was certainly a picture, and that was certainly a camera.

Jasmine looked at the camera, then up at Sandy. Then back down at the camera. She was holding off saying anything because she just called Sandy's camera 'old-looking'. She meant '
vintage' or something. It was supposed to be kind of a compliment? And Jasmine wasn't sure whether Sandy was mad or confused. He could be either! So she stood there for a moment, eyes alternating between Sandy and his camera. Her hand nervously rubbed at the opposite arm. Her voice cracked.

"I mean, I d-dunno much about cameras," Jazz said, simply, "but it's not very shiny, and I thought new stuff's supposed to be either shiny or, like, neon I guess. So uhh - "

Jasmine was about to mention how she totally saw a disposable camera being sold in a corner store that looked like the one Sandy had. It was an expensive disposable camera but a disposable camera nonetheless. Sensing the twitch of Sandy's bushy brow, though, Jasmine had enough common sense to not say that? It caused her to stumble with her words, eyes darting between him and Jordan before finally landing on the latter.

"But it still looks nice, right Jordan?" Jasmine smiled as she pushed the burden onto the boy.
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The few seconds it took Sandy and Jazz to gauge the photo felt like forever. Jordan had already made his comment on the photo and now he felt extraneous, with nothing more to add to the conversation at hand. He didn't want to stare at the picture too long either, feeling like it was rude. He himself knew how if felt to have others see your work, even if it wasn't bad. Especially if it wasn't bad.

Sandy didn't seem too happy with Jazz's off-hand comment about his camera, but Jordan wasn't keen to take a side. Jordan didn't know much about cameras beyond the one on his phone and had only noticed it was new since it looked different from his previous camera, after all. It certainly didn't look superficially fancy like a DSLR though, so he could kind of see where Jazz was coming from. But Sandy was the one who knew about cameras and photos, so Jordan was just going to take his word for it.

He looked back to the park bench for a second, the open page of his notebook flapping lightly in the wind. The sandwiches were still there too. He couldn't see his pencil either. Perhaps it had rolled off somewhere? If it wasn't for the fact it would be awkward for him to leave suddenly, he might have gone back to rectify that. And stuff the notebook in his bag, too.

"What?" Jordan suddenly realised that Jasmine was addressing him. "Yeah. It's real nice," he said, not quite sure whether he was supposed to be complimenting the photo or the camera. The camera, he decided. The picture was nice enough after all. The camera however was a bit of a mystery to him too.

"What kind of a camera is it? Doesn't look like the usual kind all the professionals seem to like."
Edited by Randomness, Aug 12 2016, 09:51 AM.
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Just what exactly was Jasmine babbling about?

How the camera looked was totally irrelevant. Ok, yes, as an artist he appreciated sleek and geometric aesthetics, but it didn't mean a thing to how an actual shot came out. And who in their right mind would use neon on anything that wasn't a glowing beer sign?

If Jordan hadn't provided a suitable distraction, he might very well have started a small fight with the girl. He wouldn't say he was angry with her, but she was saying some frankly stupid things and that probably would've come across in his response, and then she very well could've gotten upset and suddenly the whole conversation turned into a mess. So, yeah, thanks Jordan.

So, Sandy took his eyes off Jasmine to focus on him instead. "Again, Leica M9." he said for the second time, turning it around in his hands to show it off. "Leica's a pretty well respected brand, though it does set you back a bit."

"I'm not sure what you mean by the ones professionals like, though." he continued, sounding less irritated with the suggestion that his camera wasn't professional grade and more interested in talking about what the pros would be using. "You might be thinking of cameras with larger lenses on them, or a particular make. I got this one for street photography, but I am looking to get some lenses to go with it, and I've got three other cameras back at home anyway." That would, of course, set his bank account back even further, but who was he to deny himself all the parts he needed.

He glanced down at the preview screen again, looking at his imperfect shot one more time. "Do you want me to send this to you guys? It's not really any good, but I can forward it on when I get home later."
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