LLK Act I.War - War : Unusual Ambassador

Description: Poor Rust. As the only faculty member of Pacific High with any kind of fighting experience, the burden of defense rests heavily upon his shoulders. Of course, that doesn't seem to relieve him of the burden of fixing other broken stuff around the campus either. But maybe he'll be taken more seriously now that he's the only one with the information needed to call in much needed reinforcements.

Pacific High, day number... who knows how many days it's been since the invading forces started to sweep through Southtown. The population of Pacific keeps decreasing, either from some teachers deciding to call it quits, or students requesting to their parents they be pulled home. It's absolutely miserable. Which is to say most of the school has it quite good, with the chefs still on payroll cooking up food best they can, a number of backup generators running, and people still getting reception on their cellphones. Sure, many are afraid that forces like that one whom struck months ago led by that man with long flowing blonde hair are going to roll up and knock the school down. There's still a realistic chance that the heads of the whole Pacific shebang might close down the Southtown branch.
The shop teacher, Howard Rust, isn't sure if he can really bring himself to care any more.
One forebodingly chilly early morning after Vyle paid a visit for whatever purpose - the teacher being too saturated in personal misery to even remember what it is he yelled about - is thrust back outside again to fix that thing that got bombed during a skirmish. Nobody remembers what it was or what it did, they just want /him/ to fix it. They wanted him to fix it within an evening last night.
Needless to say, he couldn't live up to those expectations.
Which is why he's back out here, dreading whatever's going to come. He manages to appear far dumpier than he usually does. Poor posture. Droopy eyes. A lingering pain around his left shoulder. An even slower pace as he drags his feet across the dirt towards that mass of brick, machinery, and other such things he's been tasked to fix on his own. A constant, low growling hum of an anthem of irritation reserved largely for Mondays.
With a toolbox held in his left hand, he sizes up the wreck as he goes. He really made no progress at all last night. Couldn't even be bothered to at least get the wreckage neatly arranged in piles of whatever things might be made of. A foul stench born of a ruptured sewage line marks the territory of the wreck that is not a man. The wreck that /is/ a man wrinkles his nose and grumbles even louder as he challenges these boundaries.
He doesn't have high hopes of getting anything done today either. But nope, Mr. Marshall had his way with the principal. The hell is his problem. The hell is /their/ problem, he grouses. Surely a school as rich as this wouldn't be so cheap as to try and shoulder all their fix-it needs on him, but nope. It's all him. When he can't do it, it's all his fault, just like how it's all 'his fault' he didn't get any of the supposedly missing kids back. Like how it's fault he couldn't fix something nobody told him what it was for, or could provide any sort of schematics for, nope, he had to figure it out and fix the thing on his own. By a few hours ago.
Life just isn't fair.

The Syndicate was confident. Oh, sure, the invasion caught them by surprise. The damages and disruptions caused were going to cost a pretty penny. But the coffers ran deep and surely an organization as powerful as Howard's own empire could deal with this considerable inconvenience. Among their ranks there was no talk of surrender or defeat; only of dishing out vengeance upon these unwelcome pests and either forcing them into retreat or grinding them into the ground.

The early losses were severe. The YFCC invaded was invaded, forcing the King of Southtown to chance wading into the battle to sort things out. Yamazaki... no one was really sure where that guy was now. But Mr. Big was busy suring up some of the Syndicate's holdings with proper reinforcements and the legendary Billy Kane was never far from Geese's side. Their vicory over the Shadaloo led incursion at the YFCC was just the jolt of confidence the Syndicate rank and file needed. They had a lot of power on their side. And of course, the city... Southtown would fight along with them. In forcing the invaders out, they all shared a common cause. What hope could the invading forces possibly have?

But being idle isn't going to win the day. Operatives; those long term Syndicate forces and those more recently recruited to the criminal empire's cause by the offer of significant money, were canvasing the city. Gedo High was hit the hardest. It fell before even the Syndicate could move to react. The schools of Southtown were not to be taken lightly, it seemed. The invaders viewed them as factions - each of them housing some of the youngest yet most capable fighters the world knew of. They could not be ignored...

Justice High was a veritable fortress. Even when Principal Raizo ventured off campus to aid the other schools at critical moments, Hyo Imawano would stay behind and hold the fort. Taiyo High had not just a slew of talented fighting youth but one of the toughest, most formidable instructors out there in the form of Hayato Nekketsu. His inspirational spirit would hopefully be enough to focus the Taiyo students into keeping hostile forces at bay. That left Seijyun and Pacific High as items of some concern. They needed to be checked into.

"Unless that thing is some kind of turret, it really seems like that could wait until after the war." chimes up the ever helpful voice of a teenaged Asian girl. Seated on a wide part of a wall at the edge of the parking lot, the brown eyed teen would no doubt be familiar to the aging instructor. They did, after all, have a attention-getting altercation out behind the gym one afternoon in what might feel like a lifetime ago.

She'd be easy to recognize. Her attire just as gaudy and risque, her smug expression of superiority the same as back then. Her head cants to the side slightly, her right hand coming up to brush some of her lengthy, strawberry-blonde hair back over her shoulder. She gives Rust only a cursory inspection before she turns her head to look elsewhere as if he was one of the most uninteresting people she'd ever seen. "Well, this place isn't a crater yet. And I don't see soldiers marching around. So... so far so good, I guess." She sounds indifferent. As if finding the campus a smoldering ruin would have been just as well to her either which way.

It was one Howard Rust who joined forces with Principal Imawano in their attempt to help save Gedo High's students. It didn't go well. The short recap... he stumbled about lucky to have his life on the boardwalk, only to be assaulted by some especially selfish teenager with attitude (and a skateboard) who really wanted nothing more than to just have the town burn down without worry since his mother wasn't in town. And then he got accosted by Vyle late last night, at which point the teacher had pretty much given up on the inside, chewing him out about whatever it was that he was looking to do to the point of making him retreat. He can barely even remember. What good is anything he can do, he wonders. He's just a working man at heart, and from all the things he hears, without fail, at least once a week... he's not doing too well at being a working man either. Life is treating him like a chew toy. An old, worn, smelly chew toy.
"You know," he rumbles while scowling at that wreck that is the current point of complete and utter frustration, a modern art masterpiece of everything that is wrong with his life, "that's... that's what I told them. In those exact word--"
He stops in his tracks, vocally speaking. Wait. Who is he talking to? The voice is kind of familiar. He points his right pointer finger out at nothing in particular, shaking it at thin air (or, alternately, at the wreck) as he tries to jog his memory. A memory that'd be going at a blazing fast sprint if he actually turned around to actually look.
Which he does, with a lingering bit of caution and dread. He's could have sworn he's heard that... one of his eyes widen at the time she brushes her hair and looks elsewhere as though he's one of the most uninteresting people she's ever seen. Well... he probably is, unless she's into that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mess that is his combover (vomit^2). His mouth parts open into an 'o' as if to say something, at which point she brings up the point the place isn't a crater yet. No soldiers marching around. So far, so good... she guesses.
He knows. So far, so bad. So very, very bad.
He grunts again, scratching the side of his head. Great. Her. His... not-cake hole suddenly feels like it's sitting on a knife again. The toolbox drops noisily onto the ground again, its contents clattering about inside the box loudly enough to perhaps make a (rare chance of a) passerby confuse it for some gunfire, or an explosion.
He turns to face her, kicking his left foot at the dirt to flex out the stiffness in his knee while his right hand digs into his pants pocket. Speaking of which, those same dirt stains and signs of wear from when they last met? Still in the exact same places, in the exact same condition, despite stains, shredding, and additional exposure to the elements suggesting they should look otherwise. But no. They appear the exact same as he did when they first crossed paths so long ago... somehow.
"Hnnnn," he groans briefly as he rifles through his pocket for a stubborn wallet that refuses to come out. He already fears the worst and a part of him just doesn't care, maybe she'll go away if... well, he doesn't complete that line of thought before he gets something out.
"What do you want?" His tone is tired. Maybe hard to hear from the distance between them. It speaks plainly of a man who is truly exhausted of it all, more than a man who is enraged.

By the time he has turned around, those sharp eyes are back on him. She doesn't even seem to be judging the man. That would imply that there's something that merits that kind've attention. He's just 'there', and she just decides to look in his direction because, as quite often happens when she shows her face around town, he might actually just try to attack her. The girl blinks when the toolbox is dropped, as if the shotgun-loud rattle of tools is enough to startle her in the otherwise gravely quiet region.

The rush of traffic out of Southtown at the start of the invasion has passed. The sirens as first-responders scattered out over the city, the shouts of people calling to each other as they quickly caught each other up on their well being, and the sound of military-grade vehicles rumbling over pavement have passed. The uneasy calm that has settled in afterward is just about as bad though and that clanging echo makes the girl wince slightly before glancing over across the parking lot, eyes scanning the visible horizon.

"Not much, gramps." she replies, not looking back toward him as she watches the street. All she needs is a mouthful of chewing gum to complete the image of a rebel student just trying to be difficult in the face of very direct questioning. "I'm just looking for whoever is handling keeping this place safe. I have a message to deliver, that's all..." She glances back at Rust, grin widening as she notices his hand digging into his pocket, "Saaa... So thoughtful to want to tip the messanger, but I'm being well paid for this already."

She rests her hands on her knees and leans forward, though still perfectly well balanced on the wall, "So just point me in the right direction, and you can get back to working on your brick hut or whatever that's supposed to be."

The shop teacher feels like saying, 'hey, are you here for money, guess what, take it all, I don't care.' (He /should/ care if he were thinking of getting out of town, like hell anybody would give handouts for a plane ticket they could use for themselves!!) He's pretty much had it with all these... all these big terrorist movements, these kids with attitude /and/ fighting superpowers, he just can't bring himself to bother about any of it any more. What can he do in the face of all this?
Not much, she says. He still rifles through his pocket, making some other incomprehensible noise from his throat that probably counts for communication in some remote tribe in South America somewhere. Come on. You fall out every time I don't want you to, but now you want to stay in. Howard Rust may be the inanimate object whisperer... in that they are well aware of his frustrations, if they have any such awareness at all. Sometimes people wonder with the way he looks at that length of rusted pipe sheathed through a toolbelt pocket ripped from the bottom out as to be able to use it as a sheath... which still hangs there.
She's just looking for whoever is handling keeping this place safe. A message to deliver, that's all, she says. Who is in charge? Roy's got the football team rallied, doing defensive play practice over in the athletics field. Boman's leading prayer somewhere in the school. Tiffany's trying to rally the rest of the cheerleading squad to cheer the team on. He's sure the Pacific Resistance folks are all going to slip out and do whatever seems fit, as at least one of them is already confirmed as being not on campus. None of them are faculty members... and what of those that are? None of the other teachers here can fight. Their staff seems to shrink almost daily as some decide upon calling it quits. All the principal can do is field calls from other offices and highly concerned parents wanting to withdraw their kids. It's an absolute mess. /Some/ people are still finding ways to enjoy the passing time all locked in with hardly any work on their part that needs to be done, in spite of all the injuries, all the possible deaths, the looming threat of becoming a statistic...
...And who does that leave?
Point her in the right direction, she says, and she'll be on her way. He presses his lips inward together, exhaling loudly as he stretches his left shoulder back with a disconcerting 'pop' noise. "Nobody," he says. Nobody at all... is that right? Nobody at all here can stand up and claim to be leading the Pacific defensive effort. Nobody here at all, not with the students whom have fighting powers seem content to run around and do their own thing despite what the adults say, and nobody on payroll having any such talent in which to defend them.
Nobody except... god damn it, Howard, you're a man, your father raised you to be one so you wouldn't turn out like your mother, look at you! Yeah, yeah, he dismisses his conscience and his upbringing with a waving gesture of his left arm at nothing in particular.
At which point he turns his head down to Ol' Rusty, just dangling there. Hi, Howard, it would say if it could. How are you? You haven't called since Gedo, I'm worried, so I made you this really nice bacon, lettuce, and tomato sub that you haven't been able to get since your favorite Subway got blown up. Or would, if I were a person and not a rusted length of pipe, but hey, I'm still your friend. I'd say so if I were a person, but nope, I'm just an ol' length of pipe.
He remembers telling Nataya how he didn't feel silly when he drew it and demonstrated the Cement Upper as his answer to whether or not he'd hang it up on a wall somewhere for good. His left hand descends upon it, rubbing a gloved thumb across the top of the makeshift hilt contemplatively. There really is nobody else that could be 'in charge.' Nobody but...
"Nobody but me," he speaks up a little, as if sheepishly and unsure. Though she's already mentioned being well paid his right hand is /still/ rummaging around his pocket.

She prides herself on her ability to read people. So many times before she's unraveled legitimate fighters with practically words alone (with some motivating knife pokes to help, perhaps). Watching people in action, her analytical mind profiles, sorts, categorizes, and mentally files away everyone she encounters. In looking at Rust, there isn't much to figure out. Older fellow, single, desperately trying to conceal his bald head with a hideous combover, and all in all, in pretty sad shape. Nothing interesting here. Move along.

The school hasn't been hit hard yet. Oh, sure, something's happened or else this pile of brick and metal wouldn't require his attention. But if that's the worst of it so far, then Pacific High has slipped through mostly unnoticed. That can't last forever though. Eventually it too will be tested. He answers 'Nobody' and Ayame narrows one eye though doesn't appear to be all that surprised. As if confirming her suspicion that so far the campus of stuck up foreigners has gotten by on sheer luck.

Nobody to stand and fight. Nobody to take the chance. No doubt, most got out early. Having money makes that sort of escape all too possible, after all. She watches him hesitate though. It seems to make her stay quiet, observing the way his gloved thumb touches the old pipe at his side. It isn't nobody. It's /this/ nobody, she realizes, a mildly bemused expression crossing her features.

"Your fingers would remember their old strength better... if they grasped your sword." she states, quoting verbatim, from perfect memory, the line from the second movie in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. "Or so some might say." she continues with a listless shrug. Ayame sighs, shaking her head, glancing off to the side again. "Well, if you're it, then suffice to say, this place hasn't really been targetted yet..."

She returns her attention to Rust, mouth curled into an oddly cheerful grin, "But you can't count on that lasting indefinitely. They're going to come eventually. You..." she looks Rust over pointedly from toe to the crown of his head. Dirty, stained, worn out. Alone. What kind of chance does this guy have? "...and your pipe... aren't going to be able to stop them when they do." She sighs, smile fading, slipping her feet under her, shifting to a crouch for a brief moment before slipping down off the wall, opting to land a decent distance from Rust all the same.

The girl shrugs, turning her back toward Rust, her right hand raised in an absent wave over her shoulder, "Oh well. Good luck. I don't want to be anywhere near here when it happens!"

She pauses for a long moment before glancing over her shoulder, eyes narrowed as she gives the old shop instructor a suspicious look. "And... come to think of it, why ARE you here anyway? You should be running for it just like anyone else with a shread of common sense. What difference can you make anyway? What good is courage in the face of so much power?" She turns around to face him again as she speaks, hands going to rest at her hips. For claiming to be a messanger, she sure seems lacking in any good tidings.

Older fellow, single, desperately trying to conceal his bald head with a hideous combover, and all in all, in pretty sad shape. That is the beginning and ending of what this man is, if he even is much of one in the grand scheme of things. What with the likes of Hayato over at Taiyo seamlessly blending a life of tournament fighting with teaching, or, or... so many others. Sometimes he really feels like he's the only one who just can't strike that balance without someone in Pacific breathing down his neck about something or another. All these little reminders that he's a full-time educator - not a prize fighting gladiator of the sort he sometimes daydreams about - stacking up and toppling over on top of him in the worst of times.
He saw that movie. (Who hasn't?) He'd smirk if it were lighter times. Times less pressing, less testing, less... doomsday singing. He could very well be staring at the end of pretty much everything that's colored his last year and a half or so of time here in Pacific - in Southtown. Possibly even his life. This place hasn't really been targeted yet. But will it, if that's what she's trying to say...?
Her cheerful grin - that facial expression he has grown to fear and despise over a wide variety of people through his time here - actually makes him take a step back. 'They're going to come eventually.' The attack on Gedo implied this, in the instance they weren't able to pry the terrorists off the school. (And given he is here, one probably already knows the full outcome of that.) His left hand, the off hand in which he would rarely ever wield his lifeline between victory and defeat, grasps the hilt-of-the-moment but makes no motion to draw. It is largely a security blanket at being told the inevitability that he's aware of deep down. All of this does seem like futility. Working with his co-workers. Being able to say with confidence that his classes are learning what he's trying to teach them. Making an unforgettable mark in history on his way to becoming a fighting champion. Protecting the kids from harm. He feels like he can't make much headway in any. Single. Place. All in the face of something that would test his ability to do all of it, or risk losing all of it.
'You,' she says as she sizes him up, 'and your pipe... aren't going to be able to stop them when they do' as she jumps down from the wall to the ground. Though the two are distant, he takes another step back all the same. His heel hits the toolbox almost as loudly as the rattling it made when dropped, making him fall upon his bum with a loud cry of surprise and egg on his face. And dirt on his butt. It coincides very well with her (sarcastic) well wishing.
Swearing as he pushes himself up from his right hand (left hand must stay on Ol' Rusty, Ol' Rusty will make these problems go away, yes it will, don't let go...), a knee creaking under his attempt to flex the natural flexibility of the human body against its wishes. His face is an exaggerated caricature of embarrassment and irritation, one eye shut as it starts to itch from that crap Vyle spit in his face last night. He has no free hand in which to address it with.
Just in time to be pressed further. Why /is/ he here anyway? He should be running for it just like anyone else with a shred of common sense. What difference can he make anyway? What good is courage in the face of so much power - power that has already shown he cannot ever fathom hoping to match, if reminded of his time against that... that man with the blonde hair, and then Ojike no Oni...
"You know..." She probably doesn't, that's why she's asking! But that doesn't stop him from putting that out as he steadies his balance, kicking the back of his heel against the toolbox to get it out of his way again. /Now/ he can rub that eye with his right hand, which he does. It isn't much relief. "If I knew... if I knew, I'd, I'd... probably be... screaming about it all, all heroic like."
Ah, who's he kidding, he's no hero. An angry sigh escapes him as his head sinks, scratching the side of his h

Ah, who's he kidding, he's no hero. An angry sigh escapes him as his head sinks, scratching the side of his head when his irritated eye stops being... irritating. His glory days of being his hometown's shining beacon of fighting talent and occasional heroism against the threats of organized crime and ne'er-do-well travelers are long over. Sure, he's in the Neo League now and he's done fairly well... against young women. What good is any of it if he's still not strong enough to protect the kids?
He clears his throat before he utters another word. Or two. Or more. "But... here I am." His right arm gestures to the school. "Teacher for a school that, that treats me like shit. Trying to fix that... I don't know what the hell that is... ahhhh." He shakes his head, throws down his right arm in disgust.
He should be running for it, she's probably right. Pretty much everyone on staff is working on a way to run away themselves, tossing him outside in vain hopes he might give them time to work out a plan of escape if worse comes to worse. He's the one that grew up poor and, when he went to college at long last, he didn't scoop up nearly the amount of prestigious degrees the average teacher here holds. He only got his job because he could read and speak Japanese fluently and had experience as a construction worker. It was luck and timing that got him the job, little more. They'll probably throw him out in favor of some pretentious guy who studied engineering but never lifted a finger in his life to do the work himself, ever, on first opportunity.
So why is he here, risking his life. Cherry, in a way, put his feelings to the test during their Neo League match when noting the disparity between him and the common sort that dwells within the international school. What'd he tell her then? It's the only thing he could really think of now, as the Real Man in him tries to beat the shit out of the swelling Wussbag attempting to muscle in on it.
"Like it or not..." He's beginning to lean towards 'not,' even without having a problem student like Fuchi to deal with any more. He sighs again, "they're my students." His dad wanted him to make something good of his life instead of being some kind of thug or another. If he ran now... he'd probably never have a chance to be anything /but/ one. Given what he's seen in his attempt to flex some muscle against overwhelming danger... he wouldn't measure up too well, probably.
He spreads his right arm out once more, looking up to make contact as perhaps the only real dramatic gesture he could make. It bleeds into a shrug. An unconfident shrug that clearly states, 'I really honestly have no damn clue what I am doing here.'

The question posed, she doesn't rush him. Oh, sure, there might be the pressure from that doubting stare. The way she looks at him; skeptical, borderline incredulous that the man who just tripped over his own tool box is carrying on some kind of charade of trying to hold back the unstoppable tide of aggression overrunning the city. He might feel some rush to explain himself, to answer her pointed question. But beyond her expression, as if she's just waiting to be proven right in her abject lack of faith in the shop teacher's resolve, Ayame makes no other move to rush Rust along.

His words come haltingly, but still she doesn't budge, except to lift her hand to the side of her head and brush her hair back over her shoulder once again, finding the breeze passing over the open parking light rather tenacious in tossling it about. He sounds like he doesn't know. Just like she figured. Maybe he'll chicken out now. That's the smart thing to do. Cynical as she is, she can't imagine he'll be able to keep this desperate bravery up for long.

Sure, everyone can talk the heroic talk until it comes to times like this. Well, almost everyone. He can't even manage /that/. "Che," Ayame grunts, lowering her hand back to her hip. But he continues after a long pause and one narrow, brown eyebrow arcs in response. He's doing it for them? The students? The rich, privileged brats that have no idea what sacrifices are made on a daily basis by the adults around them? Yeah, that sounds like a sound investment to rest one's life upon. "Heh." she responds when his gesture gives way to a shrug of uncertainty.

"At least you're not completely delusional." She starts to walk back toward him, her expression shifting back to vaguely bemused, her stance a casual, comfortable swagger as if the seriousness of a moment prior was merely a facade. She'll still stop several yards away, getting no closer. "Anyway," she continues, shrugging a little, "I hadn't delivered my message yet." Which means, ultimately, she's been toying with him, willing to drag out his emotions or poke at his reasons just to satisfy her own curiosity. It's no wonder she doesn't have much in the way of friends. "See... there's people... powerful people that don't want to see you fall."

Her arms are extended to her sides as she enters a full shrug, shaking her head, rolling her eyes, "I can't even begin to imagine that they thought the defense of Pacific High rested on someone like /you/," she utters, the disrespect in her tone tangible, "But so be it." Her right hand slips to her left wrist guard. Given her penchant for concealing weapons everywhere, there might be a justified moment of worry before she withdraws nothing but a metal pen into view.

Her hand then darts into the pouch affixed to one of her belts, slipping out a white piece of stiff paper roughly the size of a business card. "These people... want to help. When /they/ get here, you need to call this number." She's inscribing something quickly on the card, no longer paying any attention to Rust. "Help will come." She purses her lips into a faint frown. "...Hopefully. If it doesn't, it's probably too late and the city will probably have already completely fallen."

She flicks the card, sending it spinning through the air with all the horizontal accuracy of a precision-thrown dagger, aiming to plink it right off Rust's chest. "I have no idea who they'll send. It might not be what you expect. But ultimately, you WILL need the help. So if you have any sense at all, which is questionable, given you're still here, you'll accept it." A pause. "Or not. Doesn't matter to me." Ayame's right hand goes to her forehead in a snappy, two-fingered salute. "Good luck to you, Professor Pipe. Too bad your students will never understand..." Her expression sobers, the strawberry-blonde turning her back to Rust once again. "...what I just saw." she finishes, her voice softer, a touch more thoughtful.

Both hands come to rest against the back of her neck as she prepares to depart calmly.

There are people who shout obscenities in the face of death. Is that bravery? Howard is fundamentally a human being. He gets discouraged, he gets angry, he gets sad... but he is easily afraid for what's coming. This is war, he's in a war zone, people have already fallen... this much cannot be stressed enough! He's not even sure why so many kids volunteered themselves to Thailand. A while back on top of that, he had to deal with someone looking for whoever lent a hand to that movement. Where'd it leave him? Half-buried in the ground. He knows a lot of his limits. Many of those limits force themselves on him day after day. Like his joints...
He really has no damn clue what he is doing here. But here he is. Outside, vulnerable to... a sniper, or a tank, or a brigade... or a young woman whom carries a lot more in hidden compartments than her stature and manner of dress suggests, the sort of thing that long ago made the teacher start to reconsider his grasp on the laws of physics.
At least he's not completely delusional, she says to him as she takes a casual stroll towards him. This time, he holds his ground. Largely because for the moment he remembers that damned toolbox and a part of him would really... not want to be on his ass again with her closing in. His left hand remains on Ol' Rusty as the only tangible bit of confidence he can find on his person in a situation like this.
His head perks up at mention of a message. The message isn't 'you're about to die by these people?' His right hand goes back to scratching the side of his head, mouth hanging open a little as if to ask her what it is. She proves keen on letting him know what it is. Powerful people that don't want to see him fall... which powerful people? Like... Raizo? Raizo sure wouldn't put a lot of confidence in him after what happened in front of Gedo. He grunts.
Can't even begin to imagine that they thought Pacific's chance to hold together rests on him. Guess what, him neither. They're probably not counting on much of anyone to do it even in there. Sure, there's Roy and Marisol and their cliques who will probably fight to the last, but they're the /kids/, not the adults in charge! Pacific's chances in an all-out assault are slim to none, given how Gedo appeared completely overrun last he was there.
He flinches at last when she reaches into her wristguard, going back to an earlier point - she's the one that had all those weapons on her person. He's forgotten how much, what's she going to do now?! His left fist tenses by instinct, yet another exaggerated grimace that she might get a kick out of. She's got a knife, she didn't get it past his skin when they fought so long ago, and now...!
He blinks... a... pen? Oh... that's a pen, and... he silently breathes a sigh of relief. His body does not! When it seizes up like that, it doesn't want to move. 'Call this number,' she says. 'When /they/ get here, you need to call this number. Help will come.' The implications of what it means if it doesn't is made loud and clear.
The card is flicked. Ayame's skill is as such that it doesn't pink it right off his chest, it actually stabs a bit past his shirt and embeds itself in his skin - if not enough to draw blood. His eye shuts again as he looks down and gives it a read from this... awkward vantage point, bringing his right hand to collect it moments later with a series of unpleasant noises from the respective joints as he forces his will upon this aging, exhausted body worked to an old age well before its time.
Contemplation carries him through the vast majority of her explanation without much word in turn, other than occasional 'uh huhs' and 'huh' and... probably some other muffled variations of 'huh,' come to think of it. He looks up again at her two-fingered salute. Professor Pipe. That'd be a great stage name, he'd think, if his mind weren't flush in the possibilities.
'Too bad your students will never understand... what I just saw.'
...what'd she see? If she's talking about the wreck, well, hell, /he/ doesn't understa

...what'd she see? If she's talking about the wreck, well, hell, /he/ doesn't understand what it was before, it was just this structure on campus nobody's ever told him about, a structure he's never bothered to put much thought about, and now it's this... thing, that perhaps only exists as being the whimsy of chance that he be there to answer a message that may have been intended for another man - if there even was such 'man' here in Pacific.
His back turns to Ayame as well, albeit with caution. Hmm. Help... where would this help come from. Wait! Could it be... those people Ryu mentioned. Syndicate. Or... ah, too much to think about. He looks up from the card again and grunts at the thing he's supposed to fix. Forget that thing! There's something more important to do here - if it truly rests on him.
He'll have to man up to it whether he likes it or not. He breathes deeply, looking up to the morning sky, left hand still on Ol' Rusty... yeah, he's going in and he's going to have a word with the rest. If they're going to rest the fate of the school (or at least the fate of... that... thing nobody is sure about that he's charged to fix), maybe it's high time /he/ gets to weigh in his opinion as he takes the first of a few bold steps forward.
This first step is met by the toolbox, which once again rumbles triumphantly upon tripping over the shop teacher.
It is not the note most meetings of chance would choose to go out on.

Log created on 01:57:51 03/05/2009 by Ayame, and last modified on 18:08:10 03/05/2009.