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Saint Joseph School • Joao Rodrigues - A Favor for a Donor
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Joao Rodrigues - A Favor for a Donor

Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 8:26 am
by Joao Rodrigues
The old man shuffled into Gemini's office, walking deliberately, leaning heavily on a stout oak cane. Gemini looked up from her paperwork, and took a moment to gather her thoughts.

"Mr. Montclair, I presume?"

Gemini had done her homework. Simon Montclair graduated from Saint Joseph's in 1940, and moved out to the Midwest. He spent the war using his psychic abilities to help Army Intelligence, and after the war, cashed in using the techniques in security. Of course, all of that went on while he fought crime as the Psychic Spiral. Over the years, Montclair had donated large sums of money to Saint Joseph's, under the condition that no overt gratitude be given, only that one day, when he asked it, the school would grant him one request.

"If I didn't know your reputation, young lady, I would name you a mind reader."

The old man smiled warmly, though his eyes were cloudy. He moved unerringly to the chair and sat, although obviously blind. "Sorry for not waiting, but a man of my age has little time for patience."

"We are honored by your visit. Traveling must have been hard, given your age. How old are you now?"

"Never ask a lady her age, but always ask an old man. You've done your homework, young lady. I'll see the end of my ninety-first year before too much longer, I fear. Then, who knows?"

"Heroes like you never die, Mr. Montclair."

"Bah! Company line. We all die, in time. You know why I'm here?"

Gemini nodded, but frowned. "I assume you have come to collect."

Montclair laughed a dry cackle. "Please, don't think ill of me because I left a little catch on my gifts. I foresaw a hinge point in the future, and I needed to be prepared for it. Of course, once my involvement is done, it still may not matter. But that is the nature of the future, is it not? No, I needed to school to give myself a chance at redemption. And now, at the end of my life, it is time to beg the powers for mercy."

Gemini was taken aback by this old man. She tried to figure out what he meant, but fell back to asking. "Surely, you have no need for redemption. You have done so much in your own life, and your gifts help assure the future of this school."

Montclair smiled, and shook his head sadly. "Every hero gives up something of himself. We all fail in the end. Such is the nature of our tasks. We can only hope that another will come and take our mantle."

His clouded eyes seemed to look far away, perhaps to another place, perhaps to another time. "There is a boy, fourteen years of age, who has met his final crossroad. Now is the time to act, if he is to be saved, and here is the place where it is possible."

Montclair pulled a newspaper out of his coat and handed it to Gemini. On the front page, an article was circled:

Boy Crimelord Confesses to Crimes

"Joao Rodrigues, leader of the gang known as the Cats, confessed to running a ring of drug trafficking, human trafficking, racketeering, murder, conspiracy, and several accounts of grand theft. In a prepared statement, he admitted to planning, organizing and running the gang, and accepted full responsibility for the actions of the misguided youths he claimed as his charges."

The article went on for a while, and at the bottom;

"Rodrigues was given a suspended sentence, and placed in the custody of Simon Montclair, who was known as the hero Psychic Spiral in the 1940s and 50s."

Gemini looked up from the paper. "You want me to take this kid? What can we possibly offer him? He will be around the very kinds of people he was captured by. They'll eat him alive."

Montclair shook his head. "I am not convinced of it. He is loyal, yes, and honorable, as his statement indicated. But he felt betrayed when he read that statement. There is something else going on, and I want this school to help him figure it out."

"But, this is a school for gifted students, students with powers they need to learn to control. This kid is just a thug, a violent criminal..."

"And fourteen years old," Montclair interupted with a force that belied his age. "If he is what you say, then wouldn't his accomplishments at his age be reason enough? But if I am right, don't you have the obligation to help him?"

Gemini clenched her teeth, making up her mind. "No. We cannot take him. He would be disruptive, and violent. While I respect your intent, I cannot put the other students at risk, especially if he has no powers."

"He survived the Rikti war as an orphan at seven. He has never been injured in a gun fight, fist fight, or knife fight. He lived his life in a gang, and doesn't have a scar on his body."

"That just proves that he was careful or lucky. Probably both."

"I was afraid that this would happen. So, I am going to invoke the clause of my gifts. You have to take this boy, else return the money I gave."

Gemini was speechless for the first time since Montclair came into her office. "Montclair, there is no way the school can reimburse you."

"Then you know what you must do. Open your mind. Give him a chance. He's been hurt, but he still has a choice. Don't make it for him."

******

Elisabeth Shule snapped awake. She had learned to project her mind when her classes were boring and let the psychic eddies take her where they would. That old man was powerful, and what she overheard was definitely confidential. She smiled to herself. There was a reason she had the reputation of being the biggest gossip in the seventh grade. Now, she had something priceless to share.



OOC: I am not opposed to hostility in role-playing, but Joao is not stand-offish. He is an outsider by his history, not by his attitude. While he is not outgoing, he does not shun contact. His is often seen at the edge of a group, watching. He carries the look that he would like to be included, but either doesn't have the demeanor, or the courage to insert himself into the group. He moves with the kind of bravado of a tough, but behaves in the manner of an omega wolf. Of course, as play develops, this may change.

Vital Statistics, etc: Joao is 14. He seldom leaves the school grounds. He only chooses finger foods (hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza) at the cafeteria, and eats like he has never been sure of a meal in his life. He has a nervous habit, clenching and unclenching his fists. Every time he clenches his fists, his knuckles crack. He also picks at his uniform, as if he finds it uncomfortable.

Re: Joao Rodrigues - A Favor for a Donor

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:07 pm
by Joao Rodrigues
(( i15 update ))

Joao sat and watched the waves kiss the sands of Talos Beach. He had managed to break free to be alone, something that was getting harder and harder these days. He had with him the only thing, the only possession that he cared about. He worked the slides of his puzzle box, opening it to take out two glass vials, both sealed with a rubber stopper. He carefully unstoppered each vial in turn, and took a pinch of the ash inside it, letting the wind carry it out to the ocean. He resealed the vials, and returned them to his puzzle box, carefully locking each of the slides in place.

"I know you ain't know me... and I ain't know you, but just 'cause I ain't at home don't mean I ain't gonna stick to my word."

Jimmy had given him these two vials when he turned eight and told him they were what was left of his parents... his real parents. Now, after all that had happened, Joao didn't know if they really were, but it didn't matter. Joao liked the idea that he had parents, and that they were the best parents ever. He didn't remember them, only that he had been left alone when the Rikti attacked. Every year, on his birthday, Joao had taken a little of what was left of his parents, and cast them out to the Lake. Now, he had an ocean... Beth's ocean.

He smiled, in spite of himself. This was the exact spot they had been when he gave the ocean to her, just like Zhaim had given him Lake Michigan. Maybe it was silly, but it always meant something to Joao, that he had something to call his own.

A new melancholy came over Joao. Now, he had nothing... he had no home; that had been taken from him by spandexers. He had no Lake; that had been taken from him by the courts moving him out to Paragon City. He had no family; he lost that with the whole thing with the Tsoo and Jimmy.

"Well, Mama, Papa... you're boy's fifteen. I goin' to school, like I'm sure you'd want me to. I even made a coupla friends, Rocky and Garmin... maybe sometime you can meet them. Then, there's Blue. I ain't really sure where the whole thing is goin', but that's been the best ride I've ever been on, so far. You definitely gotta meet her... I still straight edge, and I still a banger, takin' care of me and mine. I know you'd be proud... Well... I gotta get back, before I'm missed."

Joao turned, tucking his puzzle box under his arm, and walked back to the tram, savoring the sound of the waves kissing the sands of Talos Beach.