Maia sits, deep in the Hole, scribbling in a war-torn black-and-white notebook, guitar at her side.
Antares comes down the edge in a surprisingly quiet slither of weeds and gravel, saying back over her shoulder, "So we need a pl--Maia! Oh thank god."
Maia slams the notebook shut and clutches it to her. "Hey, superstar. What're you doing in this...well, okay, in this hole?"
Antares looks tired and tense, and she's cradling a bruised and scraped hand, but she grins at Maia. "Furud takes me to the nicest places."
Furud follows her down, hopping from rock to rock, and finds himself a little disappointed that they're no longer alone. "Oh, hey Maia. What are you doing here?"
Maia gives Furud kind of a weird look, standing up but not really moving. "Writing. What are YOU doing here?"
Furud "Uh. Talking?"
Antares "Being bitched out by me, turns out." She grimaces at Furud, not wanting to apologize aloud again, and kicks at a rock.
Furud slumps against a convenient rock. "Seemed like a good place to get away from everything."
Maia "Oh, I heard you had that parent-teacher conference. What was that about, the Academy thing?"
Antares "Mostly, I guess. It was weird. I mean, creepy weird. You know anything about Johnstone?"
Maia "Uh...no. Why would you think that?"
Antares "Because he's a sonofabitch and I'm going to find out what kind of game he's playing." She shoots a look at Furud, willing him not to tell Maia how freaked she was earlier.
Furud catches the look and scrounges for a rock, tossing it across the crater. "Maia wouldn't know. She never gets in trouble."
Maia looks really uncomfortable for some reason. "Yeah, well. I know that he pushes to get all us weird-named bastards into his school."
Maia 'That's the really weird thing about him hassling you about your previous school records. He KNOWS why your school info is forged, it's because the Academy isn't accredited, so it doesn't exist in the system."
Maia "It's the same thing Miss Rose had to deal with when SHE came here. And he's the one who was trying to get you transferred here, so it's not like he doesn't know exactly what's going on."
Furud stares at Maia, "Were you spying on her? Or us?"
Maia looks away. "Spying? What do you mean, spying?"
Furud looks over at Antares.
Antares laughs. "When you said you were kinda friends with a guy who worked in the office during study hall, I didn't realize you meant you had a SOURCE. This is good news, girl."
Antares Then she sobers. "That means he brought it up because he wanted me to know that he knew. Which, if we're gonna be paranoid, means he wanted word to get around."
Maia "Well, he knew, but he doesn't necessarily want you to know, because he doesn't know that I'd tell you that he knew. I think."
Antares frowns, working that out. "Huh."
Furud "Why wouldn't he want her to know if he TOLD her?"
Maia "He didn't tell her he KNEW what the problem was already. He just wanted to make her...scared?"
Maia "As far as she knows, I mean as far as he knows she...you know, she might get kicked out of school over this."
Furud "No she won't."
Maia "Well, yes, I KNOW."
Maia "That's actually what I was saying."
Antares is starting to look murderous again, then her expression changes to thoughtful as something dawns on her. "If he wants us all here for some reason, there's no reason for me to be good."
Furud laughs. "You're completely right."
Maia grins. "Man, how many times have I heard this argument from you?"
Maia "If they can't throw us out of summer camp, there's no reason for me to be good."
Maia "If God forgives us our sins upon confession, there's no reason for me to be good."
Maia "If my record will get expunged when I turn eighteen..." Maia leaves it unfinished.
Antares "...there's no reason for me to be good. And if you're gonna go after someone, do it like you got a pair, otherwise it's a waste of your fuckin' time. The gospel according to Saint Maia." Antares grins back.
Maia "So what's the plan, superstar?"
Antares "We need to get into his office," Antares says, looking at Furud, "but he's got a good lock and spooky good luck or eyes in the back of his head. So we gotta distract him."
Furud "If I had a good distraction I'd have time to break through. I would've gotten it if he hadn't shown up last time."
Maia looks thoughtful. "How MUCH of a distraction?"
Furud "Just get him out of the school, and his minions too."
Antares "A fight would have to be big to work." She thinks. "Fires are good."
Maia "I was just going to say fires."
Maia "Plus, you don't need to actually have a fire. Just pull the alarm."
Antares opens her mouth to clarify that she meant an actual fire, then closes it.
Furud "A fire alarm won't get him out long enough... He'll come back to find out who pulled it."
Antares "I'll take care of it."
Maia "Not if he already knows."
Antares "How long will you need?"
Antares looks at Maia questioningly.
Maia "If you pull the alarm, and he knows in advance that you're going to, he won't bother doing any detective work. He'll just come track you down."
Furud "Fifteen minutes. Twenty would be better, unless you know where he keeps the files and have a key for that too."
Maia "Cabinet to the right side of the desk, second drawer from the bottom."
Maia "No key though. Sorry."
Furud "Good enough. The longer the better."
Antares "I think I can manage that. Is Furry serious that you're never in trouble, Maia? I mean, are you good alibi material?"
Maia "Um. It's complicated."
Maia "What do you need an alibi for? Weren't you just talking about how it doesn't matter if you get in trouble?"
Furud "Well Detention does suck."
Antares "If I don't get caught, he might not find out it was a distraction."
Maia "Trust me. You're better off getting caught and letting him think it's for the wrong reason then trying to keep from getting caught at all."
Antares looks thoughtful, then nods. "'Kay. Does Tyler take shop?"
Maia "Don't worry. You pull the alarm, and leave the rest to me. I'll make sure the principal doesn't get distracted with any silly things like making sure somebody isn't breaking into his office."
Maia "And I'll sneak into detention just to keep you company." Maia links arms with Antares.
Antares "All right," says Antares, looking dubious. She still thinks an actual fire would be better, but she leans against Maia companionably.
Furud "How noble of you. How come you never keep me company in detention?"
Maia "Because SOMETIMES I have stuff to do after school."
Maia "And if I kept you company, I'd be there every goddamn day."
Antares "By the way," Antares whispers to Maia, "you didn't mention he grew up HOT."
Furud smirks at Maia.
Maia looks taken aback, then manages a smile. "I figured you'd notice."
Antares "Man, I can pick fights with anyone I want now. This is going to be the best semester ever."
Maia "I'm excited already."
Furud laughs. "It's good to have you back."
Antares "So when are we gonna do this thing?" She gives a special 'it's good to be back' grin to Furud.
Maia "Sooner the better, right?"
Furud "I say Friday night, so we can have a party after."
Maia "Sounds like a plan."
Furud "Ani, you bring the beer." He grins.
Antares nods. "Before or after school ends?"
Furud "Let's do it during Detention."
Antares "Perfect. I've already got my invitation and everything."
Furud "And it makes a good excuse too!"