Katoya, only a tad snippy: "Now that calmer minds prevail... A demonstration." He leans into John's face: "Join me." John says he's just there to watch and Katoya tells him everyone's going to be participating. My mom used to drag me to this shit all the time. I hate camp. I hate nature. I mean, it wasn't just like this, there was always nature. Horrible plus. No Tron bullshit. That wouldn't have been so bad. The phrase "everyone must participate" sends a shock down my spine to this day. But John's got a way better excuse than asthma: "After the probes, land mines, corkscrews I've had in my head? I ain't offering up a chunk for your mind games." Totally should have gone for the neurochip excuse. So much less Story Circle after you drop that bomb, I bet. "It is not a game," says Katoya. It's a state of mind! "Ain't gonna happen, Miss Krabapple. Fail me, give me an F on my report card, but I ain't goin' in your icosahedron." Katoya looks over at Scorpius sharply, like, "Who's your sister here?" And Scorpius stands, volunteering. "Yes, of course." John claims that this proves nothing, Grasshopper, but nobody entirely believes that, including us.
Scorpius and Katoya sit in the taskchairs, arms held out by their frames, which suddenly clank inward like the scary carnival on the bad side of town, and there's buzzing, and then: mindscape! They're standing in a small arena, visible on the wall outside as well, surrounded by yet more lights. A ball forms of light and hangs in the air between them, glowing orangey red and looking like BS. Katoya and Scorpius do mysterious movements of willpower and the ball moves around, and apparently it hurts, and it goes on forever. "Pain," says John. "See, that's what I'm talkin' about: pain." You have no idea what you are in for. The glow-thing comes toward Scorpius's face and he pulls back, like it's hot, and then he does mysterious movements of willpower and it flies across the arena to Katoya, who stops it. This is like one of those horrible "Ungames" therapists and Wiccans play with their own defenseless kids: "Feel the energy. Do you feel it?" My flashbacks are having flashbacks. If they start with the cones I am outta here.
Anna: "There are like two people who are going to get that joke."
Jacob: "But they'll be so grateful."
Anna: "I don't even get that joke."
Jacob: "One, you've met my mom, so yes you do. And two, it's no joke."