1964-07-29 - Tea and Books and Questions
Summary: Log Summary
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Sage Karma Julie 

It's late at the manor. Late enough that everyone should well be asleep, save for those nocturnal types, and those that are coming home from a fun Saturday night (or, possibly, just leaving to start one!). Xi'an is not the type to go partying, and as such, she's here, at home. An Instructor at the Institute, she also lives here. And at present, she's padding down the hallway, in slippers, draped in a silk kimono, with a fresh cup of tea in one hand, and a book in the other. This is, almost surely, her pajamas, and she walks without looking up. Because, hey, no one else is here, right?

Tessa is a big fan of books. Most of what she brought with her when she moved was books. Very few personal knickknacks, lots of books. Like Xi'an, she's up late. She always is. She too, isn't much fun on a Saturday night. There are just far too many things she can think of doing and most of them involve researching a new topic. That's pretty much what tonight is about. She has a hot date with books on mechanical engineering. Though she is looking up, books tucked under one arm as she ships from a mug of tea.

Xi'an is surely not looking where she's going, walking and reading as she does. And unlike some others, she has no special powers that would enable such a feat to be done safely. That means she's on a collision course for the other woman in the hallway! But, well, she is somewhat aware, and before any such accident, she stops and steps back. "Oh!" she exclaims. She looks up at Sage eying the taller woman. "Oh, um… Hello…" she says, working to place the face. Could be she's met the woman before, but it's obviously not popping right into her memory.

The blue-haired woman arches an eyebrow. "Evening," she offers. Her accent is a perfect, crisp Received Pronunciation (ie, English) accent. Rather than, perhaps, being as fuddy duddy as she no doubt seems at times she instead nods towards the book Xi'an has been occupied reading. "Good book? Or so poorly written you can hardly believe it?" Really, she's /trying/. But being in such… informal atmosphere is trying sometimes. "And here I thought the students would be poking fun at me for always having a book on hand," Tessa says. "It's good to see someone else is in the same boat."

Xi'an's smile is warm and friendly, once she's gotten over the confusion of finding someone in her path. Not that it's at all confusing, she was just wrapped up in a book! "Semyon Frank," she says, with a wiggle of the book. "Very interesting," she says. If Sage gets a good look at the cover, 'Semyon Frank' can be read. The rest? That's all in French. Which, considering Xi'an's french accent, that makes sense! Of course, it sort of clashes with her Asian heritage. "Philosophy. Mysticism and existence," she adds. Then there's a pause, and a slight laugh. "I'm Xi'an Coy Manh… Librarian. I believe I've seen you about but… I'm sorry. Your name?" she asks. Then she quickly adds. "Oh, and, I always have a book. Or am attempting to find a book. Such is the job."

Julie is coming in a bit early, perhaps, for a Saturday night, this time of year, but perhaps not by much. She'd been restless and just decided to drive, until just finding her way back in to the mansion. Making her way through the hallways, she gives a bit of a wave to the two, with a bit of a smile. "Hey, how you doing," she says, not necessarily expecting an answer.

Sage offers a hand, once she's switched out which hand is holding her book. "Tessa Valentine," she replies, nodding at the description. "I've read Frank. I confess never my first choice, but it was an interesting read." Tessa's eyes do dart over the title, having no issue with the French translation, not that it's obvious, because she certainly doesn't read the words aloud.

Julie arrives then, and Tessa's attention wavers slightly. Were she actually flexing telepathic muscles, perhaps this would be impressive. She has not done so recently. Charles would no doubt scold her. "Evening," she says, dipping her head to acknowledge Julie's arrival.

Xi'an quickly shifts that book, pressing it against herself, and pinning it there with an arm. She's holding tea in that hand. She's also in a silk kimono, which is totally covering her pajamas. "Nice to meet you," she says, as she takes that shake. "Well, formally meet you. I do recall when you were hired," she says, smiling all the while. Then she turns her attention, to put eyes on Julie. "Oh, Julie! How are you?" she asks. "Home early…?"

Julie nods, smiles a little to the librarian. Yes, she reads books. Often fairly technical ones, really, at least regarding her own interests. Nods, though. "Got a bit antsy in town this weekend, well, usual crowd's in Philly for a show, so I thought I'd just drive, a while." She does that when she's restless." She shrugs. Glances between them. "Not to interrupt, or anything."

"Charles said he told the staff. I suppose he would have to, really." Of course they would know. Sill Tessa, not considering that. "I keep telling myself I should actually get out and drive rather than just memorize maps of the area and the city, but I admit the whole 'driving on the other side' seems a bit… daunting." Okay, not really - but daunting is perhaps the best word to describe it. "My mechanic in London would be.. displeased if something happened to my Vauxhall." Mechanics are just oddly protective of the cars they worked on. Why is that? Something jerks Tessa out of her little reverie, for a moment allowing herself to look apologetic, before her expression reverts back to 'neutral'. "A pleasure to meet you too. I apologize, Charles didn't quite give me the run down on staff as he seems to have told staff about me."

"Oh, well… you can always come knock on my door. If I'm here, at least," Xi'an offers up, to Julie. She lives in the Manor, when she's not elsewhere, tending to her siblings. "Usually, I'm here. I have the social life of… well. It has not been a good year," she says, with a gentle laugh. Xi'an then turns her attention back to Tessa. She blinks.

"Other side…?… Oh! Yes, well…" She gives another laugh. "Going into the city is daunting for anyone and everyone. Around Westchester… well." There's a pause, then she looks aside. "Oh, yes, yes. This is Julie Bottero. She teaches shop, to the young ones, and… you are attending the university courses, oui?"

Julie nods. Offers a hand. "Dizzy, generally, but try telling teacher types that," she smirks at the irony of being (somewhat) one, herself. "But, yeah, a chance to go to college is something, especially with some of the stuff around here." She adds, "That old English job? Probably would run on anything, but you probably better have me make sure she's running good on American gas and all, especially if she's straining to keep up around here." There's a mild tease there, but irony. "Basically mechanics look bad if something breaks, so call it international relations."

Tessa crosses the bit of floor between them and offers her hand to shake. "Tessa Valentine," she introduces herself. "Yes, the Wyvern outside is mine." The offer is considered, Tessa's head tilting to one side. "You wouldnt mind if I watched? I would appreciate the explanation as you do it… I had not realized the petrol we use back home would be different from the petrol you Americans use here. How different is it?"

Absolutely devoid of knowledge of cars and petroleum products, Xi'an remains happy to have helped make introductions. She holds her smile, sips her tea, then offers, "I'd love to take a drive in it. Whatever it is. It is an automobile, oui?" she asks. "I do not have one. I rely upon the bus and the kindness of others."

Julie smiles to Tessa, holds her finger and thumb about a handspan apart. "Eh, enough you might notice a difference, different octane though, and more ethyl here. Fancy sports cars, though, people get em off the boat and they'll get all cantankerous once the tanks get refilled, though, everyone wants these Jag engines lately, then wonder why they don't go right if they sent em on a boat." Shen she smiles a bit to Xian. "I'm really about to appoint myself driver's ed instructor, here, too, you, know. I dunno where all the people never drove a car come from around here, and I'm from Brooklyn." She winks.

"I will leave to you… though I will insist I watch." She did that to her previous mechanic, too. Learn something through watching, rather than reading. Hey, even she can do that sometimes. "Though to be clear - do not change anything else. I understand the need to fix it so the engine accepts the petrol difference, but other than that…" Tessa shakes her head slightly. Xi'an's eagerness makes her blink a bit. "A drive in my Wyvern?" Now that she did not expect. "I do need to see the roads in person. Company… wouldn't be a bad idea."

"Oh, tres bon!" Xi'an says, with a bright smile. "I know the roads, sort of. And I can always find someone to help us, if we do get lost, or broken down," she says, with total confidence. Her attention then swings back to Dizzy, and she can't help a laugh. "Vietnam," she offers. "Though I have been here some time. No money for a car," she says. "As much as one would be useful…" she adds, considering the topic as she speaks the words. Hm.

Julie nods about the instruction, "Sure, that's even what I'm here for. Probably ain't much to see, just I'll make sure you got your mixture and timing adjusted, one-screwdriver-job," …then she smirks a little. "Or I guess around here, I could say no-screwdrivers, but that's how I'm used to doing it." She glances to Xian, there, and hrms. "Come to mention it, I never asked about a paycheck, here, neither, but ended up with maybe free college, so who's counting. But a lot of folks around here just don't think of it." She rubs her forehead with a finger a moment, sort of mentally-cataloguing *something,* in a not-actually superpowered way. "Bet we could just make you something: mi familia's in the business: just a matter of what needs saving. Brought a Golden Hawk for shop class this year, but that's gonna take a while. I'll keep an eye out for something repsectable-looking I can drop a motor in or something."

"In the meantime I'm willing to drive you around as needed, Xi'an," Tessa offers. She should get used to interacting with people socially if she's going to stick around, after all. "I never asked about a paycheck either, but my last employer… paid fairly well for the time I was with the company." She shrugs. "Free room and board makes everything a little easier."

"I am paid well," Xi'an counters, making a gesture that's meant to be placating, but likely more just looks like flailing, due to the things in her hands. "Charles has seen to that for years. But… well. I take care of my younger brother and sister. They live with a… friend. But I pay for their apartment, their food, their school, everything. Plus stashing some away for them, when they're old enough for it," she says. "It means not a lot of left over. But… if you could find something cheap?" she asks Julie. "It would be nice to be able to visit them without needing to take buses," she decides. Then her attention shifts back to Tessa. "And I greatly appreciate the offer. I will surely take you up on it."

Julie nods to Xian, and holds up a hand, "It's family, what can you do. I'll come up with something. Last time Planet Asgard invaded, well, the yard's still nowhere near short of decent engines and other stuff , just gotta put em together, is all."

"May I ask something?" Tessa asks suddenly. She went silent for a long moment there, staring into the mostly-empty depths of her mug. She may have to retreat and get herself more tea.

"I would appreciate it so very much, Dizzy," Xi'an says. She takes another sip of her tea, and then glances around, seeming only now to realize how odd their conversation venue is. But her attention doesn't stay lost too long. She looks back to Tessa. "Ask something of whom?" she asks. "Me? Certainly, mon ami," she says, with a smile, and a little gesture.

Julie just nods, to both, and listens a moment. Without tea, she just rests a hand crooked in a jacket pocket.

"Short of Charles… I have no experience with others… like us," she says, gesturing absently into the air. "Frankly, I don't know if it would be rude to up and ask 'what is it you do'." She considers a moment. "Of course I could just… do what I do to find out, but I suspect that would be rude, too." Tessa frowns, mostly at herself. And rather ask Charles - and potentially embarrass herself with /not knowing something/… "So I'm asking for… pointers."

"Oh," Xi'an says, blinking a few times. She glances over to Dizzy, then looks back over. She considers a moment, and then offers a faint shrug. "Honestly, I don't much ask," she says. "But I would certainly not attempt to get into another's mind, if that is what you are a suggesting. There are many that would be greatly offended by that and… well. Sometimes reactions to offense are… violent," she says. "If you cannot stand the uncertainty, ask," she advises. Of course, she doesn't take that as an invitation to offer her own powers up, either not thinking about it, or not wanting to share. Who's to say!

Julie hrms a bit, "Well, I think the Prof respects an honest question a lot more than he respects pretending to know something you don't. I'm kind of new to this, too, and most of us are kinda glad we don't have to hide, but I think how it goes is, you could ask, and then anyone else says, "You first." She smirks. Tugs out a pack of Chesterfields with only a few missing, but that seems a little rumpled. "Anyone mind, or want one?" Cause no tea.

Tessa shakes her head. "Not so invasive, though still possibly rude," she says, on the subject of telepathy. A little shrug. "The uncertainty doesn't bother me. But being in social situations is fairly… new," she admits. "In London it was all business all the time, because my employer needed someone who can function at that level. So I'm… uncomfortable in social situations at best." Which again isn't really the right word, but it is a good enough approximation. "Trying to find common ground is, I've been told, the best thing to do."

Xi'an gives a little gesture, to Julie. "When in doubt, ask Charles," she says. Then she gives a little shake, no, doesn't mind. "Though, I do think I'm going to head back to my room. So tired tonight," she says. And just as she does, she lifts her hand, holding the book, to cover a yawn. The hand goes back down, and she smiles at Tessa. "I think you do just fine, mon ami. And you can call me whenever you wish to speak. My telephone number is in the factulty directory," she offers. "And, my… powers… are in my mind. And exploring the minds of others. Sort of," she says. A pause, a smile, and then a dip of her head. A bow, sort of. "Both of you have a lovely night. Bonsoir."

Julie glances back and forth, …she makes to light her smoke, tipping open the Zippo with a finger, then just has a thought and hrms. "I don't mind saying around here, though. The lighter sparks up, without her touching the wheel on it. But a keen eye could see the sparkwheel actually turns, with a hint of an unnatural sound somewhere. She does a bit of a bow to Ki'an as she goes, too, before puffing. And answers Sage's query directly. "I'm a rotational kinetic, …basically I can make things spin. It's all in what you do with it, though."

Sage tips her head, like Julie bowing just slightly. "A pleasure meeting you, Xi'an," she says. Her shift in focus back to Julie is rather rapid when it becomes apparent she's getting something of a demonstration. "At least that is something you can show," suggests Tessa. "I have an eidetic memory… with, as near as I can estimate, infinite storage capacity and recall." Which, she realizes, can sound impressive all on its own. "I can read the genetic makeup of others, as well." The rest? That telepathic bit? Her defenses? She keeps those under wraps.

Julie ahs, a bit, and hrms. "Well, I guess everything shows, eventually. She's left out certain things, too, such as related senses, or being a walking gyroscope set, but those are pretty hard to explain and/or simply taken for granted on some elevels. She hrms. At least knows the terms, it seems, however she speaks. "So, wait a minute, you can remember as much as you see? Err, maybe you can help me with something. Call it extra credit, but I been thinking we need as many maps of what's under Manhattan as we can get. Only there's so much on top of itself and built over…" She shrugs. "No one really knows everything that's down there but I been looking up old plans and a few ConEd maps I got hold of, but how do you sort it out? "

Sage nods. "I can." The request gets another nod. "Just show me the maps. I can't promise they'll magically sort out, but at least if we're ever lost down there, we'll be able to get out." Tessa stretches a bit, frowning as she looks at her empty mug. "But first we're stopping for tea, if you don't mind."

Julie nods, and smirks. Indicates the direction of the kitchen, but adds, "That's the idea. Or, if someone else was lost, where would they be. And the nearest way to the street or something." Cause someone is, in fact, lost down there, and that's …a serious matter Dizzy's burying being upset about. "So, anyway, tea on a Saturday night? I thought I was having a pitsville weekend."

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