1964-09-07 - Kenning Kindness
Summary: Sage recounts her experience and learns of the thrilling activities around the mansion of late…
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
sage rogue 


Thursday nights in Westchester County aren't exactly hopping. Never mind that apple picking season is nearly upon the rural farms and tourists pulled out from the small towns dotted up the Hudson River valley at Labour Day. The Institute might be an epicenter of excitement involving homework, board games, and an incident trying to vaporize the building when someone lost control. Not that thrilling, honest.

The medbay is mostly off-limits except to the sick, injured, and ill. A nasty game of Monopoly takes place upstairs. Here, in the depths of the school where the elder students and faculty maintain their cares, Scarlett makes an unusual addition. For one, she leans against the wall between the Danger Room and another practice room, the book balanced on her gloved fingertips something read lightning quick. It's not in English; in fact, most of the lettering is from another alphabet entirely.

Gossip says she had something to do with the explosions contained in a locked room. But then, gossip says a lot.

For the most part, Tessa Valentine does not listen to gossip. There are more important things at hand. Like earning another degree. She takes on advanced university degrees in the same way others might win trophies or dates. Normally at this time of night, Sage would be bogged down by an ever-growing series of books, but tonight was deemed time for a change. The existence of the Danger Room was mentioned to her. She was curious. Perhaps she should have spoken to Charles first, but given the students themselves knew about it, and nothing stopped her from investigating, well, maybe she /can/ be down here? Besides, actual training would beat running katas in the backyard for another night.

Earning degrees is a time-honoured tradition. Ask the girl currently pursuing one at Columbia University, albeit without a superhuman computing capacity to make that easy. She certainly isn't studying anything university-level in the standard catalog with the book she holds, however, nor is the subject matter likely to be easy as a three-hundred psych class or something of the sort. Her shoulders balance against the wall, feet slipped forward and anchoring her. The redhead's braids are pinned back, hissing slightly in movement when she shifts now and then. Another person coming by isn't entirely enough to dissuade Scarlett from translation on its own, but a stranger — relatively, anyways — and someone angling for the door she's watching warrants a much different response. "Good evening. Lost?"

"Of a sort," Tessa admits. "Some students mentioned the 'Danger Room'." There's just something about the way she says the name. It's like you can hear the air quotes without her making the motions for them. "And even I can be curious." It's been gossiped about enough, no doubt. Miss Valentine is very mechanical. Unemotional, even. There was a bit of talk - is she even a mutant? A robot maybe? - and it doesn't help that she hasn't exactly performed any overt displays of mutant power. No doubt in some information Charles keeps somewhere, accessible to staff, it gives a breakdown of what Sage can do. That's about the only place that might confirm her 'legitimacy' to the mutant term.

"Danger Room," repeats Scarlett, imbuing a hint of laughter where it might not be necessary. "Yes, they come up with all kinds of name. I last heard they call the sick room the 'hellhole' or the pain pit. Natural hazard of the vicinity and so many inspired minds about." Her own gentle cadence of humour flows away in a susurrus worthy of the sea, unrushed and untroubled. Whatever displays Sage has — or has not — associated with her, the redhead is equally nebulous at points. The Soul-Thief doesn't generally share her nature freely except in exceptional circumstances; but then, she's also staff and a liaison to the Avengers. It might count for something. "Were you hoping to run through one of the protocols?"

"I had been hoping Charles would have been about to answer my questions regarding it," Tessa admits. "But I seem to have missed him again." Her eyes flicker back to Scarlett, washing away a brief look of self-reflection and consideration. There are easier ways to contact Xavier. She knows it. She takes the harder route. "I do not believe we've been introduced yet."

"He is an elusive creature, rarely spotted in his natural habitat and betimes difficult to identify even in plain sight." The book clipped shut by the press of her fingertips leaves a whispery murmur of paper and little else to disrupt the conversation. Scarlett straightens, bringing her arms to her chest with the book pinned there. "Sometimes leaving word in the office is the best way to spot him, though it's by no means guaranteed. A pleasure to meet you. I'm Scarlett, otherwise general helpful guide and the like. Yourself?"

"I'll remember that." Of course she will. "My name is Tessa Valentine. I…" There's a moment of consideration. She doesn't want to sound like she's bragging. "I teach a wide variety of topics. At the moment, I'm experimenting to see what the students would find most interesting."

A nod measures agreement merrily enough. "That's a challenge in and of itself given the breadth of the student body. Their experience and origins do not make this an easy task, surely." Scarlett isn't particularly rude, hopefully, by not offering a handshake or the usual greetings. No active obfuscation stands out, for all her stillness endorses good conversation and little active threat. "I look forward to seeing you about the institute, then, Miss Valentine. Or do you prefer Tessa? The room there is good for running through simulations and practice of various sorts, when sanctioned on a given theme."

Sage doesn't seem to be terribly offended, but then, she hasn't extended an offer of a handshake either. "Tessa is fine," she assures. "The students already call me Miss Valentine and it is… still unusual to hear that. My previous place of employment, I was the personal assistant for a businessman in London. Getting him to call me 'Miss Valentine' would have required a miracle from on high." She nods as Scarlett considers the difficulty in finding something everyone will like. "Hopefully something different or unusual will suffice, then."

"Tessa." The name rolls easily with the withdrawal of a ghostly hint of English afflicting itself. She has the air of Kent or somewhere in the Home Counties, or adjacent enough to matter. "Different and unusual ought to be the motto about here, wouldn't you say? I will default to Tessa unless you prefer otherwise, and you need only say so. As for me, I try to be polite rather than obsequious, so you won't hear me applying unnecessary titles if it's not called for. Thrilling, really. What brought you from London here?"

"Charles did," Tessa admits. "He found me stumbling off a boat trying to block the voices in my head." She says this very matter-of-factly. Unashamed. "Until I met him, I had no idea what a mutant was. I don't think I've met one afterwards, until I came here. He said there was an opening for an instructor, and told me I could pick whatever subject I wanted. It was time for a change, so I accepted." She nods at the explanation that Scarlett prefers politesse. She can understands that. "I came over within the week."

"Charles has a way of protecting a great many people and directing them well." The natural warmth ticks up considerably there, and Scarlett does nothing to disguise the familiarity or her opinion of the man in question. "Telepathy and its derivatives seem to be a very difficult gift to manage if someone hasn't naturally learned to block, and if I were to ask, I am sure several would tell me shielding is not entirely native. Good for you for finding a place for yourself."

Sage would no doubt be equaly warm when it comes to Charles, if she allowed herself that sort of thing. Her actions say it well enough even if she won't say it. "He was responsible for your arrival?" And Scarlett's description of telepathy gets an agreeable nod from Sage. "And even if shielding is something you have the knack for, you might not even know it without training."

Scarlett gives a shake of her head. "As I understand it, I was an unusually enterprising and resourceful individual who found him rather than the other way around." Her braids skim along the line of her shoulder and net across her upper arm, caught for a moment. Slim fingers whisk them away. "The time is not easy for me to recall, I confess. All said he made it possible for me to move at least somewhat capably in society, although the city is still a hazard wherever I go."

She'd reach out and pat Scarlett in sympathy, if she wasn't so sure that would look horrible and condescending. Instead, she simply frowns, which does look a little too natural and nods slightly. "I can understand. My trip to London is a bit hazy, and while Charles believes my powers manifested during the trip, I am not sure." He's probably right. With her perfect recall now, she'd've remembered the entire trip. "I suppose I am fairly used to the city's crowds and noise, but the quiet here is much more enjoyable."

Patting Scarlett is ever optional, though the young woman doesn't panic at the general kindness. "Was London that long ago, or have you come to terms with the emergence of your abilities recently? Forgive me if the question sounds rude. I have been trying to determine how the onset of certain mutations happens, both in triggers and timelines, to help anticipate emergent mutants." She nods at the hallway. "I am among a group that strives to rescue those who come into their powers in hazardous situations, often as a stress reaction. You have a better story than many, and it's a positive foil to hold up. Though your appreciation for quiet is a common one, I must say."

Sage lifts her eyebrows. "A group?" But she too was asked a question, and Tessa has already proved she has nothing to hide. "It was 12 years ago, when I stepped off that boat and ran into Charles on the docks. I left Paris a few days before."

"Yes. Jean and I among others have done our best to try to help those out there on their own, especially anyone with mutations and no means to control them. Children are as critical, too, but adults or youths, it makes fewer differences," Scarlett replies. Something causes her to pause and look up, her gaze rather distance. "Paris, ah. Lovely at this time of year and I have such a fondness for that city. However, someone's about to do something very stupid, I suspect. They've gone uncommonly quiet. I ought to check it before heading out. I hope we'll cross paths soon and I can tell you more if you're interested. Ask Jean otherwise, and we can reconvene?"

Sage nods slightly. She's still going to check out this Danger Room thing, even if she allowed herself to get distracted. It was an enjoyable talk. "Yes. I think I'd enjoy another talk," she says with a slight nod. "Especially when it comes to this group you and… Jean have, I think." She nods again, her gaze glancing upwards. Quiet kids can only mean mischief is afoot. "Try nott o scare them too badly when you find them in the middle of their plot."

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