2010-12-09: Deck The Halls


Christopher_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpgEmma_icon.jpg Heather_icon.jpgKisha_icon.jpg

Summary: Some of Xaviers' Residents get ready for Christmas! And all the other surrounding holidays for good PC measure.

Date: Thursday, December 9, 2010. 1:09pm

Log Title: Deck the Halls

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Rec Room

What was once the Parlor has been turned into a Recreation Room for the students. A nice plush carpet meets the light blue walls giving it a homey feel. A pool table at one end, a foos ball table at the other, and entertainment center with video game systems, movies, and of course, cable TV. Big comfy chairs and couches surround a coffee table for comfortable loafing. Long glass windows with a pair of French doors line one side of the room bringing in plenty of light during the day. The main rule in here is to clean up after yourself.

Even though Christopher did a lot of decorating around the mansion for the Holiday's over the weekend, he's now in the rec room putting what he'll call some finishing touches about. He's rearranged the furnature to accomdate a large decorated Christmas Tree and is working on putting up a small holiday village on top of the entertianment center. Over all though Christopher's trying to keep the decorations as non-denominational as possible but over all somewhat Christmasy. He's humming along to the mix of Christmas music playing on the stereo.

Scowling at all the nonsense that has been causing the mansion to overload with tinsel and other decorations Kisha bustles into the Rec Room, hunting for a quiet place to read her bible. Not /that/ kind of bible though! She clutches a worn copy of Snow Crash in one hand and guides her touchpad computer, hanging from it's carry straps, with the other. "Eugh not in here too? All this money which could have been spent on books or teaching resources. Wasted. And the terrible music….."

While Christopher might find is a surprise, but the Headmistress is actually assisting him, as she has also been working most of the weekend to help get things put up. Emma is currently helping settle some carafes of hot drink and cookies on a table decorated in a neutral red and green tabletop, and a 'Happy Holidays' hanging over it in wintry white. Turning to face Kisha, the woman replies, "Miss Dorogoi… this is expected behavior here in the states. Be thankful… I did not quite approve the request to have the exterior lights flash in time to loud music. I believe if given their druthers, the faculty would let us be seen from orbit until New Years."

Hosea's Christmas spirit has been in full swing since the end of Thanksgiving. It's the Nigerian's second favorite holiday. He also just turned eighteen, which makes him an adult…again. He was already an adult in Nigeria, and he didn't understand why people insisted he was a child once he came to the states.
As he walks into the rec room, he looks around at the decorations, hearing Kisha's retort. "Hah, decorations for Christmas are vedy strange in America, yes?" he answers her. "Still some are da same. We have lights and trees. I see a fat man though. Is he one of da masquerade costumes people use?" He must ask.

"I have plenty of mulling spices for hot cider Emma and I'll be making cookies regularly for the kids. I think I'll have like cookies of the day. Today I'm making hersey kiss cookies." Christopher says with a smile as he walks over to one of the walls to touch it and using his power he starts to change it to be dark blue with intricate snowflakes designs in different shapes and sizes appear. "What makes you think much money was spent Kisha? And also what makes you think all of it was the school? Sorry but to see a student smile over decorations because they can't get home, or don't have a family to go home to, is worth all this to me. I think you're negativity is wasted personally." He says before smiling to Hosea. "That's Saint Nick, or Santa Claus. He delivers presents to the girls and boys who have been good for the holidays."

"And I am surprised you would feel as such Miss Dorogoi… after all, Saint Nicholas, the pattern from which Santa Claus was made from… was a patron saint of Russia. Though his origins were also Greek. Truly a man of the world if you would believe his miracles." Emma adds with a bit of a breathy irony. Standing back and watching the decor be shifted, there's a brief and soft chuckle before she looks to Christopher with a neutrally approving nod, before addressing Hosea, "Good morning, Mister Ikbuku… I do not think we are doing masks this year… however… there will be a Kwanzaa observance held."

"Having spent my entire life in the country I'm aware of the traditions," Kisha points out, eyes fixed on her battered old book. "I simply find them so very wasteful. Even as one of the poor unfortunates no longer welcome back home. Well, I assume that's the case. No word from my father as yet and the last I heard of my brother he was trying to ensure his entire gang had guns on the off chance they spotted me." She speaks with the bland indifference of someone talking about geology and not the /fun/ kind of geology.

"Ha!" Hosea exclaims as Emma adds to Christopher's explanation of Santa Claus. "St. Nicholas was a great man. He was not fat, though, I think. He gave of all da money he had to give to those in need. His holiday was last week, though, you celebrate it for longer in America, then? I share a birthday with his death. It is a great honor to share tha day." His beaming smile infects the whole room. He really loves this holiday. "But tell me, what is Kwanzaa? Is dat a Christmas celebration?" Kwanzaa, being an American holiday, is not one that he's ever heard of.
He points a finger to Kisha with a sober yet still smiling face. "Dis holiday is important," he tells Kisha. "It celebrates da day dat Jesus was born. Da beginning of redemption for all of humanity. Only Ressurection Sunday should be bigger, I think. Yes? How good it is to know dat he came!" His gestures are wide and flamboyant, as are usual.

"Kwanzaa is a holiday celebrated around this time of year, I don't know what the celebrations are behind it but it's mostly celebrated by Afrian Americans to celebrate their heritage I believe." Christopher says as he's done 'painting' one wall and moves onto the next. "And Kisha…I am not asking you to enjoy the holidays but you don't need to force everyone to be miserable and unhappy about them to fit your view point." He says before looking to Emma. "Do you know about how many students are staying for Christmas?"

Emma nods once in agreement to Christopher, and makes an addendum, "You must understand Hosea… many of those who have had family in the States had lost their African roots, but with the upswing of civil rights at the time, Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa as a multi-national holiday in observance of all African celebrations of the harvest and giving thanks that occurred around this time. At first it was a backlash against White Christian culture, but has since grown into a celebration of the ideals that still exist within African American communities." To which she gives a very faint smile, and then replies to the mansion's source of decor and taste at the moment, "Roughly a quarter are remaining, though to be amused? Outside of Misters Blake and Larkin's room there was a sign posted… I believe it says 'Want to spend Christmas with the Elves? Ask me again to Portal you home.'."

Kisha frowns, then pulls her computer onto her lap and taps a few picture glyph icons. Before running a quick websearch. "Actually evidence within the bible indicates Jesus was born around September or October, it wasn't until the year four hundred and forty Anno Domini that the church decided to make his birthday in December to coincide with Saturnalia. A pagan festival. Presumably to make it easier to convert people to the faith." She shrugs. "I have to admire the marketing skills behind the idea. It's like the Coca-Cola Santa costume trick, only without advertising excutives."

"I see," Hosea answers, stroking his chin. "Dat is vedy different. I think if dey knew Africa now, dey would not be so eager." He puts a knowing finger along the side of his nose with the point. "But still, I tink dat could be a good thing to learn of Africa's history. Den maybe America would not be so stingy with deir moneys." One of his pet peeves about America, which he most often keeps to himself.
He reaches out to Kisha to pat her on the shoulder if she will allow it. "You do not understand Christmas," he tells her. "It is not dat he was born on December 25th," he explains. "It is good dat dah day was chosen to take people away from wickedness. We do not know dah actual day, but it is not important."
He looks back at Emma and Christopher. "Dere are students who will not go home for Christmas? Dat is terrible. It is a time to celebrate with family and friends." Of course, those who know Hosea's file know that most of his family died many years ago. "Maybe after I have gone to be wit da be

"Maybe after I have gone to be wit da believers on Christmas, my mother and I should come back, and will make a great Christmas Cake for those who have been left behind!"

Christopher raises an eyebrow at Kisha as he goes over and smiles at her. "You know Scrooge McDuck, I could always put some lovely green and red streaks in your hair to make you more festive for the holidays?" He says with a chuckle. "Or I can have a nice project for you so you can set the lights outside to blink in time with a Christmas song selected by yours truly." He says before looking over at Hosea. "Hosea…a lot of kids here don't have homes to go back to. Some do, but not everyone. Not eveyone is accepting of mutants." He says before looking at Hosea. "Hrm…is there anything special, like the recipe, for this Christmas Cake?" A cooking challenge perhaps!

Pinching at the bridge of her nose, Emma replies, "I thought I had explained, Mister Mayfair… we are not going to be assaulting the grounds with music and timed light shows. No attempting to end-run your desires simply from a need to help give a student the Christmas Spirit." But Emma then adds, "Oh… do not forget the egg nog and rum balls in the staff area, Mister Mayfair. No sense in leaving everyone out of things… especially when one has the likes of Doctor Henry McCoy hanging from the ceilings and caroling." But with that tidbit out of the way, she nods once more and looks at the children, "It is easy for you to forget because this place is a school now… but before then it was a home, and there is a long tradition of it remaining a home for those who have none."

"Do you really dare let me play with the lighting?" Kisha asks, glancing at Emma with an innocent grin. "I may well program the lights to strobe in a frequency which makes people vulnerable to hypnotic suggestion. Or simply overcharge them so anything which /does/ see the school from orbit suddenly finds itself in need of new lenses. Never mind the damage it could cause to normal eyesight." She resumes skim reading her book. "And I take no offense at being compared with a fictional duck. Not when the duck in question has enough gold coins in his vault to buy himself an entire state."

Heather zips into the recreation room, holding what can only be described as some kind of Lovecraftian horror. Wait, no, this is just a knitting attempt. Apparently she's not very good. She glances between the people in the room and just drops the terror she is holding, pulling out her tape recorder to play a standard pre-recorded greeting to everyone: "Hello, insert name here." She doesn't catch the previous conversation, but she is one of the students who considers the school a home, even though she does have travel plans for the holidays. She sits down by the wall, picking up her craft project and making it worse.

Hosea smiles, and answers Emma. "I think dat it is good and just to do what is necessary to allow someone to appreciate dis great holiday," he says to the headmistress, as if he was to gently instruct her. His smile ever constant. "Yes, it is sad dat America is so afraid of mutants," he agrees with Christopher, "but I shall tell you how to make da Christmas Cake, it will make it easier for the children who are still here," he tells Christopher. "I do not know where it came from, but you put fruits into it. You make it very rich. Oh, I cannot eat much of it, or it makes me sick, but I eat much anyway," he laughs at the thought. "Perhaps I will ask my mother to find her recipe. It is vedy good. With so many people heah. Hello Heather!" He announces to his teammate. "We are celebrating da coming Christmas! Are you also excited?"

The Rec Room is all decorated and Emma and Christopher are putting finishing touches in the room. Christopher goes to another wall to 'paint' it blue with snowflakes with his power just by touching it so now three out of four walls are done. "Emma, I thought you'd know enough to know that I wasn't serious about that. And Kisha, I know you're joking but I'd like to think you'd be responsible enough to know what would happen to you if you did something like that." He looks at Heather and her creation. "What is that you're making Heather?" He asks trying to figure out if it's a hat with tentacles…a scarf with tentacles or I don't even know what."

Idly moving off from the conversation for a moment, Emma makes her way to the CD player, and changes the music to some of the more classic and occasional pieces, Bing Crosby's White Christmas starting up on the sound system. Once it's been changed to her satisfaction, she looks back to the others, smiling at Heather and saying, "Miss Brown." In greeting, and then to Christopher once more, she adds, "So tell me, Mister Mayfair… would you mind being a participant in the Christmas dinner instead of the chef? I was pondering borrowing one of Tony Stark's catering teams as a present to those of us who will remain here." As if this is to make a point to Hosea, "I am like many of those here… I do not see my mother and my remaining sister, Mister Ikbuku. There is too much bad blood now, and the school is more important to me. I have alienated my three remaining Cuckoos, and to be honest… I am happier considering all of you my family rather than any individual."

Kisha holds her hands out as if to say who knows. "I guess we'll never know for sure. Mass hypnotism or satellite killing lasers are both so very cool and sometimes you just have to live the dream and accept whatever happens to you as a result," she replies. "Hi Heather. I've been doing a little research for the project we spoke about. How do you feel about the aesthetics of Tungsten? It's hard wearing enough to stand up to the kind of wear and tear you'd cause."

"I'm very excited," states Heather's tape recorder, "I'm going to spend Christmas eve at Connor's and then Christmas day at Chloe's. I think. I need to figure out timing on all this. It will be my first family kind of Christmas." Her parents were never really into the whole holiday spirit thing, to say the least. She looks down at the tangle in her hands and says, "I don't know." She really doesn't at this point. At first, it was supposed to be a scarf, but when that didn't go well she thought maybe it could be a hat, but the more work she put into it, the less comprehensible it has become, more knots than knitting. She gives a polite nod in return to Emma. There's little she wants to say to the headmistress, since Heather has not received as much punishment as she thought she would for deliberately disobeying on occasion in the demon world. To Kisha, Heather nods her head and says, "That seems like it would be good. Tungsten is in light bulbs, right? It seems like it has to be durable."

"Dat is vedy sad," Hosea says. "You must make thing right to dem, yes? It is not good to allow bad blood to fester. Take it from a man who knows dis too well." He helps to put up one of the decorations, and his cell phone's alarm goes off. He checks the phone and frowns. "Your life is like a vapor," he continues. "Do not waste it with such bad blood. It is Christmas, you should go make reparations to those you have driven away." A nod is given as a closing gesture. Just call him Dr. Phil.
"I must go, it is time for me to help with da church play practice. I will see you all later. Merry Christmas!" And with that, he heads out, using his powers to move as the crow flies through the walls of the building.

"I'm…dreaming…of a White…Christmas…" Christopher sings along softly with Bing Crosby as he prefers the more classic type music than this new fangled crap they have on the radio. "Emma…how can you expect me not to cook at least something?" He asks trying not to sound as offended as he is. "A catering staff…making them work on Christmas when I can do it for free and not have to make people work on Christmas when they'd probably rather be home with their families. And also do you really want them coming here. Also if you are going to pick it up and bring it her you're going to have to reheat it and it won't be as good." Just his opinion though. "I'm glad to see you're doing so much Heather, I hope you enjoy you first Christmas." He says with a smile. "Hosea, it's not as easy at that, though sometimes it'd be nice if it was." A child's dream he thinks about Hosea's words. "Have a good day Hosea."

Emma openly laughs as Hosea departs, and says in a merry tone, "That poor boy has no understanding… I was born to bad blood, and it forever will stain my family. But no matter." Walking over, she puts her hands on Christopher's shoulders, "I was -teasing-… you really must learn to read my sense of humor, Christopher, dry as it is. It might actually surprise some people to know there is one." But with that she backs off and moves to Heather, presenting her with a gift card, "Here… it is always traditional for a guest in someone's home to bring something to treat the host. This is an advance on your school stipend, Miss Brown… use it wisely."

"Tungsten jewelry also fits your unique nature," Kisha decides, tapping a few quick keystrokes in to update the cost/benefit spreadsheet for the project. "It's vaguely inspiring that someone born to bad blood can do so well. As far as such concepts can inspire me without studying the genetics involved. I wonder how old a person has to be before they can incorporate thier own company? And how much it costs.. On behalf of my lackluster relations I could invest in establishing my own firm."

Heather watches as Emma presents the gift card, reaching to take it slowly. Well, slowly for her. It still looks like he swings her hand up to snatch it to anyone else. She fiddles with her tape recorder, playing, "Thank you, I will." She's probably going to still try and handcraft most of her gifts, being a bit of a hoarder, but this might make things easier for other projects. She turns her head towards Kisha and then nods rapidly, "It's mostly important that it's functional, but if it suits me, that is a bonus."

At Kisha's words, Christopher can't help but raise an eyebrow at Emma but doesn't say anything about it. "Oh thank goodness, I'm glad you're teasing, you had me worried since I had a ton of recipes picked out. I found this amazing recipe for a turkey made with apples and sage." He sounds almost delighted with himself for that recipe as he smiles, but then Christopher is just an upbeat kind of guy. "I wish I knew how to knit better but I just learned more about sewing then knitting."

Emma turns to face Kisha, and then walks over to lean over the couch, before saying, "How about this, Miss Dorogoi… I will pay the consulting fee for you to see a lawyer in regards to establishing yourself as a corporate entity once you are eighteen. Which is the legal age you may sign for your own documents without parental co-signature. Then you may discuss with them what would be required on your part." Christopher gets a slightly bright-eyed smile at his thoughts on dinner, "I have always found myself that how the chef prepares the stuffing is the true indication of how grand the meal will be."

Kisha leafs through her book. "That sounds… okay I suppose. Although it impacts my schedule somewhat," she decides. "I had intended on being financially self sufficient before leaving school. Perhaps I can convince my father to open a paypal account on my behalf and go into web design as a stopgap measure." She chews her lip and murmurs something about reason in Russian. "I must admit I didn't envisage you as the type to have a meal with stuffing included Headmistress. Nouveau cuisine seems more fitting with your image."

"Stuffing? I think there was some around here last year…" comments Heather, since she only realized it was Christmas around meal time in the previous year. She shrugs and says, "It was good, I enjoyed it. Do you think they'll have stuffing at Connor's and at Chloe's?" She fiddles with the tape recorder, turning over the tape now and also playing, "I'm not sure what I'm going to do when I'm finished school here."

"I have my grandmother's recipe for stuffing but I'll be making two different kinds one that's for vegetarians." Christopher says as he like the old recipe. "I don't cook the stuffing in the turkey though, I find it sometimes drys out and you can make a better stuffing that isn't cooked that way." Just his opinion though. "I'm sure there will be Heather, if not, there will always be left overs here and you can always ask me to make you something and I'll be happy to. I'll even show you how I make it." He says with a smile as he looks at Kisha. "Do you have any requests for food for Christmas?"

"Everyone's Christmas traditions are a little different, Miss Brown… therein lies the beauty of the holiday. Infinite ways to celebrate. For instance… my family often times was the classical turkey and ham dinner for the holiday, always served on the house silver, and after we would attend a showing of the Nutcracker ballet." though Emma's tone is hardly one of cherished memories, "It might seem a pleasant time, but in our household at the time, all activities were dictated by my father, including how we should attire ourselves. Never ostentatious, and never showing any kind of Holiday spirit."

"Personally I'm happy just eating cold pizza and strong black coffee," Kisha admits awkwardly. "My dad was never a very good cook besides it's practically the traditional diet of a computer geek. But sometimes the neighbors would invite us over to do the twelve dish Christmas Eve supper thing… I can't remember all the bits off hand so don't go to any extra trouble at my expense."

"I'd like to try stuffing both in and out of a turkey, and I will decide which I will prefer." Given that empirical evidence is the only way to decide such thing, and Heather is already into the mad food science scene. She continues 'working' at her tangleyarns, and she speaks to Emma, pointing her tape recorder in the headmistress' direction, "What was your favorite way of celebrating Christmas that you've had in your life, then?"

"My family's was pretty typical I'd like to think." Christopher says. "I'll be going over my parents house with Jeri for Christmas Eve hopefully." Christopher says as he goes over to get himself some cider to enjoy. "I also have to get ready for my Christmas party at the salon but that will be mostly snacks and drinks for the girls." Since there aren't many guys who work at his salon. "Heather, I'll make both kinds of stuffing for you someday you can try both. I actually like to put all the giblets in my stuffing." He admits.

Emma turns and begins walking towards the rest of the mansion, "If you'll excuse me… I have to make a phone from my office and make some arrangements to close out a few things for the year. Oh… and if Rashmi Franklin comes to the door to see me… tell the dear Merry Christmas, and I am not arguing with her about anything." And with that mysterious note, she simply walks out, her heels tapping softly on the floor the entire time.

Kisha glances at Heather, then Christopher and frowns as Emma leaves. "I wonder if the Headmistress received lessons in cryptic conversation during her time as a supervillian?" she wonders. "Do you make the kind of stuffing which is largely meat based or the bread kind? I would assume bread as it's less likely to clash with various dietary requirements?"

Heather muses, "Chloe has told me that I have probably learned some kind of lessons in cryptic conversation. Perhaps through exposure?" Her parents are big fans of cryptic messages and riddles in their supervillainy, and symbolism and riddles within their illusions. "Are there lots of kinds of stuffing?"

"I make bread stuffing, one that is vegetarian and one that has sausage and turkey giblets in it. I just make sure I have some stale bread to use and that the stuffing won't get to soggy." Christopher says as he sips on his cider. "We do also have a list of dietary requirements for the students and I do my best to have things that will accommodate them." He shrugs and doesn't comment about the cryptic conversation topic. "It varies on who makes it actually Heather. A lot of people have different recipes and put different things in it. I think it depends on personal preference."

"I may try and ensure I've got a break in my work schedules for the meal," Kisha decides, tucking a bookmark between the pages of her battered paperback. "Although it depends entirely upon how involved I get in my latest invention idea. One of the things I thought I might make is a coffee machine that produces industrial volumes of good espresso in a very short time." She turns her computer screen around to show off the design on the off chance anyone is interested. "Are students who stay at the mansion expected to get each other gifts? I'm unsure if I have the time to make things for everyone if even a tenth of the student body remains…."

As always, Heather is interested in Kisha's projects even if she does not necessarily understand them. It just seems like a worthwhile thing to keep track of, since she so frequently wants to try and convince Kisha to collaborate with her. "I was told that there is no gifting expectations. I did not receive gifts from any students last year, so I doubt there is a need."

A smile is given to Heather from Christopher as he shakes his head. "No, there are no gift expectations. I always bake a tin of cookies for all the students here and give them a little something but I don't expect any gifts from the students in return." He can afford to do that since working at the school isn't his only job and he runs a fairly successful salon. "Well we'd love it if you came down for dinner, even if it was to get a plate to bring back to your room upstairs."

Kisha nods. "I shall try my best," she assures. "But now that I think about it… This design could be vastly improved if instead of making coffee I used the principles of a vaporizer and directly inhaled the caffeine fumes! Which could be a major breakthrough in the delivery of early morning caffeine."

"Couldn't that burn your lungs?" offers Heather, blinking a few times, though she finishes looking over the current designs of the device. "You'd have to find a way to prevent it from being superheated and yet still vapor that can be absorbed as an inhalant." She doesn't discourage the idea behind it, only offering her design notes. To Christopher, "You mentioned you work in a salon. Which one? Maybe next time Chloe drags me out we can go there."

"Well you could inhale it and then also it would seep through your pours..I don't know, but I just like having my cup of coffee in my hand." Christopher syas as he's a coffee in the morning guy. "It's called David's Salon and I offer free hair cuts and hair dying to any students that come to Xavier's. Let me know when I'll take you and Chloe there after hours for some fun."

"Ohh," says Heather in reply to Kisha's explanation, since she really knows nothing about how illegal drugs are absorbed. She shrugs, and says, "I guess that could work, then. I do not know the mechanics of the matter." She touches her own hair lightly. It's far more organized and less tangled since she went with Chloe to get the makeover, but she notes, "I wasn't allowed to cut my hair in the White Prison. They knocked me out and chopped it off when it got too long."

Christopher looks at Kisha and a pained look cuts across his face. "No..you do not want to cut your hair with a sharp knife or just some regular scissors. That could cause so much damange to your hair…okay you're coming with me to my Salon sometime so I can get rid of all of those horrrid split ends." He looks at Heather and doesn't like the idea of her being knocked out to get her hair done. "A lot of woman find goign to get their hair cut or done a very relaxing experience if done right."

"Why bother? I've set my hair on fire close to a half dozen times since I became a mutant," Kisha points out solemnly. "And I'm sure that does far more damage than a good sharp knife would. Besides I hardly need to have styled hair to do science! It's like bringing a unicycle along for mountain climbing. Sure it might be amusing in the short term but over time it's a lot of unnecessary effort. If you'd like me to mail you the project notes so far Heather I'd be happy to, there are a few electrical engineering tricks you might find useful for work on your communications device."

Heather nods her head quickly at Kisha and says, "If you could mark off anything that I should pay particular attention to, that would be useful for me, but if you'd rather not that's fine for me. I have plenty of time either way, and it might be interesting to try and puzzle out what's most applicable." She glances towards Christopher and nods, "I fell asleep when I went with Chloe after awhile, but that's because it took long and I sleep hard."

Christopher winces a again, fire, that's even worse for your hair. "Kisha…you have a thing with machines…you telling what you are is akin if I was to tell you that I regularly beat computers and such with a baseball bat to make them work better." Hair is just his thing, he has a passion for his job. "And it's not about doing your hair but taking some pride in your appearance." He then finishes his cider. "Well I have to go now, the invitation is open to both of you to come to my salon anytime. Which is where I'm heading now to start my shift there. Ciao Ladies!" He says as he heads out of the rec room.

Kisha drafts a quick mail with some of her safer, more practical and less lethal new ideas in. Along with some exam style questions to direct Heathers investigation and hopefully find out if she can tell which of them she had already ruled out as not actually working. "If the computer in question was running Windows ME I wouldn't blame you in the slightest," she says with a smile. "I like to think I'm above petty concerns like that. Or else I'd cover up my arms more often. They're hardly pretty to look at after all." She pauses and then adds "Heather perhaps you should try make a superspeed compatible keyboard?"

"I still type too slowly to make it necessary, but sometimes the keyboard doesn't register my keystrokes," says Heather, contemplatively. She shrugs and then notes, "I'll try to figure something out based on what I've seen in the past, but I'll probably need to ask you lots of questions." She puts her fingers through her hair lightly and notes, "I have to become more well-versed through experience."

"By all means. Someone once said that the best way to learn is to teach someone else," Kisha replies, tucking her book under her arm. "So by helping you I'm also helping myself. One way you might be able to manage it could be to run two keyboards through the same cable, typing a key on each alternately. It's not a very elegant solution but each keyboard would have time to register the keystrokes and then it would just be a simple matter of merging the two into a single set of inputs for the machine."

Heather considers that for a moment and says, "Is it possible to engineer a keyboard that has two or three sensors for each key, but one or two of them are disabled at any one time, and activated sensors switch over at every keystroke? I still struggle figuring out what's physically possible and not in this setting." For her, it's a game, but implementing the thought experiment is always the hard part.

Kisha nods. "Possible but then why not just make one sensor which is three times as responsive," she points out cheerfully. "It would use up less space and give you the same effect. You would also just have to focus on a single mechanism instead of making smaller sensors which still worked, sensors to monitor them and a switchover mechanism." Adjusting the carry strap on her computer she waves. "But anyway I better get back to my room, I have a series of programs running on my main machine which are due to finish. Drop in or message me if you need anything."

Heather nods and says, "I will e-mail you if anything comes up." She raises her hand in farewell to Kisha and gets back to her knitting project.

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