2010-04-11: Excelsior -- Fresh Meat!!


Connor_icon.jpg Mike_icon.jpg

Summary: Connor meets his strangest squad-mate. (And that's saying something.)

Date: April 11, 2010

Excelsior — Fresh Meat!!

Rating: G

Xavier Mansion - Recreation 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.

One of the many big screens in the rec room has been taken up by one person playing a copy of Mass Effect 2, the individual playing said game sitting not in a chair, but on the floor, with his back to the foot of the chair. While the game continues on, the person sits up a bit, a head full of brown hair that has a tint of read coming into view as an unfamiliar voice starts saying, "Cmon… C'mon… go down… go down…. ARGH!" The group on the screen dying, and the young man almost slams his controller down, "Okay seriously… LAAAME."

Pausing at the door, Mike Drakos peers inside, and asks, "Mass Effect 2, the Sequel?"
He moves a couch into position and sits down to watch… Apparently a normal enough kid, except for that slightly mechanical sounding auto-tune voice. Oh, and he looks suspiciously like that kid from THAT movie, the one who isn't a glittervampie. It wouldn't be so bad if he was wearing a shirt, but he's just wearing board shorts and carrying a gym bag.

Connor looks up and upside down towards the newcomer in the room, and then back at the screen, before saying, "Yup… I had my profiles and stuff on a memory card with me… so I could keep playing. The game library here is great… they've got everything." But then he stops and stands up, putting the controller to one side, and holding out his hand with a slight smile the young man says, "Oh… I'm Connor. Connor Blake. Excelsiors… and you?"

Mike grins, "You're the fresh meat! Cool! Uh, I mean, welcome, I heard we had a new member! I'm Mike Drakos, also Excelsiors. My sucktastick codename is 'Meck' with a K because with an h someone already had it, for no good reason."
He reaches out a hand to offer a handshake, that grin becoming slightly disturbing, not insane, just "I know something you don't know."

Connor arches a brow at the smile, and then replies to it, "Meck… with a K. Well… I've seen names spelled worse." Giving as firm a grip and shake as he can before he then chuckles a bit, "Yeah… new meat… just came over the weekend… settling in and everything… just got my uniform for the classes fitted and everything. I'm going by Chase as a codename… cause it was the only thing I could think to put on the application…" Shrugging a bit as he arches his brow and waits… but then adds, "If you're gonna warn me about that James guy… it's too late. Like three other students and a teacher already gave it to me."

Of course Mike's handshake is a bit … not anything like really what it looks like… the hand is metal and has rubber treads. "So we have a Chase and a Cloud AKA Rush, a Quinn AKA Catalyst, a Richard who hasn't quite picked a codename but he's really a super guy, and a Chezlie (pronounced like Lezlie) with no codename but lots of cool tattoos."
He waits to see if Connor will freak out about the hands not being flesh and blood. James is only one of the practical jokers here, but Mike's jokes are usually less creepy. Slightly.
NB — Quinn's codename is spelled differently than that but Mike intentionally pronounces it wrong.

Connor looks down at the hand, looks up at you, looks down at the hand again, and then asks with a bit of a puzzled expression, "What's up with your hand… if I could ask?" Tilting it back and forth before he moves back, "Feels like I was holding a remote controlled car or somethin…"

Mike grins, "That's cause I actually am a car. Or a motorcycle. Depending on which I like better at any given moment. This is just a disguise image that the school gave me. Cool power, huh?"
He turns OFF the image inducer and is replaced by a slightly more stylized, automobile-styled android-looking fellow with metalflake white paint and red pinstripes along the lines of articulation for his body; his hair looks like it's formed out of automobile rubber. Still wearing the shorts though. His face, however, is fixed in a pleasant expression, eyes blink but the mouth doesn't move much, the expression is molded in place.
"So are you on a multiplayer hack or soloing? I usually play this custom racing game with my friend Jerry back home but he's out on a date on a Sunday night, can you believe it?"

Connor takes a couple steps back from you when you change your appearance, "WHOA…" As startled as anyone might be the first time seeing this kind of thing. Almost falling on his backside, he stops himself several steps away from you, and takes a couple more calming breaths before holding up a hand to stop you for a moment, "Right… I… wow… I did not expect that…" When he finally settles, the new student grins a bit, "Lemme guess… you were waiting from word one to do that right? Cool trick… how's it done?"
Looking back at the restart screen, he answers to the question, "It's single player… I'm crap for racing games, actually… all over the field."

Mike laughs for the trick finally working, and the sound comes off a bit strange with the autotune voice.
"Yeah, I apologize, I was hoping I'd surprise you. I'm the guy they should have warned you about who ISN'T James. Anyway I have this machine that makes a sort of hologram around me, they gave it to me so I could pass for human. And I really did look like that, mostly. My nose was bigger when I was human."
He sits back on the couch, eyes glowing faintly yellow. "I'm lousy at this kind of game, but I've always been good with driving games, it's like second nature. So, which character did you bring over?"

Connor flicks his eyes back to the screen for a moment, and then back to the form before him, his eyes seeming a much more intense color of blue-green than they were before, almost as if slightly aglow… but the affect is slowly fading away once more, "Male Sheperd of my own design… romanced Liara, got Kaiden killed… It was a long time ago… so I'll see if it really does all they way with the save game carryover." But then he moves to turn off the game machine, "So you can be a car or a motorcycle? So.. what… that mean on weekends we can bum a ride if you're heading into town?"

Mike shakes his head. "Nah, this is my body now. It doesn't change, it's just a car-slash-robot thing. I merge with vehicles. I can upgrade them when I do. I ended up like this when I totaled a truck that I was merged into. Not my finest hour, but at least I didn't die, huh?"
He ponders the 'bumming a ride' thing. "The really pathetic part of giving rides is that I'm 15, I can't get a license yet. Can't even get a learner's permit until July."
He shrugs, and considers the alternate trick … "But yeah, if you want a ride into town, I can do that. It's a little weird looking but I can do it. So do you have a car or bike you've wanted to try out? Lamborgini Testarossa, New Beetle, Dacia? Though I get sick when I turn a perfectly good car into a Dacia."

Connor grins and shakes his head, and then pats his wallet, "I actually HAVE a driver's license… turned seventeen this year." Nodding a couple more times he listens to the other guy, and then finally says, "Well… if you could do a Nissan Skyline GTR… that'd rock… but seriously… I dunno if I could drive from the right-hand side." Though his head tilts a bit before he adds, "You don't look younger than me… heh… I feel so out of place here… like I was the last kid picked for baseball or something."

"Nissan Skyline GTR. Sure. Though, one thing. Are your powers psionic? Cause that would complicate things a little."
Only a little. First ride's free. Just say no to Mike. Er… well maybe not that bad any more, he's been learning.
"Really? Hey, my power started to manifest when I was 13. I was eating metal … never did figure out why, but I craved the stuff. Tinfoil, copper, penny nails. But I heard of a guy who had his power break thru when he was 20."
Mike's a bit disappointed by the game being shut down, but talking is distracting, and nobody wants to have to save game over and over. And it's not like it shows on his face or anything; he has the poker face from hell.

Connor shakes his head, and then rubs the back of his neck, "I've really started to dislike answering this question… mainly because I don't get it… but… here goes again." Taking a breath as he looks down and away for several moments as he seems lost in thought, "I manipulate a field of energy that's supposed to exist between dimensions… or something… but… one of the things it lets me do is teleport… line of sight mostly… at least for now." He looks up after a few more moments, "I'm a writer, not a physicist… I don't get all the heavy math stuff."

Mike perks up a bit at the dimensional thing. "COOL! I kinda do something similar, but it's really specialized, I can't teleport. Mine's at nearly but not quite 90 degrees offset from three-space, most of my mechanical parts are there because I'd be huge and ungainly if they weren't. And it'd be hard for my engine to move all my parts in a reasonable way."
Apparently Mike's not bothered by the heavy math. But then again, computer for a brain, though he hasn't mentioned. Which occurs to him.
"Actually I kinda don't have trouble with math any more. Comes from having my mind being a process running on a supercomputer. Which is not all kibbles and bits, no matter what Cory Doctorow tries to tell you."

Connor exhales through his nose as he hmms to himself, and then arches a brow as he takes it all in, "That's not all I can do… a computer for a brain? So you're like the reverse of an Artificial Intelligence or something? I mean… you're basically a regular person… just with all these extras, right?" Finally he flops down in the chair he was sitting against before, reaching down to pull the controller out from under his backside, and then settles it on the arm of the chair, "I met Cloud, by the way… nice guy… a little jock… but that's all cool. But no one else, until you."

"Yeah, I'm a self-download," Mike jokes. "The stupidest part is that this whole body was based on a fantasy design I came up with starting when I was ten. I kept tweaking it. Added stuff. But it was totally stupid, unrealistic… you know I can't talk without this voicebox in my collar? How ridiculous is that?"
He nods about Cloud. "Guy reminds me of my friend Jerry, but Jerry's not so, uh, howdoIsaydumbjockwithoutsayingit single-focused as Cloud."
He makes a sighing noise, but it isn't reflected at all in his body language, without the image inducer to do the heavy lifting.
"So what else do you do? The way you said that sounds like a quote from Reed Richards or Hank Pym. Not Hank McCoy, he's our team leader, he would use more syllables. If he can find a way to say 'hi' with twenty syllables he'd be a happy Beast."

Connor actually laughs a bit, as he replies, "Dude, I LOVE the way Doctor McCoy talks… it's like listening to a book, unabridged. A really good book too." But he drops it somewhat while you mention the voicebox, "Sorry about that then… I'm sure it's not your fault… but at least you've adapted to it, right? The voicebox… I mean. So you can't change back fully? Wish I could do something to help you, but my talents lie in the literary, and not how all of this…" Motioning around to the mansion in general, "Works…"
At the end of it, he does add however, "Actually… I met Mister Fantastic… he actually discovered my abilities after they'd manifested… and did the initial examination… and then called Doctor McCoy to come have a conversation with me."

Mike is so hyperactive at this afterword that his usual automotive calm is flustered and his engine actually revs audibly in excitement, and he sits forward, eyes lighting up like headlights.
"Mr. Fantastic? Really? AWESOME! He's my secret nerd hero, I mean, Forge is cool but he's so, I dunno, distracted, and Dr. McCoy is all about the biochemistry, but Mr. Fantastic… You know he invented the stuff that your uniform is made out of? And the FantastiCar. You would not believe how much I want to try on the FantastiCar… I bet it would take a month to figure out how it works!"
The enthusiasm is very 15-year-old. Then he remembers…. "Oh. Uh. Dr. McCoy made my voicebox, but he didn't design it. Magneto did. I was out one on the grounds one night running, and he 'saw' me thinking about a motorcycle design, apparently it shows up when I do that.
Anyway he made a voicebox so I could answer his questions, and Dr. McCoy made one that I could power myself."

Connor smirks a bit longer, "Okay… Mister Fantastic is all business… but he's still a nice guy when he tries. None of the rest of the Fantastic Four was there, but still. Watching him work was a little freaky at first, but once you got used to it, it was interesting to behold. But anyways… he showed me this thing called the Negative Zone, and told me how it related to my powers… and then warned me about some things that live out there, and might become a little interested in me." Stopping after a moment and looking down and away once more. Looking back again, he then says, "Wait… you said Magneto. I thought he was just a myth or something… I mean, the name's one everyone's heard… but still…"

Mike shakes his head. "I thought he was real but it never impacted on me until he picked me up like an interesting bug and started SCANNING me."
His voice carries a bit of offended outrage, but that's just for the discourtesy. The scan itself was actually kind of informative.
"The thing is, a couple weeks back he was mightily cranky about something and he vented his spleen across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. I didn't have ANY emp shielding, because what twelve year old thinks of that? So I was in the bushes for three days and then in medbay for ten until they could figure out how to replace my busted parts. And I did design EMP shielding which I'm using even now."

Connor huhs softly, and then stands up, and moves to stretch, rolling his neck back and forth before he settles back to looking at you, "Wow… not QUITE what I was considering when I was told that things got interesting around here. I talked with a girl named Chloe… she apparently is living everything faster than the rest of us… so she has problems just having a normal conversation." His smile returns a bit, "This place is like the ultimate special education school… it's forced so that the teachers need to pay attention to our special needs, and help us learn to control and develop ourselves. I don't just teleport. I can also create a field around me that makes stuff pass through me… so I can evade being hurt… and… when I've got my power up, I bring my hands together, it creates a boom. It all started about six months ago when I started losing time when I was sleeping… and woke up in other places."

"Weird," Mike says. "And I totally agree about the school. So I suppose they ruled out DIS for you right away, huh? Since it's powers, not personality switching. OK, the boom — is it an earth-shattering boom, or just a loud noise? I wonder why it does that. Doesn't do it if you bring your feet together?"
He pauses to think about Chloe. "That girl," he says in a tsk-tsk tone. "… I saved her life, so I owe her, but she's a total airhead for someone who should have plenty of time to contemplate the world, y'know? There's another girl, Heather, who has the same thing but can't slow herself down. She acts like we're all just figments of her imagination, too. I wonder if superspeeders just naturally have a built-in tendency to be flakey."

Connor shakes his head once more, "Actually… after talking with Chloe? She's seems like that because she can't focus on the conversation… I mean literally. For every word we say, whole seconds can pass for her. The amount of patience it takes must be almost painful for her." Frowning softly to himself, and then looks at both his hands, "I have to channel the stuff I access into my hands, or have my field up… then I have to bring them close… I can keep it from going off somewhat, but eventually… BOOM. Mister Fantastic showed me something…" And he holds his hands one over the other, fingers pointing forwards, almost like a Hadoken, "If I do it like this… it fires it forwards. Last time I did it, I put a hole in a wall."

"Why 'Chase' then? Kamehameha already taken?"
Mike's not grinning (robot face) but it is DEFINITELY in his voice.
He shrugs about Chloe. "I can speed up my speech for her, and play back her normal speech at my speed, but it's kinda exhausting to talk that fast. Playback is no biggie, of course."
He ponders for a minute. "OK, can you _feel_ stuff with your power active? Like, I have this extra sense of perception around me. Not big unless I"m in a vehicle."

Connor shakes his head, and then looks at the door, "Here… I'll show you…" And taking a couple steps back to give himself some space and then looks at you, "I can't feel anything… I might be able to… maybe… if someone can show me what to look for… I really don't know. Doctor McCoy wanted to help me with that… but here…" And suddenly his eyes become bright blue-green, powerfully intense as suddenly he's gone, and reality seems to suck into the spot he was standing, then wavering a moment after… almost like an afterimage of him collapsing in on itself. From behind you his voice comes, "I figured all the other names someone who can do I what can were probably taken… or worse… copyrighted. No sense in getting sued just because something sounds cool."

Mike startles, a momentarily ungainly robot. "THAT felt weird. It pulled. It's not the same direction I use though. I'm sure of it."
He adds, "Keep the field up, I'm gonna try something."
And Mike starts putting together the image of the Tron bike design that he's been working on. It's eminently cooler than the studio design because the driver can step off the bike, and as long as he keeps one hand on the "stick" he gets to remain part hard-light, part human, part robot. It's not unlike Mike's normal form, actually, but it's all done in fields of magnetic energy and psionic potential putting together little sparks, a lattice that doesn't QUITE complete yet. Some of the parts are complicated. Like the power supply.
After he's done, Mike asks, "Do I seem any different to you?"
Physically and visually he's unchanged of course.

Connor looks at you for several moments, tilting his head… his body seeming to glimmer with the faintest of blue-green energy around him, his eyes such an intense shade of aquamarine they would almost be like the eyes of someone from a cartoon. Shaking his head, the new student says, "No… I don't feel anything…" His left hand coming up to rub the back of his neck, passing close to where you are mentally constructing the design… and then yanks back as if he was shocked! Shaking his hand a few times, you instead feel something like a surge of positive charged energy running the lattice of the 'frame' of the vehicle's EM spectrum.
Connor drops his field away, and checks his hand, blinking at it, "Ow… what was that… felt like I got smacked my hand after sleeping on it."

The field starts to spark into ghost-light visibility around Mike as well, a faint tracery of actual matter trying to manifest before he does something odd and forces it back down into the vacuum flux. "OH bleep. OK, no more testing that until Dr. McCoy can monitor it. That was my imaginary self. Also, stings a bit."

Connor continues to rub at his hand, and looks down at it, "A bit?" Shaking his hand once more, "This is why they say no unmonitored use, I think… I don't want to know what happened if I tried the other hand… or both…" The eyes continue to waver as his power remains somewhat present, emotion keeping him subtly charged to do something just in case. Finally, he moves back around and settles in the couch chair he was using, "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you or anything, did I?"

Mike shakes his head. "Diags say I am undamaged. I was just surprised — I can't use my power to change my body, but if I could that one wouldn't be my top choice for going around in public."
He sits back in his own couch-spot. "Are you ok too? It looked like you took an electric shock."

Connor looks at his hand once more, and then squeezes and flexes it a few more times, before settling it back down, "I am… it's nothing. It's just a new feeling, that's all. So… I guess this means until I learn what that means, we shouldn't try anything like that again… not that it wasn't cool. I haven't really had a chance to do anything like that. Too busy doing all the school primer stuff, and waiting for when I'm supposed to try out this Danger Room thing."

"Danger Room. You'll love the Danger Room. Imagine a Star Trek holodeck but designed by a sadistic gym teacher who wants to make you use your powers RIGHT. All of them. Thinking, seeing, planning, listening, not just the mutant bit."
Mike would be a DR junkie if it weren't so hard for it to make a vehicle that WORKS for him.

Connor chuckles back, "I've been told different things, by different people. I suppose I'll just have to wait and experience it myself. I got a uniform… but I couldn't STAND the thing they wanted to put me into. But someone told me there was ways to change it… so I did. It's still kinda ugly, but not AS ugly." Grinning now as he nods a couple more times at you, "So I was right.. they DO want us to learn to work inside and outside of a team… preparing us…"

An oblique reference. "Yeah. Preparing us for surviving, because frankly people out there, not all of them goober haids like the Friends of Humanity, who are right up there with the Moral Majority in being from Hyperbole-boria, some of the guys out there seem to think Mutant means 'something to mess with' as though a few stray genes are a license to molest. Some of them are named Magneto, some are named Reverend Shay, some are just nameless jerks."
Not at all bitter, Mike. Well, actually, there's no trace of bitterness in his tone. It's either filtered out by the autotune effect, or he's figured out how to not feel anything emotionally over "you're considered suitable prey by malicious and evil people."

Connor shrugs once, "During the Roman Empire, to be Jewish was to be considered less than human because they willingly handled money transactions… the Romany who sprung from Egypt forever ostracized and called thieves and kidnappers… the African slaves made american in service to their masters in founding this nation… or the Chinese on the west coast… the Japanese… homosexuals… people who didn't want to fight in a war…" Motioning with his hands with each one, "People will always find a reason to hate easily enough. It's those who look for a reason to love that are worthwhile."
Connor frowns a bit out one side of his mouth, "It's easy to hate… so easy that it becomes hard to understand where it comes from."

"My own views on that are annoyingly known to several people here," Mike says, "despite the fact that I have never attempted to proselytize or evangelize. So I'll just warn you ahead of time that both of my parents are priests, and I'm not the 'wild and rotten' variety of PK, and let you draw conclusions or ask questions as you wish."
For a fifteen-year-old, Mike's rather intensely observant, and people often enough fail to hide their disdain, which is more botherful than it seems sometimes.

Connor shrugs once more as he leans back in his chair, "Hey… who am I to judge? I don't have the right to… I don't know you, I don't know where you're from… or what you've been through. Too many people assume just because they think something different, it's better. And it's not. It's simply different. I mean… these abilities of ours can be dangerous… and we could turn into the same kind of people who tear up city blocks or make spectacular shows on the news… but without knowing the truth behind the person… it all just turns into cliches being played out, and you might as well be watching television." Leaning back forwards once more, to look at your eyes, "So seriously… don't expect me to judge… unless I think you REALLY deserve it."

"Well, so far, Excelsior seems to be the team of Sane Reasonable People. I dunno how Rashmi stands it on Paragons. I mean, Tara is totally cute and amazing, but seriously, Lucas and James between them seem convinced to form their own Brotherhood of Evil Self-Centered Jerkwads, and Zack is in the running for the same thing."
Welcome to the Xavier Institute Home Game: Trash the Other Squad. It's usually done jokingly. Mike is TRYING to make sure it's known that he's joking, but he might not be completely successful.

Connor laughs a bit, "So… wait wait wait… I'm with the Academics here?" Nodding once more, before he adds, "You're making the Paragons out to be like the jocks at any high school you're at. Well… if we have to be put into cliques, may as well be with people we can stand… and who's Rashmi? Name sounds Hindi."

Mike nods semi-eagerly. "My virtual Big Sis. Rashmi Franklin. Her folks came to America to get opportunity for their kids, and she's like a combination of Hermione Granger and the Parvati twins — gorgeous in a theoretical way. Her family is Thomasin Catholics, the church started by St. Thomas in India that still survives. Not huge, but it's still there. Anyway, her power is teke spheres," and Mike makes a volleyball-size shape inside his fingers, "And they fly around in orbit, usually around her, and they hit like a small car. So her codename is Summoner but everyone calls her Bowler Girl."

Connor whistles once, "Yeah… ummm… the Hindi people in Washington exploded just after the tech boom… they'd come over on the contract allowances for corporations, and their kids would go to school here…" A slight bitterness in his tone, fading slightly, "It makes it hard to get into some classes in school, because they push so much harder than the rest of us to succeed, to get the best grades. It's maddening sometimes… one one side you want to be mad, but the other, you can't help but feel a little humbled that they're working for the 'dream' too." Sighing once as he looks down, "Trust me, I'm not racist… or classist… but I'm not perfect."

"Yeah… My Mom works for the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, she's the canon to the Ordinary there."
Not explaining that term, irrelevant, so Mike just goes on with the reason why. "She had to counsel a few people who were dealing with that … My Papa is an inactive Orthodox priest, so they would talk on the phone about the problem sometimes and I'd overhear… I guess there were a lot of hard feelings."

Connor splays his fingers wide, "I think my mom would kick my butt if I swore, or hated someone just because of parentage, religion, or sexual preferences… she doesn't even like the term race. She's not rabid… more like… she hates the idea that we're anything different. But she's also never held down a full job her whole life, and spends most of it balancing weird side-jobs and being a full-time mom." He sighs once more, and then chuckles at you, "But yeah… I heard enough people complain… especially with all the Hindi people being hired by companies here and overseas simply because it's less expensive. And worse… Hindi people of a Pakistani background get mistaken for their middle eastern cousins and get called terrorist without any explanation."

"Yeah," Mike says, "It's kind of a hard thing. Papa would get into the financial part of it, then they'd go into the Global Justice thing, and it just got weird. It's impossible, really, to justify anything done for business reasons alone using any kind of honest reading of the Jewish and Christian scriptures, and the Koran doesn't really address it that well. But it's hard to say "right or wrong" about either side of that outsourcing thing, without trying to decide which people are more important, the ones here or the ones there. But all that aside, I kinda like being different, it means we don't have to be all the same, y'know? Like that specific set of Cali Kids who all dress the same, talk the same, only like the same bands, it's like they take their clone pills every morning."

Connor replies softly, "And here we are… the ultimate odd men out." Flicking his eyes up towards you once more, he then looks over his shoulder towards the hallways and then towards the outside, "See… what people don't get is that normalcy is a total lie. Think about it. If everything was normal, nothing would be different… and yet everything is different. Therefore different -IS- normal. Weird, huh? Those kids you're talking about? Those ones who are desperate to be like someone… they're the ones who are truly different… because they refuse to admit to their individuality."

Mike says, "Yes!" then continues in a distinctly robotic voice, which sounds like about twenty different voices at once, "We are all different. Buzzclick." Quoting some cartoon or cheesy Afternoon Special probably. And most likely, sampled from there, since it's not his usual voice speaking.

Connor laughs a bit more and then stands up, and actually begins stretching, moving in the type of fashion of one who hates to sit still for long, though he keeps his attention focused on you, "It's a weird circular logic… when you think about it. To be honest… I'm glad I'm here… because I'm…" He stops and then considers, before he says, "Back in high school, I didn't fit in anywhere, because I COULD fit in anywhere… it wouldn't matter. I had a little bit of everything… but at the same time? They could easily just forget me. But here I am… and suddenly…" Trailing off as he works a full-body stretch, bending to touch the floor.

"Suddenly you have a unique quality all your own. Yeah. I wish mine was less unique sometimes," Mike says seriously. "I like being a car-slash-motorcycle but I also love greek food. And greek food would literally kill me." It jams the fuel injectors something fierce.

Connor looks at you thoughtfully, and then after a moment, "What… okay, bear with me… what if a telepath eats greek food while they're inside your head? Sharing all their sensations with you? I mean…" He pauses a moment, "It wouldn't be exactly the same thing, but then… someone else might not enjoy spanakopita like you did… or like their souvlaki spiced the same way."
Connor gives another grin, "Personally… I prefer dolmatas, and hummus with garlic on flatbread."

"I missed out on Easter Food this year," MIke confesses. "Baklava. I would have a half pan to myself. After three dolmas I was usually done, but what I really liked was Mama's attempted Gyros. They never had the right shape but the texture was perfect and the spices. So. Good."

Connor moves over to you and pats you on the shoulder, not minding the metallic and cool frame, "Sorry I brought that up… personally? I don't have a type of food I love all that much over others… if that makes sense. Especially since there's always so many different types out there. Make you a promise though… if you want… you can feel free to talk to me about whatever you want… even if I don't get it… and I'll try not to bring up the sensitive stuff… allright?"

"Oh, thanks, it's nice to talk to someone who gets it, though."
Mike's voice goes quieter, as he looks at the ceiling. Lovely weather we're having there, ceiling. In lieu of conversing with the tiles, Mike says in a confidences-shared tone, "I can't taste food properly in this body. I used to be able to make cupcakes and baklava and about twenty other things but now, they tend to be really… bland, or wrong, because I can't taste them. I took cooking from Mr. Parker-Mayfair - Christopher, not Dr. Parker-Mayfair who is Jericho. Mom thought she was signing me up for full-on home-ec, but instead, world class cuisine. I was able to avoid poisoning people or making truly horrid blunders. Usually. I still think the Aztec Cupcakes should have been just fine, but people acted like I put in a tablespoon of pepper flake per cupcake rather than a quarter teaspoon."

Connor lets the hand fall away, and then finally he sits back down, but on the floor, and not on the couch, folding his legs under him in a semi-lotus position, "When I was eight… I started seeing a psychotherapist… we had a creative writing lesson, and the teacher was grading all our papers… and for some reason, what I wrote freaked my teacher out hardcore. A PTA meeting later, and I was seeing a guy who thought I was mentally disturbed and possibly sociopathic. All because I write about the things that come to my mind. It was because of the therapist I learned about HP Lovecraft… and that I wasn't turning goth, or crazy." Another sigh, and those same tiles are considered by him, "I write horror… and most of the people who read half-expect me to be some closet satan worshipper, or suicide waiting to happen."

Mike sort-of-leans into the hand when it's there; not too hard, but definitely a positive-feedback sort of movement. As though people here didn't touch each other or something.
"I was told that I was too car-crazy. Imagine that. Ah, well. That pinging sound you don't hear is my alarm telling me that I have to back up my brain … I'll see you tomorrow. Or Tuesday anyway… our group meets Tuesday afternoons."
The robot-kid stands, "Good to meet you. I think you'll like it here, honestly. Hope so anyway." He grabs his gym bag and heads towards the dorms, and his room.

Connor watches you as you depart, and says with a smile, "Hey… with someone like you around, I think liking it will be easy… or at least if I'll hate it, I'll have good company! Catch you on Tuesday Mike… Meck. I'll try and avoid wearing the uniform until then." Laughing a bit as he turns the game system back on and goes to reload his game, "Girls that move fast, guys that are literally into cars… John Hughes would love this place…"

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