2011-10-09: Fireside Chat

Players: Emma & Tabitha

Emma_icon.jpg Tabitha_icon.jpg

Summary: Tabitha comes to try and make amends for actions taken, but Emma seems to not care so much aobut that reason for her company.

Date: October 9, 2011

Log Title: Fireside Chat

Rating: PG

Xavier Mansion - Emma Frost's Office

Miss Frost's office is not as white as one would expect, however it does present an overall theme in the room. Using a classic den/office style structure from the building, the hardwood floor has been mostly covered from entry to desk with a white carpet that has been decorative bordered in an ivy-pattern, with the center having a delicately done floral arrangement. Two plush white leather chairs sit slightly staggered and angled facing a white marble topped desk of dark-stained oak, the Xavier Academy logo in front emblazoned in a polished steel. Atop the desk is materials for physical writing as well as a dual-monitor computer system that seems keyboardless, instead having a single mouse-like interface device. To the right are a pair of striated white marble book-cases filled from top to bottom, in the center of the pair a marble fireplace that burns sedately despite the time or season.

The left wall has a series of file cabinets sitting next to another computer desk, this one with a standard keyboard and mouse with the academy logo floating sedately on the screen. Next to those is a table where mail seems to be laid out next to a carafe of what is either coffee or tea, and a small pile of cookies, which seems to vary day by day. Behind the carafe is a small containers for sugar, fresh cream, and honey.

Behind the desk is a bank of windows facing northwards, running practically from wall to wall, bordered on both sides by silver-embroidered sheer silk cloth, so even when drawn you can make out details outside, and so long as day is present, line pours in to give the room a sense of warmth. For the times when more light is required, it comes from the vaulted office ceiling from a tasteful-looking light and fan combination. Just behind the desk and on the right side is a second door with a hand-print scanner.

It's getting on in the evening in the Xavier Mansion; but apparently not so late that a visitor cannot be admitted. One of the teachers on staff has been kind enough to escort a rather nervous looking rat girl through the hallways of the large house turned school, all the way to the office of Headmistress Emma Frost. Now, Tabitha stands just outside, after a polite knock on the door. The teacher has left, as well, for the time being; leaving her standing in the hallway, alone, waiting for an answer.

The knock is not allowed to happen… the door opens just as it falls, leaving it ajar for several moments before a voice from inside says, "Don't dawdle… you've come all this way to see me… balking at the last stretch would hardly be becoming, now would it?" Emma asking the question from inside with a mild arch of her brow, pausing to sip at her tea in from of the fireplace while it casts a warm glow in the room.

Tabitha's skin prickles as the door opens, leaving her knuckles brushing through the air where the solid wood had been moments before. After being told to enter, the rat pauses for a moment more, before carefully slipping through the open doorway, and just inside the threshold. Her surface thoughts boil with possible scenarios for how this particular exchange might play out, ranging from full reconciliation to her leaving on a stretcher. "Uhm." The pink insides of her ears flush a deep red. "Hi," she finally blurts out. "I uhm… came to appologize for what happened. …For what happened as a result of my actions, that is."

It's almost a tableau from a magazine, the way she's elegantly draped there in a white silk gown that could only just be called tasteful in the means that it shows as much skin as it covers… only to reveal when she turns that it criss-crosses over her bosom to cover it. Emma has a glass of red wine in her grip, held almost daintly, the light of the fire playing colors across the flute, which lifts to her lips. Once done, she faces you fully, half-lit by the flames, "Child… if every student apologized for every bit of property destroyed… well… it would be a lot more of a polite society." She pauses, getting a slight smirk, "Let me guess… you expected me to be angry and chastise you, yes?"

Tabitha deflates audibly, letting her held breath out in a whoosh. "Yes," she replies. "Yes, I did. I think I almost wanted you to." She pauses, and thrusts her hands deep into her pockets. "I crashed a fuel tanker truck through your gates, blew it up, then assaulted the front doors, and put a pry bar through the abdomen of one of your students. And then later on I came back and tried to do it all again, and tried to kill… well, you I guess, in the process." She sighs once more, and drops her gaze to focus on her feet. "And I honestly feel pretty terrible about the whole lot of it."

"You should, and you do. But then… why come and say anything?" Emma replies as she takes a couple steps forwards, her gown flowing like it had a life of it's own before settling as the sweep of her legs makes it shift like water, "You were not yourself… you were under the influences of a powerful mutant with the ability to cause your mind to believe things not there. Like this…" And instead of standing in a dark, flame-lit office, you are actually standing in a summer meadow, with Emma standing in a gazebo decorated with flowers on vines. Instead of the gown, she is dressed in a flared dress more fit for royalty and high tea, "If this does not suit your mood, I could summon up the fire and brimstone, and something large and snarling to chastise you for your errors."

The rat girl looks up, and her thoughts blank for a brief second as she finally, properly, catches sight of just what Emma Frost is wearing; and then the moment ends, as the setting abruptly changes. She sucks in her breath as her heart turns to ice, and she shakes her head rapidly. "No no no, please don't! Not again… please not again. The office was fine." She hugs her arms about herself, and clenches her eyes shut. "I've… seen enough of alternate mind-realities for a while, please. Just the office."

As it appears, so does it vanish, and with that the woman is dressed once more as she was before, "There you are… and do not think I do this simply out of enjoyment of your reactions…" Emma adds as she approaches, stopping a few feet from you, and then takes another sip from her glass, supporting her wine-arm at the elbow with her off-hand, "You came here looking for something, young lady… so… I would suggest you be about it." Though her words seem slightly cool, her tone is not.

Tabitha gasps a sigh of relief, as the room returns to normal. "Thank you," she whispers. "I don't mean to be… rude or anything. Sorry for panicking." She bites her bottom lip, letting the silence gather about her for a time; and her eyes wander downwards over Emma, before snapping back up to the woman's face. "Uhm, I came to appologize," she reiterates. "But… I also heard that Shane goes to school here. I haven't seen her since… well, since we were both mind controlled. I hear she's not in the school tonight, but I was hoping I might have your permission to come abck and see her sometime, if she's okay with it."

Somehow, she is back in one of the chairs, lounging in it sideways with one leg up, showing off a bit of that model-perfect body as the wine is set to one side. Emma tilts her head in consideration, before saying, "Miss Morgenstern is still a student here… that much I will affirm… but as for her wishing to speak with you… that is none of my business. Since you are a student of the Barnes Academy, you have the ability to come and go as a guest… I do not actually see why you would need my permission. I am neither her mother nor her keeper." Her tone airy, and almost dismissive, but her eyes keep on the younger girl, gaze piercing.

Tabitha is clearly becoming flustered; and one needs not be a telepath to see that. Tabitha's eyes dip to take in the flash of leg, but return just as quickly to Emma's eyes; at leat where she thinks Emma is sitting. Is she sitting there? Her mind tosses about the possibility that she is merely making her think that she's sitting there; or that she was sitting there all the time and just made her think she was standing. Then she realizes that she might've been somewhere else in the office entirely. …Or even that she might not be in the office at all. Do you think that's wine she's drinking right now? And how does she get away with wearing that dress — if indeed she's really wearing it? "Err, well, thank you," she replies, after an audible swallow. "I actually didn't know that. I knew Rashmi could, but I figured that was because she'd been here before."

"Yes… this world is real… this expensive silk number is quite real… and the wine is an ice wine… quite sweet on the palate." Emma replies, still watching those eyes as she moves to stand up, "I cannot prove to you that this world is any more real than anything else you've suffered in your life, child… I cannot give you those assurances. Only you can. Sometimes… it is a good thing to question the world as you see it. It brings to you a better perspective, and an appreciation. One thing I will tell you is that inside any mental construct… look for the details. There will always be small clues. Look at the people, or things written down. Reality is filtered by perception, so a keen mind is the best weapon against such deceptions."

Tabitha blushes heatedly once more. "I, uhh… you read thoughts, too?" Tabitha coughs softly. "I suppose I ought to have realized that, actually, since I copied you. I just didn't realize it was specifically you at the time. I was… busy, and stressed out." She tosses her hair over her shoulders as she looks up, and purses her lips. "So… in that movie, Inception, I don't know if you saw it? But they talked about using some kind of personal… object, to be able to tell if you were awake, or dreaming. Like a top that spins a certain way, or a bishop off a chess board that's uneven on the bottom. Would that work? Or would a decent telepath figure that one out lickity-split and use it against you?"

Talking about a movie that talks about dreams causes the woman to roll her eyes, and mutter, "God save us from Hollywood… if they had their way, I'd be an eighteen something nubile thing known only for her breasts, and not for her iron will." Pushing out of her seat, Emma stands to her full height, and regards you firmly, "The first lesson of mental defense is belief. You must believe what your reality is, enough to make it difficult for a telepath to change how you view the world. You must learn to carry that belief like a shield, then to be constructed like a plate glass wall. So you can perceive what is around you with the surety of your safety. And if someone is to cast stones upon your glass house? Then you must have the belief to be able to rebuild it better."

"Okay, so… no silly little wobbly bishop," Tabitha replies. "Actually, I can think of a at least a couple things out of my… experiences that were pretty glaring inaccuracies. My Dad, first of all, is certainly not able to defeat Iron Man and steal his armor." She pauses, and scratches the back of her head. "It just seemed so utterly… *real* at the time. Totally plausible. It all made sense, I just… never questioned it, I just did what I thought Iron Man and Cheryl were telling me I should."

Emma finishes drinking down her wine, and then sets the flute to the side… before tapping the end of it, and watching the expensive crystal tumble and shatter on the floor, "That was real." Then she motions a hand towards the fire, "That is real…" And she then stops before you, not a foot away, and takes a deep breath, "Assume nothing, question everything… and most of all? Enjoy yourself above all other things."

Tabitha pauses, her breath catching as she's approached; her ears lay back against her head, and she sputters for a moment. "I, uhm. Well, as long as I'm not being made to go off the deep end of the violent pool, I guess I can have fun. I have to admit that borrowing your powers was pretty cool, while I had them. Same with the pyrokinetics, the telekinetic, the teleporter…" The rat girl shrugs her shoulders, and glances off to her side. "Is there anything in here that isn't real?"

Emma actually chuckles a bit, and then replies, "Yes… my breasts." Running a finger down the front of her chest for a moment, but not actually touching herself, "The best that money can buy. The hair? Dyed. I prefer being a blonde…" She then turns and begins walking back towards her desk, "Oh… and the reasons you came. They're not real either." Looking over her shoulder as she continues to step slowly, going over the broken glass, "You wished to have my power back… because you believe it will give you a certain peace of mind. A protection because your confidence has failed you. I am not a crutch, child… I do not support well."

Once again, Tabitha sputters noisily and takes a step back. "What? No! That's not why I came here at all." She crosses her arms in front of her; more protectively than out of annoyance, as there's no trace of that emotion in her thoughts. "I actually hadn't even thought of that, to be honest." She shakes her head slowly. "Besides… if I'd really wanted your powers that badly, I would have copied you by now. Most people don't even realize when I do it, if I don't tell them — though I'm betting you would, since my mind would suddenly be harder to read."

Leaning back on her desk, her hands pressed to the marble of the desktop, Emma replies, "Actually… you'd be easier to read… a telepathic mind without the training to defend itself is even more of an open book than most… it is only the training and the will that gives us the edge in defense." Her head tilts from one side to another, which causes her hair to obscure one eye before adding, "But you still need me to give you something, don't you. Some symbol or words, or something that you will need and believe will assuage what you're feeling."

Tabitha nods her head slowly. "I guess so," she murmurs. "It's not the first time I've messed up in my life, but it is certainly the worst. Even if I didn't really mess up at all; I thought I was fighting to save the world, honestly. And it was a fight that I wanted. I really wanted to fight the bad guys, all that." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "I guess it just helps to know that people aren't as angry at you as you think they are."

"I do not have time to be angry with you, or the incident in question, Tabitha. No one died… it was only property that was damaged, and this school has faced far worse than you and your's." Emma replies, checking her nails with one hand, eyes flicking back every so often, "When you return to your school, Miss Morgenstern's school email address will be made available for you. Any overtures from that point are your business. I do suggest however… to be respectful in your approach to her. That time the pair of you shared was warped under the perceptions of the puppetmaster. The person you know may not be the person that is."

Tabitha nods quickly. "I know," she replies. "I'm well free of my Dad's influences now, I try to be respectful towards everyone, except those who prove they don't deserve it. Like… Heather's parents, for example." She brushes her hands through her hair, letting it all settle about her shoulders as she finishes. "Well… anyway. Thank you for taking the time to see me. I definitely do feel better."

Emma pauses a moment, and then says to the girl, "Look at the glass again."

Upon looking back at it, it will be noted that the glass never broke on the ground, instead it is whole and just resting there… but closer inspection might show that there is no firelight being cast off the crystal.

Tabitha looks as bidden, and an eyebrow rises. "There's no reflection in the glass," she observes. "So either the glass or the firelight isn't real — but you told me the fire is real." She sniffs loudly, and shakes her head once more. "I can still smell the last of the wine, though. Smells more like it's down there." She points at a spot on the floor, beside the desk. "I'm guessing the average telepath wouldn't realize that I have a sense of smell far superior to any human."

Emma simply taps the side of her nose, and replies, "Lesson to take with you, dear girl… humans are primarily sight-based hunters. After sight is hearing… followed by taste, smell, and touch respectively. It is the lesser senses that can be ignored. The movie in question had at least that part right… but the mind is a powerful tool. And the best trick a telepath has in their arsenal is using your own mind to fill in the blanks. So always look for the inconsistencies."

Tabitha scratches the back of her head. "Sounds good," she replies. "That's good advice. I will take that with me." She hooks her thumbs in her pockets, and shifts her weight to rest on one hip. "I don't want to let myself be taken over and dominmated like that again. That's twice I've been led astray by the wrong people, I definitely don't want there to be a third time."

Emma's next words are a bit ominous, "It will happen again, Tabitha. You're a mutant. And if you insist in joining the fight, you will face things you will not be able to understand or fight at times. You can only be prepared, and make the promise to be ready should something happen… instead of not wanting it. In that you will do yourself more good than harm for the long term."

Tabitha's face would drain of color, if it weren't hidden behind her fur; though her nose certaily goes a bit paler, which observant eyes will notice. "Yeah, and it's not like I can pretend I'm not a mutant," she adds, ruefully. "Rashmi said the same thing; and last time I saw Magneto he advised that I put in thousands of hours of practicing my powers. …Which basically means practicing other people's powers, I suppose." She coughs softly. "I won't copy you without permission. But I might pick someone on the way back to Barnes, through mutant town."

Looking to the door, her gaze is slightly pointed now, "Do not ask permission… it is better to apologize than ask… believe me. And Emma then turns and begins walking towards the the far door, "A room in the guest wing has been prepared for you, and a taxi service will be by after breakfast to have you back in time for classes."

Tabitha pauses, and watches Emma make her way towards the far door. She gazes at the departing woman, and an eyebrow raises. Tabitha doesn't say anything else; but just as Emma leaves, she might well sense the rat girl's mind become, as predicted with untrained telepaths, all of a sudden much easier to read.

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