2010-12-12: Private Concert


Rashmi_icon.jpg Mason_icon.jpgXorn_icon.jpg

Summary: Rashmi learns that Mason's a mutant. Xorn and Rashmi listen to Mason's new songs.

Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010. 8:30pm

Log Title: Private Concert

Rating: PG

Note: Featuring lyrics from Captial Lights — Out of Control and House of Heroes — So Far Away

Xavier Mansion - Gymnasium

This big room with wooden floors is build with powered students in mind; the entire room is power proof. Blast the walls all you like, they are not breaking. The gym can either be one large room and it also has dividers to make it two smaller gyms. This large Gym has basketball nets, equipment to set up equipment badminton, volleyball, hockey, soccer, gymnastics, fencing, and everyone's favorite, dodge ball.

Late evening, and now that her normal suite of chores have been completed, Rashmi has decided that the rest of her volunteer day at Xavier's is best spent keeping up on her self-defense training. Thus it is, that she's dressed in her Barnes 'superhero' getup, scarlet-edged brown sari over a lightly armored black bodysuit, slowly working through a series of Tai Chi katas, spheres slowly revolving in lazy orbit around her midsection, tilting one way or another in line with her movements.

It's wet outside. Not snowing, but cold and damp. All the same, while he should be studying, Mason has had all the studying he can handle. He must've read for a good fifteen minutes today, and that's about his limit. raindrops are visible on his gray hoody. He comes into the gym with a guitar in a soft case over his shoulder, and a bag full of stones in the other hand. He peels back the hoody on his blond hair as he enters, instinctively shaking his head to make sure that his hair falls as it ought. There is a clatter as the bag of stones fall to the ground, though he discards the guitar in a more careful manner. He's come in from the opposite end, behind Rashmi, and for that reason, he can't see her face. "Hi there," he calls out across the gym, not recognizing that he actually knows who he is talking to.

Rashmi blinks as the voice rings out across the gym, her slow, not-quite-but-mostly graceful movements not pausing. "Hello the — wait, Mason?!" *Now* she stumbles, a foot placed wrong for a moment, but the redhead manages to recover before she falls. "How did — okay no, wait, you go to *school* here, right?" Things are beginning to fall into place behind the redhead's eyes, but her face remains a study in befuddled amazement.

Mason has a suddenly freezes in place as he sees Rashmi's face. He looks like he just got caught with a dark secret. "Uh…" he looks a little lost for words. "Rashmi? I thought you lived in the city!" His discovery makes him a little uncomfortable. He doesn't answer her question, but Xavier's logo on his hoody might answer it for her. His face turns bright red with embarrassment, but he stands perfectly still.

Rashmi slowly moves her forward foot back and turns, standing as comfortably as one may when dressed like the sort of superhero one might see at a bank robbery… only without a mask to hide her identity. "Ummm… I volunteer here on Sundays. Kitchen chores, cleaning the Chapel, that kind of thing… I didn't say *where* because the school's supposed to be secret, y'know…?"

"Yeah…" Mason says with a lopsided smile creeping on to his face. "I guess you wouldn't." He shakes his head and gives the girl a once over. "So… I guess I owe you an explanation," he suggests. While he didn't directly deny being a mutant to anyone, he certainly led everyone to believe that he was a regular teen. He folds his arms in front of himself, holding his elbows and slightly drooping his head forward.

Rashmi lifts a shoulder in a casual half-shrug, tucking a lock of hair behind her ear. "Not really. I mean, who you tell is your business, not mine. And anyway it's not like I was much more than some random girl you saw in a bar that talked to you once, right? Besides, you've got a music career, don't you? Trust me, I've been interning for a defense attorney for powered people; they have a *lot* of things they have to deal with, all on their own."

The musician smiles, and takes the opportunity not to defend himself. "Yeah, glad to see somebody gets that," he answers. "Thanks for sticking up for me in that bar," he adds. "I really can't afford to have my status getting out. Not yet." He pulls one of the rocks from the bag. "Telekinesis with bowling balls, huh?" he asks. "That's pretty sweet."

The rock he holds is little smaller than a baseball. After smelling it for a moment, he throws it straight up in the air. It travels faster than would be normal for a person to throw anything straight up in the air, but he makes a fist, and it freezes in place. He pulls back down, and it plummets back to the ground again. "So, this is kinda my thing," he says.

Rashmi nods slowly, watching the rock shoot upward, freeze, and drop. "Rock control, huh? Well… Definitely good luck with your music, but I'm pretty sure I know you could have some thing to fall back on if you wanted. And no, it's *not* bowling balls," she says, wrinkling her nose with a smirk. "They're just bubbles, like the shields that one lady with the Fantastic Four does. Only they're too small to do anything but hit people, so. And don't worry about the bar; barely anybody actually *deserves* to be on that twit's 'list, and I dearly hope he learns to have an original thought someday soon."

"Oh, okay," he answers. "Yeah, he's as bad as the Friends of Humanity jerks," he adds. "He'd probably be one if he wasn't a mutant." As the rock meets his hand, he tries to catch it, but instead, it explodes against his palm into sall bits, only slightly larger than grains of sand. "Oops," he laughs, "That wasn't supposed to happen." He brings the pieces of rock stuck to his hand up to his face, but then stops. It almost looked like he was going to lick his hand, but he doesn't. The boy quickly brushes the crumbs away on his pant leg.
"I'm not sure what you mean about having something to fall back on," he says. "I don't exactly have a lot of skills other than music and dancing. I guess dancing is kinda like music as well." He snaps his fingers. "Oh!" A look of excitement crosses his face. "You inspired me for a song the other day," he announces, walking over to his guitar case.

Rashmi blinks at this. "…Wait… I what?" Well, *now* her attention is captured, and she fiddles with the bracelet clasping her scarlet-and-brown sari to her armored bodysuit, a faint flush on her cheeks. "I… wow… um… thanks?"

Mason, wearing his school hoody and sweats, opens the soft guitar case, and pulls an acoustic guitar out. "Yeah," he says. "When I met you last week I was writing a different song that will now never see the light of day, thanks to you." He gives a look that says 'I'm not telling you what it was, either'. He strums once, and adjusts the machine heads, making certain that he's in tune.

"I, um…" What *does* one say to that? Rashmi, clearly, has no idea, and just settles for "um… I'm sorry?" As the guitar is pulled out, the redhead settles herself down on the floor of the gym, spheres rising above her head to describe a lazy, intricate spirograph pattern.

A voice fills the room that is familiar to Mason, but most likely not to Rashmi, "What trouble are you getting into now, Mason?" The person who owns the voice arrives a second later. Xorn, dressed in Buddhist white robes with a red sash emblazoned with the X insignia hovers into the room. His non existent face covered with a metallic mask containing his energies within. He spots Rashmi and bows upon seeing her, "Hello."

The blond boy laughs. "Don't be," he says. "It wasn't very uplifting. I was pretty down about the attack when I wrote it." He perches the guitar on one knee as he crouches on the floor. He begins to finger pick the intro, "Hey Xorn," he answers. His face is moderate, but he doesn't look quite as excited as he was a moment previously. For the moment, he continues to pluck through the intro, and cycles it around again, not singing the lyrics yet, given Xorn's entry.

Rashmi blinks, looking up as Xorn's voice is heard, head turning toward the door and bobbing in greeting. "Um… hello, sir…" Her attention returns to Mason, head tilting to one side. "Still… wouldn't how you felt about that be just as valid a song even if you feel better about it, now? I mean, who *says* music has to be uplifting all the time, right?"

Xorn introduces himself formally to Rashmi, "Hello. I am Shen Xorn." Turning to Mason upon hearing the little bit of their conversation, "You wrote a song about the concert in Mutant Town?" The masked mutant hovers a moment before sitting in the floor in a meditative stance and then rising a few feet into the air still in that stance, "Please sing it. I would love to hear it." Xorn stares at Mason as if examining the youth.

Mason pauses the song, "This is Rashmi…" he doesn't know Rashmi's last name. "This is my squad leader," he offers a simple gesture. "I guess," he agrees reluctantly. He pulls the shoulder strap across his back, and then stands up. The music starts again. "Never really finished it," he says. The first tune had been a determined and forcused sound. This one, however, is very different. It starts hard and fast, and Mason knits his brow as he strums hard. No precise finger picking like in the other song.

~Wellll situated from the beginning but I'm ending appauled, live to telllll overrated short stories of the world that I loved
Once upon a time fairy tales took hold. Manipulating when the readers threw the writers a bone…I'm changing on my own.

I think I'm out of control! I think I'm out of control! A pretty boy state of mind only got me alone
Heyyyy, said the lady with a bittersweet look in her eye. "What a beautiful dayyyyy," she pretended as her voice disappeared in a cry
I'll write you out of the story like you knew that I would. Living happy ever after never happens for good
You're only getting what you want, 'cause you mess with my mind

I think I'm out of control! I think I'm out of control! A pretty boy state of mind only got me alone!
Now I fancy falling apart before I'm falling in love.
Well Freedom never let me down before. It never let me down before. You never gave me a chance to learn!
I guess I've figured it out, yeah now I've figure it out!
I know I'm out of control, I'll never be under control.~

His tone is angry and frustrated through the whole song, but he finishes it. It sounds like there's a few parts that he didn't fully write, and improved through the gaps, but there it is.

"…Franklin," Rashmi supplies, nodding again to Xorn. The music, however, grabs her attention fully, the spheres above her head shifting to revolve in three dimensions, instead of two; for Rashmi, it's a way to occupy the tracks of thought that would be cluttering her headspace, and turn the largest part of her attention toward Mason's performance. There's a long, long moment of silence, once the song trails off, and she nods slowly. "Yeah… you really *should* finish that, Mason… I think it would help, a lot, to make that an actual thing."

The song is heard and digested by the masked mutant and though his mask allows him to show no facial expression. Xorn hovers there silently and then claps after Rashmi's comment. "Mason, that was beautiful. I can tell from the song that you really felt angry during the situation at the concert and it comes through, amazingly in the song. I agree with Ms. Franklin. You should finish that song." Xorn's head is nodding as his voice speaks.

Mason shrugs. "I dunno," he says. "Maybe. Not my usual MO, anyway. Maybe I'll save it for my transition album. I don't really feel like finishing it. A friend of mine thinks that way about everything. She thinks the world hates her and so she just tries to close everything out. I don't wanna live like that. Rashmi here helped me to snap back out of it," he tells Xorn, though he isn't looking in his direction. Mason's eyes seem rather drawn to Rashmi's floating orbs above her head, like a kid staring at a science fair display.

"I'm very sorry to hear that," Rashmi says quietly. "But I'm sure she'll come around, in her own time. We all come to this school pretty broken… I only know of a very few who leave it without finding a way to put themselves back together again, you know?" She shifts on the floor, head tilting as she pulls her braid over her shoulder. "So um… what's the other one, then?"

"This friend of yours has much to develop and learn regarding her place in the world." But as Rashmi has said. She will come around in her own time. As you know, Mason, my time before coming to Xavier's was. *pause* not pleasant." Xorn looks down, "But with time and meditation, I have 'come around' In fact I am smiling right now though no one, not even I can see it." Xorn offers before nodding to Rashmi, "Yes, an encore, please, Mason."

~We gotta hold on to hope. In this heartless world we gotta hold on to hope. We gotta let it go or it will eat us alive, we gotta let it go.
Do you know me? Do you trust me? Can you find me?
~What if I told you we were so far away? What if I told you would you go with me anyway? What if I told you we were so far, so far awaaaay!
You gotta tell me the truth. If they take that too, then we got nothing to lose. You gotta let me through. I can make a way if you will light the fuse.
I know you see me, I know you feed me, if you believe me, then I can be me!
//What if I told you we were so far away? What if I told you would you go with me anyway? What if I told you we were so far, so far awaaaay!

Now I tell you we are so far away! Now I tell you will you come with me anyway? Now I tell you that we're so far, so far awaaaay!~

The song's last chord doesn't feel like a close. It hangs as if there's more to come, an intentional lack of closing to mark the pace of the song. It builds throughout, but when it reaches the climax, it leaves a tormenting unfulfillment to match the sense that what is being sought is still a long way off. He stops playing, and simply waits for reactions. It's the first time he's played this song for anyone other than Quill, who got to hear it a little in the making.

As the guitar is silenced, Rashmi merely sits on the gym floor, quiet, thick braid pulled over her shoulder to be held in both hands. After a long moment of silence, she clears her throat, smiling gently. "You know… I've never gotten to hear a song being written before… And I think I'm *really* looking forward to hearing that on a real album. You've got a gift, Mason… the kind of gift that *proves* mutants aren't much different from regular people, because they can have it too."

Xorn applauds as the song is down, "Yes, Mason. I concur. If these two performances are even just a hint of your musical talents, then the world truly is a better place for having your music in it and we are blessed that you share it with us and it." Xorn turns to Rashmi and notes what she said about his gift proving mutants are much different from regular people and looks down said that the world will not know that music was made by a mutant.

Mason gives a sheepish nod. "Well, at least until people find out I'm a mutant and throw things at me," he says with a laugh. While he doesn't betray it, such is a real fear for him. "Until that time, though, I'll keep singing. I usually opt for piano, but both of those are for guitar. I should turn them over to Mr. Gilpatrick and see what he can do with them. He plays a wicked guitar, I could never hope to play like he does." The strap is pulled over his head, and he places the guitar back in it's case, though the case is left open for the moment.
"I don't think the world will be as nearly good for my music as it will for Rashmi and her super political strategy to earn us all respect. I'm going to start a campaign for people to vote for you for president now, that way you can have a big enough following when you turn twenty-one." Nevermind that you have to be thirty-five to run for president. He doesn't know that.

Rashmi snorts. "And then fourteen years after, when I can actually *run* for President, I'll appreciate that," she says, chuckling quietly. "Twenty-one? I won't even be finished with school yet, and want at *least* five years of actual law practice before I seriously think about politics. But, y'know…? If I were you… I'd seriously think about writing all kinds of songs relating to your school here… And put the album out to coincide with you coming out as a mutant. Really give people a taste of what it's like, you know?"

Xorn ponders if Mason would ever really come out as a mutant. His conversation with the teen earlier and knowing what happened to Dazzler make him think the teen won't ever. Even worse, Xorn ponders if he is strong enough to handle the responsibility. Xorn dispels those thoughts and turns to Rashmi, "Forgive me, Rashmi. I have only recently returned to the X-Men and my last stint with them was very short. Are you a student here?"

The blood that drains from Mason's face at the thought answers Xorn's pondering. "Yeah," he forces out. "In fourteen years or so." Or longer. "That's a good question, Rashmi, how did you end up volunteering at a secret school?" Did you go here before? Or you have an inside loop with Ms. Frost? I gotta say, she reminds me of my mom." He smirks to himself at the thought, and pulls another rock from the bag of stones on the ground.

"I didn't say it had to be anytime soon," Rashmi demurs, gently, before tilting her head at Xorn's question. "I graduated in June, actually… I just volunteer my Sundays to help out here, since most of my friends still go to the school, and anyway this place *really* helped me a lot, despite all the craziness. It's like… when I found out I was a mutant, I was just *terrified.* Maybe someone would find out, maybe someone would link me to the mugger that um… was around when I found out about the powers thing… maybe a whole bunch of things, none of them good, right? So I go here… and there's just *hundreds* of kids like me, some of them have really *serious* problems, you know? And I just… found my hope again. I'll never be able to thank Xavier's enough, if only just for that alone, you know?"

Upon hearing that Xorn would smile if he could. "That is the sentiment I sense from most of the students here. While my youth was spent in total isolation in a prison camp. I feel had I had similar backgrounds to the students here. I too would have found the Institute to be the same." He tilts his head towards Mason, "I can say however, that we teachers feel the same way and learn just as much about the world through our students as they do from us."

Mason sniffs the stone in his hand. It's almost like he's smelling a rose, but he tries to be discrete, only doing so when he thinks that the focus is on one of the other two. "So why do you wear the mask?" he asks Xorn. "I mean, you don't have to hide your face from the people here." He apparently wasn't paying close attention during his first Danger Room session. He was busy trading insults with a generated construct.

Rashmi tilts her head, eyes moving to Xorn as the question is asked. "Well," she says slowly, "I really doubt you're hiding your face, sir… I'm pretty sure it's more like Lucas, or Mr. Summers, where you need whatever that mask is to keep you from being really seriously destructive, right?"

Xorn nods his head as Rashmi pretty much answers his question, "I have no head. What was once a face with hair eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc. was blown off when my powers first manifested. I am literally a blackhole." He looks down and begins to unlatch part of the mask. "I can control it for some moments." Removing the face mask, it drops into his hands and all that can be seen in place of his head is a circle of pure blackness. A small tug can be felt by Rashmi and Mason as the blackhole flickers a bit before he places the mask back on, "You know how people say they need something like a hole in the head. Well, I know what that feels like." He jokes.

Mason stares. His eyes are wide, and he has absolutely no idea how he should respond to such a display. His mouth drops open, and he looks back at Rashmi. "I think I like my powers a lot better now," he says to her aside.
One of the spheres dips, nudging Mason's shoulder in much the same way her elbow would, were she closer to the boy. "*Mason,*" she hisses, "be nice." Clearing her throat, she looks back to Xorn, fingers toying with the end of her braid. "So… you don't breathe, or eat, or anything…? How do you see?"

"Light is absorbed into the black hole and thus I can perceive it and what is basically 'seen'" Xorn had never really given thought to how it is he was actually able to see, let alone live with his ability, "Overall, my very existence is due to a higher power. For whatever past transgressions, I have committed, it is just another obstacle on my road to enlightment."

Mason is rather solid, but he responds to the nudge. "What?" he asks, indicating back at Xorn. "Have you ever seen anything like that?" The teenage icon thought he was starting to get used to the strange sights, but that's pretty impressive. He tugs at the base of his hoody, "You mean like God or something?" he asks Xorn. Mason hasn't a very established theology himself of any sort.

Rashmi throws another brief quelling look Mason's way, but remains silent. "That's… wow. That *is* a miracle, honestly, and I'm glad you *did* survive it, sir. I'd really, *really* like to talk more," she says, pushing herself to her feet, "but it's getting late, and I have to bus to the City to work tomorrow…"

"I'm Buddhist and have very strong beliefs when it comes to faith. It is what got me through all those years in isolation." When Rashmi announces she is leaving, Xorn rises and lands on the ground, "It was nice meeting you, Rashmi. Meeting you and seeing a product of Xavier's schooling is a reason why I serve here as an X-Man and a teacher." He bows and then extends his hand to shakes hers.

"Rashmi, it was really great to see you again. I'll look forward to seeing you next Sunday," he tells her. "I should probably get to studying for tests tomorrow." Though, if he hasn't gotten the knowledge by now, he's in for some serious trouble with exams.

Rashmi bobs her head, reaching out to give Xorn's hand a brisk shake, and a smile thrown Mason's way. "You probably *should* have started on Friday, since either you won't know the material or you'll be too much of a wreck to take the test… But anyway, good night." With a final nod, she turns to head toward the showers, hand working at the bracelet that keeps one end of her sari affixed to her wrist.

Waving goodbye to Rashmi, Xorn moves to exit the gym, "Again nice meeting you and I look forward to speaking with you again." Turning to Mason, "As Alpha Squadron leader, I will be obtaining all your test scores. I reward students who excel. And quite the opposite to those that do not." Xorn waves to Mason before exiting the gym.

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