2011-04-04: Resolve And Determination


Emma_icon.jpg SophieD_icon.jpg

Summary: Sophie goes to Emma's office, and asks her for some teaching.

Log Title: Resolve And Determination

Rating: G

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.//


Even with how late at night it is, Emma's lights cast their warming presence down and out into the campus lawns, a fire actually ablaze in the room and putting a fluctuating softness to the entire marble chamber. While tapping away at her computer, the tingling of a mental presence outside is enough that before it reaches or passes her door, she taps a command that causes the door to unlock and open, and says in her usual prim Bostonian accent, "Come in, if that is your wish." As with most nights, the remains of most of a club sandwich and an empty glass of wine sit to one side on a silver tray.

As the door opens, the soft tapping of a cane becomes evident in teh hallway outside, closely followed by the appearance of Sophie in the doorway. She pauses just inside, and bobs her head. "Thank you, Headmistress," she replies pleasantly. The Spanish girl walks forwards, probing her way with her cane, until she has reached the center of the room; more or less, anyway. "May I… ask you for some advice? After the riot the other day, I have been thinking a lot, about what happened to me, and to others."

Without looking up, Emma adds, "Six steps to your left, then around in a half-circle and you'll find yourself a seat, Miss DeCosta. Please… give me a moment to finish this and we may discuss at length." While her own typing cannot be heard save for the patter-tap of her nails on marble, the light-interface computer takes the information down, your lack of sight ensuring that whatever she is working on you cannot truly make out. Once it's completed there's a hiss in the air while the device shuts down, and some physical files are then shuffled in front of her, a pen beginning to scratch and tap, "Please… do not mind my busy work. The school does not run itself, and I am an expert multitasker."

Sophie follows the given directions perfectly, though she pauses to examine the chair with her hands before sitting in it. "Thank you," she murmurs, as she telescropes her cane into itself and lays the shortened version across her lap. "I would imagine you must be a good mutli-tasker, if I may say so. Any school would be complicated, and most do not contend with an entire student population capable of various forms of destruction on a grand scale, si?" The blind girl smiles; and even her surface thoughts manage to be calm and serene, should Emma examine them. "I come because…" She pauses, and takes a deep breath. "Because during the riot, I was dragged off and mistreated, and was too afraid to do anything about it. Counting the time a little while earlier when Professor Lensherr rescued me from bullies, that is now twice I have been the victim." She shifts in her seat, and a soft blush creeps over her cheeks, visible beneath her blindfold. "I… I would like to be better able to defend myself," she murmurs.'"

The last actually brings a bit of a chuckle from the woman as she continues to write down something, occasionally glancing up, and watching the more expressive body language of the girl, "That is not something I am the best for… you see, I cheat. With exception of the best of fighters, who work purely from muscle memory, most people have a moment of consideration before attacking, or preplan their maneuvers. I just pick up on that and use it to my advantage. Your counselor would be the best to look to for self-defense. Most, if not all those who guide the students here directly are skilled in self-defense. But this much I -can- tell you." There's a swirl, scratch, and dot as she ends something, before putting the pen away, "Being a victim is not a state of being, it is a state of mind. So long as you allow people to make you a victim, you will continue to be one."

Sophie perks an eyebrow upwards, as she pays close attention to Emma's words. "I do not think the use of your powers is cheating, if I may say so Headmistress," she observes. "Any more than it would be cheating if I fired a blast of energy into someone attacking me, when they could not respond in kind. We play with the toys that God has given us." She clasps her hands over her lap, and nods her head. "You are very wise, though. You are right about my state of mind. Still… state of mind will only get me so far, si? If I have not some skill to back up my state of mind, I will only end up being in the same position." She pauses, and fiddles with the cane in her lap. "Senora Rashmi said that I might try talking Professor Logan, though she didn't reccomend him to start."

"You misjudge the power of determination then, young Miss DeCosta.", Emma replies as she comes around from behind her desk to lean over where the seal is on front, "Determination will often times far outstrip skill in most cases. Determination defeated me more times than I care to count. Even from one with whom I thought I had firmly cowed." The smile is left unseen, "Understand… before I became the Headmistress here, I was a teacher at another school, and before that I was what could be best called a professional villian. Any of the senior staff or even students can tell you I have done things that many would consider unforgivable. But I did it all with singular determination… a will and a want that let me overcome family, overcome a male-dominated business world, and overcame even my own seeming lack of morals to become who and what I am now."

Sophie chuckles softly, and shakes her head. "Again, you are quite correct, headmistress," she murmurs. "And were it not for determination, I am sure I would still be wimpering in hte dark like a lost soul, as I was several years ago when suddenly I could no longer see." She tilts her head up, to face in Emma's general direction, though she doesn't get it quite perfect. "It is certainly not my place to judge; and I do not think that I have any reason to fear you, si? But if I may ask… how did you start down such a path? It sounds like a long road to have walked."

"I was born to power, " Are her first words, followed by, "Then when my brother took to everything short of satanism, he decided to place the family burden on me. I refused. He had ignored me, belittled me, and had me committed when my abilities manifested… and I was not going to take anything from him, nor from anyone like that. If I was going to be something, it would be of my own merit. So I joined the Hellfire Club… and from there I began walking a path where all that mattered was power, people were pawns, and at the end of the day the only real way of keeping score was who got away at the end of the day." Emma's smile cannot be seen, nor the look towards the fire, "Power for it's own sake is a hollow thing. It does nothing more but crave more of itself, and must be fed like a drug, or else you wither in it's hunger. Power with purpose is another beast all together, and it becomes as much companion as master for some."

"This, I have understood for some time," Sophie murmurs. "The actions of certain men in the last century or two of European history well enough prove what you say. I am glad that you have found a way to turn your path to a place where you can be content, si?" The blind girl smiles softly, sitting up a little straighter in her seat. "I have never sought power. I never asked for it; I would have been perfectly happy to spend my life as a perfectly ordinary blind girl, living in Spain by the sea. But I am not bitter that such is not my lot; I must simply learn other things." She pauses, and taps her fingertip on the armrest of the chair. "But I will not be a victim again."

A moment of silence is carried with the crackling of the fireplace, and the pop of a log that showers a few sparks into the air and against the glass panelling before Emma finally says, "Then you have already made the first step. Now… ability to back determination… I am always willing to applaud that. Check with your counselor and see if they can begin lessons. If not, then I know a few others that can recommend individuals who can help. We have a vast network of friends who will be willing to help, and an even further reach where money is involved." Once more her arms are crossed, and she moves past, her perfume carrying her pace and then the return as she places a cooled glass of water into the girl's hand, "Your condition might make it harder for some to teach you, however… that can also be looked into. This is an age or marvels, after all."

The glass of water is accepted with a nod. "Thank you," she murmurs, before putting the glass to her lips for a quick swallow. "But… Headmistress, I have never thought of my blindness as a condition, and it has been a long time since I have thought of it as a disability. It is simply something that… that is. There are many things I must do differently, si; if I am to play my flute, I must memorize a piece of music before I even begin to play it. But as I advised Cloud, when I suggested he wear a blindfold for a week… when you lose something you don't necessarily discover what you cannot do, but what you truely *can* do." She shrugs her shoulders lightly. "If my eyes can be restored it would be a fine thing… but if they cannot, I shall not let it hinder me."

Once more silence, but there's a grin that can be almost felt as much as seen by anyone else, "And that right there is the strength of character that you need, Miss DeCosta. That and a little knowledge and skill, and you will go far. Take that glass for instance." Emma adds softly towards the end, before continuing, "That isn't just a glass of water. That's water you can throw in someone's eyes to distract them, or break the glass on the side of the table to have an edged weapon. Thrown at someone you can cause harm or otherwise. It is as much awareness as anything else. Even your walking cane… it is flexible and resilient… a good whipping surface. It all seems treacherous in intent, but it is more about the practical than the fair."

Sophie sips the water once more, and holds it up for consideration after listening to your words. "I saw a bullfight," she murmurs. "Once, when I was a small child and before I lost my eyes. Several of the other children from the orphanage and I snuck away one afternoon to see it. It was a gruesome event, si? None of us could imagine how a man would defeat a bull several times his size and many times his rage. But he did… he tricked it and fooled it, until it was too tired to fight him any longer." The blind girl pats her cane lightly, and holds it up in front of her. "Professor Lensherr made this for me; I am sure it is very strong. …The next time someone intends me harm, I do not think I can expect them to put on a blind fold and fight me fairly. They will use whatever is at their disposal, and so I will, also."

What comes next is a rather short, and almost abrupt question, "Then truly… why did you come to my office? It wasn't really about wanting self-defense… now was it. I'm sure I could pluck it from your mind… but I much prefer to let one think the thoughts as well as speak the words." And Emma moves to the fire, poking at it to raise the warmth of the room.

Sophie perks an eyebrow. "I am sure that you could," she replies. "But I appreciate the courtesy that you do not, Headmistress. I am sure that most other people share a certain… discomfort at having one's mind probed into." She shrugs her shoulders. "Perhaps I needed to hear someone who I know to have been through a great deal to affirm that I can do these things, as well. I know that may sound foolish." The blind girl blushes softly. "Still.. there are two things that you might be able to teach me… if you are willing to. Or if you know another who is; I shall talk to my counselor later in any case, like you have suggested."

Tapping her lips, Emma then replies, "Go ahead and ask what it is you wish, Miss DeCosta. The worst I might do is say no… questions always lead to answers, and answers are something we all need on this rather bumpy road we travel." For a moment she turns and goes back to her sandwich, picking up one wedge and putting it on a teacup plate and brings it over to set on the table, the smell of the meat and mustard, while another wedge is nibbled on politely by her.

Sophie smiles, and with a practiced flick of her wrist extends her cane out to full length. She holds it upright, with the tip resting on the floor beside her chair. "I am told that you fence," she murmurs. "It is a popular sport in Spain; I have seen it several times. I would like to try to learn." She pauses, opening her mouth and then shutting it and pursing her lips into a thin line. "No," she murmurs. "I would like to learn. …The other thing is… I am not sure if it is possible; but can you teach me to… guard my thoughts? The notion of someone else going over my mind or forcing me to think a particular thing is… terrifying, to be perfectly honest. And I am thinking about such things more lately, than I used to."

"Both are well within my ability… however… both would be done at once. In order to help you strengthen your mental defenses, I can teach you… within your mind. As you learn the skill, you will learn as well techniques to parry and riposte mental attacks. I often find that visualization helps a student focus themselves.", And suddenly, Sophie can see MIss Emma Frost… or rather a mental representation of Miss Frost. Dressed in a fencer's uniform, a mask in her right hand, and a foil in the other. The area around that can be SEEN is a fencing salle in an opulent dining room, and Sophie's own hands are gloved, carrying a mask and foil as well, "This is the mind, a realm where one can have both infinite control, and infinite possibility. Where even a blind girl can see."

Sophie takes a moment to walk around, and look around, within the confines of her imagination; or perhaps it is Emma's imagination? "I have never forgotten what it is to see," she replies. She tugs off one glove, and brushes her fingertips over her face, particularly over her eyes where she normally wears a blindfold. "But there is a reason why 'Titanic' is always my favorite movie; it is the last one I saw before losing my sight, and I remember it the best." She turns to face Emma once more, and looks her over before closing her eyes. "Please… one moment." She holds the foil in her right hand, and presses the tip lightly to the floor; she sweeps it in a circle around herself, before looking up and opening her eyes again. "I am sure a master fencer would be horrified to see me treat a sword so," seh admits, "But I imagine a sword can double for a cane in a pinch… which is another reason I wish to learn." She looks around herself, and gazes at the room, holding the sword loosely as she gazes up. "This is a dream, of a sort? I might find it hard to believe, were it not that here I can see."

With a motion of the hand, it changes from the salle to the outside, a tennis court under your feet in fall, with the falling leaves, and the scent of maple sap heavy on the trees, the birds chirping and calling in the middle of the day… even the standing of hairs on end from a rush of the breeze passing over the back of your hand, "I am one of the top telepaths in the world, and one of the few best at mental illusions. I tell people's senses to see other things… right now, I am crafting all of this from bits and pieces in your mind, plucking the strings of truth until it is woven into a tapestry." Walking back and forth for a moment, if you look back down, your fencing foil is now your cane once more, "This is a world where control and imagination are everything… where the power of someone's mind can even be used against them."

Sophie watches as her sword becomes a cane, and the world becomes a tennis court. She holds it as a sword nonetheless, even if she is no longer holding a fencing mask. "And right now," she observes, "You are in control. I remember these places. The dining room.. I visited that place, when I was eight, si? It was in Madrid. and the tennis court, this is in Santa Meringia. It was one of the last places I saw before going blind. I almost kissed a boy here, for the first time; but he was overbearing, and I did not let him." She giggles softly. "He was not happy with that; I was fortunate that the Mother Superior was nearby. But… How do I defend against such a thing? If control and imagination are everything… you are certainly in control. But I am guessing you cannot take my imagination?"

"Of course it is… and that is where we will teach you how to defend yourself. So… was it a grass court, a dirt court, or was it a hard green court, hmmm?" The arched brow from Emma coming with a rich smile that curves her lips better than anything that Kate Winslet could muster. There's something almost too perfect about her. Perfect hair, perfect attire, perfect makeup… it's almost too real, but at the same time just not enough.

"Red," comes Sophie's reply. "It was a hard, red court. A dusky red, like someone had spilled blood into the paint. I remember it so… I do not remember many other places so specifically, but I remember the court." She looks up, and gestures towards one side. "There was a hedge, over there." She points with her cane up towards one of the short ends. "That tree… it was taller, I think. But I cannot quite remember that… it might have been shorter." She looks around, turning in a slow circle, before facing Emma once more. "Do you… 'enhance' your appearance, Headmistress? Or are you truely so perfect?"

Emma shakes her head slightly, "You are not seeing me. You are seeing my astral self. Inside your mind." But then she becomes a raven-haired latino woman in a red silk shirt and long flowing skirt. Then she's suddenly a nun. And then again she's a rather rugged older man with an eyepatch and a pipe, who in a rich baritone says, "I am no perfect that any other person… we are bare our flaws."

Sophie looks down at herself, and glances over her arms and hands. "My scar is gone, from across my eyes," she observes. "There was a scar on my arm too, from a surgery when I was a child; I do not see that here, either." She tilts her head, and watches as Emma transforms herself into various different people. "That is the man who used to sit on the docks and smoke, I am sure of it." She walks forwards, tapping her way with her cane; until she realizes what she is doing, and collapses it. "Can I imagine things here, as well? I do not have your power. But it is my mind, si?"

Emma nods once as the man, and then the image collapses back into the alabaster perfection of the woman, "In time… this was merely a demonstration of what can be achieved. Your imagination is a powerful tool. It can be yours, but it can be used against you by one as adept as myself. But you remembered the court was red. I made it green… so now… it is red again. Little things like this remind you what is real and what is not. This is where your removed sense becomes a powerful weapon… because most rely on sight. People forget we have five other senses that deliver almost as much data. Much to ponder on your road to deterimation, yes?"

Sophie nods her head quickly. "Si," she replies. "I always find it amusing when people shout at me, thinking that because I cannot see, that I must also be hard of hearing. I am not sure why I find it so funny… but I do. Especially when I point out there error, and they get all self conscious; I can practically hear them blushing." She giggles softly. "There is a great deal you can learn about your surroundings, if only you listen to them. Sometimes, if I am alone in a large room I can tell how big it is, by listening to the echo of my voice." The blind girl turns around in a slow circle once more. "If someone were truely trying to fool me… they would have no choice but to draw on my childhood memories. They could not show me Xaviers, or New York… I have never seen them."

~ Fin ~

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