A New Face

Log Info

Title: A New Face
Emitter: None
Characters: Elizabeth, Rioghan
NPCs: Mr. Murphey
Place: Chord Hall; Dining Hall
Time: August 8, 2010
Summary: Elizabeth rearranges furniture, gets a helping hand from her SA, and then they grab some food.

_( Common Area - Chord Hall )_

This is the common area of Chrod Hall. The floor is a neutral beige carpet with a very short pile, and the walls are painted off-white. There are a pair of beige couches with red throw pillows clustered around a large screen TV with DVD player. There is a kitchentte off to the east, opposite the entrance, the floor there tiled in off white. A white board attached to the fridge lets people post notes to each other, usually warnings to keep their hands off other students food. A wooden table with mis-matched kitchen chairs is used for meals and studying. The men's bathroom is to the North, while the women's bathroom is to the south.

Elizabeth has been moving into Chord Hall over the past couple of days, and it has been an… interesting experience. After arriving with a single suitcase and only three changes of rather expensive clothing she apparently launched a shopping marathon. Today has been spent getting things arranged, starting with an 10' x 10' oriental rug. Getting that into a 12' x 12' dorm room resulted in some of her furniture being piled in the common area. Now that the rug is where she wants it, she's working on dragging her furniture back out of the common area and getting it back into place. Having normal strength, it's taking a bit… furniture dollies and a whole lot of stubborn having to be a substitute for powers.

This pile of furniture is just what Rioghan Mac Cionaoith (RYE-awn mac KHEE-nee) returns to. At first, the young man just stands in the doorway, dropping his backpack and suitcase onto the floor with a thud as he surveys the mess of displaced furniture that is the Chord Hall common area. He's dressed like any normal teenager might, a t-shirt bearing a band logo, cargo shorts, a pair of hiking boots. "Now there's a sight to be returnin' to," comes the young man's lilting voice in that unmistakable accent. He steps the rest of the way into the dorm, leaving his own belongings just inside the doorway as he spots Elizabeth. "Did the furniture somehow offend you?"

Elizabeth grins, "No, but the cheap carpetting did. I brought in an oriental rug I liked better, but I had to get the furniture out of the way to get it into place." She eyes the furniture, "I'd honestly rather replace the furniture too… but I'm told I should keep the standard furniture." She sighs as if accepting martyrdom. The oriental rug spread out now is a deep, rich shade of blue, the floral motifs worked in shades of cream, gold, and burgandy. Judging by the richness of the colors and the detail, this is the real thing, not a $100 Walmart special. If Rioghan has the eye to judge such details, that is.

Rioghan moves around towards the open doorway to get a look into Elizabeth's room. He does have the eye for such things and notes the expensive taste with a little upward curving of his lips. "I'd say that's quite the improvement," he offers. And then his hand is extended towards Elizabeth, "Rioghan Mac Cionaoith. You're new here, aye?" It's more of a rhetorical question. He's familiar with all the people who've been on campus for a while, being that he's been here three years himself and is about to start his senior year.

Elizabeth shakes, her grip firm but not aggressive. "Elizabeth Adams… I just arrived here three days ago. I'll be starting as a freshman next week." And that's a bit odd… She looks 14 or 15, it's really hard to say, but carries herself with the poise and confidence of someone older. "I still haven't met a lot of people, so it's good to meet you, Rioghan. The dorm's been mostly empty, with it being between semesters."

Rioghan's grip is firm as well with the callouses of someone who's worked with their hands quite a bit. "A pleasure to meet you then, Elizabeth," the young man says with sincerity of tone. He doesn't make comment on her age or grade. This is Steranko and there are all manner of circumstances that bring students here. Some students aren't even from this world, afterall, so who is he to judge. "Aye. Summers around here are a bit quieter than when the school year proper begins. I just got back from a trip, myself. Chord Hall was mostly full o' Seniors last year and they all graduated, so that explains the quiet here." He looks back towards the furniture with unnaturally blue eyes and nods his head at it. "If you'd like a hand with movin' that lot back into your room, I'd be happy to help."

Elizabeth smiles, "The help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Hopefully it won't take long to get the rest of the furniture into place. I can finish the rest of the decorating later… I've some things on order that will be some weeks in arriving, anyway." She does not shirk off from doing her share of work, even with you helping, somehow not even chipping a perfectly manicured nail. "So what is your particular gift? That seems to be a standard item of small talk around here."

"The gift of gab," Rioghan jokes as he helps to get her dresser into place. During the actual lifting and moving of furniture he doesn't say all that much, which makes the jest all the more obvious. He's a hard worker, though there's no superhuman strength about him, just stubborn determination. He leans back against the dresser once its in place. It's a casual position, but everything about him speaks more of a lounging panther ready to pounce at a moment's notice moreso than a relaxing teenager. "Aye, that's the most asked question around campus. Me? I've a nice long bow and a quiver full of arrows back in my room." That is to say his 'gift' is training hard.

Elizabeth possesses a different kind of look. A kind of situational awareness as if she's always aware of everything around her. Nothing tense about her, just… alert. And perkily cheerful. "Ah, well, I'm a shapeshifter… So if you see someone you don't recognize going into my room, don't worry about it. It's probably me." Her eyes sparkle merrily. "Unfortunately, my clothing doesn't shift with me, so I do end up buying a great deal of clothing. So if the stranger is carrying way too many shopping bags and looks cheerful about it, it's almost definitely me!"

"A shapeshifter, are you?" Rioghan asks, pushing off the dresser with a smile. All that's left out in the common area by this time is Elizabeth's bed. "That's a good thing to know, as I'd not be letting just anyone waltz into your room or anyone else's otherwise. Shame about the clothes though, that must get expensive." He goes around to the headboard side of the bed, since that would be the heavier side. "An' you are rather cheerful. It's like a breath of fresh air straight off the Atlantic, without the salt an' sea spray. I applied for the Student Advisor position. Don' know if I'll get it, or even continue to be in the Hall if I do, but I take that sort of responsibility seriously."

Elizabeth nods, "It's good to take responsibility seriously, and I do… that's part of why I'm here. But yes, I tend to be cheerful. There's no sense in brooding about what can't be changed. And if it can be changed and it makes you unhappy, then change it." She grins, "An overly simplistic view of life, I've been told but it works for me." She pauses, getting serious for the moment. "The other reason I'm here is I tried to be a hero solo… uncovered a villain's plot to blow up New York City, called it in to the authorities, but… I got caught and was nearly killed." And ended up with amnesia. "Hopefully studying here, I'll learn to do better and perhaps meet people who might be interested in teaming up after graduation."

"Sometimes," Rioghan says as he rests his forearms on the headboard and leans forward, "The simplest views of life are the best ones to have. You shouldn't dwell on what you can't change, and instead work towards what you can." Those cerulean eyes of his gleam, "Like finishin' getting all o' this furniture back into your room for instance and then maybe grabbing a bite to eat. Airport food just isn't satisfying." His smile is an easy one, and one that could be contagious. His cheeks dimple, the corners of his eyes crinkle up.

Of course, then the girl is getting serious and dropping that bit of information on him and Rioghan's brows furrow. The smile is gone quickly and replaced with something a bit more somber. "This would be the place for that, aye. They do well with teachin' you teamwork, though those lessons tend to come later on. First and second years get individual power-training lessons, but when you hit your third year here they start zeroing in on team training. I'm sure you'll find some interested parties 'round." It looks like he might say more, but shakes his head and opts not to. He clears his throat and forces the darkness on his features away for that smile again, if not quite so bright as before. The words lilted out are in Irish Gaelic, "Giorraionn beirt bothar. Two shorten the road. Better to go into a battle prepared and with backup than to go in alone, but I'm glad you weren't. Killed that is. Then we couldn't be getting our exercise moving cheap, heavy furniture around, aye?"

Elizabeth laughs, "True enough, that. Though I'm not really sure how much honing my powers can get. I can look like any human I can visualize, and I can mimic existing people down to their fingerprints." She grins impishly, "Though I try not to do that… I could get in so much trouble walking around looking like someone else on campus. Can you imagine getting mistaken for someone else's girlfriend." She pauses, "Or boyfriend, for that matter, I can shift male, even though I'm more comfortable as a female. Who knows, maybe they'll have me in hand to hand lessons or something like that. I can worry about that when classes start." Checking that the last of the furniture is in place. "For now… you mentioned food? The dining hall works for me… the food there is honestly better than cafeteria food has any right to be."

Rioghan's eyebrows climb at this bit of information, though he resists any mischievious smirks that other students might get over the possibilities involved there. Having a bit of fun is one thing, doing something that might cause trouble intentionally, however is not quite in his repetoire. "Better to not be doing that," he says, nodding. "Hand to hand combat's useful, but aye, time enough until classes start." The young man nods, "I did indeed mention food. And it's so good because rumor is that Ma Frankel's a neohuman herself, somethin' to do with culinary ability." He slips out of Elizabeth's room and moves over to pick up his things. Even just walking he has a dangerous sort of edge to his movements. Definitely someone who's been trained in combat to an observant eye. "Just let me stow away my gear and we can go see what's on the menu for the day."

Elizabeth grins, "Sounds like a plan. You go ahead, I'll wait for you." She watches Rioghan going, nodding thoughtfully to herself at how he moves. It's a give away to someone who knows what to look for, and that bothers her. She thinks on that while he's in his room, pondering why exactly that bothers her. It's not that he's trained it… it's that he gives that information away. And she feels strongly that she must be careful not to make that mistake… why she feels that way, who was she to feel this way… those are questions that she pushes to the back of her mind for now. She grins at Rioghan as he returns, "Well, if it is her power, then Ma Frankel is using it for a noble cause… keeping hungry young heroes fed! Ready to go?"

_( Siegel Dining Hall - The Quad - Steranko Institute )___

Siegel Dining Hall is less a cafeteria than a mini food court. Starting from the entrance and moving left around the edge of the room there is a salad bar, a soup station, a grill, a sandwich station, and a more traditional cafeteria line. Finally, right before the checkout, are the desserts and soft serve ice cream machine. Small digital signs at each station list the names of each item, and if one watches closely you might catch the signs changing languages, or flashing allergy warnings as they detect the proximity of certain students. No cash is needed in the dining hall, rather students swipe their ids at check out, and purchases are counted against their meal plan.
The center of the hall is where people sit to eat. The room is broken up by tall planters in areas of five or six tables, the tables ranging in size from tiny tables that sit just two people to larger ones that might sit a dozen.

Rioghan exits back out of his room, locking his door behind him. "The noblest of causes," he says, nodding. "Aye, let's go, m'lady Elizabeth." He leads the way from the dorms, across campus, and to the Dining Hall. He's a proper gentleman too apparently, holding the door into the Dining hall open for the new student. "I've realized in being here that a number of American women actually don't want doors held for them," he says even as he holds the door for her, "but, where I come from it's a sign of respect. Much as you should hold a door for an elder." He takes in a breath, checking the scents on the air of the Dining Hall and his smile widens. It beats the hell out of what he's been eating for the last month. Camp food. "In any case, I hope you don't take offense at my gesture and if you do, I assure that in the future I won't do it again."

Elizabeth smiles, "And I take it as a sign of respect, and no it doesn't give offense. Not at all." She smiles warmly, "I try to take people as they are, Rioghan. If you enjoy old fashioned courtesy, then by all mean. And I'll enjoy it too, which will double our pleasure." She looks around the dining hall with interest. "Let's see what looks interesting, shall we?" She gets a tray and winds her way through the lines. She ends up with chicken and dumplings, peas, and a small side salad… and, after a moment's internal debate, a slice of chocolate cake. She decides to have iced tea, rather than the more popular soda, then uses her student id at the checkout line. Amusingly enough, where the photo would be is printed a single word: Varies. She waits for Rioghan at the end of the checkout line so they can find a table together. "So where did you spend your break? You'd obviously just gotten back…"

The young man gives a pleased sort of smile at this, inclining his head. He moves along with Elizabeth through the lines to see what fare is being offered today. His selection consists of a piece of Salmon, and some baked concoction that doesn't necessarily look the most appetizing: mashed potato with cabbage, onions and kale topped with herb goat's cheese. A chunk of fresh baked bread is added along with a fruit cup and a glass of ice water. He fishes his own ID card out and hands it over with a nod to the cashier. After they've both paid for their food, he spots out a small table and heads that way. "Oileáin Árann," he answers, sitting down, "Ah, the Aran Islands. Inishmore to be precise."

Elizabeth smiles, "I don't believe I've ever been in that part of the world, did you have a good time?" She sips her tea as she nibbles away at her meal. That Rioghan's meal doesn't look like something she'd necessarily enjoy doesn't bother her. After all, no one is asking her to eat it! "And if I'm being too nosy, please feel free to change the subject." Her eyes sparkle impishly, "Maybe that's what they need to give me classes in to go with my powers. How to make small talk as different people."

"I grew up near there," Rioghan says. It's close enough to the truth. He did grow up near there. Kind of. What he doesn't answer is whether he had a good time there. "You're not bein' too nosy. It's beautiful country. You'll never see grass greener, though I've heard there are parts of the States that come close." He lowers his head, closing his eyes for just a moment and murmurs a few words quietly in Gaelic that sound prayer-like. Opening his eyes he begins to eat, washing down a few bites with some of his water.

Elizabeth nods, and smiles. "Americas a beautiful country… more varied and more beautiful than any other on earth, I think. Hopefully you'll get the chance to travel and see more of it after you graduate." Her eyes crinkle with impish good humor, "Then again, I might be a tiny bit biased in her favor. But just a little."

"Tis possible, but I've got some responsibilities that I'll have to attend to after graduation," Rioghan says after another bite of food. "I've seen pictures and movies, though, and have to agree that there is a considerable amount of variety to your country. A bit of national pride is good, so bias understood. We Irish are known to be proud of our homeland too. Maybe you'll get to travel there some day."

Elizabeth nods, "I wouldn't want you to avoid your responsibilities. Still, maybe you can travel some before then… during holiday weekends or field trips or something." She continues to nibble away at her meal, washing it down with the occasional sip of tea. "So, any advice for the new student? Teachers or other students to watch out for?" She chuckles, "I've already been warned about some guy named Jerry."

"Holiday weekends and field trips, aye, that could work. Would you be volunteering as a tour guide?" Conversation is taken between bites of food and a few nods to other students that enter the Dining Hall for their own meals. "Jerry would've been the one warning I would have given you. No respect for women, much less 'imself. I avoid him," Rioghan says, "I've never had a problem with any of the teachers here, but some complain that Coach Mason is a bit on the harsh side."

Elizabeth nods thoughtfully, "Well… He's training us to fight villains who won't hesitate to hurt us however they can. Most have no compunctions against torture or killing." A shadow seems to pass behind her eyes at that. "So if he's any good, he has to be harsh. Otherwise… Well, going easy on us might get us killed… or worse. Better to risk being thought harsh or mean, than to get the news some former student died because you went easy on him." She sips her tea, and smiles. "Then again, I've been told I over think things."

"Aye. He does what he has to in order to get us all ready," Rioghan agrees, "The real world isn't like comic books or movies. There is no guarantee of a happy ending an' the villains don't pull their punches, or so I've been told. Coach Mason would be doin' everyone a disservice if he lightened up on everyone." He spears another bite of food and washes it down, smiling. "Better than bein' naive about it."

Elizabeth pauses thoughtfully. "No… what ever else I am, I'm not naive." She smiles then, breaking the serious mood. "So, any suggestions on how I can meet more students? I'm having trouble getting to meet people. It's not that people are hostile or anything, everyone's been very nice! Just… very busy."

"Everyone eventually makes their way to the Student Center or the Dining Hall," Rioghan says, "I believe this time of year, however, the favored location on campus for meetin' people is the pool. Most of who I've met, I've met during classes or trainin' sessions in the Thunderdome."

Elizabeth nods and smiles, "Ok, so if nothing else I can hold tight until classes start. And in the meantime I can check out the pool. I don't have a swimsuit though." She chuckles, "Guess that means I need to head back to the mall."

Rioghan finishes off the last of his food and pushes his tray forward. "They've school issue swimsuits at the Student Store, but much like the utilitarian furniture in the rooms, they aren't meant to be fashionable." He props an elbow on the table, leaning his chin on his fist. "You could ask around an' see if anyone else has interest in going to the mall. That would be a way to meet some more students. I only know of a few who have cars."

One of the teachers is making an entrance into the Dining Hall. Though he doesn't look that much older than the students, Mr. Murphey teaches in the history department, as well as assisting with other training classes. He catches sight of Elizabeth and Rioghan and starts making his way over. There's a sword belted around his waist and another in a scabbard held in his hands. Rioghan with his back turned to the entrance has yet to notice him.

Elizabeth nods, "If I can't find anyone to go with me, I'll just call a cab the way I have been. It's inconvenient, but I'll manage. Or I can have a swimsuit delivered. After all, it's not like I can't adjust myself to make it fit." At the sight of the approaching teacher carrying a sword, her posture shifts ever so subtly, as does how she is holding her class of tea. Somehow she knows there's no malice in the teacher's bearing. But she also knows that throwing the glass at the eyes will cause an instinctive flinch, allowing her to flip the table in the teacher's direction and make it to the nearest exit before he can close the distance… if the teacher doesn't have superhuman speed. The problem is that she doesn't know HOW she knows this. Anymore than she knows how much the sword he is carrying should weigh, which she also has an approximate idea of. She tries to relax. No doubt failing miserably. "Who is the gentleman carrying the sword?" She smiles faintly, "Sorry, visible weapons make me… twitchy."

Rioghan smiles, chuckling at the idea of adjusting ones' self to fit a swimsuit. Blue eyes widen and he turns to look over his shoulder at the approaching teacher. "An' that would be Mr. Murphey," he says, staying twisted around in his seat. "Teaches in th' history department an' some weapons classes. No need ta be twitchy."

Mr. Murphey is still making his way towards the pair, inclining his head now that he's been noticed.

Elizabeth grimaces just a bit, "Good to know, but… I can't really help it. It's like some kind of instinct. Like how I can't help but notice how many exits there are from any room I enter. I… I don't understand it, it's just there."

"Situational awareness," Rioghan comments, liltingly, "Might be part of your neohuman abilities?" He finishes off his water and turns back as he senses the nearness of the teacher.

"Heard you were back, lad," Mr. Murphey says with that same lilting accent as the young man. The second sword is tossed at Rioghan, who catches the scabbarded weapon. A polite nod is given to Elizabeth, but his attention is immediately focussed upon Rioghan, "Enough of a break, let's see if you kept things up on holiday."

Rioghan nods, pushing out of his seat. There are no complaints to the teacher about just getting back. He's already belting the sword he was given around his waist as he stands. A warm smile is offered to Elizabeth and he bows, rather formally. "Thank you for sharing lunch with me."

Elizabeth rises and returns the bow with a curtsey, despite wearing jeans. And she does it with an instinctive grace, like it was something she grew up doing. "My pleasure, Rioghan. I'm sure we'll see each other around the dorm. I'll clear your tray for you, you go on and join Mr. Murphey."

Mr. Murphey is clearly not in a waiting mood. The man is already striding back out of the Dining Hall. Rioghan looks from his tray, then to Elizabeth smiling wider at her curtsey. "Are you sure?" he asks of the tray, "I appreciate it." He adjusts the weapon around his waist, looking fairly comfortable with the weight of it. "I'm certain we'll be seeing more of one another. Slán agat," the young man says, bidding a Gaelic farewell before hurrying to catch up with the departing teacher. A parting look at his face sees the easy-going smile being replaced by one of more serious determination and focus.

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