(2014-03-27) Moon Maiden's School Tour
Moon Maiden's School Tour
Summary: Moon Maiden stops by the mysterious private school in upstate New York to learn more about it, and those who operate it.
Date: 2014-03-27
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Social/Plot: Social

Ironically, perhaps, the moon is full when Laurel chooses to visit Xavier's Institute. She's heard rumors, of course, of the school. A place where young metahumans can come to train in peace and safety. Such a location is certainly worth investigating, isn't it? Thus, under the cover of night, the Moon Maiden descends from the skies to the front door. The school's security systems pick her up, surely, and send an alert to the proper personnel even before Moon Maiden knocks on the door, hoping she is not interputing anything too important.

At an hour late enough that even counseling and tutoring sessions are over, the best security system that Xavier's Academy has to offer isn't the electronics - as amazing as they may be. It's the minds and talents of those who live and work there. And more than one such mind is keenly aware of Laurel's approach, and her intent, long before she begins her descent through the night air.

When at last the young heroine's feet alight upon the poor, a hand raised to knock gently upon the door, that selfsame door opens just as gently, revealing a tall blonde woman, arrayed in a finely tailored white skirt suit, hair arranged in pristine coifure to artfully frame a face supermodels would vie to possess.

"Good evening, Moon Maiden. Welcome to Xavier's Academy for Gifted Youth. I am Ms. Frost, the Assistant Headmistress for the school, and one of the counselors. How may we be of assistance?" Her tone is professionally, artfully warm while hold a cool edge, the sort of distance one expects of the consumately professional, with perfect diction and the sort of airs that only the social stratosphere ever truly achieve.

The Moon Maiden isn't immune to beauty. While it can be a superficial trait it is one humans are keyed to enjoy and delight in. There's a brief moment as Laurel's mind blanks. As she bathes in the radiance that is Emma Frost - the most gorgeous body and clothing genetics and money can buy. "Good evening, Ms. Frost." Laurel says, holding out her hand. Recovering from her brief moment of shock. "I'm glad to meet you. Given what I do I thought that eventually I'd either run into staff or students of this school or young people who might need the school. Either way, I've decided to be proactive and visit. Establish a relationship."

The regally tall woman inclines her head almost imperceptibly, perhaps acknowledging the point made by the silver-haired young woman's statement. "Of course. Please, enter."

That said, Emma steps back from the door, opening the way for Moon Maiden to step inside quite easily as the door swings open more widely. She waits until the heroine is inside, and then closes the door just as gently as she opened it, with almost no sound.

"I am afraid that our founder, Professor Charles Xavier, is not available at the moment. I hope that you can accept me in his stead, this evening. Would you like a tour, Laurel? Or would you prefer to go somewhere to talk?" Emma's poise is, in a word, perfect. It would be intimidating, if she weren't making every effort to be welcoming. Even so, it can be a tad off-putting. She seems to make a point of literally embodying a vision of perfection. Her age is an uncertain thing. She could as easily be in her mid-twenties as she could her mid to late forties.

Rarely does Laurel feel so… young. Or imperfect. She has an amazing amount of self-esteem and knows she was engineered to be, in a word, perfect. Still, standing next to Emma Frost she can't help but be aware that there are more beautiful women in the world.

"Whatever would be less of an inconvenience to your students." Laurel says, "Given the late hour, maybe just talking would be better? I don't want to interupt anyone who might be in the middle of studying." Yes, Laurel believes students would be studying at this hour. After all, when she was a student that's what she was doing at nine in the evening.

Aware of Laurel's gentle discomfort, Emma continues to remain magnanimous and welcoming on the surface, but she still seems to project that aloof perfection. Perhaps she cannot help it, for it is in her nature? Or perhaps it is simply her way of compensating for a deeply seated, oft-ignored sense of her own unworthiness, bolstered to confidence only by the perceptions of others? Who knows?

"A brief tour should not inconvenience the students, Laurel. Please, this way." Emma offers, as she gently guides Laurel through the building, not with a hand's gentle touch, but just by posture, position and the most subtle of body cues.

Emma shows Laurel around the school's main building, including the student lounges, the first floors of the dormitories, the main classrooms, and the first underground level, including the gymnasium and the indoor pool. She makes a point, now and then, to indicate features of the grounds visible by moonlight through the windows, including the hedgerow maze, the stables, the expansive grounds, the tennis and sports courts, and the outdoor pool and large patio area. She makes a point to finish their tour by entering the multi-floor library. A wealth of books with old world elegance and charm abundant.

When she speaks, here, Emma's voice is softer, but still easily heard. Except that if Laurel is paying close attention, Emma's lips never move. « What else can we show you this evening, Laurel, to make your visit to our school the success you hoped for? »

Laurel seems a rapt student. She pays attention on the tour, listening to explainations of facilities and asking the occasional question. How does the gymnasium adapt to kids with powers? Is the pool chlorinated or would that interfere with the ability of water breathing students to enjoy it? After all, there's an entire city on the west coast full of water breathing American citizens now.

And, yes, occasionally, Laurel steals glances at Emma Frost. So beautiful and poised and together. So strong and in charge. It is rather breathtaking to watch.

When Emma's words slide into Laurel's mind, the Moon Maiden does notice that they are telepathic. "That's very impressive." Laurel replies, speaking outloud though her words are more clearly verbalized in her mind. "My own abilities to affect the mind are, I suspect, more like a hammer to your scalpel. I would like to hear your procedure for taking in a new student? In case I come across a young person who needs help."

And Laurel would like to spend more time with Emma. Rarely has she found someone so compelling.

"We can discuss more in my office. Best not to disturb those choosing to use the stacks tonight." Emma offers, with a gentle smile. It really does touch her eyes, but only a bit, as she guides Laurel out of the library, closing the doors and then guiding Laurel down a hall, up a short flight of stairs, and off to a pair of double doors leading to a very tastefully appointed, feminine but not frilly office. No imposing furniture of dominant, dark woods here. Emma clearly believes in a lighter, brighter palette of colors.

Emma guides Laurel to a chair on the nearer side of the office, and then moves to a chair adjoining it, around a small, low round table, clearly eschewing the large and formidable desk and the power play inherent in it for osmething more welcoming and intimate. Even her movements while taking her own seat are unfairly graceful and elegant, crossing her legs at the knees and resting her hands upon them primly. Posture is important, her own seems to say without words.

"Our intake procedures vary somewhat widely, depending on the circumstances of the student." Emma explains. "Our primary motivation is the safety and well-being of the student, and we make every attempt to adapt to his or her needs, regardless our own inconvenience. In general, once we become aware of a student who might benefit from our institution, we make an effort to get the student to a safe and moderately stable situation as soon as possible. Then we arrange for introductions and discussions, laying out the options to the student, and any legal guardians available - parents or otherwise, as required. While this is going on, we do what we can to assess the student's needs and requirements, and plan for how we can strive to meet those needs, so that there will be as few surprises for student and faculty as possible."

Yes, Laurel's eyes slip to those legs for a moment. After all, they are on display. Her mind, though, only wanders there for a moment before she returns to Emma's words. Listening to the intelligence and the planning behind them. She nods as she listens, showing, clearly, that she finds what she's being told both interesting and logical.

"That makes sense. If I find a young person who might benefit, removing them from their home situation should only be a last resort, of course." In case there is dangerous situation. Abuse, for example. "I'm not a very passive person, though, so I'll actively bring them to your attention rather than refer them to you."

Emma's smile is just as cool and refined as the rest of her, but there is a hint of warmth, there. Is it the subject matter, or the conversation partner? It's nigh impossible to tell. "Both would definitely be preferred courses of action. There are times when a preciptiative crisis requires an intermediary step - movement to a safehouse or the like. In those cases, we consider it of utmost importance that the pential student, and all others involved, know that they are there voluntarily, and may leave at any time if that is their choice. Obviously, we do our best to make this an informed decision, making clear the dangers perceived as placing any continued threat on the situation."

Emma is ever so careful not to say it bold-facedly, but she's making it clear that the school is not completely divorced from what might be considered 'heroic interference' leading to the addition of a student to the school. The way she talks around the subject makes it clear that she is aware the legality of those situations can be questionable at best. But her words also make clear that first and foremost in their policies here is the choice of the student, and their safety. All else is secondary or even tertiary in importance.

"If your assessment of the situation indicates, we can also send a counsellor to you, to assist yourself and the student in assessment, and offer guidance and aid to the student, regardless if they agree to enroll." Emma offers. "I presume you have some means of rapid contact available? Perhaps a modified cellphone or the like? I can provide you with a priority access number to call, in the event of an emergency."

"I do, yes." In fact, as of late, Moon Maiden has had business cards printed up. As the world grows more crowded with super-people she finds herself making more contacts. More people who need to be able to contact her should an emergency pop up. Or should her expertise be needed.

Laurel reaches into a small pouch attached to her armor and draws out a business card. Just a picture of the moon and a phone number. She offers it out to the beautiful woman nearby. "You can reach me via this number at any time. I've managed to arrange it so that even if I'm on the moon the signal will reach me." A little bit of wizardry combining ancient Roman alchemy with modern telecommunications thanks to the Alchemical Engine.

Emma's ice blue eyes watch that card appear and its offering, measuring a few moments before she lifts a hand and extends it, taking the card from Laurel's fingers. "Helpful, that, I am sure." Emma then reaches to the pocket of her fitted and elegant suit jacket, and removes a very thin, top of the line StarkPhone, tapping in the number she has been given and assigning it to Laurel's name.

Then Emma brings up a number on the screen and turns the phone around, letting the number swivel and settle in its new orientation, maximized across the landscape screen for best legibility. "That priority access number will reach the automated switchboard here, and direct you to whomever is available to handle critical cases at that time. Most often, that will be myself, but I am not alone on staff, here." She's not quite offering up her own direct line, but it's close. "Should I text that number to you?"

"No, no need." Laurel does have a cellphone, contained in that same small pouch. She draws it out and snaps a picture of the screen, number and all. "There we go." She says with a bright smile. "We've exchanged numbers. Next we can like each other's Facebook pages and have sleepovers and gossip about boys while we do each other's hair." A small attempt at humor as Laurel slides the phone back into her pocket. "You're doing a wonderful thing here, Ms. Frost. Every day more and more metahumans emerge. I've heard rumors the DEO is coralling some into schools where they're being trained but with no choice on the outcome. A school where they still have free will is sorely needed."

Emma offers a bare hint of a smile at Laurel's humor, proof enough that she caught the joke and found at least some humor in it, if only in watching the bright exuberance of her guest while delivering the lines. But where they end up next banishes that smile from her face. Instead, there is a twist to her lips and a darkness in her gaze. "I too have heard such rumors, and I find them reprehensible, if at all true. We have not yet been able to confirm such goings on, and I do hope we shall find these only to be efforts at fear-mongering." But her tone makes it clear she doesn't expect such a good luck outcome. It is perhaps the first time some genuine feeling has managed to escape that calm, professional fascade in any strong way, and even so it is only there for a few moments before that professionalism reasserts itself. Never let them see you sweat.

Well, isn't that interesting? Laurel brings her hands together in front of her, pressing them to her lips and nods. "It would be, I suppose, rather niave to believe the government would ignore the sort of resource metahumans represents. I suppose I was fortunate." And while she doesn't expound on that, an able telepath will see images of Hugh Klein, famous astronaut and the last man to (officially) walk on the moon. Of a home in the suburbs and loving parents. Of a stable home life despite a parade of geniuses, scientists, generals, and the occasional celebrity coming to visit.

Emma's gaze returns to her guest's face once the more difficult subject is banished from conversation. There is something in her eyes as she looks at Laurel, but it is hard to define, perhaps because something as human and genuine as envy is too alien a thing to the perfected persona of Emma Frost to have any bearing there.

Emma would never willingly discuss her own formative years, whether that of the cold, ambition-driving, alcohol-stewed mess of her home life, or the radical loss of even that stability for the likes of a private psychiatric facility, or the mental and emotional torture that followed, let alone time spent alone, on the streets, doing whatever she had to do to survive. The number of people who know the real story of Emma Grace Frost can be counted on one hand, and all of them know never to expect Emma to bring any of it up willingly.

"That is one of the founding pillars of the school, here: to provide that good fortune, that safe haven for our students, to allow them to grow and thrive. We believe that is to the betterment of all concerned, including our students, and the world at large." Emma offers, without explicitly saying 'I saw those memories in your mind, and that's the kind of warmth and happiness we try to give our kids.' Emma's not one to discuss providing 'warmth and happiness'.

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