|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
Front Grounds - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The front grounds are expansive. A long row of trees block most of the view of tall front brick walls and the road. The property is well cared for, and hedges edge along the circular drive. The drive dumps out into two areas, the first being the front of the school while the other being off to the side which is a very large garage to hold vehicles and a garage.
The front porch is made of stone with a ramp going up along one side to allow easy access for those with disabilities. The other two wings are visible from here, one on either side of the main part of the building. The brick mansion is quite impressive with large windows and such a view. Paths lead around the building, one to the right and one to the left toward all the wooded land which goes even beyond the tall brick walls, while still being part of the same property.
- Charles Xavier
- Main Entrance - X-Mansion <XM>
- West Grounds - X-Mansion <NW>
- East Grounds - X-Mansion <NE>
- Front Gate <O>
East Grounds - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
Set apart from the main building is a large hedge maze. The footpaths to the south and north are both cut off quickly upon accessing this side of the X-Mansion. There is an expanse of a well manicured lawn of thick grass. Fenced in by a low line of thick bush, accessible by gaps in said busy, the maze itself has an impressive affair. Fully eight feet high, with an entrance facing the mansion, and an exit on the far side, the maze is just that: a maze. Heavy bush has been shaped into a barrier. There is a pathway through the mass of growth, but there are also many false leads, and secret nooks there within. Occasionally one may find a stone bench tucked into a corner. What makes the place a little eerie, and quiet on purpose. The only illumination this area receives at night is from the mansion itself. It leaves large shadows, and sections of deep darkness, adding to the confusion of the maze itself.
- Charles Xavier
- North Grounds - X-Mansion <NW>
- Front Grounds - X-Mansion <SW>
North Grounds - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
At the back of the school, stretching to the north, lays Breakstone Lake. It can easily be seen from the large windows of the cafeteria. The windows glint in the sunlight, and reflect clouds when the skies are over cast. Off the cafeteria is a large cobblestone porch that is surrounded by a low wall of raised stone, which serves as a dividing line. It can effortlessly be stepped over. Wooden table and chairs are spread out in this area, giving students an outdoor option for their meals. Past that dividing line is a basketball court. This is a full sized court, and has a net on each end. Lines are clearly marked for game play. The court doesn't fill the whole space here however. On each side is a wide, paved space to allow for other games, weight lifting, or just goofing off. An Olympic sized swimming pool complete with diving board is between the basketball court and Breakstone Lake. The Jacuzzi is build against a corner of the pool, and is slightly raised. The lake itself is of dark, cool waters which glimmer depending on the lighting. Birds can often be heard calling to one another during the day and at night the crickets sing except in the bitter cold.
- Charles Xavier
- Back Door - X-Mansion <BD>
- West Grounds - X-Mansion <SW>
- East Grounds - X-Mansion <SE>
Kitchen and Cafeteria - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The cafeteria seems on the small side when you consider what the ones in public schools look like. Still, it is nice. The floors are of a dark wood, complimented by wooden tables and chairs. The tables feet six people, three on either side of them. Large windows adorn the north side of the wall to reveal a beautiful view of the north grounds - including the basketball court and swimming pool - and Breakstone Lake. A wooden door by the large glass windows actually leads out to the north grounds.
To the east side is a long and wide countertop where food is placed upon during meal times. The kitchen behind it is left in the open, and is state-of-the-art with industrial sized equipment and a Sub-Zero Preservation built-in refrigerator and freezer. The fridges are always kept well stocked as are the freezers. Leftovers are kept in labeled containers with dates, to be heated up as willed. One would also expect a lot of junk food in the cupboards, but that is far from the truth; though fruits and healthier snacks are easily to come by. Sodas and pizzas are usually kept as a reward or bought with student's personal money.
- Charles Xavier
- North Grounds - X-Mansion <NG>
- Main Wing - X-Mansion <O>
Main Wing - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The foyer of the mansion is an elegant thing. Light streams in during the days from windows set high in the front wall, and over the doors. At night recessed lighting allows for a softer look. Curtains hang here and there for artful affection, but are almost never closed. The floor is richly stained wood that matches the sweeping stairway leading to the upper levels. Carpets lay scattered around, showing the most popular paths by wear, and seating set against the walls allows for a rest should it be required. Speaking of those walls, many are covered in framed pictures. The first class of X-Men adorns the walls in their civilian clothing through the different years they have been here.
An elevator is tucked beneath the stairs. It gives full access to the upper floors and the basement. To either side are hallways leading to the east and west wings, a number of small classrooms, computer labs and science labs located there. In the back beyond the stairs are two doorways. One is an open archway which leads to the small cafeteria and the kitchen to the right of the stairs, and the other is a large wooden door with a golden plaque on it labeled: Library. Compared to the kitchen and cafeteria, the library takes up a smaller corner of that side of the building, but still except for the wall between the cafeteria and library, the past walls have been knocked down from that section of the building.
- Charles Xavier
- Student Elevator - X-Mansion <EL>
- East Wing - X-Mansion <E>
- West Wing - X-Mansion <W>
- Library - X-Mansion <LB>
- Kitchen/Cafeteria - X-Mansion <KC>
- Front Door <O>
Student Elevator - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The student elevator has grey carpet on the floor and the following buttons that can be pressed: S1, 1, 2, 3, and R. However, the button to the roof will not work without a key to bypass the security.
<< +view Set >>
- Charles Xavier
- Floor 1 <1>
- Sub-Level 1 <S1>
Basement - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The basement is deep and large, with very high ceilings. The reason for this is there is a huge gym here with all the benefits. The ventilation system is very good, especially considering the fact that in the far back is a large indoor pool with a diving board on it. To the east is a boy's changing room and to the west is a girl's changing room. Furthermore, the rest of the room is taken up all sorts of equipment. There is weight lifting equipment, treadmills, bikes, step masters, and so much more.
Off to one side is a thick red mat with a punching bag that can be lowered from the ceiling, so it can be used for boxing and other hand-to-hand sports. Centered in the room are balance beams, gymnastic bars, training horses and even rings that hang down from the tall ceiling. It is a gym dream, merely missing the hot tub. One should also not forget that in one wall is a device that allows people to insert CDs to play, or hook up their MP3 players so that music can pump throughout the gym.
There are two exits from the gym. One is the student elevator in the center, and the other is the staff elevator way off to the east side, beside the boy's changing room. The lighting is bright here, halogen lights rested high above the ceiling. This place easily has to be almost three floors high.
- Charles Xavier
- Staff Elevator - X-Mansion <EL>
- Student Elevator - X-Mansion <O>
Tall for a woman, this young lady stands just shy of six feet when in flats, and has a mature enough look and curves most would take her for her late teens, just under twenty years of age. She has a long, full mane of lustrous raven black hair which tumbles smoothly down to frame her face, over her shoulders and down to mid-back. Her face is a natural oval with high cheekbones, full lips, a narrow pert nose and raven dark sculpted eyebrows over deep crystal blue eyes framed by long dark eyelashes. Her neck is gracefully slim, shoulders broad but natural for her height, lending balance to her toned and trim unfairly hourglass figure. When she speaks, it is a warm, cultured soprano tone with clean diction. To be honest, this young woman is gorgeous, the sort of looks one would associate with (non-anorexic) supermodels and actresses. Say, isn't she familiar?
Currently this young woman is dressed casually in a tightly fitted scarlet red t-shirt with a low but still modest scoop neckline, long enough it could almost tuck in but isn't, perhaps flashing only a hint of skin on her tummy as she moves. She wears a pair of hip-hugger designer blue denim jeans with beadwork along the outer seams, on both back pockets, echoed in the loose, decoration-only beaded leather belt slung through the loops. She's wearing a pair of modestly heeled open-toe mules in scarlet red on her feet. A small black leather backpack rides one shoulder, with an obvious iPhone in a pouch mounted on the strap.
Jerry and Xavier depart from the front of the building. Following along the path, Xavier halts his wheel chair at the end of the footpath toward the south. Xavier nods toward Jerry, "She is in the maze." They had a pleasant conversation about how classes are managed, homework, security for the school, privacy issues and so on.
Jerry hesitates a moment but then nods, having been getting used to thinking of Andrea as a mutant. He calls out lightly for her, knowing there isn't a need for him to yell for the distance between him and the maze.
Jerry has of course known about Andrea from the day they met. But it does take some getting used to, accepting that what is best for her is to get better and stronger, not merely keep hiding. There's an inborne parental instinct to 'ostrich' about something this big.
Already on her way through the maze, having finished with her chat with Jonothan and headed towards the adult males as soon as she perceived them emerging from the building and the office, Andrea emerges with a smile and a little finger-waggle wave.
"Hello again, Mister Xavier. You have a very lovely school. I enjoyed the maze. Such pretty displays and statuary." She also enjoyed talking with Jonothan. She now better understands the mystery that surrounds the young man's unique 'appearance' to her senses. At least, so far as she understands he doesn't get it any more than she does. How odd.
"Thank you young lady. Shall we start the tour? We can wander outside first if you so like." Xavier smiles lightly, and doesn't comment about Andrea socializing with Jono. He thinks it is good for the boy in either case, but knows if he goes sharing opinions it may seem rude or unwanted.
"I'd like that." Andrea offers, moving to take Jerry's hand and giving that hand a bit of a squeeze. She is rather looking forward to the tour as an opportunity to understand the purposes of some of what she can already perceive - and some of what she cannot. That alone is fascinating to her and part of the reason why she is already sure there are secrets here. "All of the students, Sir, are gifted?" she inquires.
"Yes. It is a requirement." Xavier rolls his wheelchair easily over the grass toward the North Grounds. "This place was specially built for unusually gifted individuals to have a safe place to grow and learn. Also, many of them have special needs with figuring out how to fit within society. Once they leave here, some will wish to blend in, others will become activists, and still others will work to make a difference by joining the work force and touching the lives of those around them by daily actions. The school's goal is to change the world one person at a time for the better. Where the gifted and un-gifted can live in peace as equals."
Andrea nods to Xavier's explanation, mulling all of that over and sure to do more of that after this visit ends. "So some have inobvious gifts, like mine. But others less so. And part of helping us will be teaching us how to pass if we need to, and how to present control and safety to those around us when and if we choose /not/ to pass." she offers, showing that she is really thinking about what is being said, not just absorbing it.
"And you think you might be able to help me better control the flow of information I deal with?" she inquires, seeking to confirm her interpretation of his words at their earlier meeting.
"Yes, I believe we can help you expand your self-control. What you do for the cause in the end is up to you. You need not 'out' yourself to the world as a mutant. Just displaying and encouraging tolerance is important. This school is my dream, a dream for a better tomorrow, a better world." He rolls along the north path to the North Grounds. The lake is out there, but no boats are on it. "All this land is owned by me. The Lake and a little beyond it. To the West, past the grounds walls into the forest there. It helps provide more privacy to the school. This here is the outdoor swimming pool, basketball court and outdoor eating area. To the east as I said are woods and a boat house." He rolls toward the back door, but slows to let Andrea get a good look around.
Of course, Andrea gets 'a good look around' without ever moving her head, or the rest of her for that matter, though she has a great deal to process here, especially with the distance all the way across the lake, and into the woods. She stays quiet for a bit, as such, before turning to follow the Professor. "I have one question, a concern I am not sure you and Jerry covered. I worry that my high profile, and attendance here, might draw attention the school has thus far avoided, and place the secrets you keep here at risk. Do we have a plan for how to deal with that? I would not want my presence here to endanger the mission of the school." No matter how much Andrea would like to attend, she views the mission as larger than merely herself, and will act accordingly.
"I informed Jerry that student enrollment here is completely confidential. Furthermore, we are working on more ways to protect the school from 'unwanted' attention and notice. We have developed a minor form of holographic technology here. In an article printed about Tony Stark, it reported that he actually has holographic technology that can warp around an object and appear more stabilized and 'real'. I am planning to get into negotiation to see what can be done about that." Xavier then has the door swing open by himself without him doing anything and rolling through. Perhaps a little creepy for Jerry, but Jerry is a good man and can likely handle it.
Student enrollment may be confidential, this is true. But Andrea's presence and activities are not, and all it takes is a paparazzo with a camera following her on a daily trek to classes at the school to expose the secret of the school's existence and her attendance, and garner interest in this highly private school which could lead to disaster. Nevertheless, Xavier seems to be aware of the risks, and to already be thinking of the proper ways to handle them. "If there is anything we can do to help alleviate concerns, Sir, I hope you will let us know." After all, she could perhaps start employing a look-alike to go on shopping trips or the like while taking a ride in delivery vans and various unmarked, unexceptional cars to get to the school.
Jerry finds Xavier's opening of the doors to be reasonable, really. Surely the man has installed technology in this, clearly his home as well as his school, to facilitate the ease of his own use. Who wouldn't? "And the school will include advanced normal classes in education as well as those tailored towards the student's particular gifts?" Jerry affirms, more so that Andrea is sure to hear that than because he has any question.
"I will certainly do so. Traveling in a normal car does help, no limos or such. Not telling people where you go to school, even friends and so on. These things would be more than enough effort on your part young lady." The way Xavier says young lady is respectful and old-fashioned. "Of course the classes will do so. We also teach an Ethics class, for good reason. With the great gifts we employee, we have a responsibility in how we use them. Though a freedom of choice, one should know that their choice has an influence on mankind as a whole." Then on with the tour, "This is the cafeteria and the kitchen. There are set times for meals, but if you miss one you can always get left overs from the fridge. We have help that comes in regularly. Though the teachers are the only ones informed of the school's true purpose." He then smiles a bit sheepishly here. "The rest of the employees only see normal students, no matter what the student may truly appear as and hear only what they wish to hear." He clears his throat at that. "For security reasons." Oh yes, Xavier is just that powerful. Least he is honest about it, and a bit ashamed at the use of it no matter how needed it may be.
Andrea only really gapes a little bit at Xavier's admission. Jerry, on the other hand, looks a little squeamish. He can understand the necessity. But for a normal man, hearing that such power is employed in such a way can't be easy. It just doesn't work that way.
Clearing his throat, Jerry says simply, "We will continue Andrea's apparent homeschooling efforts and bring in a lookalike. And we'll arrange for a series of unexceptional, unmarked vehicles for transportation." Both are reasonable precautions he is entirely prepared to support.
Andrea actually looks curious. Xavier hasn't - yet - actually mentioned what his gift is, though Jonothan implied it was telepathy. She's curious about that, as all she knows is what one can read in books and philosophy papers about the topic. "How advanced do the classes get, here? How far could one go?" she inquires, wondering about college-level courses.
A nod at that, "If you believe it is acceptable Jerry. I do not wish to inconvenience you." He already has given Jerry permission to call him Charles. "We do have some college students currently attending. Though they often take their course load on one of the many NYC campuses. One of our teachers has a doctorate in Bio-Chemistry and there are online supplemental classes. I can also teach a few college level courses myself, I do have a Masters degree. We are still recruiting more teachers to handle the expected influx of students, so we will have to see how some of that goes. Well I hope. In either case, the advanced courses should allow students to test out of many college courses with the AP exams."
Whatever inconvenience there may be with such arrangements, Jerry seems not to mind it at all. "It will be fine, Charles." Half an hour to chat leaves him comfortable enough to use Xavier's first name, even if it isn't instinct for him.
Andrea listens regarding the courses and nods. She fully intends to be one of those kids who tests out of nearly the first half of their college career before they ever get there. And it appears this school will help her achieve that. "Pardon my curiosity, but if there are specific areas of study in a student's interests, would we be permitted to arrange for distance learning courses or the like in that subject matter?" Andrea is thinking specifically of courses in radio communications, not at all a standard high school course, and somewhat rare even as a collegiate course.
"Certainly," Xavier states. "The school has a wide range of contacts." Actually Xavier does. "Now, this is the main wing. You can see there are a number of computer labs and science labs down the two wings. There are larger classrooms upstairs. The elevator as well as the stairs will take you to the other floors and to the basement which we shall go see." Xavier then motions toward the West Wing, "That is the student's wing, where the recreation room for the students is, as well as the student laundry room and dorm rooms." Then toward the East Wing, "That is where the teacher offices are as well as the nurse's office. The upper floors are the teacher's quarters." He will show Andrea privately the special room in the high tech basement; it isn't for Jerry to know. He then heads first to the Library, "The library is here." Again the door opens, but honestly it appears just like a normal door and a normal doorway. Nothing high tech about it. It practically appears antique.
Andrea is better aware that there are no electronics involved in the actions of the doors, but she's not sharing that information with Jerry. He has enough to deal with already. The raven-haired beauty pauses as she enters the library to utter a soft sound of awe. "This is amazing." Yes. Andrea likes books. A great deal.
Not wanting to interrupt the tour, Jerry merely notes for himself to ask a question about providing a room - they'd pay for the privilege and gladly install the Faraday Cage within as they did in their home on Long Island - for Andrea's use while she is on campus. For now, he pays attention.
"Mister Xavier?" Andrea inquires gently. "I was wondering. Is there a teacher here who speaks German? Handsome, with blue fur and an elf-like appearance, even a tail? He teleports." It seems the lovely Ms. Tellierra has run into another mutant, or someone she thinks might be, and she is curious if he might be in the area because of the school.
Xavier gains a curious expression. "No, there isn't. But I would be quite interested in meeting such a fellow. Can you describe him more and where you have met him?" Finding him should be easy after such descriptions. New mutants in the area is always important knowledge for Xavier.
Andrea tilts her head slightly and smiles. "I can describe him quite clearly, Sir. He was on Fifth Avenue last week when those men tried to rob a jewelry store with a robot tank thing. He and Ms. She-Hulk stopped them. He teleported away before the police closed in."
Jerry seems less than thrilled with this topic of conversation. "Yes, they had things well in hand. But Andrea here decided to take an awful risk, and released a burst of light and sound inside the armored vehicle." Which though Jerry finds it hard to admit, really did turn the tide of the battle, disabling the men and giving the heroes time to dismantle the vehicle and subdue them.
"They were very brave." Andrea insists. "I merely did a tiny thing to help them, and no one knows it was me." Xavier would be aware that - to Jerry's consternation - Andrea is thrilled because she has She-Hulk's autograph.
"Heroic actions are good. But one must always consider the dangers and risks. Discovering is sometimes the least of them. There is always the chance of a stray bullet, or more." Xavier isn't unfeeling toward Jerry's side, but nor is he toward Andrea's. "Just remember, each heroic action taken is with your life in your hand. I am not saying this to frighten you Andrea. I am assure you, Jerry and I are proud of you for your actions, but we are also concerned. You should be aware of the risks, even if they may be minimal." An educated decision Xavier is suggesting. But Andrea keeps confirming her potential with Xavier, over and over again. He can't help but smile in approval. Poor Jerry. "Let us go to the basement and this will conclude the tour." He leads the way back out of the library and to the elevator.
Pressing the Sub-Basement 1 button, the three go down into the Basement. It is large, with an indoor pool, exercise equipment and changing rooms. It is an exercise fanatic's dream come true. "Our Gym and indoor pool. Not often used during the summer." The outdoor one is typically used then.
"I do understand. I was as careful as I could be." Andrea offers, and she clearly was. She wasn't just worried about a shot aimed at her should she be spotted, but also one towards Jerry, so she was very careful. Nevertheless, she is glad to hear that Xavier isn't upset with her for acting. "I do not know exactly where the blue furry man went, but it was further uptown, towards Chelsea and the lower east side or potentially Hell's Kitchen." Andrea offers, wanting to be as helpful as possible.
Jerry accepts that at least Xavier will counsel Andrea to be careful and to consider the risks to herself and others when she acts. He knows that as a teenager, there will be a tendency to view herself as nigh-immortal and invulnerable. He wants to temper that with some very real concern if at all possible.
Andrea smiles at the look of the gymnasium and facilities. "Well, I should not have to worry about gaining extra pounds while I'm here eating all that wonderful food." she comments.
A chuckle at that. "I am sure not. Between here, the outdoor area, the recreation room, the library and the computer labs, I just do not understand how teens can complain about being bored. I suspect it is a 'teen' thing which I have long outgrown." Xavier then smiles slightly. "I hope you will seriously consider going to school here." Private schools usually build a reputation and wait for students to come to them. However, because of the exclusiveness of the school, Xavier typically caters to potential attendees.
Andrea grins impishly at Xavier, for once looking her age rather than older and more mature as usual. "I think it largely is a 'teen thing', Sir. Ennui, I suppose." By which she means that while the teens can think of many things to do, none of them 'speak to them' at the time, leading to such foolish comments.
Jerry merely assures, "Andrea has rarely if ever delivered a line like that. She is a joy and a pleasure." He won't promise that they will be attending, but he is seriously considering it, and he knows Andrea is as well.
"It would be a special treat for me, Sir." Andrea explains. "I've never actually gone to school before, with any other kids my age. I am sure Jerry and I will need to discuss it. But we will get back to you soon, and we both really appreciate your time and the tour. Thank you."
"Not a problem. It has been a delight for me to associate with such a lovely young lady as yourself." Xavier then turns back to the elevator. "Please, let me escort you out with the documentation you will need if you decide to enroll." When he gets everything together and starts to say his farewells to Jerry - with a hand shake, "I hope to see you both soon." It is then quiet, a whisper in Andrea's mind. << I understand you may have need for a room away from the noise at times. We do have one here but it is confidential, for approved students and teachers only. If you decide to enroll, know that it will be available to you if you have a need for it. I go there myself at times to be alone with my own thoughts. >> The voice is clear, as if Xavier is right beside Andrea, whispering in her ear. But he is saying his farewells to Jerry as if nothing is going on. This is obviously something he doesn't want Jerry to know about as he isn't associated with the school except as a parent.
Trying it again as she did with Jonothan - unsuccessfully - outside, Andrea forms the words in her mind carefully, as if she were going to say them, but merely tries to 'push' them without speaking. << Thank you, Sir. >> Andrea won't tell Jerry about that, since it seems clear to her Xavier does not wish for Jerry to know. Instead, she merely casts about for how she'll cover the topic of a 'safe room' for her use when it is clear Xavier won't need them to alter a dorm room.
Escorted out with folders of paperwork, Jerry shakes Xavier's hand and thanks him for his time, promising to call by the end of the week regardless of their decision. Soon enough they are back in the car that brought them, winding out the long lane and out of the Mansion's grounds, heading back to the ferry to Long Island.
It is as if Andrea can sense a 'wink' from Xavier. << I'll take care of Jerry, so he feels assured of the room. No need to lie to him. >> He just can't show it to Jerry or explain its construction, etc. And then Andrea and Jerry are out of the gates.