|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.
- Scott Summers
- Main Entrance - X-Mansion <XM>
- West Grounds - X-Mansion <NW>
- East Grounds - X-Mansion <NE>
- Front Gate <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 in what can only be described as a private school uniform of modest nature. A navy single-breasted blazer with a school crest embroidered on the left breast pocket covers most of her torso, a crisp white collared silk blouse peeking out around her neck, a crimson silk scarf about her neck as a tie. Peeking out from beneath the hip-length edge of the jacket is a knee-length tartan plaid pleated skirt. White knee-high stockings cover her legs, and shiny black patent leather mary jane flats cover her feet. She carries a smallish black leather backpack, usually on one shoulder, a flat 'smartphone' in a pouch on that strap.
This young man is easily 6'3" but still appears youthful. His brown hair is cut short, and parted in the middle, hanging down to his ear and with a swept back look likely from the number of times the guy runs his hand through his hair. His face is long with a narrow nose. His eyes are hidden by strange, thick red sunglasses which are really made from a ruby-quartz. His expression is usually serious or withdrawn, but when he smiles it changes his appearance from young-20s to late-teen.
He is built though not overly bulky. This man certainly has a set of arms on him and a muscled back and chest, which is shown off by the ribbed black, sleeveless top he wears. It fits him snugly, revealing the possibility of a six pack as well. Hanging on his lean hips is a pair of worn blue jeans. The top his tucked into the jeans and a black leather belt loops through the belt loops, a silver buckle on the front. He wears heavy duty black combat boots. They appear scuffed up and as if they have seen much better days.
Standing at five foot ten inches or so, this young man is in his late teens, and a touch on the slender side. If unkind you could say he's skinny. In spite of the fact he could use some weight, and he's a large nose, He is often seen as traditionally handsome. Square jaw, expressive features, fair skin. His eyes are dark, intense things, which at times reflect an unseen luminescence, setting dark brown aflame. His hair is a dark shade of auburn and long enough to touch the tops of his shoulders. It's rather uncombed however, mussed at the best of times.
Clad all in back, from the thick leather jacket hanging from his shoulders, to the dark jeans and the heavy, battered black boots he wears, the dark does nothing to add bulk to his frame.
This is a short, lithe woman, standing about 5'2" tall, and weighing perhaps just under a hundred pounds, and being in her mid to late twenties in terms of age. Ethnically, she seems a bit hard to pin down. She has many caucasian features, but also a few asian ones, and seems to be of mixed ethnicity. She has a very lean, graceful physique.
She is wearing a simple white turtle-necked shirt, and stretchy black capris. She has a very short buzz-cut revealing black hair.
Most of the students and staff at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters would be relatively unaware of a new arrival until informed by the Headmaster himself, or seeing them with their own eyes. But Andrea Tellierra, the newest addition to the student body, doesn't 'see' or 'hear' that way at all, and is aware the moment that a new person comes onto campus. Finished with her current class - the ethics and philosophy course - Andrea stands and gathers her backpack, then glances towards Jonothan, with whom she shares this class. "Jonothan, there's a new person coming onto campus. Scott appears to be busy, and the Professor is still in his office. Why don't we go introduce ourselves, and welcome her?" Just that simple? Apparently she thinks so.
(Assuming Jono agrees, however begrudgingly ^_^)
Within a minute or so of Yuzhen reaching the top of the macadam circle at the head of the driveway near the Mansion itself, two figures emerge from the front doors and come down the stairs. One, a tall raven-haired young woman who looks deceptively the elder of the two - and who may in fact be recognizable as someone famous - walks at the side of a tall young man, smiling warmly as she extends her hand. "Welcome to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. My name is Andrea, and this is Jonothan. We're students here." Rather trusting, she seems.
Begrudgingly is quite the way to describe his willingness in this, and yet it's pretty obvious that the young man feigns a lot of that. Jonothon does like people, does like being around them.. he's just got some ..issues. There's a blink at Andrea for the offer, claiming, <<The Professor probably already knows that they are there.>> Dressed all in black, for that's all he ever wears, Jono shoulders his pack.
And yet he's there at Andrea's side when she greets Yuzhen just the same. Doesn't say anything though. Instead he merely lifts a hand in way of greeting. A nod shows that yes, they are both students.
Yuzhen parks a scooter...one of those 65 mph ones...in the driveway and walks up to the top of the macadam circle. She's wearing a simple outfit, and strangely enough by the standards of most women, has a shaved head. She glances between Andrea and Jonothan, then returns the extended hand. "Thank you. I'm Yuzhen. A Charles Xavier invited me to tour this place. Something about wanting a new ethics teacher."
The hours he can spend with his motorcycle have been getting fewer and fewer sadly. And yet again he gets a mental command from Xavier's to greet the new potential teacher. He wipes his hands on a rag and steps out from the large garage. He sees the two students greeting the potential teacher. He starts to head across the blacktop, raising a hand in greeting and a polite smile on his face. "Hey there."
Andrea's inclination might be to bow to Yuzhen, but the other woman does not show any preparedness to do so, and Andrea tries her best to blend in culturally with those around her to ease tensions. She simply amps up the bright smile she's already offering, and nods to the other woman without real concern for the shaved head, unusual as it is. Then again, she's had a few minutes to get used to the look.
"Good afternoon, Ms. Yuzhen. Yes. Mister Charles Xavier - Professor Xavier to his students - is the Headmaster here. He is a bit busy on the phone at the moment, but I am sure he will make himself known soon enough. Jonothan and I thought we could welcome you to the school, and perhaps help guide you on your tour until he was free?" Andrea offers with a teenager's hopeful tone of voice, seeking acceptance of the adult presence to the plan she has in mind.
Scott's approach garners some of Andrea's attention, and she nods to the elder student. Scott was the first to welcome Andrea herself when she arrived on campus for her first day as a student. She offers her smile to Scott, and offers introductions. "Ms. Yuzhen, this is Scott Summers, one of the upperclassmen here at the school. Scott, this is Ms. Yuzhen. Jonothan and I were going to help her on a tour of the school, until the Professor can get off the phone." And how does she know he's on the phone? That seems to be one of Andrea's little mysteries.
Jonothon rolls his eyes at Andrea, but really he can't help it as he smiles a little. Amused at her offering his time to show this wanna be teacher the school, he none the less doesn't protest. Not like he has anything else do to right now. Scott is given a greeting in way of a lifted hand, but he does say to Andrea, <<Would you stop volunteering me?>> For all he doesn't sound mad. Thanks to some nudging by Xavier, the teen now moves his lips along with his speech to make it appear more natural. Still, the British accent is all mental. There's no actual sound made.
Doesn't at all seem confused by Andrea knowing exactly where the Professor is and what he's doing. To Yuzhen he adds, <<The school isn't all that large. We can easily show you around.>> See, for all the protests he's not all bad.
"That sounds fine." Yuzhen replies with a smile. "Hello there, Scott." she adds after. "I'd be glad for a tour. I really only had a very brief overview of what this place is about from Mister Xavier, and I'm still considering whether or not to accept the offer. I'm not sure if I will yet, I have personal obligations, and I still have a bit more to learn about this place."
The late-teen nods his acceptance and starts to offer a hand, but it is a bit stained. "Ah...greetings ma'am." He leaves the handshake open-ended, letting Yuzhen know he will not be offended if it is not accepted. Scott then adds, "There is more here than meets the eye, it is a physical representation of The Professor's Dream. The Professor wouldn't offer you a position unless he believed you had something important to contribute, so I hope you will consider it thoroughly. After all, it takes the hard work of individuals to make a dream become a reality." Now, if he could be a little more relaxed when explaining this, though he does sound like he believes in it very much. "I was one of Xavier's first students, I arrived here about two years ago. I owe Xavier my life." He does not explain anymore details, merely stating a fact he strongly believes in.
Andrea turns so that she is facing Jonothan, despite the fact he knows she doesn't need to do so to see him. "I just thought you'd want to help. You don't have to if you don't want." No. She doesn't sniffle at him. She's not that manipulative.
"I do hope, Ms. Yuzhen, that you will seriously consider accepting the Professor's offer. This is a very special place, and really worth everyone's efforts." Says the teenaged girl, so take that with whatever grain of salt one wishes. But Andrea clearly believes in the Professor just as profoundly as Scott, if not with that grave seriousness. "Shall we?"
<<The problem is you thought, you didn't ask.>> Jonothon tries to sound reasonable about it. <<I'm here, aren't I?>> He goes quiet after that however, taking in what Scott has to say. It has the teen listening seriously. While he doesn't yet know it, Xavier saved his life too. For now he will appreciate having a teacher who doesn't believe him a freak. Jono doesn't say anything though, for what could he really add to that. Scott said it wonderfully. Instead the young man turns to open the front door of the school, moving inside to hold that door open for people.
Yuzhen returns the handshake. And any other handshakes her player may have missed.
Yuzhen nods at Scott, and says, "Yes, he mentioned his dream briefly." she notes to Andrea and Scott. "And clearly his students believe very strongly in it, too." She nods thoughtfully and moves through the held-open door. "Thank you kindly." she replies. "So, the tour. Do lead on."
Scott smiles a touch, "Enjoy your tour." He then nods toward the two students in approval for their pro-active manners. "If you need anything, I am in the garage." And only then will he return to his work and the radio.
"Thank you, Jonothan." Andrea offers, appreciating both his joining her in the tour, and his holding of the door. Manners count.
"The school is largely a residential school. Most of the students and a good many of the current teaching staff all live on campus, in rooms here in the main building. Student dormitories can be found in the East Wing." Andrea indicates these by pointing it out clearly. "Rooms on the first, second and third floors. The first floor is for those with specific needs for a ground-floor room. The second floor is the girl's dormitories, the third floor is boy's country. Much of the rest of the first floor is taken up with various classrooms, laundry facilities and the like. Each of the rooms on the first floor has its own bathroom. On the upper floors, recreation lounges and bathrooms are communal by hall. We have both stairs and elevators as needed. The roof is off-limits to students without teacher permission."
A nod to Yuzhen for her thanks and he closes the door when people are through. Sorry, but Jonothon isn't much of a talker. Especially since he has only his mental voice in which to do so. Andrea's explaining leaves him able to look over the possible new teacher. While he was surprised by the idea of an ethics teacher, the teen does rather easly figure out why that would be needed here. Kids with powers? Yeah, ethics. <<Sorry for interrupting, but exactly how does one teach ethics in a classroom setting?>> Asked with honest curosity.
"I see." Yuzhen replies to Andrea as she explains the layout. "How many students do you have, about?" She glances towards Jonothon. "Well, not by memorization or tests, thats for sure. Its hard, because there is a difference between teaching information, which is what schools usually do, and imparting wisdom. So imparting wisdom is usually ignored, the whole idea that you can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. What you have to do is instead encourage students to think, to ask questions, consider others, think through the consequences of certain views. Its not easy, I admit."
Andrea listens carefully to what Yuzhen has to say, even if her ears aren't involved in the process. "I thought it was a very good question, and an interesting answer. I am afraid I always considered ethics to be something one ... absorbed, I suppose." Though that would present the open question of 'absorbed from whom or what,' because in Andrea's case it was most certainly not from her mother, the only parent she had growing up.
Andrea answers the question when given a chance. "We have eight students so far that are in attendance, though there may be others that the Professor has spoken with off-campus that I do not know of yet." she answers, after Yuzhen is finished explaining. "The West Wing includes more classrooms on the first floor. The second and third floors are teacher's offices and their quarters. Athletic facilities include the areas on the grounds outside, and a large portion of the basement level." she explains, as they continue the tour slowly.
Jonothon's lips tug into a small smile at the answer. He doesn't reply immediately however. <<It also depends on who you are I think, but I can see why the Professor wants an ethics teacher here. Do you get a lot of animosity over this idea?>> The teen doesn't have any to be sure, but he's still curious about the matter. <<It must be difficult on many levels.>> Certainly not something that he'd want to even attempt. The black clad young man shrugs, still amused at it all. Amused because Xavier is having to wear at the teen's ethics to get him to use his powers at all, and Jono knows it.
"I havn't really had an opportunity to get opposition yet." Yuzhen admits. "To be honest, my education is in physics. I received my Masters Degree from Tufts University in Boston. Instead of continuing on with a career in physics, I taught at a highschool here in New York. Mostly part time as a physics sub, because I wanted time for my spiritual pursuits. I was preparing to give up all my possessions and be ordained as a Buddhist Monk when Mr. Xavier asked me to consider coming to teach here, instead. My ethical experience is thus mostly in the form of...spending years trying to train myself to think ethically, to be more compassionate, even to my enemies."
She considers Andrea's words. "Ah, definately a very small school then. To be expected, I suppose."
Whereas Andrea's ethics are pretty solid, except on concepts that are just too alien to her. Like privacy. Oh my, that'll be a tough sell for her. "A Buddhist monk? A nun, really? Wow." Andrea seems rather taken by this, a teen girl's fanciful mind spinning all sorts of tales of why Yuzhen would be so moved as to give up everything she had pursued in order to follow such a path. And now, prepared to give it all up again, to follow yet another new path.
"The kitchen and cafeteria are here, as well as the library, which is multiple floors and quite substantial." Yes, Andrea loves the library here. Avidly. "Meals are at a set schedule, but there is almost always leftovers in the fridges if one needs to eat off-schedule. There is a patio out back, here, where some of us like to eat when the weather is nice. The grounds includes a large English garden including a traditional hedgerow maze, a large lake, and woodlands, as well as outdoor tennis courts, basketball court, volleyball court and swimming pool."
Enemies? The Brit's expression shifts to confusion for that. What? Jonothon eyes Yuzhen with some wariness. Enemies? There's a puzzled glance to Andrea over it. Did you catch that too? The teen opts not to ask of it however. Instead he is quiet for a time, allowing Andrea to lead the way. No, he's really not a lime light kind of guy. <<Do you know how to meditate?>> Asked with seeming randomness. Isn't talking about the tour because Andrea is doing an awesome job. <<What brought you to consider teaching here?>> Asked once Andrea is done.
"Very impressive." Yuzhen admits to Andrea. "Do you have any favorite books that you've discovered in the library thus far?" she asks her, before turning to Jonothon. "Yes. I do breath meditation, which is focused on cecessation of thoughts by focusing on your breath, body awareness, and of course analytic meditations. Analytic meditations are on things like...why is hatred not beneficial to me, envisioning someone I dislike and trying to feel love and compassion for them, what is the nature of desire, and so on. I usually meditate at least 6 hours a day." She then answers the other question.
"Professor Xavier came to me while I was meditating and asked me to consider it. If I do so, it will mean giving up becoming a monk, which I have spent many years working towards. It would be a sacrifice, but...he seems to have a dream, and you students seem to believe in that dream. And I believe in nurturing such dreams, such hopes for the future, even if it means personal sacrifice."
"But surely your dream of becoming a monk is just as worthy and important?" Andrea questions. There's sacrifice, and then there's denial of self. Two very different things in her worldview. Doesn't mean she's right, but that's where she begins.
"I have found several books that I like. The Professor has an extensive collection of books on psychology and philosophy, and I have borrowed two so far." Two rather substantial volumes, which she has read in addition to everything else for all of her classes /and/ lines for a commercial she's preparing /and/ multiple modeling shoots and classes this past week. Yeah. Andrea's an over-achiever.
Subtly, she does nod to Jonothan. She caught it, but she's working to understand it. She doesn't want to jump to conclusions. "Pardon me if asking this seems rude. But ... do you really have enemies, Ma'am?" Scary stuff!
Drat. Jonothon looks disappointed as Yuzhen claims she does indeed mediate. Mostly because he doesn't breathe. Kind of hard to do breath meditation when you don't have lungs. <<Thanks.>> No point in beng rude about it. Tilting his head, long hair rather mussed, the teen asks, <<Does working here mean you can never be a monk, or merely a putting off of such?>> He finds it hard to believe that it would be all or nothing, but then the teen knows almost nothing of being a monk. Assuming here. A nod to Andrea, for he agrees that it is worthy. Anyone who has such faith.. And nothing more is asked because he's curious too! Enemies?
Yuzhen looks startled by the question. "Enemies? Dear me, why would you think I have enemies?" She doesn't seem to have taken notice of her own comment a few moments ago. She glances towards Jonothon. "Why, were you curious in learning how to meditate? Its quite easy, anyone can do it, and it has many benefits. You just focus on something, anything, and try not to think."
"I'm sorry. But you had mentioned about needing to love your enemies. We weren't sure if you meant you actually had some." Andrea offers softly. But she listens to the questions of meditation carefully. Perhaps meditation can also help her? Only time and practice will tell, but she'll soak up every iota of information she can beforehand. Information never hurts. Right?
He lets the enemies comment go and instead answers about the medication. <<The Professor made mention that it could help me. Problem is, your method can...>> Jonothon trails off with that, looking off and away as he falls silent. It's like he's listening to something. After a moment the teen returns his attention to you two. <<Sorry, have to fly. It was nice meeting you.>> That to Yuzhen, and with a nod to Andrea the black clad teen is striding off.
"Oh. I meant that...in a different fashion. I tend to speak philosophically. Perhaps I could have said "Love everyone." instead." She shrugs, and turns towards Jonothan. "Have a good day. It was nice meeting you as well."
Turning back to Andrea, she says, "So tell me more about the Professor's Dream."
"You meant more in the metaphorical sense." Andrea offers Yuzhen.
"Take care, Jonothan. See you later." The young woman offers her friend and fellow student, as he departs.
More about the Professor's Dream? Andrea purses her lips for a moment, considering her words. "The Professor's Dream is to help the Gifted and normal humans to live together in peace and harmony, which involves helping the Gifted - mutants - learn how to control and understand their abilities, learn how to adapt. To learn how to blend in when and how we can, and how to act with control when it is necessary to use our gifts, to help instill confidence instead of fear. To each us ethics is to give us the means to understand the implications of our decisions, so that we may hopefully choose more wisely when and how to use our gifts to promote that peace rather than damage it with our actions." She does not yet know about the group whose job it is to learn to fight with their powers, to help protect mankind from other threats, including mutants who are out of control, or act without ethics.
Yuzhen nods her head. "Ah, a worthy goal, really." she admits. "I'm not certain the schism between the gifted and those with more ordinary gifts is so bad yet, but...tragedy is often best prevented, rather then delt with. And the news has been very poor as of late." She pauses to think. "What about you? What do you think about your gifts, your place in the world?"
Clearly, Andrea too considers it a worthy goal, but she does not belabor the point with further discussion. She is as aware of the situation as Yuzhen, or perhaps moreso. But the other question she can address. "For myself, I have learned my perspective is somewhat different than many other mutants. I was born with my powers, and I have grown up with my powers. So they have always been a part of my identity and how I dealt with the world. They have been growing as I have grown, and now seem to be ... steamrolling ahead at a rate that has made adjusting difficult. The Professor is attempting to help me deal with that more constructively."
Having started by explaining why her perspective is different than that of others, Andrea now tries to answer the question in the spirit in which it was offered. "I consider my gifts to be my nature, part and parcel of who I am and inseparable. They do not define my place in the world, anymore than the color of my hair. But they offer me an opportunity, as with any gift: the opportunity to use my gifts to make the world a better place, in whatever ways I can find. With my gifts, I can find those trapped within collapsed buildings and guide aid workers to them. I can find the lost, and bring them to safety. I can disable many, without needing to do them harm, enabling a relatively peaceful resolution to often anything but peaceful situations. My place in the world is no different than anyone else's: to live, to love, to be a part of that world. And I choose to make my part of that world the most beneficial I can for the most people."
Yuzhen considers that silently. "A very good answer." she replies. "You clearly have thought over who you are, what makes you happy, and what you can do to benefit the world. If most people, let alone most mutants, thought that way, we wouldn't really need ethics teachers. Too often, people ask instead what they can do for themselves. It is this, rather then pure malice, easy to point out and fight malice, which causes much of the evil in the world."
Andrea grimaces a bit and nods. "My mother was like that. And she believes that I am that way as well. She believes I took the path I did, divorcing myself from her and severing her ties to my money and career, because of greed. Because I wanted to have the money and keep it from her. She has never realized that I did so because it was the only way I could find to save her from herself. I was and remain a minor. I could not exercise authority. I took the only course available to me." And that course has defined her life. What few have ever dared to ask is how is it Andrea came to that conclusion. What drove her to seek out such a path and pursue it, when clearly she never learned that from watching her mother. "I am far from perfect. But I will continue to do the best I can."
Yuzhen doesn't ask, either. "Yes, thats the approach I take. I try to identify my flaws and improve upon them. I'm not perfect, I'm not enligthened. I don't even honestly think I'm very noble, there are far many who benefit the world more then me. But I try to be, I'd like to be. I try to find out what my character flaws are and improve upon them, and...thats what its all about. Constantly asking yourself how you can be better. But not many people think that way." She shrugs.
"Some people from noble backgrounds, from environments whose parents are devout and clearly taught them to love and revere all life, use their beliefs as a crutch of hatred and ignorance. Others from terrible environments come away from all that pain and misery and suffering and loneliness...and it just makes them kind. And its amazing to see, and probably going to be a great challenge as a teacher. What the difference is, and how you encourage it."
Andrea considers this a bit, because it's all rather heady stuff. Uusally - as with any teenager - Andrea does most of this by instinct, without thinking about it quite so much, let alone discussing it with others. But she enjoys the challenge of putting it into conscious thoughts and words. "I would suppose that to be true. I honestly have never been a teacher. It's not a mindset I have really or readily attempted. But from what I understand, that seems accurate. And difficult." Andrea merely shrugs. "All any of us can do - yourself included - is the best we can manage. And when we learn our best isn't good enough, all we can do is try harder." Not if. When.
Yuzhen nods her head. "In any case, I'm sure you have classes to be getting back to, or friends to be hanging out with. I won't take up too much more of your time. Let the professor know I'll come back and speak with him in person again soon. And thank you for the tour."
Andrea smiles warmly. "You just watched my one 'friend' head off, Ms. Yuzhen. And my next class is tomorrow morning." She seems to be having a bit of fun at the moment. "But the Professor is free now, so he'll be on his way to see you. Why don't you head out to the patio and have a look around, and he'll find you there quite easily. It was a pleasure to meet you." Andrea offers her hand again, as they take leave of one another. Soon enough, she'll be out front, welcoming a dirty-looking beat up gardener's truck, all so she can climb in and ride back to her own estate on Long Island.
Yuzhen takes the hand and shakes it. "Thank you. It was a pleasure as well." She heads out to the patio.