|Marvel: In the Beginning...|
East Wing - X-Mansion - North SalemEdit
The east wing is quite large. Nestled here is the first floor. It has a cross design for the hallways, and within the center is a spiral staircase that leads upward to the higher levels. The floor is dark wood like the rest of the mansion, and the wallpaper a very light, almost off-white.
There are many wooden doors with golden plaques, labeling staff offices, the small staff laundry room, the staff rec room, and of course the nurse's office. At the end of the east hallway is an elevator with a sign above it which reads: 'Staff Only'.
- Staff Elevator - X-Mansion <EL>
- Main Wing - X-Mansion <<O>
This muscular built man would stand 5'11" if he would just stand up straight. He's got a muscular build with broad shoulders. His arms seem to be longer than most and almost ape like. He's also got huge hands and size 13 feet. Although it's the fact that he's covered in true blue fur from head to toe that most people seem to notice about the man than the above mentioned. The fur on top of his head is a dark navy blue that looks more like human hair than fur. It's spiked and stands up straight like a flat top. His sky blue eyes shine out with a spark of intelligence or are that the spark of a feral animal. His ears are pointed and covered in the fur. His noise seems to fit his face if not a bit on the small side. He's got a strong chin and thin lips. His white canines peak up and out of his mouth if he doesn't care to hide them. His fingers and toes end in slightly sharp claws.
The only clothing that he wears is a pair of navy blue bikini shorts with a yellow belt with an X on the belt buckle. It leaves his muscular form and fur covered form off to those that wish to view it. The clothing choice seems to be a form of function allowing for complete movement and relying on his fur to give him modesty.
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.
With her bruises from the Bronx long healed, and her acid burns from the encounter with Toad at last finished their healing process as well, Andrea has finally returned to dressing more like a normal teenager confronted with consistent temperatures exceeding one-hundred degrees. She has eschewed the jacket of her custom-designed private school uniform in favor of a short-sleeved blouse and a light-weight vest instead. Though her arms remain a tad more pale than she might like, they no longer require bandages or the frequent application of cold cream and other ointments to promote her recovery. A week or so to let her color crown and the raven-haired actress will be 'just golden', as it were.
Having received a message from Professor Xavier that he needs to see her, Andrea finished with her latest remote learning session, thanking the teacher of her radio communications class for his time. Then she gathered up her things and headed down the hall, moving towards the Headmaster's office. Once she arrives at the door she simply knocks gently on the door and waits to be admitted. She can guess why it is the Professor may be asking to see her, given that two different teachers at the school have wanted to talk to her about the same subject, and both seemed displeased with her responses. But she seems outwardly calm, cool and collected. Even her mind is relatively calm, though there are eddies of concern about not wishing to upset the Professor, whom she respects. He might ask her to leave the school, after all, rather than allow her attitudes to endanger the other students. She would not like that.
Xavier speaks up to welcome Andrea into his office. He has a folder in front of him, slid to the other side of the desk. It has Andrea's name on it along with the term: 'Assignment'. He is waiting patiently, his hands folded upon the desk. His smile is light as she enters. "It is good to see you Andrea. Thank you for coming. Please, have a seat. Would you like any refreshment or anything?"
Andrea smiles and nods to the Professor, seemingly always put a little at ease upon seeing him. She does catch the assignment folder, and whatever might still be around on loose papers and computer screens, but that's just her as a force of nature, really. Not an essence of choice. "Good afternoon, Sir." she offers, sitting neatly, hands folding in her lap as her legs cross at the knees. "Nothing for me, Sir. It's good to see you as well." This is his meeting, so Andrea lets the Professor choose the pacing.
"Thank you dear." Xavier's smile doesn't fade. "I have an assignment folder for you. I want you to do research on Gandhi and Martin Luthor King, Jr., and about King's family. I understand that you wish to be a practicing pacifist. As a result, I want you to understand the requirements and sacrifices required for such. If you have any questions, you can speak to me. Scott is also a big fan of these two individuals and can be spoken with as well. Your ideals are admirable. I have heard of them from Simone and Kyle. Though typically, there is a reason behind such a choice. I will let you keep that to yourself until you are ready and willing to share," he admits. "But though admirable, there are sacrifices that must be made to pursue your ideals. There is also a work by Gandhi I would like you to read on this subject. The book is in our library. It is called Hind Swaraj, and was written in 1938 by Mohandas Gandhi. I think the talk of soul-force or truth-force would be interesting to you. It also refers to the sacrifices required in pursuit of the ideals of pacifism."
Andrea listens. It is her nature, after all. But she does not interrupt, nor fidget. Nor does her face fall when handed an assignment, even if the folder remains for the moment on Xavier's desk rather than in her hands. She has no doubt that it is an assignment she will do, nor that it will take quite a good bit of time to complete. But she does not shy away from that. "Yes, Sir." she offers, simply enough.
Of course, that proves to be a trick as old as the concept of telepathy itself. Mention a thing, and then see how hard it is for the other to keep from thinking of it. Andrea's reasons for her adamant stance that she cannot take the path of violence are actually keenly represented by her wording to both teachers when asked on the subject. Andrea told both Kyle and Simone that she 'could not accept the responsibility for the decision that it was just to do harm to another.' Andrea was witness, time and again, to her mother's ability to decide that another's well-being was less important than her own, and the emotional and other cruelties she heaped on others as a result. Andrea's principle is simple: she maintains caring for others by assuring that she never allows herself to consider that she might have the right to refuse them, or to choose another's well-being less important than her own.
Admittedly, however, the mention that Scott is a fan of these individuals seems to confuse Andea. She has seen Scott do violence. It was, she will admit, controlled violence offered with care at what must have seemed to him the proper moment. She has nothing but admiration for Scott, for Piotr, and for their timing. But for some reason she does not trust herself as she does these two. She is convinced - on some fundamental level - that as she has sprung from such a corrupt force, she herself cannot be trusted with such authority. "The problem remains, Professor, that Ms. Dawn and Mister Owens are both convinced the sacrifices involved shall include the health and safety of my fellow students." And their comments wound the young student. Yet it is a burden she has accepted, not rejected, despite that pain.
"Yes, it could very well invovle that. It could invovle your own life, or the life and well-being of others. Gandhi was beaten, and just stood there and took it. He was often lucky he wasn't put to death. The only thing saving him was the fact that the British did not wish to make a martyr out of him."
Xavier leans back into his wheelchair and folds his hands over his stomach, interlocking his fingers. "Scott is very much a pacifist, he is merely what one might call a 'realist pacifist'. There are different types of pacifists Andrea. Scott cannot, will not stand by while one of his friends are being harmed. He has suffered in the past and refuses to be a victim any longer. Does that mean he will kill however? No." It is stated firmly by Xavier. "Not without my command, and it would haunt him for the rest of his life." Xavier recognizes he has that much power.
"In either case, have you realized that there is a self-defense you can learn that will continue to allow you to practice a form of pacifism?" Xavier watches you, trying not to dig deeply but he can't help but gather surface thoughts from you in this sort of situation. There are high risks with your chosen path and the fact you are a mutant.
"I will gladly sacrifice myself, Sir. I am of no importance. But I will not sacrifice others. I have no right to make that decision for them, anymore than I have a right to decide that my justice overrules another's right to life and safety." Andrea explains, quite firmly. This is precisely the attitude that drove Simone and Kyle nuts, because she was unapologetic about involving herself in both situations, believing firmly that she did exactly what was right regardless of the consequences.
"What you describe, sir, is not pacifism. It is a code of respect for life, an unwillingness to kill. It is a thing of honor and worthy of respect, especially when balanced against the razor's edge of an activist's need to take action." But for whatever reason, it is something Andrea believes she herself is incapable of maintaining.
Andrea nods to the last. "Yes, Sir. I spoke with Jonothon about my talk with Ms. Dawn, and he mentioned that there might be a form of martial arts that could teach self-defense without doing harm to others." Yet the truth is, Andrea wasn't offered that option. She was told by both teachers that she needed to accept the need to fight to protect herself and others. Thoughts even surface of Bobby mentioning to her that usually words alone are not enough, that one needs a power or a skill to back it up. Her idealism recoils from such an idea. How can offering violence ever serve the cause of peace?
Xavier's blue eyes actually narrow. "That is where you are wrong," his tone actually cool. "You do disappoint me, Andrea. I didn't realize you were that clueless or self-destructive. With the loss of you, we lose a potential major factor of fighting for mutant equal rights and preventing a World War. The fact you are blind to that is truly a sad thing. You are beyond important to the cause, and as a result I actively sought you out."
Then Xavier calms down. "So, you have no right to defend yourself, to treat yourself with respect and value, you have no right to consider yourself with any self-worth. Professionallly we call that low self-esteem, among with other emotional issues. That is not pacifism, Gandhi himself realized how important he was to the cause. He chose not to protect himself not because he believed he had no worth, but because he believed the cause he fought for was worth his life. What you describe is not pacifism Andrea, but merely indulging a fear."
"I am neither clueless, nor self-destructive, Professor. Whatever the loss of me might cost the greater cause would be just as lost if I cease to be who I am, selecting another's life and safety as less important than my own." Internally, Andrea quails at Xavier's cool anger and disappointment, but outwardly she is calm and collected, resolute and firm. It's not hard to see how infuriating Andrea has been with the others. Or why they would have become so flustered.
"I have the right to run away. I have the right to shield myself from harm if I can. But I do not have the right to harm another to do so. I need not bare my breast and present it for the sacrificial knife. That is throwing my life away. But I will not harm another to protect myself, or let another come to harm by using them as a shield, or standing by to do nothing so that I may hide rather than help." Andrea affirms, resolutely. "If that is indulging in fear, so be it."
"You said you are of no importance. You are of great importance Andrea. I don't show up at swimsuit modeling events for my own amusement. Believe me, I am a little beyond that. The fact is, you aren't a pacifist for any great cause, but merely because you fear making a choice. This is something you must come to terms with. One cannot exist without imposing on another's existance. It is human nature. If this was not so, there would be no conflict in the world. I wish it otherwise, but that is not so. I cannot close my eyes to it as a telepath."
"The thing is, you do not run away Andrea. You run into trouble. Your powers have been used to interfere with HYDRA agents in the past. You place yourself in dangerous situations of your own choice, and yet you are willing to do nothing to conteract that. That is foolishness. You need to make a choice Andrea, for yourself and for others."
"You can come to terms with your fear of making such a choice, and you can learn Aikido. It uses a redirection of energy, and though it can be used for violence such as breaking wrists if someone resists a pin or even because you choose so, it does not have to be. Or you can choose to become an idealist pacifist. You will not be permitted off campus without a bodyguard. Our students will not be permitted with you in public without your bodyguards for their own saftey. Because if there is a dangerous situation I am sure you will try to use your gifts to assist them but in the end that will only place you in more danger, and thus place them in danger as they struggle to protect you. I will support whichever decision you wish to make. If you want perform the research project that I have provided, talk to me or someone else about the issues before making a decision, that is fine as well."
Xavier's eyes look a little tired. "I must be practical Andrea. A war threatens to come. It will consume the world and mutants potentially could be hunted down, caged or put down, euthenized. This is what the elder mutants fear. The Friends of Humanity would love for this to happen. I must do everything within my power without removing free will to assure that this does not happen. At the same time, I must combat our own kind, fellow mutants who are building for a war and causing catalyst events that will only encourage it to happen. This is the world we live in." he says with grief in his tone. "And it is the world I want to save. I can't do that if I'm sacerficing my students, Andrea, before they can even mature to achieve great things for mutant-kind."
There comes a knock on the door of Xavier's office. Mrs.McCoy's bouncing baby boy stands outside. He is dressed in a red Hawaiian shirt, a straw fedora, and khaki cargo shorts. His bag lies next to him as if he's planning on taking a week's vacation or going on a trip for a short time. He puts the luggage down outside the door. Then gets bored takes off his hat and holds it in his hands.
"I am sure that my life has value, Professor. But as I see it, that value is compromised if I compromise my values. I cannot bring myself to do harm to another. But neither can I merely sit back and do nothing when someone else is in danger." Andrea responds, calmly. Within, her mind is turbulent, swamped with turmoil as she finds herself under 'attack' by one of the few people in the world she so admires and respects that his actual opinions have the power to override her own. Like any teenager, she quails before that, but she refuses to show her panic. "I have helped before. And I helped when we faced Toad as well. I did not place myself in danger, but I chose not to run away because that girl needed help, and we were the only ones there to give it to her. None of us wanted conflict. But we spoke up and spoke out rather than say nothing, do nothing, and run away while he abused her or worse."
Andrea makes a grimace of distaste as Xavier continues. "I could not bring myself to harm another. To break a wrist, or an arm. But if learning this 'Aikido', or some other martial art, might make me better able to avoid getting hurt when someone attacks, I am willing to try to learn. I fear I may not be very good. But I can try." Part of Andrea literally wants to break down in tears. Andrea has done all she can to do what she believes is right, and Xavier - whom she so admires - is calling her foolish. Imagine that pain and heartache.
"I cannot believe that the answer to an onrushing war is to do battle and harm to others. I must believe there is a better way: to do peace. To stop the war before it happens. Before others have to die. Before homes and lives are destroyed. But if my presence here is endangering my fellow students, I will leave." Andrea is resolute, despite the moistness in her eyes, the urge to give in and cry. "I will not allow my presence to endanger my friends." She would give up her friends, and her only chance at a normal child's social life, to protect them. Who says she's a coward now?
Andrea is aware of the approach of the blue-furred Doctor McCoy in the hallway, but she is equally aware that the Professor cannot be unaware of his approach given his own talents. Instead, she just suppresses any urge at mirth given his attire, and does not startle as some might if involved in such an intense discussion, when the knock to the door comes.
"I am not asking you to compromise your values. You do not wish to defend yourself because it removes free choice from the person wishing to harm you, taking something away from them. I don't happen to agree. I am also a pacifist, but I am a different form of pacifist than that, and I have compromised my own ideals and values to save the lives of others, and myself. For if I should die so easily, everything I have worked for would go to waste. This is not with the viewpoint that I am all-important, but I realize I am worth the sum of my work and my work is all-important. Mutant-kind depends upon it, the world depends on it." It is not said with self-importance, but said with sincerity.
"You and Lily also compromised your teammates by being unable to defend yourselves properly. Toad had to be overpowered by my first class, otherwise some of you would be dead now. Toad would not hesistate to kill someone in his way unless his 'handler' forbade him, Andrea. Alex, if he'd gotten in over his head, couldn't have retreated because of you and Lily. Jonothon went down trying to protect everyone. Toad didn't want to fight. Alex was verbally begging for one. Only a teenager could think his aggressive words would provoke anything but a violent reaction from Toad. It was obvious for those that don't even know him that he would not have listened to calm and compassionate logic, let alone a teenager trying to 'act all that' as they say these days. Brave perhaps, but not sensiable. I'm not saying that the action was wrong, as you did likely save a life. But at the cost of almost sacerficing your own, and for what? A single event that will be forgotten in a few years from now, if it has not already been forgotten by all but the victims themselves and the fanatics."
Xavier is trying to get Andrea to place all of this in perspective. "Logically, you should have walked away and called the police. Instead, you were merely exchanging yourself for another, and though noble, that is foolish." Xavier then nods, "Learning Aikido is good, you do not have to break a wrist or do other harm. It merely uses redirection and it can be used to pin someone or send them on their way, or it can be used to harm someone. It is up to the practicioner."
Xavier says, "I wish there was another option. But when others are planning terrorist actions and talking will not stop them, one must use controlled force to make them retreat, or to arrange their arrest." Xavier sighs, "That is the point I am trying to get across. You cannot endanger others' lives because of tender emotions. Tender emotions are admirable Andrea, but not practical in life and death situations. That is the point I am trying to get across, and things are going to get worse before they get better. If I could protect you from these confusing emotions, if I could protect you and others from pain and suffering I would Andrea, with everything in me. But that isn't possible. We are fighting against the darkest of human fears and hatred. We are fighting against mutants' fears and hatred as well. It is a two-edged sword and we are caught in the middle, wanting peace. We will be destroyed if we stand still and do nothing," Xaiver says compassionately.
Hank can hear the words clearly - likely Xavier projecting them. He heard Andrea's response and Xavier's own words. But then out loud Xavier says, "Hank, please come inside." He then smiles a bit sadly. "It appears young Hank wants to slip away. I'd like you to really meet him Andrea. Hank is one of the most non-violent men you shall ever meet. He would rather talk someone to death then kill him," Xavier offers, making a bit of a jest. "Then again, I've had the same thing said of me," referring to Magneto's opinion of him. Oh, how that memory grieves him.
Hank stops to listen to the conversation going on inside. His ears wiggle slightly as he hears every word and a frown appears on his usually jovial face. The straw fedora is given a toss to land on his suitcase. He waits for Xavier to give him permission to come in. Once the good Professor gives him an answer, the big blue mutant comes bouncing into the room and leaps over the back side of a guest chair and comes to a rest, "Salutations and greetings Professor." He turns to offer his big blue hand to Andrea and shakes hers given a chance. "Ms. Andrea."
Hank gives them both a grin, "Professor, I am not slipping away like a thief in the night. I just have a desire for my mother's brownies. I think I can smell their soul- and belly-filling aroma all the way from Illinois." He says with a slight frown. "Though it sounds that maybe fortune has smiled upon me at this time. It sounds as if this debate need a third opinion or a mediator before two idealistic pacifists turn to fistcuffs."
Hank looks at Andrea, "You wish to be a member of Mr. Owens extracurricular activity?" He scratches his chin, "But you wish not to harm anyone physically." He closes his eyes and his nostrils flare. Then he settles into the chair and folds his hands like Xavier. "Well Ms. Telliera, what is your answer to this situation? How will you disarm or disable anyone who accosts you? How will you accomplish this task if you are momentary circumvented from using your powers? I imagine that part of Mr. Owens' project is to train the student to be able to defend themselves, how to assess a potential combat situation and how best to defuse the situation without the lose of life: their own, their opponents', and any innocents present."
Henry continues, "These situations sometimes call for martial force in my experience, but that is usually a breakdown and failure. But there is a long way to go yet before we have reached a fatal situation. So could you explain to me, how you plan to be part of this project and account for your own, your opponents, and any civilian's lives? I know I'm asking a lot but I'm not caught up on this situation and I need the information to help you formulate the best answer." Is he even mocking Xavier just a tiny bit? Nah, immatation is the best form of Flattery right?
While Andrea has at times observed Doctor McCoy's physical shennanigans at a distance - a remove, if one will - she has never seen it up close and personal. Henry is rather large, and while adorably fluffy, fuzzy and blue, he's also somewhat scary-looking when bounding about like that. So pardon the girl if she lurches a bit to the side, until the bouncing blue fuzzball settles down on the chair. She does extend her hand when greeted, however. "Hello, Sir. Good to meet you."
"A life - any life - is worth that sacrifice, Professor. We all discussed running away. We chose to stay. We're not fighters, not soldiers or police. We're school children. We did the best that we could in the situation. That's not enough, apparently. Not for you, not for Ms. Dawn or Mister Owens. So be it. My answer stands: If my being here endangers the other students, I will leave rather than do so." Andrea offers, with a sigh.
Andrea did not sign up to be a soldier, nor was she - or has she - ever been told that would be expected of her. She signed up to be a student, to attempt to have something approximating as close to a normal life as an international starlet and model can manage. And perhaps to learn to better control and understand the strange gifts she has lived with all her life. That has been rather slow going, but she never expected instant results. "My 'tender emotions' are who I am, Professor. If that makes me a liability, I understand. I am sorry to have endangered the other students. I will have my things packed up before my evening ride arrives. I assure you, no one will ever learn the secret of this place or your students from me. Thank you, for my time here."
Andrea listens to Hank, perplexed and confused. "I do not understand. What extracurricular activity? Whatever do you mean?" She frowns a bit, and shakes her head. "If I have no help, and no powers, the only thing I could do would be to scream and run away, dial the police if I can. The same as any teenager, Sir. What else would you expect I could do?"
"Such a sacrifice of life is not required. With proper training and use of skills, you and your classmates should have been able to handle Toad easily. In ignorance, we can do the greatest harm." Xavier then says, "Nor are you required to leave the school, merely to have a bodyguard with you at all times away from campus with our students. This is for your protection as well as theirs. Practical. We are worried about your safety and well-being, as well as the well-being of the other students. It is why there is conflict, because you have no care for yours, which enhances our care even more greatly," Xavier states. He then falls silent, letting Andrea over react, as teenagers are often to do. Xavier doesn't argue further on the issue. He never once wanted her to leave or asked her to leave and would expect her here tomorrow morning or would call her guardian asking why she is skipping classes. Nor does she have 'things' here, she lives at home. Which is melodramatic once again.
"So, is it only your gifts that make you able to help?" Shock, to say the least and then a shake of his head. Xavier then says toward Hank, "She doesn't know. The students suspect, but it has not been announced. Nor would Andrea be invited to participate as she will not protect herself in a life or death situation. She uses her gifts and mind as weapons, but refuses to use her body as such. I originally recruited her to graduate and hopefully promote mutant rights and integration into society with her charisma and influence. To help other youths and adults, and open a bridge between mutants and normals. Though she performed heroic deeds before being recruited to the school, I did not realize at the time that she refuses to physically protect herself. She has agreed to Aikido under pressure, which pleases no one I fear," Xavier says with compassion and concern.
Hank frowns slightly as Andrea cringes from him. His gentle soul trapped in form of a brute has always been one of Henry's greatest curses, even more now that he is big and blue. "You run away. That is a sound solution that any reasonable person would have done. Then if you do not have the skills nor the desire to fight the annoying and bumbling villain Toad, why did you not remove yourself and anyone else who was harmed from the situation and call for help?"
Henry continues, "I believe the Professor and you are both using the terms soldier and pacifist. I even heard the term idealist, I do believe. But you are not using the term that both of you are talking about: Martyr. Which our people do not need. We need people willing to protect humans and mutants. Our cause needs people to stand up and speak for our rights. We do not need victims or the dead to remind us why we are doing this."
He looks at Xavier, "I apologize then Professor, I did not mean to give away the spolier like I did on Avatar to you." He turns back to Andrea, "I guess it is my turn to be overly dramatic." He lets out a sigh, "We are at war. Mutants and Humans." He gives that overly dramatic statement time to settle in, "Or that is what many groups of humans and mutants not currently present at this school would tell you. These human groups will attack you simply cause you are not human in their eyes. The mutants will attack you because they believe if you are not with them, you are against them. That being simply said, the moment that either attacks you or a civilian, they have became so enraged that they are beyond the ability to make a capable, well-informed decision. It then becomes your responsibility to prevent them from killing or harming an innocent, yourself, or themselves. This can be accomplished many ways. As you said before, evacuating and calling for help is a fine solution. Physical combat to incapacitate them is another solution. But in the end we must remove what is causing their agitation or keep them from being able to harm others. This is the true purpose of combat training. It's not just to hit each over the head till we agree with one another. If you plan to run away, you need to be able to assess the situation to make sure you get away."
"Why would you ever expect that I have no care for my own life? I choose not to place my life /above/ others. That does not mean I have no care to live, Professor. If that were true, I would have been dead some time ago. I care about my well-being. But I care about the well-being of others just as much. Somehow, this is seen as a bad thing, which I do not understand." Andrea doesn't, nor will she, really. That the teachers think she is over-reacting and being a teenager is frustrating and infuriating for her, but she is used to adults not understanding who they are dealing with. She would wish that these adults, of all adults, would get it. But that they do not is not a shock, merely a disappointment. One would think a telepath more aware than that. As for her things, Andrea has kept changes of clothes here, and other things as needed, and has been using one of the guest rooms on the second floor when she is on campus - a majority of every day, thus the need for 'things'.
"It is not that my gifts are my only way to help. But my gifts are the only way I have to deal with dissuading someone intent on harming me. My only way to dissuade them from harming others, unless I draw their attention to me instead." Which is clearly dangerous, and she knows it. But she is willing to do it. That is what makes her heroic, even if no one else is willing to recognize it. The fireman is lauded for running into the building as others are running out. She does not wear the uniform, so she is not lauded, but pitied.
"I agree to attempt to learn Aikido, because you say it might give me the ability to protect myself or others without doing harm. I cannot imagine I will be very good at it. But I would at least try, and perhaps it would make Mister Wagner happier, since I refused to take his fencing lessons." Gymnastics, she agreed to. But her matured body frame and height means she'll never be as good at such things as a smaller, more compact girl would be. And agreeing to such training still does not solve the problem, because it will be years before Andrea - or any of the other young students - will be trained well enough to rely on those skills in a crisis.
In response to Doctor McCoy's words, Andrea simply says, "I did not run away because there was someone else there in need of help who could not run away. We all stayed because we hoped we might be able to do something to facilitate her escape to safety, and then effect our own. That is what we /tried/ to do." It did not work. Andrea freely admits this. But they tried to do the right thing, as a bunch of civilians, school children with no preparation or training. And still they are accosted at every turn, rather than lauded and then guided to better ways of doing the same in the future. "I won't do anyone any good as a martyr. In the larger scope of things, no one will remember the loss of my life as being anything worth noting. But if placing myself in danger enables another to live and escape, I consider that worthwhile. I would rather live, and help promote peace for /everyone/. But I will do what I have to do."
"Blinding someone or blasting their ears, making them dizzy, is physical harm, Andrea, just not with your hand but with your gifts." Xavier sounds serious about that. "It is the same as hitting someone across the face, or pinning them and blind-folding them, and so on." A pause then, "This is where you error Andrea. You are choosing the path of a martyr. Even Gandhi realized this and he is the one that developed passive resistance, and he became a martyr. Martin Luther King Jr. became a martyr; He understood and accepted that risk. That is exactly what you are doing Andrea. There is no doubt in anyone's mind that you are doing such except in your own, thus why everyone is so upset with you. You are willing to sacrifice yourself passively for another's life. The only difference is you aren't doing it for an ideal, but rather for a personal belief. Do the research, and see for yourself. I highly suggest that reading material."
"To believe that using your gift to blind someone, hurt their ears or so on is any different than raising your fist is an error as well. You are still harming and interfering with someone else's choice and free will. One is merely done through unusual gifts and the other is done through physical action." Xavier then looks over to Hank, "If you have something further to say, I believe this conversation will go no further at this point."
"I am not asking you to make a decision now Andrea, but in the meantime do not leave campus during school hours. When you meet our students off campus, please have bodyguards with you. Unfortantly, our students have a habit of attracting trouble, and I wish you to remain safe."
Hank sniffs at the air, "Having knowledge and ability is one thing. Putting it into practice is another. Ask a Shaolin monk. They practice martial arts and yet they are more of a pacifist than anyone in the room. You need combat training if just to have knowledge of how to assess the situation. You need to learn to protect yourself and to assess a situation and try to prevent putting yourself in dire situations."
Andrea merely sighs softly. "I am no monk, and I am not being given years to learn. And since the presence of bodyguards will only create more of a splash and make it that much more likely to cause an incident, it would be best if I not socialize with other students off campus. I will explain this to them, and hopefully they will understand." She lowers her head. "Using my flares does no serious harm to anyone. Not even a bruise. And I know how well it works because the coordinators on the set explained to me how the police use flashbangs to subdue suspects in crisis situations - specifically because they do no serious damage." Andrea did think about all of this.
Beset, Andrea finally relents and simply goes silent. Still Xavier insists she is not living up to her own ideals, and that her ideals are endangering the other students. They want her to learn to fight, just so they can teach her how to better run away, which makes no sense to her. But since nothing she says and nothing she does is making any difference at this point, arguing isn't helping. "I said I would try, Sir. That's the best I can offer." That said, she tries not to sniffle where they can see or hear her, but gathers herself up and departs, returning to her room. She can cry there in private.