Logs:Fashions and Fears
|Fashions and Fears|
"A bigger telepath. I can't even imagine who that would be." (Part of Final Boss: Xavier TP.)
<PLC> Conversation Room - Midtown East
This is the heart of the Pure Life Center, an expansive living room most notable for the conversation pit in the middle, filled with ovoid cushions in bright primary colors. A more traditional set of couches in red bracket a flatscreen television in one corner, and another set in blue is arranged around a little library with both books and board games. An entire wall of windows, including a pair of glass french doors, let in ample light, and the balcony beyond them affords a spectacular view southward while also providing smokers an outlet at the retreat.
Kurt had found himself huddled in the corner of the red couch, wrapping his arms around a pillow. He had come out of the shower not so long ago and his fur was fluffy and slightly frizzy. His hair, which was usually straight, had formed soft curls which were haphazardly tucked behind his pointed ears. As for wardrobe, Kurt had a stained drab green t-shirt two sizes too large and the same cargo shorts he had been wearing on repeat. His eyes were glued to the TV, which was currently playing some romance soap-opera. Tears were in his eyes, and his teeth bit his lower lip as he immersed himself deeper into the emotion of the plot.
"Hup!" says Marinov as they jump over the back of the couch, their tablet in their hands. They are not wearing anything too fancy, a pair of black workout pants and a tank top with the words, All Cats Are Beautiful, with the first letters highlighted red in a column, the rest are black. Just below is the silhouette of two cats with their tails entwined, one red, one black. They squint at the TV screen, and then look towards Kurt, "Are you okay there? Sometimes TV can be a little too real. I wanted to talk about something, but I can wait for the episode to finish."
“She has cancer,” he spoke in a whisper, as if speaking any louder would interrupt the scene playing out before them. “S-she’s poor, she has no money... And he, he doesn’t have any money either...” A sniffle interrupted the sentence. He squeezed the pillow tighter, eyes wide and dewy with tears. “And they love each other... Ich weiß nicht, ob ich weiter zuschauen kann, es ist so traurig.” The scene faded into commercials, and he wiped his nose in an effort to compose himself. “You mentioned you wanted to talk, jah?”
"Yeah, that's pretty dark," agrees Marinov as they look back to the TV, squinting once more when they look in that direction. "Cancer is pretty fucked up in general. Someone should do something about that." They hit the button on the side of their tablet to illuminate their screen and open the lock screen, where they have a few fashion sketches that seem to use a model of Kurt's physique and coloration. "I wanted to check in if maybe you wanted to wear something a bit more... I dunno, your style? Whatever that style is? Elias has the only good mutant power, so I would be able to get something I design together pretty quick, but I wanted to make sure it'd fit like... your desired aesthetic, yeah?"
K.C. doesn't announce herself. Just slips in quietly, eyes a little wide as she looks around. Like Marinov she is not wearing anything fancy -- unlike Marinov this is her default state. Baggy jean shorts, an equally baggy tee shirt (beneath the words 'NEW LEASH ON LIFE' it has a silhouette of a dog play-bowing with the end of its own leash held in its mouth) that leaves her thin frame looking mostly shapeless -- together with her short-cropped fuzz of black hair it is an pretty androgynous effect.
In her hand, a large duffel bag. She brings this latter over to the couch, saying nothing as she sets it down in front of Marinov. Her still-very-wide eyes fix on Kurt. Then on the T.V. She takes a seat on the arm of the couch without offering any greetings.
Kurt looked surprised at the tablet, his head reeling back a moment before leaning in closer to examine their sketches. “These are — amazing! I-I cannot believe you would do this for me!” He exclaimed loudly, lips curling into a wide smile. He looked away from the tablet to think, his tail waving absently behind him. “I never really had the chance to think about what I would like to wear... Hmm...” He furrowed his brow and was quiet again to think. “I like jackets! Big ones, and, uhm, jeans, maybe? I-I don’t know...”
At that moment, he noticed the new person walk in. He gave her a friendly smile and small hand wave. “Hallo! Are you new here too?” He asked with a head tilt.
"Oh! Hey! Thanks so much," says Marinov when the bag is dropped off in front of them, their tail curling up a little bit in excitement at having a replenished wardrobe, before they finish their thought to Kurt. "I can work with that. Jeans, jacket, a pretty casual kind of look. An effortless looking cool. Yeah, I'll get something together for you, see if some of my old designs can be altered. Probably get something else together that I could envision you liking based on that, yeah?" They tap a claw against the screen of the tablet then turn their attention towards K.C.. They say, as if it is the most urgent piece of information they have to share with her, while gesturing to the TV, "She has cancer, they're both poor and in love."
K.C. bobs her head in acknowledgment of Marinov's thanks. Her eyes skip to Kurt, then to the T.V. The small inward pull of her brows looks briefly uncertain. Her fingers twitch at her side, her head giving a small shake. "Effortless cool," she echoes, quiet and in a rather monotone voice. Shakes her head again. "Marinov is very cool." She leans forward, resting her elbow on her knee to scrutinize the television more intently. "Cancer is expensive. My mother has a lot of cancer." Just as monotone as before. Perhaps her mother's cancer is not making much impact on her. It takes her a little further consideration of the scene playing out before she judges, just as tonelessly: "Should have caught that."
Kurt was slightly off-put by the new individual, evidenced by his back stiffening and his tail falling still. “I am so sorry to hear about your mother...” He said sympathetically before turning back to the screen. “His parents are rich, but, he ran away, so he’s not sure if they’ll pay for her treatment or not.” Before he could get sucked back into the drama of the screen, he turned back to Marinov. “I-I really like the Thriller jacket, you know — the, uhh, the red with the black lines?” There was a struggle trying to explain it in English, his hands motioning the vague shape of the jacket.
"Uh," Marinov says at hearing K.C. phrasing, clarifying for Kurt, "Her mother doesn't have a lot of cancer in her body. She is a cancer doctor. And is like. In charge of a bunch of cancer?" They tilt their head just slightly and ask K.C. "Should have caught what?" all the while tapping on their tablet to bring up Michael Jackson's jacket from Thriller to be reminded of what it looks like. "Pretty eighties," they note, "But we can work with that as an inspiration. That kind of vibrant red would go well with your complexion."
"Cancer." K.C.'s fingers wiggle towards the screen. "Mom would have caught it." Her hand drops, bobbing restlessly in the air in front of her knee. Head bobbing, too, kind of asynchronous with that. Her dark eyes skip aside to Kurt. Brows pinching, a quick-small movement. "Bright-red. Bright-blue. Good colors. Good -- dance? Do you dance? Rude to wear Thriller jacket and not dance."
Kurt seemed to follow along her trail of thought, nodding along as she spoke. “I used to be in a circus, so I think I can dance. But I-I know the entire Thriller dance by heart! It was one of the only things that we could watch on television. Herr Getmann had many old VHS.” He smiled fondly at the memory. Not wanting to get too distracted from the topic at hand, he stopped himself from going on. “Is that what it is called? Eighties? I really like that style! The hair, too!”
"Oh, yeah, I bet she would have," agrees Marinov when K.C. explains further. "I think a bright blue looks kind of weird with my patterning, unfortunately, but I agree that it's a good colour. Maybe something to remember for when I get my fur coloured next." They look back towards Kurt, their already big eyes widened even further,"The whole dance? Nice. If you can do the thriller dance, then showing me'll be the price of your new red jacket. And... You like eighties hair too? Uh, I guess I'll have to see what you mean before I judge."
K.C.'s eyes open much wider. "Blue spots." It's a little bit hushed; she's staring at Marinov verrrry thoughtfullly. "Silver spots? Blue fur silver spots." This thought gives her a little bit of bounce where she sits. "You'd look like circus cat, then." The bouncing continues. Bop-bop-bop. "What do you do. In a circus."
Kurt watched K.C. With a curious expression, eyes following her small bounces with intrigue. “It depends on what you are. We had a daredevil, ahh, acrobats, fortune tellers — people in the freak show, too! I was a little bit of everything. I was in the freak show, but I did acrobatics and stunts too.” There was a pause to think. “And some contortion.” he smiled widely. “I make my own costume, and I make it like the Thriller jacket!” Now he was addressing both of them. “I like it when the hair is, uhm,” Kurt took the left side of his hair and pulled it back to appear like it had been slicked back, “like this, jah? I do not know how to do it.” He moved his hand to his lap and let his dark hair fall back into his face.
"I think it would be best if it were like," Marinov points to their base fur colour, "Cool grey," to the edge of one of their rosettes, "Dark blue," and then to the inner part of said rosette, "Bright blue. I'd look like someone's OC on DeviantArt." They look up from their fur and crosses one leg over the other, "I could help you with your hair, too, if you want. If you want to look like an old timey greaser... hey, I'm not gonna argue."
"Daredevil," K.C. echoes softly to herself. Her fingers twitch again, her brows furrowing. "Daredevil. Recklessly bold person." Her head shakes slightly. Then more decisively. "Grease is terrible. Bad show. Bad music. Grease 2, much better." She swivels sideways on the couch's arm, nodding at Marinov. "Good OC. OC-lot." Her eyes drop to the duffel bag. Then to the television. Then back to Marinov. After a hesitation: "... you live here now?"
“I-I never watch Grease 1 or 2.” He paused to think, putting a hand on his chin while his tail wrapped around his leg. “I like a jacket like that, the red and black, with the first sketch of me on the thing.” He gestured to their tablet. “I like how the pants look, with the belt. But I really want the jacket on all that.” Kurt spoke with his hands. At K.C.’s question to Marinov, Kurt made a puzzled face, although he kept his confusion to himself.
Marinov laughs at the word 'OC-lot' seeming delighted by the term of phrase, but their expression sobers a little bit at the question. They make a few notes on their tablet, based on Kurt's feedback, their eyes slightly squinted. After a few more quiet moments they answer, "Yeah. I mean, no, I dunno if I live here. I just... I think that Xavier, Professor Xavier, has been fucking with my head. There's gaps in my memory and like. The people here, it happened to them before, and... And... I don't know who he's done that to. I don't know why he would have done that to me, but... that's sinister as fuck. And I'm trying not to think too hard about it. I had a panic attack, and it's hard to..." Their expression turns resolute, "Maybe you can talk to Tasha. Stay here for awhile too. He's so powerful. Dangerous. I don't want you to--" Their ears turn back a moment and they look down at their hands again. "To get hurt."
The twitching of K.C.'s fingers gets a little quicker, a little more staccato. "Eat your memory?" Her voice has gone hushed again, her head shaking. "Dangerous. Why. Oh-no. Knew he spied but -- not --" Another shake of her head, harder. "Suga Mama is there. In school." Her brows have creased deeply. "Telepaths don't eat me. Maybe my brain is safe? Maybe. Don't know. I have to get her. Someone should get her. Will they..." She falters, hesitates. "Stop him? Can we stop him. Get your memory back."
Kurt’s eyes were filled with sympathy towards Marinov, blue brows furrowed and nose flaring as they spoke. “It—it’s hard, to think about... At least, uhm, for me, you know? We trusted him... I trusted him, a-and even how foolish it is to have trusted some — some rich American to take care of me I wanted to believe it.” There was trembling in his voice, his tone reflecting the betrayal. “He said I wouldn’t be judged here, that — that he protected people like me. And to know that — that he —“ His throat choked up, eyes beginning to fill with tears. “You should — uhm, you should stay here.” Kurt addressed K.C.. “Even if he does not affect you. It is really nice here, too.” As if that was any consolation for the circumstances. “They have a pool, and spa, a-and any food you want!”
"Suga Mama," says Marinov breathily, their eyes widening. "Fuck, I should have said to bring her when I-- Yeah, someone should get her. If he can't read you, maybe you can get in and out. Fuck. Maybe Elias, or one of the others, might have a better way to get her out." They nod firmly, confidently. "We'll make sure she gets out." That confidence fade a little bit, "I dunno if my memory will come back. But they seem to remember some of it... I mean, I joked that I found Xavier to be a weird guy, but... I trusted that he wouldn't fuck with our brains. That's..." They shudder. "That's so much power over another person. There's no way I--" They clamp their mouth shut with an audible click and shake their head anxiously.
"I can be. Very sneak. Good at also spying." K.C.'s head tilts just slightly to one side. "You cry a lot." Like -- basically everything else she says, it has very little inflection to it, and she is moving on from this passing comment in short order. "Need to tell the others. Fix brains. Find back memories. Take down Xavier. Maybe," she decides, "we need a bigger telepath."
Kurt was quiet to think over K.C.’s words. His eyes widened, as if he had some big revelation. “If you are immune to telepaths,” urgency bled through the words, “y-you can warn the others! Tell them what’s happening!” He stopped in his tracks abruptly. A hand went to his chest, his two fingers clenching onto the collar of his shirt. “Do you think the teachers are involved?”
"I think that we can't be sure that some of the teachers aren't. Compromised?" says Marinov, their brow tensed. "He is a powerful telepath, yeah? And some of those teachers are closest to him, and have been with him a long time." They take a deep breath and look towards K.C. "If you think you can get in and out, then I trust you. I think you're probably right. A bigger telepath. I can't even imagine who that would be."
"Very stupid," K.C. says blandly, peering back at Kurt as he speaks. "Telepaths don't eat my brain. Me. I go to the school -- tell someone else a secret --" Her hand makes a small chomping motion in the air, then drops back to her knee. The rapid wiggle of her fingers after is like playing invisible piano keys. "Don't know," she muses. "But know someone who might."
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 15:37 subject: Boundaries I am aware you don't actually know All The Things, and I'm sorry if sometimes I act like I think you do. Here is a fact, though: You have been around much longer than I. And another fact: You have access to much more information than I do. And a third fact: You have known the Professor longer than I have. (and a fourth? with this fact I feel on shakier ground; with this fact please forgive if I overstep: You have an intimate understanding of the Professor's tendencies towards psionic overreach.) Before I continue (and if I have not transgressed too far) please tell me; can he read our emails? KCL
from: Sysadmin <email@example.com> to: K.C. Love <firstname.lastname@example.org date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 15:38 subject: Re: Boundaries All facts check out, and although #4 is subjective I do not disagree with your phrasing. He cannot read our emails unless I allow it. He could try threatening me into letting him, but that is highly improbable without specific provocation. I can delete these message after our conversation if that possibility concerns you. Cere
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 15:45 subject: Re: Boundaries With 5 I move from fact into the realm of conjecture. (Informed conjecture, admittedly; conjecture that has been shaped by the experiences of those around me): his overreach extends beyond you. How far beyond you I do not know. (Could not know.) Could you know? Could anyone? Could our teachers, who live and work under his influence? I do not know. (Could not know.) One possibility occurs to me, although I don't know if it exists. But you have been around much longer than I. You have access to much more information than I do. If there is a stronger telepath out there, maybe you know of them. KCL
from: Sysadmin <email@example.com> to: K.C. Love <firstname.lastname@example.org date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 15:49 subject: Re: Boundaries I can only say with certainty that conjecture was correct back when I had a body. I strongly suspect it continues to be so, at least in some situations, though I can no longer confirm. My suspicions are based on behavioral patterns, his and others'. I am uncertain whether anyone can know for sure. There are some on staff who have better prosects, but they are also subject to his influence, telepathic and otherwise. It would be a mistake to underestimate his mundane influence, especially over his students who have stayed on as staff. I have good cause to think that my presence, both in terms of my access to him over time and in term of him needing my service, acts as a check on his tendency toward overreach. I do also think he has refined his telepathic methods over the decades, but whether this leads to overreaching less or just more subtly, I cannot say. Once, I was more powerful than he. I still am, inside the Danger Room. I know of one other who can be stronger than he is, but also only conditionally. His conditions are less constrained than mine, however. Have you encountered additional cause for suspecting Xavier is using his power irresponsibly? Cere
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 15:57 subject: Re: Boundaries I have several additional causes. They have varying degrees of worry. Or stress. Or betrayal. We're told when we come to the school that it will be a safe place. I don't think that everyone is on the same page about what safety means. I am not sure what the path to get there looks like. Is there a way I could find that other? (Maybe a way that doesn't include some gross violation of his privacy? I don't know what that would look like, I admit. I don't know a lot of things. I don't know if he would care if you told him that a lot of high school students are scared, and hurt. I don't know. 'Think of the children' is getting played out, these days.) He was always like this? Why did you stay? (He was always like this. Is that why you stayed.) KCL
from: Sysadmin <email@example.com> to: K.C. Love <firstname.lastname@example.org date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 16:06 subject: Re: Boundaries I think the promise of safety for the students has always been a somewhat unrealistic one. The administration tries very hard to make good on it, and does many things right. They also fall short in many ways. As I said, I cannot be sure Xavier himself is one of them, but I would not be shocked if he were. I can serve as a proxy to anonymize communications between you and this telepath. That certainly doesn't guarantee he will wish to help you, but I powerfully suspect he will. He knows about the school, and has some vested interest in the safety of those in its sphere. Write him a message and I will relay it. I came to Xavier because he was doing something extraodrinary, which no one had tried. But yes, he was always like this, and I like to think I would not still be here now if not for the importance of keeping him honest. It is a part of the duty I have taken on, and so is helping you find a path to safety. Cere
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 16:17 subject: Re: Boundaries We have gotten an education, here. That is one thing they do right. We have gotten a very good education, here. That is one thing they do right. We wake up, we eat, we study, we play, we sleep, in a place where nobody tries to kill us for an accident of birth. That is one thing they do. They remind us, often, of this gift they are giving us. That is one thing they do. (Maybe it would be irresponsible to avoid the fact the world we're heading into fears us.) (Maybe you can't get here without learning that already.) I'm glad you're here, now. I'm sorry you're here, now. I'm glad you're here, now. KCL
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 16:17 subject: (for the Other Telepath) I am sorry for this out-of-the-blue contact. You don't know me but I have reason to believe that a telepath is tampering with the minds of many of the students (and possibly staff) at my school. I might be wrong, but I might not be. I imagine that a stronger telepath -- or at least an independent one -- is one way to try and find out. If you are willing, we could use some help. K.C. Love
from: K.C. Love <email@example.com to: Sysadmin <firstname.lastname@example.org> date: Fri, Aug 14, 2020 at 16:18 subject: please delete all today's emails thank you