Logs:Patient Zero

From X-Men: rEvolution
Patient Zero
Dramatis Personae

Anastasia Rivers, Nessie, Tian-shin

2020-04-15


"Oh no what if I do this wrong."

Location

<XAV> Conservatory - XS First Floor


Tall panes of glass and a many-gabled glass ceiling protect this large indoor garden from the elements, while welcoming in sunlight to keep it warm year-round. Adjoined to the southern face of the venerable mansion and surrounded by more conventional gardens beyond, the conservatory is all Old World elegance from the outside. Within, however, it is lush and green and in certain corners--whether despite its careful tending by the groundskeeper or because of it--seems practically wild. Footpaths and a burbling artificial steam wind through the space, connecting its disparate parts. Benches are scattered throughout, thorough soft grasses or mosses under certain trees also invite rest.

The outside wall is lined with tropical and subtropical plants. The ferns and cycads and epiphytes are kept moist by artfully hidden misters that also give the place a sort of magical ambiance, dense foliage wreathed at times with drifting patches of mist. Nearest the building is a desert in miniature, with a few impressively sized cacti as well as palo verde and other trees adapted to arid climes. Between these, and by far the largest section, is dedicated temperate zone plantlife from around the world, the beds growing more carefully manicured and the paths less winding as one approaches the center, where a clearing with a small ring of seats is a popular spot for some teachers to hold court.

Although she is sitting on a bench in the southwestern desert portion with a laptop balanced on her knees, apparently diligent at work, Tian-shin looks distinctly wired today. It isn't just the tall and-and-black thermos that she sips from constantly, though that probably doesn't hurt, but her eyes are bloodshot and ringed with shadow and she looks like she hasn't slept much. She's dressed neatly, though, a pearlescent pink blouse with ruffles at the chest, gray pencil skirt, and chunky-heeled black pumps, her long black hair coiled up and secured at the back of her head with a black lacquered hair stick decorated with a rose quartz cabochon, her thin-framed glasses perched rather low on her nose.

Anastasia was walking around the conservatory, making notes in her notepad for topics and possible conversation ideas for fridays class. Something about the lush, forest feel of the conservatory put her at ease and helped her focus better. Anastasia was still wearing a gym outfit of sorts, sweatpants and a hoodie over a sports bra and tank-top, leftover from her recent training session, though she wasn’t a fan of fighting, Anastasia felt that she should keep in top shape and in prime control of her powers, should an emergency happen. As she walked and wrote down ideas, she happened to see Tian-shin sitting on a bench. It had been a while since Anastasia and Tian-Shin had talked so she figured it would be nice to catch up, and perhaps discuss the subject of jax, so Anastasia sat down on the bench next to her colleague. “Tough day?” She asked sympathetically, figuring it to be relevant by the bloodshot eyes of Tian-shin

Tian-shin doesn't quite to quite notice her co-worker's approach at first, and so gives a small start when Anastasia sits down. "Oh! Hi, um--sorry." She finishes the sentence she'd been working on in some kind of lengthy and heavily footnoted document and closes the computer. "Yeah--I mean, not really. At least, no worse than usual." She blushes ever so slightly and takes a sip from her thermos. "I'm just working on some briefs." Her brows wrinkle. "It's mind-boggling that officials need to be told it's a public health concern to keep people penned in crowded into facilities with little access to personal hygiene supplies or healthcare." She gives a disgusted shake of her head. "Sorry, again. How's your day going?"

Anastasia smiled faintly and nodded, knowing full well the burden of longs nights of work, her own night had mostly gone to preparing the classes for the next few weeks, as well as preparing some training schedules and exercises for students working with her on power control. Though she had slept at least some, one could see that she hadn’t gotten quite enough sleep none the less

Anastasia sighed heavily and nodded. “Ah but since when have they cared for the people Hmm? Especially for those less well off” she sighed before smiling gently. “Oh I’m doing quite alright dear, a bit tired perhaps, both for a lack of sleep and an increase in training, but all in all I cannot complain. And how of you? How are your control skills now?” She asked softly, turning to look at her fellow teacher as she spoke, the scars near her mouth stretching a bit as she smiled

Clickclickclick. Clickclickclick. Nessie's approach doesn't sound exactly like footsteps at first -- a soft erratic-hesitant skitterclick against stone. Tapping then stopping, tapping then stopping. When the teenager does come into view, it is hesitant as well, scuttling around a winding path on large arachnoid legs and then coming to a halt when she sees the teachers there. Dressed in only a baggy old Xavier's sweatshirt, there's not really a lot to readily identify her gender. Several pairs of eyes open wider in her gaunt face, and she inches back a few steps, eyeing the teachers uncertainly and clutching a notebook against her chest. That she is a new face around the school would not in and of itself be that out of the ordinary, save for the current quarantine and the complete lack of the usual notice that accompanies new students' arrivals.

Still. Huge scorpion tail, many segmented legs, large chitinous body -- it's hard to deny she's in the right place.

"I'm glad you're doing alright, all things considered." Tian-shin's smile is weary but warm. "Me, I'm...well, worried about my family in the city. Mom's health hasn't been great, and even with my brothers taking care of her...I don't know." She shakes her head again. Blinks at Anastasia. "My control...?" Her mouth opens and closes, her blush returning just a touch deeper beneath her impeccable makeup. She's saved from coming up with a reply by the odd tapping noise and the appearance of the scorpion teen on the path. She sits up straighter and pushes her glasses higher onto the bridge of her nose. "{What the...}" comes out in Mandarin first. Then, darting a wide-eyed glance at the older teacher, trying and failing to sound casual, "Hey, Anastasia, do know that...student?"

Anastasia nods softly, patting Tian-shins shoulder gently and reassuringly as she listens. “Of course, I can only hope they will be all right, just have faith in your brother, I fear it’s the best we can do at this moment. I don’t believe I have any family left Alive here, but I’m told my little cousins back in Russia are doing quite well, which is more than I could ever ask for” she smiles softly, though her words were cut off by the tapping sound, and as she sees scorpion teen, she raises an eyebrow. Suprisingly enough, it was not the scorpion side that bothered her, but rather that this was a new face to her, something that shouldn’t exactly happen during the current situation. Anastasia glances back to Tian-shin, equally unsure. “No, I don’t believe I do, darling, are you a new student, and if so why are you not in quarantine?” She asked, while she did her best to sound kind and patient, her words had an edge to them, and she had descreetly removed the glove of her right hand as she got up, just in case as she had no idea what was about to happen or what even was the situation at hand

Nessie's arms curl tighter around her notebook, and she shies back another hesitant step. "Quarantine?" She shakes her head, uncertainly. Sniffles loudly, wipes her face against her sleeve. "I don't... um." There's another restless shift of motion beneath her sweatshirt, something else fidgeting there where one wouldn't normally expect to see movement. "I think I'm new? I just. Just got here. Sorry. Is this like a. Teacher... room?"

Tian-shin sets her laptop aside on the bench and stands up, slanting an incredulous sidelong glance at her coworker's de-gloving. "I don't think that's going to be necessary," she says, very quietly. Then raises her voice, sounding calm enough as she addresses the stranger, "This isn't a...teacher room, but the administration has been putting all new arrivals in temporary quarantine, to protect the whole school from exposure." Her lips press together thinly. "It's not your fault if someone just messed up and didn't go through the proper procedure when admitting you. You're not in trouble, but we need to have Doctor McCoy take a look a you. You sound," she adds carefully, "like you might be sick. What's your name?"

Anastasia looks from Tian-shin to the new arrival and back again, before softening her posture just a bit. It wasn’t that she didn’t trust the new student, it was just that Anastasia preferred to be over prepared than under, however after hearing the student speak and seeing how she acted, Anastasia relaxed a bit more, as the new student didn’t look like she was about to attack, and she didn’t wish to scare a seemingly shy young woman. “I’m sorry if we spooked you darling, it’s just that, usually we would be informed of new students, and as Tian-shin mentioned, in these times new arrivals spend time in a temporary quarantine, it was not my intention to frighten you” she says in a calm and friendly voice, bringing to mind a kind Russian grandma who just served you her homemade blin with tea

Nessie's fingers pluck slowly at the spiral of her notebook. Her teeth scrape against her chapped lower lip, sinking down against it until she ducks her head, stifles a sneeze into her shirt. "Welllll," she finally says, slow, "you are a little frightening. I mean." She sniffs again, louder. "I didn't expect people here to be. Like." She hesitates. Stares over at the two teachers. Eventually shakes her head, sinking lower down on her jointed legs. "I'm not sick. I mean I am sick. I mean I'm fine. I mean I got sick on purpose, I'm supposed to give it to you."

"Sorry, we're a bit on edge," Tian-shin admits, plucking at the sleeve of her blouse. "We're not going to hurt you." Then she does the same thing she did earlier at Anastasia's inquiry, opening her mouth and closing it again without saying anything. Pauses a beat, tilting her head to study the new student. "I'm afraid I don't really follow. Who--*why* are you supposed to make us sick?" She's--very casually--plucking her phone up from where she left it on the bench. Just a normal millennial thing to do.

“And what do you mean by that darling? You’re supposed to make us sick? Was there someone who sent you here?” Anastasia asked, still keeping a relaxed and kind tone, but she was rather curious about this, and perhaps a bit on edge, it was hard not to be considering someone just told her during the epidemic that they are going to make you sick. But Anastasia figured there was more to this, so she wished to hear what the girl had to say

"Sent me here?" Nessie fidgets again, feet scraping against the stone pathway. "Um. No, the paramedic, he just. He dropped me off. Here. I wasn't sent, I. I mean they tried to send me before but I don't think -- don't think I was allowed to -- um." She stops, sniffles again. Wrings uncomfortably at the spine of her book. "Mr. Concepcion says that's how it works," she tries again slowly, bouncing just slightly upwards as she speaks. "Like, he made me a virus? And now I'm safe? And I can give it to people and they'll be safe too. At least that's what he says and I think he knows. He looks pretty -- um." Her brows furrow, cheeks darkening just a touch. "Pretty smart."

Tian-shin still looks blank for a moment, though her thumb is swiping rapidly on her phone screen. Then her eyes go wide and her mouth round, emitting a quiet "oh!" Her posture relaxes further. "That's the vaccine they were talking about at the mayor's conference Monday. I'm sure Mr. Concepcion knows what he's doing, it's just that no one told us it was happening. Here." She shakes her head. "We appreciate it, though--a lot--um..." Hesitates again. "What can we call you? I'm--Ms. Hua, and this is Ms. Rivers."

Anastasia smiles a bit brighter and nods. “Ah I see, pardon us, we didn’t know that we would have a new student with a vaccine, again, terribly sorry if we appeared to be rude, that was not the intent. So, may I ask, are you going to become a full time student or are you here visiting?” Anastasia asked, wishing you clear the situation up a bit as it was still a tad confusing for her, and she would hope Tian-shin as well, if only so Anastasia wouldn’t feel completely stupid

"Though -- I don't actually know how to pass it on." Nessie frowns, lifting a hand to rub it against her smooth head. "He didn't, um, say. Like maybe it just -- just happens? Oh no what if I do this wrong. I should have asked more -- oh no." She bites down at her lip again, her huge barbed tail swooshing slowly above her head. "Oh I'm Nessie. I actually just came for the food but I guess. I gotta take classes too."

Tian-shin blinks and goes back to looking blank. "Uh...I don't really have any idea. There wasn't a memo, or anything." She glances at the phone in her hand as if to double-check that there wasn't, in fact, a memo. "Maybe you could...text him?" she suggests dubiously. "Anyway, welcome, Nessie--belatedly. I hope you...enjoy the food. And the classes." An awkward half-beat later, she adds, "I think it's chickpeas and potatoes tonight."

Anastasia was still rather confused, but she put on her kindest smile and nodded. “Ah I see, well as Tian-shin said, if there is a way to ask how to spread it, please do, and, if you are now a student here, I believe you should soon decided what classes you wish to take, and yes, I believe it is chickpeas and potatoes. And if you wish, you may call me anastasia” she said with that same grandma smile

"Chickpeas and potatoes." Nessie repeats this to herself, rising up -- and up, and up; it's clear as she unfolds her legs that she is much taller than it appears when she's settled down in a crouch. Her eyes brighten; she even, almost, smiles. Sniffs loudly again as she turns. "Oh!" There's an excitement in her voice as she starts scuttling out the door. "That sounds way better than rats."

from: <hua@xaviers.edu>
to: <administration@xaviers.edu>
cc: <faculty@xaviers.edu>, <staff@xaviers.edu>
date: Apr 15, 2020, 16:38 PM
subject: New Student Bypassing Quaratine

Good afternoon,

Anastasia and I were very alarmed just now to encounter Nessie, our newest student, who was showing respiratory symptoms and had not gone through the quarantine process you instructed us to strictly enforce last month. Nessie's explanation was that Leonid Concepcion had given her the COVID-19 vaccination in the form of a virus, and that she was here without quarantine specifically to expose and immunize the school population.

I would like the administration to confirm that this is in fact the case and that we do not need to go back and find every person this student came into contact with since arriving and quarantine them all. In the future, I think it would be best for the safety of our student body and the nerves of our faculty and staff if we are informed of any intentional aberrations from established safety practices on campus. Thanks in advance.

Cordially,
Hua Tian-shin