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MarkK

Brainiacs of Freedom! ver 2.0 (IC)

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Date: May 8th, 2009

The Emissary had finally balanced out his schedule to allow for another dedicated pursuit of one of his various social improvement projects, taking the form today of a fancy reception at his embassy. Well, no, that wasn't itself the project, he just knew people were more amenable to high minded talks about the future when they were also being plied with good food. Admittedly that felt slightly like bribery, but the Emissary enjoyed being a good host anyway, and so for him that was already getting something out of the affair in exchange.

Invitations were sent out, the state department mandated guard at the gate was given a list of people not to do his usual harassment of, and the Emissary just waited in the dining hall, a circular conference table having replaced the usual within it.

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Alex smoothed the skirt of her ankle-length dress for the thirty-second time since they'd piled into the car that was driving them to the embassy. When the school counselor had suggested this activity, Alex had more figured it would be like some sort of school study program where she'd go be the student intern and file paperwork. When the delicate invitation had come she'd had near palpatations. She'd done research on the embassy and frantically gone through her warddrobe. She still wasn't certain that the dark cap sleeve dress with it's white waist sash was acceptable. So she fretted silently and smoothed her skirt again.

She'd left her hair down and clipped it back from her face with a simple barret in the back and instead of a beaten backpack, she'd slipped a notepad and a few pens into a slim leather folio that sat almost forgotten on the seat next to her. For once, she wasn't chattering a mile a minute although she gave the car's companion occasional glances up from her lap and she'd responded with her usual warmth and enthusiasm to any conversational openings, Alex was at a bit of a loss for polite chatter as what she really wanted to ask was desperate questions about what the other student knew about the event.

As they pulled up, she glanced up through the window and pressed her fingertips against the glass lightly, "Wow, have you ever been here before?"

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Doktor Archeville strolled down the sidewalk towards Emissary's embassy. Well, more like floated, since his feet weren't touching the ground, thanks to his gravimetric belt. He smiled and nodded to passersby, and did the occasional mid-air flip to the delight of children.

Why are we here so early? I thought we were going to be 'Fashionably Late'?

This isn't a social call. Well, okay, it is, but not the kind we want to be late for.

Whatever. As long as Daedalus is here, so we can show him up.

If he's here, we'll take the opportunity to have a pleasant conversation with him, like we've been wanting to do for months.

Well, as long as it doesn't go like that weird dream we had the other night.

Agreed.

He had stayed low to the ground partly in order to get a good view of the architecture around him. With as many metahumans as it had, several of Freedom's buildings were constructed such that they offered unique views to fliers or entities with beyond-human senses. But much beauty could still be seen on the ground level with basic human eyes, a fact he was sure to not let himself forget.

Not that he forgot very much. Though he sometimes pretended otherwise: people expected Mad Scientists to be absent-minded.

His shoulder-length golden blonde hair was pulled back in a loose ponytail, which accentuated the thin, sharp lines of his face, a face that looked barely of drinking age despite having seen over 30 years. His navy blue khaki pants and white shirt had been crisply pressed, and his hands were in his lab coat pockets, though one hand constantly fidgeted with the wand-like omni-gadget inside.

As he rounded the final corner to the Embassy, he saw Alexandra Albright emerge from her car. Something about her seemed vaguely familiar to him, though he couldn't place what or why. So he decided to do some investigation: after mentally noting the car's make, model and license plate, he approached her, smiling.

"Good day! Are you here for Emissary's little reception, too?"

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Alex turned quickly on one low heeled shoe and tilted her face up at the young man with a bright smile.

"Oh! Yes, well, that is Mr. Summers suggested I attend although this wasn't quite what I thought it was when he first mentioned it," the words bubbled up rapidly before she visibally shook herself, "I'm sorry. I tend to talk a lot. I'm Alex. Alex Albright."

She extended one hand politely, her cheeks pinkened from embarrassment but her smile never wavered. Her nails were short and neat and the pale hand fine boned.

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An invitation next to a hospital bed started it out. A time, a place and a date. Her moniker written out in a precise, intent hand; there was no mistaking someone wanted her in attendance of a conference. "The foundation of the Freedom City Society for the Advancement of Scientific Understanding. " she murmured, "Medicine is technically a science and if promoting Understanding would create a few less Knievel's... there wasn't any way that she could say no.

"The Emissary's embassy, then is this a political thing? . She chose a backless (it would have to be as the inhibitor was still with Ian, explaining that she'd tried to give someone a temporary tail was awkward to say the least) white dress, strategically modified for her tail but so nothing inappropriate showed. The dress was elegant, if simple in design and she accompanied it with a domino mask instead of the usual hood, the latter would definitely be out of place.

She arrived before the scheduled time, doing her best to keep away from any potentially xenophobic villains lest a repeat of last week occurred, walking mostly; there was no way she would fly above the city in a dress.

Approaching the embassy she spies Archeville and Alex outside, the former she recognized from the papers. What exactly is this about? she thought as she approached them.

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Ah, so young, so innocent, so... impressionable.

Whoa, hey, stop that, we are here to socialize with the intelligentsia, not... not... whatever it is you are thinking about!

Aww, not even a little-

She appears young enough to be our daughter. And you know how hormonal teens can get.

... right, may we don't need a new protege.

"Pleased to meet you, Miss Albright," Archeville said, extending a hand and flashing a welcoming smile. "You vouldn't happen to be related to Langston Albright, founder of de Albright Institute, vould you?"

From the corner of his eye, Archeville could just see a shapely winged woman in a dress approaching. He turned enough to wave to her, "are you here for Emissary's little soiree, too?"

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"The relative rarity of my surname would indicate that its a likely, if distant, relation." Alex volunteered cheerfully, "But there's certainly not close enough of a blood tie to even send Christmas cards. And my mom sends Christmas cards to just about everyone!"

Her handshake was firm, although her palm was still warm from nerves. She gave one smart shake of his hand as overly serious as only a teenager trying to act grown up can before she released it and turned her attention to the newcomer with a cheery wave, "Hello!"

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Twlight returns the greetings, "Good afternoon, do either of you know what this is about?" any illusion of a calm demeanor was dispelled by the agitated movements of her tail, the tip especially lashing back and forth.

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If she doesn't know what this is about, then she probably doesn't belong here.

Oh, be nice. She may have received a garbled invitation, may not have all he information.

Archeville tuned to Twilight, and again flashed her a warm smile, "vell, unless I am mistaken, Emissary has called for a meeting of all de top brains of Freedom City, dough for vha specific purpose I am unavare. Since de call did not come mit any urgency I vould presume dat ve haff not been called to help solve some imminent catastrophe, und since dere vas mention of refreshments I vould theorize dat dis is to be partly a social function."

"Or perhaps" his voice suddenly took on a graver, more serious tone, "it is all a ruse und ve are valking into a trap, de first step in some supervillain scheme to take over Freedom City, by first removing does who might deduce vhat is going on."

He then burst out laughing. It was, thankfully, not the Mad Scientist "Muah Hah Hah!" they were half-expecting, but more of a hearty belly laugh.

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"Its, uhm, a meeting to gather and disseminate information, gain useful contacts, aquire a bit of experience from other, wiser individuals and hopefully aquire a bit of social poise," Alex recited helpfully, in fact verbatim, from what Mr. Summers had given her as reasons to go to this event. She turned pink again and clarified quickly, "Well, those are the reasons I was given for attending. Your mileage may vary?"

She bent her head down to check her watch, "But we probably should be going in if we don't want to keep Mr. The Emmissary waiting."

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Food time is now?

In a bit. Be patient.

"An excellent suggestion, Frau Albright," Archeville replied, turning towards the Embassy. The gate guards gave him a curt nod as he strode past.

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Twilight took a reactionary step back as Archeville burst into laughter, I meant more of do either of you know the Emissary already and knew if there were specifics... she says half to herself, "Yes, best not to keep him waiting this she says a bit louder, waiting for Archeville and Alex to enter the compound firs.

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Alex refrained from skipping, but she still stepped quickly in an attempt to keep up with Archeville.

"I'm sorry," she appologized as she looked up at the adults, expecting that one of them would be the ones to knock on the door. Or let themselves in. It was an embassy after all. Perhaps that was proper proticol in the situation. Alex was content to follow in the doctor's wake as he clearly knew what the appropriate action was, "I didn't catch either of your names."

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The man in the labcoat suddenly stopped.

What, is she dense? Is she retarded or something? Who the hell does she think we are?

Perhaps she's been... sheltered? Is an android whose memory banks do not include pseudo-celebrities? An extraterrestrial?

"I, Frau Albright," he said as he turned to face her, "am Doktor Viktor Heinrich Archeville, Genius of Science!, from Acoustics to Zoology und all fields in between!"

As he spoke, he levitated into the air slightly, and was surrounded by a softly glowing blue force field. He quickly lowered himself back down, and the field faded.

"You may remember me from de two lectures I haff given -- de second von vas interrupted by dat madman, 'Captain Knievel' -- or from mein entanglement mit de Power Corps at Pharos."

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Stopping short as to not run into either Archeville or Alex, the anthropomorphic gryphon's tail lashes out and she visibly tenses. "Knievel attack you too? Why? she blurts out, Alex's inquiry of introduction forgotten.

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Knievel attacked her? Oh, that poor dear -- she looks so fragile, it is a miracle he did not kill her!

Yeah, yeah, real tragic. C'mon, I'm gettin' hungry!

"Vell, dat's de odd ding," he replied, "he did not attack me, at least not physically, dough von might could consider his boorish personality to be a type of assault! But, no, he crashed mein lecture und... asked qvestions. About how I became so smart, if I vas smarter dan other metahuman geniuses, und about Doktor Metropolis und how he effected repairs to de city. It vas very strange, Frau... I'm sorry, I don't believe I caught your name?"

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Alex frowned, her expression puzzled as she tried to explain, "Well, of course I've read about your work but it seemed rude to make assumptions about what to call you..."

She trailed off as the adults began to talk among themselves. Alex didn't roll her eyes when Archevielle asked the winged lady her name but she did sigh slightly. Alex ducked her head and stepped inside the embassy to allow the adults to talk without being in their way. Once inside, she looked around with lively curiosity, her hands clasped behind her as she waited for the conversation to wrap up.

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My moniker is Twilight Gryphon, my name is not something I'm comfortable being widespread. Gryphon replies Are we talking about the same Knievel? The one who has those narcissistic billboards plastered all over the city? He wanted to talk to and not 'clean up his city'? catching Alex going ahead, "perhaps we should continue this discussion later, while it may have something to do with why the Emissary called us here that probably isn't the primary reason...

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We told her it was odd! Does she not listen?!

I am sure she heard us fine, she is just unbelieving of Knievel doing anything other than attacking.

"As I said," he replied as he followed them in, "it vas an odd situation. Disturbing, too, as it indicates dat he does haff a brain, even if he chooses not to use it."

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"Are either you aware of other guests that are also joining us? My teacher was, uhm, close-lipped about who the other attendees might be? I haven't met very many other meta-humans before. Well, except for the others in the program," she cut that sentance off and smiled to cover her discomfort, "And I don't think anyone else I know is coming."

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We're here, who else could possibly be needed?!

Well, these two fine ladies, for one.

"I do not know," Archeville said as he circled the buffet stations, nodding or shaking his head at various dishes. "I had spoken of dis briefly mit Herr Cale," he looked up to Alexandra, "Darian Cale, you may know him. He had seemed eager to attend, but also mentioned some experiments he vas conducting vhich may prevent him from showing up on time, or possibly from attending altogether."

Archeville picked up an apple from a large fruit bowl and polished it off on one sleeve of his lab coat, "if dis is to be a meeting of de best und brightest of Freedom, to discuss how ve might best vork on de isues of de present und de future, I vould expect Tesla Atom und Daedalus to be here, but I do not know if deir schedules vould permit it. De same goes for de Scarab," he paused to take a bite of the apple, "I vould expect her to be here, but do not know if her schedule vould permit it."

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Alex's eyes followed Archeville's movements around the buffet station and she looked relieved to follow him. She wished that the other student from Claremont would have been able to make it. Coming alone was... stressful. She knew she could handle the stress and keep control over her powers but Alex was far more concerned about embarassing Claremont or offending one of the Emissary's guests. So she was careful to observe both the Doctor and Gryphon as she set about picking up a few things at the buffet.

"I've heard of him, of course, but I haven't started classes yet. I don't know if we'll be in the same ones or not. I'm certainly not an inventor, or anything, like I've heard Darian is. I'm still in the middle of exams, actually." She spoke about exams with enthusiasm that was rare in a teen. "The others, of course, I haven't had the pleasure of meeting. Have you, Ms. Gryphon?"

She tilted her head politely to the winged woman, clearly not wanting to exclude her from the conversation although the temptation to talk and talk was clearly hard to hold back.

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"I'm afraid I'm still rather new to the city and have been rather busy with clinicals and classes; a slight reprieve between quarters is the only reason I was able to make it today...and am still curious why I'm here. I'm certainly not a prodigy like this girl or have scientific fame like Archeville. Tesla Atam Daedelus? if that's not just name dropping then maybe someone screwed up and invited the wrong winged person...not that it's a crowded field

She blinks quickly, refocusing, "You mentioned a teacher and classes, what are you studying? she shifts her stance to be more open to both Alex and Archeville, her tail still lashing about in the same manner as an apprehensive cat.

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"Well, I'm still getting all the tests done but we'll have summer classes. There are a lot of placement test although I'm pretty sure that I know where I'm going to end up. The institute kept pretty detailed documentation on us that was pretty accurate. At least, mine were accurate," Alex paused, collecting a canape and gave Raylis a cheerful smile as she continued on with obvious enthusiasm for the upcoming summer school, "It'll be a much lighter load cuz it's just summer classes. I'm hoping to end up in an advanced language lab, although I'm not sure what I want to learn yet. Probably advanced physics, calculus, honors English lit. I'd like to do pre and early modern literature but I don't think its offered for the summer. I'm really looking forward to the history courses though. I feel like my classes on history up to this point have been really biased based on the limited reading I've done in my spare time."

Alex finished filling her plate and nibbled her lip thoughtfully as she tried to figure out the appropriate response. She could hardly ask them about their classes and clearly the Doctor would be aggrieved if she expressed an interest in him that didn't convey knowledge of him, "I did enjoy your lecture on the robot that became self-aware. Mutt? My, ah, teacher and I had a rousing debate on it. I'm psychic, you could say, so sentience of any kind is a personal area of interest for me."

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My, but this looks like a tasty apple!

Just remember not to talk with our mouth full.

I know, I know, but- hey, did she say 'psychic'?

Uh-oh.

"Ah, so you attended mein lecture on Rachael und MUTT?," he asked, clearly drawn to Alex and losing all interest in the apple he'd been polishing. "Or did you hear of it secondhand? Und dis teacher, does he or she specialize in psychic abilities? Or more routine analyses of sentience und sapience?"

He paused and tapped his chin, and his eyes unfocused a bit, "does Claremont even haff classes on psychic abilities, or an instructor specifically for dose? If so, I vould very much like to examine dem, it may be of help to mein own experiments in psychic abilities."

His focus snapped back to Alex, "you said you are psychic: vould you mind sharing mit us vhat you can do? Und you, Ms. Gryphon" he turned to face Twilight, "vould you care to share mit us? Appearances can be deceiving, und I would not want to make any presumptions about de people mit whom I may be vorking."

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