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"When They Hear Oom Pah Pah!" (IC)

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Date: July 10th, 2009

High 76, low 54. Clear skies, E winds @ 5-10 mph.

At first when Doctor Archeville suggested his predilection for his native German cuisine, Estelle De Havilland was a bit taken aback; due to her family's ready wealth, she'd been able to dine around the world and in a lot of fine restaurants, but big piles of steaming blutwurst were not quite her bag. However, she agreed out of politeness, at first dreading the thought until she did a little online research; Der Augenblick, the Hanover biergarten the good doctor had suggested, had a very nice website, and the menu looked intriguing. However, when she looked to the beer list, she was really impressed.

Many people who know Doctor de Havilland in Freedom City think of her as being a bit stiff, but this is because they only know her cultured facade; in truth she loves loud rock music, dancing and even occasionally tying one on. So by the time the doctor's car pulls up in front of her loft apartment, Estelle is genuinely looking forward to the evening. She stands in front of her building, (having received a phone call that her companion for the evening was almost there), and she looks truly stunning; she wears a simple powder blue party dress, white opened-toed shoes, and her hair is in an elegant arm-think braid threaded with blue ribbons that hangs down between her shoulders to finally brush her ankles. As always for Estelle, the overall look is sophisticated and tasteful, but much less formal that she would wear to say a night at the theater.

The chauffeured limo pulls to a halt, and the driver gets out to open the door for her; the beautiful chemist smiles and adjusts the small white purse on her shoulder as she ducks her head slightly to peer into the capacious back seat.

"Good evening, Herr Docktor."

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The Audi Q7 Limousine was nice to look at on the outside, but the inside was close to breathtaking.

Lounging in the back, with his feet propped up, was Doktor Archeville, one of perhaps the top ten smartest beings (human or other) in Freedom City. As usual, he had on a full-length lab coat, though this one seemed to be cut slightly differently, more... like a sharp trenchcoat, and it took her a moment to realize (in the neon lights of the car's interior) that it was a medium gray, not white. Highly polished black work boots, black khaki pants, and a blue buttoned shirt completed his outfit. His long hair appeared to be bound in a loose ponytail (or he may just be reclining back on it), and he smiled and raised a champagne glass to her as she entered.

The glass had orange smoke coming off of it, and the pale brown liquid within was bubbling.

This is damn comfy -- we should've done this months ago!

This is a pleasant ride, though I think I prefer the feel of the wind in my hair.

"Doctor de Havilland, so good to see you again!," he said, throwing his arms wide open. "I haff to say again, I vas quite surprised vhen you called to set dis up. I trust all has been vell mit you vhile you vere avay dese past several months?"

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"Doctor de Havilland, so good to see you again!," he said, throwing his arms wide open. "I haff to say again, I vas quite surprised vhen you called to set dis up. I trust all has been vell mit you vhile you vere avay dese past several months?"

For a few moments, Estelle is entirely speechless; finally she finds her voice, and her tone seems highly amused.

"My...goodness! Does Elton John know you stole his limo?"

She gets a little pink, apparently concerned she might have caused offense, but maybe it's just the reflected neon; as she makes her way into the back, a few strands of hair loosen from her ponytail and extend to the panels of the outrageous vehicle, gracefully tracing its contours as well as artfully snatching a glass as she passes the bar. At last she sinks back into the seat and flutters a hand over her chest.

"My, my, all this for me? Could a girl be any more flattered?" :D

Her glass looms into view, ready for some champagne, as her eyes continue to dart around the interior.

"Yes, I have been away awhile, haven't I? There were some legal issues to tidy up, and a visit with family that recharged my batteries."

Her curiosity at last sated, Estelle's blue eyes finally come to rest on her companion for the evening.

"I'm so sorry, there's so much to take in! I'm glad you were free on relatively short notice, Doktor; I despise dining alone and have so much to discuss with you."

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Yeah, we definitely should've done this months ago!

It is nice to have pleasant company for an evening.

Doc grinned at the Elton John remark, but said nothing. He did get up, gave her a quick hug, then reached over and slid back a small panel, revealing several small bottle of refreshment. About half were alcoholic.

"I am glad to hear you had a good time visiting your family," he said as he lifted up each bottle to show her the labels, seeing which one she'd pick, "und I do trust your legal issues haff all been cleared up. Dat's von ding I haff difficulty wrapping mein brain around: de Laws of de Universe are easy, but de Laws of Man! Ha!"

Once his companion had indicated which drink she would like, he filled her glass, then resumed his stretched-out pose. "I usually prefer to eat mit others, too. Vhen I can tear meinsellf avay from de vorkshop long enough to eat, dat is!"

"Oh, und if dis is von of Sir John's," he said between sips of his drink, "it's because von of Hasslehoff's men stole it for me."

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Estele indicates she's like to start the evening with a nice weissbier ("The Hacker-Pschorr, please.") and makes herself comfortable as she gives the doctor her undivided attention; not only was she brought up to do this out of courtesy, but the German scientist is a particularly captivating speaker :love:

"Oh, und if dis is von of Sir John's, it's because von of Hasslehoff's men stole it for me."

The joke catches Estelle off-guard, and when that happens you hear her real laugh, not the polite chuckle she normally offers the world; no, this is loud pure belly laugh, and a good deal of foam flies off the top of her glass.

"Hah-hah-ha! Oh my! A-hah! Mmm, excuse me!"

She dabs gently at her face with a tissue extracted from her purse by a helpful golden strand. Beaming, she raises her glass in salute.

"Zum Wohl! And yes, I did have to look that up." ;)

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Alright, alright, goin' good so far. Some alcohol, a joke, get her nice and relaxed, and-

And we show her a pleasant and respectful evening.

Oh, there will be pleasure.

Stop that!

Doc first smiled, then joined Estelle in her laugh, giving a good, deep belly laugh that was practically a badge of identification for a German.

"You... you speak v-vell," he finally gasped out, then made a deep inhalation & exhalation to get the last of the laugh out. He then raised his glass to her, so that he was looking though it at her, and with a decidedly devilish smirk said "Das Leben ist bezaubernd, man muss es nur durch die richtige Brille sehen."

He appeared to be looking at her for a very long time. Or was it that she was looking at him for a long time?

In either case, Archeville soon snapped to, "Ach, vhere are mein manners? Ve should get going! Fahrer!" he spoke to an intercom, "zum der Biergarten!"

The limo smoothly rolled off.

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Estelle smiled as the amazing vehicle glided smoothly down the streets of Hanover.

"I'll be honest, I have no idea what you just said, but it sounded like to was from the heart and rather poetic."

She sighs as she watches the Friday night crowd roll past, the men and women holding hands as they meander down the crowded streets, in and out of stores and bars. As she gets more comfortable, her hair majestically spreads and drapes itself across the limo's seating area, never coming closer than three or four inches away from Archeville, but still falling on every possible side of the handsome scientist.

"Mmm. Life was so much simpler before-"

Her hair rises up en masse before it once again sinks back down.

"All of this, but I think I'm finally starting to see the possibilities. And it's not just having the bizarre powers; it's being seen differently by the rest of the world, and belonging to a singular new community."

She stokes a cascade of shimmering hair like a beloved Persian cat, and it ripples at her touch like a pond at sunset.

"Because the people to whom the extraordinary is the ordinary...are the sort of people I want to know."

The blonde chemist gives him a playful wink as she takes another sip of beer.

"I know this place doesn't accept reservations, but I hope we can use a little 'pull' to find some quiet corner. I get my share of gawkers now, and the occasional bored paparazzo."

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Want... to... touch....

No! Not yet, we have to stay cool, suave.

Doc chuckled a bit, "I am sure ve vill find a vay to make do. Und as for vhat I said earlier, it vas a simple toast I learned long ago." He held up his glass again to look at her through it, "'Life is wonderful, you just need to see it through de right glasses.'"

Archeville was not looking out the windows, not looking at the crowds as they went by. He had more than enough right here, in the limo with him.

He lowered his glass to take another sip of the smoking, bubbling pale brown liquid, "regarding de extraordinary as de ordinary is an.... interesting vay to live von's life, und can be qvite revarding. However, I haff always thought it equally important to be able to see de extraordinary mitin de ordinary, to take nothing for granted. To fail to do so is to lose sight of vhy ve do vhat ve do in de first place."

He set his glass down and sat up a bit, leaning a bit closer to his companion, "May I ask a somevhat personal qvestion? You said your life vas 'simpler before'. How did your family und friends react vhen your abilities..." he reached out and ever-so-lightly caressed a nearby lock of her golden hair, "... first manifested?"

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"May I ask a somevhat personal qvestion? You said your life vas 'simpler before'. How did your family und friends react vhen your abilities..." he reached out and ever-so-lightly caressed a nearby lock of her golden hair, "... first manifested?"

The lock coils around the good doctor's finger with surprising strength, but only for a moment; Estelle is still looking out the window, and for a second a smile flickers across her lips, but otherwise she offers no comment on the gesture, and her expression is once again thoughtful and rather sad.

"If it was just the powers, it might be different, but my transformation brought certain illegal business practices my brother was involved in out into the open, which has 'shamed the family', as my father says."

The beautiful blonde scientist shrugs.

"My mother and older sister Sunny have been wonderfully supportive, but the rest of the family has gotten rather cold. I've just come back from Japan, where Sunny lives with her family; her husband works for the embassy in Tokyo."

Gossamer turns to face her companion for the evening, and even though her eyes are moist, she's beaming with familial pride.

"My niece Emily loves it; we play together for hours."

The carpet of gold shifts and forms into a sort of landscape, gently rolling hills that rise into jagged peaks dotted with mysterious caves; Estelle places her empty glass on a rise, and then the landscape melts into an amber sea, the gleaming waves carrying the glass to and fro throughout the limo like a tiny ship bobbing up and down in a storm. She sighs contentedly as the glass returns to her fingers when the 'tide' retreats, her hair pulling itself back into her earlier braid, and she fetches a small compact out of her purse to check her mascara.

"We're almost there."

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I think she digs us! And not just because of the limo!

If she does, I am sure it is not because of anything you have done.

Archeville's brilliant smile faded when she spoke of the "family shame," but it returned when she mentioned her niece.

"It is god you haff somevon in your family to share your gifts mit. As you may know, I am not so lucky: I am an only child, I haff no nieces or nephews or cousins -- dat I am avare of -- mein mother died in childbirth, und mein father..." He paused a moment, "vell, he und I had a large falling-out many years ago, in regards to mein abilities. Und now ve barely speak even vonce a year."

Now his eyes were starting to get a bit moist, though he was already wiping them with a tissue, "but, I did not ask to be born mit dese abilities, I simply do de best dat I can mit dem. Und I do consider meinself qvite lucky dat mein abilities are fairly subtle in appearance: I know of von metahuman in Vancouver who has powers similar to mine, but also has a noticeably enlarged cranium und a complete lack of hair!" He shook his head vigorously, letting his own platinum hair cascade down his shoulders.

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"but, I did not ask to be born mit dese abilities, I simply do de best dat I can mit dem. Und I do consider meinself qvite lucky dat mein abilities are fairly subtle in appearance: I know of von metahuman in Vancouver who has powers similar to mine, but also has a noticeably enlarged cranium und a complete lack of hair!"

Estelle puts away her compact, smiles and gently takes Archeville's hand in hers and gives it a little squeeze.

"I'm sorry you have so little family to share this with, and forgive me for prattling on about my own."

Her hand lingers for a few seconds more, then releases his as she reflexively checks her hair (like it would ever be out of place!) and smooths out her dress.

"I suppose I'm in a similar boat as that man in Vancouver, though I'm lucky enough that my transformation is a bit more cosmetic; I'm now an 'exotic beauty', according to the press."

She winks as the limo slowly pulls to a halt.

"Ah, I believe we've arrived, Herr Doktor!"

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Archeville makes a small throat-clearing noise when she takes his hand. "Oh, do not concern yourself mit 'prattling on' -- I enjoy hearing of de good times people spend mit deir familiy... or of any time spent mit family!"

Food time is nao!

Yes, but remember your table manners!

"Ah, jah, here ve are, und mit a bit of a crowd, too!" he said as the limo pulled to a stop. Archeville pushed a few buttons on a small console at his armrest, and one of the doors opened for them; through this door they could see several people outside the restaurant slowly gather around to see who it was that had arrived in such a vehicle.

He hopped out and extended a hand to her to aid in her exiting. Once she was out, the door closed behind her, and the limousine sped off. As it did, she got a glimpse of the driver, who looked exactly like David Hasselhoff!

The crowd of people (ten and growing) worked to draw her attention back.

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"Ah, jah, here ve are, und mit a bit of a crowd, too!"

Estelle takes a deep breath, then lets it out slowly as she gets ready to do what she's been trained to do since childhood: move through an uncomfortable social situation with grace and style. She looses her hair a bit, so that it will frame her face and subtly accentuate her dress, her figure and her jewelry, in roughly that order. She steps out of the limo, a practiced warm smile on her face; it's not a fake smile, because as her mother taught her people can see a fake smile right away. It's more of an...edited smile.

"It's always nice when people are happy to see you," her mother used to say. "Even if you're not happy to see them. Let your appreciation of their happiness rise naturally to the surface, and allow any irritation, annoyance or boredom sink to the bottom like a stone."

A few people recognize her (especially an excited group of Japanese students), and she uses a few golden strands to sign several autographs at once; she always used her hair for this now, as she'd quickly learned that seeing the hair in action was more than half of the thrill for fans. When she talks to them, her mood softens a bit, and the warmth becomes a bit less forced, even when she poses for a quick cellphone photo.

"Goodness, will I ever get used to that," she mutters softly.

Once they're clear of the throng, she reels it in a bit, mostly concerned about disturbing the other patrons or any unwanted contact; she looks very slightly stressed out and very eager to have a large beer.

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"You get used to it," Archeville murmured to her as he signed two autographs for every five that came her way, "... eventually."

Hrm, maybe food can wait -- d'ya see the legs on that one?

You are impossible to work with.

Oh, you're just jealous because I'm the part they all pick up on.

... harumph.

Once clear, Archeville greeted the waitress at the door with a broad smile and a few quick words of German, which the woman appeared to not only understand but also replied in. She lead them both through the busy establishment to the bar, though Estelle did note that the waitress lead Viktor by hand.

Once at the bar, he pulled out a stool for his companion, and made a show of dusting it off with a large handkerchief he pulled from a pocket. "I do believe you vill haff a fine view of de place from here, Doctor de Havilland."

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Estelle raises an elegant eyebrow as she watches the good doctor's interaction with the lovely young waitress.

A former conquest? No surprising, based on his considerable charm. :D

"I do believe you vill haff a fine view of de place from here, Doctor de Havilland."

"It's nice, I like it," she says, nodding in approval; she orders a pint of Hofbräuhaus Sommerbier and the baked camembert with lingonberry jam, a roll and salad to get started.

"Getting back to what you said earlier, about finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; I couldn't agree more." She waits until Archeville's drink arrives, then raises her pint in salute. "To the ordinary, extraordinary and all the bits in between."

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That waitress looked familiar.

She should, she is one of the staff we tutored in German, to help give the place a more authentic feel, in exchange for a permanent discount here.

Ohhh yeah... I remember some other things I wanted to tutor her in.

Yes, I am sure you do.

"I vould prefer to move to an actual table vonce ve order our main courses," he said. "De stools are comfortable, but I prefer someding mit a back vhich I can lean against... und some small illusion of privacy," he added as he saw several people coming towards them.

A different waitress brought Archeville his drink and appetizer, a Hofbräuhaus München lager and a mixed plate of cold cuts and cheeses.

"Genieße das Leben ständig, Du bist länger tot als lebendig!," he replied, again sporting his devilish grin. "'Constantly enjoy life, you're longer dead than alive!'"

He popped a small slice of roast beef into his mouth, chewed a bit, then swallowed, "So, I know vhat you vere doing vhile you vere avay, but vhat are your plans for de present und near future? Do you intend to go back to ASTRO Labs?"

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"So, I know vhat you vere doing vhile you vere avay, but vhat are your plans for de present und near future? Do you intend to go back to ASTRO Labs?"

Estele takes a rather hearty swig and politely burps into her hand.

"Excuse me! Well, yes and no; I negotiated continued access to my old lab on an 'as needed' basis, but I have no plans to go back there full time."

She gazes absently into her beer while golden 'fingers' deftly use a knife to spread the soft warm cheese onto crusty bread.

"My transformed status makes it...challenging to share a lab; no one seems to take me seriously, and the unwanted attention in the workplace has gotten rather boring."

She daintily picks up the bread and takes a bite.

"Mmm, that's quite good! No, I'm working on a career change; are you familiar with the Claremont Academy in Bayview? I hope to be teaching there soon."

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She can share our lab any day. Or night.

Cut it out.

"Ah, ja, I haff had mein share of difficulties in finding laboratories to vork in, too," he said sympathetically. "Dat is von reason I decided to set up mein own laboratory und vorkshop in mein own home."

He popped another small slice of meat into his mouth, then pointed to his plate of cheeses and cold cuts, "please, help yourself; dey haff an excellent selection here... dough," he leaned a bit closer to her and lowered his voice to a conspiratorial tone, "I dink dey may haff given me a few bits dat aren't on de regular plate." He quickly pulled back, and gave her a wink.

Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,

I'm hot for teacher.

Shut it.

I got it bad, so bad,

I'm hot for teacher.

Shut it!

"Teaching?" he exclaimed, obviously surprised at the statement, "vhy, dat is marvelous! I haff de utmost respect for dose who vish to educate. Do you haff a teaching certificate already? Und vhat of- vait... de Claremont Academy? I dought you vere wanting someding a bit more... routine?"

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"Teaching?" he exclaimed, obviously surprised at the statement, "vhy, dat is marvelous! I haff de utmost respect for dose who vish to educate. Do you haff a teaching certificate already? Und vhat of- vait... de Claremont Academy? I dought you vere wanting someding a bit more... routine?"

Estelle laughs heartily, and ripples flow out to the ends of her tresses.

"'Routine?' I don't think I'll have another 'routine' day for the rest of my life, Viktor; no, the idea is to find a place where the 'extraordinary is ordinary', to bring our earlier conversation full circle. As I understand it, Claremont may be one of the last places on Earth where I won't stand out, where my mind and experience can once again be of use, and my other abilities won't be a distraction."

She sighs deeply as she raises her stein for another swig.

"Or at least, so I hope."

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I think of all the education that I missed.

Stop!

But then my homework was never quite like this.

How do you even know that song?!

"Vell..." he started, then paused to take a drink, "I am sure you vill be qvite distracting to some of de students dere. As de press says, you are qvite de 'exotic beauty,' und I am sure several students vould haff fantasies dat involve dem staying in detention mit you, den you take off your glasses und let your hair cascade out of its bun as you-"

Several flashes of light from onlookers snapping pictures of the two broke Archeville's train of thought. Or, at least, it seemed that way.

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"Vell..." he started, then paused to take a drink, "I am sure you vill be qvite distracting to some of de students dere. As de press says, you are qvite de 'exotic beauty,' und I am sure several students vould haff fantasies dat involve dem staying in detention mit you, den you take off your glasses und let your hair cascade out of its bun as you-"

Several flashes of light from onlookers snapping pictures of the two broke Archeville's train of thought. Or, at least, it seemed that way.

Estelle sighs, and her hair unfurls to form a sort of 'privacy shield' between the pair of them and the ever-prying cameras.

"I'm sure you're quite right, but at least any adolescent behavior will be displayed by actual adolescents; I've been attractive my whole life, Doktor, I can handle a few misdirected hormones."

At last, the waitress signals that their table is ready, and the blonde heroine gently extends tendrils to pick up both of their plates as well as her beer; her wide golden 'sail' retracts slightly as she gracefully glides into the next room, so as to not inconvenience her fellow diners.

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I'd like to direct a few of my-

Gah, do you ever shut up?!

"Dat," Archeville said while admiring her flowing locks, "is a very nice trick. Far more elegant dan vhat I vas going to do. Dough, please, allow me at least to carry mein own plate...."

The pair are lead to the 'fancy' dining area, to one of the booths in the back. He allowed Gossamer to sit first.

"So, teaching und a bit of lab vork on de side," he said after getting settled. "Sounds like a good plan; I am sure you shall find it a revarding challenge. I myself haff quite a few projects in de vorks, some of vhich vill keep me qvite busy for years to come. In fact, I predict dat in a few months I shall haff very little 'social' time, so I am very glad ve got to do dis tonight."

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"Dat," Archeville said while admiring her flowing locks, "is a very nice trick. Far more elegant dan vhat I vas going to do. Dough, please, allow me at least to carry mein own plate...."

Estelle smiles and shrugs modestly as she returns the plate to its owner; at their table, she patiently waits for the good doctor to pull out her chair before taking a seat, her hair once again neatly twisted into her usual braid.

"So, teaching und a bit of lab vork on de side," he said after getting settled. "Sounds like a good plan; I am sure you shall find it a revarding challenge. I myself haff quite a few projects in de vorks, some of vhich vill keep me qvite busy for years to come. In fact, I predict dat in a few months I shall haff very little 'social' time, so I am very glad ve got to do dis tonight."

She frowns over the top of her menu.

"That is truly a shame; I can tell you from personal experience that too much lab time is bad for your health. I once had an upper respiratory infection I couldn't shake for nearly a month when I was back in school; it nearly turned to pneumonia, which actually could have killed me, I felt so sick! I took a week off from work, and bam!"

She raps the edge of the table dramatically.

"I felt so much better after a few day's rest. We can never let the mind rule us so completely that we lose sight of our physical and emotional needs."

She pops a cold cut her in her mouth and neatly sucks her fingers.

"Mmm, delightful! So, what is this work that will so completely consume your life?"

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If she likes these cold cuts so much, I've got some mea-

Oh, will you-

that she could su-

Oh, in Newton's name! Why don't you just check out the menu?!

I'll check the- ooh, they have Käsespätzle!

"Oh, I am sorry to hear you got so ill!," Archeville replied, clearly sounding concerned. "I haff heard of dat happening to many others, but it is someding dat has never happened to me. I suppose I haff built up a tolerance over de years, both to biological and chemical agent exposures, und to lack of sleep. Vhy, dere haff been many, many times vhen I have vorked for three or four days straight mitout sleep, und vhile it did get to me by the end, von night's sleep saw me ready und eager to go again!"

"In fact, in a vay," he continued, "I haff de opposite problem: too much idle time makes me restless und cranky. Dere is so much I vant to know, so much I vant to do, so much good I vish to do mit mein talents und creativity, dat not doing vork in de labs makes me feel... vell, lazy, I guess. Part of dat 'Germa vork ethic', ja?" he added with a chuckle.

"Vhich brings me to vhat big projekt I vill be vorking on: I am going to found mein own company! An international chain of research laboratories, unconnected to any von government or any business interests." Archeville seemed more animated now than he'd been all night, "It vill focus on multi-disciplinary research, in a number of scientific fields, but especially dose pertaining to metahuman activity und de increasing emergence of metahumans. Bionics und cybernetics, energy projection, force field generation, genetics und genome stability, gravimetrics, advanced metallurgy, nanotechnology, particle physics... all dis und more!," he punctuated by pounding his fist dramatically on the table. "It vould also provide humanitarian aid in times of crises, especially medical aid und food und supply transport. It vill be glorious!"

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"It vould also provide humanitarian aid in times of crises, especially medical aid und food und supply transport. It vill be glorious!"

For just a second, Estelle finds her companion for the evening...well, terrifying, but the moment passes as quickly as it arrives.

"My goodness, one can't say you aren't passionate about your work!" :shock:

The lovely blonde takes a deep swig of beer to settle her nerves, then her warm smile returns.

"Well, how very ambitious of you! If I can somehow participate without threatening my standing agreement with ASTRO, I would love to do so' send me a prospectus and any sort of documentation you've put together, I'd love to take a look at it."

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