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Breella

New Beginnings (IC)

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Friday, July 29th

The flight from Australia back to the USA had been an intense twenty hour excursion that Gwen had never endured before. She was much more used to the small four to five hour flights that she had taken most of her life with her parents, hopping from area to area studying plants. Remind me not to do that again. She could feel the tingle of movement under her sleeves and stay out of sight, we aren't there yet. There was a collective grumble in her mind of unhappiness. The airport was a bustling hub of human (and maybe not so human) traffic. None of them needed to see what was under her magenta and pink stripe shirt.

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Gwen weaved around people, her beat up backpack bumping into the odd person who got too close. "Baggage claim." she mumbled as she looked at the overhead signs which pointed downstairs. She made a bee line for the escalator and bumped several more people in the process. Ouch! the small voice resonated in her head. Sorry. Round, Round, Round, watching the bags go around was tedious, her flights cargo was next to come around. Now? No. More time passed and her bag still had not come by. She could feel the vine's itch at wanting to come out from under her clothes and bask in the sun. Soon you can be out almost all the time, promise.

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The driver who had been sent to pick Gwen up was a tall leggy woman in a blue suit. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a bun and her eyes were hidden by dark sunglasses. Gwen sat in the back of the car and was quiet for the drive up to Claremont. She couldn't help this impending feeling of disaster. It had been years since she attended a formal school setting and her mind began to wander. Before she knew it the car was stopping and the driver opened the door to let her out. "Miss Barr, your destination." It was somehow bigger than Gwen imagined. She took her rolling bag from the woman, strapped on her pack gently. Ouch! Sorry again.

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Crow looked at the cool green grass below him, felt the breeze blow across his face and ruffle his hair. He swayed a bit in the wind, watching the rather familiar leaves move slightly as it passed by. For all intents and purposes, he was rather comfortable; he was lucky enough to be in his boots, so he wasn't hanging by his bare ankle this time. Of course, he was starting to get a tad suspicious about the quad's sole tree, and this particular branch, in relation to his right foot.

The teen turned his upside-down noggin slightly, his longcoat hanging below his shoulders and rippling in the breeze, causing the rune patterns to shift in strange and slightly odd ways. Morgan seemed to consider something, then he spoke to his tree-bound compatriot.

"So. What have we learned?"

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John stared at his friend with a straight face, quirked eyebrow appearing over his sunglasses as the only thing betraying his current amusement. He wasn't upside-down like Morgan, instead he was sitting with his back against the trunk on one of the taller branches. He looked very comfortable. "As I see it, Mister Morgan, there are two reasons for our current predicament." John enjoyed the view a bit from his position before continuing. "Number one, offensive combat teleporting is not effective when the opponent can predict your attack pattern." There was a slight pause before he continued, "Number two, I do not think your response of grabbing my arm and trying to win by 'ring out' is a viable strategy if the destination winds up to be this particular elm tree."

John looked down at his friend and saw new student (she had to be new with that luggage) a bit farther away. "It appears that you have wound up in this tree yet again to perform your standard welcoming greeting towards new students, Mister Morgan." He said pointing downwards at the new arrival.

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Gwen could see him, hanging from the tree by his ankle. This tall boy not much older than herself, with his jacket waving around him in the warm breeze. She walked closer to what she could now see were actually a pair of boys. Out now? she could feel the vines ask as their excitement became hard to contain. Slowly. Gwen cautioned them as she got closer and could better hear the boys predicament.

"Don't you know she's an endangered species?" Gwen remarked to the one hanging upside down. She let go of her luggage, pealed off the overstuffed backpack and began to remove her jacket. Green vines crawled across the now exposed skin of her arms. help? they asked her, beginning to extend their tendrils free of her skin. Only if he asks for it.

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Victoria landed under the tree in a small plume of white and red smoke, still in her workout clothes, consisting of a pair of voluminous loose black pants and a tight tanktop in sky blue. Looking up at her boyfriend and their teammate she sighed, "Every time, eh Morgan? You want a hand down?"

Noticing the other girl by the tree, "Oh, pardon my rudeness. Hello and welcome to our little sanctum of the strange," she said, offering a hand to her. "Name's Victoria, and you are?"

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Gwen startled and jumped back at the sudden appearance of the teen. oh! the long exaggerated sound played in her head while the vines began to peek out from under her tank-top. Appear! They cooed as they crawled across her skin and down her arms. "That's going to take some getting used to." Gwen shook her head and stepped forward again taking the outstretched hand while the vines traced their way around her wrist. "I'm Gwendolyn, but just--call me Gwen."

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Morgan just gave John and Vicky a Look, swaying slightly in his upside-down position. Sighing, he crossed his arms and assumed a semblance of a dignified position, which promptly fell apart the next time a breeze kicked up his coat hem.

"Gwendolyn, huh...sounds nice. Mine's Morgan, Morgan Crowe. Pleased to meetcha."

His eyes took note of the vine wrapping around her wrist, but he simply smiled warmly; everyone around here had their knacks, some a bit more obvious than others. And besides, it seemed...friendly? The teen cocked his head to the side for a moment then looked down at his girlfriend, raising an eyebrow at Vicky.

"Archer a bit miffed we vanished like that?"

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Vicky released her traded grip with Gwen, "Nice to meet you."

Glancing up at her boyfriend she shook her head to hide her grin at Morgan's attempt at Headmaster Summers' Look. Putting on her best poker face she called up, "No. I told him your teleportation ability seemed to have this strange attraction to the tree out here. When you guys vanished, he said we were done for the day and to be back at six tomorrow morning. And you two have another round to make up for this one."

In another plume of smoke like the one she rode in on, she vanished from the ground, reappearing in the branches close enough to grab her boyfriend's foot and John's outstretched hand.

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"She likes you, the tree that is. You should really be more careful how you show your affections in return. She's one of the last of her kind." Gwen moved over to some of the lowest branches and extended her fingers out to them, allowing the vines to curl across the bark. "I've only seen a handful of her species in..." Gwen's face glazed over with thought. "Paraguay. Most of the plants in these gardens are endangered still." Gwen pulled her hands back. "Sorry, plants are my thing."

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A young woman wearing black track pants, matching boots and a dark purple hoodie began to make her way across the Quad; despite the warmth, she had her hood up, though a few stray strands of silvery hair poked out of the hood to waft in the breeze. She had a backpack slung over one shoulder and waled with great determination, looking neither right nor left. After a few moments, she stopped to consult a map for a few seconds before noting the students gather 'neath the tree; she paused for several seconds, looking first at the students then towards the dorms before changing direction and making a beeline for the tree. As she approached, her rather striking tinted glasses could be noted. Her face, or at least what could be seen of it, was quite pretty but exceedingly pale.

"Uh, hi." Her accent was odd and hard to place. "My brother and I just enrolled; I'm Jeena, Jeena Vandermol." She smiled nervously and waved.

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John looked down, judging the distance to the ground. Around 13 feet or so, he decided. Since Victoria had arrived he would not have to collect Morgan. He waved off Victorias' hand, instead preferring to get down the old fashioned way via gravity. John leaned a bit more to the side and 'fell' off the branch he was on and hit the ground feet-first, his knees easily absorbing the shock of the fall. Now safely on the ground he turned toward Morgan, still in the tree. 'The Look' did not faze John in the slightest, as he deadpanned: "I do hope it was not your intention to leave me hanging here and teleporting back to training. Because if that is indeed the case, I have something to look forward to at 0600 hours tomorrow." He shot Morgan an entirely fake smile.

He turned to face the new arrivals as Victoria extracted Morgan from the tree. "Good Afternoon, my name is John. It is my distinct pleasure to make your acquaintances. Welcome to Claremont Academy." He offered his hand for each to shake if they so chose.

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"Good Afternoon, my name is John. It is my distinct pleasure to make your acquaintances. Welcome to Claremont Academy."

Jeena found this John to be somewhat off-putting, though she was unsure why; still, she returned his offered handshake. Her grip was not terrible strong, but still firm. "It's nice to meet you, John." She looked down at the sheet of paper in her hand, and then peered through her lenses at the two girls present. "By any chance is one of you 'Gwendolyn Barr'? It says here that we're roommates." Then she hefted the bag on her shoulder. "I don't have much stuff, so it shouldn't be a problem."

She was somewhat relived to see one of the girls had white hair, very close in shade to her own; perhaps her and her brother wouldn't seem so odd after all!

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Gwen watched a girl make a bee-line for them at the tree, the paleness of her skin was something Gwen had not seen since she was studying the small variety of plants in the Antarctic. More people! The vines vibrated their excitement across Gwen's flesh as she listened to everyone talk, she smiled at Johns words. Gwen rubbed her hand on her tank top and held it out to Jeena as she stepped forward. "Yes I'm Gwe--" Gwen's sentence was cut off by a barrage of thoughts Meet too!? Gwen sighed. "Sorry, Pleasure to meet you, I'm Gwen." Yes, you can come out now, its safe to be in the open...Just don't grab anyone. "My apologies about the vines, all of the stimulus makes my them excited, they have never been allowed to meet anyone before today and I promised them they could make friends too."

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"My apologies about the vines, all of the stimulus makes my them excited, they have never been allowed to meet anyone before today and I promised them they could make friends too."

At first the young Tektani was reluctant to shake the girl's hand; she found the vines quite unnerving, and felt a shiver run down her spine. With great effort, she extended her hand. "Hi Gwen; I hope we get along fine." Yeah, that was in no way stilted or forced...

Jeena slid a pale hand under her hood and ran her fingers through her hair. "Uh, I've never been to an American school before; Zach and I went to a special academy back home in the Netherlands, so this is all...very new to me. Do we all eat together, like in a refectory?" She smiled shyly. "I'm still learning about American food; I know I like cheese dogs, though you can burn the roof of your mouth if you're not careful..."

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Crow sat on the ground for a bit as talking went on around him, rubbing the sides of his cheeks as the blood rushed from his head to his various other extremities. Dropping the Look in favor of a stuck-out tongue in Myrmidon's direction, he then clambered somewhat awkwardly to his feet and nodded at the newcomer, standing beside Wisp with his hands in his pockets.

"Heh, looks like Claremont's going to look a lot prettier for the next few years. Morgan Crowe, nice to meet you."

At Jeena's mention of cheese dogs, the teen's mind was filled with images of lunch; after that murderous training session with Mr. Archer (which he did enjoy considerably, hence why he and Myrmidon had been sparring for the fourth time that morning), a rather sizeable meal probably wouldn't go amiss. Tilting his head, he thumbed backwards behind himself and Vicky, towards a nearby building.

"Well, you're allowed to eat in your dorm room, but a lot of the students eat in the caf. Do a good spread, if you like the healthier foods; not to say there aren't cardiovascular feasts of doom if you want 'em, cook does one heckuva pizza. Either way, they do really good food here."

Morgan caught himself rambling, and coughed, shuffling his feet somewhat awkwardly. A steady girlfriend he might have, but the prescence of multiple nice-looking young ladies always was decidedly awkward for him. And there's John being his usual cool, calm, and collected self. No problems there. Lucky stiff.

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Gwen smiled at Morgan and John again, but her stomach grumbled audibly at another mention of food, putting a damper on her smile and reminding her about the last thing she ate. What had been the last good thing I ate? she thought but the vines had no reply, they were too busy taking in the new surroundings and the sun. "I sure could use some food, twenty hour plane ride meal options are rather nasty." she cringed at the thought of the stuff they tried to feed her on the plane.

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Vicky gave a nod, "I could certainly use some food. Teleporting like that today wears on my caloric reserves." To Jeena she smiled, "The cafeteria has pretty much everything. Though..., I'm one of the students the attendants kind of dread to see come in."

Moving next to Morgan, she pulled the band out of her hair and let the snowy-white tresses fall loose just about to her shoulder blades. "On a side note Jeena, love your shades. I have to ask, where'd you get those?"

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John offered to shake the vine in greeting. After all, Miss Gwendolyn had alluded to the fact that it was sentient. No sense not greet it properly as well. Old habits die hard though, and he realized that he was surreptitiously trying to size up these new arrivals when he realized that Morgan was giving him and odd look. Wearing his sunglasses had the additional benefit of hiding what he was focusing his attention on, so it kept that particular social foible of his hidden.

"If you do not like the options the mess hall rations out, there are supply stores a few blocks away if you would prefer to prepare or stock your own foodstuffs. In addition, on specific days we are allowed to leave the premises to eat off campus."

John looked over to Morgan. "Since we no longer have training today, we could possibly assist Miss Gwendolyn by helping her move her belongings to her assigned room and then go onto the Mess Hall. I would also like to bring attention to the matter that the three of us are still in our training clothes."

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The vines gently crawled into Johns hand. Four of them had sprung out with several others still hiding on her skin, vibrating on the surface, unsure of coming out into the physical world. touch? they asked Gwen. He said you could, go on! As they reached out to John again they began to flower, small yellow rose looking flowers. "Thank you John, this is a wonderful help however--" Gwen looked at her lone rolling bag. "This and the bookbag are all I have brought" She switched her gaze towards Jeena. Do you have anything else that needs to come up also?

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Vicky looked down at her training clothes, then back at John, "You... have a point." To Jeena and Gwen she asked, "You mind terribly if we grab a quick shower and change of clothes before giving the basic tour of the grounds? It'll be sort of on the way anyway, the R.A. mentioned a couple new girls moving in on my floor a few doors down from me. My guess is that's you two."

She ran a hand through her sweat soaked hair and sighed, Yeah, really need that shower...

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"Heh, looks like Claremont's going to look a lot prettier for the next few years. Morgan Crowe, nice to meet you."

Just a hint of color appeared on Jeena's cheeks at the compliment, and she ducked her head as she smiled sheepishly. "Thank you, nice to meet you, too."

"Well, you're allowed to eat in your dorm room, but a lot of the students eat in the caf. Do a good spread, if you like the healthier foods; not to say there aren't cardiovascular feasts of doom if you want 'em, cook does one heckuva pizza. Either way, they do really good food here."

"Oh, I like pizza!" Her reply was surprisingly enthusiastic, as if she wasn't sure she'd ever get to enjoy pizza again.

"On a side note Jeena, love your shades. I have to ask, where'd you get those?"

This was one of the awkward questions she was not looking forward to answering, since her and Zach's glasses were actually designed back on Tektan by their superiors at the Academy after studying the spectrum of Earth's star. However, her and her brother had come up with a cover story that they hoped would work.

"Oh, do you like them? I'm sorry, they were custom made back in Amsterdam; they're orthopedic-" She winced and shook her head. "No, that's not the word. Anyway, they're specially made; our mutation makes our eyes very sensitive to sunlight." With great care, she removed the glasses and did her best to show them her eyes, which were a striking pale blue, but the other students only got a quick look, as Jeena was forced to squint and put her shades back on. "Our skin is also very sensitive; the doctors at the Academy said our mutation has some porphyria-like symptoms, but they ruled it out a long time ago."

"This and the bookbag are all I have brought" She switched her gaze towards Jeena. Do you have anything else that needs to come up also?

The flowering lines were going to take some getting used to, that's for sure, but Gwen herself seemed nice enough. "Uh, no, I just have the one bag; we had to leave home in a hurry." That was a bit more revealing than she intended, but she figured it was best to let the slip go without comment. "I don't mind waiting for showering, or others to shower, I guess." She shrugged. "I'm not going anywhere."

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Gwen smiled at everyone and went to reach for her bag. Come on you, you'll have plenty of time to explore later. she chided the vines and they retracted settling back in as tattoos along her skin with just a few small tendrils running astray. Gwen's tummy grumbled again. "Food does really sound amazing, but putting our things into a room first would make the journey easier." She looked at the tendrils on her arm. All in, or we don't get to see new people. New people! the chorus rang in her head and the tendrils settled in. Gwen smiled. "Much better!Shall we be off then?"

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Morgan's mind was filled with a different set of images as Vicky mentioned a shower, and his eyes glazed over for a brief period before he caught himself. Myrmidon's comment about training clothes also caused him to nod, and he looked at the sweatshirt and sweatpants he wore underneath his ubiquitous runecoat. Not for the first time, he gave a bit of thanks for a minor protective rune he'd deciphered on the back of it; the training might've been hard work, but at least the coat protected him, for the most part, from the summer's heat.

"Yeah, shower and a quick change'd be right nice around now. Brian already head back to the dorm, Vick?"

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