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Amongst all the drama, be it world-threatening or simply teenage growing pangs, it was often easy to forget that Claremont was first and foremost a place of education, albeit one with a truly unique curriculum. Given the broad spectrum of powers and abilities the students were there to hone, it simply wasn't feasible to have an expert in each and every area on staff. Instead, part of the senior students' own development involved aiding their underclassman peers where they were able.

So it was that Eve Martel, the supremely talented telepath and telekinetic better known in some circles as Sage, had organized something of a study group with two of the school's junior students who both hailed from outside the United States and were versed in the application of mind over matter. While Kristin Jones, the redheaded Australian who sometimes went by Glow, had by far more raw telekinetic ability than the spectral Deceased-Canadian Kimber Storm, the gregarious Ghost Girl, the object of the exercise was in fact fine control. Eve had instructed them to meet her after afternoon classes in the campus' zen garden, a secluded and rarely visited spot free from distractions.

Unfortunately, tranquility was not one of the words most commonly associated with Kimber, who bobbed up and down excitedly in the air as she arrived, the light of the waning sun washing through her translucent blue form, obscuring her outline from the right angle. Although it was a perfectly calm day, the poltergeist's hair rose and fell as though caught in an unseen wind or current. "Am I early?" she chirped eagerly.

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Kristin glanced at her watch as she made her way towards the zen garden. Eve, she knew was an extraordinarily powerful psychic and more than that, she was a gymnast of considerable talent that Kristin had looked up to during her own involvement with the sport. It might be a little silly, but she was nervous about meeting the older girl.

She wasn't even late at all, but that don't stop her from rushing. As she entered she practically walked right through Kimber. A trick of the light had obscured the ghostly girl until the last moment and Kristin recoiled away with a startled "eep!".

"Uhh, sorry Kimber!" she chuckled as she recovered her balance. "Guess that'll teach me to watch where I'm going!"

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"Yee!" Kimber exclaimed herself, more surprised by Kirstin's exclamation than the other girl's inadvertent proximity. Whatever else could be said about the Canadian's post-mortem condition, it certainly hadn't done anything to reinforce her evidently flexible concept of personal space. While the redhead drew back, her cerulean hued classmate floated slightly higher, her feet raising more than her head so that she was practically horizontal as though swimming through the air. "Oh my goodness, I didn't mean to scare you!" she apologized simultaneously with Kirstin, laughing briefly when the petite girl did as well. "This is about as solid as I can look in the sunlight," she explained with a broad shrug.

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Kristin gave a little bit of an embarrassed laugh as Kimber floated up until she was practically laying flat in the air. "It's all good. I just don't think I've actually managed to walk through someone before. That's totally a new trick! Although I guess you're pretty used to it right?"

She reached out and brushed her fingertips just slightly through Kimbers shoulder. "That's actually kind of cool. It's like my brain totally expects there to be something solid there. I'm going to have to try poking you with my telekinesis some time to see what that feels like. Anyway, sorry, I'll try not to scare myself anymore!"

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"Don't poke," chided a soft French-accented soprano as Eve entered the Zen garden. Whatever bite there was from the mild rebuke was erased by the white-haired senior's faint smile. A faint yellow-green glow enveloped Eve as she hugged Kimber, then teased the chipper poltergeist's hair.

"Poking is rude. Hugs are better."

"Now," Eve said, setting her satchel down in one corner of the overhang, "before we get started on tonight's exercise, which is fine control, I think a round of introductions are in order." The telepath flashed a quick grin before adding, "Unless this isn't the first time you've bumped into each other."

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Positively beaming at the telekinetically assisted show of affection, Kimber consciously brought her feet back down to a more vertical position and floated closer to the ground in the presence of her shorter schoolmates. She'd gathered it took a bit of effort for Eve to affect her insubstantial form in that manner - utilizing telepathy on what was in a sense a disembodied mind as much as the more physical side of the European's powerset - which only made the gregarious phantom appreciate the gesture more. She sometimes suspected she'd been a fairly physical person in life, and it meant a lot of occasionally experience that again.

"Hee, thanks, Eve! Actually, Kristin and I have a couple classes together," she explained. The two sophomores were in the same year and as such shared much of the same workload, although they hadn't had occasion to interact much outside of the classroom. "I guess we don't know that much about each other, though! Let's see, well, I'm from Thunder Bay, that's in Ontario. Oh, which is in Canada, if you didn't already know, ha!" Laying one finger along the side of her chin, Kimber considered. "Hm. I really like listening to music, although my taste is kinda out of date now, apparently. I froze to death in the woods when I was about sixteen and my favourite colour is blue, which works out really well, haha!" The chipper poltergeist looked to the other girls expectantly, grinning enthusiastically.

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Kristin watched the telekinetic hug with unconcealed interest. She was fairly certain that her powers wouldn't affect the cheerful spirit because she simply wasn't solid enough, but Eve was clearly able to manipulate her abilities with more than enough finesse to pull off the trick. For a second Kristin felt she could almost feel or see the pattern of those energies, but then the moment was gone.

"You're going to have to show me that again sometime.." she started, but stopped to listen to Kimbers rather bubbly introduction. With a shake of her head and a grin at how offhandedly the ghostly girl described the matter of her own death she made an intro of her own.

"Well okay, I'm from the Gold Coast in Australia which you can probably guess from the accent, I used to live like five minutes walk from the beach and I'm definitely not into this whole winter thing, I used to be a decent gymnast when I was little but then I got distracted by things like football and Judo. I guess those are still my favourite hobbies!"

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As the girls gave a little background about themselves, Eve slipped back into the observer role with which she was most comfortable. Though the introductions, as they were, lasted less than a minutes it was more than enough to give the telepath a good read on Kristin--Kimber, Eve knew, was already good people--and the young Australian now joined that list.

"As you may have guessed from my own accent," Eve said once Kristin had finished, "I am from France; Orléans to be precise. I also have a fondness for gymnastics, and I must say it is delightful meeting someone else who held a similar interest."

"Now!" Eve exclaimed, clasping her hands together, "I would like to know more about the strengths and weaknesses of your psychokinesis; something that will give us a firm idea of what we have to work with."

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Kristin grinned, and even without telepathy it was pretty clear she felt a little self-conscious about discussing gymnastics with someone as extraordinarily talented as Eve. "A fondness for it huh?" she chuckled. "I used to watch you, you know. My coach played videos for us. I was really upset when I heard about your fall!"

She shook her head and looked a little flustered. "Umm sorry, we were talking about telekinesis right? Well I tend to find small fiddly stuff the hardest. I can do it sometimes, but it makes my head hurt. At the big-stuff end I know I can lift at least a ton and a half and I'm pretty sure I can go higher than that if I have to as well. I can do a bunch of things at one time if I really focus on it too."

She paused and gave a bit of a shrug. "What else do you want to know? Oh, I can defend myself with it too. Blocking attacks seems to be almost the thing that comes most naturally to me. I don't know really why that is, but I don't have to think about it quite as much as I do with everything else."

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Kimber looked from Kristin to Eve interestedly as the Australian alluded to an athletic history the deceased young woman had really heard about before then. Obviously Eve was an amazing talented acrobat, she'd seen as much for herself in real combat situations, but she hadn't realized it was something the white-haired telepath had once pursued competitively. The ghost felt a surge of guilt for not having found out about such a major part of Eve's life sooner. She supposed that she'd taken for granted that the older girl had always been the self-assured force of nature she seemed to be now, which felt awfully foolish to her in retrospect.

Resolving to spend more time getting to know Eve as a person instead of just the team's semi-formal student teacher, she answered the question posed. "Well, I'm technically a poltergeist, um, specifically, I mean. I can knock stuff over and smash plates and cups and stuff and generally be a nuisance!" Laughing, her beryl speckled cheeks darkened a shade. "Which is what I did for a while, when I was haunting my cabin in the woods. My control's pretty good, I guess! It mostly seems like I'm actually holding whatever it is with invisible hands or something! I can't lift much at all, though, just small stuff."

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It took Eve a few moments to realize that she was blushing. It took her another half beat to notice that the reminder of her former career, and the moment that brought an end to it, didn't sting like it used to. Brushing a hand through her short white hair, in a vain attempt to hide her blush, she chuckled with Kimber recounting of her telekinetic ability. The poltergeist had some occasional odd mannerisms, but her joy was infectious.

"Well I did want to focus on control this evening," the senior started, clearing her throat. The faint smile that was on her face had widened and though Eve would rather spend the rest of the evening getting to know Kimber and Kristin better, the subject of the night had priority.

"But I have a different idea instead. But please take it easy, and do not push it. I don't want any headaches."

The Zen garden had, as its central feature, a modest rock garden. The sandy gravel was raked with neat lines around artfully arranged stones managed to evoke a calming effect. With a subtle glow around her hands, and a similar glow surrounding a half-dozen of the larger rocks, Eve lifted the stones into the air and set them along the path. The telepath made a small brushing gesture with one hand and the sand evened out, losing its geometric lines.

With an impish grin, Eve addressed the two underclassmen. "Now put it back together. Kimber, you have the large stones. Kristin, the sand."

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Kristin stood with her hands on her hips and watched with interest as Eve rearranged the Zen garden for their exercise. The young Frenchwoman was clearly far more comfortable with her abilities, and it was fairly enlightening to just watch the play of psychic energy around the stones at the sand.

The assignment Eve set however was rather daunting. I can't do that... was the first thought that entered Kristin's head as she stood in silence and regarded the sand doubtfully. The second thought was far more mischievous - a rake that had been left leaning in the corner of the Zen garden started to float over towards her, wreathed in green streamers of light.

"What?!" she chuckled with her best innocent expression as she caught Eve's eye. "Oh fine! It was totally lateral thinking though, that's worth something right?"

With the rake returned to its resting place Kristin sat cross legged in front of the sand pit, close enough to the edge that she wouldn't be in Kimber's way. Doubts plagued the Australian teen once more as she tried to calm her mind and her first attempt to draw a line in the sand resulted in a furrow six inches wide and nearly two deep. Hurriedly she reached out and wiped the area flat with her hand to start again.

Clearly it was going to be a long night.

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Kimber looked from the large rocks back to Eve then to the disassembled rock garden then to Kristin then back to the rocks, the glum expression on her face deepening as she went. "Well... jams," she concluded finally with a sigh, before cracking her translucent knuckles and narrowing her eyes in the direction of the stones. Unlike the distinctive light that wrapped about objects the other two girls were moving with their minds, the first of the rocks Kimber attempted to lift showed no sign of outside influence as is wobbled slightly, scraped along the path for an inch or so back towards to garden then stopped. Letting out a heavy breath that she strictly speaking hadn't needed to take in the first place, Kimber floated over her stubborn target and emphatically kicked it. Predictably her immaterial foot slid right through with no effect whatsoever, leaving the phantom to make a frustrated noise in the back of her throat as she flew back over to the better vantage point to try again.

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"Lateral thinking is worth something," Eve assured Kristin, managing to suppress the grin that started to appear on her face when Kristin made a grab for the rake. While the redheaded girl would still have to manipulate the rake with a fine degree of control, the fact that her first solution was from the side instead of head on spoke well of her.

Kimber's task, sadly, didn't leave the poltergeist much lateral movement and for that Eve felt a pang of regret, thinking that she should have assigned Kimber a task that was less reliant on brute force.

"Both of you are tremendously capable, more than you currently believe yourself to be." Eve said. "It might sound trite to say this is simply a case of mind over matter, but for us it really is."

As a means of encouragement, Eve sent both pupils a surge of warmth and approval through the mental link she had surreptitiously forged when they arrived, giving Kimber's hair a quick tousle as an added bonus.

"You have no idea how real you are to me," Eve said as she turned her head to look at Kimber. "You are so very much here, your mind has so much vitality, more so than any flesh-and-bone person I have ever met. You are a wellspring of mental power."

"And Kristin," the telepath continued, turning to face the young telekinetic, "You use your telekinesis to shield yourself from harm but you still allow air through the protection. That says, to me, that subconsciously you already have a fine degree of control."

"You both already have the capability to do what I ask."

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Kristin paused in the middle of attempting another line in the sand - this one not quite as broad as her first, but still nowhere near what she was aiming for - as Eve provided encouraging words.. and something else as well. She cocked her head to the side as the little surge bolstered her confidence, then grinned. She turned, ready to ask a question, but instead listened quietly as the Frenchwoman spoke to Kimber, then her.

"I guess I never really thought of it that way," she replied thoughtfully. "The barrier is pretty much the most automatic thing I do. I have to concentrate a bit, but I can still do it while I'm doing other things." With a wave of her hand she flattened out the patch of sand she had been working on, then started again. The line that appeared in the sand was a lot more efficient and neat, but still far too wide.

She glared at the sand again as frustration rose despite Eves mental intervention, then stopped and shook her head. "Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way. Do you think I'm maybe trying too hard?" she asked as she glanced at Eve.

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Kimber's face turned an entirely different shade of blue as she affected the closest thing her translucent being was capable of to a deep blush, unused to the frank and unqualified words of encouragement, particularly with regard to her relative 'realness'. The ghost supposed at some point she'd gotten fairly comfortable with the idea of being primarily an observer, since so many aspects of day to day life were either rendered pointless or impractical in the extreme by her ethereal nature. "...thanks. That... that actually helps a lot!" she replied with hesitancy that gave way to enthusiasm as she refocused her attention of the first rock. Waving her hands to one side like a bowler trying to convince a wayward ball away from the gutter, she concentrated fully on her task.

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"Perhaps," Eve replied giving Kristin a nod. "From my own experience, when I concentrate on how to do something little is accomplished as opposed to focusing on what I need."

The telepath had, by this point, sat down cross-legged at one end of the rock garden where she could observe both students. Sitting with one hand in her lap, she held her right hand in front of her. A luminescent mist of pale yellow-orange hue with faint green striations gathered in her right hand. In the space of a few heartbeats the mist elongated and took on the appearance of solid form; that of a long, narrow triangular blade.

"When I need, or want in this case, a weapon my mind creates it. I do not focus on how it is made, only the desire for it to be made. It is the same for me if I wished to walk on the ceiling, move rocks, or even fly."

With a flicking motion the sword dissolved into a few motes of light that gradually faded. "What do you like to do for fun?" Eve asked abruptly changing the subject. It was a fairly obvious attempt to take the girls minds off of the how of the task, but Eve's normally guarded expression was open and genuinely curious.

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Kristin turned back to the line she was drawing in the sand as Eve spoke, and her latest effort was once again closer to what she was trying for. She looked up however when she was distracted by the pulsing yellow and green light of Eve's power. The sight of an energy blade in her mentors hand was enough to drop her jaw noticeably and she gasped out "I want one of those!"

She looked back at her work, only to raise an eyebrow as she realised that she had instinctively drawn her best pattern so far while she wasn't looking. Intrigued, she wiped the sand flat again with a wave of her hand, then began to trace yet another pattern as she looked back at Eve.

"I want to see that again by the way!" she giggled as she nodded towards Eves hands, then answered the question. "I guess I like to be active. I get my fun by getting out and kicking a football around, or finding a sparring match in the gym, or just practicing my gymnastics sometimes. When I'm tired or down though I like to just curl up with a book too."

"What about you Kimber? What else is fun to do around here?" she asked as she regarded her most recent patch of sand-art. "Huh that's getting closer.."

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Kimber, of course, had seen Eve's psychic blade manifestation many times before but being naturally excitable found herself she found Kristin's interest quickly contagious, laughing along. "Um, let me think! Fun, fun, fun-de-fun..." The apparition continued to wave her hands absently as she considered the question, allowing her attention to wander from the stubborn rock.

"Well, I like just talking to people a lot! Indira and me get to talk a lot and try new hair styles and practice hunting and do schoolwork since neither of us needs to sleep." The roommates had gotten quite good at finding things to keep each other occupied for the eight or so hours most of the student body was unconscious each night. "Sometimes I'll sneak out at night," she added, lowering her voice and looking about conspiratorially, "so I can just look normal and hang out in coffee shops and places with lots of people, which is--"

Kimber found herself cut off by a loud thump as the stone she'd been attempting to shift toppled over onto on side rather suddenly. The phantom blinked at the fallen rock for a moment before a grin spread across her face. Narrowing her eyes as she concentrated, she began rolling the stone like a log across the sand back toward its original position, finding it much easier than trying to lift the entire thing into the air.

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Kristin looked over as the rock thumped onto its side, then grinned delightedly as she saw Kimber rolling the rock towards its place in the garden. Her eyes narrowed however when she saw the track it left in the sand. It clearly wasn't a big deal - she hadn't done anything close to a decent pattern in that section, but she could hardly pass up such an opportunity to tease her new friend.

"Hey! Look at the mess you made on my sand!" she said sharply. "You trashed my pattern!"

She tried to hold a stern expression and glare at Kimber and did a horrible job, the corners of her mouth twitching upwards a couple of times before she gave way to a fit of giggles. "Sorry, that was kinda mean!" she said with a grin. "It might be best if you do the stones first though before I do that bit. I'll work on the other side."

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"If you and Indira find yourself bored over the weekend," Eve started to say, but cut off when Kimber rolled over the rock. The petite telepath bounced with barely suppressed excitement, giving the poltergeist a nod and broad smile of approval.

She was soon laughing at Kristin's mock anger, her short white hair fanning out as she shook her head. "As I was saying," Eve said when she could trust herself to speak without succumbing to giggles, "You're both free to visit my home in North Bay."

Eve smiled at Kristin and added, "You too, Kristin. It gets rather lonely there, sometimes. I'd like to have some friends over."

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Kimber's face drained of colour, becoming nearly fully translucent as her expression turned aghast at her apparent carelessness in the moments before it faded from view and left her a headless, floating body with flailing arms. "Ack, I wasn't even--" she began to apologize profusely before the other girl dissolved into laughter. "What? I... ooooh!" The ghost's head reappeared wearing a suitably annoyed look, one cheek puffed out as she stamped her foot midair. "Very funny, you guys!" Still, she wasn't any more capable of maintaining her ire than Kristin was, and was soon giggling along with the others. "Okay, okay, I'll smooth it back out after! And that sounds like a lot of fun, Eve, thanks!"

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Kimbers frown and mid-air foot stamp set Kristin off even worse. She covered her mouth to muffle the laughter and had to wipe tears out of her eyes as she recovered. "I'm sorry Kimber. I shouldn't tease. I couldn't help it though, it was a totally perfect set-up! You had such a look of concentration going on!"

"Don't you worry about the sand," she continued "I can smooth it down when I get to it, it will just be good practice."

Eves invitation for weekend visits made her smile even more broadly as she set back to work drawing patterns in the sand. "I'd love to come visit you Eve," she replied. "It can get a bit lonely on weekends around here sometimes without my family to go visit. You'll have to get me decent directions though, I don't know my way around North Bay at all."

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Eve flicked her hand in a dismissive gesture, giving her head a subtle shake. "Nonsense," she replied, but then she adopted a thoughtful expression and shrugged, "Well, sure if you want directions. I could just take you there myself..." she trailed off, frowning slightly.

"Except my car only seats two. I'll just have Renard pick us up."

The faint smile was back on the telepath's face again as she looked at the disassembled (and slowly reassembling) rock garden for the two underclassmen were making considerably more progress this evening than she anticipated. They're more capable than they realize, the senior thought to herself.

"So, tell me of home," Eve said, shifting to another topic to give the girls something to think about.

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"Two seats?" Kristin asked with a raised eyebrow. "What kind of car is it? Some kind of sports car? That'd be pretty hot! But how does Kimber go riding in cars anyway?".

She smoothed the patch of sand she had been working on with a wave of her hand and then began again. "Home is warm." Was the first thing that popped into her head. It was almost like she hadn't been warm even once since arriving in Freedom City. "My family live on the Gold Coast - nice sandy beaches like ten minutes walk from my front door. And it was like thirty degrees Celsius there today. I miss that!"

The young Australian had a faraway look on her face for a moment as she continued to subconsciously trace patterns in the sand with her telekinesis. "I miss my family and my school friends heaps too...". After a little pause her face brightened and she shot a wink at Kimber. "Lucky there's some pretty cool peeps to meet around here though!"

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