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Semi-Autogyro

Rules of the Game

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John sighed, trying in vain to put the annoying noise out of sight and mind. Of late, it had started to follow him around. He had addressed the problem numerous times and yet it would not go away. Now that it was starting to interfere with his training he knew he had to seek out an expert. Kate had just laughed and ruffled his hair, to his consternation when he had asked. That left Miss Etain or Victoria, and at this point he hoped that they would provide the solution to this.

He picked up his bag, idly collecting the various pieces of paper on it that did not belong to him before throwing them away once he rounded the nearest corner. John did not care for the wastefulness of the problem as well as he headed toward the zen garden, one of the likely places he'd run into his female teammates at this time of day. Miss Etain was indeed there, and he made a bee-line toward the swordswoman. "Good day, Miss Etain. I have need of your expertise." When she looked at him he had cast a thumb over his shoulder at a pair of underclassmen girls who started tittering when they saw him pointing at them. "The offers of companionship, phone numbers, and the like are getting out of hand. How do I stop them?"

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Etain sat in the shade near the gardens edge a book in her hand as John approached. She was in a rather simple white blouse with short (though a bit puffy) sleeves, and an emerald vest and skirt that sat at lengh around the ground hiding her legs, though not their outline. She glanced from her book and looked at John before putting down her book and motioning for him to sit,

"I am guessing you consider this quite a trouble."

She changed her position crossing her legs under her skirt and adjusting her posture so her gloved hands laid in her lap as she faced him ready to hear his response to her next question,

"John, you understand the implications and purpose of attraction on an intellectual level, correct?"

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John sat down next to his friend with an unusual weary sigh. "Indeed."

"You are referring to the ideal that a person has various characteristic or qualities that provides pleasure to the viewer. In this case, it is directed to the certain features that one would find desirable in a mate. To narrow the parameters crudely, it is about finding a sexual partner to propagate the genetic code. These features are sought out in order to propagate the genetics that are superior, usually aesthetically appealing." He rattled that off with all of the concern of a man checking his watch. "I fail to see how that applies to my current predicament since my investigation of the matter stated most species understand non-participation in such matters to be a dissuading factor in and of itself."

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"Because you being physically aestetically pleasing plays a part, but there is also the part that you are likely considered socially pleasing. You are very well mannered and polite, to the point that you provide a contrast to most available males, and you also stand out in the amount of mystery there is to your person,"

She looked around the corner to see the girls, gave them a smile and they rather quickly wandered away,

"It is, though for good reason, kept secret that you have a certain amount of danger with your association, and that while you are almost mentally developed to maturity you have had compared to them very little time mature socially to the point that you will be comfortable with these interactions. To them, it reads that you are may be waiting for something or someone in particular and a lot of people try to fit themselves into that mold to fufill their own self interests."

Etain let out a sigh,

"Also, because you are considered unclaimed gives an image for any girl who finds you aesthetically pleasing a signal that they can try their hand. You can likely explain to any girl who approaches that you are not interested in a relationship at this time, but it will not stop newcomers and sometimes those who you have told you are not interested from trying because of the positive social aesthetic to the unknown."

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"I tried to inform the ones who approach me directly that I am uninterested in a relationship, but wondered why it did not seem render effective results." He thought for a moment best trying to figure out how phrase things.

"I just do not understand why there seems to be such importance placed on a matter that I find to be trivial in nature." He took off his sunglasses, sliding them into his chest pocket of the BDU's jacket he was wearing.

"Irregardless of that, there is the slight issue that I do not possess the libido of a normal teenager. Mating rituals and procreation are of little interest to me." He shrugged. "I have been conditioned to not be swayed by such things, which I surmise is a large part of my problem at present."

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Etain tapped her fingers,

"I can understand you being conditioned as such, you were made to be a soldier, and a good soldier would not let such a thing cloud their judgement, however, you should understand that the current society of this realm is conditioned in almost a completely opposite fashion. Being physically and emotionally attached to someone in what is considered a romantic relationship is one of the most socially accepted and expected things of people of a certain age, and as such a large percentage will not initially accept nor understand simple disinterest."

Looking up at him, she let out a sigh,

"It is unreasonable, but it is just the way these things are. Because propogation is such a very basic instinct in humans there is an assumption that the need for such a relationship is something everyone has. I was not raised with such ideas myself, what one considered a relationship on a physical level was usually not much more then a good friendship taken to the physical, if not a form of contract in which there were greater benefits for such a relationship beyond companionship and physical intimacy."

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"I see. That would explain why some of them looked confused and hurt when I truthfully told them that I did not find them attractive or desirable when they asked for a honest answer." He shook his head. "I derive no pleasure in hurting their feelings, but I am beginning to think I may have to take more proactive and drastic measures."

"Any ideas that I have had on the matter I had to reject out of hand as being untruthful or potentially causing worse problems in the future. I am finding the rules to this game to be esoteric and eldrich, and while I prefer not to play it seems that it is socially required of me." His shoulders were slumped a little in defeat.

"So, I was looking for you or Victoria for assistance in the matter."

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She let out a sigh and tucked a piece of hair from her face absently,

"Well it is no wonder they would be hurt, self image is rather fragile at this age, for that I suggest you become use to not saying you do not find them attractive, but instead that specify you do no find anybody attractive. That way it will feel less like a personal attack. Another alternative, though this seems a bit more underhanded, is to spend more time with girls whom understand you are not attracted to them and will not push to spend time with you like that. It is not entirely dishonest that you would like to spend time with girls whom are friends, but it also gives an outward image that you are not entirely available like it does when you choose to be alone."

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"I am afraid that number is very small, Miss Etain." He said ruefully. "When they want an explanation as to my reasons, I cannot reveal much due to my history and I myself have no opinions on what I find 'attractive' or 'appealing' when it comes to people." John let loose an exasperated sigh. "Somehow that is usually misconstrued that I am attracted to men, or other such inane leaps of logic."

"Please do not get me started on some of the the more illogical theories that I have heard bandied about. It just seems so...meddlesome that people concern themselves with my affairs when I neither want or need their input." He was scowling a bit.

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"People are naturally rather curious about the other people that inhabit their world, and often like to speculate about the things they do not understand. You really cannot expect them to do anything less without correcting them. I am certain you are not the only person who does not find themselves attracted to any member of either gender, and if you specify so, and they still try to speculate otherwise it is likely the person is not actually worth your time or effort."

Reaching out she put a hand on his shoulder,

"If there really is anybody who persists dispite being told otherwise, then I can surely clarify things on your behalf if nessicary. There is no need to have to deal with these troubles on your own John, and I have yet to meet a person I cannot thoroughly dissuade from causing trouble."

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John gave a bemused grin to his friend. "I am most confident in your powers of persuasion, Miss Etain." He had seen them on many of an occasion.

"Thank you for hearing me out on this matter. While I prefer to shoulder my burdens myself, it is reassuring to know that my friends are always willing to help. Especially in situations like these where I do not possess enough first-hand experience to adequately navigate the issue. I would like to avoid a repeat of the incident where I misconstrued an underclassman's various advances as threats to my well-being." After all, how was he supposed to know 'I've been watching you from afar' did not come from some sort of twisted assassins plot?

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Etain laughed, she couldn't help it. She could picture the entire thing very vividly and it was absurdly funny. She didn't do so long though, before she looked at John again,

"I hope,"

She still chuckled,

"That particular incident showed you to have more faith in those whom the Headmaster lets onto the campus. Though as far as faith go, would you like to elaborate on the incident where you were taken hostage. The Headmaster has informed us of the basics, but I would like some further clarifications if only to help with measures to prevent further such incidents."

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Johns' formerly relaxed postured went rigid at the mention of the incident as he gave the swordsmistress a quick glance before staring at the ground. "A spectre from my past tried to drag me back. I am forbidden from mentioning specifics, but she wanted to finish her initial work and re-indoctrinate me. It was a splinter cell, operating outside SHADOW knowledge and influence. However, both Headmaster Summers and I are aware that this might have tipped the hint of my existence to SHADOW, especially as the perpetrator has disappeared off the map."

He gave her a sharp look. "If that is the case, any future incidents will likely involve elite operatives with special training along with comprehensive intelligence on their targets." John leaned back on the bench. "I think an added emphasis during our regular training on fighting coordinated enemy teams would go a long way to counteract any attempts."

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"Indeed it would, I also think some emphasis would be added in a way to contact us if you are taken once more."

She scratched her head,

"Elite agents or not, single targets are easier to aprehend, so they would likely try to ambush you again and it would be foolish to think that there would not be any such time where you would be on your own. So maybe we can set up a failsafe, one not so easily noticed by prying eyes. Parkhurst has a very reliable teleportation spell which relies on using talismen as foci for the moment. Given, probably not something so easily taken away. We could likely condense the size, make it beyond notice, like a patch with a runic symbol, or an accessory not usually taken with a search. Of course decreased size would decrease usage, we could likely include a mental command to prevent accidental use by those who would try to access it."

She scratched her cheek as she thought of it,

"We will definitely need to consult with Morgan about that particular instance. As for the originally specified problem why do we not work by the female company suggestion and go grab some lunch. The local chinese place should be fairly empty at this hour, and still provide the special prices it gives to its lunch menu."

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"There has been a significant change in protocols if I am to disappear again, including the placement of numerous fail-safes as a result of the incident. You and the other Irregulars need not concern yourself with the specifics. I do appreciate your desire to assist me in the manner, however." John gave her a small smile.

"Chow does sound good. I believe it is my turn to render payment for the food. Do you know if any of the others want to come along?"

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