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Lunchtime Study time (IC)


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Monday, February 25th, 2013



Though the Diana Falk Cafeteria had been relatively empty when Kristin arrived for her lunch break it had quickly turned into a noisy, bustling place as more students filtered in, and the diminutive Australian was rather glad that she'd chosen an isolated table near the corner of the room. After a rather unfortunate outing as Glow near the end of January she had needed some time off from school to recuperate from her injuries, and had fallen slightly behind, which meant that every spare minute in her day was being turned into study time.


With half a hamburger in one hand Kristin was scrawling notes with the other as she pored over the calculus section of her maths textbook, her brow furrowed in concentration and frustration as she tried to remember the various rules and solutions that she had missed in class.


With a frown of disappointment she looked over her obviously incorrect answer and then screwed up the sheet of paper and tossed it telekinetically into a nearby wastebasket, then took another bite of her lunch as she prepared to start over.

Edited by Scuffles
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Giang Trang made her way out of the kitchen of the cafeteria into the seating area, a tray in hand, as she looked out over the busy crowd of students already there.  The Asian teen did not see any of the handful of students she knew best, so she instead began searching for an open seat in a less crowded section of the room.


As she began to make her way through the room, she spotted a table in one corner of the room that only had one occupant.  While Giang had never been formally introduced to Kristin Jones, she certainly know who the other girl was.  Giang had been at Claremont only a couple of weeks when the Day of Wrath had occurred, and during those events, she, along with Morgan Crowe and Darren Stelzer, had been  deceived by a robot duplicate of Headmaster Summers into believing that the members of Young Freedom had been replaced by agents from the Terminus. 


During the chaotic moments that had followed what had appeared to be the murder of the headmaster by the members of Young Freedom, Giang had briefly considered engaging Kristin to prevent Young Freedom from escaping.  But thankfully, the Asian teen had not done so, and instead had focused her attention on the fire that had been caused by the bomb planted by the robot duplicate, which had destroyed the headmaster’s office and other parts of the administration building.


Since that day, Kristin had been very friendly the times Giang had passed her in the halls.  And Mali and Kat both spoke highly of the Australian teen.  While Kristin seemed rather busy at the moment, this appeared to be an opportunity to at least be more formally introduced.


Making her way over to the table, the Asian teen stopped a short distance from Kristin.  "Excuse me, do you mind if I take one of these empty seats?"  She asked with a small smile.

Edited by Thevshi
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Kristin looked up from her books with an expression that bordered on relief, then nodded as she hastily tried to swallow her mouthful of burger and almost choked herself in the process. "Sure, take a seat." she said with a sheepish grin and a wave at the spare seats after she finished coughing and spluttering. "Don't mind me, in between trying to kill myself with hamburger I'm just doing some revision for maths class. Or trying to, mostly it's just doing my head in!"


Her pen clattered onto the table as she abandoned homework and adopted a thoughtful expression as she tried to remember the Asian girl's name. "Gianne isn't it?" she asked, then snapped her fingers as the answer came to her. "No! Giang? I'm close at least aren't I? I'm Kristin. I've been meaning to say hi but I've gotten a little behind and I've been flat out trying to catch up."


The redhead gestured at her books as she took another bite of her lunch. "I've got most of it squared away, but maths has always been a weak point.."

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Giang sat her tray down at one of the empty seats as Kristin choked slightly on her food and then introduced herself.  "Yes, Giang."  The Asian teen replied as she gave a slight bow, her hands together in front of her.  "It is an honor to finally meet you Kristin."


Taking her seat, Giang kept focused on the other teen as she continued, "That is very understandable.  It has been a rather busy past couple of months, for everyone.  I am sorry I have not made any attempt to meet you earlier as well.  Mali, Kat, Subito and others have all spoken very highly of you."  Looking at the stack of books Kristin gestured towards, giving a small nod.  "Math is not one of my strongest subjects either."

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"Really nice to meet you," Kristin replied with a smile. "Good thing they've all said nice things about me, I'm sure there's a fair few people around campus who think I'm a right pain in the backside! "


She chewed another mouthful of her burger for a few seconds and then regarded Giang curiously again. "So you're only pretty new to the school right? How have you been finding it?" she asked, then paused. "You know, apart from the exploding offices and stuff," she continued sheepishly. "Settling in alright? Sounds like you've already met most of the people I hang around with. Kat and Mali and Subito are great."


A quick gulp of water washed down the last of her lunch, and she smiled at the Asian girl again. "I heard you've been working with Morgan too, he's pretty intense hey?"

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Giang gave a small smile at Kristin's comment about other probably having not so nice things to say about her.  "I have not met anyone that has had anything negative to say about you."  She commented, rather doubting there would be many, if any, that would.


The Asian teen then nodded her head as the Australian teen asked about her being new to the school.  "Yes, I started in early January.  It has been a very interesting time thus far.  Mainly due to the opportunity to be around so many others my own age."


The plate on Giang's tray contained a fair amount of rice, mixed together with some vegetables, and a bit of fruit along the side.  Though Kat, Mali and some of the other students she had gotten to know thus far had done much to introduce her to American style food, the Asian teen generally tended to stick with more simple meals most of the time.


When Kristin mentioned Giang having worked with Morgan, the teen nodded.  "Yes, and John Smith as well.  And they can be rather..intense.  But, given the seriousness of the situations in question, that intensity was rather understandable."

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"Ah ha!" Kristin chuckled. "Clearly you haven't talked to my maths teacher, I certainly get plenty of negative comments there!"


She leaned back in her chair a bit as she considered Giang's words. "So didn't you get to be with kids your own age back home?" she asked, then realized that she also had no idea where 'back home' was. "Must be pretty full-on to move into a school full of 'em full time then. I found that bit pretty tough to start with even though it's not too different to home."


She grinned again as Giang mentioned John. "John's pretty awesome too," she said. "Great workout partner too, even if he holds back too much. I've learned heaps from both those guys."


"But yeah," she said with a shrug. "Been a whole lot crazier than normal around here. It's not normally quite so bad, promise!"

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"Until just after I turned seventeen back in October, I had lived my entire life in a rather remote village in Vietnam."  Giang replied.  "I was generally discouraged from spending much time with the other children in the village, and had little time to even try to do so, as I was usually kept busy with lessons and training." 


When the other girl commented on how intense the transition to Claremont must be, the Asian teen simply replied, "to be certain, there has been a lot to get used to here.  But in many ways, the structure is not all that different than what my life had been like in Vietnam, though the areas of study have changed somewhat."


"How long have you been here Kristin?"  She then asked.

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"A bit more than a year now," Kristin replied. "I came over not long after my little accidental telekinetic outburst made news. I needed some help getting it all under control and there wasn't too many people experienced in that kind of training available to me back home. Claremont really helped out with putting me in contact with some psychics who knew how to deal with what I was going through. Some of the older students were really great, and I spent plenty of time with some professionals who work with young mutants too."


She gave Giang a bit of a grin. "Plus the training I get here really helps to expand what I'm capable of," she added. "And that's always nice. Plus it's a pretty good school once you get past all that extra stuff too. Once you get past the part where everybody talks in feet and inches and pounds and stuff like that instead of using sensible measurements anyway!"


She looked the Vietnamese girl over again curiously. "So why weren't you supposed to hang out with the other kids?" she asked. "If that's not prying too much of course, plenty of people here don't like to talk about their past too much, so it's cool if you don't want to talk about it"

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Giang nodded as Kristin mentioned why she had come to Claremont and the help she had received in learning to better control her powers.  "It seems a number of students came here to help learn to better control their abilities.  I am glad the experience has been so beneficial for you."  She replied.


When the Australian teen asked more about her childhood in Vietnam, and in particular why she had little interaction with the other children in the village she grew up in, Giang was quite for a brief moment before answering.  "My life in Vietnam was very regimented, with various lessons, training and mediation."  The Asian teen replied.  "I was expected to be focused and disciplined, my..parents, did not view the other children in the village as being similarly inclined."

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"I guess that kinda makes sense," Kristin allowed. "Kids aren't exactly the best at 'focussed and disciplined' I suppose, but nobody can work hard all the time. I guess I saw something like that when I was into gymnastics. Some of the parents there were pretty full-on, the way they would drive their kids, or get upset with them when a practice rep wasn't perfect or something. Just crazy intense sometimes."


She gave a bit of a shrug, and her textbooks snapped shut with a little telekinetic assistance as she repeated "You can't study all the time!" and grinned at Giang. "Enough of that, what do you do for fun?" she asked. "Please don't tell me that you study and meditate all the time? I'd have to call you crazy!"

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"Yes, it was something like that."  Giang stated when Kristin mentioned some of the parents she had seen when doing gymnastics.  The other girl then turned the conversation to the subject of what Giang did for "fun."  The Asian teen gave something of a weak smile.  "To be honest, when I was still living in Vietnam, I did not have much in the way of free time, so I did not do much for 'fun,' at least, as I understand you to be using the term."


"But since coming here, Mali, Kat and some of the others have been trying to get me to do more, I believe the term is 'just hanging out.'  Though for the last few weeks I have not left campus much.  John is also teaching me how to ride a motorcycle."

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Kristin smiled broadly as she remembered some of the shenanigans that had accompanied John's attempt to find a hobby. "Don't worry about that," she chuckled, "We'll probably just end up having you try everything until you find something you like! John wasn't really used to the whole leisure time thing either and we had him try out all kinds. Old movies, video games, dancing, instruments.. he was pretty good with a guitar but I don't think he stuck with it. Maybe even something simple like getting outside and kicking a football around."

She gave a bit of a shrug at the motorcycle comment though. "Not sure about the motorbikes though, Mali's taken me out on hers and I think that's about the scariest thing I've done since I got here," she said with a grin. "I think she might have been showing off just a little, but still..."

Edited by Scuffles
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Giang gave a small smile as Kristin mentioned trying to find her a hobby or something to do for fun.  While the Asian teen did not particularly feel the need to develop some sort of hobby, particularly one that involved watching movies or playing video games all the time, she knew the other girl as just being friendly, and did not wish to insult her.  "Dancing or an instrument might be something enjoyable to learn."  She offered.  "I have also considered studying Chinese calligraphy."


When Kristin mentioned her frightening experience on riding on a motorcycle with Mali, Giang ginned as well, giving a small nod.  "I could certainly see that with Mali, she is not afraid to take risks.  I have only ridden on one a few times with John, and while it was a bit frightening at first, but I had confidence in his driving skills.  And I am not certain I would want to own one myself, it just seemed to be a useful skill to know."

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"It's always handy to have a way to get around," Kristin agreed. "I just got my car license a couple of months ago and a little second-hand car to go along with it. Two wheels is totally the wrong number though, I'm definitely happy sticking with four."


She smiled at Giang's choices for potential hobbies. Clearly the Asian girl's interests tended more towards the artistic side than her own. "Maybe try painting or something too," she suggested. "I haven't got an artistic bone in my body, but I've heard it's really rewarding once you learn it properly. I don't know much about calligraphy, but I can help with the dance sometime if you like. Me and Etain taught John a little dancing, that was great fun."

Edited by Scuffles
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Giang gave Kristin a small smile as the other girl mentioned getting her license and a used car recently.  "It had never really been much of a concern to me."  She replied on the subject of cars or motorcycles for transportation.  "Where I grew up, I never really had much need of means to travel very far.  Although Freedom City does seem to have a very good system of public transportation, it can just be a bit time consuming."


The Asian teen then considered Kristin’s comments about possible hobbies.  "Painting could be a possibility as well."  She stated with a small nod.  "I will have to think about that."

"And what about you Kristin?  What things do you like to do?"

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"The public transport's far better than what we had back home," Kristin agreed cheerily. "Course mostly there I just had to worry about my bus not turning up, here I have to worry about my bus getting blown up or something!"


"I usually like to burn off some energy when I get free time," she answered when asked about what she did for fun. "I'll hit the gym and find someone to spar with, or maybe just use the gymnastics gear, or maybe just head out and kick a ball about if I can get someone to play. I swear nobody here is into soccer, it's just terrible."


A bit of a grimace crossed her face as she shifted in her seat. "Course I've been a little bit laid up after getting my butt kicked the last couple of weeks," she admitted. "Been going totally stir crazy as well, there's only so many books I can read. Pretty much ready for the all clear now I say!"

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Giang smiled slight as Kristin described what she did for "fun," which for the most part sounded like training and what some of the classes at the school involved.  Not that the Asian teen did not think sparing or gymnastics could not be a way to relax some or fun, but given Kristin's comment about hoping Giang did not spend all her free time meditating it seemed just a little bit hypocritical. 


"I am afraid I have never played soccer either."  She replied.  "Though I would not be adverse to trying sometime."


When the other girl mentioned being injured recently, Giang gave her a sympathetic look.  "I am sorry to hear that.  You are recovering well I hope?"

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Kristin smiled and nodded. "Yeah mostly back on my feet," she replied. "I'm still a little sore at times but nothing too serious. Hopefully I'll be back in business properly pretty soon."


She gave a bit of a shrug, and a faraway look crossed her face as she thought back to the fight with Nephilim. "It could have been worse," she admitted quietly as she stared into space somewhere above Giang's left shoulder. "But I guess I know what my limits are now," she continued as her eyes flicked back to the Vietnamese girl's face. "Not a bad thing to lose when you learn from it, right? That's why I love to spar with Mali and Kat. I learn something new every time. I guess this time I learned that sometimes I'm gonna meet people I can't fight..."


She shrugged again, then smiled faintly. "Sorry, I'm kinda not being wonderful lunchtime company here am I?" she said ruefully. "Just a tough couple of months, what with the crazy robot doubles as well, y'know?"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"I am glad to hear that you are recovering."  Giang replied with a smile. 


The Asian teen then gave a slight nod as Kristin mentioned learning from her encounter.  "There certainly are times when failure can provide the same opportunities for learning as success.  Combat is rarely the optimal place for such learning, given the potential for failure to be potentially lethal, which is why sparing is a preferable means for such learning.  But I am very glad that the instances you mentioned were ones from which you could take some lesson."


Giang then smiled again as the Australian girl apologized.  "I do not think you are being unpleasant company in any way.  But, things have been rather difficult of late."  While Kristin seemed particularly focused on the events of the Day of Wrath, as tended to be many of the other students, for Giang, her and John's encounter in Chinatown earlier in the month stood out more.   

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"You can say that again," Kristin chuckled ruefully as Giang suggested that sparring might be a preferable way to learn where one's limits were. "Think I'm going to be hitting the Doom room a fair bit to get my confidence back at least. As soon as they'll let me in anyway. Probably get Kat and Mali to help make sure I'm up to speed in the gym too."


She gave a little bit of a shrug. "Anyway, Kat saved my butt pretty good, so all's well that ends well. Take my advice though, if you see an enormous ridiculously hot guy claiming to be a god but acting like a common criminal don't get yourself in a fight with him unless you've got some serious backup. He's bad bad news. Goes by Nephilim and it took Kat and like half the league to chase him off me even after I belted him with a damn truck."


The Australian teen sighed and a sheepish grin crossed her face again. "There I go again," she said with a roll of her eyes. "I'm not obsessing about it, honest."

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