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Hestina

A Welcome Lunch

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This is a Hestina/Miracle Girl thread which is semi-open.
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This is an informal thread.
First day and already Vicki's stomach was growling insistently.  She'd had six eggs for breakfast, why couldn't that at least hold her over until lunch?  Really it was rather unseemly and she hated for people to see her eat.  Still, she had managed a rather routine morning of English and Pre Calculus, which had been interesting as the teachers were on the whole rather exemplary and motivated in her opinion.
 
She looked at her schedule, thankful that it was actual lunchtime before she had to go to Spatial Recognition and Displacement then on to Tactical Awareness 101.  She silently laughed reading the strange and wonderful titles of classes that Siren had helped her pick out.  The morning had been strange in its reassuring mix of normality interspersed with the moments of the bizzare; like the boy that projected his answers in a beautiful holographic display.  
 
The afternoon with her more power specific classes was what was exciting to her.  Although as much as she wanted to see what they were about, finding food was a far more immediate issue.  Following signs and smells she moved into the cafeteria along with a crowd which has just exited from their prior classes.
 
She waiting in the orderly line until a smiling lady asked her what she wanted.
 
Looking over the choices and snapping out of her daydream Vicki drooled at the selection of items and nearly fainted in relief that she wasn't going to have to try and communicate how much she wanted.  Gravitating to the pizza counter she loaded most of a veggie pizza on her plate.  Then, looking around, she moved towards a pasta bar and filled a bowl with spaghetti with marinara.
 
Taking the burgeoning tray piled with her choices to check out the lady didn't seem to think it odd as she rang it up.
 
"Vicki, you might want to think about getting a larger meal plan if this is to last you for the year."
 
Vicki nodded and blushed, hurrying away before wandering to an empty table.  Food first, then perhaps she could think about looking around more.

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Casey Blankenship had very mixed feelings about Claremont's cafeteria; on the one hand, the food was great and plentiful, but on the other, she always felt self-conscious about how much she had to eat. It was less about the teenage weight issues (though she was far from immune to those irrational thoughts) and more about global warming, animal rights and all the other topics that swirled around food production in the modern world. No one said anything (Claremont had a very strict 'no bullying' policy), but sometimes people judged her silently with their eyes; she usually sat with friends, but scanning the tables she didn't see any of her usual crowd, and so was reluctantly prepared to eat alone.

But then she saw a new girl with a similarly laden tray and her mood quickly brightened; once she paid, she quickly made her way over to the new arrival and offered her a warm smile. "Hi, you must be new! I'm Casey; is this seat taken?" Her tray bore a large chili salad, French onion soup, two servings of lasagna, a large Coke and a huge slice of chocolate cake.

Edited by Heritage

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Vicki had been in the process of trying to make the for on her plate disappear as quickly as she could.  The least of the reasons was that she was as normal, stupidly hungry.  More so was her lingering resentment and embarrassment at eating so much.  Looking up at the voice she nodded and scooted over to show that the girl was more than welcome.  As she did, she made a welcoming gesture to the seat neat to her and paused only with a knowing smile as she saw the pile of food on the others tray.  While it had been a shock this morning, coming to a place where the normal was uniquely different, she hadn't been prepared to realize what a relief it was to also see that she was not alone.  Regardless of whether she could fly, or glow, or what not, the common sight of a laden food tray was more welcome than she cared to admit.
 
She had also gotten pretty used to not having a translator already this morning.  As the other girl sat, she quickly typed out a note on her phone and slid it over to the other girl.
 

Hello, I can't speak but I do sign.  Nice to eat you! 

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Casey peered down at the phone and smiled. "Well, nice to eat you, too!" She stuck her tongue out, then shook her head sympathetically. "Yeah, I hate auto-correct, too. So, what's your name?" She tapped her ear lightly. "You can hear okay, right? Just no talking?"

Casey's mom was an Air Force nurse; it's how she met her dad. Mrs. Blankenship learned American Sign Language to speak with some of the disabled vets she had to work with, and had always encouraged Casey to learn it as well, but sadly she'd never kept at it. She used to know a phrase or two, if she could just remember...

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For a moment Vicki wondered what the other girl meant until she looked at her phone and groaned aloud.  Stupid autocorrect.  Well at least she hadn't just gotten up and left, that was a start, and thankfully guessed it was a mistake.  Pulling back the phone she nodded to the other girl, afirming what she had just said.

 

She looked the other girl over, while her thumbs danced over the surface of the phone.  So used to texting her thoughts that she didn't really need to look at what she typed out.  Well... most of the time at least she ruefully realized.

Great to meet you.  My name is Vicki, what's yours?  What year are you?
As she slid the phone back she gave an appologetic shrug to the other girl realizing the conversation was totes awkward over the phone. Edited by bstripp

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The blonde girl peered down at the phone as she began to fork large mouthfuls of chili salad into her mouth, nodding and then holding up her finger as she finished chewing. "Casey, Casey Blankenship; a pleasure. I'm a sophomore; you?" She offered a firm handshake; her hands were a bit calloused from her many years of Scouting, and her grip was quite strong but in no way uncomfortable. "So where are you from? I'm from Colorado Springs; Air Force brat. Mmm, wait, I know how to say exactly two things in ASL!"

 

Setting aside her fork and wiping her hands and face with a napkin, she held up her index finger and smiled. "First word!" Casey adjusted her glasses and squared her shoulders dramatically, then signed 'hello'. "That one I always remember because it looks a lot like a salute." She did it again, this time with the stern 'eyes on the horizon' look she'd seen on her dad's face when he was greeting a superior officer. Then she held up two fingers. "Second word; well, I guess two words, actually." She curled her middle fingers inward and did the flicking gesture for 'what's up' "The only reason I remember that one is because it looks like, I don't know, something you'd see in 'West Side Story'." She flicked her fingers again, scowled slightly and spoke in a surprisingly male voice with a ridiculous 'Noo Yawk' accent. "Ayyyy, whatssup?" Then she shrugged and tucked back into her salad. "So, where are you from? Sorry, I kind of cut you off earlier."

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Laughing silently at the other girl Vicki gave her a warm and genuine smile before pulling the phone back.  She started to tap a reply into the phone as one of the kids at another table suddenly transformed into a bear.  His massive frame bowed the table he was at and his thick paw sent the food near him flying.  It would have been terrifying had not the bear comically uttered a very un-bearlike, "oh drat..."  She guessed this had to be at least a semi regular experience as the people sitting at his table laughed and patted him on the back as the bear started to do his best to try and clean the turkey and stuffing off his black fur.
 
Her fingers had frozen in place looking over at the spectacle, then back to Casey.  She tilted her head looking at the friendly girl before erasing the message and tapping in a very different one.

That's really good!  Most people don't know any of them.  I can talk in a manner of speaking, but it's only in your head.  You don't have too and I don't want to freak you out.  I can't read your thoughts, only what you think at me.  But I don't mind talking like this too.  It's just nice to get to know people. 

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Casey was also momentarily distracted by Bruno's antics, though she did take the opportunity to put away more of her salad. When she turned back, she noticed Vicki's new message, and her eyebrows went up a bit.

"Oh wow, like telepathy? That's..." Her brow furrowed as she took a swig of Coke, clearly thinking things over carefully; after a few seconds of thought, she finally shrugged. "Okay look, here's the deal: I'm not one of those people who automatically doesn't trust telepaths. I don't it's right to make blanket statements about people like that. But-" And here she paused to tap her temple. "I actually do have some sensitive information in here. But if you promise not to pry, I guess I'm game." She leaned forward and whispered, a bit of a mischievious smile on her face. "So...what's it like?"

Edited by Heritage

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Well that had gone a little better than she had expected. Although, to be fair, she had just tried her touch based communication without telling people before and usually it had very predictable results. Still, watching Bruno clean himself as he slowly reverted back to a normal looking student, she had a feeling that people were far more accepting here than they were elsewhere.

Nodding and smiling, biting at her lip just a bit she reached out and touched Casey's hand. Moving slow enough to hopefully not startle the other girl. When she did, the warmth and intimacy of contact flowed between them. While she was aware of the other girl, no discernible thoughts percolated through the link. Only a general sense of mood, akin to body language could be felt.

<"Well, I mean, I don't think it's that different than talking. However, it's really hard to convince people that I can't root around in their head. If you don't consciously think of responding to me, it doesn't happen.">

She looked back at Casey and flashed another thought over to her.

<"Where I'm from? Well all over. Dad was deployed a lot and we bounced through a lot of bases. I don't think I've lived in the same place for more than two years ever.">

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"Wow!" For a second, Casey involuntarily pulled her hand back, startled by the intimacy of the contact, but then she shook her head and grimaced in embarrassment. "Sorry, I wasn't expecting...I don't know what I was expecting. Here, let's try that again." She reached back over and took Vicki's hand in her own.

 

<"Okay, wow, this works! La la la la la la!"> She laughed out loud and shook her head. <"Sorry, it's just...'trippy', as my mom would say."> Then she frowned. <"Wait, what branch of service? Please don't say Navy, because then we'd have to arm wrestle, and I think I'd win."> She shook her head and made a comically sad face.

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Vicki laughed silently, still holding Casey's hand.
 
<"Ready to lead, ready to follow, never quit,"> her thoughts flowed smoothly through the link her mental voice warm and musical, <"Dad was a SEAL, what branch was yours? ...and do we really have too?">
 
She looked at the slightly bigger girl.  While she looked a little more muscular, she didn't look like it would be that lopsided.  Still, as the boy she had called Bruno proved, people here seemed to have a lot more going on than than appearances.  
 
<"I mean, I'm not that badly out of shape... Dad was big on learning to take care of yourself.  I think I have a couple of black belts... and I can do like 30 or 40 push ups...">

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Casey grinned. <"Air Force; 'Aim High!'"> She made a zooming gesture with her free hand, then shook her head. <"Nah, as long as he's not a pilot, we're cool; that's where the rivalry comes in."> She winked as she returned to her lunch, switching hands to make it easier. <"Hey, this is pretty cool; so much for talking with your mouth full!"> She proceeded to finish of her chili salad with impressive speed.

<"As far as the arm wrestling goes, I'm a lot stronger than I look."> She put down her fork and flexed her arm; the muscle was fairly impressive in and of itself, but the golden glow that surrounded her hinted there was more to the story. <"I can actually bench press several tons."> She wiggled her eyebrows and laughed. <"So other than the 'hand talking', what can you do?">

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<"Okay, no arm wretling then... what can I do?  Well lots of things I suppose.  I can kind of scramble people when I touch them and I did mention a couple of black belts, right?">  she sent over the link smiling in person and projecting a friendly warmth as she also ate.  <"Oh!  I can like blink from place to place too.  That counts for something I think?">

She chewed thoughtfully enjoying the surprisingly good food, <"this may sound totally wrong... but it's really nice to see someone eat as much as I do.  I always feel a bit out of place when I do.  Date's are the worst.">

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Casey groaned and rolled her eyes. <"Oh man, I hadn't even thought of that! I haven't really had time for dating since I got my powers last summer."> She sighed and brought a big bite of lasagna to her lips. <"Well, here's to being single!"> Then she looked somewhat philosophical and shrugged. <"Still, being able to eat what I want without worrying too much about a diet ain't so bad!">

The big blonde then took care of her soup before returning to the subject of powers. <"Teleportation sounds pretty cool; I can fly, which I totally love, and I'm pretty much bulletproof. I can also do things really fast!"> She let go of Vicki's hand and in the blink of an eye had done her hair into two cute pig tails. <"So at least if I have any dates, I'll be ready pretty fast!">

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Vicki stared at Casey, fascinated as she changed her hair faster than the eye could track.  Her mouth hung open as Casey took her hand back with her pig tails still swaying.

<"That is amazing!  I don't do much to get ready and it still takes me an hour... at least!"> she communicated with light and mirthful tone.  <"...and yeah, I usually just end up going hungry on a date.  One of my first, I think the poor guy thought I was a rabid animal and was going to start chewing on him next.  Definitely no good night kiss on that one.">

Her smile was wistful with a tone of self deprecation as she turned back to her food and started to finish the pizza on her plate.  <"So you just gained powers?  Is that like something that can happen?">

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Sakurako had just gotten her lunch, and had walked near the conversation with Viki and Casey. She was wearing her suit, but with a white labcoat over it. She usually did such things as an advanced lab precaution... although when with a buddy she resorts to wearing goggles instead of her helmet being fully deployed. Right now her favorite pair of goggles were on her forehead and the helmet was all stored away into the suit as she took a seat near Casey.

"Oh! Hay Casey! Didn't mean to intrude. Is this the new student I've started to hear about from the faculty?"

Sakurako waved to Viki. "I'm Sakurako. You'll see me a lot at the Library and the Labs." Sakurako continued to smile, although the sight of her stained lab coat suggested mad scientist in training than a schoolgirl. Although the sailor collared space-suit like suit was a unusual contrast.

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Vicki slid down on the table to make room for the girl in the odd sailor/lab outfit.  While it was strange, she was already begining to find the unique normal.  This was going to be a great year!

She flashed a thought to Casey, <"Is that a friend of yours?"> before letting Casey's hand go so she could operate her phone.  Dancing her fingers across the glass screen she tapped out a message and pressed the text to voice app.  The slightly mechanical and tin like british voice spoke from her phone.

I am!  Nice to meet you.  I'm Vicki.  Sorry about the phone voice, but I'm mute.

 

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Sakurako bowed slightly with a smile. "Nice to meet you."

She scoots in her chair for a moment to set her labcoat over her chair's back. The full scope of Sakurako's Exploration Suit was something to see. It was a fully realized space suit. Although it looked like it didn't carry it's own oxygen. But Sakurako was working on fixing that. "Casey! I think I'm getting close to getting that rebreather and oxygen generation system up and running. Three words; Synthetic Hyper-Chlorophyll." She said with a smile. "Still working out the kinks, but if this works, I can have a reliable air supply at all times."

She looked over to Vicki. "Sorry." Sakurako said, blushing. "Science is my super power and sometimes it likes to show off."

"What's your powers, by the way? You and Casey seemed to be quietly observing each other."

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Vicki listened intently, staring at the intricate suit.  She wondered for a moment why the girl was wearing something like that, but her subsequent explanation of science pretty much summed it up.  Actually, it also explained the goggles and the lab coat.  Looking down at her own clothes, she wondered what they said about her?  The sundress she had chosen for the first day of school wasn't her normal attire no matter how much she liked it.  Her mom was pretty insistent on making a good first impression, and it had worked before, so why change a good formula.

Oh, well I can communicate through touch.  There's some mental short circuiting too if I have to stop someone who's really angry, and I can teleport.  That's the best.  Especially if you're plate for something.  Which I nearly always seem to be.  So yeah, if it's one on one, I can 'talk quietly' in a manner of speaking.  It does make things easier and saves me from Autocorrect.

 

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Endeavor smiled. "Well if that is easier for you..." Endeavor said, pressing a button on her wrist causing her suit to loosen up to the point she could climb out of her suit's neck. There was a puff of cool, dry air as she stepped out of her suit like she hadn't been wearing a body-tight outfit. She was wearing a skin-tight black fabric under-suit though, looks like it was made for ease of changing into the suit without sacrificing modesty. She grabs the backpack she was carting with her and puts on a sailor collared pair of coveralls that was more workshop fashion than science fiction. "Okay... sometimes I like "shedding the skin" as it were." She said, setting her high tech suit on the table next to her where she could keep an eye on it.

"And curse auto-correct... the bane of everyone's existence."

Edited by Osprey

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Nodding in total agreement, she quickly typed another message out and played it.  All the while giving a knowing nod at the table behind them where several guys had certain taken notice of them.

The electronic British voice chirped, "Okay, that was totes cool.  Although, I have to say, I'm not sure if I'd be willing to stand in the middle of the cafeteria wearing nothing but a body stocking.  Still I think you definitely got some interest to say the least.  Or they're wondering where I was able to put an entire pizza.  I'm going to bet on the hot body stocking for the reason they're looking."

Flashing a wide and friendly smile at Sakurako, she silently laughed, typing one last message, "well I have to touch you to communicate that way, so unless we're playing twister, there's kind of a limitation on how many people I can communicate with that way.  It's good for one person, this phone works best for more."

 

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Casey had to time to quickly send <"Yep, she's my roomie!"> before Vicki broke contact; the sensation of going from very intimate contact to the loud shared space of the cafeteria threw her for a few seconds, like having a phone call broken off in mid-sentence. And then all it took was seeing her friend Saku climb out of her clothes that messed with her head.

"Uh, yeah, she does stuff like that from time to time; both the talking in odd new words and demonstrating cool inventions." She grinned and shook her head as she returned to her food, happy for a socially acceptable excuse to get back to eating; after a few more bites, she looked thoughtful. "Hey, what if we made a chain of people holding hands, all part of the same conversation; maybe with practice you could do something like that?" Then another thought struck her, and she leaned forward and lowered her voice. 'And actually, I'm fast enough to change outfits right in the middle of this room; of course, not knowing what other people's powers are means..." She peered over her shoulder at the nearest table of boys. "You never know who's watching!" 

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A figure was slowly making its way through the cafeteria, and was worth watching for at least a moment.  In one hand, Eileen had her phone, and it was demanding the lion's share of her attention as she tapped rapidly away at it with one thumb.  In the other hand, she balanced...precariously...a tray loaded with a lunch on par of that of either Vicki or Casey.  She was avoiding collisions with people and tables more or less by chance rather than by any dint of paying attention to where she was going, and it seemed like it was only a matter of time before someone ended up wearing quite a bit of food.

Given the myriad of powers and personalities gathered in the room, the results of that could be anything from amusement to explosive anger...possibly quite literally.  She was making her way more or less in the direction of Vicki, Casey, and Sakurako, but that could just be a coincidence based on the lack of general navigation currently being employed.

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Vickey tapped Casey on the shoulder, <"That's my roommate"> she quickly sent as she removed her hand to wave at Eileen.

Even though she waved her hand repeatedly, Eileen didn't seem to be paying attention.  Instead she was glued to her phone and looked to be aimlessly wandering through the cafeteria.  She looked over to Casey, shook her head, amusement showing plainly in her expression <"I better go get her out of her technological dream before she spills that all over someone.">.

It was just a moment longer before she vanished from the table and appeared next to Eileen, gently grabbing her arm and hoping that she didn't startle her roomie.

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If Eileen had actually been paying more than cursory attention to her surroundings, she might have actually been more surprised than she was when Vicki appeared out of nowhere to accost her.  As it was, pretty much anyone inserting themself into her sphere of unawareness effectively would have appeared out of nowhere, as far as she was concerned, and so her reaction wasn't any more extreme than normal.

Of course, that wasn't to say it wasn't at all extreme...just no moreso than normal, for her.

Eileen yelped, nearly dropped her tray, did bobble and drop her phone while trying to keep the tray from going over, and overall managed to draw a surprising amount of attention given that she hadn't turned into a bear.  Getting her food steadied, she looked wide-eyed at Vicki while trying to convince her heart rate to return to double digits.

"Vicki!  You scared the crap outta me!" she protested, but seemed to be more distressed with herself with her reaction than she was at her roommate for prompting it.  "Did you see what happened to my phone?  My mom'll kill me if I broke another one," she fretted, casting about trying to see where her electronic security blanket had skittered off to upon impact.

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