(3018-01-28) Mercurial Musings
Summary: Two of Mercury's Phenoms meet over lunch, and talk turns to the recent mission on which Sunny was deployed.
Date: January 28, 3018
sunny harper 

Protected as needed by an iron portcullis, a cobbled roadway leads from the front of the main brick building, through a covered corridor. The corridor is lined with gas lamps and opens into a splendid courtyard. Despite no vehicles on the premises, one could almost imagine an Victorian carriage delivering persons between the central fountain and the large steps leading up to the three sets of double doors that serves as the main entrance to Canterbury Hall. This courtyard is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens and lit at night by lampposts fueled by gas one would assume.
Within all those double doors, the main hall of Canterbury here leads to a reception room. It could have been for feasting once upon a time, and now daily lunch is the highlight of the agenda there. Stairs, hallways and doors lead away from the center to living space, quarters, classrooms and who know what else in the ages old building. It now serves as the learning facility of the Phenoms. Lining the main entry and the balconies nearby are banners of the Commrancies and Connates; each represented in splendor here in the Establishment of Magic.


The cafeteria of Avalon is not like Avalons anywhere else. It's a series of rooms interlinked with half-open walls, and tables made of fine varnished woods of the richest styling and finest wealth. Chairs are leather-backed. The food is served on proper plates with proper utensils, and served by people who seem to actually enjoy their jobs. They may have to serve a couple hundred teenagers every day, but they manage to do it during those several lunch hours with a sense of class.
Not that anyone should have been lacking food prior to coming here, given the surplus that can be found throughout, but the class is a taste of something new for many kids.
Including Sunny, who sits by himself at the tail end of the lunch hours, sipping from a glass and eating a heap of pasta which he dabs at with a chunk of garlic toast.

*

Dilemma, dilemma. And more dilemma. They might be in their first year still, but already Harper's known for not being the most gregarious of people. Not that she's a loner either, she's just Harper. A bit inward-looking and a bit picky about whom she shares not only her mealtimes with, but her time in general. Holding her own tray of food upon which is balanced a plate of fries that are topped with pasta sauce, she spots Sunny and heads his way. "Hi." It's a one-word greeting, and not bothering to ask if he'd rather not have her sitting in any sort of proximity to him, she slides her tray onto the table and herself into a seat. There might be an ulterior motive to her decision to sit with him, for after removing her plate and glass from the tray and sliding the latter to one side, her eyes fix contemplatively upon him. "Heard you went on a mission. Share?" <English>

*

Lifting his head from his contemplation of his meal and perhaps his next test or lesson, or training regimen, Sunny blinks his eyes slowly at Harper as if processing what she has just said in reverse. "Oh, hey Harper, you look nice today. Uh, the mission? Nothing much happened," he begins, all non-chalant, putting a shoulder up to the table as he leans forward, smiling. "We just totally fought a curseling!"
That being said, he pauses then and tries to remember something, then shrugs at himself, as if it were irrelevant. His mind made up to share, or perhaps to omit or include certain details.
"So, we were brought in. Me, and three adroits. Chloe, Ceres and Davor, I don't know any of their last names, but Ceres and Davor are twins," he explains, as if that were pertinent. As he talks, he eats and watches her, "They gave us a mission, and we were sent to this ship near Caelus. We started going through, Davor using a drone, because he has his powers set up for a drone," he mentions on the side..
<English>

*

Harper picks up one of the fries on her plate, foregoing the use of utensils in favour of using her fingers instead. "Oh huh. You serious? You actually /fought/ a Curseling?" Her eyes cut to Sunny, probably to scope out just how much of what he's saying is an embellishment of the truth. They're grey, her eyes, and there's a seriousness within them that's far beyond the years of the girl herself. Seriousness and intelligence. It'd be so very simple for her to allow herself to feel jealous of him in this moment, for any of their number to feel jealous, and there might be just an inkling of that emotion in the jut of her lower lip as she exhales a breath. "Wish I'd of got picked. I'd love to have seen one face to face, to know first-hand what it is that we're fighting." A breath. "It did /have/ a face, didn't it?" Her knowledge is scant. <English>

*

"Yeah, I killed it too. I don't want to ruin your apetite, but I ended up cutting its head off for the researcher we were rescuing," Sunny explains and shrugs a little. "But yeah, I stabbed it a few times. I don't know if I could have used magic on the spot, so I'm glad I'm good with a sword," he explains on the side, quiet like, like he'd prefer that she not run around telling everyone about his private shame.
"Anyway, after we had the head and the researcher, we left, it wasn't a very long mission. I get the impression that a mission that goes off well isn't usually very long," he adds.
Picking up his bit of bread, he soaks up some pasta sauce and then goes back to forking up some more pasta beside it, trying to get through his lunch before the end of the period and the beginning of his next class.
"Are you good at fighting stuff?" he asks. Not really remembering her as being all that good, but maybe he'd missed it. He isn't always the most perceptive.
<English>

*

"Uh. No." Harper says, her eyes dropping to her plate and the fries that she's started to poke at. She dips the one that she holds into the pasta sauce that's heaped on top, and transfers it quickly to her mouth before it can drip. "I guess," she says, talking as she chews, "… that weapons is something I'll have to work on. Never had a use for using one before now. Prefer my books, if I'm honest." So. Not a combat hound then. She attacks another of her fries, treating it to the same dunking into of the pasta sauce before pushing it into her mouth. "What happened to the head?" She reverts back to the topic of the Curseling, her nose scrunching as a wisp of hair falls over her face. It's quickly whisked away between mouthfuls of food, her fingers anchoring it back behind one ear. "Did it bleed? The Curseling. When you cut off its head." <English>

*

"Oh yeah, their blood is poisonous, did I already say that? You can't get their blood on you, but we were in envirosuits since we had to go through vacuum to get onto the ship," Sunny explains as he responds to her many questions. "The head? The researcher, Mcphearson, he took it in a case. He needed it for experiments or study or whatever," he explains and searches around in his schoolbag and produces a simple looking piece of sturdy plastic, a data-tablet and slides it across the table to her, "That's the stuff they let me have on what he has found out so far. I'm sure they're playing some cards close to the chest, but not a lot. I can't understand half of what he explains, it's all biologist-talk."
Picking at his food, he takes a sip, and watches her, tilting his head slightly as she fidgets.
"Yeah, that's why they wouldn't pick you for a potential combat mission. You need combat chops to go on a live-fire active mission with a thing that almost killed the sergeant who was with us, and keep in mind, he was in a mech," he mentions. "But if you ever want to practice, let me know."
<English>

*

"Well, anyone can shoot a gun," Harper says, a hint of grouch to the tone of her voice. A lift of her shoulders is made in a half-shrug. "I'll just go practice on some targets or something." The words are ground out, and she returns to the task of downing more of her meal before speaking again. "Thing is," she eventually says, "We're going to be more of a weapon ourselves than anything we can carry. Least, that's what I assume." Her words are quietly spoken, and as she says them she lifts the hand that she's been using to pick at the fries on her plate, licks her fingers clean and turns it over, then over again. "Odd to think what we can do with these, don't you think? And it's not like we can ever forget them, or leave them behind." A shadow of a smile shows on her face then, ghosting the edges of her mouth as she uses the tip of one of those fingers to push her glasses to the bridge of her nose. "But sure. You can help me practice if you like. I mean, if it's the difference between being picked for missions and not…" <English>

*

"Some of the most potent uses of our powers, as far as I can tell, are making it so that we do things like swing a sword, but better than we would otherwise, or shoot a gun. Guide your bullets into the target, you know, stuff like that. Less energy, less skill needed, and you can do it as a persistent enhancement, whereas throwing metal spikes around means you have to do it, constantly. You'd have to be really good at it, and at least for me, I'm not there yet," Sunny explains his outlook on the matter and leans across the table a little. When she starts to lick her fingers clean, he lifts up a napkin and holds it out across the table. Any of that attempted charm he was about to try to put on her, the little smile, it just sort of fades.
"But yeah, anytime, Harper. How are your uh, classes going?"
<English>

*

Harper's smile falters, if it were ever /actually/ a smile in the first place. "Well, they're going," she says, pushing the rest of her food away. It seems that she's had enough to eat, at least for now, and she lifts her glass for a sip of the water instead. "I've been given some research to do, which is taking up a lot of my free time, but that's cool because I like reading and research anyway. And yeah, you're right on the spikes and stuff. Takes a lot of energy and concentration for those, though they keep telling me it gets to be like a second nature after a bit. Just have to learn to harness it all in here…" A tap to her head. "… then focus it here… " The last here is accompanied by a spreading of her fingers and a furrow of her brow. "We're both from Mercury, so we're probably discovering much the same things as we go along. Where are you at with your own things?" <English>

*

"Cool, what's the research on?" Sunny asks, showing interest as he continues to wolf through his meal with some measure of intensity. Hungry boy. "Yeah, how am I doing? I don't know, we're all sort of at our own pace now, since we all have different ways of using the magic," he says, trying to put how he's seeing things into words. "I mean, just because some guy has figured out how to make fire in his hand, doesn't mean he's further along, right? Or maybe it does, and I'm behind? I don't really know, I'm learning though, and I'm not stalling, and clearly I'm doing something right if they sent me on a mission."
A thought.
"I didn't mention, but I was able to sense the Curseling through the ship. Behind a wall. I was able to pick up on its blood," he adds.
<English>

*

"Periodic table stuff," Harper says, twisting the glass in her hand. "Melting points, oxidization, soluble solids and so on." The spark of another smile shows briefly in her face. "But yeah. You're right. Everyone's different, and emotions seem to play into it too. Take me, I'm generally though of as quiet and with a grip on my own, but it's when I let them go that I'm better at being destructive." Not that a person could imagine the young Phenom being destructive in anything much at all as she sits there quietly sipping at her water. "Oh huh." This to Sunny's mention of being able to sense the Curseling. "Iron in the blood, right? Or… something metallic, at least. Shit. Through a ship and wall too? That… that's pretty clever, and not something I'd have thought of myself." A face is pulled and her eyes look past him, focusing on something in the middle distance. "But that's a part of it all, right? Discovering and harnessing what we can do." <English>

*

"Ah, science stuff, seems like a waste now that we're not going to be doing that sort of stuff, but I guess maybe they think some of us might work on applications, not actually fighting so we need to learn to be well rounded," Sunny decides, thinking about it. Pushing his fingers through his hair before he picks up his fork again and resumes eating his pasta. "Well, I mean, blood is my thing, I guess, right? But yeah, iron in the blood," he clarifies. "How are you liking it here, overall? Have you had the trippy thing where you can't walk anywhere, outside?" he asks.
<English>

*

"Well, it's all linked, isn't it?" Harper sets her glass down, her elbows up-propped on the table so that she can rest her chin in the curve of her hands. "Metals. Melting points. Corrosiveness et cetera, et cetera. Helps to know the science behind what I'm doing, or attempting to do, when I do it…" Her voice tails off as she loses herself in her own explanation, though she's not left to look inwardly for too long since Sunny's already skipping forward to another topic that's left her flummoxed herself. "Truth? I love it. It's like all the frustrations I was starting to feel are now being explained. I'm not looked at like I'm some freak or weirdo, and I don't have to worry if I trigger something happening. I'm encouraged to do it again. To do it better, and do it bigger. And sure. The 'trippy' thing." A nod of her head. "Was out with one of the tutors yesterday. North. Dread Mountain way. You gone there yet?" <English>

*

"I don't know, I suppose? I figure if I can make metal melt, that's handy, but knowing the temperature it melts is just a handy fact aside, I guess?" Sunny says, shrugging a little about it. Thinking about it, he tends to exhibit a sort of hyperactive nature when it comes to moving from subject to subject, constantly doubling back to explain things or tangents. Very energetic. "Yeah, the Society teachers are something else," he says and nods a little sage-like.
<English>

*

Harper nods. "I guess my tutors picked up on the fact that I like the science behind things. The reason as to why things work, not just that they do. Anyway…" Her mouth purses and then skews a little, her own nature apparently being a counterpoint to the one that Sunny displays; quiet and steady where his is bouncy and erratic. "I have to go. Don't want to be late for lessons, I hate when people walk in after the class has started." Not that /she/ ever has. God forbid. She's never late, always punctual. Always turns up prepared, and with whatever work was required to be done… done. She gets to her feet. "Maybe we could get together for a little of that shooting practice we talked about. One afternoon, if you're not busy." <English>

*

"That makes sense, I'll be right behind you on the way to class," Sunny explains and rises to his feet behind her, picking up his plate, he follows after her, dropping his plate off on the way out of the dining halls. His hands going into his pockets as he walks with her out of the rooms, not far behind her. "Yeah, sure Harper, any time you want practice with a sword or a gun or anything like that, until we get the cross-drills with the adroits, I'm your guy," he says as they walk to the next Mercury Connate class.
<English>

*

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