The Miskatonic University School of Ancient Sciences (Game Thread)

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~Shaun~

Watching as Dexter pulled another flower, this time yellow and from his other sleeve, out to present it to Henrietta, Shaun had to shake his head even as he smiled. And he thought, But I bet he can't conjure up fire. Still, I doubt that's all he can do.

Then he posed a question:

"And let me guess....Both on Floor Six?".

Shaun let out a short, wry laugh. "That's right on the money. And I'm willing to bet you're in Ancient Sciences yourself, aren't you? Funny how many coincidences there have been today about that.", he said, jabbing a finger into the air between them.

"Hey, all.".

When another stranger came over, Shaun glanced towards him just as he lowered the hood of his jacket and smiled strangely.

"My name is Alex. I heard you're Henrietta, right?".

He looked over at Henrietta, then averted his gaze within a split-second. And just as quickly turned to both Dexter and Shaun himself. Shaun stood and stepped towards him. "That's right, actually. Given how things have been going lately, let me guess... You're also in Lovecraft House, happen to be in Ancient Sciences, and would be my second roommate, right?", he asked, extending a hand for Alex to shake.

"My name is Shaun Loveless. That is Henrietta Lancroft, and this is...", he said, before stepping back and motioning for Dexter to introduce himself.

After all, he had a feeling he preferred to do such things on his own.

"Mostly read, drink coffee. Oh, and watch the occasional horror movie. You? Shaun answered, avoiding specifics. Henrietta was about to answer, when one of the stranger things she'd seen today happened; a stage magician arrived from nowhere and started some magic. He introduced himself as Dexter Drake, shaking hands with Shaun.

The two locked eyes for a moment, Dexter's lips moved slightly, there was a flash of red by their hands, and Shaun rolled his eyes. Henrietta could only raise an eyebrow at the odd exchange and think to herself "Boys".still, the moment was just that, and the self-proclaimed magician, perhaps in an attempt to be smooth or perhaps trying to show off his skills (likely a bit of both) turned to her and said "Ahh, miss Lancroft, pleasure to meet a lady such as yourself. For you, mademoiselle." before sliding a yellow flower from somewhere and presenting it to her.

Smiling, she said "Thank you Dexter" then slipped the flower into one of the pockets of her bag such that the flower itself sat prominently on the outside of the bag. Yellow wasn't really the color at went with the bag, but it would do until she found somewhere better to put it.

Apparently he was on the same floor and specifically was one of Shaun's roommates. Henrietta couldn't help but wonder how long it would take before they tried to kill each other. Still, both seemed delightfully nerdy, so maybe she was wrong and they'd get along just fine. Though that depended on their third roommate, who made his appearance a moment later. "My name is Alex. I heard you're Henrietta, right?". he said, before everyone started to introduce themselves.

Henrietta, a little confused, replied "Yes... But how did you know that?" The last thing she wanted to hear was that the campus was already talking about the "weird looking girl with the books"

"Eh? Enemies, that's a bit dramatic don't you think?"

"That was sorta the point," Jessie grinned. "I was trying to say that I'd like to be your friend, in a way that wasn't too forward, guess I failed horribly." They were walking down the last few stairs, and Jessie started looking around for other people, to see who else the people on the orientation would be.

"Yeah sure, I can keep an eye out for you when you have your episode, make sure you don't do anything stupid, er, if that's something that happens that is."

"Heh, if I do something stupid, it'll be when I'm like this. The most idiotic I'll do when I'm a bit off is being too dull, I suspect. But hey, no worries! Also, we're here, finally. I almost can't wait to see what happens next."

They went outside, and Jessie looked around eagerly for someone to speak with. This Jessie really enjoyed meeting new people, they all had something interesting to talk about, even if some had more difficulties speaking than others.

"Say, do you see anyone interesting?" he asked Teddy.

"I was trying to say that I'd like to be your friend, in a way that wasn't too forward, guess I failed horribly."

"Hah, you mean we aren't friends already?" Teddy said, still beaming "Well I guess its official now!"

"Heh, if I do something stupid, it'll be when I'm like this. The most idiotic I'll do when I'm a bit off is being too dull, I suspect. But hey, no worries! Also, we're here, finally. I almost can't wait to see what happens next."

This confused Teddy a bit, why was Jessie worried about driving people off, but not about acting wrong or stupid? Or had he phrased his comment poorly? As for being dull he figured he would have to judge that for himself, so far Jessie's 'condition' seemed quite interesting to me, and however he acted when he was off would just be a piece of that in his mind, though he immediately berated himself for thinking of people like puzzles. Regardless he had to agree that he was looking forward to what might come next.

"Say, do you see anyone interesting?"

They had arrived at what looked to be a small gathering near a statue, he could only assume that the people here were fellow members of Lovecraft house. It seemed like most of them were gathered around a girl, though he couldn't make out what they were saying. He nodded in answer to Jessie's question, people usually were interesting after all, he just wasn't sure how to introduce himself.

"Yes... But how did you know that?"

"I overheard it when I walked over. You guys are kinda loud. I guess that makes you the first person I've met here, so far." Some humor dripped into his voice, and his smile started being a tad genuine even. He'd need to not admit to eavesdropping, others always found it creepy.

"That's right, actually. Given how things have been going lately, let me guess... You're also in Lovecraft House, happen to be in Ancient Sciences, and would be my second roommate, right?"

Alex raised an eyebrow and turned to the kid, before clearing his throat again, "Yeah, somethin' like that. Roommates, then? Pleased to meet you."

"My name is Shaun Loveless. That is Henrietta Lancroft, and this is..."

Alex turned to get a look at the... old stage magician. Right, it seemed perhaps Alex wasn't the most unhinged here. 'He's going to burn something by the end of the year, isn't he? Better not be my stuff...' Alex extended his hand to shake Shaun's... when he noticed a face had shown up in his shadow. Red, his Id. His composure broke for a second, but he quickly righted himself out again.

The suddenly sweatier and pale Alex was glad for the sunlight, as the face quickly disappeared as it's smile grew to a new length. He bit his bottom lip, and hoped no one noticed the shadow, not yet anyways. He wanted privacy right now, but it'd seem rude. And orientation was soon. Then he'd lock himself away, with a light to keep him company, and beat back his psyche... Not even a day and they were already scratching the surface.

"Thank you, Dexter."

Dexter smiled and traced the brim of his hat with his index finger, "T'was the least I could do for such a pretty and studious lady such as yourself."

"My name is Shaun Loveless. That is Henrietta Lancroft, and this is..."

Dexter turned to the newcomer and smiled again, before casting his arms out and bowing to the man as an actor would do at the end of a show.

"Dexter Drake, Stage Magician of slightly less infinitesimal renown than a moment ago. Also, your third roommate."

Now, you don't get to be a Stage Magician of any kind of renown without having an immaculate eye for details. A flash of red in a shadow and the newcomer's head practically exploding in stress did not, in fact, go unheeded.

But it wasn't really his problem unless he couldn't laugh about it.

"Now friend," Dexter smirked on the visible side of his mask, "You'll not gain Miss Lancroft's eye like that! Mr. Loveless already has a shy boy-next-door vibe going for him, you know." Dexter gently teased both of his roommates.

~Shaun~

As Shaun shook Alex's hand, something caught his attention, making him down at his shadows as something just... Appeared in it. It was a quick flash of red, but it seemed to go away just as quickly as it manifested, so he fixed his gaze back on Alex's face after a second.

"The pleasures mine.", he said politely, before turning to Dexter and Henrietta.

"Now friend, you'll not gain Miss Lancroft's eye like that! Mr. Loveless already has a shy boy-next-door vibe going for him, you know.".

He looked at the magician blandly over the rims of his glasses and huffed once. "I don't think I'm really shy, or a 'boy-next-door'. Besides, I've hardly been wooing her, or trying to.", he said.

Then he turned and presented the rose to Henrietta with a sly smile. "Well, until now.", he said with a soft chuckle.

"Well, until now."

Dexter grinned, though you obviously could only see one-half of it. "Now there my amorous roomie, no need to be so modest! I bet you saw this lovely little number and just haaaad to introduce yourself, yes?"

Dexter ribbed into the man he could probably come to call his friend some more, and hoped Henrietta didn't get mad and tell the lot of them to shove off.

That wouldn't be nice. No sense of humor at all, in that kind of person.

Tsk tsk.

~Shaun

At Dexter's leering grin, Shaun couldn't help but burst out laughing.

"Now there my amorous roomie, no need to be so modest! I bet you saw this lovely little number and just haaaad to introduce yourself, yes?".

"No, no, it's not like that at all. I mean, yes, she's very pretty, but I came over for directions. I don't have a clue where Lovecraft House is, and I'm no good with maps. Not only that but...", he said, pausing to pull out his pocket watch again.

"Orientation is in about fifteen minutes. I couldn't afford to to wandering around the campus all that time and get lost. Though, now that I know where it is, there are much, much worse ways to kill time than to get to know the girl who helped me out.", he continued as he pushed his glasses back up his nose.

Then he shrugged and put his watch away. "Anyway, getting back on track, what brings the three of you to Miskatonic, anyway, and specifically Ancient Sciences?", he asked, directing the question to all three of them.

Entry 1
Just resettled into my new room. This floor seems unusually crowded for MU. A tiresome development. One of the main reasons I came here was precisely because the student population was fairly low, and I'd only really be forced to deal with them in short bursts during the discussion periods for Prof. L. Whateley's 'Advanced Physics 203', and Prof. Bradley's 'Archaic Geology 105'. And prior to this year, that was the full extent of my... exposure to the under-graduate student body. (barring the odd visit during my office hours) While the... object has so far proven itself to be infuriatingly difficult to 'show and tell' as it were, there is no telling what effects its presence could have on some of the more... unusual students here. I have been observing the arrivals from the vantage point of the new room I have been forced to occupy since my old on-campus apartment was burned to the ground. Most of my materials and notes were destroyed in the fire. The local PD dismissed it as an accidental fire, despite the obvious indications of it being arson. Since when has an accidental fire had multiple points of origin? And scouring my surviving notes and excellent memory... tells me that none of the chemicals I'd had lying around at the time could have been used as accelerants. Any such chemicals/materials had already been safely stored away in the warehouse.

There is another matter however. Earlier this morning, I awoke early in the day to do some stargazing, as the nights seem to last a bit longer here. As I readied my telescope, I happened to spy a middle-aged man standing under a try. Curious, I turned my scope to him, and focused it intently on his visage. There was absolutely nothing remarkable about his face. As surprising as it may sound, this did not put me at ease. Somehow, the man's painfully average face put me more on edge. It seemed... too contrived. I couldn't say for certain, but every now and then, his eyes seemed to dart up to fix a stern glare right at me through the telescope. Unnerving, to say the least. It was as I began turning my telescope away from him that I noticed something... even more peculiar than his artificial mundanity: he was writing on a clipboard, but there was no paper on it. And no, he wasn't writing directly on the clipboard itself either. Instead, it appeared as though he were writing on the air just above the clipboard. I don't like this.

Gibbons waited for the ink to dry, then shut and sealed his journal before stowing it away in his desk. And, seeing nothing else to do at the moment but head out for a stroll around the quad while he waited for an announcement regarding orientation for this year... he left his room and locked the door behind him. Went down six flights of stairs quickly and with little effort, and walked along the quad towards the building directly opposite to Lovecraft House at a measured pace.

"Dexter Drake, Stage Magician of slightly less infinitesimal renown than a moment ago. Also, your third roommate."

'Right, sounds like he looks.' Alex looked him over, and flinched back at his words.

"You'll not gain Miss Lancroft's eye like that! Mr. Loveless already has a shy boy-next-door vibe going for him, you know."

"I'm not exactly looking for that sorta thing, not yet anyways. Though... never mind." Alex pulled his hood up again, to hide his blush and smile. He really shouldn't be thinking about this sort of thing, not yet anyways. It seemed the others cast subtle glances at the shadow. And if they were roommates...

"Anyway, getting back on track, what brings the three of you to Miskatonic, anyway, and specifically Ancient Sciences?"

"I needed an escape... and to understand some things. I suppose if you guys are signing up too, there's something wrong with you?" Alex's shadow moved on it's own, staying in the ground it seemed to do a tiny jig, two blue circles appeared, as well as a blue slit in a way that resembled... a smiling face. "Hello my babeh, hello my honey- sorry." Alex chuckled a bit, and the shadow returned to it's normal mirror reflection.

"I needed an escape... and to understand some things. I suppose if you guys are signing up too, there's something wrong with you?"

Dexter's smile left, light in his voice died rather abruptly. "I suppose we all have some damage. No need to be so down about it." His gaze shifted from the shadow to Alex.

Dexter leveled a cordial smile back at Shaun, deciding he didn't want to be funny. Wasn't really out to impress Henrietta, and the newcomer...well, no laughs from that one. Shaun was pretty great, though, and it was a fair question.

"Well, I got a letter to come, so I did. Now I'm studying Magic to make some cash-money on the road, maybe make a name for myself." He said without anymore theatrics.

"No, no, it's not like that at all. I mean, yes, she's very pretty, but I came over for directions. I don't have a clue where Lovecraft House is, and I'm no good with maps. Not only that but... Orientation is in about fifteen minutes. I couldn't afford to to wandering around the campus all that time and get lost. Though, now that I know where it is, there are much, much worse ways to kill time than to get to know the girl who helped me out... Anyway, getting back on track, what brings the three of you to Miskatonic, anyway, and specifically Ancient Sciences?" Shaun said, all in rapid succession.

Henrietta could only laugh at the antics of the three roommates. Henrietta put her hand on top of Shaun's head and messed up his hair a bit. "Now now, there's no reason to go all shy, boy-next-door on me and change the subject like that." she said in jest, laughing slightly as she said it. Truthfully, she was a little surprised by how many people had approached her; most everyone and everything found her strange looking and rarely associated with her unless they knew her. The only exceptions to the rule were cats and the weirdest things in the world.

Then again, "the three amigos" weren't exactly normal.

"I can't say I'm much different. I love books and the Miskatonic University Library is one of the largest in the world. Plus, I guess you could say Ancient Sciences called out to me." she said, mentally adding literally to the end of the statement. It couldn't be every day that you got an acceptance letter from a school you didn't apply to. She was tempted to mention the more... unique reason she was there, but if they knew she wasn't sure what they would do. For now, she'd keep the extra-dimensionality to herself.

"Besides that, Mr. Biscuits insisted on college, and who am I to argue." she said, revealing the slightly less dangerous secret of her cat by opening her bag and revealing then sleeping calico. At the sudden appearance of the bright sunlight, the cat rolled over and glared at her, "Why are you interrupting my nap you pesky human."

"So what about you?" she said to Shaun, "What made you pick Ancient Sciences?"

~Shaun~

One of his brows winged up and he smiled a little as Henrietta reached over, tousling his hair a little and teasing him.

"Now now, there's no reason to go all shy, boy-next-door on me and change the subject like that."

With a short chuckle, he leaned back a little and turned fully towards her. "Well, now it's kind of hard not to. Unless of course someone decided to encourage me otherwise.", he added, wiggling his eyebrows jokingly.

He had to admit, however, things were going very nicely so far. He'd found his roommates out of sheer chance, and at least one of them was bound to be entertaining if nothing else. Though, he did get the feeling that he had to be at least a little wary of Dexter. After all, he had all the makings of a prankster that wouldn't pass up the chance to make things... Interesting, in the dorm room.

Alex, on the other hand, was one to watch for different reasons. The fact that he was pretty casually open about having powers, of a kind at any rate, was rather dangerous. Though, it did answer the question as to whether or not there would be more like himself, Shaun supposed. Still, he wasn't entirely willing to reveal his own talents.

When he turned his attention back to the conversation going on, he managed to catch the last part of what Henrietta said.

"Besides that, Mr. Biscuits insisted on college, and who am I to argue.".

She promptly opened her bag to show them all a handsome calico cat, that had been napping the entire time. With an easy smile, Shaun simply reached in and stroked the cat's back as best he could. "Well, cute cats are hard to argue with. Though, it helps that I'm a cat person myself.", he added, giving Mr. Biscuits a quick scratch underneath his chin before looking back up.

"So what about you? What made you pick Ancient Sciences?"

Blowing out a breath, he smiled a little awkwardly. "Well, that's kind of a loaded question. I suppose part of it is personal interest. I've been studying the subject on my own for awhile as a sort of hobby. That was mainly due to the fact that a previous experience... Well, burned me, metaphorically speaking.", he said, before deciding to throw some caution to the wind.

He lifted his right hand and a flame burst into life just a scant few inches above it. "Literally speaking too.", he said, glancing at both Dexter and Alex before he extinguished the flame, leaving only a few cinders to die in the air.

"I suppose we all have some damage. No need to be so down about it."

"I suppose not, but being able to control my shadow is apparently odd. I wanted to see if I was normal, I suppose." Alex shrugged, as he hummed "Ragtime gals" silently to himself. He looked over to Henrietta... who had a cat. He genuinely grinned as he leaned towards the thing, about to reach a hand out, but Shaun did it first. He withdrew, his smile faltering but still there.

"Mr. Biscuits, you said it's name was? I dunno much about cats, but I used to have a Tabby. What's he?" Alex asked, innocently. He pulled down his hood again as the one named Shaun spoke again, another cat person, perhaps they'd get one if it was allowed... Then Alex noticed something odd.

"Literally speaking too."

"Fire abilities? That is so much better than what I got..." Alex looked around, it didn't seem his shadow or Shaun's flames really attracted much attention. "I can use my shadow as an extra set of hands if I need to, but fire seems like a cool all around ability. I bet you don't even need to sleep with the lights on for it." Alex feigned a frown, but his first real smile in awhile broke through.

The combination of cats and people who actually made him feel normal was great, he felt like he could truly belong here. So long as he stayed in the light, he could see himself liking these people... It was definitely better than what he was leaving, he reminded himself. So long as he didn't screw this up, he'd have a decent future here.

"... When was orientation again?"

Gibbons wandered the campus for a while until he noticed a large group of students hanging around a statue. Gibbons didn't know who it was and didn't really care to read the plaque. His main concern at the moment was seeing every single one of his new hallmates (each of which he had looked up on the internet after sneaking a peek at the RA's roster for the sixth floor of Lovecraft house). He wasn't able to find much on them, but as he approached, he overheard snippets of their conversations... it sounded like all of them believed they had supernatural abilities.

Huh. The old me would set about debunking their claims. But the old me didn't have a vanishing orb.

Gibbons stepped closer to the group until he heard... what was the lad's name again? Alex? Gibbons stepped closer until he heard Alex asking a question.

...When was orientation again?"

"Wish I could answer that for you... Alex, was it?" Gibbons said, waving politely at the young man, "Alex... Terrell, right? Don't I have you in an Advanced Physics discussion? Well... anyway... I was supposed to be helping them set up for the orientation, but they emailed me at the last minute... and... they don't need my help anymore. So here I am."

What Gibbons didn't mention was that the email he'd received indicated that the university had brought in outside help for orientation. Odd, but... not especially so for Miskatonic.

Jessie watched as another person walked over to the group around the statue. It seemed to be a professor or something, he wasn't close enough to hear the conversation, but the man looked old. Teddy had just nodded while looking over there, it seemed he wasn't sure how to get into the conversation or something. At least, Jessie assumed Teddy wanted to speak to them. He smiled reassuringly, and dragged his roommate with him over.

"Hi!" He said, loudly enough for all of them to hear it. "I'm Jessie Harp, and this is Teddy. How're you doing?" Jessie didn't act very shy at all as he examined them.

The girl had a bit of an odd look, her hair had this unusual tinge to it and her eyes were rather large. One of the men looking like a cross-over between the phantom of the opera and a stage magician, while another was fairly tall, yet struck him as a bit shy. That might just be his stance, of course. One looked like the stereotype for a nerd, only with a goatee. The older man who had just arrived seemed to not only be dressed in only gray, but his hair was also the same color. He didn't think he had seen him, but then again, it had been the other Jessie who had taken the time to scan the information about his course on the net, so this guy might even be his professor or all he knew.

There was so many odd people, and Jessie almost didn't feel like the odd one out here.

At least I'm never really the "only" one.

Not that he was about to complain, he had come to terms with this years ago.

"You're all here for the orientation, right? Excited?" he asked all of them, it didn't really matter who answered. After all, it might be a bit awkward if he made conversation stop completely up with his interruption. However, if you didn't speak out, you might never get the chance to speak. "What are you all studying? I'm doing archaeology and ancient sciences!"

Neil tried very hard not to stare at the newcomer. But it was proving rather difficult a wrestle as his subconscious tried and continually failed not to assign a number of different labels to the lad. 'Forcibly well-groomed' being the politest term or description that it came up with.

Hi!" s/he said loudly, perhaps a bit too loudly. I'm Jessie Harp, and this is Teddy. How're you doing?"

Curiouser and Curiouser. Neil thought, hoping that it was exclusively to himself, given the gaggle of super-powers hanging around, telepathy didn't seem entirely out of the question to him. The original thought there was concocted upon spying the student that this... pretty boy was referring to as 'Teddy'. Seemed a bit more 'normal' than the first specimen that Gibbons had had a chance to examine, but upon closer inspection... this 'Teddy' person seemed to be Innsmouth's best Harry Potter lookalike sans The Scar. In any event, Gibbons waved politely to both of them.

"I'm fine, thank you," he smiled as a joke came to him, "And I'm thirty-seven. I'm not old."

He kept his smile brief so that its unnerving properties wouldn't last long. Hopefully. In any case, he hoped that his little joke would distract from his smile at least a little. Last thing he needed was his salary threatened by someone misinterpreting an odd quirk of his facial structure or something like that.

Neil was about to turn away and scrutinize the rest of his potential students when... Jessie piped up again.

"You're all here for the orientation, right? Excited?" Mr.? Miss? Harp asked no one in particular.

"Yes, I suppose so. After a fashion," was all of the enthusiasm that Gibbons could muster. Then he couldn't help but chuckle. "My, you are a little ball of euphoric... something or other. The word escapes me just now. But you are just that, aren't you?"

What are you all studying? I'm doing archaeology and ancient sciences!" Thankfully, Harp didn't seem to notice.

"Oh. Twenty questions is it? Oh all right. I'll bite." Gibbons stopped to cover his mouth as he felt another of his trademark smiles creeping onto his face. When he finally lifted his hand away, he was back to a semi-frown. "Well, I'm a grad-student working on a double major in Non-Euclidean Architecture and Applied Blood Rituals. So no. I'm not a Professor if that's what you were thinking. Well, not currently anyway. I have two Doctorates in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. My mother's maiden name was Brooks and was not a hamster thank you very much. And no, my father did not smell of elder berries, but rather like gin most of the time. Well, my first father anyway. My favorite color is green, though I suppose orange will do in a pinch. And I've kind of run out of random facts about myself to spout at a moment's notice."

Gibbons grinned again. Then he coughed to cover it.

"I am however, a TA for two of the more mundane science classes here."

"Wish I could answer that for you... Alex, was it?"

'That what that feels like?' Alex pulled up his hood further, casting a look towards the new guy. Looked old, like Dexter, though a bit less theatrical. Hat seemed to be affixed to his scalp...

"Alex... Terrell, right? Don't I have you in an Advanced Physics discussion? Well... anyway... I was supposed to be helping them set up for the orientation, but they emailed me at the last minute... and... they don't need my help anymore. So here I am."

"Alex Calhoun Terrell, yeah. Sounds..."

"Hi! I'm Jessie Harp, and this is Teddy. How're you doing?"

'Oh thank sweet salty Christ.' Alex turned to the enthusiastic newcomer and his friend, more people in his small group. He wanted to escape attention and the crowd not make one... He told himself to just accept it, and relaxed a bit. At least he wasn't the center of attention, he hated that.

"What are you all studying? I'm doing archaeology and ancient sciences!"

"Apparently I'm doing Advanced Physics and Ancient Sciences. Glad to meet ya, Jessie." Alex flashed his fake smile, mostly obscured by the hood. He listened to the man who didn't tell his name's credentials. Seemed a teacher...'s assistant. He looked over the rest of the group, he wondered if any would suck up to the man, in hopes of improved grades. Alex stretched a bit, standing up to his full height of 6'3. Seemed he was the tallest here too.

"Oh. Twenty questions is it? Oh all right. I'll bite." Gibbons stopped to cover his mouth as he felt another of his trademark smiles creeping onto his face. When he finally lifted his hand away, he was back to a semi-frown. "Well, I'm a grad-student working on a double major in Non-Euclidean Architecture and Applied Blood Rituals. So no. I'm not a Professor if that's what you were thinking. Well, not currently anyway. I have two Doctorates in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. My mother's maiden name was Brooks and was not a hamster thank you very much. And no, my father did not smell of elder berries, but rather like gin most of the time. Well, my first father anyway. My favorite color is green, though I suppose orange will do in a pinch. And I've kind of run out of random facts about myself to spout at a moment's notice."

Was that supposed to be funny? No one else is laughing... He decided not to fake a laugh unless someone else did. The group seemed rather small all things considered, although he supposed there might be plenty of people who would skip out on orientation, and they were still rather early. Overall though it looked like an interesting bunch, the TA who in spite of his info-dump had not given his name, stood out the most. Blood rituals sounded like an interesting historical major, though non-Euclidean architecture sounded rather pointless, its interesting in theory, but you can't really wrap your head around it, or put it on paper so its not really something you could do much with... Then again you could probably say the same about some of Xenopsychology.

"Apparently I'm doing Advanced Physics and Ancient Sciences. Glad to meet ya, Jessie."

"Oh cool, I'm studying ancient sciences as a minor, my major is Xenopsychology," Teddy replied, grinning a bit, given that it seemed to be what the school was known for he figured it was likely most of the group was taking some ancient sciences. He considered what to say, everyone seemed to be getting along pretty well so far, who knows maybe I'll fit in ok down here he thought hopefully.

"So where is everyone from? I'm from New York," he said after a pause, hometowns had served as decent enough small talk with Jessie, so it didn't seem like a bad idea to ask again here. Then he stopped to check his watch "Is this everyone? Isn't orientation starting in a few minutes?"

"I'm fine, thank you. And I'm thirty-seven. I'm not old."

"Huh? Did I say anything like that?" Jessie looked a bit confused, he was sure he hadn't... Right? He had never been the that forward with someone, so he really doubted it.

"Yes, I suppose so. After a fashion. My, you are a little ball of euphoric... something or other. The word escapes me just now. But you are just that, aren't you?"

"I... guess?" Then, the other replied to his question about what people were taking, and a lot more Jessie never even thought about asking.

"Oh. Twenty questions is it? Oh all right. I'll bite. Well, I'm a grad-student working on a double major in Non-Euclidean Architecture and Applied Blood Rituals. So no. I'm not a Professor if that's what you were thinking. Well, not currently anyway. I have two Doctorates in Applied Physics and Mechanical Engineering from Stanford. My mother's maiden name was Brooks and was not a hamster thank you very much. And no, my father did not smell of elder berries, but rather like gin most of the time. Well, my first father anyway. My favorite color is green, though I suppose orange will do in a pinch. And I've kind of run out of random facts about myself to spout at a moment's notice."

The man grinned, as if what he had said was very funny. His smile was a bit unsettling, although it was hard putting ones finger on just why. Jessie frowned as the grad-student spoke, the other seemed to be joking on his behalf now. He glanced over at Teddy, who didn't seem to find it funny either. It was hard not to comment on it, but he might have been in the wrong because he asked so many questions. Still, the way the man with two doctorates spoke sounded more than just a little condescending.

I shouldn't be overly sensitive, he probably didn't mean anything with it.

"I am however, a TA for two of the more mundane science classes here."

"I see." He realized the other had not yet given a name, but asking for it might be asking for some more jokes on him.

"Apparently I'm doing Advanced Physics and Ancient Sciences. Glad to meet ya, Jessie."

"Glad to meet you too." He smiled again, earnestly and sweetly, greeting the other with both words and facial expression. Yet again a name he didn't have. Perhaps he would ask for it later, or perhaps it would come up in a conversation? It would be hard to explain to the other Jessie who all these people were, if he didn't have their names. Right now, however, he felt like being silent, so he didn't make a fool of himself.

I'm sure we'll talk enough for them to tell me.

If not, he would have to do with descriptions. He was already thinking about how to describe them physically, the words almost formed themselves as he looked at them. Eerie, intriguing and odd fit for almost all. While he was thinking, Teddy spoke, asking the others where they were from. Since Jessie had already told him, he kept quiet.

~Shaun~

At Alex's reaction, Shaun was about to mention the fact that he was just as easy to burn with his powers as everything else when they were joined first by what seemed like either a teacher or an older student, then two more boys who were clearly Freshmen like himself and the others. The fact that they decided to walk up right as they were casually showing off their powers made him want to swear under his breath, but he suppressed it as he grabbed his thermos and took another swig of coffee.

Instead of jumping into the conversation as the newcomers spoke, however, he decided to listen and observe as he sat next to Henrietta. The first thing that jumped to his mind was that, like his roommates, everyone here seemed to be a little... Off. Then the eldest of their growing group launched into introducing himself by mentioning various details about himself. Excluding his name, of course. But at the mention of Ancient Sciences, he had to chuckle.

"I imagine that all of us here are enrolled for Ancient Sciences. And that we'll be in Lovecraft House, on the Sixth Floor. Oh, and as for when Orientation Starts, it's in... Less than five minutes, it seems.", he said, with another glance at his pocket watch.

Then he looked back up and shrugged. "Shaun Loveless, another Freshmen along with Henrietta, Dexter, and Alex here.", he said easily, motioning to each of them in turn.

Jason walked out onto the quad, with Aiden not far away, and he immediately spotted a group of people gathered by a statue. He was tempted to simply ignore them, find a quiet place and wait the whole circle-jerk out. However, in the midst of the crowd, Jason spotted a rather attractive specimen.

It was Henrietta, a girl most others would be inclined to avoid, but her pale features and the hint of green in her hair drew Jason to her. Before he even realized it, Jason was standing just a few feet away from her. Unfortunately, the girl was flanked on all sides by other students, all seemingly vying for her attention. Luckily, an older man had come and started to pull focus, could this be his chance?

Perhaps there is a better approach... Jason thought to himself as he was able to look away from the gather people and make it seem like he was just passing by. For now, Jason looked for a quiet spot to plan his next move.

Aden looked next to his roommate and noticed he was staring at a girl, kind of awkwardly for a moment before he recovered. Aden smirked and decided to leave the matter alone. Groups of people made him nervous anyway, and they never had anything intelligent come out. One on one was always the best, but he rarely got to have that either. Aden shrugged and turned to Jason.

"She's pretty, but competing with so many people might not be the best option. This is college, girls are everywhere. Hell, if we are going to have to know each other for so long, we might as well wingman for one another."

There was something about Henrietta that struck Aden as odd. Something about her, he couldn't put a finger on it, but he had a feeling she was nothing but trouble. He wanted to stay away from her. Hopefully, his roommate would heed his warning. Maybe.

Even as socially oblivious as he usually was, even Gibbons was starting to notice the temperature starting to drop around him. In an attempt to recover, he put on his best winning frown and spoke in a somewhat lighter tone.

"I'm sorry if I seem... well... like an asshole. Nervous habit. Pops up whenever my mind is heavily preoccupied with something else at the time," Gibbons said while very carefully not smiling but still trying maintain a calm and even expression. One he hoped would not appear hostile. "And compounding error upon error, I've forgotten to introduce myself properly. My name is Neil Gibbons. Go ahead and make whatever joke you like about my last name. I've heard them all by now. Oh, and you've just seen another nervous habit crop up twice, and now... about a third time. I have a compulsive need to explain... just about everything, especially myself and whatever mistakes I've just made for some reason. Still haven't figured out why."

Gibbon started carefully positioning himself into what he identified as the 'dark corner' of the group, which would bring him right up against the statue in about a year if he kept working at it for eight hours every day.

What thoughts was he preoccupied with?

Well...

Getting really nervous about having all of these super-powered students around. If a fight ever breaks out... it could get ugly fast. And more to the point... there's no telling what effect they might have on that damned orb. Or what effect it might have on them. Could mean I'll have to postpone my experiments for now... if not outright cancel them. Hmm... or... is this an opportunity?

"She's pretty, but competing with so many people might not be the best option..."

"Are you kidding me?" Jason brushed off the awkward feeling he got with Aden following him around, more offended with the discouragement of his pursuit. "That girl...she's nothing like anything I've se-...felt before. I don't care if she has a hundred guys swarming her, I'll just beat them all away." Jason patted his bicep for emphasis, even though he had other options than his own strength.

"That girl...she's nothing like anything I've se-...felt before. I don't care if she has a hundred guys swarming her, I'll just beat them all away."

Dexter was standing around, neutral to the newcomer's presence. However, with that line, it changed.

Dexter smiled and looked to Shaun and Alex. "Well, the boy-next-door, shy nerd-ish boy, and outgoing funny-man vs. the Football Captain? Seems like things would get a little hot," Dexter nods at Shaun, "...and dangerous." He nods to Alex's shadow.

"...but no one'd know." Dexter smiled at Jason, palming a round white object in his hand.

~Shaun~

Shaun's attention was quickly drawn away by the exchange of another pair of students as they passed by. One, the taller, more visibly muscular one, expressed some clear interest in Henrietta, making him spare a casual glance in their direction. But, he kept silent. After all, it wasn't as if he and Henrietta were exclusively dating. Hell, he had just met her, and as charming as she was, he had no clue if there was anything between them in the first place. Besides, as pretty as she was, she was bound to have other boys vying for her attention.

It was at Dexter's comment that he had to turn and give them his full attention.

"Well, the boy-next-door, shy nerd-ish boy, and outgoing funny-man vs. the Football Captain? Seems like things would get a little hot, and dangerous. But no one'd know.".

"You know, I'm not shy in the least, Dexter. Or a boy-next-door for that matter.", he said blandly, before stepping forward and offering a polite smile, even as he placed a restraining hand on his roommates shoulder.

"Besides, Henrietta is free to choose whoever she wants to spend time with, as do we all. Its no one's place to try and choose for her.", he said.

But even though he smiled, his eyes went cold as they lanced into Jason's own. Really, he didn't care that he had competition, but the fact that he acted like she was some prize to be fought over offended him to his core.

After a moment, he patted Dexter's shoulder and nodded to the rest of the group. "Come on, we can't miss orientation, can we?", he asked.

When he turned back to the others, he sighed softly. He supposed he didn't need to defend Henrietta. After all, she was an adult. They all were. If she needed to be defended, he had a feeling that it would be plainly evident. Not only that, but he couldn't afford to roast some poor bastard this early on in the semester because he couldn't strap down his temper.

"That girl...she's nothing like anything I've se-...felt before. I don't care if she has a hundred guys swarming her, I'll just beat them all away."

Well that failed. Looks like Aden's roomie is already going to fall into the trap that is this girl. Who was she? So many people surrounded her but Aden couldn't think of anything special about her. Aden saw tons of girls like her walk through the coffee shops, she was just another girl with some kind of issues who probably spent too much time on Tumblr and liked black a lot. She was pretty, he admitted, but was that really all it took now? Aden shook his head and turned to Jason.

Aden sighed, this wouldn't get anywhere. People would be people and fall into pitfalls, he supposed. "You know what? Go get em, tiger. Damned be the consequences!" Aden looked up at the sky for a moment, before turning around. "I need some coffee."

"So where is everyone from? I'm from New York."

"Georgia..." Jessie addressed Alex again, and he turned to him. Probably should learn to pay attention to multiple people...

"Glad to meet you too."

"Oh, right, my name is-"

"Shaun Loveless, another Freshmen along with Henrietta, Dexter, and Alex here."

"Er, right, the last one." Alex turned around, he thought he heard some whispering when the TA started talking again. Apologizing? Already? Alex shrugged, and heard a voice behind him.

"That girl...she's nothing like anything I've se-...felt before. I don't care if she has a hundred guys swarming her, I'll just beat them all away."

"But I'm not even-"

"Well, the boy-next-door, shy nerd-ish boy, and outgoing funny-man vs. the Football Captain? Seems like things would get a little hot,...and dangerous."

"But-"

"Besides, Henrietta is free to choose whoever she wants to spend time with, as do we all. Its no one's place to try and choose for her."

"Yes but I'm not even-"

"Come on, we can't miss orientation, can we?"

"..." Alex buried his face in his palms. He stayed like that for a moment before raising his head. "Yeah, sure, fine. Sounds like a plan."

Neil's train of thought was interrupted when someone made a normal-ish toned and volumed (?) proclamation of something he felt was completely fucking obvious and didn't need to be said:

"Besides Henrietta is free to choose whoever she wants to spend time with, as do we all. Its no one's place to try and choose for her."

Give this guy a medal. He's seen the truth, the very, very obvious truth of this stupid 'debate'. Gibbons folded his arms as he started taking the de facto 'leader' position at the front of the group and guiding the group towards the mandatory orientation that was most likely going to be a complete waste of time since there was virtually zero chance that the faculty would be offering any advice that would be helpful in any way. Oh sure, they'll opine about grades and scholarly career mortality statistics, but they'll absolutely refuse to tell where the hell the laundry room is and how to get those stupid card-ops to work without a keypad. Oh yeah, give that guy some props though, he at least knows how to pretend to respect womens' rights, chalk him up to being the entitled self-proclaimed 'nice guy.'

"Come along everyone," he called out, turning back to see no one seemed to be following him yet, "This way to orientation, they should be done setting up by now, and if they aren't, well, we can just barge in anyway." Then, in a lighter tone, "And if they put up a fight, we can just use someone as a battering ram or something."

Ehh... why do I even bother? I'm hopeless at jokes.

~Shaun~

He took a moment to take off his glasses and rub his eyes with his thumb and forefinger to ease some of the growing tension in his skull. Then, putting them back on and pushing them up to the bridge of his nose, he turned to Alex. "Sorry about that. I was going to just ignore that, but then Dexter spoke up.", he said, before looking at the stage magician with a quirked brow.

"Lets not make enemies over something so trivial. Besides, we just met Henrietta, so lets not jump to any conclusions about any of us having a relationship with her. Not to mention, lets not drag one another into matters we clearly want nothing to do with, shall we? After all, we have to live together.", he said, his tone low so only Dexter and Alex can hear.

Once he was finished, he spared a quick glance to the eldest of the group and nodded. "Time for orientation, lets get our stuff.", he told them, before proceeding to do just that.

Once he had his book-bags strap firmly over his shoulder and both duffel bags in hand, he followed behind Gibbons along with the rest.

"Come along everyone. This way to orientation, they should be done setting up by now, and if they aren't, well, we can just barge in anyway. And if they put up a fight, we can just use someone as a battering ram or something.".

With a quiet snort, Shaun merely shook his head and under his breath said, "Lets not.".

"Besides Henrietta is free to choose whoever she wants to spend time with, as do we all. Its no one's place to try and choose for her."

Dexter looked at Gibbons, then at Shaun. "Someone's gotta be leader." Daxter said, before crushing the ball in his hand, making a large plume of smoke flair out.

"Mark my words," Dexter said in a low voice to Shaun, "That kid's no different here than he was in High school. Animals." Dexter huffed, retrieving his bag.

Henrietta couldn't help but feel a little nervous with so many boys around her. Shaun had been fine, as had his roommates, but then the numbers around her doubled. Hell, one was staring at her like no other. "... I don't care if she has a hundred guys swarming her, I'll just beat them all away." he said, which she just barely heard.

"Okay; I've officially entered the Twilight Zone." she thought to herself. All her life, people avoided her and suddenly there were a half dozen guys vying for her attention - it was too weird. Fortunately, the oldest of the group brought up moving to the Orientation area which seemed like a wise idea - if only to remove some of the attention.

Ensuring Mr. Biscuits was secure in the makeshift cat-carrier, she stood up; hoping to move the impromptu group somewhere with more women they could ogle. From her now higher perspective, she could see that the rest of the floor's hundred or so people had already divided themselves into groups getting to know each other. Surprisingly, the male-female ratio for their floor wasn't much different from the small groups ratio; suggesting difficult days to come. Not that that would get her down.

"Right..." she said, looking at the schedule, "I think the next thing is a department presentation in the College of Science building. It definitely seemed like something to go to. Who knew what the head of the department would say to them. Although...

"Or we could skip it and just go hang out in Garden." she offered, before adding "Assuming The Professor here is willing to let us get away with it." she said with a smile. She figured the suggestion would be scoffed at; she honestly just wanted to give their self-proclaimed leader a nickname sicne she was certain "Neil" would go in one ear and out the other before the day was done.

"Or we could skip it and just go hang out in Garden."

Alex had followed the group, why not he was a follower by birth. The Professor had begun to lead them towards the next place. Alex didn't really know, he was fresh out of High School. He turned to Henrietta, he was beginning to feel a bit more comfortable around her. Or maybe it was the cat. Who cares.

"Sounds more interesting to me. Think I'll go do that, instead." He took off his hood, and began walking back towards the Gardens. He didn't like dealing with people, and that place sounded like it'd be packed. Plus, he wanted to let his shadow out, it felt like he'd been holding his breath all day.

"Anyone care to join me? We can even show off and such." Alex gave a wink before heading off, his shadow seemed to make part of the head a hat, and tipped it independently as Alex whistled away.

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