2020-02-13 - Where's The Mustard


Lin Li drops in to see Nick at the Institute

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Feb 13 04:51:32 2020
Location: Xaviers Institute

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Nick teaches Wilderness Survival at the Xavier Institute. Isis 'helps'. She does some of the TA work and she gives the students advice they should absolutely not listen to. It works out well for everyone but the students who listen to Isis.

Class is over for the day and Nick is in the kitchen in the main building which overlooks the gardens in the 'quad' area. He's making a sandwich. With meat. Lots of meat. Salami. Turkey. Two kinds of swiss. And…

"Where'd the mustard go…"

Lin has been wandering around looking for Nick, wanting to say hello. She's been doing so quietly per usual however and it might be a bit surprising when a delicatly fingered hand reaches over to hand him the mustard. She'd been distracted from her quest by the realization she was hungry and just finished eating. Not her usual fare but eating here like this brings back a lot of memories.

Lin smiles as she waits for Nick to notice her. She may have watched some of his class from a not easy to spot distance earlier. That too brought back memories. She's been gone awhile though and hopes he hasn't forgotten her. It doesn't occur to her that she is probably easy to remember. It's not like there are very many antlered asian women walking around. Just her and they'd been in some of the same classes together to. Still, her travels took her father away and for a longer time than she'd expected.

Isis doesn't just do TA work, she's trying to get some qualifications so she can go for her PI licence. The slim mutant looks up from her reading a little guilty and pushes a jar behind her as she licks her lips.

"I uh … oh. Here it is Nick, I was looking after it…" She says. Bright blue eyes ever so innocent.

Sure she was.

As Lin arrives, she turns to look at the woman. "I thought you were done teaching for today."

Nick looks at Lin offering the mustard and Isis hiding the mustard that he had been looking for and snorts. Bad cat. He finishes assembling his sandwich and glances at Lin when Isis asks…

Ah. The Antlers, yes. "I figured we'd do a 'how to survive an elk attack' class next, but I couldn't find an Elk. Isis, this is Lin. Lin, this is Isis. She was in one of the classes behind me. She's a graduate. Lin. Isis is my partner down at the agency."

There's a short pause. "Lin doesn't talk much." He mentions to the feline woman and then winks at the antlered one. "But maybe she'll make an exception now and use her words."

Lin blinks at Isis and then tries a shy smile. She hasn't been a student for some time but isn't likely to explain that. Instead she busies herself making a pot of tea. The good tea is up on the topmost shelf and while she's a bit tall for a woman, Lin still can't reach it until she hovers up several inches over the ground. A small grunt of satisfaction and she gets a tray together and a pot and three tea cups, adding a small pitcher of milk and container of sugar for those inclined. She then sets the tray on the table and sits down, having met the requirements for polite social interaction.

The antlered woman smiles at Nick and nods. She looks thoughtful as she sips at her tea. Nick needs an elk. Why would an elk attack the students though? She wonders but…oh. He's asking her to use the words. She *hates* using the words. It's Nick though and she'd always had a soft spot for him. Sighing forlornly at the tea service she thought would be enough to get her out of a speaking encounter Lin asks softly. "Why would an Elk attack? I will find one for you though." After a moment where she visibly gathers herself she turns and gives Isis a sweet smile. "Greetings." Then she looks at Nick hopefully. Did she do alright?

A sense of calm and peace settles over the room as Lin brings the cups over, Isis's bright blue eyes following her.

There's a smile that shows two fangs, setting off the cats ears on her head and the feline-like features. Isis is mostly human looking except for those things and her nature.

Isis takes a cup and pours milk into it before mixing in several spoonfuls of sugar. "I didn't see that on your calendar, Nick…" The class she means. "Why wouldn't an Elk attack if it's been riled enough?" She counters quietly. "Hello. I went here for a couple of years. It … didn't suit me."

"I'm joking…" Nick sighs at both women. Geeze. No one appreciates his jokes. Time to break out his Rodney Dangerfield impersonation.

"Isis was raised… in a lab." The way Nick says it, there can be no doubt that he means that in a bad way. She was an experiment. She was a lab rat. She was raised by some bad people who saw her as a tool at best and data points at worst. She probably wasn't even socialized until after she was… rescued.

Nick ordinarily wouldn't share that but between that and Isis obvious feline characteristics, he's betting it'll make Lin warm up to her.

Lin seems more confused. Who would rile up an elk? Why? This is why she prefers nature over people most of the time. People just don't make sense. She doesn't comment on this though. It's not polite. Instead she sips her tea. The school hadn't quite suited Lin either but there had been a lot she had needed to learn and she's always going to be thankful to this place for taking her in and teaching how to navigate a world full of people she will likely understand. Otherwise she'd be a hermit somewhere in the wildnerness and while she finds nothing wrong with that scenario, she can admit her life has been a lot more fullfilling because of her schooling and the traveling after.

"It is good here." Is all that Lin actually says outloud. She just isn't accustomed to talking like this.

Oooh. A joke…but before she can work out the humor Nick has continued and Lin frowns. "Lab still there?" She will destroy it if it is. That kind of thing enrages the normally easy going woman. She turns and smiles at brighter at Isis. "You do well, now?" She asks with a soft worried tone.

"So was I." Isis responds with a deadpan look. She's a cat, she really is. Nick gets a look though when he mentions her background - that's unusual and she wonders about it.

"It's ok here. When the other students aren't thinking you're strange." Isis answers. It hadn't been easy, assimilating. "I was … feral. Kept that way till Nick and Piotr rescued me." It had been more than just them, it was them who'd been …. lucky … enough to encounter her. "The X-Men shut down that lab when they raided it." Nick might need to add to it.

"I have a job with Nick and I don't have to be in school. I'm not sent out to kill and no one is sticking needles in me every day. It's better than I've ever known, really." So yes, she's doing well now.

"Did you grow up in the school like many others? Or were you found as well?"

"Lab's gone as she says." Nick affirms. "We wouldn't have left it."

That… that actually isn't something that Nick knows, the answer to the question that Isis asks. Mutants come to the school from all over and mostly people don't ask them their stories. A lot of them aren't very… nice. Some like Isis' are worse than others.

Still it might have been happy. Nick perks his ears forward to see what the antlered mutant has to say. Nick himself? He didn't come here until his teens. And that had been just a tad bit rough.

Lin nods. She is still considered pretty feral. She also knows that she's often thought of as strange but she has never cared. "I was mostly grown when they found me and brought me here. Grew up in the woods alone. It sounds..bad. It wasn't." She's never been able to recall anyone else, parents or anything..just the team that came and found her.

"Good they did." She says at hearing the lab was shut down. "Jobs are good too." Lin fusses in her pocket and pulls out a shiny new looking leather wallet. She's only started carrying it because of her Park ID. "Forest Ranger for central park now!" She thinks for a moment and adds. "Much safer than the last job."

There's still a sense of calm being projected over the room and Isis sips at her cup of milk and sugar. A bit gets on her nose and she licks at, going slightly crosseyed as she tries to see it. "Did you want to come here? Or did you want to go?" Isis asks. She'd not really been given a choice. She was dangerous, is dangerous, and they needed to do some deprogramming.

"Nick … you came here when you were older, too? You liked it here, though, didn't you?" He'd made friends and now he has a job here. "Park Ranger? You must like that, be out there and not locked up in a room. Nick lets me sleep a lot when there's sun."

"Central Park Ranger?" Nick hadn't heard that. "Congratulations, Lin. I'll bet your talent helps. I'm still up in the Bronx. You should stop by at some point. We're actually… working a case that might use your help. Someone has been hunting animal mutants." Nick pauses. "Actually you should probably be careful of that… They're taking them and breaking and them and training them to be like… weapons."

He almost said 'like Isis was.'

"I came here when I was older yes. The school didn't open until I was in my mid teens. And then…"

Well, he graduated and… registration.

"It's not exactly like I lock you up in a room, Isis." Nick says and he sticks his tongue out.

Lin is quiet for time as she considers her answer thoughtfully. "My mind is very different than a human or mutant's. For a long time they didn't think I was too smart but once I understood the basics, the reading and writing.." She'd been able to learn just about everything so long as it related to her interests. Anything outside of that quickly bored her and she couldn't seem to focus on. "I could see.. it was needed. For me to be here. To learn how to..function with real people. My friends, the plants, the animals, the earth.. they could not help with this. Only here could. It was very hard at times but I am always grateful for it."

Some of what Isis is saying has Lin giving Nick some weighted looks. She does not like cages. She does undertsand though that there must be good reason for this and Isis did say she'd been sent out to kill.

"If it's okay I will bring you with me sometimes. Field trips?" She decides not to mention that she's just returned from exploring all over the world. She doesn't want to upset Isis. "I do like the Ranger job. It's fun. Park needs so much work." It's safe work though. At least in comparision. Sure there's some criminal activity to look out for but nothing like some of the stuff she encountered in the wilds. So far..

Her head snaps up at Nick's news. "I will help. We will stop this!" She growls softly. She lets go her anger and laughs though when Nick sticks his tongue out. She hadn't thought she needed to worry for the feline woman but now she's sure.

"I didn't say you did. I wasn't say the Institute did, either." Isis answers, topping up her cup with more milk and sugar - poor Nick, she's likely to be hyper this afternoon. "But you have to admit that working in an office can feel like that sometimes. Or being in a class room, even yours …" The wolfman gets a tongue poked out at him in return.

"They want to do to them, what they did to me. Sort of. I was born in the facility and raised that way. Taking people from the streets, their homes, it … can't be nice. And we're pretty sure they're modifying them physically as well." That gets a scowl.

Lins assertion she'll help has Isis looking at Nick. "You said we needed help, didn't you?"

"I'd be happy to come sometimes. And I'm sure Isis would as well." Nick says. Of course Isis isn't in a cage now. She had to be detained. Sedated. Properly socialized. But that work is long since done and she's only very occasionally relapsed. And never for very long.

"I did, didn't it." Nick chuckles at Isis. "Lin's talent is the ability to communicate with nature. Animals, plants and so on. It only sort of works on people like us, but between you and her I'm betting you could settle some of those ferals. I'm thinking… maybe we go on the offensive. What if we didn't just try to run from their hunting packs but found them and broke them. If we could bring those mutants in, we could maybe, hopefully, de-condition them."

Isis is of course familiar with this process. Lin might find the thought of animal mutants having been turned into hunting hounds a bit horrifying.

Which of course… it is.

Lin looks sad. "I can track, and can fight and probably calm those with feral minds. Can't..mindheal though. Not really." She'd tried at first to learn psycology, thinking it would teach her how to help others like herself and how to understand everyone else but had quickly given up because she simply couldn't understand the way most people think and feel. It's not quite…alien.. but close. So she can calm, and influence other emotions with the ferals and beastminded but only when close by, only if they are truly wildminded and it is not a substitue for therapy or deprogramming.

"Some of what I did while gone..hunting poachers." Lin admits softly. She had never had the reservations or hangups over the necessesities of fighting or killing that a lot here do. She had kept that to herself though for the most part. Her eyes narrow and has a darkened expression. "We must stop this. It's wrong. So wrong. Offensive is good." She scowls. Sometimes.. sometimes she wonders why she doesn't just retreat permanently but then there is something like this, a chance to help others like Nick, Isis, like her. And too, there is a part of her that is human still and aware of it. However small that part may be and it wants connections with other humans.

She lets out a soft sigh and calms herself and smiles at Nick. "Good. Would like to show you both, lots I am doing and can show you the secret spots too." That is something to look forward to Lin decides. That and the most righteous ripping apart of whatever organization is harming her favored type of people. Her second smile might be slightly.. dangerous looking.

"Just as long as we don't we go to the Zoo." Isis agrees. "But there's that nice ice cream place!" Of course she'd think of that.

"You … want to go on the offensive?" Isis looks at Nick like he's gone mad. "With who? Us three?"

For a moment her eyes shine neon blue, that should probably tell Nick that something is wrong. "Alright. We should do that. I think we might have some success."

"Maybe find a little bit of other help but yes. I can fight, Isis. And so can you." And Lin can probably manage though actually Nick has no idea. Maybe not. "But with someone who can manipulate emotions and someone who can appeal to their wild side, I think we might actually be able to break one of their hunting packs and bring them ALL in."

Without those special talents it would be risky to go in. You'd want to outnumber the enemy by a substantial amount.

"Secret places? Sounds exciting Lin." Nick feels his pockets and snorts. His wallet is back in the class. "Isis do you have a card on you?" She can give Lin their address and phone number and they can coordinate.

Lin grins like a shark. "More than three." She nods at Isis. "Much success." If you fight then you do so either to eat, to grow, or to protect and you fight to win. She's learned a lot in her travels about how to make the best use of her abilities in such a situation. She puts those thoughts aside for later though. "Oh balls." Lin mutters. "I left my phone…" She frowns. Where? "With a bear? Or maybe in that cave…" She sighs. "I will find it though." Cards though.. "Yes I have this. Here.' She has some cards in her wallet for her new job as a ranger. For people to report suspicious activities. Still it is her personal number since she has only the one.

"Yes, I have found many. It is very interesting." Lin smiles at Nick and then Isis. She is definitely looking forward to showing them around. She's also happy that for once she isn't the one with a misplaced wallet. Though her phone is lost.. ah well. It will turn up.

"Cards? Do you want me to pay for something?" Isis asks, slightly confused for a moment. "Oh! Cards! Yes… hang on…."

Taking a small holder out of her back pocket, the feline-like mutant pulls out a card. Paragon Investigations, Isis Marik, it says. No title though. Isis didn't like 'general dogs body'.

Because she's a cat.

"Can we go to the kitchen for lunch, Nick?" Weren't they just eating when Lin came in?

"Uh…" Nick looks at Isis. Despite everything there is one thing that has remained constant with her. She is a black hole when it comes to food. "Yes." He gets up. He'll probably need to make another sandwich.

"Let's go feed the Kitten, shall we Lin? Unless you have somewhere to be. I'll have to go back and teach my afternoon class soon. Isis that reminds me. You're going to meet them on the path for this one."

And offer more advice.

It's going to be a busy afternoon. But a good one. And potentially… quite productive just from this one meeting.

Lin smiles brightly and takes the offered card, carefully adding it to a place of prominence in her wallet before putting it back in the pocket of her denim jacket. She's really glad she came here today. She likes Isis already and it's good to see Nick again. Very good. She gets up to follow to the kitchen thinking she could eat again. It's nice to have people food sometimes. "Free all day. Would like to watch the class too." Lin moves to help with lunch, humming softly under her breath. It's definitely a good day and there is a lot to think about and try to plan for. Yes, she is very glad she has come back.

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