2020-04-26 - Healing and Hope ... Hubris?


The Pride have become aware of something new on the borders of Mutant Town, and they decide to investigate.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Apr 26 19:23:21 2020
Location: Horizon Academy

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Theme Song



Having convinced Lexi to come with her, the once more human Diya leads the way through Mutant Town and back into the Disaster Zone. And there they stop, looking upon a large swath of the Zone which has been reclaimed; not just reclaimed, but completely rebuilt and upgraded to an idyllic oasis of technology and civilization. Glistening, clean-lined buildings are separated by richly textured green lawns and towering, mature trees bisected by crisp walkways. And yet two months ago none of this was here.

Diya climbs another ruined building of the Zone, moving floor to floor to gain altitude and sightline. And then she settles down, motioning for the mauve-skinned squidgirl to join her, as she points out across to the glistening buildings. "New." she murmurs. And then she points at one specific building: the tallest on this campus, and emblazoned brightly with a glowing stylized red cross symbol.

Fortunately, Lexi did not decide to come equipped for hunting more evil cyberdog things. She did come in her 'costume' as opposed to more casual clothes, because it's easier to climb in. Which is certainly a bit more formfitting than most. She scales after Diya, climbing up easily as she settles down next to her, crouching down as she blinks a bit. "…th' hell is that?" she says uncertainly.

Diya lifts her other hand, touching her ear. "Say 'academy'." She shrugs. "'Horizon'?" she questions. "Ruins." she murmurs, and pushes her hand out, a sweeping gesture taking in the whole of the campus. "Four weeks." Impossible, right? No one could possibly do this that quickly. But Diya knows her territory. She would not say this if it were not true.

"….four weeks?!? No one can build a place like this in four weeks." Lexi says doubtfully. "Not without super powers or soemthin', and even then, all the fiddly bits would take forever to do!"

And Diya just points at the place. She does not know quite how it was done, and she saw it happening. Heard it. Smelled it. She does not know more.

But then Diya pulls a scope out of her jacket pocket, and flips up the endcaps, handing it to Lexi. She scoots close against the squid girl, and points towards something sitting at the heart of the central green space of the campus: a fountain with a large multi-object statue at its heart. Of course, Diya doesn't need the scope to see it. But she knows Lexi will need a bit of help at that range.

#1713exi takes the offered scope with a thoughful frown, peering through it as she looks at the status. "….huh." she says after a moment, looking unsure now. "So it's…like a school that allows mutants too? An' stuff?" She looks a bit more closely at the female soldier curiously. "…it's like…all inclusive stuff or whatever…" She crouches back on her ankles, tilting her head as she looks around. "…lots of security too…"

Diya nods. She lets Lexi keep the scope for looking around, spotting details she can't see with her naked eyes from here. Diya really doesn't need the help. "Thinking. More intel." But with that level of security, Diya is pretty sure she can't just sneak on unnoticed. She can get in, no problem. But unnoticed? Probably not. And if she is noticed, there could be trouble. Not that she can't handle trouble. But … she's not going in to pick a fight. Not if she doesn't have to.

"Well…I mean. If ya wanna scout th' place. We could, like, pretend ta be interested in the school. I still look young enough." Lexi muses after a moment. "We could find ya a disguise…"

Diya snorts. A disguise? Still, she shrugs. "Trap?" she questions Lexi, clearly questioning how likely taht might be. She doesn't think so; but the fact the place just showed up so fast leaves her wondering. And why put such a school - if school it is? - here, of all places? She is pretty damned curious, though. And if that really is a top-flight medical center …

"It seems like a lot of effort ta put inta a trap." Lexi notes, frowning. "If it was just one buildin' or somethin', or a new clinic, maybe. But an entire campus? That'd be crazy." She hmms. "This'll work thought! Ya can be my mom an' we can be coming ta check out the campus."

Diya snorts. "Mother?" she questions, eyeing Lexi like she's grown an extra head, rather than just more tentacles. But she shrugs a bit. If they go together, that's an even better chance once will get away, if this is some kind of trap. She points up into the sky. "Wait, dawn?" she questions. Probably creepy if they just wander in while it's still dark out. At least to normies. And if they have money like this, they have to be normies. Right?

"Well, yeah, we'd have to get outfits that don't stand out and stuff. And you something other than fatigues to wear. And a shower and stuff." Lexi says after a moment. "I mean, it'd stand out otherwise, and I look fabulous in this but it's not what a student would wear." She motions to her fairly skimpy current costume.

Diya frowns. No fatigues? Clean up? She's hating this idea more and more as they go on. But she wants to find out about this place. So her choices at this point are to go with Lexi's crazy plan, or for her to sneak in under cover of night and risk that heightened security. And she remains convinced that while she can certainly get in, that she is likely to set off something; anyone capable of assembling this place in just weeks has to have advanced technologies the like of which she cannot compensate. "Uniform?" she questions, looking to Lexi for feedback. If she's going to truly get cleaned up and not wear fatigues, the next up for her would be a uniform.

"Uh…well, I don't think people usually wear uniforms when touring a campus." Lexi says after a moment of thought. "I mean, unless ya wanna pretend you're an active service person in th' U.S. or somethin', an' even then I don't think they have ta wear it when they're not on base an' on duty?"

Even at this late hour there's activity, there's people moving about and doing things. There is definitely a significant security presence, but considering the locale that would not only be prudent, but is probably necessary. One interesting decision - there's no wall around the campus, not even a decorative one. That's a powerful statement on many levels - first, it says 'we are not afraid', but more importantly it says 'we are open'. That statue is further proof of that openness concept. There are security check points and occasional pillars about the campus perimeter, probably the pillars are part of the security that Diya was concerned about.

Regardless, one sure thing to indicate part of how they got things done so fast? They worked around the clock. Not nearly enough to explain this…but it does indicate a willingness and desire to get things done fast, and that they were willing to pay for that.

The homeless vet frowns. The dressiest clothes she owns is an army uniform. Well, there's also her Russian Spetznaz uniform, but again, uniform. And there's no way in Hell she's wearing that to walk amongst these people. No, no no. Nuh unh. Not even if the entirety of the Razors had been eliminated. "All I have." she murmurs intently. Maybe she should just go ahead and sneak in anyway? Then at least they'll know what the security can do!

"Cool. We're goin' shopping then! There's a salvation army place we can hit on th' way ta get ya somethin'. Jeans n' stuff." Lexi says, totally undaunted by this. "Besides, if yer gonna blend ya gotta be able ta wear somethin' other than uniforms alla time."

Catseye leaps out a a third floor window in fur-form, landing silently on the ground below. She nods to the security guard, then slips into the shadows. Things try to slip in from the disaster area, so constant vigilence will be needed. Catseye approves, it gives a reason to be armed and on guard against other threats without saying so. Some things it is easier to hide in plain sight.

Diya is grimacing at the thought of 'shopping' when she catches sight of movement; her head whips around and her eyes focus impossibly so at such a distance and in the dark. And she spots someone leaping out of a window on the third story … and landing lightly on the ground to walk away. OK. Mutant presence confirmed, it would seem. And then she catches a whiff of a familiar scent as the wind shifts.


That's all the warning Lexi gets, as Diya leaps off the roof, falling four or five stories down and then rolling to her feet, starting to jog from cover to cover as she approaches the open surrond of the campus through the Disaster Zone, rather than coming in from Mutant Town. She came out this way on purpose, after all.

"…right, we'll just file that away under somethin' ta do in th' morning then." Lexi says with a sigh, putting away the scope in a pocket then sprouting tendril sfrom her back as she spiders quickly down the building, dropping the last few feet into a crouch then straightening up. "…sooo we're just walking in now?" she says, a slightly frustrated tone in her voice now as she follows after Diya.

On the campus, Emma is in her office - the clean lines of the place stark, minimalist with white walls, black flooring, and glass and steel furniture. There are some pictures on the walls, very understated and simple. Hard at work on her computer, she reaches out to Catseye mentally. «Anything to report, Sharon? I did see an alert in the East quad, by pylon six, are you free to check on it?»

Thankfully, Diya isn't trying to hide… well, not by Catseye's standards. Stupid numb-nose, night-blind humans would no doubt miss the pair's approach, but Catseye is none of the above! She is careful as well, letting Diya and Lexi see her for a second or three as she comes out of the shadow, before the large lavender lioness is on them, leaning up against them, rubbing lavender fur on their clothes, and purring like an idling motorcycle motor. «Is friends! TigressDiya and LexiFriend. Catseye is saying hi!» "Hihi. Come to see MotherMotherFrost's new school?" Catseye grins, showing lots of sharp teeth. "Is clever to have here, yes? Disaster Zone gives excuse for weapons, lets school guard MutantTown's flank."

And … just like that, Diya actually relaxes a bit. Apparently Catseye was not trying to escape or something. Diya takes a knee and scratches Catseye's fur across her back and sides, butting her head against the lioness in greeting. "Mother?" comes her one-word question. She doesn't know about Catseye's mother, so that's a new one on her. She also had not realized Catseye was so … hrm. Rich? And the idea that the school was positioned here to guard the flank of Mutant Town against the Zone is an interesting one indeed. Diya glances towards Lexi, as if to say without words, 'See why I didn't wait for your costume idea?'

"Oh, hey Sharoncat, what's new?" Lexi says as she spots Catseye emerging. "You're hanging around this place?" She puts her hands on her hips. "It came out of nowhere! It just kinda appeared i na month or so…" She forwns curiously. "What's a motherfrost?" She hmmphs, folding her arms at Diya. "And you should still come shopping and get a dress or something so you can blend sometime." she mutters to Diya.

«Ah…interesting. Bring them up, I am always happy to meet your friends, assuming they're comfortable with such.» Emma takes a moment to study them through Cat's eyes. «Interesting looking pair.» She doesn't judge, these are /friends/ of Sharon's - that's all the credibility needed to Emma. «Shall I have food sent up?»

Emma was already about to order some more tea anyway, why not feed her guests? The homeless woman is probably hungry, little does she know how much the purple girl is prone to eating!

Catseye rubs against them both. Obviously more cat fur is needed. "Catseye's birthmother threw Catseye out in plastic bag. Catseye shifted kitten, grew up Cat. MotherMotherFrost is -more- than birthmother. Found Catseye, went in Catseye's head. Gave Catseye -language-. Showed how to shift back to smoothskin form." She headbutts Lexi, "Hungry, yes? Come up, have food." «DiyaTigress eats like Catseye. LexiImp eats more sometimes. So extra food please.» A brief pause, and then a true measure of how much Catseye likes these two. «Have the rest of the salmon sent up?» Catseye was planning on devouring the sides of roast salmon herself. If she's willing to share, she must really like these two.

"Live homeless." Diya comments to Lexi. "Blend as is." That commentary offered, however, Diya seems quite happy to follow Catseye the beautiful purple lioness across the impossibly perfect brand new campus. Her instincts itch terribly at doing this around all of these armed guards when she herself has only her pistol and a knife, but Sharon insists this place is her mother's; surely Sharon's mother would not attack Diya or Lexi?

Hopefully not. It sucks when you have to kill a friend's mother.

More scratching, and then Diya follows along. She's not going to find out how this goes any other way. And she rather likes Catseye; perhaps she will like this woman who is her mother? After all, the woman was clearly amazing for Catseye, and that deserves respect. Diya will just be careful not to get her dirt on anything but the floors. Those usually get vacuumed or something.

"…your birthmother was an asshole." Lexi comments, frowning, as it certainly brings memories of her own being tossed in the trash as a baby. "Homeless do not build military fatigues." she counters to Diya as she walks over. "So you know th' person who built this place, then?"

«Of course, Sharon. I'll take care to feed your friends properly.» A moment to ponder, then Emma shuts down much of the work she'd been doing, though her security feeds are intact. The desk is itself essentially a huge tablet computer, multiple 'screens' inside it, a full keyboard in front of Emma. There's also a more conventional screen, after all, she might want something confidential up when talking to people. Behind her, the entire wall is floor to ceiling window, the view placing the fountain squarely framed just to the left of center.

As the trio of women approach, the cafeteria staff prepare what seems to be a spread for a group of people much larger than three, even to fine wine to go with the Salmon, vegetables, rice pilaf, and other trimmings, there's also a sandwich tray, and other more mundane finger foods and drinks that are rolled in and setup on a table, which was also brought in.

Catseye leads the way to where the food is waiting. Telepathy makes coordinating things so much easier! "MotherMotherFrost had place built. Catseye is on staff as security consultant. Means keeping guards on toes, making sure trouble is dealt with. MotherMotherFrost makes sure guards can be trusted. Taught at school before, but wasn't in -control-. Could not stop problems, even when seeing them coming. This time, different." When the group passes staff, Catseye's escort seems to be the only clearance needed, no matter how the pair with her rae dressed.

The hardest thing honestly isn't how Diya is dressed; it's that predatory aura of hers. These are protectors. Guardians. Her presence puts up mental hackles in a big way. But Diya is impressed by their ability to put away their concern and even fear, and trust instead in Catseye; this shows wisdom and self-control, and she honors both.

"How, so fast?" Diya inquires of Catseye as they enter the area with all of the food. Mmm. Food. After her activities she is pretty ravenous. But Diya can see the pale blonde woman behind the desk; a position of power and one of respect. Diya only gives that to those who are deserving. But this woman carries Catseye's scent, and so Diya pauses, regarding her carefully.

"You … Mother Frost?" Diya inquires, reining in her more aggressive instincts. Yes, Amur Khatun would want to be assured of her supremacy in this situation. But she would also just assume it true. Diya is far pricklier than that. Just ignore the rumbling tummy for a bit. She remains standing, and facing Emma instead.

Lexi is a bit unsure about this whole 'walking right in' sort of thing, but if Catseye is vouching for stuff, this Mother Frost person, she supposes it's probably okay. Diya certainly seems to automatically trust things and since she's the paranoid of the pair, if it's good enough for her, it's good enough for Lexi.

"She's in charge of this place? Or built this place?" Lexi says uncdertainly as she walks alon gbehind the cat duo.

Rising, Emma smiles to her guests, stepping around the desk once she's seen, the fountain almost sitting on her shoulder, clearly this was part of the room design that view. She's dressed tonight in a no-nonsense and very austere but well tailored pant suit. The jacket is fine linen, the pants crisply pleated and flaring at the ankles, modest heels worn of fine white leather. The top she wears is sheer white silk, with a high collar. At her throat is a choker a simple black ribbon with an ivory disc with a face in bas relief.

"Actually, both…though I had a lot of help from friends with equally deep, or deeper, pockets and resources." A hand is offered to each of the new arrivals. "Emma Frost, Headmaster." She states. Cat? She's simply hugged, a kiss to her daughter's brow, and then the billionaire CEO smiles. "Welcome to Horizon Academy, ladies."

Catseye purrs, rubbing purple fur against Emma's immaculate white pants leg. The fact that Emma doesn't even flinch is worthy of note. Catseye make introductions, well, by her standards at least. "DiyaTigress. LexiImp. Guard mutant town, keep peace, patrol disaster zone. So school appearing suddenly had to be investigated." She looks longingly at the salmon, obviously tempted to just yank it down… then sighs and shifts to smooth-skin form, now clad in black and purple costume with a heraldic lion's head across the chest. She fixes herself a plate with a large portion of salmon, and a token amount of veggies and rice.

The homeless vet hesitates a moment at the immaculate blonde's offered hand, not wanting to get the woman dirty. But then she relents and accepts the hand, nodding as her Catseye-name is given. Then she lifts that same hand and touches her chest. "Hunter." That is how she is best known, a name Emma's Mutant Town contacts have very likely heard of, though very few have seen her.

"Catseye good. Friend. Fighter. Hunt companion." Diya's voice, as is usual - Catseye and Lexi can confirm this - is soft and mushy-mouthed. It's not too difficult to understand, but there isn't a single hard edge or sound to be found in her pronunciation. Diya watches Emma for a bit, until she sees Catseye with her plate of food. Then finally she yields to the rumbling tummy and gathers herself a plate, loading up with salmon, a sandwich, veggies, some cheese, and such. Not full to overflowing, but definitely quite full. And then Diya sits … on the floor.

Remember: keeping dirt to herself and the floor. Weird, but meant as a gesture of respect.

Lexi cautiously takes Emma's hand as it's offered, shaking as she frowns a little. "So this is a school, or something? Basically? It looked like more than that, almost, like a university or something." she admits. She, at least, is a bit more talkative than her companion. "Yeah, we know Catseye an' stuff, she's helped out lots at times." She will stick with sandwiches, making one disappear rapidly as she stops talking.

Emma knows that the fur shedding is important to Catseye, it is a sign of her love, and Emma won't do anything to indicate her daughter's love is unwelcome. As immaculate and fastidious as she normally is she has the willpower to control those tendencies when she needs to. "Ah, of course." She says to the introductions. "A pleasure, Diya, Lexi." She notes Cat's restraint when confronted with the salmon, yup…these are some well trusted and beloved friends.

When the homeless vet offers another name, one she knows, Emma's grasp is actually firmer, grime or not. "You do good work, you should be proud of the Pride." And then a smile as she hears the praise of Cat. "I am very proud of her, for all I have done, /she/ is perhaps my finest work."

Emma smiles. "A school, yes. Kindergarten through Doctoral Programs, Lexi. A school based on acceptance of others, and offering training to metahumans in the use of their powers. We offer…everything we can, and make sure it is in reach however we may."

Catseye begins to eat with good appetite. "Catseye went to school DoctorHank teaches at and is… restrictive in many ways. Isolation is good for some, perhaps, for a time. But did not teach what Catseye needed most, how to live in real world. And saw girl there… child mutant, yes. But mother gained powers as victim of others, not born mutant. So was not allowed on mutant-only campus. Could not visit her own -daughter-. But was only option at time to give her daughter training needed because daughter /was/ mutant, and had powers from -very- young." She gestures at the campus with one hand. "So school that takes baseline humans, yes. But also mutants. Also enhanced, or others. Teach control, education, but as part of real world not ivory tower." It's obvious this is something she's passionate about. "Not base for /team/ that flies out, fights, and flies home leaving the aftermath far away, someone else's problem." She indicates direction of the Disaster Zone. "Aftermath is right here and very real."

Diya arches an eyebrow as Emma proves to actually know the moniker of Hunter … and apparently thinks rather highly of her efforts. She nods to acknowledge this respect, and listens as Emma and Catseye explain this school and how it is meant to work. She eats slowly, bit by bit, but very thoroughly. Eventually, though, she will pause in her eating, clean her mouth with a napkin, and then look to Emma with a question.

Naturally, it is a very Hunter question.

"Hospital?" Sure, it could be just meant as a medical school. Or it could be laboratories. Anything is possible. But if it is a hospital, hospitals need patients. Even as medical schools. And if they have patients, where will those patients come from? Diya is thinking of her talk with Lexi at the clinic earlier: instead of their own, if this place is for real, and can be trusted, perhaps what is needed is for the Pride to ally themselves with this place? Then their people, those of Mutant Town, can come here for medical help that is beyond the clinic's capabilities. And perhaps they can also find work here, those that want it. Opportunities here that they cannot find elsewhere.

Diya can think very big. It's just her resources that are limited, not her mind.

Lexi, on the other hand, has had a lifetime of being suspicious of things too good to be true, and a brand new medical facility like this that might be interested in helping otu the Pride, considering the poshness she'ss seen walking through the campus. It's a lot of money spend here…and probably a lot of money spent keeping people out who weren't permitted t oland.

"So…" Emma picks up the threads where Cat left off. "…a school that is based on inclusion over isolation was needed. In my past I have made many decisions that had unfortunate consequences, made choices that were also focused exclusively on the protection and advancement of mutant kind over all others. I cut corners, and the first school I was Headmistress of, the Hellfire Academy in Massachusetts was not fully mine to control - and it cost me, nearly cost Sharon her life."

A sigh. "Once I recovered, such as I could, once I was reunited with my daughter, my business partners and friends in McCabe Industries and the Wakandan embassy headed up this project. This dream and we made it a very real thing. No shortcuts, no expense spared…and though there is oversight in place, /I/ am in control."

And then she takes a moment, sipping at what looks to be sparkling water. "In any case, the Hospital on the grounds is fully functional, it is a teaching hospital but also meant to serve the community, yes."

Catseye's tail lashes briefly, "Some of the others at OldSchool had different ideas than MotherFrost. But Catseye had friends there as well… friends lost to attacks. Is why Catseye is 'security consultant' here." She bares her fangs, "Enemies come, looking for -experiments- or decide that some are -unworthy- Catseye and security team will be Ready." She snarls the last word, then forces herself to settle. "And if attack Mutant town, well, outside jurisdiction but have had long talk with lawyers about 'good samaritan' laws. Lawyers are ready to tidy things up if have to step outside school grounds to stop threats."

Given her often prodigious patience, Hunter finds it easy to just settle in, nibble quietly, and listen to what everyone else has to say. What they sound like. What they smell like. She is no sucker; those she trusted most betrayed her the greatest. But she has not given up entirely on the idea of those who have similar interests working together. That's the whole point of the Pride.

The question becomes: How to broach that subject?

"Jobs?" Hunter questions, looking between Catseye - a known, largely trusted quantity, one she would call ally and even friend, and whom Amur Khatun would consider 'hers' - and this woman she calls MotherFrost. If this woman did as Catseye has claimed, then it is possible she will prove worthy of trust. But there are no guarantees in life.

"And what exactly are th' 'different ideas' that th' other school had compared ta here?" Lexi says a little warily. She doesn't really know much about the othr school to begin with; Diya is the person who knows Catseye better than she does, after all, something that annoys her a little bit on some level. She can't really compete with another big cat, honestly though.

Emma turns her pale blue gaze to Lexi. "That mutants were weapons. That humans were prey, lesser beings that should be ruled by mutantkind, enslaved, used at their whim howsoever we pleased." Yes, Emma did in fact just admit she's a mutant. "I once shared that view, but the others who had too much say at the last school went too far." Her lips thin, her tone /flat/. "And it proved catastrophic. It cost lives, lives of those I was teaching, at the time I thought that Sharon, whom you know as Catseye, was one of them."

Emma's gaze lowers a moment, and her fingers press to the bridge of her nose. "I crawled inside a bottle. It nearly destroyed me." The woman's control is incredible, but scent is not something she can mask, outwardly calm the pain and rage are all too plain even if her 'mask' is flawless, Emma the Ice Queen, Emma Frost, the White Queen.

"An X-man found Sharon, promised to help her find me, and /made good on that promise/. So I entered detox, cleaned up my act and re-evaluated some of the decisions I made." Her gaze shifts between all three ladies present. "I want to try to be better, to find a better way to do things." A shrug. "I'm no angel, but I don't have to be the Devil herself."

A faint smile then to Diya. "Of course, if they're qualified, jobs are available, help needed. This is not an island, I was very particular about where I chose to build it. We want to help the community, indeed, I'm working with others to help restore the infrastructure at Mutant Town, it will take time. Transit will take time, but steps are being taken."

Sharon nods, "DoctorFuzzyHank. MotherMotherFrost had Catseye go to school DoctorHank teaches at while MotherFrost pulled her life together. But was not happy there and feel it left Catseye… unprepared for dealing with the real world. This school will try to avoid both sets of mistakes." She considers, "RoseRed is on custodian staff, is from Mutant town… And one of cafteria staff lives near the Pho restaurant." Rose O'Malley is a very minor mutant, her scent always smells like flowers, which flower shifts by her mood. A thing of amusement or annoyance for mutants who rely on scent. And the other, well, Catseye doesn't know him, just can smell what neighborhood he lives in. "Just started few days ago… give them a few weeks, then ask what they think of school?"

Diya glances up at Lexi for some reason, though - as usual - she says nothing. Just a meeting of gazes, and intent consideration.

Hunter continues to listen, and weigh, and judge. That is her place. Her purpose. She is here; others are not. So she is the 'woman on the ground,' and must make her own judgements. Finally, she lifts her gaze again to Emma. "Remind. Mutant Town. Not blend. 'Qualified' not like flatscans. Papers." There's a gentle derision to her tone, more felt than communicated, for the 'system'. Not for Emma, or Catseye, but for the discrimination that 'her people' face.

Proof of her words - quite a lot of them, for Hunter - as Diya points to Lexi. "Brilliant." She doesn't say 'but no damned diplomas'. She doesn't need to, does she? C'mon, these are smart people, right? Don't they get it?

A faint curl to expressive lips. "Qualified." Emma insists. "As in 'able to do the job', the rest of it can be managed /after/. I don't care about diplomas as such, though I DO offer all the staff considerable perks regarding their education. This school is not a university, or rather not ONLY a university. It offers classes for all age groups, it offers classes for people with special needs, it offers continuing education and GED programs." Emma meets and holds Diya's gaze, her aura of fear spiking her emotions, yes…but her will is /obdurate/, she gives NO other signs she feels anything at all.

"I /meant/ it when I said we want to be part of the community, Hunter. I /meant/ it when I said our mission is one of inclusion. That said…if applicants cannot do the jobs needed, they will be turned away for people able to perform, THAT is my criterion. Anything else, -everything- else follows that."

Sharon qualifies, "Able to do the job, and right attitude." She smirks, "Catseye conducted several interviews in fur-form. Can deal with smelling fear, but not fear-hatred. And people who do not want to work for 'freaks' need not apply. No tolerance for wrong attitude. NONE. Do not want staff who sneer at those who look different, learn different. No matter how well can hide from most, children will pick up on attitude. Catseye and MotherMotherFrost are eliminating them from beginning."

Someone forgot to warn Emma not to meet Hunter's gaze. And the pale blue eyes of the platinum blonde are full of blazing challenge, which means Hunter cannot look away, cannot break the instinctual dominance that begins there. Yet Hunter is not driven by instinct alone, and her intellect tries to disarm this by instead asking a deceptively simple question. "How?" She points to Emma, and then Catseye. "Not run all. Cannot."

Lexi's ears perk slightly as she eyes Diya, then Emma, then idly reaches up and waves her hand between the two of them for a moment to break their eye contact with the air of long practice. "Don't look at her eyes. It's a predator response." she notes absently, frowning a bit at Diya. "Hah, me brilliant. I don't do classrooms n' books." She shrugs, holding up her hands. "NO point to 'em anyway, I alreayd know th' stuff I need ta learn."

A nod to Sharon's addendum. "Agreed, I considered that part of 'able to do the job', but quite right to clarify." Emma says with a fond smile to Cat. Emma /is/ a predator too, anyone who's ever seen her in a boardroom would absolutely agree. Emma is a Queen, and so is Diya - female cats being queens after all. Dominance though, that's a tough one, a tough win for either party as both are incredibly strong willed.

"No, we cannot run all the interviews, but it is policy that every applicant meet with me, and I am a very good judge of character. And it is policy that every applicant has to deal with security, badging and so forth, and that is reason to mandate that everyone meets with either me, Sharon, or both."

A nod to Lexi as she breaks that will contest, a nod of thanks. Emma isn't one to back down from challenges after all, no more than Diya is. And then a faint smirk. "That would fall into 'special needs', Lexi. There's more ways to teach than the standard classroom environment. But…between Hunter's hyper-acute and constantly racing thoughts, and your obvious intelligence, I'd say that you're selling yourself short." Wait, how would she know what is going on in Diya's head?

Catseye TOLD them MotherMotherFrost went into her head, showed her how to take smoothskin form, gave her language. Why does no one listen? "And as Security, Catseye can drop in anywhere on campus, anytime. No reason needed." She is very serious, "Catseye will also be keeping a nose on the students, for scents of being unhappy or desperate. Make sure get help, even if kits too stubborn to ask for it." Voice of experience, maybe?

Diya breaks off eye contact when Emma does, turning instead to regard the mauve mutant girl with her. She eats a bit more; she is still recovering from her substantial injuries tonight, and more food - especially more proteins and the right additional nutrients - is vital.

It is also best to assure that Diya does not reach ravenous; a truly hungry were is not one who is well-controlled, no matter her willpower. Instead, Diya considers Lexi for a while, and then pauses once more, wipes her mouth, and considers her next words carefully. As always.

"List. Needs. Wants." Diya inquires. Her people are unlikely to be much use, most of them, as teachers per se. Weather, perhaps, if he should choose it.But they have great talents. If they know what is wanted and needed here, then perhaps those interested will know to come here and seek those opportunities.

"….so we're helping them now?" Lexi says, frowning. "I dunno what we could give 'em that they can't already buy themselve,s from th' look of it." And she's…skeptical. In her experience, rich people do not usually actually help street people, they just give at Christmas and some other holidays and feel good about themselves for a bit.

Amusement, that's what Lexi's commentary spikes in Emma's scent. "You think I have always been wealthy? Oh no, Lexi, I have not. Sure, I was born to wealth, but my home life was less than supportive and wholesome. I ran away, lived on the streets, worked my way to what I have now without a lick of help from my family." Emma's smile is a bit hard, but intact. "I have washed dishes, slept in a tenement, when lucky enough to…eventually I got a job at the Hellfire club, as an exotic dancer. And that opened a few doors, in time."

Emma shakes her head. "But…enough of that." She moves back to her desk, tapping on the glass, and then printing out several pages worth of something. The document is looked over with a critical eye, and then Emma returns to the group, offering Diya the papers. "All the currently open jobs, and the qualifications needed."

Sharon says grimly, "And no 'college degree required' for jobs that don't actually require the degree and certifications. Is bullshit, and started to keep black people out of jobs." People think she's stupid because she doesn't talk quite right, when quite the opposite. And she reads, a lot. Much of it is political and rather radical… not surprising for a young mutant woman who is also Ace.

Handed papers, Diya again cleans her hands as well as her mouth and sits back to accept them. She eyes the sheets, then splits them in half and offers one set to Lexi. Then she glances once at Emma, and back down at her own set of papers … printed in Russian. Digital translations, but still comprehendible. Not as familiar with the discriminatory practices of which Sharon speaks, Diya still nods; that makes sense to her, she could believe people would do that given all else she has seen.

"Pay?" Hunter questions, but she sees it specified in the paperwork. She just wants to be sure that her people - that homeless people - can still get those levels of wages. That kind of money could enable those who no longer want to be homeless to get off the streets. But only if they will be accepted.

Diya considers this a good bit more, and then glances up at Emma again. "Hospital. Patients. Afford?" It's a direct challenge: will the hospital act like most modern American for-profit institutions of medicine? Or will it operate like many community hospitals, accepting those who cannot pay, and striving by every means necessary to treat them regardless of their financial status? Emma has the kind of wealth and influence here that could accomplish that. But so many would never even think to consider it, let alone choose to shovel the money into the system to make that work.

Lexi Haze takes the papers offered, frowning a bit as she starts skimming thruogh them. "..fuck pay, housing ta start." she mutters. "I mean, if ya don't already have a dorm type place for 'em. Or are plannin' one." She pauses and just….looks at Diya, then turns to Emma. "She says, in Diya speak, will th' hospital act like most modern American for-profit institutions of medicine? Or will it operate like many community hospitals, accepting those who can't pay, and striving' by every means necessary to treat them regardless of their financial status?" It is a beautiful yet highly compressed language, Diya speak.

"Equal opportunity, *actually* equal. Ability — not race, creed, socio-economic status, sexual orientation, faith, gender or any other criteria besides ability." A nod to Cat. "As we both explained, as the determining factors." Emma smiles then, mindful this time not to make eye contact, and in a similar vein not baring any teeth. "If hired any member of staff is guaranteed membership in the Horizon Credit Union. This includes access to checking and savings accounts as desired, and debit MasterCard, credit cards will take longer, but are also available as are loans, though credit is a factor." So, not a panacea, but an open door and FAR more than most would have done.

A faint frown at Diya's challenge, she's about to delve deeper when Lexi translates Hunteronian to English, with a nod from the Hunter to confirm the accuracy. "Ah." Emma nods. "Community, as I have stated more than once. If people cannot pay they will get any treatment that is needed, we'll find ways, will work with them to structure any sort of arrangement possible, but at the end of the day if a procedure is needed to save a life it /will/ be provided, regardless of means."

Catseye explains, "As non-profit hospital, purchases made for it, donations to it are tax deductible. As teaching hospital associated with school, measures that for profit hospital would be unjustified due to expense, can be justified as good for patient and good for students studying under the attending physician. Is not perfect, but is best we can do."

Hunter considers all of this, rolling it around in her mind. She is not going to reach a final decision here or now. But she evaluates now whether she feels she has sufficient information to ponder later. For now, she turns to Catseye briefly. "Pride, others, taken. Found in Zone. Converted subway station." She is delivering a dire warning; if Catseye is taking on the security of this place and its people, she must know that there are predators here, and some are very sneaking. "Tele-pop?

As a final moment on that commentary, Hunter reaches beneath her jacket, and fishes out … a small bright orange pistol, which she lays on Catseye's lap. No words. No explanation. Just here you go.

"Flare pistol. For signaling her." Lexi notes helpfully, looking through the paper packet she was handed idly. "Some crazy nutcase teleporter guy was kidnapping mutants and forcing them to fight in an arena, or to his genetically modified cyberdogs. So if ya find him, kill him reeeeeeal dead, pretty please?"

Thankful for the Lexi Haze Translation Service, Emma resolves to validate her parking! Or something. "Good to know, Sharon, that will be your call." Whether or not to use it. See? Emma can delegate. Emma does frown about the gladiators. "There's also a band of mercs, led by one Ulysses Klaue about and up to no good. The DeeZee is a fairly large place, there's a lot of undesirable elements that have moved in. That will change in time but I suspect that there will be growing pains, this is why we have such prevalent security. I take the safety of the students and staff very VERY seriously." The growl to her voice ample proof that Emma protects what is HERS.

No doubt that will strike a chord with Diya and Lexi, Cat already knew.

"If we find this person, yes, I think we can arrange for something more or less permanent." Like a feedback loop in his or her or its mind that lets them relive all the wrongs they've done, in graphic and unfiltered detail, for the rest of their life. That sounds about right.

Catseye nods to Emma. Then the comment of more or less permanent, and Catseye shakes her head with a smile. "MotherFrost can be very Cat. Including urge to play with food." Of course, it has nothing to do with real food, everything to do with the pleasure of laying the smack down when you have the power to do so. She looks at Diya and Lexi, "Want more to eat?" The wealth explains why she shows up randomly with food, generators and other needed things. The randomness of it, well, that's just being a cat.

Hunter gives a very brief but intense toothsome grin at Emma's very possessive, angry retorted statement to these threats. She approves. To Catseye, she merely says, "Call, Pride come." The tone of voice of her delivery somewhat changes the message, from 'If you call, the Pride will come' to something more akin to 'If you call, the Pride will slaughter every bastard they can find.' Not that this would surprise Sharon, but dealing with Diya is all new to Emma.

Hunter glances at Lexi, and shrugs. "OK." she answers. She's OK. She doesn't really need more food. She hasn't been shy about eating, and has been doing so pretty constantly since they arrived in this room. And she doesn't seem to mind the floor at all.

"Yeah yeah, you've got her axe an' my bow an' all that crap." Lexi says , yawning a bit, then remembering she no longer has a platter of sandwiches…because she ate it. She borrows some of Hunter's, munching as she says. "Seriously though, if ya wanna help without havin' ta do too much, fixin' up one of th' neighboring buildin' so people could stay safely in it would help a lot. Just shelter is a good start.

Emma grins back to Diya, her own predator shining through as they agree wholeheartedly on something, and then she nods to Lexi's comment. "Of course. I bought the lands /surrounding/ the academy, about a block radius, with that sort of thing in mind, actually. There is student housing, and now that the school is mostly done I can devote attention to some of the renovation and renewal plans I had, we'll start with the area of Mutant Town, I think, the DeeZee being a bit less regulated, and assuming the indigenous people don't mind such." This with a hint of smile to Lexi and Diya. NOT having to fight with the Pride would make that idea MUCH more feasible. AND provide new housing - win/win

Sharon nods, "Waiting for politicians to get it done, hell freeze over. Promise big when disaster happens, but after? Look at New Orleans, Katrina." Poorer neighborhoods still haven't recovered. Hell, the railroad tracks across the lower Mississippi haven't been restored. Want to take Amtrak from Florida to Texas? You have to go through Chicago!

"Make no homeless." Hunter responds, as she listens to all of this. Her greatest concern is that someone with this kind of power and intent, even out of sheer intensity and desire to do good and get it done, could bowl right over the less fortunate, taking up 'cheap, broken-down, worthless tenements' withe every intention of making things better … but end up displacing dozens or even hundreds of people in the process. 'Gentrification', she has heard some people call this. She does not want that in Mutant Town.

Hunter would detonate that if she found it happening in Mutant Town.

"Scout, carefully?" Hunter inquires of Catseye. She trusts Catseye to know how to look, listen, and sniff, and know what is what before anything else happens. Catseye would know that things that look like ruins can instead house dozens or hundreds of those in need. It's not Emma's fault, but standing there pristine like she is, that's hard to imagine she would stay aware of. Easier to trust the lioness.

Lexi Haze mmms. "I'll go see who's livin' there now then. MIght have drawn some people closer, with th' open campus an' stuff. Or they might have scattered. Never can tell." she admits, walking over to snag another sandwich to munch on.

Oh, Emma hasn't been homeless in a long while, more than half her lifetime ago. She has no illusions that she's the one to make sure of that. In truth it didn't even occur to her that she SHOULD worry about the existing homeless there, and that annoys her at herself, she should have. "Sharon will liaise with you, Lexi, pick a building, we'll start with one and go from there." A nod towards Diya. "With care." Emma is starting to wonder however if she ordered enough food! Goodness, she thought she had enough.

Gentrification is part of the plan, long term, the intention to bring in jobs and revenue to benefit the whole area, not just line Emma's pockets. She's not averse to turning a profit, not at all, but her intent is ultimately to /restore/ and renew, profits — important as they are, aren't the only game in town.

The trick is to turn Mutant Town into a good place to live without pricing it out of reach of the original inhabitants. Catseye has thoughts on that, she's studied the Black Civil Rights movement, the Gay Civil Rights movement…and the fates of traditionally 'other' neighborhoods when 'cleaned up'. There are plenty of theories on how to do it right, but little chance to put them into practice due to the fact that those who are 'other' rarely have wealth or power. Emma has both. Sharon nods. "Catseye will double check, and liaison with Pride. Not just rebuilding, but rumors and information. Keep us all safer."

Satisfied by the answers all around, Hunter nods. "Good." She is satisfied; her people, those under her protection whether Pride or not, will not be displaced. They will instead be given opportunity and hope, something often in short supply for those who are less than desirable. It is a truth that transcends any one country, any political system. It is a truth, however, that those with heart and ideals would rather see become a thing of the past by almost any means necessary.

Lexi considers Emma, tilting her head, her pointed ears tilting back slightly. "Fine. I'll buy the building." she says after a moment. "It will belong to th' Pride, an' we'll pay to fix it up ourselves. I can find people ta take are of that. Plenty of people whov'e done that kinda work before who need th' work out there." And there will be that level of independence from Frost and the campus that way. "Once tha'ts done we'll see about how things go.."

"The trick will be doing things so as not to displace the people, I don't want to price folks out of their homes." Emma says, unconsciously following Cat's reasoning, or perhaps subconsciously drawing upon it. She looks long and hard at Lexi, appraisingly. Her gaze is perhaps uncomfortably sharp, and then the woman nods. "Fine." Rising, she once more goes to the desk, and this time she prints out a map showing the campus, but also a yellow zone outside it that shows the area that Emma bought, it varies, but averages out to about a block radius as she said.

"Pick any building you want, we'll work out the details and then you can have your Pride Embassy." Which is a funny but fairly apt way of referring to it. It would be a island of 'Not Frost' in the area she owns on the border of Mutant Town, one wholly owned and run by them. It is a significant gesture of good will too, one that Emma didn't hesitate to make once she decided.

Catseye yawns, and shifts back into furform, curling up and tucking her tail over her nose. Is all fuss and bother over nothings now, posture and preening. Might as well nap.

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