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First day of school

Posted on Sat Dec 17th, 2022 @ 9:59 by Claire Cavendish & Phoebe Hunter
Edited on on Sat Dec 17th, 2022 @ 10:15

Chapter: Prologue: Dawn of Avalon
Location: Avalon Institute, Main Courtyard
Timeline: Monday, 14th of September, 1992
1782 words - 3.6 OF Standard Post Measure

Sunny and warm days in Scotland were like the nation's national animal, mysterious and elusive. The heat and drought had left the loch around the institute at a low water level, and the smell of old mud seemed to permeate the air. It would only be a day or so before the rain would wash it away.

Claire wasn't a fan of the sun for numerous reasons, not the least of which was it basically nullified her special traits. Out in the sunshine, she was just some woman with purple skin and sensitive eyes. The car she had been expecting turned the last corner of the long winding road up to the institute's property. All it had to do was cross the bridge, and it would be at the gates. Her dark eyes, obscured by oversized dark sunglasses, followed the slow vehicle making its way across the loch. She wasn't quite sure what to expect from the visitor but hoped for a fruitful introduction.

Phoebe Hunter sat inside the car not at all sure if she was making the right move at all. She needed change, needed to do something that got her away from London and all the chaos that clung around MI13 and her own personal turmoil. She did not have the personality for politics nor the poker face for it which was most likely for the best as no one needed someone like that around at the moment. She pulled up to the mansion and let out a whistle as she parked the Ford Fiesta and got out.

The woman that stood there wore black doc martins with a skirt and smart shirt. It was not what she would normally wear but after ten hours of driving it was the best she had.

A small satisfied smirk adorned Claire's features as the woman getting out of the car let out an appreciative whistle. "Welcome to Avalon Institute, Miss Hunter." The purple hand she extended contrasted sharply with the crisp white blouse she wore over the black pencil skirt. "Did you have time to grab something to eat on the way here? London is a long way."

Phoebe took the offered hand and shook it firmly before reaching back into the car pulling out her radio controller, keys and bag. She did not think it would be the same in the middle of nowhere Scotland, but you just never knew who would take the chance on a newer car. She looked over the woman taking her in properly but the purple did not faze her in the slightest. After so long working where she did and her life before that you saw mutants from all different walks of life.

“The correct answer for this interview would be no but I am starving. I tried to make good time.” She said honestly. Her stomach would only betray her soon with a grumble which would make things honest.

"It's alright, we only have summer classes, some of the students and faculty returned home before the new year starts. I'm sure we have some food to spare in the dining hall." Claire turned and headed for the main entrance of the large castle that stood prominently on the small island. "We grow most of our food on campus. Vegetables, dairy products, fruits. Keeps us independent. Everything except for meat."

The pale woman blushed at the kindness but followed her inside and looked around taking everything in from the way that silence surrounded them to the soft voices of children from somewhere inside. “Impressive.” Phoebe said genuinely impressed that the place held that type of thing. “Maybe I will try my hand at butter making as a history class.” She commented with a laugh as they stepped inside.

Claire smiled, it was good to hear she was already considering this a done deal, got some pressure off her to convince the woman to join them. "The kids here come from difficult situations, they've suppressed their true nature. Depending on their home situation, it can be very traumatising. By giving them something practical to do we try and give them purpose in their day-to-day life. It's also a golden opportunity for them to explore the positive effects of their abilities." She led them to the dining area and stepped inside, the only three students there were spread out in the room reading a book. Breakfast was already done and it was slightly too early for lunch at the moment. "Please, take a seat, I'll get us something to eat from the kitchen. Any allergies?"

Phoebe looked at the three teenagers as her appearance there attracted some attention and she heard the muttering of ‘new teacher’. “T… No allergies.” Phoebe assured biting her tongue to avoid saying that the leftover pizza would be fine but stopped herself as she did not know this woman other than Wisdom telling her it would be good for her and them. Claire Cavendish might not appreciate her choices being made for her because of her being able to see what she would pick.

It took almost fifteen minutes for Claire to return, and when she did she was holding a plate with a freshly baked omelette on toast, with cheese and some lettuce served off to the side. The tray she was carrying also held a tall glass of water and orange juice. "Sorry, all that was left was yesterday's pizza, I had the cook prepare you a quick brunch." She put it in front of Phoebe with a smile.

Phoebe nearly said that the pizza would have been perfect but stopped herself and just ducked her head and blushed. “It was more than I needed. But I appreciate the trouble. I will thank the cook later on.” Phoebe said rising from the chair she had taken and watched the teenagers watching her. “Are we okay to eat here or would you like to go somewhere else?”

"We normally eat back there." Claire pointed at a larger table at the back of the room. It was still very much in the same dining area so moving seemed pointless. "Keeps us in touch with the students. Do you have any experience in education?"

Phoebe nodded and took the tray sitting on one of the seats before answering. It was a good question and she had good answers. "I do. You know my profession from Wisdom so you know what I am capable of. Well, when you are young you are perfect to investigate universities and the like. I investigated a university for anti-mutant activities and got a history degree and a qualified teacher learning and skills status. Added bonus, but I will be truthful this would be my first teaching setting outside of my course."

"We have a lot of experienced people here that can help you get settled in." Claire had thought she might've needed to do a bit more persuading during this conversation and the fact that this wasn't the case took a load off her shoulders. "Just out of personal, and perhaps a bit of professional, curiosity, how does your gift work?"

“Ah...” Phoebe said paling that the woman really did know about her abilities and was asking how it all worked. She put down her knife ad fork. “It is like I have rivers around me. Some trickle by and I can ignore and then sometimes whether it is by my choice or by accident I get a river that bursts its banks and cannot be ignored.”

"I'm sorry, I should perhaps clarify, I studied and now teach ethics and philosophy and abilities like your own really throw a wrench in some of the established views on morality." Claire pushed a strand of hair away, she had considered the ethical implications of her own abilities on almost a daily basis, and actually used them as an example in her own classes. "These rivers that you describe, they represent possible actions or outcomes?"

“Both. But I have my own ethics in that I do not reveal them and MI13 are actively looking at technologies to assist with blocking it out. I could have told you the pizza would have been fine but that would not have given you free will or any choice in the matter. And really this is nice.” The redhead said indicating the food as an example of her own check and measures.

Claire's purple skin darkened as her cheeks flushed. It wasn't something she had considered as part of the other woman's abilities. "I'm glad you're enjoying your meal." There was so much more she wanted to know about the abilities and the ethics, and the limitations. But she thought better of asking it, immediately wondering if in some timeline she did ask and that Phoebe would still know about her desire to ask. The implications were too much to handle for her so early in the morning. She sipped the cup of tea she had made for herself. "Wisdom seemed very sure of himself that we'd be aligned in our vision, but truth be told it seems the..." She quickly checked to make sure there wasn't any eavesdropping, "... developing situation in London makes me feel like we might need you more for your other skills than your teaching degree in History."

Phoebe nodded. She had believed that herself but she did not want to think to highly of herself in a vastly developing situation. London was a mess and who knew how long it would take to reach Scotland or if it ever would. “I like to believe this might be a two way street. I need away from wisdom and his people and you need my other skills. I am to gather there are others with my unique set of skills here with the same alternative role?”

"Let's just say that there are some fairly enthusiastic amateurs." Claire couldn't wholeheartedly say that there were people there at the same level as Phoebe. "How about I give you a tour of the facilities? That might give you a bit of an idea of what we're working with and what you'd be getting into in case we both feel there's a mutual benefit to a partnership."

“Fairly enthusiastic amateurs are a start.” Phoebe took that as a hint and quickly finished up her meal. It was delicious and absolutely what she needed to wake up and carry on with her change of life route. She put everything back on the tray once finished and put the tray in the location where it looked like everybody put their plates to be cleaned. She turned back to the new headmaster and nodded. “Lead the way then.”


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