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Apr 09, 2020 6:52 AM
A Serg makes an ill-advised deal for power
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One of the boys starts to say something in protest, the other boy elbows him and gives him a look. They both go and wander off in the direction of the flirty girl. 

Karen's still a little surprised by his, well, not looking at her breasts. And a little put out by her earlier revelation. But well, if he wants to try and be friends... "Karen. Nice to meet you." She sighs, and decides to go in a little deeper, with the standard "meet your fellow college student" patter, hoping that if he is straight, he won't think it means she's interested. He is attractive, she admits, but almost certainly not her type. "I'm here for the CS program," she tells him. "What are you majoring in?"

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"Architecture. CS, that's, what, computers? Pretty cool."

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"Yeah, computers. Software engineering. Programming. That sort of thing." She pauses for second, a little confused. "Architecture, huh. I've heard that's supposed to be pretty hard. What got you into that?"

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"Honestly? My parents decided they would be forever shamed if their kid didn't go to college, so they picked a school and a major and bought me a car as a bribe and they're paying me a slightly stupid amount of money to give it my best shot. Who knows, maybe I'll fail. School has never been my strong suit, I can't think sitting still."

On the other hand, architecture as a skill is going to be undeniably useful to him once he's got some land to build things on. He's kind of warming to the idea the more he thinks about it.

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Karen is mostly inclined to dismiss him as, well... She's not entirely sure. But certainly not as anyone very intelligent, just someone with rich parents who are making their poor child overreach, when he seems like he's much better suited for other things. Physical things, mostly. Not that there's anything wrong with that! But not necessarily anyone she'd want to make really good friends with. 

Still. His statement about not being able to think sitting still, and the way he acted, imposing himself and getting those boys off her back clearly meant he had some kind of intelligence. And maybe he'd learn better in a college environment, who knows? Regardless, he's the only person she's met so far who had treated her like an actual person, she probably shouldn't brush him off. And worst case she can always impress him with her intelligence by being just that much smarter than he. Even if it feels kindof hollow doing that to a maybe-disabled boy who wasn't given the right opportunities to grow.  

"Hah. Well, I hope they give you opportunity to move around when you learn in class. You might want to mention it to the teacher, they might have some things you can do that will help. Might try fidget toys too, if you never had? Have you? Do they help?"

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"Huh, I haven't," he says thoughtfully. "I should give that a shot. Thanks." He smiles. Making friends sometimes pays off in helpful suggestions, who knew?

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"Glad to help!" She says. And means it. What kind of awful schools and parents does this poor kid have? Rich ones, probably. And terrible ones. Well, hopefully she can help?

They seriously never tried fidget toys? Seriously? Ugh.

"Well," she asks, still trying to be friendly, mostly because he still isn't looking at her chest, wow, "if you're not a fan of school, what do you like to do? What kinds of things do you get up to?"

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"I'm thinking of getting back into ballroom dance!"

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...gosh, ok then. That makes sense. He's definitely built well for it. Or built well for something, anyways, dance would certainly be a thing. And also makes it much more likely that he's gay. Some part of her is disappointed at the realization, that she's being treated as a person because he's never going to be interested in her. Or see her as a rival. Oh well. A friend is still a friend, right? "Huh. That does sounds fun, I think? A lot more active than what I do, at least, I've never done anything like it. How'd you get into that?"

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"Oh, my parents signed me up for lessons when I was like twelve, and I kept up with it for a few years and then got out of the habit."

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...weird parents are weird. "Well, neat! It seems like something good to get back into." Karen really is curious what he's been doing in the interim that has him, that, well, well built. But she's way too polite/shy to ask. Well. Maybe she can direct the conversation to something more familiar. "Did you check what classes you have yet?" She asks. "Hopefully there aren't too many early morning ones. My only morning one is a math of CS survey course once a week which is annoying because I've done most of that stuff already, but they wouldn't let me test out. I was considering just skiping it, except for tests, but apparently they have a test each class. At least it's only once a week."

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"I'm not nearly organized enough to have taken a close look at my schedule yet, I barely remembered there was an orientation thing today. Wow, a test each class? That'd suck for me, I hope you're good at tests."

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"Well. More of a quiz really. A review of material from last week at the start of each class in lieu of homework, which normally I'd be a fan of, but, in this case when I know it all already..." She sighs. "But yeah! I've always enjoyed tests, especially math ones. Used to do math contests for fun back in school, it's always delightful to work your way through a tricky problem." Karen smiles wistfully. "That's honestly where I picked up a lot of this stuff up! That and just reading about it in books or on the internet for fun. I just really enjoy working my way through a complex and difficult problem, or seeing the clever trick in the brainteaser, if you know what I mean?" Karen blushes just a little. "Sorry, that might have been a bit much."

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"No, I think it's great! It'd drive me batshit, personally, but it's really cool that you can do that!"

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Karen blushes a little more. "Yeah, it seems like you're better at other kinds of things. Not that there's anything wrong with that! Your brain is just wired a little differently than mine. Honestly we're both probably wired a little differently than the norm. Which is kindof neat! And useful, if you can figure out what your comparative advantage is! And then hopefully make tons of money off of it."

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"Yeah, that'd be the trick. Well, if I never figure out how to cash in on who I am as a person, at least my parents are already rich."

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Karen snorts. "Well, that's true."

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It's at this point in time that the RA clears her throat to get everyone's attention. "Alright everyone! I think everyone should be here by now. Let's all get in a nice big circle of the middle of the floor here, and we can play a couple games to get to know each other." A couple people make audible groans. "I know, I know, these are always silly," she says. "And I know you all don't live together, like most of the other groups do. But we're going to be hanging out for the next four hours, and it'll be a lot more fun if we break the ice some! Plus it's good practice for meeting your other classmates. So come on, let's go! I'll go easy on you all, promise, and then we can get on to the important stuff."

A quick look around will show that several other people have trickled in over the past few minutes, but no one of particular interest. Bottle-blonde flirty girl now has several people in her orbit, but the person she's been concentrating more on still isn't paying much attention to her. The rest of the interesting folks are pretty much exactly where they were, doing the same things. At least until they start to get into a circle, just as the RA told them to. 

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Sure, he'll sit in a circle and play icebreakers.

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Karen will attempt to sit with Sean, not having anyone else in the group that she's really made friends with yet.

Rachel starts them off with two truths and a lie, which does elicit some groans from the rest of the group -- but she mixes it up in an interesting way. Rather than it being two truths and a lie, it's two truths, a lie, and a dream (something you wish to be true/something you plan to make true about yourself, but isn't yet true) -- and you can do any combination of 3 of those, which actually led to far more interesting and animated discussion about which things were which. Rachel's example is: "Plays basketball" (false), "owns a dog named ginger" (true), and "works out at the gym regularly" (dream). Of course, she still has them discuss/guess which is which. Once her turn was done, the RA tells them to introduce themselves with their name and major, and then, of course, the requisite three facts, true or dream or lie. (Rachel's major, she adds before they start to go around, is acting.)

The small scared boy's name is Elliot, and he's majoring as an actor. He seems to be very softspoken, and rather nervous talking about himself -- or possibly talking to a crowd in general. The most interesting fact about him is that apparently he grew up in Kentucky -- the other facts and dreams he had were rather straightforward, bland, and relatively obvious. He might have done better if he hadn't been so close to the beginning. He occasionally will speak up when they discuss facts about one another, but mostly continues to try and look small and keep to himself. 

The standoffish girl, Zoe, is a art major, specializing in pottery, of all things. Her lie was that she'd been working on that piece of gum for a whole day -- it was actually two days. She told two other truths -- one that she changed her hairstyle and color every couple of weeks -- and that she'd dated 7 different boys before college. 

The buff boy that the revealingly-dressed girl had been concentrating on had a dream, and two truths -- but his truth was that he was gay -- which he confirmed with a bit of a nod towards the girl, which made her turn a rather bright shade of red in embarrassment. 

Her name turned out to be Valerie -- and she was majoring in art history, which she went on to describe as "probably super easy" and "was really here just because her daddy thought she should have a college experience, y'know?" She didn't really seem to care about the point of the game, apparently a little steamed at the buff boy showing her up like that -- she mostly ranted for a minute about how her daddy could buy and sell the whole college, and was richer than the rest of the other students here, before Rachel stepped in and suggested they move onto the next person. 

Only one of the boys who had been hitting on Karen was a computer science major, interestingly enough -- the other was majoring in Architecture. 

And then, after a couple more students, it was Sean's turn. 

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"I'm Sean, I'm studying architecture for no good reason."

He's been trying to think of three questionable facts. It's hard because he doesn't really like lying and also because he could truthfully say he has magic powers and the temptation is incredible but everyone would think he was crazy. But now it's his turn and he doesn't want to hold up the game, so he just goes with the first set of things he can come up with.

"I own a Lamborghini, I've danced with a professional ballet company, and I got expelled from high school for lighting a teacher on fire."

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All of these obviously sound blatantly false to everyone -- but they've been playing this game enough to know that at least one of them has to be true. Everyone very quickly settles on the lighting the teacher on fire being the false one: "if anyone had ever done that, they wouldn't be allowed here!" "That sort of thing gets kids sent to juivie, not a nice school like MTC!" Most of the class assumes that the ballet company is real (something he did as a small child, probably) and the Lamborghini is a dream -- but Karen has the presence of mind (with a little bit of glitter in her eyes from being sure she's figured out the puzzle that no one else did) to put together the fact that his family is rich, and that he'd mentioned that his parents had gotten him a car as a bribe. When she brings this up to the group (without calling it a bribe, she doesn't want to make Sean look bad), most of the rest of the students are pretty dismissive about it, but Valerie comes to her defense. "Oh come on, that's totally the sort of thing my daddy would do for me. If his parents are rich that totally makes sense. It's obviously the Lamborghini". Eventually, everyone is settled on what they think, and the RA asks Sean to reveal the truth. 

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Sean grins the whole time they're discussing it, and laughs occasionally when someone makes a particularly ironic comment.

"The Lamborghini's real, professional ballet is a dream although I did take ballet as a kid and some of my classmates got to dance with a real company, and I was only nearly expelled."

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Karen smiles when she finds out she got it right, then opens her mouth a bit in shock when she realizes what he meant by the last bit. And then there's quite a bit of hubbub as the rest of the students clamor and demand to hear the rest of the story, some of them a bit scared, the rest disbelieving or morbidly curious or all three. Rachel cuts them off after a moment. "That sort of thing is often private," she says. "Only if he wants to tell us how any what it happened." She does give him a bit of an eye, though, one that implies that it's probably in his best interest to give a bit more of an explanation -- even if she is giving him an out. 

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"No, it's fair that people wanna know," he says. "All right, all right, I'll give you the story."

He smiles at Karen, because she picked up on the thing about the car.

"So, my philosophy teacher was kind of a character. He smokes, and he used to do Zippo tricks in class when he was bored. Most of the time I actually got along with him better than most teachers, but one time I'd finished an assignment on time for once in my life and I couldn't find the damn thing to hand it in and he refused to believe I'd done it and we got in a yelling match and the lighter was on his desk and I went for it. There was a real big fuss and I got suspended for a week and also they told him to stop having his lighter out in class. It is not really my proudest moment but it sure does make for a show-stopping icebreaker."

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