Kindred Spirits


ali_icon.gif emily_icon.gif

Scene Title Kindred Spirits
Synopsis Two girls, each with their own spark, make acquaintance on campus.
Date September 4, 2019

Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College is the only institution of higher learning in operation inside the Safe Zone. Competition to get into the college is fierce, with only 2,500 students accepted each year since its inaugural freshman class in 2016. Currently serving about 7,300 students, the school is equipped to serve about 10,000 by 2019. Arts, humanities, and sciences are equally represented. While some master's degree programs are offered, the school does not have any doctorate programs. Classes to educate SLC-Expressive people on the use of their abilities are free to Registered SLC-E citizens. Campus activities include the usual clubs, but athletics are purely intramural.

The campus itself sprawls across 20-some acres where tall, red-brick Georgian-style buildings loom over green lawns lined with elm trees. Built in the 1930s, the exteriors of the buildings look a little worn and torn, but within, the classrooms are brightly lit, clean, and modern. A lab of electric typewriters has been added to the library, and students are instructed to "save and save often" by signs posted in the computer labs.

In addition to the classrooms and dorms, a Performing Arts Center houses two venues; the Brooklyn Concert Hall has seats for an audience of 1,500 while the smaller theater, the George Gershwin, holds 500. Both venues may be used for community events if not in use by the college.

With the skies slightly clouded, yet still warm and bright, the open areas of Brooklyn College are an ideal place to relax and study. A trio of young men throws a blue frisbee around in the yard back and forth, while a young woman sits up against a tree, thumbing through a biology book with a folder in her lap. With the fall classes just starting up, the campus is bustling with activity, at least on the pathways, in some areas, though, the open areas, it was quieter. The young woman mutters quietly under her breath before a stray throw suddenly hits the tree above her head.

“Hey, be careful!” she complains, dropping her book in the shock and spilling papers onto the grass, papers which get caught in the wind and start to drift away as she scrambles after them.

All her notes!!

The young men don’t seem inclined to help, just laughing at her as she scrambles after them, crawling on all fours.

The sound of the paper tumbling toward her stops Emily in her tracks, her trip to the administration building coming to a pause. Brow lifting as she sees what’s happening, she pre-emptively crouches to prepare for the oncoming papers, picking up one, and lunging to the side with an audible “agh” to reach for the other in time. Helping resort the papers out in her hand by touch alone, she comes back to her feet with a hard glance shifted in the direction of the boys that were laughing, hair framing the side of her face to make the stare even more severe than it otherwise might be.

The ice in her gaze eases as she turns to the young woman that had been tumbling after the paper, turning the handful she’d recovered back out to their rightful owner. “Between ants and pissants, you might have a better time studying at one of the cafes nearby. Some even have outdoor seating.” Emily shifts a glance the boys’ way one more time before looking back, apologetic even though it isn’t her apology to be making.

The young woman scrambles after the papers, gathering them up and looking relieved when someone moves to help rather than laugh. “Oh thank you,” she says earnestly, a smile on her lips as she stuffs all the notes back into the folder, looking toward the young men who have now finished their laughter and gone back to their game. They certainly aren’t going to help. “I don’t mind ants. I like fresh air. It helps me think.” She laughs at herself in an embarrassed manner, reaching to push a lock of dark blonde hair behind her head. In the sunlight it almost looks reddish.

“A cafe is probably a much better idea. Not likely to get hit in the head with a stray frisbee in an outdoor cafe.” She raised her voice as she says that, and the boys heard it, only one of them looking at all apologetic. One of the other two yells back something about how she belongs in a library.

“Thank you, though. It would have sucked to lose all my notes. Do you have Marten?” One of the Biology Professors in the school, a general education class that most students need to take, but he wasn’t the only one.

To each their own. Emily can sympathize somewhat to wanting to sit outside, at least. Her mouth firms into a small smile that persists as the other woman raises her voice, glad she's standing up for herself. The question pulls her attention back, brow ticking up. "Mar—? No…" she starts, slow and thoughtful. She shakes her head a moment later as she says, "I was planning on taking my science course next semester, though. Is he any good?"

Her weight shifts, glancing further down the path to the direction she'd been headed in. "I was actually heading to talk to an advisor about changing majors … but I'm pretty sure some kind of a science is a requirement across the board."

“Oh, he’s wonderful. He’s kinda old and a little weird, but he really knows what he’s talking about,” the young woman says with a smile, before taking all of her putting the stray papers away inside her biology book. With her hands freed up from the task of saving her notes from the first week, she sticks out her hand with a cheerful smile, “Thank you for the help. I’m Ali. This is only my second year here.”

Considering the school only reopened a few years ago. “I’m Majoring in Biology. But really more interested in Botany. Don’t care much for the cutting dead animals apart, but that’s why Marten’s good. He’s all about plants and trees and stuff, even if he teaches the base course, too. Which, yeah, I think you have to take. Just Public Speaking.” From the wrinkle of her nose that’s one required course she’s not looking forward to.

“What major you thinking of changing to?”

Emily has only a sympathetic nod at the description of the professor. To be honest, she's seen one or two professors who fit that description. Her brow lifts, though, when Ali strikes out her hand. Oh, this was more than just one of those conversations in passing? She tries to match the cheerful smile, managing only a small one in return.

"That's pretty cool, on both counts. Botany sounds interesting," she admits, then reaches out to shake her hand. "I'm Emily. I'm… thinking of switching to something that might do better in an IT field. Or like, electrical engineering or something." Her shoulders shift in a shrug, noncommittal but guarded. "I'm still not sure, but I'm good with computers, and I think it could be interesting? Also still fits my internship requirements."

Emily's smile turns a little lopsided as she brushes a lock of hair behind her ear so a breeze rippling through the campus doesn't toss her bangs into her line of sight. "SESA's internship has got a wide field of majors to choose from, at least." She shakes her head. "But anyway, it's just a consultation. Who knows, right?"

She lets out a small chuckle as she ventures, "Maybe the change would even get me out of that public speaking requirement."

“It really does,” Ali exclaims excitedly. “I’m planning on going for one of the Greenhouse internships, building stronger hybrids and disease resistant plants and all that stuff. But you should hear the Professor. He has a theory that what the place really needs? Is more trees. He thinks if the local government approved more greenspace with certain kinds of trees that the whole area would benefit from it. That the right trees will clean the groundwater and the contaminated soil and all that. He wants people to bulldoze all of Manhattan and fill it with trees.” From the sounds of it she thinks the idea is both silly and fascinating.

“Nice to meet you, Emily. Sorry I’m talking your head off.” she suddenly seems to have gained some self-awareness that maybe she’s being too friendly with a random fellow student, but not enough to stop, it would seem, cause she goes right back to that same subject. “I think it’s because of how good Park Slope and other wild areas are doing.”

She shakes her head again. “I’m not sure you can skip that, but you know the old thing about just pretending the audience is naked? Always worked for me. Once I stopped laughing. This guy studying here from Yamagato Park, Saitama, says you should draw a person on your hand and eat it, but I don’t get that one.”

After a moment, she adds on a question, “Are you going for one of the internships?”

Emily can't compete with Ali's excitement, nor does she try to. The outspoken enthusiasm for the topic of botany is only met with minute signs of encouragement, a slight lift of her brow here, a touch of something like a smile there.

At least until the matter of public speaking comes up. She tries to look supportive of the coping measure, but she utterly fails there. A briefly wondering look passes over her at the mention of Yamagato Park as if it's an entire other country— until she reminds herself it basically is.

The question on the internship pries her closer to speaking again, however reserved it might be. "I…" she starts a bit guardedly, glancing off before back to Ali again. Her eyes crinkle with an apologetic tinge. "I've— actually got it already. I started it at the beginning of this year. There wasn't any application process, they somehow were looking through a pool of candidates and it just…"

Her look darkens as she quietly supposes "happened." with all the tone of someone who suspects something else was also at play. She sighs shortly and tries to bring the conversation back around to a brighter topic; have herself be some semblance of an enjoyable conversation partner.

"That's really awesome, though— a Greenhouse internship. Is that through, like, Raytech or something? With that plant or whatever they built out in Jackson Heights?"

“Oh. Well that’s cool,” Ali has to admit with a surprising raising of her eyebrows. It’s obvious she wishes she had been found for an internship that easily, but she doesn’t look jealous exactly, more genuinely happy that it was that easy for someone else. “Maybe mine will be that easy, but I’m applying to a few places. The Raytech, thing, I don’t know if it’s for them, but they’re kind of affiliated with Yamagato right? So maybe it is. I’ll be happy if I get in on any of the projects, to be honest.” And from the way she says that, not only for the credits that will go toward her major, but for the sheer experience.

She opens her mouth to start saying something more, but then a very tall man walks by in a black, well-ironed suit with a hat that looks old fashioned. Gaunt pale face, cold eyes, and so very tall. Well over six feet.


“Oh look, it’s Doctor Marten! I gotta go, I need to check with him about my class project. But it’s so nice to meet you, Emily! I hope we meet again.” She offers a beaming smile, but doesn’t even wait for a full response before she’s running toward the tall man and calling out, “Professor Marten, Professor wait.”

He does wait, looking down at her as they continue on, talking while they go, excited sounds of Ali met with deeper quieter sounds that don’t carry nearly as well.

Emily finds herself watching as they go rather than continuing on, her gaze lingering on the tall man in particular as the enthusiastic student chatters along and follows after him. A crease in her brow appears, mulling something over in silence before she finally turns away.

It was still early in the semester. If Ali thought that highly of that professor, maybe it’d not be that bad to change her schedule to get the requirement out of the way and take his course in particular.


If she did, it sounded like she’d have a new friend to study with.

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