Studmeisters and Smoothies

* It's a sunny fall day at UIUC, in the year 2070. There hasn't been a peep of anything extremely weird since Tina's quick thinking in her computer lab. The student is under "academic evaluiation", but it's debatable on wether he's going to be really -booted-, or perhaps shifted to another college. UIUC's campus is slowly gearing up for halloween festivities. And Tippy, after her classes for the day, but before her Lab shift, has a chance to burn off some stress at the local House-Of-Pain (aka, the local Aerobics/Gym).

* Tippy contemplates the best devices of torture at the local House Of Pain, and goes for something reasonably low-impact.

* Well, actually, she also does some punching of a bag there, pretending it's a random Shedite of the Game in addition to her cardio-kickboxing...

* The Gymareobics center is decently well-equipped, and she can find some of the lower-impact equipment easily, and good for bleeding off stress. There's spotters, medics on-site, and it gets good business from both those from campus, and those who might be from elsewhere in town...

* Several of the more... ahem... beginning female members of the gym regard Tina slightly enviously at her trim form, wishing -they- could be that thin. Some of the guys ogle, and some are just too involved in their workouts to notice.

* TinaMP hums idly as she punches on said imaginary Shedite, grabbing it by what are whatever the naughty bits on a Shedite.

* New Bright Lilim with Action Kung Fu Grip!

* The punching bag weathers the blows stoically, but you can just imagine the Shedite getting its... well, we won't go into that ... bits truly tortured.

* Meanwhile, there's a bit of a clatter as some rather heavy weights are put on a barbell, and a spotter can be heard asking for confirmation on the weight.

* One of the girls, a woman Tina knows from some of her classes ... an engineering student named Zoe with chestnut curly hair and glasses ... looks over at Tina. "Hey, Tina... have a bad date?" *slight grin*

{TinaMP} . o O (Quit slobbering, please, and I cheated, so please, I really don't want to see your Needs, guys. You can have this figure if you get it tooled by a Space Alien, sorry, Boss...)

* Zoe blinks at Tina. "Yo Terra to Tina? Yo, hackergirl, pingack...."

{TinaMP} {automatically} Pong! Hi Zo! No, just burning off stress. {grin} Stupid stinking filthy evil calc...

* Meanwhile there's a bit of clatter as weights are added to a barbell and a spotter confirms that whoever's doing the pressing really wants that much weight.

{TinaMP} {absently} Somebody's being masochistic on the iron, aren't they?

* A deeper voice gives an affirmative, and its owner starts bench-pressing the thing.

{TinaMP} How you, Zo?

* Zoe chuckles, wiping her glasses before replacing them. "Stress is good. Calc is good. You want help on that, I breezed through it two years ago..." She glances over. "Masochistic, maybe, but..." *whistles* ", he looks like he can handle it." She grins a bit.

{TinaMP} You suck, Zo. {wry grin} And hmmmmmm? What, what he cute? {perks up}

{Zoe} And me? Eh, I've got a Statics Structures project to work on 'fore midtems finish. And oh, -definitely-. Yummy, but he's -gotta- be outta my league... -look- at that build, Girlfriend! *she glances over at the bench-presser*

* Indeed, the lifter seems to be in very good shape, at least from this angle, with a long mane of black hair. Obviously he's having no trouble at all with that triple-digit weight.

{TinaMP} Wheee. I just have to take care of all the little undergrad snotlings in the lab trying to render up nekkid chicks, and I have a project due in a couple weeks.... {trails off....} Wanna see! {peeks around the punching bag she was tormenting}

* The lifter finishes a long series of presses and the impressed spotters take care of the barbell. He stands up and stretches a bit, and yes, he's in very good shape, if those pecs and abs are any indication at all.

* Zoe whimpers. She also wipes off her glasses again -- must have been steam from allt he sweat. Yeah, that's it.

{Zoe} Mary mother of god... talk about your heavenly bodies, Tina....

* There is a very, very, very quiet 'hrk' from Tina's direction.....

{TinaMP} ....mummy...

{TinaMP} . o O ( I will not drool. I must not drool. I refuse to dro...oh my.)

* The man sits in a chair nearby and grabs a really heavy dumbbell for some arm curls. Shows he's got really good muscle tone in his arms, and his legs aren't half bad either.

{TinaMP}, zo, you enjoying yourself, too?

* Zoe nodnodnodnods, rapidly. "...oh yes oh me oh my but god he's -so- out of my league, tina...."

{TinaMP} ....we can windowshop though....oh boy, can we windowshop...

* The man seems to have noticed he's being observed, and stands up again, facing in the general direction of the windowshoppers and going through a few bodybuilder poses, a thin film of sweat on his body.

{TinaMP} {muttered} Showoff. {doesn't seem to be minding}

{Zoe} *mumbled* windowshopping is good. showing off is good. being murdered by pirates would suck 'cause then we wouldn't be able to windowshop someone showing off. *doesn't seem to mind, either...*

{TinaMP} {mumbled} and wouldn't be able to have extremely dirty fantasies about windowshopping those that show off what deserves being shown off...

{Zoe} *mumbled* tina, if i tried to render -him-, would i lose my account? just a hypothetical question here....

{TinaMP} {m} I could be persuaded to be lenient....long's you give me a copy...

* The man stretches one last time, popping a couple bones back into their correct position, then grabs a towel out of a leather gym bag and gets rid of some excess moisture.

* TinaMP whimpers, very slightly.

{Zoe} *m* i'll see what i can come up with, then.... and you're on.... *whiiimper*

* The rest of the gym continues with its usual routine, though pretty much -every- femme in the place was glancing at the guy with the pecs at one time or another...

* TinaMP glances at the guy with the pecs lots. And lots.

* TinaMP is, however, regaining enough very marginal function of brain to try and catch his eyes, even in passing...

* The man picks up the rest of his gear, and as it happens he looks directly at the cute ladies over by the punching bag, giving a quick wink.

{TinaMP} . o O (Glb.)

{Zoe} . o O (Mrb.)

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 11 (6 1 4).

* TinaMP sort of maybe resonates. Or something. She's too busy ogling the Very Good Views though.

* The buff guy needs to figure out who exactly whacked his buddies, forced his teammate to Lie, and send them all to Hell where they belong. Need to tell a certain redhead she's cute, too.

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 16 (5 5 6).

* And to the Guy with the Pecs, the three most noble things things the cute Philipina with the blue-dyed hair have done in the past year become plain as with the Libertarian party voting signup drive, thwart a hacker the other week, and make sure that a fellow Sister over in Animals gets the Laurence photo op in the most recent mag so Jordi won't find out.

{TinaMP} . o O (Aw...redhea.... {piku} ...gwah...hooboy...)

* Zoe is clueless to all zis rezonatin' goin' on! She just admires.

* The guy seems to pause for one second, still looking at the cute Philipina, then gathers up the rest of his gear and heads for the locker room.

* And on the bit with the hacking...the the fact that Boss appreciated it.

* He looks thoughtful as he leaves, btb.

* TinaMP seems to blink a lot. And go guh still, but there is a lot of blinking.

* Zoe recovers as the guy exits, sighing. "Ohwell... our last chance for romance for the day has gotten hosed... um... Tina?" *sigh* "Control-Alt-Delete, Tina Manoa-Perez."

{TinaMP} Bong!....

* TinaMP looks rueful.

* Zoe crosses her arms, looking wry. "That's second time today you've zoned on me, Tina. I think it's time for some tuning up of your hardware with a smoothie."

{TinaMP} Smoooothiee.... c'mon, he was worth zoning over!

{Zoe} Hey, I'm not debating -that-.... *grin* Just that if you're planning to take -him- on, you're gonna need to buy climbing gear! *pause* ... not that it wouldn't be -worth- it....

{TinaMP} Oohhhh yeah... {seems deeply thoughtful on this subject}

{TinaMP} . o O (Fellow Celestial, sure of it...buuut...)

* Zoe hrms. "Well.... while -you're- still standing here in a postive feedback loop, I'm gonna go get changed and see if I can't catch him on the way out of the Gym...." She winks and grins, picking up her own towel.

{TinaMP} Heeey!

* TinaMP's competitive instincts are inspired, and she darts for the locker room.

* Zoe darts in, with.

* The gym's female locker room is the usual, well-facilitated with gymnastic women getting changed and not-so-gymnastically-inclinded women looking enviously at theiur more fit peers.

* TinaMP is already trying to strip down at least a bit, dashing for the shower even as she does so. This causes some comedic hopping on one leg as she does.

{TinaMP} . o O (One does not stink when hitting on cute guys.)

{Zoe} Whoah, careful there girlfriend, don't want to crack your case on the tile... *she too, is quickly getting undressed for a shower, too*

{TinaMP} Well, some things are worth dying or suffering physical injury for!

* Zoe chuckles. "Too true, too true... like a world-class bridge that'll stand for centuries with your name on it...." She smiles, and showers, quickly but thoroughly.

* The occupants of the male locker room go about their business, obviously unaware of these goings-on.

* Much to their pity. Awwww.

* TinaMP showers as well, rapidly, probably also producing much sorrow amongst the men who don't know what they're missing. Sorry, no fanservice.

* Zoe gets cleaned off, toweled off, dried, and finally clad in thick brown sweatslacks, and a pullover ribbed sweater in UIUC's Engineering Colors.

* TinaMP hops around amusingly some more, donning black sweatpants, a iridescent bluish vest, and a dark blue turtleneck underneath.

* Zoe gets her duffel and packs her workout and cleanup stuff in it, slinging it over her shoulder. "Beatcha!" *grin* *Wink* *slip out the door to the lobby....*

* TinaMP gggrs a bit and zips out after her, loping with her own schtuff.

## MServ rolled 3d6 = 8 (2 2 4).

* The lobby is relatively full, as people are coming, going, signing in, as the evening crew is filing in after work or afternoon classes... but to the perceptive, it could just be possible to spot a rather buff bodybuilder....

## MServ rolled 1d2 = 1 (1).

* Who accidentally runs into Tina.

{BuffGuy} oof!

{TinaMP} . o O (Hoonga) {whuff} OopOW Sorry! er...{glrk} Um... hi!

* Zoe, who was a little bit ahead, notices the lack of her companion, and backpealds. "Yeep! You two okay?"

{TinaMP} . o O (Well, this is either embarassing, serendipitous or both. I'm not sure which.)

* The bodybuilder, btb, has changed to a black leather jacket, t-shirt and jeans that still show off his physique rather well.

{TinaMP} {automatically} I'm fine!

{BuffGuy} Hi yourself. And yes, I'm fine. *wg*

{TinaMP} . o O (Okay, so where do I go from here. I'm supposed to have good social skills, right?)


{TinaMP} . o O (No, 'hi' is too redundant.)

* Zoe tries not to ogle and be too jealous of her friend and her close proximity to the leather studmeister. "Sorry 'bout that, sir, she's just got her head in some distributed cloud structures...." She smiles.

* TinaMP mimes a bap at Zoe.

{BuffGuy} I was just about to ask about that. My name's Ian, by the way.

* TinaMP then razzes her, cutely.

* TinaMP immediately whips her head back around. "Oh! Heya, Ian! I'm Tina, and this is Zoe. She's the cute one."

* TinaMP grins.

* Zoe blushes, a cute blush reaching her cheeks, and she cleans her glasses again (clearly a habit). "Look who's talking, Tina.... and hello, Ian." *smile*

{Ian} Yes, well, you're both very lovely, as far as I'm concerned. *grin*

{TinaMP} . o O (And there was much rejoicing! Okay, brain, think...)

{TinaMP} Oh, yay! Er....

{Zoe} Thank you! *blush* *smile* So, you new around here?

{TinaMP} . o O (Oh yeah, good social skills, really, hah. I *knew* I should have spent more time out of the labs in Tartarus before...)

{Ian} Yeah. On vacation right now so I've been wandering around the country looking for stuff to do.

{TinaMP} . o O (I'd think I'd have noticed a bod like that before...down, Tiphareth...)

{Zoe} On vacation, huh? *she hrms* ... well, Tina 'n I were going to break for a smoothie.... if you want to come along and have one too, I'm sure we'd be interested in hearing about where you've been... right, Tina?

{TinaMP} Huh, so where do you work? And um.... {looks very distracted, and blink} Oh! Yes, um...right! {nodnodnodnods Ramonaesquely} You'd be welcome to come along!

{Ian} *considering for a moment* Sure, why not? This is some of the nicest company I've had in quite a while. *smile*

* Zoe chuckles. "The SmoothieRama's just down this way a couple blocks... since you're new in town, just follow along..."

{TinaMP} Oh good, we're glad indeed. {grins, sunnily} And yup. Couple blocks down on Green Street.

* Ian nods, shoulders his pack, and is ready to follow the lovely ladies.

* TinaMP grins, hoists her duffel, and leads the way. Incidentally providing him with a nice view of her posterior, but hey, Brights aren't sometimes known as 'Gifters' for nothing...

* Never let it be said that Ian is not appreciating this particular Gift.

* TinaMP is *darn* glad he didn't say he didn't. Or something of that nature.

* Zoe leads the way, smiling to herself, her good deed taken care of for the day, and hey, if she can enjoy it at the same time, why not? ... and we fork on this scene for the day.

* Several blocks later, Zoe, Tina, and Ian make their way to the SmootheRama -- an UpscaleRetro serving place of yummy healthfood edibles... such as smoothies made out of just abouty every fruit imaginable.

* Tina perks up, picking up her pace, feeling the Need for Smoothieage after the day.

{Ian} Somebody must be hungry. *wg*

* Zoe grins, holding open the door for the two stragglers as they reach the SmoothieRama proper. Inside is well-lit and clean, and lists and lists of smoothie types line one wall. "Well... I'm gonna go for a Rainforest blast... And Tina? Hungry? Naaaaaah. She's wasting away to the bone..." *wink*]

{Tina} Hey, it was a draining workout, and *you* try listening to LaPlante drone away in Grad Seminar for two hours and see how *you* feel after that.

* Zoe winces a bit. "Gah. My sympathies...." She goes and gets into line.

{Tina} Yeeeaaaaah.... I....think....I'll have Same Again. That being a Pina Colada.

{Ian} Pina Colada. Sounds like a good choice.

* Tina imitates a very monotonic older female voice. {drone} "And today we're going to be discussing the construction and architecture of the major types of contemporary expert systems I hope you will be taking notes..."

* Tina twitches.

{Zoe} You keep that up, and they'll never learn to expect the unexpected from you, Tina... One large Rainforest Blast, please? ... At this rate, you're going to replace your bloodstream with Pina Colada.... *she grins, arching an eyebrow at Ian's choice, and shifting down the waiting line* ..... gyaaaaaaaahhhhh.

{Tina} Traces of blood in my Pina Colada stream, Zo. Can't have it.

* Zoe chuckles, as the servers behind the counter do evil and horrible things to fruit and ice and syrup, but all in the name of healthy drinks. "Of course. It'd mean the end of the world if it did. Heaven forfend, you might need to have a -transfusion-..." *wink*

{Tina} Ew. No. Armageddon bad. Bad. Not good. Bad. So I'm given to understand.

* Ian snickers a bit, looking faintly wry.

* Tina looks utterly ignorant at the wryness. Really.

{Zoe} Nah, they'd have to wait until I finished my Thesis Project in a couple years... and wait until I get off planet... and get married... and... *wry grin* Thank you!

* Zoe accepts her 32 oz Rainforest Blast Smoothie, after doing the thing of currency exchange via cashcard.

{Tina} Oh good. Because I've heard generally that when the rivers turn to blood, they become kind of unpotable.

{Ian} *nods* Too salty.

{Tina} Unless you're a vampire.

{Zoe} What, they don't have Filters that can pull that sort of thing? .... ewwwwww.

{Tina} Isn't it? {grabs her own Pina Colada} And my, isn't the conversation getting really, really appetizing?

{Tina} Hey, Zo, why is it our conversations always seem to inevitably turn to the gross?

{Zoe} I think Gwynn's planning to go as a Vampire this year for one of the parties, if she can make it, but I've been tied up with projects..*wry look* ... dunno, because we live in a gross, weird world? *grins*

* Zoe leads the way to a windowside table, that shows the city outside slowly beginning to reach evening... mmmmm... what a beautiful sunset... "either that, or we're secretly perverted...."

* Ian looks wry again, focuses on the business of ordering Pina Colada and doing the cashcard thing.

{Ian} I dunno, you seem like upstanding honorable citizens to me. *g*

{Tina} Oh? I'm goin' as Faye Valentine. But it still doesn't explain the one time we were up until 3 on Friday night going into detailed descriptions on exactly how many years we've left some of the contents of our fridges in there.... {arches eyebrow at Ian}

{Zoe} Well, I'll see what I can slap together, then... *sits* Perhaps something from the 1800's? I could get a lot of the weight off the dress with a good interior truss....

{Tina} Oooo...that very well could do, yes...

* Ian arches an eyebrow back at Tina.

{Zoe} I mean, come on. -Whalebone-. WHALEBONE. Sure, its tensile strength is decent, and flexible, but it's not environmental, it's restricted, it's got a bad habit of splintering, and tou can't even -crossbrace- the stuff.....

* Zoe slurps her smoothie. "And the fridge thing... I think that was 'cause somebody wanted to see if they'd evolved enough to be used in a BioSci project one of us had..."

* Tina gives Ian a "Don't worry, she gets like this!" good-natured expression. "And plus, there's a damn sight better of materials these days that do a much better job. And I still say mine had developed a civilization."

{Zoe} Is that why Nigel was poking around there with the little microphone trying to get soundbytes?

{Tina} Oh, yes. The bacteria had developed writing.

{Zoe} That explains his semester project last year.

* Zoe slurps more.

{Tina} Oh?

* Tina gnorks down a large amount of smoothie, happily.

* Ian adds nothing for the moment, just does some slurping of his own.

{Zoe} Eh, something about bioengineering bacteria to grow in formation for writing.

{Tina} .... I don't want to know.

{Ian} So long as they don't play music.

{Tina} True. They'd likely play something obnoxious.

{Zoe} Knowing Nigel's musical tastes, it'd probably be the Thrashing Gnoberts. *she cleans her glasses, reflexively*

* Tina twitches. "Kill."

* Zoe nods. "RetroPunkSlash, and not -good- RetroPunkSlash at that. I don't think I'll -ever- get what they played in the '40's...."

* She obviously means the 2040's, of course.

{Tina} {vaguely} I sure didn't... Personally, if you want to go back to the roots, I'd prefer the Clash back in the nineteen eighties. But that's too fogeyish for most.

{Ian} Good music's hard to come by.

* Zoe shrugs. "Eh, my kid brother's into that time period... they had some -good- stuff back then... you guys ever hear of a band called 'Rush'?" *slurp*

{Tina} Yeah...Sturgeon's Law, ninety percent of everything is crap. And heck yeah. I like much of that.

{Ian} *nods* But every once in a while you run into something, or someone, from the other 10 percent and it makes up for all the rest. *wry look*

* Zoe raises her eyebrows. "Huh... I've known you this long and I didn't know you went into that. I'll have to snatch some of bro's flopticals when I'm home... I've got some copies of his stuff, but he's got a mondo-meg collection of late Twent Cent stuff...."

{Tina} Eyup. This is true. Sometimes the rarity makes the stuff more meaningful. And ooooo... Waaant. {grin}

{Zoe} He made a couple of mixes... I'll see what I can do for copying. *slight grin*

{Tina} Right. {grins}

{Tina} So, Ian...what do you do when you're not puttering around the nation?

{Zoe} MMmmmmmm.. *slurp* ... break girls hearts left and right at gyms? *wink*

* Tina coughs, going noticably pink under her light brown skin, and toes Zoe's shin under the table.

{Ian} *snicker* Well I try not to do that -too- much. And I'm a security guard. Protect stuff, pound on people who try to steal it, that kind of thing.

{Tina} Booting head good.

* Zoe giggles softly, looking truly innocent. Truly.

* Tina toes her shin again, trying to hold down a dirty look with much force.

* Zoe hms, idly, trying to hide her smirk with more slurping of smoothie.

{Ian} *nods* Pay's decent in the corp I work for... fair share of scumbags, but there's people there who knew what honor was all about. Hard to find good people in the corps. *wry, perhaps a trifle haunted look*

* Tina nods, looking up...then blinking a moment and looking sympathetic to him. "What corp, if it's not prying?"

* Zoe mmmms, listening to the convo.

{Ian} Arasaka Industries. That's about all I can say about it, though. *wl*

{Tina} Right, understood...I know how some can be about their research.

{Ian} *nods* Yeah, the Boss can be very specific about secrets getting out before they're supposed to, y'know? *wl*

* Zoe nods. "Yeah... I've heard from some of the undergrads that it's almost impossible to invterview these days for some of the firms around...." She hehs a bit...

* Tina blinks slightly, and nods a bit. "Yup, know how that is with corps.." {small wry grin}

{Ian} Z: Whatever you do, try and find good people to work with. Lot less chance of getting screwed over that way. *wl*

{Tina} Yeah....people who suck can be deluding. Usual interviewing procedure's letting 'em dangle anyway before making up your mind here anyway in Engineering.

* Zoe hehs a bit. "Oh, I have a few prospects lined up in some architectual firms, when I finally get my Doctorate... But that's a ways away. Maybe even go indy, if I can, but it"

{Zoe} it's up in the air, yknow? The great 'Merican Dream... *wry look....*

{Tina} Yup. But got *no* doubt you'll have people to pick and choose from. Frankly, you rock, girl.

{Ian} Z: Well, I sure hope you can make it happen.

* Zoe blushes a bit, but hehs. "Thanks, you two.... Now,t he trick is TO make it happen...."

{Tina} She can. Like I said, she rocks.

## Zoe rolled 3d6 = 12 (2 4 6).

* Zoe 's cellpager beeps.

{Tina} Hey, you're doin' okay so far. Says the person whose idea of studying for a test the night before is deciding to play way too much DungeonMud.

* Tina blinks, looking over.

* Zoe blinks, and rummages in her bag, pulling out her cellpager. She checks the number, her brow furrow slightly, and she opens it. "Yallo, and this had better be -good-...."

{Tina} Mrf?

* Ian arches an eyebrow.

* Zoe rolls her eyes, and rubs her forehead. ".... jesus mary and joseph... I -labeled- every -weld- you had to make in the CADs! It shouldn't have been that HARD! And now you're telling me Les has gone and addedd -crossbracing- where we didn't need it? Because of some dogy welds?"

* Tina facepalms.

{Tina} ....We have a crisis.

{Ian} Reminds me of the front office sometimes. *vwl*

{Tina} This is worse.

* Zoe takes a couple deep breaths. "... right... right... frothing like a rabid weasel doesn't do anybody good.... damn it, this is due before midterm, and if we have to rework the entire structure, I'm gonna use somebody's -spine- for a crossbrace." She then sighs.

{Ian} ... I think I like your style. *wg*

{Tina} {m} ...Hell, if I were her, *I'd* be frothing like a rabid of her project group is apparently being a nimrod.

{Zoe} Okay, right... yeah... well, it doesn't look like I have a -choice-, now do I? I'll bne over there in under twenty, and if Les has snuck off, use a grappling hook. Yeah, the one Pitor built last month for his applied ballistics. Thanks, Jan, for letting me know, though... yeah, I know it's not your fault. Better now and pull an all nighter than come in tomorrow afternoon and find it imitating the Tacoma-Narrows.....

{Ian} T: 90 percent... *swl*

{Tina} Yeah, yeah... {wry smile}

* Zoe sighs, and nods. "Right. Again, thanks. I'll be there 'fore the clock strikes Eight. Later, Jan."

* Zoe closes her cellpager, and clips it on the waistband of her sweatslacks, apparently having missed the rest of the byplay. "Well.... I've gotta be going and try to figure out the new uses for a spot wielder for maintaining project discipline. See you two later?" *wry grin*

{Ian} Do the right thing. *g*

* Tina facepalms. "Yeah.... Right. Big crisis I take?"

* Zoe nods, shouldering her bag. "WEll, if our group wants a passing grade intead of a big fat zip, then yes...."

{Tina} Ow....right... Later, then, Zo. Stock up on the 'feen.

{Zoe} Intreveinous, if need be. *she stands up, shouldering her bag, before leaning down to pat Tina on the shoulder.* "Se you twosome later, hopefully...." *slight grin*

* Zoe then murmurs something in Tina's ear, before standing up, waving to the nice hunk, and dashing out the door the catch the approcahing transit bus.

* Ian arches an eyebrow, waving as Zoe departs.

{Tina} Right!

{Ian} She seems like a good kid. *wl*

* The bus pulls up, and Zoe hops on, and it drives off into the city.

* Tina blushes a tad at whatever it was Zoe whispered. "Yup, she is. Onna the best. She's gonna kick butt by the time she gets the hood."

{Ian} Kicking butt good. *doesn't comment on the blush*

* Tina looks somewhat sheepish. "I'm always fond for booting head, to be honest. Lo, I am a loyal student of Tae Kwon Leep."

{Ian} And did you learn from the lesson of Ed Grubermann? *wg*

{Tina} Nope! I'm a slow bloomer that way.

{Ian} Well, remember that Anger is a weapon only to one's opponent... and get in the first shot. *wink*

* Tina grins, coloring again. "None of us could defeat you alone, Master-- 'You begin to understand wisdom, child--' So we'll have to gang up on you! GET 'IM GO!"

{Ian} Boot to the head. *grin, seems to enjoy that particular moment quite a bit*

* Tina laughs, grinning.

{Ian} *finishing off his Smoothie* So... what do you do for a living?

{Tina} Me? {smile} I do graduate study and earn my keep being a lab assistant for the computer sciences lab on campus keeping overhormoned undergrads from using runtime on rendering up nekkid women and chatting in porno chatrooms. Fun innit?

* Tina finishes her and tosses her empty smoothie cup back, landing a fairly good three pointer.

{Ian} Nice shot. *wg* Is it a fun job for you?

* Tina bows. "It is, muchly. I like my colleagues, I get to play with some of the most advanced toys in a major academic center for computer development, and barring the occasional boring instructor, I really enjoy my courses. I also get gratification out of virtually slapping hackers too, but hey."

{Ian hehs.} Yeah... I get some satisfaction out of beating the hell out of anyone who tries to mess with me... I just wish the real honorable people wouldn't get taken out.

* Tina blinks, and nods. {quieter} "Want to talk about it?"

{Ian} Yeah... *q* Someplace where sensitive human ears can't hear, preferably. *wl*

* Tina blinks, and nods slightly, hehing. {q} "Cool 'nuff. Got a place a few blocks off, it's a mess, but hey, it's private." {slightly crooked grin}

{Ian} Any port in a storm. *swg*

{Tina} Roight. Well, we're done here anyway, and I have a few hours to kill before lab duty, so hey. {grins}

{Ian} *nods* Need a ride or anything? *wg*

* Tina blinks, arching her brows. "Youse got one?"

{Ian} *nod* Little perk of the job. *g*

{Tina} Oooh, lucky. No car. I make do with mass transit. {rises, hefting her bag}

{Ian} I'm parked back by the gym, then.

{Tina} Coool beans.... Onward, then!

* Ian gets up, shouldering his pack again, and leads the way.

* Tina follows! And incidentally appreciates the view as a nice side bennie, smiling a little bit.

* Ian smiles back as they keep heading toward the parking lot.

* Tina grins a bit, looking around (as well as at Ian). It's in full autumn here, and a few stray gold maple leaves are blown past the two as they walk back towards the gym. "Been here in C-U very long?"

{Ian} *shrugs* Day or so. Corp boss told me to go dirtside and take it easy for a while, and the Big Boss said to wander around and help people in need. *wg*

{Tina} Oh...ho. {wry grin} {blinks a bit} Iiii see. Pity you weren't here the other week... I mentioned hacking, yeah?

{Ian} Mm-hmm. *they're getting near the car by now, typical groundcar, basic but functional*

{Tina} Right...well, basically, some undergrad twit was trying to hack into the ACT labs on campus, and not doing a very good job of it. {muttered in an undertone} I suspect corp encouragement. {louder} I had some help from the Networker (emphasis on that word, yes) and managed to nip it in the bud, and he's probably going to be very lucky if he gets to stay in school. Pity...he doesn't seem like a terribly *bad* kid, just not very bright and with no financial sense whatsoever.

{Ian} Mm. *nod* I wouldn't be surprised. We had a bit of a hacking problem too, although I was too busy fighting off the live raiders to do much about it. Corp encouragement suspected there too... {undertone} amongst other forces, if you ask me.

* Tina arches an eyebrow. Then closes her eyes and shiver.

{Tina} ...right. Tell me in the car.

{Ian} Riiiight. *wl, pulls a keyring out and tabs it, and the car doors unlock, followed by the trunk for depositing bags and such*

{Tina} Ooo. {grins} Nice. {she stows her duffel where appropriate}

{Ian} Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. *grins, stows his own gear*

{Tina} Well, yeah. Mind you, I have no car, so anything's an improvment over nothing. {heads for the shotgun}

* Ian hehs, heads for the driver's seat, and fires up the machinery. "You're the one with the directions; point the way." *g*

{Tina} Right. {smile} You're going to want to head down Green eastwards towards Urbana, then down Lincoln Avenue three blocks, turn left, down two blocks. I live in a complex there.

{Tina} With my vicious attack cat, Boop Splat.

{Ian} Got it. Heh. *pulls out of the parking space and heads in the direction specified*

* Tina grins a bit, then looks around. "Your car secure enough?"

{Ian} Yup. Anybody tries to touch this thing I'll know immediately; Lightning can give you a real shock if you mess with it. *g, turning left, down two blocks*

* Tina grins. "I kind of suspected. {pause} Tina Manoa-Perez. Or also known in certain circles as Tiphareth, Redeemed Daughter of Lightning."

* Tina smiles a small amount.

{Ian} *blinks a bit* Redeemed Daughter-- well, there's something you don't see every day... *catches himself, blushes a bit* er, sorry. Ian Zbysko, a.k.a. Ian, Malakite of Lightning. *swl*

{Tina} No, no problem... {small grin} I know even now we're still not exactly common. You were looking at me funny in the gym though...and pleasure to meet you, Ian.

{Ian} Likewise... and yes, I kinda sorta resonated back there. *wg*

{Tina} Uh-huh...I thought so. {pause} I kind of resonated back there too! {wink}

* Tina pauses. "Which leads to yucky comparisons that I won't bring up about celestials resonating each other..."

{Ian} Riiight. *swl* Well anyway, I didn't see anything offensive. *wg*

{Ian} I'm sure that business with the swimsuit issue will be viewed in many circles as a highly honorable act. *wink*

* Tina goes bright red. {m} "Well, it *was* in high demand, and Ume *was* an ex-Lustie, and Jordi's never *been* into this whole magazine thing..."

* Tina coughs.

{Ian} *snickers* I won't ask for details. *glances forward* And are we on the right track here?

{Tina} Oh ye....wait, there we are...right there!

* Ian drives toward the indicated place, looking for parking space.

* There is, happily enough, a couple of guest spots. Apparently in the intervening decades, UIUC has actually gotten its act together regarding that persistent parking problem it has and has made some underground garages...

* This is a marvelous development, it should be stated. As such Ian finds an available space with relative ease.

* Tina pumps her fist, happily at the success.

{Ian} I feel a strong sense of accomplishment for some reason. *wg*

{Tina} You should. Sometimes it can be a beast around here, though a colleage said it's not as bad as it was a few decades ago parkingwise.

{Ian} I can imagine. And can remember similar places and times. *wl, shuts down the car and does the thing of getting out and popping the trunk*

{Tina} I can't. I'm just a baby.

{Tina} {muttered} Relatively speaking.

{Ian} Ah. Well, plenty of opportunities for experience on this particular plane of existence, that's all I can say. *wl*

{Tina} Right...Onward and upward, so it's a bit easier on my nerves to talk. {wry smile}

{Ian} Agreed. *grabs his and Tina's gear, waiting for her to lead*

* Tina grins a bit and does, into the entranceway and up a couple flights of stairs. The place is clean and seems well kept, despite the obvious signs of student residence.

* And Fork on the thing of entering the den of infamy-- er, student residence, rather.

* Is there any difference, really?

* Heh.

{Ian} *glancing around* Not bad for student housing. *wg*

{Tina} Oh, this is independent apartment complex, I live off-campus...spares on drunk undergrads staggering around at night. {slight grin} And the upkeep's good, soooo.

{Ian} *nods, looking wry* Did some time as campus police once. I understand the business with the partygoers.

{Tina} Yeah...well, Urbana's historically been the quieter side of the campus, which helps. {she finds a door, and slides in her keycard} So people tend to shut up around here.

* Ian nods again, shouldering bags and adding nothing else for the moment.

* Tina nods a bit as her lock clicks open, letting them into her apartment.

* Ian follows her in, looking for places to set stuff down.

* Tina's apartment is....messy, and cluttered, but not quite the disaster area she made it out to be. It seems to be a spacious one-bedroom with living room, kitchenette, bathroom, so forth, with various computeresque paraphenilia and weaponry of the grad student lying about, covering portions of the furniture, which seems plain but servicable. There is, unsurprisingly, a computer off in a nook, a couch that seems to be a good place to dump junk, and with attendant long-haired calico cat asleep on her back with paws sticking up in ridiculous positions. Though the latter wakes up almost immediately when they enter...

{Tina} {q} Hiiii, Boopsie...

* Cat mrows, shakes her head, and trots over to be scritched.

{Ian} The local guardian? *grin, dumps bags on the couch*

{Tina} Yup, {grins, picking up the kitty} This is my ferocious attack cat, Boop Splat. Boopsie, this is Ian, he's cool.

{Boop} Meow!

{Ian} Interesting name. *reaches out to skritch behind Boop's ears*

{Tina} Yup. {grins} A friend of mine's cat was named Betty, so by extension was called Betty Boop. And then she had kittens, which naturally were called Booplets. And when one of them was a calico...

* Boop Splat sniffs the Malakite and decides he passes muster, and purrs a lot.

* Ian snickers and gives Boop a chinskritch too.

* Boop Splat seems to be a very happy kitty at this.

* Tina grins more. "It's this kind of logic that makes me love Earth so much."

{Ian} Heh. Earth can be a very interesting place, yes. *still chinskritching, looking a bit wry as he does so*

* Boop purrs some more.

* Tina hehs, nodding a small amount, finally putting down the cat. "So...can I get you anything to drink? I have enough kinds of tea for most of the Sino-Asian Republic in the kitchen..."

{Ian} Green tea's good; doesn't have to be anything fancy. Coffee's good too.

{Tina} Got both in quantity. I have standard hacker food... Just a sec, make yourself comfortable, and if you have to move a pile of crap to sit, feel free. {wry grin}

* Tina heads into the keeetchen.

{Ian} *manages to find an open couch space and sits* I hang out at _Magna Veritas_ when I'm topside; might make me a little biased as far as Java goes, but I'll try to behave. *wg*

* Tina blinks, and grins a bit, poking her head out from the kitchenette, from whence the smells of coffee and tea begin to emerge. "Well, of *course*'s Heaven after all. And it's been months since I've been up there myself. But this's good stuff."

{Ian} Of that I have no doubt. *still looking a bit wry, something beginning to lurk behind his eyes again though he hides it well*

* Tina blinks, starting to pop back into the kitchen, then pausing. {quieter} "Something on your mind?"

{Ian} *q* ...yeah, but it can wait for the drinks.

{Tina} {q} Right, Ian. Which are coming up. And I'm assured nothing will get past these walls if you want it.

* Tina pops back into the kitchen after a moment, looking pensive. Boop Splat pads over to Ian and sniffs his leg.

{Ian} *q* Thank you. *glances down, gives Boop another chinskritching*

* Boop purrs happily, tail twitching like a happy cat.

* Ian looks wry, thinking about someone else he'd like to give a chinskritch to, and keeps skritching.

* This creates a happy cat, if not necessarily a happy Virtue. Meanwhile, the Bright Lilim does the thing of Producing Caffeine, and comes out in a couple minutes with a couple of cups.

* Ian smiles a bit and reaches out to accept whichever cup is offered to him.

* Tina gives him a cup of coffee, that despite not being of the Heavenly sort, still smells bloody good. "Cream or sugar with?" {small smile}

{Ian} Both, if you would? *small smile back*

* Tina nods, grabbing both from the kitchen, before planting her own Lilimesque fanny down in an opposing chair with her own cup.

{Tina} {q} Incidentally, if you want to Check In, my computer's free, Ian.

{Ian} *nod, q* Yeah, maybe later. I kinda like having my mind as straight as possible before I talk to the Boss, if you know what I mean. *deals with cream and sugar and stuff*

{Tina} {q} Cool beans, then. And more n' understood. Always the longer but more interesting option using cashing out to the Marches, but... {wry smile, puts some sugar into her coffee}

{Ian} Mm. *sighs, leans back* Ever have a bunch of little things happen to you all at once that'd be just a pain in the ass by themselves, but all together...? *vswl*

* Tina blinks, hehs, and nods. "Together, they make one huge mess that break the camel's back? Ohhhh yes." {crooked grin}

{Ian} *nods, sighs, eyes darkening* I'm still not sure who exactly it was that did a lightning raid on the research station I work at, but I'm sure Technology had something to do with it. Some other Prince too... Vapula doesn't hire Calabim.

* Tina stiffens a bit, her eyes going a bit hard.

{Tina} {vvq} No. He doesn't.

* Tina seems slightly haunted.

{Ian} I had a Soldier. She really, -really- understood the meaning of Honor and made up for every other selfish asshole on that whole station... and she was soul-killed in that raid. Most of my friends will need new Roles. I don't know if one has recovered from her Trauma... or her Dissonance.

* Tina shivers, nodding. {vq} "God....I'm sorry. {small pause} that had to Lie?"

{Ian} *nods slowly* Valanna, Seraph of Lightning. She did what she had to do to protect our work from them, and they killed her for being uncooperative. Then I killed -them-. *that last said with a growl*

* Tina shivers a bit, nodding, closing her eyes. {q} "Spack 'em good? And what about you?"

* Tina gnaws on her lower lip, Lilimishly.

{Ian} Well, -I'm- not dissonant, so I know I didn't suffer any evils to live or let any Lightning fall into Vapula's hands. Still, I heard they did get away with some data. Might be enough for a rival corp to make sense of, and if they've got Technological backing, well... *heavy sigh*

* Tina nods, opening her eyes. {q} "...Joy. Wonder if it's related to what I had. And I didn't mean simply the dissonance bit, Ian."

{Ian} *shrugs* Possible. I hear hacking problems are on the rise. ...And the Boss -did- say to check in with any Lightning Servitors I ran across.

{Tina} Right... {nods} I'd asked Jean for a Domination to deal with my current problem, but none seen just yet, plus I haven't had any other funny stuff pulled since the bit with the kid hacking into ACT.

{Ian} Mm. Well, I get the feeling everybody'll need to keep an eye out for a while, in case our friendly neighborhood Habbalite tries anything funny.

{Tina} ....Yeah. {bites her lip some more}

{Ian} *considers, looks faintly sheepish* ...oh, and as long as I'm making impromptu confessions, there's a Cherub I'd like to give a good skritching, but she's kindasorta taken. *faint blush*

* Tina hehs, nodding, and hides a very momentary look of disappointment remarkably well. "Anybody I know?" {wry grin}

{Ian} Name's Ayrie. Creationer in service to Jean. She's... quite involved with one of the Blessed Souls, and I definitely don't want to mess with that. Keep telling myself I should be looking around. *swl*

* Tina blinks, nodding. "I....think I've met her once, or twice. {wry smile} And yes, I'd say that 'quite involved' is how I hear she is with her attuned. Both from her and from a Domination friend of mine. But yeah....sometimes the emotions doesn't listen to the mind, eh?" {little grin}

{Ian} Riiiight. And I feel a little, well, odd, explaining that to an Elohite boss. *swg*

{Tina} Yeeeaah. {pauses a bit} Jean...might understand more than you think, though. The Powers wage constant war with themselves to make sure their emotions don't influence their actions, after all.

{Ian} Yes, I know... I've seen what that does to them.

{Tina} In fighting it...or giving in?

{Ian} ...both.

* Tina looks away, for a moment. "Yes."

{Ian} ...sorry, is that a sensitive topic?

{Tina} Yes and no. Let's just say there was once upon a time a Free greenie in service to Technology who, though she isn't green anymore, still remembers how she left that service, all too well.

* Tina gnaws her lip some more, sips some coffee, and smiles wryly again.

* Ian ahs and, without realizing/thinking, rests a comforting hand on her shoulder.

* Tina looks up at him, that same crooked smile on her face. {q} "Not all of us were born in the safety of Heaven, Virtue."

{Ian} No... I suppose not. Can't pretend I know what it was like. *swl, then realizes his hand's position and pulls back, reddening a bit*

* Tina blinks, and fortunately her darker skin hides any flush she makes. "...Yeah. Be glad for that."

* Ian tries for a moment to imagine what it would be like having the twisted mirror opposite of Jean for a Superior, fails utterly, and bites back a small wave of discomfort at the whole concept.

{Ian} ...well, for what it's worth... I'm glad you're on my side. *swl*

{Tina} too. {slight grin} Muchly.

{Ian} *seems to consider something, then rests a hand on hers, making eye contact* If you ever need a Virtue to defend your honor, let me know. *wl*

* Tina makes eye contact back. "And...if you need a Daughter for er...well, whatever it is Bright Lilim do, ditto." {small smile}

* Boop Splat has somewhere in here decided to set up shop in Ian's lap.

* Ian notes this and gives Boop an earskritching.

{Ian} We have the same Archangel, so whatever you do, it can only be the right thing. *wg*

{Tina} The thing that is cool is the thing that Needs doing? {wry grin}

{Ian} Sounds very Creation-ish. *g*

* Tina grins wryly. "Well, hey, it's a good generic Bright Lilim motto in general, no?

{Ian} Sounds good to me. *wink*

* Tina does blush obviously a bit. "Well, yeah. Incidentally, Lilim resonance rocks when you're a lab tech."

{Ian hehs.} I'll bet. Everybody Needs something in there.

{Tina} Oh yes. In this case, it was people needing more run-time that let me find out about the hack. And Orc being good about helping was great too.

* Tina resonates, absently.

* It might be his emotions getting the better of him, what with all the stress and stuff, but right now Ian Needs to make sure no Habbalah or Technologists ever mess with her. Wouldn't mind giving her a hug or seeing what she really looks like, either.

* Tina blinks, blushing a bit.

* Ian hms?, realizes what must have just happened, and reddens a bit as well.

{Tina} {q} ...Er....welll... Um...sorry, that was rude of me...

* Tina's blush cranks up quite a bit more.

{Tina} {mumbled}

{Ian} Er... no worries... *rather red himself*

{Tina} Well, er, you could always resonate on me if that evens things out...

{Ian} well... *mumbled* not if you don't want, i mean...

{Tina} This is silly.

{Tina} {Mumbled} Well, hey, my height of nobility and depth of depravity's always been a topic of musing for me...

{Ian} Well... in that case...

* Tina looks sheepish, and waits for Le Malakite Resonance.

* Ian frames her face with his hands as he looks into her eyes, and resonates.

* Worst sin: aiding Technology in a hacking endeavor upon a military company's chemical and biological weapons database for trading off to a group of Hellsworn terrorists, cheerfully uncaring of the fact the ultimate result would be that about fifty people, innocent and terrorists alike, would die in quite horrible ways due to a fubared and typically Vapulan leakage of the results they cooked up. Greatest Virtue:...

* ....a great, blinding Elohite holding her hands firmly, as she grips spasmodically while the blinding light of the Symphony slams into, wrenching her, remaking her, the horns fading from her temples as wings of light burst from her shoulders...

* Ian seems... moderately stunned.

* Tina blinks, looking concerned.

{Ian} *regaining a bit of sensibility, though his hands continue to frame her face; q, evenly* Your worst sin was aiding Technology in hacking a chemical and biological database for Hellsworn terrorists, not caring that innocents and terrorists alike would die horribly from leakage of what they cooked up. Your greatest virtue was...

* Tina nods, closing her eyes, her shame evident.

* Ian seems mildly at a loss again, trying to put words to what he saw.

* Tina blinks?

{Ian} *vq* Your greatest virtue was...... becoming the creature of light and beauty which sits before me. *there is a bit of wonder in his voice, not to mention a bit of a blush*

* Tina blinks, and goes really quite bright red. Given his hands are still around her face, she can't look away sheepishly.

* It takes a few moments more before he realizes he's just staring at her in wonder, with his hands around her face, and promptly pulls back, looking rather red himself.

* Tina nods, a bit mutely, still blushing and not knowing what to say.

{Ian} *vvq* um... *looks similarly at a loss* sorry, uh... just... never saw anything like that before... *very red*

{Tina} {vvq} No prob... {small smile} Never seen a Bright before?

{Ian} *vq* not really... certainly not like that... *small smile*

* Tina nods, mutely and sheepisly. {vq} "Haven't been one long..."

{Ian} *q* I'd guessed... not that I'm complaining... *blush*

{Tina} {q}, years, about...

* Tina smiles a bit.

* Ian smiles back, at a bit of a loss again.

* Boop Splat decides this is a good moment to break the tension with a rather cranky meow, insisting food.

* Ian arches an eyebrow, glancing down at the cranky kitty.

{Tina} Um...well... I think Bright or no, Boopsie wants to be Fed. Um...need anything while I'm out in the kitchen? {still blushing}

{Ian} Er... no, no, I'm okay. *also rather red* Go ahead.

{Tina} All right. {small grin} {Heads out, rather quickly, with Savage Kitty right on her tail Questing for Meow Mix 2070}

* Ian watches her go.

* Tina spends a few minutes of Quality Time in the kitchen feeding the Splat and getting a minor case of the shakes under control.

* Ian spends that time trying to get all of his thoughts and emotions back into some semblance of order.

* Tina comes back out in a few minutes, seeming slightly more composed, and a bit wry. "Well, that's taken care of..."

{Ian} That's good. Can't have hungry cats running around. *wl*

{Tina} Oh, yes... Because then they Take Revenge.

{Ian} Um... *scratch head* er... report in, maybe? *swl*

{Tina} {rather quickly} Reporting is good. Reporting is very good. Boss probably wants to know where you are...

{Ian} Right. Um... there a local Tether? *wg*

* Tina blinks, and nods. "Actually not far away at all. The Upwells Fountain/ sculpture in the center of the Engineering Quad. Only problem it's in the open. But I know the Sensenchal."

{Tina} {wryly} I suppose Boss wants to make sure that Tech will have a prob spacking me due to proximity.

{Ian} Mm. Good plan, really. *wl* S'pose I could go up by the Marches too... you need to report in or anything?

{Tina} Hmm....not as such, really,'s been months since I've been Up anyway. {small wry grin}

{Ian} Ah. Well... *faint blush* wanna go?

{Tina} . o O (Oh heck yeah!) Sure. {small smile} So, Tether or Marches?

{Ian} Hm... prefer Tethers normally. Marches might draw less attention this time, though.

{Tina} Yeeaah. Point, and kinder on essence. Though you could have met Shoshemai the guy. Some other time.

* Tina hms.

{Tina} {sheepish} You can take bed, I'll take couch or chair or something...

{Ian} If you want, I mean, I can sleep on couches and chairs and stuff. *also sheepish*

{Tina} Uh-uh, you a guest. You take bed. I have a nice happy cushion bowl chair I use for meditating with chocolate anyway.

{Ian} Ah... if you say so. *wl*

{Tina} I do say so, darn it. Plus, my favorite afghan's in my chair anyway.

* Tina grins.

* Ian grins back, looking wry.

{Ian} Okay, I take bed. *wg*

{Tina} Right!

{Tina} . o O (I just hope he doesn't find the Laurence swimsuit issue I hid under the mattress...)

* Tina grins a bit more. "So...see you at Blandine's?"

{Ian} See you there.

{Tina} Right. {smiles, hesitates a moment, and then heads into her Sancte Sanctorum computer nook, where a papasan-style chair with a slightly ratty but very fluffy cushion awaits, with an equally slightly ratty afghan that looks as though it was knitted by...well, a Creationer after imbibing too much of the good stuff}

* Ian seeks out the bed in preparation for heading onward and Upward.

* Tina adjusts the bowl portion of said Large Comfy Bowl Chair so she has a spot to curl up in, pulling the afghan over her and making happy contented Lilim noises.

* Ian finds himself blushing a bit at the sound of contented Lilim noises, though he couldn't really explain why at that particular moment, and lies down on the bed without much fanfare, letting his thoughts start to drift...

* The surprisingly neat. Maybe part of that's due to the fact the occupant doesn't *need* to sleep, but there's still a surprising lack of kipple, a nice soft comforter, and a few photos of fractal and computer-rendered images with some U of I and NCSA posters, as well as a University of Hawaii--Honolulu diploma for a BS in computer sciences hanging on the wall.

* ... and eventually, the two of the fall asleep, at their own paces... to sleep, perchance to dream... and the world changes... as we fork.

In Nomine 2070