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[Hey, Academy, guess who's a moron?

This guy.

Donatello will be perched in the common room in front of the fire, writing down furiously in his notebook. If one looked over his shoulder, they'd see that he was writing in hopelessly complicated and tiny shorthand.

After a while, he will go up to his room window, undo the trap Clopin put on it, and jump out into the Misty outdoors with his duffel bag. He's not letting this opportunity go to waste. Time to get samples and experience with this stuff.

Someone may find him at any point while he's in the common room or outside.]


Jan. 28th, 2012 05:47 am (UTC)
[Esme hasn't left this building. In. Days.

She'd climb up to the rooftop to take in the fresh air, but that would be considered going outside, and she did give her word. So she takes walks - lots of walks.

It's her second time breezing through the common room today, and she sees something she hasn't seen before: a giant turtle. For a moment she's caught between her surprise at the obvious (that's..a giant turtle) and her relief that there's another person in here. The latter wins, of course (and besides, she knew not everyone here was human). She walks over to him, about to say something when she notices the writing - ooh, strange, unidentified writing. Distracted, all typical greetings are overlooked, and she ends up saying - ]

What language is that?
Jan. 28th, 2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
[He's distracted, barely processing that someone is speaking to him before answering absently.] Four languages, actually. Kanji, Greek, English, and something called Y'lyntian.

[His hand flies over the page, writing almost as fast as thought.] All together, they're really good for writing complex ideas succinctly.
Jan. 28th, 2012 04:35 pm (UTC)
And confidentially.

[She's not entirely sure how combining languages would be really good. Sure, sometimes multilingual people have a mash-up of languages come out in one sentence, but it's not necessarily the best, clearest way to communicate ideas.

Unless clarity isn't the goal.]
Jan. 28th, 2012 05:57 pm (UTC)
[You mistake Donatello for a person with normal intelligence. And a person who is actually secretive about his ideas. :| ]

Well, I guess that too, but I use it mostly because it's faster, Miss... [He glances up from his notes, then jerks in surprise. He doesn't know you. And you're really, really pretty.] Uh, do I know you, ma'am? [BRB, trying to figure out how to interact with a stranger.]
Jan. 28th, 2012 09:23 pm (UTC)
[...ma'am. That's a first. She's inwardly reeling, but she remains poised and gives absolutely no sign of it.]

You do now - I'm Esmeralda. You'll have to avoid calling me ma'am ever again, unless you want to make me feel old.
Jan. 29th, 2012 12:31 am (UTC)
[daslkfjadf stutter time] N-no, wait, I didn't mean--I mean, you're very young, you look young, I didn't mean to imply--I just am not, well--

[Stop it, Don, you're rambling.]

Um. I'm, uh, I'm Don.

[Awkward turtle is awkward.]
Jan. 29th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
[Aww. She laughs lightly, but not cruelly - she's not making fun of him, she just finds the awkwardness endearing.]

Very well, I may forgive you this once. [She smiles, hoping to set him more at ease.

And here she regards him curiously. She may be surname-less, but she knows that's not the norm.]

Just Don?
Jan. 29th, 2012 02:59 am (UTC)
[ 8c 8c 8c 8c 8c ]

S-sorry, Esmeralda...

Um, Hamato Donatello, if you want my full name. [Beat.] Surname's in front, personal name's last. But people usually just call me Don or Donny.
Jan. 29th, 2012 04:49 am (UTC)
[So this is Donatello! What luck. One of the two students studying the Mist - she'd been wanting to meet him, and here he is. She's doubly curious about his writing now, but she doesn't ask. Yet. His apology sounds genuine, poor flustered boy. She thought it was obvious she was only teasing? She waves the apology away with one hand, still smiling.]

It's your first offense: you needn't worry.

[She moves forward and takes a seat, the smile replaced with an attentive, inquisitive expression.]

So. Complex ideas that are succinct and confidential?
Jan. 31st, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC)
[Look at him, Esme. Do you think he's had a chance to deal with strangers too often?

He gives a small laugh, but he's still nervous.]
Right. Um, well.

[He looks down at his notebook, then puts it flat on the ground so she can see it. He knows she can't understand it, but it's the thought that counts, right?] Right. Mostly about the Mist, really. Meteorology, chemistry, possible geographical patterns in where and how it hits, stuff like that. It's been helpful to have it right outside my window, if your definition of 'helpful' is loose enough.
Jan. 31st, 2012 11:39 pm (UTC)
[Aww, no, she doesn't.

She's actually kind of surprised that that worked. She wasn't sure if he would stop his work for her, let alone start to talk to her about it. That's very kind of you, Don. She looks down at the notebook, appreciating the gesture, then looks at him, listening to his explanation. She hates the fact that she's so unfamiliar with every subject he's listed, but she knows what she wants to look up next at the library.]

You've been able to study all of that? That's wonderful - it's exactly what I hoped. I had arrived here thinking that we would be able to finally find answers, or at least learn what the right questions to ask are, but that hasn't been the case at all. I understand why the Academy would want us to remain safe, but we can't learn anything if we avoid the Mist at all costs. And if we don't learn anything, we can't help anyone.

[She pauses a moment - that was a bit of a soapbox speech; she hopes she didn't lose him somewhere back there. She returns to the one term he used that she didn't recognize.]

Chemistry. Is that like alchemy?

[She's a little bit Medieval, Don. A lot, actually.]
Feb. 1st, 2012 12:10 am (UTC)
[It's okay, Esme, he can be your replacement Quasimodo for now.

Of course it worked, Esme! He's the nicest guy ever. She can ask for an explanation, if she likes. He'll probably just make her eyes cross with all the tech talk, though.]

Oh, um, right! [He'd be blushing if he wasn't a reptile. Positive attention, what do?] They don't really have a lot of answers here at all, but it is the only place where you can really find a bunch of people who've been through it, and that can be really useful--I mean, it's not good that they had to deal with that, not at all, but it's just--you know, it really helps study it if I hear a first-hand account of the effects, you know?

[sdonfd gdit Don stop babbling


Alchemy? You mean like that thing where people try to turn regular metal into gold?

[Where are you from??]
Feb. 1st, 2012 12:30 am (UTC)
[♥! She is going to adopt you, congratulations.

She's not used to this! Most people back home don't think women are as intelligent as men, so why bother trying to educate them?]

It's impressive that you started all this on your own. Does anyone else here know how much progress you've made?

[Hmm. The first-hand accounts bit sets her thinking...]

Have you heard many first-hand accounts of the effects?

[She's from Medieval France? Don't judge, it's awesome. Sometimes.]

Yes. [And that's all she's going to say about that. Her voice is low and rather disbelieving: she's heard a lot of (apparently intelligent) people talk about this, but she has her doubts.]
Feb. 1st, 2012 01:24 am (UTC)
[Yay, nice lady who doesn't think he's a monster! :3 :3 :3

Hey, one of his smartest friends is a woman. It doesn't even occur to him that her extra X chromosome makes her not worth explaining to.]

W-well, not that impressive. It's basically just theorizing and looking at maps and stuff. I haven't had a chance to get much experience with it until this... [Don't start babbling again, Don.] Uh, well, I work together with Dark Don, so he knows.

Uh, a few. It's a really personal thing, so a lot of people haven't come forward and I'm not really comfortable prying, you know? I just asked people and let them come forward themselves.

[Right. Awesome. :| ]

Uh, well, I guess you could say they're connected? But alchemy isn't exactly based on any science, just philosophy. You can't actually change something into gold like they think you can. Gold's an element, and while it's possible to alter the number of protons in an atom and change its element, it's a really dangerous process and it has nothing at all to do with stuff like everything being different combinations of earth, water--that is, chemistry is scientific, alchemy... isn't.

Are there still alchemists where you're from?

Edited at 2012-02-01 01:24 am (UTC)
Feb. 1st, 2012 02:44 am (UTC)
[There are no monsters! Differences are beautiful! :D! Your life will now be filled with sparkles and warmth and sunshine and nonjudgmental love. And probably cookies, once she discovers them.

Oh, your lack of misogyny is very refreshing. She smiles at Don's modesty - you can be proud of yourself, you earned it!]

It is impressive, it's a huge leap forward. I wish I could hear everything and read all your notes.

That seems best. I'm only asking because... [Hmm, how to say this and not betray anyone's confidence] I know someone who has first-hand experience. I don't know if they've spoken to you. But I will mention the idea to them.

[She's not heard of protons and atoms, but she gets the general gist of what he's saying. She's seen (and been a part of) enough street performances to know that handkerchiefs never get turned to birds, as the illusionists claim; it's only the range of attention that's diverted. She has yet to see someone actually change anything, and doubts she will. His explanation is much more plausible to her, and she nods in agreement.]

That makes much more sense. [And here she offers a graceful little shrug.] It's something you hear whispered or spoken of hurriedly - you can't be too careful in Paris. Alchemy comes dangerously close to heresy.
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