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Found 40 results

  1. Soot & Cinders

    Matt had been waiting for her. He'd been trying ever-so-hard to not look like he'd been waiting for her, and on a normal day he probably could have pulled it off with his well-honed apathy and a set of scout dogs, but there was something under his skin and it was making him somewhat less than subtle. And so he paced, or tapped his foot, or drummed fingers against his knee to some song in his head, all while periodically pulling at a bandage wrapped tightly around his left forearm. He'd tried rolling the sleeves of his black overshirt down to cover it, but they didn't cover quite enough of his wrist and at some point he'd just given up. He'd given up on a lot of things, really. "Raina!" So much for playing it cool, well done. He pulled at the bandage again, unconsciously, pulling back a bit so that she didn't feel like she was getting ambushed outside her last class for the day. "It's...not that big a deal, but I could use a favor. Maybe. I'd definitely owe you one - heck, I'd owe you two, if it goes well."
  2. Elevator Pitch

    Winifred lowered the blouse in her left hand and raised the buttoned dress shirt on its hanger with her right, frowning at her own reflection in the full length mirror on the back of her dormitory room's door. "If I'm meeting her at her apartment rather than her office I shouldn't be too stuffy, yes?" she reasoned, raising the blouse again to look at the pair of tops side by side. "But the apartment is still inside the company's building and it's still a business meeting. I can't look childish so erring on the side of professionalism might be wiser." Despite her limited wardrobe she'd already been debating her outfit for a good half an hour before asking for Raina's assistance. She'd been preparing for her meeting with Ms. Albright of AEON for the past week and while it would have been one thing if she were simply delivering scientific findings proposing a line of alchemical cosmetics necessitated a certain level of panache she wasn't confident she could meet. If any of her friends knew how to dress for success it was the self-assured pyromancer.
  3. Fragile

    Beneath Claremont Academy 8:42 AM July 10, 2017 By design the impervium cell was nearly empty. The front wall was transparent due to a process that Winifred would have usually been much more interested to learn about and the cube was large enough to pace about comfortably but the only furniture was a smooth bench large enough to also serve as a bed, constructed from the same material as the walls. There was a television set outside the transparent wall, featuring rather clever motion controls so as to forego the need of a remote control but the young alchemist didn't want it even for the white noise just then. Instead she sat on the bench beside the pillow she'd brought with her, wearing the oversized flannel shirt she'd adopted as sleepwear. She hugged her legs against her chest and pressed her face into her knees, letting out a long, weary sigh as she continued silently reciting the elements.
  4. Deep Into That Darkness Peering (IC)

    GM Claremont Academy, Headmistress's Office Approximately 4:30pm, May 18, 2017 Four students had been called into Headmistress Summer's office, by way of notes handed over quietly early in the day (so as not to raise a fuss about the matter): Riley Smith, Winifred Wei, Matthew Rivera, and Raina Sanderson. Miss Summers sat behind her desk, typing away as the students filed in, a couple of quick clicks closing whatever she'd worked on, before she turned and faced the students. She sat back in her chair, folding her hands in her lap as she calmly regarded each of them for several moments. "To begin, understand that none of you are in trouble. Instead, this is me presenting you all with an opportunity for...let's call it something of a work-study program. I believe that, between your individual skills and your friendships with each other, you are well-suited to this task. I can't make you do this particular assignment, but you all do have hours and credits and the like to finish, so if it's not this particular assignment, it will be another. And unfortunately, I can't guarantee another opportunity that's as..." She paused and thought over her words for a moment, apparently quite conscious of some of the strong personalities in the room. "I can't guarantee you won't end up being forced to complete an assignment while working with one or more fellow students you do not get along well with. And don't think your companion's skills would let you bypass this requirement, Miss Sanderson; I'd know if he tried. Still, I have faith you all will be interested in this particular project."
  5. Present Arms

    January 13, 2017 3:45 PM Even in a city that catered to as many esoteric subcultures as Freedom there were only so many places a teenager might go to improve their skills with medieval weaponry. With the faculty of Claremont Academy in something of a restructuring period - and portions of the student body's faith in the combat training there having suffered somewhat - Cathy Clouston had suggested the next best thing to her girlfriend: a privately run dojo in the city's West End that had been introduced to her by her roommate. Said roommate had continued to receiving mentoring of her own there, albeit in the form of classes not openly available to the public at large. There were certain skills painfully absent from a young lady's usual education these days: picking locks while hanging upside down, disarming an attacker while wearing heels, disarming an attacker with a pair of heels...
  6. Maybe It's Alchemy

    Claremont Academy Dormitories April 15, 2017 Winifred still wasn't used to the literal weight taken off of her shoulders be her recent haircut but after putting it off for so long there was a certain visceral satisfaction in having had the nearly waist length hair cut back to a tidy pixie cut with razor sharp lines that kept it off of her ears and neck. It had already proven to be more practical in the lab and if she were to allow herself a moment of vanity the displaced Victorian might have gone so far as to say that it combined with the collar of her slate grey dress shirt to make her neck and jawline look fantastic. A scientist had to acknowledge empirical fact after all. Shifting the strap of the bag slung over her shoulder, she strode down the dormitory hallway with her shoulders squared and her chin tilted slightly upward. It had taken almost half a year of trials and tweaking but the grin threatening to break through her composure came from the feeling of a craftsperson preparing to showcase their efforts. She counted slowly backward from one hundred as she rounded the corner; she wasn't in a position to let excitement or nerves get the better of her. Reaching the door to the room shared by Clouston and Sanderson she gave it a distinctive trio of sharp raps.
  7. Ice Pick Love

    It wasn't entirely uncommon for Raina's training sessions to be unconventional, really. After all, Talya had made her practice running in heels and picking locks. The immortal spy's idea of well rounded skills was, to say the least, unconventional. Still, there was something out of the ordinary for even her training sessions when she arrived to the dojo and was hustled in quickly by a robed Talya. "Excellent, you're here. Just enough time to get changed," she told Raina, shooing her towards the restroom and a gown hanging on the back of a stall and a pair of shoes. "High end society - old money." Talya volunteered with a nod towards the cosmetics before vanishing towards the door to get ready herself although it wouldn't take her long at all. She was well used to the art of the quick change. "And we've just under an hour to be gone before Erik gets back for his evening lessons to make our escape. Never ask permission for what you can apologize for in the morning... Honestly, that's terrible relationship advice. I'm rather lucky that they're quite so indulgent. I'll wait outside the door."
  8. Demonization (IC)

    April 2017 Claremont Growing up in what he now knew to be a small, closed community made it difficult for Riley to talk to strangers - and he tended to solve difficult problems by careful consideration. So it was that he'd earned a reputation for hanging around the quad staring at people and places before approaching them, which in all honesty hadn't done much to make him any friends outside of the small circle that centered around the people who'd fought Mr. Archer, exposed a cybernetic infiltration of Claremont, and kicked the ass of some of the top students of the school. They didn't have a name for themselves. Everyone already knew who they were. Considering his options carefully from the tree branch that he'd taken his lunch on, Riley finally decided to bite the bullet. Jumping down from his perch, he executed a neat little roll before walking up to the young woman just finishing her lunch outside, chattering little monkey in tow. "Hey, Sanderson!" He pitched his voice loud, so she knew he was coming. Even when he didn't mean to be, he was quiet - and Raina didn't like being snuck up on. He could appreciate that. "Gotta thing. You gotta minute?" He looked presentable enough, with nothing deadlier than a hatchet on his jean-clad hip, and a tablet from several years ago in his hand.
  9. Transmutation

    Winifred was still relatively new to being a friend, having been something of a consummate loner growing up in her native time period but she liked to think that she managed to be a reasonably good one, uncontrolled bouts of mass destruction aside. Certainly she still managed to be better socialized than the majority of her circle of peers, enough so that she'd been quick to scoop up her bag and borrowed music player and make her excuses when her roommate's boyfriend had knocked on their door. She'd almost let curiosity get the better of her once and asked Robin how exactly that worked before deciding that neither upsetting her friend or sitting through a detailed explanation were outcomes she particularly wanted. The Victorian was much happier to simply give the couple their privacy. That did leave her somewhat at loose ends, however. Normally she would have put in some time in the chemistry lab but the most interesting equipment there was in the process of being repaired or replaced and as those weren't entirely unrelated facts she had been strongly encouraged to find other ways to spend her time until further notice. The weather had turned brisk enough to discourage a trip outdoors without a destination in mind and the common room wasn't an appealing option, not at a time of day where she knew it would be crowded; the altercation with Madison and her squad hadn't done Winifred's reputation around campus any great favours. The miniature in-ear speakers Matthew had lent her made avoiding conversation while traversing the halls considerably easier but she'd found they did distressingly little to discourage interruption while sitting in one place. Sighing quietly to herself she placed them in her ears and gingerly pressed the triangular button on the player. Perhaps Raina and Cathy would allow her to hole up in a corner of their room for a while. It wouldn't be much warmer than the quad but the Scot was always eager enough to lend a wool jumper to any visitors.
  10. Final Exam (IC)

    Content note: transphobia, profanity June 2016 11PM The Doom Room In the Doom Room, Riley was on edge. The training room itself was empty, its holographic displays silent while he waited for the rest of the team. He had taken the opportunity to polish and clean his bow, its gears half-disassembled on the plastic floor, and was crouching there as he worked. He was going in without a plan. He hated going in without a plan. Late night training, no notice about the scenario (which was pretty common, especially in the last few months) and no notice about who he'd train with (which was pretty common too), described by Mr. Archer as "the final event for the year." Not one to complain about his education, especially about combat training, Riley silently went about his work, his ears open to his surroundings even as his eyes focused on the work before him. It wasn't the first time he'd had to refurbish his bow without being able to watch his back.
  11. Final Exam (OOC)

    Initiative time. http://orokos.com/roll/423896 = Woodsman has 27
  12. [ToV] Terror Lunch

    Sunday April 24, 2016 Nuevo Laredo, Mexico There have been some interesting reports from Freedom City for the last few days - but honestly the news from Freedom City is usually full of something interesting or another. Nuevo Laredo was a dangerous city - its status as the busiest inland port in Mexico made it a hotbed of cartel activity, crime and violence such serious problems that even families separated by the border only met on the American side to avoid the risk of street violence. And yet even so, the people that lived there lived better than any prole in the Terminus - better than those people could have dreamed. In the trainyards, as the local security monitored the loading of Dragonfly's new electronic decompilers into the cars of the Southern Pacific, Steve Murdock brooded on these thoughts, and more besides, his dark mood a strange contrast to the "Pixar-blue" sky overhead complete with perfect white puffy clouds dotted here and there. "Thank you for coming, Echo," he said in a moment when his speedy teammate joined him on top of the train where he crouched, watching the work. Of all the Interceptors, Echo was the one with the simplest passport card - no wonder, for a woman who could cross borders when it suited her fancy. "The men appreciate seeing an American superhero - and I appreciate a comrade here. I apologize I am not a better companion." And with that, as he had been doing so often since they arrived, he fell silent. - Getting assigned as a superhero 'ridealong' to the famous Asad had proven to be a real coup for Sparkler and El Huracan - the wealthy playboy had had no real superbattles to fight during a week when business had taken him down to south Texas to supervise the acquisition of Multimedios Radio, one of the largest Norteño stations in the region, a gateway towards making a real financial push into the relatively untapped media market that was northern Mexico. Now he'd crossed the border to actually sign the papers that would make this territory part of his business empire, bringing with him his business staff and the two teenage heroes who hadn't had very much to do this week. The Crowne Plaza Hotel might not have been very big at 12 stories high - but it was the largest building in Nuevo Laredo. From the penthouse suite that Asad's party had rented for the occasion, the group could see out over the struggling city. From this high up, and behind glass, it was impossible to see the city's troubles, or hear them; just to see a nice, sunny day and a thriving commercial metropolis below them. The streets all around here were crowded with semitrucks, thicker than any the teens had seen even back in major cities in the States, making things far easier for those who could fly.
  13. Creative Training (IC)

    Talya was really at her limit of clever ways to disguise a pregnancy and while she could probably call in a favor for an image inducer, or get extraordinarily creative, she wasn't about to go through that effort for the classes she taught. For most classes, it simply meant that she stopped with concealing wardrobe and suffered through the well meaning well wishes of the students that she worked with. There was one student, however, that warranted a little more effort than that. It had been a few weeks since Raina's last session at the studio between school and apocalypses, and that sort of thing. It was only now that Claremont had gotten back into the swing of extracurriculars. The Espadas school was familiar and it wasn't unusual for the desk to be unmanned, especially if the teachers were setting up or tearing down for classes in the dojo proper. What was unusual was a small note on the counter attached to a very small Tiffany's box sitting on the countertop. In Talya's elegant handwriting, it said simply "Keep your shoes on today." Inside the box was a sterling silver keyring, empty but for an elegant pendant in the shape of a stylized lock on one side.
  14. Bad Romance (IC)

    Early February 2016 The weekend came and went - and Riley and Robin weren't back on campus from their weekend furlough. After classes on Monday, the RAs, with serious faces, assured Woodsman and Nighthawk's friends that the school knew where they were. On Tuesday, Headmaster Summers made a general announcement that Robin Chevalier had been seriously injured in the field and was currently recovering at McNider Hospital. These things didn't happen that often at Claremont; but there were procedures in place for counseling, for making cards, for hospital visits - it was something the staff all had in hand. There was no need to cut school, not when visiting hours would still be open in the evening. Of course, all that assumed you wanted to listen to staff in the first place. - Robin hadn't wanted to go to the hospital - hadn't wanted to go at all. But the personal intervention of Headmaster Summers, who had met the pair of them at the Goodman Building clinic on Sunday night, had changed her mind; largely with the reassurances that a false name would get her in the system without any risk of the system finding her again. McNider was the oldest hospital in Freedom City. They'd been discreetly taking care of superheroes for decades now. Riley'd gone to the hospital too, mostly to make sure he hadn't irradiated himself when he'd grappled Tesla Atom at the moment she'd been bisected by the forces between dimensions. He wound up calling from Robin's room, though, carefully punching out digits on the hospital phone. It was Tuesday mid-morning, right? It had been easy enough to lose track the last day, when all he'd been thinking about was the burned, bleeding woman on the bed, the one he'd have given his heart for. Luckily she was asleep - for now.
  15. Please Be Strong

    GM 12:01 AM, February 29th, 2016. Claremont, Academy. They were usually good dreams. Of fire. Often without the smoke, without the consequences of the fire. Freud would have a field day with them, or the school's counselors would. In dreams they were like waves, like liquid dancing in impossible manners and forms. Held only to dream logic, and the coaxing of her subconscious. Behaving like fire would in a place devoid of logic. Through this veil were forms, not engulfed by the flames, but something else. Beyond them, beyond her grasp. They were myriad and indistinct, shifting and murmuring over the crackling of the flames themselves. It was the recognition of this that things seemed to focus down to a point, to a form. It shifted and moved towards her, shaking away whatever un-definition it had. Calcifying, and shedding the rigidity as it approached the fire and pressed against it. He, and she knew it was a he before the shape was so distinct, pushed through, charring, searing as he did, until before her he stood. Imperious and grotesque, like a nightmare from childhood. The armored and antlered countenance rose before her, shuddering as the gaps of the armor revealed a roiling, shuddering thing. Then he exhaled, and the soot and char fell away, carried away on his voice booming and soaring like a church's prized organ. "Child of Angel's Mound. Well met. This one is here at the behest of others, of Lords and Ladies impressed with what you are. What you have been. What you might be." From under that antlered helm were eyes, human eyes, vibrant green. Earnest and honest, and this was not... a dream.
  16. Teenage Superstars [IC]

    Date: January 25, 2016 It wasn't until after winter break that Raina could round up a small cluster of fellow students to come along to extra curricular training. On the bright side, it meant she'd had several weeks of one on one classes to be confident with both the workings of the school and the general format of the training. Always nice to be the expert in the group, after all. With a large enough group, Claremont sent the teenagers to their extra credit activity in one of the few vans for such purposes rather than letting the students make their own way. The unmarked school van pulled up to let the students unload directly in front of a well kept building in the middle of the West End. A sign proclaimed 'The Espadas School of Self-Defense and Swordsmanship!' (Exclamation mark included), and through the front doors was a small lobby and receptionist desk before the dojo itself. As they had forewarning that there was going to be more than just the one student, Talya had come down early to straighten things in the lobby and keep an eye out just in case the school van had trouble finding a good drop off point. Rather than standing behind the desk, the attractive blonde was perched on top of it, seated on the surface as she sorted through papers. Lately, Talya had taken to wearing a loose cut tanktop over her formfitting practice wear and today was no different. As the students disembarked she shifted the paperwork to one side to welcome the knot of teenagers. "Come on in and pick a cubby for your shoes and anything else you want to put away," Talya invited in a clipped, British accent. She flashed Raina a smile as the young woman stepped in, "Hullo, Raina." She added before raising her voice slightly, "Erik, the students are here."
  17. Monotreme Melee (IC)

    January 22, 2016 Claremont Academy In a clutch of trees near the athletics field, Woodsman was making notes. "All right, there's 'least two in th' buildin's," said Riley, pointing with his whittled-down golf pencil at the nearby campus structures. "And there's this one," he added, pointing towards the spot where they'd been told to wait for "special training." That meant the Doom Room - that meant more simulations. Thinking about the Doom Room made him remember the arrow in Dr. Metropolis' eye and the scorn of his peers that had followed, so he was spending his time thinking about more productive things. "There's gotta be at least one that leads off-campus," he said thoughtfully, chewing on one end of the pencil. "Down by the bay, when they go fishin'." He looked over at their "guest instructor" for today - the slim, brown-haired woman in the red tracksuit who had introduced herself as "Sam Capote" - and who he had recognized as the Claremont alum Relentless. "We goin' fishin?" "Easy there, soldier," she told him, giving the words more weight than other teachers at the school might have. "Everybody will be briefed at the same time." "Just tryin' to stay productiv," said Riley, standing up and adjusting the crossbow that hung across his back. Slipping into his poncho and standing beneath the trees, waiting for the rest of the team to arrive, was a taste of home - but home had never been so bright, so clean, or so safe. He scratched his fingers against his chin, wondering not for the first time if that was stubble he felt there. How could he tell his teacher that he was tracking the paths used by the cannibal degenerates that lived in the Claremont Academy of his own reality? "Didn't think I was _this_ early."
  18. Full Earth Tonight

    It was very cold in New Jersey at the beginning of February, especially in the early evening when the sun had retreated to a mere suggestion of cloudy sunset and the stars were hidden by a hundred thousand points of light pollution. Raina shivered as she stood on the quad in her light Burberry jacket and tennis shoes, staring at the sky and trying to locate even the faintest trace of moon. She had a winter coat in her room, some awful thing that her grandmother had picked up at the Goodwill and washed the dead-body-smell off of, but Raina wasn't going to wear that unless there was literally no other choice. She'd rather be cold in a pretty spring coat that was only just a teeny bit too short. Next to her, Merlin sulked in her backpack, festively attired in one of Cathy's hats and a snowsuit made for babies. He had no compunction about sacrificing fashion for warmth, but really, it wasn't as if he were ever going to be out looking for love. "Come on," she cajoled him, "just fifteen more minutes. I gotta try this spell, and there's supposed to be a full moon tonight, it's just behind the clouds." She shaded her eyes, as though that would help. Merlin impatiently pointed out that she was studying the wrong quadrant of the sky, which would make it difficult to find the moon even if it weren't cloudy. Raina replied with an incoherent exclamation of frustration and turned to look in the other direction. "I hate you, you know that?" Merlin indicated smugly that he did indeed know that.
  19. Get Low

    Robin waited until Fred was out at the lab as she didn't want to worry her roommate with the implicit rulebreaking that was about to occur. Briefly, she felt guilty for leaving Fred behind but the young woman was still adjusting to life in this century and Robin thought that taking her to what was sure to be a rather sketchy - and probably illegal - venue was not likely to help matters. She paused to leave Fred a brief and uninformative note before she headed for the door on quiet feet. Robin fished the tattered flyer out from her pocket - having snagged it during the last weekend in the Fens and began picking her way through the hallways towards Raina and Cathy's room. Glancing up and down the hall to make certain there were no lingering RA's, she knocked on the door. "Hey, we should go if we want to make it. Also before anyone catches us heading off campus." As this was so very not a sanctioned field trip.
  20. There's A Moon Out Tonight

    Pat's Pizzeria Bayview, Freedom City, New JerseyMonday November 16th, 2015 5:12 PM Finding dining off campus that was both hygienic and allowed a monkey to enter its premises was no small task. But, Annibal was up to the challenge. Spending the entire weekend searching the motivated youth was able to uncover a small hole in the wall pizzeria called Pat's. A secret hotspot among metahumans, Pat's was quite possibly the most primate friendly dining spot. The secret behind the place's cleanliness? Pat the owner had the ability to create and manipulate soap, bubbles, and foam. Making her a one woman cleaning machine. It also made eating at Pat's an attractive option for people whose powers came with a fur filled face lift. Not to mention the regular people who loved seeing Pat's nonthreatening powers at work. Suffice to say, Raina and Annibal had no issue finding a booth that would allow them to bring Merlin inside.
  21. Time Out

    Friday, November 13, 2015 Even with Merlin around to help supervise Raina was a little surprised to find herself to be anyone's first choice for a babysitter, short notice or not. Still, Talya had been as difficult to say no to as ever and it wasn't as though the young pyromancer couldn't use the extra income. And so she found herself in the apartments above the Espadas School on a Friday night, armed with a list of contact numbers, money to order a pizza, the knowledge that one of Erik's other students would be downstairs using the training equipment after hours and instructions that, should anything go truly badly she should literally call for 'Vince', whatever that was supposed to accomplish. While little Mia Espadas sat on the carpet in front of Raina concentrating mightily on her efforts to maneuver her own foot into her mouth, her older sister Eden looked up the tall blonde expectantly.
  22. Bulls on Parade

    AEON Institute, Downtown Freedom 10:30 AM February 3rd 2016 Though the late January blizzard had for a time dampened the fervor of the ongoing 'Humans First' protests outside the Aeon Institute with the city emerging from it's blanket of snow they had returned with renewed spite for all the institute and it's 'Terminus Spawn' CEO. AEON security maintained a safety corridor for those seeking AEONs services but beyond the barricades the protesters had grown ten deep chanting and waving their signs proclaiming humanities preeminence over the earth and unkind variations on 'Go Home Freaks!' and worse. Pictures of the mangled bodies from the last Terminus Invasion as well as some few victims of recent super violence often attributed to those afflicted with Terminus Energy Mutation Syndrome were shaken in the faces of executive and frightened petitioner alike while slurs and occasional threats were lobbed at those making their way to the main entrance of the Institute. Thus far violence had been avoided thanks in large part to the restraint of the well trained security team deployed along the barricade and the help of the FCPD who were quick to remove any protesters who crossed the line from peaceful protest. None the less the air was electric with the tension and for those with insight into such things it was clear the situation was unsustainable without something snapping soon. The young group from Claremont made their way to the cordon where a security agent and a well bundled receptionist took down their names before beginning to escort them down the gauntlet of hateful people and their signs. The youth of these particular petitioners it seemed inflamed the protesting crowd yet further with the screams of "Freak!", "Devil Spawn!", and worse rising over the general din as the protesters pressed angrily against the barrier despite the nearby securities warnings to back away.
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