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  1. Freedom Hall New Jersey January 2022 When the wormhole opened up on Freedom Hall's lawn, just outside the protective technology that thwarted actual invasion, it was cold outside; enough that there was an actual coat of thin snow and ice on the ground this close to the Atlantic Ocean. But it was warm inside; the blaring alarms interrupting what had otherwise been a very interesting New Year's Party - albeit one with at least one important absence from the League's main roster. The Patriot, who had volunteered for monitor duty so that other people could enjoy themselves downstairs for a little while, took one look at the monitors and said "Goddamit," and thought No space-date tonight! as she moved from her position upstairs for the elevator. The first figure through the portal was a dark human outline, a uniform deep black with glowing white eyes surrounded by a circle of glowing black balls of anti-light. He, it, was followed closely by a gigantic, amber-skinned woman a good eight feet tall, wearing the gold and blue of the Centurion himself! More came behind them; a man with spiky hair wrapped in a tight black uniform with dark horns just visible above, accompanied by a glowing blue feminine form; and following them all was a sturdily-built figure in patriotic red, white, and blue, moving with the speed and grace of a panther. The team fanned out quickly and began talking among itself, some pointing at Freedom Hall, others at the street. The one in black called WE MEAN YOU NO HARM!
  2. Claremont Academy Grounds, Bayview Area, Freedom City Sunday, January 7th, 2021, 12:43pm La Puma Negra, otherwise known as Carmen on campus, didn't feel like going to church today, instead having spent the day lounging on a low branch that was part of a tree between the Athletic Field and the rest of the campus. It was a colder day, being mid-winter as it was, with snow melting in some shaded corners from a few days before. Even with these conditions she didn't wear a jacket, the feline young hero was warm enough with the black fur that covered her body, her regular uniform just enough just enough to provide her warmth beyond what her body gave. Here in the tree, it was just dry enough for her, and high to where she felt comfortable from the vantage point. The feline young woman had not felt well, a textbook resting on her stomach. She wanted to rest but couldn't, something bothering the back of her mind, but she couldn't put a pin on it, every time feeling she was catching up to it before the thought swam away deeper in the back of her mind. Carmen thought that it could be her test scores, but even being somewhat uninterestingly average, she was still passing comfortably. At the least not drawing the ire of counselors or teachers for them. With those thoughts, she simply lounged above in relative peace for the time being.
  3. Early Summer 2021 Strange noises often came from the vast honeycomb hives of the giant bees, towering as they did as probably the tallest artificial structures on this planet these days. Songs and dances like distant rumbling thunder, noises of birth and death and a million other things, one sometimes learned to tune them out. At least until a giant bee comes buzzing in, loud as a helicopter and long as a truck, zooming in overhead and landing in a large green space in the midst of human dwellings, roughly equidistant from the homes of the guardians of this planet. It was Super-Bee, wearing her domino mask large enough to cover the front of a Mack Truck. "HEROEZ!" she buzzed. "I HAVE CAUGHT AN INTERLOPER!" Sure enough, she seemed to be holding a struggling human pinned against the thick, sticky hairs on the side of her leg. "HE CAME FROM ZOME PLAZE WE COULD NOT ZEE!"
  4. On the same night that hearts were won, lost, and pranks pulled in the Doom Room, ethics professor Gale al-Salaf is running a meeting for students not interested in prom night - they have managed to secure the services of a famous (albeit mysterious) guest speaker who will be addressing the students by remote. Gale is a fairly recent hire at Claremont, slim and a snappy dresser, with short-cropped dark hair and a tendency to fashionable dress, who starts every semester with a reminder that their pronouns are they and their. They're the subject of all sorts of interesting rumors, though luckily only the more immature kids speculate about something as boring as biology. Their lessons are typically diverse, with talks spread across time, space, and even dimensions - and today they're focused on the job as the kids come in. "Hello, friends! Come in, come in! There is popcorn afoot, herbed and cheesed, and I have secured most of the campus supply of Kool-Aid..." If the guest speaker doesn't work out, there are promises of a DVD of Planet Earth's new season on the big-screen 3-D tv. Professor al-Salaf loves environmental shows.
  5. April 2020 The Doom Room The Doom Room has never looked like this before. The room looks like a big, bustling speakeasy from the 1920s, not a place that was but a place that should have been, where boys, girls, and other folks of all shapes and sizes can sit together at wooden tables, mugs of cold, frosty root beer in hand (more daring souls can sample the punch), fedoras and suits on the boys, skirts and pearls on the girls (or vice-versa, depending) and if they feel so inclined walk out onto the dance floor and move to electroswing 'played' by a simulated band (complete with pretty redheaded torch singer) that'll be happy to step aside for any brave souls eager to volunteer. You can peer out the window to see city streets full of roadsters and coupes, or step into the unisex bathrooms and see what sure looks like period fixtres! There are adult chaperones here and there, teachers and parents mostly, but for the most part this is the day for young people. "Ladies, gentlemen, and nonbinary people of all ages!" Zoe Robinson, aka Morgana, is downright resplendent on-stage by the band, standing next to the torchsinger who might have been her twin. "Welcome to the junior-senior prom of _2020!_" And the music kicked up, and a few brave souls started looking across the room at their dates - or maybe for a lucky few, across a table...
  6. April 7th, 11.46AM, 2020 Claremont Academy, Main Quad "...and this is where I leave you, I guess." Det. Janice Renchy had the tired, bleary look of anyone who worked at night who had to be up in the middle of the day. Rubbing at one eye with the heel of her palm, Leon's voucher squinted around the stately, old-fashioned school square. "Dunno how you're not coming out of here with a load of debt. Anyway, I'm sure you'll do great, Leo. Take care of yourself, you got my number if it can do you any good." Smiling a little, she offered the boy a handshake. She looked hard at Leon's face "You're good here?" Unbeknownst to the unlikely duo, there was another new arrival, just out of sight...and very much out of time.
  7. TheAbsurdist


    The Rooftops of Dubai, sunset. It was still hot, the metal of the scaffolding was warm, the bright orange reflective paint of the unfinished portion of the But what was more worrying was the swarm of Katanarchists. The why of them being here was currently not the thought that Benjamin d'Amato (a.k.a the bouncing pugilist hero Rebound!) was worried about. It was more that they were here and fighting him, that was the pressing concern. And punching, kicking, stabbing, ninja starring (Is that even a word? -ed) were also pretty important. This wasn't what he was used to. A street scuffle, or a place where he could make like a pinball and ping about, but this was limited space with guys and dolls who were a cut above (I see what you did there. -ed) in a precarious position that hemmed him firmly outside of his comfort zone. Heck, this high up and he wasn't sure he couldn't be cleaned up except by paper towels. They were working towards the crane at the top of this thing, and he was trying to stop them. Already worn down from however long this had been going, he worked himself after them. "Don't s'pose youse guys wanna call it quits and just give in?" He ducked his head sharply behind one of the metal poles as a shuriken struck against it, "Okay, okay, good talk. Well whateva youse doin' I gotta stop ya so..." And with that he changed his grip and swung around bringing his feet against a pole, and bracing against it before he leaped up towards the crane, and the Katanarchists. It was in the middle of the trajectory that he noticed one of the Katanarchists as doing something, and at the moment he would have made contact there was violence and brightness, and he found himself sailing backwards, flung by the force. As the world broke apart. Claremont Academy, Combat Simulator Room, February 9th. 1PM, ish. Rebound tried to course correct, his mind already working out the angle of his movement, and he completed the flip as he hit the wall, and grunted with the force of it, but he bounced right off. His control was such that he fell forward, and the twenty feet down from the wall, to land in a smooth crouch. He panted, his uniformed dusted up, his domino mask a little torn, and his lip was busted up. As per usual he was on a multi hour training scenario, though this was him trying to pick up the tactics, the world he was thrust in now. Kids were the same, ish. Maybe. But the combat scenarios had a lot things for him to look into and sort through. His natural instinct was simply to go another time, in a different scenario that the computer was randomly generated..
  8. March 21, 2020 DuTemps Castle "Kimber!" called Eira from the guest bedroom the Claremont girls were using to change. "I need your advice!" Technically the members of Orange Squad (along with her room-mate and her friend Pan) were here for diplomatic and professional purposes. True North, Canada's super-team, had recently teamed up with the British super-team Vanguard to battle the forces of the Fenian Liberation Army - the fight had been long, been hard, and it was all very interesting if you cared about the history of cross-Atlantic imperialism and the lasting legacy of American and British imperialism. But what was relevant right now was that in the aftermath of the battle in upstate New York, the teams had come to a neutral spot to celebrate, reconnect, and enjoy the hospitality of one of their richest American partners. It was a great opportunity to meet adult heroes from all over Europe and Canada, use the DuTemps pool - the big one, that the Deep One who lived here typically avoided because of its chlorination, get acquainted with the Claremont alums who lived in the castle, get out from under Claremont discipline under the watchful eye of adult heroes, and maybe hit the sound system and eat snacks while they were at it.
  9. February 17, 2020 15 minutes before the first class of the day Her face a picture that might have been captioned "Soon!", Eira Katastroff leaned back against the wall, a lazy smile on her face as her internal clock ran down. The halls were full of people in their lockers, heading to and from class, chatting and texting to each other, but as usual she seemed to be an island unto herself amidst the other teenagers. Smirking, she leaned back against the wall, her blue hair visible inside the yellow hoodie she'd pulled up over her head, and watched the other students go by, her head rocking slightly to the beat of an inaudible melody.
  10. Claremont Academy, Freedom City Early November 6:00PM Once again, Claremont had invited a guest to the lecture hall, and again it was going to be someone a bit controversial. Serena Mustafic, known to the hero community both as Corona and formerly as Revolt, had been asked to come to give a lecture on being an ex-supervillain and how crime didn’t pay. After a few questions, she had found out she hadn’t been their first pick, but the first had referred them to her. Which made her suspect who it was, but she couldn’t be sure because they weren’t telling. Attendance wasn’t mandatory, which meant that Corona’s daughter Mia was off hiding in her room, away from the potential embarrassment. Not that Serena knew that. Instead, she was more focused on the sudden crowd in front of her. She wondered, briefly, if she had gone insane agreeing to do this. She forced the thought back down and approached the podium. She was dressed in full costume, complete with grey tights, black trunks and leather jacket. She figured if she was talking as a superhero, she should look the part. Rubbing the back of her neck, she waited for the introduction to happen. “Alright, everyone, this is Corona. She is here to talk to you all today about what makes a supervillain, how bad it was to be one, and how you shouldn’t become one. If you want to ask a question, please wait in turn and try not to interrupt,” said the host. Corona sighed, and leaned up to the microphone. “Hi, everyone. I’m Corona. Some of you might know me as Mia’s mom, others might not know me at all. I’m a superhero now, but back in the early 90s I was a supervillain called Revolt,” she said. “I was a member of a team called the Delinquents. We were formed basically right after the Terminus Invasion in ‘93.” “Uhm, some background. Before I got my powers, I was in and out of the foster system and I was pretty poor as a kid. I drifted from home to home, and started committing crimes when I was… Jeez. I don’t know. 10? I was angry at the world. Everyone, really, and I ran away a lot. It made me pretty ideal fodder for being turned into a villain. I was kidnapped by a man named Will Wu when I was 15 years old, and I was given superpowers. In exchange, I was expected to commit crimes for him along with four other teenagers.” “Before you get the idea I was entirely the victim in this, I was pretty into it. For most of my life, I had felt powerless, and suddenly having powers and the ability to act on a lot of anger I was harbouring… It felt good. It let me be blind to the fact that I was causing a lot of people a lot of pain. I think there’s a very large subset of super-villains who are people who felt powerless and then when they did gain extraordinary abilities they just… Got drunk on it. That’s not… I don’t want it to sound like I am making excuses for myself. But I think it’s important to remember that a lot of these people out there are people who are hurting in some way, and there might be a chance for you to make a breakthrough to them.” “Uh, but getting back to my story here. I was a supervillain for around three years. I fought with groups like the Freedom League, there’s a very embarrassing photo of me fighting Lady Li…” she paused, and looked up at the projector screen behind her, and sighed as she saw a teenage version of her attacking the Lady Liberty of the 90s. It was a newspaper clipping, underneath a headline of ‘DELINQUENTS AND FREEDOM LEAGUE CLASH’. “Yeah. Not proud of that one. Anyway,” she said as the image switched off. “I was caught at the end of those three years and sentenced to several years in jail, which was kind of a wakeup call for me. Once I got out, I made the decision that I was going to go straight. Most of my compatriots went straight along with me… Some didn’t. I am still dealing with the fallout of that today. I never finished high school, so I was really limited in my job choices, which meant after I had my daughter, money was tight as ever, and a few members of the super community paid me a few unwanted visits to let me know that I was being watched, which was a little spooky, not going to lie. Recently, I made the decision to return to the super world, but as a superhero. It’s been difficult at times, but it’s a lot more rewarding.” She paused. “Well, that’s the short version of my life story. One thing I really feel the need to say is that I know a lot of you are probably in a similarly crummy point in your life, and you might want to lash out. Your powers might make it easy to lash out. And for a time, it might even feel good. But consequences always catch up to you, and more than that, you’re not just hurting the people you think you’re lashing out at. Your actions tend to ring outwards. Which is why I think if you are angry at injustice, or the way you’ve been treated, what you should be doing is using your abilities to make the world better. Yes, I understand a lot of you are angry at the world and you probably have a lot of right to be. But the world does not need another super-powered jerk bullying people because they’ve been abused, or hurt… or whatever has happened to you. What it does need is more people doing good. That doesn’t necessarily mean going out and punching bad guys, either. There are a lot of really good organizations out there that can benefit from people who are super strong or can fly. Disaster relief really benefits from metahuman help. Like, unimaginably so. So… Just try to use that outrage for good, I guess.” She looked over at the host. “How was that? Was that good? Should I start taking questions?” She nodded at the answer. “Alright, if anyone has any questions, I can answer a few.”
  11. Fall 2019 Claremont Academy Gay-Straight Alliance First Meeting of the Year The tables were set with neatly baked rainbow cupcakes that Judy felt no more than the slightest temptation to eat, the walls hung with rainbow flag images and pictures from LGBT history, and the Recording Secretary of the Claremont Academy GSA (the only member of the club who hadn't graduated last year) was ready to greet the new arrivals as they headed into the converted classroom. She'd been a little nervous her first meetings as her sister's 'ally', sitting in a room full of people she'd been taught to believe were wrong, but Ashley's refusal to take an active role in the club had forced her to take an active role herself, and within a few months she'd found herself fitting right in. We gotta get some new members this year, she thought with a glance at Ashley, I can't be above secretary, because I'm an ally! With a smile, she flung open the door, gold cross gleaming around her neck, and said, "Howdy, y'all! Welcome to the GSA!"
  12. Freedom City Exposition Center October 19, 2019 12:00 PM "Compass Rose International Tech Expo: Tickets $25, students and heroes enter free. Open Saturday, October19 12 PM to 4 PM, Sunday 2 to 6 PM." Compass Rose International. One of the few companies on the bleeding edge of space tech, attempting to fill a gap that had begun to form in the early days of the new millenium and had only grown over two decades. Spurred on by renewed interest in the ideas of space colonization and exploration, the company had carved out a healthy niche for itself in a fairly short amount of time. It had come to Freedom City for a few reasons. The first was the fact that, not so secretly, the company had been seeking to expand its operations to Freedom City and was hoping to make a good impression. There was also the fact that Freedom City had a fairly sizable meta-human population, and hiring one of those would be a real boon if they had the right power set. The convention centre floor was bedecked in multiple exhibits, ranging from rocketry dioramas to model Mars habitats. There were also little recruiting stations proclaiming "work for Compass Rose!", complete with contact details and resume drop-off zones. At the front of the hall was a stage, a lone podium sitting in the centre and flanked by chairs on either side. Raya wells sighed, dressed in a black pants-suit with a white halter top underneath. It was a far cry from her usual style, but she had been told to tone it down. The only real personal flourish she had was a purple cap with a flat brim and a pair of ray bans. Next to her was Compass Rose's communications director, Sam Rio, an older man dressed in a simple blue button down and grey slacks, with his widows peaked black hair slicked back. "I can't believe you made me come to this," Raya said glumly. She had been hoping to visit a world where Hannibal had crushed Rome, but she had been strongarmed by Rio's charm. "You're the CEO," Sam said, side-eyeing Raya. "It would be weird if you weren't here." "I am not the public type of CEO," she said. "You know that." "Look, just smile and shake some hands, make a a speech, you'll be fine. Hey, look, we got our first arrivals," he said, gesturing to the entrance. Raya grimaced. "Greaaaat."
  13. Claremont Academy 10:30 am, August 28th, 2019 Weather: Sunny, 77 F, Wind E 15-20 mph The visitor's parking lot was packed. A sea of people bustled amidst vehicles and toward open, shining gates. Belongings, often with grunts of effort, were loaded onto carts. Laughter echoed from caravans trickling through the main entrance and the Quad. Hand-drawn signs pointed the way, each adorned with student messages. In time, the shadows of the twin dormitories provided respite to travelers. Staff and peer counselors dotted the trail, assisting overwhelmed students on their journey. Vice-Principal Dugan was the first new face to arrivals. Her table near the gates kicked off the journey. Mr. Marquez wheeled the circuit and kept visitors on course. Mr Kuzkin and Ms. Harcourt paced about the Kord and Carter dorms, respectively. Their task, to organize the move-in, appeared to have some success. At the very least, weary travelers could partake of cold refreshments and treats outside the main doors. While outside was organized chaos, the dorm halls were like herding cats. A din permeated the air. Dozens of students, parents, and guardians wandered in search of rooms. Boxes and bags transformed the hallways into obstacle courses. The excitement of new memories and old friends contrasted with worried hugs and goodbyes. If nothing else, the dorms were places of beginnings and endings. What are you doing this beautiful day? Moving into the dorm? Helping new students?
  14. Fall 2019 Claremont Academy 6PM There was quite the crowd gathering for this year's first Ambassador Talk, both among Claremont students and the occasional adult parent or guardian who had turned up for what promised to be a very special talk. Everyone knew who was coming - Aquaria Innsmouth, the first Deep One superhero! The word 'first' had been used with some vigor when faculty were talking up the event to students, Attendance was by no means mandatory, and many students (such as Watchdog and Daystar) were skipping it either out of personal conviction or taco night, but there were good snacks in the upper galleries of the big classroom that was usually used for the big first-year classes. Headmistress Summers was on the scene, standing up by the snacks to greet new people as they arrived, and (along with a few teachers) keeping an eye on students, guests, and guests of honor. She was currently having an argument with one of the second of those three. "That you would subject a prince of the blood to this appalling display is one of the most deplorable things I have ever heard." General Dalekos had come dressed as a Surfaceman for this event, albeit with the rumpled look of a man not quite used to this particular fashion. "The embassy will certainly hear of this." "Prince Telemachus," the young Atlantean princeling was staring straight ahead in the second row, and looking desperately as though like he was trying to pretend he couldn't hear the Atlantean general arguing with his headmistress, "is here by choice - and by his family's permission," said Summers frostily. "Just as you are here out of courtesy in your role as loco parentis to our Atlantean students." She murmured something else - and then, his face flushing scarlet, the general took a seat in the upper tier among the other visitors for the talk. As more students entered, Summers and other faculty greeted them by name and pointed them to their seats. "Our guest of honor will be arriving soon."
  15. In celebration of new school year, I'm setting up an open thread for students and visitors. The move-in date is Wednesday, August 28th. The goal is a straightforward meet-and-greet thread. Feel free to drop by! I will be frank that my information on our version of Claremont is pretty basic. I plan to keep the opener fairly general and go from there. Please let me know of any changes needed, and feel free to add your own touches! Gentlebeings, behold!
  16. Legatus Claremont Academy Grounds, Outside the Jasmin Summers Administrative Building 19 July 2019, 12:50 PM As XVIII stepped out of the building and into the sunlight, he lifted a hand to shield his eyes from the midsummer rays. This marked the third telling-off by Vice-Principal Dugan since his arrival at the school - on campus, his mind supplied - several weeks prior. At first he'd been surprised at how mild she'd been when it came to wearing Centurion's colors in public. XVIII - no, Felix, he reminded himself - hadn't really realized how much danger he'd put others in if anyone made the (obvious) connection between himself and his progenitor. The second time, she'd been more exasperated and somewhat alarmed. The fact that he'd not only gone out into public in a costume very similar to the Man of Adamant's, but had done so without express permission had seriously annoyed her - and also worried her. She had told him (again) about the Alpha-Centurion, who had done much the same thing, but it had all been a ruse, trying to steal from the Freedom League. A lot of heroes still remembered that, she had said, and many people did as well. He'd make people "rowdy" or "riotous" with his actions, she'd claimed. Well, now that uniform had been torn apart by his last encounter with a few muggers with weapons bigger than their brains, and he'd donned a new one - one wholly his own, even if it took inspiration from his predecessor's, and she'd called him in again. Not that he'd done anything specific wrong, the vice-principal had been quick to assure him after he'd returned from extinguishing a fire in the Fens. No, she was concerned that he was going to get too much exposure, and others might come to try to harm him. While Felix wasn't exactly concerned about that - very few things could hurt him, other than himself - he was aware of the enormous responsibilities he had as a potential successor to the mightiest champion that Earth had ever known. Looking up at the sky, he sighed softly, before forcing himself to smile. Vice-Principal Dugan had urged him to spend more time with people his own age, so he might as well try to start that now. He began walking towards the open fields at the end of campus, wondering whether he'd see anyone there.
  17. July 23, 2019: Late O'Clock at night (morning?) Janus Danger There were many common rooms, and certainly one closer to the dorm room that Janus shared with Veronica but this one had the advantage of line of sight to the door of Kam's dorm room. Janus was bored. Frightfully bored any time that they weren't training at the Espadas dojo but finding out exactly what could encourage Kam - the most rule abiding person that Janus may have ever met - to break curfew. Janus was almost entirely certain that it was a girl at this point. They'd been back for less than a week for the late summer session and by Janus' count, this was the third time that the prince had snuck out. Really, it was a time honored Claremont tradition to sneak out and do a bit of vigilante work on the side... just not one that Janus thought Kam would take part in. They were pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. Janus stretched out on the couch, long legs dangling over the arm and absently scrolling through the phone while they waited. It wouldn't be long now. Janus bit back a yawn. Being tired through classes in the morning was absolutely worth it. When the window creaked open, Janus shifted to eye the Red Lynx from their position dangling upside down on the couch. "Welcome to the hallowed fraternity of Claremont rule breakers, your highness. So, who is she?"
  18. February 1, 2019 Common room Kord Building 1st Floor Even hanging Valentine paper ribbons hadn't solved Judy's tension, so as she and Ashley headed into the first floor common room (the latter first, as always) she kept an anxious eye out for Corinne. I really really hope she is not Zenith tonight because I need her to be here for me and not be up her own butt! I have serious problems! Having never liked a guy before, liking two guys was a problem as serious as anything else she had to deal with on a day-to-day basis. While Judy took a seat on one of the couches by the puzzles, Ashley scanned the room - a couple of people playing video games, a couple of people reading, a couple of people pretending like they wanted to study, a couple that was going to get a lecture about fraternization if one of the dorm monitors came in...honestly pretty typical for Friday night. She was looking forward to later when she could settle in with a book. Judy had bought her the book by Paul Chappell for Christmas - it was a nice gesture even if it was mostly good for helping her sleep.
  19. Prologue Anne Leonard Books had been a fixture in Emerald City's trendy University Hill district since the late Sixties, but earlier in 2018 the elderly proprietor announced her plans to retire and sell the store, as none of her grown children had any interest in something as archaic as running a used bookstore. For several months, it looked as though she'd have to sell to some developer, who would either want to turn the painted lady into an Airbnb, or worse, just tear it down to put up ugly condos. Luckily for Anne, a pair of young out-of-town investors contacted her in August, expressing interest in buying the store outright, including all current stock. They both flew in all the way from Freedom City to begin negotiations, and the retiring bookseller couldn't be more delighted with the young women; true, there was some unspoken tension between the two of them (Anne suspected some sort of romantic entanglements), but they couldn't be more professional or courteous in the business dealings. She felt a small twinge when they stated they would change the name to reflect the connection with the parent store back East, but it was hardly surprising; only her own children wouldn't have made such a change Apparently the younger of the two named Gretchen would actually be operating the store, and she asked a lot of very educated questions about the neighborhood, the store's clientele and what sort of books sold best as well as the most requested items they didn't stock. When all was said and done, Anne felt very good about the sale, and even considered stopping in from time to time to see how young Gretchen McDaniels would fare
  20. October 2018 It had all gone wrong during chili night at the cafeteria. Ashley had warned Jaycee not to try anything, but walking past the doors, memories of home had drawn the girl in. And despite Ashley's best efforts, she wasn't actually the boss of Jaycee Cahill. So the girl had eaten, bites of chili verde, chili con carne, Cincinnati chili (even if the latter had made Judy make a disgusted face) and a few more bites of things Ashley hadn't immediately recognized. Judy had had a good time socializing with her friends, even if she'd rolled her eyes a bit at the cliched country-western music playing on the cafeteria sound system, and so maybe that was worth what had happened when her body had started digesting the food - and belatedly remembered that it was powered by radio waves, not by carbohydrates. They were in the first floor hall bathroom - they hadn't quite made it all the way upstairs - and Ashley was standing outside the stall when she heard Jaycee say, a little weakly, "Ashley, Ah'm...ah'm gonna be here a little while. Can you go back to the library and get mah book? Ah think I left it in the study room..." Normally Ashley didn't go fetch things for Judy - but after the vomiting, and the crying, she wanted to do something to put a little smile on the girl's face. "Be right back. Stay in the bathroom, and hit the button if you need me. Five minutes." She laid her hand against the cool metal of the stall door, then turned and headed quickly outside. Of course, the one problem with public bathrooms was that they didn't have locks on the outside...
  21. 1PM Philosophy Class "All right, everybody," said Judy Smith, smiling nervously as she looked around at the others in her four-person study group. (Well, three if you didn't count her sister.) The large room was full of the chatter of small groups as the divided students discussed the packet of documents the instructor had handed them; or alternatively peeked at their phones, or chatted when the instructor was across the room. "The first one says 'You are a superhero in the United States in 2020. A law has passed that says everyone with superpowers must register with the federal government. Your friends are divided on the subject - some of them think the law is a good idea because it will keep people safe, other people think the government can't be trusted with that information. Do you agree with the law? What'll you do about it, whether you agree or disagree. And there are the longer arguments...so what do you guys think?" she asked, looking around at the others. "This seems pretty easy."
  22. September 4, 2018 Claremont Academy (Third Floor, Rita Kord Dorm) Janus followed along, glancing at the numbers of the rooms as they passed each one in turn. The Danger scion had dressed 'down' recognizing that there would be a lot of hauling and unpacking from dark windowed car to the dormitory which meant that they only somewhat looked like some lost extra from an over-embellished k-pop video. Hair that faded from white to rose at the tips was pulled back in a tight braid that brushed the tightly laced leather pants. (Who wore leather pants in the late summer? A Danger, that's who.) The flouncy poets shirt had been cuffed back above leanly muscled forearms. Bright violet eyes cut to the sign. "Three-twelve. This is us, 'Ronnie." Like the androgynous features, Janus' smooth tenor didn't betray if the tall, slim individual was male or female, though their handsome features lent itself to an easily assumed pretty male. Shortening Veroncia's name with familial familiarity, Janus paused before apologizing as they well knew high school had an impact. If nothing else, Janus had seen all the high school movies while taking up space in Danger Manor over the summer. "Sorry, Veronica." Janus amended as they bumped the door open with one lean hip, "Habit."
  23. January 20th, 2018. Sometime around Noon. Jack relaxed against the tree, enjoying the weather outside. The snow fell softly against his skin, and he sat in the snow, covered only in basketball shorts and a sleeveless hoodie. It had been a few days since he started going to school here, but already he was enjoying his time. His friend Alexa had been correct when she told him that he would love it. The food alone was worth it. He cupped his hands around a snowball, packing it gently, a smile spreading on his face. Alexa usually passed this way between classes..and he had a concocted a pile of snowballs with her name on them...and a second pile for Lexa. Tis the season for a good snowball fight.
  24. Monday, November 27th 2017: 9:00am, Claremont Academy Zhu got out of the small old Honda Civic and had to just stop and look. While she already had looked over the school with an illegally appropriated satellite, checked every photo that was in a cloud anywhere, and had as much comprehensive knowledge about her new school as she could possibly get, there was something about the majesty of the campus that still overwhelmed her. It was a stark reminder that while information was good, there was nothing that could quite replace actual experiences. Perhaps she would have to do some research into why reality was so real. Around her, the suprisingly warm November day had a glorious feel to it and the students were taking advantage of the Indian Summer, perhaps anticipating the winter to come. "<Go ahead, we're proud of you. You can do this>," her mother gently chided to her in Mandarin from the passenger seat. Zhu, no Alexa, she had to keep reminding herself that, turned to her mother and smiled, "<Thank you for your sacrifice. I will honor your choice.>" Her mother waved once and, as neither of them were fond of long emotional goodbyes, drove off leaving Alexa standing staring at her new school. Brushing back her hair, she took a deep breath and muttered to herself in slightly accented English, "this is where I should be." She knew the path to the registrar's office and began heading across the well manicured lawns not bothering to hide her wide eyed wonder at the diverse student body. Without taking the phone out of her pocket she pulled up the agenda that had been sent too her. It was rather vague, something that annoyed her, but contained at least a starting point to her new journey. Of course, in the name of efficiency, her parents had dropped her off nearly a full hour before she had to be anywhere, but if her schools in Shanghai taught her anything, it was that punctuality was to be observed to the exclusion of nearly all else. She was certain that the Dean would feel the same way.
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