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Fall 2018 "A psychic - and a psychic that powerful, here with all these students?" Ashley was demanding. Judy was off-campus with the rest of her detail for now, which left Ashley free for a meeting with the headmistress. Well, for what was technically the discussion of a rules violation. "With the Dangers, the Dakanan royals, and Judy?! Why would you do that?" Callie stared flatly across the desk at her former pupil. "Because she is a child in need of an education - a child whose powers make her a danger to herself and everyone around her. Would you have preferred I left her on the street, Agent George?" "...no," said Ashley, a little abashed. "But for God's sakes, you could have warned me. A psychic adopted by the Freedom League is not what I'd call a revealing personal profile!" "No, it was not," agreed Callie, "nor was it intended to be. As we discussed earlier this year I am not in the business of trading my students' personal information to the United States government for your personal satisfaction." "It's not my personal satisfaction!" shot back Ashley, her voice rising louder than she'd intended - just as Callie was perhaps speaking in a sharper tone than she'd have typically used in this situation. "It's about national security, and protecting a member of the First Family!" It was a good thing the walls were cunningly baffled - at least when Summers desired them to be. "I am aware of both of those concerns, Agent George, and I am doing my best to alleviate them," said Callie frostily. "But my primary concern is, and always shall be, the welfare of this students and of this school." She held up her hand to stave off a protest. "I am aware that you are in a difficult situation during your undercover work, Agent George, but it is a situation that you created. You chose to recommend this school as a place for metahumans - you chose to suggest that a Secret Service agent be planted with Judith Cahill. You placed yourself on this course and it is your responsibility to navigate it. For Judith's welfare, for yours, and for the welfare of our students." Ashley was quiet for a moment, holding back the adolescent urge to shout again, before she asked softly, "What if it goes wrong? What if the President shows up at the front door with the 82nd Airborne?" "Then I pity the President who comes to this school planning for trouble. And you and I will have failed. Do you intend to let that happen?" "...no."
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."
A wall of black, whirling dots of ink exploded over everything, battering through James' dimensional barrier an instant after sweeping away the whole world around it. And then... - James Prophet woke up to the gentle beeping of his compu-alarm, the whirring of his electro-bed a gentle reminder of the very pleasant way he'd fallen asleep. He sat up wearily, listening to the hum of the stabilizers that kept his flying saucer in orbit of Earth. Rising to his feet, he caught sight of his face in a reflective surface of polished metal and paused. Wasn't that right? He was Hell-Ion, the half-blooded son of the crown prince of Lucifer-1, the biggest planet in the Antares system whose inhabitants had evolved red skin and ionic-wielding powers to protect themselves from the sun's red radiation. But he'd sided with his mother's people, not his father's, and become the guardian of the planet he'd once hoped to invade. Was that right? No. No, because when he looked in the mirror, he saw who he was. He was James Prophet, prince of Hell. This other life was patchy, with elements of his backstory hard to recall exactly, as if no one had ever bothered to write the story down completely, but he could remember his lives enough to know which one was real. - "Raven." Chris Kenzie woke up in a sitting position, peering through his mask at a very familiar face. His adopted father, Duncan Summers, was looking down at him with one of his characteristic indulgent smiles. "You fell asleep in costume again." Poking him lightly with his cane, he said, "Get upstairs and get some breakfast before your mother has my hide." The laughing acrobat was soon on his feet, running up the steps of the Ravencave to join his adopted mother, Jasmine Summers, for a hearty bacon and eggs breakfast. It was over breakfast, sitting with his new family and laughing and talking, that he caught sight of his face in one of Jasmine's highly polished plates. And the new life suddenly half-melted, as fast as it had come. He could remember patches; his adoption, his home, his family with Duncan and Jasmine, but other things were less sure, as if they'd been changed in an awfully fast hurry. He was Chris Kenzie, Geckoman, and he remembered that much with perfect clarity. - Erin fell thirty feet, landing on her feet in a lush, luxurious lawn. Coming to her senses, she realized she was standing beside the old Freedom Hall, the massive old mansion that had stood there before the Terminus Invasion and had once been the headquarters of the Freedom League. The sound of traffic was loud in her ears. Peering through the giant hedge between her and the street, she saw a scene like something out of an old movie; classic cars, men in suits, and women in needleskirts and pillbox hats that reminded her of pictures of Jackie Kennedy. But she hadn't traveled in time, she saw, not when she saw a young man walking along and listening to his iPod. The last thing she remembered was the end of everything. - Trevor Hunter woke up with a feeling of great loss, the way he always did on the anniversary of his parents' deaths. But Travis was there to comfort and steady him, as always, the greying-haired champion of justice a rock as they carried flowers to the graves of Ted Hunter and Janet Pryce-Hunter. Behind them was Margery, his grandfather's never-failing secretary, who'd stayed young and vital as long as Travis had thanks to their infusions of the Infinity Formula Midnight had taken from Wilhelm Kantor. It was raining just a little, enough that the smooth, polished marble reflected Trevor's face back at him as he and his grandfather recited the oath they'd taken to avenge any unjust killings like those that had taken his father and Travis' son. And it was then he remembered that his parents were alive. They'd abandoned him for Paris, left him in the care of an old man who lived alone, his favorite secretary long since dead. Patchy as the false life was, he could remember details of it, but there was no doubt in his mind about which story was which. He was Midnight II...but not this Midnight II. - Eve woke up as her cousin threw a pillow at her face. "Eeeeve! Wake up! Wake up you silly sleepyhead!" Faith gave her a big raspberry. "You'll be late for your recital!" "Fine, fine," grumbled Eve, who'd never been a morning person. She slid out of bed, headed for the bathroom, and started brushing her teeth. She looked in the mirror, saw the toothbrush blocking her mouth, and remembered. She was the hottest teen musician in Freedom City, she was a powerful psychic teen hero, she had a cute boyfriend with a nice smile. But that was a lie, wasn't it? She was Sage, and she remembered everything.