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Do students ever show up early? (OPEN)


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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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Mona Simms (known to some as the hero Pacer) was…well, being Mona. Which entailed running around Freedom City (and a significant portion of the Eastern Seaboard) at around Mach 13. She did technically attend class, but…she wasn’t necessarily on the North American continent during the entire school day. Or, technically, during each period. She loved to run, and as such couldn’t stand being still in a chair at a desk for more than a few minutes. And the teachers talked too slowly, not that that was their fault. Mona was just, well…the fastest teenager alive, and virtually the fastest person on the planet. Maybe even in the universe. Maybe even (considering how she’d met future versions of herself now) the fastest in all of time…


Pondering this, Mona wasn’t paying nearly enough attention to where she was going. Enough to not run into people, you understand, but if it was below her eyes (less than five feet, but still counts) she missed it. Which was the story of how she ended up punting a new girl’s suitcase far, far away. See running at Mach 13. She hopped on one foot, as it was kind of like stubbing her toe. “Ow, ow, ow. Who put that there?” There was far more surprise than anger in her voice. She was gone and then back in the time it took non-speedy persons to blink. Of course, she had the suitcase. “Sorry, sorry.” She held it up, looking about as sheepish as it was possible for a person to look. “I hope there wasn’t anything breakable in there. Because now it’s broken.”

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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That moment of doe eyed wonder evaporated as her small suitcase, with it's precious laptop was ripped out of her hand and seemingly deciding to take a flight on it's own.  She saw the case go flying and before she had a chance to even react, it was back in the hands of a very sheepish looking girl.  Alexa looked at the case, which had a very prominent impact mark on the side before reaching out to take it.  Still looking at the other girl, she opened the zipper which then leaked out the rather impressively shattered laptop.  It took a few awkward seconds for the small pieces to trickle out as she watched them pool up as a pile of silicon debris on the sidewalk.  


<"I think that..."> she started to say in Mandarin, then quickly reverted to English, "I think that this would be covered under warranty?  I do not think that laptops should act like this."


As she looked over at Mona, she did not look upset, just surprised and bewildered, "is this a common occurrence?  If it is, I think I will have to either have redundant systems, or get a better suitcase."

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Back to school, then... 


Rev dropped her cases. They were heavy. She cracked her knuckles. They cracked magnificently. 


But then, they should, they were metal. 


She had spent the last month under the "care" of AEGIS who had quizzed her about the crash, quizzed her about her crimes, and prodded and poked her limbs to check the mechaphage was not, actually, contagious. It appeared not to be. The only person it had infected was Lexa Venn, 17, high school drop out. 


And the only way she could avoid Juvenile correctional facilities (which would surely have lead to escape and outlaw status) was Claremont. It seemed fair enough to Lexa. She was glad of the second chance. She had screwed up. 


But she was worried about screwing up again. 


She picked up her two bags again, slinging them onto her shoulders. Each weighed close to a hundred kilos, but she handled them with ease. All her worldy goods. On balance, she would have preferred her old limbs back. The touch, the feel of them. But she had to admit, having rocket powered cybernetic limbs was pretty cool. And the flying. Oh! The Flying!


She walked up to registration, feeling a bit self conscious. Screw 'em...she thought to herself. She was only seventeen but had been street racing and running in chop shops. She had more cool than anyone else here. But of course that was what she told herself. What she felt (even if she could not admit it) was another thing altogether. 


"Hey guys" she said, stopping by Mona and Zhu and dumping her bags with a resounding thud. "I'm the new kid. The screw up one" she smiled. The perceptive would notice a hint of shyness amongst the street cool. This was new territory and uncertain ground. 


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Timing, of course, was everything.  Alexa had just asked about how common it was to have things randomly destroyed in Claremont when a second girl walked up.  The thud from her dropped bags, was only muffled by the few remaining components of her obliterated laptop.  They gave up the ghost with a whimpering groan and crunch as the bags flattened anything which might have survived.  The rational part of her mind told her to stand back because whatever happened next to the ill fated machine could likely have a significantly higher area of effect.  However, she managed to push that part of her mind back into it's own spot before looking up from the glistening dust on the ground.


"You are new too?  Then we have this in common.  I thought I checked the arrivals log and was the only person here..." she talked, the last part nearly to herself, "I mean, I did not expect anyone else to arrive today.  It is my pleasure to meet you both.  I'm Alexa."

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Mona had literally run away. To get ice cream from that place in Rio she liked, but still. There was a Mona shaped hole in the air for just long enough for non-speedy folks to realize she wasn’t there. And then she was again, licking an ice cream she hadn’t had a moment ago. That had writing in Portuguese on it. “I don’t kick things when I’m running all the time.” She licked her ice cream again. “Banana flavored. Want one?” And then there was New Girl 2: Now With Heavier Bags. Mona remembered when she was new. It was just last year, but seemed so…nostalgic. “I can get you one, too. They have more than banana flavored.” Did she notice the additional crushing of the poor laptop? Who could tell? “I’m Mona. I’m fast.” She side stepped and a normal sized hand missed her shoulder. “That’s my brother Mickey. We’re twins.”


Mickey was an average looking guy, aside from where you could tell they were siblings. “Mona, did you break that poor girl’s laptop?”


Mona grinned impishly. “Nope, that was physics. I just tripped over it.” She licked her ice cream again. “Am I getting more of these, or what?”

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"Huh. Well my name is Lexa. That's a little bit really terrible! Nearly the same name" smiled Lexa chuckling. "Everyone calls me Rev though". 


It had stuck in the chop shop. It would stick now, surely. 


"Sorry about your laptop" she apologised, hefting the bag away easily. "And I don't do sugar" she said to Mona. "Fuel. That's a different matter. Mainline in straight in my neck!" she laughed, pointing at the ports at each side of the neck. 


"So if you know where I could refuel, that would be awesome. Plus, you know, a good steak and french fries. That would be pretty awesome too. I guess they don't do beer here, huh?" she asked. 


She had drunk a little. Under age. Criminal. Even got drunk. But she never really drank a lot. Just to be cool. She realised she better kill that knee jerk reflex pretty quick. 


"Huh. Don't worry. I'm not here to drink. Alcohol, anyway. I was being serious about the diesel though!"


She wondered if she could actually use alcohol for fuel. It was kind of possible, maybe?

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Alexa bent down and began sweeping up the remnants of her laptop back into her dented suitcase.  She was going to have to wash everything, because there was no way she was going to wear anything that had ground smashed silicon bits in it.  That was certainly a recipe for a very uncomfortable fashion disaster.  However, she was careful of getting any reasonably sized bit back into the case.


"No, it's fine.  I can probably fix it," she said dusting off the remnants of the once fine machine before standing back up.


"Is that Portugese?" she asked looking at the Ice Cream cone and wondering how she had missed it the first time.  Then it hit her what Rev had said, "you need Diesel?"  She almost said more, then looked over the girl, "oh... of course you do."

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There was suddenly another Mona-shaped hole in the air. Mickey sighed. “This might be a little while. There’s a few places that do good steaks, and a few that have good fries. But both together? There’s a challenge.” He shrugged. “I don’t judge people. Drink if you feel the need. But remember that it’s against the law.” The way Mickey spoke, it was if he was the most chilled out teenage boy on earth.


“Found it.” Without warning, Mona was back. “London pub. Great steaks. Fries are fresh cut and made to order. Don’t like that I’m underage, though. Which is…I’m not ordering beer, you silly Brit.” She grinned impishly again. “Just meat and fried potatoes.”


Mickey just looked at his sister. “And what if they can’t easily get to London? Which is across an entire ocean from where we’re standing?”


Mona licked her ice cream, blurred for a moment, and suddenly had a takeout menu in her free hand. “Place in Lincoln. Don’t do steak, but the burgers are amazing. And the shakes…” She visibly vibrated in place. “Yep, going there for after school snack today. Umm, that’s Lincoln here in Freedom.” She pointedly looked at her brother when saying that, who returned the look. "Not in Nebraska. Or anywhere else." She handed the menu to Lexa and licked her ice cream again. “I dunno what it is.” She looked at the ice cream’s wrapper. “I mean, I got it in Rio, so I guess?”


Mickey kept his steady gaze on his twin. “Did you pay?”


Mona rolled her eyes. “Yes, Dad. Tch, like a free meal hurts anyplace.”

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"If you can fix that mess, you can fix anything" sighed Rev. She was impressed through. She never really got the hang of computers. 


"Uhh...yeah, well I can eat later" she continued awkwardly, not quite understanding the ice cream licking blur later. "I mean, thanks and everything. But I am like pretty grounded..."




"...Like, forever. Well, maybe for the first week here, anyhow. Or first day. Don't want to get thrown out of school". 


Like, seriously. 


"So like, maybe the canteen or something?" she asked, cautiously. "I was only joking about the steak and fries. Thanks for London, though, Ill make sure to fly there one day!" she smiled at the blur. 


"Who are you guys anyway? Megabrain and Blur-girl?"

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Alexa giggled, it was something that she hated doing, but couldn't help it anyway.  She already had a complex about her looks, most girls here looked more like models and she still looked like she was just entering high school.  Rev was talking about drinking and she hadn't ever even set foot inside a bar, much less contemplated getting drunk.  The movies were very clear on this, soon, she would have to go to a wild barely controlled party if she wanted to fit in with this new school.  It was just how things were done!


"Megabrain was already taken... I think they operate out of Berlin I believe.  Are we really allowed to talk about this?" she asked looking at the small group questioningly.


Then looking back to Mona she asked, "you're flying to these places aren't you.  There's a small flash when you leave... did you get that Ice Cream in Rio De Jeneiro?  If you did, you had to be going over a hundred thousand miles an hour!"

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Mona glared at the two new girls, slightly annoyed. “I said. I’m Mona. I’m fast.” She licked her ice cream. “Listen when people speak.” This cued a laugh from Mickey. “What?”


Mickey only smiled. “Oh, you know. Just thinking about pots and kettles. They can be very funny.”


Mona shrugged. “Whatever. I can’t fly. Like, at all.” In less than a heartbeat she was on the other side of the group. “But I’ve been everywhere, man. Crossed the deserts bare, man. I’ve breathed the mountain air, man. Travel, I’ve had my share, man. I’ve been everywhere.” She once again grinned impishly and licked her ice cream.


Mickey was the one who answered the question about the ice cream, though. “Mona’s current favorite ice cream shop is in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Me, I still like that one in Manhattan. But I’m not that fast. I’ve got strength instead. We do wear masks and superhero, but…secret identity, I guess. Mona?”


Mona, suddenly back in her original place, thought it over for half a second. “Pacer. He’s Stalwart.”


“There you have it, aside from being able to borrow a little of what the other of us has, anyway.”

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"Nice! Blur-Girl suits you, though. I mean, you are a girl. And a blur. A girl who blurs. A blur who girls" smiled Rev, noting the ice cream. She was more of a tomboy herself. Hanging around with petrol fumes and fast cars. It was a miracle she hadn't got a tattoo so far. Although plenty of time for that. Perhaps Blur-girl, I mean Pacer, sneak her out to a tattoo parlor later. 


No. Don't push your luck. Not too far, anyway. 


"Alexa, I'm no genius, but maybe I could help you put your laptop together?" she offered, still lamenting the crushed device. 


And maybe I could paint the moon pink....


...actually, maybe I could paint the moon pink, with a little help from Blur Gi----Pacer. 


"I used to repair cars before..." she looked at her metal limbs. "...before stuff happened. I could at least hold your soldering iron. Or something. You know, just to make up"

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A smile crept across Alexa's face as she watched Mona's antics, it was so different from the serious tenor of her prior school that it was wonderfully intoxicating.  Besides the fact that her laptop had been pulverized and then crushed and her unmentionables likely had razor sharp shards in them, this was exactly what she had hoped for when they have moved.  More or less at least.  Pacer, Stalwart and Rev, they had to be hero names, which meant that these were people she could talk about her hero ID with.


"I haven't had much time to have an alternate identity, but I do go by SFX... just not very often yet." 


Then she looked at her dented case and turned to Rev, "if you would like to help, I would not object.  But, I think it is probably beyond a soldering iron.  Still, it is okay.  I like to have projects to work on.  Company is... good!  Really good."


Talking to Mona and Mickey she asked, "you are already students here?  Is it always like this?"  She emphasized that with a wave to the very diverse set of students who were going on or about their business.

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The big blonde Corinne came in with a tour en l'air, spiraling neatly as she remained more of less upright in the air.  Landing, she immediately into an free cartwheel, arms held out from her body, as she moved sharply, quickly, Then bouncing off of the landing.


She was back from practice, and was done up in the clothes she'd wear afterwards.  Her denim bucket hat, a studded leather jacket that was a find as a thrift store. Her duffel slung over a shoulder, with a white t-shirt with black/red printed block letters that said 'Plies For Days' on it.  It was capped off in the loose, gauzy romantic style tutu in various shades of purples, with black leggings under it, and black pair of Chucks.


Her eyes closed, she rocked back on her heels, as her body went rigid with enough force to make it seem like she was struck with a blow.  Then sliding smoothly on her soles, going from the balls of her feet, back to her heels.  Then another stark, sharp stop.  Of course she had a pair of earphones, the cord trailing off into her jacket, as she abruptly was on the toes of her sneakers.  Knees bent, and arm thrown back and skyward. 

There was a blink, as she realized she was amidst a group.  So she slowly rose up to her full height, and looked at them, "Ahm, hullo?"


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Yes, it was always like this, Alexa thought to herself as the girl in the smattering of different clothes landed in the middle of their conversation.  Ballet had been something her parents had tried to see if she had an interest, and while she did, it never really had compared to inventing.  They had never forced the issue, and while she might not have been in it very long, the moves and styles that this newcomer flashed were at least recognizable.  She had to force herself to remember that she was in a foreign place and that not everyone was going to dress like they did back home.  Nor apparently like they did on the shows.


Raising her hand she gave the girl a quiet wave, watching her moves with definite attention perhaps thinking about what she had given up.


"Hello..." she finally replied, "you move very well."

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And damn you are tall. 


Rev felt like extending her legs a few inches. Damn that, a few feet. 


She could at least have been some ungainly clumsy nerd. But no, she gets a real set of pins. 


She cracked her knuckles. They ground a little. Needed oil. She gritted her teeth. Cyborg limbs were great and all, but it was moments like these she realised what she had lost. 


"Nice moves" she said, forcing a smile to ooze out of her churning gut. "I think my ballet days are over" she said, looking at the chrome and steel of her body. "Maybe tap dance?" she joked, giving a little clunky effort. 


"I'm Lexa. Everyone calls me Rev. At least, most people do" she introduced herself. She didn't quite know how. She gave a little bow come courtesy. "This is my new friend, Alexa. I am guessing you and Pacer here know each other?" she asked. "Unless this school is really big. Or are you guys new too?"

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"ooo ickle firsties!"  Alex said, as he pulled in on his bike able to catch the tail ends of the introductions as they were being given to corinne, dismounting and locking up with a little more enthusiasm than usual, it was always interesting to get to meet people who were in on the whole powers business.


"you guys are having an Lex Convention and don't even invite me? I'm hurt! and also Alexander Or Facsimile."  he chimes with a chortle as he quickly pulls his helmet off "Pleasure to meet you all, even if it is again" he adds spying the fragments of laptop laying around on the ground "had a bit of a crash huh? That's Rough."


"You folks need showing around? i think i got a free period first, was gonna hit up the gym but I'm happy to help ya get comfortable if you'd like...just gotta drop off the helmet and bike stuff at my locker first."

Edited by Exaccus
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“Hi, Corinne!” Mona was apparently easily excitable. She looked all the way up at newcomer number 1. “You’re really tall in person.” Corrine had about a foot on Mona. The tiny speedster had heard about her, even seen her around campus/the dorms/Freedom City/somewhere, all right? She did not, however, know Alexander Lloydd from Adam. “Yo.” Did he go here? Who knows?


Mickey, that’s who. “Alex. Still trying to catch up to me?” They’d seen each other around the weight room a time or three. Casual acquaintances, more or less. Didn’t stop Mickey from teasing him, just a little. He did appreciate his cosmic might, even if it had to be handled very carefully. Corinne was taller than he was which, if he wasn’t Mickey, he might have been offended by. But he was Mickey. “Nice to meet you in person. You’re one of the ‘super cool’ people Mona babbles about sometimes.” He turned to Alexa. “Yes. It is always like this. Just like this. You get used to it.”

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"Hello ahm, everyone.  Like, nice to meet you.  Sorry, I was listening to Giorgio Moroder."  Corinne blinked owlishly, her normal expression was casual, distant, almost icy.  Then she smiled a bit, in her 'vomited on by thrift store' sort of attire, as she then curtsied before them, managing to move with a sense of poise and grace.  "Corinne Conrad, nice to meet you all."


"I hope I am good, I've been doing it since I was six."  Said, before she pulled her lips down between her teeth and biting at them both.  She didn't know them so clearly they didn't know, and she didn't want to be coming across as a haughty person.  "The other stuff is new.  Really new."  Then she frowned, her eyebrows knitting together as that happened, her mouth quirking a bit off center.  "Anyway, thank you."


She was a fixture at the gym as well, or just around the campus, with practicing her dancing, or acrobatics, or just working out.  And while not the tallest girl at Claremont, she certainly stood out, even among the kids here.  The tutus helped. 


"New?  It's intimidating, well for me, I can't speak about, like, your life experiences, and stuff..."  There was an audible growl from her stomach, and she unzipped her bag to pull out a protein bar, ripping open the package, before she scarfed it down with incredible alacrity.



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"I am not sure about ever becoming blase about all of this," she replied.  "This is so different from the schools I have been too, and even from the shows that I watched.  But, different good."


She paused, knowing that her next question would likely be unpopular, "don't you have studies and more important, home studies that take all your time?"


For a moment, she tried to place the eclectic group around her into her Shanghai school.  Most of the students there, rose early in the morning to study before coming to school.  A gathering like this was practically unthinkable.  Which given the fact that she typically did not have an easy time socializing, made this opportunity seem even more miraculous than the continent spanning ice cream runs she had just witnessed.

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"haha, nah, i overtook you a long time ago Mick, at least when it comes to actual muscle." he teased, the smaller, slighter teen "being strong and having muscles are two entirely different deals you know? keep carbo loading and working on it though and I'm sure we'll have you looking as statuesque as me one day, Au naturale" with a slight tongue in cheek tease before turning his attention back to the new folks. and their questions.


"Stuff here kinda works...differently, cause of the uuh...nature of the students." he explains "little bit more free form than maybe you're used too but don;t let it stress you out, its all part of coming to a new school and that ya know? Learning how to make the most outta your gifts." he said ponderously "I'm sure they'll go over it with you in orientation." he added assuringly, kid seemed like a nerd and it was probably far greater comfort to be told that than anything he could personally say.

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"Is there orientation?" asked Rev, politely. "I mean, I'm like totally disorientated" she confessed,  a trace of the shy coming over her. It was all so overwhelming. So far out of her comfort zone. Any school would be, and this school was pretty extraordinary. 


"I'm nervous as hell"


She was surprised she even said it. It wasn't cool, really. But time had come to be honest. 


"I dropped out my last school. Its...been a while since I took class. And this place is just as strange as you can get" she said, with a shrug that was almost a shudder. 


"I guess I lost my confidence"

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Alexa nodded, "yes, there's orientation.  Didn't you get the emails and letters?"  She pulled out a small tablet from her handbag, which conveniently had the registration letter on screen.  "See, we have to be there in about an hour.  That's where I was headed before..." her eyes trailed down to the severely abused suitcase.


Frankly she was surprised that the other girl admitted being scared, she did a quick search on movie tropes and the bad girl was not supposed to be scared.  Although, if she was the bad girl, they had cool, basket case... which made her the nerd?  No, that was not a good start at all.  She was going to have to do something to change her reputation.  Maybe getting straight A's in her classes would help...

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Sure there had been letters. And she had skimmed them. She should pay more attention. 


"Ace" she said, sticking her metal thumb up. For effect, she clicked out a little flame from the top of her thumb. She didn't smoke, but darn, she was sometimes tempted just so she could pull that off. 


She gave a lopsided smile and flicked her flame off. 


"So what do we do for the next hour? Have a walk round the gardens? Climb the trees?  Have a smoke behind the bike sheds? Rebuild your computer?" she asked, doubtfully considering the shattered remains of the laptop, which looked like a pizza with silicon and plastic topping. 

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