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Winter Wonderland [OPEN] [IC]


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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.

Edited by Jack
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Saturday's were usually pretty lazy days at Claremont, especially in the morning.  While not quite at college levels, Friday nights were certainly a time when the students let their hair down and Saturday mornings were usually brilliant times to sleep in.  Especially when the New Jersey weather was a cold and snowy as it was.  However, unlike many of her slumbering contemporaries, she enjoyed Saturday mornings for another reason.  The library, which was impressive on so many levels, was typically empty and allowed her both solitude and as many resources as she wanted.


She had on her black pea coat which covered multiple layers to keep her warm.  A fluffy scarf and mittens made the outfit practical and in her mind, cute.  With a backpack slung over her shoulder she was heading back to the dorms, humming a little tune to herself.

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She hadn't seen him yet...which, given his considerable size, was amazing. He packed the snowball a little tighter, but made sure if was only fluffy snow and not a slush ball. He didn't want to hurt his friend.


He peered around the tree and spotted his target, aimed, and lobbed the snowball at her, aiming for her coat.

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As she walked, she often worked through technical problems.  At the moment she was working through a particular challenge she encountered when trying to code a very complicated shape with her bots.  It wasn't that she couldn't do it, it was more the elegance of the solution.  There had to be an algorithm that would work better than what she was currently using.


So it was quite a surprise when a snowball flew in front of her, narrowly missing her face as it plastered into the classroom building next to her.  She paused looking at the offending snow for a second, then tracing the trajectory back, she saw the grinning Jack.  She snorted in his direction before she saw him prepping another snowball!

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The snowball exploded all over her, sending cold frozen water into the nooks and crannies of her coat.  She stared at Jack, who was standing back and hurling the snowball at her, incredulously.  


"What was that all about?" she asked wiping the stray snow off her face.  Then it clicked, American Snowball Fight.  Shanghai had never had enough snow to make winter sports much of a thing, and certainly not enough to go play in.  If she hadn't watched as many movies as she did, she might have thought that he was trying to hurt her.  No, this called for retaliation of the highest order!  Grabbing a handful of snow, she hurled it at the larger boy, but without knowing how to pack and gather it, the projectile broke apart long before it got near it's target.


Laughing, she dropped her backpack and grabbed another pile to try and at least put up a good showing.

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Jack let out a hearty laugh as Alexa finally seemed to understand the concept of a snowball fight. She attempted to retaliate, but her snowball was Ill formed and broke apart. Jack grabbed another snowball and aimed at his friend as she bent, making her own snowball. "Come now Lil'one...I know you and that big brain of yours can do better..." He threw the snowball.

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"It's not exactly fair," she said as she deftly stepped away from a tossed snowball.  "It's not like I grew up in the Arctic like you did!  This makes the fifth time I've ever seen snow!"


This time, she had a better idea on how to make the snowball although her throw left a lot to be desired.  Apparently snow and games like baseball were foreign to the Chinese girl.  The snowball stayed intact this time, but after going up in the air, it plopped down not more than 10 feet from where she stood.


"This is a lot harder than it looks!"

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The next time a snowball passed between the pair, a thrown projectile whizzed by and splashed it into so much harmless snow, scattering it freely on the snow! An amused cry cut through the increasingly-snowy quad. "Hah!" There was no sign of the other marksman; looking around from its angle, the thrown ball must have come from one of the many trees in the quad. 


Really, Riley should have been eating lunch - but it had been a long week.

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Zhu was about to throw her own snowball when Jack's projectile was actually intercepted in air by another snowball.


Instantly her brain calculated the possibility of that happening randomly and it was astronomical!  In fact the display was so improbably amazing that she dropped her own snowball looking around to see where it had come from.


"Jack, did you see that?"

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Riley slid down from the tree, showing himself with confident ease. It wasn't entirely a bluff. Think they're new. They probably didn't hear about all the stuff that went down last week. Still, Zhu and Jack had both heard about the unpowered senior boy who had supposedly killed someone in training; or maybe in the field. High school rumors were a cruel mistress. In his light grey jacket and dark jeans, his dark shaved head covered by a knit cap in matching grey, he seemed to blend in neatly into the snow behind him. "You guys wanna real snipe?!" he called, before ducking back behind the tree again. 

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Zhu looked back to Jack to see if he knew the boy before addressing the stranger, "was that you that threw that snowball?"


She looked between the two of them, thinking that being between two boys who were much bigger and better at throwing things was probably a bad idea.  Well... at least if she was going to play fair!  Nearly instantly, the snow started to reform in blocks as a small tower formed around her.  Peeking over the edge she readied another snowball, hoping to be able to duck back down into cover if a projectile came in.



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"Huh," said Woodsman, disappearing behind the shelter of the tree again, albeit this time at ground level. Figuring that the big guy would make a likely partner, he gestured for the big Russian to join him. Big enough to hide behind if she's got magic snowballs in there or somethin'. "Go by Woodsman," he said to Jack, not recognizing him at first. "You got any powers'll help us out here? Looks like she's got magic snow or somethin'."

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"pleasure to meet you, woodsman." Jack said in his heavy accent. "Da, I have muscle and decent aim, but my powers do not lend themselves to snowball combat.." Jack seemed to remember hearing people speak of someone like this one...but he couldn't remember what it had been about. He shrugged and formed a snowball with his giant hands.

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"Hey... aren't you supposed to be throwing snowballs at each other?  Teams aren't allowed are they?" Alexa called out from her rather cozy snow tower.


Below her, snowballs formed on a shelf sticking out of the tower.  Which, she had to admit was likely cheating a little.  However, Jack was huge and the other guy had an arm on him that made all the American baseball stars look like little leaguers.

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For his part, Woodsman was a little more hesitant - if only in the interest of playing fair. Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together...The kinds of tactics he'd have used playing with "What if we do this!" he called out, "three hits for the big guy, one for me, and we're out! Course same has to go for you!" he added, "maybe we both have to hit?" He kept a smile on his face, even if he didn't exactly feel it. He knelt down next to Jack as he talked, rolling up and making snowballs with the off-handed focus of a tactician. 


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"You're going to hit me three times?" she called back out, "I'm not sure I'm going to like this game!  I'm not very used to sn..." 


She was just in the middle of objecting when a snowball from Jack sailed right over the parapets of her tower and the fluffy ball of doom exploded all over her face.  She squeaked in shock, cold, and indignation as she fell backwards into the tower.  There was a muffled cry which became a little more pronounced when she finally reappeared, peaking over the top of the tower, snow still melting down her face, "that was totally not fair and really really cold!"


However, she certainly was into the spirit of things as she hurled a snowball back at him, getting a better feel for what the small projectiles were like.  Thankfully, Jack was large, and her own snowball just managed to fly out spattering all over his foot!  "Ha!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Hey that counts!" she cried out as the pointed out that his foot did indeed count for a hit.  However, her cry of triumph was short lived as she had to duck behind her barrier as Jack's return toss was far more accurate and hit where her head had just been!   That had been too close as she tried to keep watch for the other boy.

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