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Nicole's back stiffened as the mini-projectile shot past her ear. Then her grin widened, plastered to her face, as she realized that someone had basically fired a warning shot from a gun at her. She wasn't any stranger with people shooting at her in her armor, as safe as she was inside it, but it was an entierly different beast wearing nothing but the shirt on her back.

 

At Ajasoro's welcome (as if nothing happened), Nicole moved through the doorway, still smiling stiffly. So maybe Ajasaro really was the real deal. Princess of the most technological nation on Earth and all that fun Jazz. But before she could retort to Ajasoro, she noticed the tense looking girl pull out a scanner and wave it at her. Up and down, most likely sweeping for weapons. Nicole would even bet it flashed green when it invariably found nothing on her.

 

What a waste of time when three-fourths of the people in this school didn't need a weapon to be dangerous themselves.

 

"I like not getting shot at or scanned in the mornings. Thank you," Nicole said stiffly, eyeing both Ajasoro and Ashley in turn, daring them to dispute her. "It's like my breakfast dessert. You're going to start a fight or several if you go about like you do, you know. Lucky for you I'm the friendly sort." She scoffed. As if she'd be up to a fist fight against anyone right now.

 

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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In a flash of glittering rainbow light Astrid made her introduce back on Earth. She had just come back from visiting her brother Anders in Asgard and had wanted to teleport right back in her room so she could immediately crash on her bed after a long day of catching up with her very extended family. Porrklubba apparently had different plans because instead of being in her room, she was in the middle of the hallway surrounded by other students. 

 

"Oh helsike," she muttered under her breath. Putting Porrklubba downwards as if to hid the magical baseball bat and her embarrassment at the same time, Astrid figured she might as well use the opportunity introduce herself to her floormates. 

 

"Sup. Name's Astrid. Sorry about just showing up out of nowhere. That happens sometimes."

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"Been in fights before," said Ashley with a flippant shrug. "Got out of 'em." She met Nicole's gaze for a moment, then away with an eyeroll that was classic "Whatever." 

 

"You may have seen Ashley on TV," confided Jaycee almost apologetically, "she's the-" 

 

"Hmm." Astrid's arrival made Judy yelp in surprise - but Ashley looked ready for it, shooting a cool gaze into the corridor even as she slid one hand in her jacket pocket. 

 

"Wow!" said Judy after a moment, "you just...beamed in! That's cool," she said with a smile. "Do you have a teleporting gadget?" 

 

"Lucky the shields aren't up," said Ashley, grumbling as she leaned back against the wall. "Splat you.

 

 

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Monica turned her attention away from the people in her room for just a moment to click a few buttons in one of her mobile games now that the most recent cooldown had run out, and somehow, chaos ensued. Was this what she’d be dealing with for the next 3 years? And of course, there already was some animosity.

 

It was high school, after all. So long as it’d stay at a few people being irritating Monica didn’t care much, but if this went further she’d have to get involved. Without looking up from her phone (the timed event would be unavailable soon!), she re-joined the conversation.

 

“Sure hope people here can keep secrets. Last thing I need is more threatening letters and packages being sent to me.  

 

Nonchalantly, after a short pause she added:

 

“Or crazy people shouting at my window.”

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Nicole could have sworn she jumped a little in her seat at Astrid's entrance. "Hey! Couldn't you take the bus?"

 

She unruffled the blanket over her legs, trying to look like she just hadn't startled like a deer caught in the headlights. She turned to Ashley and said, "Anyway, my cat's been in fights before too. And I would have remembered you if you had appeared on TV. Guess you aren't that special, Miss Dark and Brooding."

 

It didn't matter that she'd never had a cat. Miss Dark and Brooding was getting on her nerves. Then she crossed her arms and turned her torso as far away from the so-edgy-it-hurt-edgelord and looked the other new students in turn. Her eyebrows raising a considerable amount as she recognized who she was with.

 

"The new Lady Liberty? Da-a-amn," She half-sang then swiped at her nose with her thumb, leaving a smirk behind. "Heh. I bet old white boys and rednecks love you, or rather, love to hate on you."

 

She wheeled backwards as if to take the whole scene. A trigger-happy foreign royal, a conservative's Public Enemy #1, Fight Club as teenage girls, and someone who needed to get a driver's license.

 

"Well this is just cute."

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Astrid turned to the girl with a smile on her face and her scrawling counterpart. 

 

"Nope. Well, maybe yes. It's complicated," Astrid said, trying to explain.

 

Determining whether magical baseball bats forged by the equally magical dwarves counted as a technological device was one of those theoretical questions that tended to make Astrid's brain just humming one of her favorite songs.

 

Figuring it was just better to show her Porrklubba up close, Astrid walked up to the smiling girl and past her broody friend (what was her problem?) with her bat rested firmly on her shoulder. 

 

"I used this teleport in," she said, indicating Porrklubba. "It's a magic weapon that my father had made for me. It can teleport me around and do a tons of other stuff too. I call it Porrklubba."

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White Lioness

This was fascinating and all with all these potential heroes just chatting away, and something that she'd never have seen until she came here, but it was getting a smidge crowded in here.

 

"May I suggest that we all move to the common room? We still need to at least attempt to unpack a little!"

 

She'd chosen her words with some care, as she'd noticed certain behaviours in her new roommate. Since taking on the mantle of the Lioness she's been able to observe many things that even her keen eye would have missed before. As people shuffle around Àjàṣorò made her way over to Monica and whispered in her ear

 

"If you wish to feel free to remain in our room, I will play the part of the dutiful host. And if you wish to talk about your struggles later you will find I have a good ear."

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"You probably know her by her other name - Watchdog," said Judy with great confidence as she gave Nicole a steely-eyed look. "Mah sister fought the Raven and lived to tell about it. She could have taken him down, too, if she'd really wanted it." 

 

Suddenly grateful for the distraction provided by their host, but unable by her role to say so, Ashley nodded in White Lioness's direction, making sure to keep herself between Judy and the bat as the girls exited the dorm room. Well Jaycee was certainly getting her money's worth out of the hallway tour, she mused. 

 

"A...magic bat?" Judy was asking Astrid, sounding more confused than anything else. "What kind of magic goes in a baseball bat?" 

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Alright, Pink-Tips suddenly wasn’t as bad. At least she was quiet about this stuff, not like … whatever her name was. Was she looking to pick a fight? Because from Monica’s point of view, it looked like she was on the best track to antagonize the entirety of the floor.

 

Granted, maybe that was what the older students did here. Monica had certainly heard of things like that happening before, so who knew. Nothing she didn’t already know, nothing she couldn’t handle one way or another. Her little act only added fire to the fuel, and Monica could feel something build inside her, which then manifested in an audible “Ugh.”, of course accompanied by rolling eyes.

 

Her roommate’s suggestion came just at the right time, and was something that reassured Monica that perhaps, this wasn’t that bad of a, well forced, choice after all. It would’ve probably been the easy choice to just stay behind, but Monica didn’t really want to just be the outsider already? She responded, in the same volume.

 

“Much appreciated, but I may as well figure out who I’m gonna be living with for the next few years, I can always bail if I wanna. “

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"You're kidding, right," Nicole said, looking from one sister to the other. The peppy one seemed confident of the fact and this didn't seem like one of those things younger siblings got lied about and believe. Like they were adopted or something.

 

"You're serious."

 

Now she was really interested and she leaned forward, hands on her knees. She'd watched the video like most everybody else and Watchdog was wearing a helmet. She'd be forgiven if she couldn't figure out secret identities. "So let me get this straight, she," and Njcole jabbed a thumb at Ashley. "Was taken into custody by Raven and what, got sent to this school instead of time in juvie? Wow, that's... hmm."

 

She honestly didn't know what to think of that. On one hand, by all rights and purposes she was supposed to be arrested and jailed but anyone could have taken pity on her and sent her here to be reeducated instead. Guess that tough and angry vigilante in the video was still a tough and angry teen here.

 

"Guess he must have liked you."

 

Nicole looked back, confused. Was it something she did? It was supposed to be a compliment, because if those kinds of people were popping a vein in anger, then you know you were doing something right. Right? But instead, Monica was acting like she was dribbling drool down her chin.

 

Jeeze. This floor was pretty weird and that was saying something.

 

Nevertheless, Nicole accompanied them to the common room, hanging back just a little from the congregation of sophomores, a little put out. Her chin rested on the palm of her hand as she maneuvered her wheelchair around and beside Astrid.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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White Lioness

"I know we might be stranger now but I'd like to hope we'll be able to become friends. But I expect no special treatment from you!" she smiled at Monica she was sincere in all that she was saying.

 

Whilst she was trying to act as much like the American Teenager as she could there was the diplomat that she'd been trained to be, her many tutors would be proud their efforts gained some traction.

 

"I think we should see this as a fresh start for us all, let's not worry about the past for now. We have plenty of time throughout the year for all that!"

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Astrid followed everyone else to the common room holding her bat and trying her hardest not to smile. 

 

When they made it to the room she finally answered Judy's question and did so with a goofy grin on her face. "Oh, the most shocking kind of magic." She immediately started laughing like an idiot.

 

I mean, how could she resist the opportunity after all. It was just to perfect. Besides, Astrid figured it was just good form to make puns about your powers in a superhero school.

 

When he finally settled down she gave Judy an honest and straightforward answer. "Sorry couldn't resist. Anyways, the bat's been rune-inscribed by dwarven weapon-smiths with the runes of thunder and lightning to give its power." 

 

Astrid paused for a second to let Judy take that all in. Most people tended to need one when she explained the craziness that was her life. "Weird I know. But that's the truth. I got a magic lightning bat made my dwarves from Asgard."

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Judy frowned and gave Astrid a searching look, not sure if the other girl was making fun of her. "What's Asgard, and why do dwarves live there?" 

"Norse gods," growled Ashley. "Not so tough," she added a moment or two later, covering for herself as they sat down inside the common room. For her part, Judy gave Astrid a bright smile - maybe a little too bright. 


"Well...that's very interesting!" she said cheerily, "and now, the weather - I mean, uh, let's see what's on TV!" She had reached down to grab Ashley's hand in the middle of her last sentence, and looked tense all over again as the television snapped on - to the local news, just in the middle of its weather report. 

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Choosing to ignore Ashley's not so subtle bragging, Nicole sighed at Judy's premonition. That was a use of powers there though she didn't have enough to guess anymore. Precognition, weather control, mastery over TV channels? Could have been anything and everything.

 

She craned her head to the Dakanan princess instead. She was pretty boisterous and also seemed to not know that shooting at people was considered rude in most cultures. It was a Dakanan thing, probably, or a stuck-up royal, bodyguard, no-one-sneaks-up-on-the-princess thing. Either way Nicole decided not to hold it against someone who didn't know any better.

 

"So, Ajasaro?" she said the syllables slowly. "What're you looking forward to for the next year? You've only been in America for a short while."

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White Lioness

"What no I'm as local as anyone here!" she grinned, her accent being pretty spot on.

 

Àjàṣoro paused for a moment and stared at the television, almost automatically converting things too much more sensible units. If she was local she wouldn't be so unused to such low (to her) temperatures

 

"As crazy as it sounds I'd like to experience a normal teenage experience, or as normal as you can manage at Claremont! As the White Lioness, I have a certain obligation to defend and protect my people and lands. It is of cause a great honour but is now something that will define my future. I'd just like to delay that for just a little while!" she looked a little guilty and added, "That may be a little more serious an answer than you were after!"

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Monica followed the others to the common area without saying anything, just listening in while slouching along with her hands in her hoodie’s pocket. The more she knew about these people now the easier the future would be.

 

Norse magic, that was one more to add to the list. This floor was shaping up to have quite a potency from what Monica could tell. She sat down on the couch, letting herself fall back as much as she could, which granted, wasn’t that much considering these couches had likely been designed with people not quite as tall in mind.

 

When Judy switched on the TV, Monica raised her eyebrow a bit. Something about that girl was off. Monica had seen people act like that before, it meant they were hiding something. Anything that somebody tried to hide with that degree of uncertainty was important enough to keep secret. But that didn’t mean Monica couldn’t probe a tiny bit, she’d stop the moment she hit the first real roadblock. Which, with Pink-Tips , would probably be the first question.

 

“So, Pink-Tips, what’s your story? Vigilante captured by the new raven, but why’d you bring your sister along?”

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That got Monica a scowl and silence long enough that it was almost a surprise when Ashley spoke, looking down at her fingertips as she spoke. "School for supers, isn't it?

 

"Ah got powers," agreed Judy, sitting on the couch next to Ashley,"but they're not, um, real, interesting or anything." She reached up and fiddled with the cross around her neck for a minute. "Just over radio and stuff. Like, I could hear that TV before it was turned on," she said nervously. "And other stuff." 

 

"Couldn't leave her where she was," said Ashley, her tone surprisingly gentle. 

 

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Nicoel made a noise that could have been anywhere between approval and skepticism, but when she turned her head back to Ajasaro her eyes were looking at the Dakanan princess with a new light.

 

"Yeah, no, I get it. It's a whole different world from silver platters and hundred dollar omeletes." She fidgeted as if debating something but then seemed to come to a decision. "Hey, if you want I sometimes do things in Southside. You can come and I'll show you around."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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That … really answered all that Monica had been interested in. Explained Judy’s behaviour to some degree, (except that the powers probably were a bit more “interesting” than she was letting on to), and told her just about enough about the exact relationship between the two. Maybe she’d figure out more as she spent time around them, which, let’s face it, she probably would.

 

And for the first time, Pink-Tips (maybe figuring out her name would help long-term), wasn’t as much of a stuck up bitch. Judging from the sound of it, she’d dealt with some stuff. Monica could respect that.

 

Her response was kept just as short, merely giving the two sisters a nod of understanding.

 

 

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White Lion

Àjàṣorò smiled at Nicole, she was glad that she was able to relate to everyone else, it had been a worry that the media she'd watched and read was nothing like the real world.

 

"I cannot claim to have anything like a normal childhood, but I often went exploring beyond the palace and yes some might have been humouring me but I hope I got to know people well." she'd always figured it was good to get to know as many people as she could from all walks of life

 

"I'd very much like to visit Southside with you when you have the time obviously. And it may be a little forward of me but I'd like to do that as a friend being shown around a home? And if you wish I will happily return the favour."

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"A home, your home, as in Dakana?" Nicole asked, a bit skeptical yet willing to humor Ajasoro. She knew Dakana rarely permitted foreigners within its borders but if anyone could get her in, it was the Dakanan princess herself. She could practically touch the Daka crystals if she just reached for them.

 

"Hell yeah, that's a favor I'm taking. I'd trade you my wheelchair for that."

 

So maybe Ajasoro wasn't so bad. She pulled out her phone and began typing, speaking to Ajasoro as she typed. "Southside isn't exactly where I live but it is part of this city and one of the worst parts of it, right? So what could a Dakanan princess and the smartest girl this side of the city do? I don't know but I have a few ideas."

 

Then she looked up and rolled forward, holding her phone out for Ajasoro to take. "My phone number and I've sent friend requests to your 'Sara Kingdom' accounts. I could pull you in sometime when we're both free. Would you like that?"

 

Nicole took back her phone and deposited it into her pocket, her face beaming with the possibilities. She took the first step and now it was only a matter of taking the rest.

 

Going out, exploring, Nicole knew that. And if Ajasoro did too, was experienced in immersing herself in the real world, then maybe this idea of hers would be a walk in the park.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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