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Pan stiffened a bit in his seat as the headmistress began talking. Even if he had been tempted to say something, he clammed up at the mention of sitting on the benches indefinitely. Nope, he could find much better uses of his time. Still, it made him pay full attention. He liked the bit about heroes, at least. He was a hero back home, at least to some. If this was what was needed to become a hero here too, then this is what he would do. The bit about them being children stung a little bit. Pan had always been the young one, the child, the Forever Boy. So what was so bad about still being a child? Whatever the reason, he looked forward to what these changes would be. Probably not something he had been told about when he signed up for the Academy. He crossed his arms and leaned light back in his seat, his eyes fixed on the headmistress.

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As the headmistress began to speak Kam watched her mannerisms with a studious eye comparing perhaps to his own parents subconsciously as he tried to read how she commanded hte room with such apparent ease.  He was after all here to learn, and if reputation was to be believed she was the best.

 

The threat certainly established the power dynamic and was suggestive of the age and maturity differential.  Calling upon the ingrained urges to obey the older generation and to appear more adult at once,  a good technique if more difficult to apply without the benefit of years.  Most importantly it worked given the rapid settling of the formerly raucous student body.  What followed tied too neatly into that paradigm not to have been rehearsed, down to the glow of pride,  she was good certainly.  Not the captivating presence of a Danger or regal bearing of his father.  But a carefully executed persona, to elicit the response desired.  The only question was the why, if the oncoming, he guessed curfew, had been decided it was only tangentially intended to actually keep them from leaving the grounds.  To many it would be a more challenge than rule ot be obeyed, himself included if he was honest.  Under his breath he muttered in frustration, "I did not come all this way to live in a sheltered bubble of privilege."

 

 

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Headmistress Summers now had Lulu's undivided attention; it appeared she was about to lay down the law, so she'd better pay close attention! Using her pen, she wrote down a column of numbers on the side of the page, leaving room for additional entries:

 

1.

2.

3.

4.

 

Despite herself, she began to nervously chew on her pen, a bad habit she'd been trying to break for some time, but which tended to flare up at times like these.

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A young man with dark skin and a scarred face slipped noiselessly in through the doors moments after Headmistress Summers began speaking. Nodding gratefully to his guide, sour-faced school janitor Basil Faulks, he padded down the rows, his lack of footwear clashing badly with his elegant green, black and gold silk robes. Humming softly to himself as he searched for an empty spot, he doubled back to the back row before finding one. Wheeling a suitcase to his side he dropped into the chair on the other side of Nicole, he retrieved a pencil and notebook from his luggage and set to work writing down Summers' words.

 

"Greetings and salutations," he murmured with a warm smile to the girl next to him, turning back to the Headmistress after a parting "Leroy."  His bright gold eyes ringed with kohl shaped like two stylized Eyes of Horus, immaculate hair and handsome face clashed strongly with the trio of jagged white gashes reaching from just under each eye and curving to his jaw. Visible on his neck and reaching to his hands, serpentine dragons in golden ink twisted and breathed fire.

 

He was visibly curious about what Summers was talking about, waiting intently to hear what these 'changes' would be.

Edited by Ari

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White Lioness

Like her brother, she saw in the Headmistress the strong women that were in and surrounded their family, and maybe even some of the men as well. She wanted to listen to the word that Summers had to say, but something that the boy had said caught her attention. After some thought, she decided to add her own theory during a suitable pause in the speech.


"I like to think myself more like a Sheepdog, protecting and guiding the herd to safety from those that wish them harm. A more worthy goal I like to think!" she whispered to the teen.

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Nicole's ears perked up as someone dragging a suitcase took a seat beside her. Now wasn't the time and she prepared a retort and look up only to stop halfway through. Oh--

 

Seriously cute. She muttered what could have been a half-hearted "Hey" then dipped her head in a nod, averting her eyes from the new student and Zenith, which meant she had to stare dully at Mrs. Summers on the platform. Her lips pursed to control her growing annoyance.

 

She forced herself up, straightening in her sit.

 

Now really wasn't the time. Her hair was a mess with only a cursory combing to get rid of the worst curls and tangles. She probably had massive eyebags from her all-nighter and she had just thrown her clothes on from yesterday and called it a day.

 

And he had chosen to sit here out of all places. Just her luck. She didn't need to deal with two completely different things at the same time.

 

The fact that she hadn't taken her thermos and finish it in one go was an accomplishment in itself.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Her lips tugged into a smile as she looked at the kid sitting next to  them, her eyes drinking him in slowly, as there was a pause by Summers, she just leaned across Nicole, and took one of his hands, and lifted it up to kiss the back of his knuckles, before speaking in her version of a purring whisper, "Hello Leroy, I'm Zenith, and this is Nicole.  Love the makeup, unless it's not, then I still love it."  She did invade Nicole's personal space for that introduction, before she straightened back up, her arm brushing against Nicole as the taller, glowing Zenith sat back up.

 

She paused, and with a smile tugging on her lips, she ran the back of her index finger against the other girl's cheek.  And managed an even quieter murmur to her, "Breathe girl, it's an assembly, you look fine."  Not that it would help Nicole's self-image, probably do the opposite, but she didn't hate her.

She resumed her idle toying with the stone disk she had made, and resumed her looking at the other students, her gaze lingering on Micah, her cat-that-caught-the-canary smile on her lips. Zenith's eyebrows bobbed as she regarded him, and then Janus.  Intent on people watching while they were to be lectured by Summers.

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The almost-fight between the glowing girl (Zenith) and the wheelchair-bound girl (Nicole) had Micah's personal anxiety levels ratcheting up. He seemed to be mostly ignored by the participants, which was his only saving grace. He closed his eyes and took a few quiet calming breathes, shutting out the back-and-forth, and trying instead to focus on what the Headmistress was saying.

 

When he opened his eyes, he caught sight of Zenith sending him a "knowing" look, which just dialed his anxiety up more. His slightly-paler-than-usual face just turned slightly to try and focus on the Headmistress, and completely avoid getting in the middle of two squabbling teenage girls. 

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Elizabeth visibly winced at mention of the invasion, one hand rising up toward her abdomen before she caught it. She forced the hand back into her lap, making a fist and then splaying her fingers back out to relax it. That day had been worth it.

 

Still. Safety was a good thing, but in her experience there was safety and then there was "safety", and she wasn't sure which one the school would be going for - and she had a pit in the bottom of her stomach that told her which one she worried about the most. She came here to have fun, not spend more time in a room with all the sharp edges padded - she'd tasted freedom and didn't want to trade one exile for another.

 

Maybe there would be loopholes? Maybe only one of her would have to obey the rules. She might get away with that.

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Nicole's whole body stiffened as Zenith entered into her personal space. Zenith's movements were smooth, confident and certain to catch Leroy's attention but they mocked Nicole and when Zenith's lips met Leroy's hand, Nicole couldn't help but stare, eyes wide, and lean as far back as her seat would allow.

 

Then she froze as Zenith's finger glided across her cheek. Then a quiet murmur into her ear, whose words she was forced to hang on to, and Zenith's attention was finally, mercifully elsewhere. Nicole snuck a glance at Zenith then quickly turned away, back to the podium and assembly proper. She closed her eyes, forced deep breathes through her nose. She wouldn't, shouldn't, not here, cry even if she felt crummy as all hell.

 

This was some really, really...

 

F***.

 

"I-- excuse me," she half-mumbled, half-croaked and backed up her wheelchair from the two and drove away.

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Leroy had stiffened, smiling faintly in confusion at Zenith's sudden intrusion. "Oh...yes, greetings Zenith, yes my...my little sister showed me how." He glanced up at Summers on the stage, as if searching for some sign or signal. He didn't seem to notice Nicole's initial reaction at all, but when she simply up and left, from the frown that shadowed his scarred face he put two and two together.

 

"That was unworthy," Leroy murmured, noting something in a margin with curvéd runes, "Dio, find her. Arrange a meeting." 

 

"To hear is to obey" something answered softly from the ceiling. The air disturbed as if from a breath.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Outside, Nicole heard a rush of air, and deep, bassy voice growl from just behind her ear "Hold. Whitfield-Hall, I am an envoy from Dragon Prince Leroy."

 

There was a pause, and then "I had no part in his naming, and know that sounds ridiculous. He cannot depart the hall but wishes for I, his dragon Dio, to beg your pardon for his lack of aid and to meet at a time and place of your choosing."

 

Another pause. "Also I am presently invisible and immaterial, to preserve plausible deniability."

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Back in the assembly hall, Leroy relaxed, scrutinizing and writing short commentary on the notes he had taken so far.

Edited by Ari

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Selena had to resist the urge to hunch down in her chair as the headmistress brought up the Terminus invasion, especially once her eyes seemed to fall on the young magnetokinetic.  As more murmurs and whispered conversations begin again around the room, she kept her mouth firmly shut lest she either incur Mrs. Summers' wrath and because she really did not want to end up talking about her fight with the speedster from the Terminus, even if the memories ended up flooding her surface thoughts.

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Veronica

 

Veronica had been listening closely to Headmistress Summers as had most of the others, not bothering to take down any notes as she was very good at remembering things.  A slight frown came to her face as the headmistress referred to them as children and mentioned coming changes.  The idea of some sort of strict restrictions did not sit well with the teenage Danger.  She might still be a teenager, but she had been allowed a fair bit of responsibility and freedom in her travels with her parents. 

 

But before she could dwell too deeply on that, there was a bit of commotion toward the back of the auditorium, causing Veronica to look back in that direction.  It had not taken long for the teenager to learn that there was apparently quite a few students at the school this year that either used magic, were empowered by magic, or possessed some sort of magic devices.  So it was not too surprising to her that there was a considerable amount of magic around the area as she glanced back.


What was more surprising however was what she saw towards the ceiling of the auditorium.  Partially through the ceiling was a large, green reptile that was vaguely serpentine in appearance, and no one else around it seemed to notice it was there.  It did appear a bit fuzzy to Veronica, so it was possible it was concealed from most in some way. 

 

Veronica started slightly, and reached to take up several of the small silver trinkets on one of her necklaces as she watched the reptile.  It appeared to be focused on a tall male student toward the back of the room, but then after a few moments, it moved back up through the ceiling and began making its way off from the building.  Veronica was able to watch it for a few moments, looking through the walls at it, but it did not appear to be moving aggressively, so she relaxed slightly and tried to focus back on the headmistress.

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Lulu was surprised at how many students were still talking amongst themselves; hadn't the heard the headmistress? Here was a lady who didn't put up with foolishness, and some of these kids were still chatting! Then she heard a bit more talking, and despite herself she had to see what was going on, so she used the Sight to to take a peek without rubbernecking'; the very perceptive might notice her eyes, while still pointed towards Ms Summers, had gone slightly out of focus, but they might attribute that to mere boredom.

 

She witnessed what looked like a tense exchange between a beautiful glowing girl and a girl in a wheelchair; she wasn't able to figure out everything, but it appeared the paraplegic girl was very uncomfortable, so much so that she actually left the assembly! 

 

Of course, part of Lulu really wanted to figure out what happened by reading one or both of their minds, but she promised herself she wouldn't start poking around any of her fellow students' heads here at Claremont without permission. That just lead to trouble.

 

So instead, she returned her focus back to Headmistress Summers, vowing to ask around after the assembly to find out what happened and who was involved.

Edited by Heritage

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Janus felt the vague tension from both Veronica and Kam at the mention of additional restrictions. Gesturing a little with one be-ringed hand, they made a slight calming gesture. Switching to Dakanan with only the same ghost of an accent that Janus spoke English with, "/Peace. Let us see what is on the table before reacting. 'Tis best to know the rules before seeing about how to bend them./"

 

Their violet eyed gaze followed the girl leaving with some concern, before switching to Zenith as she glanced around. Janus arched one winged brow up at the lovely glowing girl's perusal; meeting her evaluative gaze dead on. The hell had happened up in that front row. Janus had missed the verbal exchange - they didn't have the enhanced senses that some of the other teens possessed. 

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When she heard the deep rumble of someone's voice behind her, Nicole ceased rubbing her eye, suddenly embarrassed, and took a moment to compose herself before she turned to look. Yet she saw no one in the hall with her.

 

Invisible then. Or psychic.

 

She pressed the stem of her glasses with two fingers, activating the crude radar. Another press and she switched to magical sensors in quick succession, and the images rendered into her lens.

 

She started as the snout appeared beside her, then she traced more of the dragon until it filled most of the hallway. She drove herself backwards to take the whole dragon in.

 

"What for?" She asked, avoiding its eyes, brows furrowed, and choosing to ignore the second-hand apology. "And how do you know my name? I don't like being stalked."

Edited by Zeitgeist Blue

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Headmistress Summers did no more than flick her gaze across the auditorium but each student who had mad a whispered comment felt unmistakably that she had glared pointedly in their exact direction. The bleachers creaked audibly as several spines straightened reflexively all at once. Mercifully she chose not to notice anyone who might have needed to excuse themselves.

 

"We have students joining us from across the globe and elsewhere this year, even more so than usual. I know you'll all make each other feel welcome and I hope you'll take to opportunity to learn from each other," she continued, folding her hands atop the lectern. "I want to be clear, however, that while you are here you are subject to Academy's rules, irrespective of whatever status or privileges you might enjoy elsewhere." There was an edge to the way she articulated 'privileges' that caused more than one teen to shift uncomfortably on the benches.

 

She lifted one hand as though presenting an item for inspection. "For example, in the past some of our student body has been under the impression that the curfew and restrictions on visiting the city core were guidelines or would perhaps be easily overlooked given sufficiently good intentions." Summers lowered the hand and leaned forward very slightly. "This is not the case."

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Ashley blinked behind her shades, considering this situation cooly. Well, she'd have to make a show of defiance of that at some point - and taming the infamous Watchdog would be another way of showing the Headmistress's power. (She had no objection to doing that, given what Callie was already doing for her - and how much she knew Callie Summers was holding back the deluge of super-teens here). But it certainly was an idea; if it was truly enforced. That didn't look like the Raven's bluffing face, though, not by any means. She shot a glance at Judy next to her but her erstwhile 'sister' didn't seem too affected by this news, instead watching with her hands folded neatly on her lap and a pleasant, carefully calculated smile on her face. Judy Smith, with her dangerous powers and ignorance about the real world, wasn't someone who'd had a lot of late-night patrols in her future anyway. 

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Suppressing the urge to look around at the murmurs still resounding after the assembly propper clearyl was starting Kam carefully observed the Headmistress reaction the minor disobedience, noting the look aimed at the noisy students and filing it for further analysis at a later date.  his Eyes narrowed at the commentary of at least he and his sisters standing at home, and apparently other students, which really shouldn't have been a surprise.  Releasing a slow breath he pondered the meaning behind the woman's words and assumed she did not realize the strictures he and his at least lived under were by and large more restrictive most times than those the school enacted.

 

He waited patiently for any elaboration on the policy though already began formulating a plan to allow for extracurriculars without perhaps violating the rules as laid out.  Time would tell.

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As Summers began to speak Monica leant back into her chair, folding her hands behind her head. She’d managed to shut up an entire room of teenagers that quickly, which was quite respectable. Even around Monica it was suddenly quiet. Monica hadn’t seen a quiet back row outside of very special circumstances before, so either this spoke to the student body’s manners, or to Summer’s skill. Monica mentally placed a bet on the latter.

 

Not that it lasted, because apparently Nicole had gotten into a fight with the glowing lady, who seemed to be the only person who actually acted like it was the back row. Fair ‘nuff, Monica assumed Nicole was just doing the same things she was usually doing, except that it seemed to have backfired, which did give a bit of joy to Monica, who immediately afterwards focused her attention back on the Headmistress, not joining in on the chatter.

 

She didn’t need to make any negative impressions with the staff already, her … fame, already made her enough of a target and somebody the staff was probably keeping an eye on. She didn’t see any reason to raise a fuss about the rules the Headmistress was talking about. Monica wasn’t one for sneaking around, and with her powers, it wouldn’t stay a secret for long anyways. Unless somebody would drag her into it, because, judging from the murmur, a lot of people here didn’t like curfews.

 

Probably didn’t have a mother like Monica’s.

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