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Claremont Academy

Early January

 

It wasn’t unusual for new students to arrive at the academy, powers didn’t exactly keep to school schedules, but the latest student had certainly made an impact.

 

The young African American woman, Dana Devons, always dressed in a strange throwback style, leather jacket over a t-shirt and a skirt normally very short and a pair of solid platform boots. Her hair was shaved on one side with the mass of her hair swept over the over side covering the eye. With her deliberately punky clothes came an attitude she was surly and argumentive suggesting that she really didn’t want to be friends with anyone.

 

Not that it didn’t stop some seeing that as a challenge...

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"Good morning, Dana!"

 

Every day, Dragon Prince Leroy's smiling, friendly face.

 

"Would you sit with Blue Squad at lunch, Dana? You and Commander Ashley have so much in common!"

 

Every day his bright, excited voice. 

 

"Dana, well met. My dragon and I are heading out to help evacuate people from a war zone tonight. Is this world not a waking nightmare from whence there is no end in sight? I should welcome your aid!"

 

Every day his questionable ideas. 

 

'His dragon', the priestly green-scaled monster Dio, was much more low-key. Instead of a never-ending barrage of good cheer, Dio preferred to look for chances to directly assist and support the new student. Asking specfically for Dana as a partner on school projects, curtly crushing gossip and rumors as they grew around her(being a multi-ton giant reptile with powerful magic has its social perks) and keeping his distance when the newcomer made clear he wasn't wanted.

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Being the "new kid" was rarely a fun role in Astrid's experience. Sure, sure, there were the odd times when being a newbie wasn't annoying and frustrating roller-coaster of constant questions, out of nowhere gossiping and awkwardness, but those times were rare and far between. Most of the time a newbie just had to endure that tedious period between being the "new kid" and just being a "just another student." For some that time is long but for others it was just a thing you had to deal with until you found your crew.

 

Astrid pegged Dana as one of the latter instead of the former, like her. Her consistently showing up in a punk look with not even a hint of shame or anxiety about it was a tell that Dana had to be kind of person who didn't give squat about what people thought of her, which in Astrid's book made her good company, not least of all people she had similar tastes when it came to attire.

 

That's why Astrid figured that trying to get to know her would be a worthwhile experience. It turned out she was right. Dana was a pretty cool lady all things considered and Astrid made it a point to check in her every once in a while, whenever she wasn't doing Orange Team stuff or dealing with Aesir monster-slaying business. Today was one of those days.

 

Astrid walked up causally to Dana who was already being greeted by the heroic due on the Blue Team and delivered a howyoudo of her own.

 

"Sup Dana." She waved at Leroy and Dio, too. "Hey guys."

 

 

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Of course Pan had seen it as a challenge. A brand new student, one that didn't seem like she wanted friends, and with an argumentative attitude too? Pan was not just going to befriend her, he was going to get to know her, he was going to eat lunch with her and share his snacks with her!

 

He was all smiles, all the time, much like usual. He would win her over, somehow, either together with Leroy or on his own, but he would do it. New friends were great, after all, and no one should be alone in a new place, even if it at times had seemed like Dana wanted to be.

 

"Good morning, everyone!" Pan flew down from above to the assembled group. Of course he did, why should he ever walk, if he could fly? He had a clear plastic bag with apple slices in them. Dana really seemed to like those, for some reason, so of course he had brought them. He held the opened bag out to the others with a smile. "Want one?"

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GM Post

Dana harrumph at the three of them cheerful approach, though she accepted the apple slices without comment. She munched the slices and looked at them all, rolling her eyes as she did so, before finally speaking.

 

“You’re really not going to leave me alone are you?” she didn’t wait for a reply before adding


“Look if I show you what's the deal, do you promise to leave it along? Cause I need you to promise not to tell anyone else!” she gave them a serious stare, as if daring them to give her an answer.

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Pan grinned at Dana's harrumph and her question. Of course he was not going to leave her alone. She was interesting, after all! An enigma in a riddle in a mystery inside something even more mysterious! And a promise not to tell anyone else? And she would show them the deal? This sounded like mischief. And he did like some mischief. 

 

"Please. When have I ever told anyone a secret?" Secret were important, after all. They held power, and it was a power you shouldn't just share with anyone. Pan had plenty of his own. He was floating now, balancing an apple slice on his finger. His grin widened even more, if possible. "So... What is this deal?" Of course, he made no promises to leave it alone, whatever it was.

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Astrid made a big show of shaking her head when Dana asked her question.

 

"Probably not, no. Things is, you're probably the coolest person I've meet here so far," Astrid had the good sense to pause for a moment and give the others around her a quick, "No offense, guys" before returning to Dana.

 

"I mean, for a school for superheroes you'd think they'd be more people rocking the punk look, but nope," Astrid complained dramatically. "It's been only you so far which means I'm basically stuck bothering you about music." 

 

In truth, Astrid had meet all couple other students that shared her interests but since Dana seemed to be in something of a funk Astrid figured being a bit coy and ridiculous might do her some good. 

 

"Seriously, though," she asked more softly. "What's this big deal you got going around. If its actually heavy you know you can tell me, right?

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Sun Dragon & Dio

Leroy was about to respond when a giant green head poked in from out of the ground. The dragon who owned it snorted, said 

"The prince'll keep his mouth shut if I say so."

and ducked back into seeming nothing.

 

Frowning after him, Leroy spun back to beam a magnificently bright smile at Dana. "You may rely upon our discretion."

 

After that, uncharateristically, the young Dragon Prince fell silent, rocking gently on his heels and looking ready to follow the woman wherever she might lead.

 

Tapping at the wrist of his clothes, they seamlessly shifted into a drab grey version of the Claremont uniform. Frowning at it, Leroy tapped again. The contrast sharpened, turning it into shifting gradients of blacks, greys and whites. "There we are, the shades of truth."

 

"Pan and I will withdraw if you have any real secrets. Best if only Astrid knows them, obviously."

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