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Claremont Academy

April 23 2019

11: 45 AM

 

Jhett yawned. He knew he should have at least tried to keep it in but at this point he really couldn't be bothered. He was bored even as he guided his group to the next exhibit in the school's refurnished Next-Gen wing and started reciting another pre-written lecture about the triumphs of the original team. 

 

"Right, so, over here we have a new holographic recreation of Next-Gen's first battle with the villain Chess Club. What a wonderful--" Jhett stopped for a second to lazily take garner at one of the cue cards tucked in his pocket. His other hand still pointed to a holographic Sonic destroying a holographic chessmen. "Example of the ingenuity and resolve of young heroes like us. I sure hope I can live to their noble example."

 

The less than impressed expressions on about dozen of his classmate's faces made it blindingly clear to him that they were either as bored as he was or very unhappy with his lack of typical tour guide enthusiasm. Jhett told himself that he didn't care either way. His volunteering to be the guide for Claremont's glorified trophy room for the first Next-Gen team was just his way of getting another good looking bullet-point on his resume when he finally graduated from Claremont and tried to get into a normal, if hopefully very prestigious, tech university. Still, he couldn't help but feel a little bad for boring his fellow students. It wasn't as if they had a lot of choice in being here after all. 

 

Exasperated with himself and the tour, Jhett finally threw up his hands. "Look guys, I know this isn't the Danger Institute or Freedom Hall or whatever, but we got to get through this, OK?" He admitted honestly. "Headmistress Summers expects me to lecture you all until lunch about all the new stuff they added here since the Krampus trashed it last year and I sure as Hell don't want to disappoint her... She's kind of scary." 

 

There were a quite few snickers and eye-rolls from the crowd after that outburst but Jhett took them in apathetic stride. He'd probably be doing the same if he was on the other side of this.

 

"You know what? Talk among yourselves while I waste fifteen minutes of everyone's time. I don't give a damn and only need you physically in the room. Just don't tell Summers or any of the faculty, alright?"

 

The sound of teenagers suddenly breaking out into several dissonant conversations was all the Jhett the assurance needed that he was probably in the clear. Jhett signed as he moved the loud group to the next exhibit on their list. It was times like these when he prayed that another Krampus would show up and save him from the tedium. Anything was better than this. 

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The White Lioness

Àjàṣorò wasn’t bored at all this quite the opposite, she’d been fascinated with all the American heroes since she could remember but those that predated the Internet fascinated her most of all. Mainly it was because whilst there was film and pictures of such things it was difficult to know the entire truth of such things, not like now when you could see and read about almost every aspect of a battle right after it had happened. She’d read about her own encounters with some interest in just how much people knew.

 

Whilst she enjoyed the tales of the Freedom League the most, her father had been a member, after all, the teen heroes were a close second especially Next-Gen. She stepped through to stand next to Jhett.

 

“Actually I find Mz Summer to be quite pleasant, would it possible to look at those notes you’ve been using throughout the tour?”

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Davyd was not bored with the trip, but he also wasn't really paying attention to the guide.  Like most citizen of Freedom, he knew of the Next Gen, and was enjoying the new information and insights this trip was offering.  But he was also a teenager, and his attention could be a bit difficult to focus on any one particular thing for very long, a character flaw exacerbated by his recently-acquired metamorphic powers which let him be almost anything he could imagine.  So his focus had shifted away from Jhett's words as he was carefully studying the holographic images of the (in)famous teen heroes.

 

And so, as when she first met him, Lulu [and Corinne?] saw Davyd's form smoothly shift as he took on the appearance of first Megastar, then Bolt, Sonic, Nereid, and finally Seven.

 

I think I'm finally getting the hang of this!

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While Jhett's apathy could probably suck the pleasure out of a weekend at Disneyworld, Lulu found enough of it interesting to actually learn something; Miss Megan would be proud! But when Davyd began to demonstrate his powers, the young telepath couldn't resist the chance to join him, using her illusion powers to assume each form he discarded.

 

"Two can play at that game, surface dweller," stated 'Nereid', hands on her hips in a regal stance.

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"So... why are we glorifying them?" Corinne asked, without a hint of an ulterior motive.  This world still didn't make sense.  Even close to graduation and her transition to her 'dream', and living this going on almost three years, and she was just as confused as before.

The things they accepted eluded her.

 

Her attention drifted from the display to the Jhett who was... just ignoring things.  So she looked to the rest of the teens, hoping for an answer from there.  She stood there, in her black and teal Japanese style satin bomber jacket, embroidered with koi, goldfish and water patterns on the back.  It made her eyes seem bluer.  Or maybe it was the genuine questioning expression.

She lifted a hand and gestured the holos, "Like, you all want to be like them, right?  This keeps happening... I mean, the world almost ended last summer.  Again."

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"By the Crimson Crown of Cronenberg!," Davyd!Seven intoned, before registering what Corrine had said.  "What?  Why?"  S/he gave her an odd look, as if she had suddenly sprouted a second head.  "Why wouldn't we?  Do you... not want to be like them?"

 

He morphed smoothly back to his own form as he spoke, "I mean, sure, maybe the museums and statues can be a bit much, but they're heroes.  They put their lives on the line for others, often for others who had no idea what they were doing.  And they did it because it needed to be done, and because it's the right thing to do."  He gestured towards the holograms, "if not for brave folks like the Next Gen, and the Freedom League, and all the others, the world may have ended last summer.  Or the summer before that.  Or the summer before that.  There's always going to be some sort of catastrophe -- global or personal -- that needs dealing with, and if we're able to help in some way, then we should do so!"

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GM

 

Things were going about as Jhett had expected. Kids were talking, naval-gazing and some were even goofing off in the back with their powers.  A few seemed genuinely bothered by his lackluster guiding, but since none of them were willing to actually call him out for slacking, Jhett felt comfortable to keep things as is. That was until Àjàṣorò stepped beside him and asked him a question just as he was about go into another unenthusiastic presentation.

 

"Seriously?" Jhett asked her, incredulous to the idea that anyone could find the Headmistress pleasant. Scratched his neck. "I guess she's more chill with the students that end up saving the whole school." He shrugged. "Can't really fault her that. Good job with that by the way. Saving the school and all, I mean."

 

Jhett said nothing for a few seconds that felt like an eternity. Small talk wasn't his specialty, especially when it came to strangers. He didn't know Àjàṣorò all that well. To him, she was just another rando that he saw in the halls every once in awhile. The one thing he did know was that was that she was one of the kids that took down the Krampus, which honestly made Jhett more nervous to be around her than anything.

 

Sure, he had powers just like everyone else in Claremont but that didn't make him budding superhero, at least in his mind anyway. He just wasn't like her or any of the kids that saved the school. He came to Claremont to get his powers under control and then move on with the rest of his life. That was it. He wanted to be normal again. It didn't seem like that big of a request but sometimes it felt like this school wanted everyone enrolled to end up dressing up in a fancy costume and fighting crime.

 

Jhett's eyes floated to Corinne even as he causally gave up his info cards to Àjàṣorò. She seemed to get it.  Not every at Claremont wanted to be a hero and Jhett was happy to see that some else was seemingly on his wavelink. He was just about to say as much to the shapeshifter trying to argue with her when he (and everyone else for that matter) was suddenly distracted by a crashing noise that seemed to shake the whole room. 

 

"BOOOOOOOOOOOOMMM!"

 

Jhett practically jumped out of his skin at the sound. "What the Hell was that?!" He blurted out the words instinctively. A quick, frenzied scan of the other students showed that none of them knew either, which forced him to actually think things through.

 

The noise came out of the exhibit’s adjutant backroom. Jhett knew that there was nothing in that room besides repair equipment for the exhibits’ holographic emitters. More importantly, though, he knew that there wasn’t supposed to be anyone in there right now.

 

Without even realizing it, Jhett had moved closer to the door that led to the backroom, his body now standing between it and the other students. He did know why he did that. It definitely wasn’t his kind of thing to do but there was, nevertheless. Jhett edged even closer to the door, his brain condemning him for it even as he moved. He thought he could make out voices on the other side but wasn’t totally sure. He said as much to the others behind him. “Guys, I think might be someone in there.” It dawned on him rather quickly that information was neither informative nor comforting. His courage fading, Jheet backed away from the door and turned back to the crowd.

 

“OK. I, um, I think its best that we grab a teacher or-” Jheet stopped speaking mid sentence. No. He didn’t just stop, he literally froze in place, as if he had become an unmoving still. He wasn’t the only. Almost everyone in the Next-Gen exhibit became immediately frozen in time, some with confusion or fear on their faces while others were in the amidst of running out of the exhibit presumably to look for help.

 

The only ones who didn’t freeze were four random students that had the pleasure of seeing their classmates stuck in time. Any shock or surprise they couldn’t have experienced by the sudden stoppage of time was interrupted by the sound of a young women’s yelling at someone or someones from the backroom.

 

“You soulless wastoids are right and proper mad if you think you’re stopping me from saving my mates!”

 

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Corinne sighed.  "Davyd, not everyone is equipped to be a hero, yanno?  I've have my powers for three years, like, it's just... just..."  And then came the other sigh as things went to Gee-Dee weirdnessland the big boom made her step away from the noise, one, maybe two steps.  Interrupted at an appropriate dramatic point.

 

But she was nonplussed, actually scratch that, she was pissed.  "Can't we just have a normal field trip for once!"  She yelled it out against the uncaring universe with it's awful, awful timing.  Then she saw the rest of teens frozen in place and she started to just cuss, loudly.  She was unhappy with the outcome, it seemed.  With that she walked towards the sound of someone yelling at someone else in the back room.

"Hey!  Can you people stop messing with TIME ITSELF!" She roared out in clear and irrational annoyance, the scattering, flickering light of her forcefield thrown up around as she moved to turn the knob and throw it open.

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White Lioness

Àjàṣorò looked around Jhett at where the sound was coming from, whilst concerned for the safety of the other was more the hero type that Corinne. She stepped in front of Jhett and took a relaxed but ready stance for if trouble started, it seemed that the more senior student was taking a more active role with her force field. So acting as support she stepped up to be just behind Corinne providing some balance to her more hardcore attitude.

 

“There may be some very good reason for them to be here, and I’m sure we’ll find out very soon either way!”

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Posted (edited)

Davyd knew how Corinne would respond, about how not everyone was cut out to be a hero, or even wanted to be a hero. He'd heard of many people like that, back in his parent's homeland: metahumans hiding who they were, what they could do, for fear of being captured by faceless comrades in the dark of night, to be conscripted into service, or experimented on.  He had some sympathy for them, of course, but he also knew that their fears were from another land, another time.

 

And then there was the boom, and a flurry of action, and then very little action.  He saw Corinne and Àjàṣorò leap to action, and followed suit, standing next to White Lioness and prepared to morph into something mean & nasty to scare whoever was causing this mess.

 

Remember your training!

Edited by Dr Archeville

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Lulu was not a front line fighter, and certainly not without her armored suit; at the sound of trouble, she did the first thing she'd been trained to do at Claremont: make herself hard to hit. She simultaneously created an illusionary duplicate of herself as she faded into mental invisibility, so smoothly that only the most observant could detect it. Then she took several steps to one side while her duplicate spoke for her.

 

"What in Sam hell is that?" 'Lulu' dropped into a defensive crouch.

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GM

 

Bursting first through the backroom door, Corinne was immediately greeted with the image of a battle playing out. The backroom had become a mess of broken equipment, smashed to splinters tables and dented lockers that had all been flung to the corners of the room as if an explosion had just gone off its center. But that was all small potatoes compared to the trio of figures that were duking it in the ruined room. 

 

Two of the combatants were obviously aligned with each against the third. They both dressed and looked almost exactly the alike, each wearing an identical all-black jumpsuit, with matching black boots and shades. The only difference between the two men was that one had blonde hair while the other's was brown. Both were armed with some kind of handheld energy weapon that they fired merciless at the black-and-pink blur that blinked across the room at speeds that were hard to follow with the naked eye.

 

"Declaration: You must surrender and accept reconditioning, renegade," one of them demanded, even as he kept trying to shot the blur.
 

It's partner eerily concurred with his partner, talking in the same monotone. "Accusation: You are attempting to meddle with the Prime Timeline, renegade. Judgement: This, along with your deviancy, is cause for reconditioning or termination. Which do you accept judgement?" 

 

The speedster stopped moving for a faction of second to give her assailants her answer, which came out in the form an one-finger salute.

 

Neither gunmen seemed particularly perturbed by the display of defiance and instead kept on shooting at their target. That was until they finally noticed the four random teenagers that had just walked into the room. 

 

The brown haired one noticed the quartet first and conferred with his partner. "Observation: Four unknown variables have entered operational space. Hypothesis: The Time Stop Field has been partially disrupted. Inquiry: How do we respond?"

 

His partner's response was less than positive. "Declaration: The Shade Principle must be absolutely maintained in cases involving renegades. Solution: Terminate all outside observers to this operation. Possible disruptions in the Prime Timeline caused by their untimely deaths is acceptable under these circumstances."

 

And without even another word shared between them, the mystery attackers pointed their weapons at their four newest targets!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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White Lioness

Àjàṣorò would have like a moment to talk out what exactly what was happening, but apparently, the combatants didn’t want to give a chance for them to talk right now. So right now the best option was to break up the fight and sort everything out later, and it looked liked it would be a doozy.

 

Deploying her claws she quickly went into action, keeping herself moving to look for an opening. For a while she didn’t do anything but move around, then she struck a rapid quick blow to the face a solid blow that didn’t even need her to use her claws.

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

Even with his weapon primed and ready, the Time Agent simply wasn't fast enough to get a shot off before White Lioness pounced on him with her fists. Within less than a second he suffered powerful blow to the bottom of the chin that sent him back reeling and concussed. It was a tiny miracle that he was even still conscious, not that his pair seemed to care in the least. Instead, while is partner tried to shake off his discombobulation, he trained his cold eyes on the problematic witnesses to his mission. 

 

"Assessment: Situation dire. New enemy variables demand higher level of offensive countermeasures. Activating Third Configuration." 

 

The black-and-pink blur must have understood what that meant since she immediately stopped moving across the room to give the students a warning.

 

"Hey, Next-Gen, watch out! The wastoid is about to-"  

 

The blur didn't get the last word out before the Time Agent flipped a setting on his weapon and unleashed a wide arc of red repulsive energy aimed directly at four students!

 

 

Edited by Cubismo

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The arc of energy grazed Davyd's shoulder, but he barely noticed -- he instead saw the thickest part of the arc was heading straight for both Lulu's illusory doppelganger and her mostly-concealed self! 

 

"No!"

 

His body responded in a flash, leaping to shield her with his body.  He even puffed up slightly to insure that his form provided an adequate barrier for her protection.  He took the full force of the blast, thickening the skin and fat along his back to better resist it, and tried to hide his grimace of pain as a comforting smile.  It passed quickly, and he was relieved to see everyone still standing.

 

Now it was time to go on the offensive.

 

The fried flesh at his back peeled away, revealing a dark green chitinous breastplate underneath.  His flesh kept peeling away, and clawed insectoid limbs pulled out, as if he were removing a pair of horrible pants and cardigan sweater.  The back of Davyd's head split open, and a fanged, spider-eyed horror lunged out, hissing and gnashing at the brunette 'agent' that had shot at them.  His shredded flesh, rather than falling off, continued rolling back to his hips, braiding together and darkening into a lashing crocodilian tail.

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Corinne threw up her arms in an 'x' before her as she was blasted by the.. Agent?  A##hole, more like it.  They were just gonna kill them?  Jesus!  She staggered back a few steps as her jacket was scorched by the attack, as she also had thrown up her forcefield at the last moment, the power scattering back against the blast and mitigating the attack.

Her eyes stared to glow brilliantly as pain fueled anger, which fueled something else.. No, no!  I am keeping control, I am able to hold it together!  Hissing she gathered one hand, and threw it it towards the agents, a sphere of brilliant light hitting behind them, and making the wall erupt and reach out towards them.  Though she had missed them in the effort, making her snarl a little bit in growing frustration, the light bleeding out of her eyes.

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Lulu saw Davyd put himself between her and harms way. She saw him grimace as she smelled his flesh cooking. Davyd was a friend of hers. Lulu's projection shook its head as it flexed its fingers, taking a few steps in the brunette's direction.

 

"Boy, you done f###ed up."

 

The illusion then winked out of sight midstride as the telepath shifted her focus to the one who'd fired the blast that cooked her friend. Lulu clenched her invisible fists and imagined herself squeezing the bastard's brain.

 

Eat this, you sumbitch.

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White Lioness

Keep moving and don’t let them distract you, that’s what her trainers had tried to drum into here over the years. At least when she wasn’t skipping combat training, she’d never expected to be in this position after all. The spirit of the Lioness helped to fill her with the abilities of her ancestors.

The thing was not to hit every-time, though that was nice, it was to keep trying until you made the hit’s that counted.

 

The focus was so complete that she had no time for witty retorts or clever comments, no it was about keeping moving all the time.

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GM

 

Things were not going well for the Time Agents. Even with their advanced weaponry, both had suffered blows and assaults that had left them nearly incapacitated. That could not be allowed to happen. Directives burned into the Time Agents very minds would not let that be an option. The safety of the timestream demanded it. Although, the brown-haired agent was overcome with a psychically-induced blast of pain that let him utterly useless, his partner, who wasn't exactly in good shape himself having taken a sharp hit to the head, was able to work up the willpower to drag himself to his partner's side. 

 

"Assessment: Situation is critical,"  he croaked. "Enemies beyond our current capabilities. We must... Retreat!" Quickly pressing a series of nodes on a device on his arms, and grabbing his flailing partner's waist, the duo immediately vanished from the room in a blast of light that simultaneously created a loud vacuum of noise as if an implosion had just occurred.

 

Her assailants gone the pink blur stopped moving to reveal a pink haired teenager that could easily pass as an extra in any generic punk music movie. All her clothing was ratty and torn, from her skinny jeans to her studded leather jacket which covered a t-shirt for an obscure band. 

 

The stranger moved to the spot the agents were just in and loudly cursed. "Freaking A. Of course, the lapdogs totally bail when things aren't going their way. Some much for being new and improved." She kicked at the empty air, but quickly moved on from her kvetching and turned her intention to the teens that had saved her. 

 

"Right then, sorry about being worthless there. The jump let kind of left me dazzled. I barely knew were I was dashing too in here. That's what I get for falling out of practice, I guess." She chuckled lightly before moving in closer to the group. "But whatever, at least I got to see what you guys can do. Man, I knew you Next-Gen were legend but taking out two Guardians was rad! Glad I came for you lot."

 

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Horroshow's head jerked and twitched about, looking all about for the displaced agents.  He made some barely intelligible approximations of speech, "wherrre diiid theeey gooo?"  Once the pink-haired punk began talking, he turned his focus to her, slowly opening and closing his taloned hands.  It took a moment for her words to sink in, but once they did, he smoothly morphed back to the smiling form of Dayd Palahniuk.

 

"Uh, yeah, about that... so those MiBs said something about you messing with the timeline, and your outfit's either very retro or very post-apocalyptic, so I'm guessing you're a time traveler.  And if that's the case, well, I hate to tell you, but," he gestured to the flickering holographic displays behind them, "they're the Next-Gen, and we're... uh... not.  I mean," he held his hands up defensively, "I just got here last week, I'm still learning my way around the campus."

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Lulu reappeared with a shimmer, cautiously looking around. "Yeah, we're not exactly a team yet, but if you need help, ah suppose we can try. Ah mean, some of us have more training than others, just so you know!"

 

The redheaded telepath was all for helping out, but other than Corrine,  most of them were still pretty inexperienced.

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White Lioness

Her father had told stories about how terrible convoluted time shenanigans tended to go, and she could well understand how that could happen. Or at least she that what she figured was happening, it was always difficult to tell with these things.

 

“We might have to consider that idea that we’re going to be Next-Gen, time travels and some such.” She whispered into her team-mates

 

“I know this might be a little fuzzy, but how about we start at the very beginning, the beginning appropriate to why you’re here right now!”

 

Hopefully that would focus them on why they were here, and leave out the less important details.

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Corinne sighed, sagging a bit, as they ran away, a hand reaching up to touch at her cheek, where there was a slight burn from the blast she had taken to the face.  "S***," she groused, eloquently.

 

Drawing in a deep breath she looked at the punkily attired girl, "Answers, now please."  Goal orientated as she was, and annoyed at being hurt, Corinne had entered into a pitbull like behavior.  She moved towards the brightly pink haired one, her own hair a more muted tone of the same color.  Roughly.  She was trying to not be bitchy teen queen, but it was being really hard, and the world was doing it's level best to damage her calm.

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