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The Eagle Flies Alone (IC) [open]

Avenger Assembled

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February 17, 2020 

15 minutes before the first class of the day 


Her face a picture that might have been captioned "Soon!", Eira Katastroff leaned back against the wall, a lazy smile on her face as her internal clock ran down. The halls were full of people in their lockers,  heading to and from class, chatting and texting to each other, but as usual she seemed to be an island unto herself amidst the other teenagers. Smirking, she leaned back against the wall, her blue hair visible inside the yellow hoodie she'd pulled up over her head, and watched the other students go by, her head rocking slightly to the beat of an inaudible melody. 

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White Lioness

The problem with being a national symbol and a student in another country was that she spent much time traveling between time zone on other duties, which did merry hell for her sleep patterns. After a rather grueling official visit she’d not managed to get any sleep on the flight, instead crashing in her room and sleeping through her alarm.


Quickly getting ready, her hair would have to be a little wild until after first period, she rush through the grounds and into the corridors of the school not really paying attention to who was around her as she dashed.

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To say that a certain Mr. Benjamin Franklin D'Amato was an early riser would be an understatement.  He slept in today, so he was up at four, did his morning work out showered, and was heading to class at an easy pace.  His hair wet from the shower, with his own school hoodie and sweatpants, because he didn't care about his image.  In an 80's teen flick he was the stereotype looking kid who'd be the bully.  Benny, as he insisted being called was anything but, he was a genial pleasant fellow, who was fairly easy to get along with.

Until he got pushed a little big much.  Then that Rebound thing kicked in.


But today was classes, and he hummed to himself a song that probably sailed over his fellow student's heads, between drinks from his water bottle.

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The first three letters of their names were about the only thing Benicio Wang had in common with Benjamin D'Amato. Between obsessively researching superheroes and consuming pop culture, getting off righteous hacks, and pwning noobs so hard they were afraid even to speak the name "@geckofan", there just weren't enough hours in the night, even if you didn't need sleep. And Ben did need sleep, far more than he tended to get on school nights. A more vain shapeshifter would have eliminated the dark bags and red rims from their eyes. But Ben found that it took less effort to create and maintain muscular configurations which were familiar and didn't stray too far from reality, and nothing was more familiar to him than the kid in the bathroom mirror looking tired.


The fact that he wasn't actually wearing clothes, just making it look like he did, was becoming increasingly well-known on the Claremont campus, and his signature civilian outfit, a yellow and black zip-up hoodie, open over a white t-shirt dominated by a giant black gecko silhouette, with baggy blue jeans and slightly over-sized white high-top sneakers, was becoming increasingly familiar as his "default setting". Walking along the ceiling rather than the floor, as he did more often than not, he sluggishly strolled down the halls without a care as to whether he'd be late to class or not. If anything, he preferred to be fashionably late and make an entrance. He dropped down from the ceiling, popped the tab on a sixteen-ounce can of Blue Ox energy drink and chugged the whole thing. Then he hurled the empty can down into the trash bin next to him like he was dunking a basketball to score the game-winning point, and beat his chest as he sang off-key along to the music in his head that was already getting more difficult to remember, "AYYY AM ANNN INDESTRUCTIBLE MASTER OF WAAARRR!!!"


Edited by Grumblefloof
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Forever Boy


Eira would probably hear it first. Then the other students nearby, and the teachers, and anyone else in the hallway near Eira. A loud bark, followed by several more, growing in strength as the source of the barks approached! The doors were thrown open, and an inadvisibly large fluffy dog barelled through them, barking loudly and happily the entire time! Pan was quite litterally pulled along it, a leash in his hand as he tried to stop the dog, planting his feet in mid-air to little success, standing back and just trying to stop.


The tibetan mastiff seemed rather large, even for its breed, rushing through the hallways as Pan tried (and very much failed) to stop its. 


"Nice dog! Good dog! Please, please, please, slow down!"

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"I will get you Pan! And your little dog too!"


Racing in hot pursuit of the flying, barking twosome tearing through the halls, Leroy, the Sun Dragon, heir of a dimension of warriors, ran pell-mell at a speed hard to imagine for someone in lace-up high-heeled sandals, a heavy black robe trailing behind him like a soaring war-time banner emblazoned with red roaring bulls and charging white unicorns. His legs were a blur, his hair streaming behind him like the trail of a gilted comet, his hands gesticulating wildly.


In answer to his flailing, curvéd crystal walls burst from the walls and floor, seeking to catch and curb the careening canine. But every one fell short, or somehow failed to make contact. But this did nothing to deter Leroy, who kept on his quarry like a man possessed!

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Leroy wasn't alone. Claremont students saw a lot of things - supervillain attacks, time travelers, dance-offs. But a big friendly dog running around everywhere, barking and woofing and licking, was entirely new. It wasn't long before other students had joined in, and teachers too, causing quite a mess. 



Eira Katastroff smiled once and walked through the crowd, cutting her way to the simple, unlabeled wooden door that held the building's computer servers. She paused a barely perceptible moment, took her round-framed black mirrorshades from her hoodie pocket, and slipped them on over her deep blue eyes. With that job done, still smiling, she looked down at the simple numeric keypad and held her hand in front of it, green-painted fingernails spread wide. Her dataspike lashed out and hit the input port - she nodded at the faint, almost inaudible click. She reached down, turned the knob, and walked inside, shutting it behind her with a click. 


Smirking now, she walked up to the old-fashioned desktop computer on the far side of the room. Crack crack crack went her knuckles, and she raised her hands over the keyboard. 

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Despite how how soon it was to the first class in the day, Max did not seem to be in a rush. English books were taken out of the locker, Math books were shoved to the side with disdain and the rest of the books inside were beaten back before collapsing into the hallway before slamming the door shut. Relaxing a little , the teenage teleporter put her headphones on and started blaring something that only passing students could faintly hear.


With everything prepared, she started walking roughly to where class was gonna start. The sounds of harsh vocals and guitars wailing drowned out the world. It also drowned out the sounds of barking and pure anarchy rushing up behind her.

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Benny seemed biologically incapable of overreaction, well barring people not picking up what he was throwing down when it came to boxing, but that was less upset.


He did suppress the urge to bat the can out of the air like it was a contest, because it wasn't, and he hooked his thumbs in the straps of his backpack as he moved out of the way, a frown tugging at his lips. "Uh, waitaminute..." Something seemed off.  Why was there a dog?  Was this dog here before?  Where had be been...?

Benny wasn't jaded, but he was a city kid from the bad parts of town. Youse kept yer head down to avoid getting involved in things ya didn't wanna be involved in. The gianormous fluff ball wasn't charming, it was more a big disaster bumbling down a hallway like that boulder in that ruin in that film he saw recently. Felt like somethin' to run from, and to edge away from. Which he did, as he was moving incidentally towards his class, making sure to take his breakfast sandwich out of his pocket, and the tried to eat it quickly enough he wasn't tackled and drooled on by that ball of fur and jowls.

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Eira Katastroff stood on a flat, featureless plain, dressed in a style her friends would not have recognized. Her hair was a shade of blonde cast in sheer gold, piled high on her head, topped by a feather that crackled with electricity Her eyes were blue sapphire and her skin sterling silver, her dress copper and emerald where it stretched down around her to ground level. She raised her umbrella, adjusted her dark glasses, and began to dance to the sound of a courtly waltz. She was the Rococo Basilisk - and it was time to go to work. 


The security systems were big, menacing toughs but she artfully twirled around them, avoiding the areas of the floor they patrolled on her hunt for weaker prey. The security systems around the non-essential systems were practically non-existent and so she passed them by, finding the system she wanted in the form of a big-eyed, square-jawed fellow with the mark of nobility in his bearing. She twirled up close and smiled prettily at him. "Hello there." 


"Do you wish to dance, milady?" 


She looked at him and without breaking stride drove her dataspike directly into his chest. As the waltz played, she watched dispassionately as the program warped, bucked, and shifted - into a punk rock version of himself, hair in spikes and dyed blue, a ring in his nose, studded leather jacket and T-shirt that bore the message FAN DU! She grinned at him, he sneered back, and she handed him her umbrella. 




Eira pulled her hand back from the computer's data port, her spike retreating into her wrist, and nodded. With a cocked head, she took in the noises outside. 

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One of the loudest was the sound of Leroy's booming voice as he shouted above the din at the oblivious Max O'Brian. 


"NO MAX GET OUT OF oh she cannot hear O'BRIAN FORGIVE ME!" 


With a snap of the wrist, the Dragon Prince of Earth-2 swept a coruscating shell of black diamond up from the floor, waves of shimmering extradimensional crystal flowing up and around the oblivious Maxine. After summoning so much, however, Leroy's hands shook, his breath was short from racing after Pan and the hound and his knack for mathematics was still more in the realm of theory than direct, real-world application. 


So it was probably inevitable that this, combined with the skills of his attempted captive of mercy, would lead to somewhere between the nations called Disaster and Havoc; they often played host to Leroy's less absurd schemes, let alone trying to catch a nervy teleporting acrobat with a shell of crystal from another plane of reality.

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As the enormous fluffy dog ran down the school corridor, dragging Pan behind it, Ben's mouth slowly dropped open, and his eyes grew larger. They did not merely stretch farther open within their sockets. The eyeballs and their sockets literally grew larger, in all directions. He almost looked like a cartoon character. "...MAXIMUM FLOOF!" His tentacles sprouted forth from his forearms with a twin set of slurping noises. One at a time, they shot out down the hall, the suckers latching onto walls, ceilings, and lockers before retracting suddenly, pulling him forward. He whizzed by several of his fellow students, almost colliding with some of them. "'Scuse me! HELLO! Comin' through! DUCK! Class can wait, gonna ride the GIANT DOGGO! YO PAN, I GOT NEXT!"


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"More than happy to offer you "next", if I can get the puppy to slow down!" Pan was obviously struggling with the inadisably large dog, his feet planted in mid-air as if he was trying to stop it with air resistance the same way one might try to hold back a rampaging bull by putting ones feet in the ground. "Come now! Nice dog! Good boy! Heel!"


The dog didn't want to stop, of course. It continued its path of mayhem through the school, happily barking and panting the entire way. It was really quite something that some could ignore it, even if they played loud music. The dog seemed to be having the time of its life as it pulled Pan along for the merry ride.


With Ben and Leroy close behind, the mighty mutt seemed to set its sight on Max, howling as it ran towards her, changing course slightly before a collision with Leroy's crystal, continuing on its path.

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White Lioness

It was something special that Claremont could still provide surprises, you’d think Àjàṣorò would be immune to such things but no a giant fluff beast was something completely new. For a few minutes she was tempted to leave well enough along, dog and cats didn’t met she thought with a smile, but she was nothing if not a meddler.


Sighing she placed her book down where she could grab it later, she jogged along to catch up with the chaotic canine. She drew alongside the other pretty quickly, she was in pretty good shape after all.


Perhaps I can help you all in slowing down this doggy dreadnought?”

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Felix had been used to keeping relatively normal hours underground, and still hadn't adjusted fully to the irritation of sunrise and sunset. As such, he was up before the sun, at 6 AM. He generally ate his breakfast - more from habit than from need - as soon as he got up. Oftentimes, he'd then shower and go out on a flight into the city, wearing his costume, of course. This made him easily one of the most active students at Claremont in the early morning, and so it was that he landed outside the main building and entered shortly before classes were to begin.


The chaos in the hallways caught him by surprise - perhaps he should have been more used to it by now, but even just the sheer number of students weighed on his mind. Part of XVIII wished desperately for his old family to be with him, but they were gone. Now there was a... was that a dog in the hallways? "Seriously, I get assistance animals, but... man, this is just... too much." He looked to Pan, before sighing inwardly. Why am I not surprised it's him?


As Àjàṣorò approached the dog, Felix followed suit, ignoring the fact that he really should have been getting books out of his locker now. "Maybe I can help, too." Assuming that he could even keep up with the furry invader - he was not flying in the halls. Not after last time.

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The door closed behind Eira as she stepped out into the hallway - and she watched the ongoing melee with the dog with a smirk on her face. With great and deliberate care, she removed her mirrorshades and slipped them into her hoodie pocket, then danced her way through the corridor towards civics class. She seemed to be in a world of her own, banging her head and mouthing along to metal lyrics, (a lipreader might spot "I don't believe in Heaven; I don't believe in Hell!") but it certainly wasn't the first time anybody in her class had seen her act that way. She found that their instructor, Ms. Hancock, had stepped outside to help deal with the melee caused by the dog, so without a backwards look she walked forward and took her usual seat inside the classroom. 


"Mr. Barrie!" said Ms. Hancock, the Claremont civics teacher. She was normally an even-tempered woman, but all this was a bit exciting - she didn't sound upset with him, just rather animated. "Mr. Barrie," she said, "the dog!" She gestured at the big woofing hound as he barreled through the corridors. "Why is the dog!?" 

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"Ah, Miss Hancock!" Pan did not seem particularly surprised to see the teacher. Really, why should he be? He was trying to stop a rampaging dog (an inadvisably large one, at that), running through Claremont. Of course a teacher was bound to join the chase at some point.


And with an almost screeching sound as it planted its paws on the floor and came to a halt, the dog stopped, with Pan coming after and slamming into it before he managed to stop, with the other students that had given chase potentially ending up in a pile alongside him.


Getting his bearings after a second, Pan grinned up at Ms. Hancock. "Well, Miss Hancock, I believe that is a rather deep question. I would probably have led with why is the dog here, but to each their own. I believe the dog is because his doggy mother and doggy father loved each other very much, and then there was some wild adventure involving flowers and bees and a while later, the dog was born as a cute little puppy! Now, he is a cute big puppy! And is he simply not the best thing?"

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Ben's swiftly-retracting tentacles launched him at the literal dogpile at full speed, and his body splattered flat against it like a lump of soft clay. He flexed his muscles to quickly reinflate, and then directed the attention of all of his hands, human and cephalopod alike, to petting and scratching the gigantic canine. "DOGGO!" The fur was so thick his hands disappeared into it. Two of his tentacles broke off from the affectionate assault to open up his backpack and rifle through the contents. "Lessee, don't got any PROPER doggo-treats, but you guys aren't picky, right? Just gotta find somethin' that won't KILL ya...there we go!" The tentacles emerged holding a peanut-butter flavored protein bar, which they carefully unwrapped and then offered to the dog. "OM NOM NOM TIME!" Ben's face followed his hands in vanishing inside the dog's fur as he hugged it with his entire body.


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Maxine's eyes were fixed on the floor. She was not particularly interested to see whoever was gossiping about her today. A few snippets of sound were starting to penetrate through the wall of sound she had build herself. Was that barking? There was little time to dwell when crystals began to erupt from the floor around her. She yanked her hoodie and headphones down long enough to now finally hear the commotion around her.

Also the giant of a dog barrelling towards her without a care in the world.

On reflex her whole body developed the same ethereal blue haze that let her sidestep the whole world. Then the mass of hair and barking... Stopped. It took a few seconds for her to process what had happened, from the mass of students pursuing him, to the dog's owner to the sudden appearance of the school faculty showing up. She let out a long breath she had unknowingly held and faded back into solid reality. "OK... Not what I was expecting to see today..." 

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"Mr. Barrie," said Ms. Hancock, "You cannot-you cannot just let a dog into the school!" She sounded scandalized, but not actually angry. "Just-just use your powers and send it away!" She wasn't entirely clear on what Pan could do but then in his experience many people were not. She was certainly focused on Pan, much more so than she was on any other students in the hall, particularly the one slipping into her classroom amid all the fuss and bother. 

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Ben's face emerged from the massive dog's fur, his eyes even larger than before. "NOOO!!!" He clutched the mastiff even more tightly, and slid around to place his body between the dog and Ms. Hancock. "Don't send away my new sidekick the Octopup! I just GOT him! Hmmm...'Octofloof'? 'Octodog'? I'll set up an online poll. 'Octobark'?" He buried his face in the dog's fur again. "And I...uh...I NEED him! He's my...my new hearing-ear dog! Also, like, emotional support and stuff! Look, we can set him up in mine and Davyd's room. That place is ALREADY a total freakshow unfit for human habitation! A dog'll probably make it CLEANER!"


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Pan's attention turned entirely towards Ben. With a heavy sigh, he reached out and placed a hand on the crime-fightin' kraken's shoulder.


"Ben, I am deeply sorry, and I am not quite sure how to tell you this, but... the dog only have four legs. There are simply not enough legs for him to be an octo-anything." He spoke with deep sorrow in his voice. He obviously didn't want to let Ben in on this harsh truth.


The dog happilly munched away at the protein bar, slobbering and chewing.


Turning back to Ms. Hancock, Pan sighed once again. "Well, I suppose, if there is no other choice. I would not not want to create a disturbance, after all." Bending down, he gently patted the giant dog's head, stroking its fur. "I am deeply sorry, my friend, but it was not meant to be! Maybe we will meet again some time!" Finishing speaking, he stood up, waved his right hand around a bit, the dog vanishing in a puff of golden dust. "No need to worry, I simply sent it back to the owner."

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"Mamá and Tatay always said we didn't have room for a dog, 'cause we've always lived in tiny apartments, and we couldn't afford one anyway, and, I mean, YEAH, they're right, but we'll figure somethin' out-" Ben fell over onto the floor when the giant dog he'd been wrapped around and pressed up against disappeared. "NO!" His fist slammed into the floor. He jumped to his feet and grabbed the front of Pan's shirt. "Bring him BACK! Wait, whatta you MEAN, 'the owner'? As in, NOT YOU?! You freakin' JACKED somebody's dog?!" He pushed Pan's chest, hard. "Double-you-tee-eff's the MATTER with you, Dude?! That's SO NOT RIGHT!" His shoulders slumped. "Did...did you even know his name?"


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"Mister Wang, Mister Barrie." Ms. Hancock interposed herself between her two students with the sort of speed that made some of the students think she must have been some sort of teleporting metahuman. "This is not appropriate behavior from either of you," she said firmly. "Report to class immediately, and if I see any more questionable behavior from either of you, you will report to the headmistress's office at the end of period. Mr. Barrie, I am sure she will have some words for you in any case," she added sharply. To the other students, she said, "All right, everyone, our morning entertainment is over! Let's all try and have a normal class today, shall we? Your first test review won't take care of itself!" 

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White Lioness

Ben might be a bit of a flake and drama queen sometimes, but Àjàṣorò found him entertaining in small doses. So, with a charming smile she offered a hand to help Ben back up, as she did she leaned in conspirators to whisper to him.


“Maybe we go to a shelter after school and find you an Octodog of your very own? I have some dispensation to leave the grounds for official reasons.” She them leant back up and smiled at the teacher


“Of cause Ms. Hancock we wouldn’t want to miss such an important class of cause.”

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