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Fledgelings in the Fold [Open]


Ari

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April 7th, 11.46AM, 2020

Claremont Academy, Main Quad

 

"...and this is where I leave you, I guess." Det. Janice Renchy had the tired, bleary look of anyone who worked at night who had to be up in the middle of the day. Rubbing at one eye with the heel of her palm, Leon's voucher squinted around the stately, old-fashioned school square. "Dunno how you're not coming out of here with a load of debt. Anyway, I'm sure you'll do great, Leo. Take care of yourself, you got my number if it can do you any good." Smiling a little, she offered the boy a handshake.

 

She looked hard at Leon's face "You're good here?"

 

Unbeknownst to the unlikely duo, there was another new arrival, just out of sight...and very much out of time.

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Leon had remained quiet as the man from social services had spoken to the Claremont staff. He Hadn’t been listening as he looked around, noting various things and sizing up everyone he saw. Everyone except the detective that accompanied him and the social worker. When the social worker had finished and headed back out to his car, Leon watched with disinterest.

10 minutes ago, Ari said:

April 7th, 11.46AM, 2019

Claremont Academy, Main Quad

 

"...and this is where I leave you, I guess." Det. Janice Renchy had the tired, bleary look of anyone who worked at night who had to be up in the middle of the day. Rubbing at one eye with the heel of her palm, Leon's voucher squinted around the stately, old-fashioned school square. "Dunno how you're not coming out of here with a load of debt. Anyway, I'm sure you'll do great, Leo. Take care of yourself, you got my number if it can do you any good." Smiling a little, she offered the boy a handshake.

 

She glanced at Leon "You're good here?"

 

Unbeknownst to the unlikely duo, there was another new arrival, just out of sight...and very much out of time.

Det. Renchy was talking to him and Leon finally looked up at her. He gave her a shrug and tried to look like he didn’t care.

“I guess so.”

After hesitating a moment, he took the offered hand and shook it. She had visited him in the hospital multiple times, almost every day it seemed sometimes. And afterwards, she had stood up and vouched for his actions in front of the judge when the offer of attendance at Claremont had come up at the hearing. It’s not like he was actually starting to like an adult or anything, but she was less bothersome then most. Sticking his hands in his pockets and gave the detective a mischievous smirk.

“I’m not worried about owing anything, I can steal the money to pay for it later.”

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Madame Raven

From down the drive leading to the Academy came the roar of a motorcycle as it shot down the road, pass the pair to skid to a halt a short distance away. The driver of the Yamaha kick down the standard shut off the engine before taking off her helmet, a black colored bird taking flight on a purple background. The cool looking image she managed to project was ruined slightly by the wide grin that she had on her face.

 

Woo this thing moves like a dream, moves great…” she eyed the Detective before altering herself in mid speech “… when just exploring the grounds!”

 

She gave a look that suggested that she was innocent of all illegal activities.

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Posted (edited)

GM

 

"Well, can't really blame you for that being the most obvious solution to the problem," Janice said, eyeing the new girl skeptically, "but Leo, if nothing else, I hope you decide not to take stuff from other people for yourself. It happened to you, and you know how cruel it is, how undeserved it was. But I'm not your mom, or your friend or anything," she shrugged, "you'll decide what you decide. If you do choose that, though, I'd hate to have to take you somewhere without any chance to better your life...but I'm rambling, and it's way past when I'm usually asleep. See you around, Leo."

 

Nodding wearily to the boy, Janice walked out the gates, casting a surreptitious look at the license plate of the motorcycle the new girl had ridden in on. "Morning," she offered, before slouching into a car emblazoned with the New Jersey State Patrol shield, and vanishing into the hill of Bayview.

 

Summers had told Leon and Callie that a student would be meeting them to show them around the place and help get them situated, but aside from the two of them, the quad was still and empty.

 

Besides the man-shaped pile of mud standing under an archway, watching them.

Edited by Ari
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Leon's smirk vanished as he eyed the girl on the motorcycle and judged her to be about his own age. Between the bike and her too pretty to be real looks, he instinctively put her in the 'rich girl' box for further stereotyping later.

He looked back at Detective Renchy again and gave a subdued nod as she bid him farewell. He watched the car pull off, the logo catching the sun and gave a short sigh of acceptance. Glancing around again, it seemed to be just him and the rich girl at first. Something nearby under one of the archways gave him pause, but he couldn’t be sure what he was looking at. He resisted the urge to take a closer look and went back to scanning the courtyard. He thought he remembered someone mentioning an escort around the school.

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GM

 

He couldn't be sure, but somehow the lumpy thing seemed to have gotten closer to Leon. What had once just been a vaguely humanoid shape with loose mud for legs was a just a little more defined. Something was familiar in the face. 

 

A gentle schlorp behind Callie alerted her to another one, standing right behind her. It looked like shaped loam, pulsing and contracting in time with some unknown rhythm. 

 

Despite an unseasonable warm spell, a faint chill was seeping through the air. Though the Sun shone down, its light felt pale and cool. And now that they thought about it, the ground under their feet felt slicker and softer than it should, even the concrete of the road outside the school and the gravel in the quad felt mushy and yielding.

 

The mud figures stood and stared.

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Madame Raven

Whilst her senses was telling herself that something was a little off Callie tried to play things as cool as she could sticking her hands in her pockets. All this supers stuff was still a little new to her and it took a little getting use too.

 

Hi there I’m Callie Sen, I’m expected here for the tour. Are they…she gestured towards the mud men “Students here as well? I mean like I say the more the merrier, well not often but you know what I mean!”

 

Play it cool Callie, she thought, you don’t want to make a fool of yourself.

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Leon started and stepped away from the humanoid mud-thing as he turned back to find it closer to him, his hand reaching for a thigh pouch that wasn’t there. He cursed to himself under his breath and narrowed his eyes at it.

He glanced over at the ‘rich girl’, Callie she said her name was, and noticed a second ‘mud-man-thing’. He turned his attention back to the one near him for a moment to see if it had moved again. With a nervous glance around again he looked for any more of the things, then looked back at it.

“How should I know?”

He said shortly as unshouldered his backpack to hold it by one strap in his left hand. Watching the mud-thing he moved to unzip it.

“But if this was all a scam just to spring a trap, they’re in for a surprise.”

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At this point, a pretty redhead in a blue denim jacket, pink T-shirt and blue jeans actually flew towards the pair, her pink All-Stars gently a-lighting on the pavement. She had a pair of expensive sunglasses perched on her head and a clipboard tucked under one arm. Beaming and acting like her entrance was no big deal, she held out a hand and spoke in a warm Southern drawl.

 

"Hey, y'all! Ah'm Lulu Beaumont, Class of '21; welcome to Claremont Academy!" Noting the mysterious mudmen behind her fellow teens, she frowned slighly as cleared her throat and slowly tucked her shades into her jacket pocket. "Uh...these boys with either of you?"

Edited by Heritage
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"I reckon this means there are new conscripts.  Yankees only know how to hitch a ride with the laws."  A teenage girl with chrome colored metallic skin openly guffawed.  She was dressed in a black pullover hoodie and matching sweats.  Both of which did nothing to hide the reflection rendered as the sun beamed against her skin.  The metal girl's left palm was raised above her eye line as she stared out into the distance towards the exiting vehicle.  Tabitha looked at Lulu and then the two man shaped piles of mud.

 

Without another word the metal skin teen walked over and dropped her hand from her forehead.  Instead extending her index finger to touch one of the mud people.  Assuming one of the two non mud shaped teenagers was controlling the dirt.  She was curious as to the texture and couldn't help but try and feel the mud.  Or come as close to feeling as her rough appendages could against the sensation.  "I reckon I should apologize before rummaging around in y'all's dirt.  I'm Tabitha.  Y'all new or bad truants?"

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GM

 

The slimy muck making up the silent, watchful shapes was heavy with topsoil, worms wriggling through the mass and chainmail meshes of roots threading delicately beneath the slick surface. 

 

The one Tabitha touched didn't move, except for the pebbles where eyes might have been. Looking down at where they'd been touched, the muddy creature reached out a long, dripping arm of their own and returned the favour, leaving a smear of itself on her hoodie.

 

Gentle squelches all around the teens announced the sudden appearance of more muddy creatures, sliding from the shadows and swaying almost silently, creeping towards them...

 

"Hi! Git!"

 

An old scarecrow of a man in oil-stained overalls rolled into the quad, carrying a brass tube attached to a wheeled contraption. Waving the tube threateningly he barked "Go on! Shoo! 'Less ya want the hose again!" For emphasis, he pulled a trigger to let loose a roar of blue flame!

 

At the sight the mud things moved, collapsing into snake-like trails that burrowed rapidly underground, leaving only pools of water where they were standing moments before!

 

The old man tore off his blue cap and gave it a stamp, gnashing yellowed teeth under a hookéd, thrice-broken beak of a nose. "Danged elementals! Giving us decent folk barely a week's peace! You keep an eye out for any more o' those, kids!" he pointed sharply at Louise and Tabitha in particular, "they're liable to come back...and next time, a little fire might not scare them so easy! A hero's got to be alert, got to be ready, if'n you need any help with either, you know where I'd be!"

 

Changing his manner in an instant, he re-donned his cap to take it off for a dramatic bow and a gracious smile to Leon and Callie. "An' a wonderful morning to you two! Welcome, welcome to Claremont Academy. I'm Fawks, the facilities manager. Anything's out of place or not working like it should, I'm in the shed up by the athletics field most days. Please, enjoy your stay." With another smile and nod to the two newcomers, and a swift, savage 'keep your eyes open' gesture to Louise and Tabitha, the man rolled swiftly out of sight.

 

Somehow, the air felt drier, the Sun warmer, the ground sturdier. Like a chance for a fresh start had come.

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Madame Raven

People arrived and the mud people went away, it was very strange and not like she’d expect from this old place.

 

If I can just ask, is this the normal here? Or is this a quiet day?” she smiled at what she’d guess was the grounds keeper, she couldn’t be sure if he was same as when it St Thomas’s.

 

She stepped off of her bike and hung her helmet on the handlebars before joining the others.

 

I’m Callie Sen, and you could say a bit of both! I’m join the school in the fall and the headmistress strongly suggested that I attend.”

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Leon’s attention had been on the mound of mud when he’d caught movement out of the corner of his eyes. Another girl, almost as pretty as the other one, literally flew in and landed near them. Shortly behind her a third girl, with skin like metal stepped in to sight. His eyes widened a moment, then narrowed as he stepped away from both of them and the mud-thing.

“What the hell is going on here?”

Leon didn’t have a chance to ask anything else before a scarecrow of a man rolled up with some kind of flamethrower to scare off the mud-things. The elementals he called them.

Leon’s hand pulled a spiral bound notebook from his pack. He glanced around at the caretaker and the girls. The one on the bike looked normal enough and hadn’t done anything yet, but Leon was on edge now and wasn’t going to let guard down.

Almost as suddenly as he arrived the caretaker, Fawks called himself, strolled out of was off and out of sight.

“What is with this place?”

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Lulu was a bit put off by the talk of elementals (this was certainly new to her), but nodded in response to Fawks' call for vigilance. "Ah'll keep mah eyes open, sir!"

 

After the odd groundskeeper's departure, she turned to address the new student's questions, her brow furrowed in concern as she placed a hand on her chest. "Ah'm so sorry! It was thoughtless of me to assume everyone comin' in has powers, or is at least used to seein' 'em. Ah didn't mean to make y'all feel uncomfortable." Holding the clipboard in front of her, she shrugged as her gaze wandered over the campus. "But ah'm afraid it is a little crazy 'round here; a little bit like Hogwarts, ah guess you could say! Kids come here if they have special gifts, skills or powers that they need to learn how to control or use constructively." 

 

She gestured, and Callie's bike began to slowly rise up in the air.

 

"Ah'm a psychic, with a lot of different powers ah can use; Tabitha's a...well, how would you describe yourself?"

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Tabitha formed her left hand into a fist and slammed it against her right palm.  "I'm a statue."  She responded disinterested once the conversation moved to describing herself.  Never one to jump for joy when describing her condition.  Her eyes drifted back to the route the groundskeeper had taken.  Almost as if expecting more of those strange creatures she had mistaken for a student's power to pop right up.  "School has more dirt than you can shake a stick at.  And now they tell us it can shake a stick back."

 

If they take me seriously that ain't my fault. Boy's starting to sound wound up tighter than an eight day clock.  Tabitha thought to herself with absolutely no self-awareness.  Or rather to herself and as far as she knew the only other student in the direct vicinity that could hear it. 

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Horrorshow

 

Davyd knew that Lulu was going to be greeting some new students today.  He was interested in meeting them, too, though of course it wouldn't do for him to just walk up to them.  Since she had flown out to meet them, he decided to do the same, in the form of a red-tailed hawk.

 

You're really getting the hang of this flying thing!, he thought to her.

 

He circled for a bit once she'd landed, getting a good look at the three newcomers.  Then he saw the mud-things, but before he could swoop down to investigate, Fawks had already shooed them off with his homemade flamethrower.  He continued circling for a bit, to make sure there were no other elemental lurking about, but then he heard something that was too good to pass up.

 

Quote

"I'm a statue."

 

INCOMING!

 

He took a sharp turn and soared down to Tabitha -- not a dive, not anything that could be construed as an attack -- and attempted to land on her shoulder.

 

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Leon’s eyes lingered on the floating bike before he looked at Lulu. He glances at Tabitha as a large red bird landed on her, then took a moment to look at Callie before turning his attention back to Lulu again. He shouldered his pack and shifted the note book to his left hand. Raising his empty right hand in a ‘wait’ gesture.

“Wo.. wait a minute. ‘Like Hogwarts’? Like a superhero Hogwarts?”

The young man said with something between surprise and disbelief. It quickly passed and he settled on snark, it was his default when caught off guard.

“Considering how well that placed was run, can I opt to go back to juvie?”

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At the the red-tailed hawk's arrival, Lulu cleared her throat and leaned over to the bird of prey, and spoke in sotto voce. "Uh, this might not be the best time for shapeshiftin' fun, Davyd; newbies ain't never seen powers before." Of course, she knew who it was - who else flew around campus as a bird - but she feared the damage might already be done.

 

Returning her attention back to the new arrivals, she lowered the bike back the ground,  and nodded in acknowledgement of Leon's point. "Ah see where you're goin' with this- " She looked at her clipboard. "Leon, but unlike that distinguished boarding school, we do not allow Dementors on campus. Also- " And here she leaned in close to him, and spoke through a slight grimace. "You ain't the only kid here who's had a run-in with the law; it's more common than you'd think for folks like us."

 

 

Edited by Heritage
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Tabitha made no effort to stop the hawk changed Davyd from landing on her shoulder.  Unless he packed on the pounds it wouldn't really be a bother.  Of course it didn't hurt that she wasn't paying attention to see him dive until he had already landed on her shoulder.  "I just want it to be known.  If this boy ends up madder than a wet hen.  It ain't my fault."

Although the statement did bring Tabitha to turn her head to Callie Sen.  As derisive as she had been to the boy who had yet to introduce himself.  The girl had been oddly calm.  "Guess they're not kin, if only one knew what the school was.  Ain't that a kick in the head?"  Her last statement had her looking up at her  shoulder. 

Though Tabitha had missed most of the semester due to her sick nana sending them packing back home.  Lulu had already given up the trick so to speak. 
 

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Madame Raven

Callie watched her motorcycle hover gracefully in the air, the way that they generally didn’t tend to do, she’d seen some powers in the last few week’s but it was still impressive close too.

 

“If you could be careful that bike was quite expensive…” she said mostly to herself as the conversation had moved on. And whilst she’d been catching up with popular culture it was surprising how much had been added in the last thirty odd years.

 

“I might seem like I’m stuck a good few decades in the past, but right now I have no idea what any of you are talking about. Apart from the powers stuff, which is ironic as I don’t have any!”

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Horrorshow

 

Oh, fine, fine...

 

The hawk hopped off Tabitha's shoulder, and flipped beak-over-talons in the air.  As it did, its entire body warped and shifted: it grew many times larger, feathers melted and reformed as fabric, skin stretched smoothly as the skeletal structure rearranged itself into something more humanoid.  By the time he'd landed on his feet, he was completely human, with a round face and long limbs, wearing sneakers, shorts, and a hoodie.

 

"Ta da!," he spun around to face the three newcomers, offering his hand to each.  "Davyd Palahniuk, Class of '21.  Welcome to Claremont!"  He looked to Callie, "no powers?  No problem!  Claremont's welcoming of all types of folks!"

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Leon eyed Lulu as she leaned in to talk to the bird, when she turned her attention back to himself and Callie he tried to look casual.

 

18 hours ago, Heritage said:

Returning her attention back to the new arrivals, she lowered the bike back the ground,  and nodded in acknowledgement of Leon's point. "Ah see where you're goin' with this- " She looked at her clipboard. "Leon, but unlike that distinguished boarding school, we do not allow Dementors on campus. Also- " And here she leaned in close to him, and spoke through a slight grimace. "You ain't the only kid here who's had a run-in with the law; it's more common than you'd think for folks like us."

His eyes flickered to the clipboard, wondering what else was written on it. He looked back up at her as he tried to better gauge her.

"I guess that makes some sense of what the guy in the wheelchair was being cryptic about when had came to talk to me in the hospi-"

Leon cuts himself off. Mentally berating himself for his loose tongue. He still didn't know how much they knew, and you don't give anyone more information then they already have.

 

18 hours ago, HGM said:

"I just want it to be known.  If this boy ends up madder than a wet hen.  It ain't my fault."

Although the statement did bring Tabitha to turn her head to Callie Sen.  As derisive as she had been to the boy who had yet to introduce himself.  The girl had been oddly calm.  "Guess they're not kin, if only one knew what the school was.  Ain't that a kick in the head?"  Her last statement had her looking up at her  shoulder.

 

Leon wasn't sure how the metal girl, Tabitha was what Lulu had called her, had meant the comments, but he felt the need to reply.

"Please, it'll take more then a few party tricks any stage magician could pull off to get under my skin."

 

11 hours ago, Tiffany Korta said:

“If you could be careful that bike was quite expensive…” she said mostly to herself as the conversation had moved on. And whilst she’d been catching up with popular culture it was surprising how much had been added in the last thirty odd years.

 

 

“I might seem like I’m stuck a good few decades in the past, but right now I have no idea what any of you are talking about. Apart from the powers stuff, which is ironic as I don’t have any!”

 

"I guess this place is just like any other school, wave enough money around and anyone can get in."

He started to chuckle but...

 

9 hours ago, Dr Archeville said:

The hawk hopped off Tabitha's shoulder, and flipped beak-over-talons in the air.  As it did, its entire body warped and shifted: it grew many times larger, feathers melted and reformed as fabric, skin stretched smoothly as the skeletal structure rearranged itself into something more humanoid.  By the time he'd landed on his feet, he was completely human, with a round face and long limbs, wearing sneakers, shorts, and a hoodie.

 

"Ta da!," he spun around to face the three newcomers, offering his hand to each.  "Davyd Palahniuk, Class of '21.  Welcome to Claremont!"  He looked to Callie, "no powers?  No problem!  Claremont's welcoming of all types of folks!"

 

The chuckled died in his throat as he watched Davyd transform. He was use to seeing powers at work, but even he had to admit that was impressive. Not that he was going to admit it out loud.

"Well a deal's, a deal. And since they got me on the hook..."

Leon said, adjusting his posture to a more relaxed and confident one.

"Sounds like that little paper of yours already had my name. So I might as well start playing the good little student and introduce myself. The name's Leon Moore. And ya, I have a power."

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Tabitha knew she wasn't the most social member of the student body.  But, it also wasn't her first day.  Still, the introduction actually brought a genuine smile to her face.  In so much as it seemed she had been mistaken for one of the new teens on the tour.  Something she took as a compliment as she returned the offered handshake.  "Tabitha Hannigan Also class of twenty one hun."

 

Her attention turned back to the two newcomers.  "I reckon school is still school.  Why I have months of homework to catch up on.  Anyone calling themselves a magician round these parts won't be pulling rabbits out of hats."

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Horrorshow

 

Davyd shook Leon's hand with one of his and Tabitha's with the other, with a smile on his face, one perhaps wider than any human should have.  "Good, good!  Oh, and you're Callie, right?," he asked the third newcomer, offering a third hand from an arm that wasn't there a moment ago.  "Always a pleasure to meet new folks!"

 

He turned back to Lulu, "hey, I know you're the official-unofficial greeter and all, but since they're coming in near the end of the school year, and I came in near the end of the school year last year, I thought I could offer them some advice, yeah?  I mean, they'll be facing a few unique challenges, trying to get caught up on everything."

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Madame Raven

For some reason she couldn’t quite identify a clay like shapeshifter made a little nervous, though she managed to hide it to just a step back a bit. Still she didn’t have any reason to fear the teens so she put on a brave face and tried to inject a little humor into her voice.

 

Callie, Callie Sen, really we should have those little name tags to save trouble with all this introductions.” she smiled at the others, she got quite a lot of her charm from her mother.

 

I know its hard to believe but I was actually here when I was younger, I’m one of those irritating people who remember stuff from when I was little, for me it’s almost like it as yesterday…” she tried not to smirk at her own personal joke

 

Has this place changed much since before it became Claremont?”

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