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Cyroa

And Hell came knocking

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The fire red 1971 Chevelle convertible cruised down the streets, engine roaring. The muscle car had been beautifully restored and then kitted out the wazoo. It barely qualified as street legal anymore. The driver might not have done the work on it, but he surely loved driving it. The driver had a grin on his face and laughter in his eyes as the vehicle practically flew down the roads.

Sure he could go slower but what would the fun of that be? He usually talked himself out of any trouble he got in. Or just paid the fine. What was the point of having money if you didn’t use it from time to time? Hence his car and a few other belongings he had splurged on.

He sobered somewhat, only for a moment really, as he contemplated his destination. A new place, new school. He’d chosen to go through with the family’s recommendations, though after making a huge fuss over it. He wasn’t exactly thrilled with them, nor had he every been welcome there anyway. He’d been interested in coming, just didn’t want them to think they had any say in his life.

He slowed the car, engine settling to a gentle roar, as he turned on the to the street. He wasn’t traveling at a sedate speed, but at least it wasn’t too ridiculous in it’s excess. He counted the numbers and soon enough, there were the gates.

He pulled in and drove down the long drive, taking in the manicured ground. It was a long drive up to a rather impression mansion. Or would be impressive if he hadn’t lived in something similar his whole life. The Family Estate was massive and certainly held its share of secrets too. This looked nice but he had expected no less. Whether it was better than ‘home’, time would tell. He certainly hoped it was more fun…

He brought the car up to the circle by the front door, slowing to a stop. He opened the door and got out, stretching a little as he looked around. All in all, he had high hopes for this place. And if it was dull as home, well, he’d have to raise a little hell.

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Being met by a man wearing the black and white collar of a Catholic priest didn't do much to allay James's worries about the school, though the kid his own age coming up on the other side seemed like a more pliable person to hang around with. "Well hello, Mr. Prophet," said the priest politely, "it's a pleasure to meet you. I'm Father Henry Guimont, and this is Mark Lucas, one of the students in your class. I hope you'll forgive the small greeting party, but we always have a smaller faculty during the summer session. Welcome to Claremont Academy."

"Hey," said Mark, giving a friendly greeting to the new guy and heading right past Father Guimont to shake his hand, man-to-man, the way his father had taught him. "Nice to meet you. That's a sweet ride you've got there, is it a...Chevette?" It was a lucky guess from a car magazine he'd flipped through once, but with any luck the other guy wouldn't ask him anything in particular about the car. "You running any bags to your room?"

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JP blinked and paused for the barest of moments. He hadn't expected one of those to be here. He wasn't too worried. Unless the guy was packing a holy sword or something, and felt the need to start swinging, James had little to worry about. He reached out and shook Mark’s hand and then the Father’s as well.

"Father, Mark. Pleasure to meet you both." He shrugged and waved it away. "Not a problem. I wasn't expecting some huge welcome anyway. Just another student coming in during the summer after all." He grinned amused. A greeting party wasn’t expected. Just someone to show him to the dorm and get all the regular stuff taken care off.

He turned to look at Mark. “Yeah, a ’71. I had it kitted out with pretty much everything. ‘She has a heart of chrome, and a voice like a horny angel,’†he quoted amused. “Had her kitted out with damn near everything I could think of.†He did love the car. And not just because it was a hot car that drew the girls either.

He nodded. “Yeah, I’ve got a couple bags and my strings.†He chuckled. “I couldn’t tell you where my room actually is of course. It can wait 'till later.â€Â

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"We, ah, try and make sure all our students get a good reception," said Guimont cordially, "especially the ones who come in during the summer session. It gives us an opportunity to really...get to know our young people, one-on-one!" He talked expansively about the role of teachers at Claremont, a smile on his face and song in his heart, as he led them towards the Administration building. Mark, ever the good chum, helped carry James' bags out of the car.

Sensing that maybe the new arrival was getting a little bored with this, Mark leaned close to James and murmured, "He's not so bad once you get to know him. He mostly does counseling for the kids who don't like Dr. Marquez. It's not like we're still a Catholic school or anything. So you're a Freedom City boy too, huh? What brings you here in the summertime?"

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"Thanks," he said to Mark. With Mark's help, they managed to carry the luggage without an addition powers on his part. Duffel bag and one guitar case slung over his shoulder, he carried the rest easily in his hands. He didn't particularly need to bring all this stuff. It wasn't like the Estate was far from here. But honestly, he had little to no desire to deal with anyone there.

James just nodded as the priest went on and on, a half-smile on his face. He was being polite, not groaning or interrupting. He'd only been here a whopping ten minutes after all.

He nodded at Mark with a raised brow. He kept his voice low as well, not interrupting the priest's diatribe. "Counseling? Lot's of issues in the student body are there?" It wasn't a sarcastic comment, very honest in fact (though given his poker face, it might be hard to tell if he had been). He certainly had his own issues in abundance, though he certainly wasn't likely to talk to anyone, especially faculty (ie adults) about it. What was there to say? 'My dad is a lord of hell and wants me to destroy the world? Oh and I visit hell in my dreams whenever I sleep?' Bah. Not like there was anything that could be done about it. He shook the thoughts off; they were such a downer anyway.

James shrugged one shoulder. "Wanted to get the he...frick outta there. I have some family issues," he added with a wry and somewhat bitter smile. He caught himself, twice in fact. Once for the hell comment, thought that was more his own reaction. And the other was substituting 'frick' for the more common swear word in deference to the priest and new surroundings. "I could get place on my own I guess. But sooner I got to school and got it all taken care of, the better, right?" It wasn't exactly the most detailed explanation, but he'd just gotten here. "How 'bout you?"

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"My folks decided to head off to Brazil for the summer," said Mark with a wry smile. "Second honeymoon, who knew? So I get to go back here and help out for the summer session. My classes don't even start up again until fall." He cocked his head, studying James for a moment. "We've got a lot of kids here who've got family trouble. You won't be the only one like that." He didn't draw out on that line long, though, too much deep study of someone else's character not really being his bag. "Anyway, there's a lot of cool stuff going on right now. You're actually gonna be across from me from what I've heard; we try and keep everyone together in the summertime. My room-mate's Mike; he's pretty cool."

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James couldn't help but grin. He really hoped there weren't a lot of people with family issues like his. How screwed up would that be? Heroes and Demons. There was a family picnic for ya! "I'm cool. They're not. Just don't exactly see eye-to-eye on stuff. But no worries. No therapy required here," he added with a grin. Of course, that statement could be argued quite well by members of the mental health profession. Anyway...

He nodded. "Works for me. How full is this place over the summer anyway? You've got a roommate you said, so got to be at least enough to fill a dorm right?" He nodded. "Look forward to meeting 'em."

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Most of James' paperwork had been done ahead of time, so it was just a matter of signing a few relevant forms and taking his room key as they headed over to the Carter-Kord dormitories to find his room. With both boys half-listening to Father Guimont's story about the history of Claremont dating back to its earliest foundations in the 19th century, Mark leaned over James' shoulder to look at his assignment. "Sweet, you did get the other room. That'll be awesome." He grinned, clapping the other boy on the shoulder. "We're friends with the girls down below us, Alex and Erin, they're pretty cool. Just watch, this is gonna be a great summer."

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James nodded, taking the papers and sticking them in a bag, unconcerned. He added the key to the others he carried as they walked. He nodded, walking towards the dorms. He grinned at his fellow student. "Fun indeed."

He turned to the priest as they left the administration area. "Father, thanks for your time and for meeting me. I think I've got an ancestor who was around at that time and in the area too. Maybe at some point we can talk history? I'm sure you're busy now and have other things to do though. I wouldn't want to pull you away from them. Perhaps another time? I'll be here a while after all. I'm sure Mark can take me the rest of the way and help get me settled." He sounded honest and sincere, though he honestly could have cared less. But it at least got rid of the man without insulting anyone.

As soon as the priest had moved off, he turned to Mark with a grin. "So...co-ed dorms? Nice."

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"Yeah, it's pretty sweet," agreed Mark with a grin. "You can't really take any liberties because some of them have X-Ray vision and super-strength, but it's still pretty handy." Together they walked into the dorm lobby, a quiet place where a couple of kids were playing video games and another group was rocking out on the air hockey table. "It makes life a lot more interesting having them around...and everybody else, too. C'mon, I'll see if they're in." He headed for the girls' floor first, assuming his guest followed him in.

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They made a quick detour up a floor. James unlocked his room and gave it only a cursory glance. He wasn't expecting much either way. Mainly it was a place to sleep and hold his stuff. Dropping the entire load onto the bed, he turned and moved back out with Mark.

"Heh, yeah I imagine it does. Still sounds like fun to me though," he added with a grin. "Lead on Mark!" He followed the leader down a floor to meet more students.

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Mark led James down to Erin and Alex's door, knocking with his usual insouciance. "Hey guys!" he called through the door. "It's Mark! I've got someone out here for you to meet!" He called with total confidence, sure he'd be lucky enough to find them around there on this lovely afternoon. "They're a great pair," he murmured to James. "Alex is a little more friendly; Erin is a little more serious, but they're both great, really."

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James nodded, looking around as they waiting for the door to open. "Cool." So far it looked like every other dorm in existence. He definitely wanted to hang out with the more fun crowd. He certainly had no intention of being bored. Even if he had to start some trouble himself. He did make a few mental notes, like Mark's familiarity and apparent standing in the school. Something to keep in mind.

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After a moment the door swung open, with Erin standing behind it. She was tall and muscled for a girl, James noticed, really her only distinguishing feature aside from the fact that she was wearing a Claremont workout uniform, which seemed to involve mostly blue and gold Spandex. Even that wasn't terribly interesting, because there wasn't that much to see. "Hey Mark," she said, while giving the new guy a coolly assessing look. It was the sort of look that said she was deciding whether she could take him in a fight, not that she was going to pick one, but as a point of information.

After a moment, she stuck out her hand with a small smile. "I'm Erin. Welcome to Claremont."

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When the door opened, James looked at the young woman, appraising her as well, not concealing it. Though not in the same way she looked him over. (He generally didn't think about fighting everyone. Flirting, now there was a totally different story!) Tall, average appearance but extremely healthy and fit looking. Stern and serious, from what Mark said. James gave a mental shrug. As long as she wasn't a stick-in-the-mud or up the rear, James could adapt easily enough.

He returned her small smile with a large warm and inviting one of his own. He shook hands, his own grip was solid while her's was WAY more so. Mental note, she's super strong...don't ticker her off to the point where she slaps me. "Pleasure to meet you," he responded. "Thanks. Mark's giving me the 5 cent tour over the last fifteen minutes or so. Have to say, it's impressive so far," he added with a wry grin.

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"This is James Prophet," said Mark with a smile, clapping the other boy on the shoulder. "He's going to be living across from Mark and me upstairs. Man, and here I thought summertime was going to be boring." He grinned. "You should see this guy's car, Erin. It's sweet."

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"Nice to meet you," Erin replied, reclaiming her hand and putting it behind her back in sort of a relaxed parade-rest stance. "It's a pretty big campus for a high school. You'll probably need a few days to take it all in." She cocked her head at Mark's last words. "What kind of car?" she asked curiously.

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He grinned at Mark and nodded. "I don't do boring. Not if there is anything I can do about it; and there usually is too."

He nodded at Erin. "Maybe. It's not that much bigger than home I guess. But I'll get used to it easily enough." He shrugged. "It's a red and black trimmed '71 Chevelle. I had it restored and kitted out as soon as I could drive; legal that is. Fun car. I'll take you for a ride sometime if you like," he said with a smile. A little flirting couldn't be helped, though the offer was open to Mark as well.

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"Sounds like fun," Erin said, her polite smile warming a little. "Not many people around here have their own cars." She glanced over at Mark again. "Alex isn't around, but knowing Mark here, you're bound to run into her if he wants to. I was just about to head for the gym and do some training. There are fewer real classes in the summer, but you have to bust ass to make up for anything you're behind on to make up for it."

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"That'd be sweet," Mark agreed. "I drive my mom's car till I'm 18," he admitted with a rueful laugh. "And it's just a Ford. But your car's more than all right." He shot a look James' way. "Hey James, you wanna give a workout a try? I could hit the gym myself, and you can show off some of your moves." He grinned, having no idea if James had any moves at all. But it didn't hurt to ask.

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James nodded. "Yeah, it's a great car. Loved it ever since I...borrowed an uncle of mine's three or four years ago." He chuckled at the memory. Uncle Paul had been being a massive jerk anyway. And the car was mostly intact when the then 14 year old James took it for a spin. He gave himself a mental shake and returned to the matter at hand. "I bought this one right before my sixteenth and had it all set the day I got my license. Been driving it ever since."

He nodded. "Not really behind on anything thankfully. I'm not the best student but I mostly get stuff done." He nodded with a chuckle. "I just know some basic self-defense stuff we're required to learn. Not counting powers and all that. But sure, gym sounds fun." He gestured at his jeans and shirt. "This gonna be a workout or spur of the minute thing? I can go change or stick with this. Either works for me."

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"What you've got's probably fine, unless you want a real workout," Erin said, looking him over. "They'll give you aptitude testing and stuff before they start giving you actual PE homework. Mr. Archer's the resident sadist around here," she said with a look of pure dislike, "he'll probably be the one to put you through your paces. I usually spend a couple hours a day in the gym. It doesn't close, so it's a good thing to do if you don't have to sleep very often."

She stepped back into the room for a minute, revealing a layout very similar to the rest of the dorm rooms, then came back with a plastic water bottle. "On the first day, though, you might as well just see the sights."

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"Yeah, Mr. Archer can be a little difficult sometimes," agreed Mark readily. "He's not that bad, though. You just need to approach his tests the right way." He didn't argue along those lines too much, though, not wanting to get into an argument with Erin. He didn't want to get into an argument with anyone. "He even took it well when I had my little accident in the testing room." He grinned wryly. "Thanks to me, they had to refurbish the entire room after I was done. Daedalus had to go in personally and fix it up so my powers didn't work on it that way anymore."

He looked James' way. "So how about it, you wanna go strut your stuff, or look around some more?"

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He raised an eyebrow. "Aptitude test? Lovely...Yeah, I'm not worried about the sadist. I've known plenty of those. Don't like test though." He shrugged. He had a slight authority problem, he was smart enough to admit that to himself. "I'll do my best when it gets here I suppose. 'Till then, perhaps I'll take after you and put some time in the gym. I don't sleep much,./color]" he shrugged then grinned. "Three hours? Whew. Well, certainly looks like its paying off for you."

He chuckled. "Sounds like you've got some destructive powers. We've got a room like that at home too. Never used it much; certainly not enough to trash the thing!"

He looked between them. "Taking a look around sounds kind of boring in comparison. I'd rather dive right in myself. More fun that way. The tour can wait. Lead on then!"

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Erin took the lead and headed for the gym, letting Mark keep the role of tour guide along the way. She did chime in long enough to say "The gym isn't the place you go to work on your superpowers. There are other places, like the simulator Mark tore up, for that. You can sort of get away with using powers in the gym, especially if they're ones you can't turn off, but they get pissy if you break anything." She grinned ruefully. "It's a good place to learn control, at least. So what do you do, superpowers-wise?" she asked James.

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