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Geez3r

Life Lessons (IC)

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It had been a weird couple of weeks. Dynamo was finally getting used to living at the Brownstone. He had learned the Interceptors patterns and habits well enough that he didn't walk in on them as often as previously did. There were a great deal of things thrown at him during those first couple of weeks. But things finally settled down after the first dozen or so pranks.

He really liked it there, but there was something missing. See, he was practicing using his powers over and over again at the Brownstone. But it seemed like VINCE was learning just as much about his powers as he was. He wanted someone who knew what they were doing. Someone with experience. And that's where Erin came in. No, not like that! She was at Claremont, that super school. And she happened to be in the gym when Dynamo peeked his head in there.

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Even after watching her for a minute, it was hard to tell at first what Wander was doing. She was obviously sparring with a steel practice dummy, but there was no noise and no movement from the dummy at all. Closer inspection revealed that none of her punches were actually connecting, that on each strike, her knuckles came within a fraction of an inch of the metal surface and stopped without touching. The look on her face revealed intense concentration, so much so that she didn't even seem to notice him there.

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Okay, we're gonna approach this rationally and maturely yes? That means that running up behind her and throwing your hands over her eyes shouting 'Guess who; is a bad idea. So now what? After a moment's hesitation, Dynamo eased himself into the gymnasium proper, slowly closing the door behind him so it only made a faint click. He walked (at normal speed!) to one of the nearby bleachers, her dismantling of Dead Head still fresh in his mind. Besides he was in enemy territory here. Despite the fact that Summers knew he was coming, getting in a fight with a female student was likely not the best way to start things off.

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As soon as he crossed into her line of sight, Wander stopped her drill instantly, drawing herself erect and looking for a split second like she was ready to start punching whoever was intruding. The moment passed, and she took a good look at the interloper in the quiet gymnasium. It took her a few moments to place the speedster she'd talked to for a few minutes on that tumultuous night a few weeks ago. She looked at him with a mixture of surprise and wariness. "Hey," she said cautiously.

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Chalk one up to thinking things through. thought Dynamo as the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as Wander looked at him. "Sorry, didn't mean to interrupt you or nothing... uh... Erin was it?" said Dynamo as he took a few steps closer to Wander. "So yeah, I was passing by and I saw you in here. Figured I should stop in and say hi, see how you were doing. You were quite upset when I saw you last." Dynamo felt really out of place. He was not used to carrying on a conversation with people 10 ft away. The fact that the person was practicing punching when he walked in (uninvited as far as she knew) added to it as well.

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"Yeah, well. I'm fine now," Erin replied shortly, her pale skin coloring with embarrassment. That had hardly been her finest moment, for all she'd probably do the same again if she had the evening to do over. And no matter what she'd told Doctor Marquez about striving for increased self-control, that zombie had deserved what it had gotten. Relaxing into a hipshot posture as she wiped her face with a workout towel, she looked over the speedster, Dynamo, she thought she remembered, with some curiosity. "Are you starting at Claremont?" she asked. He seemed a little old, but that was often deceptive in people with powers.

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Dynamo sincerely doubted if she was fine, but didn't want to press his luck right now. "Nah, I'm an old geezer. I'm a sophmore in college actually." replied Dynamo as he inched closer. "Don't worry, I'm supposed to be here. Well maybe not here, here, but like here-ish, yeah. Hokay, so you know how you guys have like super state of the art facilities that have been constantly tweaked continiously to test what super powered kids are capable of? Yeah, I ain't got that. And you know how most of ya got super powers at like puberty or some such, so you had a few awkward years trying to get everything under control? I've had 2 months. So I more or less came here to play catch up." explains Dynamo. "What've they got you doing?"

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Erin relaxed a little at the explanation; it made sense and it had nothing to do with her specifically. "Right now I'm doing control exercises," she told him, leaning on the dummy's head. "I do most of my training in the simulator because it can handle metahuman strength better, but so long as I don't miss, I can do this stuff on the gym equipment." She glanced involuntarily into the corner where her last miss, the result of someone's loud ringtone, had been tossed for repair. The steel head of the dummy was crumpled like tissue paper. "We have some speedsters here, so I know they have facilities to train you. You've only had powers two months?" That was a little surprising, especially considering she hadn't seen him in nearly a month. It was gutsy of him to have gone out to a meet-up like that, well, gutsy or stupid.

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"Cool cool. Well for someone like me, two months is kind of a while." explained Dynamo. "I really haven't like tested the depths of my powers yet though, that's what I'm here for. Like running real fast or thinking real fast, that stuff became second nature to me almost over night. Even punching real fast wasn't too hard. But uh... yeah. Those are most of the tricks I got. But I got the whole lightning thing, and I ain't got a clue. Powers didn't quite come with an instruction manual. So I've been looking everywhere for someone to show me the ropes. It's why I went to that meeting and why I came here."

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Erin nodded. "Claremont's a good place to come for that," she agreed. "They know more than just about anybody about powers and training. They'll work you really hard, especially if you have powers that might be dangerous, but they'll make you a lot better. I had my powers for two years before I started here, but I've learned ten times as much since I've been here. If you're really smart and you don't need to catch up on a lot of school stuff at the same time, you can probably learn even faster. What do you want to do with it?"

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Dynamo just shrugged. "I don't have a clue. I guess I just want to learn what I'm capable of. I usually find new ways to use my powers by accident, and that really ain't the way I should be doing it ya know?" Dynamo rubbed the back of his neck. "I just want to know how I measure up ya know? I'm going to college right now like I said, but its just a normal college. If any other supers are there, they've got a secret ID. Here you at least have people in a similar boat as you. Probably makes talking about things easier right?"

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Erin shrugged, rummaging in her bag for a bottle of water. If she was going to take a break, might as well take a break. "I don't really have a lot to compare it with, but I guess probably. I have no idea how anybody keeps up a secret identity. It seems really tedious. What's your name, anyway?" she asked him. "You already know mine."

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Dynamo hesitated for a minute, a bit understandable given the circumstances. "Eli." answered Dynamo truthfully. "It's not quite as hard as you think, well not for me at least. All ya go to do is duck into a back alley to change if you get caught in your civvies, or if you're coming back from patrol, take the long way home or get a secret passage or something. Neither or which are particularly hard for me. I got no idea how Raven does it. Then again, anytime I've seen Raven I couldn't keep them in my sights, another trick I'd like to pick up."

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"Yeah, well the costume wouldn't be so hard," Erin allowed, "but do you try and keep it a secret from your family and friends, too? Don't they ever notice that something's weird?" An academic concern in her case, to be sure, but she was curious. None of her friends at school really kept a secret identity except Chris, and his had blown up magnificently in his face.

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"Well now that I'm off at college, I don't see my parents all that often, I'm not originally from Freedom." explained Dynamo. "So like when I go talk to them and they think I'm different, they'll chalk it up to me being off at college and "becoming my own man" as my dad says when he thinks I'm not listening." said Dynamo with a smirk. He gestured over to the bleachers so they could sit down for a minute, he didn't quite feel like having this whole conversation while standing up. "And as for my friends... let's just say I'm not expecting to call any of them doctor some where down the line. In a way, I kinda got into the game at the right time. I'm changing a bit when people expect me to change, and any people I hang around out with don't know me all to well. When I get out, I should have a few years experience under my belt. That's how I see it going anyways." concluded Dynamo with a shrug.

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"I guess that makes sense," Erin said with a thoughtful nod. She sat down on the bleachers, crossing one leg over the other automatically and took a drink from her water bottle. "Are you ever going to tell them about it? I mean, eventually, when you're all trained up and a famous hero and stuff?"

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"My family? Yes. My friends? Hell no." answers Dynamo shortly. "Though to be honest, I don't think I'd like to tell anyone until after I retire. I know my mom be worried sick if she knew I was out there doing all this crazy stuff. She still sees me as her little baby. She was always real protective of me. She needed to be though, I was an idiot. Looking back on my life, I shudder at the stuff I got away with and didn't die. And as for my friends? I counted it as a miracle any time I came back home and the house wasn't on fire. I'm not trusting them with anything like this."

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"It's probably easier to keep that sort of thing from your friends than your family," Erin replied, after draining the bottle and tossing it back into her backpack. "I'm guessing, anyway. You think you're gonna go all the way with the secret ID thing? Get a regular job, have a family, all with nobody ever knowing? I always thought that was kinda weird, but I guess people do it all the time."

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"See now we're getting to the complicated stuff. Corny as it sounds, I like to live in the moment. But srsly, I haven't even declared a major yet. I can't picture myself having the "normal day job" with a family all while living a double life when I don't even know what I'll be doing in the coming years." Leaning forward a bit he decided it was his turn to pose a question or two. "What about you? What do you see yourself doing in a few years? Going to college or doing the hero thing a full 24/7?"

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"Doing hero work," Erin replied very definitely. "I don't really see myself going to college, so I'll probably try and join the Freedom League or another team that supports its members while they do hero stuff full-time. Easier than trying to keep a job and a secret ID and all that stuff, and you can concentrate on bigger stuff."

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"Yeah, that's part of the reason I joined up with the Interceptors. I get paid to hero, it's awesome. The people on the team are really cool too. It's real weird though. Like up until recently, those dudes were like celebrities to me and everything. I had their posters on my wall, favorited sitings of them on Youtube, the whole nine yards. And now, Grim makes me breakfast on the weekends. It's at 8 kinds of awesome sauce. You should keep us in mind when you're done with Claremont. Come to think of it, what year are you anyways?"

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"I'll be a senior in the fall," she told him with a shrug. "Late birthday." That was true enough, though missing a couple years of school hadn't helped. "I don't think the Interceptors would be the right team for me," she told him honestly. "There'd probably be some personality conflicts." She kept up with the various super teams in the city to have eventually pieced together the identity of the jerk who'd been baiting her at the sparring contest. The idea of being on a team with Jack of All Blades was hardly appealing. "It's good you found a team you like. Are they good with you coming out here to get training?"

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"To each his own." said Dynamo with a shrug. "Yeah, we got a good thing going on. It's real different between us and you guys. Like you guys probably have curfews and stuff. You probably got randomly assigned to different teams. Where as we are just kinda hanging out. We each just kinda do our own thing, but if we need back up we know who to call. And it probably sounds incredibly stupid, but having a place where you can come back from a nasty brawl out on patrol, and you can slump on the couch with some of your buddies drinking beer and watching terrible B movies is just awesome. I'd think they'd be affronted if I didn't come here if I thought it would help me."

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"It's pretty good here, and we choose our own teammates, mostly, but yeah, sounds different. Makes sense, I guess, it sounds more like college than high school." Erin shrugged. "You met Mr. Archer yet? He's the gym teacher, he's the one who coordinates most of the solo training programs." She tried to keep her face neutral, but wasn't sure how well she succeeded.

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"Nah, I pretty much just got here, I'm actually a bit early; who would've guessed?" joked Dynamo. "I honestly have no idea what I got myself into here. I'm just gonna kinda wing it. I figure if I can't hack it, it's best to learn that in a school rather than in the streets, and if I can, well, then I'm awesome. What, got any tips for me? What's this Archer dude like?"

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