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angrydurf

Faceing the Music IC

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Eddie appears in the darkened hall outside Headmaster Summers office late after the disastrous events of the Junior Prom. There are no signs of the Headmaster or any other staff in the building at this late hour though Eddie can barely make out the sounds of an all night Three Stooges marathon playing on the TV at the security desk downstairs. It seems the seemingly omniscient and ever-present headmaster is in fact actually away for the weekend.

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Figures the one time I actually want to go to his office, he wouldn't be here. Eddie thought, frustrated. He wanted more than anything for this night to be over, and the sooner he talked to Duncan Summers, the sooner he could go wallow in some of the self pitty he'd been stocking up on all night.

With a sigh, Eddie hit the stairs, slowly walking down to the security office. "Hello? I'm looking for the Headmaster, is he here?"

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The security guard jerked upright in his chair and whipped around as Eddie came down the stairs surprise plain on his face. He was obviously new enough to not yet be accustomed to students who could teleport, fly, or walk through walls.

"Its the middle of the night kid." he replied with a arched brow, "Even the headmaster isn't that devoted to the job." he added with a small grin. "I can leave a message for his secretary if you like?" he asked as he pulled out the security log book and began noting the incident, "Your name?"

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"Yea... Um... Any other time, I would totally be willing to do that." Eddie said, sheepishly, "But, see, this is one of those times where it's really important. Otherwise, I probably wouldn't have bothered to teleport straight to his office in the middle of the night."

The security guard didn't look all that convinced. "Look, this is one of those, 'I'm in a heap of bad trouble, and he's the only one who can help things,' situations. Depending on how it plays out, I might be going to jail. I need to talk to him about it before ..." Eddie trailed off, finding it difficult to even talk about what had happened that night.

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The guard looked to Eddie with concern trying to gauge the teens sincerity and apparently found it sufficient to help as he was able. "Well I don't know where he is." he said with a sigh, "I can call in to the security head and you can try and convince him to call in the Headmaster." he drummed his fingers on the desk nervously, "But that's about all I can do for ya kid." though his eyes flitted to one of the desk drawers a few times. He looked up at the clock then back to Eddie, "Listen I gotta do my rounds real quick I'll give a you a few minutes to think about it." He said as he stood and adjusted his belt.

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"Okay, yea. Thanks." Eddie responded almost automatically. What was he looking at? he thought, distracted. As soon as the guard was out of sight, and earshot, Eddie began quietly rifling through the drawers behind the desk. Maybe the've got Dunc's number in here, or something that can tell me where he is...

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After some searching through old take out menus and assorted office supplies Eddie uncovered a small black file folio labeled as Emergency Protocols. Within were assorted details for different agencies that would need to be contacted for the various emergencies an institution such as Claremont might face. Tucked into the back in its own pocket was an emergency contact number for the Headmaster. From the area code it looked to be a cellular phone. As he found it Eddie could hear the guards footsteps approaching from down the hall as he returned from his rounds.

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Crap! Eddie nicked the small piece of paper from the folder, and shoved the rest of it in the drawer. Not like this is the worst thing I've done tonight. I'm pretty sure he won't kill me for this.

Just before the guard turned the corner, Eddie managed to shove the folder back into the drawer. He vibrated the molecules in his body with increasing speed, until he managed to disappear from sight. It was in the nick of time, too. The guard came around the corner only seconds later.

Excuse me, Mr. Security guard, but I have go see a man about a car. Eddie thought as he ran off down the hall, aided by his powers in not making a sound. Finally, Eddie was far enough out of site and around a corner, that he turned visible again, and whipped out his cell phone.

"Mr. Summers? Hi, it's Eddie. I'm sorry for calling so late. I wouldn't have done it unless it was important, though. Can we talk somewhere? There's a few things you have to hear, and I'd rather you get it from me than someone else."

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The phone rang several times before anyone picked up. Eddie could hear muted sounds of conversation as the Headmasters clipped tone replied, "Summers." As Eddie immediately began to speak. There was a silence for a moment followed by the headmasters answer, "Mr. Ozan. This number is released into staff hands specifically for emergency purposes." came the cold response. "Your preferences notwithstanding I doubt highly that you are calling for such a purpose." He said knowingly.

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"Okay, it's true enough that I like to joke around, but I learned a long time ago that you were one person that I shouldn't joke with. Mr. Summers, I'm serious. I mean that. Alex said she was going to send you an email. Maybe if you've gotten that, it can back me up?" Eddie held his breath and waited. Practically everything was riding on this.

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There were a small series of tapping sounds for a moment before Mr. Summers replied. "YEs I can see why you would wish to put your own spin on these actions Mr. Ozan." He answered in a clipped tone. "I'll be arriving at the office at 7:00 Monday morning. I expect you to be waiting for me then." he commanded and because it was Eddie added, "In the Hall." and with that the line went dead.

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Eddie knew he realistically had no choice in this matter, and without being given time to respond, he resolved to attend.

Bright and early Monday morning, Eddie was there, in the hall, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes while holding a cup of coffee. It had been a rough couple of days, but he'd managed through it. His parents had already grounded him for the trouble, not even allowing him out to patrol the streets at night. They did however, make an exception for a meeting with the headmaster of Claremont. To make sure that's where he was going, his father had even driven him there.

Eddie waited for Summers, patiently, and stoically.

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The headmaster arrived at seven on the dot and accepted his messages from his secretary with a smiled "Good morning." before stepping into his office without acknowledging Eddie at all. A few moments later the intercom on Summers assistants desk crackled to life, "Send Mr. Ozan in."

When Eddie entered Summers was sitting at his desk face studiously blank, "Have a seat Mr. Ozan and explain what you so urgently need to inform me of." Given the time he had had and his attitude it was likely Summers had a full accounting of events already.

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"Well, sir," Eddie began, setting his coffee down on a coaster so it wouldn't stain any of the wood, "I'm sure you already know a lot of what happened. I'm not here to bore you, just tell you my side of things. Which, as it happens, is probably not much different than what you've already heard. All that business with the car did happen. I was the one that did it. It's my fault." He fixed the headmaster with a pleading gaze, "But what I really came here to tell you was this: If Claremont has taught me anything, it's how to learn from your mistakes. And I can tell you, beyond the shadow of a doubt that I've done that here. I don't think that I ever truly realized before how much of what I do impacts everyone else around me. But now I know. It is a lesson hard learned, and one I won't soon forget."

Eddie finished his offering with, "I did it, and I'm sorry that I did. But another thing I've learned is that no amount of apologizing, no matter how sincere, can make things go away. That's why I'm asking you for the chance to make things right, myself. I'm sure your probably thinking of expelling me for what I did, but all I can say on that subject is, what's the point? What's the point of punishment if not to teach a lesson? And if that lesson is already learned, doesn't the punishment become moot?" Eddie shook his head, "I'm not sure I'm making much sense right now, but if any of this means anything..." He let his voice trail off, the obvious question was implied.

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"Have you now?" The Headmaster asked rhetorically. "Frankly I see no evidence of any such thing in any of your behavior since the events in question." he explained coldly. "You very nearly killed several of your classmates and you come in here and try to tell me 'lesson learned'?" The normally collected Headmaster's voice grew ever so slightly heated. "Mr. Ozan. These are the words of a spoiled little brat afraid of punishment not those of a repentant man." He further lectured with an icy stare. "You seem to think that you have some right to act as you please and as if there is no consequence to your actions." the stern headmaster reproached, "That you have some right to continue on as you please because you claim to have learned from this. You have had plenty of opportunity to learn from your mistakes, I've seen little enough evidence that you have." he finished his face still impassive but full of reproach.

"You will not be expelled." He said with finality, "Your actions of Saturday night crossed a line Mr. Ozan. I believe you may have it in you to learn and so I have made arrangements to see to it that your record is not permanently marked for this horrid failure in basic judgment." he explained quietly and slid a small folio across the table. "You will be under observation here at the school for the summer, you will attend regular sessions with Dr. Marquez and pending the review of the Doctor the matter will be closed and you will be allowed to finish your final year here." The headmaster said coolly. From the documents in the folio it was clear that a great number of strings had been pulled to arrange for this settlement.

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"Have you now?" The Headmaster asked rhetorically. "Frankly I see no evidence of any such thing in any of your behavior since the events in question." he explained coldly. "You very nearly killed several of your classmates and you come in here and try to tell me 'lesson learned'?"

Hardly seems fair that he's judging me on the ONE DAY since this happened, during which I didn't even leave my house, but...

"You will not be expelled." He said with finality, "Your actions of Saturday night crossed a line Mr. Ozan. I believe you may have it in you to learn and so I have made arrangements to see to it that your record is not permanently marked for this horrid failure in basic judgment." he explained quietly and slid a small folio across the table. "You will be under observation here at the school for the summer, you will attend regular sessions with Dr. Marquez and pending the review of the Doctor the matter will be closed and you will be allowed to finish your final year here."

"Thank you, Headmaster. That's...More that I could have asked for." He said after quickly thumbing through the folio. "I guess my point was that I wanted to be given the chance to prove that I had learned something from this. And this-" he indicated the folio, "- looks like just the thing I needed. When do I start?" Eddie was understandably eager to set things right.

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"Your initial appointment with Dr. Marquez is this afternoon." the Headmaster explained. "He will be meeting with you weekly after that unless he determines you need more time." he continued plainly. He gestured to the folio, "The full details are in the file. Weekly private sessions and if the Doctor feels it necessary group sessions as well. Continued training with Mr. Archer to ensure your skills remain honed as well as putting some of your recent fame to good use in an assortment of community service projects I have arranged." He further illuminated. "It has also been necessitated that you be available for spot checks of your conditions and activities of course as well. You will have a very busy summer Mr. Ozan but by the end I hope you will have grown a great deal."

As Eddie looked over the schedule that made Erins look tame the reality of his situation sunk in. He was effectively confined to the city for the summer unlikely to find time to patrol outside possible training exercises no less continue his normal social schedule.

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Oh no. Oh no, no, no!

"Mr. Summers, I..." Eddie felt like he'd just a crushing weight. "This is great, but isn't there some way I can have a few hours off every few nights? The tour with Octopus Dropkick... I would have to cancel the whole thing! I'd lose all the booking fees, venue reservation fees, everything. There's no way I can pay for all those down payments without actually putting on these shows!" Eddie looked up from the folder and the schedule, "Surely there must be some way...Maybe if I only do half the shows, I might just break even, but still!"

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Summers regarded Eddie impassively, "Mr. Ozan I am not going to enforce anything upon you. You have free will to make your own choices." he said simply, "However choices have consequences. Something which I dare say you have thus far in your short life largely avoided." he explained levelly. The Headmaster watched Eddie as he spoke those almost too alert eyes boring into the young man. "You can leave now. Have your concerts, spend your summer as you like. You will not return to my campus, however, should you decide such." He stated plainly and paused for a moment before adding in a fractionally gentler tone, "I think you have potential young man, but you must look beyond yourself to become something more."

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Eddie's heart plummeted like a rock. That was not the ruling he was hoping to hear. Eddie swallowed, hard. A lot of ideas and scenarios played through his mind all at once as he looked up at Summers' face. He was supposed to be proving that he wasn't the bad guy. He was supposed to be showing that he was responsible. Although he wanted more than anything else for this tour to happen over the summer, he knew that he had his whole life ahead of him. He could make that money back, he could recover from the potential PR disaster, he could fix this. However on the other hand, if he ignored his responsibilities, and did the concert anyway, there was no going back. There would be no recovery. He would have fully abandoned his friends, and his life at Claremont and Freedom City.

At that moment, Eddie realized his desire avoid those things far outweighed his desire tour the country. "Okay, I'll do it." he told Summers. "I'll just have to hire some good lawyers, I guess. But in all honesty, I think the PR disaster is the least of my worries in this situation. Right now, I'm being offered the chance to earn my life back. I'm not going to ignore that." Eddie lifted the folder from the table, and placed it under his arm, "When do I start?"

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Summers nodded at the response he had hoped he hadn't misjudged this boy though there was a long road ahead he seemed to understand the gravity of his situation. "I've arranged for an appointment with Dr. Marquez this afternoon. After that initial appointment you will be attending sessions according to the therapeutic schedule he has laid out." Summers explained curtly. "I have presented assorted options to you in addition to this but make no mistake young man I expect you to actively pursue this. You will serve in detention for your part in a violent brawl of course but beyond that I present opportunities for you to prove yourself once more." the normally taciturn headmaster spoke with greater verbosity than normal to ensure there was no confusion redemption was in eddies hands he had tools available to him but he would have to put them to task himself.

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"Thank you," Eddie replied nodding. He rose and took his leave, saying his goodbyes. As he left, he closed the door to the office, and he reflected, the door to that portion of his life as well.

Eddie had some mountains to climb, but he was more than sure that he could get to the top. He'd show people he deserved this chance.

In the meantime, he had to call his parents to let them know he was staying at the school for an afternoon session. He also needed to call his agent, but that could wait...

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