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Breella

If you build it... (IC)

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August 4th 2011, 10:00AM

near the quad at Claremont

The day was sunny, the wind was blowing gently across the grass and the sky was as blue as the ocean. It was going to be a fine day for building. Gwen had chosen faded blue jeans, her old running shoes and an orange tanktop, she also had on a white brimmed straw sunhat. Her hair was loosely braided, one at each side of her head and they hung down to mid back. The vines were hanging out on her shoulders in their usual place, the base flower shown a beautiful blue, almost mirroring the sky. Gwen knelt down and surveyed the delivery and counted the boxes.

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The photosthat Francis had sent her of his designed kit was amazing. The wood was actually recycled plastic, textured to seem like real wood and had grooves where the glass panels were designed to just fit into. Each panel is a 4ftx4ft section of glass and recycled plastic that needs only "L" brackets to hold the grove and notch system more stable. The greenhouse she picked out is hexagonal in shape and about 100x100ft round and 24 ft tall. There is a platform that is also made from recycled plastic inside that walks the perimeter of the greenhouse. Gwen thought that seeing it from above would be amazing. She also took the optional pond kit, but that could be a project for another day.

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The base needed only to be dug into the ground a couple of feet to give it more stable walls. A note fell out of the photos and directions as Gwen turned the page again:

Gwendolyn, Happy 16th birthday! I'm honored that you'd choose one of my ecofriendly greenhouses as your birthday present. I have made it a donation to this amazing academy you're attending. Your parents have told me that you've been very excited about studying here and broadening your horizons with other teens your age. I'm ecstatic that you're also bringing such a large part of your life to them. Your actual present from me is a variety of genetically modified seeds that I've included with the package. I know how much you love tending your own garden!

Love always, Francis.

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Gwen had not seen her godfather in many years, since she moved out of Colorado and started traveling the world with her parents, but he was a great friend to them while they lived there. She rummaged through a large box and found the smaller box of seeds. She set it on the side and began laying out the tools. She had gotten shovels and screwdrivers from the groundskeeper who claimed to be a martian to anyone who would listen. He was a nice enough guy with hair redder than hers and striking blue eyes. He was also thrilled that he wouldn't have to tend the greenhouse. He told Gwen that she was also welcome to use any of the tools in the shed.

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This was most assuredly going to be an amazing addition to the garden areas of the school. she thought. Gwen's vision was that when all was said and done this would be a haven for students like herself to come and grow their own fruits and veggies. Gwen looked over the design specs, she had put out a call to arms for any available students to come and assist in the building, this was after all going to be a large project, but she figured that if she had enough help it could maybe get banged out in a day. It also helped that Gwen had offered drinks and had promised an order of Pizza at noon for all who showed up (and worked). Gwen didn't waste any time waiting for others, she took out her spray-can and tape measure and began marking the grass where they would need to lay out the foundations.

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Building a greenhouse out in the sun wasn't an idea of Brian Harris' favorite way to spend the day, even if temperature didn't bother him anymore, but the possibility -- nay, certainty -- of running into Gwen Barr was enough to peak his interest. The promise of free pizza was just icing on the proverbial cake. When the time came he jogged over to the building site, wearing a simple red tee-shirt with the logo of the Freedom City Comets on it. His jeans were faded and his boots were laced up high. He waved to Gwen once it was obvious where he was headed. "Hey there," he called over. "I heard you were looking for some help on a project!"

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As Gwen was measuring, a shadow fell over her, providing unexpected relief from the hot sunshine. When she turned around, she'd see senior Corbin Hughes standing there in beat up old jeans, a white t-shirt, and battered work boots. He had a small grin on his face as he examined the lines she'd already marked.

"Headmaster asked me to come out and help you and some of the others. Figured I could use the workout. Plus maybe something about being a "positive influence and role model for younger students" or some such. Anyways. What do you need me to do?"

He glanced over his shoulder, back toward the dorm area.

"Quo-Dis is busy or I'm sure she'd be willing to help."

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Against her own better judgment, Jeena had agreed to help her roommate assemble some sort of transparent plant shelter on the grounds of the campus; having grown up in a series of underground cavern communities warmed by Tektan's magma core, heat didn't bother her very much, but sunlight, on the other hand, was most certainly not her friend. The fair-skinned girl came trudging out from the dorms, wearing dark clothing that covered almost every inch of skin, including a black hoodie and baseball cap, and of course her signature sunglasses. Unlike most of the others present, all of her clothing looked relatively new.

"Hi Gwen!" Shielding her eyes, she noted the two boys present, one of whom was a bit older than the rest of them. "Hello there. Jeena Vandermol, new student and sunscreen poster child."

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Gwen looked up from the grass and saw Brian. She waved at him and saw others walking over behind him. She straightened up and walked over to the shovels. She picked up one and handed it to Brian as he got closer. "Hel-lo!" she sung out to Brian and the other approaching teens. One who was drawing closer caught Gwen's eye. He towered a foot and a half over Gwen and built like the Marines who had escorted her around Afghanistan. She gulped as he approached and she nearly missed Jenna in the shadow of him. JEENA! the vines chorused. Gwen shook her head, clearing the memories. "Grab some shovels and lets get digging!" Gwen laid out the directions on a table for all to see and anchored them down with platters of fruit filled breakfast pastries.

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Just behind Jeena a plume of white and crimson smoke appeared, dispersing to reveal a woman dressed in a pair of carpenter's jeans and an old stained white t-shirt. "Hope I'm not too late. Got lost in a bit of writing," Victoria said as she waved casually to the assembled masses. She scanned over the piled materials and the rest of the building crew. Well, at least we're unlikely to have Voodoo zombies show up in the middle of building this, she thought to herself. Pulling her long white hair back and securing it with a scrunchie she nodded to herself. "Say when you need something heavy moved. Or if anyone needs a drink fetched."

At Gwen's direction to begin digging, Vicky took a trick she'd tried in Haiti and began teleporting 500lbs of dirt from the directed area at a time. "Seems Archer's training is paying off. This is twice what I used to be able to drag with me."

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Wisp's attentions were drawn away for a moment by a figure dressed in a pair of worn blue jeans and grey baggy t-shirt, with a long black coat hanging down to his ankles, suddenly appearing in front of her, sweeping her up in a hug, and planting a lip-lock on her right before she could blink. With a quick thump, she fell back onto her feet, as Morgan reappeared at another location, doing a cartwheel before disappearing yet again and reappearing with a wide grin on his face back in front of her. If the teleporting heroine was confused, she certainly wasn't when he held up a small glove, that had a burnished plate on the front with a rune embossed on it. That looked undamaged. That was, in fact, undamaged. Crow's grin was positively painful to look at.

"I did it. An entire summer of research, and I finally did it. Hah!"

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Brian grabbed a shovel and overturned a few shovelfuls of dirt, but when Vicky appeared on the scene he stepped back. He'd trained with her as well under Mr. Archer's eye, trying to apply their powers to more than just hitting things. He next to Gwen, staying carefully away from where the teleporter was dumping the soil. "Don't worry," he told her. "The whole 'doing everyday things really fast with superpowers' gets everyone the first time. You'll never believe what my roommate tried to do when we ordered pizza a few weeks back. I don't think anyone but Claremont's janitors have had to get pizza sauce out of drywall."

At that moment Morgan himself appeared out of nowhere, occupying Vicky's attention and capering around like a fool. "Cool, dude," Brian called over. "You made a, uh, Michael Jackson outfit?"

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Morgan stopped doing his little happy dance, disappearing and reappearing in front of Brian with the same wide grin on his expression. He held the undamaged, rune-carved glove in front of his roommate's face, chuckling.

"Dude, do you know what this means? Seriously? This is me not lighting my desk on fire anymore. This is us not running out of the room in the middle of the night to find a fire extinguisher anymore. This is your jerseys not ending up embedded in the wall anymore. This is my glove not ending up zooming around the room like a sparrow on amphetamines anymore."

The teen's face got very serious, and he pointed at the plate on the glove. He spoke very quietly, very seriously...then the second he was done, his face burst into yet another wide grin, and he cartwheeled off, whooping it up.

"This is the first rune I've ever managed to carve with my own abilities, man. Not using a gift given to me, but making something with my own hands. HAH!"

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"Grab some shovels and lets get digging!"

"Will do." With great care, Jeena selected a flaky disk and took a bite; delicious! If she wasn't careful, she would get damn fat on this planet! She took the biggest shovel she could find, then added a good three feet to her height; now some eight feet tall, she easily stuffed the rest of the sweet treat into her mouth and started to dig, making quick work due to her prodigious strength. Other than Jeena, she really hadn't talked much to the other students, and she was still feeling a bit isolated, but for now she was content to work alone.

On her home planet, with the many cavern collapses, everyone was good at digging; without really meaning to, the Tektani girl began to softly sing an old excavation song she learned as a child. "Reeski potho mahri, nes oorta kolan saahri..."

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Gwen watched Crow flop around like a fish out of water. "That is amazing news!" she congratulated him. Since Vicky seemed to have the digging of the foundation down pat she pulled over a box and opened it. "These are the bases, we need to lay them out in the ground we are digging out." Gwen opened one of the boxes and moved over to the next one. "If everyone could grab a few and begin to screw them together. All the tools we need are over there on the table with the pastries. Pizza will be here around noon. I also got some drinks in the cooler over to the left of the table." Many many friends! the vines chirped. Their happiness flooded through Gwen.

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Brian laid the shovel back down and walked up to the long boxes, pulling the various pieces out and laying them on the ground. He stepped back and raised his hands, spreading them out over the different pieces. A bright red glow surrounded them, shading to black where the auras overlapped. The base supports floated into the air and arranged themselves over the hole, slotting together before settling neatly into the foundation already prepared for them. He didn't bother to screw the pieces together; he didn't think he had enough fine control over his abilities yet to do just that. He did have a very self-satisfied look on his face as he worked, though. "Higitus Figitus, indeed."

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Corbin had grabbed a shovel, and had even started getting a few good digs in, whistling a bit while he works...before Vicky and Jeena dove in and got to work much more efficiently. He shrugged, set the shovel to one side, and stepped over to the table to grab four pastries. He took careful bites, but simple geometry meant they were still big bites. He tilted his head to one side as he watched Brian put the pieces together.

Then he realized he didn't really know half the kids here. He scarfed the last pastry down and dusted his hands off before speaking.

"Right, uh, the name's Corbin, by the way. Don't think I've met all of you. Nice to meet you now, though."

He glanced at Crow and gave him a half-smile.

"Nice work, Morgan. You'll play in the big leagues yet."

By then, Brian had finished the large scale assembly, leaving only the fastening to do. Corbin grabbed a screwdriver, some screws, and sat down next to one support to get to work.

"Y'all don't know how nice it is today; back where I come from, it's been running triple digits for a couple weeks now. This stuff is nothing. Not that I'm the best judge of that these days, though."

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"This may take less time than I thought..." Gwen's voice trailed off as she watched Brian lift the boards as easily as he had lifted her the other day. She made her way to the table with the power tools and picked up some screws and a cordless power drill. Gwen looked around and surveyed everyone. "If you're not currently using superpowers to unpack the boxes and put things together there are plenty of other things here!" Gwen pointed to the directions. "Panels need to be put together individually and then put together en mass, and the second story boardwalk needs to be put together also." Many people! Much help! The vines were clearly happy about the turnout so far.

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Crow smiled wryly, before appearing over by Corbin with a hammer and some nails. Moving over to another support, he started working with, while not expertise, was at least some passing knowledge in carpentry. Which meant he hit his thumb every few minutes instead of every few seconds.

"Pfft. I've been in the big leagues since I was fifteen, man. 'cept now I have a chance at holding my own instead of sucker punching every bad guy I fight."

Whack. Thumb. Ow. He stuck it in the side of his mouth for a moment, wincing, before looking approvingly at the nail that had, at least, gone in perfectly straight.

"Not to say I'm not going to keep sucker punching any two-bit bad guy that has the excruciatingly bad luck to get me for the day, but at least they'll stay down more often."

Whack. No thumb. Smile.

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Vicky grinned at Crow's display, "Awesome. Does this mean your usual warning sign that a new student is on campus is done? I'm going to miss that tree."

A few minutes and lot of smoke later, she'd finished 'digging' the foundation for the greenhouse. Dusting her hands she moved to the lumber and began picking up the large planks and moving them from the pile to where it would be needed around the site. As she approached Morgan and Corbin she winced watching her boyfriend smack his thumb repeatedly with the hammer, letting out a slight Russian curse of sympathy at the whacks.

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Ouchie Ouchie! the vines showed Gwen in image of what Morgan was doing to his thumb. Gwen handed Morgan a pair of working class brown leather gloves. "This should cut down on the pain and bleeding factor, they're mainly for handling the glass but--" Gwen looked at Brian and smiled. "Someone can move them without touching them, so we might not need these." She smiled at Brian as she moved over to check some more boxes. The vines held up some directions to her left while she rummaged through them. Having the additional arms was surely helpful in this case. Gwen glanced from instructions to box and back again.

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"Right, uh, the name's Corbin, by the way. Don't think I've met all of you. Nice to meet you now, though."

Jeena took half of Corbin's forearm in her oversized grip. "Jeena, Vandermol. Nice to meet you." She returned to the digging, but found Vicky had teleported away the rest of the dirt needed for the foundation, and one of the new boys began assembling the basic structure using...what? She'd never seen so many different abilities used at one time; back in the resistance, specially-trained children like herself and Zach mostly supplemented regular forces in the field, or were given solo assignments. Coordinated abilities on this scale threw her just a bit, and she found herself asking for orders.

"Uh, Gwen, what should I do next? I can be bigger, much smaller or my normal size. Whatever's best for the project."

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Gwen's smile went from ear to ear. "Jeena, I'll need you to help put the roof on actually.!" Gwen looked over at the massive boxes of bullet proof glass plates. "For now, would you give me a hand with these?" Gwen held up the machinery for the double entry doors. "We should put these together so when the men-folk, and Vicky, are finished with the foundation we can start putting them up." Gwen looked at the work that had already been accomplished. "Which at this rate will be soon." New home? the vines chirped up. New home for everyone. Gwen added.

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"Jeena, I'll need you to help put the roof on actually.!" Gwen looked over at the massive boxes of bullet proof glass plates. "For now, would you give me a hand with these?"

Jeena nodded, then looked over her shoulder. "Okay, I'm gonna try something; I haven't had a good stretch in a while, and there's plenty of room here, so..." She took a few steps backwards to get a little growing room, carefully lowered herself to the lawn and then pushed herself to her full size! If she were standing, she'd be thirty-two feet tall; sitting down, the top of her head was still over fifteen feet in the air. The massive girl smiled, gave Gwen a thumbs up, and then began unpacking the glass panels like she was building a model kit, arranging the various panels on the grass as she hummed contentedly.

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Vicky, having finished the tasks she was required for and wisely staying out of the way of everyone else while the did their jobs, sat on the ground by the growing mound of construction trash with a giant bottle of fruit punch Gatorade in one hand. "Congratz Gwen, your first major project at Claremont is almost done," the white haired teleporter said to the vine covered red-head not far off as she slipped her black and white sunglasses into place. "I don't think I got to ask, what kind of plants are planned for this little hideaway once you get it up and running?"

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