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2AM (Los Angeles time) 

December 5, 2013 

 

Richard Cline sipped his coffee and checked his 1989 Chrono-Quartz digital watch, a 20th anniversary present that he would get tired of about the time his son stopped asking him when he was going to learn how to text. Six am in Freedom City. Better get moving. "Juanita," he said, slapping a twenty down to pay for the several cups he'd drunk that morning, "your coffee is great every night, but this stuff?" he picked up the cup and winked, glad as ever he'd found this greasy spoon diner instead of the trendy coffee shops everyone else seemed to hit in LA. "Totally radical." He stepped out of the shop, let his feet hit the pavement - and ran. 

 

Back in the late 90s when he and Paige had been trying to have a kid, Richard had sat down for the first time with a science-type and figured out how his powers worked. Behind all the nerd stuff, the German guy they'd hired had been pretty straightforward: first he emitted a chroniton field that stopped time all around himself, freezing everyone and everything in a nanosecond bubble of no-time as his powers washed over everything like paint on a tie-dyed shirt. And then he turned his power on himself, accelerating his own subjective time so that he was running faster than a man, faster than a plane, faster than Johnny Rocket, as he laughed at the sound barrier and reached his typical cruising speed of 20,000 miles an hour. At the end of a run, he reversed the process, slowing himself back down again, then restarting local time so that he synched back up with the rest of the world. 

 

From Richard's perspective, though, it was like this - Olvera Street slowed to first a crawl, then a stand-still as Richard sprinted down the zigzag brick street. Pause. A moment later, as acceleration kicked in, the city erupted to life again as Fast-Forward rocketed down blurred LA streets faster than a jet could fly, Richard's phenomenal reflexes turning speeding cars and zipping bikes into so many standing-still slowpokes. Play. As he left the LA basin behind, Richard reached down his watch and hit the timer button, a smile curling his lips. "Time to fast-forward!" he exulted as he hit hypersonic speed, the wind in his face like a summer breeze as the world became a series of slow-moving images and garbled sounds, the thousands of miles between LA and Freedom City falling away like a sprint around the block. 

 

8 and a half minutes from LA to Freedom City. Four slow, slow minutes buying a box of assorted doughnuts at World's Fair in St. Louis. 

 

His watch beeped at 6:13 as he hit the streets of Freedom City and Richard slowed down, coming to a halt just outside the Cline family's brand-new front door at six-fifteen on the dot. He glanced down at his watch and turned off the little timer, keeping a grimace off his face. Fifteen minutes to go cross-country. I'm turning into Don freaking Ameche here! He pushed that thought down, reminding himself that today wasn't about the old man, today was about his boy and the family taking him to school. Holly was asleep, or at least her lights were off, but even still there was no burdening his little girl with her dad's unhappy thoughts. 

 

He glanced back at the white picket fences around the house and opened the door; his leather jacket was hanging up and costume in his belt buckle faster than a normal man could blink, and he set the box of donuts down where they'd stay warm in the kitchen. All right, time for breakfast...Freedom City was cold, so reluctantly he turned on the electric stove, flipping his way through five or six cookbooks until he remembered where he'd left Will's favorite Mexican bacon and egg recipe. This was a big day for the kid - better get it started off right!  

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It was a good 20 minutes after Richard Cline started cooking that William Cline all but stumbled down the stairs into the dining room.

 

His eyes were barely open, his mouth slightly open, and his hair was a complete mess (more so than usual for the young speedster). He sat down in his chair with a groan. 

 

"Ugh. Why are we going there so early, Dad? We all know I'll ace the tests or whatever."

 

He sniffed, and perked up a bit. 

 

"You made the eggs this morning? Awesome!"

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"We're getting up early because we love and support you in your new endeavor, sweetheart." Paige Cline walked down the steps with more grace than her son, though she too was stifling a yawn and sporting spikier than usual hair.  "And you are getting up early because I know there is at least one load of your laundry sitting in the dryer, and your suitcases aren't in the car yet, despite all the reminders last night." She ruffled Will's hair affectionately as she walked by the table, bypassing the breakfast bar to join Richard in the kitchen. The wintertime move back to Freedom City had been a bit of a shock to her California-accustomed system, and today she made up for it with a fleecy blue bathrobe and matching house slippers, a Christmas gift to herself that she'd opened a month early. Giving Richard a quick kiss, she snagged a cup of coffee and a doughnut, then began to help with breakfast. 

 

"You know," she added as she began to grate cheddar cheese into bowl, "you can always change your mind about living on campus. I know the townhouse here is smaller than our old house, but you still have your own bedroom. And you wouldn't have to worry about moving all your things across town." Paige had been on board with the idea of Will living on campus at Claremont, but that was more from guilt than anything else. The move wasn't easy for any of them, but taking a sixteen year old away from all his friends was practically the end of the world. Especially for someone who hadn't actually seen an end of the world before. "You could go back upstairs and sleep for another couple hours," she added with a grin. 

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Fast as he was, Richard wasn't on all the time the way a lot of guys with his powers were - so he made way for his wife to join him in the kitchen while he chopped peppers to go in the eggs. "I wouldn't miss this morning for the world. Big day for my big guy, starting at superhero high school!" With an expert eye honed by years of cooking on hot plates and RV grills before he and Paige had made it big, he added just a tetch more hot sauce before scooping in the cheese. High school was mostly something Richard had absorbed through stories about the kids of his friends and the occasional boring parent-teacher conference, but he knew this was a big moment for Will. For his part, he was actually rather looking forward to having one kid out of the house on a regular basis, particularly now that Holly's burgeoning powers sometimes made privacy tough to come by at home, but it was hard not to look at Will, his nearly-grown son who could crack the sound barrier when he wanted, and see the little boy in short pants who liked to climb onto his father's shoulders and hang on at super-speed, giggling all the while. 

 

Pushing aside the memories, he added, "You'll do great. Your locker combination might be different, but high schools are all the same when you get right down to it. And if anyone asks, remember, tell them "Yes, I am that Will Cline, of the awesome Clines.'" Turning to his wife, he added, "By the way, honey, there's a wicked storm over most of the Rockies. I must have lost thirty seconds plus going cross-country. Better wear your windbreaker to work today."

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"Oh, crud! I was too busy chatting with my LA friends last night. Hang on, I'll pack."

 

And he's off in a blur of motion and faint trail of tiny green motes of kinetic energy that quickly fade away. It was maybe 5 minutes later that a blur dashed in and settled down into the same chair, resolving into the Cline boy, his eyes fading from green to brown. 

 

"Whew, okay. Dryer empty, suitcases packed, room...less of a disaster. Suitcases are by the garage door. Don't have the car keys."

 

He shifted a bit in his seat, looking down at his hands for a moment.

 

"And you know I love you and Dad and Holly, but between the move, and...other things..."

 

His single-digit-age sister is suddenly a psychic whose power approaches his much more experienced mother's, and she doesn't have to be a mind-reader to know that's why.

 

"I want to at least try this out. Besides, I'll be living on campus for, what, three weeks before Christmas break? Then we get family time before I actually start the boring stuff. So I get 3 weeks of showing off how awesome I and my powers are, and getting to know everyone there, before chilling some more at home. Why would I not do that?"

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"I'll bring a jacket," Paige assured Richard as she began to feed chunks of orange and banana into the juicing machine. "Think we should take a camera too? Could collect some B-Roll for next episode with a weather controller." She didn't spend any more time in the Rocky Mountains than she absolutely had to, not even thirty seconds, but work was work and she could handle it. They discussed the idea while Will finished his packing and the breakfast cooked, just another typical morning. 

 

Paige gave her son the side-eye as he returned from his duties, but for once refrained from double-checking his packing job. He was only going across town; whatever he forgot could be easily delivered, or she could make him come home for it. That was an even better idea. "If you're off at school, you're not going to be able to sneak around the house looking for your Christmas presents," she reminded Will archly as she poured his juice. "And god only knows what will happen when your father tries to assemble the tree." She sighed and gave up the fight with a smile. "I know you'll have fun there, sweetheart. And I know you'll behave yourself and work hard. We'll just miss you." 

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"He's just a second away," Richard reassured his wife as much as himself, "faster if he's been working out. My boy, little supersonic! He'll do fine. And I know he won't miss Christmas, especially not if we have two this year!" He patted Will on the arm, then looked upstairs. "Breakfast is almost ready. I'll go get your sister." It would be easy enough for Paige to 'shout' Holly awake; sometimes the hardest part was making sure there was little enough psychic noise to let the girl rest. But that kind of thing didn't do much for the youngest Cline's peace-of-mind, something that everyone was worried about these days. He turned and zipped up the stairs, coming to a stop outside his daughter's room. Holly had brought her door stuff with her; the picture of Merida over the hand-markered sign. "Holly's Room - Keep Out!", her name spelled out in glitter stickers, and for a moment it was as if nothing had changed. And nothing had, really, nothing important. And yet...

 

"Holly-girl, breakfast!" he called, knocking rat-a-tat-tat on the wood. "I made bacon and eggs, LA-style!" 

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William preened as his father complimented his speed. Even if he could only just barely manage to break the sound barrier, it still counted. He then managed to look wounded at his mother's words.

 

"I've only tried sneaking around to check on my presents, like, two times. Ever. And Dad'll do fine with the tree. He'll just try a bunch really fast and it'll be assembled!"

 

He shrugs at her next comments.

 

"School's school. I did fine before, I'll do fine here. Not like I'll have a problem getting homework done on time, right?"

 

William did have a tendency to just rush through it all ASAP and then take the rest of his time to relax. Then again, when you can accomplish an hour's work in just a few minutes, "procrastination" is relative.

 

"Do you and Dad know any of the teachers? Are they all total squares or are some of them at least kind of cool?"

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"Five more miiiiinuutes!" came the sleepy whine from behind Holly's door. It took some more dedicated knocking from Richard before the door finally creaked open to reveal Holly herself, three-quarters asleep still, with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders like an ermine cape. "It's cold," she complained bitterly as she stepped clear of the confines of her carefully baffled room and into the hallway. Downstairs, Paige could suddenly "hear" the faint echo of the words inside her head like a quick burst of tinnitus. "I hate Freedom City. And I don't want to go to Billy's stupid school." Sulking, she slouched down the stairs at a snail's pace, kicking the edges of the blanket aside with each step. 

 

"Chin up, pumpkin," Paige called from the kitchen. "If it doesn't get warmer later in the day, we'll turn up the thermostat tonight. And Will went on the tour of your school with you, you can do the same for him. And be polite about it," she added firmly. "Remember, if you do well at Nicholson, you'll go to Claremont someday too. It'll be good for you to learn something about it ahead of time."

 

She passed her daughter a plate of bacon and eggs and a glass of juice, then turned back to Will's question. "I don't know any of the teachers offhand," she told him, "but you never know when you're going to see a familiar face around here." Paige laughed. "You have to remember, most of our time here, we were either retired or not on the same side as the folks you'll meet at the school. Did you remember to pack your toothbrush and deodorant?" 

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Richard was practically dancing on the balls of his feet by the time his daughter hit the ground floor and he could zip past her, but he was a good dad and didn't let that on to her face - it wasn't good practice to let your kid know when they were bugging you. He'd learned that lesson the first time Will, at two, had figured out the particular shriek that played right on his father's enhanced nervous system. "I never actually met Leeroy Hawke, not to talk to, anyway." he admitted, speaking of the former Turbo-Boost, the sole villain on the school's payroll. "He was based mostly out of New York, and he got a lot more physical with supers than we usually did. He could only hit Mach 1, anyway." 

 

"It'll look a lot less lame once you're as old as Will," he added cheerily to his daughter, zipping down to join the family at the breakfast bar. "Just think of all the bragging rights you'll get with your friends, like what's her name, that little Jackson girl?" 

Holly made a face around her breakfast. "Celia Jackson thinks she really _is_ a fairy princess. No wonder she was the only one who talked to me." 

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"Well, familiar for you guys. I mean, unless there's someone super-famous on staff who'd I'd recognize. And considering how they seem to be trying to keep things sorta low-key, I'm not sure they'd do that? And yes I remembered both. They're in my main suitcase. I've got a spare can of deod, and two tubes of toothpaste."

 

He perked at the mention of a speedster on staff.

 

"Do you think he gives super-speed fighting lessons? Not all of us can time-stop a bunch of people and pants them in 2 seconds flat, unfortunately. Oh! Do you think any of them know how to sword fight? Gramma Cline's lessons are super awesome but it's always cool to learn even more stuff! Or at least a staff fighter? Something? None of you guys want to spar with me so I'm all rusty and howcanIgetgoodatbeingasuperheroifIcan'tpracticebuncheswithallmypowersandthewaytousethepowers?"

 

He seems to have slipped into high-speed talking there. 

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They all piled into the car for the trip across town to Bayview, Paige behind the wheel and Richard in the front passenger seat, Will and his heavily-bundled up sister in the back. The TV cameras were back at home, of course, but Richard had the Nikon CoolPix that even he had to admit was more efficient than the camcorder he'd used to record Will's trip home from the hospital. It was probably for the best Paige was behind the wheel, Richard found his mind wandering back to the past more and more - his son's first steps, his first words, and then his first run at super-speed! And now, off to be a teenage superhero, just like the ones Richard had been fighting when he was Will's age. 

 

"Now remember," he said seriously to Will, repeating advice his son had heard from him a lot since they made the move, "if you see what looks like a man made of blue fire chasing you, run and get an adult hero, because that's the Burning Ghost and his hosts are always serious dorks. And don't let any of the other kids try and rag on you just because your mom and dad used to be in the trade. They're probably just jealous your mom and dad are so awesome!" he went on. "Be proud of who you came from, and you'll do fine." 

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"I'm sure the kids there are going to be very nice," Paige added reassuringly, glancing at the GPS as she navigated her way through morning traffic. "I'm sure nobody's going to care about your parents' misspent youth that ended twenty years ago. Anything from before 1995 is ancient history, right?" She neatly maneuvered the red minivan into the exit lane and headed into Bayview, a pretty little community that looked a very unlikely place to be hiding the world's foremost school for teenage superheroes. "Though if you think it would help, you're welcome to invite any of your friends out to watch us filming for a day. A little Hollywood magic can't hurt." She smiled at Will in the rearview mirror, then sobered again. "Just remember the rule about extended family talk. You can talk about your dad's family, but that's it."

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"Blue fire, teachers, right. Got it. I just hope there's not a student there who has uncontrollable blue fire powers! Might get awkward. Especially if she's cute."

 

William grins that grin that's 100% his father.

 

"Pssh. Other kids wished they lived with the Superhero Mythbusters. The only one who gets to call you guys lame is me, and that's just because you...what's that saying of yours dad? Harsh my vibe?"

 

Paige would detect more than a hint of mischief in that question.

 

"I bet there are kids from weirder situations. And yes, anything before 95 is so old we don't remember it."

 

He perked up at the mention of inviting people to filming.

 

"I can? Cool! Would any days be best you think? Oh, could I get class credit for it! That'd be the best!"

 

At the mention of "the extended family talk", his face went deadly serious.

 

"Yeah. I got it. I'll try not to bring it up at all."

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The family parked in Visitor Parking in front of the Jasmine Summers Administration Building, Richard all but bursting with energy as he zipped out of the car and took in the scenery. Normally there'd be a lot of new arrivals, but their middle-of-the-semester enrollment for Will meant that the parking lot was mostly deserted - except for the teacher and student who must have been their welcoming committee. Richard took them both in in a flash, and nodded in recognition. They'd met Martha Dugan in their tour of Nicholson, the Claremont vice-president's daughter (who was a little younger than Holly these days) being the powered one in the family. He didn't know the girl with her, but from a look at her muscular build and pretty Asian features, he suddenly had vivid flashbacks of that Crimson Katana 'talk' he'd had with his boy about a year earlier.

 

"Martha, hello!" said the celebrity speedster, zipping up to shake her hand warmly. 

 

"Nice to see you again, Richard," said the Vice-Principal with a smile - Mali didn't know the school's administrator that well, but she did know that Martha Dugan was the highest-ranking person at the school who was an actual professional educator. "And you too, Paige. Hello, Holly," she added to the bundled-up girl trailing after the two celebrities. "This is Mali Benjawan, one of our senior students, she's volunteered to help with your family's tour. Mali, this is Paige and Richard Cline, and their son Will." 

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Mali noted the Cline family as they approached. The tour guide thing was something she was happy to do. Claremont had done a lot to help her grow as a person, and she made a lot of good friends. So, when she was introduced, she nodded politely and smiled her cheeriest smile. She was bundled up a bit, though not as much as Holly, with a snug looking black coat. She kept her hair short for nearly a year now, choosing today to just let it rest neatly in a semi-disheveled pile on her head.

 

"Hi guys." She said, looking to the Vice-Principal for a semi-approval to take over. "Nice to meet you, Mr. Cline, Mrs. Cline, Will. Holly." She nodded to each one in turn. "If you guys will come with me, I'll start the tour. I gotta say, I was nervous about coming to Claremont, but I've learned so much here." She smiled, clearly remembering some pleasant memories. "Made a lot of good friends, too."

 

She could only guess how the parents were feeling, or Will. She knew she was pretty nervous, and excited, about coming to Claremont. Will could be coming along very reluctantly, or could be ecstatic. Either way, it was bound to be interesting.

Edited by Thunder King

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"It's nice to meet you Mali," Paige said with a friendly smile. She was wearing a coat and light scarf against the winter chill, but wished a little she had decided on a knit hat and mittens like her daughter. California had definitely thinned her blood. "We're looking forward to seeing everything. Maybe we could finish up at the dorms so that we can help Will get moved in before we have to go?" 

 

Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out her phone and snapped a picture of Will and Holly. "Smile guys, this one's for the album!" she called cheerfully. "First day of school, big day!" Holly kept on scowling from under her hat and hood, but at least Will pulled out a smile and a cheesy thumbs-up straight from his father's repertoire. "Perfect, I'll send that to Grandma too." 

 

"It's not my first day," Holly muttered, looking around with some envy at the older kids and the sprawling campus, beautiful even in the winter.  "I started school days ago. And my school is better because it's all in one building and you don't have to go outside." She trailed after the group as they started moving, mittened hands stuffed in her coat pockets. 

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Will had had decidedly mixed feelings about coming to Claremont. On the one hand, superhero school! But he would know no one, and who knows what "superhero school" really meant these days.

 

Any misgivings left his mind when he was introduced to Mali. But, William Cline had his manners. He first greeted the Vice-Principal, briefly shaking her hand.

 

"It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Dugan. Thanks bunches for setting up the tour; way more awesome than some boring tests in that little office. It didn't even have a window!"

 

He then turns to Mali and gives her a thousand-watt smile (or at least, that's what it looks like in his mind, the actual charm level may vary).

 

"Miss Benjawan, it is my inestimable pleasure to make your acquaintance."

 

He made sure to smile for the camera; always good to practice getting good shots in. He reached over and patted his precocious sister on the head as she complained, a more natural smile on his face.

 

"Well, your school's pretty awesome too, squirt. But you know me; I gotta run around all the time anyways, so I might as well run back and forth to class and my room, right?"

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Richard posed with a big thumbs-up and arm around his boy, then followed as their tour guides led them onto the campus proper. "And just think, son, you get through four years here, and you'll have more education than the last three generations of your family," he said with a chuckle. He zipped away between sentences as Mali was introducing the campus, the effect looking as though he'd suddenly blurred away and back again for a perilous second, before rejoining the group. "Radical campus you've got here, little lady," he opined, peering at Mali with a wink over sunglasses he'd donned 'in the moment.' Once they were all inside the main quad, he looked around and added, "What do you kids around here like to do for fun?" 

 

Meanwhile, Errant was just sitting down to meditate when he heard a voice - not in his ears, but in his mind, a clumsy mental 'reach' that his own mental powers told him seemed to be coming from outside the window and down on the quad. The mind touching his didn't feel experienced, and the voice was young - maybe eight or nine. Gradually, though, she seemed to become aware of their tentative link. 

 

"Bored bored bored I am so bored! This is so boring! How could anything be so boring? Nobody's even flying around or anything! I wonder if Will wants to kiss this girl, eww! I bet he does, he wants to kiss all the girls. I...hey! Hey, you! Can you hear me? What's your name?"

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There was a bit of... humorous synchronicity to Lily's intrusion, as he was sharing the same distaste to the thoughts of others, thoughts he actively tried to not let touch him, but he had to kind of be in the middle of the hormonal susurrus to learn how to block it out.  Or something along those lines.  So at the moment of connection, something his power wanted to do, after her expression of her boredom, eloquent as it was, he was blinking, and wincing a bit at the intrusion, and her power.

 

The thing people assumed was that telepathic communication was in words.  But that was a limited understanding, because a word had no inherent meaning as far as a mind went.  It was a communication of concepts, which language was applied, and the association filled the gasp.  There was a flash of sympathy for his mother as an untrained (not that he really was, training by denial was just ignoring something exist), or inexperienced caught his as he was trying to close himself up to them, to... well it didn't matter what he had intended now.  Did it?

 

Elias (Hector) struggled to extricate himself from the interweaving connection that formed in happenstance.  It was never easy, and her grip was fueled by boredom, and a lot of raw power.  

 

"Please leave..."  Came the start of the simple request ot be left alone, but he dropped it, feeling it was too late, and that the child would like chase after a rabbit at this point.  She'd feel his sigh, as senses bled, and he struggled to keep his Thesean ship of identity aright in this circumstance.  "I am Elias."  Of course the concept of him, or that name was muddled, it was as much lie as truth.  As much an alias.  He was tentative and suspicious, trying to stop too much information to pass with hit with the pervasive curiousity of a child.

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Mali blinked, then blinked again. "Oh, um..." She blushed slightly. "Nice to meet you too." Nobody had ever talked to her like that. She just kinda...froze for a moment. She smiled politely. "Okay, folks, shall we go on our way?" She asked. William was certainly cute, but that level of forwardness made her just stop and have to shake her head free of cobwebs.

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Hi, Elias! Do you have a supername? My mom says I have to wait till I'm 16 before I can have a supername, but I want to be Superstar! That'd be cool. I just got my powers so we have to move out to Freedom City so I could go to Nicholson and my brother can go to Claremont he's just got speed powers like my dad but he's pretty fast I guess. There was a momentary quiet in Elias' head before the eager child's voice went on. Crud I think my mom is listening!

 

This girl didn't seem very fast; Richard wasn't that worried about Will and her after all. Remembering lectures from his wife, he reminded himself that this Mali couldn't help it - she'd probably grown up in a dojo, doing nothing but fighting monsters all day, and never had a chance to see the real world. "Not gonna say that when the 'rents are around, eh? That's okay, I know how it is. Nothing like Mom and Dad to ruin a bodacious time." He fell back, distinctly humming 'Fight For Your Right' as he zipped around the group. Despite his playful manner, he was taking in everything in the seconds between the conversation, his eye not that much less observant than his wife's keen perceptions. At least for visible things... 

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William was a 16-year old self-assured speedster, but he wasn't completely stupid. He could tell that going full-speed-ahead wouldn't work here.

 

So half-speed-ahead it was!

 

He gave Mali another smile, more subdued this time.

 

"Yeah. Let's check this place out!"

 

He resisted the urge to try and follow his father; he just didn't have the speed to do such a thorough survey.

 

"What kind of superpower classes are there here? I mean, we get all the standard boring school classes, but what about the awesome stuff? Do we get set up on super-teams by the teachers or something? Sent on hero patrol?"

 

The last question's not one to ease a parent's mind!

 

"How long have you been coming here, Mali?"

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"Well, for the most part, people with powers are taught how to use them." She said. "Some people form teams, go on patrols. For the most part we go out and do the hero thing like everyone else does. We learn history, math, science, the usual stuff, but we also learn tactics, how to handle a wide variety of situations that a superhero might encounter."

 

She shrugged. "There are also self defense and hand-to-hand classes, but there's not a lot I've been able to learn from them. I've tutored people though. As for how long? I'm on my second year. I'll be graduating in the spring."

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William nodded. At super-speed at first, but then he reigned it in a bit.

 

"So teams happen but aren't forced. That's cool. Guess that makes thing more organic or something. Probably best teachers don't make us patrol in forced groups. Might get awkward."

 

He lapses silent for a moment before continuing.

 

"You mention hand-to-hand classes, and I'd totally like to take some, maybe you could give me pointers, but do we have any folks here who know how to use swords and stuff? Because that's what I want more lessons on! You know why?"

 

He rushes out ahead of the group and turns around, walking backwards. There's a flicker, and suddenly dark green light flows out of his hands and solidifies into twin blades.

 

"I can make swords. With my brain! Isn't that totally cool?"

 

He's clearly very impressed with himself, and proceeds to do a couple flourishes with the blades. For all that he's blatantly a hormonal 16-year-old boy showing off to a pretty girl he wants to impress, it's clear to Mali that he has at least some measure of skill with his mind-blades.

 

Now they just have to hope he doesn't run backwards into someone.

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