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The Combat Simulator used bleeding edge technology to allow students to face almost any perceivable threat. They could face anything from a mugger to the Lord of Entropy himself all without putting themselves in any danger.

Unfortunately it was run and organised by very much flawed humans, who very rarely made mistakes. It seems that somehow both you groups have been booked to use the CS at the same time.


Well you’re all here at the same time, what are you to do?

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Sakurako walks over to the simulator doors, in her suit set to claremont colors, looking at the display monitor, she scratched her head at the schedule. "Eh? Seems the Next Gens are scheduled here too... this is odd." She knew Casey would be arriving soon, they did have some training to do together... it seemed Sakurako liked partnering more with Miracle Girl than trying to get the others in Young Freedom together. Although this might finally bring the others in. "Well... we'd have to figure out what to do with this error. No sense complaining now when this is about to get going."


Walking in she looked at the gold-line grid pattern on a black background... the complete, advanced simulator projection system.


"Never gets old looking at this thing. Computer, what is the scheduled simulation for Young Freedom today?"


"Skill Improvement..."


Sakurako rubbed the top of her helmet. "Something simple then. What is Next Gen planning?"


"You are not authorized, unless you have the password..."


Sakurako sighed. "Okaaaay... Seems there will be some negotiation after all."


She stood in the center of the room with arms crossed. "This system for room reservation needs to be automated."

Edited by The Osprey
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Casey sauntered up in her Claremont blue-and-golds, a gym bag over her shoulder; she raised a hand in greeting as she dropped the bag unceremoniously to the floor.

"Hey Saku! What are we working on today?" The blonde rose up into the air a flew a slow lazy circuit around the large room, much like a figure skater would glide around the rink. "Rescue again?" From time to time she'd make a playful swoop towards her friend, then arch up and back towards the ceiling; she was really quite a graceful flyer.

Edited by Heritage
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"We... got a problem, Casey."


"It seems that the Next Gens are booked here at the exact same time as we in Young Freedom are. We were set up here for Skill improvement today. Just things like power marksmanship and melee training. Nothing more exiting than that. Lord knows I need the training in the melee portion of things. I'm sort of bad at that." She said, rubbing the scar on her forehead from the mecha-crab that whomped her a couple months prior.


"In other news I'm planning on some flight upgrades soon... might help the whole distance-keeping quotient for my flight system to be faster than someone's capability to grab me." She said, starting to hover off the ground the gold with blue stripe sailor collar of her costume/uniform starting to move as if it was in zero gravity. "You're looking brilliant in your flight control, by the way. Seems the last simulations with me and you dodging falling debris helps."

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"Could just take turns."


Holy crud-monkeys when did he get there!


And by "he" we mean Nevermore, the stolid sidekick of the night-time avenger of wrong-doings, the Raven! At this moment he was standing in one of the corners of the room, barely visible in the shadows. It was hard to tell if he had been there for a while, or just slipped in while Casey and Sakuro had been talking about the scheduling mix-up.  


"Or try mixing things up. Shake up team rosters. Try larger scenario. Competitive skill practices. Plenty of options. Not like we're mortal enemies."


The way he said it he might as well have been reading the golf section of the daily newspaper.

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Sakurako smiled. "It's not really a matter of sharing or anything, it's just the fact of the matter we ended up double-booked." She said, hovering over and sighing. Things not going as planned always bothered her, even when some adaptation could be made. "Might as well make the best of it I suppose."


She looked at a worn spot on her suit, seems her repair work on it wasn't cosmetically sound. The color changing cells in the outer skin seemed to be darker in the area. "Well... let's see who else shows up then we can figure out something. I'm just hoping everyone else will see it the same way, being upperclassmen and all." She was still sort of dyed in the wool from her time in Japan at school. Everything was about their year... almost like a rank. "Someone might pull rank and say they get priority over the underclassmen."


"The way I see it, we all gotta keep up on our training and if that means sharing, that's probably what was intended."


Leave it to Sakurako to imply a reason over a obvious clerical error. But if that can smooth out questions...

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There was a sound that suggested cloth meeting armor plates in a slight motion, though Nevermore didn't move from where he was. Perhaps he had shrugged? Either way, he took a half-step forward, showing a bit more of himself. Perhaps he was disappointed his stealth hadn't worked so well on his fellow students. He clearly had no ill will toward them, but when you were a mere mortal in the presence of some of the other Claremonters, you tried to "show off" in more subtle ways. Scaring people because they didn't see you there was one such way.


"Headmaster works in mysterious ways."


Well his face isn't smiling but the way he said that sounds like a joke...

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Thaelia had been slow to arrive.  Spending some extra time making her usual rounds in the campus pool.  There was no rush in her mind. After all Next-Gen had the simulator booked for the afternoon.  As ready as she was to wreck things in the aptly named wreck room.  The Atlantean princess knew when to lay back and relax.  In a rare bit of introspection, she knew it allowed her to run wild at her hearts content 


Thaelia's upbeat mood was momentarily hit upon arriving in the simulator.  The sight of the underclassmen that were not part of her team was puzzling.  Never one to keep such thoughts to herself or quiet, the princess immediately and openly addressed said confusion.  "I believe Next-Gen has claimed the training area for use."  Despite the fact that she had made the statement sound like a declaration, she gave Nevermore a sideways look.


It was a look that sought affirmation. Having missed the fairly quick compromise and mix up she really wasn't entirely sure if she had the right day anymore.

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"Ahem... Computer, display the current schedule for this time bracket, please? In a manner obvious to anyone who walks in?" Endeavor said, snapping her finger to create a holographic billboard with the current schedule.


"Also this simulator IS Claremont Academy property, Glamazon. Not ours. They're the ones who assigned the time. And in this case, made the error."


She sighed, shaking her head. "Claimed... typical upperclassman arrogance. Last I checked we were supposed to still work together, not fight over territory like a pack deciding who the alpha is." Sakurako said, starting to look a bit frustrated. She's had a lot on her mind lately too, which was shortening her temper. In fact Endeavor was tapping her left foot on the simulator room floor. A sign Miracle Girl knew as something Endeavor does when... angry.


Then again her sticking to code names was also a sign of Sakurako defaulting to regulations and rank whenever there is a impending bit of chaos. In her head she was thinking the double-booking was intentional from higher up, and to imply that the underclassmen were staking a claim on an important Academy Resource was... a bit insulting. "We had nothing to do with this."

Edited by The Osprey
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Casey had remained in the air for a bit after the new arrivals showed, listening to both sides of the discussion; once Saku began to get prickly, as she was wont to do when irritated, the taller blonde dropped to the floor beside her friend.

"Oh great, fresh faces to join the practice!" Her smile was warm as she offered a friendly wave. "Hi, I don't think we've ever met; I'm Miracle Girl and this is Endeavor." She stepped over to Saku's holographic display and shrugged. "Well, looks to me like a bureaucratic error makes us all winners; you seniors get to try out your moves on unsuspecting victims, and us sophmores get to learn some new tricks from the advanced students!" She raised both hands and cried out, "Woo-hoo!"

This was a tactic she'd applied before, the 'overly cheerful blonde cheerleader' schtick; she always made it clear she was in on the joke, though not everyone picked up on it. At best, it elicited an ironic chuckle and broke the ice; at worst, it confirmed every negative stereotype of the 'dumb blonde' and made her work much harder.

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Samaritan was just hanging around in the back, behind a pillar. He'd been there before anyone, but didn't feel like speaking up. He wasn’t necessarily as good at stealth as Nevermore, but he could disappear when he wanted to. He really, really didn’t believe in training anywhere but on the streets. It had taken substantial prodding by Endeavour, Miracle Girl, and the Headmaster himself to even get him to show up today. He wasn’t even wearing the school uniform, sticking with his usual heroic attire. And of course, somebody screwed up and double booked the room. I could be saving someone’s life right now, but nooooo. I could be stopping a thief. Getting a cat out of a tree. But instead, I’m doing this. Hooray.

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Internally, Thaelia groaned.  Whenever she ran into a student that was quick to cop an attitude it was always a yappy one.  Most notably her awkward first meeting with Cho, an alleyway.  Granted she had long moved past her issues with Cho.  Of course, back then Atlantean's boisterousness had equal parts of the blame which she did not feel was the case here.  The princess did not feel it necessary to explain how the girl misunderstood statement as some sort of posturing for position.  Thaelia did, however, point at Nevermore.  "Next-Gen, not seniors and juniors."


At no point had she told them to get out.  Nor was she going to go to any extra lengths to explain that the current Next-Gen had been composed of students from multiple grade levels.  She had been irked and was left feeling more than willing to entertain the possibility of rescheduling.  Remaining long enough to contemplate Miracle Girl's point about turning the negative into a positive.


"New training variables.  Hm.  The Daughter of the Seas is not opposed to new challenges."  Expressing a slight nod of satisfaction.  If she were a bit more jaded, she might had considered the possibility that they were not accidentally booked.  Some sort of plan at play by the headmaster.  As it stood, she accepted it for the mistake it was.  Having entered the room enthusiastically to begin with Thaelia hadn't looked around, and as such had not noticed Samaritan behind the pillar.

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Nevermore tilted his cowled head a bit when Glamazon pointed to him; had his mask not had lenses that concealed his eyes, those observing him might have noticed him giving a few owlish blinks at the gesture, not to mention the shift in conversation. He took a step forward, holding his hands up in a placating gesture.


"Thought we were supposed to fight crime, not each other."


He was attempting to use humor to defuse things, though at this rate "attempt" would be the best word for sure. He lowered his hands, looking at the numbers they had so far.


"Assuming we can anticipate most of our fellow teammates showing up, best idea seems to be to concoct a scenario that uses numbers to advantage."


He paused, apparently to let that sink in, before continuing.


"Perhaps some of us start scenario on the scene of a super-fight. Situation escalates, the rest of us function as reserves, backup, to help relieve pressure on forces in the field, turn tide. Dramatic, gives us a chance to test skills and powers under tension, and we can switch off who is on what team to help train for both scenarios. Can either do this as existing teams, or mix things up."

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Sakurako's grumpiness was starting to be a bit more evident as she walks over to a side wall. Quirking an eyebrow like she always does when she gets an idea she looked back to the group. "Why not just have everyone involved from the start? Everyone having a role on a consolidated team? With our numbers we could have one hell of a response. Our fighty types keeping the heat off those helping bystanders?"


She grinned. "The full-capes kept us out of the alien invasion that was attempted a while back... why don't we put on a show to show what Claremont can do? Quite honestly, it sucks being alone." She said opening up her helmet to scratch the scar over her right eye. "Last time I was alone I got beat up pretty bad... I wager with a full team I can really show my talents without having to be a damage buffer."


She pulled out her EMWand. "And last I checked I can really move some I-Beams with this thing."


"So, no coming to the rescue. it's all in to save the day? Whatcha say to that? I'm sure this simulator has a few crisis scenarios we can play with, and it's a simulator so I don't think we're gonna be getting hurt that easily."

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Nevermore sighed.


"Isn't about "showing off". About tactics. Multiple scenarios. Adapting on the fly. Takes more work and thinking to adapt to surge in enemy numbers and then incorporate inbound friendly forces than to just start off with one giant group. And intentionally mixing groups gives us incentive to actively observe and learn what our fellow classmates can do, especially given a scenario with more limited numbers."


He took another half-step forward, asserting himself a bit more.


"The adult heroes kept us out of the fight because we weren't ready for the scope that conflict took. I do not have the training or equipment yet, and I would have been more of a hindrance than a help. The Boss made that clear to me, and I managed to shove my ego aside to understand it."


OOC: It's not hidden that Nevermore works with Raven, but it's up to everyone whether they know that "Boss" is, in fact, the current Raven (who is the 2nd to the name and a lady).

He already failed at being the awesome scary-stealthy team member who was waiting in the shadows. Just trying to inject a bit of mystery here. :P 

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"Yeah... but I was kept even from the obvious fringe stuff. I could have helped my Mom on their Search and Rescue jobs or my Dad while he maintained the UNISON air assets... but nope." She said crossing her arms.


"As for the simulation or simulations you wanna do, what's the difference of needlessly separating us? Just to placate our egos by having the "sidekicks" kept on the sideline until our cue?" She said, staring intently at Nevermore. "The real world doesn't work like that. There's no script. The real world is messy, chaotic, un-sanitized, and ugly."


She started remembering what she saw when she saw the aftermath of the East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011... "Sometimes I wonder if my folks keep me out of it with all I've seen. I saved a few lives, but saw so many more I couldn't help."


"That's the sort of stuff you're gonna run into out there. The bad guys won't hold back just because you wanna call in "the reserves". They will push the advantage."


"If anything we need to show we can work together in a crisis, not follow a script." Endeavor said. Looking toward the arch entrance to the simulator room. "Mind an indulgence? I got an idea."

Edited by The Osprey
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Casey was startled to see how quickly the rancor was developing between the two teams, or at the very least between Nevermore and Endeavor. Clearly this would not be resolved by any silly tactics on her part. Stepping into the middle of the room, she formed a T with her hands.

"Okay, timeout everybody! There is no need for any hostility; obviously, we've never trained together, and we really don't even know each other. No one wants to show off or treat anyone like a sidekick; we just want to use the facilities together, productively." She paused to catch her breath. "Both styles of training have value, so I suggest maybe we should try both, one after the other. Maybe flip a coin to see which we try first?" Then she craned her head to one side and smiled. "Also we should invite the guy standing behind the pillar to join us; Samaritan, is that you?"

Edited by Heritage
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Tch, it would be Casey. “You expecting someone else?†Vonnie stepped out from behind the pillar, looking slightly annoyed. “Look, I get why you guys think you need training. You have to plan, to have tactics ready to go in case of emergency. That’s a perfectly valid method of doing things. I just don’t do it that way. I improvise. Always worked for me. Always will.†He folded his arms. “That, and practice dulls you for the real thing, I think. Don’t get me wrong. You want to spar or something like that, fine. I’ll light you up. Whatever. But the hero stuff? No, thank you. I can handle anything.†He didn’t necessarily look arrogant when he said that, just like someone who had a bit of justification when he said it.
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Endeavor was developing a headache. Massaging her temples, she shook her head. "I... I'm sorry guys, I think I need to step out for a while."


When she headed out she gave a look at Casey, with a slight longing, like she just couldn't handle it right now. Not with the group like this. "Don't let me hold you guys back..."


She made a direct bee-line for the arch. "I'll keep a listen on my cell phone, and if anyone needs anything after the first set of... whatever you guys agree on, I'll bring refreshments. I'm... just suddenly not feeling it tonight."


The doors opened and she walked out. After a few steps she slumped against the wall out of view against the doors as the doors closed. She brought her knees up and laid her head in them. "Dangit..."


Sorry, but things were getting a little tense. I think I'm going to step out of the thread at this point for now.

Edited by The Osprey
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Nevermore stands there, confusion evident about his person despite showing no outward emotion or really moving much beyond tracking Endeavor or observing the remaining students. Finally he spoke up, his voice a bit softer than a few moments ago.


"Wasn't trying to start a fight, not angry or hostile. Just trying to present options for tactical scenarios. Trying to present counter-point, encourage debate and discussion."


He sounds almost like a mix of sad and frustrated. He uncrossed his arms and shrugged his shoulder in a particular way that let his cloak fall about his person, until the only part not covered was his head, and a small bit of the sole of his boots. It looked like a gesture meant to evoke an air of mystery. Or he just felt more comfortable that way.


"Not my fault, or Claremont's fault, or fault of "full heroes" what decisions her parents make. We aren't adults yet, though. We have to accept that. But...no, nevermind. That's off track."


He turned to Samaratin, regarding him curiously.


"You don't think it's valuable to train on teamwork, learning how to adapt to the capabilities of your fellow heroes on the fly? Or be exposed to simulations of unusual scenarios? Doubt you got much experience on the streets that prepared you for our trip in Brazil. But simulator and supplemental training might. I had trouble because I hadn't trained enough.


You're strong, and you're good at what you're doing right now. But what if things change and get worse out there? What if you run into something bigger than what you've faced? Training can help prepare you for that. Besides, try not to speak in absolutes about how ready you are. Life has a funny way of shaking things up."

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“Brazil?†Vonnie looked baffled momentarily. “Didn’t we get out of that? We are alive and back in Freedom, right?†He gave Nevermore a look. “In my book that’s a success. Anything else is just icing on the cake.†He sighed. “Look, I’m not saying I’m perfect, or that I will never, ever screw up. I’m saying I’ve been through some ridiculously dangerous situations, and I’m still here, alive and free. Bad guys? Less so. Results speak for themselves. I don’t need teammates to get the job done. I don’t mind the help. It’s less I have to do. But I don’t need them. Whatever happens, I’ll get through it one way or another.â€

The comment about life being funny seemed to…touch a nerve. Vonnie didn’t raise his voice, though a bitter edge seeped into his voice. “Yeah, life is funny, all right. Three years ago I was a stupid kid planning to show off his first science experiment to his mom, all his friends, and the neighbor girl he had a crush on. Today I’m an orphan, and virtually everyone I’ve ever cared about is either dead or wishes I was never born. All because a stupid kid wanted to show off. So yeah. Life’s real funny. Forget this. I’m out of here.†He turn and stalked out. His pace slowed as he passed Endeavour, and he stopped after a few more steps. Great work, Vonnie. Nicely done. Alienate half the heroes in school and bring up all those scenes you don’t want to remember in one fell swoop. Just a fantastic job. He slammed his fist into the wall as hard as he could and swore viciously in both English and Spanish.

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Casey rubbed her face with her hand. "Oh my God..." Taking to the air, she followed after Vonnie, even though she was fairly sure he wanted to be alone. She just couldn't let it end like this. She landed a few feet behind him, her hands shaking.

"Hey! The blonde's voice cracked a bit as she looked at the boy's back, suddenly aware of just how damn perfect her own life had been so far. "If you want to be alone so damn bad, why are you even at this school? If we're all just holding you back, why even bother?"

Edited by Heritage
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Nevermore stood there, a palpable air of confusion about his person. Slowly he turned to look at Glamazon, his tone showing not only his lack of understanding, but maybe even frustration and...hurt feelings?


"What did I say wrong?"


He seems genuinely unsure of himself. He obviously hadn't expected everyone to just bow to his whims and opinions, but the terribly moody responses and stormings-out had left him baffled.


OOC: Seriously folks the level of angst and tension here feels a little silly.

Edited by KnightDisciple
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“It wasn’t my idea. The Headmaster or somebody he knows is my legal guardian. Orphan, remember?†Vonnie turned around. He had the look of someone who was furious, miserable, and partly failing to hide both of those things. His tone of voice was savage. “Along with my sister and the girl I love. What was I going to do, abandon the last two people I have in the world?†Vonnie sighed and eased off the throttle. “Look, I’m not mad at you, all right? I’ve just…never had anyone to help me as a hero. I had to do it all by myself. I had to walk though the closest thing on earth to hell, all by myself. So yeah, I’m not a “team†guy.â€

OOC: I admit, I did get a little carried away.

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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The blonde bruiser chewed her lower lip as she listened to what Vonnie had say; her natural desire to help others was almost overwhelming, but her mom always told her you can't help anybody who doesn't want your help. She sighed and held up her hands.

"Look, train or don't train; it's up to you. Me, I've always found working with other people made me better, especially if they're good at something I'm not. You're only alone if you want to be." She jerked a thumb over her shoulder. "I'm going back in; see you around, Vonnie". As she walked past Sakurako, she held up a hand and softly said, "Hi, Saku!

Once back in the training room, she grinned and rubbed her hands together. "Okay, two on one; I like those odds!"

Edited by Heritage
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