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Thunder King

Preparations and Concerns

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Friday, August 28th
Chicago Illinois

Hannah Cooper was only a little nervous. Ashley would be watching Peter and Sammy for the weekend. Took a bit to convince her to stay and watch them, and a little bit of money. None of that really mattered to Hannah, before long she'd be on her own in a strange place.

She was scared, and more than once her mom tried to talk her out of it. Well, that wasn't quite true, mostly her mom just didn't want her hurt. Superheroes lived dangerous lives. Chicago didn't have many of them, and Freedom City had hundreds. Alien invasions centered on it, all sorts of crazy things happened there.  

Hannah was steadfast, though. She wasn't going to allow anyone to talk her out of it, even if she was nervous. She needed to understand what her powers were and what they could do. If she didn't do that, she might hurt someone, or herself. Or even accidentally cause a bunch of property damage.

So they'd gone to orientation, and she saw the city for the first time. They didn't have any time to really enjoy themselves there, or see the sights. She did get an idea of where she would be staying and what was around the school, which was a good thing. She was a lot less scared knowing that Claremont looked a lot like a typical prep school. Though she suspected the superhero insanity wasn't obvious. 

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So she packed, with the same thoroughness that she did everything. Her clothes were neatly sorted. She 'forgot' to pack anything too old or ratty. First impressions at a new school were important. She'd wanted to get a haircut, something cute, but neither of her parents had managed to find the time to take her. 

The plan was to fly out to Freedom City on Saturday, see a bit of the city, see more Sunday, and take the plunge Monday.

Jake had managed to call her about her new school last week, but couldn't make time to come in. Ashley was probably jealous that Hannah was getting to escape the dull world, but Hannah really wasn't sure she wanted to. Sammy was depressed at her leaving and Hannah hoped that Ashley would spend more time with him to compensate. Pete didn't seem to understand very well that he was leaving. 

New place, new opportunities. New people to ignore her, new corners to find and read in. New classes, new books. New subjects even. It was going to be a very big adventure, and she was terrified and delighted all at once.

She finished her packing at about five in the evening, a little before her parents would come home from work. Her dad was picking up pizza on his way home from one of Hannah's favorite places, one last meal before leaving.

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She grabbed her latest book and climbed into her bed to do a little reading before they got home. She felt a little guilty taking advantage of Ashley like that. Normally Ashley would have skipped out of the house at the earliest opportunity, but as Hannah needed time to pack, she had been forbidden to leave or to foist their younger brothers on her. With time to spare, Hannah decided to unwind a bit.

The sound of a closing car door caught her attention. She put the book down and headed downstairs to greet her mother and set things up for dinner.

"Hey mom." She said as she walked down the stairs. "How was work?" 

"Fine, did you finish packing?" Her mom said as she put her briefcase down. 

"Just finished about ten minutes ago." Hannah said.

"Good, double check everything, don't want to be stuck dealing with that tomorrow." 

Hannah nodded. "I will after dinner, mom." She said. As her father was coming home soon, Hannah headed into the dining room to set up dinner. Paper plates and plastic cups, no dishes to deal with in the morning. As soon as she finished, she heard a car door shut outside.

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Her father stepped in with two steaming boxes of fresh pizza, and two figures stepped in behind him.

"I had to grab extra pizza, having guests for dinner." He said nonchalantly as Hannah's sister Laura and brother Jake stepped in behind him.

"Laura, Jake!" She shouted as she ran towards them, hugging her oldest brother fiercely and then her sister. "I thought you had practice, and I know your classes have already started."

Jake snatched her up effortlessly like he did when they were younger and hugged her tight. "I only have today, baby sis, but I wanted to be here."

"I had to skip a class." Laura shrugged. "Professor's not mad, not when I told him my sister got into an expensive prep school." She chuckled. Jake and Laura had been told, rather subtly, about Hannah's powers.

Hannah coughed, and blushed, before standing back. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. She moved her hands in front of her, and tapped into her powers.

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It was a simple glowing cube, shifting through the rainbow like a square soap bubble. Her sister and brother just stared, and the cube shifted slightly, turning in the air. She extruded the centers and shifted the shape a bit, changing it from a cube to a rhomboid, then collapsed it into a sphere. Then, she let it go, and it faded from view.

"Wow, that...you can do that?" Jake said. "That was beautiful." Hannah just blushed.

Her mom looked less impressed, and her dad concerned. She knew her mom would rather the whole powers thing had never happened. She was supporting her decision, but not happy about it. Her dad was more in favor of Claremont, because he wanted to make sure Hannah's powers weren't dangerous. 

Her dad put the pizza down on the dining room table just as Ashley, Pete and Sammy came downstairs. They all settled in and digged in. The next morning she would be off to Freedom City, to see it, and to live there for most of the year.

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