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September 1, 2015
10:00 AM


The first day of class was a day or two away, but the faculty always managed to give the students enough time to settle in. In a cruel move of mother nature it was unfairly hot. Humid. It was like nature was taunting the soon to be slaving over a desk students of Claremont. Even with availiable pools and air conditioning, the weather would keep a student in a summer mindset.

Sakurako wasn't one to complain. She hovered over the Academy testing out a new bouy system. The bouy itself floated in the larger pool, sending back info on the water, any vibrations, etcetra, while Sakurako was tethered to a balloon as she experimented with transmitting wi-fi across the campus. She wanted to make sure the system would work when she did her extension courses with a local Oceanographic organization. From her vantage-point, her red and white balloon stood out, although with Sakurako's recently wreckless streak in science and engineering was expected, and she usually had enough fail-safes to prevent property damage.

Which would be needed today.

*PAFF... TSSSSHHHHhhhhhh* She looked up and saw one of the struts to the light frame of the wifi-transmitter punctured and tore into the balloon. Her weight would not help matters for everything to make a safe landing. Extra internal airbags aside, she would need to remove herself and quickly.

Grumbling she pulls a toggle and cuts away from the damaged balloon and in moments is under a parachute as she drifts towards the front of the school. Seeing her balloon was going to land into a empty athletic yard harmlessly near the school, she breathed a sigh as she landed herself. What she didn't realize is the first shipment of new students were showing up at the front drive, just as she was unceremoniously poking her head out from under her parachute.

"Ohhhhh boy. Some first impression this'll make."

Sakurako is wearing her usual suit and vest, everything in the blue and gold of Claremont, and is currently peeking out from a pink colored parachute she's trying to get off from over her... Science has it's embarassing first steps...

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In amidst the cars and other vehicles showing up, Robin Chevalier showed up on foot. She'd taken public transportation from the Fens, using the last of her very meager pocket change to make the trek in from her neighborhood to the much more ritzy Bayview. The bus itself didn't exactly offload right in front of the school so Robin had to hoof it. That was fine, really, she was used to walking and it wasn't as if her meager possessions were heavy. 

She had a vague suspicion that this was the first of many lessons. The headmistress had been very clear that it was up to Robin to make the choice but a place would be waiting for her if she did. Honestly, she was half expecting to be turned back at the gates. She certainly didn't feel she fit in among these kids at the moment. Her gaze went down to her worn sneakers and frayed jeans for a long moment before something bright caught the corner of her eye. Her gaze traveled up to the sinking balloon and the occupant parachuting free, to trace her descent down with curiosity in her eyes.

Robin's fingertips tightened on the straps of her faded backpack and her chin jutted upwards. She'd come all this way, no point in turning back now. Besides, she didn't have money for the bus trip back anyways. Worn sneakers carried her to the gates and through as she stepped onto Claremont grounds, joining the small knot of new arrivals.

She shifted uncertainly before, with a small shrug to herself, she broke away to head for the girl tangled in her parachute.

"You alright there?" Robin asked as she reached out to help deal with the fabric that the other girl was tangled in. "Need a hand?"

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Sakurako blushed. "Ah everything's fine..." She said, checking her legs to make sure there weren't any injuries on landing. She would have just used her suit's flight capabilities, but she wanted to test the parachute in a controlled environment. The emergency just produced an opportunity. "The chute is self folding so if you could pull the canopy away from me a bit and make sure the guide lines are taught the self-untangler will activate and the chute will fold itself up momentarily."

She smiled, holding out her hand. "Name's Sakurako. Second Year. Well... starting my second year. Just trying to get my kit all set for some extension courses with a oceanographic research project with a local university. Really exited."

"I am the local inventor and occasional creator of explosions around here, don't let the hype fool you though, the mayhem is controlled and for a good cause." The sailor-suited Claremontian said, scratching the pink hair on her head. That is if said suit was designed for an astronaut, not a schoolgirl...

Edited by The Osprey

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Hannah had made the bold and unusual choice of walking through the school's doors officially on her own. Her parents had dropped her off a short distance away. She wanted to be subtle and quiet, watch the crowd, keep out of sight and out of trouble.

She wore an old gray hoodie and a pair of plain blue jeans. Her head was down, her hands were in her pockets, and she had her earbuds in. They weren't playing any music, she was just hoping to stay out of notice. She fought the urge to go inside, instead just sort of meandering away and hoping to take advantage of her small stature to evade unwanted notice. 

She would have liked to make friends, but didn't trust her ability to, not in such an alien environment. Better to watch things first.

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Robin took all that in without saying a word. She blinked once but the explanation of what she needed to do was clear enough. Gathering the parachute in her hands, she dutifully lifted it slightly and stepped back to line it up. At the offered hand, Robin lifted the parachute up with a slightly apologetic smile to show that her hands were full and she wasn't being deliberately rude. "Robin Chevalier, sophomore. I think, at any rate."

That was the grade she should be in, age wise. Whether she'd place into that with her admittedly spotty school record was anyone's guess. She held the parachute up with one hand, the other going to make sure that no lines were tangled and they had gone taunt. She was silent for a long moment before realizing that there was probably more expected in that particular conversational vein.

Way to go, Robin. Totally looking socially well adjusted with other kids. A plus.

"It's a very nice parachute... thing."

Nailed it.

Robin couldn't help her sigh, then. "Sorry, it's my first day."

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Sakurako smiled. Finally, somoene who can actually appreciate keeping in mind one's personal safety! There's hope for her! Sakurako thought as she pressed a button and the lines dutifully snapped to and the chute self-stored in the back of the gold colored vest, seemingly tailored to the form of Sakurako's suit. "Nice to meet you, Robin. Claremont doesn't take anyone under Sophomore, so you're no freshman here. That and I watch for students hazing the newbies. There's policies against that. You get any trouble from someone just let me know. I'll talk with the administration. Then again my roomie is a girl-scout... She couldn't stand me if I held myself to a personal ethical standard. But... that's the scientist in me."

Something about Sakurako was just outright trustworthy at this point. "Just remember in the labs to wear your goggles and your labcoat. I tend to test their material to destruction sometimes, so the latest coats and goggles have been upgraded based on a few ideas I had on graphene derivatives."

"Whatcha think I spent some of my summer on? Well outside of training with my Grandfather in Japan or sailing the Pacific... I've... had a busy summer."

Edited by The Osprey

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Robin let go as the chute shot back into its compartments with mild interest before she jammed her hands once more into the pockets of her worn leather jacket. Except for the faded backpack she was wearing, Robin had no more bags in tow. Sakurako sure had a whole lot of information to impart it seemed and the expression that Robin offered in return was faintly bewildered. 

"Goggles and labcoat... I don't think I'm the science type," Robin offered even as she nodded her head to show she understood the admonition. "Honestly, I'll probably be in mostly remedial stuff. I think they want me to catch up before I risk blowing things up in the Chem lab. Uh, no offense."

She added the last somewhat hastily as science appeared to be very much her bailiwick. In case she'd offended, Robin went on to add, "I'm sure your graphite lab coats are very, uh, sturdy?" Sturdy seemed like that was what the aim would have been if there were many explosions in the labs. "And that does sound busy, yes..."

Yup, there was no way Robin was going to fit in here. In her jacket, the leather creaked as she tensed her hands into fists before allowing them to relax, the gesture nervous. "So, do you go sailing a lot then?"

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The next bus to arrive was despite the warm weather suspiciously cool there was even a window with frost on it, forming suspiciously humanlike hand prints. Not that you would know it was warm from the young woman getting off the bus. Cathy was not only wearing a chunky jumper, with a knitted city skyline, but a blue parka with it's (fake) fur hood pulled up. She tanked the driver in her thick Scottish burr as she manhandled her large bag off the bus.

To say Cathy was excited was an understatement. She flown to the mainland a few times.but this was a whole another level, not only a big city but an American city like she'd seen on television. As she walked towards the school she was looking around at everything around her, as if she didn't she would miss something exciting.

It seemed that something particularly interesting was going on near the front of the school between two girls, so being brave she wandered over to the pair pulling off her hood to.reveal her palid white skin and long white hair.

"Excuse me what's going on here?" she asked with genuine interest

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Sakurako was about to reply in regards to her hobbies to Robin when the next newcomer showed up. "Oh, Hi. Luckily you missed my overdramatic entrance. I'm Sakurako, and this is Robin, also a first year here this year." She said, smiling. As she did, her helmet closed up with a warning about a sudden temperature drop. "Oh... oh my. Sorry of that puts you off, My suit tends to get defensive if there is a sudden temperature drop."

She blushed. "Nothing personal... just a feature that seems like a bug sometimes."

She looked over to Robin. "Sailing is my top hobby, outside of well... what one would expect with a suit like this." Sakurako said, flexing the gloves her her suit a little as she weaved her hands together, stretching. "I've seen the Titanic on my own, no sub. This suit can go places, let me tell ya." She said with a wink. "Tangling with tree-controlling criminals one day, wrangling lightning griffons the next. It's a Claremontian lifestyle." She said, smiling. "Luckily that's the bad days."

Seeing the scar above her right eye suggested it was more than just that on a bad day. "Just watch for giant robotic crabs, and you'll get along just fine. And avoid the mystery meat. Unless you have some sort of mutation that would otherwise compensate. Although after a few times being stuck with it you adapt to it."

"You know... I do plan on starting up a Sailing Club here at the school, although we'd only have about 2 good months before we'd have to take it to the simulator..."

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"I was helping her with her parachute," she added for the newcomer's benefit, as if that were explanation for what all was going on. She nodded a subdued greeting to the new girl, far more quiet than her compatriot although her expression was not unfriendly. At the chill, Robin sank deeper into the dubious warmth of her old jacket, hands still in her pockets. Robin might have looked a bit overwhelmed at the infodump but she nodded like she was parsing at least some of the information. 

"I don't have any mutations. Uh, or powers," she added, in case the two were somehow different. Robin wasn't entirely certain. She rocked back and forth on her sneakered feet, her brow creasing at the idea of going to a school with a sailing club and she shifted uncomfortably. "I can swim though?"

Robin really hoped that her utter lack of knowing what the hell one even did in a 'sailing club' was not plastered all over her features. A little desperately, she turned towards the newest girl, "Maybe you like to sail?"

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A tall, pretty blonde came flying across the campus, wearing a Sierra Club T-shirt, khaki shorts and a pair of Timberland light hiking boots; she wore her hair up and a pair of glasses with black plastic frames. The outdoorsy girl gently alighted next to her pink haired roomie, her face full of concern. 

"Saku, are you okay? I saw your chute when I left the cafeteria!" Noticing the unfamiliar faces for the first time, she smiled warmly and waved. "Oh, hey, new people! Welcome to Claremont! Casey Blankenship, of Colorado Springs." She put her hands on her hips and indicated the sky with a nod. "I conduct aerial tours of the campus; next one leaves in ten minutes."

She smiled and winked, then turned to look at Endeavor's balloon, which prompted a moan of dismay. "Oh no, your balloon! Did you at least get any data before it crashed?"

Edited by Heritage

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Flying blondes, balloons...this school was strange. Yet, Hannah felt a bit more at ease. She inched towards the gathering crowd of students and removed her earbuds. She nodded along, listening to what was being said. It was an old defense mechanism, blend in, look normal. Though, she thought, pink hair, flying blondes...what even was normal here?

 

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Sakurako could barely see the balloon from her position. The other gasbags were keeping the balloon up and not damaged at all, although it had landed, bobbing gently above the Wi-Fi rig. "Yeah... I think though I was mounting too many project modules on the support rig. I really need to consider the size of the envelope on that balloon. A couple of patches and it should be right as rain for another go in a few hours." She said, brushing her suit off. "I might switch to a Octahedral design next time to accomodate some of the wi-fi device. If I can get it to be reliable it could be effective in disasters for information relays and to help civilians stay connected with the outside world."

"And, by the way, Casey's good at the tours. Although I'll come along." Sakurako said, opening her helmet on her suit again, assuring it her life wasn't in danger.

Tapping on her glasses she answered a couple complaints about the Wi-Fi going down with the balloon, sent the data from the bouy in the pool to the person supervising her project, and told the groundskeeper she'll be at the field in a couple hours to take care of re-deploying the balloon, and getting it out of the way. The nice thing about her suit being able to interface with her brain, is any tech she touches she's wearing also can be used in a similar manner.

Then another newcomer wandered over. "Got room for three, Casey?" She said, gesturing with her head towards the newcomer.

Edited by The Osprey

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Cathy was suddenly very aware of not just the people around her but the variety of different people. Coming from of a very isolated community she wasn't use to such a cosmopolitan setting and she wasn't she exactly where she should look, and was worried that she'd say something wrong.

Suddenly very nervous she looked down at her feet and the temperature around he drop another degree or so.

I've never been sailing, but I've been out with the fishing fleet a couple of times." She mumbled her accent becoming even thicker with her nerves.

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Hannah listened to Sakurako's explanation and nodded, it was interesting, electronic relay balloons. Maybe later she could ask her about it. As she listened. She noticed, then, Cathy's behavior. Hannah knew nerves and shyness from personal experience. The accent told her that Cathy was definitely not from Freedom City either. Sounded distinctly Scottish, which was interesting. She looked over at Cathy, smiled a bit and shrugged. She wanted to let the girl know that it was okay, she was nervous too. 

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Robin pulled her hands from her pockets, quickly waving her hands to deflect the offer for 'ariel tours'. There was enough talk of explosions and crash landings that Robin didn't really want to add any more excitement to her already somewhat overwhelming first day experience, "Nah, I'm good. I'm okay with taking the whole... walking... tour. With my feet. On the ground."

She pointed down to the grass for emphasis, moving to tuck her hands once more back into her worn jacket. She offered a brief, friendly smile, "No offense, or anything. I'm comfortable walking but if you all want to go zipping about to get the full experience, don't let me stop you."

Despite herself, Robin gave a little shiver as the temperature started to drop, absently glancing over to the girl who's name she she'd not yet caught. As Cathy glanced down, Robin realized she might not be the only one feeling a little overwhelmed at it all, which actually helped her feel a bit better. 

"Actually, I mean, I know this is probably old hat for all of you, but honestly its a bit much to take in for me at least," she added, finding her voice and gesturing towards Cathy to vaguely include her in the 'new kids' group. "Maybe you could tell us what sort of things we should know. Like, are there better dorms to pick than others? Better beds, decent views?"

She asked, her smile finally emerging, "Insider tricks?"

Edited by alderwitch

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The 'crunchy' blonde gave Robin a sympathetic look and nodded. "Ah, you're not too used to people with gadgets or powers; got it." She laid a firm hand on the new girl's shoulder and smiled. "Don't worry, we'll look out for you. Claremont's a lot like any other high school, in most ways; lots of boring classes, nerds and jocks, cafeteria food with mysterious origins..." Then she mimed spinning a knob. "It's just all turned up to 11, right?"

She gave Robin a few quick pats on the arm; judging from the feeling of restrained strength, Casey could probably juggle cars. "You'll be fine; trust us! Now, does anyone want a totally normal, ground level tour of the school?"

Edited by Heritage

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"The beds are fine. And nothing IKEA. Although I reccomend good pillows. As for dorms they're equally good, but try to pick near the center of the dorm area, faster trip to the classrooms and cafeteria without needing to risk a powered boost."

She stretched out again. "Oh, and be sure to tip the Pizza or Chinese delivery drivers well here. There's been a few scares and we're trying to restore our campus to some delivery zones. Dominoes and Pizza Hut are already onboard, and The Gold Dragon is our go-to for Chinese. Stromboli's handles the Italian if you're in it for some pasta instead."

"Anywhere else is an exercise in trial and error."

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Cathy spent the time trying to relax herself a little she generally wasn’t aware of how cold thing got around her unless it got too extreme, one time she got nervous around someone she’d fancied frost had filled the entire room. Feeling a little less self conscious the temperature raised a little, not that most people could. She still looked at her feet when she spoke, though a voice was a little more confident.

“Do we get to choose our own roommates? And do we have to have one?”

It wasn’t that she didn’t want a roommate, it was just that she knew people tended to get nervous around her. Though that might not be that much of a problem at a school like this.

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Robin tensed a little under the well meaning pat on the arm before she forced herself to relax. The arm under Casey's careful pats didn't move over much and beneath the jacket, Robin seemed fairly compact and solid. "That would probably be more comforting if I'd been to a normal high school before," Robin said with a touch of self depreciating humor and a good natured smile. "But it's good to know regardless."

Her gaze traveled over to the cars still arriving and the occasional student disembarking, "Uh, do we want to wait and see if there's any more of us wanting the fifty-cent tour or...? Honestly, I'm not really sure what we're even supposed to be doing today. Was there a packet or maybe some sort of flier around here?"

Robin didn't exactly care for being ill informed but she soldiered on despite it. "I don't think I'll be ordering in food but if they were all skittish about incidents, maybe someone should go talk to them? Apologize? What happened anyway?"

She glanced then to Cathy, "It's a pretty big school, it looks like," she said, somewhat uncertain, "I'm sure if there's a problem, though, you can probably switch around."

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"Hyper-heating of a delivery car's tires... Poosh!" Sakurako said, responding to Robin. Making an explosion gesture with her hands. "Seems the chemical I was working with to toughen my suit's outer kinetic deflection membrane sort of reacts poorly to common rubber... like that guy's tires... minute the reaction started all the hydrogen in the rubber de-gassed into the tire itself or outside... then pop."

"Dunno how the chemical was put out there, sorta wanna know that stuff wasn't meant to be taken out of my workshop locker... I mean I use a 128 bit encrypted password!, but things have been a bit sketchy with deliveries since."

"That and I took the heat for it for a while. I only was cleared once it was finally verified I was out for a week. And the incident happened mid-way through my absence. Hence why I wanna get to the bottom of it. When I saw the video of the guy's tires ballooning out then popping... well.. I was sorta dismayed."

Edited by The Osprey

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Huang quickly exited the Minivan well down the line form the main drop off and pulled her suitcase from the back in a mundane manner he immediately regretted, "Oof how many sweaters are in that thing."  he murmured not for the first time regretting his lack of his birthrights might.  "Still probably better than getting hassled again." he admitted and nodded toward the main entrance, "Not far a walk.  You want a hand with the bag or you got it?"  he asked as while his father was many things (undead creature of the night, terrifying spook, purveyor of dad jokes) he was also a gentleman and instilled such in Huang, though with some difficulty.  Once responsibility for the bag was resolved he turned and headed up the sidewalk being glad for once to be walking with someone who he didn't have to shorten his strides for.  "That was a good trick back there, they like to think the old church slavonic is bullet proof."  he said with a complementary laugh.

 

***

 

When they reached the cluster of other students he slowed and surveyed the scenery, lots of first years with nervous goodbyes, a few upperclassmen leaving with near his own alacrity, and a knot of maybe new students who were not rushing to wherever they should be.  "Looks like they're new or not interested in rushing off at least."  he suggested to Raina and approached the group flashing a winning smile with more than a hint of fang to it. "Hey."  he greeted easily as he tried then abandoned puzzling out the social hierarchy and went with the old Farretti standard of assuming he was at the top.  "Pretty nice set up they got here."  he suggested diplomatically and gestured to Raina, "This is Raina new to the school came in from indiana."  he introduced easily, "I'm Huang, native son."  he offered with a laugh, "But first year at this school, where you all from?"

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"I've got it," Raina assured Huang, even as she got a look at the new school. School for superheroes, too weird. Well, if everybody was powered, they should be used to seeing power, right? She hummed again under her breath and made a sprinkling gesture over her suitcase, as though she were trying to season it, and suddenly it was floating in the air around waist height, a very tame balloon. It follwed dociely along as she walked, never quite bumping into anyone. "Thanks. I just hate it when people patronize me. Or talk behind my back." 

As they approached the group of students, Raina's body language began to subtly shift, her shoulders squaring, her hips rolling a bit more with each step. She tossed her hair as Huang introduced her, giving each of the other newbies a bright smile even as she assessed them. "What he said," she agreed easily. "What can you all do?" 

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Even more new people showed up, and she was nervous. Another blonde, seemed somewhat confrontational. A very cute guy, seemed pretty confident and at ease. She considered what she did next, mostly because she was so nervous, but she realized the sooner she did it, the better it would be for her. Best dive in.

She swallowed nervously. "My name is Hannah, and I'm from Illinois." She closed her eyes and brought her hands up to chest height about half a foot apart. She sighed. "This is what I do."

A sphere of shifting colors materialized between her hands, it looked for all the world like a soap bubble, transparent with shifting colors on the surface. She pulled her hands slightly further apart and the shape changed, shifting to a cube before extruding out into a rhomboid, before extracting further, stretching and changing, then it faded and vanished. 

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"Did anyone offer to replace the tires? Those can be pricey and pizza delivery guys don't make that much money. Maybe they'd be more willing to come back around if someone sent a note and replaced the tires," Robin suggested, taking in Sakurako's story with a somber expression from where she stood some what in the midst of the knot of Claremont kids. She hoped she didn't look as out of place as she felt. As more kids trickled over, one of them with a floating suitcase in tow, Robin offered a quiet, "Hey."

Huang's toothsome smile caught her gaze and her brows arched without saying much of anything on the matter. Her gaze quickly to traveled to the dancing colors. She wasn't exactly sure what the sort of compliment should be for kids showing off their powers so she settled on, "That's pretty, Hannah." Because it was true and truthful seemed the safest route.

Her gaze flicked back to the two newcomers who seemed to arrive together. "I'm Robin - I'm from the Fens."

The way she said that last was just a big pugnacious, almost defiant, as if she expected commentary or at least judgement. "I... I don't have any powers."

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