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Entrance Exam (IC)


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July 18, 11am


Selena Kwon wandered the ground of Claremont Academy, enjoying a break from unpacking and taking a break in the sunny weather.  Finding a comfortable spot towards the back of the grounds, not too far from the pool she set down her backpack of equipment and took a seat under one of the large trees.  Taking a handful of pinball balls from the bag she laid them out in front of her in the grass.  Taking a deep breath and focusing, slowly one by one the steel spheres lifted from the ground and began to orbit her slowly at first but gaining speed with each rotation.


The exercise was going fine until a mosquito buzzed in her ear, breaking her concentration and sending the pinballs careening off towards the pool.  A brief moment of panic struck as a series of splashes erupted from the water.  When no cries of pain or outrage came she relaxed for a minute.  Glad that was my next stop, she mentally sighed as she shrugged out of her tank top and shorts to reveal the bikini underneath and walked over.

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Sakurako's mind was drifting... Normally she'd be calculating more of her calculation for setting up the FTL drive... she was missing just one fascet of it but the calculation alone to get the potential energy discharge upon arrival in a star system was... problematic. Particularly when the amount of energy that would be discharged would be equal to a hypernova going off. Only getting worse the farther the ship traveled, and the worst part of it, the blast generated from the ship. The ship would be fine, but everything around the ship? Gone.


She opened her eyes for a moment, the blue of the Claremont swimming pool greeted her followed by the near over-head sun shining through the surface of water above her. The visor of the mechanical counter-pressure spacesuit she was wearing actually added a slight halo to the water. It was becoming relaxing. Casey was gonna love this suit! Personally crafted and designed. Even with the difference in figure, the memory polymers of the suit membrane could adapt nicely.


Sakurako started to lean back in the water, letting the water carry her weight in a sort of weightlessness. She would do zero-gee training in the simulator, but in the summer time, getting permission to use it was strictly a Senior privilege, or when under direct supervision of an instructor. And after Sakurako's extended sabbatical, her stock wasn't very high. So the young aspiring astronaut worked with what she could.


Then the sound... the sound of a high-velocity splash... many in fact...


Sakurako immediately looked upward in shock before one of the water-slowed pinballs tinked on the visor of her helmet.


Any harder and it could have damaged it.


Sakurako looked over the number of pinballs in the water.


"Jeeze... and I had just got done cleaning this pool." She said, annoyed. Her brain immediately going into combat-calculation mode. She pulled on a toggle on a belt she was wearing, popping out a swim-ring like device that inflated under her arms, shooting her to the surface. At least at this depth, the bends was not an issue... She opened the visor of the helmet and listened for a moment. Looking in the direction where the now dissipating trails left behind by the ball bearings led. They pointed towards a backwater potion of the campus... nearby. From a student common area.


Swimming over to the side of the pool she climbed out and decided this might have been a fellow student's error.


"By Tyson's solar-system necktie..." She sighed in frustration. "Whose ball bearings are these!!" She shouted.

Edited by The Sailor
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The sound of a louder splash made Selena pick up her pace.  "My bad, I lost control for a second and couldn't grab them again.  Are you- " the magnetokinetic stopped short as she noticed the outfit the girl in the pool was wearing.  "Sorry, was not expecting to step into NASA training.  Are you okay?"


As she spoke, Selena's left eye glowed purple and the steel projectiles rose from the water's depths and made their way to one of the chairs near the water.  Once they settled the teen dropped her towel over the back of a neighboring one and walked over to the steps.  "Not the best first impression but my name's Selena, and you are?"

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"NASA? Noooo.... personal project actually." Sakurako said, smiling. She noticed the EM wand in one of the pouches of a load-bearing vest she was wearing started to move. No doubt that was magnetokinesis. "I'm just making sure the life support system connected to this helmet is working properly before I turn it over to it's future owner. Seems I had no leaks, although, I will be honest if those bearings would have come in a little faster I'd be spitting out water. And needing to replace the visor."


Sakurako shrugged. "Oh well, no harm done, and I can understand testing things near something that you can't hurt. I just hope you weren't trying to re-create how Mikoto Misaka tests out her ability to accelerate metallic objects." She said with a quirked eyebrow. Then again the chances of Selena knowing of the anime she was referencing was rather small. What was even more shocking if anyone who knew her was nearby, was the fact Sakurako's started to actually get interested in popular culture. God help Claremont though if Selena had the power of a Level 5 Esper. "Name's Sakurako, Railgun. Junior year, going on Senior." She said, turning a valve on a tube connected to what was around her waist, letting air out of the probably $500 floatie she had on. You just couldn't look cool or not look awkward doing so. She hoped the nickname would deflect attention. "Just enrolled? Haven't seen you around here before."

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"No, but I'm glad to see someone else around here enjoyed A Certain Magical Index, though I'm more of a Fullmetal Alchemist kind of girl.  I was just doing a bit of morning exercise, first the powers then physical," she said, scooting around to the edge so she sat with her legs from the knee down in the cool water.  "And yes, I just finished unpacking this morning."


Taking another look at the suit Sakurako wore she nodded, "So, a personal project huh?  Taking a year off between high school and college to seek out new life and new civilizations?  To boldly go where no one has gone before?"

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"More like what I'll be doing after graduation." Sakurako said, sitting down at a beach lounging chair someone had set up days ago. "Actually the suit's for a fellow student here in my year. We're close friends, and she's just as interested in getting into orbit as I am." Sakurako brings her legs up. "Then again, for the forseeable, we'd be operating in orbit. At least until I can get some confounded calculations settled in my head. Then the stars is the next stop."


"Until then it's all about saving astronauts, deflecting asteroids, and maybe doing the occasional repair of an important scientific satellite... perhaps even deploying them."


Sakurako adjusted the pink-tint visor-like AR glasses she wears. "Interesting you're here during the summer elective schedule. Well at least that's how I see it, but with my folks on vacation still, and the Yacht's being refitted, this place is for now pretty much my only residence."

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"Sounds like one heck of a good post-graduation plan," the magnetokinetic said, her left eye once again radiating a purple glow as one of the pinballs levitated and began a slow circuit around the pool, keeping an even and steady pace.  "I'm still not sure what to do after high school.  I'm sure there's room at plenty of construction jobs for a human nailgun if all else fails."


At Sakurako's comments about the summer schedule she shrugged, "I tried to use my powers a bit back home but it didn't work out terribly well.  When the school's representatives came and offered my parents the chance to get me training someplace I wasn't likely to hurt myself or others, I was on the next plane out of San Juan."


Selena stood up and toweled off her legs, "It's almost noon, want to grab some lunch?  I don't know about you but I tend to think better with a few noms."

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Sakurako smiled, pressing a button on the wrist of the suit, causing it to slacken. Taking the helmet off it was no effort to slip through the neck of the suit, once she took off the red load-bearing vest that. She pulled out her EM-Wand setting it to a specific frequency and activated it. In a matter of half a minute she dried all of her kit from using sound waves to lift up the water on the suit and everything else. She looked like she hadn't even been swimming! Rolling the suit carefully, she stuffed it into the helmet. Sakurako herself was wearing what could be considered a Claremont swimsuit. A dark blue and yellow one-piece with a high neck, and short sleeves for the arms and legs. She put the vest on, not caring the half-deflated ring was sagging down.


"Yeah... sounds like a deal. What you like to eat? The cafeteria is surprisingly well stocked for summer this go around." Sakurako said with a smile. "I've been on a pasta kick recently. I've been needing the energy for my exercise routine."

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Selena shook her head at Sakurako's casual use of super-tech, "I'm never going to get used to seeing this kind thing.  Does it drive screws too?"  As the pair headed to the cafeteria, Selena's backpack came sailing from its resting place beneath the tree.  Stopping just a few feet ahead of the girls she stepped forward and plucked it from the air.  "Pasta sounds good, especially if it's with meatballs rather than meatsauce."


"So, aside from testing tech and doing math at the bottom of the pool, what do you do for fun?"

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Sakurako grinned. "Well, I've been trimming back my free-time. I've been needing to focus on getting my physical capabilities as good as I can get them. I've been focusing too much on what's up here." She says, pointing to her head. "But not the rest of my body. Pretty soon I and Casey'll start a training regimen... Casey knows a few things."


She smiled. "And I hate just sauce... but at least here the meatballs are seasoned to perfection. Beats the usual american cafeteria food."


As the two walked back to the campus proper, Sakurako had a random thought. "So... started to think of a costume yet? Some of the gang had been thinking of that. Particularly those of us heading into our final year."


"I'd been comfy with my usual but... lately I've had a hard time thinking of what I want."

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"and that should do it...." alex said aloud to no one in particular as he put the closing paragraph on his history essay "woohoo! chow time!" springing up from his bed and casting the tossing the clipboard and essay both onto the ground beside him he practically skips out of the door on his way to the cafeteria.


Though he was not particularly dumb he much preferred the more physical activities on the curriculum and the after hours study; Speaking of which, he hoped they were still serving pasta, he'd lost a little bit of mass from his muscles and was eager to build it back up.

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"Sounds like a good plan.  I've never heard of a scenario that can't be improved by being in better shape.  Took forever for me to get into shape when I started surfing, maybe Casey has some suggestions so I can maintain better too?"


Making their way back towards the main quad and into the cafeteria, Selena shuddered mentally at the first attempt she had at a costume.  Never again.  The skirt was cute but never again, she thought.  Aloud she answered, "Nothing concrete yet, definitely needs a cape.  A cape just seals the deal for a costume.  Maybe something in purple, match the eye?"

Edited by Azuth65
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As the others entered the cafeteria, the first thing that stood out were wings. Wings, about as high as a person, white at the top, black at the bottom. In between them, the back of a head, short black hair, with rather pointy ears to the side of the head. The person’s skin was pale, with headphones resting at the bottom of the neck, where they met with a white tanktop.


The wings, and probably the person they’d belonged to, were standing in line, a few more people standing in front, but nobody behind. The only thing on the tray being pulled along the counter top were two glasses of water, filled with more ice-cubes than actual water, and a bowl, seemingly filled with nothing but ice-cubes. No salad, no candy, not even sweet beverages, just water and ice.


None of the others had seen this person before, or they probably would’ve remembered otherwise, natural wings being rather uncommon even at a place like Claremont Academy. As the line moved forward, so did the winged person, taking slow steps that somehow still told of agility and prowess. As the hand reached out to drag the tray along, it became clear that the wings and pointed ears were not the only things different on this person, the fingers resembling something close to a bird’s talons. Still fairly human, but not quite there.

Edited by olopi
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Alex felt no bones about anything that he might have once considered weird after his little stay in the ghostworks hilton and simply grabbed a tray, plated it up with pasta and meatballs and shuffled along behind him. "Nice wings dude." he says as non-chalantly as he might once have spoken about the weather.

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The person continued walking forward, taking slow steps and dragging the tray along, then turned around. By now the line had been more or less empty, so it didn’t cause any delay. A young man, rather tall was what could now be seen. His hair was cut short at the front too, it looked a bit different from other hair now, on second glance. It didn’t look like the strands other people had, it looked slightly different. Below that, a sleek and pointy face, to go along with the generally slender build. His jaw and chin were well defined, and pointier than most.


His body was not all that special, a bit more muscular than most other teenager’s. The white tanktop was a size or two too big, looking a bit baggy. The white shorts he was wearing too looked a bit too big, reaching down to around his knees. His arms, legs and face were slightly shiny, sweat probably. He began speaking, slowly and sounding exhausted, with a heavy accent, so it took some attention to actually understand him.


“Thanks. They’re quite useful, yes. “


He turned back around and leaned over, into the freezer holding various ice-creams and popsicles, leaving his head in there a bit longer than what was usual, while grabbing what appeared to be a frozen yogurt. He sat it down on his tray, took a few steps forwards, before suddenly turning around again, with a bit of embarrassment on his face.


“Hi, I’m Jann. What’s your name?”

Edited by olopi
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Sakurako lost herself in thought for a moment, but then blurted to Selena "Sailor Collars..."


She paused, looking around. "Sorry, some context... unless you're Torpedo Lass, NEVER do Sailor Collars. It just screams "GRAB THIS THING" to every bad guy you face. There was a reason why my mom when she was Ensign Minneapolis designed her costume with break away collars." She giggled. Blushing. "Don't get me wrong, they're cute... I still got a couple of blouses and my yachting outfit, but I digress. Yes, I had that phase. Stereotypical Japanese Schoolgirl, eh?" She said, jokingly. "Capes I wager are just as much of a liability. Although larger cloaks can be a nice shield against the elements."


"Then you tech it up, add some photo-adaptive pseudo-chromatophores and suddenly 'yer a wizard Harry!' and stuff. Cloak of Invisibility? Don't miiiind if I do."

She noticed the other two having a conversation... She started to wonder if she was being too annoying.

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The air conditioning of the cafeteria hit Selena like a wonderfully cool wall.  Making her way with Sakurako to the lunch line Selena dropped her bag into a chair, spying the pasta and meatballs, salt potatoes, broccoli and cheese, various salads, fried haddock, and more.  Her stomach let forth an audible growl as she placed her tray along the counter, which she quickly piled with food.


"Once I settle on a costume, remind me to talk to you about the actual tailoring," she said.  "Maybe some kind of thermal-adaptive inner lining, I'm actually rather afraid of what winter's going to be like this far from the equator.  Though, I wouldn't mind the invisibility cloak option.  Or some level of protection that can stop bullets like a certain wizard named Harry's leather duster."


While Alex and Jann made their introductions, Selena stood a bit off to the side, waiting for access to the freezer to become available again.  Eying the pair, she was suddenly glad she had taken a minute on the walk back to get her tank and shorts back on.

Edited by Azuth65
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Setting his tray on the rails he offers his left hand to Jann "I'm Alex, pleased to meet ya." giving janns tray a quick glance before resuming eye contact "Having trouble beating the heat huh?" he offers in conversation "Not a fan of it myself." he states as he follows behind his new aquaintence and reaching deeply into the freezer for a Fruit ice pop in his so far empty cup.


"Ya new here too?"



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The avian teen continued walking forward, now being at the front of the line, and a few people behind him. When he got to the end of the serving area, he took a step to the side, his tray still in hand, and continued the conversation, quickly adjusting his headphones so they wouldn’t slip off with his other hand.


“Yes. Arrived here in Freedom City a few days ago, only got to the school today. Only a few minutes ago in fact, just left my luggage at the reception for now, don’t have a room just yet. Need to deal with the heat first. Nothing like this back home, not even close. “


Jann mustered the teen he had been speaking with. Like with most people his age, Jann stood taller. In this case, it wasn’t by much, but still enough to have him look downwards a bit. Other than that, nothing was too interesting, Alex looked average enough for Jann to not be able to draw a conclusion. He wiped some sweat off his face using his free arm, then continued to speak, still sounding rather slow and exhausted.


“What about you? Also one of the people starting this year? “

Edited by olopi
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As Alex was about to answer, a small collection of silverware floated past the boys and settled onto Selena and Sakurako's trays.  "I couldn't help but overhear.  I'm glad I'm not the only newbie here already.  I'm Selena and this is Sakurako," she said.  "Have either of you gotten the full tour of the school or has your experience been more like mine of 'get assigned a room, unpack, and kinda wander around'?"


"If you guys haven't grabbed seats, there's some empty ones over by my bag.  Come on over when you've finished grabbing food or, um, more ice," she offered, giving Jann a teasing smile with the last words.

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Jann’s eyes wandered from Alex over to the two girls subtly, quickly mustering their appearance. Once again, he was a somewhat taller, so he had to move his head to accommodate. His eyes stayed on Sakurako’s hair for a bit longer than on other things, but he then continued on normally.  After Selena finished speaking, he responded, speaking a bit quicker and less accented now. It still took some effort to understand, but it wasn’t as heavy anymore.


“Nice to meet you. No tour yet, I only arrived a few minutes ago. Don’t even have a room right now.”


Then, Jann took a look at the girls’ trays. He had noticed the silverware floating around, it hadn’t surprised him too much. He looked back up at Selena’s face, before then continuing to talk.


“Gravity Control? Or just magnetism? Cool. Usually quite useful. “


He stopped for a second, looking over at where Selena had pointed before. His head turned back towards the others, first adressing the girls again, then Alex.


“Didn’t grab a seat yet, will gladly join you over there. Alex, you joining us too? “

Edited by olopi
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Alex watched as the silverwear floated through the air before him with great intrest, so this was a part of his everyday life now; the realization hitting him like a mighty wind, but outwardly unperturbed "Sure, Be nice to get to know some folks." he says evenly as he heads for the table indicated with his tray.


"Neat power, by the way."

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Sakurako grinned. She could do that with her EM Wand, but it didn't have the precision to move each piece of silverware like that.


"I should think of maybe helping everyone here at the school develop costumes if they do intend to get into the capes and cowls business. What I could do with the basic Claremont suits too... although I'm not sure if the purpose of those suits was to make them have all the tools."


She looked up at the ceiling. "Although it would be nice if I was allowed to design something for a crisis where the school has to mobilize in a disaster... out in the field isn't like in the Wreck Room."


She realizes she got distracted. "Oh, Hi. Yeah, I'm Sakurako... I seem to be the school carer, as I seem to be worried about everyone here." She says with a blush.

"So... Gravity control and Electromagnetic control..."


She looks suddenly exited. "Can any of you fly? Well those without wings?" She says with anticipation. She started to wish she could fly on her own... but, she was a genius.

Edited by The Sailor
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Leading the way to the table Selena let out a contemplative noise.  "Maybe not all of the tools but a few special features not available on the stock models?  And what's the Wreck Room?  Sounds like one of those places you pay a few bucks and get to just destroy things for fifteen minutes."


"Just magnetic control, at least as far as I can tell.  I've never been able to move anything that wasn't made of the basic magnetically active metals.  And I haven't tried anything with electricity," She explained.  "As for flying, I'm willing to guess Feathers can.  I can as well, I'm not going to set any new flight speed records but I can outpace most cars on the highway."  To demonstrate she set her tray down and, with her left eye once again glowing purple, her feet left the floor and kept going until they were roughly eye level with the others before she set back down.

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"Selena, you know... Ever thought of riding a metal plate?"


Sakurako starts munching on her Spaghetti. "It could allow you to focus your power so you can fly faster... maybe?"


"What do I know, I need a silly flight pack. Still even have a parachute mounted on it." She says blushing. "Sorry to interrupt."


As she eats she looks over she looks at the table. Realizing how she felt so behind her classmates physically. "Casey... we gotta start hitting the Gym. I'm too darn scrawny." She thought.

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