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[IC] Kick Off!: A Little Party Never Killed Nobody

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Friday, August 26th, 2016

Aaron Cage Gymnasium, Claremont Academy, Bayview

8:03 PM

 

 

The Kick-Off Dance was the first major event of any school year at Claremont Academy. Traditionally it was held on the Friday before the start of the year the next Monday. It was no different this year, and people had flocked to the gym, much to the delight of various students who had spent many hours during their summer break to organize it.

 

Banners were hung alongside the wall. Somebody had actually brought a disco-ball. Along a table on the wall various bowls of punch had been set up, and bar tables with peanuts and chips on them stood scattered around the gym and just outside of it. A stage had been set up too, elevated just slightly, a DJ table slightly off to one side, with the rest of the stage for people that wanted to dance where everyone could see them, or some pre-dance entertainment. A smoke machine was not needed, the DJ, a now-senior student, provided the smoke with his powers.

 

Outside, the sun began to set, while inside the lights had been dimmed, spotlights towards the stage. The entertainment phase had just ended, and the dance was about to start. A new arrival , taller and more muscular than most students, had just left the stage after a short vocal performance, the DJ was currently giving a few final words before switching to music for the rest of the evening.

 

“Okay people, that was Hau Ta … Tayou … just Hau! He’s still looking for bandmates everybody, go talk to him if you’re interested! And now, a short break while somebody fetches a cup of punch for me, they’re free after all, and then it’s gonna be music the rest of the night. I’ve got some good songs planned, so don’t leave anytime soon!”

Edited by olopi

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Warren felt weird, and excited, and stiff, and afraid. He was standing in an auditorium -- standing! Without being short of breath or leaning on crutches or anything! He was standing in a room full of people his own age and there were no doctors on call, there was no antiseptic hospital smell, there wasn't even his parents anywhere in sight. That last one brought a pang when he remembered why exactly his father wasn't around, but Warren buried that deep. He was going to have fun here, dammit!

 

He walked up to a girl, one in a knot of girls. They were wearing skirts and blouses and jewelry and probably some kind of shoes, but Warren was just trying to focus on his words. "Hey there, ladies," he said, doing his best to project confidence. "Some great music tonight, right? You, uh, you come around this place often?"

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                Hau-Tayoomae – Mammoth – loped off the stage, having done as much credit as he could to the Coasters’ Along Came Jones, flipping neatly from Billy Guy’s melody to Dub Jones’ bass interjections.  The imitation, for anyone who had heard the Coasters, was actually pretty good, but there were rhythm problems – without a drum or bass of some kind to keep the beat, the young sasquatch tended to flounder.  His bright enthusiasm and huge size managed to keep serious jeering to a minimum, although even he didn’t miss the signs of relief when the DJ offered to take over.  He reflected that he was going to have to get other people interested – human music really needed a human touch. 

                He introduced himself to a cluster of people he figured might be classmates, then ambled over to the punch.  He thought for a moment of just carrying an entire punchbowl up to the stage, but decided against it.  The DJ would have as much as he wanted after the dance.  For the moment, Mammoth grabbed a cup, demolished it, grabbed another cup, got it stuck on his knuckle, destroyed it getting off, then verrry carrrefully picked up another cup and dipped it into the punchbowl by way of filling it up.  Carrying it with both hands, he headed back up to the stage and set it verrry carrrefully near the DJ. 

                Then he got ready to dance – seriously dance.  He knew he could impress someone with some dance music.  What he had noticed was that humans jumped all over when they danced.  Well, he could jump all over like nobody’s business!  He rather hoped the ceiling was load-bearing…  just at that moment, he noticed another boy talking to a bunch of girls.  Nothing weird about that, but Mammoth could swear that fellow smelled more like metal than animal.  Not his business, but minding his own business was one of those things he was going to have to work on.

                Mammoth stopped and turned to face the DJ, but tuned his hearing to listen to the conversation.  For someone with a light step, he was terrible at pretending he wasn’t eavesdropping – he was obviously leaning in the direction of the chromium smell…

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Mona Simms, alias Pacer, was dancing to the beat in no less than five different places throughout the gym. The diminutive speedster (dressed rather daringly for a school event) just couldn’t help herself. It was an impressive feat of both speed and precision. Simultaneously (in Stallmode) listening to music and dancing, while blurring through the crowd of students to each spot with such speed there appeared to be five of her in the room. That said, there was no way she could keep this up forever; and she stopped, gasping for breath and grinning like the world’s biggest idiot. “Partiesarethebestbro!” She caught her breath and slowed herself down as the DJ started speaking.

 

Mickey Simms, alias Stalwart, was holding up the wall on the far side of the gym. He was much too strong to flailing his limbs around like that, anyway. He hadn’t dressed up for the occasion, either. Honestly, he was really just here to supervise his sister and make sure she didn’t do anything too reckless. Mona had stopped next to her brother, who handed her a bottle of water. She eagerly gulped it down. “Why can’t I have punch? I want punch. I’m going to get punch.” The water was gone and the bottle practically spontaneously appeared in a recycling can.

 

Mickey’s hand descended onto his sister’s shoulder. “It’s free. Could be spiked. I’ve met caffeinated you. I don’t want to meet drunk you.” He looked out at the crowd of students. “Pretty sure they don’t want to, either.”

 

Mona glared at him. “You are absolutely no fun.” Then she shrugged, both over it already and acknowledging his point. “I’m gonna dance some more.” It was a good time, the DJ had finished speaking and was playing the first song. As the music began, Mickey noted that his sister wasn’t by his side anymore. He sighed. At the very least she could have chosen a longer skirt.

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The girls stared at Warren for a moment before one giggled and another rolled her eyes. "Oh yeah," she said sarcastically. "Great club, you know? And a great location! Not too close to town, but it's really close to home." With every word the girls giggled more and more, and Warren's face turned redder and redder. "My parents don't even ask a question when I come out here!"

 

"Yeah, it's a great place," Warren said, feeling sluggish and embarrassed. "So do you want to dance, or?"

 

"Oh yeah! I'd love to dance. Just waiting for, you know, someone I want to dance with." Most of the posse laughed at that, even if they did seem a bit uncomfortable with the continued needling.

 

"Right, well, I hope you run into him." Warren walked away from the group, wandering back towards the dance floor as the next song spun up. He had never been a great dancer, but he tried a few moves as the music swelled fast and loud. He found himself dancing next to a tiny, tiny woman who would occasionally dart away and back faster than his eyes could follow. "Hey!" he shouted at her over the music. "I'm Warren! Heck of a party, right?"

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Cathy had enjoyed spending time back home among the stark beauty of the Shetlands, it was refreshing that she was put straight to work. Not that she hadn’t been the center of attention the first night down the pud, and she’d spent a fair portion of her time helping people out and being there local hero again. It was a little sad that she had to leave for Claremont again but she had friends she missed terribly and there was that one special person...

 

Tonight she was at the dance as a volunteer to keep an eye on the new starters, make sure that no one spikes the punch or start trouble. And after a few glare they knew better than ask her to chill their drinks, after a few frosty looks.

 

Though that didn’t stop her from dressing up for the night with her going for her fancy pale blue dress, her Frozen dress as she called it, that went well with her pale white skin.

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                Mammoth was kind of new to the idea of embarrassment.  Sasquatch didn’t really have that, at least not in a deep way.  He wasn’t quite sure how the chrome-smelling guy had become so disturbed, but he recognized that somehow the bunch of girls were stressing him, and just for fun too.  He didn’t wish them ill – some of them were pretty – but this was the kind of thing that needed an answer.

                He went from eavesdropping mode to fun party animal mode as he kind of slouched in their direction.  Carefully picking the girl who had made that ‘someone to dance with’ remark, he deliberately went with caveman syntax and a cookie monster rumble just before the song hit a crescendo – “You make dance partner now?”

                Then he went nuts.  He was in fact very careful not to hit anyone or break things, but his dance style could only be called a Lives-Might-Be-Lost Shuffle.  Whirling, flapping, flailing and lunging in random directions rapidly turned the part of the dance floor the group had been standing on into no man’s land.  Now that he had rhythm to work with, he could stick with it pretty well and insisted on showing the world.

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It took Mona several subjective seconds to even realize somebody had spoken to her, and several more to hear what he said. Appearing to be in five places at once took a good amount of concentration in addition to the physical effort involved. But once she realized she stopped next to him. “Itsthebestman. Nodoubt.” She took less than an instant to slip into Stallmode. She was breathing hard, but not gasping like before. “Sorry. I said it’s the best. No doubt.” She flashed a completely unselfconscious grin. “I’m Mona. That stiff over there” She pointed to Mickey, still holding up the wall. “Is my brother Mickey.”

 

Mickey was so, so bored. He wasn’t interested in the free food or drinks that weren’t bottled water. Dancing was so far off the table it wasn’t even in the same room. And this wasn’t even his taste in music. Well, he could at least catch up on his Bible study. He pulled a pocket Bible and started to read. Esther was pretty interesting.

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The dance went well. It went well for about six minutes, that is. As the third song began to play, it did not take much to notice that something was wrong. First, a few people that had been dancing sat down. Others started to look much more exhausted than this kind of dancing would cause, especially over this short of a time. Still, most people continued. When the DJ of all people walked off the stage, looking like he was about to keel over, the atmosphere changed. The people still dancing got a bit more doubtful.

 

Then, the music got overtoned by somebody shouting. A boy, probably a freshman, had just collapsed, and a few of his friends were trying to help, the music still playing in the background. Then, as people tried to clear the area, suddenly, another dropped to the ground. Cathy knew her, a classmate of hers. Truth be told, the two weren’t exactly friends, but this clearly wasn’t the time for petty things like that. A third one followed, a senior this time. And a forth one. Suddenly, people were starting to go unconscious at an alarming rate, all lying on the floor of the gym.

Edited by olopi

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Warren did a double-take at Mickey. "Is your brother, uh, reading a book?" He shook his hips while still trying to keep the tiny girl in his field of view. "He's knows this is supposed to be a party, right? Dancing and punch and, and, and other stuff." His feelings of unease were lifting now that he had proof that other people were having a worse time around than even he was. That, and he was talking to a cute girl.

 

And then people started dropping onto the floor, even as the music continued playing. Warren slowed to a shocked stop, staring around himself with wide eyes. "This... this isn't supposed to be happening, right? Where are the teachers?" He flexed and leaped, soaring over the crowd and landing near the big double doors leading out of the auditorium. If nothing else he could get out into the rest of the school and pull a fire alarm or something.

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`````

                Even Mammoth is not utterly insensible to something going that badly wrong.  Middle of a set that was in some danger of breaking the dance floor, he stopped and peered around at the people who were collapsing.  Walking up to one boy who had fallen near him, he knelt and turned him over onto his back then looked him over carefully, satisfying himself that the collapsee was at least alive.  He saw the DJ almost take a header. 

                His first thought was, ‘am I about to go to sleep?’  But he didn’t feel groggy.  Then he smelled the air, trying to figure out if there was anything weird or out of place.  No dice – humans enjoyed so many strange chemicals it was hard to tell who had brought what to the party.  For all he knew, it was just an excess of MSG…

                He turned to an extremely pale girl in a blue dress that seemed to go with her very skin, who didn’t seem sleepy at all, - he didn't know Cathy's name- and offered, “Is this what punchdrunk means?”

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Cathy gave a frown at the sudden turn of events, it didn’t take much to tell that something was very wrong. Back home she was often called up to make sudden decisions that could be sometimes be life or death, she suspected that few of fellow students could understand what that was really like.

 

“No this is most definitely not what should happen.” she raised her voice taking charge of the situation “Mona go kill the sound system, everyone else try to get people outside. And be careful this smells like a trap.”

 

Not knowing what could be causing it Cathy decided to try a get anything potentially dangerous out of the air. She began to cool the air in the room causing it to form into a cold fog, which if she had everything just right would be heavier than air and settle on the ground taking anything dangerous away with it. It might be uncomfortable for some but it was better than the alternative.

 

As she concentrated her skin turned into it’s icy form, catching the disco lights in an amazing patterns.

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Most of the students still standing were in various degrees of panic. Some looked rather calm, some were close to hyperventilating. A few did their best to help their friends, trying to lift them up and carry them outside, or trying to get them fresh air, perhaps even using their healing powers. Cathy’s instructions were heard and people became more organized. Some people ran to other students, in order to assist them with lifting up, but at the same time, a few more dropped to the ground.

 

An icy mist formed along the ground, the temperature dropped. It wasn’t dangerous yet, only unpleasant, but it did not change the general situation by much, somebody fell to their knees, barely able to hold themselves up and breathing heavily. At the same time, a boy leaped across the crowd, to the doors. They had not yet been opened. He took a last few steps, getting ready to pull open the doors.

 

And then, a loud crunch, as the doors dropped inwards, into the room. Warren managed to jump back before they reached him. A group of people were standing outside the now empty doorframe. Five people. A boy, about 14ft tall and rather muscular, waiting outside, getting ready to open another entrance. An average looking teenager, a full black and red costume covering his entire body, sitting on the knee-height wall separating walkway and grass. Next to them, already in a combat stance, a girl, wearing a sleeveless top and cargo pants. Her arms were clearly robotic, and her left eye had a slight red glow coming from it, as if it were a light. A boy wearing what appeared to be a variety of bandages, in shades of green, all across his body, as well as a hood, stood behind all of them. In the centre, what appeared to be a person made of ice, looking fairly similar to Cathy’s form, but more masculine.

 

As the cold mist started to escape through the door, and some more people fell down, the man of ice stepped backwards, mustering what was happening inside the gym. He spoke, a quiet voice, just enough to still be heard with the music now turned off.

 

“Good. They’re yours.”

Edited by olopi

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The boy in a whole costume got up, cracked his knuckles, and looked through the door. He turned around, facing the rest of his group, and spoke, a soft voice, but still loud enough to hear over the silence that had now settled.

 

“I’ll take out the weakened ones. “

 

Then, in an instant, he disappeared. Pacer was the only one who could still follow his movements, as he darted around the room in high-speed. He moved towards the students that were already weakened, or carrying around their injured friends, and delivered a variety of blows to them. He did however seem to avoid those that were still standing, taking a few extra steps to move around them.

 

Just a moment later, he reappeared, once again sitting on the wall, stretching his arms. At the same time, most of the students that had still been standing, or sitting on the floor, dropped over. A few that had tried to carry their friends out of the gym also did, their unconscious bodies hitting the floor together with the ones they had been carrying.

 

 

Edited by olopi

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Mona frowned briefly. “Yeah, he does that. Told you he was a stiff.” Then, when people started dropping, she did something very unlike her. She froze. An intense disagreement between her nature and her conscience raged in her mind for a small eternity. Right up until the male speedster dropped people in their tracks. A nanosecond later, Pacer was standing in Mona’s place. “Hey! No hitting my new classmates!” She blurred into motion and three of the intruders (the really big guy, the tech’ed out chick, and that very speedster) just straight up fell down. They weren’t injured, just knocked over by the blur of speed that was Pacer. “Be good bad guys and stay down. Or next time I won’t be so nice.” She flashed a brash grin, hiding that she’d whiffed on knocking over the other two.

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Cathy assessed the situation pretty quickly, something serious was definitely going down. She wasn’t sure what was happening completely, but there would be time to work this out later now was time for action.

 

Judging where she could do the best good she began to lay down a sheet of ice at the windows leading outside,hoping to slow down whoever was snatching people without hindering those fleeing from the scene. Hopefully it would be give the others time to react to the situation.

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The boy wearing the various bandages stepped forward, looking around. His hood concealed his face, but it was clear that he was looking for the best target. Seeing Chrome standing quite close, the bandaged feet took a step backwards, and stabilized their stance.  While other things were happening all around him, he seemed quite calm, moving with no sense of urgency.

 

The boy’s arm moved, a gren layer of … something placed above it. From there, a bolt, vaguely shaped like a snake, began to fly out, aimed directly at Warren, standing quite close. The teen did his best to dodge, but with the close distance the green snake had to travel, it was not enough to make it miss.

Edited by olopi

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Warren tried to plant his feet and throw himself to one side, but he still wasn't used to his new bulk. His feet moved under himself oddly and he took the serpent high in the chest, falling on his back. The teen jumped up, coat hanging off his shoulders in tatters. "First time I get to wear a suit," he muttered, "and I get it all torn up. My mother is going to kill me." He looked up at the men and flexed his arms, then the flesh on them rippled like water. His fingers grew long and thin, becoming chrome blades that reflected the lights. The sleeves of the suit ripped, showing more bulging chrome. "Well. Guess I should make the most of a bad situation."

 

He took a step, then another step, then brought his foot down hard. He flew into the air and landed on the one who was already on his back. He stepped off and looked down at the big man. "Free tip.l Don't get back up."

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The girl with robotic arms immediately ran inside the gym. Her brown, wavy hair was tied into a ponytail, matching the shade of her cargo pants. While others were fighting already, she first scouted out the gym itself, looking for anything useable. She moved with confident steps, at a fast pace. Upon arriving next to one of the bar tables set up all across the gym, she then turned her attention towards Frostbyte and Mammoth.

 

The shape of her arms changed, the various parts of metal moved, making her arms bulkier, now in a way it did not fit with the rest of her, nevertheless muscular, body. Her hand grabbed the bar table, lifting it over her head with no problem, from where she grabbed it with her other hand too, and proceeded to throw it, the table now soaring through the sky, right towards Mammoth.

Edited by olopi

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     For those first few moments,  Mammoth had a clear idea that they were under attack.  The people at the door weren't familiar to him, and although he couldn't follow the speedsters' movements his instincts told him that anyone who looked that satisfied at someone else's distress was probably involved.  He guessed the bandaged snake-throwing person wasn't really hurt, but the snake itself seemed to catch his attention more than it might have.  Unbeknownst to anyone but a telepath, a mental voice whispered in his mind do not be deceived.  The one you didn't see move is still the greatest threat.  Go, boy, use your speed carefully...

     
Whether that mental counsel was ally or not, the effect was a drastic distraction - Mammoth was utterly unprepared when the table hit him.  He took the brunt of the impact with his shoulder, but enough of it bounced off his skull to ring his chimes thoroughly for some moments...

 

 

Edited by Deel
Premature posted.

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As the table hit Mammoth right in the torso, the sasquatch stumbled back a few feet, much to the surprise of most of the people in the room, student and intruder alike. Just then, one of the few students still standing was making his way towards the fire alarm, about halfway between entrance and back wall. He had been sneaking there ever since the intruders had first appeared, and his hand was reaching out to pull the lever.

 

Just then, he caught the man of ice’s attention. The ice controller’s expression changed, a slight hint of anger, and he muttered something.

 

“No you won’t.”

 

At the same time, a cold wind filled the entire room, and looking over to the Fire-Alarm, the students could now see the lever being encased in ice. The same also applied to the boy’s arm, seemingly turned into a block of ice. This suspicion was only further confirmed by his screams of pain, together with panting, and some sense of dread in his voice.

Edited by olopi

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Mickey closed his bible with a soft thump. The situation was a bit bad, and rapidly growing worse. First things first, protect the downed student from anyone else charging in from outside. To his left was one of the gym’s bleachers. He slipped his bible back in his pocket, grabbed the bleachers with one hand, and pulled them free from the wall. He’d apologize for this later. With both hands, he hefted it as if it weighed no more than his bible and threw it at the opened door. The massive bleachers flew like they weighed nothing at all, crashing down on two of the opposition. Mickey grimaced. He hadn’t been trying to hit them, but he’d misjudged just how big the bleachers were. He hoped they were all right. Even if they were villains they didn’t deserve to be seriously injured, just stopped from doing bad things.

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Two of the intruders could not get out of the way of the incoming bleachers in time, getting hit and knocked back by the impact. The bandaged  man that had thrown a serpent like bolt seemed to be more prepared, as he simply shrugged off some dust, but didn’t seem to take any serious damage. The one with a body of ice however, fared worse. He got hit fairly hard, and looked a bit taken aback, he had not prepared for something like that.

 

The bleachers were now blocking the door almost fully, splitting the battlefield into two separate ones. On the inside, all of the Academy’s students, save for one, and the girl with the robotic arms who had jumped in. On the outside, all of the intruders save for one, and Chrome, who, too, had jumped into the fray. The large boy he had hit was still on the ground, wincing in pain and did not make an effort to get up. The other person lying prone, the speedster in black, struggled with getting up for just a second, before managing to do so nevertheless. Upon getting back up, he looked simply disappeared, but reappeared just a moment later, having noticed the sheets of ice blocking any alternative ways in. He stood in place, but just then, copies of him appeared next to him on both sides, all standing in exactly the same position, ready to strike at moment’s notice.

Edited by olopi

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The world froze. Pacer slipped into what was fairly high gear for her. It was time for the bad guys to go night-night. The cyber chick got a punch in the ribs with enough speed behind it to crack steel, and then Pacer agilely slid through a gap in the bleachers. Ice dude? Punched in the balls because freezing people is NOT COOL. Really big guy? Punched in the thigh, because wow he’s tall. Speedy guy and all his copies? Punched them all so hard. So hard. The one that was left? You guessed it, punched out like a punk. That was what Pacer…did, really. Besides being really fast and knocking people off their feet, she punched them. She stopped next to Chrome, grinning fiercely. Her brother could handle the one inside, probably. “What? Didn’t hear me? I said I wouldn’t be so nice next time.”

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Cathy spent a few moments checking that as many people as possible had gotten away before she acted to slow the enemy from getting into the hall, a possibly buy time for help to arrive. Right now she’d even appreciate Riley bear pee arrows right now, even if it would take days to get rid of the smell.

 

Still right now it wasup to her to try and help out she stepped up to do the deed so she created sent created wast barriers of ice over all of the exit she could manage. Hopefully it would be enough.

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