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Outro on the Inbound.

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Later on, May 15th.


It was getting on, the end of... a bewildering day, her folks were still working through the paperwork and hammering the details, so they were giving her a bit of space to still explore.  Having already met some of the sterling members of the community, she felt that at least she could talk to the others here and it wouldn't be such a colossal disaster.


If, yanno, I wasn't staring like a deer stuck in headlights at everything.  And it wasn't like she knew how to relate to people.  Hi!  I am Corinne, you know my father, probably better than I do!  And I can do things with stuff.  


The Zen garden hadn't been as zen, because she had to deal with people in unfamiliar territory. ,Well fortunately she was able to sort herself out, and she had a longboard, and that helped.  The rhythm of it.  Pump, pump, glide.  Then came the movement on the board, making it weave as she shuffled and twirled on the board itself.  Arms held up and bent at her elbows for balance.

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Naomi wasn’t really paying attention. She was returning from lunch at Bayview Mall, while watching a video on her smartphone. Such cute kitties. And by now, well, pretty much everyone knew she wouldn’t hear them coming or any warning shouts. Sure, she’d feel the sound, but…secret identity and stuff. So she did technically notice the oncoming board, but she didn’t think there wasn’t any need to move. People tended to just go around her, after all. All of this was why she abruptly stepped out of Corrine’s way at the last possible instant, lost her balance, and fell down. This hurt. Oh, well. At least her phone wasn’t damaged. She glared from the ground at this…really, really tall girl. People needed to watch where they were going. Regardless of height. Or newness. Because Naomi hadn’t seen this girl around before.

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Corinne wasn't paying attention.  That was the problem, of course this was a tiny school in a new city so she was out of rhythm.  Realizing, she kicked the board away, and sort of jumped her leading foot looked like it was set to come down right onto Naomi, and curb stomp the girl, only for it to stop in the air, and she pushed down there, and used her momentum while pushing off of... the air, to somersault over Naomi, and onto her feet, and then staggering forward away from Naomi.  "S###!"  Came the exclamation, before she whirled about and face the other girl.


"Oh!  Oh! God I am so sorry!  I wasn't paying attention!"  Hands over her face, as she stared at the shorter girl with her luminous eyes, as she covered her mouth.  The tall blonde stood there for a moment before she stepped forward and stopped covering her mouth, and extending a hand out to her.  She wore a pair of teal sneakers, wearing a dress of varying shades of reds, purples, and blues, mottled and going down to just above her knees on those long limbs, with a denim jacket over that, capped off with a bucket kind of hat over her hair, and a pair of dangly earrings.

Contrition on her face, "Here!  Lemme help..."

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Jann had a few spots he liked to train at on his own. One of them was near the path, it allowed him to potentially meet a few people he knew, and also added a degree of distraction into his routine. Which was good, it meant he had to focus more. At the moment, he was doing what, to outside observers, probably looked like juggling, as he held three swords, two of them always in the air and attacking with one.



When he heard the crash, he immediately stopped. Two of the swords landed in his hands, while he bit down on the third’s tip and carried it in his mouth, as he flew towards the sound’s origin, ready to strike at any moment. He saw Corinne’s jump, and her attempting to speak to Naomi. He landed next to the two, and with the sword still sticking out of his mouth, began to speak. It mixed with his accent, but it was fortunately fairly understandable, and probably not the first time he'd done it.



“Will not understand you. Ears broken … deaf, correct? Write it down or face her with lips.”




Edited by olopi
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Naomi frowned…and then let it go. She accepted the hand up and brushed herself off. She wasn’t actually injured, really. She’d actually gotten decent at starting up her force field on a small scale instantly. So, no broken skin, just a bruised behind. She pulled out her notepad and took the pen out of the spirals. Then she immediately frowned again, as the pen’s case had cracked. She liked this pen. It was cute and lavender and could probably write in space or something. The ink cartridge wasn’t broken, but still. Now it was ugly. She wrote with it anyway. [Jann’s first language isn’t English, but he’s right. I can’t talk, either. Playing with sharp objects again, Jann?]

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There was a pause, and she as staring at... the bird man.


This was not expected.  Of course, she dimly knew of them and...  This was a lot to process, dang it!  She frowned a bit, and one hand went to smooth at her skirt.  "I... I, uh...  Okay."  And then she was looking back to Naomi, and he still kept her hand held out to the smaller girl, and since she was looking at her, that meant she could read her lips.  "Okay, so... I am sorry.  Have had a weird day, still no excuse.  Can I get you a coffee, or anything?"  She looked apologetic to her, as she waited to see if the girl took her hand.


Corinne was big enough, and strong enough to help her to her feet without issue.


That said, they'd now who she was, what with her having had pictures taken, and a Hollywood family, and the outing of her being Asad's daughter, one of the more well known public ID heroes.  That said, no one knew what she could do, apart from her earlier display of stepping on air and such.

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Celebrities didn’t really faze Naomi. She’d run into a fair share of the C and D list due to both of her parents’ jobs, and had been at a few birthday parties and bar mitzvahs where even the B list got roped into attending/performing. Now, a A lister would make her fangirl entirely out, but barring that? She was cool. Yep. Totally cool.


…it was probably a good thing, for once, that she couldn’t speak. Man, would that be embarrassing. Instead, she wrote some more. [My name is Naomi. Yours is Corinne, right? I read something online about your dad. He seems nice. You can just buy me a new pen. This one's broken now.] She held it up so Corinne could see.

Edited by EternalPhoenix
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Jann sheathed the two swords he was holding in an x-sheath he carried on the backside of his belt, both of them barely visible, especially when considering their length. All the while, he pulled forward something from one of the many pockets of his pants. It was a simple paper card, sized like a business card. White, with black text on it, probably handwriting.


The only thing written on it was Yes. He held it in such a way Naomi could easily see it, and kept it there. He looked at Corinne, not moving a single bit for a second or two, before adapting a more casual stance.


She was one of the first people he’d met during his time at Claremont that were taller than him. “Corinne? Nice to meet you, my name is Jann. “ It sounded pre-memorized, like it was something he’d said a lot of times, like it was artificial.


“Good technique on the jump. Pushed off at the right time and landed in the right stance, without preparation. Trained?”

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Do they not do coffee here?


"Ah.  Okay.  Pen, got it.  Sure thing."  This was was getting curiouser and curiouser, and she was waiting for the Cheshire cat.  Or flamingo croquet.  She moved then, away from Naomi, and she used her foot to kick up the long board then, and she grasped at it, to pull it up and tuck it under her arm as she moved to face both of them then.  Her free hand was brought up to rake and comb fingers through her hair to fix it as she looked at them both.  "Ah... sorta.  I am a dancer and I can stand on air.  So... there is that?"


She saw herself as that, the gymnastics she'd learned was really in furtherance of that.

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Naomi tilted her head, slightly confused. Oh. Ohhhhh. She’d missed out on tone of voice. She flipped to a new page and wrote furiously. [We can do coffee, as long as you don’t mind if I have a fruit smoothie. Caffeine and my powers don’t mix well.] If one drank too much coffee, one could feel like they were vibrating. For Naomi, this could get kind of literal. With serious consequences for the building she was in/nearby, to say nothing of any people. [I used to be a gymnast, before all this. I wasn’t very good, though.]

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Jann put the card back into one of his pockets (the same he’d drawn it from?). He just stood there, unmoving, actually sort of looking like some modern statue, still carrying the sword between his teeth. Not that he seemed to mind at all.


“More than just dancing to get that skilled, correct? You have done other things in the past. “ He stopped there, but when he saw Naomi’s writing, he continued. “Gymnastics. Any combat training too?”


“Coffee machine back in the hall. Small house of coffee a short walk away, if you prefer. Have heard good things, but have never attended. “

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She was trying to be mindful and she face Noami when talking to her, and tried to establish eye contact.


"Well.  Fair.  I mean, yeah sure.  I'm buying.  It's only fair, though you'll have to tell me where to get a replacement pen."  And then another thousand watt, crooked smile one hers at Naomi, before she turned a bit to address Jann.  "Like... 5 weeks ago, I was going to the Los Angeles High School for the Arts.  I draw, I dance, I paint, I do all the club stuff.  I've never thrown a punch.  Not even for, like, a play." She looked at the bird-man... boy... person.


"Ballet, I've taken ballet since I was, like, five."  She waved a hand, "Let's go to the coffee shop then.  Come along too, Jann.  It is sacred mission for bean juice and smoothies!  Hoooooooooo!"  And with that, she did a dramatic swoop of her free arm, and dropped into a lunge position, pointing away from the center of the campus.


"Please let this be the direction of the coffee shop..."

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Naomi jotted a quick note and tapped the taller girl on the shoulder. Corinne was technically right. There was a coffee shop in that direction. But… [This one has better smoothies. It’s closer, too.] She pointed in a slightly different direction with her broken pen, and then returned it to the page. [I’m not any good at punching, either. Jann’s pretty good, though.] She started to walk backwards to the coffee shop. She did not trip over anything. Almost as if she knew where every imperfection in the path was without looking. Which was impossible, of course. Right?

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“Not just punching. Also kicking, grappling, jabbing, slapping, stabbing, slicing, chopping, smashing, and many more. Can gladly assist your training, have been training some of the others since I have arrived here. Doom Room is great for practice, better than most things back home. After coffee, maybe? Might have free space. Do not have any preference on which store, have yet to go to either.“




He just continued to stand there, unfazed by anything else happening. The fact he could speak without any issues related to the sword probably meant he’d trained this. Which just raised many questions.



“Have some experience dancing, too. Unsure if it compares to what you have done. Have never seen ballet in person. “




Edited by olopi
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Managed to not look chagrined, as she slowly, and a bit awkwardly straightened up, and sniffed diffidently.  "Ahm... yeah..."  Made sure that Naomi could see that.  Then she took her hat off, and raked her fingers through her artfully messy, side/under cut hair, and grinned back at her still.


Responded by dunking her hat back on, and then dropping down into the lunge position and pointing towards where Naomi indicated.  "That way!"  Glancing up at her shoulder, and doing a little 'eh? eh?' nudge of her head to make sure she had it right this time.  Then she slide her feet up and giggled a bit, her hand covering her mouth before she looked at at Jann.


"I suppose so, yes."  She nodded and laughed some more, "I never had to fight anyone be-... wait, there was that one time when I was thirteen, but that me helping someone out, when another girl got mad at her getting the part. And it was more hair pulling and rolling around... Not really a fight?"

Edited by TheAbsurdist
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Jann seemed fairly surprised at Corinne never having fought anybody, up tot he point where it actually got a proper reaction out of him, and he just tilted his head while looking at her, clearly confused.


“Why train if you do not fight? Clearly you have the skill to, so there is no reason not to try. “


He drew his sword from the sheath on his waist. Before the other two really had chance to properly realize it, he’d already spun it around in his hand, holding the tip of of the blade between his fingers, the sword’s grip pointed right towards Corinne.


“Attack me. “


He turned his head ever so slightly, to face Naomi, and addressed her, still keeping Corinne in the edge of his vision.


“Can offer you a blade too, doubt you will need it if you want to fight. “

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Naomi grinned as she stopped in place, suspiciously out of melee range. She flipped to a new page and wrote big. [You’ve seen me fight, Jann. I don’t need a sword.] It was true. They’d had combat training classes together. Jann would know she could hit him from across the room. [Heck, I might break it trying to use it. But fighting is against school rules.] She was obviously blissfully unconcerned about fighting Jann. She flipped to a new page, as this one was now full. She subtly aimed the page at Corrine, to indicate who she was “speaking” to. [I try not to fight anyone. Fights are scary. Somebody could get hurt.]

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"Uh..."  Came the spacey seeming Hollywood hippie dancer with the stately countenance.  "Um... no thank you?  I am not a fighter...  I just know how to tumble and can do a high arabesque..."  She back pedaled from Jann then, "So maybe chill the f*** out there Prince Voltan."


A slightly helpless expression on her face as she looked towards Naomi, and she got all the confirmation she needed that this stuff, this stuff right here was normal here.  Oh, crap.  Just crap.

"Yeah... It is... and I really don't... I mean, I just want to control my powers.  Not wake up floating in the air, all Zuul-like and stuff."  She frowned a little bit as she looked at Naomi, and didn't feel comfortable looking back at Jann yet, all blood thirsty, and she remembered the bird-people and the stuff that did smear across the news.

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Jann didn’t have much of a reaction at first, just standing there all stoically, as he’d been doing before. Then, he heard the words “Prince Voltan”, which seemed to completely throw him out of his game. He back pedalled, and actually tripped backwards on the curb between the pathway and the grass, the sword leaving his hand (together with a few minor splatters of blood), and dropping behind him, as he too dropped onto the floor.


The fact he’d not been able to catch himself told Naomi that something was really wrong. She’d seen him pull off all kinds of athletic masterpieces, so him just tripping was quite a sight. His expression was all over the place too, even if he’d already raised one arm to try and hide his face. And perhaps strangest of all, he made no effort to immediately get back up again.


“Sorry. Tripped. Does not usually happen. “



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Naomi frowned. It was times like this she really missed being able to speak. Instead, she just moved. She examined Jann’s hand and patted him comfortingly on the shoulder. Just scratches, really. It was his psyche that took the shot, and she didn’t know what to do about that. She wrote a bit for Corinne and showed it without turning around. [Everyone’s here for a reason. And a lot of us have issues. I wasn’t always deaf, you know. My powers did that to me.] She flipped a page and turned around. [Stole my voice while they were at it.] She didn’t look sad, exactly. Wistful, maybe? [You don’t have to fight if you don’t want to. But I] She stopped to consider. [don’t want to stand aside when people need my help.]

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"Uh..."  She eyed Jann's reaction, and she frowned a little bit as that happened, as he seemed to jerk back from her like she hit him.  Did she?  No... noooooo.  "It was just a reference to an old movie that's all...  I take you don't like Flash Gordon, or the band Queen?"  She stepped back a little bit, giving them space.  


Then Naomi said that, and while she wasn't meaning to... or she was... Why the hell was everyone so judgemental?  "You are... like, implying that I do?"  She dropped her board to the ground as she looked at them both, "Fine, i will go get some help, I am not trained in first aid, so I can't help, and I don't have any band-aids."  Her friendliness turned into a curt sort of way.  Maybe Faiza and Sofia were right?  She was being honest with people, and she felt that some people were just better suited to the hero thing.

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That seemed to, figuratively, boot up Jann again, as he raised his arm. There was a bit of blood coming from it.


“No help. No need, will be fine. Minor cuts, happens. “


 And then, with a single move, he got back up on his feet, using just his muscles and wings to get stand back up. He moved his foot below the sword on the ground, and kicked it up into the air, catching it with his hand and sheathing it in a single motion. Then, he turned back towards the other two. He’d returned to his stoic expression, even if there were some hints that there was a layer of expression below it.


“So, coffee? And … smoothies.”

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Naomi stood there and watched Corinne walk. She wanted to let the girl go. Then she sighed and ran to catch up. It wouldn’t be right to let it end that way. And besides, Jann had put himself back together now. Her writing was jagged, as she had scribbled on the run.  [I’m sorry. Please, wait.] It always went this way now. She didn’t mean to be harsh, but tone of voice and intent were lost on paper. Signing was better, but still not the same. [Jann’s my friend.] She didn’t know what else to write. I’d like you to be too? Please, that was too cheesy. [I forget sometimes that I’m not normal anymore.] Admitting that clearly cost her something. [I remember what it feels like to just suddenly be different but feel the same on the inside.] She smiled wryly. [Look on the bright side,  at least you don’t need a pen and notepad to tell people about it.]

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She managed to stop as Naomi was pulling up close to her. Still frowning the towering blonde looked at Naomi mutely for a few moments, and she pushed down on the board and pivoted with it, towards the previously indicated location of the coffee shop.  There was some wariness.  She had already gotten the whole 'Why don't you wanna be a hero' schtick by some other students.  Naomi's had just come across with a bit more... scorn, than what she was expecting.  That coupled with swords flashed at her face... well...  "Alright, alright... though..."


Glancing up to Jann, "You ah... like, will wanna put the swords up, in your room or something?  Most business get weird, even here with big blades?"


What Corinne didn't notice, as she had already started to move away, and how she was able to stop, was the concrete of the path had a depression in it, smooth like this was the natural shape of it, and the furthest point from he was raised, like it was some sort of speed break.  The other two, however, might notice something akin to that.

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He paused for just a second, looking first at the sheathes on his belt, then at the sword in his mouth. He tilted his head, then spoke up.


“Good point. Did not expect to leave school grounds today. Will return momentarily, equipped for venturing beyond the walls. “


And with that, Jann took off. A standing jump upwards, followed by his wings making him ascend further and further upwards. He did not mention the fact that currently, him leaving the school grounds was a bit of a complicated issue, and he hoped Naomi would not bring it up further. He was unsure if she even was aware of it. Instead, he simply rose upwards for a while, and then swooped towards the dorms, disappearing behind some of the school’s buildings.



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