The sun shined brightly upon the academy, as at this hour it was the birth of a new day. Many students came from all walks of life to head to the Academy to spend the next couple of months there in hopeful peace. A majority arrived via bus, but some of them arrived via their own transportation - however they arrived, they were allowed through the front gates through to the entrance hall where all the instructors were standing and welcoming the students to the Academy - offering to take their bags. However, they were all herded into the auditorium of the entrance hall where they all had found themselves a seat in the room. The auditorium was a massive room made too hold many people with a massive wooden stage and a podium in the center of it, but the stage remained empty for about a minute. Until a group of very well dressed people walking up, following an older man with a cane, grey hair, nice suit, and a cane. He walked up to the podium and then loudly cleared his throat.
"Hello brand new students, I am your headmaster Blake Schmidt."
Blake introduced himself to the curiosity of awfully few, but if they wanted to last five minutes in this school they better listen and listen good. "On behalf of the school and Academy program I welcome you to Academy 03 Here, our staff will explore your abilities and assist you in learning your true potential. You will be placed through FAMA-approved trials in order to help you master your ability. However, we are not all about our powers. We will give you an education much like a school would. However, the staff here will not make you try to learn, as we know it's a wasted effort. That means it's up to YOU what you spend your time here doing. Work with the staff, and I guarantee that you will leave here fully educated and fully trained. I will tell you the danger you pose when you refuse to control your powers, you will be removed from the academy by FAMA officials. However, I will be overseeing the staff and helping them provide the best experience possible for you all." With that, Blake nodded to a woman at his side that was even taller than him as he walked away from the podium. She was a curvy woman with bright green eyes behind a pair of glasses, and had a head of long black hair, wearing a suit-skirt mixture.
"I am vice-headmaster Veronica Davis, and I am responsible for assisting Blake with all affairs in addition to making sure the academy is well-staffed and well-supplied," Veronica started off as she looked across at the panorama of new students - her eyes landing on a certain few for an instant. "I am also in charge of directly managing the staff, and keeping staff-student relations healthy - so if you all have any issues with the staff or academy come by my office and I'll do my best to assist you."
She cleared her throat, before she looked at her clipboard and continued, "Allow me to tell you the rules of the Academy before we continue; show respect to your peers and staff, fighting outside of the academy is strictly prohibited, dress appropriately at all times, no sexual activity, smoking, alcohol, or illegal contraband on school grounds, and you are allowed to leave school grounds after class but you have to back on campus by 8 pm. Failure to comply with these rules will result in... harsh disciplinary actions being taken against you."
before an older African-American gentleman with a bald head and long coat on walked on, he had on a FAMA badge as he walked up, "Hey there, my name's Luther Ross and I'm in charge of the FAMA agency situated on the Academy, and thus I'm also in charge of security for the academy. I have to empathize that you all keep a vigilant eye out on the academy and your fellow students for the safety of everyone. If you see anything suspicious on Academy grounds; don't be afraid to report it. Better safe than sorry. There will always be a team of FAMA agents on academy grounds ready to handle any type of situation that may arise - with more agents on the way if necessary - so keep that in mind." Luther stepped off the podium.
The woman who immediately stepped on after he was a massive woman that stood nearly at seven-feet tall and was heavily muscled from head to toe and was African American. The woman looked at the group before her as she said, "Arionne Smith, head power instructor here. I'm in charge of everything in charge of power training and I'm going to become very close to you all come tomorrow, but for now, I'll tell you how that'll go; everyone will be training together in a series of different exercises specifically made to train your powers. They won't be easy, but some of them are designed to be fun. Other than that, I expect the best of you all. You are all free to use the training facilities in your spare time if you please, but that's up to you all." The woman spoke with a deep, gruff, voice, but she continued,
"While there's to be no fighting on campus, we have another way to settle feuds; the arena and game stadiums. These places are designed for friendly sparring matches or games to prove which one of you is the better one. You all can go in alone, or go in as a team, and everyone here regardless of power has to participate in an arena match or play a game at the stadium at least once. I hope to get to know you all come tomorrow."
The next person to walk on the podium was definitely eye-catching in a completely different way. The woman was a humanoid insect with an olive-green exoskeleton. She had features of a grasshopper with long thick legs, antennae, huge mandibles, and large black eyes, and she casually walked on to the surprise of many who are not used to her type of Metahuman. She smiled at the people as she spoke with an insect-like voice,
"Hello, I am Fiona Barrett, assistant head power-instructor, and I am going to tell you about the academy teams! Here at Academy 003, we are all about building bonds between students and teamwork, so all of you here will be shuffled into teams of five. These teams are going to be your study buddies, and partners in the arena and game stadium - all with the purpose of raising your rating. Playing in the game stadium and academy is not the only way to raise your rating as contributing to the academy is the other primary way to raise your rating. These team ratings are essential to your success in the Academy, and it is imperative that you do your best. It's also important that you all get along and have fun!" She smiled cheerily before she continued,
"Tomorrow I and Arionne will decide who will go into which teams, but I have to inform you in advance that the teams are subject to change. Teams are important due to the Academy games, which take place towards the end of the semester. A massive event where the teams will put all of their training to the test to prove who is the best - be prepared as the games contribute to a large chunk of your grade, and your success at the academy." With that Fiona was finished and walked off the podium, and Blake stepped back on.
"As we usually do, we are throwing a grand banquet in celebration of the newly arrived students - The staff will escort you all there. Take this as the time to familiarize yourself with the school, and get to know your fellow students. But above all else; enjoy yourselves. After the banquet, head to the Administration building, and the staff there will give you your assigned room and roommate - Along with your luggage. And if you need anything, we have a fully equipped staff that will assist you all the way. Tomorrow morning, classes will begin. That is all, you are dismissed."
Blake walked off the stage, followed by the staff and the students were led into the cafeteria - which had been set up hours before the newly arrived students were there. The main room was quite large, made to accommodate a larger group of people at a time, plus the place was absolutely cleaned to shininess. The building was filled with fancy and finely crafted tables and furniture, each with a set of utensils placed on them. On the left side of the building was where the counter was. All sorts of chefs were set up here constantly making any dish for the students. Students and teachers, of all types, were all over the place. Talking, eating, and having fun. With some of the more reclusive students away from everyone else.
Valery arrived to the orientation talk approximately fifteen minutes late.
It could be said this was entirely Valery's fault - but really, who wants to go around assigning blame on the first day?
To track Valery's lateness, one must start from the airport, where Valery walked off the plane with a fake number from the girl sitting next to him on the flight. He befriended the baggage claims services staff as his luggage was misplaced, and lingered a good thirty minutes after recovering it telling them a story of a time he saw a fully naked man atop the luggage carousel, armored in the life preserver he had ripped out from under his seat. Was it true? What is the nature of truth? Who's to say? Say, let me tell you about another time that -
Valery then proceeded onwards, one duffel bag slung over his shoulder, a backpack strapped to his back, and another hand pulling a rolling suitcase that creaked and squeaked audibly enough to muffle the faintest of clinks made from handles of liquor, wrapped in sweaters, from jostling against each other. Valery had soundproofed his bag as best as possible. Lots of underwear armored the alcohol in a soundproofing snuggle. Valery then took an Uber to the Academy, which required some chatting, testing Valery's third language of English and the Uber driver's second language. Eventually, they realized they shared another tongue, Spanish, which led to a quick rapport between the gentlemen. Valery was engrossed by the man's life story. They stopped and got empanadas at a local place the man knew. Valery was debating meeting the man's cousin, who would get off his shift at the restaurant and be available for an afternoon drink, when he remembered check-in started at noon. They resumed their odyssey and Valery parted ways with his seventh new friend of the day.
This led Valery to slipping into the orientation session as inconspicuously as an over six foot, sauntering Russian cyclops is capable of doing. Valery adopted his normal strategy upon entering a room - he did a quick sweep of his surroundings, located the densest cluster of attractive women, and meandered in that direction. Valery saw some weird shit as he walked through. There was currently a cockroach woman speaking about how they would get to smack each other around, which Valery was all ears for. His boxing career had taken a bit of a hit with the development of his abilities, as official regulations didn't permit metas in sports.
To someone with an eye for certain things, however, there were other, less savory venues for testing his mettle. Even if, Valery admitted, he got tagged with a few more hits to the left side than he used to.
This all sounded great! Surely nothing they said before this was that important. There was a black woman who looked like she could suplex Val without breaking a sweat, an old man with a cane, a few others. One man looked like a Fed. Val wondered what their rates were here. He stretched and crossed his arms. Val had put on blue jeans and sneakers along with a t-shirt that said "BACK TO BACK WORLD WAR CHAMPIONS" with an American flag and eagle upon it. He wanted to make a good impression. He rubbed at his stubble and then a hand through his hair, feeling the cold grey smattered in with the brown. Around him, the air slowly and subtly dropped a few degrees as he stood there, a cold draft tickling the exposed skin of the kids - who looked to be freshmen by how terrified they looked - in front of him. Eh. He'd win them over later. Valery had rolled up in time for the important part of this speech, which was the banquet and banquet-related details.
"Hell yes!" Valery rumbled, perhaps a touch too loudly. "It's been minutes since I ate!" And surely there's partying tonight.
Generally speaking, September 14th went by both incredibly fast, and incredibly slow.
All days went by slowly for her though, it seemed. 86,400 seconds in the day ticking away, oftentimes she spent almost as much time trying to think of new things to do as she spent doing them. On December 31st, a leap second was incorporated into the atomic clock- 86,401 seconds that day to allow the world to calibrate as days got progressively longer at the mind numbingly fast rate of about two thousandths of a second per century. On this day, Sierra woke and dressed five of herself figuring that any more would be somewhat overkill for the day ahead of her. She felt her breath catch as she stood in the mirror realizing all at once that this was not her home any longer. It hadn't been for a while, really. Her mother and her father resented her. It was understandable, and they did their best to never show it, but she could see it in their eyes and the way they spoke to one another. It was always a favor to take her for the weekend or so. She was not wanted here much longer.
She ate, and packed at the same time. Alternating who was doing what. Her mind was abuzz with activity despite the time of day. It was 6AM now, and her mother was asleep. Sierra would not wake her, she didn't want to see her mother fake a goodbye. She, working as a unit to pack her cars, a lifted 2011 Jeep Wrangler and a 2009 Ford Explorer. After sliding into her seats, two in the Jeep and three in the Ford, she was wordlessly on her way to South Carolina.
The Palmetto state was interestingly known as the Iodine state before its paradigm shift. This was due to the uncharacteristically large amount of iodine found in the vegetation that grew there. It was the eighth state to join the Union in 1788, but it was the first state to leave in 1860. It was also where the first battle of the civil war was fought. It was also the peach capital of the world. The South Carolina state seal bore the Latin phrase "Dum spiro, spero,".
She breathed a shaky breath at that. While I breathe, I hope.
The trip from northern Maryland to South Carolina was uneventful, but Sierra was never bored. She read, and listened, and watched. Books, movies, chess, she found a way to keep herself occupied while she drove. She couldn't imagine how people did this normally- she would go insane if she had to do this regularly. When she finally arrived at Academy 003, she was slightly earlier than most but far from alone, having beaten most of the crowd by some fifteen minutes. Sierra did what she did best, which was divide and conquer. Four of her began the process of getting the keys to her new lodging and unpacking while one her went to orientation. It came and went, with stragglers coming in here and there and scrambling to their seats- the last of which being a tall Russian man with blue eyes and white streaked brown hair. A real father Christmas character. She did her best to ignore him and focus on the speech. Power training, school, school teams for the yearly showboating, don't bang on campus, but you can do that in town as long as you're back by 8.
A small smile graced her features at that. The faculty shuffled them out of the auditorium and into the cafeteria where a banquet was set up for them. She ended up in line behind old man winter, who was even larger up close towered a full eight inches over her. She was eyeing the food keenly, having gone several hours without eating when the man next to her piped up "It's been minutes since I ate!"
Sierra couldn't help it, a snort and laughter bubbled up before she was able to stop it. One of her hands flew up to cover her mouth and nose as she tried to stop it, resulting only in a half strangled laugh and her choking on her own spit. She was standing adjacent to him, unable to see his blind eye. He was cute, and had the rugged wolverine look to him. He was wearing a shirt that said "BACK TO BACK WORLD WAR CHAMPIONS". The phrase tactical retreat came to mind, and Sierra considered making a tactical retreat of her own in some effort to save herself the embarrassment. She opted instead to focus more on the food and hope that Saint Nicholas wouldn't comment, but she had seen this man's type before. This was going to be something.
A small part of her hoped it would be something good.
It took Tim a good half hour after the orientation began before he made it to the Academy.
For starters, he didn't know he wasn't expecting to have to spend the first night in a motel outside the academy; He arrived to town so late at night that he practically flopped down on his bed and fell into a coma, hoping his phone's alarm clock would be enough to wake him up. Which it didn't, unfortunately. Thank God one of the counselors did a sweep through where all the students were sleeping. Even gave him a lift, too.
Once he got there, the staff were already a good way into the orientation, so he just tried to slip in unnoticed. But since a good number of seats were taken, he stuck out like a small thumb as he climbed up a couple sets of steps and squeezing his way past a full row-- Completely ignoring that the end seat he was inching and excusing himself past them towards was in reach if he just walked across to the steps on the other side. He even got worried that the brief pauses by the speakers were them suddenly paying attention to his own awkward stumbling.
After that agonizing moment of embarrassment, he got caught back up on the orientation; Something about not using powers on campus, do it in an arena if you have to, and being trained to use powers good. Thankfully he was finally settled in to be just as mildly alarmed as everyone else when he noticed one of the people standing on the stage was a massive bug-lady -- He uh... Actually didn't notice that until she took center stage. Something about raising your rank and putting them into a team, he wasn't sure; He was more fixed on the idea of how bug-people made biological sense. Then he sort of leewayed into looking around the room and taking a gander at everyone else present; What finally resumed his attention was a symphony of everyone shuffling to stand up, with the announcement that they were going to the cafeteria for a welcoming banquet.
"Hell yes!" Tim heard someone yell, and probably wasn't alone, "It's been minutes since I ate!"
Tim was a bit longer than "minutes", being practically rushed to the Academy on short notice. Five hour trip from his home, already at night, to a good 2-or-3 in the morning when he finally arrived in town. By then he was more tired than he was hungry, oversleeping to be unable to eat breakfast, either.
Once they finally reached the hall, Tim got in line and got a big plate of food, perfect to make up to for lost time the Academy cost him by flying him over so inconveniently. And compensation. And just a little extra because, screw it, it's free food.
Once he had his feast ready, he walked through the hall looking for an open seat. He managed to find one, sitting himself down immediately. Oh shoot, that was rude. Tim stood himself back up, turning to the Student in the seat next to it, asking "Hey, you mind if I sit here?" politely.
Navaeh had always wanted to visit the states. Go to LA and ride around Hollywood, go to Ney York and take a stroll around the Big Apple or even go to Vegas and see all the pretty casino lights. Instead, her first ever airplane trip to the states was to South Carolina. What was there to do in South Carolina?! Go to the local beach or maybe visit a historic plantation home? While her situation was not the best, Navaeh was still glad that she was out of France and away from her mother's perfectly manicured claws.
The flight itself wasn't bad. First-class with plenty of movies to get her through the eight hour trip over the Atlantic. It also gave her enough time to scroll through Instagram, go live a few times, and chat with some of her online friends. Navaeh had promised she was going to vlog her trip to Academy 003 and post about it. There was a YouTube channel all ready for her uploads. As promised, Navaeh filmed a quick intro in her first-class seat. She made sure to get the essentials; her outfit, her food, and her sponsors for the day! She'd have to make a little montage later on about the whole trip and upload it later, but for now, her followers would have to settle with some Snapchat and Instagram stories for now.
Navaeh arrived at school an hour before the orientation. Just enough time to get herself a shot of espresso to get her through the morning and take a few pictures of the academy. Maybe post a quick video on Insta too! Unfortunately, the reception by the auditorium seemed to be patchy. Really patchy. It had taken her two minutes to upload a thirty-second video. How was she supposed to get through with a year of this without good reception?
She just hoped she could get her hands into the wifi password or it was going to be living hell away from hell. She could always try the library later.
By the time orientation had started, Navaeh was already settled in a seat by the middle. Her whole attention was on her phone, though. Sure, she listened, but she didn't pay much attention. It was all just the basics of any school, and her mother had given her quite a lot of pamphlets about Academy 003. Besides, taking pictures of the bug lady was more important. Her followers would love that whenever the shitty reception allowed her to upload the images.
By the time orientation was over the pictures had been uploaded and her stomach was grumbling for some well-deserved food.
"I just hope it's not bad some nasty American cafeteria food," Navaeh said as she got in line for a plate. Anything but dried up bread and unseasoned food. Luckily, the academy seemed to be well-funded and well-staffed with cooks that did use something more than salt and pepper to season stuff! After she got herself a nice big plate of food, she sat in one of the few empty tables, and away from some obnoxious guy.
With a fork in one hand and her phone on the other, she snapped a quick selfie and began to eat. Her first official meal in Academy 003 located in the very boring state of South Carolina. Great.
Laughing at Valery's joke was a rookie mistake - he turned and saw Sierra and gave her a wide, beaming smile. She was cute! Dark hair, blue eyes, the American girl next door. She also snorted whens he laughed, which Valery appreciated. Valery did not have much tolerance for stifled laughter or deadpan people. What was the point? Although she was small. Valery predicted a good strong breeze could knock her over, which was unfortunate, given that he was mostly full of hot air. "Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all semester." Valery said. There was a half-second pause before semester - That one gets me every time. Valery turned back and muttered under his breath, in his native tongue, "And the women laugh at your jokes here! What a country." Valery's attention was taken away as they reached food because Valery knew his priorities in life and no woman had ever come between him and a meal.
Valery was what the South Carolinians that bordered the Academy may refer to as "a hoss", and ate accordingly. He held a plate in each hand and gripped a cup of sweet tea ("When in Rome is the saying, yes?") in his teeth as he sauntered to a table for a meal. Valery sat down with the grace of a tap dancing water buffalo and lay his trays down, assessing the feast before him. Valery had never been one to be picky, and had chosen pretty much a taste of everything. Once he determined what was best and what was merely passable - Val had never been one to truly hate any food - he would go back and get thirds. And, presumably, there would be sufficient desserts available afterwards. Valery absentindedly drummed his fingers against his glass, frosting over the edge of the cup. He'd forgotten ice - he'd been flirting with someone in the drink line, even as he held the glass in his teeth. It had not been particularly successful. The girl had even gone and sat at an empty table to get away from him. We win, we lose, we try again tomorrow. By the time he'd sat down she'd already slipped his mind.
Valery was mid-bite when someone sat next to him and asked if they minded if he sat there. Val gave him a wide smile and clapped him on the back. "Shit, man, sit where you like! You can even eat off my plate." Val paused, looking at his meal. "Actually, no, you can't. You can get your own. But they have plenty so it doesn't matter." Val swallowed the bite and looked him over. There were lots of people to meet, which thrilled Valery. He was a people person through and through, and figured he'd know everyone on campus by next week at the latest. Valery had never been particularly good at remembering names, but he remembered little details and the nicknames he gave people well.
This one looked like a vampire. His brow furrowed. A French vampire.
Valery wisely decided that, between that and his nervousness over seating arrangements, it was probably best not to give him too much flak. At least for a day or two until they were bestest buds. Although he supposed the vampire comparison was unfair - most of it was that he had deep bags under his eyes, which Val supposed was probably true of him as well - how many hours had he been awake for? Eh, he'd have plenty of time to sleep in class tomorrow afternoon. Pale and skinny but not unhealthy looking. No, there was someone else he looked like. Pale, tall? The Twilight guy, perhaps? Valery supposed that was a more offensive comparison than just calling him a vampire. Plus, too skittish. No good natured heckling yet. All in due time. This guy at least asked to sit next to him which meant he probably was not a total douchebag, so Val was sure they'd get along great.
Val was also interested to see what everyone's powers were. It felt, and perhaps this was just Valery, a bit like the first day at a boxing gym (speaking of which, Valery figured there was absolutely no way the gym here didn't have a bag for all these teenagers to let out their mood swings on). Everyone was busy trying to act like they didn't care about how fast anyone else's hands were. Valery's curiosity was a bit childish and a bit competitive.
"What's your name, friend? My name is Valery." Valery ate another bite, ruling that the mashed potatoes were the superior dish on his plate. "Judging from the accent, you're not from around here? That is a shame. I'm a native." Valery said this completely deadpan. He glanced over and saw Snorts But Prone to Strong Breezes walking by with her food. "Hey!" he called to her. "Come sit here. I already made a friend for you, so you can't say no."
"И женщины смеются над вашими шутками здесь! Что за страна."
The laugh died in Sierra's throat not long after the man wandered off, and Sierra felt heat well up in her chest. Embarrassment, and a small amount of resentment at that comment. "бабник." she spat in response- the word trailing off as she had been both too late and too timid to be picking a fight anyways. He was already gone, and likely hadn't heard her speak at all. She sighed, and elected to select her food rather than hold up the line any longer. The more she thought about it, the more she realized that old man winter hadn't necessarily insult her, just imply that he's funnier than he is. The heat in her chest was more embarrassment than it was indignation. She breathed, recomposing herself before she spilt her lemonade.
There was a resounding yes from several voices.
She shook her head as her mind was crowded with thoughts. Her others must be busy. Talkative. she thought to them, and all at once she was at peace again. She continued making her plate when she was poked in the side. She turned her head questioningly in the direction of the poke, and seeing nothing turned the other way. She caught a small glimpse of a smirk from another her, walking with an enormous plate- more than she could ever eat alone. Then again, she never really had that problem. She had obviously been sent to get food for the others.
"Hey!" Her head whipped around again in the direction of the voice. She recognized it as father Christmas'. "Come sit here. I already made a friend for you, so you can't say no."
He wasn't speaking to her, though. he was looking in the other her's direction.
Sierra's step slowed to a halt, and she turned her head questioningly towards the voice that had called her, finding a tall man with brown hair and silver streaks calling out to her. She had never really been one to turn down an invitation, and without much thought she changed her course. She placed her enormously stacked plate down and took a seat between the two large men. The one who had called her over was slightly larger, build more like a truck than his pale companion who was leaner in build.
"У вас нет работы?"
She turned, and saw herself from the lunch line, a hand on her hip. She raised an eyebrow, and spoke. Her other self had chosen Russian, probably because she didn't want these two men to understand their conversation. She followed up in Russian herself.
"I'm you, why would I be?"
"They're both pretty good looking."
"You have a job and I talked to them first. You know the rules."
The Sierra sitting frowned, and sighed. She didn't lie to herself and she knew it. Sierra slid out of her seat and grabbed the enormous plate off the table. She opened her mouth to speak, but the other her cut herself off, in english this time.
"Mike Wazowski over here speaks Russian." she commented, throwing up a thumb in Valery's direction and sporting an unimpressed look on her face. The Sierra who had been sitting's eyes widened as she realized that she had called the two men hot right in front of one of them. That sent her off quickly. The one remaining Sierra sighed and took her other's place at the table, placing down a much more normally portioned plate of food.
"Sorry about that." She said, casting a look to Tim and Valery. "I just cant help myself sometimes."
She was used to the weirdness that usually followed, but was feeling particularly plucky today. She opted instead to glance over what had just happened in favor of treating it as normal. This was a superpower school, after all. It likely was somewhat normal and even if it wasn't it was normal for her and god damnit she was so tired of explaining her ability to everyone who ever met her. One of her spoke in her mind.
"Oh, uh, Sierra." She said, looking between the two men again. "Sierra Hilton." She crossed her arms, offering a fairly awkward but undeniably her hand shake to both of them at once. It seems she was going to get her wish. This was something. @He Who Walks Behind@wxps350
For once in his life, Drake was early for something other than sports or getting a girl. He damn near broke his neck to get a slightly earlier flight, getting an uber straight over to the school... all so he can smoke. On a hill opposite to the Academy; Drake sat down with his leg out as he watched everyone slowly arrive one by one. So many people, this was going to be such a great time...
... If only the other Blackmores were here.
Well, without further ado, Drake needed to get over there... and there was no way in hell that Drake was stupid enough to try to cross four busy lanes of traffic. Maybe it was best that he makes a grand entrance! A pulse of electricity came out of his fingertip as he jumped up into the air and lightning danced across his skin. Soon he was covered in lightning and even his clothes were incorporated into the transformation, he took to the skies. He had a grin on his face as he landed off to the side of the pathway and earned some glances... before everyone went back inside.
Eh, well. Not as grand as he was hoping but whatever.
Drake merely walked into the orientation, found himself a seat and put his hands behind his head as he kicked his feet up. He listened to bits and piece of the orientation but he knew it was the same shit as it was with any other school! No sex, no fun, nothing! Just sit around on your ass and read a book! But, Drake knew like hell anybody was going to follow them and he knew many crazy parties were inbound. After all, the most repressed kids party the hardest!
But was South Carolina the only spot they could build this damn school? Well, yeah. Eighty percent of the state is full of nothing. South Carolina is basically discount Florida! They could blow up South Carolina and nobody would notice... Drake realized that everyone was leaving and left to get some grub! He went to the cafeteria, grabbed a tray and loaded his plate with some chicken and lots of vegetables and decided to look for somewhere to sit.
He was hoping a hot chick could be somewhere.
"Ah, it's gorgeous here, wish you were here!"
"Do you really, Kashmira?"
"Of course, where would I be without my sister?!"
The two went on and on in their native language. The native of India, who sat with her phone facing herself as she spoke on facetime with her twin sister, Rashmika. Unfortunately, Kashmira was oblivious to how loud she was being and given the fact that the young Sarai had to take the cheapest option. Which was take the option the school was paying for; which was a massive bus going from New York all the way to South Carolina. Which was a long trek to say the least with a few stops to pick up some more students and for them to grub on some food.
But it was the easiest on the Sarai family's pockets!
"I thought you might need a break from me," Rashmika said. Kashmira's twin looked almost the exact same as her however she elected to wear huge glasses. Kashmira always joked that it was so people could tell them apart. "I know I'll need a break from you."
"Oh come on, I'll miss you and grandmother a whole lot!" Kashmira said.
"Speaking of Grandmother..." Rashmika trailed off as she spoke in a low tone, "... Did you really take the necklace there?"
The necklace in question was a necklace weaved with a delta crystal. It was foolish for Kashmira to bring it, yes. It sat in a black necklace case by her side and she was going to find a nice place to hide it. Just in case, she placed some stone inside of it so she can properly manipulate it in the event that she needed to.
"Hanumanta trusted me with it, to protect it, and that's what I am going to do, sister. What if something happened back in New York and it got destroyed? She'd be crushed." Kashmira tried to play off the real reason... and it was because she was afraid. There are bad people out there, worst than the likes of Abel and they are constantly preying on the innocents. What if one of them arrives in the academy? She's powerful but... she still has a lot of learning to do.
Rashmika wasn't convinced for a moment, but she just shook her head.
"Oh, we're here!" Kashmira said as the bus pulled up on the massive school.
"Mind giving me a tour?" Rashmika asked. "I'm bored and would like to see what it's like in there."
"Okay!" Kashmira said as she was herded off the bus by the teachers. Kashmira kept the box underneath her arm as she walked and found herself a place to sit in the auditorium as she sat down. Intimidation by Fiona and Arionne aside, Kashmira was worried about what Luther said - America wasn't quite a safe place, but she was concerned as to what FAMA thought could occur here. Kashmira had a feeling, yes. Either way, the speeches came to a close and everyone was sent to the cafeteria. Which was good, because Kashmira was starving.
Rashmika yawned, "... How didn't that put you to sleep? I couldn't understand a word but I know it was boring! Ha."
"America is much different from our home," Kashmira said.
"And what else is new?" Rashmika smirked.
"Half the things that happened here would never happen back in India."
"But India has its own problems and you know that."
"I'm going to get food, sister."
"Careful, Kashmira," Rashmika snickered for a moment, "I don't want to see you vomiting."
Kashmira laughed as she grabbed a tray and placed the phone on the tray... she had to stick with the simple stuff such as corn on a cob, greens, and other such things due to her diet. Having to be so picky with food sucked, but it came with the benefit of keeping Kashmira in great shape!
"When has corn made people vomit?"
"When drenched in that disgusting butter."
"I mean," Kashmira said, "Everyone has a preferen-"
Kashmira was too busy talking on her phone that she didn't realize that not everyone else was as clean as she was. Somebody spilled some liquid on the floor and Kashmira's sneaker impacted it the wrong way and her foot slipped.
"Tim" introduced himself, sitting down for real this time.
"Judging from the accent, you're not from around here? That is a shame. I'm a native." Valery mused to him,
"Nope! I'm here from North Dakota. Never been down south. Or out of the state, really. Or my town." He explained, "I actually got flown down here last night on pretty short notice because of the--" He caught himself. Was he allowed to talk about the small scuffle that had him sent down there? Probably not. Best keep his mouth shut, "Poor arrangements. I only got my superpowers not too long ago. Since the semester was about to start, I got rushed down here as fast as I could by FAMA."
He took a huge scoop of mashed potatoes into his mouth, continuing his story regardless. "Dighn't eghvn haff a chansh to eet dinnur laghst night. I'm absolutely famished." After he finished his tragic backstory he worfed all the food in his mouth down.
Valery stood himself up and waved someone over-- A brown haired girl. Before she could introduce herself in turn, she turned behind her at the call of-- Her twin? Huh, cool. The two of them started speaking in some secret language to one another.
"Я ты, почему я был бы?"
"Они оба довольно хорошо выглядят"
"У тебя есть работа, и я сначала поговорил с ними. Ты знаешь правила"
Their secret dialogue continued back and forth, before the one in line pointing at Valery and mentioning "Mike Wazowski over here speaks Russian", after which the one sitting was visibly embarrassed. So much so that she quickly vacated her own seat, which was taken over by her twin... Well, technically they were the same person, right? Atleast to Tim, since he hardly knew either of them.
Her doppelganger introduced herself as Sierra, shaking both Tim's and Valery's hands at the same time. Tim, however, was more stuck on what they were talking about. "Hey, what did they say? She and her twin, I mean" He quickly asked his newly made friend.
"No, Ma, estoy bien." Esmeralda held the phone against her ear as she paced a quiet corner of the orientation hall. She had been ushered in by some of the staff after taking her luggage and promising to deliver it to her room. Seeing everyone pushed into one big room only made her more nervous and fidgety that she had begun to bite her nails again. "Nomas un poco nerviosa." She laughed quietly and glanced around her as students began to fill in the rest of the seats. "Creo que ya vamos a empesar, te hablo mas al rato." Esmeralda nodded to herself, "Okay, te quiero tambien."
After picking a seat near the exit, Esmeralda paid close attention to everything the staff of the Academy said. Her nail bitting had stopped halfway as they explained the basic rules of the school and the various things that were expected of the students. The thing that made her nerves act up again was the mention of teams. Esmeralda didn't mind teams as long as each team member pulled their weight and she was afraid she wouldn't be able to pull her own with everything she had to put up with.
It wasn't long before the students were ushered back out of the auditorium and into the cafeteria. Food, something that Esmeralda had been looking forward since the morning. Now that orientation was finally over, and she knew what the plan for the next few hours was she was able to relax just a tiny bit more.
After getting a plate full of what seemed to be edible food, she made her way towards the various tables buzzing with students talking to each other. She heard a few conversations left and right, but she ignored most and headed for an empty table. She was almost there when a tall guy bumped into her and made her spill her drink.
"Fu--" She was about to curse when someone else next to her someone a lot smaller slipped. Esmeralda had never been in a food-related accident, and this was defiantly something she had planned on. Food went flying in the air. A few green beans bounced on her head and down to her plate. Corn almost smacked her in the face too if she hadn't quickly ducked to avoid it.
"Ahh..." Esmeralda stood there and looked next to her to see the small girl who had been talking on her phone. "I am so sorry." Her voice didn't really convey her words, and they almost sounded fake, but she really meant it. She wasn't ready for this. Not even a little. Her first day and she was already causing trouble. "It wasn't my fault, some dude bumped into me and made me drop my drink. Fuck." She was a bit more worried about the green beans on her hair than anything else. "You okay?" She looked down at the smaller girl then the phone on the floor. Esmeralda picked it up and offered it to the girl. "I don't think it's broken." she flipped it to see if the screen was okay.
”First day of school, everyone! I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of time to make music anymore, but if I do you’ll find it posted on the usual spots. I’ll be back eventually; I wouldn’t have made it this far without you all! <3 ~Lilith”
Lilly hit the post button and took a deep breath. She had attached a selfie to the post; one of the first ones she’d posted to any of her “official” social media accounts without attempting to hide her face in any way. She’d spent a good portion of the bus ride trying to find and decide on a filter where she didn’t think she looked awful, but she eventually managed to settle. That takes care of goodbyes, I guess.
Lilly felt like she kind of forgot how to walk by the time the bus had started letting everyone off. Her legs felt sluggish and unresponsive. She stood by the side as she got some feeling back into them and let other students get off, trying not to look at anyone. Of course, once she did get off the bus she almost jumped out of her skin once someone decided to crash down from the goddamn sky, but she supposed it was something she’d have to get used to if she was going to be hanging around superpowered teenagers until… whenever the hell she’d managed to get out of here.
Orientation was a bit of a blur for her. Lilly started to feel lightheaded, and she forgot to eat her snack on the bus, and if she tried to open it in the middle of the auditorium the wrapper would make this horrible crinkly sound… she got the gist of it, even if she got a bit distracted and let out the occasional soft sigh when she noticed the grasshopper lady, and got especially nervous when the vice-headmaster stared at her. By the time everyone was done talking she immediately ripped open her snack bar and devoured it in a couple big bites.
Of course, she still had room for dinner. Lilly made sure to grab her food and sit down quickly, before she got too self-conscious about her height. She checked over her shoulder before she pulled out her laptop, but she noticed someone looking around. Wasn’t that the guy who made that dramatic entrance earlier? He… didn’t look half-bad, really.
“W-were you looking to sit somewhere?” Lilly asked, nervously tugging at the tail end of her scarf as if it were getting far looser than it actually was.
Well, Nakala's mother grew up in Florida and she said if she had to choose between blowing up Florida or South Carolina, it would always be Florida. So maybe that says nice things about South Carolina? Well, Nakala omitted the bus because she didn't want to sit on a sweaty bus for over ten hours and instead took the plane there. As much as she didn't trust Uber drivers she ended up taking one and passing the bus! The car came to a stop, Nakala grabbed her things, she went to the meeting room and ended up playing on her phone while everyone was getting things together.
Pretty much everything she heard was already told to her by her mother. Of course, they glossed over a few facts that Nakala knew that no one else did. The fact that the Academy's were prisons for young delinquent Metahumans. Whenever Michelle caught young Metahumans in KINGFISHER many of them were given the options for going to the Academy or spending a bit of time in prison. Everyone went with the Academy. Naturally, Nakala wondered for a few moments how many of her fellow students are crooks. Well, Nakala grew up in Black Fall, which isn't known for being the safest place.
The class of 2016 was herded out of the auditorium and Nakala followed behind them at her own leisure pace with a phone in her hand. She was hoping the food wasn't garbage - knowing places like this, the free food was probably garbage but they probably had a fancy restaurant here. Nakala shook her head as she grabbed a tray, plate, and had some chicken, corn, and she was praying that it wasn't awful.
Now, it was time to make friends. The worst part about leaving home to attend school was that you had to leave behind so many friends. However, Nakala knew that she just had to make new friends in the meantime! With a turn of her head, she decided to try to find someone to talk to. Of course, her eyes landed on a girl with massive dreads. She was young, pretty, and had great hair... and best of all black. She was sitting all by herself and that was more than enough to approach the girl.
Nakala walked over to the girl with a smile,
"What's up, I like your hair," Nakala said, "Mind if I have a seat?"
A girl was already trying to get his interest. A girl with blonde hair and green eyes, with a big of a more muscular frame. Cool, a sporty girl! Drake couldn't wait to get the attention of other girls - maybe training here was going to go way better than he originally thought! Without a second thought, Drake slid onto the table opposite to her and with a smile, he enthusiastically said, "Definitely, nice scarf!"
He decided to start a conversation right away, "What's going on? Excited for your first day of school?"
"Kashmira, are you okay?" Rashmika said over the phone in Gurjatari, but Kashmira hardly paid any mind. All she saw was the necklace case escaping the safety of her underarm. Before anything else registered, she quickly willed it over to her as she got up to her feet.
Then the embarrassment set in as she stared at the girl handing her the phone. It took a few moments for the whole situation to register before she stood there in shock. Eyes wide open and not one inch of herself moved. Then, even though the girl seemed rather casual about the situation, Kashmira was horrified.
"I am so, so, so, so, so, so sorry!" Kashmira said in an incredibly thick accent, and for once, in English. She grabbed the phone and wiped it off with her Nike shirt. "I should have paid more attention! I got it all over you, all in your hair! All over your face!"
"Ha, calm down, sister!" Rashmika said with a chuckle, reminding her that her phone was safe and sound. "It looks like you cracked the camera!"
"Oh..." Kashmira followed Rashmika's advice as she said. Kashmira glanced at the girl's demeanor and she seemed really... apathetic. She wondered if she was okay, or was about to explode in rage. "I apologize, friend. I am so sorry, I am okay by the way - but what about you? Are you alright?"
Kashmira looked around and saw that business was going as usual, before her eyes landed on a napkin dispenser. "Let me get you a napkin!" The girl quickly went over to the dispenser and came back with a handful of napkins. She offered them to the girl.
It took a lot to surprise Valery. Valery had seen some shit in his day - largely, caused by himself. Seeing Sierra walk up to herself struck him as odd, but he supposed that twins both being admitted to the Academy wasn't the furthest possibility - and following that deductive path was briefly interrupted by her mention that she - they - fuck found him and Tim attractive. Valery got a big ol' grin at this - of all the things one should never do, affirming his ego is pretty chief among them. No, her wording was strange - it wasn't the way he talked to his sisters, not that they competed over women. Oh, the look on father's face. No, no, that wasn't it. Valery glanced back and forth between the two of them, wheels turning. Rules? Surely they didn't scuffle over boys so often they had to set up rules over it. No sisters Valery knew did that. Did they? Val was forced to concede he may not have the strongest grasp on the female psyche. Something was up. They both spoke Russian, too, and Valery did not detect the most believable of accents. Perfect grammar, he mused, maybe even a bit better than his. But he had a feeling if started slurring his words on thick or threw some slang at her she might stumble.
But maybe not, Valery supposed, eating another bite of food. This place was proving to be full of surprises, and he would be doing himself no favors by underestimating all the strangers here. Valery did not see things as adversarial between the students, necessarily, but he was certainly a bit cautious.
"Mike Wazowski!" Valery said, laughing. He had no idea who the fuck that was. Americans. "Well, my name is actually Valery, but I already told you that. Nice to meet you, Sierra." He didn't bring up the one who walked away - who Valery had been in front of in line, he'd thought, but now was no longer so sure. Put bluntly, their outfits weren't the sort that left a meaningful impression in Valery's memory. Valery listened to Tim speak - a bit rushed. He was nervous. Well, there was certainly no one better suited for making people feel at home than Valery - as best he could tell, Tim's blood pressure was through the roof and Sierra Hilton, possibly of the hotel chain dynasty, possibly an replicant, possibly a sex starved twin, was still blushing. So the initiative once again fell to Valery to create conversational harmony. The blushing sister got up and left, leaving the other, taking in right where the other left off, but -
The metaphorical light bulb went off over Valery's head. It was of poor wattage and flickered periodically. Of course. Valery grinned, and said in Russian, "If you can turn that red that easy, I can see why you know Russian." She was redder than Valery's favorite Taylor Swift album.
Val realized that the foreign language was probably making Tim feel excluded, which was the last thing he should be going for. Tim needed a big ol' hug, Val reasoned. "Why, my friend Tim, they were simply saying how beautiful the Russian language is. It sounds like a melody. I am honored and flattered by my American hosts." Valery crushed his sweet tea. "And this state in particular! This is great. If I am going to die here, I want it to be from diabetes" - Val's accent struggled with this word noticeably but he plunged ahead - "not from a twelve year old who loses control over her laser eyes and cuts me apart." Val frowned, his brow furrowing. "No. Cuts me in half. There we go." Valery ate another bite. "Tim." Short for Timoshenko? Probably not, but what a pair we'd be! "Tim, tell me about Dakota. I've never been. If you never left, clearly it must be interesting. What's fun to do there? I figure on spring break, I'll rent a car and do a big road trip. See the Grand Canyon, New York City, Hollywood, all that fun stuff. So what I'm getting at is can we stop at Dakota on the way back from Vegas and crash at your place?"
Valery's tone left it fairly ambiguous whether he was kidding or not.
“Oh, thanks!” Lilly stammered. “It’s one of my favorite ones…” She held up some of the purple fabric, which faintly sparkled as the light bounced off of it. She was pretty proud of how it could do that. The boy quickly kept the conversation going, which was good, since Lilly generally wasn’t that good at these kinds of icebreaker conversations. It was a question about school, which she answered with the same reflexive stock ’yeah’ that she answered almost any of those kinds of casual “how are you feeling” questions that she could conceivably answer with something like ‘actually nah, I feel like an unstable singularity of anxiety, thanks for checking though.’
“Yeah,” Lilly said, correcting herself almost immediately afterwards. “Well, I mean, I was kind of forced to attend anyways, but I guess it’s not a bad deal when you think about it. Been through worse, you know?” She stared at her food, feeling the hunger creep back again as her stomach had its way with her snack from before.
“How about you,” Lilly asked. “You excited about learning how to, uh, do superpowers and stuff? Not that you seemed to be having any trouble using them earlier…” She trailed off and stuffed a spoonful of mashed potatoes into her mouth as she glanced at her new acquaintance.
Navaeh hadn't touched her food much after the first bite of cardboard box bacon that she had grabbed. The eggs hadn't been much better. The food had looked nice, but it tasted nowhere near to what she had been expecting. The toast had been decent, how could anyone mess up toast anyway? So now, Navaeh sat with her phone in one hand and a piece of toast on the other as she scrolled down Instagram.
"What's up, I like your hair," Nakala said, "Mind if I have a seat?"
Nevaeh looked up to see a pretty tall girl standing next to her. She returned a smile and patted the seat next to her. "Thanks, I love yours! Go ahead, girl." Navaeh's accent was a bit thick to start with, so she had to say her words a bit slower than usual to be able to pronounce things correctly. She did not want to repeat herself multiple times. Maybe she should have listened to her her mother and practiced her English a bit more. Then again, she never thought her mother would actually let her go to America for more than a few days. Whatever, as long as people understood what she was saying.
She moved her drink closer to her plate to give the other girl more table space. She turned off her phone and pushed it to the side to give the new stranger her attention. "I'm Navaeh," She offered the girl her hand after she had sat down. "You can call me Nav, what is your name?"
"No, it's okay, really," Esmeralda said as she began to pick out the green beans out of her hair. Well, it wasn't what she was expecting during day one. She glanced down at the phone to see another girl talking in another language. Probably a friend or sister. The girl on the phone didn't sound too alarmed by what had happened, so she was glad about that. Unlike the girl on the phone, the one in front of Esmeralda was not okay. She was freaking out.
"No need to apologize, it was that dude who made me drop the water." She glared over at his direction just as he glanced over his shoulder before hurrying off to his friends. "Asshole doesn't even stop to apologize." But the girl wasn't there anymore; she had gone off to get Esmeralda some napkins. When the girl returned, she took them with a small nod and a thanks.
"I'm okay, really." She continued with in her monotone voice as she wiped some of the green beans off her cheek. "I'm sorry too; I should have made that guy clean it up as soon as he bumped into me." She handed the girl her plate before bending down to cover the floor with the extra napkins she had received.
By the time Esmeralda had covered the puddle of water, a staff member had approached them with a map and shooed them out of the way for them to clean the mess. Esmeralda had taken her plate back from the girl. "We should get new plates..." She glanced down at the green beans on her plate; something she couldn't even image eating. "Oh, Esmeralda, by the way. Please don't worry about the food either." She picked out the last bean out of her hair.
Well, that went well. The girl had an obvious accent she wasn't from America - but of course, Nakala didn't mingle too much with people from other countries so it was hard to pinpoint where. Sounded French, but who knows? To Nakala the only thing that mattered was that the girl was black. The girl had a seat next to her but still, the question was on her mind.
"Hope ya' don't mind me asking, but where are you from?"
Okay, there was a weird layer of awkwardness to the discussion Drake felt. Or thought he felt.
Nonetheless, he was going to make the conversation work! Because Drake wasn't stupid enough to throw a potential score out the window this early! Even if it's small-talk... Drake always thought that it got more flak than it deserved! Only people that bitch about the small talk are the wannabe Socrates who want a deep and philosophical conversation all the time. Though, he admits he could had come into it a liiiittle better than he did. The conversation was about being excited to attend school - which Drake was, but he wasn't going to sit here and ramble on and on about it!
"Well, yeah," Drake said, as he raised his finger into the air and it began to arc with electricity. "Had this power since I was like eleven! It comes naturally to me, but there are a few things I'd like to learn." Of course, Drake left out the power replication part only because he was always told to keep that under wraps. While Drake hardly ever did what he was told; experience taught him more than enough. The electricity faded from his finger.
"School sounds nice - get to meet new people! But, what did you do to get sent here? Rob a bank?" Drake asked with a smirk.
It took the extremely embarrassed Kashmira a moment to collect herself. With a sigh, she managed to collect herself and said, "I should have been paying-" Rashmika muttering something made her stop and reconsider. "I'm sorry - for my reaction, I got just got so embarrassed, and it's my first day here too!" Kashmira said, talking super fast.
The girl was super indifferent to everything - and Kashmira wondered what was wrong. Did she just take this whole situation lightly? Or was she just hiding her true emotions? Kashmira merely shook her head as she grabbed onto the girl's pale hand. This was something alien to Kashmira, the concept was introduced to her the second she got to America and her uncle had to tell her that Americans don't know what "namaste" means. She was a little rough as she shook her head. "My name is Kashmira Sarai, it is great to meet you!" Kashmira said with a smile. "I would be glad to eat with you and forget about the circumstances behind our meeting, yes?"
Rashmika laughed for a moment, as she said, "Ah, making friends I see? I'll leave you to that," Before she ended the facetime she said, "Aavjo."
That left Kashmira alone with her new friend (?) Esmerelda. Kashmira grabbed a tray and got the same food as she did before with greens, corn, and anything that didn't had meat in it. She found a seat as she smiled... at a loss for conversation. "So, um.... what brings you to the Academy? I'm sorry if I'm being boring!"
Lilly stopped eating for a moment when the boy shot sparks out of his fingers. That was kind of dangerous… but also really trippy. It was crazy to think about, though; getting superpowers at eleven years old. She never knew anyone else with them personally, and she’d always wondered how she would have ended up if they’d manifested while she was younger… which incidentally was something she wondered about a lot of other stuff too. Weird how it all ended up intersecting.
“But, what did you do to get sent here? Rob a bank?"
Lilly paused for a moment. Not that she wasn’t expecting the possibility that the conversation would lead here, but it was recalling a time she still had trouble processing into words. It was probably something she'd be better off not sharing, but this guy had that sort of charming confidence that made her feel a little more confident, too. Trusting, even.
“Nothing that cool,” Lilly said with a soft laugh. “I… Well, I got into some shady business a couple years ago. I was going through a lot and I felt so desperate that when I found an offer for a serum I thought it was what I needed…” she trailed off for a moment until she realized she was staring at the table.
“I’m sorry,” Lilly said quickly, trying to put a bit more enthusiasm into her voice. “That was way too heavy. It’s not what I was hoping for but I can make glow sticks now, I guess?” To punctuate, she tried making a small green cylinder between her fingers, though under the bright light of the cafeteria it was weak, and only somewhat visible.
“It works way better when I’m onstage, I swear.” She added. “My name’s Lilly, by the way.”
The young Blackmore went from cool and confident to staring at Lily in abstract shock upon hearing the girl's little revelation. Of course, Drake played it off as laughter for a second to keep it cool. "Aw stop fucking with me..." He said with a grin before realizing that he can't hide his emotions. The pure rage he felt... because in his eyes; Lily fucked up far more than ever.
"Are you really, really, saying what I think you're saying?" Drake asked, almost spitting. Small amounts of electricity went up and down his body as he slowly shifted from his human form to his electrical form. "That you accepted powers from REAPER - then act like that shit is casual?! The hell were you thinking?!"
He was completely covered from head to toe in electricity as he said, "Do you even know what they did to me?! To many others!?"
"There's mostly just a bunch of trees. Lot more than out here" Tim shrugged, answering Valeries questions, "Most of the time I just hung out with my brothers,"
Then Valerie started going off on taking a road trip all around the united states. On spring break. An suddenly Tim was coming too? And they were staying at his house? Jeez this guy was getting a bit too inclusive. Tim shoveled another spoonful of food into his mouth to avoid coming up with an answer, giving himself time to think. Once he finished chewing, he turned back to Valerie.
"Yeah-yeah, sure. Anyway, Sierra. What about you, where're you from? You also from Russia?" He asked her, trying to turn the force of the conversation away from himself.