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⋙: Updates

Friday, 09/02/2022
|| 86°F°C | Precipitation: 20% | Humidity: 54% | Wind: 10 mph | Partly Cloudy ||


⋙: Post Guide


A week of school has past! It’s Friday. The week was easy for the most part. You got your syllabuses, met your teachers, was told of the new curriculum that integrates the Crestview NHA program into the Academy, had a mental health check from your counselor, got situated with your roomies, and just overall, were given time to get back into the swing of things.

The IC Day will start around 12PM - during the Students Activities Fair! It’ll be held between 12PM - 3PM. We meet at The Grant Commons & Pavilion, located on Castle Street, quadrangle framed by Campus Castle, The Lost Chapter Campus Bookstore and Cafe, The Dean’s House, and the Crystal Peak Medical Center. If you have class, no worries. All the clubs will be on the website for you to submit interest and there will be another fair held on Saturday. Students are more than welcome to mingle and enjoy the sun, while looking at any interesting clubs the Academy has to offer during this period. If you have the free time, why not? What's there to lose?

Throughout the week, you’ve been hearing the buzz of a party at Elysian, hosted by the local band, East of Eden. If you haven’t gotten bombarded by Zachary Lee (senior, drummist), you might today. Or you can go on your SuperGram and get the deetz from Krista Müller (junior, violinist). Do you like roller skating? If not, you might need to start! This is the first party of the year, a place for the Academy students to mingle with Crestview students, making them feel welcomed and accepted into their new situation since the fire.

Sounds beautifully optimistic, right?

Since Elysian Roller Field is a public place, and there likely will be teachers on the scene, you might want to pregame if you’re underage but this party isn’t about the drama or the party life, consider it more… a meet & greet. A business opportunity where you can have fun but also scout out all those that walk the halls with you. It’s good to network and know your peers. Freshmen could meet seniors, who can give them tips and tricks of the trade. Mental users could find other mental users and talk about theories (and other nerdy shit). This isn’t just a party. It’s a place for you to get yourself out there and meet other aspiring heroes. An opportunity is an opportunity and part of getting ahead is knowing the right people.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by LovelyComplex
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Fall 2022: We Welcome All To Campus
September 02, 2022

To everyone in our Academy, welcome to the start of a new and exciting academic year.

This year, perhaps more than ever before, we are immensely grateful for the opportunity to return to Crystal Peak. At our Academy we provide the highest standard of Gifted learning and a unique social environment that comes with in-person, residential education. This summer we have gone through many changes to make sure our fellow Ravens feel at home with our Academy Hawks. As a collective administrative decision we decided to adopt Crestview College's mascot while keeping our royal blue and white. From this point on, our Academy will be considered a Raven's nest. We are counting on all of our students, faculty, and staff to continue doing their part to help keep our campus inclusive to all walks of life.

Our vision is that through dedication, innovation, and collaboration, we will transform lives and improve our world. To achieve this vision, we must deepen our understanding of the world we live in and all of its rich and complex diversity. Student academic and career success is at the heart of our Academy's strategic plan. This year there will no longer be a National Hero Assistance program. Instead we are integrating all those assigned to the NHA program in our Academy's curriculum.

We will not let tragedy define us. Our society needs heroes who appreciate, champion, and perpetuate the live-saving importance of deep and thorough learning, critical and imaginative thinking in pursuit of truth, and absolute conviction to a calling bigger than oneself. We are grateful to Joshua and Elise Vargas for their contribution to the school. In place of Crestview College, we will be building a memorial dedicated to the Vargas family for their charitable donation.

To faculty and staff of the college who continue to advance our educational, research, and outreach missions under personally and professionally trying circumstances: thank you! Thank you for being soldiers and setting a powerful example of dedicated, talented, and caring professionals. Together we will commit to extending the reach and impact of the transformative power of higher education. Together we will push our students, as well as ourselves, beyond what is expected. Together we will watch our Ravens soar for we are limitless.

“Limitless is your potential. Magnificent is your future.”
— Gordon B. Hinckle

Persevere because you students were born for this. You were born to make a difference and be the positive change this world needs. You were born extraordinary. A hero.

Sincerely,

Ambrose G. Crowne, Ph.D.
Dean of the College

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by LovelyComplex
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| Introducing | Lead Instructor Marjorie "Quickshift" Crowne & Professor Meagan "Gaia" Browning
| Time | 11:50 AM
| Location | Devilwood
____________________________________________________________________

Marjorie Crowne was knelt down in a small clearing within the wood by Cypress Grove. She examined a herbaceous plant that did not belong in this area of the world. The white asphodel was native to the Mediterranean area, commonly found in meadows and heathlands. It wasn't like this plant couldn't grow here, so long as there was moderately fertile, well-drained soil in full sun. She enjoyed the history of the aphodelus albus, especially in Greek mythology, but to have it appear in a place where no flowers had been before. A place strictly off-limits without supervision. To have it appear out of nowhere, randomly, without cause or justification. That only made the happenings as of late even more unsettling.

Did this connect to the fire or was she looking too deep in a simple plant?

Damon had approached her a couple of hours ago saying he caught a new scent and he was the one to lead her here. He expressed that this wasn't here yesterday which only meant overnight, the flower of the world appeared from nothing or there was a villain hiding in plain sight, warning the school that in Crystal Peak there was no god and something was coming. Millions wandering aimlessly, all the lost souls wondering who they are, the ghosts of this world already halfway to their destination and that was Asphodel. It could've been any plant. Any plant could've appeared but what was growing in Devilwood was something Ancient Greece used for mourning and death.

The white asphodel aided in the transition for the dead to the afterlife. If she wasn't raised to protect perhaps this wouldn't come off as threatening, but the Academy was her responsibility. The Academy was the place she and her family made to be a refuge for those like her, a port in a storm so the youth, the world's future, could grow into their own and take her place. She knew well enough the sands of time could not be stopped. Years pass, whether she wanted them to or not, and though her brother, Ambrose, was a phenomenon of a man, who could be a teenager one day and an old man the next, she knew like their grandfather, and their grandfather's grandmother, his life too was only that of specks of dust.

Marjorie delve her fingers into the soil and separated the earth from the ground so that a small portion was now in her grasp. She let it fall through her fingers, like sands of an hourglass seeping down. Contemplatively, she watched in silence. Eventually, everything hits the bottom, as does one's life. Glancing up from her hand, she peered through the trees to see her invited company. The shrewd woman picked herself up. Not bothering to wipe her hands clean, Marjorie crossed her arms and gestured with her head toward the plant. "I hope you brought your supplies from the lab. I want you to conserve this plant. Study it and the soil surrounding it."

"This is..." The botany professor emerged from the dark of Devilwood and into the light. "... I swear I didn't give anyone permission to plant anything, Mrs. Crowne." Anxiously, Meagan quickly went to the plant and placed her spade down. She only had enough supplies to gather a soil sample. She would need to study the conditions to make sure this white asphodel was ready to be transplanted. The plant with a hundred leaves had one of the earliest recorded histories, with a detailed description by Hesiod in the 8th century BC. It wasn't only a plant for mourning. It was a plant of regret and back in the day, people would plant them near tombs.

Examining her surroundings, hoping she wasn't disturbing something doormat, Meagan placed her hand near the plant on the soil, her hand glowing gold. She gathered a quick reading of the environment and sighed in relief when she couldn't feel any sadness or complete nothingness. She couldn't feel a grave. "I'll see what I can do, it wouldn't hurt to get Genevieve here. She can pick up the history of this plant to see if this was a natural or unnatural cause. All I can do is study the properties and—"

"I'm aware of your capabilities, Professor. That's why you're here. As for my youngest daughter," Marjorie's expression strained in annoyance. "We both know how difficult it is to get her to come home when she's on one of her expeditions." Grabbing her antique pocket watch necklace hanging from her neck, dangling on the long side, she checked the time. "Thank you, I know things have been busy for us. I hope your table is handled?"

"Oh yeah! I made sure Holly was situated before heading over here. Maybe this year the gardening club will have more than just like three people!" Meagan excitably exclaimed. Her passions were clear as day and thanks to her, the Academy was able to maintain its charm, with the gardens that bedazzled all those that walked campus by beauty and craftsmanship. The Academy looked like it was meant for a story book, a lost heaven to give the students inner peace and harmony. The town itself looked particularly gorgeous at night by the lake, where the grass gently move with the wind, dancing to its own rhythm, and the moonlight kisses the lake, making it glisten and glow, like newly lovers becoming one for the first time.

Marjorie was no longer present in the conversation, which cued Meagan to start her task. Her superior was a strange woman whose cogs were constantly turning. There wasn't a day that Marjorie Crowne rested, always looking ahead and thinking of the smallest of moments. Marjorie was a woman who knew better than most that each life was a pebble and once dropped into water, there ripples spread. Don't ever underestimate the ripple effect, for actions of individuals have effects that not even the Crownes could prevent. "I need to check on my granddaughter, see if she's okay."

"I'm sure Eliana has it covered!" Meagan called out, as the older woman was already walking prominently back into Devilwood, "You raised her well."

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by LovelyComplex
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____________________________________________________________________

| Introducing | Professor Eliana "Timekeeper" Crowne & Illuria Lovelace
| Time | 12:05 PM
| Location | John Carrington Science Building

____________________________________________________________________

"Mommmmmmm," Illuria Lovelace grimaced as her mother, the Professor for all things Physics (Gifted and not), cleaned a smudge off her cheeks, like she was a child. "We gotta' stop this or people are going to make fun of me!" Ria protested, looking around the Science building lobby. One day, this was going to catch up to her and she'd get bullied, just like she was in highschool, and middle school, and grade school.

Eliana pulled back when her daughter scrunched her nose in objection. The doting mother hooked her thumbs in her pants pockets in hopes that would prevent her from coddling her youngest, "I know, I know. Sorry." Clearing her throat, she glanced out the glass entrance to see the club fair at a distance. "So you're going right?"

"Uh," Ria went to the door and rested her forehead on the cold glass. She saw the long trek ahead and all the people already gathering. She didn't want to go. She didn't want to have to smile and pretend to have a good time. Why was it so important to build her resume or network with her classmates? Why couldn't she just go to the Clocktower, her own sanctuary, and hideout, away from it all? "Yeah... I thought if I didn't, you'd be upset. I would rather not but grandma wouldn't like me wasting this opportunity. You know how she is: Opportunities are usually dressed in—"

"—everyday clothes and if it feels like work, then it's something worth pursuing. Yepp, I know baby."

Ria deeply sighed, hoping she was dressed to her peers standards, which she probably wasn't. She was wearing an overall skirt with a black choker necklace and smoky eyeshadow. Her hair was unruly and untamed as per usual and she wore ankle socks with black low top converse sneakers. Her style, when she wasn't going to fancy events with her family, was still relatively childish. "I hope there's like no fashion police here, I'm comfortable and I'd hate being judged because of that."

Unable to keep her hands away from comforting her daughter, Eliana reached for Ria's shoulders and shifted the young girl to look at her. Her little Dream Catcher. "I know this can be scary but I promise you the sooner you make friends, the better off you'll be. When you surround yourself with good people. Positive people. Nothing else matters. I don't want you to be afraid to get yourself out there, okay? You're young, Ria, go have fun. I'm sure you're going to find your people. The ones that center you. And like time, nothing can stop you from moving forward, right baby? You, Illuria Crowne Lovelace, were born to be a hero."

"You totally stole that from Uncle's email," Ria said matter-of-factly.

"Oh hush," Ellie chuckled, giving Ria a quick kiss on the forehead. "Okay get going before it gets too crowded and you feel claustrophobic. My suggestion is, start with the music club! I hear the people in charge are throwing a party later."

Playfully rolling her eyes, Ria pulled away from her mother, "I would hope so, ma. It's all over the Gram." With that, the young Crowne pushed the glass doors and took her exit.

As she walked away, she shuttered in cringe when her mother called out: "Go get 'em baby!"

Ria swiftly looked around her, hyper-focusing in all the students walking by her. Hiding her blushing face with her long curly hair, Ria sped walked to the Fair.

Please be quick... please be quick... please be quick...

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by WriterRaven
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Introducing: Counselor Katherina Gale & Lisette Keene-Tatsuyama
Time: 11:55 AM
Location: Counselor Gale's office, Department of Counseling, third floor of the Leonardi Building



"We're due to wrap up our meeting soon. Do you have any plans for the rest of the day?" Counselor Gale - or Katherina, as she insisted Lisette call her - leaned back in her chair. She was spinning her pen in her fingers as she smiled across the room at her new charge. Lisette couldn't help but wonder what she had written down in the past hour that they had spent together. Doubtless it was all in aid of Katherina getting to know her.

She fidgeted with her hands as she spoke. "Uh, well... like I said, Alia expects me to be at the Students' Fair since I don't have class this afternoon... and there's the party Vivian told me about." Her voice faltered.

"Who's Vivian?" Katherina had her pen to page in a flash.

Lisette blinked. How had she not mentioned that before? She'd spoken at length about her first meeting with Alia. "Oh, um, one of my coworkers at the café. She forwarded me the details on Wednesday... sorry, ma'am, give me a moment to check what she said." At Katherina's nod, she pulled her phone from a pocket in her shirt-dress, quickly navigating to the texts Vivian had sent. "It's apparently going to be a low-key meet-and-greet type deal? Doesn't sound too crazy."

"Hmm. What makes you say that, Lisette?" Another note quickly found its way into Katherina's book.

"Um, well, it's just that I've heard stories about college parties from my parents... they said things can get out of hand fast if there's enough people willing to do crazy things." Lisette blushed a little as she remembered a video call with her mama, and how to-the-point she had been about the subject. "Mama said I didn't have to go if I don't want to, and that I can leave at any time if I'm not feeling okay."

Katherina tapped her pen to her lips soon after she finished another note. Lisette noticed a few scratches and scrapes along the casing; was it an old favourite? "Your mom sounds like a wise person. And she's right. Nobody will force you to go, and there's nothing keeping you there. If Vivian's a good friend, she'll understand if you have to bow out early." She smiled her knowing smile.

"I hope so... I mean, we've only known each other a few days, but she seems nice. And we've at least exchanged numbers. That's something." Lisette unconsciously resumed her fidgeting, having shut her phone off after looking up the texts. It wasn't the done thing to have a distraction in the room during a counseling session - something Lisette knew from well before coming to Crystal Peak.

Katherina maintained her smile as she sat up properly in her chair. "Indeed. Unfortunately, Lisette, that's all the time we have for now. Before you go, is there anything else you'd like to say?"

Lisette pondered the question, staring sightlessly at the carpeted floor as she did so. "Um... I don't think so, Ms Gale?"

"Please, Lisette, just Katherina will do." Ever patient. Not a single raised tone in her voice. "You should know that I will always ask you that at the end of our sessions, just in case there's something you might be thinking about but aren't sure about bringing up. I'll make a note of it, and we'll begin there at our next meeting. All right?"

Lisette wasn't entirely sure how to respond to that, so she simply got to her feet and stood there awkwardly for a few seconds. "Um, okay. Thank you again."

Katherina stood moments after Lisette did. "You're most welcome. But you'd best be heading to the Fair soon, if Alia's expecting you."

"Right, yes... okay. Bye for now." Lisette gave her counselor a short wave as she made for the door, quickly and quietly slipping through it and out into the hall. Once outside, she smoothed down her dress - not for the first time in the past hour - and checked everything was secure about her person. Pockets zipped, bag attached to the sash of her dress... yes, everything was in place. Wait, where's the Fair again? Darn it... Mildly annoyed with herself, she unzipped a pocket and took out her phone again, double-checking the details before she secured it away. The location fixed in her mind now, Lisette proceeded to a balcony at the end of the hall, overlooking a part of the campus...

... and promptly jumped from it.

Even before she began to fall, her cream and white feathered wings snapped open wide, far wider than she was tall. The reflexive motion caught her well before she could start to tumble. As Lisette banked upwards to reclaim some lost height, she reveled in the open sky; it felt like real freedom to her, away from the crowds and the confined rooms and the questions. But she couldn't stay airborne forever. She had a place to be, and so she glided away from the Leonardi Building to her destination.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by smarty0114
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Location: Clearview Street Residential Complex





To the uninitiated, virtual space could be somewhat intimidating, to say the least. The area was both limitless, yet confined, a world in which anything and everything was possible. To Douglas, it was perfectly comprehensible, another dimension made just for him. Here could be everywhere, anywhere, all at once.

Right now though, here was a pristine living room, furnished with leather couches, white fur rugs, and floor to ceiling windows that looked over the Manhattan skyline. Everything was tinged with a certain energy, the mark of virtual space, but it was not all that dissimilar from the place he’d once called home.

“Douglas, it is your move.” Sitting across from him, at a chess table, was his perso-assistant, Jocasta. Dark hair, cut perfectly straight, framed her face, where dark eyes sat, watching, seeing things even Douglas could not. Here she was not made of pixels and projected light, and her voice had no trace of digitalization. Here, she was flesh and blood. Well, simulated flesh and blood.

“Hmmm?” Douglas looked over from the window, where he’d been lost in the horizon. He had not seen that view in a long time. “Sorry,” Douglas’ eyes refocused on the board, hand hovering for a moment before moving his queen into position. “Check.”

“You are distracted. That is not like you.” Jocasta’s eyes locked onto Douglas’. She was more than just his assistant. She was a friend, a caregiver, a mother. Years with Douglas had led to a relationship that might’ve confused most people, if they’d known about it. To him, Jocasta was not just technology; she was a person. To Jocasta, Douglas was one of a handful of people that saw her as more than a collection of 1’s and 0’s.

The technopath shook his head. “It’s nothing. Just…thinking.”

“And you do not wish to share these thoughts?” Jocasta moved her king out of danger, eyes barely glancing down at the board.

Douglas chuckled. “You’re quite nosey, you know that?”

“You have told me that exactly seven times since we first met.” Jocasta smiled softly. “Is it about your mother?”

Douglas sighed. “Her visitation rights were denied. Again.” Douglas shook his head and clenched his fist. Some days, it felt like he’d never gotten a win, and he never would. “Apparently she’s just too ‘high-risk’ for anyone to see her, whatever the fuck that means. It’s not even about me it’s…”

“Your brother?” Jocasta filled in as Douglas trailed off.

He nodded. “He barely remembers her, y'know. Everything he knows about her is from letters, and who knows what makes it inside that place. He deserves to see his mom.”

“I do not have any ‘biological family’ to have taken from me, so I am afraid I can not fully relate to your experience . However, I do consider you to be part of my ‘found family,’ as humans call it.” Jocasta offered Doug a smile, and placed a hand on his shoulder. “I would be sad if you were taken from me, and so I understand that you are sad about your mother being taken from you.”

Douglas did not like tears. He thought they were useless. Tears did nothing but fall. “Jocasta, I think we’re going to have to finish this game tomorrow.” He stood up from the chess table, and began walking towards the front door. Jocasta remained.

“Have I upset you?”

“No, no, I have training, and lunch with Phoebe and Brenna. It’s a busy day for Douglas Wolff.” Douglas did not know why he lied to her. He knew that she knew it was a lie, but he still did.

“I will save our game then.”

“Thank you, Jo,” the technopath said before walking out, the world fading into brilliant, blue light around him as he returned to his body. He was sitting at his desk, phone in front of him. Outside, the sun was well on its way to the peak of its arc. He stood from his chair, ignoring the clutter of his desk, and stepped towards his closet, rubbing the soreness from his neck, and steeling himself for the day ahead of him.

The rest of his room was free of mess. His bed was neatly made, his floor clear of debris, and his walls lined with abstract art and pictures of his life from over the years. A photo of him, Phoebe and Brenna, taken last year before Crestview had burned down, another of him and Abe in the Crystal Peak workshop. The one picture that his eyes avoided had been taken years ago, when he was still a child. His mother, his brother, and him, sat outside in Central Park, laughing.
He did not like to think of those years, or what he would do to bring them back. He did not like to think about the rift that had grown between him and Dylan since that night, or his father, or the way in which his mother so closely resembled Jocasta. He did not like to think about any of it.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by smarty0114
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Location: Training Center -> The Quad
Interactions: Will | Alyssa @Hey Im Jordan




“Will, seriously, can we take a break?” The voice of Matthew Cashmore rang out through the empty training arena, from his position on the concrete floor, the annoyance in his voice clear as day. He’d been on campus for hardly more than a week, and already his cousin was trying to kill him with training. He’d thought the trainers at Cashmore Manor were tough, but it turns out, Will had become their shining star since he’d gotten to Crystal Peak. Every afternoon since he’d arrived had been spent here, in the training center, getting his ass tossed around like a ragdoll. He was most certainly not loving it.

“That doesn’t sound very Cashmore of you,” Will responded, smirking as he adjusted his stance and prepared for another round. “I told you, these kids aren’t gonna take it easy on you, especially once they hear your last name. I’m doing you a favor.” Will could not have been less fazed. For him, training was as simple as eating, a mandatory part of his routine. In fact, the time he’d been spending with Matthew was easier than any of the training regimens he’d adopted for himself over the last four years. He’d have to get in some extra time to make up for it.

Matthew groaned and picked himself up off the floor, brushing off the shoulders of his training uniform, and putting himself into a fighter’s stance. Fists up, feet squared, mind ready. He could sense his cousin’s thoughts pushing at the edge of his mind, awaiting his call.

“You ready?” Will called out, flexing his fingers in anticipation.

Matthew shook his head. “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

And with that, the fight began. Will watched as fifteen Matt’s appeared across the arena, jumping into action. He shook his head. “I told you to come up with a new technique,” he shouted, effortlessly throwing two of the illusions into the wall and watching as it faded back to nothing.

“I did!” Matthew’s voice came from every copy of himself all at once. Will looked around, noting that the Matthews he’d supposedly taken down, were back. “You thought about throwing them into the wall, so I made you think you did. Pretty cool, right?”

Will smirked. He was pleasantly surprised by his cousin’s ingenuity. Of course, it wasn’t going to stop him from winning, but then again, nothing Matthew threw at him would. This exercise wasn’t about letting Matthew win, it was about teaching him how to keep going when you’re completely outmatched.

The Matthews began circling Will, closing in like sharks on a wounded seal. They were identical, in looks, in movement, in technique. The only flaw was that they wouldn’t be able to touch him. This was a trick, meant to make him feel cornered. Oh fuck.

The moment the thought of being trapped crossed his mind, Matthew pulled it out, into the world. The concrete walls of the arena began closing in, forcing him into a very literal corner. The Matthews were gone now, replaced by the box he’d found himself in. A jab took him by surprise, catching him in the side, another came for the back of his head. He couldn’t see Matthew, but Matthew could still see him, and he was taking advantage of it.

Will grunted as a fist connected with his face, bursting through the wall then disappearing as quickly as it came. He shook his head, and cleared his mind, and then, he let it explode outward. Telekinetic force rippled out from him, and the walls that had surrounded him only moments before, flickered and faded as Matthew was sent rolling across the floor. Will clapped as his cousin groaned.

“I fucking hate it when you do that,” Matthew said, picking himself up once more.

“Most people do. Of course, if you had made those walls tangible, it would’ve been a lot harder.”

Matthew rolled his eyes. Sometimes he wondered if Will thought about anything besides getting stronger. “How many times am I gonna have to tell you people, the illusions don’t work like that. They’re just thoughts, I don’t even know what I’m gonna get half the time.”

“That’s ‘cause you’re underestimating yourself.” Will closed the space between them, fixing his cousin with a knowing look. “Trust me, Matt, I’ve seen what illusionists can do. Not to be too cheesy, but belief is half of the equation.”

“If I could, don’t you think I would’ve already?”

Will smiled. I think, that you are just the tiniest bit afraid of what you can do,” Will said. “That’s normal though. I was scared of myself when I first got here, hell, I think it just means you’re on the right track. You should be cautious with your powers, but you don’t need to be afraid of them.”

Matthew stayed silent. It was easy for Will to say that. Will was perfect. It didn’t matter that he could throw a punch without even lifting a finger, he would never, ever, go bad. It was so far outside of the realm of possibility, Matthew couldn’t even comprehend what that reality looked like. Him though? He was the son of Alexander Cashmore, and maybe the world didn’t know what kind of man he was, but Matthew did. He knew it was the powers that made him that way, and he knew that his own would lead him down the same road. How could they not?

“Same time tomorrow?” Will said. Most days he was so wrapped up in training that social cues were lost on him, but he could tell when Matthew was over a conversation. This was certainly one of those times.

“Do I have a choice?”

“Sure you do. The choice between me, Athena, or Lyss. Who do you prefer?” Will smirked and cocked his head, already well aware of the answer.

“I hate you,” Matthew said, giving his cousin a weak punch to the shoulder before he headed for the showers.

“That’s the spirit!”




Matthew emerged from the Training Center, feeling sore and more than a little bit dejected. His first week at Crystal Peak left something to be desired. His closest friend was still his cousin, and people wouldn’t stop looking at him whenever he spoke. The Cashmore name was following him like a plague. Surely, he was not cut out for this.

Whether or not that was true though, he was here, and he didn’t see a way out. If he dropped out, his father would likely disown him, or worse. He’d probably rearrange his brain until he wanted to be here. At least right now he was himself.

Reluctantly, he made his way towards the quad. Matthew was not a social person, in any conception of the term. If he could’ve gotten away with spending the next four years alone, he would’ve leapt at the opportunity. Of course, his family would never allow that. Will and his father weren’t the only Cashmore’s trying to shape him. His sister had decided that he would be joining her band, because Matthew Cashmore didn’t get to make decisions for himself it seemed.

A piece of him wanted to believe that this was a friendly gesture from his sister. If it was Will, he wouldn’t have doubted it. His sister was many things though, and selfless wasn’t one of them. He figured there was something in this for her, and he also figured that she’d be a mythic bitch if he flaked on her. The least he could do is show up and be as unimpressive as usual.

When he’d passed through the Quad on his way to the training center, it had been something of a ghost town, save for the clubs setting up their stands. Now though, it pulsed with life, and thoughts. He could feel the surface thoughts of the crowd bearing down on him, and it took all his self control not to supplant their thoughts into reality. He stood on the outskirts of the crowd, too afraid of himself to let himself be enveloped by the throngs of people. He pulled out his phone and began texting his sister, possibly because he was a good, and honest brother, and possibly because he was a glutton for pain. Who knew?

To: Lyss
there are too many people here. do i have to come to this?
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Melo
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Interactions: Brenna @smarty0114




In the distance Athena felt them flooding in, a slow torrent of souls divulging into Castle Street. Students mainly, but some teachers as well. She didn’t have to read minds to pick out the freshmen, marked by their nervous curiosity and wonder. They stood out amongst their upperclassmen who had seen this far more often. Just as noticeable was the apprehension here and there. Crestviews, surely, uncertain amongst new peers. At least, so she figured. Further away, she noticed William and Matthew leaving the training grounds. She casually wondered how they were progressing, and if Matthew was still complaining about those push-ups.

Ever since she was ten she had mastered her ability to focus. To not let the hundreds, thousands of minds present around her at any time distract her from any task at hand. But focus was barely a requirement when all she was doing was playing chess against the uninitiated. After all, today a number of the members played against anyone who felt up to the task. The chess club commanded a stand with a large tent, boasting a bevy of tables with games set up. Across her table was a young man, a freshman, who had a passing interest in the sport and thought he was too good to join the workshop the club was giving on the other end of the space. She didn’t need to see his mind to notice him growing antsy every time the clock closed in on zero. They handled a strict turn timer today, to give everyone a chance to play.

She barely needed to think about all the variations in these matches. So far, Athena had to weave in a number of inaccuracies in her moves to make up for her opponent’s blunders. She didn’t want to crush these newcomers within ten turns, after all. She had seen how morale-crushing that was when she had first done this gig as a sophomore. Apparently putting some big tourney participants was a good way to show off, who knew?

The real reason she was here today, besides it simply being expected of the new head of the club, was the exhibition matches against actually good players later on. She needed a challenge to focus. Her mind was her only weapon, and chess helped keep it sharp for when the time comes. Even now she sometimes imagined those pieces on the other side of the board were Alexander Cashmore and his pawns. Her father was one of the knights and the queen had been taken before her time. However, she still needed her pieces. But one day she would ruin him, reveal his atrocities and blow his head off. In that order, preferably.

And just like that, with passing stray frustration, her opponent had been checkmated. She tried to put up a pleasant smile, but failed spectacularly. ”Well played.” It almost didn’t sound dismissive. Her opponent left the table in quite a hurry after that. Athena sighed, and took a few deep breaths. She stood up from the table and excused herself for a short break.

She let her mind wander as she went off to get a drink. Her invisible projection floated above the crowds, scanning for familiar faces. Guided by the congregation of minds that she detected all over the place at points of interest. She passed Matthew, being his usual awkward self, and barely resisted looking at his phone screen. She passed over many clubs, either still preparing or actively engaging with the crowd. The music club had gathered many, no doubt due to the party that they were hosting soon. Oh, Athena was looking forward to that.

And then she passed by her salvation, or so she hoped.

”You, me, chess club stand. I need an actual challenge.” She spoke into Brenna’s mind. Now she only hoped the ice queen was in a mood to play.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Viciousmarrow
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Viciousmarrow

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Location: Campus Castle -> The Quad



“What’s up, kid?” the familiar voice of Uncle Abe filtered loudly through the speakers of a young redhead’s iPhone. Sylvia Vargas sat dully at a computer desk, her lurid green eyes transfixed on the screen in front of her. Numbers flitted over the heavily armed form of her main World of Warcraft character, Helexia. In the background, the sounds of The Story So Far’s “Placeholder” thrummed on another set of speakers. Her head bobbed to the beat, silently wondering if her roommate had been driven to madness yet since she’d had the song playing on repeat all morning, if he was even around.

“Not much. Same thing as usual. Stuck in this crappy college with nothing to do.” Sylvia’s voice answered, airy and light but with a tinge of annoyance and apathy. Her fingers nimbly slid across her keyboard, half listening to the famous Uncle she had on speaker phone. Her attention was raptly on the numbers that floated above her character’s head and the various cooldowns for Helexia the Retribution Paladin’s abilities.

Across the world in a cozy hotel room, Abraham Selig, known far and wide across the globe as the Number 3 Hero Brightlance, took a hearty drag on a cigarette as reclined in his luxurious bed. He chuckled to himself at his niece’s disinterest. It was sort of disheartening to know his niece was a recluse with a stick up her ass.

“Look, kid. You’ve gotta give up this whole broody bitch thing you’ve got going on. I know your mom sucks. I know your dad sucks. I just want you to succeed in life and not just be tethered by your parents, you know?” his gruff voice resonated back to Sylvia, running a hand through his dark hair as he did so. He’d probably said the same words to her at some point in her life, but it never really did seem to stick.

“They don’t control me, uncle. I am my own person, thanks. Sylvia retorted sharply, annoyance growing in her voice as she began to tap on her keyboard a little louder.

“Oh yeah? Then why are you still playing that stupid game? Every time I call you, I hear you slamming away on that computer. I don't think I’ve ever called you and you’ve been outside your room, Sylv.”

“...I just… Don’t have a reason to go outside. Everybody sucks. Except like… Mr. Marlarkey. He’s okay.”

Taking another drag on his cigarette, the Symbol of Valor shook his head at Sylvia’s response. If her only friend was a teacher, then this was starting to get real sad. Sighing to himself, he took it upon himself to try and kickstart her future since her parents were completely worthless at well… being parents. This girl was going to end up an isolated mess that relied completely on her parents at this rate.

“Sylvia, what are you doing with your life? Don’t you have any friends? Like… anything at all? You’re a sophomore, and I feel like you probably didn’t leave your dorm once.” he questioned her, his tone getting more serious.

“I’m super popular, okay? I’ve got lots of friends. You don’t know my life, uncle.” Irritation was starting to bleed clearly through Sylvia’s teeth.

“Yeah, okay. That’s a lie. I know very well your mom moderates even your social life, but we gotta kick that to the curb. Look, let's get you connected. It’s important. I wouldn’t be anywhere if I hadn’t made the right friends. In fact, let’s make a deal, Sylv.” Abe got up off his bed, his fit, half-nude form fully illuminated by fluorescent light as he began to pace around his fanciful room.

“Oh great. One of Uncle Abe’s famous deals. I can’t wait to hear this.” The peachy redhead gritted her teeth in anticipation. Her eyes never left the screen in front of her though, even as a red lock fell lazily over her face.

Abe strode over to a mostly bare, exquisite coffee table that dominated the main room of his temporary living quarters. His chocolate eyes peered down at a laptop’s screen, reading a recent email from Crystal Peak. “There’s this thing going on at your school. The Students Activities Fair. Yeah, I still get the emails. I want you to go. Make a friend. Get your life together. If you go, I’ll make a generous donation to the life and times of Sylvia Vargas.”

“And if I don’t?” Sylvia inquired bluntly. Something told her this was about to get stupid. Her family, all of them, had a penchant for twisting things so they got their way, one way or another.

“Well, maybe I’ll tell your parents about that friendship or whatever you’ve got going with… What was his name? Mr. Marlarkey? Scandalous.” A smirk flitted over Abe’s lips, knowing full well how this was going to end.

“Wow. Blackmailing your own niece? Some Symbol of Valor you are. Screw you.” As much as she was pissed at being strong-armed into doing something she really had no interest in, she knew she didn’t really have a choice. It wasn’t a good idea to call her family out of their bluffs. Huffing, her eyes finally left her computer screen and she let her hands hit the Esc key so she could log out of the game.

“But fine. I’ll go. I’m getting dressed now… Just leave Mr. Marlarkey out of this.” There was the sound of clear defeat in Sylvia’s words as she resigned herself to her uncle’s wishes.

“Sorry, kid. Let it be a lesson to you. You don’t get anywhere, especially not where I am, without a little… let’s say… browbeating.”

Sylvia’s expression visibly soured at her uncle’s “lesson”. “Whatever. I’m hanging up now. I’ll call you later.” Before Abe could get another word out, Sylvia did exactly what she said she was going to do and abruptly disconnected from her frustrating call with her uncle. Standing in the middle of her little living space, she clenched her fists, closed her eyes, and suppressed the want to scream. This place was a prison, doubly so with her stuck living with a Warden. No, not just any Warden, but the Head Warden. She wasn't sure what she had done in this life or the last to feel so confined.

Hastily, her dainty hands dressed herself in a light green, floral-patterned blouse straight from Dior. Paired with it was a grey toned pleated skirt from Louis Vuitton. To finish her little outfit off, she slapped on a dash of lipstick, eyeliner, and then slipped on a pair of Hermès "Gris Argente" sandals. Simple. Breezy. Light. One of the silver linings of her family was the money since she could afford such expensive clothing, and boy, was it comfortable. With the ensemble ready, she picked up yet another vastly expensive accessory, her black Chanel handbag, and shuffled out of her dorm and toward the Fair. She left The Story So Far playing on repeat for her room mate to deal with. If it was gonna be another year with that guy, then Sylvia was certainly going to make him suffer with a plethora of minor inconveniences.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Aewin
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coGM
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Aewin Chomp!

Member Seen 13 days ago


𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧: The Quad, Music Stall
𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴: Krista Müller & Luciana Cypress

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“Come join us at the music club! It’s a tune of fun!”

Krista Müller was a woman on a mission. Despite the cheery grin on her face, there was a lot running through her mind. She scanned the crowds that were attending the fair at the quads, a plentiful turnout yet no one seemed to be even peeking in her direction. Was she a bit too intense? Maybe, but the music club was her pride and joy. It deserved a little bit of crazy.

“Auditions closing in a week, you will note want to miss out!”

It couldn’t be the puns.

Her eyes met someone’s over the crowd.

She moved fast.

Cello! Are you new here?”

The blonde girl Krista had approached was even shorter than her. She was dressed in a black turtle neck under a loose white shirt, paired with fitted stiff jeans, but the most interesting thing about her was the pair of gloves that just barely peeked out from under her white shirt. There was a thin layer of sweat marking her forehead, making it all the more strange the number of layers she had on.

“Ah… yes… I’m a freshman.” The shorter blonde responded, seemingly alarmed. She took a hesitant step backwards, putting some more space between her and Krista, leaving the latter surprised.

“My name is Krista Müller. I’m a junior and a member of the music club. What’s your name?”

“My name is Lucia Cypress…”

Sensing discomfort from Lucia, Krista’s eyebrows knitted in concern. Immediately going into her ’mother goose’ mode, she gave Lucia a gentle, reassuring smile. “It’s really lovely to meet you, Lucia. I hope your first week at Crystal Peak was fun and comfortable.” Krista wanted to ask about the surname, to find out if Lucia was really a sister or a cousin, but quelling the discomfort took priority. She'll just put a pin on it for later.

“It… was interesting at least. Really hard to get used to.” Lucia responded, making Krista laugh lightly.

“Did you get lost on your way to the quads? I did that when I first got here. Took me almost a month to figure out how to get from my classes to the cafeteria!” She took a moment to allow Lucia to relax further, only continuing when she saw Lucia shyly smile back at Krista. “Are you interested in looking at clubs?”

Lucia nodded lightly, “I just arrived so I was just wandering around. I don’t know what I’m looking for…” Lucia admitted, her pale cheeks growing slightly pink.

Krista chuckled softly. “It can get pretty overwhelming, I get it. How about I show you to my stall first?” She then gestured towards the stall that was decorated with East of Eden merch and other music paraphernalia. “That’s my stall over there, I’m from the music club-- though I told you that already. Sorry, I get a bit eager and forget things. Tell me, are you a creative person, Lucia?”

Lucia barely seemed to think before she nodded, “I like to think so.” She responded shyly.

Krista clapped her hands once in excitement, “Perfect! Have you heard of East of Edens? We’re this really awesome symphonic rock type band and our lead singer -- that’s Eve by the way -- is looking for potential recruits. Come, check out the stall!” Krista beckoned Lucia towards the stall, which now had some more interested faces looking at the merch on display and whispering amongst themselves.

“There’s five of us in the band right now, six if you include Alyssa, our cool manager, or seven if you include Brad.” Not that Krista remembered him quitting, but he just suddenly stopped turning up one day. Luckily for the band, Zak had finally made his official debut the same time and the rest was history. “It’s a really chill place to be, even if you don’t want to be part of the band.” Krista’s voice grew slightly louder, allowing her voice to carry to the rest of the interested faces around the stall. “We host a lot of get-togethers and Dewey -- Professor Martin, our teacher sponsor -- is really awesome as well. It’s like, all good vibes and we all have a laugh!” Krista picked up two different sheets of paper, handing one to Lucia who was standing on one edge of the crowd before handing the other sheet to the lad standing on the other side. “There’s two different sign up sheets if you’re interested, one for the music club itself and the other is if you’re interested in auditioning for East of Eden. I recommend at least signing up for the music club and checking us out tonight at Elysium. Test our vibes y'know? We're hosting a party to welcome all the new freshmen and Crestview students with a wicked wild party and you’re all welcome to crash.”

Some of the students began signing the music club sheets, not too many but at least there was some interest early into the fair. Krista would count this as a win. But turning to check on Lucia, Krista found her staring at the sheet of paper before handing it off to the person next to her, very carefully making sure that no part of her hands made contact with the person beside her.

“Have you got any questions? I’m happy to answer anything if you have any hesitations?” Krista offered gently when she approached Lucia. Lucia only took one step backwards, ensuring that there was enough space between them before looking around the fair.

“I’m… really sorry to waste your time but… I don’t play music. I like to paint.” The platinum blonde admitted. There was a small pause before Lucia added, “Do you know where I can find the art club? That… might me more my style…”

Rule #1 of recruiting, always ask if they're interested in what you're offering.

“Sure, ah, it’s a couple stalls down that way. You’ll know it when you see it, they have painted splattered posters and examples of what current members have made last year up next to the stall.” Krista laughed, though she couldn’t avoid the awkward feeling anymore. “I’m sorry, I should’ve asked what kind of creative you are. It’s okay though, the art club will take care of you just as well!”

“Again, I’m really sorry too, I really hope I didn’t upset anybody-”

“Nonsense! It’s okay, but please do come to the party later in the evening. It’s a good time to connect with people and who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy our band?” Krista quickly waved off Lucia’s concerns with a bright smile, the old surname pin Krista made in her head long forgotten.

“Okay, I’ll be there. Thank you, Krista, I'll see you later.” With her worries adequately squashed, Lucia left the music stall to follow the direction towards the art stalls, leaving Krista to handle the other remaining students still interested in the music club.

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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Melo
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Melo I am a hedgehog!

Member Seen 6 days ago


Current form: Female
Location: The Foggy Glass & The Quad
Interacting with: Krista Müller @aewin




It was 5 AM, and everyone at Crystal Peak that was of sound mind was still sleeping. The waxing crescent moon still hung in the sky and the sun’s illumination yet a but a looming threat to its presence. Sasha jogged through empty, dimly lit streets through the town centre. She stopped at the backdoor of The Foggy Glass. She looked around, scanning her surroundings, before pulling the key out of her back pocket. She unlocked the door and then locked it again behind her.

It had taken Sasha a lot of effort to get this entire gig arranged over summer. She still recalled Isaac Schutlz’s puzzled look when she first brought up the idea. Not to mention her dad’s expression, who had laughed in his usual, bellowing roars that had become a meme for a short while when it first appeared on the big screen. Recalling the entire thing evoked a giggle. It couldn’t be helped, she had needed his credit card to get it sorted. The old man was stingy with money, even after the entire top 8 schtick was practically showering him with more money than the Delgados knew what to do with, as a result of his own frugal upbringing. But hearing that it was for training purposes, he quickly relented.

Sasha stepped into her own private distillery in the bar’s back chambers. She had wanted to install it in her dorm room at first, in truth, but that idea had been shot down quickly. Unfortunately her intimate relationship with her resident assistant did not quite open these kinds of doors. Isaac had arranged a room in the bar for her, instead. Perhaps it was for the best. After all, the distillery would’ve taken up far too much space! It had turned into more of a small laboratory, in truth. Sasha was planning to work on a few different chemicals here. Not all of them were quite legal, but that was only a problem if people found out. Regardless, for now, strong drink was more than plenty.

Arranged on a shelf at the back of the room were a series of bottles, about a litre each, all neatly labelled with their contents. Spirits, with alcohol percentages ranging between roughly 90 and 95%. About as strong as they came, for the most part.
With her finger she traced the shelves, picking out bottles she deemed fit. She set aside a number of bottles for the party. Even though she had said this was meant for training, certainly nobody would mind if she donated a few bottles to a good cause every now and then.

She then took another bottle off the shelf and opened it. The burning scent of nearly-pure alcohol seared her nostrils and sent a shiver coursing through her body. She stared at it for a while. She thought about this for a while, before concluding: Hesitation is for pussies.Then she put the bottle to her lips and sent it all down the hatch in one go. Her throat was a burning mass of agony for but a moment. With a thought, she told all nerve endings in her oesophagus to go take a hike. She did the same to her stomach, and repressed anything that would send it back up again. Instead, she promoted the uptake of all this alcohol into her body. All the while, she took a second bottle to repeat this entire process, followed by a third just for good measure.

She opened the floodgates of her blood-brain-barrier, letting in the copious amounts of alcohol even more easily than it normally did. She let it fill up until her brain was positively bathing in the stuff. The alcohol started to react with her brain, doing all the things it would normally do to get a person drunk. And then dead, given how much of the god damn stuff there was coursing through her veins right now.

But Sasha denied it, and shut down all attempts of reactions with her brain right then and there. And so there the alcohol was, bereft of its original purpose. Unsure of what to do besides just try to interact with that brain as was its nature, again and again,, yet to be denied again and again. A desperate assault of molecules on her brain, crying for the fulfilment of their destiny. But they failed.

And so Sasha’s newest addition to their usual training routine had successfully commenced. Sasha gathered the other bottles in a backpack, closed it carefully and took them back to her dorm room for the party. Then she went to the training centre and continued with their usual workout.

The art of not having anything fuck around with your body that you don’t want it to was one of Sasha’s greatest techniques. But amongst those, keeping your brain functioning properly was always a difficult one. To stop anything, or anyone, from messing with all those neural stimuli, synapses, neurotransmitters and constant creation and destruction of neural connections all around the damn thing was difficult. All the while figuring out which ones her own body actually intended to do, and in the meantime not fucking up and actually shutting the whole thing down because you were stopping some crucial reaction from occurring.

For most of her body parts this had been a cinch. And even for the brain she was learning how to master it now. In truth, she could already do it perfectly when focussing. But doing it perfectly in the heat of battle was an entirely different thing. And so Sasha had to train to manage their brain while doing other things. Primarily battle training. She followed her usual martial arts routines, as drilled into her by her father and other trainers. Kickboxing and kung-fu, primarily. Then she morphed her body to a different configuration and did them again. One time she was small, barely a metre. Another time she stood at about five and was covered in a carapace of bone and six arms. She made sure to use her powers a lot in this routine. After all, that was what she would be doing in actual combat. Using abilities simultaneously was another one of those things she kept training.

Afterward she went back to her dorm, took a refreshing shower and switched into her attire for the day. She opted for a cropped white top with a graphic bee design, paired with a mini sporty skirt that hugged her body comfortably. She also wore an oversized leather jacket with leather loafers and long black socks. She proceeded to follow her morning classes, and certainly did note the look Isaac gave her, knowing fully well what was going on. She had told him, after all. She did notice an onset of drunkenness when a class got slightly too boring, but that was quickly undone, and repaired.

Luckily for her, her classes ended at exactly 12 today. She strolled from the academy straight to the Quadrangle. The great bustling of people added but another distraction, just as intended. She weaved through the crowd, exchanging some greetings along the way while on the lookout for the freshmen. Sasha did quite enjoy this whole socialising thing, even if she had to reintroduce herself at times. Alas, that was one of the few drawbacks of this whole shape changing thing.

She was expected to be at the theatre club; their play was at 1:30. Here and there around the quad there hung posters of the event so that nobody would have to miss it. She didn’t doubt that they were already setting up. She would need to get changed and get her make-up done. But she was here early. So certainly she could afford a short stop at the music club before that.

The music stall was lively, as it was every year. Some students were already signing sheets, promising it would be another good turnout this year. And there she saw Krista, who seemed to have just failed enticing a new prospect. Sasha chuckled softly, waiting for the student to leave earshot before approaching. ”I think you need to practice your siren song. Because you certainly aren't luring them in.” She smiled. But then she noticed her expression was unusual for the bubbly blonde. Contemplative, perhaps? ”Hey, you okay? It’s really not a big deal to let one slip the net!”
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BrutalBx
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BrutalBx

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The sky was a clear blue and soft yellow light shimmered across the water as the two people sat in contrast to one another in the enclosed meadow. Their handcrafted Victorian seats stood out amongst the lush green grass and trees. Birds sang songs of love and squirrels amongst other woodland creatures ran free around the pair whilst they were locked in conversation.

This was hell.

He had finally died for his sins and been cast in the cold flames of Helheim.

“I hear the band will be throwing a party tonight, that sounds like it could be all kinds of fun!” The regal looking woman sat on her throne by the sun kissed lake looking upon the sullen face of her charge. “If I was a student again, I would absolutely come out to see you guys rock out!” Making the devil horns with her hands, the stunning elder closed her eyes and stuck out her tongue.

Shepard tilted his head as she attempted to bond. She always attempted to bond. He missed his old therapist, at least he had an edge about him before his untimely demise. Dr Daphne Menounos was too sweet, too warm, too much. She tried way too hard. One wouldn’t think to look at her that she happened to be a hero of the highest regard. Daph wasn’t up there with the Bechtel 8, especially since the core of her powers lend themselves to a far more supportive role but she was fantastic at what she did. The only reason that Shep even entertained these therapy sessions with her was because Daphne was a good friend of his late mother. Martina Frasier had a tendency to force her husband into talks with the good doctor whenever he returned from a mission; Allistair hated them just as much as his son.

”You’re a fucking idiot”

Daphne’s face curled into a rye smile as she reached for the tumbler on the nearby table. ”Shepard darling, I’ll tell you what I used to tell your father. Please refrain from the foul language or I’ll make you forget who you are and leave you a babbling mess in a bowling alley” Behind the beguiling beauty, Daphne was massively calculating, deceptively clever and dangerously cruel. Once upon a time, the woman was known as Oneiros; the mistress of dreams. Daphne was only a child when she had her first precognitive dream and a teen when she began to control the dreams of others. At first it was all fun and games until she witnessed her mother die. She thought she was helping by putting her into an easy sleep, she didn’t realise that it would be the sleep that killed her. After a brief stint as a super villain, Daphne reformed and began working as a hero before finally settling into a role as a therapist at Crystal Peak.

”Sorry” A word Shepard rarely said, if at all.

It was always days like today that he pined for his home in the Scottish Highlands. Not so much his actual home because that sucked and he wanted to burn the place to the ground but the wilderness. Shep found solace in the woods, alone, with no noise other than what he made himself. Whenever he needed to decompress, he could grab his guitar and climb a short Fell Mountain until he was happy then just sit and strum. Paradise. He was trying to make it work at Crystal Peak. He had joined the music club and was in the best band in town, he had hooked up with some cute guys and some hot girls, he was doing his best to fulfil his mothers wish of being a normal kid…Well as normal as a kid with massively dangerous superpowers could be.

Finishing her water, Daphne placed the glass back onto the table and looked at the sun slowly descending to the right of them and the womanly figure standing out in the centre of the water. Their session was nearing its end. ”Have you thought much about your mother recently?”

Shepard cracked the knuckles of his left hand, swiftly followed by the crack of his neck, a bad habit. ”Freshers week is always the worst. It just reminds me of when she died and I had to enroll here two days later.” He’d been doing these sessions for a few years now and every so often there was a breakthrough or a breakdown. Shep was a mess of a human being. He knew that. Everybody else knew that. It was just one of life’s great certainties. Shepard Frasier was a lunatic.

”Grieving takes many forms, Shepard. It seems yours has yet to fully take shape” The good doctor looked at the figure in the lake again before returning her soft gaze and full attention to the uncomfortable looking Scotsman. ”Same time next week okay?” Daphne raised her index finger and made a single circle motion. The world around them began to melt, the sky dissolved into sand like water running down a painting and in mere moments they were shrouded in black.

Shepard opened his eyes and found himself in his room, which was littered with boxes that he had yet to unpack. He swung his feet off the bed and used his palms to push himself upright. He glanced at the clock on the wall and let out a great sigh. ”FUCK MY FUCKINH LIFE!” Shep had promised Krista that he would swing by the music stall at the fair. Why did he say this? He hates all people. Everyone. Even that kid at the back who eats his own snot. Yeah, especially him. Why the fuck did he agree to this? Cos Krista that’s why.

Fucking Krista.

Slipping into his leather jacket and picking up his 1965 Fender Telecaster, Shep braces himself for the chaos that was outside his dorm room door. He hated Freshers. Placing his headphones over his ears, they began playing “Roadhouse Blues by The Doors” a song Shepard had been trying to get EOE to incorporate into their new set. Jim Morrison was a genius and Shep had been working on a new riff that would slide easily into the piece.

With his guitar over his shoulder, Shep made his way through a sea of students and he really didn’t want to have to deal with them all. Part of him wanted to find the one with the most dangerous power, supercharge them and blow them all to hell but he wouldn’t do it; they talked about why in therapy. After what felt like an eternity and in a place where time travel was as common as dog shit on a shoe, Shepard finally reached the music club stall where he could already see Krista trying to tackle anyone and everyone. He pulled his headphones down around his neck and let his dark green eyes follow her frantic movements.

”You’re desperation is showing, K”
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by Viciousmarrow
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Viciousmarrow

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Collab with @Viciousmarrow@LovelyComplex@WriterRaven
Sometime after 12...



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Sylvia’s lithe form sauntered into the Quad with the attitude of a bored celebrity, garnering a few concerned looks from a few passersby. It wasn’t exactly a secret that she had a penchant for being abrasive, as at least a few of peers found out last year. Nothing but her attitude was cheap. And her honesty? Well, that came free.

Her expression glowered as she passed by the first few stalls, silently judging each subject she came across. Chess club? Now, that was for losers. Hiking club? No. That was for idiots that wanted to fall into a ravine and die. Book Club? Yeah, she’d rather die than pick up a book ever again. The Outsiders was the last book she’d read, and Sylvia certainly wasn’t going to be subject to the fictional matters of a greasy kid named Ponyboy ever again.

Huffing away from the disappointing array of options in front of her, her emerald eyes caught a curious, yet not uncommon sight: a fairly attractive blondie floating down from the heavens on the actual wings of an angel. Nonplussed by what Sylvia would describe as “attention-seeking behavior”, the redhead rolled her eyes and strolled over to the girl as she landed.

“What do you think you’re doing, angel girl?” Sylvia asked, her tone slightly annoyed. Her lips started to move again, as if to say more, but then something truly horrible wandered into her eyesight that caused her to stammer. Behind the angel girl, what Sylvia could only describe as a true goblin with messy hair and dressed in overalls walked. Instinctively, one hand from her right hand flew up horizontally to silence the angel girl, if she had decided to talk at all, and her left hand pointed at the newfound goblin.

“Hey, excuse me! Curly Hair! Yeah, you with the overalls! Get over here. I’ve got to have a chat with the two of you.” The redheaded menace called loudly to the cryptid creature. Sylvia couldn’t help but stare. It was very rare that you saw someone dressed so nightmarishly and be unashamed of it. It was basically her civic duty to help this poor lady and to help angel girl understand become less of a show off. Yes, yes! This would be a good start to a new start.

There was a delayed response from Illuria when she found herself staring at the moving crowd, caught in a daze. From when she left her mother’s side to her standing in the center of the quad, deciding where she should go, she lost track of time. She couldn’t remember the last night she caught a decent amount of sleep. Classes kept her blood flowing, all the teachers from the ones that came from Crestview to the ones that have been working at the Academy for years kept her on her toes.

They were all so different and eccentric, especially her Introduction to Psychology teacher, Professor Nikolaevna. She was a weird one and had a tendency to get into random philosophical tangents like her perception of being a bad person. There was Hitler and then there was everyone else. Everyone does bad things, that’s just the way of life, but what defines a bad person, well it’s the one that refuses to lament on the bad shit they do.

Basic psychology was mandatory for freshmen because it prepared you for sophomore year’s class, The Mind of a Villain. Also taught by her. She liked her honestly. Irina Nikolaevna made it seem like the world wasn’t as black and white as they tried so hard to make it. Ria was given a sense of relief that both monsters and ghosts were real. They lived inside of us. In each and every person: in this Quad, at this school, and somewhere far, far away. Sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t but you can’t say a bad attitude isn’t one hell of a drive. Professor Nikolaevna was badass.

When she registered the two girls, Ria looked from side to side to make sure she was the one that the redhead wanted. The stranger’s face said it all: duh, you! Unaware of who any of these girls were, Ria shuffled toward them, hooking her thumbs into her overall pockets. Her body language showed the lack of confidence that she had in social situations. Charisma was something she believed she lacked. And never would obtain. It was hard being a lady.

Hanging her head down, she put one foot in front of the other, counting the steps it took to get to her destination. Even her walk dragged. Ria took tiny steps, avoided making eye contact with anyone and everyone, and had absolutely no swagger. The littlest Crowne struggled to get past the crowd so after a long, tedious minute, she found herself out of the sea of people, united with the girls she didn’t know. “Hello…?”

Meanwhile, Lisette, having just landed in one of the few open spaces amid the crowds of people, was taken aback by a ginger-haired girl with a scowl on her face approaching her and demanding what she was doing here. Immediately self-conscious, and without Alia there to support her, she folded her wings tightly at her back and stood straight, doing her best to avoid showing any signs of embarrassment. Internally, though, she was panicking. Was it the flight? It had been the easiest way to get to the Fair, even if it undoubtedly made folks stare at the white-winged blonde sailing the skies. Wasn’t the first time that had happened, but here... here was different.

“I beg your - hey!” She cut herself off when she found herself talking to a hand. That was just rude. Mama and O-kāsan had made it very clear before packing Lisette off to Crystal Peak that a first impression was everything at a new school, and this girl was certainly giving her one. While she was being pointedly ignored, she turned and craned her neck to look for a familiar face in the throng of students. No sign of anyone she knew... she resigned herself to a lecture from a stranger, but if it was going to be especially harsh, she had a few choice words of her own on the tip of her tongue.

Sylvia beamed at the two shanghaied girls, as if they were her own proteges. Her hands clasped together excitedly, and her focus went to the angel girl first. “Hi! My name is Sylvia Vargas, but you know, I feel like everybody knows that. Anyway. Look, I know how hard it is being new and all, but…” Sylvia waved her hand at the crowd around them. “It’s cool you have wings and all, but I don’t know. Maybe don’t be a show off? Just try to be humble, okay?”

Her visage then turned to the tiny goblin girl, still wearing a maybe too wide of a smile. “And you, my dear… uh… whatever your name is! You can’t wear that. Never. You just can’t ever, ever wear whatever you’re wearing right now. They’ll eat you alive here, okay?”

"I... what do you mean, show off? It was either walk and take far longer, getting lost along the way, or fly from a third floor balcony and know where I'm going." Lisette furrowed her eyebrows, liking this Sylvia girl less and less by the second. First impressions and all. "And what do you mean, she can’t wear that? If it’s comfortable for her, that’s what matters, right?”

“Uh,” Ria was a deer in headlights, looking between the blond and the redhead. This was like one of those bar jokes where three vastly different people find themselves in the same place, at the same time, and are presented with a situation. Rather than acknowledge the diss toward her attire, she muttered, “Vargas? Like… you’re related to Dr. Elise Vargas?” One of the main directors that decides all things hero schooling throughout the world… Vargas. Also the woman her great uncle kept talking about ever since she made a generous donation because of how tragic! There was a fire… Vargas. Illuria wasn’t surprised at the name drop, she simply was reiterating her knowledge from being considered an ‘elite’ family member as well. It was weird, what money and fame could do to a person.

Sylvia’s smile began to wane quickly as neither girl gave her the expected reaction. She was expecting them to be thankful that she was trying to help them, but nope! Angel Girl gave her excuses and tried to be a white knight, and Goblin Girl was over here talking about mom. She winced visibly at the name of Elise Vargas, but tried her very best to remain calm, cool, and collected. Try as she might though, it really wasn’t working. “Okay. So clearly I did something wrong. One, don't ever talk about my mom again, and two, I’m just trying to help the two of you because it’s extremely obvious that neither of you know anything about anything here.” Sylvia took a deep breath and did her best to reset this conversation.

“Let’s try this again. I’m Sylvia Vargas. I don't like when people talk about my parents, so please don’t. May I pretty please make your acquaintances and have your names?” her tone was forced and generally didn’t seem sincere. Sylvia still wore a fake smile, but now it had the afflictions of rage and annoyance.

Illuria glanced over to the ‘Angel Girl’, pursing her lips as she kept silent. She didn’t know if she felt comfortable saying her full name. There weren’t many Illurias that existed in this world, so like, it didn’t feel right to bring it up. She could say her nickname. Maybe that would satisfy the pretentious princess. Still, did she really owe her name to a girl that didn’t like her outfit? She was worried she’d run into the fashion police and here she was, running into the fashion police.

Lisette was just confused. Of course she didn't know anything about Crystal Peak or its people, it was her first week here. She hadn't even finished unpacking her books! ... Okay, there were a lot and she had gotten sidetracked with everything else going on. While Sylvia's request was amenable, her tone was not. She sounded as though she would just get angrier if the conversation continued. If introductions were just going to annoy her even further...

It didn't help that the other girl, the even shyer one than herself, didn't look like she wanted to talk either. What was the best course of action here? She didn’t want to excuse herself on her own, that meant leaving the shy girl alone with Sylvia, and that was almost definitely a recipe for disaster. Would she be comfortable if Lisette steered her away from this angry redhead? Anxiety twisted itself into her guts.

It was a risk. And she decided to take it. "My name is Lisette. I’d love to stay and chat, but my friend and I were thinking about signing up for some clubs together. Please excuse us." It was a classic way to get away from an unwanted conversation, one that Mama had taught her: pretend you have a friend nearby and engage with them. Stepping past Sylvia with a smile of her own, she put an arm around the third girl’s shoulders and began to lead her away from the seemingly irritated redhead, aiming to lose her in the crowds.

Before Ria realized, she was already going back into the fair, without a goodbye they were off. As they walked away, Ria looked over her shoulder at Sylvia, wondering if this would piss her off even more. She didn’t like the idea of having an enemy already at the school. Then again, there was part of her to be relieved to not be in such an awkward conversation. Now, here she was, walking somewhere, or well, being led somewhere with the girl that introduced herself as Lisette. “Maybe she meant well?” Ria’s voice went up an octave, no longer mumbling but still ever so timid. “I’m Illuria, by the way. I’m pretty sure we’re the same year, since we have gym together. It’s hard not to notice someone as pretty as you.”

"Um, thank you..." Lisette couldn’t help but blush a little at the compliment. Then it clicked where she’d seen Illuria before. "Right, of course, I remember you from gym class. That was tough for a first go at it."

She glanced back behind the two of them, just in case Sylvia was following. "I’m sorry for dragging you out of there like that, Illuria. But honestly, that girl talks like she wants to be friends while her actions say, I don’t like you... um, truth be told, I have no idea where we’re going. Just away from her."

“Well you have someone to meet?” Ria tilted her head, curious if Lisette wanted to hang out with her or not. To be honest, she was losing wind already, feeling the day catch up with her. Would it be rude to ditch her and the fair and lie to her mom saying she signed up for the music club or something? That interaction with Sylvia, as short as it was, was a lot. And her mother wanted her to go to the party too.

“Because I promised a boy I’d meet him!” Oh that came out horrible, as if Ria had a love life. Ha, ha… yeah. Funny. Her and a love life. “Whose a friend… a guy, dude. Friend.” Word vomit. This is why she kept to herself. This is why she would ditch the angel girl like they ditched the redhead. Save herself from putting her foot deeper in her mouth. She didn’t even know what friend she was talking about; she didn’t have any. “He said he’d meet me over… over there.” Ria squeaked, her voice getting even louder as she pointed in a direction. And yes, she was pointing at a boy far, far away. Squirming out of Lisette’s arm, Ria cleared her throat, “I’ll, uh, see you later?”

"Oh! Well, if you have someone special to meet, you’d better go." Lisette disengaged as soon as Illuria showed signs of wanting to be out from under her arm. "I’m supposed to be meeting my mentor somewhere... right, yes, hopefully see you soon." She gave Illuria a wave as she stepped away, then pulled her phone from a pocket and texted Alia. I’m at the Fair. There’s way too many people here. Where can I find you?

When Lisette walked away, Ria gave the deepest sigh of relief. She was free. That was the longest five minutes of her life. “Alrighty then,” The brunette gave a shy wave goodbye before going into the random direction she pointed at, choosing it would be best to not look behind her or to the side of her, where Lisette was heading and where Sylvia was left behind. She likely already ruined her chances with both of them as friends so there was no use in dwelling. Onward and upward, her sister, Callie, would say.

There was a strike of panic that shook the redhead when Lisette made it known she was leaving this conversation. A hand feebly reached out, and Sylvia’s feet nearly started to follow the duo as they left, her mouth left agape. “Hey, wait…! I’m -”

Sorry.

There was a glacial feeling that went down her spine and it felt like a gaping void opened up in her chest. Guilt. Loneliness. Things she’d felt time and time again, but was never able to shake their spectral, icy hands. She wished her uncle hadn’t forced her out here because this is what always happened. She wasn’t good at talking to people, and deep down, she knew that. Everyone was pushed away like she was a huge magnetic force field. Why was this so difficult? Sylvia cursed her existence silently and ground her teeth. She had thought she was doing something good, but apparently, she’d ruined everything. Nothing new there.

Running a tense, frustrated hand through her locks, she went the opposite path that Lisette and the Cryptid had and melted back into the crowd. The bored gleam in her eyes was now a vacant one, matte and hollow.

It was gonna be one of those days.

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BeastofDestiny
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BeastofDestiny Death, is only the beginning

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Locations: Campus Grounds → Campus Castle/Warden HQ




It was an absolutely gorgeous day out, the sun was shining, the fair was in full swing already, and unlike most other students, it was Kanan’s first day back. His arrival was fully planned and approved by the faculty ahead of time, but Kanan had made it a point that he wasn’t going to miss his son’s first day of school and that was all the convincing they needed. He still kept up with the courses ahead of time online, emailing professors and printing his curriculum. Even though he wanted to dedicate more time with Julian he did need to go back before the end of orientation period. Still he was glad to have stayed while he could, at least long enough to watch his niño meet up with friends and enter school for the first time that year; he couldn’t be more proud.

Still, life moved on and Los Santos was back on the scene, duffle bag with his overnight back in one arm, school bag slung over his other shoulder. Deftly he maneuvered the crowds of excitable and anxious freshmen, bypassing around the quad to get the Campus Castle, both his home and office. As Kanan entered the building, he reflected on how he ended up in his position, the weight of his mantle as captain, finally beginning to take hold.

Kanan Santos, former gang member turned hero, at least that’s how the papers rolled out the headlines. He was so excited by the opportunity, that he was blinded to how he was being used as a living publicity stunt. Even after angrily bringing it to the school’s administration, he was made very quickly aware of how little power he had here and how quickly he could lose his son. So he played along for the most part, did what the school asked of him and became a warden, knowing that one day he’d have to lead the wardens himself. He loathed that day when he was a freshman, feeling like a used tool and pawn back then, but now, he relished the challenge. Even though the reasons for bringing Kanan to Crystal Peak may have been wrong, he was given an opportunity nonetheless, an opportunity that his previous head warden, Leon, would not let him squander.

So here he stands, in front of ‘his’ room, well his room plus one. Kanan knew he'd be dealing with a babysitting job in addition to his other duties. He already felt bad enough for what Leon had to deal with the previous year, the insufferable attitude of Sylvia Vargas; Leon had simply wished him luck. Still, watching over one bratty girl was going to pay for both his and Julian’s college tuition, definitely an appropriate take and give situation. Still he was already beginning to wonder if he was going to hate this deal with the devil as the muffled rock music suddenly erupted into a cacophony of blasting amps and clashing cymbals.

“Oh you got me fucked up!” In an abrupt crash, bags were dropped in the hallway as Kanan entered the room and made a beeline for the source of the noise, “Yo! Vargas!” Both fortunately and yet, weirdly, she was not at the source, nor was she anywhere in the apartment as Kanan put a silence to her music. Well that was good that he wouldn’t have to immediately deal with her shrill voice, yet that presented the other headache that she wasn’t here. He rubbed his temples, “One step at a time, Santos…” First things first were to at least get his bags into his bedroom, and they quickly joined the pile of other unpacked bags and boxes that had been delivered earlier that week. Second order of business was to let the other Wardens that he was back in the area, his fingers already gliding over his phone keys.

To: Wardens
“Back on campus, need to go over a quick brief on tonight’s Elysium party, meet up at Castle at 5:00. Also if anyone has eyes on the Vargas girl give me a head’s up.”
@smarty0114@Melo@Hey Im Jordan


As Kanan finished his text he swiped over from the Messenger to Supergram and viewed the saved gif that displayed a party invite in flashy bold letters. As good as the intentions to have a party for both schools to attend were, he could easily see things going down the drain very quickly. Better to have a few Wardens on site to ensure the peace and maybe get a vibe check on the new guests of honor. Having done the Warden gig for 3 years now you get a feel for the people in your school and usually only have to deal with the freshies that come in. Now, we were talking an extra few hundred students on top of the usual suspects. Whether Kanan liked it or not, the Wardens were going to have their hands full this year and unless they have more recruits join, that wouldn’t likely change. Still it couldn’t hurt to ask for some outside help and with that decided, he went back to his messenger.

To: DDay
“I’m back in town Devil Dog, let me know if you’re going to that party tonight, I could use your help with some freelance work.”
@LovelyComplex


Kanan pocketed his phone, ready to exit the building before a rather devious thought crossed his mind. For all intents and purposes Kanan’s job was to bodyguard Sylvia and her parents made that very clear to him. Now he could argue that videogames rotted the brain and that the brain was a part of the body that needed protecting. However, Kanan applying a parental blocker on her computer was purely spiteful. Leon told him the horror stories from the previous year and whether either of them liked it or not they were going to be stuck with each other. Still, that didn’t mean that Kanan couldn’t make it slightly more tolerable and it might actually teach the brat to not leave her computer open and logged in.

His work complete, Kanan resumed the music, each repeating track an impending, ticking countdown until that 1 hour was up and the computer would be inaccessible until the following day. Did he feel a little guilty? Sure, but if she really needed to use a computer, there was always the campus library. Now for the real challenge, to find the missing princess.
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Venus
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Venus

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A @Venus & @BeastofDestiny Collaboration
Introducing Noah Cypress & Ezekiel Masterson
Location & Time: Zeke's Dorm Room @ Clearview Street Residence Complex, 12:10 PM


Bright rays of noon sunlight peeked through the curtains of the room’s window and shone directly on the face of a sleeping Noah Cypress. The persistent brightness eventually nudged the young woman awake, rubbing her hungover self off in all the wrong ways. Letting out a loud groan, she threw a lazy arm over her face and rolled over, hoping to settle herself in the center of her bed to continue sleeping. Her movement, however, was stopped short when she collided with a dense figure laying beside her. Frowning, Noah opened her eyes to find herself staring at the broad, tanned back of a male, still fast and deep asleep as confirmed by his deep, rhythmic breathing.

Noah’s frown became more pronounced as she suddenly sat bolt upright, blue-green eyes darting around the room while actively ignoring an incoming headache. No matter how much she rubbed at her eyes and frantically searched around the place hoping for a sign that this was all a dream, all she found was more proof to suggest it wasn’t. The room she was in was very clearly not hers-- as evidenced by the 90’s band posters on the wall, the masculine clothes on the floor underneath her outfit from last night, the stray empty cans of seltzer, the medium-sized enclosure opposite the bed, and the photo on the wall of an annoyed-looking boy squished in between three older-looking girls. As her brain slowly caught up with her wakeful state, fragments of the past night slowly trickled into the young woman's hazy, foggy memory, piecing together the story of what had occured.

It was Karaoke Night at The Foggy Glass. A tall, handsome man with silky locks of dark hair, kind brown eyes and a charming smile approached her stool out of the blue. They had hit it off instantly-- shared drinks, laughter and spent time together being incredibly touchy-feely in a way that could easily get them confused with being a couple. They had left the bar on her bike and gone skinny dipping at Crystal Lake, where things had started to get so frisky they decided to take things back to his place. Heated kisses were exchanged behind the closed door… And now she was unclothed and hungover in this guy’s bed.

Or was it?

“Shit.”

Trying to be as quiet as possible as to not disturb the date whose name she didn’t remember at the moment (all her hazy brain could recall was calling him by an assortment of cutesy pet names like baby, sweetie, boo bear, etc.), Noah slowly slid off the bed and tried to tiptoe to the bathroom. Doing the walk of shame was already going to be humiliating enough, so she figured the least she could do was try to wash away last night’s sins under a jet of warm water.

Warmth, haziness, comfort, mellow thoughts like a fog enveloping the mind. There was existence and yet there was not. Zeke could not remember the last time he slept so comfortably and yet was so lost to his slumber that it was barely a registered thought. He was simply at peace, until a buzzing tickled the back of his mind like an encroaching swarm of cicadas, thoughts suddenly screaming him back into reality.

“Master! Your concubine is attempting to escape your quarters!”

Zeke’s eyes shot open, abruptly and painfully with a sudden sting, a thousand hammers to anvils clashing against his brain simultaneously. Faster than he intended to, his body shot up in an attempt to lay into the annoying arachnid, “Fuck! Noah, what are you on about? Do you have any idea what time it is?” With an exasperated groan he flopped back into the bed, an arm over his eyes.

“Half the day has passed, Master. The sun is at its peak height.”

“Shit, you’re kidding me: it’s already noon?”

“This is what I proclaimed, yes.”

“Don’t you fucking sass me!”

“Master, I do not mean to interrupt, but what of the concubine?”

Sitting back up Zeke went to look towards the cage, “What are you talking about? What concu- oh…” only to be face to face with a hot, naked and shame-faced chick in his room. “Uhhhh…yo, what’s up?”

Noah had successfully made it halfway across the dorm room when the man on the bed suddenly bolted up into a seating position and began yelling at her about what time of day it was and about her 'sassing' him. The redhead had frozen on the spot as soon as she'd heard her name, confusion settling on her face while the guy seemingly had a conversation with her but with himself at the same time. His attention during the one-sided conversation had been directed somewhere behind her, and it freaked her out the longer it went on. She was starting to seriously question her choices from the previous night when her date's attention finally seemed to focus on her.

"Um, why were you yelling at me?" the young woman inquired with no time wasted, frowning at the man in bed. Sharp and straight to the point: just like she was. "I haven't made a sound since I woke up."

“Yelling at you? What are you talking about? I’m talking to the- wait, hold it, back it up. Why are you even in my room?” His eyes suddenly scanned her pale body up and down, “Like…I’m not complaining that there’s a naked girl in my room, but why and how?” As if reality suddenly hit him like a tsunami, so too did the hangover with it, “Shit, my head,” Flashes of the bar and people go through his mind, “Like did we do something last night?” Zeke tried racking his brain to find the answer, but the increasing pounding in his head wasn’t helping at all.

“I apologize, Master, but I regret to inform you that-”

His attention turned fully from the girl as he stared straight at the glass tank, “Dude, Noah, I love you like a brother, but I really don’t need your opinions rattling around in my brain like an 8-ball in the corner pocket.” He rubbed his temples gently, “Can you just…chill out and not talk until at least tonight? Please. Thank you.”

“As you wish.” With that the tarantula scuttled back into his den, dirt and sand kicking up at the entrance.

"See? You just did that thing again!" Noah cried out, clicking her tongue in exasperation while stretching an accusing hand towards the man on the bed whose name she still did not remember. She could feel her fiery temper start to flare up, fueled by her raging hangover. Was he trying to be funny? Play a prank on her? Because whatever it was, it was far from funny, and someone was going to get hurt if it went on any longer. "You started asking me about last night but then said you didn't need my opinions and wanted me to 'not talk until at least tonight' before I could say anything!"

“Noah! I’m talking to Noah, my tarantula. I don’t even know who you are, let alone why you’re in my room.” As if on cue, his memory returned to karaoke night at the bar last night. She was there singing and then there was some…douche. She left with Zeke instead of him. Suddenly remembering the first night sparked the rest of them: all the karaoke nights he’d attended at the bar during freshman year, she was always there, belting out some 80’s rock song like a true rock goddess. “Wait, I do remember you, from the bar…who…are you anyway?” Dumbfounded was probably the most accurate expression on his face right now, but better than pretending she’s a Sam when she’s actually a Megan.

His pet tarantula is called fucking Noah.

The Cypress girl's amused laughter at the absurdity of the situation soon filled the room. What were the odds that she'd meet someone with a pet who shared her first name? "Noah. My name is Noah too," she clarified in between giggles, pointing at herself in the chest while taking the short steps from the middle of the room to sit back down on the bed. Relief washed over her, and she was glad to find out that the start of this conversation was actually a misunderstanding and not her date from last night having some sort of psychiatric breakdown. While some people might have questioned the whole ‘talking to my pet tarantula’ thing, Noah knew to just go with it. Talking to animals wasn’t a power she hadn’t heard of before. "I'm in your room because we left the bar together last night. The specifics are kind of hazy at the moment, but maybe we can figure out what exactly happened together."

Despite the laughter echoing off the plain walls, rattling against his skull, it was oddly infectious and got Zeke cracking up at the weirdness this morning as well, “OH… Yeah, no, that’d confuse the hell out of anyone. Sorry about that.” He scratched the back of his head embarrassedly and took a moment to take her in. Dyed red hair flowing down to the middle of her back, tatted-up pale skin, near amazonian height and remnants of makeup and mascara faded into her beautiful face. She was certainly a sight, though he probably looked no better and realized at that moment he hadn’t even introduced himself. “Oh, uh, my name’s Zeke by the way,” he half turned on the bed to shake her hand, only for the sheet covering his lower half to fall away and expose his full glory to her. “Maybe we can figure this out after we get our clothes on?”

While Noah stood up and pretended to bashfully look away out of respect for her host, the glimpse she'd had at Zeke’s toned arms, chiseled chest and other precious goods had her smirking and mentally patting herself on the back. You go, girlie! Another excellent selection made! Because she didn't feel like going through the trouble of putting on her jeans, bra, tank top, etc, Noah slid on her underwear and looked around for something to borrow. Thankfully, Zeke appeared to be a few inches taller than her, so she was able to fish out a clean flannel shirt long enough to reach her thighs from the nearby pile of clothes, slide it on and button it just enough to keep it from falling off.

Discreetly watching Zeke out of the corner of her eye, Noah waited until he was finished getting dressed before turning around to face him. "There, fully covered and decent!" The young woman declared, occupying the spot she'd previously had on the bed by laying down on her side. "Now let's try to solve the mystery of last night together."

First confusion, then sudden realization as he hopped to his feet and slid on a pair of jeans, deftly latching the belt shut. She had on his clothes now and damn it all if she didn’t pull off the look just right. He found himself staring as she got comfortable on his bed. A few seconds of awkward silence before clearing his throat, “Right, so what happened last night?” He tried to recall the hazy events, “You were at the bar, karaoke night, some guy was trying to hit on you and I don’t think you were into it. I think I…stepped in and said I was your boyfriend?” Shit, that didn’t sound like him and yet…that’s what he remembered. It wasn’t like he was bold or daring-- he did a lot of his mischievous shit in the shadows or the corner of the room where no one bothered you. He remembered doing that, though. She looked pissed and could use a save and something in him just… “I was already about three drinks in at that point and I’m pretty sure you and I only drank more.”

Zeke's words helped the gears in Noah's mind start turning. Flashes of an unattractive, insufferable, kangaroo-looking man who hadn't stopped harassing her since she'd arrived at the bar came to the forefront, as did the urge she'd had to bust his skull open with a beer bottle before Zeke had stepped in like a heaven sent angel. "Right, yeah! You came over to my stool, wrapped your arm around me and asked if I had missed you while kissing the top of my head and calling me 'honeybee'," she said with a small cackle, remembering how she'd jumped at the life jacket Zeke had thrown in her direction. While Noah was perfectly capable of defending herself, she was adventurous and curious enough to follow the man's lead to see where it would take her. "We played a few rounds of pool, danced for a while, had a few more drinks and after I lost at darts you dared me to go skinny dipping at the lake… I think?"

Shit. They had gone swimming, right in the heart of the campus lake. Felt like they got there pretty quick, too. “I feel like we took someone’s bike to get there. Probably not the smartest, but I never claimed to be a smart person.”

"Yeahhhhh, that was my bike," Noah sheepishly admitted with a grimace. "It was pretty reckless of me to do that. I'm sorry," she apologized in earnest. "At least we made it back in one piece, though, right? So since we’re both safe and sound, let’s go back to the story…" she trailed off, feeling like she was missing something they'd done between arriving at the lake and leaping in with a loud shriek and their hands intertwined. "We went to the lake, jumped in, and…?" A faint memory of strawberry and THC smoke nudged her brain in the right direction. "Hold on… didn't we share a blunt and talk a lot of shit before we got high enough to dive in?"

Oh, yeah: they had. And that shit got him zooted, crossfaded; just fucked up. They had sat under a tree and just shot the shit. He’d gone on about how bees were essential to life, how he wished that some people didn’t just blame their shitty attitudes on `Sagittarius’ Mercury’s rings being in retrograde’ or some bull like that. He remembered feeling comfortable around her-- really opening up. Not ‘my sister is dead’ opened up, but pretty damn close to that. “Yeah we did. Shit was real fire, too.” a dumb grin plastered itself on his face, images of shotgunning smoke into each other’s lungs blasting trough his mind.

"Yeah, it was,” Noah agreed with a smile of her own, her mind momentarily on the same thing. She remembered listening to his tirades and hanging on to his every word, attracted by the passion and emotion with which he spoke of the topics and feeling safe and inspired to share more about herself. In return, she’d gone on a rant about her family’s ridiculous expectations for her, how she was pressured into pursuing a hero education under threat of being disinherited, how she felt like she could probably step up to the plate if she really tried but was scared of royally fucking up and being the one to blame for any lives lost… Which were topics she’d only spoken about with her sister and her closest friends.

It wasn’t long after their sensual smoke exchange that the two had jumped in the lake, though he didn’t remember the skinny dipping part. A quick scan of the floor revealed their attire from the previous night was indeed damp, “After that it was pretty cold and I said my dorm wasn’t too far away. We walked here and clearly things happened.” A dour thought crossed his mind as his stomach sank and he looked around the room for an empty wrapper or its used contents, “Might be kind of bad timing, but you’re not on birth control, are you? I…don’t remember if we used a..and if we had sex-”

“You did not consummate your union with the concubine, Master.”

His head whipped around, “I’m sorry, what? You’re saying we didn’t-”

“You were belligerent, loud, and frankly obnoxious, but you both removed your soaked attire and laid yourselves to rest.”

“Oof, fuck that’s a relief, Noah says we didn’t do it…” Initially there was excitement, but then his face soured, “That’s honestly kind of fucking disappointing…what the hell was the point of waking up naked even?”

"Awwww, that's bullshit!" Noah Cypresses lamented, falling backwards on the bed and regretting her decision when her head started throbbing. "We went through all that and we didn't even do anything?!" A part of Noah was indignant that they hadn't sealed their deal. But in all honesty, the other part was relieved they hadn't. She would've found it embarrassing if they had gone all the way after a night like theirs only to not even remember the guy's name the day after. "I'm guessing the clothes went off because we jumped in with them, they were soaked to hell and we weren't going to die of hypothermia or wreck your mattress by sleeping with them on?"

“Her assessment is accurate, Master. I’m impressed: you actually brought one to your abode that possesses an intellect, nor drivels incessantly about tic-toc-toes.”

Zeke shot a quick glare over to the enclosure before returning it back to Noah the human, “Yeah, that sounds about right. I’m just impressed we even thought that far ahead.”

"For real, though,” Noah agreed with a giggle, surprised that they’d been capable of making such an intelligent decision considering all the questionable ones they had made until that point.

The real question for Zeke now was, what next? Sure, they figured out how they got there, but not where they were going. Well, was that even a thought, really? I mean, sure: he helped her out of a bind, and from what he could tell they had fun, but not ‘fun’. So what did that mean? She was pretty-- hell, stunning, even-- and she spent the night naked in his room. Maybe it was time for a vibe check?

“So what now? I mean, we had a good time, even if we don’t fully remember it. Didn’t have sex, but that’s not a bad thing I think.” Zeke sat down on the bed next to her, his weight creaking the springs underneath slightly.

Huh. Looks like she wasn’t the only one thinking that a blackout hookup wouldn’t have been the wisest of choices. "I don’t think so either. I would’ve hated myself if you gave me the best ride of my life and I couldn’t even remember it,” Noah teased with a knowing smirk and a playful laugh.

“Call me crazy, but… I don’t think I’d mind another night like last night. Maybe less alcohol so I remember, but that’s just my opinion.” His head turned to look at her, his eyes raised in questioning anticipation.

Noah’s blue-green eyes lit up with delight. Since her break-up with Damon Day, most of her interactions had been meeting people at the bar, hooking up with them if they were interested and attracted enough to each other, and saying goodbye without a second thought. Going far enough to share deep conversations, spend time together the morning after and make plans for a future date hadn’t been something she’d done in what felt like forever. It was… Pretty exciting, actually. “I wouldn’t mind it either,” she confessed with a gleeful grin. “I haven’t laughed this much or had this much fun in a long while.”

“Right? I know what you mean, and I think we could have more… You heard about that party at Elysium tonight, right?”

"I sure did,” Noah answered, a giddy feeling settling inside of her as she quickly realized where this conversation was going but waiting to see what it would lead to.

“So lemme paint you a picture.” He bounced to his feet and clapped his hands together before laying it all out on her like some powerpoint, while Noah sat up and posed with her fingers intertwined like a CEO about to listen to the world’s most important business proposal. “You, me, your bike, seven o’clock, party it up, dance tonight and then we dance tonight.” He emphasized the last bit with a few swings of his hips from side to side before thrusting forward. “Think you can handle it?”

The Cypress girl tried hard to keep a straight face throughout his demonstration, going as far as to press her lips together tightly to avoid breaking character but ultimately succumbing to a fit of laughter. "I don’t know, those moves of yours seem preeeeeeetty steamy. I don’t know if I’ll be able to control myself around you,” she joked after she’d recovered, batting her eyelashes and biting her lower lip with playful, fake concern.

Zeke laughed and clapped his hands together again before breaking out into another dance, throwing in a few exaggerated hip swings just to be extra ‘cheesy’. He was rewarded with another round of loud laughter from Noah. “Damn girl, if you’re impressed now, you should see the things I’ll do in public.” He spun around and flopped back onto the bed, arms spread out like a bird, “Come on, if nothing else, going out with me is just a guarantee that you won’t get hit on by any other limp dick, shit swizzlers out there.”

Noah raised her eyebrows in amusement. "Because I’m the frail damsel in distress and you’re the intimidating bodyguard that needs to keep her safe from all the big, bad, limped-dicked, shit-swizzling wolves out there?” the redhead teased, laying back down on her side next to Zeke and draping one of her legs over his.

“Actually it’s ‘cause you're a tigress on the hill and all the other big cats want a piece of you. If anything, you’re the intimidating one.” Zeke reciprocated by moving his hand to latch onto hers, “As for me, I’m more of a…fly on the wall if you will.”

"A tigress?” Noah repeated with an amused smile. “I haven’t heard that one before. I’ll give you… Ten brownie points for originality,” she announced with a chuckle. “As for you, though… I guess even the fly on the wall gets all the attention if it buzzes close enough to the predator, right?” the woman asked teasingly, shooting Zeke a complicit wink as she shifted around one more to rest her chest on his and lock their eyes together.

“True,” Zeke smirked, “And yet the tigress hasn’t swatted the fly away, which maybe makes me that she likes him just enough not to eat him alive…yet.” He shifted his eyebrows suggestively.

Noah’s smirk and suggestive eyebrows matched Zeke’s and his energy. It was clear that, just like when they’d first exchanged words back at the bar, they were in sync with one another--and right now, they were both thinking the same thing. The question was, who would make the final move in this game of chess?

"Be careful what you wish for…” she warned in a low, sultry tone, slowly inching her face closer to Zeke’s.

“Careful was almost my middle name, but that’s a lie,” his eyes locked on target, “Too bad this isn’t.” His free hand helped bridge the gap between their lips as he pulled her head towards his. Contact made, sparks flying and bees buzzing, he moved his hand away to let the two catch their breath, “So will I see you tonight?”

The redhead nodded in definitive confirmation. “Absolutely,” she breathed out, staring at Zeke’s face for a moment before locking her lips with his again in another passionate kiss.

“Master, may I remind you that the sun has reached its apex and that you are missing the fair that was scheduled on your yearly curriculum. May I also remind you how much I have expressly shown my detestment for your mating rituals with your concubines.”

As annoying as the tarantula was being, he did make a valid point, as he had completely forgotten about the fair today. He was really enjoying this too, but he had to pull away from it. “Yo, so… there’s that fair today too. Don’t suppose we should at least check that out first? Plus I think my spider has had enough of our shit.”

The fair...

SHIT! Noah cried out, bolting upright and away from Zeke. With rising panic, the redhead frantically searched around the room for her purse, found it near Other Noah’s enclosure, and pulled out her cellphone. The battery was almost at the end of its life, and the screen not only read twenty seven minutes past noon, but also alerted her of plenty of missed calls and text messages from the same contact: Little LuLu.

“Shit!” The young woman let out a shriek, resisting the urge to smack her palm against her forehead. “Shitshitshitshitshit!” She quickly began to gather her belongings and zip up her boots while remaining dressed with Zeke’s flannel (her clothes were still damp from the past night’s shenanigans). “I was supposed to meet my little sister at the quad at noon today so we could go to that fair together but I totally forgot about it,” she explained, running her hands through her flaming locks in an attempt to make them presentable.

Suddenly, she remembered a part of their earlier conversation and wanted to scream. “And now I have to walk all the way to the lake to get my bike, which will make me get there even later.” Noah lamented, letting out a frustrated groan. Her custom orange Harley Davidson Fatboy had been a birthday present from her parents earlier that year. If any harm had come to it, she would be heartbroken-- not to mention that her parents would probably cut her off.

Her sudden outburst caught him a bit off guard, but that was probably how she felt when he started freaking out randomly. “Well hey, listen,” Zeke slid off the bed and started sifting through the piles of clothes to find at least a halfway decent shirt and hoodie, “I get it, shit didn’t go the way you expected it to and there’s no use beating yourself up over it. Why don’t I come with you to find your bike? Knowing what we did last night it could take a bit to find it and if nothing else I could always ask the locals if they’ve seen it.”

Just as Zeke spoke, Noah was graced with yet another piece of the last night’s puzzle. “I know where it is!” she declared, grinning in jubilant relief. With the use of her earthly powers, she had left her bike and the matching helmets buried underneath the tree they’d shared the blunt at. Thank God that even under the influence of herbs and alcohol she made some smart decisions. “I can give you a ride to the Academy if you still want to come with me.”

“Fuck it, let’s roll on out,” he grabbed his few belongings, phone, wallet, ‘pen’, essentials and followed the redhead by the hand out his dorm room.

Left alone to silence, Noah Weaver breathed his own sigh of relief. “Finally… Some peace…”
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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by BrutalBx
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BrutalBx

Member Seen 2 hrs ago



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@BrutalBx & @Aewin
𝐓𝐖: 𝐀𝐧𝐱𝐢𝐞𝐭𝐲
┗━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━━┛


This whole year has been a whirlwind.

Twelve months prior, Delmond was just your average kid, ready to graduate high school, go to a Division One school and play college ball in the hopes of going pro and buying a house for his Momma. Fast forward and he was now a superhero in training, with powers that he didn’t want, in a place he didn’t fully understand. He had been cursed by the legacy of a father and grandfather that he never knew. A father and grandfather that when last he saw them tried to sacrifice him to Guede for Youth eternal. That would likely make the next reunion just a tad awkward.

After the initial emergence of what everyone but Del himself liked to call his gift, the young man began working with Blackwell Innovation. They wanted to give him the tools that he could use to control his power, to stop him from ending up like his father, Baron Samedi. Delmond really didn’t want to do it. He really didn’t want to fall into this life but he was dealt a dead man’s hand and like the saying says, you just gotta deal with the hand you’re dealt. Fate wasn’t anything that Del really believed in despite his connection to the supernatural.

At Blackwell, the young boy from the Big Easy spent much of his time with Dorian Blackwell. He was a lead medical researcher there, a colleague of Mama Batiste who worked as one of his nurses and he was also a Gifted with the ability of intuitive aptitude. Dorian had the power to know exactly what was going on inside of a body and how to fix it. He learned at a frenetic pace and it was he who helped Delmond uncover the secrets and intricacies of his newfound status. Dorian was like a big brother to Del and he was sad when his apprenticeship with Blackwell was done. It came to a point where Dor and Mama Batiste decided it best that Delmond go to school and be with others who could help him in different ways than they could.

So that’s where he found himself now, a week into a new school year, surrounded by people who could probably cause mass destruction with a sneeze: A year really can make a difference.

Delmond stood in the quad, scouring the area for any familiar face. He had met a few people in his first round of classes but he hadn’t really connected with anyone yet. With his bag over his shoulder, he surveyed the surrounding space and his chocolate eyes were drawn to a painting by the art club set up. He took a few steps forward to take a deeper look. It was ethereal, with pastel colours and muted tones. A street illuminated by fairy light. It reminded him of the French Quarter, it reminded him of home.

“The pastels… it’s like a kaleidoscope of colours.” Soft, confused muttering could be heard from beside Del. There would be brief moments of pause before it would pick up again, as though the person was discussing with someone. “Hazy… Almost feels like everything is underwater...”

Beside Delmond stood a girl much shorter than him, eyes glued to the same piece of art as him. Her expression twisted into that of wonder and curiosity before her eyes began to explore the other pieces on display, muttering comments barely perceptible from under her breath. “What a glimmery shade of blue… fascinating… Oil? Maybe…” It was only when her attention was drawn to a piece further away that her sense of awareness kicked back in.

Realising she had been speaking under her breath, that expression changed from wonder to horror. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that out loud.” Luciana apologised for the third time in less than an hour that day. First had been to Noah after spamming her phone with increasingly panicked texts and calls, then to the lively blonde by the music club stall and now to the student she had inadvertently disturbed with uncalled for commentary.

“Oh no need to apologise” Del took a step back, not wanting to encroach on his newfound compatriots personal space. “I ain’t no artist so I don’t really know what I’m looking at if I’m honest” He turned to look at the newcomer and was taken aback a little. Considering the museum curator's content she had just been whispering to herself, Delmond expected some stuffy teacher. Instead he was greeted by a beautiful visage that rivalled the very paintings they were looking at. She had platinum blonde hair, big blue eyes and painted lips that stopped traffic. Yep, he wasn’t expecting that. “I mean I can’t even draw a stickman” Del still kept a little of his Nawlin’s drawl despite spending much of his youth in Washington. “But this reminds me of home, you know?”

Lucia regarded the art again, taking in the streets with the soft lights. The streets looked wet, softly reflecting the pastels of the lights illuminating the streets. She wished she could touch the canvas, feel the texture beneath her fingertips, but that wasn’t polite. Instead, she tried to examine the buildings on the street carefully, trying to guess the inspiration behind the art, but the gent’s accent gave her a clearer clue than the art to its inspiration. “Oh, are you from New Orleans?” She asked, curiously. “I’ve never been outside New York, no, Crystal Peak, I don’t remember the last time I went to the big Apple, so I don’t think it counts.”

“Good ear” Del was impressed, then again, it wasn’t a giant leap considering his accent was fairly thick. “I was born there. Got displaced after Katrina. Grew up in Washington. And I realise I basically just gave you my life in four corners in three seconds” The large boy let out a low laugh. “I’m sorry I was raised by my momma better than that. My name’s Delmond, most call me Del” He looked the girl up and down again, noticing the gloves on her hands. In this weather and in this place, that could only mean one thing. Bad hoodoo. Though Del did not get bad vibes from the girl herself; quite the opposite. “And pray tell, what do they call you?”

Luciana found herself laughing as well, feeling a lot more relaxed with Del than she had been with the blonde girl selling East of Eden merch. At least Lucia felt like it was a two-way conversation with Del, and there was no selling involved. “I should have introduced myself sooner- I’m Luciana, but I go by Lucia, it’s a pleasure to meet you Del.” Her fingers twitched slightly when she realised he noticed the glove, resisting the urge to pull her white shirt over her hands even more. Was it really so weird, in a school full of people with crazy abilities? Likely not, but it was weird to her. Before she knew it, her gloves were beginning to get clammy. She needed a distraction, fast, before she messed up her first good conversation outside the mandatory stuff in classes. “Are you a freshman too?” Yeah, that’ll work.

“Technically no” Del scratched the back of his buzzed head with a smile. “I’m a Sophomore but I only transferred in this week so I may as well be a freshman” He rested his hand on the wrap of his headphones which hung around his neck. It was nice having a normal conversation for a change. The entire week had been powers this, powers that, oh my dude you can raise a skeleton? Awesome, send it into the girls' showers. Unfortunately Delmond had already met some of the schools reprehensibles and he needed to make it a severe point bit to drift that way. That’s what this entire experience was shaking up to be, Del adrift in a sea after a crash landing. He jus tended a volleyball. “You a bit of an artist then, Lucia?” He gestured to the works before them.

“I’d like to think so. It was a hobby more than anything. Helps me think about anything other than my troubles.” Painting had become a form of escapism for Lucia, her father never able to refuse her requests growing up. Perhaps it was due to guilt, perhaps he was just being a good father indulging his daughter’s developing artistic interests, but Lucia never commented on it either way. “I think my art is very much like this one—” She redirected their attention back to the pastel art, “All about recreating the places I see in TV and movies on my canvas. It’s…fun, nice to beginners too, if you’re keen.”

Well shit. Could Del really see himself sitting down with brush and easel and painting happy little clouds and trees? The boy did fuck with Bob Ross, that shit was so relaxing before bed. ”I would have to have a teacher with the patience of a saint” It realistically could be something worth looking into. Since the manifestation of Delmond’s gift, he had struggled to quiet a voice in his head, a strong voice that demanded knowledge, knowledge that Del did not want. Maybe painting could be something that could mud that compulsion. ”But I think I’d be up for giving it a try”

Del agreeing to join gave Lucia the confidence to reach into her breast pocket to pick up her custom pen, signing her full name under the club’s sign up sheet. There were a few names above hers as well, none that she recognised, but nonetheless the art club was definitely a popular stop for students. Then, delicately picking up the sheet with just two fingers- a habit she had picked up over time- she passed it to Del, offering her pen as well. “It… would be nice to see a familiar face amongst these names.” Lucia added.

”Much obliged” Taking the pen from Lucia with a bright charming smile, Del placed the sign up sheet back down onto the table and with his left hand signed his signature underneath hers. He stood back up to his full towering height and offered the pen back to the blonde. ”I guess we’ll be seeing a bit more of each other Miss Lucia, I’m looking forward to it”

“Likewise, Del. Maybe even tonight?” Wait, that could be taken weirdly. Rewind. “I mean, at the party! The one all over the Gram.” Lucia resisted a sigh of relief at fixing her momentary blunder.

With a smile across his lips, Delmond looked at Lucia with soft eyes. ”Oh yeah, I forgot all about that. Well I guess if you’re going, then I’ve got more of a reason to go” Going to a college party at super school would definitely be a far cry from the sort of celebrations that Del was used to. Back in the day, he would often have to run away from parties due to the police breaking them up and this wasn’t due to the noise. It was most always because his gang was selling drugs there. It wasn’t something that Delmond was proud of but at the time, he had to pay the bills, that’s just the way it was. ”It’ll be fun”

Not trusting herself to speak, Lucia nodded with an embarrassed smile. God, he was smoother than butter. For the first time in her life, she was glad she was already flushed from the heat stifling her from her layers of clothes, it explained the sudden redness in her face well enough. “I think so too, Del.” To avoid embarrassing herself further, she checked her phone for any texts from Noah. Zilch.

Giving him another, this time softer smile, she excused herself with a final: “I need to find my sister, I’ll see you tonight!” before disappearing back into the crowds that enveloped the Quad in search for Noah.
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Hidden 5 mos ago 5 mos ago Post by NeoAJ
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NeoAJ Fine. I'll High Five Myself.

Member Seen 18 hrs ago

TW: Cocaine, Substance Abuse, Surgical Body Modifications
Introducing: Evelyn Harding, Bexley Crosby, James Tyler
Location: Leonardi Building (Girls' Bathroom) → The Quad → Music Stall






@LovelyComplex@NeoAJ@smarty0114

“Are you serious, James? A hundred and ten pounds of blow?” Evelyn Harding leaned up against the wall staring at the bag of coke that her friend and bandmate bought for her and Bex. He placed it on the counter connected to the sinks. Since class was coming to an end, they would have to hurry this exchange before students entered the girls’ bathroom in the Leonardi Building. It was ironic they were about to sniff coke in place of Health and Counseling.

On a daily basis Eve consumed enough alcohol and drugs to sedate most of New York City from Manhattan to Queens for about a month. Xanax helped with the edge, Adderall kept her focus, Quaaludes was a wonderful sleep aid, pot mellowed her out, coke was always a good option to wake her the fuck up, and booze, well, booze simply was a masochistic way of her having big highs and big lows. Her favorite. The gateway that led to her discovering all these other drugs that altered her mind, her emotions, and her life, making her feel superb again.

She, surrounded by Rock & Roll for all her childhood, relied on alcohol more so than any of the other drugs but today, during the day of her party, she wanted to have a little fun. It wasn’t like she started the day off with it. She waited, like the good girl she was, for her classes to finish. Now that it was lunch, it was time to give into the craving and feed her desires. She sure loved this part of her day.

That’s where James comes in. Whenever she needed something more, minus weed because she’d go to Mithra for that, she’d call her dear Speedster and use their code for when she wanted something special. Each drug had a pairing food with it. The best way to communicate in text, honestly, was through code. Whether they talked about classmates or they wanted to get up to something illegal, having a code to deter prying eyes was a good safety net to have. Coke was cinnamon buns.

Mm, I could murder for a cinnamon bun right now.

“I said I needed to wake up. Not lose all feeling in my body and get a heart attack,” Evelyn teased, with her pleasantly smooth, fine red wine voice. It was clear she was a woman who held herself with dignity and confidence, and her presence simply commanded all eyes on her. In addition to that, her body exudes sensuality. Eve was a symbol of sex.

Ravishing hips, tall legs, meat in all the right places, gorgeous strands of raven hair… Eve was the Dark Goddess of Crystal Peak Academy, and absolutely bewitching. She, like her best friend, Bex Crosby, were the embodiment of a goth wet dream. Pierce the veil? One may discover the Raven beauty was phenomenally talented, charmingly authentic, and tragically hollow.

Sadly, the songstress felt like she was endlessly drowning and that all she was, was a shattered mirror of a person. By the time Eve entered the Academy, she was far too lost in her vices — battered, bruised, and broken. Not okay and definitely afraid. All easily hidden behind a smile, though her actions spoke louder than words. Eve was a hot mess. Both figuratively and literally. That doesn’t mean she was a bad person or a bad friend. If anything, Eve was loyal to a fault and protective over those that she chose to keep close. Those she gave pieces of her heart to, like Bex, were her touchstones and when they hurt, she hurt. That’s just how Eve was. She loved hard, to the detriment of herself, but was never one to commit. Friends over romance, any day.

While her best friend and bandmate kept her distance from the drugs on the counter, Bexley Crosby feared no poison. She feared very little, to be honest. She stared at, then hefted up the bag that James had brought into the bathroom, and with her minimal strength, it was more difficult than she hoped it looked. When James said he was bringing a hundred and ten pounds worth of coke, the British national assumed he meant measured that amount of snow in empirical money, not imperial weight.

“James, have I told you lately how much a fuckin’ idjiot you are?”

Granted, Bex had no doubt that Eve would eventually run her way through all that coke. Maybe Bex would help her a little, although cocaine did nothing for the Queen of Goth. Just like most of Eve’s vices. Even looking at the giant brick, knowing what was going to be in store for Eve, Bex had no first-hand experience with it. Same with the fish tanks of alcohol she often saw the lead vocalist go through on any given night. They did nothing but run through the Brit’s system. The only joint drug they could share were the joints themselves, and even then, Bex didn’t enjoy weed all that much. It made her too happy. It was bad for her image.

Cocaine was also hard to do anything with. It didn’t have a direct physical effect like the acids. It didn’t have an immediate toxic effect like the poisons. It didn’t even cause the hallucinations the way the LSD infused spit did. It’s why Bex was fully on board with getting copious tabs from her newer bandmate. But this? This was not inconspicuous. This was not manageable. This brick was going to sit here until Eve was done with it. And then James could deal with it in Bex's mind. This wasn’t her pig, it wasn’t her farm.

Bex shook her head as she moved back over to where Eve leaned against the wall. As she braced herself against the tile, the light blue denim jacket over the modernized black corset top protecting her back from the harsh cold feel of the porcelain, wavy black hair fanned around the back of her head, eyes burnished by dark shadow around them were allowed to dart between James and Eve, and Bex breathed a weary sigh as she finally tilted her head to look over at her best friend. If Eve was the vision of sex, the so-called celebration of life, Bex was the flip-side, a vision of death and that’s the way she liked it.

“Ssso,” she started, with that Bristolian accent of hers tilted by her tongue. “I know you can blow through the lot of that in a good month, eazzy. But there’s no way that’s gettin’ snuck through anywhere with the fuckin’ fair goin’ on. Ssso, ya gettin’ your fix then what? Hidin’ it in the stall? Makin’ James take it right back? I don’t think that the baked goods drawer’s gonna hold aull of it. More likely use it as a fuckin’ ottoman.” Bex said it softly, but if James wanted to hear it, he probably could.

“This sounds like… not my problem,” Eve pushed herself off the wall and went to the brick of snow. For the first time, since her surgery, she revealed her added attachment, courtesy of Abbadon Blackwell. Gradually she extended only one of her augmented claws from her left hand, like a knife and made a slit through the wrapping. Some people didn’t like Abe, not trusting his ethics, others desired his brand, knowing once he graduated he’d take over his father’s company and become a leading figure in weapons and gear development. To those that have had work done on them, especially to Eve’s extent, know his true gifts lie in surgical experimentation.

While she doesn’t know much of his history, she was impressed by how easily he grafted the claws in her skeleton and with his implant system, she can control her bionic arm with her thoughts. He made it so no one saw the slots in between her knuckles, while her arm still looked very much human. At this point, her left arm was part mechanical, since she didn’t have an innate ability to regenerate and heal, so replacing pieces of her was safer than infusing the claws completely in her internal body. With her permission, Abe exceeded her expectations. Her arm wasn’t something she would miss. All she cared about was her voice, and it wasn’t like she couldn’t play the piano anymore either. Abe was smart enough to make her arm function better than the average prosthetic. It was her choice to trade it in, like a celebrity would fix their imperfections with plastic surgery, but in this case it was a high tech body modification. Super cyber. Super punk. That is where the world was heading, after all.

Scooping up a small amount of powder with her claw, looking around 80 mg, a little over an average dose, she brought the tip of it to her nose. Swiftly, she sniffed up the powder and did a line. Blinking a couple times from the hit, and exhaling out, feeling immensely gratified, Eve could feel the numbness already in her throat and tongue. “Fuck, this is great.” Even if James was an idiot, he knew where to get his drugs from. “Easy way to do away with all this coke while it not going to waste is making a profit off of it. Go to the City and sell it. You’d be surprised how many people would jump on this. Hell, you could start here. See if Mithra wants some.”

A scoff could be heard from the Brit in behind. “Listen to you, Miss 80’s drug kingpin,” Bex remarked as she stuck her tongue out, revealing the other work that Abe had done on the East of Eden lineup over the summer. The fork that parted the middle didn’t do anything for Bex’s abilities. It didn’t allow her to spit further, or harder. It just looked cool and blended with her chosen moniker since everyone at Crystal Peak seemed to need one, and that was good enough for the guitarist. It didn’t even cost her any money. Abe just got to keep some of the blood from the procedure, along with a donor’s level dose from the arm. It didn’t melt the test tube when he took it out, so he must have been ready for whatever it contained. She just wasn’t willing to go to the lengths that Eve went to for her upgrades. Not when Bex still didn’t really have a clue how everything about her body worked given the circumstances. Plus Eve didn’t need her arms to sing.

The pessimistic personality that was a defining trait of Miss Crosby was on full display. “Still goin’ to need to get the shit into the city without faculty noticin’ and with everyone out ‘n about today.” She took a long sip of coffee from her custom painted Yeti mug. The stainless steel had been coated in black aside from poison warning signs on either side. Not only did it look badass, it also served as a warning to anyone else trying to steal Bex’s beverage. It was a well known fact that she took her coffee without cream or sugar, but with a healthy dollop of Drano added to the mix. It gave it a rich almond flavor… and killed anyone else who drank it. As she tapped a couple of her silver rings on the side of the metal, Bex was determined to make known her priorities for the day. “Plus, Krista’s in charge of the booth, ‘n as much as I love the babe, she’s gonna let in ssso many fuckin’ sunshine kids, it’s going to harsh my damn mood to no end.” Another sip of poison. “Ssso I’d rather make sure that's not happenin’. I ain’t got time to be playing Sssuzie Snowrunner tryin’ ta move this shit around.”

By the time Bex had finished complaining about his ever so thoughtful gift, and Eve had shown off her new claws, James had snorted three lines off of the tampon dispenser. He hadn’t ever really given much thought to how normies metabolized drugs, but he was pretty sure this would put most people on their ass. His supercharged metabolism would eat through the powder in no time at all. Really, this would just keep him in a good mood until the party.

“Guysguysguysguysguys,” James said, putting his hands up to assuage any lingering fears. His pupils had begun to dilate, growing large enough to eclipse the golden brown of his irises. “Don’t fuckin’ worry about it. I’m basically the fastest man alive, it’ll be fiiiiiiiiiiiine. I got it here alright, didn’t I?” It was unclear if this confidence was brought on by the cocaine, or if it was just James being James. Probably a bit of both, considering he had only found out how much he’d stolen about ten minutes before Eve and Bex did. “Once we’re done I’ll just run it out to the woods, and then I’ll pick it up again after the fair, bag up some leftovers, and sell the rest. Or I could dump it in the lake and get the fish all coked up. That could be kinda cool actually.” James made a mental note to see what cocaine did to fish.

“James…” Evelyn retracted her claw and revealed two big suitcases under the sink counter, grabbing one and throwing it on top of the surface, making a loud thud. Unlocking it, she opened the brief, revealing more bricks. “This. Is. Excessive. Where the hell did you get all of this? I don’t think stashing like fifty bricks in the woods would cut it here. And don’t you dare put it in the lake.”

“Yeah, cokin’ up the town’s drinkin’ water sounds like a bad idea,” Bex affirmed with her best friend. “Also not sure I wanna know where ya got it all.”

“Ugh, you guys are boring,” James groaned, rolling his eyes and rocking back and forth on his heels, before glancing at the suitcases full of contraband. “Okay, truth be told, I kinda just hit and ran. There’s this dude in the city that gets his shipments every couple of weeks, and usually, his suitcases are filled with fun toys that are in turn, filled with cocaine. Let’s be honest, my wet dream. Anyways, I didn’t stop to check, and I guess he cut out the middle man this time around, cause you guys are right. This is an absurd amount of cocaine. Which sucks, cause the toys are really cool.”

While listening to how James obtained his drugs, Evelyn glanced at her wrist watch and decided this was her cue to leave. Closing the suitcase, but leaving it on the sink, Eve went to James, placed her hand on his shoulder and squeezed it, “I’m sure you’ll figure something out. Bex and I have a booth to go to so we’ll see you later. Don’t miss mic check tonight. Kay?” She gave a half smile, with a hint of venom. Eve did not like when bandmates were late for anything band related. You joined East of Eden, it became your life. After their eyes met, her piercing gaze warning him to not do anything dumb, she patted his shoulder before going to Bex’s side — ready to leave.

Bex nodded and pointed two fingers at her eyes then at James. “Don’t be bringin’ this shit round mic check either. Not until the after-party, Speedy. Then you can make it snow like fuckin’ Frosty.” She gave a hard gaze, with full venom applied to the scowl. It’s what she was known for. She turned back to her lead singer. “All roight, let’s go see what victims the Disney Princess has found.”



Walking down the sidewalk from Leonardi to the quad, Evelyn looked up toward the sky to see a student flying conspicuously in the air for the whole school to see. She didn’t look familiar so Eve assumed she was a freshman. That or a Crestview student who Eve hadn’t familiarized herself with. While Eve had more bounce to her step and felt excited about her day, it barely showed on her face. She was more animated than usual but she still had an image to uphold. That was being genuinely unapproachable, disappointed at most things, and foreboding. The difference of her being in the bathroom from now was all eyes were on her. At least in the bathroom it was just her, Bex, and James. In the public eye, she was Eve from East of Eden.

If anything, the one thing she did love about coke was how it increased her sex drive. Maybe she could phone a friend before tonight. Not Bex. She wanted to try someone new. “What songs should we do?” Eve had been so caught up with herself (having been drinking more and more each day) that she didn’t decide on their set list. Good thing she had Bex. She was there when Eve couldn’t focus. The perfect balance. Her better half. At least in terms of music. Oh, and friendship, of course, but music was far more important.

Bex was brought back to the quad with Eve’s question. She was a little distracted trying to think about what the hell James was going to end up doing with all that cocaine. At least she didn’t have to think about her presence. Everyone at Crystal Peak knew who she was at this point. Even if they didn’t know her for the exact reason she was admitted to the school instead of sent to Crestview, they knew her aura. Her personality. She may dress in more black than anyone should be able to stomach during waning summer months, but everyone knew it flashed more warnings than the poison tree frogs in the Amazon. Stay out of Bex's way and you don't get burned. Even when she’s on duty at the Foggy Glass, she has enough sway with Issac to be allowed to behave in a way she sees proper, so newbies who can’t handle their liquor get a look at true fear.

But she wasn’t thinking about bartending now. They had a show to plan. They had to show all the new kiddos who the queens and kings of Crystal Peak were. Not the Wardens with their puffed chests and powdered wigs and Bex was just thinking about barristers now but they were still annoying. No, it was EoE who were going to crown the next class, and to make sure the frosh knew that fact, they had to start with a proper progression of songs.

“I think we want to start slow,” Bex finally confirmed. “We’re not gonna be sure how many are pre-gamin’ before the show starts, so I think we let Krista take the lead there, some of our string-heavy shit, like Dark Side of the Sun, Magical Girl, that cover of Blank Space, shit like that. Then we start rampin’ up, play our more solid tracks, Speed Demon, Rule of Cash, Broken Sticks, before we hit ‘em with the big finale. We do Embrace the Venom, I lead my shit, and then you light things up with Queen of Thorns and the place comes down. They want an encore, we can go No Fears and When We Sleep.”

The two really were the heart of the band, but while Eve was the face, Bex was clearly the brains. It was nice to actually care about shit that actually mattered. Bex and Eve handled a lot of the songwriting, but everyone contributed something, some kind of idea, and the dark-haired Brit had everything in their arsenal memorized for moments like this.

Bex took a long sip of her drain cleaner coffee in triumph and turned to her partner-in-crime. “And then after that, the after-party is a buffet for you ‘n me. Savvy?” They had enough time together in the first week after they both got back from their respective internships to catch up and show off some new knowledge. Tonight was going to be about spreading out and finding those other options. Especially with the Crestview kids now being integrated into things. The Foggy Glass was going to be full tonight. All they had to do was find the right way to wet their respective whistles.

“Savvy, baby,” Evelyn purred as they went deeper and deeper into the quad. “When We Sleep would be the perfect way to end the night. It’s the one song that showcases all our skills so naturally.” Like an innate path programmed in her brain, they found themselves passing the chess club and sauntering their way to the music booth, “It’s my favorite, honestly.”

Instead of saying hi to her other bandmates, Krista and Shep, and EoE’s shadow member, Sasha, she commented on the glaringly obvious missing piece to this picture with a simple: “Hm.” She knew where James was, and it wouldn’t take him long to deal with the contraband. It also wouldn’t take him long to come skipping to the band high on ‘life’ (assuming he didn’t have other plans). But where was Zak?

He knew how much she hated his tardiness, which was turning out to be a frequent thing ever since he started rooming with his boys. For James, that was something she expected, but for Zachary? He knew better. Evelyn had a low tolerance for him slacking. She had a low tolerance for a lot of things Zak did, and yet he was still the best drummer she could ask for. How unfortunate.

Evelyn didn’t say anything. Her penetrating and steady gaze surveyed the others, harsh as always when in the public eye, and she gave them a nod of acknowledgement. Bringing her attention to the sign up sheets, she placed her black matte nails on the clipboard she cared about and firmly asked, “Any prospects this year?” The band did know she was seeking variety. She would prefer finding someone that could play the keyboard so she could focus on singing, only occasionally playing the piano, and she would love a bassist. The bassist didn’t even have to play a bass guitar. There were quite a few instruments that could be an alt bass option and would make EoE look more aesthetically pleasing than the band already was. There were ideals Eve had in mind but little faith in some of the supposed talent that came walking into this school. No matter, she could and would try this thing called optimism. She owed it to the infectious happy disease that was Krista. She did the most sometimes. Okay, plenty of times. Krista was the best of them and Eve didn’t know what she did to deserve a girl like that in her band, but she was grateful. She would never admit it, of course, but she was.

Bexley grabbed one of the available metal chairs and plunked herself down next to the members of the band that were now going to be relieved of booth duties. East of Eden may have started as just a passion project for herself and Eve, but it had become so much more than that, and all of these people played their part. Krista was the first member they recruited. Well, after Brad Parker on the drums, but Brad didn't count. He was a filler. Krista, with her technically sound German stylings that seemed so at odds with her sunny personality, she made sure that even despite the lead ladies' nihilistic views, there was still a flicker of light in the band. Shepard, her fellow British bastard, the one who was able to break her of the intense distrust of any male figure, the sharpened edge that matched the side of the blade she provided. And the unofficial member, Sasha, who had pinch-hit for so many members during various nights of excess homework (Krista, James, Zak), early-evening benders (Eve), or just plain lack of give-a-fuck (Bex). Sasha could be anyone in the band, although even with the practice, they still weren't quite on Bex's level when it came to poison manipulation. However, Sasha was probably the best friend Bex had in that trio, with their similar hopes and desires and ability to withstand ingested punishment. They hadn't had a chance to really catch up since they got back from their respective internships, so that was something they had to catch up on. Hopefully with them in their femme form. Shockingly, there was a huge preference for which form Bex preferred, but with them both being members of the LGBTQ community, there was that added layer of kinship that made their bond pretty tight.

Seeing those people all manning the booth, it's why Bex was willing to put in the amount of effort she did in keeping the band at the pinnacle of the Crystal Peak scene, memorizing all songs and parts so Eve didn't have to handle most of it. But it wasn't going to be enough to change her night-like disposition. "Better not be any more percussion players," she commented as she rested her feet on the table. "One is more than enough. Besides, it's been a rough summer being all split up. We don't need to be addin' in more instruments right now and muckin' up tonight's show with too much stuff n' shit to think about."

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Hidden 5 mos ago Post by Hey Im Jordan
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Hey Im Jordan Ichi, Ni, San

Member Seen 9 hrs ago



Introducing: Daniel Helmsley & Michael Stroud


CW: Marijuana usage

Location: The Boys’s home → The Club Fair/The Gym at the Towers → The Club Fair
Mentions: Krista Müller, William Blake, East of Eden, Evelyn Harding
Interactions: William Blake @smarty0114


“Dude, yeah, I can hear you. The music’s not that fuckin’ loud!”

Danny lied blatantly into the phone as he spoke to his older brother. The music blaring from the Bluetooth speaker on the counter while he cooked his breakfast of champions made it almost impossible for Danny to hear anything, but it wasn’t like he really cared. This wasn’t the first phone call from back home that he’d ignored, and he had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last. The subject this time was whether or not Daniel Helmsley would be returning home for the holidays. Danny Boy planned to pull out every move in the book to make sure he got out of this. Whatever it takes.

“I can’t come home for the holidays, bro. I gotta watch the boys. Can you imagine what they’d get up to if I wasn’t watching them like a hawk dude?” It was only partially a lie; if Danny dipped for a few days, then the heavy burden of being the group’s leader would fall on Damon’s shoulders. Though, if Danny knew Damon — which he did — Damon would abhor the idea of babysitting James and Ryu, and Danny couldn’t see Will stepping in to handle things. He just couldn’t go. “What? Yeah, I know you don’t get it. How!? Because you have no friends, motherfucker.” Danny scoffed into the phone.

“Don’t give her the phone man. Come on, dude. Because I’m not going to change my mind just because my mom bitches at me! I don’t wanna go home! Fuck. I’m a grown ass man, let me do what I damn well please. They got a thing for where you’re headed man. It’s called no contact.” Danny snapped, as he reached up into the freezer to grab a bag of dino nuggets, which he tore open with his mouth. He dumped them onto a plate, and slammed it into the microwave before he punched the two minute button. “...yes I’m listening to Rage. Yes I know I go to school with East of Eden. I don’t like their fucking music! That’s why I’m not listening to them. Because Evelyn Harding’s music doesn’t have a message - this track has a message. Evelyn Harding fucking wishes. Wait, dude, come on.”

As the song came to a close, Danny could hear the sounds of the phone being passed around and he tried to steady himself. “Hi, mama. No, I’m good.” Danny said, before he slowly moved the phone away from his ear and sat it down on the counter. He knew his mom was going to talk a thousand miles a minute whether or not he could hear her and he needed both hands anyway. The microwave went off, and he popped it open to pull out his dino nuggets. He’d wanted bacon, but couldn’t find any in the fridge. There was never a shortage of frozen food though; not in the boys’s dormitory. “Ow! Fuck that’s hot.”

“I’m fine, I’m fine!” He quickly picked his phone back up, knowing his mother was going to be freaking out over him yelping in pain. He should have had the foresight to turn his hand metal before he grabbed the plate out of the microwave, but his mind was clouded. “Yes. Like I said, the fire was only a good thing for me. I think I called it a paradigm shift, didn’t I? That’s poetry, ma. Look, I can’t go unless the boys can come. They’re not gonna want to come to our house for the holiday! …ALRIGHT I’LL ASK THEM. Look, mama I gotta go. I got a busy day.” With that, Danny finally found the freedom to hang up.

He saw he had a message on his phone, but he had more important stuff to do. Danny opened the fridge and pulled out the ranch. He spun around and covered his dino nuggets in it. Satisfied with the meal that he had made for himself, he reached behind his ear and pulled out the joint he’d been hiding there since he got a phone call.

He held it in his lips and lit it with the Zippo lighter he always carried around, and inhaled deeply. After he pulled it out he let the smoke leave his mouth and a content smile crept across his lips. He grabbed his food and sat down on the couch, only managing to eat a couple of the mess of microwaved dino nuggets and ranch he’d made before he remembered he had a message to check on his phone.

“Oh for fuck’s sake!” He groaned as he stared down at the phone and the message on it.

From Bishop:
Ur late.


First off, he was late, there was no denying that. But Danny hardly thought he needed to physically be there for the club fair! He didn’t understand what he was supposed to do, shill for the club? It was a fucking frisbee golf club, no one else was going to join it! That was the beauty of the whole thing. Even so, if Bishop was on his ass all day over this then he’d hate every second of it. It was with a heavy heart that Danny quickly scarfed down his nuggets, and jumped to his feet.

To Bishop:

Dude, I had to get my early morning work out in. Gotta stay in top tip evil stoppin’ shape. I’ll be there. Sec


With that message sent, Danny only had to make it from the dorm to the fair, and once he made it to the fair, to his booth. Danny made his way to the bathroom and popped open the medicine cabinet to grab eye drops and tilted his head back to put a few drops in each eye. He blinked a few times, then slammed it shut and stared into his eyes that were still very obviously bloodshot and nodded. “...good enough.”

Danny almost made it to his booth before he suddenly started to get self-conscious. Danny liked to get stoned, but Danny did not like to be in public while stoned — one of the many side effects of smoking weed was paranoia, and it hit him hard as he rolled up onto the club fair. To him, it seemed like all eyes were on him as he did something as simple as walk among his classmates.

He barely made it halfway to his booth before he had to ask someone, anyone, if he looked as high as he fucking felt. He passed by a blonde student, and gripped him by the shoulders, spinning him to look him in the eyes. “Yo, do I look high to you?” He demanded, and the boy simply stared at him, before sputtering out.

“..wh-what?”

Earlier

Michael Stroud more or less remembered high school fondly. He’d had a group of friends, Scouts, and work to keep him busy. He lived with his parents, and he was exposed to a lot of the heroing business, the career he was coming to feel more and more like he was made for. One week in, and he wasn’t so sure about college. He’d imagined it going… differently in his head, but maybe he’d just watched too many movies. There were way more actual classes in real life, and a whole lot less prank wars and groups of ne’er-do-wells who ended up becoming friends with the nerds.

Between that and the fact that Michael couldn’t get over the thought that great things were expected of him just because of his lineage (adopted lineage even!), and it was kind of exhausting to be here. He was having trouble making friends because of the simple assumption that everyone knew who he was.

At least he liked his RA (seriously, how could someone be so nice and pretty at the same time?), and William was being nice and helping him adjust. Even so, Michael was finding one big problem with finding friends and making his way through his university years: Anxiety, with a capital A. That was why he’d had trouble sleeping that evening, which brought him to where he was now.

It was really one of his father’s suggestions that working out was a better use of his time than floating in the air above the Bechtel Tower, and Michael was doing his best to take that advice with him to Crystal Peak. He found himself in the gym of the Towers he stayed in. It was early enough in the morning that no one else was there, and Michael always found something genuinely comforting about exercising in solitude. Maybe it was all in his head, but even when he worked out with his father and other members of the Coalition on occasion, he’d felt like they were staring when he ran on the treadmill or when he deadlifted the bar. Had they thought he wasn’t trying because he wasn’t using his powers?

As time passed, and more people flooded in for their morning workouts, Michael was beginning to have a quiet realization. Keeping a comfortable pace on the treadmill, he looked around at the others and a smile crept across his lips as he thought to himself… no one cared. No one cared that he was running on the treadmill instead of flying in a wind tunnel, or bench pressing a car. In a way, it was freeing.

A few minutes later, and he was walking out of the shower with a newfound energy to tackle the day. If he could just go about his business, then maybe he could figure out the friends thing. The very least he could, he thought, was to attend the club fair, and maybe join a club or two. There had to be a couple for the things he liked, it was a massive school. Maybe a baking club… he knew there was a music club, Krista had tried to sell him on joining it, but Michael had no talent whatsoever when it came to music, and aside from that the idea of joining a club dominated by East of Eden didn’t really appeal to him. The frontwoman was frankly terrifying. On his way to the fair, Michael had the bright idea of looking for Will and joining a club or two he suggested. There had to be a few that Will was a part of, right?

He was practically bouncing with excitement as he made his way to the club fair, but that faded almost as quickly as it had come. Before he could even fully grasp what was happening, he felt a pair of hands grab him on the shoulder, and he found himself face to face with a man that looked more like a crazed hobo than a college student, demanding a question that seemed all too simple: “Yo, do I look high to you?”

All Michael could do was respond in a confused, almost distressed voice. “...wh-what?”

Danny Boy frowned as he stared down at the young man and shook his head. “Shit, you’re no help.” He released the kid, and looked up at the sky with a heavy sigh. If Bishop caught him stoned while on official business like this? He’d never be free from the endless bitching. He watched as the obviously exceptionally fresh freshman lifted a hand and pointed at something. “What?” No response, Danny rolled his bloodshot eyes. “What is it, Lassie? Is someone stuck in a well?”

Michael was confused to say the least. Lassie? Who the hell even was that? Still, he wanted to help and he just reached up to behind the other guy’s ear, and then pulled his fingers back, holding a joint that had only been smoked a bit. “Here.” He said, and the other guy’s eyes squinted a bit.

“Fuck. I forgot about that fuckin’ thing, good call… bro. What’s your name?” Despite the joint being held out to him, Danny didn’t make an attempt to take it back. Instead, he held out a hand and shook his head. “No way, little man. The way you look? You need that more than I do. I’m Danny by the way. Hey, do you like frisbee golf?”

Michael had no idea what to do with the joint he was now holding, and so he awkwardly held it at his side. He certainly wasn’t going to smoke the thing. It was drugs! He was holding drugs, if his mother could see him now… He had to take a deep breath to steady himself, and finally managed to sputter out. “Huh? I’m Michael. Hey, I’m looking for Will… uh, Will Blake. Do you know where he is? I’ve never played frisbee golf…”

“Never… never once!? What the fuck? Fuckin’ new generation is draggin’ us down. Walk and talk, Mikey boy —”

Please don’t call me that.

“Well I sure as shit ain’t sayin’ Michael every time like I walked out of That 70’s Show.” As requested though, they walked and talked. “Right, so. What do you do? What’s your super schtick? Everybody’s got a gimmick, y’know?”

“Uh, I can fly, and -”

“What!? You’re a flyer?! Now I been thinkin’ I could really use a flyer… I got a group, y’know, future Super Hero Team. Got a fast guy, got me — I’m a metal guy, an electric guy, and a big ol’ fuckin’ monstrosity of a demon Damon dog. Dude, you should play frisbee golf with us! You might like me and the rest of the Boys. Plus, I mean, if you can fly…”

“...do you know where I can find Will?”

Michael knew there was a hint of desperation in his voice, but this guy seemed a bit… wild. He had to admit, Danny seemed to have an infectious way of talking. Michael would have been lying if he said he didn’t want to hear more about the ‘boys,’ or whatever Danny was talking about, but he felt like he needed Will around while he did it, just in case Danny tried something insane. Like handing him a joint he wanted nothing to do with.

“No, but I will sound the horn. Smile.” Before Michael could even protest, Danny had pulled his phone out and snapped a photo of him - joint in hand, which he quickly sent in a text to William Blake, his greatest frenemy.

To: Billiam
this urs?


Danny left a pause before he sent his next message, long enough for Will to check it, though not quite long enough for him to get a response in.

To: Billiam
mine now
need a flyer neway.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by smarty0114
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smarty0114 Human

Member Seen 26 days ago

Sometime between 6AM - 7AM

Introducing and featuring students:
Phoebe Masterson, Brenna Lancaster
Light mentions of: Damon Day
Includes teachers: Bishop Hardy, Rebecca Morgan,
Eliana Lovelace, and Perseus “Perry” Creeden


____________________________________________________________________


____________________________________________________________________

@LovelyComplex & @smarty0114

On one side of the Arena, a CrossFit class was being held. Damon was showing a demonstration of a tire flip. Start off strong, make sure as you underhand grip, that your hands are placed on the treads. And lastly, power. Power is key. Drive up through your hips. Don’t use your back. This is a compound movement, a total-body workout. Build those muscles and get some cardio in too. When he watched the smaller people follow his lead, he nodded and moved to another group that looked exceedingly more fit. Walking past them, he went to the arch, gesturing for the few to follow him. He led them to a group of large boulders. They were regulars so they didn’t need a lesson and went straight to using their muscles to push the giant rocks.

Instructor Bishop Hardy leaned on the coliseum bench, beside his coworkers, Rebecca Morgan, Perseus “Perry” Creeden, and a restless member of the Academy, who wasn’t part of the Department of Discipline & Management, Eliana Crowne, Lovelace, or whatever the fuck. He sipped earl grey tea out of a paper cup. This was the start of his morning, supervising the CrossFit class. As for the rest of them, well, it was becoming a weird tradition for the gym teachers to sit here and drink their tea, coffee, and coffee spiked with booze (looking at you Perry). Eliana was a surprising addition this morning, but nevertheless welcomed by the Crestview staff members.

“Can’t stand this whole goddamn agenda you’s got going on,” Hardy glanced over at Eliana who was sitting two people away from him, “By you’s I mean your fucking family and all them special lineage motherfuckers. If people knew half the shit we knew. Fucking diabolical. Supes over here giving people false hope, and you’s over here enabling that mentality, making powerless pricks depend on the broken system. Don’t say you’s don’t think it’s broken either, Crowne. I see it. In your eyes. You know.”

“It really is too early for this, Bishop. Like goddamn. I don’t come here to talk about philosophy or conspiracy or shitty people. I come here to drink coffee and wake the fuck up. Oh Becs, I love that top, who are you wearing?” The Crisis Manager and teacher of all things Crisis and Disaster related, took a sip of his coffee only to grimace and mumble, “Not enough whiskey.”

“Oh, this?” Rebecca Morgan looked down at her top, a flowing, black, silk blouse. “It’s a gift from the hero days. Donatella was a big Aurora fan,” she said, sipping from her own coffee.

With her arms crossed, she listened to the two Crestview teachers in silence, while watching two girls on the other side of the arena, sparring. Eliana didn’t sleep the following night. She couldn’t stop playing back the night Crestview College burned to the ground. How unsettling it all was and felt. This wouldn’t be the first time something in Crystal Peak went down in flames and unfortunately for her, she was part of that fire too. Was this simply PTSD or was it something more? “I wouldn’t say I’m enabling anything, Instructor—”

“Bishop. None of that title shit.”

“—Bishop. I can only speak for myself. All I can do is prepare these kids for the world they’re getting thrown into, to the best of my capabilities. No one, not even you, can dismantle years of history.”

“She has her points, Bishop,” Rebecca said, eyes still trained on the students below them. “We can’t raise the next generation to be a bunch of anarchists like you. Where would we be then?” She smiled and turned to Eliana. “I take it Illuria is settling in well?”

“As much as she can for her first week. Please do challenge her differently than the rest of her year.” Eliana uncrossed her arms and reached for her phone in her purse, having felt a vibration by her foot. “With her exercise intolerance and insomnia, I do worry she’s going to pass out one of these days.” Grabbing her phone, she saw the notification of her uncle’s email to the student body. Quickly peering over it, the Dean's letter was rewarded with an eye roll. Placing her phone back into her purse, she returned her attention to Rebecca, “My biggest concern with her is her outbursts when she feels cornered. Her heart can’t handle that.”

“Fucking Christ,” Bishop listened to Eliana explain her daughter’s conditions and took another swig of his tea. “Lots of issues on that one if she ever gonna’ break into the industry.”

After downing his coffee, finishing it with ease, Perry clicked his tongue and dramatically proclaimed, “Speaking of issues!” The trauma man, the grief counselor, the one that has a degree in emergency and disaster management, the sponge for all things fucking tragic, Perry gestured to the two girls sparring. Phoebe Masterson and Brenna Lancaster. “Those two seem to be keeping their head above water. The fire really did paint them out to be the bad guys. Sad. They’re smart girls.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about them too much, Perry,” Rebecca said, smiling as Brenna and Phoebe traded blows. “Those two have never had an issue when it came to keeping up with the class, and I imagine they’ve grown used to some nasty looks.” Rebecca felt an attachment to all her students, but Brenna and Phoebe held a special place in her book. They reminded her quite a bit of herself at that age; strong willed and independent, with more than a few chips on either shoulder. “They have work to do, but I’m confident in both of their abilities, especially Phoebe’s. Who knows, if things continue as planned, this year’s graduating class could be the strongest in years.” Becca took another sip of her coffee. “Although, since when has anything in our lives proceeded as planned?”

If you’re fighting for your life, there are no rules. Brenna Lancaster was a master at that but when facing Phoebe, her endurance could not compete no matter how many low blows she tried to attempt. “Come on, don’t half ass,” Phoebe pulled back with her bo staff, rotating it around her hands and then swiftly spinning it, passing it from one hand to the other behind her back.

While this wasn’t Brenna’s preferred method of fighting, nor her first rodeo with her friend, Phoebe knew it would help the Ice Queen’s body overall. It wasn’t about who finished the obstacle course first. No, it was to see who could finish the combo first and with the staff, it was devastatingly quick in the right hands. Incredibly mobile, switching from high/low to low/high in a few simple motions, and when the sparring really got going, you could hear it whizzing in the air.

Still, it wasn’t about the fight. Brenna was too offensive at times. This was about defensive fighting, especially when you were at harm’s way, which Brenna wasn’t usually. Not really. She had the safety net of distance usually at her side. The best form of attack was defense. If there ever came a time when their powers suddenly disappeared, would Brenna be able to protect herself? That’s what Phoebe Masterson cared about.

To Phoebe, if you can master a stick, you can master other weapons easily, it simply depends on the amount of endurance you’ve built over time to wield it. Sure more archaic weapons and not guns, but relying heavily on the growing technology of the world would limit your potential. One should still learn how to use a gun, but if you didn’t have one and were left with just yourself, what would you do? How would you survey your environment? Could you take down the stronger opponent?

At least through this training, she could teach Brenna to use all her force, again and again and again, and drive past resistance when her arms wanted to fall off. Any idiot can swing a staff, but a trained warrior struck with intention and never wasted a step. Phoebe didn’t expect Brenna to become a staff wielder when her friend alone was a weapon herself, what she did expect was for Brenna to build up her technical aptitude so her ice complimented her. Powers were just that. An accessory to who you were. Martial arts was all about balance.

Poor footwork, bad stances, weak base.

Brenna was better than that. She was a queen, who fought alone, just like her, and they needed no one to make the world shake. As quick as Brenna charged at her, she was back on the floor with a quick leg swipe, while forcing her friend back with the bo. “Okay, no more stick,” Phoebe threw it to the side and offered her hand to Brenna, looking at her with a smirk on her face.

Phoebe was right. Brenna was better than that.

Brenna flashed a grin at one of the few people she called friend. “If you say so,” she said in between breaths, before gripping Phoebe’s hand with her right and yanking her towards the ground, while her left wrapped around Phoebe’s shoulder and shoved her towards the concrete, trading places with the older girl. Suddenly, the tables had turned, and Brenna was now straddling Phoebe’s back. “I do prefer it this way,” Brenna taunted.

The ice queen leapt up, stepping back in preparation for Phoebe’s own assault. Her arms burned and her legs screamed, but her face wore a smirk that she rarely graced others with. Good humor was hardly her strong suit. Nevertheless, this fight had her thrilled. It wasn’t that Brenna lived to train, but she did live to win, and right now, victory felt close enough to taste.

While Brenna was aiming to defeat her opponent, Phoebe wanted to overcome herself and all her limitations. One of her limitations was going too easy on her best friend. Like the element she learned to master, Phoebe became an accelerating burning inferno (metaphorically speaking) and quickly advanced toward Brenna. She lept in the air and went in for a full force kick and by seconds, Brenna dodged it and that’s when the fun began.

With whirling circular blocks, quickness, and aggressive strikes from both her fists and legs, Phoebe showed no mercy toward her friend, which she knew she’d return the favor. And Brenna did, matching her energy and getting plenty of hits in return. Phoebe preferred this type of fighting, without powers. It brought out the best or worst in people. She liked to size her challenger up with how their body handled its environment. How their mind dealt with constant pressure hitting them. Over and over again. And how the person tried to overtake her.

Truth be told, she was best with her takedown defense, grappling and apprehending, and the greatest thing about martial arts was it taught you humility fast. But this wasn’t about winning, this was about tiring Brenna out. To see who would be the last one standing in the end. So, Phoebe would hold off on her strong suit, keeping herself in motion.

Deadly serious, the Queen of Ashes showed her friend why combat fighting was not something to help her win, it was part of who she was. The very breath she breathed. Without her gifted eye, all Phoebe would have was herself and that is why the scale would be unbalanced between them and have a higher chance tipping in Phoebe’s favor. This was more than just a training session for her. This was her life.

Brenna Lancaster was not one to give up. Even as she and Phoebe traded blows, she kept coming back for more, desperate to prove herself. To Phoebe, to the teachers watching, to the whole fucking gym. Brenna wanted everyone here to remember exactly who she was.

As the two continued sparring, Professor Morgan and her colleagues kept their vantage point, watchful eyes looking down on the various matchups. She leaned over to Eliana, smirking ever so slightly. “One thing you all should know about Crestview kids: they don’t go down easy,” Rebecca said, a touch of pride in her tone.

And they didn’t. Five minutes turned into ten which eventually turned into twenty. They were drawing a crowd, even getting Damon to stop and watch. The dedication in these girls was admirable. If only more students were like this. Then again, a hero also needed to know their limits, which it seemed neither girls did. Or if they did, they were stubbornly trying to surpass them.

As lovely as their fighting was to watch, it was almost approaching seven which meant soon kids would start trickling in for the early morning gym class. “Okay. They had their fun, now it’s time for them to get out of my arena,” Bishop was quick to stand up, ready to restrain them apart, knowing how stubborn they could be.

Instead, Eliana stopped him by raising her hand and smiled, “I can take care of it.” Rising up from the bench, she turned to the Crestview team and concluded, “Thank you. This was fun, and it’s amazing to see your students at work. I hope they like me!”

“Oh Ellie, you’re one of the more bearable Academy teachers. I’m sure you’ll do just fine in the popularity contest. You might not get catcalled like your sister, but you care and that’s all these students need. Someone that cares,” Perry waved at the science professor, simultaneously bringing his drink to his lips. After a few more exchange words between teachers, Eliana was making her way to the arena, to the girls that were sparring.

As she watched them go at it, she took in every motion they made, every breath they took, and every wince of pain they showed from getting hit by their comrade. For most teachers, this would be hard to keep up with but for Eliana she could see this playing out and even knew how it ended, if no one cut in. She knew who would win, and how they would. Her perception, her adaptive mind, and her ability to sync her actions in time with other’s made her one of the harder Crownes to take down. Reality was, rarely was Eliana surprised and when she was, they were usually out of her control and out of the hands of time. Not even the Timekeeper could keep track of everything because some things simply ignored time. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And because of that, it’s men that fear their own internal clock, running out.

“Excuse me,” Eliana cleared her voice, trying to get Phoebe and Brenna’s attention. After another minute, she realized neither girl was paying attention to their surroundings. They had been fighting for so long that they no longer were fighting as well as they could, because even heroes tire out. Stepping into the line of fire, knowing exactly where the two girls would hit, Eliana crossed her arms and waited for their blows to go into her, or to see if they were smart enough to pull back.

Phoebe was the first one to notice the teacher and stopped her fist from going straight into Eliana’s face. Phoebe was surprised with how nonchalant and unexpressive the science teacher was, as if she knew neither would get a blow in even if they tried.

Whether or not Brenna could’ve stopped herself is something only Brenna will ever know. Her fist continued on its course, a jab meant for the stomach though it found only air. As quickly as Eliana had appeared, she had dodged Brenna’s attack, effortlessly throwing the girl off balance. Brenna, unprepared for the lack of connection, stumbled forward, just barely managing to keep her feet under her. Breathing heavy, Brenna straightened herself and brushed off her clothes, quickly reverting from a warrior to a queen.

“Where I’m from, Professor Lovelace, you don’t interrupt a fight unless you intend to join,” Brenna said, coyly toeing the line between playful and churlish.

“That’s cute,” Eliana politely smiled at the Ice Queen, who was as unoriginal as they came, committing to the stereotype. “Where I work, students can fight in the presence of a teacher and seeing how it’s almost,” She glanced at her wrist watch then back at Brenna, “Quarter after seven, your instructors will be going about their day, as should you. You’re more than welcome to sign up for another session. But for now, it’s time to go.” With her hands clasped together, Mrs. Lovelace surveyed both girls, waiting expectantly.

“Yes ma’am. Sorry… we got carried away,” Phoebe answered first, in hopes that Brenna did not sass out their Physics teacher. Knowing her friend, Brenna always wanted to have the last word. Sometimes, she caused more problems than not.

“No need to apologize! I have nothing against that. If anything it shows your dedication. But I’m just doing my job and Bishop needs his arena.”

“We’ll get out of your hair then,” Brenna said. Phoebe’s answer had called her to heel. Whatever indignation she might feel towards her professor, she shoved it aside for the moment, and played the part of the prim and proper girl that so many expected her to be.

The two girls stepped out of the ring, Brenna following Phoebe’s lead as they headed for the showers. “I don’t think I like her that much,” Brenna muttered to Phoebe. This couldn’t have been much of a surprise. There were very few people Brenna did like, and very few of them were people with any authority over her.

“Well you don’t need to like her, but you do need to pass her class,” Phoebe teased before hooking her sore and sweaty arm around Bre’s. “I’m proud of you. For a second, I thought you were going to spank me, but then I was like nah, the only person you’ll spank is your boytoy.”

Brenna smiled and shrugged. “Sometime’s he needs it.”



Nearing noon…


The girls followed up their showers with breakfast and books. One week at Crystal Peak had already earned them more assignments than free time. They had holed up inside the cafe, coffee and pastries scattered around textbooks and notes. Admittedly, they would’ve been further along in their work, but Brenna had spent the last thirty minutes ranting about her boytoy.

“It’s just like, what the fuck is ‘im busy’ supposed to mean? He’s busy? I’m fucking busy. You’re fucking busy. He’s just infuriating,” Brenna said, shaking her head as she began packing up her things. Regardless of how she might be expressing herself, it was obvious to most that she would be over this bump in the road sooner rather than later. Sometimes, the ice queen just liked to storm about. “Fuck him though, let’s go play nice with the silver spooners. I want to beat Cashmore at her own game.”

Phoebe sometimes wondered why Brenna wasted her energy on Blackwell. While Abe was brilliant, probably too much for his own good, he wasn’t the best when it came to romantic emotions and communication, let alone transferring his attention on anyone else that wasn’t himself, and his work. Then again, Pheebs didn’t know him like Brenna did. Maybe somewhere deep down, he cared for her friend as a lover. Why else would Bre date him? Unless he was good in another department but ew, Phoebe didn’t need to vomit right now.

“You like what you have with Athena?” Phoebe closed up her books, one being a leather journal for personal use. In this journal she had her thoughts and scribbles on the occult, with a section dedicated to her analysis on a couple of students that piqued her interest. When all her things were gathered, she turned her head sensing a familiar presence. A white raven. As she left the table behind, she lifted her wrist up for Milky “MK” Way to land on her. When MK settled herself, Pheebs gestured with her head for the bird to climb up her arm and rest on her shoulder.

“She’s a challenge, at least. She’s smarter than the rest of ‘em. Don’t know how smart it is to trust a telepath though,” Brenna said, moving her face with a practiced and perfected coolness. Brenna would’ve been lying if she said Athena didn’t intrigue her, but there were no lies between her and Phoebe.

With a simple conversation through their eyes, Phoebe mentally asked for MK to hold her thoughts, likely the latest gossip of Crystal Peak, before bringing her attention back to Bre and earnestly admitting, “I feel like you’re going to find your place here before me.” Douglas and Brenna got the soft version of Phoebe, they earned it. If there was one person that always had her bitchmode on, it was Brenna, she was the Ice Queen after all. With Phoebe, she only needed to activate her raging inferno when she was protecting something she believed in or those she loved. Those she felt responsible for. Other than that? People simply didn’t like approaching her in the halls. People didn’t trust her easily.

Maybe she was unapproachable, or maybe she gave off an energy that was foreboding. Dangerous. Maybe she was feared because people thought they’d get burned. Regardless of what it was, Pheebs knew this transition wouldn’t be easy. It took her most of her underclassmen years to get people to trust her at Crestview. Now it felt like she was back at square one, trying to regain trust, all because a rumor painted her to be the bad guy.

To be honest, for someone who usually carried herself with confidence, determination, and strength, Phoebe’s tone showed her buried anxiety. Would she be able to keep it together? Or would she be ripped apart at the seams? Even strong people needed support from time to time. After having sat in a conference room, with people she barely knew deciding her fate, and a science professor protecting her honor — the same science teacher that came in between her and Bre from sparring — Phoebe wondered if this was even worth it. Would she have enough energy to finish this school year? Was all this pain, suffering, and endless struggle going to amount to anything?

Her life was full of hardships and she wanted to keep going, she desperately needed to, but she’d be lying if she said she wasn’t tired. In addition to her exhaustion, the constant migraines, the sudden wash of negative energy, like depression but not really, and the endless thoughts from her hyperactive brain did not help. Phoebe knew where the moments of immense negativity came from, and it wasn’t from her, it was from the thing resting in her eye. She also knew at this point, her intelligence came with a price of never being satisfied, which meant she would compromise sleep if it meant she’d discover something new.

Her need to know surpassed every logical thought in her brain that told her to take care of herself. She hated it and yet she couldn’t stop. This was how she’s always been. This is how she’s survived this long. Still, Phoebe Masterson hoped her mind was playing games with her and that this new year wouldn’t be that stressful. That this year would actually be fun. She hoped, for once, she could catch a break or at least have something to look forward to. Instead, she played her role, as a leading figure at Crestview College, and continued to aim for the stars. That’s all she could do while so many people looked down on her. Aim for the stars. She had no other choice than to go high. If she didn’t, what would the board do to all these kids they did not believe in? What would the world do if she didn’t break this generational problem of people being treated less than because a piece of paper, or their family’s history deemed them unfit? What would happen if she didn’t fight?

Nothing.

Nothing would happen.

And that’s where the problem lies. That’s what she hated the most. That’s why she has to fight.
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Melo I am a hedgehog!

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@Aewin, @Legion02 & @Melo
𝐓𝐖: Gratuitous profanity, threats of violence
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The sun was already pouring through her window when Melissa woke up. Her blankets were tangled around her legs and her head was laying on her arms. With squeezed eyes and a groggy mind, she looked at her shared room. Someone must’ve forgotten to lower the blinds. Or someone broke it. Yesterday the floor was nice and cleaned. Now it was littered – again – with tons of buttons, springs, relays, circuit boards, and other devices. She could accurately guess what about half of them were for. Then the still uncapped sharpie in her hand came into her blurry vision.

“Oh no.”

She craned her neck upwards. It happened again. The ceiling was a mess of strange symbols, lines, and scribbles. It could depict a circuit, a chemical formula, or just a random mind map. There really was no way to know right now. Exhausted, she let her head fall on her arms again. For five more minutes, she just wanted to sleep. In those five minutes, her curiosity got the better of her. Quite gracelessly, she rolled out of her bed and started taking pictures with her phone of the drawings. In a month or two they might serve as a catalyst for her next Eureka moment. Her slowly booting up brain then realized she probably had a witness of last night!

Melissa kicked some of the tools on her floor out of her way as she made her way to her door and then to her first suitemate’s door. She never tried the handle though. It would be locked. Really, some people could be so inconsiderate and make her do all this work in the morning! She pulled out a pen-like device and pushed it into the lock. It buzzed, cracked and made the insides of the lock glow for just a second before a soft click told Melissa that she was in. As per usual really. Without even knocking she opened the door and walked up towards Mithra. “Mithra. Hey Mithra, Mithra. Mithra are you awake?” Melissa asked as she poked her suitemate.

A hand appeared from the pile of blankets, pillows and fluff Mithra’s head was suffocating under, swatting away at Melissa’s incessant poking. “Why the hell are you awake so early-- go back to sleep.” The demand was comically muffled by the layers covering her face and only her face. The rest of her body remained completely uncovered by any sheet, with the sunlight from the window beside Mithra’s bed hitting her directly.

“I need you to tell me what I was saying yesterday.” Melissa said. There was a certain urgency in her voice. The poking would get her to wake up in the long term but really Melissa did not have that time right now. She got up and walked out of Mithra’s room for just a few seconds. Then walked back in. A moment later a cup’s worth of cold water fell down upon the Indian girl’s stomach.

A moment it was called. A moment where Griffin stood in the bathroom, shaving and perfectly minding his own business. All in just his underwear, as men tend to do. He left the door unlocked because, as has been previously established, in a home with Melissa and this dude who can literally teleport, locks are merely an inconvenience.Then, Miss Carter storms into the bathroom, doesn’t even acknowledge his existence and steals his cup with water without even a second thought. Perhaps it was because he had only been around these crazies for a week, but he hadn’t quite gotten used to bathroom invasions.

”Yo Mel, what the fuck!” He shouted after her, following her out of the bathroom. Partially because he was curious what kind of crazy scheme she was cooking up now and because that WAS. HIS. CUP. He arrived in the room just in time to see her pour it down all over Mithra. ”Isn’t it a little early to be watering the plants?” He said, continuing to shave his half-slain stubble all the while.

The cold water disrupted what comfortable warmth Mithra felt while lounging under the sunlight. It sent shockwaves up her spine, and a strangled surprised cry escaped her as she flailed out of bed dramatically. “Couldn’t it wait FIVE minutes? Fuck!” Her cotton pyjamas were soaked, leaving her feeling uncomfortably wet on the floor.

She looked at the two bedroom invaders, pointing an accusatory finger at each of them. “I get Einstein being here, but why Santa? I didn’t sign up for a threesome!” Not like it was uncommon for her two roommates to barge into her room uninvited. With the three of them together, doors were only a formality, not a necessary privacy.

“Not really.” Mel said as she shrugged her shoulders, tossed the cup - without really looking - at Griff’s general direction and finally crouched down beside Mithra and looked into her eyes. “You know that it vanishes for me. I really need you here, Mithra.” There was genuine pleading in her voice. Truth be told she really needed Griff and Mithra to remember the things she said when she was in one of her states. They gave her so many breakthroughs, but whenever she tried to record herself the devices ended up smashed or broken. It was as if her alter ego during her bouts knew she was being recorded by technology and broke it apart. Really, all she had were Griff and Mithra. “I’ll owe you one.” Mel added with a small smile.

”Jesus!” Griffin exclaimed as the cup came straight for his head. Luckily for him, the glass cup simply disappeared into a puff of silvery mist the moment it made contact with him, the mist seeping into his body as it did. Who the fuck threw glass around? ”Is some common decency in this place really too much to ask for? Tits on a pike.” He said, suppressing the urge to toss his shaver right back at her. He wasn’t quite sure whether to be more annoyed at being target practice or because she was blatantly ignoring him in favor of Mithra. What was he? A goddamn phantom? ”Also, I told you to stop calling me Santa.”

Mithra’s giggled uncontrollably watching Griff’s reaction to the tossed cup, but when Melissa’s face grew closer, it forced the plant girl to contemplate her request. “Well if you say it like that...” Mithra could never resist the cry for help. Maybe it was some kind of dormant protector gene-- Nah, who was she kidding, Mithra liked being owed, and Melissa had plenty to offer. Mithra got up from the floor, dusting away (uselessly) at her damp clothes before sitting back down on the bed. “Santa over here might know more shit, I barely understand half the things that come out of that mouth. Anyway, you were spewing something about a gravity flexing something that makes your chicken soup taste better. But only in specific conditions, otherwise it becomes shit soup.”

Then, like Melissa, Mithra threw one of her discarded pillows at Griffin, using the guy just like target practice. Why? Because it was funny watching him squirm. “And bitch, don’t talk about common decency when you’ve broken into my room as well! I’ll call you Santa all I want till then ‘cus you keep breaking in. And Mel, don’t throw your damn cup in my room. What if that shit got on my walls?” It wasn’t like she could tell the mold to go away, fungi control was beyond her capabilities.

“Griff would’ve poofed it.” Melissa just shrugged. Then fell into some deeper thoughts as she tried to fit the chicken soup condition in whatever strange mind construct her spotty memory was formulating.

”Oh yes Santa might know-” Griffin said high-pitched, then dodged the pillow. ”Well Santa is rather pissed right now. So you can both shove it.” Griffin didn’t quite have coal at hand, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to give them their just desserts. Griffin’s hand shrouded in mist, reaching someplace in the living room. Then opened another portal over the girls’ heads as he dumped potting soil from the houseplants over them. ”And it was graviton fluctuation, dumbass.” Knowing he was not welcome in the room, he turned around and retreated into the hallway.

Melissa was about to say something when the soil fell all over her. It surprised her more than anything really. “What did you do that for?” She asked. Her tone sounded genuine. She hadn’t done anything bad to him! And why was everyone so hung up over a cup? He poofed it. He always poofs dangerous things. That makes them no longer dangerous to throw at him then. “And why are you lying?” She quickly added. “Graviton fluctuations? Gravitons are still just a theoretical concept doofus. They’re not proven to exist. Gravity flexing makes way more sense.” Then she brushed off most of the dirt off her and sat down into the neat pile of black earth that Griff had indirectly made. “So what are you guys going to do today?”

“I’m going to beat a bitch up, is what I’m gonna do! SOIL? IN MY ROOM?!” Mithra’s voice grew shrill by the end, absolutely insulted by Griff’s choice of weapon. Of all things, soil, the very soil that protected her potted plants that were strewn across the communal living space. “Oi! Griff! C’mere you little gremlin, just cus you’re a freshman I’m not gonna go easy!” Mithra hopped off her bed, pulling Melissa with her to follow after Griff.

”Woman, you were the super genius here. Don’t ask me what the fuck is theoretical or not.” It was hard to put into words just how infuriating they were to live with. Was this what one year of crestview did to a person? It was a surprise it hadn’t gone up in flames sooner. And seriously, who took his stuff without asking and then threw it in his fucking face. It wasn’t that he was in danger. It was, simply put, the audacity and disrespect of the situation that had finally made Griff decide to go scorched earth here. A shame too, because Griffin was actually quite interested in finding out why super-genius Melissa was so interested in slow-boiling chicken soup. What kind of higher purpose could that even serve? Perhaps Griff would be better off not knowing about this theoretical science stuff at all. But unfortunately super-genius Mel had been a little bit too loud last night.

”Can’t catch up with those stubby legs, little gnome!” Griff called as he got back into the bathroom, properly locking the door this time.

Melissa got dragged to her feet in a very confusing instance. Though she gleefully joined Mithra in chasing Griff. The both of them reached the door just a second too late. Mel could clearly hear the lock mechanism. “Does Griff have some sort of short-term memory loss… thing?” Melissa whispered as she pulled the pen-like skeleton key out and waved it before Mithra. “I open it and then you do… whatever you’re planning to do.” She put the pen in the lock, let it do its thing, then counted down from three with her fingers towards Mithra before flinging the door open.

The door opened, revealing… an empty bathroom. “The pussy did his vanishing act!” She said, blinking incredulously before taking a deep breath. “AT LEAST FACE ME IF YOU’RE GONNA TOUCH MY PLANTS, YOU COWARD!” Mithra hollered into the bathroom as though Griff’s lingering portal would take her voice to wherever he was.

Ever since Mithra and Melissa were joined by the freshman, Griffin, in their dorm room, things had grown lively. Not that it wasn’t already with the bombastic Mithra and the clever mischievous Melissa combined, but Griffin added another level to their energy. Mithra and Griffin were avid bickerers, constantly quipping and trying to one up each other, but it was clear as day that that was how they bonded. It was enough for Mithra to even offer Griff the opportunity to run for her business. Though she would never admit to it, but they were business partners, roommates and rivals all packed into one friendship. However, no kind of friendship could stand between her and her plants. With those plants being her domain, she was naturally protective of them and Griff, being her roommate, would know that better than others. He declared WAR.

Yet war was just as much a part of their bickering as mischief was, part of a never ending cycle the roommates were caught up in.

Mithra turned to face Melissa instead, clicking her tongue in disapproval. “Right, guess I’m up now. So what, we still going to the club fair?”

“Club w-” Melissa’s eyes went wide. Shit. She knew she had forgotten something! “Yes!” She then quickly exclaimed. “You were going to show me some club right?” The girl was wrecking her already permanently chaotic brain on which club it was. Something with a Q? Or an H?

”The hiking club!”

It was so simple. Griffin just closed the door, and with the two extra seconds it took for them to open it up after locking it, he had already teleported himself. And so it was that he stepped out behind them, out of the door to his own room. He stood behind them with his usual, casual smile. ”I’ll meet you there, so don’t be late!” And with that, he was gone again. Normally he would’ve taken them with him through the pocket dimension. But unfortunately for them this was war, apparently. They could walk.

Mithra, upon hearing Griffin’s voice immediately and petulantly raised her middle finger in his direction, mostly shooting it at his poofy portal. “Fuck, we gotta beat him to that stall somehow. C’mon.” Mithra was ready to leave, still clad in pyjamas and all. The plant girl was on a mission and no attire could distract her from her goal. Didn't matter if technically Griff had already beaten the girls to the stall thanks to his portals, not when pride was on the line.


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