Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Roman
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Roman King of Dirt

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Luce's righteous fury had been summarily quelled upon reaching the medical wing and being turned away, Banjo not even present, no wiggle room given for further zealous tantrums. She'd been burst like a balloon, deflated completely and with no recourse left to her to seek recompense and pseudo-confession to placate self-pity. And that's all it was, in the end; more trauma, more turbulence, more that Luce was unequipped and unwilling to deal with, instead seeking an external forgiver to shoulder the burden for her. Once that had been denied, there was no more energy left and she felt all the anger - comfortable, exciting, anxiety-drowning anger - drain away to be replaced by familiar despondency and loneliness. She had nothing left to turn to, no further distractions from the swelling grief within her and taunting ghosts around her. There was only one place she could think of that might offer some solace; swiftly, she turned away from the ward, blinking furiously to fight off tears as she made her way back to the communal gardens.

Location: Community Farm - P.R.C.U. Campus
First Class #2.46: She's In Her 'Rebel' Phase

Interaction(s): N/A
The greenhouse was still a mess; more so thanks to the efforts of her last visit. Where shattered glass had previously been relatively localized, it was now scattered across the floor and amongst the plant-beds, with soil similarly dispersed from Luce's previous scrabbling around. She took a deep breath, trying not to feel that same crushing despair at the desecration of her solitary safe space as she had at first discovery; her hands itched where she'd scratched and scraped them on the glass in her frenzied attempt. She surveyed the scene, trying to keep a cooler head; dead plants wilted in the dirt, broken stalks lying haphazardly, withered sprouts dying on the vine. But there was something untouched, something that stood proud and vibrantly green among the debris.

The aubergine stalk she'd planted two weeks ago stood strong and proud, and from the doorway Luce was astounded to see the tell-tale white-to-purple blended bulb of a ripening fruit. It seemed like a steadfast bastion against all the wreckage that surrounded it; Luce couldn't help but feel a flicker of warmth within her, and just like that she was resolved to clear up and return the greenhouse to her hard-earned glory.

She grabbed a waste bag and donned a pair of thick gardening gloves, beginning her clean-up by carefully picking up the larger shards that lay around the glasshouse; there was clear vinyl tarp available somewhere, she was sure, and a couple strips of that plus some well-applied duct tape would seal up the broken panes in the ceiling nicely. With the big shards cleared, she moved on to sweeping the soil and small fragments from the ground, collecting the detritus and binning that as well. Next was the glass in the plant-beds themselves, tiny twinkling stars amidst the rich brown of the fertilized earth; kneeling on the stone tiles of the floor in front of the wooden log that bordered the bed, she took a garden sieve in hand, and began the thoughtful, methodical process of sifting out the remaining glass, returning pure soil to the bed. Glancing over her shoulder, she noticed a pile of compost bags, recently dropped off and lying innocently one on top of the other just outside the greenhouse door.

By the time she'd finished the sifting and had set the sieve aside in favor of a new bag of compost, replanting the stalks she was able to save, and carefully fertilizing and watering the surviving eggplant, Luce was quietly weeping. These were not the racking, panic-induced sobs she was used to, with heaving breaths and a shaking chest; instead, it was a gentle stream, a ceaseless but soft flow of tears from her eyes, down her cheeks, running down her jawline to culminate at her chin and drip into the soil. It felt cathartic, expulsive, a steady drain of every awful thing Luce was feeling, had felt, would feel. She wept for her dead brothers, for her lonely mother, for the fear she'd felt at Hyperion, for Jim, for Tad. For the turncoats from Eclipse, who felt so spurned that a terrorist's megalomania was the better option for them. For Katja, and her murdered parents, torn from her for no better reason than hatred; for Banjo, rejected by his missing parents, never getting the opportunity to find a real home; for Haleigh, buried alive beneath her own, un-asked-for power; for Calliope, forced to deny her own reality by a father more concerned with ambition than family until she had a nervous breakdown; for Iñigo, detained and imprisoned in a strange place for nothing more than their nature, before being dumped off out-of-sight, out-of-mind. For herself, and the other survivors. For Cass. For Cass.

There was a sizeable gap in the soil where the un-salvageable plants had once stood. Luce wiped her face, the flow of tears finally staunched, standing up with a groan as her knees ached and joints protested. Her dress uniform, this morning pressed and pristine, was now filthy, creased, caked in dirt and stained by sweat, but she paid it no heed; instead, she dropped the trowel she'd been using, rushing from the greenhouse before it hit the ground, possessed of sudden and inescapable purpose.

Perhaps ten minutes later, she reappeared, a plant pot held carefully under her arm as she scooped up the fallen trowel and once again bent down on complaining knees, digging and replanting with a zealous fervor. The flower came out of the pot, went into the ground, got composted and watered, given space to spread its roots and bask in morning-to-noon sunlight; planted with pride-of-place, Luce stood up and took a step back, unable to stop herself as a soft smile blossomed across her face, a final few saline drops falling from her chin. In front of her, a brilliant blue orchid stood vibrantly in the earth, with everything it needed to flourish.

A couple hours passed before anyone came searching for Luce, but when they did they found her still in the greenhouse, covering the missing panes, sweeping the corners, trying to re-organize and reset. It was Victoria Roth that came looking: Aiden Roth’s wife, and a well-respected professor for H.E.A.T. with her own good standing within P.R.C.U. With her was some gruff-looking faculty member Luce hadn't met; it was clear that the both of them had been given a good suggestion on her whereabouts from none other than Gila Mercia, with whom Luce still hadn't decided whether or not to repair their patient-therapist relationship after their disastrous last setting.

"Ms. Calder!" Tori started, making Luce jump and stumble backwards from where she'd been standing on tip-toes, patching some tarp with tape. Luce turned and faced the staff, Victoria's tone indicating nothing less than an incoming scolding from teacher to wayward student. "Do enlighten me as to why you've declined to attend the Team Swap and House Selection ceremony this afternoon?"

Luce's hackles were up; she'd had something of a cleansing afternoon following her turbulence post-funeral, and didn't much appreciate the intrusion based on some nonsense ceremony.
"Pointless. Don't care what team I'm on or which house I'm in. Doesn't mean anything anymore."

Tori sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose, while her accomplice simply rolled his eyes.
"Attendance is expected of all students, Ms. Calder, regardless of their very vocal disagreements. Is it also 'pointless' to remind you that while investigation into the incident is H.E.L.P.'s purview and well outside of the academy's jurisdiction, P.R.C.U. is nonetheless strengthening our security measures, and doing all we can to assess how to better improve our defenses and protect our institution?"

Luce shrugged, turning back around to continue patching over the loose tarp.
"Sounds like hollow promises and buzzwords to me." She said dismissively, eliciting a groan from Tori‘a colleague and an irritated "damn disrespectful kids these days..." muttered beneath his breath. Victoria shot a glare at him, before returning a similarly hard expression to the back of Luce's head.
"Regardless of how you feel the academy is handling the situation, you are a student here at P.R.C.U., and expected to behave as such. If you find yourself incapable of acting within academy policy, then perhaps it is not in either of our best interests that you remain a student here."

Luce paused, dropping her arms to her sides. There was a tense, silent stand-off, and through the air one could feel conflicting emotions coming off of Luce in waves. Luce thought of what was waiting for her back in Houston; a town that thought she was a undead freak - a mother who looked at her and saw only the sons she'd lost - a social circle that hadn't existed before the accident and never would exist since the accident - a lackluster education leading to a forestry or mining job that would gift her a paycheck-to-paycheck livelihood. It crystallized then and there: however incompetent the leadership, however frustrating the inaction, however absurd the mandatory traditions - P.R.C.U. was Luce's single best opportunity for a fruitful future and an explanation about her very nature. There was simply no other way around it.

"Fine. I'll come to your ceremony. I'll think it's dumb, but I'll come."
Tori shook her head slightly in pure vexation from Luce's ceaseless attitude, holding her hand up to stop Luce in her tracks as she moved to follow them out of the greenhouse and presumably to wherever the ceremony was being held.
"You misunderstand, Ms. Calder. You've missed the ceremony. Your breach of tradition and academy policy has waived your right to the choices afforded to you by said ceremony. You're to be escorted to your dorm at the intake house, at which point you'll be given your team and house. All the other students got the opportunity to decide their best environment for their time with us; if you feel like that opportunity is of no use to you, then we will make that decision for you."

Luce took a moment to sigh internally, realizing how self-sabotaging she'd really been in her knee-jerk anger. Who knew where she'd end up, who she'd be paired with, which dorms she'd end up in. Surrounded by strangers again? Forced to apologize to peers she'd vilified in her outburst? Some worst-case mix of the two? And what about those she hadn't alienated, those that she'd finally found some common ground with - was it effort wasted by an afternoon of petty frustration? She cursed herself inwardly, nodding meekly to Professor Roth to indicate she understood. Luce felt humbled, embarrassed, childish.

"Good. You can follow my colleague here. Dr. Mercia has penciled in a follow-up session at the start of next week, when you're also to be assigned additional community service." Victoria held up a hand to stop Luce's protest before it began. "It's that or detention, so take your pick. But that's next week. For now, you'd best hurry back to your dorm - you'll have a strict curfew until you've been assigned." This time, only a finger was needed for Luce to close her goldfish-esque gaping mouth. "Remember, Luce - this is a school with rules - not a holiday camp. We want you to make the most of your term here. We also want you to co-operate. There are many young persons out in the world who aren't afforded quite such a sanctuary."
Luce hung her head, admonished, following behind the staff, all the way back to the intake house to await her sentencing.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Kuro
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Kuro "more reliable than god" - micki

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago

Location: Stadium - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.47 Heart on Your Sleeve

Interaction(s): Trace @psych0pomp, Iñigo @Mao Mao & Mackenna @Tackytaff
Previously: Honor the Memory


The feeling had been the only emotion Haleigh felt as she watched Trace, Mackenna and Iñigo leave Blackjack for another team. It was like a knife in her back. It'd been only a week since they had lost Cass to Hyperion, and now she was forced to watch more of her teammates leave her and the rest of them behind.

Perhaps it was her own doing that drove the knife deeper into her back. She had been hung up on Hyperion since the Plateau; her emotionally-fueled choice of words at the funeral proving that. But perhaps it was also how the three reminded her of herself and her own past, a fact Haleigh hated. She had held nothing but scorn and disgust for her past actions. Always afraid of the problem at hand. Always running from it. Regardless of how many times she tried to shake it away, Haleigh could see only her own twisted reflection in each of their faces as they raised the sigil of a different team.

Haleigh glanced at the rest of Blackjack. Luce hadn't showed up at all, Calliope had fire within her eyes, and the remainder of Blackjack looked to be on the verge of tears. Could they still be considered a team? Sure, there were some new recruits that desired to swap teams. But those few applicants didn't change the fact that Blackjack proper was actively falling apart.

She looked back at Trace and the others. The only one who dared to say anything was an outsider. The only one who dared to do anything was an outsider. It was funny, albeit the depressing type of funny. Blackjack couldn't even stand up for themselves. They were doomed to fail; to collapse under the weight of their own emotions and other trauma-induced factors.

No. That wasn't going to happen. Not under her watch, Haleigh swore. Regardless of what differences they might've had in opinion, Blackjack was her home. She had declared it so all the way back at the plateau campsite when Jim had originally brought up the Team Swap, a position that grew ever so solid upon Hyperion's assault upon the school. There was no way she wasn't going to let Blackjack crumble into dust, at least not as long as she still had something to do with it.

"Enough, Iñigo." Haleigh snapped in an assertive, commanding tone. "Drop the act. You know she's saying what we're all thinking."

Summoning all the courage she had, Haleigh stood up and pushed away the wheelchair. Although Tad had assured her back then that the inhibitor he had given Haleigh would allow her to walk as long as she wore it, she didn't quite trust him at the time. But this was different. She couldn't keep allowing things to hold her back; she needed to face things head-on.

Seemingly terrified, cautious steps soon turned into a full walk as Haleigh approached the center of the triangle where the four had stood amongst each other.

"Maybe I was... a little too harsh earlier. I'm sorry. I've been stressed out since the incident. We all have been. But she has a point. Blackjack needs each other more than ever. We need unity more than ever. I know some of us have had... differences in opinion, to say the least, but I don't want to see us fall apart like this. I know it'll probably be difficult, and honestly I'm probably making a fool out of myself here because you've likely already made up your minds, but please reconsider. If not for me, then for everyone else. We can work things out. I'm sure of it."

Haleigh held out her hand, hoping at least one of them would take her offer. She made an attempt, time would only tell if the three would leave her feeling spurned once more.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Theyra
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Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Stadium - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.48 Old Team, New House

Interaction(s): N/A

Efraim listened to what Jonas said during his speech and felt conflicted. He wanted to say it was an understatement that people were hurting or feeling angry. A fricking terrorist shows up and kills someone. Having the best possible experience kinda got ruined by that, and going to take a good while not to think about that. How are things going to get better if that happens? This place was supposed to be safe, and a week in, it turns out not so much.

But even though there is an option to leave and return to the mainland. Efraim will not leave for one reason, despite what has happened and how he feels. This place is still the best place for him. Going back home will just make him miserable since how people look at him, and he hates having to wear that inhibitor. Here he is not an outcast. Here, he is just him, and being him includes having bone powers.

So not leaving P.R.C.U right now is not on the table right now, and he will see how things go from here on out.

When it was time to choose a team, Efraim stayed where he was. He was content with Firebird and saw no reason to leave. He thinks he can get along with them and try to get to know them better after this. He did have a very brief time with two others before this, but that was not enough, really.

He did watch as three people from Blackjack stepped forward and watched as another of Blackjack try and convince them to stay. She getting out of a wheelchair kinda surprised him since he thought she was disabled, but apparently not. Though Efraim, did see her wearing an inhibitor, so maybe her power is related to her being in a wheelchair.

Either way, Efraim raised an eye and was curious about what was happening with Blackjack, but he was not one to interfere. He does not know anyone on that team or what has been happening to them since that night. He did know Cass was on that team, and they were probably hurting, but this was not the time to try something.

Still, watching one of them try and convince them to stay showed some problems within the team, and he hopes that things will get better for them. If things get better and something else damaging doesn't happen. They will see and right now. All he can do is watch and open up his envelope. More decisions, and he hopes his next one will be as easy as the first.
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by webboysurf
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webboysurf Live, Laugh, Love

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Location: Team Swap Ceremony - P.R.C.U. Campus
First Class #2.49 : Rumbling

Mention(s) and Interaction(s): Haleigh @Kuro
Previously: Cat's out of the Bag

"You certain you want to do this? I'm not going to claim to know you. Hell, you can brush me off as unsolicited advice. But, just for a second, I want you to pause and look back at what you're leaving behind. I'm sure tensions are running high after what happened. People feel hurt. Depressed. Angry. That kind of feeling doesn't easily go away. It needs time to heal; certainly more time than a week. Trust me, I know how it goes more than most. By all means, if you still want to switch, then switch. But to me, it looks like Blackjack still gives a shit about you. You even have some of them on the verge of tears at the thought of you leaving them behind for another team."

"Don't worry about me, I heard the rules," She said in a sickeningly sweet tone to the transfer student offering up unsought opinions. "I know what I'm doing."

"She can think for herself, y'know. Keep your two cents out of our business and make your choice already."

Rory kept his fists clenched in his pockets, looking down at the ground and refusing to make eye contact with the three who stepped forward in the line. There they were, all fighting again. Fighting to leave, and to be independent. Some stranger was trying to stop things more than any of them were. A part of Rory hated himself for letting a stranger voice a desire for the others to stay. Another part hated that he wanted to supersede their decisions. His right hand had clenched itself around the crumpled eulogy, as he hadn’t bothered to change since the funeral. He remained silent, though. Inigo and Makenna were defending Trace to the end. And here he was, in some ways rooting against the three and hoping they would come back.

"Enough, Iñigo." Haleigh snapped in an assertive, commanding tone. "Drop the act. You know she's saying what we're all thinking."

Summoning all the courage she had, Haleigh stood up and pushed away the wheelchair. Although Tad had assured her back then that the inhibitor he had given Haleigh would allow her to walk as long as she wore it, she didn't quite trust him at the time. But this was different. She couldn't keep allowing things to hold her back; she needed to face things head-on.

Seemingly terrified, cautious steps soon turned into a full walk as Haleigh approached the center of the triangle where the four had stood amongst each other.

"Maybe I was... a little too harsh earlier. I'm sorry. I've been stressed out since the incident. We all have been. But she has a point. Blackjack needs each other more than ever. We need unity more than ever. I know some of us have had... differences in opinion, to say the least, but I don't want to see us fall apart like this. I know it'll probably be difficult, and honestly I'm probably making a fool out of myself here because you've likely already made up your minds, but please reconsider. If not for me, then for everyone else. We can work things out. I'm sure of it."

Haleigh held out her hand, hoping at least one of them would take her offer. She made an attempt, time would only tell if the three would leave her feeling spurned once more.

Rory’s eyes locked on Haleigh, as his mind circled back to the conversation around the fire. This literal step held with it more intent than any word she could mutter now. But the message and the meaning crept in and ate away at him instantaneously. His eyes turned to the cameras for a brief moment, trying to shove down the anxiety of being in such a public space without the comfort of having a playbook to follow. This whole situation had gotten out of hand. But Rory sighed, and scooted over to fill some empty space in their formation to get closer to the cluster of action. As he spoke, he kept his voice low while matching Haleigh’s assertive tone. That ever present awkward smile had faded. His eyes locked on Haleigh. "Stop this, Haleigh.”

Rory’s eyes turned to Makenna, Inigo, and Trace. His brow furrowed as he frowned. He was unable to mask the sadness plastered on his face. ”We’ve made our choice. They’ve made theirs. We haven’t really felt like a team from the beginning. Calliope was the first to really say it… and Cass…” The name haunted him a little, and felt like clay in his mouth. He had to swallow hard to clear it from his throat. ”He… he said at the fire that there isn’t a right or wrong decision, whether to stay or leave. I think he is… was right. Not the whole thing with, like, watering grass. But none of us chose to be on this team before now. Now we get to choose.”

The pit in Rory’s stomach grew larger. He let loose the words that had been building up in his chest, gnawing at his innards. One fist clenched at the paper in his pocket, as his other hand reached up to place a hand on Haleigh’s shoulder as he stood behind her. ”I’m with Blackjack until the end, despite you and Luce trying to paint me and them as enemies. And Luce couldn’t even be bothered to come here.” Rory felt his anger rise at that last sentiment, as if he had just finally realized it. He took a small breath to reset, speaking calmly again. ”I agree Blackjack needs to stay united, but they’re not Blackjack anymore. The choice has been made. They have to live with it, seems unfair to try and guilt them back after you pushed them away. Besides, if they do come back… then what? I’ve been on a lot of teams, and you never compete well if you don’t trust the people at your side. And you never trust the guys who are forced to be there. Blackjack never felt like a team when we were forced to be. I say we make the most of what we have, Haleigh, and move on… I say we let them go, ok?”

His hand gave Haleigh's shoulder a soft squeeze. He wasn't sure if he did the right thing. Maybe he did the worst thing he could have. But his eyes turned to his three former teammates, and he gave them a solemn nod. He was out of words. Hopefully they understood. Hyperion was wrong about him. He didn't give a damn about his own comfort. All he cared about in this moment was theirs.

Even if they were leaving him alone.

- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Nemaisare
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Member Seen 22 min ago

Location: Stadium – PRCU, Dundas Island
First Class #2.49: Squares and Circles

Interaction(s): Yay Teams…
Previously: Spilling Over

Rocking back and forth heel to toe as Dr. Lehrer provided the introduction into an event Lucas wasn’t sure anyone had been looking forward to, he couldn’t stop his eyes from wandering across the crowd watching them. He didn’t really get it. This whole thing. The school teams he knew were sports or competitions and homeroom. Since they weren’t playing anything and were taking classes together, he’d mostly equated it with homeroom on a smaller scale. Hadn’t really thought any further than that until he’d gotten stuck trying to connect the names of his team members to their voices from his P.T. shirt. Ended up catching the wrong voices, listening to short-lived screams, and drowning in waterlogged fabric as he fell into each sullen silence between Hyperion’s picking out the pieces while the rain ran through the weave with gravity towards the next grand claim. Played it all on repeat often enough he could quote the gods into worshipping the ground they walked on and had so many aching reminders of what happened when powerful people picked you up and dropped you like a hot potato that his bruises felt bruised.

He hadn’t gone splat because he hadn’t been that high—and he wasn’t an actual hot potato—but Banjo had…

He didn’t remember that part.

He didn’t remember much of that night, really. He forgot about a lot of things all the time, pushed them to the back of his mind so he wouldn’t have to think about it. This time at least, he hadn’t forgotten, he just hadn’t noticed. Would have been nice if he didn’t have to know either. But it was his shirt… It might not have the whole story, but it had enough. Too much. After Dr. Miranda’s calm voice cut through his numbed reviewing of Hyperion’s attack and pulled him back to H.E.A.T. and raising the temperature from storm-wet chill to sunny day and pizza-oven hot, he’d gone looking for her. Found the pineapple lady first.

Jess. She was Jess, not Pineapples.

Handed her the shirt and told her he didn’t want it while asking about the team swap in the same breath. He wasn’t sure when the shirt ended up back in his hands—though he’d tossed it into a corner as soon as he got back to his room—but he’d at least learned a bit more about the swap. Mostly, that it was still happening, and that it was a bigger deal than he’d thought. He wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be, but anything made into public spectacle had to be bigger than the bare bones made it seem, right?

He'd been thinking about it off and on ever since. Nothing concrete, not really wondering which team he should pick. Who he should pick. If staying or going was bad. But the more the walls started making him uneasy, counting down the time until he could leave them for good, the more it started weighing on him.

The teams weren’t perfect. Nothing and nobody ever was. But they’d all fallen into place like someone shaking dice. Everyone got a number and a square hole to fill and that was all right for him. Didn’t matter if he couldn’t be a square, he could still fill the space. It was probably that way for most of them. Didn’t get to pick so it didn’t matter, right? But then someone died. Others took the killer’s side.

Made him even more all right with staying where he was. The other floors felt so thin when he went down the stairs he’d started holding his breath to get out the front door. He didn’t know if all of that was just from the last week, might have been other years and other people all piling on, but either way… He didn’t know what team meant to the rest of them now. And after feeling a lot more nerves around him while they’d all made their way onto this field, even with all the eyes on them, he was thinking things weren’t that casual anymore. Things weren’t all right anymore. It wasn’t just about pretending they could be squares together. Wasn’t even about finding a different group of circles.

That thought had wormed its way deeper and deeper into him until he couldn’t ignore it. And as the ceremony played out and pushed him closer to stepping out or staying still, Lucas didn’t notice his thumb finding its way between his teeth. Didn’t really feel them pressing down. Didn’t know if he was thinking too much or not enough or if he even wanted to do anything about it. Wasn’t his problem, but it would be if he took that step. Switching teams meant switching floors. Staying on thin ice. He didn’t want to deal with it. But was there anyone who would?

Looking down the line both ways and not seeing anyone he couldn’t get along with—from the beehive to those he’d not really spoken with yet, to the Sierras who’d made him part of their conversation to Ariel, who’d teased the water out of the stegosaurus without needing to be asked twice, they were all just strangers slowly becoming people he could recognise both inside and outside the walls.

The same could be said for the other teams staying at the Intake House though. Both now and last year, and the year before that, and before that, and on down the line. He didn’t know if he’d miss them, didn’t think they’d miss him. Didn’t know if he’d be making any sort of meaningful point but when first one and then another from Firebird stepped forward, he did too. A beat late, flinching at the whistle and needing a deep breath first, but he did.

Couldn’t stop now and that made the next step easier.

Turning with a slow-growing sheepish grin to look at them all lined up, he pulled his shoulders right up to his ears. “Sorry, thanks. I like you guys, okay? You’re nice. It’s nice, all right. But they all need nice, too. Uhh, want your bee back?” There’d been one crawling on his shoulder for a while now and he wasn’t sure if it belonged to Firebird’s beehive or some… other beehive….

He also hadn’t had a chance to ask Jess if he was about to look really stupid. He’d only asked for the rules he’d thought he’d need to know. Hadn’t asked what happened if students didn’t find their fit. Hadn’t asked if you could only make half a choice. And no one here had said anything new. He'd... sort of been listening... So, he was glad for an excuse to stall the next step. But he didn’t want anyone standing on the field now to feel unwelcome or unable to make the choice they wanted. Being angry wasn’t fun. Neither was being scared, or sad, or guilty. But Blackjack and Eclipse both were full of those things. Probably for different reasons. They all needed to know they weren’t alone or unwelcome. Maybe they needed what their team couldn’t give them. And they couldn’t find that if no one let them in.

So, once the bee was dealt with, he turned back around and marched towards the middle, raising his hands like he was supposed to. Firebird in his left, nothing in his right. If anyone wanted to switch with him, they could. If nobody did, then he could just go back to his spot.

But as a small group of other students stalled a little way off, with growing frowns as things were said and more people got involved, his shoulders and arms began to sag, and he forgot to keep smiling so others would know he was happy to trade places. He wasn’t hearing everything that was said, and their expressions didn’t make him eager to try, but even so, he was losing what little confidence he’d had in his decision. Were they not even going to let people leave?

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Zoldyck
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Member Seen 1 day ago

Location: Team Swap Ceremony - P.R.C.U. Campus
First Class #2.51 No More Solitude

Interaction(s): Team Blackjack
Previously: Flight From Formation

The despair Katja felt only grew as Makenna and Iñigo stepped forward as well. Both had been amongst the moderate voices in the team, urging restraint instead of a blind pursuit for vengeance. Now all that was left of that faction was Rory and perhaps Trevor. And herself. The darkness that seemed to envelope her mind grew thicker every second.

Suddenly, a ray of light emerged from the unlikeliest of places. The newcomer, Suzanne Poots as Jim introduced her, walked up to Trace. She spoke in favor of Blackjack, offering a lifeline for them to at least bring Trace back into the fold. Katja felt ashamed that it was an outsider who displayed the courage to say something while Blackjack, who should have been fighting for their teammates to stay, remained quiet. While she remained quiet.

But the act of the good samaritan was about to be smothered before it could produce any results. Makenna replied to the transferee with her usual snark, shooting the plan for recovery down for herself. But that wasn’t as bad as what followed when Iñigo replied. His was a much more aggressive reply, telling this Suzanne to stay out of others business and basically cutting the lifeline between Blackjack and its wayward members.

Katja balled her fists and straightened her back. Her eyes were still mostly covered by her hair but if anyone caught a glimpse of her bright blue eyes they’d see that they were no longer filled with sadness and despair. They were filled with rage.

She wanted to step forward and give Iñigo an earful, for starters. But before she could do that another development took place.

Haleigh stepped forward.

It took a second for the significance of the moment to register to Katja.

Haleigh stepped forward.

Katja looked on in surprise, almost shock, as she recalled Haleigh’s story at the campfire. How she had been dealing with trauma after her powers had nearly killed her and how she had been wheelchair bound ever since. The fact that she was walking here and now showed how sincere she was with whatever she planned on doing. A wave of relief washed over Katja when it turned out that Haleigh did this to apologize to anyone she might have driven away with her harsh words earlier in the day.

Perhaps, Katja thought, this is still salvageable. Perhaps Blackjack would save some of their members. Perhaps she would get them back.

That thought, that illusion, was broken when Rory stepped forward. Rory, the lovable teamplayer. With his little playbook noting down facts about his team. Who’s cheeks flushed red at her suggestion that they’d train together. Rory, the one who seemed almost as distraught at the thought of the team breaking up as Katja was.

That Rory now stepped forward and dashed her hopes right in front of her. While there might have been some truth in what he said, Katja would not accept it. Her mindspace would not allow it. The rage that had subsided with Haleigh’s shocking act flooded back. But this time she would not stick to the sidelines.

”Enough of this.” Katja practically growled as she took a step towards the group. Though it was more of a stomp, as her anger had made her lose control over her abilities, with each step causing a light tremor around her and leaving deep imprints in the field. Normally she’d try to mask it as quickly as possible, try to regain her composure and control.

But not today.

Brushing her hair aside as she got close to the group, the expression on Katja’s face was obvious for all to see. There was no calming smile, no awkward smirk. The only way to describe her expression was pure, unadulterated rage.

“You don’t get to make that decision, broer.” Katja hissed through clenched teeth at Rory. ”You don’t get to decide whether their choices are final or not. Perhaps Haleigh’s apology made them reconsider. We’ve already said goodbye to one member of Blackjack today, I’ll be damned if I’m not fighting to keep it to just that one.”

Katja let her gaze fall on the wayward Blackjacks, her expression softening as she looked at Trace. Taking a deep breath, she addressed them next. ”No matter what might be said here, or what might have been said earlier today, I will welcome any of you back with open arms. No question of loyalties, no hard feelings. If anyone gives you a hard time just come to me and I’ll have your back.” The more she spoke, the more mellow her expression became. She suppressed her powers again and even smirked a little before continuing. ”We’re all brothers and sisters after all, and what kind of big sis would I be if I didn’t stand up for you?” She looked at Haleigh and Rory, putting a hand on both of their shoulders. ”That obviously applies to you as well.”

Tapping them both on the shoulder, Katja stepped back into the Blackjack line. Folding her arms, she looked to her teammates to the left and right. “And if anyone has any problem with that, you can take it up with me. After we’ve finished this whole farce of a team swap.”

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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Mao Mao
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Mao Mao Sheriff of Pure Hearts (They/Them)

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago

Location: Northern Cove, PRCU - Western Canada
The Homecoming Trials #2.27: Consequences

Interaction(s): Haleigh Crawford @Kuro, Katja Kruger @Zoldyck
Previously: The Choice

"Enough, Iñigo. Drop the act. You know she's saying what we're all thinking."

Of course, Haleigh had to intrude on the matter at hand. As if she haphazardly appointed herself team leader. She even got up from her wheelchair to make her case for unity. To remain on board the team with an apparent death wish still in mind. It would've been quite an admirable, even impressive, move if it wasn't so absurd. Haleigh really did not want anyone to leave the team if she was willing to embarrass herself like that, made worse by her simply standing there with her hand out. Iñigo was insulted and angry at her for the stunt she just pulled off. It was like she didn't respect the choice to leave at all. And he was more than willing to reaffirm his choice with her if not for Rory interfering.

But to his credit, Rory spoke up in defense of him and the others. He didn't have to say anything, given it was undoubtedly the unpopular stance to have on the team, but he did it anyway. And for that, Iñigo appreciated the support and the bittersweet farewell.

Then, naturally, someone else decided to chime in ever so eagerly. Katja Kruger was also angry, made evident by her trembling steps. But she was mad at Rory, chastising him for assuming as if she wasn't doing it herself. And then joined in the guilt-tripping with Haleigh. "We're all brothers and sisters after all, and what kind of big sis would I be if I didn't stand up for you?" Iñigo was fuming at this point. How dare she act like that, pretending the team was suddenly family to her. They were still nothing more than strangers that met only a week ago. Tragedy might've brought everyone together, but that didn't mean they were close in the slightest. Iñigo needed to speak up before someone else decided to intervene, even if it was such a reckless move on his part.

"And neither of you should be shaming us for our choice." Iñigo said firmly, crossing his arms mid-sentence. His attention was first on Katja, who made her way back to the Blackjack line. "You act like we're just a big happy family in the middle of a heated argument and not a bunch of strangers confined to this island. Having a shared tragedy doesn't automatically make us family or even friends. So don't act like you're the big sister when you hardly know me and everyone else on the team." Then, Iñigo turned to Haleigh and made his way to her. His anger somewhat subsided and was replaced by discontent with essentially everything that had transpired in the last five months of his wretched life.

Iñigo was staring directly at Haleigh when he spoke up in the exact tone she had used on him earlier. "I don't think you truly understand why I chose to leave this group. I will give you a little hint: it's the so-called "different opinion." Because, yes, I don't want to die in this, quite frankly, suicide mission you're pushing for. I understand your anger, but this desire for revenge will only come crawling back to haunt you. And if you don't understand that, I am more than willing to remind you of its cost." Iñigo was firm in his thinly veiled threat, prepared to use his power if it could knock some sense into her (and everyone else on her side). And if his actions today prevented another senseless death tomorrow, then it would've been all worth it—no matter the consequences.

- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 4 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Lord Wraith
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Lord Wraith Indefinite Hiatus

Member Seen 18 min ago

Location: The Chimera's Lair - Pacific Royal Collegiate & University
First Class #2.54: The Teams They Are a-Changin'
Interaction(s): None
Previously: Neat Trick

Zebulun looked around the gathered remaining members of Team Eclipse as the whistle blew. He couldn't blame anyone for ditching after their student advisor and half of the team stained their name as the traitor team. Still, he was fairly content with staying where he was. There was something fun about being on a notorious team, it made them something of the underdog.

It was however surprising when two members of Team Blackjack stepped forward and proudly raised an armband each signalling their desire to join Team 18. Zeb could not have predicted that in a million years. From their first introduction, through the past week, Blackjack had seemed as thick as thieves. This particular iteration of the team had a penchant for drama though. As if to prove Zeb's point, an outsider, a new transfer into the H.E.A.T program, felt it necessary to weigh in their unsolicited thoughts.

Zeb had to stifle a chuckle one of Blackjack's now former members told her to butt out.

"Y'all know there's usually not this much talking." The Blackjack faculty member stated dryly interjecting himself between the boy who had raised an armband to join Eclipse and the girl who had been sitting in a wheelchair.

"Could we please try and keep some manner of decorum, even if you aren't going to remain teammates, you are still colleagues at this school. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to get to know one another, the teams aren't meant to keep you apart, but they are meant to ensure you have the best possible learning experience. If someone feels that they need a fresh start, some distance then you need to respect that, but constantly challenging one another, questioning or giving ultimatums will only create division, not unity."

Apparently, that was enough for another member of Blackjack as Professor Bordeaux's son stepped forward, raising Firebird's armband as his primary choice, followed by an Eclipse armband in his left. The classic, 'anywhere but here, please'.

Turning his attention back to his own team, Out of the corner of his eye, Zebulun saw RJ opening and closing his hands several times, occasionally stopping to give them a shake before resuming the cycle.

"Feeling antsy?"

"I just want to get this part over so I can pick my house." RJ whispered back, "I'm just hoping the beds are better than those cots we've been sleeping on in the Intake House."

"They are," Zebulun replied in a similar hushed tone,

"Saw them when I toured the campus with my Mom. They're more like apartments, private bedrooms attached to a shared living space and kitchen."

"Sign me up."

"Think she'll switch?" Zebulun asked, motioning with his chin towards Alyssa.

"How would I know?" RJ replied, his tone increasing in volume.

"I saw you two chumming it up in the gym the other day, c'mon now, even if it wasn't an instant connection, I don't see her standing particularly close with anyone there."

"I doubt it," RJ replied, "She has no more reason to switch here than I have to go there."

"So you thought about it then," Zeb elbowed RJ lightly as the taller teen scowled slightly before his face relaxed into a grin.

"Of course, I thought about it." He snapped back in feigned irritation. His demeanour changed entirely as Alyssa suddenly stepped forward, raising an Eclipse in her right hand while keeping Firebird in her left.

The second whistle sounded, putting an end to any further argument or pleas for teammates to stay. While most people were able to join their top picks, several students found themselves routed to their back-up picks. Jim wasn't surprised when the dust settled and almost half of Team Blackjack had departed for the other two teams. Likewise, members of both Firebird and Eclipse had opted to move and Jim took stock of the four new faces joining the now team of ten.

"Welcome to Team Blackjack," Jim stated, shaking the hands of Dash Cooper, Elodie Miller, Simone Richards and Layla Schade as they moved from their former perspective team into the line alongside the remaining original members save for Banjo who was of course still in the hospital. The other missing member, Luce, Jim would have to put a notice out to staff members. The Team Swap and subsequently Colour Ceremony were considered mandatory for all students, and lack of participation often resulted in their choices being taken away. With four new inductees to Blackjack, Luce might have just lost her spot on the team.

To Jim's right, Miranda was doing the same as she welcomed Axel Bordeaux, Noah Gallagher and Trace Whitlock to Firebird. Aaron on the other hand had the biggest shake-up as half of his remaining team departed to Blackjack and Firebird. In return however, Eclipse had gained six new members as Aaron welcomed Lucas Bray, Makenna Cloutier-Leed, Iñigo Giménez-Pozo, Sierra Hilton, Suzanna Poots and now, Alyssa Townsend into its ranks.

"Eclipse is lucky to have each of you, hopefully we can move forward with some sense of normalcy. For those of you that don't know me, my name is Aaron Matthews, I'll be your faculty advisor for the remaining school year, and with any luck until you graduate."

As the newly shuffled teams settled, Jonas returned to the nearby podium.

"I think I speak for everyone when I say that was certainly one for the history books. There's never a dull moment here at Pacific Royal." He began, attempting to lighten the mood. "Thank you, students, for your cooperation, now that you've been shuffled into your new team, please review your House choices and then approach the House in an orderly fashion to be presented with your colours."

Jonas departed the podium as the eight house leaders stood up, their House captains each passing them the boat cloak bearing the house colours to be placed on each student that accepted their offers. Looking at each of the teams, the faculty representatives stepped back to release them to their houses.

1Bray, LucasCooper, DashBordeaux, Axel
2Calder, Lucille*Crawford, HaleighCeeper, Tista
3Cloutier-Leed, Mackennade Leon, CalliopeChoi, Yuri
4Giménez-Pozo, IñigoKruger, KatjaDahl, Adrianna
5Hilton, SierraMiller, ElodieDupointe, Harlowe
6Michaels, ZebulunMusgrave, TrevorGallagher, Noah
7Poots, SuzanneOlyphant, AndrewHarison, Jonna
8Scott, Robert James 'RJ'Richards, SimoneMustafa, Ariel
9Sherwood, EdenSchade, LaylaTenorio, Efraim
10Townsend, AlyssaTyler, RoryWhitlock, Trace
*Character will be placed on team once the IC catches up with their current timeline.

■ Join your new team (if applicable)
■ Welcome new members to your team (if applicable)
■ Make your House choice and accept their colours.
- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by earthtogab
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earthtogab Breaker of Time and Space

Member Seen 25 days ago


“Up….” The girl stirred in her sleep, but ultimately stayed snoring away. A blissful smile gracing her lips as she turned the other way and resumed her dreaming. Dreaming of-

“Tis up! Get up!” she startles awake at the yelling and little pushes being placed on her shoulder. She opens her eyes begrudgingly sending a glare at her little brother who made it his mission to climb on her bed and disrupt her.

“Tobias..what do you want you lil twat?” she covered her head with her blanket groaning. “It’s too early for your antics!” Tobias frowned at that, his lips turned up as he pulled the covers from her face. “Dada says get up!” Tista lays there on her back just staring up at her 4 year old brother, the 15 year old contemplating whether or not to just grab her brother and send him packing out the door or get up and go see her father and what he wants.

Coming to a conclusion she lets out an exasperated sigh shooting upright and grabbing her brother tickling him as he gasps out and laughs in her arms. She stands with him and he rests his head on her shoulder as she walks out her open door.

“You know why pops is calling for me?” She curled a brow at her brother. Tobias merely blinked and shrugged nuzzling further into the crook of her neck “Don’ know, he looked sad.”

Turning the corner she spots her dad sitting with his head down at the breakfast table. She walks forward. Tobias now wrapped his arms around her neck, tightly but not to the point where it’s uncomfortable.

“What’s up, dad?” She called out to him. A beat past and then two. “You don’t usually call me so early in the morning especially on weekends, that’s usually mom’s job.” She said jokingly, filling into the silence from him not responding. “Speaking of mom, where is she?”

Her father stiffened and in turn Tista stiffened. Suddenly the hold Tobias had around her neck began becoming stifling. She gripped him tighter. “Dad come on, if you’re playing around don’t anymore. You know I don’t like the silent treatment!” He finally turned around slowly to look at her. And she knew just by the look on his face something was wrong, something was terribly wrong. “Sweetpea….mom is-“


Tista’s eyes slowly opened, it was blurry at first as she woke and her eyes adjusted to the darkness of her tent. She gripped her blanket tightly in her hands.

“It…it was just a dream.” She spoke out into the dark.

‘Or rather a nightmare’ but she kept that to herself and didn’t expose it to the darkness.


She blinked twice, recognizing that she was woken by droplets of what seemed to be rain water dripping from a rip in the top of the tent over her head. She brought a hand up to touch the wet spot on her forehead.

“Wasn’t there a barrier blocking out the storm?” She whispered out, now becoming fully aware of her environment she in fact could hear the beat of rain dropping on the tents surface and the ground outside. Confused, she turned to look across the room towards her tent-mate.

“Hey Sierra-“ she paused, realizing the girl was nowhere to be found. “Where’d she go off to?” She freezes as shouting is heard outside of her tent. Immediately she felt as though she was drenched in cold water. She jumped up and slipped on her shoes before cautiously walking outside and into the arms of the storm.

“What’s going on? What's with all the shouting?” She asks out to the countless number of students and probably some staff rushing around. ‘I must have been in deep sleep if I was able to miss all of this commotion.’

“It’s Hyperion, come on!” A girl says out rushing off into the direction of another team's campsite. She ran after her trying to keep up in her dazed and frazzled state.

Tista arrived just in time to see a boy flying through the air, her eyes opening wide and mouth flying open as she watched in horror as he went through the stormy night sky. To make matters worse before she could even make sense of anything she looked on forward at the gathered crowd to only see another guy getting impaled in the chest.

‘This is all happening too fucking fast!’ Before she could let out a scream or anything to show her confusion and distress she turns to the side and empties out the contents of her gut. Shifting to her hands and knees in the wet grass, snot, tears and a bit of vomit covered her face as she cried and coward in the back of the group.

‘I don’t understand what’s going on, isn’t this supposed to be the safest place for hyper-humans?’

Tista stayed in the auditorium silently picking at her nails as she listened to the woman on stage talk about a team swap. It wasn’t that long after the funeral of Cassander, the guy who died. And to say Tista was on edge would be an understatement.

Her mind was constantly racing with thoughts that she wishes would just shut up at the moment, she wasn’t there for the whole thing so she shouldn’t be this affected by it. Yet that doesn’t stop the cold sweat from drenching her forehead and the back of her neck making her feel clammy and gross.

She looked left and right at the folks she hardly got to know and balled her hands into fists. Just sitting there.

“I think I’ll stay here for now.” She closed her eyes. “Better than being uprooted and thrown into the arms of new people.” She sighed out going back to just listening to the woman speak on and on, and watching as people left and joined teams.

She felt as if she was going on autopilot for the past couple of days, her mind keeps replaying the guy being sent flying off, Cassander dying and people joining Hyperion and that scary ravenette who was spouting controversial nonsense.

‘Am I going to be next?’
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Kuro
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Kuro "more reliable than god" - micki

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago


Location: Stadium - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.56 Rabid

Interaction(s): Center Swap Argument -> Team Eclipse
Previously: Ruffled Feathers; Second Chances?

Suzie threw her hands up in the air, admitting defeat.

"Y'all are a bunch of lunatics, I swear." She replied, then glancing at Iñigo. "Go find yourself a Snickers, bud. You need it."

Although she expected pushback, Suzie didn't expect it of this caliber. Christ, what did she get herself into? As far as Suzie was certain, these newbies were insane. Some of them spoke of enemies and death wishes, but those who did so sounded as if they had equally as many screws loose as those they so loudly criticized.

As the faculty involved themselves into the conversation, Suzie took the opportunity to back off from the center group and returned to the sidelines. Getting away from the crazies sounded ideal, although such a thing felt nigh-impossible with the madness that had overtaken the field. A small, nagging feeling in the back of her head echoed regret. The tiresome showboating of her former team, Team 7, sounded much more preferable right now than a group ready to maul each other like rabid animals.

But there were no take-backs today. She was the one who made the decision to transfer into the H.E.A.T. program, and what happened next was something Suzie had to come to terms with.

Worst comes to worst, I've always got Lehrer to hang with. Or maybe Roth? Been awhile since I last saw him around here, though.

Once the dust settled, the whistle was blown again, signaling the end of the team swap. Despite having gunned for Firebird, Suzie ultimately had to settle for second: Eclipse. Given that she hardly had a dog in the race, so Suzie didn't mind it as much as others might've. But as their new team representative introduced himself to the group, Suzie immediately felt struck with annoyance as she overlooked the rest of her newfound teammates.

Great. Of all people, I get stuck with the fucking psycho.

Rather than continue to simmer on misfortune, however, Suzie turned her attention away from Eclipse and back to Jonas, who had walked back to the podium and began speaking once more. It was time for their house assignments—something Suzie had already chosen a long time ago. She had half the mind to let the newbies run free; to let them worry over their agonizing decisions alone after the display they put on seconds ago. But she was also here as a Gulo representative, and Suzie knew she'd probably hear an ear-full from some of her housemates for not helping with the ceremony despite it already being taken care of.

"If anyone needs me, I'll be over by Gulo helping out." Suzie quickly announced to her new team. "Those who have them as an option can follow me if they intend to join." She continued, then storming off towards where Gulo had been situated amongst the houses to await anyone interested in joining their ranks.

She just hoped Mr. Crazy didn't get picked for Gulo.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by PatientBean
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PatientBean Hi, I'm Barbie. What's up?

Member Seen 2 hrs ago

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.57: With Friends Like These

Interaction(s):Inigo, Haleigh, Rory, Katja
Previously: Show Your True Colors

Calliope intended to let them swap teams. She may have hated it and thought ill of them for abandoning them because they sought the destruction of Hyperion, but she would allow them their choice, even if it was idiotic. Quite frankly, she was only sad to see Trace go. She didn't give a damn about Mackenna (she would be another team's problem now) and Inigo hadn't left much of a lasting impression on her, though she had hoped they intended to stay to continue forming bonds.

They bickered and some of the staff stepped in to ensure they realized that they were all "colleagues" or whatever such nonsense they were shelling out now. The fact the Team Swap was even a thing showed how ridiculous those words were. Why put people on a team at the start only to say 'hey, if you don't like your team you can go elsewhere and fuck those you bonded with, however briefly'. They still had Houses to choose too and who knows who would be with who. She had made her choice and was ready to commit to that.

Calliope was ready to let them until Inigo opened their mouth with a thinly veiled threat.

She shouldn't be surprised, but she had thought they made progress. It seems Calliope had judged them too quickly. Against this 'suicide mission' as they claimed but were willing to attack and fight their former teammates. Calli shook her head and chuckled a bit. At least they made this transition easier.

Calliope stepped forward to join Rory, Katja, Haleigh, and the others. She looked at Katja especially. The girl's words were true and she wanted nothing more than to leave it at that and everyone to go their separate ways. "Beautiful words that are only met with venom," she said as she stared at Inigo. "Go join whatever team you want for whatever reason you choose. I don't care anymore. However, you will not threaten a team member and friend of mine again. I don't care what powers you have or where you were before you joined this school. You don't scare me. Now go join your new team and pray they accept you as willingly as we did before you showed your true character." Calliope turned her back on them now, facing her team. "They are not worth the headache. I am going to go choose my house now, but I am committed to team Blackjack. If you need me, you know where to find me."

Calli stepped off and towards the colorful banners that waved, each with some staff under them. She eyed the three Houses that extended her an offer. She looked at the envelope in her hand and took out the one she had chosen during this kerfuffle.

Greetings and Salutations Calliope,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great protectiveness, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Ursus.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Elias Onassis

She made her way over to House Ursus, standing in front of them. "Hello, I would like to accept your invitation to join House Ursus. Thank you for inviting me."

Her mind flashed to Banjo. She wondered what his thoughts would be on her choice, her words, and her desire to see the end of Hyperion.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Kuro
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Kuro "more reliable than god" - micki

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Location: Stadium - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.58 You Go Your Way, I Go Mine

Interaction(s): The Center Group + Iñigo @Mao Mao
Previously: Heart on Your Sleeve

As Rory spoke, Haleigh felt her other hand curl up into an unsteady fist. Though she wasn't ready to come to terms with it, he had a point. What was she doing, standing here trying to convince them? Was it a foolish and selfish desire to not see Blackjack splinter in the wake of everything that had happened? Was it her erratic, self-righteous furor to not let Cass have died in vain?

Haleigh thought she had finally figured everything out. But now, she was lost. Unsure. Confused. She didn't say a word as Rory squeezed her shoulder, unable to process a proper response whilst racked in thought.

But then Katja had words to say of her own, angrily laying into Rory. The green field beneath her was ruined with each step, and the ground shook with a light tremor. Seeing Katja lash out like this came as a surprise to Haleigh. In the few moments they had interacted, Katja had seemed like a gentle giant. But that was before the Plateau. Before Hyperion slaughtered Cass and injured others. Had she been simmering on her anger this entire time? No one had known what was rattling around in her head since the incident. Katja had kept herself out of the earlier argument at Cass' funeral, and until now she had stood in silence.

Haleigh feared Katja might've considered leaving, given her prior unsettling silence. But as she backed up Haleigh, it became ever clear that she stood with Blackjack. For a moment, Haleigh looked back upon the trio with hope in her eyes. Although uncertainty still racked her thoughts, Katja returned the spunk Haleigh had lost previously. If Haleigh couldn't convince them, then maybe Katja was enough to convince them back over to Blackjack.

Nonetheless, as quick as the hope returned, it was stolen away once more in a blink of an eye.

Iñigo was the next to lose their temper, angrily voicing his own thoughts to the two women. As he spoke, the outstretched hand fell limp to her side. The dejection she felt returned once more, which gradually twisted itself into anger and frustration the more Iñigo ran his mouth. Remind her of the cost? That was it. The line had been drawn in sand. Trenches were being dug. As far as Haleigh was concerned, Iñigo had solidified himself permanently as an enemy upon his threat.

"Remind me? Of what? Of how we all felt helpless watching Hyperion cut down Cass?"

There was naught an ounce of goodwill left in her voice, having been replaced with visceral spite. Jim tried to wrangle them in, but Calliope's response only encouraged Haleigh further to say what was on her mind.

"I'm not asking you on a suicide mission. I'm asking to make amends. But you know what, Iñigo? I don't care anymore. Feel free to run off elsewhere for all I give a damn. You're still playing the same game you've been playing since the Plateau; something that I should have realized much sooner. You may think you're teaching me something, but the only thing you've shown me here today is that you're no friend of mine. Never was; never will be."

Haleigh forced herself to swallow her anger. The shakiness and general uneasiness she felt with Rory had returned upon the end of her outburst. Rather than allow it to grow worse, she took the opportunity to retreat back to Blackjack for the remainder of the ceremony. She'd been so caught up and agitated by that she still hadn't glanced at her house envelope, and there were still the Blackjack newbies to meet. Maybe that would help calm her nerves, giving Haleigh something to distract her mind from the rage she was feeling right now.

Haleigh stopped reading after the first house, her nerves completely shot by then. House Canis, Cass' posthumous house. Of course it had to be Canis that wanted her to join their ranks. The world was playing a cruel joke on her. She was the punching bag slapped around with every blow, and it seemed like there was nothing Haleigh could do about it.

God damn it. Haleigh thought, wishing she could just disappear off into island's forests, away from all the prying eyes and cameras.
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

The Principal of Haileybury Rendall School greeted them at the front. Outside of the main administrative building.

"Nilijarrk. Batjji ganyam."

"That means--"

"Yeah, yeah. 'We've arrived. It's good to see us.' We saw the sign on the way in..."

"So this must be An--"

"Banjo." He interrupted.

The Principal glanced over at the eyes of the Butler who just subtly nodded his head with a widening smile.

"Banjo it is, then. We hope you'll do your fellow students the same courtesy of calling them by their preferred names as well. It would seem that would be a courtesy that should go both ways."

"If I know it and can pronounce it, that'd seem only reasonable. And if I can't I'll still give it my best shot. Fair?"

"More than fair, mate. Remember that much and you should get on fine."

"Hmm..." Banjo mumbled, less than convinced that this was all it would take to get along.

"So, you saw the rock signs coming in. Do you know what Larrakia means?"

"It's the First Nations people of the area. Translates to "Saltwater people", presumably because of the sea and trading nature of their peoples."

"And the place on the sign out the front? Larrakia country?"

"Gulumoerrgin. Translates to 'white stone'. Because of the coastal rock colour of the sea cliffs around Darwin - or should I use 'Gulumoerrgin' there again? It also can mean the language of the Larrakia, or I think even refer to the Larrakia themselves... I think someone said the word even pre-dates the present choice of 'Larrakia', so it's pretty diverse in meaning."

"How the Hell do you know all that?" Asked the Butler.

"Different generation. We at least learn a little about the First Nations peoples based around the capitals. The Kaurna around Adelaide, the Gadigal around Sydney cove, the Whadjuk Noongar around Perth, Melbourne's a bit trickier because it spreads to the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung..." Banjo answered the older white man, before turning to the Principal.

"Still not that much, and if he asks me anything else about the Larrakia or Gulumoerrgin I'm probably pitifully tapped out. But I know that much for how little we get taught, at least. But considering there were supposedly about two hundred and fifty different groups of First Nations peoples when colonisation kicked off, knowing about a dozen of those groups names is pretty piss poor. And I probably remember more than most..."

"He's right. I'm actually kind of surprised he knows that much. Reading up in the car on the way here?"

Banjo laughed. "You give me far too much credit for work ethic. As your teacher's will probably tell you after knowing me for a week... No. That's just all... swirling around up top here." He pointed to his own head.

"Hmm..." It was the Principal's turn to mutter to himself.

The Butler laughed awkwardly. "Yeah, ah... He can be a handful sometimes, this one. Ha ha." Before clipping Banjo behind the ears, whilst the Principal looked the other way, and silently mouthing swearing at the kid to pull his head in.

"So, whilst we're walking around. Basic facilities. Boarding school dorms are just through there. So you've just been transferred over to the local military base, I believe you said."

"Ha yeah!" The Butler exhaled a laugh before recalling his cover story and dropping his voice an octave as if that would somehow further sell it to the Principal. "Ah yeah, yeah, mate. Just been transferred. Naval ship's out at port. Routine training waiting for it to-- well, you know the drill."

"Uh-huh." The Principal replied, unsure about the weird outburst from the other grown man. "Well, we have had a few part time transfer students whilst parents have been temporarily re-stationed. We hope you'll enjoy your time here. The school has cricket, basketball, football teams. Did you say you were from Victoria/Western Australia/S.A or New South Wales or Queensland?"

"Yes." Replied Banjo. "Most bloody likely..." He sarcastically grumbled about his unknown background.

"Ha ha!" The Butler laughed again, trying to cover up the child's comments. "Yes, just over from Cairns at the moment. So... Queensland. So he's probably not going to be much up for the footy. Rugby land for this one1. Ha ha!" He said, trying to use the state football divides to keep Banjo out of the school sports he'd doubtless want little to do with, before turning and scowling at Banjo shaking his head and mouthing 'What are you doing to me?'

"Oh, we do have a rugby team. In fact Mister Harrison will doubtless be thrilled to hear that he's got someone over here from Queensland who'd be familiar and up for it. Not a lot of experience or desire for rugby up here in the Top End. It's mostly Aussie Rules footy up in these parts."

"Oh-ho! Did you hear that?" They have a rugby team! There ya go, kiddo!"

"I heard..." Banjo replied iciliy. 'Alright, I'm sorry, how the bloody Hell was I s'posed to know?' mouthed the Butler.

"Now as well as the sports programs, we've also got an expansive outdoor education program - which frankly we find to be crucial for the region. It's a very "hands on" approach, experiential based program looking to create an independent, capable, environmentally aware next generation who are properly prepared to deal with the physical and mental challenges that the environment does bring and will in the future."

"So a lot of camping and stuff, eh? Well, he's up to speed on all that. A lot of that in his past schools."


"Past school years. In the years of his school in the past. In Cairns." The Butler fumbled.

"You'd be well up for that, eh kiddo?"

"Yeah. I assume the salties would be well up for it too..."

"Oh come on, mate! I'm sure they're not going camping out where there's salt water crocodiles!"

The Principal cringed slightly and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well..."

"The Larrakia call them 'Dungalaba', they're actually totemic to their people. There's ahh-- also more of them here than in Queensalnd. Oh, and they're protected under Northern Territory, Australian and International law. They have a cultural and social significance to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at length."

"Uh-huh." Banjo noted, turning his head to the Butler with a "Really? Does that do it now? Are we done here?" look on his face that seemed to pose the question about the degree of cultural and social significance these same people would find for some white kid from Whoknowswhere.

"Dungalaba is also one of the primary clans of the Larrakia people, so central that the Larrakia all believe themselves to be descendents of the Dungalaba - and being descendents of that clan also comes with a kinship and relationship with the animal." The Principal continued, whilst the Butler's head sank deeper into his shoulders and he refused to make eye contact with Banjo. "As such, the Larrakia also like to view themselves as possessing many of the traits of the Dungalaba. Fierce protectors, can be prone to being a bit snappy..."

"You could even say... salty..?" Banjo offered, watching the Butler shrink further.

"I suppose that could be considered accurate."

"Huh." Banjo let that hang in the air for a few moments.

"But that's just traits they're said to behold. Said to value... In the end, I guess it's all a choice."

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class: # 2.59 Welcome To Country / House

Interaction(s): N/A
Previously: Welcome to Larrakia Country

Banjo flicked back through the three cards again, as if trying to somehow glean hidden information he'd somehow passed the first few times.

Greetings and Salutations Andrew,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great tenacity, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Strigidae.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Theron Demetrios

Greetings and Salutations Andrew,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great solitary assertiveness, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Gulo.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Robert Priest Jr.

Greetings and Salutations Andrew,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great motivation, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Canis.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Aiden Roth

Tenacity. Assertiveness. Motivation.

"So whaddayoo two know about these jokers? Strigidae, Me Goolies and Canis?"

"Alright, Strigidae tends to--" Tweedle-dee started to answer from his chair.

"Hey--!" Objected Tweedle-dum from the electric wheelchair.


"No interference. We're not meant to interfere. The Chancellor wants untainted--"

"Oh please... we're not in any of his three choices. Hell, it's probably why he sent the pair of us. I'm just going to give a vague outsiders breakdown of all three. He's still making his own decision." He justified his decision to talk.

"So Strigidae tend to be a bit more quiet, introspective, withdrawn. You got 'Tenacity' on yours, but the other two traits they consider of value are Dependable and Observant. They've tended to win a lot of the House stuff lately as well. But if you're not a competitor they'll probably leave you alone. Now Gulo... they'll leave you to your own devices even more than Strigidae. They're very... 'Go their own way'. The other two traits? Solitary and pragmatism. They can be... intense. But they're an intense bunch of individuals. And finally, Canis... Well, historically they've won the most house stuff, but a lot of past glory. The other traits they value of esteem are loyalty and courage. They tend to be very..." He looked for the word.

"Full-on..? So let me guess, when we came in for that Homecoming Trials intro thing the other day at the ceremony, the hooting, hollering and smells-like-team-spirit of it all, that'd be them..?"

Tweedle-dee didn't answer beyond his widening smile.

"Not ONLY them, but... yeah. They're... particularly excitable." Tweedle-dum added, not wanting to completely sway him away from a choice. And glaring at the other.

"Great... who needs that."

So Dependable, Observant and Tenacious... or Assertive, Solitary and Pragmatic... or Courageous, Loyal and Motivated. NOW which one sounded most like Calliope?

He ruled out Gulo pretty quickly. More because the other two seemed even more applicable, than because it was immediately disqualifying.

The more he thought about it, the more it all seemed to blur together. They both sounded like her.

He thought back to that night...

He thought back to when she'd stood up to Rory and Inigo and never missed a beat.
He thought back to when she read the situation and the campfire and got the ball rolling on a dialogue, which he never could have achieved himself.

He thought back to what he himself had valued most about her:
"I mean... you seem pretty switched on. What do you make of that rabble out there tonight? Reckon we can hold this lot together?"

He trusted her opinion, her observations, as he did his own. And normally he only had his own to rely upon to get by in life.

"Observant..?" He muttered, collecting his own thoughts.

"Strigidae." He said clearly. Before wincing slightly from the effort.

"Huh. Interesting choice." Tweedle-dum said. Shuffling through three packages they'd brought, before selecting one and tossing it onto the bed. Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum both got to their feet and left.

Banjo looked at the parcel. Contained a bunch of clothing with heavy orange tones. So that's that decision made, he guessed.

The nurse poked her head up from the desk and saw that his company had left, and returned to the room.

"Oh, you're not watching the ceremony? Too much excitement?"

"Something like that." He muttered, putting the parcel on the moving table that hung over his hospital bed, and leaning further back into a more relaxed recline.

"Oh! Good news! You've got an appointment booked in with the specialist for tomorrow--"

"Specialist..? More surgery? The spleen--?"

"--is fine." The nurse completed his sentence. "No. Different kind of specialist. This is a hyperhuman with regenerative capabilities. She can take on others afflictions, and then heals herself at an accelerated rate. After an initial brief observation session to confirm the extent of your injuries and damage that she'd be taking on, there'd be a therapeutic session. Then, if everything works out ok, this time tomorrow after further observation, you should be free to go."

Banjo furrowed her brow. "There's-- there's someone like that here? Why's this--"

"Why's it taken so long? A few things. The hippocratic oath, being one. Her own safety being another. If she sees you too early, before you'd stabilised its possible the extent of your injuries could send her into shock, or potentially further. So we ensured your health got to that safe point by more conventional means, and then used the specialist to accelerate the healing process and your rehabilition."

"Observation? What else could they need to see, if she's taking on all of the damage?"

"Well, you're still not going to want to push yourself too hard. Your muscles have atrophied to a... remarkable degree for someone who's only been laid out for one week. I overheard a doctor say that it was like your coma had lasted a month. They moved a solar lamp in here to try and countenance that, but it hasn't been as effective as they'd have liked. That's partially why they've been so eager to get the specialist in early. Usually they'd wait another day or two, but they think keeping you out of the sunlight would probably do more harm to your recovery. Just be mindful that your body's not as it was and may take some time to recover. Don't push yourself too hard early on."

"Don't be surprised if the doctor gives you a week's reprieve from A.R.C training with your classes, just to help you get back to where you were."

A week. He thought. Well, that's not too bad.

After all. How much difference could a week possibly make?

- - -

1 Australia finds itself somewhat divided down state lines in terms of preference for football code. The traditional "heartland" states for Australian Rules football being Victoria (VIC), South Australia (SA) and Western Australia (WA). Whilst Queensland (Q) and New South Wales (NSW) tend to have a preference for rugby codes, whether league or union. In terms of the other states and territories, Tasmania (TAS) and the Northern Territory (NT) lean towards Australian Rules football, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) towards rugby.

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by webboysurf
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webboysurf Live, Laugh, Love

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Location: Team Swap Ceremony - P.R.C.U. Campus
First Class #2.60 : I'm Still Here

Mention(s) and Interaction(s): The Newbies: Coop @psych0pomp, Elle @Skai, Simone and Layla @Lord Wraith
Previously: Rumbling

Rory felt a heavy burden as soon as he felt the small tremors in the ground. Katja’s voice had clued him in that it wasn’t Haleigh’s powers, which was a momentary relief. But as soon as Katja had stepped in and spat her words at him, it was clear Rory’s action had the desired effect: they weren’t mad at the others anymore. At least, Katja wasn’t. But as Katja stared him down, and put a firm hand on his shoulder, the words sunk in. He had misread Katja, at least in part. He took her silence and her kindness as maturity, especially given all she had experienced. But now, Rory could have sworn he saw glimpses into the past.

This wasn’t just about the team.

He was relieved when Katja finally let go, even if it was followed by an indirect threat. They had made their position clear. It was selfish, but Rory couldn’t claim his was any less so. He saw the expression on Katja’s face change when they looked at Trace. There was even a hint of a smile. It was better than the misery she had been wallowing in before. That realization was bittersweet for Rory, and he just shoved his hands deeper into his pockets. Of course, Inigo had to go and make things worse. A more direct threat, this time. He wasn’t wrong, but he lacked tact. Another provoking attack.

Yet another poor reading of a teammate.

The faculty finally stepped in and moved the ceremony along. The teams were finalized. Rory was glad to be done with the dramatics as he had fallen back in line and watched four of his teammates scatter. Four new additions swept in, strangers as far as Rory was concerned. They seemed to want to be part of the team, at least. That much gave him a little hope, as he took a few steps forward to greet them. He shoved that heavy feeling in his gut deep down, and put a smile back on his face. He held out a fist to bump each of them in greeting. ”Hey guys, welcome to Blackjack. Name’s Rory. I’m from Ottawa, used to do a lot of wrestling back in high school.”

Nailed it.

”Glad you joined us.” Rory’s face dawned in realization as he looked between the newcomers and the various House captains. He recognized the colors of his father’s house, and his new home. Though what twinkled in his eyes was a realization as he reached into his pants pocket to pull out his phone, a smartphone a couple generations out of date and riddled with small cracks and dents. He tossed it to the nearest newcomer with reckless abandon. ”Make sure to add your numbers in, I want to try and get a group chat started for us before classes start. There’s no passcode, my brother kept breaking into it anyway.” He gave a small, polite wave as he backed away.

Rory turned on a dime and quickly marched over towards the captain for House Canis, giving a small nod as he approached. ”Uh… Rory Tyler. I’d like to accept the invitation to House Canis.” He held out the entire envelope of invitations towards them, hoping to pass off the loose papers. He couldn’t exactly fit them in his pocket.

Greetings and Salutations Rory,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great loyalty, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Canis.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Aiden Roth

- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Lawful Newtral
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Lawful Newtral Genius of the Sky

Member Seen 1 day ago

Location: Stadium - PRCU, Dundas Island
First Class #2.61: Meet the New Team, Same as the Old Team

Interaction(s): Lucas @Nemaisare, Trace@psych0pomp
Previously: ...But I'm Here to Stay

The second whistle came and went as swiftly as the first. It might have been that Ariel was too caught up in spectating the fascinating interpersonal battleground that was Team Blackjack. From where they were standing, the team really did look like a broken home. Then again, what had Hyperion done that night if not a breaking, a shattering of the status quo? As it was, their choice, and everyone else's, were now decisions, and decisions were now certainty. The teams they saw were the teams that will be, barring Banjo's obvious absence. No turning back now.

Much like Team Firebird itself, Ariel's emotions were a mixed bag as they took inventory of their newly-shuffled team. They had missed the opportunity to bond with all of Firebird, what with Hyperion and all, so Ariel met much of the departures with friendly neutrality at best and apathy at worst (which, to be fair, was their default temperament anyway). Without question, though, they sorely lamented the loss of Lucas. Seeing him walk off to the middle with wavering certainty was not something they expected to see. A more dramatic Ariel would fall to their knees. Nevertheless, it was heartening to see him take initiative. He had looked so small then, at the campfire with his pizza and dinosaur facts. Now, with conviction in his step, he seemed poised to Eclipse his old team. Ariel tossed him a hearty wave and a mouthed promise to 'keep in touch'. They have each other's numbers, after all.

And then, the arrivals. Three in total, with one immediately catching Ariel's eye. At first, they thought it was the white hair and somehow whiter skin on them, but they soon realized it was their manner of dressing that was of interest. It was...neutral, Androgynous, even. Even with the dress code and uniform and what have you, the younger Ariel that had been grappling with their gender would dress this way. Hell, current Ariel, now degrees more assured in their fluidity of self, would still dress this way sometimes.

Ariel knew they had to know more of this person eventually. They'd never had a friend who shared a struggle like them outside the Internet. The prospect of having one was...more exciting than Ariel would care to admit, but there was no need to rush. Why be a rogue wave when still water drowned all the same? Barring another murderous catastrophe by way of Hyperion, there would be plenty of time to get to know everyone, especially the pale one. They turned to the newcomers, a welcoming smile on their face and a fist bump offered to each of them.

"Hi, welcome to Team Firebird! My name's Ariel, 23, my pronouns are they/she." A reasonable introduction to start with. Covered every base they felt relevant. "Hope to get to know you guys soon, but I think there'll be a lot of time for that. We should take care of our Houses first." With that, Ariel walked over to the House representatives, double and triple checking the invitation envelopes in their hands.

Apparently, Ariel's previous appraisal had been spot on. They had reasoned that the virtues of Houses Alces, Gulo, and Ursus were the ones most compatible with their temperament and outlook. Wouldn't you know it, the envelope contained a moose, a wolverine, and a bear. No need to waste time deciding on this, either. They made way for the Ursus representative.

"Ariel Mustafa here," they said, returning the letter given to them. "Thank you, first of all, for the invitation to House Ursus. I have faith that it's the right place for me, just like Team Firebird." Channeling a bit of Lucas' conviction, or rather not to be outdone in that department by a cinnamon roll, Ariel nodded with pride and made the choice that was theirs and theirs alone.

"I accept House Ursus as the house of my choice."

- -|◄ FIRST---
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by PatientBean
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PatientBean Hi, I'm Barbie. What's up?

Member Seen 2 hrs ago

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.62: Crescendo

Interaction(s): Trace (@psych0pomp), Ariel (@Lawful Newtral)
Previously: Let The Beat Move You

Harlowe was waiting for things to be wrapped up. Any normal person would have figured a team swap would be over and done with quickly, but it seemed one of the teams had other ideas. It was kind of hilarious and Harlowe fought back a guffaw at the sheer lunacy that was going on. God, she was glad not to be part of that team. It was like high school, though Harlowe hadn't really experienced high school the way most kids did.

The staff tried to corral the students who were screaming and threatening each other to no avail. Harlowe looked at the other students, especially those who had made the switch. One had come over to her side after leaving the chaos team. They looked unapproachable, but that didn't stop Harlowe before.

Harlowe made her way over to the newcomer. "Hey, name's Harlowe. Welcome to team Firebird. I won't ask what's going on with that lot since I imagine that's part of the reason you came over here, but I am here if you do want to talk."

Another Firebird was nearby, offering fistbumps to the newcomer. She identified herself as Ariel and Harlowe felt bad at not knowing that. Granted, she hadn't spent time with most other Firebird members before their camping trip was cut short by terrorists. Still, she would make up for it now. "Harlowe. We didn't get to know each other before but hopefully we can remedy that. Also, pronouns are she/her."

Soon, everyone was leaving to go choose their house. Harlowe looked at her options. She honestly didn't know how she felt about all of them. To put students into a house based on simple characteristics seemed.....stupid? People were not a set of adjectives. This wasn't Hogwarts (thankfully. Anything to get away from transphobic JK Rowling..).

Still, she had to play along. It was this or leave and the outside world wasn't so inviting right now. Granted, they were just attacked and had a funeral for someone who was killed in said attack, so it wasn't so great within either. Still, Harlowe made her choice.

Greetings and Salutations Harlowe,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great sociableness, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Lynx.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Viktor Bordeaux

"We'll talk later Firebird. Time to join a house." Harlowe left her team and made her way to the silver or gray banner "Hey, name's Harlowe. I'd like to accept your invitation to join House Lynx. I'm looking forward to it!
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Hidden 4 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Hound55
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Hound55 Create-A-Hero RPG GM, Blue Bringer of BWAHAHA!

Member Seen 7 hrs ago

Adrianna Dahl sat at the head of the conference table, looking down the line of turncoats and backstabbers who had just entered their vote against her.

Not one of them had any practical knowledge in engineering. Not one of them was remotely proficient in any of the sciences. There was five doctorates in the room. None were even peripherally related to anything STEM. Two were in Economics, Two more in Business Management / Administration... which Adie still could barely believe was a thing a person could become a Doctor in, and the fifth was in Management Information Systems and Business Statistics.

When she'd put these people on the board, she'd filled it with pliable 'Yes' men, with no practical knowledge in the company's products' fields of technology and research and development. Her justification being that she already knew her field, and that it wasn't there where she needed hands and eyes.

They'd out-manoeuvred her in a field that was outside of her own specialty, and the most galling thing was she hadn't recognised any of the signs, had no awareness of it as it happened under her very nose. Like she was the butt of a joke, but even on the outside of the punchline.

"Not one of you could have even come close to building this. And I'm supposed to let you drag me out?"


"Shut up. You've made millions off of dividends and vested stock options. You've never created a thing in your life. None of you have. None of you could."

She'd built this place alone. And let them maul her and drag her down and tear her heart out as a scrambling, clawing team... whilst she stood alone.

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class: # 2.63 FileName# 'Lutra' Not Found. Try Again? Y or N?

Interaction(s): Nil
Previously: This Computer Isn't Configured For Fast User Switching

Looking for a distraction from the dramatic proceedings in the latest Teledrama episode of 'Blackjack!', Adrianna opened her envelope to see what the other two houses to offer her placement, not named Lutra.

Only to find there were three such houses.

There must have been some kind of mistake...

She upturned the envelope and shook it, the two other team armbands shook out to the floor.

Okay. Okay. Maybe you got somebody else's envelope... or maybe, you're missing something. Maybe there's something to these three that makes them an even better fit than Lutra that you just hadn't thought about.

She looked at her three cards.

Greetings and Salutations Adrianna,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great assertiveness, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Gulo.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Robert Priest Jr.

Greetings and Salutations Adrianna,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great observation, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Strigidae.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Theron Demetrios

Greetings and Salutations Adrianna,

We are pleased to announce that after review, we have found you to possess great creativity, a trait that we truly hold dear and revere in House Myotis.

We hope that you'll make ours your House of choice upon receiving your offers.

Robert Priest Sr.

Assertiveness, observation and creativity.

Well... okay. Although 'observation' kind of seemed like a cruel joke right now.

Gulo. The intense loner house.
Myotis. The aloof creative artiste house.
Strigidae... she hadn't even considered Strigidae.

This was a nightmare.

She'd come back to school for a different experience than her own high school life had been. She was successful now. She could be cool now. So how was she winding up getting forced into the same pigeon hole all over again. She was supposed to collect some bits of paper that said she knew how to do stuff that people who were actually IN the industry knew she could actually write the book on, even without the official qualifications that said so... and live it up and party some, whilst doing it.

So how was this all happening again?

The second whistle blew, and the teams re-settled into their new status quo. To Adie's bafflement a number of her own teammates had jumped ship. Was that-- were they unhappy? Had they ever expressed that?

How did this keep happening? How and why were there always all these hidden machinations she never knew about which saw people wanting out, or wanting her out, or wanting something different? And how was it always less surprising to others than her?

If Lutra was in there this wouldn't have even been a choice. She'd have just viewed it as 'meant to be', 'oh, of course', 'well, it was an inevitability'.

But without them, perhaps she'd been granted an opportunity?

She thought back to what she knew about the three houses. Gulo and Myotis had a touch if the distant, individual genius. Brilliant, but isolated. Hadn't that always been her problem?

Strigidae. Dependable. Observant. Tenacious.

It sounded a lot like her father. A lot like the values he'd tried so hard to drive into her, and a lot like how he carried himself as well.

Maybe this Theron Demetrios had picked up on a hint of that, even if individual brilliance seemed to shine to the fore.

And maybe... maybe a bit more of that was what she needed.

A person who her company and board felt they could depend on... maybe they don't force that person out.
An observant person... maybe they would have seen it coming and found a way to stop them.
And a tenacious person... would almost certainly have dug in and put up a longer fight than she had been able to.

Maybe this was more than just a selection for who she was. Maybe it was a way she could develop these burgeoning traits even further, and become something greater than she had been?

She approached the team Captain who stood underneath the orange banners.

"Hi. Adrianna Dahl. I'm reporting in to accept your invitation and drive Strigidae into the future."

- - -

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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by Skai
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Skai Bean Queen

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago


Elle was merely a bystander as team blackjack slowly unraveled. She wasn't surprised to see a few of them opt out. They'd lost a teammate. Even though she wasn't sure how well they knew him, Cassander Charon's death surely haunted the team.

What did surprise her was the fuss that followed their exit. The girl who hadn't even raised an armband was trying to convince one of the opt-outs to stay on the team. The girl in the wheelchair walked to prove her point, which made Elle's eyebrows rise. This team was tight-knit, despite their drama. The girl who now stood on two solid legs had passion. Something Elle noticed at the funeral. The boy that moved to defend the members that were leaving seemed to have a way with words. Right, he'd spoken at the funeral. The tall blonde offered a strong conclusion to the fuss. It made Elle smile in approval. These students... they would get far at PRCU if they chose their actions carefully.

She'd made the right choice to join them.

The sound of the second whistle finalized it. Elle placed the Blackjack armband on her blazer and tucked the other two into her skirt pocket to be gotten rid of at another time. She looked up in time to notice Jim O'Neil, her new team captain, offering his hand to her. She firmly shook his hand with a smile and nodded her thanks.

Her eyes moved to the other transfers, noting the boy that seemed to always have his phone out from Firebird, and two members of Eclipse. She then observed the remaining members of Blackjack. One in particular, Calliope de León, caught her attention as she seemed to speak to the entire team. Banjo's list crossed her mind. Elle wanted to speak to her after the ceremony was finished. She watched as she moved off to join her house.

Right, the houses. Elle moved to open her envelope. House Strigidae, observation... House Lutra, intelligence... House Canis, motivation. Elle hadn't expected the third option. Looking at the students that now joined those houses, Elle took a moment to think about Strigidae and Lutra. Lutra would obviously improve her academic venture at PRCU. Although she didn't need much help there. Strigidae, on the other hand... She didn't feel a pull towards it.

Her thoughts were interrupted when the boy with the words approached her and the newbies. Elle grinned at the sight of his fist bump and casually returned it. Rory from Ottawa, who did a lot of wrestling back in high school. Every thought was clearly written on his face. An open book, then. Not so much the wide eyed wrestling student he must have been in high school, but he still possessed that innocence about him. He pulled out his phone, and suddenly it was flying towards her. Elle caught the phone with two hands. It looked like it could shatter to pieces if it hit the ground again. ”Make sure to add your numbers in, I want to try and get a group chat started for us before classes start. There’s no passcode, my brother kept breaking into it anyway.”

Cute. Elle thought with a small smirk. She chuckled to herself and added in her number with the name Elle Miller. Her head turned towards the boy that came from Firebird. "Names Elle Miller." She said as she held out the phone. "My numbers in there if you want it, too." She gave him a grin as she passed it over, and then proceeded to walk towards her house.

Intelligent, playful, and gregarious. She'd surely feel more comfortable in that house.

"Elle Miller." She said with a grin to the house representative. "I'm happy to accept your invitation to join House Lutra."

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Hidden 4 mos ago 4 mos ago Post by Kuro
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Kuro "more reliable than god" - micki

Member Seen 0-24 hrs ago

Location: Stadium - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean
First Class #2.65 Canis

Interaction(s): Coop @psych0pomp, Elle @Skai, Simone and Layla @Lord Wraith
Previously: You Go Your Way, I Go Mine

Steady, Haleigh, steady.

Haleigh breathed through her nose, hoping to calm her nerves and relax tension. Blackjack had already been at their wits' end in since Cass' death, and Haleigh was no exception. To anyone who looked her way, she was a nervous wreck. It'd been some time since Haleigh had gotten into a verbal confrontation with another, and yet today she had already been into two. She wanted to run far, far away, but the trauma and anger was glued to her soul like gum to a shoe.

She couldn't do right by Cass. She couldn't do right by her so-called friends. Had this been the path she was doomed to walk upon forevermore? Had she simply replaced the worry and anxiety of old with that of frustration and hate? It'd take some soul-searching to figure that out. Maybe a visit to Dr. Edwards as well.

But Haleigh couldn't wallow in her sorrows now. There were still things that needed to be done at this event.

"Sorry... about earlier." Haleigh spoke, turning to the newbies that Rory had thrown his phone to. "The past week has taken a toll. Though, you four already know that. You were there at the Plateau."

As one of the Blackjack newbies took their leave after Rory towards the house banners, Haleigh took the time to stuff her own house invitations back into their envelope.

"Since we're introducing ourselves, I'm Haleigh. If you ever need to know what's safe to eat around here, or which brands are best for the outdoors, then just swing by." Haleigh replied with a somber smile, following along Rory's lead in dropping random trivia facts about themselves. "Oh, and don't worry about the wheelchair. I don't think I'll be needing it anymore."

Her thoughts flickered back to what Tad told her. At least as long as I have this inhibitor... or I learn to control my powers.

"Anyway, I'm sure I'll be seeing you all later. We still have things to do, so we should probably get to it."

Grabbing the handles of her wheelchair, Haleigh rolled it over by Jim. There, the wheelchair would be out of place from the crowd, and it would be in a spot she could remember to grab it later to return. She wasn't sure if Jim had anything to say about her prior outburst, but Haleigh decided she'd face judge, jury and executioner and take whatever came her way. But right now, she needed to decide which house she was going to join—a choice that had already been long made.

Following the crowd of students, Haleigh walked over to the house rows, each stand adorned with their sigils and other such things. She didn't stop to consider her other options, and instead made a straight beeline to Canis, where Rory was already standing. The other two houses may have been equally valid choices, but Haleigh's memory of Cass trumped everything else. She'd make Canis a house worthy of his name. That was a promise.

"Haleigh Crawford." Haleigh announced, stepping forward once Rory had finished. "Just like my teammate, I'm here to accept House Canis' invitation as well."
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Hidden 4 mos ago Post by psych0pomp
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psych0pomp DOUBT EVERYTHING / except me... i'm cool

Member Seen 2 mos ago

Location: Pacific Royal Collegiate & University - Southern Plateau, Dundas Island
First Class: # 2.66: Hypoglycemia, More like Hyperembarassment

Interaction(s): Rory @webboysurf, Elle @Skai, and Haleigh @Kuro
Previously: Show Them That Song and Dance

Did Coop want to be in Blackjack? The decision had felt like a relief when he’d made it. Finally, he knew someone, and that would make it easier for him to make friends. You always needed to add a little butter to make the pancakes of friendship. It was at that moment his stomach made a low growl. Right. He’d pretty much not eaten during this entire affair. What would it look like if he stood in the middle of proceedings housing a Snickers. Why a Snickers? Did someone say something about Snickers? His hands clapped against his pockets to find nothing but his phone in there. Was he an idiot? No no. No negative talk. Stay positive, Coop. Positive… positive…

Well, it may have been the wrong time to try to wrestle positivity from the depths in which it resided, considering that there was quite the disruption happening in the middle of Blackjack. A few of the members had decided to leave. One was one silent about the entire thing, but there was quite a verbal battle between the others. If he didn’t have to keep his hands in the ceremonial positions, he would have grabbed his phone and recorded this. He’d never post it online, but it’d be good fodder for learning everyone’s attitudes and what pressed their buttons. Alright, he couldn’t lie, he’d probably post it online later after he’d done a bit of scrubbing to the identities of people—and added some nice graphics to really impact everything.

He slid the Blackjack armband on and returned the other two. A couple of other people had joined Blackjack, and he gave his customary smile to either of them before they assimilated into their new group. Right out of the gate, he was welcomed. This was far nicer than the abrasiveness of Firebird. He wondered if that sweet outside would get bitter after he’d been there a little while. The catalyst seemed to be that guy’s death. As long as no one else died, maybe things would remain pretty chummy.

“Cool,” Coop said to Rory’s introduction. “I was in—” no sports. He realized that would make him a bit of an oddity in regard to the rest of the other well-coifed Americans. Though, he’d tried a lot of sports in his time, and he’d really like competitive swimming. Now that dream was long gone. And with that Rory had already walked away. Man. The sugar withdrawal had really hit him hard, he was focusing worse than usual. His stomach let out another noise that he didn’t care for, and it wasn’t exactly quiet. A wave of heat passed over his face, but he swallowed it down. He needed to accept his house, and then maybe he could find something to eat.

It was then that another member from Firebird handed Rory’s phone to him. She hinted that her number was in there as well. He flashed a smile. “Well, since you gave me permission, I totally will.” He winked. He glanced down at Rory’s phone. Brave man to keep it unlocked. He created a new contact, added his number, put his Twitter handle underneath the number, and then snapped a picture of his face flashing his best smile before adding it to the contact. Of course, he’d have to update it when he didn’t look like he’d been smashed in the face by a tent pole. Coop also grabbed “Elle’s” contact from the list as well. It wouldn’t hurt to get to know her. There was always a chance that he and Calliope had become two different people in the time they’d been a part. Coop hoped not—he really really hoped not.

He then turned to hand it to one of the other new people. “Oh no,” he remarked, having not paid attention to them. He didn’t know what they looked like or their names. His stomach made another noise, and in hopes of expediting this entire experience, he pocketed Rory’s phone. Maybe they’d be in the same house?

He pulled his invitations from his pocket and flipped through them. He then glanced up at Rory, watching him run toward the red wolves. “That would be a no,” he remarked. It was then that a girl in a wheelchair rolled up and introduced herself before stating that she wouldn’t need said wheelchair much longer. Was Jesus walking around on the campus? Was she now healed? That was a stupid thought—“I’m Coop. A pleasure to meet you, Haleigh. And I need to do that too before I—” he let that sentence fade away as he watched her wheel away.

Coop took a deep breath, his stomach smarting as he did so. He swallowed that down as he then made a brisk jog over to the Myotis House. He was a content creator—there were very few occupations that required more creativity.

“I’m Dash Cooper—Coop—and I’m here to accept the Mitosis invitation.” He paused, turned beet red, and then corrected himself, “the Myotis invitation.”

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