| 7 Days Ago, the Night of Hyperion's Attack
"I'm locked out of the defense grid."
"What do you mean you're locked out?" The bureau supervisory agent asked standing over the security officer's workstation. Studying the screen intently, the supervisor grunted in displeasure upon seeing the stagnate image.
"The grid is non-responsive, I can't get it to update. The whole system is frozen."
"Raise the alarm, we're under attack."
The silenced pistol barely made a sound as the officer stood up, firing into the supervisor's chest a second time to ensure the deed was done. As the body hit the ground, the agent fired a third round between his eyes before stepping over the body.
A scream cut short.
A yell silenced.
The other officers in the room didn't even have time to draw their weapons before the double agent fired again, their arms and weapons blurring, seemingly multiplying, as they methodically took out each member of the base security center.
Producing a device in their palm, they hesitated for a moment before their expression hardened.
Beneath the raging storm, the explosion was barely audible.
| 6 Days Ago, 1 Day After Hyperion's Attack
“Get off my campus and go enjoy your chair while you have the chance, Miss Caspian.” Jonas paused before climbing into the vehicle waiting for him. The warmth suddenly returned to his face, as he spoke again, calling back to Winter.
“We wouldn’t want it to get cold.” He smiled, his eyes however did not as the icy gaze never once blinked while maintaining contact with Winter.
A shiver ran down the small woman’s spine as she found herself standing alone on the podium while the student body and faculty both exited the stadium grounds.
"We can no longer sit idly monitoring Hyperion's Children, they are not extremists, they are terrorists and should be considered an active threat. In the past seventy-two hours, they have made multiple attacks against H.E.L.P. and its institutes." The Bureau of Hyperhuman Enforcement, Logistics and Protection Deputy Director's words left little room for argument as Winter Caspain addressed the gathered executives and division directors. She returned to her seat as the man next to her stood and addressed the gathered members of the council.
"I move we continue with the emergency appointment of a new Director," The voice of Chief of Staff Killian O'Bran echoed through the round room as he stepped forward. "Are there any nominations to be brought before the council at this time?"
"The council would like to recognize Dr. Jonas Lehrer," A graying man interjected as Jonas stood upon receiving the nomination.
"Dr. Jonas Lehrer is the founder of Pacific Royal Collegiate and University, having served as its Chancellor and leading professor for over thirty years." The council member continued, "Furthermore, he is often referred to as the World's Foremost Authority on Hyperhumans, their genetics and their abilities. Dr. Lehrer has more experience with Hyperhumans than anyone in this room, understanding and fighting for our goals along with standing the best chance at defeating Hyperion and his followers."
Several members of the council clapped agreeably as the man motioned for Jonas to speak. Respectfully nodding to the gathered council, the Chancellor cleared his throat before addressing the attendees.
"As you all know, Director Yakob Kowalski was a close and personal friend, I will do my best to honour his memory. Together, we will bring an end to this threat and usher in a new era for H.E.L.P. and all Hyperhumans."
From across the room, another man stood, addressing Killian as Jonas took his seat again.
"Honorable Chief of Staff, the council would also like to recognize Deputy Director Winter Caspian as a nominee."
Winter stood again, nodding to the council. Jonas' steeled his gaze, eying his competition from across the room.
"The Deputy Director was top of her class at both McGill and P.R.C.U., having dual citizenship in both Canada and the United States, Winter was originally scouted to work for several agencies including Canada's own CSIS before being hired by the H.E.L.P.'s division of Enforcement and doing several years with Intelligence Operations before moving into the Intervention & Counter Terrorism Division which she led before being promoted to Deputy Director. While it has been a rough several days, Winter Caspian has faced them head on and we'd be lucky to have her continue in her current acting role."
Bowing her head in appreciation, Winter cleared her throat briefly before speaking to the rows of filled seats around her.
"I have served alongside the Director for several years, I had hoped if this day ever came that he would be here himself. Director Kowalski had been monitoring the Hyperion Threat personally and had hoped to solve the issue in collaboration with several international federal agencies. H.E.L.P. has never tried to stand alone, we've been there to aid and guide in these uncertain times, but now is the time for us to lead the charge especially when its one of our own not only putting human lives in danger, but as we saw at P.R.C.U., also the lives of fellow Hyperhumans and students no less."
Taking a seat, Winter looked around the room at the nods of approval while a slow clap slowly moved from seat to seat until Killian raised his hands to still the commotion.
"If there are no further candidates to be put forth, I'd ask the members of the council to cast their votes." The Chief of Staff's voice boomed over the rounded room, the brogue rolling across every sonorant. With no additional candidates put forth, the council members activated the screen in front of themselves, casting their vote for either Jonas or Winter.
As the votes finished tallying, Killian consulted with several other appointed council members before returning to the podium to address the attendees.
"During this time of crisis, we believe that Pacific Royal Collegiate and University, which best represents the future of H.E.L.P. needs Dr. Jonas Lehrer at its helm, without his attention divided between H.E.L.P. and the school. For that reason, the council believes that Deputy Director Winter Caspian is the best fit to lead H.E.L.P. in these uncertain times. By your decision, I give you Director Caspian, the twenty-first Director of the Bureau of Hyperhuman Enforcement, Logistics and Protection."
The applause echoed across the room, muffling the sound of the slamming door as Dr. Jonas Lehrer left.
| 5 Days Ago, 2 Days After Hyperion's Attack
A tap on the door caught the attending nurse's attention as he opened the door, welcoming both Miranda Rivers and Aaron Matthews into the hospital room occupied by Jim O'Neil.
"We're going to need some privacy," Miranda stated, stopping the nurse with a tap on the shoulder.
"Jim O'Neil did not have any visitors today." She commanded, her eyes glowing faintly as the nurse looked back at her in a daze.
"There hasn't been anyone in or out today," He replied before continuing to walk out. Closing the door behind the nurse, Miranda locked the knob as Aaron walked over to the window, absently turning on the nearby radio and raising the volume. The sound of Gord Downie's voice filled the room, eliciting a physical cringe from Aaron as the sounds of the Tragically Hip hid their conversation.
"H.E.L.P. has been compromised," Miranda started, jumping straight to the point. "No doubt P.R.C.U. along with it."
"And you want to trust this one," Jim growled accusingly from his bed, pointing his remaining hand at Aaron, "Didn't take much more than a curtsy and a howdy-do for his Number One to jump ship."
"I seem to recall that your right hand cut off your left, right before he up and left."
"Gentlemen," Miranda interjected, "How about we start living up to that name and start being civil with one another."
"Hard when you're born ignorant, ain't it Aaron," Jim replied with a smile before pushing himself up in the bed.
"Why do you trust us?" He asked bluntly turning towards Miranda.
"I read both of your minds while we were facing that monster, had to be sure neither of you were going to turn on me. In the heat of the moment like that, your thoughts are honest and transparent. Right now you might think something else, you might picture me naked to make me look away. Numerous Hyperhumans are trained to resist telepaths, especially those who work for H.E.L.P. Hyperion was no exception. But both of you were caught off guard and you certainly weren't cheering the madman on. You were worried about the kids"
"Good enough for me," Jim replied lifting his arm to cross it only for it awkwardly float against his chest before he reluctantly let it fall into his lap.
"They fit you for one of those cutting-edge prosthetics yet?" Aaron asked, jutting his chin toward where Jim's left arm should have been.
"Not taking one," Jim muttered.
"Why the hell not?"
"Because," Jim replied, focusing for a second as a glow in the shape of an arm briefly appeared, materializing for a second before falling away. "I think I can manifest one with my abilities with enough practice. They seem to want to compensate."
"Fascinating," Miranda replied dryly, "But not exactly the time."
"From this point on, we can only trust the people in this room." Jim responded, returning to the matter at hand. "No electronic communication, leave no paper trail. The school's walls have ears. Hyperion can clearly enter and leave as they wish. They're clearly one of us."
"And clearly connected to Autumn Miracle, that's who the woman was they had with them that night."
"Autumn Miracle had been imprisoned by H.E.L.P. since 1984. The only people connected to her should have been those involved in the Crestwood Hollow incident." Aaron interjected.
"So the entire founding body of P.R.C.U." Jim's retort was met by less-than-amused looks from both Aaron and Miranda. "Most of them still teach here, those that don't are either working with H.E.L.P. or went rogue years ago."
"Saying of course that Autumn herself isn't running this whole show and 'Hyperion' isn't some kind of mass misdirection."
"For the time being, Aaron and I will watch your back and ensure no one gets to you or the kids. In the meantime, be vigilant." Miranda cautioned.
"And remember, none of us are safe."
| 4 Days Ago, 3 Days After Hyperion's Attack
“We’re missing something, go over it all again.” Agent Shield ordered before his scanner began to flash as it detected a concentrated cluster of residual high-energy particles. Sebastian’s nose flared as he took a deep breath. His eyes flash momentarily, the hackles on the back of his neck rising.
“Teleporter,” Michael stated.
“One we’re familiar with,” Sebastian replied confirming what SSA Shield had already concluded. The familiar sickly sweet traces of a certain perfume filled the young agent's nose as he detected it beneath the other lingering scents in the pair's immediate area.
“Get a BOLO out on for the known Hyperhuman Cassidy Parker, classification Exoteric Fundamental, considered a Delta level threat.” Michael ordered Agent Duquesne. “Scan for HZE surges matching this signature in a one-kilometre radius. For every match you find, scan another kilometre in radius, I want to find out where she’s going.”
Waving for the rookie to follow him, Shield turned back to address Sebastian once more.
“The second they have her route, I want you in pursuit.”
The door to the small room swung open, nearly falling from its hinges. The blonde girl inside had no time to react before she was blinded by the flashbang that rolled into the room. Attempting to teleport, she found herself unable to leave, the very air littered with irradiated electrons produced by the portable silos strategically placed in a perimeter around her hiding spot.
The sound of several cocking weapons caused the woman to reluctantly raise her hands as the room cleared and Special Agent Sebastian Scott took the center position. Levelling his weapon at the other Hyperhuman, his nostrils flared slightly, confirming the scent.
The suspect in question could have been barely older than seventeen. Cassidy Parker had been antagonistic towards H.E.L.P. for some time now. Her abilities allowed her to enter and exit often without interference making her an ideal thief. Until now there had never been any reason to connect her to Hyperion.
"Cassidy Parker, you're under arrest." Scott commanded as he motioned for Agent Duquesne to cuff the girl.
"Why can't I teleport?" Cassidy asked, grunting as Veronica pulled her arms behind her back.
"We created a dead zone," Scott replied, "Anything you further do or say will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if you can't afford an att-"
"Kowalski is alive." Cassidy interjected,
"If you can't afford an attorney-"
"Kowalski is alive!" Cassidy continued, "If you don't act now, it'll be too late." She protested, fighting against the cuffs. "Please, he's fighting, but if you don't find him soon, it'll be too late. I've seen what Hyperion does to people, to Kowalski. I tried to save him!"
As another agent rushed to help Veronica restrain Cassidy, Sebastian slowly lowered his weapon.
"Where is Yakob Kowalski?"
| 3 Days Ago, 4 Days After the Hyperion Incident
"Do you know why wanted to see you?"
It was intimidating sitting across from Dr. Jonas Lehrer. The man had nearly singlehanded discovered everything known about Hyperhumans, their abilities and the phenomenon that created them. His works had gone on to be both loved and loathed around the world with many adopting them as teaching materials, both for enlightenment and exploitation.
"With all due respect, Sir, it's actually now a well-known fact among new entrants to Pacific Royal that you like to have a personal sit down with each and every student that comes to the island." Alyssa swallowed her nerves, feigning confidence as she answered.
"I heard several members of Eclipse comparing their experiences, it was my understanding that you open with a vague question, such as the one you've just posed, in order to see how the student interprets it and then steer the conversation from there in order to access any insecurities, concerns or other subject matter that surfaces based on the initial answer."
Alyssa paused, taking a moment to think before talking again, cutting Jonas off as the Chancellor opened his mouth to retort.
"How did Hyperion display so many various abilities that night? I understand you're the leading expert on Hyperhumans and in your dissertation on Hyperhuman Abilities, you note that all Hyperhumans start with the same baseline potential. Meaning, we're not born locked into our abilities. They develop in response to our experiences and surroundings."
Jonas raised an eyebrow at where the topic had moved. Interested in the young woman's thoughts, he leaned forward, placing his elbows on the desk before entwining his hands, the extended index fingers resting against his chin.
"Is it possible to retain that initial fluidity in abilities?" Alyssa asked, "Say if one could fluctuate between abilities, switching them on the fly. I read a report once that you theorized those with the ability to replicate the abilities of others could potentially evolve into such an individual. Do you believe Hyperion is one such individual?"
"Firstly," The Chancellor replied leaning back in his chair, "I'm flattered to have such a young fan. It's not often I have a student in my office who can quote my work back to me with such accuracy. Secondly, regarding Hyperion, I can't possibly say for certain. It's unprecedented."
"For a Hyperhuman, I'd be inclined to agree." Alyssa nodded eagerly, "Have you considered that he's not a Hyperhuman? He could be a Draoi, albeit one masquerading as a Hyperhuman to amass followers." She rambled, "Unless of course, you're not familiar with the Magni, most people aren't but my Great Uncle spent a lot of my childhood telling me about his adventures and travels through the Slavic Countries. They were something of a special interest to hi-"
The door to Jonas' office suddenly opened catching Alyssa mid-sentence as both student and chancellor turned to identify the instruction to their conversation.
"Ah," Standing from his desk, Jonas approached the woman in the doorway, "Miss Carlyle, always a pleasure. What can I do for you?"
"We were supposed to be meeting," She replied, her eyes scanning Alyssa quickly before returning to Jonas. "Once again, at exactly this time. I presume you've double booked me again."
"I think we were actual just finished, didn't we Miss Townsend?" Jonas replied to Summer, the implication very clear as Alyssa stood from her chair, both hands tucking her skirt as she curtsied to the pair of adults.
"Of course, just leaving. Thank you for your time Dr. Lehrer, it was a pleasure." Alyssa responded, beating a hasty retreat out of the office before Jonas quickly closed the door behind her. The audible 'click' of a lock echoed down the hallway of the Administration Building as Alyssa walked away.
| 2 Days Ago, 5 Days After Hyperion's Attack
Meal times were always the surest opportunity for finding the most students in the same place. The Mess Hall was alive with the sounds of conversation and laughter. It was a welcome relief from the somber silence of the Intake House over the past week.
Finding an empty table to themselves, Alyssa and her brother, Oliver, placed their trays down before taking a seat. Looking around the Mess Hall, Alyssa couldn't help but feel a sense of relief that they were both safe and together. Nodding across the table at Oliver, the pair bowed their heads as Alyssa gave thanks for their food before opening their eyes and beginning their meal.
The younger male enthusiastically covered his fries in ketchup as Alyssa looked fondly toward her brother. Watching as he was eagerly digging into his plate of food.
"So, how's your first week been so far?" Alyssa asked, taking a bite of her own food. "Outside of the megalomaniac, of course."
"Of course, of course," Oliver replied with a wry smile, "It's been great!" He continued between bites.
"I got to meet some of the other kids in my dorm and we played some games in the common room."
"That's good to hear," Alyssa smiled. "I'm glad you're enjoying yourself." The Collegiate Students were on the other end of the Southern Plateau when Hyperion had attacked, it spared them a lot of the more grisly details. While her dorms at the Intake House had been mostly void of communal activities, the Collegiate students were more easily able to continue on as nothing had happened.
From across the table, Oliver nodded his agreement. Picking up his hamburger, he took a far larger bite than he should have, eliciting a small laugh from Alyssa herself.
"Do you think Hyperion will come back?" Oliver managed to get out while chewing on the mass of food in his mouth, his smile rapidly vanishing inside a much more serious expression.
Alyssa sighed, knowing that her brother was still shaken up by the attack. She had never thought anything like this would happen at Pacific Royal. Pacific Royal was always talked about in such high regard by the Foundation students. Then when her roommate and other classmates went missing, Alyssa had begged and pleaded to transfer, hoping that by going to Pacific Royal that Oliver would be spared the hardships. But it definitely seemed like tragedy was determined to follow them wherever they went.
"I don't know, Oliver." Alyssa began, thinking through her words as she did, "But we're safe here at Pacific Royal. They have some of the best security measures in place to protect us."
"I guess," Oliver said, but he still looked worried.
Alyssa reached over and took his hand. "Don't worry, little brother. We'll get through this together."
| 1 Day Ago, 6 Days After Hyperion's Attack
Alyssa sat in Dr. Thomas' office, feeling a mix of emotions as she occasionally glanced toward what felt like an agonizingly slow analog clock on the wall. A simple-looking device, its numbers were in a plain, bold font, a simple black on a white face. Still, the thin red hand felt to be hardly moving as it completed a revolution causing the longer of the two black arms to move a monumentally minute increment forward.
She had lost a classmate in what was supposed to be a celebratory opening weekend.
Though she hadn't known Cassander Charon, Alyssa couldn't help but keep picturing the blonde boy as her own brother. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw Cassander's stunned expression warp into Oliver, Hyperion's harpoon piercing her brother's chest.
Alyssa's knees bounced together in a steady beat as she struggled with the slurry of emotions whirling up inside of her. The guilt of surviving. Surviving having done nothing to save the boy who stood up for them. Could her abilities have protected them? The fear that her brother could yet suffer the same fate if Hyperion returned.
"Do you believe in God, Dr. Thomas?" Alyssa asked, her voice cracking as she did. "I did, or I still do." Alyssa mumbled, verbally processing her thoughts.
"It's not like there isn't a precedent for God-given gifts that border on the supernatural, one need not look any further than the Old Testament. But these-" She looked down at her own hands, "These feel so evil. I spend half my waking hours worried I'm possessed, this thing inside of me often acts seemingly of its own free will. I don't summon it, it just comes. And I feel it's going to swallow me, and I'm going to end of like him." She added, referring to Hyperion.
"And then to go and find out that not only do I have these abilities, this bizarre biology, but to also find Oliver, my baby brother, has also been cursed. I have to ask why?" Alyssa lamented, "Where did Cassander go when he died, was he saved, did he cry out with a final breath or do these abilities damn us all? Is this a generational curse, sin manifested?"
Across the small room, Dr. Reneé Thomas listened patiently as Alyssa poured out her heart, tears beginning to stream down her face.
"I just don't understand why God would allow something like this to happen," She said. "Why would he give us these powers, if their only valuable use is the pursuit of power? Why would He open this door, if it only ends in death and destruction?"
Dr. Thomas nodded sympathetically.
"It's natural to question your faith in times like this," She replied sympathetically. "But remember that God doesn't cause suffering. It's an intrinsic part of this world, and we have to find a way to deal with it."
Alyssa steeled her before nodding as she began to wipe her tears. It wasn't exactly the response she had wanted to hear, but among Dr. Thomas' many degrees, and certifications, none of them led Alyssa to believe Reneé was versed in theology or counselling from a Biblical perspective. Faith, and especially Christianity, weren't popular topics at a school full of 'evolutionary wonders'.
"But how do I deal with it?" She asked, "I feel so lost and alone, especially here." Alyssa gestured generally to the school around them.
Leaning forward, Dr. Thomas took a moment before passing a box of tissue across the small coffee table between them.
"First, you need to allow yourself to grieve," She said. "It's okay to feel sad and angry and confused. But don't let those feelings consume you. Talk to your family and friends, share your feelings with them. And remember that Cassander, nor your brother would want you to lose your faith in God no matter what happened to them."
She paused, leaning back into the leather couch behind her.
"Forgive me, it's been a while since I've read the 'good book', but I believe Christ himself once said, 'do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow comes with troubles of its own'. The Roman Poet Horace put it another way, 'carpe diem', simply pluck the moment or more commonly translated as seize the day." The doctor stated, taking a sip from her nearby tea before continuing.
"Worry is interest paid on a debt not yet due. It can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I'm not saying that your worry is going to get Oliver killed, nor am I saying worrying about Hyperion returning is going to make it so. But the fear and worry you show towards your abilities, that I've seen countless devolve into self-harm and casualties. The goal of Pacific Royal is anything but, and to help you embrace and accept your abilities and status as a Hyperhuman. I can't tell you if your abilities are because of your forefathers' sin, or if they're a curse upon your family. What I can tell you is that based on our understanding they are the result of a massive solar flare causing a genetic mutation in certain people which is then passed from parent to child. And that here at P.R.C.U. we can teach you how to use and control those abilities so you don't have to be afraid of either them or yourself."
"You're right," Alyssa resigned reluctantly. "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm you"
She took a deep breath.
"I need to trust that God has a plan for me and my brother, even if I don't understand it or these powers."
Dr. Thomas smiled.
"That's a good start," She replied. "And remember, I'm here for you if you need to talk further."
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Location: Northern Cove - Dundas Islands, Pacific Ocean____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
First Class #2.30: Neat Trick
Interaction(s): Efraim Tenorio - @Theyra, Lucas Bray - @Nemaisare
Previously: True Colours| Now
Waving a cheerful goodbye to Elodie, Alyssa looked around for other members of the H.E.A.T. program. Spotting Efraim and Lucas, the redheaded woman made her way over toward the pair when Lucas' words caught her ear.
“Efraim I’m not helping if it fights back. Okay? You okay?”
"The likelihood of it fighting back is higher than you might think, Lucas Bray!" Alyssa chimed in, her melodic voice ringing out as she approached the two males.
"My great-uncle fought a leshy in the Baltics once. He was pulling splinters out of his right arm for a month." She smiled, remembering the story of the giant tree-like creature that had been hunting the valley's hunters. Opening her mouth to continue her tale, Alyssa paused remembering the reason she had come over.
Taking ahold of Efraim's hand, Alyssa moved to gently inspect it for a wound, only to realize it was protected by a layer of hardened organic material. Her own bio-metal reacted to the foreign material, the underside of her hand quickly coating in the liquid metal as Alyssa absently outlined the bony growth. Thinking back to their limited time around the fire, Alyssa quickly realized, despite having only seen Efraim's face through the flickers of the fire, clearly, this was the boy who could manipulate his bones.
"Neat trick," She smiled brightly, "No splinters after all!" Alyssa let go of Efraim's hand, her own armour receding as she did.
"Jessica Friend said to let everyone know to change back into their regular uniforms and then meet for the Team Swap and Colour Ceremony. If you see any of the others, can you pass that along?" Alyssa asked both Efraim and Lucas.
"Have either of you given any thought to what House you'd like to be placed in? I wonder how they place us, I supposed there's the argument that how we reacted during the Hyperion attack reveals our truest selves, but there really wasn't much opportunity to react." Alyssa rambled, walking with the two boys, not giving either a chance to actually voice their thoughts.
"Myotis does have nice colours, don't think I'd want to be put in Ursus, Alces could look really nice on me though. But it would be nice to be put somewhere that challenges me though, like academically, not emotionally, that sounds exhausting. Can you imagine?" She giggled, mostly to herself.
Turning her head to the sky, Alyssa paused, studying the drones flying in formation above the campus grounds. They had appeared shortly after the attack, a response on the school's part to ensure no other such attacks could take place. As Alyssa understood it, the drones created a barrier using a sustained field laced with irradiated electrons. If a Hyperhuman were to pass through the field, their abilities would be negated long enough that the school's security could respond in kind. The drones themselves would identify the breach and allow for a coordinated response from H.E.L.P. and an emergency response unit.
She understood the precaution, though they did little to make her feel safer. The steady stream of supplies being airlifted into the H.E.L.P. across the horizon didn't help any. Any warmth and colour she had initially felt from the school were quickly being suffocated. There were moments when Alyssa felt she would have been better off taking her chances with another year at the Foundation.
"Anyways, this has been a lovely chat!" Alyssa replied to the boys, any sign of worry evaporating from her face as it exploded into a dazzling smile. "I should see about directing the others, see you both at the Team Swap!"
The stadium was slowly filling as students all piled in to witness the colour ceremony. While everyone knew that the Team Swap happened first, most were invested in seeing who their new dorm mates would be and to pre-maturely scout the talent for the intramural league.
Filing into her spot, Alyssa joined the rest of Team Firebird as they stood in a line together, facing toward the other two teams that made up students in the Hyperhuman Enforcement Accelerated Training program. Miranda had joined them at this point while Jim stood beside Team Blackjack. The wind caused the empty sleeve of his jacket to move about freely for a second.
A hollow and bitter reminder of the night they were all trying to forget and move past.
Any students that Alyssa had been unable to get in touch with personally had received a notification to their personal devices. When that had failed, the intercom that loudly announced the beginning of the Team Swap should have sufficed to remind them where they had ought to be. "Unfortunately, this year had started rather irregularly, and while many of you are no doubt understandably hurt, anxious or even angry, it is our job to ensure that you still have the best possible experience and to remind you that you are students."
Jonas had once again returned to his podium in the center of the stadium field. Behind him were the eight house banners, the representative from each standing at the read with new uniforms and their inductee House cloaks. To Aylssa's understanding, it was being draped in one of those colourful cloaks where the name 'Colour Ceremony' came from."It is not your responsibility or obligation to hunt down those who violated the sanctity of this institute nor to seek vengeance for your fallen classmates."
Dr. Lehrere continued from his podium, "We also are here to remind you that you are also not prisoners here and should anyone feel uncomfortable, or unsafe or that they simply no longer wish to attend Pacific Royal, the ferry back to the mainland departs every evening at six."
The stadium remained in a hushed silence, Jonas' usual charisma didn't seem to be enough today."Should none of that apply to you, and you are in fact still wishing to pursue a degree in the Hyperhuman Enforcement Accelerated Training program, we are happy to have you remain at Pacific Royal and invite you to participate in the tradition of the Team Swap."
Jonas concluded, finishing his portion of the address to the gathered members of the H.E.A.T. Program.
Beside the Blackjack lineup, Jim turned and addressed his team, though Alyssa had a feeling he was actually talking to all of them."The Team Swap is for anyone who believes they are incompatible with their current team, or anyone who is looking for a fresh start, it's a long-standing tradition to ensure students are given the best opportunity to create a friendly environment for themselves and by extension, their other team members."
Jim paused,Who could blame these kids for that after all they've been through?"Please step forward and remove your armband."
Aaron commanded, interrupting Jim's thoughts before Miranda began to speak."If you don't step forward, we will assume you wish to remain where you are and who you are with. If there are fewer spaces available than the number of individuals who step forward, then it'll come down to your second choice. Your faculty representative will each hand those of you who step forward the two armbands which correspond with the teams you aren't currently on. When the whistle blows, you will have the opportunity to move to the team you wish to join. To do so, you will, in your right hand, raise the armband bearing the corresponding logo. In your left hand, you will raise the armband belonging to your second choice, even if this second choice is to remain where you are. When the whistle blows again, these teams will become permanent. There are no takebacks."
Miranda further explained looking at the gathered members of Blackjack, Eclipse and Firebird."Additionally, Jess is going to walk around and hand each of you an envelope. Inside that envelope are one to three houses that believe you belong with them. You will each receive a formal invitation and when the swap is done, you may approach your desired House and accept their colours. Do not, approach a House you weren't invited to, firstly it's decorum, secondly, they know what each of you looks like and who was extended an invitation."
Off to the side of the three times stood a girl that Alyssa didn't recognize. She looked around the stadium turf for another team that might have been missing a member only for Aaron to suddenly motion the girl over."This is Suzanna Poots, she's previously been attending P.R.C.U. but decided to transfer into the H.E.A.T program," Aaron explained. He paused directly turning to Suzana before addressing her. "In your case, you get three armbands. You still only have two choices to make, so just tuck the extra in your back pocket or place it on the ground in front of you. Remember, the right hand is your preferred choice, left is your secondary.""On three, the whistle will blow and armbands go up."
Jim roared to the group as Miranda began to count."1."
The sharp whistle echoed across the stadium.
■ Raise your primary choice.
■ Raise your secondary choice.
■ Read the PM from the GM. This was received in an envelope along with the additional armbands in the IC.