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Mia Mathers

Time: September 11, 2127
Location: 1B Homeroom, Eirei Academy, Shibuya, Tokyo Prefecture


While the situation in the classroom continued to devolve, Mia's mind was busy noting that the petals following Kaiga had come to a stop. Her finger tapped her desk in a quiet rhythm, as she released a small num of contemplation under her breath. The sensations she was getting from her proprioception-esce awareness of her petals signaled back mainly a mix of audio vibrations. There was a certain... tenor(?) to them compared to the movement of the air that she'd found let her identify the two phenomena distinctly. Speaking of which, she was also getting some movements from the air, a subtle disturbance of air-pressure that caressed the surfaces of her petals with a silky lover's touch.

This is all to say that, in practice, she could feel the movements of what she thought was probably just two -maybe three- people in the nurse's office... for now anyway. Of course, at least two of the people in question were probably Kaiga and Matsuru, the latter of whom had apparently spared himself quite a lot of trouble by dipping out to help carry Yusuke... the lucky bastard.

Anyway, where was she? Oh right! Sound vibrations, yes. Those funny little things. She was feeling quite a few of them, so clearly, someone had set to chatting. She was... mostly certain the one doing the bulk of the chatter was Kaiga, which was pretty on-brand for him anyway. A petal briefly floating to brush across his chest did indeed confirm a persistent rumble that matched speech. Mia couldn't tell what was being said, but this close, she almost felt like if she really focused-

A brief distant throb somewhere in the back of her head brough the punk girl back on task, resisting the urge to rub her temples. Even though she wasn't really using a lot of petals right now, it honestly hadn't been an hour since the Sports Festival concluded, and she'd still used her quirk quite a lot. Even at low levels, it was something like jogging. The strain might creep up slower, but it was still there. And this really wasn't the time to be experimenting anyway.

So, Kaiga clearly felt comfortable enough now to waste time chatting... and after he'd shown so much good-hearted kindness towards that racist prick. Assuming the ardent Endeavor fanboy was at least dedicated enough to his ideals to maintain that concern long enough to reach the nurse's office before he loitered, then Mia could only guess one place he could be right now.

Of course, she had also paid attention to her petals' movements, as they followed him. If she walked out of the classroom with her eyes closed right this moment, she was actually pretty confident she could blindly replicate that route herself, even without her petals' locations as a guide. On top of which, the proprioception-esce awareness of her petal's positions honestly gave her a pretty clear estimation of distances between herself and them, and if she took a moment to visualize where she was right now and then imagine navigating to the nurse's office... the place where the majority of her active petals was would align pretty much exactly with her theoretical destination. Multitasking was a hell of a drug apparently.

Still, all the facts taken together, Mia found she could only come to one conclusion, as she double-checked the position of the petal that Kaiga had been supposed to be holding...

That meathead totally forgot about the signal, didn't he?

Well, she supposed that wasn't too unexpected from him.

Heaving an internal sigh, Mia went ahead and commanded the petals she had near Yusuke to reassemble and revert. She wasn't certain if Dr. Chisaki was ready to actually treat him yet, but in the end, she'd only done what she did in the off chance that any of Yusuke's injuries were more dangerous than they seemed. Now that he was at least basically in arm's reach, she saw no reason to keep her petals active any longer. It's not like he was conscious to feel the pain at this point anyway.

Back in the 1B classroom, things were getting less pleasant by the moment.

Hands in her pockets, one thumb brushed across a device she'd taken to carrying near-religiously these days, as words that only she could see flicked across her vision.

[Command: Record Start]

[System Confirm: Yes/No?]

[Command: Yes]

[Confirmed: Record Start]

And so, you finally reveal your true colors... Ladyice.

Admittedly, Mia had actually been ready to let the initial offense go to some degree. Some part of her had even at least half-seriously considered letting Rin be for a bit longer, letting her have more opportunities to dig her own hole and ruin that irritating little facade of hers. Of course, Mia had still intended to put together a report regardless... but she had been willing to actually humor Hebi's suggestion to let things cool down.

And then Rin decided that overt racism was apparently the galaxy brain way to go.

Truly, her genius is unfathomable.

Mia had been in the middle of turning to head back to her seat when the word "Dirtblood" hit the open air, and for a brief moment, she paused. Not because she was personally offended. Oh no, in that respect, the words washed over Mia like water off a duckling's back. No, any emotional impact Rin might have expected her words to elicit simply wasn't forthcoming, because Mia had grown up largely in America, where racism had severe societal stigma.

In the United States, it certainly wasn't correct to say that discrimination didn't exist in some form, but it did mean that very very few were dumb enough express such opinions, never mind be smug about them, especially since American law had a rather exhaustive number of ways to address and punish racism-fueled actions. A century since the rise of quirks had only given that cultural stigma more time to stew and develop to account for the new status quo. Combine that with the American comic book culture making Metamorphics far less of a shock than they often were elsewhere, and they had easily come to be included under the provisions that once covered only such petty things as skin color. On top of that, being the home of an icon like Stars and Stripes and having a culture that had managed to largely preserve the Golden Age of Heroics that All Might had helped bring about meant that -just on a general level- America was honestly one of the most welcoming cultures on the planet as far as foreigners and "diversity" were concerned.

This is all to say that Mia simply didn't respond to Japan's warped, classist racism the way many locals might. In her mind, as an American -immigrant or not- the idea that she was lesser for something as trivial as her birth was simply inconceivable. That she was not entitled to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness just because she happened to be born "less fortunate" wasn't even worth humoring. It was a viewpoint that was objectively, factually, morally incorrect on all levels, and the moment someone decided to express such views, Mia's henceforth considered everything they said worthless. And as long as their opinion was worthless, why should she care what they thought about her? She was right. They were wrong. And that's all there was to it.

Was that an entitled, black and white or even arrogant stance to hold? Maybe, but Mia didn't see any reason to change it. In this world, sometimes, one had to accept that there were people that were simply unequivocal scum. They wouldn't change, and they didn't want to change. So, why waste your time caring about them? Some people were just objective drains on the health and stability of society, and Mia saw no reason not to treat them as such.

Mia doubted Rin was the sort to appreciate the irony contained in the contrast between the response the racist fuck expected and what she was actually feeling. The ironic part, of course, was that as much as Rin stated she wasn't going to "humor" Mia's opinions, Mia felt exactly the same way, and for far more legitimate reasons to boot.

Which was why Mia's response to Rin's insult was merely an unrepentantly smug smirk. "There was never anything to disown. I got what I wanted and left the chaff behind. In the end, your little nest was always a means to an end, so, don't be mistaking who discarded who, grackle."

The term she plucked from distant memory referred to a common and not particularly attractive North American bird, one that -at a distance- could perhaps be mistaken for a crow or raven; they were common and opportunistic enough to call "sky rats", scavengers and garbage raiders that lurked even in cities year-round. Needless to say, this could be interpreted as an insult on multiple levels, particularly as a targeted insult towards someone that was part of the Hawks Agency and loved their cringy bird terminology. It wasn't a common insult by any means. If anything, it was something Mia had invented on the spot, and it would perhaps take a little in-depth knowledge of foreign birds to understand. But at least part of the insult was the implication that the recipient was stupid if they didn't understand it.

Comeback delivered, Mia finished heading back to her seat, only to roll her eyes at the flicker of the lights heralding a familiar unsufferable, oozing voice that she had apparently hoped in vain to leave behind with the class shuffle. She truly couldn't roll her eyes hard enough, as Professor Danzo Shimura started throwing around more casual -well, less casual and more targeted- racism, truly an exemplary representative of humanity and a hero school's faculty.

So, we meet again, Darth Shit-ura.

To say that there was resentment between Mia and the professor she had held the misfortune of enduring for the first six months of the semester in Class 1A was an understatement. As far as Mia was concerned, Danzo was an uptight, petty, elitist prick, who barely made any attempt to hide his racism and classism on a good day and handed out harsh punishments that were aimed more to humiliate and degrade than to teach any actual lesson; he was a shit educator to anyone but the elite, and even then, he seemed more focused on insulting anything short of perfection, rather than encouraging his students to do better. Simply put, regardless of any selective competence he might show in certain subjects, he was trash as a person, and Mia had treated his opinion accordingly. Danzo might as well have been the worst possible teacher for someone like her.

Meanwhile, Mia was a coarse, informal "country bumpkin" of a girl, and a foreigner to boot, who was dismissive of authority except where she decided it "made sense" and didn't even try to pretend she cared about living up to any standards but her own. She was a "lowly commoner", who refused to even comprehend "her place" and wasted very few opportunities to share her cynical opinions on heroism and the "subpar" behavior of her classmates. She shirked detentions, ignored the dress code and simply flat-out refused to even appear apologetic for her behavior. As far as she was concerned, Shimura had earned no respect, and so he would receive none. Furthermore, she was a former intern of the Hawks Agency, who'd chosen to firmly cut ties and head to Jeanist, which was likely considered irksome to Shimura for its own reasons... And on top of it all, she'd attained enrollment to Eirei via special recommendation, of all things, and the weight of a sponsor meant that her attitude could quite successfully be counterbalanced by the infuriating fact that she was actually a high-scorer, consistently placing in the top five of her class even though she obviously wasn't trying her best.

All in all, it was a pair truly destined to loathe each-other from the very start.

So, Mia didn't fail to note the targeted verbal jab from Shimura. Of course, as with Rin, she was about as unbothered as a duck was by water. But make no mistake, she was far from pleased. Not by the insult, itself, but rather who it was coming from and the implications of that. Not only that, but she was displeased in the sense that a figure like this was a terrible role model to have for aspiring heroes. In those susceptible to his ideology, he would just help develop them into similarly terrible people and embarrassments to even the tattered concept of what a "hero" meant to modern Japan. In those that opposed him? He would surely make their schooling experience hell, degrade and discourage them, fail as many as possible and just generally terrorize the actually sane portion of the student body. He was a stain on this institution, and it still boggled Mia's mind to this day how he still had his job.

Leaning back in her chair, expression placid even under the onslaught of insults and unreasonable punishments being cast about, Mia's gaze traced across the classroom the see how the rest were taking this development.

On average?

Not fucking well.

Jun turning down the detention pass in an obvious sign of solidarity against the injustice. The normally happy-go-lucky Kaiga barely managing to keep cordial. The quirkless boy -Kazuki, she thought he was called?- stiffly questioning the legitimacy of both Rin and Shimura. Various expressions of unease or barely restrained anger from other students. And as the glorious cherry on top, some actual fucking legend, whose name Mia had regretfully yet to catch, telling Shimura to take a swan dive off the building.

In life, there are crossroads...

The thought reached her, as she observed a group of heroic alumni primed for rebellion. Yet, despite the anger and distress seething through the air, even with biting words thrown about here and there, her peers still hesitated to take the initiative. They were on the defensive, reeling from a counterattack of a figure to which many must have perceived no other response but bitter, quiet compliance. Even those that spoke with defiance mostly seemed to be walking on eggshells, afraid to commit in the face of the cowardice of the majority.

Truly, it was a microcosm of the state of Japan as a whole if Mia had ever seen one.

The nail that stick up gets hammered down. Wasn't that how it went?

Even in an era of quirks, that culture somehow persisted a century later. Nobody wanted to be the one to make the first move. Nobody wanted to take the risk. In the end, the majority would rather follow the rules, comply with the system. Why? Because that was just how things were, right? It couldn't be helped, right? The whole is greater than the individual, naturally. That was what they told themselves. That just going along with unfairness was easier than trying to get a better deal and ruining things for themselves and everyone around them. Even the heroes were sheep, cogs in a machine, just working to keep things running, never truly making things better.

Because in the end, they didn't really believe things could be better, did they? And there was no-one to prove them wrong, no-one to not just take the first step, but to succeed. There were countless heroes spouting flashy ideals, but had those words really amounted to anything? No, in order for the people bred by this corporate, rules-obsessed society to stand up, the only thing that could really make change... was a nail that refused to be hammered down, come hell or highwater.

A Symbol.

Something Japan had long since lost.

And Mia would admit, she wasn't much different from those sheeple in a lot of ways. In the end, she really wanted a comfy retirement. In an ideal world, she could coast there on her present effort. Assuming an unbiased system to traverse, it wouldn't even be difficult. She preferred to watch from the sidelines, not take center-stage, but in this situation...

In the midst of weakness, what it truly means to be a hero is to be the one to step up to the plate. None of you have the guts, the gumption and steel to go all the way? Fine, I'll lead by example, take the plunge and the risk. I'll go first, so y'all better not disappoint me... Honestly, if even this isn't enough, is this really a school I even want to keep attending anyway?

The familiar numbness of her quirk's influence began to fill her body, a precautionary measure... just in case she was actually right to be paranoid of even further stupidity ensuing. Shunting her brain-meats into the storage of petal state to preemptively guard against Shimura's illusory quirk in some capacity, just in case he was petty enough to use it.

A cold little smile crossed Mia's lips, as she released a sharp bark of a laugh and stood from her chair again. Slowly, mockingly, she clapped her hands in a short bout of applause, her lips curled into smirk towards the scummy teacher and his equally racist bootlicker, as she began to walk towards the front of the classroom.

"So, we're doing this old song and dance again, are we, Shit-ura-sensei?"

The words that spilled from her lips were laced with an air of old resentment and a revisited grudge.

Passing by the desk of the brunette guy with mismatched eyes and balls so big she honestly questioned how his chair hadn't yet collapsed under him, Mia's right hand briefly clapped him on the shoulder companionably, as her pink eyes tracked to Hebi's own seat, a half-apologetic smile towards the medusa metamorphic on the punk's lips. Shrugging her shoulders in a manner as if to indicate "well, I tried", Mia looked back at the man, who was supposed to be a class of heroes' teacher.

"I think not." She raised several fingers in succession. "Sleeping in the common room of the Hawks Dorm just to humiliate? How petty. Pass." She sniffed and leaned against one of the frontmost desks. "Unfair detention? Pass on that too," she drawled, before a sneer upturned her lips. "Yeah, that's right, I'm 'testing you', Teach. What are you gonna do: double the detentions I'm not attending?" She scoffed and glanced over her shoulder at what remained of the class after the cowardly rabble had run out the back. "Don't let this pompous fuck fool you. He doesn't have any real power to threaten your hard-earned Hero Licenses. Trust me, after the first time he ever threatened that..." Her scornful gaze tracked back to Shimura. "-I checked."

Pushing off the desk with a slight bump of her hip, she inspected her fingernails dismissively. "Funny the sorts of things you find yourself studying when you have a prejudiced, petty, resentful shitstain as your instructor for six fucking months. And news flash: in this capacity, he's only a teacher." She rolled her eyes. "Hero Licenses are assigned by the Hero Commission, not any school or Agency. No individual -or even Agency- has the power to suspend or nullify one without an exhaustive process that requires the accused to have actually seriously broken the law to succeed. A petty matter like this is so far below their radar it requires a sonar."

Joining the trickle of students already headed that way, Mia chuffed and stepped towards the classroom door, a derisive expression fixed on her face. "You already knew that, of course, Teach, but the only way you can command order is fear, right? Bluffing absurd threats. Because no-one really respects you once they've met you for longer than five seconds. Entitled, you say? Damn right, I am. I'm entitled to basic human decency, just like the rest of my peers, and the fact that I even need to emphasize that to a 'hero' is pathetic. So, it seems it's long past time someone finally got done with your shit and demanded better."

Mia snorted, addressing the rest of the class then. "Those of you from 1B and 1C? Realize that this is still only the beginning. You think this was bad? Well, prepare your anus. Those of you from 1A understand... in which case, my only question for you is: are you really going to just take this?" Her eyes narrowed over her shoulder at the rest of the class. "Well?! Your faces say you want to speak your minds. Go on then! He's wrong, and you know he's wrong. The words out of his mouth are poison to what a real hero should be, so why the hell shouldn't you stand up to him? You're training to be heroes, but how much does justice actually mean to you? How much does having a positive Hero Academia mean to you? Are you heroes or cowards?"

Her gaze snapped back to Shimura, as she spread her arms and stepped back towards the door. As she did, her body's outer layer began to flake away into petals to join the already mostly shifted internals, the drifting pink flora concealing the movements of her feet brushing against several more of the bullets that had been left discarded carelessly on the floor, clandestinely transmuting them to join her swarm. "Frankly, I've got far too much respect for my time, my rights as a person and the very concept of an actual fucking hero to tolerate this any longer, so consider this my sanction of you as an educator, Danzo Shimura."

Mia flowed out of the room, her body practically entirely made of petals now, aside from her vocal cords and eyes. Amongst the other students that were already leaving the room, she released a chuckle. "See y'all later, not in detention of course, which -by the way- you should totally defy as well. A little spot of 'peaceful protest', as they say, right? A bit of 'civil disobedience' to make a point." The flowing mass of petals in the shape of a young woman, shrugged its shoulders and smirked. "If it's in mass, there's no way it won't get results. The majority of a hero classroom's alumni don't just revolt for no good reason. Someone would have to give a shit. And hey, if you've got the guts, I wouldn't turn down some supporting voices while I go to see the principle to get some answers and preferably a solution."

And with that, the mass of petals swiftly flowed away from the group down the hall, her likely destination clear.

[Command: Record End]

[System Confirm: Yes/No?]

[Command: Yes]

[Confirmed: Record End. Archive Successful]
Mia Mathers

Hebi was a girl Mia had met largely in passing. Mia couldn't say she knew her well, but she certainly recognized her, both from the Jeanist Agency and -of course- from the Sports Festival. Hebi had done fairly well, if Mia was perfectly honest. Despite her Metamorphic quirk not looking like too much on paper, she'd had a good run. Under normal circumstance, Mia could have even seen her taking first place... were it not for her streak being brought to a screeching halt by her matchup with Jun.

Beyond that, as a person, if asked, Mia would have had to answer that what she understood of Hebi's personality was mostly speculation. Still, despite doing a bit of "shit-stirring" prior, Hebi's biting words had largely carried an air of rationality that Mia could appreciate. If nothing else, Mia could say with confidence that amongst the class, Hebi at least wasn't in the running for fucking up this situation the worst. Which was why when the greenette medusa spoke up, Mia chose to give her points due consideration.

"I suppose..." Mia's lips pursed in neutral displeasure, even as she continued to favor Rin with a gimlet side-eye. "Believe me, I'd love to be able to just sit back, leave things be and quietly coast along... But are we really supposed to put our health and education in the hands of someone like this?" She snorted. "After that showing?" Her gaze briefly flicked across the classroom's other denizens, a frown twisting her lips at the many intimidated or apathetic demeanors she found.

Despite her words, now that she had the chance to look for it with the immediate "excitement" and danger behind them, she found herself perturbed by the lack of gumption displayed. In the end, as much as she knew her concerns were valid, what could she really do at this stage without more of the class united behind her, without others willing to capitalize on the opening she provided and keep the momentum rolling? She'd expected others to at least take the reckless use a firearm far more seriously, but it seemed as if barely anyone that comprehended the implications of Rin's behavior was willing to seriously oppose her over it.

Regardless, Mia quite firmly disagreed with Hebi's assertion that nothing needed reporting yet. Frankly, Mia was far too familiar with the Hawks Agency to ignore her gut feeling on this. Give them an inch, and they'd take a mile. Rin was dangerous, clearly too used to getting to do whatever she wanted... and that was exactly why she should be opposed without hesitation when she overstepped her boundaries. Frankly, this was a situation that should be nipped in the bud, or they would all likely regret it in the future... But Mia was practical enough to read the writing on the wall. The other loudest voices only seemed interested in de-escalation. And while Mia pegged it for the cowardice or ignorance that it was, she had to acknowledge the reality that without those voices in righteous uproar, she needed to pivot her approach this situation.

Outwardly, Mia scoffed and shoved her hands in her pants' pockets. "But sure, I guess second chances are sort of heroic too, eh? The only reason I even spoke up was concern for our safety, but if none of you really think this is a threat worth mentioning..." Her gaze panned over the classroom. "Fine, call it 'overenthusiasm', a 'bit of nerves' or even just a 'mistake'... Whatever." For now. "Long as she doesn't fuck up like this again, I see little reason to take this further." She flicked her pink-streaked hair and allowed herself to present the words with a certain level of begrudging -but genuine- acceptance, shooting Rin a final half-lidded flat stare, as she clicked her tongue and strode back to her desk, flopping into her seat lazily and returning to looking disinterested with the present events. Adjusting her headphones, she started up the music again and listened with one ear, seemingly appearing "mollified" that her point had been made.

Of course, internally, that was complete bullshit. In a sense, Mia could acknowledge that her reaction would normally be considered disproportionate in a scenario filled with rational actors, assuming good faith from Rin... Perhaps she was jumping the gun; maybe she was judging a book by its cover. Maybe there was context that validated Rin's actions, or maybe Rin wasn't as batshit unstable as she seemed... But Mia had seen far too much of the hero industry's dark underbelly already to be so optimistic. Corruption and nepotism ran rampant these days, and when she took a step back, it was clear as day that "heroes" had a rather concerning number of liberties, legal or otherwise. Mia wasn't much for gambling, and she had no intention of letting this go or staying passive in this status-quo. She'd already decided: Rin Himura was unfit as an instructor and unwelcome as any form of authoritative figure. She had to go. It was just a matter of figuring out how to make it happen. In an ideal world, she could have done this loud and proud. That was something that typically worked out in America, where people often took a particular enthusiasm in ousting corruption when it was brought to light. But right here and now? It seemed that a more subtle approach was warranted, a path of quiet discretion.

Her immediate course acknowledged, Mia leaned back in her seat... and carefully suppressed a satisfied smile at feeling the practically weightless mass of petals in her pockets. Really, it hadn’t been a challenge at all to squirrel those little things away unseen in the chaos, concealed by the petals she’d created when inspecting Yusuke.

Presently transformed into petals, two-dozen anti-quirk bullets were quietly inventoried, all thanks to her “generous” senpai’s reckless behavior, and Mia added yet another precious resource to her available options. Of course, this had all been an unpleasant mess of an ordeal and Rin’s idiocy a pain in the ass, but even now, Mia was more than happy to take advantage of foolishness for unequivocal gain. And something like this, an off the books acquisition of anti-quirk ammunition?

Yeah, I can think of a few ways to put this windfall to use...

Time to get to plotting.

Under her breath, Mia hummed a quiet little tune from an ancient song, whose lyrics only she could hear.

Here’s a little lesson in trickery~!

Mia Mathers

What did I do to deserve this?

Such was the internal lamentation of one observer of the chaos that had overtaken the 1B classroom. The girl wasn't wearing the Eirei uniform. Or rather, she was wearing the jacket, but it was clearly only a token addition... and was part of the boy's uniform to boot, currently hanging over her shoulders with her arms outside the sleeves like the long-coat of a mafioso. Beyond that, the majority of her clothes were blatantly divergent from the usual dress-code. A fishnet undershirt under a sleeveless black shirt, a studded collar, fishnet, fingerless gloves, small chains and armbands, dangling skulls from a necklace and a pair of headphones propped lazily atop her head, leaving one ear open to half-listen to the ongoing events while her attention apparently remained with whatever she was listening to in her other ear, given the slow bobbing of her head.

A strong aesthetic of black and pink dominated her garb, enhanced further by her long hair, streaked with both colors such that it was hard to tell which was actually her natural hue. All the while, half-lidded pink eyes dully watched the proceedings with a practically palpable disconnection. Sitting at the back of the classroom -though not by the window- with her feet kicked up on her desk and tattoos openly displayed on both one cheek and several points of her exposed arms, she couldn't have possibly been more of a delinquent-looking individual if she tried.

This, as many would certainly have known by now, was Mia Mathers. Originally hailing from America -but having moved to Japan around four years ago, she had been one of the runner-up contestants for the Sports Festival, placing second. Yet, she hadn't shown any particular enthusiasm for the achievement... Really, in the moment, she hadn't even looked disappointed to lose to Jun in the final round. If anything, she'd even gone as far as to bow out, claiming she'd been unable to continue after using her quirk heavily across the rest of the tournament.

Some might have had reason to doubt that, however. After all, the punk girl had completely crushed the obstacle course and cavalry sections prior, and she hadn't even done it by putting others down. She'd just made it look easy and quite literally stood above it all by "flying", buoyed by clouds of the petals her quirk was known to create. She'd flown over the entirety of the obstacle course and almost lazily placed second, and in the cavalry battle, she'd largely focused on defense as the head of her team's "horse".

Turning their point-laden headbands into petals and stuffing them in her clothes had functionally made it impossible to steal from her team, and so, the punk girl had lazily coasted through the round, floating about on her petals and letting her own team rampage freely amongst the others. After all, as long as she didn't touch the ground, her team stayed in the running, regardless of if they were carrying her. She would hence only reconvene her teammates to collect any gathered headbands and add them to the tally, and so it went. Yet, having the points of the second-place headband in their possession from the start essentially guaranteed their entry into the final round, whether they took any others or not... especially with Jun depriving the majority of the other teams of what few points they already had in the first place.

Given her performance in the first two segments then, it could perhaps be understood if others looked upon her forfeit just a step from the finish line with some dubiousness. Reading between the lines then, it could perhaps be ascertained by those with the perspective that Mia's failure to give things her all -and deliberately at that- might have contributed to her being shuffled from Hero Course class 1A to 1B... Though the presence of the Sports Festival victor in the same class rather perhaps nixed the idea that the move was a “demotion” of sorts.

In the present, a frown slowly stretched across black-painted lips, as Yusuke made himself a public nuisance...

I think I'll call you Shitboot-senpai.

Though she feigned inattention, Mia was -unfortunately, she sometimes thought- burdened with a mind quite capable of multitasking to a hilarious degree. It was a natural benefit of her quirk, a requirement to control the many thousands of petals it created with the precision that she did, and it meant she wasn't really able to ignore the bickering and infighting her new class was engaging in.

Lips pursing, vivid pink irises with paler pink pupils traced across those that were to be her new peers, and she found herself... ultimately ambivalent.

There were some new faces and some irritatingly recognizable, but all it took to make this arrangement... mostly tolerable was to come at it with the perspective of seeing these teens as coworkers. It was only natural that you wouldn't always get to work with people you liked, but part of this job -or any job, really- was learning to make do with what you had. So, she could tolerate the insults, the arrogance and the immature bristling for a fight. Those were all things she knew how to handle, to ignore. As long as they weren't getting in her way, she couldn't have cared less who she had for classmates.

Still... that wasn't the only gripe she had with this situation.

Rin Himura.

Though, she yet failed to voice her own discontent, Mia was far from enthused with the idea of being taught by a glorified mere second year. Yes, she was aware of the program that fast-tracked students into substitute teaching positions… but she still thought it was stupid. That just seemed irresponsible as a concept in this profession... even if Rin wasn't obviously unfit for the position in a personal sense. Yet... Mia could think of ways this could be advantageous. Yes, an incompetent superior could be dangerous in its own way; if could result in subpar training, which could harm all of the class on the long-run. However, having someone inexperienced in that position also meant that those under her were liable to be able to get away with more, having more freedoms. That had its own inherent problems of course, as despite appearances, Mia at least appreciated the concept of order and professionalism. She would prefer her Hero Academia not be outright sabotaged because their teachers were unable to do their fucking jobs.

Which was why her frown continued to grow, as Yusuke was near-unanimously dogpiled by the rest of the class. Mia's lips pinched in disapproval, as insults and at least one literal book flew through the air. And someone even went as far as using their quirk on him. The arrogant boy somehow managed to get under everyone's skin with an ease that took her back to high-school… more accurately the part where everyone was so thin-skinned. She honestly wasn't sure if Yusuke was really that much of an asshole or if he was just trolling. Regardless, the majority of her peers completely took the bait and retaliated like children. Honestly, she hated to agree with Kaiga -that flaming meathead fanboy- on anything, but this reaction wasn't appropriate. Yet, the pyrokinetic’s own attempt at intervention was instantly shot down and berated... with a few insults tossed in for good measure.

Mia's eyes slowly closed, as one hand rose to rub the bridge of her nose in irritation. This... was just disgustingly unprofessional. Were they fucking college students or not? Where the hell did everyone's internship training go? Surely, they could comprehend that this wasn't how people in their position should behave? Actually... how many of them interned somewhere that actually gave a shit about PR? Had anyone else also interned with the likes of Best Jeanist? Mia was glad she had. It had been a welcome breath of fresh air from two years with the Hawks Agency, a counterbalance to learn the ins and outs of managing public perception and being responsibly conscious of heroes' position in society. These were welcome lessons for someone like Mia... but she could see how the average teenager wouldn't appreciate being morally lectured to, compared to the reckless freedom and power offered by interning with the Endeavor or Hawks Agencies.

Mia opened her eyes and twitched, her gaze narrowing at the sight of Yusuke's body beginning to physically warp with several distinctive traits... Subtly tensing, Mia's legs slid off her desk, as she scooted her chair out enough to move quickly and -given the most recent examples from her peers- prepared for someone to do something... immensely stupid. As she did, unseen beneath her skin, her quirk was going to work, and Mia felt a familiar sensorial void suffusing her awareness, even as she remained outwardly unchanged.

So, he's a power copier... Dangerous... especially with that attitude... Thoughts churning, Mia immediately identified the obvious, which potentially answered some questions and brought up just as many to replace them. This now begs the question... what is the catalyst for his copy to trigger? How far can he go? What are the drawbacks? It's quite possible his quirk's mechanics are responsible his behavior, but it's too early to say...

Even so, it was obvious that someone needed to do something about this before things got-

The familiar shape of a firearm gleaming into open air had adrenaline habitually spiking through Mia’s veins, and she acted completely reflexively. Indeed, in a sense, it could be said that after two years with the Hawks Agency and witnessing similar situations, her body simply moved on its own.

-out of hand.

A barking, ringing noise shot through the air, accompanied by Kaiga’s screeching shout, but both noises fell into a muffled state, as Mia’s body peeled apart into a living floral flurry.

Bang! Bang-!

There was a flicker of movement, a burst of petals crossing the room from the back to the front, as the punk girl -if one were inclined to note it- moved much faster than she had bothered to the entire Sports Festival. One moment, Mia was in her seat. The next, she was physically interposing herself between Rin and the collapsing Yusuke, a flat look on her face and a flurry of petals swirling in her wake, as the tail end of the barrage of anti-quirk bullets impacted her body…

-and did exactly fuck all, exploding into small bursts of petals the moment they touched her clothes. A scowl twisted onto Mia’s lips, as she met “Dark Rin’s” eyes fearlessly with righteous indignation on her face, looking unphased by the volume of the gunshots.

”Are you out of your mind?” she hissed, fingers twitching and then balling her hands into fists. She paused there, near-visibly restraining herself from saying more or potentially lunging at Rin, as she quickly turned and crouched down next to the fallen Yusuke, still largely transposing her body between him and Rin.

Rin's subsequent attempt at intimidation only earned an openly derisive sneer. "Are you actually fucking- You know what, fuck off and put that thing away. I'll address you later."

Her head seemed to split at a diagonal angle, a floating “wedge” containing her right eye peeling off to remain narrowed in Rin’s direction and keep a narrowed eye on her, allowing the punk girl to turn the rest of her head and other eye to the prone Yusuke. A practiced motion saw her slide her fingers down his body, strips of his clothes peeling off into a small curtain of petals that preserved his decency while still exposing the bullet impact sites to Mia’s gaze.

The sight of the beginnings of severe bruising earned a scowl from her, as she observed red welts and dribbles of blood from where the apparently “non-lethal” bullets had broken skin, even through Yusuke’s clothes. The trail of impacts led down the power-copier’s torso and legs, but thankfully, none of the shots seemed to have achieved full penetration.

Honestly, Mia didn't too much care if Yusuke got what was coming to him. The little shit had been practically begging for it, and frankly, if that sort of attitude ruined his life or even got him killed down the line, the punk girl wouldn't lose a wink of sleep over it... However, the manner in which he got his comeuppance mattered. Mia didn't care if Yusuke brought himself down, but letting the little fuck drag others down with him? Well, now there was where she took umbrage.

It was one thing for a single hero to be a bad apple and be an embarrassment that eventually fell to time and foolishness. However, if his "antics" went so far as to drag others down, to goad her peers into making fools of themselves as well and ruining the reputation of heroes in mass? Well, suddenly, this was a problem that could reflect on her future job security if allowed to fester. After all, she wanted a secure position in the profession of heroism. The industry's success was her success, and so it behooved her not to tolerate imbecility that could bring that industry to ruin and sabotage her future nest egg.

In which case, it was only reasonable then for her to set a heroic example, right? Even though she had never been particularly subtle about her cynical view of what "heroism" had become in today's age, that didn't mean the sheeple masses didn't still largely buy the illusion. Therefore, it was her responsibility to actually play that game, to pretend... and show others how to follow her lead. She may have been a "punk" and a "rebel", but those that knew Mia well would find that she was strangely reliable and no-nonsense in an actual legal capacity.

Her fingers traced over the impact sites, and she found her power taking hold faster than normal due to his unconscious state. Without his “waking will” there, the resistance was functionally nonexistent, as each wound peeled away into petals. It wouldn’t do much other than mute the pain for a time, but it was obviously better than nothing.

She stood from her crouch stiffly, eyeing Kaiga with a rare spark of approval towards the boy she’d been treating as a pest basically since day one in Class 1A. Yet, in this situation, he seemed to be the only one that had bothered speaking out against the class’s misbehavior in any meaningful and untainted manner… Of course, she could respect him choosing to be the only other person thus-far to actually seek to come to Yusuke’s aid after he was dogpiled. Peer pressure could be a hell of a drug.

“Kaiga.” As usual, being a foreigner and an American to boot, Mia’s words tended towards the fairly informal when it came to personal address. “For the pain.” Mia gestured with her head towards the petals currently fluttering around Yusuke. The small floral curtain had mostly reverted from the prior transmutation, leaving his clothes and modesty intact aside from a few holes over the areas he’d been shot. She leaned down and tapped Yusuke’s forehead, causing a petal to peel off and float above her left pointer finger.

A flick of her finger sent the petal floating over to Kaiga. "Grab that -gently- and keep a hold of it while you head down to Dr. Chisaki. I'm staying here, but once you're ready for Shitboot-senpai to be treated, just -gently- pinch that petal into a folded position and release it. That'll be the signal for me to remotely revert the rest of my petals -which will follow you- so that he can be healed by the 'good doctor'."

Right after saying that, however, the cordiality drained from her tone, as she fixed Kazuki with a far less enthused look for his attempt at deflection... before blatantly ignoring the quirkless boy's babbling to keep things on exactly the target that was actually important to address right now. Mia's body turned to face the so-called "Junior Professor", and the floated wedge of the punk girl's head slid back into its proper place, once more fully reforming Mia's body.

"Oh no, we're not brushing this off, I don't think," Mia scowled at Rin. "Where exactly do you get off?" she snapped. "Brandishing firearms on students? Openly threatening violence? Aren't you supposed to be a hero teacher? The fuck kind of example are you trying to set?!" Inclining her chin, her lip curled in defiant distaste. "Regardless, you think a pathetic show of force is going to intimidate me? Bitch please, I'm a licensed hero in training. It is quite literally my fucking job to stand up to people who abuse their power, so explain yourself!" Her eyes narrowed. "With access to those bullets... you obviously interned under Hawks, so I think you'll understand perfectly well that just one would have been enough; to be precise, just one is what is mandated as the appropriate disciplinary response at worst. Yet, you put dozens downrange. Complete unwarranted overkill, an utterly irresponsible use of a firearm to boot. And shooting the ceiling? Are you a dumbass? Who even taught you trigger discipline?"

"Honestly, I don't give a flying fuck about your supposed credentials. Actions speak louder than words, and yours already paint you as rather unfit to set an example to aspiring heroes. So, if you do something like that again without actual justification, I promise that you'll regret it." Snorting, she leveled a sneer at the two-faced second-year and crossed her arms. "To be frank, I've more than half a mind to report your actions to the faculty officially. I'm sure the Best Jeanist Agency would be very interested in a matter of the abuse of power from the Acting Teacher of a whole Hero Course class. That would be quite the cause for concern... don't you think?"

Relevent Events?:

Danzo wants to see Mia, Rin and Kanako after class.
Detention for nearly the whole class for a month. (Empty) threat to hero licenses if defied.
Rin to continue as Main Student Advisor.
Humiliation attempt of sleeping on House of Hawks Common Room floor with rollable futons except for the ones without detention for the night.
Dr. Chisaki orders all Hawks Interns to gather after 2 days, being "sick of their crap".

Mischief Reef/Đá Vành Khăn/Panganiban Reef - 11/09/2022 06:10 UTC+8

Lounging on a black and green chair of her own making that was furnished with sinfully comfortable cushions, Qingshe was in a good mood, as she sipped a sweet, cherry-red beverage from a wineglass. In fact, one might even say the Snake was in a better mood than she'd been all year, as she idly swirling the contents of her cup between sips while listening to the briefing being presented by First Lieutenant Alonso.

A lazy smile sat upon her lips, a languid, satiated thing, and golden-green slitted eyes occasionally traced across the crowd that comprised Task Force Obsidian. Her smile widened at the sight of the newcomers, as idle curiosity over what fascinating Noble Arms they might bring to the table swirled through her thoughts. Amusement bubbled within her at the one called "Aoi Mikoto". For senses like hers, it wasn't hard to notice the hostility she felt for the Snake. The sensation of having a silent glare boring into the back of your neck... Ah~, it was like being home again~.

Really, there were quite a few reasons to be happy right now. ASEAN's major leak had -at least ostensibly- been plugged, and while Qingshe really thought the Danggal Clan got off far too lightly for their treason, she acknowledged the certain level of hypocrisy in that stance coming from her. Didn't mean she actually trusted them not to start trouble again later, but for now, she could be satisfied that they were sufficiently cowed and surveilled such that any further disruptions on their end would be noticed and/or swifty dealt with... with far more permanence this time.

In far more unequivocally positive news, however, America's Congressional Midterm results and the impending entry of the United States into the ASEAN theater proper spoke well for the future of the war's conclusion. The mercurial nature of American politics had its ups and downs, but it seemed in this case, things were finally about to go ASEAN's way fully for a change. Already, the mere implications of this inevitable titan entering the field had shifted the priorities of involved parties. And the biggest proof of it all was the now scheduled diplomatic summit and the willingness for the PRC to even entertain it. Some had reasonably raised concerns, but...

"I'm willing to be cautiously optimistic," Qingshe added her two cents to the discourse, grinning widely and shooting a wink to Cristina, who she'd made a point of parking herself beside in seating arrangements. "At this stage in the war, the PRC have few diplomatic cards left in their corner. If even a speck of rationality remains with them, then the idea of attacking this summit should be anathema, purely from any form of forward-thinking perspective."

Honestly, more than anything else, it was the sheer delight~ of having a student again that buoyed her mood so high right now. The past week had been nothing short of invigorating for her, a true callback and something she'd not realized she was missing so much in her present situation. The satisfaction she received from having someone to pass knowledge on to in a meaningful manner was second to none, and Cristina -to her credit- was an earnest and excellent learner. It really said something about her talent how far she'd managed to come in only a week of tutelage.

Proud showman that she was, Qingshe naturally enjoyed tooting her own horn, and so she wouldn't entirely dismiss her own excellence as a teacher. But in the end, the true burden of improvement lay with the student, and Miss Bernardino had shown tangible results in not just improving her Noble Arm but -far more impressively- demonstrating even the basics of Occult Programming Language. What made it all the more appalling and impressive in equal measure was learning that Cristina had never had any formal schooling before the Snake. That she could still grasp such a thing as OPL even then? Extremely impressive. Qingshe was almost tempted to say "genuinely genius", but she didn't want to jump the gun so early. Only time would tell if that supposed talent held true long-term...

Letting out a wry sigh, Qingshe's mouth quirked. "Then again, 'rationality' and the PRC haven't been close bedfellows for a while now, certainly not since they joined hands with the Downward Descent." There was no point in concealing that fact. It wasn't like Superbia had been anything subtle in his attack on Nico. Pretty much everyone in the Task Force had to know by now about the newest global faction to add the unbelievably unlucky Mr. Makri to their personal shit-list. "So, I wouldn't blame anyone for taking precautions... nor generally harboring doubts of the integrity of this venture." Shaking her head, Qingshe clicked her tongue, before smirking and taking another languid sip of her beverage. "Under normal circumstances, I might say the presence of Arms Masters at such an event would be an inflammatory, dangerous thing... but no-one can trust the risk of a rogue actor striking while they are vulnerable, nor that their fellows won't bring their own insurance. Ergo, everyone feels compelled to not risk being the only one 'unarmed' if the worst should happen, and the whole thing becomes a messy western standoff regardless."

Reclining back in her chair and resting her cheek on the knuckles of her free hand, the Snake chuckled. "Of course, even if this looks too good to be true, even if this is all a hoax, the chance that it isn't is too tantalizing to ignore, isn't it? That's the rub of it all. It's bait too good to not bite, and if this is a trap... well, they'll know that as well as we do." Her gaze traced over the assembled members of Task Force Obsidian, her smile growing a touch cold. "Whatever else they might be scheming, one thing is almost certain, the summit is the ideal chance for the PRC to make a diplomatic coup. With the public revelation of Ai Chen's crimes, people are going to be leveling more scrutiny upon them. Before all else, if this is organized with any sort of eye towards China's future, their priority in this summit will be damage control. Shifting blame."

She giggled darkly. "They can't deny the existence of Ai Chen's proven crimes, nor the recorded actions of other malicious actors amongst them. However, they can still feign ignorance, condemn the likes of Ai Chen and claim she was a rogue actor with lacking oversight. They can make empty promises that nonetheless sound convincing, and they will almost certainly do everything in their power to individualize the sins of accusations levied against them. The more they can avoid the PRC as a whole being held responsible for the actions of a select few, the better." At least, that's almost certainly what she would do in their place. Tactically, it just made sense. Admit nothing, deflect and counterstrike. "Let's assume this is legitimate for a moment. If so, then the PRC will be looking to buy time and put their best foot forward."

She snorted. "Let us be unfortunately brutally realistic: in this era of media sensationalism, the public's attention span is short. A truce of several months serves the PRC's interests as well. It will give them time for the public outrage to die down and for them to fully quell any public upset on the home front. By the time this 'truce period' is over, the American public at least will have largely fallen back into their apathetic overseas stupor, and their cries for justice and war will be but a whisper. The PRC is unlikely to stop committing war crimes... They will simply be more careful about hiding them. Still..." She hummed, one finger tapping her wineglass with a quiet tinkling sound. "For this to truly all blow over, the PRC would need to overwrite the public's outrage with a newer, fresher target, so unless Russia decides to do something particularly... sensational soon, there's a good chance of the PRC being unable to shake this. They need a scapegoat and lack for convincing ones... but that doesn't mean they won't be looking."

She was grinning, but there was a glint of seriousness in her eyes. "This is going to be a delicate political situation. It cannot be overstated how important it is to not be seen to 'strike first' should anything... untoward occur. So, dress to impress and bring your best manners, even if Huo Ren himself should stand in front of you. Our actions will reflect on ASEAN and the security of their position at the bargaining table, and if you're feeling trigger happy... Don't. In an ideal world, all we're there for is to look pretty and -at worst- loom with vague menace while the politics happen. Violating a national diplomatic truce would be a disaster for us... Rather, for anyone who is going to be at that table." Shaking her head, she smirked. "Really, this is the sort of thing that shouldn't need to be said, but I realize that not all of you here today may come from backgrounds sufficient to grant you a complete understanding of the stakes at hand... So, I say it anyway."

Cristina Bernardino

& Callie Lidmann

- A collab post by @Lewascan2, @Digmata & @Nimbus


Mischief Reef/Đá Vành Khăn/Panganiban Reef - 11/01/2022 08:22 UTC+8

"Hoh?" Qingshe raised a brow at Cristinia's request, a pleasant surprise. Although the timing could perhaps have been better... Glancing around at how crowded the section of the beach they were in was getting all of a sudden, the Snake had to loose a small chuckle, shaking her head in exasperation.

To Jin Li, she eventually said in Mandarin, "It seems our conveyance is growing less discreet by the moment. Perhaps we should continue this elsewhere another time. Perhaps tomorrow?" For now though...

She addressed Martha in English. "Hah, please excuse my interruption. I'll soon leave you again to your relaxation... this time hopefully more comfortable than before." From beneath her dress hem, her bubbling ooze spread forth, crossing the short distance to Martha and raising up a thin metallic plank from its mass that the ooze then proceeded to largely coat.

"Simply stick any part of yourself that requires treatment into the shadow, and I'll have you fixed right up~. No need for a full dunking... unless you want it, that is~." Giving a small hum, she grinned. "It may take a small while to complete, as I don't believe I've treated you yet. The first time is always the slowest." She didn't elaborate on why.

Finally turning her attention fully back to Cristina, Qingshe chuckled and spoke in Filipino. "I cannot say I was expecting such a request, Miss Bernardino, but regardless... I'd be more than happy to oblige you." Humming lyrically, she tapped her lips and grinned. "Still, such a conversation as I'm sure you'd require may be... sensitive in nature. Let us take our consultation away from prying ears, shall we?"

The Snake paused at the approach of yet another still, letting out a small chuff at the arrival of Callie. Shaking her head in good humor, Qingshe's lips quirked with a hint of wryness, as she answered the blonde's question. "Ah~, you're not interrupting all that much by now, really~."

Grinning, her slitted golden eyes squinted into smiles. "As it happens, Miss Bernardino and I were just now taking our leave, I believe." She smiled apologetically. "I'd invite you along for what promises to be a fascinating subject of consideration, but well..." She chuckled. "Consider the nuance of the matter something not dissimilar to doctor-patient confidentiality... Unless Miss Bernardino is willing to have you along, of course."

Nervously shook her head, she barely felt safe with what she's doing and would appreciate a company but this is her battle, she needs to face it alone.

"I'm not willing," she answered as she waits for Qingshe's move.

"Lead the way."

Qingshe’s mouth quirked. “Well, there we have it then~.” Sketching a small waggle of her fingers in farewell to the other beachgoers, the greenette practically sauntered away back towards the more industrialized portions of the island. Grinning to Cristina, Qingshe added, “I know just the place~.”

Just a little something I felt like cooking up... a sheet for one of the present reoccurring antagonists, who may just be getting more limelight soon.

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