Recent Statuses

1 day ago
Current x was worse than dogshit, but he had people who loved him in spite of that. my thoughts are with them
4 mos ago
ric flair drip, go "wooooo" on a bitch
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5 mos ago
You're both out of your fucking minds. I want gen:LOCK to be good too but RWBY has had half a good season at best.
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5 mos ago
"Then...what does that make us?"
6 mos ago
imagine thinking wanting to keep ephebophiles out of office is political


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Most Recent Posts

"It's not that. It's nuttin'." Brennan's forehead collided gently with Umeko's, along with a brief affectionate hand that traced fingers through her neat brown hair. "Foiiiine. We can sit down for some coffee."

He stood upright again, ceding Umeko control of the basket without a fight as he made his way to the colder sections of the store, past ice cream, frozen dinners, milk bottles, and the television screens above the refrigeration units that advertised each product.


"When it comes to milk, it's gotta be MUSASHINO!"

--in bright neon, as a voice in heavily-accented English rang out--

"My boyfriend loves it too!"

Umeko bought right into this sort of crap - tie-in flavors and promotions with anime and cute catchphrases she could parrot back at him. Brennan had never trusted the milk here; in a place where everything seemed to be some kind of experiment requiring some kind of volunteer waiver, he found it hard to believe that not a single scruffy, perverted researcher in Academy City had the Category 5 brainstorm to mess with the hormones of female students through their morning cereal. Kawaguchi laughed at him whenever he made his case, sometimes going so far as to label him a conspiracy theorist like the ones in the message boards online. But Brennan was well aware of the strain on both their backs whenever he was shuttling Kawaguchi around somewhere. Something was amiss inside that girl, and it definitely wasn't all the shoujo shit she put on while they worked.


It was one thing to bluff about it to some fucking slag, as he had the night before, but who the hell actually paid with a chequebook? What was he walking into at the bank?

He should've gone alone today.

They met up at the self-checkout, each carrying a mix of fresh dairy, vegetables, fruit, some beef for patties - he had been trying to teach Kawaguchi the art of a European pub burger, a favor Umeko would often repay by taking him to some of the best karaage places in the city. They had both done wonders for the other's food palates, if nothing else; he doubted that teaching her how to season a burger would get him out of the shit pit with her tonight if Judgement or Anti-Skill apprehended him at the bank, however.

Maybe he'd take her to the Dianoid this weekend or something...

They paid cash for their order and, walking home with a couple of bags each, walked down the street to the bank. Brennan didn't feel nervous. He feared nothing, especially not now; after all, he'd done nothing wrong, and nobody could prove otherwise. All he'd done was chase down a criminal who tried to buzz off with a corpse to commit God-knew-what kind of fucked up debauchery with it. He was basically a star witness if anything.

He was more agitated at how this little mystery had been nibbling at him last night. He would rather be at home watching the launches from around the world on TV, seeing how far other governments, entities, or students had progressed with their launches. Umeko was only thinking about students that they knew, other aerospace aficionados in Academy City. Brennan was thinking further ahead, thinking wider than that...


The welcoming noise of automatic doors broke him out of his reverie, followed by their hydraulic hiss as they opened up to the young couple. Brennan took the lead, the cheque in his vest pocket weighing on his chest like a barbell. Nonetheless, he seemed - and felt, honestly - at ease as he sidled up to the first available teller and turned on a winning smile.

"Good morning," he said in Japanese. He didn't like using the language; English was a more natural fit, and he'd taught Umeko to understand him through the syntax and his accent. Having a language you could use to talk to your gal pal while keeping most of the city frozen out of the conversation could get handy. Still, it would help to be as clear as possible on this. "I want to make a deposit, but I kind of have a funny feeling about it."

He produced the check, holding it between two fingers, but didn't offer it up yet.

"Fook you mean?"

Brennan had turned skeptically to look at Umeko, scowling faintly at the presumption implicit in her questioning. After all the mess that their model shop trip had tossed them into the previous night, and after not even getting the parts for the rocket that they'd originally set out for, the gumption in Kawaguchi's line of questioning was as infuriating as it was obliviously cute.

"You 'ave models at home. We're buildin' a rocket and you're gunna loov it. I'll buy ye a candy bar or summin if ya play nice, yeah?"

The two of them strolled for a couple minutes longer before reaching the grocery store. They would have more luck here than at the hardware store nearby, Brennan knew; District 5 was geared towards older students and more complicated projects like their probe, but their trip to District 15 probably would have been the best place if they wanted to come home with real results. Honestly, he knew that Umeko just didn't want to be without milk.

The European gritted his teeth impatiently and picked up a shopping basket at the door.


"Bianca Nuit," a voice called out over the din of the Practice course.

The students had all begun running the obstacle course that Rowan had pioneered and Jer had improved. The Gold Stripe sat back, watching the various students intently, only occasionally dipping his head down to look at clipboards featuring past scores or the Scroll running timers that sat atop it. Occasionally he would hand out praise or criticism - "4:22, Gratia. Good." or "5:13. Have you ever considered a career in the library, Fallson? It's more fulfilling than this, and you won't ever have to jump." - but mostly he was silent, choosing to observe on his first day and then direct people into what it seemed like they enjoyed, be it the practice range, Semblance training, or just screwing around on the course again for fun. That third category would have been where he sat. He would have been alone in that.

Only one student seemed to be exempt from the free period, however. As Bianca Nuit finished up her time - 4:30 - Jericho whistled for her and waved the Scroll and clipboard at her, finally standing up to his full height and walking towards her as she moved towards him. He read her the time and then looked down at the heiress, cocking his head slightly to the right. When he did, his hair, matted down by sweat minutes before, fell over the end of his eyebrows in layers. He pushed it back and wrapped a band around it, revealing his forehead.

"4:30. Not bad."

My chest rose and fell I was eight seconds over Gratia’s time and not the best in the class, but I was also only days out of the infirmary and my wings accounted for at least a bit of resistance, even when they were folded. Even though it pained me to do so, I jogged over to Jericho as he waved me over. His status as a Teaching Assistant not doing much to dissuade my eyes from appreciating his station as a Golden Stripe, secret agent and absolute looker.

“4:30?” I called back as we approached one another, I finally stopped placing my hands on my knees for only a second taking a quick breath, before standing back straight. “I could’ve done better.” I said, staring back out at the course, my chest rising and falling fast enough that I couldn’t speak too much.

I probably couldn’t have done much better. Granted, I had been in a pretty large scale fight during Grimm Studies and Survival wasn’t much of a rest, I had given my all during the course. I straightened out my crop top and glanced down at my shoes to make sure the laces hadn’t budged all that much before looking back up to Jericho with a big smile. “I don’t suppose you’d be able to help me out at all this period, as the teaching assistant?” Had life been a cartoon there would’ve been a glint in my eyes and a shimmer to my smile as I stared up at the young man so below his pay grade it was almost leaving a visible physical effect on him.

“That’s what I wanted to talk to you about. I have something to show you before you break off into independent study.”

That could be taken the wrong way. This girl isn’t well.

Jer reached down to the chest holsters he’d left resting beside his perch and pulled loose one of the Manticores. He inspected it for a second, cocking his head fondly at it, and then turned his stare to Bianca.

“Beryl Harken tells me you have bad luck with guns,” he explained. “I have a trick for you. Basic defensive discipline where I’m from, but it’d probably be black magic to most of the wheat farmers in this country. Here, hold this. Don’t touch the trigger until I tell you. My dad and I designed these to blow the limbs off a Grimm and the supports out of a skyscraper. I don’t need it going off through my palm.”

My smile faded a little bit as I took the gun in my hand. I looked at Jer and for only a second, I felt like I was falling out of my own body. His voice snapped me back out of it. My hand was tightly gripped around the stock of the weapon, so tightly that I felt my nails dig into my hand just a little bit. I shook somewhat but I tried my best to ignore it.

“Yeah don’t worry I won’t touch the trigger – though I doubt the thing is even loaded.” I said quietly looking at the weapon. My hands had generally stopped shaking but I couldn’t help but be over-aware of where I was pointing the weapon. It was fixed on a spot with nothing around it.

“Okay so what’d you want me to do with this thing?” I couldn’t believe I was so rigid. The usual Bianca would’ve been better. No I want to be the usual Bianca! “And next time feel free to skip over Beryl and come right to the source of the info!” I said readopting my warm smile and allowing myself to breathe a little easier. I felt my heart slow down a little bit as I reminded myself where I was.

Not in Mistral, not in that van. With Jericho, in Vale.

I took a deep breath in through my nostrils and out of my mouth. I was ready to learn.

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Easy, Stallone. You should never take this thing being loaded or not for granted.” Jericho lifted the other pistol up with his gloved hand and eyeballed the distance between the end of the barrel and the shooting range. “The original design for this was something to go on the heavy-duty variants of the Atlesian Knights. My dad and I worked for half a semester to try and make a mockup that could even be fired safely by something with human limbs. My teammate was screwing around with it while I was making dinner one night and broke his arm in two places. This shoots down family trees, Bianca. Always practice gun safety, but always practice this gun safely.”

“Oh my God,” Bianca said, “was your teammate okay?”

“What the hell are you talking about? Bright? He was fine, he laughed about it eventually. To hell with Bright. Do you want to learn or not?”

For a split second, I was taken aback by Jer’s attitude about it all. Bright was fine? He laughed about breaking his arm with a gun?

Atlas was terrifying sometimes. All I could imagine were people driving down the streets, firing off guns… Wait, it’s just like that movie Luke was watching! What was it?? Less than content Tom?


Sad Sam??


It didn’t matter.

“Yeah, of course I want to learn!” It was at that moment that it was decided. I had to impress Jericho with my learning capabilities. I had to become the best student he had ever taught. And that started with not mentioning the movie I couldn’t come up with. “Okay, I’m listening, please continue!”

“Alright. Good.” Jericho eyed Bianca skeptically for a second before placing the gun he held down on the bench again. That left the gun in Bianca’s hand, which he nudged up to about his chest level before nodding and taking a step back. “You seem like you’re more specialized for fighting Grimm than me. I’ve spent most of my school life fighting other things with guns. Guess I’m a people person. Still-goddamn it, hang on. Laurent, 4:09! Good run!”

His Scroll had dinged, notifying him of another student successfully finishing the course. This girl was one of the last few to start the course, and now she looped around, black hair clinging to her forehead and hanging over her eyes. Her panting was wild and angry, her stare smoldering at the young man who had belted out her score.

“Uh huh,” she said, in an accent laced with venom. "Merci.”

“Go Viv!”

The Scroll dinged again. Sparr, 4:11.

“Go VIVE!”

I felt a warmth spread to my cheeks at the compliment as I watched Jer call out to the other students. It was something of a rarity to get a compliment like that from him - you knew it was genuine, he always was.

“Yeah, well I’ve trained in that regard for a while I guess. So I’m happy to learn something…” I trailed off for a second, looking at the gun. I looked back up to Jer with bright eyes and a calm temperament. “I’m always happy to learn something that will help me protect others and myself.”

I continued to hold the weapon steadily facing away from everyone and at the ground. I could see the safety was on, but I wanted to be sure. I wanted to get this right.

“You’re laying it on too thick. But fine. Don’t point the gun there, point it here.” Jericho held the weapon back up to his sternum again with one hand, fingers of his ungloved hand wrapped around the barrel. “So, with all that in mind that I told you about this gun, what do you think happens if you pull this trigger right now and I’m holding the barrel?”

“You-” I stopped for a second. Just breathe. He knows what he is doing.

“The firing mechanism would activate, the bullet launched, it would go throw your sternum and potentially kill you.” I said, taking little pauses in between words to allow myself room to keep my breathing even and steady. I felt the breeze pass through me and it was only then that I remembered where I was, in class pointing a gun at my…

At Jericho.

Another deep breath. “The gun would kill you if I pull the trigger.”

“Hmmph. Yeah. Okay. Think fast.”

Jericho’s free hand reached around the space between them and flicked the safety off. The Manticore rang out like a small rocket launch, like a spacecraft attempting a doomed escape from the earth. Bianca visibly jolted, but Jer appeared unfazed. If anything he looked more mischievous. His eyes were twinkling playfully, and when he looked at the startled heiress again one of his eyes quickly closed and opened.

“You think you can kill me with bullets? I take your fucking bullets. C’mon.” He pulled the gun away from Bianca’s trembling hands with little effort, displaying it with it pointed towards the ground. “Relax, Bianca, it’s alright. I’m about to teach you something that’ll save your life. Catch your breath and look at the gun when you’re ready.”

It took every modicum of control to stop me from just screaming for a split second. I felt all the adrenaline in my body rise up to the tip of my tongue in an instant. “Jesus. Fucking. Christ.” I felt my lips move without permission as I crouched down for a second only to return up in another. I felt eyes on us but I couldn’t even consider the social ramifications of my actions I just allowed the energy to leave my body.

In those few seconds I felt my heart rate start to return to normal and I looked at Jericho, my cheeks blazing hot. I thought about slapping him, but at this point I was pretty sure that would just further fuel his antics. His wink and the sound of a gunshot was scorched into my mind. Okay, think we’re good.

Then I heard it again in my head, the gunshot and the wink. “Shiiiiiiiiit, Jericho.” I waved my hand like it was burning hot and took a step back to let myself calm down away from him for a second. What the fuck was this class.

Okay. Okay you’re good.

“Alright what am I supposed to see here?” I said walking back towards him with an unsteadiness about me that was as plain as day. I looked at the gun the way someone looked at the ground who was afraid of heights. Just barely letting it enter my peripheral.

Jer could sympathize, however slightly, with a girl having no idea how guns worked. But honestly, Bianca quoted mob movies enough that he would have thought she could handle the merest sound of a close range gunshot. He would hate to see how she would respond if she had to remember how to choose between a gun and a cannoli.

“You see this? Here I have my fingers completely around the barrel, pinky near the ejector. But how far has it gone back? Not at all, right? Watch this.”

Jericho leveled the pistol over Bianca’s shoulder, in the air towards one of the drones. When he pulled the trigger, it just clicked. Click. Click click.

“Nothing, right? This is a ten round mag, but it didn’t recycle once. It’s stopped up. Now the triggerman needs to fix the gun manually to be able to fire again. Giving you time to swing the Hermes from hell that you bring everywhere and take him down. And see? My hand wasn’t ripped off, my Aura took whatever force the hit actually had. It’s fine. I’m fine. And now you never have to worry about a gun again. Nobody’s gonna know what the hell to do when you just rush up and grab it. Nobody really knows how it works except us. And now you.”


“Y-yeah.” It was hard to rationalize everything that was happening to me these days. Some days were kind of gloomy and overcast, others were a bit better. But, today was different. “You’re fine.” My eyes darted around where any wounds might’ve appeared. I was ready for the blood to start staining his shirt, but, it never did. He stood there, a confident look about him holding the gun in front of me so I could see it. I examined his hands holding the weapon. They were worn much more than most Mistralian’s would have been. It was always something they were proud of - something to show off how delicate and beautiful they were.

Jer was different in that way. He didn’t have to try and flaunt some pre-described beauty. He just sort of exuded a knowing that was in itself, beautiful. “Well, thank you for teaching me that. Today I just feel like I’m learning a lot.” I said, adjusting my posture, grasping my wrists behind my back and shifting my hair out of my face a little bit. “Seriously, I know you’re busy you don’t have to spend more time with me if you don’t want…” I trailed off looking at the surroundings.

It was such a pretty day outside. “Besides think of what the other students will say! Private lessons, it’s just ripe with scandal.” My eyes twinkled a familiar way and I smiled upwards at him leaning towards him a little.

“Shut up. We’re going to work on your Semblance next.” Jericho’s hair was pushed back by the band, but he fingered it anyway, eyes scanning over the rest of the students as though he was searching for a glimmer of potential. “What would you rather have me do? Sand is from Atlas, she’ll be fine. If I worked with Grat the next place I’d be holding a gun is to my tonsils. I could wear lead-lined sneakers and body armor and have a higher vertical than Robert Fallson. I was throwing kids like him off the monkey bars when I was nine years old. In a more enlightened time in a real combat school we would have expelled him out of mercy. I would only ask him for help on a mission if that mission was getting lunch money.”

He shrugged and turned back to Bianca, face expressionless again.

“You’re in the middle of the two extremes. You toe a line between a lot of potential and terrible at everything. I can work in that zone. Semblance. Chop chop.”

Hmmm… I can’t tell if I should be offended or feel like I’m being courted but I definitely think it is one of those two possibilities.

“Well… Now that you mention it, I did do something, different a little bit today.” I said dropping my handbag on the ground with a incredibly loud thud. Like dropping a massive boulder. The dirt descended just a little underneath the weight of the bag. “So I’m not really sure how it works but I flew really fast, way faster than I usually can, and I think I… Glowed a little?”

I tried to recall the moment it happened. It wasn’t necessarily my semblance, but when it happened I lost control of my spear. Which made me think it probably affected my semblance.

“Yeah, so, I don’t know if that’s worth looking into but it is definitely something I don’t really get.” I tried to explain.

“Bianca,” Jer deadpanned caustically, “god damn it. That sounds straight out of anime."

He exhaled, eyes closing together tightly and then opening with the dull acceptance of a man who knew that death would be a private victory against the torture.

“Okay, fine. Let’s make you a Saiyan. God damn it, Bianca.”

Brennan was standing at the sink, rinsing Umeko's cereal bowl and spoon while his gal was hurrying up her wardrobe. Truthfully, Brennan wouldn't have left without her; any mishap with the groceries would be rightly considered his fault if he did all the shopping solo, and there were parts for their probe design that Umeko would want to have input on. The time limit he had mockingly set was mainly just meant to motivate her after her quick wake up - the Japanese girl was as lazy and lethargic as they came in the mornings - but he enjoyed the thought of her panicking, trying to slap something together before he ducked out of the apartment without her.

She was the best. One of the first words he'd taught her in English was gullible, because he'd told her that it was good fortune. Believe it or not, she'd taken to pronouncing gullible better than Brennan. Although that was probably on purpose.

"Ye, ye, whatever," Brennan demurred, making a show of reluctance about drawing his arm around the girl's shoulders and kissing the top of her head. "Make a list o'brands in yer own head. I see milk, I'm gunna buy me some fookin' milk, Musashino or no. I see chips, I ain't killin' meself over a fookin' name brand."

The two had moved into an apartment together in District 5 in time for their first year of university together, so many of the grocery stores here were more stocked than the convenience-oriented locales that catered to the junior and high school students of District 7. It made grocery shopping a sort of quaint affair, one that Brennan and Umeko had begun to often use as a way for some couples time. The streets were quieter than District 7's, too, so the two students enjoyed the temperate August weather arm in arm for a few minutes once they left their building and started the walk to the grocery store.

"Ooh ye. By the by," Brennan said after a minute, his free hand touching his wallet inside his pocket, "I need to go to de bank dis morn too."

"Need a fook of a lot more den dat," Brennan mused thoughtfully as the otaku munched in his ear. While the sounds of people chewing generally made him want to use them as practice dummies for his tracheotomy technique, there was something endearing about his partner's breakfast routine - and her insistence on the same brand of milk. She was spoiled, and she knew she was spoiled, but it was one of her charms. Otherwise he would have already left the apartment to do some things in the city for the morning. Grocery shopping was definitely near the top of the list, as was gathering more equipment for their rocket project. But also...

It was like the cheque, currently folded in half neatly and tucked into his wallet, was its own ballast, a large weight that kept Brennan conscious of it every chance he got. Even he had started to question the wisdom of letting his prey away from the ropes last night, but he'd managed to luck into more potential answers (or at least more questions) than anyone would have been able to glean from that cowardly asshole by leaving him to rot in an Anti-Skill holding room.

Still, it would have been nice if he'd concussed the fucker or something. Made Kawaguchi feel a little better.

"I'll wait three minutes. Whatever's not on by den I'm gonna assume you can live without. Or stay home an' hoof craftin' glue all day, see if I care."

Hazel Ada Stoll tried so hard to impress her glorious Captain. It was precious. It was absolutely endearing. Corinne would need to draft up a rewards plan for the members of her team who assumed the heavy mantles of heroes. She could make a devil's food cake or something, and perhaps even slip Hazel and Summers some edibles. Such an action, however, would only be likely to get her barred from preparing her own food.

Then again, Hazel and Anju paddled down the same streams. Perhaps the shut-in glasses girl would appreciate a complimentary sext.

Corinne was so busy contemplating food, sex, and a jet lagged nap that she didn't even pay attention to the missile alerts. She had already known they were coming, and her body operated while her higher brain functions were preoccupied with her thoughts. Her instincts ceded control away slowly as she executed her maneuver, riding above the enemy's railgun strike. Her own motion path cut perpendicular through the railgun's, and a couple of the Homing Missiles - those furthest forward in the salvo - were obliterated by the last vestiges of energy from the railgun strike. A 180 degree spin of the R-Blade placed the remaining missiles square in firing range of her Vulcans, obliterating them harmlessly as the Shourichi Special completed its aerial rotation.

The R-Blade lifted up its beam rifle again, as the rich girl inside its cockpit eyeballed the shot with a rakish grin beneath her butterfly mask. Then the beam fired, down upon the outclassed Lion, the latest victim of the pink-haired poacher.

By sixth period, even someone as indefatigably amped as Lauren found herself starting to tire of the whole school routine. After the stretch of more traditional courses that served as the meat of her morning between combat class and lunch, Lauren found herself once again lapsing, taken prisoner by a pattern that dominated most of the first third of her day and now threatened to do the same to her second. The heart of her sudden lethargy was simple - she just kind of knew everything.

Now, that could certainly be the power of black excellence talking. In fact, it probably was. Definitely.

But that was also a problem. The majority of her day was devoted to things she already knew how to do, things that with a likelihood bordering on total fucking certainty she probably didn't want to do. Lunch was an exception to the rule. So was combat class, where Ben had first piqued her interest - a lot like someone bungling the fuck out of your order at a restaurant before you realize it tastes better than your old favorite. Trying the other white meat, if ya will.

But Armory? Survival? She could have made As in those classes back when she was young enough to finesse niggas with Charl-E-Cheezie tokens.

Rich kids thought they were gold doubloons. Pirate movies were all the rage back when Lauren was growing up, and she had a keen eye for kids who wanted to reenact their favorite movie scenes. You tell a kid that they can go ahead and play pirate with real treasure, and they'll part with all the allowance they think to ask their parents for. Why not? Always more where that came from.

And as long as they kept paying, Lauren could say the same for her "doubloons."

Anyway, that was the whole point. These were skills Lauren had picked up long before her time at Beacon, and they were things she usually practiced in more exciting situations than those jury-rigged by the professors. Practice would have no doubt been the same story. The new class, though, had the potential to be a different story. She'd heard Luke extolling its virtues with the same dogged optimism she had come to expect from someone who extolled Krillin as the world's strongest human. It was taught in a lecture hall, of all things, and was supposed to be a pretty theory-driven course, combining honest know-how with room to practice. Lauren didn't have much to do with Dust in terms of combat style, and even if she had, there was always something to be learned from new applications.

After all, Lauren wasn't above the chance to try and use the ol' noodle. With most of her team in the same class to worship her, she would probably be a wet noodle at that, too.

When she slipped into the hall, the windswept black beauty wore a synthesis of two different styles, the maroon-and-black blazer and skirt of Beacon Academy over a black t-shirt and leggings. Her hair was still ruffled into tufts that fell along her deep green eyes, resembling Luke's save for the fluffiness in place of the Shiroyaman's scruffiness. She was still wearing the stolen cap from Survival class with a vaguely familiar looking badge in place of a wing insignia. Her tongue was running along the inside of her bottom lip, where she'd scrawled something with a neon lavender marker.


There was no seat free between Ben and Luke, but there was one free between Ben and Amy. Lauren's backpack received that chair of high honor for itself, hanging from the back of the chair by a strap and revealing a nudge of the con artist's white jacket, wrapped around a vaguely rectangular package. Lauren plopped down into the chair herself, but it was only for appearances. Both of her legs were slung over Ben's lap, with one arm around his neck and her body pressed up against the side of his. It was a lax position, tilted back, but Lauren made it look as casual and ergonomic as the ramrod posture of a copy typist.

Her eyes found the instructor, widening as her seat shrank the gap between the one to its right.

"Yoooo, no way," Lauren whistled, her voice a breathy whisper that carried to her assembled friends. "No fucking shit. Aaaaaaaaah. This little bitch helped me know I was gay."

Jericho was sure that Professor Iderson wouldn't mind the modifications he'd done to the training drones.

In the days of old, before Jer's transfer, the Beacon shooting range had been a decidedly staid affair. It wasn't tall, but it was wide, encompassing most of the width at the end of the field between it and the obstacle course. Apparently no one had ever realized that the ideal range for long-range engagements wasn't the range at all, but rather, the space atop the fourth and fifth upper bars towards the end of the obstacle course. That was more accurate when you pictured what a sniper's nest was. Of course, the drone patterns in Beacon lacked imagination, too, as Jer had learned with a mounting pout during the night he had spent - and slept - out in his future domain.

So, the minute that the senior faculty had left him alone with administrator access to the range, he had called Speer and shared those same privileges with him.


Was it morally lacking and diplomatically risky to share the hyper-sensitive codes for a military installation from another kingdom, in the heart of that kingdom's greatest school, with an anti-establishment CCT shitposter? Well...maybe.


But as long as nobody ended up shot to death on his first day, he was sure that Rowan and Ozpin would appreciate the pragmatism.

With the help of his combat data, Speer's programming savvy, and about an hour and a half of midnight troubleshooting, the drones on the firing range had gone from the lazy patterns used at every mom and pop gun range from here to Mantle - side to side, front to back - to targets that possessed a full range of motion and were even capable of outfoxing him on rare occasions. He'd left PE twenty minutes early, under the guise of a TA's exemption that said that he needed to prepare for his first day as lessons.

In reality, he'd just changed as soon as he got here and then started sniping for fun. He had his noise cancelling earbuds in and a playlist curated at random by one of his friends - it was Tuesday, meaning today was Shiloh. This was the first track in twenty minutes that wasn't some suggestive Panic! At the Disco deep cut, God help him - cycling through as he unwound, firing at the drones that his Scroll's administrator privileges hired. Speer's idea to actually feed them his personal combat data was a stroke of genius - and Beacon's tech wasn't too shabby, either, as the marriage of Atlesian ingenuity with the equipment available to him as a Practice instructor had actually resulted in two potshots in fifteen minutes.

It was comfy.

So comfy, in fact, that he had long been ignoring the urgent beeping of his Scroll, informing him that his pre-class warm up had actually crossed over into 'class time' territory, and by now a minute-and-three-quarters had gone by since he was supposed to report inside for the opening of class.

Ah, hell...

Most of it was probably Rowan's spiel about him anyway. They wouldn't be reporting to the field, would they?


Was he going inside or were they meeting him out in the field?

Rowan had said they did most of their work out in the field.

Awwww hell I'm gonna get caught.

He picked up his Scroll hurriedly, the ropes between the up-and-over bars shaking precariously as his movements became more rushed. His fingers danced along the touchscreen quickly, deactivating all combat protocols and returning the drones inside the range with minimal fuss. He had no idea how fast they would move, even with the improvements he had asked Speer for - software only went so far in the face of sheer hardware limitations. He was going to cut it close.

Act natural!

As his fellow students began to file outside, they were met with the sight of their erstwhile TA dropping down from the up-and-over bar at the end of the obstacle course. He was dressed comfortably for training, all in black, with a sheer tank top that didn't put any pressure on his bandaged left arm, a pair of compression pants, and minimalist shoes. His long hair was done back in a wolf's tail to avoid distractions.

Distractions like the garish Atlesian sniper rifle he hadn't gotten a chance to stash away.

He could see a girl near the front of the horde of students touch down, wings stretched out luxuriously and then furling as she began her stretches. She looked expectant. Rowan must have already told the class who was handling their Practice lectures from here on out.

I should have been a shitposter.

A neckbeard would have gone a long way to disguise how cute he was.

Jer didn't smile, but he looked faintly - and sheepishly - amused at the approaching student body, and he tossed the sniper rifle over his shoulder and up onto the ropes where he'd made his sniper's nest, as though he were trying to discreetly toss away a piece of garbage.

Say hi. Say hi to your students. Just like Speer coached you. H and I.

"I know we're all coming back from PE or Survival. I'll give you guys one minute to catch your breath. Then we start."

Ah, shit.


Brennan emerged from the bathroom at the head of a column of steam. He had mostly dressed already, wearing dark-colored jeans and a black-and-indigo striped t-shirt that looked slightly snug against his muscular frame. His black hair looked as though it had been towel-dried rather lazily, but his teeth already looked like they'd been brushed obsessively half a dozen times. Brennan liked to try and make his grin glint.

He ambled towards the apartment's kitchen, ruffling Umeko's hair as he walked past her and leaned with his back to the counter beside her hand.

"We'll run out dis morn. I 'ave some shit I wanna get done anyway." Brennan reached around the otaku's cereal bowl and pried the carton out of her hand, finishing the glass-and-a-half or so worth of milk remaining in the container before peering into it with one eye. "Shit. We are lookin' a lil' light."
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