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Lydia Creel

Lydia had heard a few doors open and close in the hallway as other dormmates checked out their rooms. Maybe some of them were already unpacking and settling in. Lydia didn't want to unpack until she'd met her roomate and they'd agreed on the distribution of space. The last thing Lydia needed was an enemy on her first day. So she'd decided to check out the common room, which was just as nice, if not nicer, than the rooms. It really felt like they were living in an upmarket hotel instead of student dorms. No expense had been spared. She'd checked out the little kitchen in the corner. Quite a simple yet stylist little workstation. Lydia wondered if any of her dorm mates could cook. Or would it all be on her? Oh well. Different jobs for different people. The chairs were all comfortable in the TV area (she'd tried them all) and the TV was large and modern but they really needed a games console or some DVDs or something in here. That was high priority.

Shortly after she finished looking around, another girl came into the common room, and Lydia got up out of the chair she was currently sitting in with her eyes closed. She faced the newcomer, who had short blonde hair. Well, dark roots were showing, battling for dominance and winning, but she'd still call it blonde. The new girl seemed pretty chill and agreeable, which definitely made Lydia feel batter. Something she'd kind of been worried about was her lack of education, her upbringing and her lineage putting her at odds with a school full of Captain America types, but it looked like her fears were misplaced.

"Hey," Lydia greeted, taking one of her hands of out of her pocket to give a short wave. "I'm Lydia. Lydia Creel. Just got here. Place is looking pretty nice, huh? she accented this by whistling, and looking around at the common room.

Natalie Ellis

Natalie tried not to let it show on her face that she was skeptical of Eli's claim that she was just asking Archie about food. Luckily, Radvi mentioned that was about to leave and let them talk among themselves, which Nat was pleased about. But before that happened, there was a disembodied voice, and two men materialized out of thin air. Natalie turned to face them. They now had her full attention.

She listened, and noted that Radvi knew who they were but wasn't exactly on good terms with them, meaning that they were staff or otherwise in there in some official capacity. They chose this moment to talk to the group. They introduced themselves as Mr. White and Mr. Black. Could these two look or act any more like shady henchmen from a James Bond film? Still, Natalie would hear them out. They didn't seem to be the violent types. They were explaining that they were interested in this group, which was, Nat supposed, understandable as they'd been at the center of every significant tragedy thus far.

Freaky D chose this moment to drop from the ceiling and Natalie's knuckles tensed. The last time she saw him, he'd kicked Archie in the face. In a way, he'd caused a lot of the events that had led to the four of them being in this situation. But she still wanted to hear more of what the Agents were saying so she looked away from him, failing to hide how pissed off she was at his presence.

The agents went on to reveal that they were incorporeal, which made sense and also explained how they were able to appear out of nowhere, and also explained how they knew so much. Maybe Lynn and Keaton were right to have been paranoid seeing as how there were invisible eyes watching them all along. However, it was clear the Agents needed their help. They needed the group to be their hands, and their muscle. They didn't know much more about what was going on than Natalie did, it seemed, but the drawback was Natalie didn't know anything that they didn't either. She was fairly sure of that.

Archie was the first to ask a fairly basic question, but before it could be answered Lynn started to heat up. Nat could feel the sweltering heat from where she stood. She watched Lynn go on a tirade, that Natalie actually found herself almost completely agreeing with. Natalie found herself envying Lynn. Lynn had no fears about speaking her mind. About letting you know when you were pissing her off. Natalie was. She was terrified of getting angry. She suppressed those emotions. She suppressed those thoughts. She was positive and optimistic out f necessity. She needed to believe in the establishment because how else should she keep things together? Right now, Natalie was grateful that the questions she dare not even ask herself were being asked.

But then she noticed that Archie was growing slightly, and he had his hand on his chest. Nat turned and was about to approach him but Lynn got there first, still high of that furious energy. She grabbed him, chastised the Agents more, and stormed off. Archie was no longer turning, and he followed after her. Natalie watched them leave until the disappeared from view, and audibly sighed. She had made a promise to look out for him and protect him. She failed to stop him turn on the first day. He'd turned in the restaurant after she'd fled like a coward, and it was Lynn, not Nat, who's stopped him turning when they found the body, because Natalie was too weak to even look after herself in that moment. And again now, it was Lynn who's snapped him out of another transformation. Archie had helped her in the forest, and had been single-handedly responsible for her not killing more people the day of the breakout. Who was she kidding? She couldn't look out for Archie. She couldn't even look out for herself.

She turned back to the Agents, sighing and snorting and looking like she was trying very hard to remain calm with the emotions running high inside her. "I don't know anything that you don't. You already know so much. Why do you need our help? I came here because I'm mentally sick! Because I need help!" She explained, her voice getting louder with every sentence and her face creasing with frustration. Her eyes were like the weary, aggressive eyes of a hissing cat. She was almost starting to shout now as she got closer to them, and her eyes were glistening. "I came here to get treatment! Because there was nothing Earth could do for me anymore! How am I going to be of any help to anyone else?! That's supposed to be your job!"
Natalie Ellis

Natalie arrived at the group. Archie looked even more nervous than usual, the girl beside him was happily eating food and Radvi was also there. She decided to tackle this in order. This was supposed to be a meeting between the group of her, Archie, Keaton and Lynn. Who was this new girl? And why was she talking to Archie? Nat turned to her, gave what was to Natalie a smile (her lack of social confidence or people skills was at complete odds with her general appearance. Perhaps she wore lots of makeup so people would think she had it together) and offered her hand.

"Hi, I'm Natalie. I don't think we've ever met. You are?"

There was little technical work that she could do, so Taleste was currently at her old spot, in the cockpit, watching the radar. Or at least she should have been. What she was actually doing was whittling wood with a knife whilst glancing at the radar every minute or so. She was leaning back on her chair, and had her bare feet resting on the console, cross-legged. When she was a thief, there was little she could actually help with on the ship besides cargo, inventory and watching the radar. Now she was a pirate, that was still all she could do to help. She knew next to nothing about software or engineering or piloting. She knew how to lie, cheat, steal and fight, and there was little cause for any of those things in her day to day life. As such she was usually left to her own devices, and as such, had taken up the Skaldrum hobby of wood-carving in her spare time. She wasn't very good at it and wood, though plentiful in markets and port towns, was scarce on this ship, so she just worked at the three pieces of wood she did currently have, ever so slowly and carefully.

She saw the shuttle approaching on he radar out of the corner of her eye and smiled. It was about time. Sheathing her knife and setting the carving down on top of the radar, Tal left the cockpit and headed down to the docking bay to greet the captain and his lover, the pilot of the ship. When they left the shuttle, they'd see Tal waving at them from the doorway. "Cap. Horrorshow. 'Ow went the mission?" she asked in her thick accented voice, which had admittedly become much easier to understand now that it had been heavily influenced by the Skaldrum dialect. She still said 'whun' though.

@Crossfire @Gardevoiran
Natalie Ellis

Natalie made her way straight to the mall as soon as she received the text to meet at Panda Express, though it took a while as she had almost reached the dorms at that point. She'd considered going back to change, but A) Change into what? She didn't have a large selection. Was probably already wearing her nicest outfit. And B) They would all be there. This was a group meetup. At catch-up as the four hadn't spoken properly in a month.

Arriving at the mall, she felt a little intimidated. It was loud, and it was busy, and the constant worry in the back of her mind that if she lost control here, it'd be a massacre was sticking in her head and keeping her tense. For such a large open space, Natalie was feeling claustrophobic.

She spotted the Panda Express, and not too far away from it, spotted a guard. The uniform drew her attention. Of course, then he saw who he was talking to. Some girl Natalie didn't recognize, and Archie! Nat got a lottle closer, wondering what was going on. It was only when she got closer that she saw that the girl was smiling, and the guard was Radvi, the one who'd questioned her about the body. He seemed nice and seemed like he took his job to serve and protect seriously. Natalie breathed a sigh of relief. She thought that something might be wrong of that Archie was in trouble, but it didn't look like that was the case.

As she got closer, she carried on looking around and to her surprise, saw Lynn, in some kind of perfume or candle shop, peering out from the side in the direction of the meeting place. Natalie didn't need Keaton's powers to suss that Lynn was hiding because of Radvi. Natalie sighed and shook her head. One day, Lynn's complex of acting guilty even when she was innocent was going to get her into trouble one day. Natalie headed into the candle shop and approached Lynn from behind with her arms folded. She wasn't going to broach the subject she wanted to talk to Lynn about. It wasn't the right time and besides, the window may have completely passed on that.

"Hey, Lynn," she greeted, with a slight smile on her face. "Thought I'd come and tell you that you kind of look like a stalker right now."

Lydia Creel

Lydia was listening with genuine excitement, though she seemed to be the only one. Lydia had always wanted to be a superhero, and here, surrounded by powerful fellow students, being taught by Heroes, was where she's have the best (and only, really) chance of doing that. She was powerless on her own. She couldn't even be able to stop an armed bankrobber. But here, with teammates, she could do so much more. The truth was that she needed to be part of a team to be effective at all. And she was hoping that here, she could make friends and possibly join or form their very own superhero team. Or she could be somebody's sidekick. She didn't want the fame or recognition. Just the privilege of fighting crime and people knowing that you were a Hero. That was all she wanted.

So she was eager to learn, and was smiling. The four teachers' names that were read out caused her to get more and more excited. All four of them were people she had idolized since childhood. She of course had her preferences, but she took the keycard from under her seat, and opened the envelope to discover that she was going to be taught by Scott Lang,. Not her first pick bad. She imagined his classes would at least be fun! Honestly, she couldn't actually imagine getting *taught* by Wolverine. He didn't seem the teacher type.

Lydia wondered to her dorms at a leisurely pace, and the first thing she did was check out her room. Her single suitcase was here, and the room was nice! Even though she was sharing it, it was larger and nicer than the room at her foster home, and even had an en suite. No more having to share one tiny bathroom between a large family! Lydia put her suitcase on her bed, opened it, and began to take a few things out to put in and on the bedside cabinet, before stashing the case under her bed. Wardrobe allocation would probably be something to discuss with her new roomie. Speaking of which, she should go and introduce herself. Taking one last look at her room before closing the door, Lydia headed to the 1D common room.

Gene Green

Gene was less interested in speeches. He was here because his mom wanted him to come here, to learn 'how to be a Hero' and to get training and guidance from the real deal. He could have become a Superhero without this but his mom got so emotional it scared him a little. She didn't want him 'becoming his dad'. All Gene knew about his dad is that he was a bad guy. That's all he was ever told and all he really cares to know. But this speech was going on way too long and was putting him to sleep. Hopefully the classes wouldn't be this tedious. And he was actually looking forward to the social aspect, and being surrounded by people his age who didn't find a guy with fluffy tail a little bit weird.

At the end of the speech he hadn't really been paying attention too, nobody clapped but one guy, with lobster claws. Gene blinked, and stared. He was now no longer worried about people finding his tail weird. Gene considered clapping too, but then other people might join in and Gene didn't want to take anything away from lobster hand guy. After checking his keycard, Gene was very happy he'd be taught by Wolverine. That was kinda who he had been hoping for when he heard the names. When people began leaving, Gene could not get out fast enough. He headed over to the 1C dorms and didn't even bother to check his room, heading straight for the common room.
Natalie Ellis

One week after the incident, Natalie began to attend classes again. She was still so weak that she needed a crutch to walk, and slept either sixteen or two hours a day with rarely an in-between. She looked like hell. Her entire body was covered with stitches, her shoulder was bandaged near her neck, her neck itself was still bruised, her skin was deathly pale and her eyes were red and puffy. The class were very silent on that day, as she was a fresh reminder of the horrors of that day. At least people weren't avoiding her out of fear anymore. No, now they were avoiding her out of pity.

Classes went well for her. Well, reasonably well. She was an 18 year old with the schooling of the average 16 year old, do she was two years behind on literally every subject. She had no strong or weak subjects. She worked hard at everything, glad of the distraction and chance to achieve something, but lacked the intelligence or talent to excel at any one area. She got Bs and Cs across the board in all the quizes and tests. She'd have to try harder to get As.

Well, there was one class she was struggling, but Natalie didn't think of it as a class. Power Training. It was hard to do well in power training when you were afraid to, and often outright refused, to use your power. Natalie's average power training class was spent sitting on a bench, and sometimes crying. She had come to resent that class. It was one of the things she had brought up with her therapist, who had suggested that she try to join in and not be afraid to use her powers, but that was largely overshadowed by larger areas of concern for her therapist.

Ever since the incident, Natalie had been racked with guilt over taking another two lives. It was affecting her sleeping, her diet, and many other aspects of her physical and mental health (during one health checkup she practically got yelled at for how little she was eating). But her therapy sessions were helping. Natalie had been told in her first week to find creative hobbies. Natalie loved to read, so had began writing. She wasn't a storyteller, or very creative, but she did have a lot of emotional turmoil in her head. Thus, poetry had become her solace. Though her poetry was often dark, it helped to get things out of her head and onto a computer.

Natalie hadn't talked to Keaton at all since the day after she got back, and that was mostly just them asking each other if they were okay. Natalie and Amelia talked a lot, as per usual. They weren't at the level of friends where they'd ever go out to lunch together, but they appreciated each other's company. Natalie wanted to talk to Lynn, to reassure her and support her, after seeing the look on her face that day, but could never bring herself to. She didn't think Lynn would be very comfortable with the situation brought up either. And Archie...She really liked spending time with Archie. They got each other. They could relate to each other. They'd made a pact to protect each other. They didn't see each other very much, though, and sometimes she avoided Archie. Sometimes she could also tell he was avoiding her. Natalie didn't think she had a crush on Archie, but then again, she didn't know what a crush would feel like, having never had one. And she hadn't have any close friends in her life either. She honestly didn't know whether this was a close friendship or a crush. It was one of them. She had been forcing herself not to think too deeply about the latter possibility. Her head was chaotic enough.

Today, in class, her stitches out, body healed, and fresh, ugly scars on top of her old ones, she sat. They had finally addressed the incident. No explanation. But at least they're not trying to pretend that it didn't happen. If that had stayed the case, Natalie might have started to think that Lynn and Keaton were onto something regarding the establishment being shady. Natalie didn't want that. She establishment was her one hope of becoming....well, sane again.

Natalie zoned out during the homecoming talk. She wouldn't be going. She would not wear a dress with her scars. The rest of the day, she just coasted. It was when she was on her way back to her room that her phone buzzed, and she checked it. It wasn't from Amelia, surprisingly. It wad from Archie, asking her, Lynn and Keaton if they wanted to meet at the mall. Natalie stopped in her tracks. She supposed this day would have had to come eventually, when the four of them met up as a group once again.

'Sure. Where about?' Natalie texted back.
Natalie Ellis

Nat had her guard up, but her body was in no shape to fight, and even as she started to pull her fist back for a punch, the blow landed, and she crumpled. Her bones were strong enough to keep her straight as it was the ground that gave way and absorbed the impact, but it was still a powerful blow. Natalie went limp, as she was now putting all of her conscious effort into staying awake, and keeping her aching muscles tense. If they relaxed, she'd bleed out in minutes. She held on with her will to survive. She didn't have the strength to fight Archie anymore. The massive lizard had picked her up and even though her frantic brain was screaming at her to kill Archie before he killed her, she could barely move her arms. But as she was held there, she began to sense she was bring cradled. Rocked like she used to be by her parents. She hadn't seen them for over two years. She'd never see them again. Thoughts of them flooded her mind. She no longer felt in danger. Her mind was no longer in a dark time several months ago. It was in a warm time many years ago.

The lizard started to make strange noises and Natalie was put on edge again. The lizard started to twitch and convulse, and in a panic, Nat grabbed and pulled, which both helped Archie get free of his de-transformation and rip the lizard skin to pieces. She was now calm enough to think rationally. Two more people. She'd taken two more lives. She didn't even want to think about that properly yet. Right now it was nothing but a fact, because her own life was still in danger. Nobody was trying to kill her, but she was in such bad shape that all her focus needed to be on keeping herself alive.

Archie came around to her, and brushed bloodsoaked hair off her face. She'd killed. Tried to kill him. And he wasn't scared of her. Not even a hint of caution. She felt tears welling up after hearing his words, and she shook her head. "They already hurt me, Archie. And they'll always be hurting me," She answered weakly. "Nothing you can do." Even so, she started to cry. Although she wasn't quite hugging back, her face was buried in his shoulder as she sobbed and howled.

Security came, and Nat also didn't want to be taken out of Archie's arms, so let herself be carried onto the cruiser. She had to hold on just a little longer, until they got to the hospital, to a place where she could give her muscles some rest and let herself bleed freely from her entire body. And she didn't have that strength alone. Without Archie, would her will to keep living have been strong enough to compel her to endure the strain? She didn't even know.

Before the door closed, she got a brief glance at Lynn. Natalie knew that look. She understood it all too well. It wasn't pity or sympathy she felt for Lynn, but true understanding and appreciation for the horrors she was going through.
Natalie Ellis

As Natalie advanced, all but one of the prisoners backed away. This crazy bitch just ripped off Death Head's head! But one of them, whose hands ended in six inch claws, began to advance. He was clearly unafraid. As soon as he was close enough, he swung to slash at her. But she caught his wrist, and with one more movement of her free hand, the prisoner fell to the ground in two pieces. That was the cue the rest of them needed to turn and run. Natalie continues to go after them, but that's when she heard the roar.

She remembered that roar from her first day. And sure enough, she saw the giant reptilian form of Archie. Right now she couldn't remember him, or the promise she made. She just remembered getting attacked by the lizard. The pain of getting tail-whipped through a door. The fear re-surged in her, and with it, the desire to kill what she was afraid of. She turned round and began to stalk towards the lizard. There was no recognition in her eyes. Though her eyes were scared and her body was bleeding and painful, she only seemed to be more focused. There was no hatred. No malice. Just the will to kill. It wasn't personal. She was just scared. Beyond terrified.
Natalie Ellis

Natalie shrieked in unimaginable pain as the blood was once again drawn from her, her eyes shut and screwed up, and her jaw clenched. Her body, in an effort to replace what she'd lost, was just giving it to him! Pumping more and more past the safe wall of her muscles, which were starting to ache from the collective strain of holding the rest of her blood in. She relaxed her body for a split second, and she died. It was now grabbing her hair and shoulder. She opened one eye to look at the terrifying, inhuman creature, so close to her, just in time to witness it lunge at her neck. She felt what seemed like some sort of tendrils enter her skin, and while they couldn't pierce her neck muscles, they didn't have to. There was enough blood to drink without that.

Natalie was so far into the tunnel of fear and despair she felt broken mentally. She no longer had the mental energy to scream. Indtead she merely let out weak grunts as she punched her attacker again, and again, and again. Each blow tore chunks from its body like a shotgun would do to a normal torso. She continued to punch it until its upper body could no longer be called a human torso. It looked like a misshapen raw burger patty. But a tiny part of her brain, still capable of rational thought, took over.

'Its attention is focused entirely on your neck', it was saying to her, 'and it's getting weaker. Go for the kill.'

She listened to this thought. Her eyes flared with newfound hope and passion, and she grabbed the monster's head with both hands and pulled up as hard as she could. It was tough, and she was straining with the effort, but Death's Head wasn't stopping her, too focused on drinking her blood to heal itself from her devastating barrage of punches. It didn't notice its life was in danger until it was too late.

With a final tug, the skull-like head separated from the body with one last spurt of blood, and the body slumped lifeless to the ground. Natalie dropped the head and got shakily to her feet. Everything hurt. She was terrified. Her heart was beating for its life and her adrenaline was high. The thoughts in her head became unignorable.

She looked round to see several other escaped prisoners, who had been standing and watching the fight take place. Natalie started to drag her body in their direction.

'Kill or be killed', her thoughts told her. 'Kill all of them.'
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