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the universe is grand, but life is grander

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Always love a reboot.
In Ju-V 8 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

The response to the explosion was swift, more coordinated and disciplined than the startled reaction to the event outside the quarantined area. These guards were practiced and effective; not that anyone put up much of a fight. The explosion had surprised them all.

Sunita's ears continued to ring as she watched the redhead girl escorted away and her victim carried out. She was directed with the others towards their dormitories, their welcome cut short. At this rate they'd all be under indefinite lock-down if the others didn't learn some self-control.

Sunita hurried down the hallway behind the guard, eager to be reunited with her few possessions. They were waiting for her on a small desk in one of the last rooms the man gestured to while attempting to say her family name.

She didn't bother correcting him, instead rushing towards the sticker-ed bag, wallet, and most importantly, her journals.

Except there were only two in what should have been a stack of three. Sunita shuffled between the two notebooks in disbelief before rifling through the other belongings- but the bag was too small and stuffed with clothes to contain anything else. Without any regard for the potential room-mate that had followed her, Sunita pushed her way out of back out to the hallways and began chasing down the security that had guided them.

"There's been a mistake!" She called after him, jogging to catch up. All prior worries of drawing attention had evaporated.

"My book," She said more quietly, with the smile and tone typically reserved for her teachers and elder relatives "One of them is missing, I had three coming in. Simple journals, nothing malicious."

"Approved materials have all been returned. Anything else needs to be taken up with the director." He made a point of leaning down to peer at her. "Nothing will come of it of course. But that's the official channel." And with a stupidly satisfied smile the man returned to his egress.

It shouldn't have mattered really. A dozen people must have read through them already. It would all be fine- she would be fine. But even as she grasped for them, the memories of the pages she'd been reading that morning only drifted further. The excitement of arriving, and all the new people, it had been too distracting for her to have fully memorized. Sunita covered her face with her hands, forcing herself to breathe deeply while willing her heart-rate to subside. A practiced method of falling into a meditative trance, freeing her mind of stresses for a precious few seconds.

When she was ready, her hands pushed back through her hair as she took a final breath and looked up to the ceiling. She would be okay. The worry persisted, but it was clear and focused rather than the panicked anxiety of before. She'd been shown where to find what she was looking for, even if the convenience of means had been taken. It hadn't been so long since she was 15. The memories wouldn't all be beyond reach. She could work to remember. She'd meditate, recall every detail she could of that year, commit it all to perfect memory, and find what she'd missed the first time around.

But that would have to wait, she realized, hearing laughter from the room on her right. Two girls were settling into their new accommodation while she'd once again been standing outside like a silent idiot. Without acknowledging them, Sunita returned to her own room again.

"Oh, hello again." She said, only registering the blonde she'd pushed passed to leave upon her reentry. It was the very same girl she'd interrupted reading- before being interrupted in turn.

"I guess I get a second chance at an introduction." She said with a smile she hoped wasn't too forced as she offered a hand. "I'm Sunita, looks like we'll be roommates."

Just going to do a few little post playing in my own space while I find my footing if that's okay. Don't want to mess up the flow everyone's got built up, but I do have plans to get Selene over when the time is right. Could potentially even offer a on-ramp for @Roman's new character if one hasn't been discussed/decided yet.
Selene scowled at her reflection, which only glared back, stubbornly still in the polished mirror before her. The familiar gentle breeze that regularly swept across the island ruffled the papers at her knees so she had to use a hand to hold them down while amending the marking on the topmost with the other.

How many more variations could there possibly be?

Julian would have known the answer, and given her a hopelessly large and accurate number; only for Connor to lean over and effortlessly add a few lines that would transform her chicken scratch spellwork into a work of art. Elidih could have simply plucked the memory of the damned thing from her mind. But the Renegades were no more; and after their disbandment, Selene had proven herself unworthy of their help. Their friendship too, if she'd ever had it. Despite her wandering mind, every few seconds Selene's eyes would dart upwards, keeping a watchful gaze on her own reflection while studying the broken memories of the spell she's managed to collect.

A lot about Selene had changed over two years. Her once long auburn hair was cut short around the ears, where it had begun to gently curl once free of the extra weight. The thin and lanky frame of her teenage years was replaced with a solid build, reflective of the Amazonian physical training that came with her imprisonment on Themyscira. Even her clothes were unrecognizable; having quickly outgrown the hoodies and jeans she'd arrived with, Selene had adopted the same dress as her captors. While the Amazons were technically her saviors, after eighteen months of isolation from the rest of earth, it was hard to see them occupying any role other than her wardens.

"Oh little godling!" As though summoned by her thoughts, a sing-song voice rang out from behind the mirror. Tucking the pages of her work under one knee, Selene peered behind to find the source. There was little time to react, as she identified the blurred figure of Mala rushing towards her with inhuman speed.

The papers, so carefully protected from the elements, were surrendered to the breeze as Selene rolled to narrowly dodge the oncoming assault. She watched helplessly as one drifted across the southern cliffs that had been her backdrop, and into the turquoise water below. Mala, her warden and mentor, had managed to pin herself atop Selene anyways.

"You're late Selene. Queen Hippolyta doesn't care much for waiting." The blonde woman chastised, arms folded as she looked down on her captive.

"You would think immortality would have taught her some patience." Selene grumbled, but took the offered hand as Mala rose.

"There's hardly a virtue greater." The Amazon agreed while dodging the point. She had begun eyeing the mirror, right as the breeze turned the other way, plastering Selene's failed attempt at a portal spell right before them. "And one that you'd do well to practice also."

Selene's cheeks flushed. She ought to have gotten used to these sudden flares of shame, but the Amazons were nothing if not exacting with their evocations of guilt.

"Oh come, its not all bad," Mala continued, her sunnier disposition returning as quickly as it had gone. "It's a day of celebration after all."

Selene rolled her eyes. "But not for any reason you'd care to tell me, I suppose?"

Mala laughed. "We're afforded so few surprises, you can grant us this one."

Well that was certainly a brighter way of looking at it; better than her life once again being used and decided upon by those more powerful with little regard for her own desires.

Mala didn't allow Selene any further time to wallow in self-pity. "We should leave, before Artemis finishes all the wine- are you even old enough to drink?"

"Depends on the place I guess."

"You earn your right to these things in Themyscira." Mala nodded, considering. "Catch me before we reach the acropolis, and I may allow you to partake."

Before Selene could voice argument, Mala had kicked off the ground, leaping forty feet high in the air towards the treeline leading inland. The jump shook the cliff with enough force that it rightly should have split open. But the island, like her Amazons, was made of sturdier stuff than the rest of the world. With a small curse of her mothers name, the daughter of Circe cast a familiar flying spell and sped off after her keeper.

Behind her, just as Selene's face turned to the sky and feet left the ground, a tiny ripple broke across the mirror's surface unnoticed.
A time skip reunion, very cool. I have some thoughts and maybe ideas but would also like to see what kind of group we have before fully committing.
In Ju-V 9 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

Sunita joined the others in silent compliance as they were shuffled from the first room to the next, one fewer in number. Nobody had rushed to the thin boy's defense, and he seemed to be forgotten about before they even reached their next destination. So much for solidarity. An uncomfortable knot of guilt had taken hold in Sunita's chest. Its cause she could hardly fathom.

No saving someone from their own idiocy

Besides, she did help; the real victim had been the pepper-sprayed girl. She'd helped her, or tried to anyways.

It didn't take long after their fellow in-mates welcome speech for Sunita's eyes to wander towards the bookshelves despite the two girls that had already made themselves comfortable beside it, but she'd done her reading on the bus ride over. It was time to at least make an attempt at being sociable. Even the newest arrival, who'd tried nearly disappearing into her seat moments before had stood to approach the winged girl. Well, someone in their little group was popular.

Could it be having such observable mutations make some more approachable to the others? It seemed a promising theory, until she came to consider the small rodent-type creature of their group that had somehow managed to be forgotten among the rest. A limit to their empathy for the weird maybe- or just an outlier; they still had no clear way to communicate with the animal-person. Whatever biases there were, Sunita herself preferred puzzling over the powers of the more conspicuous mutants among them. Most were surface-level, just normal young people. Only a few had revealed powers in their short time together. Her left hand twitched as she mentally began sorting through what she knew of each resident so far. Over the last few weeks, with the loss of privacy, came a newfound reliance on memory. Not that regular practice made the itch to jot down thoughts any weaker, as Sunita mentally inventoried what she'd witnessed.

The four they'd just met she kept separate in her mind for the time being. Until she knew their real names and saw the claims in action.

External Mutations
Bird GirlWings, very avian in appearance. Flight is an assumed given.
Rock BoyBoy appears made of stone. Unusually large size more likely a bi-product than coincidence. Assumed durability and strength
Large Russian* Tagged as only a potential external mutation. The physique could well be natural. Unsure which would be more intimidating.
OtterAn otter. Potential type of shapeshifter. Then, why choose the form of an otter for the entire trip?

Internal (Triggerable) Mutations
Asian Girl Invisibility, seen in action
Rugged, tired boy'Edge'
The quiet girl that had helped the one who'd helped the invisible girl.Blood? Bleeding it? Sweating it?

Sunita's mind lingered on the detained boy again. The word "edge" shouted by the guard wasn't much of a clue, but somehow still enough to send a lurch of butterflies in the stomach despite herself. The thought of finding someone with a similar mutation to her own so quickly was too improbable to even dwell on.

It took a shout from the center of the room to bring hers back to the present. The heavily lip-sticked blonde was already having it out with one of their 'hosts'. It was the last bit of motivation Sunita needed to abandon her earlier reservations and move towards the bookshelves of the room. Let others continue to label themselves as trouble-makers the first day. She had more sense, or at least enough fear, to keep her nose clean.

Four more of the group occupied the small 'library' corner of the room. Sunita's attention was kept on the least conspicuous pair of blonde girls sitting closest to the shelf as she tried to at least appear interested in the selection. Internally, she struggled to find the words and courage to begin a conversation. The others around had done so easily enough, but socializing had never been a strength of hers.

"Revengeorescape?" The words rushed out of her mouth much too fast after she'd deciphered the title on the spine of the book the seated girl had been reading. She coughed uncomfortably before trying again.

"Monte Cristo," Sunita forced herself to take a breath. "Are you reading for the escape or revenge?"

An explosive force that knocked Sunita forward to her knees covered the other girl's response, if she'd even had time to give one. Again, one of her fellow arrivals had let their volatility get the better of them and sent another squad of armed guards on them. It was hard to keep her frustrations in the right place as she picked herself up to follow the shouted orders.

Just a bunch of scared kids that didn't ask for any of this, we can't start turning on each other the first day.

She tried to remind herself as she scowled at the wall, hands pressed over her head. Still, couldn't they act like they didn't belong in a detention center for at least an hour?

Ethan had a much easier time keeping his mouth shut after being so quickly corrected by the senior valedictorian. He'd never been much of a planner anyway. He joined the other in looking through the few possessions that had come into the classroom with him. Typically, he'd be a bit more embarrassed by the lack of school material in his bag, but for once being unprepared might actually serve him. A visored hockey helmet landed on the desk with a loud thunk, followed by a few pens, a wallet, and mouthgaurd all clattering to the desk as Ethan shook out the contents for the other to see as well.

"Sorry," He said quickly, anticipating a reprimand for the noise he was making. Before joining the others in their search of the classroom. It felt a larger than he remembered, with only the five of them inside and searching different corners of the room. Ethan opted to look in the back cabinets, only to find little more than the expected supplies of a home room teacher; papers, pens, textbooks, blank composition books, and various other stationary items. He walked back with two pairs of scissors. "Not sure if it's a good idea to get so close to actually be useful but..." He looked towards the short-haired blonde with a forced smile, "better than nothing."

"That is, if you're sure we should leave." His eyes drifted towards Hera, who seemed to have taken command of the group, much to his own relief. "We're safe for now, and help has to come eventually. Right?"
In Ju-V 11 mos ago Forum: Advanced Roleplay

The bus was empty when Sunita boarded, save for the driver; a man who refused to make eye-contact even after being offered a greeting. Instead, he was busy selecting an unfamiliar song for the vehicle's stereo system. Sunita sighed and took one of the front most seats, somewhere she'd easily be able scope out anyone who came aboard. They began moving without warning, and the Palo Alto suburbs Sunita had called home for five years started blurring past her window. She redirected her focus on the bag she'd brought along. Pulling a journal out, she opened it to a book-eared page. It was one of the three sole-surviving journals that documented her life. From the age of 9, she'd taken to recording her innermost thoughts and notable events. She swore never to make such a stupid mistake again, having burnt the first six earlier that same morning. The smell of smoke still clung to her pressed skirt, blouse, and scarf.

It wasn't a long wait before they came to a stop again, taking a small East-Asian girl aboard. Sunita briefly looked up, giving a short hello, before turning her gaze back towards the book. A similar greeting awaited the boy with white streaked hair, and the others following him. Not for the boy in cuffs picked up from the courthouse, though. When he boarded, Sunita's grip only tightened on her journal until he took a seat; a comfortable number of rows away. At least she could always rely on her off-putting energy to keep strangers from prying into her business or sitting too close. The humiliation of having multiple police and AEGIS agents reading through her private life was still fresh in her mind. The idea of one of her soon-to-be peers getting a peak was too much to bear.

The bus pulled away from it's stop at the airport, and she had just fnished reading a particularly mortifying passage of her 14-year-old-self gushing over a celebrity crush. Needing a break, Sunita lowered the pages to look out the window while they passed through the downtown San Francisco area, heading for the docks. Her family had rarely visited the city, and such a long journey alone was forbidden by her parents for most of her life. Tight streets, packed even tighter with aged buildings, caused her to reminisce about her first home one the other side of the world.
It was a quiet, almost somber, bus ride. No more than a few whispers made their way to Sunita's ears above the noise of the driver's dated choice of music. Eventually they came to a stop, the ocean in view. Sunita stood, eager to be off the crowded bus and free from the music. Pausing in confusion as she recognized the sight outside of the window. There had to have been a mistake.

"Excuse me," She began, attempting again to gain the attention of the driver, to no avail. Instead she turned to the other young adults on the bus. "We're at the wrong harbour." She explained to them, "The Ferry to Alcatraz Island doesn't leave from the Historic Ferry Building. What are we doing here?"

No sooner had she posed the question than it was answered by the arrival of their final member. If they could even be called that. A small, furry animal scurried past the front rows, beelining to the back seats. Sunita quickly sat herself down again, tucking her skirt underneath her and willing the heat to leave her cheeks. At least she didn't cause a commotion like someone further back, but then again, they must have all been thinking it. Whether it be streaked hair, inhuman skin, even wings; all were to be expected when dealing with Metahumans. Sunita was familiar with research of mutated genes; but an animal without visible human traits, unable to even speak in a language they could understand, was staggeringly strange. Her eyes returned down to her journal again until they arrived at the true destination of their journey; remaining withdrawn even after they'd left the bus and crossed the ferry to the island.

While reading worked to keep anybody from approaching her, it caused uncomfortable levels of motion-sickness. Feeling ill kept her from putting up much of a fuss, as once again, her belongings were taken away to be searched. After all, what were another dozen pairs of adult eyes peering into her deepest secrets. Sunita just kept her head down and moved along with the crowd, happy to just pass by unnoticed. A snide comment from the stone-skinned boy made her cringe, and then all hell broke loose. Her own attention had been focused on the warden, missing the start of the scuffle. She managed to catch sight of the winged girl smacking one of the boys, and the Japanese girl vanishing into a cloud of pepper spray.

Sunita watched impassively, lips pressed in an indifferent thin line. The warden continued his speech, though it took on a much different tone than the first; all while the pepper-sprayed girl laid crying on the ground. It was too bad, she'd been hoping for an uneventful first week. Then again, what more could anyone expect from a bunch of teenagers sent to Alcatraz?

"Here," Sunita stopped the brunette that was helping the spray victim towards the guards. In her extended hand was the silk scarf that had been tied around her shoulders up until now. "I think you're..." She trailed off while pointing to her own forehead when she realized it wasn't actually blood on the other girl's face, but something else entirely. She almost inquired further, but stopped after a loud sneeze from the Japanese girl. Stepping out of their way, she fell back in with the rest of the group. They were on the wrong side of the bay to start picking fights and fussing about their situation now. Sunita could only hope to be forgotten and left to her own devices, for as long as she remained on the island.

Ethan had never experienced anxiety greater than the customary dread of any unprepared student around finals. Sport plays-offs and close matches could cause some stress; that was always scondary to the exhilarating adrenaline that came with any game.

The end of the world starting in his high-school was a level he was ill prepared to handle. So he didn't. From the moment he'd found himself in the temporarily secure classroom, Ethan hadn't spoken a word, only looked between the odd group that had managed to find safety. The ones they hadn't locked out. It was all he could do to keep from letting his mind wander to what was happening on the other side of the door.

More than a few times, he opened his mouth to speak, but failed to find words for the situation. There weren't any encouraging sentiments to help in a time like this, and he was self-aware enough to know his opinion on strategizing wouldn't mean much. Not in a room shared with the valedictorian, student president, and two of the athlete captains. And... Ethan looked over to the blonde with short cropped hair. Not in his year, but vaguely familiar all the same. He caught himself staring too late, he offered her a shy smile out of reflex, then grimaced at the inappropriateness.

Hera began the discussion between the group of surviving students, and within a matter of seconds, Ethan could see a plan forming between them.

"The roof," He repeated aloud, over-eager to have something useful to contribute. "Sorry I just mean, it's kept locked, ever since-" As quickly as he started, Ethan's mouth snapped shut as he looked at Aaron with an embarrassed smile. "Well, you all probably remember the incident at the end of basketball season last year..." He let himself trail off there. Typically, the memory of hauling a barrel of lube up to the school roof to dump on an opposing team's bus during the semi-finals would be one he'd be happy to retell to any who'd listen.

"Point is we'll need keys. Unless any of you know how to climb, or pick a lock."
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