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On the outskirts of Bay City, the school's campus dominated the skyline with its sleek, cutting edge design. It was a relatively new institution, founded only around 5 years previously, and its funding was such that the buildings were more or less pristine, at least as far as anyone could possibly tell from the outside.
Despite all this, there was a stigma attached to this school. This was a place for rejects, people who couldn't function in normal society. People who were more than likely supervillains in the making.
There were little things that would remind the students of this stigma, like the fact that the school was at least 10 miles from the nearest residential district. The fact that all of the buildings appeared to be reinforced with especially sturdy materials. The fact that the dorm building was currently crawling with mechanized construction drones, preparing specialized rooms for each new student.
As the students arrived on campus for their inaugural day of class, they were expected to report directly to the auditorium for the opening assembly. The auditorium itself was on the smaller side, with a max capacity of around 100 and a distinctly lower number of those seats actually filled. There were about ten minutes before the assembly was actually scheduled to start, but it was pretty obvious that the turnout wasn't really going to increase by much.
WHispers followed Johnathan Young to the sight of Searph Academy. The long trek was thankfully mostly devoid of people, and so he was able the active strain of suppressing the anomaly down to a low. Now, however, that had changed. His vision seemed to glitch as he forced the monstrous fellow tenant of his mind into submission, but no matter how dominant he was, he couldn’t escape the whispers.
Johnathan, there is no need for this.
Johnthan, you pain me.
Turn back, Johnathan, nothing but ruin awaits you here.
Try as he might Johnathan couldn’t bring himself to fully disagree with these whispers, and he almost turned back right before he came upon the academy that was his last bastion of hope of ever controlling the anomaly. Then he realized that if he did not go through with this, more people would surely die. So with one final tug at the anomaly, it was drawn into Johnny’s subconscious as he walked into the school.
As he was instructed, Johnny went into the auditorium.
"Alright, just one last briefing before you head inside."
On the front steps of Seraph Academy stood two people. One looked to be in his early thirties, blue-eyed and auburn-haired, pacing in front of the other. Said other person was a teenaged boy in a hoodie, deathly pale, his black hair pulled into a ponytail.
"Pay attention in your classes, don't do anything illegal, and if someone is rude to you, tell your teacher." The redheaded man paused, looking at the teenager. "Understood?"
"...y-yes," the teen muttered, looking shyly at the ground.
"Good. Also..." The man paused, as though searching for the right words. "...try to make friends. It'll do you no good to be alone all year."
The teen looked away. "I have a friend..."
"Nathan, I know you're scared, but you can't have just one friend. Get to know your peers. It'll do you a lot of good. I promise."
Nathan looked back at the other man. "D-do you have friends, Uncle Rowan...?"
A few seconds went by.
"Me being a hypocrite doesn't invalidate my point," Rowan said, his tone carrying a hint of indignation. "Talk with your peers. Make some more friends. It'll do you a world of good."
"...Wh-what if they don't...l-like me...?"
Rowan's expression softened, and he walked up to Nathan and gave him a hug. "They will. You're a nice person, Nathan. They'll see that. They won't care about your powers, they all have them."
Nathan was silent.
His uncle pulled away. "I have to go. Hope you have fun. I love you."
At this, Nathan smiled a bit. "Y-you too..."
The auditorium was small. So few people had problems with their powers. Or powers like Nathan's. He swallowed thickly. At least with how small it was, the fear wouldn't be overpowering.
Water. Snakes. Death. The words were almost burned into his mind as he passed the other students, and he pulled his hood up over his head. Hopefully, no one would look at him. Or talk to him. He was terrible at handling conversations.
Losing control of the Anomaly.
Wait...what? What was the Anomaly?
Nathan stared at the person he'd sensed that fear from in mild confusion. Too shy to talk to anyone, but too curious to stay away, he took a seat a few rows behind the young man and watched him intently.
Flutura wasn't exactly sure whether the wide berth that was given to her was a good thing or not, but given she was more focused on the construction drones she supposed she didn't really mind. The odd fly buzzed around her idly as she padded along through the halls, and the occasional termite burrowed out of her skin to scuttle across it and then retreat back out of sight once more. It was strange to be in a place like this.
The air felt different, and she noticed that offness in the overall location. The fact they were situated so far away, and how the walls were reinforced. Not quite like a prison, but it definitely felt... unnerving. To distract herself, she studied a colourful butterfly on her fingertip as she walked.
She was in the auditorium before she'd even realised it, and was thankful for its smaller scale. Anything bigger would've probably made her uncomfortable. Taking a seat, she tried her best to shift herself into a lotus position before she looked forward; insects continuing to grace her form on occasion.
She'd brought her mask with her, and she hugged it on her lap. It was strangely comforting, in a way. Even as centipedes crawled in and out of the eyeholes, eventually making their way up her arms.
There was a rather anxious boy near her, she realised. She only noticed that she'd been staring blankly when her eyes suddenly itched, and she looked away and rubbed at them. A few ants fell out from behind her hand as she did so, and she simply sighed quietly to herself as a result.
Edited by Enirboreh on Dec 28th 2020 at 9:39:15 AM
As the campus gathered for the big opening ceremony, Fiona sat in the farthest, darkest corner of the room, apart from everyone else. She slid back in her chair, letting her beefy arms dangle as she stared up at the ceiling. Her ripped, statuesque figure would've drawn attention on its own, but her skintight mesh was even more of an eye-popper. Covering her from head to toe, the only part of her that wasn't tightly wrapped or outlined was her head, encased within a black helmet. A large red circle was dead center, allowing her to see. But she had to wonder if there was anything worth seeing.
She wasn't sure why she was here. Like, okay, she sorta knew? Ever since she lit up like the fourth of July and blew up Mainstreet, it wasn't like she could go strutting her stuff. Not that she wished to. The last thing she wanted was to go around setting everything ablaze. Besides, they'd probably stick her in the tank for good if she did. At least this way, she could have something resembling a life.
Not that she cared. Like, okay, she did care. She wanted to have a normal life. She wanted to have friends, wanted to go out and do things, wanted to be all of that. And she used to. She used to have all of that. The only thing she didn't have was powers. More than anything, that was what she wanted most. To get awesome powers, beat up the bad guys, and save the day. To be a hero.
Fat chance of that now. The only things she were good for were blowing up public property and heating jacuzzis. Anything else was wishful thinking. So instead, she'd keep sitting pretty in the corner, tune everything else out, and let herself fade into the scenery.
At least she'd be productive.
Edited by kkhohoho on Dec 28th 2020 at 5:03:13 AM
A young man entered, on a floating chair. Resembling a sleek, plush recliner, those close to the hoverchair would hear a very faint humming, presumably from whatever mechanism allowed it to ignore gravity.
Xavier's lower body was covered by a blanket; His thin frame meant he got cold quite easily. From his upper body it could be deduced that he was wearing a casual suit, replete with gloves, though with no tie. Dress to impress, as his father would say.
He had earbuds in, leading down to a jack in one of the arms of his chair. Without moving his hands, the earbuds seemingly pulled themselves out of his ears and neatly tied themselves around the armrest.
The chair seemed to move of its own accord, lacking any visible controls. In truth, the controls were inside the chair, usable only by one with precise telekinesis. With a thought, Xavier hovered himself towards the section set aside for those who came in their own chairs. Though it was usually intended for wheelchairs rather than hoverchairs, it worked all the same.
He noted some interesting individuals as he moved. One caught his eye: A boy with some kind of psychic resonance, though it was wrong, somehow - not ESPer powers like Xavier's, but something mental-related.
There was also a girl covered in bugs (initially he considered removing them, but her lack of reaction to it suggested it was part of her powers), and a boy who made Xavier instinctively shiver.
This, Xavier mused, would be an interesting experience. He smiled, looking forward to making fascinating new friends.
Something vaguely human shambled in after Xavier, taking a little step after little step. It wore a suit of ancient armor, worn down and disrepaired, and it mumbled under its breath as it walked hunched over and with not a hair of it showing from beneath the rusted plates and stale furs, with a chipped greatsword on its back. A curious comparison, for it didn't breathe to begin with.
"Here with roses in bloom, with woodbine twining the laurel..." It stopped, the face hidden behind the visor looking for something as the figure straightened up. It cut an impressive figure, so one had to wonder why it preferred staying almost curled up as it walked, and why it shyed away from all light sources inside the auditorium. "Dove calling softly for dove, cricket crisp with delight... Tell me... what grave is this, which every god of the garden furbelows, lush with life?"
Having found what he was looking for, it slid past a few other students before picking the corner opposite Fiona's; a perfectly dark place to curl up at. "Rest for Anacreon here..." Clanging down, Gotfried took his place away from the lights, happy to rest here and listen.
Following this cavalcade of weird and terrifying students coming into the hall was... A guy. Just... Some guy with blueish skin and bleached hair and casual clothing just slipping into the hall and taking a seat.
"Daaaaang, downright gallery here ain't we? I kinda feel a little awkwardly under-weird compared to everyone else."
Lewis gave a little laugh and immediately showed off his powers by pulling out some silver from his pocket to idly flow about his fingers as practice.
“Controlling silver's pretty weird...” Flutura comments in regards to Lewis, flicking her rather dull eyes over towards him and seeming to look him up and down a moment. “Maybe not being weird is even weirder, so you'd still fit in either way. I think.”
She shrugged halfheartedly, jogging her foot slightly in an anxious manner before exhaling and staring ahead again; the butterfly she'd been examining earlier flapping over to Lewis and landing delicately on the tip of his nose.
“But it's not a competition. I guess. Hi, by the way. I'm Flute.”
Nathan's eyes flicked over to a girl not too far away from him. His eyes widened a bit as he saw a butterfly, perched on her finger. How did that get in here? Maybe this school had a nature conservatory. A small smile tugged at his lips. That was a nice thought.
And then he saw a centipede wriggle its way from her skin.
"Aah!" Nathan let out a small shriek, then clamped his hand over his mouth. Face turning ashen, he looked back at the stage. Oh god, I hope she didn't hear me...
Xavier did not go unnoticed by the anomaly. Though it was in a submissive state, the ESPer’s presence did allow it to create a feedback loop of psychic energy in Johnny’s brain, allowing it to break free from the depths of his mind. It would use this brief moment of vulnerability to separate it’s projected image from Johnny’s. If anyone was paying attention to the boy, they would notice his skin turn slightly gray. Any psychically and inclined people, however, would sense a great deal of psychic energy rip itself from Johnny and into the seat directly beside him.
The whispers grew into words.
My, my Johnny, you simply must stop putting me there. It’s so dreadfully boring.
Instead of dignifying the anomaly with an answer, Johnny would simply scowl and try to draw the anomaly back in, only to be met with the same feedback loop.
Nuh-uh-uh. You know I can’t cause any damage like this. Wait-
Pushing through the sound, Johnny would reel the anomaly into his head, dissipating the cacophony of psychic noise.
Lewis lets out a little laugh at the butterfly on his nose.
"Lewis, though before they reassigned me here I was planning on adopting the moniker 'Silversmith'. Metalkinesis is pretty common, at least hero-wise I think. Sure I'm a little limited but it's still good enough to smash some villains with."
Wrist watches are much more of a curse than a blessing, Deedee decided. She could've happily spent all day looking at the construction drones humming away around buildings, had her newly gifted watch not decided to beep at her like crazy. It would've been OK if she could remember why it was beeping, and how to turn the darn thing off. Was it lunchtime? Must've been lunchtime. She saw a sizable group of people walking towards a building and followed, remembering she had a backpack in her back in the process. Something about the group was off-Was that observation offensive? There's nothing wrong with looking a bit different than the standard everyman, but the mob of people was so incredibly very varied she wondered why-Oh, Superhero School! Yeah, that's why she's here. And these are not newcomers. And the auditorium is not this way.
Eventually, she got there, wrist watch left behind somewhere down the road. The auditorium wasn't big, but it wasn't specially small either. She wondered whether or not all of the Academy's students could fit in there, or if there was someone who couldn't. Being a giant must suck. Maybe that's why they live in the mountains. Are there mountains nearby? She hoped there weren't, so people wouldn't go "ooh" and "aah" about a really big old rock-OK, she just walked past all of the rows of chairs. Deede spun on her heels (bad idea, a headache said) and squinted at the room. A small group of people talking, others sitting by their lonesome, was she early? Maybe the whole thing was over. There was someone sitting alone in a hover chair, but seemingly interested in the small group of people. Bingo.
"Even if I, let's say, pester my parents for decades, I'm pretty sure they'd never buy me a floaty chair." She snickered at her own lame rendition of 'super high-end tech literally hovering chair' as she tried to sit on a normal chair without plopping herself on it. She couldn't quite focus on the next person's face, but tried to make an educated guess as to where it most likely was, and spoke. "My name's Deedee. What's yours? I may forget, but I'll try not to."
Edited by ExcuseMyIngles on Dec 29th 2020 at 10:46:36 AM
“That's nice,” Flute nodded slightly, smiling a little at his laugh before causing the butterfly to flutter back to her. She merely sighed at Nathan's yelp, not even so much as glancing at him. “I don't know how good my powers are. I just have bugs. They're cute, but they're not really... heroic...”
Her voice was a dull monotone as she said this, with even her emphasized inflections sounding somehow apathetic. The butterfly she meanwhile set free, going back the way they'd been—hoping that it'd find an open window someplace out of there.
“...Do you like bugs?” she asked Lewis after a moment, looking at him somewhat hopefully. “I think they're sorta cool.”
One - Seraph Academy Auditorium
Well, today was the day. One wasn't quite sure why they had to go to school, seeing as they had the knowledge of the entire internet at their thought's desire. If it was to learn how to deal with their malfunctioning parts, couldn't a simple software patch help? Although, Mister Alex had mentioned something about how their parts were...what was it, "too dated"? "Incompatible with any modern driver"? One trusted their creator to know best. A small twinge of anxiety zapped through their systems as they stared at the doors in front of them. The time was now to enter, and fit in with the other sentient, sapient beings. How exciting. One leaned forward, moving through the door.
The sound of metal dragging across the floor screeched through the auditorium as the robot humanoid limped in, one leg refusing to lift off the ground with a great grinding of mechanical systems attempting to move. One's mind whirred as it ran various diagnostics and troubleshooting programs, lines of code whizzing past as they tried to get their leg responsive again.
"PLEASE FORGIVE THE DISTURBANCE WHICH I AM CAUSING. I AM EXPERIENCING A TECHNICAL ERROR WITH MY HARDWARE DRIVERS. IT SHALL BE RESOLVED SHORTLY." They announced plainly and almost monotonously through the ear-bleedingly loud screeches as they limped to the closest untaken seat. Their optical sensors noted that that would put them next to some being that didn't look human or even biological at all, seeing as they didn't seem to have any skin but rather some black mesh and a mechanical head. A fellow machine, albeit one less human-passing and more advanced (not that that was a hard bar to clear) than themselves? One stopped next to Fiona, looking down at the suited girl.
"EXCUSE ME-I mean, excuse me, I am One. Is this seat taken?" They motioned towards the seat next to her, staring intently at her, face unmoving.
Edited by UndyingPhoenix on Dec 29th 2020 at 7:44:59 PM
As soon as she heard that loud metallic screeching echoing throughout the room, Fiona held her hands to her helmet, covering her ears and hoping that whatever this was stopped. Or else she'd make it stop. She'd suffered enough the past few months, sure, but she wasn't gonna suffer through this.
Lucky for both of them, it stopped before she could get that far. She looked up, trying to find what caused it and give them hell for making such a racket and... it was staring her in the face.
Of course it was.
But 'it' was maybe the best way to describe it. She wasn't sure if she was looking at a fancy robot, some freak of nature, or maybe someone else stuck in a damned suit. It wasn't like she was a stranger to either one. Growing up in Super City, you saw a lot of strange shit. Whatever this was, it'd barely make the six o'clock news.
But somehow, that kept her from lashing out or pushing it away. Maybe it was because it was a robot or some sort of freak that she didn't tell it to scram. Instead, she slightly inched her chair away before letting them sit. "Don't think so. But I gotta say, you stick out like a sore thumb. No offence or anything."
Okay, maybe she wasn't one to talk. But next to whatever this thing was, her and everyone else were Joe Schmoe. That creepy-ass ghost in the other corner was the only thing that came close, and she wasn't touching that fucker with a twenty-foot pole.
"So, what, you some android or somethin'? I mean, I'm not gonna judge. Just never thought I'd see one in person, ya know?"
Besides, once she got past the initial shock, it was kinda cool. Who didn't like robots?
Assuming it was one.
Edited by kkhohoho on Dec 29th 2020 at 12:54:01 PM
One - Auditorium
One stiltedly took their seat, giving a stiff nod to Fiona as they sat there with their hands on their knees and sitting bolt-upright.
"Yes. I am a robot. I had assumed you were one as well, but seeing as you had to ask me if I was, I shall assume you are not."
At the part about sticking out like a sore thumb, One brought their hand up to their face, gazing in curious fascination at their thumb, though it did look like they were staring at their own 'thumbs up'. With slight hesitation, they punched their thumb with their other hand, a loud metallic 'cling' ringing from it.
"My pain receptors detected that but my thumb does not appear to stand out any more from my other fingers. Am I safe to assume that I am blending in perfectly then?"
Well, they didn't seem to be the most...knowledgeable of people when it came to expressions, and judging by how they stared right back at Fiona with a blank, serious face, they fully seemed to think they were in the right.
"Because if so I shall be incredibly happy in accomplishing my mission when I came in here. My attempts at disguising myself as a human earlier had many screaming and running from me."
Johnny shifted in his seat as he listened to the conversations around him. As much as he would rather be an anti-social recluse, he was an extrovert at heart and still wanted to talk to people. He just didn’t know if the static thingy in his pocket was trustworthy enough yet. Eventually, one conversation caught his attention.
I don't know how good my powers are. I just have bugs. They're cute, but they're not really... heroic...
Do you like bugs...?
She definitely seemed like an interesting person. Johnny briefly considered attempting to talk to the bug girl before kicking himself when his second voice piped up.
Y’know, you sure seem lonely over in the middle of this relatively large room all on your lonesome. Maybe you should go and talk to someone.
The single word escaped from Johnny’s vocal cords before he could stop it, earning a slight chuckle from the anomaly. He definitely said that out loud and a lot louder than he would’ve preferred, so he just widened his eyes slightly and tried to slump his shoulders a bit as to remain undetected.
Edited by Yayakuza on Dec 29th 2020 at 12:49:05 PM
"Bugs are pretty nifty. At least like, I like them as long as they know to stay in their lane yaknow? If I'm out there taking a hike and I see like, a spider doin' its thing or a bunch of flies having fun I'm into it but I prefer to keep them out of my personal like, 'home' spaces yaknow?"
Lewis made a deeply ambiguous gesticulation that involved sweeping his hand in a wide arc.
"As for heroics, you just need the right bugs! Summon a buncha bees, you could be Queen Bee! Or... Spiders? Ooh! Beetles tend to be colorful and cool-looking. You could be... I don't have a good beetle pun but you could use a helmet themed after a Stag Beetle!"
...were they real?
Like, anyone else would have gotten it. They wouldn't have questioned it. Of course they stuck out like a sore thumb, they were a walking talking hunk of metal! But she guessed she didn't look too different next to them. Hell, she couldn't even get too mad at them thinking they were a robot too. At least then she'd have an excuse for... everything.
Even so, it was baffling. Seriously, did no-one program sarcasm into this thing?!
But whatever. They had given her the time of day. She wasn't gonna go asking everyone and their mothers to talk to her, but she felt... happy? Okay, maybe that was a bit strong. But it'd been months since she felt anywhere close. All because someone treated her like a human being. Least she could do was return the favour.
With any luck, this wouldn't turn into some half-assed stand-up routine.
"Okay, uh, that's a metaphor? I think? But like, I meant to say you stand out from everyone else, yeah? Picture everyone holding out their thumbs like they're hitchhiking or something. Most of the thumbs are a-okay, but one of them hit a nail or got stuck in a lawnmower or some crap, so they're bleeding and stretched out and sore. None of the other thumbs are sore, so that thumb stands out. And you stand out because no-one else is Robbie the Robot's little nephew. Make sense?"
Hopefully they wouldn't take that as literally as the first go-around
Edited by kkhohoho on Dec 29th 2020 at 3:27:22 AM
“Oh. Yeah. I like them with me, though...” Flutura shrugged at Lewis' explanation, again managing a small smile due to his wild gesticulations. He definitely had an enthusiasm to him. “I get it, still. Maybe that's why people run away whenever I try and show them...”
She considered this a moment, before shaking her head slightly—feeling eyes on her and turning to see Johnny looking at her for a brief second. He muttered something that sounded like ‘no,’ and out of curiosity she tilted her head before Lewis' further words distracted her again.
“I like all my bugs though. I don't know what name I'd have. I've got a mask, though...” she hesitated, almost bashfully lifting up the (honestly quite horrific) purple bug mask that she'd had sitting in her lap. “I... made it myself when I was little. Have you had your powers long?”
"Five years, give or take. Enough time for me to figure out how to use them pretty well but also enough time to figure out that why I'm here rather than up at Saint."
He gives a smile that seems a little pointed.
"But yeah, I'm just hyped to be at a hero school. Hopefully I can get on the supervillain-punching track before I hit 18."
William hurried into the auditorium, a freak traffic accident had resulted in him arriving at Seraph High somewhat later than intended. He appeared to have arrived on time though, that was good. His eyes wandered about the room surveying his fellow students for a few moments, looking for a place to sit. His eyes came to rest on a group of students; an android and some sort of thing in a mesh suit. The two seemed to be isolated from the rest and relatively approachable, so he decided to try and start some sort of conversation with them. He walked over to the two with his strange, shuffling gait and took a seat. "Hello, my name is William, can I ask what yours are?"
There. The psychic resonance again. Almost like the other boy was trying to reach out to him, but- no. There was something else, some separate psychic presence, and it seemed to be having a physical effect on the one it was connected to.
Xavier considered trying to grab at that psychic energy, for a moment, only to be distracted by someone sitting next to him. He smiled at Deedee's joke, turning to face her. "Yes, well, I'll admit I'm a bit... privileged. My parents are heroes, so they have access to more resources than the average person. Which is good, since I'd be pretty useless otherwise."
He offered a gloved hand for her to shake. "Xavier Mayberry. A pleasure to meet you, Deedee."
Edited by kagescorpionakki on Dec 29th 2020 at 8:46:29 AM
As Fiona struggled to explain the concept of metaphors to her new robot buddy, she noticed some fidgeting asshole shuffling over and trying to play nice. Aside from that chicanery, he was one of the most normal-looking people here. Like, okay, there was maybe something off about his eyes? But next to everyone else, she wouldn't hold it against him.
But that also made him the most suspicious. If most everyone here wore their problems or quirks on their sleeves, then anyone who didn't was keeping some nasty secrets. Even so, he was trying to reach out. Maybe if she hadn't already introduced herself to someone today, she'd try and act like he wasn't there. But she couldn't bring herself to throw their goodwill in his face.
But that didn't mean she had to be nice about it.
"Sure. I'm Flaming Disaster On a Hot Tin Roof, and this is Robbie the Robot's twice removed stepson from the boonies. So I guess that makes you Crap Lex Luthor, or did I miss the mark on that one?"
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