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Dr. Gold continued smiling as the students talked among each other. It seemed they still had dorm assignments fresh in their minds. No matter. She'd have plenty of time to get to know them down the line.
There were some questions and remarks directed at her among the chatter, though, so she handled them one at a time.
"No, no, messing with minds is the last thing a therapist should be doing. All I'll be doing is providing a safe space for you to talk about anything that's bothering you, without the worry of anyone else listening in. I'll do my best to help talk you through your problems, but that's about it."
"As for powers... I'm not a telepath or anything, so you don't have to worry about that. My only power is... well... I suppose you could say I'm immortal. Or, ageless is probably more accurate. I can certainly be hurt, and I imagine a lethal blow would probably end me. But what that means in regard to my job is that I've been working in this field for a long time. Over a century, I believe, though I wasn't licensed when I began. I don't think I'll ever be able to say I've seen everything, but I have far more experience than any other therapist I know of."
Lewis let of a vague 'mkay' before backing off a bit and leaning against a wall to occupy himself.
"So like, what Heroes do yall aim to emulate? Or am I the only one here who's here cause they want to do some villain busting?"
That was one question answered, huh? Even if it raised a few more questions that maybe she didn't want the answers to. Like, she knew there were heroes and other beings out there that were born ages ago and still around, yeah? Hell, Saint had been around since the '30's and he was still alive and kicking. But she figured it was mostly cuz of his powers and stuff. Anyone that strong wouldn't go down so easy, would they. So how was this lady still around? Like, maybe she was a demon or something? She knew there were a few heroes that fit the bill, but she sure didn't look it. Maybe she was an elemental or—
Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her temple. It came at her like someone shooting a bullet in her skull, and went away just as quickly. She pressed her hand against her forehead on reflex, but the pain was already gone.
...weird. She hoped Deedee didn't notice anything. Didn't want to worry her with stuff even she wasn't sure about.
She shrugged it off, trying not to put two and two together. "I mean, I kinda used to, I guess? 'Bout the only thing I wanted to do was be a hero and bust some heads. But I don't think people wanna be saved by Flaming Demon Lady, yeah?"
“I would. I'd like to be saved by you,” Flute commented in retaliation to Fiona, turning her head towards her and giving her a neutral (yet also pointed) stare. “It doesn't matter. It'd be cool. I think you're awesome so far.”
“If you've been alive for so long, have you seen anyone like me before...?” Flute then asked of Ms. Gold, dull in tone as if already resigned to a negative answer. “My parents haven't seen anything like it before, that's all. Just curious.”
A century! How many things have happened in the last century? Was she actually there for any of them? Does she any have stories to tell? She must have stories to tell. They should do some sort of campfire to sit around and hear stories. She wondered if other teachers would like that, and if it was even viable given some of them were also heroes. After a minute of wide-eyed food costs calculations, she just muttered "That's so incredibly cool, Ms. Gold."
Villain busting wasn't first on her queue, but there were some heroes she admired. "There's this one hero, Atlas. He's stupidly strong, but I've heard he has a really hard time doing everyday stuff, like picking things up or staying still. Yet, he's married and has kids. I've always thought he must be seriously tough to manage all that. I'd like to be like him."
A soft pank made her head turn up on instinct. This was at least the second time Fiona facepalmed herself since they left the classroom. Was something bothering her, or were they all way more frustrating to be around than Deedee realised? "Got ants on the space helmet, Hot Flaming, Demon... Lady? Flaming Hot Demon Lady. Lady... Flames. No that's, that's like a bad username for a dating site. We'll get you a better codename and everyone will want to date-be saved by—you. Just you wait."
The tips of her ears were, fittingly, burning. She half-hoped it would be enough to distract from the fact that not many civilians would chose to be saved by most of their classmates. Facts were serious bummers, lately.
...she would? She did? She does?!
Wowza. Maybe she had bug girl wrong.
"Uh, thanks! You know, you're not so bad yourself. Wouldn't mind being saved by you either, yeah?"
And then Deedee asked if there were more bugs crawling around on her helmet. Probably because she kept slapping it. She didn't think she'd have to start watching herself, but she guessed she'd have to stop slapping herself for the next hour or two. Didn't want her thinking she wasn't keeping her promise, did she?
"Oh, uh, not really? Just thinking about stuff, ya know? But hey, maybe you're right! If you and bug girl think everyone would wanna date me, thenOHFUCK—"
Suddenly hearing the words that came out of her mouth, She clamped her hand over the bottom of her helmet and hoped no-one but the three of them heard that. "SAVED BY ME. YES. TOTALLY WHAT I SAID."
That was, what, second time today?
She almost wished she was in the tank. Least she wouldn't keel over from embarrassment.
"I-immortal...?" Nathan frowned a bit at the thought. Being immortal was one of the things that sounded cool on paper, but gave him anxiety whenever he thought about it a little harder. Watching everyone he knew grow old while he stayed the same, watching everyone he knew die because they aged and he didn't, being around so long you outlive the Earth and float alone in the void of space and then surviving the eventual heat death of the universe and being the only thing alive forever—
No no no no no don't freak out! Desperate for a distraction from his growing panic, Nathan turned to the others and joined their conversation. "M-my dad was a hero...his name was Firebird...h-he died when I was a kid, though..."
Quiet contemplation followed by a morgue sort of interest.
He was wary of therapy owing to how it typically worked as far as he remembered. The therapist took charge, and it was very difficult to articulate how Father's behavior and deeds made him feel bad. The therapist back home told him that a father in the home having control in the family, exerting pressure on him to do well...that was just normal. But as far as Matsuki knew, not in the way Matsuno did it.
"Fathers care, that's why they administer punishment, constructive criticism, and teach you how to be normal." So said the therapist. But the "normal" Matsuno advocated seemed so...self serving. Transparently so. And when it was the only thing Matsuki knew, he resented it for that fact - that Matsuno isolated him from any other upbringing, whether he was willing to openly admit that or not.
And what really burnt him was seeing over here how everyone here had a relationship with their father or parental figure. And not knowing if, back home, things really were like that in every other household, or if things were different.
Maybe he did need to talk to someone.
Edited by NickTheSwing on Jan 28th 2021 at 3:00:24 AM
Dr. Gold considered Flute's question. "I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'like you.' Obviously no two people are exactly alike, so I haven't seen your exact same personality. If you mean your powers, this is my first time encountering that exact power set as well. But, if we're talking in more general terms... well, you're far from the first person I've met who developed unexplained abilities at a young age, and I'm afraid we haven't known each other long enough for me to get a read on your personality, if that's what you mean."
"With that said, remember this. Everyone is unique, but nobody is alone."
At that moment, a school bell rang.
"Seems like it's time for me to meet the next class. Miss Raleigh?"
"Yeah. Come on, I'll show you to the dorm building."
The construction drones that were buzzing around when the students had arrived had left the dorm building during the class, and nothing stopped Rebecca from leading the class up to the third floor.
The floor was dominated by a large common area, which included no less than 3 big-screen TVs, several sofas, a kitchenette, and for some odd reason a Twister mat.
Branching off from the common area were two hallways leading to the students' personal rooms, each customized to their unique specifications and with bronze nameplates on the doors denoting who the room belonged to. Some doors bore only one name while others bore two.
"This floor is where you'll all be staying while you attend school here. It has all the basic amenities, and if you want something specific installed, you can put in a request. I'll let you all get used to it."
Edited by PossiblyQuiteInsane on Feb 3rd 2021 at 10:16:25 AM
“Why're there three TVs...?” Flute blinked at the sight of the common room, as it was the first thing that she noticed. The second thing she noticed was the sheer size of the space, and she blinked again in slight disbelief. She thought dorms were normally small. She wasn't sure why.
Maybe this was an exception? It wasn't like she'd ever been in one before...
“Twister...” she noted with a slight cock of her head to one side, looking mildly confused before she shrugged in acceptance. “Okay. Why not.”
As she let her bugs spread out a little, she idly padded towards one of the halls, searching for her name. Only to immediately spin on her heel and backtrack, heading down the opposite hall.
“Wrong way. Here...”
It was odd, seeing her name on a bronze plaque. She simply stared at it and ran her fingers across its surface a moment before snapping out of her trance, opening the door and poking her head inside to look around.
A moment or two later, and she pulled her head out again, looking back towards the others with a small yet nonetheless pleased smile on her face.
“I like it. It's nice.”
Fiona whistled at the sight of the dorms. Her room back at the lab wasn't anything to scoff at, but this was like a rec room or something! Three bigass T Vs, a sofa big enough for her, and even Twister! She loved that game!
Shame she'd barely get to use any of it though.
Her attention soon wandered to the hallways. She wasn't too keen on checking her room just yet, or wouldn't be if it was just her. But sure enough, there was Deedee's name at the end of the hall. Straight under hers.
...damn that was quick.
But hey! If they were gonna be bunkies, the least she could do was show her around, right?
"Guess that's our room, huh? Wanna take a look?"
She took a quick peek. Sure enough, straight on the far end of the room was a large open water tank, walls made of clear heat resistant glass. A ladder was nailed to the side, letting her go in and out as she pleased. A set of swimsuits sat on a rack, ranging anywhere from a leotard to a string bikini. Much as she wanted to toss the whole thing in the nearest ocean, she couldn't blame her tailors for lacking variety, could she?
Edited by kkhohoho on Feb 3rd 2021 at 10:15:48 AM
Curious about who he might be rooming with, Matsuki went ahead to the room denoted with his name. As he entered, he noted the strictly spartan construction - it was made to keep him entertained well enough but not enough to distract from his studies, and comfortable but not indulgent. There was a phone by his bed just in case his mom had a crisis...
And speaking of which.
The phone started ringing, displaying his mother's number.
Matsuki answered the phone, fearing the worst already, "Mom? Is everything alright? Nothing happened, did it?"
"I'm fine, dear. You worry so much! I'm just calling to see how you're doing on your first day and let you know I'll be attending local yoga classes." Matsuki's mother's voice was lively, but even still it was obvious she was weary and had a certain effect to her voice. Like she'd been strangled some time before.
She coughed once, and then Matsuki said, "It's alright mom, I'm...fitting in well enough. You don't need to worry about anything. Everything's great. Normal as can be for this kind of thing."
"I'm glad, dear. I hope you make a lot of friends! See you when you get home." And then the call ended and Matsuki breathed. I only slightly made an ass of myself with my assumptions.
He breathed and decided to try and socialize. He left his room and found his way toward the common room. He was kind of curious about the rest of the school. Maybe a way to repair any damaged bridges so as to avoid having negative repute on his ledger would be to offer to join up to explore the rest of the area?
"W-wow," Nathan murmured, taking in the sight of the common room. "I-it's really...b-big..." Did they really need all this space? "I-I'm gonna go...unpack, now...i-if there's time..."
He slowly slid off his hoodie, then walked over to a somewhat isolated corner and set it down on the floor. Nathan got down on his knees, reached into the hoodie...
...and a few moments later, pulled out an entire suitcase that should by no means have managed to fit inside. He gently set the suitcase down, then pulled his hoodie back on.
"Oh man, this is nice and roomy! Not sure why there's Twister in here though, think they want to encourage us to ship up? Whatever. Anyone noticed my name on their door?"
Lewis clicked his tongue and collapsed onto one of the sofas, retrieving his idly playing silver to play with.
"Pretty sure I don't need any special gear in my room. My problem's not something you can really stop ain't it?"
As the students settled into the dorm to sleep, their rest would be initially easy, but then later on, as the night progressed and the moon hanged high, something lurched out of the forested area surrounding the dorm.
Moaning noises issued out, echoing from the backs of trees, something looking out from behind them one tree at a time before vanishing. A dark shape, blending in too well with the stygian night. Maybe it was just the errant shadows cast by this moon.
Or maybe there were things outside this night.
Strange raking noises on the side of the dorm, knocking at the windows - even windows a story up - and more moaning noises.
All eerie and slowly waking up the students, one by one...
"Matsuki...Matsuki...Matsuki...please, I'm so c-c-cooooold..."
Matsuki lunged awake, having seen some horrible nightmare in the moments before consciousness returned. Though even now he was incapable of remembering even a little of it. So strange...and then he heard a knock at the window to his room. He jumped and landed on the side of his floor, looking at the window.
And seeing four jagged, uneven marks in the glass.
By the time everyone else was sound asleep, Fiona was sitting pretty in her tank. Her ruby red skin and bulging muscles shimmered in the water, with her long blonde hair and deep blue bikini making her a living representation of primary colours. She wasn't one to show off, especially with her looks, but it was pretty comfy. More than she could say for half the suits she had.
But it wasn't like it mattered. She didn't have a clue where Deedee had wandered off to, but wherever she was, it wasn't here. She waited as long as she could, but if she waited any longer, her suit was gonna run out of juice. So the only thing for it was to sit down in her tank and watch the goddamn boob-tube until morning.
Needless to say, she wasn't happy.
By the time they aired The Happening like she was in some private hell, she was hoping for something to break the monotony. As if in answer to her prayers, she heard a strange knocking from the other end of the room, rapping on the window with vigour. But despite her curiosity, she couldn't leap out and see what the fuss was. Not while her suit was charging, and certainly not without setting the rug ablaze.
So she did the smart thing and called out to it like the lazy bastard she was.
"Deedee? That you? If it is you, I am so fucking pissed it's not even funny. But if it ain't, I'm still gonna smash your face on principle. Ya got that?"
Edited by kkhohoho on Feb 19th 2021 at 11:09:54 AM
The first few knocks did nothing to rouse Flute from her sleep, though the swarm of flies and hornets around her buzzed angrily in response to them. Eventually the fourth knock on the window caused her to stir, and the cocoon that'd formed around her in her sleep cracked open—a pale, greenish-yellow slime seeping out as she prised apart the shell with her hands, her breathing soft and quiet as she unfurled her legs from her curled-up position and placed her bare feet against the floor with very little sound.
The swarm of insects continued to buzz ominously, however, and followed her as she cautiously padded over to the window. She pressed a hand against the glass, tilting her head curiously—eventually finding her voice despite her sleepy state, though it regardless was dripping with lethargic mumbling and slight confusion.
“...who's knocking...? You can't come in. This is my room...”
William stirred, waking from a night of strange and unpleasant dreams. He tried to ignore the raking, to go back to sleep, but it soon became far too disconcerting to simply negate, he had to find out what was making that noise. Tentatively, he stepped out of bed and looked out the window. He expected to find an animal of some sort, a squirrel or perhaps a raccoon. This was not the first time something like this had happened, he remembered how the birds would sometimes throw themselves against the walls of his old house in a frenzied attempt to assault his person.
Lewis was not happy to be awake at this hour. A boy like him with his condition needed some heroes-damned good sleep and being woken up by what he initially presumed to be upperclassmen pulling a prank really set his mood into total and utter tired upset. He didn't even bother leaving his bed, instead opting to wrap a pillow over his ears to try and block out the noise and try to regain the blissful state of slumber.
A Bump In the Night - A Scryling's Delight
Those who looked at the windows would just see the evidence of a late night cold storm - wind and rain spattering against the window glass, the trees seeming to twist and turn with the winds. It was dark out until a flash of lightning off in the distance. Which illuminated more of the external area of the dormitories.
The rain seemed to be oddly frozen into black ice in a few spots.
Another curiosity was the visible marks on the windows.
Then the windows went dark again. Matsuki swore as he went to check the window, wondering if there were any lamp posts around here. Usually the reliably dark surroundings would be insulating, would make it feel like they were away from the lights of the city.
But today it felt cold and distant.
Those looking at the windows would find that it was now curiously silent. Everything seemed to halt. Not even the sound of the engines or mechanisms in the building. All things seemed dead quiet...
And then another flash of lightning.
Fiona, Flute, William and Matsuki would immediately see a skull-like grimace mere inches away from them on the other side of the window. Constructed entirely of ice and with larger fangs than a human skull typically had, they would have mere moments to react as the creatures they looked at started clawing with their skeletal limbs at the windows, trying to cut or smash through and get inside.
The icy wraiths sunken eyes seemed faded red, and even inside the students would be able to hear some sort of hissing coming from the monsters.
Across the dorm, more of these creatures, seemingly one or two per student, started climbing the walls and moving toward windows.
Edited by NickTheSwing on Feb 26th 2021 at 1:07:21 AM
Flute flinched back at the flash of lightning and simultaneous flash of something becoming visible staring back at her, and as the horrible scratching started she suddenly found herself gasping and hyperventilating with fear and panic. The realisation that it wasn't just her window only terrified her more, and she backpedaled towards her bed again as she covered her ears in a pained manner.
That scratching was unbearable, and it made her feel nauseous to her core. Out of a desperate attempt to drown out the creature's scrabbling (and perhaps delay them) she let quite possibly the largest swarm of bugs she had ever made rip out from her skin all at once—leaving large jagged tears in her flesh as a black viscous sludge began pouring out from the wounds left behind; the familiar and comparatively more comforting noise of angrily buzzing insects feeling her eardrums as she scrambled towards the door and threw it open.
Where do I go, where do I go, where do I go?!
“H-Help!” she cried out, uncertain what else to shout and merely trying to alert her schoolmates. “H-Help me! Someone please help me!!”
Her swarm had by now converged against the window, putting pressure against the creature's own efforts to break in as they aimed to bite and perhaps even push the thing off of the wall through sheer force of might if it managed to shatter the glass. Flute herself was now glancing desperately around as she flitted from door to door, the nightmarish sounds leaving her lost and confused as to where to go.
Startled by the visage he saw before him, William let out a yelp of fright. Judging from the other shouts he heard, the others were faced with a similar situation. The frost creature didn't appear to be very complex, just a simple elemental of some kind or another. His mouth took upon the ringed and serrated countenance of a lamprey as he began to siphon the integrity from the creature's form.
Egh, more scratching noises? Alright, that was it Lewis was getting out of bed and grabbing his fidget silver for defense purposes. Rolling his shoulders back he took up a stance near the door but facing the window.
"Last warning, you break in here and I'm gonna shank you with the sharpest blade I can make with this stuff..."
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