"I saw another one today." a male student whispered to another while hiding in a dark ally of the school grounds. He glanced both ways to make sure nobody besides the group of four students were eavesdropping in on the conversation before continuing. "One of those filthy half breeds. Looks like a cross with a freakin' iguana or something. Disgusting thing." "Eh? The school has seriously lowered their standards this year. Just what are they trying to pull?" a girl said, disgust clearly evident in her tone. "What the hell? I paid good money to go here thinking that they would keep those things far away." Said the second of the two boys "I bet they're forming an army to wipe out the normal humans. Don't trust them for anything." a third boy said. His dark green eyes narrowed with rage. "They want us to just accept these monsters as if they're human, and then it will be too late. Why can't the others see this?!" "If we don't stop them, who knows how far this new "equality" crap of theirs can spread." the first boy said. "If this school starts filling up with them..." the disdain and hatred was clear in the boy's tone as he spoke "Don't worry. I heard that there's some sort of group that is trying to get them all barred from coming here. That'll put them back in their place soon enough." the last boy assured them with a smooth tone. "I also heard they're recruiting mem-" "Hey you, opening evaluations will begin in 10 minutes!" A woman in a business suit shouted at them as she passed by, waving them over. "Don't want to be late on your first day!" stated the teacher as she tilted her head toward the school, as if to say 'get going' to the boys. "Yeah yeah, we're going." shouted one of the boys just before he and his friends walked off toward the various evaluation locations. ================================================================================== Vincento's first day at New Peaks went about as well as expected. Upperclassmen were mostly polite, with a couple hardasses or bullies among them, Underclassmen were about the same. So far it seemed like any normal school. But then he got to the challenge board and saw just how different it was. Having been tested for his combat aptitude the entire day, he was not so much looking to fight as he was simply intrigued by the fact so many students WANTED to fight so early in the year. He'd tested incredibly well, ranking in at C2 despite only being a first year. In fact, he saw that a couple people had put him down as a requested opponent. He deserved his rank, after the tests he had just went through. Tests of endurance, reflexes, and athleticism were first. Then when you were good and warmed up (or tired in some cases) came the demonstrations. Shows of techniques on both dummy targets AND willing volunteers in the case of testing one for their ability to defend against an attack. Naturally, Vincento did quite well. His senses helped him to recognize a couple of the moves that the volunteers came at him with, and his Hapkido training handled the ones he didn't know. In the end, he earned that C2-Rank... and no one could tell him otherwise. So distracted was Vincento by the fact his name was already being tossed around by students who were there on their second year or higher, that he didn't... or rather COULDN'T react in time to avoid bumping into another student. "Oh, le mie scuse." he smiled and looked to the other student. "Sorry, I am still used to speaking mostly Italian." Indeed, while he knew English, he had lived in Italy nearly his entire life, and was more comfortable speaking his native language. "So tell me, who might you be?. Are you a first-year, too? Or are you an upperclassman? I actually just finished my placement testing. C-Two, if you can believe it." ... and then he realized just how rude he was being. "Mi dispiace. I am Vincento Sarconni de Palermo. It's a bit of a mouthful to foreigners, so you can just call me Vincent if you like." he extended his hand in greeting, but watched the other student's movements very carefully. If they happened to be one of the people who wanted to fight him, this would be an opportunity to strike pre-emptively. Should they engage in hostility, he would quickly counter with a joint-lock or throw. If not, then a handshake was just a handshake. As it turned out, he bumped into the wrong person... Shotaro Yanmei, head of the school's "Imperius Gloria" faction. Many of the students stared in shock and waited to see what one of New Peaks' elite students did to this apparently clumsy new kid. "Vincent, huh? Well lemme tell you something, Vince." said Shotaro as he shook the Italian boy's hand. "You seem a pleasant enough sort, so I'll let you in on something I've learned over the last couple years here." Vincento was eager to learn from a more experienced student and a bit overwhelmed by everything he had done thus far today, so he was curious and let down his guard. That was a mistake... "Don't bump into people unless you're itching to fight." Before Vincento could react, Shotaro delivered a forceful knee to his stomach. Not quite enough to bring him to the floor, but more than enough to leave him gasping for breath. "There's your first lesson. Free of charge." said Shotaro before turning and walking away with two of his friends. It seemed like Vincento was off to a rough start at New Peaks. But would that trend continue? As he crouched on one knee and coughed heavily, all he could do was hope it didn't.