Mai Child

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Original poster
Out in the middle of an expansive ocean, just beyond the setting sun, a large yacht could be seen making its way to a very distant piece of land, an island surrounded by the ocean. That currently miniscule piece of land was the home of Fuka Academy, long known to be the top of the line for educating young minds. And this yacht was filled with various students, all of who were headed for the Academy. Some came from wealthy families, others got lucky and recieved scholarships to attend. Either way, it was an honor to even make it there. And as such, the excessively large yacht was their travel as night-And the Academy- approached.

On the deck of the ship, an orange-haired girl leaned on the railing as the fiery sun began to set below the horizon, the sky ablaze. This girl, Kaede, stood up from the railing and began to look around with a sigh. She gazed at all the students, some freshmen, like herself. Others were second or third years, who she admired. She hadn't changed into her uniform yet, the same as a large majority of the passengers. Instead, she was wearing a red top with a rather casual pair of light blue jeans. Finally, her feet were covered with sandals, her shoe of choice. Her twin sister, Sae, was around a few minutes ago. Kaede sighed as she assumed Sae was elsewhere, but brightened up a bit as she tilted her head, looking around for something to do. She didn't really feel like swimming in the enormous pool...Maybe she would just lay down for a bit...After all, the breeze was really nice...

And so Kaede sat down against the railing, yawning a bit as she watched the sun steadily descend as she fiddled with the neckace on her neck, shaped like a silver arrow, but much smaller. This was her birthday gift from Sae, about a month or two after their mother had gone off with her travelling vacation. Unfortunately, she had forgotten to leave enough money for the bills AND the food, so the two of them getting scholarships was a blessing. "Mmm...I hope I'm ready...", she whispered while turning the arrow around a few times.
Ah, this was nice. With the scholarship to go to Fuuka Academy Sae and Kaede wouldn't have to worry about one set of financial woes, and could get to actually enjoying their lives more. Sae was getting a good start to it by watching the ocean go by from a chair in the shade. Of course she had one eye kept constantly on her sister, in case something happened, but it was nice to know that the coming days would be filled with normal stuff, like worrying about homework and who liked who.

And yet, Sae could not help but be suspicious.

The scholarship had arrived completely unsolicited, without Sae or Kaede or their parents having applied for it. It just..showed up one day, a crisp little envelope in the mail. You weren't supposed to look a gift horse in the mouth but this was a very strange horse, to say the least. She had an appointment set aside with the admissions office after they got there, so she could ask in more detail. It was probably nothing.

Sae was herself completely different from her sister; whereas Kaede had her bright orange hair, hers was as black as hair could be. She was wearing her old school uniform, partly out of habit, partly because it was just about the only outfit she had. She had always wondered about their differences, and if Kaede was really her biological sister...but Sae cared for her nonetheless, and worked to make her life as happy as possible. Which meant funneling money from her wardrobe into Kaede's.
Hotaru had been all over this ship and there weren't many people aboard. She was thankful to her parents for funding her tuition at the Fuuka Academy but would it have killed them to pay attention to her when she told them that she wanted to go on a ship where she could mingle a little bit. At least they let her take one of the cars so she could take vacations around the island.

Her parents were wonderful everyone but her it seemed. They constantly were having parties at their mansion and it was a rare day that they slowed down from their business to even say hi to her. Recently they had begun two overseas branches for their company one in Korea and the other in the United States so both of her parents were taking extended leaves from home to work in each. Just the thought of her parents not even seeing her off to school was enough to irritate Hotaru.

As she wandered about she decided to head up to the upper deck and at least watch boat approach the academy's island. With a sigh she glanced around, noticing a couple of girls, one standing at the railing and the other sitting on a chair out of the setting sun's light.

Finally! Someone to talk to! This boat was really going to suck. Huh, they look familiar. Hotaru thought, stepping over to the girls. As she drew closer their faces came swimming back to her memory. "AH! The Matsumaya twins! It's good to see you both again, it's been a long time hasn't it?" Hotaru gushed, she could've shot herself, she hated running into connections from her family, however outwardly neither would be the wiser.
Nanoka Bitparkte was also sitting on the upper deck; her delicate finger trailed down a page from a book she had been reading. She had been sitting there since they set off, reading and studying the people around her. Three particular girls stood out, though and as they began talking, she turned up her headphones. As the indie rock music blared in her ears, she gave one of them a slight smile and a wave.
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Wind went through her blonde hair as she sat there; once she glanced at the words on the page, she began to zone out. Something felt strange…however, everything felt strange since she left <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place>Okinawa</st1:place>. The minute she kissed her parents goodbye, things seemed to change for her.
Let's just hope that this goes well… She thought to herself, idly poking at the bracelet on her right arm. For a moment, it burned. Nano wore those bracelets ever since her grandmother had given them to her, claiming that "she had no use for them anymore". They were heavy and old…so the girl had no problem taking them off of her elder's hands. Fixing her glasses, she sighed and snapped out of her trance. Going back to her book, she still couldn't shake the feeling of something looming.
Ren was stretched out on the roof of the Administrator's building, enjoying the sight of the clouds. He could feel the presence of the HiME growing closer and he wondered if he should test them. They were not picked to attend <st1:place><st1:PlaceName>Fuka</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType>Academy</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> due to scores; it was something else they wanted. Battle Princesses needed to be prepared and fully awakened by the end of the next semester.
Groaning, he sat up and looked across the water, eyeing the ship.
With a snap of his fingers, a couple of Orphans materialized and slithered behind him. He smirked and pointed out to the water. "Go, and see if these girls are ready for what's up ahead." The creatures slithered away and were gone. Soon, they would arrive at the ship and test the girls.
"AH! The Matsumaya twins! It's good to see you both again, it's been a long time hasn't it?"

Sae looked up at the girl who was greeting her (and blocking her view...)
"..I'm sorry, do I know you?"

It was an honest question; she had no idea who the girl was, or why she was there. It wasn't often people came up to her already knowing her name, as Sae's family stayed out of any major news, and the sisters certainly didn't look like twins...
"You don't know who I am hm? Well that's certainly a pity. I remember the two of you. It was a long time ago, at the Fujimoto manor, my home?" She smiled briefly. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed another girl with glasses wave to her and she returned it before putting her gaze back onto Sae. Or is it Kaede...I could never be bothered to remember which was which.

A memory popped up in Hotaru's mind. she was much younger and had on a brand new kimono her parents had given her. She was so excited to wear it to the formal dinner that they were having later that night, all the richest and most influential people her family knew would be there, including the Matsumaya family, the twins included. She liked playing with the twins even though they were a little bit younger, and they at least payed attention to her.

"I'm sure you at least recall the name Fujimoto, at very least you should." Hotaru laughed loudly, brushing her long purple ponytail off her shoulder as she snapped back into present day, staring directly at Sae.
Suzume breathed in the ocean air, the smell full of nostalgia for her. Her parents having been wealthy enough to pay her full tuition, she had attended Fuka Academy since she had been old enough to enroll. It helped that she was bright as well as the only child for them to dote on as well. Now though she was one of the top dogs on campus, having been there for so long. She wasn't sure how the freshmen knew, but whenever she approached it was as if they sensed she was an upperclassmen and clammed up to her.

Suzume couldn't blame them though, she had been the same way when she first arrived. She supposed it was because she was older looking and already had the school uniform on. As she walked along the side of the ship, her fingers trailing the rail, she saw a congregation of a few students talking amongst each other. Suzume hoped that because they were in a group and knew each other, they would be more likely to talk to her.

Walking up to them, Suzume gave a friendly wave to them, smiling but not yet saying anything. Hotaru still talking to the girls when she arrived and waited until they had finished speaking before saying, "Welcome to Fuka Academy. I am your Vice President Takashi Suzume. I don't seem to recognize any of you, so is it safe to assume you're all new coming in?"
"Fujimoto..." Sae thought. Where had she heard that name before...oh, right, one of her father's business partners. now she'd have to deal with one of the rich socialite bastards that her parents dragged her off to see, in the hopes that more of their class would rub off on their eldest daughter. Hopefully Fujimoto wouldn't be too bad...but given her past experience with such people, Sae wasn't seeing bright futures ahead.

The part where Fujimoto was blocking her view of the glittering ocean was a more literal version of that.

Takahashi seemed more interesting. "...Matsumaya Sae.", she said, replying to the vice-president's greeting with a slight nod. A thought occurred to her; the girl had to have been to the school for some time to hold a position in the student council, and might be more upfront about any strangeness than the officials.

"...Say, Takahashi? Does anything...strange go on at Fuuka Academy?"
Hotaru blinked idly as Sae thought about it, drawing some irritation from the amount of thought the girl clearly had to put into it. They had spent enough time at the Fujimoto manor that she should have fond memories of their hospitality. She was just about to begin yelling at the girl but stopped short, having yet another girl step over, introduce herself and proceed to ask if they were new students, much to Hotaru's amusement.

"My, what a thick headed girl you must be!" Hotaru laughed, patting her VP on the back a little more roughly then she intended to, "I am your superior. I am the president, and I hope you won't be as dim when you are tasked with projects for me!" Hotaru smirked, raising a finger to her lips in ponderous thought. Then Sae asked the strange question and that sent a shiver down Hotaru's spine. Does she know something? Could she be...
Orchidia couldn't be bothered to get out of the pool to go say hello to the other girls, although she was very curious about her fellow classmates. It seemed like the sun was sapping from her every once of energy that she might have used to make her way over to them, anyway. The salty ocean breeze that tickled her nose made her feel even sleepier, a lullaby often sung to her in the cradle of her mother's arms. In truth, her memories of the voyages were vague and she could only faintly recall being a small child nestled to her mother's breast, being rocked to sleep in her arms as the ocean rolled calmly away from her.

Orchidia let her eyelids droop but fought to stay awake since she was floating aimlessly in the pool. She chided herself, it would be dangerous to lay here and sleep since drowning was a possibility. There was also the worry of falling asleep in the sun and burning her skin through and through, even if it didn't seem very probably with Orchidia's skin so resilient to burning or even tanning. Orchidia splayed her hands over her stomach, marveling in the creamy pale complexion that seemed pale even compared to her nails, painted a flowery pink.

Orchidia wished that she had someone to talk to, someone that she knew and could trust but instead she had to content herself with listening to the other girls talk and plucking at her bubblegum pink bikini every so often in boredom.
At the arrival of the Vice President of Fuka Academy, Nano removed her headphones, turned the music off and placed the large book into her rucksack. She had been sitting just close enough to the other girls, that she could almost be a part of the conversation. She could recognize a couple of the girls, however, she wasn't too sure if they remembered her or not.

Last year, all I did was make money off of their lack of studying. I hid away from the kids and lived in my own little cave of books and pens. No social life at all...

Nano zipped up her bag and stretched. During the break, she had vowed that this year she would at least make friends. Determined to at least speak to her classmates, the Student Council Treasurer looked over and smiled at Suzume.

"I'm Nanoka Bitparkte, the Student Council Treasurer." Her ear twitched at the mention of strange things happening at the Academy. Sure, there had been strange occurances over the two years she had been there, but things seemed to get worse the older she became. She fixed her glasses and removed her hat, smiling kindly to a girl in a pink bikini.

"Is this your first time at the academy?" Nano asked the girl, motioning for her to sit down on the bench beside her. Hopefully, her attempts at socializing were not in vain.

The sun was close to setting and that made a smug grin come across Ren's face. His eyes were intense, yet seemed to be dancing with enjoyment. Arms crossed over his chest, he watched as the ship grew closer. Many of the HiME seemed to be grouped together and the thought made his grin wider.

"It will begin very soon, my HiME. Very soon..." Anticipation rising, the boy watched the oncoming ship closely.
Kaede heard a sudden increase in volume, and noticed the rather sizable group across the ship. She pulled herself up using the railing, and stretched before heading over there herself. She heard the very end of the introductions, and immediately stood next to Sae, almost seeming to hide behind her a bit, as she whispered in her twin's ear.

"She's the president? And...the other one is our vice president?"

Kaede made a barely noticeable gesture to the president, Hotaru. She seemed familiar....But barely so.
Under the ocean surface the serpentine Orphans began to slither closer and closer to the incoming ship, and the sky began to darken, signalling the approach of night.
"Yes...Hotaru and Suzume. W might be seeing a fair bit of them.."
Memories of her time at the Fujimoto girl's house was coming back to her. Mostly they covered time spent trying to relax and enjoy the scenery when Hotaru would bug her for attention.

Something told her that would continue on into the future. The boat shook suddenly, interrupting their conversation, and then started rocking back and forth with the waves, when it had previously been almost perfectly level. Now water was sloshing out of the pool and the other girls were having trouble keeping their footing.

A large serpent rose out of the water, raising it's head above the deck of the ship. Sae stood up to watch it, while others showed up on the other sides of the ship.
"Kaede? Stay behind me..."
Hotaru looked at the girls gathered around, but took a special interest in Nanoka, the treasurer, another member of her presidential staff.

"Well you look like the reliable sort Miss, I hope you aren't as useless as my vice president here." With a boisterous laugh she tossed her hair again turning to look out over the rails. As she did the boat rocked wildly and Hotaru stumbled back as a large serpentine creature rose out of the water. Hotaru furrowed her brow as she looked at it. An Orphan? Here? Tch, what luck. Looks like I'll have to actually do some work today... She groaned internally.

"ALRIGHT! EVERYONE GET BELOW DECK!" Hotaru turned, throwing her hand out and pointing to the door, shoving Suzume towards the door roughly. "YOU! USELESS GIRL! HELP GET EVERYONE OUT OF THE WAY AND BELOW DECK! I'LL BE RIGHT BEHIND THE GROUP! DON'T EVEN THINK OF ARGUING, AS YOUR SUPERIOR THIS IS AN ORDER!" Hotaru shouted at her.
Kaede stumbled back, falling down as she stared upwards at the serpent-esque Orphan, water dripping off its head, wetting her clothes a bit.
"A...ah....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Wha-....Sae....What is that?!"

As Hotaru made her verdict, Kaede ran to the door that led to the ladder that would take her below deck. She frantically climbed down the ladder, scared out of her mind. A sudden movemenet of the ship caused her wet hand to slip on the cold metal, and she began plummeting, reaching out her hands desperately, trying to grip something, anything. By some godly stroke of luck, her hand gripped onto a rung of the ladder, taking heavy breaths as she descended the remainder of the way a lot slower, her hand red from the grip she was applying now. She sighed as she finally landed on solid ground, inhaling and exhaling as she waited for her brain to catch up with her body, her clothes dripping water on the marble floor she now rested on.
Nano stood behind Hotaru and bit her lip. It figured that things would turn crazy. Tossing her knapsack to the side, the bracelets on her arms began to grow warm.

More were coming.

"You heard what the president said, get below!" Her eyes focused on the chaos around them, she frantically led a few students to the ladder and slipped the minute Kaede disappeared below. As she was about to say more, one of the serpents landed just behind the compartment and slithered down. On it's way, the tail end smashed into Hotaru. "Agh!" Nanoka just barely managed to shield both her and the student council president. They both crashed into the railing behind them.

Students and deckhands ran like chickens with their heads cut off, the moment another one of the creatures blocked the exit. Panicked screams came at them from all directions as Nano grunted and raised herself from the wet floor. "That girl is down there! And the other students!" She held a hand out to help Hotaru and soon stood beside her. Screeching, the creature narrowed it's sights on the two girls and swung at them.

Closing her eyes, she let the warmth of the bracelets wash through her body. Two scimitars appeared in her hands and she looked over at the girl next to her. The taste of sulfur on her tongue, a cough accompanied with a little puff of smoke that followed afterwards. Nano only had a moment to swing her weapons and knock the creature's attack away. "Hey, how's that for useful?" She chuckled.

Meanwhile, the creature below slithered towards Kaede...
Orchidia floundered in the water of the pool, scrambling out as best she could and fleeing to below deck where she had seen another girl run, followed by the others running after her. The creature seemed to have other plans, however. With a frown, she realized she was really nothing more than hapless prey clutching a small metal rod, because she couldn't have stood to leave her precious flute behind. Thus, Orchidia settled on frowning at the monster, looking a little peculiar bedecked all in pink and giving her most intimidating glare.

As the creature approached another one of the girls, Orchidia could tell that she, alone because she was farthest away, had the greatest potential to escape over the deck.

"Come here, brute!"

Rashly, hoping to draw the creature's attention, she drew her flute and began to playing loud, repetitive sequences. A thin mist she could barely discern, a combination of the mist being very thin and her attention being consumed elsewhere prevented her from seeing this mist, however, but to the eyes she took on a slightly blurred appearance. Orchidia watched the creature intently as it paused to absorb the presence of hectic vibrations behind it, ready to bolt at any provocation.

Orchidia could feel the eyes sliding toward her and she instantly regretted it. She wanted to shout back at it to nevermind, go back to devouring the others, but she was fairly certain the social stigma of that would be pretty great if they happened to survive. Random bouts of selflessness were not common for Orchidia and she could only attribute this usual happening to the distaste she had for watching large creatures eat vulnerable girls.

Clearly the gore was the problem here, it was so obvious. She didn't want to see the girls get eaten - it would have ruined her day, she rationalized.
"URGH!" Hotaru cried out as her back slammed into the guard rail on the side of the boat, Nanoka had protected her and for that she was thankful. I haven't seen these kinds of Orphans before... With a shocked expression Hotaru watched as Nanoka formed flame blades and deflected another water serpent's attack.

"Well, you're actually useful, but allow me to aid you." Hotaru smiled at the girl a rainbow light flashing around her hands and forming into a large gun. A loud click resounded as she raised it up and fired a large beam of white almost crystaline light at the serpent, making it cry out and whip Hotaru again, knocking her off to the side. "UGH! THAT'S IT! I'M GOING TO DESTROY YOU FOR THAT!" She cried, firing another shot at the creature.
Suzume scratched her head in embarrassment at having not remembered her own president's face. She was terrible at recognizing people she hadn't seen for a while, and it showed again here. Her president, Hotaru, was the loud outgoing type that was befitting of a president. Suzume was much more reserved and served as a suitable counterpart to her. Before she could answer any questions, the Orphans attacked and Hotaru, rather rudely though justifiable given the circumstances, shoved her towards the door leading below deck, tasking her with the safety of the other passengers.

While Suzume would've loved to have helped assist Hotaru, she knew that her strength was needed to protect those who couldn't against the Orphans. She called out to a loud voice to the passengers, directing them to the lower sections of the ship. She stood right outside the ladder, calling others to safety when an Orphan appeared in their midst. Before she could take action, another girl, Orchidia began to distract the creature with the playing of her flute. This allowed the stragglers to finally go below to safety.

Suzume pulled out her sickle, ready to release her abilities, when she noticed that Orchidia's music playing wasn't normal, but rather the awakening of her powers. Realizing that to interfere would hinder the process, she stood back and watched, only willing to step in should Orchidia be unable to take down the Orphan.

There was now a giant snake facing down Sae.




With men, even despicable men, there was an expectation that when you had your fun with them they'd be alive and not permamently mutilated or anything. Giant snakes had no such restrictions. She could do anything-anything-she wanted to it and nobody would call her out for it. The thought was intoxicating, enough for her to fail to notice Kaede's troubles, or Hotaru calling out her gun, or really anything other than what pain she could visit upon the creature before her.

She called out her cane, the elegant black wood and silver forming in her open hand. With a smooth, practiced motion she drew the blade, her heart pounding as she walked up to the monster. It reared up to attack her, only for the shadows cast on it in the evening light to suddenly bind it and drag it crashing into the deck, immobilizing the thing.

Sae walked up close to it, feeling the creature's breaths blow hot air over her, noting the smooth scales it had on the bottom, and feeling of it's blood rushing through it's veins.

She looked it straight in it's gigantic eyes, smiling as she petted the thing.

Then she cut open it's neck and watched it die.

It was exhilarating, watching the hot blood pour out onto the deck while it's eyes flitted about in panic before settling on her in terror as the life faded from it. was a little bit after the thing died that she came back to her senses, noting that there were other girls with similar abilities, and that they had been too preoccupied with their fights to note the intense pleasure she took from this.

Tonight was shaping up to be great.