P.R.C.U.: An Institute For The Extraordinarily Gifted

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lord Wraith, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. "Because I was born this way, I've got lightning running through my veins."
    ~An Institute for the Extraordinarily Gifted~
    | In Character | Out Of Character |

    "You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor."

    he quad rotor plane slowly circled around the city before descending into Winnipeg. Flying towards the smoking building, the plane's wings shifted into their vertical position as it went into a hover and lowered towards the ground. Officers of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police moved towards the vehicle, covering their faces from the vicious upwind that the rotor blades created as the landing ramp was lowered from the vehicle. Exiting from the plane, a man in a long black trench coat and a black beret walked towards the officers, flanked by three other similar dressed people.

    "What happened here?" The lead man asked, his rich Irish accent coming through with every word as he looked towards the once glistening building. The silver windows stained with smoke, as fire crews worked to clear away the rubble from a collapsed wall.

    "Someone broke into the primary vault, ripped it apart. We were instructed to give you a call, looked like it was one of yours that did it." The RCMP officer said as he directed the man forward.

    "One of 'mine', wouldn't have done it." The Commander said marching forward. "You've been targeted by someone who's chosen to abuse their talents."

    The officer rolled his eyes as he followed behind the man as the group made their way towards the wreckage of the Royal Canadian Mint's primary vault. Most of the building seem fine, until they came upon the area which housed the vault. Twisted and broken metal spilled out into the hallway as the group rounded the corner and came face to with the worst of it. The site where a wall once stood was blocked off by crime scene tape and wind was blowing freely down the hallway as nothing stood to obstruct the building's interior from the elements. Stepping over the rubble, Command Killain O'Bran took a look around carefully examining the scene in front of them.

    "Have you determined what they took?" O'Bran asked as he peered inside the vault, taking note everything as his keen eyes darted back and forth.

    "We haven't found anything missing, doesn't even look like they were after anything. Simply just extremists making a point." The RCMP Officer answered from outside the vault as Killian turned around and moved towards him. "But it does certainly look like a Hype ripped the vault open." He added motioning towards the wreckage as O'Bran stepped over a twisted girder.

    "I believe you're wrong Officer." The Command stated as he kneeled down to take a closer look at the warped metal. "Someone broke out of your vault."

    "That doesn't make any sense." The Officer said in disbelief. "If they got into the vault without making all this mess, why create it to get back out."

    Turning to the officer, Commander O'Bran pulled out a cigar and lit it as he motioned to his squad to begin securing the area. "Take a full inventory, verify that nothing has been taken. Lock the area down and secure all security footage, call in the rest of the squad, we're going to need to perform a full investigation." Taking a drag of the cigar, O'Bran turned back to speak to the Officer as he started to walk away. "To answer your question, it's simple. Someone wanted S.H.I.F.T.'s attention."

    unlight warmed Aiden's already tanned skin as he floated aimlessly around the large pool located in the University dorm courtyard. Adjusting his sunglasses, Aiden reached forward for his can of Mountain Dew as he lifted the pop to his mouth and took a refreshing drink. While he could have easily done this all summer, he had actually took summer courses which had just finished a week ago in order to give the students a break before the Fall term. New students had been arriving all weekend, however the only one who was recently added to the Team 21 roster arrived a few months ago. Aiden had seen him on a campus a few times but aside from him, it looked to be the same team as last year which Aiden had no problem with. It wasn't that he had a problem with new people, Aiden was in fact a very sociable person however, no new team members meant no one had left whether by graduating or otherwise. That's what made Aiden happy as he struggled with people leaving especially friends.

    Looking around the edge of the pool through his tinted lenses, Aiden took in the wonderful sights of some of the ladies of P.R.C.U. lounging about in their own swimwear. While the school uniforms left plenty to the imagination, these did not and it was always a refreshing change to see everyone in their casual wear free of the monotonous forced wardrobe. Feeling his eyes begin to burn slightly, Aiden decided he'd be best to change the topic of his thoughts least he ruin another pair of sunglasses with an unwanted optical discharge.

    "Yo Roth!" A familiar voice called as Aiden sat up on the inflatable plastic chair he had been lounging on, looking around for Bruce's smug face.

    "Can't you see I'm busy here?" Aiden called back sarcastically with a smug look of his own as he raised a hand to shield his vision from the sun. Despite wearing sunglasses, the sun was still blinding as it hung out directly overhead pelting his skin with it's sensational rays. Suddenly something hit him in the chest and Aiden fell backwards, the sound of splashing water was amplified by the cries of sunbathers who were caught by the spray. Spitting out the salt water of the pool, Aiden popped his head out of the surface as he saw a volleyball floating nearby. The sound of laughter echoed through the courtyard as Aiden looked over at Bruce and two others who were nearly killing themselves with mirth.

    "Grab the ball and c'mon! We're heading over to the beach!" Bruce called as Aiden hauled himself out of the pool, grabbing his towel from a nearby chair whilst apologizing to the girls for splashing them. Tossing the ball into the air towards Bruce, he opened his eyes and fired a concussive blast launching the ball hard as Bruce caught it and fell backwards.

    "Why the rush down to the beach?" Aiden asked as he extended a hand to help Bruce up with a laugh.

    "Shark's down there, said he'd manipulate the waves to allow us to surf." Bruce answered as he stood up and began walking.

    "I don't have a surfboard though." Aiden said as he tilted his head to knock some water out of his ear.

    "You don't need it, we're going body surfing." Bruce grinned as Aiden reluctantly followed behind him. Moving through the campus, the school was alive with students enjoying the last day of summer before having to return to stuffy classrooms and stiff uniforms tomorrow. Trucks drove by, moving and back and forth between the port where new students were coming to the island from the ferry, staff and parents alike helping to move them in. Walking over to a small garage, Bruce flashed his student ID card as the attendant scanned it before the small group walked over to what was once a desert patrol vehicle before it had been retired and stripped down to a dune buggy. Climbing inside, Bruce took the driver's seat as he started the engine and pulled out of the garage before flooring and driving towards the beach. Provided you had acquired a valid driver's license, the school implanted that information into your student ID card allowing you to borrow vehicles to make travel significantly faster over the campus. Some of the older students were even able to rent vehicles on the mainland for when they visited.

    The ride down to the beach went by quickly, as the agile vehicle made its way through the forest trail and down onto the sandy dunes. Bruce brought the vehicle to a halt, pulling up alongside others that had already been parked at the far edge of the beach. Climbing out of the dune buggy, Aiden gazed around at the sea of students getting the most of every last second of their summer that they could. Volleyballs flew high in the air as several games were going on and Frisbees whipped by, one student ever changing into a dog to chase his. High waves hovered over the beach, their size challenging the cliffs that surrounded the inlet before the students controlling them sent them back to sea so as not to flood the sandy dunes. Adjusting his sunglasses, Aiden looked at the rest of the beach as it was covered in sunbathers, males and females and swimsuits of all kinds.

    "Don't just gawk Roth! C'mon!" Bruce urged as he began to jog through the hot sand and Aiden followed behind him. Seeing a familiar face, Aiden suddenly veered away as Bruce continued to the water before the sound of a large splash caught Aiden's attention as he turned and watched Bruce get sent sprawling by Shark as the latter slammed him with a pillar of water. Shaking his head, Aiden continued towards two girls, a blonde in a skull bikini, and his friend Desiree, a brunette in a tasseled bikini.

    "Hey Des! Enjoying the last day of..." He paused looking around as he noticed the blonde was no longer nearby. "Where'd your friend go?" He asked hesitantly as Desiree just gave him a confused but amused look.

    "Think you've been out in the sun too long there Roth." She teased as Aiden scratched his head.

    "Seriously? There was no one there? Blonde, pigtails, black bikini with a skull embroidered on it?"

    "Nope!" She replied in a sing song voice as Aiden shook his head.

    "Huh, so anyways how has your summer gone? I haven't seen you on campus since the spring?" He asked as he tried to recover the conversation.

    "It was good, I wasn't on campus for the summer though. I took a job with an activist company, working towards Hyperhuman rights." Desiree replied, though she seemed distant, almost aloof as though she wasn't interested in the conversation.

    "Oh awesome, out there fighting the good fight for all of us then." Doing his best to breath life into the conversation, Aiden was beginning to get the impression that Desiree was no longer interested as her gaze went towards a large Herculean built student.

    "Yeah something like that." Desiree replied weakly with a thin smile.

    "Well I think I've embarrassed myself enough for one day. Catch you in class sometime!" Aiden said as he walked away still baffled at what had just happened. He knew Desiree as they had a few courses together but come to think of it, he had never seen her use her power. Not that it really mattered, Aiden had other people he could talk to. Looking towards the water, he saw Bruce riding the wave that Shark was controlling, he had to admit that did look like fun. Aiden however wasn't really into just jumping into the sea yet though, seeing some other members of Team '21' Blackjack, Aiden decided perhaps it would be better to go talk to them. After all they would all be going on the year kick off camping trip with Tempest this week.
    #1 Lord Wraith, Jul 28, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
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  2. From left to right there were people hustling and bustling as far as the eye could see. Truth be told, the fact that this was more of a cove left for a limited view on the sides. Never the less, it was quite a large spot, for Dutch standards.
    As any proper Dutch, the blonde was sitting right there at the beach as well. A trademark feature it seemed sometimes. The instant the weather cleared up, all folk packed up their stuff and headed down to the sandy shores. And Emma was no different.

    A parasol, borrowed from the schools' pool facilities, was jammed into the ground, providing shade. Judging by the size, it would still provide ten minutes of shade before disappearing. Not really wanting to chance it on having the thing fade just when she'd be busy with something else, Emma got up from her spot.
    "Sorry guys, just a second."
    Grabbing a hold of the pole, Emma collapsed the thing into its original folded position, and sent it back to the spot where she had found it.

    "Em, you leaving?" One of the girls that had been making use of the shade asked.

    "Nah, just preparing so it won't fade in a few minutes." She had wanted to say it a little less clunky, but even after being here a year, she didn't quite fully grasp the right, more 'expensive', words to express herself, like she would have in her home language.
    Focussing her energy, nearly automatically closing her eyes to visualize the parasol's location, Emma summoned a portal to send it right into her hands.
    "Incoming!" She warned, as the large length came crashing in.
    The thing wasn't exactly light, so Emma had to be careful not to drop it, or swing someone across the back of the head by accident. Last time that happened, it wasn't pretty.

    "A little help here? Maybe?"
    One of the ATLAS Classification was quick to step in, take the thing from her arms and jam it right down into the ground.

    "No problem." The guy, probably one of the older years, as Emma recognized the face, but not the name, said before running off and splashing right into the high waves.

    Emma dropped down onto her towel, which she had remarkably brought with her, along with her bathing suit so neither of them would poof on her. Having your clothes or towel disappear from you was not something she wanted to go through, ever, again.
    What she did borrow was a whole range of sunblocks and and other variations. Enough for anyone to use as they saw fit. What could she say, she was a walking, breathing, backpack.

    Spotting Aiden walking over to where she and a few other of team 21 were hanging out, she smiled and waved.
    "Aiden, hey." She called. "How has your summer been?"
    She scooted over and sent a few of the bottles back to their origin to create a bit of room.
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  3. "Puggles? Puggles!" Minnie moved around the dorm's hallway, yelling above the background murmur of voices and music that played the soundtrack to the last of the summer holiday. She came to a junction and looked left, moving to her right as she saw it was both empty and a dead-end fire exit, and stubbing her toe on a stack of books left outside someone's door. She tried to repress a swear but gave up, cursing fiercely under her breath and she lent down to rub her foot through her thin pumps. "Oh, I swear to god mister, if I waste much more of my day looking for you I'm going to induce you into a steak and command you into th-" she stopped herself mid-threat. Command. Command him. With the psychic link. That she had a constant mild connection with at all times anyway.

    Sometimes, you forgot you were a Hype. It was, in all honestly, surprisingly easy.

    She sighed at herself and then sat down against the wall, crossing her legs, folding her hands in her lap, and closing her eyes. She focused to calm her mind and then poked at the one single strand of thought that wouldn't respond. It poked back and Minnie mentally seized it, latching and wrestling what she could from it. She opened her eyes and growled a single word. "Kitchens." Of course.


    She retrieved Puggles quickly after that, and with him in arms and a piece of bacon keeping him from whining, Minnie set off for the beach. Aiden had mentioned he'd be heading there earlier in the day, and she had no reason not to go. Aiden was certainly the closest friend she had on the team, and perhaps at all (apart from Puggles, though maybe he didn't count), and she shouldn't seal herself up on a day like this, with the fall term closing in so frighteningly rapidly. She was wearing leggings, trainers, and a loose top, but the bag slung on her shoulder had a one-piece swimsuit in it. She wasn't sure if she'd wear it - it was rather form-hugging, and she wasn't as comfortable with flaunting her body as she once had been. Puggles looked up at her from her arms and licked her neck. Minnie smiled.

    The walk would have taken about an hour, but Minnie didn't walk. She'd ridden. Inducing Puggles took contact and time but far less effort than she'd once had to put into it, and with six legs and psychic commanding, MonsterPuggles had galloped to the coastline in about twenty minutes. Minnie thought of stopping and Puggles complied, his large snout sniffing at the sea air, massive tongue lounging out of thick, fang-barbed lips. He snatched at a low-flying bird and Minnie shuddered at his desires that ran through her mind - and then cricked her neck as the psychic link dropped and Puggles began to growl, then make a strange bark-roar combination sound, and then, before he could get loose and the aggression the inducement created would let him cause real damage, the inducement ran out. He whimpered and then began to mutate back into the small, arm-sized pug he really was, teeth either falling out or receding, snout lowering down his face, eyes losing their inky blackness to the brown of a dog's eye, and legs flaking off and folding back into regular biology. Soon, Puggles was sat on the floor, and looking up at Minnie in a mixture of confusion and happiness that they were both familiar with. She looked back.
    "Come on then, mister." She said as she set off, and Puggles fell into step beside her.

    They made their way across the road and onto the beach, Minnie feeling the warmth of the sand on her feet through her pumps and Puggles' paws sinking into the sand slightly with every step. She held a hand above her eyes and scanned - there was one of Aiden's friends, riding a wave, and of course, there was the Hype causing the wave (Neptunes, she found, loved to show off). Minnie saw some of her own aquaintances, mostly those she'd met in therapy her first year, but not Aide-oh. There he was. With Emma, one of the only Saturn's she knew, and a member of Blackjack. She watched her send back a parasol and then pull it through again, and some titan-wannabe shunt it into the ground when she beckoned. There was a strange jealousy in Minnie, watching Emma's prettiness be used in a way she no longer felt capable of doing so. She tried hard not to resent her for it - instead, she padded over, reaching Aiden and Emma in time to form a trio. She stood above them.
    "Room for three?" She asked, as Puggles waddled over and parked his butt next to Aiden, poofing sand up as he did so. "Or...four."
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  4. David rested his head back against the hideously orange-colored towel and let the sun beat down upon his skin. Clad in only black swimming trunks, the young man's chiseled form glistened with the droplets of water slowly drying beneath the heat. David could feel the warmth of the sand seeping through the thin towel, but made no movement despite the heat. Quite frankly, the young man was exhausted. He had been at the beach for several hours swimming and body surfing in addition to a few pick-up games of volleyball, but it was time to rest. His body would quickly recover its stamina...but even he needed rest.

    The young man closed his eyes and mentally offered a brief prayer of thanks for the beautiful day before drifting off into a small slumber. The sleep was short and dreamless as he awoke to someone obnoxiously yelling at their friends....right next to him. With a sleepy grumble, David sat up and observed the beach. The young man stretched and felt several of his bones crack in pleasant response. David sighed and forced himself to stand as he had seen several of the other members of Team Blackjack further down the beach.

    The young man contemplated joining them, but was seriously considering heading back to sleep. His decision was made for him as the obnoxious yell once again broke his concentration. With a sigh, David jogged over to the other members of Team Blackjack. He kept the majority of the other beach-goers in his peripheral vision, but focused upon his Team-mates and was gladdened that not even the semblance of a headache had yet to form.

    "How about five?" David looked at the others with a smile. It was good to see Aiden here. He was surprised that it had taken this long for the guy to get here. His eyes turned to Emma and a faint blush formed on his cheeks. He had noticed the girl here earlier,but had lacked the courage to approach without anyone else there. The young man mentally shook his head and turned his attention to Mina's pet. With a smile, David knelt and held out his hand to the animal to sniff and then to pet if it responded in a friendly manner. Pugs had always been his favorite breed of dogs. Though most might consider them ugly with their smashed in faces...David found it added character.
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  5. Her feet pounded against the ground. It was warm, and so, of course, she'd decided to go for a run. Sweat poured off of her, but she felt good. It was always much more fun to run in the summer than the winter. But she ran in the winter as well, making sure that she stayed in shape and burned off those hot chocolates. But she was much more inclined to go to the gym in the mornings instead of for a run. Even as a Hype, a girl running alone in half-light wasn't the smartest idea in the world. Especially with the violence that was happening towards Hypes right now. If someone managed to get on campus...

    She shook her head to rid it of such dark thoughts, and allowed herself to smile. The chances of someone getting onto campus was slim. And even if she was jumped, she probably knew more than enough self-defense to defend herself and restrain her attacker. She increased her pace slightly, pushing her heart rate that little bit higher. Usually, she kept it at an easy jog, but sometimes liked to push herself that little bit for the sake of a cardio boost. As she reached the beach, she saw a few members of her team on the beach. She grinned. She'd planned on going for a swim anyway to cool down. She slowed to a walk and headed over to the others.

    "Hey guys! Gorgeous weather, isn't it? It'll be a shame to go back to classes tomorrow." She pulled off the tank top she was wearing to reveal a sapphire blue bikini top. She removed her shorts as well, revealing a matching pair of bikini bottoms. She didn't have the perfect curves that a bikini model might generally have, but she was comfortable enough showing her body in it. She pulled her hair out of the ponytail and shook it loose. "So, anyone fancy coming for a swim?" She asked, grinning at them and grabbing a bottle of water. "I don't know whose this is, but it's mine now." She said, cracking it open and taking a mouthful.
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  6. A
    iden turned upon the sound of a familiar voice, he didn't even have to see the face to realize which member of Blackjack was talking to him. The defining Dutch accent made it very clear that Emma was the one initiating the conversation. Aiden didn't know what to think of Emma, she was attractive and fun to be around but he was worried she wasn't all there somedays. If it wasn't for her abilities, Aiden could swear that she'd forget her head if it wasn't attached to her body. Thankfully she wasn't that type of Hype, but in all honesty Aiden had even heard she'd forgot clothes before and used her powers to summon them. Naturally that didn't work out well for her, Aiden's only regret was he hadn't been there to see it. Though now standing on the beach with her was pretty close, Aiden wasn't about to make a move on her though, he knew David had too much of a thing for her to do that to his younger friend. Besides, he could swear that he was making progress with Tory.

    "My summer's been good, I stayed here since well I can't exactly go anywhere else." Aiden replied with a laugh. When he first arrived to P.R.C.U. he wouldn't have dared make such a comment about his past but he had accepted his parents for the horrible people they were and now the institute was truly his home. No where else would have made him happier to spend his summer. "Took some summer courses, got ahead on my French so that should make spring break interesting this year." He added with a laugh. "How about you? How was..." Aiden was about to ask as Minnie walked up to the pair. Turning to the side, he had a small laugh as Poggles plopped himself down beside Aiden. The small dog was both ugly and cute all at the same time and Aiden couldn't help but image that Poggles face ended up smushed up due to running into a glass door too many times as a puppy.

    "Yeah sure there's room." Minnie was the closest thing Aiden had to a sister. Minnie had been at the school for roughly three years now and the two had bonded with being the same age. Well bonded as much as Aiden would allow himself that was, he wasn't overly keen on getting too attached to people. Another familiar voice suddenly added to the group as Aiden looked up to see David walking over to the shade beneath Emma's parasole. He smiled in amusement at the younger boy's blush upon looking at Emma. No doubt the girl's swimwear clad appearance was making David more nervous than usual. Walking over to Poggles, David reached down towards the little dog to show he was friendly. Turning back to Emma, Aiden spoke again.

    "Hey, how about summoning a frisbee for our little friend here?" He asked motioning towards Poggles before a familiar brunette suddenly caught his eye. It was like watching a rerun of Baywatch as Tory came running across the beach, all of her assets moving in fluid motion. Nothing else seemed to matter in the world as Tory came running up towards the group, even covered in sweat she still looked beautiful and it took everything Aiden had to keep his jaw closed as she pulled off her tank top revealing the dazzling blue bikini top which held back her generous bosom. It was almost too much as he watched her bend over to remove her shorts and reveal the matching bottoms. Her hair spilled over her shoulders as Tory freed it from the elastic that had held the lovely locks back while she had been running. As they were released, it was like watching one of those shampoo commercials where the girl's hair blows behind them in slow motion as Aiden found himself mesmerized with Tory once again. While Tory may not have thought of herself as a model, Aiden disagreed and it was only the sudden burning sensation in his eyes that brought him back to reality. Looking away from the perfectly fitting bikini, he blinked a couple times warding off the more than likely evident sparks of red heat that were beginning to erupt from his eyes. Removing his sunglasses he quickly examined them for damaged before speaking.

    "Don't tell me you forgot about the year kick off camping trip there Victory?" Aiden teased as he looked back up. Having been her only a year less than him and thus making them two of the longest running members of team Blackjack currently, Aiden found it hard to believe that Tory had forgotten about the trip. "Unless of course you consider roasting marshmallows and singing Kumbaya to be 'classes'." Aiden added with a smirk. Truth be told, the camping trip was partially fun, partially and introductory to any new teammates and partially survival lessons should they end up in the wilderness one day. That all said, it often ends up being games of Hyperball or Capture the Flag between the students since the other teams are rarely more than a kilometer away. A couple of such games are where Aiden bestowed the nickname 'Victory' upon Tory due to her ability being rather handy in both events.

    "I will however take you up on the swim though." He quickly mentioned to avoid anyone else jumping in. Pulling off his own tanktop, Aiden showed off his own chiseled physique. After six years at the Institute, Aiden had honed his body through numerous hours in both the A.R.C. and the rec center. Currently he was working on mastering the Salmon's Ladder. Tossing his sunglasses and tanktop under the parasol, he looked at Tory.

    "Shall we hit those waves?"
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  7. She grinned. "Nope. Well, maybe a little bit." The camping trip was one of her favourite parts of the year. The games of Capture The Flag gave her the perfect chance to show off her ability. She always went on the offensive teams, being able to sprint through trees and rocks like they weren't even there. Aiden had taken to calling her Victory when it came to these kinds of things for a reason. Hypeball was pretty fun as well. There was something satisfying about seeing the fear on a guy's face as she went barreling towards them, and then the shock as she never actually hit them. The first couple of times that she'd done it, everyone had actually been too shocked to try and tackle her, and she had scored an easy touchdown.

    She grinned at him as he took off his shirt. The good thing about the guys on the H.E.A.T program was that they were all in good shape and tended to be relatively attractive as well. And the best part was, they didn't dare talk down to her, just because she was a girl. The first time someone had, she'd made them regret it. And it had never really happened again. "Race you." She teased, taking into a sprint. She ran straight through anything and anyone that was in her way. She ran into the surf, before diving into the waves and swimming out a bit, before turning around to grin at Aiden.

    "Come on, then!"
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  8. Beads of sweat rolled down her back as Erika narrowed her eyes, focusing on her target. With a grunt, she took off running, quickly hitting a sprinting stride. If she timed this right, it would all be over and she could finally relax. In this instant, it was now or never and failure was not an option. That was one thing that her father had taught her and she stuck with it.

    She leaped for the sky, arm extended and teeth gritted. The heat from the sun battered at her, but she paid it no concern. The light almost blinded her, and even in that moment, she could sense the irony of the action. With a yell, she swatted down, slamming with full force, the volleyball. The sound rang in her ears for an instant as the white ball sailed down, her powerful spike leaving no room for error or mercy. A fellow student, Brad, from the other team, dove for the ball in a hapless and futile attempt to save it. He was met only with an explosion of sand to the face and a volleyball to the head. Erika hit the ground, her knees giving slightly and a satisfied smile on her lips. Not for the point she’d just made for her team but the fact that she’d actually timed her spike correctly.

    “Nice spike, Amazon!” A member on her team shouted, running up to hi-five her. She returned the gesture, a smile forming on her face. It was good to get out in the sun and relax with fellow classmates. The entire summer had been spent polishing over things with her mother who had decided to try and come back in to her life. After the debacle that was her home life, Erika had been resilient to give the woman the time of day. But, her persistent calls and letters had caused Erika to finally relent. They still weren’t in the most healthy of places, and at the mention of her father, Erika would bristle like a feral creature. But still, it was progress.

    On top of that, when back at the Academy, she had taken to practicing her abilities and brushing up on a few classes to get a head start. This coming year, she wanted to be a better person and connect with people more. Especially her team.

    “Wanna go another round?” Another member of her volleyball team asked, a sophomore girl with green hair. “This time, with powers in play everyone!”

    “Of course,” Erika told her, tucking a strand of hair back.

    The teams began to set up and get in position. The essence of a challenge brought out the intense side of her. Calculating, efficient and cold. She stared down her opponents, especially the one she had spiked earlier. An Atlas type, he grinned at her and she knew what was coming next. He tossed the ball in the air and jumped slightly, slamming his palm in to it. The ball launched off at a dizzying speed. “I got it!” she shouted, taking off running as it sailed over their heads. She could have just let it go and let the play in, but that wasn’t Erika. Pumping her legs, she kicked up dirt around her as she prepared to take off. It was too late to construct her wings, but maybe, just maybe, she could do it this time.

    With a leap, she felt the tug and sensation at the activation of her powers. In the Sun’s rays, maybe it would be easier. In her eyes, she could see the particles of light playing around her and willed her abilities to connect with them, to latch on and carry her through the air. She felt a tickle throughout her skin as her body began to sail and she neared the flying volleyball. Her form wobbled slightly and it took her concentration to steady herself and push forward, faster.

    ’C’mon!’ She thought, extending her hands. She could almost touch the ball now, and its arc began to descend. She willed herself faster and felt her speed increase, but something was off.

    It almost seemed like her abilities puttered out, that was the only way she could describe it. One moment, she was one with the air and the light waves. The next, she was sailing toward the ground, a familiar monstrous form looming to meet her.

    She crashed in to the sand, sending it everywhere and tumbled to a halt. The volleyball landed just a few feet ahead of her and she groaned, spitting sand from her mouth. She looked up to see a few of the members of Team Blackjack staring at her. Puggles, Minnie’s….”dog” for lack of a better dog, licked her as she sat up.

    “Well, hello to you too,” she told the creation with a groan as she sat up. She was covered in sand and there was little doubt that the rest of them were as well. “Sorry about that, guys, I thought I’d actually be able to get the hang of the whole light wave thing this time,” she told David, Minnie and Emma.
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  9. David looked over as Victoria made her run towards them while he petted the dog. Immensely attractively, David found it difficult to keep his eyes off the brunette. If it weren't for the age difference and the Bro-code...David would have asked her out a long time ago; but there was an age difference and the younger guy would never move in on a girl he knew one of his best friends like. It totally wasn't cool to do so.

    David felt himself flush as the older girl revealed more skin and silently gulped. Attempting to take his mind off such though, he turned his eyes to Emma and found himself flush even more. Deciding it safer to just focus on the dog, David half-listened to Aiden and Victoria make a run to the beach. He was not too keen on swimming at the moment as he had been doing so all day. Nonetheless, he wouldn't mind watching the others. The members of Team Blackjack were some of the only ones he had acclimated to watching without being bombarded by useless memories.

    David's attention was turned from the dog as a loud thump resounded; shortly followed by a spray of sand landing upon his now dry back. David smiled as he saw the form of Erika sprawled out on the sand. Erika had always inspired him with her determination to get better. She was a really awesome person. He nearly laughed as the Pug trotted over to lick the girls face. Standing, David walked over to Erika and offered his hand to help her up.

    "It's cool," David chuckled, "How was your summer? It's good to see you again."
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  10. She had barely moved over to give Aiden a bit of room while he told of his holiday 'adventures' when another voice talked to them. Minnie, she recognized by the tone.
    With a smile on her face to greet the other, Emma turned to the other woman, only to be greeted first by the mutt that darted by and plopped down by Aiden.
    Oh great... If there was one mammal that wasn't really high on Emma's favorite list, it would be dogs. Any dog. Big, small, hideous, fancy, you name it, she doesn't really like it. At first she even was a tad scared of the creature, but that faded. Being near the both of them for a whole year had made her more used to seeing the smashed snout, but that definitely didn't mean they were best buddies.
    "Sure. Have a seat." Emma replied, but another got her attention fast enough.

    "David, hi." Emma had greeted him with a broad smile. She honestly hadn't noticed him further up before. How could anyone blame her really, she had enough to keep track of to begin with.
    All of a sudden it seemed like everyone of Blackjack 21 was gathering under or near the shade she had set up. Chuckling about the coincidental meet up, Emma looked from person to person, skipping the dog all together while David and Aiden spent attention on it. Attention that was quickly diverted to Victoria when she came up and undressed. Emma thought nothing of it, till she glanced at the two guys. A smirk played at the corners of her lips. Both of them were just about obviously gawking at the now almost nude brunet.

    The mentioning of a water bottle had her attention quickly diverted from the flustered guys. A bottle? Oh right, someone had brought that and forgotten it. Didn't matter now. At least it wasn't hers, right? Wait someone had suggested a frisbee a moment ago. Aiden, right. For the pug.
    "I have a ball here in the-" Turning to her right, where Emma could have sworn there was a ball, was just sand. Quickly, with a beginning frown on her brows, Emma turned to her left, then looked in front, and behind her. Seriously, where was that ball? She could have sworn that she had brought it with her. "Where's that green squishy ball..." She asked, honestly lost. If she had borrowed it, there was no way it could have faded already, right? It was so small!


    Unless she had borrowed it yesterday, and she had her days dreadfully mixed up once more. "Ugh." She groaned, by now not at all aware at the fact that Aiden and Victoria had left, let alone the eminent splash of sand that would be coming towards her and the others.
    Focussing her energy, Emma went back to the spot where she had previously collected that ball, in the hopes that it would be there today too.
    Luckily, no one had taken the green ball that Emma was looking for, as she found it right on the pile of balls in the crate at the gym.

    "Got it." Emma called out in glee, but alas for timing. Just as she let the ball drop into her hands, she was assaulted by sand from seemingly out of nowhere. A yelp escaped, and if that had been the only thing, it wouldn't have been too embarrassing.
    Due to her active power, and the instinct of wanting to find something to defend herself with, the rift in space got bigger, letting all the balls in the crate fall over the lot of them.

    Mainly the balls fell onto her lap and hands, but since there were bouncy balls, they went all over the place.
    It took a moment before she realized what had happened. Erika had fallen in, which was absolutely no problem, she could handle a bit of sand any day, but abnormal circumstances had created a bit of a chaos. At least twenty balls of various sizes now lay scattered around them.
    "I am sooo sorry." The Dutch said, ashamed of having slipped up like this. "Is everyone alright?" Concerned she traced by every person, and dog, in the group.
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  11. Hunter Welles lay in his bed, sheet pulled over his head, and music blaring through his headphones. He was enjoying the relative 'silence,' singing along to the System of a Down song currently playing.

    Why have you forsaken me? In your eyes forsaken me? In your thoughts forsaken me...

    It was the the last day before classes started at Pacific Royal, and Hunter was not looking forward to the beginning of the semester. Ever since he had come to this place he had largely been left alone. A few times a man named Anthony Strum, his adviser of sorts, had stopped by to insist Hunter attend the team exercises the rest of Blackjack did in the Augmented Reality Center. Hunter had gone, if only because Strum intimidated him a little, but had yet to participate since Strum said it wasn't required until the semester actually began, instead sitting back and watching the others as they played their games and ran their training programs.

    So, not only would he have to begin participating in the A.R.C. sessions come the next day, but with the start of classes he would be cramped into relatively small rooms filled with teenagers. Teenagers with loud, obnoxious thoughts. And Hunter wouldn't be able to bring his MP3 player with him to class, so the silence he could enjoy now was about to end, and he wasn't ready for that. Part of him wished he was back in police custody; at least there he was put in his own cell.

    His mumbled singing was interrupted by a sudden weight landing on his legs. Hunter's eyes shot open, and he whipped off the sheet covering his face.

    "Hey, bro." Said the guy sitting on Hunter. "Why you still in bed? It's past noon, the sun is out, and babes in bikinis are walking around begging to be hit on."

    It was Kyle, one of the students Hunter was forced to bunk with. He was a nice enough guy, Hunter thought, always with a smile on his face, and if they had met a few years ago he had no doubt the two of them could have been great friends. But with things as they were now, Kyle's incessant attempts to get Hunter to socialize and have fun only depressed him more. With a groan, Hunter grasped at his sheets to pull them back over his head.

    Kyle, having grabbed the sheets to prevent Hunter from hiding, shook his head at his roommate. "Come on, man. It's been two months since I've met you, and I don't think I've seen you leave this room more than a few times to take a piss. You wasted the whole summer hiding in here, but I'm not gonna let you waste the very last day before school. You're having fun, one way or another."

    "No." Was Hunter's only response.

    "Dude, either you're getting out of this bed and heading to the beach with me to check out the girls, or I'm getting John and we'll drag you out. Your choice."

    John was an Atlas class Hype who hung out with Kyle. Hunter had met him once and knew that John would have no problem carrying him to the beach against his will no questions asked. He looked up at Kyle's face and saw the huge grin plastered on it. The bastard thought he had won; that Hunter would have no choice but to go with him, but all it would take was one thought. One simple thought and...

    Hunter pushed those dark ideas to the back of his mind and gave a non-committal grunt, climbing out of bed and staring daggers at Kyle. "Fine," he said, pulling on a light, hooded sweatshirt over his t-shirt. Kyle could force Hunter to go, but he couldn't make him have fun.


    It was a somewhat lengthy ride down to the beach with Kyle driving one of the school vehicles, or, at least it seemed that way with Kyle reminding Hunter how crazy he was for wearing a hoodie in that kind of weather.

    "Just saying, dude, it's, like, a hundred degrees out. You're gonna get roasted."

    Hunter ignored him for the thirtieth time as they finally pulled up to the edge of the beach, parking alongside the dozens of other cars and buggies from the school's garage. Kyle had confiscated Hunter's headphones, so he was without his usual means of shutting out the world. He just hoped the beach, with all the rowdy students running around, wouldn't be too loud in his head.

    "You need some sunblock or something?" Kyle continued, still being his friendly, helpful self. "'Cause we can ask someone to use theirs."

    "I'm fine." He told Kyle, who just shook his head in response.

    As they set foot on the beach and walked inwards, away from the parking area, Hunter was surprised by how quiet it was. Sure, there were plenty of kids screaming and shouting as they splashed in the water or played their games in the sand, but very few seemed to be having many thoughts on the surface that Hunter was able to pick up. A few "oh my gods" as girls were splashed with water, and quite a bit more less wholesome thoughts coming from guys as they caught glimpses of bikini-clad figures, but it was manageable so long as he kept his distance from the shoreline where most of the students were.

    "Hey, so, I'm gonna go that way..." Kyle's voice trailed off as he pointed towards a pair of leggy, raven-haired girls in barely-there swimsuits. "You wanna come with, or...?"

    Hunter glanced towards where the girls were headed, right towards the center of a large group of guys and girls tossing a football around. Too many people together, as far as Hunter was concerned.

    "Nah, I'm good."

    "Alright. Catch you later, man." He said, already trotting down the beach. "And, hey, make sure you have some fun!"

    Fun. Right, he thought. My expertise.

    Hunter wandered aimlessly down the beach for a few minutes, ignoring the burning sun and sweat trickling down his skin. He stuck to the outside edge of the beach, only encountering small handfuls of students lounging about. After nearly ten minutes Hunter spotted a familiar group a little farther down the beach. Emma, David, Erika, Minnie, and Minnie's dog; Puggles or whatever it was called. At the sight of Emma he felt the urge to go over and say hello, but he knew that, even though he was placed on Team 21, he wasn't a real part of the squad. So, instead, he plopped down onto the sand before they spotted him, staring off into the ocean and singing to himself as if he were still listening to his MP3 player.

    Such a lonely day, and it's mine. It's the loneliest day of my life.
    #11 Shroud, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
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  12. W
    ith a smirk, Aiden watched as the confident girl took off, her finest asset being the last part of her in view as she disappeared through another student. The confident attitude she had was probably one of her most attractive attributes Aiden noted. It was nice to see her never back down, she demanded equal treatment and she got it. It also didn't hurt she had a smoking hot bod and looked like a rockstar half the time she was out of uniform.

    "Neat trick." Aiden called. "But can you fly?" Focusing his ability, Aiden's eyes gave off sparks of glowing red and orange energy before two beams burst forth, curving around his body before slamming hard into the back. Thoughts of Tory smiling at him as he sailed over her head flooded his mind, her smile was so cute and cocky he thought to himself until searing heat brought him back to reality as he realized he had lost his focus just before impact. With a stifled yelp of pain Aiden flew into the air and while at first his body flailed about as he recovered from the shock of burning himself, he managed to get it under control as he moved into a graceful dive at the last second hitting the water just a mere second behind Tory. Hopefully despite the botched beginning he had managed to still impress the woman of his desires.

    "Right here!" Aiden said as he popped up out of the water behind Tory and hit her with a playful splash. Turning his attention back to shore, Aiden looked just in time to catch Erika faceplant into the sand at the base of the rest of the team. It was only moments later that the team ditz brought just about every ball from the rec center onto the beach as Aiden could only shake his head before slicking back his wet hair. Giving another playful splash towards Tory, he dove under the surface before she could retaliate. Swimming with the artificial current created by one of the institute's manner Neptunes, Aiden found himself on the inside of a rising wave. Bursting out of it, he somersaulted through the air before moving back into a dive and plunging into the water behind Tory again before popping up in front of her.

    As he did, Aiden noticed an overdressed figure strike out alone on the beach. Squinting, he realized it Blackjack's newest teammate, Hunter.

    "Yo Hunter!" Aiden shouted as he cupped his hands over his mouth. "Come on man! The rest of the team is over here!" Aiden pointed to the rest of them by the parasol. "No need to be a stranger! None of us bite, not even the dog!" With a smile, Aiden turned back to Tory finally having some alone time with her, he intended to use it to its fullest.

    "Hey, I didn't see you around too much this summer. Did you take any classes?" He asked, before getting a sly look on his face. "Or did some boy who's obviously better looking and more charming than I manage to sweep you off your feet?" Aiden had long ago assumed Tory was aware of his obvious interest in her but then again judging by Emma some women were completely oblivious to what was right in front of them.
    #12 Lord Wraith, Jul 29, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
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  13. She laughed as he somersaulted over her head, treading water and watching. He turned his attention back to shore, and she did the same. The new kid- Hunter, wasn't it?- was in a hoodie. She frowned. She was in the ocean in a bikini and she wasn't cold. Why was he wearing a hoodie on a day like today. As he turned ack to her, she splashed him in the face. "PAYBACK!" She laughed, grinning at him.

    "Nah, I went home for a week or two. Saw some of the people who knew me when I was thirteen. There was this one guy who had apparently had a crush on me since like, third grade. His jaw nearly hit the ground when he saw me." She splashed him playfully again. "No, I wasn't swept away by anyone more attractive than you. The guys in my hometown all follow the same lame trends, all wear their hair the same way, all wear the exact same overpriced clothes. I like a guy with a bit of individuality." She winked at him, brushing a few strands of wet hair out of her face.

    "Came back to the university then, did a course in French for the hell of it. Not that I'm probably going to ever use it, but hey. I could meet a guy who likes to hear a girl speak French." She dived beneath the waves then, finding a current and letting it carry her onto a wave. She mimicked Aiden's move, but performed a backflip over his head, landing with a splash in front of him. She didn't surface immediately, holding her breath a little longer and swimming down to grab his feet. She surfaced again, laughing.
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  14. Erika found her face reddening as she reached up to grab David’s hand, reluctantly accepting his help. She dusted herself off as she stood, trying not to look as flustered as she felt. How long would it take her to master that? How long would it be until she could finally take to the skies without the aid of anything? It was a constant reminder that she wasn’t as good as she wanted to be yet.

    But, would she ever reach it?

    ’My brother probably would have no trouble with this. He would have surmounted this ages ago.’ The thought bombarded her before she realized it and played over in her mind, frustrating her more. God! When would she be able to rid herself of these things? Instead, she turned her attention to David.

    She studied his face for a moment, hesitant to respond. “Fine,” she responded brusquely, but caught herself. “I mean…it was somewhat uneventful, just happy to be back. And you?” That was better. She was working on communicative skills with her counselor now, especially now that her mother was trying to come back in to her life. When individuals asked you how you were, it was good to ask them in return.

    But before he could respond, a shower of objects rained down from seemingly nowhere. Covering herself and darting to the side, Erika looked up in initial shock, only to see that they were varying recreational balls. Emma spoke up, apologize and checking on everyone. Erika nodded her head curtly and turned back to David.

    “Are you all right?” She asked him, kicking a ball to the side that was in her way.
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  15. David smiled as he pulled the girl to her feet. She was quite light at least to him. His eyes wondered over her form in appreciation for barely a moment before moving quickly back to his eyes. His mother had raised a gentleman after all. You have one second to look, appreciate, and then your eyes should be on theirs or elsewhere. Women were to be respected. Not treated as a peace of eye candy though even David admitted it could be hard to fight that sometimes. Especially with so much 'candy' around.

    His eyes seemed to light up as he took in her face. He had always found Erika attractive with her German features and ethereal blonde hair, but had never thought any further along those lines. She was an inspiration to him though with her determination to never give up. She appeared frustrated for a moment as numerous thoughts played across her mind and David mentally frowned. She did sometimes get too hard on herself. Her attention soon turned to his question and he smiled about to respond...until several balls fell from the sky to land on the two.

    David turned with lightning speed as the first object hit his shoulder, and seeing them merely to be balls, decided to show off a bit. His turn soon became a perfectly executed round house kick to send one of the rubber balls flying the short distance to where Tory and Aiden were. He'd aimed for the older guy's head.

    David chuckled and turned back to the others paying attention to Erika's question,

    "Yeah definitely. How about you?," He paused for a second in thought before saying, "Those spikes you were doing in volleyball today were awesome. You were consistently nailing them. I've seen Olympic level players do worse."

    Upon her response he would look over at Mina and Emma. He wasn't sure quite what the two had been doing, but he had noticed that Mina did not have the highest opinion of Emma. Though as to why he was not sure. Mina seemed to be cut of a similar cloth as Erika, but also slightly different. Whereas Erika's sternness seemed to flow from a more structured mindset, Mina's occassional bouts of cattiness could be attributed to a more emotional state. At least, that's what he'd figured from the psych books he'd read. He didn't remember the names of all the disorders or the dates of historical wars or the proper rhythm to a poem, but he remembered stories. It was why he had managed to pass History and English last year with B's.

    "Yo, Mina, Emma. How's was y'all's summers?"
    He would ask in his light southern twang. When he had originally arrived at the school, his accent had been a great deal more prominent. However two years of living away from that culture had diminished the southern twang a great deal. He still got friendly teased about it occassionally though.
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  16. Minnie gave her hello's as Puggles got his much-appreciated attention, and sat down, enjoying the warmth of the sand on her calves and the sun on her chest. She scooted over slightly so that her face was shaded by Emma's parasol and leant back on her hands. Puggles plodded over and parked his keister beside her, and she gave him an obligatory scratch on the top of his head as he sat panting, tongue lolling out of his mouth. She watched Tory arrive, watched the boys watch her strip, and then watched Aiden flirt and lead the two away to the sea. She smiled, only slightly, and shook her head. For his optical outburts, he sure pursued dangerous situations. Minnie wasn't sure she approved - but then, she wasn't sure if that was her playing big sister, or irrational jealousy. Whatever. It was better to ignore it, either way.

    Sand splashed her back and she reacted sharply, pushing her chest up and out as she arced her back away from the irritation. A pair of boys turned their heads to watch the motion as they walked by and she cricked her neck to supress a shudder. She couldn't blame them, but she didn't want to aggravate them. Instead, she turned to the source of the sand - Erika, who'd crashed to the ground after missing a spike. Puggles licked her and then coughed as he got sand caught in his throat, and Minnie shooed him away. She smiled wanly as David helped her up, waving away her concerns. She wasn't pals with Erika, but she wasn't about to be antagonistic. She nearly struck up a conversation, were she not then assaulted by multiple sports balls of various shapes and sizes falling through one of Emma's rifts. A rugby ball bopped Puggles on the nose and bounced away, and the manly pug asserted himself by barking sharply and bounding after it. Minnie, meanwhile, shielded her face and stood up, glaring at Emma. She wasn't pals with her, either.
    "You're - we're - lucky you don't have my power, the way you carry on." She said, sticking two fingers in her mouth and whistling for Puggles, who came dutifully bounding back. She noticed Hunter, the newest addition to Blackjack, off a ways. She didn't feel like reaching out to him right now. "And I guess that also means Team 21 is enjoying a reunion." She mused, watching Adrian and Tory splash in the water. "In spirit, at least." She turned to David.

    "Better than I was expecting it to have been. My dad's still cool about the whole 'boogeyman' thing-" Minnie knew she was a 'Juno' to the academy, but she was something entirely different to herself- "Rudy's still a friend, and Henry's still dead. Three for three, I think."
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  17. It had only been a few minutes since Hunter had sat down on the burning sand, but the heat was already getting to him. It felt like he had sweat away half his body weight by then. He knew it wasn't the brightest idea to wear a hoodie on the beach during a sunny, Summer afternoon, but he also knew there were few things better than a lone kid sitting off to himself with a hood covering his face to discourage conversation with others. He was confident he would be left alone.

    "Yo, Hunter!" A voice Hunter recognized called out to him from down the beach. "Come on, man! The rest of the team is over here!" It was Aiden, of course. He was likely to have been the only one out of Blackjack's members to have called out to him; it was just the guy's nature. "No need to be a stranger," he continued, pointing towards the area Hunter had noticed the others earlier. "None of us bite, not even the dog!"

    Damn, Hunter thought as he glanced back over towards Emma and the others. That was pretty loud, I wonder if they heard...

    But, as far as he could tell, none of them had even glanced his way, too distracted by each others' company. And even Aiden had returned his attention back towards Tory. Not that Hunter could blame the guy; not with the way Tory looked in that two piece, what little of it there was.

    Should I? For the briefest of moments, Hunter debated internally whether he should join the others or not. He weighed the pros and cons, with the pros almost entirely consisting of Emma.

    No, he finally decided, they don't know I'm here, and I don't want to ruin their group time. If I leave now, Aiden won't even know for sure if he saw me since he's so far away.

    Hunter stood up, brushed the sand off of the backs of his legs and shorts, and, as inconspicuously as he possibly could wearing the only hoodie on the beach, he made his way back towards where Kyle had parked. He would take the car back to the campus; Kyle was a flier so he could make it back on his own. The only problem was, Hunter didn't have a license. Hard to get one when you're arrested, and then shipped off to Canada. However, his father had taken him driving once when he was fourteen, so he was confident he could get the car back in one piece. He hoped.
    #17 Shroud, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  18. She couldn't help it, even though she knew someone could have gotten hurt, and mad for being sprayed on with sand and immediately afterwards with a bunch of balls, Emma felt a pang of guilt surging through her abdomen as Minnie scolded her.
    "I'm sorry." She said with a small voice, not looking up to her eyes a second time.
    It wasn't like she had done anything on purpose, she just wanted to get a ball for the pup, since she didn't know where to find a frisbee off the top of her head. It had just been an accident, cause and effect, no one's real fault. The surprise had simply made the rift bigger, and at least she didn't pull the whole crate through...

    She hated it when Minnie would call out like that. It made her sad as she considered Minnie as a bit of a friend, and the last thing she would want was to upset her friends. The bright sun and blissful clamor suddenly didn't appear quite as pleasing anymore. Most of the members seemed to just brush off the assailment, but the same wasn't to say about some of the others nearby.

    "Stuck around here and that's it." Emma replied to David, with less spirit than before. Maybe the constant use of her powers was getting to her.
    "Sorry guys." She got up, holding one of the balls in her hands and sent it back to where it came from, together with the rest of the scattered ones. "I'm heading back. Guess this tired me out a little more than I thought."
    Honestly she didn't feel really tired or worn out, just a bit off balance in how she felt. A white lie.
    "The parasol'll fade when the time's up."

    Before she turned to leave, Emma picked up the towel she bad brought with her, and the little white sundress that she had worn when she came to the beach, along with a pair of slippers.
    "See ya tomorrow." With that said, Emma turned and walked off, wading past the various people. She crossed the spot where Hunter had sat earlier, but since he had already gotten up and left, she didn't see him.

    Back home Emma had only been 17, which is one year too young to learn how to drive. Being here at the school, she hadn't had enough time to learn how to drive yet, so she had no vehicle of the school to go back to the dorm.
    There were two things she could do now, no three. Ask someone for a ride, which she didn't feel like doing, walk for an hour, which didn't really appeal as well, or borrow a bicycle as a car or other larger vehicle would fade within five minutes no doubt.
    If anyone was paying attention it wouldn't make sense for her to say she was tired of using her power, leave, only to use her power to summon, so she would walk till she at least got around the corner, and then borrow a bicycle.
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  19. S
    haking the water from his face after being taken by surprise from Tory's 'payback', Aiden eagerly listened as she talked about her summer as he tried not to get too caught up in his own thoughts. Considering the way Tory was talking to him, he was understandably thrilled.

    Dude! She is totally flirting with me. Persistance totally does pay off! His smile was almost permanently fixed to his face at this point.

    "Individuality? Pssh, you let me know when you find another guy who can shoot beams out of his eyes and I'll work on developing something more unique about myself." Aiden retorted with a laugh as he smirked when Tory mentioned learning French. As a native to Canada, Aiden had been taught French for a good portion of his academic career and had continued to pursue it while attending the institute. Clearing his throat, and doing his best to get his accent right, he looked at Tory. "Est-ce que tu parle la langue de l'amour?" He asked with a mischievous grin. Looking up at the last second, Aiden saw a ball headed towards his head as he opened his eyes wide, a flash of red reflecting off the water as a small burst of energy erupted from his eyes, colliding with the ball and deflecting it harmlessly into the waves.

    Content to watch Tory swim, Aiden admired her movements as she suddenly flipped over her head, her cute behind being the last thing he saw before feeling something grabbing at his feet. Stifling a chuckle due to his feet being ticklish, he swam away briefly, tossing a light splash of water towards the girl as she surfaced. In the distance a low grumble suddenly echoed across the sky as a flash out to sea caught Aiden's attention. Cold rain drops began to pelt down from the sky causing quite a few screams from the beach dwellers. Those onshore scrambled to gather their things and head for the buggies as Aiden merely laughed.

    "Well looks like that's it for today." He said as he dove beneath the surface reemerging in the shallows as he stood up. The warmth of the sun no longer there to welcome him, just rain that felt like ice pellets assaulting his skin as he motioned to Tory to hurry. While heat had little effect on Aiden, he was definitely not a fan of the cold. Looking around for the rest of the team, he shook his head with disappointment that Hunter hadn't actually came over to the rest of them. The younger boy probably left after Aiden singled him out, not that Aiden could totally blame him as it was likely six years ago he would have done the same thing.

    Give him time there oh Captain My Captain. He'll need it, just like you did in your first year at the school. Aiden cleared his head as he broke into a jog to keep up to Tory who was rushing to retrieve her clothes and get out of the cold rain. Catching up to the rest of the group, Aiden noticed that Emma too had departed early and considering the attitude he was sensing off Minnie it was plausible the two had a small tiff again. Whether the jealousy went both ways or if it was just one sided, Aiden wasn't sure. Minnie was like a sister to him and while he was apathetic towards Emma, she was still one of the team and he couldn't take sides lest it break up the group. The two of them would definitely have to work out their differences this year especially if they planned to keep ahead of Team Bulltrue. Aiden wasn't sure what their lineup was looking like but Blackjack had lost to them last year in the end. Perhaps Hunter would prove to be their secret weapon.

    Finding a couple buggies to pile into, Aiden made sure everyone made it back to the school to get dried off. Dropping each member of team Blackjack at their respective dorms, Aiden finally made it back to his own room in the co-ed University Dorm collapsing onto his bed before realizing he was soaked and should probably change.

    "Y'know, they have specific clothes for swimming? You're not supposed to just jump in." Came the snarky voice of his roommate as Aiden turned around to see Chuck had removed himself from his computer long enough to actually somewhat socialize.

    "And you know there's a whole world out there besides what's on your screen right?" Aiden retorted with a laugh as he walked behind a modesty screen that Chuck had insisted be erected in their room.

    "Yeah but there's fresh air out there and who wants to breathe that when you can enjoy the recycled air from central cooling." Chuck said with a laugh as he turned back to his multi-monitor display. Aiden wasn't overly sure how to describe Chuck's abilities, all he knew was that his roommate was a Minerva and very computer literate.

    "Anyways, I'm going to hit the Mess Hall, grab a burger or something then come back here. You want anything?" Aiden asked as he emerged in a dry t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans.

    "Yeah maybe a slice. You down for some Halo before bed?" Chuck asked as he took a sip from his Mountain Dew.

    "Ugh, yeah sure maybe a game or two. You know how those games bug my eyes." Aiden said as he grabbed his wallet and opened the door to leave.

    "Hey we can't all be stud muffins like you!" Chuck called after him as he went back to his computer.

    he sound of the campus wide trumpet almost came too quickly for Aiden as he literally rolled out of bed, hitting the hardwood floor with a thud. Two games of Halo had quickly become three and then the Mountain Dew came out. He remembered seeing something after three on the clock before he went to bed and now it was 'oh six hundred hours'. In other words, time for a good cadet to rise and shine and unfortunately as Blackjack's current team captain, it was his job to be a good role model. Getting captain was a bit of a surprise, while Aiden had attended the school the longest he was neither the hardest working member of the team nor the eldest. Those honours belonged to Erika and Minnie respectively. Minnie had only come to the school three years ago and due to her reluctance to use her abilities it was decided that a promotion to captain might not be in her immediate future after the seniors had graduated last year. Honestly Aiden had to wonder if she was at all offended when a student two years her junior was promoted above her, sure she congratulated Aiden but he wasn't sure if she truly meant it. Then there was Erika and that was a whole different ballgame. Erika by all rights was the closest thing Aiden had to a rival on team Blackjack. She was intense and focused, not to mention determined and driven. All the qualities ideal for a future S.H.I.F.T. agent, whereas while Aiden had goals he was a bit more wishy washy on what he wanted to do with his future. In the end, he believed that Strum had promoted Aiden due to his patience and experience at the academy not becuase he was better than the other two choices. For the most part, the team was pretty even across the board, sure they had a couple collegiate level students but David was getting more competent with his abilities every day. It was interesting that Erika seemed to have a soft spot for him, then again nothing should strike Aiden as weird anymore. Not after everything he had seen at the institute at least.

    Emerging from his dorm dressed in uniform, opting for the white dress shirt on his first day since it'd be likely the only time it would be white for the rest of the year. The three gold stripes on his shoulders almost seemed to glisten as he was quite proud to be on his second last year in the institute. Slinging his blazer over his arm, Aiden popped on his beret as he made his way towards the mess hall for a quick breakfast. The year opening ceremonies started at oh eight hundred hours and were being held outdoors in the middle of the Academic Quadrangle. Having taken quite a while to get cleaned up and dressed, Aiden was running a bit late as he emerged into the clearing where rows upon rows of chairs were lined up. Seeing some of the team already there with Mr. Anthony Strum or Agent Tempest as he had once been called, Aiden quickly hurried over as Strum tapped his watch towards the young man.

    "Sorry Sir! Won't happen again Sir!" Aiden said with a genuine salute as he took his seat where Strum had indicated it for him. No doubt Minnie would be instructed to sit next to him followed by Erika and so on and so forth from eldest to youngest with the exception being Aiden due to his position.

    "Get your blazer on son. At least don't give me hell on the first day, hold off at least until after the ceremony if you must." Anthony said with a smile as he turned and welcomed the others while ensuring they were in proper uniform and not still attempting to follow summer habits. Turning back to Aiden, Strum looked at his watch before addressing him again. "Remember, you're team captain this year. That means you have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders and while you may be tempted to spend more time with certain teammates." He paused looking towards a recently arrived Tory before back at Aiden. "You can't neglect the others, you're the glue that has to hold this group together and you'll need to interact and instruct each one from time to time. You told me once you were thinking about being a teacher here someday, well let me see you teach." Anthony finished with a pat on Aiden's back as he greeted the remaining members of Blackjack before taking his own seat once the whole team had arrived.

    "ATTENTION!" A loud voice came from the podium at the front of the seats as Commanding Office Killian O'Bran emerged, marching forward flanked by two bagpipe players while a conductor to a small band stood up on the right side of the temporary stage.

    "All stand for the national anthem!" Aiden did as commanded, removing his hat from his head as he held it in his right hand over his heart while his left arm stayed perfectly straight at his side. While 'O'Canada' may not have been the prettiest or most endearing national anthems, hearing it played at the beginning of each year always sent a tingle down his spine. Naturally, not to exclude anyone the school had several cadets carrying flags from all around the world arrive on the stage next as they thanked each student acknowledging that not everyone gathered here was Canadian. As the applause settled down, Winter Caspain, the Director of H.E.L.P. itself took the stage as she addressed the crowd before her. Thanking each one of the students for their efforts in changing the world's opinion on Hyperhumans and expressing her excitement in working with the most recent graduates. As she ended her piece, she had the students welcome Chancellor Jonas Lehrer to the stage. Standing up and whistling, Aiden hollered with the rest of the crowd who exploded as Lehrer took to the stage. Immensely popular with the student body, the courses taught by him privately were among the hardest to get into especially because he left them open for any grade average. Lehrer was truly an advocate for equality.

    As per usual, Lehrer gave a warm and very welcoming opening speech, humorous anecdots dotted it making time fly by as the man spoke for nearly and hour. Moved by his words, the crowd burst in applause as he dimissed them to for the annual camping trip and basic survival training. Standing up, Aiden saluted Strum who raised his voice over the crowd and hollered at Team Blackjack.

    "Squad! Fall in! You are to return to your dormitories and pack only basic needs for your camping trip. This means no electronics ladies and gentlemen! I don't want to see any cellphones or iPods or whatever other gadgets you may have. This means only your rec clothes, you will not need makeup or other cleaning products for this trip, this is survival training people!" Strum hollered but Aiden was already well aware of the drill. The only one who wouldn't be was Hunter.

    "It is Aiden's responsibility to report back to me when you are all ready to go. I expect to be leaving for the bush at twelve hundred hours. You have until eleven hundred hours to report back to Aiden. Is that understood?"

    "Aye!" Aiden said to which Strum gave him a look to cease and desist.

    "Is that clear Captain?" Strum said as he lowered his face to Aiden's level.

    "Sir yes Sir!" Aiden said going as rigid as a board. As nice of a guy as Strum could be, he was terrifying when he meant business.

    "Dismiss your squad Captain."

    "SQUAD DISMISSED!" Aiden yelled as the team was sent to their rooms to pack. A hand on his shoulder held him back as Strum turned Aiden around to face him.

    "Go see if Hunter needs help before you pack for yourself."

    "Yes Sir!" Aiden saluted before breaking into a quick jog to catch up to Hunter who no doubt had retreated back to his room as quickly as possible.
    #19 Lord Wraith, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  20. The absolute last one to arrive at the scene had been Emma. No surprise to be honest, considering that was kind of her M.O. In the previous year. Getting up in the morning, especially in these ungodly hours, was not Emma's strong suit. Stay awake till four in the morning without the need of energy boosts? No problem. Sleep at a proper hour and get up at six? God have mercy on us all.

    With a dim, barely present, look on her face, Emma sat in her chair between David and Victoria staring straight forward. As important as it was to pay attention to the opening blah blah, having it scheduled in the mornings was their fault. If there was anything dire important for her to know that was new, she'd ask a team mate about it later. Right now she had to focus on not falling asleep.

    Last to arrive, last to leave it seemed. Contrary to most when they were sent to packing, Em had done enough preparations and only needed to pick up her bag with clothes.
    Another good reason for her incredibly late wake today was the fact that Emma had almost pulled an allnighter as she had been organizing items, laying them around in her room in an orderly fashion.

    Emma's best kept secret, that got her yelled at for a time or two, was that she never seemed to prepare for anything. And to be fair, most of the times she didn't. Just winging it worked great.
    But all those other times, the times when it really mattered? She had mapped and categorized every single item that she could think of that would be necessary for the trip.
    Knives, sewing materials, guns (remembering where the school kept them at least, she didn't have those in her room), pens, paper, clothes, first aid kits, emergency snacks, blankets, flashlights, batteries, lighters, cooking utensils, an dust about anything else she could think of.
    Once all was set into place, Emma had made a list, writing down each location and item, and memorized it. She wasn't going to bring along the list, but kept it at the edge of her desk, to be sure she wouldn't lose it in case she forgot a crucial item's location. Heck she even had her list of where all her things were back in her room in the Netherlands.

    Between being dismissed, getting to her room, picking up the bag, and heading over to the courtyards, barely any time had passed of any significance. To the extent, it wouldn't surprise her if she were one of the first to actually arrive at the usual spot. There had to be a first for everything, right? Right now all there was to do was wait.
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