E B O N Y ◊New York City bustled beneath Ebony's penthouse apartment, and she watched the traffic run beneath her, imagining what it could be like to live like a normal person. Ebony would trade anything for a chance to be normal. She had not asked for the burden that had been unfairly thrust upon her before she was even born. She had not asked for her father's actions to follow her throughout her entire life. While the Tamlins had suffered a distinct loss in wealth when Anderson had been incarcerated they still lived more comfortably than most people; Anastasia Tamlin was the orphaned daughter of two millionaire tech moguls who had left their business to their son and their wealth to their daughter. Ebony and her mother lived in the penthouse suite of an opulent apartment building in New York City with more money than they knew what to do with. Ebony hated New York; the city was still reeling after the terror Decay had plagued it with, and everywhere she looked she saw terrified people with the ghost of her father haunting them. At least no one here knew who she was. The same thing could not be said about school. Dressed in a knee-length black dress, black lace leggings, black heeled boots and her favourite -- black -- leather jacket, Ebony grabbed her schoolbag and slipped out of the apartment before her mother woke up. It would take her twenty minutes to walk to the courthouse where the portal to her school was hidden, but even then she would have almost an hour before her school started. Ebony did not mind the spare time; she hated seeing how her mother looked at her, like she was a living, breathing reminder of her husband. Anastasia tried to stay out of Ebony's way, and Ebony tried to keep herself out of trouble. With Panic! At the Disco serenading her, Decay's daughter walked through the portal and onto the lush grass of her school. All around her, students with varying powers socialised and showed off their newfound tricks to their friends. And, of course, wherever she walked eyes followed her. The daughter of one of the most notorious villains of all time could not escape ogling eyes and hateful stares. There were times when Ebony wanted to just run her Wither throughout the entire school, killing everybody but Isaac, but that was what was expected of her. And she did not want to follow her father to hell. You're not like him, Ebony, she reminded herself. She had to. The knowledge that she was not evil was the only thing that saved her. I S A A C ΔIsaac had already been at school for an entire hour before Ebony arrived, because his father, who often came to visit the school as a private tutor for kids with issues with their powers, had important business to attend to that Isaac and his sister, Zoe, were of course too young to understand. Which, of course, was bullshit. There was some kid with electricity powers in freshman year who kept blowing up the circuits in the computer lab. "Your girlfriend's here," Zoe teased. Isaac looked up from their place on the wall just in front of the fountain to see Ebony walking across the grounds. She was trying her best to look unfazed by the glances she was getting, and to the untrained eye she would look normal, but Isaac knew she was pained. With a quick, "She's not my girlfriend, idiot," thrown in Zoe's direction, Isaac rose to his feet and joined Ebony in the middle of the grounds. "Good morning, loser," said Isaac in a serious tone. He and Ebony often jokingly insulted one another; that was just their sense of humour and the way they acted around one another. "Did you finish that assignment?" He did not need to specify which assignment. In the only class the Heroes and Villains shared, they all had to stand up and present on their powers. The idea was ludicrous to Isaac; some kids had less noticeable powers and would most likely be critiqued for them, but there was nothing to be done. Their teacher was set on this project, and Isaac was not looking forward to the bullying Ebony would endure afterwards. "I finished it," replied Ebony as they walked to their lockers, "but if I actually have to present it next week I am going to die. Maybe I can Wither myself for my presentation." "Absolutely not," said Isaac immediately, though he knew she was joking. "Forget Wither and just bring back someone's dog." "Everyone knows I have it, Izzy," sighed Ebony. It was true. It was a well-known fact that people inherited their powers from their parents a lot of the time, which was the case with Ebony's Wither ability and both of Isaac's mental abilities; his father was both a mind reader and a mental manipulator. But kids could also form their own abilities, which had been the case with Ebony's power of Resurgence. "Well, everyone's just going to have to get over it." Despite her urges Isaac knew Ebony would not be a villain. She was too afraid of herself to be one. J A M E S ♠On this particular morning James felt fine, a state he was not accustomed to. No urges. No violent thoughts. No sudden inability to control his fire powers. Just ... fine. Once dressed in an all-black ensemble James descended the stairs to find his mother and father eating their breakfast while watching the news, tutting about a villain in their native city of Chicago apparently robbing a bank. James had no interest paying any attention to their ranting; he slipped past them, grabbing an apple as he went while his father raged about the lack of security in the city since they had retired. James knew his parents expected him to be the next saviour of the Windy City; a perfect hybrid of Ember and Chameleon, the two biggest heroes in the last fifty years. James knew eventually he would crumble under the pressure. He really did try his best, but his urges, his thoughts, often prevented him from succeeding in the way his parents wanted him to. He was in the Heroes class, as they had wanted him to be, and he wasn't failing any of his classes but he knew they felt he could do better. James could not bring himself to admit he needed help, not to his parents, teachers, anyone. They didn't need to know, and James could not handle being such a disappointment. He stepped through the portal in the town hall and onto the grounds of the school. Despite being a self-made social outcast, even his classmates expected great things from James. How could one person have so much pressure? Finding himself too sick to eat anything, James tightened his grip on the apple in his hand and burned it to a crisp, dropping the ashes on the bright green grass. With his head down, watching his feet, it was no surprise when he accientally crashed into a tiny girl with white and black hair. "Sorry," he said quietly to her, reaching down to pick up the books she had dropped. She looked new; James did not think he had ever seen her in the school before. But then again, he did have no friends anyway. How would he know?