"I've got a bad feeling about this," said Toni in his best Harrison Ford. But he had already gathered his stuff, so he smiled at Rose as he opened the door for her.
Sings Loudly had an even worse feeling. Principal Ellis had sounded stressed. As if under, not coercion, but improper influence of some sort. So he marched ahead of the others, tail held high.
Foradain, Mage of Phoenix Rising.
Millennium City RefugeeForadain's Character Conclave
Connor furrowed his brow slightly, looking to Misty. "What do you mean by--"
Unfortunately, the voice coming over the school's speaker system interrupted him before he could finish his inquiry. "...Well, shit," he said with surprising neutrality before looking at the others.
"Either she wants our help, or we're fucked six ways from Sunday."
Alicia took her time getting to the office, if only because there was a high chance of her breaking something if she moved too quickly. She opened the door quietly, and upon seeing that she was the first to arrive, cleared her throat.
"Sorry, Principal Ellis, you wanted to see me."
Entering the conference room, the students are greeted by the sight of a perturbed looking Principal Ellis, currently fuming as she awaits the arrival of Nicholas Night who is being guided by ESSI to the area. Seeing as she has a precious few minutes before his arrival, as he insisted he wanted to see the damage wrought, she takes a moment to sternly address the students when they arrive in total.
"Before Mr. Night arrives, I have a fair bit of warning. He feels his money and technological stake in this school entitles him to privileges here. There are some clauses I cannot circumvent, so be on your guard and watch what you say." Sitting carefully, the stern woman angrily awaited the billionaire's arrival.
Rose nods slowly, squeezing Toni's hand for a moment as she attempts to discern where the enmity between the two authoritarian figures resided. Turning to him, she inquired this question nonverbally with a concerned look.
"We will, Principal Ellis."
Natalia nods as well, hoping Portia followed her as she awaits the man's arrival.
"Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience."
"Principal, sorry, but for the uninitiated among us, who exactly is this person?"
The astute and disciplined woman can barely hide the derision in her tone as she answers promptly.
"His 'majesty', Nicholas Night." She sneers.
"Well...That...Wasn't as descriptive as I would have liked, but..." Connor trails off, and pockets his hands into his hoodie awkwardly.
"Oh yes.. Be on your guard around His Majesty, Czar Nicholas the Fourth, the careless playboy of Titan. You wound me, Janet. Are you still upset about being stood up, or is this retaliation for some other wronging?"
Nick leaned against the doorway of the conference room with a teasing smile, fingers rapping on the wall.
AWWWWWWW TITAN CITY! DON'T YOU DARE. BE SOUR. CLAP FOR YOUR NIGHTMARE, AND FEEEEEEL THE POWAAAAAAH!
Roleplayer; Esteemed Villain
Connor turns around upon hearing the new voice, and purses his lips.
"...On the other hand, I suppose that's all the description I really needed."
Principal Ellis, or rather the seething Janet's reply could cut diamond in half with it's sharp and biting edge.
"Please, the entire 'date' was simply a ruse to get in good with the school board of directors, being the control freak you are, 'Nick'. And if your done with your dickwaving contest, please explain why your here so you can get the hell out of my building." She demands.
"Oh come now, you're still suffering from this delusion that I have some ulterior motives? Nevertheless, we have wasted precious time here."
Nick takes a seat on the opposite side of Principal Ellis, trading the playful face for a more stern one.
"You see, I've just been notified of the assault some of your students partook in. While you might think I want nothing but power, I do care for the well being of the students here and you can imagine the surprise of both me and the media when the details came that such an attack caught the entire school off guard. While I am not a parent and therefore cannot understand the type of horror running through the minds of your student's guardians, I AM a businessman and I would not like to see my investments being wasted."
"Oh he's good." Those that can hear spirits would pick up on that as misty came through a wall and was hovering sitting yoga style. "Hmm I think I'm with the principal on this. He's too smooth. Perhaps mention that the protective field does work and no one was harmed. Bla bla bla."
Personal rules of good roleplay
1.) Nothing goes as planned.
2.) If it goes as planned it's not good RP
Setzer jumped up onto the conference table and sat on it, looking at Mr. Knight in much the same manner as an ordinary cat would look at a mouse that had just come into his view, the tip of his tail twitching.
Toni looked at Mr. Knight, and wondered exactly when and how he had learned of the attack. He considered making the comment Misty had mentioned, but it seemed to him that Principal Ellis wanted to handle things.
"No one was harmed," Alicia says after a few moments of silence engulfs the room, "if you are worried that your financial investment is not producing acceptable results, you should perhaps consider the fact that this attack was prevented by the very same students that you are funding. The assault was put down without damage to more than one area of the school, and without any civilian casualties. This is an outcome far greater than what would normally be deemed no more than Acceptable, in the field of professional hero work."
Janet barely manages to surpress a growl as she replies with a firm and analytical expression and tone.
"Your attempt at scare tactics is cute Nick, but unwarranted. If you cared to remember, the stasis tech worked exactly like expected and displayed, and the damage wrought during both altercations was minimal at best. And in that regard, these students here were responsible for the defense of their fellow students in the Auditorium, not your toys or stake in funding." She counters while taking a second to look over the said young heroes, also conveying a warning, almost unseen.
Unless Mr. Knight was looking at Setzer, he'd almost certainly miss the flick of ears toward Principal Ellis, acknowledging her warning. Toni settled for looking straight back at her while she looked at the students, then returned his attention to Mr. Knight. Meanwhile, he did certain mental exercises Setzer had taught him, gathering his will...
"Unlike some people, Miss Ellis, I do not take risks. Your defenses may have worked, but what if someone disables them? These children may have been able to fend off a few simple attacks from uncoordinated and unintelligent foes, but what happens when something larger comes? What if some maniac decides to to take the school hostage or worse? If you are going to rely on your students to fight your battles, then they require proper training. I've not come here to start a pissing contest or take over anything, nor to remove or add funding. I've decided to facilitate a mentor system using these young ones as the first initiates and allow them to get actual experience. Even a shrew like you cannot deny the value of real world experience."
He leans back and removes his glasses, his heterochromatism more apparent without the lenses in front of his eyes.
"You may refer to my words as 'scare tactics', but this world has a history of underestimation and that history punishes those who are not cautious."
At his words, Janet stands slowly, taking off her own glasses to reveal a set of now vibrant, cobalt eyes glowing and pulsing eyes that reflect her heartbeat, slow and steady. Her tone however is final, and words are fast and emphasized.
"Since you seem to have devolved yourself to insults to counterbalance flaws and delusions of grandeur, let me remind you this, Nicholas. This school's defenses are adequate, and the superhuman guards and myself are more than sufficient to protect the students if they cannot fend for themselves. And on the note of your mentorship program, I find it rich that you have such a brilliant idea but the skill or tact and knowledge of an actual hero, which you are not."
She then decides to salt the wound further.
"My family has been kicking ass and taking names much longer then your own has spent wiping your's and paying off your parent's infidelities. In that stead I will be launching a mentorhship program of my own, personally sponsored by myself and heroes from across Titan City. I cannot decide for them who they will join, but they are free to make their own choices."
Rose's is immediate, as she glares down the man with a icy verdant stare that almost puts the likes of Anthem or Principal Ellis to shame as she replies.
"No, I won't be joining you Nick. Quite frankly I don't like you and standing in your presence is making me sick, then again I'm sure your associates, rivals, and parents know the feeling." She insults sharply, daring the man for a retort.
Natalia stares the man down with an equal intensity as she responds curtly, her Eastern European accent highlighting her anger and dislike of the man.
"No, I will have to decline your unwelcome inquiry." She locks her alluring eyes with his for a moment, but quickly looks away as she hopes not to reveal her supernatural nature to the business mogul.
"I have a mentor, and I'm not looking to replace him." Toni didn't bother to indicate the cat; if Mr. Night hadn't realized that the cat had more combat experience than many veterans, Toni was not about to bring it to his attention.
Connor looks back and forth between the others and Mister Knight for a few moments, before clearing his throat.
"...Well! Clear allegiances aside, I'd like to know a bit more about what both sides are proposing."
Nick's eyes close and he takes deep, meditative breaths to calm the rage building up. Insulting him was fine. He was used to it. His family, though, was another story. The Night family had done nothing but good over the last century and a half and the fact that these plebeians dared to challenge their honor and integrity had him riled up. He'd replaced his glasses and opened his eyes to form a very cold and merciless star. He took the bait, but it didn't matter to him as long as he defended his predecessors.
"Now you listen here. My assistance is not mandatory in any way, shape, or form. I willingly funded this school with the idea that with proper education, avoidable mistakes of the past could never be repeated. A simple 'No thank you, Mr. Night' would have sufficed instead of this tasteless shot against the Night lineage. Before you open your mouth up and make assumptions on someone more well-off than you, consider the things that those who came before them did. I might not live up to my father's legacy or his father's, but I damn sure am trying to."
The blood in him boiled and it was clear he was holding back. "Now, if you'll excuse me," he says as he gets up from the conference table, "I have more pressing matters to attend to than continuing a pissing contest with an ungrateful woman and her students, namely finishing schematics for the police and SWAT's new gear." On his way out, he looks back at Ellis and adds, "And remember the phrase 'don't bite the hand that feeds you'."
Alicia sighs quietly as the man makes his way out. "There is a good chance that we could have handled that differently."
Toni agreed with Alicia, but said nothing. Principal Ellis clearly had an ax to grind with Mr. Night, and he was fairly sure it wasn't just the way he'd forced this meeting on her.
Another issue had been revealed, though, and Toni didn't hold his tongue about it. "If Mr. Night could force this meeting to pitch his mentoring program, what else can he do? How confidential are school records with regards to superpowers... or weaknesses?"
Even though she hadn't been called, Portia had followed Natalia and stood quietly in the background during the meeting. Something about Nicholas Night just rubbed her the wrong way from the moment he entered the room, so she quickly decided to 'keep her mouth shut and her eyes open' as her mother had repeatedly counseled over the years.
"What would this mentor program involve, Miss Ellis?" she asked, looking over at the seething Principal.
Putting yourself in another persons shoes emotionally is something that everyone has to experience eventually. It's part of learning to be a human being. Roleplayers do it for fun.
Dennis was just leaning on a wall during all of that, watching them argue, before speaking up when it got a bit more quiet."Well, I am going to be honest with you all...I didn't understand any of that and now my head hurts." If only he was joking.
Note: Jorortis is still a character of mine and is still going to be in the super group, not Demirus, at least not yet...
Principal Ellis growls internally at the man's retort, but offers no comment as he takes his leave, silent as the door slides shut. When she turns to face the students, her face is expressionless.
"I suppose you are right Alicia, but something about that man is off to me, and he seems entirely too perfect for my tastes. Regardless I shouldn't have let that cloud my judgement, if desired I will call him back for a meeting. And fortunately Anthony, ESSI monitors the electronic files of student records and we have hard copies hidden under wards and security measures. However, we can only prepare so far ahead."
She then sighs, before adding.
"The mentorship program would involve regular daily danger room sessions as a group, combat drills from both active and retired superheroes from myself, funding for a base of operations of sorts if it takes off. Interested, or would you like for me to call Mr. Night back inside?" She inquires gently, her tone softening slightly as the bell rings, signaling the end of the school day.
With another sigh, she states lastly.
"When you are willing, we can discuss both options at a later date, without the pressure from myself or Nicholas." With that, the stern woman departs from the room with a brisk and graceful walk.
Rose eyed between the two adult figures within the room with growing curiosity, wondering just what was the history between them, before turning to Toni and the others as Principal Ellis departs.
"I'm going for Principal Ellis's offer, I'm getting bad vibes off of Mr. Night, it just doesn't feel right. But I am curious what he would propose."
Natalia however remained mostly expressionless through the departures, simply speaking curtly to say her piece.
"I would like to see what both sides offer as well, as Mr. Night does not seem to want harm to come to us or see his tech fail, he seemed to enjoy tormenting Miss Ellis." She notes with a slight hint of anger.
"I heard from that gossip show. Behind the Mask, they think he's the dark brooding hero Nightstalker. It would explain where the guy gets all his fancy gear, and why he to perfect. I don't believe it c'mon who names their hero identity with a variation on their own name. Thought that would fit the ego part." She thought about something "Connor tell the principal that I'm here and haunting the school."
"I'd still personally like to know exactly what this 'mentorship program' is supposed to entail," Connor says, turning around, "I'd also like to know if it's planned to be a secret, because honestly, I'm not really in a position to have everyone know what I'm doing in my spare time."
Then, frowning, he turns to what appears to be thin-air, and says, "now why would I...Do...That...?" He trails off as he realizes exactly what that looked like to the Principal, and clears his throat before nodding in Misty's direction. "Invisible student. Sort-of."
Alicia speaks up after the others have said their piece. "I would like to know if the equipment is capable of withstanding and catering to all of our collective powers. I would also like to know if there will be specialized training for each of us available. Although general instruction is welcomed, I am sure that proper progress can only be made when each of our individual skillsets are addressed in a unique fashion."
Misty lifted up her hand "Why would you do that... lets see. One we have been talking about me getting some magical doodad or spell so others that aren't sensitive to spirits can see me. Or even let me have a material form, at least for a short time. Two out of any one in this school who should know about that black magic whatchamacallit it should be the principal. I can say I was flying past Kyle's locker when I felt it. Or do you want to explain to her you were in another student's locker? Three and most important.... I'M BORED AND HAUNTING A FREAKING SCHOOL! Really anything to break the norm is fine for me."
"Well, in the future, if anyone who's not school staff wants to meet with students who used superpowers to defend themselves, I'd like a bit of warning. Enough time to put on a mask, at least. If they already know our names, there would be no point to it, but if they don't, I for one would like to keep it that way." Toni took a deep breath. "Water under the bridge. Anyway, I already ha-" Toni was interrupted by a meow.
Sings Loudly cast a spell he didn't use much, mostly because he lacked practice with it, but this made twice in as many days, so that might be changing. Only the crudest of electronic psi-shields would block it (effectively overwhelming his signal with static); others would at least let the wearer know someone was trying to talk to them. Barring that, the voice the principal would hear in her head would sound much like that of Sebastian Cabot's portrayal of Bagheera. *Principal Ellis, I am Sir Sings Loudly, Knight of the Summer Court of the Underhill. If you wish, you may refer to me as Setzer as Toni does. And while I am capable of handling his magical training, a mentor who is more familiar with the laws of this world would definitely be welcome addition to his training.*
The spell would only work on one person at a time - making it affect a group greatly increased the cost of the spell - so Setzer summarized it for Toni. "Yeah, that does make sense. I'm in."
"Well, I think I might be interested in the Principal's mentorship program. I'd rather not look into Mr. Night's. Something about him is just... well, he rubs me the wrong way. And that's a big deal for someone who's practically part fish. But if you really want to check out his program, I'll go with you, Natalia." Portia volunteered, her gaze shifting to her new friend. There was a glum look on her face, but her eyes were clear and supportive.
"I do have a question, seeing how all of this stuff had gone on with those other kids...do I still have to stay after school."Dennis scratched his head.
Principal Ellis stops short of her exit of the room to pivot to face her students, as she answers each question with practiced decisiveness.
"Yes, the program will be kept under clandestine nature because of what it's induction will entail. As for what, aside from what was aforementioned, field trip variations of patrols, holosimulations of various crisises to resolve, and tailored individual tutoring based on your specific powers and weaknesses. And do not worry Alicia, the danger room is adaptive based on the strength of your abilities, so you and others will be accommodated."
She is then addressed by Setzer, and blinks before nodding her head at the familiar's words, choosing to recognize him as what he claimed to be as she adopted her ordinary formal tone reserved for addressing her peers or parents.
"Understood, Sir Sings Loudly, and rest assured a meeting can be set at your leisure to familiarate you with the laws of this land, and to better accomodate you as his companion and mentor."
In regards to Connor's statement, she blinks and takes a moment to peer at the space the Wicket Door seemed to be addressing, as she slowly spoke in reply.
"I...see. Seeing as the magically inclined teachers have most presumably left for the day, maybe something can be arranged?" She then turns to Portia and Natalia, and states curtly, gravely.
"Miss Volin, as much as I would advise you and Mr. Gateman against it, I cannot stop you. And Miss Wallace, I would continue to trust your instincts...." She trails off as she takes a moment to regard the students that stand before her, young paragons in the making she hoped as she finishes.
"They seem to have served you well so far." Lastly, she resists the urge to facepalm as she states sharply to Dennis.
"You may leave, but please note that the second you start an altercation like that upon my campus that could have killed or endangered students, I will not hesitate to step into the fray myself." She all but hisses, and leaves the younger Cain brother to ponder the consequences of that happening, as she awaits the replies of the students she has spoken to; allowing them to witness the expression that rightfully earned her the name 'Granite' Janet Ellis.
Rose takes a moment to soak in what was said before replying.
"I think that is a wiser offer then what Nicholas Night would bring to the table, seeing as we would still be on campus and not inclined for testing or God knows what else; something is strange about him."
Natalia is slightly taken aback by Setzer's claim, but remembers by all accounts she shouldn't even exist, so she doesn't raise a question. Turning to her friend, she replies with a smile.
"I do not wish to make you uncomfortable Portia, we do not have to examine his facilities. And Principal Ellis has a point, your instincts have served you well so far and I trust them as I do you."
After seemingly taking some time to contemplate matters for herself, Alicia turns to the principal with a clear look in her eyes. "If this is something that you are indeed serious about, then I would suggest one additional facet," she says, her voice surprisingly firm, "I would ask that we give ourselves the opportunity to form teams, and work together in them. If we are to train together, then we should grow accustomed to each other's abilities, and understand how to use them in tandem with our own." She nods, taking a moment to let her words sink in for the others, before continuing. "Following this, I would then request that we begin patrolling and undergoing combat drills within these groups. If it is the next generation of heroes that you are hoping to produce, then you would do well to start be weeding out the flaws of previous generations. One of those, I feel, is the idea that the strong must work alone."
Connor clears his throat again. "...On the notion of the whole, 'working alone' thing, if you and that Night fellow are really trying to accomplish the same goal, why not just, you know, put the argument aside for a bit and see if the both of you can make this work. Just a suggestion, of course."
Principal Ellis takes a moment to nod at both statements, addressing Alicia first.
"That would have already been a part of the program, but I will make sure to emphasize your points, the only barrier in the way would be if we have substantial funding to work with, which makes Mr. Gateman's inquiry all the more imperative." She sighs, before replying.
"And in that regard, I suppose we can try." With that, not giving herself a moment to hesitate, she reaches for the phone pad used for parent/teacher meetings as she places a call to Nicholas Night's personal assistant.
"Yes, this is James Duncan High Principal Janet Ellis, is Nicholas Night available for a quick meeting, now?"
Connor flashes a well-natured smirk. "Voice of reason," he mutters.
Grace, one of the many secretaries for Mr. Night, answered.
"I'm sorry, Miss Ellis. He's meeting with a foreign client at the moment. If you'd like, we can schedule an appointment at a later date."
Principal Ellis barely resists the urge to reflexively burst a expanding forcefied through the phone as she replies firmly.
"Of course he is. Will tomorrow be optimum for him?"
"Of course, madame. I'll set one up right away."
While this conversation is going on, Doctor Franz von Braun marches his way into the front office red with fury and steam blowing out of his ears.
"ELISE! I refuse to vurk undah zees condishuns any longah!"
Principal Ellis takes a moment to sigh before reluctantly ending the call with the assistant rather abruptly, before strolling out to the office, once more stone faced, as she addresses Doctor Von Braun.
"Franz, what seems to be the problem here?"
Rose turns to look at Toni curiously for a moment as she begins to follow the Principal with him in hand, curious about the distraction as she whispers to him.
"If things get out of hand, it me be better that we are present."
Natalia had already left the room with inhuman speed at the sound of the man's agitated voice, and already stands passively ready beside the Principal with a unwavering stare upon the man, poised to spring into action should conflict arise.
Dr. von Braun pulls at his hair, shaking madly as he curses in German before speaking to Janet in his broken English, hands moving to accentuate his words.
"Zey ridicule me un zey call me names like Mengele un Das Fuhrer un Beekman un zey play ze natsy jokes on me un zey draw ze silly peechurs un I haff tried un tried to ignore but zey vill not cease! It eez a mad house! I ded not come to zis country to be mocked like circus boy. In my country ve vould backhand ze children until zey stop vith ze bad behavior but here zey are all entitled un zay go 'Ohhh et iz a free country un ve can say vatever ve vant..' I am zis close to quitting, Elise, und unless zou can do zomezing about zem, I vill resign right here und now!"
Connor looks between the teacher that had just rushed into the room, and the principal for a few moments.
"...I had a teacher that was Russian once," he says, "one day the students tipped her over the edge by collectively mocking the Soviet National Anthem. The following day, she started assigning torrentous amounts of homework for the remainder of the year. No one ever made her angry again." He shrugs.
"Don't look at me I didn't do anything to him... today."
Toni whispered to Rose, "I think Connor gets a lot of practice being a diplomat. Very useful talent to have around. But yes, just in case..."
Principal Ellis sighed at the valid complaints of Doctor Von Braun, and internally scolded herself for not doing something about his reports earlier, negating it for other priorities at the time. Taking a moment to nod at Connor's suggestion, she states sternly.
"I see. Mr. Gateman does raise a far point, and I have found that you have to earn the respect of the students under your doctrine, remind them that they are in your classroom, and be assertive without raising a hand to them. While I miss simpler days like that too, you have to understand that this a a new generation with new rules." She counters diplomatically, hoping that the Doctor will take her words to heart before she continues.
Rose smiles at that, while whispering back.
"He does seem very levelheaded, intelligent, and brilliantly awkward, I mean not in a bad way, like us." She grins.
"Jou do not undastand ze children like I do. Jou have ignored mein complaints until now, und no vork or reminders or 'respect' vill undo ze damage wrought all year. Zey vill ignore me, looking only forward to ze last day ven zey leave for Summah. Zey have no respect for ze education or ze sciences. Zey ah nosing but brats who need to be taught a lesson. I am at mein wit's end, Elise.. Send zem to someone else, please, und let me teach ze honor students. Doktor Malcom knows not vat joy he has. Let him see ze hell vich I go through for a few years.. Please, Elise?"
Principal Ellis sighs, as she takes a moment to consider his plea, before reluctantly stating.
"If you can get Doctor Malcom to agree to a trasnfer, and have the both of you there within my office tomorrow morning, I will allow your request, Doctor Von Braun."
"Tank you Elise." von Braun says before retreating back to the lab. Ze perfect opportunity to test ze hypno-ray.. und ven Doktor Malcom "agrees" I vill be free of ze mindless idiots! He strides while humming Ode to Joy before stopping in his tracks in the middle of the hall.
The students had lined up against both walls leading into Dr. von Braun's lab and saluted him Nazi-style. The sight of this made him snap and the doctor began ranting and raving in an unintelligible mix of German and English before being escorted out by security officers, their attempts to calm him falling on deaf ears.
"...Well that was about ten different types of Entirely Unnecessary," Connor grumbles as he watches the other students torment their teacher from the office door, "not to mention historically insensitive."
Alicia clears her throat and looks to Principal Ellis, seemingly eager to get back to business. "Principal, I would like to know when you are planning to begin these sessions you had mentioned."
Principal Ellis shakes her head as Doctor Von Braun is carried off, but glares to the students that mockd him once to send them scrambling for the exits. Once that is done, she turns back to Alicia and the other powered students.
"Effective immediately tomorrow morning, and the introduction will consume the entirety of the school day."
"Yeah that would have been to much even for me. There a style to these things after all." Then she blinks "Wait me... Connor do you think that dark entity a spirit like me? If so perhaps these fancy school can detect the drop in temperature, or energy fluctuation where it's at."
Connor turns, placing his hands back in his pockets as he thinks. "I wouldn't rule it out, certainly. It might not have been close enough for me to feel it properly, and I'm sure there's at least something here that can deal with temperature changes...But we'd still have to find a reliable way of catching it. I'll think on that."
Morning well even before morning. The night was growing late and dawn was now just a fant change in hew of the night sky. Misty hated it... not because of the time of day, it was that there was nothing to distract her. Nothing to stop...
The hall had changed it was now a living room of a building that no longer stood. "See what you made me do!" He was yelling at her, it wasn't her fault the power went out the alarm clock didn't go off. It didn't matter her nose was bleeding from when he backhanded her.
She shook her head bringing herself back to the now. Latching on to anything of the school to keep her from the memories. She was a ghost a dead being all she was, all she ever has been. She went and picked up a chalk and started drawing the Hydra symbol on the chalkboard of von Braun classroom....
..."Make my friend feel good and you feel good. Got that Misty? You don't want my friend to be upset, that makes me angry."
She burst from the classroom. Running from the echos of the past "YOU'RE DEAD! HEAR ME! YOU'RE DEAD!" The voice screamed. At times like this she not sure if it's all in her head or would others see and hear her past. She ended up in one of the girl's bathrooms sitting in the corner by the sinks. "Will they keep coming if I get the means to be seen by others, or become solid?"
Feeling a sharp pain she looks down at the bullet wound that took her life ghostly echo of the blood oozing out of the wound. Across the bank/bathroom floor was Walter her boyfriend, drug pusher, pimp, and tormentor. Then blackness took her... once again, every night... till dawn.
Shortly before the first period began, an old-styled car with three headlights pulled into the visitors' parking. Three women emerged and went into the front office. One of them, a blonde apparently in her mid to late twenties, introduced herself. "I'm Marianne Morrison. " The darker woman, of about the same age, with a trace of Georgia in her accent, said, "And I'm Millicent O'Brian. This is our daughter, Alexandra Irene. We're hoping to enroll her here for your next semester."
Alexandra Irene Morrison-O'Brian looked to be around seventeen, and by her coloration and features could have been the daughter of either of the two older women, if only they had been older... But according to the paperwork they presented, she had a birthdate in February of 2014, already had a GED... and was registered as a sapient AI. She had been passing the time striking up a conversation with ESSI via her WiFi systems... At this point, though, she spoke audibly to the receptionist, "I need more practice interacting with biological people before I try for Ephesus. And if you have any positions that a GED would qualify me for, maintenance or security or whatever, job experience will look good on my application."
Connor picked his way through early-morning traffic on his skateboard, headphones in his ears, backpack on his back, one hand in his pocket, and the other hand clutching a cup of Coffee, the Delicious Morning Force of Life. Usually he'd just open a door and take the "fast" way to school, but every once in a while, a bit of morning air feels nice. Add in the fact that it was a rather nice day, and the fact that he'd probably be spending the remainder of it in the middle of an Obstacle Course from Hell, and it seemed like a good idea to get as much sunshine as he could before his Dungeon Days began.
He kept a tight hold on his coffee as he tilted his board around one of the last bends before the school building, bobbing in-between arriving school-buses and parents dropping their kids off, coming to a stop before flipping the board up, catching it and tucking it under his arm. He closed his sunken and droopy eyes to take a long pull from his (really hot) coffee, wincing a bit as it torches his throat for a few seconds, yet seeming no more awake for it. After reminding himself where he should be going with a few unintelligible (except to him) mumbles, he began making his way towards the Danger Room, having informed the stage director the night before that he wouldn't be able to come in that day; thankfully, there wasn't really anything that needed to be done until the Technical Rehearsals began, save for watching the actors rehearse and taking prop notes.
The armored door of the elevator slid open, revealing a familiar, equally-armored hallway beyond. Alicia squinted slightly at the harsh lighting imbedded into the ceiling, yet knew full-well that it was nothing compared to the brightness outside. She rolled her shoulders in preparation for the day, wanting to stretch her arms, were they not bound by the force-field coils surrounding her Limiter Gauntlets. The two armored guards behind her began to walk forward, and so did she, making her way down the long hallway towards the door at the end, by which stood a single armored guard. This strange, ritualistic process had taken place so many times, on the shifts of so many different guards, that despite her prisoner-like status, the guard at the end of the hallway gave the girl a slight smile as she stopped by the door, the other two guards hovering close behind her.
"So how's school, huh," he asked as he lifted a panel on his wrist before entering a combination on the screen there to turn Alicia's forcefield-cuffs off.
"Interesting, Mister McGregor," she responded, smiling slightly in response. It was more of a formality than any symbol of feeling. Although their armor and uniforms were identical, Alicia had managed to remember the guards by their voices. McGregor had been working the same post day in and day out for longer than Alicia had been there.
The exchange was brief, and neither party followed it any further. The guards behind Alicia turned and began marching their way back to the elevator, and the blast-door in front of her slowly slid upwards. She stretched her arms as she stepped out into the sunlight, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath to calm herself as she felt the morning wash over her. For several minutes, she simply stood there, drinking in the sensations that she so rarely felt; the laziness of the breeze, the looseness of her clothes, the sun on her skin, yet the large metal bracers on her forearms and matching belt on her waist, almost foreign next to her cargo pants and simple sweatshirt, always impeded with their own presence on these other sensations.
With another deep breath, she slowly crouched, then took off into the air with blinding speed, a blast of air and a crack of sound radiating outwards from her take-off point. She arced upwards into the sky and back down again, touching down in front of the school building and nearly cracking the sidewalk a mere four seconds later. As much as she wanted to take her time and truly fly, there was no time for that.
With a sigh, she modestly made her way into the building, taking care to push the door open slowly before heading inside.
Dennis, was wearing his green and black camouflage knee length shorts ,and a black sleeveless tee shirt with large tribal Eagle on the front of it and his arms exposed, a some finger less gloves on each hand, his back pack was filled with the usual,a bunch of assorted snacks and drinks, no space for books, or folders, his deadlocked hair tied in a ponytail, as he jumped to school from his porch, landing some 50 feet from the building to avoid any real damage to the property, the grass he landed in though was not so lucky as he left a pretty deep hole there.
He didn't really waste time as breakfast determined how he would function throughout the day, so he made a shot through the doors to the cafeteria saying hello to anyone he pasted but not making any real conversation, getting to a nice quiet part and plopping down to consume the whole book-bag full of cakes and pies , and 3 2 liter colas in about 5 minutes, before relaxing and kicking back.
Melody grumbled to herself and adjusted her headphones. So this was going to be 'life'? She sneered at the two TCPD officers assigned to escort her, like the tracking bracelet made of who-gives-a-crapanium wouldn't show she was going to school... more like the only type of prison they could legally put her in. She had to hand it to her lawyer, he knew people. A four month stint in juvi was far less than she expected. Granted she had not expected to come out of her last fight alive, or well any of them alive for that matter. She had just wanted to make the world burn. By her own estimation she had done a fairly bang up job of it to. She sneered one last time at the officers as they stopped walking. She played along in juvi, because real prison on the island awaited her if she was caught again. The bracelet wouldn't let her use her powers out of anger, some hippie garbage idea the DA had a scientist create to help "reform this poor misguided but dangerous child." Screw that guy, she would figure this thing out and burn his house down when she did.
She wasn't going to be house broken by this place. Her list was a mile long. She had names to cross off, and this ... school.... was going to help her, one way or another.
A group of girls walked by the officers. Melody caught the shorter officer check them out while the other officer gave him a "dude, too young" look. Melody smiled, slid her foot just a bit and sent a gust of wind swirling up and under the skirt of the lead girl. The second officer still didn't look. Melody stomped away into the building. "Alright, lets get this koom-by-a started!" The taller officer pointed down a hallway. "Principals office is that way, they have your schedule, no leaving the grounds. As per the cities request during school operation hours you are considered a ward of the state under special care. Personally I would really like to see you mess this up so I can crack that sly grin right off your smug face. Have a good day convict." The two officers left.
Melody rattled off a few choice insults at their backs before turning down the hallway indicated. "Arise and reform me good people of JD High!" Melody held her arms out like a saint in those church statues. She let a small gust of wind lift her as she sung out "Aaaaaaaaaaaaa" in that mock holy way. She held the note and the pose the entire length of the hall as the air swirled just enough around her to keep her lifted. She dropped down in front of the secretary. "One world savior reporting in." She gave the lady her biggest fake smile.
Supporting how I can, Starting up a DA group for art, stories, and concepts to be collectedhttp://city-of-titans.deviantart.com/
Please join up if you plan to make or collect CoT related art.
While waiting for the secretary to decide whether to pass the buck to the principal or simply hand them the enrollment paperwork, Marianne and Millie glanced at the sarcastic young lady and her jewelry. "Five months," whispered Marianne. "One," replied Millie. "Four months," countered Marianne...
Connor turned in the hallway as he heard the outburst of what he assumed was just someone having an extremely sarcastic morning somewhere near the entrance to the school. He turned with his eyebrows furrowed in curiosity, giving the girl he had never seen before a look before turning and continuing right on his way.
"Oh I know her... I think... it's kind of fuzzy those memories." MIsty shakes her head as she yawns. "I'm dead how the hell could I be tired." She decides to shadow Melody perhaps it was due to those faint memories. Or just because Melody the type to cause trouble and that's always fun.
Andy's radio went off fifteen minutes before first period. He awoke quickly and sat up, running his hands through his hair. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes, then closed them and concentrated. The sound of the radio slowed to a crawl as the passage of time through his body sped up. He opened his eyes and burst into motion. He slapped the alarm clock on the way out the door, then trotted down the hallway, dodging around one of his little brothers. His other brother was at the sink in the bathroom, so Andy brushed his teeth and slapped on deodorant while weaving around him.
He headed back to his room, got dressed, and looked over at the clock, watching as it slowly changed from 7:45 to 7:46. Andy dodged his brother again on his way down the hallway to the kitchen. He snagged a few pieces of toast and several sausage patties off a platter on the counter. He threw those together with a couple of pieces of American cheese, then grabbed a banana from the basket. As he turned towards the door, he noticed that the ANDY STOP! sign had been put up.
Halting, he concentrated and time returned to normal. He turned to his Dad, who was just looking up from the platter where food had disappeared from in a blur. "Andy, don't forget to come straight to the dojo today after school. Jacques, Benji, and J.D. are all busy with classes or are not going to be there, so I need your help hauling in and hanging the new punching bags." his father said, smiling.
"Sure thing, Dad. See ya this afternoon." Andy answered, finishing his sandwich and giving his Dad a quick hug. He concentrated for about ten seconds and his perception of time sped back up. The kitchen clock read 7:47 as he left the house and ran down the driveway. At 7:52, he was trotting towards the school entrance, having jogged the two miles to school. As he walked in the door, his perception of time slowed back to normal.
As he skirted past the office, he saw the girl with the giant smile pasted on her face. "Careful, you smile any bigger and you'll dislocate your jaw." he quipped as he walked behind her.
Where the north-northeastern edge of Old Bradford met the ocean and Alexandria, a fat cylindrical building sat at the end of a long pier that jutted off of a privately-owned beach. Inside the cylinder was a home that was half full of water. With a small splash, Portia emerged from a hole in the floor like a leaping dolphin and landed with her strong legs on either side of the hole. Two devices on armatures came down and generated air-blades that pushed most of the water off her body. She unpinned her long white hair and wrung it out, then trotted into a small clothing room to change from a bikini to her street clothes.
She picked out a pair of slippers, an airy skirt, and a cropped top with long straps that wrapped around her front and joined again in the back. She brushed her hair, then gathered it into a ponytail. Lastly, she attached her gill moisturizer and turned it on, then headed for the door, grabbing her bag on the way out. Her mom was just returning from a very early morning shopping trip and dropped a kiss on her cheek as she trotted by.
She arrived at the school with about fifteen minutes to spare, so she deposited her other books in her locker and strolled into the quad to sit for a few minutes.
The Burdelon household's quiet air during the early morning hours was broken by the unwelome screech of the alarm clock of Rosella, who groaned as her rest was disturbed by her mortal enemy once more. Reluctantly stepping out of the soft and downy comfort of her now ruffled sheets, the cajun witch nearly stumbled into her vanity before righting herself, as she prepared for the crucible that was High School.
After throughly washing her face to free it of the appearence of lost sleep due to the active night before, she smiled as she took in it's sweet memories and used the energy to galvanize her actions. Deciding after some nessecary debate to wear a casual white dress that stopped at her knees with black flowers embrodiarded into the fabric, complete with a silver metallic band about her waist for contrast, and a pair of simple black boots.
Completeting the outfit by styling her hair in it's usual form of long, luscious black curls and a simple coat of stawberry lip balm, Rose opted to waltz downstairs humming the tune of 'The Can Can', knowing her mother hated the tune, evident by the thrown croissant playfully thrown her way which is deftly caught by the grinning girl. Before she can hop out the door with her grey satchel over her shoulder, her mother calls out.
"Remember we have dinner with your...boyfriend tonight."
"Toni Mom, Anthony Mercer."
"Ah, well I hope he is as nice as he seemed last night, and do have a good day, no magic unless you HAVE to?"
"I will Mom, as always, and I know! Participating in a training exercise today, I'll tell you how it went." With a parting hug, Rose shimmed out the door and walked to Toni's condo, waiting outside to begin their walk to school.
Natalia's morning did not carry the warmth of those she perceived that took place with her classmates, as she simply rose from her coffin like cacoon of sheets to spy her dresser in the cold and dark room. Not bothering to look in the mirror of her bathroom despite the fact she does have a reflection, the young vampire quickly brushed her teeth before returning to her bed chamber to pick an outfit.
Choosing a black rolled denim jacket over a scarlet tube top, black mini skirt and heeled combat boots after taking cues from a fellow and sass filled dezien of the shadows, she styled her auburn locks of hair into a French braid that left her pretty porcelain face and alluring hazel eyes free to view.
Not even giving her guardian and 'mother' a second glance as she walked into the dark kitchen, with the curtains closed out of pure habit despite her amulet's prtection, clasping the said talisman in a pale, trained hand as she was adressed.
"I hope I will not have to explain to the order another event like yesterday's, Natalia? There were other ways to deal with those creatures, inaction would have sufficed." Had the substance carried warmth in her veins the girl's blood would have boiled, as she countered ever emotionlessly to the huntswoman clad in a bathrobe before her, currently examining a mini crossbow.
"And let innocent people stand the risk of being injured, inexcusable." Expecting a reprimand, Natalia was surprised to her a laugh from the much, MUCH older and cynical woman.
"Abraham had the same desposition, such irony he would find in your presence in our ranks. But I digress, please try to keep a MUCH lower profile then displayed earlier, or the council will have both our necks, figuratively of course."
"Was....that a joke, Miss Harker?" Natalia inquires curiously.
"I have no idea what your talking about, now leave, be safe, and remember we have patrolling and takeout tonight." Nodding at the code shared between them, Natalia wasted no time in streaking in a red and black blur to James Duncan High.
Arriving in the alleyway between the school and a apartment complex nearby, Natalia took a moment to watch the students mill around before her, walking forward as she tuned into the sights and smells of the building, especially at Melody's breeze and wail, so lost in her thoughts she accidentally bumps into Connor with hidden and accidental force.
Alexandria would find that ESSI seems to be quite pleased with the girl's conversation with her, happiness evident in her tone as she replies to the girl's guardians, as the receptionist smiles as she takes the enrollment papers.
"Her tenure here can start effective immediately, as soon as our receptionist Ms. Sullivan checks them into the system. For now Alexandria, Miss O'brien, Miss Morrison, would you like to begin a tour of the campus?"
Melody picked absently at her bellybutton in front of the receptionist. "Yo wonder twins, im tagging along. Seeing the principal seems.... unnecessary." Melody smiled for real, it was a tight smile, like pictures of vets in the trenches. 'Either of you take form of tech guru? Wanna liberate me?" Melody held out her wrist and jingled the large bracelet with TCPD stamped into it. "Promise I will do good deeds, have a go at it! I can't burn it, freeze it, shatter it, or cut it. I'll buy you an icecream." Melody ran her other hand through her long black hair.
"We'd love to take a tour." Marianne answered Ms. Sullivan.
Millie answered Melody: "Why should we do that? We just made a bet on how long it would take you to get out of them yourself. Please do your best; Marianne makes much better brownies than I do."
Alexandra said to Melody, "I'm afraid I can't help you. The last time I interfered in one of my Moms' wagers, they made me make the brownies. So, what's your name, and do you mind if I ask why the jewelry?"
Not having his Dad's Cruiser today, Toni had to take the bus. Well, bus or rainbow. He was pleased to see Rose on the sidewalk when he emerged, and he greeted her with a quick kiss. "Bus stop at the corner of the park takes us right to school. We should get there with about five minutes to spare."
Given the loud rock music blasting in his ears, and his lack of sleep, Connor was not in much of a position to dodge out of the way of any incoming threats, especially if they were moving so fast that he would barely be able to see them to start with. Although the moment went by in an instant, to Connor, it felt like an eternity as he watched his fresh, delicious, newly-purchased coffee spiral out of his grasp and splash onto the ground as he skidded across the linoleum on his face.
"...Jeeeeesus," he mumbles as he takes a moment to simply lie on the floor, wincing at the familiar tingling pain of face-on-the-floor friction. He slowly picks himself up, looking down at what was once his coffee with a moderate amount of disappointment. The school's coffee wasn't the greatest thing ever, but it was better at nothing, by this point. Not to mention down the hall. He rubbed his face with his palm, and looked over at the girl that had bumped into him.
"...I know I don't talk much, but I'd like to think I'm not that invisible," he grumbles, mostly to himself, before raising his voice slightly to address Natalia. "You're alright, right?"
Andy heard the thump and skid behind him. He turned to see Connor picking himself up off the ground. He walked over and looked down at the coffee.
As he focused on the coffee and smashed styrofoam cup, their passage through time began to rewind. The leaking coffee flowed back into the cup and the cup then jumped off the ground to fly through the air, back to where it had been when it had left Connor's hand. Andy snagged it out of the air and presented it to Connor, good as new. "You dropped this."
Nodding, ESSI begins to walk them through the building, appearing first at the library ahead of them, allowing the trio and Melody to browse the sights before them at their leisure before addressing them.
"The Library carries over 2000 hard titles and twice as many digital copies for the students tablets, including seperate sections for magical and advanced technology novels. Melody, I would advise against the action or soliciting help, noting the terms made clear by your enrollment here."
Rose kissed Toni back before replying with a infallible grin often and always held in the boy's presence.
"I would hope the buses are nowhere near as....special as the ones I rode in New Orleans? You didn't ride those things unless you had to..are the buses here tame, Toni?"
Natalia can't help but allow a red dusting of a embarrassed blush to grace her cheeks as she managed to land embarrassingly atop Connor, inwardly groaning at already eschewing the idea of keeping a low profile. Sighing in guilt at the state of the coffee she assumed the boy needed, she rose to her feet with grace as she dusted off her skirt, answering to the catcall of one male student with a glare that sent him scrambling so fast he faceplanted into the open door of his locker.
Eyeing Connor curiously for a moment, she instantly reaches out her hand to help haul him up with the same hidden strength as before, gently however as not to hurt him. Facing him, her alluring eyes locking with his as she profusely apologizes.
"Fine, are you alright?! Connor I am so sorry...I wasn't paying attention! Seeing as we have thirty minutes before our training, may I buy you another coffee?" She proposes, eager to mend this mistake, before blinking as Andy rewinds to null the idea.
"Or maybe not?" She smiles in greeting to Andy as she greets. "Hello Andy, and good morning."
Connor is pulled to his feet, stumbling a bit from the force, but not injured or otherwise hurt. He stares at her for a moment before pulling his eyes away raising a hand to rub the side of his face before wincing in slight discomfort. Something about those eyes were...Odd. Instead, he watches as the cup sails upwards though the air, the brown liquid within swirling back into the paper cup before the lid plops itself right back on top.
"...Most impressive," Connor says as he's handed his coffee again, raising it a bit in a respectful, cheers-type motion before taking a sip and looking back to Natalia. "It's uh...Fine. It's fine," he says, avoiding extended eye-contact by taking another sip, "don't worry about it, just be careful, I suppose. In a hurry?"
"Uh, how did it go. 'Ms. Ritters display of powers that resulted in the deaths of several known felons and the destruction of both TCPD and public property was the causation of severe emotional duress. This emotional duress caused an over mutation of her already known powers which led to her inability to properly apprehend said deceased criminals. Ms. Ritters fleeing the scene was due to her fear of incarceration from her 'mistaken' killing of said felons and attackings of the caped heroes who at the time she thought were aiding and abeding the crime the deceased felons were committing. Her following month was spent as a prisoner of several known criminals where she was forced to commit crimes under penalty of death." Melody shrugged. "My lawyer says I had a temporary loss of sanity and was later kidnapped because I got some mad element juice, who am I to argue with science?" Melody jangled the bracelet again. "I was told if I remove it its a no pass go situation. They didn't say someone else couldn't remove it. It was in the news paper, like page 2. Not even bad enough for page 1, totally blown out of proportion" Melody pouted when she saw they clearly wouldn't be helping. "So about that tour... and breakfast?"
Natalia eyes Connor still as she replies with a light blushing with a smile.
"In a sense, was hoping to beat the crowds, instead I most likely just created one, and I usually am. I intended to repay you in buying you another coffee, but seeing as that is taken care of, may I offer something else in penance?"
ESSI takes a moment to regard Melody in her cobalt holographic gaze, silent for a long moment before offering the girl what is hopefully a comforting smile.
"Then I suggest you keep up Miss Ritters, because out next stop is the Cafeteria, the food is fresh, I hope you have appetite?"
Connor furrows his brow a bit, and shrugs. Considering her pale skin, the blush was a bit noticeable, at least to him. "Not like you have to, but shoot, I suppose."
Natalia nods, noticing the furrow in his brow as she quickly breaks eye contact as another blush surface, cursing in what may be Romanian quietly before turning back to address him, her expression neutral save for a cordial smile as she begins to walk towards the Cafeteria.
"May I ask why you consume so much coffee, and have you tried the hazelnut blend?" She inquires in an attempt to strike a conversation that will distract from the flucuations in her complexion, and a blush that seems too stubborn to fade quickly from her pale skin.
Connor shrugs, following along to the Cafeteria. He waves behind him at Andy, as if motioning for him to follow them, should he want to.
"I drink it because I'm always tired," he responds, taking another sip from the cup as if to accent the point, "the caffeine content helps. Usually. And I don't think I've tried the hazelnut, why?"
Nicholas Night chose a more antiquated look for today, forgoing the usual business suit for a black Victorian tailcoat with golden buttons and blue trim, black pantaloons, and his Italian shoes (black with dark blue soles, of course). Elegant? Yes. Excessive? Maybe. But he hadn't dressed in a regal attire in quite some time. As he climbed into the back of his limo he slipped on a headset and Chaotica, working as a secretary at the school, told of the new arrivals. Allison was of no interest, Night Industries was already working on AI perfection and their applications as security. Melody, though.. The renegade he'd tried to turn after the Aether attack, now in a school for reform? This could prove interesting.. but who would benefit more? Me, or Nightmare..? The question sat as the limo drove all the way across the city to James Duncan High.
Natalia nods to Connor as they walk, the blush quite not yet fleeing her features as they enter the Cafeteria, now hearing the quiet murmering of fellow students as they walk inside. Leading the slowly to the coffee stand with two students ahead of them purchasing their own brews, as she replies, inquiring before stating.
"Is there any reason why you are so tired, Connor? And good, because that's what I'm buying for you to try." She smiles cordially as the line moves up one more.
"Long nights," he says, waving vaguely. "Trouble sleeping." Normally, he wouldn't say much more, but if his Othersight was anything to go on, there was a good chance that Natalia would be more than familiar with the details to begin with.
He waits for them to pass a group of students making their way to a table, then he lowers his voice so that only Natalia could hear, hopefully. "Ghosts, specifically."
Natalia blinks as she registers Connor's statement, pausing briefly to purchase two rich smelling hazelnut vanilla lattes with a quick thanks, maneuvering them to a two-seater table, sitting down opposite of him as she replies.
"I see. I would imagine being a medium is stressful and often a cause of sleep deprivation, but are you something more?" She inquires, before adding quietly to explain her nightly jaunts.
"I battle the livelier and generally more sinister half of the supernatural, demons, werewolves, wayward hunters..." Natalia hesitates to finish the statement for a moment, but seeing as he trusts her enough to reveal his nature, or a part of it...she added finally.
"And fellow vampires."
Andy waved back to Connor, then headed in the opposite direction towards his first period class. He'd heard about the mentoring program that Principal Ellis was instituting, but he'd made a promise to his parents that he would concentrate on his studies and graduate high school before he even entertained the possibility of putting on a costume.
Portia spied Natalia and Connor as they passed the quad. She hopped to her feet and trotted after them, catching up in the cafeteria. Just as she was about to say hello, three freshmen on skateboards zipped by, each one swatting her on the ass.
Portia instinctively reached out for the nearest source of water, which was in a row of water bottles at the coffee stand. The water pushed out the tops, exploding the caps off the bottles. It flew to her hand, formed into three orbs, then shot towards the three fleeing students. The water orbs smacked into their butts with enough force to throw them from their boards and leave them groaning on the ground, their butts and backs soaked.
She strode over and stood a few feet away, looking down at the three of them. "Perhaps next time you'll reconsider laying your filthy hands on me, hmmm?" she asked, before turning on her heel and heading back to the coffee stand to pay for the waters.
Natalia blinks at the display of aquatic power before her from Portia, greeting her friend with a smile as she comments.
"Most boys seem to be pigs, a good thing there are girls like us who do not stand for it...and no offense Connor. You, Andy, and Toni seem to be a welcome exception above others." She truly meant her statement, evident by her tone, as she inquire to Portia.
"Having a good morning now, Portia?"
"Yeah, I figured," Connor says as he looks between the coffee that he had earlier, and the one that had just been placed in front of him. He takes a sip of the first, then of the second, holding it in his mouth for a moment before swallowing, as if assessing the overall taste. "...This is actually pretty nice," he says after a moment, taking a sip of both cups again, one after the other.
He sighs a bit after her inquiry, and waves his hands vaguely. "I...Take care of some of the more problematic ones. And people that have a penchant for gratuitous murder," he says in a lower tone. He clears his throat, keeping his voice low. "So, how long has it been since your...You know."
After she finished paying for the busted waters and buying an Irish cream coffee with a shot of chocolate, Portia sat down with Natalia and Connor. She huffed at Natalia's greeting, her eyes still narrowed and locked on the boys as they picked themselves off the ground. She briefly contemplated doing more, but then turned to her friend and smiled slightly. "Agreed, most boys are pigs. But those three got what they deserved. Save for getting assaulted, yes, I am having a good morning."
She took a sip of her minty coffee and smiled a bit more. "What about yours?"
Natalia can't help but smirk as he ponders the taste of the coffee, watching his facial expression change before replying happily.
"I figured you'd like it, it certainly beats banal, ordinary coffee." At his question, her face crosses in clear hesitance before she explains. "This morning, and do not worry, I've never consumed or turned a live human, I have cordial, legal access to a local blood bank when I need to feed."
Connor watches the water display with a raised eyebrow, preferring not to comment on the matter. "None taken, there's a bit of good and bad on both sides of the fence," he responds to Natalia's comment before taking another sip of coffee and allowing the conversation to continue.
"I didn't actually mean that. I meant since the uh...The change, really." He pauses, as if considering something. "And how did you end up going against your own sort in the first place?" He takes another sip of his coffee, having pushed the older cup aside entirely.
"You know, this coffee is pretty good for just a favor," he says, taking a moment to look at its color, as if that meant something. Perhaps among coffee people, it did.
Natalia nods in assent as she offers. "Now isn't that the truth." As he inquired about her turning and facing her own kind, her face crosses in clear sadness as the memories surface once more. Taking a deep breath, she states slowly in reply.
"I was turned twelve years ago, unwillingly, when I was four years old."
She then states coldly, no negativity aimed towards Portia or Connor however. "And as for that, most of my kind takes delight in harming, murdering, and feasting on innocents like they had done to me, so I was happy to upset the status quo and save lives from a fate like mine or worse." She states softly, taking a moment to stare at her reflection in the small surface of a spoon before turning away in clear internal disgust.
Connor purses his lips and raises his eyebrows, then leans back in his chair and tents his fingers. "Well. Sorry I went ahead and touched that," he responds, "not like it's your fault, anyway."
He takes another punctual sip of his coffee.
"So what was the tradeoff, then, if you don't mind me asking? Loss of humanity, gaining of...What?"
Natalia nods at that, offering the boy a slight smile and a second puzzling expression that fades just as soon as it appears, which bordered on keen interest and something else as she replied.
"It's fine, I was bound to have revealed it sometime, at the very least it's with someone I can trust? And though I lost my humanity, I gained supernatural strength, speed, agility, perception, and a few abilities I have yet to discover, I imagine. As for why I am here or where I honed those skills or gained the oppurtunity to fight back...I'm not at Liberty to discuss that." She states with traceable hints of bitterness and slight resentment.
"Because you can't or because you shouldn't?" Connor asks after taking yet another sip of his coffee. "That isn't to say that you should tell me, I just like to be aware of the specifics, just in case."
Another sip. "And I suppose that that's not a bad lineup. Similar to winning the Genetic Lottery, as far as superhumans go. Is it a human-peak level sort of deal, or do you chuck trucks around and run faster than cars and other such nonsense?"
"Because I shouldn't, but seeing as you fall under the capacity of a benevolent supernatural ally, freedoms can be garnered. First, I trust you know about the adventures of Abrham Van Helsing and his companions? I think you can piece together a bit from that alone?"
At his question of the strength of her powers, she replies.
"At my highest level of strength can toss a full grown man the length of half football field, my basic level being able to dent and crack concrete. Far above human but not ridiculously and unnesecarily powerful. I can still tax my muscles and I generally rely on my skills in combat over my powers."
Connor raises an eyebrow at her explanation. "Yeah, that gives me a pretty good idea already," he says, before furrowing his brow again. "Doesn't answer everything, but there's not much point in prying. As far as your strength goes, I guess it's pretty hard to avoid breaking things, in that case," Connor says with a bit of a snort. Just be careful if you get mad and decide to kick something. Though you could probably fix the taxing problem with some upkeep, maybe the whatever-sessions they're going to have us do will be helpful in that regard."
Natalia nods as she replies, adding to clarify.
"They've expanded their operations to encompass several supernatural hotspots about the globe, and due to being the first vampire in their ranks and because of my youth, I was sent here to operate." At his comment about her abilities, she states. "My discipline and training keeps my strength and other abilities decisively locked away until I need use of them, and I have yet to cause collateral damage exceeding roughly $10,000 US Dollars."
She then adds.
"I imagine it would be a part of the program, though you seem less then thrilled about it? And may I ask of your backstory, since you know good chunks of mine?" She inquires, curious.
Connor shrugs, leaning back in his chair again. "Not much to tell. I was born and lived most of my life in Danvers, just a short while away from here, and my family decided to move to the big city a few years ago. Saw ghosts my whole life, eventually I was pulled aside and found out that I have to hold a special job for the rest of my life."