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IC: S1:E2 - "...And Heroes Will Rise."


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"...And Heroes Will Rise."

"Heroes represent the best of ourselves, respecting that we are human beings. A hero can be anyone from Gandhi to your classroom teacher, anyone who can show courage when faced with a problem. A hero is someone who is willing to help others in his or her best capacity."

 

And so we find our heroes after their lengthy stint in detention.  The week was rough, especially for Cosima, whose adoring fans nearly turned to rioting in the streets until her obvious rising from the dead like the second coming of the Kardashians placed them all at ease.  For the most part though, their lives were simple, if not a bit boring during that 'Hell Week', but they endured.  It wasn't long before the other students had gotten word of what they did and before long they were getting pats on the back for 'doing the right thing' and 'standing up to Steele' and in one odd case 'protecting pizza eating rights ever where, down with fascism'... they weren't sure where he was going with that... but it sounded great being shouted across the quad.

So now, released from their imprisonment, the students find themselves tackling the day to day rigors of school life.  One such moment is now... in Calculus... where the true enemy of mind kind lurks: math.

"Congratulations, Sebastian," Professor Jensen walked past him placing his homework assignment face down.  "I do believe you have set a new school record."  He flipped it over and then placed right back down burying his face in embarrassment.  "At this rate you may be the first student assigned a tutor from our Pre-K Classes... are you intentionally going for super hero stereotype?  Struggling high school student, pizza delivery boy... oh, the angst."  Her uncaring monotone sapped all the humor from the comment and Sebastian just sat there, praying no one was looking at him.

"Mr. Shane," She slid his assignment down.  "There goes your four-point-oh."

He flipped it over.  "Professor Jensen, this nine is a four.  My answer is correct."

"Just because you have all the answers, Mr. Shane, doesn't mean you should jot them hastily.  It may be a four, but it looks like a nine.  The answer is wrong."  She moved on, sliding papers on desks.  "If you need lessons on 'slow', Sebastian has plenty to spare.  If you want to dispute it with me, see me after class."

"Riley," she handed her paper to the middle one, all three were required to be in class.  "I would think between the three of you there would be something that could function as a single brain.  For future reference, just because 'degree' starts with a 'D', don't expect consistent use of the grade to earn you one."

"Connie, Cosima, Autumn and Rick," She handed them their papers.  "Excellent work, a few wrong answers, but I'm sure you'll see where you made your mistakes.  Cosima, keep using purple pen and I will mark them all incorrect.  You were given a syllabus, follow it.  Black pen only, show your work."

"Tatiana, Keiko,"  They were given their papers.  "Are you two throwing darts at a board to haphazardly select your next great failure for this class, or is it something that's coming naturally to you?  Well done on not getting every single one wrong, at least."  The way her eyes moved to Sebastian told them why he was hiding.

She was a monster and everyone hated her.  Although Professor Jensen was incredibly good at what she did (Calculus, not insulting people) her class was implausibly hard.  Her knowledge of arithmetic made Curtis look like he was barely out of fourth grade, and she didn't come close to possessing his brain.  She pushed everyone and those who didn't succeed she pushed harder.  There were complaints about her, sure, but matter how many complaints were made, she remained.  The school couldn't argue with the results, however.  More students of hers who came into her class no grasp of arithmetic left with some of the highest GPAs in the United States.  So here she was, teaching at a private academy where public rules of propriety didn't really apply.

"So, with that disaster out of the way, to day we are going to talk about A differential equations with no partial derivatives.  Thse are considered an ordinary differential equation," Without looking back from the dry erase board she added.  "Mr. Stone, why are you not writing this down?  Are you aspiring to do nothing more with your life than lift and move other people's furniture?"  Sebastian quickly scooped up his pen and started writing.

Class was, as always, Hell on Earth.  Most kids hated math in any form, but Prof. Jensen made it unbearable.  Finally the bell rang and everyone filtered out.  "I want all thirty equations on page seventy one done by Friday.  We will review after the weekend."  As always she said it softly and didn't bother making sure if people heard her or not.  It didn't mean they weren't accountable for the work.

Spoiler

Class is done, you're in RP mode, go and do what you like, I'll pick it up in a bit.  Now, I know you're all adults, playing kids who act and talk and think more like adults than they do kids... so keep in mind that trying to apply real-world logic and complaints to an imaginary teacher in an imaginary world... will fall on imaginary ears.  She's mean, deal with it.

Curtis, if you wish to speak with her about your grade, you may do so.

 

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"Tatiana," Keiko said after class as she was gathering her books, "I told you the dartboard was a terrible idea. We got some right. There's gotta be a better way."

Inwardly she was moaning at the number and difficulty of these problems on the next assignment. Why?! Did they think everyone here was planning on going into astrophysics? The class was even too hard for CURTIS.

As she started to leave the class she paused near Sebastian and bumped his shoulder gently with a hip.

"Ice cream and Game of Thrones tonight?" she offers with a grin. The universal antidote for academic blues.

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"Huh?"  Sebastian looked at her, breaking himself out of being lost in his own thoughts.  "Uh, yeah.  Yeah, sure.  Sounds good.  I'm not gonna get any right anyway... might as well watch some dragons."

Sebastian wasn't sure he knew what hate felt like, he'd never felt it before.  Sure he'd had a bully or to growing up, and it sucked to allow himself to get pushed around knowing that if he fought back he could put a person in traction with a single punch, but he never hated those people.  Professor Jensen though... she was worse than a bully, she was an educated individual who fired off insults with sniper-like precision directly at a person's weaknesses.  In this case, his lack of a big city education.  H wasn't the sharpest student, never had been, honestly never had to be, Montana schools were relatively simple by comparison to Claremont.  Then again, Montana wasn't preparing super powered children for a world that expected more from them than 'getting by'.

"I may need a pizza or three, too."  He said solemnly.

"No!  No stress eating, dude, lemme see that," Keiko scooped up his homework paper and gave it a look.  "Woah, okay maybe some stress eating," she said out load accidentally.  "Yeah... deep dish, extra pepperoni.  Why didn't you mention you needed help big guy?"

"I didn't think I needed it, at first, then it all got so confusing... by then it was due... I dunno.  I mean, Curtis is even getting them wrong, what chance do I have?  Professor Jensen is gonna shred me, then fail me."  He'd completely surrendered to failure, which should be the exact opposite of what a teacher should aspire to in her classes.  "I'll catch up to you later, pizza's on me."

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Tatiana squeezed in on the other side taking Bastions arm stopping him from bolt, "Hey big guy the three of us are in this together, You , Keiko, and me. so let make this a threesome." The grin she gave Keiko was full of lascivious mischief.

"I'll get us a tutor. That way we can have all the pizza, ice cream and Thrones that we want. And anything else that fancies you. And we will pass Jensen's crummy class."

She makes a fast X motion across her boobs. "I promise, cross my heart."

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Keiko covered her mouth and tittered in a self-aware parody of Japanese schoolgirl embarrassment.

"Oh Taty," she said in a high pitched voice, "You so naughty."

She then nodded. "Sounds good to me. Bastion, we'll text ya. C'mon, Tats, I think we'd better leave him alone before he melts straight down through the ground."

 

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Cosima rolled her eyes and sighed in exasperation as she stood up with a clatter of impractically high heels. While everyone  - well, almost everyone - looked good in black she didn't understand why Professor Jensen was so against her adding a bit of colour to her homework. It was even a shade of purple with a metallic sheen made especially for her.

Bah, humorless and colorless was Professor Jensen, Cosima thought as she glared at her math book and notes, porting back to the dorm room she had kept on campus to use as a locker. Besides, she had the feeling she would be enduring detention again at some point for some inane or unfair reason, so she figured she might as well keep the room and basic necessities on hand.

Cosima sashayed out of class, her phone already held before her in a psychokinetic grip as she typed away, updating her status and adding comments on various feeds. She slipped around Sebastian's broad, slumped shoulders with the unconscious grace and peripheral vision of a texting goddess, but looked up to flash him a teasing grin and Keiko and Tats a conspiratorial one.

"Oh, I think 'Bastian is made of sterner stuff than that," she countered, giving Sebastian a quick wink. "And besides, Ms. Jensen never said we couldn't help each other, just that we had to get the equations done by Friday. This is 2017, we don't need a tutor just for a few questions," Cosima proclaimed as she waggled her phone and glanced over her shoulder to include any other of her classmates who were near.

"We can just crowdsource the answers and how they were derived. Or even easier, just put the equations online with the wrong answers. The easiest way to get an answer online is not by posting the question, but by posting the wrong answer. People just love proving themselves right and others wrong on the internet. We'll be done in no time and then we won't have this or her hanging over our heads and we can all get back for the for more important duty of enjoying ourselves however we may."

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Tat laughed "Coco, you would be crazy to cheat, I can promise you if you do Jensen will know." She walked past the  bombshell and turned facing her as she backed up to her locker.

"Besides, a Tutor will help us to learn this stuff and then we can pass on our own, not have a grade given to us for something some one else did. That is something to be proud of. Not fooling the system or one upping the teacher. After all we are here to learn."

She spins back and opens her locker to get the books for her next class. "Besides, it gives us all a place to hang out that isn't school, and while not a castle I think you would find our home comfortable. And yes I think we can make room for you too Cosima and any of the others who might like to come with if you  want to learn this stuff and have some fun with friends."

She laughed again as she slammed the locker. "And my mother would be beside herself to meet you and have you as a guest."

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"Well, well. Someone saying something sensible around here for once." Curtis eyed Tatiana with some respect now. "Besides, how would you verify which forum-spawned flame was the right answer?" It was tremendously irritating to see Jensen deduct points so tightly, but that meant he had to take some more focus with his handwriting, nothing more. And he didn't see the need to dispute with Professor Jensen over it - he already knew her mind was made up.

"And no, I am not going to tutor anyone unless you can make it worth the while." And really, it was clear Curtis was doubtful they had anything worth the hassle.

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The Rileys had split up to take care of different tasks, but one wandered near the conspirators. "Hey, can I jump in too? I'm not a moron, but Jensen is made of evil and so is the math she teaches. I agree that having the internet do it for us is probably bad mojo, since we can't crowdsource the 'surprise' quiz I'm sure we all know is coming on Friday." 

She gave Tatiana a loaded grin, "Also, I totally want to see what your house looks like. Mine's super boring, so I have to live vicariously."

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"Ladies, thanks for the help, but you guys have lives and things to do other than tutoring me, I don't want to-"

"'Bastian, we have to work on this stuff too, c'mon, trying to duck out or be the hero by saving us from you bringing us down or whatever."  Tatiana argued.  "That doesn't work on me.  You're coming."  Her glare was absolute.

"Okay," he said with a chuckle, break the meekness of his 'zero correct' funk.  "Fine, studying at Tatiana's.  I'll be there.  You guys ladies, honestly, I need all the help I can get."

"...and thanks," Sebastian said, giving Curtis a hard smack on the shoulder, the sort that Curtis could tell was not the polite sort.  "Good looking out, I'll keep that in mind."

He approached Professor Jensen as everyone filtered out.  "S'cuse me Professor?"

"Ah, Mr. Stone,"  She looked up from her paperwork.  "Come to complain about your treatment in my class?  So, let's her it."

"No, Professor, I was wrong and I can admit when I'm wrong, my parents raised me right,"  That came out with a bit of condescension that he didn't quite intend.  "I just wanted to let you know that, yes, the things you said were very hurtful, I think you're a bully, and cruel for sake cruelty."  He eyebrow raised slightly at that one, and slight quirk of her lips told him he had her attention.

"And you expect an apology?"  She asked.

"No, not today.  I will pass your class, and when I do, I expect an apology."

"You're getting ahead of yourself, Mr. Stone.  In fact, if you actually applied yourself half as hard as you dreamed of winning, imagine what you could accomplish.  However, until you have accomplished anything other than failure, you're wasting my time."

She was terrible!  Sebastian had never seen a woman this evil and he binge watched the entire first season of 'Once Upon a Time'!  The problem was, she was like Curtis... highly intelligent and no matter argument he had, she had a better one that his mind just couldn't come back from.  He decided to back down, walking away and turning back to face her just as he made it to the door.  "I don't lose.  I'm gonna beat you, Professor."

"Highly unlikely," she was already back into work and as he left she smiled to herself.  He was hardly the first student to get angry with her.  The seed was planted though, cramming and studying only got someone so far, but when they had an enemy, something to crush, something to destroy... a goal to not only win, but to eradicate the target of their ire completely... well, that made for motivation on a scale no one could hope to achieve.  She knew Sebastian just wasn't the calculus sort of guy, but she knew he would master it ironically just to spite her.  He would commit every formula to memory, every equation to heart.  He would live, breathe, eat and sleep calculus until he had won... because his pride wouldn't let him lose.  She smiled again at the thought of Sebastian succeeding out of spite.  "It get easier every year..." she said softly, enjoying her victory, and went back to work.

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Rick moved to join his comrades, and smiled.  "It's like deja vu.  I wonder if she knows her too."   he realized he'd spoken aloud and looked at them.  "She reminds me of another teacher I have had, and she did alot of the same things."

He understood that Curtis was so smart it was laughable for him to be in regular courses, but the guy could learn alot about relating to people.   "Seriously Curtis, if it's always about what you are gonna get out it, why do anything with anyone else?  I realize in a way that it's always about that, but sometimes you can just help a friend out, It's part of what having friends is about.   I applaud Bastian wanting to learn and master what he doesn't know.  It's a good and noble goal.   With your intelligence helping him learn this shouldn't be much of a problem at all, but I guess you think it too much effort.   You have someone wanting to learn more, and you can't be bothered to help him do so."   

"I may not have your intelligence, but I'm more than willing to help, such as I can."  He looked over at the others.   "We all help each other, and we all get to enjoy it when he wipes that smile off her face next time."

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Cosima didn't see crowdsourcing as cheating, just a different solution to their problem, nor the push back from asking for help online. Friends and subscribers online were just as valid as those you interacted with personally in real life. Though to be fair, there was generally more fun to be had when people were together rather than connected online.

Cosima shook her head at Curtis in disappointment, her rose-gold tresses swaying about her face. "Curtis, hun, learning to socialize without people wishing you would die in a fire would be worth far more than your while. But of course, it is up to you." She nodded at Tats and beamed a smile. "I would be more than pleased to attend Tats and visit your place." The Princess gave a minute, ostentatious shudder, porting her phone back into her purse. "But please, can we do something other than pizza? I can think of a hundred other ideas, scrumptious and delicious that we can get from practically anywhere in the world. I would just need to make a few calls - I'll even pick it up, or bring you guys along for the trip, if you like."

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Curtis ignored the patently obvious attempt to manipulate him through the comparison to Jensen. "You're not my friends. I didn't come here to make friends. I didn't want to come here at all - there was far more I could accomplish on my own directed study, but my parents thought I 'needed to socialize more.' On this, they're wrong and I'm not for it."

"Then why are you even talking to us in the first place?" Autumn asked. Even with his processing capacity, Curtis still appeared cut off for the pause. There wasn't an answer for that logic, in fact, why had he been around them this much? The obvious answer was there, but something Curtis didn't want to listen too seemed to impute lack of credibility to his internal reasoning. Ergh.

"...Force of habit. I have after all been made to endure the penalties and punishments of your own actions along with you for a week. That's all. Now, I have yet to have had the chance to evaluate the lab. Good afternoon." Then he strode off, trying to maintain some air of dignity.

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"Huh," said Keiko, nonplussed as Curtis stormed out. Then she shrugged. Her transparent attempt to manipulate him into leaving actually worked. Go figure.

"Coco! The question isn't whether or not we're having pizza! It is what KIND of pizza to have? Or, OR...we can buy by the slice. Which is expensive, but very gourmet."

She rubbed her hands together.

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Qi had been walking along behind everyone else studying her paper looking at what Miss Jensen had written on it to see where she had made mistakes. Mathematics was not her specialty at least not beyond the simplest forms and she still wondered why she was required to take a course which obviously was not needed by her and some of the others. It seemed like it was merely an exercise in keeping the group together than in anyway a true part of the curriculum.

Something bothered her about the teacher, Miss Jensen, as well but she could not put the thought to words yet.

She bumped into the person in front of her

"Oh, I am sorry" she said almost a whisper to one of the Riley's. "Please forgive me."

The group had paused at the split in the paths where the walkways diverged toward the boys dorm one way and the girls the other. While she hadnt really heard what thte others had been talking about she did hear what Riley had said.

"What is a potluck?"

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Cosima chuckled lightly at Keiko's joke. While her palate was excellent and experience, her own culinary skills were... varied at best - more like rudimentary in truth. Much better to pay those who had artistry in the kitchen.

"Keiko means we all bring our own dish, Connie - whatever you like - enough to share with others." Cosima pursed her lips in thought. "It may even help expand some people's gastronomic horizons, if we don't end up with five potato salads." She grinned at the others. "I'll see about procuring desert, along with some other exotic - but not too exotic - dish."

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"Bring our own dish? Enough to share with others? We must bring enough plates or bowls for everybody? And how do we know which we will need? I am sorry, but I do not have much in the way of dishes. Just a couple of plates, bowls and a few utensils. Do we need to purchase utensils too?" Na'Atem asked, clearly confused.

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Tat shook her head "Guys really its a great idea, the potluck, but kinda not good for the kids who live on campus and don't have a place to cook. This isn't going to be a one time deal I'm talking about tutoring for the whole year yes we can study buddy. But I want to rub Jensen's and really even all the rest of their noses in it. So I will set it up for a couple of nights a week. And we can do the dinner thing by pick from each of us for each session, that way we all get to have our favorites and get introduced to some new foods.

I'll get with my parents and set it up and for our first dinner how about Mongolian BBQ." She gives everyone a big smile and shakes out her braids.

"By the way do any of you play instruments?"

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Rick nodded.  "Yeah Mongolian BBQ sounds good.  As to your other question, no.   I wasn't really musically inclined.  My tastes tend towards things that get you pumped up as I'd listen while I trained or ran, and I never really had the time to pick anything up."   His mother played, but she always stopped when he'd come in, or even when she noticed him listening.  She'd never told him why, so he assumed it was something to do with his dad and their past.   

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The Rileys held up hands one at a time. "Cello," said one. "Violin," said the next. "Piano," said the third. "My parents were real big on learning classical instruments as a part of a well-rounded education. And barbeque is fine. I was thinking on the potluck just that everyone would find something to buy, not that there'd be a whole bunch of cooking, but I'm fine with whatever." One of her cocked her head to the side and queried Tatiana, "Why do you ask?"

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Keiko grinned and snapped her fingers. A smokin' hot electric lead guitar appeared in midair in front of her, and she grabbed it. Anyone familiar with guitar playing would immediately see she was holding it a bit wrong; the way people play 'air guitar' not the way actual guitars are played. Moreover, when she waved a hand past its strings, her fingers on the frets weren't correctly placed to make any kind of intelligible chord.

But the sound that emerged was tremendous. A growly, electronic animal wail. She started hopping theatrically around with it, imitating the antics of metal artists, playing a pretty killer riff as she did even though...again...it was pretty obvious she wasn't actually playing those riffs.

The guitar then transformed into a bouquet of roses, which she threw at Tatiana. It exploded in midair, showering her with petals which disappeared as soon as they hit the ground.

"Nope."

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Cosima arched her brows in sheer disbelief at Autumn, sure they were being pranked. "Where did you say you were from, Autumn?" she asked skeptical before nodding at Tatiana. It wasn't as though she had been going to cook her own share of the potluck and with them rotating the responsibility, it would hopefully encourage her more sheltered classmates to sample her selections rather than ignore them for being too exotic.  "A fine idea, and Mongolian barbecue will be wonderful."

Cosima clapped in amusement at Keiko display, illusory though it was, then nodded at the Riley's. "I was forced to take the same lessons, Riley, though without achieving any proficiency before my parents allowed me to take my interests elsewhere. I can sing and dance though. Musicals are grand - have any of you seen Hamilton yet? I'm no Beyonce or Tay-Tay, but I believe I could at least make it onto The Voice or So You Think You Can Dance on the basis of talent rather than by looks and name recognition."

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"Attention please, attention please,"  A familiar voice came over the school's public address system.  It was one of the women in the admin department who always did the school's announcements.  "At this time we need all students to report to their respective dorms, I repeat, all students need to report to their respective dorms.  Off-campus students are also required to report to a dormitory at this time, Resident Assistants will assist you with anything you need.  Emerald City is currently in a state of emergency, and I repeat, I need all students to report to their respective dorms and report to their R.A.s for attendance and roll call.  Speedsters and teleporters using their abilities to leave campus at this time will be harshly punished.  This is not a joke, people.  All faculty are requested in the admin lounge.  Once again, all faculty are required to meet in the admin lounge."

Students halted in their tracks and listened, looking to one another for some sort of clarity.  As one could expect with teenagers, there was a lot of stopping and talking about the announcement, not a lot of forward movement to the dorms.  Faculty quickly began breaking up the groups and ushering them off and out of the building, telling them they needed to go to the dorms.  As they walked, phones came out of pockets, tuning into EC news.  Cosima's Facepace, Instablam, and Twaddle accounts all started blowing up with 'Be safe!', 'We love you, be strong!', and everyone's personal favorite 'Thoughts and prayers your way in this difficult time!'.

"Dude, I've no idea," One teen said to another, walking past the group.  "I heard the Sentinels are laying the smack on some powered dudes in the streets... mom didn't say much else."

"Yeah...,"  replied his friend.  "My mom said they're moving everyone to the storm shelters and what not in a ten block radius in case... you know..."

"Our dad is a senator," shouted Summer Astovik, as she was being asked to move along with the rest of the students.  "You can not keep us here!  I'm not going anywhere with these... people.  They are no where near in our social strata, I'm not about to share a lodgings with them for ten minutes, let alone all day!"

Her identical twin, Autumn, gripped her arm to pull her away from the faculty member she was currently in the face of.  "I'm afraid we are, Summer," Autumn's tone was cold and monotone.  "Father says we are to remain here until he can arrange for a chopper to get us, if one is necessary.  So, yes, we are stuck with... them."  She motioned to the rest of those present, it was obvious she was as thrilled as her sister.

"Astoviks!"  Director Steele shouted down the hall, stopping the proceedings in it's tracks.  "Complain less, move faster.  Let's go people!  Get moving!  To the dorms!"  And like wrangled sheep every student suddenly found their motivation and made for the doors and the dorms as swiftly as they could...

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Cosima lapped up the concern and well-wishes of her fans and followers as she replied to them, saying she was safe and not in danger. She was about to ask any of her admirers in EC if they knew more about what was going on in the streets when a modicum of responsibility stopped her. If she was being modest - which wasn't a strong suit of hers - Cosima had to admit she had influence.

Wearing a certain pair of shoes or a particular designer's dress to an award show or social event or royal function generally spiked sales. It lead to having her own successful and growing clothing  and fragrance lines. Getting her own personal show on a streaming service was in the works. If she asked her followers on her social sites about what was going on, there was a real chance one or more of them would go out into the streets to find out more, putting themselves into true danger.

She gave the Astovik sisters a disgusted look. The nouveau-riche who acted in such a way gave all the wealthy a poor name. Cosima would have thought with a senator for a father they would be better at putting on a gracious face around those who - or their parents - may vote for him. She wouldn't be like then and wouldn't take all those who looked towards her for granted.

Tapping rapidly on her phone, Cosima did her best to persuade her followers and subscribers in Emerald City to stay safe themselves and seek the shelters while the Sentinels dealt with the issue. If she learned anything more, she would share it them. She was about to step over to Sonnenspiegel Castle to check on two of her sisters, one of her brothers, and her mother who all resided there - they all had her gift for languages but not her other ones - when Director Steele gave her a warning glower from down the hall.

How did he know? She gave the big, powerful black man a completely innocent smile and a small wave before smoothing and straightening the smart, stylish dress caressing her hourglass figure. Then lifting her chin proudly and as if she totally hadn't been to disobey Director Steele's clear instructions, she began to sashay towards her dorm room...

... only to be roughly jostled by another student rushing through the halls, almost losing her balance on her stilettos as she was pushed into the wall. She whirled angrily around on her heel, hands closing into fists as tight as her pointed nails would allow as she glared at the offending student. She was about to psychokinetically fling him down the hall or psychoport him right in front of it before she caught herself.

That is an unworthy thought, Cosima, she castigated herself as she took an bewitchingly deep and calming breath. The halls are unusually busy and he didn't try to grope you. Better than most men, really. She contented herself with a sharp sniff then glanced over at her... study buddies?

"Anyone want to skip the hassle to Hall 2B?"

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[QI] Qi nodded at Cosima "Can you take all of us? I think we should stay together this time. All of us. In case."

[Tatiana]Tat was annoyed at the stand-in dean trying to keep them on such a short leash but she couldnt afford to get kicked out of school, not yet anyway. "I've never been teleported before. What does it feel like?" She asked Coco stepping closer to her like they do in star trek before scotty beams them up.

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Keiko's first impulse was, of course, to get up onto a roof rather than huddle in a dorm...but Steele's personal appearance put an end to that ambition. Well, maybe END was a strong word, but a delay.

Qi's response to Cosima's question was intriguing too. What WAS it like?

She quickly crowded in along with Qi and Tatiana.

"Me too!"

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"Alas, there are limits even to my fabulous gifts," Cosima sighed with teasing regret. "Two or three people is about my limit, depending on how much weight they are carrying around." She glanced at Sebastian with a coy grin. "I think two Stones would hit my capacity, but you three called dibs, so the rest get to walk to the dorms."

Cosima laced her fingers with Connie and Tats, then arched an expectant brow at Keiko. "Well, my hands are full, so take one of theirs."

Keiko eagerly grabbed Connie's free hand, bouncing on her toes as other students streamed by them. "Ready for take-off captain. Anytime, Coco."

Cosima smirked as she released the other two girls' hands. "Why, look around, we're here already."

The girls gave the princess disbelieving looks as Cosima turned towards a door opening it with a thought and a flicker of pink light. Students were still moving pass them, but there were fewer of them, and it took the girls a moment to realize they were different ones. The students didn't seem to react to their sudden appearance beyond turning their heads to eye the group of four girls who ranged from cute to hawt. The other members of their study group was nowhere in sight.

The girls hadn't felt a thing, the transition from one place to another utterly seamless. If Cosima hadn't pointed it out, they weren't sure how it might have been before they noticed. There were standing in the hall between Keiko's dorm room and Cosima's sometime dorm room. Cosima seemed inordinately pleased by their reactions as she slinked into her pastel-coloured room.

"Yes, I know. It's very convenient. No one is surprised by my sudden appearance or bumps into by accident." She rolled her eyes in memory. "In New York, it is totally on purpose, I'm sure."

Leaving her door open, Cosima turned around and walked to the window peering out to see what she could see. The campus wasn't far from Sunset Hill, where one of her sisters and her wife had an estate. "You're free to stay in my room if you all don't want to be alone in your dorms." Her elegant brows furrowed. "Unless some of you share already? I'm afraid I don't have much on hand here as a host other than some infused, sparkling water and some sweets. Maybe chocolate."

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"I have a better idea," Keiko said, glancing around with melodramatic furtiveness. "Lets go to the roof. I bet we can totally see the fireworks from there."

"I mean, he said go to the dorms. He didn't say anything about being in a dorm room, right? The dorm is the whole building. Anywhere in the building. Or on the building."

She waggled her eyebrows.

"Who's with me?!"

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[Tatiana] Tats grinned at Keiko, who was quickly becoming her favorite new friend. "That is an excellent Idea, let's go!"

[Qi] Qi looked doubtful this would be undermining the authority of Mr Steel once more and even thou Keiko was technically correct they all understood what he meant. Still seeing what was going on was probably a good idea too.

She looked over at the girl who had whisked them here as if with magic "What do you think Cosima?"

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Na'Atem gestured with her hands, weaving threads into a spell matrix. The Spellstone glowed and shimmered as the spell took form, emitting rays of light as bands of æther swirled around it.

"Ƭƹȴƺƥɸґᵵᶏƫїδתּ" she said in some ancient, arcane tongue and vanished from view, reappearing beside Cosima and the others she took with her. 

"You are not the only one with such abilities." she commented.

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Curtis walked away, quiet and frowning. He understood perfectly well what Autumn was trying to convey. Of course he disagreed with it generally. Well, not in principle, but in fact, considering his goals, none of those fellow students qualified as 'others' whom would help him progress. No matter. To the lab! 

So of course he didn't get far before the PA announced the state of emergency and the orders to return to dorms. Wonderful. But Curtis turned around nonetheless. He wondered whether or not the group would decide to flout Steel's edicts yet again - well, this time he would make sure he could not be lumped in with them. 

And besides, checking the news would be simple enough.

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"You realize he runs at like, a billion miles per hour, right?"  Sebastian said with a playful smile while pointed to Rick.  With his arm hooked in Riley's he led her through the halls of students all chilling about with their doors open, yelling up and down the halls with updates of what was going on.  "I don't see what the big deal is, we're not really in all that much danger, the battle is miles from here."

"It's supers fighting, 'Bastian, a straw laser blast, a missed tossed, missiles... who knows what's going,"  Riley didn't know much about super powered people, aside from what she'd learned in her week or so of being at the school... plus being one herself.  "They're just being cautious."

"Missiles?"  Sebastian looked at her, with a skeptical brow raised.  "Seriously?"

"Hey, just covering all the bases."  The southern lovely smiled.

"Who's with me!?"  Keiko asked right as Sebastian and Riley were rounding into the room.

"I'm game," he quickly threw in his hat.  "I mean, really, all they can do is ask us to get down, right?  I'll text Captain Anti-Social and see if he's up for joining us."

"Do you have to?"  Tatiana asked with a roll of the eyes.  "He kinda did you dirty just a few minutes ago, screw him."

"Eh, he's not so bad.  Guy just needs some friends."  He clicked away on his phone, sending Curtis the text.  "Go easy on him, would ya?"

"You' have to be joking, Stone," Tats shook her head trying to understand the big guy.  "What did your parents feed you, growing up?  Rainbows and sunshine?"

He slid his phone in his back pocket.  "Only every other Thursday, we had to save some for the Leprechauns living under the porch and the unicorns in the stables."

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Rick had been simply waiting to see what the others did when one of the Riley's slipped her arm in his and invited him along.  "Pretty standard super fight fare if that's all that's tossed about."  he commented when she rattled off the list of attacks and weapons.   When Bastion made his retort, rick laughed.   "Okay, man, I'll give ya points for that one.   That's pure gold."

"If we're on the roof of the dorms, technically we did go to the dorms, so it's not like we're really disobeying."  He said agreeing with what had already been said.   If he was gonna get in trouble again, well at least he'd do it with his classmates.  One for all and All for one, as it were, with the exception of Curtis.

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On 9/24/2017 at 2:34 PM, Tatiana Antonovna Balankova said:

Qi looked doubtful this would be undermining the authority of Mr Steel once more and even thou Keiko was technically correct they all understood what he meant. Still seeing what was going on was probably a good idea too.

She looked over at the girl who had whisked them here as if with magic "What do you think Cosima?"

"Oh, I believe a little selective interpretation won't harm anyone," Cosima comment, breaking into a grin as Sebastian walked up with Rick and the Rileys. "The more the..." Her elegant nose scrunched up in disappointment when Sebastian texted Curtis and she finished with a sigh, "... merrier."

She arched her brows at Autumn's comment. "I never claimed to be the only one with such abilities, hun. Some of us just happen to be more adept with them." Cosima ported again, to another part of her room, leaving her heels behind - One stood standing on its own, while the other fell on its side with a soft thump on the plush area rug. She glanced at the very modest - to her mind - selection of shoes she left in the dorm - just in case - and with a nod, apported a pair of chic New Balance runners onto her feet.

"Trust me, heels and sloped roofs don't mix." Cosima selected a glass bottle of infused water from the clear-front fridge - blackberry and mint - and a random package of imported chocolate truffles, offering the same to the others with a wave of her hand. "Help yourselves. There now, shall we adjourn to the roof and see what spectacles we may?"

Spoiler

A sample selection of infused waters for the plebeians to turn their noses up at. The chocolates are from various gourmet chocolatiers from Europe.

 

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  • Matt changed the title to IC: S1:E2 - "...And Heroes Will Rise."

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