Cadre 5:

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Cadre 5:

Postby cobalt-blue » Sun May 31, 2009 10:24 pm

Cadre 5 No 1!
Story Arc: 1
Issue:1
Title: School's In!
Thanks to everyone who replied to my questions. As you can see, I decided to go with my own universe- inspired by the Paragon's setting. I also want to thank my friend Hagar for helping me out with some things here, and her help will become even more evident later one.

Author's Note: These are teenagers. They're flawed heroes. Nobody on this team is perfect so each of them have their quirks to make them a little less than perfect. I hope you enjoy what I hope is a real reflection of teenagers.


On to the story:


Boomer:

What day! Mom insisted that I attend one of the Neo- schools. Her comment was, "How can we expect other people to volunteer if we don't do it ourselves." Of course it was me she was volunteering- she already was part of the US Superteam. My powers were registered with the government's Department of Neohuman Affairs, and we could afford the neo-insurance that would let me attend a normal school. But when your mom is the most famous Neohuman on the planet, and stands for truth and justice, you don't always get a choice about these things.

I guess she was right too. Mom was very critical of people who looked for ways around the law. She says you may not agree with it, but everyone has to follow it- no matter what your station in life- whatever that last part means.

It's been almost twenty years since the Burstout Event, or as most people call it, the Neogenesis Night. Me, I call it the "Oh crap the sky's burning" night. But I wasn't born back then, so I can't really say. I've seen footage of it, and that's what it looked like to me. July 4th 1990, at nine twenty-six pm Eastern Standard Time something suddenly burst into flames above Washington DC. Over the following six hours it drifted west- AGAINST THE JETSTREAM. It covered most of the US dropping burning debris and fire until almost sunrise. It finally burned out over Las Vegas, Nevada.

From what I've read, the stuff they recovered was some kind of biological tissue that decayed and disappeared within a few days. What everyone remembers about that night is that was the night of the first burstings. All over the country almost two hundred and fifty neohumans came into being.

There are basically two ways you become a neohuman- you either erupt or you cold burn. Erupters begin to glow with a soft light that gets brighter and brighter until it flashes out. The person's body suddenly secretes an amber like fluid that covers their body and then hardens, cracks, and eventually falls away. While covered in the stuff, the person can't move, hear, see, or have any other sensory input. When it finally dissolves after anywhere between a few minutes to a couple of days, they are changed. They have powers like in the comic books.

The second type of bursting is called the cold burn. The light is faint, sometimes so faint that the person doesn't even know it's happening. Sometimes it's painful though and those with physical modifications report sensations of everything from intense pain to pleasure, to an itching all over. There's no amber fluid, and the process can takes days or even weeks. But when it is finished the same result- powers like in the comic books. The difference though is that the cold burns tend to be Class 10 and above. I'm a cold burn, so's my mom. My dad's a baseline.

Anyway on Neogenesis Night over 250 people erupted and God only knows how many began to cold burn. Some people took advantage of the chaos and the fires created by falling debris to do what some people do- they rioted, they burned, and they looted. Then some of the erupters stepped forward and put a stop to it. Some fought back with powers of their own. By the time the night was over, there was no covering it up. Superpowers had come to our time. But like I said, that was before I was born.

This is now, August 2009 and my flight was the first one there. I had to have security with me the whole time. As of February of this year, no neo is allowed to fly on a commercial airline without an armed government escort. What they don't tell you is that the armed part is usually aimed at the neo's head. The thing about it is that there has never been a case of a neo hijacking a plane. I wanted to fly myself in, but Mom wouldn't let me. Airspace around DC is pretty tight and even though I have an FAA transponder, I'm not cleared for DC. Mom said the paperwork would have been a nightmare and it was easier to put up with the armed escort. She did however have a talk with my escorts- a long talk.

When we got there, my security goons, uh guards handed me over to Mr. Blair the headmaster of Wyndgate Academy. He seems like a nice enough man- as far as teachers are concerned that is. Mom says that she knows him so I'd better be on my best behavior. Dad says he's a pompous ass, but I'm to show him respect. He was tall and looked like he was in his mid forties with short brown hair that was just starting gray at the temples. He seemed to be fairly fit, so my theory about him was reinforced. We waited for the rest of my cadre to arrive.

Wyndgate is a very exclusive boarding school for neohuman students. The average class size is only 5, and mine only has four in it. Each class is called a cadre and supposed to learn to work as a team over the next few years. There are only thirty-five students in the whole school. Unlike most of the other neo-academies this one evidently catered to the wealthy and the politically connected. I guess Mom as Lady Lightning counts as politically connected, because we sure aren't that wealthy. Don't get me wrong, we're not really hurting. Mom gets a good salary for her service as part of National Superteam, and Dad's a novelist and a writer of history text books. We aren't hurting for anything and the recession hasn't really affected us like some people I know, but we are by no means rich.

The first student arrive came in from Chicago. Since she was the only female in the cadre, I knew her name had to be Aiesha. She was a tall light skinned black girl with the beginnings of curves in all the right places. She was pretty in her matching navy skirt and jacket and grey blouse, but she walked with a swagger that seemed to say more about her own insecurities than it did about her attitude. I noticed that her guards were hanging way back from her.

Mr. Blair introduced us. "Brian Alexander, this is Aiesha Richmond, Aiesha, this is Brian."

"Nice to meet you," I said offering my hand.

She stared at it like was about to bite her, but did not take it. Finally I let it drop and she nodded to me without saying a word. There was a hardness in her eyes when she looked at me. I got the feeling that for some reason she considered me an enemy. I don't know why, I just met the girl. I wondered who had peed in her oatmeal.

Next was a short blond boy who had an infectious grin. He was oblivious to guards next to him. Actually they looked more worse for the wear than he did. The lead guard looked at Mr. Blair and said, "This one's power has to be a nuclear powered mouth. He hasn't shut up since we left the ground in Birmingham." The guard smiled at Mr. Blair with a weary look and said, "He's your problem now."

Mr. Blair chuckled at the guard and said, "Don't worry. I know how to handle talkative kids." He nodded to me and said, "Brian Alexander, Aiesha Richmond, this is Sawyer Grey. Sawyer, your classmates."

Sawyer grinned hugely and said in soft Southern drawl, "Nice to meetcha' folks. Lookin' forward to school startin'."

Aiesha rolled her eyes and just nodded to him. He took my offered hand with a firm grip as I said, "Pleased to meet you Sawyer. Can't say I'm ever glad to see school starting back. But this does promise to be an interesting year.

He grinned again, actually I don't think he stopped grinning. "Yeah, it sure does." He gave me a conspiratorial look and asked, "So what are you in for?"

I couldn't help but laugh. He was one of the most easy going people I've ever met. He didn't seem to have a care in the world. I told him, "My mom said I had to come."

He gave me a serious look and said, "Oooh betrayed by the parental unit."

"You consider being sent to one of the most prominent private schools in the country a betrayal. You really are an ignorant hick aren't you," Aiesha said.

He turned and looked at her, his face suddenly looked very serious, "No I consider it a betrayal when I'm told I HAVE to come or my parents' property and livelihood will be taken away from them."

"What? Afraid of loosing the cotton farm?" Aiesha asked with a sneer. "We all should want to volunteer for the Youth Corps."

Sawyer's voice maintained its seriousness when he said, "You keep belivin' that all the way up 'til they hand you your brown shirt. My Daddy calls it coercion when the livelihood of my brothers and sisters are threatened if I don't attend. After all everyone wants to hear that if they don't come to a government indoctrination camp that their younger brother and sisters will be livin' on the streets." He sighed, "Actually, my folks own and run a small chain of building supply stores, not a cotton farm." Before I or anyone else could reply, he leaned in to me and whispered, "Don't drink the kool-ade."

Mr. Blair was silent through the whole exchange, his face betraying no emotion or leanings in any direction- even at the jab at the school. He simply looked up and smiled. I followed his gaze to see a very attractive girl about our age with champagne colored hair that looked like it had been died black at the tips. She was in a long black skirt, and a loose pink blouse. She was wearing a matching pink hat, something that looked like would have been worn in the fifties. I felt my heart actually skip a beat, as she was one of the most attractive girls I'd ever seen. "Ahh, our final student," Mr. Blair said. "Rowan Croften-Blake, this is Sawyer Grey, Aiesha Richmond, and Brian Alexander. Children, this is Rowan Croften-Blake."

I was a little confused. I thought there was only one female in the cadre. Not that I was complaining mind you. But I guess I just saw the name Rowan and thought boy. Well this was a pleasant surprise. At least our only female companionship wasn't going to be an uptight witch who had a bug up her behind about something.

Rowan smiled nervously at all of us and said, "I'm pleased to meet you." There was a sadness in her voice and eyes that made wonder.

"Thought you were a boy," Aiesha said obviously confused herself.

Rowan looked a little startled and started to say something when Mr. Blair put an arm on her shoulder and said, "Never judge a book by its cover or a person by their name."

"Well at least I won't be stuck with a bunch wh..., boys always trying to push me around," Aiesha said.

Rowan shook her head and said, "No. Nobody's going to push anybody around as far as I'm concerned." There was something in her voice that made me just a little nervous. I got the feeling that something unpleasant had happened to Rowan Croften-Blake and she was just biding her time to make it right.

"Well, the van's waiting, children," Mr. Blair said indicating the direction we should go. He looked over at the gathering of eight security escorts and said, "Gentlemen, your services are no longer required." Turning to us, he said, "Your bags are being loaded into the van. After we get you settled, we'll take a trip into Fredrick so you can get whatever you might need for your rooms and a quick tour of the town."

~*~

Glitch

I know I hadn't been very polite to the boys, but to be honest I didn't really care. These kids were from money- probably old money. Me I'm from Southside Chicago. I'm here on a scholarship, and know I probably don't have anything in common with the cadre outside of the neogene. My mom's an attorney with the ACLU and my dad split a long time ago- back to Kenya to be with his first wife. He wanted mom and me to go, but she figured out exactly what THAT would have meant and flat out told him no. In the long run it was a good thing that she didn't because I'm a neo, and there just aren't any neos there. There aren't any neos much of anywhere but in the US, and few over in Europe. So instead Dad abandoned us to our own fates. That's okay though. Mom's a good mom and provides a pretty good living for us.

Still, I didn't trust them. As far as I was concerned they had no idea what it was like not to grow up white and privileged in this country. I'm sure that Grey boy probably had a white sheet in his bags somewhere. You know how all those southerners are. As for Brian, I'd wait and see. Don't know about Rowan. According to what I'd heard about her, I actually thought she was a he, that she did come from very old money here in DC.

Of course I didn't want to think about DC. I didn't want to think about what had happened three months ago when I came down here to tour the school. I'm going to have nightmares about that for a long time. I shouldn't have sneaked out and gone into the city alone, and I really should have stayed out of that section of town. But I figured why shouldn't I go where I wanted to. My power lets me go wherever I want, so why not use it, no matter what the adults said.

But sometimes it's a good thing to listen to adults. That wasn't exactly a safe section of town, and the fact I wandered into a the turf of a neo-gang was just plain bad luck. They chased, I ran. One of them was firing some kind of sonic blasts at me. I just 'ported away an' never looked back. I hate having to run. It makes me feel weak, and I'm not a weak person. Mr. Blair said he could teach me how to get how to use my teleporting power offensively. That is something I definitely want to learn.

As we climbed into the van I watched my classmates. Brian was kind of cute- for a white boy. He had short black hair and very blue eyes. It was obvious that he worked out, I could see the outline of his muscles in his baby blue dress shirt. There was something about him that made you want to at least listen to him. I don't know, maybe I can be civil to him. I don't think we'll ever be friends though. Like mom says, white males think they can get away with anything because they're part of the good ol' boy network and she should know- she's white too.

The Grey boy, forget it. I don't like Southerners. All of them are a bunch of redneck sister bangin' hicks. If they had their way, us black folk would still be slaves. That stuff he was spoutin' off about the government sounded like the same kind of crap you hear on talk radio. I'll be glad when they finally get that bill passed that put those hate-mongers off the air.

Still, I'll have to work with him, so I might as well be civil. I just don't understand why he doesn't want to be here. The Youth Corps are chance for all of us to serve the greater good of society. When we graduate here, if we don't want to go to college, we're supposed to be reassigned to one of over a hundred fifty teams across the country. It was all part of the spreading the neos around to help everybody. "People with more to give, have got to learn to give more," my mom always says.

Rowan was still a surprise. For someone from old money, she didn't look like she knew that much about fashion. I mean the pink in that shirt clashed with the way she'd died her hair. If you're going for an emo-goth look, you shouldn't try to dress like a school teacher. There was something funny about the way she carried herself when she sat down too. Like she was sitting on something uncomfortable.

I looked at her face a little closer. Her makeup was a mess. I could do a better job with my make-up at eight than she'd done. It was too thick, and the shades were all wrong. This girl needed some serious help in the fashion department. As she slid into the back of the van and waited for the door to close, she just stared out the window with that same sad look in her eyes.

Brian and the Grey boy jostled to get in the back seat with her. Surprisingly enough, it was Sawyer who won out. He was just a little smaller and a little quicker. One instant he was trying to squeeze past Brian and then the next, he'd slipped through the impossibly small space to sit down next to the girl. Rowan didn't seem to notice though. I was glad. I really didn't relish sitting next to him for the next hour and a half until we reached Wyndcliff. Brian blushed and sat down next to me. I could see he was trying to be polite.

I had been rude to him, and he really didn't deserve it. I smiled, "Sorry about earlier."

"Wanna' tell me about it?" he asked.

I shook my head. "Just feeling a little left out. I don't think I'm going to have a lot in common with any of the other kids at the school."

He smiled and said, "You don't know if you don't try. Tell you what. Why don't we start over." He offered me his hand again, "I'm Brian Alexander."

I couldn't help but smile at his sincerity. "I'm Aiesha Richmond," I told him and gently shook his hand as Mr. Blair climbed into the driver's seat.

"Everybody buckled up?" he asked.

Brian looked around and checked on all of us before saying, "Yes sir."

"Good," Mr. Blair said and started the van.

In the back I saw Rowan sigh in relief and reached up and removed the pink hat she was wearing. It really didn't' go with her outfit and I'd wondered why she'd kept it on. Now I understood. When the monstrosity came away, it revealed two champagne colored, black-tipped cat's ears perched atop her head. Rowan was one of those neos who would never be able to pass as human. She was going to stand out no matter where she went if she didn't wear a hat. For just a brief moment I actually felt pity for the girl.

She must have seen me watching her because she smiled and said, "I don't think I could have handled being stared at for seven hours on the plane."

"Seven hours, I thought you were from here in DC?" I asked her.

"I am. But I was out in California visiting my cousin. She's my legal guardian right now, and we had some things we needed to take care of," she told me.

"So, you're a feral?" Brian asked.

She nodded and held up her hand and flexed her fingers. Two inch claws extended from slits in the ends of her fingertips as her hand and forearm grew a fine black fur. They looked wickedly sharp. Relaxing her hand, the claws retracted and the fur went away. She reached behind her and adjusted something at the base of her spine, and squirmed in her seat for a moment. "Ears, claws, and a tail. My senses, durability, and strength are enhanced as well. There are other differences too, but I'm not sure now is the time to discuss them," said

Sawyer just smiled at her and said, "Cool!" He looked over at Brian and asked, "What can you do?"

Brian smiled next to me and said, "I can fly- very very fast." He shrugged, "That comes with some enhanced vision and reactions, and a couple of classes of durability. I don't have any real offensive capabilities except to ram something- but that hurts," he said with what sounded like typical male regret. He could work miracles, but was upset because he couldn't hurt somebody.

"How fast?" I asked.

"I've been clocked at mach 3," he said.

"Dang!" Sawyer replied. "That's bookin' it!"

"What about you?" Brian asked.

Sawyer blushed and said, "Invisibility and density control"

"Density control?" I asked. "What's that?"

Sawyer smiled, "I can either harden the molecular fields between my molecules to make them more durable or I can weaken them and walk through walls."

"Anything offensive?" Brian asked.

"Besides his mouth?" I asked and immediately regretted it. Sawyer hadn't really been offensive. We just disagreed, but for some reason I had an immediate disliking for the boy.

He just smiled at me and said, "Bless your heart." Then turning to Brian he replied, "I can affect small objects with the power. I can make a marble insubstantial, stick it in your leg and let go and you'll be in a world o' hurt." he said. "If I put it inside bone, then you end up in a cast."

"Ouch, Brian winced. Turning to me, he asked, "What about you, Aiesha? What can you do?"

I sighed and said, "I'm a teleporter. I have pretty good range too- just over a hundred miles. If I know an area well enough it doesn't matter how far I am from it I can go there. But there are only a few areas I know that well. I can teleport myself or small objects."

I waited for someone ask about any offensive powers but to my surprise the only comment came from Sawyer, "Now that's a cool power."


~*~
Ghost

Ah don' what had Aiesha's panties in a bunch but for some reason, she'd taken an immediate and intense dislike for me. I didn't do anything to her, I'd never met the girl before in mah life. Oh well, I guess mah natural devilish charm can't work on ever'body. Still Ah was goin' to have to work with her, so Ah figured Ah'd better at least try to make some kind of attempt to be civil. My dad always tol' me that that you can work most issues out if you jus' don' get angry and start callin' each other names.

Ah'll admit that I cheated jus' a bit to get in the back seat past Brian. Rowan looked like she could use some chearin' up. C'mon, you know what they say 'bout Southern girls bein' the most beautiful in the world. We'll it's true, but there was somethin' 'bout Rowan that went beyon' that. It even affected me, an Ah'll be honest right up front, mah taste don' usually run to the fairer sex.

Rowan was a beautiful girl, but she'd be jus' as pretty a boy. Plus, there was a sadness 'bout her that jus' made me want to reach out an' hold her hand. I'm not sure what it was, but she looked like she needed a friend. I coul' be that. Besides, I figured that Brian would probably be more to her likin' anyway, and they could get to know each other a little later.

"So, you got ears 'n a tail, an' claws," I asked trying to be non-chalant. "Anythin' else?"

She looked startled for jus' a second and then said, "Nothing that we can discuss in mixed company." Then to really throw monkey wrench into mah thinkin' she added with smile, "of course with me, all company is mixed."

"You said, enhanced strength and durability," Brian asked. "How much?"

She shrugged, "I could toss this van."

I let out a low whistle. "Please forgive the ungentlemanly question, but how old are you?" I asked. The reason bein' was that they don't usually classify our powers until we reach adulthood. Right now, I'd say that bein as I'm a cold burn, and what I can do, mah classification would be somewhere around a high nine or a low ten. Liftin' a van at mah age would definitely put her in the same classification.

She smiled and said, "I'll be sixteen my next birthday." Then with a tolerant smirk she added, "We're all in the same cadre, you should've realized that our ages were close to the same."

Ah nodded and said, "Ah know. But, I was wonderin' 'bout our classifications."

"They don't classify us yet," Aiesha said. "We haven't stopped developing."

"Ah know, but Ah was wonderin' where we would be classified now IF we were to be." Ah sighed and figured Ah'd better go ahead an' get it out in the open. "Ah'm a cold burn. If Ah don' miss mah guess, Ah'd say all of us are."

"You'd be right," Mr. Blair said. Your cadre is made up of all cold burns. There was supposed to have been a fifth member that's a cold burn too, but that one looks like it fell through. Shame too, you guys could use a psi on your cadre."

"Don't know how comfortable I'd be with someone in the cadre who can read my mind," Rowan said.

"The person we had in mind, is fully bonded," Mr. Blair said. "She understands the rules about psionics."

That was good to hear. Psis were under even more restrictions than the rest of us. Certain telepathic and telekinetic powers when used with a great deal of fine manipulation could be devastating. The legal bonding process that comes out of the Psi Corps was a way of ensuring the integrity of baseline and non-psionic minds. It was a guarantee for free will-for now. Our government was moving toward a very totalitarian regime as it was. The corps, so far was an autonomous organization that regulated itself, much like the Bar Association or the AMA. However, the president has made noises about annexing them into the Service Corps. If that happened, then the federal government would have at its disposal a force capable of completely disregarding the rights of the people.

"Bonded?" Brian asked. "At our age? She must be rather gifted."

"She is," Mr. Blair said. "I've still a glimmer of hope that we can get her. I think we can help her as much as she can help us."

And that was what it was all supposed to boil down to; helpin' each other out. The schools helped out the neohumans learn to use our powers. The neohumans in turn help out society by being assigned to one of the teams across the country. Of course the fact that we don't have a choice in the matter is what was galling. It's called the Volunteer Youth Corps, and with the last election, it went from being voluntary to mandatory. It's currently being challenged in the courts, but that has to work its way through. There's not a legal way for the government to compel service, but they do have quite a few tools at their disposal to make sure you do. My parents were threatened with tax audits, and the removal of my brother and sisters if I stayed in the house. The agent from the DNA had actually told mah Dad that the government knew better how to raise me than he did.

Well, mah Dad raised enough of a stink that he got me sent here. It's costin' the family an' arm an' a leg and we don' get any tax credit for it, but Dad felt it was better since it was a private school an' not one run by what he sarcastically calls the Imperial Federal Government.

"Ten," Brian said.

"What?" I asked.

"If we were to be classified right now, I'd say we'd probably all be class ten," he said with some conviction.

"I'd say eight," Aiesha said. "We're still teenagers. We haven't finished developing yet. If we were class ten then we would be able to go toe to toe with a lot of adult neos."

Ah thought about that. She was right. The vast majority of neos were class ten and under. There were some big ones out there, Lady Lightning was probably class 19 or 20. Fury was definitely a 20, but that particular monstrosity had paid for her power with her brains- not that she'd had a lot of those in the first place. She wanted to protect the animals, and ended up becoming one o' them. But according to the registry, most of the members of the Service Corps were between class eights and twelves, and that made those people each equal to the firepower of platoon of soldiers.

Lady Lightning was far beyond even that, and could take on a whole Corps team by herself. Fury had already proved that she was deadly. In her eruption she killed over five hundred people and took out a tank division before disappearing into the woods of the Northwest, unhurt, just pissed off.

If Brian was right, then that would put us on the level of a corps team member already. Ah wasn't sure Ah bought that. I asked Mr. Blair, "What do you think Mr. Blair? Where would we be classified?"

"As students, and not yet adults," he answered. "I'm not about to engage in that kind of speculation with you in a mixed setting. If you want to talk about you individual talents and potential in a private situation, we will be doing that later this week."



~*~
Shadow Claw

The rest of the ride to the school was quiet. Talkative as he was, Sawyer had actually managed to make a good point. This cadre was different from what I'd heard about these teams, we seemed to be more than just typical neohuman students. I already knew about Brian's mom. He hadn't said anything about it, but one of the government lawyers had let it slip when they were hammering out this deal with mine

The strain of dealing with the murder of my parents by that neo-gang three months ago had set off a secondary cold burn in me, the one that turned me into a feral. At that point I went ahead and registered with the government like I was supposed to. How was I supposed to know that they would go through my medical records and find out that I was born a neo? Well, I could have asked my lawyers, but I really wasn't thinking clearly then.

They subpoenaed my medical files because of my gender issues and found out that I was born a neo. That put me nine years in violation of the registration act and they threatened to send me to prison if I didn't stop getting my education through private tutors. I had to attend a neo-school. They at least were willing to let me come here- a private school instead of one of the government run facilities that were really little more than indoctrination camps.

When we pulled into the great old facility, it looked more like a classic British Boarding School than supposedly a state-of-the-art facility for training neo-human teenagers. I felt a little better. At least it wasn't going to be all steel and glass and antiseptic. "Wow!" Sawyer said next to me. "This is not what Ah expected."

I couldn't help but think that he was rather charming. He was cute, he smiled a lot and from what I had heard of him, he actually had a pretty good head on his shoulders. He at lest thought for himself- which was more than I could say for most people in the world that I'd met up to this point.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some upper class snob. Yes, I'm from money- more money than I'll ever be able to spend, and if I combine it with my cousin Heather, we could give Bill Gates a run for his money. My grandfather started a small computer distribution business back in the early eighties. My dad and my uncle turned it into an empire in the 90s. Investing heavily in the dot com boom, and getting out just before it all went south put us in the same category as the super-rich. This recession is hurting a lot of people, but not me or Heather. But I also value people based on their character and intelligence, and so far I liked Sawyer.

My mom had been an actress, a rather good one too. She even played a super heroine on television back in the late 80s and did a few movies in the early nineties. But then she married my dad and retired and had me. Back then people didn't understand too much about the neo-gene or about cold burns.

I guess she was around two and half to three months pregnant with me when she went through a cold burn. That affected me in the womb and I was born with two powers- at least five classes of durability and ten classes of regeneration. That became important when it was discovered that I have a rather pronounced and acute form of intersexuality that included a double x and a y chromosome. Basically, my body couldn't figure out if it was supposed to be male or female at about the same time as my healing factor kicked it so it made me both.

The fact that I had enough classes of durability at birth to make surgery almost impossible put me in a strange situation. My parents decided to simply raise me as I am and let me figure out which gender I wanted to identify with when the time came. However, they were afraid of the attention that my condition my bring to me and them, so they decided to home school me instead of sending me to a private school. That means I've had the finest and most heavily vetted private tutors money could buy.

Three months ago, my parents and my uncle- Heather's dad- were leaving a business dinner to celebrate another good year of investments. I have a certain suspicion about both of them and their business saavy, but I won't go into it. They never made it home.

They were coming along the beltway at the same time as a neo-gang was shooting up the area. One of them hit a support beam for the upper deck and dropped several tons of concrete and steel on the car. Mom's healing factor was good, but not that good. It took 72 hours to cut them out of the mess. I knew something was wrong when when our lawyer came to the door and asked for me.

The stress set off a second cold burn in me- very rare but not unheard of- and over the next few days, I turned into basically a cat person who could juggle Buicks and resist tank fire. I figured at that point, I couldn't hide what I'd become so without thinking I registered. The gender question set off alarm bells with the government and they started digging. The next thing I know, I'm in handcuffs, and some lawyer wanting to make a name for herself at the Justice Department was talking about a fifteen year prison term.

I have had a lot of practice of accepting things in my life. I've accepted that I'm not like other people. I've accepted my unique gender status, and I've accepted that my parents are gone. I've even accepted that I'm being coerced into what is essentially a prison. However, there are some things I won't accept, and if I ever find the neo-gang that killed my family, they may be talking about that prison sentence again.

As we entered the building I took in the rich smells of old oak, and wood polish. I smiled a little at that. Like I said, I don't like anti-septic areas. They give my enhanced senses fits, and me a headache. This was going to be a fairly nice place to study, I thought to myself. I'm going to have to get used to having other people around me, but at least it won't be something that upsets my senses.

Mr. Blair sighed and looked at the four of us standing there. "This will be your home for the the school sessions of the next four years."

"What, no summer sessions?" Aiesha asked.

"Are you crazy?" Sawyer asked. "Who wants to go to school in the summers?"

Aiesha turned on him and said, "You may want to be ignorant all of your life, but I don't. I'd love to spend my summers learning to control my powers and getting the skills I'll need to be a lawyer like my mom. The government schools operate year round."

"Those aren't schools, they're internment camps! The reason I'm here instead of one of those is to avoid being brainwashed. Ah like my summers off and, Ah want to actually SEE my mom, and dad, and even my brother and little sisters every now and 'gain. Ah don't know about you, but family's important to me."

I don't know. Maybe it was the stress, maybe it was the argument. Sawyer hadn't meant to hit a nerve but he did. I felt a little catch in my throat and added to his sentiment, "Mine is to me too. Now all I've got left is my cousin, so I'd appreciate the summers off so I can visit her."

Mr. Blair must have sensed that we were getting into sensitive areas. "Sawyer is right. One of the philosophies of the Wyndgate Academy is that family is important and that the students need their guidance. We don't operate a summer session because of that very reason." He looked over at me. "But we can discuss this at another time. Right now, I want all of you to go and get settled into your rooms. Look at what's there, what your class requirements are, and what you have with you. Decide if there's anything you need from town. Then meet me out front in 45 minutes. We're going to get the town tour out of the way so we can focus on what we need to here at school."

I took folder he handed me and looked at the map inside. It showed an apartment like suite on the 5th Floor. There were six bedrooms with a jack and jill bath between every two of them. I was marked as having the first one on the left as we entered the suite. I didn't think there was any significance to it and shrugged as I followed the others up the stairs to the 5th Floor.

Evidently the construction of this area was new. There was still the lingering odor of freshly cut wood, and drying tile grout. I found my room and looked around as the others did the same. I had to say that the accommodations were pretty nice for a mandatory boarding school. As prisons went, it beat the heck out of actually going to the supermax prison they were threatening me with. The rooms were spacious and had all the modern amenities including high speed internet connections. I saw that my bags had already been moved into the room.

I looked into the bathroom and realized that unless someone was moved into the room next to mine, I'd have it to myself. That was probably just as well. I didn't want to freak the rest of the cadre just yet. They'd eventually figure things out, probably, but there was no use in exposing them too soon to something that was probably going to be very confusing for them.

As I looked in the mirror, I realized just how bad a job I'd done on the make-up. I'd only recently started dressing in any way feminine because I'd only recently had enough up top to make dressing as a boy all the time a little more difficult- at least to pass as a boy without serious bindings. Mom had started to teach me a little about those kinds of things, but my interest had only recently piqued, so I still didn't have any real experience, and you could tell it by the make-up. I quickly turned on the water and grabbed some cream out of my bag and scrubbed my face.

Now I looked like a tom-boy in a dress. I shook my head and realized that I would have to talk to Heather at break about taking me to buy some more appropriate clothes. Maybe Aiesha could help.

I quickly changed. Baggy jeans to hide my tail, a large sweatshirt, and a ball cap completed the look. Anyone who saw me would think I was either a tom-boy or an effeminate boy. The funny thing was, although I tended to hide what I was, it was more out of not wanting to be stared at- not out of any shame. I think Mom and Dad overdid the let me choose which gender I identified with thing. I sort of found myself happy as both.
Last edited by cobalt-blue on Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Issue 2: Doin' The Mall

Postby cobalt-blue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:41 am

Cadre 5 No 2!
Story Arc: 1
Issue:2
Title: Doin' The Mall

(A very special thanks to my friend Hagar and my wife Kim)

Duncan Blair

This new group was special, and I knew they were going to be a handful. I'd already run into half a dozen problems with the government's lawyers. Somebody really did have a bug up their butt about Croften-Blake kid. Fortunately, her own lawyers have been very helpful and had brought the resources of Blake Enterprises in to help us out.

Actually it was a little known fact that all seven of the private academies for neohumans had either corporate or philanthropic sponsors. It was just impossible to operate a school with the kinds of technology and security systems required for dealing with neohuman students and still make a profit- not without charging outrageous tuitions. Corporate sponsors are many times our saviors. It's also how we can afford to occassionally give out a scholarship or two.

It had been almost a week since school had started. The first week is always the hardest as the new arrivals have to adjust to unfamiliar schedules, new surroundings and just being away from home. If we can get them through the first month, then they usually settle down. Cadre 5 was settling in quite well.

Sawyer's question last Saturday was a very good one. Actually, the very reason I chose this cadre from the hundreds of applicants I receive each year was because of their classifications- when the government tells you they don't classify children, they lie. For educational purposes, children aren't classified because of fears of being accused of "tracking" powerful students into more intense programs and letting the less powerful ones drift as they will. "Tracking" is a very dirty word in the educational community and people will twist themselves into pretezels to avoid being accused of it. These kids have all been classified for security purposes if for nothing else. They are all class 10; which means that when they've mastered their powers in a few years, they will very likely be among the most powerful of the neo-humans on the scene- and they will not have been brainwashed in the hell-holes the government calls their neohuman schools.

But to be honest, this week, my biggest problem was dealing with the one I thought I'd lost: the Draupnir girl. The government was very leery about letting a class ten psi out of their schools, but this girl was proving to be a pain in the ass for the PC crowd up at their New York facility. I love it when when those bastards are hoisted on their own political petards. If things went as I expected, I should have her here by the beginning of next week- Wednesday at the latest.

I looked over at the clock on my desk and then the paperwork that was piling up. Looks like it was going to be another long night filling out reports and reviewing lesson plans. It was a good thing I never married. I honestly don't know how married teachers and administrators manage their work and a family at the same time. I live on the campus where I teach and am constantly snowed under. The intercom buzzed. Saved by the bell!

"Mr. Stonecraft is on the line for you sir," Stile's rather soft voice told me. She was probably the best damn receptionist I've ever had, and I've gone through quite a few of those in my day. Now don't get your mind in the gutter- I'm just a very difficult boss to work for and I know it.

"Thanks, Stiles," I told her and picked up the phone.

"Duncan Blair," I said into the phone.

"Blair, you can have the little pain in the ass!" Stonecraft's voice came over the line. "She's disrupting my whole damn school!"

"What's she doing?" I asked somewhat amused.

"She's asking questions!" Stonecraft said.

"That's what students are supposed to do, George," I told him. "Asking questions is how we learn. My teachers complain that our students don't ask enough questions."

"Yeah, but I've got a curriculum to cover and she wants to challenge every little interpretation in the book. I don't have time to have her go off on exploratory discussions of nature of government. So what if she's read Locke, and Hobbes, and Paine. Wonderful, she's advanced. Right now I need her to shut up and let the other kids learn. My teachers have a very tight curriculum schedule to get them ready for the standardized tests." I knew that his school session had been in operation since July. Like Aiesha said- the government schools operate year round.

"C'mon George, I can remember when you'd have given your right arm for a kid that asked those kinds of questions," I chided him. "There has to be something else."

"Besides the fact that half the faculty and most of the students think she's a racist?" George asked exasperated. So that was it. I'd read Draupnir's file. She and her sibs had been raised in a rather peculiar manner. Their faith had certain tennants to it that could be misconstrued as racists by people who didn't know it well- or who were looking to be offended.

"Have her parents agreed to the transfer?" I asked.

"You know damn well that they have. They've been after me for two weeks to let them take your scholarship."

"I just want to make sure I've got all my ducks in a row, George. I don't want to have to deal with that Rottweiller in Armani you call a lawyer over this. You are sending her here with a clean bill. Nothing's going to come back and bite me later?" I asked hiding my elation.

"Nothing is going to come back on you, Duncan. Personally, I like the girl despite what I said. But she's irritated half my staff, and I can just do without the aggravation," he said.

I knew there was more to it than that, and I could probably wait to get it from her. "When can you arrange for transport?"

"Her plane arrives in DC tomorrow afternoon at four," he told me.

"You got a security team approved that quick?" I asked. "She must have really irritated somebody."

"You wouldn't believe it," George told me. "I've had calls from everyone from Department of Education to the head of the AFL-CIO!" I couldn't help but smile. George was one of my oldest friends, and was basically a good guy caught in a bad situation. I know we both wished were back teaching at Annapolis. He was an administrator for that particular facility because he was good at what he does and gets results. He finally said, "You're right. The girl's got a good head on her shoulders, but she just refuses to fit in. I think part of it is because of the situation with her brother. As long as he's in England and she's here, there's going to be trouble I think. The government should really rethink its policy on letting neo-humans travel outside the country."

"If they did that, too many would flee to Britain, Australia, or Israel," I said. "When the ban on travel went into place in February the government took a step toward '36. People are starting to see the parallels," I told him. "Not many, but they are there."



"I know, Duncan. It's going to get worse before it gets better," he said. "I don't think some of these kids have what it takes to make it in the real world and their neo-gene is going to make them that much more dangerous."



"You sending her file with her?" I asked.



I could almost see him smirk. "What file? She's very good at dodging tests- medical and academic. I hope your doctor has a firm hand and your teachers are patient."



I smiled and said, "We're a private school. I can get away with more than you can, George," I told him. "Plus I don't have all those rules and regulations about PL- 94- 142 to follow that you do. I can teach my kids the way that best meets their learning styles."



"Yeah, yeah, blow it out your ear. You've said it all before, and I agree with you. But that's the reality of the situation." I heard him sigh, "When you going to be in Danville again? Jenny wants us all to go out to dinner. She's got a sister she wants you to meet."



"I don't know. Next time I visit New York I guess. I'll give you two a call," I said.



"Good, I'll have my secretary send Draupnir's flight information over, so you can arrange for her to be picked up at the airport.



"Thanks, George," I told him.



"No problem. You warned me about this. I should have listened," he told me. "Catch you later."



"Good-bye, George. Give Jenny and the kids my love," I told him and hung up.



VICTORY! As George Peppard used to say: I love it when a plan comes together.



I hit the intercom. "Stiles, there should be a packet coming over soon with some flight information. Let me know when it comes in and have Patrick gas up the van. I'll be needing to go to DC tomorrow."



"Yes sir. Oh, and sir, a Heather Blake is here to see you."



"Rowan's cousin?" I asked. "Send her in."



"Yes,sir."







~*~
Boomer




This was definitely different than what I was used to in school. Back in Winsted I attended a public school just like everybody else. Mom and Dad moved there back when she found out she was pregnant with me. She operated out of NYC with the rest of the National Team, but when you can fly as fast as she does, then commuting is a breeze, so she was able to pick a small town in New England where she could have close to a normal life. They wanted me to be as normal as possible. Right, that worked out.



In public school, there was a certain amount of downtime every day just because of how a school has to work. When you have to get sixty kids in one grade to seven different classes plus lunch every day then there are gaps in focus. That's what most of us think of as time to socialize with our friends. We talk between classes, goof off, romances bloom and explode on a regular basis in junior high. But here there was no downtime except meals and after school.



Classes here weren't what you think of as classes. They're more like directed learning discussions. Each cadre has a primary instructor/adviser that covers a variety of general subjects. Ours name is Mr. Waterford. He has a room just outside our suite. Ever heard of the term Renaissance Man? Well that's what he is. He speaks several languages, knows history and government like the back of his hand, and is a black belt in Tae Kwon do. He takes absolutely no lip from anybody, but never seems to raise his voice. We spend our mornings with him learning English, History, Civics, and Math. It's not so much a lecture as it is a discussion with exercises and projects built in.


We have lunch our own which is surprisingly good for school food that's supposed to be nutritious. We usually sit in one of the dining alcoves in the main hall Since we're all together most of the day, we tend to congregate at lunch as well. Our afternoons are spent in Science class complete with lab work and then an intense language class. Our cadre voted on which language to study for the next four years. We chose German.



After German is over, we go and get tortured by our gym teacher, Coach Moore. You'd think gym for neohumans would be easy, but no. Coach Moore has developed an individualized physical training program for each of us that takes into account our powers and is pushing them to the limit. Some of it is pretty lame, but a lot of it really makes you work. It helps that she's a major hottie too.



After that, is music art, and ethics on alternating days. This school really does try hit all the subjects. I get the feeling that there won't be a question about qualifying for college when we're done. Then in the evening, after dinner, we have some free time to do homework, write letters, and generally unwind. We've decided to make Tuesday nights B- Movie night in our cadre. We sit eat popcorn and watch bad movies. It's something we can agree on because even if we don't' like the movie, we all get to make fun of it. And that sort of brings us to late Saturday morning:



It had been a long week and we were tired and had spent the morning just being lazy around the wing. Actually, I was trying my best to keep Aiesha and Sawyer from sniping at each other. Sometimes it sounded more like two sisters fighting than anything else. Our Cadre's wing has a large center room with a couple of tables for studying, two very uncomfortable sofas, and a couple of overstuffed chairs. It's basically a lounge with a large television in it. Sawyer was sitting across the arms of one of the overstuffed chairs, munching on popcorn and browsing through a magazine.



Rowan was lying on her stomach on the carpet propped up on her elbows as she too was looking at stuff in some kind of catalog, every now and then circling something that caught her attention. She was wearing her usual old sweatshirt and baggy jeans. These had a hole in the back for her tail which was lightly thumping in time with the strains of whatever was coming through the 'phones of her I-pod clipped to her cat ears. Her hair kept falling down into her face and she'd occassionally blow it away. It was actually kind of pretty in a tomboyish sort of way.



I was sitting cross legged on the other easy chair just getting ready to settle down to an old copy of Nick Carter Agent of Axe I'd managed to get my hands on and swipe some of Sawyer's popcorn when Aiesha came through the door to the wing, her hands full of pizza. "Guess what I found downstairs?"



Everybody looked up and I asked, "Who ordered pizza?"



"I did," a strange voice said from behind Aiesha. I didn't recognize it, but evidently Rowan did.



"Heather!" Rowan didn't quite scream and didn't quite yell but her voice told me she was obviously pleased. She scrambled to her feet and ran toward the very pretty blonde who had spoken. The two girls hugged each other and I could see a family resemblance, and looks definitely ran in the Blake family. "When did you get here?"



"Yesterday. Mr. Blair said that we could visit today, so I thought I'd come by to see if you wanted to go to the mall." She looked up and said, "Everybody's welcome to go."



"After pizza?" Sawyer asked.



Heather grinned and said, "After Pizza."



Rowan actually smiled, something she had done little of over the last week, and stuck her tongue out at him saying, "Everybody, this is my cousin, Heather." She nodded to Aiesha, "Evidently you've already met Aiesha, this Brian, and Sawyer." I noticed she blushed just a little when she mentioned Sawyer, and all three girls giggled.



I'm not stupid. I can read the signs. Rowan had a crush on Sawyer. I just hoped that if what I expected was true, that she didn't get herself hurt over it. I considered warning her, but then realized that it might come across as being jealous- which I'm honest with myself enough to admit was just a little bit true. I'd just let them work it out, and try to be there to pick up the pieces if I needed to be.



Rowan stopped and looked at the pizzas and then to Heather and said, "YOU are evil."



"Finally figured it out did you?" Heather asked.



"Am I missing something here?" Aisha asked.



"You've been used girl," Rowan teased. "Heather had two reasons for buying the pizzas."



"She wanted to be nice?" Sawyer suggested.



"Oh she wanted to be nice all right. She is a nice person, but she also wanted to surprise me," Rowan said.



"Okay, she surprised you with pizza," Sawyer replied seeming confused as he took one of the boxes from Aiesha. Opening the lid he smelled it and said, "Ooooh Papa John's Hawaiian. My favorite!" Then he stopped for a moment as something seemed to sink in. Finally, he said, "You can smell anyone coming down the hall. You would have known she was coming before she even got close to the door." He looked over at Heather and bowed deeply with his hands out in a mock symbol of respect, a slice of pizza in one hand and the box in the other. "You ARE good. The pizza hid your scent."



Heather just half curtsied and said, "And smart too." She started handing out the pizza boxes and asked again, "So does anyone want to go to the mall? Mr. Blair said that he has to go to the airport to pick up another student so we can ride in with him and I can have Martin bring us back in the car."



"Which mall?" Rowan asked.



"I thought we'd do Pentagon City. I think they're more likely to have what we're looking for."



"What, you want to buy top secret data?" Sawyer asked taking out a piece of the pizza and grinning. "The pentagon doesn't sound like a good place to do any shopping."



"Pentagon City is a huge mall," Heather said. "It's got all kinds of shops. You can spend the whole day there shopping, have lunch with your friends, and shop some more."



"I could do the mall," Sawyer said through bites of ham, extra cheese, onion, and pineapple."



"Sounds like fun," Aiesha said. She looked at me and asked, "How 'bout you Brian, want to stick around here or go out and see some of DC?"


I shrugged and tried to sound non-chalant. "It sounds okay to me." I looked over at the pizza and added. "After pizza."



Everybody nodded and began to dig in. "After pizza," we all said in unison.



~*~
Glitch




I was surprised to find out that Rowan's cousin was in town. From what she'd said earlier, the woman went to school in California. But it was nice that somebody got a visit from family, but I guess that's a little easier when you're rich like they are.



The pizza was a nice touch, whatever the reasons for her buying it. Sawyer was obviously enjoying it as he was busy stuffing his face. I could see an attraction between them. After all, he'd squeezed past Brian to sit next to her on the van, and she obviously had some interest in him. I hadn't really gotten much of a chance to talk to her. You'd think that since we're the only girls on the team that we'd have at least had a gossip session, but not so far. We all focused heavily on our classwork- and this stuff really was work. I don't think I've ever worked so hard at school in my life. She also seemed to be a pretty shy person, and spent a great deal of time in her room.



She didn't even change with me for gym, instead coming back to the suite to change or waiting until I was finished, or changing in one of the bathroom stalls. For someone that pretty, she sure went to a lot of trouble trying to cover up. If I had a boy who I liked and who was showing signs of liking me back, I sure as heck wouldn't be wearing no ratty ol' sweatshirt an' baggy jeans. I'd be puttin' me on somethin' that showed off my curves.



I watched the way Rowan and her cousin acted toward each other. There was a clinginess there like they were leaning on each other for support That made sense though. Mr. Blair had said that Rowan and her cousin had recently both lost their parents in a car accident. But there was something else too- something that made me think that we didn't have all the pieces of the puzzle yet.



After lunch we all piled into the school van and Mr. Blair dropped us off at this huge mall and said he'd see us back at the school. I looked up from the parking lot and thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I thought of the credit card in my purse that Mom had given me for emergencies. This cooooould be considered an emergency.





"Exactly why are we here?" I heard Brian ask Sawyer.



"Would you rather be back at the school?" Sawyer answered.



Brian shook his head, "No I guess not. But why do I get the feeling that we're going to be carrying the bags?"



"I don't know," Sawyer said. "Because we probably are. But at least we're off school grounds."



"Well there is that. I just don't want to blow my whole allowance in one trip to the mall," he said.



"Don't worry, I don't have a lot to spend either. I just get the idea that something important is happening and I kind of think we need to be here for it," Sawyer said. He really did have more insight than I gave him credit for.



Heather and Rowan were quietly talking up ahead. I heard Heather ask, "You sure about this?"



Rowan shook her head and said, "No, I'm not sure about it. If I were sure about it, I'd have done it a long time ago. I just think that it's more difficult to ignore it. I don't know if it's because of the second cold burn or not, but I can't keep just putting on that sweat shirt and jeans and just duck my head."



"What about the other direction?" Heather asked.



"What about it? It's easy. Jeans and a button down."



"And the tail and ears?" Heather asked.



"What about them?"



"You're not going to hide them all the time," she said.



"That's one of the reasons I wanted your input. I'm tired of sitting on my tail. Skirts and dresses will make it a whole lot easier to avoid that," she said.



"Depends on the cut, and the material. The wrong kind of cut will make it that much more likely to get in the way, and we both know what happens to your tail when you get surprised. The wrong timing with the wrong dress and you may end up flashing everybody around you."



"Damn, I hadn't thought about that," she said.



"It's up to you, but I think you might as well deal with the ears and tail the same way you do with your other condition."



"My other condition isn't that obvious,"



"No, but it's getting that way."



"Why do I get the feeling that this trip is going to mean spending a lot of time in the women's department of clothing stores?" Brian asked.



"We can always find something else to do. There's a Suncoast in the mall." Sawyer said looking at the map kiosk. He grinned and pulled out his wallet, " And I have a gift certificate from my last birthday."



"Fine, we'll go there and maybe do some looking around in other areas. You guys can go shop for dresses and skirts and whatever else you wear to your hearts' content," Brian told us. "You've got our cell numbers, call us when you're ready to eat." They headed off down the concourse.



"Thought they'd never leave," I said to the other girls.



Heather smiled at me and said, "Oh? Looking for some girl time?"



I smiled back. I could like this one. She knew what was important. "Something like that. We've been so busy at school latey, that Rowan and I haven't had much of a chance to get to talk."



"About what?" Rowan asked.



"Boys for one," I said. "You're crushing on Sawyer aren't you."



"I thought you didn't like Sawyer," Rowan countered as we headed up the escalator.



"I may not, but it's obvious that you do," I told her.



Heather just grinned at her cousin. Before Rowan could reply, Heather said, "Just take it easy, Rowan. You don't have a lot of experience with dealing with other kids your age, much less this kind of thing."



Rowan shrugged and said, "I just met him."

"Meeting is the first step," Heather said. "I'm not sure that Aunt Barbara and Uncle Ashley did you any favors by not sending you at least to a private school, like this one, or even Sidwell Friends."

"I woudn't have done well in a Quaker School," Rowan told her evenly.

"Isn't that school where the President's kids go?" I asked.

Heather nodded and said, "And where I went, and where Chelsea Clinton went."

"Why would you not want to go a school that's good enough for the President's kids?" I asked. "I mean we're talking about THE President's kids."

Rowan turned and looked at me and said, "Because I have a medical condition that makes it difficult for people to deal with me at times. There would have been a lot explaining to do, and my folks just wanted me not to have to put up with it."

"I must be missing about half the conversation here," I told her.

They looked at each other and smiled before turning back to me and saying in unison, "You are."

"Well, if you'd let me in on it, I wouldn't be. What's the big deal? You had private tutors instead of going to school. Doesn't sound like too much to cry about."

"Who said I'm crying," Rowan asked, her relaxed almost detached demeanor had disappeared. Replaced was someone I got the feeling was very centered in themselves.

"Then why go all girly on me?" Heather challenged. "And why hide the ears and the tail?"

Rowan turned and looked at her and said, "Because I don't want to confuse people; and I don't want to put my teammate's identities at risk. I'll never have anything close to a secret ID, but these guys have a chance at one if they want it. If they're seen hanging around with a known neo, then it wouldn't take a lot of brains to put two and two together."

"So, you're hiding half your identity in protect your friends?" Heather asked.

"Something like that," Rowan said as we entered the fashion department.

"Bullshit," Heather replied. "I'm calling bullshit and you know why. You promised me you wouldn't do this."

"Do what?" Rowan asked.

"Climb into a hole. Hide yourself away. You're a beautiful human being Rowan, and you don't have accept everything that comes your way. Sometimes you have to stand up and fight for who you are. " She turned to me and said, "How do you feel about one of your teammates hiding themselves to protect you?"

"I don't understand," I told her. This conversation had taken a detour into the Twilight Zone a long time ago."

Heather smiled and said in a strange tone that just bordered on condescending, "No, I guess you wouldn't."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.

She must have realized that she may have given offense. She said, "Just that you are just now coming into your power, and it doesn't really make you stand out in a crowd. Rowan has always stood out, add in the ears and tail, and he really stands out."

Okay, maybe I'm not the brightest crayon in the box, but to say that I don't understand how it feels to stand out, you gotta be kidding me. "Yes I do," I told her angrily. "I'm black for heaven's sake!"

She just smiled at me and very calmly said, "Really? Look around you. Is anyone staring at you? I see black cashier over there. I see several very nice looking black ladies shopping in the children's department over there. There are couple of black guys in the lingerie department," she shook her head and grinned, "I don't want to know about that. You don't stand out, you look like just another American."

"Yeah, but this country has a history of racism...," I began.

"This isn't about racism, it's about something much more fundamental than skin pigment."

"So I should just take the hat off and stick out my tail and be done with it?" Rowan asked.

"Would you have a problem with being seen with someone with ears and a tail?" Heather asked

I thought about it for a second. I had to admit there was a little bit of unease at all the attention it would create, but at the same time, I'd grown accustomed to seeing them at school. I finally shook my head and said, "No. Rowan's a classmate, and if people start discriminating against her because she has a neogene then they are discriminating against me too."

Heather chuckled lowly, "They already are, sweetheart, they already are." She turned to Rowan and said, "See, she doesn't mind, and neither do I."

"What about Brian and Sawyer?" Rowan asked.

"What 'bout 'em?" I asked. I'd made my decision and I was going to stick by it. "They don't stand by you then they aren't worth being in the cadre with."

"Shouldn't they have a say?" Rowan asked.

"No," both Heather and I said simultaneously.

I stopped for a second and thought. Finally, I added, "This is about you girl. About who you are. Do you want to hide who you are, or do you want to be judged by your actions, not that you're a neo?"

Rowan smiled weakly, "I'd rather not be judged."

"Sorry, the world doesn't work that way. The government took away your right to hole up at home and let the world pass by. They forced you out of the genetic closet. Now whatever happens, they have some responsibility for."

Rowan shrugged and said, "Okay, it's your social life." She reached up and pulled off the hat she was wearing and wiggled her ears.

A few began to stare, somewhat startled, but most went about their business. Every now and then somebody would do a double take, but for the most part, they just went about their shopping. "See, no pitchforks or lynch mobs," Heather said.

Rowan smiled weakly and said, "Okay, if we're going to do this, let's do it."

"Exactly what are we doing?" I asked.

"Rowan wants to explore her feminine side. She says she's getting too big up top to comfortably pass as a boy all the time, although I'd say she's only a large A or maybe a small B cup. But we're going to buy her some clothes that are more feminine without revealing too much." She grinned over at me and then added, "I heard about that dress she wore on the plane. That shade of pink just doesn't fit her hair."

"I've been meaning to ask, is that color natural- I mean the tips, or did you do it to yourself?" I asked carefully.

Rowan grinned and for the first time I noticed that her canines were very sharp. "It's natural, and it won't take a dye. Believe me, I've tried. Even if I cut it, it the new ends turn black in a few days and within two weeks, it's back to this length or a little longer."

I nodded and said, "Must be a real pain in the tush."

"Not as much as the tail," Rowan grinned at me, "literally."

I chuckled with her and realized we were starting to get along. I was glad for that. I was glad to have at least one friend on the team. I looked around and thought about her build and her coloring. I picked a dress that looked about her size. I really couldn't tell too much because of the baggy jeans. It looked like it would fit her, and it was nice soft clingy material- guaranteed to get Sawyer's attention. "What about this?" I asked.

"Ooooh, I like it," Rowan said and felt the fabric.

"No," Heather said.

"Why not?" Rowan asked.

"Material and cut is all wrong," she said. "It's pretty, and it's stylish, but it'll cling in all the wrong places on you."

"It'll cling in all the right places," I told her. "At least the places to get a certain blond's attention."

Heather leaned into Rowan and whispered something I couldn't hear. Rowan's eyes got big and she blushed deeply. "Besides, it'll cling around the base of your tail, and bunch up all wrong. You need something like an A-line cut, probably in a stiff cotton or polycotton blend, pleats would be good." She smiled over at me and then glanced down and around at my behind and said, "Not all of us are blessed with such a nice rounded bottom. Some of us look like thirteen year old boys, so those kinds of cling don't pull off as well for us."

I kind of looked at her funny, "But it won't show off her hips and those flat abs that Brian and Sawyer keep staring at."

"Trust me on this," Heather said. "It also won't show off other things as well. Besides cotton is a fabric that'll let you breathe. And breathing is a situation you want as much of as possible."

By now I was totally confused, but I went along with it. Because of her coloring, we kept to pastels in the green and blue range, and stayed away from prints. I noticed that the shirts that Rowan tended to wear went a long way to hide the fact that the girl had some strong shoulders, not a lot up top, but enough to catch interest with the right cut of the neck- definitely something with an Empire stitch around the bust line.

Two hours later, and after a whole lot of fun and giggling we'd managed to put together about fifteen outfits for her by picking things she could mix and match. Heather was right about one thing, Rowan was completely clueless when it came to fashion. We even managed a couple of bras that fit her better than the sports bras she kept mashing herself down with- things that would lift and define instead of painfully squash. Oddly enough, we didn't buy any matching bottoms. Her only comment when I asked about that was that nobody was going to see her down there and she wore what was comfortable.

A quick stop at one of the accessory stores and we’d gotten her a few things to make the outfit look a little less generic. It only took a few minutes with the mirror in the ladies room, and we pinned and shaped her hair into something other than the utilitarian style she normally kept it in. She And voila! She’d gone into the store a cute tomboy in baggy jeans and a sweatshirt, and come out a rather elegant young lady in a nice A-line skirt and matching blouse. Heather had definitely been right about not bunching up on her tail. Her ears and tail weren’t hidden at all, but seemed to look natural- a part of her not something out of place. The look on her face almost dared people to comment about it.



Around four, we phoned the boys and arranged to meet at Fyves- a bit pricey, but Heather said she'd buy so we weren't complaining. Actually, Brian argued with her about it, but she managed to convince him that it was more of a treat for Rowan and that neither of them would think anything of picking up the tab. If it made him feel any better, he could buy the pizza next time.



~*~
Ghost

Brian and Ah headed over to Suncoast to check out their DVD selection. Mah grandparents had given me a $200 gift certificate to the place because they knew Ah loved bad B-Movies. The cheesier the movie, the more Ah liked it. Ah was especially a fan of the Trauma Films stuff and anything out of Full Moon Productions back in the nineties.



We browsed around Suncoast for a while and Ah picked up a couple of movies for our Tuesday night movie night, and we just kind of hung out. Brian and Ah had actually probably spent more time together than Rowan and Aiesha had. Aiesha had complained a couple of times that Rowan was just too darned shy for her own good. That's the thing about guys. We can just hang out and not do anything, and that's okay.



Anyway, we’d stopped at one of the food kiosks and gotten a snack. Sitting down at the table, Brian asked me, “You do know that Rowan is crushing on you, don’t you?”



Ah took a long sip of my drink before answering, “Ah kind of suspected it.” Ah’m not exactly blind you know. And to tell you the truth, the girl confused me. Ah don’t usually go for girls, but lately, she’d had me rethinking that. Ah genuinely liked her, and she was attractive in a tomboy sort of way.



After a lot of soul searchin Ah came to grips with mah attraction to other boys ‘bout a year’n ago . Rev’rnd Peterson wouldn’t like it, but he didn’t have to live mah life. Hadn’t tol’ mah parents yet, Ah was sort of afraid they were goin’ to hit the roof when they foun’ out. But now, Rowan had me a’wond’rin ‘bout that. Don’ get me wrong. Ah can recognize a pretty girl as easy as the next guy, but mos’ of them don’t do anythin’ for me. It’s sorta’ an abstract beauty, it doesn’t reach down and grab me like some guys do. Rowan was different. She had that same sort o' claw in the gut, I got when Ah watched Orlando Bloom as Legolas.



“But you don’t like girls do you?” he said. There wasn’t any accusation, or condemnation in it, he was jus’ statin’ a fact as he understood it. He kept talkin’, “You don’t have to say anything. I’m not accusing, and I don’t have a problem with it, I just don’t want to see one of my teammates get hurt because of a misunderstanding.”



Ah shrugged, and said, “Ah never tol’ anybody ‘bout this. Jus' sorta been sittin' on it for a while. But Rowan's got me rethinkin' things."



"How so?" he asked.



Ah took another sip of Coke and said, "Never done anythin' with anybody. Never really had the opportunity. No, it's more like never had an opportunity with anybody Ah wanted to do anythin' with. Then last year, 'bout the time Ah was wrappin' my head 'round how I felt 'bout this kinda thing, Ah started my cold burn and everything just sorta' went to hell in the proverbial handbasket. It was the kind o' thing that got put on the back burner when the guys in black suits showed up at the house."





He just nodded to me and smiled, "I understand. I won't lie. I've had a little experience with these things- with girls that is. I get the feeling we're from pretty similar economic backgrounds- suburban upper middle class, that kind of thing. That carries a lot of weight in junior high, and not to sound like I'm stuck on myself, I know I'm not hard on the eyes. That leads to opportunities, and I'm just like the next guy, and have taken advantage of those opportunities. But I just want you to know that if you need to talk, then I'm not going to judge you."



Ah just chuckled an' said, "Ah don't want to dissapoint the parental units. Dad literally put his business on the line to send me here. If any of my sibs burst in the next five years, Ah don't think the family'll be able to afford to send them here too, an' it would't be fair to send one and not the others. Ah jus' sort of buried the other stuff inside an' and figured Ah'd deal with it after college."



Brian shook his head at me, "It doesn't work that way buddy." He leaned back and popped a spoonfull of Dippin' Dots in his mouth an asked. "What do you mean, Rowan's got you rethinking things?"



Ah shrugged, "Jus' that. She's nice, she's attractive, in a way that most girls aren't, and I really sort of like her. Ah don' know if it's a phase, or what."



"You still attraced to guys?" he asked.



Ah nodded, "Yeah, Ah said Ah liked the girl, Ah didn't say Ah was dead."



"But you're attracted to Rowan too," he said. Ah nodded. He just grinned, "Doesn't sound too hard to figure out to me. Sounds like you're what they call bi."



Ah shrugged and left it at that. Ah didn't think he was right, but it was easier than arguing with him. "So, you gonna tell 'er?"



He shook his head, "Not my story to tell. You'll tell her and anyone else when you think the time is right."



"Ah appreciate that. It's not that Ah'm tryin' to hide anythin' it's jus' Ah need to wrap mah head aroun' a few things first,"



"Take your time, buddy. I get the feeling that you've got about five years or more," he said.



"You know, Brian, I never really tol' anyone about this. I appreciate the ear."



He just smiled, "Just me bucking for team leader," he said.



I grinned and said, "There never really was a question of that. Ah don' want it, Ah don't think Rowan does either, and Ah wouldn't follow Aiesha to Sunday Sermon."



"What is it with you two?" he asked.



Ah shook mah head, "Ah don' know. For some reason, she thinks Ah'm a member of the Klan."



"Must be the accent," he grinned an' said.



"What accent?" Ah asked. "Ah don't have an accent, it's you damned yankees with all the accents." I grinned hugely.



"Really?" he asked grinning. "I'll tell you what..." He never finished because his phone went off. He looked at the number and said, "Speak of the devil," and then answered it.



He ended up in an argument with Heather about where we would eat. I think she won.



Half an hour later we were outside of one of the nicer restaurants in the mall area waiting on them. Why is women are always late for everything?

~*~
Rowan




I don't really know why I was doing what I was doing. I think a lot of it was a desire to strike out, to take control of something. I couldn't control what my body had done to me, I couldn't control where I was living or what I was doing, and I couldn't control the fact that I'd lost my parents. I needed to control something, and the only thing I could think of at the time was my sexuality.



Yes, I liked Sawyer, but the strange part about it, was that both sides of me liked him, and that was almost as frustrating. I was reacting to him like a girl would to a boy she had her eye on- at least that was how I thought it was. But I was also reacting to him the way a boy would- to another boy or to a girl he liked. It was really playing hell with my moods, and I didn't want to take it out on my teammates.



The classwork was easy. It was nothing different than what my tutors did while I was home-schooled. Actually it was easier because I had three other people to bounce ideas off of. That's why I called Heather in the first place. I overheard one of the ninth grade girls suggest to another of her friends that I needed some fashion help. so I got it.



The fact that she could take the time off from school to come help was just a bonus. She was right about a few things though. I'd never hidden who I was, and was wondering why I should start now. But that wasn't what this was really about. I wasn't trying to hide what I was or from it. I got a reminder of that every morning when I woke up and went to the bathroom. I think I was trying to figure out a way to express it. To say, "this is what I am", without throwing it in everyone's face.



I'd never really worn dresses in the past. Jeans were a real pain- if they fit me in the hips, they were too tight in the crotch. If they fit in the crotch, they were too big in the hips- that was why I was really glad when baggy pants came into style. I could wear jeans and be fashionable at the same time.



Then about the same time that nature started adding something up top, it also moved my ears to the top of my head and added fur to them as well as a tail, fangs, and claws. I couldn't easily pass as a boy anymore- always the easiest thing to to do, and Heather was right about the wrong kinds of dresses showing off things downstairs. So, I decided to just grab a few things to add to my wardrobe in both directions and dress the way I felt like. Skirts seemed like a good addition because of the tail, but I'd already picked out several pairs of jeans to order from a catalog back at school. I was however not going to follow Aiesha's suggestion about underwear. I refuse to wear dental floss for the butt.



By the time we were headed to Fyve's for dinner, the two had managed to put together a pretty nice looking outfit for me. Dressed like this, people would automatically think I was a girl. That was fine. I wanted to see how Brian and Sawyer reacted.



They beat us to the restaurant, but then again, Heather always did talk about being fashionably late. I watched for their reaction to how I was dressed. Brian actually did a double-take. He looked over at Heather and Aiesha and said, "Man, you ladies do good work." He noted my ears and tail, "Glad to see you being yourself."



Sawyer however was a little more subdued, "Very nice," he said. Then grinning at me he nodded to where my tail was curled behind me, "What he said."



I wasn't sure what kind of reaction I was hoping for, but that wasn't it. I don't know if I did something wrong or not, but he seemed to be very non-chalant about the whole thing. But I wasn't going to let it worry me too much. I was not going to try and play mind games and expect him to react a certain way without telling him about it. Sometime this weekend, Sawyer Grey and I were going to have a talk. I think that was the testosterone talking though.



Turned out we were early enough not to need reservations or have much of a wait. That as good too, because I was starved. I never knew how much spending money could take out of you.



Dinner itself was pretty low key. Aiesha and Sawyer actually managed to not snipe at each other the whole meal. Brian spent a great deal of it flirting with my cousin- she's just a little old for him, I thought, but have at it. I think she was just humoring him.



Heading toward the car after dinner, Aiesha leaned in close to me and said, "He didn't act the way I expected him to..." SCREEEEEEEEEEEE! BOOM! It felt like icepicks going through my ears



Suddenly a wave of hot fire and force washed over us. I felt myself picked up and slammed into the hard concrete of the mall building. Something cracked under the force and I realized it wasn't me. I looked over to see Brian laying across Heather, his back littered with pieces of hot twisted metal. Aiesha was nowhere to be seen, heard, or smelt. I heard Sawyer next to me, but could only see the outline of his body as the smoke drifted through his invisible and insubstantial form.



Up ahead, I heard men giving orders, and the sound of pounding feet as several forms in dark clothing and carrying big guns closed with what was left of a Brinks' truck. I looked down at the tattered remains of my blouse, the ripped and torn skirt and slip that only barely managed to hide the fact that I was wearing boxers under it.



"They're still up!" someone shouted. "Hit 'em with the disruptor again!"



Suddenly I was looking down the business end of a wicked gun that had way too many buttons and gadgets on it to be from Joe's Gun and Pawn down the street.



"No, get the loot and get out of here!" another man called from the wreckage of the Brinks truck.



I heard some kind of cycling build up and then a click from the gun as one of the dark figures brought it up level with my head. He said, "The girl's a neo. You know the boss's standing orders: no witnesses- especially neos."

User avatar
Manintights
Partisan
Partisan
Posts: 629
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: roermond, Netherlands
Contact:

Postby Manintights » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:11 pm

I have to say I like what you are doing here. This could really turn into a great story if you keep it up.

Only thing I am not to sure about is the amount of people most would classify as minorities. So far you have:

a gay redneck
a transgender (mabe not the right word)
an african american girl o a scholarship
a girl with racist tendencies (not even introduced yet but still)

Not that this should be a problem if handled right. In my opinion though, this seems overdoing it slightly. I'm not suggesting you should change anything, but please be careful that you don't overdo it.

Kind regards,

Danny
"As my father taught, 'Training will raise your shield to the blow, but courage fills the gaps the shield leaves open.'"

Play by post games:

New Vindicators: [Gae Bolg]

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:18 pm

Thanks for the review. I really do appreciate your taking your time to write it. I understand your concerns. Actually the term for Rowan's condition is either true hermaphroditism (19th century) or intersexuality. It is simply exacerbated by his/her healing factor. While doing my research for the character, I was amazed at how common it really is.

I'm actually doing the minority thing on purpose. There is a theme I'm building toward here. I'm big on making social commentary with my stories and I'm working on it here. Hopefully, I won't over do it. The main thing is I want my characters flawed- they are real people in a world that has had super powers forced on them.



Blue

Michuru81
Cosmic Scion
Cosmic Scion
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: Pekin, IL

Postby Michuru81 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:11 pm

Just got around to reading and I am thus far intrigued. I'd second MIT's statement about overdoing the minorities if I weren't guilty of it myself. I tend to overuse twins (not that twins are a minority) and homosexuals myself...

In anycase, I like the setting. I have to admit, I did some eye-rolling when the exposition on powers picked up so soon into the story but it works out.

I'm eager to see where you take this. :) Keep up the good work.
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 1:17 pm

Michuru81 wrote:Just got around to reading and I am thus far intrigued. I'd second MIT's statement about overdoing the minorities if I weren't guilty of it myself. I tend to overuse twins (not that twins are a minority) and homosexuals myself...

In anycase, I like the setting. I have to admit, I did some eye-rolling when the exposition on powers picked up so soon into the story but it works out.

I'm eager to see where you take this. :) Keep up the good work.


Thanks for taking the time to review. I"m always interested in what other people think. It's really ironic that so many people are picking up the minority thing. It was not intentional, and later in the story it's going to prove very ironic indeed.

I honestly didn't understand what you mean about the exposition on powers so soon in the story. Would mind explaining it? Thanks again.

Cobalt

Michuru81
Cosmic Scion
Cosmic Scion
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: Pekin, IL

Postby Michuru81 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:52 pm

cobalt-blue wrote:
Michuru81 wrote:Just got around to reading and I am thus far intrigued. I'd second MIT's statement about overdoing the minorities if I weren't guilty of it myself. I tend to overuse twins (not that twins are a minority) and homosexuals myself...

In anycase, I like the setting. I have to admit, I did some eye-rolling when the exposition on powers picked up so soon into the story but it works out.

I'm eager to see where you take this. :) Keep up the good work.


Thanks for taking the time to review. I"m always interested in what other people think. It's really ironic that so many people are picking up the minority thing. It was not intentional, and later in the story it's going to prove very ironic indeed.

I honestly didn't understand what you mean about the exposition on powers so soon in the story. Would mind explaining it? Thanks again.

Cobalt


It's in the third paragraph of your first chapter when Boomer begins telling us exactly where people get their powers from. We haven’t even been formerly introduced to him yet so… on the first read through, this seemed a little hasty. My initial reaction was that this sort of exposition (erupt versus cold burn) might have been best revealed later on. The story is a first person narrative, which means that the driving force behind it should be the characters—let them propel the story. To whom is Brian revealing this to? Given his exposition this is the sort of thing that’s common knowledge to the average Joe so for him to bother articulating it is, in a sense, breaking the fourth wall. He says it for the readers and, at first, my feelings were that this was something that could best be trickled out overtime. It would be completely different if the story were told to us by an omnipresent narrator but it felt weird to be coming from one of the characters rather than something the reader gleams slowly from the character’s conversations with each other. Does that make any sense? I have a tendency to talk myself in circles…
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 4:13 pm

Michuru81 wrote:
cobalt-blue wrote:
Michuru81 wrote:Just got around to reading and I am thus far intrigued. I'd second MIT's statement about overdoing the minorities if I weren't guilty of it myself. I tend to overuse twins (not that twins are a minority) and homosexuals myself...

In anycase, I like the setting. I have to admit, I did some eye-rolling when the exposition on powers picked up so soon into the story but it works out.

I'm eager to see where you take this. :) Keep up the good work.


Thanks for taking the time to review. I"m always interested in what other people think. It's really ironic that so many people are picking up the minority thing. It was not intentional, and later in the story it's going to prove very ironic indeed.

I honestly didn't understand what you mean about the exposition on powers so soon in the story. Would mind explaining it? Thanks again.

Cobalt


It's in the third paragraph of your first chapter when Boomer begins telling us exactly where people get their powers from. We haven’t even been formerly introduced to him yet so… on the first read through, this seemed a little hasty. My initial reaction was that this sort of exposition (erupt versus cold burn) might have been best revealed later on. The story is a first person narrative, which means that the driving force behind it should be the characters—let them propel the story. To whom is Brian revealing this to? Given his exposition this is the sort of thing that’s common knowledge to the average Joe so for him to bother articulating it is, in a sense, breaking the fourth wall. He says it for the readers and, at first, my feelings were that this was something that could best be trickled out overtime. It would be completely different if the story were told to us by an omnipresent narrator but it felt weird to be coming from one of the characters rather than something the reader gleams slowly from the character’s conversations with each other. Does that make any sense? I have a tendency to talk myself in circles…


Actually it makes perfect sense and I sort of struggled with it myself. In the end, I decided to go with that approach instead of Eddings' (who sadly to say passed away this week) "Sir Stupid" approach of having to have the characters explain to someone "out of the know" what is going on- which is what this piece really is. It will become clear a little later why the first person narrative is this way.

I do appreciate the input, and please keep reading.

User avatar
Tattooedman
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 14313
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:16 pm
Location: The Lands of Ink
Contact:

Postby Tattooedman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:41 pm

After reading the first couple parts of the story so far I'll admit that the style is different than what I normally read. Not a bad thing, the first person perspective added with giving multiple views of the same things happening gives it some good depth.

Like the other posts above I'm slightly hesitant about using so many minorities but am willing to see where you plan on taking it.

Overall I like what I've read so far, nice work.
World of Freedom Setting 3E

"Your ignorance is not my burden."
-- Chiun

Flicker182
Groupie
Groupie
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:45 pm

Postby Flicker182 » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:50 pm

I find your story to be very interesting. I hope the other parts to it are just as good. I don't think there is any problem to the amount of minorities that are in the party because they are the player's characters after all. It is not under your control and it is in fact an interactive story.

I hope your players are having a fun time along with us because they should have more fun playing than we should have reading. Otherwise, I'd feel there'd be something horribly wrong here.

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:54 pm

I'm curious about the questions about minorities. To be honest, there are only two on the team, if you count being gay as a minority- otherwise it's one. I usually get irritated when I see a character that is made a minority for the sake of having one in the program/comic/story etc... and actually set out to avoid that.

Maybe it's the the fact that Aiesha made an issue of it? I'm not sure. The next team member to be added will be of European descent, like technically the whole team is (Aiesha's mother is after all white).

Considering where I'm eventually going to take this story, it's making me wonder if I'm doing my job or not.

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:57 pm

Flicker182 wrote:I find your story to be very interesting. I hope the other parts to it are just as good. I don't think there is any problem to the amount of minorities that are in the party because they are the player's characters after all. It is not under your control and it is in fact an interactive story.

I hope your players are having a fun time along with us because they should have more fun playing than we should have reading. Otherwise, I'd feel there'd be something horribly wrong here.


Actually, this is original fiction. The closest thing to another player is my wife when we role-play out scenes to see who they feel for writing. I live in South Korea so table top is out of the question, and online gaming gets bogged down quickly.

This is simply my attempt to play with some ideas. I always write the characters up in a game system to help define them more. I may eventually use the setting for a solo game with my wife where we co-gm it, but for the most part it's an attempt to delve into some darker aspects of social commentary.

User avatar
Tattooedman
Cosmic Entity
Cosmic Entity
Posts: 14313
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:16 pm
Location: The Lands of Ink
Contact:

Postby Tattooedman » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:24 pm

My comment about the minorities were more in reference to Sawyer, Aiesha and Rowan.

I get how Aiesha's attitude would be played up right off the bat. To me the anrgy african american is a little over done, but again my opinion.

I totally understand how showing the problems Rowan is dealing with because of her developing hermaphroditism. This one is interesting to me as I like seeing how characters are affected by their powers, because in my mind not every super-being should look normal. The odds simply don't favor it happening.

Personally I just felt that Sawyer's revealing his sexual orintation was done a little too soon. That's my big flag there. Coming out like that is a monsterously huge issue for teenagers at that age, I just felt like it was done too lightly.

Otherwise I've been enjoying the story so far and am looking forward to the rest of the story.
World of Freedom Setting 3E

"Your ignorance is not my burden."
-- Chiun

User avatar
cobalt-blue
Superhero
Superhero
Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY
Contact:

Postby cobalt-blue » Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:42 pm

Tattooedman wrote:My comment about the minorities were more in reference to Sawyer, Aiesha and Rowan.

I get how Aiesha's attitude would be played up right off the bat. To me the anrgy african american is a little over done, but again my opinion.

I totally understand how showing the problems Rowan is dealing with because of her developing hermaphroditism. This one is interesting to me as I like seeing how characters are affected by their powers, because in my mind not every super-being should look normal. The odds simply don't favor it happening.

Personally I just felt that Sawyer's revealing his sexual orintation was done a little too soon. That's my big flag there. Coming out like that is a monsterously huge issue for teenagers at that age, I just felt like it was done too lightly.

Otherwise I've been enjoying the story so far and am looking forward to the rest of the story.



Fair enough. I think I may agree with you, but what's done is done. The character is still developing in my mind and I'll build from what I've got. I think it'll work out in the end- at least for what I've got planned.

The Draupnir girl is going to end up rocking quite a few people's worlds before it's over. She's another who's powers don't let them appear as normal.

I really DO appreciate the input. Please keep reading.

Michuru81
Cosmic Scion
Cosmic Scion
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: Pekin, IL

Postby Michuru81 » Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:24 am

cobalt-blue wrote:I'm curious about the questions about minorities. To be honest, there are only two on the team, if you count being gay as a minority- otherwise it's one. I usually get irritated when I see a character that is made a minority for the sake of having one in the program/comic/story etc... and actually set out to avoid that.

Maybe it's the the fact that Aiesha made an issue of it? I'm not sure. The next team member to be added will be of European descent, like technically the whole team is (Aiesha's mother is after all white).

Considering where I'm eventually going to take this story, it's making me wonder if I'm doing my job or not.


I have always attributed a writer's job to be akin to being a liar: your job is to weave fiction together in a manner that entertains and there you have certainly succeeded.

On the idea of minorities... I get that there is always going to be something that distinguishes everyone in a group (put five white guys in a room and you can call them the short one, the fat one, the old one, the ugly one and the drugged-out one) but here there's the southern-fried hick, the gay kid (I have to agree that, given his age, his outting is way too quickly handled--your average 16-year-old would be much more insecure and confused and worried how he'll be accepted), the black girl, the angry black girl... On a quasi-related note, have you ever noticed that we--as writers--describe a character as black but never come out and say a character is white? We just assume our readers are going to assume our characters are white unless we specify otherwise.

In anycase, it seems like overkill that there's only one kid on the team who would be superficially considered the social norm. I agree with Tattooedman though: I enjoy reading Rowan, specifically in how her powers have affected them. Rowan, thus far, is prolly my favorite character here. As I said before, I'm anxious to see where this goes.
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC


Return to “M&M Story Hour”



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests