Oliver Smith: Claremont Student (Chapter 3 posted)

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Oliver Smith: Claremont Student (Chapter 3 posted)

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:30 pm

Chapter 1

"Stop fighting me. Just stick your arm through."

"I'm trying, Jen. Believe me. I'm trying."

"Alright, alright. There we go. How's that feel?"

"I'm comfortable. Thanks."

Oliver tapped the joystick, and his chair wheeled him across the room to the small shelf holding the most recent stack of books Jen had brought him from the library. Optical Waves in Crystals: Propagation and Control of Laser Radiation by Amnon Yariv & Pochi Yeh, Transport Phenomena: Equations and Numerical Solutions by Esteban Saatdjian, and Linear and Nonlinear Multivariable Feedback Control: A Classical Approach by Oleg Gasparyan sat stacked neatly beside the old Encyclopedia Britannica set she had found at a garage sale when Oliver was five. He'd read every one cover to cover by the next day.

"I'm going to do a little reading before bed, Jen."

His sister, who had gone into the kitchen to put away the clean dishes, mumbled something he interpreted as, 'Okay, that's fine'. She'd had a long day. A twelve hour shift at Southside General then home to make dinner and help Oliver change into his pajamas. He hated how much he needed to depend on her. If it wasn't for Mrs. McCaffrey, the old lady down the hall, there'd be no one but Jen to look after him.

Oliver decided to start with Gasparyan's book for the simple fact that both their names began with 'O'. It was a silly reason, he knew, but this was only a little light reading anyway. Why not be a little silly once in a while. After all, despite his IQ he was still only fifteen. With a little difficulty he slid the book onto his lap.

The summer air was nice and cool tonight, so Oliver wheeled himself over to the window. Not too near it, but close enough to feel the breeze. He could see the lights from the Boardwalk glowing from across the river and thought he heard a gun shot a block over but hoped it was just a car backfiring. He flipped open his book and tried to forget the outside world for awhile. Barely two paragraphs through the introduction, Bill came home.

"Crap," muttered Oliver as the key jangled in the lock. Bill came in with a frown on his face. That was never good.

"Hi, Bill," greeted Oliver in as cheery a voice as he could muster. He got a look from Jen, but he ignored it. "How'd your day go?"

Bill's frown deepened, but he didn't respond. He rarely ever did to Oliver. Instead, he lumbered into the kitchen and sat down at the table. "Where's dinner?"

"Dinner's over. We ate. Your late," responded Jen in a clipped tone. "It's nearly eight thirty. We stopped waiting for you a while ago."

Jen rarely ever edited herself. It was one of the things Oliver liked about her. He just wished it didn't always lead to the same result. It was about to get loud.

"You and that cripple brother of yours..."

Oliver's brow furrowed, but he didn't say anything. He never did.

"...I swear," Bill stood. "You treat him like a prince, but me? I put a roof over your heads, and he gets all the space for his god damned books and his god damn chair. I put food on the table, MY TABLE, and now I don't even get to eat it!"

"Go to hell, Bill. It's my paycheck that covers most of the rent, and you always call my cooking bad anyway."

That's when the volume really went up to eleven. Oliver stopped listening and wheeled off to his room. If he'd still had his old chair, he'd be stuck in the living room listening to another in a long line of unsettled arguments until one of them gave up and Jen wheeled him to his room. His muscles weren't even strong enough to let him push himself around in a wheelchair. Thanks to a local charity, though, he now had an electric chair. Driving around via joystick was almost like playing a video game. Yeah, almost. Not.

Shutting the door with his foot-rest, Oliver turned to face the only possession he cherished more than his electric chair. Thanks to another of Jen's lucky garage sale finds, Oliver was the proud owner of a computer. It was an older model and terribly slow in comparison to today's technology, but it was a start. Jen hadn't been able to afford any of the hardware components Oliver had hoped to upgrade it with yet, but at least he could make a start on the software.

Oliver's first task had been to rewrite the operating system. It was only DOS anyway. Once his computer was running off OOPS, the cheekily named "Oliver's OPerating System", it had run twice as fast and ten times more efficiently. Oliver had even been able to rig up a voice recognition protocol through his old clock radio.

"Computer, open messenger."

::Opening Messenger...

Oliver adjusted his legs in his seat to get closer to the screen. "Log in."

::Logging in user 'Ol1v3r_Tw1tch'
::User 'Delta_FC1' is online

"Computer, start conversation."

::Chat opened...

"Hey, D. How's it going?"

::Delta_FC1: hi Olly
::Delta_FC1: i'm good
::Delta_FC1: i just started a new project
::Delta_FC1: how are you?

"I'm fine. Bill just got home."

::Delta_FC1: ah sorry
::Delta_FC1: how loud are they?

"Loud enough. Hey, did you hear about the Freedom League's surprise visit to Roosevelt High today?"

::Delta_FC1: that's your school isn't it?


::Delta_FC1: cool
::Delta_FC1: did you meet any of them?

"No, I couldn't get to the gym soon enough."

::Delta_FC1: what? why?

"Well," Oliver paused. He hadn't told Delta_FC1 about his disability. No one at school ever looked him in the eye. He could hear students snickering behind his back all the time. He was the 'cripple kid'. Oliver just didn't want to risk alienating the one real friend he had. Even if that friend was a string of text transmitted through a wire. So, to explain that he'd been trapped in the bathroom during the Freedom League's visit, to explain that it took him half an hour to do something as simple as wipe his own ass would require even more explanation and be terribly embarrassing. Oliver just didn't want to go down that road.

::Delta_FC1: Olly?
::Delta_FC1: you still there?

"Yeah, D. Sorry."

::Delta_FC1: you didn't see the league?
::Delta_FC1: why?

"I was... stuck in detention." Oliver figured this lie would sound the most plausible. It was kind of true any way. He was so bored with school, stuck in a 'special needs' classroom with kids with learning disabilities, he barely paid attention, and his teacher had long stopped trying to teach him. Oliver didn't go to school for education. He went there to be babysat. And he hated every demeaning minute of his day.

::Delta_FC1: really?
::Delta_FC1: for what?

"I wasn't paying attention in class."

::Delta_FC1: from what you tell me it doesn't sound like you ever do

"Nope. You caught me. Slacker student of the year."

::Delta_FC1: more like liar of the year
::Delta_FC1: slacker students don't hack their way into the astro labs internal message boards to tell clarence macleod that his math is wrong

"Well, yeah. But I realized why he hadn't been able to mitigate the transfer overload when I was supposed to be reading Huck Finn. Please, I read that ten years ago."

::Delta_FC1: uh huh
::Delta_FC1: that's what i thought
::Delta_FC1: hiding your brain under your bonnet
::Delta_FC1: why are you so afraid to prove your intelligence?

"I'm already different enough. I don't need to give kids another reason to call me a frea-" Oliver realized too late he had said more than he would have wanted.

::Delta_FC1: different how?
::Delta_FC1: why do they call you a freak, Olly?

"Usual reason. They're teenagers," Oliver bluffed.

::Delta_FC1: that's the only reason?

"Sorry, D. I'd rather not-"


Oliver's first thought was that he was hearing another car backfiring out on the street. Then that's what he hoped it was. Then the sudden silence from the living room told him to stop hoping.

His doorknob turned and Bill walked in. Bill never came into Oliver's room. There was something odd about the way he hovered in the doorway. It wasn't a respect for Oliver's privacy, that was certain.

"Bill, what happened?"

Oliver tried to read Bill's face, but all he saw was that same frown. All he ever saw was that frown.

"Bill, what are you doing in here? Where's Jen?"

Still no answer, but now Bill stepped fully into the room. Before, his right arm had been behind the door. Now Oliver could see something in his brother-in-law's hand. Why did it have to be true?

"No, Bill. Please. Tell me you didn't. She was your wife. She was the only family I have left."

"Poor little cripple kid. Always everything for the cripple kid." His voice came out so softly Oliver could barely hear it.

"Bill, please..."

Bill started walking forward. His right hand was white from clenching the handgun so tightly.

"Never anything left for me. Always giving it to the little cripple kid."

Oliver was beyond pleading. Jen had been the one constant in his life, the one person he always knew he could depend on. Their parents had died when he was two. Their brother Alan had cut all ties when he moved to LA. Jen hadn't complained once about how different her life could have been without the need to care for her disabled kid brother. She just had too big a heart. She was the strongest person Oliver had ever known.

"Go to hell, Bill."

The words came out of his mouth almost involuntarily as he stared the big man down. They came out just like Jen had said them.

Bill paused, and then the familiar frown distorted into a mask of rage.

"You first, cripple kid."

He raised the gun and stuck it in Oliver's face. The sound was deafening.

It's a funny thing about computers. No matter how fast their processors, no matter how complex their code, they are always limited. A computer can't tell what words are meant for one conversation and not another if it's only been programmed to translate sounds into text and transmit it along a series of wires to be displayed on another screen and read by another person. It just can't tell the difference, and maybe that's a good thing. Especially if that other person, the one that had been reading the words Oliver had been speaking into his computer, happened to be the smartest superhero in town.

The window had shattered and part of the wall collapsed. The impact had shook the masonry of the building right down to its foundations. The shock of seeing the hero Daedalus flying right into his bedroom, grabbing Bill's arm and crushing the pistol like Playdoh shook Oliver right down to his foundations too.

The armored superhero turned and looked at Oliver through his visored helmet while holding Bill in an unbreakable grip.

"Hello, Olly. I... I'm sorry."

After Jen's funeral, Oliver had tried to get in touch with Alan in LA, but it was like his older brother had vanished off the face of the planet. He had just disappeared. So, that left Oliver without a guardian, without a home, without anything. Except, he wasn't alone. He still had a friend. And when your friend is a member of the world's premiere superhero team a lot of doors open up for you. A normal public school wasn't equipped to fulfill the needs of someone with Oliver's intellect. They had barely been equipped to tend to his physical needs. Daedalus proposed a solution he thought Oliver would find acceptable, and Oliver found it much, much more than acceptable. Claremont Academy had the resources and the connections to not only care for Oliver's health but provide the intellectual stimulation he so sorely needed.

"Trust me, Oliver," Daedalus said as he brought him before Duncan Summers, the school's headmaster. "Everyone at this school is unique. You're not a freak here. And if you ever doubt you belong at a school with kids with super-powers, just remember, one super-genius to another, I think you've got more potential than all of them. And you know why?"

Oliver couldn't think of anything about himself that could possibly make that true. He shook his head.

"Because you and Jen had one thing in common," answered Daedalus. He pointed at Oliver's forehead. "Not only have you got a bigger brain than 99.999999% of the planet-" He moved his finger down to point at Oliver's chest. "-you've got a bigger heart than most of them, too."
Last edited by ZuluEchoNovember on Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story

Posts: 792
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 2:38 am
Location: Elsewhere

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by GPrime » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:20 pm

Loved the first post, can't wait to see more. You've got a reader in me.

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

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by Manintights » Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:41 am

same here man.

I think i'm going to love Oliver as a character, though I'm wondering down wich route you're going to take him.

Kind regards,

"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]

Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Sat Nov 07, 2009 12:19 am

Thanks. I'm not usually much of a writer, so I can't promise how far Oliver's story might go. This beginning just kind of poured out of me a few days ago. Happy that others liked it.
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story

Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am

Chapter 2

The smell was the first difference he noticed. Rather than cheap french fries and vegetables steamed to within a degree of disintegration, Oliver could detect a sea of enticing aromas that carried the promise of fine cuisine. Claremont's cafeteria was served by Chef Anton, a man who believed a good education began with a satisfied palate and a full stomach regardless of superhuman ability. Oliver happily received a plate of grilled chicken with sauteed vegetables on a bed of couscous and set his tray down on his lap before thanking Chef Anton. This promised to be by far the best school lunch he'd ever had.

"Bon appetit, young man!"

The next difference Oliver could discern between his old high school's cafeteria and Claremont's was the seating density. In fact, this was really due to Claremont's lower student population. Only 37 students were enrolled at the Academy. After all, there weren't a great deal of teens with superhuman abilities. Although, considered Oliver, his mind going off on a tangent, there had been an uptick in the number of children and teens manifesting powers lately. It was likely the school would be enrolling many more students before too long.

Looking around the cafeteria, Oliver searched for an open table. Ten tables total, round, each with six chairs. More than necessary for the student body even when the faculty claimed a table or two. It was here that the social stratification would begin to make itself clear. Oliver analyzed the patterns he saw before him. The alpha table was clearly the one by the windows at the end of the room. The students gathered around it were all paying heed to a gorgeous blond seated facing the cafeteria. All the better for everyone to see her.

Another table was claimed by four males, one entirely too large to be believed. Their scowling expressions made it clear: there sat the tough guy bullies. Oliver decided to play it safe on his first day and sit as far from those two table as possible. He estimated distances, sight lines and traffic patterns and decided the best choice for him was two tables away on his left. A pink-haired female student had the table to herself. Time to make friends, Oliver decided.

He wheeled his chair over and moved his tray of food to the table. The girl looked up and raised a single eyebrow. He wasn't sure, but Oliver thought she looked a little baffled by his arrival.

"Hello," he greeted. "Mind if I sit here?"

"You're kidding right?" Her tone dripped with sarcasm. Oliver sensed he'd made a poor choice but decided to respond in kind. He wasn't going to get pushed around.

"I'll assume that was rhetorical. How are the vegetables? They smell delicious."

"Your new here. Aren't you, Wheels?"

Oliver swore to himself he wouldn't let this conversation be the birth of an unescapable new moniker.

"Another rhetorical question, I assume. My name is Oliver. And you are...?"

"I am... not your friend, Oliver. Now, go sit somewhere else."

"Alright," agreed Oliver as he promptly picked up his tray and wheeled over to the next table. The three students sitting there snickered as he joined them. One of the boys leaned over to the other one and said with a grin,

"Less than a minute. Pay up, Nate."

Nate frowned. "I really thought he had a chance of lasting longer," he answered his friend before directing his next statement to Oliver. "You surprised me. You looked like you would be able to give her a challenge."

Nate pulled a dollar out of his pocket and handed it to his friend. The girl on the other side of Nate shook her head. "No, she's too persuasive. I told you. It's going to take another telepath."

Oliver looked across at his three observers and finally found his voice. His thoughts seemed to be playing catchup with his body. He felt an odd sensation at the edges of his awareness like he'd just missed something important.

"Wait, what?"

The winner of the bet spoke up first, "You got played by a pro, man. Naomi's a telepath. Well, some sort of psionic classification. I don't quite know what you'd call it. She 'pushed' you. That's why they call her Pusher."

"She pushed...?" Oliver puzzled through the words. Then, suddenly, realization dawned. "Wait, wait. She just did something to my head. I can feel it wearing off!"

"What I said, dude. She's very persuasive. In a 'make you blow your own brains out if she wanted' sort of way."

The girl scoffed. "She wouldn't do that, Kev. Don't say things like that."

"You don't know that, Stella. You don't know what she's capable of."

"No," interrupted Nate. "Kevin, I'm with Stella. This is how rumors start.

"Now," he paused as he turned back to Oliver. The others turned to him as well. "Don't feel bad. She's done it to everybody. Mostly just makes people leave her alone. Naomi's mostly harmless as long as you let her be."

Oliver was feeling violated. She'd controlled him like a puppet, made him do something against his will. All because she could. She had quite a powerful ability. Telepaths freaked Oliver out a bit. He had always treasured his mind. It was all he really had, and she'd just violated it by pushing a telepathic command into his brain.

"Like hell," stated Oliver flatly and turned to wheel back over to Naomi's table.

She seemed surprised when he returned. Oliver thought he detected more annoyance than anything else at seeing the frail boy in the wheelchair come back to her table. He wasn't going to let her best him again. All he really had was his mind, but oh what a mind it was.

"I thought I told you to go away," she hissed at him. Oliver could feel it again. That buzzing in the back of his head as his intentions were twisted. It seemed like such a good idea, like the best idea he'd had all day. It took him a moment to remember that it wasn't his idea at all. She was putting it there. He felt the thought snaking through his head wrapping itself around all his thoughts. He felt the difference. He felt her power pushing into his mind, and he rejected it.


The look on her face was priceless. The way her brow wrinkled and her jaw went slack spoke volumes. This was a first. No one had resisted her like this before. Oliver wanted to remember this moment forever. He probably would, too, considering his photographic memory and incredible recall.


"I said, No."

There it was again. Oliver felt it. Her power was reaching out and into him again. It was different this time though. Before he had equated it to a virus trying to infect his brain and rewrite his coding. This time it was like she was trying to open files and read the contents of his mind. Oliver was fond of computer metaphors. He thought of one more as he blocked her attempts to violate the sanctity of his brain. He erected a firewall. Oliver watched the realization dawn on her face that he was actually keeping her from reading his thoughts.

"Access denied. How's it feel to not be able to push someone around?"

He had hoped to teach her a lesson but the growing panic on her face told Oliver he'd made a mistake. The antisocial behavior wasn't an act. It went deeper than that. There was a reason she pushed people away. Now that she was powerless to do so, Naomi was beginning to feel trapped. Realizing, for the first time, that she couldn't fight someone off with her power she resorted to another visceral response -flight- and hurriedly got up from the table and rushed out of the cafeteria.

Oliver's feelings of regret weren't shared by Nate, Stella and Kevin who, having been watching the entire event, now came over to express their amazement. Oliver barely heard them though as he stared at the door Naomi had passed through. This had been a mistake. He hoped Naomi would be alright.
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story

User avatar
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 1:12 pm
Location: Leesburg, VA

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by threshel » Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:12 pm

This is good stuff. I hope you keep posting.

Posts: 1965
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 6:56 am
Location: Russell, KY

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by cobalt-blue » Fri Dec 11, 2009 8:42 pm

Very well done. I'm really enjoying it. You have a very good "voice".

User avatar
Posts: 1919
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:47 pm
Location: Poland

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by 9thDoctor » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:03 pm

Please continue, the story's great!
St.Louis Blues - GM
X-Freshmen - GM (on Hold)

La Rana - New FORCE Ops (on Hold)
CeeCee - Wild Cards (on Hold)

My Roll Call - The Doctor's Original Builds
The Doctor's Conversions

Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:44 pm

Sorry, no new chapter yet, but I'm working on it. Just wanted to thank you all for the kind words. I'm glad you've enjoyed the story so far.
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story

Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:34 pm

Chapter 3

When Duncan Summers opened Claremont Academy he hadn't originally intended to use it for the training of young superheroes, but after the success of the young group Next-Gen proved that the school could provide an education in both academics and heroism he decided to change its focus.

The sudden 'discovery' of a termite infestation on the academy's campus closed it down at the end of the school year. Enrollment was arranged at other area private schools for the student body, and the next year a smaller, all new group of teenagers were enrolled. These students were recruited for their academic records but also met a very special requirement: they all possessed metahuman gifts.

At the time of Oliver's arrival at the academy all the original members of Next-Gen had graduated. Seven was apprenticed to Adrian Eldritch, and her succession to the position of Master Mage was considered a certainty by the majority of Freedom City's mystic community. Nereid had returned to Atlantis to take on more responsibilities as heir to the throne. While Sonic decided to operate on his own as protector of the Lincoln neighborhood, Bolt and Megastar both became junior members the Freedom League. Claremont Academy's official policy was that no underage hero work was allowed unsupervised by an approved adult member of the city's super-community, and Next-Gen was now defunct as a team. Students would not be reforming it under any conditions.

Despite this fact, the school's new curriculum now included a repurposed physical education class. P.E. now stood for "Powers Education" and was five hours a week in which students were given intensive training in the application of their gifts. On Oliver's first day, he found himself in P.E. with his new friends Nathan, Stella and Kevin as well as a few other students he hadn't yet met. With a loud blow of his whistle Coach Archer began class. The shrill sound echoed off the gleaming walls of the immense Doom Room deep below the Claremont campus.

"Alright, everybody gather 'round. Make sure your uniforms are cinched up right. There's a reason you wear them, and it isn't to look pretty."

"Yeah," called out Kevin. "If that was the case, Coach, they wouldn't be so stupid looking."

"Pipe down, Silvestri. Just for that, you're up first today."

Nathan elbowed his friend in the ribs and whispered to him, "You knew that's what he'd do. You just wanted to go first." The smile on Kevin's face proved Nathan right. He walked to the center of the area marked on the Doom Room floor used for the sparring matches as the coach flipped through the sheets of paper on his clipboard. Coach Archer furrowed his brow before calling out,

"Okay, so today the first match-up is Kevin, a.k.a. Slip..." As he flipped through a few more pages, Archer interjected, "Not a bad callsign, Silvestri. Good choice."

"Thanks, Coach."

"...Slip vs. Daisy Gibbons. Ms. Gibbons, I don't have a callsign written down for you."

The beautiful blonde student Oliver had seen holding court at the popular students' table in the cafeteria stepped forward reluctantly into the sparring zone. The bored expression on her face clearly communicated her complete lack of interest in the class. Kevin's face was clearly communicating his disappointment in the assignment of his opponent. His mouth formed a silent curse.

"I haven't chosen one, Mr. Archer, and I don't intend to. I forfeit the match." Daisy's voice was as clear and pure as her flawless features. Oliver found himself staring at her and marveling at her seemingly perfect figure. She casually tugged at the collar of her protective uniform as if to inform the world of how hideous she found her required P.E. attire.

"Ms. Gibbons, you've forfeited every match this semester. You're in danger of failing my class."

"Whatever," she said while twirling a lock of her long blonde hair and rolling her eyes.

"Very well. It's your grade. Silvestri, you win."

Kevin clearly wasn't pleased by his default victory. "Gee, thanks, Coach, but can I get a new opponent maybe?"

"Sorry, brackets are all filled out. If you want a workout go get me a coffee. Cream, two sugars."

While this kind of menial task seemed almost an insult, Oliver was surprised when Kevin's face brightened at the assignment. He was even more surprised by what happened next.

"Where from, Coach?"

"Liberty Perk. And make a lap around the airport on your way there."

With one final smile at the chance to cut loose with his power, Kevin's body seemingly flickered out of view. One moment he was standing in the Doom Room with the class, and the next he had vanished from sight.

Stella noticed the baffled look on Oliver's face and knelt down beside his chair to explain, "Kev is a speedster. Except he calls it... what is it again, Nate?"

"Transdimensional accelerator or some crap like that. I dunno. He made it up. Wants to make himself sound unique compared to Johnny Rocket or Bolt or one of the other super fast movers."

"I am different from them," proclaimed a voice from behind Oliver. He turned to look and found Kevin handing a cup of coffee to Coach Archer. "It's a very important distinction. I fold space. I don't increase my velocity. Oliver gets the difference. Don't you?"

Oliver nodded, still slightly amazed at the unveiling of the other students' powers, as Archer took the coffee and turned back to the rest of the class. "Thanks, Silvestri. OK, next up is Hawkins vs. Brown. What're your callsigns, fellas? And don't tell me your back to that 'Bling' business again, Terrance."

Nate and another student walked into the sparring area. Terrance was a tall, African-American in the junior class who Oliver had seen sitting at Daisy's table. He seemed pretty confident as he answered the coach's question.

"Na, Coach. I'm still Kid Alchemy. One and only, new and improved."

"Okay, show us how well you can use those new powers of yours. Can't say the ones you had last year really helped you much in sparring sessions."

"Just watch and be amazed." Terrance was all too clearly happy to show off what he could do this afternoon. He was doing a little shuffle reminiscent of a boxer's dance and staring down Nate at the opposing end of the sparring zone.

"Hawkins, what's your callsign?" called out the coach. His whistle was poised at his lips ready to start the match.

Nathan took a deep breath. A calmness surrounded him, and he moved his body into a well-practiced martial arts stance. His voice was quiet but clearly heard across the great expanse of the Doom Room,

"Nighthawk, sir. I'm ready to begin."

"Alright, Kid Alchemy vs... No, sorry, Hawkins. Nighthawk's already taken by a guy in Detroit. Sorry, you'll have to come up with a different callsign. Alright, on my signal, first to three points"


The rest of students let out a cry of excitement as the match started. Almost as good as the chance to use their own powers was the opportunity to watch their fellow students duke it out using theirs. Stella and Kevin began cheering on Nathan, but his poise was completely broken. The sudden disappointment of learning his chosen callsign, the perfect callsign, contorted his face into an angry mask.

The other students were clearly rooting for the confident upperclassman. Terrance was smiling and doing his foot shuffle while staring down his flustered opponent. His footfalls became heavier and louder until it seemed like he was stomping the floor with sledgehammers tied to his shoes. Oliver watched as his dark brown skin began to glow and shimmer and then gleam with the reflective shine of polished steel. Kid Alchemy pounded his fists together with a deafening clang.

"Get your head in the game, Nate!" Oliver heard Kevin shouting next to him. "And don't hold back, he can take a good beating!"

In the face of Kid Alchemy's impressive and quite intimidating transformation into a man of metal, Nate became surprisingly calm and still. His earlier frustration seemingly cast off without a thought. Oliver was impressed by the focus with which Nate centered himself. With no warning he burst forward at a dead run. Within feet of his iron opponent Nighthawk dropped into a somersault followed by a flying leap over Kid Alchemy's head. At the apex of his arc, Nate flung his arms out to his sides and a broad pair of wings unfurled along his arms into an eight-foot span. He never came down from the jump. Oliver marveled as his new friend soared over Kid Alchemy's head, skirted the Doom Room ceiling then, in a flash of uniform blue and yellows came streaking down at his opponent.

The force of their impact sent a tremor through the floor causing Oliver's chair to shudder. Kid Alchemy was made of solid steel and he was ready for the hit. Anyone watching would have bet on Nate bouncing off the upperclassman's chest or, more likely, simply smushing into a pulpy mess, but there was more to Nate than a pair of wings and a second-hand callsign. Kid Alchemy collapsed under the force of his flying opponent's divebomb attack. In fact, if he didn't know the Doom Room was entirely composed of ultrastrong alloys, Oliver would have thought he saw the floor cave in slightly.

Nate rebounded from the followthrough of his strike with a graceful flip landing behind the Kid Alchemy's prone iron form. The cheers of the other students dropped off as Kevin and Stella's cheers grew louder. A third voice was shouting out, "Go Nate!", and Oliver realized it was his own. Nate only smirked a slight half-smile of satisfaction before composing himself. His opponent wasn't down for the count yet. Kid Alchemy rose slowly shaking his head.

"Not bad, kid. I haven't bee hit that hard in a awhile, but you and I both know that was a lucky punch," taunted Kid Alchemy. "You ain't dishing it out like that for long."

Whether this was true or not could not be determined from Nate's stone-cold expression. The coach blew his whistle once with a short chirp.

"Point, Hawkins. One, nothing. Keep it clean, boys."

Before the coach had finished his sentence, Kid Alchemy had dropped his shoulder and thrown himself into a charge headlong at Nate. His powerful strides reverberated through the Doom Room floor. Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! Nate was completely still as the living, iron statue charged toward him. At the last second, he performed a tight duck and roll under Kid Alchemy's swing fist. As Kid Alchemy slowed and turned with a curse under his breath, Nate made an odd gesture with his hands reminiscent of spinning a steering wheel for a hard turn. Kid Alchemy's feet spun out from under him, and again the Doom Room shook from the impact of his iron body slamming into the floor. Before he could right himself, Kid Alchemy felt the force of another powerful strike from Nate's fist finding its mark.

Another short chirp of the whistle. "Point, Hawkins. Two, nothing."

His success went to Nate's head for a second, and when the surprisingly agile Kid Alchemy flipped himself onto his feet and swept his iron leg around it caught Nate completely off-guard. The tables were turned. Nate went flying, not on the wings built into his uniform but rather in a floppy heap, across the Doom Room.

The whistle again, and then, "Point, Kid Alchemy. Two, one."

Nate was on his knees wiping blood from his nose. He didn't look quite ready to get back up and resume the match. Coach Archer decided to allow an optional substitution.

"Hawkins, you can forfeit another point to Kid Alchemy and let someone sub in for you. What do you want to do?"

Nate still seemed to be shaking off the impact of his face-first landing and blearily looked to his friends.

"He calls sub. I'm in," declared Stella before Nate could say anything. She strode out into the match ring with the confident look of someone not to be argued with. Nate shrugged and nodded. Oliver could tell Nate wasn't going to bother arguing with Stella.

"Alright," declared the coach. "Strickland in for Hawkins. Two, two. Match point."


"Aww, that's sweet, baby," Kid Alchemy called out to Nate. "You're going to let your girlfriend take the rest of your beating. I'll give her a matching black eye. How's that?"

"How about I give you one?" spat Stella before Kid Alchemy had even turned to face her. A bright, blue glow surrounded her right hand, and a spear of solid, cyan light coalesced in it. Stella wound up and flung the energy spear with all her strength at the mouthy upperclassman. It streaked across the Doom Room before exploding in an indigo boom right in Kid Alchemy's face.

The only sound competing with the deafening thunder of Stella's attack was the clanging thud of Kid Alchemy hitting the ground unconscious.

Archer blew three chirps on his whistle. "Point, Strickland. Match. Nice work, Stella. Now, Silvestri, go get the nurse."

"Sure, coach."
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story

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

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student (Chapter 3 posted)

Post by Manintights » Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:59 am

Hey Zulu,

another really interesting chapter, I'm really starting to like this story.

It's been said before, but I also really enjoy your "voice".

"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]

Posts: 503
Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:17 am

Re: Oliver Smith: Claremont Student (Chapter 3 posted)

Post by ZuluEchoNovember » Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:49 am

Thanks again. I guess I know what you mean by "voice". I'm happy it's a positive, because I don't know if I could write this any other way.

I've started a thread in Roll Call to catalog my characters. I'm posted builds for all the major characters from this story so far.
Characters and concepts: Z.E.N. Buildism
FCU Fiction: Oliver's Story