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Oct 18, 2019 3:15 AM
Z gets dropped on Whateley
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“Just some punk, otherwise, far as I know.”

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"That's a lot of 'otherwise', you understand. You're not Champion, but shifting and regen at this level is nothing to sneeze at. Anyway, that's your enrollment handled; would you like to sign up for classes now, or take a course catalog and get the campus tour?"

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–that was fast.

"...what kind of classes do you even have here?"

He vaguely recalls something about learning magic, and something else about learning mad science which you shouldn't call mad science because it's sort of insensitive.

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Mrs. Carson lays out the course catalogue. Again, much of it is relatively normal, though there are some classes that seem very advanced for a high school; the rest of it is absolutely bizarre. Powers Theory and Lab, Costume Design, Intro Magic, Psychic Basics, Special Topics (Assassination); the list goes on. 

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Assassination class.

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Mutant school is great.

"Do I actually have to take the normal stuff?"

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"Yes," she sighs with the voice of someone who has heard that question a lot. "Now, we don't technically have access to your academic records, but we do have some very good placement tests, so you'll be assigned general education classes accordingly. You'll probably be pleased to hear that we require less 'normal stuff' than most schools; we don't see much point in forcing teenagers to learn calculus unless they're likely to actually use it in their projected career paths, and we try to keep literature and history classes genuinely relevant to our students' lives."

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He nods.

"...'Powers Lab' sounds kind of great, but I don't think you'd let me do a lot of my thing in class."

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She shrugs. "Probably not in front of other students, no, but if you want to experiment and push the limits of your abilities, there are ways to do that safely. Our scientific teams are very careful and rarely squeamish, and I'm sure they'd find time to work with someone who has such a unique power." She considers. "That came out creepy, didn't it. They're really very friendly, I swear. And I don't let them vivisect anyone. Not that they want to."

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"...are you sure? Like...totally sure? I'd sign up. For science, I mean."

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Mrs. Carson drops her head into her hands and mutters something about someone named Jade Fucking Sinclair. Then she straightens back up and steeples her fingers in front of her like nothing happened.

"If you want to allow the scientific staff to vivisect you then I will need you to get a psych eval from Doctor Bellows and we will need to confirm a very high level of regeneration, possibly higher than you currently possess, but your right to do so has already been fought for and won. I didn't think it would come up again, but evidently I was wrong."

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This would probably be an ominous giggle if he didn't look so excited.

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It's still ominous, at least in Mrs. Carson's opinion. She pinches the bridge of her nose and sighs heavily, then clears her expression and turns an apparently genuine smile back to him. "That... matter aside, I do hope we at Whateley Academy can do right by you. I'll set up the placement tests for you later today and call someone in to show you around campus, alright?"

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The manic grin clears up.

"Okay. Thanks."

 

"...I can honestly stay here. Right? And this is...real."

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She nods. "This is real. It took us a while to make it as good as it is, and we're still improving, but it's very real. And you can stay."

Then she sweeps the paperwork on her desk into a folder and presses a button on a small machine, which prints out a small student ID card. CODENAME is blank, as is TEAM AFFILIATION. "This will allow you to eat in the dining hall, as well as purchase items at the school store and at most stores in the neighboring town of Dunwich."

She presses a button on her phone, and someone answers. "Ariel? I'm perfectly well, thank you. Can you come to the office? -no, there's a new student I'd like you to show around. Yes. Excellent."

Approximately fifteen seconds later, there's a knock at the door, followed by the door opening immediately. "New meat!"

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Wait he didn't even have a chance to get emotional!

"Uh–hi? Hi!"

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"Where do you want to go first? Are you hungry? Curious about your dorm? Desirous of toiletries and dorm room furniture? I am here for you, my fine, piercéd friend!"

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"We get to pick furniture?"

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"I mean, you get a loft bed and a desk and a little wheelie chair. If you want an ottoman or something, that's your prerogative. Also, like, bedding and stuff counts, in my opinion."

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“—yeah, guess it counts—I’m Z. You’re...?”

He doesn’t trust names he gets off other people.

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"Ariel! Stormhammer, when I'm punching people. Nice to meet you, Z! Also, cool name. Do you want me to just take you on a general wherever's-closest tour so you can get your bearings?"

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“You have a punching people name,” he says, like this is all his dreams delivered to him. 

“—uh—yeah, for sure!”

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"Technically it's a superhero codename," Ariel admits. "Come on!"

She leads him out of the office and turns around to indicate it. "Alright! This right here is Schuster Hall, AKA the administration office. Immediately behind it," she says, indicating a massive geodesic dome, "is the Crystal Hall, colloquially referred to as the cafeteria. If you're hungry, it is your go-to place for outrageously delicious food. Are you in fact hungry?"

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“—I don’t believe a school can have outrageously delicious food. You’re gonna have to give me some evidence.”

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Ariel leads him around to the entrance. "Lesson one about Whateley: This school has more money than it knows what to do with, and no extramural sports programs to waste it on. This means a very atypical budget, including the best-paid teachers in the continental US, and relevantly, the best-paid cafeteria staff as well. There are actual gourmet chefs in the kitchens of the Crystal Hall. They don't do most of the work, of course, but even the line cooks are much more competent than average. That's important, because most mutants tend to eat a lot, and have a heightened appreciation for food because of it. I'm one of those mutants, which is why the Crystal Hall is practically my home."

The dome, once entered, reveals itself to have three levels, the upper level containing a fountain with waterfalls down to the ground floor. There are several different food lines, each delineated with a unique legend. "The carrot," Ariel explains, "is for vegan fare. The cheese is for vegetarians. The steak is for meat-eaters, not to be confused with the cow, which is for obligate carnivores. The geode is for people who eat rocks and minerals, the baguette with a line through it is gluten free, the banana is various fruits, and the cake is for desserts. You must try the desserts. Also, there's the specialty kiosk, which is for people with specific dietary needs, like blood, insects, or live prey. If you have such needs, you can inform the administration and they will be provided. am going to go to the obligate carnivore line to get an entire rack of lamb, then to the dessert line to get some pie, and I'll be available on the first floor when you're ready. Okay?"

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