Mar 26, 2019 4:04 AM
Jonathan in the Whateleyverse
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“Okay.”

He'll ask a few more questions about how stuff works but also spend some time just watching the scenery pass by.

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Jessica can answer questions. She can also pass the time when Jonathan is not asking questions. She eats an appropriately awful-looking energy bar a few hours in.

Eventually the bus arrives in Boston. There's a surprisingly convenient train to the sleepy town of Dunwich, which lies below the Academy itself. It's a short trip, after the four-hour bus ride. Once they reach Dunwich, there's a tiny little shuttlebus that drops them off at the school.

Whateley looks pretty much like a typical private school, except for the giant geodesic dome in the middle of campus. Jessica makes a beeline for it.

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Jessica is being very helpful and decent company. "Thanks for sticking with me. I'm sure ‘hours of road trip’ isn't what you were planning to do with your Tuesday.”

What would superheroes do without grandiose architecture? Though this is pretty low-key; perhaps they're trying to blend in with the surroundings.

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Jessica shrugs, but smiles. “I didn’t really have plans per se. And I did become a superhero to help people.”

Someone on a skateboard passes by who looks like something out of a heavy metal album cover: leathery wings, black scales, goat legs, the works. They nod amicably to Jonathan as they ride by. 

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Eep.

 

No the monsters are not always the bad guys that's racist. Or mutationist or whatever.

He unfreezes and nods back somewhat late.

Walking along amicably, right, they were doing that.

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The demon snorts a curl of grey smoke and flicks out their snakelike tongue for a second, then passes on.

Jessica seems not to have noticed. "Man, this place brings back memories. Of, like, five years ago."

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“You went to school here? What's school years like for, uh, people with powers?”

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"You can just say 'mutants'," Jessica notes. "It was really cool, honestly, there was some amount of bullshit teen drama and I was never great at the school part of things even with the Exemplar boost, but it was a really fun experience. And you get mandatory martial arts training! Which is cooler than it sounds."

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“Do people go to, like, college? Or superhero job training?”

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"I mean, I personally didn't, but some people do go to college. Technically if you're smart enough you can get most of a Bachelor's at Whateley while you're here, there's college-level courses you can test into, but it gets pretty intense. As far as super-training, that's definitely a Whateley thing. There's martial arts, there's VR combat simulators, there's sparring arenas, you name it. Also classes where you learn how to be an effective superhero and not a massive liability to the taxpaying public, that's a big thing."

They reach a small building adjoining the geodesic dome, with a sign declaring it to be Schuster Hall. Jessica opens the door and leads him inside. A secretary peers at them over remarkably stereotypical horn-rimmed glasses. "Business?"

"Enrolling a new student," Jessica says.

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“Massive liability is not my idea of fun,” he agrees.

He gives the secretary an awkward it's-me-she's-talking-about wave.

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The secretary smiles at him. "Welcome to Whateley, dear." She turns to Jessica. "You would be his..."

Jessica shakes her head vigorously. "I would not be anything, no, I'm just a superhero who happened to be nearby when he manifested. And, uh, landed in this universe. -he's from another world."

The secretary blinks once. "Well then."

"I've had a weird day. And a very long bus trip."

"I can see that," the secretary says. "Well, we can reimburse you for travel expenses-" (Jessica is dignified enough not to whoop out loud, but the urge is visible) "-and as for, ah, what's your name, dear?" she asks Jonathan.

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“Jonathan. Strand,” he adds as an oh-this-is-for-the-records afterthought.

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"As for you, Jonathan, we'll get you enrolled as quickly as possible. And by 'as quickly as possible,' I mean 'the second you fill out these forms'."

She passes him a thin packet of forms. Some of the questions on the forms are normal (name, age, blood type, sexuality, a broad selection of genders), while some are less normal (date of manifestation, list of powers [tentative], GSD/BIT/MATD alterations).

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Jonathan Strand is a sixteen and a half year old cis male teenager who does not know his blood type. (He put 'Teenager' in the sexuality field.) He manifested today, is telekinetic and probably an Exemplar, and does not know what all of those acronyms are but hasn't noticed anything that probably counts as a bodily alteration.

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The secretary accepts the forms back. She squints for a second at "teenager", before shrugging and moving on.

"We'll put you in Twain," she decides when she's done. "There's a vacancy with that Isaac boy, Mooncast."

(Jessica looks slightly bemused, but does not venture a comment.)

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Joy, roommates.

“Jessica said that you could look into prospects for getting me home? And do I need to read the orientation I missed or anything? Figuring out what my power actually is?”

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The secretary sighs. "Getting you home... is likely possible, but from what I know of magic, very difficult and very expensive. We do have magic and Devisortech experts on staff who would be able to paint a better picture of the situation for you, and should you acquire the resources to pursue returning on your own we wouldn't be a bad place to start, but we cannot commit the funds necessary to return you ourselves. As to orientation and powers testing, that will be taken care of shortly."

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That's not good news.

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Well, ‘figure out how to turn superpowers into money’ doesn't seem like a bad life plan, and useful even if he ends up sticking around here instead.

“Okay.”

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The secretary smiles apologetically. "Anyway, what else... We're admitting you as a freshman despite your age - standard policy, don't worry, there are plenty of other 15- and 16-year-old freshmen. You'll be able to test into suitable classes."

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Yeah, like remedial This World History.

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"I'll get someone in to give you that orientation tour, then."

She picks up her phone and dials someone. "Can I get a student ambassador? I have a new student who needs to be shown around. -good God, why? ...really? The only one? And how is he- yes, alright. Thank you, Amos."

She sets the phone down and turns a sunny smile on Jonathan. "You'll be given the tour by Mortimer Halliwell. He's... easily excitable, but very nice. He'll be here in a few minutes."

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“I've been called names like that myself.”

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The secretary smiles again, more awkwardly.

Jessica steps out of an office which she stepped into a few minutes ago, holding a plane ticket and a check. She stops in front of Jonathan and thinks for a moment about what to say.

"Nice to meet you," she eventually decides. "Do good things, okay?"

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