Jul 02, 2022 5:09 AM
attendance is mandatory :)
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Field Day. Exercise to earn your meals. Bella has heard that some of the meals are relatively shelf-stable - mostly not things in packets like the vending machine's offerings, but peanuts, lots of those, and even if you don't get anything you can keep on your desk for a month you can still fill up on hot dogs and funnel cakes and coconut water and yogurt-covered raisins to coast on the day after. She sticks with Suze's pack, Caio at her heels, on the way down, and tries to look sharp; things start getting really dicey today.

At least she has her shoes.

The gym, usually a wide open glitched-out garden, is still a glitched-out garden, but it has been rectangled into various spaces suited for various activities. Three-legged races, sack races, relay races, egg-and-spoon races. Ring toss, beanbag toss, something that looks oddly similar to skeeball, ninepin bowling, tug of war. Badminton, dodgeball, elaborate hopscotch, six different obstacle courses, rope climbing, rock climbing, human chess, giant Jenga. Jacob's ladder, the rope kind they have at renaissance faires. It's a lot of stuff but it's not enough that you don't have to wait in line, let the seniors go first. Bella compares her height to Caio's, decides it's close enough, and pulls him into the three-legged race line.

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Nia can see yummy-looking things in the automat-things. (They are probably made of slurry like everything else but they look better, and that means they will also taste better, as this is how magic works.) She is going to win some games and eat some yummy things. She makes for the beanbag toss, as it's in the far corner of the gym and not too many people have filtered that way yet.

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It is early and Sean has not had breakfast and he HATES IT HERE and he will go be a pawn on cousin Amber's human chess team because that doesn't require very much effort from him.

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This would be fun if it weren't for the fact that Ennis heard some screams that cut off very ominously from below her pack on the stairs and had to cross over to the next nearest stairwell to avoid whatever that was and vaguely suspects she'll need new bathroom company.

She drifts towards the badminton to wait for a racket and an opponent.

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Has anyone else considered WINNING EVERYTHING? Zeke has considered it and decided in favor! He thinks that he should go win everything over there! And over there! And - actually he lost that time but that’s fine, he can still win MOST THINGS, probably.

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So the point of this is to build mana and also, like, general fellow feeling, right? Rebecca's gonna go for the elaborate hopscotch.

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Whoever invented the three legged race could have stood to consider poor Caio's feelings about having his leg tied to Bella's leg and trying to rhythmically move with her towards a shared goal. In front of the entire population of the school. That three legged race inventor had no consideration at all. Definitely wanted Caio to be eaten by swarms of psychic mals that feed on self-consciousness.

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Huang's goal is to win enough tokens to eat today as fast as possible with as much mana gain as possible, and then use the rest of the day to catch up on studying while there's safety in numbers. It looks like the tug of war pays out acceptably even if your team loses; she gets in line.

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The egg and spoon race is popular, but Aadhya doesn't mind waiting in line. She's not terribly hungry yet and the line isn't likely to get shorter later in the day, it's crowded.

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Orion's going to climb a rock! From up high he can probably see if anything's trying to eat people, and then go over wherever that is and kill the thing and then do the activity over there, since there's activities everywhere.

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"Rope climb?" El asks Lissa as soon as she's located her. "Line's not awful."

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Lissa stares at the rope a bit. She's not quite sure how well running away from mals has trained her arm strength, but El is also right that the line looks shorter. "Sure," she says. "We get tokens even just for trying, right?"

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"Some, yeah. More if you can get higher. Could do an obstacle course instead if you'd rather? Looks like that's fixed if you finish it at all, only people will get mad if you're holding up the line."

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They say this is the start of the killing season.

The Scholomance right after induction, and more relevantly right after it's been scoured clean of mals, is safer than being fourteen and alone with nothing but disbelief and mass-produced knives to protect you. The last few months, he's been safer than he was, and freer and less confused than he's ever been. And from here on out the nightmare doesn't end until he graduates.

There's so much happening that it's impossible to keep track of even most of it. There's an argument to be made that he should go in whatever line is longest - no, people have different abilities and strategies - whatever line has the most freshman alchemists, or something, but the fact that his best idea of who to get in line with is "or something" and it's more complicated than counting people is a reason not to go with that plan. He should probably make a lot of tokens early, eat a lot, and sell some extras. How? There's one of those rope ladders that he's not allowed to do twice at the same fair unless he challenges himself to go fast enough that he actually falls, except here he doesn't see any sign that anyone would stop him from winning it over and over again. Or... hopscotch seems more fun, and might be faster... or maybe later when people inevitably get frustrated with the ring toss the line there will be shorter, and then that'll be the best thing to do?

Rock climbing seems the most fun and, well, this might be the last holiday he ever gets. Might as well do the most fun thing once.

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Lissa takes a deep breath and clenches her fists, marching towards the rope climbing line. "It's okay. We can try the rope climbing first, then," she says. "And the obstacle course if we have time later on." After all, this place is all about challenging yourself, isn't it? That should probably apply to exercise just as well.

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Off to climb ropes they go. "I don't know if Field Day cares if you cheat as much as the classes don't," El remarks. "But it's probably not a good use of mana."

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Alexius is totally cheating.

He has been training for Field Day. It's the first opportunity he's going to have to show off physically, to be the sort of shiny powerful ally that he needs to be to get people to want him on their team come graduation. He's managed to pay off his mana debts and build a modest store, so he splurges a bit on his array of small but lasting buffs. He'll come out of Field Day net negative on mana, even with the exercise, but he's willing to trade mana for much-needed sustenance and recognition. He goes in with a game plan determined to make the most of today, playing to his strengths, indulging his competitive side in a relatively safe way, and gaining some valuable experience with his magic. 

Even knowing that, he still wasn't expecting to enjoy it this much. 

Alexius goes for short lines and quick, physical contests. The team ones are as good as the single ones; as nice as it is to show off solo, he also wants to show how he can help a group, as bodyguard or team player. He absolutely kills the javelin throw and discus. He makes a good show in the relay race. He's mediocre at rock climbing but the line is short, so he makes some good progress there. Even the small reflexes boost makes dodgeball a blast, and he has to stop himself from going back to that one because the line's a bit long. (Wait for me, dodgeball. Wait for me.

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She heads down the stairs with a couple of independents from Sheffield and another guy from Gloucester, spaced just enough not to trip over each other if they had to run. They didn't, this time.

Daisy kept her - friends waiting on the juniors' floor. The groups don't really merge but the two of them end up side-by-side anyway.

They head for the tug-of-war.

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