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It was different to be praised by Kai, but it was definitely good. At the very least if he disliked her, it wasn’t enough to be clouded by it. [b “Yeah, no problem!”] At the same time it was a bit embarrassing, but she could handle that.
The teen held tight when the man beneath her began to struggle harder. He really wasn’t in a position to break free, but she did press her knee harder into his back to deter him from continuing. It was no surprise that she didn’t recognize the guy when the hood came off, but it was surprising that Kai did. A teacher? That was definitely odd.
Melody released Sanford when Kai had ahold of him. She listened intently to his instruction. [b “Alright, I will let her know.”] This place wasn’t big enough that she would get lost after having seen so much of it, so she wasn’t worried. “Oh, Kai. If it is possible, do you think we can exclude me from this?” There was a good chance that he wouldn’t be willing to do it, but it was worth a shot. [b “You see my mom will go ballistic if she finds out I got involved in this. You can totally just say you caught him or something, I just need to make sure it doesn’t get to her ears.”] The ombre haired girl put her hands together pleading. She was certain this would get her pulled from school.
The new girl didn’t go straight to class after that. She hustled back to the cafeteria in order to grab something on the way. Sure, she had to sneak eating it in class on top of being late, but it was worth it.
Afternoon classes went pretty much the same as the morning ones. During one of their breaks she was able to find Julia and update her to what was going on. She was a quiet, sweet type of girl, although that did lead to the rest of the tour being a tad boring. All her commentary was bare bones. Melody was a little disappointed to have not learned anything interesting, but it would come with time.
Once she had a feel for the schools layout, the pair of girls set out to track Kai down. The guess was that he was in the headmaster’s office, and luckily it was correct. He was still filling out paperwork. Melody really did not envy him. [b “We finished with the tour.”] She spoke softer than usual as to not to break his train of thought with what he was working on.
When the dark haired boy finished up, they all returned to the chemistry room. The broken glass had already been cleaned and the broken window repaired. This place sure got on things quick. Melody chalked it up to the funds they received and the image they had to uphold. By the counter there was a rather official looking woman in a lab coat. She smiled at the small group.
[b “I’m officer Maria Cavendish, I work in the lab down town. I am here to help you all figure out what Mr. Sanford was cooking up.”] The middle-aged woman spoke with a smile. Normally this sort of thing would be handled off site, but because the academy had to save face, things were being kept under wraps for the time being. The more they could keep contained the better.
Kai had been making his way walking first toward the vials. He bent down to pick them up when the man who had been restrained began to wriggle about. “DON’T TOUCH THOSE!!!” the guy screamed. Kai stopped for a moment and looked at the guy with a blank face. He turned back to the vials and picked them up trying to somehow see what this guy had made, but Kai’s chemistry wasn’t the best. He’d have one of the students take a look at it later. He could always go to a teacher, but the most passionate of students in choice areas had a more broad knowledge for random combinations of things in this school.
The hooded guy struggled more violently than before. “YOU CAN’T STOP MY MISSION!!!” he screamed. He was attracting far more attention than he was willing to deal with so he needed to shut him up. Kai walked towards him and bent down to hit a pressure point on the guy with a chop. All of a sudden, the guy went silent and the resistance he had previously put up had been diffused. He looked to the many students around him starting to crowd to try and see who this guy was. [b “Everyone go back to your classes! There is nothing for you to be concerned about! That’s an order from me as class president!”] The students were hesitant to disperse on the front end of his words, but after adding on his title, they began to slowly clear the area until only Melody and he remained.
[b “Good job,”] Kai told Melody. [b “Truth be told, I didn’t expect you to actually catch the dude. I wanted you to slow him down so he wouldn’t get far, but stopping him completely works too.”] It was quite impressive to Kai that she was able to apprehend this guy so easily. [i It was almost as if she had training…] he thought to himself, but he wouldn’t read too much into that. It was actually quite common for students to have had some type of training to defend themselves in case of an emergency. [b “Now to business,”] he spoke as he removed the guy’s hood. It was a man with jet-black, short, and spikey hair. [b “Professor Sanford?”] He was also one of their teachers and the lead chemistry teacher at that. [b “Tch!”] Kai had gotten irritated now because he would have to deal with some paperwork before leaving. [b “You head back to class. I assume you can find your way right? I have to go take this guy to the headmaster,”] he told her. [b “There is a girl in our class named Julia. She’s part of the student council too. She’ll finish the tour for you after class ends then bring you to me in the student council room since both you and her will need to be there for the testing on whatever our professor cooked up.”] With that, he walked off towards the headmaster’s office.
Listening intently to the boy, she nodded. [b “Don’t worry about me, I am tougher than I look.”] She smiled brightly. Melody had no doubt she would easily be able to keep up with him. Falling back into listening mode, the tour began. He explained where things were. They also saw all sorts of sports stuff. The girl wondered if she should join some sort of sports club. It was an experience she had missed out on till this point so she was tempted.
The food court was large, but even with all the room it was still pretty packed with people. Scanning over the room she tried to find something that she could take with her. A sandwich was probably her best bet. Just as she was about to head over to the place she had locked onto, the ground shook with the explosion. Kai was on it in no time. She stood still for a moment, not sure if she should go. Her mom would be pissed if she knew Melody got caught up in something risky. But as she turned to go to the sandwich stand her conscious was too heavy to bear. Taking off running, she chose to follow. Being a ways behind, she hadn’t even made it into the building before the sound of shattered glass caught her ear. Looking up she saw a suspicious looking hooded person hit the ground in unison with Kai’s voice calling to her.
That was all the evidence Melody needed. She moved to block his path. The suspect weaved to try and avoid her, but she was a hair faster. Making it up to him, she met him with a swift sidekick to the stomach. Caught off guard by the sudden violence he dropped the vials he was holding and double over in pain. Not knowing what was in the glass bottles, the ombre haired teen was hesitant to let them break. Quickly she used her powers to cause them to fall slower to the ground. It was enough to land them gently in the grass. It was smooth enough that she was sure no one noticed. She didn’t think she would get in trouble.
With that danger out of the way, she moved to apprehend the cloaked perp. Grabbing his wrists with an iron grip, she pulled them behind the man before pushing him fully onto the ground. Using her knee and the majority of her weight she pinned him there. The hooded man didn’t put up much of a fight after that, but she could tell he wasn’t happy about the position he was in.
It was then that Kai made it to the scene. Till that point she hadn’t looked around, but there were a bunch of students watching. They were obviously curious as to what was going on, just as Kai had been. Deciding to ignore the growing crowd, she looked up at her classmate. [b “Got him, but now what?”] Was this the sort of thing you took to the police, or was it more for the school to handle. Thinking about it, it would all come down to who it was.
Kai had been writing some things down in a spiral. He had neglected to tell her that she would find out later on this tour and it would be extremely convenient for him. Being student council president had some perks after all. He closed the spiral flipping the pen around quickly throughout his fingers. [b “Let’s get to it then. I hope your stamina is high, because we have an hour to tour this campus, eat lunch, and make it back to class. I won’t be slowing down either so you’d better keep up or you’ll get left.”] His typical cynicism was absent from his voice. He just needed to get this done.
He first led her through all the different classrooms. [b “There are three levels worth of classrooms and they are spread wide.”] Kai started walking backwards to get some subtle training in detecting things that weren’t in his immediate visage. [b “First floor is where the offices are, second floor for the first years, and so on from there. You’ll never need to go beyond your floor unless it’s to see a specific person in class, so don’t worry about that.”] Kai then took her around to the gym areas that included basketball courts, a soccer field and other sports based things including a pool. He dragged her around to the food court that showed off various foods. [b “Five minutes,”] he spoke. [b “Grab something you can eat while moving. After that, we move on.”]
Kai was in the process of grabbing something himself when an explosion happened. All the students looked around toward what seemed to be the chemistry rooms. That would seem normal to anyone, except that only the teachers were allowed to be in there. Somebody broke in. He turned to Melody and called to her. [b “Stay here or follow! Just don’t get in the way!”] he spoke running toward the chemistry building. He climbed a set of stairs following the smoke that caused him to cough a bit. He covered his mouth with his forearm before reaching the door and kicking it open. It was a strange guy in a black hoodie. There was too much smoke to see clearly so it was impossible to get a good look. [b “STOP!”] he yelled as the hooded figure grabbed a few bottled liquids of whatever they’d been making and jumped through the window. The figure landed with an impressive sequence of barrel rolls and took off. [b “Dammit!”] Kai backed up and mimic the actions of the figure and jumped out of the window, but instead reach for a pole sliding down as the figure headed in Melody’s direction. [b “STOP HIM!!”]
Melody was somewhat surprised when she got any sort of response from Kai, even a rather irritated one. He was pretty forthright about his emotions. At least from what she could see and feel. At the very least he didn’t attempt to hide his distain. She liked that about him, even if he wasn’t a fan of her quite yet. She was sure she would bring him around. After all, they would be seeing a lot more of each other now.
[b “Yep, that would be me.”] She spoke cheerfully, foiling his atmosphere almost to a T. She listened carefully when he gave her instructions. It was almost as if they were on some sort of mission. [b “I don’t have any plans, so that works out perfectly.”] Honestly she had already had a tour, but she wasn’t going to turn him down. Not to mention it was better to get a students view and opinions. That bureaucrat of an office lady couldn’t offer her that. [b “I’m looking forward to hearing your spin on things around here.”] With that the second bell rang and the teacher up front called for everyone’s attention. He had her stand and introduces herself. It was just a quick spiel with her name and whatnot, so she didn’t mind. Everyone seemed nice enough, although it was too early for many of them to be excited about much of anything.
Classes seemed to fly by for her. Turned out she already knew a lot of the material, but she found it interesting listening to all the different teachers. It was such a different environment from one on one tutoring, and online help. She was having an absolute blast. During the breaks she was even able to talk to some of the other people around her. Her goal was to get along with everyone, and it didn’t seem like it would be too hard. Melody had made it a point to leave Kai alone until lunch though. He probably wouldn’t be too happy with her is she constantly bothered him. The dark haired boy made it apparent he would rather have his space and so she obliged him.
When lunch came around, she flipped about in her seat so that she was finally facing Kai. [b “Alright, sounds like you want to get this done quick, so let’s get started!”] Once she finished the statement, Melody stood. As she did so her poufy hair bounced along with her.
Kai sat in his usual seat in the back corner of the classroom at school. He actually chose this spot in the room strategically. It would let him keep an eye on the majority of the city and it was extremely easy for him to get a pass to leave class because of his status as long as his grades were well. His dad knowing of his identity helped him in a lot of cases. He almost looked like a different person without his hoodie, but at least he was allowed to keep his headphones. It had been a couple of weeks since the Hijack fiasco and he had learned a few things.
-one week earlier
Diz stood before the league, which was filled with the most famous and powerful heroes of the current era. This included heroes such as Archer, Litmus, Wave, and four others. There were never more than seven at a time being that they also served as a council of sorts. Today’s business was what Hijack stole.
[b “Diz,”] Archer had addressed him, [b “You did good work holding off Hijack’s group of goons.”] [b “AND he defeated Hijack singlehandedly. That is no small feat,”] Wave chimed in. She was a hero with the ability to manipulate sound with the body build of a gymnast. [b “Indeed. For this, we as the League of Heroes advance you from rank D’ to C’.”] A ranking system was set in place to establish the capabilities and privileges of heroes. The range was A’ to F’ with F’ being the lowest. An S’ rank does exist, but it belongs only to the seven heroes in his presence. With a C’ rank, he was now able to take on an apprentice. Successful training of said apprentice would advance his rank further. He bowed to the heroes in appreciation. [b “I am grateful,”] he began, [b “…but there is still a matter to tend to.”]
Class was soon to start, but Kai couldn’t stop thinking about what Hijack’s scrubs had managed to steal as he paused his music and pulled his headphones down to his neck. [i Of all things, why take…]
[b “Hello again.”] His thought process had been interrupted by someone. He looked up to see Melody in front of him. [i Aw crap baskets…] he thought. This girl had not only appeared before him again, but she was at his school and had a seat by him no less! [b “So you’re the new student Teach wanted me to watch out for on the first day,”] he spoke aloud. He heaved a sigh pinched the bridge of his nose. She was definitely stuck with this girl. If this was going to be the case, then he might as well try to adjust himself to a level of toleration.
[b “Look here, Melody,”] he started, [b “I’m in a hurry to get my objective completed. At lunchtime, I’m taking you on a tour of this place and it’s bigger than most public schools. If you had any plans for lunch, scrap them. They’ll be some places for food later. Got it?”]
Things moved quickly once Sandtrap entered the building. The police showed and filed in to go and take away the already apprehended criminals. By that point, many of the ball’s attendants were no longer interested. The crowd was clearing out, except the few who were interested in Sandtrap’s interview and debrief of that had happened. Normally Melody would have been one of those people, but she spotted Kai again. The girl was glad he made it out safe. It had been a while since she’d seen him.
Turning to go meet him, she was quickly pulled to a halt. Someone grabbed her arm, tight. She didn’t need to turn to look to tell who it was, but when she did her mother was standing there. If looks could kill, Melody would have been dead at least three times over.
[b “We’re going home.”] Her words had a sense of finality that told Melody there was no sense in arguing. Although that didn’t mean she was happy about it. After all she finally had a chance to try and make a friend.
Sighing the girl went along with her mother. They said goodbye to her boss and left. There was silence all the way home, but the ombre haired girl could feel the mix of anger and fear still coming off her parent. Sighing, there really wouldn’t be any use trying to talk to her till she calmed down some. Instead she busied her mind. Melody had a plan, she had for a while and she finally thought she might be able to bring it to fruition.
Home was pretty much the same as the car in terms of quiet. However the high-rise condo was plenty of room for her to get away from Connie and unwind. All that negative emotion got her wound up, especially after what just happened. Things would improve after time; eventually they would talk about it. That would be when Melody brought up her scheme. The girl was prepared to fight tooth and nail.
A couple of weeks passed. Eventually Melody won out. It took some convincing from not only her, but also her doctor and psychologist. Connie was basically forced to back down. And not her daughter would finally be allowed to attend school. Sure it would still be a private academy, but that was enough for her. She would be able to spend time with people her own age.
In uniform, the teen walked into there new school. She took in every detail she could. Finally after a long drive over of her mother talking her ear off and quizzing her with situations, she was free. A woman from the office had given her a tour a few days ago, so she already knew where everything was. Melody was in her classroom. It was the type of school where all the kids stayed put and they had the teachers shuffle around. It wasn’t the usual for American schools, but she wasn’t going to complain. After years of home tutors she was willing to take what she could get.
The bell rang and swaths of people began to take direction to their classes. Melody followed suit. Making it to the room with a little time to spare she talked with the teacher to find an empty desk. There were multiple to choose some, but as though by magic she caught sight of Kai. She didn’t know that he attended her. And now they were even in the same class. Luckily enough, one of the open seats was next to him at the back of the class. She claimed it in a heartbeat and made her way back to the boy with a bright smile.
[b “Hello again.”] She left it at a quick greeting. Melody could have talked his ear off without a problem, but she decided to control herself. After all class would be starting soon.
Diz had been holding himself up with his bone staff when Sandtrap came. He dropped down to his knee and looked up at him with one eye closed. [b "What...hah...the heck took you so long?"] he spoke through his heavy breathing. He stayed in the same position for a few moments as Santrap used his abilities to round up all of the remaining scrubs. Normally, Diz would be upset that one of the veteran heroes got in the way of his work, but in this case, he accepted it seeing as how the scrubs came in droves.
Seriously though, why in the world would such a high number of guys come with a blockhead like Hijack? His level of strategy was extremely low so it wasn't like he had some ulterior motive of his own. Not only that, but Hijack never had anyone with him whenever he decided to was time to blow something up. Whatever the case, Diz thought it safe to assume that they had obtained what they came for; which meant he would have to probe his dad later.
[b "Looks like you've got the rest of this. I'm leaving,"] Diz turned hurrying out of the other side of the building not giving Sandtrap the time to respond. There was a side door that very few people used since it led to an alley, but that was just what he needed. He kicked the door open and slammed it behind him still out of breath. He slid down against the door sitting on the small set of steps trying to get some air. He yanked off his mask and in a quick white flash, he became Kai once again. He shoved it in his jacket before unzipping it all the way. Even now, he was evaluating his own performance. It was extremely clear that he needed more training to freely utilize Ouroboros, however it was better than fainting after use like he used to do when he first started using them.
Kai stood up after about five minutes of cooling off. He could still the feel the fatigue on his body, but he would be alright as long as he didn't try to make any sudden moves. He peeked around the corner to see Sandtrap massing around with the media. If he was careful, he would be able to get away without drawing attention to himself. At that moment, he felt a rumble in his stomach. [i Ugh...I need food food...didn't even finish my apples...] he thought holding on to his tummy. He looked to the right setting his sight on the japanese restaurant a few blocks down. Kai checked the left once more before casually popping out of the alley and making his way there with out the rather awkward company of Melody.
Circulating her breath it became easier to block things out, but that didn’t make the situation any less dangerous. Like this, Melody was unable to tell what was happening around her. There were so many conflicting emotions flying around the room and through her that it was drowning everything else out. It wasn’t until she hit the ground that she came to and realized she had been set free. Shaking her head it helped to clear her mind. Diz’s words cut through telling her leave. Nodding she got back to her feet and headed for the door. All the way making sure there was no one left in the room. Whatever could be done now was out of her hands.
When she got to the door, she stopped and turned to shout. [b “Thank you!”] Not waiting for any sort of response she left the room. This definitely put Diz on the map for her. It wasn’t like you could just ignore when someone saved your life, but Archer was still her favorite. The newbie definitely made it into her top five though for sure. She made a mental note to keep a better eye out for him in the future.
Outside of the building people were gathered around. Many of which were from the party, but by this time there were others who were curious mixed in. She guessed it wouldn’t be long for another hero or two to show, and shortly after that the media.
Scanning the crowd, Melody didn’t see her mother. For this she was relieved. The teen would undoubtedly be receiving an earful from the woman later, but it was worth helping people.
There was a din of excitement at the edge of the swarm. The sound drew Melody’s attention. Making his way through the droves of people was Sandtrap. A veteran hero who had the ability to turn anything he touches to particles, almost like sand. Anything that he vaporized he could then control therefore giving him the upper hand in immobilizing foes. With him there was another newbie. It wasn’t one that Melody recognized though. The pair took no time to get through the crowd and rush into the fray. She felt better knowing this whole thing would be over soon.
Making it to the hall, Sandtrap assessed the situation. It appeared that Hijack was already down for the time being, and many of his flunkies were already fleeing the scene. [b “Coordinate, lock on to all the escaping perps so they can be tracked later; then begin gathering up the ones here.”] The teen at his side leapt into action immediately.
After giving the order the man reached down to touch the ground. As soon as he made contact the marble floor began to crumble beneath his touch. Soon there was a swirling cloud around the hero. Standing he waved his arm and the particles were off in all directions. The clouds made rings around the villains and solidified, restraining them. Once that was through he closed in on Diz.
[b “Nice work here, kid.”] The rather bulky man spoke with a smile and slapped the young hero on the back in a show of solidarity. [b “It’s not easy holding back this many on your own.”] Things were a little scorched, but no one was hurt so he didn’t say anything this time.
Diz had formed a bone staff at this point. He steadily began to drop the high number of scrubs Hijack brought with him. This made him even more curious as to what they were after that was important enough to gather so much manpower. It was pretty obvious that this frontal destruction was meant to be a diversion, but he expected someone like Hijack to do things on his own. Was there another big bad here that got by in all the commotion?
His detective-like thought process came to an abrupt halt after feeling a sudden rumble in the ground. In the midst of beating the sentence out of the scrubs, he had almost lost his balance. [b "What the hell was that?"] he spoke aloud. Diz looked around to see if there was an immediate source from the random tremor, but instead he found Melody in the grasp of one of the scrubs.
[b "Dammit!"] he swore heading in her direction, but in his way came a huge left hook from Hijack with enough Impact to send him flying onto the table he and Melody sat at before. Hijack stood there with grizzly grin on his face. He waved his finger slowly at him. [b "Ah ah ah! Your fight is with me!"] he spoke taunting him. Diz pushed the debris off of him and stood up wiping the dirt off his costume. A bit of blood had strained his lips, so he licked around them and spit the blood out in one swift motion. He looked over at the girl seeing that she was now the only civilian left. He smiled punching his fists together.
[b "You're about to eat those words, Hijack!"] he called out before his eyes gained the ethereal glow of foolish fire better known as will-o'-the-wisp. In the same manner, two skulls shaped like the heads of snakes the size of ceremonial taiko drums materialized. The eye holes mimicked the flames of his own. Hijack's eyes opened wide no longer knowing what he was up against. [b "W-What the hell are those?!"] There was a drop of fear in his voice. This was the first time Diz had ever brought these out and there were very dangerous without proper control. The heads both charged a beam of foolish fire as if waiting on a command. Diz through his hand forth calling the name at the same time. [b "Ouroboros!"] Both heads released an extremely fast blast that looked like lasers shooting Hijack back through the hole he came in.
They was still a decent number of scrubs that had dropped focus looking at what had happened to their boss. Diz took that opening and chucked a bone at the scrub holding Melody and nailed him right between the eyes to force to let go. Diz dropped to the ground on his hands with heavy breathing and sweat dripping from under the mask. The glow of his eyes faded as did his Ouroboros. That one burst drained him of a lot of energy, but he wasn't finished. He didn't know if he had actually put Hijack down for the count of temporarily. He needed to drop these scrubs quickly before they got whatever it was they came for. [b "Get out of here!"] he called to Melody as he stood back up forging another bone staff and charging again at the scrubs.
Keeping her voice relatively low, Melody instructed the buzzing bumble of people trying to slam themselves through the crowded door to start making a line and calm down. The first part was to make things move smoother. It would have been more convenient to yell, but it wasn’t worth the risk of drawing Hijack’s malicious intent over this way. The second bit of her instructions was more for her own good than anyone else’s. With everyone panicking the room was becoming a sea of fear and anguish. It was overwhelming. The girl had to spend too much energy focusing on keeping her everything in check along side directing traffic.
Not long after she has started getting a fair share of people corralled there was another commotion behind her. Odd enough Diz, the hero Kai had mentioned appeared. He took no time at all to start barking orders, but she didn’t mind. It was what you had to do. When in the line of duty you should never assume someone else will handle it.
Her response to him was quick,[b “Already on it!”] But now she had the confidence that there was someone to keep the creeps at bay. Brining her pinkies to her mouth, she whistled loudly. The earsplitting sound brought the majority of peoples attention to her. [b “Everyone! Form a double file line, keep calm and focus on what is happening around you! The more organized we become the faster we can get everyone out!”] People seemed to listen to the logic. Although people tended to be stupid in droves, they also listened to anything that sounded remotely reasonable. Luckily enough for her, the outburst had been enough to sooth many and she was able to bring her full attention to the task at hand.
Directing the line away from the destruction that was going on behind her, Melody scanned the room. There were still a few people scattered across the hall. Most of them looked half dazed. The types who had no idea what to do in risky situations and froze under the pressure. As soon as she was sure things would continue to function by the door without her, Melody took off sprinting across the room. Between Hijack and Diz, this room was a hot mess and the civilians needed to be out of the crossfire.
It didn’t take much to shake most people back to the gravity of the situation, but having to do it one at a time was tedious. Carefully she would explain their best route of escape, letting them zone in on the line across the way. Then she would move on. There was only three left before one of Hijack’s lackeys decided enough was enough.
The purple-eyed girl could feel the rage radiating off him before she turned to see him, but by then it was too late. The rather burly man had ahold of her. Grabbing her by the jaw, the goon lifted her form her feet. He didn’t say anything, but he had a terrifying look in his eyes. And while she struggled, without using her abilities there wasn’t much she could do.
The physical contact amplified his feelings of anger and hate. It was like it was being syphoned into her. The feeling seemed to seep into everything, and in turn flooded her senses. She couldn’t see past it. Unable to control the unrestrained ire she began to shake, and so did the ground around her. Anger was linked to what was by far her most dangerous ability, earthquakes. But as the world began to tremble it snapped her back to her senses, at least enough to know what she needed to do. Closing her eyes, Melody breathed deeply. This worked to calm her and push out her surroundings. The deeper into the meditative state she went, the more the tremors subsided. Soon enough she had everything under her control again. The girl was rather proud of herself. But with that being said, she had no idea how long she was going to be able to hold it back. If someone didn’t do something quickly she was going to lose it and the fallout would be more than just the ballroom.
Halfway through her response, Kai gave up on trying to read her with his powerful eye ability. He still couldn't properly activate the thing. When she mentioned her favorite hero being Archer, also known as everyone's favorite hero, he let his head hit the table in dissatisfaction. [i I knew she was basic...] he thought. While she was right in that he had to work hard to get where he was with no powers to speak of, he himself thought being useful without your powers should be second nature. In other words, he felt like Archer's ways should be standard through all heroes.
Wallowing in his own disappointment, she asked another question to which he was going to give the same answer as before, however, baddies showed. Hijack had blown his way into the building with a rather hefty squad of scrubs charging in through the new door he had created.
Melody had immediately began to move toward the civilians. It seemed like she was going to try and do something to help, but he knew what really needed to be done. The last time he encountered Hijack he had help. He would have to take this guy and his goons alone. [i Looks like I'll still get some practice...] he thought as he rolled out of his chair running behind a wall before pulling out his hero mask. This things were extremely advanced from a technical standpoint. Simply placing it on his face would transform the entirety of his outward appearance. It also carried disguise in voice as well as several other things to ensure the secrecy of a hero's identity.
He made sure no one was looking as he took a deep breath. When he placed the mask on his face, the mask emitted a circle of energy that crept from his head to his feet in a couple of seconds. His casual outfit was replaced with a skin tight body suit that had a hood attached and the glow of a skeleton on top.
[i Alright. Let's get busy...] He turned the corner in time to see Hijack about to bomb the civilians, and in turn Melody. [b "You're all in the way!"] he shouted. If he was willing to outright kill everyone, then he had a hidden agenda. That would also explain why he had so many scrubs with him.
Hijack formed a ball of something like solid gasoline in his hand and threw it toward the people. Even with and ulterior motive, he was being extremely reckless. Diz slammed the ground with his hands and summoned a wall of bones in the nick of time to defend the people. The wall didn't hold up, but it managed to negate any potential damage to the people. Hijack wasn't too happy about that. [b "Grrr. You again!"] he spoke turning to face Diz from across the room. [b "You got that right,"] he retorted. He scanned the crowd for Melody and pointed to her. [b "You there! Get these people out of here!"] Melody was easily the type of person people would listen to. He needed the people to be evacuated so that he could utilize his blasters. That would be the only way he could take Hijack and his scrubs on his own, but since he couldn't control the output entirely, having people there would be dangerous. [b "Your fight is with me now, Hijack!"] Diz called out pointing his thumb toward himself.
When he mentioned that he had already been asked this about a million times she shrugged. What could you do? Although, the distinct apathy coming off of him was hard to ignore. Melody was just glad he went ahead and gave her an answer anyway. His response gave her a fair amount of information. Choosing a newly budding hero meant that Kai kept a close eye on the hero game. The conversation might flow easier if she kept the conversation on heroes. [b “Diz is pretty neat. Seldom does a newbie like him get this much attention. I am excited to see what he will do next.”] She herself watched the newer people because this was supposed to be about the time she would debut. But things never seemed to go to plan for her.
When he turned the question back to her, she was a little surprised. The ombre haired girl had half thought talking would be all up to her, so it was a pleasant surprise. It took no thought to answer his question. She had had the same favorite super hero for years. [b “Archer is my favorite.”] Grinning ear to ear as she spoke, she knew he would probably be disappointed. Archer was one of the greats, so it was a pretty mainstream answer. [b “Being the only big name out there with no actual powers means he’s had to work twice as hard as everyone else to get where he has. It’s super admirable.”] Sure her own situation was different, but for some reason something about him still resonated with her.
Melody stopped herself there. Going full on fan girl wouldn’t be ideal for the situation. Taking in a deep breath she tried to shoo away some of her excitement before continuing on. [b “Who do you think will be the next to join the league?”] Above becoming your own independent hero, there was an elite group of twenty heroes that stood above the rest. They were the best of the best and currently down a member. And while they didn’t really work together as a group, it still hurt the image to not be at full strength. Everyone was in a flurry to see who would be the next face of justice.
Before Kai had a chance to answer an explosion sounded behind her. The girl’s attention immediately snapped back to what had caused it. In a newly created hole in the fortified wall stood an infamous face, Hijack. And behind him a whole slew of goonies. Other than a couple of important people, she hadn’t a clue what he could want with the gala.
The dust didn’t even have time to settle before he threw his arm forward and his minions began piling in. People panicked, rushing the exit. Standing, Melody also ran that way, but her goal was to bring some order to the situation. Without a hero’s permit, she couldn’t use her powers, but that didn’t mean she had to sit around useless.
Kai's first mind after leaving the presence of the proverbial grown-ups, and that girl, was to go find a nice spot for him to practice his powers, but this girl was unnaturally persistent. Not only had she chased him down, so to speak, but she literally dragged him back. He let out a low growl as he let her pull him over to the snacks. He was extremely tempted to sneak off again, but then he saw his favorite; green apple slices and caramel dip. [i *Dad had a hand in this menu. Nobody regularly serves this...*] he thought in his head.
He took just about all the slices and a big gob of caramel on a plate. [b "Lucky for you, my dad seems to have lured me in to staying without even being present."] He said this heading over to the table she had pointed out.
Kai yanked out the chair before him and sat down before leaning back with the front legs off of the ground using his foot to balance himself. He hated silence; which was why he always kept music on him. The girl in front of him seemed to be nerve racked from the awkwardness that had effortlessly established itself while he dipped and chomped one slice after another in a rather slow, yet steady rhythm.
Then came a question. His favorite hero? [i *What a typical icebreaker...*] he thought closing his right eye while watching her with what he called his powerful eye. He was determined to exercise his powers one way or another. This skill would potentially allow him to 'see the unseen.' Either way, he'd still answer her question, but he'd give her a hard time as well.
[b "Are you aware how many people in this building have asked me that question as a starter? You're gonna have to do better than that for conversation,"] Kai began as he dipped another slice with the caramel stringing off of it. [b "If you must know however, it's Diz."] That was the hero name he had chose for himself. [b "He's a hard worker, and those...skull thingies he uses to fire beams and stuff are cool. What's yours, Melody...was it?"] He tossed the slice he had just dipped in his mouth keeping his powerful eye open. He might as well try to see what kind of person she was by her reactions.`
Honestly, Melody thought the man in front of her should have more faith in his child. It wasn’t really any of her business though, so she kept it to herself. She just continued to smile at him. Either way she was happy to have someone to bother. [b “I’ll handle it, Mr. Nelson.”] With that response the adults made their exit. Before they were out of sight, she turned on her heal and headed after Kai.
The blue-eyed girl wasn’t dense. She could see that he clearly wasn’t interested in being here, or making friends. But she wasn’t willing to give up without at least trying. The endeavor being equally for her own benefit as for her mother’s boss’. Walking hurriedly, without running, she was able to catch up with him.
[b “Wait up.”] It was kind of silly. She made the comment as she had already made pace with him. [b “Come on, there’s no reason for both of us to be completely bored to tears with this party. Let’s get some snacks and chat.”] Taking his arm in hers she half dragged the boy over to the food table. Upon his release there she really hoped he wouldn’t turn tail and run. It was a pleasant surprise when he didn’t. After all, she did have the tendency to come on kind of strong.
Grabbing ahold of a plate, Melody took a little bit of everything from the spread in front of her. Once she was satisfied she motioned to one of the small tables close by. [b “Let’s sit over there.”] With a cup and plate in her hands, she wasn’t really able to force him this time. It was complete luck that he chose to follow her over.
Maneuvering the chair with her foot, Melody was able to pull it out and sit down with all her spoils. She gave Kai some time to settle himself and get comfortable before she started talking again. It wasn’t too hard as there was plenty to snack on.
In the quiet she was able to take in the details of the hall. The room was large with vaulted ceilings. All the space given was used for ornate décor. Including an abstract chandelier that hanged high above them. The whole feel of the ballroom didn’t seem to fit anything else in the city. Her guess was because it was so old, but there was no telling for sure. The unfortunate side effect of the room being so big was that the small guest list wasn’t up to snuff when it came to filling it. People were scattered few and far between, creating a vacant feeling that she didn’t find very welcoming.
When she thought she had given the boy across the table ample time, she spoke up. [b “So… Who’s your favorite hero?”] It was a staple question that she couldn’t go wrong with. Almost everyone adored the many heroes that protected Amana Vista. A person’s favorite also spoke volumes about who they were. It was a good way to get to know someone, at least on a superficial level.
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