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Post by Megalodon on Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:40 pm

Lunchtime had just begun, and as per usual Archie was sitting by himself eating his food.  That was about the only thing that was 'as usual' for today though.  Ever since that article came out claiming Marina Eldoris had a secret boyfriend the entire community had gone wild.  Luckily, most people didn't know who he was so they never announced his name.  However, once he got to school the next day, people who had read the article started swarming him.  He was continuously assaulted with questions as news slowly spread throughout the school.  He tried to deny the claims each time, but they only believed him maybe half the time.  Archie probably talked to more people in the past week than he had in the entire rest of the school year.  While many people would revel in the newfound popularity, Archie was not that type of person.  He found himself trying to avoid people as much as possibly, contrary to how people used to be the ones to either ignore or avoid him.  

Archie occasionally caught people occasionally stealing glances at him and them whispering amongst their friends.   He sat alone at his table, hoping with all his might that he would be left alone today.  It was not to be.  A boy his age, or maybe a year younger, strutted up to him.  The boy looked almost like a jock.  More like a basketball player than a football player.  Archie tried to ignore him, hoping he was just walking by, but then he felt an arm come around his shoulder.  "Hey man, so I heard you are that guy who'd dating that pop-star, Marina Eldoris.  Man, I've seen you around school, but I never thought you had it in ya for something like that.  I never would have guessed I'd be jealous of you."  The boy roughly patted Archie's shoulder.

Archie was clearly troubled, tho the boy didn't seem to notice or care.  "Um, who are you?  Or rather, that's not true.  There is no way I could be dating someone like that."  When this whole fiasco had first started he had been quite embarrassed when saying such things, but he grew rather jaded to the type of conversation.  The boy laughed, "Aw, come on now.  No need to be shy.  It's so clear from that picture that you are."  He continued to pat Archie's shoulder in a congratulatory manner.  "No, I'm telling you, that picture was-"  The boy cut him off, "I'm Ben by the way.  I'll be seeing you around, sly-guy."  Ben dismissed himself, not waiting to hear the rest of Archie's explanation.  He sighed deeply.  How long would this continue for?  He hoped it would blow over soon.  Maybe if there was another big story about Marina then people would forget about this one.  But then again, maybe it would just remind them of her and thus bring it back to Archie.
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Post by Whirlwind on Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:41 pm

Aella didn’t really get what all the buzz was about, the school seemed to have latched onto gossiping about something or another, something about a Marina something or another. She didn’t really know what that was about, but it seemed the rumors were focused on a guy in one of her classes. Normally she wouldn’t have really paid much attention to any of this, but she had nothing to do this lunch period. Ordinarily, Aella would be spending the time training, or something similar with some of the other more athletically inclined students, but some kind of incident earlier in the day had made the school temporarily close out the athletics department for the rest of the day, for whatever reason.

She did see Ben talking to the guy from the weird rumors, Arnold was it? Arnie? Something like that. The fighter decided to sit at the guy’s table, beginning to pick at her own tray of food while the other jock talked about…whatever it was. She didn’t really know enough about Ben other than that he wasn’t the type to normally interact with people out of the “popular” circle of people, only really acquainted with them because they were both academically inclined, and so were naturally somewhat acquainted at least. She’d wait until he left, focusing on her food in the meantime as she waited for Ben to leave.

“So, looks like everyone’s talking about you or something huh?” She asked, still not really sure what it was about really, but figuring it was probably best to learn what was going on from the source.

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Post by Megalodon on Wed Jan 30, 2019 9:49 pm

Archie almost gasped when he heard a voice, as he finally noticed the girl sitting across from him that he didn't recognize.  He frowned at the girl as she inquired what his newfound popularity was all about.  "What, you haven't heard yet?  Good.  Keep it that way.  It's all made up anyway.  Well, mostly made up."  Archie shifted uncomfortably in his chair.  He took a bite from his lunch then returned his attention to his table guest, "Anyway, who even are you?  And why did you decide to sit here?  Then again, I guess a lot of people I don't know have been talking to me anyway."  Archie groaned and mumbled to himself, "Ugh, can't they just lay off it?  Like I could be dating someone like that..."
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Post by Whirlwind on Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:24 pm

“jeez, so all this over some dating rumor?” Aella asked, disappointed. She’d been hoping for something more interesting but supposed that she should have known better. She smiled at the guy despite that, since she wasn’t really holding it against the guy. “I’m Aella, I was on the volleyball team last semester.” She elaborated, naming the most recent sport she’d been involved in, though she’d been involved in many of them in her time at the school. “I think we might have also shared a math class at one point.” She added, vaguely remembering the guy from said class.

“But nah, I don’t really know anything, just people talking about you, gym was closed so I figured I’d see what all the fuss was about.” She explained, continuing to eat her own meal. “So, who do they think you’re dating? Some cheerleader or something?” She asked. It had to be someone important if everyone was talking about it. Aella didn’t really get what the big deal was.

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Post by Megalodon on Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:03 am

Archie internally cursed himself when he realized he spoke too loud when he mumbled to himself.  He had hoped she would just drop it, but she was asking for more now.  She introduced herself as Aella.  "If we did have a class together I don't remember you.  I prefer to avoid people if I can.  But you can call me Arc, I guess."  She continued explaining why she was there, something about the gym being closed, before getting back to the topic he had wanted to avoid.  Archie looked troubled by her pressing but relented and answered nonetheless. "You really wanna know don't you.  Fine then.  You know that pop-star Marina Eldoris?  It's her.  Honestly, I'm surprised you haven't heard the news story about her 'secret boyfriend'," Archie used his fingers to quote this.  "After all, I don't think there isn't a news station or news website that hasn't covered it at least twice now.  Honestly, that photo is way out of context."  Archie shook his head.  He began slowly eating the remaining food on his tray.
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Post by Whirlwind on Fri Feb 01, 2019 9:53 pm

“Think I slept through most of that one anyways, so Arc then huh?” Aella frowned, that seemed like a bit of a weird name, but then it could have been a nickname again. She tried to remember the name, only really ever having listened to one of the artist’s songs she could remember. “eh, not really my type of music, haven’t seen anything about any of that stuff though.”

The fact her home didn’t even have a TV, let alone a computer wasn’t important. “so, some guy got a picture or something of you "and this popstar hanging out or something? Don’t really get much of that, sounds like it’d get annoying.” Jeez. This wasn’t nearly as interesting as she was hoping. “Don’t think id like that, would probably get in the way of training.”

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Post by Megalodon on Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:47 pm

Archie nodded, "You're telling me.  It wasn't even so much as 'hanging out'.  My eyes are actually really good, so I happened to notice her out in public.  The only thing I did was ask for an autograph."  Archie pulled his iPod from his pocket, showing off the signature on the case.  "Soon as I was about to leave other people finally began to notice and crowded all around.  Marina Eldoris ended up tripping and I just happened to be in her way to catch her.  Then of course with all my luck that happened to be the moment they'd take a picture.  Ridiculous."  Archie shook his head, grumbling to himself.  He had shared much more than he had intended to.  Though maybe that was because it felt good to have someone actually believe him and not jump to conclusions.  

"I've hardly had a moment of peace since.  The first day was alright, until the rumors started spreading all over school.  I used to be pretty unknown, but now I doubt there are many people in the school who haven't talked about me at least once."  Archie recalled her mentioning 'training'.  "Oh yeah, by training you were referring to SAFE classes right?  That hasn't been too bad.  During classes people don't really bug me.  I guess that means you're a super then, huh."  Archie mentioned but didn't directly ask.  He didn't particularly care, but the way he said it could easily be taken as a question.
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Post by Whirlwind on Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:06 pm

Aella shook her head at the boy’s seeming streak of bad luck, she’d hate to get bugged by people constantly over something stupid like that. She wasn’t exactly an unknown around the school, especially given both her participation in various teams and the rumors people told about her, rumors which seemed to have a wide range of subjects. “Super? Nope, far as I know I’m completely normal.” She notably frowned at the insinuation somewhat offended by the boy’s words. While she didn’t have anything against supers, the notion that she couldn’t be a fighter nowadays without relying on some strange power was annoying. It didn’t help that plenty of people already speculated that she did have powers, rather than her own hard-earned skill.

“Never really been in a SAFE class, what happens in those anyways, mosta’ the supers I’ve thought don’t really do much but through their power at you.” She remarked, “I’m a martial artist actually, been doing it all my life, gotta train constantly if you wanna be the best!”

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Post by Megalodon on Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:32 pm

Archie raised his eyebrows slightly, "Ah, so you meant martial arts, not SAFE classes.  I don't really know of anyone else who really does martial arts aside from basic self defense classes."  He dismissed her annoyance.  He had only brought it up anyway.  It wasn't like it mattered to him whether she had a power or did some martial art.  "in that case though, you are probably more fit to be a hero than I am.  My power is practically useless to me aside from my eyes."  Archie indicated his left eye.  Archie took a sip of his milk carton before continuing.  

"I imagine you haven't been to a SAFE class, considering you just said you were 'normal'."  Archie emphasized with his fingers.  "SAFE classes might seems mysterious or prestigious from the outside, but honestly the content isn't all that surprising.  We don't usually do the same thing more than a couple days in a row.  It's a lot of learning laws and regulations for supers in particular as well as more intensive courses if you plan to join the SF.  Naturally, the bulk of it is training your powers.  They tend to group similar powers together and they learn in groups, while the oddities either train on their own with advisement or schedule private tutoring.  On occasion, there is also optional classes such as physical combat training.  I've never been to one of those, though."
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Post by Whirlwind on Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:47 pm

“Those classes are alright I guess, at least I think.” She commented. Her guardians both were highly opinionated over the modern, more commercialized version of martial artist. The idea of being a hero made her roll her eyes, as she knew there were other opinions within the SF. “Jeez if your into that stuff just learn to fight, people get stupid about powers anyways, it’s just a tool like anything else right?” She asked, speaking her own thoughts on the whole hero thing.

“Don’t get why they wouldn’t make the physical combat thing mandatory though, do they just expect you guys to throw energy blasts around all the time or whatever?” It didn’t sound very smart, and the fact regulations and laws regarding superheroing sounded more troublesome to learn than anything. “So, are you aiming to be a hero then? You said you had a power right?” She asked, a bit more interested, while she didn’t like the overreliance on superpowers a lot of the super types had, they were still interesting to think about. There was also the fact she enjoyed thinking about how they could be used in a fight, and how best to counter them.

After all you never knew what you were gonna end up fighting against, especially with her…extracurricular activities outside of school. She’d had to fight a couple of powered types before, and it was best to have ways of countering anything she ended up facing.

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Post by Megalodon on Mon Feb 04, 2019 6:05 pm

"Yeah, it is a tool.  A tool we can't put down.  And a tool we can't choose to have."  Archie clarified.  "Some people do just throw energy bolts around.  The thing with that is not everyone wants to join the SF.  Not all supers want to be heroes or villains.  A lot are just there to learn to control their powers and what they need to know to function in society despite them.  That... is why physical combat classes are not required.  Besides, some powers are more troublesome than others.  In cases like those, you generally want to focus on honing your ability before jumping into something like combat training."  Archie covertly referred to himself.  He had certainly improved his aim over the last few weeks, but it was on par or slightly better than the average phys ed student, which wasn't saying much.  

To Aella's question about being a hero, Archie appeared rather melancholic, "I don't really know what I want to do.  I've never really been good at anything in particular.  My grades are barely passing at best, and at worst..."  Archie trailed off but picked back up on a different note, "My power is much the same story.  A lot of people have a natural talent for using their power.  They can just pick it up and its immediately useful.  A lot of the time because its simple.  Mine, on the other hand, relies on a skill I've never really had or liked.  At the very least I want to be able to make something out of it and not just say I have a completely useless power, but on the other hand, I don't know if I'm cut out to be something like a hero."  Archie absentmindedly prodded his food with his silverware.  He had lost his appetite.  He never liked talking about the future, but for some reason he had anyway.
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Post by Whirlwind on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:07 pm

Aella guessed that it made sense that the classes wouldn’t be focused as much on combat and the like, while she knew not everyone who got involved in the SAFE stuff got involved with SF or heroing. She supposed there were plenty of powers that were more inconvenience than an unnatural advantage. At least, until they were properly honed by the user. It was interesting to think about, as she’d never really thought of superpowers by this same, She could understand wanting or needing to refine a skill. “Some powers do seem like they’d be annoying to have, and I guess I can understand people wanting to hone them as a skill.” She admitted, thinking on the whole situation. She tended to think more about the combat related powers.

“Honestly, I think it’s better to start from the bottom to get better with a skill anyways. Too many people that only rely on natural talent.” The martial artist commented. She didn’t really understand why someone would want to quit just because they weren’t already good at something. “Jeez, it sounds corny saying this, but practicing does make a difference you know?” She figured think of the long term with his, like Arc seemed to was a bit unhelpful. After all, it wasn’t like she started as a master, nor any other martial artist. Why would any other skill be different?

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Post by Megalodon on Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:32 pm

Archie looked at Aella, a bit annoyed.  "You think I haven't been practicing?  I already mentioned that I wanted to make something out of this mockery of a power.  It's been well over a year since I first got my power, and I've been practicing to use it near enough every day after school and during SAFE classes.  In all that time, I've only recently become somewhat average and shooting an arrow.  Sometimes things take more than just a bit of effort.  Aptitude is a factor, and maybe a bit of luck, if you believe it.  I seem to be lacking in both."  Archie frustratedly looked away from Aella.  Why was he telling her all of this?  Why was he even still talking to her?  "If it takes this long to make the one thing unique about me worth slightly more than before, then there is no way I could be something like a hero.  Archie looked disheartened again.  His tray was unfinished, but he looked like he was about ready to leave.
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Post by Whirlwind on Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:55 pm

“But you did improve at it eventually, aptitude matters, but not having it just means you need to work harder.” Aella answered, much more annoyed herself over the way things had gone. She hated when people expected some kind of quick result and while a year wasn’t exactly instant, the same rule applied. “Jeez, it’s not going to come instantly, it’s something people train for years to learn to do properly.”

She stood up herself, a bit annoyed by the whole thing, though not quite leaving quite yet. “Whatever though, do what you want, I’ll see you around.”

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Post by Megalodon on Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:39 pm

Archie had enough.  He knew he had put in the effort.  It was just taking much more out of him than he ever thought it would.  Sure he had accomplished something, but it was so minor that he wasn't sure it was worth it.  He was considering if he could have gone back in time, maybe he should have just ignored his powers entirely and focused on something else, maybe he would have been better off.  After all, what did she know.  She never saw how diligent he was or how hard he worked for so little payout.  Something like that really kills motivation, but he still kept going, and still things barely moved forward at all.  Archie was sure she had seen much more progress in his time than him.  Surely her success is what drove her motivation and optimism.  Aella seemed to be about to leave, "Hmph, maybe.  Big school and all.  And not like I'll see you in SAFE classes.  Bye."  Archie took his tray, still not empty, and left the table.  He would throw the remainder in the garbage before leaving the cafeteria.
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