|Abstract Clover: Episode 1
Author: jtnlflash PM
Hero and Villain Arc, 1/3. In the year 2308, nations have united, technology has spread, and research on ESP is approaching its peak. Still, beneath the large scale Point City of Central Station, hidden agendas run rampant. Episode 1 marks the end of our heroes' and villains' peaceful days.Rated: Fiction T - English - Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 24,171 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 06-21-12 - Published: 06-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3028978
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The sound of wailing sirens resounded on the outskirts of a polluted city. Smog covered the sky above, turning the world below darker than the night, preventing the white moonlight from shining down on the corrupt land. A newspaper lying abandoned on the ground found itself ground into the dirt by a dark brown boot.
"Just when I found the evidence too," a woman snarled, grinding the newspaper at her feet until only the date remained legible. It was the year 2308 and after 8 long years into the new century, the woman had finally uncovered the truth, only to be surrounded in a dank warehouse from which she had no means of escape.
"Leave no survivors, if any word gets out, I'll have all of your heads!" a voice was heard through the open window of the warehouse the woman snuck through.
The sound of footsteps and the back door of the building being forced open caused the hiding woman to sweat. "It looks like I might have to use this after all," she reached towards her back pocket where a small black cube, tied to a chain that hung from the belt of her black pants, was, but she hesitated. Her hand suddenly changed its course and headed towards the gun holster strapped on her left thigh.
"Intruder located, proceeding to fire," a mechanical voice sounded as an officer with a transmission helmet turned the corner while reaching towards the gun holstered on his belt.
The man fell in an instant from two shots from a Beretta M9 pistol: one in the chest and on the left side of his forehead. The woman in hiding frowned as she quickly ran over to the fallen man and confiscated his weapon. Should've pulled his gun out first, thought the woman.
"I didn't want to use this old mankiller, but it's better than showing off," she spoke of the M9 in her left hand and turned to inspecting her newest weapon. Pushing aside the strands of black hair that had fallen over her eyes when she had rushed to pull out the M9, she bit her lip when she realized what she was facing. "A Dunamis MF? They're trying to kill me with fission nukes?"
"Hey, I heard a noise from over here, what was it?"
It was a good time for her to leave the location. The brunette woman swiftly ran under the cover of several steel storage containers, her black coat and pants blending her in with the shadows as she held the Dunamis in hand. Then, she stopped, hesitant about making a left turn. Quickly putting away her M9 and pulling a compact mirror out of her breast pocket, she attempted to angle the mirror so she could see around the corner. It was difficult, but from her analysis of the image, there were at least fifteen guards stationed by the back door of the warehouse. Each of them with their guns aimed towards the area she was just about the run past.
"Eight years, I've been trying to find out what those FABLES bastards were up to, and now I'm boxed in? As if I'll go out without a fight," the woman growled. She stuffed the compact into her pants pocket and put the Dunamis on the ground. Then, she pulled out a silver Y-shaped device.
Upon clicking the button in the middle of the device, a triangular holographic image formed. As the woman scanned through the data, military weapon schematics, anatomic models, and war plans scrolled through the holographic screen.
"I scanned every inch of this place with my Composer. There has got to be something in this warehouse that can help. FABLES's all hush-hush, but there's no way information won't reach me," the woman whispered to herself, wary of the FABLES agents searching for her with a shoot-first-ask-questions-later policy.
Suddenly, she found what she was looking for and stopped scrolling down her Composer when she reached a diagram of the human brain. "This should be…"
"Hey, I found the target!" an agent called through his receiver as the mini nuclear explosion destroyed a large portion of a storage unit located three feet behind his target. He had missed, but he had alerted everyone's attention to his location.
"Dija!" cursed the woman, realizing she had no time to pull out her M9 and shoot. Instead, she kicked the Dunamis she had set down straight towards the agent.
"What the-?" the gun toting man was surprised to see a weapon flying towards his face, but could no longer react when a bullet shot him right through the forehead.
With no time to talk, the woman on the run, aware of the 15+ agents soon to be chasing her from behind, dashed past the dead man, stealing his gun as he fell. There was only one option left in her mind, and she was unsure of its consequences.
A left turn, a right turn, another left turn, and then a jump over a storage crate, after a series of close calls with guns pointed at her, the brunette woman finally made it to her destination.
"This should buy some time," she said as she fired at several storage containers using the second Dunamis she picked up, causing a collapse of steel to slow down her pursuers. "Now for a miracle."
Turning on her hologram projector once again, she closed her eyes and made a wish. In front of her was a large steel cylinder with several hazard stickers plastered on it. The cylinder was chained to the ground and also protected by a clear glass. The black clad woman who had broken into the warehouse had to rely on what was inside the container as her last resort.
A miracle was all the woman could hope for. She had all of the evidence saved into her device. FABLES would probably burn everything if she escaped alive. Steadying her hand, she aimed the nuclear weapon towards the container. If what was inside the container was released, either her salvation would come or the destruction of the entire warehouse and then the city would commence.
The woman in black pulled the trigger, and that was when all hell broke loose.
"And that concludes our re-coverage of the FABLES Warehouse Explosion three months ago. The lives of many families who were impacted by the deaths of the officers that night are still in our hearts. Now on to Ted with news on the recent earthquakes," the blonde reporter on the holo-TV that hung on the cafeteria wall bowed his head in a grieving conclusion before the news changed topics.
"Hey Brent, change the channel. I don't want to watch this sort of stuff," demanded a young girl with long, light brown hair.
The person the girl was talking to, a boy with messy brown hair and glasses nodded and grabbed a small remote control to change to a music video channel. "Is this fine?"
"Yeah. I don't get why the kitchen staff wants us to watch the news when we're eating," answered Ida Hope, not paying the slightest bit of attention to the boy who had done her a favor.
"It's probably to keep us informed. Thanks, Brent," spoke the girl sitting adjacent to the dark haired sophomore. The sixteen year old kitchen aid merely nodded at the two students and continued wiping down the cafeteria tables.
"Y'know Ri, I always wondered Brent's working," said Ida as she took a bite of her grilled cheese sandwich and rudely learned into the kitchen aid's personal space. "It's weird."
"What do you mean by weird?" asked the boy.
Turning to the girl next to her who had drained the last drop of her water bottle, Ida asked, "Don't you think so, Rita?"
Ignoring her own friend's elbow nudges, the girl with long black hair, Rita Alexander, closed the cap on her water bottle and handed it over to the kitchen aid. "It is weird I guess. Don't students get room, board, and living expenses for the Hypercube research?"
Almost out of habit, all three students reached for the 1 inch by 1 inch by 1 inch cubes that were located somewhere on their person: on a chain hanging from Rita's breast pocket, on a string as a necklace for Ida, and on a bead bracelet on Brent's right hand. The Hypercube study was the entire premise of DEM Station Point, the city they were all in. New Station Point Academy was a research institute that only allowed students who solved the Hypercube to attend.
Suddenly, Ida leaned closer towards Brent, looking into his deep green eyes with her aqua blue. "So why are you working? Is being a level 2 that bad?"
"Ida," Rita tried to stop her friend from insulting Brent. Knowing the girl, however, she could only turn towards the victim and say, "I'm really sorry Brent."
Completely ignoring the apology, Brent stopped cleaning the table and pushed up his glasses, "Pardon me, Miss Level 5, but I doubt I'd lose to you in a match." The insult continued the argument.
"I'm still a higher level than an honor student like you. That means I outrank you."
"Do you always have to pick a fight, you guys? You know we can't have matches without permission. Sheesh," Rita rolled her eyes, annoyed. She just couldn't lecture the girl.
"I know it is," laughed Ida. "But c'mon! Even if he's a straight A student, you're an unbelievable level 8 and he's just a level 2. It's so easy to get a laugh when he's so low le-"
Suddenly, Ida stopped, noticing strands of her hair were levitating. The sound of static electricity crackling grew in intensity with each passing second. "Uh-oh," she realized, taking three steps back from her cafeteria seat. "Overload's… overcharged…"
"Ida?" Rita grew worried as her friend held her chest in pain. The Hypercube tied around her neck began to glow on one side while, at the same time, jagged black markings started to form on Ida's skin an inch above the girl's collarbone. Rita attempted to get closer, but the electrical energy jumped out at her, forcing her to pull back. "Oh no."
"S-sorry, Ri-" was all Ida was able to say before another jagged black marking appeared on the left side of her forehead. Rita took the sign as dangerous. Almost by instinct, she reached towards the Hypercube on her breast pocket.
"Brent! Get back!" Rita warned as the electricity discharged. A large bolt of lightning seemed to fly out from Ida with a trajectory towards Brent. The boy did not even have time to react as the flash of light had temporarily blinded him.
Suddenly, the bolt of lightning seemed to stop, as though it were being held in place as it got within two feet of Brent. The other people in the cafeteria watched as the lightning bolt seemingly bounced off the area in front of the boy as a white object appeared in thin air as though to contain it. Rita smiled as she saw the event. Her hand on her Hypercube, she felt as though she had just saved Brent. Then, suddenly, the energy directed itself towards what looked a lightning rod coming down from the ceiling.
The lightning rod absorbed the entirety of the electrostatic discharge and saved Brent. Then, as quickly as it had showed up, it retreated back into the ceiling. "Ms. Hope, I believe I've told you to learn to moderate your discharges. That could have killed young Mr. Smith here." A new face to the conversation appeared and he was holding a small black remote control, most likely for the lightning rod.
"Professor Sweeney," Ida weakly called. The energy had discharged, but it had taken its toll on her body. She felt exhausted and tired after releasing it all at once. "Thanks."
"There's no need to thank me," the professor with goatee chuckled before becoming completely serious. "I've told you before, Ms. Hope. You need to time your discharges. While Station Academy does have safety measures for all random bursts of OAM energy, you could seriously injure a person with that much power." Gesturing towards Rita, the teacher added, "You should be thankful Miss Alexander thought quickly."
Oh great, a lecture, frowned Brent as he watched Ida Hope get chastised. He appeared to be completely composed after having almost been electrocuted. His face had not changed from its blank expression the entire time, although his right hand seemed to have been fiddling with the Hypercube on his bracelet.
"And another thing. You cannot expect safety measures to always protect you, Mr. Smith," Professor Sweeney changed his target to Brent. "I don't know what you were thinking, not bothering to take cover when you knew the warning signs."
"I don't need this, Sweeney," Brent groaned and showed the man his Hypercube. "I had Blockade ready, so I wouldn't have been hurt."
"Do you honestly think you could get away unharmed from 300 mega joules of energy directed straight at your body? Even the air would have been superheated! Furthermore…!" the Professor ignored Brent's argument and began a lecture on volts, amps, and electrical current.
"Jeez, he's really laying it down hard on Brent," Rita commented and turned towards Ida to see if the girl seemed guilty or not. She looked away, implying that she did feel guilty. As the two girls were looking at each other, however, they were unable to notice Brent suddenly clutch his right arm for a brief moment.
"And another thing: Ms. Hope may have to control the discharges as per her Condition, bu-"
"Professor Sweeney," Brent called the man; more respectfully this time.
"Yes Brent?" the man immediately calmed down after having been called Professor by Brent who then pointed his thumb back at the students who were clustering behind him.
"I have to go work. Since I'm still alive, is it possible to schedule this lecture later?"
The stares from the surrounding crowd that had gathered at the scene were finally noticed by the four. While the discharges weren't rare for Ida, having one in a cafeteria scared many students.
Clearing his throat, Sweeney attempted to salvage his teacher's reputation, "Well, I guess we'll have to do this another time them. I'm needed in the physics lab anyways. Run along, you three."
"Really, Sweeney. I don't need to put up with this. Get a hobby or something, old man," Brent snarled. Rita blinked in surprise at how uncharacteristic his speech was considering his formal act towards Ida. The boy pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and ran off, not to the cafeteria, but out into the halls.
Rita could only watch silently as the entire event seemed to subside and students slowly returned to their seats, trying to reach the status quo again.
"Ahahahaha!" laughed Ida immediately after the two left, but then immediately collapsed into the cafeteria seat, "Man, what a day. I'm exhausted already, and it's only lunch."
"No kidding," agreed Rita, but she felt she just had to lecture her friend. "You're lucky I stopped the bolt for a second before security activated. I thought you could hold in your charges for longer than that."
"I wish I could," frowned Ida. "You're a new sophomore, so you probably didn't hear about my first discharge. It was pretty bad."
Preferring to not hear the tale, Rita did have another thought. "How do you build your charges up so fast, though? You don't always activate your Hypercube."
Ida stared at her friend, dumbfounded. "I thought you knew all about OAM's. Why ask that now?"
Rita returned Ida's frown with one of her own. "Of course I know about OAM's. This school has an OAM class after all… that I sleep through…"
"Right," Ida realized she didn't even have to ask the moment her friend turned away to avoid Ida's judgmental eyes. "Well, OAM stands for Objective Area Manipulation, right? It's the space we can control using our Hypercubes."
"And each of us have a maximum range that gets recorded for our OAM level," added Rita.
Stretching her arms and legs to try and get some energy back into her, Ida continued, "You're right. And activating a Hypercube is what lets you extend its range. I'm a level 5 so my max is thirty feet when it's on."
"So how can you build charges up so quickly when it's off?"
"A Hypercube can turn off, Rita, but the ability can't. If I'm not trying, I have a range of about ten feet last time they checked," Ida took a look at her makeshift Hypercube necklace and noted that the black markings that had appeared on her skin earlier were gone. After a long sigh, the girl continued, "Charge OAM: Overload, it gathers loose electrons regularly. With all of this electricity around us, even if I don't extend it, I can charge up pretty quickly. When it gets too hard to contain, I have to let it out. The school's Condition for me staying would be to use it three times a day."
"And this would be the first of the day?"
"Actually the second, I can get enough of a charge in six or seven hours when I reduce the range, although there have been a few close shaves here and there. At least the discharges happen automatically; else I'd forget and my Hypercube would lock up," smirked Ida. "I really hate how we all have to have a Condition though."
A Condition, Rita knew, was a way the school could control students who were given Hypercubes. The word made the girl frown bitterly, but she tried to hide it with a shrug and a passive expression on her face. "To be honest, I'm really jealous, Ida. Your Condition is actually easy and makes sense. A lot of students have ridiculous ones like drink two gallons of water daily or pose dramatically in public. The person who came up with the idea is a quack."
"They do get pretty weird," Ida admitted. "I don't think you ever told me about your Condition, though. The class knows your level and OAM skill, but you've never really talked about your Condit'."
"My Condition?" Rita froze.
"Did I hit a nerve?" wondered Ida, noticing Rita's shock. "Is it really weird or something? I was kind of wondering this for a while since you transferred. You're a level 8, so your Condition has to be something I didn't see coming."
"Well, you already know my OAM and level. Can't you just leave my Condition a secret?" asked Rita who began twirling her long black hair nervously.
"It's not fair when you already know all of mine!"
"I-Ida! Please! I'll show you a trick if you'll let it go!" begged Rita.
"A trick?" Suddenly, Ida relented, leaning back into the cafeteria seat as casually as possible. "You are good at those. Fine, I'll stop for today if you impress me."
Nodding, Rita put her left finger to her left ear and began to think. If she showed her friend a trick, she wouldn't bother her about her Condition. Rita, who wanted to keep hers a secret, thought long and hard about what trick she could show to impress Ida, sorting between tricks she had already performed in front of Ida and tricks she had not.
"So what kind of trick is it going to be? Making a whole deck of cards appear in Diane's mouth was one of the best ones in my opi-"
"I got it!" the girl suddenly snapped her fingers and searched the pockets of her academy blazer. "Oh, but I don't have cards today."
"So what are you going to do?" Ida asked, bemused.
Frowning, Rita looked over to the halls and then to the next table over. "Ida, you wouldn't happen to have cards, would you?"
The girl shook her head and moved her hands behind her back. "Sorry, I don't carry them. You're the girl that loves doing card tricks. I just like watching 'em."
"Then I guess I'll have to do a coin trick then," sighed Rita. "Can you hand me one?"
"Ah sure, I have a coin pouch for a reason," nodded Ida as she reached into her pocket to pull out a small black pouch. "How many do you need? One or- Oh what the-!"
Just as Ida opened her pouch, a geyser of playing cards seemed to flow out into the air, surprising not only her but the surrounding students.
"Whoa, another one of Alexander's magic tricks! The cafeteria's seen of a lot of action today!" shouted a dark haired student with a tan. "Hey Cruise, look!"
A crowd quickly formed in the cafeteria for the second time that day as the fountain of cards spewing out of Ida's pouch fell onto the floor below. No one was certain how many cards to fly out, but by the time a proper circle had formed around the two girls, a small mountain of playing cards had formed on the floor.
"What's with all these cards? Where are they all coming from?" Ida tried to get a look at the opening of her coin pouch, but it was impossible to see as the gush of cards obscured her view. "What on Earth? Is this really magic?"
Unbeknownst to Ida, a crooked grin escaped Rita. The girl's last sentence was her cue.
In an instant, a puff of smoke appeared and all of the cards that flew out of coin pouch vanished without a trace. Rita, who had snapped her fingers, was then seen holding a box of playing cards and a coin. "Sorry, Ida. It's not magic, just a trick."
"Unbelievable! I don't even know how many cards flew out of there. If this was just a trick, I ain't buyin' it. Did you use your OAM or something?" Ida, still excited, blurted out her thoughts.
Rita pointed to her left cheek with a smile. "I didn't have any Hyperlines when it happened and I can't make cards appear anyways. What you saw was a little trick. Anyone can do it."
"Shoot, forget the Condition talk. I'll be up trying to figure this out all night," Ida, along with several other students, couldn't contain their awe-struck smiles.
Pleased with the results of her work, Rita searched the cafeteria table for her book bag and upon finding it, walked out of the cafeteria. That was enough attention for her. Looking at the digital display near the top of one of the walls of the hallway, the brunette girl saw that she still had ten minutes before lunch was over. "I have enough time," she grinned and turned right at the intersection of two halls.
Rita Alexander was a sophomore girl at Station Academy. She had only recently transferred into the school from a distant place but was quickly integrated. Never would she have believed, however, that in she would be going to school in a society where science and technology reigned. The Hypercube research where students could do the impossible like generate lightning still surprised her even though, as a child, she knew magic tricks weren't really magical. Magic didn't exist, so what exactly was the environment around her? ESP, or OAM as was the common term, was what she learned about the minute she solved the Hypercube.
Point City: Central Station was a utopia of OAM research where a good number of the population was capable of using a Hypercube, and she was one of them. At the same time, she felt it hilarious that she knew a few tricks even the more scientifically inclined students called magic. It felt exhilarating having a sort of unknown ability others couldn't comprehend, and she was not talking about OAM skills.
Rita walked down the halls of the school until she made her way to a door with the word "Dead End" emblazoned on it. The words were engraved fancily into the door in large letters.
"Ashy's sign is as redundant as always," giggled Rita. Students weren't allowed behind the door, Rita knew from reading the warning labels stuck to the door, but no one minded her going through ever since she discovered the secret area.
The one place where Rita could relax at school away from everyone else and all of the Hypercube research nonsense was behind the Dead End Door. It was a dusty area that opened out to the edge of a manmade cliff the Academy was built by. It was manmade as below that cliff was a valley where all of the unused scrap metal and junk Station Point had were placed, thrown out before a FABLES ScrapTec came to recycle the material. What made Rita treat the place as a sanctuary, however, was the view of the sky from the cliff's edge.
By 2308, pollution had gotten to the point where the sky was rarely clear as was written in old textlogs. Instead, a dense fog filled the air outside. A barrier created from Hypercube energy was erected around the entire point city at all times. There weren't enough chemicals anymore to be fatally dangerous to one's health as there had been in the previous century, but the smog and the chemicals were of a significant amount to cover many parts of the blue sky. Luckily, the barrier fluxuated enough at noon to blow away the smog and create the vast blue sky seen in old movies and images, and Rita came out to see just that.
Unfortunately, she could not view a peaceful blue sky alone as the moment she opened the Dead End Door, she was assaulted by a burst of wind, a shout, and an explosion.
"Come on! Don't tell me that's all you've got!"
"What the-!" Rita cried, covering her eyes as a cloud of orange dust seemed to explode.
"Hey, give it a rest already! This isn't a fair fight right now!" another voice cried out from outside.
Fight? thought Rita in surprise. A fight on school grounds was trouble. Attempting to get a clear view of what was happening outside, the girl grabbed the chain hanging from her breast pocket and took out the Hypercube she kept inside. She couldn't see clearly without risking the sand and dust being blown around in the air getting into her hair.
"Here we go then," the girl called, focusing all of her attention onto the cube. In an instant, the lines and impressions inscribed on the cube began to glow a light blue color. One side had a glowing circle while another had a triangle. The top side, however, was where the cube shined the brightest. It was a combination of a Y with a half circle in the middle. That design was what quickly appeared on the back of Rita's hands while markings in the shape of a thin black rectangle and triangle appeared on the girl's left cheek. Her Hyperlines had formed.
"Creation OAM: Magic Hand," the girl announced as the cube in her hands stopped glowing. Her fingers were also wrapped with black markings similar to those on the back of her hand and face. "Now I can block off the sand." Almost on cue, a large, white gloved hand seemed to expand out of thin air in front of Rita. It was a left hand; Rita's left Magic Hand to be precise. With the meter tall hand blocking the incoming sand, Rita looked through from in between the fingers of the generated glove.
Two boys were fighting, she realized, and one of them had the advantage. That wasn't what drew Rita's attention, however. It was the boy himself.
"His hair…," she found herself speaking, "White?"
White was what Rita had assumed at first, but it was actually gray. Indeed, the boy who had the upper hand had a head of messy, silver gray hair. His uniform unbuttoned, Rita noticed his lack of scuffs and scratches. It was a surprise that, he did not look injured in the slightest. Nothing about the boy's grinning face seemed to reveal weakness nor fault.
Suddenly, the boy leaned forward, his hands in his pockets, and shouted, "Come on, Al! Show me all you've got! You're a level 6 aren't you?"
Rita turned her head over to the person the gray haired boy spoke to. He looked older than the other student, taller as well. His eyes were narrow and his black hair stood up straight in every place except the middle of his head where the longest strand seemed to shoot out and curve. Rita noticed how dirty his uniform was in comparison to his opponent. A level 6 at a disadvantage was hard for her to believe. Most of the school consisted of level 4s and 5s. Only a few OAM users in the city came up to the six to eight range like she did, and the highest level, 9, was unheard of. The gray haired boy wasn't even breaking a sweat though so…
Don't tell me, this guy is the same level as me, thought Rita, noticing how the gray haired boy wasn't even putting up a sweat.
"Airspace OAM: Sonar Amp!" a sudden burst of wind suddenly created a subsonic rumble that forced Rita to cover her own ears. Her eyes, however, were completely focused on the fight. The burst of sound and wind came from the level 6 boy, Al. He had simply shouted the words and the sonic boom came to be, but its target was not Rita, it was the other boy.
Isn't he going to try to protect himself? thought Rita worriedly. The gray haired boy's hands hadn't left his pockets since Rita first had a good look at him. No, even more surprisingly, Rita realized, was the lack of Hyperlines on the boy's face. Hyperlines appearing on a person's face indicated usage of the Hypercube and its OAM skill. If this boy wasn't using his cube, unlike Al whose spiral shaped Hyperline was visible on his left cheek, wasn't he going to get hit?
"L-" Rita wanted to shout a warning, but by the time she had thought about doing so, the burst of wind hit the gray haired boy.
To Rita's left, Al, whose full first name was Alvin, frowned. The attack looked like it hit, but he wasn't completely sure. His opponent had the upper hand for most of the fight, but he knew from experience that both were holding back. The subsonic boom he created had much of his energy pulled into it. "Hey, Smitty!" he called. "You alright?"
Silence. Both Al and Rita were worried, and it was then that Alvin noticed that he had a spectator. He opened his mouth to speak, but suddenly found himself staring at a pair of deep blue eyes.
"Where are you lookin'? I'm right here!" said gray haired boy the moment Alvin leaned back to get out of the way of his punch. A right hook came a centimeter away from his face.
"T-The hell? You aren't even hurt," shocked, Alvin inched backwards, wanting to get away from his seemingly invincible opponent. He was in shock that the boy still didn't have any mark of injury on him.
Unfortunately for Al, his surprise left him open for an attack, something which his opponent took advantage of. The moment Smitty hit the ground; he twisted his body so as to launch a kick straight into Alvin's stomach. "Too slow!"
"Gwargh!" was the sound Alvin made as his stomach lurched in pain. Losing his footing, he started to fall backwards as his opponent stood up again.
Physical attacks? Wow, this is a good match, Rita thought for a moment, but quickly snapped out of it after having watched the fight to that point. "Wait, what am I doing?" she asked herself and looked over at the boys again. Al was on the ground while the gray haired boy returned his hands to his pockets and stared him down. Fights are against school rules, but I never thought watching one would be so cool.
"Is that it, Al? I thought you were gonna be the hero of the day? Isn't that why you called me out?" Smitty flashed a toothy, wild grin as he stepped closer to his fallen foe. "Pathetic. Really pathetic."
"…you…," Al spoke lightly, much too lightly for Rita or Smitty to hear.
Leaning closer as though mocking him with a lowered guard, the gray haired boy asked, "I'm sorry. What was that? I didn't quite catch you."
"Gwargh!" The fallen boy opened his mouth again to speak, but the moment he opened his mouth, he had the wind knocked out of him by another kick to his stomach. A twisted grin on his face, Smitty kicked his opponent repeatedly. The other boy spat out only saliva and air as his body was assaulted by kick upon kick upon kick from the gray-haired boy.
"H-Hey!" Rita shouted in surprise as she saw the cruel display of violence. Having snapped out of her trance, she reclaimed her morals. "What are you doing?"
"I couldn't quite hear you, Al!" Smitty seemed to not have heard of the girl's calls as he continued to kick the other boy further. "Why don't you shout a little louder?"
"Stop it!" shouted Rita.
"Gwargh! Stop!" protested Al as he took another kick to the stomach. "You win already!"
Smitty seemed to be having too much fun to stop attacking. He switched from kicking the boy in the stomach to grinding the sole of his leather shoe on Alvin's head. "I thought you'd be tougher than this. Why don't you use that sonar attack more? Ahahahahaha!"
A bitter scowl formed on Rita's voice as the cackling of the gray haired boy filled the air. The dust and sand having stopped flying around from the battle, Rita left the safety of her OAM created hand and walked closer. The maniacal fighter didn't even notice her, and he was still brutally attacking the person he beat.
"Just stop it all ready," the girl spoke softly, her Hyperline marked hands clenched into a fist. "Stop it you psycho!" In a split second, a clenched, white gloved hand appeared above the gray haired boy and slammed the ground right behind him.
The impact was sudden and the rumbling was shocking. The right hand of Rita's meter high OAM ability smashed the ground behind Smitty with enough force to knock him forward.
"S-shoot! What the hell was that?" asked Smitty in surprise after being knocked off his feet. He turned around to only have to lunge out away from another hand falling from above to flatten him with a palm. "Whoa, now! Another?"
"Fighting is against the school rules, idiot!" Rita shouted as she ran over to Al and kneeled down by the boy. "What do you think you're doing?"
The gray haired boy stared incredulously. "What do you think you're doing? I thought this place was closed off to students."
"Then why are you two here and fighting, huh?"
The Alexander girl received a blank stare from both boys. The two would have preferred to not tell.
"I don't need this," the gray haired boy groaned. "I'm supposed to be a villain here. Later, Al. Don't wait up."
Watching the gray haired student walk away and head towards the school building, an angered Rita Alexander shouted, "Villain…? Hey! Don't just run off!"
"You're too loud!" were Smitty's last words before he slammed the Dead End Door shut.
Fuming, Rita turned her attention back to the boy lying next to her, but said, mostly to herself, "What in the world? He attacks someone and then leaves like that? What is wrong with that psycho?"
"He's a battle maniac. That guy," spoke Alvin. Using Rita as ballast, he slowly stood up but found the need to lean over the girl. "Sorry, if we shocked you. I shouldn't have challenged him to go all out."
The digital school bell sounded around the entire campus. Lunch was over, Rita frowned.
"You should get to class. Don't worry. This isn't something I'm not used to."
"It isn't?" a surprised Rita turned her head to the injured boy and shifted her shoulders so as to better help him lean on her. "You seem to be treating all of this like no big deal."
"Forget it. I'll be fine. Don't bother with someone like me."
"Shut up, and get on the left hand," the girl pushed Alvin away from her and onto the meter tall hand that she used as a makeshift stretcher. After getting hit so many times, she wondered if the boy could walk properly for a while.
With a grunt, Al landed on the hand and found himself moving with it as the hand followed Rita back inside. "Hey, where are we going?"
"The nurse," responded Rita. "And you're going to tell me what happened."
"Nope. Sorry, girlie, but N-O. No!" Al shook his head. "I don't wanna cause trouble to any civilians."
"H-Hey, I'm helping you out," Rita became surprised. He owed her an explanation at the very least, but to refuse it even when she started to help out… "At least tell me what's up. I'll report that guy for you."
The injured boy shook his head another time. "Can't be telling you this stuff. It's confidential. I don't want to risk putting a civilian in danger."
"You realize I could make this giant hand appear and grab you from across a stadium," threatened Rita. She wasn't enjoying the secrecy or the idea of being called a civilian. "I think I'm strong enough to not be considered a civilian."
That's pretty high level, Alvin gulped, but tried his best to remain firm. He shook his head again defiantly. "The answer is still no. Don't butt into our private affairs because it'd be bad for a lot of people if I tell you."
"Jeez, so annoying," the girl finally gave up. "I'm just trying to be nice. I deserve a little comfort for having to watch you get beat up by some psycho."
"Comfort?" asked Al.
"You stole my relaxation time, I'd at least like a little cooperation for compensation," responded Rita as she stopped at a door. "If you're not going to do that then I'll just have to vent my frustrations somewhere else."
Al tilted his head towards the girl from his improvised stretcher. "Frustrations? I'm sorry for getting caught up in a fight, but I just can't give you all the details."
"Then consider this payback."
"Consider wha-" was all Alvin could say before he found himself dropped onto the floor.
Rita was annoyed, but she wasn't considerably pushy. Looking down at the boy, she frowned, "I won't pry then. Just be careful, alright? And head inside to the nurse."
Alvin was left to stand himself up as the brunette girl walked away. She had brought him to the nurse's office, he had realized. Before the new girl could leave his line of vision, the boy opened his mouth and shouted down the hallway, "Thanks!"
Although she heard the word of gratitude, Rita did not want to respond. Her head was aching from all of the happenings. She had to keep her secret condition from Ida and her favorite time of the day was ruined by a fight. While it was fun to watch, the ending robbed her of her usual innocence and Alvin's refusal to explain bothered her. And now she was going to be late for class.
As a miracle for the "late" as in "tardy" Rita Alexander, her teacher was not in the classroom at the time and moment she stepped inside. Her mind, however, was preoccupied with other thoughts, those about two brawling boys.
"What's the big idea. I wind up with a fight in my favorite place and no explanation whatsoever," Rita complained as she sat down. "You've got to be kidding me. I mean… Just who were those guys anyways?"
The brunette was curious. All of that action and the boy simply left. He addressed Alvin as Al though, so were they close or something? They both were students, so would the school know what was going on? She recalled Alvin did make it sound like it happened several times before.
After contemplating over the possible reasons, Rita decided to abandon her thoughts, "Maybe knowing isn't worth it." Slamming her head down on her desk on the far left of the room, she groaned. There were also mentions of almost out-of-place words like "hero" and "villain" as well. Was there something going on around school? She wanted to know.
"Are you alright, Rita?" asked a voice. It was soft and full of concern.
Knowing who it was, the girl did not look up. "Diane…Of course I'm fine."
"You sure don't look it," spoke the girl with the pair of large round glasses, Diane Rhoding. "Did something happen during lunch?"
"She's probably tired after that trick of hers," walked in Ida. "I still haven't figured it out."
"That's not it," groaned Rita, raising her head. "I'm tired because… What's up with Brent?"
Upon looking up, the girl had noticed something odd behind her friends Diane and Ida. A heavy presence was sitting in a seat. It was Brent who was frowning, eyes closed, while facing the front of the room. Even while sitting behind him, Rita could tell he seemed mad just from how he sat.
"Brent? He's been that way since he walked in. No idea what's his problem," told Ida.
It felt weird to have such an angry Brent two seats in front of her. A sigh escaped the Alexander girl. She was going to have to play the adult again, "You sure you didn't do anything, Ida? I mean, you always make fun of him."
The cat eyed girl pouted. "It's his fault. He's always so serious when he's only a level 2."
"H-hey, he's right there," Diane nervously warned. Turning towards the boy she apologized, "Sorry, Brent. No hard feelings, right?"
There was no response from the boy.
"Brent?" the bespectacled girl blinked, her hand extending forward to try to tap him on the back. It stopped half way when Diane suddenly squeaked.
The other two girls became disturbed by the mousy squeal from their friend. "What's wrong, Diane?"
"It's a barrier," answered the girl whose hands could not move past an area around the boy. "Doesn't look like he can hear us either."
"Really?" Ida tapped the barrier. "I think I remember him saying Blockade was soundproof before." To prove her point, she stuck her tongue out and shouted gibberish towards the boy who did not so much as budge.
"Cut it out, Ida," Rita could not believe people being so nonsensical. She was glad the teacher hadn't arrived yet, although she was unsure why. "We should get his attention before the professor gets here. How do we get him to notice us if he can't hear us?"
The three students put their heads together in order to figure out a method to jolt the boy's attention. The one who came up with an idea was surprisingly no one in the group however.
"Hey Brent, wakey-wakey," called a boy with short cropped hair. He stood in front of Brent's desk with a Hypercube in his hand. A hexagonal mark with two additional protruding line on the top right side and one on the bottom left side appeared on the boy's forehead, indicating his activation of the cube.
"H-Hal!" Ida instantly realized what the boy was planning, but it was too late for her cry to stop what was to occur. One of the floor's many one inch by one inch tiles beneath Brent's desk within the OAM User's air barrier shook wildly before it shot upwards at an angle so as to hit the bespectacled boy clean on the shoulder. Surprised, the boy grabbed his shoulder where he was hit.
At the same time, Diane's hand slipped through the barrier, "Whoa, it's off."
"What's the… big idea, Hal?" Brent shouted hot-bloodedly as he rubbed his area of injury, taking off his glasses. The sharp glare in the boy's eyes along with the tone of his voice made his acquaintances step back in surprise. Rita inwardly admitted it was the first time she had seen the boy without his glasses.
"Well you were staring off into space. I was wondering if you'd come back to reality if I hit you," defended Hal who placed his hands into his uniform's pockets with a smile.
Returning his glasses to their proper position on his nose while enduring the pain, Brent calmed down but frowned. "I was thinking. Something you didn't seem to be doing when you decided to smack me with your skill."
"It was just a joke," defended Hal.
"I know it was," sighed the other boy. Turning his head towards the trio of girls, he gave one bitter glance at Rita before turning away, "Tell Sweeney I'll be heading to the nurse, Diane."
"R-right, Brent," nodded the girl as she watched Brent walk out the door. "Don't worry! I don't think it left a mark!"
Again, the chaos did not stop, Rita sighed. "Hal, you're a level 5. Act like one."
"You guys wanted to get his attention. I just took the initiative."
"It's just… oh, forget it," the level 8 gave up and sank into her seat. Too much was going on. She needed a break from it all.
"Are you really alright, Rita?" Diane asked her first question again, "You seem a lot more tired than you usually are."
Looking to her right and seeing her troublemaker friends Ida and Hal joke with each other over their latest attempt to bother Brent, the level 8 OAM user shook her head with a sigh. The level difference seemed to encourage bigotry and violence. Maybe it was things like that which caused that gray haired boy to fight with so much cruelty. Even if Al seemed like a nice guy, there was also the chance that he made his opponent angry by acting superior. It had to stop, Rita knew, but she was just a student, a high leveled one, but still just a kid.
However, there was someone who could help her out, someone she knew well enough to put words into actions. There was a cost, however, and she knew it well. She'd need proper information. Where in the world was she going to get that?
"Rita? I'm right here, y'know?"
Diane, she's a smart girl. Maybe… Rita began to ponder. If there was anyone she could tell something to, Diane would've been the most trustworthy. And if there was anyone she could count on to get something done, it also would have been her. "I'll tell you all about it…"
"Are you kidding me, Rita?" Diane squealed, taking several steps away from her friend in shock.
School had finally finished for the day and Rita had decided to take with her bespectacled friend in private. Asking Diane to follow her to the side of the school, she retold her experience with the two boys she encountered at lunch.
"This is no joke, Di. Seems like they were in a fight."
"You saw them… in a f-fight? That's just… Are you sure it was a fight?" Diane frowned, not enjoying the subject. Her hands were shaking.
"It was more like a brawl, I guess," Rita reworded her previous comment. "It was scary. One of those guys was a level 6 and the other beat him without even using a Hypercube."
"Yeah… Scary…," the bespectacled girl nodded, almost wanting to bite her nails.
Rita didn't enjoy being kept in the dark. "I really want to figure out why those two were fighting."
"Should you really get involved in something like this, Ri?" Diane nervously warned, "You could get in trouble. You could get hurt."
"Other people could get hurt too. I'd be a good idea to get that weird haired punk caught, at least so I can hear him out, but he can't go around fighting people like that. That other guy… Al, I think it was, made it sound like it happened often. I can't say if they were friends or not, but maybe they provoked each other. Ida and Hal keep making fun of Brent, and he's always riled out about it. Maybe this guy fought back because he was sick of that sort of thing," the level 8 OAM user attempted to justify her goal.
"So you want to catch him, but you're worried he's being bullied?" the other girl shook her head. "Your reasoning is weird. Still… why are you telling this to me?"
"Because I need you, Di," the brunette moved her face closer to her friend's. "I don't know that much about the people in this school. I'm asking if you can find out about that Al guy and maybe his friend. They both wore the uniform so can you look up what year they're in for starters?"
Diane appeared anxious. "I don't want to get involved in something like this, Ri. I mean, I guess I can search for you, but I have a bad feeling. A really bad feeling…" Putting her hand to her heart, the girl looked away from her friend.
"You're making this sound a lot worse than it is. You're not going to get killed for looking up names right? Or… Or is it that you know something I don't?" Rita noted her friend's unsteady gaze.
"N-nothing at all," Diane raised her hands defensively before putting them back down at her sides when she calmed down. "I'll do this for you. Just… That gray haired boy…"
Diane's weak expression forced Rita to assume the girl was worried for her life. "I'll protect you, Di! I just need to figure out who this person is before I can tell Ashy."
"Ashy… Are you sure you'd want to do that?" it wasn't the first time the bespectacled girl had second thoughts. "You could get that guy expelled."
"I just want to see what his deal is first. Ashy never tells me things unless I do some work first, so I'm counting on you to help me with this," Rita answered with an encouraging smile. "Think of it like a private project. You can even call it secret if you want."
"Fine," Diane couldn't resist sharing in her friend's smile. "I have a yearbook and I am going to the records hall with Brent this Saturday. I'll try to get you some information about Smi- I mean about that gray haired person by the beginning of next week."
Not catching her friend's slip of the tongue, a thankful Rita grabbed her friend's hands and shook it up and down. "You have no idea how great you are, Di. I'll pay you back, I promise."
"It's no problem," Diane responded, pushing her glasses up her nose using the side of the frames. "I should get going now though. I told Brent he could stay over at my house this weekend."
Rita nodded, happily musing over her friend's words. "Staying over, huh? You sure do hang out with Brent a lot, Di. Pretty close, aren't you? I mean, you're either with my group or with him."
A blush rapidly formed on the other girl's face. "I-I've just known him since we were kids. We're not that close or anything. And it's not just the two of us. We're just the only two in the same class is all."
"Right. Right," a bemused smile on Rita's face could not be hidden.
Pouting, Diane huffed. "I'll see you after the weekend. I won't be back at the dorms until then."
With a quick readjustment of her glasses, Diane Rhoding walked away towards the main gate of the academy. Rita on the other hand was left standing to the side of the school alone. A soft smile still on her face, she waved her friend good-bye.
It was a little sad thinking about it. It was already the weekend, meaning some of her friends were going home instead of staying at the Iota's girls' dorm like she did every day. Yet Rita was content as she tried thinking over her day. She was able to keep Ida in check in most cases. She had left her the task of looking up the gray haired boy to Diane. And by doing it in class, she had already completed most of her homework. Now all that was left was…
"I guess I better report to Ashy now then, let her know what's happening," Rita spoke softly to herself as she began to walk off towards one of the buildings separate from the main one in the academy. It wasn't to the elementary building or to the annex of the middle school building. Instead, her path was towards a small two story home surrounded by a steel fence. A sign hanging over where the fence was open had the words "Principal's Complex" written on it.
The principal's office was a location far different from the modern buildings the rest of the academy had. The "complex" seemed rustic, old-fashioned, and at times ancient. It has character, Rita recalled the principal's description of the building. She supposed that by character, the principal had meant shoddy construction, decaying wood, rusting steel, and an overgrown weeping willow in the front.
Walking through the gate and taking her Hypercube slowly out of her pocket, the brunette girl looked around and called, "Ashy, are you here?"
There was no reply, although the girl had expected that. She was still outside and not in the building yet. Placing her hand on the mahogany wooden door, Rita slowly put her power into pushing it open. Her other hand was nervously twitching, fingering her Hypercube as though it were her lifeline.
In a sense, it was. The minute she opened the door to the complex a gloved left hand appeared from thin air in front of a projectile that launched at the OAM user. In less than the second, the Alexander girl had activated her Hypercube, allowing the proper Hyperlines to appear on her face.
"Caught it!" the level 8 student grinned. Her pride in her action luckily did not affect her attention as another gloved hand quickly grew from nothingness to catch another projectile aimed right at her. "Ashy, you're traps need work."
"They're only meant to aim at you, so you should consider this good practice," a voice called to Rita's right. Rita turned just in time to see a projectile fly past the area where her nose just was. The projectile hit the wall and the sound of a coin clanging was heard. Rita's late reaction had her turn to where the coin passed her face and where she assumed it would hit the wall behind her, but for some odd reason, she found the coin far on the other side of the room.
Deactivating her Hypercube, Rita allowed her Magic Hand creations to disappear and drop what they held: two more coins. The movement of the coin and the sound were from two difference places. She had dropped her guard against her attacker and the opening cost her. Picking up the three coins on the floor, she turned towards the other person in the room and frowned, "I lost."
The older woman with short black hair and mildly pale skin accepted the coins she had thrown. "You're up against your principal. Don't think everything is as it seems, Rita." A touching word of advice seemed to be most appropriate for the woman to give in her own opinion.
"I got it Ashy. I got it."
Putting the coins away into the pocket of her sandy brown coat, the principal placed a hand on the ottoman in the entrance room Rita had moved behind when she ran inside. Her hand stopped over a portion of the ottoman which had a shine to it. It was in actuality a small projectile launcher. "I take a lot of effort to set up coin launchers in my living room. Not many people get into this building because they're afraid of being attacked the minute they come in. There are even rumors about the haunted Ashiya Complex now since I usually turn the lights off in here."
"You actually enjoy that," smirked Rita. "And you were waiting for me, weren't you?"
The principal laughed and gestured for Rita to follower her as she walked off, "I have to keep an eye on my daughter, y'know. Especially considering your Condition."
"Don't call me your daughter," Rita frowned at the mention of her Condition. "Anyways, I have a problem for you."
"Is it about adapting?" Ashy asked. The two had entered the principal's private study, as evident by the many computer terminals and bookshelves in the room as well as the desk in the center. "I told you that it would take some time to get used to academy life. Do you want to sleep in Sakaki's room instead of the dorms?"
An immediate rejection with a shake of her head and the crossing of her hands into an X was Rita's response. "I'm fine with the dorms. It's something else."
The principal's eyes narrowed as she pulled the leather seat behind her desk out. Seriously, she whispered, "Is it… a boy?"
A boy? The student blinked. "No!" she reacted, but realized that in a sense, it was about a boy. In correction herself, Rita answered, "Actually, yes."
"Oh?" the principal was curious. Taking a seat in the brown leather chair, she opened the top right drawer of her desk and pulled out a bronze plated name plate. On it, the word "Counselor Nicole Ashiya" was written. Replacing the name plate reading "Principal Nicole Ashiya" on her desk with it, Ashy's curiosity was piqued. "For some reason I don't think it's about dating."
"Of course it isn't," Rita dryly responded. "It's about a fight in school."
"Fight?" the instant the word came out, Principal Ashiya's smile turned into a frown. Her professional switch was flipped. "Would you care to elaborate on this further, Ms. Alexander?"
The girl nodded and began retelling the story as she had told Diane before. She wasn't tired to saying the same details, but Rita was concerned about the relationship between the two boys.
"I just don't get what the two of them meant," Rita crossed her arms, "I can remember it because it was so out of place. Calling each other hero and villain was weird."
Principal Ashiya had listened to the girl's story intently. Her first comment when the explanation ended consisted of serious analysis. "A boy with unnaturally gray hair fighting and beating a Level 6 student without any use of an OAM skill is indeed strange. It goes the same for the use of those words. If it's a boy with strange hair, he's possibly been laying low for a while. I should know everything about this school, but I haven't heard of a student like that when he definitely should be noticeable."
Standing up, the principal left her seat and wandered over to a computer terminal on the side of the room that was kept near a portrait of a man in military camouflage holding a rifle. Pushing a small button on the side of the terminal, a holographic screen projected itself in the air. Typing on the holographic keyboard projected from the terminal, Principal Ashiya made several pictures of student's faces pop up. "I record just about everything regarding all of my students. I don't know a kid like that in the high school section or the middle school section."
"I'm not lying," asserted Rita. "Search for that Al guy, maybe you'll find him."
"Alright, Al… His Hyperline was a spiral?" the principal asked for confirmation as pictures of several students started to show up on screen.
"He's that one," Rita pointed out the image of the boy she had dropped off at the infirmary earlier. His name was given as Alvin Liang. "Oh, he's one year higher than me."
The files and holographic images disappeared just before the young girl was about to read Alvin's description. "I'm not going to let you look through a student's information so easily," the principal spoke. "Even if you're trying to help the school out, I'm not going to try expelling a kid without actual proof. And I'm not going to help you by giving you information either. They have their own right to privacy."
"How about security camera footage?" offered Rita.
"Especially that. I can't allow a student to look through that unless it's an absolute emergency. Even fights are considered minor."
"I understand," nodded Rita. She had already expected being told she wouldn't get any help. "I already got someone looking up that guy. I just wanted you to know ahead of time what's been going on. You do like interesting subjects after all, Ashy."
"You're absolutely right I do," grinned the principal. "Well I'm glad you told me, but don't get too caught up in things, y'hear? It's been a tendency of yours to worry about others and butt into their business. I hope you won't always do that. I'm taking care of you because I need you, Rita."
"Of course, mother," bowed the younger girl as she stood up. "I'll be heading back to my dorm now. I know Ida will be dying to see the magic trick I showed her this morning again."
The grin on Principal Ashiya's face widened. "Magic tricks again? You really do enjoy those old parlor tricks my old man showed you."
The smile on the student's face as she left gave the principal a warm feeling in her heart. Rita was almost a daughter to her. Their surnames were different and their relationship should have been just of student and principal, but the two were incredibly close to one another after years together. Principal Nicole Ashiya had taken care of Rita through the grades since the day they had met. She wanted the girl to learn about the world but also to be careful.
In Principal Ashiya's honest opinion, however, the description of a gray haired boy worried her. She did not feel worried about her lack of memory over the topic, but she did hold concern for what her daughter was willing searching for. In any case, she decided it would be best to give her daughter something to think about while she went about researching. Reaching into her pockets, the woman pulled out a piece of cloth.
"Yes?" the young girl stopped at the door out of the study and turned around.
"Remember. Don't think everything is as it seems," advised Ashiya, balling up the cloth in her hands and throwing it at the girl who caught it instinctively. "I trained you for this. Exact words are tricks just like smoke and mirrors. If you're looking for information, you'll have to rethink the wording."
Having listened to the advise, Rita Alexander said not a word and left the Principal's Complex. Luckily, a nod and a bow from the student was enough of a confirmation for Ashiya that Rita was listening before she ran off.
Now left alone in her office, the principal could only sigh as she walked over to her desk again. Opening the bottom left drawer, she found it empty at first. Another one of her tricks, she admitted to herself as she clicked a button hidden on a simple paperweight. The bottom left drawer had a false bottom that opened up to reveal a Y shaped device. It was a Composer, and beneath it, a gun, an archaic M9 to be exact.
"That girl's innocent face really does win a person over," the woman smiled, picking up the Composer and activating it. "Well, whatever her plan is, I'll follow it. As long as she's prepared for when I get all my evidence against FABLES, I'll let her do what she wants."
Scrolling through the information on the Composer, she paused when she passed an image. It was an image of what looked to be a boy taken from a security camera photo. "Gray hair, beating an OAM skill user without using his own, huh? So this boy is a student then…"
Suddenly, the woman's thoughts were disturbed by the ground suddenly shaking for a brief moment. It was light, but the principal almost lost her footing. Turning, she noticed some of her books and desk items were being moved as well. Then, as quickly as it occurred, the shaking stopped.
"A quake? We just had one last week," surprised, Principal Ashiya forced herself to regain her footing. Looking around at her study, it seemed nothing had fallen, as expected of Point City building regulations. Shrugging, she walked over to a cabinet near a blue computer terminal and pulled out a glass bottle. Licking her lips as she looked at the glass, she smiled. "Well, Rita will figure things out. I guess I deserve a little drink before I get back to work."
The weekend went and passed quickly for Rita Alexander who spent her time with Ida and Hal playing around at the shopping district and at the dorms. She was regaining her energy again during her time outside of school; however, she was still curious about the boys she had encountered. Understanding Diane was already her first source of information, she still hoped to be able to obtain more. Of course, with the school closed during the weekend and the Mu Boy's Dormitory not allowing girls to enter, she was limited on who to ask and where to go.
She did, however, ask Hal if the boy knew about an upperclassman named Alvin. The answer was a negative as the boy replied, "If I knew everyone by name, it'd save me a lot of time in the long run. I can hardly recognize Cruise's face, and he's been my friend since I first started school."
As a result, the girl could only hope that her friend Diane was making progress. In the meantime, she would have to pass the time playing magic tricks for Ida and draw on Hal's face as he performed his ridiculous condition. It was suspenseful for Rita as she went about her usual routine and waited for Diane to return.
On the other side of Central Station, a different, less leisurely mood filled the air. Knowledge of Rita's decision to catch the gray haired brawler had spread somehow.
"You're telling me we're being investigated?" shouted an aggressive voice. Its owner had just knocked over a glass vase onto the ground. "And by who?"
"The instigator is Rita Alexander," reported a feminine voice. A pair of pale, thin hands picked up a dust pan and brush before sweeping the shards of glass into the pan. "It looks like you had too much fun playing the bad guy in your last fight."
A laugh. Metallic gray hair glistened as a dim ceiling light illuminated the boy's head. "It can't be helped. I couldn't resist wailing on him while he was down. He should have prepared for it. He knows I want to fight. That's why he challenges me."
"Alvin is the only one who challenges you," came an offhand comment from the girl who stood up to throw the glass shards into a trash bin. "It's just so you don't hurt anyone else besides him."
"Anyone else? Hah! It looks like I'm going to be on the offensive for a little longer considering someone wants to pry into the little operation we have here," the gray haired boy spoke again. He gestured towards his companion to follow him through the dark corridor, "We have a little girl who needs a little fear in her heart so she'll know not to mess with us."
A nod, although there were reluctant feelings behind it. "Understood. Just be careful. We will commence the plan on Monday."
"Good," smirked the gray haired boy. "Let her get some data first. Then we'll have some fun."