|Arc and Triumph
Author: Michelle Aino PM
Her name is Arcelle, but she'll kill you if you call her that. After almost two years of living in the shadows at the student ruled Liberium Academy, she comes to the rescue of transfer student Koske. This simple act of heroism starts a chain of events that will upset the balance of Liberium and could very well start an all out war within the hallowed grounds.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 6,199 - Reviews: 1 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 04-16-13 - Published: 01-09-13 - id: 3090755
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 2 – The Government Is Sneaky
Arcelle didn't like it. She didn't like it at all. She frowned, then covered her eyes. Maybe if she didn't look, it wouldn't be there. Maybe if she tried really hard, she could think it into a state of non-existence. It would become a figment of her imagination and simply vanish with the coming of reality. She parted two fingers and peeked through, but there was still no change. She groaned and let her head drop on the desk.
"No matter how many time you look at it, it won't change," Yana spoke around a lollipop.
"But…" Arcelle groaned again.
"It's not so bad?" Koske said softly. Arcelle slammed her fist on her desk.
"How the hell can you say that when you walk away with this!?" She snatched up the "this" in question. One math test. His paper contained the greatly sought after 98 percent while her own had creased a measly 18.
"You nerdy bastard!" She screeched, grabbing him by his collar. "When do you ever have time to study this hard!" Koske held up his hands in defense, chuckling nervously.
"Don't get mad at him Arc," Yana drawled. "Just accept that you're a dummy."
"Shut the hell up, you did worse than me!" Acelle pointed an accusing finger at Yana's own test. She had only scored 13 points. Yana simply shrugged.
"It's just a practice test. If you do well on the midterms, it won't be so bad," Koske chimed. He carefully dislodged himself from Arcelle's grip. Nearly a week after she laid claim to him, Koske found himself slowly becoming accustomed to Arcelle's violent nature. The first day had been hell, flinching and ducking every time something set her off. But as the week passed, he found that there was very little fury behind her wrath.
"I can help you," he offered.
"Screw it," Arcelle crumpled up the test and tossed it over her shoulder. "All the math you'll ever need is fifth grade level stuff." The wad of paper bounced across another desk and rolled across the floor, coming to a stop at someone's foot.
"Don't say that Master Arc," Koske pleaded.
The paper was picked up. Delicate hands unwrinkled the test and smoothed it between their fingers.
"I have other subjects that I'm much better in anyway," Arcelle declared.
"Gym isn't a real class you know," Yana yawned.
"The hell's with your smartass mouth?" Arcelle was nearly screaming now. Koske made soothing noises to calm her down. "It's not a big deal, really," she grumbled.
"Oh no, that simply isn't true!" The trio looked up. The girl holding Arcelle's test shook her head. Her wide brunette curls shook with every movement of her head. She held up the test defiantly before them. "We simply cannot have our students thinking in such a manner," she squeaked.
"Ugh," Arcelle made a face. "What are you doing her Natasha? Don't you have some other poor soul to torment?"
Natasha squared her shoulders. "Is that any way to speak to me Arcelle?" She waved her well manicured hand, dismissing Arc's rude manners. Koske leaned close to Yana.
"Who's that," he whispered, keeping a close eye on this new opponent and Arc as they became engaged in a glaring contest. Through his observations, he had also come to learn that most people stayed out of Arc's way. He'd seen her temper, and seen her fight, so it was no surprise. Just a look was enough to turn even the boldest challenger in the opposite direction. She wasn't an overly tall or muscular girl, by any means. In fact, she had a very mature air about her. But there was something about those sharp, jeweled eyes that glittered when she was annoyed.
Yana popped the lollipop out of her mouth, none of her usual humor reflected in her face. "Student council," she hissed. Koske blinked in confusion. Then the silence hit him. The room had fallen quiet while this Natasha girl was speaking. He had heard of the student council, but had never met any of them yet.
The student council was one of the defining characteristic of Liberium Academy. The school was, for the most part, run by students. Council members were voted in by the student body and performed a number of administrative duties that kept the school running. This included relational intervention, school activities, trips, extracurricular activities, minor budgeting, and even disciplinary actions. It was an impressive feat, and had been successful since the school adopted the notion.
"If you aren't going to take your studies seriously, you will have to deal with the consequences," Natasha stated plainly. Arc simply shrugged.
"Supplementary classes?" She blew out an unladylike snort. "Like I care." Natasha was visibly shaking now. She began to mutter something when she caught sight of Koske, and paused. She tilted her head from one side to the other, attempting to see around his long bangs.
"You there," she pointed rudely. "I haven't see you before." Koske pointed stupidly to himself.
"Me?" he murmured. He could feel everyone's eye fall on him. Looking with curiosity. His heart rate shot through the roof. Why did the room suddenly seem smaller. Was he sweating? God, he hoped not.
"Yes you," Natasha snapped. Her eyes suddenly lit up, remembering something. "You're that transfer student aren't you?"
"Y-yes ma'am," he stuttered. He could feel Arc glare burning into the side of his skull. "K-Koske-"
"Fresh Meat!" Yana cut in. "That's what we call him," she chuckled, slamming her palm against his back. Natasha made a thoughtful sound.
"Yes. Koske. I've seen your record. You hold much promise. You could take our school's reputation far with your intellect and the right… connections. Why do you dally with this… riff-raff?" Natasha waved her hand out towards Arc and Yana. He turned, realizing how one could come to that kind of conclusion about them.
They had modified their uniforms, letting out the hem of the pleated skirt to fall just above their knees. They ignored the blazers and collared shirts, switching them out for t-shirts and vests. Yana sat cross-legged atop the desk sucking on her lollipop and seemed completely uninterested in what was going on around her. She was the opposite of Arc defensive pose, leaning against the desk, arms crossed, and eyes narrowed, glaring at Natasha. Anyone would peg them for trouble makers.
Koske suppressed the urge to laugh. It was an interesting sight. Like something out of an after school special. He rubbed the back of his head, contemplating his answer. "I-I don't mind. T-they're my f-friends."
"I doubt that," Natasha countered immediately. "You can tell me the truth. She's blackmailing you, isn't she?" Koske pursed his lips closed. That day, Arc's words had been clearly possessive. She saved him, and now she belonged to her. But if he were to say that now…
"I thought as a much," Natasha mused, reading his mind. "Don't worry though. The student council is here to make your school experience a comfortable and memorable one." With a dismissive wave, she turned on her heels and graced out of the classroom. The moment the door closed behind her, the room erupted in excited chattered and speculation.
"That…" Arcelle seethed. "And you!" She turned on Koske, grabbing him by the collar once more. It was a position he was growing accustomed to. "Think you could drool anymore?"
"Careful," Yana laughed. "No one likes a jealous wife."
"Shut up!" Koske was released. "Damn, this pisses me off. She's always on my freaking case," Arcelle muttered. She scratched her head in furious frustration before letting out a long sigh. "Forget this." Pushing away from the desk, she stalked out the room.
"Master Arc!" Koske called after her. Her stride did not waver. He leaned out the classroom as she made her way down the hall, still crowded with students. He frowned, but did not follow. Would she be back in time for class, he wondered.
::::: Student Council Office :::::
"Oh that-that- that girl!" Natasha bit her bottom lip, fighting the urge to pick up the chair and hurl it across the room. As the newest member of the student council, she was still under probation, and it wouldn't do well for her future as a Student Council Officer to lose her temper over one rouge student.
"You look upset Natasha," came a sweet female melody behind her. "Whatever could be the matter?" Natasha whirled around, startled. She could have sworn she had been alone in the room. But there stood the vice president in the flesh. Phillia Tradesman, impeccable in dress, posture, and grace, was the beacon light of Liberium Academy.
"N-nothing serious Miss. Tradesman," Natasha stuttered.
"Please Natasha. I told you to call me by my first name. We are on the same council after all. No need to be so formal."
"Y-yes." Natasha bit her bottom lip once more.
"Now tell me what's wrong." Phillia moved gracefully about the room, preparing a cup of tea for Natasha and herself. With an understanding smile, she guided her young charge to the table in the center of the room and served her. Natasha took a long sip of her tea, allowing the aroma to calm her nerves.
"It's a student ma'am." Natasha gasped. "I-I mean Miss. – Um – Phillia." Phillia nodded.
"Well, in the last two months, our ranking has dropped five spaces in the national listings. We are still in the top twenty, but if this keeps up, we could drop even lower. I'm afraid that this student's bad habit of dismissing their bad grades and depending on supplementary class is spreading to the rest of the student body."
"A serious issue." Philla mused. Natasha nodded carefully, not sure if her superior was amused or just unconcerned.
"What's worse," Natasha continued. "Is that she had associated herself with another student who would actually bring our rankings back up."
"A bad influence you think?"
"Yes. I didn't get a chance to talk with him in length. He was clearly being bullied."
"Do you mind telling me who this student is?" Philla calmly sipped her tea.
"It's the new transfer student, Koske…" Natasha frowned. She couldn't remember his last name.
"Ah yes, I read that file. He's very smart. He will do well here."
"I believe that too, but…" Natasha frowned. "He's being held captive by… by that girl."
"Who?" Philla brought the cup to her lips.
Natasha stared into her cup. "Arcelle Duvenavich." Her head shot up at the sound of cracking porcelain. Phillia sat still for a moment before carefully place her cup down on the table. Visible cracking has occurred on the delicate cup, the tea leaking through the spaces. Natasha watched Phillia in confusion. The vice president's face had not changed, but her aura was suddenly charging the room, making the air around them heavy.
"I see," Philla said flatly. "That is a problem. A problem we will have to rectify."
"Um… what do you suggest."
"A solution of the simplest kind."
::::: Junior Classrom 3C :::::
The bell rang. Koske stretched in his seat, glad that the day was finally over. He glanced over at Arcelle's desk. She hadn't come back.
"Ah, that troublemaker," Yana drawled behind him. "Skipping classes again. What is a mother to do with such a child." Yana pullout a candy bar.
"Do you think she went home?" He asked.
"Nope. Probably camped out in the nurse's office or something." Koske turned this new information over in his head.
"Why did that Natasha person upset her so much?" he dared to ask. Yana grinned smugly, casting her eyes out the window.
"Natasha's been on her case since the first quarter. She's the Grade Acquisitions Office of the student council. It's her job to make sure all the students work hard and keep Liberium Academy at the top. If you start failing, you get a visit from her."
"Supplementary classes?" Koske asked. Yana nodded.
"It doesn't seem so bad." Somewhere, something snapped. It sounded like a pencil, or maybe someone's nerves. Koseke quickly looked around, but everything seemed in order.
"Yeah well, you know Arcelle. She's incredibly stubborn." Koske absently agreed. Well, it was really no concern of his. Arcelle was his protector, and he was her property. Grades didn't really have a place in their relationship. Still, it bothered him that she would get so upset with someone who just wanted to help her improve her grades. Yuna was right. She was just being stubborn.
"Yo, Koske!" Yana yelled, pulling him from his thoughts.
"Uh-yes!" he jumped. Yana rolled her eyes.
"They called you to the teacher's lounge."
"Oh. Um-okay." He quickly gathered his things and rushed down the hall. Without Arcelle, he didn't dare hang around school today. Hopefully it would be quick. He moved down the hall, taking little notice that the crowd of homeward bound students had thinned to nothing. He stopped before three lone figures in the hallway. Sweat beaded his forehead. This was not a good time to get caught unawares. Leave it to Arcelle to decided to go MIA.
Two girls and one boy. Maybe he could… Koskes blinked in recognition. One of the girls he had seen earlier today. Natasha. She was student council. Did that mean the others were student council too. But they were standing like they were expecting him.
"Sorry to call you like this, but it was imperative that we speak," the boy said. He was tall, probably as tall as Koske. His hair was neatly trimmed, his uniform was neat, and even his fingers were manicured. Defiantly not qualities of a thug.
"Um…" Koske willed himself to relax.
"Don't be alarmed," Natasha took a step forward. "We won't hurt you. In fact, we want to help you."
"Help?" he echoed stupidly. If Arcelle were here now, she probably knock his head for his parrot-like response.
"Yes." Natasha nodded earnestly. "This," she gestured to the boy. "Is student council president Avian Summers, and this," she gestured to the other girl. "Is vice president Phillia Tradesman."
"We have seen your file," Phillia stated. "We know you will do well here. But, it has come to our attention that you have been met with some… difficulties."
"Um… well… the first-um- few days were…" Koske scratched his head. "Hard."
"So you have had some issue with bullies?" Avian asked outright, adjusting his stylish glasses.
"Y-yes, but… I-I'm okay now."
"Is that so?" Phillia drawled. Koske wasn't sure if she understood, or if she was being sarcastic.
"Y-yes. Um… Master- I mean, Arcelle helps me."
"See," Natasha squealed. "It's just like I said."
"No doubt about it," Avian said slowly. He settled his piercing eyes on Koske. "Do not worry. We, as the student council, will rectify this issue. In return, we'd like for you to consider expanding your school experience."
Expanding school experience? What did that mean, Koske wondered. He wasn't really in the position to expand on anything now. Phillia noticed his perplexed expression.
"Extracurricular activities," she stated. "We have a wonderful young leaders committee. Or maybe debate? Sports are fine as well."
"I-I really can't… I mean…" Koske stammered.
"No need to worry," Avian interrupted. "Like I said, we will take care of everything."
The next day, a notice was posted and announcements were made. The student council had made a proclamation. Any student who scored lower than a collective fifty percent on the next cycle would be placed on academic probation and face suspension.