Rss

  • youtube

Sunderland College [2.3 – Out To Play]

MONDAY

 

“Well?” says the woman’s voice. A hissing comes from the darkness, and had one been listening carefully, they would have heard the hints of a human tongue from within the strange sounds.

“The Key Plan ready.”

“Good.” the woman replies, smiling; though nobody could see the terrifying grin in the dark. “And our projected date? Still acceptable? This is important.”

“Yes… Boxing Day. Though for us, it is… not boxing day, but unboxing day.”

“Was that a joke?” the woman says. “My, my, Husk, I forget how well you’ve picked up English recently. Perhaps there is hope for the rest of you, under my careful guidance.”

“How many we need?” the hissing creature asks.

“How many did we recruit?” the woman responds.

“Some still… resisting. But they will come to know your grace soon. I assure. But for the rest… there’s… eight plus one.”

“Nine.”

“Yes… forgot word.” the creature mutters.

“Good.” the woman says. “This plan cannot go wrong. With nine of you, we should easily be able to put the Key Plan into action. And then… next year will be very interesting indeed. I can achieve total control.”

There is a scuffling in the darkness, and the woman perks up. She hears someone struggling.

“D-dot!”

“There is nobody here by that name. Husk, why is he still able to communicate?”

“He won’t…” Husk says quietly. “Won’t wear it.”

“Mr Stevens. I’m afraid you don’t have a choice.” the woman says, an evil smile crossing her face.

“Doris, please…” the man groans. “Doris! What the hell is this? Where am I? I just wanted to-”

“There is nobody here by that name.”

“Fine! Lossa!” the man screams. “Please! I didn’t bring the police, I did everything you asked, just come- come home!”

“Husk; is he still resisting?”

There’s a gleeful tone in the creature’s whisper. “Yes… yes resisting.”

“Let me go!”

“Oh dear, dear…” Lossa whispers, a demented grin crossing her face. “This little toy is broken now. I had such high hopes for you, little toy. But it’s time to toss you out.”

 

*

 

As Monday morning rolls around, bringing with it grey skies and dismal cold, Xilog enters the gym early to begin his training. Somebody is already there.

“Morning.” Eiden says.

Xilog nods. “Hello. Passable weekend?”

“Yeah, I guess.” Eiden says, putting down his weights and taking a moment to rest. He yawns as he talks. “The party was the best part of the weekend though, hands-down. Had to spend the rest of it doing that Clothing History homework: choose one Patchmaker from early Egypt and write a short biography of their life.”

“Ah, yes.” Xilog murmurs. “That wasn’t so bad. I prefer to exercise my mind than my body, though. Perhaps that accounts for it.”

“True, true. Well, we have an hour before registration – let’s get to work, shall we?”

“Indeed.” Xilog replies. He dumps his bag on the floor and steps on the treadmill nearest to Eiden. Staring out of the large windows at the front of the gym, revealing the outside of the college, overlooking the city, he begins to jog lightly.

 

*

 

“Settle down, everyone.” Simon mutters as he walks into registration. Mondays are evidently not his day.

“Hey, Xilog!” Donovan says as he sits down. “I just wanted to say, we may have started a little rough last week, but… you wanna train together sometime this week?”

“Sure.” Xilog says. “I’d like that.”

“How was the party, everyone? Did you all enjoy it?” Cassandra asks anxiously. Everyone gives a nod of agreement.

“Hella good! I especially liked the heist!” says Donovan.

“It wasn’t a heist, Don. You just suggested we pretend to be villains when we went out to buy more drinks.” Ten replies.

“And it was great fun!” Donovan grins.

Boo averts her eyes, trying to convince herself that missing out on the party doesn’t mean she’s missed out on bonding with her new classmates.

“How long did it take to talk Zaphod out of the bathroom?” Cassandra asks, wracking her brain to try and remember.

“The first time or the second time he broke down?” laughs Jackson. “At least twenty minutes each time, wasn’t it?”

“Man, that was a fun night.” Ten says. “Your aunt mustn’t have been happy with the mess.”

“She wasn’t too impressed when she got back.” giggles Cassandra. “I helped her tidy up all of Saturday though – and still had time to do my homework!”

As Simon begins morning registration, everyone falls silent and waits for it to be over.

 

*

 

Aubree smiles as she walks in. “Still doing your homework, Eiden?”

“Just need to finish it.” Eiden mutters. “It was basically finished over the weekend, I promise.”

“Oh yes, did you see Clocksworth outside?” Aubree says, gesturing towards the door.

“No?” Anastasia replies. “What are they doing? It’s almost time for registration.”

“Hanging around waiting for Mia to walk past.” Aubree smirks. Even Phillis joins in as everyone bursts out laughing.

“Jeez, she’s got no chance! He, uh, knows that, right?” Zaphod says.

“Evidently not.” Eiden remarks.

Outside the classroom, Mia is walking up the corridor. Clocksworth shoots finger guns at her, leaning against the wall casually. “Heya. Good weekend?”

“I’d say so. You?” Mia replies, reaching the classroom door.

“Went to a party, that was cool. You should come along next time.” Clocksworth continues.

“Pretty sure I get fired for that. Nice try, kiddo.” Mia replies with a wry grin as she enters the classroom. Clocksworth slinks in after her, shot down.

“Damn.” he says as he sits. Zaphod pats his arm.

“Better luck next time. Also, uh… now everyone’s here… sorry for Friday. I really can’t handle my drink.”

“I could fucking tell.” mutters Phillis. “Amateurs.”

Once registration is over, everyone prepares to go to where they need to, but Aubree dashes off like a woman on a mission.

“Where you off to?” calls Eiden, wondering why she looks so serious. She brightens up and smiles as she turns around to answer.

“Combat Training is at 10, and I wanted to get a new kind of Battle Clothing made before then!”

“How handy.” Eiden says. “I was going to do the same – mind if I join you?”

The pair head off together, excitedly discussing the types of Battle Clothing they want to wield.

 

*

 

In the library after General Studies, Boo begins to busy herself with some work.

“Ah, you are in here after all.” Donovan says; she turns in surprise to spot him walking up, and he takes a seat next to her. “Though… this isn’t due until next Monday. Aren’t you getting on with it a little early?”

“I, um…” Boo murmurs. “Uh. I like to work…”

“Of course!” Donovan announces, trying to keep his voice as low as possible. “Work is what takes zeroes to heroes and quells the unstoppable tides of evil! But… seriously, Boo, are you avoiding people?”

“N-no!” Boo yelps, obviously lying. She turns, red-faced, and continues to work.

“Look, I’m not trying to make you nervous or anything. There’s plenty of time for scare tactics on the battlefield, after all! But seriously, I think you’d benefit from talking to people. We’re all good people!”

“I… I’m fine.” Boo murmurs. “I’m fine.”

Donovan sighs, but realises that nothing more can be done, and he walks away.

 

*

 

“Alright, kiddiwinks! Ready for more fights? The first half of the lesson is going to be the usual fights. The second half will be a little more chill – we’re just gonna practise solo with our clothing. You could all benefit from more familiarity with your clothing, especially those of you,” Marion says, eyeing Eiden and Aubree. “Who have decided to try out new things!”

A muttered response from the rest of the class is given. Marion grins.

“OK, scrubs, here we go – Eiden and Clocksworth! You two first!”

Eiden and Clocksworth stand on the two sides of the battlefield; Clocksworth is still using the Phantom Overcoat, but Eiden is now wearing a grey snood which wraps around his neck and shoulders, similar to his mask. As Clocksworth’s coat transforms his right arm into a huge shadowy arm, Eiden activates his clothing, which tightens up and causes eight ropy sections of the scarf to poke out, lurking around his person like tentacles or spider’s legs: the Spider Snood.

“Begin!”

Clocksworth immediately swings in with a right hook, not even having to move to be able to reach Eiden on the other side of the battlefield. Several of the ropes grab the swinging arm and Eiden is able to swing over it safely; once he lands on the other side, he begins to pull with the ropes, sending Clocksworth off-balance. As he stumbles, Eiden charges towards him.

The huge arm retracts and forms into a fist, and Clocksworth slams down, but Eiden leaps out of the way, the blast of the arm striking the ground launching him further to safety. He lands on the ground, but gets up quickly and heads for Clocksworth. Four of the ropes grab Clocksworth’s arm, whilst the other four grab his legs. Eiden heaves Clocksworth into the air and tosses him out of the ring. However, with his free hand, Clocksworth grabs one of Eiden’s ropes, pulling himself back to safety. The ropes contort around him and Eiden fastens several of them around his wrist, trying to get him to let the ropes go.

Clocksworth holds on grimly and heaves at the rope he is holding until a snap is heard. Eiden gasps in pain and sees that one of the eight ropes has been snapped off. In a panicked fury, he fastens all of his ropes around Clocksworth’s arm and tries to heave him out of the ring. Clocksworth’s phantom hand slams into the ground, digging in to prevent him from being moved. Eiden heaves and feels the ropes beginning to strain. One of them snaps, and he realises that he can’t keep it up.

With the makings of an idea, he removes one of the ropes from Clocksworth’s arm and uses it to slap the boy in the face. In the moment of confusion, Eiden manages to tear the Phantom Overcoat’s ghostly hand from the ground, sending Clocksworth crashing to the floor, outside of the ring.

“Nice work, Eiden! Just remember to get your scarf patched up afterwards – those snapped ropes won’t regenerate on their own.” Marion says. “Alright, next up…”

“I could do with some new clothing myself…” mutters Clocksworth to himself. “Note to self: get some cool pants.”

“Anastasia! Aubree! Mind going next?”

“Not really.” Anastasia murmurs. She draws her knives and steps onto the battlefield. Aubree is no longer wearing the Sparkling Suit of the previous week, but she does have some new heels.

“You following in Estelle’s footsteps?” asks Anastasia. Aubree smiles.

“Nope. These are something a little different!”

As Anastasia readies the Garrote Garter, she watches as Aubree’s heels ascend, leaving her standing on two sharp blades where the heels should be: the Killer Heels.

“Well well.” Anastasia grins.

“Let’s go!” Marion shouts.

Aubree totters a little, trying to get used to moving on the Killer Heels, but finding them quite exhilarating. Anastasia, meanwhile, charges without a second thought; the dress is hard to run in, but she’s getting used to it. She swings with the largest of her knives, and Aubree only just dodges out of the way with a terrified yelp.

Trying to control herself, Aubree kicks up, sending the blade on her foot swinging towards Anastasia, who parries expertly. She strikes the heels several times, trying to unbalance Aubree, but the other girl manages to leap out of range. Anastasia continues the assault, drawing the second of her knives – a little shorter and thinner – and dual-wielding.

Aubree is ready this time, and kicks forward twice, forcing Anastasia to dodge out of the way. With an excited spin, Aubree manages to twirl on her left leg, sending her right leg out at Anastasia, hitting her squarely in the chest. She’s thrown backwards, but not out of bounds.

The spin is a little too much for Aubree, who falls onto the ground. Anastasia gets up at about the same time that Aubree does, but she gets moving more quickly, closing the distance between them quickly. Aubree does a low sweep, tripping Anastasia.

With the frantic panic of someone who does not want to lose, Anastasia draws the third of her knives, the shortest, and hurls it directly at Aubree. The other girl yelps and dodges out of the way, buying Anastasia enough time to get back on her feet and begin slashing like a whirling dervish, with no poise or skill to her slashes. It is effective, however; with her limited movement, Aubree has no choice but to back up or get knocked down.

As she totters on the edge of the arena, Aubree tries a different tack. Kicking her leg high, she hopes to use her foot blade to disrupt the spinning knives; however, one of Anastasia’s flailing arms slams into her leg and sends her sprawling backwards, out of bounds.

“Alright! Excellent match, ladies, you did well! Aubree, you definitely need more practise with those. And Anastasia – you need to focus. Even with clothing she’d never used before, Aubree came way too close to winning. Get with it!”

“I got them about ten minutes before the lesson,” Aubree laughs. “I think I did OK!”

“Alright, who next?” Marion says, as the defeated Aubree and victorious, but subdued, Anastasia walk back to the bench to rest.

 

*

 

After a tiring lesson, Anastasia trudges up to the lunchroom and sits on her own, eating and passively observing the other students in the room.

A bearded, stunningly handsome but somewhat vacant face pops into her field of vision, and she yelps.

“Hey!” Zaphod grins. “Saw you sitting on your lonesome over here. Thought I’d come over and say hi, if that’s cool?”

“Sure.” Anastasia says.

He sits beside her, and begins eating his own food, talking between bites.

“So, hey, how’s the week been so far? Monday morning is down!”

“I like Mondays.” Anastasia says. “Combat Training is fun.”

“You were totally checked out, though. Everything alright with you?”

“‘Course.” says Anastasia, more than a little defensively.

Zaphod grins. “So, what did you think of the Soc homework?”

“Soc…” Anastasia murmurs. “Social Relations. Oh yeah, I haven’t looked at it yet.”

“You should get on that. It’s actually quite interesting.” Zaphod says. “You were checked out in Social Relations on Friday too. I’m guessing physical activity is more your thing?”

Anastasia picks at her food as she considers getting out her Social Relations homework. “I… suppose so, yeah. I prefer Clothing History to Soc though.”

“You were certainly really cool in the fights today! Like, I dunno, some kinda masked vigilante or something!” Zaphod says, wildly gesticulating.

Anastasia laughs. “Oh, I’m not nearly all that. I’m a history nerd and a little bit of a fashion nerd, that’s about it…”

“Fashion? Oh, right, you were the one who said you’d met Dexter Duvoir himself at the taster day!”

“Yeah.” Anastasia says, smiling to herself. “Have you met any top designers or models?”

“Hm. Not really.” Zaphod replies, his face falling a little. “I’ve always wanted to go to a fashion show, but for my dad’s job, they’re… a little expensive. My mother was going to take me sometime…”

“Why is she not?”

Zaphod looks away. “Uh, best we don’t discuss it. Say, who’s your favourite designer? And don’t be a normie and say Lindsey Stunne.”

“Oh, me? No, no.” Anastasia replies. “I like Mimi Slater-Calleby’s stuff. I get it delivered in sometimes from the US!”

“Oh, right! That’s cool. Her new Slacall line looks really cool – rivalling even Lindsey Stunne’s stuff, I’d say!”

“It’s better designed, certainly.” says Anastasia, perking up now that she’s talking about a subject of familiarity. “Did you see her interpretation of the Nightmare Gown? Sarah Monsman almost won the 2004 Global Fashion Show over the summer.”

“Yes!” Zaphod says excitedly. “That was such a cool fight! Do you think she’s on pace to take the spot of Royal away from Dexter?”

“Probably not.” Anastasia replies. “She got close in the GFS, sure, but Dexter came third, and he won the US Regionals and the French Regionals. He’s still got a better track record in most countries.”

“But anything could happen.” Zaphod grins. “Man, models are so cool… I wanna be one. One day.”

“Well, we’d better survive college first.” Anastasia smiles.

Zaphod spots Cassandra walking into the lunchroom with Ten, Clocksworth and Donovan, chatting with them. He turns to Anastasia.

“One sec. I’d better apologise to Cass for… basically all of Friday night.”

He runs towards her.

“Here comes trouble.” smirks Donovan. Cassandra turns to see Zaphod running up to her.

“Hey, uh… just wanted to say sorry for how crazy I was on Friday.” he says sheepishly. Cassandra and Ten laugh.

“You call that crazy?” Ten says. “Man, I need to take you to one of my parties sometime. There’s a blues festival next month; I can guarantee you I’m gonna go and get so drunk that I forget which bands I see performing.”

“Ten’s the craziest of the lot.” chuckles Cassandra. “But yeah, don’t worry about it, Zaphod. You were hella entertaining, at the very least!”

“Cool,” Zaphod says. “Well, alright, just wanted to let you know. Later!”

“He’s nice.” Ten says as they watch him walk back to Anastasia’s table.

Clocksworth glares sullenly at the ground. “He’s a dick.” 

 

*

 

The afternoon passes without much event, but soon, Cassandra finds herself with Jackson, Eiden, Aubree, Zaphod and Anastasia, outside in the cold evening, where Testfire Club is about to begin.

A young woman walks up to them, with a bright smile and a friendly face; she’s quite young, not many years older than the students themselves.

“Hi! I’m Tessa. Uh, Tessa Valleja. I’m a patch assistant for Romein usually, but this year I get to run the Testfire Club too! Hope you’re all excited!”

“I sure am.” Zaphod says. Everyone murmurs in agreement. Tessa grins and holds up a set of scarves.

“Alright, everyone take a scarf and I’ll start explaining!”

With interest, everyone removes their current Battle Clothing and takes the scarf. Tessa begins to monologue as everyone puts them on.

“I thought I’d start the term with one of my favourite pieces of Battle Clothing: the Swift Scarf. It’s made with a scarf and a Support Patch, and it allows you to basically predict enemy attacks. For example, you there! Closest to me. Punch me.”

Jackson turns in surprise, and shrugs. He goes to throw a punch and Tessa slides out of the way, shouting “Keep it up!”

Jackson hurls a number of punches at Tessa, but she is able to sidestep, block, dodge or predict the attacks with ease, always in the position she needs to be to avoid damage.

“Haa… haa…” breathes Jackson. “That was… something else.”

“You see? Unfortunately, it does have it’s weaknesses. We’ll see those as we try it out.”

The gang begin to try it out, throwing punches and kicks at one another, whilst their partners dodge out of the way with expert timing and precision. Tessa continues to come out with facts during the half an hour of practise.

“As you can see, you can only predict one person’s attacks at a time. But hey! You can predict attacks that you can’t even see – not even strikes from behind will land.”

“Lots of Bombardiers will start out their training wearing a Swift Scarf, because it allows them to learn how to dodge enemy attacks. Think of it like training wheels on your back – if you get good enough at fighting, you can predict enemy strikes without even needing the Swift Scarf! It’s all about reading your foe, but obviously, the Swift Scarf does help with those surprise attacks.”

“Notable wearers of the Swift Scarf include our very own Careers Advisor, Hector Proctor! He uses it in tandem with his other Battle Clothing to completely shut down his enemy’s advance.”

After some time, everyone is tired out, but satisfied. Tessa grins at them.

“Alright, gang, let’s call it there. Remember to come see me or Romein this week  if you want us to whip you up a Swift Scarf to use yourself!”

 

TUESDAY

 

It is a very quiet Tuesday. Between 11 and 12, Eiden, Phillis and Ten are in the gym, training. As he spots Phillis lifting some dumbbells, Eiden goes over and does the same.

“Hey.” he says. Phillis doesn’t respond.

“Look, I was just wondering… you seemed pretty annoyed about Silhouette clothing, and I just wanted to ask whether anything specific had made you think that way.”

“Shut up.”

Eiden realises he’s touched a nerve.

“Sorry, I just-”

“You think you can just throw away your life and play around with clothing like it’s a toy? Hell, I bet you’d happily play with a firework if they let you do that here.”

“No, you don’t understand.”

You don’t understand.” Phillis grunts. “I’m done here.”

He begins to walk away, leaving Eiden awkwardly staring at the floor.

“The mask doesn’t cure me.”

Phillis stops walking, but he doesn’t turn around. Eiden continues to speak.

“It only slows down the illness. Doesn’t stop it. I could be dead tomorrow; if you’re wondering why I take such liberties with my life, that’s why. Doesn’t matter to me what happens. My mask is technically clothing, and right now, it’s clothing that’s keeping me alive.”

“I…” Phillis says.

“I could die without warning, just like my father. So… if you do wanna talk, I think I might be able to understand better than most.”

Phillis walks away, his mind in turmoil.

 

*

 

During lunch, Eiden spots Jackson and Donovan talking to one another, and goes over to join them.

“Hey guys!” he says. “How are we?”

“Not bad.” Jackson replies, doodling on a piece of paper. “Cass is just getting lunch with Ten, she’ll be over shortly.”

“Sweet.” Eiden replies. “Uh, yeah, I wanted to speak to you guys. You two were super cool in the Performing Arts class, so I was just wondering if you could give me any tips in performing? Like, being more confident?”

“Well, it helps if you grew up in a performative home.” Jackson chuckles. “Generally, though, you need to remember that fashion shows are all about being equal parts good-looking and strong. Right now you’re focussing on being strong and winning fights in Combat Training. In Performing Arts, though, you want to think about how your clothing is artwork – it’s your clothing, so put your stamp on it.”

“Exactly!” Donovan says. “Your inner strength is what you perform with, not your clothing! Your Battle Clothing is just an expression of who you are, so take it and run with it!”

“I see.” Eiden replies, considering this. As he thinks on it, he notices Jackson’s drawings. “Hey, this is… really intricate. Did you just design this?”

“Oh, uh,” Jackson mumbles, shoving the paper into his pocket. “I design clothes in my spare time, nothing too exciting.”

“That was… incredible, man. You have a really detailed understanding of designing clothes.”

“Nah, not really. Just lucky.” Jackson grins.

“Fair.” Eiden replies, making a mental note to speak to Aubree about his clothing design ideas.

 

*

 

Ten sighs as she exits Social Relations, wondering how she should spend the hour of time she has; she has to wait for Cassandra to finish with Book Club. Eventually, she decides to go to the gym for the second time that day, and heads off. As she ascends the stairs, she sees the Book Club gathered in a little classroom and smirks to herself.

“Nerds.”

In the classroom, Bradley smiles as Cassandra, Eiden, Zaphod and Xilog, amongst other students, sit in seats and look expectantly at him.

“Hello, all. It’s not going to be too exciting today, since you don’t know what book we’re starting with. However, I thought I’d go with one of my favourites, even though it’s non-fiction.”

He holds up a book with a punchy title.

The Broken Curse: A History of Sunderland College.” he announces. “All you need to do is get a copy – I know the library has some. Next week, we’ll convene and talk about what we thought of the story. This one is very interesting.”

“Sure sounds it.” murmurs Xilog. “This college stands on hallowed ground. To find out where it came from, perhaps the book can say. But will the book be able to define the spirit of the college?”

“Shh.” chides Cassandra. Xilog falls silent.

They exit the classroom just a few minutes later. Eiden wanders off, and Xilog turns to Cassandra.

“Heading home?”

“Yeah,” Cassandra says, looking around, distracted. “Ten said she was gonna wait for me, but I don’t see her. She must’ve gone home already. Come on, let’s get going.”

“Right behind you. For a given definition of ‘behind’.”

 

WEDNESDAY

 

Simon quietens his group as they chatter in registration.

“Just one last thing before we finish for today’s registration. As you probably know, the college hosts a Winter Model Competition, a Spring Model Competition and a Summer Model Competition. They’re pretty important.” he explains. “Lots of models and designers attend, and some will even take part in exhibition matches against the students. If you win these competitions, which are set out exactly like fashion shows in the real world, you might end up attracting the attention of some top modelling agencies.”

The group begin to perk up at this; especially those who are interested in becoming models.

“Now, to prepare you for that, there’s going to be a Practise Model Competition in week 5 of term: it’ll be on Monday the 4th of October. This means lessons are cancelled for that day, and students who aren’t participating are welcome to come and watch their friends perform. You can also go behind the scenes and help with clothing design if that’s in your interest.”

“That’s interesting.” Cassandra says.

Jackson is beaming in delight, and begins muttering to himself, almost impossible to hear. “This could be cool! If I can impress people with my clothing, they could… it’ll be fun, just so long as… isn’t there…”

“Sign-ups will begin tomorrow, and last until the end of September. Make sure to sign up, and remember, it’s easier to sign up as a model/designer pair than alone. So find friends to either design for you or fight for you if you want a better chance of getting in. G’luck, all. And see you tomorrow.”

With that, he stalks out the room, evidently in need of a coffee.

 

*

 

Zaphod and Anastasia have Social Relations right after registration, and end up sitting together. Zaphod turns to Anastasia halfway through the lesson, and notes that she’s doodling flowers in the corner of her book.

“Come on. What’s up?” he murmurs.

“Nothing, seriously.” Anastasia says. “Just not a huge fan of all the theory work in Social Relations so far.”

“If you need help with it, let me know.”

“No, no,” Anastasia replies. “I get it, it’s just not interesting.”

“Excuse me!” Jessica Fir says at the front of the classroom. “Anastasia, would you mind telling us which theorist suggested that the psychological mentality of a mob has an effect on the type of work a Peacekeeper has to do to calm them down? Since you’re so obviously listening.”

“Kazerton.” Anastasia says dully. Jessica looks surprised that she actually got the right answer, and nods, continuing the lesson.

Anastasia stares out of the window, absentmindedly doodling flowers without looking at them. Tilting his head and smiling in despair at her antics, Zaphod goes back to his own book and begins to copy down the notes.

 

*

 

During lunch, Donovan excuses himself and heads outside to train with his Obfuscating Hood. He wants to test the limits of the coat, and the Physical Education that morning has given him lots of energy.

He discovers several things.

“OK, so I can create three clones… only within, what’s that, five-odd metres?”

He grins, and looks at the clones. One of them comes over and a second one joins him – they form a little step, and he hops on; the two clones boost him into the air and he does a high leap.

“Yes!” he yells. “Nice! Now what else can I do?”

He spots the wall of the college and wonders what would happen if he summoned a clone inside an object. He walks over and unsummons one of his clones. After a few moments, once he has recovered the energy to resummon, he focuses his attention on the wall and tries to summon.

There’s an explosion in Donovan’s chest and he’s thrown backwards six feet. The clone didn’t materialise and Donovan stares at the sky, holding a hand on his chest.

“My god… my god! The power! Too bad it’s directed at me, but hey, the darkness empowers me! Probably. Might not want to do that again, though…”

He continues to experiment. During lunch, he discovers that unsummoning a shade doesn’t have any physical effect, but it does tire him out a little. The more he summons and unsummons, the more tired he gets and the slower it becomes. Repeated summoning of his clones will impact his combat capabilities, for sure.

 

*

 

The end of the day comes quicker than everyone expected, bringing with it Textiles Club, being run by the beautiful Louisa Lefay. She notes that Zaphod has attended, and moments later, Eiden comes walking in.

“Eiden! Haven’t seen you at all today!” Zaphod exclaims.

“I’m off on Wednesdays.” Eiden grins. “Been catching up work at home and doing other bits of research where I can. But I had to check out Textiles Club!”

Louisa smiles. “Welcome, welcome!”

Once everyone is in, Louisa begins to hand out sheets of paper whilst she explains the club.

“For this club, we shall be using textiles to experiment with making new Battle Clothing! Toutefois! We will not be making Battle Clothing. We shall make clothes in the style of Battle Clothing, with no Patches. However… should you want to move ahead with your clothing, you can visit Monsieur Romein and he may make it for you.”

“Interesting…” murmurs Eiden to himself.

The session isn’t too exciting; the first week is just drawing designs on pieces of paper, but everyone has fun planning out interesting kinds of clothing to make. After the session is over, Eiden seeks out Louisa, who is just collecting the pieces of paper.

“Uh…” he murmurs. “Bonjour, enseignant.”

Louisa smiles, and he’s emboldened.

“How was your day? Très bien? Comme ci comme ça?”

“Ah! You have tried your best, and I am impressed!” Louisa beams. “Yes, my day has been fantastique! Now then… what did you wish to speak about today?”

“I was just wondering about my mask, becoming Battle Clothing… maybe? And also whether there’s any fashion show opportunities coming up.”

“Ah…” Louisa murmurs. “Oui! Your mask could become Battle Clothing indeed; perhaps seek out a friend with an interest in design and ask them to help you, and bring them to Textiles Club… we shall see what you produce!”

“I see.” Eiden replies, nodding.

“As for opportunities… the Practise Model Competition. Enter, become a star!”

“Right! I will, thank you for your help!” Eiden says. He nods, excitedly dashing out of the classroom, heading home with the excitement of new Battle Clothing in his mind.

“I forgot to say…” Louisa murmurs. “His scarf… j’adore!

She looks up at the classroom, and smiles to herself. The Model Competitions this year are going to be especially fun.

 

New Clothing Discovered:

 

[No. 087] Spider Snood

Formation: Scarf + Augment Patch

Effect: Creates spidery ropes that can grab and grapple with enemies

Drawback: If the ropes snap, it damages the snood

 

[No. 76] Killer Heels

Formation: High Heels + Power Patch

Effect: Gives the user sharp blades on the end of their heels

Drawback: The blades can break and are difficult to repair and replace

 

[No. 086] Swift Scarf

Formation: Scarf + Support Patch

Effect: Gives the user the ability to presciently dodge attacks

Drawback: User can only predict one opponent at a time

 

[Note: The Broken Curse: A History of Sunderland College can be accessed in the contents.]

Sunderland College [2.2 - Getting To Know You]
Sunderland College [2.A - The Broken Curse: A History of Sunderland College]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.