Super Heroes (In Training) #5: Orientation

Kimmy had never been surrounded by so many super-powered teenagers. Well, she hadn’t really met any super-powered teenagers, other than the kids who were in Coach Ackerman’s boot camp, and they hadn’t really hung out all that much. Superspeed does that. But today that would change.

I’m here! she thought. I’m really here! And the best part? I finally get to meet my team!

The agents who had showed up at her door explained the team system along with the rest of the school. All students of the Academy are placed into teams. The teams live together, train together, and fight crime together. The school chooses where the teams need to be sent and which missions are appropriate for each team. Kimmy had no idea which team she would be assigned to, which only made her more excited as she fought through the crowds.

Finally, she stumbled up to the end of the line. It was only about ten people long (there were a lot of sign-in stations apparently), but to a girl like Kimmy it might as well be a hundred people long. Super-speed is great until you need to wait in line.

So she waited. And waited. And waited. After what seemed like an hour, Kimmy checked her phone for the time. A full minute hadn’t even passed. With a groan, she pulled out her earbuds and put them in her ears. Music usually helped the time pass, especially slower songs. It kept her stable and in normal time. In what felt like no time, in fact, she was at the front.

Kimmy tugged the earbuds out and shoved them back into her pocket. With a quick glance, she looked up and down the table. It was a really long table. Tons of smiling men and women wearing T-shirts with the school crest on them sat behind it.

“Hi!” the woman sitting in front of her said. “New student?”

Kimmy nodded, suddenly at a loss for words.

“Here, take this clipboard, fill out all the forms, and we’ll get you sorted out,” the woman said, brandishing a clipboard. Kimmy filled it out in a second (thanks to her super-speed) and handed it in immediately. The woman didn’t even blink at the display and took the clipboard back expectantly.

“Ah!” she exclaimed. “Kimberly Fong, you have been assigned to Forum Team. You will find your team leader right over there. I hope you have a nice year.” She pointed over to a couple kids under a sign labeled Forum Team.

“Uh, thanks!” Kimmy replied, “You too!” She waved goodbye to the woman before setting off to meet her new team.

If everyone here is like that woman, Kimmy thought, I’m gonna have a very interesting year.

Kimmy approached her new team quietly. There were three of them, two guys and one girl. The two guys were apparently deep in conversation, as only the girl noticed her. She was extremely pale, with short black hair and a pretty face that screamed “I’ll break you.”

“Uh, hi!” Kimmy said, mustering her usual smile despite the uncertainty she felt. “I’m Kimmy. I run fast.” Kimmy stretched out her hand, feeling stupid at her own introduction.

“Gwen.” The girl replied, with no hint of a smile. “I hit stuff.” They shook hands.

“Oh, you have super strength?” Kimmy asked.

“Nope.” Gwen replied.

“Unbreakable skin?”

“Nope.”

“Heightened reflexes?”

“Nope.”

It was at this point that one of the others noticed Kimmy.

“Ah, you must be Kimberly!” he said while walking over, the other boy in tow. “I’m Ben, Ben Ward.”

Ben, Ben Ward, was tall and surprisingly tan. He had short brown hair and equally brown eyes. He was smiling, which Kimmy welcomed after grin-less Gwen. He held out his hand to shake.

“Call me Kimmy, please,” she said, shaking his hand.

“Well, Kimmy, welcome to Forum Team,” he replied. “I see you have already met Gwen – don’t worry, she hasn’t smiled at us either – and obviously you’ve met me.” He turned to the other boy. “This is Terry.”

Terry was maybe an inch shorter than her. He was African-American and had blue eyes. Like, really blue. Like cartoonish, electricity blue, but somehow it suited him. He stepped forward, hand outstretched.

“Nice to meet you,” Terry said.

“Nice to meet you too,” she replied.

“Well, now that we are all acquainted, let’s go to the house.”

As the four set off, Kimmy turned back to Gwen, eyes narrowed.

“Super fists?”

“Nope.”

 

Terry watched the affair silently, then whispered to Ben, “Are you gonna tell Kimmy that Gwen doesn’t have powers?”

Ben grinned. “Be my guest.”

In response, Terry shrugged. “I don’t see why we have to ruin her fun.”

Ben snorted before setting off, Terry not too far behind. The girls came after, Kimmy not stopping with her onslaught of guesses. Gwen’s face still hadn’t changed from the emotionless slate it had been earlier. She also had yet to respond with something other than “nope.” Ben grinned to himself.

Kate’s right, Ben thought. This certainly is quite the group.

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