An Unlikely Hero
Part II: Fly Boy
When we arrived at the academy, the Raven came out to greet us in full costume. When the Raven called us out one by one to assign us to a group I expected to be hounded by people, what with being the new Orion, but to my surprise it didn’t happen. Maybe the media hadn’t released my name? I didn’t know how reporting laws worked, but being underage maybe they couldn’t give out the details. Then again, maybe they didn’t know I was an Orion…
The group I was assigned to, class three, seemed pretty nice. Although we were very girl heavy; I could only count three guys and eight girls. In addition to us, there was a heavily mutated parahuman —Those unlucky mutants who also had their appearance altered— and an Itharii, who were amphibious aliens who’d come to earth seeking refuge. Both of which I didn’t know the gender of.
We were given a quick tour of the place and ended up with our own house which was our dorm. It was pretty damn amazing, heck the large communal bathroom was about as big as my mom’s mobile home. The house itself was mostly one huge common room that held a dining room, a kitchen and a huge living room area with all the top-shelf gizmos. The kitchen area had a stack of pizzas and the others jumped on it like ravenous wolves on a deer. I however prefered not to have any.
I looked around and found a board filled with stuff. Most of it didn’t concern me, being addressed to gay students or paramorphs, neither of which I was. But more importantly there was a room assignment list. There were only eight rooms in the house and thirteen of us so obviously most of us had roommates. Oddly enough, room eight was actually empty. Turns out I was rooming with a guy called Mace.
I looked around and found him with the others, eating pizza. He was this fairly buff Asian guy who carried a huge case on his back.
“Hey, I’m Tyler.” I said coming up to him. “Looks like we’re going to be rooming together.”
“I’m Mace.” He said, raising his hand which I shook. “Want some Pizza, there’s plenty enough for everyone.”
“No thanks, I’m not really hungry.”
“Alright, suit yourself.”
He quickly stuffed the rest of his slice in his mouth and grabbed the bags he’d left at his feet. Like me, he was travelling pretty light. We went to our room, which was on the first floor, and went in. For most people it would’ve been perfectly ordinary, but for me it was huge. I could actually stand up in the room. I had an actual closet, not just a hollow compartment in the bed itself. I let Mace choose a bed and he threw the heavy case he carried on his back on the bed he’d chosen, opened it and took out a weird sword which looked like it was made of organic material but it was set within a perfectly ordinary leather scabbard. I wasn’t sure how practical it was, but it looked pretty sick.
“Thanks, I guess. It’s good to take it out of that heavy case. But people tend to freak out when it’s out in the open.”
“You should come to Louisiana, the average dude in my town has more guns than teeth. People don’t even bat an eye when a guy walk into a store with a shotgun. Kind of hard to tell whether they want a burger or the cash in the register.”
“Damn. That sounds a bit scary.”
“That’s the south for you.” I said with a sigh. “Where are you from?”
“It’s complicated…” He answered after a moment. “But I was living in a parahuman shelter before I came here.”
Were Mace’s folks parahumanphobic? That sounded like a pretty horrible thing. Being rejected for something that you can’t control…
“Oh… Let me guess, for complicated reasons?”
“To say the least.” He said with a chuckle as he took out his clothes and put them in the closet.
I nodded and put away my own stuff. Mace and I finished about the same time and we both went back into the common room where some of the others were assembled.
“Anyone wanna watch a movie and maybe get to know each other?” Mace asked.
Some of the others seemed to be interested but I opted to go out. After plane and bus trip, I kind of needed to have some space. I left the house and walked for a while, admiring the perfectly terraced terrain of Ravenhold. Above me the moon was just a tiny crescent, but looking at it gave me an idea. I focused as best I could, gathered that hard to explain energy feeling and shot straight into the sky, stopping and hovering awkwardly about a hundred meters above it all.
From up there, Ravenhold looked so much different. It was large and yet simultaneously minuscule. I could see the whole of it; the school, the gym, the administration, the dozen or so houses and the large garden at the back.
I didn’t get to take the scene in further as a girl came up to me, flying too. She wore tight jeans and a windbreaker, her skin was dark and she had wavy dark brown hair that flowed in the wind.
“Hello, fly boy.” She said with a smile, her fairly noticeable accent revealing her hawaiian heritage. She moved about as to ‘sit’ legs cross on the air itself, which was pretty impressive. Unlike me, she was gracious in her flight and hovering. “Let me guess, brand new powers?”
“That obvious?” I said giving her a nervous laugh.
“Oh heck yeah.” She said with a grin. “It’s way you move, how you awkwardly hover or how you just shot up right up only to go nowhere and just stay there looking like you just had a revelation. How new are you?”
“Oh wow, that’s hella new.” She said with a chuckle. “I’m Abigail.”
“That’s a nice accent you got. Let me guess, you’re a southern boy?”
“Yeah, I’m from Louisiana.”
“Where in Louisiana?”
“The asscrack. Trust me, you haven’t heard of it, it’s a village called St. Colette.”
“Eh, you should see my house. The nearest neighbor is like over a mile away. But to be fair, it is a farm.”
“That’s nice. I wish my family had a farm or something, it’d be better than being white trailer trash.”
“Come on, don’t be so hard on yourself.”
“Hey, I call a cat a cat. I’m total white trash… So… There’s something I have to ask you.”
“What might that be?”
“How are you just sitting there and not flying off?”
That made her laugh. “That’s a bit of an advanced move, Flyboy. I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it soon. All you have to do is just keep calm, stay focused on here and move your body while trying to keep your mind still.”
I processed what she said for a moment before trying. It didn’t go so well to say the least… When I raised my legs to try to sit down indian-style, I instead started spinning backward. I tried to correct that but only managed to lose control even further, spinning away and down to the ground…
Thankfully Abigail caught me and set me down safely on the ground where I leaned against a tree, feeling kind of dizzy.
“Not as easy as you made it sound.” I muttered, my head spinning.
“I’m sure you’ll get the hang of it. I’ve been doing this since I was eleven, so I’ve had a few years worth of practice. But if you want, I could show you a few tips, brick to brick. That’s what you are right?”
“Yep. Strength, endurance, flight. Y’know the generic boring power set. And yeah, I could really use your help.”
“Well, I’ll do my best to help you baby brick. Free tip; don’t try to pass stuff by tossing it. It does not end well.”
Before we could talk anymore, her phone rang. It sure as heck wasn’t mine, unless I’d magically gained one since I’d entered the academy ground. She took it out of her jeans, which was quite an accomplishment, as they looked spray painted on, and answered.
“Oh that’s my folks. I better answer. See you around flyboy.”
“See you later Abigail.”
With that, she flew away toward one of the houses, near ours. Hopefully we’d meet again soon.