The Valkyrie’s Daughters
Part VIII: New Duds
Avery and I joined back with the others, who did not say anything about us holding hands, and a few minutes later the bell rang through the cafeteria, announcing the end of lunch break and the beginning of our third classes. Avery seemed to know where we needed to go so I just followed them.
We found ourselves in another classroom but back with Miss Contreras. She explained to us that as we were minor Ravenhold was by law required to provide us with education matching standard school’s standards. Homeroom was a time to work on our math and english, but rather than having the teacher give a lesson, it was all individual on the school provided tablets.
“I hope you don’t mind homeworks, because we do have to compensate for the time lost in the classroom because of your cape related classes.” She said.
She gave us a test to do and when that was done about a million different things showed up for me to do and I had no idea where to start.
“Michelle?” Miss Contreras called, almost like she’d read my mind.
“Would you mind if we have a word outside?”
I nodded and got up, following her outside of the classroom and into another adjacent empty room. She turned toward me and I looked at her, well at the tip of her nose really. Her luminescence wasn’t so bright it hurt the eyes.
“How are you adapting to Ravenhold?” She asked. “And our cyberschool schooling program?”
“I’m a little loss…” I said, looking further down. “There so much stuff to do.”
“That’s alright, your parents have sent us your IEP, and told us about your difficulties. Normally, we give our student some freedom to work as they please, but seeing your difficulties, I was thinking we could work together your schedule for the next few days. Would that help?”
I nodded and she sat down at a table. Together we went through my tablet and the course options and we made a list of which one to do in what order.
“If you need any help, please come and see me. Outside of classes, I’m at my desk every weekday until six pm.”
I nodded, there was a second of silence before I remembered you’re supposed to thank people. “Thank you.” I mumbled.
“You’re welcome. Shall we go back?”
I nodded again and we went back to class. I sat down and she called Avery next for an interview. With my course procession decided, I was able to sit down and work on it, even if I really hated the math portions of it…
After much struggle with numbers, the class ended. I gathered my things and joined my new friends only for Freyja to come to me.
“Michelle.” She said.
“What do you want?” I asked.
“Well, there’s something I wanted to tell you at lunch, but our conversation veered away.” She said and I frowned. “I talked to the costume people here and got them to hook you up with some clothes that’ll work with your wings.”
I blinked. I hadn’t expected that. “That’s really nice of you.” I said.
“We’re going to need you for fitting, like right now.” She said flatly. “Come with me.”
I nodded and waved at my friends. Avery looked concerned… I think…
Freyja and I went to the administration building, then walked down into a basement and followed a hallway, Freyja seemed to know where she was going so I followed her. We didn’t say a word through the whole way. For a moment there was doubt in my mind, but then we arrived at a room with a ‘Costume workshop’ sign on it. She went in without knocking.
I’d expected some kind of sewing room like mom had at home, but it was completely different. A huge machine took most of the left hand back side of the room and people were working with computers.
“I’m back with Michelle.” Freyja said.
“Ah, Michelle, welcome.” A tall white woman with salt and pepper hair came toward us. She extended a hand and I hesitantly shook it. “I’m Gardenia Nikolaev, I’m in charge of the costume department for all students and alumni.” She said, a hint of a Russian accent in her voice.
“I’m Michelle.” I blurted out without thinking.
She smiled at that. “Freyja informed us of your clothing situation and we can in fact help you with that. If you’d just step with me inside the fitting room, we’ll take your measurements.”
I nodded and followed her inside some high tech booth, she stayed outside. “Just spread your arms wide and stay still for a moment.”
I did and the booth light up, gizmos moving about with light kind of like a barcode scanner. It went back dark and still after a moment. “We’re done here, now we just need to select some clothes for you.” Gardenia said, opening the door of the booth.
“That was easy.”
“With the volume we handle, technology is essential to save us some time.” She smiled. She made a little hand sign for me to follow and we sat at a computer. “For now, we’ll get you seven items, one for each day of the week. We can make more for you when the start of the year rush is over with.”
“Start of the year rush?”
“We have all the new student’s costume to design. In addition, we offer clothes for paramorphic students who otherwise can’t find any.”
I nodded. “We’ve already worked the right algorithm so just point to me any style you’d like.” Her computer screen started displaying a gallery of different shirts, dresses and other assorted tops. I picked a few I liked.
“Can I ask for something specific?”
“Sure, if we can do it, it’s yours.”
“I really like my Komet shirt, but I can’t wear it anymore.”
She gave me a look, what it meant I had no idea. “Let me see.” She made a search and found some the Komet merch.
“Oh it’s this one!” I said pointing at an orange shirt with the big stylized ‘Komet’ logo where the ‘O’ was replaced by a tailed comet.
“That, we can definitely do.” She smiled. “Now just wait here, we’ll get them printed.”
She nodded at the big machine in the corner. “It’s a hyperweave fabber.” My eyes widened, Hyperweave was the stuff they made superhero outfits off, it could resist bullets, it cleaned itself, changed shape! And my clothes were made of that? It was super expensive too!
She pressed some keys and the machine came to life, it was kind of loud so I covered my ears. One by one, seven items including a new Comet shirt were popped out by the machine, coming out neatly folded. When it was done Gardenia took the pile and gave it to me. It had a weird chemical smell to it.
“Don’t worry about the smell, it’ll dissipate soon. The clothes are self cleaning and can adapt to be fitted or loose depending on your preference.” She grabbed a little wrist watch thing and fiddled with it. “You can adjust the options with this.” My hands being full, she tied it around my wrist.
“Can I change now?” I asked, looking down at my old worn out shirt.
“Of course.” She guided my back to the fitting booth and I went in. This time it didn’t activate. I took out the Comet shirt and looked at it. It didn’t have holes for my wings… I checked the watch and couldn’t find a ‘wing hole setting’ either. “How can I put it in? There’s no holes for my wings.”
“Just try putting it on like a normal shirt, keep your wings spread and don’t try to fit them inside whole.”
I hesitated but did as she asked. I expected my wing to block once the rim reached my shoulder but there was only a little resistance before the shirt went down, coming all the way to my waist. I looked back and saw little holes had opened in the back of the shirt.
“How did it do that?”
“It’s smart fabric,” Gardenias explained from outside the booth, “It’ll shift to allow your wings to pass through when it detects resistance. We had to whip out the code in a hurry so we’ll send you patches soon, iron out any kink.”
“That’s amazing!” I grinned. It was so cool, much better than my old ones. The new shirt was also so nice; it had a good weight to it and it was so amazingly soft.
“I’m glad to be of service. Now, I hope you don’t mind but we have another client in need of our services.”
“Right.” I grabbed my clothes and came out of the booth, Gardenia giving me a bag to carry them. I left the costume department, Freyja was just gone, which was okay. I didn’t really want to talk to her after what had happened…
Then my phone beeped. I opened it and saw a notification I’d set for myself.
Meet Ike @ admin building.
Crap! I’d forgotten about that. I rushed out of the building, hopefully I wasn’t too late.