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The Adjudicator's Institute for Heroics



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Thu Oct 05, 2023 3:32 am
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KocoCoko says...



Astrid giggled. "I dunno! I've always been pretty sensitive to light, so it's not like I leave them out in the sun! That would be pretty sick, though."

Izzy nodded. Quickly, she gathered her materials and set them in the center. Then, she rubbed her hands together at inhumane speeds. Just as a fire sparked, she put her hands on the sticks and stones she had collected. It only took a few tries for the fire to spark. "Anything would be nice," she said.

Dawn slowly took a seat on the floor, the blanket helping the floor be less hard. "So, um," she muttered, inviting Avery to sit with her. "Maybe we can tell campfire stories, too!" Dawn looked around with an awkward grin, only to look down nervously. "I've never been camping," she whispered, "I just thought... ya know... Nevermind."
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Fri Oct 06, 2023 2:30 am
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Ari11 says...



"Ooh! Yes! Campfire stories!" Sage clapped her hands excitedly as she settled herself on a somewhat comfortable bit of blanket. The fire was already warming the air, drawing out the chill that seemed to have penetrated her bones. "My family used to tell creepy stories all the time when we went out into the woods! Nothing too scary, though, otherwise Thomas might've had nightmares."

She chuckled, wrapping her arms around herself to keep her shoulders from shuddering. Avery twisted open her canister and pulled out a long strand of Daya, which she began molding into a small flat pan.

"My mother is a great storyteller," she told the group, eyes fixed on her creation as she weaved the purple fibers with slow, precise movements. "Her favorite tales were the ones about the Wendigo. You guys have heard of Wendigo, right?"
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Fri Oct 06, 2023 4:06 am
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KocoCoko says...



"Oh, yeah, I have! I think. They're like... the scary deer? No, no, something else!" Astrid bumped their head several times, doing their best to rack up an answer. "It's, ah, um..." This went on for a minute or so, before Astrid gave up. "I'm pretty sure my dad would tell me about all these 'ghost encounters' he got whenever he went out hunting... I doubt they're real, but scared the crap outta me when I was little!"

Izzy chuckled along with the group, scratching her neck nervously. She sat right beside Winifred and took her under her arm. The little girl hesitantly laid against her. "Yeah, my dads... woo, man. They didn't hold back on the details from their, uh, superpower days. They always warned me, make sure I really wanted to hear it... I never learned my lesson." For once, a genuine smile appeared on her face. "I just like listening to those guys. They always look so happy whenever they told me stuff. I think they miss being a super, ya know?"

Dawn was the most antsy out of the group. She just nodded along with everyone. She never had any of this thing people called 'family bonding.' Her brother died when she was little, and her mom, well... She wasn't very gushy or sentimental. They never had a chance to connect. When she thought about a bit deeper... It was hard to recall any 'good times' she could've had with her mother... Dawn's knees pressed against her chest.

"Oh, a Wendigo?" Dawn said. She examined the movement of her Daya closely, almost entranced by it. "It's from Native American folklore, I think, right? I know it had something to do with cannibalism, too. Or maybe that was something else..." she murmured. When she snapped by to Avery, she looked at her and blushed. "I, um, I don't actually know, I just read a lot of stuff in my spare time and it's come up a few times."
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Mon Oct 09, 2023 12:40 am
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Ari11 says...



“No, no, that’s exactly right,” Avery smiled. “Wendigos are essentially people corrupted by the action of cannibalism. They become inhuman, feral—I think they’re sort of supposed to be a metaphor for how terrible acts of violence corrupt the spirit. It’s really fascinating.”

“…And probably not the best thing to be talking about when we’re camping in a creepy sewer,” Evan muttered, his eyes flitting around nervously.

“Oh, Izzy,” Sage piped up suddenly. “You mentioned your dads. What did they do when they were super? Were they speedsters like you?”
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Oct 09, 2023 1:20 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn grinned widely. "Oh! Really? I didn't think I'd get that right..." She tried desperately hide her goofy smile, but she was thrilled to have Avery say she was right about something. She'e been denying or denied everything, so this was a new thing she could get used to. "That reminds me, have you heard of the corpse flower? It's smells exactly like a corpse to attract flies so it can eat them, like a venus fly trap! It's not actually a flower, but really more of a parasite. Oh, and it's bloom span is the width of a baseball bat! Oh- oh! And-! It actually has no leaves, stems, shoots, or roots! Heh, that rhymed. Oh! And!" Dawn, with sparkles in her eyes, went on and on and on about strange and macabe plants. She went on especially about the titan arum, another plant that smelled like a corpse. Maybe she knew a bit too much about this stuff, but it's not like she was a stranger to blood and guts and all those strange things.

Unfortunately, Izzy immediately tuned her out. She turned to Sage with an awkward look. "Uh, well, my dad has superstrength, and my pops has telekinesis. I don't actually remember what they did. They never told me, actually. I, um," Izzy leaned into Sage, whispering, "I don't think they were the good guys."

Izzy backed away slowly, scratching the numb burn scars on her face. "Don't get me wrong, they're awesome dads, I love them and it's not like they ever hurt me... but there's a reason they don't tell me all the deets, right?"

Astrid giggled at Evan. "Really? You're scared by that? Please! I know way scarier things," she said, creeping up to grab Evan's shoulders, "Anybody could find us now..." they whispered in a 'spooky, ghostly' voice, "We'll never be safe! A ghost or teacher could steal you away in the middle of night!" She grabbed him tightly and shook him around. "They could already be on there way, considering Dawn's still got mind-control goo in her head..."

"Astrid!" Dawn shrieked, horrified and embarrassed all over again. "You didn't have to go and say that..." she whimpered, doing everything she could to avoid eye contact with Sage.

"What? If we're gonna be scared, let's be scared over anything but a cannibal deer," Astrid explained. They didn't really get the big deal or social cue of the event.
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Mon Oct 09, 2023 4:34 am
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Ari11 says...



“The deer part of the Wendigo is actually a more modern interpretation,” Avery pointed out. “In the older tales they’re more…possible? It was based on this idea of tarnishing your spirit, which actually does kind of happen in real life.”

“If that’s the case, we’re under a school run by Wendigoes,” Evan muttered to Astrid so Dawn wouldn’t hear.

“It’s kind of late for the goo-removal, anyway,” Sage added, casting a careful glance at the redhead. Dawn didn’t meet her eyes, and a stab of guilt went through her. “Like Astrid sort of said, we have bigger problems to deal with.”

“Like whether that awful smell is a titan arum or a body,” Evan turned his head toward the darkness beyond the fire, eyes fixed on the spot where he could hear water running. “…Dawn? If one of the Adjudicator’s extractions goes wrong…what does she do with the student afterwards?”
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Oct 09, 2023 4:50 am
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KocoCoko says...



Astrid nodded thoughtfully, whispering back to Evan. "They're gonna eat you in your sleep, for sure."

Dawn gave Evan a look, only then realizing what he meant. "Oh," she whimpered. She thought about it, but it was hard to. Her brain had trained itself in the art of obedience and subservience to her mother. "I... If that's what you're thinking, I don't think she'd start killing kids. That's-" Dear God, she almost threw up even having the words come out of her mouth. She'd certainly lost her appetite for a while. Maybe that was a good thing, considering their circumstances.

"She... I don't think she ever made me make one of those flowers, especially not to cover something up. Well..." she said, rubbing her temples. So many memories unlocking themselves made her head hurt. "Well," she mumbled, "Maybe once or twice. Thrice? I-I can't remember when... I can't remember..." Dawn sort of just stared off into space as the gravity of the world set in. If they were caught now, it was an unspoken truth that they'd never make it out. "I just can't remember anything anymore," she whispered to herself. She couldn't tell if it had all been trauma-blocked, or maybe Powder was starting to get to her. Either would be bad, but the idea of both was horrifying. Dawn subconsciously leaned onto Avery's shoulder.
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Mon Oct 09, 2023 5:37 am
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Ari11 says...



“There’s really not that much we can do,” Avery pointed out, rubbing Dawn’s arm. “I think we should all get some rest. I’ll get started on the sleeping bags.”

“I’ll wall this section off, too,” Sage offered, lifting her arms as Semavry started spiraling out of the ground, weaving itself into a trellis-like dome over their heads, completely obscuring them from the rest of the sewer. It was strange—the thick, poisonous-looking vines seemed to grow better down here than above. Something about the dark and wet sent excited shivers through Sage’s arms, as if the Semavry were celebrating its new environment. When she was done she folded her limbs into a tight ball, shivering slightly at the slithering feeling all along her body. She didn’t like it at all.
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Mon Oct 09, 2023 7:15 pm
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn stayed glue to Avery's side. Out of the group, Avery was the only one she felt safe with. Avery didn't judge or belittle her when she did something wrong. Or maybe she did, but Dawn was too head-over-heels to realize or care.

Izzy helped finish the cooking, using her power to keep the fire alive. Once she had eaten, even Winifred seemed more alive. Astrid let her play on their handheld Nintendo system, even if Astrid had to play most of the levels for her. Winifred seemed more interested in her teddy bear once she was bored of that.

Izzy marveled at the vines grown all over. "Woah... these are..." Izzy took a pulp berry off one of the roots, "Way bigger than the ones from earlier. Can I eat it?"

Even Dawn took a gander at their new walls. "It must be something about the moist enviroment. There are certain plants that grow better in damp, sorta dark enviroments. I wonder if heat would make it grow even better..."
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Tue Oct 10, 2023 2:43 pm
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Ari11 says...



Sage shrugged when she saw the red berry in Izzy's hand. "I mean, you can, but nobody's tried them before. My powers are still relatively recent...for all I know, those things'll turn your eyeballs inside out. Or they'll just be normal. Only one way to find out, right?"

"How 'bout we don't do that," Avery cut in, flicking the berry out of Izzy's fingers. "We're taking enough risks as it is, no need to add extras into the mix. What color do you want your sleeping bag to be, Dawn?"
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Tue Oct 10, 2023 6:25 pm
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KocoCoko says...



"Aw," Izzy sighed. Eventually she just pouted and stalked away, her hands shoved in her hoodie.

Dawn scratched her head, looking off to the side nervously. "I, um, maybe, like, a lavendar? Or green. Whatever you think's best..."

"I want a blue one!" Astrid shouted.

Izzy scoffed. "No way, I call blue!"

Then, Winifred whimpered. "I like blue..."

Only then did Izzy relent. "Fine. Give Winnie blue and me red or something."

"What!? That was my second choice!" Astrid left Winifred's side and ran up to Izzy. A fight of color started and didn't seem like dying down anytime soon.

Dawn watched and awkwardly sighed. A blush overtook her face. "Um, w-whatever your favorite color is, I'll take that. Hopefully no one else 'claims' it." Dawn shook her head. "I don't see the big deal about colors, honestly."
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Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:40 pm
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Ari11 says...



“Well, lavender just so happens to be my favorite color, too,” Avery smiled at Dawn, trying to ignore the bickering beside her. “Why else would I wear this sweater all the time? I’ll get started on yours, and then once the others get their stuff in order I’ll do theirs too.”

“You do know there are different shades of blue, too, right?” Evan asked the two arguing girls. “Like cobalt, baby blue, royal blue…”
No I'm not an alien, why you askin?




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Wed Oct 11, 2023 3:18 am
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KocoCoko says...



Astrid rolled their eyes at Evan. "Yeah, but guess what, they're all blue! So, whoever gets the blue gets the blue!" It was a very sound and logical argument to them.

To Izzy, too, as she nodded in turn. "I don't want anyone else using blue if I'm using it. I already decided that Winnie can have it, anyways."

Astrid scoffed. "Fine! I'm taking green, then. Have your stupid red."

Before Izzy could point out how red was Astrid's second choice, Winifred starting laughing. Laughing! Even normal Winifred didn't laugh often. Izzy watched her for a moment. "What?" Winifred said, ending her chuckles. Izzy smiled with a shrug.

Dawn perked up. "Oh! Um, cool," she murmured, "Well, uh, my favorite color is green, in case you wanted to know."

"Come on!" Astrid shouted. No doubt anyone in the sewers could've heard it. "Stop taking all the good colors!"
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Wed Oct 11, 2023 4:07 am
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Ari11 says...



"And people say I'm the difficult one," Sage grumbled, picking at a crack in the ground. Then she lifted her head, raising her voice to match. "Why the hell does it matter? There's so many damn colors, just pick one! Why does it need to be such a big deal?" She glanced at Avery. "I'll take black, since it seems like the only one nobody's squealing about."

"You guys are exhausting," Evan muttered, giving Izzy and Astrid a pointed look. "Like Sage said, we have so many more problems than sleeping-bag colors! Honestly, I'm surprised we've made it this far without getting our powers sucked out...with the kind of drama-queen energy you two have, it's amazing we've managed to decide on anything!"

"You know what," Sage bellowed over the yelling. "How 'bout you all SIT DOWN and SHUT UP, or you'll have thorns for pillows! God damn!"

"Do you want stripes?" Avery asked Dawn quietly. "I can make it green and lavender, if you like."
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Wed Oct 11, 2023 4:51 am
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KocoCoko says...



Dawn scratched her neck, awkwardly watching the bickering from a distance. "Well, um, you don't have to," she said, sitting beside Avery. It's not as if anyone else nearby was a better person to be around now. "I was just thinking... considering I was going to get one of your favorite color, you could, um-" It was then Dawn realized how embarrassing and corny this must've looked to the outsider's eye. Her face was bright red when she turned away and looked at the floor. "Nevermind. That was stupid. Sorry. Just, um, do whatever! Don't mind me!"

Astrid practically jumped back once she was getting yelled at. That... wasn't normal. People never yelled at her specifically. She never did anything to get someone's wrath, mostly. They looked like a sad puppy once Sage and Evan had finished. "I..." they were speechless, their face drained of color. "I was just... I thought it was funny," they tried explaining, but it stopped making sense even in their head. "I just thought... Everyone's so- I'm so stressed, something silly would take our minds off it," she mumbled.
Eventually, Astrid gave up and resided themselves to the corner, humbly flipping open their Nintendo for another much-needed distraction.

Sure, the situation was dire and they were forced into hiding, but they were still just teens, right? Astrid still had to right to play around with her friends, right? Despite their charisma, it felt as if they could never get the social cues right. Treating every stressful event like it's nothing was really the only way to curb that.

Izzy, on the other hand, rolled her eyes and scoffed in their general direction. "You people always drag me into this. I already gave up! Sheesh." She trotted her way to Winifred, ignoring any bad looks she'd get from Sage or Evan. They always made her out to be the problem, even when someone else started it. As much as she wanted to scream at them, she needed their alliance. Sure, it was a strained thing, but she could push through it just a while longer.

Winifred, on the other hand... The poor girl was completely mortified. The moment it got loud, Winifred was covering her ears or holding her teddy close to her. So close, so tightly she almost popped his poor button eyes out.

In that moment, something... changed. A rush of memory flooded her, then disappeared. Her brother, her parents, all of them shouting and throwing things, and all Winifred had for comfort was a strangled teddy bear. It was all so familiar. Why couldn't she put a finger down on it? Why was it so... off?
Then it really hit her. Her teddy's name was Teddy. He liked wearing bowties and holding hands. That day, that very moment, her teddy liked things. He moved on his own, too!

Winifred gasped. It hurt, at first, but something had shifted. It was like a fuzzy signal finally reconnected. When her tears dried up just enough, Winifred raised her doll up to her face. "Teddy?" she whispered.
Slowly, the stuffed bear rose back to life, tilting it's head in confusion. A link that had been cut was finally put together. She felt it's thoughts, feelings, it's consciousness... The life projected onto her dolls was something that flowed from her toes to her fingertips. "Teddy!" she brought the doll to her chest and squeezed him tight. The stuffed bear did so in return.

When she slowly put the bear down, it stood by itself with no need for assistance. Winifred looked around with her terrified expression and wide, pale blue eyes. This time, she could remember why she feared being around people. "Where am I?"
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It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.
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