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Zara Rodsky

Gender roles are for pu---cats....

0 · 1,212 views · located in Psy Prep

a character in “Psy Prep”, as played by cirrus_sd

Description

Name: Zara Marie Rodski

Appearance: Zara has short brown hair in a boyish cut (due to an unfortunate hot-iron incident) that is naturally curly. She also has sharp brown eyes and a slight smattering of freckles over her small nose. She's about 5'6, with thin limbs and a lacking bust. She likes to refer to herself as "compact" while Mikhail jokingly refers to her as "Short and small." She dresses however she likes, sometimes in men's clothes, sometimes in women's. Her favorite combo is a large sweater with short, pleated skirt, and she adores her knee socks, along with her doc martens. She also has a thin, but long scar running down her back.
Image

Age: recently turned 16

Power: Zara has a knack for finding things. She never gets lost, and when she is in dire need of something, she is magically able to find it. She is also good at finding people and knowing exactly what to say or what to type to get the info she needs. She hasn't had much time developing her power, so it is limited to the above abilities. However, if she hones her power, she could develop the ability to instantly know where everything is.

EDIT: In the two weeks of training, Zara's ability has developed quite a bit. She can now find people easily, and knows where her classmates are at all times with a certain range, usually within a building. (with the exception of Danny and Chandler whenever they timestop or teleport, and of course April). She can't tell what they're doing, just their whereabouts. Her hunches are a little more definitive and descriptive, and she's gotten better at finding giveaways to a person's emotion, either through their writing, facial expression or behavior. She can also visualize certain places and know exactly where things are without actually being there, however the only places where she has this down successfully are her dorm room, Mikhail's dorm, and the inside of her purse.

Sexual Preference: Straight

Personality: Zara isn't a stickler for gender roles. She likes proving to boys that she is fully capable of holding her own. She doesn't like comments on her "acting like a girl/boy" and replies that she is simply acting like herself. She is typically a happy person, joking around and having fun, but is fierce in her beliefs. Unlike Mikhail, she does not have such a strong handle on her emotions, and is prone to emotional outbursts at times. She is loud in voicing her opinion, and very energetic, occasionally to the point of hyperactivity. She loves baseball, and sports in general. She can hold her own in an arm wrestle or thumb war, and is an avid player of video games. She doesn't like reading, and struggles in school. She is lazy, and hopelessly messy and unorganized (but of course, is able to find whatever she needs with no problem). She is trying to grow her hair out so she can "whip her hair back and forth", but it's taking some time. She spends a lot of time on YouTube, and is prone to believing Urban Myths and just about any tip on skin and hair care until she disproves it herself. Too focused on being her own person, she isn't all that interested in getting a boyfriend, and will tease or cock-block anyone who tries to make a move on her. A holder of a dirty mouth, she tends to curse a lot, and is prone to flinging around bizarre insults. She is also very, very stubborn, a trait that at times can be extremely infuriating.

History: Zara is of Polish descent. Like Mikhail, she too was recruited to be a child spy by the Russian Intelligence, under the Miscellaneous Intelligence Division (MID), a section usually known for developing new methods for gaining intelligence, but now primarily dealing with the idea of child spies. From an Orthodox Jewish family, Zara grew tired of the assigned gender roles, and retaliated by shaving most of her hair off at the age of 11. Enraged, her father beat her, causing the skin on her back to split. The abuse caused a permanent scar on her back. She returned to her family, but a week after she was abandoned at a mall and her family was never seen again. An agent for the RI saw her sleeping on one of the benches, and after she told him she had no family anymore, he brought her to Russia to train her. There, she met Mikhail, and they bonded quickly, taking on a brother-sister relationship.

Her ability has been present since her birth, but she simply called it luck. After Mikhail's disappearance, she looked up the details of his death. The search led to a series of articles discussing psychic abilities, and upon reading the entry for Serendipity, began to suspect she herself had abilities as well. Upon finding the webpage for Psy Prep, she requested that she be enrolled. After receiving a letter approving it, she requested a discharge from the RI and left for the academy.

So begins...

Zara Rodsky's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

Mikhail woke groggily, a pressing need growing within him.

He needed to pee.

Stumbling to his feet, he wrapped the sleeping bag around him like a blanket and half-shuffled/half-limped to the edge of the campsite. Hallie and Zoe were talking, but he didn't understand their words. Probably girl things.. he thought with a yawn.

Jeez, how much did he drink? Not that much, as far as he could remember. Then again, he remembered lettuce had a high concentration of water within it, and he had eaten quite a bit of that. He watched his stream blankly, too unfocused to try and hit anything with it. How long had he slept for? Thirty minutes? An hour? He wasn't sure, but it couldn't have been that long.

When he finished, he shook it off and re-wrapped the sleeping bag around him. He turned back towards the campfire, eyes half-open, and hobbled back.

About half-way through, he heard a loud scream of "MIIIISHAAAAAAA!!!!!!!" followed by running footsteps. Before he could turn around, something crashed into him, knocking him over. Mikhail caught himself slightly to avoid a concussion, but he still ended up on the ground anyways, underneath his attacker. The sleeping bag restricted his arms, and he couldn't push this thing off. Was this how it was going to end??

Suddenly, the thing on top of him started kissing him on the cheeks, babbling in some language. As Mikhail came to his senses, he realized he knew this language. It was Polish. And the voice....it was familiar too.

No. It couldn't be.

"Zara?!?"

Zara

Zara couldn't believe her eyes. She had finally found him! Mikhail...he was alive!

Unable to contain herself, she had barreled out of the forest, screaming his nickname through tears, and collided into him with a hug. She kissed his cheeks, the way they used to greet each other in the hallways at the MID, talking rapidly in her native tongue, through tears: "Oh, Misha! Misha, it's really you! I can't believe I found you! I can't believe it!"

"Zara?!?" he asked disbelievingly. His eyes opened wide, and he smiled. "Oh my god, it is you!" he exclaimed in Polish. He wriggled his arms out from the blanket he had wrapped around himself and hugged her. "What are you doing here?"

Zara was too excited and emotional to answer his question. She was crying now, tears of happiness, tears of sadness. "They...they told us you had died!" she continued in Polish, "They told us you fell from a 20-story building and died on impact! We...we even had a funeral....it was closed casket be...because th-they said your body was too...too...Oh, Misha!" She hugged him again. "I missed you so much! I'm so happy I found you! I'm so happy my big brother is alive!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

They told them he had died? What was that supposed to mean?

Mikhail lifted his head up when Zoe yelled. Craning his neck, he managed to make out what looked like a man with a ponytail. Who had a sword.

As soon as Zoe uttered the word "dangerous", Mikhail immediately rolled over, shielding Zara who ended up underneath him.

"Shit," he muttered, and grinned apologetically at the girl beneath him, "You picked a hell of a time for a reunion. I wish we could catch up, but it looks like that won't be the case."

He stood up shakily. "Shit," he repeated. Why now? The pain was returning, no doubt Hallie had been disturbed by this intruder, and he still hadn't fully recovered his strength.

"What happened to your leg?" Zara asked. The two of them were still speaking in Polish. "And your hand? And your clothes?"

Mikhail laughed at all her questions. "It's complicated," he replied, "I'll tell you later. After I take care of this problem."

Taking a deep breath, he rolled back his shoulders and started to walk closer to this new enemy, his limp not as evident.

Zara

Zara waited patiently underneath Mikhail, a bit peeved that he found the need to protect her, but too happy to protest. The blanket--was it a sleeping bag?--had fallen off, and she noticed he was naked. Yep... she thought to herself, definitely Misha

When he stood up, she immediately saw that something was off. Not only did he seem weakened, but their was a splint around his leg. And that glove...he had never worn that before. Predictably, he delayed answering her questions, though she couldn't be mad at him. Now really wasn't the best time.

Zara followed after Mikhail, looking for something in her duffel bag. She brought the thing everywhere, likening it to her purse. Here was no exception.

"Here!" she said, handing him a pair of gym shorts. They were a little too big for her--she had accidentally bought small Mens--and she had been thinking about returning them. Good thing she hadn't.

Mikhail grinned impishly as he took them. "Have you gotten more conservative in my absence?" he teased. Zara rolled her eyes. "As if. You should be thanking me. I'm only looking out for your future children. Unless you want to lose your family jewels."

Mikhail scoffed as he pulled on the shorts. "Why would I want that??" he demanded.

Zara shrugged. "Beats me. Perhaps so you could finally sing like Britney Spears?"

Mikhail laughed. "I see your sense of humor hasn't changed," he remarked.

Zara grinned. As they neared the attacker, she realized that she had seen him before. Earlier that day, in the forest, she had seen an Asian man shooting fire at something...She squinted and affirmed her suspicions. Yep, same guy.

"Misha, the guy attacks with fire," she warned. He nodded and quickened his pace. She herself reached into her bag for her water bottle.

Suddenly, the man was lifted into the air by an unknown force. Mouth agape, Zara turned to Mikhail to see if he also saw this. However, the expression on his face confused her. Somewhat strained, but entirely in focus, eyes locked on the man's position.

Zara couldn't believe it. Was...was this really Mikhail's doing?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Hallie

The attacker had distracted Hallie quite completely from helping Mikhail, though she recovered as soon as she saw him going in to stop him. Another mystery person had joined them, one who handed Mikhail some shorts, which seemed a good thing, and had emotions like a rocket inside of her. Hallie gasped a little at the onslaught still trying to keep the pain in Mikhail's leg to a minimum so that he could fight. But he was weak.

Charging toward him, Hallie concentrated all she could, only on Mikhail, as he concentrated. The fatigue, the pain...she absorbed it as best as she could without having her own body give out. It had to be a balance or she would be useless.

"Girlfriend?" she teased, nodding to Zara. "Just full of surprises, aren't you Mikhail?"


James

Keeping Arian behind him, James knew he would be little help in this fight. He was the gatherer of intel, he had figured this out already, and the new girl seemed to know what this guy was about. Fire.

With Mikhail and Hallie on the front lines, James squinted to the mysteriously appearing girl as well, wondering if she was trustworthy. A quick check from the crystal told him she knew Mikhail. A friend? One of his little "bed mates"?

"I thought camping trips were all about s'mores and scary stories around a fire...not monsters and no food." He sighed, wishing he knew how to help.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

A white-haired girl was nearing them, looking a bit pained. She addressed Mikhail in English. "Girlfriend?" the girl had motioned at her! "Just full of surprises, aren't you, Mikhail?"

Girlfriend?!? "Well I never!" Zara protested, still in Polish, but Mikhail took over for her. "We're just friends," he explained, "I think I already told you I've never had one."

Got that right! "The Green Giant, he is" Zara added, in English this time, pointing at Mikhail with her thumb. Probably the only guy over 15 at the MID who still hadn't gotten laid, while at the same time being the guy with the most opportunities to do so. After all, he oozed charisma like a slug oozed slime. My, was she being poetic!

"In case you don't understand Polish," Zara explained to this girl, "I told Misha that this man fights with fire." After she got over the initial shock of Mikhail having powers--which, really, she should have been expecting after finding him here at this particular school--she wondered what other powers these people had. She was still getting used to the idea of supernatural abilities. She herself still didn't quite see her own ability as anything more than extreme luck, and had enrolled herself here on a hunch.

"How do you plan on defeating him?" Zara asked Mikhail, switching to Polish, "By holding him up in the air forever? I might be wrong, but you don't exactly look your best right now."

Mikhail

Zara was right. Even though he felt Hallie draining his pain away again, he was still shaky. The man in the air wasn't going to be up there much longer. Mikhail could already feel him lowering to the ground.

The ground...

Scrunching his face up, he inhaled strongly through his nose, and almost completely cut his gravity, causing the Asian to rise high into the air. Mikhail held him there for as long as he could. A thin stream of blood trickled down from his nose, and he could only imagine how much pain he'd be feeling if Hallie wasn't absorbing it.

Finally, just before his breaking point, he switched gears, pumping up the gravity as fast as he could. The man, who had previously been suspended in the air, had now been slammed to the ground in an instant.

Mikhail tried to hold him there, to prevent his movement, but it was too much. He had done his bit, and he only hoped it would be enough. All adrenaline gone, he felt numb. Weak. His legs gave out, and he would have fallen onto the ground, were it not for Zara.

"Misha!" she cried, holding him up. "Misha, are you ok? Your nose is bleeding..."

As he leaned against his friend, he turned to her and smiled weakly. "You've gotten stronger," he remarked, a bit hoarsely, "I remember when you couldn't even lift your own weight, much less mine."

"Oh, shut up," Zara snapped, but it wasn't a harsh tone. He knew he had flattered her.

He wiped the blood off his face and peered wearily where he thought he had slammed the guy. All this strain did nothing to improve his sense of direction, and in fact made it worse. He really hoped his gravity slam would be enough to incapacitate the guy. If not....well, there was nothing he could do anymore. He turned to Hallie: "You can stop absorbing my pain, now," he told her, "For real, this time. There's nothing else I can do after that. I'm all out. You should save your own strength. You're gonna need it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

Mikhail's eyes widened when he saw the fire race towards them, travelling on a trail of blood. It was too similar. Much too similar. Flashbacks of fire, the thin but lethal spark travelling down the wire, the explosion that occurred afterwards. His mind grew confused. Was he really on the ground? Or were they actually in a dark room, several stories above? Was that blood...or was it oil? This time he was the one with the broken leg...but he still had to get rid of the bomb. "Get out of here!" he shouted to everyone, his voice high-strung, and he pushed Zara away as he fell to his knees. His hands scrabbled with the wires, frantically trying to find the right one to cut. It was the red one, right? He didn't have any scissors...he'd have to twist it off.

It was too late. The fire was upon him. He watched motionless as the flames reached him, roaring up and circling around him. Crying out, he tried to push them back with his hands. His left hand was quickly ablaze, and he panicked, watching helplessly as his fingers burned, the flesh quickly discoloring. His whole body had become unbearably hot. There was another blast, and he felt himself fall...

Zara

Zara fell hard on her backside when Mikhail pushed her. "Hey!" she shouted, and quickly got back to her feet. There was a flame coming straight for them, but for some reason Mikhail was putting his hands in the pool of blood it was running on, muttering to himself about wires.

What was he doing?? Before Zara could open her mouth, the fire had reached him. "Misha!" she nearly screamed, and she ran to him. Grabbing his shoulders, she pulled him back just as a firework-like flame exploded in front of them. She quickly dragged him away from the fire.

"My hand! My hand, it's burning!" Mikhail cried. It was true. The glove on his left hand had caught fire. Immediately, she grabbed his left wrist and with a firm hand and ripped the glove off.

She gasped loudly, dropping the glove as she covered her mouth with her hand. "Oh, Misha!" she shrieked, "Your...your hand!"

She stared in horror at what was left of his hand. Only his palm and the first two digits of his pinkie and ring finger were left. The rest was made up of metal prosthetic fingers. Without thinking, she reached out and touched one of them. It was so cold. Unfeeling. Artificial.

She started crying, still holding his damaged hand. "Oh, Misha," she sobbed, "What happened to you? Jesus fucking Christ, what happened to you?! Oh, Misha!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

Mikhail looked up at Zara, the flashback slowly fading to current. He couldn't understand what Zara was saying, but her expression spoke for itself. She had seen his hand, and it wasn't pretty.

He smiled sadly, bending his metal fingers around her hand, giving it a small squeeze, and she pressed the hand to her face. "Don't cry, Zara," he hushed, in Polish so no one could overhear, "I had an accident. On a mission. There was a bomb, and I tried to stop it from going off, but I failed. I almost died, but somehow I got this ability and I survived. I'm really lucky, if you think about it. Compared to my life, a few fingers is nothing."

He heard a dull thump, and he turned his head. Someone had fallen in front of them. "Who..." he started to say, resuming to English, but then he realized. It was the attacker. But how did he end up all the way over here?

"What happened?" he asked, thoroughly disoriented.

Zara

She wiped her tears as she heard Mikhail's explanation. She should be happy he only lost his fingers. She had thought for the past months that he had lost his life, along with the rest of his team...

Suddenly, she realized that she had compromised him. They were surrounded by people who didn't know they were spies, possibly didn't even know about Mikhail's hand, and she had revealed him to everyone. Quickly, she covered his hand with the now-somewhat-singed glove, hoping that the others had been too distracted to see what she had. She'd have to be more careful. If she accidentally revealed Mikhail, she'd also be giving herself up.

"I think she blew up the cave he was hiding in," Zara explained in English, pointing at Zoe. "It was pretty crazy, actually. I didn't see much of it because of you, but I heard it."

"Gee, sorry," Mikhail teased as he slowly eased himself upright, "I didn't mean to inconvenience you."

"Inconvenience isn't even the start of it," Zara teased back. She helped him stand up, letting him lean on her.

"You know, I could get used to this," Mikhail remarked as he rested his arm on her head, "You make a perfect little armrest."

"Shut up!" Zara snapped, "Unless you want this 'perfect little armrest' to bite you."

Mikhail laughed. He turned to the girl who had blown up the cave. "Are you okay, Zoe?" he asked, "I hope you didn't strain yourself too much."

"HAH!" Zara blurted out. "Look who's talking..." Mikhail glared at her, but she just stuck her tongue out at him.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zoe

Zoe looked up to see Mikhail with the other girl. He was safe...it didn't seem like the fire left any serious or permanent burns on his skin. His leg was still broken though, and he looked quite beat up.

"Are you okay, Zoe?" "I hope you didn't strain yourself too much."

"Y-yeah...I'm fine," Zoe lied. She just wanted to sleep now, but she was scared. The voice in the back of her head wasn't hers. She heard it before though...on the day of the...incident. It was as though her rage overtook her and didn't stop until she ran out of power, or if there wasn't anything left to kill. The girl by Mikhail said something, but Zoe couldn't hear, by then her ears were throbbing and her vision was dying out. "Someone needs to watch...that guy" Zoe said referring to the one that had attacked them. Then she began drifting in and out of consciousness. "...It won't be me though..." Zoe finished. Zoe smiled, "I'm glad you're okay," she said to Mikhail, completely losing consciousness.

Adrien

Adrien watched as the fight went on. Everything was crazy and he didn't even have time to help. Eventually, Mikhail was on fire and Zoe was blowing up a waterfall. Adrien followed Mikhail and the mystery girl, noticing what was under Mikhail's glove. Stepping back silently, he gulped as the mystery girl began speaking in Polish. Hopefully no one noticed he noticed. "I'll stay up this time," Adrien volunteered. He wanted to help and try to figure things out. What happened to Mikhail's hand? Who was this girl and how were her and Mikhail related? It wasn't really his business but it was interesting.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Hallie

Dropping to the ground and agreeing with Mikhail's statement about needing her own strength, Hallie released Mikhail and left him to deal with the pain on his own, which he seemed all right with. Panting and gasping, she looked at the scene. Zoe was taking over as the opponent dove into a cave for cover. Then the telekinetic girl collapsed as well from exhaustion. Feliciano had braved approaching the young man that had attacked them with fire, even burning Mikhail. Apparently this kid was a student as well.

Hallie watched Mikhail closely, seeing the hand and the fake metal fingers. She noticed that Adrien had seen the same, but neither said a word.

This new girl had worries sprouting from her like daisies out of the ground. Hallie managed to stand and step away from it all, collapsing on the other side of a boulder out of sight of everyone else, catching a breath and fighting weariness. She couldn't think much, except to repeat a chant in her head: Don't sleep, not yet, don't sleep. You don't know if it's over.

Suddenly James appeared, eyes concerned and guilt twisting around his wavelength like a tiny snake. He dropped down beside her and put an arm around her so she she rested against his side. Surprisingly, his emotions were rather controlled, or maybe Hallie was too far gone to register anything. Either way, he was comfortable and her eyes fluttered closed.


James

Mikhail was being taken care of and Arian had started over to Zoe to check on her as well, while Feliciano dealt with Yao. James had noticed Hallie's pained expressions as she started away from everyone else and he squinted after her, concerned.

He wasn't much help with battles and it bothered him to no end, but he could comfort. He was good at that. At least he used to be. Back in his own schools, he had been called the big brother of his group of friends, always showing up when a shoulder needed crying on or having advice about asking a girl out. Naturally, he slipped into this role again, even though it had been a couple years since he had had to. But thoughts on his parents and their disappointment in him rang out like a foghorn.

He sat beside Hallie, quietly asking, "You okay?" but she didn't hear him. So he put an arm around her, trying to clear his thoughts, and she was soon asleep. Sighing, he wondered what it was like to actually be able to help. James gently held his blue crystal in his fingers and thought about how useless he was to the group.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

"Zoe!" she had fainted. At least, that was what he hoped she had done. She wasn't dead, right??

He staggered down to her, something he almost regretted. Hallie had listened to him for once, and he could feel every ounce of pain. Gritting his teeth, he forced his way through it and reached Zoe. He checked her pulse and gave a sigh of relief. Still alive.

In an act of possible insanity, he maneuvered her into his arms and picked her up. Standing up was a feat in its own, as he couldn't use his gravity manipulation. "I'm starting to think this is a bad idea..." he said to Zara. She had crossed her arms, watching his efforts with an are-you-fucking-kidding-me look. "Ya think?" she asked.

Hazarding a grin, he quickened his breathing. He still had some energy left. It wasn't a lot. But just enough. Hefting the unconscious girl higher up, he walked briskly, almost running, back to the camp fire. It wasn't until he set her down, gently, on the ground, that his body gave up. You are sitting your stupid Ruski ass down NOW and you won't be getting up until we say you can! it seemed to say. "Okay, okay," Mikhail muttered, collapsing onto the ground next to her. Zara had followed after him, her eyes wide and somewhat angry. He sighed as he awaited her barrage of words.

Zara

"Are you fucking stupid?" she almost shouted, "Or are you just trying to kill yourself? What was that whole display for? Some testament to your ungodly strength or something?? Well, see how strong you are now!"

"I couldn't just leave her," Mikhail explained, almost a mumble. Zara wasn't sure if he was ashamed or just tired. She rolled her eyes.

"Didn't you hear the China Man? He said he was put up to it by the teachers. And if you didn't want to leave her, you could have just stayed there, instead of running on a bloody broken leg!."

"But...the fire...You want me to just let her freeze?"

Zara sighed exasperatingly. "Obviously, your noggin isn't on all the way. The Asian can control fire? Honestly....where are you right now?"

Mikhail looked at her blankly. "I'm...not sure, to tell you the truth."

Zara rolled her eyes again before sitting down next to him. "Honestly, Misha. Common sense? For some reason I thought that was one of your fortes..." Her tone was less harsh than before though. She felt kind of bad for yelling at him, but in all seriousness, what had he been thinking? He didn't learn apparently, as this wasn't the first time this sort of thing had happened. He was always straining himself for others, but didn't he know that if he didn't take care of himself than he wouldn't be much help anyways?

"So..." Mikhail started to say. His tone was tired, and she could tell he was about to drift off. "You...you thought I was dead? They told you I was dead?"

Zara nodded silently, remembering the day. She had cried for weeks afterwards.

"Did you believe it?"

"Well, what else was I supposed to believe?" Zara asked, "You weren't there, and they said you had fallen from the 20th story. It wasn't that difficult to believe you were dead. After all, no...normal human could have survived a fall like that."

Mikhail nodded. "Did....did Sasha believe it too?"

Zara gulped. He didn't know? How was she supposed to tell him....she decided to lie. She faked a smile, "No, Sasha somehow knew you had survived."

Mikhail smiled. He had heard what he wanted to. Nodding again, he yawned. "Time to get some sleep," Zara said, though it was more like an order.

"Agreed," he replied.

The two were asleep in no time, Zara's head on Mikhail's shoulder as the fire flickered behind them.

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

Mikhail woke up immediately to Adrien's exclamation. He yawned, scratching his chin. When was the last time he had shaved? There was a scruff growing...hmm...maybe he'd grow it out for a change. He blinked his eyes and sat up. Immediately he winced. Shutting his eyes immediately, he bit his lip. "Mmmmrrthrr Frrrkkkkrrr!" he groaned. His leg was screaming in pain. He felt tears prick up in his eyes, but he pressed through, ignoring the pain and blinking the tears away.

"Ey," he said to Zara.

"Go awayyyyy," she whined, waving her hand at him. Her head had fallen down to his lap as he sat up, and he nudged it. "Ey. Zara. Fish-face. Get up." He turned to look at Zoe, who was also still sleeping "You too, sunshine."

Zara

Zara moaned and rubbed her eyes as she yawned. "How come you call her sunshine, but not me? How come I'm a fish-face?" She rolled over so her face was pointing upwards, and she poked his nose. "Huh, Pinocchio? How come I'm a fish-face?"

"Because you're Polish," he replied, and a smile sneaked onto his face.

So he was calling her a Pollock, was he? "Dumb bear," she muttered, and she made sure to elbow him in the crotch as she pulled herself upright. As Mikhail bowled over, cursing, she stood up, brushing herself off. She walked over to the boy with food. Her eyes widened when she saw what they had to eat.

"Where did you get all this?" she asked, amazed, as she seated herself by a stack of pancakes. She cut out a piece and tasted it tentatively. It was delicious! She began chowing it down. "It tastes great!"

Setting

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Adrien

Adrien looked at the girl consuming pancakes and smiled. "I made them!" He exlaimed gladly. "I'm Adrien, my power is to make illusions, and if I focus really hard the become animate!" Adrien said smugly. He stretched his hand over to the other girl. "What's your name?" He asked. "I haven't seen you before! Are you a new student? Were you sent here to kill us?" Adrien said bombarding her with statements and questions. "Oh, I'm going too fast aren't I? I do that a lot around new people hahaha!" Adrien said not giving her a chance to talk. "See, I did it again! I'm probably just rambling now hahaha," Adrien said finally finishing.

Zoe

Zoe rolled over groaning. She was trying to wake up, and was making progress, but she just couldn't do it! Eventually, she began making her way back into reality, faintly hearing those around her. He heard Mikhail calling her sunshine the mystery girl getting jealous. She eventually woke up to Mikhail cursing, holding his crotch, Hallie, and James talking, Arian by the sleeping bags and Adrien "talking" with the mystery girl, she wouldn't call it a conversation, it was more of a one sided happy rampage. Zoe got up grogilly, "Good morning," she mumbled. She decided to wait for things to calm down before she went to eat because she already had a bad enough headache.

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

Zara extended her own hand, shaking Adrien's as she chewed her pancakes. He began asking a lot of questions, pseudo-apologized, and then started rambling. She shrugged when he asked if he was going too fast. "Don't worry," she said, swallowing her breakfast, "Nothing is said too fast for me." She pointed at herself with her thumb and grinned. She was used to being the hyper one in her group of friends. Looked like she'd have some competition. "I'm Zara. Yes, I'm new, and no I wasn't sent here to kill you. If I had, I would have done so already," an evil glint shone in her eyes as she said that. She wiped her finger around the plate, cleaning it of maple syrup.

"Illusions, huh?" she asked, "That's cool. I've never heard of an illusion you can eat though. I'm not complaining though." She sucked up the sweet syrup from her finger and put the plate down. Looking around, she saw the others packing. "Going somewhere?" she asked, "What are you guys doing in the woods anyways?"

She herself had gone into the forest of her own accord. She had gotten bored and walked through to see what was in it. Getting lost wasn't an issue for her, and she knew she could find her way back out. If she hadn't found Mikhail, she probably would have slept in her bed instead of on the ground.

Mikhail

Damned Pollock....

Once the pain in his groin subsided, he greeted Zoe: "Good morning to you too." He checked his watch, "Almost good afternoon. We need to get a move on, lest we get this horrible punishment they keep threatening us with."

Standing up would have been impossible without his gravity power. His sleep had renewed his energy, and he lightened the load on his bad leg tremendously, subsiding the pain. He still limped, but it was better than nothing. He rolled up the sleeping bag and zipped Zara's bag up for her. Still in his gym shorts, he looked at Hallie, who was also still in his pants and jacket. He hobbled over to where her clothes had been deposited the night before, both jeans and shirt more than dried, if a bit singed. He "walked" over to her, grinning somewhat.

"You mind if we make a trade?" he asked, "Your clothes for mine?"

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Adrien

When Zara mentioned that she would be able to kill them if she wanted to Adrien gulped. "Uh...what's your power?" He asked to see if she was really strong. "Also, we're going back to school, if we're late, bad things happen. We're in the woods because it was a survival class, we're lucky we survived," Adrien said laughing.

Zoe

Zoe made her way to the food, things seemed to be more quiet now. She began eating eyeing Hallie and Mikhail. "They're friends, I trust that..." she thought to herself. "I just hope nothing else develops..." she thought trying her best to conceal her worry from Hallie. She trusted them, but she still worried. "We should get going soon," Zoe said taking a bite from one of the pancakes as she watched Mikhail and Hallie's fall. "See, it's stuff like that that's going to make them like eachother!" Zoe thought biting her lip. She was going to have to take Hallie's advice, before things progressed.

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

"I'm not sure if it really counts as a power...." Zara said. She herself hardly did. "But I'm really good at finding things. People, things, websites, songs, Easter Eggs--both kinds, I mean--etc...that's how I found Misha. I'm really good with directions, and I never get lost." She smiled. "Survival class, huh? Well, if back to school is where you need to go, then you'll reach there in no time with me." She said the last bit proudly, once again pointing at herself with her thumb.

She noticed the telekinetic girl--her name was Zoe, right?--sit down next to her, eyes on Mikhail and the girl he was with. Zara smirked when she saw him on top of her. It was just like him to get into a situation like that. She wondered why Zoe was so intent on the two of them, though. When she noticed her biting her lip, Zara realized and laughed.

She liked him! It had to be...that nervous look...her staring at them...it was lasting longer than a curious glance. Nope, she was interested. Wouldn't be the first girl to look at Mikhail like that...

"I see you've got eyes on my big bro," Zara remarked, smiling toothily as she peeled an orange.

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Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

Mikhail sighed with happiness as he zipped up the SpiderMan jacket around him. After a long day and night of exposure, it was nice to be covered up again. And also nice to have pants that actually fit and covered his legs.

Mikhail followed Hallie's eyes after she asked her question. They led to Zoe, who was eating next to Zara. Her next question surprised him.

"Why? Does she like me?" he asked, half-jokingly, looking back at Hallie. A small voice in the back of his head wanted to ask: Don'tyou like me?, but he pushed it aside. "To be honest, though, it's not like I'm desperate for one," he explained, "The single life is pretty fun."

He looked at Zoe again. She seemed nice. Kind of fun, if a bit flustered. A good dancer. And cute. He wouldn't have to watch his emotions that much around her either. Still, he had only known her for, what, a day? There had been girls he had known for years that he still didn't ask out, even if he knew they liked him.

It wasn't a terrible idea, though. "Zoe's not bad though..." he shrugged, "I dunno. We'll see."

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zoe

"I see you've got eyes on my big bro,"

"Wha-what!" Zoe stammered. "Uh...not really heh..." Zoe said moving a bit away from the girl. Gosh, don't tell me she was something like an empath as well. Or maybe she was just that obvious. Zoe had concealed her emotions for such a long time, but she was slipping up by opening up. She didn't exactly like it that way sometimes, but other times it was good.

The Chinese man got back up, and began speaking cheerfully. Then he turned to Zoe, his expression growing dark and angry. He began threatening her, acting all tough, like many people she knew. He acted like he knew her, like he owned her. He used his size to his advantage and threatened her with his powers. Zoe stood up, looking him straight in his cold eyes. "Really, you grew up in the slums of China? You can create and control fire?" Zoe asked rhetorically. Her eyes were cold, unamused. "You don't scare or intimidate me. You don't even make me angry," Zoe said, letting him know that threatening her didn't do anything. She felt pain in her life before, and words didn't cut it. "Well, I suppose we've made a scene now because of you." Zoe said calming herself down a bit. "Unless you need anything else hot head, I'll keep eating," Zoe said taking a bite out of a pancake, not the toughest food in the world, but she wasn't trying to intimidate, she just wanted him to know that he wasn't scaring her.

Adrien

"Wow! That power sounds really cool!" Adrien exclaimed ignoring the little dagger contest going on behind him. "I'm sure with your power we'll find the school in minutes!" He said laughing. "Well, I have to go pack now, talk to you later," Adrien said making his way to his things, packing everything he was given. "Some of these people really need to lighten up" Adrien thought laughing. Maybe they could have a party when they came back!

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

Zara smirked as Zoe inched away from her. Not really, huh? Didn't buy it one bit.

The Chinese guy started talking, introducing himself and apologizing for last night. Yao Ma.....hmm. Interesting. He and Zoe got into a short spat, but it was short-lived. They seemed to calm down after he drew a picture of her.

Jeez. Pyrokinetic. Telekinetic. Illusionist. Whatever the hell Mikhail had...all that compared to her ability to never get lost. She couldn't help feeling a tad bit overwhelmed by all these heavy-armor powers, but Adrien's cheery words stayed in her head and she grinned to herself. At least she could guarantee their return to the school without a map.

Mikhail had joined the group, dressed in clothes that fit him. He sat down in between her and Zoe, pulling up a plate of waffles. Zara playfully tugged one of his hoodie strings, making them uneven. He retaliated by resting his elbow on her head. "Seriously," he said, chewing his breakfast, "I could get used to this." Zara pushed him off, but he caught himself, balancing at an otherwise impossible angle. He took the opportunity to lean across Zoe at the picture Yao had drawn of her. "Only thing you need to add is pink on her cheeks," he commented, " 'Cause she's always blushing!"

If only he knew why Zara thought. It'd be interesting to see Mikhail with a girlfriend, seeing as he had always avoided it. She wondered if his gay rumors were true. It would certainly explain a lot, she thought evilly.

Mikhail

As he leaned across Zoe, he snatched a glance at her face. She really was cute.

He pulled back, lost in thought as he cut up his waffle. He didn't not like her...but he wasn't sure if he liked her in that way. And he didn't want to ask her out if he wasn't sure of his feelings for her. Not to mention he was still conflicted on his feelings for Hallie. It was true that he saw her as just a friend, much like he currently saw Zoe, but that kiss last night....that kiss was definitely something different. He had never felt that way when kissing someone before...

Was he secretly attracted to Hallie? He wasn't sure...they had only truly kissed once after all...and one kiss wasn't enough to seal your feelings for someone, right? Besides...he wasn't sure if he wanted to be with someone who would be affected by his every emotion. Say for some reason he was upset about something. He wouldn't want Hallie to become upset involuntarily because of him. Zoe seemed to be the safest choice.

He didn't know either girl very much though to be thinking too seriously about this. He didn't want to hurt Zoe's feelings in the event that she did like him, but he'd rather get to know her before asking her out. Then again...he could always get to know her after asking her out. It would definitely give him a good excuse to.

Ugh. He was thinking too much into it. For now, his action was inaction, and he resumed devouring his waffles.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

Punishment?! Did Adrien mention that? She couldn't remember...but she was new and she definitely didn't want to get punished! She wasn't even supposed to be out here!

"Count me in!" she shouted, jumping up. She grabbed her duffel bag and started to join James and the other two girls. She stopped, however, when she thought of Mikhail. She knew he was hopeless with directions, and though he was a fast runner, speed wouldn't do you much good if you were going in the wrong direction. She looked over at him, still eating his breakfast, waiting a tad bit impatiently. You'd think he'd hurry it up a bit...

As if reading her mind, Mikhail waved at her: "Go on," he said, "I'm almost done. I'll catch up to you guys."

Zara smiled. "Dasvidanya," she called back to him, and she turned to the other three. "Don't worry. So long as you're with me, we'll get back to the school in no time!" The way Zoe had gone wasn't incorrect, per say, but Zara knew a faster route. She pointed about southeast of Zoe's trail. "This way's faster...follow me!" she exclaimed as she started briskly into the forest.

Mikhail

Mikhail finished his waffles, smiling at Zara as she led James, Hallie and the other girl into the forest. He envied her sense of direction, and knew she'd get back in no time.

The Russian sighed a bit as he stood up and gathered his sleeping bag. He had purposely not joined their group, as Adrien, Circus, and the other two foreigners were still here. He wasn't exactly one for punishments, but the leader in him didn't want to shuffle it off onto someone else. No, he'd purposely arrive last--if he didn't end up lost--and take whatever these sadistic teachers had in store for him. Besides, it couldn't be that bad, right?

Leaning on his good leg, he looked at the remaining students. "Well? Shall we be off?" He didn't want to lose Zara's trail.

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Adrien

"Sure, let's go!" Adrien cheered, getting to his feet smiling. He remembered Mikhail had a bad sense of direction, so it would be best if they could be close by to Zara, he remembered that her power helped her locate things and know the directions to get to said areas in the fastest possible way. Adrien looked around, "Who's gonna be last?" Adrien thought to himself. If they all ended up together at the end they'd probably have to decide who was going to be last. But judging from past experience someone would just pass the finish line, causing a chain reaction until one person was left behind...

Zoe

Zoe kept moving. She wondered to herself if she was going to make it without becoming the last person. She wondered if she was going the right way. Eventually, paranoia was getting to her. They made the punishment sound so deadly, which she wasn't so scared about, but she saw a glint in the teachers eyes that made her think it was going to be embarrassing as well, something she wasn't too fond of. So, with all of the building paranoia she decided to put herself to the test. It was going to be difficult, but she had to make sure she got in first place. Concentrating, Zoe used her powers to lift herself in the sky, once she was high enough, that she could see the school she began flying there at an above average speed. She didn't think any monsters would get her from up there, but she had to be cautious. She knew she was going to have to sleep after this.

((Short post is fixed!))

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Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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James

"So, what's the punishment, you think?" James asked the girls around him. Zara, as she had introduced herself to him properly a few minutes ago, was in the lead. James agreed with her directions completely and allowed her to take the leader role this time. "Have to like wash the entire cafeteria...or wear only underwear for a day?" He laughed. "I'd be okay with that one."

"Maybe everyone else gets a reward and the last person doesnt," Hallie suggested from the back of the group. She was keeping her distance as usual. James refrained from rolling his eyes at her because he knew why she did it, but it was rather annoying.

"A reward...like what?"

"Little trophies with our names on them." Hallie actually wore a smile.

James snorted. "If thats the case, I want mine in a glass container with laser security beams and five pass codes to get in."

"You're so weird."

"I try...but seriously. You think we get whipped or put in a corner or something?"


Hallie

Hearing voices from behind, Hallie knew the other group wasnt too far off. Part of her wanted to wait for them to catch up, worried that they would get lost out here. Zoe had taken off but judging from her confidence as she did so, Hallie assumed she was fine. The Asian guy too.

"Whipped? That's a bit kinky," she replied to James and they shared mischivous smiles. "What if they strip our powers? Like do some sort of science crap and make us completely normal?"

"You'd like that though," James countered.

Hallie shrugged. He wasnt wrong.

"If they did that, it wouldnt be permanent. They accepted us here. They're not gunna throw us back out after less than a week."

"Never know," Hallie mused. "We dont really know what type of people run this place."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Adrien King Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Zara

Zara shuddered a bit at the mention of whipping. The scar on her back throbbed lightly. She hoped the punishment wasn't a beating.

"You mean like the X-men?" Zara chimed in, "Hmm. I don't know if it would have that much effect. Misha and I are both used to living without powers." As soon as she said that, she began to wonder: were they really? She herself didn't know how long she had her power for....what if she had it her whole life? Would her life really change without it? And what about Misha? If it hadn't been for his power, he'd be dead right now.

"Maybe they make you stand guard or something," she suggested "Like at a military school. Or maybe they pull a Harry Potter and send us back into the forest! Or maybe, instead of the cafeteria, they make us clean the whole school! Or they go the medieval way and make us wear signs around our necks..." she had started rambling, "Or they torture us with a stretching machine, or snap off our toenails, or put us in an Iron Maiden, or water-board us, or....oh wait, we're almost there!"

Zara pointed at a faint outline of the school. They were probably five minutes away. "I think you guys can make your way from here," she said, "I'm going to turn back and look for Misha."

She left the group, retracing her steps. It wasn't too long until she found the other boys, Adrien in the lead. She grinned at them. "You guys are almost there! No more than ten minutes!" She slowed until she was next to Mikhail, who was holding a guy who was still sleeping. He was last, and looking a bit pained, what with the broken leg. Zara looked at him curiously. "Taking one for the team, eh?" she asked.

Mikhail nodded. "Don't even think of trailing me," he told her. Zara raised an eyebrow. "Who do you think I am? I don't know about you, but I, for one, am not a masochist. Besides, you're gonna need someone who will laugh at you."

Mikhail snickered. "Thanks. It's nice to know someone's got my back." He made a motion with his head. "Go on. Join the others. I want to make sure you don't get punished." Zara nodded and ran ahead, catching up with the others from her group. Perhaps it was cruel, that she didn't even offer to take his place as last in line, but he didn't give her a chance to anyways. Besides, she knew that arguing with him would be useless. If she had put up a fight, he would have just carried her as well and forced her back before him. And they callmestubborn... she thought.

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Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Hallie

She waved the others on, wanting to make sure the others were okay even if Zara had gone back. She returned to them moments later without giving a status update. Above, Hallie noticed Yao hopping over branches. At least he was good too.

When she found the other group, they were almost to the school. Mikhail was struggling with his leg and Hallie automatically sucked some of the pain into her, losing her breath momentarily and wincing.

"Doing okay?" she asked, walking along beside him. "We were debating what the punishment is, though...looks like Zoe will b last."

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((Sorry I'm late :P))

Zoe

As Zoe was flying she noticed everyone was getting ahead of her! "Not going to happen!" She muttered under her breath. She then began picking up speed by shooting telekinetic blasts out of her held back hands. She decided to go way faster because she noticed some people ran and nothing happened, so there wasn't much to worry about. "I can't get in last," Zoe yelled increasing her speed ten fold. Zoe began going as fast as she could reaching the school in no time, the problem was, she couldn't stop. She decided to stick a crash landing and went towards the ground, falling and rolling on the ground, tracking dirt and rockes with her. She had a few cuts, but they weren't too deep. She was a few feet away from the school. Zoe brought her watch to her face. "12:53, close one," Zoe said turning back to see the others approaching steadily, but they were missing Yao, Mikhail, Adrien, Hallie, Feliciano, and Circus, so even if this group past her, she'd make it in time. "Mikhail better not decided to take the punishment," Zoe thought, knowing he'd be the kind of guy to do that. As she started walking, she fell again. "Crap, sprained ankle!" She thought. Zoe picked up a stick that looked sturdy enough to be a kind of make shift cane and limped over to the gate of the school, when it opened at 1:00 she would be able to make it in. She looked at her watch again seeing it was 12:56, the others were getting closer quickly. She then carressed her ankle, seeing it swell.

Adrien

Adrien took the lead that Mikhail gave him and directed them on Zara's trail. Eventually, Zara came back, talked to Mikhail and left, then Hallie came and began talking to Mikhail. "Man, Mikhail's popular," Adrien thought to himself. He had a feeling they person that would make it last would be him, one of the two sleeping guys, Mikhail, Zoe, or Yao. He knew that Zara's group was definitely going to be safe, unless they were brutally attacked by a vicious beast, but it seemed they only came out when they had the spray on.

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Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Feliciano Vargas Character Portrait: Zoe Find Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Yao Ma Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

"Mm." he murmured to what Hallie said. So Zoe did like him...."Looks like you unknowingly played match-maker with that Dare," Mikhail joked. Still...as he had told her before, he wasn't sure. "Well, plenty of girls have liked me," he said with a shrug, "Particularly one girl I knew named April. But that doesn't mean I've asked them out. I guess I'll just have to see what happens, if anything happens. Who knows. Maybe lust is more appropriate for her feelings..." she did get a good luck at his privates, after all.

"Speak of the devil..." he said as they neared the school. Zoe had crashed onto the ground near the gate. It looked like she was hurt...sprained ankle by the looks of it. What was up with these leg injuries?

He checked his watch. 12:58. She was almost at the gate, but Zara and her group, along with Adrien and the others were close behind. Mikhail contemplated flinging the guy he was holding over the gate, but he'd probably upset his roommate.

Two minutes passed by, and finally the gate opened. Zara went through quickly, as did the others. Mikhail tossed the (still sleeping!) Italian through the gate, softening his landing, and walked up to the gate. He planted himself firmly by the open door, strengthening his gravity in case someone wanted to force him through. He wasn't budging until everyone had gotten past safely. "Ladies first," he said to both Hallie and Zoe, grinning. "And don't even think of changing my mind about this."

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Character Portrait: Arian Moira Fay Character Portrait: Mikhail Petrov Character Portrait: Hallie Green Character Portrait: James Black Character Portrait: Zara Rodsky
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Mikhail

The pain flew back to him, and he tried his best not to reveal it to Hallie. She probably already knew, but he wasn't about to show weakness now.

So, she had seen his hand then? He couldn't exactly blame Zara for it. She had only been trying to help. But now was really not the time to be blackmailed by it. Well, if you've got it, flaunt it.

"Do you really think they're going to punish me without tending to my leg?" Mikhail asked, "Unless it's like a beating of some sort--which, believe me, I can handle--I doubt they're going to just toss me like this to be punished. Liabilities and whatnot? This is still a school, and students come first."

Mikhail lifted his left hand, "As for this, you don't exactly see me complaining about it, right? Yes, I got it by putting myself in danger to protect others, and yes, it sucks, but I'm glad I did it. Otherwise, I'd never be able to live myself down." He softened his tone a bit as he continued to speak, "Hallie. Do you really think I could let myself continue on with my daily life, knowing that you, or anyone for that matter, had been punished and I couldn't do anything to stop it? I want to do this. And I know I can handle it. What I don't want and what I can't handle will be the guilt I'll feel if you take this punishment for me. I appreciate that you want to help me, but doing this isn't going to help anything."

He looked into Hallie's eyes, hoping she'd understand that he needed to do this, hoping she'd join the others. "Please..." he said softly, almost begging, "Let me do this."

Zara

Zara bit her lip when she heard Mikhail mention his hand. She herself couldn't help feeling guilty for what she knew.

She decided to follow what James and the other girl had done, figuring that she'd find out the result soon enough. She ran to the school, wanting to get away lest someone had mind-reading powers. She had to give it to the white-haired girl--Hallie was her name? Standing up to Mikhail...Zara herself thought Mikhail was being stupid, but she was selfish. She didn't want to get punished. And if Mikhail wanted to sacrifice himself, then so be it. Who was she to stand in the way of what he wanted? Besides, it wasn't like he was doing it just for her. He was doing it for everyone, which helped draw the line between gender roles (which Zara would have most definitely protested) and individual stupidity.

The guilt followed her as she roamed the halls. Aimlessly, so she thought, but she knew she wouldn't get lost. She ended up at the cafeteria, where James and the other girl were chowing down. She wasn't hungry, and sat at a table by herself. She knew she'd have to tell him. But how? And when? When was a good time to spill that sort of bad news? And how in the world was she supposed to tell him that his teammates, even Sasha, had perished in that building?