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End of Year News (December 2017)

Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:57 am by Adrian

(It's been one year since I made a news thread, oops)

Merry Christmas/Festivus/whatever holiday you do or do not celebrate!

2017 was a pretty busy year IRL for most of us - according to forum statistics, our busiest month was in June with 1671 total posts, meaning our post rate has been a little …

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Forum Bug

Wed Dec 28, 2016 3:18 am by Adrian

Hi all,

We're aware of a peculiar forum glitch that's causing some subforums to be locked.

Due to the lateness at this time, it might be a while before the glitch can be remedied, because despite my best efforts and as far as I can tell, everything seems to be working fine admin-side. It may have …

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Discord News/Update Test

Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:35 am by Adrian

Just a news, update test. Trying to get this thing to work.

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Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Lady Senbonzakura on Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:14 pm

Gretchen sighed through her nose, trying her best not to be agitated.

"Forgive me, Annie. You can stay here, if you'd like."
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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Adrian on Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:45 am

~Tristen~

As I placed a box filled with pots and pans onto the counter, I glanced over at Bridget to make sure she was doing okay. Ever since the 24th, she had been acting... well, even more "Bridget" than usual. I didn't know all she could do, but I knew sometimes she was able to "learn things," whatever that means. And right now, she had the same look she had in the bathroom. Far away, lost in space and time. Like she was somewhere else. Maybe even someone else.

"Bridget?"

~Bridget~

Tristen looked at me, her eyebrows furrowed in confusion. It was the same look she gave me when she walked in on my... well, my trance.

"Sorry, it's about-"

"I know," she interrupted, frowning. "Vincent. I just wish there was something we could do."

Something we could do... Who says we couldn't do something? "If I'm not being too bold in suggesting," I said, lowering my voice, "Maybe there is something we could do."

Tristen looked back - her parents were discussing forms in the kitchen next to us. "...I don't know, Bridget. I mean, we don't even know where-"

"Yes," I said, standing up straight. "We do. Well... sort of." I told her about the vision I had - the weird chamber Vincent was hooked up inside, as well as Foxtrot's disturbing threats. I did not, however, tell her about my parents. That one was... too personal. Something I couldn't even wrap my head around.

"So, you think he's in..." Tristen trailed off.

"St. Louis." I finished. "I don't know how. It's honestly more of a hunch than anything. But he has to be there. And Foxtrot... I don't know what he's going to do, but it's gotta be bad."

Tristen rubbed her hands on her pants - a sign of sweaty palms. "Okay. But, Bridget, how are we even going to get him out? Just the two of us?"

I stared at her, then looked to her dad behind her. Tristen looked back for a brief moment, then returned her focus to me.

"Oh. Oh no, Bridget, he would-"

"Really?" I said. "No more than Empathy? Your dad has all of the student contacts in his communicator. If he could just keep an eye on us-"

"If, you say." Tristen folded her arms. "My dad's already protective of me. Always going on about 'following the rules' and shit like that. If he finds out we're trying-"

"Mr. Madden?" I called towards the kitchen. "Sir, I need your help with something." The Guardian turned around, eyes drawn to the two of us as he entered the room.

"Yes?" He asked. "Is something wrong?"

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by WritingBookworm on Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:10 am

- Kendall -

I still look at her for a long moment. By slipping back into her happy facade, she’s shut the door on me.

Can’t blame her. Nobody in their right mind would want to be buddy-buddy with me. I take the provided utensils, and into the waffles I dig.


- Valerie -

“Just patch me through to my mom, please,” I say. Mom’s not answering her calls, leaving me to call the ISO receptionist directly. If she wants to make up for being a shitty mom, then she’s doing a terrible job of it. “Just tell her that her daughter really needs her help with something.”

“We’ve heard reports of your activity over these past few weeks, Ms. Waller,” the receptionist says in her calm but firm voice. “That you’ve been traveling all across the globe. Upon hearing about this, the Director gave us express orders not to tell you anything concerning Mr. Christiansen.”

I remember the conversation Mom and I had after the resort attack, and the look she’d had in her eyes at the thought of me being in danger. Trying to protect me from keeping me away from this whole mess, huh? I didn’t ask to be protected.

Still, the Director’s decision isn’t the receptionist’s fault, so I remain cordial with her as I hang up and flop down onto my bed with a sigh. I’ll have to find another way around this, then . . .


Empathy had the urge to take a pencil from his cup and tap it against the desk, and then controlled it. His thoughts were racing with what to say next, and what cards to play in front of Hommel. Beckwith had warned him about Hommel, and Empathy did not take warnings from Beckwith lightly.

“It’s really more a question of personal curiosity than anything else,” Empathy said. “But the ISO has caught wind of rumors of genetically modified insects. They’re rumors, so I’m unsure of how much credence to give them, but I must err on the side of caution. And you, of course, were involved with Project Myrmidon after your previous tenure here. You wouldn’t happen to know if Project Myrmidon is in any way connected to those rumors, would you?”

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Comrade Squid on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:16 am

"No no, I'll come." Annie assured her before eating another spoonful of her concoction with disdain. "You might need a third opinion on a dress or something."

---

"So you know about that, huh?" Hommel asked with dull surprise. "Well... seeing as I'm no longer in the government's employ, and you are the Headmaster of Harwell's, I'll tell you."

The former professor stood from his chair and walked back to the door, opening it to make sure no one was listening, before closing it and resuming his seat.

"Ten years ago, I left Harwell's and was promptly invited by the CIA, along with some former ISO people, to participate in a top secret project related to superhumans." He reached into his coat pocket for a cigarette, before remembering he was asked not to and stopping. "This was, of course, Project Myrmidon. Up until that point, the most reliable way to take out a rogue super was with another super, and the higher ups didn't like that. They wanted something they could trust- somethin' they could control. At first, we drafted up the plans for genetically modified humans, before we realized we'd run into the same problem we were trying to avoid. A human has free will, and it relies on that as its greatest strength. You take that away, and it's worthless, no matter what fancy abilities you give it."

He paused a moment, considering how to breach the following subject.

"Anyway, I digress. We decided to create something new instead. We took members of order Hymenoptera- y'know, bees, wasps, hornets, etcetera- and significantly altered them until we had created a species with several characteristics from each. We made them huge, and developed special pheromones to control them. We were pretty confident a swarm of them could take down any supervillain. Oh, they were magnificent." Hommel's tone became slightly less business-like, beginning to speak with a modicum of awe. "Ferocious, but cooperative. Untainted by religion, politics, or philosophy, without the baggage of love and hate- a perfect organism, through and through." The old man resumed his usual demeanor. "Then one day, it all fell apart. Our pheromones could only do so much to keep them in line, and we couldn't stop them from nearly wiping out a small town in Nebraska after the Mindwarp incident. The higher ups declared the whole incident a failure, and had them all destroyed, as they should have the moment they were born. That was the end of it. Of course, every now and then, there's reports of pollen shortages over here, or cattle killings over there, and the CIA nearly has a heart attack thinking it missed a hive, but nothing's come out of it. The government created a monster, Matthew, and its own personal ghost when they killed that monster- I predict it will haunt them 'till the day it collapses."

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Fix-It on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:30 pm

~ Alex ~
"Sam? She's good. Passing all her classes, somehow..."

~ Loretta ~
"So... uh... looking forward to going back? To Harwell's, I mean."

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Adrian on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:47 pm

~Bridget~

Silverwave shook his head. "I dunno..." The two words carried concern, hesitation, but his eyes held a glint of excitement. "The new semester hasn't even started yet. And there might not be enough people ready to go back out into a potential warzone."

I clasped my hands together and raised them to my chin, resting my head. "Mr. Madden, look at this way. Vincent has been missing for almost two weeks now. We don't know what kind of danger he could be in, or if he's even about to be moved. If there's an opportunity to do something, it's now. And I'm not sure if it's a good idea to wait for bureaucracy to give us the go-ahead, if you excuse my crassness."

Silverwave mulled my argument over, mumbling various ideas - and expletives, I'm pretty sure - before slowly rising from his chair and walking back into the kitchen without a word. I glanced at Tristen, confused by the strange movement.

"Is... what's he...?" I whispered to her. Tristen moved her shoulders up and down. "I don't know. He's never acted like this before. Usually he's, uh, vocal about his decisions."

Silverwave spoke softly to his wife in the next room for a few minutes before returning to the living room, communicator in hand. He typed out several sentences, before his communicator gave the familiar "ping!" that a message had been sent, and he pocketed the device. Tristen's dad glanced between us, face stony and resolute.

"I have some ground rules to lay out for the rest of you."




"Hi, everyone. This is Silverwave, Harwell's current Delta Class Head. I hope you are all enjoying some much-needed time off before the new semester.

As most of you are aware, Continuum (AKA Vincent Christiansen) was recently kidnapped by an operative working with a splinter group formerly working with the U.S. Government. I've recently become aware of new information regarding his whereabouts, and have decided that, before the new semester begins, I would like to invite you all to help in extracting him from his current location in St. Louis. To those of you who are interested, I will arrange for transportation to ensure your arrival. Thank you all so much in advance, and I look forward to seeing you soon.

Silverwave
Delta Class Head, Harwell's Institute For The Fairly Exceptional

P.S. If you don't mind, don't tell Empathy about this excursion. He's an excellent guy, but very overprotective, if you haven't noticed. I'll make sure none of you get killed."

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by WritingBookworm on Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:20 pm

- Valerie -

My phone buzzes at my thigh. I pull out out, scan the text, and sit right up at the contents.

St. Louis? I knew they were keeping him in Missouri! Exhilerated, I immediately call the number the text came from and wait for an answer. Who called again? Silverwave, right?


Empathy nodded along. “Of course, of course.” What Beckwith told me is radically different than what Hommel presented me — and infinitely more dangerous. Hommel’s not owning up to Beckwith’s claims about him, and because of that, he needs to be watched. And for that to happen, I need to keep him close. I need him to think I trust him.

“That’s reassuring,” Empathy said. “Thank you for putting my mind at ease.” He rose from his seat. “I’ll see to it that you get rehired. I have yet to determine what position, but you will be a part of the faculty once more.

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Fix-It on Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:42 pm

~ Lucía ~
After teaching her brother the move he wanted to know, Lucía made her way outside to take in the sun. The sky was clear and the air clean. She felt at peace. Though, it was shattered pretty quick when her phone vibrated. She pulled it from her pocket. She never had one before she went to Harwell's.

It felt strange to use it back home. She squinted as she read the small text off the screen. I guess I should help; I doubt many people will be interested. We're still on break, after all.

She fired off a confirmation text and slid the phone back into her pocket.

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Comrade Squid on Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:44 pm

"That's good," she replied, nodding. "What about you? Made any plans for college?"

---

Hommel stood up and extended his hand again.
"Happy to be of service."

---

January 5, 2018

"Today, reporters are gathered at a press conference being held by Creative Robotics & Electronics Technology Enterprises, better known as 'CRETE', where CEO Arabella Martin is expected to deliver a speech in just minutes." Eric Daniels Senior flashed a winning smile, stepping to the side so the audience could see the stage and podium, where all the lights were focused despite the lack of a speaker. This problem was soon rectified, however, as a statuesque, masculine, dignified-looking woman stepped up to the podium. Her auburn hair, short and combed, contrasted with her bright blue eyes, and she completed her appearance with a black Armani business suit.

"And here she is, folks!" Eric Sr. could be heard saying just as cameras began to flash in multitudes. Some applause could be heard, which Arabella responded to with a quick and gracious nod of the head.

"Thank you all for coming," she began in a smooth southern drawl. "As you all know, ever since its inception CRETE has been dedicated to making the world a better place. Our inventions and developments have been pushed the limits of what's considered possible, and our overseas branch has made considerable progress in helping developing countries. MINOS, our patented Mechanical Interface-Navigated Operating System tech, has just launched its fourth major update, making it even more versatile and solidifying its position as the basis of a new wave of tech. We've been in talks with NASA about using it in a new wave of Mars Rovers. But that's not why we're here today. May I direct your attention to the center of the room?"

On cue, the lights shifted to a large platform in the very center of the crowd, as its floor opened up and a machine was raised to where the crowd could view it. A thick, but elegant, suit of armor stood on the platform, sleek and grey but still oozing power. It was humanoid in all remarks, except for the helmet, which very clearly resembled the head of a mechanical bull.

"Ladies and gentlemen, as of today, CRETE is going to war!" Arabella declared with pride. A flurry of camera flashes battered the suit from all angles. "Meet the MINOS MK I Battlesuit, the pinnacle of what CRETE has to offer to both the world at large, and prospective buyers. And would you like to know who our enemy is?"

The CEO winked for the cameras as the screen behind her lit up with the terrifying face of none other than Daikaiju.

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

Post by Captain Whitehawk on Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:19 am

(In honor of Pride month, have a lesbian.)

Misty

I feel the rattle of my phone buzzing on the desk, and glance away from the news feed on my monitor to see a Guardian's message.  A rescue mission in St. Louis?  No.  I turn back to my feed.  I'm not a powerful enough a person to go on missions, and the person in danger has never met me.  Unnecessary, maybe even unwanted.

The various Reddit threads, TvTropes pages, and witch-written articles on magic that I'd been perusing through that morning had been helpful, but not quite what I'd been looking for.  Next to me on a legal note pad I'd scribbled a vague wish for wisdom, but had yet to find anything illuminating.  I should consult an expert, I tell myself again.  To my chagrin, the vast confines of the internet were failing me.

There's a knock at the door.  "Have you figured it out?"

"You can come in," I say, and the door swings open.  Dad sinks slowly into a beanbag chair near me, folding his hands into his lap and raising his brows in inquiry. I swivel my chair around, crossing my legs at the ankles as I go through my mental notes.  "Most of what I've found today has been, well, notes for Dungeon and Dragons games.  Fun but not helpful."

He's found one of my paintbrushes and fiddles with it, tapping the brush against his chin.  "You're sure you were researching?"

"All research requires an element of nonsense, dad."  

He nods, humming as he thinks.  "Have you tried any of the Harry Potter spells?"

"If I'm being honest, I think it's a little presumptive to believe that J. K. Rowling could accurately assess and dictate the laws of a supernatural force."  

"Ouch!" he says, but he laughs.  "Everyone's a critic, I see.  What about your professor?  When's the last time you talked to him?"

My stomach sours.  There's nothing wrong with Professor Beckwith as he'd been perfectly cordial with me, but the thought of asking him questions or requesting aid before class had even started is repulsive.  I wasn't much of a student if I learned only with the teacher, now was I?  Besides, I can handle it on my own.  I can handle everything on my own.  I don't need someone else's help.  If I can't do it on my own ... I feel a little dizzy.  No, I can.  I'm good on my own.  "I'll see him again when the semester begins, don't worry."

His lips purse, but otherwise he doesn't argue with me.  I'd probably get a well-meaning but excessive lecture on the drive to Harwell's for "hiding away again," but so long as I don't get one now, I'm grateful.  

"You're gonna have to pack, champ," he says, smiling sadly.  "By the end of the week I won't get to see you every day."

"We can text," I say, taking my phone out.  "And I taught you how to video call, remember?"  

He shakes his head, and tells me it's not the same, and that's when I figure I messed up.  I know that the right thing to do is probably hug him or hold his hand or something, all that normal stuff that people do when they're sad to leave, but as I sit there in my chair and stare back at him as he sits in his, I like the space between us more than I like having him in it.  It feels safer, calmer.  I wonder if I'll ever figure out how to like having someone near me.  Maybe not.

I smile wanly, not sure how to make him feel better.  "Well, we'll figure it out."

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Re: Harwell’s Institute for the Fairly Exceptional II

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