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Jobe Wilkins (no code name) has a lab accident that threatens to turn him into his idea of a perfect girlfriend and wife. (He's been designing her since he was eight.) The story gives a great deal of character background on Jobe, as well as some more of the Bad Seeds and Dr. Igor Gellmar, who's the bio-devisor who has been working with Jade on regeneration technology. Meanwhile, Peeper and Greasy are having a field day. And exactly who did Jobe get a strand of Nikki Reilly's hair from?[1]

Anna adds Special Topics - Martial Arts to her class schedule, and switches Biology to Chemistry. She doesn't like dealing with Mrs. Hawkins.[2]

At breakfast several other kids have shoulder angels. Sara's shoggoth is a bit too much, but Jimmy T.'s are the George Burns and Elizabeth Hurley from Halloween. Jericho tries to pull an all-nighter to get his working right, and is harassed by the rest of the Outcasts for it.[3]

Team Tactics starts out in Briefing Room 4. STAR League Jr (Wallflower, Phoenixfire, Psymod and Dredz) are there. So are the Power Cats (Redlight, Diva, Juryrig, Duplex and Zip.) Another team walks in, Juniors and Seniors who could be Grapple, Confundus, Eruption and two unknowns (who we will learn later are Crimson and Blacklight). They turn out to be the Whateley version of the "Hive Five" or the "Injustice League Junior", that is, students sponsored by The Syndicate to become supervillains, calling themselves "Omega Squad." Gunny Bardue and Samantha Everheart try to start the class when the Vindicators come in (Sizemax, Donner, Kismet, Dynamaxx, Cerebrex and Lemure), followed by a team composed of Farrago, Bombshell, Accelerator, Golden Girl, Swoop, Spellbinder and Stretch (Elite League). The Gunny and Samantha start their introductory speech when Jade decides to prank Phase. Bladedancer is not pleased, and neither are the instructors. They assign an object lesson.[3][4]

The task is to disable a line of robot infantry without getting killed. Lancer details out tasks. Fey and Generator in the back playing both defense and offense. Tennyo up the left, Chaka and Bladedancer up the right, Phase up the middle underground with Lancer, Shroud, Kitty Compact and Spinner up the center above ground.[5]

Tennyo takes out the left side of the line of artillery while Fey, casting spells from behind her shield, takes out the right. Phase pops up behind the robots and takes out the center. The robots manage to get Lancer, while Shroud and the rest can't keep up. Likewise, Bladedancer and Chaka don't manage to get to the battle before it's over.[5]

In the post-mortem, Bardue allows that they did pretty good for rank amateurs. But next time, Lancer should try not to get killed.[5]

Meanwhile, in Powers Theory, Vox meets Glissade and Chorale. Dr. Hewley comes in with Ligeia, his T.A.; the two of them are practically dragging Screech and telling her that she needs this class more than Necromancy. They go to Testing Lab K and demonstrate powers. This time the backstop force field manages to take Screech's power blast. Glissade takes out a pane of ArmorGlass Grade A2, and then shows a fairly low level of vocal hypnotism. Vox is almost the opposite: she can only take out regular glass, but demonstrates a very high level of vocal hypnotism. Chorale demonstrates being able to do an entire choir, and then a sonic cage that even Screech can't penetrate (although the attempt gives Chorale a major headache).[5]

Molly is in Combat Movement, one of Mr. Anderson's Survival series.[4]

Tansy recruits Peeper and Greasy to spy on Kodiak. Kodiak catches them spying and sends them back to Tansy with instructions as to what to tell her. Then he discusses taking some of the trash out of the Alphas with Pendragon.[6]

Unknown to either of them, Nancy "Flicker", one of Tansy's hanger-ons, also eavesdrops on Kodiak and Pendragon while Heyley "Fade" does the same for Peeper and Greasy.[6]

The Advanced Defensive Technologies class meets in the same lab that Loophole was using. The teacher is Mr. Langley Paulson, the original "Tin Man". The class includes Jericho, Hardsell and Iron Monger.[6]

Aquerna's civics class is taught by a Mrs. Devon, who seems to be one of the prototypical teachers from Hell.[2]

Flicker and Fade trade information at lunch, and decide that they have to sabotage Loophole. In other news, Murphy apologizes to Froggy.[6]

Before lunch, Phase talks to She-Beast and Nacht, and then the Vindicators, the Beret Mafia, the Capes and the Golden Kids. They're all on her because of her plucked eyebrows. Phase thinks there's going to be trouble with the gay-bashers over this.[5]

Mrs. Savage notifies Loophole that she's not in Principles of Spacecraft Engineering any more, she's in Applied Powered Combat, with Team Phoenix. She discovers that the captain of Team Phoenix is Kodiak. He introduces her to the rest of the team: Randy "Interface" Wells, Lornze "Bifrost" Gottfrey, Katerina "Kali" Tanaka and Zoe "Zenith" Nesmith. Bifrost decides to be a bit snarky. They get a fairly standard "rescue the hostages" challenge, with a mercenary named Titan for sauce.[6]

Aquerna checks out textbooks before going to Martial Arts, where Sensei Ito recommends fighting claws and a kama.[2]

In Combat Pistol, Daren "Holdout" Colm decides he doesn't like Loophole being in the same class as he is, a legacy of what Freya did with Loophole's pistol the previous year.[6]

Phase drops in on Vox, and they trade stories. She heads for sixth period Special Topics - Martial Arts. It looks like a very interesting class. Sensei Ito suggests she work on katas for throwing weapons and an ASP tactical baton. Chaka gets told to work on all of the various weapons on the walls. Jade should try the nunchaku. Bladedancer needs to work on fighting styles other than her own.[4][5]

Phase ducks back to Poe Cottage. On the way back Sahar asks about how the investment is going. Ayla says wait for the 22nd. She partly explains to Tennyo, and then pops her head into Vox's room to see Vox comforting her roommate after a very hard detention. She gets inside and sees Fey and Bunny with shoulder angels. Fey's are a bit too close to Aunghadhail for comfort - they shock Bunny speechless. Then Rip breaks in before things can get straightened out.[5]

Phase and Fey have a talk about the big investment. It has to do with pulling all of the Marvel properties back together into a single company. Then they go around about the New Olympians again. They duck into Phase's room to have a secure conference discussing Hekate. Jade contributes a bit about finding a tracker in Nikki's luggage. They discuss it and come up with a short list of seven possibles for the inside person, operating under Tansy's influence. They agree to let it sit for a while and see what develops next.[5]

Jade starts practicing with a nunchaku, demonstrating a great deal more enthusiasm than skill.[5]

Aquerna gets a set of devisor special earplugs from Gary at their Underdog's meeting.[2]

Team Kimba discusses the new Alpha arrangements at dinner. Phase decides that watching the sharks circling might be amusing. After dinner, she makes dinner for Vox. Then they go upstairs to watch TV together. She finds Beltane in a foul mood, and talks her into going to her room and spilling what's going on. It turns out that the Necromancy class is going sour. Big time.[5]

Phase sees Delta Spike's version of shoulder angels. Then they start sparking, and everyone bails out. Quickly.[5]

Gateway gets Silver to make a second Promise Ring.[4]

Bladedancer and Becca work on spell sheets.[4]

Gateway dashes over to Poe to give Bladedancer her new Promise Ring. Aunghadhail is very surprised—she thought the technique of making them was lost. Unfortunately, it's now really, really obvious what's going on to anyone who can read auras without squinting. After some back and forth, they get a pair of necklaces that obscures their auras.[4]

Loophole starts her harassment campaign against Tansy at the Venus Inc. modeling course. Then later, in the Whitman study room, she and Murphy discuss ways and means of getting the keys.[6]

Kodiak's Bear spirit shows him something in a dream, and then vanishes. It's no longer there.[6]

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

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