Angela Martin sat anxiously in her living room trying to suppress her nerves. She constantly smoothed the edges of her skirt making sure she was presentable. She wanted to sit on her hands, but that wasn’t proper behavior for a young lady. She hoped the constant movement would hide the shaking.
The living room was very cookie cutter with neutral tones and furniture that would have been standard in a storefront window ten years ago. It was one of the many houses the DVA rented out to transferring Heroes. Angela came from a long line of Heroes and an even longer line of Supers. Being a Hero was in Angela’s blood.
She took a deep breath reassuring herself there was nothing to worry about. She’d already been accepted to Korman and Seizmore so she was going to a HCP one way or another. She knew Lander was a long shot going from the start and she didn’t even bother with Overton. Korman and Seizmore were great, but West was always the goal. Her mother and father graduated at the top of their class from the university, and went on to be great Heroes. West was where she belonged, where she would rise to the top and show the world what she was capable of. It was her destiny and what was expected of her. Her parents wouldn’t retire until the next generation of Martin rose up to assume their mantle.
She glanced over at the clock and felt her pulse race. It was 6:29. Her parents were always on time and they’d arranged their schedule for five minutes with their daughter today; 6:30-6:35. The plain manila envelope on the table in front of her seemed to get bigger every time she stared at it; like it was trying to crush her with its importance.
Exactly at 6:30 a loud pop announced the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Martin. Both were clad in their Hero regalia as if it would somehow influence the HCP’s decision.
“We don’t have all day, dear,” her father pressed his index finger into his right ear, clearly distracted.
She forced her unsteady hands toward her fate. The envelope was thick and heavy but that didn’t mean anything. Her grades were never in question. She removed the congratulations letter for the scholastic program and carefully placed it on the foe wood table with the welcome packet and other materials she would need if she decided to attend. It wasn’t until the last page that she carefully perused the text.
HCP Acceptance was clearly printed in large font at the top of this final sheet. She tried very hard to take the news calmly. She didn’t want her parents to think there had ever been doubt in her mind. She was a Martin, of course she would make it into her parent’s alma mater. Everything was going according to plan.
“I got accepted,” she coolly showed her parents the acceptance letter.
“Excellent,” her mother’s tone held no excitement or pride. This was simply what was expected. “We’re going to need to increase your training regimen before you leave. You’re still not in HCP shape.”
Like a sniper Angela’s mother easily targeted her most vulnerable aspect, her weight. At 5’9” Angela was a little taller than her mother, but compared to the older woman’s toned athletic physique Angela was still working off the fat from her last growth spurt. Chubby would be a more accurate representation of her stature. Not that it mattered in her shifted form.
“Yes, mother,” she buried the hurtful comment deep down, knowing that showing weakness was the worst possible thing she could do.
“We need to go,” Angela’s father tapped his ear urgently.
“I doubt we’ll be back before you are asleep, so clean up after yourself,” her mother dropped the acceptance letter and marched back to her husband.
“Of course, be…” the Hero couple vanished with another pop, leaving their daughter to force back tears.
<I’ll show them, I’ll be the best Hero this world has ever seen.>
The teenage behemoth walking alone in the decrepit Brooklynn neighborhood caused several non-natives to suddenly cross the street or change direction. They tried to be casual about it but you could practically smell the fear on them. Mason Jackson sighed as people scampered like cockroaches when the lights came on. People always assumed the dark skinned 6’9” teenager was bad news, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Despite going to one of the generic numbered public schools whose teachers fought a losing battle against drugs, gangs, and teenage pregnancy, Mason was a beacon of hope to many. Anyone from the neighborhood would feel more than comfortable approaching the large strongman with a greeting or inquiring after his grandmother’s health. Despite his formidable appearance Mason as a teddy bear. He was near the top of his class academically and did charitable work for several foundations on the weekend. He worked two jobs during the week, one as a bodega clerk and the other unloading freight at the docks. For the last six years he saved every cent he made in the hopes of going to college. Even more important was his dream to help people and give back to a community that many thought long lost. He wanted to be a Hero.
“Yo, Jackson, how’s it hangin?”
Mason didn’t hear the man’s approach, but that was typical with Mario. The man’s ability to make himself intangible made detection very difficult, and breaking and entering that much easier. Mario was a lieutenant in the South Side Supers, and when not committing grand theft was one of their primary recruiters.
“Sup, Mario,” Mason didn’t even break stride. “Just headin’ home.”
“Why don’t we take a ride, find us a couple nice honeys, and have a conversation,” Mario’s tone indicated this was still an invitation, not an order. You didn’t recruit a valuable resource by giving them orders.
“No thanks, bro. I gotta get home for dinner or Grandma’s gonna skin my hide.” The image of the massive man getting his hide skinned should have inspired laughter, but everyone in the neighborhood knew about Grandma Mason.
There was no evidence the 75 year old woman was a Super, but that didn’t stop every burglar who entered her small apartment from ending up dead. People whispered she was into voodoo, satanic rituals, or witchcraft. Whatever an individual’s motivation, they knew not to mess with Grandma Mason, and one of the quickest ways to get to the top of her shit list was to mess with her grandbaby.
“You sure, Jackson, I know a few ladies who’d be dying to show you a good time,” Mason knew enough about the South Side Super’s prostitution rings to avoid that offer.
“Sorry, Mario, I gotta get goin’. You take it easy,” Mason’s stride didn’t waver throughout the entire recruitment pitch.
The South Side Supers, G Stone Crips, and 9 Tray Bloods had been trying to recruit Mason for years. Having a powerful strongman on a crew did a lot for a gang’s rep, and would have allowed expansion. Mason tactfully declined every time. Gang affiliation wouldn’t help his chances of getting into an HCP.
Mario hadn’t really been expecting to succeed so he didn’t hassle Mason anymore. He simply ghosted through a brick wall to leave the larger man to walk the two blocks to his apartment alone. Mason gently slid his key into the lock making sure not to break the key, the lock, or the door again. Super strength cost him one to many paychecks in repairs costs.
“I hammer in the evening, all over this land…” his grandmother’s gospel choir voice echoed throughout the small space they shared.
She was in the kitchen whipping up dinner before heading out to choir practice. This was part of their Friday afternoon routine. Mason didn’t work till seven, the same time as her practice, so when he got home at five they had an hour and a half to spend together. They’d catch up on their week and go over any plans for the weekend. With all the work they both had to do to afford living here they didn’t get to see a whole lot of each other.
“Mason dear, go wash up. Dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”
“Yes, Grandma,” if there was anything she wouldn’t abide it was dirty fingernails at her table.
He made sure to scrub his hands clean, and run some cold water over his buzzed black hair. Having any other haircut in the summer humidity was asking for trouble, especially when air conditioning was a luxury they couldn’t afford. He took his customary seat at the table, the reinforced chair groaning under his three hundred pound frame, and waited for his Grandma’s culinary reveal. She tried to do something different every Friday and it was always delicious.
“By the way, honey, you got some mail today. It’s on the table near the door.” Mason’s heart accelerated at the news.
He didn’t usually get mail, and there was only one thing he was waiting to receive. The massive teen made slow careful movements over to the table where the thick manila envelope sat. West Private University’s return address in the upper left hand corner made him flinch as if package suddenly transformed into a serpent. He took time to calm himself but failed miserably. It was hard when your life’s dream depended upon what was inside this package.
“That’s it isn’t it,” his Grandma’s soothing tone, and reassuring smile appeared next to him.
He’d never told her about his application to West’s HCP or his dream of being a Hero, she just knew. “Yes.” Mason picked up the envelope and returned to the table.
West was the only university he applied to because it was the only one with an HCP program that was affordable. This was literally his only shot at making something of himself. Sure he could try again next year, but nothing would have changed in the 12 months. He couldn’t afford fancy training with hyper dense weight sets like other physically enhanced Supers. All he was able to do was his boxing routine with the only other strongman in the neighborhood. He let Mason train with him in exchange for cleaning the locker rooms once a week. One look at the locker rooms and one wouldn’t think it was worth it, but they would be wrong. Not having to tip toe around in a world made of glass, even for only two hours a week, was worth any amount of shit stained toilet scrubbing. Even though Mason was stronger than his teacher he had a lot to learn about fighting, so he’d spent the last four years sucking up every bit of information he could. His mentor initially called him a big black sponge that couldn’t have hit water if he fell off a cruise ship. He stopped when Mason laded his first knockout blow.
The teen smiled at the pleasant memory only to be ripped violently back to the present. “Mason, if you don’t open that mail my dinner will get cold and then you’ll have to cook yourself.”
His stomach’s motivating growls pushed him into opening the package; he couldn’t even make toast without burning it. There was a lot of information inside, and he nearly cracked the floor when he jumped for joy. He’d been accepted into West, with an academic scholarship to boot. His savings, the scholarship, and students loans wouldn’t send Mason plunging into the abyss of debt so many his age were forced to take on.
The elation was short lived when he didn’t see anything in his packet about the HCP. He vaguely remembered his Grandma start eating and urging him to do the same as he carefully scanned the information. He read each page carefully trying to find any information on the HCP. He read all about the freshman orientation, the school code of conduct, his class schedule and books he would need if accepted. He even read about all 215 school clubs, looking for a veiled reference to the HCP. His initial joy wilted with each passing page, and as he got closer to the end he feared the worst.
<I made it into the school but not the HCP,> he held back tears as he turned another page. <It could be worse, Mason,> he chided himself. <Start getting your education and go from there. You can do a lot more to help with a Bachelor’s Degree than nothing>.
He pulled himself back together as he reached the last page and nearly missed the bold HCP Acceptance at the top. His eyes skimmed over it without thinking forcing him to focus and reread the statement several times before the realization dawned on him.
“I got in!” he yelled, in a pitch much too high for a man of his size. “I’m going to be a Hero, Grandma.”
The woman who’d raised him since his mother died in a drive by shooting beamed with pride. She watched him dance a little jig, and didn’t interrupt his celebration when he cracked a few floorboards in excitement. When he finally calmed down she looked into the same kind brown eyes she’d seen for the last eighteen years.
“Mason, you’ve always been a Hero to me.”
Rebecca Whitfield, better known as Becca, slowly ascended the makeshift stage in her small town’s main square. <Geez Louise, it looks like half the town turned out.>
Half the town of 800 people were present to see if they would witness the beginning of a Hero’s career. To call the small collections of buildings a town was only necessary for political terms. While a hardware store, family run market, post office, and K-12 school surrounded the town square there wasn’t much else. Being smack dab in the middle of Iowa meant that this was a farming community, so the geographic limits of the town were about thirty miles in each direction. People congregated in the town square for special events, and this was one of the biggest in years. Becca was the town’s only Super, ever. The God fearing community truly thought it a miracle that child of the soft spoken local dairy farmers had amazing abilities.
She moved slowly onto the stage, scanning the few hundred people present. She got thumbs up from some of her present classmates, a wave from her family and some envious glares from women in the crowd. She’d dressed for the occasion in skinny jeans and a plaid blouse. Despite the conservative apparel she couldn’t hide her slender speedster’s physique. She privately wished she was a little chestier, but she made up for it from the waist down and none of the boys ever seemed to complain. Still, this was a conservative town and tight jeans were frowned upon, not to mention her exotically blue hair was practically scandalous.
“Let’s get this show on the road ladies and gentlemen,” her principle, Mr. Swartz, was officiating the ceremony.
Becca liked the jolly round principal who dressed as Santa during the holidays. He not only administered but taught at least one class in each grade for her entire scholastic life. People in communities like this often had to pull double or triple duty. Her own dad was a deputy and a member of the town council on top of his farming duties. People from America’s Breadbasket were hard-working folks and Becca was no exception.
She gave Principal Swartz a smile as she took her seat behind a cheap card table. She gave no such expression to the man standing next to him. Coach Maxwell gave her the creeps. She knew he’d been peeping in the girl’s locker room for years but was never able to prove it. Unfortunately, she had to spend a lot of time with him since he was the track and field coach. While she would miss her friends and family she couldn’t wait to get away from the creeper.
In front of Becca were five manila envelopes, one from each of the five HCP schools. Her parents snatched up each one when they arrived in the mail before she could even get a peek; which was quite an accomplishment against her. The whole town had started putting away money in a communal savings account when it became known Becca was a Super who wanted to be a Hero. This day was as much for them as it was for her.
Becca sat on the stage proud of who she was and what she could one day become. She didn’t always see her power this way. At first she thought it a curse. As could be expected she was running when she first showed signs of her speed. She was chasing a kite with her daddy when suddenly she was all the way across the farm and plowing into a heifer at a couple hundred miles per hour. She’d come out of it with only a broken arm but the cow wasn’t so lucky. Before knowing she was a Super, Becca wanted to be a vet and help the cows on the farm. Killing one was the last thing she wanted to do, and she remembered crying for days and vowing to never run again. She’d come a long way since being that little girl, but that didn’t make this moment any less nerve racking.
Her anxiously taping foot sounded like a drumroll as she opened each envelope individually. No one in the crowd would know what HCP program she got into. She didn’t want to blow the secret identity requirement if she ended up at the same school with someone she knew. Lander was a bust, but she never had any real hope of getting accepted. The HCP that produced the class of legends didn’t take just anyone. Her constantly bubbly personality began to wane as Sizemore and Korman both turned her down. At this point she was really wishing her grades were better. They were good, and her SAT’s were average, but there were only so many hours in the day. Something had to give between being a well-rounded student and working the farm. Her ability helped but she couldn’t be two places at once.
She felt gut wrenching sadness when Overton turned her down. That was her safety HCP. Her mood seemed to be infectious with some of the crowd looking dejected or breaking into tears. This whole endeavor really had been a community effort. With a heavy sigh Becca moved onto the final envelope. West was a long way from home but it was better than nothing. She undid the envelope slowly but then engaged her ability to get through the information quickly. The different school put the HCP acceptance page in different places throughout their packets. She didn’t want to make the crowd wait while she read through the whole thing.
Becca’s mind and perception began to accelerate. Her heightened perception allowed her to not run into things and kill herself while running, but she could also engage that aspect of her power individually. This allowed her to get through the entire packet in a few seconds rather than ten minutes.
“Yes!” she pumped her hand enthusiastically in the air, drawing cheers from the crowd. “I can’t thank you all enough for helping me,” tears flowed freely down her cheeks as she nearly pulverized the acceptance page in joy. “I promise I won’t let you down!”
People clapped and cheered and then headed for the food. Home cooked secret family recipes were lined up along a long table in the school gymnasium. Becca sped around the room making sure to thank everyone individually for their generosity. She laughed, cried, slapped a few boys’ hands, and kissed a few others. She ate and drank to her hearts content, having a ridiculous metabolism allowed such gluttony. In her mind, nothing could stop her from becoming a Hero. She would miss her small town where everyone knew each other and lent a helping hand.
<Cheer up Becca,> she didn’t let anyone see the hidden regret in her eyes. <There’s always something to do in the big city, and besides you’ve never been to Disney World!>
“The water is great, Seth!”
“Come on in, Seth, don’t you want to join us?”
Seth Abney sat comfortably on the private beach appreciating the three scantily clad women splashing around in front of him. He grinned as one of the three tried in vain to splash him with water. Sasha was his favorite. Her yellow bikini bottom was basically a thong and her top didn’t do much more than cover her nipples.
He’d been promising all summer to bring her and her two friends to his family’s 6,000 square foot beach cottage on Lake Norman. She’d been toying with him, making him work for it, but he didn’t mind. He loved a challenge, and a Lake Norman sunset was the best wingman a man could have.
With a flick of his wrist an eight foot wave grew from the calm waters and crashed over the three women. They yelped, shot him a dirty look, and then broke into a fit of giggles. They’d just seen a Super use his ability, and they liked what they saw. He liked what he saw too.
<Tonight is going to be an interesting night.>
Seth got to his feet to stretch, relieving the soreness in his back with several loud pops. His 6’2” muscular sun-kissed body resembled an Adonis sculpture, and he didn’t even have to work that hard to keep it that way. It was easy with a private chef and the best instructors money could buy. Seth never had difficulty with it, he never really had difficulty accomplishing anything he put his mind too. These three women would be no different.
The Abney family was the distinguished southern family of Charlotte, North Carolina. They were heavily into politics, the banking community, and the energy sector. Not many people knew Charlotte played second fiddle only to New York City in finance, and the local energy company was one of the most innovative in the nation. When you added political power to the mix the Abney’s were the family to know in the state. They could also trace their Super lineage all the way back to the founding of America, although they kept that family secret hidden away. What the family didn’t have was any Heroes, and it was Seth’s job to fix that.
It was part of the teenage Super’s ten year plan. He’d breeze through the HCP, do his two year internship, spend five years on a renowned Hero team and then gracefully bow out at the height of his game. With the popularity behind him he’d run for office and be leagues ahead of his political peers. Worst case scenario he’d head into the Super Athletics Association.
“Seth, are you coming in or not,” Sasha’s tan-skinned beauty stood in a strikingly revealing pose at the shoreline.
She giggled again when she saw the bulge in his suit before walking purposefully back into the water, waving a finger for him to follow.
A telepath could have heard Seth’s mental whistle a mile away, <There’s no way hips move like that.>
Seth was halfway after the object of his desire when a polite cough announced the presence of the family butler. “You have mail, Master Abney,” the man’s accent was professional, and spoke of patience born from many years of dealing with his charge.
“Thank you, Alfred,” Seth took the manila envelope to see if it was important.
The butler’s name wasn’t Alfred; Seth just liked to call him that. The Super had been a big comic book fan in his youth and decided he would name his butler after the most famous one he’d read about. The proper English gentleman’s name was actually Malcolm, but it had been so long Seth didn’t even remember the man’s real name.
“Another application I believe, Sir,” Alfred/Malcolm rolled his eyes when the teenage Super wasn’t looking. He hated the name.
Seth quickly tore open the envelope to sort through the mass of paperwork. He tossed the unwanted bits on the beach until he got the last page. HCP Acceptance signified West’s acceptance of him. It wasn’t a surprise; he’d gotten into the other four and West was by no means the most prestigious. He handed the acceptance page back to Alfred/Malcolm and strode toward the three women with arms wide open. Everything about the posture said “come to papa”.
“Clean that up won’t you, Alfred,” Seth stated, laughing as the women jumped on him trying to submerge him.
“Yes, Master Abney,” the older gentleman sighed as he picked up the scattered pamphlets and took them inside.
“What was that about, Seth,” Sasha was sitting in his lap her arms draped around his neck while her friends took up positions on either side of him.
“Nothing, babe. Just more junk mail,” it was hard to concentrate with Sasha’s ample breast practically smacking him in the face.
“Can we take the boat?”
“Yeah let’s take out the boat,” Sasha’s friends clamored and pointed at the speedboat docked next to his family’s helipad.
“That’s a great idea,” Seth slapped the water for emphasis before picking up Sasha’s slender form and tossing her over his shoulder. “To the boat!”
“To the boat!” the women chorused as Sasha’s fought weakly against the repeated ass smacks he was giving her.
An evening cruise followed by a five course meal and the ever important sunset would get all three women in the desired mood. Seth could wait until tomorrow to make a decision, after all he wasn’t really concerned about not succeeding at any of the programs. All it would take was a short list of pros and cons to help with the decision making. And it ultimately came down to one factor.
<West is the best party school of the bunch; amusement parks, tourists looking for a good time, more lake parties and a beach not too far away. Sounds like a no brainer to me.>
She could feel the whirlwind of thoughts awaiting her as the street car drew closer and closer to home. The warm California sunshine did nothing to heat the icy sensation forming in the pit of her stomach. At a mile and a half the feelings were murky and chaotic with her unable to pin down the individuals involved. She had a good idea though, and things began to solidify the closer she got.
<Oh no. Why’d they get the mail? They never get the mail.> Her mental moan punctuated the anger and fear being directed at her from half a mile away.
Kyoshi Schultz would have tried to hide her face in her hands, but her pale white hair and golden iris’ drew enough attention as it was. Add to that 6’6” of half German half Japanese ancestry and she was a walking abnormality. The trolley came to its stop a block from her home and she succeeded in drawing more attention to herself by missing the last step and nearly falling on her face.
<Just kill me now,> she didn’t make eye contact with her snickering schoolmates before the trolley slid gracefully away.
The thoughts emitting from her home were as clear as day now. Her father, Wilhelm, came home early from the construction company he owned and picked up the mail on his way in. He’d taken one look at the return address and that was enough to set him off. He’d told her mother, Sakura, whose fear was palpable. Kyoshi was her only daughter and she couldn’t bear the pain of anything happening to her.
Kyoshi steeled herself for the onslaught about to occur, but it wasn’t the sort of thing she was good at. She walked the last block to her home, only tripping on the uneven sidewalk twice, and took a deep breath before pushing open the front door.
“What were you thinking young lady,” her father’s thick German accent made “what” sound more the “vhat”.
Wilhelm Schultz was born and raised in Munich, and spent a decade as a Hero in Germany before retiring and immigrating to the United States. At two inches over seven feet tall and weighing in at over three hundred pounds he was a bear of a strongman. His solid jaw was set in a disappointed glare as he surveyed his daughter. Kyoshi got her height and hair color from him, but while his was short and curly hers was straight and in a waist length braid.
While her father stood angrily in a power stance her mother sat on the couch softly sobbing. Sakura Schultz didn’t like confrontation, especially within her family. The petite Japanese woman was a full two feet shorter than her husband of twenty years. Her parents were such a strange match that Kyoshi wasn’t sure how her creation was physically possible. While the teenager got her father’s height and hair she’d gotten her mother almond shaped face and distinct eye shape.
Being of mixed heritage was tough for Kyoshi even in ultra-progressive San Francisco. It was plainly obvious she was a Super, but that didn’t stop the teasing. She always seemed to find the only thing in the street for her big feet to trip on, and she constantly was thrown off balance by her bodacious curves. She’d finally blossomed in the last eighteen months but these weren’t from her elfin mother. She’d look right at home carrying a dozen mugs of beer at Oktoberfest in traditional Bavarian lederhosen. Her anatomy attracted the boys in droves which allowed her a sickening glimpse into the one track mind of the teenage male.
Her senior year was difficult at the private academy she attended. The academics were rigorous but she excelled. She wasn’t athletic in a traditional manner. Her bodily changes had forced her to relearn her former mastery of Judo, Aikido, and Iaido. She’d been forced at an early age into her heritage’s martial arts by her father, because the former strongman knew the value of being able to protect yourself. He only wanted the best for his not so little girl. Over the last nine months she’d endured constant advances, jokes about her appearance, and even a broken heart. She was ready to move on.
Although she never told her parents, she wanted to be a Hero like her father. He wasn’t well known in the U.S. but he was well-respected in Europe. She knew he left the life because of her mother and the constant strain it put on her, so it felt right to carry on the family name. She thought she was good enough to get into an HCP but so far she’d been rejected for 4 of 5.
Her grades and raw ability weren’t the issue. She pulled down a 3.8 GPA at one of San Francisco’s most prestigious prep schools, so she’d be able to handle the workload just fine. She wasn’t a weak advanced mind from the research she’d done. Her max range was only about a mile and a half and she knew she needed work on her telekinesis, but that alone wasn’t enough to disqualify her. After the first two rejections came in she could only figure it was due to the incident.
When she was young and first coming into her ability she’d had difficulty mastering her telepathy to the point people thought she was a Powered. At close range she was able to do much more than read surface thoughts, she was able to achieve a depth of intrusion that was both potent and terrifying. It was powerful enough that under the right circumstances she could overcome another person’s consciousness. To her horror she’d done it accidentally to a poor boy in her class. The memories of overtaking him still woke her up at night in cold sweats. The DVA investigated the incident and eventually cleared her while identifying her as a Super. Since she’d been an extreme juvenile at the time, the records were sealed and she didn’t believe they would affect her HCP application process. Apparently she was wrong.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” a purple vein was throbbing dangerously in her father’s forehead.
“Papa, I need to do this, you must understand,” she swore she saw a glint of pride in her father’s eyes, but then he started yelling at her.
“You have no idea what you are getting yourself into, Kyoshi,” he threw the envelope down on the table for emphasis. “This is not a game. One in twelve German sidekicks dies in their first year out of school, and I believe the percentage is even higher here.” Her mother’s sobs increased as he laid out the statistics. “We do not want to lose you to some verbrecher with a gun. We taught you better than that.”
Her father always slipped into his native tongue when he was emotional. But despite what he might think she had no intention of letting a criminal with a gun get the drop on her.
“You’re right, Papa, you did teach me better than that. You taught me there is more to life than schools, diplomas, and work. I have the ability to help people, and I need to see what I’m capable of. If I don’t make it to becoming a Hero then fine, but I’m not going to stop because someone tells me it’s dangerous. I’m sure Großmutter tried to dissuade you just as you’re doing right now.” She was surprised at the passion and venom that came out of her.
Kyoshi knew this was true because her grandmother told her last time they visited. The verbal assault worked and her father regarded her carefully. “It is your decision, but you have been warned. Don’t break your mother’s heart.” The woman in question’s quiet sobs became much more pronounced.
While her father went to comfort his wife Kyoshi took the envelope and retreated to her room. The unexpected HCP Acceptance from West didn’t bring as much excitement as she thought it would. It was difficult to celebrate when you could hear your mother crying in the other room. Still Kyoshi was resolved. She needed to see what she was capable of, if only to overcome the gut wrenching fear she felt when slipping too deeply into someone else’s mind. If she could just get a handle on that it would all be worth it.
<I still think I’d make a great Hero,> she would have to continually remind herself of this when her first semester at West began.