It was a week before his mom got everything ready for him to head off to Trigaleon, a prestigious super school. Much of todays super graduated from there, or so she told him. Apparently both her family, and his dads family both had gone there for generations.
Along with letter of acceptance, the head mistress left very vague instructions for Jack; all he had to do was wait in his backyard, and a ride would pick him up at 7:00 am. When he questioned his mom about the ride, all she would do was smile and say that it was a surprise.
On the day he left for the new school, his mom had flown there early, leaving him alone to wait for this mysterious ride. She had offered to carry him to school, but he declined because he didn’t want to be seen being carried by his mom.
Now Jack was stuck waiting in his backyard, feeling like an idiot as he waited. Pacing back and forth, he saw his neighbor staring at him from his porch before shaking his head and going back inside. He sighed and checked his watch again. It was already 7:02, and there wasn’t any sign of the ride.
A soft humming reached Jack’s ears and the air in front of him shimmered as a small, alien-like plane appeared. Its sleek, silver body was dotted with windows along the side, one in the front, and two small wings in the back. A line traced a rounded rectangle near the firthest up window, and slowly started to fold downward. When it finished, a small staircase lead up to the jet and a green light lit up above the entrance. Jack took that as his cue to enter, and stepped up into the jet.
He looked at the luxurious leather seats for an empty one, and found it next to a white-haired kid. Strapping on the strange X harness when they took off, Jack sank into the seat and enjoyed the blissful quietness of the school ride in the morning. Unfortunately, the kid next to him decided that he wanted to ruin the peace.
“Max,” The kid said.
Jack looked at the kid in confusion. “What?”
“Max Xorlizenski. That’s my name,” He explained. “Don’t try to pronounce my last name, because you can’t.”
“Oh, well, I’m Jack Hall,” He held out his hand awkwardly.
“You’re new,” He said, more of a statement than a question.
“Yeah, I just started getting my powers last week. I can fly,” He added.
“I could show you to your classes, if you’d like,” He offered.
Just then, they arrived at the school, and in all its twists and turns, wibbles and wobbles, Jack couldn’t see how he would be able to navigate it alone.
“Yeah,” He agreed. “I’m going to need that.”
The doors opened on the plane, and the kids started filing off, heading towards the majestic red building. It couldn’t be compared to anything else in the world. Picture the Sydney opera house mashed together with the Eiffel tower and the Taj Mahal, and it would be close enough.
But the building wasn’t even the strangest thing about the school: it was where it was. The entire school was in the center of a semi-spherical, floating island!
Max nudged him. “So where are we headed off to?”
This knocked Jack out of his awe-induced stupor. Looking at the schedule grasped in his hand, he found what he was looking for.
“Physical training with Bear.” Jack stopped in his tracks. The Bear? No, it couldn’t be him. “Wait, this isn’t the Bear, is it? The one that took down The Unstoppable Force? Single-handedly?”
“It is the Bear.” He put air quotes around “the”. “Most of the teachers here are retired supers, and some of them are working supers.” Max said, pulling him down the halls.
He lead Jack down the passages, taking turns, stairs and elevators almost constantly until they reached a yellow hallway. They walked at an easier pace down this hallway, letting Max look at every doorway as they passed it.
“Aaand here we are,” Max said, stopping at a door riddled with dents and burns.
Jack took a deep breath and stepped through the door. He found himself in what appeared to be a battlefield, complete with the sounds of gunfire and mortars going off. A whistling came from above, and Jack looked up to see a very large paintball coming down at him.
“How were your classes so far?” Max asked him at lunch.
After getting hit by the paintball mortar, he had to head through an obstacle course and save all the civilians inside of it. The course was basically just a three-story building filled with traps and dangerous androids, and Jack “died” almost as soon as he stepped through the door. Power development was no better; he had to practice flying for the entire time and crashed into so many different obstacles that they all blended together.
Technological operation was much more amicable than the previous classes, perhaps because Jack found he had a much easier time around technology than he did before. One of the tablets they were using exploded in Jack’s grip, but other than that the class went on without a problem.
“Very different from my other school,” Jack summarized, with a grin plastered on his face. “Even the food is different,” He said, gesturing to the strange ball of goop that Max had chosen.
“It should be. Most of the classes here are tailored to help you become a super.” Max took a bite of his ball and continued. “I’m going villain, so my schedule is tailored to help me become a good villain.”
“Since I’m going hero, my classes would do… what? How to make a fight look real when it isn’t? Creating good one liners?” He still couldn’t believe that almost every super fight he saw was faked, even though they always spoke into a mike, and the villain almost always got away.
“Exactly. You’d also have to learn how to speak in front of an audience, and how to not cause too much damage in a fight.”
Max opened his mouth to continue, but then stared off towards the door. Jack’s mom had just walked in, dressed in her light blue and white Ice Storm costume, carrying am empty food tray. Max wasn’t the only one staring – quite a few other boys were looking at her, too.
“Isn’t she hot?” Max asked dreamily.
“H-hot?” Jack sputtered in surprise, choking on the soda he was drinking.
It was already hard enough wrapping his mind around the fact that his mom was a superhero, but this was even worse! It was weird, having other people think of his mom as hot.
“Yeah. Isn’t Ice Storm hot?” Max repeated, looking at Jack like he was crazy.
“Maybe to you,” retorted Jack. “But to me, she’s my mom.”
“She’s your mom?” He gulped, looking for confirmation. When Jack nodded slowly, waiting for him to understand. “Damn,” He swore under his breath.
Luckily for Max, the lunch bell rang and saved him from embarrassing himself any further. Head down in shame, him hurried out of the lunch room, leaving Jack behind. Jack just chuckled at his embarrassment, and started walking to his next class.