DM's TTO School
Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:22 PM
â€œIt has to start somewhere
It has to start sometime
What better place than here?
What better time than now?â€
-Rage Against the Machine
I grabbed the stress ball, and after a moment of wondering which way to squeeze it, I threw it out my window. I heard someone outside yell, and that did wonders for my stress. I sat back down and began trying to bargain with StriderHiryu for my Aeris back. I knew he had a collection and my chances of getting it back were about two eyelashes from none, but Aeris was part of my complete Final Fantasy 7 collection. He refused offer after offer, and I finally had to go to Digital for some money to buy a new one. I knew I was developing a bad habit of going to Digi every time I needed money, but I promised him he'd be really cool in my newest story. It always worked, and I managed to suppress a snicker as I saw 50000 gp move into my account. I immediately went on a buying spree, getting Aeris back, and finishing my Zelda and Mario sets. I then went on to buy the SP set for 20,000, killing the rest of my money.
"Michaeelll!!! I need sleep! Get off and go to bed!"
I sighed, typed in a hasty 'Got to go, see y'all tomorrow', and logged off. Sleep welcomed me quickly.
I awoke the next morning feeling... odd. I felt that something was going to happen out of the ordinary. I knew there were no classes I was having trouble in, so I didn't have to worry about pop quizzes. I loaded my pockets up, like every morning, but added some other odd stuff, just in case. In the right pocket went my wallet, a pen, a knife, and a lighter, in the left pocket went a comb, another knife, and another pen. In the wallet, along with my permit and student ID were stashed three cigarettes. I didn't smoke, not yet, but had heard that it actually did relieve stress, at least at first. I didn't have to worry about the long term effects on me, as both my parents had smoked all my life, and the second hand smoke was as bad or worse.
The backpack was the next thing to prepare. In that went, besides my books, two Mountain Dews, a pack of Pop Tarts, my CD player, currently occupied by 3 Doors Down, and a carefully wrapped and concealed machete. I considered bringing it out to look over it, but the towel wrapped around it had taken up too much time. I pictured it in my head instead. A single hand handle, with a chain hanging off the end in a bad imitation of Squall's gunblade. The blade was about two and a half feet long, dark blue, and razor sharp. I had a little experience with it, but that was against enemies like brushes and grass. The most dangerous thing I'd ever fought with it was a pile of thorn bushes, and I still had the scars to prove it.
I munched on a Pop-Tart and waved goodbye to my parents as I jumped out the door. It was a short walk to school, only about five minutes, and it did wonders in waking me up. Some mornings I didn't even need the caffeine from the Mountain Dew, but that didn't stop me from drinking it. I popped my headphones on, and as I hit start I snickered at the freshly made mailbox on the side of the road. I'd totaled the first one the day before at the end of my first driving experience. (Note: Yes, this really happened )
I woke up as my principal left the room. He'd been explaining to us the importance of being polite and showing respect, and I'd dozed off at about 1:30. It was 2:20 now, twenty minutes to the end of school. Nothing had happ-
Knock, knock. Creaaak. There were muffled voices I didn't hear, and I heard the rustle of paper.
"Michael Dewar? Come out here please."
I grabbed my backpack and walked to the door, where I was greeted by a mildly familiar face. I couldn't place it, though. I had never heard the voice, I was sure.
"Come with me Michael. You're getting out of school early."
I'd have left with Saddam Hussein if it meant getting out of school early. I followed him out the doors, right past the resident police officer, and stopped as I saw a limo pull up. He walked right over and held the door open for me. I shrugged and stepped in, but I clicked open the knife in my pocket as I did.
I stepped inside as I finished clicking the knife open, and immediately whipped it out.
"This don't look like no limo I've ever seen."
It wasn't, and I said that just to throw him off and maybe get an explanation. He seemed mildly surprised at the knife, but didn't mention it. I moved my eyes away from him as he walked on ahead and looked around. It was a relatively large room, with decorations and sculptures along the walls. I saw him walk through the door <Through? No, I must have been mistaken.> and moved to follow him. I didn't feel like being alone, nor did I want him out of my sight. I moved towards the door, and jumped slightly as it swung open to have the man staring at me, a slight smile on his face.
"Welcome to Forlington Academy, Michael. Or would you prefer Darkmoogle?" He gestured with one hand, and I nearly dropped the knife. Before me was a huge room, with a ceiling that might have been 8 stories up. The bottom, where we were, was a series of pathways all stretched out over a huge water source. People walked around there, some seeming to have places to go, some without, and some just looking for a place to lean down and drink from the water. Some were. The room stretched hundreds of feet across, and it looked like there was far more than what I could see. Off to the opposite end were a series of towers that had elevators running up and down the sides. Off in other directions, the room narrowed to real hallways to lead to new places.
I looked over at the man and examined him a bit closer. A relatively plain dark gray suit, with a red undershirt and a cape that covered his back. I hadn't noticed the cape before, and I would have remembered it. Black on the back and a deep blood-red on the inside. His hair hung loosely around his face and looked like it just stayed there of it's own accord. Light brown hair hung down around his ears, and I worked harder at placing his face.
I finally got it, in one of the funniest pictures I'd seen in my life. Standing in a room, slightly blurred, doing a choke-slam to a giant Bert doll.
He nodded. "It's Josh, but call me Masa if you want. Or Skye. Yes, I live here, and a good part of the others do too."
I looked at him, one eyebrow raised. "Others...?"
He gave a short laugh and waved for me to follow him. "I guessed you'd be this way. I was too. Come on, I'll show you around."
I held up a finger to have him wait, and rummaged around in my backpack for a moment. I eventually came up with my machete, which I held loosely in one hand. I pocketed the knife and brushed the cigarettes. Nope, not stressed enough yet.
I followed obediently, knowing that if he decided to ditch me, I'd never find myself again. I wondered if I could get out of there if my life depended on it. He led me across and down one of the halls, passing other people whose faces registered dimly in my mind. We eventually entered what looked like a garden, but by looking at the walls I found that it was a cafeteria. I saw no stores or food vendors, though everyone was eating. Masa led me down a small set of stairs to a table overlooking the pond. Some somewhat younger children played there, enjoying themselves immensely in whatever game they were playing. I looked over the edge and examined myself in the mirror-smooth waters. I wore a pair of black carpenter jeans, a white undershirt with an unzipped black sweater over it, and a chain with nothing on it. I saw the scar on my chin laughing at me, and wondered when the next time I'd play hockey was. I looked back up and saw him looking at me. I smiled. "Go ahead."
"Forlington Academy was founded around five hundred years ago as a real school as it was now. However, when the Salem Witch hunts started, the owners feared for the safety of the school and moved it to where we are now, around two hundred feet below the lowest point of the Rocky Mountains. No radar picks us up, and nobody but those here know of its existence. It was founded in 1530 when a visionary named Fuiner Tadil saw the future of the world in a dream that lasted two weeks. He saw nuclear power, the destruction of the rain forests, extinction of species, and eventually saw man as the only living multi-celled organism on the planet. What hit him the hardest, however, was the disappearance of swords and magic from the world, to be replaced with guns, missiles, and the other weaponry of our time. He founded the academy in order to keep these arts alive throughout the years. People came from all over the world the join up, and for a time it was one of the most powerful influences on the world. However, the Salem Witch Hunts brought an end to that. Fuitad expended a huge amount of energy to create a new school in this location. He moved all the students there and destroyed the school himself. However, the effort of engulfing the huge school in flames left him weakened, and we later found his body in the remains."
Posted 11 January 2011 - 10:33 PM
I waited, absorbing it all in. I realized that I had been picked and would live out what earlier I would have thought of as only a dream. I thought about the life I'd left behind, and then thought about the far better life ahead of me. "Are those the only reasons for the school?"
He seemed surprised that I hadn't even questioned the existence of magic. "No. There are other similar schools throughout the world, but not all of them teach in the same way we do. One lies under Siberia, one lies under the African savannas, one on the Moon, and one in a rebuilt Atlantis. Like the worlds' countries, they are all in relative peace, but from time to time, battles break out. Atlantis and the Moon, being the most similar, fight almost constantly, always trying to bring the other school under it's command." He noticed a slightly surprised expression on my face, and I mouthed the word 'Atlantis?'. He laughed shortly. "Yes, Atlantis. The ruins were found, and restored to what they believe they once looked like. The ruins Moon School were built over are strikingly similar, so we believe Atlantis was a colony of creatures or men that once lived on the Moon. However, that doesn't matter, really."
Hell it didn't, but I accepted that for now.
"There's one more thing, and you may have figured it out by now. TTO is the main front for this place, and QMO is the front of what will soon be a new school allied to this one. You know Fuiner Tadil as Fuitad, and Fredrick Ipson goes by Aaron Freeman online. You recognize that name, of course." Obviously I did. (That's atomsplit, for those of you who don't know. Anyone who didn't? No? Didn't think so. ) "Fuitad was dead far before TTO, though, so Atom was the one who actually created TTO. TTO has been extremely helpful, and a good number of our students are identified on it, which is why you recognize so many people in the halls."
"Come on, now, I'll introduce you to some people you already know." He stood, and I hurried to follow him. I saw him put his hand out, and after a second of air swirling, a mug of coffee appeared in his hand, which he sipped at happily. Not having any magic, I rummaged for a Mountain Dew. He led me out of the room and into the main hall again. He gestured at the towers, which were taller than I'd thought. "Those are the dorms, and have about 1500 double dorms in them. Around 1000 are filled now." He led me past there and down a hallway by the teleporter. We ended up in a room with a glass wall overlooking a training hall. Dozens of people fought each other or dummies with a huge variety of weapons, while some sharpened their weapons and received instruction from a familiar looking person in a long green cloak. I caught a glimpse of armor under there, and recognized the sword almost immediately.
"General Leo, there, teaches the upper sword fighting classes and is head of the weaponry department. The other weaponry teachers are nephilstein, and, teaching about wars and group battles, Tank14 and Cloud9 together." He didn't have to say more, and I followed him out after a moment of watching the fighting. We walked around, and I thought we were going uphill for a time. Eventually we ended up in another room similar to the first, within which were a few hundred people listening to a person at front lecturing.
"This is the hall for beginner's magic. I head the magic department, but my students had off today so I could get you. That's Venja in there." He grinned slightly. "I knew Venja even before the two of us ended up here. All our lives we competed with each other for first place in whatever we were in, and it seems that I've won. He's an excellent mage, and is far smarter than I am, but I'm a better mage and better swordsman." He smiled openly, and Venja looked up at them and gave them a smile before continuing the lecture. "-LedZep- teaches the more foreign and unique spells, and Galian and Triforce teach war magics, summons, and that sort of thing."
He led me then out of there and towards an area overlooking the main hall, and showed me to a seat. "Alright, now comes the time to make the decision. We can let you leave still. You'll be brainwashed and will remember nothing past our meeting in the school. Or you can stay. Personally, I'd prefer you to stay, and I think you will, but I'm still required to give you the option."
I sat for a time, looking out over the main hall. OK, so I could live the dream, or I could opt to wake up. I always hated waking up from dreams, especially the good ones. Even the bad ones. It always interested me what my brain did when it had nothing better to do, then I wondered why I had to wonder about my own brain. If it was mine, wouldn't I know what it did? But sup- "Why are you looking at me like that?"
"You've been cross-eyed for about a minute now."
I couldn't resist, since I knew what had happened. "Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed," I said with a funny English accent that sent everyone in hearing range into hysterics. I looked up at him, straight-eyed, with the half smile I preferred. "Well, I feel somehow that if I left, I might live longer." His face fell slightly, but I'd expected that. "I've always wondered what the afterlife is like, and I guess I'm going to find out sooner than I'd thought."
He smiled openly again and stuck out his hand. "Welcome aboard."
I stood in front of the doors, waiting somewhat expectantly for them to open. I readjusted my necklace and checked the straps on my blade. I'd gotten new clothing and some other new equipment earlier on, a welcome gift from Masa himself. I now wore a black cloak, similar to Sephiroth's, but different at the same time. It was about the same length, but instead of being strapped at the stomach, it hung open down to the waist, where a strap pulled them together. Underneath, I was covered with leather armor, light and flexible while strong enough to hold up under an attack. I'd gotten my hair changed slightly too, being more similar to Squall's.
Suddenly, the doors swung open and I strode in without hesitating. A man at a desk looked up from his computer screen and looked me straight in the eyes. I held his gaze as I strode across the room directly towards him.
"Darkmoogle. I knew I'd meet you one day." Atomsplit smiled at me, and I realized he looked somewhat younger than the picture I'd seen online. I also noticed he looked healthier. I realized now that all the stories of him being sick must have been a show to help cover things up. After all, a person with enough magical powers to live for hundreds of years didn't get sick easily. "I'm glad you agreed to join. I believe you have great talent."
I snickered, then smiled and nodded at him. "Glad you think so, sir."
I shook my head. "All my life I was labeled as the one who had brains, but no skills or talents other than that. I got involved with TTO, hockey, acting, and all the other things just to prove to myself that I did. Now the leader of one of the most powerful organizations on the planet is telling me he thinks I have potential."
He smiled too. "One way or another, you're here now, so that means you've got something going for you. It could be skill, or it could be just a huge amount of luck." <Probably the second.> "You're quartered in room 9-7A with a person I think you know. The first half of the day is Advanced Weaponry with General Leo. Then you have a quarter day free period, where you can eat, wander around, train in any rooms, sleep, or even sit in on other lectures. The final half of the day is war magics and summoning with Triforce and Galian."
I nodded, mentally running the path I'd have to take through my head. "What will we be doing in the classes?"
"In Advanced Weaponry, you're given a basic knowledge of most weapons, and intensive training in a weapon or weapons of choice. Leo also has his students train with each other a lot, and the class takes frequent trips into the surrounding forests."
"Wait... surrounding forests? We go to the surface?"
Atom shook his head. "The academy is underground, but after some time passed, some people began to feel cut off and shut in. So, the area here is like a small world of it's own. It has day and night created by an artificial sun and moon, and the academy is surrounded by about a hundred acres of forests, lakes, and a mountain or two."
I nodded. "And war magics?"
"Triforce teaches the dark wizardry, spells to create heat and lightning and such, and Summoning. The Summoning is also based on how good a student does. The better a student does in the rest of his magic class, the mroe summon spells he is taught. Galian teaches the use of magic in conjunction with weaponry. Things like flaming swords, freezing arrows, and the like. The two could be taught seperately, but we've found that the three subjects work surprisingly well when learned together."
I smiled slightly. I could see why. "Any other questions?"
That he'd be willing to answer? "Not really."
"Then I hope you enjoy your stay here."
Posted 11 January 2011 - 11:09 PM
some of it's rushed, some of it's incomplete, some of it's lifted. i wouldn't sit down to my first harry potter movie for another three years, world of warcraft wasn't quite a glimmer in blizzard's eye, and x-men still belonged to comic book nerds alone; somehow i caught parts of all these and mixed them with the people in front of me. i felt i did my references good justice, though, and i still do.
consider this a highly dramatized retelling of the drama that went on in the early days. people bitched, hacked the game, got banned, came back... meanwhile i was reading larry niven (lucifer's hammer, inferno), terry brooks (any shannara book), tolkien, and playing fallout and FF7. i wanted epic and apocalyptic in my downtime, and my burgeoning interests in digital photography (i was borrowing our school's 1.6 megapixel camera, and it was great) and adobe photoshop (v4.0) weren't taking me there just yet. i've gone great lengths for both in the interim, but ten years ago there i was, sitting in the library during study hall on a pass from the art teacher for learning photoshop, shipping a couple of text files around on a zip drive from place to place so i could keep writing...
god, that all sounds so archaic. i'm only 26. never underestimate the power of technology - the mere existance of this piece, hidden away for years on a floppy drive, proves that we're all slowly approaching immortality. don't consider it a good or bad thing, just consider it carefully.
okay back to the story. i'll be posting it in chunks, when i'm bored. don't expect it all at once, because there's a lot of it.
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