Asuna woke up on her first day of class and shut off the alarm. She sighed, missing Kim’s happy chatter in the morning. She wouldn’t have believed that if you’d told her even a month ago but she had gotten used to Kim’s unique way of waking her up. Looking over at the other bed in the room she saw that John, or Joan as his new id said, was still sleeping and nodded to herself. She had decided she’d try to shower early each day and be dressed and ready by the time her roomie was awake. Not that she was squeamish or excessively modest but she figured it would make things go smoother.
The shower was empty so early which she guessed was a bonus, at least she wasn’t tempted to ogle any of the other girls and didn’t have to worry about whether or not Kim was watching. As she dressed she looked through the window and saw people start doing Tai Chi out front. She dressed in a hurry but kept her feet bare then went out to join them, “Can I join in?”
“Sure!” came the response from the girl out front. “I met you at lunch yesterday. You’re Asuna right?”
“Right!” Asuna said. “You are Chaka right? Are you leading?”
“Well I wouldn’t say I’m leading,” Chaka said.
Both of the other girls snorted. “We would,” said the taller one. “I’m Boudicca, and this is Bladedancer. Chaka here is better than all of us so we follow her but she’s right about not being officially in charge.”
Asuna nodded, “Well I’ve done it before so I’ll just follow along if that’s okay?”
The others nodded and Asuna took her stance and followed Chaka when she restarted. She decided the other girls were right about Chaka’s skill and just did her best to follow her flowing motions. She felt relaxed and at peace at the end and went back inside to her room. John was out, presumably showering as her books were all still there. As Asuna puts her socks and shoes on she wonders if Kim is up yet.
She gets her answer just as she’s finished packing her backpack for the day’s classes as the door flies open and Kim runs in and hugs her, “Good morning Sue!”
“Good morning dear,” Asuna replies and hugs her back. Are you ready? We can head to breakfast together.”
Kim nodded, “I’m all ready and hungry too but I have BMA first so I’ll get all grungy first thing and I hate going to classes all sweaty. What class do you have first? In fact can I see your schedule? I want to know how many classes we have in common, I hope it’s a lot so I don’t have wait until meals to see you!”
“I missed you Kim,” Asuna said. “I have BMA first as well. We can shower afterward I’m sure. I have Powers Theory and then English, lunch, algebra, bio, and Powers Lab last. I hope we share a lot of classes too but we can study together and hang out the rest of the time if not.”
Kim pouts, “We only have four classes together. Oh well I’ll bear it somehow, let’s go to breakfast.”
Asuna shoulders her backpack, “Sure, but you should probably knock next time. I do have a roomie and she might be changing or something.”
“Oh poo,” Kim said. “She’ll probably make the room all dark when changes and I won’t see anything anyway. Besides who would ever mind having me in their room?”
Asuna smiles, “I dunno, somebody might. Just an idea though. Let’s go eat.”
After breakfast they hurried over to the dojo because Kim had never worn a gi before and wanted help putting it on for the first time.
Senseis Ito and Tolman walked out and introduced themselves then separated the group into beginners and those with prior experience at fighting. The beginners, including Kim went off to one side with Tolman and a smaller group stayed put and gave their names and powers.
Sensei Ito looked at Asuna oddly when she gave her name, “Asuna-san, perhaps you have a parent who is Japanese?”
In Japanese she replied, “I have two and looked it until this past summer. This body is the product of my mutation.” She wasn’t sure if he’d know about Poe but just in case she added, still in Japanese, “Now I reside in Poe but I still have nine years experience learning in my father’s dojo. I think I’ve worked out most of the kinks of this new body but I realize I still have much to learn.”
Ito nodded and continued asking names and known powers. After he had learned them all he gestured and another student walked up, “This is Chaka whom some of you may have met already. She is a TA for this class and I am going to ask each of you to spar with her first so I can gauge your ability.” He pointed to a red painted metal cage on the edge of the mat, “That is known as the capture cage. It is a gimmick, to represent anything that can neutralize you in combat. Assume it can restrain you and stop you from using any power. Your mission is to stay out of the cage and you may use any powers you but once you are in that cage you have lost. Understood?”
We all agreed and he both he and Chaka smiled. “Very good,” Ito said. “Asuna-san you shall go first.”
She nodded and stood, “Hai, Sensei.” She stepped onto the mat and took a stance. She lasted a minute only. She was immediately forced on the defensive and only made the first blocks through exemplar reflexes and muscle memory. Then suddenly she was in the metal cage and Chaka was whispering, “Don’t worry. You did better than most.”
As she took her position again and watched the others she could see that Chaka wasn’t just being nice. Most of the others ended up in the cage faster. After the last one landed inside Asuna clapped, “Wow!”
Chaka bowed with a grin, “Thank you. I’ll be helping Soke teach some of you but I think we are out of time now.”
Ito grinned, “My assistant is correct. You are dismissed.”
Asuna took a quick shower and changed back into her uniform then walked to Powers Theory with Kim. Karen, Kim’s roomie, was taking it as well and they helped each other stay awake. Kim had a different English class because she was a year older but they met outside the building for the short walk to the crystal hall.
They had lunch on the bottom level with Karen, John, Steve, and Bobby. Asuna told them all about sparring with Chaka and how she was looking forward to the class. “Ito has actually created his own school of martial arts. That’s so cool!”
The others had it fourth period, right after lunch and were now looking forward to it. After lunch Asuna and Kim were separated again as Asuna took Algebra and Kim had Geometry. They met again in Bio class and went from there to Powers Lab together. They found Karen, Steve, John, Bobby, and Sara walking up from the other direction and waved.
“Are you guys ready?” Kim said. “I think this class is going to be where we show what we can do.” She grinned, “I am so ready. I feel the need, the need for speed.” She said, quoting top gun. “I can’t wait to get someplace where I can really accelerate.”
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