Hero University: Chapter Two
By: Daniel Maher

"Whoa, cool!" Rouge said as I showed him my new hero license at breakfast the next day. "When can I get one too?"
"I donít know." I said truthfully. "But it canít be too long."

Rouge leaned closer to me and whispered into my ear. "So are you going hunting again after breakfast today?"
I smiled back at him and shook my head. "Nah man, Iíve got to catch up on my studies."

So--as I had agreed--after breakfast I followed Rouge to the fifth floor to study Science with Mr. Smith. As we walked into the room Mr. Smith greeted us with a hail fire of sharpened pencils, these were his greetings. I tried to duck but it was too late they had already gone through my flesh.....and continued traveling. "Huh?" I said stupidly.

"Holograms Mr. Mathews, holograms. You see the reason I greeted the class with what looked like deadly pencils is because of reflex. When you are walking through the streets anything can happen to you. For instance, a person in a apartment above you may have knocked a flower vase out of the window--if you donít act fast then you could find yourself unconscious." He smiled and threw a pencil--a real one this time--as hard as he could at Ember, who in return turned it into a pile of ash.

"Such sharp reflexes Todd--" Then without warning threw one at Rouge--who easily avoided it by hovering into the air above the pencil.

"Very good--" He threw one. The pencil traveled toward Geist who simply smiled as the pencil flew through him and stuck into the door behind him.

Smith threw another. This time the pencil found Wisp, who did the same maneuver as his half-brother.

"Yes--" He threw one at Hornet, who sliced it to pieces with his sword.
"Good--" He turned to me--his fierce eyes burning crisp holes through me. "Good--"

He threw it. In the second that it flew through the air I tried to think of which gadget to use. I was still thinking of what gadget to use when the class gasped. There was a tingling sensation in my right ear and my hand steadily rose to scratch it. When my hand did meet my ear seconds later I gasped. The pencil was stuck in my ear. I gasped again when I brought my hand down to find that blood glistened on my fingertips.

"Poor, very poor."

The sound pulled me back to reality.

"Michael will you please lead Quinlan to the clinic?"

"Yes sir." Rouge said and grabbed my arm and led me out of the science room.
We walked down a flight of stairs in silence. When we turned into the main hallway that lead to the clinics I finally said. "So, your name is Michael?" I asked.
He looked at me. "Your name is Quinlan?" He retorted.
I smiled. "Quinn for short."
He looked away from me. "Mike for short."
I smiled and pushed open the door to the clinic which now lay before me.

The clinic was a healer by the name of Agitha “lga, who used to work as a hero until she was accidentally shot in the leg by one of her colleagues. After that her team kicked her out--said she slowed the group. Agitha sat in a high-back chair and watched me intently as I entered the room.

After I had seated myself opposite her, Rouge bowed and left. Agitha looked at me for a short second and chuckled.
"Whatís so funny?" I asked.
"Looks like to fell victim to the old Mr. Smith pencil trick." She chuckled again.
"You mean this isnít the first time a student has come in here with a pencil impaled into his/her ear?"
She giggled. "No, no always in the ear," She sighed. "Iíve actually treated students with pencils stuck in their noses, hands, necks, and once one was stuck in a studentís eye." She chuckled again and without warning moved closer and pulled the pencil from my ear. I gasped.

She smiled at the thing and threw it into the trash. Then she leaned forward, closed her eyes, and placed her hand on my ear. Without seeing I knew that the small wound was sealing together again. When it was all done, she ushered me out of the room. I was walking back to the classroom when I heard it: a low buzzing sound that meant the speakers were on. And then--

"At this time would all students please make their ways to the mission briefing room? Thank you."

The machine clicked off. I smiled and changed direction, Looks like I'd get a mission after all.
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