We hereby invite you to the Reunion of Class 2010 of Evebrooke High School for the Super Powered to be held at the following date, please RSVP.
Andrew Weng, also called ‘The Griffin’, landed on the pavement of the school’s parking lot, his cape flowing gently behind him. He was dressed in his hero suit. It was purple with dramatic black lining and the image of a griffin on his chest.
It was a large gorgeous building reaching three stories high with multiple training facilities. With a rate of 87% of attendees joining hero firms, the school received massive funding from both private and government investors. For the past 30 years, it had been churning out heroes like any good factory and was associated with keeping peace and order (if you ignore over 20 ongoing lawsuits against the school).
As Andrew approached the front door, he heard someone land behind him. He was soon joined by his girlfriend (soon to be fiancé when he finally pops the question) Addy ‘Fire Angel’ Quinn. Her uniform was orange and white, orange flames running up the arms and legs of her outfit. High school sweethearts, they were excited to revisit the location for their first meeting.
Through the front doors, a banner hang saying ‘Welcome Back!’. Below it was one of the school’s teachers, Mr. Zeelot, once known as ‘The Iron Mind’.
“Andrew! Addy! Welcome back! We are so happy to see you.” He held out blank nametags. “Please put your name and your superhero name.”
They both quickly filled them out and stuck them to their outfits.
Inside the gymnasium were some cliché decorations of balloons and a projector playing photos and videos from their time at high school. There was a makeshift stage along one wall and tables set out, each outfitted with plates and utensils for the dinner the school the was generously providing.
“Oh, do you remember homecoming junior year? Jill and Saw broke up and destroyed half the classrooms,” Addy laughed.
Andrew nodded, “They couldn’t be in the same room together after that.”
“I used the excuse ‘Jill turned my homework to dust’ like five times the week after.”
The both chuckled, looking over the newly painted walls.
“The Griffin? In the flesh?”
Andrew turned around to see his high school best friend, Tony ‘NewBlood’ Keith. “Tony!” Andrew pulled him into a hug. “How’s working for SaveTheDay?”
“Shitty. I do more desk work than anything on the field.”
“Aw, well if a position opens up at Heroesque I’ll recommend you.”
Tony laughed, “Please, as if I’m good enough for them.”
“Of course, you are,” Addy assured him.
“Enough about me, how are you guys? I see you on the tv all the time!”
“Oh, we just go where we’re needed.”
Tony laughed, “You’re too humble, Andrew. If I was a hot-shot hero like you, I’d be having parties on my yacht every weekend. I’ll catch up with you guys later, I gotta say hi to Logan.” He waved goodbye before disappearing into the fast expanding crowd.
Addy glanced at Andrew out of the corner of her eye. “You know there is a space open at Heroesque? Since Willis quit.”
Andrew approached a table near the back of the gym, two spotlights lit it up. A small sign on it read: ‘Memorial for our fallen heroes’
He looked over the many framed photographs.
“Look, there’s FreezeFrame,” Addy said, pointing to a picture of a young woman.
“And Hollo,” Andrew picked up a photo of a man giving the camera a cheeky grin.
“Oh, I didn’t know DeadNite was dead,” Addy looked sadly at a picture of a man, his face hidden in the shadows of the hood he was wearing.
Andrew frowned, “Why is he on this table?”
“He was in our class, remember?”
“No, I know. He still has no place on this table.”
“This is table for heroes,” he pointed to the sign, “DeadNite was no hero. He doesn’t deserve to share this table with Hollo and FreezeFrame.” He snatched DeadNite’s photo off the table and stalked to the nearest trashcan where he promptly threw it away. Addy stood by, a frown on her face.
The crackle of a microphone pulled everyone’s attention. Standing on the makeshift stage was the school’s president, Mathias Weatherby. “Alright everybody. It is so great to see you all again. If I haven’t said hi yet I will get around to you. Anyways, Welcome back class of 2010!”
A cheer came from the crowd.
“We are going to play a fun little video we made from all the pictures you’ve sent in to see how everyone has grown up! Ray, go ahead and play it.” Mathias stepped off the stage and a moment later the projector changed to say in a cheesy font ‘Then and Now’.
An image of Tracy ‘The Snake Charmer’ Anson as a high school student appeared and then it was replaced by an image of her as an adult in her hero gear, and snake curled around her arm. Laughter came from the crowd and several people shouted her name.
The video continued, going down the line alphabetically. Andrew and Addy found a seat at one of the tables and sat down to watch. Upon entering the ‘G’s, someone sat down next to Andrew. He turned his head to greet them, but his smile immediately vanished.
Andrew’s face turned into a scowl. “I don’t go by that.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Should I call you The Griffin?”
The forks and knifes on the table slowly began to rise, levitating shakily in the air. Addy put a hand on his arm. He exhaled and the utensils dropped.
“Hello Jonas,” Addy said.
Jonas was a lanky man with fluffy black hair wearing casual jeans and a t-shirt.
“It’s been a while, Addy. How are you?”
“You alright there, Andy? Did you ever get counseling for that anger?” Andrew didn’t respond, instead simply glaring at him. “You punched through a lot of walls in four years, bud. Oh, Addy do you remember taking that math test in Mrs. Fondont’s class? We’re halfway through. It’s dead silent. And then Andy here punches through the damn wall! She let us out early to fix it. We had to retake the test next week, though.”
“I remember,” Addy confirmed.
Andrew glanced at Jonas’ nametag. All it said was ‘Jonas’. “Don’t go by your hero name anymore, huh?”
Jonas took a sip of the water before him. “No, can’t say that I do.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t quit apply anymore, does it?” Andrew asked.
Jonas tilted his head, “Fighting crime just wasn’t for me. I think I just prefer regular life.”
Andrew leaned forward, “Stop bullshitting. We all know you went and joined the Crimson Army.”
Jonas hesitated, “That’s-
“Andrew!” Andrew’s name was called out amongst the crowd. He looked up to see his high school picture on the screen followed by a promotional picture of himself that Heroesque had paid to have taken.
“Looking good, Andrew!” Tony yelled from across the gym.
Andrew put on a fake smile and nodded at everyone looking his way. Once the next picture went up, everyone turned their attention away.
Andrew whipped back around to face Jonas. “You shouldn’t be here.”
“I was invited just like everyone else.”
“This is a school for heroes. Not traitors and villains.”
“You really think that of me? We used to fight side by side.”
“Emphasis on the used to. Now leave.”
The gym door opened on its own.
Jonas glanced at it, “I’m not doing anything wrong, Andy.” Andrew’s jaw tightened. “Sorry, The Griffin.”
“Don’t make a scene, Andrew,” Addy warned.
The knives and forks on the table began to levitate again. “If you don’t leave this instant, I am going to have to arrest you.”
Jonas snorted, “Arrest me?”
“Yes, according to Section C line 234 of the Superhero Crime Fighting laws, any certified hero can arrest an individual under the suspicion of committing a crime.”
“What crime did I commit, exactly?”
“Associating with a terrorist organization. Now get out.”
“Jonas, maybe you should just go,” Addy said.
The microphone screeched with feedback as Mathias took the stage again. “You’ve all grown up so much! Now I’m going to give you all some time to mingle before food is served!”
The utensils creeped closer towards him as Jonas’ eyes began to glow a bright yellow color.
“You two better calm down,” Addy hissed.
“Andrew!” Mathias approached their table, a welcoming smile on his face. The forks and knives clattered back onto the table and Jonas leaned back, the glow in his eyes fading back to their natural brown.
“And Addy! Oh, and Jonas!” Mathias took a seat at the table. “Are you all enjoying catching up?”
“Oh, yeah. Having tons of fun,” Addy said.
“Mr. Weatherby, what do you think of the Crimson Army?” Andrew asked.
Mathias’ eyebrows shot up. “Uh, well, I’ve heard some concerning things. But I’m sure they’re nothing to worry about. But tell me, when is the wedding?”
“Wedding?” Addy asked.
“Uh, we’re not engaged,” Andrew muttered.
“You’ve been dating for over a decade,” Jonas said.
“We were on and off for a little bit. You know, busy being heroes.”
Mathias stared awkwardly down at the table. “Right, well, I’ve very proud to have some of our graduates at Heroesque. Congrats on everything.” He got up and shuffled away to the next table.
Andrew and Addy shared a look.
“What the hell are you still doing here Jonas,” Andrew cut him off.
“It’s a free meal, Andy. I’m not going to pass that up.”
“Well, you are not wel-“
“Why are you so worried about me? You’re the one that still hasn’t asked his girlfriend to marry him after ten years.”
“Shut the fuck up.”
“Ooo, did I hit a nerve?”
“Stop being so childish,” Addy snapped.
“At least I have someone to love me. No one could ever love a villain like you,” Andrew’s voice rose, drawing attention from the nearby tables.
“Villain this. Villain that. You care more about villains that your own god damned girlfriend.”
In a flash, the table they were sitting at flipped into the air and slammed into Jonas, knocking him to the floor.
Addy jumped out of her seat in shock while Jonas pushed the table off of him, standing amongst broken plates.
“Let’s just get this over with, huh?” Andrew asked.
Jonas’ eyes glowed yellow as Andrew caused all the knives in the gym to hover and then go flying through the air towards him.
In a flash of yellow energy, Jonas deflected the knives, instead sending them into the wall.
Everyone stared with open mouths as the two of them fought. Andrew levitated in the air, pulling tables and chairs off the ground and hurtling them at Jonas who deflected and would retaliate with the occasional energy blast.
They moved closer as the fight continued, until they were face to face and throwing punches midair. An uppercut to the jaw, sent Andrew to the ground. Yellow energy circled Jonas forming a large cackling ball. As he prepared to throw it, the memorial table hurtled across the room and slammed into him from behind, sending him to the ground as well.
They both staggered to their feet, prepared to continue the fight.
Instead, bright angry flames erupted between them. Jonas jumped back with a surprised yell. They both turned to look at Addy. The fire surrounded her, floating off of her hair without burning it.
“Stop it!” She screamed. “You two are children!”
They glanced around at the carnage scattered around the gym.
“Andrew! Stop picking fights! It’s okay to not be a hero for one god damned day. And Jonas!” The flames licked at him, and he jumped back again. “Stop purposely causing trouble!”
“I just wanted to come here and remember what it was like to be kids again! Can we please have the fate of the world off our shoulders for one day?!”
The fire slowly died out, leaving charred marks on the floor.
Andrew’s eyes dropped. He glanced at Jonas who looked just as guilty. “I’m sorry, Addy.” He looked over at Mathias. “I’m sorry, Mr. Weatherby.”
He shrugged, “You’d be surprised how often this happens.”
“There’s someone else you need to apologize to,” Addy said.
Andrew looked at Jonas and frowned.
The flames ignited again. “You act like children you get treated like children. Now apologize to each other!”
Andrew sighed, “Sorry, Jonas. I… should not have judged you so… harshly.”
Jonas scratched his head, “Sorry, Andy. Andrew. I shouldn’t have pushed you.”
Addy exhaled, “Okay. Now I am going to get ice cream and enjoy my night. Goodbye everyone.” Without another word she flew off the ground, breaking through the gym’s roof and disappearing into the night sky.
“Oh, really? The roof?” Mathias mumbled.
Andrew looked at Jonas. “Uhh, there’s an opening at Heroesque. If you ever decide to be a hero again.”
Jonas nodded, “Thanks. I’ll think about it.”
“You know I was always jealous of your hero name.”
“Shut up, Andrew. You know it was embarrassing.”
Andrew laughed, “Yeah it’s really no surprise you became a villain.”
“Dude,” Jonas glared at him, causing Andrew to only laugh louder.
Mathias stared up at the hole in the roof, the knives in the wall, and the charred remains of the gym. This is why EveBrooke’s insurance was so damn high.