I woke up to a yelp of pain and a surge of heavy lemon scent suffocating my nostrils. As my eyes fluttered open, I saw many tools and white curtains surround me and a surgeon with wide eyes. The lady had caramel eyes, and curly brown hair tucked underneath her surgeon cap. She had tons of moles on her face. She seemed to remind me of one of those angry cafeteria ladies in those childish T.V. shows I used to watch. "Ah! Who are you and what are you doing to me?" I yelled as I furiously pushed the surgeon's face away from me. "Calm down Lilliandra-" "You know my name! What kind of creepy stalker are you!" "I am Dixie Stone, a surgeon from California Medical Care. Now, if you would please take these pills." "Okay, fair enough. But before I let you continue whatever you are doing to me, you know, feel free to tell me what happened." I said with a slight sarcasm in my tone. "Oh, yes, of course. I believe you were rushed to the hospital because you have severely cracked your head on the cement floor. Your principal, Mr. Jackson, sent you here. And don't worry, your mom and teachers know about this incident." "Wait, my mom knows! How my life is going to be great after this." If you didn't catch on, it's sarcasm. My mom is incredibly protective. Honestly, I can't fight against that. If she found out that I fell on my head, I will probably be wearing a helmet for the rest of the school year. "Okay, now if you don't mind, Lilliandra, can you please take these sleeping pills so I can finish your stitches?" "Oh, yeah." With that, I gulped down the pills and felt a wave of weariness drown me. cCc I woke up to a familiar lemon scent and white curtains surrounding me. I instantly remembered where I was, as well as my weird doctor. Dixie Stone, right? "I'm going to check if she is awake," I heard Dixie say from what I am guessing is the hallway. "All right. We have to tell her about our descendants and why she is here. We can't risk her with another stitch. Make it quick please, she must be awake," said a familiar voice. Mom. And why does she want to speak to me about our descendants? Growing up, I only lived with my mom, and my socially awkward little brother, Jack. Everytime I would ask my mom about dad, she would simply reply, "You're too young. You will understand soon." She also never talked about our grandparents. Strange, right? Although, I never suspected anything strange to be happening. For all I know, we are an average, modern family. "Lilliandra is awake Ms. Bumstake! Please make your way inside the room," called Dixie. "Alright. I'm heading in right now." I heard the creaky door open, followed by heavy footsteps making its way towards my bed. When my mom and doctor came into view, I had realized they were wearing those cheesy superhero costumes. Either they have gone crazy, or I was in a deep coma until Halloween. My mom was wearing a tight purple shirt with a green 'question mark' symbol, and a matching pair of purple leggings, paired with a sparkly green skirt. Dixie was wearing a yellow dress, with red crosses printed all over it. In my mom's hand, I saw an oddly tiny super-suit. It was a my favorite color: turquoise, and it had a sparkly, purple cape attached to the back of it. In her other hand, there was --what it looked like-- a tool belt with three gadgets in it. In the first compartment, there was a shiny whip with a golden band attached to the end of it. In the second, there was a gun. The gun didn't look like those cliché, police guns you would see in action movies, instead it was one of those guns that looked like a cheap, bubble gun machine. It was green and had a --what I think-- a word printed on it. I couldn't read in properly, so I'll have to ask mom about that later. In the final compartment, there was a golden dagger. "You're awake!" yelped my mom. "Surprise," I said as I did lazy jazz hands. "Well, now that you are awake, Mrs. Stone and I have some splendid news to tell you. Although, this will be a bit frightening at first, I assure you it will be all okay. Especially when this action comes to life." Action? The only sort of movement I do is eat. "Alright." "You're a superhero!" "W-what did you just say? A superhero? I don't think I heard you correctly." I heard her properly, although I just don't know how to react. I mean, how is someone supposed to react. You just figured out you are a superhero... "I know you heard me properly Lilliandra. I know this is a lot to take into consideration, but this is your reality; the pathway our family for generations has followed," my mom said sternly. "Generations," I squealed. "Yes, generations. We will have to head to the laboratory for further discussions... So, if you are ready to leave, get dressed into this," my mom said as she directed towards the super-suit in her hand, "and we should head out." "First of all, I am not wearing that," I said as I waved my hand towards the murderous super-suit, "and second of all, I am not leaving until you tell me what is happening." "Sorry Lilliandra, but this is orders from the Superhero Committee. We have to get going so we can figure out your powers. " "What's the Superhero Committee?" "The Superhero Committee in an organization designed to train superheroes from all around the world. The committee will help you discover your powers. If you go out onto a quest and not understand the function of your powers, you can put the world in more danger than it currently is." Okay, first the 'you are a superhero' thing, then the murderous super-suit, and now the dangerous quests! "Hold on, I don't understand. Why didn't you tell me earlier?," I questioned. "Again, we will have further discussions at the laboratory. Okay, let's get going. We don't want the committee mad," my mom said as I started reaching for my shoes underneath the tall, white bed. I let the super-suit slide because I did not want to wear it. Instead, I settled for a white shirt, and navy blue leggings. "Yeah, we don't want the committee mad," I repeated. cCc It was a long drive from the hospital to the Superhero Committee building. The drive was mostly going off trail into the wilderness. I wouldn't have guessed differently. I wouldn't expect a Superhero Laboratory in the middle of California. As we approached the Superhero Committee Building, I was amazed by it's architectural structure. The building was a literal golf ball enlarged to the size of the White House; it was huge! It was painted white, with grey accents bordering the finished designs along the entrance. In front of the huge golf ball were beautiful Leilani's scattered along the polished trail. When you looked to either sides, you could see soldiers; just like the soldiers at school, watching your every move. They all wore blazers with a long gun next to them. "Come on in Lilliandra," said my mom as her hand snaked into mine. "Let's go," I said beamingly. Although I wasn't really excited about the whole superhero thing, I was pretty excited to see all of the cool features in the Laboratory. I have always wanted to be an architect; I enjoy designing building. I have always wanted to build something permanent, something that can't and won't be taken down. As we walked, I closely examined the designs printed along the entrance. There were superheroes fighting against --what it looked like-- villains. As I stepped closer, I could see a woman, that kind of looked like my mom, and man with a long beard fighting against each other. The mom-look-alike seemed to be loosing, as the man was beaming on top of her with water surrounding them. "Lilliandra come on," my mom said tugging on my hand. Her eyes glistened with fear, as she looked at the picture I was observing. As I whipped my head back to the picture, I saw a blue pendent attached to the man's neck. On top of the pendent, it wrote finis temporis, and without realizing it, I knew it meant the end of time. I felt goosebumps crawl onto my arms and legs. I quickly shook my head and turned my attention back to mom. "Sorry," I said. "It's alright. Let's get moving," mom said quietly, like she just remembered something bad. As my mom pushed open the glass double doors, I was awed by all of the gadgets and architectural features. As I looked around I saw many --what I am guessing-- superheroes. Some were flying, some were transporting, and some where even floating on clouds! In the middle of the room, there were maroon couches and black tables. On the walls there were rows of pictures of superheroes in action. Out of the corner of my eyes, I could see my mom looking there too. "What is that?," I asked. "Oh, that's the Superhero Wall of Fame," my mom said as if she were a news reporter. I stifled a laugh. "Some of the bravest superheroes get the opportunity to put their picture on the wall. It is a really big deal, even I've gotten my picture up there," my mom continued as she pointed towards a picture of her in her purple super-suit. "Wow," was all I could say. "I know right! Now we don't want to get late for our meeting. Let's go," my mom said, once again tugging on my hand. I smiled up at her and she smiled back. As we walked down the long corridor, a faint picture of the man from outside seemed to linger. I didn't even know him, yet he looked vaguely familiar.
After scrambling down the dark corridor, mom and I finally found the laboratory office. "We're here," my mom sang as we approached a black door, with officium, meaning office, printed over it. "Okay, when are we supposed to go in?" I questioned. "Right now," said a firm feminine voice. As I turned my head to the unknown view, I saw a beautiful lady that appeared to be around her forties. She had slick, black hair with kaleidoscope eyes, that kept shifting from an icy blue to emerald green. The lady wore a white super-suit with a shimmery gold belt and cape. On the front of her shirt, there was a gold rubber band symbol. "Good afternoon, Acacallis," said mom as she shook hands with the unknown lady. "Good afternoon, Penelope," Acacallis said to mom before turning her attention to me, "and you must be Lilliandra Bumstake! What a pleasure to meet you," she continued as she firmly shook my hand. "Ditto," I replied. "So, Lilliandra, Penelope, come on inside," Acacallis said as she directed towards the entrance of the door. After stepping inside, I noticed the neatly arranged office prepared for the meeting. There was a black tabletop, with three chairs neatly arranged around it. On top of the table, there were coffee mugs, magazines, and a white envelope with golden linings. As I walked around, I further examined the room. Towards the right side, there were tons of gadgets. And by tons, I mean TONS. There were gadgets of all different colors and designs. As I switched my attention towards the left-hand-side, I saw computers with a globe map --from what I am guessing-- to locate villains from across the world. Towards the end of the room, there was a necklace sketch that looked exactly like the one the man from outside was wearing. When I looked back at my mom and Acacallis, I noticed they both took a seat and conversed deeply. I awkwardly stood there until they noticed my presence. "Lilliandra, why don't you take a seat over here?" my mom said as she pointed at the black stool that sat next to herself, "Now President Acacallis will now explain to you all the components of the Superhero Committee." "Thank you, Penelope. Now, your possibly wondering why you got sent to the Superhero Laboratory after you hit your head. Well, here's the thing, when you blacked out, you sent electric sparks and nobody has figured out how. This might be your potential superpower, but other than that we don't know why that happened. On the other note, superheroes live all around the world. There are Committees in every country, but this is the official laboratory. We, the Superhero Committee, get alerts when a villain is loose. We quickly alert all the superheroes all around the world and chose a group that is fit for the task. Once the villain is caught, we send them to the dungeon in the basement, where they are beaten and imprisoned for their terrible actions," advised Acacallis. "So like quests," I asked. I had always been fascinated with quests since I read the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. "Yes, like quests," Acacallis said as she lifted a stack of newspapers. "Look here," she said as she pointed to a picture of a terrible tsunami in Hawaii, "This is an outcome of one of the quests to capture...," Acacallis flinched and looked towards my mom. My mom looked shaken. Her eyes looked alarmed, sad, and mad, all at the same time. "Not yet," my mom murmured, "She is not ready yet." "I am not ready for what," I questioned as I gave a puzzled face to the adults in front of me. "Nothing, darling. Now, where was I. Oh yes, three teenage superheroes, just like you, went to Hawaii to capture one of the darkest villains of all time. This villain stole the pendant of life, a pendant that can put the whole world in danger. For the past twenty years, superheroes from all generations have been trying to capture this villain, but sadly no one returned with him. This villain has strong ocean powers that can potentially cause hurricanes, or even tsunamis, as depicted in the picture," said Acacallis. What about this villain shook mom up so much? "Anyways, Lilliandra, you will be staying here for training. And to figure out the most exciting part: your powers!" "How long will I be staying here?" "About a couple of years, time. It depends on your strengths and if you are ready to go out and save the world." I wasn't exactly excited about this. I still wanted to have that high school experience, get friends, go to school, but everything was falling apart. "Do I have to," I pushed. "Yes, this is your destiny." I remember what my mom said about everyone in the family choosing this pathway in life. "Fine, when do I move in," I asked. "Whenever you have gotten your bags packed. Which, fortunately for you, your mom has already done." I looked at my mom and the big sparkly, hot pink suitcases next to her. I signed. "Let's get moving, Lilliandra. It's getting late, and your training starts tomorrow." "Okay, let's go. Thank you, President Acacallis." "No problem. I know we didn't get to cover everything you would like, but that is what the training is for." "Okay." "Your schedule and all the other information are all in here," Acacallis said as she gave an envelope. "Thank you," I said as mom, and I left the room. "So, are you excited? Nervous?" asked mom with a giddy look on her face. It is crazy how her mood changes so quickly. "I guess I am excited. I am not ready for training; I am kind of nervous. Especially for the quests." "It's okay. That's how I was in the beginning. But, sooner or later, you will get used to it, and I can't wait to see my little girl as a big superhero!" I laughed. We continued walking around the building until we reached a corridor with rows of rooms. It was dark and reminded me of one of those horror movies you would see on T.V. When I looked towards my left-hand-side, I saw a door with my name, in sparkly blue letters, printed over it. "We are here," my mom said as she stood in front of me, holding my hands. "When will I see you again?" I said, sad I had to leave her. "Hopefully, next week. I still have Jack, you know," she said as I laughed. "Bye, mom," "Bye, Lilliandra." I watched her as she left the corridor and went out of sight. I walked into my room and plopped onto the bed. I didn't realize how tired I was until my head hit the pillow.
I woke up to the sound of birds chirping. Actually, that an overstatement. I woke up to the sound of my alarm clock ringing next to my ears. I realized I wasn't in my bed. Where am I? Then the realization hit me like a truck. I was at the Superhero laboratory. I groaned. Last night I remembered smashing onto my bed without even apprehending my surroundings. I took these next few minutes to look at my room I would be staying in for the next couple of years. My bed was a light shade of pink, covered by a soft, hot pink blanket. Next to it, there was a white bed table with a multi-color, polka dot rug underneath it. In front of my bed, there was a wardrobe with a full-body mirror next to it. It wasn't bad, I thought. It was my aesthetic. Back at home, my room was very similar to this. I had a blue bed and covers, a white bed table, rug, wardrobe, and a silver and pink, full-body mirror. A loud noise snapped me it of my thoughts. "Hello? Is anyone in here," I stuttered. Yawn. "What?" I silently stood up, not wanting to scare off whatever that was in my room. As I tip-toed across the room, I saw a girl my age sleeping on a bed. She had blond hair and fair skin. "Excuse me, who are you?" I asked with my arms crossed over my chest. "Be quiet," she groaned, "Let me sleep." "I am not going to leave you alone until you tell me why you are in my room." "Yeah, yeah, Lilliandra," "What!--" Another noise snapped me out of our conversation: loud footsteps. As I swirled around, I came face-to-face with a boy with neatly cut brown hair and piercing blue eyes. He was wearing a green sweatshirt with grey sweatpants. "You must be Lilliandra," said the boy with a grin plastered over his face. "And if I am?" I replied. He smirked. "The names Ryder. It's a pleasure to meet you," Ryder said with a scratchy British accent, as he dipped down into a bow. "A pleasure, isn't it? The names Lilliandra, kind sir," I said, mocking his actions. "You're new here, would you like me to take you to the superhero lobby? We can leave early, so we can come back to the dorm and change into our super-suits." "Just a quick question, why are you and her," I said, directing at the mystery girl on the bed, "In my room?" "I could ask you the same thing. Every resident who stays here has to share a dorm with two other people. That's why Christie and I had been expecting you all month. About my offer, you down?" "Oh, yeah, I guess. I mean, I don't know you, so maybe this can be the chance to learn a bit. Anyways, so the kid's name is Christie. I will have to talk to her later. On the other note, let me get ready, okay? I'll meet you outside the dorm room." "Okay," he answered, his eyes twinkling with joy. I quickly scurried to the bathroom and looked at my reflection in the mirror. The girl in front of me had messy brunette hair and dark circles underneath her crystal blue eyes. I was still wearing my navy blue legging and white shirt from yesterday. I gasped. "I must've made a fool out of myself out there," muttered silently to myself. The first impression is always crucial, my mother would always tell me, and I didn't make the best first impression in front of my roommates. I quickly turned on the shower and felt the warm water spill over me. After I finished taking a shower, I changed into some black jeans, a white tank top with a light blue cardigan, and my white converse high tops. I quickly slipped on my 'good luck' necklace and headed for the dorm room. As I approached the door, I saw Ryder with a grin plastered over his face. He was wearing skinny black jeans, a navy blue shirt, and white air-force ones. "Hey, Lilliandra! Are you ready?" "Yeah." With that, we took off into the depths of the Superhero Laboratory. cCc It took at least twenty minutes of scrambling to exit the cluster of dorm rooms. As soon as I stepped out, I noticed the humongous lobby. The walls were painted a vibrant white, with grey accents bordering the frames. There were maroon couches in the middle, along with black and white coffee tables. On the walls, there were paintings and photographs of past superhero fights. Around the lobby, there were tons of superheroes of all ages. Some were studying while others were talking to friends. "This is the lobby. Superheroes in training, like us, meet up here before their training. I wonder why everyone is here so early. It's just 6:05--," Ryder glanced down as watch as his eyes began to widen," It's 8:00!" "What time does training start?" "In thirty minutes! If we run back to our dorm in time, change, wake up Christie and run back... I think we can make it." "But I'm not that fast! We will never make it back in time!" "Hop on," Ryder said as he crouched down for me to get on his back. "No! That's just going to slow us down." "Just hop on," he said, again crouching down. "You are impossible," I said as I hopped onto his back. "It's my best quality. Are you ready?" "Of course! It's not like you are going to run at... 100mph," I said, rolling my eyes. "I can," and he took off, leaving a horrified Lilliandra gripping on his back. I shut my eyes and tried to keep calm. I was never a fan of high-intensity movements because I have motion sickness. I always remember my trips to an amusement park. While everyone is having fun on the scariest rollercoasters, I am puking in the park's corner. It was not a mood. As Ryder began to increase his speed, I knew I was going to puke any second. Before I could do anything I would have regretted, I felt the fast cold wind die down, and the churring sensation in my stomach disappeared. I signed. "Never do that again," I said as I hit the back of his head. "Sorry," he said, shrinking back as if he were scared of me. "Let's go get changed." I opened the door to Christie, dancing in front of the mirror. The dorm was a mess. There were clothes everywhere, and at least one hundred shoes laid out. Ryder walked in as if this was a regular thing. I stood there with a confused look growing on my face. "Oh, hey, Lilliandra, Ryder," Christie said as she turned off the music and picked up her blue, plastic hairbrush, "Didn't see you there." "Yeah, why is this place a mess?" "A mess? What do you mean? This is how our dorm usually is," "Ryder? Is this normal, or something?" "Yeah, what's so wrong?" "Yeah, what's so wrong, Lilliandra," Christie spat. Okay, this is the first time I spoke to her, and she's already mad at me? "It's nothing. I guess I just like everything organized. Now, what time is it, Ryder?" "8:07." "We have some time! I will go get ready, while you guess do whatever you usually do," I said as I approached my suitcase. "Okay." I opened my suitcase and saw my blue super-suit hidden beneath my pile of clothes. I scrambled through the bag until I was able to reach the murderous item. I pulled it out and sighed. How will I be able to fit into this? I reluctantly held the suit and headed for the bathroom. When I opened the door, I saw a preoccupied Christie straightening her hair. On the table, she had, at least, one hundred bobby pins laid out and six different super-suits behind her. There was a pile of makeup on the counter, with tons of jewels sprawled out next to them. "Excuse me, Christie, but I kind of need to change." "Wait in line," she said in a monotone. "Line?" I asked, turning around. There I saw Ryder holding a blue super-suit in his hand. "This is the line," he said with a sigh. "You have to deal with this every day?" "Mostly. But sometimes I'm lucky enough to wake up before her." "Wow." There was a long awkward silence -- without counting Christie's terrible music-- before Ryder decided to break the ice. "Sorry about being late and everything. I thought it might have been helpful if I showed you around. The lobby is huge, and for training, its mandatory to know where everything is." "Looks like I'm going to have a hard time today. On the other note, tell me about you and Christie." "Okay, I'm Ryder Davis. I am fifteen years old. I enjoy sports, but mostly track or cross country. I used to live in Ohio but moved here four years ago. I love burritos and salads. I know, both foods are on the opposite side of the food chain," I laughed at this, "As for Christie, she is also fifteen years old. She enjoys girly stuff and can be a snob sometimes. She used to live in New York and moved here three years ago. We have been roommates ever since." "Wow! You guys must know each other pretty well because you knew each other for that long." "Meh, she doesn't talk to me that often. Now, tell me about yourself, Lilliandra." "Well, my name is Lilliandra Bumstake-," "Bumstake, its got a ring to it," I heard Ryder murmur. Then, I heard him gasp. "What's wrong?" "Nothing," he quickly replied. I just dropped the subject. "Anyways, I am fourteen years old. I enjoy arts and crafts. I used to live in Texas, but moved here because my mom got a job offer." "Cool! Oh look, Christie is out. You can go." "Okay." I went into the bathroom and changed into the tight super-suit. It was way too tight for my liking. I walked out of the door with only one thing in mind: Today was going to be a long day.
Walking down the corridor was like traveling through a deep maze that had no end. I continued to walk around the path of dorms until I noticed Ryder and Christie leaving a dorm room. "Why are they in another dorm?" I muttered silently. That was until I noticed my name in sparkly blue letters plastered over the door. Had I walked in a circle this whole time? It seems like I still have time. "Hey, wait up," I exclaimed, jogging my way over to them. "Lillinadra, what are you doing here? I thought you left ten minutes ago!" Ryder countered. "Yeah, about that, I kind of got lost," I said with a deep sigh. "Common. You can come with us if you would like. I would love to get to know you more." "Of course!" "Ahem!" I heard Christie say. "Oh, Christie. Didn't see you there." As a response, Christie gave me a sour smile. I did see her. It's just; I despise her. Something about her aura seems off. "Yeah, let's go, Ryder," Christie gritted, tugging Ryder's arm. "Okay," Ryder responded, clearly oblivious of the tension between Christie and me. We all started making our way to the lobby. The walk there was fine, except for the occasional glares Christie was sending me. I just followed her actions. Nobody had talked much, so I took that to my advantage. "So, Ryder, what is your favorite color?" "It depends. One day I may like green, then the next I am in love with yellow. I guess you can peg me for the rainbow type. What about you, Lilliandra?" "Turquoise." "Any specific reason?" "I love the ocean. Back at home, I have a fish tank with five fishes. Whenever I am close to the ocean's presence, I just feel like I am at home, you know? I don't know why it's just..." "Yeah, I had pegged you for the ocean type. Your eyes seem to remind me of the sea." "Thank you, Ryder, for asking me what my favorite color is," interrupted Christie with a sour look on her face, "My favorite color is pink. I used to live in New York, and my dad was wealthy. I get whatever I want. Did you, Lilliandra," she asked, batting her eyes. Okay, so she is the daddy's baby—spoiled brat. "No, I am very grateful for what I have." "That sucks. I know you wish you were me," Christie said with a fake frown on her face, "Anyways, back at home, I have all the Gucci purses, all the designer shoes, and even a mansion. Can't relate, can you, Lilliandra. Texas is lame. I bet no one there can afford a loaf of bread." I glared a thousand bullets at her. How dare she offend Texas and my family's wealth. Ryder sensed my anger and reluctantly draped an arm over my shoulders. "Don't listen to Christie. I have been to Texas, and it is way more than cowgirls and cowboys. I don't understand why Christie is acting rude. She usually isn't this sour when someone is new here." I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. Breath in, breathe out, my mom would always say. My mom was constantly there for me during my roughest times. Grade school wasn't the best year for me. I would continuously get bullied and shamed for not having a dad. I remember one of my classmates named Arden Fox. She was just like Christie, stealing her daddy's money from his pocket. I shuddered at the thought. I slowly opened my eyes and felt a spark near the corner of my eyes. Confused, I looked over at Ryder and saw a spring of water gushing down on him. He stood there, drenched, may I add, with a confused look growing on his face. "What just happened?" he asked, clearly attempting to keep his voice calm. "You know what, leave it, I will be right back." Once he was out of sight, I turned my face to Christie. She was holding a mirror in one hand and twirling her hair with another. How could someone be so annoying? "Hey, listen, Christie--," I started but almost immediately got interrupted by Christie shoving her hand in my face. "Talk to the hand." I scowled. "Why are you acting so... obnoxious." "Me, obnoxious, PFT," she said, waving me off. "Whatever," I said, rolling my eyes. "If you guys are done with your verbal battle, we just made it to the lobby." I just realized Ryder came back. He left one minute ago and has already made it back with a dry, super-suit on. That just made me grow most interested in what my superpower may be. When we turned the corner, I noticed everyone's eyes fixed on us. Slowly, everyone started clearing the way, and all I could hear were loud, heavy footsteps. I winced. I was expecting a tall, brutal teacher to slap us with a ruler and give us a long lecture for being late, but to my dismay, a small, bald man came walking down the aisle. At most, he was 4 feet 9 inches, with a long gray beard falling from his chin. Balanced on the tip of his nose, was circular glasses with a thin black frame. He was wearing a brown polo shirt, dark brown pants, and a green and brown sweater. "Ryder, Lilliandra, Christie, why are you late?" the man shrieked, throwing his hand up in aspiration. "Lilliandra held us back, mister," Christie started, as she batted her eyelashes. "I told them to hurry up, but Lilliandra didn't seem to care." "Excuse me, you were the--," I started. "Enough! I don't know what is up with you two but save it. We are late because I wasn't keeping track of time. I took Lilli to the lobby early in the morning, lost track of time, and made it here late. We deeply apologize, sir. If you would forgive us?" Ryder said. "You are saved by luck today because Lilliandra is new here, but if you three are late again, you will have PUNISHMENT all day!" the man said. I heard everyone gasp. I just realized everyone had been watching us. "Come on, kids, training is starting." With that, everyone huddled together in a tight circle. I took this time to examine everyone here. There were students of all different backgrounds and identities. The youngest one looked to be around twelve-years-old, whereas the oldest seemed to be around nineteen. I took a seat next to Ryder and a girl with black hair, black eyes, and brown skin. She was wearing a lavender super suit that complimented her skin. It had a silver cape and a silver lightning bolt on the front. "Welcome, superheroes! Today will be everyone's first, official day of superhero training. If you do not know me, my name is Professor Atlas, and I will be everyone's trainer." Professor Atlas said as he began to duplicate himself. In a matter of seconds, there was --at least-- one thousand Professor Atlas(es) around everyone. "Behind everyone, you should have a Professor Atlas. Schedules are at the front desk. Everyone is dismissed!" I turned my head and saw Professor Atlas of my very own. That's a cool superpower. "Hello Professor Atlas, my name is Lilliandra Bumstake. My mom is Penelope Bumstake, a former student of yours," I started as I stuck my hand out. "Yes, I know. I figured you would be coming sooner or later. Penelope finally made the right decision. Enough talking, let's go get your schedule so we can start your training." "Okay." I already knew where the front office was. Okay, maybe it was because I saw everyone huddling in one area. I made my way over and picked up the schedule with my name printed over it. lιllιαπδrα βυmsτακε 8:40 - 9:40 = Rock Climbing Wall 10:00 - 12:00 = Lava Pit Lunch If there are any questions, contact your Professor "Lava Pit!" I muttered. "Are they trying to fry us!" I walked back over to Professor Atlas and showed him my schedule. "Let's go to the rock climbing wall." I nodded. He started walking, and I quickly scrambled to catch him. I have to admit, I was terrified, but I was not going to show an ounce of emotion. We passed by other superheroes doing dangerous stunts. I saw Ryder doing pull-ups over a bundle of deadly scorpions, Christie climbing a wall with snakes below her, and even a redhead attempting to run away from a bull. I already knew this was going to be tough. "We are here. Get strapped into your helmet and pads, and we can get started. I will be right back." Great. I strapped into my gear and stood there waiting for Atlas to come back. I wondered what my surprise would be: a shark, spiders, kangaroo? I impatiently tapped my foot on the floor, anxious to see what was in store for me. When Professor Atlas came back, I saw a blown up bed and tons of pillows. I inwardly smiled. Maybe this won't be as bad as I thought. cCc Let me tell you, I was wrong. Turns out the bed and pillows weren't for me; they were for Atlas. I ended up falling on the wood floor at least fifty times, and he didn't give me any pity. I wouldn't have guessed differently. Part one of the training was over, and now I was going out for my twenty-minute break. I strolled out of the room and bumped into a sweaty figure. "Hey, watch where you are-- oh, Ryder," I said. "Hey, Lilliandra," Ryder replied, scratching the back of his head. "How was training?" "The best! I fell on the floor fifty times, and I have never felt more alive! I want to do it again," I said, sarcasm filling my tone. "I'm so glad you enjoyed it!" Ryder said, clearly surprised. "I'm only joking! Rock climbing was pure torture. My Professor was just sitting on a bed, chillaxing, while I was in internal and external pain." Ryder laughed. "Very funny, Lilli. Rock climbing is nothing compared to what I had to do." "What did you do?" I already knew what he had to do. "Pull-ups over scorpions," we said at the same time. Ryder glanced down at his watch, and his eyes doubled its original size. "Looks like we only have five minutes. I am going to go back. Good luck, Lilliandra," he said, nodding his head sincerely. "Bye." I watched him turn around and leave the corridor. I reluctantly made my way back to the room where Professor Atlas told me to go. Room 623. I walked inside and saw the danger itself: the lava pit. With my face down, I trudged my way over to Atlas. "I'm back. How does the lava pit work?" "You climb on the ladder and try not to fall." "Any tips?" "No." "Easier said than done." "What?" "Nothing." I got started, and let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight. cCc After I finished the lava pit, my hair was a poof ball, and my super suit was tattered into pieces. The lava pit went like this: I crawled onto the ladder, tipped over, tried to crawl back up, but only ended up breaking the ladder. You could say this was the best thing I did today! After practice ended, I left the room almost instantly. I made my way back to the dorm, not wanting anyone to see me. I quickly ran inside the dorm and slipped into the shower. I felt the familiar, warm water drape over my body. I washed my tangled hair and lathered my body with my lavender-scented soap. I stepped out of the shower and changed into a navy hoodie and blue jeans. I quickly braided my long, wet hair and slipped on my gold necklace. Stepping out of the bathroom, I slid on my favorite pair of white, high-top converse, and raced out of the room. In a matter of minutes, I was in the busy halls of the superhero dining room. There were tables of six spaces out around the room, with kids laughing and joking around. I scanned the room, looking for Ryder and Christie. Towards the back of the room, I saw both of them settling down. I jogged my way over to them. "Hey, guys! How was training?" I asked them, sitting down on the seat next to Ryder. Taking a bite of her apple, Christie said, "Good, I guess. How was your training, Lilliandra?" I guess you could say I was a bit frazzled by her question. Never in a million years would I imagined Christie asking me that. "It was okay. What activities did you do?" Taking another bite out of her apple, Christie handed me a small sheet of paper. "Wow! Rock climbing and bull riding. That's impressive." "What can I say," Christie replied, flipping her hair. "I'm just talented." I raised my eyebrows. "Yes, Christie, you are very talented," I said, getting up to get lunch. I walked over to the lunch buffet, and my mouth started watering at the sight of the delicious treats. There were sandwiches, cookies, fruits, smoothies, salads, and so much more. I gathered a plate full of food and headed back to the table. "Wow, looks like someone is hungry," Ryder said, biting back a laugh. "I could say the same thing," I replied, glancing down at his packed plate. He had a cookie, sandwich, chips, and a smoothie. Rubbing his stomach, Ryder said, "What can I say." We both demolished our plates full of food. cCc Hours passed and Ryder, Christie, and me just talked in our dorm. It was around 9:06, when we heard an alarm. "Look, it's time to go to bed," Ryder said, pointing at the alarm. "Yep," I replied with a yawn. "Today was fun. We all should do this again sometime." "Eh," Christie said, picking at her unclipped nails. Christie wasn't as bad as I thought she would be. Sure, she spilled a few rude comments to me, but it was better than the morning. I think that was because she was genuinely interested in her nails. I went into the bathroom and changed into my pajamas and slipped into bed. "Goodnight, guys," I said. "Goodnight," both of them replied. I felt my eyes grow heavy, and soon I was in deep sleep.