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The Crucible (Open)


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Kantai Acadamy

Haruko’s heels clicked loudly on the smooth wooden floors that the school had. She had just arrived for the day and was excited to start her new section on American Literature. She carried a banker’s box filled with various items which she was excited to use for her class. 

At this point in the morning there were sparely any students, but a few were there. She paused when she came to her classroom door and frowned. Her hands were full with the box and it was of course an old fashion sliding door. She contemplated how to open the passageway when it slid across. 

“Here you go ma’am.” A calm voice said, a male student who she didn’t recognize came from behind her to slide it open. She tilted her head in brief confusion, “Thank you…” Her voice trailed off as she hoped the student would introduce themselves. The boy offered a weak smile, he wore a bandage around his left eye. He looked like he was fairly battered up, but his appearance was a stark contrast to his crisp new uniform. 

Haruko walked into her classroom and moved to set the box on her desk. “Are you a new student?” She called behind her to the youth. 

The boy lurked by the door and moved inside before bowing. “Yes ma’am I’m transferring from Anno…” His voice trailed off as he debated what to say exactly. He fumbled around and produced a paper from a holder he was holding. Walking over he handed it to her, “My name is Kai.” 

As he handed Haruko the paper the two shared a moment where they looked at each other a long moment. Haruko took the page and began to read it over, “Have I seen you around town?” She asks blindly as she reads over the transfer paperwork. Kai tilted his head in contemplation, “I don’t know ma’am its possible. I just moved to the area last year with my grandparents.” Looking around nervously, Kai walked over to the box. “Can I help you unpack ma’am?” 

Haruko looked up smiling, breaking her trance from the form he handed her, “You certainly may Kai! My name is Ms. Okazaki.” 

Her polite smile put Kai at ease and he helped her fish the materials out of the box to place on her desk. At first it seemed to be all papers and books, then his hand trembled when he reached in and pulled out a gunpla. “Is this what I think it is?” He asked as he held up the figurine in the light for his inspection. 

Haruko chuckled as she glanced at Caliburn. “Oh!” She huffed, “Yes that’s a Real Grade Caliburn, they’re a bit of a myth. Some people don’t think they even exist. I don’t know the whole story myself, my brothers made that for me. To be honest I havent even seen Witch from Mercury.” She rambled on. 

Kai’s face fell slightly at her admission for not watching the show and that she didn’t make it but he was still entranced by the crafstmanship. “I‘ve never seen one.” He admitted quietly. 

She smirked at him, “They built it for me stock. Of Course that’s no fun, so I had a go at it with my airbrush.” Kai looked from the figure to her, “You mean you painted this?” He asked in awe. Beaming she nodded her head, “Yup! I’ve painted and customized my fair share of Gunpla! I always loved how this girl always looked like a witch so I thought I would paint her to try and look like one!” 

Kai made note of the metal skirt and the headgear that was added to faintly resemble a hat and dress. Shaking his head he smiled and offered the figurine to her. “Well its expertly put together Ms. Okazaki!” She nodded her appreciation as she took the Gunpla and moved to set it on the front of her desk, “I thought it would go well with out lesson on the Crucible.” She beamed. “And how about you Kai-Senpai? Do you enjoy Gunpla?” 

It struck Kai how innocent that question seemed at that moment. Did she realize the gateway that type of question was for someone like him? He managed a bitter smile and nodded, “Yes, as a matter of fact.” He said simply. By this point more kids were joining the classroom, the din growing louder with each moment. “I’ll have to show you sometime.” He resigned with a small smile and a nod. 

Haruko waved Kai over suddenly as if to tell him something. He smiled sheepishly thinking it was still about Gunpla when she grabbed his arm and made him turn around. “Class this is Kai, he’s our newest student.” Kai then realized he was being formally introduced and that class had started. He soon took his seat near the back of the class. His mind drifted constantly back to the Gunpla on Okazaki’s desk. 

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  • Roromi changed the title to The Crucible (Open)

Makoto Shirasu thought intently about how he'd spend his time after being ousted from the Fashion Club as he sat near the window in Ms. Okasaki’s classroom. American literature used to be a class where he could get ideas on how fashion in the West worked. While something like The Grapes of Wrath wasn’t going to help, at least learning about that faraway land helped him understand the history of trends and changing styles. However, Makoto no longer had the power he once had as president. Now, it was just another class.

It wasn't as if Ms. Okazaki was a poor teacher. She was always friendly enough, even if her interest in those Gunpla toys was slightly shocking to him. Makoto noticed the new kid from his desk being introduced. “What gang fight was he in?” The silver-haired boy thought as he noticed the bandage. “At least he kept the uniform presentable.” While not completely fond of the school’s uniforms (he had tried to get them changed in the past to no avail), Makoto did appreciate it if they were well-kept by the students. 

Makoto twisted his pencil with his fingers as the new kid sat down. Ryuji, from three desks to the right, gave the former fashion maestro a nasty glare, a common occurrence once he took over as president of the club. “Everything that half-wit learned came from cheap magazines and mediocre dramas.” Makoto could only smirk back as he thought about his former club fading from obscurity. That being said, he still needed to find something else to spend his time doing…

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A conspicuous Cadillac coupe came to a halt at the academy’s doorstep. “Here ya go, boy. Knock ‘em dead.” said the driver, disengaging the door lock so Fabio could open the door and step out, a school bag in his hand. “Thanks, Unc Joe.” Joevanni, likelier to be the next Prime Minister than his actual relative, gave him a crooked smile. “Don’t get used to it, kid. Hey, swing by South City on ya way back. We gotta have a meetin’ of minds, and ya own half the ones in that building. Fu...” Fabio closed the car’s door, cutting off his words. "...n brainless I tell ya" The beige coupe swerved carelessly into traffic, looking like a battleship compared to the small kei cars on the road.

He walked into school like a menace, wearing the uniform’s white shirt with the sleeves rolled back, cool sunglasses and way too much gel on his hair. Where he went, students stepped out of his way and exchanged wild rumors with one another. “You’re new here, so we’ll warn you. That guy over there? He was in prison for robbing a gun truck.” a few of them told a girl, probably part of some plot to impress her. “What is a dangerous person like that doing here? I thought this was a prestigious school!” It amused Fabio to listen to the nonsense they said as he walked by. He would’ve stayed and heard more of it, but then, a tune echoed through the school. He was running late for his class.

The sliding door opened and Fabio entered the classroom. Unfortunately for him, everyone was already in their seats and ready for the class to begin, so he had to make his entrance with everyone’s eyes on him, including his upset-looking teacher. Barely bothered, he just shrugged at the teacher and produced the most half-assed excuse one could possibly come up with, in Japan of all countries. “Trains...” He then made his way to his seat near the back, only to find a weird new kid sitting in it.

“What the hell. Sunglasses in a classroom… beat halfway to death. But he’s Japanese…” Thinking, he stood by Kai for a few seconds, studying him from above. He didn't know what to make of him. For a moment, it seemed as if Fabio was about to make a problem out of it. “Heh.” But in the end, he just let out a chuckle at Kai, dismissing him as a garden variety Japanese delinquent, and took his bag to another free seat.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haruko rolled her eyes as Fabio gave one of his predictably bad excuses. By this point she was used to his shenanigans and knew better than to engage him in a petty squabble. There had been more than a share of rumors surrounding that boy and she didn’t want to inflate his ego any more than it ought to be. She waited a few heartbeats before he sat down to begin, “Well class!” 

As Ms. Okazaki began her lecture about the Crucible with some brief American history about the Salem witch trials Kai sat at his desk wondering just what that guy was doing standing in front of his desk like that. She shifted uncomfortable once the class started and reached up to take off the glasses he had put on in an effort to hide his injured eye. They were proving to be more irritating than helpful and he sighed, a couple more days and he could at least take off the eye patch. 

He attentively took a few notes as Ms. Okazaki worked through her material. It was obvious to him that she was a very enthusiastic teacher, the type where it was hard not to find their topic interesting. Of course, it probably helped that she seemed very relatable to the student body. Despite her best efforts though, Kai found his attention waning and he soon began doodling on his notes. 

On the side of his English notes he had began to draw a very convincing picture of a GINN High Maneuverability Type. The drawing was almost more schematic with front, back, and side views. With a pen he even began to doodle proposed design patterns on the ZAFT machine. He had an interest in that particular machine for awhile and had even assembled one and was merely planning on what type of modifications he would begin after school. He was contemplating painting the unit a matte red and chrome silver. A far cry from his usual stock paint jobs.  

A bell rang telling him that class was over. He shuffled his papers around suddenly embarrassed about his drawing. He tried to hide the paper but in his effort didn’t realize that it had dropped onto the floor and slide Makoto’s way along the slick floor. Kai had no idea that he had even lost the page with his meticulous drawing. 

Haruko spoke up above the din of the classroom as many students began to get their things together for their next class. “Just a reminder, the administration has asked me to remind everyone that last hour is for club use. If you don’t have a club please come talk to me and I’ll see what kind of interests we could get together for new activities! That’s all!” 

Kai stood up and nearly bumped into Fabio. In his day dreaming doodle state he had forgotten about the kid from before and grimaced. “Sorry.” He muttered quietly. Perhaps he was still feeling jumpy from his beating at his previous school, but he wasn’t so eager to make enemies at this new school already. 

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Makoto was almost ready to leave until Ms. Okazaki spoke about clubs. Once the teachers were making mention of it, he knew that time had run out. “Wait, maybe I can find my way outta this.” He pondered while shoving his notes into his satchel. Makoto realized that he'd never actually told his parents about being kicked out of the photography club. There was a chance that he could keep the charade going for a while.

As he approached his teacher, he contemplated which club would require the least mental effort. He thought that joining something like the Dance Club would take too much time and practice, while the Debate Team would need extensive knowledge about topics that were completely unimportant to him. He decided to explore his options and asked his instructor, "Ms. Okazaki, what clubs are available for me to join?"

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"Forgeddaboudit." Fabio thought.

He stood up and grabbed his bag, ready to leave for the cafeteria to grab a bite. He didn't have any intention of staying after the last class for club time, when he could walk to Joevanni's and get some work done. But as he tried to leave, he was surprised to bump into Kitamura - his probation officer, standing right by the door. He wagged his finger at Fabio, with a stern look on his face. Joining a club and participating on its activities was part of the list of proposed reforms he agreed to in order to get probation. Fabio had no choice but to sneer and make his way towards the teacher's desk, where Okazaki and Shirasu were standing.

Kitamura was leaning hard on him and it didn't look like he'd let Fabio leave without at the very least joining a club that day. As he arrived to the desk and let Shirasu speak, he thought about any clubs he could join to get the P.O off his back. "Judo? I'd rather fight like a man. Debate? It's a jerk off. Calligraphy? Fuckin' nauseating." Before he knew it, it turned out his pompous-looking classmate was also asking Okazaki about the clubs. He pointed at Shirasu with his thumb and spoke up. "What he said, basically."

Edited by Replicator
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