SMC: Tales From Ohio Academy #2

Andrew Perron pwerdna at
Tue Dec 16 19:52:35 PST 2014

Previously, on Tales From Ohio Academy!

     "Nice to meet you! Rose Stigandr, but you can call me Compass Rose."

     "I'm Eric! Pleased to greet ya."

     Her first day was going pretty well so far!

     A taunt by a bully, and a pointed invitation to an after-class
     fight? Holy crap!

And now, the conclusion!


Lunchtime, finally!

Skylar grabbed a tray and walked past the big window where you could see
the cooks preparing the meals. She loaded up with whatever it was they
had and pointed her eyes at the little info cards stuck along the line.
Apparently, all of the food was grown within a hundred miles of the
school and students could help grow and harvest Ohio Academy's own blah
blah blah blah... augh, she couldn't get her mind off the bully note!
What was she going to do!?

She wandered over to the closest table and sat in the first empty seat.
Okay. Got to get it together. She took a drink of water. I mean, she was
really strong, right? So someone who wanted to fight wouldn't be a
problem. She lifted something off her plate and nibbled. Tasted pretty
good. But what if they were going to blackmail her, or spread rumors?

"Hi, Skylar!"

Skylar jumped halfway out of her seat. Eric was sitting to her left. Had
she really sat down next to him without realizing it?

He waved one of his chickpea fries. YEP. Oh well. "Hey, Eric. What's

"Oh, I wanted you to meet this cool girl!" He pointed across the table,
at the seat on Skylar's right.

She turned and there was Rose! "Hey!" said the girl with all the cool
designs on her face. "How are you?"

"Really distracted, apparently!" Skylar rubbed the back of her head and
laughed awkwardly.

"Oh, why's that?"

"Well..." She looked at them both, and leaned in, whispering. "A bully
wants to fight me after school!"

"Seriously!?" said Rose.

"Wow, already?" said Eric. "That's pretty impressi-- er... pretty.
Pretty awful and I'll stop talking now."

"Yeah you better." Skylar glared.

"Hmmm," hmmm'ed Rose. "What are you going to do?"

"Noooooo idea." Skylar tossed her head back, hanging limply off her
chair. "I don't want to bother any of the teachers, y'know? Like,
probably people would think I was a narc if I did that."

"...people still say 'narc'?" said Eric.

"They're pretty good about it, though," said Rose. "None of that 'I
don't care who started it' nonsense."

"Bluuuuh," Skylar bluuuuh'd, going even limper.

"Maybe there's somebody here who could help," said Eric, looking around.

Dragging somebody *else* into her whole thing? Uuuuuuugh. But Skylar
didn't want to annoy her new friends with more random noises and
complaining, so she sat up.

"Hmmm..." Rose looked around the crowded cafeteria. Her eyes twitched.
"How about Jackie?"

"Jackie?" asked Skylar.

"Oh, yeah - Rose and I met her at the big move-in," said Eric. He
pointed to what looked like a ten-year-old sitting a few tables over,
chatting happily with three Skylar-aged girls inbetween bites of a
falafel. "She's apparently some kinda supergenius - skipped like four

"Huh! She Estranged into being super-smart?"

Rose shook her head. "I heard she was already smart. But she can feel

"...can't everyone?"

She rolled her eyes. "Other people's emotions."

"I dunno." Skylar toyed with her salad. "I don't want to get a kid into
something that could be a real fight."

"What's this about a fight?" Standing next to Skylar's right shoulder
was a cool and kind of terrifying girl. She had a big nose and a big
smile, and looked like she could beat *anybody* up. She had deeply
tanned skin with dark patterns like the leaves of a fern all over her it
- face, arms, legs, everything Skylar could see.

"Jeez, Harmony, don't be so pushy." Next to Skylar's left shoulder was a
cool and really elegant girl. She was wearing an outfit that was red and
black and there were probably words for how fashionable it was that
Skylar didn't know. She was pale except for the tips of her fingers,
which shaded to black. "People can fight their own fights if they want."

I gotta work on my situational awareness, Skylar thought. "You have
really cool skin. I mean!!" Also, gotta work on the connection between
my mouth and my brain!

"Ah!" Harmony hopped up on the table. "My story starts in New Mexico..."

Eric had just been sitting there, kind of flabbergasted. "...are you
sure that's a good idea?"

"Harm does this at every available opportunity." The other girl rolled
her eyes.

"AUDREY SHUT UP. Anyway, there we were, stuck out in the desert. My mom
was pregnant and the car wouldn't start. I had the hood open and I knew
the battery was dead! There was nothin' I could do! And then, out of a
clear sky, I get hit by lightning! And afterward I was still standing,
and the battery was buzzing a little and the car started up

"Ohhhhhh!" Skylar's eyes were wide. "That's amazing!"

" got hit by lightning and you didn't, like, go to the hospital?"
said Rose, quirking an eyebrow.

"Sure I did! We were goin' there anyway!" Harmony waved her hand. "But
it was fine, just fine!"

Was it really fine? thought Skylar.

"So why are you going here if you were living out in New Mexico?" asked
Eric, leaning forward.

"Ahhhh, don't get her started..." But Audrey took a seat and leaned
back, half-smiling.

"So this was before I met Audrey. After the baby was born, we..."

Skylar listened, but her mind was creeping back to her problem. People
seemed to be popping out of the woodwork to support her, but that just
meant she shouldn't be pulling any of them down with her. Besides, she


Could it be that easy? No, it wasn't very easy, because she'd have to do
the one thing she didn't think she'd ever be able to do.

She'd have to trust people she'd just met.


Skylar had Science, then Math, then "Basic Extra Control - Somatic".
Then it was after class - and the time to "get a really warm greeting"
was upon her.

She walked out on the path to the dorms, feeling like the old
gunslinger. But she wasn't worried.

Someone who wanted to fight wouldn't be a problem. And if they
blackmailed her, or tried to spread rumors... it was going to be okay.
Because the people that she'd met today were way too cool to be fooled
by something like that. She trusted them.

She kept telling herself that as she walked down the sidewalk, around
the trees and the weird statues that previous students had made. It'd be
cooler if it was high noon, or sunset, but she'd just have to deal with
a big confrontation in the middle of the afternoon.

It was close now. Skylar squinted. Someone was standing outside the
dorms - wait, several someones. Holy crap, had she pissed off a gang on
her first day!?

...wait. That wasn't a gang, that was Rose! And Eric! And Harmony and
Audrey, and even Jackie!

Skylar broke into a half-jog and ran up. "Hey, guys! What's up?"

"Did you get my note?" Rose held up a pie. "Welcome to the

"Oh!" Skylar took the pie. "Jeez, is this for me?"

"Yeah! This morning, you seemed kinda lonely, so I figured why not pick
up something? And then everybody else thought you seemed really cool
too, and wanted to come along too!"

"Yeah!" said Eric.

"Audrey's tough to please, but she noticed how cool you thought Harmony
was," said Jackie. "That makes you pretty-- ack!"

Audrey gave her a noogie. "Aha, yes, anyway."

"Oh my god." Skylar looked down a bit, but she was smiling wide. "This
is way more than I ever woulda expected. Thanks, guys."

"Don't worry about it," said Rose. "Hey, did you ever run into that

"No, I guess not--" Wait. Rose had left her a note?

She looked down at the pie. This was a pretty warm greeting... She felt
her cheeks start to burn. Okay, so, she was never going to tell anyone
about this.

She was just going to be happy that she had friends.

Author's Note: The Strange Moon Chronicles site has been updated! New
reader's guide at ! FAQ
at ! Forums at !

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, and don't be afraid to check out
everybody else's awesome stuff!

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