Josette looks around the dorm, the new boarding students are going to be arriving later today after the orientation they'll receive in the auditorium from the teachers and Principal Madison. She's going to miss having Professor Druid living next door but she's going to be the senior dorm monitor now, Professor Druid is moving back into her apartment now that Josette's starting high school.
Professor Druid had told her that a pair of identical twins would be moving in next door, they'd be sharing the duties of dorm monitor with her. All the older girls know that she is in charge of the dorm, but those students coming in today will be causing trouble until they either realize that ignoring her orders just means demerits and lectures from the teachers for them or they end up being asked to leave the school as troublemakers. There's always one in every new class coming in that thinks they're so much better than anybody else and refuse to believe that rules apply to them. After a few demerits and having to spend an entire weekend in a classroom working on assignments that the teacher gives them they usually realize that they aren't as special as they think they are and settle down to obey the rules like everybody else.
A knock on the door has Josette getting up, finding one of the older girls outside. "Professor Druid is bringing the new girls to the dorm."
"Thanks, I was just. . ."
"Wandering the stratosphere?" That's what the school's astronomy teacher always says when he found somebody not paying attention in his classes.
"Yeah." she brushes hair out of her eyes. Shutting the door she walks to the front of the building for Professor Druid and the new girls to arrive. Besides the set of identical twins that are with an older woman who looks like an older version of them, there seven other girls, one an exotic looking redhead with golden skin who has a man standing next to her.
"Welcome to your new dorm girls, this is Josette Takahawa, she is your dorm monitor, she's been the junior monitor under me for over a year, she will be the senior monitor starting this semester. Anna and Abby Covington will be taking over the other dorm monitor room and be working with her.
"What, how come they get the dorm monitor position and I do not?" the exotic looking redhead complains in lightly accented English. The man next to her angrily hisses something in another language at her.
She quietly apologizes.
"As for why the twins got the second dorm monitor room and that position," Druid says, "They have a brother who also starts school this semester. The Dorm monitor rooms have outside doors so he can come visit them in their room without calling somebody to escort him to their room."
"Boys are not allowed in the girls dorm?" The man who had talked to the girl asks. Like her, he speaks perfect english with a slight accent. They share some features, though the girls tawny skin makes finding them difficult. He's not old enough to be her father Josette thinks, so he has to be an older brother. . .and from the coldness he seems to have towards her, she'd think they're only half-siblings.
"Only if they have a sister in the dorm, like the twins." Druid nods at the girls and their mother. "And then, only in their sister's room. If you'll leave your baggage here in the entry, we'll start our tour after you girls choose your rooms. Anna, Abby, your room is the one on the right at the end of the hallway, Josette's is right next door. Once the tour is over and the girls are settled, I'll go over your duties with you. But if you have any questions, ask Josette. Meanwhile, each of you go into the storeroom on your left and get two sets of sheets, two blankets, and two sets of towels." Each girl does so and they walk back out into the entry of the dorm.
"We have three rooms left on the first floor right now, all of you other girls will be on the second floor. We do not have an elevator, so you're going to going up and down these stairs at least ten times a day." Josette tells the girls. "Please know though, the second floor is currently empty so that if you do go up there, you have room to spread out and not have to share a bathroom with the other dorm room. If the door is open, the room is empty."
The girl looks like she's going to say something but the man next to her hisses again and she quiets. "Fatima will take one of the first floor rooms, I want her to have some supervision."
"I'll take a first floor room." a dark haired young woman in plain clothes says. She's got what looks like all her belongings with her, unlike most of the others she has nobody with her. She probably does have all of her belongings with her Druid thinks sadly. One of the other girls volunteers to take the last first floor room, Druid sees she has a limp when she walks and they gather their belongings and take them to their new rooms as the other girls head upstairs to select their rooms.
"Do not shut your doors, they take key cards you will be getting after you have selected your rooms." Josette calls up the stairs, just select your rooms, put your bedding and towels down on the bed and come back down here."
"Josette, can you handle everything while I go get the key card device?" Druid asks. Josette nods. Walking back to her room, she opens the door and reaches onto the wall for the clipboard, coming back out to where the others are waiting. "Put your names and dorm numbers on this clipboard I'm passing around, Abby Anna, your room number is DM2."
The girls nod in thanks and all the new students fill out the information. "Now, I will only say this once. Yes, I may be young, but I've been the dorm monitor for a while now. Do NOT even think about giving me grief when I tell you that you need to be in this dorm by nine o'clock EXACTLY or you WILL be getting a demerit. Don't give me shit about my watch must be fast or anything else, the three of us," she waves her finger at herself and the twins. "Our word is LAW in this dorm, if we say you're late, you're late. We have stacks of demerit forms, you get a copy, we get a copy, and the office gets a copy. So the teachers know you have a demerit and why you have it. Three demerits and you get detention the following weekend, and Ladies, you will not like detention. We will be delivering you to the cafeteria for breakfast, a teacher will be picking you up after you've eaten and you will be spending the entire day in a classroom working on a stack of assignments they will be giving you. These may be assignments you were supposed to do but didn't turn in or they may be assignments the teacher gives you just because they're sadistic, evil, hateful people."
"You forgot master tormenters." Druid says dryly from the doorway. She's got a large box in her hands and it's beginning to slip. Automatically Abby 'reaches' for it, grabbing it before it can slip and fall to the floor. It wobbles a little but she puts it on the table by Druid before releasing her breath.
"Abigail Anne Covington," her mother snaps.
"I saw it slipping, Mom." Abby says.
"Yes, and thank you for grabbing it for me, that was very good work." Druid claps Abby gently on the shoulder and the girl smiles at her. "Girls, come over and get your key cards for your rooms and your mailbox keys. Once you have your keys and are sure they work, you can take your belongings to your new rooms. You were saying Josette?"
"I was saying that if you have detention you will find yourself working on a stack of assignments about as high as your arm is long." The students shudder. "The teacher will take you to lunch, then bring you back to their classroom and you'll be working on assignments until dinner. That's when we pick you up and bring you back to the dorm. The next morning you'll repeat the whole thing. Oh, and if you have any assignments that you didn't get done by the time your detention is finished? You're going to be bringing them back to your room and working on them in your spare time so you can have them turned in by the end of the week. Because if you don't, you'll have detention again the next weekend. So tell me, is pissing me off being late getting back to the dorm really worth it?"
"We take your safety very seriously Ladies, I agree do not be late getting back to the dorm. The only excuse to be late getting back is if you have a job or an evening class, we will already know about it and we'll let you in the building."
"Do you have evening classes?" Abby and Anna's mother asks.
"Starting your sophomore year, you're allowed to choose your own classes. Most of the teachers who live on campus hold class sessions nights and weekends so you can set your own schedule." Druid says. "Also starting your sophomore year boarding students can apply for part time jobs if your grades are high enough. And you will need to keep your grades up to keep your jobs."
The new students nod.
"Now line up and I'll key the blank cards to your locks. Josette, will you go get your master key to make sure the new keys work? Abby, Anna, you'll be getting one as well."
"Josette, you said something about escorting us to breakfast and picking us up after dinner if we have a detention? Don't we all eat at the same time?" Susan asks.
"No, the dining hall is open for three hours during breakfast, lunch, and dinner so students and teachers can come in and eat when they have free time. Only when the school is on lockdown do all the students eat at the same time."
"Lockdown?" the man with the slight accent asks.
"Usually because of the weather, this area gets some awful winter storms because we're so close to the coast." Druid says. "If we lose power classes are cancelled. At that time the dorm monitors will bring the students through the tunnels that link the buildings on the school to the dining hall for their meals and back to the dorm. Every once in a while though, we get a threat against the school because mutants still aren't widely accepted. The government is very invested in our safety though and they usually have the person in custody within a day."
"What are the hours for the dining room?"
"Breakfast is seven to ten, lunch is noon to three, and dinner is five to eight." Druid says as Josette comes back with her master key. Once everybody has made sure their new keys work Druid has them take their belongings to their rooms and come back for the tour. The girls mother follows her daughters into the dorm room, looking around. "This is nice girls, I'm glad the school arranged for you to get this position when we enrolled you and your brother. I don't like any of you being alone, but. . ."
"This is an excellent school, our attending here will help us get into any university we want." the girls say. "And our grades here will help us get scholarships to help pay for college. Nobody ever gets offered scholarships back home, no matter how good their grades are."
"I know, I just wish the three of you didn't have to pay for all your schooling yourself." She says sadly. She follows them out of the room, joining the others for the tour. She and her husband will have to leave shortly, they have work in the morning and they still need to pick up their younger children from their grandparents.
Alice Covington walks out of the dorm with the girls to find her husband and son walking down the sidewalk towards them. Their dad hugs the girls and Alice hugs her son before they are walked out to the car by their children, who watch them drive out of the parking lot before they head back to their dorms.
Susan looks at the pile of boxes lined up on the other bed in her room, she'd better start with her books and unpack at least one clean change of clothes for classes tomorrow. All the new students had purchased their school supplies today after the school orientation so she doesn't have to go searching through boxes for them, instead all she has to do is open the bags and start putting everything away in the desk. Thankfully it's not one of those cheap student desks you see in chain stores, it's a solid wood desk with plenty of drawers and shelves overhead for her books. The new laptop she'd purchased is settled in the middle of the desk, boxes of programs she needs for her classes are piled next to it to install after she unpacks.
It takes an hour but her clothes are all settled in the dresser or hung in the closet and she shoves the suitcase in the back of the closet before settling on the bed with the folder she'd been told to pick up by Professor Druid during the dorm tour. Most of the dorm rules make sense, keep your room clean, laundry goes down the chute by breakfast on the day your floor is due to change your sheets and towels, students must be in their rooms by eleven, eleven-thirty Friday and Saturday nights. Sighing she leans back on the bed, she might actually be safe here.
"Any thoughts on the new students? Any you think that will cause trouble?"
"Not offhand, Josette gave the new girls her 'I may be young but don't piss me off' lecture about not being late getting back to the dorm while I was gone." Druid says at the meeting of the teachers after the new students have either left or settled in their rooms to unpack. "I thought Fatima might cause some problems but her brother quickly yanked the wind from her sails, I don't like the way he treats her but that might be expected in their country."
"I think it's because her mother used the pregnancy to try to blackmail the King, and the fact that she is illegitimate. From what he said, she is a spoiled little brat who ignored the stigma of being illegitmate and tried to get everything she wanted because of who her father was, now that Faroud is on the throne, he's keeping her firmly in line."
"Does Susan James have any family? I noticed that she was the only one who didn't have any family with her during orientation."
"Not that I know of," Jolt sighs. "She's the one who contacted the school requesting an information packet and she took greyhound into Boston, being picked up the shuttle driver this morning. I don't even think that James is her real last name, she didn't fill out any of her background in the application."
"What's her mutation?" one of the other teachers asks.
"Does she have a scholarship loan?"
"No, because she would have had to put her real information on the application." Jolt says. "The government is going to be creating a new identity for her in that name, complete with birth certificate, social security number, and she'll be opening a bank account with her new information."
"Do we think she's a runaway?"
Jolt slowly nods. "Yes, I think she is. And I think she left home for the reason most young mutants end up on the streets, their family can't. . .or won't accept them." Quickly changing the subject, "What do we think of the Covingtons?"
"A very close, very loving family." Druid says. "Which is rather nice to see. Their parents didn't want to leave them so early but they had to head right back home to pick up the younger children, make dinner, and get ready for work in the morning. Abby used her telekinesis in the dorm when I got back, grabbing the box with the key card maker before I could drop it. Her mom started to yell, but when Abby said it was going to fall and I thanked her for catching it before it could she started praising her daughter instead."
Josette taps on the door to the twins room and invites them over to her room to see if they have any questions for her.
"How. . .how old are you?" Anna asks.
"I wondered when somebody would ask. I'm thirteen, I have a summer birthday and got early admittance to my school in California since I could already read and write at a first grade level instead of having to wait a year. I also skipped kindergarten." She pets the cat lying next to her on the bed.
"You've been here a while?"
"Yeah, my mutation became active unexpectedly. I don't have any family and Principal Madison offered me a spot here at the school. I'm starting my freshman year just like you guys."
"Can we ask why you don't. . ."
"Have a regular room? I'm claustrophobic, remember the freeway that collapsed during the earthquake in California a couple years ago?"
Both girls nod. "My mom and I were caught in it, we were trapped in our car for a couple days before we were rescued. Since then, I have a little," Josette holds her fingers a couple inches apart, "problem with dark enclosed spaces."
"Didn't survive the accident. Professor Druid and Principal Madison came to the hospital and offered me a place here. When they told me I could keep Samhein here," she scratches under the chin of the cat next to her, he offers a rumbling purr to his charge. "It cemented the deal. Now, any questions about the job? It's pretty much making sure the kids are in the dorm at nine, shooing everybody to their room by eleven and if they don't want to go, turn the switch for the lights off in the common rooms and hallway off on them, they'll head to bed rather than sit in a cold dark room, and look into any problems the girls might have. There's usually one who has a problem with another student about something, sometimes its warranted: Loud music, a smell coming from the room. Sometimes it's just petty stuff because while we are mutants, we're also teenage girls." Anna and Abby nod.
"Like I said before, our word is law. . .but sometimes there will be a girl who won't like our decision and will try to go over our heads. If a teacher comes to you with a complaint from a student, tell them exactly why you decided what you did. If the decision was sound, they'll back you up one hundred and ten percent."
"Is there some complaints we don't get involved in?"
"Yes, petty stuff between students who share a bathroom, either they get used to each other or they work it out themselves. We don't allow students to change rooms unless there is a real problem with another student. That's why we tell them to take their time making sure they have the room they want. The walls have some good soundproofing but there's still complaints about somebody snoring. Unless it's something medically dangerous like sleep apnea, we don't get involved in their private sleeping habits."
The twins nod. "The girls can study in their own rooms, the library, and when the weather is decent outside, but not the common rooms. Otherwise there'd be too many fights with somebody trying to study while somebody else is trying to watch a movie."
"What is the clipboard by the door for?"
"It's where we keep the list of students and dorm numbers, the school usually has one fire drill a semester, our jobs is to get all of them gathered outside by the picnic table, we use the list to check off the names." Both girls nod. "I'll run some copies of the list off at the office tomorrow, your copy of the master key is also kept by the door. That way, it's handy if case a new student locks themself out of their room and we can grab both of them if the fire drill happens in the middle of the night."
A quick rat a tat tat on the door has Josette sighing.
"Yes?" she asks the older girl who is standing outside the door.
"There's been somebody else in my bathroom."
"Yes, you knew you would eventually have to share a bathroom, the first floor would be full with this years new students."
"I don't like it."
"That's too bad, you knew it would eventually happen. And don't even think of locking her door from your side when you're not in there, you will be getting a demerit for it. Did she make a mess in there?"
"No," the girl says grudgingly, "I just don't like having somebody else in there. What if she moves my things or makes a mess?"
"If she does you can ask her to clean up after herself or not to move your belongings, but don't borrow trouble before it happens."
The girl huffs and storms off, slamming Josette's door behind her.
"Stupid bint," she says quietly, first grabbing a notebook, checking the time and filling out the report on the incident. "She's one of them that will go over your head and complain to a teacher." The twins nod. "Spoiled little brat, she's had problems with every other student in the school with her attitude. Some of the girls lock the connecting door to the bathroom if there's nobody on the other side, you're not supposed to unless you're actually in the bathroom. Professor Druid had to go through the rooms and unlock bathroom doors while students were off last week because they locked them before they left. These are the demerit forms," she shows off the contents of an envelope by the door. "White goes to the student, yellow is our copy, and pink goes to the office. Make sure you have a couple with you when you lock the doors, that way you don't have to go looking for one after you let them stew for a few minutes before letting them in."
"What's to keep somebody from opening one of the side doors."
"They're controlled by the master switch that locks the front door," Josette smirks. "If you open them from the inside, a very loud alarm blares through the entire building. I threatened to give everybody detention the only time it's happened so far, they gave up the culprits immediately. You do that, the person who tried to sneak in gets detention and the girl they talked into doing it for them gets a demerit."
"Josette?" a familiar voice says as the door opens.
"She whined already?" Josette asks Druid when she comes into the room.
"Yes, you told her that she knew she'd eventually have to share a bathroom, right?"
Josette nods. "I also asked her if the other girl had made a mess. She said no, but she didn't like having somebody in there because they might make a mess or they might move her things. I told her not to borrow trouble and not to lock the connecting door unless she was in the bathroom. She's just a whiny bitch who thinks Daddy's money will make everybody bow down and kiss her ass."
Druid's lips twitch. "You can also give her this, her first demerit of the semester for slamming my door when she didn't get her own way." Josette fills it out, ripping off the back copy and handing it over to Druid. Druid grins and she walks away.
"The professor will give her the demerit and a scathing lecture without raising her voice." Josette grins. "Kennedy is from new money, her mother gave her whatever she wanted growing up so thinks she's better than everybody else, her father finally had enough of her attitude problems after they divorced and sent her here because the teachers don't care if you're rich or poor, they treat you all the same. She's been on academic probation for the last couple semesters, her father donated money to have the dining hall renovated to keep her in school when she failed most of her classes last year. She's going to have to repeat her entire year."
"My father redid the whole dining hall." a voice yells.
"Yes, some of us have to rely on Daddy's money to stay in school." Another voice says. "while most of us are here on the basis of our grades."