After lunch, all the students file into the school auditorium for the assembly.
The auditorium is a large amphitheater-like room with a stage made of dark-colored wood at the far end; much of the rest of the room is taken up by seats.
On the stage is a wooden podium displaying the school's seal – an open book above a laurel wreath, with an over-arcing motto in Latin and the school's name forming a circle around it all. Near the podium, the Stars and Stripes is proudly displayed on a wooden pole. Dr. Summers sits decorously on a chair on one end of the stage; Mr. Wethersfield stands near the podium, fussing with the microphone.
After a number of minutes, Mr. Wethersfield seems to be satisfied with the microphone and yields the podium to Dr. Summers. The headmistress takes her place with a smooth, easy grace, then looks out over the assembled students, her voice reaching even to the farthest corners of the auditorium.
"Good afternoon, students and teachers. It is an honor and a privilege to welcome you all to Larry K. Dixon for another year. Some of you are just beginning your journey," here some of the freshmen blush and fidget a little as Dr. Summers' gaze falls on them, "others are nearly at its end," her gaze settles briefly on the seniors, some of whom affect an air of nonchalance, "but all of you will learn something new by the time it is over."
As Dr. Summers continues her speech, a satyr sitting amongst the sophomores lets out a little shriek, bending down to clutch at her ankle. Mr. Wethersfield looks at her disapprovingly, and she bites at her lip, trying to stifle her cry. One of her friends helps her out into the aisle; to faerie sight, a strip of her leg pelt near the hoof has been burned.
Dr. Summers breaks off her speech, looking with concern at the young satyr. As she does so, the changelings in the audience can see something capering about on the ceiling; its skin is gray-green and hairless, its limbs twisted and scarred by what appear to be burns. Its eyes are nothing but empty sockets with smoke oozing from them, and its impossibly wide mouth is full of needle-sharp teeth. The rags of clothing that hang off its warped body only serve to heighten a viewer's revulsion.
Catching sight of the audience, the creature lets out a rasping hiss, its gray tongue flicking out to lick its thin black lips as it sinks deeper into a crouch....
Trevor, still looking up at the creature, reaches for the sheath strapped to his ankle. Finding it empty, his lips move. From his expression there's a good chance he's uttering some expression not approved of in English class.
Trevor surveys the crowd underneath the creature. Spotting Sia in the crowd, Trevor moves in so as to be able to intercept the creature should it head for her.
As he works his way through the crowd, he sees a cylindrical object (about the length of an average hand) smack the creature in the cheek. Whipping its head in the direction from which the missile came, it hisses again, pulling its feet underneath it, its leg muscles bulging.
Trevor calls in the direction of the creature, "Hey ugly, look at me!"
Niko looks in the direction of the shout. "Great; he's trying to get himself killed or suspended, " he says in a whisper only another sluagh could hear.
The creature's head swivels around to 'look' in Trevor's direction. Then it looks back in the direction from which the thrown object came, apparently trying to decide which to deal with first.
Seated near the end of the students of Junior Three, Mr. Ravenscroft is standing, both hands near his left hip. To faerie eyes, Sir Dariun is struggling to undo the peace-bond holding his sword in its scabbard. Apparently this is not an easy task, for those nearest him can hear him muttering imprecations under his breath in an unknown language.
Niko "accidently" throws another pen at the creature.
Near the end of the row, a bookish looking young man has been ignoring most of the assembly to this point. His head is inclined toward an empty chair to his left, as though he's about to fall asleep. He wears a white dress shirt beneath a soft vest of intricately tooled brown leather, dockers, and a highly polished pair of tan Doc Martens. The boy's hair is a tangle of curls, presenting an odd contrast to the neatness of the balance of his appearance.
To faerie sight, it's clear that this student is a nocker. His dress is nearly the same, though the shirt is more of a Renaissance style with blousy sleeves tied at the elbow with silk ribbons. His thick hair - pitch black rather than the wispy white of most nockers' - is a wild mass of tight coils. Beside him to the left sits a stunning redheaded girl.
Emmet murmurs a few words to the redhead sitting next to him, then focuses his attention on the creature in the rafters. He removes a small notebook from a pocket of his vest and makes notes regarding the thing's behavior and appearance.
(OOC Note from Emmet's player: ...the redhead is inspired by the work of Joseph Michael Linsner. For a look at her as I envision her face, please go to http://rpg.black-unicorn.org/learn-ex/andromeda.jpg. She is wearing faded blue low-rider jeans, black and white Converse All-star high tops that have seen better days, and a tight black baby-doll T-shirt bearing the text "There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't.")
To faerie sight, the lovely redhead next to Emmet moves out into the aisle to help the injured satyr out of the auditorium.
Trevor bends over and quickly unfastens his empty knife sheath from his leg. Straightening up, he flings the chimerical sheath at the creature.
Niko takes out his sketch pad and draws the creature and its position as quickly and accurately as possible. As soon as he finishes, he holds it up, if at all possible, so that Dr. Summers can see it.
Trevor's empty knife sheath strikes the creature in the chest, bouncing off its breastbone. Making a sound like a whistling radiator, it whips its head around to try and see where the missile came from.
Trevor waves, apparently (to the fae) trying to catch the creature's attention.
The creature whips its head around in Trevor's direction, then in the direction the pens came from. Its head goes back and forth again, then it starts scuttling along the ceiling beam toward a patch of shadow near the wall.
In the audience, Valerie starts making her way over to Niko as he holds up the sketch.
After a couple minutes, Niko lowers his sketchpad. "Great...now what are we going to do?" he mumbles.
The creature scuttles in an almost insectile manner into the patch of shadow and disappears from view.
Dr. Summers clears her throat and looks at Trevor, Niko, Valerie and the others who participated in the encounter. "Ladies and gentlemen -- I shall be lenient as it is the first day, but I warn you that disruptive behavior at assemblies will not be tolerated in the future."
Unseen by the other students, she gives them a barely perceptible smile. Then she glances at the clock. "Will the seniors please line up?"
Once the first two senior homerooms have left, she says, "Will the juniors line up?"
The homeroom teachers lead the students back to their homerooms, where, shortly thereafter, school is dismissed for the day.
This web page copyright 2002 by Midori Hirtzel-Church.
This page first posted -- October 17, 2002
First uploaded to mirror site -- January 10, 2003
This website copyright © 2000 by Midori Hirtzel-Church. All characters © 2000 their respective creators. Changeling: The Dreaming is copyright ©1997 White Wolf Game Studios. No copyright infringement is intended.