East Gate had thrived on the publicity of the media for quite a while. After the DeFalco incident, supernaturals were flocking to the school hoping to be admitted. A new school year was starting. The fall moon was up in the sky shrouded by clouds as Director Faustin J. Lake stood at the podium having not aged a bit. He was a fairy and his God parent was Harmonia, Goddess of mind control. Faustin wore his usual tan suit with a light grey shirt and his pink tie. His hair was smooth in the back and flipped up in the front. Due to the increase of vampire and nocturnal supernaturals, they had to host more nighttime classes on a different schedule. It was Faustin’s second time of the day appearing before the students. This was a great plan because it employed more professors and staff to help keep the school running.
“I know you’ve all been excited since you got your acceptance letters,” he started as the students cheered. “We are very glad to have you apart of our community. For starters, since most of you are freshmen, we’re gonna split you up to start the “getting to know you process.” You’ll go with your main teachers based on your major,” he continued, as a few of the professors came up to the stage. “If you have an undecided major, please meet with Professor Rowin over there,” Faustin said pointing to the right corner of the arena. “If your major is bio-technology, business technology, or anything regarding technology, follow Professor Hewins,” he said dismissing that group of students.
The majors that East Gate offers are based off the nine main buildings: the Thayer Technology, Bio-Technology, and Engineering buildings. The Cass Butler Dining Hall, the Toxic Orchard, Flora’s Garden, the Jergen History department, the SS Science and Math departments, the Alley Port Arena, the Platte Art Studio and finally, the Alto Business & Communications and Political Science departments. The founders of the buildings, like many of the students were sons and daughters of the Greek Gods. After the students had partially cleared, Faustin went through the rest of the majors until a handful of students were left.
“I’m assuming that the rest of you are athletic majors?” he asked as they nodded. “You’ll be with Professor Lake,” Faustin said stepping down from the stage. Shark went up to his students. He had gotten a haircut just before the semester started, in an ocean blue faux-hawk style. He wore black shorts and a navy blue under armor shirt with blue Tech Trend sneakers. He stared at his students. He only had eight, seven males and one female. That was surprising usually he had more. The last school year he had at least 20.
“Alright, we’re gonna walk up to Alley Port and then we’ll get started. Nothing to extensive, but we are going to work out. I’ll teach you a few techniques and then we’ll call it a day,” Shark said walking from the arena to the hill. “So, tell me your name and one interesting thing about yourself,” Shark asked as he listened to silence. He stopped turned around. “Did you not hear what I said?” Shark asked as the students nodded. “When I ask a question, I expect an answer,” Shark said as Spencer spoke up. He pushed any embarrassment that he had to the back of his head. His black hair was short and his dark green eye lit up when he spoke.
“My name’s Spencer Osha. I’m a vampire. I love to read, write, act, an—”
“Nerd,” one of the guys in the back coughed. Shark turned on his heel and approached the man who had a smirk on his face. He flicked his black hair out of his eyes.
“You think you’re funny huh?” Shark asked angrily. His British accent made the man laugh slightly.
“Yes Professor, I do. Your accent makes you funny as well,” he said as Shark pushed him. The student looked taken aback because he was pushed by a teacher.
“I believe in the rules of this school, but I won’t abide by them if students think they can get away with being asses,” he said as the guy rolled his eyes. “What is your name?” Shark asked growing extremely angry with the man.
“Taurus,” he said crossing his muscled arms.
“Taurus what?” Shark asked as the man made a clicking sound with his teeth.
“Taurus Azera,” he responded as Shark looked at him. Just what he’d expect from a Goth guy. Black shorts, black shirt with a giant skull on it and a tattoo sleeve on his right arm.
“I can see Mr. Azera that we are not going to get along,” Shark said as Taurus nodded. He kept his light purple eyes on Shark’s seaweed green ones.
“Why would we? Since when have teachers and students ever gotten along?” he commented putting his hands in his pockets. Shark turned away from him and continued up the hill. The opening ceremony was down in the pep bowl next to the lake that was on the far left side of the campus. The Lake house was on the opposite side with the back looking over the lake.
“I’ll have you know, that I will not tolerate tardiness or unexcused absences. Continue on to the next student please,” Shark said as they reached the top. They went into Alley Port and scanned their cards. Shark heard about the other students he had before they entered one of the secluded gym spaces. The second person to introduce themselves was Andrew Hale. He was a werewolf with a deep yellow military cut hairstyle. His eyes were a light baby blue.
There was a man named Jericho Bradshaw who had an average build. He was an augur and his blonde hair with black tips complemented his smoky blue-green eyes. He came from the family line that created the city of BradShaw. William BradShaw, the creator, was Jericho’s great-great-great grandfather.
Another male named Curtis Bridgeport who was, to admit, on the heavy side. He was a hybrid (biotech, fairy, and shape shifter). His dark brown hair with light brown highlights hung loosely in front of his face. He had vibrant brown eyes that lit up in the night. He was a descendent from the Bridgeport line. His great-great-great-great grandfather, Gerald Bridgeport, was the founder of the town Bridgeport.
Another man named Wyatt Platt, son of Founder Thomas Platt, stood with them. Shark had met Thomas Platt only once and his son looked like an exact replica. He had tan hair and hazel eyes.
Another guy named Harley BlackWing stood looking as intimidating as possible. He was also an augur with silver spiky hair and electric blue eyes that could cut through anything. He crossed his arms over his bulky chest. They all stood in the gym waiting anxiously for Shark’s next orders. The gym was completely empty there were no basketball hoops or anything you would see in a normal school gym. There weren’t even any windows and the room was extremely dim lighted.
“Professor? Did you want me to turn the lights on?” Chelsea Regent, an igniter and the only female in the group, asked as Shark shook his head. She stood back with the rest of the group. They looked like giants compared to her. She was only about 5’5 and the men were about 5’9 and up.
“No. I want to give you a demanding atmosphere. When you’re cornered and you have no way out, I want you to think of any and all possible options of escape. Having it dark really tests your other senses besides sight,” Shark explained pointing to the bleachers, “Set your stuff down and give me 30 up and backs to warm up,” he said as they set their stuff down. Spencer removed the patch he had over his eye revealing an empty socket. The patch was given to him by his mother and he didn’t want to get it dirty. He pulled out his workout patch which had the kanji for strength stitched into it.
Spencer had lost his eye in the battle against Garrett DeFalco ten years ago. It was pulled out using tonic so that’s why it didn’t grow back. Chelsea put her chestnut brown hair in a low ponytail. The students took off running down to one side of the court and back. Whenever Taurus came down, he smiled at Shark who angrily smiled back. Taurus had reached his 30 before the rest of the group. Spencer helped out Chelsea as she struggled on her 20th one. He had also completed his 30 and ran alongside her giving her spouts of encouragement. She got to 25 and started slowing again.
“C’mon, you’ve got this. Just five more,” he coached as Shark watched them. She finally finished her 30 and slumped against the wall. Spencer handed her a bottle of water and stood next to her to make sure she was OK. Chelsea turned the water down and simply put her hands above her head. Shark let them catch their breath before he started talking.
“Alright, I’m going to teach you how to roll. Yeah I’m sure you all know how to roll but you’re going to learn in a way so that you won’t snap your neck or injure your head,” he said bending forward. He stood up quickly and pointed to one of the student’s on the far left. “You...uh... Andrew right?” he asked as the student nodded. “Come here for a moment,” Shark said as the student came forward. “I want you to push me as if we were fighting,” Shark said turning away from Andrew and closing his eyes. Andrew hesitated and then pushed Shark. Shark didn’t budge. He turned around. “Is that it? Push me like you want to knock me down,” he demanded as Andrew nodded. Andrew didn’t want to push Shark to hard, but he didn’t want to disobey him either. Andrew reached out and shoved Shark. Shark put his hands up and did a perfect roll. He slapped his hand on the ground and shouted out. Shark jumped up and stared at his students.
“Anyone else think they can do it just like that?” Shark asked as a few nodded. “Alright, pair up and try it,” he said as they grouped together. Andrew went with Taurus who looked completely annoyed.
“You OK?” Spencer asked as Chelsea nodded at him.
“Yeah I’m fine. Thanks,” she said as Spencer went behind her. He pushed her down and she did the roll almost as perfectly as Shark had. Shark came up to her and grabbed her arms. He positioned her right one up and the left one a little lower. He turned her head to the side.
“The point is to always protect your head,” he said as she nodded and tried again. “Make sure you are shouting when you hit the ground. This is releasing all the air in your lungs so that it isn’t knocked out of you when you hit,” Shark added and as the students started shouting.
“You’re slapping down so that all the parts of the fall go from your hand up to your shoulder. Everything should be aligned,” Shark said as he walked over to the bleachers and watched Taurus shove Andrew to the ground. Andrew wasn’t expecting it to be so rough and hit the ground face first. Taurus laughed as Shark cleared his throat loudly. “Ten pushups please,” he said as Taurus rolled his eyes and went straight to the ground. When he finished he pushed Andrew again, this time a little softer.
“That was a good roll,” Chelsea complimented Spencer and he smiled. Shark went to the middle of the room and whistled. The student’s stopped and stared at him.
“Line up in two rows one on this side, one on the other,” Shark said as they did so. “I’m going to try and make this fun for you,” he continued kneeling down. “I want you to jump over me and do your roll,” Shark instructed as Spencer ran up to him. Spencer gracefully jumped over Shark rolled, slapped his arm on the ground, and shouted. “Faster!” Shark demanded as Andrew ran up and jumped. He shouted slapping his arm down. “Faster! I want you to move as if you’re being chased!” Shark ordered turning his body a little as Chelsea came flying over him flawlessly. With each aerial lift, Harley would shout woo! Taurus ran up and hurled himself over Shark. Curtis, the heaviest of the group, came bounding down. “Dear God don’t let him flatten me,” Shark thought as Curtis toppled over Shark and landed on his back. Shark let out a sigh of relief. The rest of the group ran up and jumped over Shark until the starters of the line were at the beginning again. Shark stood up and looked at the smiling faces. He could tell that they enjoyed that exercise.
“In this class I will be teaching you many things: ways to defend yourself, ways to attack, and ways to build teamwork skills,” Shark explained as the students nodded. Some of them were breathing heavily from the running that they had just done, but in the end it would all be worth it. “Your grades in this class will be reflected by your classmates,” Shark said looking around the group for conformation. They nodded and he continued. “So for instance, Mr. Osha here will probably get an A from Miss Regent for helping her today,” Shark commented as Spencer smiled at her. She smiled back and then quickly looked away.
“So we aren’t going to have any tests?” Taurus asked as Shark stared at him dumbstruck. He had practically just said that their grades were classmate based.
“Really? It’s not that hard to comprehend,” Shark grumbled as Taurus rolled his eyes. “No there will not be tests, but this is a participation class that will lead to your outcome standings in Gateway,” Shark said as Chelsea raised her hand. “Yes, question?” Shark pointed to her.
“What’s Gateway?” she questioned as Shark looked around. He interlocked his fingers and put his index fingers to his chin.
“Anyone know?” he asked as a silence remained over the group. “Gateway, is when the students are able to use the skills that they learned throughout the year, not just in my class, but in any physical or magical class that you are in. Anyone can take it you don’t have to be in a magic or physical education class. But, you’ll have a better chance if you are in one. You are put in real situations, not enough to kill you but we have had a few mishaps,” Shark explained as Taurus’ eyes lit up. He was excited about actually being told he could hurt someone. “The teachers are also involved, but that is where most students become more careless. They are afraid of hurting the teacher or getting in trouble. Trust me, you won’t. Most of the teachers here are built for pain and can endure your minimal attacks. We aren’t as elite as the LVO, but we are the next best thing. At the very end there is a campus wide capture the flag. But there is no flag. The actual flag is a person that you must protect from the enemy. If you are defeated then the objective for the enemy is to kill the flag person. This is where your teamwork skills come in handy because you must do everything in your power to protect the objective,” Shark said backing up.
“I’ll show you. Say that I’m the flag person and all of my guards have been eliminated. You are allowed to fight back you don’t have to just give yourself up willingly. Someone, attack me,” Shark said. Taurus didn’t need to be told twice and he launched at him. He stuck his arm out only to have it grabbed by Shark. Shark pulled Taurus’ arm forward. “Off balance,” He said quickly as he continued pulling forcing Taurus down. “Tap when it hurts,” Shark said as Taurus fought through the pain. Shark pushed Taurus back and motioned for him to come again. Taurus tried a different maneuver, but to no avail. Shark flipped him over and jammed his foot in Taurus’ armpit. He pressed his knee on Taurus’ forearm and twisted his hand flat on its palm. “Hurting yet? Tap if it does,” he asked as Taurus shook his head. He was such a liar. It hurt like hell. Shark put on more pressure with his knee and bent Taurus’ hand up. Taurus lifted his bottom off the ground automatically. Finally Taurus tapped Shark’s thigh and Shark released his hold.
“Thanks a lot,” Taurus grumbled feeling upset that he was shown up by a teacher.
“Don’t mention it. Like I said do whatever you need to, to stay protected,” Shark said dismissing the class.
“I’ll take you down professor. You can count on it,” Taurus growled trudging out of the room. Shark stayed and talked with a few of the students before heading home.
The light grey framing of the house glistened in the moonlight. It had rained earlier. The shutters were light blue and a tricycle was in the parking lot. A couple of balls were lying on the lawn along with a doll house. Shark entered the house and received a jumping hug from his niece Elise. She had Faustin’s facial features and eyes, but had Alexis’ red hair and freckles.
“Uncle Shark!” she shouted as he embraced her. She was only 10 and had just gotten out of school. There was an elementary school that was down the street from the academy where many of the students, staff, and alumni had siblings or children. Shark put her down and looked around wanting to know where Faustin was.
“Is your father around?” he asked as she shook her head.
“No. He went...somewhere,” she said as Shark put his gym bag on the kitchen island. He went to the fridge and grabbed the orange juice container and poured himself a glass. Alexis came out dressed in a tank top and pink and grey yoga pants.
“Ready to go, Elise?” she asked as Shark looked at them both, taking a drink from the glass.
“Where are you guys headed?” Shark asked as Elise pulled on her pink ballet shoes.
“Elise has been taking ballet at Alley Port and I’m just gonna work out until she’s done,” Alexis said grabbing her keys off the island. “Faustin should be back later tonight though,” she said as Shark sighed.
“I’ll just talk to him in the morning then,” he said walking to the back of the house.
THE NEXT DAY...
Before his morning class started, Shark fumed about the frustrating student to Faustin.
“Why would you let someone like that in my class when you know I have a temper!?” Shark shouted as Faustin chuckled.
“That’s why I did it, because you need to control your temper,” Faustin said opening a filing cabinet. He went to the student records. Every student had a laminated card with their picture and basic information like their name, date of birth, age, blood type, parents name (if known), height, current weight, hair color, and eye color. If any of it changed then a new card was needed. “Let’s see... Is this the guy?” Faustin asked pulling out a profile card. It had a picture of Taurus on it. Shark snatched it from him and glared at the photo. He looked at the smile that just infuriated him. It was as if the picture was the real man mocking him. Name: Taurus Azera. DOB: Oct 20. Age: 21. Blood: O+. Parents: Carter and Lauren Azera. Height 5’11. Weight: 145. Hair Color: Black. Eye color: purple. Shark started bending it from anger.
“Yes. Faustin I will kill this man if you don’t remove him from my class,” Shark said as Faustin grabbed the card from him.
“Don’t bend it. You are to not touch him. It’s already enough that you can use techniques on him. We don’t need you killing him,” Faustin said putting the card back in its folder. “Just relax and do your job,” Faustin said wiping his brow.
“What’s the matter with you? You don’t seem well,” Shark asked as Faustin put his hands on the desk. He was sweating.
“I ran into someone on my way to the office that I thought I’d never see,” Faustin said sitting in his chair. He was wearing an argyle sweater vest that was blue, black, and white with the East Gate logo on the left chest. He wore tan slacks and black shoes. He had a navy blue bow tie on. His wedding ring glistened around his peach colored fingers. “You don’t remember him, but I sure as hell do. At least from all my readings anyway,” Faustin continued as Shark sat in the chair across from him. He put his hands behind his head and rocked the chair back and forth. His white, skin-tight shirt wrinkled around his pectorals. His black shorts were tied loosely around his toned waist.
“So tell me about him,” Shark asked as Faustin breathed.
“Do you remember Amble Julian?” Faustin asked as Shark shook his head.
“Nope. You know I didn’t pay attention to supernatural history. But the name Julian does sound familiar,” Shark said as Faustin sighed.
“Do you remember Barnes Julian?” Faustin asked as Shark nodded.
“Somewhat. He was the vampire king. He ruled Vampira before it was destroyed by the LVO, right?” Shark answered a hint of questioning in his voice.
“I saw his son, Amble Julian, today,” Faustin said as Shark stopped rocking and sat up straight. That didn’t sound right.
“Isn’t he a vampire though? You saw him earlier? Are you sure you saw him in broad daylight?” Shark asked looking at Faustin. He was shaking. He must have seen something.
“It was a picture of him. The date it was taken was yesterday. It’s dark so I could tell it was taken inside somewhere,” Faustin said as Shark stared at him.
“What does he have against you? You didn’t do anything to him did you?” Shark asked as Faustin shook his head.
“No. I remember reading about when the LVO destroyed Vampira. They killed someone important to him. She was a student at the high school we went to before we ran from mom and dad. The Julian’s had run Vampira for quite a while so I don’t know how she got caught up with them,” Faustin said as Shark pulled out his phone. He typed away. “Are you even listening?” Faustin asked impatiently as Shark looked up.
“Yes. It was just a quick response to a student. Go on,” Shark said putting his phone back in his pocket.
“He is a problem that I hope we don’t have to deal with at all,” Faustin said handing a piece of paper to Shark. Shark took it and sighed.
“Faustin there are too many words on this page. I already feel bored just looking at it. That’s why I’m an athletic major instead of an English major,” Shark said handing it back to Faustin. Sometimes Shark’s British accent infuriated him especially when he was acting this way.
“God you’re just like a child. I’ll read it to you,” Faustin said as he read aloud.
“At first, vampires were a very peaceful creature until the birth of their king Barnes Julian. Vampira suffered a struggle for finances and soon the citizens were in an uproar. Anyone who defied the king was punished. Barnes tried his best to keep his citizens happy, but a man got in the way of that. Maximus LoganView. He created an order that would hold all of the vampires in the land under tight regulations. The LoganView Order. They started off small as a group of supernaturals who wanted to end the reign of Barnes Julian. This came to pass when the LVO stormed the village destroying everything in their path. No one was safe as they barged through houses, set fires to stores, blew up buildings, and killed innocent people. After their home had been destroyed the king and his two sons, Amble and Prezton, fled the underground haven to the country of Tempos. More vampires have been recorded within the census in the past few years. Barnes lived to be around 8,000 years old before his life was taken by his son Amble Julian who is currently the king of vampires. Pictures were taken recently of the king who is no doubt, back in power. All citizens are to be advised of the threat when they go outside at night as there has been a big increase in vampire citizens.”
Faustin put the paper down and stared at Shark who had his eyes closed. “SHARK!” Faustin screamed as Shark jolted.
“I wasn’t sleeping!” Shark laughed as Faustin threw the paper at him.
“This is serious! I have noticed an increase in vampire students at the school. If they’re working with Amble Julian then we might all die!” Faustin shouted his voice full of fear.
“Faustin. You, a mere fairy, took down one of the most powerful creatures in the world. You did. You killed Garrett DeFalco who was a chimaera at the time. I’m sure you can handle one puny vampire,” Shark said as Faustin’s face lost all the color.
“Shark, this guy is much worse than DeFalco would ever want to be,” Faustin commented.