Chapter 4: Family
"I wish to be enrolled in Mega Academy, parents."
A few days after the announcement of the government that they have built a school to train future superheroes, the Ross family were currently having a casual dinner-- a casual dinner that was only made weird as soon as Riley opened his mouth to speak.
The other members of the family continued with their meal as if what they heard was just some sort of hymn from the wind. But after a few more seconds, the silence was broken by a loud clanging.
Hannah suddenly stood up from her seat, dropping her cutleries on the floor as she looked her brother straight in the eyes.
"You… want to go to school?" Hannah's words were slightly sedated, "You, the most antisocial loner slash weirdo I have ever met in my entire life, want to go to school?"
"Yes," Riley answered without even a slight hesitation.
"Do you even know what that mea--"
"That's good! Did you hear that, honey!?"
Before Hannah could finish her words, she was quickly disrupted by their mother's almost deafening scream, almost a shriek, really. "Our son is finally coming to age and realizing that he shouldn't be cooped up all alone in his room! You're finally graduating from being homeschooled!"
"But you're the one who decided to homeschool me, mother. I am fully capable of socializing with people."
"We understand, dear. You're all grown up now," Diana went over the table to give Riley a hug, but he quickly moved his chair and his plate to the side to avoid her.
And before the growing chaos could ensue, the head of the family finally decided to speak up; clearing his throat to show his intent to speak.
"I think we are forgetting one simple fact," Bernard said before taking a sip of his coffee, obviously trying to build up suspense with his pause, "Only children with superpowers are allowed to enroll in the Academy."
"But aren't you going to be one of the instructors there, honey?" Diana quickly replied, "You could just enroll him secretly."
"Hmm..." Bernard whispered as he placed his hand on his chin, "That's a possibility, isn't it?"
"No, it's not!"
Their idea, however, was shut down by Hannah before it could come to light, "Even if you do manage to enroll him there, he would be constantly in danger of being surrounded by Supes! Did you also forget the fact that his skin is sensitive to the sun!?"
"Well, you can just attend with your brother?"
"Why are the two of you such airheads when it comes to brother!?"
"I do not appreciate the tone you are taking, Hannah."
"Am I the only one seeing the looming calamity here!?"
"Your brother's looks should be enough to be considered a superpower, no? Isn't that right, my handsome baby--"
Suddenly, the temperature of the entire dining room rose up; Riley's sunglasses, which he was suddenly wearing out of nowhere, was currently reflecting her sister, whose whole body was engulfed and wrapped in fire.
"You will be putting him in danger if you enroll him there!"
"Put the fire extinguisher down, dear." Diana immediately blocked her husband's path, who already had the nozzle of a white fire extinguisher pointed towards Hannah. She then let out a long and deep sigh as she asked her daughter to calm down.
"You need to understand, Hannah. We were just excited that your brother is finally learning how to take initiative in his life, we were just kidding."
"...We were?" Bernard whispered as he hung up his phone, which was already dialing the Academy.
"Calm down, Hannah," Diana repeated, "Or I swear I will hose you down myself and make you pay for all the damages you've incurred in the house since you awakened your powers."
Hannah's unusually warm breath echoed throughout the entire room as the fire that wrapped around his body slowly withered; and immediately, Bernard threw a towel over her so she could cover herself up.
"Sorry," Hannah then sat back down as she drank a glass of water, "This is all your fault, Riley. Why would you even open up that idea when you know you don't even have any po...wers-- What the fuck is that?"
"As you can see, I have powers."
The whole room instantly became quiet as soon as they saw the floating knife and fork that was suddenly floating in front of Riley.
Bernard was going to rush and swat the sharp objects away from Riley at first, but when he realized that it was expertly they were expertly circling around his finger, the only thing he could do was look at his wife and daughter to check if they were also seeing the same thing-- and seeing the bewildered looks in their faces, they were.
"Are you... doing that?"
"Yes, I have already stated that I have powers, father."
And as soon as he said that, the cutleries that were circling around his finger spun even faster, "I suppose you could say I can move things with my mind, father."
"Telekinesis!? Since when!?" Bernard's voice was almost louder than Hannah's earlier screams.
"...When I woke up."
"That's impossible, those who awakened telekinesis can't control their powers that well at day 1!" Hannah once again started to raise her voice, but this time, no change in temperature was found.
"...When I woke up a month ago."
"I see, that makes sense," Diana nodded her head.
"No, it does-- You know what, I'm going to my room. I am done dealing with you guys." And with that, Hannah abruptly left, taking her plate with her as her steps left embers on the floor.
"I will also take my leave. Thank you for the food, parents. And thank you in advance for enrolling me to the Academy as well."
Riley then also stood up from his seat, carefully arranging his and his sister's chair before going up to his room. With their two children gone, Diana and Bernard immediately looked at each other with a sigh.
"They are growing up too fast, aren't they?" Diana said as she sat beside her husband and rested her head on his shoulder, "Perhaps the Academy would be good for the both of them. Hannah's powers are getting too strong, it would become more and more difficult for her if she just tries to ignore it."
"Hm," Bernard only nodded in response.
"As for Riley, he would finally have a chance at the normal life we couldn't provide for him," Diana continued despite Bernard only nodding his head at her every word, "And we could also have the chance to relax. We haven't had time alone since we had Hannah. Perhaps we should move to a different neighborhood since we-- Are you even listening to what I am saying?"
"Yes, of course," Bernard once again nodded, "It's just that… Riley's powers trouble me."
"Because it's the same as Ms. Phoenix."
"Are you afraid he would start asking questions about his real mother?"
"You are his real mother, Diana," Bernard quickly said, "But yes, I think the time he asks about his biological parents is soon upon us."
"There's no need to be nervous, honey."
Hearing the lament in her husband's words, the only thing that Diana could do was let out a sigh and pat his shoulders, "We knew this day would come sooner or later, I am sure they are ready too."
"Hm… so we're enrolling both of them?"
"It's decided… magic
...but they need to pass first."
"So… why exactly am I here?"
"Because you wanted to attend the Academy as well?"
Riley and Hannah were currently out on a field, lined up with several other people of seemingly similar age. There was a middle-aged woman wearing glasses, slowly walking in front of Riley and the others as she checked the documents in her hand.
And as she made it in front of Riley and Hannah, she abruptly stopped, looking at the two of them from head to toe.
"Don't expect any special treatments," she then whispered before proceeding to check the other examinees.
6 weeks after Riley's discussion with his family, Mega Academy had finally started accepting students; and due to their father, the two were able to squeeze themselves in the first batch of examinees.
Whether that was a good thing or not, it doesn't really matter for the two. Riley then scanned the rest of the examinees, who some seemed to be even younger than him; and seeing that the examiner had sufficient information of all the people here, it would seem that Riley's first theory was right-- the Academy wasn't built to nurture future superheroes…
...It was built to serve as a surveillance system.
And Mega Woman wouldn't like that.