Hello, there. With this project now well underway and the proper launch right around the corner, I figured I’d give you guys a special little peak into things with a “First Look,” of sorts. A quick rundown of the story and a snippet from the first chapter, dropping later this month. Enjoy!
Genre(s): Drama, Sci-Fi
Subgenre(s): High School
Beacon. A pillar of light. A shining example, illuminating the way for the rest of the world. In this independent, state-of-the-art metropolis, education is paramount. Everything is designed to cultivate the next generation of innovators in science and the arts. A true city of savants. And then… there’s Morioka Mio – a remarkably average First-Year girl who nobody knows exists.
“Morioka-san? Morioka-san,” a voice calls out amidst a jumble of classroom chatter.
It isn’t until a paper airplane soars through the air, tapping a young girl’s head of short, messy, black hair that a dull “Eh…?” escapes her lips with the slight bob of her head and her dropping her pencil. The fog clears from her dreary, grey eyes and she slowly raises them from their place, glued to the pages of the old sketchpad where they so often seem to be, the world coming back into focus. All around her are teens, filling out a cutting-edge high school classroom with smooth, sterile white floors and walls that curve seamlessly into the ceiling. Some of the students fiddle with the holographic interfaces built into their own desks’ surfaces. Others sit amongst friends with their desks shoved together and socialize before the day’s truly begun. Meanwhile, she sits fairly isolated in the back corner, nearest to the tall windows that give way to the view of the sprawling mega city outside.
But immediately across from her stands a boy, his brown eyes gawking at her in horror as she slowly tips her head down, staring flatly at the paper airplane by her feet with her fallen pencil. The boy whips around, the tails of his orange scarf swinging through the air behind him as he glares at another pair of boys sitting closer to the middle of the room, both of them giving him their thumbs up and grinning like fools. He sighs and bends down, picking up the pencil and setting it back on the girl’s desk before shoving his hands into the pockets of the black hoodie over his school shirt with a nervous smile. “Ah… s-sorry about them, Morioka-san.”
She barely reacts, quietly looking up at him with those dull eyes that felt like they could look through a person if she stared at them for long enough. The boy gets well acquainted with this feeling, eventually angling his head to break eye contact while keeping his awkward smile up. “It’s fine,” she finally says. “Thank you.” Morioka Mio – the class nobody. Were she not so evidently isolated, one could be forgiven in forgetting she was there. And yet, here stands someone, going out of his way to appear before her. He’s staring in awkward silence, but he is standing there, nonetheless. Mio blinks at him. “Did you need something, Serizawa-san?”
“Eh? Uh… n-not really. Oh yeah! I got this new gum from the store, on the way here!” Serizawa says, pulling a pack from his hoodie pocket after having shoved his hands in there out of nervous habit. “Wanna try some? Wait, did you like sweets?”
Mio glances down at the gum and reaches out to take a stick. “Sweets are fine.”
“It’s Green Apple,” Serizawa says, popping a stick in his own mouth as she takes one. “So it’s probably a little-”
Mio’s face puckers a bit. But even through squinted eyes and tightened lips, she manages to squeeze out a curt “Tart…” still not stopping herself from chewing.
Unbothered, Serizawa brings a fist to his mouth to muffle a laugh, righting himself when he catches her staring at him again, having gotten over it. The tension down as much as it can get, he clears his throat and takes a breath. “So, um… listen. They opened this new arcade in the mall, the other day. Do you maybe wanna go? With me? You know, like… as a… date?”
Upon hearing this, Mio mistakenly swallows her gum, looking straight ahead with her eyes somewhat widening. She freezes so perfectly, one might think time had stopped. Eventually, she tilts her head back up at Serizawa. “Hah?”
Just then, a crumpled up ball of paper flies through the air, hitting Serizawa in the back of the head, immediately followed by the haughty laughter of a group of teenage girls, sitting not far off. “Yuck. Nobody wants to see you dorks flirting, over there. Take it outside. Or, better yet, just keep it to your dreams. Seriously, who would want one of the three idiots to multiply? And with someone as dull as her, too.”
“I think it’s cute!” another of the girls in the group says, looking to Serizawa over her shoulder with a smug grin. “Little Jun is trying to get a girlfriend! It only makes sense he’d go for the only girl on campus who might say yes. ‘Ey, Diana?”
Diana sits at her seat, looking into a compact mirror and brushing her long, honey blonde hair away from her face with her neatly polished nails. “Now, girls, don’t make fun of ‘em.” She shrugs, glancing back at the duo in the corner with her jade green eyes. Her glossed lips contort into a rather warped smirk. “Losers like that are an endangered species, you know. They gotta breed somehow.”
Mio’s eyes fix on the center of her desk, her body posture closing up as an indescribable pressure pushes down on her and she feels herself sink under the weight of several gazes, turned her way. But it evaporates in an instant. A lighthearted laugh bounces it away like a beach ball, leaving her with only a confounded expression. And her attention locks on Serizawa, rubbing the back of his head. “Ahahaha. That was a pretty good one, Diana.”
Meanwhile, from the opposite side of the room, nearest to the door, someone else observes. A girl with bleached blonde hair, leaning back in the lap of a friend. But she doesn’t say anything. She just watches with a curious look about her until another of her friends calls her out and she smiles it off.
Diana snaps her mirror shut and half turns in her seat, glaring back at Jun. “Gross. Keep my name out of your mouth.”
“Diana,” a stern voice says as someone approaches the young diva’s desk from the side.
Locks of long, golden blonde hair glimmer through the air with the flip of a hand and, before anyone knows it, a tall young lady stands over Diana, glaring down her nose at her with her arms folded, holding her own head high. She wears her school uniform with the utmost decorum and not a wrinkle to be seen, the black and blue butterfly hair clip in the back of her french braid glimmering in the light. Behind her are a handful of other girls, all equally put together. “You’re loud. Some of us are trying to review.”
Diana sneers and stands from her seat, looking the girl in the eye. “Charlotte. What’s wrong? No one with an A-minus around for you to lecture?”
Charlotte narrows her eyes. “If you’ve got time to waste on cute jokes at the expense of lesser students, then you’ve got time to review the summer material before class.” For a moment, Mio catches what looks like a sideways glance from Charlotte, directed straight at her. Something in those eyes, for the split second she feels them aimed her way, rings with contempt. But they soon return to Diana “Or were you actually happy to be an underachiever?”
Diana forces her way further into Charlotte’s space, bringing her hands to her hips and smirking. “Y’know, the view must be real nice, up there, on that high horse of yours. Be a shame if someone knocked you off of it.” The two alphas practically bore holes into one another with their piercing glares.
The atmosphere in the room grows incredibly tense. Diana’s posse scowls across the way at both Charlotte and her clique of yes-girls from their seats. The shorter of them sucks her teeth and stands, slamming her newly manicured hands down on her desk “Tch. Come on, Diana. Teach this high-and-mighty little wind-up doll a lesson.”
But one of Charlotte’s troupe adjusts her glasses, letting a blunt “Ridiculous,” fire from her tongue like a dart, piercing through Diana’s diminuitive sidekick. “Charlotte’s the top student in our year, already. What could that airhead teach her?”
“Stay outta this,” Diana says, glancing back at her littlest peon.
The groupie balks, pivoting to Diana with an indignant “Hah?!”
Charlotte huffs, cutting that intimidating glare she’s so mastered back at her own supporter. “I don’t believe I asked for your help.”
Those words sting like thorns, forcing Charlotte’s lackey to double back, her once proud posture shattering as she bites the tip of her thumb and turns away, letting out a sheepish “O-of course.” All at once she seems to crumble away under the immense weight of one girl’s sheer personality. “I’ll see that it doesn’t happen again.”
One of Jun’s friends watches from his seat, closer to the front of the room. His head rests against one of his hands, the nails of which are painted a bright green. He blows his messy, brown bangs out from over his smooth, somewhat feminine face, and puts on an impish grin, bearing his pearly whites. With the thrust of his fist into the air, he cheers “Yeah! Ganbatte Charlie-chan! Show that rich brat, what for!”
But at this Charlotte slowly turns around, fixating on him with a glare strangely filled with a murderous intent not at all seen in her confrontation with Diana. “Matsuda Kou,” she says, emanating with an almost visible aura of violence and her voice sounding as if it were filtered through the depths of hell, itself. “Who is this ‘Charlie’ person?”
Kou squeaks and hides behind the other of the three idiots, Reggie. “S-s-s-sorry! I won’t do it again!” When she turns her attention back to more pressing matters, Kou sighs wistfully, leaning against his friend. “She scolds ‘cause she cares.”
Reggie rolls his eyes and slowly shoves Kou off of his shoulder, pulling the hood of the jacket under the boy’s school blazer over his head. “Then she must be head over heels for you…”
Diana snickers across from Charlotte, a hand over her mouth. “So, what? The idiots’re in your corner, now?”
Charlotte bows her head with a twitch of her eyebrow. But then she heaves an exasperated sigh, leveling a flat stare at her rival. “Even if he were, have you taken a close look at any of your entourage lately, Diana?”
“Hey!” Diana’s posse protests.
But before this can get any further, the loud wail of a desk chair scraping across the floor breaks the tension. Across the room, the same girl from before, with the bleached blonde hair, stands from her seat. She dusts off her too-short skirt before tightening the knot in the sleeves of the sweater tied around her waist. Then, over she strolls, to the center of the fray. Her hands go up in a girlish wave, showing off those long nails, all painted in popping blues. Out comes a cheerful, all-too-friendly “Hey, hey! How ‘bout we all, like, just chill out a little, m’kay?” She sports such an impossibly vibrant, almost blinding smile that both Diana and Charlotte seem to avert their eyes from her. Yet her presence somehow seems to only make a tense situation even tenser as quite some time passes with no one saying or doing anything.
In the end, Charlotte sighs. “She’s right, of course. This is a waste of time.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Diana concedes, stitting back in her seat as Charlotte returns to her own, in the front of the classroom.
Hope you liked that little peak into the first chapter! The story will begin proper in a matter of weeks with semi-regular posts on a handful of platforms, including Honeyfeed. Also expect to see it on the official website for GalvanicTeam original content, once that’s finally built (we’re working on it).
Just to be clear, aside from any potential physical release (have to cover printing costs and the like), EXTRACURRICULAR will be entirely FREE. Unlike Burning Sky, no Subscriptions required. So I hope you’ll be sure to check back for updates, from week to week!
Anyway, tell me what you thought of this little snippet down below! Thanks for reading!
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay AWESOME!