World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

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Mir
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World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

Delaware
Metropolis
Metropolis International Airport
One Week Ago


Jay and David had their tickets and everything. Their bags were packed and they were waiting with their mother with the rest of the group. Jay had tried to convince their mother not to come to see them off, but she had insisted on doing so. She was one of the few parents there, as most of the kids had gotten cabs or had just been dropped off. David didn't mind their mother there and he knew why she had wanted to see them off. They would be gone for quite a while. It was an entire semester after all. He knew that he was going to miss their mother. She was always there for them to help with their problems and to David, they were going to be two parts without the third part of their family. It was going to be difficult on her, more than it would be on them, that much he definitely knew. Their mother relied on them for a great deal.

She had to leave then, because she was needed back at the store, and couldn't afford to leave for too long, especially since both of the store's assistant managers were leaving the country for a while. She embraced David and Jay in a tight hug and then she was gone. Roughly half an hour later, they had boarded the plane, and another half an hour later, they were on the runway.

They had been flying for only fifteen minutes, when Jay told David that he was leaving their seats to go sit somewhere else with some friends of his. David had expected this and waved his brother away. He had brought a series of books on the country that they were going to, and he had already spent a good while reading everything that he could on the subject. He had the Foster's guide, amongst other books and he was alternatively reading through them or looking out the window. Stuck between these two choices, he was looking out the window when he felt someone sit down in the middle of the row seat to the left of his own. He turned and his eyes widened slightly at the sight of Maya Keating.

"Hey." She said.

"Um…Hi." David said, and in his nervousness, responded by making a half wave that Maya smiled at. Oh dear God, just put a sign on your head that says "DORK", why don't you?

"You're David, right?" Maya asked and he nodded as she brushed some of her long blackish brown locks out of her face. "Yeah I think we've had a couple classes together." She said. Her eyes dipped from his face to the book in his hands. "Hey, I bought that guide too." She said. "It's pretty good." Maya added, her smile widening.

"Yeah, um, it's alright, yeah." David said, positive that he had repeated the word "yeah" twice. "It's pretty, you know, insightful, and stuff."

"I'm a little excited to be traveling like this. It's my first time out of the country, and I'm psyched." Maya replied.

"Psyched, yeah, I can understand that." He said.

"You're funny." Maya said, giving him a look.

"No, I'm not. You're thinking of Jay, my twin brother."

This made Maya laugh. He had heard her laugh before but this time it was different. Generally speaking she had always laughed loud, full of life. This time, she knew that she was on a plane, so it was far less potent volume wise, but it still had that fervor, that sense of mirth. "You mean the brother of yours that played that horrible prank on Lisa Gillmeyer last week and got away with it, with your help?"

"I had nothing to do with that. I don't know what you're talking about." David said, despite knowing exactly what she was talking about. He laughed though, and they shared a look. He didn't even realize it yet, but his palms were sweating. He was so nervous right then and there. In his mind, they had quickly ran out of the topics that they could talk about. They didn't really have anything else in common, at least as far as David knew. Maya folded her hands and placed them in her lap.

"Was that lady that was with you and your brother your mom?" Maya asked after a moment. She nodded slowly when David nodded in return. "Cool. I wish my parents were that interested in what happens to me." She said, laughing a little.

David could tell that there was more than a little truth to her words, despite the fact that she was trying to be a little funny. He laughed a little, knowing that it was something that was to be expected in that situation. "So, I think the trip should be pretty interesting." David said.

"Yeah, it should be, definitely." Maya said. "You never know what could happen."

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Mir
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Re: World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

Wakanda
Wakanda Royal Palace
Two Weeks Ago


"He's dying."

T'Shon couldn't believe the words that had just been said to him. He refused to. If he did, he knew that his entire world was going to change, and not for the better. This could not be, and he wouldn't accept it. There had to be something that could be done, something that could be utilized to save him.

"Impossible. That is what the doctor's said?" He asked and the woman nodded.

Anger surging through him, he rose from the chair and paced around the room in the Wakandan Royal Palace. The room itself seemed to blur, so that it became unrecognizable, just another room to T'Shon. He had spent much of his life in the Wakanda Palace, so to him, many of his memories of the palace began to creep into his mind. Memories of the man who was now dying, a man that he considered closer than a relative. "I don't believe it. I…can't." The man said, his voice showing the emotions that he was feeling. "We have the best doctors in the world, our technology is second to none." He said. "We are Wakanda! How can the King be dying? How can Bast allow this to happen?" He asked.

"T'Shon, calm yourself." The woman said. "My brother's time has come, that is all. If the doctors can not diagnose the disease and can not figure out what is wrong, then you must accept it. That is all that any of us can do in this situation. We will grieve for him, but we know that he will move on to a better place, one that we hope to eventually go to as well and be rejoined with him." She added. She sat calmly, her hands folded in her lap. T'Shon couldn't understand how she could be so calm and serene at a time like this. But then again, she had been trained in the regal arts unlike him, and she had years of experience employing those skills, as the sister to the King of Wakanda.

The woman's eyes were the only thing that moved, following T'Shon as he paced. She sighed. They had now come to the more difficult part of their conversation, as hard as it may have been to believe. "It is the way things must be. The question is, what will be done with the office of the Black Panther?"

"What do you mean?"

"Will you allow M'ume to inherit his father's position, knowing what you know about him?" She asked. "You have lived with him during your college years and you know the kind of person he is. Will you allow your country to be ruled by one such as him?"

"I can not abide by that." T'Shon said. "But I have no means to make a claim on the Black Panther or the ability to challenge M'ume for the right to rule, Pala." He said. The black man threw up his hands in desperation. "What am I supposed to do?" He asked.

"You will challenge my nephew." Pala said. "You will do so on my behalf and as my champion." She said. "I know that you will win, and that you will be a better ruler for our country that M'ume could ever dream to be. You are the future of Wakanda, and you will be just as good of a ruler as T'Challa was, may he rest in peace, if not greater. I will not allow my country to fall this way, not while I still breathe." Pala said. "You have my loyalty, as you have known this over the years. M'ume's father, our King has long wished for you to be his successor, you know this. M'ume will have to strike as soon as he can in order to make sure that he can be the new Black Panther. You must be ready."

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Mir
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Re: World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

Lazenaru
Killate
Kaldera Royal Palace
One Month Ago


Ivana Matthews Kaldera was a wealthy woman. She was the Queen of Lazenaru, and through her husband, the majority shareholder of Paris Corporation. She had access to countless millions, and her net worth was such a large number. She was currently in the Kaldera Royal Palace, in the capital of her home country, Lazenaru. Sunlight filtered in through the curtains of her bed chambers, but she ignored it, snuggling against the satin covered pillows that were present there. The red silk bed sheets were a little ruffled, but they were covering parts of her naked form. The green eyed woman slowly opened her eyes and realized that her head was up against pillows. When it should have been up against her husband. Ivana sat up and ran a hand through her long, black hair. Sliding out of the bed, she rose, and reached out grabbing the dark green silk robe that was on the floor next to the bed. Putting it on, she walked out of the bedroom into the main room of the palace suite as she belted it.

The marble floor was cool to her touch. In the main room, servants had placed a selection of fruit for Ivana and her husband to eat. Ivana reached out and grabbed an apple, taking a bit from it. The room was connected to a balcony and she stepped over to it, the door of tempered glass sliding open automatically. She stepped out onto the balcony as she took another bite. It was close to midday in Killate, and the city was alive with people, as it always was. The most populous city in her small Mediterranean island nation, Killate was a moving, breathing, city. It had a decent sized population for the space that had been available to the people who had founded the city. Finishing the apple, Ivana turned and walked off the balcony, placing the core in one of the small trash disposal units that had been made part of the décor. Now it was time to find that errant husband of hers.

She knew where he was. James had been planning something for weeks now, months even. He was in his lab. Reaching down, she grabbed a bunch of purple grapes from the bowl of fruit and walked over to her bedchambers. Inside the room, tucked away in a small corner, was an elevator. It had only two choices, either the Royal suite, or James' laboratory. Ivana pushed the button to call the elevator to her, and when it took more than a moment for the doors to open, her thoughts on the location of her husband were confirmed. When the doors did open, she stepped inside and turned, pressing the button marked for his lab. The doors shut quickly and the elevator began its journey down. It had to travel many stories, until it was underground, but the trip itself only took a few moments, due to the built in speed of the elevator. Ivana barely had time to do anything, even if she'd wanted to.

The elevator chimed and the doors opened. She stepped out and walked forward, into James' lab. The place was a flurry of activity. The lab itself was incredibly large, close to twice the size of a football field, and that was just the space for active things. The warehouse was roughly that size as well. There were only a few places around the world where the level of technology in the room either matched or surpassed what was in this room. She watched as robotic assembly lines did their master's bidding. That told her what was going on, but not where the master himself was. However, she didn't have to wait long. It only took a little while to find him.

James Matthews Kaldera. Her husband, and the recently crowned King of Lazenaru. That was what the world called him. But it wasn't what she called him. Ivana called him by another name. Doom. He stood on a raised dais that was flooding with computers and controls. He was observing a series of different things. She couldn't see what they were, she was too far away. His back was to her and she stopped a few feet short of him. Ivana cleared her throat and Doom lifted his head, but didn't turn. "I thought we decided that you weren't going to be working this early in the day." She said. "I do remember having that conversation." Kaldera added.

"Yes, well, I had work to do." James replied. "I do apologize, but there simply isn't enough time in the day to accomplish all of my plans." He said. He remained seated, and continued to look at the computer modules and type on one of the keypads.

"You haven't explained to me what you're doing this time." She said. "And since you're probably utilizing Lazenaru funds, as the Queen, I feel as though I have a need to know." Ivana said.

James smiled and leaned back in his chair. This could turn out to be interesting. "If I refuse to tell you?" He asked. "What would you do then?"

Ivana stepped around him, so that he could see her. James hadn't realized that she was wearing the robe. He liked that robe on her. "Well, I'd have to have you arrested. Separated from everyone else. Interrogated." She said, and leaned backwards, against the computer banks. She held up the grapes and pulled one of them off. Reaching upwards, she started at her neck and slowly rolled the grape down, until it and her fingers were just above the swell of her breasts. "Taunt you with the things you want, but can't grasp." She said, giving him a wicked smile, and James realized what she meant. She was telekinetically hold him back in the chair. Ivana leaned forward and as she did, she put the grape in James' mouth. Then she stood in front of him and undid the belt of the robe, so that the two sides parted, giving James' a clear view of his wife's full front. In addition to not knowing that she was wearing the dark green silk robe, he hadn't known that she was as naked as the day she had been born underneath it.

"I am Doom, woman." He said, his voice taking on an edge that was partly driven by need. "You will release me, now." He said. James watched as his wife shook her head and then deposited herself in his lap, her knees on either side of him. "Ivana…" He said, his voice taking a slightly threatening edge, "I advise you to release me." James said, speaking with what for him was the closest that he would ever come to a request. He reserved things like that for his wife and his wife alone. No one else deserved such a statement as he had yet to find anyone besides Ivana, with the exception of his brother and that whore who had been his fiancé who came close to being his equal.

She leaned in and whispered into his ear, "Better," before lightly biting his earlobe.

He felt her hold be released, and he brought his right hand up, to cup and palm one of her breasts. "You know I was going to tell you anyway, once everything was finished being set up." He said, his hand gently massaging. "I take it you prefer your way, though." He said and she nodded slowly as they kissed.

"Even if I'm not going to listen, I like it when you tell me what to do." She said.

"And if I just made you?" He asked.

"Try me." Ivana said, challenge rising into her eyes. "Or do you think you can't make me submit, is that it?" She rose and turned, starting to walk away. "I thought you were Doom, James."

She didn't get far.

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Mir
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Re: World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

New Jersey
Atlantic City
Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino
Two Days Ago


They were calling her name. It was like that every night. But tonight it was extra special. She had performed her heart out, and they had loved it. Camilla Alvarez stepped outside of the red curtain for one more curtain call and took a bow to the standing ovation that rocked the main performance venue of the Trump Taj Mahal. She ducked back behind the curtain and let go of the breath that she'd been holding. It got to her, every time. The rush of performing, the thrill of entertaining. Everything about it spoke to her, to her very soul. Making others feel better about their lives and putting on a good show, it meant a lot to her. Turning, she walked away. The stage crew stopped when she walked past them and congratulated her on another show well done. It was routine to her, at some points.

She ha d been performing since she was twelve, and it had been years since she had ever made a mistake, even an accidental one. Camilla smiled and waved at her manager, who told her that she had a visitor in her dressing room. With a nod, she turned and headed there, smoothing out whatever wrinkles there were in her stage outfit. For the foreseeable future, she had off, as this performance had been the last in her contract. If Trump Taj Mahal wanted more of Camilla, they'd have to get in touch with her manager, and her contracting agency, Wayne Entertainment. The lawyers would have a field day. This contract alone had generated over ten million easily. With a sigh, Camilla knew that right then and there, she wanted pancakes, really, really fluffy pancakes with lots of whipped cream and maple syrup. Taking off the top hat that she had had on her head, she opened the door to her dressing room and her eyes widened.

Sitting in the middle of the room, on the table was a plate with a stack of five pancakes, with massive amounts of whipped cream on top and a small pitcher of maple syrup. There was also the required cutlery next to it. "Noel!" Camilla called out and the older man came into view. She ran and jumped, throwing her arms around the man's neck. It had been months since she'd seen him, and she had started to begin to worry. She rarely worried about Noel, because the man could take care of himself, to say the least. This was the man who had been like a father to her. He had taught her a lot of what she knew and had always been there for her, no matter what.

Noel Gabriele stood there, smiling, as the younger woman finally let go of him. She gave him a quick once over. "You need to cut your hair, and throw out those clothes from the 1930s." Camilla said, as she always did. "And bathe more often." She added.

"Maybe I shouldn't have made the pancakes then." Noel said and turned to pick them up. He smiled when he heard Camilla make a strangled noise and move forward to stop him.

"Touch them and I will turn you into-"

"Into what?" Noel asked, with a wink of humor in his eyes.

"A much better dressed and groomed man." Camilla finished, sharing the twinkle.

He turned back to her immediately. "I caught the tail end of your performance. It was wonderful as always." He said.

"I'm touched." She said. "Though you're just saying that, because you taught me that last trick." Camilla added and sat down, to eat the pancakes. Since an early age, it was the one food that she really enjoyed after a performance. She didn't know why and couldn't really fathom the answer either. She just knew that when she was finished with a show, she craved massive amounts of pancakes. Noel had, from an early time in their friendship, made her pancakes after each and every show that she'd done, no matter how big, and whether or not she had made mistakes. More often than not, when she had made mistakes, the pancakes had gone a long way to make her feel better about what she'd done.

"Speaking of clothing, what are you wearing? I didn't teach you to go for that kind of visual stimulation in your shows." Noel said, a little grumpy and a little disapproving.

Camilla looked down at the outfit that she was wearing. Black dress shoes, then long fishnet stockings that came up to nearly her waist. Then the bottom part of a one piece black body suit could be seen. She also had one a white button down dress shirt, with a black jacket over it. She also wore a white bow tie. With a shrug, she tossed the black top hat that was part of the ensemble onto the table of the dressing room. The whole look was a little revealing, at least when it came to the legs. Camilla liked to show off her legs though, she was rather proud of them. "What's wrong with what I'm wearing, Noel?" She asked. "It's exactly what the first Zatanna wore."

"Doesn't mean I have to approve." Noel said.

She smiled up at him. "So what's going on? Usually you tell me when you're stopping by for a visit." Camilla said.

"I have interesting news." Noel said. "On our old friend, Oriuth." He added, and sat down when he saw the martial glint that appeared in Camilla's eyes. "He's moving abroad, and he's doing it quickly. I don't know why he's so worried, but something or someone is pushing at him and pushing buttons that he doesn't want touched. The information came from a good friend of mine, Lillith Foley. Figuring that you'd want to do something about this, I arranged for her to come to Atlantic City, to meet with you." Noel said.

"Do you trust her?" Camilla asked.

"Of course. I know her father from a long time ago." Noel said. "Oriuth isn't alone this time, he's working with someone else. Lilith didn’t get his name, but he has an interesting set of skills."

"Tell me everything."

---------------

Camilla was dressed in her normal outfit as Zatanna and was in a car with Noel, on her way to Newark. That was one of the great things about being a good friend of Isaiah Muir's. When you called him at one in the morning, he didn't mind being woken up, and he didn't mind letting you borrow one of Wayne Enterprises' jets. One of Wayne's jets was already prepped and fueled, waiting for her and Noel at Newark Liberty International Airport. They were roughly ten minutes away from the airport when Noel spoke. "I won't be going with you on this one." He said and though he hadn't soken very loudly, the impact alone made up for it.

"What?" Camilla asked, from her position next to him.

"I…have things that I need to see to. Furthermore, Oriuth bested me the last time that we fought. I do not feel as though I have the ability to beat him."

"Because he beat you once? What about all the times that you've bested him?" She asked. "I can't do this alone."

"I know, that is why Lillith will be going with you. I'm getting on in my years and I can't keep up with things the way that I used to." Noel said slowly and as they entered a bit of a traffic jam, he looked out the window, his fingers resting easy on the steering wheel. Rain drizzled down the window, and the highway lights gave his face an ethereal glow. "But you and Lillith will be able to do this on your own, I have no doubts. There are things at play that even I don't understand, Camilla. You will need your wits about you." He said and pressed on the gas as the traffic eased up.

"No, I need you to be there with me."

"I can't do it."

"Why?" Camilla asked, turning in her seat.

"Because!" Noel said, raising his voice, something incredibly uncharacteristic of him. Camilla knew this and she subsided, turning back to stare out of the window, unsure of what to say. He was always so calm. To her, he was a man picturesque, who exemplified leadership and courage, dedication and persistence. She didn't understand what could possibly make him appear like this. Sparing a look at him, she saw him in a new light, one provided by street lamps. The imagery of him shifted, in to a much more elderly man, one who had faced years of hardship and one who had triumphed throughout, but who had paid a high cost for it. He could be a leader and could show dedication and persistence and courage because of his years of experience. But what had those years of experience done to him?

"I'm sorry." She said quietly. "I…I just feel as though I don't know enough, as though I'm not ready."

"Camilla, you are one of the most powerful sorceresses I have ever had the opportunity to meet. I have been honored to be your teacher and your friend. When we first met, I was doubtful of my abilities to be your mentor. If you feel any inadequacies in yourself they are not the fault of you, but rather of myself." He said.

"Don't say that, don't ever say that." She said. "I worry about you, Noel." Camilla said.

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Mir
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Re: World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

Lazenaru
Killate
Kaldera Royal Palace
One Week Ago


Doom stood in his laboratory, looking over the machines that were at work. He was standing on a catwalk that was lifted in the air over the main floor. Ivana was standing next to him. Both of them were in normal business attire, and Doom had his hands in his pockets as he leaned against the railing of the catwalk. Down below were the new versions of the Doombots that he had been working on for some time. It hadn't taken Monica that long to get the information that was needed from Victor Von Doom's files. She had done her job and had been paid well for it. Hopefully it wouldn't be too long before he was able to access all of the actual files himself without having any obstacles in his path. That was just one step of the plan that was Doom. These new models had incredible abilities and he had tested them very extensively in order to make sure that they would be able to do everything that he needed them to. He was more than confident that they would achieve the objectives that he had set before them.

It was just an eventuality for him, to be honest. He knew what was going to happen, because it was the only thing that could happen. If there was one thing that James knew, it was how to read people. He had only been foiled in that regard once, by his ex-fiancé, Emma Stevens. He should have seen sooner the depth of the attachment that she had had to his younger brother and he should have realized that with time apart, she might have fallen in love with his brother. Whereas once he had only blamed Paul for that, the blame was now fully on both Paul Matthews and Emma. He would deal with his younger brother soon enough. The whelp would be taken care of.

That was another thing that he knew was going to happen, because it was the only thing that could happen. His brother thought that he was so smart, and that he was able to do whatever he could think of. Their parents had agreed with him, thinking that he was the better of the two brothers. So many others had felt the same way, placing Paul on such a high pedestal. Sometimes, he wondered how his brother was able to succeed at all, with such pressure on him. He knew that Paul hated the comparisons, but because he felt as though he and James were equal. That was a laughable farce. James would prove him wrong in that regard. They were not equals. He would prove all of them wrong, and show them that all of the so called Mr. Fantastic's successes were really James' successes.

What he was doing here, it was just the beginning. The world would see, soon, just what Doom was capable of. And it would be beautiful, beautiful like his wife. He turned to smile at Ivana. She had been silent throughout the whole day. He wondered what was on her mind, but then he was reminded that she was the one with the telepathy, not him. "What do you think?" He asked after a moment.

She was leaning against the other side of the railing, her hands gripping it. She turned to him and lifted an eyebrow. "I think that you've utilized a large amount of natural resources and funding, and you still haven't shared with me all of the finer details of this plan of yours." Ivana said. She let go of the railing and folded her jacket clad arms over her breasts. "I understand the Doombots, but not how you think you're going to get away with this. This…this is dangerously big, especially for your first strike."

"That's the beauty of it, my love. The plan works so well that there will be no time for there to be any recourse against us. Furthermore, your identity will be hidden through your suit, and no one knows that James Kaldera is Doom. There is no way for anyone to trace this back to Lazenaru or to us." He said.

"I'm not as sure about this as you are, James. There are too many variables to consider in this. How can you be so sure?" She asked, turning to look at him.

He could see the questioning in her eyes, but he could also see the trust, the love. Things that he had once seen in Emma's eyes. But here, there was no doubt that those feelings would ever waver. She was his, completely and totally.

"They will never know what hit them. You have my word."

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Mir
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Re: World Crisis Vol II: Prelude

Post by Mir »

Delaware
Metropolis
Metropolis University
Montgoris Dining Facility
Three Months Ago


"Why do we have to go for a study abroad session?" Jay Carwin asked.

He looked across the table at his twin brother. They were sitting in the Montgoris Dining Facility, usually just referred to as Montgoris, or "the place with the crap served on top of the shit." It was high cuisine, that was for sure. There was the usual bustle of students, the usual groups of people sitting together, talking and eating. Jay Carwin, the troublemaker out of the Carwin brothers, was focused solely on his twin brother though. He was even willing to ignore the attractive women that his university had to offer, because this issue had been a thorn in his side for a while now. His mother and David wanted him and David to go on a study abroad session, but Jay was quite happy with staying here in Metropolis for their second to last semester.

First off, he had a feeling that David wast going to pick a place that wasn't too interesting to Jay. Now, if David was going to say Amsterdam, or some place in Germany, Jay would be there in a heartbeat. But knowing David, he was going to say some place incredibly boring. Like some Asian country or something like that. Not that Jay had anything against Asians. Their women were hot.

"Mom thinks that it'd be a good thing for us." David said with a shrug. "Also, I kind of want to travel before we really, you know, get on with our lives."

"What do you mean, get on with our lives? We're going to be working at the family business once we get out of college, and you know it. I know that's your plan once you finish with college, and I don't doubt that I'm going to stay in Metropolis, even if I don't work with you and Mom at the electronics store." Jay said.

"Exactly. We have the next semester, that's it. So why don't we do something before we-"

"Hold on, it's Maya Keating." Jay said, because even if he was going to ignore the women in the room to pay attention to this horrible proposition of his brother's, it was still Maya Keating, by far the hottest girl in the entirety of Metropolis University. The brunette was walking past them with a group of her friends. David and Jay's attention focused on two different areas. David looked up at her face, and couldn't help but smile, because she really was pretty. She had dark brown eyes, kind of like dark chocolate. David wasn't really a fan of dark chocolate, but he did like the hue on her. Her hair was the same shade and it was long and flowing, going well past her shoulders. Today it was down, and David liked it when Maya wore her hair down. It was just cooler for some reason. David was male enough to let his eyes wander downwards to her chest, covered up in some designer t-shirt and an unzipped hoodie, but he wasn't blatant about it like other guys were, like his brother.

Jay on the other hand, zeroed in on the downward curve from her back to her behind and then stopped there for a while, taking in the show that was encased in black yoga pants before descending to the Uggs that they were tucked into. He continued to look as the girls passed. They were talking about going on a study abroad trip the next semester. They were talking about all the different places that the school offered them to go to and how it would be interesting to see the different cultures, and of course, party in a different country with lower alcohol limits and prices.

David and Jay watched as the group of girls walked past, following Maya like sycophantic idiots. One of them accidentally dropped a brochure that the school had given out. It had one of the study abroad locations circled. David grabbed it from the floor and made a motion as if he was going to get up to call out, but Jay grabbed his wrist and yanked it down on to the table.

"What?"

"We're not going to find out where we're going to study abroad if you're all noble." Jay said with a smile, which made David roll his eyes. "What?" Jay asked as he leaned back in his plastic fabricated to be uncomfortable chair. "I'm suddenly liking the idea of learning about other places and countries and stupid shit like that. Plus, it's not like you're ever going to get the courage to ask her out or anything. At least this way, you might have a shot." He said. "It's the truth, and you know it." Jay added and David had to give him that.

It was the truth. David had liked Maya for a while, but both brothers knew that Jay was incredibly outclassed by the beautiful Maya. She was on the school's track and field team and she had put up record numbers and was a big star. She was pretty big in student government too, and got pretty decent grades. Maya also partied hard and drank hard, things that David didn't really do. He drank and partied, but not like a lot of the other college kids. There was also the fact that David wasn't the most attractive guy in the world, but Jay took exception to that one.

Then again, David thought, Jay didn't have problems with getting girls. Actually, he'd never had problems getting girls. So if you thought about it, maybe it didn't have anything to do with looks and everything to do with attitude. Maybe being a bad boy worked and that was women really wanted. It was something that bore careful consideration.

"So, where are we going?" Jay asked, indicating with his head the brochure that was in David's hands.

He looked down and saw the one word that was circled a couple times with blue ink.

"Kahndaq."

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