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Nishiura Magic School.

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Everyone knelt there, heads bowed, feeling as helpless and furious as Shino’oka did. She wanted to fight, wanted to do something. But she was terrified. Just like everyone else. She looked around at the group of people in front of her. They had all given up, and soon enough so would she. She felt her legs start to give out on her and she sighed, about to let herself fall. That was until someone lifted their chin and stood up. Shino’oka recognised her. Her name was Momoe, she had been the cellmate next to her. A loud, reckless woman that had had her fair share of mad guards at her cell, slamming metal rods onto them to calm her down. However, that had only worked to make her even worse. Shino’oka had a weird sort of respect for her. She admired the way that she never gave up, never stopped fighting, even when everyone else was ready to fall on their knees and call it quits.

“We can still fight!” Momoe shouted, bringing the attention of her peers over to her instead of their dark thoughts.

“And how would you propose we do that? They have weapons to neutralise our powers. We have no way to defeat them,” one of the people from the crowd spoke up, slightly looking up to meet Momoe’s eyes. Shino’oka could see pain in them, fear and grief.

“If we hit them before they have the time to hit us, then we have the upper hand,” Momoe explained. Shino’oka had to admit it was a good idea. But with half the people not ready to use their powers, it could go sour any minute and they would just be back where they started. They wouldn’t be able to deal with it if that was the case. They had to do it smart or not at all. It was better not to act if the plan was bad, than to act and have a harsher imprisonment because they tried to overthrow them.

“Do you want to keep this place as it is or do you want to make it something better? Not only for us but for everyone outside these walls struggling to keep their power in check. If we don’t act now it’s just a matter of time before they start piling in here too,” There was silence as the room thought over what Momoe had said. The whole reason for the uprising had been to make the prison something better, something worth staying in that could help them instead of hurt them. Shino’oka could feel hope bloom in her heart and, judging by the looks of the people closest to her, so did the group around her.

“We need to act fast and smart. So we ask you again, do you have a plan?” Momoe nodded, her face showing nothing but bravery.

 

The inmates met in the rec room that afternoon, sitting on chairs in a circle, a map of the prison in front of them.

“So this is the plan. When the soldiers come to give you your food grab their arm,” Everyone gave Momoe a confused look.

“Their arm?”

“Yes, their arm. I’ve seen that the soldiers seem to carry the keys to our handcuffs on them at all times and for some reason they place them on the cuff of their sleeves. If I had to say anything, I would call it stupid. However, that stupidity has worked in our favour. When you remove the handcuffs you’ll be able to freely use your power, so find anyway you can to unlock your cell door without making too much noise,” Momoe looked around for nods of confirmation. When she got them she continued to tell them her plan. Shino’oka smirked, this was a solid plan, she could guess what Momoe was going to say. The only thing left to do for her plan was to take out the guards before they had a time to realise that they were out of their cells. It seemed easy, and now that they actually had a plan it seemed like everyone was ready to do as Momoe said. Shino’oka couldn’t help but think how awesome Momoe was again. She had come up with this plan and was ready to risk her life for to make sure no one else suffered like they had. “So did everyone understand what they need to do?”

There were nods all around the group as smiles erupted from their faces.

“What about you Shino’oka?” Shino’oka jumped. Momoe knew her name? Since when? She felt a blush come to her face as she nodded, giving the elder woman a massive grin. Momoe smiled softly back at her. “They finally listened didn’t they?”

“It was about time they did,” Shino’oka responded, fiddling with her hands nervously. “Thanks for giving us a chance to change this hellhole for the better.”

“It was nothing, this should've been done ages ago,”

Before Shino’oka could say anything in reply, the guards came in to tell them it was time to go to their cells. Dinner could come in a few hours. The two women stood up and made their way back to their block. The plan turned over and over in Shino’oka’s head. She hoped everything went ok. She couldn’t help but worry about every little that could go wrong when the plan went underway. The plan depended on everyone not giving up halfway, it depended on everyone wanted freedom as much as Momoe did, to be able to fight for what they believed like Momoe did. The iron door to her cell was closed and Shino’oka was left to her thoughts until her dinner was delivered. She knew what she had to do, and she didn’t want to bring anyone down, but she was started to worry. What if she wasn’t strong enough to fight back like the rest of the inmates were? She tried to push the thoughts away. There was no point in thinking like that. She just had to focus on the task at hand and help the others as best as she could.