1 hour until the exam begins
The sounds of message notifications interrupted the meeting the hero team was holding. Katsuki scowled and pulled his phone from his pocket, seeing a simple message pop up; a live-streaming link sent to his phone from… who the hell was this?
He paused and tapped the link, throwing the feed to one of the screens in the room, drawing the attention of his classmates. The screen was covered in glitched-out static that slowly faded to black on red, a shape coalescing in the darkness.
Soon the shape, which many of them recognized as Midoriya Izuku, came into focus, though the details were still cast in deep shadows. He was wearing some sort of hat with two feathery shapes that looked similar to the bunny ears of his hero costume sticking off the sides.
“Hello, heroes,” came a low drawl, one that shocked most of Class 1-A with its change from the usual nervous stuttering they were used to hearing. It was scratchy, almost dry sounding. But more important was the tone. It was… cold. Threatening in a way they had never heard from the ball of green sunshine they knew and loved.
“I know that you think you are prepared for me. That you think you are ready to fight me and my team.” Iida, Kirishima, and Uraraka all glanced back to see a scowling Katsuki, eyes narrowed and focused, with Todoroki at his side.
“By all means, come for me. Hunt me. Show me what you’re made of.”
The silhouette leaned forwards, revealing that Midoriya wore a form-fitting face mask cast in the shape of a jester’s smile.
“Oh, and Kacchan, or should I say Paragon?” Midoriya chuckled, voice childish and innocent. “I hope you’re ready. This test is going to be... explosive.”
The feed cut out, and the rest of the hero team turned to look at Katsuki. He had twenty-four heroes from both Class 1-A and 1-B who had spent the last five days figuring out tactics and working on getting in sync. He had the heavy hitters of the school. The strongest, the best. And he would prove it.
“Everyone go get suited up. Get ready,” he called. “We’ll crush them as soon as we get the go-ahead.”
7 days before the exam
Classes 1-A and 1-B were gathered in the auditorium, mumbling and whispered questions flying back and forth. They stood in huddled groups, glancing up at the empty stage. The question on everyone's lips was about what they were there for. Was it about the recent capture of the hero-killer? About the results of their internships? No one knew. Less than two weeks ago they had been under internships, but now, without any warning, they were gathered.
Soon enough, the sound of a whining microphone sent winces through the crowd. They looked up, seeing the small form of principal Nedzu stand before the students on the podium.
For most of the students it only added to their confusion, but the few students who had reason to interact with the principal felt chills run down their spines.
“Welcome Classes 1-A and 1-B, it’s a pleasure that you’re all here today. Today is the start of one of our yearly exercises; the Class Civil War!” This caused more murmurs, people whispering questions amongst themselves. In the middle of the crowd, Midoriya Izuku felt a flicker of recognition. He knew of this, but he couldn't place where he had heard of it before. He thought it was off of a hero training forum… dammit.
“As you all know, a hero’s job is to be wise, powerful, and proactive against evil wherever they find it. But often, you may find the other side of the law possesses the same traits, and you must learn to adapt, to improvise and overcome!” Nedzu was moving emphatically with his words, silencing the crowd as they all focused on him. “As such, we will have two teams, the leaders of whom shall be chosen at random. However! The choice to be a hero or a villain is up to the rest of you. Do you wish to challenge yourself, to act in a new mindset as a villain, as a counterforce? Or do you wish to prove yourself as a hero, putting your potential into your dream? I can’t wait to find out! Present Mic, If you please!” With that Nedzu stepped off the podium and Present Mic took the stage.
There were a few scattered cheers from the crowd at that, along with determined grins and intense stares.
“Now we shall choose the leaders of the heroes and the villains! These positions are locked and you must accept the role. Often, circumstance is what leads to greatness or leadership, so shall it be here too! First, the leader of the heroes, the Paragon! IT IIIIIIS...” The left side screen behind the podium flickered on, the faces of students flying past… Izuku felt his pulse race, would it be him? Oh god, the nerves! The flickering faces began to slow, coming to a stop to reveal–
“BAKUGOU KKAAATTTSSSUUUUKIIIII!!!!!” Present Mic yelled, gesturing for a prideful and demonically grinning Bakugou to take his place at the right side of the podium. Behind them the image changed, a white crown animation coming to rest on Bakugou's headshot, and the Katakana for ‘Paragon’ appeared under his name. The assorted students looked interested, but some gave off the feeling of being less than enthused.
(That's important, mark them down. Just in case.)
“And now, for the villain, the Kingpin, the darkness who you will face against...!” The roll began again, flickering through faces. Suddenly he felt a shiver go up and down his spine.
He already knew what was going to happen.
As the roll call slowed, and the final picture appeared, he knew he was right.
“MIDORIYA IZZUUUKUUU!!!!!” Present Mic screamed at the world, finger pointed straight at Izuku.
Yes, there it was, green hair with a black crown animated on the brow, red background behind him. The title of Kingpin across his torso, highlighted in glowing red Katakana, and a shy smile on his photo’s expression. Without registering it, he had already made his way up to the podium. He felt like the world was glazed.
Was he having a panic attack… no, maybe? No, just feels like a minor shock. Oh. Fun. Good to know. Fuck.
Present Mic was still talking, laying out a schedule for the next week. Tomorrow at midnight was the deadline to join a team, you had to have it declared to a teacher. Rooms would be set up for each team leader to plan and organize. A rulebook would be provided after the meeting; and could the two leaders stay behind? The rest of the classes filed out, slowly growing louder as they talked and debated with each other.
Izuku was drowning that out, instead…
Instead, he was having a crisis of faith.
Should he try to truly be a villain? To go against his own deeply ingrained morals and aim to win? Or should he let the heroes, the position he held so close to his heart, take the win without a fight?
The meeting passed in a blur, Bakugou sneering and muttering curses as he listened to the rules. When Izuku was handed his copy, he began to focus once more. He picked up the basic parameters, the words piercing through the haze of dissociation.
The practical part of the exam was in seven days and would have a three-day time limit. Each team would have to be finalized and delivered to the teachers on Monday, two days from now. The five-day stretch from Tuesday to Saturday would have a lighter class load so the teams could plan, coordinate, and ready themselves.
With that, they were dismissed. Bakugou stormed out with a look on his face that screamed he was going recruiting. Izuku got up to follow, but as he left Present Mic caught his attention.
“Hey, Midoriya! Aizawa and Nedzu wanted to talk to you. After all, you need to know your objectives.”