11.1 - Tunnel Vision

Step 1, spy on my teammates, check. Of course this is step 1 of all my plans these days. But enough of that depressing thinking.

Step 2, find what Mette is looking for under that statue, check. Using my colossal brain, plus some borrowed AEGIS drones, I achieved the impossible! Well, the extremely possible and not even moderately expensive. But I’m patting myself on the back anyway, god dammit.

Step 3, objective judo.

I have three options here, in increasing order of risk.

  1. Anonymously let Mette know about what’s in the tunnel. This goes nowhere else for me, it’s just a Christmas present.

  2. Tell her up front, and try to swing it like a favor I’m doing her, that she can repay me for later. AEGIS needs her and absolutely needs to avert whatever future risk she’s personally prepping for, and I’m one way to help with that effort.

Buuuuuut, I feel like I’m okay on leverage already. That leaves

  1. Involve Joey.

Joey hasn’t been creeping on Mette the way some people have, but he’s definitely got some unresolved yearnings if his case notes are anything to go by. Part of my assignment is keeping that guy stable, but also exposing his deeper psychological profile.

So what if… we give Joey the information needed to find what’s in the tunnel, and have him bring it up with her? If it’s a good thing she finds, she’ll be grateful to him, hooray. If it’s a bad thing, he’ll be along to protect her, which seems to make him happy. Either way, he’s in like Flint.

So what’s the scenario? This is the easy one.

Joey: “Well, Mette, you sure look nice today, gowrsh”
Mette: “this is a simulated discussion, get to the god damn point”
Joey: “sorry. Anyway, since coming to this school, I wanted a place to hide out and be myself, and I found these tunnels, and explored them”
Mette: “like the Phantom of the Opera”
Joey: “I’m more into UK trance, but yeah. Anyway, there’s a thing I found there and I’d like to show it to you.”
Mette: “fangirl squee!”

The hard part is selling this story to Joey without immediately looking totally suspicious.

The simple but boring alternative is to tell Mette myself, but mention that Joey gave me the idea, and just let him know ahead of time to play along.

The practical considerations: I’d need to prep a map for Joey, then make sure he doesn’t get lost. Walk him through it a couple times, maybe.

Boy, this is gonna be a challenge.

What fun!


I’ve got an idea! It’ll go like this.

Me: hey Joey, we might need to sneak around school to keep an eye on further Hellbinder shenanigans, so I’ve been scouting the tunnels around here
Joey: oh good, because I want to smash that guy’s face in!
Me: I know because I’m spying on you all like a d-bag but let’s set that aside. Take Mette and go check this place out
Joey: why Mette?
Me: would you rather take Roddy or Kiln?
Joey: no, because I’m a predictable thirsty teenager
Me: right! Off you go.

I’m such a genius.

1 Like

Oh look, more anxiety.

The thing is, I’m not just doing this to figure out what makes Joey tick. I know what makes him tick. Or, well, I think I know.

I got to thinking about it when I was requisitioning some bionic upgrades from Department 42. These aren’t just gadgets. These are part of my body. Someone else is going to be making changes to something that’s, well, me.

That’s one reason I’m so sympathetic to people like Joey. Something was done to him, and he wants it undone. I think maybe deep down he likes the power but doesn’t like being stuck with it. I think if he had the ability to change form, he might enjoy that most of all.

What would that be? Gene-fluid? Pan-primate?

I’d probably tick him off if I talked about this.

Everyone’s got their own problems. We don’t really talk about this kind of stuff with each other. I think we have more in common than we’d ever admit. But we just zoom in on our own problems. And as smart as I am, I don’t know how to fix that. Even when it’s me.