19.1 - A Debrief Interlude [Joe's Tale]

So we get back to the academy, and Roddy and Gothwitch get whisked off by Ms. Selma –

Yes, I was involved in their debriefing.

Oh. Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Um –

No, I can’t talk about it. Just like I keep your sessions confidential.

Oh, right, um, sure, that makes sense, too. So the Headmaster pops up, along with Fryth and Arizella, and whisks us all inside real quick before space lasers or something happens, so that was kind of creepy. Oh, Arizella was kind of quietly checking us out, to see if were okay, and she’s looking at me, and I keep glancing over at Mette, cause I’m still worried about her, and back and forth with the eyes so that the Princess will get the idea.

Did Mette notice?

Nah, she was busy looking back toward where Roddy and Gothwitch had been hustled away to. Anyway, the Headmaster debriefed us. He didn’t seem too happy that I broke the table. Though only a little bit.

You were acting in protection of your friend.

Yeah. Mette said so, too. At least he was glad I didn’t punch any of the HHLers.

Though, as I recall you saying, you wanted to.

If they’d given me a reason, yeah. Right in the nose.

You don’t think that might have been more difficult to do than just saying it.

Not saying I would’ve won. Not saying I wouldn’t’ve. But I’ll bet I could have gotten someone in the nose, at least once.

So, you were talking with the Headmaster, and Professor Fryth.

Yeah. So he did talk about how whatever happened with Golem happened on this boat, some sort of big event, and GW had to go full Amethyst Fairy to stop him, and there was still a lot of blood, people sent to the hospital or stuff. So … I kinda get why she was freaked out.


Then Fryth chimes in, and instead of being all, “Hey, Kiln, let me tell you about ancient history,” he’s actually asking questions like a human being, and Arizella says she’s gonna do some research on Fluvis – he’s the Great Enemy evil god thing that Kiln’s people used to fight against, and who Golem’s acting like a possessed slave of.

It seems – complicated.

I know. And both past and future stuff colliding, which is where things went next, which I wasn’t happy about.

In what way?

Alex starts noting that Mette keeps flashing on stuff from the future perspective – like the whole “HHL will be canceled” thing. So he suggests just starting to feed her data and see what she remembers. And that sounds like a very not good idea to me, because it’s not like stick a dollar into the candy machine and get a candy back – Mette gets upset about the things she finds out, and they don’t happen all the time, and I don’t want her to … I dunno, to break or something.

How did Mette react?

She didn’t seem thrilled. She did tell them about the HHL getting “canceled” … and that Golem was the traitor that, like, destroyed the Earth of her future.l

How did they – I’m sorry, this is your session.

Believe me, I understand your curiosity. She did say that the future wasn’t fixed, like in that old Terminator movie – no fate but what we make. She says she’s already seen some things change from the timeline she knew about. So people seemed kinda relieved about that. And the Headmaster, he was all, the HHL invited us, we’re an official club, and GothWitch is, like, hero of the day, so we weren’t likely to be in trouble. Ditto the Academy.

Well, that’s good.

Yeah. Though it might be kinda cool, the HHL charging into the school, and, like, the whole student body turning out to fight them.

I – don’t think that would be cool.

Nah, you’re probably right …

You look like you still think it would be cool.



And then Alex reports he got some intel from AEGIS about a couple places Golem had visited that maybe was where he got infected. Buncha stuff about ancient artifacts that maybe got stolen – the thing we were in on the docks when we first arrived, remember that? – and Golem following up on stuff, quietly. Like in the Canary Islands and also in like the mountains in Central Europe somewhere. So … sounds like a field trip, maybe.

How do you feel about that?

Well … not where I wanted to be going, y’know? Africa? Find out more about all this … and maybe … but there’s connections and stuff, so maybe I’ll learn more this way, too.

Did you inform the Headmaster about all this?

Yeah. He’s like asking me, so does Alex have a backdoor into the HHL computers, which he just said on his call with AEGIS, and I tried to cover a bit for him, but Hellbinder wasn’t having it, y’know. But he’s all, to us, you guys are maybe our best chances of figuring out about Fluvis and all, so do what you gotta, just keep the grades up, and, yeah, most important, report stuff back and ask for help if you need it.


Yeah. Wasn’t quite a pep talk, but it wasn’t completely creepy – though …


I mean, I know he’s the Headmaster, but I also know he’s got an old history as a bad guy once, so …

Are you questioning if you can trust him?

No, I think we can. Mostly. But … this is also pretty big stuff. Big players – HHL, AEGIS, now the Academy, and of course this Fluvis guy. And we’re in the middle. I mean, we’re good, but … are we good enough?

There might – if the circumstances call for it – be an opportunity to punch someone’s nose in this. If appropriate. And with due care for your strength vs the person you are … assaulting.

Ah. (Cracks very large knuckles.) Yeah. We’re good enough.