31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene]

This takes place the night of Ep. 30-31, after Alycia is back at the AEGIS facility.

Next Day scene between Leo and Alycia starts here.

I sit in the white cell. A table and bench have extruded from one wall, a flat keyboard and screen embedded in them. It’s some sort of sandboxed virtual machine pretending to be a computer, painfully slow, and running some highly customized version of Windows, but it can connect (after a fashion) to the district Google Docs site, so I can check out the syllabus, reading, and homework assignments.

It’s like trying to assemble an engine wearing oven mitts, but I’m hoping it will be a temporary arrangement.

It’s the first night of the semester, so the homework level is (I gather from others’ comments) lower than usual, so there’s that. But the AP and XP classes I’m taking don’t waste time, so I’m staying up later than I’d care to so as to not start off at a deficit.

It takes me a half-hour to suss out how to get the special characters I need for Calc. I have a particular curse word in mind and practice how many languages I know it in. I can’t converse, or even read, in all of them, but being in the proximity of crooks and mercs from around the globe is good for expanding certain elements of the vocabulary.

I have special dispensation to stay up as long as I need to in order to work in homework. Joy. I have no doubt one of the reason the system runs so slow, beyond a dozen firewalls and anti-malware gates, is because every keystroke is being tested and simulated to make sure I’m not secretly hacking into NORAD or some similar skulduggery.

Silliness. It’s a lot more practical, and fun, to physically break into NORAD than hack into it.

My head is nodding as I pivot from Calc to the History reading. It’s not a pleasant prospect – a lot of primary sources (good), hand-selected by American government education departments (bad), to produce a populace-pleasing narrative, just enough breast-beating to appease what passes for liberals here, while maintaining the thread of exceptionalism and nationalism that this particular oligarchy prefers. I spot three misquotations in the first piece, elisions (some marked, some not) that would paint the first North American settlers in a far less complementary light were the original text included.

Still, even concentrating on the material that way, it’s hard to stay awake. I catch my head drooping with a start multiple times. It’s both the hour and the stressful day – school, memory shenanigans (still trying to process that, but not right now, dammit), then Jason’s idiocy, bombs in the playroom, verbal fencing with Parker.

Jason really needs to do something about security – and I should know, having broken in there before. Should I tell him? Will he resent it? Will he trust me?
Will any of them?

The door slides open to my cell. I’m instantly swinging around on bench, senses alert, the cool air I’ve grown used to suddenly warm, stuffy –

“Alycia --”

It’s Jason, holding tightly to the edge of the cell door. There’s something, something wrong, but I can’t quite –

“Why --?”

He collapses in a heap as a I run forward to him. Now, suddenly, I realize what’s wrong – the pool of blood beneath, blood all over him, his nanobots are missing, and the bullet wounds are clear, obscene pockmarks on his pale chest.

“Back you go,” says Parker, voice calm, almost mocking, holding a gun on me. “I don’t know how you got out, or why you killed poor, dear Mr. Quill, but I’m sure a jury, and the Congress of the United States will find it quite necessary to hang you by the neck until you are dead, dead --”

My foot lashes out, kicking the gun to the side, then as I pivot I grab her head and smash it into the edge of the cell door, leaving her to slump to the ground as I turn back to –

“Alycia – why? Why didn’t you --?” and then he’s gone and I’m holding him and screaming, until I realize the screams are the alarm shrieking, and I recognize my exposure, with a dead Jason Quill, a dead or dying Agent Parker, and I’m on my feet running down –
-- the corridor, lined with barred cells, most of them empty, but there, slumped over an interrogation table, McIntyre, pale blue foam about her mouth, staring at me accusingly with dead eyes, saying, “Ms. Chin. Ms. Chin --”

“Ms. Chin.”

I start awake. Still in the cell. No blood at the door. No door visible, as usual.

“Ms. Chin, if you’re ready for sleep–”

“No,” I say, quickly. “I’m fine. Just – let me finish this chapter.”

“Very well.” The filtered voice of my keeper falls silent.

Well, that was interesting. I don’t like dreams. They’re too often a conduit for worries, concerns, anger, fear, things I can control during the day. At night –

I go back to the reading. Comparing and contrasting selections from English, French, and Spanish explorers and early settlement leaders and members. Neatly framed to couch the French as flighty and uncommitted, the Spaniards as greedy and envious and ultimately lazy, the English as doughty and forthright, religious dissenters seeking freedom (for their own theocratic impulses), poor folk seeking land (or a respite from gaol), explorers pushing into the wilderness (and befriending, then betraying, the aboriginal population). All of them foreigners, strangers, seeking their own personal goals, crossing the sea on tiny wooden ships, braving storms, bad food, mutiny – sinking –

-- there’s water in the cell, and I have to get out of there. I splash to the door. Something has gone wrong. Underground security center – has a pipe burst.
I’m at the door, hammering at it, looking through the window that’s never been there before. Parker is turning a huge valve wheel – cutting off the flood, right, but the water surges more around my feet, climbing rapidly.

She looks over. “Fair’s fair,” she mouths, and I pound at the door, screaming, as the water rises higher, wet, warm, crimson, it’s blood, and I’m about to –

I snap back awake before my forehead has slumped to the keyboard again. Shit. That’s a memory I didn’t need to have dredged up, not now, not when I’m finally –

I focus my eyes back on the reading on the screen. We’re moving on to encounters with the aborigines – leading mostly to genocides to the north, but the foundation of slave trade to the center and south – tribes put to work in mines, plantations, too vulnerable to Eurasian diseases to serve that way reliably, thus the need to bring in new slaves, generations bred and born to serve, to fight, to –

The lights go out, leaving just the glow of the monitor, the keyboard. But something’s out there. I can hear it. Movement, the slight tick and scrape of metal against metal.

A giggle. Female. No, two of them.

Faintly glowing eyes in the darkness. A pair, then another.

“Come out and play, Alycia.”

I’m silent. If I don’t answer, if I’m quiet, maybe they can’t see me.

“We know what you want, Alycia.”

“We want it, too.”

The fembots. I only can see their eyes, looking down at me from across the cell.

“You like Jason.”

“A lot.”

“We like him, too.”

“We were made for each other.”

“Maybe we can be friends --”

“-- and play together --”

“-- too, Alycia.”

“Right --”

"-- now!”

They move out of the darkness into the glow of the monitor, and I can see them now, their same perky-pretty heads, but with the robotic spider legs beneath finally revealed, standing two meters tall or better, scuttling toward me with fixed, hungry grins, and there’s nowhere to run, but I run anyway, past where the walls should be, I know there’s something else out there, waiting, but I have to get –

“Ms. Chin.”

My head jerks up again.

“That’s enough for now, Ms. Chin. You can finish your reading on the drive to the school tomorrow.”

“Fine. Just – fine.” I wave vaguely at the cameras, then prep for bed with all the appropriate use of the facilities. Other people might feel squeamish at being observed all through that. Serving in the field, spending a few months at Zhukov, plenty of opportunity to have shed body modesty when need be.

The lights dim as the sleeping cot extends from the wall opposite where the desk had been. The air has warmed to remove the need for blankets; the head of the cot has some sort of integrated pillow that’s uncomfortable, but I’ve used worse.

“Alarm at 0600,” the filtered voice replies. “Good night, Ms. Chin.”

“Sleep tight,” I tell my keepers, lying flat on my back. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite…”

I take a deep breath, which turns into a yawn. I don’t want to do this, not now. Can I stay awake?

I always hated bed bugs, or any sort of vermin. You can get used to anything, they say, and I can do what’s needful for the mission, but thinks crawling on my skin still make – well, make my skin crawl.

And they’re there, too. I can feel them, all over. Goading me. Driving me. I can’t just lie there. I get up, running out of my cell, down darkened corridors, shadowy shapes in the cells I pass –

I know what I’m running from – what am I running toward. What I’m always running from, always running toward. Even now. Can’t I change things? Even now? Even in my dreams?

“I gave you the world,” the voice says from behind me. I run harder. It sounds a bit like Parker, but I know it’s not.

“I gave you life. Training. Every opportunity to make me proud.” The voice is closer, more familiar. I’m running through puddles again, to the ankles, to the knees, wading through something, too dark to see, but the sickly-sweet, copper stench tells me it’s blood again.

A ladder, leading up, out of the blood. I jump for it, grabbing on, bare feet slipping-sticky on the cold metal, legs and arms pumping to carry me up, away, out of –

I’m in the Keynome Chamber, back in Federal City (though it looks just like the Lima Installation control room, the way things do in dreams).

“I gave you purpose,” says the voice from the large chair facing the master control panel. The chair slowly pivots, as he turns to face me.

Father. A smile on his lips, that one he got when executing a plan.

The top of his head is missing, open like a bowl.

“I didn’t --” I begin.

“I gave you a cause worth dying for,” he cuts me off. He gets to his feet, tall as when I was nine, looking down at me, with that smirk he has. "And what did you do? What did you do?"

“I – had --”

“You took my brain, daughter,” he says. There’s a saw in his hand. “So I will take yours.”

I finally scream when the cold metal touches my forehead.

And sit up on the cot, the sound of my voice still echoing in the cell, heart pounding, drenched in sweat, gulping air, bile in the back of my throat…

“Ms. Chin?” comes the voice, mechanical, unemotional.

“Just thinking about – high school,” I say at last, hating the tremor in my voice. “Tests. You probably don’t remember.”

“Good night, Ms. Chin. Sweet dreams.”

I show them. I don’t sleep at all the rest of the night.

author: *** Dave H.
url: Community Forums: 31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene] | Roll20: Online virtual tabletop

That’s not creepy at all.
Leo had something he wanted to talk to her about, and it sounds like we had all day Tuesday, but if she wasn’t in a mood to talk (and this might be why), we can schedule that some other time. On the OTHER hand, if you are active and interested, it could probably follow thematically from this.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6242442

As noted elsethread, I’m definitely game.

If approached on Tuesday at school, it’s not going to be so much mood as being really pretty tired. :slight_smile:

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6242534

(That said, I’m going to be out of pocket for much of the afternoon / early evening.)

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6242536

With Monday being game night, I’m not 100% sure we’ll wrap by then, but I’ll get the ball rolling anyway, and we’ll see what happens. :slight_smile:

Leo has a lot on his mind - maybe this isn’t the right time for this. But some of what he wants to say might ease that mental burden, on himself, and on Alycia Chin. Be in control of what you reveal, and when. And there’s an opportunity to speak to her, at lunch time. As he half-expected, she’s off by herself.

He approaches - this is school, it’s Alice Chan, Alice Chan, like Charlie Chan, the brilliant Chinese detective who can smell bullshit a mile away, the one who always seems quiet but is always thinking - and sees she looks wiped out. Well good, it’s not just me.

There’s no preamble, just periodic scans of the area to see if anyone’s too close, snooping. “I said I’d support you being part of the team,” he says, bluntly. “I meant that. That’s not just ‘you can join’. It’s ongoing. You don’t have history with us. Well, most of us. So I’ll fill you in if you have questions or need to know something. Ask now or ask later, up to you.”

He settles in, casserole plate in one hand - god damn I miss the hot dogs, that chili and cheese they made, ugh it was so greasy and so good - and stares. “I only need one thing. Tell me the truth. ‘I don’t know’ can be true. So can ‘I don’t feel like telling you’. But don’t lie to me. Are you willing to give me that?”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6242587

Alycia looks up as he approaches, more openly than her covert glances at anyone coming nearby. She’s got the veggie plate; she’s not a strict vegetarian, but it looked like the least unhealthy of the options (and, possibly but not certainly, the least ecologically impactful).

She brings up her smirk like raising shields, a scosh slower than usual. It’s been a hard day so far. She’s used to fatigue, but usually in the context of doing something – staying awake in class after zed-zero sleep worth the name the previous night is turning out to be more difficult than expected.

But Leo’s approach takes her mind off of celery sticks and dreamrooms full of blood, gives her something to focus on, spinning up the engines, powering up the weapons, summoning the diplomacy team to the bridge –

Oh, good. Let’s talk to the hypergenius toymaker while half-groggy. That should end well. That stupid French academy had nap rooms. Another fine idea that the Americans would hear nothing of. She takes a sip of over-steeped black tea, desperate for some caffeine.

I should put this off. But – I need to secure my position. After last night – “Have a seat,” she says, politely, gesturing across the table.

A smile. “I’m not so much into truth or dare, but I’m willing to be truthful to at least the extent of ‘I don’t feel like telling you.’ I trust --” Her nostrils flare slightly. “-- I can count on the same.” She cocks her head. “So, ‘questions’ – how about, is this welcome acceptance a matter of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’? Or did your handler – Waters, was it? – give you instructions regarding bringing me in?”

author: *** Dave H.
url: Community Forums: 31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene] | Roll20: Online virtual tabletop

Leo actually laughs at that, but it sounds more like a squeak as he cuts it off to avoid attracting attention from nearby students. “Waters doesn’t tell me what to do. He tells me what not to do. And then I do it anyway and he’s like yeah, we’ll make that work.”

He grows more serious. “You’ll always get the truth I know at the time, to the extent that I know it. So let’s start with some examples.”

“First, I don’t like you. You hurt my friend Jason. My friends matter to me. But I’m letting that slide 'cause he did. You might change my mind about you. But in the meantime, if I don’t look pleased to see you, that’s why.”

His mind flashes back to the talk with Stingray, and before that, Waters. Everyone wants to tell their story. Give them an opportunity. “Second, I’m still going to work with you. That means, someday, one of our asses will be on the line, and it’ll be the other’s turn to save 'em. I want you to have plenty of reasons to save mine. And I promise you, whatever else happens, I’ll do my damnest to save yours.”

“Third. We probably have more in common than you like. I know your father by reputation. You probably know mine, too. The Minion Maker, Rossum.” He pulls out his phone, pulls up the grainy video extracted from Pneuma after the airport rescue, and flips the device around in his hand to let it play for a few seconds.

His voice is bleak. “I never cooperated with my dad’s agenda. So I won’t pretend to know what your life was like. But I think I know a little.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6242750

Alycia raises an eyebrow to Leo’s commitment to complete honesty but refrains from comment.

His final revelation, though draws a less guarded reaction. She stares at him a long moment, before nodding. “Huh. Yes, that explains quite a --” She nods some more. “Complements on your work. Very professional. Remarkable simulacra. I know a bit about your father’s creations – mine did business with him a few times, piece work, bits of tech that made sense to contract out. Father’s robotic inclinations are – mostly straightforward. Spy bots. Assassin bots. Hi-tech, well built, but brute force, if applied subtly. Rossum had some innovative tech Father found --”

She shakes her head, chuckles softly. “Sorry. You probably don’t want to talk about Rossum. My condolences on being part of the Mad Scientist Father Club. Perhaps we should start a support group.”

“As to the rest --” The smile vanishes. “-- I am a child of duty. I take my responsibilities deadly seriously. You don’t have to like me for me to ‘have your back.’ Indeed,” she adds, the smile back, “I don’t have to like you, either.”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243041

Leo shrugs. “I don’t need you to either, so we’re fine there.”

The comments on robotics weren’t clear to him at first, but something about it bothers him. Some word. As he hears “I don’t have to like you”, he naturally flashes back to the only two girls who do, and it becomes clear.

“Simulacra. Are you talking about Summer and Aria?”

He raises his casserole fork, glances at it, sees it’s still got casserole on it, puts it in his mouth briefly to clean it, and starts making poking motions with it for emphasis.

“They’re not spies or assassins. They’re people. Like you and me. Their lives are their own to lead. They’re not products of my father’s tech either, except indirectly in one sense I don’t want to talk about. But their existence is my work, not his.”

“I think you’ll find most of the the team has some kind of daddy issue. Jason’s you know. Concord’s dad is okay, for a cop, but he’s been pretty strict on his son being with us. Nobody knows Ghost Girl’s dad, so who knows. Harry’s dad helped cover up the Vyortovia-Iceland situation, which isn’t cool with us. Even Aria and Summer have had problems about being created beings, but they’re working through those, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make them comfortable with their origin.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243094

To his question, she simply nods. “Of course.”

Alycia’s smile is, if anything, broader. “You and Jason have much in common. Romantics. Pygmalion, sculpt thyself. As I said, remarkable work. You’re to be congratulated.” If you don’t lose your grip on reality over it.

“I don’t think of myself as having ‘daddy issues’ – aside from --” She shrugs. “–his trying to kill me. And his being sociopathologically mad. I’m just as happy he’s trapped in another universe.”

Alycia cocks her head again. “Or does that qualify as ‘issues’?”

author: *** Dave H.
url: Community Forums: 31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene] | Roll20: Online virtual tabletop

Leo looks incredulous. “That’s definitely issues. Don’t act like that’s normal.”

He pokes air with the fork again. “Dads aren’t supposed to do that. Dads look out for you. Dads should be strict, but fair. Dads should set rules, but they should also accept your reality.”

That was some of my foster fathers, but not all. That was also Ted Waters, as paranoid and distant as he is.

A pit of dread opens in Leo’s stomach as a moment of self-realization shows him that this is what he’s doing, right now.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243232

“Don’t kid yourself, Leo. Neither you nor I know what ‘dads’ are supposed to be like. Nor do the happy peppy Hollywood screen writers who inform the rest of this country.”

She pauses. Looks to the side. “Fathers should inspire. Fathers should lead. Guide. Shape. Discipline, as needed to those ends.” She pauses. “Be loyal. Protect. Challenge.” Another pause. “Model.”

She takes a celery stick, mimicking his fork gestures. “My father was --” Another pause. She’s looking at him, but not reacting at all for a few moments. Then she smiles again. “-- a brilliant man. He taught me a lot. A great man … who lost his way. Who lost sight of the individual in his dedication to the cause. Which made him – a monster.” A shrug. “So, issues. But an inspiration to be better. To learn that lesson. To care for people, not just principles.”

She spreads her arms. “Thus my being here, not off in Tahiti, basking on a beach.” She takes a bite of the celery. “Is that heroic enough a sentiment to meet your qualifications, Leo?”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243462

Leo shrugs. “Bet I had more dads than you,” he mutters, but he won’t push this too hard. Instead, he keeps listening.

At “to care for people,” he visibly softens.

“I know this about Dads. They don’t get to turn you into a weapon. At the end of the day, people are what matter most. I don’t need to be rich and famous. If we can keep people from hurting, that’s all I ask for. I hope, I really hope you get that. Haven’t people messed with your head enough?”

He lets out a sigh, and sets the fork down.

“At first, you sounded like you wanna play games, but I don’t think that’s it. I think you’re wearing a mask because you’re afraid of being seen as yourself, or your dad welded it on - metaphorically. Well, that’s fine. I’m not here to remove your mask. You’ll take it off when you’re ready, just like I did.”

He mimes biting down on a thumb and makes a pulling motion, then makes a throwing motion with a closed fist. “But if you do that finger gun bullshit at me, here’s a hand grenade right back atcha.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243615

“I suppose this is where I make a wry comment about how we all wear masks, even when we pull off the ones that someone else formed for us. Let’s just say I did, and move on.”

Alycia looks at Leo quietly for a few moments. “You stepped out of the food line, moved to the center of the room, spotted me, and came here directly. You moved with purpose, but with care not to disturb the patterns of others. They were in fact disturbed, but they gave way to you, not the reverse. Not consciously, but just through your presence. You affected the geometry of the room without aggression or malice or even overt ego. That’s – intriguing.”

She rubs the bridge of her nose. “In the interests of honesty, then. I want to be on this team, whatever my Father turned me into, or what I’m turning myself toward. I appreciate your acceptance, even if it shows what seems an appalling lack of caution. Which I find difficult to believe, just with what you’ve revealed to me. You make puzzles as well as toys, Leo Snow.”

Alycia shifts to a carrot stick, takes a nibble. “People are what matter most. In the aggregate, and as individuals. Forget one or the other, and you threaten both. A lesson I’ve had driven home to me. And, from his little speech last evening, so has Jason.” She leans forward. “Though I won’t be quitting on you any time soon.”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243799

Leo smiles, and it’s as real and genuine as anything.

“I have a dream. I want the world to be happier than it is. I want people like us to use our powers to make it so. Sometimes we fight for peace, as strange as it sounds. If you’re in that with me, if you’re able to balance that paradox like I’ve tried to, then maybe I’ll grow to like you after all.”

He stands to leave, and pauses. “I promised ongoing support. Test that, as much as you need to trust it. And I’ve got more projects someone like you could tackle - a lot more. We’ll get to those in time, and they’re always voluntary. For now, well, thanks for listening to my bullshit.”

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243852

“I called you a romantic, and a romantic you are. For myself, I’ll settle for striking back at those who would make the world – would make people – _un_happy. Perhaps we can meet in the middle on that.”

“I’ll give that offer of support, and fun and exciting projects, a try – if I ever get out of nick. Keep a candle burning in the window for me, won’t you? And don’t worry about the ‘bullshit’ – I’m used to hearing all sorts of it when I’m gathering intelligence from people.” She takes a bit of carrot. “See you in study hall, Leo.”

author: *** Dave H.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243922

Hopefully that was relevant to Alycia’s current woes, as well as a useful exercise in finding voice. Thanks for letting me jump in - I think it was a good way to establish their relationship. No idea on what kind of nightmares he’ll give her, though.

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6243938

[I had real troubles with the nightmare sequence, largely because I wanted to fit in all the characters (and a few more from her past besides), and couldn’t come up with flow that worked. So the bit I had in mind for Leo was left out, but it may well come up in the future. And, should this conversation come back to haunt her, I have an idea what that might look like, too. :slight_smile:
_Good stuff on all counts, yes. Thanks.]

author: *** Dave H.
url: Community Forums: 31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene] | Roll20: Online virtual tabletop

Alycia leans over her tray, nibbling the carrot. I can see why he’s de facto leader of the group, to the extent that anyone is. He seems sincere in all of that caring and compassion and making the world happy rhetoric, and he has the will to action to make it happen. Interesting.

She watches him make his way over to the tray drop-off. Also amusing. He’s more self-conscious about the crowd after I talked with him. He’s letting others get in his way. Not intentionally, I suspect, but – it means he can be influenced. Good to know.

Another bite. Him and Jason, though – remarkable. Peas in a pod of sentimentality and projection and magical thinking. Pygmalions indeed, besotted by their Galateas. ‘How can you say that? You can’t talk that way about her.’ ‘They’re people. Like you and me. Their lives are their own to lead.’

She thinks about that Hungarian who worked for her father for a time, the one with the big mustache – Bajusz. He named his highly customized rifle, talked to it, praised it for good shots it made. A bit different case – the gun didn’t talk back, and wasn’t shaped like a pretty girl. But that only points to how much easier and seductive (in so many ways) it can be to anthropmorphize the fembots.

Off course Bajusz was a bit of a nutcase in other ways, though a hell of a marksman. Killed by Brazilian soldiers in '14, as she recalls. I’m not sure what happened to the rifle.

Alycia ponders matters for a moment. I need to interact with the fembots more. Get a better feel for their response parameters, their interaction algorithms. Even if they give me the willies. Are they sensitive enough to what the boys need that they are adapting to it, amplifying the effect? Or were they designed to do that? Or is someone else manipulating them? Or –

That last, unvoiced option is, ironically, the most fearful. She slides her thoughts away from it. Understanding them better will help me understand their masters better. It’s all about watching your back, Leo, and Jason’s, too – even if you’d probably disagree. Maybe violently. I have to be prepared for that.

She remembers when one of the recruits tried to insist to Bajusz that his gun was just a gun. Father was royally pissed about losing a prospective soldier that way, but Bajusz was too valuable an asset to punish appropriately, and nobody ever bugged him about it again. I’m not here to burst their bubble. Just to understand how thick a bubble it is, and how it might affect their actions on the team.

Team. It is still an odd, uncomfortable concept. She assumes that will change, given time and experience. She’s even looking forward to it, which is an uncomfortable feeling as well.

She gets up to bus her tray, too. Patience, that’s what she needs. It’s always been a struggle for her, lessons in discipline from Father notwithstanding, but with what she has within reach, she can’t afford an error at this point.

She ponders the motto of the Finnish sniper units of WW2. Wait, Watch, Act.

Words to live by.

author: *** Dave H.
url: Community Forums: 31.5 - Nightfall [Cutscene] | Roll20: Online virtual tabletop

The comedy coda (especially in a universe that matches my headcanon of Taz being Agent 1337) is that Taz walks by Alycia, says “hey, you look kinda down. Chin up,” and finger-guns her, before continuing to trail Leo at a safe distance.

I’m amused by Alycia’s focus on “the fembots”, but I can see the potential roots of it clearly: meeting Summer, her making a first (wrong) impression, a brief glimpse of a hologram of herself at Jason’s house - if I saw all those things, I’d pretty clearly think there was a creepy robot-girl thing going on with these boys too. We’ve seen the interactions between Summer and Jason, and some of that will transfer to Summer and Alycia. But having her talk with Aria - or Otto - will be a whole different story. :slight_smile:

author: Bill G.
url: https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/6245179