63.1 - Adam and Jordan

“Can we go now?” Jordan asked, barely able to hold back her excitement.

“One moment, Jordan,” Khamala said flatly.” I still have questions for Adam.” She gave her son a pensive look. “This isn’t dangerous is it?”

“No, no,” Adam assured her. “I do this all the time and I take people with me," he squirmed, thinking of the right way to phrase it, "every now and then.” Khamala’s lips pursed up into a frown and Adam quickly elaborated, “I don’t have to teleport around with people all that often. I could take you somewhere real quick if you wanted.”

“Oh god no,” Khamala said, a bit surprised herself with how dismissive that sounded. “I’m just worried, Adam.”

Adam waved his hands in a pleading motion. “I promise it’ll be fine. The worst thing that will happen is Jordan will see some of my friends.” Khamala rolled her eyes at that.

“If anything comes up,” Adam said, “we’ll be right back.”

Khamala chewed her lip for a moment and then said, “Okay… but only for twenty minutes. I want both of you home before dinner.”

“Okay Momma,” Adam assured her. Jordan was already running up to him at full tilt and crashed into his side with a hug. While she squeezed, Adam disappeared in a flash of light and was replaced by Concord.

Khamala made a disappointed sign. “Can’t you do that less-“ she paused, grasping for the word with her hand, “flashy?”

“I don’t think so,” Concord said, his sigil already starting to glow on his forehead. “Jack and those guys do the same thing so-“ Concord just shrugged, not sure how to respond. He looked down to Jordan. “You ready?”

“Yeah!” Jordan said, just barely below a shout.

“Remember, be back before dinner!”

“Okay Momma, I promise.” And then they were gone.

At the Twilight Glade, Andi was sitting at the benches idly chewing on a bag of Ghost Pepper Doritos when she heard a shill shriek behind her. Instincts kicked in and she pivoted around, instantly coming to her feet with both fists clenched. Only when she was up did she notice Concord and a young girl she vaguely recognized.

Concord raises his hand and gave a weak wave. “Hey Andi, sorry. I didn’t know anyone was here.”

Andi started to say something, but was drowned out by sound of Jordan sounding “Andi!” over and over again as she ran towards her. Jordan went for an awkward hug to the thighs but Andi, with a practiced motion, scooped her up and brought her into a more controllable position.

“Hi, have we met?” Andi asked.

“Yeah at the dance when you were wearing the dress that made you look like a princess!” Andi gives a sheepish grin at Jordan before giving Concord a confused look.

“Yeah, that’s my sister Jordan,” Concord explained. “She wanted to see the Glade so…”

“Jordan?” Andi asks, her memory going trying to reach back. Suddenly her eyes light up with recognition before turning back to confusion.

“Yeah,” Concord said meekly. “That was me…”

Yeah, so I couldn’t not have the Amari kids do something together now that the secret was out and Andi seemed like the easiest target for “yeah, I’m really thirteen” in a controlled environment. I toyed with some of the Ponies, but Andi’s already part of the team as far as Adam’s concerned so it was the easiest for him to admit to it without feeling concerned about it.
It’s still hard to contextualize that I’m not going to do something with the Amaris every week after having done so for so long. It’ll probably be easier once we get started with a new game and I have another PC to plot and scheme around, but for now I think some writing will be good for that.


And an awesome picture to boot.

Oh yeah, I just remembered it’s also time to share secrets (as long as you all promise not to tell anyone).

This one may be obvious, but the scarf was/is a communication link to the rest of the Concordance. Losing Sol also involved losing his link with the Concordance at large. I imagine now that he’s on neutral-to-good terms with the Concordance trio, they probably can work something out (because I love the scarf as part of Concord’s design and I hated having to take it off for legitimate story reasons, even if I was the only one who knew why because that’s verisimilitude, dammit). It might even mean something else (more on that later).

This one is more an Easter egg than anything, but I will draw your attention to Adam Amari, the Keynome Kid’s design sheet.

There are two ways to interpret this one, but you’ll notice I stayed away from triangle with this design (as triangles are a symbol of the Concordance) except on his back. One way to take this is that Adam has literally put the Concordance behind him, but another is to say that he’s removed all connection between him and the Concordance but there’s still some he can’t see (since they’re on his back).


Just a quick heads up, I’ve got at least one more story that needs a little more writing to finish up, but if anyone wants to see anything in particular from a post-game Concord let me know.

1 Like

I can understand if Adam is (still?) upset with Summer for pushing him into undoing his rewrites, but I’m sort of curious where they stand.

We haven’t seen the Universal Concordance or its usual representatives - the most we’ve seen is three rookies sent to Planet Keynome to try to sort things out. It’s actually surprising to me that they didn’t send someone more experienced to investigate. The options seemed to be “send the newbies, and if they fail - and they probably will - obliterate the planet”. So I’m curious what the larger picture is there. If we ever ran goofy sci-fi in this setting, I’d expect that to come up again.

Related to that, I’m curious how they see Adam himself. Is he the crazy bastard who did the impossible? Is he a rogue agent? Do they tell stories about him, issue warnings, or just try to pretend like it never happened?

How does his friendship with Keri play out? Does anything change when he reaches 15-17 and girls really start noticing him? That might be further ahead in time than you’re thinking.

How do his parents resolve their conflicted feelings about his hero status? I know you’d talked about giving it up, but does that actually happen?

1 Like

I feel like most of the narrative for Jordan would happen well after events in the game ended, so I didn’t ask for anything like that. However, “kid sister to a superhero” is a fun background for any character, so I’m always down to hear how she develops.

1 Like

Actually: are the Three Concordeers alien or human*? I have had conflicting impressions from different encounters with them.

My assumption, btw, was that the Massive Shape Occluding the Stars at the end of Doyce’s final narration was the Concordance planet-killer finally arriving in-system. :sweat_smile:

[*]As in Terran homo sapiens.

I… might have missed that part.

Totally humans. Odd, slightly conflicted humans. Kinda like Adam.

To wit:

… and continue panning up and we can see the seaboard, past clouds, looking at Earth from low orbit, and back further, seeing it in a dark scrying pool, Charlotte looking at it, and starting to turn away … then turning back and frowning as something comes into view in the starfield … stars occluded … shaking head, putting down the teacup, and sighing, here we go again, and taking up her staff.

Not that my interpretation is informed by anything but pure speculation, but that’s my headcanon.

Which makes me want to learn a lot more about them and their backgrounds. Someday.

Keri’s favorite Poke Bowl was on Bank Street, crammed right between a hair salon and a Dunkin Donuts. Adam wasn’t quite sure what made this one any different from the others–it had the same plastic seats, the same menu, and the same decorations arranged in almost the same locations–but he knew she liked this one just a little bit more than all the others. It’s how he zeroed in on her when he walked into the restaurant.

Without the outfit and makeup, Keri looks remarkably different from Super Chica. With them and her normal attitude, Keri can seem like she fills up a whole room; she draws your attention and never lets it go. Today though, she just seemed small and plain picking over a bowl of shrimp.

Adam waved and quickly took a seat across from her, not grabbing anything to eat. She gave him a small smile and looked back down to her meal. Adam frowned; this wasn’t like her at all.

There was an awkward silence that only broke when Adam couldn’t stand it anymore. “Hey, what did you need to talk about?”

“Oh it’s just…” Keri started to say, but then stopped. Adam could see a nervous energy radiating off her, but it was so tied up into a knot of other emotions that he couldn’t quite tell what it was about.

“Uhm, it’s okay,” Adam said, filling the silence. “I can tell it’s bothering you. If you don’t want to-”

"They’re breaking up the JHHL.

The words hung there for a moment, neither of them knowing how to follow them up. After a long moment Keri finally said, “It was all but official before, but they told us this morning that they were ‘restructuring’ things with the HHL and that meant disbanding the junior team.”

“Oh,” was all Adam could think to say. Things had been rough with the HHL since everything with Vyortovia came to light and that public backlash had also effected anyone associated with them. He hadn’t really known anyone in the JHHL other than Keri, but it didn’t seem fair to that team that it was getting broken up because of a decision the HHL made a long while back.

“So what going to happen with the team?” Adam finally asked.

“There wasn’t much of a team anymore anyway,” Keri said with a hint of anger in her voice. “Ray is going to go do some trip thing with his dad. Kinetica and Ninjess are going to keep doing their own thing like they always did. Kid Kelvin’s got this new nemesis now he’s all wrapped up. And Bob’s been off world for like a month already, so I don’t think this’ll matter to him.”

Adam frowned and asked, “What about you?”

Keri bobbed her head side to side a wry smirk. “Well, it saved them the trouble of kicking me off the team.”

“What?!” Adam asked all too loudly. A few heads turned in their direction but quickly turned back; none of their business.

“It was coming,” Keri said, “they just wanted stuff to die down first. I… caused some trouble at DECSY. They’d warned me about starting shit over there again but some days I get so mad at…” Keri trailed off and shook her head trying to get rid of the thought.

She’d tried talking to Adam about it all before, but it never got very far. He could tell she wasn’t ready to open up about it still. From what Adam had gleaned, they were more alike than he’d ever imagined: modified by alien forces to be their agents on Earth. But where Adam had some measure of consent in the matter, Keri hadn’t.

From what Adam had found out, she’d be abducted by these aliens: the Charzo. The Charzo were some alien race looking to make sleeper soldiers in a future invasion attempt on Earth. Transcendent (who Adam still wanted to meet) had put a stop to that and rescued most of the captives. Keri was one of the fortunate ones: mostly unaffected by the Charzo brainwashing and still alive after their physiology modification experiments. She’d gained a lot from the whole experience, but that didn’t make what she’d had to go through any less horrific.

“¿Que lo wha, pana?” Keri asked. “I haven’t heard anything about the famous Menagerie lately.”

Adam gave a smirk of his own, happy for the change in subject. “We’re not doing much better. Harry’s planning a trip with Andi after graduation. Charlotte’s still figuring out the whole ‘Magus’ thing. Charade and Radiance are doing their own thing. And I just do what I can where I can.” Adam gave a light shrug, “But you know, we’re still friends.”

Keri gave a soft laugh, “Well I don’t think anyone would have ever said that about us. Those azaroso where always backstabbing, trying to get attention, you know?”

“I didn’t really know any of them other than you and I guess Kid Kelvin,” Adam said with a frown.

Keri rolled her eyes. “He was a real dick sometimes. He was getting better though, I guess,” she said but quickly amended, “but only a little.”

Adam and Keri sat there and talked for a while. She finished off a her food and had gotten a little more. Adam could tell Keri was starting to feel a little better when she started taking pictures of her bowl and texting furiously. Uploading to Instagram, if he had to guess.

About an hour later the two left, but not before Keri gave one of the line cooks a big hug and high five you could probably hear from outside–apparently they knew each other. As Adam and Keri started walking north of Bank, Keri already looking around for a good place to get out of sight.

“Hey, I saw on my phone there’s a big storm coming in,” Keri said. “Want to go make sure some boats don’t get stuck out in that?”

Adam grabbed his own phone and flipped it open. It was a little past two and Adam’s mother would want him home for dinner. “Sure but for a couple of hours.”

The two ducked into the lot behind a German restaurant and Adam flashed into Concord. He knew Keri would want to stop by her place to get changed before they did any heroics and started to lift up in flight, but stopped when Keri placed her hand on his cheek. It was a light touch and Concord stared at her in confusion.

“You were really cute when you were older,” she said. “I’m sorry you didn’t get to keep it.”

Concord paused for a moment, unsure what to think. Keri was probably the only person who wasn’t part of the Menagerie who remembered anything about the time when Adam changed the world. When he changed what everyone else remembered, he’d left her alone. Part of him had felt guilty, not wanting to be yet another person who took away control of her life. The other part of him knew that if anyone would understand, she would. And she had.

Finally, Concord smirked and leaned into her touch. “That’ll be me again. Eventually. The way it was supposed to go.”

Keri clicked her tongue and pulled her hand away. “Yeah, it was just nice for you to not just be this little kid but I guess I’ll always just be three years older than you.”

“Two,” he corrected, holding up his hand with two fingers raised. “I’m thirteen now.”

This one probably raises more questions than it answered, but I enjoyed every minute of writing it. My take on the JHHL disbanding sort of coincides with what people had talked about with someone like Tatanka taking the reins. I figure you need to tear down the old structure and rebuild, or you’ll just make something that still looks like the old one.

Keri and Adam… are complicated. This will be expanded upon further in another story. Which is to say that more stories are on the way. At least two. Maybe three (depends on how far reaching I want this to be).

Finally, is my assessment of the team too far off? I feel like the days of the Menagerie are over, but only in official capacity. Everyone’s off to do their own thing but they still see one another and, if they ever need it, the team is just an emergency signal away.

1 Like

Leo saw the whole (J)HHL team structure as a dangerous monolith, and wanted a loose federation of teen hero teams instead - cross-team training and communication replacing top-down leadership. Summer approves of that idea. To that end, yeah, she’d be doing “her own thing”, but she’d say that her own thing means working with other heroes however and whenever is needed, not just going solo. And she would absolutely show up if Adam, or anyone else, said either “come fight this dude” or “come hang out as friends” (and I’m guessing Alycia would come along for her own reasons in both cases).

To her, the Menagerie is an idea - accept kids who want to help, no matter what they did or who their parents are or whatever - and she intends to uphold that idea, even if she’s the last person left who does. There’ll always be someone else who needs the kind of support she can provide, and she’ll always need such people in return.

Funny, I was just playing with that over in the other story I was writing (and posted before I read this, though there’s no significant conflict). I’ve sort of pictured, over the two months prior to graduation, the team continuing to proceed – probably not rigidly organized, as @garrett suggests, but more of a network group, meeting often enough to still have a team-like feel, . Alycia having signed onto the idea, she’s been acting more as coordinator than super-leader, with Summer, Adam (to the extent he’s felt like it), Harry, maybe Armiger joining in, and Charlotte showing up at random intervals, all as needed by particular activities.

Maybe Keri would be interested in networking into the group, too. :grin:

And for what it’s worth, my question about their future situation wasn’t “when do they hook up”, because you’ve said before they’ve got a friendship/sibling type thing going on. I mean maybe that changes, but it seemed equally likely that Keri’s approval (or disapproval) of someone has a big impact on Adam’s eventual dating life, the way Alycia has knife-based veto powers over Summer’s boyfriend list. Or someone may not really “get” Adam (or vice versa) until Keri intervenes. There’s a lot of possibilities.

That isn’t a possibility I’d thought about (and jeez, Keri playing gatekeeper would be equally frightening to Alycia’s “knife-based veto powers”) but it is certainly an entertaining thought.

When I got engaged to @Margie, her one-time flatmate Shelly took me aside and made it utterly clear – without even any knives, cattle prods, guns, or bending-of-crowbars – how badly it would go for me (or perhaps those searching for my body) if I ever hurt her “Mudgy.” And I completely believed her.

1 Like

Given that you’re alive and well and still with us…