> summarize the interrogation of Clarence regarding the Revanche incident
< SUBJECT SUPPLIED ELEVEN NAMES OF PRIMARY PERSONNEL, AS WELL AS TWENTY-FOUR INDIVIDUALS NOTED AS 'SIDEKICKS' OR SUPPORT PERSONNEL
My head is hazy. My emotions are unstable. I feel like I’m in my quarry’s home territory, but it has gone to ground. The reality of my situation is setting in, forcing me to examine my motives. Avenge my father’s death? Save his - soon to be my - empire? Preserve peace with this fragile, stupid, helpless little planet?
I let the ship’s computer remember, in my place. It is dispassionate in ways I can never be.
> summarize Revanche incident
< EMPOWERED INDIVIDUALS FROM EARTH LED A COUNTER-ATTACK ON THE EMPEROR. THE SCEPTER OF SHAIHON DISAPPEARED DURING THIS TIME AND WAS PRESUMED TAKEN BACK TO EARTH BY ONE OF THESE INDIVIDUALS.
Clarence’s face, when he realized I might have to kill him to silence him, is still in my mind.
Astralis is flashing back to when she interrogated Clarence. She wanted information about the scepter she’s after: who were the heroes involved and what are they doing now? She can use the resources of her sanctuary to solve her problem, but the GM requires two things: “mark your doom track” and “you and your team will risk danger from CiCom” (as Clarence will probably report back).
The GM makes a move: “Tell them the possible consequences and ask”: “He’ll talk to the authorities, unless you silence him somehow.”
“Please help me.” I remember forsaking my pride, pushing Werulf away from intimidating the man, and looking at him eye to eye. I remember my own words. “Please. I don’t want there to be another war. We have to stop another war.”
I begged him. And when he looked back at me, it wasn’t with smug superiority, or cunning, or anything else I’d have expected when showing such weakness.
He looked at me with understanding.
When did I start to understand what a human face was telling me?
My parents are supervising the house repairs. We’re renting a whole four of the new Gladwell Corporation metrobots (“Swords into Ploughshares is our promise to your family. Buy Gladwell products today.”) They’re taking blueprint data from the architect, coordinating with the delivery trucks bringing raw material to the house, and slowly putting things back the way they were. Well, in one case, the way I asked my folks for it to be.
“The attack was dangerous, Ricky. But it also brought a lot of attention to the house. Is this going to happen again?” My dad is staring at me. I realize I’m searching for a palatable lie. Why don’t I want to be honest with my parents?
“We took care of that guy and his friends at the lighthouse, dad. My friends and I.” This is technically true, but it doesn’t answer his question. Will he notice? Oh god, I’m such a jerk.
Ricky wants to Provoke his father into going along with this, and rolls a 7, even with Guilty marked.
“Just… be careful too, son. You can get hurt. But if you and your friends made the city safer, you know your mother and I are proud of you.” My dad beams, and it’s like a knife to the throat. But, I don’t want him to worry, so this is good, right?
The GM chooses “they err, you get a critical opportunity”.
I jump right into where I wanted this conversation to really go. “Hey uh, dad, about that. One of my friends needs a place to stay. They’re new in town…” I realize I might be lying, but more than that, I don’t know myself. Is Sprout really new to Silverline? What do I really know about them?
Too bad my mouth is already running downhill with this and won’t stop until it hits bottom. “So I said, uh, while we’re rebuilding anyway, we can make a separate room for them!”
“I’ll pay for it!” I don’t know why I added that. More guilt, I guess. It doesn’t help at all.
Dad checks with Mom about this, and they come back together. “This friend of yours isn’t a party person, right?” she asks. “How responsible are they?”
“Midge is very responsible. They take things like home pretty seriously.” I caught this much from them anyway. It feels a little easier not to lie to Mom too.
She nods. “You’ve done some dangerous things, son, but you’ve been responsible to us. If you can give us your word here, I think it’s okay. But you’ll need to keep an eye on your house guest. You have an obligation now.”
Mom wants to shift Ricky’s Superior up and Mundane down. Ricky accepts it.
Oh god, I want to crawl into a pit and die now.
I’m checking all the usual signs and symbols in the house. I don’t see any. Oh dear, I hope nobody was hurt when that big metal person attacked!
Ricky is looking at me strangely. Hmm. “This place is very nice!” I tell him, and it is! I mean that sincerely. I just can’t tell him that I’m looking for signs of my kind.
If I moved in, and folks like me were here, I would feel really awkward. They’d think I was a giant too, probably.
“You can have my room for a few days, while the metrobots finish installation.” Ricky says a strange word, and I turn it around in my mouth a few times. I think he means the other metal people. “I’ll sleep downstairs or something.”
“I don’t see a bedroom down here,” I tell him.
“Oh, uh, I can use the couch or something. It’s fine.” He smiles, and it’s a little weird. His eyes and mouth are having an argument about what to say.
There’s a weird cultural thing about my people. I think it’s weird, and all of us kind of think it’s weird, but you know? We do it anyway, because what else can we do? The thing is, we don’t like imposing on other people. We already do it, all the time. We borrow stuff from the giants, and don’t really give it back. To make up for it, we try to do little things for them, like pushing lost coins or toys out from under couches. But uh, still. To have a giant tell me, “you’re putting me out by your presence”, it feels realllly weird.
“Are you gonna be okay doing that?” I ask, and I know I sound worried.
Ricky gives me a thumbs-up. “You bet.” This time he seems like he means it.
His mother swings by! She’s really neat. She bustles, like my mom does. I like that word, by the way. “Bustles”. I’ve heard the word “butler” and I can’t imagine “buttling”, but my mom and his are both “bustlers”.
She says something to him, but my ears are sharp. “Tell your friend it’s okay to take a shower. I’m sure you’ve noticed.”
She wanders off. Ricky gets a weird look on his face this time, but points up the stairs, at the bathroom. “Hey uh, you can shower if you like.”
Funny place to keep leaves… “Sure, uh, I need something to dry off with though, and a mushroom? Did it rain and I missed it?”
Ricky’s weird face gets weirder. “No, uh, just use the regular shower. There’s towels up there.”
I climb the stairs and peek into the bathroom. Well, there’s a bathtub, but it’s a proper bathtub, and says “BainUltra” on it instead of “Tupperware”. There’s some kind of knob to turn, and some kind of faucet. Oh! This is like standing in a sink to go swimming, but it’s a really big sink.
“I get it! I get it!” I clap my hands and run forward, trying the knob.
“Oh! Do you have a change of clothes? I can lend you some, if you need.” Ricky’s face is going weirder.
I’m halfway out of these and he’s already left, closing the door behind him. I didn’t even get a chance to reply. “That would be great, thank you!” I yell hopefully, and hear an answering “okay!”
Alright! Time to step over the rim of the tub, turn the knobs and…. Gah! “This water’s really hot!”
I hear Ricky’s voice through the door. “Turn the knob to the right.”
I try that. Nope, now it’s cold! To the left… to the right… I think I’ve got it. I’ve definitely got it. “I’ve got it!” I tell him.
Hmm. Water is going to splash on the floor. But there’s a curtain here…. Oh! This must be to keep the water from doing that! I pull it closed. Yep, that’s what it’s for! This is amazing. I should tell Mom & Dad about this. We could hang leaves and use that. Oh! I bet we could fill up a Mason jar and kind of do a bath-shower combination!
Next step. There is a definite shortage of apple cider vinegar here. I can just run my hair under the water I guess. This feels really good. There’s a point where the pressure of the water hits the back of my neck, and just sends really relaxing waves through me. I could just stand like this for a long time and it would be perfect.
I hear the door open and shut. Not even a hello? When family back Home use the bathroom we’re always friendly. I guess Ricky doesn’t think I’m family. Well that’s okay, I know he thinks I’m a friend! “Hey, where’s the leaves?” I ask.
“Leaves?” He sounds super guilty for some reason. Did he forget them?
“Leaves. For drying. You know?”
“Oh. Towels. The white cloth stuff hanging up here.” The door opens and shuts again.
I turn off the shower and find the towels. Rub rub rub, water go away, feeling dry for another day! And sure enough, he left some clothes for me. These things are strange. The pants are a little tight on the hips and very long on the leg, so I adjust as best I can. The shirt has short sleeves and is pretty roomy. I guess I’m still the smallest person in the group, even as a giant!
I open the door, still toweling my hair dry. “That was really fun! Can I do that again sometime?”
Ricky looks as sad as I’ve seen him all day, and I frown too. “Uh, sure,” is all he says, and before I can speak up he heads back downstairs.
Well, darn. What should I do now?
The school uniform feels uncomfortable. I’ve spent more time in my Guardian Ghost costume recently than this thing. Am I bulking up? Or just gaining weight?
Right now I’m doing a job only I can do. I have to show our two new transfer students around the campus. At least Hisako and Midge showed up in something resembling the official uniform.
“Alright. Uh… The school has a reputation for being for superheroes, but it’s really not. Just a lot of open supers go here, or went here. People who went to work for CiCom as powered individuals. Vigilantes. Y’know.” I get the feeling they don’t know. Fine.
“Uh. So uh, high school supposedly sucks no matter where you go, but this place is like… a prep school for a technical university, I guess. The city’s main business is managing all this alien tech we’re in the middle of. Learning it, staying safe from it, developing it further, marketing it, whatever. They really, really want you to learn Zeta stuff.”
I’m watching their faces and I feel like I’m losing both of them, but for different reasons. Hisako looks bored and annoyed. Midge looks wide-eyed and utterly baffled.
Ricky’s too well known here as one of the rich kids. Sabine is an open superhero, she’d attract way too much attention. These two need someone like me, the ordinary kid who blends in, to show them the ropes. Maybe I’m too ordinary right now.
Right. What will they both want to know about?
“School lunches are provided. There’s a cafeteria. It’s pretty good. The classes are fun. Some super-genius designed the curriculum. You’ll pick stuff up really fast. The teachers are smart and involved, and they get paid well. And then there’s these guys.”
I hold up my idiot - it’s actually EDOT, Educational Data Organization Terminal, but whatever. “You’ve got one of these. It’s like a tablet computer, with a screen cover that folds out to become a keyboard or stand. It responds to voice commands, recognizes your handwriting, does all kinds of things. Oh, and it tracks your movements and activity, so you ditch it the moment you want to do anything fun.”
At least Hisako seems like she got that. She’ll probably hack into the thing given a chance. I won’t say anything. Midge might need extra help.
I’m about to explain the layout when I feel a punch on my shoulder. It’s Lauren Schultz, and I introduce her to my teammates - that is, the transfer students. Yeah. “Hisako, Midge, this is Lauren, my best friend at school.”
Midge waves happily. Hisako, ever formal, nods slightly. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
If you averaged these two out, you might get a person with some kind of normal energy. Hmm.
Several people are filing past. They say hi to Lauren, as expected. They kind of look over the newbies with me. I don’t get a word or nod, as usual. Eh.
Lauren might be better at this introduction stuff. She’s already talking easily with them. “How do you two know Miguel?”
Midge goes first. “I met him the other day when he ran by my house!” Well, that’s technically true, I guess. Good thinking.
Hisako follows. “He is assisting me with research into a family matter.” Huh. Well, again, technically true. Good job keeping cover, you two.
Lauren’s eyebrows arch behind her oval glasses, and she grins slyly at me. “Who knew you were such an important guy, Miguel?” She punches my shoulder again. “Hah! I knew. Hey, listen you two, Miguel’s a groovy guy, but he’s really very dependable.”
Midge grins widely. “Like Ricky!”
Lauren sours immediately. “Ricky Cleveland?” Midge, of course, nods emphatically. Oof.
“I wish that guy would lighten up. He’s a real tryhard.” Lauren and Ricky have kind of a history - not dating or anything, just, she doesn’t like him very much, and I’m not really sure why. Her family isn’t doing very well, and she’s here on a scholarship. I always assumed it was because Ricky’s got money and she doesn’t.
Midge bobs their head. “He does seem tense lately. I should go talk to him!” I mean, they really mean it, because they take off down the hallway.
Hisako looks back at me. “I prefer to continue student orientation, if that is alright, Miguel.”
Lauren gives me thumbs-up and winks - whaaat?
I was never educated like the ordinary folk of my empire. I had private tutors, computer-assisted learning, artificial memory injection, and so on. I understood at some basic level how the academic system functioned, but was mostly interested in what it produced: soldiers, scientists, laborers, artisans, the individuals who formed the society for which I would be responsible.
The ship’s computer knows much about “high school”, but very little about the essential nature of humanity. Thus I observe, and watch.
For example, Miguel and his friend Lauren briefly acknowledge the students who pass by. I note that most acknowledge Lauren, but not Miguel. Curious.
Miguel’s attention, however, is immediately drawn to one person. I follow her path cautiously with my eyes. Miguel is… staring?
< STARE. TO LOOK FIXEDLY OR VACANTLY AT SOMEONE OR SOMETHING WITH ONE'S EYES WIDE OPEN.
Yes. That is what he is doing.
Lauren notices too, and punches him in the shoulder once again. A friendly gesture? “You gotta be more cool than that, bro!” she tells him.
“Please explain,” I ask. Perhaps this will be faster than the computer.
Ignoring Miguel’s frantic head-shaking, Lauren turns to me. “Mah boy here has the sweetest crush on the most fashionable girl at school. Gabriella Everett there. Too bad she’s untouchable.”
A few thoughts are enough to make the cross-reference. “Ah. An unrequited infatuation.”
Lauren’s face registers a look of confusion. Was I unclear? Nevertheless, it’s a data point, if a frustrating one. The Earth is in danger, I have eleven heroes to track down, Miguel has pledged his support to me, and now I learn that he could be distracted at any moment by stray emotional attachment toward someone.
Does anyone else suffer from this weakness? Ricky might. Miguel does. Midge does not seem to. Their attachment to their fellow teammates is a natural comradeship I would expect from fellow fighters. And what of Sabine?
I realize she is here, approaching down one of the hallways. This is a prime opportunity. I study her face, and those around her.
< UNREQUITED INFATUATION DETECTED.
The computer draws my attention to the face of the other girl - Gabriella Everett. She is looking at Sabine. She is staring like Miguel did. The computer plots out significant facial microexpressions.
The Earth people are emotive in ways I envy. The phrase “what the fuck” feels like the most natural response to this situation.
I briefly consider the situation. One teammate admires a civilian, who admires another member of the team. Do they both realize this? If not, would revealing it resolve the issue of distraction, or add unwanted tension? I realize with some anger that I am being forced to resolve this issue for the good of my team, those who will assist me in saving this planet.
What will see me to that goal fastest?
Astralis wants to Pierce the Mask on Miguel, but rolls a 4! The GM makes a move: “remind them of what they could lose”: “Better if it blows up now, in controlled conditions, than later on when you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
I should just get this done. I turn back, interrupting the chatter Miguel and Lauren are engaging in. “Miguel, this Gabriella is interested in…” The cross-reference comes to me. “Mia Duson. The superhero Sabine.”
The ship’s computer is unable to fully process Miguel’s facial expression.
Lauren’s is easier to read. She is wincing in embarrassment. I have done the wrong thing, judging by her expression. “Jeez, girl, try not to snap his soul in half, wouldja?”
Miguel seems to have been struck by a dazing weapon. “Hey, Hisako, uh, let’s go see what clubs you can join, okay?” His voice holds no energy whatsoever.
I have made a mistake.
Looks like the Guardian Ghost is showing the new kids around. Better him than me.
When I’m in big crowds like at school, I dial my rez way down. There’s just a faceless sea of kids who walk past me. I can’t pick out friends unless they talk to me. I wear sunglasses and keep my idiot’s Bluetooth earbuds in at all times, so at least I don’t seem like a complete asshole, just an inconsiderate stuck-up kid.
Better that than be “the blind girl”.
Class is easy enough. The teacher calls on me, I answer the question. The rest of the time, I’m on my idiot, listening to its awful text-to-speech system read the book to me. It’s not that I don’t care about anything or anyone around me. It’s just that I’m doing school my own way.
I don’t care what the gossip says. They probably say I’m an arrogant, stuck-up bitch who uses her superpowers to ignore the mundanes around here. That’s what I imagine. But I don’t really care.
It is kind of lonely.
Running into Miguel in the hall, along with Midge and Hisako, makes me worried. I’m the only one of us five that the school knows is a superhero. Sometimes people come to me and ask me to help with stuff, and I do. The teachers are pretty careful around me too. I can feel them treating me differently.
What’s going to happen when there’s five of us here, instead of just three? And I wasn’t even teaming up with Miguel before this, and I didn’t know about Ricky either.
Like, if we hang out at school as friends, people are going to notice. I’m out, but my friends aren’t. Are people going to put two and two together, as our team gets more attention? Should I stay away from them, so I don’t compromise their lives - unless they want to come out, I guess?
Am I gonna make my friends think I’m a jerk, just because I stay away from them?
Over there, two seats up, is Ethan Edwards. He’s friends with Ricky, not that that’s a hard thing to be. But Ricky kind of puts people off too, in his own way. Ethan used to be my friend, back when we were exploring the city. When I went into Sector Zero, he refused to come along, called me stupid, and went back and told my folks. Now I can catch him looking at me once in awhile, but I’m never sure what I make of the rez I get off his face. One thing’s for damn sure, when he walks down the hall, he doesn’t come off like a jerk to people.
I rez over at the other guy I know in this class. Well, not know. Think about? Jacob Kirby. He’s a low-level super, though not everyone knows that. Just better at everything. Ridiculously nice guy. Listens to anyone. I could go talk to Jake about anything I wanted.
I’m not gonna talk about Jake. To Jake, I mean. To Jake about anything. Gonna think about something else for awhile.
You know the thing about Jacob is that he acts like I do, y’know, just walks down the hall unconcernedly. Doesn’t make a big deal out of anything. How the hell does he get away with people thinking he’s so god damn nice? He’s humble, he’s popular, I remember he was pretty good looking back when I had sight. It’s not fair. I wish people liked me like that. I wish I was approachable like he is.
If I was like Jake, I could just hang out with my super-team here at school, and nobody would notice anything, because I’d be the sort who could hang out with anyone.
Gah. This is stupid. Jacob, why do you have to be so freaking nice all the time? It’s really obnoxious.
I wish I had that.
Why am I still at school? I should just call in sick and go home.
What’s the point?
Mia? Really? Is it because she’s a superhero? I’m a superhero too. Only nobody knows that, nobody can know that, except my stupid team. And of course I told them all and got chewed out by Dad for it.
Why am I the only one who has to be responsible about this?
I guess I have to still help Hisako, whose superpower is not telling anyone a god damn thing about herself.
So here we are at the drama club - hoo boy, she’ll fit right in there, she can just tell anyone anything about themselves and start some shit. Fine. I’ll just hand her off. “Hisako, this is Faith Caldwell. Faith, this is Hisako, a new transfer student.”
Well, go on? Talk? Fine. “I’m showing her around, letting her see clubs she might be interested in. Want to pitch theater to her?”
Faith is like the High Priestess of Theater. She got me motivated way back when. She’s good at that sort of thing. She jumps in immediately. “Sure! Theater is all about making a team, encouraging talent in that team, and helping people learn. By playing other people, you discover who you really are.”
She loves that “who you really are” bit. I think that’s the part that sold me, personally.
Hisako listens, attentive as always. “That is a compelling case. However, I do not feel that I have the appropriate emotional range to act.” Oh good Lord, is she on some kind of uncomfortable-truth kick today? At least she aimed it at herself this time.
You know, I just accepted her observation about Gabby without question. How would she know that? There’s no way she’d know that. She’s new here.
Just as I feel a chance at recovery, Faith stabs me in the neck. “Oh that’s fine! There’s plenty of people who work behind the scenes, like Miguel here. The audience doesn’t see them, but they are just as important as the folks on stage.”
Thanks, so, so much.
Staying out of sight seems to be Miguel’s preferred tactic. He resembles the infiltration agents of the empire in that regard.
Still, he was emotionally hurt from earlier, and his facial indicators continue to display signs of pain. Perhaps I was too hasty in prioritizing the team’s activities as heroes. Morale is a powerful motivator. As they say, “the soldier fights best when they have something worth fighting for”.
He seeks a romantic attachment. Need it be with that individual, Gabriella?
Hisako wants to Pierce the Mask (again), and this time rolls an 8. She asks “how could I get your character to… be interested in someone else?” The answer is “they’d have to show some kind of interest first”.
There are certainly several candidates worth pursuing. If Miguel is as private as indicated, I will need to get to know him better. I will also need to ask the opinion of other people on the team. But where best to observe Miguel in his civilian persona?
Ah, yes. His preferred hobby.
“I believe I can contribute in that capacity.”
The club is in the middle of constructing a “set”. The computer lays out a schematic in my augmented-reality overlay. That tool - a hammer - ought to be applied to those objects - wooden planks - in order to fasten them in a certain way shown on the nearby blueprint. I grab hold of the hammer, leap atop the scaffolding, and pound in a few nails by way of demonstration.
Faith blinks. “Pretty good! I get out of breath just climbing up there. Great! Welcome to theater!”
I hop down and bow, rather than merely nod as before. “Thank you.”
Miguel seems content to leave me to my own devices. Regrettable, but it works to my advantage. It’s not difficult to locate Mia via the radiation from the communicators Miguel gifted to the team. She is sitting behind a stairwell when I approach, EDOT device in hand.
“I may have made a mistake. I wish to resolve it as expediently as possible.”
She looks up at me, then taps on her EDOT. “Uh, okay? What did you do?”
“I announced to Miguel that his unrequited infatuation, Gabriella, or ‘Gabby’, is infatuated with you.”
Mia is going to Take a Powerful Blow from this. She rolls an 11, and chooses to remove herself from the scene.
She stares at me through her sunglasses for longer than is comfortable. Then she stands. “Right. Uh. I gotta go. Catch you later.” She’s off before I can say anything else.
I do not think that was a successful resolution.
What the hell? Gabriella? The girl Miguel likes? She likes me?
I mean, she hasn’t made a move, that’s not my fault. If Miguel hasn’t made a move on her, that’s totally his fault.
I don’t know her well, can’t think of any reason I’d be interested. She’s supposed to be the prettiest looking girl at school, but I’m far past caring about that. But if Miguel’s into it, maybe I can get to know her, maybe point her his way…?
I thought he hung out with Lauren because he was interested in her. Or there’s Faith in the drama club. That boy’s surrounded by sweethearts. He really needs to step up his game.
Gah, so much crazy shit going on lately! Miguel, Ricky, Midge, Hisako, they all need my help in some way. And I need to help them, to avoid going crazy myself. Hisako springing that on me was pretty intense though.
Alright, let’s review. Ricky’s clearly pining for someone. I’m not sure he cares specifically who. He’ll be pretty easy to set up. Miguel’s got a few choices, maybe Gabby’s just not the right girl for him? Midge is, I dunno, Midge is a total cinnamon roll, I have no idea what they want, they just seem very happy with everything. Hisako? God, that girl needs to thaw out, I’m not joking.
The more I think about it, the more I think this team just needs some good old-fashioned snogging to make themselves feel better. There’s a lot of pieces on the board, maybe I can nudge a few of them in the right direction…?
God though. What would Gabby see in someone like me?
I get a call over the communicators. Is it a supervillain attack? Is it a disaster where civilians need to be rescued?
It’s Midge and they’re lost at school.
“Where are you?”
Their voice sounds strained on the phone. “It’s… a hallway. And there’s signs with numbers on them…”
I recognize it immediately. Upstairs, the classrooms. Nobody’s there when I arrive, but I feel a slight breeze behind me, and turn to find Midge hugging themselves.
“Don’t you have your idiot?” I ask.
I show them the EDOT tablet.
“Oh. Yes. The big cellophane.”
I put on my most reassuring smile. “The EDOT can tell you all kinds of things. Here, let me show you… Put your hand on the back of it, so your finger notches into the groove there… yeah, like that. Now just face the screen and ask, ‘where am I?’”
Midge does, and the screen lights up, with a map of the school. They haven’t added any friends to the device yet… “Here, face the screen again, and say ‘share a friend code’.”
When the QR code appears, I scan it with my own idiot.
“Now, ask where you are again.”
This time, the map of the school shows up, but with my icon nearby.
“See? This way, you can know where your friends are. And you can tap on the screen to talk to me, or send me messages, or do other stuff.”
“Really? That’s … really neat.” Midge sounds more scared than I thought they would be. It’s just school, nothing exciting or dangerous ever happens here.
I smile again. “Hey, this school’s got a lot of strange stuff nobody else in the country has. Probably nobody in the world. Everyone adjusts. It’s all good, okay?”
“I just… I wanted to come find you and tell you it was gonna be okay and ask you what the matter was at home and why you were upset, but then I got lost 'cause everything’s really big, and I worried I did something wrong, and I was kinda pissed that you weren’t telling me stuff, only…”
That last part catches me by surprise. “Only what?”
Midge rubs their eyes with a bare arm, then looks at me. Huh. They do look a little pissed off, but it’s not at me. I think. They look like I worry that I look, when I’m talking to my parents about superhero stuff.
“Ricky, I know you musta lied to your mom and dad. 'Cause if I asked for a stranger to live at my place, my mom and dad would ask all kinda questions about them, only you couldn’t have answered those questions, 'cause you don’t know a lot about me, 'cause I don’t talk about myself to you, or anyone really, it’s not just you, but listen, it’s not because I’m trying to keep secrets, it’s cause it’s really important to me that they stay safe and they won’t be if anyone finds out about Home, you know? I know you know. So listen, I know you had to lie to them and I know they’re worried too and I feel bad but I know we’re both keeping secrets from someone important and I just want to let you know you aren’t alone–”
I reach out and hug Midge. I didn’t really ask, but you know, sometimes it’s better to just let someone know it’s okay without talking more. Sometimes talking is the worst thing you can do.
Ricky Comforts & Supports Midge, but rolls a 3.
I was wrong. Sometimes the worst thing you can do is stand there embracing someone when a whole club full of students, including some who don’t like you, finish their club activities and pile out into the hallway, surrounding you.
I admit this is rare, but it’s bad.
“Hey, Cleveland. If you’re going to make out with vulnerable freshmen, maybe do it out back,” suggests one of them.
“How much did this one cost you?” asks another.
Somebody. Somebody is going to get punched.
End of Session!
Astralis grows closer to Guardian Ghost (“I have to get to know you”)
Guardian Ghost grows further away from Astralis (“you said WHAT?”)
Pelagos grows closer to Sprout (“I want you to feel at home”)
Sabine grows further away from Astralis (“you said WHAT to ME?”)
Sprout grows closer to Pelagos (“we both keep secrets”)