Eli trudged up the hill, grimly examining his paycheck. It wasn’t big enough. It was bigger than he expected thanks to the hazard pay he got for handling the monster attack “well” but not big enough. With the arcade closed the next month for repairs, he needed to make this paycheck stretch out for about six weeks until the next paycheck came in.
He sighed and scratched his head. How was he going to make this work? At least he had room and board paid up to start the semester so food and shelter were already taken care of. This would just severely limit him as far as any snack food or entertainment was concerned. He supposed he could live on cafeteria food for the next six weeks but that thought did not appeal to him. Not that he had much of a choice.
One thing Eli was sure of though was he wouldn’t be buying a new graphing calculator for his calculus class. He couldn’t afford paying eighty or so dollars for a new one if he wanted any semblance of a social life for the next few weeks. As he tried to come up with a solution, he remembered that his sister, Mallory, probably still had his old one she “borrowed” from him when she left for college a year ago. She had justified it because he hadn’t taken a math course his senior year and she needed one for her math class. Eli didn’t think she had a math course this semester and her apartment happened to be between the arcade and the bank. Maybe he should pay her a visit.
A few short minutes later, Eli was walking down the hallway of a small apartment complex. The hallway was short and narrow, making Eli feel slightly claustrophobic. He wondered how Mallory, who was nearly six feet tall, could stand living here. “Eleven, nine, seven, here we are. Number five.” He almost knocked on the door, but stopped when he heard voices on the other side.
“…just don’t know. It’s like he didn’t seem bothered by it at all. He was almost completely dispassionate.”
A bright voice giggled. “But isn’t that part of being serene? I mean, that’s kind of built into her–his–whatever’s name.”
“I think her–his–her name implies tranquility or peaceful. In the conversation he didn’t come across that way at all. He just came across as… cold. I just don’t get how that can be serenity.”
“I think you’re reading too much into it, Ang.” Eli recognized his sister’s voice. “Right now it’s all academic for him. A curiosity. He has no stake in this yet. Things will change once he’s more involved and gets to be around us.” What the hell were they talking about?
Another girl’s voice piped up, “Besides, Kunapipi already confirmed what we thought we knew. All that matters going forward is whether or not he is trustworthy enough to bring in.”
What on earth were they talking about? A fifth female voice, this one with a slightly foreign accent, added, “And my research already confirms that you all can indeed trust him. He is one who keeps many secrets, keeps them well, and appreciates others who do the same. On that front there should be no concern.”
Eli heard another door in the hallway open. Jerking back, he pulled his ear from the door, not realizing he had started leaning against it. He must have looked like quite the creep. He rapped on the door three times, trying to look like he had reason to be there. The door opened and a cute blonde narrowed her eyes at Eli. Did she know he had been eavesdropping?
Eli cleared his throat. He stood tall and tried to look as innocent as possible. “Hello. My name’s Eli Drake. I’m here to see my sister, Mallory.”
“Oh.” The blonde glanced back into the apartment. “Mallory, it’s your brother.” As the door hung open, the scent of delicious baked goods tickled his nose. Something delicious was happening in his sister’s apartment, but Mallory was no cook so one of the other voices he heard must have been doing the baking.
A hand reached over the blonde and opened the door wider. Mallory looked down and smiled. “Elijah, what brings you to my humble abode.”
Humble was an understatement. The hallway went straight into a living room so small that if Eli sat on the couch his feet would almost hit the TV. There was a steep staircase along the right side that led to the bedrooms upstairs. The kitchen was further in and Eli wasn’t completely sure you could open the oven and fridge at the same time. The apartment somehow felt even more cramped than the hallway. “Hey Mallory. Sorry for popping in unannounced but I need to know if you still have my graphing calculator. I need it for my calc class.”
“Oh. That.” Mallory grinned guiltily. “Forgot I borrowed that.”
Eli sighed. “Yeah, borrowed.”
“I’m sure it’s somewhere in my room. I’ll go find it. In the meantime, Elijah, this is my roommate, Angela.” Mallory gestured to the blonde girl who answered the door.
She smiled apologetically. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Elijah.”
He nodded. “Likewise.”
Eli recognized the short, raven haired girl sitting on the couch. “You already met Viv last night.”
She waved and grinned from ear to ear. “So, we meet again! Where’s Cory?”
Eli blinked. That was her first question? “Uh, Cory? I don’t know. Probably at classes or something.”
She lay back down on the couch, her hair splayed over the side and onto the floor. “Boring.” Eli was impressed; Cory had left an impression on this girl and it appeared to be rather favorable. That was rather different.
Mallory chuckled and pointed to the table. “That’s my other friend Noriko.”
Eli turned and was quite surprised to see a short Asian girl with her hair tied up in a bun at the table. He could have sworn it was empty a second ago. “Greetings, Elijah.”
He cleared his throat, trying not to act surprised. “H–hi.”
Gesturing over to the kitchen, Mallory finished. “And last but not least, the girl baking is Kara.”
Eli looked at the oven and practically nearly let his jaw hit the floor. She was on the shorter side with straight blue hair that came just past her chin. She wore a short skirt that exposed her legs. Legs he had stared at a lot as the stomped on the Hop Dance Mania pads back at Loose Change. “HDM Girl?”
She turned around, a quizzical expression on her face as she pulled cookies out of the oven. “I beg your pardon?”
“I mean, hello!” Eli winced. He couldn’t believe his luck. He thought with the arcade closed he wouldn’t see her for a long time, but she was somehow friends with his sister! The universe was not usually this kind to him. He couldn’t blow this.
She squinted at him. “Wait, do I know you?”
He swallowed a lump in his throat the size of a baseball. “Uh, kind of. I think, maybe that is. Do do do you come to, uh, Loose Change at all? Play Hop Dance Mania maybe?”
She paused for a second, as if thinking how to react. Then her eyes went wide as she put the tray of cookies on top of the oven. “Oh my gummi! Yes! That’s why I recognize you! You work at Loose Change, don’t you?”
Oh my gummi? No! Eli wasn’t going to let that derail his train of thought. He might not get this chance again. Eli pushed his shoulders back. “Yes, yes I do.” This was great. He had the perfect angle he could work to keep the conversation going. “Or did.” He held up his check. “My last paycheck for the next while.”
Mallory smiled and rolled her eyes. “I’ll go up to my room to check for that calculator, Elijah. Be right back.” She strode up the stairs. He noted the blonde girl following. Wonder what that was about.
Kara took off her oven mitts and approached him. She was even prettier up close. God she had amazing legs, though he was doing his best to make sure he kept his eyes connected to hers. “Oh, I’m so sorry. I heard about the attack from Mallory. I actually was there right before the attack.”
Eli nodded. “I thought I had seen you that day.” He left out the part where he had rather openly complained to Cory and Robert that he didn’t get to ogle her that day when she had been creeped out by the zombified kids.
Kara blushed. “I didn’t realize when Mal said you were there that you were an employee. I thought she meant you had been there playing games or something. Had I known you were Mal’s brother I would have been a lot more conversational.”
She laughed and Eli laughed with her, trying to mask his nervousness. “Yeah, so, how do you know Mallory?”
“Oh,” she idly chatted while scraping cookies off the sheet with her spatula, “Viv and I knew one another in high school. We both were on the Yearbook Staff and hung out from time to time. So when we went to college, we decided to room together. Noriko is our other roommate and, long story short, all five of us started hanging out.”
“Oh, wow.” Eli scratched his head. “What a small world.”
“I know, right?”
“Yeah, so, you’re baking?” Eli was desperate to keep the conversation going. “You bake in other people’s apartments often?”
Vivian popped up off the couch, sending a wave down her knee-length hair. “Oh yeah! Kara’s always got something in the oven or on the stove. Girl loves to cook and she’s great at it!”
Kara chuckled. “I’m baking, not cooking, Viv.”
“Oh, whatever. It’s all foodstuffs and you cook as well as bake.”
Kara shrugged, obviously trying to be modest. “I do like to cook and bake. My dad was quite the chef himself and always let me, even when I was a little girl, help and he’d ask for my opinion on things as he cooked them. Guess it just carried over. I just love seeing what kinds of flavor I can bring out.”
“Ah, heh, I’m more of a boxed-pasta-with-canned-chicken kind of guy. I can’t cook to save my life.”
Kara frowned. “Well you’ll need to improve that. You’re missing out on a lot more delicious and healthy options than that.”
Vivian chuckled. “She said as she just finished baking cookies.”
Kara waved her spatula with mock-menace. “Oh hush you.”
Noriko glanced down at her phone. “Vivian, it is nearly time for our Biology class.”
Vivian groaned. “But I don’t want to go to Biology. It’s boooooooring.”
Kara chuckled and tossed a cookie to Vivian. “Life can’t be an adventure twenty-four seven, Viv.”
Vivian caught the cookie and comically engulfed the whole thing in her mouth. “Idf fould be!” Vivian slung her bookbag over her shoulder.
“Would you like one as well, Noriko?”
“Yes, please.” Kara tossed another cookie at Noriko. Only issue was Noriko wasn’t looking. Eli was about to shout a warning when she snatched the cookie from the air. Eli blinked. Did his eyes deceive him? She had been looking away, right?
She took a bite and nodded. “Excellent, Kara. What is this flavor of cookie? I recognize chocolate but that is not the only flavor I detect. And I like the mixing in of butterscotch chips.”
Kara nodded, obviously impressed. “Dark chocolate actually. And I’m pleased to see you tasted the espresso powder I mixed into the dough.”
“Most excellent,” Noriko said without any hint of actually being impressed. “Thank you for another delicious confection.” If she liked it so much, why didn’t she smile at all? Eli tried to read her but she was as stone-faced as the Sphinx itself.
Vivian swallowed. “Uh, yeah, I totally picked up on all those complex flavors as well, too. Also. As well.” She not-so-stealthfully took another cookie before heading out the door. “See you later, Kara!”
Noriko was right behind her. Before stepping out, she gave Eli a slight bow. “A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Mr. Drake. I hope we meet again in the future.”
Eli raised an eyebrow as she left. “Pleasure was all mine.”
As the door shut, Mallory and Angela returned down the stairs. “They just leave?”
Kara nodded, scooping her cookies onto a plate. “Yes, they had Biology class.”
Mallory casually snatched a cookie off the plate and took a bite. “Mmm! These are great!”
Kara giggled. “Help yourself, Mal.”
Mallory smirked. “Oh, you were going to offer them to me anyway. You can’t help but let everyone taste how savory your creations are.”
Eli cleared his throat and leaned in, trying to look as polite as possible. “They smell great. May I try one, as well or is it a female only thing?”
Kara handed him a cookie. “Of course.”
He took a bite and for a moment he forgot where he was and let out a small moan. “Wow. I mean, wow. Now I really regret that we never talked before. These are amazing!” He turned to his sister. “You’ve been hiding her from me so you can hog all the treats for yourself.”
Mallory huffed and punched him in the shoulder lightly. “Yup, you got me. I’m secretly trying to plump myself up and make you thin and stringy.”
Angela smiled as she took a cookie of her own. “Is this a bad time to mention we’re out of milk, Mal?”
Mallory’s eyes went wide. “Really? Donut, we’re running low on a lot of stuff actually. Maybe we should go grocery shopping.”
Eli squinted. “Donut?”
Mallory waved him off. “Did I say, ‘donut?’ Wow, that’s weird. I meant to say, ‘dang it.’ Wonder what caused that.”
Angela held in a giggle. “Well, I guess with everyone else gone maybe we should shop now before they get back from class since we have, uh, stuff to do afterward as a group.”
“Good point.” Mallory licked her fingers and then grabbed her keys. Eli made a mental note not to ask to borrow her car. “Sorry to leave in a rush and kick you two out.”
Kara covered her plate in cellophane and shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you two tonight anyway.”
Eli could feel the moment ending. He needed an excuse to hang out with HDM Girl a little longer. Maybe he could find a way to get her number if he just had a little more time. Though he hated doing it, he was going to pull a page from Cory’s book. “Yeah, I’ll see you later too Mallory. Nice to meet you Angela.” Grabbing a plate of cookies, he practically plead, “Would you like some help taking this back to your dorm?”
Kara blushed a little. “Oh, sure. I’d love that. Thank you for offering.” She smiled and Eli had a hard time not pumping his fist in celebration.
Mallory rolled her eyes. “Gee, Elijah. You’re such the gentleman. Cory teach you how to be so chivalrous?”
Eli coughed. “Shutupmallory.”
Kara chuckled to herself as she gathered her bags and cleaned up the cookie sheet. “Well I for one appreciate the help, Elijah.”
He grinned, opening the door for his summertime crush. “Please, just call me, Eli. Only my family calls me Elijah.”
As Kara walked passed, Eli couldn’t help but flash a dopey grin to his sister. Mallory smiled back, shaking her head.
Even if it had included a monster attack, losing his income for over a month, and cryptic messages from magical cheerleaders, as Eli walked beside the cute blue-haired girl next to him, he couldn’t help but feel the semester was starting off just fine.
Robert stretched, staring at the page before him. Review of Vector Math. First day of college and he already had homework. He had figured his physics class would be the most intensive of his classes for the semester, but didn’t realize it would get going so quickly. He also hadn’t thought it would begin with a math lesson but he assumed it would be used later. Still, it was mildly depressing to have a homework assignment on the first day of college. He decided whoever made all those movies showing college as a lazy, party-all-day-and-night with no consequences atmosphere must not have been in a technical major.
Overall though, he had enjoyed his first day of classes. Though a couple of people had given him odd looks with the cuts on his face, no one intruded. He could just blend in and take his classes. Outside of that Angela girl’s weird Standridge Circle theory talk and someone with fliers promoting the next volleyball game no one had even bothered to say one thing to him. Back at Deepwater High, had he shown up with cuts on his face, there would have been questions, poking, prodding, and rumors would fly. Here, he didn’t get much more than a passing glance and that suited him just fine.
Sitting down at his desk, Robert thought about just skipping the homework for now and playing some Aspect Realms. The homework wasn’t due for another two days and after the Polygal incident, he probably deserved to get some relaxation. He even missed out on the guild-wide PvP last night. As the best Windwhisper in the guild, they’d miss him two nights in a row.
He was about to turn his computer on when he heard his Uncle Taylor’s drawl in his own head saying, “Procrastinating is like eating a diet of only cookies, it’s sweet right now but is a lot less fun when it’s time to visit the dentist.” With a sigh, Robert left the computer off and grabbed his pencil and notebook. As he was pulling his physics textbook from his backpack, his phone rang a familiar, country tune.
He smiled and picked up the phone. “Think of the devil and he shall appear.”
Uncle Taylor chuckled on the other side of the line. “Thinkin’ about me? I’m touched. Only good thoughts I hope, Robert.”
Robert leaned back in his chair. “Nah, you were just lecturing me to get my homework done with one of your famous witticisms. The one comparing procrastination to a cookie diet.”
“Aw, homework on the first day? That’s a shame. But that witticism is a good one. Very wise.” Robert could practically hear his uncle grinning.
“I don’t know,” Robert teased, “I always thought that analogy would work better with alcohol and a hangover. No one goes on a cookie only diet.”
“I’m a dental hygienist. I like the cookie comparison better. So how was the first day of classes, college boy?”
Robert smiled. “Great.”
“Even with the day one homework?”
“Eh, I could’ve gone without that but I guess they just have a lot of material to cover in physics.”
“It is a somewhat large, all-encompassing topic.”
Robert plopped his feet onto his desk. “You don’t say?”
“Well, given you want to be an engineer, I’d tentatively recommend you keep up in that class. It might be important.”
“Heh. I’ll try to keep that in mind. So what are you calling for?”
“Just checkin’ up on my favorite nephew. Gets a little lonely without you here.”
Robert felt a pang of guilt. His uncle had wanted Robert to go to a closer college. Robert had wanted to get as far away from Deepwater as possible. When Robert had made his decision, he knew it’d hurt Uncle Taylor some. Gulping, Robert tried to lighten the mood. “Favorite nephew? I’m your only nephew.”
“Then it’s a good thing that you’re my favorite. It’d be mighty embarrassin’ for you otherwise.”
Robert sighed to himself, happy to change the subject. “You have a point there.”
“So, other than homework on day one, anything else interesting happen the past few days.”
Robert bit on his bottom lip. He hadn’t told his uncle anything about the monster attack. How would he react? What were the odds he had heard anything about the Spirit Guard and monster attacks if he hadn’t? More than likely it would just confuse him and make him scared. He didn’t want to stress him out any further.
But he also didn’t want to lie to his uncle. So he instead focused on the only other interesting things he could think of. “Had a very weird conversation in my world history class with this blonde girl.”
“Oh? Weird how?”
“Well, she was just, I don’t know, a little off. Like I think she was all there but she had these strange theories on the Standridge Circle being magical and stuff. Like the lack of solid theories of how it was done was evidence of why it had to be magic.”
“Wow.” Robert could hear his uncle moving some pots and pans. “That’s… neat. How did you get into this conversation?”
Robert shrugged. “You know, I came early for class, got the electrical socket for my laptop…”
“I trust you were using it to take notes, not to surf during class.”
“Oh c’mon, uncle. I’m a responsible student. You really think I’d just surf the web during class?” Robert was very careful to craft his response. He had logged into his guild’s forum to see how PvP went the night before.
“Anyway, so she sat next to me and, really, I don’t remember how on earth we got onto the topic. It was just weird.”
“Well, you’re going to see plenty of weird things at college. I imagine this will be pretty low on the ladder by the time you get done.” Robert almost laughed at how correct he already was. “How you getting along with your roommates? What were their names again?”
“Cory and Eli.”
“Yeah, them, how things goin’ with them?”
“Great!” Robert leaned farther back in his chair, nearly toppling over before righting himself. “They are awesome! Fun guys, play games, into a lot of the same movies and jokes as I am. I really lucked out. Oh, and this Dale guy who was supposed to be my roommate still hasn’t shown up. Our RA said every year there are one or two guys who end up getting their own room when someone’s plans change at the last minute. I’m holding out hope I luck out.”
Uncle Taylor chuckled. “Ever the recluse.”
Robert was about to defend himself when his phone beeped. “Just one sec, I’m getting another call.”
Caller I.D. didn’t reveal who the number belonged to, but the number was identified as something on Schuyler University campus. “Uncle, someone from the University is calling. I probably should take it.”
“That’s fine. I’ll talk to you later, Robert. Love you.”
“Love you too, Uncle.” Uncle Taylor hung up and Robert sighed with a smile. He let the other call ring a little longer before picking it up. “Hello, this is Robert Dreese.”
The voice of a cheerful woman answered. “Hello Mr. Dreese. My name is Ms. Kuna from the Campus Counseling department.”
Robert raised an eyebrow. “Campus Counseling?”
“Yes, it’s my understanding that you and your roommates were attacked by a monster at the Loose Change arcade yesterday.” The legs of his chair slammed down. It must have been rather loud the woman on the line sounded rather concerned. “Um, is everything all right?”
Robert immediately bit his thumbnail. “How did you hear about this? That fact was not supposed to be published.”
The woman sounded rather shocked. “Um, well the report said that new students at Adamson Schuyler University were at the attack. The owner of the arcade is actually one of our donors and after I asked him, he let me know the name of his employee who was working during the attack and it really wasn’t that hard to figure out you were there as well after that.”
Robert cursed himself. Of course Eli’s employer would have asked who it was Eli was with during the attack. Why wouldn’t he? He’d be concerned about his story and, assuming he was even a decent boss, his employees. Of course he would spill some info. Come to think of it, Eli and Cory had said they could trust Mallory not to spill, but what about that Vivian girl? They knew nothing about her. She seemed like a regular chatterbox. Maybe his anonymity wasn’t as secure as he originally thought.
“Robert? You still there?”
“Huh? Oh, sorry.” Robert rubbed the bridge of his nose. “Was just thinking. Have you talked to anyone else about the attack?”
The woman sounded confused. “Other people?” It was obvious this wasn’t the direction she had anticipated the conversation going. “Um, no, not really. Though I was going to try to talk to your roommates, Cory and Elijah as well.”
“Good.” Robert nodded. “I don’t want it to get out that I was at the monster attack at the arcade.”
“Oh, okay. May I ask why?”
“May I ask why you’re interested? As far as I can tell this wasn’t really school business.”
Silence. “I–” the woman was obviously flustered now, “well–you see–whenever a student goes through a potentially traumatic experience and we know about it in the Campus Counseling department, we try to reach out to them and offer our services. You know, a person to talk to, in case they need it.”
It hit Robert how accusatory his tone must sound. He scolded himself. “Oh, I’m sorry, miss… what was your name again?”
“Ms. Kuna. Yes, as I was saying, I’m sorry. No, I won’t be needing any counseling or anything. I apologize how I came off at the start. I’m just more concerned about the idea that I was at the attack getting out.”
“Why is that?” Normally Robert would consider such questioning nosy but her tone sounded genuine.
“I’m just a private person. I don’t really want a lot of attention.”
“Oh.” Another momentary pause over the phone. “I see. Well I suppose there is no harm in that. But still, how are you doing after that attack? It’d be more than normal for you to be feeling some anxiety knowing anything might be a monster.”
“I’m doing just fine.” Robert pushed aside his homework and turned his computer on. He had a feeling this conversation was going to go on a while and if he was going to properly tune Ms. Kuna out, he needed some Aspect Realms. Certainly wasn’t making him itch to do any homework.
“Really? No, concerns or worries about the monster attack? As I understand it, you were attacked by an arcade game.”
How did this woman know about specific details? “What sense is there in worrying, ma’am? I was there, it happened, and it’s done. The odds of me ever seeing another one of those monsters is rather low. It’d be more sensible for me to be worried about being hit by a driver while going over a crosswalk than another monster attack.”
He could practically hear this woman smirking. “I see you took the statistical approach. Guess that makes sense. Your transcript says you’re a mechanical engineering major, is that correct?”
Robert logged into Aspect Realms. Selecting his sneaky, Deviling Windwhisper he had named Bluster, he prepared himself for some boring conversation with this Ms. Kuna. “Uh huh.”
“But, you seriously aren’t affected at all? Nothing occurred during the attack that concerned you?”
Robert’s eyes glanced down at Eli’s picture of the symbol on his forehead. What did it mean? “Why would I be affected? No offense, Ms. Kuna, but do you expect I just, what, locked myself in my room after the attack and am just shivering with fear?”
“Respectfully, Robert, it’s not as unlikely as you want to make it sound. Everyone responds to stress differently than others. Some people get shaken up by experiences like the one you had.”
Robert inwardly groaned. “Well, you don’t have to worry about me or my roommates responding like that. We all went to classes today and are pretty unaffected.”
“I’ll have to call them to make that determination for myself, but I appreciate the information on them. I have to say, according to the owner, you personally grabbed the attention of the monster to allow all the other patrons to escape. That was very brave of you.”
Robert winced. “It wasn’t bravery. I was just doing what I felt had to be done. Please don’t make me out into a hero.”
Ms. Kuna chuckled. “I promise not to make you into a hero. That, unfortunately, is not what is happening.”
“What I mean to say is, it’s not my job to promote you as some sort of local celebrity. I’m here to be a person you can talk to if you need it. Nothing more.”
“Yes, well, I don’t ever anticipate needing that but thanks for the offer.”
“Try to have an open mind. You may find yourself needing someone to talk to in the near future. You never know what life might bring.”
Robert remembered Spirit Guard Valor’s promise: “My word is as sure as stone. You will hear back from us.”
“No, you really don’t, but if I need to talk to someone, I have friends to talk to. I’m not some lonely, uh, loner who has no friends. That could’ve sounded more intelligent.”
Ms. Kuna laughed. “It’s no matter then. I’m glad to hear you have friends to talk to. A lot of students who come in from out of town don’t have the same support group they had back at home. It is one of the more common problems we find here at the University. It leads to a lot of cases of depression.”
Robert scoffed. “Yeah, you don’t have to worry about that with me.”
Ms. Kuna’s voice grew very interested. “Oh? Not many friends back home? Family problems?”
Robert hated being psychoanalyzed. “Let’s just leave it at I’m glad to be here at college.”
Ms. Kuna’s voice dripped with disappointment. “Well that’s very good to hear.”
Robert wondered what this woman was like. The fact she took a counseling job meant she probably looked for opportunities to actually counsel people. That also meant someone like Robert was going to be annoying for her as he really didn’t feel any need for her help.
“Listen. Schuyler University seems a great place for me to grow and make lifetime connections. Even with the monster attack, my opinion on this has not changed. You really don’t need to worry about me.”
“All the same,” she interjected, “would you be willing maybe to come by my office and chat a little bit? If not for the monster attack then just to discuss your college plan?”
Dear god this woman was tenacious. Robert sighed. A couple members of his guild, the Mayhem Templar, started greeting him, trying to get him to join them on some PvP matches. He wanted to end this call. “What office are you in?”
Her voice brightened right up. “Twenty-one thirty-seven in the Billot Building. I’m here all day tomorrow. When do you want to stop by?”
“I may or may not stop by. If I do, it’s in the morning. But don’t plan on me coming. I’m kind of busy these days.”
“I look forward to seeing you, Robert!”
“Yeah. Thanks. Good bye.” He hung up rubbed his eyes. “Well, I deserve a PvP break now.” He grabbed his headphones and pulled down his microphone. Signing into the Mayhem Templar’s GuildTalk channel, he smiled and announced his presence. “Bluster reporting in.”
“Hey Bluster! Missed you last night!”
“Yeah, where were ya buddy?”
“What’s going on?”
Robert chuckled. “Sorry about last night, everybody. Heard we got roflstomped.”
“Ugh, yeah, last night wasn’t good.”
“Yeah, without you the enemy’s healers weren’t going down. Glad to have you tonight. We need some pro-stalking.”
Robert smiled wide and cracked his knuckles. “Well, pro-stalking is in session. What do you say we kill ourselves some ‘Cords?” Cheers and hoots sounded over GuildTalk. Robert thought about his homework and shrugged. He could do that tomorrow.
Not much in the way of commentary here. Mostly just a chapter I felt I needed to set other things up. Those of you who read MGP Alpha may recognize somet things here that you wouldn’t otherwise. But honestly none of it is a very big deal.
My main goal, as always, was to make sure the conversation felt like it flowed. I hope I achieved that there.
In other news, we’re up to $40 in donations. All we need is another $50 and we’re up to the goal to commission more art! Woo! Thanks for those who donated!
See you all next time,