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Levi Wright

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Levi Wright last won the day on August 22

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  1. That sounds so rough, I hope it goes as well as it can. We'll look forward to your return.
  2. “Attaboy, you can do this,” Captain Maxwell said, and then went back to the passenger area. I put my Thermo Man helmet on and messed with the controls for its sensors while Bishop impatiently flicked a loose piece of rubber on the steering handle grip. With all the sand swirling around outside I couldn’t get my heat vision or anything else to come into focus. As a last resort I set everything’s focal distance to the longest possible and slowly cranked it in, but I got nothing at all until I was close to the nearest focus possible and could faintly make out a few bumps and some linear features on my helmet’s ultrasonic display layer, maybe walking paths or dry creek beds? I switched off the sensor displays to check them against my regular vision. The pattern remained, as scrapes and dings in the tank’s windshield. “You think I could try sticking my head outside or something?” I asked Bishop. “We’re so well protected in here, all I can see is windshield.” Bishop shrugged. “May as well, sand won’t kill ya.” So I went back to the passenger compartment and climbed up to where I could reach the hatch’s latch. “Wow, did Bishop scare you that bad?” Captain Maxwell joked. “I’m just going to try sticking my head out so I can use the sensors without the windshield in the way - if that’s alright.” Octavia looked like she was about to say something, but Maxwell cut her off. “Sure, do your thing.” I opened the hatch and heard a noise that sounded sort of like static, but it was actually a bunch of sand pounding me on the head. I climbed a couple steps higher and stuck my head and shoulders outside so that there’d be less sand raining down on everybody else. “Hey Bishop, can you hear me?” I shouted into the helmet’s mic. “Yeah, if you sound like static,” Bishop said with his voice all distorted and buzzy. “What have you got?” “Uuuuhh,” I said, and wriggled around so I could get my hand outdoors to adjust the dials on the back of the helmet. “There’s a ditch about ten meters ahead of us, we’re gonna need to turn around.” A long, staticky sigh came over the mic. “Alright, is the turn radius clear?” “Yeah, no other obstacles nearby,” I said. Bishop got the tank turned around and slowly rolling along, and I called out the rocks and ditches and stuff I was able to see on my helmet’s sensors. I started to get the hang of what things like “signal’s at ten o’clock” meant, and Bishop got real used to hearing “I meant your other left!” We found the end of the big ditch that’d stopped us in the beginning and got around it, and continued on towards the target. And then I heard Bishop shout. “Not unless you can drive a tank!” “Um, what?” I asked. “I don’t think I got that.” “I was talking to Her Highness,” Bishop grumbled. “Says her seat is too sandy for her.” “Oh. Um, look out, big rock on the right!” There was a bang, and the tank lurched. “Can’t you call it fucking starboard?” Bishop shouted. “Um, sorry, I don’t know which one that is,” I said. “Path to the left is clear for about twenty meters, though.” We kept on like that for a couple hours, and I was glad it was night time because my head would’ve been cooking being outside the tank otherwise. My helmet kept the sand out pretty good, since I’d reinforced the visor’s seal after my match against The Mad Entymologist, but it got in through the collar of my jacket and the cracks in the zipper and maybe even the seams, and I thought I felt sand somehow falling down the legs of my pants, too. I could only imagine how bad it was in the passenger area with sand blowing down in all around me. If the storm got any worse I wouldn’t even be able to hear Bishop over the mic. “Signal at one o’ clock, looks within fifty meters,” Bishop said. “You can see distance on that thing?” “I can at this range. How’s the path?” “Clear as far as I can see, which isn’t all that far, and there’s a big fuzzy something way ahead that might be our box.”
  3. C.V. Hurry Up Bessie, Mule-class Dropship Twycross system pirate jump point, 10 days from planet December 1, 3029 I kicked off the bed and floated myself over to the door, rotating a bit by accident and nearly banging my head on the door latch. The dizziness from the jump had mostly worn off, and I’d probably be good by the time I got back to the mech bay to finish my shift. It would probably make my trip there a little more interesting, but I didn’t want anyone to think I was using the jump as an excuse to get out of work. I strapped my good foot into my one mag boot, and double checked the wires on the magnetic mini cargo holders I’d jury rigged to the ends of my crutches. Once I got used to it, floating places was way more fun, but less safe in an altered state, so I figured I’d stick with the crutches this time. At least this wasn’t a repeat of the jump from Oberon to Blackstone. That one also happened during work, and some of the junior repair guys invited me to hang out with them in the break area during it. It usually didn’t seem like they even wanted me around much, and I really wanted to make some friends or at least get along better with my coworkers, so I took them up on it. We put away the supply closet for safety - well, mostly I did, Joe and Benny said they had paperwork to finish up. When it was time for the jump, they said they’d tell me a secret - that if you spin really fast during a jump, sometimes you catch a glimpse of an alternate universe. But you need to have spotters to make sure you don’t bang your head and get a huge concussion. Since it was my first time ever, they offered to spot for me. Well, I didn’t hit my head, but when the jump started it made me feel like I was spinning in both directions at once and my stomach was spinning on a whole other axis all to itself. I hit my elbow pretty hard on something, and the room all started to blur together and next thing I knew Joe was holding me over the sink and I was puking while Joe laughed at Benny and Benny tried to wipe my puke off his shirt with paper napkins. And then, once I got cleaned up and went back to work, everything was exactly where we left it - they’d made me put the whole break room into the closet for no reason. So that’s how I learned that Joe and Benny are assholes. They were friendlier assholes afterwards, though. Luckily I don’t actually have jump sickness, as long as I stay still and close my eyes while we’re in hyperspace. --- I climbed back into Steve’s mech, and kept working on fixing the electrical system. According to the diagnostic tools I’d gotten all the main controls hooked up correctly, except that when I tried to fire the big gun, the test module screen didn’t record it as being fired, and the milkshake machine spat out a candied cherry instead. The trigger was connected to the gun’s firing mechanism. I’d tried checking it with several different diagnostic boxes in case the testing tools were the problem, and they all showed every other weapon firing fine and this gun being a dud. I’d even checked the milkshake machine, in case it was interfering with the mech’s functioning somehow, but it was unconnected from the rest of the mech except for its’ power cord and didn’t even have any candied cherries left in the ingredient bin. I heard footsteps and peeked out of the canopy-less cockpit, to find that everyone had left for the day. The only other person in the mech bay was Captain Maxwell, who was headed towards HAGAKURE. “Hi,” I yelled awkwardly from the cockpit. My voice echoed on the metal walls. “Hey ho, Mister Thermo! Burning the midnight oil?” he called up to me. “I sort of lost track of time,” I shouted back. “Sorry. I’ll be down in a sec.” I quickly checked my wiring job to make sure I hadn’t left any fire risks behind, shoved the tools into a toolbox, and pushed it ahead of me as I crawled to the cockpit door. Crutches didn’t fit so well in a mech cockpit, even one as big as Steve’s, so crawling around was my best option. I didn’t really mind, though, the floor was nearly clean enough to eat off of now. (Getting it that way was another story. As the new guy, my first job was scrubbing down Steve’s mech after it had been hosed out. I wore a hazmat suit. It took three days.) I left the toolbox in the cockpit since I didn’t have a good way to carry it down, and carefully climb-hopped down the ladder to meet Captain Maxwell at the base of the mech. "You look like you're settling in! Even climbing around." Captain Maxwell smiled. "Well, to be fair, zero gravity helped with a lot of my productivity," I replied. "But, yeah, now that we're under thrust? Baby steps. Uh, no pun intended. What can I do for you?" "Aside from...telling me how you're doing?" Maxwell inquired. "Sorry. Still getting used to that. Oberon's good for a lot of things, but most of them come with threats of violence." I admitted. "I'm sorry to hear that. I hope this place is better. If you'd like, I can swear and yell more, but...it's not really my style," Charles quipped, gazing off into the bay. “Nah, this is good. But I assume that this visit is more than social?” I asked. “Indeed it is. I need to know what kind of hardware we're capable of fielding in a pinch. If we run into trouble down on the planet, I want to be able to drop a train on it. Figuratively at the very least. Literally, if the Atlas is back up and running." "Uh, well..." I began. Charles raised an eyebrow. "There's the Raven..." I continued, slowly. "And?" Maxwell pressed. "And that's about it. There's only so much we can get done with me on a crawler most of the time, only a few other MechTechs, and a grab bag of spare parts. Sir." I explained, nervously. “Well,” he said. I fidgeted. “Better to find that out now, I suppose. Let’s just hope that anything that gets thrown at that bird is small enough for it to swallow.” “I’ll let everyone know that it might get fielded,” I said. “We’ll make sure it’s in top condition for you.”
  4. I crutched down to the gym after my shift. I still had a cast on, but Mallory thought I should start practicing my physical therapy exercises with my good foot so I’d already be familiar with the motions when the cast came off. I’d also been trying out some of the weight machines, since I felt kinda scrawny next to these buff mercenary guys, and I wanted to fit in. Steve was already there, practicing martial arts forms. He had big shiny headphones on, and matching shiny gym shorts, and looked really intensely focused. He did say once that getting completely meditated helped his fighting skills. I figured I should leave him to it and say hi if I was still there when he was done. I did some stretches in an empty space between machines to avoid getting in Steve’s way. Then I quickly ran through the physical therapy exercises as best I could on my crutches - walking back and forth using just the toes of my good foot, going up and down a short set of stairs, and doing “lunges”, except with my knee on a bench instead of my foot on the floor because you can’t really do lunges in a cast. It all felt a bit silly, and I was glad Steve was too focused on his martial arts to notice me. When I was done, I pushed the bench under the machine with the metal plates and pulling ropes so I could practice for doing a pull-up, since I couldn’t even do a pull-up yet. I put the pegs under the weight plates to lift a couple kilograms heavier than I did last time, then sat down the bench and started my set. I had a pretty good view of the open exercise space from where I was sitting, and Steve was really tearing it up - punching and dodge-rolling and roundhouse kicking, like he was fighting invisible ninjas. I almost got to the end of my set, and as I was struggling to pull the weights up one last time, Steve did a flying leaping screaming kick and I dropped ropes and the weights banged and nearly fell off the bench. Steve pulled his headphones off and said cheerily, “hey Thermo Man, when did you get here?! I just finished warming up, do you want to see my new Technique?”
  5. I’d said to Mallory earlier that I should probably tell the captain I was here, and he asked which captain, and I said I don’t know, either one, or whoever is less likely to put me off the ship. Mallory said that wasn’t likely, but I didn’t want to count my ducks before they were hatched. So it wasn’t really a surprise when Mallory suggested Captain Maxwell come talk to me, but I still felt caught off guard and had to scramble for what to say so he might not get mad at me for stowing away. Or at least get less mad. "Hi, Captain Maxwell,” I said, trying to sound like a really polite stowaway. “Sorry for sneaking aboard and for tying up your medical staff here with my...problem." "If anyone deserves an apology, it's you," he said, and then drank some coffee and made a face that I hoped was at the coffee and not at me. "In our rush to shove off, the message that you wanted to ask for a lift out of the world got delayed. Patching you up is the least we could do to make it up to you and to show our appreciation for the help you gave us. What've you got planned next?" “Oh, um,” I said, and then remembered to think before talking. I’d figured that helping with their mercenary gig was the least I could do after messing up one of their mechs while trying to steal it, but this probably wasn’t a great time to remind the captain of that. “I didn’t really plan this far ahead, to be honest. I was going to ask if I could clean and do janitor stuff to pay my way, but Mallory says I’m going to be in a cast for a few weeks. Do you need help with anything that doesn’t require two good feet? Or I could get off at the next port, if you’d rather have me out of your hair.” Maxwell absent-mindedly took another sip of his coffee before apparently remembering how unpleasant the last mouthful had been. Tossing the concoction in a nearby waste receptacle, he looked thoughtful for a moment before replying. “Well, I’m in no real hurry to show you the airlock, particularly since you’re on the mend and we bear at least some responsibility for that,” the Captain began. “Steve mentioned that you’re pretty handy with a wrench - is that true?” “Yeah, he kept us from getting killed AND dead!” Jenkins called out from his medical ward. A loud metallic clank followed, accompanied by what I swear were the sounds of bells ringing. I had no idea what was going on in there. “I know a few things, I guess,” I nodded. "Well, we have a ‘Mech bay full of Swiss-cheesed hardware and not enough hands to get things up and running in any amount of time that I’m comfortable with. If we need to deploy unexpectedly, we’re not exactly in prime condition to do so. There’s a fair amount of repair you can do sitting down or in a sling, right?” “Yeah, I could do that,” I said, and tried to look confident. I think I did alright. I’d just have to be really careful not to make any more stupid mistakes like what happened to Bald Chuckie’s Flea.
  6. Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation Port Royal spaceport Dropship Hurry Up Bessie October 9, 3029 - 01:30 AM Trying to walk quietly with a broken foot is kind of pointless. A lot of the hallways had grab bars along the side, and using those to shuffle along was quieter than hopping, but still at least as loud as a normal walk. I lucked out though, and didn’t pass anyone in the hall on my way to sick bay. Sick bay looked pretty empty, too. The lights were turned down low, and Alyssa was lying in one of the hospital beds, but she was sleeping like a rock. I really didn’t want to wake her up, and I wasn’t sure what in sick bay I could use as a hand hold without making a bunch of noise. I used my watch-flashlight to get a clearer view of the room, and find where the Rx cabinet was. This was actually one of the only times I’d used it as Thermo Man - well, sort of as Thermo Man - I mostly just used it to find the light switch in my apartment and dumb stuff like that. The Rx cabinet was along the wall to my right. In between was empty floor, and the ends of a couple beds. They looked like they might be the old kind with creaky springs, so leaning on them was out. That left walking. I put my bad foot down, started to put my weight on it, and then picked it back up - the painkillers were really wearing off. Maybe it was for the best, since my hands were less shaky now, but this was going to suck. There was no way to make this better, so I just went for it. My foot got all stabby, and I almost yelled, but it came out as a “mrmph” noise instead and then I was safely back on my good foot. I looked over at Alyssa; she made a grumbling noise and turned her head to face the other direction, but didn’t wake up. I gritted my teeth, took four more steps and made it to the medicine cabinet. The door had a keyhole, but it wasn’t actually locked. I scanned over the pharmacy stuff with my flashlight, trying to find the same pills Nick was about to give me before he found out about the pills Steve already gave me - or at least some kind of pain medicine. A bunch of them had weird names and some of them were labeled in letters I didn’t know how to read. A light turned on behind me, and I turned around so fast I nearly fell over. Then a bunch of other lights came on, and the guy who I’d seen sitting under the table at the bar, who was apparently the medic Doc Mallory who had not actually been killed by a pneumatic sledgehammer, came into the room. He was wheeling a long metal food service cart with Steve Jenkins lying on top where the food would normally go, passed out and covered in reddish-brown puke. I guessed that explained the mess I’d seen in the elevator. Doc Mallory squinted at me. I froze. The doc was wearing a medical scrub top, flannel pajama pants with pictures of trains on them, and slippers that looked like they very badly needed to go through the wash after what they’d just been through. Then, as his brain was finally kicking into gear, he barked “Hey, what are you doing here?” “I’m the new janitor?” I said, not entirely confidently. The doc gave me a skeptical look. This wasn’t working. “Or at least, Nick thought Captain Maxwell would help me get off planet, and I was going to offer to work to pay my way, and on my way here on the elevator I noticed you really needed a janitor around here. But then I couldn’t find Captain Maxwell before the ship launched, so now I’m just… here.” Mallory blinked at me. “You’re standing on one foot,” he said. “I broke the other one,” I said. “That could be a problem in your new career,” Mallory said. “Since I’m awake at this godforsaken hour anyway and Mr. Jenkins is stable, let’s have a look.” “Um, I don’t have that kind of money. Or health insurance.” “Consider it a favor,” the doc said. “You look a bit worse for wear.” “Oh, wow. Thank you for helping me out. And not airlocking me.” The doc gave me a funny look as I sat down on the end of one of the hospital beds. “Is Steve going to be okay?” “Based on those goose eggs I’d guess he took a few blows to the head during the mission, so he might’ve shook a couple brain cells loose, but I’d be surprised if he’s not back to his usual self in a few days,” Mallory said. “He has a way of springing back from these things.” Alyssa started grumbling in her sleep again, so the doc went over to check on her and pull the curtain around her bed shut so the lights wouldn’t bug her so much. Then he got the x-ray scanner ready. “The scanner wants a medical record to attach this to - should I put you down as ‘Book Gamble’, “Well, actually, I made that name up because I was scared that if someone overheard you using my real name on Oberon I might get ganked. My real name is Leviticus Wright.” “Leviticus Wright. That sounds even more made up.” “Well I usually go by Levi. My mom was going through a weird phase.” “If you say so, Leviticus,” Mallory said. Mallory fiddled with the scanner for a couple more minutes, and then mounted it on the rails on either side of the bed. He had me lay with the left side of my foot facing up so he could scan it, and then again with the right side up, and then once more from the back since the break was probably in the heel. Then he looked back and forth between the machine’s screen and my foot, and I wasn’t sure if his expression meant I should be worried or if he was just groggy. “I’d say you messed yourself up a bit,” he finally said. “How far did you walk on this?” “Um,” I said, thinking. “I ran a bit when I had to get rid of the helicopter, and I think I stepped on it by accident a bit when Steve was helping me get across the roof to the security shack, and I walked across sick bay to get medicine without waking Alyssa up, and I also did a whole lot of hopping.” Mallory sighed. “Next time, don’t do that. Better yet, don't do whatever broke it in the first place.” He stared at the x-ray screen, and his eyes started to glaze over. “Mind if I give you some pills and call it a night?” he asked. “I can put your parts back where they belong, but you’d probably rather have awake-me do it.” “Thank you, Doc,” I said. “This is probably a weird question, but is there someplace I can sleep where I won’t get in anyone’s way or get put in the brig?” “Didn’t you hear what I just said? No running, walking or hopping. Stay right there in bed where you’re not making more work for me in the morning.” “Oh… right. Thanks, Doc.”
  7. Oberon VI - Oberon Confederation Port Royal spaceport Dropship Hurry Up Bessie October 9, 3029 - 12:30 AM I’d meant to ask Captain Maxwell if I could ride along on the ship for a while, at least to get offworld and out of shooting range of Bald Chuckie’s guys, but I never got the chance. The captain was talking to the pilot of the landing craft, and then helping Alyssa off of the landing craft, and then fast-walking all over the place and talking to the other mercenaries, and I didn’t want to get on anyone’s bad side by interrupting and I couldn’t keep up anyway because of my busted foot. After that I lost track of him completely, and when the speakers in the small craft bay said “Launch will commence in three minutes” I’d lost track of him completely, so I figured I’d hunker down and hope for the best. I found an aircraft-style seat set into an alcove behind where the landing craft was parked, and my hands were still all shaky but after about five tries I even got the seatbelt to lock closed. I looked all around and couldn’t see anyone else, which I hoped meant that they couldn’t see me, even though I was still wearing a bright yellow jacket with red and orange flames on it. I’d just have to quickly hide behind or inside something once it was safe to take the seatbelt off, and once I figured out how to know when it was safe to take the seatbelt off. I’d never been off world before. The drop ships on TV and in movies looked sorta, different, from this one. Shinier, less rust, no bits of hay on the floor. Why was there hay on the floor? Another message came on the speaker - “Attention all hands, Launch is commencing. We’re using the abbreviated launch procedure, so everybody hold on to your britches!” That was also nothing like the movies. Some of the lights in the small craft bay turned off, and others changed color, and then a few different kinds of rumbling noises happened one after another and made the floor vibrate. I wound up having to ride with my foot off the ground because even with Steve’s weird meds and the normal ones Nick gave me, the vibrations really hurt. Then we went FOOOOM into the air just like the Pillar of Panic ride at the boardwalk, except that it kept on going up for ages. Between my experiences with the Pillar of Panic and the helicopter, I kept expecting it to drop me and even checked my clothes for a parachute cord a few times, but instead it just continued on up and then very gradually slowed down. I waited til I heard some people moving around at the other end of the bay, and then I figured it was probably safe to get out of my seat, so I poked at the seatbelt button with my jittery hands until I managed to click it right and get the seatbelt to release. Then I hobbled over to the landing craft, sat down on the boarding steps that were luckily still deployed and scooted up one step at a time. It worked pretty well - not foot stabbing, and no clanging noises to give me away. I got inside one of the big empty lockers on the landing craft to wait and see if anyone was coming. I waited a really long time, and most of the lights even turned off automatically while I was in there. Even from inside a dark locker with only an air vent to see out of, I noticed that the landing craft had some maintenance issues. About every thirty seconds or so I heard a quiet drip, which could have been condensation, but since it kept going even with the craft most of the way powered down it was probably a leak. And there was this annoying little bzzt noise that happened at random, just loud enough to cut through the hum of the drop ship’s engines. Once I felt sure enough that the coast was clear, I got out of the locker. I found where I’d left my helmet and put it on a table so I could grab it if I had to leave quickly - I didn’t want to lose the gear I’d worked so hard on, and also the helmet and the clothes I was wearing were all I had right now. Then I grabbed a lime soda with a picture of a green cougar on it, a bag of “CheeZingerS” and a weird cookie and frosting sandwich in a bag that said “Mrs. Yoder’s Famous WHOOPIE PIE” on it. Most of the snacks on the ship looked a little weird, but at least these ones looked good-weird. I sat down sideways on a bench seat, put my feet up on the armrest and opened up my weird snacks. I’d meant to just eat my snacks and go to sleep, but the “go to sleep” part wasn’t going so well. The bench seat was all lumpy, the smell of blood on the cot nearby was bringing up bad memories, my foot was starting to feel stabby again now that the painkillers were wearing off, and whenever I started to actually feel sleepy the landing craft would go drip… drip… drip… BZZT and wake me up. It was also hard not to worry about my situation. I wasn’t going to die in the desert or get knifed by one of Chuckie’s guys, but being a stowaway on a mercenary ship was still pretty bad. I’d helped them out, but before that I’d tried to rob them, so I really wasn’t sure where I stood. Nick thought that Captain Maxwell would help me out, but I wasn’t sure what would happen if someone else found me before I found the captain. What if one of the big scary guys from the ground team chucked me in the airlock without checking with him? Could they do that? And what if the drop ship crew had their own captain and he wanted me gone? Even if they let me off at a planet or spaceport, I’d have no money, no one to vouch for me, and might not even speak the right language to talk to anyone. I figured my best shot was to try to get a job on the ship - so I needed to get myself fit to work as soon as possible.
  8. The landing craft had way too many compartments. The pilot was busy flying, and Nathan was busy hacking, and Steve was about to go on the roof, and I didn’t want to bug them about where the medical supplies were, so I just peeked inside every door, bin and hatch that wasn’t locked. There were a lot of them, a few were big and empty but most of them were jammed full of tools and cable ties and snack food and cleaning supplies and totally weird stuff like inch long “yum apple” flavored pill capsules and a muzzle too big for any dog I’d ever seen in my life. It was also kind of hard getting the little doors all open and then closed again and figuring out what was in there, because my vision would go double if I didn’t squint good enough and my hands kept shaking like the time I tried to eat a whole bag of coffee beans in the fifth grade because Jessica Smyth dared me to. That might’ve been because of Steve’s pain pills, since my foot was feeling pretty alright as long as I didn’t try to stand on it. I made the mistake of looking at Nick’s screen when I was going to check inside the drawers by where he was sitting. His computer had debug type text scrolling over a video feed of the inside of an office, except holes were getting busted in the walls and there was all this red stuff all over. I tried to pretend that was a sausage making accident or a tomato food fight or something. It definitely wasn’t. I decided to skip those drawers and check them last. Once I’d run out of places to look without getting in anybody’s way or anywhere close to Nick, I finally noticed the first aid kit behind the copilot chair. Of course it would be reachable from the cockpit, I should’ve thought of that. So I very quietly reached in and grabbed it, because the pilot seemed really focused and I didn’t want her to get mad at me. Then I heard a thump on the roof, which probably meant that Steve was back. So I held the med kit between my knees and used the grab bars inside the landing craft to scoot back over to where I’d found a pull-out bed earlier. The pull out mechanism must’ve been bound up inside or something, because it didn’t want to come out even when I was yanking on it with both hands, and then suddenly it came out all at once and I fell on my ass since I wasn’t expecting it. Just then Steve came down the ladder from the roof, and very helpfully said “this is Captain Maxwell and LT Chase.” I hadn’t known the lady’s rank, but I’d also totally forgot her name and a first name would’ve been helpful… oh well, not really important right now. The captain and lieutenant were climbing down the ladder together, with his arms sorta around where her feet were stepping, like he wanted to make sure that if she fell she fell on him. They were both soaking wet and a bit roughed up, but she was really roughed up, with blood running down her face and stuff. Once they both climbed down, the captain went to close the hatch after them. I noticed the lieutenant wasn’t standing too steady, so I held my hand out to her without really thinking, and she took it, except I couldn’t keep the both of us steady while standing on one foot like I’d been doing. So I walked her over to the bed as quick as I could. My foot wasn’t as bad as it used to be, but it was still a really bad few steps. She laid down, and I kneeled on the floor nearby and opened up the med kit on the foot of the bed. “Miss Chase, were you cut, shot or poisoned, or anything else that’d kill you if it’s not fixed quick enough?” I asked awkwardly. Techno Match first aid was usually just frozen peas and aspirin, and I had no idea what she’d just been through, other than it was probably worse than that. She laughed weakly. “Just Alyssa, and no.” I rifled through the jumble of medical supplies in the kit, tossing the stuff that looked useful into the “lid” half of the container. “Okay, that’s good… well, relatively,” I said. I ripped open a paper packet and handed Alyssa the square of bandage stuff inside. “Here, for your nose. It’s still, uh-” Alyssa very slowly brought the bandage stuff up to her face, like it was hard to move her arms or something, and then used it to wipe up the blood and try to stop her nosebleed. She said “thanks,” and her voice sounded kinda funny from having bandage stuff blocking up half her nose. I was thinking what to do next, and realized her arms were almost as bruised up as her face, and normally I would be going for the frozen peas, but there weren’t any because the landing craft had no freezer. I used some antiseptic wipes to clean off the cut on Alyssa’s forehead and the scrape on her shoulder. It must’ve been the new kind that doesn’t sting, since she didn’t flinch or anything, even though my hands were still all shaky from Steve's pills. Then I looked through the kit again, and found these plastic packets that said “CHILL PAD” on them. The instructions said they get cold when you pull the tab, which didn’t really make sense, but I tried it and it really did get cold. I laid it over her forehead and her black eye, and she seemed to relax a bit, so maybe it was helping. “There’s one more of those, where should I put it?” I asked while opening the second CHILL PAD packet. Alyssa started to lift her arm, then winced and put it back down. “Right arm, near the elbow,” she said. I draped the pad over her arm, trying to cover as much of the bruising as I could. “Have you got any blankets?” Alyssa asked. Of course she’d be cold, she was soaking wet. We were all soaking wet, but there was so much going on I’d nearly forgotten about it. “Oh right, hypothermia is bad too, I’ll go find something!” I said and jumped up, nearly tripping over my own bad foot. “I’m not dying, Book, I’ve been through worse than this,” She said with this half-annoyed, half-amused tone of voice as I hopped away to look for bedding. I’d already searched just about every compartment on the ship without finding any blankets, so I only had to check the drawers near where Nick was sitting, and then grab the few possibly-useful things I’d seen earlier. Luckily Nick’s screen wasn’t horrifying anymore, but the drawers behind his workspace only had food and stuff. So I grabbed an only-slightly-expired orange juice box from there, and then collected up a crinkly foil tarp labeled ‘emergency blanket’, a lacy shawl made of yarn, and some towels that had bits of hay stuck to them and brought it all back to Alyssa. “This is all the blanket-ish stuff I could find,” I said. “And juice - I think I remember something about doctors giving people juice for some reason?” Alyssa sighed. “Let’s go with the cow-scented towels. Thanks, Book.”
  9. I’d been paying more attention to Steve’s bathroom battle than to the comms, but tuned my brain back in when a transmission mentioned Steve and I. "Rebus to Dionysus and...'Thermo Man'...hold off on shutting down the cameras. Go ahead and kill everything else. We've had a contingency." "Aye aye, Cap'n Crunch!" Steve responded. I pulled the access card from the emergency shutoff button’s card reader. “I guess we’ve got to use the computer terminals to turn off one piece at a time.” I sat down in a desk chair and put the card into the keyboard’s card slot, and a “logging in…” message appeared on the screen, with the three dots slowly changing color in sequence. I spun the chair around and saw Steve staring longingly at the big red button while he pulled his stolen access card out of its’ reader. “I always wanted to push one of these things,” he said sadly. “Maybe they’ll need everything down later?” I said. The screen was still showing the logging in message with those three stupid blinking dots. Maybe it was just the whole situation of someone having just been kidnapped and everyone depending on us to take security down so she could get rescued, but something about that blink pattern seemed especially infuriating. The dumbass computer finally let me in. A mail client and a timecard were already open on the screen, but they didn’t seem useful so I closed them. There were a bunch of different icons, mostly labeled with words that didn’t actually mean anything, like “Vertimax” and “Moderan” and stuff, probably company names. So I just clicked a few. I found a map of the building that didn’t seem to have any options that actually did stuff, and a giant spreadsheet of names and times that might’ve been tracking when people entered the building, and a robot maintenance program. At least the robot stuff might be useful. I clicked around in the robot program, and pretty quickly found an option to schedule self-diagnostics for the bots. The program really wanted me to have them self-scan in batches, I guess so that there would always be at least one robot online per floor, which was the exact opposite of what I wanted. So I went under advanced, and was able to find an override to make all the bots go offline for a full diagnostic all together. Only, it wanted an administrator password. Very, very carefully, I typed in “admin”. And it actually worked. I heard a big thud and turned around, luckily it was just Steve banging on his desk in frustration as the blinky dots taunted him. He spun around in his chair and shouted, “WHY is it taking so long?!” “Mine was real slow too, I said, “maybe your guy had more programs open. You’ll probably get in soon.” Then I switched on my radio. “Sky 3 to ground team, all the ‘Uslop’ brand robots are offline for self-diagnostics, I think that’ll keep them busy for at least half an hour. It looks like each manufacturer uses different control software, so I don’t know if that’s all of them. Did you see any other labels on the robots?” “Bastion here, there were some with a dragon insignia, but I didn’t recognize the company. Does that help?” Orlex responded over the radio. “It might, thanks,” I said. “GWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!” Steve yelled. It was the noise you’d expect someone to make if they saw a really big spider in the shower with them, so it was weird coming from a mercenary martial artist. “Steve, are you okay?” I called across the room, while looking all over the computer screen for a dragon icon. “Yeah, it was just something the last person had left open,” Steve said. “Okay… do you see anything dragon related on your screen? Like software icons.” “No, but there’s one that’s the word Dragon in Kuritan,” Steve said. “Yes, that one! Open it up and see if you can turn the robots off!” I shouted. “I’m checking the other programs now, in case there’s turrets or something too. I had no idea how the word dragon looked in Japanese letters, so I let Steve handle that one while I opened up random programs to see if I could turn anything else off. I found some authentication related stuff, but I wasn’t completely sure how to leave things open instead of locking them closed, so I left those programs open in the background for now. Movement caught my eye on one of the screens on the wall, and I looked up. A security robot wheeled toward the camera on its’ treads, patrolling a dark hallway. The image started to get foggy, like there was smoke or something, and then there was a sudden flash of light and the feed cut out. “W00t!” Steve shouted. “Dragonbots are donezo.”
  10. "Sky Team this is Ground Team 2, I hope your EW Ops are going to plan because we need immediate assistance. We've got a Security Bot on the 40th floor that is very angry with our presence, make that two Security Bots, and I imagine there are some on the 41st floor that'll be looking for us shortly. Anything you can do to assist would be greatly appreciated." That sounded… really, really not good. The security bots themselves weren’t necessarily that scary - well, me fighting them would be really scary, but these mercenary guys seemed prepared to take on anything. The bad part was that Orlex sounded a little worried even over the radio, and when a badass battle mech pilot who’s also a cyborg sounds worried, that means something. I was also pretty worried about me, though. I’d found this rusty pipe… thing, maybe a leg off of a broken piece of equipment or something, that I was using as a walking stick. It wasn’t a very good walking stick, and I’d probably need a tetanus shot after this, but it was still way better than nothing. I tried to catch up to Steve while Steve fought the security guys, who luckily didn’t notice me or didn’t think I was much of a threat. The guards didn’t stand a chance. They seemed to have left their guns behind in the security building, and relied on basic stuff like charging, punching and makeshift weapons while Steve moved like a martial artist, easily knocking the first two guards off the roof. Steve seemed really frustrated with how the fight was going, though - maybe he’d been trying to take all of them alive? Killing a guy by accident would be like when your cat brings you the severed head of a cute little baby squirrel. Or like accidentally crashing a helicopter into an apartment building and making a bunch of people have to run for their lives. I hoped everyone got out alright. Anyway, Steve was facing off with the last two guards, and one of them was actually on fire, like his clothes were all burning and he didn’t even care, he just charged at Steve anyway and tried to punch him in the head and then Steve’s hair went FWOOM in a big fiery burst that lasted just a second, and somehow he still had hair when it was over - I’d have to find out how he did that and if I could use it for Techno Match, if I lived through this. Steve kicked the on-fire guard, and then the other guard grabbed Steve from behind and lifted him up over the edge of the building, like he was gonna throw him off and kill him. I was still too far away to do anything - I’d been walking on one leg and one rusty pipe thingey to avoid using my bad foot, and hadn’t been able to keep up. But maybe I could still close the distance in time to save Steve, so I picked up the pipe and ran, even though it felt like getting stabbed through the bone every couple steps. The security guard shouted at Steve, and Steve shouted back, and I couldn’t tell what they were saying because the helicopter engines were making a ton of noise right next to us. The guard held Steve out far over the roof like he was about to drop him, and I was almost close enough to hit him with the metal pipe I found and trying to figure out if that would help Steve or put him in more danger. Then Steve busted out some kind of martial arts move so fast I couldn’t even see what he did, and a bunch of blood and what looked like teeth went spraying out of the guard’s mouth and he stumbled backwards and let Steve go. Steve landed safely on the roof, then did a spinning flying kick to knock the guard off balance and then hurled him into the other guard, who was still kinda on fire. The guard who was on fire fell down hard, and the other one stumbled backward. Steve yelled “NOOOOOOOO”, and the guard took another step backward toward the still-running helicopter, and then- FWIZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIISPLORTHSPLATTSPLORTSPLORTSPLATTSPLROTTHTHTBLPPTHTHTHTHHHSPLATT Blood and guts and meat sprayed in all directions. I couldn’t tell if he walked into the tail rotor, or some exposed engine machinery, or what, everything was a mess of blood and there was humanburger all over my helmet’s visor and all over the rest of me too and it was warm and soaking through the unarmored bits of my clothing and I looked away and tried not to puke. I heard Steve make this horrible sobbing noise, so I wiped my visor off with my glove so I could check if he got hurt. He seemed fine, just really, really upset. "Steve, quit screwing around!” Nick barked, looking up from his computer. “Get in there, and turn off the security systems I can't do this by myself!" Steve scrambled to his feet, and immediately perked up. "Oh, right! Yeah, come on, Thermo Man, let's get in there and cut off the cameras and open some doors!" Steve grabbed my hand and took off running toward the security building while I tried my best to keep up. “Steve, I- agh” I yelped as my bad foot met the ground particularly hard. “I can’t keep up, you’ve got twice as many feet as I do!” “What the hell? I don’t-” Steve started to say, and then turned around to see me hopping on one foot behind him and mostly failing to use the pipe for balance. “OoooOOh you meant you busted your foot, I thought you were calling me a spider or something!” He pulled my arm over his shoulder and then kept going, a little slower now that we were trying to run awkward three legged race style. “Shouldn’t you go on ahead?” I said. “Nick sounded like he needed one of us there right away.” “And leave my Battle Buddy behind?” No way,” Steve said, charging ahead. It was hard to time my one-legged hops to his running and I wound up dragging behind him half the time, but we did make it to the security building real quick. The door was too narrow for us to fit through together, so I disentangled myself from Steve so he could get in and used the cane-pipe to hobble inside after him. It was real smokey in there, and it smelled like the time I tried to make myself a plate of chicken nuggets by putting a plastic plate with frozen nuggets on it in the toaster oven, combined with rotten eggs and that wormy smell after it rains. The air burned to breathe too, Steve was coughing like crazy and so was I by the time I caught up to him. Behind all the smoke I could kinda make out a bunch of screens on the walls, and desks all around the edges of the room. I guessed that was how the security guards checked on the cameras. “Okay Thermo Man, you check the ones on the left and I’ll do the ones on the right. We have to stop those bots!” Steve said, still really enthusiastic for a guy who’d just had humanburger sprayed all over him. I sat down at the first desk on my assigned side of the room, and wiped my visor with some fast food napkins that were laying on the desk. There was also a styrofoam soup cup full of chilli, which I shoved aside because I was still struggling to keep my lunch down and really really didn’t want to see anything red and meaty right now. The monitor at the center of the desk showed a login screen, and the others at desk-level were blank. There was no obvious way to log in, and pushing keys only got me a loading icon and “no certificates found”. That was weird. I quickly checked the desk drawers, and looked under the keyboard, trying to find a plug-in security token or something, and then noticed that the keyboard had a funny slot in the top. “Hey Steve,” I shouted, “I think it’s got a card reader. Do any of the terminals on your row have a card still in them?”
  11. Dedicated to Steve Jenkins for his super fun writing style, and the previous residents of our townhouse for their awful pest management. I was freshening up to try to impress a guy, when I saw the Worst Possible Thing: a cockroach in the bathroom! Captain Maxwell would never want to date me again if he knew my bathroom was full of Horrible Roaches!!! (Except that we are married and also it is his bathroom too.) And I didn't even have any shoes on, so I had nothing to squash it with! So I RAN out of the toilet room and got a roll of paper towels and RAN back in and then I tried to beat it to death with the whole roll of paper towels, but it kept moving! "I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU!!!" I yelled, and I smacked it again and again. Then I took a bunch of paper towels off the roll so that it wouldn't have any cockroach guts on it when the next person had to use it, and used them to pick up the roach corpse, but I couldn't throw it away because the bathroom trash can was too small for such a big wad of paper towels and roach corpse. So I took it downstairs to the kitchen trash can, and said "I just saw the most Horrible thing!" "Did you see another roach?" Maxwell asked, because he lives here and already knows that the previous tenants left their roaches behind when they moved out. I said yes, and Maxwell said he knew how to fix the problem, with new ULTRATRAPS that have a high-tech poison in them that makes the roaches burp fire and incinerate all the other roaches in the nest so that you don't have to see them any more. "But don't roaches nest in the walls? The landlord will be really mad if we burn the building down!" I Said. But Maxwell explained, "don't worry, it's special insect-only fire that only burns up roaches and Things." So Maxwell set out the traps, and then we waited for all the roaches to get burnt up in a fiery conflagration of burping.
  12. Steve’s air conditioner science experiment exploded with a huge bang, and then he ran off to go fight any guards that might’ve survived. I was leaning up against the side of the helicopter with both hands, having a staredown with the edge of the door where the locking mechanism probably hooked in. I was also standing on one foot, so I probably looked kind of ridiculous, but at least lasering the edge of the door with my helmet seemed to be working - the edge was getting all melty, and I’d heard a couple clatters as pieces inside got lasered off of where they were mounted and fell down into the crack. Once the melt line went down to a couple inches below the door handle, I gave it a yank and the door busted open, flinging a few bits of hot metal down onto the helipad. I climbed in, which was kinda hard to do on one foot but there were handles on the ceiling and stuff that helped a bit. I turned the throttle stick between the seats to zero, flipped on the master switch for the electric system, pushed the fuel knob all the way in, and held in the fuel button for a few seconds to prime the starter. Then I pulled the lever out and pushed the starter button. The engine made a vVVRRrRrRrRr noise, and then evened out. I knew big vehicles like this usually needed to warm up for a few minutes before they were ready to go, but a lot could happen in a few minutes, like Nick having problems flying through the storm and maybe crashing, or Steve or I getting shot at. So I waited about twenty seconds and then mashed the clutch and turned the throttle all the way up, practically at the same time. The helicopter blades started fwipping around with a huge roar and the helicopter lifted off. It was swaying around kind of crazy in the wind, but generally going up. I dove out before it could get up too high - I wasn't sure I'd have the guts to jump more than a few feet, after what happened last time. I banged my bad foot pretty bad on the way down. Like, if someone had told me I'd had the worst luck ever and landed on one of those new ultrablade razors and cut my heel completely off, I might've believed them. I just laid there on the helipad for a minute, even though I could hear the roaring helicopter blades right above me and knew I might get smashed if it came back down I had to wait for the pain to get a little better so I could do things like see, and think straight. Once my vision unblurred, I looked behind me and saw the helicopter hovering near the pad, maybe two stories of so above the height of the building. I pushed my radio's button. "Sky 3 to Sky 1, obstruction is… partly moved. Stand by." My voice was all shaky and stuff, but Nick still seemed to be able to hear me. "Understood, Sky 3." The helipad was a real bad place to be right now - I'd seen how much trouble Nick had flying in the storm, and the helicopter above me didn't even have a pilot. I slowly got myself up, and then nearly fell over again when I tried to walk because my foot felt like one of those tiny dueling swords was stabbed all the way through it and up my leg. So I had to crawl off the helipad instead. And really, an unlimited helicopter might come down anywhere, so I tried to get as far away from it as I could while looking for something I could use as a crutch or cane or whatever. Then I heard a huge crunching noise and a bang, and the helicopter blade noises stopped, and a siren started going off. I looked behind me and the building next door had a chunk of siding flapping off of it, and the walls underneath on fire. I couldn't see the helicopter - it must have hit the building and then crashed down into the street. More sirens came on, and I watched people start coming out of windows and down the fire escape holding out padds and stuff as flashlights. "Sky 3 to Sky 1," I said over the radio. "Your parking space is clear."
  13. When Nick explained how to do the jump, I knew it was gonna be scary as hell, especially the jumping part, but I figured once I was out of the helicopter I’d just go downward, maybe in that flying squirrel pose that skydiving guys do, and then pull the cord and the parachute would go FWOOM and everything would be fine until I got to the landing, when things would actually get difficult. Instead, it was like if I was the last almond in the can when my sister X would get pissed off that I’d left a mostly-empty nut can in the cupboard and violently shake it up like that would shake the almonds back into it or something. I was absolutely, definitely, without a doubt falling to my death, but the wind was kicking me all over the place and I didn’t even know which way was down because down kept moving, which seemed completely unfair since down was about to kill me and I’d never done anything at all to it. I was supposed to pull the parachute cord, and I was pulling all kinds of stuff that could’ve been the parachute cord whenever my hands weren’t getting flung all over the place, but the harness had all kinds of straps and loops and rings that could have been the cord but weren’t and I was pulling all the ones I could reach but there was no parachute and I was going to die. Just for a second, I thought I saw Steve go zooming toward me like some kind of flying superhero, which was ironic and also impossible. Then I got flipped around by the wind again, and something knocked the wind out of me from behind, and that made me stop screaming for a minute. I breathed, and tried to figure out how to figure out if I was dead yet or not, and then there was another jolt and my fall got a lot slower. So, I wasn’t dead. I was still falling in the general direction of a skyscraper, but the speed was more like a really fast bicycle than a psychotic bullet train. Everything was kind of blurred and streaky through the rain on my helmet visor, and actually kind of beautiful. The lights on the cars painted a red and white grid through downtown, and the buildings had this patchwork effect where the 9-5 offices were dark but the apartments and 24 hour places weren’t. More importantly, I was pretty sure I could see the helipad directly below me, with a helicopter on it - which meant I was still above the correct building. Only, the wind was still blowing me around, so I was moving down and sideways, and pretty soon I wasn’t over the helicopter anymore, which would have been good, except that it looked like I was about to be over the edge the building, and I was still pretty high up but I really really didn’t want to fall all the way down into the street and probably die, so I scrambled to find the button to cut the parachute cord and I did and it worked and I fell. I landed on my feet, but immediately after that I toppled over and landed on my face. I felt mostly okay-ish, given the circumstances; the Thermo Man suit was pretty good for falling on the ground without getting scraped up or anything. I flipped my visor up to look around, and I could see Steve hunkered down by the water tower. That meant he’d made it. I hoped he was alright, and just tired from the jump. I got up, and my one heel felt like it had a needle going the whole way through it whenever I put weight on that foot, which was probably not good. I couldn’t do much about that right now, though. Steve and Nick needed me to do what I - apparently - did best: destroy extremely expensive equipment by trying to drive it.
  14. "Sky 1 to Ground 1, be advised we have a complication,” Nick said over the radio. “There's an aircraft already on the pad. Steve and Book are going to attempt an aerial insertion." “We are?” I half-whispered to Steve. The helicopter lurched sideways in the storm, again, and I tried not to lose my cookies. The smell of Steve’s “Alcohol Drink” really wasn’t helping. “Yeah, it’s gonna be awesome!” Steve said and clapped me on the back. My stomach did another flip. “All you have to do is focus on the Target, and pull on the wires to steer if you’re about to smash into something.” “Actually, all we’ve got are the emergency parachutes,” Nick interjected. “Probably either round or cruciform type, and either way they won’t have steering lines.” I peeked through the streaks of rain on the windows and tried to get a look at where we’d be landing. The buildings mostly all looked the same from up here, and I figured if I landed on the wrong one all alone I’d probably get arrested. A bunch of them had big HVAC units and stuff on the top, too - plenty of things to “smash into”. “Hey Nick,” I said, leaning forward toward the gap between the front seats. “I know you’re all badass mercenary guys who do this all the time, and I don’t want to let you down, but I have no idea how to do any of this stuff. What do I need to do when I jump so that I don’t die?”
  15. I shuffled down the hotel hallway, carefully carrying twelve of those bathroom sink water glasses in my arms, along with a pillow case with my Thermo Man helmet inside. Steve had really, really wanted real cups instead of the disposable kind at the breakfast bar, and I had no idea where to find those before the meeting started, and he said, “just grab the mouthwash glasses after people check out!” So I’d tried a bunch of doors and snuck into a few rooms that people had checked out of and only got screamed at in rooms that still had people in them twice. No one recognized me though, the people who yelled at me were just upset that I was in their room. Either nobody was searching for me in the hotel right now, or taking off the Thermo Man gear, borrowing Steve’s sunglasses and unpicking my braids to give myself an afro was a good enough disguise. I hoped all that had been worth it, because I felt real silly with such big hair. Not that I had anything against big hair, my sister Genny pulled it off pretty good, but on me it just looked weird and whenever I walked by someone I worried if they were going to tell Bald Chuckie’s guys where to find me but also if they just thought I looked like a big weirdo. I peeked through an open door, which I’d gotten very used to doing, but this time it was to make sure I’d found the place where the meeting was going to happen. I didn’t see Steve but some of the other mech people were there so I figured I’d found the place. I tried to quietly slip inside, but my stack of glasses shifted and clanked and I caught the top one with my chin so it didn’t smash on the floor but now everyone was looking at me. “Uh… Steve asked me to bring these,” I said sheepishly. A couple people shrugged and then they went back to what they were doing. I guess they’d known Steve was bringing drinks? So I went and found Steve at the kitchenette, which was just one end of the counter of the bathroom sink which was outside the bathroom instead of inside it. So there was a microwave and the crock pot Steve got from the breakfast bar and some toothpaste and a hairbrush with hair in it and the sink and the soap all together in one place. It was kind of hard to find places for the cups among all that stuff, but I got them all set down without breaking any. “Did you get the cinnamon?” Steve asked, practically bouncing in excitement at his creation. “I was able to get some Cinnaminni Spice Bursts from the vending machine, will that work?” I asked, pulling the candies out of the “Kenny Milkenspill’s Towing” sweatpants that Steve had loaned me. Steve took them from me, and then I tugged the “Jenkins, Jenkins and Jenkins” hoodie to make sure my butt stayed covered because the sweatpants said “HAUL ASS” on the butt and I didn’t need any more embarrassment today. “Well, it’s not what the recipe said, but I guess it’ll be okay once the crock pot melts them,” Steve said. Then he lifted up the lid and dumped the candies in. The guy who I’d seen sitting under the bar last night came over and leaned against the wall next to the kitchen area and asked “what’s cooking?” “It’s Wassail!” Steve said. “What actually is that, anyway?” I asked. “You’d said something about spiced wine and apples, but then we ended up with Yangtze Ale, orange slices and weird candies?” “It’s important to know how to improvise,” Steve said. “There’s also a secret ingredient, do you want to know what it is?” “For the purposes of medical safety, I think that would be wise,” Doc Alden said. “You promise not to tell?” “I think we can consider this to fall under doctor-patient confidentiality,” the doc said, smiling. “It’s Jump Jet Fuel,” Steve said in an exaggerated whisper. Then he clarified, “the energy drink, not the real stuff.” “Do you need help with anything else, Steve?” I asked. “I should probably get out of everyone’s way so your coworkers can talk about your secret mission stuff.” “Are you kidding?” Steve said. “You’re coming too!” “He is?” Doc Alden said. “Of course he should come, he’s a superhero!” Steve said. “Um, whatever it is you all are doing, I’m probably not prepared for it at all,” I said, while having a stupid hairdoo and wearing sweatpants that said HAUL ASS on the butt. “But I really want to make it up to you - what I did to your mech I mean - so if your boss is alright with it, I want to help out.” “Woot!” Steve said.
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