Not an Adventure–so, where to now?

As we enter Starlight’s apartment, I can’t help but glance around at the decor. It’s very simple and understated, not too busy. It feels Spartan, but like a haven rather than a military base. I can still feel the stress that Starlight is obviously under, though. Again, I want to fix it, but I’m not sure how. Food is always a good start, but how should I move forward?

“I don’t know that you’re all taking this seriously,” Starlight says, without preamble. “This could be a potentially dangerous situation, and while the choice to become a superhero is ultimately up to you all, you need to think carefully before making that choice.” I just get the barest wisp of a thought–that Starlight didn’t exactly get a choice, herself–maybe a hint of regret that she rushed into it? I’m not sure.

“I agree,” I say out loud. “It seems that trouble keeps on finding us, so we can’t exactly avoid the choice any more. Should we take this step, or not?” I swallow. Public speaking isn’t exactly my forte. It requires me to be open to the emotions of an entire audience, and that always makes me nervous, when I can’t just block it all out and will myself to relax. “More importantly, does any of us–except Starlight, of course–know anything about self-defense at all? I took one class and carry pepper spray in my purse. That’s it.” There’s absolute silence around the room. Audrey and Saxon look at each other. This has suddenly become more serious than any of us ever expected. The incident at the library showed that. When you have superpowers, trouble just has a way of finding you.

“Maybe we shouldn’t actually choose personas and uniforms just yet,” Rebecca says cautiously. “But I do think we should learn to protect ourselves, should another situation occur.”

“I know how to fight,” Saxon says quietly.

“Then you could teach the rest of us,” I reply. For a long moment, we just gaze around the room at each other and no one says a word. I shiver. It’s as if all the heat was suddenly sucked from the room.

“I can shoot,” Rebecca adds. “Not that it’ll be any help,” she continues shyly.

“No, actually. It might help us to be able to tell how to remove the rounds from a gun.” Again, there is utter and complete silence.

Suddenly I hear Starlight’s voice inside my head, and it’s hard to keep from jumping. She’s projecting her thoughts very deliberately at me, and though the sensation is new to me it’s clear she’s done this before.

Two p.m. on Monday. The gym on Farnam Street. Don’t be late.

It seems that, like it or not, we are all headed… somewhere.

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18 thoughts on “Not an Adventure–so, where to now?

  1. sarahtps August 31, 2015 / 4:22 PM

    Can I just say how weird it was to walk into Starlight’s house and find out that it was so, I don’t know, normal? I mean, it was weird to be going to her house period- not that I didn’t think she had a house, because she obviously isn’t homeless or something, but I guess I expected it to be more of a hideout and less of a house. Well, an apartment. You know. But then we go to her house- apartment- and it’s just normal. There’s no secret code or hidden entrance or anything; it’s just a normal apartment. I don’t know. It was weird, that’s all- or, I thought it was. No offense, Starlight. Thanks for having us over.

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    • erinkenobi2893 August 31, 2015 / 4:56 PM

      Not trying to be clever, but… what concept of normal are we operating on here?
      Feel free to tell me to shut up if I’m making you uncomfortable. I do that a lot and I don’t even realize it most of the time.
      But anyway, that’s her space. Her home is her castle, so whatever she wants in it goes. That’s all the opinion I’m likely to offer today…

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      • coruscantbookshelf August 31, 2015 / 5:26 PM

        My home – well, that is moderately normal. If you ignore all the safety devices and alarms around the place – I had to switch a few things off for you girls to visit. My base, on the other hand…

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      • erinkenobi2893 September 1, 2015 / 10:27 AM

        I am going to be polite and not inquire about the base.
        That reminds me… I had my first experience with a silent alarm when I was five. I rigged up this whole system and then marched right into it like some sort of idiot and completely drenched myself, and the carpet, and the mattress… Dad was furious.

        Liked by 1 person

      • sarahtps August 31, 2015 / 5:31 PM

        The concept of normal that says “this apartment could pretty much be anyone’s.” I’m not saying it’s bad, and I have no ideas what I was really expecting. I probably should’ve been expecting that- but Starlight’s mysterious and an official, working superhero, so I don’t know. It’s like with teachers; you forget they’re normal people. Aaaand that sounded really offense; sorry Starlight. And sorry, any teachers reading this.

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      • erinkenobi2893 September 1, 2015 / 10:25 AM

        I think I understand what you’re getting at… and my room is more like a lair. Science stuff everywhere. Literature too. I guess I’m a bit of a Renaissance woman.

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      • sarahtps September 1, 2015 / 3:01 PM

        I’m really not surprised . . . you seem like you would be. And my room is full of posters and piles of knitting stuff . . . and knitted stuff that I made and don’t know what to do with. I don’t suppose you need a new hat, do you?

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      • erinkenobi2893 September 1, 2015 / 3:15 PM

        I suppose I could always use a new hat… Not with Audrey around, though. She sometimes loves to grab things and run off.

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      • sarahtps September 1, 2015 / 4:40 PM

        Really? She didn’t strike me as that type . . . but I guess I’ve never seen her actually relaxed. She always seems so tense at meetings. Anyway. If you have free time sometime, you can come over and see if you like any of the hats or anything else I’ve made- or I could pick one for you and bring it to the next meeting. If you want one. (Or if you know anyone else who’d want one . . . seriously, I make them because it’s fun, but I have more hats and scarves and wristers and other random knitted stuff than I could ever use.)

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      • erinkenobi2893 September 1, 2015 / 10:20 PM

        Well, my siblings do it, and then she gets into a contest with them. You know, like a grade school shoving match.
        I would love to come and visit you sometime. Have you ever considered starting a small Internet-based business? I’ve been thinking about it a little. Mostly because there are not enough “nerdy glasses” in the world and they’re not quite as nice as I’d like.

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      • sarahtps September 2, 2015 / 7:39 AM

        Ohhhhhh. Yeah, I see.
        Awesome! Maybe . . . I don’t know, when are you free?
        I haven’t actually, but that’s a good idea. I’ll definitely look into that. Thanks!

        Like

      • erinkenobi2893 September 2, 2015 / 8:10 AM

        She… um. I don’t know how to say it.
        I normally have Wednesday nights free, between work and college. Does that work for you?

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      • sarahtps September 2, 2015 / 11:20 AM

        Ok?
        Wednesday nights . . . yep, I’m usually free then, unless it’s the last Wednesday of the month. Which this coming Wednesday isn’t.

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  2. coruscantbookshelf August 31, 2015 / 7:56 PM

    No offense – if it’s easy to forget that Starlight has a ‘normal’ persona, that means that anybody connected to the ‘normal’ persona is safe. However, I must disagree with you, Rebecca: if we are going to continue meeting, we will have to do two things: come up with personae for the rest of you very soon, and come up with an excuse for how we all know each other in ‘normal’ life. Saying you met me as Starlight simply won’t cut it if we’re seen in ‘normal’ and questions are asked.

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    • erinkenobi2893 September 1, 2015 / 10:23 AM

      We could say we met at the hospital when I broke my pinky finger a few years back and had to have it set and you were there with your cousin in the emergency room and she was sick. Technically it’s true, I didn’t make the connection until just now, though. Look–my pinky’s still a bit crooked. You can tell. The babysitter’s idiot boyfriend tweaked it while it was healing.

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      • coruscantbookshelf September 1, 2015 / 3:04 PM

        That could work with one of the others who has a cousin. Good thinking.

        Like

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