Rather than knocking, Audrey just walks into my room. “Long week?” I ask, without looking up. I’m currently trying to figure out which amino acids–it’s not specified, but with this notebook, it looks like the smaller ones, hooked up into a sequence the likes of which I haven’t seen before–Audrey’s mother linked up to make the genetic switch to give her daughter superpowers. It’s fascinating reading, but there are huge gaps in the information. It’s likely that no one will ever be able to decode it, actually. I doubt that even Stephen Hawking (or whoever the equivalent is when it comes to advanced genetics) would be able to make head or tail of this mess.
“Yeah,” Audrey says shortly.
“Well, if it makes you feel better, it’s not likely to get better until you finish college.” I level a meaningful glance at her. “If you’re planning on going to college at all, that is. I’m willing to help you circumvent the system if an education is what you want.”
She clicks her tongue and points at me. “You just handed me a blank check. That was a mistake.”
“Friends are worth making mistakes for,” I counter. “Did your mother invent her own language? I can’t make head nor tail of this, incidentally.”
“Only you would use ‘incidentally’ instead of ‘by the way’,” Audrey mocks in a friendly fashion.
“They mean the same thing, don’t they?”
“In common usage, they’re not equivalent,” she says. “No wonder people keep asking you if you’re British.”
“Last week I had someone ask me if I was Vulcan,” I remark honestly, and we both laugh. “Seriously, though, they did.” I continue. “Why they’d think that, I can’t imagine.”
“Your accent is American. You can’t excuse yourself for your non-idiomatic usage by a foreign accent,” Audrey says.
“My ears weren’t even covered!” I protest. Audrey laughs again.
“Look at this junk from the Herald,” she says, handing me a copy. I frown at the headline.
“‘The Psychology of Superheroes’–Audrey, this is a column. It’s not a psychological journal. It’s opinion, and that’s all it is. What trash.” I throw the paper to one side, instantly regretting it as it appears that some sort of archaeological story made the front page. I’ll catch up on that later, I guess.
“Starlight’s left, and we’re not supposed to do anything until she gets back.” Audrey flops over-dramatically on my bed. “I’m boooooooooored,” she announces.
“Help me decipher these notes, then,” I counter.
“It’s a disposable superhero maker,” she shrugs, referencing TVTropes. “We’ll never get it to work again.”
“They called the super-soldier serum from Marvel that and we still got a whole slate of metas who owed their powers to it,” I retorted. “First Red Skull. Captain America, the Captain America knockoffs, the Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Hulk, all the other Hulks. Seriously, why are there so many Hulks? I know that there are so many Caps because of Cold War-era retconning. Sometimes I really dislike comics. Everyone and their dog has an entourage which shares the same superpower. What’s the point of that? They all have the same powers, they can’t cover each others’ weaknesses. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“That’s why we’ve got the Avengers,” Audrey says religiously. I grab the newspaper up and smack her lightly with it.
“Okay. You win. Let’s shove these indecipherable papers back under my bed and go to the gym,” I say.
I hope that we won’t need to understand these papers any time soon.