The Valkyrie’s Daughters: Part X

The Valkyrie’s Daughters

Part X: Overwhelming Friendship

By the time we went home, I had a feeling I had done something wrong. Ike had just gotten quiet and withdrawn, but I couldn’t think of why… They wished me a good night and we went our separate way… I wasn’t tired yet to I went out for flight practice. I was getting better.

After a short night of sleep, I came out of my room still in my pajama. I stretched only for Avery to run up to me.

“Michelle! Hey, I was just wandering and it’s great that you’re here because I’m really bored and… wait, did you just wake up? I’ve been awake for over an hour. I didn’t sleep very well.” They said really quickly. I blinked and they sighed. “My hearing forgot to turn off and everything was loud.”

“I did. That doesn’t sound good, are you going to be okay for class today?” I said, frowning. “I stayed out late yesterday with Ike, then went to practice flying again.”

“I’ll be fine. I remembered to turn off my hearing now and I didn’t even hear you coming! Wait, you went fishing right? How was that?”

“It was so fun, I caught a huge fish and it was sooo good.”

“Ooh, that sounds cool! I don’t really like fish unless it’s breaded. Otherwise it’s slimy. Do you wanna go back to my room and talk for a bit in there before we have to go eat? I don’t wanna talk to new people.”

I took a second or two to process all that that before nodding. “Sure, it’s upstairs?”

“Yeah, follow me.”

I did. “I think I did something wrong with Ike…” I said as we reached the stairs.

“What happened?” They asked, turning to look at me, but just like me, Avery didn’t do eye contact, instead looking at my chin.

“I don’t know, we had a good time and then they just started playing on their tablet and kind of ignoring me… All after I asked them if they wanted to swim with me.”

“Maybe they’re self-conscious about their body? I know I don’t like swimming sometimes if I feel particularly bad about mine. Or they had a bad experience with swimming. You just gotta ask them, even if you’re sure that you messed up.” They sighed. “I had to do that once. I didn’t like it but it happens.”

“Maybe you’re right. I should talk to them later.”

“Yeah. Just don’t force them to tell you or you might push them away.” I nodded and we went up.  “Well, here’s my room. As you can see, it’s just like every other room.”

“Cool. I haven’t been upstairs yet.” I said. I looked around and saw Drew on her bed. I waved at her. “Hey.”

“Oh, look Drew’s back here! What’s up?” Avery said.

“Hey Avery! Hey Michelle!”Drew said, waving back. “Have you been by the kitchen? Watch out, There’s a massive creep in there.”

“Who was it?” I asked frowning.

“I think his name is Nine or something?” She answered, her arms wrapped around her torso. “I’m sure you’ve seen him, he has green hair and horns. Anyway he was being really creepy toward this guy Ryland about his friend, saying how he was ‘delicious’ and other shit. I left before it got physical. I didn’t want to get caught up in a fight.”

“That’s gross.” I said. “And I’m kind of hungry now…”

“I’m kinda hungry too, all I had was some juice.” Drew said. “We still have some cookies left over from last night. Want some?”

“Oh, do we still have oatmeal?” Avery asked. “Michelle, you gotta try them, they’re the best ones we made!”

“Yeah, we saved some just for you because you said they were your favorite.” Drew confirmed.

Right then, Riley appeared out of a portal right next to me. I froze. I hadn’t expected that…

“Good Morning!” They said.

“Riley! While I feel like I should be concerned that you can come and go from rooms whenever, I’m happy you’re here!” Avery said. “Want a hug?”

“I love hugs!” Riley said, Avery welcoming them into their arm.  “You give hugs that are almost as good as Michelle’s!” I blushed at the thought of my hugs being good.

“Hi Riley, want a cookie?” Drew asked.

Riley let go with one arm and picked a cookie from the plastic tub. “Y’all are great! Making biscuits last night was so fun we should make a regular thing of it!” They said, making me wish I’d been there.

With everyone in such a small room, I felt a little overwhelmed.

“Sorry that it’s so busy. I didn’t expect this to happen.” Avery said, coming out of Riley’s arms and coming to me.

“It’s fine, it’s fine.” I repeated, flapping my hands a little, focusing on the moment. “You said you still had cookies? Can I have one?”

“Yeah, here!” Drew held out the box to me. “You’ll probably like the oatmeal ones the best.”

I picked some of the oatmeal ones and popped one into my mouth. It was soft and chewy, just like I prefer them to be. “Those are good.”

“I made them! We have three types, they must be around here somewhere. Except I probably ate all of the chocolate chip oatmeal ones.”

Riley whispered to their shoulder and then sighed. “Sorry can Teddy have a biscuit? I told him they were yours and that he could have mine but he wants to try the oatmeal.”

I handed one of my cookies over to them. They picked it and brought it to their shoulder where it quickly disappeared in a shower of crumbs. I squinted my eyes and a darkish red blur on Riley’s shoulder. Was that Teddy?

“I think I can see Teddy… It’s kind of blurry.” I said.

Avery then came right into my field of view. “Michelle, I found the last chocolate chip one! Want it? I didn’t actually eat them all! I had a stomach ache yesterday after I tried to eat them all.”

I blinked and Drew laughed. “I told you so.”

I looked at Avery and then at the cookie they hand in their hand. It took a second for my brain to process it all and take the cookie. “Oh, thank you.”

“That must mean the wings are magic!” Riley said, bringing my attention back to them.

Wings? Magic? My brain was lagging behind, only remembering what I’d said to Riley about Teddy after a moment. “My sister says they are…” I mumbled. There was so much going on, it was getting really confusing… I popped my necklace into my mouth and started chewing, stimming always helped me focus.

“Sorry if I’m a bit much in the morning.” Riley said, I think to me, but I wasn’t sure of anything at the time. “I know not everyone is completely awake yet at this time.”

I felt the need to explain, people always thought I was weird. “I’m just not used to being with so much people at the same time.” I mumbled or tried to, my octopus still in my mouth.

“Teddy that’s rude!” Riley said out of nowhere.

“What did he say?” I asked.


“Okay…” I bit down on the octopus, everything was just getting so incomprehensible.

They continued talking and I lost track of everything. I liked my new friends, but I had a feeling everything was going to be confusing and overwhelming… I was used to only having Lina… Hopefully I’d get used to it soon…


The Valkyrie’s Daughters: Part IX

The Valkyrie’s Daughters

Part IX: Fishing

I came running out of the administration only to see Ike was still waiting near the entrance. Good, I wasn’t too late… They were packed with gear, it was quite impressive. I guess you needed that much gear to go fishing. It looked so complex.

“Ike!” I called, waving at them.

“Hey, ready to check out the beach?” They answered.

“Yeah! Sorry I’m late, Freyja got the costume department to make me some new clothes that fit my wings.” I explained, moving my wings a little, showing them their new mobility.

“Oh, awesome. That must be a relief. I’ve never thought about it but I guess having wings can be a bit inconvenient.”

“I had to cut holes in my old shirt and it’s like a huge gymnastic to get them in or out. I don’t have to do that with these clothes, they’re made with the same stuff they make superhero costumes out of, hyperweave it’s a—” I cut myself off. “I’m infodumping, am I?” I said, laughing nervously. I didn’t want to geek out and be too much of a dork.

“It’s fine, I infodump about history stuff. Kind of a history nerd.” They said with their own laugh, although I doubted they could

“Let’s go?” I proposed, smiling.

“Yup.” Ike said, I took a step only for them to speak again. “Are you going to be okay with the carrying and flying? I don’t want you to push yourself…”

I hadn’t thought about flying, I’d assumed we’d walked. I was kind of surprised they trusted me to carry them.

“Sure.” I said. “Just point me in the right direction.”

They explained the way to me, pointing west of where we were. I then picked them up, which was kind of awkward with all the stuff they were carrying. I took to the air and started flying in that direction, keeping fairly close to the ground to avoid attention and if something happened it was a short drop down…

After going over the wall then some woods, the coast went from rough slope to a small lagoon hidden by tall reefs. Unlike most of the island, there was a legitimate beach with white sand.

“Ooh this place is cool!” I said, letting us lower down to the ground where I let Ike down.

Ike slung their bag off their shoulder and onto the sand. They looked at the sky before speaking up, “looks like it’ll be a clear night so we’ll see the stars easily.”

There was an old ring of stones on the beach with some ashes in it. Clearly we weren’t the first there, but for now it was just the two of us. Ike gathered some wood that had drifted onto the beach and began making a fire. I just stared at them, not quite sure what to do to help.

“How did you find this place?” I asked after a quiet minute.

“Oh, I looked at satellite imaging of the island to get an idea of what was around. I noticed this secluded part of the beach and thought it’d be a good place to go if I ever needed time to myself.”

Secluded was right, the sea side had a reef and there was an incline about a meter or two high with thick bushes on the other sides.

“Coool.” I said. I looked around and removed my shirt. I’d switched to a bikini top earlier. “I love beaches, my parents and I went to Italy a few years ago and it was amazing.” I put it down by Ike’s bag before removing my shoes and letting my feet sink in the sand, enjoying the feeling of thousands of little grains softly brush against my skin.

“Not many people fish on this island, it’s all offshore with boats, so we should be able to get something.” They said as they finished the campfire, small flames starting to erupt on the logs.

“It’s so cool you can cook. I can only make curry.” Cooking was hard, there was so much stuff to know, so much stuff to watch out for, different techniques to master.

“Don’t worry too much about it. Everybody has different strengths.” They went to their bag and grabbed the rod, fiddling with it and doing things I didn’t really get. “So, do you wanna try out fishing? I’ve already put the bait on the hook.”

“Sure.” I came to their side and we went to the shore line. They made a little demonstration on how to cast the line and how to hold it and move it.

It took me a few tries to get it right. I had to be careful, didn’t want to risk mess up, have the rod slip and fly away…

“And now we wait and see if anything bites.” Ike said. They walked back toward the fire.

“How long does that usually take?”

“It varies. I’ve not fished here so I don’t know how long it could t-”

I let out a little scream, I’d felt something tug at the rod, almost panicked and dropped it. I froze then looked toward Ike who had come back. “What do I do?” I asked.

“Slowly real the line in, I’ll grab the net.” They grabbed a net and I reeled it in, very slowly. “Take it carefully, if the fish freaks out too much it could rip itself free.”

It was kind of exciting but scary, I had to be careful and steady. Ike’s encouragement helped me stay focused and not panic. After a long struggle, the fish got closer, started splashing water in the shallow and Ike caught it with the net.

“Nice catch.” They said, showing me the fish.

I grinned. It was big. I think. It was almost as long as an arm. It had gray scales with black lines. “I caught a fish.” I practically screamed in excitement. I couldn’t stop myself from flapping my arms in excitement, only to drop the rod. Ike caught it before it could hit the water.


“Close call, but it’s fine.” They said with a laugh.

“What is it?”

“Looks like a striped bass to me. I’ll prepare that, want to try catching another one?”

I nodded. “I won’t drop the rod this time!” I promised, casting the line again after Ike baited it.

This time, it didn’t bite right away. I looked back at Ike and saw them cutting up the fish. “What are you going to make?”

“I’m going to fry the fish in oil with some spices.” They kept their eyes on the fish, removing the fillets. “Got veggies cooking in foil that I just buried in the hot ashes.”

“That sounds good though.”

“Glad you like it.” They said.

There was a quiet moment, nothing was biting and Ike was focused on the food.

“Do you cook on a campfire often? It must be hard, it’s so hot.” I asked.

“I’ve done it once every other month for the past couple of years. I’d spend a lot of my holidays with my uncle when I wasn’t…away for family engagements.”

“What kind of family engagement?”

“Erm, charity balls, fancy brunches. All events to help my parents stay socialites, more my mum. She thrives in that environment. My dad just did it so he could catch up with other tycoons in the business. I was there to be a wallflower and help the family look good. Until I cut my hair. That really pissed off my mum.”

“But why?”

“My mum has outdated notions on what a ‘girl’ should and shouldn’t do. My dad didn’t get angry, but I could tell I disappointed him. My uncle Niels didn’t care though.”

I frowned. “That’s not good… Except for your uncle, he sounds nice.”

“He is, he took an essay I wrote and applied for Ravenhold for me, heh. I’d wanted to come here and mentioned it to him but I wasn’t in a good place with my parents and there was some other stuff. I wasn’t in a good place in my head either. I would’ve never had the courage to apply.”

“I’m sorry… ” I came back toward them.“Can I give you a hug?”

“Sure,” they replied, smiling.

I approached, only to realize I was still holding the fishing rod. I put it down and then gave Ike a hug, wrapping my arms around them, my wings too and holding on tightly. I kept them in my arm for a moment before letting go.

“Your wings are really warm and nice…” They said. “Oh, eh, Dinner’s ready.”

I smelled the air and the food’s scent mixed with the salty breeze of the ocean. “That smells so good.” I said. I grabbed the rod again and reeled the line back and put it down by Ike’s bags. “No luck on fish number two.”

“That’s fine, the first one was plenty enough for the two of us. Striped bass is a tough fish for a newbie too.”

“Maybe I’m gifted.” I joked. “I can fly, I can punch things really hard and I can catch fish!”

Ike laughed. “If we ever get caught on a deserted island, that’ll handy.”

“I’d just fly us away though.”

Ike took out paper plates and put fried fish along with potatoes and chopped corn on the cob they had cooked wrapped in foil. They’d prepared that ahead of time, it was really smart of them.

Ike laid down a blanket and we sat down on it, although I buried my feet in the sand, enjoying the sensation. With a plastic fork I took a piece of fish and put it inside my mouth; it was lemony, and peppery, the fish itself had strong flakes and a rich flavor, not like frozen fish I was used to.

“This is so good!” I said. “You’re amazing.”

“I’m just letting the fish shine with its own taste and freshness, you’re the one who caught it.”

“But I would’ve burnt it, or probably not been able to get it off the bones like you did.”

“I’ve had plenty of practice, you could do it too.”

We kept eating for a moment. The vegetables were great, they’d cut up some spicy sausage and cooked them in its juices.

“What do you think of the school?” I asked. “I think it’s great, even if Rook beat my butt.”

“I love it! The Rook beat all our butts so don’t need to feel bad … Although the fight against Erik was pretty funny. You’d think he would’ve been able to manage at least a few seconds if he’s come to Ravenhold.”

I laughed. Although to be fair we hadn’t well as a group except for one or two of us.

“Want to go swim? I haven’t gone swimming since I got my wings.” I asked once I was done with my portion of our dinner.

“We should probably wait til 30 minutes after eating.” They said with a weird little laugh.

“Isn’t that a myth?” I’d never had any problems before.

“It’s a myth you’ll drown but some people do experience discomfort if they swim immediately after a meal.”

“Oh. I really want to see how my wings take water. They were okay in the shower, but swimming’s different.”

“Okay. I’m not really up for swimming right now. It’s getting late and the water’s gonna be pretty cold. But you’re probably able to handle that knowing your powers,”

“Oh okay…”

I went into the water alone and slightly disappointed. I was expecting my wings to get heavy and take water, but they didn’t. Instead I found them useful to swim ever faster. On the shore, Ike was lost in his tablet…

The Valkyrie’s Daughters: Part VIII

The Valkyrie’s Daughters

Part VIII:  New Duds

Avery and I joined back with the others, who did not say anything about us holding hands, and a few minutes later the bell rang through the cafeteria, announcing the end of lunch break and the beginning of our third classes. Avery seemed to know where we needed to go so I just followed them.

We found ourselves in another classroom but back with Miss Contreras. She explained to us that as we were minor Ravenhold was by law required to provide us with education matching standard school’s standards. Homeroom was a time to work on our math and english, but rather than having the teacher give a lesson, it was all individual on the school provided tablets.

“I hope you don’t mind homeworks, because we do have to compensate for the time lost in the classroom because of your cape related classes.” She said.

She gave us a test to do and when that was done about a million different things showed up for me to do and I had no idea where to start.

“Michelle?” Miss Contreras called, almost like she’d read my mind.


“Would you mind if we have a word outside?”

I nodded and got up, following her outside of the classroom and into another adjacent empty room. She turned toward me and I looked at her, well at the tip of her nose really. Her luminescence wasn’t so bright it hurt the eyes.

“How are you adapting to Ravenhold?” She asked. “And our cyberschool schooling program?”

“I’m a little loss…” I said, looking further down. “There so much stuff to do.”

“That’s alright, your parents have sent us your IEP, and told us about your difficulties. Normally, we give our student some freedom to work as they please, but seeing your difficulties, I was thinking we could work together your schedule for the next few days. Would that help?”

I nodded and she sat down at a table. Together we went through my tablet and the course options and we made a list of which one to do in what order.

“If you need any help, please come and see me. Outside of classes, I’m at my desk every weekday until six pm.”

I nodded, there was a second of silence before I remembered you’re supposed to thank people. “Thank you.” I mumbled.

“You’re welcome. Shall we go back?”

I nodded again and we went back to class. I sat down and she called Avery next for an interview. With my course procession decided, I was able to sit down and work on it, even if I really hated the math portions of it…

After much struggle with numbers, the class ended. I gathered my things and joined my new friends only for Freyja to come to me.

“Michelle.” She said.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Well, there’s something I wanted to tell you at lunch, but our conversation veered away.” She said and I frowned. “I talked to the costume people here and got them to hook you up with some clothes that’ll work with your wings.”

I blinked. I hadn’t expected that. “That’s really nice of you.” I said.

“We’re going to need you for fitting, like right now.” She said flatly. “Come with me.”

I nodded and waved at my friends. Avery looked concerned… I think…

Freyja and I went to the administration building, then walked down into a basement and followed a hallway, Freyja seemed to know where she was going so I followed her. We didn’t say a word through the whole way. For a moment there was doubt in my mind, but then we arrived at a room with a ‘Costume workshop’ sign on it. She went in without knocking.  

I’d expected some kind of sewing room like mom had at home, but it was completely different. A huge machine took most of the left hand back side of the room and people were working with computers.

“I’m back with Michelle.” Freyja said.

“Ah, Michelle, welcome.” A tall white woman with salt and pepper hair came toward us. She extended a hand and I hesitantly shook it. “I’m Gardenia Nikolaev, I’m in charge of the costume department for all students and alumni.” She said, a hint of a Russian accent in her voice.

“I’m Michelle.” I blurted out without thinking.

She smiled at that. “Freyja informed us of your clothing situation and we can in fact help you with that. If you’d just step with me inside the fitting room, we’ll take your measurements.”

I nodded and followed her inside some high tech booth, she stayed outside. “Just spread your arms wide and stay still for a moment.”

I did and the booth light up, gizmos moving about with light kind of like a barcode scanner. It went back dark and still after a moment. “We’re done here, now we just need to select some clothes for you.” Gardenia said, opening the door of the booth.

“That was easy.”

“With the volume we handle, technology is essential to save us some time.” She smiled. She made a little hand sign for me to follow and we sat at a computer. “For now, we’ll get you seven items, one for each day of the week. We can make more for you when the start of the year rush is over with.”

“Start of the year rush?”

“We have all the new student’s costume to design. In addition, we offer clothes for paramorphic students who otherwise can’t find any.”

I nodded. “We’ve already worked the right algorithm so just point to me any style you’d like.” Her computer screen started displaying a gallery of different shirts, dresses and other assorted tops. I picked a few I liked.

“Can I ask for something specific?”

“Sure, if we can do it, it’s yours.”

“I really like my Komet shirt, but I can’t wear it anymore.”

She gave me a look, what it meant I had no idea. “Let me see.” She made a search and found some the Komet merch.

“Oh it’s this one!” I said pointing at an orange shirt with the big stylized ‘Komet’ logo where the ‘O’ was replaced by a tailed comet.

“That, we can definitely do.” She smiled. “Now just wait here, we’ll get them printed.”


She nodded at the big machine in the corner. “It’s a hyperweave fabber.” My eyes widened, Hyperweave was the stuff they made superhero outfits off, it could resist bullets, it cleaned itself, changed shape! And my clothes were made of that? It was super expensive too!

She pressed some keys and the machine came to life, it was kind of loud so I covered my ears. One by one, seven items including a new Comet shirt were popped out by the machine, coming out neatly folded. When it was done Gardenia took the pile and gave it to me. It had a weird chemical smell to it.

“Don’t worry about the smell, it’ll dissipate soon. The clothes are self cleaning and can adapt to be fitted or loose depending on your preference.” She grabbed a little wrist watch thing and fiddled with it. “You can adjust the options with this.” My hands being full, she tied it around my wrist.

“Can I change now?” I asked, looking down at my old worn out shirt.

“Of course.” She guided my back to the fitting booth and I went in. This time it didn’t activate. I took out the Comet shirt and looked at it. It didn’t have holes for my wings… I checked the watch and couldn’t find a ‘wing hole setting’ either. “How can I put it in? There’s no holes for my wings.”

“Just try putting it on like a normal shirt, keep your wings spread and don’t try to fit them inside whole.”

I hesitated but did as she asked. I expected my wing to block once the rim reached my shoulder but there was only a little resistance before the shirt went down, coming all the way to my waist. I looked back and saw little holes had opened in the back of the shirt.

“How did it do that?”

“It’s smart fabric,” Gardenias explained from outside the booth, “It’ll shift to allow your wings to pass through when it detects resistance. We had to whip out the code in a hurry so we’ll send you patches soon, iron out any kink.”

“That’s amazing!” I grinned. It was so cool, much better than my old ones. The new shirt was also so nice; it had a good weight to it and it was so amazingly soft.

“I’m glad to be of service. Now, I hope you don’t mind but we have another client in need of our services.”

“Right.” I grabbed my clothes and came out of the booth, Gardenia giving me a bag to carry them. I left the costume department, Freyja was just gone, which was okay. I didn’t really want to talk to her after what had happened…

Then my phone beeped. I opened it and saw a notification I’d set for myself.

Meet Ike @ admin building.

Crap! I’d forgotten about that. I rushed out of the building, hopefully I wasn’t too late.

The Valkyrie’s Daughters: Part VII

The Valkyrie’s Daughters

Part VII:  Family Duty

After we got our desserts and sat back down, Freyja came up to us.

“There you are.” She said. “I gotta talk to you. Alone.”

“Oh sure.”

I waved a goodbye at the others and followed Freyja a little further away, standing in an empty spot by the walls.

“What is it?” I asked.

Well, for one I’m glad you’re making friends with chicks.” She answered, switching to our native German.

I think Riley and Avery are non-binary, actually.

Whatever,” she swished her hand dismissively, “what matters is you can get one of them pregger.

I frowned. “Stop it with that… It’s not funny.

I’m not joking, Michelle. I’m not gonna stop, if you die, mom’s legacy is probably gone. I won’t allow that to happen. Beside, it’s not like it’ll be hard for you, just stick it in a girl and you’re done.

I’m leaving.” I mumbled, I turned back only for Freyja to grab my arm.

If you don’t care about the legacy, then why don’t you give over the powers?” She said, a frustrated noise coming out of her mouth.

How? Can that even be done?

Grandma’s sister was the one who inherited the powers but she renounced and it jumped over to Grandma inherited instead, so I know it’s possible.”

My thoughts jumbled for a moment, trying to think about what would happen. “I won’t abandon this.” I said.

Thanks to the powers, I had friends, I had a purpose. I couldn’t throw that away. It had chosen me, not her and there had to be a reason for that.

You are so fucking selfish you know that? You have no fucking clue about all the sacrifices I’ve made for mom, for you, for this fucking legacy! All you care about is that you get to be a like your idol, is that it?” People were definitely staring at us now.

That’s not true… Why do you care so much it happens now? It’s not like I’m in danger now.

Maybe I was selfish, true, she’d trained all her life and I had been freed, but there was nothing I wanted more than to live up to Valkyra’s legacy, she had been my hero and idol…

Because mom’s legacy the only fucking thing I have left.” She mumbled those words. “I can’t live with the idea it might be lost and that I can’t do a fucking thing about it…

I’m sorry.” I tried to reach out for her, but she pushed me away.

I don’t want your damn pity. Just do your part for the family duty… Do it for mom.” Her voice was breaking, like she was about to cry.

Having said her piece, she walked away, all tense, while I just stood there. I wanted to help her, but how could I? The idea of doing what she wanted just felt wrong, they were my friends, I couldn’t just use them…

It was then that Avery found me. “Michelle, hey. What happened?” She asked.

“I don’t know… Freyja’s just so hard to deal with…”

“I’m sorry. Do you wanna talk about it?”

Should I tell her? Was it weird to talk about how Freyja wanted me to make someone pregnant… But then we were supposed to be friends, you’re supposed to trust your friends, right?

“She thinks I don’t take being Valkyra seriously…” I mumbled. “And that I’m selfish for not giving up the powers to her.”

“That’s crazy. You just got them, you can’t be expected to master them and start saving the world after this small amount of time.” They smiled and I had smile back.

“She wants me to have a baby.” I finally admitted.

“You’re not very old though.” They blurped out. “That came out wrong. You’re not an adult yet. Most people wait til they’re adults and can support one financially. Do you even want a baby? Like, I think it’s important to get the legacy to continue if I remember correctly, but still, do you want one?”

They were a little rambling, maybe they were flustered by the idea? I wished I could tell…

“I don’t know… But she says I need to have an heir for when I die so she inherit the power.” I sighed. “That’d be easier if I was a cis girl…”

Despite what Freyja thought, if I had been cis it would just be a question of getting pregnant, getting someone else to agree to carry a baby was so much more complicated… And the thought of not being able to do it myself resurrected that icky feeling I’d been plagued by my whole life… The thought I wasn’t really a girl, that Wycked and her ilk were right…

“That’s a fair point, but she shouldn’t be pushing you. I’m sorry she’s not being nice.”

“I was hoping I’d get a sister, but I don’t think it’s happening…” I mumbled. Thank you for being so nice.”

My body felt so gross at that moment, I wanted to hide.

“Can I have a hug?” I begged.


They pulled me closer and held onto me tightly. I did the same, with both my arms and wings. They smelled nice… Their natural scent wasn’t covered, just accented by the smell of unscented soap…

Everything felt so exhausting, I wanted to go back home and hide, collapse in my bed. I would have right then if Avery didn’t hold me… I was tired and felt so disgusted at my own body…

“Michelle, your thoughts are loud.” Avery said, still holding me. “This hasn’t happened before. But that doesn’t matter, because you’re upset I think. Wanna talk about it?”

“Sorry… I don’t mean to bother you… It’s just all this talk of babies and things make me aware of my body and how wrong it is…”

“I wish you didn’t have to feel like that. It’s stupid and bad.”

They hugged me even tighter and I just leaned against them, enjoying their presence. They were no nice… Cute too… Maybe they could be— I stopped myself, what was I thinking? Were they still reading my mind? Had they caught my dirty thought?

I focused on elephants. Repeating the words over and over.

“You feeling better?” Avery asked.

I nodded and let go. They were looking at my and my skin turned burning hot. “Let’s go back?” I proposed, muttering the words. I tried to look further from their gaze, my eyes going down. I saw their hand and had an idea… I didn’t think before saying it out loud.

“Can I hold your hand?” I asked.

They looked toward me for a moment before nodding shyly. I brought my hand closer to them and theirs brushed against mine for a moment, our fingers lacing together. They held on tightly, it felt so nice…

“Let’s go back now.” I said, a smile breaking through.

Unruly: Part VII

Several hours later, I woke when I felt a presence nearby. My head didn’t feel right and I instantly could recognize what was happening. I knew I’d been pushing myself too much and that this was going to happen. I just didn’t think I’d be around others when it did. I also thought that I’d be able to overcome it this time. Unfortunately, my own hunger was just feeding into it more and more.

When I saw light before me, I couldn’t remember where I was. My mind felt like fog and I couldn’t place a name to the other student who was just sitting at the table minding his own business. I did my best to try and keep myself in order and go over to make some coffee. It was going to happen eventually, though. I couldn’t hold it off forever. I was much too exhausted, anyway.

“Hey.” He said with total disinterest.

“Yeah?” I looked over at him, the name still not coming to me.

“Just saying hi…I’m Ryland, if you haven’t heard.” He said, his tone revealing he was on guard.

At that time, someone else had come into the room as well, but I couldn’t break my focus. For some reason, I now saw Ryland as a target along with the other one he’d been with last night. The hunger I felt was just unreal and it was then I knew I had no control anymore. My other side had its own ideas and I had no say in it. I’d just have to pick up the pieces later…if there were any, that is.

“I know who you are. You had that totally delicious-looking shadow last night, yeah? Where’s he at?” I asked the second the last bit of my guard was forced down. It kept showing me flashbacks of Kioshi and how vulnerable he’d been.

“Delicious?” Ryland stared at me in disbelief and with anger in his eyes. “You’re like four years older than us, you creep…”

“Oh, there’s no need for that. Just stating the obvious.”

“Well, don’t you dare make a move at Kioshi.” He stood up, clearly angry.

“Or…What?” I smirked, a part of me loving this kind of attention.

“What is wrong with you?”

“Who says there’s something wrong with me?” I asked, my voice still lighthearted despite all this.

The last thing I saw was Ryland standing up and then my mind once again covered over by haze. I thought that would’ve been the end of it and maybe he had some sort of ability that could overcome this terrible other personality of mine. It felt like hours had passed while I was in that fog until it cleared up a bit. That same feeling was there, too, meaning my other half wasn’t done with me yet…

I came to and took in what happened. The confusion and lack of answers ticked me off. Ryland had also gone. I tried to put up a fight when I noticed that Nalar had came downstairs and I’d wandered over to him. Things were going to just get worse…I hoped he’d forgive me after all of this.

“Oh, hey there, hot stuff…” I couldn’t believe what I was saying.

“Had an epiphany about me during the night?” He grinned before going over to the other side of the counter. “Someone’s messy.”

“Epiwhat? You’re really funny, mister.” Shut up! Shut up!

Nalar laughed, brushing it off. “You would think as a human you would have a better mastery of English then I have.”

“Welllll, I’m sooo sorry. Maybe just tell me what it means, yeah?”

He looked at me and then to the other student who’d joined us. I think it was Leo, but I wasn’t sure.

“Bardiche, scan for dimensional anomaly, I believe I may have been transported to another earth.”

“Sir, I must remind you that is not one of my current functions.” The weapon replied and my attention went to the voice.

“I was joking…” He said back to it.

“Ooo…Who’s that handsome voice?” I said, my stupid other half revealing a lot more than they, or anyone would ever need to know.

I was caught off-guard when I was grabbed and held against the counter by him. “You are either a terrible imposter, or playing a game with me that I do not enjoy.” He snarled.

“My, my. Aren’t you a little rough? Are you suuuure that’s good for you?” I said, that stupid smirk still on my face.

He took the weapon in his hands. “Force Blade activated.” The weapon says and a thin forcefield axehead formed at the edge of it.

“Oh, you’re a fighter, are you? I’m sure you’ll show me a good time in that case, yeah?” I really wanted this to just be over already…

I didn’t even get that last word out as I’d been thrown down on the ground, with Bardiche inches away from me. “Firing mode, ionic.”

“Yes, Sir.” The weapon reconfigured itself.

“What game are you playing?” He asked in a serious tone.

“Clearly one you’re losing, mister…” I glanced at the weapon and felt the familiar anticipation in the form of lightning run up my arms.

“Woah, man,” Leo’s voice could be heard coming from somewhere. “What’s going on here?”

Nalar took notice to what was happening and fired his weapon without remorse. I would’ve let it hit me if I had even an ounce of control, as it definitely would’ve been enough for me to regain control. My other half saw this coming and got out of the way, seemingly taking note of Nalar’s inexperience in battle.

“So, I assume you’re taking this serious, dear? One of us has to, yeah?” My guard rose and excitement filled my mind along with all the other hellish nonsense that was taking place there.

“Seriously, guys…? It’s way too damn early for this crap.” Leo groaned from annoyance.

Nalar’s expression had gone cold as he came in close and fired again. I had enough control at that point to hold myself down and take the hit point blank. My other half attempted to block it with the limiters on my arms, which Bardiche ended up shattering them from it’s might. I was also thrown back a bit and I expected to regain myself, but for some reason, it only entertained my other side even more.

“You know, I once knew someone like you. Killed him dead, I did!” I said with excitement and this had me wondering just who the hell I was even talking about.

“Is that all you’ve got? Even he gave more of an effort.”

When he fired again, my grip on myself slipped away. It didn’t allow me to get hit this time. Right now, it was planning to get a hold of Bardiche to use as explosion-fodder. I felt sick just thinking about doing such a thing!

Fortunately, it all came to a stop once a number of blades appeared in front of us. “If you two are going to fight, do it outside.” Leo said in a tired, yet ticked voice.

“Would you mind helping me get this idiot cold?” Nalar says to Leo, a little annoyed. “So I can get his stupid head checked?”

When I felt it stare down the swords, I felt something strange, yet familiar. Something like this had happened before? For some reason, my other half finally stood down and I regained control of myself. The fog in my mind came quickly after and my recollection of what had just happened was wiped clean.

I wasn’t sure how long I had been out, but I assumed it must’ve only been a few seconds as I saw Nalar and Leo in front of me, both standing at the ready with their weapons out. I had no idea what was going on and I backed away. It must’ve taken over…that was the only explanation I could come up with right now.

“Uh…what…are you two doing?” I asked, hoping that my suspicions weren’t correct.

“Trying to stop two kids from destroying the kitchen.” Leo groaned as he touched his head. “Can you please just not…?” He shook his head and looked over at Nalar and I.

“What are you even talking about, hero?” Feeling some rather intense pain, I looked down and saw some pretty serious-looking burns all over my arms where the limiters would usually be. “What…happened here?” I asked out of disbelief.

Nalar relaxed slightly. “You were being aggravating and aggressive, you even did something to anger Ryland by the looks of how you were when I found you.”

I took a moment to process this. The swords Leo had summoned faded away. Nalar forced me to my feet while looking bothered and annoyed. “We’re getting your brain checked.”

“Ow, geez…what’s wrong with you? I don’t remember doing anything.” I flinched from the burns being touched.

Nalar’s expression relaxed slightly. He took out something from his pocket which seemed to be like some kind of spray. It stung a little when it made contact with the burns, but the sensation along with the pain died down quickly.

“Good. And sorry about being a bit grumpy, Nalar. Had a long night and seeing a fight this early doesn’t help.” Leo said, for once his voice was oddly reassuring.


“Yeah, a little…thanks. Everything’s all fuzzy…” I rubbed my head and felt a strong headache coming on.

“Come, let’s get you to the medic. Maybe a chaplain, exorcise whatever that was that was controlling you.”

“Um…controlling? No, that was…he’s a part of me. I’m sorry you had to see that.” I said in the most apologetic way I could manage.

I saw Leo take off at this point, not saying anything else. I didn’t think he’d be one to see me like that, either. There was a bit of shame in the back of my mind whenever I thought about it.

“I’m not taking a no.” Nalar said, pushing me towards the door.

“There is nothing wrong with me, that sort of thing always happens.” I tried to convince him even though I knew it was pretty freaking pointless.

“Nine.” He snarled in a way which had me give in.

“Okay…I’ll…go along with it…” I replied as the fatigue started to take its toll on me.

Unruly: Part VI

When I woke up, I was in the living room, or one of them at least. It took me a second or two to remember what had happened. I’d met a few of the others after talking with that girl. Her name escaped me currently. Her kindness still put me off and I didn’t want to risk anything else happening, so I’d decided to keep my distance from her. I didn’t like seeing such genuine purity in someone. It had me thinking I was hallucinating, or something.  Also, I couldn’t see how a person like that could exist in a world like this. I get someone could be as blind as Leo, but that girl made no sense to me at all.

I checked the time and noticed that I’d slept a good few hours. I doubted if I could get anymore in that night and went into the kitchen for another round of coffee. Once again, I’d seen the very same thing in my dreams. I was still shaking from it, but this died down once I felt the familiar warmth of the cup in my hands. Taking in the silence, I enjoyed the peace somewhat. It didn’t last though, as someone came downstairs and poured a cup for themselves.

“Can’t sleep, either?”

“Yeah…” I replied, not paying much attention to who it was.

“It’s been four years and I still haven’t adjusted to the days on this world.”

I then realized his voice was familiar and saw that it was Nalar standing there without a shirt on. I did my best not to stare, but my face betrayed me before I could control my stupid emotions.

“Sleep is for the weak.” I mumbled, trying to hide the redness in my face.

“Is everything alright?”

“Yep. Great. Just fine.”

“If you say so. Tell me, what do you do on these sleepless night?”

“I do a lot of thinking. Too much of it. What about you?” I replied, not really wanting to go into the details.

“Usually, find someone to mate with.” He said without an ounce of shame. “Or get high.” He then raised the coffee cup.

“Oh…You sure are honest, hah. And , uhh…coffee makes you high?”

“My species, we believe in being open about these things. And Caffeine has a quite enjoyable effect on my species, makes us happy and excitable, although not much with merely coffee.”

“Ah. What else will do it for you, then?”

“I once drank one of those energy drink as you call them, I was quite…affectionate. I also spent an hour amazed at the wallpaper.”

“Heh, sounds like a good time.” I gave a faint smile.

“Not that I need help to be affectionate, just ask Kayla.” He grinned in a sly way.

“Oh, right. I heard most people need alcohol to feel that way…?” I wasn’t sure if I’d even met the person he’d mentioned, but decided to leave it be as he might give too much information about what happened between them.

“You have heard that most humans require alcohol to mate?”

“No, to feel affectionate, I mean. Like some would have…doubts whether to just hook up with someone they just met, let alone let their guard down in front of them.”

“That’s one place where our species differ.”

“There’s so much I don’t know about you. Pretty much everything they told me about, uh, the “Invaders” has turned out to be nonsense.”

“Then ask away, it is not like I have anything else to do.”

“What about…what was its name? Brad…no…Bardiche?” I struggled to remember what name he’d given it. “I’m sure he took a hit after fighting Rook.”

“I’ve already seen to him. He’s fine, he’s very sturdy.”

“Of course. Um…” Again, my mind kept pulling a blank, the lack of sleep probably getting to me a little. “Wait, um…I guess I shouldn’t be calling you “Invaders”, right? I don’t remember what they’d said other than that…”

“We’re called Tzari. That would do.”

“Sounds really cool. How far away is your…planet?”

“About a thousand light years away, took us two of your years to cross the span between stars.”

“Wow. So, like…why come to Earth? They’d told me that you all were invading, but not why.”

“Well, it wasn’t exactly my decision.” Nalar laughs. “The higher ups wanted to uplift your species, bring you into the fold, end your conflict and division.”

“That would’ve been for the best, I think…I still stand by my opinion of some people getting what they deserve.” My voice took a bitter tone.

“Living here has been hard at times, it’s very different. I was confused the first time I had to purchase something.”

“It’s really shitty if you’re unlucky, too. I recall sometime in the past, I had decided to bail on those I worked for That time I spent on my own was…well fuck, even worse!” My memories from that time were blurry, but I remembered feeling cold, hungry and alone.

“I could return back to the settlement, but I prefer it out here, so much to discover.” Nalar said with fondness in his eyes.

“I’m sure you’ll get the time to see it all.” I shrugged while looking away.

I knew I’d never be free from those I worked for. They were sure to remind me of this at any given moment. It just made me wonder even more why they’d let me come here in the first place. Was it all some kind of joke? Because, I knew it as fact that they’d never let someone like me go.

“What about you? Now that you’re away from your superior, what will you do?”

“Hah…I won’t ever be free of them. It’s a nice thought, though.” I scratched at the collar which served as a reminder of my fate.

“What’s the collar for?” Nalar asked once he noticed I was irritated by it.

I just stared at him at first. It didn’t really look that out of place, did it? Maybe all my scratching at it would have the stupid thing stick out eventually.

“Uhh…It’s so I…uh…behave, I guess.” I avoided his gaze. I already knew he didn’t approve.

“Why don’t you remove it?”

“I don’t think I can. It’ll be much worse if I do…”

“Maybe I could help, deactivate it?”

“They’ll know. I think the guy they have watching me is a tinkerer. Thank…you, though. The offer means a lot.” Looking down, I realized it made more and more sense why they’d have a guy like Turner watch a wreck like me.

“I could shoot him with Bardiche, I need to test out the ionic stunner.” Nalar suggested and I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not.

“You’re…really funny, you know that?” I sighed, not even bothering to muse the thought in my mind.

“I did not intent that as a joke, but I shall accept the compliment.”

“I mean, you’re a good person is what I was trying to say.”

“Lord Kiorga would probably disagree. I’m fairly certain she approved my application just to keep me on a leash.”

“I’m still not sure why they even let me come here…Like, the last thing you let someone like me do it…Just let them outside and be around other people…” I continued, my voice going low. “I feel like I’ve done something horrible…”

“What’s that?”

“I don’t know, but it’s why I haven’t been able to get much sleep. I keep seeing myself kill this hero over and over…It’s freaking exhausting, yet I can’t shake the feeling that I might have actually done it.”

“It may be nothing but a dream, I had a dream I was mating with Raskhan himself, did not make it true. I’m sure there would have been a reason if you had.”

“I don’t know who that is. I’m clueless with that sort of thing, remember? As for the dream stuff, I gotta figure it out soon…”

“Our supreme leader, he’s quite attractive…Very tall and strong in build.”

“Ah, so he looks like you?” I said before I realized how stupid my words sounded.

“Not much, he is a Rangrol, I’m a Qurhal.”

“O-Oh…Right.” I looked away, not knowing what any of that meant.

“But then again, I’ve heard we all looks alike to humans.”

“No, I didn’t mean it like that, I…nevermind, it was stupid.”

“No offence taken, we are different species, perhaps we have different way to recognize individuals. I’ve learned that Venusians identify each other by scent rather than sight, hence their close similarities.”

“Not sure if I’ve met one of those yet or not.”

“Big and blue creatures that look like earth lizards.”

“Hrm…I can’t remember anything. It’s kind of overstimulating being around so many people so suddenly. I may as well have just walked past one recently and not know it…” I said, trying to remember, but once again I came up with nothing.

“Are you alright, Nine?”

“Eh, I don’t know…I think I’ve bothered you enough for one night, don’t you think?”

“Well, it’s talking to you or staring at the walls all alone.” Nalar said in a way which had me feeling a little sad for him.

“I don’t know what’s better.” I said bitterly. Surely, there were other ways he could be spending his time other than talking to trash fire like me.

“You certainly are better looking, that is for sure.”

I said nothing and looked at him in disbelief. “I don’t get you at all…”

“In part the feeling is mutual, you are somewhat of an enigma.”

“What makes you say that?”

“The way you act, your mysterious masters, your attitude.”

“Oh, I doubt any of that’s interesting.” I said even though I didn’t want to talk about it any more than I already had…

“I disagree with you.”

“You’re just being nice.” I sighed from frustration.

“Others would say I’m just trying to get into your pants, but I do genuinely find you interesting. And adorable. I want to chew those silly ears of yours…That might be the coffee speaking.”

“That is most likely the coffee…” At least, I sure hoped it was…

“I have not had that much.”

“Oh…” I felt quite embarrassed and my face showed it before I had any objections.

“I better stop, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable.”

“No…I just don’t know how to take that sort of comment. Like I’ve said, I’ve mostly dealt with people who think I’m a burden to be around.”

“Well, I do not.”

“I…well…thanks.” I said, too tired to disagree with him.

Nalar said he was going to stay up for a bit longer, but I really was exhausted and decided it was better to try and get some more sleep. I didn’t have much time to think about our conversation as I’d fallen asleep the second I found my way over to the couch.

Unruly: Part V

After I got through the door, I was too tired to even try the stairs and contemplated just passing out on the couch in an attempt to get some sleep. I felt sore once I sat down and shifted uncomfortably. I’d wandered into the kitchen and was about to give up and try going upstairs when another student walked into the room. She wasn’t familiar and greeted me with a smile which I found odd and off-putting.

“Hey, there.”

“Yeah?” I really didn’t feel like talking about the crap day I’d had.

“How did you like your first day?”

“Was fine.” I cringed a little and looked away.

“Something wrong?” She asked with genuine concern.


She took a seat across from me. “You can talk to me. I’m a good listener. I even have four ears.” She said as if it were a joke.

I didn’t quite get it until I noticed a ghost-like figure beside her.

“What…What was that? Don’t tell me this place is haunted…”

“Oh, sorry, I thought everyone saw me fight Rook.” The ghost figure appeared next to her. “This is my power, Oversoul.”

“Right, sorry. I have a lot on my mind.” I couldn’t remember much about the combat class other than my own pitiful failure.

“You can let it out if you need to. I think it’s just me and you anyway.”

“Uhh…I don’t know…” I looked around the room, feeling a little nervous.

“Whatever you say stays between us. But, I won’t force you. I just want you to know I’m here if you need to vent. Everyone needs to from time to time.”

“Why would you do that for a stranger?”

The girl smiles. “You don’t need a reason to help people. Whether you’re a stranger or my closest friend, I want to help you. It’s just what I want.”

“What’s in it for you?” I stared at her skeptically.

“I would like to say nothing, but honestly I feel good when I know someone else feels better because of me. It’s why I wanted to become a hero.”

“Right.” I sighed and relaxed a bit. “I guess that’s a noble cause.”

“I’m glad you think so, but I don’t feel noble.”

“Would be hard to have that and not also feel a bit of pride, I think. Anyway, you are…who? I don’t believe we’ve met.”

“I think everyone has a bit of pride. Not so much as Leo but…” She stands up and holds her hand out to me. “Anyway, I’m Vicky.”

I stared at her hand, unsure of what to do. I was probably supposed to do something as she was staring at me expectantly, but nothing came to mind.

“Uh, I go by Nine, it seems. It’s nice to meet you.” I nodded to her.

She took the hint and lowered her hand. “Well, it’s good to formally meet you, Nine.”

“Yeah, likewise. Sorry, my manners are a bit rusty…” I scratched the back of my head of out embarrassment.

“Well, I think you’re doing fine so far.”

“Uh, thanks…So, what was that thing before? Oversoul, you called it?”

“It’s…well it’s kind of like my soul given physical form. Would you like to see it again?”

“Sure.” I did my best to give a genuine smile.

Vicky focused and summoned Oversoul. It seemed like a bundle of energy somehow given life. “Feel free to touch her. What’s your ability, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Oh…it certainly is polite…?” I asked, noticing that it had pulled out a chair. “As for the touching thing, I think I’ll pass. I’d rather not corrupt something so pure.”

She laughed a bit. “I doubt a touch from you would corrupt anything.”

“Hm, a lot of people have thought the same thing…”

“Well, don’t sorry. I feel like I’m pretty safe. Want to talk about it?” She said, dismissing Oversoul.

“What do you have in mind?” I asked, hoping she wouldn’t pry too much.

“Why do you feel you’ll corrupt me?” She asked, sending Oversoul into the kitchen for something.

“Oh, I…I’ve done a lot of things in my past that some would consider to be villainous. My abilities made the work easy, but it still haunts me.”

She took a serious expression. “I don’t know what those things were -not do I need to – but I think it doesn’t matter anymore.” Vicky took the glass from Oversoul before it vanished. “All that matters is what you do from here on out.”

I took a moment to think. “Yeah, I wish things were that easy. I feel like I’ve done something terrible. The dreams are having me lose sleep.”

“If you have, don’t you think it’s more important that you make things count from now on? To make up for everything? Of course, I don’t know what you’ve been through and I won’t pretend to. I just think you could become something great. You’re here, aren’t you?”

“I still don’t know why I’m here. I’m starting to think that the company is just fucking with me at this point.” I replied bitterly.

“I don’t think it matters why you came here, just that you made it here.”

“Mhh…” I still didn’t buy it and looked away from her, my own thoughts catching my attention.

It was quiet for a moment before I heard others come down the stairs. They weren’t familiar, either. One of them seemingly hid behind the other. I couldn’t hear what they’d been talking about, but the one in front seemed to light up upon seeing us.

“Vicky sure-Oh, speak of the devil.” They waved to her.

“Hey, Ryland!” Vicky waves back, smiling.

“Hey Vicky, hey…Ivan was it?” Ryland asks, coming over to us, the other student seemingly hiding behind him.

“Uhh…I prefer Nine, thanks.”

“Okay…” I saw him raise an eyebrow at my answer and I looked away, not really wanting to engage with him.

“Kioshi, right? Hey, I’m Vicky.” She greets the other student who was still behind Ryland.

“Hi-i.” The one who I assumed to be Kioshi gave a quick nod to her, but nothing else.

“Did you ever go to see the doctor, Ryland?”

“Yeah.” Was all he answered, clearly he didn’t want to talk about it.

“Sorry, should I have not said anything?”

Kioshi asked Ryland something but I couldn’t hear it. Their conversation didn’t interest me much, anyways. I was too exhausted to focus on too much right now.

“Good.” Vicky said, catching my attention as I’d sort-of dozed off for a second or two there. “Would you two like to sit down? I think everyone else went off to do their own things.”

“Sure.” Ryland replied. “What were you two doing?”

“Nothing important.” I mumbled, still not wanting to talk.

“Just talking to pass the time.” Vicky gave me a reassuring smile which I didn’t really understand what the point of it was. “So, I don’t think we’ve formerly met, Kioshi. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Yeah. Nice to meet you, too.” Kioshi gave a small smile in return.

“Hey.” I gave him a quick glance and he returned with a nod.

“Are you guys liking Ravenhold so far?” Vicky asked.

“It’s strange. Rook is mean.” Kioshi said.

“Yeah, I totally agree with you there.” She laughed a little.

“Yeah, a lot of heroes are dicks.” I mumbled, knowing I should’ve at least expected Rook to have been that way seeing as he was a known hero.

“It’s something, not sure what I was expecting.” Ryland shrugged. “At least there’s nice people here.”

“And some really nice teachers. I think it’ll only get better, though. The first day is always tough.”

“Yeah.” Ryland nodded. “So, you guys want to do something? We could play a game or something…”

“Did you have anything in mind?” Vicky asked with excitement clear in her voice.

“I think I saw some board games in the living room?” Ryland replied.

Vicky looked over at Kioshi and then to me. “What do you guys say? What to play a board game?”

“I guess. I doubt I’ll be getting any sleep anyway.”

Kioshi just nodded and they followed Ryland closely while we went over to the living room. He looked through the games, frowning at some. “How about Risk? I don’t feel like Scrabble or Trivia Pursuit would be fair.”

I didn’t really know what any of those these as I didn’t recall playing such a thing before. I chose to mostly just follow along with what the others were doing while holding open my tired eyelids.

“Truthfully…I’ve never played any of them. Father had me training too much to play. So, I’m good with anything.” Vicky said, looking somewhat ashamed.

“I’ve never heard of any of them…” I admitted even though I probably wasn’t missing out on much.

“How is it played.?” Kioshi asked.

“Well, it’s a war game, you need to take control of the world-” Ryland said before going over the rules.

“Oh, so we get to be supervillains? Sounds awesome.” I said, liking that idea.

“More like conquerors, it seems.” Vicky said. “I’m interested.”

“Yeah, you’re like a general, or something.” Ryland replied.

Kioshi looked confused still.

“Looks like you’re our guide, Ryland.” Vicky said with a laugh.

“Okay. Let’s set up and I’ll teach you as we go?” Ryland offered.

“Sounds good.” Vicky said with a smile.

Kioshi just nodded again.

The game was long and tedious. I barely gave enough effort to pass for being actually interested in what was going on. The only thing that surprised me was that somehow, Kioshi had ended up winning in the end.

“Well, congratulations Kioshi. You’re official the ruler of two thirds of the world.” Ryland says with a laugh. “It’s getting late, I think we should call it a night?”

Vicky seems distracted by something for a moment before replying. “Yeah, I’ve gotta find my roommate anyway. Good work, though Kioshi.”

“Thank you.” Kioshi says before blushing and looking away.

“Let’s play again sometime?” Vicky offered.

“You had some serious dice skills and sure.” Ryland said with a grin.

“It was good meeting you Kioshi. Don’t be afraid to come see me or just say hi.” Vicky said with another smile.

Kioshi returned her kind gesture. “You’re nice.”

Vicky turned to Ryland and I. “The same goes for you two as well.”


I blinked awake after I realized I’d been in an out of sleeping while they’d been talking.

“Save it for bed, ok?” Vicky waves to us. “Goodnight guys.”

“Somebody needs coffee.” Ryland laughed.

I mumbled something to him before I dozed off again.