Schism’s mind turned in the nothingness, and another flicker of regret pulled her back into the timeline.
“Hey chicky, is Bobby with you? I haven’t seen him around and…I dunno. Something just feels off.” Simone was texting Yuna as she slowly meandered from the cafeteria to her room. It was nice to just not quite be anywhere right now, taking a couple minutes to try to not think about the mystery with Adnan and the dead ends they’ve been running into there, but into that vacuum entered a new concern. She couldn’t quite place it, but something with Bobby has been hitting the back of her mind; a tension or frustration underlying his words—well, more than the usual frustration for him, at least. She felt her phone buzz in her hand and glanced down, expecting a response from Yuna. Instead, the number appearing had a Los Angeles area code. “Huh. That’s either a robo-text or a burner phone,” she muttered softly to herself. She opened the message and her eyes widened.
“Hey, it’s Twitch. We just got word on the street that a new guy is running with a local powered kid called Anvil. Lugnut is pretty sure it’s one of yours, says he’s never seen this one around here, and it looks like he might be in trouble. They were last seen on the corner of Bowdoin and Quincy. The rumor was that he was looking for drugs, but nobody believed that. Kind of skinny, dark hair, seems to have a bunch of extra shadows around him. Got a long leather jacket, like that old movie, Blade?”
Simone rapidly texted him back to give her whatever updates he can and checked in with Yuna. The two girls met up outside the dorm, staring at each other in consternation.
“What the fuck is he doing, Yuna?”
“I don’t know! It doesn’t make any sense…” She trailed off, piecing things together from recent conversations with her boyfriend. “Oh, God. I know exactly what he’s doing. He’s trying to help with Adnan, following up on the stuff in the Fens.”
Yuna’s hair, which had already starting sticking up at random angles, now looked like the fur of a cat in a thunderstorm. Her simple knit dress began darkening from a rose color to a dangerous crimson, and shadows began gathering where they oughtn’t.
“Simone, we have to help him…and then strangle him, but help him first. You’ve got contacts there, right?
“I do, and they’re keeping me updated. Look, I’m going to go right now, figure out what’s going on, and try to help him. Maybe he’s on to something…but yeah, nobody should be going in there without backup. What the hell, Bobby!” Simone paused, eyeing the other girl’s increasing level of dishabille with concern. “Yuna…would you be ok staying here unless I call you for help? Bobby’s tough, and I don’t think he’s in mortal danger, but he’s going to be really embarrassed if both of us show up to save the day. I’d say for you to go, but I’m guessing he wants to impress you more, and right now you’re a little…”
“I know, I know. I’m trying to hold on, I swear!” Yuna took a deep breath and unclenched her hands. Her eyes began returning to their regular color and the black leather gloves disappeared into the aether as quickly as they had arrived. She looked up at Simone and said, through gritted teeth, “Just go and get him. If you need a nuclear option you get me, you hear?”
“I hear.” Simone gave her friend a quick hug, avoiding the half-formed spiked shoulder pads, and disappeared.
Thirty interminable minutes later, and after Yuna confined her pacing to the woods behind the track to avoid terrifying another wandering freshman, her phone buzzed with the latest update.
“He’s ok, back in his room. Nothing broken, and he may have actually saved a kid from a really bad scenario. I’ll meet you in your room in a sec.”
Yuna breathed a sigh of relief, her hair finally returning to its demure state, and headed back to her dorm.
Ten minutes later, the two sat facing each other across the low table in the center of Yuna’s room. “So…this guy, Anvil. Lugnut and Twitch are sure they can get him out of that situation?”
“They’re not positive, but hopeful. Seems like he’s mostly trying to just make enough money to take care of his Grandma and his girlfriend who’s got a baby on the way. I’ve got a friend that’s getting him hooked up with that restaurant downtown that hires ex-cons to teach them culinary skills. Bobby actually did a pretty good job impressing him with his whole ‘Nightstalker’ schtick at first, which is what led to bringing him to this weirdo heist situation. Get this, though, the ‘big bad’ crime boss was a freaking slinky!”
Yuna raised an eyebrow, “Seriously? A…slinky?” Her hands make the interdimensionally-known “slinky” gesture.
Simone nodded. “Yeah, I know…I don’t get it, either. Maybe it was a leftover from that toy shop battle that happened back in our freshman year? Anyway, it was telling them that they needed to break some ‘Snakeskin’ guy out of a powered lockup and that the people who failed would get killed, so I think Anvil realized that this was way nastier than he’d thought it would be. Bobby never gave his real name or his superhero one, though, and he didn’t go full Twilight or…uh, the sparkly version, so hopefully, they won’t connect him to the hero who helped fight off the Power Corps last month.”
“Ok, so, not as bad as it could be, what a relief. That boy! So then how did they get out of…”
“Do you know that Lugnut can take out building support beams like nothing?”