Hurt & Comfort

Book 11: Creating Comfort

©2020 MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

Chapter 17: Duochrome

"Who would like to start?" Ms. Mordigan asked as she looked at the group of six boys.

"I guess I will." One of the boys said as he stood forward.

"And you are?" Ms. Mordigan asked cautiously.

"Clark Kent." Clark said uncomfortably.

"According to this, you're a sophomore in high school."

"Yes ma'am."

"How do you feel about that? Have you noticed if your classes seem to be too hard or too easy for you?" Ms. Mordigan asked professionally.

"No. I think everything's been fine. Since I got here, most of my challenges have been outside of class. School is probably the easiest thing I do all day." Clark said with a smile.

"I've been warned not to dig too deeply into the students' non-academic activities, so I'll leave that aside and ask if you feel like you would benefit from being tested." Ms. Mordigan asked seriously.

"I get decent grades and I don't feel like the work's too easy for me, so I think I'm probably right where I need to be." Clark said honestly.

"A lot of what I'm doing today is my best guess at what's going to suit each of you. That doesn't mean that we can't change things if they aren't working out for some reason. If I know there's a problem, I can make adjustments." Ms. Mordigan said more to the group than to Clark specifically.

Regardless, Clark nodded in acknowledgement of the message as he took a step back to allow someone else a chance.

* * * * *

"Who's next?" Ms. Mordigan asked as she looked over the group.

"I am. My name is Trey O'Seofon Summers." Trey said very precisely.

"I've been looking forward to meeting you. Although I've been given an evaluation of your interests and knowledge, I have no grade history for you."

"My previous education was not in this format." Trey said simply.

"What format was it in?" Ms. Mordigan asked cautiously.

"Digital." Trey said seriously as he looked her in the eyes.

"Trey and Robert are both Borg, which means that they have machine enhancements." Lee said as he stepped to Trey's side.

"Is that what it means?" Ms. Mordigan asked with a knowing smile, then continued, "Although Wagner's has stepped forward on behalf of mutants, it appears that we might be gaining more diversity than we had anticipated."

"How do you mean?" Matt asked curiously.

"Never mind. It's not like I have room to talk." Ms. Mordigan said dismissively.

"Both Trey and Robert can learn by plugging into a computer and downloading the information that they need." Lee said carefully.

"With that ability, wouldn't they be capable of memorizing whatever they needed to know and testing out of whatever grade they were put in?" Ms. Mordigan asked cautiously.

"Yes. That is, if they wanted to. I think the reason that they're here is to develop a set of skills that the Borg normally don't have, that being, to learn by doing." Lee explained.

"Interesting. So any test that I gave them would probably be meaningless in trying to gauge their academic level." Ms. Mordigan said speculatively.

"I'm sure that they're off the charts. They're not here to learn as much as they're here to learn how to learn. It will do them good to learn how to gather and process information in a non-technical way." Lee said seriously.

"I can't imagine how that's going to work but it should be interesting to find out." Ms. Mordigan said with a smile.

"It seems that you understand my purpose better than I do." Trey said to his grandfather respectfully.

"That's why I'm here with you. I want to see that all of you get the education that you're needing." Lee chuckled.

After looking at the younger teenager with visible mechanical components, Ms. Mordigan cautiously asked, "May I assume that you are Robert and that you're here for the same reason?"

"Yes, I am Robert. And while I share in my brother's interest in exploring alternative learning techniques, my overriding interest is in developing what talent I have in poetry and songwriting." Robert said very deliberately.

"I should mention that my primary interest is Engineering." Trey helpfully added.

"I'll keep that in mind." Ms. Mordigan said absently as she made a note, then added, "I think that we'll place you by age for the moment, then make adjustments as needs to be."

"The rest of this should be easy." John said as he stood forward.

Ms. Mordigan looked at him inquiringly, silently asking him to expound on his statement.

"All that's left is me and the Drake brothers. We're all locals and have been here for a while. You shouldn't have to go digging for our records and I'm betting that we're all up-to-date on our tests." John said simply.

After a look at her legal pad, Ms. Mordigan finally said, "Right you are. The three of you have all your academic testing current. So as long as none of you feel that you've been judged unfairly, you can continue on at the grade level as you have been."

After a few looks to each other and unconcerned shrugs, all three seemed to have reached silent consensus.

"That wasn't nearly as hard as I expected it to be. Give me a moment to get test booklets for those who will be testing, then the rest of us are going to go on a little field trip." Ms. Mordigan said as she dashed away.

***

As the group left the mansion, Ms. Mordigan turned right and led the way across the beautifully manicured lawn.

"I noticed the activity out here when I arrived and thought it might be fun to see what's going on." Ms. Mordigan said as she led the way around the side of the mansion.

"There's no way you could have seen back here from the driveway." Trey said informatively.

"Okay. I might have been snooping a little. I just thought that I might be able to come up with something more interesting for you to do than sitting around, watching other people take tests. To be honest, I expected that more of you would need testing." Ms. Mordigan said as she crested a rise to overlook the playing field.

"Our field trip is to watch the B team play soccer?" John asked dubiously.

"We could go back to the library and watch the others take tests, if you'd rather." Ms. Mordigan offered uncertainly.

"No. This could end up being more fun to watch." Ronny cautiously ventured.

"I don't know about that. Back in the library, we've got Quaid taking a written test. That could be hilarious too." Slash said with a grin.

"You may very well be right about that." Ms. Mordigan easily conceded then thought to ask, "But what can you tell me about the B team?"

Before anyone else could answer, John hurried to explain, "Even our little group split itself in two. The students at this school did the same thing. The first team figured out how to work together early on and ever since, they've been looked at as a group. The B team was what was left over."

"Of course, that happened a long time ago. This B team has gone through a lot of changes since it first formed. A few people have proven themselves and moved onto the A team, others graduated or moved on to do other things. As far as I know, Mira is the only one who's been here as long as I have." Bobby said as he looked over the group on the field.

"So which group from Wagner's is the B team?" Ms. Mordigan asked curiously.

"That's completely different. Us guys from Xavier's, we're part of Xavier's A Team, kind of the 'junior' rank. We're just on loan. The Wagner group is their first class. They're their own thing... at least that's how it seems to me." John trailed off with an uncertain look at Bobby.

"I think the first class is always special." Bobby assured him.

"You know, from everything I've heard about mutants on the news, I thought watching a group of them in a competition would be more... eventful." Ms. Mordigan said slowly.

"I'm pretty sure they know that we're here, so they're probably keeping a lid on it." Ronny said simply.

"Yeah. That'd make sense. One of the first things they taught us was to hide our differences as much as we can around regular people." Bobby said frankly.

"Besides that, not everyone here is a mutant. I mean, I am, but some of the others aren't. Whatever you believe about mutants may not apply to all of us." John added.

"Or any of us." Clark interjected, then explained, "There's a lot of misinformation and a few very potent lies going around about mutants."

"You can understand why that is, can't you?" Ms. Mordigan asked seriously.

"I understand about being afraid of the unknown. But I don't get why people make up lies and spread them around, just to hurt people they don't even know." Clark said honestly.

"Human nature, I suppose." Ms. Mordigan said sadly, then added, "Hopefully enough people will see the reality of what's going on and eventually our collective better angels will prevail."

"But how many people are going to be hurt and killed before that finally happens?" John asked darkly.

"I'm doing my best to bring about change by supporting a place where mutants can grow and thrive within society alongside other people." Ms. Mordigan quietly explained.

"Sometimes working alongside people is harder than just working against them." John said frankly.

"Yeah. If you can paint them as being totally bad, it makes everything else easy to justify. Because if you stand against someone totally bad, then that makes you totally good and always right, no matter what kind of horrible things you decide to do." Ronny said seriously.

"I suppose that's a way of looking at it." Ms. Mordigan said slowly.

"What's another way?" Ronny demanded to know.

"At ease, Sprout." Matt said firmly as he joined the group.

Ronny turned his impassioned gaze on Matt.

There was a long moment of uncomfortable silence as Ronny realized how impressed Matt wasn't.

"Did you find what you were looking for?" Clark asked Matt, obviously trying to both break the tension and change the subject.

"Just wanted to meet with Xavier 'bout your training schedule. We're gonna need to borrow some of his people, so I wanted to be sure of who's available." Matt calmly explained.

"Are you going to want us training with the Wagner team or the Xavier's team?" Clark asked seriously.

"It looks like Wagner's team is going to need your..." Matt glanced at Ms. Mordigan before diplomatically saying, "...talents. Once things have stabilized and a few more of the variables are known, we'll reevaluate."

"What about those of us who have no such talents? Is there a reason for us to participate?" Trey asked reasonably.

"I'm going to be counting on you to train Beau and Brian in hand-to-hand while I focus on the more challenging team members." Matt said with another glance in Ms. Mordigan's direction.

"Please keep in mind that Robert is not in suitable condition to participate in such training activities." Trey said firmly.

Before Matt could respond, Ms. Mordigan asked, "Is there something wrong with one of the kids?"

"Nothing to worry about, but Trey's right, Robert won't be able to participate in our physical training for a while. Maybe I'll recruit him to help me keep track of the progress of his classmates."

"Thank you. I should be able to provide meaningful illustrative statistical analysis." Robert said confidently.

"I had a feeling..." Matt said with an affectionate grin directed at the younger teen.

"Is it okay if I sit over here with you guys?" A teenaged snake-man asked as he slithered up to the group.

"Sure Steve, slide on in here." Bobby answered for the group, then said, "Everyone, this is Steve. Steve, this is Ms. Mordigan from the Wagner school and a few of the new students, Lisa, Beau, and Slash. I think you know everyone else."

"I know of them. You and John are the only ones that I've ever talked to before." Steve said timidly.

"Just about everyone else showed up in the last few weeks. They haven't had a chance to make the rounds yet." Bobby explained.

"I guess that's what we're doing right now. Bringing the new guys to meet you." John quickly offered.

"Yeah, right. Don't be pulling my tail." Steve said wearily.

John laughed, then said, "Fine. We're actually taking a little walkabout while the rest of the new Wagner students do their aptitude testing."

"That makes more sense." Steve said frankly, then added, "Well, there's not much to see here. We were playing soccer, but Mung got excited and accidentally turned the ball to stone."

"Is the game cancelled?"

"No. Mira is getting us another ball from the fieldhouse. I just came over here to see what you were up to." Steve said frankly.

"Maybe since everything's stopped anyway and since we don't have anything else going on, you could talk to your teacher about having a little game between your class and ours." Bobby suggested with a smile at the thought.

"Sorry. Not a good idea. We're used to being around Mung, so we can spot it when he's about to lose control. It really wouldn't be safe for you to be on the same playing field with him." Steve said frankly.

"To be honest, the Wagner students probably need some more time to learn about how to work with and around each other before we go challenging anyone else." John said seriously.

"I would expect the teachers to be realistic and take such precautions, but I'm glad to see that you are aware of the need to be wary of your gifts." Ms. Mordigan said thoughtfully.

"Gifts? Look at me lady. What kind of a 'gift' do you think it is to be different from everyone else?" Steve asked in an anguished voice.

Although the members of their group were uncomfortable doing so, all of them nonetheless followed Steve's suggestion and evaluated his appearance.

The way he had himself coiled he appeared to be an equivalent height to the members of their group, but uncoiled, his body would probably measure over fifteen feet long. His upper body looked mostly like any other skinny teenage boy, with the exception of him being completely bald and the shocking appearance of his slitted yellow eyes.

"I'll grant you that." Ms. Mordigan slowly responded, then countered, "But what kind of gift do you think it is it to be exactly the same as everyone else virtually, indistinguishable from any random stranger on the street?"

"What I'm always telling the kids is to be the best that you can be. That doesn't have anything to do with being a mutant or not. It's all about challenging yourself to be your best while also accepting that you can't always be good at everything." Matt said sagely.

"Except for Felicity. She is good at everything. If you don't believe me, just ask her. She'll tell you all about it." Steve said frankly.

"That brings me to the other part of my advice. No matter which cards fate dealt you, there's one thing you should try to keep in mind..." Matt trailed off introspectively.

They were hanging onto his every word, waiting for him to dispense his pearls of wisdom.

"...just... don't be a dick about it." Matt finally said, then explained, "Some's got it better or worse than others. Be happy or sad for them, but fight the urge to 'one up' people. Whether you're the best or the worst, it only leads you to a bitter, lonely place."

"Yeah. I totally get that." Steve said wearily.

"Are you alright, Steve?" John asked with concern.

"I guess so. My poison sacks are full right now, so that's kind of uncomfortable for me. It always puts me in a bad mood." Steve said frankly.

"Is there anything you can do to make it better?" Ronny asked curiously.

"Yeah. Dr. McCoy is going to collect my venom after classes today. He uses it to make lots of different serums and cures and junk. Real mad scientist stuff."

"I guess it's good that it can be used to help people." Slash offered uncertainly.

"Yeah. Maybe. But it's not like I'm actually doing anything. I just produce it... like the way a cow produces milk. She's not doing it out of the goodness of her heart. It's just a convenient biological fact." Steve explained.

"So, does it feel like you don't get a choice in the matter?" Ms. Mordigan asked sympathetically.

"Not much of one." Steve said honestly.

"And what if you did get a choice?" Ms. Mordigan asked in a leading tone.

"I think that I'd still do the same thing and help people. I guess that it's just that because my sacks are pulled so tight, all I want to do is whine and complain for a while."

"Yeah. I know that feeling." Ms. Mordigan commiserated.

Steve looked at her with surprise at the statement.

"We all have our venom sacks, some are just more metaphorical than others." Ms. Mordigan explained.

Steve glanced at the activity on the playing field before saying, "Mira's back. I've got to go."

"If it gets to be too much, be sure to let your teacher know." Ms. Mordigan said professionally.

"Don't worry about me. I'll be fine." Steve hurried to say over his shoulder as he turned to leave.

"Okay. But if at some future time you're not, come over to Wagner's and find me." Ms. Mordigan called after him.

Steve glanced at her strangely for a moment then gave one small, almost imperceptible nod before slithering away.

* * * * *

"Shouldn't you go and check on the guys taking the test?" Lisa asked hesitantly.

"That young man, Lee, seems to have earned the trust and respect of the others so leaving him to proctor the test seems like a good idea on many levels." Ms. Mordigan said easily.

"But aren't you worried that one of the guys might cheat?" Lisa hesitantly asked.

"This isn't that kind of test. It's just to get a sense of which educational skills they've already mastered and which ones they might still need to work on." Ms. Mordigan said informatively.

"But do you think that they know that?" Beau asked curiously.

"How do you mean?" Ms. Mordigan asked with interest.

"Your test may be designed to test what reasoning and skills they already have, but if they don't know that it isn't a regular test, they might try to fake it or bluff their way through it." Beau said seriously.

"Sometimes I really hate the modern educational system. To take something as wonderfully exciting as learning and turn it into a dismal chore. It's a crime against humanity."

"Is speaking such heresy where you got the nickname Mad?" Matt asked with a grin at her.

"It's not the origin, but it probably serves to confirm its validity." Ms. Mordigan said as she suppressed a chuckle.

"So you're not worried if Quaid and Louie cheat on their tests?" Beau asked curiously.

"Not really. But at the risk of sounding like a teacher, if we found out that they did cheat, I can see how this could be approached as a learning opportunity." Ms. Mordigan finished with a smile.

"It looks like the game's started." Slash quickly interrupted.

All attention was suddenly focused on the players on the field.

* * * * *

"It might be a better game if they had more people." Lisa said slowly as she watched both teams struggling to accomplish anything.

"Overcoming difficulties together is an excellent step in team building. While it might not be the most thrilling thing to watch, it more than makes up for it in practicality." Ms. Mordigan explained.

"What's that girl doing?" Slash asked slowly as he strained to see.

"Something she's not supposed to, I think." John said seriously as he saw the girl suddenly encased in shiny silver armor.

"Because I'm here?" Ms. Mordigan guessed.

"Maybe. But one of our exercises is to do stuff like this without using any special mutant abilities. Us being here might not have anything to do with it." John explained.

"We're going to have to do that too." Lisa said quietly.

"I can see the point of it, so that makes it not so bad." Beau said frankly.

"Yeah. I'd rather play for a reason than play just to play. Chasing a ball around a field usually seems kind of pointless to me." Slash interjected.

"What's going on now?" John suddenly asked.

"I think Mung turned the ball to stone again." Bobby said uncertainly.

"Why don't we go back to the library and check on the progress of the others? If they're approaching a good breaking point, we might all take a break together before starting the next round of testing." Ms. Mordigan said as she stood.

"How long do you expect it to take?" Lisa asked curiously.

"This could easily extend late into the afternoon. Perhaps Lee or Matt would like to go with you while I proctor the next battery of tests." Ms. Mordigan suggested as she led the way away from the practice field.

"We could do that." Matt immediately responded.

"How sure are you that the rest of us don't need to be tested?" Lisa asked curiously.

"I made the most reasonable assumptions with the information given to me. If it turns out that I was wrong, I'll bump you up or hold you back, as need be until each and every one of you are discovering the challenges and rewards of receiving an adequate education."

"That settles it. Radical talk like that could get you thrown out of the teachers lounge."

"Do you think my idealism makes me... unconventional?" Ms. Mordigan asked playfully.

"Unconventional? Try mad as a swan." Matt finished with a grin.

"Mad as a swan? I've never heard that one before. I think I like it." Ms. Mordigan said with a smile.

"Maybe it's something unique to my universe. All I know is that in your case it seems to fit."

"Your universe? Why do I get the feeling that you're not talking about this in a fanciful or even metaphorical sense?" Ms. Mordigan asked slowly.

"I'll tell you what. Why don't you go ahead and believe whatever it is that makes you feel best about the whole situation? Just let me know what works for you and I'll go along with it." Matt finished with a smile.

"What I want to believe is the truth." Ms. Mordigan said firmly.

"Of course." Matt immediately responded, then quietly added, "Just be sure to let me know which truth when you've settled on one."

As Ms. Mordigan started to lead them toward the side of the mansion, Matt caught her attention, then pointed at a door at the back.

Without comment, she altered their course to walk past some strategically placed rocks.

"Ms. Mordigan? Would you mind very much if when we get to the library, I go and check on something for a few minutes?" Lisa asked hopefully.

"Most likely we'll have to wait for our test takers to reach a good breaking point. There shouldn't be an issue if you need to attend to something else." Ms. Mordigan finished with a smile.

"If that's the way it is, would you mind if I stay out here for a couple minutes and catch up to you in the library?" Slash asked hopefully.

Matt glanced at him for only an instant, then to the conveniently placed pile of rocks before saying, "I can stay with him if you're worried about the kids going off on their own."

"While I don't necessarily have a problem with it, I'm not sure how Professor Xavier is going to feel about us allowing unescorted children to have the run of his home." Ms. Mordigan said frankly.

"He runs this place like a boarding school, which means that he's got kids running loose around here all hours of the day and night. As long as the kids behave respectably, I know he won't have a problem with it." Matt assured her.

"As long as you're sure." Ms. Mordigan said warily.

"Well, if it ends up not going well, we can always claim temporary insanity." John said with a grin at Ms. Mordigan.

"Or permanent." Clark added with a laugh.

Ms. Mordigan smiled at the exchange, then said, "Being branded as 'insane' isn't always as much fun as it sounds. You'd better be sure that you can handle living with the stigma before you go down that path."

"Considering where we live and go to school, I'm pretty sure that anyone who was going to judge us already has." Bobby said frankly.

"And there's a lot of people who think that mutants are just genetic mistakes, which automatically makes us stupid. Thinking that we're crazy really wouldn't be too big of a leap in reasoning after that." Matt added seriously.

"If people are going to be thinking about us like that anyway, maybe you could show us how to deal with it." Lisa asked hopefully, then quickly explained, "I'm not used to being around people, so I really don't have a clue about how I should react."

"It never occurred to me that I might be able to help students by relating my personal experiences. While I see how that might be rewarding, I can also see the potential hazards of exposing my personal life to that degree." Ms. Mordigan said anxiously.

"It does kind of make it fair game for us to talk about." Clark said informatively.

"It sounds to me like you're going to have to trust us." Ronny said with an impish grin.

"I'm reluctant to allow my professional life to have that much access to my personal life. Keeping them separate has allowed me to escape into one when the other gets to be difficult to deal with." Ms. Mordigan quietly admitted.

"Sounds like a good time to have someone nearby who'll listen to your problems with you and maybe even give you a hug if you need it." Matt said honestly.

"I'm not in the habit of letting anyone get that close." Ms. Mordigan reluctantly admitted.

"Is it okay if I stay here? I won't take too long. I promise." Slash nervously interrupted as he indicated the pile of rocks.

"Yeah. But you don't need to hurry. Unless I miss my guess, Lee will probably be out here with you about three minutes after we show up in the library." Matt said with a grin.

"What's going on? Is it something I should know about?" Ms. Mordigan asked cautiously.

"Officially, nothing is going on at all. But the truth is that Slash and Lee both smoke. As long as they confine their activities to this pile of rocks, no one has a problem with them coming out here every so often to indulge their cravings." Matt said frankly.

"You know that those things will kill you, don't you?" Ms. Mordigan asked Slash seriously.

"So will the gunman outside my dorm room." Slash said frankly, then added, "The difference is, this makes me less tense."

"Fair enough. But if you ever feel like quitting, let me know. I've got a list of resources and I can go over them with you so that we can find the best strategy for your situation." Ms. Mordigan said as she looked him in the eyes.

"Yeah. Let me get a little more settled into the dorm and then... maybe. I'll think about it." Slash told her sincerely.

"I'll be there whenever you're ready." Ms. Mordigan assured him before turning and leading the remainder of the group into the mansion.

* * * * *

"What are you doing out in the hall?" Matt asked with concern as the group approached the library.

"We've got a telepath and whatever the hell Brian is in there. I have a feeling that they probably knew that you were coming back before you did." Lee said frankly.

"How are they doing?" Ms. Mordigan asked curiously.

"They're all fine. A few minutes ago Jesus announced that everyone needed to finish what they were doing so that they could take a break with you. They've just about finished their workbooks and are mostly just waiting for you to arrive." Lee explained.

Before anyone could question further, Brian opened the door and stepped into the hallway as he loudly asked, "What did you just do?"

"Why? With what? What are you talking about?" Matt asked uncertainly.

"Everything was going just the way it was supposed to, then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the strands of fate have all withered away and been replaced with ones that were never supposed to be there." Brian anxiously blurted out.

"Ms. Mordigan doesn't need to be hearing about your withering strands. Remember where you are and what you're doing." Matt said firmly.

"That was true before, but now everything's changed. I don't know what you just did, but somehow she's taken Andrew's place on our final roster." Brian implored them to understand.

"What did she do to Andrew?" Beau immediately asked.

"Nothing. Andrew's fine, as far as I know nothing's happened to him... well, except that now he won't be as involved with our team. If nothing else changes, the most he'll do is help you and Lee and Seth with your ability training now and then." Brian explained a little more calmly.

"Hold on." Ms. Mordigan said firmly to stop the back and forth.

Surprisingly enough, that seemed to have the intended effect.

"This young man, whose name I can't remember for some reason, has just said something that sounds suspiciously like prognostication or prophecy. Is that what we're talking about here?" Ms. Mordigan asked uncertainly.

"As I understand it, what Brian sees is less of what will be and more of what could be." Matt carefully explained.

"That sounds horrible, being able to envision a thousand possible ways that things around you could go wrong..." Ms. Mordigan said thoughtfully.

"That sounds like every single day of going to school for me." Ronny said frankly.

After a moment, Bobby added, "I never looked at it that way, but you really can predict about ninety-nine percent of what's going to happen on any given day."

Ronny looked at his brother with surprise at the supportive observation.

"Thanks guys. It really is like that. I've never had my ability explained better." Brian said appreciatively.

"Okay. But since we've got this vision into the future of things, what can we do with it?" Ms. Mordigan asked, then hurried to amend, "What should we do with it?"

"Brian? You've got the most experience with this and you're the only one who can see what the probable outcomes are..." Matt was saying when he was suddenly interrupted.

//Ahem. I wouldn't say that he's the only one. Anything he sees, I can see if I bother to look.// Jesus projected into their minds.

"Oh. I hadn't thought about that. I'd be really interested to hear your point of view." Matt said into the air, since Louie and Jesus weren't in the hallway with them.

//Slash needs to be included in this, so Lee needs to go and get him."// Jesus said firmly.

"If you knew we were coming back, doesn't that mean that Slash is within your range? Can't you just call him?" Lisa asked curiously.

//There's a range difference between sending and receiving. Even so, I could call him. But that wouldn't solve the problem of Lee jonesing for a cigarette and psychically driving me up the wall.// Jesus explained.

"Sorry." Lee said weakly.

//Don't be sorry. Just go smoke, then bring Slash back here with you. We'll wait.// Jesus projected in a firm, no nonsense tone.

"Okay." Lee timidly agreed before hurrying away.

"So the rat tells you what to do?" Ms. Mordigan asked uncertainly.

"So far from what I've seen, we've all kind of been taking turns at being in charge. Depending on the situation, the person who can handle it best steps up." Lisa said frankly.

"Let's go have a seat and relax for a few minutes before we have our meeting." Matt said as he motioned toward the library door.

As Ms. Mordigan turned, she was confronted by a stranger and quickly said, "Hello. I'm Mad Mordigan, I don't think we've met."

Brian rolled his eyes, then turned to walk back into the library.

To Be Continued...

Editor's Notes: Here we go again. She's completely forgotten Brian again.

I always enjoy hearing from Clark. I can't seem to stop thinking of how funny it is to know that he is afraid of hights Of all people to have that fear. I understand he is not exactly the same person we have read or seen in movies and TV, but he does have similarities to those of the "Man of steel", do to speak. I am also wondering what Ms. Mordigan's differences are.

Of course, I am very interested in seeing another new chapter. That will never change.

Darryl AKA The Radio Rancher