“Secret at Quasar Boarding”- Chap. 3
“Let’s see… All right, Lynx, you just got to the battle with your guys. What are you going to do?”
The new guy- Keith- cracked his knuckles. “What condition are they in?”
Dustin- the guy running the game- looked at his screen.
“They’re in a state of confusion. Ifrit’s attack left a rather big hole in their numbers.”
“All right, then…. I’ll order my guys to head for the middle, while I clean up the stuff around the edges.”
“All right, then… hit your command and see what happens.”
Keith entered his command into the computer and watched as his representation and its followers proceeded to carve up the opposition. The game ended pretty soon after that, though- if they could do one thing about World of Imagination modules, they could make them a little longer.
“Well, you guys did good- except for losing Edgar, you came out of that one with flying colors.” Dustin shut the computer off, and we shut down ours. “By the way, Alex, is that party still on for Saturday?”
“Of course. I even got it sanctioned as a school event by the administration. Go figure. Speaking of which….” Alex sent a glance my way as he kept speaking.
“Red’s, too. For once.”
Dustin cocked his head, as well as others in the room. “The almighty king of all-night game marathons is giving up his night for an actual party?”
I shook my head. “Yeah, for once. And I’m going with Blazer, too.”
Dustin’s jaw seemingly hit the floor, along with everyone else who hadn’t heard it.
“You mean…. Blazer’s not going with Flare, like every other time she’s come out in public?” Dustin stammered.
“Right on. He got grilled out by the instructor in Situations for not taking in an enemy status.”
“And which one was that? Haste or Berserk again?”
I shook my head, trying to get my two cents in. “Reflect.”
Dustin made a face. “Yikes. He used Flare on an opponent shielded with Reflect? Is he….”?
Alex shook his head. “Miaka threw a training dummy in the spell’s path. Flare’s been punished additionally by the administration- he’s spending the weekend in solitary in the main building. They said something about him not being serious about his training.”
I shook my head at hearing this. Punishment is brutal by any means, but solitary in the main building is nicknamed ‘going to Hell and back’ here. I had to spend a day in there- for combat situations when we simulated being captured by the enemy. I didn’t crack a bit- but no one did.
I looked at my watch- it was getting close to the time when I was meeting Blazer down to the restaurant. I stood up from the table and stretched.
“Well, as much as I’d love to stick around here and shoot the shit with you guys, I have a date for tonight.”
I excused myself from the room, giving a few playful shots to the arm for several dirty jokes flying around to three of the guys. I walked out of the building and went to the parking garage.
“Well, you’re out late,” a voice said from nowhere- a disembodied voice that sounded like kitty litter going through a trash compacter. A thing dropped down from the trees and focused its eyes on me, a light in its hand illuminating me for the world to see.
“Name, number, and code name, followed by reason for being out after dark.”
I shook my head. Stupid Guardlights. They seemed to think they could do anything they wanted.
“Jason Icasea, number 39843, code named “Red”. Meeting another student in town for a meal.”
It quirked its eyes at me and hit the flashlight, making my eyes readjust to the darkness.
“Very well, pass on. Be sure you check in with the gate guard when you return.”
The form returned to the treetops above- and my heart returned to its normal pace. It’s always risky going out after the sun sets, but it’s even more so as you approach the gate. After clearing it with the lot attendant, I wheeled my motorbike to the gate, and was let out. I started to gun it- letting the motor roar in the warm night air, letting the motor free as I traveled into town.
Shroudia City isn’t like the other college towns in the country. It’s a booming city- a rather big city- and it’s got that school-town feel to it. But the power residing at the school up the road attracted the dark element to Shroudia City.
We all know that it’s an honor to have a child selected for acceptance at Quasar. It’s considered a high status symbol by the rich families- Vienar, Kennedy, you name it, you’ll find it on a mailbox in the rich part of town. I gunned my engines passing these places on the way into town- the rich always brought out the worst in me- their holier-then-thou attitudes, their big parties that they only invited the big people in society to- anyways, I’m coming up on the part of town where I want to be.
I pull into the parking lot of Uian’s, the hottest new restaurant in the town. I wheel my bike to the attendant at the entrance and leave the key and instructions that “if there’s any sign of a scratch on this thing, I’m taking it out of your own hide”. Don’t blame me for being protective- you build one of these damn things from a kit and have someone scratch it up, then you try to refrain from doing serious bodily harm to the person. Anyways…
“I believe I have a table and a guest awaiting me, sir.” I leaned forward on the greeter's podium.
“Your name, sir?” he asked me, his nose immediately going high into the air. I mentally refrained myself from giving him a punch in the nose. Damn snotty pieces of…
“Jason, but possibly registered under the name “Red”. Table for 2, and step on it.”
The guy looked in his little book, the one that was shielded from view of everyone but himself, and nodded. He called a waiter over and asked him to escort me to the table.
“Take him to table five- no disturbances, either.”
The waiter nodded and motioned for me to follow him. I stepped over and followed him to my waiting table.
I looked over the entire dining area at all the people. Let’s see… there’s Vienar’s daughter, eating with her newest boyfriend. That stupid Senator Kennedy’s here- drinking up a storm as usual- she’s as bad as her father is. And, of course, the mayor and his family.
I arrived at my table, and there sat Blazer- looking knockout in that outfit of hers.
“About time, Jason. I thought the food would petrify before you got here,” she commented with a smile.
“Well, with the reputation this place has already, it wouldn’t surprise me if it still tastes the same.” I took my seat and called up the menu from the console on the table.
“Order what you wish tonight, and damn the expense,” I cracked with a smile. Blazer smiled and pushed the button for the shrimp dinner- still the most expensive thing on the menu. I hit the button and ordered a steak dinner with a potato and salad.
“So…. Jason, can I ask you something?”
I looked up from the menu and nodded. “Shoot.”
“I know everyone at Quasar’s talked about their backgrounds.”
I looked up to her with a quick glance. “Let me guess. You want to know what kind of a warped enviroment someone like me would come from.”
Blazer’s eyes closed for a second. “I just want to know why you seem so angry when you get asked about that. It can’t be any different than anyone else’s.”
I let out a sigh. “ Reason I don’t talk about it is the fact there’s some stuff I’d rather stay buried in the past. But…”
Blazer looked up. “You don’t have to talk if you don’t really feel like it.”
I shook my head. “No, it’s all right. I have to let it out sometime, and now seems like as good as any other time.”
I watched as a waiter bearing two trays maneuvered up to our table and placed the trays in front of us, then bowed and walked away. After he left, I deposited a dollar coin into a small slot at the table that activated a small field of silence around us. We could talk, and not hear the crowds, and they couldn’t hear us.
“So…. Start with the basics, Jason. Where were you born?”
I took a deep breath and began to speak.
To Chapter Four
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