Honestly, I found today the most relaxing in recent weeks. I guess that’s the irony in this whole situation, with everyone tense enough as it is.
“One ham and cheese toastie, one 5 peice breakfast and one soup of the day,” said the waiter. I thanked him with a nod as he placed the food on the table where I, Maxine and Derek sat.
“Kinda miffed we can’t eat with the others outside,” said Derek, blowing his spoonful of soup. “I like Maxwell, he’s a cool dude.”
“It’s to be expected, seeing as how well we are known,” Maxine replied. I made a small glance and saw that attention was slightly directed towards us from a few random tables. “I mean, all of the people like us are. You know, people who were caught by the Hu-”
“Anyway let’s change the subject,” I interrupted a little louder than I should. Maxine gave me a glance and I noticed I put too much pressure on my toastie, crushing it a little. I wiped my hands on a napkin that wrapped my cutlery. “We should maybe try and call Micheal and Ricky. They’d like that, and they haven’t talked to us at all yet.”
Maxine and Derek relaxed a little. I stopped tensing up.
“I mean,” I continued, “I’m pretty curious to as how they are doing right now, aren’t you?”
Derek swallowed a spoonful of soup and put the spoon down, before pointing at me. “You know, you are right about this. I’m actually missing Ricky.”
“They might get homesick, or we might get homesick,” said Maxine, interjecting as she cut a fried egg open. “I’d check up on the news, first.”
“You know where they are stationed?” I asked.
“They fucking told us you moron,” said Derek, kicking my shin from under the table. “They are in New York, how’d you forget that?”
I thought for a moment in between chews of ham and cheese. “Fuck me,” I said. “I actually forgot.”
We continued talking about irrelevant things, both to distract ourselves and because we hadn’t done so properly in a long time.
“So, about what happens soon,” said Maxine, interrupting my daze. “I mean, The Holidays ends in a week, what do you think?”
“Maybe we have a deal cut in with a nearby school?” Suggested Derek with a little too much optimism for my tastes.
“I don’t think so,” said Maxine. “I’m thinking private tutoring, if we are lucky.”
“I don’t think we will stay here actually,” I said. “I mean, Pivot said to me we were only here because of the kingmaker thing. Once this blows over, We’ll all go home.”
Derek took a last spoonful of soup. It was cold by now. “Most of us.”
Right. I forgot. Ellen.
“Let’s check up on Ricky and Micheal,” said Maxine. We paid, tipped and left.
“Bullshit,” I said to everyone. “This is bullshit.”
“Relax Ryan, you are too stressed lat-”
I interjected, louder. “That’s total fucking BS, what the fuck!”
“Don’t swear so much, you sound like a thug,” said Maxine.
“Yeah, but it’s totally unfair!” I said again, pointing at the screen.
“That’s how things go,” said Derek, trying to keep a grin hidden away behind his hand.
“Fuck that! Gimmie a phone or something!” I looked around the desk for a mobile, tossing papers aside from the desk. They looked like blueprints from Pivot.
“Hey!” called out Maxine, bending over to pick them up.
I walked into my room, remembering my old cellphone. I found it in a drawer, untouched. I rummaged through the contacts list and put it on speakerphone. Ricky answered as I walked back to Maxine and Derek, who has keeled over laughing by the time I got back.
“Hey there, Captain Cockblock!” said Ricky in a rehearsed deadpan.
“Fuck you man,” I replied, trying to hold in my own laughter. “I could have lost an arm, and all you do is give me a shit name!”
Laughing occurred in the background. Micheal was there.
“And fuck Micheal too. Take turns, go fuck each other.”
“Dammit Ryan, let me speak,” said Derek, taking the cellphone and placing it down. “Sup, Maxine’s here too by the way.”
“Hey there!” Maxine said.
“Sup Maxie. How are you all anyway?”
“Blocker is mad cause he tried to block a car last month, Maxine’s alright and I’m fine.” replied Derek, before grunting as I jabbed him in the side with an elbow.
“How are you guys doing?” interrupted Maxine, pushing in between me and Derek.
“Hey darlings!” yelled Micheal over the phone. “I’m fantastic! They have this amazing Pizza place three blocks away, and a cinema!”
I was great to hear them, I was right. “We miss you all,” said Ricky, quieter than before. “Visit us soon.”
“Goodby,” said Micheal. “Thing came up. Some cape thing.”
“See ya,” replied Derek.
“Visit soon,” I said.
The phone turned off. I picked it up and turned it off, turning to Maxine and Derek.
“That was great,” I said, smiling while shaking my head. “Remind me to punch that asshole.”
“Remind me to give him a hi-five,” replied Maxine.
A siren interrupted our fun.
“God damn it,” I said, heading to my room to put the phone away. I tossed it in the drawer, opening my closet and taking my costume out. It was new, the old one was ripped when my arm broke. After putting it on, returned to see Unperson and Latency sitting in chairs, already dressed. Pivot and Stacker had entered in the meantime while I and the others changed. Maxwell walked out of his room, fully geared. Event Horizon entered last of all.
“It’s Texas. The borders have opened,” she said grimly. “We are at war.”
“So we do what?” asked Stacker, before Unperson could raise her hand.
Event Horizon pointed at one of the walls in the room. It was actually a screen, embedded and hidden away so that it did not distract people, I assumed. The contents were more important than what was used to create and embed a screen behind the wall. We saw the view of the Texan army, descending on Mexico. Capes and soldiers clashed on the battlefield in a flurry of fire and many other colours and shapes.
“We do nothing, Mexico is the country in trouble,” said Event Horizon.
“What about them?” asked Unperson.
“The NHN is already en-route. They’ll attack from behind with the aid of a few other factions in an attempt to assist Mexico.”
And take whatever technology they can find, I thought to myself.