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Old 05-02-2011, 05:32 PM   #3   [permalink]
Hardcover
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“What is that that you’re carrying?” Lizzy asked her, eyeing the papers in her hand.

Zippy grinned mischievously, “I thought you’d never ask. It’s something I’ve been working on for Miss Gojira’s class.

Spoiler:
Zippy handed some of the diagrams to Lizzy who took them, looking them over curiously.

“’Sonic Grenade Launcher’.” Lizzy read aloud.

“It’s a small handheld device,” Zippy explained, adjusting her glasses in a scholarly fashion, “it can easily be mounted on a robot. It holds 12 ‘bullets’, which are really the sonic grenades. It should be pretty accurate, and once the grenades hit, they sent out a blast of low frequency sonic pulses that will destroy the target by sending out outward blast of sonic force.”

“Cool.” Lizzy nodded.

“The only problem,” Zippy admitted, “is that I don’t know how to adjust the blast radius. I don’t want to blow up the school demonstrating this.”

“No, that would be bad.” Lizzy agreed.

They turned a corner, and to Charity’s horror, ran into another student. Charity held her head down, letting her hair hide her as much as possible as they almost knocked over Rina as she was coming. After a several apologies on both sides, Rina looked down at Charity; she crouched behind Lizzy hopelessly attempting to hide.

Rina cocked her head the side, “What is that? Is that a new experiment?”

At the words, Charity dropped her head lower and began to sob again in loud pitiful sounds. Very quickly, Zippy filled Rina in on the situation while Lizzy made a vague attempt to console Charity, though her icy bland demeanor predictably got in the way.

As soon as Rina found out what was going on, she covered her mouth with a gasp and knelt down in front of Charity. For a second, Zippy thought Rina was going to start crying too.

“Omigosh! Charity, I had no idea.” Rina said earnestly, “I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”

Charity said nothing and continued to cry. Rina looked her over with compassion. A compassion; Zippy noted smugly, that Charity would never have shown any of them had the situations been reversed.

Lizzy said matter of factly, “Someone was bound to see her sooner or later. It’s not like she could just hide in her room.”

Charity lifted her head and hissed bitterly through the tears, “Of course not! Tiffany will throw me out the minute she sees me.”

Dropping her head again and crying, Charity moaned, “No one will want me like this. No one will want to take me in.”

“You can stay with me.” Rina said firmly.

“Seriously?” Zippy asked her, one eyebrow raised.

“Sure,” Rina nodded, putting both hands on Charity’s shoulders, “There’s plenty of room. I live with Buttercup, so I’ve already got an oddly shaped roommate. And with Madoka in my head, you could hardly call me normal. It’ll be fine.”

That was true, Zippy noted. Like most of the dorms, the one Rina occupied had only two people living it (although Rina/Madoka basically brought it up to three), despite being built to accommodate four. Zippy’s dorm was one of the few that was filled to capacity. Zippy forced down a snicker at Rina’s constant good girl act, no one polished their halo as much as her. It would be interesting to see what Madoka thought of the arrangement.

Looking up at Rina, her huge grey eyes filled with tears, Charity stared at her in amazement.

“Really?” She sniffed.

“Really.” Rina told her, “We’ll go to the school office and set it up right as soon as possible.”

Charity cried, “Why are you being so nice to me? It’s creepy!”



A few hours later, after Charity had been taken to Mr. DeSade who promised to take a look at her, and Rina had taken her off to set up their new dorm room assignment, Lizzy Malaria was back at the grav ball court, sitting in the back as always with a large book in her lap, watching the practice game. While she still had no particular enthusiasm for the game, she had begun to understand it more, and now found herself getting a little exhilarated during the matches. Especially when concerned with one particular player: Flash Driver, who she was watching now.

She held the book up, absurdly pretending to read while watching him play over the top of the book. She hadn’t told any of her friends that she came here, although she was sure someone had told them by now, as she felt more then a little embarrassed by it. Often she kicked herself about this minor obsession: It was stupid, she was paying attention to the same guy all the other, more popular girls did. Roughly Madame Petri’s version of the star quarterback (although Petri’s did have a football team). She kept telling herself over and over that it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t shake this insane fascination she had with him.

He was gorgeous and in great shape, but he was also really smart and very talented academically. He had a passion for science like anyone else, and it all conspired to hold Lizzy under his sway. At this point, she was now feeling a little guilty at all the teasing she’d given Zippy about her crush on Kyle.

Looking over the edge of her book, she saw that Flash was talking to Caleb as he usually did after the match. Was it her imagination or did he keep glancing over in this direction? She dropped her eyes to her book’s pages, irrationally worrying that he might notice her looking at him.

Again she kicked herself for the weird fixation. She had never been into sports or athletes before. When others had been at the big game in junior high, she hung out with a few friends having a picnic at Edgar Allen Poe’s grave in Baltimore, Maryland. The mainstream had never been a her cup of blood, so why was she so fascinated with the campus idol.

Again she peered over the edge of her book, and saw that while Caleb was going back to the lockers rooms, Flash was walking towards the bleachers. With a sudden start, Lizzy realized that he was headed in her direction. The bleachers had mostly cleared out and all the girls who had surrounded him to fawn over him had left already. She shot her eyes back to the pages, her heart hammering in her chest. What would she do?

He must have seen someone come in through the doors; they were just to her right. She ran her eyes up and down the pages of the book, not bothering to actually read. She mimed her reading, holding up The History Of Cannibalism Vol 4 as if it were a shield. She waiting to hear him walk past her, but didn’t hear the footsteps.

When she looked over the top of her book again, it was almost like that scene from the Nightmare At 20000 Feet episode of The Twilight Zone where Shatner opened up the airplane window to see the gremlin staring right at him, or even worse the same scene from the original story by Richard Matheson, which had always scared the ---- out of her when she was a little girl. She looked up and instead of seeing him walking away or past her, he was right there looking directly at her.

She almost screamed and resisted the urge to hide her face in the book. And then, to her utter astonishment, Flash Driver smiled at her.

“Hi.” He said pleasantly.

“Hah-hah-hello.” Lizzy babbled helplessly.

He was talking to her! He was talking to her! Why was he doing that?

“You’re name’s Lizzy, right?” He asked her, “Lizzy Malaria?”

“Yes, my parents gave it to me.” She said.

She made a mental note to never make fun of Zippy ever again for some of the stupid things she’d said around Kyle. She kicked herself wondering why she’d said something so retarded.

Flash laughed, “Yeah, my parents gave me mine too. It’s Flash.”

He thought she was joking, thank the pagan gods. Lizzy almost breathed a sigh of relief although she was still tensed up and flustered. Unlike Zippy, Lizzy had not had that much experience with guys. Sure, she’d had boyfriends in the past, but not a lot. Lizzy accepted that she was different, and that her strangeness kept most guys at arm’s length. She felt like she was strapped down in the pit with the pendulum swinging back and forth above her, getting every closer with its blade.

“Um . . . did you want something?” She asked.

“Well, I’ve just been noticing you showing up recently at the matches.” He told her, “You seemed kinda interesting, so I thought I’d say hello.”

Lizzy was fairly sure she was blushing, and with her pale skin, it was fairly obvious when she did. She didn’t know how to respond at first. What did he mean by ‘interesting’? Did he mean interesting as in interested in her? Or did he mean interesting in the way a freak show or a road accident is interesting. Or was he thinking of performing an experiment on her?

She simply said, “Why thank you, and hello.”

“Besides, I notice your reading about my favorite subject.” He told her.

“Cannibalism?”
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