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The Curse of the Bambino manifests in a new and bizarre fashion.



July 24, 1987

[Aside: Various]

Newton woke me this morning at something approaching a decently late hour, his urgent kneading suggesting hunger. He's gotten distinctly rounder than he was back when we found him. When I wandered into the kitchen Scott was reading the paper in an approximation of sitting at the table. I was on coffee number two when the mail came. There was a large fruit basket included in the delivery, and a note from Dr. Drescher, Dr. Habiki, and the rest of the Caduceus Project. The card said, "Thanks for everything! Anything we can do to help, just name it. Enjoy the fruit and tickets." Enclosed was a staff photo, all in front of the newly finished building, and six tickets to a kabuki play next month.
    This, I have to say, took me somewhat aback. They'd recovered the gene sequencer at Mid-Gard, but there was the small matter of the structural damage to their labs, and we don't often get much by way of thanks for that sort of thing. I wasn't sure what to think of it.
    Phoenix Talon wandered in. "Who's this from?"
    "Caduceus Project. Nice fruit basket," I admitted.
    "Kabuki," he noted the tickets with a disgusted expression. "Real fuckin' boring. Look like those Wuxia guys you fought while I wasn't here."
    "I thought that was Chinese."
    "Yeah, but kind of looks like 'em."
    "Oh." I don't know all that much about either. My creators didn't pay a lot of attention to my education in the arts.
    I've almost reached a point where I can write things like that without gritting my teeth. I guess this is progress.
    "The difference is the Chinese opera guys bounce around like they're on speed, kabuki actors don't move," he explained. "They just don't. Even when they're supposed to, in fight scenes, they don't move. Like I said, real fuckin' boring."
    "Well, you don't have to come." I thought it sounded kind of interesting.
    "Phoenix would be big on Japanese culture if it wasn't for all the damn Japanese," Scott remarked with some amusement.
    "No, I love Japanese culture!" he protested. "They've got the best TV. They've got this show, where like these two ladies walk up to people on the street and ask to see their underwear. It's fantastic; I never missed an episode."
    Every once in a while—often when Talon is around, oddly enough—I think about that talk I had with Trent back in the spring. He'd asked me at once point if I considered the team my friends, and I'd said no. Only on reflection did I realize that I actually think of them more as family. You expect different things. I wrote the play date down on the team calendar, and Phoenix Talon sampled a kiwi.
    "Fruit basket. Who's that from?" Dawn asked, wandering in with a smile.
    "Caduceus Project," her father informed her.
    "Oh. They say anything about the building?" she asked casually.
    She picked up the photo. "I put it back together for them."
    "Oh. Wow, hon! That's a big project." Talon looked impressed once her words sank in.
    "It wasn't that hard."
    "When'd you do this?"
    "Right after I fixed the hovercyle. Couple of days ago."
    "You're gettin' good."
    "That's a lot harder than waffles," I noted a bit uneasily.
    She shrugged. "Figuring out the metallurgy and the energy dynamics of the antigravity circuitry, yeah, that was a pain."
    "One would assume that was in the cycle and not the Caduceus Project?" Scott asked.
    "Yes. With Caduceus I just put the building back together, reinforced the walls a little more, redid the glass, did some etching, fixed their stationery."
    "Their stationery?" Scott and I asked at about the same time.
    "Really embarrassing. There was a minor spelling error in their address," she explained. "Probably slipped by."
    "Um, good work, hon. Wow." Phoenix Talon remained nonplussed.
    "Oh, how did the throwing stars go over?"
    "Excellent. They were a big hit. Thanks."
    "This fruit basket is rightfully yours, then, I suppose," I gestured.
    "Oh, you guys did all the hard work. Enjoy your kiwis." She sauntered out of the kitchen while Scott poked a pseudopod into the basket, looking for little New Zealand birds.
    "Phoenix, your daughter is scary," I muttered.
    "But in a good way."
    "Yeah... but. This is new." An entire building? "Don't you think you should maybe find out how she does this, at some point?"
    "It's her superpower," he shrugged blithely.
    "Okay, but creating an entire building out of nothing is pretty significant. In fact it breaks lot and lots of laws of physics."


 Editor's Note: This section represents the remainder of the session that was cut short by our GM's illness last time.

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© 2001 Rebecca J. Stevenson