And here's the next chapter, featuring Sylvie being a conspiracy theorist in training, and a little talk between Molly and Ronnie Anne.Oh, and something about Mera too, I guess.But regardless, let's answer some reviews:1) Nobody245:* Nope, an actual canon character, though her name is never stated.* She will, but for now, she might try to get on Molly's good side first.* Indus would definitely join at the drop of a hat, and Lincoln wanting to join is definitely possible, but his current situation kinda makes that too risky. Also, Mera wouldn't let him.2) Tod Graymoon: Thanks!3) Lucasdiaz9000: Funny story, I was actually gonna say something about how that's not gonna happen, but a certain Anime on Netflix gave me the idea for at least a one-shot. Something to test the grounds, anyway. Something that might not be popular, given it's Chandler we're talking about, but it might be worth a shot regardless.And now, to the chapter!
As agreed to beforehand, Lincoln met with Sylvie and Lisa after gym class, the three of them sitting in the empty gym.
"Alright, so, let's get the obvious questions out of the way," Sylvie said as he took out a pen and paper. "How long has your body exhibitted this weakness?"
Lisa looked at her co-worker with disapproval. "Shouldn't we begin with something slightly less blunt?"
"Hmm... well, we are new teachers, so something less blunt would be good," Sylvie shrugged. "But I still think we should get those questions answered as soon as possible."
Lisa rolled her eyes and turned to her brother. "Are you feeling okay, Lincoln?"
"Well... yeah," Lincoln scratched his chin. "I mean, I'm still a little bothered at the fact I had to skip gym, but besides that, I'm fine."
Sylvie raised an eyebrow. "I thought this was common for you? I mean, if your body's been as weak-"
Lisa jabbed Sylvie's side. "Why does skipping gym bother you, Lincoln?"
"Okay, so, I know what Ronnie Anne and Molly said about me being weak, but it's not as bad as they make it sound," Lincoln shrugged. "As long as I don't put too much pressure on my body, I can exercise just fine. It's not like my bones will crack if I take a wrong step."
"Interesting you mention that, because that's something I actually wanted to know," Sylvie raised an eyebrow. "Exactly how weak is your body? How much pressure can it take before you're forced to take a break?"
The Loud siblings shot stunned looks at Sylvie, who quickly clarified:
"A rest! How long until you take a rest!"
The Loud siblings breathed a sigh of relief.
"Well, it depends: sometimes I can take a moderate amount of pressure before I need to rest, and sometimes I can't take more than a couple steps before I drop to my knees," Lincoln shrugged. "I guess it depends on how exhausted I'm feeling."
"I see," Sylvie said as he wrote that down. "Now, Lincoln-"
"You're free to go," Lisa interjected. "Please enjoy your lunch."
The white-haired boy walked down the benches and left the gym as Sylvie stammered, waiting until they were alone before he snapped:
"Why did you do that!? I had over a dozen questions still left to ask!"
"Lunch break only lasts so long, Sylvester, and in case you have forgotten, we need to be present later to conduct some tests on you-know-what."
Sylvie's expression loosened, and he took a deep breath.
"You're right: even if my primary job is to study Epithets, we do have a much more important task at hand. So let's go, let's eat lunch."
"It's about time," the smaller coach sighed. "I was starting to worry I'd have to leave you and eat both our lunches by myself."
"Hahaha, oh, Lisa, always the funny one."
Lisa stared at her co-worker for a moment, then left the benches and walked away, Sylvie hastily following behind.
"H-Hey, you were kidding, right?!"
Molly grabbed her food tray and sat down on a table... only to flinch when she saw a certain ponytailed girl sitting there as well.
"Oh hey, sorry, I didn't see you there," Molly hastily grabbed her tray and stood up. "I-I'll go sit elsewhere-"
"No, please, stay," Ronnie Anne said, waving her hand. "I actually wanted to talk with you."
Molly raised a skeptical eyebrow and sat back down. "Is something the matter?"
"I just wanted to apologize for being a little aggressive earlier," Ronnie Anne shrugged. "I guess I just felt a little bit tense, what, with everything we found out a few minutes ago."
"Yeah, those news were pretty shocking," Molly scratched her head. "Although, to be honest, I probably would've been a bit more shocked if I had spent more time with Mera."
"Yeah, I can't really blame you for not being as shocked as I was: especially given how the first few times you met... weren't the best," Ronnie Anne snickered. "But what do you think of the new coaches?"
"They seem... fine? They don't seem like bad people at least," Molly took a sip of her drink. "Like with Mera, though, I'll need to spend more time with them before I can say anything."
"Yeah, I get that."
The girls either stared at their food or ate it in silence for a while, until Ronnie Anne blurted:
"Sorry for distrusting you earlier. I might've come off as a bit... aggressive."
"No, it's okay, I don't really blame you for not trusting me then," Molly twiddled her fingers. "I mean, I would've liked it if you tried to get to know me before you started distrusting me, but to be honest, I probably acted a bit suspicious. That, and I would've kept my mouth shut." Molly twiddled her fingers. "I'm... not the best at socializing."
"Oh trust me, I'm pretty bad myself."
The girls exchanged a couple chuckles that slowly but surely ceased, ending with them both sporting smiles.
"You know, Ronnie Anne? You don't seem like a bad person."
"Same," Ronnie Anne took a bite off her food. "Although, like you said, I feel like I need to spend more time with you to see if I can fully trust you."
"That's fair... and in fact," Molly clasped her hands together. "That's a great idea!"
Ronnie Anne sipped her drink with a raised eyebrow.
"I haven't talked with that many people, nor do I have many friends, so I don't know if this is how it works," Molly shrugged. "But maybe we could hang out after school? You know, try to get to know each other better and get along."
"Sure, I mean, as much as I like Lincoln, it gets boring hanging out with him once in a while," Ronnie Anne scratched her chin. "My house is kind of a mess, though, so maybe we could hang out at your house?"
Molly choked on her drink, coughing as she put it down and pounded her chest, startling the tomboy.
"W-What's wrong?!" she asked while patting Molly's back. "Did I say something weird?"
"N-No, that's not it," Molly replied as soon as she catched her breath. "It's just that, well... my current living situation is... a little weird."
Ronnie Anne raised an eyebrow. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Okay, how do I explain this without blowing your mind?"
Molly took a deep breath, hummed in thought, and once she got an idea, she twiddled her thumbs while smiling sheepishly:
"I'm... kinda living with Lincoln's family right now."
Ronnie Anne stood silent for a moment, until her eyes widened with visible astonishment.
Meanwhile, with Mera, the armored woman flew across the skies somewhat clumsily, nearly hitting several buildings before switching directions.
I hate to admit it, but it's times like these that makes me glad I switched Epithets with Lincoln, Mera folded her arms. I just hope my replacement, whoever that is, understands his-
But before she could finish her thoughts, Mera noticed a flash of Pink heading towards her.
Mera dodged the flash, but in the short moment she got to see the flash's true form, she instinctively stretched her hands forward and summoned a string of web, which wrapped around the flash tightly enough to let her throw it back where it came from.
She followed the flash until it crash-landed in a building, one where a familiar police car and policewoman stood nearby.
"Lori!" Mera exclaimed. "Are you okay?"
"I've been better, but I'll be fine," the woman said while dusting herself. "What about you? Did you bump with a few buildings along the way, or did you stop to see the scenery?"
"Well excuse me for not instantly knowing how to use an Epithet that's not even mine!"
Suddenly, the wall cracked, and the familiar form of Yoomtah Zing hopped off, dusting herself as Lori readied her weapon and Mera recognized her.
The girl's eyes glowed as she scanned the armored vigilante, her smile widening as soon as she was finished.
"Nice to see you again, Mera Salamin."
Mera clenched her fists as Yoomtah bolted towards, taking heavy steps as she said:
"It's time you return what you stole from me!"