And here is the next chapter of this Quirky... Epithety? story. We have a bit of a cooldown before things pick up steam soon, so let's enjoy it while we can XDBut first, let's answer some reviews:1) Nobody245:* Don't worry, there's a chance she won't stay in prison.* We'll see what happens this chapter.* I'll reveal what the Epithet is eventually.2) Zombie D-Man: Awesome! Another EE fan!* I'm gonna be honest, I totally forgot that 1 out of 5 rule. I was trying to go for the show rules (I didn't even know the tabletop game existed until the show), but I think we can sweep this under the rug, right? XD* Glad to have you onboard :)And now, to the chapter!
Mera wasn't having such a good time, as she sat at the principal's office while the man himself glared at her.
"So, to put it bluntly," the principal said. "You once worked with the Banzai Blasters, and you even got to know personally the very same blaster that attacked this school just a moment ago... and you didn't even think about telling me about this fact?"
"The Banzai Blasters came to me when I was desperate for money, and gave me a job, promising me that once it was done, they'd pay me handsomely," Mera sternly explained. "Of course, once it was all said and done, they threw me under the bus, without even paying me for getting my hands dirty for their sake. So, I decided to try forget about that little episode of my life for as long as I could-"
"Until it came crashing right into the school."
Mera folded her arms and nodded. And after a moment of silence, the principal was brief, yet blunt:
"Mera Salamin, I won't deny you're a decent teacher, but I need you to understand that after what happened, I can't take the risk of another Banzai Blaster attack happening here because you or your adoptive son-"
Suddenly, Mera slammed her hands down and stood up, glaring at the man as she responded:
"Lincoln has nothing to do with this."
"Salamin, I need you to understand-"
"The one that needs to understand here is you! Yes, I dealt with the Banzai Blasters before, and yes, the fact one of them knew me-"
"The fact one of them knew you doesn't worry me as much as the fact that the one who attacked us was Lincoln's sister."
Mera's eyes widened, but though she loosened a bit, she didn't sit down.
"It's well known that thanks to the unexpected fact that the current Loud children generation all developed Epithets, they had to be put in adoption," the principal spoke. "They grew close during those years, and if what we saw with Luan today applies to the other criminal sisters, then this very institution will not be safe if he's around."
Mera frowned. "But this is the best place where he can train his Epithet to its full potential..."
"I'm sorry, Salamin, but I have no choice," the man stated. "You're fired, and Lincoln is to leave this institution tomorrow morning. You're dismissed."
With the principal unwilling to discuss this any further, Mera bid farewell and took her leave, slamming the door shut as hard as she could.
"So, that didn't go as well as you'd had hope, huh?"
Mera flinched and turned to her right, where Lori was leaning against the wall, arms folded and with a small white stick with smoke coming out of its end.
"Should you really be smoking now?" Mera asked, narrowing her eyes in disgust.
"Smoking?" Lori snickered. "Lady, this is a lollipop."
Mera blinked twice. "Then why is smoke coming out of the tip?"
"'Cause I'm licking it literally so fast."
Lori grabbed the stick and pulled it out, revealing it really was one of those spiraling lollipop things. But even so, this didn't cheer Mera up.
"If you're trying to lighten up the mood before you arrest me, I'm afraid it didn't work."
"Arrest you?" Lori raised an eyebrow. "And why would I want to do that?"
"Didn't you hear what that man said?" Mera folded her arms and rolled her eyes. "Because I had a quick job with the Banzai Blasters, he fired me!"
"Yeah, but you're also the one who delivered a certain little trinket to the police station," Lori put her lollipop back in her mouth. "For that, I literally have a proposition for you."
Mera raised an eyebrow. "As soon as that little thing was stolen, everybody wanted a piece of it. Good guys, bad guys, neutral guys, everyone will be hunting for it, and to be literally honest, the police force is a bit understaffed to handle the inevitable."
Lori faced Mera, who had grown.
"So, to keep it short, since the old fart just fired you: how about you join the police force?"
Mera's mind was quite conflicted after the offer had been laid out. And truth be told, with the way things were going for her, she was very tempted to accept it.
Recently fired from the best paying job she ever had, having a kid and Indus to look after, as well as not only teaching said kid how to control the Epithet that used to be hers, but also figure out how to use the Epithet that used to be his.
It was as clear as day that Mera needed the money, and fast.
But first, she had to take care of something.
"Welcome home!" Lincoln chirped as he ran to Mera's side. "How did it go at the academy?!"
"Lincoln, what did I tell you about running in the house?"
"Not to do it."
Mera smiled slightly and brushed Lincoln's hair, saying:
"How about we go to your room? I... need to talk with you about something."
She could tell from Lincoln's expression that, though he obliged, Lincoln was worried that something bad had happened.
Which it kinda did, to be honest.
Nevertheless, the duo went to the boy's bedroom, and Mera promptly crouched down.
"Okay, so, Lincoln..." Mera started. "A lot of things happened today. Indus used his Barrier in creative ways, a Banzai Blaster attacked the school-"
"And you discovered my Epithet, right?" Lincoln asked with a little smile.
Mera opened her mouth to answer, only to pause when she realized what he said.
"Indus told me you did."
And now it made sense.
"Well... yeah, I guess I did," Mera scratched her head. "I'm still not quite sure as to what the exact word is, though."
"Well, congratulations either way," Lincoln snickered. "Looks like we both have Epithets now, huh?"
Mera looked at Lincoln with a neutral look for a moment... then spread her arms, still stone-faced.
"Uh, what?" Lincoln asked.
"Hug," Mera plainly stated.
"I want a hug, as a reward for discovering your Epithet."
Lincoln held back a chuckle, and gave the woman the hug she requested, patting her back as she wrapped her arms around him.
"I'm... sorry I haven't been the best mother figure to you. This whole "motherhood" thing is still new to me."
"I'm adopted, though."
"Whatever: biological, adoptive, the point is, I'm not sure how to be a mother, okay?"
"Yeah, I get it. But I still think you're a good person, Mera."
Mera's eyes widened, but she quickly rolled them. "Not a very good mother, still."
Lincoln patted her back. "You'll learn."
And in that moment, Mera smiled and patted Lincoln's back before enjoying the hug as much as she could.
Guess she'd tell him the bad news another time...
Molly paced back and forth at the Royal Woods Park, where her phone finally began ringing. And once she answered, she got a response from a familiar voice:
Hello! Who calls the Great Giovanni?!
"It's me," Molly sighed.
Ah! Bear Trap! How nice to hear from you again! So, how's everything going on with Trickster?
"It was all fine until she kidnapped me and got herself arrested."
What, again? For goodness sake, I thought she had already filled her "get imprisoned" quota for the year!
Molly flinched. "So, wait, you mean this isn't the first time this has happened?"
We're Banzai Blasters, Bear Trap, every first for us becomes either a habit or a trend.
Molly lowered her eyelids. "By that logic, I'm gonna get into a habit of getting kidnapped."
Only if you want to, hehe. But I'm assuming now that Trickster's been captured, you got nowhere to go?
"No," Molly frowned and sighed. "Her house is empty now, and I don't feel comfortable living now."
Well, do you have any friends there in Royal Woods, Bear Trap?
"... Actually, yeah, I do."
Then I think there's something we can do with your situation...
"I'll get it!"
Lincoln power walked to the door, making sure not to trip on his way there, and once he opened it, he was surprised to see Molly outside, twiddling her fingers as she asked:
"Could I live here with you for now?"