Stardock: Part 6

“Uh…” I tried to think of a response that would calm the situation down. The honest response, “Yes, Daniel explained it to Haley and me, but not you,” didn’t seem likely to do that.

Izzy let out a breath, seeming to deflate as she did it. “Look, I’m not going to–” She paused, not saying anything. “I’d like to talk about this privately. Do you have a good sense of when we’d be out of his range?”

I had a pretty good guess as to whose range she meant.

Go ahead, Daniel told me. It’ll be okay.

Izzy raised an eyebrow, and gave a half smile. “He’s talking to you, isn’t he?”

“Yeah,” I shrugged. “Sorry. I think we’ll be out of range in a minute or so, but I’ll want to get my jacket.”

I walked past her and stepped into our room, grabbing my jacket out of the very small closet. The closet felt even smaller because in addition to my clothes it contained Cassie’s new armor (hidden in the form of a backpack) as well as a suitcase filled with accessories for my armor. That armor stood on the floor next to the closet in a block that looked like a suitcase. It weighed too much for me to lift. Daniel had carried it telekinetically when we’d gotten off the plane.

On the bed, giving me a half smile of his own, Daniel said, “We’ve been working some things out. I’m sorry you ended up in the middle of this. I’m also sorry I wasn’t much help with Sean. Izzy and I were in the middle of things, and by the time I realized what was happening, it was over.”

“It’s okay. It wasn’t that bad. If I need help, I know how to get your attention.”

I pulled my jacket on. It was one of the black jackets I’d used in combination with the stealth suit. Strange to think that it would soon be obsolete.

Then I walked out of the room, and joined Izzy in the hall. She glanced back toward the door as we started, but didn’t say anything.

“I was thinking we could walk over to the shipyard,” I told her.

She nodded. “Why not?”

It didn’t take long. We walked out through the lobby (which looked just as empty as it had fifteen minutes ago), and across the big open lot that surrounded the shipyard. It struck me that it had an enormous area around it–even if you assumed it needed a big parking lot. They’d probably cleared it to make it hard to get close to the shipyard unobtrusively.

Without invisibility, no one would be able to blend into the grey concrete and tar surrounding the building.

Halfway across the lot, I asked Izzy, “Are you warm enough?”

She wore a gold colored hoodie with the word “Cal” in blue on the front along with blue jeans. It didn’t look warm enough.

“I’m fine, Abuela,” she muttered.

I wasn’t completely sure what Abuela meant, but from her tone, I was pretty sure she was suggesting that I was worrying too much.

She said, “I flew to Antarctica once in less than this. I’m comfortable.”

“Antarctica? When did you do that?”

She smiled a little. “Two summers ago–after I got my powers, but before I found out where they came from. They didn’t seem as fun after that.”

Her grandfather had called himself “Dixie Superman,” and fought against civil rights in the 1960’s, becoming the KKK’s favorite superhero/villain, depending on your point of view.

I understood why she might not like him, but that didn’t stop me from wondering how she kept warm. I had theories, but they weren’t as good as actual observation. I considered asking her for more detail, but didn’t, saying only, “That would suck.”

“By the way,” I added, “we’re out of his range now.”

She eyed me. “How do you know?”

I shrugged. “We’ve been friends for a long time, since long before he learned any manners with regards to telepathy. So we were pretty much in contact whenever we were around each other. I can’t always tell when he’s in range, but I can sense when he’s out of range.”

She shook her head. “That explains a lot. You know that the two of you have conversations that are partly telepathic, and partly in words? And you talk about parts of the conversation that no one but the two of you heard?”

I didn’t remember doing that at all. “Uh… No?”

“It’s hard to follow,” she said. “And it makes anyone else who’s there feel like they don’t matter.”

“Oh,” I said, becoming conscious of where we were. We stood in the middle of the lot. A cold wind blew around us, and it wasn’t hard to tell that we were alone. Searchlights crossed the yard with regularity. Aside from a few cars, the whole place was empty.

Izzy didn’t say anything at first, possibly waiting to see if I would continue, but I didn’t.

Then she said, “I’m not going to tell you to change that, but I’d feel better if the two of you did. It’s a lot like how Daniel told you and Haley why we weren’t dating, but didn’t tell me.”

“Yeah,” I said. “I’m sorry about that. He told me that in confidence, and I didn’t feel like I could pass that on. I even think I said that he should tell you. Or maybe Haley said that? I don’t remember any more.”

Izzy sighed. “Daniel said that, and he said he wished he’d listened. I’m glad he feels that way, but I don’t want to be the only person not in the discussion. I can’t tell you to tell me about it if something like it comes up again, but if it does, could you remind him to talk to me?”

I weighed the request in my head, and decided that it wasn’t unreasonable. “No problem. Does that mean you talked through the whole question of conversion and children and everything? And he told you about his visions, right?”

She frowned. “Yes. I’m still not sure what to think about that. I always wonder while I’m dating someone if we’ll marry, but knowing it’s possible, and that we’d have kids? I don’t know what to think. We decided to put off worrying about it for now. If we ever start talking about marriage, we’ll talk about it then.”

“That’s good,” I said. “That seems really reasonable.”

Izzy nodded. “It is. It’s better than letting something that might happen get in the way of what we’re doing now. What about you? Did he ever have a vision about your future?”

I thought about it. “Kind of. He’s had visions where one of us saves the other’s life, sometimes dying in the process, but it’s never been very specific. His abilities weren’t very strong when we were little kids. He’s more powerful now, so maybe it will be more specific than it used to be.”

I shrugged. “It’s not something that matters. It’s something that might happen.”

Izzy nodded. “I know. That’s what I thought.”

We talked for a while longer after that, but then we both went back to our own dorm rooms.

The next morning we all reported to the lot between the dorm and the shipyards in costume. One of the New York capes was going to lead us through exercises based on the battle plans we’d been given on Friday.

8 thoughts on “Stardock: Part 6”

  1. Hey, strange to think this is the week that includes New Years. As unlikely as it sounds, I’ll be writing/updating on Jan 2 as planned even though it means writing on January 1–not that that’s a problem. I’m looking forward to it.

    1. I think you left out an “are” in the sentence after Izzy says that explains alot. Thats the only I noticed other than the story itself. Eagerly waiting for next update.

  2. “It’s better than letting something that might happen get in the way of what we’re doing now.”

    Ummm… Anyone remember “Evil Nick”? With aliens on a xenocidal conspiracy, they’re on a journey down the path to that future now.

  3. At first I was rolling my eyes at yet another chapter of Nick being dragged aside to be interrogated about Daniel. Like what is he, Daniel’s shadchan? (Google it!)

    But then it went to a more interesting place, poking at how intimate the relationship is between Nick and Daniel and how it can make the other characters feel excluded in a team context. That’s territory worth exploring. Izzy is actually jealous of Nick and Daniel’s relationship on some level. There’s no other way to read, “And it makes anyone else who’s there feel like they don’t matter.”

    It makes me wonder if, off-screen, the opposite is happening. Do other people sometimes question Daniel to get more insight into Nick?

  4. While I do agree that Daniel probably should have explained things to Izzy better, I don’t think it was fair to drag Nick into the middle of it, or otherwise butt into their friendship. Interfering with a lifelong friendship over a relationship that may or may not go anywhere is uncalled for.

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