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Tiffany Korta

Tech Compliance (Open)

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"Mr. Roebuck, I would never confuse you for a servant. You are conspicuously lacking in scales, wings and tails!" Leroy laughed, apparently oblivious to the other boy's clear anger. "Besides, I would never do anything that might send me back into the box, to call me as careless now would be as if a child stumbled when taking a first step, and every additional try earned them a shove back to the floor. I created a singularity just this winter, when we fought the traitor intruder Krampus, and the world failed to be destroyed."


"Traveler," he added chidingly to Claude, wrinkling his nose as he grinned, "all life is in competition, I distinctly recall making that explicit between myself and our good spare Ben. But, as Ms. Vasquez says that additional safeguards are necessary, I shall of course obey."


"Is anywhere on campus separated from this dimension, Ms. Vasquez? Or can be? I would ask one of my sisters for a pocket space, but all of them are off on salvation presently."

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Judy shifted uncomfortably as Leroy and Micah argued, feeling distinctly unsettled by the sight in a way she didn't expect. "Maybe you can work on that later, honey," she suggested as she came up behind Leroy. "We just want to do our science stuff now, right?" She leaned close, resting her hand affectionately on Leroy's back, her skin hot through the material of his shirt. "You can always use the one in my room if you need to," she said with a smile. "Maybe you can put the two of them together and see what happens." 


"Maybe not," said Watchdog firmly. 

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Nick didn't much like conflict. Even before developing powers, he wasn't the type to start problems. A typical response to interpersonal conflict not directly involving him was to stay out of it. Even in general, "conflict avoidant" categorized him neatly. At the same time, the better angels of his nature often forced his hand. His sense of empathy did want him to try to calm Micah by defusing the situation.


To address the first issue, his hand shot back from Micah like he'd been burned. Took a second or two to realize what actually happened, but it came as a shock, so to speak. The standoff between Micah and Leroy he followed with his eyes. Otherwise he sat very still listening to the energy bursts coming from his classmate.


In some ways focusing on the mysterious x-ray source kept him calm. His mind fired up his analytical capacity and quickly built a profile of the output. The how eluded him, although the data proved fascinating, but the why, in some senses, felt fairly straightforward. Micah's emotional response appeared to be triggering certain aspects of his powers. Nick didn't know Micah's powers, but obviously energy manipulation factored somehow.


Much to Nick's relief, de-escalation ruled the day. Ms. Velásquez's authority channeled Leroy's ambitions at least temporarily. Now if he could just soothe Micah a bit. Of course then Leroy went and opened his mouth again. At which point Nick's neutral expression once more dropped into a scowl. Shaking his head, he braved putting a hand on Micah's shoulder again. This time he leaned forward, trying to bring his face into Micah's field of view. Hopefully, an expression of real concern would at least draw Micah's focus for a moment. Sometimes that was all it took. 


Or he'd get fried. Eh, he'd had a good run.

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"Where we're going..." He grinned, typed in one final command, then let his fingers hover over his laptop keyboard's "ENTER" key. "...We don't NEED roads." He punched the key, then leaned back and started tapping his fingers on his desk. Four series of five taps each, three from his left hand followed by two from his right. "That's one small step for a scientist, but one giant leap for SCIENCE!"


Ben pressed the button and...nothing happened. After a few moments of dead air, he leaned in and squinted at his laptop monitor. "...RIGHT." He glanced back up at Heroditus. "So this is probably gonna take a few minutes to compile. Guess I kinda jumped the gun on the whole dramatic unveiling thing." He leaned in closer to the young Atlantean and whispered. "And until it's done, mum's the word, capisce? Like they always say, easier to get forgiveness than permission, eh?" He elbowed Heroditus in the side and winked at him, before tapping a button on his keyboard which brought up a screen-saver (and would demand a password to access the computer again). "No peeking!"


Ben sniffed and turned around when he picked up the scent of ozone. He caught some of Micah's speech and the related chatter, enough to put a partial picture together of the conversation he'd been missing. He leaned in to whisper to Heroditus again. "OK, see, your competition not getting everything he needs to do his thing, your winner-take-all, all's fair in love and war type, they'd probably try ta EXPLOIT this little turn of events. But me? Nah. I'm CLASSY. Dig this." He more or less jumped into the middle of the fray, landing next to Leroy, leaning his arm on the young man's shoulder. He held up his other hand to wave off Micah.


"Whoa whoa WHOA, everybody CHILL. Now I know 'BLACK HOLE' sounds scary as hell, I seen the same movies as you guys, but correct me if I'm wrong, quantum astrophysics isn't really my jam, you know me, I'm more of the leet-haxor type, but hey, after I burned through Cyber Crimes Netflix suggested Cosmos and I let it play in the background like ya do, and I seem to remember hearing that most of 'em..." He pinched his thumb and index finger together. "...Teeny-TINY little balls o' NUTHIN', and like a DOZEN of 'em go a-ziggin' and a-zaggin' through this here ground we're all standin' on every single DAY without any of us the wiser. I know Prince Akheem here's got a spare Planet Earth in his back pocket, but I don't think that means he's gonna blow up THIS one, ya feel me?" He tapped his palm a couple of times against Leroy's chest.


Edited by Grumblefloof

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