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[IC][Story][Arc 1] House Call
IC (and wrapping up the story)
#10
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
October 11, 2016
8:53pm

"That's ... horrifying."

After hearing Washuu summarize the events of the "Certain Magical Index" novels, Rob had to agree with Usagi. He felt sick - and not because of the nanomachines working through his body.

Mikoto wasn't handling the information nearly as well. "Is that all I am to the city - to this Aleister person?"

"Pretty much, yeah, if the books are anything to go by."

Usagi continued as if the others hadn't spoken. "What they did to draw out your powers ... how are you still sane?"

"Everybody in Academy City went through that kind of training."

Rob shook his head. "Not everybody, just the students who were seen by the city leaders as being worth the expense to turn into soldiers." Usagi whimpered. Rob went on. "Ask Saten-san some time whether she was ever given drug-assisted training."

Mikoto shook her head sadly. "I think I know what her answer would be just from you calling her by her family name. And now I feel even worse about telling people they could increase their level by hard work. They can't, can they?"

"They probably can," answered Washuu, "but only with training that matches their personalities and abilities. You were one of the lucky ones. Your friend Uiharu-san wasn't, so she's stuck at Level 1 if she follows the Academy City training course."

Usagi couldn't stay silent any more. "Why are you all talking as if this is something people should want?"

Rob put his hand on Usagi's shoulder. "I don't think it's something people should want, Usagi-san, but what I think doesn't matter as much as what all of you think. And what Mikoto-san and Kuroko-san and Mii-san and Kazari-san and especially Rui-chan want is to have powers that are all their own."

"But being empowered and then trained to fight ... That happened to me, and it only brought pain to me and my friends."

"Technically, nobody trained y-" Washuu stopped when Rob glared at her.

Rob waited a brief moment, then sighed deeply. "Turning pre-teens into soldiers is wrong, for so many reasons - but it's happened. And now I think I know what I'm supposed to do with all my free time here. You girls need to relax and learn how to live without the threat of combat hanging over your heads all the time. I need to ... well, I think I need to make sure you learn how to do that."

"But I like using my Skill."

Rob nodded. "I'm not going to ask Washuu-chan to take your abilities away, Mikoto-san."

"And I wouldn't even if he did ask."

"I'm just asking you to learn how to live a normal life - the kind of life people outside Academy City live."

"The ones who aren't magicians, you mean. And that explains so much about Kamijo-san."

Rob shook his head. "No, he's no more a mage than he is an esper. He's ... well, I think even he doesn't realize it, despite it being his name."

"His name?" Mikoto thought for a moment. "Have I ever seen his name written down?"

Rob sighed again. "We've said too much. Usagi-san, everything you've heard this evening - Aleister, the 'Radio Noise' project, the World War III of Mikoto's homeworld, what happens when somebody reaches Level 6, even the Imaginary Number District - please keep it to yourself. Don't tell anyone else."

"I don't like keeping secrets."

"They aren't your secrets to tell. Let Mikoto-san decide when to tell them, if ever."

Usagi thought for a moment. "All right. But you'd better give me something that I can tell people, so I can say something if anyone asks."

Everybody thought for a moment.

"Ah!" Rob raised one finger. "Remember that I showed everybody one episode of the anime that was made about you, and everyone complained about the voices being a little bit wrong?"

"You said it was because we weren't in this universe, so they had to use voice actors instead."

"Right. And the same applies to the anime they made about Mikoto-san."

"So?"

"The voice actor they got to play Makoto-san is the same voice actor they got to play Mikoto-san's mother."

Mikoto and Usagi both looked at Rob for a moment, then laughed.

Washuu walked over to where Rob was sitting, and whispered, "That's one way to break the mood, I guess."

Rob just nodded, then turned his attention back to the girls. "It's a little late to be asking now, but is your homework done?"

"Noooo! I've been in here all night!" Usagi started to panic.

"I'll help you," Mikoto offered, calming Usagi as quickly as she had become frantic.

"And I'll be back tomorrow," Washuu said as a portal opened behind her. "Let Konori-san, Mizuno-san, and Hino-san know they aren't getting away without a checkup."



Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
October 12, 2016
6:20am

Rob awoke, and wondered what was wrong.

Then he realized that, for the first time in over a decade, he had no aches or pains.

He was tempted to go back to sleep, but he had to start making breakfast. Time to shower and dress.



6:40am

Rob made his way to the apartment that they had turned into their common room - only to hear chopping sounds coming from the kitchen. "Good morning! I thought it was my turn to make - Oh! Welcome back, Washuu-chan!"

Washuu tipped the cutting board she was using so that the green onion went into the soup pot, then turned and smiled. "Good morning, Rob-san! I hope you like Japanese breakfasts."

"It's food in the morning. What's not to like?"

Washuu pointedly looked at Rob's waistline. "I think you like food a bit too much."

"Those nanomachines you injected into me need the calories, right?"

"What was your excuse before yesterday?"

"You've got me there, Washuu-chan." They both laughed.

"How are you feeling?"

"Better than I've felt in years, sensei. I assume you want to make sure the nano is working the way you designed it?"

"Breakfast first, medical scan later." Washuu gestured toward a package sitting on the kitchen table. "I needed to revise the books we were talking about giving to Saten-san and Uiharu-san; those are the updated versions."

There was a polite knock at the doorway. "Good morning, Rob-san. Do we have anything I can take with me for breakfast?"

They turned, and Rob smiled. "Good morning, Ami-chan. There's a bag waiting for you in the fridge. One sandwich and a box of orange juice."

"Thank you, Rob-san," she said as she opened the fridge door. "You're always very kind to me."

"Have a good day at university!"

"'Bye!"

Washuu waited until Ami was gone. "You made breakfast for her before you went to bed last night."

"I do the same for Mii-san when she has early-morning classes."

"Do you smile at Konori-san when you see her first thing in the morning?"

"Of course I do!"

Washuu looked at Rob for a moment. "Okay. I'm just remembering what you told me under doctor-patient confidentiality yesterday."

"What did he tell you yesterday?" asked Ruiko from the doorway. "'Morning!"

"Good morning, and none of your business," answered Washuu.

"'Morning, Rui-chan. And it really isn't something you should be spreading around on the gossip circuit, so I'm going to save you the anguish of having to decide whether to keep my private life private, by not telling you about it."

"Would I gossip?"

"In a heartbeat. It was your listening to gossip and wild stories that lead you to the Level Upper, remember?"

"Mou." Ruiko pouted, and not in a cute way.
--
Rob Kelk
"Governments have no right to question the loyalty of those who oppose
them. Adversaries remain citizens of the same state, common subjects of
the same sovereign, servants of the same law."

- Michael Ignatieff, addressing Stanford University in 2012
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Messages In This Thread
[IC][Story][Arc 1] House Call - by robkelk - 05-09-2017, 03:21 AM
[No subject] - by Bob Schroeck - 05-09-2017, 02:15 PM
[No subject] - by robkelk - 05-09-2017, 02:58 PM
[No subject] - by Black Aeronaut - 05-09-2017, 10:33 PM
[No subject] - by robkelk - 05-10-2017, 12:51 AM
[ic] - by robkelk - 05-17-2017, 03:55 AM
[No subject] - by Norgarth - 05-17-2017, 06:54 AM
[No subject] - by Black Aeronaut - 05-17-2017, 09:30 AM
[No subject] - by robkelk - 05-17-2017, 03:05 PM
IC (and wrapping up the story) - by robkelk - 06-04-2017, 03:51 AM

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