"Go to the Giant's Drink and I'll show you," she says.
She bypasses the Drink for six boys. They drift through the clouds, but they don't find villages, or pretty landscapes - they just find parts of the game they've already been to.
"Don't look at me, that's the same way I got here," says Bella. She's teaching her bird-people the scientific method now, painstakingly, almost comically, by mime and enthusiastic gestures. They're getting it, a little; a pink-and-gray one has put a cup of water in the sun and a similar cup of water in the shade and is staring at them intently.
By the time Bella has been at Battle School for six weeks she has tried all the games in the game room, and most of them (apart from the newly fascinating fantasy game) are now only interesting if someone will play against her. Most people won't. She's got too much of an advantage over the controls, and even at Battle School, among what really is a better crop of brains than kindergarten, it's apparently too much to ask that anyone think faster.
"Hi, Bella," he says. "Who's he?"
"He goes without a name. I call him Suicide Watch. But I just rescued him from some bigger kids, and I want you to take messages from him for me if he needs rescuing again, okay? 'Cause I can't -" She taps her temple - "and you're usually around. Is that cool?"
"Yeah, yeah, I take your messages, I your answering machine," says Qiaochu. He's taken up more Battle School slang than she has. "You owe me, though."
"I owe you," she agrees.
"Suicide Watch?" snickers another boy.
"Sue," suggests a third. "For short."
"Hurray, Bella found a girl friend," snorts the kid who suggested calling him Sue. "They can have tea parties."
"I just beat up twelve-year-olds, I beat up you you say tea parties again," says Bella mildly, dropping into slang for this purpose.
"Fine, I braid your hair, no tea parties," says Bella, rolling her eyes not unfondly. "You can find Qiaochu's brain, tell him if you need your girlfriend to come dance on some necks?"
"Back soon, hauling Sue home now," Bella tells her launch, and she leads Sue out the door again. "What's your path color?"
Bella paints the path. "Hey, how d'you even log into your desk if you didn't have a nickname before I gave you one?" She doesn't fall into slang naturally, only when she's trying to slot into the social framework more deliberately than average. She drops it when it's just her and Sue.
His barracks is kind of far away going as slow as they are, but she gets him there. "You worried about anybody in there, need me to break another nose?"
"See you in the game," she says. "If it keeps doing multi, anyway." And she waves and skips off.