You guys captured Purity?
She blasted Lance and I reacted without thinking, always a bad idea, and hit her with a force blast. Which accomplished the goal of getting her out of the air, but more harmfully than I would have chosen if I'd been considering the bigger picture at the time, and also if Lance hadn't caught her before she hit the ground she'd probably be dead.
And for some reason I'm not allowed to personally apologize to her, which is frustrating.
I don't know. Part of me wants to do a bunch of intensive weapons testing focused on things I can actually take out on patrol instead of things to kill Endbringers with, but that wouldn't actually have helped, I still can't knock an unprotected flyer out of the air safely without my own damn pair of wings.
Any brilliant ideas for how I can get my wings in the next week?
I actually think even getting a solid hit in would do it. And that much we can certainly accomplish. But not until the next Behemoth or Leviathan attack. In the meantime I'm torn between not wanting to go out on patrol at all since it seems to do nothing but waste my time and encourage me to lose track of my priorities, and wanting to get back out as soon as possible to protect my teammates. I like my teammates.
You'd have to ask them, but my best guess is that they don't think of themselves that way, as people-who-improve, or something along those lines. I mean, that's true of people in general, but teenagers in particular seem to want to fit molds and play roles and even 'being a superhero' is a mold that has specific things that should happen and such.
Well, think about it from her perspective. Someone just literally almost killed her, and then they go and say, 'I'm so sorry I was powerful enough to drop you in one hit,' not bound to help, yeah? And of course you won't phrase it like that but capes are selected for liking conflict and drama.
Seems like a cultural difference, then. If I was almost killed and woke up in the hospital and the person who did it had the capacity to visit me and apologize but didn't, I'd be tempted to send a strongly worded letter, depending how I felt about the incident. If they did show up, I'd expect to be able to tell the difference between gloating and a sincere apology. And even gloating I might accept if it came with good-faith observation of the principles of reconciliation.
Finding out why they are doing illegal things. Encouraging them to pursue alternate forms of income/entertainment/etc. I can't be the only person who's thought of this. Maybe everyone else was too cynical. Or picked the wrong villain to befriend and got themselves killed.
You'd have to actually get one to stay still and listen to you. You can't just come up to one and talk because secret lairs, and when you do manage to talk you're still aligned on opposite sides so they don't want to listen. That said, there have been some mysterious villain disappearances followed by mysterious hero appearances that had suspiciously similar powersets to the disappeared villain's. Also yes to being too cynical and probably to getting themselves killed.
I would absolutely do this exact thing if I hadn't just spent my first month as a Ward pissing off successively more powerful and highly placed members of the biggest local villain organization. I mean, they're E88, so that doesn't necessarily burn any bridges with anyone who isn't a racist, but it does sort of set me up a public reputation that would get in my way if I tried to come over all diplomatic on somebody.
Yes! Yes it was the time for that! Sadde believes his shirt should be the first thing to go.
"I mean - if I'd had a different force staff when I was fighting Purity, I could have knocked her around without knocking her out of the air. If I'd had more stun wand combinations than just the basic silver when I was fighting Hookwolf, I could have tried something that might've actually taken him down instead of just throwing him into walls until he got fed up and left. It's theoretically possible to build all this stuff, I just don't know how yet. So I want to learn."
"How hard have you tried? I mean, I don't necessarily want you making real people, but fake or decoy people seem like a useful resource. And you can already make objects that do things. Propellers that propel, that sort of thing. I bet you could make a copy of your suit that behaved in a plausibly you-like way without a you actually in it."
"Well -" they say at the same time, but stop and look at each other.
"Are you -" starts original.
"Nope," interrupts copy.
"Are you sure?"
"If you say so. We'll need to explore this at some point."
"Yes, we will, but for now we should make out with our boyfriend and possibly other copies of him and ourselves."
"That's a terribly good idea."
They look at him again.
"That was incredibly hot," boy-copy opines.
"Very," girl-copy agrees.
"I'm somewhat sure? I'm not completely sure. And it occurs to me that we're in the middle of the ocean so as long as I don't fall asleep I could actually probably conjure a larger room here..."
"Oh, right!" he says. "I'd say Ceir is... if you imagine a category including the United States, the European Union, and the Commonwealth of Nations, Ceir is in that category somewhere. If I'd paid more attention I could tell you more about how it works - I think they have a common currency but it wouldn't surprise me if there were a few holdouts; I know there are lots of different governmental structures at play, but they mostly all still think of themselves as Ceirene before they think of whatever part of Ceir they happen to be from."
"Right, I mean..." She struggles for words. "Okay, so, people often have an us vs. them sort of bias? Humans do, anyway. Many Americans see themselves as Americans first, and whatever state they're from second. But there is interstate rivalry and stereotypes and such, it's just, when compared to an outsider, Texans and Californians identify with each other. The fact that Ceir and Aluvanna exist and are different enough that the humans have developed different phenotypes would be the same general kind of thing, is what I'm saying."
"It depends? In some contexts it comes under the same heading as ethnicity, in some contexts it's more like nationality. Not that those two concepts are completely distinct in Earth culture either, but the - relationship between them seems a little different. The word we'd use for the - categories of phenotype, specifically - would be something I'd translate into English as 'type' or 'kind', but I might say 'race' if I didn't have time to summarize the cultural background first."
All right, maybe I don't know exactly
But it would sound very much like the tactical analysis I gave Director Piggot
And Director Piggot did not receive that analysis like my father would have
She received that analysis like...
I'm struggling to find the words for the attitude that is the problem here
But it's not just that
It's like the fact that I nearly killed someone isn't even the real problem
The real problem is that I see myself as a person engaged in the business of saving the world and working with these people toward that end, and not as...
Not as some kind of domesticated animal belonging to this institution and subject to their authority on an intrinsic level
This is an incredibly uncharitable reading on my part but I'm not sure it's actually wrong
So. I want to approach this with honesty and integrity, the way I would at home, and...
I'm not sure I can
It would be really satisfying to write the report I'd write for my father and dare them to take issue with it.
And it would be soul-destroying to back down and pretend I'm a goat.
But if I don't act goatlike enough, I might lose access to important world-saving resources.