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Caitlin is in the process of having some simple fun tracking two NSA recruiters when Samantha interrupts her.[1]

At the Medawihla town, Jericho has a long talk with Sara about connections between Razorback and the Sidhe, as well as a number of other things, including Razor's antipathy toward Sara earlier in the year that vanished in mid-October (Probably when she killed off Kellith). Jericho is a very good observer of human nature.[1]

Samantha and Caitlin have a long and very vigorous discussion of certain attitude problems while inspecting the heavy weapons security cage. Caitlin learns who Samantha was. She is not happy about the results of the discussion. Flaming mad might be a better word. Samantha clocks Caitlin out of Security for the rest of the day to let her work it off.[1]

As Team Kimba gathers before breakfast, Hank notices that he, Fey, Chou and Tennyo don't have their day for combat finals posted. Chaka's hadn't been either, and her final the previous day had been ... interesting. The atomic wedgie she gave Nephandus wasn't in the book of martial arts maneuvers. Then they discuss the Grunts' offer to accept Hank, and Hank strongly suggests that Fey tell Breaker or Deadeye what's going down.[1]

Creepy joins the Astral Squad (Isn't this the Dream Team?) for a quick before breakfast game; together with Fubar, Heyoka (Jamie), A.D., Weaver and Valkyrie. They discuss Diamondback; the bindings won't last past Christmas vacation. Fubar tells Valk she did well even though she lost and congratulates Jamie. They also discuss Caitlin a bit. Fubar tells them that she's off limits, and asks Heyoka if T-Bird has anything to say. Heyoka says he thinks that T-Bird is somewhat involved, and also says that the next steps are in her power. Then Fubar goes to talk with Circe and Mrs. Chulkris (Earth Mother).[1]

Diamondback presses Jericho and Razorback at breakfast about what's going on. They discuss it, and then Jericho walks over to the Team Kimba table. After a bit of fashion discussion, where he asks Jade for some Hello Kitty fashions in his size, he asks Fey to help Diamondback with her shielding. Fey agrees.[1]

Caitlin works off most of her mad destroying several punching bags and three practice ANTS at Arena 77, and realizes that Samantha was right: she'd been wallowing in self-pity. She goes to breakfast after the rest of the Outcasts have left. Nephandus tells Techno-Devil that he recognizes her as an Artificer, and the two of them lay plans to get her under control while She-Beast (Jadis) listens, invisible.[1]

Zenith and Sahar pull Harlan out of her funk. The Spy Kids discuss the case at breakfast, and figure a way to weasel a way around not being allowed to investigate. Then they check on Kaiju's roommate, Maledicta.[2]

Jinn (Shroud) wins over Tisiphone (was Ayla's opponent in Revenge of the Alphas). Jade is worked over more in the labs.[3]

Punch wins over Jobe barely, then Gunny Bardue announces the purpose of the Crash and names the two teams involved. Then he announces Bladedancer and Nex. It takes Chou a little while to warm up, and Nex almost gets her. Then she gets into the flow and totally demolishes him, triggering his Diedrick's Syndrome in the process.[4]

NOTE - I've relocated all three of the following combat finals to Tuesday because of a conflict between Never Look a Gift Squirrel in the Mouth and Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth.

In Olympia vs Hardcase Olympia trashes the spindle, and Peeper goes nuts trying to figure out what the instructors are going to do for a grade. The instructors, of course, don't have a problem—they've undoubtedly seen it all over the years. Next up is She-Beast (Jadis Diabolik) vs Zhong Lau. Ayla mentions having known Jadis in 2nd grade, and compliments her MID card on meeting the letter of the law without disclosing anything useful. Jadis uses a carefully prepared set of spells to trap Zhong Lau and his dragon for long enough that she can enter the codes and win the engagement. Zhong Lau gets a C, she gets a B because she was only supposed to use what she normally carried. (I put this on Wednesday; the story doesn't say what day it happened. I'll move it if there's a reference that locates it more exactly.)[5]

Anna's combat final vs Buster. Buster demonstrates what happens to a big nut when faced with Squirrel Power! (This is after She-Beast, Kaiju and Wunderkind) NOTE - while the story says it belongs on the 13th, it has to take place the day before Straight from the Squirrel's Mouth[6]

O.C. Dee "Fractious" Castle against Stopwatch. Stopwatch uses several devises against Fractious. She manages to disable two of them and then falls for a feint. Problems escalate and eventually she manages to drop a wall on both of them. Stopwatch: A-, Fractious: C. (This is second after Anna vs Buster.)[7]

Caitlin goes in for a complete powers workup, orders of Mrs. Carson, in preparation for a MID card interview the next morning. Diamondback brings her lunch, and they do a bit of bonding.[4]

Delarose spots a blip that indicates one of the Voodoo Wolves is about, and Samantha goes to investigate, with Razorback and Jericho following. It turns out to be five of them, who move off swiftly once they discover they've been spotted.[4]

Caitlin goes berserk at one of the exams. Samantha manages to calm her down a bit, and they call in Dr. Ophelia Tenant to do the necessary exam.[4]

Dr. Polland discusses Caitlin's physical results with Dr. Bellows while Dr. Tenant does the examination. After discussing things, they decide to call in Miss Grimes to do a magical examination. Miss Grimes and Erik Mahren have never gotten along, BTW.[8]

Diamondback and Hekate against the Dragonslayers simulation. Diamond sets up a very complicated spell, and Hekate spots a flaw and takes it over. Then they fight the Dragonslayers. At the end, Hekate discovers that the spell she took over has drained her totally as Diamondback gets to the spindle and wins.[4]

Jericho, Razorback, most of the Grunts, Chaka, Chou, Fey and Jade congratulate Diamondback on her victory over Hekate. Diamondback is surprised that the TK cuties would get involved with her. Then Bunker's combat final is up next.[8]

Phobos and Deimos follow Hank Declan for a little while, and then duck to avoid Pucelle. Hank meets Lily, and then almost gets bowled over by a spitting mad Bunker. He goes to the arena and asked Deadeye what was up. Turns out Bunker had a way too easy combat final. Hank says he's in and mentions that Nikki will be over that night to brief them on what's going down with the Voodoo Wolves.[8]

Drs. Polland, Bellows and Tenant debrief after Caitlin's physical. Then Caitlin tells Dr. Bellows that she can't tell him what's bugging her. Ophelia Tenant tells him that "can't" probably means "not allowed to", rather than her just being a stubborn bitch. Jadis Diabolik invisibly eavesdrops on the scene and decides that Caitlin is simply too hot to handle, and her brother is not getting involved.[8]

Jericho and Razorback split from Fey, Chaka and Diamondback. The latter three do some girl bonding and head for Poe Cottage so Fey can teach Diamondback how to shield against the Voodoo Wolves, while Jericho and Razorback head for their room under Hawthorne to set up for music practice. Then they run into Counterpoint, Imperious and Stygian (three of the New Olympians) and barely manage to avoid an all out fight. Jericho knocks out Counterpoint with some kind of pacifier drug. Imperious tells him to pass a message to Galatea, who turns out to be Eldritch.[8]

Miss Grimes finishes her examination of Eldritch as Caitlin exits the exam room by kicking the steel door out of its frame. They discuss the findings, and some theories of the Hollow Man.[8]

Fey, Chaka and Diamondback hit Kimba Korner in the Poe study room and discuss the situation. It turns out Diamondback has a second personality that she wants kept secret from the shrinks. They discuss the proper magical procedure to shield from the Voodoo Wolves when Sharisha interrupts, calls Diamondback a freak and outs Fey and Chaka. Diamond says they're going to meet in Arena 77 for outing her cottagemates.[8]

Nephandus manages to trap Caitlin in a circle, and then discovers that Mal has skipped out on him. He goes looking for backup, and Clover discovers the imprisoned Artificer. Caitlin manages to talk her into going for Gunny Bardue. Gunny calls for Fey, and gets Chou. Chou (or rather Destiny's Wave) cuts the circle, and they waylay Nephandus when he gets back. Chou and Caitlin have a heart to heart discussion as they haul Nephandus to Kane Hall for his punishment. Caitlin's revenge on Nephandus is a wonder to behold, only limited by the promise she's made to not kill or maim him.[8]

Three Voodoo Wolves sneak into Caitlin's room in Hawthorne Cottage and get intercepted by Fubar. He kills one of them and chases the other two into Sara's and Paige's claws.[8]

Caitlin and Chou run into Diamondback on their way to the music evening. Much fun was had by all. They decide Caitlin's code name should be Eldritch.[8]

At Lake Alban. More physical therapy, more X-rays and a new battle wheelchair and braces. Next: check out the Rose Palace.[9]

In Rome at the Rose Palace. Petra goes in alone and discovers the problem. It's a picture that's been sorcerously modified. The Knight Commander asks her to look at it with her sorcerous vision.[9]

In Rome: That turned out to be a mistake. After Sally revives her they discuss what to do. The Knight Commander decides to send in a robot.[9]

At Lake Alban, the time is screwed up: we are having a second December 12. Petra wakes up and gets the news: the Rose Palace blew up when the robot tried to move the painting. No casualties. Later there is another attack, repelled by Sally and the Knights. The reconstruction of the map from the Watch Commander's office turns out to have a major clue that points to a cluster of lakes and three Villages With A Secret. Plans are made; Petra will be in a Diversionary Group. That evening there's a bit of a rebellion, quickly quashed by the Librarian and the Knight Commander. Some people aren't happy that Petra exists.[10]

ReferencesEdit

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